Recently, a friend of mine was approached by SheInside because her blog's stats were good enough to be sponsored but she was then rejected because of her size! I'm absolutely disgruntled by this news and I want to publicly announce that I will be retracting my partnership with SheInside.
For her comfort and privacy, I will be keeping her name and blog information to myself. I believe long time followers will trust my word, and for new followers or people who are looking for more information on this situation, I want to offer all of you as much proof as I have while keeping it within the boundaries of my friend's comfort.
Below is a screen shot taken by viva-shiba who kindly censored my friend's information and helped bring to light this situation on Tumblr where I found out about all of this. (Please do not interrogate or bother viva-shiba. All she has done is help spread the word about what happened but I'd like to thank her for making her post.)
I've known this blogger for at least two years. I've created many connections and friends during my experience as a blogger and if there were any rumors or bad practices that came from a blogger, it tends to go around but they also get dismissed rather quickly because many bloggers have long time followers that help bring out the truth. As a long time follower of hers, I've noticed she has always had good relationships with her sponsors. She's responsible, respectable, and has a good relationship with her readership. From what I recall, she doesn't touch on many personal topics. Maybe an update on her life as to why she's not blogging but I haven't seen her make a post such as personal and hurtful as this one.
I requested if she had any screen shots of the conversations she had with SheInside but only had recent emails which she gave me permission to post.
As you can see, she was gracious enough to thank them for their offers but righteously defended herself against SheInside's discrimination and attitude towards her weight. Instead of dissuading the topic or offering a sincere apology, they gave her a response that outright says they didn't want to bother with this situation. Since they have been sponsoring me for quite awhile now I can affirm that their english isn't the best. There could have been a difference of communication, business, and maybe even culture. I can't guarantee all these things, but in the perspective of proper business practices this should have been handled more sensitively. Not only that but I believe any blogger that reaches and surpasses the required blog stats should be acceptable regardless of their looks. If they have loyal readers and people that are inspired by them, that is likely more customers for any business that the blogger decides to put on their blog. I won't delve into this topic too much. I could say more about it but I want to address why this is all important.
Now, SheInside has been good sponsors to me and they never treated me badly. We have never had bad communication and the items were almost always good quality, or at least good enough for my standards. They were patient with me for the times that I couldn't do my reviews right away and I'm incredibly thankful for all the items they sponsored me. Anything that is given to me I cherish wholeheartedly and appreciate. However, that's where the line is drawn. I cannot continue to support a company that hurt my friend and discriminates against people's bodies. I know for a fact there is clothing on their site that would of fit my friend as well as people who are bigger. There are some incredible plus-size fashion bloggers that are just as equally inspiring as size S bloggers.
One of the biggest and most important reasons I started this blog was to support and encourage all people of different sizes, heights, weights, colors, abilities and disabilities to be themselves whether we share the same style or not. I know I have some amazing readers and followers who have shared with me their stories. Stories about how they've started to have enough courage to dress how they like, be themselves, and how it has drastically improved their life and their self view even though there are so many things in this world that tell us we need to be molded a certain way in order to be seen as acceptable and beautiful.
As you are right now, you are acceptable and beautiful but you need to create your own definition of that for yourself to believe it. So I want to see you at your best and your best can only come when you're not being compared to others. Create your own standards. Be who you want to be and look how you want to look and wear what you want to wear. If you feel good, you will look good because it's all about you and how you perceive yourself. Don't make it about others and don't let them keep you from enjoying the things you like. Ask yourself, who told you you can't and why are they important enough for you to stop trying? It's likely that person, that thought, that company, that commercial, that picture, those words, aren't important enough in your life to control how you feel about yourself. You're more than that. You deserve to know what it's like to be comfortable in your body. The body that gets you up every day. The body that helps you experience happiness and laughter.
This world is messed up in so many ways. It's stressful just thinking about it! But there are people like you and me who are hoping and working for a future where all forms of beauty are acceptable. There's no denying that looks are important in this world. Even to people who aren't interested in beauty and fashion are affected by this and it shrinks us. It makes us believe that if we're not beautiful, we're not good enough for certain people, jobs, opportunities. etc. We're scared of creating memories with pictures because we don't want to see our faces or bodies in them. What a world we live in that over half of us can't genuinely smile in a picture, in a moment that is truly happy, because so many of us can't stand that we don't look the way we were taught how we're "supposed" to look.
This topic is more than a girl being hurt about a company rejected her for her weight. That is an example right there where the world's standards are in works. The smaller person may get the job before the more qualified bigger person. The prettier person person may get more commission than the less conventionally pretty person who has more knowledge and can get you a better deal. These things happen in real life. Every day. Opportunities are taken and given away to people just because of how they look. Not just size, but skin tone, race, body modifications, disabilities, age, etc. I'm not saying all the conventionally attractive people don't deserve it or aren't smart or qualified. The problem about this is that this blogger qualified in every way except for how she looked... She has plenty of followers, is a good and responsible blogger, has good relationships with her previous sponsors, gets enough hits and blog views, but was still rejected and removed AFTER they invited her to review products for them because of how she looked. Doesn't that seem wrong to you?
I know that fashion and beauty has a standard but I'm on the side that wants to dissolve that standard. It feels impossible but just because it feels that way doesn't mean I will stop believing or stop encouraging others to be a part of this industry. It NEEDS to change. It doesn't just affect girls, it affects everyone of all ages. Your younger siblings, cousins, friends and/or children will grow up in a society that will tell them that they're not good enough. Don't you remember how it destroyed you? Or how you or a friend or someone you know became so obsessed with pleasing others or making themselves into what others want that they lost themselves. Some lost themselves to mental illnesses, eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, abusive relationships, etc. This isn't just about size or clothing. This is about the effect of these kind of practices. I've been affected myself by these things. I know how much it hurts and controls so much of my life. This is why this is important.
I can only hope SheInside understands this. I'm not asking them to change their stances or persuade them differently. Businesses do what they believe is best for their image and for their success. I'm not trying to talk badly about them either. I HATE discord but this is something I can't ignore.
Now if you have shopped or continue to shop at SheInside, I'm not here to guilt you. Your money is yours after all and I know what it's like being poor and wanting to treat yourself to something nice that's affordable according to your budget. SheInside has been honest with me and has given me great clothing that I know will last me for some time. This decision was made from my own personal beliefs and I want to stand for that, as well as for my friend. No one likes to see their friends getting hurt and though there's not much I can do about that, this is what I'm doing for her.
I want this to be resolved as peacefully as possible. I hate chaos and disturbances. I hope everyone who follows this blog understands my stance and that I won't be continuing with the giveaway. I love giving back to my readers and I'm so appreciative of my sponsors. Without both parties I wouldn't have nearly as much success on this blog but sometimes things like this will happen in life. Nothing ever goes smoothly all the way through and I have to make a stand once in awhile, so I hope both parties will understand and respect my decision.
I deeply appreciate all of you who have been following this blog for so long and I hope to give something back to you soon! And I want to thank all of my sponsors who have supported me all this time and have treated my fairly. I hope they all use good business practices and that they find success through them!
Thank you for your time!