Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

Should bloggers talk about politics?

Er, I’m not taking about political bloggers here: they should obviously talk about politics, let’s just take that as read.

What about the rest of us, though? The fashion/beauty/lifestyle/whatever bloggers: the ones who are best known for keeping things light, but who also have opinions on current events, just like everyone else? Is it ever appropriate for those bloggers to stick their heads above the parapet, and voice a political opinion? Or should they just stick to what many people think they do best, and remain sealed in their little blogging bubbles, no matter what happens?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot over the past few years, but particularly this week, in light of the recent US election – the fallout from which is still being felt all over the world. In the wake of that election, emotions were, understandably, high: there was really only one topic of conversation for a lot of people last week, and bloggers were obviously not exempt from that – with some being sufficiently motivated to deviate a little from their usual fashion/beauty/lifestyle content, and write heartfelt posts about the election, either on their blogs or on social media.

I’ve seen a lot of different responses to this, but I think the one which bests sums it up was GOMI’s homepage post, ‘Bloggers Voted and You Need to Know About It’, which managed to simultaneously criticise the bloggers who publicised their vote (or just the fact that they voted ), and ALSO those who didn’t. The bloggers who wrote about voting were overly smug, and doing it just to brag, implied the article. Those who DIDN’T mention the election, meanwhile – well, they probably didn’t vote AT ALL, did they?

is it ever OK for non-political bloggers to talk about politics?While GOMI is obviously pretty unique in the level of vitriol displayed towards bloggers, I think this “dammed if you do/dammed if you don’t” response is actually pretty typical of the internet as a whole. You don’t need to be a “hater” to think that it’s unwise for a blogger to voice political opinions, or to want a fashion blog to remain solely about fashion, after all: at the same time, though, when people assume that those who DON’T mention current affairs online just don’t CARE about them, it’s not hard to see why bloggers (and anyone else, really) might feel under pressure to say SOMETHING – even although they know it might backfire on them spectacularly.

And backfire it does. Last week Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere published an “I voted!” photo on her blog’s Facebook page. The only indication as to HOW she voted was the #imwithher hashtag which accompanied the photo – and still she got several comments from people letting her know they were unfollowing her for daring to express a political view. Either those people were unwilling to tolerate an opinion which was different from their own, or they were unwilling to tolerate ANY political opinion at all from someone running a lifestyle blog. Either way, I’m 100% sure that had Emily said nothing at all, people would have been speculating (Whether publicly or privately) on whether she’d actually voted, and probably making comments along the lines of, “Wow, can you believe that with everything that’s going on in the word, all this blogger can think about is her shoes? How tone-deaf can you get?!”

And therein lies the problem, doesn’t it? No one wants to be THAT blogger: the one who’s still happily tweeting about fashion and makeup while the world around them crumbles. God knows, it’s hard enough for us fashion/lifestyle bloggers to be taken seriously without us going out of our way to add to the perception that we’re all frivolous, empty-headed little idiots, who don’t really care about anything other than where our next lipstick’s coming from.

[separator type=”thin”]

“No one wants to be that blogger: the one who’s still happily tweeting about fashion and makeup while the world around them crumbles. “

[separator type=”thin”]

At the same time, though, voicing an opinion is scary. It loses you followers. It causes arguments in your comments section. If you’re very unlucky, it might even get you well and truly flamed, or be the reason you end up being featured on a hate site, or pick up a troll who just won’t quit. This is true even when the opinion is a harmless one: I’ve written before about the online hate (and yes, I do mean ‘hate’ – I’m talking here about people telling me I don’t deserve to live, not just people politely disagreeing with my point of view…) I’ve received in the past just for venturing an opinion on a dress, or a pair of shoes: can you imagine  how much worse that could be if the opinions I were expressing were actually important ones?

I can: which is why, for the most part, I try to keep my blog a largely politics-free zone. During the Scottish referendum on independence, for instance, I said absolutely nothing up until the day of the referendum itself – at which point I published a vague blog post in which I wrung my hands over the importance of the whole thing, but stopped short of saying how I’d actually voted. Why? Because I was scared. Because not only did I know that my non-Scottish readers (who make up the vast majority of my readership) likely wouldn’t be interested in posts about a referendum that wouldn’t affect them, I was scared that those who WERE interested would judge me – and possibly unfollow me – for my viewpoint.

Although ‘my side’ did end up winning that vote (I voted for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom, for the record: I’m still scared to write that, but it seems silly not to, given the context of this post…), in the run-up to the referendum, mine certainly didn’t feel like the popular opinion. Most of the Scottish bloggers I follow were vehemently pro-independence – as were THEIR followers, judging by their comments sections. Those of us who wanted to remain united, meanwhile, were being branded “traitors” and subjected to abuse: some even had their homes and cars vandalised because of it. (In the interests of balance, I’ll just quickly add here that I’m sure those who voted ‘yes’ experienced much the same thing – I was just less exposed to that, because I live in an area which voted ‘No’, but which is still plastered in ‘YES’ stickers, two years later…) It was an ugly, depressing time – and honestly quite a frightening one at times.

[separator type=”thin”]

“Voicing an opinion is scary. It loses you followers. It causes arguments in your comments section. If you’re very unlucky, it might even get you well and truly flamed, or be the reason you end up being featured on a hate site, or pick up a troll who just won’t quit.”

[separator type=”thin”]

I felt very strongly about that vote: in fact, it dominated conversation in our house for at least a year leading up to it, and it’s something that’s still frequently discussed by my family and friends (even more so now that we live with the very real threat of having to go through it all again!). I didn’t write about those feelings, though, not just because I’m predominantly a fashion/beauty blogger, but because I worried about the backlash I might receive for it. Feelings here in Scotland ran SO strong during that referendum that I was genuinely scared to voice (other than on my personal Facebook page, where I knew I’d get discussion, but not hate…) an opinion which seemed at the time to be a minority one. I was scared of alienating readers, of being judged by other bloggers – perhaps not openly, but certainly in that subtle way in which people realise you’re not on their side, and feel disappointed, and even angry with you because of it.

Above all, I worried about the appropriateness of a fashion and lifestyle blogger voicing any kind of political opinion AT ALL. Because that’s still very much frowned upon by some people, believe me. I’ve read comment after comment this week from people talking about how disappointed they were to see bloggers address their feelings about the election, or publicly support a particular candidate. I’ve also seen people praise those who remained silent on the topic. The argument always seems to be that, well, they’re BUSINESS OWNERS, these bloggers. Their blogs are their JOBS , so they’re effectively AT WORK when they voice their opinions – which reflect, not only on the bloggers themselves, but on their businesses and brands.

“If I said something political at MY job, I’d be in SO much trouble!” the critics always seem to say. Or “if that blogger had A NORMAL job, she’d NEVER have said that!”

And you know, that’s probably true. When I worked in journalism or PR, for instance, I wouldn’t have dreamt of using my employer’s social media accounts to voice a personal opinion: if I had, it would have been so unquestionably inappropriate, I’d likely have been fired for it. The fact is, though, I DON’T work for a newspaper, a PR firm, or a local government agency. I DON’T have a ‘normal’ job. I have a job which didn’t even exist a few years ago: a job which is so different from what people might consider “normal” that I frequently find myself having to explain just what it is I actually DO for a living – and still being met with bank stares.
should bloggers talk about politics?Why do people insist on comparing self-employed bloggers to people with ‘normal’ jobs: ones that require them to answer to, and represent, other people? They don’t just do it in a political context, either: I frequently see people complaining that THEY have to be at work by 8:30am every morning, but X blogger is still in her PJs at noon, according to her SnapChat – and how unfair is THAT?! I mean, congratulations on noticing that not all jobs are the same, I guess? My school teacher friends all get 6 weeks holiday during the summer, but I don’t sit around complaining that if I have to work every day, THEY should too: because I know perfectly well that my job is not like their job – and that if I really wanted to have 6 weeks off every summer, I should probably look into becoming a teacher, rather than expecting teachers to change their working hours to be more like mine,

Mine is a job which basically revolves around personal stories and personal opinion. Like many other bloggers, I’ve build this site on a platform of openness and transparency: I’ve spent years building a business which DOESN’T require me to start work at 8:30 on the dot, record every movement on a time sheet, or answer to other people. My brand is a personal one: but sometimes I wonder why I’m willing to share so much about my life, but will try my best to remain neutral on the issues that really matter to me. It’s not like other business owners do this, after all: or not all of them. Actually, many businesses, both large and small, will choose to endorse a certain candidate, or make their views known on the issues they feel will affect them and their workforce: celebrities do, too. So why are bloggers expected to remain quiet?

That’s mostly a rhetorical question, by the way: I know perfectly well why many bloggers choose not to get involved in political debates: or I know why I do, anyway: it’s plain ol’ fear. Fear, combined with the knowledge that we might like to think that we’re a civilised, tolerant society, which is willing to accept other opinions, but we’re also a society which uses free speech as an excuse to spout vitriol about other people, and which thinks you’re only entitled to an opinion if it’s the RIGHT opinion, and if every single person who reads it wholeheartedly agrees with it. We’re a society which criticises people for speaking up AND for remaining silent: and which is very quick to resort to name-calling and worse in order to “win” an argument.

[separator type=”thin”]

“We might like to think that we’re a civilised, tolerant society, which is willing to accept other opinions, but we’re also a society which uses free speech as an excuse to spout vitriol about other people, and which thinks you’re only entitled to an opinion if it’s the right opinion…”

[separator type=”thin”]

In the run-up to the Scottish referendum, I wrote maybe half a dozen blog posts, which I didn’t dare to publish. I ended up regretting it, because while I knew staying silent was the sensible, and maybe even the “safe” thing to do, it didn’t ever feel like the RIGHT thing to do: not over something so important. Ultimately, I know that I would almost certainly have lost followers, and maybe even had some unpleasant messages in my inbox because of it, and I allowed that knowledge to keep me quiet.

The thing is, though, if I have followers who genuinely believe that I’m not entitled to an opinion – or who will unfollow me because the opinion I voice is not exactly the same as theirs – then they’re probably not really followers worth having, are they? They’re followers who are holding me to an impossible standard: and one I’m pretty sure they don’t uphold themselves. (There’s often a feeling, in blog comments sections, that commenters are allowed to say anything they like to/about the blogger – because FREE SPEECH! – but the blogger has no such right to reply. So people will deliberately try to provoke you, and then be absolutely astonished when their actions have the desired effect, and you end up being, well, provoked.) They are, in other words, the kind of readers who, if they don’t unfollow me for my politics, will likely find some other fault with me sooner or later: because if you won’t tolerate the idea of other people having opinions, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time being offended, aren’t you?

So I salute those bloggers who spoke up this week – on both sides of the fence – and I hope they’ll continue to do so: because being open, being honest, and continuing to engage with each other on the issues that really, really matter (even when we don’t agree)… well, it’s really all we have, isn’t it?

What do you think: should bloggers talk about politics?

Subscribe by email:

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Brie
    November 13, 2016

    I think that when things really affect your life like an election? It seems weird to not mention them. I am in the US and right now? Everyone is really upset in one way or another. To see bloggers here purposely avoiding the election and acting as if everything is normal as they post about fashion or whatever the topic their blog is seems…tone deaf. It makes ti look like they are living in a parallel universe.

    They don’t have to go on and on about the election. Just acknowledging that it happened is enough. A “Well, the election happened and things are pretty tense here” or “I am not sure about the outcome of this election. It is a bit scary.” if they feel that way. Just any small acknowledgement makes them seem part of the wider world. Ignoring it makes them see really disconnected.

    But that is just my opinion. I am sure others will disagree with me and think bloggers should be business as usual.

  • Samantha Louise
    November 13, 2016

    Politics doesn’t exist in a vacum. It makes us who we are. To pretend that it’s a taboo is, I think, naive and ultimately dangerous. It puts politics in a position of protection where lots of people think they don’t have the right almost to discuss it, and that fuels ignorance and disengagement

  • The Other Emma
    November 13, 2016

    I understand why you were uncomfortable at voicing your personal opinion on politics, i’ve seen some vitrol directed at people for fairly unimportant things never mind something as dividing as this.

    I do think blogger’s have a right to voice their opinion though even if it’s not “on brand”. As readers we cannot expect people to be one dimensional and not express how they feel on issues that are important to them. Blogger’s are more than just what they choose to show us, just as we are all more than just what we choose to show the world in what we say or do.

    I appreciate when blogger’s give personal opinions on things, it makes them “more” for me.

  • Karen Bell
    November 13, 2016

    Well said. For what it’s worth, I think the same can be said for anyone choosing whether to broadcast their opinion, but the stakes are just higher for you because your livelihood depends on your followers. It’s a tightrope, especially when people disagree so strongly on a subject.

  • Fiona
    November 13, 2016

    I think it’s absolutely fine, provided that it doesn’t overshadow the primary topic(s) of that blog and isn’t ‘preaching’ or offensive/aggressive to those on the other side of the debate.
    Most normal people wouldn’t be turned off by a considered piece on your political standpoint.
    If you’d posted that you were going to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum I might have been a bit disappointed – but then again my fiancé voted yes also. I didn’t break up with him so I certainly wouldn’t unfollow a blogger over it!

  • Pip Lee
    November 13, 2016

    I am sorry to say, that I think it also has a lot to do with women posting political comment. I have seen so much hate thrown at women who ‘get out of their box’ or who have the timerity to like both fashion, makeup and politics. I don’t have a blog,but I think it is so important that women who have a platform should be able to use it and say whatever they like,just as long as it is legal. If you don’t, young girls will continue to feel they don’t have the right to express those opinions and young men will never learn to respect women’s right to think for themselves. And men will think it is ok to be hateful to women.

    I think one of the best thing about reading blogs for me is that I get to listen to funny intelligent women talk about a really wide range of things that interest them. Some of them don’t interest me but I like other people’s point of views and ideas. I get to read older and younger women’s views and I find it inspirational that women can talk uncensored, to others in away they couldn’t 10 years ago. There is real power in that and I think that is why it can be seen as threatening.

    I really look forward to reading your posts as I like the way you write. I very rarely comment on anything but this is important. You should be able to write about anything you want, when ever you want.

    • Amber
      November 13, 2016

      This is a really interesting perspective. I do think there’s an element of shock/anger that someone can be interested in lipstick AND politics, and there’s definitely a misogynistic undercurrent to that – I actually find it quite offensive that some people seem to think that because I’m interested in fashion, I should ONLY be interested in fashion, and am not allowed to talk about something else. (Having said that, I have blogs which are dedicated purely to fashion, and which aren’t remotely ‘personal’, and it wouldn’t have occurred to me to post something about politics or current affairs on either of them: I guess it feels different with this one, as I see it as a personal blog in which I also write about fashion and beauty, as opposed to a ‘fashion’ or ‘beauty’ blog. I would be interested to see what kind of reaction male bloggers (who don’t normally write about politics) would get if they’d written about the election!

  • Erin
    November 13, 2016

    I always think talking about politics is fine, but I know I’m in a huge minority on this one. I have a political science degree, so it’s just something that is normal to me. While it would be weird to see a blog that was completely dedicated to clothes, travel, etc, randomly talk about voting, I don’t think it’s odd for anyone with a personal blog to discuss politics. At GOMI, you’ll get it either way and that’s just what they have become. I’m in the US and normal people (IMO) are heartbroken, while shortsighted, ummm, not so normal people are joyous. The team (and not just Trump) who was elected is the most progressively backwards group of pure assholes that I have ever seen. There have been many tears in my group of friends. Anyways, the US been around for a few hundred years, so hopefully we’ll make it through four more – but don’t despair if you are from a different country – many of us are ready to fight everything and try and make this right. I do want to add if a blogger I followed had supported Trump publicly, I would definitely have stopped following them. He is a uniquely unqualified, racist, misogynistic, xenophobe, so IMO it’s a bit different than just being “a different political party” than I am. And I know very little about politics in the UK, so I initially was surprised when you had indicated you voted “yes” on the referendum only because being from a country that escaped British rule hundreds of years ago, I kind of assumed that every other country would still want to? Dumb assumption. I thought your reasons for voting to stay were very interesting and honestly I liked your argument. I was heartbroken for you guys on Brexit though.

    • Amber
      November 13, 2016

      I actually voted ‘no’ in the referendum: I think because I AM British, ‘escaping British rule’ isn’t something that ever occurred to me, although I know many other people felt different, probably because they identify more as “Scottish” than as “British”!

      • Erin
        November 14, 2016

        Sorry! I confused the two, but remember that you wanted to stay, and also wanted to stay in Brexit, with that logic making complete sense to me (in the sense that “better together” in both cases).

        • Erin
          November 14, 2016

          PS: All knowledge I have of Scottish history comes from the movie Braveheart, so that shows what I know 😉

          • Amber
            November 14, 2016

            Haha! Braveheart isn’t at all historically accurate, but unfortunately even a lot of Scottish people think it is!

    • Meg
      December 11, 2016

      This kind of talk is EXACTLY why I don’t like to hear politics from non political blogs. The sheer hatred of people with different politics is outstandingly real. I’m in fear of losing my job at a rather liberal university or being beaten in the streets of my liberal city for being a Trump supporter. My husband has a target on his back due to the Obama administration and I’m scared every night waiting for him to come home. Blogs about Beaty and fashion are my escape- if I see politics mentioned I feel that oh, this person that I feel like is my girlfriend thinks I’m not normal. I know you didn’t say that Amber, but that’s the level of venom that conservatives are feeling right now.

      • Malachi
        December 31, 2016

        Hey Meg, I’m a bit late here, but you have just stated exactly what I feel up in Canada. As a conservative (who would absolutely have supported Trump if I were American) I suffer a lot of prejudice. So not only am I silent about my views online, but also at work, with some family…everywhere. Even notice in the comment section here, the utter vitriol toward the right wing. We were not happy when Obama won, or in Canada when Trudeau won, but we NEVER belittled and insulted the left in this manner. Such a shame that childishness has taken over the left wing.

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    November 13, 2016

    I think you are right that fashion bloggers will be criticized by some if they voice their opinion on politics (or other “serious” topics) or if they remain silent. I’m in the US and have been in shock and disbelief since Tuesday night; I’m just so sad about all the hatred and intolerance that seems to have become the new “normal.” I’m very interested in what’s going on in this country, and I have countless conversation and long email exchanges with friends about the election several times a day. I’ve also made my position clear in a few comments I posted on other blogs. And I’ve also gotten serious about getting politically involved.

    Personally, I’ve chosen not to address the election on my own blog. My blog has been my “happy place” for almost 8 years, and in all the heaviness I feel all around me, I just can’t go there on my blog. Also, it’s such a difficult topic that in my opinion can’t be addressed in just a few sentences to do it justice, especially if we want to move forward and engage in true dialogue, which I think is so very, very necessary. Unfortunately, I often see people putting “the other side” in certain “boxes,” which really doesn’t accomplish anything. So did I feel weird not addressing the election on my blog? Yes, in a way I did, especially since it has been on my mind and the topic of long daily conversations, etc. for months. But for me personally my blog just isn’t the right place.

  • Stephen Williams
    November 13, 2016

    Love this.

  • Jaynie
    November 13, 2016

    I can understand NOT wanting to talk about politics, for reasons other than fear of backlash. I know some people who have said “that happened; I’m upset; let’s talk about something happy”, for example. Plus some people just can’t help themselves from being preachy or condescending about fairly inconsequential or controversial issues, and those people possibly ought to reconsider their tone, at least (I feel this way about food blogs that interrupt recipes to tell you not to eat non-organic veg,for example). But in general I’m all for discussing politics, and I think a personal blog is a perfectly appropriate platform for doing so. And if you’d said “I am glad about the presidential election” — well, it probably would change my view of you, but I’d respect your right to say it and be glad of your honesty, at least.

    I also think that in cases where one side is campaigning on open and unmistakable bigotry, it’s more important than usual to say “that’s not me. That person doesn’t represent my views”. It’s important for bigots to know that no, not everyone agrees with them, it’s important for people who are anxious about non-group members (even if they aren’t openly hateful) to realize that other members of their group don’t feel that same anxiety*, and of course it’s important for the people targeted to know that they aren’t alone. IMO that makes it totally different from “here’s a cute dress, and also, we should institute mixed member proportional representation at a federal level.” Which would also be fine, of course. It’s just different.

    *I’m not explaining this well — I just woke up — but intergroup anxiety is one of many psych. Concepts used to explain bias, and it can be reduced by seeing members of your in-group interact positively with members of the outgroup. That’s actually a fairly effective way of reducing bias in all kinds of ways (IA is just the only one I can name before caffeine). So merely refusing to be silent can make a positive difference, however incremental.

    • Amber
      November 13, 2016

      No, I think you explained that really well! I especially relate to the bit about wanting to distance yourself from certain opinions and say, “this person/ these people don’t speak for me”. I know during the Scottish referendum, one of the reasons I wanted to say something was because some of the views being expressed were really abhorrent to me, and I wanted to reassure my English/Welsh/Northern Irish readers that I didn’t share the feelings that some (obviously not all: it was a minority, but a very vocal one) Nationalists had been expressing about the rest of the UK. I actually had some English friends contact me and say they were relieved when I finally did speak up, because they had been wondering if I secretly “hated” them too, as that was the impression they’d been getting from some of the stuff they’d been seeing in the media. A lot of people seem to make an assumption (and not just on that particular issue) that all Scottish people are exactly the same, and I think silence just confirms that!

      • Jaynie
        November 14, 2016

        Oh, I’m glad you got what I was saying. It’s kind of my area, so I kept feeling like I wasn’t being nuanced enough (but that’s probably just uni-hangover lol). I see what you mean about the Scottish referendum, although I hadn’t really thought of it in anti-English terms before (coming from one of those countries that wanted to be independent of the u.k. (Canada), which means the narrative we got in school heavily favoured independence). That’s really interesting.

    • Myra Boyle
      November 14, 2016

      Jaynie, I have a psychology degree and guess you have too. I also see division in terms of in and out groups. It’s one of the things I hate about football (you might know it as soccer) where the fanship ends in triumphalism or defeatism, and at international level, in jingoism. Hatred and violence is the result. I am curious why it happens in football, but not other sports.

      • Jaynie
        November 14, 2016

        Graduate degree, actually, and my thesis was basically about racial bias, so its kind of a my area lol. There is a lot of fear and discomfort about outgroups, whch probably outweighs actual hatred, but sometimes the end result is the same anyway. The sports thing is baffling to me. I promise it happens with other sports too, though — we’ve had more than one hockey riot in this country! Which probably plays into the in group thing in of itself (why get excited about hockey and not soccer? Because we’re Canadian).

  • Elizabeth Rose
    November 13, 2016

    Full disclosure: I don’t make money from blogging. However, the election is all I posted about on Instagram this week because it’s really all I cared about. I’m a human being with a heart who was consumed with grief. We’re allowed to discuss other brand topics at times, right? It’d be weird to never mention you had a baby, for example. Sure, politics are touchy, but if I can’t be human in what was literally the most heart breaking election of my lifetime, when do we get to be human?

    Quite frankly, and surely I am not alone, I really didn’t care about anything else. When you’re crying that much, just what ARE you supposed to do?

    However, I’m going to take this moment and be a hypocrite because I would unfollow someone endorsing Trump. As a victim of sexual harassment, a sister to a homosexual, a friend to multiple Muslim women…. no effing way. You’re saying you support a guy whose VP believes in electro conversion therapy for lgbt individuals? Get outta here.

    That said though, I would normally never be offended by someone leaning right and welcome discussion. I think politically we can’t really judge 2016 as normal. It’s been weird and hard on all of us and to answer your question…. yes, it’s ok to recognize politics when it’s such a life changing event. We almost can’t help it and are often so consumed by it that it’s really hard to care about lipstick.

    • Elizabeth Rose
      November 13, 2016

      Also blogging has brought me a lot of friends from around the world and in my experience the rest of the world does seem to care about our elections. I sure as hell wanted them to know I didn’t choose this guy. As silly as it sounds, I really felt the need to clear my name.

    • Amber
      November 13, 2016

      I actually did unfollow some people – not simply because they were endorsing him, but because they were also echoing some of his more abhorrent views, and I just thought, ‘Yeah, nope: no way can I ever have respect for this person again.’ So I’m a hypocrite, too, I guess, but as some people above have said, there’s having a *different* opinion, and there’s having a racist/misogynistic/ whatever opinion – I wouldn’t unfollow for the former, but I definitely will for the latter!

  • Mandy Edwards
    November 13, 2016

    I think lifestyle bloggers need to keep things light. Those of us that follow them do so because it’s an escape. If I want to read or discuss politics, I’ll go to the new stations or political blogs. I follow certain blogs for beauty and decorating tips, and that is exactly what I expect from them. Otherwise, I will just unfollow them. I am not saying they cannot have an opinion on those sorts of matters, but that’s not why I follow them and read their stories.

  • Sandi
    November 13, 2016

    I feel that a political opinion from someone that I do not know on a personal level and with whom I can not exchange ideas infringes on my privacy. I will no longer purchase music items from those who use their celebrity to endorse and/ or espouse their political beliefs….whatever they may be.
    Why? Because I do not enjoy the same privilege and have no voice to counteract something that I feel to be untrue, etc. Therefore, because my relationship with you is about fashion, I would prefer to keep it on that level. However, the wonderful part of democracy is that I have the FREEDOM to not read your post and you have that same freedom to post whatever you wish.

  • Charmaine Ng
    November 13, 2016

    This is such a good post. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It extends to celebrities as well, especially where I live in Hong Kong where the political situation is very conflicted. It’s up on the news every day yet many go on not saying anything about it when they’re affected by it greatly – and they know it. I think you raise up a really good point about bloggers being a BRAND, and when you use your brand’s persona, you’d never talk about politics or personal opinions.
    – Charmaine

  • Well thank you for your support Amber. I appreciate it! I went from fashion blogger to salon blogger which gives me some leverage there. Because I started to feel just blogging about fashion was way too confining…But even if I kept to fashion I would have had to speak up this week. Why? As a self-employed person I teach English to adults, thus had to deal with the issue anyways. And it’s part of my professional background as American lit. and political science major. So it was impossible NOT to take a stand. Although it made me feel anxious for I didn’t know how my readers were going to respond. Guess what? They loved it! What a relief…Have a good evening! Sabina

  • Marty Drury
    November 13, 2016

    I have many friends who disagree with me on politics. I do not want a world where my thoughts and my prejudices are reflected back at me. That is dangerous.

    I am against legitimising hate as a political position. Trump is not someone I simply disagree with. He is a racist ass. There comes a point when accepting the views of others can go no further and a line must be drawn. Hate is not a rational political position to have.

    That is for the extremist end of the spectrum. You are not a racist and are entitled to your own opinion on things. There’s a big difference between people having opposite opinions on Scottish independence and trying to talk to the KKK about the evil of racism.

    Perhaps too much politics might change the nature of a lifestyle blog but sometimes big things happen in life and you have a right to voice your views on those things.

    Anyone who unfollows you for having an opinion is ridiculous because they are acting as if you don’t have the right to voice what you think. You do.

  • Morag Lee
    November 13, 2016

    I think it is up to the individual blogger – and I don’t judge any one for their decision (unless it is a dangerous candidate).

    I personally love it when a blogger writes about politics, but only if they can back it up. I would like to think I’m never rude, but I have responded to political blog posts and tweets where I do disagree and have solid information to back it up. If you put it out there you have got to be prepared that people will disagree.

    And in the case of professional bloggers, it is risky terrain but not one I walk as a personal blogger.

    And I don’t even know what my overall point/conclusion is but I just had feels too.

  • Barbara West
    November 13, 2016

    Right now there is an enormous elephant sitting in the middle of the room known as the United States. It is also visible from many neighboring rooms, and even from rooms across the street. People walking along the street can’t even ignore it, because it’s so huge and the curtains have been torn down and all the lights are blazing.

    A lot of people are talking about it, and that’s fine with me.

  • Erik
    November 14, 2016

    The election was devastating. I was physically numb for about 24 hours straight. I have an honest concern about mentally freeing myself to be able to thrive at work and my life in general as the results are so weighing down on me. I know that sounds ridiculous to many. “Hey, it’s an election. It’s got nothing to do with your life.” But now having to come to terms with values of respect and integrity that were taught to me by my family and teachers, as well as what I believed were the shared desired values of my country, are now being demonstrated as unimportant or even dismissed entirely. It hurts. Of course I will always not judge women based on their appearance or anyone on their skin color, nationality or religion. But there is now an example being set forth from the most high profile person in this country that these things are now perfectly acceptable, not to mention the concept of honesty has been rendered meaningless.

    In these last several days, whether healthy or not, I’ve wanted to shut myself off from politics. While Google News has for years been one of the first pages I look at every morning, I can’t now because every headline includes the word “Trump” along with some byline like “Environmental Protection Agency Transition Team Being Led by Climate Change Denier.” Yes, I know all of these things are happening and we need to be aware of them, but we still need to process this election. These recovery stages can’t be rushed.

    In total honesty, while desperately looking for any divertissement and trying to find anything to read that wasn’t about the election, Forever Amber was I think the first place I went to. Even through I wouldn’t have been bothered if there was writing about the election, just reading the whimsical musings about fashion, a topic that I rarely pay attention to, and seeing Terry’s excellent photographs gave me a needed temporary reprieve from what I have been feeling. I know Amber has strong feelings about what is better for her community and the world as a whole and she is no way apathetic. Her decision not to write about politics is purely a professional one. She surmised that the eyeballs are drawn to this blog primarily for non-political content and she acted accordingly. While I believe that her audience would not be put off should she express her political opinions, I completely understand her consternation to do so and this article sums that dilemma up perfectly.

  • Myra Boyle
    November 14, 2016

    Interesting dilemma – to discuss political opinion or not. As a secondary school teacher I was very careful not to express my views because I was in a position of being able to influence young minds and I wanted them to think for themselves. I did challenge hateful comments though.

    I understand your reluctance to express your political views on your blog, and like you and many others globally, I know the significance of this election and its result. To incite such hate through vitriol scared many of us, and left us confused why such a man could reach the highest office, and wield such enormous power. It is frightening. Fear leads to hate and to division then to aggression and violence. I am hopeful that what he said in his 1984 interview is true, i.e. that he would run for the republicans and lie so people would vote for him.

    I understand why you wouldn’t want to publish your views on your blog to avoid recrimination or to echo others’ views. Now I am no longer in a position to influence young people I feel free to voice my opinions on my personal social media posts. Like others, I am astonished to discover the extreme views held by some people that I call friends.

    Well written and considered article.

  • Bob Cochran
    November 14, 2016

    I agree with Samantha. Political events, even though they may seem far away, have a way of impacting our daily lives at some point. You should feel free to express your opinions because of that. It is a shame that political discussion has degraded to the point that some are willing to the need to negatively impact your ability to make a living over a political disagreement. I would never stop following your highly enjoyable posts over a political disagrement.

  • dubliner in deutschland
    November 14, 2016

    I think bloggers should be able to write about whatever they want! It’s a tough one though as you can end up alienating some followers and certain topics can be very divisive. I’ve backed away from sharing my opinion on certain controversial subjects personally because I’m worried about what people will think.

  • Roisin
    November 14, 2016

    I’ve been thinking about this post a lot over the last few days. I don’t think bloggers should be obliged not to be political. Like you say, your job is not comparable to any other: you’re not representing the views of a company or a brand other than your own, so if it’s something you feel the need to talk about, then that’s your choice. People don’t have to like it…but then, it’s like anything else. We’re far too quick to offence, now, to outrage…well, you can see yourself how it fills the pages of GOMI. What bothers me about the idea that as a blogger you shouldn’t express your opinion is the idea that you have a responsibility to protect the feelings of your readers. You don’t – in this matter, or in any other.

  • Jessica
    November 15, 2016

    I think it depends on the blogger, really. I did post about the election, but as an explicitly feminist blogger, that’s a big part of who I am and what I talk about. I understand not wanting to alienate your base (and I’m sure I did lose a few followers on IG because I talked about my support for Clinton), but you also stand to gain from the presumably substantial number of people who agree with you. Personally, I think it’s worth the risk to speak out about the things that are important to you, especially in the context of the election of someone like Trump, a racist misogynist who wants to ban Muslims, deport millions, and roll back the clock for LGBTQ rights in America – that’s something I feel passionately that I need to speak out about. That’s a calculation each individual has to make, though, and I personally wouldn’t judge either way.

  • Maria Manuela
    November 26, 2016

    I think, no matter what your blog’s main theme is, you should be able to express your political (and social) opinions and concerns. Because, in the end, this is your space and you do what you wish with it. No one shoul control what you’re able to post or say in your own diary (aren’t all blogs a kind of public diary?)/blog/facebook/etc… and I support this idea even if someone has a different opinion of mine (even the ones I don’t agree).
    Again, this is your blog, and you aren’t’ representing any company or any one in particular besides yourself. The fact that some people believe/demand bloggers should stay quiet is unnerving to me. It’s quite an oppressive idea/attitude.
    Besides the typical “free speech” excuse, I think it’s important to debate and express one’s concern and interest in important topics. And as a woman, even more so. I reject the belief that you can’t talk about political and social issues, just because you talk mainly about “lipstick and high heels”. And I really believe this is something that affects mainly women (but also the fashionably men). And, like you said, you’re damn if you do, damn if you don’t…
    Congrats on this beautiful article. I really loved it and actually made me smile. I’m more than happy and willing to hear your thoughts on subjects like this (or any of my favorite bloggers). Personally, I find it important and motivating. Seeing someone not afraid to express herself, both style and voice, and be herself, gives me the energy and motivation to do it as well.
    My best wishes to you!
    – Maria