I’m only 20 years old. There’s not many days that stand out to me yet as life-changing, where my future was irrevocably altered, an event that I would reflect upon in the future and realise that my life would have been nearly unrecognisable if it weren’t for it.
Today is the fifth anniversary of one of those days, one of two connected to the television show Glee. My life would be dramatically different if it weren’t for it. In fact, I wouldn’t know where I’d be today without it. Living a much different and possibly a lot unhappier existence, I presume. But in addition to lifelong friends, great memories, and indeed saving me, the show inadvertently put me on the course of a path I still continue upon today, and hope to for many years despite the increasing uncertainty of the industry – it gave me my first writing job, at 15 years old.
Today is the fifth birthday and also the last day of Fashion of Glee, the beloved site I was asked to become a contributor to in February 2011 and eventually become a co-owner of; meeting one of my best friends, its absolutely astounding founder Alice in the process. For the whole of the five years, Alice has put boundless effort into this little site that could, a Tumblr page and a pipe dream that became something massive, even pushing through as interest in the show waned. She, somehow, let me, a 15-year-old who just had a knack for fashion detective work on the internet, share it with her, and for that, I can never thank her enough. The site grew beyond anything I could ever have imagined. By the time I was 16, we were getting invites to parties hosted by fashion labels in New York City. In the same year, the site was featured by fashion houses like Kate Spade, websites like In Style, and radio stations all over the world, even being profiled by Tumblr’s now-defunct Storyboard. In hindsight, that was astounding. We were just a couple of students from Australia, who loved Glee and fashion, and here was this thing that we had fun with after school, spending our afternoons tirelessly hunting for clothes, taking off beyond our wildest dreams. Despite everything that happened from the site, we were just doing it for the love of it.
The site is the last piece of my Glee-related past that’s ending. It’s appropriate, because my interest in it outstayed my interest in the show itself. So, thank you, thank you, thank you a thousand times, Alice for making this website five years ago and asking me to come on this journey with you. The show and the site indeed came along at a time in my life when I needed it the most, felt the most out of place in the world I was in, needing something to show me that the world was bigger than where I found myself. I would fit into it, somehow, one day. And now, five years later, I can say that I do. More than 15-year-old Ella could have ever imagined.