My big fat Sunday moan…

You know what gang? I’m going to have a bit of a moan. It might be a bit of an aimless, set indulgent ramble, but bear with me, or if you like, click that cross and don’t bother reading. I wouldn’t blame you! 
Last night I attended the British Plus Size Awards, which I will write about later in the week. But it’s kind of got me thinking about what I do, why I do it and how tough it can be, but how ultimately its so rewarding too. 
This was mine and Rivkie’s losers faces!!! 
I was up for three awards last night, one personally for the blog you’re reading and two, along with Toni for Plus North. Sadly we came away with nothing, and it made me think about what we do and the recognition (or lack of) we get. 
I’m not going to lie, I was truly heartbroken Plus North didn’t get the Best Event award. We were up against the British Plus Size Weekend. I’ve made no secret that in my opinion, the event was not good. It was poorly organised, and a truly uncomfortable experience in every way. There was no hospitality whatsoever, people were left to hang around in grimy corridors with no seating, no refreshments to purchase and no real customer service. Some would say that that was sour grapes on my part as the organiser of a similar event, but I feel completely justified in my evaluation of the event due to the fact that every other person I have spoken to who attended the event felt exactly the same. What irks me I guess is that we just couldn’t compete with the organisers already established following and they secured votes, I’m sure, from followers of the organisers associated pages and not from those who actually attended their event.
So what can we do? Nothing, we have to continue to focus on creating events that make our attendees feel special, that entertain and are value for money. Because thats why we do it. And what we have to remember is that our event truly changes lives. To have women come up to us and tell us they’ve never felt confident or comfortable with themselves and that Plus North changed everything for them… well that beats any award, any day. 
And as for me and my little blog? Well I don’t know guys, I don’t know what else I can do? I question myself every day. Am I edgy enough? Are my outfits put together well enough? Am I too old? As I see opportunities pass me by and are given to other bloggers, I can’t help but criticise myself to the point of tears… yes folks, that’s how much I love doing this, so when I don’t get that level of recognition I beat myself up over it.
But then I have to give myself a massive slap round the face with a wet fish (I am from Grimsby after all) and realise that in part (and selfishly) this blog is for me, it’s my space, it’s my outlet, it’s my place to have fun with fashion. And more importantly it’s a place to show other women, that you can indeed wear whatever you want. That being plus size isn’t an automatic sentence in a prison of shapeless tents. It’s thanks enough that people even bother to read this drivel and comment and take the time to tell me how much they enjoy it. So thank you. Who needs an award when I have you lot! 
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  1. Elena Lucie on November 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Beebs, I bloody love you and am so incredibly proud of both what you do and to call you my friend. I have such admiration for Plus North and all the hard work you put in and your blog was one of the first I read and I can honestly say I never skip a post.
    You're a winner in my eyes! xxx

  2. Kayjay on November 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Well I enjoy your blog and I'm older than you (so if you're too old I don't know what I am!), and I hope to go to Plus North someday, I was going to go this year but couldn't find anyone to go with and chickened out coming alone. Keep doing what you're doing and your readership will appreciate it x

  3. Danielle Vanier on November 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Becky, you need to not give a shit about what any one else is doing and keep in your own lane. You have a fantastic blog and it's one of the handful of blogs I read on a regular basis. You also don't need an award from a shitty ceremony to tell you you are a brilliant event organiser and blogger. x x x

    • Elena Lucie on November 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      What she said.

  4. Ali on November 24, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Don't let it get you down too much, you may be underestimating the number of voters who aren't aware of either event, and simply voted for the winner as it had the word "British" in the title. It's a common bias in most surveys. The survey often won't allow people to skip a question even if they don't have an informed view, so respondents pick the answer they feel would be most acceptable. I've not been to either event, but every in report I read people were damning of the British event, and universally praised Plus North. Keep plugging away, without you and bloggers like you, we plus sized babes still be hiding in black smock-tents xx

  5. LollyLikesFATshion on November 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Clearly the Best Man did not win! Keep doing what you do & love doing it xxx

  6. Just me Leah on November 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I said my bit on Twitter but just wanted to say Dani Vani's advice is top notch and to reiterate that you rock.

    If someone as brill as you is brave enough to admit you have the odd 'wibble' it helps the rest of us when we have such a moment. x x x

  7. Sara on November 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    You were the first plus size blog I ever read and you have given me so much courage to experiment with clothes. From wearing black and black I have now opened up my wardrobe. I totally love your posts for inspiration.
    As for plus north I was gutted for you guys last night. Never have I attended a event which has ever made such an impact on me. I have never ha confidence thanks to a hard childhood I have always believed I was fat and ugly even when I was a size 8. What I learned from plus north was that beauty is found in all shapes and sizes. True beauty is found in who you are. I can never thank you enough for the gift of this knowledge.

  8. Anonymous on November 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Are you for real? This post comes across as very childish, almost as if you're throwing your teddy out of your pram because you didn't win any awards.
    There's no doubt you work incredibly hard but do you really feel like you get passed over for other bloggers? After all of the free outfits you get and opportunities that have come your way because of your blog?
    You have criticised a similar event to your own, stating that one of the reasons it didn't work was lack of hospitality, which is a complaint I heard a lot while attending this year's Plus North!
    You have done so much for Plus Size women, but please wake up and smell the coffee you haven't done too badly out of blogging!

    • Becky Barnes on November 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Hi, this was a major concern as I was writing the post and I knew there was going to be a possibility that was how it would come across, and I guess in some ways it is. I guess attending the event just made me think about some stuff. But you are absolutely right, I have been incredibly lucky and I am not for one moment ungrateful or unappreciative of the wonderful things my blog had brought me.

      If people at Plus North this year felt there was a lack of hospitality then I would love for them to feed that back to us so we can improve next year, after all Toni and I are just two randoms with no experience in that area and we try our hardest but acknowledge we can always do better.

      I have absolutely done very well out of blogging because I work very hard and genuinely love what I do and love fashion, so thank you for being the wet fish slap I needed.

  9. Lucy Bishop on November 25, 2013 at 1:01 am

    You are fab missy and its utter shite you & Plus North didn't win. I'm jealous that I'm not in the north (or minted and could afford the journey up!) to come to plus north as it sounds fab! x

  10. Patty_difusa on November 25, 2013 at 10:13 am

    It was lovely to see you and I agree with the girls here, I went to both events and you know how I feel about Plus North!! so much better in every way,xx

  11. Vicky Frankland on November 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I'm gutted for you that Plus North didn't win. It was a fantastic event and absolutely life changing. By running that event you and Toni have given a lot of plus size women who thought they "weren't good enough" the realisation that yes, we damn well are. Xx

  12. Jayla on November 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Erm anonymous, Becky is more than entitled to criticize whatever she feels.

    It is FACT that BPSFW was rubbish, I attended both events, one was badly organised, the organisers went off on 10 reply Twitter rants, was more interested in charging an arm and a leg and publicity. The other was more focused and personal.

    Fact is Becky, the same way you feel about opportunities passing you by, is the same way other bloggers view you, wishing they had got that expensive dress or worked with their favorite brand, remember there are not masses of + size companies giving out clothes, so I would definitely say you get your fair share.

    As for the voting, I agree bpsfw has a bigger following because if evolve and the masses of press their event got, but at least plus north has integrity.

  13. Anonymous on November 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I'm really gutted for you on both counts Becky, but it totally is not a personal thing against you.

    I voted for Plus North, and I didn't even go! I voted because I read bloggers posts and could see that it was an amazing event, nothing negative was written about it and it was the sort of event that I wished I could have been a part of. The BPSFW did not review well and did not appear to have the thought and attention to detail that Plus North did. I think that it clearly had more publicity and for plus size people, who don't follow lots of blogs and read lots of related stuff on the internet, it probably looked good on paper so they voted either for it or for the ideology of it.
    As for your blog not winning, I guess it is a tough category with some wonderful blogs in it, one of my favourites wasn't even nominated! Unfortunately there are so many plus size blogs out there now, but so many of them are fake and lack the integrity that yours does. I've seen so many shameless tweets and requests from bloggers to companies wanting free clothes and shoes and certain bloggers who will review and model clothes for companies that they would never dream of wearing in real life, just to get themselves publicity. Blogs that claim to be about helping women, but are really only there to get the bloggers worshiped and admired by a wide audience in a vain attempt for fame no matter what the cost! Bloggers who insist on continual selfies on a daily basis, where the clothes are regularly not even shown, but they can keep their image at the front of people's minds! Some people cannot see the truth behind the lies that some blogs perpetuate and they don't even see the photoshopping and airbrushing that certain plus size bloggers are using whilst claiming they don't!!
    I love your blog as it is honest, genuine and stays true to what it is for. You do not review obscure things of no relevance, and you do not try and push your views on "flattering" clothes to the masses. I think you are an amazing and talented woman and are worth so much more than an award from a group that thought it was right to treat Katie Hopkins to a night out and reward her for being a bully to other women!