Too big for her boots?

When I saw a blogger posting an FYI for PRs on Twitter stating that she didn’t run news stories on launches etc so whilst press releases were fine but e-mails asking for coverage were not, I stopped to think for a minute. I could understand her point but her tone was not pleasant.

Considering this is one of the most well known of Britain’s fashion bloggers (I’m not going to name names but it would probably be relatively easy to work it out), I was stunned at the lack of tact and media savvy that this tweet displayed. Granted the blogger in question probably didn’t think about the tone she was employing whilst trying to shoehorn her thoughts into 140 characters but it came across as being a bit snotty and rather arrogant.

So the question it raises is “does the familiarity that Twitter brings lead us to say things without thinking”?

I am not going to say that I have never ever tweeted something without thinking or that something I’ve said could be misconstrued a being offensive. I have tweeted people to say that comments they have made are rather offensive when they have been joking about mental illness (not a laughing matter in my book) and that they shouldn’t be advocating people stopping taking medication as what has worked for them may not work for everyone.

But for me, Twitter is very much part of my social life, I do not get any of my work through it and I am followed by only three or four work colleagues (to my knowledge). I don’t discuss my job as much as possible as I do think there are some things best left out of the public domain. But for a blogger, whose full time job is blogging, to openly berate PRs, who are probably a significant source of information for them and without whom their job would be significantly more difficult, for requesting coverage on a new product launch smacks of someone who has grown a little too big for her boots.

I can understand that someone in her position probably receives hundreds, possibly even thousands of e-mails a day and so extra is probably a pain in the neck but there are ways and means of addressing the problem. On a public forum such as Twitter is not the way to do it in my opinion. These PRs are doing a job and part of that is sending e-mails to people they think are influential and who might be able to give them some coverage. And whilst I might have mis-read the tone of her tweet, if I have then likely as not someone else will have done as well. And to annoy one PR person is to potentially lose out on an opportunity, no matter how big or successful you are.

Do you think that such a request, if you can call it that, should have been issued on Twitter? Or do you think that a little more discretion could have been used?

Average Josephine x

Advertisements

Dear Angelina

A polite request to Angelina Jolie:

We’ve never met. Nor are we likely to (thank God). But something has come to my attention which I feel I must share.

You are 36 years old. In other words, old enough to know better. Your partner was nominated for an Oscar and is widely considered to be one of the best looking men on the planet (I will confess, I don’t see the attraction myself). So it’s not like you’re looking for a bloke. You have children (many, many children) who will see these photos reproduced every time Oscar season comes around who will wonder “what on earth was she thinking?” and probably endure a certain degree of derision due to them.

More than any of this, you are a well-respected, Oscar winning actress and widely acclaimed humanitarian in your own right. You regularly top the sexiest women in the world polls run by lads mags such as FHM. So, why, please, why did you need to stick your leg out of what was a very nice (although somewhat dull) Atelier Versace dress like a ten dollar hooker?

Due to the split in the dress a certain degree of leg-flashing would be expected but to make sure that every time you stepped in front of the camera you were flashing your right leg (which now has its own Twitter account) was just tacky. In addition, whilst I understand that when working in the industry you do a certain degree of self-promotion is to be expected, to stand there when called to present an award, effectively saying “hey, look at my legs, I’m going to take up more of the press tomorrow than half the winners of these statues will” makes you look incredibly cheap.

So please, look up the word “elegance” in the dictionary. And next time you think about trying a stunt like this, remember it. PLEASE!

Thank you and I hope to never see so much of your right (or left, for that matter) leg ever, ever again.

Average Josephine

Forgiven and forgotten?

When Sam Baker, the editor of Red Magazine, retweeted a Huffington Post article on Friday, I could have thrown something. Considering I was holding my phone and a cup of tea, neither would have ended well.  It took me a while to be able to write a rational post about it or I would have had this up sooner.  I wasn’t upset at the retweet but the subject of the article: Rihanna and her reported decision to feature Chris Brown in a remix of her upccoming single, “Birthday Cake”, after she invited him to her birthday party and he asked all the guests to sign confidentiality waivers.

There are so many things wrong with this situation that I almost don’t know where to start. This is the Chris Brown that she pressed charges against for an assault that left her battered and bruised. If anyone thinks that it wasn’t that serious then please read this police report and see whether you think it’s serious enough to warrant prosecution.

Many people have said that Brown should be forgiven for his actions and allowed to live his life as he wishes and that if Rihanna has forgiven him then why can’t the rest of the world? But it isn’t that simple, for so many reasons.

If Brown had been truly remorseful then that would be one thing although I don’t think anyone should have been having perform at a major music event (yes, Grammys, I would be referring to you) until he had fulfilled the terms of his sentence and his probation was completed in August 2014. He still has a long way to go. But when you consider that he doesn’t appear to have changed, why should he be forgiven? To be forgiven in my world, you need to have shown true remorse, to have changed the things that caused you to react that way in the first place. Brown doesn’t appear to have changed at all. When asked on “Good Morning, America” about the incident with Rihanna he commented that it wasn’t really a big deal anymore but followed it up by smashing the window of his dressing room and storming, shirtless, out of the building. When some singers and actors tweeted their distaste that Brown had been asked to perform at the Grammys, Brown retaliated by tweeting “HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate FUCK OFF!“. Whilst the tweet was later deleted (I suspect his management threw a tantrum about his image or similar) it does demonstrate that this is still a highly volatile individual.

Chris Brown tweet Grammy win

Chris Brown's 'celebratory' tweet after his Grammy win

As for Rihanna, I am worried about the effect of her actions. One of the problems with domestic violence is that as well as being physically damaging, the abuser often emotionally abuses their partner to the extent that they believe that they are completely unloveable and no-one other than this person who beats them could ever love them. Rihanna, as much as she may not want to be, has become an example to women of how to deal with a man who beats them. She went straight to the police and pressed charges even though that meant this highly personal and probably highly embarassing incident being dragged into the spotlight. She did the thing that so many women cannot do: she left.

So for her to go back, to allow someone who did this to her back into her life, Rihanna is sending out the wrong message: that it is safe to let these men back into your life. For so many women, it turns out to be the last thing they do.

I understand that one incident, even one so appalling as what Chris Brown put Rihanna through cannot necessarily destroy the love between two people. I understand that she may have forgiven him and considering they work in the same industry, it must be nigh on impossible for her to avoid him. But no matter how much she may love him or want to forgive him, she owes it to herself, and every other woman in the same position, to stay away.

Could you ever forgive a man who beat you up how Chris Brown did? And do you think he deserves forgiveness?

Average Josephine x

Finding yourself…

I feel sometimes like I have failed at life.

When I was younger I had a set idea of the woman I was going to become.  I would go to university, have a successful professional career as an accountant or a lawyer or something similarly prestigious, meet a wonderful man, get married and maybe have a couple of kids plus the obligatory dog.

By the age of 31, I thought I would have at least reached the getting married part of this plan but with one thing and another, it’s not quite worked out that way.

I have a career, albeit one I’m not really sure I want. I am an exam qualified accountant, all that stands between me and the three letters that signify six years of hard work is a mountain of paperwork and whilst it seems ridiculous to let so much hard work go to waste, I do wonder whether accountancy is the right career for me.  Whilst part of me loves the rules and structure that it has, the lack of freedom and creativity is a bit stifling.  After all, creativity within accounting tends to be frowned upon…

So a successful career, that’s definitely not a checked box on the list.

As for being married, well having been single for nearly six years, that isn’t looking likely in the near future. And bizarrely this bit doesn’t bother me that much. I have stages where I want a relationship but to be honest, if I live on my own for the rest of my life, I’ll be OK with that.  I have my cats and my friends, two adorable nephews who I’ll get to be the crazy aunt with and that’s enough.

So whilst the married box isn’t checked, I’m kind of OK with that.  And the kids box we’ll be leaving unchecked as well. It doesn’t make me feel less of a woman but I can’t help but feel that other people are disappointed in me for not settling down and having a family and having a conventional life.

The biggest issue I have had over the past few years though is that I haven’t been happy.  I’ve been the opposite of happy for the most part and the fact that I have put so much pressure on myself to find this perfect version of myself hasn’t helped but I have never understood why.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself" George Bernard Shaw. Photo: Samantha Hadadi

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself" George Bernard Shaw. Photo: Samantha Hadadi

But when I saw this quote by George Bernard Shaw I started to realize exactly why I keep failing at these expectations I have set.  I set these ideals according to my parents’ expectations of me when I scarcely knew who I was, let alone who I would become. I’m never going to find this “perfect version of myself because she doesn’t exist; she never has.

My life is mine to create and whilst I admit there have been some twists and turns I didn’t anticipate and would rather have been skipped, they have helped create the woman I am today.

We all come into this life as a blank canvas. Nature and nurture help determine what the picture looks like but eventually the only person who determines whether the picture is a true work of art is ourselves.

A little too much of my life has been this:

Edvard Munch "the scream" Source: Wikipedia

Edvard Munch "the scream" Source: Wikipedia

I guess we will have to see what the final artwork looks like…

If your life was a picture, which picture would it be?

Average Josephine x