I have been blogging for 3 years. Starting out as just a 15 years old girl who loves doing fashion photography, and then a 17 years old girl who is learning how to make clothes, to a 19 years old that blogs. When I started out, the online world has already been overloaded with bloggers. Everyone told me it was a wild dream to live off blogging, that we don't need another person walking around in fashion week begging for a photo. I know they was right, but I also know what I stand for, who I am, and exactly how I was going to blog.
Fast forward 3 years later, I stayed true to everything I have promised myself from the start: I didn't sell out. I might have my ups and downs, I might have my doubts, but I did not sell out. I refused to work with unethical business, support small ones and local organic ones, reply to every thin tea and beauty apps marketing director a "fuck no". And guess where do that take me?
Every other beautiful path but the money one.
I have got to meet so many amazing people around the world, and got to do, to influence beyond my wildest dream. To travel the world, to learn, to create, and to love.
But I got home, and I am hungry, and I got nothing on my plate.
Brands do not care. They really don't. When they contacted me and ask "if we could work together", and I send my prices, they either reply with "We just give free clothes" or "We just want a selfie, can you make it cheaper?"
1. You do not give me free clothes. You are asking me to work for free. If you really truly wants to work with me, you should have known, I take pride in my works. 3 years, not a single photo has been taken with the same concept, the same outfit, or the same location. It is brain, blood and tears. Making photos requires money, to pay for my photographer, to rent location, to buy props, and it is fucking expensive.
2. If you just want someone to "take a selfie" for you, why did you even contact me in the first place?
Social Media is currently the most profitable marketing market. How many brands nowaday that advertise mainly on traditional media like tv and newspaper? If you don't at least a facebook page now, you don't sell. And I don't see you going around asking tv station to give you free ads, right?
I am currently working in a team of 2. My photographer is also my best friend, a year younger than me, and we are doing this full time together. Our pay splits in half is not enough to cover our livings.
If you are a small brands and we are supporting each other, it's cool and I love you, but if you are a cooperate who earns so much money and refuse to pay, that's fucked up.
In the beginning of my blog, I wash dishes at a Singapore hotel 10 hours a day to "live the blogger life". I dress fucking expensive, but also share a room with 8 different others in a shitty part of town. At the (hopefully not) end of my blog, I am still smiling for the tips.
I understand the illusion of image. I tell someone I am poor, and they will laugh at my face.
"You owned an iphone, how can you be poor?"
Yeah, I bought it years ago used, so was my macbook and camera which is dying from all the work I do.
"You have so many shoes, how can you be poor?"
Yeah, my shoes, my clothes, my shampoo and toothbrushes, my lipsticks and eyeshadow, hair dos and tattoos, everything EVERYTHING was given to me for free, in exchange of work. I live in a world without money like some cartoon episode. Haven't bought a thing in 2 years.
"You travel so much, how can you be poor?"
I went to Russia for a music video filming. Air ticket paid, no salary, camped out at my friend's house. I went to Europe to do a contemporary dance show with my deaf mute dance group, air ticket and hotel sponsored by Unesco, no salary either. I went to America to work with Dollskill, air ticket paid, hotel paid, you get the idea. NO MONEY WAS EVER MADE OR LOST in any of this.
Crazy , yeah? I wear Vetements, Miu Miu, KTZ, and I don't even have the money to buy a wardrobe to hang them clothes in. A fridge full of sponsored spices and salad dressings with no food, and about 30 wallets with denied credit cards.
The money that I actually made from brands who actually pays, has to go to make more photos.
Currently, I am charging a MAXIMUM of 350$ for an ad. About 100$ goes to props and studio rental, transportation, and hiring extra models etc.. 250$ goes 1/2 to me, 1/2 to my photographer. I make about 1 or 2 ad a month. So my current earning is 250$ a month.
I post a picture roughly every 3 days, and not all, but most, cost about the same of amount of money to produce. So I make about 10-15 pictures a month, only 2 is paid.
"Why don't you go to school?"
I have a degree in America, and in Singapore. Graduated 2 years ago. Was offered full scholarship for Master, didn't do it.
"Then why don't you get a job?"
I got 3.
Now, I will tell you why I got 3 jobs and no money. I don't want to play the "poor me" card, but I have disorders, and disorders are fucking expensive. 350$ an hour to talk to a therapist about money issue. Fucking awesome. When I was in IP all i can think about is the long ass bills I need to pay. Also, I live in Vietnam, where depression and eating disorders treatment are not fucking available, so I fly to America to have treatments. Sick in the USA with no insurance, you get the idea.
So, I am asking you for money.
Let me make it clear here first, I am NOT asking you for money to make me have a comfortable life.
I am asking for your donations so I can make more art.
I have 2 books, a movie and an installation that was supposed to come out this year, which was all put behind so I can make a living. That's what I am asking your money for. To make art, I need money. I need equipments and materials to create. I will not use your money to buy myself a nice meal, because that is my own responsibility, to feed myself and be independent. I will ask you to think of this donations as paying to see a art gallery, or as purchasing a nice painting. Simple as that, supporting me if you like art, pay to see more of it.
I hope this does not come off as rude, or desperate, or pathetic. I was trying to be honest, I need help, and I hope you lend a hand.
It is really hard to do what I do, feeling how I feel.
I hate my face. I hate my body. I don't want to accept it as it is because the thought of myself never being able to get out of this disgusting mess is suicidal
And the fact that I need to take hundreds of photos of myself per month, looking at thousands of hundreds of pictures of myself on google search, is not helping me get any better.
I don't understand why, people make online bashing an acceptable matter. Imagine your girlfriend, your sister, your mother being called a whore or an ugly bitch on social media sites. Do you feel rage? Do you feel unfair? Do you feel like it is a totally unnecessary meanest thing ever?
Now, imagine me being online. I am also a girlfriend, a sister, i am just not your mother. So i don't deserve respect, I got nothing to do with you. You can call me whatever you want, because I got a million followers more than you so I no longer deserve a decent respect.
Funny how they say I should "get used to it". You can slap me 1,2,3,4,5 times, it is still going to hurt the same on the number sixth slap.
I spend days and nights staring at my body. Mirror, and black mirror. It's crazy how I hate hate hate my elbows but I know how to pose it in 1,2,3,4,5 different ways to make it look slightly better
I tell you, it is unhealthy to know exactly how your elbows look like in every possible angles
Someday i woke up and I just want to crawl out of life but I crawl out of bed instead, put on make up and take some selfies.
I fucking hate myself
And I no longer have the rights to say that either. You, you are so cool, you can say that all you want and no one bats a damn eye, but I do it and I am a negative, attention seeking bitch.
Because You decided to follow me, I, now have the responsibility to make You feel good, to guide You in life, to influence goodness on You, You, You
Too fat. I want to cut all the fats out. Don't forget to photoshop the cuts off later, I don't want to be reported for promoting self harm now, do I?
Wake up, make up. Fake it, make it. Be numb, don't crumble.