Saturday, April 20

UCLA alumna Jessica Morgan’s prospering blog “˜Go Fug Yourself’ highlights celebrity fashion paux pas

UCLA alum's prospering site "˜Go Fug Yourself' started as joke between her and business partner

UCLA alumna Jessica Morgan and her business partner Heather Cocks began a blog called "Go Fug Yourself" in 2004, following celebrity fashion faux pas.

UCLA alumna Jessica Morgan and her business partner Heather Cocks began a blog called "Go Fug Yourself" in 2004, following celebrity fashion faux pas. Caitlin Scofield / Daily Bruin

The celebrity fashion blog “Go Fug Yourself” began in 2004 as nothing more than a joke between Jessica Morgan, UCLA alumna, and her business partner, Heather Cocks. Today, with approximately 3.5 million page views per month, it has become an online presence in pop culture.

“Go Fug Yourself” is a celebrity-fashion-inspired blog that highlights outfits gone awry while providing witty commentary for its loyal readers.

When Morgan graduated with a bachelor of arts in English from UCLA in 1997, she had no idea that she would pursue a blogging career.

“When I was at UCLA, the Internet didn’t really exist with blogs,” Morgan said.

While attending UCLA, she had all intentions of pursuing a career as an English professor after college. At UCLA, Morgan enjoyed writing and hoped to pursue a career where she would be able to write. Since the success of the blog, Morgan and Cocks have published one book titled “Go Fug Yourself Presents The Fug Awards” and are currently working on a novel for young adults set to come out in spring 2011.

Prior to creating the blog, both creators had full-time jobs in reality television, which they continued until the website first took off. According to Morgan, the idea for creating the blog originated while shopping together at the Beverly Center. After noticing the advertisements in the mall, they started joking about how ugly they were.

“We just started joking that that’s maybe what the kids are into these days, you know ugly is the new pretty and we thought it was humorous … so we started a website as kind of an inside joke between the two of us about it,” Morgan said.

Morgan manages the website through daily updates, where she incorporates in the conversations what she calls the good, the bad and the ugly of celebrity fashion.

She wants the website to be a place where friends can get together and view an online version of a celebrity fashion-inspired magazine. It’s a site that allows readers to discuss fashion mistakes celebrities make, even with their financial success.

“It is kind of the online version of being at home with your girlfriends, going through Us Weekly looking at pictures from the Oscars and saying “˜If I were Jennifer Aniston ““ or whoever with all of the money in the world with a yoga trainer, a stylist and a $12,000 haircut I would look so much better than this,’” Morgan said.

Morgan credits UCLA for helping her in two ways: First, the bond between her and Cocks is derived from the mutual dislike they share for USC. When they met each other, their first conversation was over football; Cocks, an alumna of Notre Dame, shared the same rival attitude against USC.

“We wouldn’t even be friends if it weren’t for that,” Morgan said.

Second, her education through UCLA helped her to develop a writing style that distinguishes her blog from the other fashion blogs.

“I think (Cocks) and I are fairly good writers, and a lot of celebrity-oriented blogs don’t really pay attention to the writing, they just put the picture up ““ which is great. But I think for us we delve more into the actual writing,” Morgan said.

Aside from maintaining the website, Morgan attends New York Fashion Week annually and freelances for New York Magazine.

For Morgan, being a blogger wasn’t a clear career path so she doesn’t have a fool-proof plan for aspiring blogger. She does have some advice, though.

“I think the most important characteristics of a good blogger are stellar writing skills and a point of view, so work on your writing,” Morgan said.

Carolyn See, a retired UCLA professor of English, is familiar with blogging but had never heard of “Go Fug Yourself.”

“I think it is terrific and I think it is also kind of amazing that something that says “˜Go Fug Yourself’ is a career path. That’s darling,” See said.

See emphasized the importance of students writing every day if they’re aspiring to write a blog. She also said that blogging is encouraging more and more people to write.

“I think blogging is a wonderful thing because in general it means more people are writing and the whole level of communication is going up and hopefully getting better,” See said.

Nickerson Hill, a third-year biochemistry student and business manager for Fashion and Student Trends at UCLA, said that he thinks the website is great because it shows celebrities can have fashion mistakes too.

“I think Los Angeles is a pretty celebrity-obsessed place, and … the people who can afford stylists and amazing clothes ““ I think it’s really fun to see them get it wrong too,” Hill said.

Hill said he’s entertained by the website because sometimes he can relate to a bad outfit choice.

“I’ll go to class and just think this was a mistake and there is something sort of captivating about the fact that it happens to celebrities too,” Hill said.

Hill said he’s always found it interesting that celebrities who can afford expensive clothing can still make major fashion faux pas.

“It’s hard to say this is bad or that is bad but what stands out most to me is people who can’t find clothes that fit them. As a celebrity I’d like to think that you can do that, so I always find that really funny,” Hill said.

For now Morgan says she’s happy with the way things are going and the success the blog has had thus far.

“I don’t think it will be changing in a big way as much as it is hopefully going to continue on the path it is on right now,” Morgan said.

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