>> The title of the post sounds ludicrously simple. Just… say something nice!
It apparently doesn’t happen enough according to the stats above. I’ve experienced a decade of having my style judged through the lens of the internet. Actually, “judged” would be the wrong world when talking about fashion blogging 1.0 or even 0.5. Back in those mid 2000 years, we’d go on sites like Style Diary or on the What Are You Wearing thread on The Fashion Spot and we’d post our outfits and words of encouragement and compliments would ensue. The old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…” was well observed and adhered to.
Then somewhere down the fashion blogger 2.0/3.0 line, something happened. Audiences got bigger. Blog comments got vicious. Then came social media. First Twitter, then Instagram and now SnapChat where seemingly your life is out there 24/7, warts and all. That’s opened up a vastly different can of worms, where profiles are icon-less and Instagram accounts can be private/bots, giving license to well, say whatever you feel like. When it comes to style critique, I’ve had it dished out to me in spades over the years. “You dress like a clown.” “You’d benefit more from wearing less.” “You’re too fat for that outfit.” Clown or pig seem to be recurring insults, especially when you count the comments expressed through Emojis.
On the flip side, whilst I’ve never been guilty of leaving a similar comment on other people’s blogs/social media accounts that hasn’t stopped me from airing judgement in my head. It’s a dichotomy you grapple with because as you rail against judgement of your own style, you have to be careful to check your own judgement of others. Even innocuous things like Grazia’s Fashion Jury is something I feel uncomfortable about taking part in because it can feel a bit like, a pot calling the kettle black.
Therefore I applaud Amazon Fashion for launching their #SaySomethingNice campaign. With myself and other fashion bloggers/influencers Camille Charrière, Gala Gonzalez, Hana Tajima, Freddie Harrel, Clementine Desseau, Samar Seraqui de Butafoco and Masha Sedgwick, we have collectively fessed up about how our style has been judged in the past and also how we judge others. The point is to encourage unique and personal style and the first step towards that is to try and eliminate quickfire judgement, particularly on social media. And so we’re urging people to say something nice – which I should add, does happen frequently on my largely positive social channels – but even stray barbed comments can still do their damage. For those that receive negative judgement on a regular basis have to learn to tune them out like white noise or grow a skin so thick because we just accept that “this is the internet and this is how it is.”
My feeling has and always been thus: if you saw said about-to-be-judged person in real life, would you go up to them face to face and voice your opinion about their their outfit? And whilst it’s easy to dismiss, negative judgements as part of being on “the internetz”, how can we ascertain the exact effect of what these sort of comments have on the confidence of a person’s personal style? And so we come back to the simple title of this campaign. Just #SaySomethingNice – and I, along with the other peeps featured in the Amazon Fashion video will be pledging to do the same.
And this is the longer version where I get to ramble even more about being judged, judging people and promising to #SaySomethingNice on social media….
P.S. I realise that this post goes live on the day that the UK has chosen to leave the EU. I’m naturally bereft and disappointed but onwards and upwards – my views are being strongly expressed on my Twitter should you wish to continue the EU chat there.