I am a blogger I write about stuff I enjoy because I enjoy it as a past time it’s no big deal to me .
During my time blogging I have come across individuals whom have been deeply affected by comments on social media and within magazines . Inaccurate reporting , twisted versions of the truth tearing chunks out of naïve people with no remorse . It was painful to read and I just wished I could help. A few kind words get lost within the streams of abuse and negativity. I felt helpless.
So when I was contacted via Instagram from The Press agency interested in writing a piece about my dimple surgery , my first thoughts were it’s pointless and not really news worthy .
It’s nothing new after all I have blogged about the surgery and it is readily avaialble online it is most definitely not headline material.
Then I found out the article would go online and in particular feature within The Mail , I thought what better opportunity would I have to expose the sneaky underlying tactics of journalism and the attitude of certain reader types than this.
Now if any of you have ever read The Mail online then you will be familiar with the term “ Keyboard warriors “ and for those of you unfamiliar the term refers to memebers of the public whom take to theit keyboard to spread destruction through words. The Mail online is the battleground for such people and they flock there because The Mail provide them with all of the fuel they need to launch into a battle of words armed with vile ammunition and hiding behind annonimity.
Was I prepared to put myself in that position ?
Too right I was !
My surgery is exactly the type of thing that the writers could manipulate into something that would incite critique.
Readers of my blog will know my reasons for having it done and if you missed that you can find it here.
So I spoke over the phone to the “journalist “ whom you can tell are looking for key words a “buying “signal, an avenue in to deviate slightly from the truth just enough to take the mind of the reader down a different path to a world of sensationalism something that is going to boost readership and earn them that golden pat on the back. It is after all their job and you would be foolish to think anything else.
But just how far could they stretch my original story already online to such an extent that it would cause a sensational outcry from their readers.? The info I gave mirrored my blog post and the pictures I provided were all either from my blog or Instagram . There was nothing on there that the public could not access themselves and that isn’t already out there for all to see.
Naturally they tried to get additional pictures .. me as a child , me with my husband both of which I declined to send.
Now I knew that when this article went out people would think I had approached them or I had been paid so I was mindful to ensure that I had evidence to the contrary. On the evening the “ever so friendly journalist “ called to read back my story and when she did, I knew they had played into my hands , the twist they had taken was to say I was jealous of my son’s dimples and underwent the operation to look like him.
Bravo … the clever monkey’s *slow hand clap .
Lets centre a child in the story that is bound to evoke comments and get those warriors worked up. Despite being a hardworking mum and working full time who enjoys to blog on the side ( my guilty pleasure ) , I purposley chose to leave this out and say I was a Beauty Blogger how much of that fact would the readers home in on.Would this affect their opinion of me ?
You can read the article here…..
To date is has been shared 1.5 k times and has 1.2k comments and I would say at least 1k are awful here are some of them .
These are just a few and they are not nice to read, so mother if you are reading this blog I wouldn’t bother reading them.
Most centred on me having a mental illness, the rest were awash with suggestions of an eating disorder, a drug problem and in general being an unfit mother. I am far from any of these. I have a degree in psychology, a good career and a very healthy body weight and attitude towards eating. I have a naturally gaunt face my mother’s fault (those damn high cheekbones) and unlike the opinion of others it does not derive from a heroin addiction.
Now Wayne Scales wants to punch me in the face, based on The Mail’s reporting of my jealousy towards my 11-year-old son… or is it my daughter, even his long hair caused sensationalism.The comments about blogging also encouraged hate. With them presuming I stayed at home all day and claimed benefits, blogging isn’t a real job after all.
And Barry Bourke has me down as a child abuser. All of these opinions not formed on a minor cosmetic procedure (which actually took 20 minutes and not the 90 they claim) but on the fact I want to look like my son.
The kind lady journalist missed out all the bits where I stated that it’s was a very minor procedure which I underwent which I could personally afford, and that cosmetic surgery is something that is subjective, that should be well researched, should not cause any negative financial Impact and most of all should not be undertaken unless you are or healthy mind and body.
They chose instead to portray a twisted version of the truth just as I knew they would. I am hoping that by exposing this practice that any blogger/ vulnerable individual out there with a personal journey, which they have posted online, will not give these people the time of day.
Thankfully I can read those comments and just feel sadness, not for me but for those people whom this practice forms there lives The damage this practice could cause to vulnerable people is un-repairable.
Is this how people interpret mental illness? Is this what determines an eating disorder? I am sure those genuinely suffering from such sensitive and complex conditions would be appalled with the insensitive comparison.
The journalists don’t care about the backlash; in fact they will offer to pitch your story to the kind of real lives magazines that adorn the coffee tables of waiting rooms across the nation. You know the kind where you see the headline
“ I sat on a cheeseburger and got pregnant “
Naturally the poor unsuspecting woman had admitted during the conversation that during a late night romp at the back of McDonalds she fell pregnant after 10 years of trying. The headline would probably read
“Sally Goes large” after McLoving it and now can’t get enough of pickles”!!!!!!
Since the story went live I have had the following offers:
To appear on This Morning (it’s okay I get travel expenses and £250 for my trouble)
To make a Channel 5 Documentary on people who break from the norm
To appear in the Press
To appear live on the radio.
I wonder now the real reason I did the story is revealed how many more offers come in.
Naturally I have turned all offers down, they expect a freak show I am not sure a well grounded articulate individual is what gets viewing figures so I am not expecting the follow up call anytime soon.
If throwing myself head first into the lions pit saves just one young male or female from being thrown straight onto the wrong side of the double-edged sword of the media then it has been worth my time.
And for those wondering my son is okay and is unaffected by any of this, if anything this demonstrates to him the section of society that we try and protect him from and how media works. He will continue to be raised by two hardworking parents with an open mind a kind heart and the courage to speak out.
And I will leave you with this thought ……..
If they can twist something so trivial , what are they doing to more serious issues which form the basis of our daily news. Twisting the view they present to our society leading to misinformed opinions, attitudes and actions derived from this .