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to gatekeep or to not gatekeep?

to gatekeep or to not gatekeep?

they say inspiration comes in all forms but when it comes to all things related to personal style gatekeeping information became the norm. vogue even dubbed gatekeeping one of their “words of the year” in 2022, so we can all agree that the discussion has been around for some time now. to some extend, it almost feels as if nothing is gate-kept at all anymore. but in reality, gatekeeping is trending now more than ever.

when I first got to college - FYI, I attended a degree in journalism - gatekeeping had a much more formal meaning to it and was used as a way to describe how powerful institutions or groups of people had control over information and other valuable resources. fast-forward to 2024, gatekeeping has experienced a so-called modern rebranding and now refers to anyone holding back any information. in fact, the term has become incredibly popular on tiktok.

truth be told, we have all encountered instances of gatekeeping in our daily lives. you may have dealt with some sort of frustration when your favorite influencer won’t disclosure the brands she’s wearing on her/his latest outfit post. I know I did. and while I understand that social media is a business - and a very lucrative one - and engagement plays a vital role, I find the practice of gatekeeping almost counterintuitive. and I’m not mention just clothes. it happens with restaurants, music and so on.

and perhaps we are not just victims of the game and can found ourselves guilty of it too. after all, it’s psychology. as individuals, there is a part of us that want to belong to a group or groups but there is also a part of us that needs to feel unique. it’s a paradox! you can see gatekeeping as a selfish act or a way to protect and preserve the things that matter to you or that ultimately give you that sense of uniqueness. but when if we think of personal style - and of fashion in a greater, wider sense - it evolves through a mix of inspiration and self-expression.

sure a little gatekeeping wouldn’t hurt and would prevent things like oversharing and even overconsumption but here’s how I see it. I love social media and I love instagram, still - the millennial in me will probably never get into tiktok and there’s nothing wrong with it - but I see it as a trade. I’m far from being an influencer but when I share content with my followers I don’t gatekeep information. if I go to a restaurant, I’ll share the geo tag. same thing with my outfits, I always tag which brands I’m wearing. instagram to me is still a great source of information (and inspiration). and in true appreciation style, I like to share the things I love.


cátia santos reis "the world is yours but greece is mine” could be her mantra as cátia santos reis is yet to find a greek island she hasn’t fallen in love with. in the meantime, she keeps traveling the world. for CINCO editorial, the 34 year-old, will share her favorite things to do, visit and eat in every destination. 

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