Friend Friday: Blogger Privacy (and a question of Anonymity)

Do you remember the last time you saw a high fashion shoot where the model’s face was completely obscured?  No?  

It’s an unusual approach, to say the least.  A faceless model and a faceless photographer. 
Yet this is exactly what you will find in Italian fashion brand Patrizia Pepe’s AW 2010/2011 Ad Campaign entitled “Who is Patrizia Pepe?”
The campaign captured my attention for a number of reasons.  It is unique.  It is whimsical.  It is curious.  It is beautiful.  And it is anonymous.  


It is the campaign’s anonymity that truly resonates with me.  Most of you know that I have decided to keep this blog anonymous for a number of reasons (last discussed here).  I have decided to revisit the topic here because this week’s edition of ModlyChic’sFriend Friday” is all about blogger privacy! 
  1. Do you think privacy is something we should worry about as bloggers?  I think privacy is something everyone who is on the internet needs to worry about, not just bloggers.  People who use social networking sites like twitter and facebook, flickr, etc. should also be concerned with exactly how much information private information they may be making available to the general public.


  2. Do you use your real name or a pen name? What was behind that decision? When I decided to start my own blog I knew that I did not want to use my real name.  Why?  Have you ever googled yourself?  I have.  I have an extremely unique name, so if someone google’s it – they find me. Right away.  The search doesn’t yield a ton of info. about me.  However, it includes where I work and other details.  Details I don’t want to share with everyone who might come across my blog. 

    Instead, I thought long and hard until I was able to come up with a blog name that I felt would describe not only the blog – but me as well.  That is how “Beautifully Invisible” was born.

  3. How much personal information do you reveal about your life beyond the blog?  The internet is a funny thing. It’s very nature encourages us to reveal and to feel safe doing so. But we have to be responsible about what we reveal.  I reveal what I consider to be non-descript things about my personal life.  I’ve revealed that I recently went through a breakup.  I reveal the way that made me feel.  I’ve revealed places I shop and the city I live in.  I’ve revealed that I am a fundraiser and I’ve revealed a number of my interests.  I probably reveal even more random facts via twitter, and I know I’ll reveal more as the blog grows. 

    However, as I said, I try to keep these “reveals” non-descript.  When I think about my favorite blogs I realize that i feel like I “know” each of the authors, even though we have never met.  I hope that my readers get a sense of who I am through the way that I write and through the things I DO reveal, but they don’t have to know every last fact about me. 

    I think that people who DO know me in “the real world” could easily figure out who I am from reading my blog.  There are enough clues to my identity that are spread throughout various posts.  However, at this point I hope I can still be interesting enough to my readers without revealing all.


  4. What will you never reveal?  Right now I don’t think I would ever reveal my real name and where I live/work. Everything else can be revealed in snippets, within reason.  Perhaps if my name was a bit more common I wouldn’t be as hesitant to reveal my identity one day, but as of now its extremely unlikely!  That being said – I don’t plan to keep it hidden from friends that I make via the blog.  I just don’t plan to share it ON the blog.


  5. As bloggers, we have to an extent made ourselves ‘public’ figures. But still there are things that are intimate to each of us that does not need to be known by anyone that stumbles across our blog. How do you determine what is appropriate for public consumption and what is private to you?  This goes back to what I was saying above about posting non-descript things.  I think it is important that your readers have a sense of who you are as a person.  It makes you more real to them, and it helps you connect.  Some people may not care that I am sad because of a break-up, or that I may not be feeling well, or that Jon Bon Jovi is one of my long-standing crushes.  Yet each of those things gives you some insight into ME.  Yet, they could just as easily be about someone else.  An example of what is private to me is WHY my ex and I broke up.  That is something private that is between us.  If it’s something that impacts another individual in my life – it won’t be posted here. 

    Ultimately it’s all just a judgement call, isn’t it?  Some people are more comfortable sharing than others, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Each person – be it a blogger, facebook-er, or tweeter – has to decide for themselves what they are comfortable sharing.  What is “personal and private” to one person may be “public domain” to another.  Every person has to decide for themselves.


I think that I am in a different position than a LOT of the other fashion bloggers out there in that, since this isn’t a personal fashion blog, I don’t have to reveal my face.  Blogs like mine that tend to focus on editorials and photography lend themselves to being a bit more private.  No one is going to recognize me as “Beautifully Invisible” when I walk down the street in Cleveland.  The same can’t be said for personal fashion blogs, and I would imagine that in itself adds a whole other layer to the question of blogger privacy.
What about you – what are your thoughts on blogger privacy?  How much do you share?
Note: This is my first contribution to ModlyChic’s Friend Friday series.  If you are interested in joining, or for more information about how it works, click here.

Photoshoot Details:
Patrizia Pepe AW10/11 Ad Campaign

Model and Photographer: Unknown

{ 18 comments… add one }

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  • Bree @ The Blog Stylist August 20, 2011, 3:44 AM

    I love your answers! And I feel much the same way about many of the things you said. Your blog and stance on privacy is admirable. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Erika @ HH in LA August 7, 2010, 6:09 PM

    Really interesting post and I love the photo shoot. Love it.

    I use my real name, but I don't use my last name very much. I also am the only person in the world with my name. I guess one difference is that I'm an actress, so I'm already a public figure. I pretty much keep my blog and my professional life separate, but it wouldn't be hard to put them together. I usually don't put the names of family members or friends on my blog because I don't feel comfortable revealing things about them. And because I know that my blog info is public, I don't post that much personal information. Like I also recently went through a really traumatic breakup and I haven't posted a thing about it. I also don't really write about how I feel about myself or anything too personal. And I wouldn't put anything that would let people find me. So I don't know, I guess I'm somewhat public and somewhat private and there's a gray line in my head but it's not super clear.

  • Leia August 7, 2010, 4:08 AM

    Really enjoyed reading your answers! I suppose it's very personal, how much we decide to reveal and hide! 🙂

  • JT August 7, 2010, 1:54 AM

    Great take on blogger privacy. I don't reveal my name I use a screen name. My real name is Japanese and not to many people have my name so if you google me you would also probably find me. Interesting to see a model only showing the clothes and no expressions or face showing.

  • Casee Marie August 7, 2010, 1:33 AM

    This is such a wonderful post. That shoot is positively brilliant. I love the anonymity behind it. It makes a lot of sense. So many times in fashion communities I've seen people make negative comments about how a model will never close her mouth, etc. This is like they're reminding us that the purpose for the shoot is the clothes, not the model's facial expressions.

    And the topic of blogger privacy is so interesting. I love your take on it. For myself, my online persona has always consisted of my interests more than anything else. Movies and fashion and music and books, they've been my vehicles for the internet. Personal information has never been of an interest for me to share, if that makes any sense at all. I use my real name because I think it's memorable in a quaint enough way. I have been thinking about switching my Facebook to exclude my last name, though. That may perhaps be more personal than I'd like to share.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  • lizzypunch August 6, 2010, 7:01 PM

    What an interesting campaign!

  • Beautifully Invisible August 6, 2010, 2:48 PM

    Thank you! I still have to read the other contributions as well, so far I have checked out a few and we all seem to have similar opinions. I think the question of privacy is really just a personal choice all around – people need to decide how private they want to be – what they are comfortable with.
    Hope you are getting a break from that heatwave and enjoy the weekend!

  • Beautifully Invisible August 6, 2010, 2:45 PM

    Aww, thank you! I have never really thought it about it in that way (clever) – I just tried to find something that would suit me and this seemed to fit! I'm glad it seems to be a draw to people!

  • Beautifully Invisible August 6, 2010, 2:44 PM

    Thank you so much! Sometimes I wonder if being anonymous hurts the blog, but I really feel that ultimately it comes down to content. Hopefully my personality comes through in my posts!

  • Beautifully Invisible August 6, 2010, 2:42 PM

    It's definitely a different approach – I want to know who the model is!

  • The Well-Appointed Catwalk August 6, 2010, 1:08 PM

    This is a great post. I am also not a personal style blogger, so it has made the whole privacy issue easier to deal with. I use my first name (not my last!), and my profile picture is of an old actress who shares my name. I know I have to change photo as the blog gains popularity, since I don't want to misrepresent myself, but now my big decision is what to replace it with. A photo of myself? Some kind of logo? I have no idea.

    xo Marissa
    (The Well-Appointed Catwalk)

  • Stylethroughhereyes August 6, 2010, 1:02 PM

    I loved this shoot as well. It's so unique.

  • MJ August 6, 2010, 11:42 AM

    I have to agree with the others here – the concept of your blog is great and helps it stand out from the rest. Your anonymiy is what adds character to it! (and the images you chose for this are excellent!)

    I agree that a reader should be able to connect to their readers and be relatable, however you don't have to reveal everry last thing about yourself to accomplish that!

    Great answers!!

  • Grit and Glamour August 6, 2010, 10:56 AM

    Excellent answers…I love the images as well! And I've always thought Beautifully Invisible is a terribly clever name (and approach).

    ♥ V

  • A Brit Greek August 6, 2010, 10:55 AM

    Great post lovely, can't wait to read the other contribs as well. I so know what you mean about how much remains a mystery about yourself and how much is shown or written about on your blog.
    I'm not on any of the social media sites but that's a totally personal choice, some people have chose to promote their work/blog via these routes which have proven very successful…

    Anyhow, Keep doing what you're doing lovely!

    Have a fab weekend.