Sunday, 18 January 2009


A few people asked to see some photos of how I'd wear the velvet lace leggings I bought yesterday. Although this isn't exactly an outfit photos blog, I was definitely happy to oblige, and I think it would have been a great way to think up creative ways to wear them. In fact, it spurned me onto putting them into an outfit today, which stylistically I was very pleased with. But I realised that they're just too big. When I bought them there was only one pair left, in the size above the one I normally take. I remembered that last time I tried them on they were slightly on the tight side, and one size can't make that much of a difference with leggings. But wearing them today, I acknowledged that I just won't be comfortable with them. So they're going back (unless, by some miraculous hand of fate, my local Topshop will have a pair of size 10s waiting for me...).

Still, the very sad incident reminded me of something else I had been meaning to discuss about a week ago when reading some comments to one of my jokey posts. I noticed that many people, myself included, when writing comments or replies tend to use little smiley faces indicating that they are sad :( or happy :) or confused :S or winking ;). It is so much harder to express your tone, emotion, intention through text alone. You want someone to know if you are being sarcastic, flippant, supportive, irritated, genuinely concerned... perhaps these silly symbols are our way of conveying all this when we are unable to so with our voice or expressions. Even photos cannot fully express the movement of a frown, or a wink.

Of course, there are those who post videos, have live chats and that sort of thing, all ways of making the writer seem more real to the reader. Is that what having an engaging blog is about? Seeming real? So, why are so many anony-bloggers, or for that matter, reclusive writers of famous novels, so successful?

Maybe there is an element of oneself which can be conveyed without photos or videos or even meeting someone in the flesh. I feel that when I am writing, even under the exceptionally silly name pretty face, a lot about me can still be gauged. I don't like to make my true name known because I don't want to be Google-able (which, you know, could present a problem once I'm a world-renowned celeb) and I don't put up 'complete' photos for a reason I can't fully understand myself, something to do with putting yourself on the Internet. But then, if there was a creepy pervert determined enough to create a full picture, they might be able to create a composite image of me from my hair, my legs, my eyes, my torso, my mouth, my feet, my hands. And with my writing, both of the pretty prosaic events of my everyday life - although I try not to write down exact details - and my feelings, wouldn't the emotional picture of me be even more complete?

It's a confusing topic, and one which I have spent a long time thinking about and still haven't reached a satisfactory conclusion. Until I do, I don't think I can be fully comfortable posting unobscured mug shots and neither can I feel strongly enough about maintaining anonymity to stop posting photos completely. Even if my amputated legs may look silly.


  1. Oh yes, you're so right and you touched a very sensible point, the relations just trough writting. And I think those icons are great helpers to avoid some mistakes and missunderstandings. Because sometimes one is just joking and people may think it's true.

    Great post indeed.

    Sorry about your lace leggings :(


  2. It is a really intriguing topic. It's one I am really drawn to because I am the reclusive type. I am seriously the most introverted person I have ever met. I can spend days in one room with a book and not talk to anyone and be completely at peace--I could even give up the communication/connection the Internet offers!
    Yet, the part of me that does like to communicate really prefers the written word and ability to control what I do present via the web...
    It can be troubling to think about who can see your pictures sometimes...but ultimately I guess I encounter those people in real life too (and am just as oblivious then)...

  3. Interesting post. I suppose ultimately even though we may think we're presenting a certain aspect of ourselves that we want people to know, we're actually revealing more about ourselves than we think we are...and it's open to subjective interpretation. I wonder if it's naivete on the part of bloggers who don't mind posting full length photos of themselves to the whole world? it's just the thought that nothing bad could/should happen and that the people who're reading are all decent like-minded people. =)

  4. Ah, the subject I like to think about least: The possibility of creating stalkers through posting images. You're a wise woman, Pretty Face, to play it safe. Although I've been happily immune myself, I've heard plenty of stories about nasties latching onto bloggers because of their lovely outfit shots. Still, I wish I'd gotten to see those leggings!

  5. Like you I have not revealed my real name and not a single photo. I made that decision for career reasons( my present job is what stopped me). That said, I think if I had revealed my name, face and all of that I would have NEVER revealed so much of what was going on in the inside.

  6. I am equally fascinated by all your so different and interesting responses! Clothes Horse, I think that point about real life being so dangerous is highly valid but I suppose there's something different about having no ability to know who has looked at what and it being permanently available...

    Sal, hope is still possible...

    La Belette I agree with you about that, definitely 100%. Nevertheless I am soooo intrigued by your name and your face! May sound odd, but I loved that video of you talking to Lily, because I love to know somebody's voice :)

  7. Interesting discussion point, I like that you are mysterious, it makes reading your blog all the more intriguing.

    All the same, I love blogs that are truly emotional honest and personal. I don't really want to get too much into my feelings, as I do post photos and use my name. It may be more interesting if I did but at the moment my more personal writing is private


  8. I use smiley faces all the time!

    I love the idea of writing under a "stage name" it keeps the writing so unabashed, but I also like that blogs can be a kind of therapy almost to let the writing take over day to day - using your own name or an alias. Very good post subject :)