Musings
Comments 37

Now If We’re Talking Body…

I woke up today and went about my morning as usual. Checked my email, drank my coffee, and checked my blog stats for the last few days. WOW, a huge spike Monday into Tuesday, I hadn’t even posted anything. Turns out, the spike wasn’t because Rachel of House of Pinheiro commented on my post on the sewcialists blog (which was a real fan girl moment for me as I’m a big fan of her blog), it was because someone has added me to the hate reads section of GOMI.

At least I’m in good company, the woman who started the conversation about me, Snark Maiden, has started conversations about at least two of my favorite pattern companies: Tilly & The Buttons and By Hand London.

In addition to the other points which I will discuss below, she seems to have the biggest problem with the fact that I was wearing my bathing suit. My 1 piece “plain Jane” black bathing suit “that is too tight” that I bought at J.Crew years ago. I wore the dressing gown for the pictures the way I have been wearing it in real life, as a bathing suit cover up. Should I have worn it over a dress or my underwear? No, because that is not my nature. Every picture on this blog is real. I would say 90% of the photos are taken at 6:45 in the morning when I’m about to leave for work and the rest are from parties or events where a camera happens to be present. I don’t use Photoshop and with the exception of one photo where I lightened a nasty cut on my leg, I don’t retouch my photos.

Too much cleavage? Never!

Too much cleavage? Never!

To address the further points of Snark Maiden: The way the instructions said to insert the belt loops confused me, so what? It took me a few reads to understand. I’ve only ever top stitched belt loops in place, in seam was new to me. I was trying to give an honest review, if my brain fart isn’t helpful to anyone than at least I was honest.

In regard to the fabric, I thought it was implied that I purchased the recommended amount of fabric. As an avid fan of Gather patterns (see Mortmains one, two and three!) I find it highly unlikely they would list the requirements wrong, hence why I gave suggestions as to why I ran out.

In regard to my blog name, I’m sorry you don’t like it. I think it’s witty. I’m even considering getting “SEW GOOD” on the license plate of my Prius so if you’re ever in NH, feel free to flag me down and tell me just how puke worthy my blog name and slogan are to you.

I make my living as a writer and I cringe when people use the wrong form of words so I don’t even know what to say about the “native English speaker” comment.

And one last thing, what does SSSF even mean?

I know this is just a little thing, one mean person and (at my last count) 10 replies (mostly in my favor), but as a blogger who answers to no content schedule but my own, I wanted to open a dialogue about this. People are fat shamed all the time, people start feeds on GOMI all the time and say terrible things on and offline, but I haven’t been on the receiving end of such hurtful comments since the 8th grade, and as much as I’ve brushed it off, seeing that my biggest spike in blog traffic this month was because of a mean person hurt me.

For good measure, here is a picture of me today wearing another lower cut top (Kim Dress).

For good measure, here is a picture of me today wearing another lower cut top.

I’ve heard and seen other sewers and bloggers open up about this type of negativity as well which gives me a feeling of solidarity. Abby Glassenberg posted the link to her GOMI thead on Twitter, Elisalex talked about the horrible things people said about BHL on the Reyna Lay Podcast, and Jenny of Cashmerette kicked all internet trolls back where they belong with her totally viral #CakeWithCashmerette.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but wouldn’t it be nice if Snark Maiden and all other trolls actually gave their opinion publicly instead of hiding behind a forum where there is no contact information, profile pictures aren’t even required and you can just say anything? I could have sent her a private message if I signed up for an account, but I have no use for being a member of that site. I believe in freedom of speech, but I don’t believe in bullying. Here’s a thought: Grow a pair and express your concern over my makes in the wide open comments section of my blog. Use your real name and let’s have a discussion.

I sew my own clothes for a few reasons. It’s fun, is mentally stimulating and because I got sick of trying to fit into standard sizes and not liking how I looked in most RTW clothing. I started a blog to document the things I make and maybe make some friends with similar interests. Wearing clothes that fit me well and are made of quality materials makes me feel good. My body is a frigen temple that deserves well-fitting clothing. If Snark Maiden disagrees, to hell with her.

So Snark Maiden and others who agree with her, if you would like to talk to me about covering up, or any other concern you may have with my sewing abilities. Please get off MY Internets and email me. carolannel.donovan@gmail.com

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to work on my Bombshell so I can post more pictures of myself in a bathing suit online. Hell, maybe I’ll even make the bikini from Seamwork and really scandalize the world!

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This entry was posted in: Musings

37 Comments

  1. reynalay says

    haha, this post is awesome. You are freakin’ beautiful and you can wear whatever the heck you want to wear whenever you want to wear it. Wear it with pride sew sister! I know things like that hurt but keep your head up knowing that there are so many more of us that stand strong alongside you embracing beauty, confidence, and spirit in ALL sizes! Can’t wait to see that bombshell on you!
    -Reyna
    The Reyna Lay Designs Podcast
    reynalay.com

    • Thanks Reyna! I really appreciate your positive feedback! While I have you, I just wanted to say I love your podcast. It’s so inspirational to hear all of the wonderful people you have on.:)

  2. Jenny says

    Ugh, I’m sorry. There’s no logic. You quite literally can’t win with the Mean Girls who hide out all day and snark because they don’t have anything better to do. The only solution is not to read it, even if it shows up in your stats. It’s hard, but doable!

    In the meantime you have lots of Craftu Foxes who think you’re ace and we can have fun with our actual real life friends who are nice people! Yay!

    • You hit the nail right on the head, I felt like I was back in high school dealing with the Mean Girls! When I see traffic coming from there I’m just going to ignore it. Anyone with criticism worth listening to should come directly to me and the rest can be ignored 🙂

  3. I know it’s hard to read a person’s tone in a comment, but I seriously mean this in the nicest possible way – wear whatever you want and stop letting people get to you! And just remember that when you put yourself out on the Internet, there are bound to be people who aren’t fans. I read the GOMI thread, and as far as I could see there was one questionable comment and a whole bunch of people defending you. Ignore the one negative and focus on all the positives. And make yourself a Bombshell and rock it every time you wear it!

    • Thanks, Teri! You are so right, I wish it didn’t bother me, but writing out how I felt and being able to address the comments here made me feel a lot better. I think I’ll ignore the hate reads thread going forward!

  4. Holly says

    I totally understand when a lot of bloggers discover GOMI and get upset that they are mentioned it it, but honestly (compared to what I’ve seen a lot of other people say on there) what was written about you was quite benign, and I don’t think was meant to body shame at all. And SSSF means “so sorry so fat” a lot of people who sew contribute to GOMI because they feel that there is no constructive criticism in the sewing blogging community (ie all hearts and flowers) and a lot of butt hurt and blocking on the part of bloggers when someone tries to offer something helpful.

    FYI I don’t blog but I do contribute to GOMI and I know there are a lot of bloggers on there who contribute and don’t take offence to someone not liking what they make. Not everyone likes everything everyone else makes, what the write, etc.

    • Hi Holly, I really appreciate your feedback. I don’t want or need everyone to like everything I make or write, I would just like that feedback to come here in the comments for example instead of being hidden behind a username that doesn’t give me a way to talk back. By comparison to other feeds I have read the comments about me weren’t terrible, but it’s still hurtful to see.

      • I must point out my affection for your kindness in support of people that must have help with your niche. Your very own dedication to getting the solution around has been incredibly practical and have usually made those just like me to achieve their aims. Your personal insightful information means a whole lot a person like me and suaalsntibtly more to my mates. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  5. A GOMI Toe Dipper says

    Don’t let the comments of that one person get to you – focus more upon the other 9 (probably more) that you only glossed over. GOMI isn’t all against you. Nor is it all anonymous.

    • Hey there, I know I’m just a little part of a bigger thread, but it still hurts to read and then have a dozen or so other people comment both good and bad about my body and swim wear choice. The post was about the dressing gown and most of the criticism wasn’t about it. I really appreciate you giving me your feedback here where I can reply!

      • A GOMI Toe Dipper says

        Hi Carolanne, I completely understand that it must be tough. I’m re-learning how to take criticism since my career path will open me up to all manner of it.

        I get that the last thing you probably want to do is go and read the thread again, but in the second most recent page is what seems like an honest, sound apology relevant to all of this. Maybe it helps to draw a line beneath this for you?

    • Jenny says

      Says the anonymous commenter from GOMI! Christ you people should grow up and get a life

      • tinygoldenpins says

        Why are you also being mean and assuming something about this poster? I’m really shocked at the vitriole. She said what I basically said — that only one person did this and everybody else defended Carolanne. Telling people to grow up and get a life says more about you than this person who, I think, tried to make Carolanne feel better.

      • A GOMI Toe Dipper says

        Your assumption that I am anonymous completely skips over the fact that I am required to provide an email address to post a comment. I’m not required to identify myself to the whole world, and have no website or blog to put my “anonymous” name to. To help lift the shroud of anonymity for you, Jenny, I am a beginner sewer of about six months.

        Carolanne is more than welcome to email me on my (real) email address if she would like to call me out like you have, or have any other form of meaningful engagement. I’m not in the business of setting up temporary inboxes to go around enhancing my anonymity, though maybe that’s an idea in itself.

        Have a good evening 🙂

  6. Kat H says

    Great response! I really hope the comment dpeanut get you down too much – you make lovely things and clearly have a lot of fun doing so! Your Buchanan is gorgeous and a fantastic swimsuit cover up too. 🙂 Keep sewing and blogging! Looking forward to seeing your Bombshell. 🙂

  7. Hi there, it really feels horrible when you find out people have been talking about you behind your back – in real life or online, so I totally sympathise with your feelings. I do read GOMI and I appreciate it as a forum where people can discuss things that there is no other forum for in the online sewing community. I definitely agree that sometimes things come out a little warped but there really are a majority of people there that just want to read sewing blog content that is interesting and engaging and body snark is a big no-no. People who do so are slapped down but it still hurts if it happens. So please don’t stop doing what you do, keeping sewing and blogging and enjoying it x

    • Thanks so much for your comment KP! I can appreciate GOMI as a forum to have meaningful discussion, but what I don’t like are the post that are bullying and cruel. Even if someone comments anonymously, I would much rather prefer to see feedback here so at least I can respond and hope they see it. I love sewing and blogging so I will for sure be continuing!

  8. I also had that spike in readership as a result of a wonky neckline on a knit top that someone decided to post on GOMI hate reads. I now lurk GOMI and sometimes ask for fit advice or post a response to a question I might know, because I did get some good advice from the people on the forum; they are all sewists, after all. Definitely focus on the good that was said about you and the people that came to your defense. And the lovely comments here! Next time, hopefully, they will come to you directly! 🙂

    • Hi Andie, I can appreciate the good points that GOMI has to offer, such as being a great place for fit advice, it’s just the mean things that bother me. Like the whole hate reads thread! All of the positive comments on my part of the thread and now here have made me feel so much better and I’m going to try and ignore the thread going forward. Now, back to the business of bathing suits! I’m usually more comfortable in a one piece, but the high waist of the Seamwork bikini has me intrigued! I think I’ll have enough fabric left over from my Bombshell to test out the top so stay tuned! 🙂

  9. tinygoldenpins says

    I read that post on GOMI and, to be honest, I don’t think anyone rallied around it. She wasn’t a poster who posted a lot and I thought the things she was saying were incredibly petty. Such as: chastising you for not buying enough fabric although you should have known as the pattern called for a certain amount. Uh, ever heard of a fabric stash??? I read GOMI and agree with maybe 10 percent of the discussion that calls bloggers and patterns out. Some of the posts are informative, such as substituting a less expensive mainstream pattern for a 20.00 indie one, new places for online fabric, etc. It was up to this person to post you in the “hate reads” and she really didn’t seem to know what she was doing. And, the more experienced posters, I thought, defended you. It was not right to criticize you or your make, which is really cute. She — Snark Maiden — jumped into the deep water and realized she couldn’t swim.

    BTW, there’s NOTHING wrong with your blog name, your makes, or your body. Carry on, beautiful woman!

    • Hi TGP! Thank you so much for your comment, you are really sweet! I agree that the site does have it’s benefits maybe 10% of the time when people are having meaningful conversations and not bullying. I really appreciated the more experienced posters comments and the people who have commented positively here. I’m not against negative comments and criticism, I just want it to come to me. Email me, comment here, tweet me or something, I’d rather have a chat about it!

  10. I’m going to second tinygoldenpins and KP’s sentiments. Reading negative comments hurt, that’s completely understandable. I mainly lurk on GOMI and post infrequently and I read the thread you’re responding to in this post. Take heart from the immediate posts from other GOMI members in reply to the post that started the discussion of your make. The overwhelming response was positive, there was a discussion and as far as I can tell, the OP clarified what she meant by her original post. There is a place for GOMI, it can be a great source of balanced critique and tips. It’s a collection of individuals – with all the variety of opinions that entails. To be honest, GOMI crafting snark/critique is usually reserved for people trying to sell patterns or whatever so including your post seemed out of character for the site.

    • Hi Vanessa, I did see that Snark Maiden posted a sort of retraction today that clarified what she meant, but it was after I had posted this and doesn’t take away the hurt she made me feel. I am grateful for the positive comments on the thread and here and appreciate her clarifying, but for me the bigger issue was that if she had sent those concerns/critiques to me on this blog or on the original post, I would have been more than happy to explain myself. I honestly would have appreciated the feedback about the fabric and belt loops if it hadn’t come sandwiched in between a comment about my body and a comment about my blog name being pukey. I agree that the site does have it’s benefits, I just wish the bullying type post would go away! Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

      • Trying to articulate this properly but I got as far as this – your post was ace. If you fancy taking ion board criticism of strangers, fine. If you want to tell same strangers to go f*ck themselves, also fine! please yourself babe. Life is too short ❤️

  11. Anna says

    I was one of those directed to your post by the GOMI thread, and I agree Snark Maiden’s comment was uncalled for. But I can understand why some sewists want a place to discuss their criticism, justified or not. Many bloggers will censor their comments and delete any negative ones, so it’s pointless even trying to address them directly. Perhaps you don’t do this, but you can blame those who do for the creation of GOMI.

    Besides, most people on the GOMI thread leapt to your defence. I don’t know about the other forums on the site, but the crafters tend to be very careful to avoid any body snark.

    The dressing gown/cover up is lovely, btw 🙂

    • Hi Anna, I’m so glad that you found my blog from that thread. It makes me happy that something negative may have earned me a new reader 🙂 While on the subject of comments, my day job is a social media marketer and I take the same stance on comments with my blog as I would with a clients’. If someone takes the time to leave a comment I appreciate it! I’ve never deleted a comment from this blog and if Snark Maiden had left her comment here I would have replied to it and hoped for her to see it so we could talk it through.

  12. Thanks for not being afraid to post! It made me sad to read Amanda Soule’s blog this week about not having a safe place on her blog for pictures of herself in what she’s made. We would all lose so much if people who don’t look like traditional models stopped posted pictures of themselves online.

    • Hi Meagan, thank you so much for your comment! I just went and read Amanda’s blog and she said it so well. Putting ourselves out there online does leave bloggers open to all kinds of criticism. I tried so hard to brush off the negative comments yesterday, but it’s really hard! Writing about how I felt and being able to reply to the negative comments (even if the people who left the comments never see the post), made me feel a lot better and back in control.

  13. rowsella315 says

    GOMI has a lot of readers and posters in sbc-land. I never heard about your blog before until I saw it there. Maybe the increased traffic/exposure was a good thing. You can use a private message option on there to engage Snark Maiden instead of doing what you are upset about what she did– aka talking negatively about people on the internet on another website. As you noted, the majority of people that responded to her post are rather positive about that post. I think most messageboards have user names/handles– at least they do on Pattern Review and others I have been on.

    • Hi Rowsella, I can see how I came off as negative, but that wasn’t my intention. I was trying to open a dialogue for other people who maybe felt the same or had a similar experience. In the process I’ve learned that GOMI does have it’s benefits when people post to get fit advice or pattern recommendations, but I stand by my distaste for the hate reads thread and everyone who uses it as a forum for (mostly) anonymous bullying. I’m not a member so I couldn’t private message her on GOMI. If she had commented on my blog I would have her email address and would have addressed this privately, her concerns would have still been public, but I would have been able to have my say. I’m glad that you found my blog from the thread!

  14. Like the poster above, I came her from GOMI to see what all the fuss was about (nothing, IMO! you look great, your swimsuit looks great, your robe is great). It helped me discover your blog, too, and now I’ve added it to my reader. I can see why you’re annoyed — on the other hand as others have pointed out, the vast majority of posters on that GOMI thread disagreed with the original post and as others here have said, it’s important to focus on the positive. The way I’d look at it: if you’re important enough to get critiqued on GOMI, you’ve arrived. 😉 Hey, there are bloggers out there who actually go on GOMI and diss themselves in hopes of getting some attention. FWIW, I’m a semi-retired journalist, and one thing that helped me shoulder criticism/naysayers is to remember the old journalistic saying that goes something like, “If you’re not p*ss*ng someone off, you’re not doing your job.” Blogging isn’t journalism, but it helps me remember not everyone is going to agree with me, but at least I touched a nerve. p.s. I’m just down the road from you in Bedford, MA (waving hi).

    • Hi Diana, thank you so much for your comment! Now that I’ve had my say it’s much easier to look at all the positive comments and smile! Going forward I’m going to try and ignore anyone who posts about me and just think to myself “at least they are reading”.

  15. Pingback: Nani Iro Delphine Skirt | Sweet Carolanne

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