A few months ago I tweeted something to the effect of:
Can we start recognizing the difference between “personal” and “lifestyle” blogs?
Because no one’s “real” life is that pretty all the time.
You know what I mean. You’ve been to those sites. And don’t get me wrong, pretty is pretty is pretty, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still “special effects” at work beyond the camera’s reach–a flock of snow-white light-diffusion umbrellas, the Dooce effect, the pile of purse jetsam that usually litters the kitchen counter but has been cheerfully, serenely, shoved aside to make room for the ceramic bowl of handpicked and carefully arranged organic plums.
On Flickr that same day I posted this photo, “for my Lifestyle blog, where everything is beautiful”:
Then I posted this, for my Life blog, and captioned it “But I don’t WANT Cashew Chicken!”
When it comes to how we share our lives on the Internet, both are good, but I think we can now agree that each is distinct from the other.
While I was at BlogHer, I was feeling particularly cute, and so each day (and after each midday wardrobe change), I snapped a selfie in the hotel room mirror to capture the moment, as well as to commemorate the occasion of my not being accessorized with the toddler-related fluids to which I and my wardrobe have become accustomed. I also took photos every time I found myself in an elevator alone, which, trust me, was kind of a minor miracle considering the 2,400 women packed into the Hilton in addition to the poor, unsuspecting non-conference guests.
On a Lifestyle blog I might tell you where my clothing came from or how each element has special meaning to me–perhaps a memento from an impressive vacation or a beloved late relative. Through my Life blog, though, you’ve already read about how I totally cheat at the Working Closet, and you know that most of my Nice Clothes are from Target and TJMaxx, so there’s just no fooling you anymore, is there? That’s the problem with a Lifestyle blog: you always have to be on.
In that spirit, here’s a Life moment for you: me in a strapless bra and shapewear (from TJMaxx!).
(There was an honest-to-goodness nudist roaming the halls at BlogHer this year, so what’s the big deal, eh?)
And because I don’t want to leave you here stuck with the image of me in my unmentionables, here is one more Lifestyle | Life series: me jumping on the hotel bed vs. my many failed attempts to jump on cue with the self-timer (because I’m apparently too embarrassed to ask someone to take my picture jumping on the bed but not too embarrassed to post the outtakes on the Internet, even the ones showcasing my shapewear and white-girl bed-jumping overbite).
(Even then, a little Life is peeking out from underneath my 50-percent-off-at-Kohl’s dress, just to keep it real.)