The Class System Within Blogging

You can definitely feel the class system within blogging sometimes, and I’ve come to recognise and reflect on it often over the past few years. I feel like it’s made me see my own roots more clearly, and maybe even realise how much I didn’t/don’t have compared to some people. That’s not a bad thing – or, I don’t feel any problem with it in the blogging sense anyway. People are different; some have things, some don’t.

It’s just another case of being exposed to more and more people from different walks of life. Similar to when I went to College or University, and you start to see your place in the world a little more clearly. You realise not everyone had to get into debt just to be able to attend. Not everyone had to struggle and scrimp just to afford the travel each day. You aren’t in this little bubble of the same people anymore, your world opens up, and you see all the vast differences. Same with blogging. I can now talk to people all across the world, from different backgrounds, instantly. We can see what one person’s ‘normal’ looks like, and how that may look a world away from our own ‘normal’.

For me personally, it’s especially made me feel my working class roots. I was brought up in a low income family, we got by just fine in my eyes. But I failed to see my Mum and Dad work their asses off just to make ends meet, I was oblivious of course. It’s only as you grow that you realise not everyone else lives in a council house, or has to worry about money regularly. This isn’t a ‘woe is me’ kind of thing, because this sort of life is ‘normal’ for where we lived and who we interacted with. And my life has been incredibly lucky in so many ways, I’m grateful. But I do SEE these things now, rather than being blind to it as I once was. I very much FEEL like the girl from Kirkby, Liverpool.

I certainly don’t feel it’s held me back in blogging, AT ALL. In fact, it’s bettered my life and gave me more things than I would have had otherwise. Friendships I wouldn’t have had otherwise, relationships, opportunities, experiences and MONEY. Actual cash, that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I do realise that some others may feel the class system holds them back in blogging though; for example if they’re a beauty/fashion blogger that may go further if they were able to showcase the very latest trends the moment they hit stores. I get why someone might feel that way.

I’d like to think we all know that in the grand scheme of things, in this blogging community; we all know that class boils down to fuck all really. I refuse to believe that because someone may be rich, that it instantly means they will be popular/successful. And likewise if someone has NOTHING, I don’t think for a second that it means they have no chance. I keep hope that personality, originality, creativity and perseverance matter more than anything. And I truly do believe they do. But I am also totally aware that having more makes it slightly easier, certainly.

Blogging gives us this opportunity to emerge ourselves into this huge crowd of people all over the world, whose background and opinions differ from our own. That’s something to be fucking celebrated. Rather than feeling held back by our differences, we should get to know reach other more, push ourselves, and open our eyes a little.

Just because someone can buy the latest Chanel bag without batting an eyelid, doesn’t mean they aren’t working fucking HARD.

Just because someone is unemployed doesn’t mean they are lazy (fuck this, I’ve experienced this first hand before).

Just because we could be worlds apart, doesn’t mean we don’t have similarities.

But I do think we could all benefit if we make ourselves aware of our differences, rather than being blind to it. I’m certainly not going to be held back by what I lack though. I have to work every single day just to make enough to buy food, and pay rent. I can’t afford to buy the best camera, best equipment, the latest beauty trends or much else. I’m still SO grateful for what I do have though, and my life is incredible. I get to do something I love, and I feel happy and safe.

 

There IS a class system within blogging. But that’s life.
Let’s use blogging as a bridge, rather than another divide.
Reach out to those different from yourself, and don’t be held back by fucking anything.

lovej

*Any items sent for review are written about 100% honestly and in my own words. Sometimes sponsored content and collaborations with brands will appear on this blog, and will always be marked as such with *. Please see my disclaimer for more info.

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  • This post gave me the feels for sure. You’re right about all of it. Some people have, some don’t, but no matter what, it is what you make of what you do have that matters. If you want something, don’t let anything get in your way – go get it. I absolutely love this post, Jemma. So much love to you!

    The Crimson Cardigan

  • Hollie Byrne

    I absolutely LOVE this post and I agree 100% with everything you’ve said here, Jemma!

  • Natasha De Vil

    I think people sometimes people just look at the surface of things when it comes to blogging and Instagram and judge a bit too much. An image someone is portraying doesn’t necessarily depict the truth either. Sometimes I do feel the class system in operation especially being a loud mouth working class south London girl! But you’re right with what you say in this post and I really enjoyed reading it because the great thing about blogging anyone can do it!

  • Freya Fleming

    This is such an inspiring post! I sometimes feel held back because I’ve only just started blogging and I certainly don’t have the means to buy fancy equiment right away, or the latest products or fads. But you’re right when you say that personality and creativity are such huge factors in this whole ‘blogosphere’, and you shouldn’t just look at what someone has, but also at what they’ve accomplished or are accomplishing. It’s what you do with what you have that matters!

    xoxo
    Freya
    thatgirlyt.wordpress.com

  • Katie Robson

    Bloody love this post!!
    I find it strange that I can see this difference even after a few months of blogging! It’s sad that there is this divide when we all share such a common interest. Just because someone can’t afford to buy the best camera or the latest make up doesn’t mean that their heart and soul goes into every single part of their blog.

    Katie | http://katieameliaxo.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Abigail Lewis-Savage

    I have so much love for this post!!! I am proud of my working class background, it has giving me the passion and drive to work hard for what I want to achieve and has allowed me to appreciate everything that little bit more. The blogging community is so amazing at coming together and I hope, more now than ever, that we can inspire people to stay strong and know that their past does not define their future. You can do whatever you put your mind to 💚

    Abi xo | http://www.wanderlustdaydreaming.co.uk

  • I totally agree. I do find it very alienating at times. Some of the bloggers and YouTubers that I love came from pretty affluent backgrounds to begin with, but I do have to remind myself that these guys are grafting too. They just had a slight head start in the money department. There are luxuries I couldn’t possibly dream of having right now and brands that I lust over who wouldn’t touch a budget basic like me with a barge pole, but I’m just gonna do me and the opportunities will come if and when the time is right.

    Kelly – http://www.kellyannerist.com

  • I love this! I come from a similar background to you and never noticed my parents were struggling until I was older. Funnily enough my friends and I were just discussing how many big youtubers came from middle class backgrounds and how that probably helped them get where they are today, I never thought about it being the same for bloggers but you’re definitely right!

    Beth xx
    http://www.myfunsizedlife.com

  • I agree with this 100%. I grew up with the same kind of background to you and I haven’t got all of that much money myself, I work my ass off to get by. I don’t really have the money to splash around (I wish I did) and sometimes I do feel as though it affects my blogging; I can’t use expensive products, try new things . I feel as though posts such as favourites just get repetitive. Although nothing good ever came easy right, it just motivates me to work even harder!xx
    Charlie – charlottesevern.blogspot.com

  • Erin Russell

    I totally agree 100% with this, I grew up with my mum, she worked her ass off to give me the best possible chance, a home, a car, everything I would ever need – I can see and respect that so much now, and I understand that if you want something you need to work for it – it isn’t going to happen because you simply want it too.

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  • I agree with this so much! Every blogger and every life is different, I love seeing all of the people in our community just doing what they do with what they have. I worship bloggers who juggle working full time while somehow running a blog just as much as I do full time bloggers. We all work hard and we’re all amazing.

    Billie Geena || http://billiegeena.co.uk/

  • Laura Torninoja

    Such a great post – I’d never really thought about blogging in this way but it totally makes sense! You raised so many good points, especially in the end about people not being lazy if they’re unemployed! I honestly can’t believe that so many people still think so. But it’s exactly by talking about these things that we (you!) raise awareness and it’s so important. I feel so inspired now 🙂

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • Brooklyn

    I’ve never really thought about it before, but this post is so dead on!
    It’s tough trying to produce good content and work full time on top of everything that’s for sure, but so worth it 🙂

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

  • Jessica Cook

    its so true! also I think you have inspired me to write my own take! I have disabilities and blogging helps me overcome, share etc and the class differences with that is that mine are invisible to the naked eye, so people assume I’m fine. It’s so true more needs to be written, social media makes it look all fine and dandy and easily obtained. http://maybemayhemmakeup.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/selfie-ready-with-beginner-makeup-kit.html

  • I really enjoyed this jemma!! I never really thought about things like this, on how the class system may sometimes affect blogging. Now i think about it, i stray away from fashion blogging (it was fun when i did it) because its just too damn hard to keep up with trend, and i dont even like buying that many new things just to keep up with trends. Travel blogging is the same, its not logical for me to keep traveling, but i think this “limited” circumstances makes us think of new ways to curate our content!
    I much rather read blogs of middle class/middle-low class individuals, solely because i feel like i can relate to them. So i guess, maybe, the class system in blogging isnt exactly a bad thing because hey, no matter which category we still find others who can relate to us 🙂

    ♡ Carina – Blog // YouTube

  • Loved this! I could never be a fashion blogger unless you only wanted a budget friendly comfy attire haha! I was bought up in a council house too by a single mum then bad times through step dad’s but it’s made me a person who appreciates everything I have, it still overwhelmes me when a company chooses me for something but so happy. I’m so thankful for what blogging has done for me like you say friendships, brand engagements etc. There will always be a divide within people but I would never care if someone had 10p in their bank or ten grand as long as you’re a good egg I’ll be there ❤

  • Yes!
    Thanks for acknowledging this!
    I can’t afford the nicest things and there are plenty of others who would be able to relate to that. But it doesn’t stop me for ogling and reading blogs about makeup and holidays that are way too expensive. Just living vicariously through others 😉

  • There is a class system in everything. From work to blogging to everything in between. That’s just life. It’s not right, but it will always be there. I wouldn’t say Im oblivious to it, I just choose to not focus on it. I have what I have and I’m happy. Don’t need much more than that!

    Sarah 🙂

    Saloca in Wonderland

  • Totally agree with you on this! I just started blogging and I love it, but in the back of my head I always worry.. Is this thing sustainable for me? What will happen once I’ve reviewed all the products I own currently? Will I be able to post an interesting favourites post every month? I simply cannot buy new stuff that often.Some of the most popular brands are absolutely out of the question for me, paying shipping and custom fees will throw me way out of budget. How can I be successful and compete with other bloggers that have the money and the access to get their hands on the latest trendy releases?

    I just hope that my creativity will be enough to help me be successful…

    Ioanna | beautyloverstories.com

  • Marci Vaughn

    Interesting post. Blogging has helped me meet people across the globe, including you, 😉 for which I am very grateful. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  • IeshaJ

    I agree,

    Blogging can open up doors to meet people from different walks of life. However I haven’t had this privilege. It’s hard to capture the attention of other bloggers in my experience. Maybe I’m not going about it in the right way. I don’t really know. But this is a really insightful blog and will definitely be checking out some of your other posts thank you.

    If you have some time feel free to check out my first post of the year : http://wp.me/p7zNkT-4i

  • Nancy

    I feel you. I’m working class too and it does feel like people of wealthier classes do have this kind of advantage. However, being working class did teach me the value of hard work. I suppose there will always be some kind of hierarchy because that’s just human behaviour.

  • You’ve hit the nail on the head, it really is such a diverse band of people. I love being able to see the things that I’ll never afford, or wouldn’t spend my money on out of choice, and seeing what people like and what everyone’s individual tastes are. I also love the blogs that show you bargains, and dupes, and help me find things and sites that I would never have found on my own. I think what I really like is a little peek into everyone’s lives and how we all operate so differently, but so similarly in many ways too.

  • Yes to all of this. It can sometimes be more obvious than others, but as you say, just because someone buys that Chanel bag without blinking, doesn’t mean they didn’t work their ass off to get it. I also see blogging as a great leveller, you don’t have to be rich to have influence at all. You have to be able to produce quality information. There is always going to be some sort of tiered system throughout life. Hasn’t stopped me enjoying myself thus far 🙂 Onwards & upwards batman x

    Honestly Aine

  • I’ve been lucky to have quite a privileged upbringing but I’ve often had people not like me because they just assume without getting to know me that I’m going to be stuck up, which I’m not! My hubby is from a completely different background to me so it’s been a learning curve for us both! It’s hard for us to integrate into each other’s lives because of the differences but we just do our own thing xx

  • Sharon Reid

    I’m from a working class background too, it taught me to really appreciate things I’ve got and had to save to get, rather than being able to have the latest of everything. But as you say those who have got a designer bag still could’ve worked their backside off to get it!
    Fantastic post! 🙂
    Sharon xx

  • Agreed!! Love love love this post!

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

  • Aimée Julia Cottle

    Totally agree – brilliant post, Jemma!! I’m from a middle class background, I suppose, and money wasn’t an object for most of my childhood. If I wanted something, I had it. Sounds great, I know, but it also meant my mum just threw money at problems, or me, until it went away. And it meant, when I entered the real world of living on my own/with my fiancé, I had no clue about money. It’s taken me years to break down everything I thought about money (it was disposable, I’d have an unlimited supply, I could have what I wanted when I wanted, etc) and actually become sensible with money. But thanks to my fiancé, who is from a working class background and really appreciates the value of money, I’ve got there! It doesn’t matter at all if you’re working class, or upper class. If you’ve got money or you haven’t. As long as you are happy, and doing what you love; who cares?! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

  • I totally understand this! I was in grade 7 when I first realized how poor my family was. We had to take a school bus to middle school and we shared that bus with kids from a very rich neighbourhood (million dollar houses compared to our teeny $100K townhouse). All of a sudden, I saw a world outside of my own. I remember I was standing in line at school and I overheard those kids say that “all girls from The Heights are potheads and sluts”, which The Heights was the nickname of my neighborhood. It really brought me down, as I didn’t want to be lumped in with that stereotype. And now, as an adult, I can see the class system online, too, and I’m still not over being judged as a kid. I still feel like the girl from The Heights, even online. It’s hard to get past that I guess.

    • Yes to this! I know how you feel. I’m from a village in south Wales and sometimes I look at myself and still see the small valleys girl who was too different to stay. Going home is always strange since I feel that I don’t fit in as much anymore, but at the same time I don’t fit in anywhere, not even online.

  • Yes! I totally feel this. I was raised by my grandparents since my parents lived and worked in Germany. They both made sure I was comfortable, but I was always aware that my grandfather worked and that my grandmother did everything around the house and worked hard. I’m not in a job that doesn’t really pay well after I deduct all the fees I have for living in a foreign country. I understand what it’s like to have to say no to a lot of things. I find it does hold me back a little in blogging since I can’t afford to buy lots of things to review, or the best equipment. Perhaps it’s a little in my head and I’m holding myself back, but I feel like blogging is now more about aesthetic than the actual writing and that makes me a little sad.

    Naomi xx
    http://www.teatimewithnaomi.com

  • Jodie Leigh

    Love this post, I left home at 16 and had to pay for my first flat, I had no idea how bills worked or anything and even to this day sometimes it’s a case of stretching payday as much as possible and it’s hard not to compare to people who have better things.

    http://www.jodiesjournal.com

  • Love this post and a massive hell yes to every word you wrote! I am in a tricky situation at the moment and have had to go onto income support in order to access legal aid. I’ve never been on benefits before and have always worked before I had my daughter, but if I hadn’t made that move I would have had to find £3,500 to get an injunction which I so needed! Ridiculous! Being on it has really limited me financially, but it’s a short term measure. And whilst I can’t just go out and buy the latest dreamy make up release like I used to on a whim, it’s given me freedom and happiness. I see people, big bloggers, with their designer bags and all the latest beauty launches but it doesn’t make me jealous – I have been reading some of their blogs for years and can see how damn hard they’ve worked/are working to be where they are now – they deserve it.

    Kara
    http://www.spreadthesparkle.co.uk
    💗

  • I love this post. As a blogger and youtuber who comes from a working class family, I understood this so much!

    Iqra
    http://www.IqraArshad.com

  • Abbie Jones

    I think that’s what makes blogging so universal, that anyone can do it. People come from all walks of life and that’s what makes blogging so diverse. I think people want honesty from bloggers that’s why their so popular with brands. We don’t bull shit and can be ourselves no matter our backgrounds. Great post Jem! 😊

  • This is so true!! There is so much judgement when someone is unemployed and it just shouldn’t be like that! Just because they are doesn’t mean that they are any worse off. Blogging is so diverse with many people coming from many different backgrounds and brands should take this into consideration. Yes, if you have worked super hard and can afford it go and buy that Chanel bag you have been lusting over for years but it should be something that others judge you on. As long as you work hard, despite your background and where you come from, then you will be successful. It’s all about self-motivation and how much you want to get back from what you are giving. This is such an inspiring post, thanks for sharing Jemma 🙂 xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

  • I’m so down with this post! It doesn’t matter what you have, own and how many handbags you have. It’s who YOU are!

    Fix Me In Forty Five – A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin’ // Instagram
    xx

  • roisindubh211

    Thank you for discussing this, it needs to be pointed out more and explored by people at all levels; the only other blog I’m aware of that does this is amidprivilege.com, whose author explores her upper-middle class background and what she can take out of it in a positive way without pulling along all the negatives. It’s American so there is a different set of assumptions involved in class there.

  • trona

    wonderful post. It’s something I’ve encountered quite a few times in my life. I’m a mish mash of “class” : I live in a council house but have a Masters in Art History for example. I really felt it doing that. I did my studies with the OU but attended events and used Edinburgh Uni’s library. The only other people with the same accent as me were the security guards and cleaners 😀

    One of the reasons I started blogging was because of the range of different people I encountered then slowly slowly it became much more middle class, typified by the young, pretty girl. I suppose you could call it gentrification. I’m all for people having voices but some peoples’ voices are silencing others :/

  • Also from working class roots so i feel you SO MUCH here girl. Awesome post and something not everyone else is brave enough to say. Really appreciate it, much love <3

    Millie – http://www.millie-ryan.com

  • I’ve often found it interesting to see how other people live. It took me into my twenties before I could buy from the likes of Mac. I’ve trained and worked hard to be in the position I am in now as a teacher. Now I really enjoy being able to splash out on ‘posh’ beauty products, however I know that my situation may change in the future (I may not always have disposable income). I think there is something to be said in feeling you have worked hard for the things you have- whether you’re working class or not.

    Beautiful Life as I Know It

  • I think you’ve said it all, this post is brilliant. Absolutely spot on.
    ❤️❤️❤️
    Cora x
    http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

  • I love love love this. “There IS a class system in blogging, but that’s life.” Yes, that is life. It’s ok. Great post! I’ve read blogs from people who can travel the world while blogging, wearing crazy expensive clothes and their kids either homeschooled or in private tutoring or whatever. And there are bloggers working 2 jobs, single, but still pushing through every day. Both are awesome, both can and should be celebrated, and I can learn something from everybody.

  • Shayla Em

    You hit the nail on the head with this post!

  • Emerald Dove

    Love this post so much!! I completely agree with you. Especially the part about realising everyone isn’t from a council estate and your normality isn’t the same as everyone else’s – I had the same experience when I started uni. I recently wrote a post about class in the UK on my blog too.
    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

  • You’ve hit the nail on the head with this post Hun, especially the part about not feeling good enough because you can’t afford to buy the latest trends and newest products… it’s so refreshing to hear another blogger (one which I look up to) admit that they do struggle and do feel a little bit of a small fish sometimes because I can relate to it so much! So Thankyou for this post and I wish you all the best,
    ‘A girl from birmingham’

    https://xvousetesbellex.blogspot.co.uk

  • This is such an interesting topic and actually i’ve never seen it covered before, i feel like its more difficult to spot when you’re online but you can definitely recognise it if you look for it. Even though i dropped out of uni pretty quickly i 100% picked up on it there, i couldn’t believe i was surrounded by people who said they had only picked the uni because “everyone was southern” and one boys friend only picked his uni because “the people mainly came from private schools” – i’m not surprised i left so quickly! – Maria | MariaJ