DIY is the three-letter abbreviation that I hate most in the English language. I know it seems like it would be IRS, but that only runs a close second. DIY for those of you that don’t have a Pinterest or follow any lifestyle blogs at all is an acronym that stands for, “Do It Yourself.” This refers to any and all kinds of projects one can imagine. You can DIY your own pair of lace panel denim shorts, sparkly votive candleholders, or make cookies for practically any occasion imaginable.
It’s easy to look at Pinterest as the main culprit in the DIY phenomenon but it isn’t. Even celebrities are hopping on the trendy DIY bandwagon. Gwyneth Paltrow has her ultra chic site Goop and former reality star Lauren Conrad is the biggest offender with not one but two sites: LaurenConrad.com and The Beauty Department. I mean come on LC, how many ways are there to teach women how to do the perfect cat eye? I had no idea just how many hairstyles one could come up with that involves a braid.
Look, I get it. These mini Martha Stewarts are using their fame to “build their brand,” but there are plenty of gals who have risen to Internet fame using these as their only brand. Cupcakes & Cashmere (who’s tagline is “Elevate Everyday Life”) blogger Emily Schuman has become such a “lifestyle expert” that she got a book deal and partnered with make up tycoons Estee Lauder. I’m sure both deals were quite lucrative. Everybody needs to get that paper, but how practical are these tips that these DIY sites are giving? These sites feel like the 2014 equivalent to “As Seen On TV.”
There are numerous blogs dedicated solely to Pinterest “fails” i.e. recipes, tips, and tricks from Pinterest that don’t actually work when you try them at home. And even for the ones that do work, is it worth it? Yes, I know that I can make my own sixth month supply toothpaste for just $2.00 but to quote another Internet sensation, Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” If you do, do you really want to spend that precious time making toothpaste, laundry detergent, or your own almond milk? At the end of the day, I’m happy to run to Target and grab a tube of Crest, bottle of Tide, and carton of Almond Breeze.
These sites are marketing machines that do what all advertising does. They try to sell you the image of this fantasy lifestyle where you can wake up on Sunday morning with birds chirping and make your own pie crust and filling from scratch, make your own holiday decorations, and live in a world where you always have time to perfect a new hairstyle. Would that be nice, sure, but it’s not realistic for most of us.
Reading these websites and blogs it’s tempting to DIY. But I say LITE, Leave It To the Experts, buy the products and enjoy your time relaxing with family and friends.