What has transpired in the last couple of days throughout the Anthro-blogging community has been thought-provoking and gut-wrenching on many levels. For me the story began with an unspecific and vague apology post which hinted at remorse, and strongly supported a stance of moving on from the ordeal. Being the optimist that I like to think I am, I wrote a comment stating “ I hope all is well and that everyone can move forward and is able to focus on more life-changing events that affect so many on a global level”. It was moderated by the administrator and was never posted.
Later that day I start reading on Roxy’s blog about multiple incidents that have apparently been going on for months, disrupting many lives and emotions, and what hurt to read the most, was this fear that speaking out about wrongdoing would shun those affected away from the Anthro community. It was then when my heart broke for the first time, because here were strong and intelligent women who believed in a person and a service being offered, and were led astray. And even though the treatment was dishonest and manipulative, those affected felt scared in speaking out against someone perceived to be a powerful force.
I speak only for myself when I say this, and Roxy mentioned this in her own way, but here it is: while various blogs commonly share their enjoyment and affinity towards the brand Anthropologie, we all function independently of each other and are responsible for our own thoughts and actions. In simpler terms: we are just like you and you are just like us. There is no favoritism towards specific bloggers or readers, no secret handshakes or Anthro filters that bring some in and leave others out. I sound like a concerned mother but please speak up if something isn’t right. The community is here to help, not isolate.
From the inception of my blog and since then, I tread lightly with caution. I share my outfits but by no means is the main intention to promote spending and accruing new things. The main goal has and continues being, to utilize the blog in sharing personal style. I always aspire for a collaborative environment, an opportunity to make friends and help out in whatever way possible. Through my time blogging I’ve received several emails from women asking for advice on multiple topics, but also for help in finding items, shipping packages to Canada at a low cost, etc, and I’ve happily obliged because if the situation was reversed, I hope someone would do the same.
Those who know me personally would agree that I don’t like to stay quiet when I see someone being wronged. Maybe my sensitivity originates from the shy days in my younger years, and moving to a foreign country made me retrieve even further, but I know the difference between right and wrong. With time my confidence has grown, and I have felt more comfortable in voicing my concern, so as I was reading people’s testimonials on getting the run around, being led astray, questioning themselves, feeling fearful of publicly sharing their concerns – I got angry. I was mad. And felt really really hurt. I wanted to speak out about the unjust behavior that took advantage of hopeful individuals who believed that were receiving an honest service. I’ve seen people struggle without a way of getting out, read daily about people scrimping and saving during these tough economic times, so when I read about hundreds of dollars being kept from individuals who work hard for the money they had invested towards something they took pleasure in…… I better keep my mouth closed.
Even though for different people the outcome of this ordeal has been a greater focus and an honest evaluation on budgeting, consumerism, and defining the real value of objects (please check out great reflections from Tara, Jess, and Roxy), personally this experience showcased the power that bloggers can be given unassumingly by fellow bloggers and readers. Yes, blogging provides the means to establish a voice and can create a heavy following, and I do understand there’s strength in numbers, but I always remind myself that an individual is truly measured by their actions, as well as their words. Whether we are spectators or collaborators, there is true value in standing up for what is right and showing concern when something is “not quite right”. Yes, I’m all for leaving positive comments on blogs, but let us feel comfortable and confident in using that communication for constructive ways as well. For example, if you see me out of line with new purchases, and really are concerned and looking out, get at me!!