Current guilty pleasure: lookbook.nu
I can’t even remember what my life was like before voyeurism became an acceptable form of entertainment. College days were spent browsing through Cobrasnake photos. I’d pick out all the girls who were as skinny as I wanted to be, an experience that only exacerbated my body dysmorphia. Then, I moved on to reality shows. My then boyfriend and I regularly camped out on the couch to watch a line-up of MTV and VH1’s finest. And in between all of this was MySpace, followed by an unhealthy dose of the Sartorialist. Need I say more?
Lookbook.nu is a user-accessible forum for fashionistas and stalkers. I guess I’m a little bit of both, so this website has quickly become a time-suck. According to the FAQ:
”What is LOOKBOOK.nu?
LOOKBOOK.nu is an international social experiment in style. It was inspired by street fashion blogs like the Sartorialist as well as “What are you wearing today?” forum threads across the internet.
How does it work?
1. You upload photos of your looks, and browse others.
2. Vote up stuff you like–community “hype” determines which outfits show up on the front page.
3. If people hype your looks, you gain “karma” which builds your reputation as a stylist.
What can I use it for?
* Show off the art of your style to the world.
* Enhance or reinvent your image through feedback.
* Promote your stuff if you’re a designer / boutique owner.
* Be inspired by original styles from every corner of the globe.”
This concept is incredibly smart and admittedly, silly. It appeals to a community of narcissistic fashion- and beauty-obsessed individuals who have their hands on really great wardrobes and good cameras (or photo-editing skills). Importantly, it gives the average person a chance to take part in what’s generally a very exclusive arena. Forget waiting for the Sartorialist to spot you on the street. You can upload your own self-portrait for the world to see. And I’ve seen Purple magazine-worthy shots on this website, courtesy of some 16 year old living in London.