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Why I Believe that Judging Other People's Creative Spaces is Wrong

 Shameless photograph recycling!

Julie & Julia was one of those movies that I knew I would love as soon as I saw the trailer. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are an acting dream team and almost every scene involves tantalizingly delicious food. While the prospect of seeing these two extremely talented actresses together onscreen (still disappointed that Julie never met Julia) was reason enough to take a trip to the movie theater, it's not the reason why I fell in love with the film. The raw sincerity that Amy Adams brought during the times when her character was frustrated with her Beef Bourguignon and her life was extremely relatable and drew me into the story. Having watched it for the second time last night, I was able to find more similarities in the story of Julie and Julia that related to my life, especially my feelings about my blog and the blogging community as a whole.

Julie's devotion to her blog and her readership was something that I didn't understand the first time that I watched it. I didn't know how you could feel so connected to a group of people on the Internet that you would want to spend most of your free time cooking and creating content. Now that I write a blog, I can relate to those feelings of guilt that almost inevitably arise when I haven't posted. Blogging has been my main investment in my own happiness at this stage in my life, and I understand that pull to honor the promises that I've made to myself and my readers about posting frequency. I feel much better about myself if I've accomplished that personal goal for my blog, and I believe that some of Julie's self esteem was also tied to the feedback her blog received and her perception of its success. I think some of my fellow bloggers will agree with me when I say that blogging often involves a great deal of emotional energy alongside the creative energy that it requires.

My sympathy for Julie and the similarities between my blogging experience and hers have made me question if having deep emotional and creative ties to one's blog is a commonality in the blogging community. Although others may disagree that beauty bloggers share a piece of themselves through their blogs, I strongly believe that we do. My posts about lipstick and nail varnish don't reveal much about my personal life, but they still take time to craft as I aim to allow my personality and sense of humor to shine through in the narrative. If someone told me that my pictures were uninspired and my blog posts were unoriginal, I would be as disappointed and upset as I am when someone criticizes my personality traits. I don't like generalizations, but I think that it's safe to assume that we as beauty bloggers have an attachment and connection to our blogs that goes beyond the personal depth of the content we produce.

If we all know what it's like to have others criticize the blog that we love and have created on our own, why do we continue to dishonor the time and energy that's gone into other people's creative spaces? I can't count on my fingers the number of times that I've seen posts on other blogs complaining about the lack of originality and motivation in the beauty blogging community. Established bloggers are frustrated to see that fledgling bloggers are requesting PR samples on Twitter and writing posts similar to those that have already been published. I don't think that young bloggers contacting a company's PR department too early (When is it 'too early' anyway?) or doing a tag that's going around are two things that veteran bloggers should be upset about, and the negative delivery of their opinions creates divisions in the community and takes some of the fun out of blogging. It's important to remember that we're all invested in our creative spaces. If you have a problem with something going on in the blogging community, you'll create much more change through positivity, leading by example, and making your blog a resource for bloggers who need inspiration.

The end of the movie Julie & Julia demonstrates that we don't always know what the blogger behind the computer screen thinks, feels, and wants from his or her blog. In an interview, Julia is asked what she thinks about Julie's one year recipe challenge. Julia Child doesn't like the food blog or the challenge and we never find out why. Julie is absolutely crushed. Her blog was meant to honor the legacy of Child, and she had no intention of piggybacking on the chef's success. I knew that Julie was sincere because I got an in depth look at her day to day life, but that's background that we're not likely to have on the people who we interact with on the Internet. I think that it's important to consider the consequences of misjudging someone's intentions and motivations behind his or her creative space and avoid the generalizations that lead to misunderstandings like this one at the end of the film Julie & Julia. 

What's your opinion on this topic? Let me know in the comments section below - as always, thanks for reading!

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