I was snubbed because of my Instagram theme
Recently, I've been recovering from a pretty severe bout of tonsillitis; one that left me almost hospitalised at it's peak and taking 16 pills a day just to feel relatively normal. My boys had it too, on top of ear infections, and we were a very sick household for a while. It sucked, and it's a time I'd like to forget, but what it did do is make me put everything in my life into perspective and consider what's really important.
This particular incident happened around a month ago now; it's something I never intended to discuss, but it did leave a bitter taste in my mouth, especially considering it was claiming to highlight International Women's Day, a time we should be praising the things women do, especially the one's we know, work alongside and admire, not snubbing those whose Instagram accounts aren't quite to our taste.
There's a particular company I've worked with for close to two years now. I've reviewed products for them, written guest posts and the contact I correspond with is someone I consider a friend; someone whose helped me out with so much, and whom I hope feels the same. I put every ounce of effort into every review I write for them, making sure the pictures are something they'd be delighted to share, creating videos and graphics with no extra budget and going above & beyond because I believe that's how a working relationship will thrive. I was grateful for the products they'd sent me to review and I really enjoyed working with them. Each time, I was met with resounding positive feedback. They adored my posts and the brand had loved it; it was nice to know I'd done a good job for them.
I always interacted with them via social media, sharing and tagging wherever possible and I retain a valuable relationship with them (for now). I know of two other bloggers who do the same for them, both of whom were included in the Instagram post I'll talk about now.
A post was shared via their Instagram recently, celebrating some wonderful Mama's for #internationalwomensday, a collage of some of their favourite accounts, of Mama's who as they put it, are winning at life. I saw the couple of other Momma's I know blog for them too and instantly assumed I'd be included, but after a quick scan, it was obvious I wasn't there. I felt a little deflated, and normally I wouldn't think anything else of it; there are alot of wonderful bloggers out there and perhaps I was simply overlooked, but the one thing I noticed about all of the pictures included were that they all followed a similar theme, a theme I know my Instagram certainly doesn't follow, and that's the white trend.
I'm sure you've seen it, admired it, beautiful photos, all very bright, and very white in nature. It's probably the biggest trend of the moment and I adore it as much as the next avid Instagrammer, but do I practice it? No. I'm very proud of my Instagram account and the photos I share, but they're filled with colour, and stuff, because that's the kind of photographer I am. I capture the raw moments and I believe my photos are just as worthy as anyone else's.
I remember checking my profile, wondering if there wasn't a recent photo of me that could be used but they were there, just not in the same style as each other one this particular company had used.
I'm sure they weren't being malicious and considered it a good deed to share the accounts of many wonderful Mama's, but to not include my account when they'd included the others they'd collaborated and worked with, when we had what I considered such a close, respectful, working relationship, I couldn't see another reason they wouldn't have included me, besides the fact if my photo had been used on their collage, it would've appeared decidedly out of place.
It doesn't feel particularly empowering of women, does it? To exclude someone because their Instagram photo may break the trend.
As I said before, this was never something I planned on mentioning or discussing for fear of looking irrational or silly, but then I realised I am extremely proud of my blog and the Instagram account I've built alongside it and I hope that I come across as someone honest and real. I decided it was time to stop burying things like this and sweeping them under the rug, because I'm sure every blogger has experienced something similar.
My blog is important. I am important. And I deserve to be acknowledged and heard, not excluded because I didn't follow the trend.
Perhaps this will hurt my chances of working with them in future, but that's ok. I work with others who really value the effort and time I put into every post and photograph taken, and I want them to be proud of the fact they work with me. I want us to build each other up, not to snub one another because something doesn't quite fit a certain aesthetic.
To any brand planning on working with a blogger, please remember it's a two-way street. Of course, you share your product with us and you trust us to shout about it, but I personally only work with those I really love and believe in, and I'd love for you to endorse me too.
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