This week I bought Australian Women’s Weekly, eager to find out the “secrets of fashion bloggers” promised on the cover.
“The Rise of the Fashion Blogger — Is it over?” answers its own question pretty quickly. No chance. The women profiled are hinted in the lead paragraph to have “six-figure salaries” and nothing in the article suggests a downward course.
I’d have expected AWW to be the sort of place where self-employed women doing well would have been championed, not set up in code — “six figure salary” — to be “not like us”, therefore to treated with suspicion.
Besides, I know it’s more than the Australian average, but when a low level manager in financial services is easily earning six figures, we’re hardly Rinehart adjacent. It is possible to earn over 100k without dealing blow or digging up the countryside.
Still, AWW is not happy with Jessica Stein, Tash Sefton & Elle Ferguson, Amanda Shadforth, Nicole Warne, and Antoinette Koulas. And it sure as hell isn’t happy with Roxy Jacenko, whose Ministry of Talent represents some of them. Who ever heard of talented people having agents? Not AWW, it seems.
Where’s the crime?
AWW knows it’s annoyed with these women but it can’t seem to decide exactly what about. Sure, “they’re… diverting highly sought-after advertising dollars” but you can’t build a whole article on nothing but a whinge about how you’ve been beaten at your own game by six women with iPhones and a 3G connection. (Try as you might.)
Maybe it’s tax fraud or something?
It’s down to unnamed “industry sources” to tip the Weekly off that the ATO and the ACCC are taking a keen interest in fashion blogging.
I imagine the eyestrain from staring at spreadsheets all day has more than a few ATO staff nipping into Specsavers in their lunch hour. It’s only natural someone might whisper to Alex Perry what they’re working on while they try on a pair of his well-priced zebra print frames. This sounds like very reliable information. Could a fashion blogger be the next Al Capone?
You don’t get six figures without doing something a little dodgy
Apparently the trigger for the boys from the ATO installing Instagram is those six-figure sums.
In case the AWW reader isn’t already convinced these rich bitches have it coming, we’re told the “pay packets” of the top fashion bloggers are “[starting] to hit the $150,000 a year mark”. Now they’re earning as much as mid-level managers in the city! #lockthemupandthrowawaythegucci
“As part of its investigation into the world of fashion blogging…” — (that’s “world of” like “world of underage drinking”) — “…the Weekly gathered together some of Australia’s fashion blogging elite…” (don’t we all hate an elite) “… or ‘personal style bloggers’, as they prefer to be called” (that seems unlikely, but how up themselves anyway).
How on earth did the investigative journalists of the Weekly manage this gathering of the families?
“… all willingly came together to be frocked up and photographed for our cameras…”
Oh, you invited a bunch of fashion bloggers to a photo shoot. Cunning.
Had enough? I had
It goes on. Would I spoil it for you too much if I told you the smoking gun is that the ACCC’s guidelines say bloggers should disclose commercial relationships with companies they feature and — “while the Weekly isn’t suggesting that the fashion bloggers in this story are doing anything wrong” — some of the women featured didn’t know about the guidelines.
And the ATO? A spokesman in Canberra said, yes, valuable freebies are subject to fringe benefit tax, if your blog is more than a hobby. Unfortunately for AWW he ruled out imminent raids on any walk-in wardrobes, despite what “industry sources” had suggested. Then he excused himself because he had an appointment at Specsavers.
At least they’ll be ugly soon
Nevermind, the Weekly consoles itself, “the march of time… may yet be a more effective regulator of fashion bloggers [than the government, which has let the Weekly down by not protecting its business]”.
Why time? Because fashion blogging is about looks and, as Nicole Warne says, as you get older “you’re not going to be as appealing”. Unlike the Weekly, which time forgot.
But who’s ugly now?
Score one the fashion bloggers, who come out as sensible, self-aware, successful and commercial. Score zero the Weekly for an article that reveals only one secret: the undercurrent of misogyny in its own river of sour grapes.
What do you think? Are fashion bloggers evil?
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