Potatoes gonna Potate (a note on criticism).

“Insecurity is an ugly thing. It makes you hate people you don’t even know.”



I thought long and
hard before writing this post, as; A) I’m not the most eloquent of writers and
sometimes my thoughts tend to go all over the place and B) I didn’t want this
to look like an ‘Oh woe is me, someone’s being mean’-type piece. However there
comes a time when such things need to be addressed, and there’s only so much
one can take before they reach a boiling point.
I, much like most
(if not all bloggers and vloggers), are often of the receiving end of
criticism, hate-mail, negative comments, whatever have you. It comes with the
gig, we expect it and often times it’s not and should not be a mahoosive deal,
because #fuckthehaters. There comes a time however, when enough becomes enough.
In my case, I normally get spiteful/hateful messages 2/3 times every couple of
days via email, blog comments and tumblr comments, which is slightly baffling
to me because in the ring of plus size blogging, I’m still a small fish, but
that’s neither here nor there. Over the past year and a half, I have particularly
received comments regarding my race, and my so-called ‘imitation’ of current
plus size bloggers.
While I appreciate
and take on board all comments including criticism (I wholeheartedly welcome it
as it helps me improve my blog!), I do think that people need to establish the
difference between constructive criticism, and being damn right rude and nasty.
Constructive criticism is designed to point out mistakes, yet also show where
certain areas can be improved; it should be used as useful feedback that can
help you improve yourself, rather than put you down.
 I recently received a very hateful email which
spoke about myself and other black bloggers not being able to achieve the same
amount of exposure as white bloggers in the UK. The tone in which she wrote the
email was horrible and even racist; however there are tones of that comment
that do have some truth to it. I do believe that there should be more UK
exposure of plus size bloggers of ethnic origin, whether it be black, Asian,
mixed race etc in order for everyone (as well as consumers) to feel fairly
represented. Now, if the person behind the email had left the comment like
that, it would have been fine. But to insult my physical features and be subtly
racist about the issue is frankly, taking the piss.
I understand that
I will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do wish that these people would stop
and think things through thoroughly because they hit send proceed to mess
someone’s day up. While I am used to trolls, it still hurts. Up until a year
ago, I had never previously shown a full body photo of me online as I had virtually
no confidence and my self-esteem was piss poor; self love/body confidence issues
that I’m still trying to deal with today. It takes a lot for me to post photos
of myself for everyone to see and while I expect some backlash, it’s still
pretty hurtful to receive such comments, especially those dealing with race and
my ‘alleged; copying of other bloggers, which is complete rubbish.  
I’d also like to
take this time to thank everyone who commented on IG and Twitter with their
words of support. I was honestly overwhelmed with the amount of responses I
have received as like I said above, my blog isn’t that well known. I thank each
and every one of you all with your kind words, it has really made me feel quite
emotional and has only spurred me to continue blogging and not to give up on
something that I am incredibly passionate about!  Thank you also to all the fellow bloggers who
sent in kind comments too! Within the plus size blog world there are times when
I do feel a bit alone as the community can sometimes
feel a bit cliqued, however the support has been overwhelming today, thank
you!
There are a few
thoughts that I could add to this post, however I’ve suddenly become aware of
the length and I’m at work while typing this (bleugh), so..
This’ll be the
last time I address topics of this nature on here as I only want positive
vibes!  As a wise prophet once
proclaimed, ‘(we)…don’t need no hateration or holleration in this dancery’*.
*Mary J Blige –
Dance for Me (song’s a classic!).
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  • I have just seen your IG post with the email, I was shocked that someone could be so awful what an utter twat of a person! I am a huge fan of your blog I love your style and your outfits always look so good. I do agree that there needs to be more representation and more diversity in plus size blogging and modelling. Just keep on being fabulous!!!! xxx

  • Thea

    I also saw the e-mail on twitter. I didn't respond at the time but I'm really glad you've addressed the issue, and in such a mature way. Its very easy to bite back when someone's on the attack for what appears to be no valid reason, but you've dealt with this is such a pragmatic (and honest) way – Well done to you.

    Although in an ideal world I would wish for far less hate in the blogosphere, in an odd way I'm glad she brought my attention to your blog because thanks to your very well rounded response you now have my follow!

    Looking forward to a good ol' browse x

  • Stephanie (Nerd About Town)

    Thank you so much for your comment Nikki! It really means a lot. There are just some really sad, sad people out there I suppose. xx

  • Stephanie (Nerd About Town)

    Oh well thank you so much Thea! Despite the negativity of the email, points were definitely raised regarding the underexposure of + size bloggers of colour in the UK, and has only strengthened plight to bring this issue to the forefront; silver linings I suppose!

    Thank you for such a lovely comment and for following! xxxxx

  • Innerbelle

    Haters gonna hate, stay true to yourself and carry on being fabulous… great post with a positive approach!

  • Whoa, wait! I just went to look at said email and I believe we've had the conversation in general about people of ethnicities getting less exposure. It's true we do but at the same time we never take away the exposure we may get.

    Just because you've gone added another avenue due to becoming more confident with your body, how does that make you arrogant? We know ourselves from being in this environment the lack of opportunity. I believe there is a market for everything it's just the cooperation's who decide what they want their brand image to be that doesn't mean there's a less of a demand but because you've been given more of a platform it puts you in a position to speak up and be noticed a bit more. Believe even as light as I am even due to the things I've got I still get passed up and white people are given MY accolades -_- crazy situations.

    It happens we lose people who don't vibe with us as we continue to grow as a person and that was her feelings and she presented them and cool she doesn't agree but you just continue to do you like you do! ( do, do, do lol)

  • I love Shea Moisture products. Reminds me must make an order next week but yes I wonder if this would be a good hair stimulator on the scalp in general to help hair get thicker and grow *thinks*