Monday, May 25, 2020

I Am A Person. I Am Not A Brand.

I never once have ever described myself as a blogger. I feel as though I don't fit those typical blogger profiles. You know what I mean, I'm sure. I'm just willing to say it. Or, I should re-word that to be type it... 

I have had numerous people, both from businesses big and small, as well as friends, ask me to describe my brand. Brand?! Seriously?! I am NOT a brand. I'm a person. I'm a human being. I'm a mom, a wife, a friend, a neighbor. This little thing I do on the side does not define me. I am not a "brand". Tide is a brand. Gap is a brand. Amazon is a brand. Naomi?!  Naomi is NOT a brand. 

And before I get attacked for what I'm about to share, this in no way is a dig at bloggers. Not at all. Because you know what, the successful big-time blogger reading this, or even the up and coming rockstar, you've worked hard (most of you at least) to gain your thousands of followers, contracts with brands, free spending accounts at Nordstrom, collaborations with companies, and more. At THAT is something to be proud of. But for me, I am not a copy and paste. 

Look, I don't have an all-white home with 'farmhouse feels' and shiplap and pops of blue, navy, and gold and looks like it fell out of a catalog. I can't even come close to affording a $900 barstool from Serena & Lily or Restoration hardware $1700 light fixtures. I don't have a half million dollar home that I'm constantly looking to update and decorate with the newest trend or fun decor. You won't see 40 blooming peonies falling out of my farmhouse sink as I caption something corny. 

My home is in the woods. We don't get a lot of natural light. It's not picture-worthy by the regular Instagram standards. I have a bumpy driveway with divits in it where puddles form when it rains. I don't have a porch or wide front steps to decorate with 1800 pumpkins in the fall. And you know those pictures I'm talking about. 

My home is lived in and homey and there's almost always toys on the floor or a random coffee mug left somewhere because, well, I also have a husband. #reallife There's always crumbs in my couch cushions. There's always a pile (or 3) of folded laundry waiting to be put away, a stack of something on our dining room table, and craft supplies scattered every which way. But we love it and it's what 99.9% of homes look like. It's called real life. 

And yes, I know that people stage their homes for inspiration and to give their followers a peek inside of their homes. But for me, I am inspired by realness. By authenticity. And not by masking what your home (or even what YOU) REALLY look like. 

I am not the typical blogger with regards to looks. I mean, look at this picture of me. Come on. I am not tall, thin, and gorgeous. I'm short, round, and frankly, average. I actually probably have a similar shape and style to you, yeah you who's reading this. I don't wear a lot of makeup, even when I wear makeup, it's not over the top. I don't have lash extensions or hair extensions. I don't get a spray tan or botox and even microdermabrasion. I don't wash my hair a lot and you'll often see me with my hair in a wet topknot to be honest. I don't buy expensive clothes because, frankly, I don't have that kind of disposable income. Do I wish I do?! Heck yes, because I'd have one helluva beach house I'd have spent that disposable income on. 

I can't afford a $270 blouse or a $450 dress nor do I have anywhere to wear them really. I don't have a closet overflowing full of white, cream, ivory, muted blush, and camel. I do love a good stripe, but I also love patterns and color and variety. Would I love a curated closet where every single thing mixes and matches? Maybe, but that doesn't suit my personality. My mood changes and with that so does what I wear. Plus, I'm an average shape and size and some weeks I'm one size and the next week I'm a different size. So I have clothes that suit that range. 

I don't filter my appearance when I take a picture or when I share on IG stories. Basically, what you see when I roll out of bed in the morning is what you'll see the rest of the day, just showered and a bit more presentable. I know many people get up, put on a full face, do their hair, and dress to the nines because it makes them feel better about themselves and by all means YOU DO YOU BOO. But I feel just fine being me my way too. And either way works just fine. No judgement.

And the biggest thing, I don't thrive to be like anyone else. The internet is full with enough people who all look, talk, and act the same. And if one of them tries to sell me a Billie razor, a new hair wand or dry shampoo, Tula skin care, Tarte shape tape, or a home chef box for a discount I'm gonna lose it. 

I started blogging almost 15 years ago when I was a teacher and someone in the staff room at lunch said "Hey, NayNay knows, just ask her." It then turned into, whenever someone had a question looking for a recommendation for something the response tended to be "NayNay knows". So, my blog happened. And it's been around that whole time. It has grown and changed over those years to include wedding planning, infertility struggles, teaching, leaving teaching, raising a child, fashion, style, shopping, home decor, you name it. It's been a way for people to get a peek inside of my life. Plain and simple. It's not a brand. It's a reflection of a person. And that person is me. 

I am by no means a successful blogger per typical standards. I do not make thousands of dollars to share on LikeToKnowIt and I don't have brands knocking on my door asking me to share their products because 100,000 people follow me want to be like me. 

I will never pay for followers or attention. You'll never see a post of "follow me and these 24 friends of mine for a chance to win a peleton bike!" because, well, they're not really friends, they don't really know each other, and I often wonder does someone actually win and receive that peleton bike... I've watched bloggers I know do these and the repercussions that come from it. And the "fake following" they end up having. 

It's like friends. Quality matters over quantity. It's better to have quality, engaged followers than robots you paid for. 

What I am is normal. What I am is average. And what I am is ME. 

I have been in the blogging community for a long time and I have seen it transform people and I've also seen people change because of the desire to fit in. And I've tried my darndest to not have that happen to me. And proud to say I haven't changed to succumb to the pressure of fitting in. I've made some amazing friends who are supportive, encouraging, honest, and authentic. But I've also met people who claim you can sit at their table but treat you like you're back in a high school cafeteria. No thank you, high school sucked and doing it once was more than enough.

I continue to blog and have been doing it more over these last few years because when I look for people to follow for ideas and inspiration who are like me, I don't find any. I don't find the short, round, work from home mom who loves a good pair of joggers. I don't find the woman who doesn't filter. I don't find the mom trying to occupy her toddler with something that's not a device. I find people who sell the same things, who look the same way, who have an idealistic lifestyle that's picture perfect, and I just don't relate to that. I'm not going to apologize for that, but I just don't. I relate to real. To authentic. To sticky floors. To fingerprinted windows. To easy fashion that's affordable and good quality. And to those who've worn the same Target tee for 6 years and can't link a swipe up to it. You're my people. 

So, thanks for being here and for following me. For me. Where I'll continue to be just that.... ME

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