News : Clever Jane Vs The Mainstream Media Jocks : Round One
This is a weird story. It’s sort of pitched as a rags to riches, teen to tastemaker, Cinderella-Blogger story. But really, I think it’s a Mainstream Media Jocks vs Those Darn Bloggers story. Read on…
Sea of Shoes style blogger Jane Aldridge was very recently interviewed by a fella from the Texas Monthly. Journalist Jason Sheeler (at times disbelievingly) followed Ms Aldridge about for a month or so and documented the 20 year old style blogger’s life and times. I think he might have been a little freaked out at the weird reality of a blogger’s life (photo shoots, photo opps, props, cameras, sitting on the computer for hours and hours) because his piece about Jane seemed a little rattled and confused and whilst generally fair, it did seem to quietly ridicule (and openly mock) her work and attitude.
‘The captions are brief and girly confessional—“the cutest fitting crackled leather pants ever”—and are read by almost 400,000 people every month.’
‘“Mom!” Jane calls, morphing from industry veteran to child in crisis. “Why isn’t this working? The light is always good up here.”’
‘Click-click-click. Jane gets to work. She fluffs a shaggy pillow behind the Miu Mius as a dramatic score by Ennio Morricone blares from desktop speakers. Click. Deep breath. Run fingers through hair again. Check the image. Clench jaw. Click-click. Turn the shoes upside down. Add a plastic dinosaur. Click. No, a glass-top table. Windex the table. Add a bronze ram’s head—no, a wonky-eyed, Ewok-looking animal.’
After the piece was published Jason and Jane appeared on TV to talk about blogging and Texas and they seemed to be pretty good buddies as Jason explained his ‘mean girl’ jibe and Jane tried to patiently explain that she just wants to write about fashion in her own way and continue living as far from the fashion world as possible. She appeared calm, encouraging and very non-diva. Nice.
Interviewer Don Corning poked and prodded Jane about whether she had a stage mother, whether she hated people ‘knocking her off’, whether she’s her mum’s puppet etc etc etc blah blah blah. Jane remained poised and told her story with good humour : she and her mum are a great team, she’s on her computer all the time, she doesn’t watch TV and she doesn’t pay any attention to the mainstream fashion world.
Nice work Jane. But the prodding didn’t end there.
Next, in this weird tit-for-tat-trad-media-vs-bloggers story, The NY Magazine read the Texas Monthly piece and published their own (snarky) article on Jane and how she’s bathing in $100 dollar bills, can’t be bothered to get an education and seems to spend her time being a cow to her sister. Double hm.
Finally, Jane posted her own response to all of this on her blog, gently wagging a cross finger (and rightly so!) at The NY Mag and wishing everyone would stop talking about her so she could get back to taking cute photos, playing with her pups and talking about her own take on fashion.
Sheesh. Personally (as a blogger) I think this WHOLE story is a totally MENTAL example of mainstream media/journalists getting all sooky about bloggers shifting the goal posts on them and publishing news and pop culture stories in ways they don’t understand at speeds they can’t compete with. Bloggers cut to the chase, reporting news and trends in timely, innovative ways and sometimes gain fame/notoriety as they do it. That’s gotta irk you if you’ve spent years at school studying traditional journalism and getting paid SO NOT ENOUGH money to report in traditional ways.
Miss Jane is not the mean girl in this equation, methinks. Stop sooking and get cooking, Mainstream Jocks!
In Jane vs The Mainstream Media Jocks Round One : Jane WINS! But really, there shouldn’t be a bout in the first place. And really. It’s totally time for the Old Media Jocks to learn some tricks from the New Media Darlings. They are the innovators and they are not going anywhere