Reader Raven, of Lipstick & Lumber, gave me a heads-up that Hypeed had responded to my post, Why I’m Not on Weardrobe, Chictopia, Lookbook, or Hypeed. Thank you, Slanelle, for taking steps to improve your functionality, and for your well-crafted response.
Readers, here is what Hypeed had to say…this text was originally published on the Hypeed blog at http://blog.hypeed.com/?p=1239.
In an article entitled “Why I’m Not on Weardrobe, Chictopia, Lookbook, or Hypeed”, written by Vahni, from Grit and Glamour, our online fashion magazine has been the target of some criticism that we’d like to comment. We understand her point of view and think she’s raising an important issue.
Vahni has conducted a very interesting inquiry about fashion-based social networking sites, and the fact that these website predominantly feature “young, thin, attractive, and white” girls. I recommend you to read her article to fully see her point of view and to get why we, at HYPEED, felt the need to write a little response.
First, I’d like to underline that what she said about one’s will to delete his or her account on his own made perfect sense. In fact, after she sent us an email asking us to delete her account because she couldn’t do it on her own, we realized that it was indeed a problem, and added a functionality that enables you to suppress your account at any time, by yourself.
When she says that members should have control over the display of their information (choosing if they want their age or location to be displayed, for example), I also tend to agree. If someone does not want other people to know his age or country, he should indeed be able to leave it blank. Actually, on HYPEED, you can leave it blank. But it would be better if everyone could give that info, and then choose if he wants that to be displayed or not. That’s not yet possible, but we can work on it. We’ll be sure to keep that in mind for future developments.
About the fact that young people are allowed to post on the fashion-based social networks sites, I don’t really have a problem with that. I think it’s everyone choice to expose themselves to the public eye. Maybe it should be their parents’ business. But I really don’t consider it’s our role to forbid certain people from joining the website. I’m not saying this because I want more members. I’m saying this because young people can have a very interesting style. Take Evita, from Jelly Jelly Beans! She has a very strong sense of style, and we’re very happy to count her among our members.
But when Vahni reaches the main point of her article and wonders why she should join a site that “perpetuates one standard of beauty” and point her finger at, among others, HYPEED, there I slightly disagree with her point of view. Of course there is a majority of “young, thin, white, attractive” girls featured on HYPEED. As Vahni herself points out, they are the ones who predominantly send their photos. But I truly believe that HYPEED features a large diversity of members.
When I select the photos which will get featured, I will tell you what I take into account: I first look at the top rated photos (and let me remind you that I have no control over the rating), then I focus on the best styles, and then, and it’s one of the most important things, I choose the best quality pictures. If your style is awesome, but your photo is blurry, or too dark, or the setting looks terrible, I just cannot feature it. The pages of our magazine must be agreeable to read, so I really have to pay attention to that. I often add in the magazine photos that are at the bottom of the ratings. If I personally think they’re good, I add them. Because I too feel that sometimes, the community is missing cool people that deserve to be featured! On HYPEED, you can be featured even if your blog is not well-known.
Let me quote Andrea and Sandy, from Paris Most Wanted, whom I contacted to know their opinion on the matter. I think they have a point here :
“The most popular girls in Fashion-oriented social networks and in the whole blogsphere in general are indeed most of the time white, young, and thin. Unfortunately, it’s a reality in Fashion in general. It is unfair, of course, but fashion-oriented social networks are not responsible for this. They’re a mere reflection of what’s going on in Fashion. The problem is way deeper. We live in a world of stereotypes, ruled by certain beauty standards, where looks are essential, which is especially true in the Fashion world. So we partly agree with Vahni on that point, but want to stress that fashion-oriented social networks are not responsible for this.
Honestly, when we wander on HYPEED, Lookbook, Chictopia or other websites, we really find a large variety of styles, people, and ethnicities. There is a real diversity. But it’s true that there is no equality. Of course there are more ‘white, young, thin females’, but you have to take into account that it’s also true for the whole blogsphere.”
The only thing I can advise now is to let you flip through our magazine’s pages, and you’ll see for yourself. Do not just judge the cover, I encourage you to really read lots of fashion features on HYPEED, and then, you can decide whether or not these criticisms were justified or not.