How This Happened

I've been reading all the blog posts floating around the internet in the aftermath of Anthropocalypse. Most of them have focused on the importance of budgeting and being financially responsible. While I think that is a very important topic, I would really like to see a discussion on how this happened and what we can do in the future to prevent it from happening again. I mean, does no one else think it's crazy that Kim, who had such a high-profile presence on the Internet, was able to do this for such a long time to so many people? After reading about all the experiences and having lunch with a friend/victim yesterday, I've come to the conclusion that there are 2 reasons that she got away with it so long:

  1. People didn't speak up for fear of being bashed by "the community" if they said anything negative about Kim.
  2. As a result of #1, each person thought this was a "fluke" that only happened to them.
In my eyes, #1 was the driving force behind this whole scam, and I know a thing or 2 about #1. I have personal experience in incurring the wrath of "the community."

It was an ordinary winter's day, January 6 to be exact. I had made a post on my blog the night before wearing the Crocheted Clouds Dress. In this post, I professed my love for this dress and pointed out that, in my opinion, it looked better on curvier figures. I found this really exciting, because as we all know, most clothing looks better on slimmer frames, that's why models have that body type. I said that I had seen the dress on less curvy bloggers and it just sort of hung on them. Well, little did I know the shit storm that statement would set off. That day, I was at work staring at this computer just like I do every day, when a comment popped up in my email. It was from one of the bigger bloggers in the community, and it stated that she didn't think it was necessary for me to make the comment I did about how other bloggers look in the dress. I apologized for offending anyone, but I stood behind my statement. My humble blog which usually received an average of 7 comments a day, started being inundated with comments from people who thought I was a horrible person. I was shocked and hurt by the things that were being said about me. I felt horrible, so I deleted the offensive post and posted this in response. I continued to get hateful comments over the new few days. That post ended up receiving 103 comments. I've never had that many comments in the history of this blog, not even close. I felt like I had been ganged up on by the popular girls. I was insulted in every possible way. Here are some of the highlights:

"Why don't you take down this post altogether, as some people have suggested? Are you simply enjoying finally having people comment on your blog? You're just riding on the success of more popular bloggers by using your blog to create scandal about them. Not cool."

"If you'd like to be taken seriously in the blogging community and maybe be a part of something bigger than yourself NEXT time, then maybe you should just try being nicer and not bashing on your fellow bloggers."

 "Bonnie, if you honestly feel bad at all for your derisive comments, you should do the first mature thing here by removing all traces of this mess from your blog, including this post, and by keeping a tighter leash on your comment system so that people can't anonymously attack other bloggers and commenters on here. Are you proud of yourself for making your blog such a conduit of hate and viciousness?"

"Most of us had never even heard of your blog until this mess got stirred up today. I heard about it on the grapevine and thought "Bonnie who?"

After reading these comments, I think it's easy to see why people would be afraid of putting something negative out there about another blogger in "the community."

When this happened to me, I was baffled by a couple of things. First, I never remembered signing up to be a part of any "community." I was inspired by other fashion bloggers and decided to create my own space on the internet. I didn't realize there was a community who apparently had rules about what I could and couldn't post . Second, I didn't understand the point behind moderating comments. If someone had something bad to say about me, I didn't think it was my right to silence them. I think anyone who reads my blog knows that I don't filter out anything. When I announced my separation, the comments section got pretty ugly on here for awhile. Even after I was finally convinced by friends, readers, and other bloggers to moderate, I deleted maybe 3 comments. I just hate censoring people even if they are bashing me.
   
I know it sounds like I'm hating on the community, but I'm not. There are a lot of positive things that come out of it. I guess I'm just trying to say that in any community there are unspoken things that come about due to human nature, such as hierarchy and cliques. I don't think there is anything we can do to prevent this, but I do think there is something each one of us can do that might help going forward - stop being so sensitive. I've struggled with this over the past week. I've had people say a lot of nasty things about me, make fun of me, and just be down right mean. I was devestated at first, but in time, I was able to make peace with it. I always tell my kids, "Just because someone says something doesn't make it true." I think we all need to apply this logic going forward. As we have seen, restricting a community of any negativity at all is a recipe for disaster. Just my opinion folks.

CONVERSATION

91 comments:

  1. This is a good post, Bonnie. I agree with a lot of what you've said here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have so much to say right now, but I won't. (ok, maybe a tiny, tiny something) I never, EVER comment on drama situations no matter my opinion because.....#1...It's a BLOG. Seriously. I understand this is some people's LIFE, but I feel like I'm in 8th grade all over again. Hell, I was in a sorority in college that was less bitchy than this "community." and #2. I don't want someone to get bent out of shape by my opinion.....which always happens.

    All I want to say is, HAPPY FRIDAY Bonnie! :) hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Girl, I get it. I am in the J. Crew community, but have never had anything but wonderful, honest, warm, and open communication from the blog community. It feels good when they give constructive criticism to me, because usually it is true, and even if I don't 100% agree with them, it tweaks how I approach a garment, etc.

    What happened to you back in January was REDONKULOUS.

    FWIW, I only have six or seven "Anthro" blogs in my dashboard and that is because those girls have really unique perspectives and ideas and are friendly, honest, and darling. I always wait and wait to follow a blog until I am sure I want this person as a blog friend. Rarely do I just follow someone to be their follower...I need a reason to, and many of the big Anthro blogs seem too big, and the girls have more than enough fans and friends, they probably don't need me. LOL. :)

    Stay positive. Love it. Negativity is a tool in the tool box that needs to be used s.p.a.r.i.n.g.l.y. and c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y. Sadly some folks thrive on it, whatever, their choice, but man, I find it far easier to focus on the good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Such a great point!! You gave a concrete example of what can happen when people actually speak their mind. It shows clearly why readers may have been fearful to speak up against Kim. They feared harsh criticism from the Anthro "community".
    That said....I was fairly surprised that you censored my comment yesterday about Anthro's vanity sizing since I didn't think you censored comments. Plus there was nothing negative about my comment at all, so I was puzzled that you omitted it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i just want you to know that reading this (as i missed that whole january occurence) makes me want to read your blog. people be bitches. you now have a new reader from south carolina. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lisa, I'm so sorry. I just went through my comments from yesterday and yours was the only one I didn't approve. I didn't find it offense at all. I just somehow overlooked it. It has been approved now.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Bonnie,

    I don't comment very frequently, but I really enjoy reading your blog and think you have shown a great deal of class in your response to the GOMI post. I wanted to respond today because I was one of those affected by Kim, although I did manage to get my money back by filing a PayPal back in April. At the time, I strongly considered trying to warn others about my problems with her and in the wake of this weeks revelations, I have been reflecting on why I chose not to pursue it.

    You make a very good point in this post and looking back, I think there were two situations that were probably in the back of my mind when I didn't publicize my issues with Kim. One was the response to the post you describe above and the other was the situation between Elizabeth and Roxy. Now, I am not trying to open a can of worms, nor am I going to go into who I think was right in these situations. And certainly, we are dealing with a very different sort of issue with Kim. My point is just that the moment accusations of unfairness were made against Liz and/or Roxy, comments immediately began appearing that were fiercely defensive of them. The community turned rather hostile and I could see how people (especially those of us who do not have our own blogs) might have been intimidated by that kind of response.

    This is going on longer than I intended, but I will leave with these thoughts. I think it is wonderful that we build relationships and attachments in our little corner of the internet. I would hate to see us lose that trust in one another. But perhaps we should all be a little more open to criticism and willing to fully understand a situation before we choose sides. I think the way that Roxy and many of the other bloggers waited to personally comment on the developing situation with Kim until more information was available should be a lesson to all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think you hit it on the head with 'stop being so sensitive'. If someone read what you wrote and was offended, they simple should choose for themselves to no longer frequent your blog. That is their prerogative. Their prerogative is NOT to try and force you to sensor yourself. In life you can only control yourself. Why people choose to try and control everyone else is beyond me. Whomever the blogger what that wrote you and told you to take the blog down, really needs a lesson in life. But, this is the perfect example of how Kim was able to get away with all of this. I don't consider myself a member of the anthro community but I do frequent many of the blogs. I used to read Kim's daily although I don't formally follow any via google or what-have-you. HOWEVER, I have gotten very turned off from time to time (particularly via Kim's blog) because of pretentious behavior and sensoring.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bonnie, I do appreciate your point, but I'm not sure these two situations are comparable. I did not participate in the drama back in January, but I read it and I do genuinely think you hurt and offended several people whether you realized it or not. I think part of the reason that situation blew up was that people were trying to point out their hurt feelings to you and you kept denying that your statement was offensive at all and saying you didn't have to filter yourself and it all just snowballed out of control. I am not trying to get into something or start further debate or drama, because I do actually admire your spirit and how you've handled yourself in the last week in response to the GOMI drama, but something about this post just doesn't sit right with me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. First of all on the Kim debacle, you hit the nail on the head: people were afraid to speak up because of the "arbitrary status" given to her by this community. In fact even now, some people who have gotten their money back are saying they won't report her to the authorities because they got their money back. Well guess what?? Other people still haven't!! AND a crime was still committed! A CRIME! So it doesn't matter that other people got screwed because your situation was resolved?? WHA??

    I don't understand the continued passivity regarding this situation, when you personally, have seen the fervent nature with which members of this community can respond, even to something as harmless as you commenting that a dress looks better on one body type than another. Don't we hear those kinds of comments in review posts all the time? "This dress runs large in the bust, so it will probably fit bustier girls better," or "this dress makes your hips looks big, so girls with big hips should stay away." Am I imagining how common these statements are?

    I've found in general that women are too harsh on each other and so quick to make negative judgements rather than be constructive. Many other bloggers have commented on this type of behavior among in the last few months. No, we shouldn't sugar-coat everything (esp. when it's not genuine) because we don't live in CandyLand, but why is the only other option the extreme opposite? What's wrong with constructive criticism, suggestions, something in the middle? "hey, why don't you try this color sweater with that skirt" or (because many of us are so familiar with each other closets) "I would love to see you wear x dress with y shoes" Is that too difficult to hear?

    Thank you for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Couldn't have said it better myself. Totally agree.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do not agree with you. Bonnie made a size comparison. She did not call out a specific person.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I respect your opinion but don't agree. I think the fact that I said "other bloggers" is what got everybody all riled up. All the bloggers who owned the dress just automatically assumed I was talking about them and took offense. That's when all the people who follow those blogs came over here and attacked me. I just think it's ridiculous that you can't give an opinion of how something fits It's unrealistic in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  14. lol ....and so it starts again already. Do not say anything nasty that may hurt her friends Bonnie! Though you used no names and most did not bother to post on your blog. lol shame on you! (I joke)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I agree. I've had readers give me constructive critism in the past and I actually took their advice and posted the outfit again using their suggestions. We shouldn't live our lives in fear of critism. This environment of fear is what allowed someone to take advantage of people.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yay! I'm gonna need it. I'll probably lose some after this post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like your spirit and your style, Bonnie! People need to take your lead and stop being so sensitive! I've said it before and I'll say it again. You have handled criticism and the stuff on the GOMI site that was poking fun at you with such grace and a sense of humor.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love what you said about staying positive and focusing on the good. It's so rewarding!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Bonnie,
    I am not sure if I have commented on your blog before . . . . I have been a reader for almost a year. I LOVE your blog. THANK YOU for being who you are and for writing about YOU and your life and your clothes. I feel like I almost know you, and I look forward to your blog every night. =+)
    I have a growing love of Anthropologie, and treat myself from time to time to some of their pieces. My closest store is 2 hours away, and I LOVE being able to go and make an event of it and the mall there.
    I think you are bold and brave and admire you!!!!
    Keep up the dialog!!!!
    ~Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't post much either but I really love how you handled the GOMI thing too. Good for you.

    You are 100% right, anyone who stood up to her would have been meangirled into submission.

    I will never understand why people who put themselves "out there" by blogging think they deserve 100% positive feedback. I read a lot of health and fitness blogs and money saving blogs and its the same thing. 99.9% of their comments are positive and if they get one negative comment they go on and on about how awful it was and then they get another 100 posts about how awesome they are. Its the real world, not everyone is going to like you or your outfit and that is OK.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Good for you for not censoring comments! Hear, hear! People need to lighten UP.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, I disagree entirely. I don't think that there was anything offensive in that post and I really can't fathom the bitchiness involved in 1) finding the post offensive in the first place and 2) the virtual dogpile by all the "anthro-bloggers" following it. It's worse than high school.

    ReplyDelete
  23. We are talking about an opinion made about the fit of a piece of clothing. Is this really being re-hashed? No matter what one says, it will hurt or offend another. Thank goodness there are people like Bonnie who aren't afraid to be who they are and say what they feel, for better or worse. This world is MUCH too concerned about offending others and, to complicate matters, people are very easily offended these days! People are so afraid of this new breed of person who must make sure everyone who they disagree with knows and, not only knows, but conforms, and if they don't conform, get verbally abused and possibly blacklisted. What is that all about? If you don't like what she said, the best thing you can do to get your point across in the most powerful and mature way is: UNFOLLOW.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Good post, Bonnie. What happened to you in January was ridiculous and uncalled for. You didn't criticize anybody personally and just made a comment that a certain dress looked better on a certain figure. Yet, many people made hateful and mean comments.

    Can you imagine how afraid people were to speak out against Miss Popularity about something as serious as fraud and theft!!! Bonnie was flogged because she possibly, maybe, sort of suggested that a dress might not look as good on certain people than on others. I'm sure the victims felt helpless and frustrated. I'm sure they felt they would be ostracized if they spoke out about somebody who was 'powerful', popular and seemed to be above reproach.

    Good insight, Bonnie. You've held your head high this week and you should be proud of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kim who??? I've never heard about her but I have heard about you! Who cares about what the people you don't know say about you TODAY. Maybe those skinny bitches need some carbs so that their brains function properly and their clothing fits better?

    ReplyDelete
  26. omg...the skinny boney people were HURT or OFFENDED that someone might have accidently criticized how their clothing fits and stated that a dress fits THEIR body type better? Welcome to the REAL world...where the average person deals with body issues all the time. I don't get offended when someone says that skinny jeans are for skinny girls. If it works it works, if not move on. Geez!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I read some of the anthro blogs and had no idea this was going on. I have gone back to look at the January posting and cannot believe the reaction it caused. This post is the only one that gets to the crux of the matter. It's made me realise what a bunch of hypocrites some are in the community. Especially those that seem to want to treat the saga as just an aspirational problem rather than one of hierarchy & cliques of which they participated in. It's no wonder they can't see why it went all wrong when they seemed to be in the middle of it! I'm all for constructive criticism but it has got to the point where everything just has to be nice and fluffy or people get ostracised. The fact it took a post at GOMI to get everyone out of the woodwork about Anthroholic, speaks volumes. I see some are still treating GOMI as if they are bullying or 'mean girls', when what they did was actually expose the Emperor for wearing no clothes. BECAUSE they didn't try to censor, the truth came out. Yes, some of it may be hurtful, but on the whole, it serves a lesson that if you put yourself out there on the internet, expect criticism. And I commend and respect you Bonnie for taking it so well. Some things aren't meant to be taken so seriously.
    I hope everyone in the Anthro community reads this post and learns from it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Bonnie,
    I do have to say that all these blog posts have been good reading since work has been s-l-o-w. :-) That being said, HAPPY FRIDAY! whoo hoo!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ok..... Here goes! I have been reading all of the Anthro blogs for about a year I have never followed or posted on one until now! I am a sahm who is crazy over Anthropologie so much in fact that about a year and a half I started working there one day a week. I would say over 95% of my wardrobe is from there. I fit their customer graphic to a tee so obviously I spend a lot of money there. And you know what? It is absolutely no ones business except my hubby's how much I spend. We have no debt but our house. We both came from families without a lot of money and put ourselves through college myself as a single mother and now we are reaping the benefits. I see no reason to apologize or justify my spending to anyone. I think it is nice to share ideas about finances that work ect ect. We use the Dave Ramsey cash system. Deep breath! So GOMI's website which I read bc of your post ticks me off. Tearing people down and trying to make people feel badly about their style/ how they spend their money is pathetic and mean spirited!

    On a lighter note! I have shared the Anthro blogs with the girls I work with and customers! We use the blogs for inspiration and ideas! I have 100% copied outfits for myself and customers! It has been a very fun and positive thing for me. I see the same thing at work between employees and customers. Fashion makes me happy :) I am a size 10/12 and do wish there was a blogger in that size range because I feel like some people have the idea that the clothes don't work unless you are super thin! I have helped many customers see the light! And they find that the clothes do fit and flatter them at Anthropologie! As far as the comment regarding the dress working on a curvier figure gasps that happens! LOL. I see all Anthropologie clothes on all shapes, sizes and it fun to see how things work on everyone! Anyway! Cheers keep up the Anthro love and I for one will still be reading! You and the other ones I like!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Bonnie,
    Ive been reading your blog for some time but never posted a comment. I had no idea about the goings on in January for you. I was too busy worrying about how I was going to get my money back from Kim!!! I did eventually after threatening to go to the FBI (it took 60 minutes after that email was sent to getting a refund, and that was after weeks of sporadic correspondence and fake shipping numbers). I was one who thought it must be an isolated incident - she had a such a following!! Im so glad this has been exposed.
    Anyways, I have to say I appreciate comments from curvier girls. I read many Anthro/ fashion blogs, and it drives me nuts that many of them are stick thin - just about everything suits them!! Im curvy, and need a curvy perspective.
    Dont let them get to you. I could never put myself out there like you do coz I wouldnt want to deal with the negative comments. Im sure that people sitting at a keyboard and typing in relative anonymity are much nastier than they would be IRL. Its very easy to type a random thought and hit send rather than consider the consequences.
    I think the other lesson to learn here is that not everything is as it seems on the internet. It is really a very limited slice of life - and you cant really know anyone from seeing pics of them in pretty clothes with happy smiles on their face. It is never a complete picture. Maybe that should be the new mantra.
    Keep posting your pics. :) and reviews coz I'll still be here reading. Thanks again for your part in all this.

    ReplyDelete
  31. When I was having a bit of a bit of a rant about the GOMI thing the other day, one of my readers made me laugh by comparing some of the commentators to "Mean Girls". It really does fit, though, doesn't it? There's definitely a clique-iness to the internet (not just the Anthro blogs) and "queen bee" thing going on which makes it easier for certain people to get away with things than others.
    As you know, I'm still a little touch-y about some of the things that have been said, but you've definitely inspired me by keeping your head held high and giving as good as you get, without ever sinking to their level. Keep up the good work, lady!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I totally agree with your post. I wasn't really involved (on the inside or outside) in the cliqueishness at the time, so I didn't have a lot to say on it on my blog, but I think that's a huge part of why this happened. "Picked on by the popular girls" is a great way of describing it. I've always admired you (and Liz) as bloggers because I think you're really gutsy to go against the grain. This issue has inspired me to be more bold in posting what I feel, even if it's unpopular.

    By the way, my sister and I are both on the curve-less end of the size spectrum, and we were not offended at ALL by your comment in January. We thought the hoopla was ridiculous, in fact. Not every article of clothing flatters me. That is a fact and nothing to get upset over. There are things I am not going to look good in as a petite, and I have no problem with others pointing that out. If I bought something that doesn't flatter me, I want readers to feel okay with saying so (just keep in mind that I might wear it anyway because I know it doesn't flatter me but I just don't care. *cough* Lingering Rays Skirt that I just became obsessed with at Anthro).

    ReplyDelete
  33. BehindTheDressingRoomDoorSeptember 16, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    I completely agree Bonnie and with almost all of the commenters. Thanks so much for posting this. I visit your blog daily, and even if I don't comment, I still love what you put out into the blogging world. :) I don't sensor my comments unless someone calls me a "b*tch or c*nt" which I've been called before on my blog (which is unnecessary in my book) and shouldn't be up for the world to see anyways. I do believe everyone has their own opinion and shouldn't be censored. From what you said back in January, I had no problem with. In my reviews I always state whether smaller girls will be sized out or bigger busted girls may want to size up or it might fit weird. I saw most other bloggers posted about financials and budgeting yesterday and I do agree it's a great topic, I just didn't feel comfortable for the world knowing what I spend my money on. My boyfriend is a CPA and has his own financial business (madduxmoney.com) where he budgets peoples money and he takes care of their finances. He budgets my money for me which I love. I just don't want to put too much of myself out there in the blogging world, you know? I'm still really confused, hurt and saddened by everything that has unfolded the past couple of days and hope we can all as an Anthro community, can take a step forward together and learn from this. Hope you have a great weekend! :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. You have an interesting perspective on the situation, Bonnie. Your post made me wonder if maybe part of the problem is that everybody considers this a "community", and anybody who posts about one store is automatically part of that community. It's sort of artificial.

    I watched the drama go down back in January and it seemed pretty bizarre to me. Your original comment was clearly snarky. You didn't name a particular blogger, but it was pretty clear you had somebody in mind. But who cares? It was a pretty mild comment, and didn't seem like a big deal.

    But because one blogger had her feelings hurt, the "community" took it upon themselves to make your comment a BFD. People who had never seen or heard of your blog thought they needed to come tell you off. It felt like they wanted to kick you out of their "community". When some popular bloggers called you out for being "mean", there was an inherent threat that you could no longer count on any community support or followers.

    I get that it's nice to think of that group of blogs as a "community". But communities have down-sides, like hierarchies and policing. I like that you're doing your own thing.

    ReplyDelete
  35. After you were attacked for the post in January and the way Roxy attacked Elizabeth on EA, I unfollowed both EA and Anthroholic. I still occasionally visited both, but I just didn't like how catty everything had become. My spending at Anthro has nearly ceased as a result (husband is happy). I'm no longer checking Anthro every Tuesday morning to see what things are on sale...and it's great. I love reading your blog, not because it's about Anthro, but because it's about you. I am currently cleaning out my closet and eBaying a lot of Anthro items I felt I had to have because of how cute they looked on someone else. I'm embarassed at how much I accumulated that didn't fit well or look good on me.

    It's really sad what Kim was doing and how it came to light. I actually have purchased a couple of things from one of her blog sales about 2 years ago and didn't have any problems with receiving items. I had a few email exchanges with her when she lost her job and she seemed so genuine. With the sheer number of people she defrauded though, it's hard to argue that it wasn't deliberate. I had a sense that something strange was going on though when she started selling large quantities of clothing in sizes that clearly were way too big for her. Where did she get those things? She never said where they were from. It just made me feel weird, so I stopped buying from her.

    Keep up the honesty Bonnie. Even if you offend people every once in awhile. None of us are perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Bonnie, I visit your blog pretty regularly but I don't believe I've ever commented. However after reading this post, I felt the need to. First off, I'm still sort of catching up to this whole "Anthropocalypse" situation (which by the way, that word made me smile) but I do agree with you about the fact that no one spoke up about being ripped off just because of Kim's "status" in the blogging world. I also visited her blog on a regular basis and thought she seemed like a nice genuine person. That's the problem with the internet, people can make themselves be whoever they want to be or who they think people want them to be. I'm not going to comment any further on that topic since I'm still watching it unfold day by day.

    I never saw your original post about the dress but it seems like everything was totally blown out of proportion. From what I gathered, you gave your honest opinion on something. What ever happened to "honesty is the best policy"? I find it refreshing for people to be honest, especially on the internet where, as I said before, people can say and do whatever they want. I guess you could consider me to be a "curvy" girl and I love seeing other girls with bodies similar to mine wearing the same things as smaller girls and looking just as good, if not better. And that's not trying to insult anyone by any means. To sum it up, I feel that honesty IS the best policy and there's nothing wrong with giving your honest opinion on something, especially an article of clothing, which at the end of the day is nothing more than fabric (although I do love my clothes and treat them like children!). And to the people that can't handle honesty, put on your big girl panties and GET OVER IT!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I totally agree with you. Ladies, the truth may sometimes be hard to hear. If you get upset and every little comment made (and an indirect comment on the internet, for goodness' sake), I can't imagine how you can survive everyday life. I think everyone needs to just take a chill pill and move on. I've been and still am suffering from generalized anxiety and major depressive disorder. I've heard lots of people call me weird. I've witnessed a suicide. So what? Do I freak out everytime I hear, "You're mental!", "I'm so depressed!", or "I feel like killing myself!"? Heck no, because those comments are either made in jest, or made by people I don't really care about. There is an extreme stigma attached to mental illnesses these days. People made unkind and prejudiced comments about people like me all the time. Grow a thicker skin. Just a few days ago I read about the US border blocking admission to some Canadians with a history of mental illness (i.e. if they've ever called 911 due to a [perceived] suicide attempt). Is that tactful? No. Does it bother me? Did I go hide in a bathroom and write a million mean letters to the US Borders? No. I could go cry and say, "you're so mean! I have depression, how dare you make my situation worse by saying these things to me!" But seriously, you can't go policing what everyone says. Another thing you have to ask is, why do you care anyways? Is the person who's saying these things close to you? The only time I might care is if it's said by someone close to me, and even then, I don't put much thought into it. Yes, there is a stigma against mental illnesses. That's their problem, not mine. So GET OVER IT. Why would anyone in their right mind take offense to a passing blog comment that doesn't even refer to them directly? Geez people, learn to live. Life's more important to be wasted on getting hurt over an internet comment posed by someone you don't know, and who obviously doesn't know you either.

    Lots of <3, Bonnie. I like that you're real.

    P.S. Sorry, I just saw a comment on another site, and I was like, seriously? Get over yourself. I am aware that my comment may not be very popular to many, but I'm not going to hide behind anonymity. Anyone got any beef with what at say, bring it. angela.chung12@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Bonnie - I love your blog and have told you so before - I lived in that area in Eastern NC for a year back in the mid-1990's and know it well (and how it goes around those parts :) ) You have amazing spirit. I also am the one that sent you an email from my work account to give you a constructive critique on the use of the word 'a lot' - if you recall. Truthfully, I felt you were getting bashed for other things that were OOC and said, oh, I will let her know because surely, she will take it as helpful and not as a negative. You took it to post about it recently. I truly respect your spirit - but looking at your post from today, did you not get a little bent out of shape? (and again - as I said in that email - and as a curvy lady myself who is in Anthro once a week, I enjoy your reviews and posts!) :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. On another note, I thought you handled the situation in January with your head high. You gave an opinion - plain and simple. How things are taken or received in an email or on a blog, are not anywhere near the same as in person or phone contact. You can't hear the tone of someone's voice or the look on their face.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Brava, Bonnie! As a social scientist (and an anthro fan) I have followed this story through the www. Your post pretty much summed up my assessment of the situation. This was a classic case of clique mentality. People were afraid to say anything against one of the most popular girls in school for fear that they would incur the wrath of the "crowd".

    I applaud you (and Liz) for continuing to blog despite being ostracized by the in-crowd. I still shake my head when "anonymous" call-outs and criticisms of either of you are made by the "popular girls". It's so juvenile. I realize that most participants of the community are in their 20s, so some of this is to be expected...but still.

    Why did this happen? Watch the Milgram experiment -- someone with issues felt she was in an authority position in "the community" and the victims didn't feel they could speak out because there would be hell to pay. Now the explanation is obviously more complicated than that...but if I were to pick one theory, that would be it.

    You hit the nail on the head, my dear.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have to side with Bonnie on this one. I've followed Bonnie, Anjali's, and Tara's blogs, but after that whole episode in January, Tara seemed so wacko I can't even read her blog anymore! If she was offended, well, that's part of life when you put photos of yourself online. I think that people did gang up on Bonnie, and that was truly uncalled for and they owe her an apology.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Glad you enjoy the blog! So, it was you who called me out for my grammar faux pas? Smarty pants! LOL! Here is what I wrote about that: "I make a lot of mistakes. That's "a lot" with a space. As one of my grammatically correct readers pointed out, "a lot" is spelled with two words, not one. I've been trying to correct myself, but my boyfriend told me that in my last post I put a space in one time, but didn't the next. Oh well, old habits die hard. I kinda like the little mistakes people make like that. It's part of what makes them who they are." I did take your email as helpful. I didn't think there was anything in the post that indicated I was bent out of shape. I did beat myself up for having spelled the word wrong so long. The post was meant to help others who beat themselves up for making mistakes. I welcome any other critiques you have on my grammar in the future. Help a sister out!

    ReplyDelete
  43. ah ok!:) yes, it was me -the only time Ive ever sent an email to any blog although I read a ton of you daily. I really was sick of watching you get beat up on other things and didnt want people to find another reason to attack you. I had a good intention, truly. :). I make mistakes daily - hell, we all do.And we cant get bent out of shape so I am glad you were not taken aback.

    I had this conversation yesterday with someone: say you are speaking to someone and you notice something on their face, do you tell them? now, the person you are speaking to had been in an conversation with person b. why didnt they say something? and does that make person a uncomfortable to know that b didnt say a word. what's the right and the wrong? I have strayed off the beaten path, but I do enjoy your blog. As someone who read Kim's blog daily and others, I do agree with a lot of the posters that is seems to be a community that you are either let in or not (maybe can be compared to high school?).

    And happy to help a sister out :) (after all, I laugh when I see your pics not b/c of poses because I have a ton of the same clothes you do!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Obviously, Bonnie is not saying that these two situations are exactly the same. She simply put forth her closest experience--one that actually played out in real life--and suggested that the reactions she received were exactly what everyone was afraid of if they said anything about Kim. You see a situation like Bonnie's play out, and because no one ever wants to be berated or ostracized like that, you close your mouth about everything negative and anything that might even be construed as such. The lines between appropriate and inappropriate criticism become blurred, and, ultimately, freedom of speech gets lost. To take it to an extreme place, it reminds me a bit of a "police state." Say something negative about your president, and you're getting thrown in jail. I'm glad the "community" seems to be evolving beyond that. I sure hope it sticks.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I read Bonnie's post and couldn't fathom why anyone got upset; in fact at the time I went back and re-read it at the time to see what I'd missed...I could then see that someone who was ubersensitive could have been hurt. Bonnie wrote it in complete innocence I feel and didn't name names. I think she is saying above that if "the community" gets upset over that just imagine what they'd think if the perfect seeming girl is critiqued/accused.

    ReplyDelete
  46. If Bonnie hadn't made a few spelling mistakes (want to hire editors anyone?); posed for a few pictures we wouldn't have gone to GOMI (which she directed us) and none of this scam at Anthroholic would have come out...

    ReplyDelete
  47. Who is Elizabeth (Liz), Tara and what is "twee" as a description of Anthro girls?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Carla, I just wrote something on another blog in response to all this. After I hit post, I checked to see if there were any comments to moderate on my site. I saw your comment and thought it was very ironic given what I had just posted. Here's what I posted:

    Look, I don't want this to turn ugly again. It's not productive. I'm going to say this one last thing, and I'll shut up. When something bad happens it's easy to get caught up in our emotions. Believe me, I've been through a lot of bad lately. I think that bad things happen so we can learn. So, when this happened, I asked myself, what can we learn from this? Well, I started with asking myself how this happened in the first place. Addiction is the easy answer, but I think it's more complicated than that. I think the answer is addiction combined with fear. I arrived at this conclusion by reflecting on how this situation finally came to an end. Here are the facts:

    - The internet site GOMI wrote a post making fun of me.
    - I mentioned it on my blog, and readers from the Anthro community went to GOMI to check it out.
    - A dialogue was started in the comments section of that post about a Anthro blogger that was scaming people.
    - Tracy from the blog In Pursuit of Hippiness (who is a good friend of mine and reads my blog) read these comments on GOMI. She realized that she was not the only one this had happened to and decided to blog about her experience.
    - GOMI posted a link and there was also a link in the blog roll on my blog and on Behind the Dressing Room Door
    - The shit hit the fan.

    The way I see it the reason this was finally exposed was because some people in the Anthro community found a community in GOMI where they could talk about negative things without being moderated or belittled. I don't agree with everything GOMI does, but this was one instance when it did some good. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone. I am simply giving my observations and reflection on the situation. I probably wouldn't have said anything, but when I saw all the posts about financial responsibility, I thought I'd share what I've learned from all this. I'm not the evil person everyone thinks I am.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Wow! I got a pat on the back from a social scientist! Sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love it! No more hiding behind anonymity!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I like how you got that plug in there for your boyfriends business! Sneaky Liz, very sneaky....LOL! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thanks for this! This is exactly what I was trying to convey. You said it way more eloquently than I did.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I was not reading your blog back in January, but I must say that I can't imagine that people would actually go out of their way to be ugly to you over CLOTHES, and your opinion about the fit of said clothes. I must also say that when I read the word "anthropocalypse" the other night on GOMI, I inhaled a popcorn kernel while laughing so hard that I nearly choked to death.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Bonnie,

    While I agree with you that the popularity of Kim's blog gave her an authority that silenced many victims, and the possibility of a social hierarchy in the community, I don't think your example is directly applicable to the uncertainty of the victims. You seem to imply that most victims felt silenced because of the previous dramas in the community, and you used your experience in January as an example of readers criticizing you for stating a *possibly* negative remark about other bloggers' figures in a community based on positivism. However, can we really say that the victims feared exposing Kim within the community because of her status and popularity as a direct result of the drama in January? How can we even assume that most of her clients read your post and the drama that ensued back then? Can we even assume that her clients read every Anthro blog and are aware of every drama and negative feedback that occurs? While most of them MIGHT, I don't think there's any way for us to say for sure that the silence occurred because of past examples of dramas resulting from people voicing their opinion.

    I also think it is a gross error to conclude that number 2 is a direct result of number 1, that most people considered her actions a fluke as a result of fear from being bashed within the community. The error in the logic lies in your assumption of other people’s thoughts and leads you to miss some important points. Reading through the victims’ comments from several blogs, I never got the feeling that they thought, “I can’t speak up because Kim is the Queen Bee, and everyone else will attack me because of her status.” The fear that I got from their comments was that people might not believe them because of a lack in sufficient evidence, because of her glowing reviews, and most importantly, because of a trust in human decency. A lot of victims wrote that they believed she was a good person and will follow through in the end, partly because of the persona she created for herself through her blog and their personal exchanges through email. They wanted to believe in her goodness and were afraid to malign her in public simply out of respect for her. All of this lead them to believing their situation was unique, that she simply overlooked their agreement and decided to focus more on the other aspects of her life. I think it’s important to take these points into consideration instead of claiming that all of her victims’ silence stemmed from a fear of being bashed.

    Ultimately, I think other bloggers brought up a great point that the silence has been happening for years from many different type of women, some who read Anthro blogs and some who don’t. The silence happened even before any drama started within the community, so I choose to believe that it is a result of the points I brought up above rather than the simple fear of being bashed by the Queen Bee and her minions.

    By the way, I just wanted to make it clear that even though I disagree with you, I have nothing against you personally. I've been read your blog regularly and will continue to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Ha...I just reread my post and I do sound pretentious, don't I! Sorry about that. I just meant to say that what you said made sense.

    Also, no offense meant to any 20-somethings!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I hope anthropologie is reading these comments--that you have shopped less at anthro because of the drama in the "community". I think anthropologie encourages this community by having these special shopping days for different bloggers and flying bloggers to BHLD, etc. . If it starts to hurt their sales a little, maybe they will rethink how they promote themselves. I, too, have found myself a little less enamored with anthropologie in the past several days. I am not a blogger, but I do read alot of anthro blogs and have done alot of shopping there as a result of the posting--my fault, not the bloggers. I really want anthropologie to make a statement regarding the whole anthroholic debacle. I know anthroplogie is not responsible, but they did closely associate themselves with anthroholic, and if they are going to align themselves so closely with the anthropologie community, they need to address them this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Kloe!

    I think Anthropologie should make a statement too, though, I could pretty much guess it would be something along the lines of "We're sorry we associated ourselves with someone in the blogging community who was conducting a fraudulent business. We're no longer associated with this person, and we had no knowledge of her wrongdoing. We'll more carefully investigate the people we choose to align ourselves with in the future." They aren't going to drastically change anything they're doing. Collaborating with bloggers will continue to help sales. Any time a company has an opportunity to build relationships with "super fans" (like us) they will. It only increases brand loyalty.

    When I was reading Anthroholic and EA daily, I had blinders on as to what was important in clothing choices. I noticed myself wanting the things they had. And Kim was always posting about the new things she bought at Anthro (often at full price). When my husband started really complaining about how much I was spending at Anthro, I took a step back and tried to figure out what changed. It was those blogs. This wasn't any fault of Kim or Roxy, I just kind of got caught up in finding items on popback, maintaining a giant wish list, watching the sales, etc. I don't have a store nearby, so I have to order everything online. I ended up buying a bunch of items I would have passed on had I tried them on in store, but since the community was raving about them and they seemed so desirable, I kept many of them even though they weren't my style or didn't flatter my figure. I also was (and still am) so familiar with Anthro clothing that I can point out items by name from Anthro when they are featured on TV shows. It just became too much.

    Anyhow, I narrowed down my blog reading to the blogs I enjoy reading because the writer shares interesting facts that I can relate to about their lives, not "I bought x, y, z, etc. etc. this week". Finding the latest and greatest Anthropologie item is no longer how I occupy my free time...I'm a lot happier, and my clothes fit better.

    Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I wholeheartedly agree, Kloe. I think anthropologie has encouraged (not necessarily intentionally) some of this clique-ish mentality. When anthropologie flew all those bloggers to their BHLDN store several months back, how did they chose which bloggers went? Did they go by # of followers? The truth is that if I were an anthropologie blogger (I'm not for the record), I would have felt totally left out if I had not gotten to go. The way I look at it, all the anthro blogs give anthro free advertising, so they were all equally deserving. Because anthropologie has benefited from these blogs and have aligned themselves with some of the more popular ones, I am going to keep my ears open to see if there is any response from them. In my mind, the anthroholic blog was almost synonomous (sp?) with the store and the store did nothing to discourage it.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I reread my comment and I want to clarify that I don't think that anthropologie and anthroholic were in "cahoots" ( as we say in the south) with each other. I can imagine they were probably as shocked as everyone else over the recent happenings and are wondering how to respond. I just think they need to be a little more careful aligning themselves with blogs and stick with professional advertising, unless they are going to treat all anthro bloggers the same.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Brava, Bonnie! As a social scientist (and an anthro fan) I have followed this story through the www. Your post pretty much summed up my assessment of the situation. This was a classic case of clique mentality. People were afraid to say anything against one of the most popular girls in school for fear that they would incur the wrath of the "crowd".

    I applaud you (and Liz) for continuing to blog despite being ostracized by the in-crowd. I still shake my head when "anonymous" call-outs and criticisms of either of you are made by the "popular girls". It's so juvenile. I realize that most participants of the community are in their 20s, so some of this is to be expected...but still.

    Why did this happen? Watch the Milgram experiment -- someone with issues felt she was in an authority position in "the community" and the victims didn't feel they could speak out because there would be hell to pay. Now the explanation is obviously more complicated than that...but if I were to pick one theory, that would be it.

    You hit the nail on the head, my dear.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I got a pat on the back from a social scientist! Sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Ha...I just reread my post and I do sound pretentious, don't I! Sorry about that. I just meant to say that what you said made sense.

    Also, no offense meant to any 20-somethings!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I started blogging about the time of the January fiasco. I was so shocked - at first I thought it was all a joke. I read your blog over and over trying to figure out what was so offensive. There are LOTS of comments on the Anthro clothing reviews about the fit of an outfit being good for particular body types. I appreciate that as I do most of shopping online.

    My idea of blogging was not at all what happened to you. When I realized people were seriously trying to bash you, it nearly turned me off to blogging at all. I am glad I kept it up because it is a creative outlet for me....and I try to be a positive influence on all who read. And I am SURE I mention by curves - they are SO OBVIOUS how can I NOT? LOL. Mostly, I kept at blogging BECAUSE of your response to mean girls. Keep it up - I still an avid follower and always will be. Cheers! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  64. I think we can assume that her clients do\did read my blog. That post about me on GOMI was up for days before I saw it. Once I saw it, I blogged about it and that was when the comments from people in the Anthro community about their experiences with Kim started showing up. Clearly they were lead there by my post. As far as the drama in January goes, I had over 4,000 views on that post, so I think it's safe to assume that most of the Anthro community saw it as most of them read the blogs I supposedly attacked.

    As far as my login, I'm not simply going on other people's thoughts. I personally know 2 of the victims and they have told me these were the reasons they didn't speak up. Secondly, there is a comment on this post from a victim who says they were also the reasons she didn't speak up either. Many of the victims stated that they resorted to commenting on Kim's blog to try to get her to communicate with them. The fact that Kim moderated her comments took care of those comments ever seeing the light on day.

    I don't think the fact that this didn't happen until now is relevant. There's always a first time for everything.

    I appreciate your comment and your opinion. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. Thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I can't take credit for "anthropocalypse." It's something I saw over at GOMI. But I'm glad it gave you a laugh, and I'm glad you didn't choke.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I spent an hour in the archives, and then subscribed, for the same reason. :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. they did make a statement to several people who emailed them to inform them of the issues at hand. All people got the same statement back that said something to the affect of 'we do not associate with or sponsor any anthropologie blogs or bloggers. they are independent of our business and we take no responsibility.' .....we all know that isn't true though. If you read kims blog you would see all of her anthropologie sponsored events that she both arranged and was invited to.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I don't think anyone thinks you are evil, Bonnie! The ladies of GOMI are certainly entertaining and you handled the critique with grace. I would like to shop for the Canadians but, alas I live hours away from good shopping! I very much enjoy your fashions-and I did enjoy Kim's (she knocked me over with a feather on her actions).

    ReplyDelete
  69. I feel as if Bonnie is using this situation as an excuse to bring up old issues and try to feel as if she was "right" about them when she was beign bashed. Being bashed is never fun, but let the old issues go for goodness sake! Did you not learn that in therapy?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Well, I can see that a lot of comments are being censored today. Especially those that ask Bonnie to self-reflect.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I don't really care if she does as I wasn't aware of it the first time around. If she wants to bring this up as a reminder of the pretty crappy way the 'community' reacted over a comment about the fit of a dress, then more power to her. It's just a damn dress. And it's her blog.

    I don't care if she said 'those skinny bloggers can't pull this off like fuller figured girls can'. Couldn't give a shit. Why? Because it's such a petty thing to get upset over. The 'community' needs to take itself less seriously. Be individuals and stop revolving your lives around a store would be my advice. Just my opinion, you all can do whatever the hell you like. I just find it humorous that the 'community' can't seem to handle any sort of criticism. I guess GOMI really are quite astute.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Please, MissAnthropy! I am the one that suggested that Bonnie was the catalyst in outing Kim. Bonnie posted about GOMI's remarks on her blog; causing some work to figure out what GOMI is...It's a hoot, love snarky -but not mean. It seems that did get the party started...

    ReplyDelete
  73. The British Anthropologist is in the Size 10/12 size range. You might want to look at her blog.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I disagree - Bonniegate in January put off me off the whole anthroblogger thing. It stank of bitchy high school crap and I wanted out of it. I agree with Bonnie's link in her post above between the behaviour displayed here in January and the reticence for people to come forward about potential fraud with Anthroholic. Bonnie has been through a lot by being GOMI'd but as a GOMI reader I have to say she came out with her head held high and I admire her for that.

    I

    ReplyDelete
  75. Not sure how this is relevant to this topic, but I do read her blog. She has a killer figure!

    ReplyDelete
  76. MissAnthropy, it's clear you just don't like me. I'm getting really bored with your comments. It's time for you to get a life.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Sorry, I didn't realize this wouldn't post as my blogger profile.
    I'm at va-in-ny.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Virginia,

    You're right I did pick on you because I could. You're also right that your comments were not the worst, but you did put a jab in there at my wedding photos. The reason I took the post down is after my anger went away, I felt bad for doing it. I'm sorry about the unkind things that were said about you.

    ReplyDelete
  79. You're right, the wedding photo comment was a low blow. I apologize for that.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Just reread ShoppingShani's post, and I now get why you posted this. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  81. You know, Bonnie, your followers repeat the same thing over and over again: "Way to go Bonnie! You go Bonnie! You go girl! You are so gorgeous! You are so pretty! You're beautiful! Go Bonnie, you go girl! You're so sexy!!" and on and on, ad nauseam. This little blog/clique you have is no different than any other mindless blog/clique on the internet, so try not to set yourself on too high a pedestal. The thing that really bugs me about you is the flaunting of your new affair. So your husband is a "dickhead," as you called him. Maybe he thinks you're a dickhead, too. Most men I know would have a hard time living with their wife's shopping addiction, and no way in hell would they take endless vanity pictures for the self-absorbed wife's blog. It usually takes two to make a marriage fail, and I would imagine that's true in your case. You're the one who decided to end it, though, and I find it cruel the way you write drooling sensuous comments about your boyfriend and he about you - and put it all out there on the freaking internet! You're still married, in case you haven't noticed. I find it equally cruel (and stupid) that your followers fall right into line like little robots, encouraging your immaturity and unbelievable insensitivity toward your husband and kids. You were very upset about getting criticized on GOMI, in fact you're still talking about it. But you have no problem shoving this new lust affair you're having right in your husband's face every chance you get. You're tacky, crude, and thoughtless.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I don't tell anyone what to post in their comments. What would suggest I do, delete the positive ones to make you feel better? As far as my "affair", I'm legally separated and if I want to talk about my boyfriend, I will. You don't have to read it. You are right, I am also to blame for my marriages demise.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I'm not saying you should delete positive comments from your blog. I'm just making the point that the silliness that goes on at most all fashion blogs ("OMG you are so awesome!!!!!") goes on here, too - comment, after comment, after comment. In other words, your blog is just as shallow and superficial as the others. And as far as "spinning" - what exactly am I spinning? The perception I have of you isn't from spinning anything. It's from your very own words that you have posted on your very own blog. And the fact that I think it's incredibly immature and tacky for you to be flaunting this little lust thing you've got going on doesn't mean I'm claiming the moral high ground. It means that, apparently, a complete stranger on the internet feels more compassion for your estranged husband and kids than you do.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Bonnie is living her life, warts and all. It's pretty easy to armchair quarterback and judge, and even I don't agree with all of Bonnie's actions. Frankly, it's none of my business.

    I'm actually offended by your characterization of it as a "little lust thing." Now, I don't know Bonnie from Joe Blow, and apparently neither do you, complete stranger. This could be a fling. This could be the love of the century. I don't f'ing know. But I know a belittling, patronizing comment when I see one.

    ReplyDelete

Back
to top