Lorna Claire Weightman on life as an 'ageing' blogger: 'I lost out on two jobs for being considered too old'
I was an early adopter of blogging, but as it happened, I was a little late in age in comparison to some of my peers.
Ok, so I wasn’t old per se, at 28, but when I look at the age of my fellow “onliners” now, seven years later, I could call myself the ‘oul one. I’ve relented over the ageing process in an industry that thrives on youth, but I’ve started to accept that it makes no difference to who I am or the work that I deliver.
I missed out on two jobs this year for being “too old”; I failed to understand why my age was an issue given the nature of the work. I also received a comment for a campaign last Christmas, along the lines of “oh sorry, we thought you were younger”. I actually think that my dedicated skincare routine has helped me keep the crows feet away, so I decided not to respond to that one.
Another memorable moment was being told my figure was now “more mature”; I’ve never decided how to interpret that comment. I just banished it. But this “feedback” got me thinking about how I approach my job and my industry.
Everyone has to carve their own niche in what they do, and in blogging, that poses some personal challenges that I’ve had to overcome. Firstly, the market is awash with style bloggers – when I began in 2009, there were about three, including yours truly.
Fast-forward to the present and trying to quantify this number is virtually (pun intended) impossible. But there are a small number who have built their platforms into full-time jobs, which is no easy feat. We each have a voice, opinion and style that make our blogs uniquely ours.
I will admit, I struggle with this sometimes. I’m a harsh self-critic who finds it hard not to compare herself to others, or get jealous of the calibre of work bestowed on my peers. But one thing that my mid-thirties have given me is the skill to compartmentalize; to distinguish myself through the quality of my work, the exceptional clients I work with, and most importantly, retaining my own voice.
I can be inspired, but I don’t feel the pressure to be same as everyone else.
In this game, the perfect photograph is the end goal. Age was making me vain. But I have worked to accept that I am no longer a twenty-something blogger, I’m just going to do me. I can’t pretend that I still have a fast metabolism or cellulite free legs; my blog is going to represent that girl who is embracing her years.
I look at my portraits and see a few lines here and there, and a hairline that is delightfully ash. I started going grey at thirty, and it worried me, selfishly.
Ironically, and aside from the signs of ageing, I’ve shared my experiences with adult acne with my followers over the last three years. I’ve always had a turbulent relationship with it. I still get break outs at 35, and I’ve worked hard to find ways to remedy it, all the while sharing the story with my followers in case they are experiencing similar issues.
The response has been so positive – with questions and comments flooding in on DMs and I try to respond to all of them, directing them to more sources of more information or products to try. Moreover, and more difficult, was to talk about my ten year battle with Anxiety Disorder which got worse as I got older.
But age gave me more confidence to talk about it, and hear the stories of my followers who have also gone through it. Perhaps this is what makes social media a positive place; I found after posting a blog on my own panic attacks, my followers engaged with me on a whole new level, maybe even a personal one.
So through this journey, I’ve found my niche. I believe that your age should not define your style and I want to be a walking example of this. When I style my fashion posts, or shoot a make up collaboration, the content represents my everyday style, and not an image of a person pretending. My followers are perceptive as they are loyal, so the least I can do is be real.