In the week that I almost finished the laborious production of this simple skirt I saw stylikeu's profile of Ludovika Koch. I felt slightly defeated, but more so bewildered, excited and inspired by the 15 year old's sewing talents. Unfortunately this reaction to a young talented person on my computer screen is quite unusual. The usual reaction stops at defeat, even when I'm searching for inspiration. Googling for inspiration, but sucked into questioning. Why does no one notice my tumblr? Why is my writing not read? Should I get a twitter to promote myself? Why is my voice not being heard? And most importantly, why does this even matter?
Sadly these questions are often directed at those young talented bloggers I've loved and admired for years. That love and admiration still holds strong and its why I'm still clicking onto their sites- yet the experience is tainted by a faintly obsessive envy. Interestingly this envy is directed at those specific bloggers that I see myself in. They'll probably be the my age, live in the UK, have similar interests and experiences to me. The consensus is that, if they have found 'success', then why haven't I?
The internet helps us find people we find relatable and accessible, and it lets us access them. Access their tumblrs and twitters and instagrams and blogs. Poking, scrolling and clicking for ever more information, ever more reasons why 'THEY' are more successful than 'ME', frantically searching for a scrap of information that tells me they are wealthier than me, have more opportunities than me, live in a nicer area than me ect. Sometimes I may find the answer of privilege I hoped for, but it'll only ever be an assumption based on that tiny scrap. Just like our idols before the web, our "internet idols" (I use internet in no way to disregard these peoples work, and understand the internet is not some separate sphere ) are mythic. All that access, all those words and pictures still do not give us the full picture, only a very small version of the human behind the screen. We may feel we know the blogger personally, but really we only get an edited image, not much different to the edited versions we get of people in our every day lives.
It is not necessarily negative to have idols, and in no way am I suggesting the internet is to blame for the human phenomenon of idealisation. I'm just suggesting there's definitely use in trying to remember that unlike in the everyday where we don't always get to choose who we look at, the internet lets us pick and choose our 5 favourites and forget the billions of others. There's also use in remembering that there are all kinds of 'success' and you can make your own meaning for that term. And finally, there's use in remembering that those pixels on a screen are flawed in ways you may never know, as well as wonderful in ways unshared. My skirt is not double hemmed. It frays underneath, but I don't mind because I didn't need it to be double hemmed. It's just as good as any other skirt. And someone might even look at it somewhere and be impressed with my skill.