I warn you now, this was a very hard post to write. I have tried to be as honest as possible, and I hope that those of you who read this will take something away from it.
Starting this blog has been life changing, in all the good ways. I have made some amazing friends, been introduced to fabulous clothing and lingerie brands, appeared in several magazines and newspapers both in this country and abroad. And the best part of all is that I have the most supportive, interesting lovely readers. However, blogging is not always the smooth ride it can sometimes appear to be. As with everything in life there is a downside. For me it has been a teeny tiny negative side effect of my amazing hobby, however, I would like to share my experiences as I feel they may be interesting to fellow bloggers, aspiring bloggers and avid readers of my blog.
How Others Perceive Me
Writing a blog that involves me posting snaps of myself in my skimpies on the internet will of course not always be met with great reactions. I come from a fairly strict, religious family, and naturally they are not thrilled by my hobby. When I partook in Curvy Kate’s ‘Star In A Bra’ 2011, that bridge got crossed and I remember nervously telling my Mum about it. They were not really supportive or happy with me being in such a competition, and I doubt they will ever understand why I blog. However, it has not made me regret starting it at all, and as I have always been the ‘alternative one’ I brush off their disapproval quite easily nowadays. My blog is my diary, my cathartic offload and my way of sharing, learning, helping and educating, and to me in my mind it makes perfect sense.
The way that fellow bloggers see me has been something of an education. I straddle both the plus size and the lingerie side of thing, and for that reason I have never felt fully accepted by some plus size bloggers. There are some who flatteringly see me as something of a guru, and really look forward to meeting me – something I find very strange! There are those who see me as an equal, and reference me and include me in things. And there are some who seem to be completely baffled by/resentful of what I do. It’s no secret that my blog is very successful. I’d like to think that my honestly, my variety and frequency of posts, my (constant!) online presence, my dutiful responses to the hundreds of emails and messages I get every month and my personality has helped with that. And with success comes admiration and resentment. I will never name names as I don’t need too, these women know who they are, but it does upset me to hear of and experience other bloggers who speak badly of me, namely because I pose in lingerie. They assume my success is largely because of the men who read my blog for non-educational purposes, and that I should tolerate the attention that some bestow on me. I don’t deny the fact that I must be an appeal some males, and indeed females because of my photos. But I can safely say that the majority of my readers are women, and that I will never ever relish or tolerate any sort of crude behaviour from anyone. It may come with the territory, but that doesn’t make it ok. Personally, I salute anyone who is successful at anything, and whilst jealousy is a natural human emotion that we cannot prevent, it should never give way to maliciousness. I take everything to heart, and so it does bother me a great deal when these women ostracize me or bad mouth me, but I have got such a huge support network that far outweighs how that small group treats me.
The way my friends see me has been largely amazing. I am blessed to have some wonderful people in my life who have been my support where others have failed me. I guess the only downside has been that I am now bra OBSESSED, and it must annoy my friends when it trickles into my Facebook feeds and our conversations, which in turn can make me feel awkward.
The joy of being online means, of course, that faceless spineless people come out to play. I have been told I’m fat too many times to count. Despite me admitting and accepting it, it can sometimes still hurt for a few minutes, but it’s not something I dwell on like I used too when I was at school (and ironically had an amazing figure). I’ve been told that I undo all of the good work of doctors, nurses, teachers and other such professionals, as I am basically a slut. Possibly most infuriatingly of all, I have had people comment on posts with comments that imply they didn’t even read it. Example: I wrote a post about Adele, and in the posts I said something along the lines of ‘Adele is not as curvy as some other women – Kelly Brook for example, despite the fact that Adele is larger.’ It was meant to refer to the fact that ‘curvy’ is not a size, it is a shape. I received a charming little comment from someone, who was clearly outraged at my blasphemy, and informed me that I wasn’t curvy, I was just fat with big tits. Delightful. It’s hard not to take such things to heart, and I do my best to laugh off outlandish ill informed comments. It’s just part of being online, although it is hard to swallow at times.
Plus Size Stigmas
Those of you who have read this post will know my views on body snarking and bitchiness. Sadly, it does seem to be the case that larger women and people who admire those women physically will often bash slim women, and assume that all larger women should feel equally venomous. You definitely can be proud of your body and size and shape, but it should never be at the expense of others. And you should never assume that everyone feels the same way. I see red at comments on Facebook pages that make jokes and digs about slim women being ‘bones’ and ‘tooth picks’, and when I try to put an end to the venom I am often met with shock! How dare a large woman such as myself stand up for women who are slim! But do you know why I do it? Because I have been that person being picked on for my size too many times, and I do not like seeing others receive the same hurt that I did. Being proud of your shape and size and being a ‘real women’ can happen at any size, but only when you truly accept difference as another option, not as something to be mocked. Real women do not bully other women in order to make themselves feel better.
My Facebook Page
Oh the joys I have had with my Facebook page! In hindsight, I should have named it ‘Fuller Figure Fuller Bust – The Facebook page for my blog of the same name’ or something equally as obvious, as the description passes most people by. I write a blog that involves a lot of lingerie reviews, and so I often share and post photos of lingerie models. These women are typically slim and shapely, and you can imagine the outrage from women who have merely read my Facebook page name and nothing more and then they feel cheated by seeing a slim woman! I try to tell them, time and time again that my page is an extension of my blog, but it mostly falls on deaf ears and I have grown pretty tired of trying to explain. I am just grateful that those women make up a tiny percentage of my lovely fans, and the rest of the ladies often jump in on my behalf to defend me and the page.
Another frequent occurrence on the page, similar to the one I just discussed, happens when I post images and links to anything cup size related. I am forever trying to educate women about cup size misconceptions, the signs of ill fitting bras and the sizes of lingerie models, and some women who happen to ‘pass through’ the page without knowing about my blog get very confused. I’d like to think that my knowledge on properly fitted bras is far better than most bra fitters – in fact, countless fittings have led me to believe that it definitely is! And so I will try to be patient and explain things to women, and although it can mostly go well, I get the odd incident where women are scornful and mocking, failing to listen to my logic behind my preachings and that can make me so frustrated! I know I can be too passionate and hot headed, but my blog is my passion, and I want every woman everywhere to own at least 3 well fitted bras, and to understand how and why they fit so well.
My Blog Is My Baby
I am currently on holiday as I write this post, cruising several thousand feet above Vietnam on my way from Hoi An to Hanoi. I guess I should be chilling out and reading my book, but I just can’t leave my blog! I thought I would be able to go a few weeks without checking my social streams and emails, but I’ve actually found it more relaxing to wake up when my boyfriend goes out for a run and go through everything on my laptop, green tea in hand, the sunlight streaming into my hotel room. You see, I can’t stop thinking about the blog, about ideas for posts, about whether or not I need to help anyone who has emailed me, and sometimes it does stress those who are close to me out. I can imagine that this is how someone who runs a business feels, and it is never a chore, but I can see how boring it must be for others. I pour so much of myself into my blog, and I doubt I could ever stop writing or stop checking up on it.
As I have said, starting my blog has been the best decision I ever made, and these negative experiences do little to dent what has been an amazing journey. I just wanted to share some fears, frustrations and experiences with you all, to give you some perspective on what it’s like to be a blogger, and I’d like to thank you all for reading my posts and supporting me, it means so much.