Thursday

An Ode To The Troll

I've considered writing this post for a while, as since November I've had two (actually I suspect one, with two profiles) trolls leaving comments on my blog. I ignored it for a while, but having put some thoughts into it I've decided to do a little post on them, for me and my fellow fashion bloggers...





Dear Troll... Thank you for the effort and time you have used up posting comments on my blog.  



For the record I don't post pictures of myself because I want to broadcast my appearance to the world, anything but. I do it because I quickly learnt when I started South Molton St Style that you need to put a face to it in order for people to feel able to engage with you and relate to your style and opinions on all things fashion. The edge that blogging has over an editorial piece in a magazine or a website is that it's authentic - and part of that is that the reader knows who you are, and (for me) can see that people who read my blog know I really am just a normal person.

Being just a normal person means exactly that. My weight sways within half a stone range week by week and I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me. My figure is pretty much modelled on a bowling pin, but (as you so kindly pointed out) if I take enough photos of myself at skewed angles I can eventually get a good enough shot. I only take pictures on 'skinny days' so to have comments made about pictures I can bear of myself really did bring a tear to my eye. In summary; I try and do the best I can with the 'tools' I'm given and your comments made me feel like throwing the whole kit away completely. But only for a moment...


I was bullied pretty badly at school when I was little and your comments brought it all back to me. Only then, the bullies had the guts to pull my skirt down in the playground to my face. The girl who called me names for two years on end, I know exactly who she is. She had some degree of guts, unlike you. As you pointed out I deleted the comments you put in this post, this post and this post. I don't remove them to hide them from readers, I remove them to hide them from me. I'm putting out there Troll - it hurt me. I hope you feel better about yourself as you successfully achieved making someone else feel terrible from the safety net of your anonymity. Congratulations.



Will it stop me from blogging? No. For me it reinforces exactly why fashion blogs are necessary in this (sometimes cruel) world. I'm delighted to give girls a picture of what an actual person looks like in a new jumper, rather than a photoshopped model in a campaign or one of those very thin girls 'not posing' outside Somerset House in the freezing cold in the name of fashion (not to say there isn't a part of me who is pretty envious of them). 



Granted, you'll probably see some toothpaste around my mouth, I'm probably hungover (I find it calms the nerves) and my knees could definitely do with some saving from dedicated years of cheese eating - but I like to think it adds to my charm. So here's to more outfit posts Troll... Thank you for inspiring me to keep South Molton St Style going. 


PS - if you want to really hurt me next time, I'm pretty paranoid about the Gandalf white hair I'm growing at the rate of knots. You know you want to... I almost want you to too.


PPS - I looked up trolls on Pinterest, I really have no problems compared to you.
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43 comments

Becky said...

Well said :) keep going - lovely blog!

Ella said...

Good. For. You!

Avenue 57 said...

Absolutely fantastic! I bloody hate trolls and have seen some very persistent ones lately.

Keep on going - the stronger person will win out!

Fiona

PoppysStyle said...

Brilliant response - I've had a VERY persistent troll for a while who has been nothing but malicious. I tried a variety of techniques like altering her comments to piss her off, responding to her, and now just spamming them. I have kept all her IP addresses too. She was actively waiting for me to post - so I thanked her for the hits:) Sounds like we've had some similar experiences over the years - we could compare over a bottle of wine - keep blogging love Joanna xx

Sue said...

Please carry on and ignore the trolling which I can appreciate is demoralising and hurtful. I really don't understand why people feel the need to bring others down. Great post which I shared with some friends.

Charlie Collins said...

WE LOVE YOU ANNA. And troll... please don't waste any more of your life existing in the toxic invisibility cloak you have created for yourself... The real world's actually not that bad. You should try it!

Art Farm said...

Well done!!! Thank you for putting yourself out there! You're rocking it!

Jess said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and have never commented but felt I had to- just to tell you that you blog is fab, I get lots of ideas from it. Please ignore those trolls. They are not worth your time. However, I also applaud you for standing up to them and calling out their unacceptable behaviour. Hope you day gets better after this.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the troll would have the courage to comment on this and explain why they feel the need to write such vile rubbish? Somehow I doubt it. Good for you Anna, I think your blog is great. Kate x

Faye said...

As another long-time reader who hasn't commented before, I really wanted to say "this is great stuff and keep up the good work". I love your blog and the trolls are a sign of its success - they tend not to waste their time commenting where very few people will see it. They're just deeply insecure sad little people who can only engage anonymously and negatively. Probably more deserving of your pity than anything else! Keep writing real, inspiring, fun posts.
Faye x

Georgia Christakis said...

Amen. Hope you know for every mean commenter you probably have roughly 20 people who leave positive comments and probably hundreds more who never comment but love you blog

darlingsoffortune said...

You go girl!!
These are exactly the reasons why us "normal" girls read and enjoy your blog so much!

Ellen UnderWater said...

I'm so sorry you've had to put up with this because I love your blog and fashion sense, and I for one think you have an amazing figure! I commend you for standing up for yourself and broadcasting that 'trolls' do exist within blogging. And I'm glad it won't hold you back in the future; keep going with your blog because there's so many more of us who love it!

ellenunderwater.blogspot.co.uk

Anonymous said...

oh no you didn't! Love your blog - don't let the haters get to you!

Anonymous said...

I look at your blog every day - it's in my top three. I think you have a fantastic sense of and you're very pretty. The photos of you in SA were perfect, natural and show that you have a lovely figure.

I'm glad that your response to the troll was an honest heartfelt one.

Keep up the great bog xx

Anonymous said...

Bullies are always jealous, sad people. In a warped way you can take it as a compliment. Brilliant blog as always xxx

Jess-On-Thames said...

Bravo! Its just cowardly to post mean things anonymously. Especially when so many of us love your blog. Thanks for encouraging the non-models of this world to share some style too. -From a frequent reader and fellow Westminster resident :)

Chocolate Cookies & Candies said...

Bravo! Well done, Anna for having the courage to speak up. You've done it such grace too. You said what most of us who have been in similar situation have failed to do. I've found heaping abuse just fuel the fire but killing them with kindness and compassion snuff out residual anger quickly.

Alexandra Stedman said...

And I thank you trolls, for boosting my page views! Sadly, these people exist (I get one who comments continually on my wonky teeth, when I wore braces for years) but at the end of the day, they're probably writing a blog that no one reads and can't understand why yours is successful. And yours is: because you are a NicE person!

becky | accooohtrements blog said...

Bravo Anna!

Honestly, I wouldn't mind waking up looking like you, you've nothing to worry about at all in the looks department.

Becky,

accooohtrements.wordpress.com

Jessie said...

People can be cruel, and as you say gutless. You're a true beauty, not to mention intelligent and well spoken. Super proud that you had the balls to stand up to them, it takes courage xx

Jaclyn Craig said...

Well done for writing this Anna, I experienced my first troll comment on my blog this week and at first I was really shocked because I've never had anything but nice genuine comments before. A few fellow bloggers told me to delete it but I was pretty adamant that I wanted to reply. Like you I felt strongly that a bully without a name or a face should not be aloud to make me feel that way. So far I haven't had anything else but I really admire you for tackling this one head on. Please don't take anythibg they have said to heart, personally I can't believe you have any self confidence issues, I read your blog and am always so jealous of your ability to look good in every photo you take, when I have to take about 50 just to get one that looks half decent!

Love your blog and you always look gorgeous so just remember that for every troll there are thousands of genuine readers who appreciate your content!

Jaclyn
www.bumpkinbetty.com

Style Servings said...

Great piece - well done for standing up for yourself! And for what it's worth I absolutely love your outfit posts, you translate trends into your own style really well and I have never seen you wear something that didn't suit you! Please keep on going, because it is always great inspiration to see outfit posts from someone whose legs don't come up to my chin ;) x

Lea Salomone Photography said...

Anna, this is a great article and I think anyone who's exposed their face and opinion to the internet crowd must have received the visit and comments from these trolls.
As a lot of comments above said, it is jealousy. But it still hurts and gets to you. I feel you a 100% and want to make it clear: this blog rocks !
Go you x

Marloes Berghege said...

Stupid Trolls! Probably a big sign of you being successful :)

Kate Rooney said...

I've followed you from day one, and I think you and Lopez make the ultimate power pair in outfit shots! You create visually beautiful and intellectually interesting content that your readers come back for time and time again. You've also seriously made me want a teddy bear coat BIG time! X

(Oh, and here's one for the troll - Go back to that damn Weetos box where you belong.)

Fashionmumof40 said...

Well done you for standing up to them! xx

Anonymous said...

Anna, please dont let such weak people affect you. They can only feel good by putting others down. It is very sad for them to genuinely miss out on the pleasures that good, positive relationships and feelings bring. Their loss! I love your blog and my daughter loves Lopez!! Hx

Lou said...

I'm sorry that you were hurt by these comments, that's really sad to read. I really enjoy your blog, although I've only ever commented once or twice I do read every post. Good on you for standing up for yourself anyway, I'd much rather see a regular everyday girl wearing an item of clothing I'm interested in buying that a photoshopped model shot and that's why I read blogs :)

Anna said...

I never comment on blogs even though I read so many, but I felt inclined to do so here! Really love reading your blog and it really stands out as it's so real. I've never understood why people feel the need to bring other people down. Good for you for writing this post and please keep producing your lovely, inspiring content :)

Sarah-Louise said...

WE LOVE YOU MISS. HART!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post - well written and thoughtful. I haven't seen you for ages but I love your blog and read it religiously and love seeing the different outfits you can pull off - I wish I could!

I pointed this article out to my husband last night and his comment was - "they were rude about her - but she is HOT!!" So there you go!
Becky (Gardiner) xx

Cesca M said...

Another regular reader here never comments - this is a fantastic blog, you have brilliant style and a lovely figure. Please don't take the comments of one or two sad, lonely little idiots to heart (although I appreciate that's easier said than done) as you have an army of admirers who love your writing.
Love, Cesca xx

StyleGuile said...

Well done Anna for taking on "the troll" in the way that you have. I hope that she has realised the error of her ways and that she is squirming, feeling very uncomfortable with herself. I also hope that all of the positive comments have helped to undo the damage that she has done. x

Josie said...

I'm sorry you had to put up with that rubbish Anna...especially when you're so gorgeous! I know it's so easy for everyone to say 'Ignore it' but it can be so hurtful. I've been reading your blog for a long time now, I can honestly say it's one of my all time favourites and I think you're very inspiring...from the way you've built such a successful blog through your own hard work to inspiring wardrobe buys (still searching for that perfect camel coat!) From what I can see only the best get trolled so in a weird way it's almost a compliment! I hope if ever the troll rears its ugly head again you come back and read these comments because we all think you (and Lopez!) are just fab xxx

Gail Ramsay said...

I am so sad to hear that you've had to deal with such nastiness! I'm a big fan of your blog and find it such a great help when navigating the world of fashion. Your figure is nothing like a bowling pin. You are beautiful, slim and feminine.

Personally I think all the clothes you blog about look better on a normal person than on stick-thin models.

Also I looked at the three posts that you linked to, and it is quite beyond me what is wrong with anything in those pictures.

Thank you for being brave enough to share your photos with us, even if you don't always love them. There's something quite beautiful about having the courage to be vulnerable.

Plum said...

Dear Anna
I am so sorry that some very unhappy person has seen fit to write malicious comments on your lovely blog. They must be very bored and miserable to take out their angst on an unknown blogger. I loved your response, I love your blog and you always looks amazing - thanks for sharing and please carry on blogging!
Plum xx

Anonymous said...

I love your blog!
Trolls really are just losers - I don't even have a blog or anything like that(still busy learning how to dress myself from others - really not one to be giving any kind of inspiration) and I got an anonymous message to my twitter - which is private with about 100 followers - telling me I was fat and should lose weight recently. Such a weird thing to even have to think about and definitely something better ignored!

Treasuresnpleasures said...

Well said Anna!! Keep on blogging, don't let one person bring you down. Trolls really are sad and probably just jealousy twisted people! Your so much better than that!! Xx

LindsayDGlasgow said...

Just read your post, I love your blog! And I always think how fabulous you look! Don't let a bully get you down, shame shame shame on them whoever they are... Please keep up the good work!

Laura Neal said...

The best response to trolls I think I've ever read. Big bravo to you for admitting what we're all very nervous of saying- that it isn't water off a duck's back. Nasty comments, whether online or in person, can cut deep, especially if they highlight something you're already conscious of. I always wonder why it is that someone takes pleasure in that, and I still haven't come up with a decent answer. Its a very messed up mentality to enjoy bringing someone down.
Anyway, you're a babe Anna,and in more ways than just your appearance.
xxx
Chambray & Curls

Anonymous said...

What Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than of Sally, remember that. Keep going girl!

Sabrina Greenberg said...

I just re-read this again and am genuinely touched by your frankness, Anna. Having known you through our awkward teenage years(!) I can see what a successful and brave woman you have become.
KEEP GOING

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