Gimme Some Truth

I recently went on a press trip to Bordeaux and I've decided to be as honest as possible about my time there. To summarise, it wasn't great. I should probably mention first and foremost that this wasn't due to poor planning or (within reason) bad company. Not even slightly! The brand did an amazing job organising the trip and I was there with some rather awesome ladies. It still blows my mind when I really sit down and comprehend that my blog/Instagram account have got me so far and I feel utterly grateful that my job allows me to visit such beautiful places. Truth be told at times there's even still that little part of me which suffers excruciating imposter syndrome and I can't help but ask myself what on earth am I doing here? Silly I know, but it happens.

For the first time I didn't see eye to eye with one individual on my trip and the whole experience for me was tainted. When I came away from it all I was left with some serious food for thought about blogging, social media, my own moral compass and that of others. I just didn't think it right to put on a facade and rave on social media about what a wonderful time I'd had. Please don't get me wrong, in parts it was truly amazing! But the idea I would just not particularly mention what happened and the upset it caused me seemed a little fake and disingenuous! I never want to use my platform maliciously and this isn't just an excuse to moan, promise. I figured what happened raised a couple of interesting questions, ones we can all maybe relate to and personally ones I think are important to discuss...
My biggest reservation writing this post is that I don't want to sound like this is a witch hunt. Vilification is not the purpose of this post at all. The topic of conversation isn't the individuals involved or the events that took place but more about the lessons I've learned and the messages I took away from that whole hot mess. I don't want to trawl through the gritty details of what occurred but what I will say is, if you think mean girl behaviour stops at school then I'm very sorry to have to break this to you but unfortunately it does not. Bullies are as rife in adulthood as they are on the playground and I felt this in full force over the trip. Just to give you the magnitude of how mind-blowingly "Mean Girls" it got (and the only detail I will actually share), I was at one point accused of stealing one individuals hand bag. Not cool. Not ok. And extremely defamatory and potentially detrimental to my career. You'll be relieved to know the hand bag was found and aforementioned accusations were simply shrugged off. 
I guess you could say that this was most definitely a trip of "firsts"- like I was ticking off a bucket list of "things I absolutely never want to do again"- and for the first time in a professional environment I felt the need to say something and stand up for myself. Now since we're laying our cards on the table here I should really mention I have a severe intolerance to bullshit. I can't stand it. It's admittedly a blessing and curse because it means unfortunately where the average person can just nod and smile politely, I can't. I'm not saying I go around calling people out as soon as there's any sign of fowl play but it does mean I find it very very VERY challenging to grin and bear it. Superficiality is not something I personally think should earn respect. I don't believe in elitism in any form and that your own sense of superiority would entitled you to act a certain way. The amount of Instagram followers you may or may not have does not determine your worth and it certainly doesn't demand you more respect than the next person. Call me old fashioned but if you're simply a nice person than that's all that matters. Leave your bullshit at the door.
As a blogger/influencer your job is effectively to inspire and if I'm being super honest (which you may of noticed I am) this can sometimes mean sugar-coating reality to a degree. And when I say "sugarcoat" I want to make it abundantly clear I don't mean I go around telling little white lies but simply that nine times out of ten I put the good stuff out there rather than the bad. I'm not going to constantly tell you when I've missed my train, I've come on my period or I've got a migraine. But give me a good looking cup of coffee, my new favourite shoes or a beautiful view and I'm more than happy to share! And it's not just bloggers who are guilty of this, social media has got us all enthusiastically documenting the good stuff and casting aside the bad. But where do we draw line? How much should we really "edit out" of our experiences and our lives? I really deliberated whether I should just ignore my bad trip and only write about the good parts but then again, if I was sat around having a (very good looking, super hipster) coffee with my friends I wouldn't just smile politely and gush about what a dreamy time I'd had. How phoney would that be? I would be honest and I guess that's what I would hope from my posts too! Not every pill is worth sugaring and I don't think it's healthy to continually portray my life to people following me as "just peachy". A little bit of normality is needed because after all I am a normal (bullshit hating) person. If you like following me or you find what I wear inspiring well then that's awesome but there needs to be a sense of obtainability because the flip side of acting unrealistically perfect is inadvertently making others feel inadequate. 
And these censorship woes work both sides of the fence! I don't think it's healthy as a blogger to feel compelled to shut up and put up when something isn't right. Ok so this is easier said then done when your career is largely built on your likability but you can't win them all and you can't turn a blind eye to every bad experience for fear of being reprimanded. Whilst away in Bordeaux I couldn't help but think of that one Black Mirror episode where they're all being overly nice for fear they'll be markdown/relegated in society. It seemed a little close to home how many parallels I could draw. It made me wonder how many other bloggers have experienced similar situations to mine and just not said anything because they didn't think they could? If someone is unkind than that's not something I can condone and if an experience is bad than I'm going to speak up. Doing either of these things doesn't make me rude, difficult or a diva. Being honest doesn't make you a bad person. 
Leaving things on a positive note because I don't want this post to strictly be all doom and gloom! I should add that my trip did make me feel extremely grateful that up until this point I have- hand on heart- only ever experienced compassion, support and curtesy within my blogging life span! In a weird twist of fate the whole experience comforted me, it made me appreciate the kindness of those around me and it made me feel extremely relieved that I will never see superficiality as a way of life or gratification. Above all it made me kind of proud of myself for being true, sticking up for what I felt was right and standing my ground.

When all is said and done- I'd rather be perfectly honest than dishonestly perfect.

Sophia x

1 comment:

  1. You definitely did the right thing to share these thoughts. Not only for yourself and your followers, but also to call out that bully - albeit in a very classy, anonymous way! This type of behaviour is not ok. The part that spoke to me the most was: "The amount of Instagram followers you may or may not have does not determine your worth". We hear this all the time when talking about having few followers and low self esteem - but as you say, it's equally true of those with loads of followers and too high an opinion of themselves!