The Birth of the Fashion Blogger

As an awkward, boyfriendless and bracefaced preteen, I pored over trashy fashion magazines. I lived for the day when I would walk up the outrageous hill that was my driveway from my bus stop, pull open the rusty mailbox, and reach in to find a brightly colored magazine featuring someone unfairly beautiful.

I used to spend hours combing through the pages, studying the lame articles on what was in for the summer or what new lip gloss to try out. By nightlight, I read my magazines like my very own middle school girl bible and then I hoarded them in drawers to read back through later, over and over again. I really didn’t buy any of the products in them – I was a kid with no allowance and no job, for Christ’s sake – but I watched them like works of art.

This is a pretty stark difference to who I am today, the Jenna that cancelled her Cosmo subscription, her second fashion magazine to go behind Glamour.

Back in the day, fashion magazines were the only monthly update available to the masses, especially those living in rural New Jersey (yes, it exists). Surrounded by boring Abercrombie baby tees and bell-buttoned Hollister jeans, the only way for me to even find a smidgen of creativity in my small town was to head to the newsstand.

These were the glory days of my once-beloved magazines – when they were the only experts and the only aggregation of what was going on in the cultural hubs like Milan, Paris and New York. However, with the advent of the Internet, other quirky fashion lovers and forward-thinking websites popped up all over the map and suddenly, there were quite a few competing voices against the publishing media giants.

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Blogger on GalMeetsGlam.com

Against only last year, Teen Vogue, People Style Watch and Vogue newsstand sales all plummeted by 20 percent. Hope obviously isn’t lost – as with all print publications, the focus is now on digital subscribers, and although there is clearly a learning curve in the publishing world, there is possibly growth ahead. The magazine giant Cosmopolitan boasted  a 33 percent increase in digital subscribers going into 2013.

Even though I like my news online, I’ve always preferred my books and my magazines in their classic print forms, a hands-on way for me to peruse them over and over again wherever I happen to be. I’m not sure if I changed, my magazines changed, or the industry changed, but I don’t think that these magazines can claim to be the best and biggest resource any longer.

I often find that it’s these little bloggers that are taking over on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with their interesting outfit ideas, wise words, and even advertising deals with retail stores. Bloggers are heading to Fashion Week, huge opening events, and other cool stuff that the average person with a laptop wouldn’t have been able to do ten years ago. Today, bloggers and independent websites are taking over the web and making their mark on fashion without hundreds of pages of ads to back them up.

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