3 predictions for blogging in 2016


I'm going to put my neck on the block and make a few predictions about blogging in 2016. I guess I'll have to come back in 2017 to see if I was right. ;)

1. Blog comments are going to all but disappear.

Sharing is the new caring, don'tcha know? We're erring towards a time when sharing other people's blog posts all over our social media becomes akin to commenting. With most of us plugged into our phones 16 hours a day, it's quicker to share something in a couple of places than it is compose a well thought out comment, go through Captchas or whatever and tick that fucking Wordpress box to say you want to see the reply. Sharing doesn't always mean tacit approval, but most of the time it does.

The next two points are with regards to plus size blogging in particular.

2. Bloggers will slowly start to take the power back.

The plus size blogging scene in the UK is almost entirely controlled by plus size brands. Brands control money and influence, which controls who gets seen and who becomes one of the cool kids everyone should follow. To a certain extent humans are sheep-like and like to be told who to follow, and brands do this very well by making stars out of bloggers. This further impacts blogging as fear of missing out on the opportunities and/or product the 'stars' receive means some homegeneity as bloggers minimise aspects of themselves to attract more of the good stuff. PR people love almost-blank canvases they can foist their agenda on. And who doesn't like free product anyway?! But diminishing yourself for free dresses is unsustainable if you have a loud voice and some testy opinions.

In the last 5 years plus size blogging has changed hugely. Radical fat acceptance blogging has fallen to the wayside for the most part as bloggers know chirpy outfit posts keep brands happy and thus likely to keep on dressing them in the future. Radical fatness is sharing angry and challenging opinions about BODIES, not clothes, and brands like things on the vanilla side, and this has meant a decrease in blogging about the very thing that draws us together - our fat bodies.

However, brands actually need bloggers more than we need them (unless you're planning on reaching stardom like Georgina Horne, Callie Thorpe or Danielle Vanier) due to the fact that virtually no one in the UK uses models who are actually plus size (not to be confused with using plus size models, as a size 12 person can be a plus size model, but they are far from actually being a plus sized human). I mean using models who are actually fat, in several different sizes of fat. This is something Scarlett and Jo did very well, but the less said about that the better. ;) Without plus size bloggers thousands of women would have NO CLUE what clothes would actually look like on their bodies. Plus size companies need us. Without us their sales would plummet and returns of ill-fitting garments would soar.

As blogging becomes more and more infested with brand influence and turns blander and blander things will come to a head eventually. This will lead to:

3. A return to more radical blogging.

When a plus size blogger realises she has a lot of power on her own merit, there's no stopping her. So she may have to buy more of her own clothes, but at least she's her own woman. A LOT of plus size readers want to hear a blogger's opinions about living life fat, not how simply wonderful another dress is. There will be photos which aren't artfully retouched or angled to show off the most flattering aspects. There will be shots of bodies for the sake of it, in any old clothes, as there's no agenda to sell. I came up reading Rachele's blog The Nearsighted Owl (sadly no longer in existence) with photos of her naked in her living room or wearing thrifted clothes. She had nothing to 'sell' and it was my favourite blog ever. She made me feel it's OK to be me, just as I am. THAT is fat acceptance!

With less emphasis on selling other people's products, we will hear about experiences in fat bodies. There will be lots of honesty and dare I say it, a bit more swearing and candid opinions as we aren't all out to please the PC brigade. Also, when things become less about products, there will be more of a sisterhood in blogging. After all, we're all fat women struggling against a world which hates fat people, fat women especially. How novel it will be to have a sorority, not feel like our competitors are getting all the good shit. If you've ever felt crap about yourself as a blogger, I bet it's because you feel you're getting less of the good shit. And if you've ever felt crap about yourself as a plus size woman when reading plus size blogs, I bet it's because you don't have the budget for a new dress twice a week or don't have time to leg it over a farmer's gate and stand on one leg caressing corn stalks while your personal photographer makes sure there's arty lens-flare in the background. Without this focus on clothes, we can focus on the thing underneath - our fat bodies. Won't that be something?

So, what do you think of my predictions? Am I wishful thinking or talking sense?

Let me know in the comments, or y'know, share this post. ;)

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

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