[Auf Anregung der Bloggerin haben wir dieses Interview zweisprachig veröffentlicht. Die deutsche Version finden Sie hier.]
On the 5th of July, Greece voted “No” in their referendum and decided against following the creditors’ reform requirements. Even before this decision, the Greek media landscape has had to deal with the current financial crisis. We spoke with Mania Bousmpoura, one of Greece’s top bloggers and author of the fashion blog Beauty Co.Co, about how she perceives and handles the situation.
Since May 2011, Mania has devoted her Greek-language blog Beauty Co-Co to all things beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, offering her opinion on the latest trends and developments in the industry. While working as a model, she studied psychology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, going on to study journalism in London at the London School of Journalism. As of 1996, she has worked as a presenter, anchorwoman, and beauty expert for several TV stations, as well as beauty editor and director for a number of women’s and men’s magazines (including DIVA, MAXIM,Vita, Jolie, Parents, L’Officiel, L’Officiel Hommes). Mania told us about the consequences of the current situation for the Greek fashion blogosphere, how her blog may act as a comfort for readership during these trying times, and how social media has affected the way Greeks have communicated throughout the crisis, and how she perceives the current situation in Greece.
How does the current economic and political development in Greece affect you?
In every possible way. It affects my everyday life, my work environment, my professional deals, my psychology, everything. However, I am trying to stand against all these and fight any negativity and obstacles with hard work, trust in people, creativity, and positive thinking.
Have you made any changes to your blog since the crisis started?
Any kind of media that respects itself and others should adapt to current circumstances. That is why I have tried to make all possible amendments to the content of my blog to support beauty for all women, even the ones that can’t spend much for their care. They still want to see the best out there, but mainly they want to get the know-how and the spirit of beauty and I think that I speak to their beauty-crazy hearts!
How has the current situation impacted your readership and how have you responded to this?
The readership and engagement of my readers has risen a lot within the past years. When you deal with such a happy and optimistic theme as beauty, you invite more people to come on board, and if you do it well, it’s a huge success. Women release their stress when they read about things they love, and beauty is definitely their pill against crises. There is no room for bad comments, digital fights, or anything else that you might see in other areas. We get together with my readers to discuss how they will be more beautiful and how they will love themselves more!
How do you perceive the topic’s discussion and presentation in the local and international media?
We have seen everything. Media that has just presented the news without filters, and others that have spread fear by making Greece seem medieval. That is to be expected, and it did not only happen locally but internationally. Beautiful Greece with its growing austerity is a seductive topic for a good news report, especially when it comes with images from Greek islands and politicians who don’t wear a tie when everybody else does.
Which news media do you personally read?
I am a magazine lover! My friends tell me to be more a woman of my time, but I can’t get over the smell and the feeling when I turn the pages of a fashion magazine. That’s the reason I have tried to combine this great love of mine with the need of going digital by creating a beauty online magazine which is going to be launched in a few months. Till then I will keep getting informed about the trends from my favorite international magazines like VOGUE, L’OFFICIEL, NUMERO, AMICA, and from international portals and blogs.
As a journalist, I support the idea of getting a 360° picture of every fact, so a good walk around local and international media from traditional ones (e.g. newspapers) to digital ones (e.g. portals) is a part of my everyday life. On my coffee table, you’ll find the local and international newspapers and my tablet with tabs of BBC and Financial Times to Style.com.
Which role do social media play in general – and the Greek blogosphere in particular – in terms of how the Greek public discusses the current situation?
Social media has become the main table for discussions. People feel free to comment and reveal their opinion at any time, from any place, to any crowd. That is thrilling, yet terrifying, especially when something this serious takes place and politics get involved. I think that the massive scale of social media and its impact on the way we communicate will be a huge topic for sociologists and professionals of communications.
It has already changed. From a market of too many media back in 2008, we have become a more selective market with much fewer titles. Yet we have too many blogs and personal pages, which are inexpensive to create and don’t ask for subscription fees. All these changes have made a huge impact on the logistics of the media crisis. It completely reflects the current situation and is really hard for all people involved in the business, both employers and employees. However, in the long term it will help the media field make necessary clearances and keep only the good players.
What is your response to the referendum’s result?
I wasn’t surprised. To be honest, the only thing that really matters to me now is to experience the best possible deal for my country. I am a European citizen and a new publisher who has just employed people, and I need to see Greece grow and become better everyday in the Eurozone.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to invite people on board to my new publishing attempt. It is called www.iqbeaute.com, and it was made with great love! It’s my way of proving that no crisis can stand in the way of creativity and beauty! I hope to see you there very soon!
Many thanks to Ms. Bousmpoura for this interview and all the best for the future!
Connect with Mania Bousmpoura on Facebook.