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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Opinions - Everyone has them.

Today I stumbled upon this blog post. Titled the rise of 'The fashion Blogger.' I was intrigued to say the least as few other bloggers had shared it. The premise of the piece surrounds the change in the 'Fatshion Blogging Community' from over the years. I am very open to the fact that I am extremely new to the blogging scene and the people who have been around in the community for a very long time like Lauren, Gabi and Nicolette I am lucky to call friends. Who have been an example for me to follow and look up to. I wanted to write this post to address the fact that there's a good chance I have been indirectly mentioned in this piece. 

Realising the power that bloggers have, a few retailers have harnessed this by using them to design clothes (Simply Be) and promote their latest designer collaborations (Evans). This is great and I wish no ill will to those involved, but I have witnessed some SERIOUS throwing of toys out of prams, when these collaborations have been criticised. One blogger went on an almighty twitter rant when someone said they didn't like the clothes she was modelling, took it horrendously personally and behaved like an utter brat. I wonder if these retailers are creating monsters by massaging bloggers egos and lavishing them with freebies and publicity.

The part up there that talks about the 'almighty twitter rant' I am almost 100% sure this refers to me. The reason being is a few months back during the launch of the Evans clothing I came across a chat on twitter through some plus size bloggers who I follow and I still follow, all very nice people I would like to add, and I was sad to see that they were commenting rather negatively on the Swan Collection. Some lines were thrown around like 'The best part of the collection was the bags' and discussions of the quality of the clothing. I don't know why but I did get my back up. I guess because having worked with Ignacio and Suzanne (Designer duo Clements Ribeiro) throughout the launch I was upset to see someone talk about their work so negatively. I guess the writer has a point I did take it personally. I took it personally because I thought that as a plus size community we were there to support and uplift each other and recognise that even if plus size designers aren't to everyone's taste they will be to someone elses, and isn't that we are fighting for? Fighting for more options for plus size women, different styles, different price levels, different quality. I even stated that a few items weren't my kind of thing, so I welcome opinion.

Looking back at it now, perhaps I was a bit of a dick, I should have spoken to the girls outside of the public forum, but I am by no means a brat. I am on a learning curve with this whole blogging thing. I am new to it. I am also highly anxious so yes I reacted in a way that perhaps reflected my anxiety with being judged by others. I was uhmming and ahhing about even writing this as I didn't want it come across as a bitter person responding to an article where a person is merely expressing their opinions. However some of the things in the post touched a nerve with me. The issues discussed in the post are about Plus Size Bloggers. I can't speak on behalf of others but I can speak on behalf of myself. In a total of over 100 posts this year I have only posted 7 things which have been gifted to me. Seven, not seventy. Blogging for me isn't about the free stuff or the publicity. It was about making myself feel better about my body, it was about sharing my interest in fashion and to discuss topics surrounding body positivism. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunities I have, I am so very appreciative of the relationships I have built with the plus size community and its retailers/ designers. I read so many blogs, and I always share and comment on interesting posts for me it is more than free shit.

I am not angry at the writer of the post at all. Believe you me there are times when I feel pretty darn low about blogging that opening myself up on the internet was a mistake. I am saddened to read that writer of the above blog feels that blogging in the fat community isn't how it used to be. that it's no longer about fashion and fat community but about competition. I for one hope that I have NEVER ever made someone feel left out, it's just not me. 

If the writer of this is reading. I am sorry for that time I acted on impulse and allowed my human side to run away with itself. After all I am human, we all make mistakes. I sincerely apologise for my actions although I believe them to be misconstrued. Sometimes it's important to hold your hands up and say 'Hey I might have made a mistake'  I will leave it at this, I wanted to share this wonderful post from Marie Denee titled 'I am more than just a Blogger' 

Callie xoxo 

UPDATE.
I wanted to write this as this stirred a great deal of opinions and anger. This was not my intention I simply wanted to apologise for my personal actions and address the fact that clearly people have felt pushed out by what they see as a non inclusive community. The owner of the blog has now deleted all posts and written an apology, which has sparked anger with people who felt that they did no wrong. I want to say that is certainly not something I wanted to happen. People are entitled to their opinion and although I felt there was a tone of anger in the post, closing it down wasn't the answer. I do hope the writer will get in touch with me, I would love to talk to them on a one to one level to understand more how they feel. This is what community is about.


















14 comments:

  1. Fair play to you for acknowledging your mistakes Callie. I have to say that, personally, I didn't agree with the other blog post - She did have very valid points and I have seen the things she describes in the past, but I don't see the freebie grabbers at all! I still see the girls who are fed up of being done over by the fashion industry and are trying to show the world that you can be fat AND fashionable. I would also go as far as to say that bloggers have probably played a huge role in the progress of fatshion from 4/5 years ago - being the voice of us chubbies and making the retailers take notice of this huge chunk of the lady population that they've just been ignoring!


    I also think the spirit of fat-acceptance is alive and kicking in all the blogs I read!


    I think what has changed, is the blogging world overall...it has moved into the limelight a bit more compared to 5 years ago...and all the retailers want a piece these days, but I still think most bloggers are very genuine with their content. Blogging is too much hard work to be in it just for the freebies, you have to do it for the love of it!


    :)

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  2. I had some sensible, clever things to say but uh, they disappeared so I will just say I love you and I am proud of you always xx

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  3. Agreed! I am even more of newbie blogger (just started mine in January), and I have only seen a handful of post from fatshion bloggers that felt forced or disingenous. I havn't received any free items yet, but even if I did, I'd review them honestly. I'm free with my critiques even with companies I absolutely love (like Gwynnie Bee). Most successful bloggers have made it because their readers value their opinion and feel they can trust them - if they were just parroting what designers said, I doubt they'd have the same audience.

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  4. I read that other post in full and have to admit it had some very valid points. I've been blogging for years now, but often feel very out of the 'fatshion' blogging circle (or any other for that matter), which I see from the outside as having a small core. Recently I've felt jaded reading yet another blog post on free clothes (not you), or bloggers asking for freebies, writing sponsored posts or going to non-stop events. I literally shut the page when I see it's any one of those things, because it's like 'ugh, not again'! It's not jealousy as I'd most likely have to turn down any invite because I can't afford the hundreds of £'s it would cost to travel and stay overnight in London (no doubt some bloggers would find a way to get all that paid for) and for personal reasons could not travel and attend anyway. My point is, it would be nice to be asked and nice to see different bloggers at these events rather than the core beauty bloggers, core fatshion bloggers etc. It would also be nice to see bloggers vary posts, so it's not all free,free,free! I don't have much money, but I buy 99.9% of the stuff on my blog and my bank hates me for it. It feels like nobody buys anything themselves now. I feel I've kinda lost the thread of where I was going with this (sorry, tired), but I do understand the points in that post. It's just a way of the world though, that companies grab onto a certain blogger, thus their status grows and thus more companies throw themselves at them. It's nothing to do with how long you've been blogging or how hard you work at it, it's just luck. None of this is directed at you as I also completely agree with your post and can 100% see your version of events and why you reacted the way you did (I'd have probably done the same). I just think the notion of the fatshion blogging world as this large support group, in reality feels more clique than inclusive to those not in it.

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  5. TriedItOn Andrea14 August 2013 at 18:34

    Callie it takes guts to write what you did and I admire you for that. I agree with what some of the ladies below have said about the industry and how fatshion bloggers have unlocked a lot of doors for many of us with regards to the major retailers. It is however at it's infancy stage still in my opinion and has a long way to go. I think we should stay true and honest with our opinions on the fashion, because we have to remember the words are about the clothes, not about the people who designed/made them or the people wearing them. I can totally understand though feeling strong emotions when a collection you were highly involved in gets snubbed. Again, kudos to you for addressing the issue head on, and keep being true to you, you're awesome to read.

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  6. I think some of the points raised in the post were valid, and we can't deny there is a culture of this within blogging. I personally feel it is far, far less in the plus size blogging community than in main-stream blogging. x

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  7. I think you are right, we are are still learning and growing and I for one am still learning to look at things from a wider perspective. Thank you for commenting and reading. I really appreciate it.

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  8. I am so sorry that you feel that way, you shouldn't and the thing is when I started writing the blog way back last year the first event I went to I asked personally for an invite. My view is ask not want not. The worst thing they can do is say no and in all honesty I don't think that would ever be the case with the plus size retailers. The thing is I love reading the authentic home bought posts most of mine are. Like I said out of 100 posts only 7 of them have been gifted to me my blog also features stuff to do with my life and isn't all surrounding things I have been given. I think the problem is there will always be a sense of a clique in everything we do in life, some look like that are getting more than others, that is cool, I am sure the people who are getting those things are not intentionally doing it to upset others. I think it is so so important to make this community a safe and happy place for people, so they feel welcome. I do hope that you can attend some events in London, would be lovely to meet you. As always thank you for your comments that are always valued by me,.

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  9. I follow quite a variety of plus size fashion blogs, and certainly not all of them are professional bloggers that receive "freebies". I would get tired reading blogs that were always sponsored posts because I think they can lose authenticity that way. For me personally, I'm far too busy with my day job to even think about putting together a media kit. I've been approached by brands and given it serious thought, but I've really let it go and realized my blog will probably never be a "professional" blog. I love fashion, but I have no education in the industry and I want the independence to post what I want, when I want. I'm pretty sure there must be other bloggers in the same boat!

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  10. I love your response here. Well done for being so open, honest and humble in regards to the whole thing. I think you've got every right to have your say and defend yourself. It's certainly more personal for you, having worked closely with the designers.

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  11. Thanks for your reply Callie. Like I said, I certainly didn't get that impression from your blog, but have seen it with others so know what that article pertained to. I also agree it's not just the fatshion blogs, but blogging in general, so it's a pity that article just picked out plus-size blogs as behaving like this. I too would love to meet you all, but can't see it happening in the near future (my bad health being the main reason) which is a shame x x x

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