If you were to ask someone on the street to describe a blogger, their response would probably be along the lines of “a teenager in their bedroom discussing lipgloss, One Direction or what they’ve just bought from Topshop.” There’s such an (incorrect) assumption that blogging is a young girls game, when in actual fact digital platforms provide a democratic platform for those of all ages, genders, interests and locations to share their passions and opinions. Right now there’s a revolution happening in the bloggersphere, where women aged thirty and over are growing in number while proving the incredible value they can offer to both reader and brand – and I’m incredibly proud to be part of it. About 18 months ago I started to make a concerted effort to connect with other bloggers that were also feeling a bit out of the loop and almost ‘too old’ for this digital game, but quickly it became clear that we were collectively smashing it out of the park and proving that blogging really isn’t just for the teens. As a result, my blogging collective Thirty Plus was born and we now have over 700 amazing sites proving how much great content is out there for those in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. (Shameless plug there: if you’re not a member already and want to be part of something awesome, find out more and sign up via the website.) As we hit our stride and start to plan some incredible collaborations with brands this year, it got me thinking about why I’m so excited and proud to be a 30+ blogger – and why we’re not going anywhere but up.
I’M PROUD TO KNOW WHO I AM
Too many bloggers are apologetic or afraid of standing out. Too many cookie cutter influencers are copying one another because they each think the other has the secret to success, when the actual secret is all in being unique. I’ve been blogging for nearly seven years and during that time I’ve evolved as a woman, but also as a content creator; I’m not afraid to be exactly who I am, share my opinions and put myself out there as an imperfect specimen of Twenty-First-Century-Life. Although I wish I lived in an all-white apartment and had a perfect figure, I know that I’m more than that – and I’m proud of it. I’m a 34 year old who is passionate about politics, self-acceptance and emotional wellbeing; I care about making positive change, I’m not afraid of calling people out when I think they’re acting unethically and I can deal with the fall-out when it undoubtedly comes. It’s all water off a ducks back to me, which makes me even more passionate about sharing my thoughts and opinions. There’s no dumbing down or avoiding hot topics on here!
MY EXPERIENCES ARE WELL ROUNDED
This time ten years ago I can tell you that I was self-absorbed, self-critical and had very little perspective on the world around me. Experiences provide you with benchmarks from which to base opinions and actions, as well as proving that you’re not the centre of the universe; not everything is about you personally and a different opinion doesn’t mean that you’re unlikeable – debate is healthy and should be actively encouraged. Experience comes with age and experiences are the lifeblood of any digital space – without them it quickly becomes a very dry and one dimensional space.
I KNOW A LOT OF STUFF ABOUT A LOT OF STUFF
Generally speaking, the longer you’ve lived the more you pick up from experience. As a result I know a lot about the beauty industry, how it works behind the scenes, what ingredients are must-haves, the trends that are around the corner, which new launches are actually just re-hashes from ten years ago and what is actually genuine innovation. Over the last thirteen years I’ve worked on a multitude of brands and been responsible for everything from in-store marketing and television campaigns, to social strategy and digital media; this exposure gives me a great perspective and allows me to share that with you guys to in turn help you increase your knowledge and understanding. In my opinion that’s far more valuable insight than a nineteen year old saying “ooooh pretty” at everything that lands on their doorstep – and why I religiously read blogs such as British Beauty Blogger. (Her knowledge of the industry is insane.)
WE NEED TO SEE MORE DIVERSITY
I for one am increasingly bored of seeing the same bloggers time and time and again being held up as the ultimate in digital creators. They’re always twenty-something, white, middle class, beautiful and carrying a designer handbag – but the beauty of the bloggersphere is that we come in all shapes, sizes, colours and ages. Some of my fave blogs right now include Danielle Vanier for her plus sized sass, Adorn Girl for her beautiful photography and insight, as well as Fashion For Lunch for her colour-filled playfulness. (It helps they’re all championing the 30+ age group too!) There are so many incredible women out there doing incredible things, but if they don’t fit the traditional mould they’re practically invisible; I’m making an effort to show there is more than one type of blogger out there by putting more of myself on here (you may have noticed much more of my face of late!) and the reception has been so positive. It just proves we want to see something fresh and a tad more relatable than what we’re being spoon-fed by the media.
I CAN TALK ABOUT PRESSING ISSUES
Being confident in yourself means that discussing mental health, smear tests, feminine hygiene and dealing with putting on weight (amongst a tonne of other things) isn’t as scary or ‘off brand’. My ‘Lets Talk About It‘ series last year did incredibly well and encouraged so much conversation about topics that had previously been untouched; I have plans to build on that this year and continue to talk about issues that are important to me personally. Being older and (somewhat) wiser also means I can feel confident in sharing opinions, insights and commentary on current events and not being afraid of using my influence for more than just pushing a new face cream. Collectively this makes it far more exciting to write, and hopefully far more exciting to read; whether that’s being a feminist, attending your smear tests or discussing bought Instagram followers, I’m not afraid to start a conversation.
I’m really excited about the year ahead, and discovering some more amazing 30+ bloggers, so I hope you’ll be on that journey with me – whether you’re 23 or 83.