06 January 2018

bullshitcallerouter - Happy Women's Little Christmas......

Dia daoibh.
Today is Women's Little Christmas (not "Little Women's" Christmas - if you're going to celebrate, don't beLITTLE yourself!! #PetPeeve!). So yeah,  a day of celebrating women, to acknowledge and appreciate all of the hard work they have put in over the Christmas period - cooking the dinner, cleaning the house, wrapping the gifts etc.  Traditionally, the men gave the women the day off and they took over the housework and the woman of the house could have a day of rest or celebrate with her fellow hardworking and exhausted female friends.  
It's more of a big deal this year because 2018 marks the 100 year anniversary since Irish women were given the right to vote.   Celebrity Big Brother this year has historically opened up with an all-female cast, something that's never been done before.  In mid 2018 the huge vote regarding the removal of the Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution will take place; another huge women's rights issue.
Anyway..... it's all getting a bit deep here.  My point is,  this year and today is a day for celebrating women. And what are a vast amount of female Irish social media users focusing on today...... the newly created instagram page "bullshitcallerouter".  
The page was set up this week and basically is a profile dedicated to comparing (shaming? you decide) before and after pics of popular Irish Bloggers and influencers.  Calling them out on photoshopping their photos. This has always been an issue in the online beauty community and people have very different views on the matter. I'm here to share mine.
There's a difference between filtering your photo and photoshopping it.  I make no qualms in saying that I filter 90% of my instagram photos, mainly for lighting reasons.  Let's face it, Ireland doesn't have the best natural light so Clarendon is my go to.  If I happen to take a selfie, which isn't actually that regularly if you look at my Insta, I again usually use the Clarendon filter which sometimes can make my skin look clearer or my eyes look bluer/greener. Also, if I do take a selfie of my make up or whatever the case may be, I stand in front of my ringlight, which instantly makes the picture and me as a person in real life, look better.  Is that me "editing the bejaysus" out of myself?  Everyone will have their own views, but I personally know you can see the picture clearer and I look better in it so obviously I want to use it over the original. 
Where the issue is, it seems, is when women (I haven't seen  mention of a man yet.... *eyeroll) alter the size and shape of their body. There doesn't seem to be too much of  an issue with people editing out a spot or whitening their teeth etc. but it's when it comes to the shape of a woman's body, fellow women are up in arms about it.  At the centre of the "controversy" are Suzanne Jackson, Rosie Connolly and Joanne Larby.  Some of the before and after pictures are gas.  I mean gas as in one pic looks as if it was taken back in the 90s and then the after is from last week. Hardly fair eh bullshitcallerouter!?  People NATURALLY change over time, their hair, their body, their eyebrows, their makeup technique.  Then people change with the help of cosmetology - veneers, lash extensions, boob jobs, wigs.  That's ok too.  
I get that people are mainly pissed with Joanne Larby A.K.A. The Make Up Fairy because some of the full body shots posted of her taken by someone else vs one she has taken of herself on the same day, do look quite different.  It's an issue for people because Joanne has documented her lifestyle change and fitness journey in depth on her blog and social media and people take it as her being a liar about her progress, about how she really looks.  Others have said they feel left down.  This has me torn.  If MUF inspired you with her words and blog posts to get up off your ass and lose weight or get fit then isn't that a positive thing?  You have changed your life for the better because of her.  If she has insecurities about herself and feels the urge to virtually nip and tuck herself, that shouldn't affect your self esteem.  Of course, then there’s the business aspect. Joanne is not just a blogger, she’s a business woman. Blogging and social media pay her bills so therein lies the problem in my opinion. For example, where she alters images of her body in a paid/sponsored post, that has left a sour taste in a lot of women’s mouths, causing people to accuse her of “false advertising”. Again, I’m a bit torn here as Joanne isn’t selling her body, she’s advertising the fitness clothes. Whether she looks “fat” or “fit” won’t make a difference as to how the clothes will look on you. People do need to be aware that editing is EVERYWHERE these days, be it in the papers, magazine, tv or blogs; however I think the ASAI need to enforce regulations when it comes to this as not everyone is au fait with this as I am, so I guess this is something bloggers and I myself need to keep in mind. I’m not saying people editing their bodies is ok, I just know it’s been happening for a long time. I can’t stop it, I can only control my own actions and choose not to participate. There’s nothing legally stopping bloggers from editing their pictures. It’s their property. 

Lots of others have come to Joanne’s defence regarding lighting and angles and I totally agree with this.  I've seen it myself first hand with my own photo's vs the same night someone else has taken.  See exhibit a and b below.....
I know my angles, I can make myself look a size 10 despite having crept back up to a size 14 over the last few months (*eyeroll).  I know the angles thing isn't the answer here but it is a huge factor that I think people need to take into consideration.  Also, editing works both ways.... can make you look better or make you look worse. Some images posted online of bloggers have been edited to make them look worse. Keep that in mind too. 
On the other hand, I have seen other photo's of her (the one in the green dress in particular) where both photos were taken head on, so no angle excuse can be used.  It's clear her waist line is different in each pic.  Does that effect my day to day life?  No. I still think she's a lovely girl who wasn't 100% happy with the way she looked, so she altered it. She’s wasn’t advertising anything in the post so it was a personal blogger picture so she can do what she wants with it.  It's not like she put her hand on the bible and swore to us she didn't edit it.  It's not like as if she edited the photo to be 7 stone lighter.  It's not like as if she's horsing McDonalds into her every day. It's obvious that she's working on her physical appearance and perhaps she was having a low self esteem day & did it to get through the day.  Who knows. Does she regret editing her photos? I don't know.  Are the disgusting, unnecessary over the top comments getting her down today on a day of celebrating women? Most probably. If you're one of those people leaving nasty comments, do you feel better?  Have you left a positive vibe for other females to take with them? Doubtful.  Maybe she's a complete liar and I'm being "fooled" (into what, I don't know.... it doesn't make a difference to me what she weighs).  It doesn't excuse the way some other women are spitefully reacting.  Do women just want to see shit selfies of others? It's not going to happen, you and I will take multiple photos and put up the most flattering one.  There may not be a need to photoshop the image and I do get why people feel let down, but that's an issue for the uploader.  It's their issue/insecurity, not yours.  

I felt the need to write this post because some people are being absolutely completely over the top and cruel about it. This post is more so about the feedback from the public of the actions of the bloggers as opposed to the actions/editing topic itself. Just look at some of the below comments.

It's the reaction from other women that has saddened me rather than a blogger editing their pictures.  It angers me more when people buy followers, rather that earning them.  It frustrates me when people are sent items free of charge to review  but don't actually properly try them out or give an honest opinion, they just simply rehash the press release.  It pisses me off when bloggers are paid to say good things about a product that they don't use or believe in.  All these things, to me, are deception.  A woman cinching her waist or adding seagulls to a photo, isn't enough for me to lose faith in the power that is womanhood.  
Regarding people being disappointed in these women as role models to their kids or nieces etc...... step up to the mark.  You be their role model.  Teach them the way YOU think things or people should be. Don't leave it up to a woman you don't know from the internet.  Lead by example instead of criticism.

To make it clear, I don't necessarily agree with the extent some bloggers have gone to to make themselves look thinner, more muscular, more tanned, prettier etc.....  it's more so the tone of the backlash that I find so upsetting. Yes, we need to teach the younger generation to be comfortable in their own bodies, but this won't happen by attacking someone you dislike. Like I said, lead by example and if you happen to be a new blogger reading this, stay true to yourself.  You won't have to worry about being called out on in the future!

I do hope that all women out there learn to love the body they have and not edit as much to the point of it becoming an issue to their followers.  All opinions welcome in the comments below or on my social media.