Thursday, April 5, 2012
An Unfounded Attack
I don't know whether any of you read Jane Aldridge's blog Sea of Shoes. I do. When I first got into blogging, she was the first thing I read. I liked how different she was, how her pictures were refreshing and appealing.
She has just today posted something as a response to an article published on NY Mag, drawn from Texas Monthly* (find her post here and the article here), claiming that the editorial is 'the tallest tale ever told'.
I read both. I read the comments on NY Mag, and I have mixed views on this. Firstly, I think that the article presents a caricature, it's extreme, and reduces Ms Aldridge to nothing more than a stereotype: the 20 year-old social butterfly who can't deal with bad light for her photoshoot, and, furthermore, dismisses college as being useless. Frankly, it's unprofessional journalism, being nothing more than a particularly aggressive and forceful piece of gossip.
Whilst the blog itself presents a very limited insight into Jane's personality, I would agree that it does not help in contradicting the impressions evoked by the article. Ms Aldridge has been blogging since she was fifteen, and has enjoyed the privilege of being surrounded by extremely luxurious apparel from a young age. This is conducive to the impression that nothing else interests her, but I doubt that is the case. One must always remember that bloggers post content in relation to their blogs. In Ms Aldridge's case, this is quite patently her personal outlook on fashion. She is unlikely to post about a current global issue, for example. High-profile bloggers often have an almost sacrosanct sense of corporate image for their posts, which they are often unwilling to disturb (which is perfectly understandable).
As for the dismissal of college, I think her argument is perfectly logical: she has a successful business, doing something that she enjoys. College, although considered an important final stage in one's personal cultivation, is more importantly recognised as a conventional springboard for getting a job. As she is already involved in a business which she enjoys, then why, as she says, get into debt over it?
Whilst we're on the subject of dismissal, I fail to understand the shock at her dislike of fashion shows. The latter are merely a perennial display of creativity, that get magazines buzzing six months in advance of the weather that permits the wearing of the clothes paraded. Their absence in Sea of Shoes is infinitely refreshing.
Simultaneously, I find it a shame that Mrs Aldridge has only cultivated one aspect of her daughter's personality. Although fashion and personal style are quite obviously something that the two bond over, theirs is a family that clearly have the means to ensure that both of their daughters have a fully-rounded education, so to speak.
However, we must not entirely discredit the mother - she has obviously brought her daughter up to wilfully express her tastes, which are, incidentally, insightful and original, and, to use my favourite word, kooky.
To conclude, Jason Sheeler (Texas Monthly) wants to present her as how we might expect her: a filthy-rich Dallas shopaholic, and latches on to her lack of desire to attend college as a sign of her character. I say, if she is contented with her current business, doing something she enjoys, then leave her be. In the meantime Jane, good luck pursuing what is an excellent blog.
*The NY Mag article is written by Charlotte Cowles, interspersed with extracts from Jason Sheeler in Texas Monthly