Tag: criticism

When will the media be regulated against public bullying?

Bullying is bad. We all know that. It’s instilled into (most of) us as children. We’re told “if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all”. We read in the press about teens, young adults, people of all ages taking their own lives because they have been bullied. Online bullying – cyberbullying – can lead to criminal charges.

Why then is the media exempt from these “rules”? Why are they allowed to print nasty, jibing, critical things about people with no recourse?

TheĀ impetus for today’s blog comes from a post I saw on Twitter by TV presenter and entertainer Stacey Solomon.

Stacey Solomon tweet

What’s got Stacey so upset? This is what. This personal, unfounded, and blatantly rude magazine front cover.

Now magazine Stacey Solomon

How bloody horrible. Imagine reading that about yourself? Imagine seeing that on a news stand while you were queuing at the supermarket. Or your kids seeing it. Or your parents. Or the parents of your kids schoolfriends.

Why oh WHY is that considered acceptable “reporting”? And why are celebs deemed to be fair game, or without feeling? It’s obviously impacted Stacey enough for her to make a public comment about it. She doesn’t seem like the type to court the media and use them to further her own agenda, so it’s extra spiteful that they would turn on her.

Not long ago Scarlett Moffatt publicly tweeted about how upset she was by the headline on a woman’s magazine calling her “hefty and heartbroken” after her split with her boyfriend. Scarlett’s harsh reality is that she rose to fame as a normal young girl in Gogglebox, loved for her opinions and personality. She was voted Queen of the Jungle in I’m a Celebrity, because she was well liked. On the back of that, she was more in the public eye, where people felt it their right to comment on her appearance and dress sense. After her stint in bootcamp when she lost lots of weight, she was vilified for being “too thin”. Gaining weight after a break up led to the “hefty and heartbroken” headline. The poor girl can’t win, and nor should she. Being in the public eye is no excuse for the media to be so damn opinionated and rude about anyone (apart from Donald Trump and Katie Hopkins, they both deserve it).

This was how Scarlett reacted to the headline.

Scarlett Moffatt hefty and heartbroken tweet

Good for her! Yet, just a few days later when she was attacked by the press again for her dress choice on an episode of Love Island, she revealed the real affect that such negative headlines can have, because they not only appear in print, they fuel online trolls who also think it’s ok to get involved in bullying people for their appearance.

Scarlett Moffatt crying tweet

Scarlett Moffatt social anxiety tweet

Some people will always be mean. It’s in their nature, or they use putting other people down to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings. We can’t do anything about everyone in the world. What we CAN do is start regulating the press so that damaging and bullying headlines like this are not allowed to be printed.

There’s so much public focus on suicide and mental health problems at the moment, with all sorts of people urging those affected to “just talk” or “reach out”. But how many of those people are also part of the problem, because of their ill thought observations and comments?

The media needs to lead by example. Build women up for being good kind people who do good kind things. Don’t beat them up and flog them publicly.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Self criticism – perception vs. reality

Yesterday at work we were brainstorming some video ideas to promote our company, and looking at lots of different styles.

This one was played to us. I’ve never seen it before. Seriously, take 3 minutes out of your day to watch it. It’s beautiful, and eye opening.

I mentioned in my previous post about my blogging experiences how personal Twitter use has made me critical of myself. I’ve blogged about hating my hair. I look at photographs of myself and immediately pick up on the bad bits – I don’t like my nose, my face looks round. There’s always something not to like.

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I was so desperate for a boob job. I’d belittle my own appearance in front of people with the intention of them thinking I didn’t care if they thought I had small boobs. I wanted to get in there first, before they did, so they couldn’t hurt me. I was convinced that my life would be that bit better if I had breast enlargement surgery. When I first got together with my husband, who I’d been friends with for 2 years, he asked me why I was so critical of my chest (his actual words were “I was really relieved when I saw them, because the way you go on I was expecting two saggy half inflated balloons” – gee, thanks!) His reality of me was very different to my own.

I’d like to lose a bit of weight and be a bit more toned. But in truth I like food and hate exercise too much to ever look that way. And that’s a lifestyle choice. I can’t then complain when my jeans feel too tight and I’m not a consistent size 10 anymore.

FB_IMG_1433316553623

Yet other people perceive me as slim, doing a big roll of the eyes when I mention wanting to lose weight. Again, their reality of me is different to my own.

I’m not entirely sure of the point of this post. I know it won’t change things, not for me anyway. I’ll still be self critical. Maybe that’s a human nature thing – to put ourselves down. Is it for fear of being accused of being conceited? In case someone questions our self confidence and tells us we’re not “all that”? Women especially often struggle to accept a compliment, or will counteract one with “thanks, but have you seen my thighs/wrinkles/double chin”.

Maybe we should try and be less critical. It’s nice to make the most of yourself, and important to be happy, but our body is the vessel which enables our minds to live. Hating it will only stifle our enjoyment of life over things that we often can’t change and – in the grand scheme of things – don’t really matter.

My blogging experience so far

I’ve wanted to write a blog for a long time. Why? Because I love writing. It’s that simple. It wasn’t to use as a platform for self promotion, or to get freebies or recognition, or even necessarily to engage with people. It’s purely for me.

Which is a good job really, because gaining followers is tough! I’ve been blogging now for coming up to 4 months, and I’ve posted a lot of content, but there doesn’t seem to be any regularity of followers, much growth in numbers or a lot of interaction. Maybe it’s because there isn’t a lot of consistency. I flit from food to clothes to travel to music. There’s not a lot of beauty because I’m not that into it (not to say I don’t wear make up or want to look good, obvs, I’m just not a product junkie). Seemingly it’s the beauty side of blogging that people seem to respond to most. But, because I blog for me, the feel of my site is very much like the inside of my head – all over the place!

A lot of blog advice columns suggest finding your niche so that people know what to expect. What if you don’t have a niche? Or an angle? What if there isn’t one thing that you want to be known for? Does that mean you shouldn’t blog?

Of course it doesn’t. But I guess it does mean that you should be prepared to wonder whether you’re talking to yourself! And that, if you are, that’s perfectly OK.

As a Twitter virgin, I recently moved into a job where I have responsibility for the company social media. That meant a crash course in Twitter, and how better to try things than to set up a personal account? And so I have, unwittingly, found myself trying to promote my personal blog and, I guess, myself. Shamelessly tagging blog promoters in the hope that they’ll retweet me and I’ll reach a bigger audience. And every time I do it I feel like a number hungry desperado. Even more so when my blog traffic doesn’t increase anyway!

The other thing I wasn’t prepared for? How having a blog has changed my outlook on things I do. I take a lot more photographs now. Only last Friday my husband told me off for taking photos of our food in a restaurant. I look at things in terms of how they’ll translate onto the blog. I think about it a lot – way more than I probably should!

My Mom “doesn’t get” blogging and that’s probably the case for a lot of people. I’m sure to many it comes across as vain or self centred. Not at all. Twitter has made me more critical of myself and my appearance. Seeing other Twitter accounts, shamelessly promoting their blogs, obviously leads to curiosity, nosiness and comparisons. Younger, prettier, cooler, with better hair and photography skills. And that’s dangerous.

Beauty

Asking myself, am I too old for this, when the average age seems below 30? Also dangerous, not least because I can’t do anything about how old I am!

Getting older

Forget your age

Anything that brings out negative traits and self doubt should be discouraged, surely? But yet I still enjoy it. Maybe not the Twitter side of things so much; the need for validation and the constant stream of people linking to their blogs, the elitism amongst well established users and the seeming exclusion of newer kids to the block. But the writing, yes I enjoy it. I enjoy composing my blog posts; organising my thoughts into words and articulating them accordingly. So what if my photos aren’t magazine quality and I don’t review the latest MAC lipsticks? So what if I very rarely get comments and don’t really know if anyone is even reading most of the time?

Because, ultimately, it shouldn’t matter. I know, deep down, that I’m doing this for my own personal enjoyment. I write about the stuff that I would want to read elsewhere, in my own voice, in a way that reflects me. And, because I can’t be anyone else, or think in any other way, that will just have to be good enough.

PS – if anyone is reading and would like to let me know, feel free to do so! But if not, that’s fine too; I’ll just carry on doing this for li’l ol’ me!