How the Style Blogger Index Proved That Not Every Influencer Is Sample Size
While influencers dominate Instagram, their followers often congregate on Reddit. They swap recommendations, snark on sus behavior, and maintain their own community based on a shared interest in the content, often fashion and lifestyle, being posted by popular creators. It’s there where sustainable fashion lover Gabbie Nirenburg saw people ask the same question over and over again.
“‘Where can I find bloggers who are not sample sized and who aren't plus sized either?’” she recalls over the phone. “Anyone who falls between size six-ish to the cusp of plus, there's not really an easy term that people know to search for it.”
Nirenburg, who works at a health insurance company, began gathering the recommendations into a spreadsheet titled the “mid-size blogger index.” After inviting creators to fill out the survey themselves, the spreadsheet ballooned so significantly that Nirenburg decided to give it a proper name: The Style Blogger Index. It’s now a database of bloggers of all sizes that users can browse by dress size, height, age, style, and more. They can even, thanks to some nifty coding work by Nirenburg’s boyfriend, find their “style twin” by submitting their own measurements and receiving a list of creators who share that body type.
“I get a lot of emotional responses like, ‘Oh my God, I didn't realize that there were so many people who are shaped like me. The people who look just like me look so great in clothes,’” Nirenburg says.
With over 500 entries added in just over four months, it’s clear the Style Blogger Index could become even bigger. It has already spawned a community that participated in a virtual clothing swap. It’s also inspired Nirenburg to dedicate more time to her blog, The Median Moda, which is where the Index and its associated features live.
“I would love for different people who are on the Index to contribute features to the blog,” she says. “Or I'd love for there to be more data analysis. I've seen a little bit of how people use the index and now it's time to turn that around and see how I can help people use it the way they want to use it.”
But, Nirenburg admits, there’s still room for improvement: “Not just with body sizes, but it's not super diverse in other ways, like race or age or height or location,” she says. “It's pretty white, it's pretty straight size, it's pretty young.”
To combat this, Nirenburg has attempted to get the word out via more prominent influencers, and has found support in creators like Sydney Grace, who has posted about the Index on her Instagram Story.
The more creators submit themselves to the database, Nirenburg says, the more useful it becomes.
“My dream [is] having anyone who wears women's clothes and uses women's sizing being able to look at this and say, ‘Oh gosh, I'm not alone.’"