Friend Friday: Labeling Yourself

Earlier in the week I posted an article on a topic I had been mulling over for some time – labeling ourselves and others. It seems so many people want to box us into one tightly knit and pre-assumed box by applying a label. Sometimes the tag seems to fit, other times it’s far off the mark. But either way, to me, we are so much more than anyone label that could be applied. The article, You are Not a Label, sparked some interesting comments and feedback and prompted this week’s Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday questions.

1. As a someone who writes/blogs about fashion, have you placed yourself into some sort of blogging category? I oscillate between calling myself a fashion blogger and a personal style blogger. But neither really seems to fit entirely what I write about. Sometimes I cover trends = fashion blogger. Often I post outfit pics = personal style blogger. But there are times I write about running = fitness blogger. And occasionally I cover local events = Boston blogger. I now lean more towards dubbing ModlyChic as a personal style blog since I feel that can encompass more of what I do on here and is less limiting.

2. What keeps you from or encourages you to label yourself as a certain kind of blogger? I stay away from labeling myself as having a specific genre or focus on ModlyChic. I’m too complex to be wrapped up in one phrase. There are times when I have serious feminist leanings and thoughts but I’m certainly not going to be a feminist blogger 24/7. I’m always tall – thanks to very tall parents – but I don’t label myself as a tall girl blogging, I suppose because I care more about fashion than about my height. To me, I guess labels are too confining. (pic from wanieharun.blogspot.com)

3. When picking blogs to read and follow are you drawn to ones that indicate a certain group or way of thinking/being? To be honest, at times I am a little wary of reading a blog that labels itself outright as a certain kind of specified blogger. Part of that reticence comes from thinking I might not be able to relate to their content. However, I’ve found that most times if I look beyond the classification I find an equally interesting, entertaining and engaging blogger.

4. Do you think there are benefits in labeling yourself or others? I suppose ultimately there can be some benefits to labeling but it seems to me that mostly labels just work to divide. Politically, for example, we label ourselves according to a political party and automatically assume that those running in our party share our thoughts on matters and those running in the opposing party have opposing views. To me, it seems like it would be so much smarter to listen to a candidates platform and do away with the party naming. Personally, I want to know where candidates stand on issues and couldn’t care less what party they belong too. Whoa.. that was a random rant. But it applies to a lot of other areas.

5. Agree or Disagree – We’re all just people; we don’t need all the labels. Agree, wholeheartedly. I don’t need to box myself up into a single word or phrase and I certainly do not need others to do that for me. We are people with dignity and worth, not a label.

Katy Rose
Filed In: FBFF , Friend Friday

46 thoughts on “Friend Friday: Labeling Yourself

  1. chiara

    Well… I should have put my blog’s name not mine – clearly, I haven’t woken up yet.
    I so agree with your answers!

  2. No Guilt Fashion

    Great questions and answers Katie. I think that you hit the nail on the head when you commented on how labels aren’t really beneficial. They just divide things.

  3. Emily

    Thanks for anothet thought-provoking topic Katy. Great post and answers. I think you’re right that labels can be decisive but I also feel like they can be useful sometimes – in order to define what someone does – not necessarily who they are.

  4. Perdita

    Very interesting- I find that self-defining using labels as ways of helping a reader choose is useful. However, when others label you and impose ‘rules’ or judgements in their comments it can be very frustrating indeed! For example, as someone who blogs about my thrifty, second hand clothes/craft, Alt/indie, London lifestyle I have in the past been criticised by people as not authentically ‘vintage’ enough. But… umm…I’m not a vintage blogger. I wear some vintage items (and my husband and I attend vintage events). I never held this label up for myself and I find it annoying to be measured against it! I blogged about the label thing a month or two ago: http://perditaspursuits.blogspot.com/2011/05/labels-go-inside-clothing.html … so yeah, self definition is useful, but being constrained is annoying.

  5. Missy

    Great questions. However your insight into politics reminded me of something. I live in Nebraska – our unicameral state officials are elected in nonpartisan elections and they have no party affliations while in office. It doesn’t really work despite the idea that it should. We all know who is a Democrat and who is a Republican. And maybe that’s the problem. We know what they label themselves as so it’s hard to see past that and the label – even the Senators themselves.

    Labels can be difficult things to break through.

  6. Nnenna

    I really like this week’s questions and like you said I’ve struggled to define my category as a blogger. But then I just let all the labels go and blog about all of the things that interest me! :)

  7. Fashnlvr

    I really enjoyed this week’s topic and I like the picture you have chosen. I certainly don’t fit into one singular box either but who does really?
    Happy Friend Friday!!

  8. EvaNadine

    i have struggled with this a bit on my blog as well, especially when i attend blogger events (of which i have only attended 2 so far!) — the first thing people ask you is “what kinda of blog do you have?” it is difficult to describe my blog without labeling it, and i find that in trying to describe it accurately, i am, in essence, putting myself into a box. if i end up blogging about anything outside of that box, i almost feel like i am letting my readers down or think they might feel i have lied to them when i told them what my blog is about.
    pretty much, i just tell me people my blog is about my person style and anything else i find interesting… the “labels” help to describe, but hopefully dont confine.

  9. MJ

    These questions really made me think this week! When it comes to politics, yes there are waaay too many labels. I just prefer to listen to whatever a candidate has to say and make my decision based on their platform instead of their party affiliation.

  10. Elissa

    Great, thought provoking questions this week. Humans are wired to label and categorize one another, and it’s difficult to decide whether they’re “good” or “bad.” Labels serve a useful purpose in society. However, the problems come when we use the to judge one another. I post outfit of the day posts, but also articles on beauty standards, body image and personal experience that have made me who I am. Therefore, I’m not strictly a personal style blogger, or body image blogger. I believe we have an internal need to categorize and label, and it takes mindfulness to challenge the labels we place on others and avoid using them to judge.

  11. bravoerunway

    What a wonderful post! Sometimes people confuse labeling themselves with developing their own personal brand! I try to write my posts in such a way that will cater to the everyday woman. I discuss topics that I think are on people’s minds and give them ideas on how to breathe life into existing pieces they already have! This is a wonderful blog and I like the philosophy of it! Cheers!

  12. heather

    I like the flexiblity of not boxing yourself into one category. Like you I like to do outfit post but then I like to do other post about events, trends, etc. I think to really experience a blogging as a whole you should open yourself up to a lot of different little things. But I also think it is important if you don’t put yourself into one label to have certain features you do each week so that you don’t confuse your readers on what your blog is about.

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  14. Oh to Be a Muse

    I really enjoyed writing about this for FBFF — great topic! I think when it comes to the fashion blogging world it makes sense to have a label because it does help to categorize your site, which can provide some benefits. But like I wrote in my post, the benefit of having your own blog is that you can decide to change directions/change labels and write about whatever you choose to. :)

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  16. Sarah

    I am really looking forward to reading all of the different opinions for this topic because I think it will be varied!

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  19. afashionablelifeforme

    Nnenna, I agree with your comment completely. A blog starts out as a personal story and I suppose if you want you can be a specific type of blogger. I prefer my blog to be a little bit random and full of things I love. I would prefer people to read and enjoy it because they can relate to me rather than as “scary fashion blogger”.
    I’m no expert! And we’re not all blessed with model proportions!
    Can’t wait to read all the different posts!
    Linda

  20. MONKEYFACE

    Mmm yes, I need to work on #3 myself. I tend to click out of blogs that “label” themselves in ways I don’t think I could identify with, but it can often be easy to find value in them if I don’t judge based on that too quickly!

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  22. Joanie Coyote

    Sorry for posting twice. This is my first time to write on Friend Friday and I put my name instead of my blog name the first time. Der. You can delete the first one if you want.

    Thank for the community. It’s interesting to see everyone’s opinions and such.

  23. Pretty, Polished, Perfect.

    Be Forewarned! My post is more humorous than serious, because that’s how I roll.

    Be Postwarned! I don’t actually take the issue lightly, and I don’t mean any disrespect or insult.

    And don’t say I didn’t warn you, lol!

  24. Kimberlee

    Great set of questions for FBFF! Great example with the political parties (I used high school hehe) but so true. Labels tend to divide us rather than bring us together :)

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