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Blogger Blackmail

I have been trying to stop myself from writing about this blogger blackmail issue just so I don’t add more fuel to the already fueled issue. The harshtag #bloggerblackmail has been trending on Twitter, and everyone and their nan has something to say about it. Except the odd tweets, I havn’t said a word about it, but looks like it is out of hand already as the story is in today’s papers, so I might as well voice my opinion.

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Just incase you havn’t heard about the Blogger Blackmail issue, it is between a bakery owner – Reshmi Bennet, owner of Anges De Sucre, an artisan patisserie, in London and a food blogger – Mehreen from wrapyourlipsaroundthis.com. The summary of the story is, Mehreen reached out to Reshmi, to review the restaurant’s food in return for free samples. You can read both versions of the story here – Bakery’s and Blogger’s.

Now, look the other way now if you have an issue with Bitter Truths.

The bakery owner and the blogger are BOTH wrong and I will tell you why.

The bakery owner is wrong for:

  1. Calling out the blogger, many bloggers will be wary of working with her after this saga.

If I were a food blogger, I would never want to work with any restaurant that openly calls out bloggers for whatever reason. It is so unprofessional. There are more amicable ways of resolving issues like this OFFLINE. You could have sent an email expressing your disgust, blacklisted her and inform your restaurant/PR friends not to work with her, but naming and shaming her online was a bad move. Especially when the blogger in question had already deleted the offensive Instagram pictures. The blog post was totally unnecessary after that.

Also, ‘the slanging off’ of the blogger’s blog name, and her not being a ‘popular’ blogger is just so low. If she was so bad why did you accept her offer to review your restaurant Reshmi? You should have said thanks but no thanks and run off to play with your ‘famous blogger friends’.

One thing, I have learnt in life is never mock or treat ANYONE badly today because you might be needing them tomorrow. That applies to both parties in this instance.

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2. Not communicating exactly what SAMPLES she was willing to give the blogger in return for the review.

This sort of information needs to be in writing CLEARLY so there is no communication gap or room for assumptions. Obviously the blogger assumed she would get quite more than she was offered on the day and she was unhappy with the limited samples she was given. She felt the samples were too few for a product review post with do follow links. Whether we agree with her wanting £100 worth of macaron and marshmallow samples is a different argument. If you ask me, I still do not understand the whole food blogging thing but then again, I am not a food person so a £100 or a £1000 worth of macarons and marshmallows will be a complete waste to me, but the cake below looks yummy.

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The blogger is wrong for:

  1. Not stating exactly what she was willingly to receive in return for a review. She should know better since she has done so many reviews already as she stated in her blog post. You cannot afford to go all the way to a restaurant for a review and not discuss what you will be getting in return for the review. That is so unprofessional.

2. Posting the Instagram pictures obviously infuriated the bakery owner. Although you deleted the pictures, you need to remember anything you post online remains somewhere online even though you delete it afterwards. Keep your emotions in check next time, we are not in the playground.

The phrase I use everytime I work with brands is; it has to be mutually beneficial for both of us, the brand and my blog. It can’t be one-sided or elese it won’t work. Hopefully both parties have learnt from this and will conduct themselves better in future collaborations.

What are your thoughts? Do share.

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Finding Your Own Unique Style and Look

It is not only the constantly changing face of fashion that influences how we present our image to the world, but also our inner identities and personalities, because without people, fashion is nothing. Even if we buy the same skirt as 4000 other people, it is what we pair it with, the accessories, the hairstyle, the makeup and US that makes it our skirt and no-one else’s.

Some people who may fall into the trap of following the latest trends will struggle to come up with their own individual styles, and can sometimes appear a little more than mannequins advertising the latest hot labels. Our looks, as enhanced by our choices of hairstyle and clothing, can be a powerful way of expressing who we are and how we’re feeling. This means that finding our own individual style is often a lifelong journey, with experimentation, emotion, and the influences of fashion, all coming together to produce our very own signature look.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Model Chanel Iman poses backstage at the Victoria's Secret fashion show at The Armory on November 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Model Chanel Iman poses backstage at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show at The Armory on November 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

This requires some serious style experimentation!! YAY! Of course we have the fashion shows, the catwalks, the girls shopping trips, but there are also a few neat tools online:

  • Blogs
    For detailed advice and style tips there are many good fashion and beauty blogs out there, which deal with choosing real clothing and beauty products rather than the latest catwalk drama. Search “top fashion blogs”, “top beauty blogs” or “top styling blogs” and bookmark your favourites.
  • Also, try a search for “fashion style quiz”, which will turn up quite a few questionnaires which aim to predict which looks could work for you based on your lifestyle and personality – most of these are purely for fun rather than serious tools, but they can sometimes light a spark of inspiration.
  • For a more serious, but also more complicated, online fashion tool try Polyvore where you can put together a look for free and experiment virtually to see if you can come up with a great new style combination for yourself.
  • Your hairstyle is perhaps even more important to your look than your clothing, as it’s not really something you can change by a great amount from day-to-day. Some people love to change their hairstyles every few weeks, while many of us are a little more cautious and would be nervous about going out on a limb with a new style or a new hairdresser.

To help you out, there’s a great new service from Rock Pamper Scissors, the trendiest place to book hairdressers in Manchester and the rest of the UK. They have developed the first appointment style search feature in the hair and beauty industry. Which lets you browse through hundreds of different hairstyles, choosing from options such as your hair’s weight, colour, type and so on to find the look you want. Once you’ve narrowed your choice down, you can book an appointment online with a salon in your area, with the hairdresser already knowing your exact requirements from the choice you’ve made.

However much you want to experiment with different looks and hairstyles, remember that fashion is all about self-expression and enjoying how you look, not getting hung up on what’s on-trend and what’s so yesterday.

Play around, have fun, and show the real you to the world with pride!

*PR collaboration

The Style Icon – Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung is one woman I admire in the fashion industry. This 31-year-old beauty is an English fashion designer, model, contributing editor at British Vogue and TV presenter. She came out from nowhere and instantly became a fashion queen, her name is on the lips of every fashion follower. With her enviable wardrobe, a jeans clothing line and a Mulberry bag named in her honour, she is a true Style Icon. Her signature style is a work of art and it is one of the most copied looks on the planet. Alexa Chung is that amazing.

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This style icon has won the British Style Icon award for the last three years, at the British Fashion Awards and I am not surprised. She is always a step ahead of trends, her style is effortlessly chic and she manages to WOW me every time I see her.

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Here are 5 style tips taken from her pop-culture fashion book It

‘A navy blue jumper is potentially the most boring item anyone could design and yet it’s my most important possession’

‘Looking effortless takes a lot of effort. When I get new Converse I dedicate some time at home to shoving mud on them so they don’t look squeaky clean.’

‘Thank you, Jane Birkin, for providing me with infinite outfit ideas and the confidence to dress like a boy but act like a girl.

‘I think I was interested in ponies and all the relevant paraphernalia because of the fashion as much as the animals. That silhouette of skinny trousers, ankle boots and an oversized sweatshirt is one I never managed to get away from’

‘Practicality is high on my list… I’ll always prefer a girl in an oversized t-shirt as opposed to an undersized boob tube but that’s because I’m a girl, or a tomboy, and not a boy’

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung is a British 21st century It Style Icon and I love her.

What do you think of her style? Sound off in the comment section.

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