Fashism.com is an addictive new fashion blog that combines the human desire to bitch with the human desire to pose. I came across it by accident and got hooked. The concept behind the site is that young girls upload pictures of themselves, showcasing new clothes, haircuts, make-up and shoes and then ask for other people’s opinions on them. Viewers vote by clicking ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ next to each picture and results show up as a percentage.
Now I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this website and in fact I don’t think I really DID enjoy it but it is compulsively addictive. With long lines of young girls waiting to be loved or hated, literally, I found myself quickly pulled into this world of inconsequential judging in a matter of seconds. Before I had even finished declaring my abhorrence at such a concept, I had already clicked a ‘hate it’ button which hovered tantalisingly next to a young American teenager sporting her new bejewelled kitten heels (they really were bad). A flurry of mindless time wasting led me to “hating” 10 more girls and “loving” 6. I decided to opt out of logging into Facebook to add comments to my rating, but, I was tempted.
So there I was, a 26 year old woman, rating girls who are barely teenagers and feeling pretty horrified but why does this format work so well? Of course, it’s human nature to want to rate others, whether because of jealousy, to feel better about yourself or just because you think kitten heels always do look awful. We know this rating system format is already a tried and tested formula through the success of the cult site ‘Hot or Not?‘ which does exactly what it says on the tin.
Where Hot or Not deals with people and dates, Fashism.com is focused on your fashion. It’s like the friend or mum who’s waiting outside the changing room ready to give you honest advice about your clothes, even if it’s a cold truth you don’t want to hear. You can get advice even before you’ve got them home from the shops, as you’re able to upload pics to fashism.com straight from your phone in the changing room.
So what are the downsides? Obviously you’re leaving yourself wide open to criticism which might not always be wholly constructive and on first impressions you can’t help but be struck by the vanity involved in the whole outfit. It’s quite shocking to see a 13 year old asking for approval on their make up “for school” when my idea of make-up for school was a quick swiz of dried up Collection 2000 on my eyelashes, which would be pointless anyway as I’d always be told to remove it by break time.
As an investigative blogger, I felt it was only right that I faced the fashists myself and with a few nervous clicks my most posiest haircut pic was up for all to see. Instantly wracked with regret, I was soon being judged and just like the compulsion to judge others, I was obsessed with looking to see what others thought of my hair as well (as it stands, an unexpected 58% love it).
Adding ‘Hot or Not’ snap judgements to user generated content breaths new life into the fashion blog and also creates a whole new blog genre. This new wave of blogging is particularly wiley as users are awarded ‘points’ the more they use the site and you know what points mean…a perpetual cycle of self-loathing…not really…that’s right, prizes, so the creators of the website create more revenue out our image insecurities.