I have been wanting to write about this topic for a while. Even from before I started this blog I have seen eveywhere beautiful women in amazing locations. Usually wearing beautiful long and vaporous dresses, with flowers or bright colours. And often a fantastic hat to go with it. Make up right on point and not a hair out of place. For long I thought I was the exception. That everyone was actually traveling like that and that it was me the only one looking like a hobo during most of my trips. And little by little I started to realize what was the truth behind female travel blogging.
About different travel styles
Let me start by telling you that I am not judging any type of travel style. If you manange to visit the world wearing heels and looking fantastic all the time, you do not only have my respect by also my envy. Moreover, if you love wearing leggins, sneakers and make up doesn’t touch your skin, I have absolutely no problem. Yes, I know that there is a wide range of styles in between, and I am supportive all them all.
I know that some people look great without putting much effort into it. I am not in that side of the spectrum. Even though I do not mind going out with a simple ponytail and no makeup at all, I can’t help but compare my travel shots with those that I see everywhere in Instagram. And, despite having a healthy relationship with my body and being quite confident with my looks, at the end you know that the dark circles underneath your eyes and the crazy hair, are not at all what that picture with 20k likes looks like.
The stereotype of the travel blogger
If we based our idea on what is a travel blogger on the millions of pictures that are online we will see most of the time the same stereotypes: The beautiful woman with the perfect measures, hair and makeup, as well as the tanned man with, nice muscles and absolutely no facial hair, or with the perfect hipster beard. Once you start interacting with other people that are into travel blogging you start to see how fake that vision is. Yes, there are plenty of beautiful people in the inside and in the outside that are travel bloggers, but the image out there is ot a real representation of this industry, or of people in general.
There are some bloggers and pages that feature black women, or girls that follow other standards of beauty. But they are a vast minority. Being slightly overweight or simply following a “non-typical” style does not fit in this industry and that is something that should change. We travellers are a wide and colorfull range of people and the travel blogging industry should be a reflection of that richness.
Female travel blogging
Those of us that are in this business know how much work there is behind every picture and every post. How much you have to be ready for everything, and how hard it is to get exposure. Even though we are travel blogging, the truth is that we are not “selling” our experiences or travel tips. In reality, travel blogging is mostly about creating a brand out of yourself. You want to be the person that your followers want to become. To be that beautiful brunnete with sunkissed skin and a fantastic body looking amazing in a pool in Santorini. Or wearing that beautiful silky dress in a Medina somewhere in the North of Africa.
We, as travel bloggers are the ones that need to be a bit more honest about the reality behind these experiences. For example, a fellow blogger I have been following for a while now is Alyssa Ramos, a travel blogger owner of My life’s a movie. She is very active in Instagram and often posts quite funny experiences in her daily stories. A while ago, she was in Bali riding a bike to get to a temple when she posted that she was about to change into a different dress to take the picture that she wanted. Of course, the resulting picture was beautiful, but was it real? She was honest and talked about it, but do you think that most people do?
What we can do
Even though I am partially guilty of this problem, I almost never post pictures of myself, I think we should all step back and think about what we are doing. Tiny blogs like mine do not have any effect on anyone’s life, but bigger names can actually influence people. Can make them think that you can go to Egypt with a see-through summer dress and that it would not be a problem with the local culture. Or that it is effortless to look fantastic and divine after a 5 hour treck through the jungle.
Travel blogging, and travel in general is a fantastic experience. It’s eye-opening and beautiful, but it is not always “instagram worthy”. We should start showing the people that it is also beautiful to wear your leggins and a ponytail to go visit the Eiffel Tower. To show people how hard was that trek and that you sweat too. I think we should start showing our audiences that travel is getting out of your comfort zone, and that it will not always be pretty and lovely. That you will have to go to a bathroom that is basically a hole in the ground. And that you may find an enormous frog camping in your shower. That not everything in travel is fantastic, but everything is worth it.
I hope that some of you share my opinion, do you?
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