I was reading my new issue of Nails Magazine earlier today, and I must admit that I was rather surprised by this piece from from their editor, Hannah Lee. I'm sure my eyes widened quite a bit when I read this first part, and I was initially shocked by the rude tone she takes toward Bloggers. I am fully aware that this publication's goal is "dedicated to the success of nail professionals", as their publication's tag line states. I am also aware that there are plenty of people in this world who are passionate--and unlicensed--individuals who often know more about their hobby than many professionals do. I'm not just speaking about the nail industry...just because someone doesn't have a license or earn money pursuing their hobbies and interests, doesn't mean that they don't have something interesting and knowledgeable to offer to others.
My husband works in the construction business, but he is passionate about motorcycles and cars. He is often called upon for his advice by people who trust his wisdom and words when it comes to working on various engines. He subscribes to Indy Car Magazine, and he gets as excited in an auto parts store as I do in a beauty supply store. He's simply an enthusiast who, like myself, spends his leisure time learning more about his passion and doing something he loves. Why do we do these things? It's simple. Because it makes us happy, and that's all there is to it. We both enjoy talking to our friends and acquaintances about our passions, particularly those who share those same passions. That's why I have my blog. It allows me to share my passion with like-minded individuals who share similar interests. I get a very real sense of happiness doing what I do here, and I appreciate all of the friends I've made. I think you'll agree that the excitement and passion we feel for the beauty products we share are appreciated more by the audience we have on our blogs than by the majority of people we deal with in real life.
This is the first part of the Nails Magazine piece, and Ms. Lee, please stop referring to us as nail polish junkies who are looking for free handouts. Yes, you go on to say that that statement was "a little harsh," yet you still allowed those words to go into print. (click to enlarge)
So that I'm not accused by anyone of taking something out of context or not providing the full article, you'll find that below. I'm still detecting a negative tone in this section where she goes on to say that nail professionals know what products to recommend because they read and go to shows and follow professional bloggers--note how the word professional is italicized.
I understand what she's trying to say...the nail industry is suffering economically, as are many industries these days. Nail professionals have to stay a step ahead if they are to maintain their business volume, and with products such as gel nail kits being offered to the public at Ulta and Sally Beauty, their business is likely taking a hit.
But I'll tell you something...I get my nails done in a salon on occasion, and 9 times out of 10, the manicurist isn't aware of many products and product lines that I ask her about. I get my nails done at the same business where I get my hair done, and my hair stylist has commented many times that I know more about products than she does. She tells me every time I see her that I should get my license and do what I love professionally. I have no interest in doing that, and I'll tell you why. If I had to do it for a living, it would probably diminish my passion for it. I don't want to deal with people all day, I don't want to listen to complaints, and I know how hard it is to make decent money in that industry. It's a lot of work and I simply have no desire to do that on a professional level.
I spend a lot of time reading about the beauty industry, and not just the nail industry aspect. I enjoy the whole picture...fashion, cosmetics, ingredients, packaging, advertising...it's a fascinating industry. I enjoy sharing what I learn with my readers, and I like to stay current on things for my own satisfaction. If I choose to write about what I love, and someone out there appreciates my efforts, that's just the icing on the cake. If cyberspace shut down tomorrow, I'd still be reading everything I could get my hands on, perusing the aisles of drug stores and high-end department stores alike, looking for new and exciting things to fuel my passion.
What do you think about the way this article comes across? Personally, I find it rather insulting and the more I think about it, it's almost humorous at this point to me. Nails Magazine often features Bloggers in their magazine--in fact, Diana from Painted Lady Fingers is featured on p. 89 along with some other Bloggers. I think Bloggers offer their readers/consumers so many choices about products, and as a consumer myself, I appreciate that. There are many brands and products that I never would have discovered had I not read about them on a blog. Many salons don't carry anything other than OPI and CND, so I know for a fact that nail polish and cosmetics brands in general appreciate what Bloggers do. I'm not a licensed nail technician, I don't have a license to blog (!), and I'm quite certain I'm not a professional blogger. But I will continue to blog because I enjoy it, and I think my readers do too.
So I'm not moving over Nails Magazine, but I'll be happy to share my seat with you...because there is room for all of us.