Today is Remembrance day in North America, when we all pay tribute to the soliders who have lost their lives for our freedom. If it wasn’t for these brave individuals I likely would not be sitting here writing this post right now. I am forever grateful to them and their families.
With that being said, the fact that today was a statutory holiday meant that I had some time to go through my books for the first time in ages. As I was digging through my shelves, I came across a stack of beauty and fashion books that I have collected over the years. At the bottom of this pile I found a few things that brought back some memories! I want to share them with you because a lot of us are so used to the way things are today in 2015 that it’s humbling to look back and see how much smaller the world has gotten.
Some history: I was about 14 years old when I first started getting into fashion and makeup (up until then my idea of fashion consisted of a Pokemon shirt and skater shoes, and I had no idea what makeup even was). Back in 2006, the Internet was no where near as huge as it is today. Kids my age were only using dial up (remember this?) to go on their myspace and chat on MSN after school. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, and Youtube either didn’t exist or weren’t very popular.
Pinterest in particular was not created until 2010. In the meantime, I wanted a place to put all of my favorite/inspiring pictures together so that I could look at them whenever I wanted. I spent many hours cutting photos from magazines and gluing them down into a couple Hilroy ruled paper notebooks (another “remember these?” moment for any 90’s children out there). I had created one for fashion and one for beauty, and I was so happy to find these and flip through them to see how my tastes have changed over the years.
Pinterest certainly makes collages way easier.
What came along with Pinterest and other hugely popular social media sites that are now common place in todays world, is the concept of Internet fame. There are so many people who have literally become famous through the Internet. Years ago there was no such thing as Internet celebrities, and you were only well known if you were famous by Hollywood’s standards.
Because of this, the only way that makeup brands could guarantee that millions of people would connect with their products through advertisements was to pay a celebrity big bucks to promote their brand in a TV commercial or a magazine ad (as if any of those celebrities only wore a drugstore brand like they claimed they did!)
Which brings me to a couple more things that I found today: “Teen People Celebrity Beauty Guide” and “Teen People Celebrity Style Guide.” These were my first two fashion/beauty books and I was completely obsessed with them. Both feature celebrity photo’s with commentary from their fashion stylists and makeup artists explaining how to apply certain makeup and how to pair certain pieces of clothing together. On the back of each book there are names of the biggest celebrities featured (Beyonce, Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson, ect.)
As much as I loved these books they feel so incredibly outdated now. Some of the tips are a little sketchy (the makeup artists in the Beauty Guide apparently all agreed that if you’re spending more than seven minutes in front of the mirror to do your makeup than that’s too long-excuse me?!) and as gorgeous as all of these celebrities are, it is a very impersonal form of learning. There is hardly a connection between the stylists/makeup artists and the reader other than the celebrity that they work for, which is a very weak connection considering we know hardly nothing about the celebrity. I know for a fact that I would not love fashion and especially makeup as much as I do if it wasn’t for video tutorials on Youtube and social media in general.
Now brands don’t have to go to celebrities to promote their products (although it still happens). More often than not they are reaching out to regular girls who have shared their love of beauty and fashion online to review their products and give them publicity. When this is done ethically I think that it is so empowering. There are many reasons why I believe that this is a good thing (again, if it is done through morals and tastefully), but a big one is that it forces brands to come out with quality products because the chance that consumers will buy a product just because Katy Perry is holding it in a commercial are now lower than ever.
It’s really cool to think about how social media has progressed from a way for friends and family to stay in touch with one another, to outlets of creative expression, to careers for many people. It has opened up a place to learn about makeup and fashion (two topics that were previously far out of reach for many girls to make careers out of) and to interact with brands and like minded people.
I am so fortunate to have grown up in the time that I did. I have witnessed the Internet grow into what it is today, bringing with it the beauty and fashion community that I am now so happy to be apart of in my own little Internet corner. Thanks for hanging out here with me 🙂