Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Being The Underdog Is The Advantage?

Introvert.

Perfectionist.

Type A.

I thought of at least 5 fashion bloggers who have talked about being at least one of those things just as I was typing the words. It's almost as if the ideal characteristics of a successful fashion blogger are #1 be an introvert, #2 be a perfectionist, and #3 have a Type A personality. Who needs a DSLR or custom domain name when you have those character traits?!

I have heard those three words from fashion bloggers so many times and frankly I'm tired of it. Article and interview after article and interview talks about how great introverts are, how so many well known and successful people are really introverts, how being an introvert is really the best thing that could have happened to you for your career, and blah blah blah blah blah.

And how many people do you know that don't identify as a perfectionist? It seems like everyone and their mother is "obsessed" with getting everything perfectly right every time and hates any and every time they make a mistake and can't fix it. Essentially they're calling themselves control freaks. Obsessive control freaks.

Are you a Type A person? I'm definitely not and I am proud of that. I have yet to read a book/blog/article or see an interview/character/TV personality that opening identifies as a Type B personalty, but you better believe I know enough Type As to count on my hands and feet... Twice. What does Type A even mean??
"Type A" individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence."

"Highly status-conscious." "Impatient." "Takes on more than they can handle." "Anxious." These aren't necessarily character traits that I would think of when it comes to what I want to be, but being Type A is quickly becoming a coveted characteristic.

Of course I don't have a problem with introverts. perfectionists, or Type A people. There are great people that fit into each of those categories and I wouldn't want those people to be anything different. But the fashion industry and especially the blogging community seems to indirectly bash the extroverts, non-perfectionists, and Type B way of life when it talks about how incredibly advantageous introverts, perfectionists, and Type A personalities are. Both sides of the spectrum have a foothold in fashion and that's because of hard work, persistence, and a love for what they do. Those are the character traits that really define a person in his or her fashion career. I just wish more bloggers and other fashion industry personnel would come out and say that they're chaotic and like to go out and have fun and don't stress about everything that went wrong throughout the day and aren't always a nervous wreck. It would definitely be a welcome change to say the least.

6 comments:

  1. What a great, well written and TRUE post. Thank you! I'm not that person either. And yet I'm not that easy go-with-the-flow super zen person either. I'm somewhere in the middle. Even in a business like fashion, you can as high strung or mellow as is comfortable. The trick is making it work for you :)

    https://life15juicy.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Molly! I don't consider myself a "zen person" either, but I know for sure I'm not type A. I'm far from a perfectionist and even though I don't like messing up I can deal with a few flaws every day. But most importantly I make it work for me! You're completely right about that :)

      Munachi

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  2. I never really stopped to think about the obsessive personalities of the bloggers and YouTubers I follow but you're absolutely right. Luckily my older sis got all the Type-A personality and I'm as cool as a cucumber. I'll see what I can do about restoring the balance on the internet. ;)

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    1. Glad to hear, Hannah! Restoring balance one B-babe at a time ;)

      Munachi

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  3. "Most creative types are introverts." "For a product to stand out in todays world of competition, you need to go extra mile and be a perfectionist". When you read something like this, these are inferred from stats pulled out or some analysis on what advantages of being a certain type of person might be. That doesnt mean otherwise is not true. Maybe you should present your own analysis instead of saying "i wish they stopped saying that". Because we reach conclusions based on our experiences and research. And the world doesnt stop saying things or thinking that way just out of compassion (for the lack of better word).

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    1. Archana, thanks for reading and I'm happy you decided to share your thoughts in the comments. I agree that all of these statements are pulled from analysis and actual studies done by respected organizations. I by no means think that analysts should "stop saying that" when it comes to the benefits of being a perfectionist, Type-A, or introvert when it comes to having an upper hand in the industry. My point with this article is to say 1) So many bloggers and well known people have identified as one (or more) of these traits as though it is some type of accomplishment or bragging right not just a character trait or way of life; 2) That these character traits have been represented as "ideal" because their meanings have been selectively used. As in the case with being Type A -- most influencers use this adjective to mean ambitious, proactive, and rigidly organized while ignoring the other aspects of being Type-A (hence why I included the definition); 3) With all of the "advantages" of being a perfectionist, introvert, and/or Type-A these traits can no longer be called disadvantages (obviously!) or underdogs; And most importantly 4) because of these highly glamorized traits, their opposites have been looked at as career and creativly disadvantages and consequently lead to less people talking about and identifying as being Type B, extroverts, and non-perfectionists.

      Being an introvert, perfectionist, or Type A DOES give you an advantage, I'm not denying that, but that's not the key to success within the industry. Work hard, be great, love what you do, and give people something they want to be a part of. That's what the focus should be on and that's the point I was trying to make with this article.

      Thanks again for adding to the discussion. I really appreciate it :)

      Munachi

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