When this post is published I’ll be at my fourth UK Blog Awards event in London where I’m a finalist in the Fashion & Beauty category. That’s four lots of red carpet looks I’ve had to choose… it gets tougher every year!
I doubt I’ll be topping my winning red gown from last year but I really love what I am wearing. It’s a totally different look again from the last three (above) – maybe not as showstopping as last year’s dress, but I love it all the same. A little more subtle this time, perhaps…?!
Having won the Fashion & Beauty category last year I really don’t see myself winning again (follow my Instagram Stories to see what happens, I might do some live!), but right now IS a fantastic time for 40 plus bloggers. A few years ago it was unheard of for any blogger over 30 to even DREAM of winning a blogging award. The only awards I remember were the Cosmo Awards (and maybe a few other magazine-organised ones) when everyone thought you had to be a lithe 20-something to have a blog.
I entered a few of them, then realised it was futile. I was never going to be featured as a winner in Cosmo… I just wasn’t what they were looking for.
Fast forward a year or two and I entered the UK Blog Awards for the first time which was only in its second year, and to my utter amazement I became a finalist. I’d found an organisation that wasn’t geared solely towards recognising 20-something fashionistas. They gave awards in every category you could possibly think of, from marketing to motoring, from fashion to fitness, from parenting to PR.
And what was absolutely wonderful was that the entrants were of all ages (not all women, either!), and it felt great to be part of something that seemed so much more inclusive than those fashion-driven magazine awards.
We got to dress up in evening dresses and smart suits =sigh=. Not being an employee anymore and not having the office Christmas party meant a lack of getting dressed up to the nines once a year. What girl doesn’t want to get “red carpet ready”?
So after three times of being a finalist, I actually won the Fashion & Beauty category. I’d honestly given up thinking/hoping I might win (maybe that’s why I did win?) – I just went in order to enjoy the evening and spend it with friends. Winning was just the biggest bonus you POSSIBLY ever dream of, and in the 12 months since I’ve never quite believed that I really did actually do it.
Just to prove my shock at winning last year, here’s the moment I won again:
My awards hopes for all 40 plus bloggers
So this is what I’m hoping: I want to see MORE 40 plus bloggers win awards. I want to see them in the finalist lineups. Not just in parenting awards, or mummy blogging awards or similar where women over 30 are usually the predominant finalists, but in awards/categories where it’s more common to see those lithe 20-something fashionistas.
There are more blogging awards events than ever before, so let’s see some lithe 60-somethings – or some plus size 40-somethings – in the fashion and beauty categories. Let’s see some men in the parenting categories. Let’s see an 80 year old in the vlogging category. Let’s see someone with a disability in the sports and fitness category (you get my drift). Just as we all want to see diversity in advertising and magazines, we want to see diversity in terms of recognition amongst all bloggers.
For me personally I’m championing the visibility of older bloggers, especially in the youth-orientated fashion and beauty categories.
I only managed to become a finalist thanks to the mixture of having the balls to enter myself and ask my readers for votes and thanks to, of course, the support of my readers to vote for me with a click or a tap. I wouldn’t have won at the Thirty Plus Awards, the Bloggers’ Lounge Awards AND the UK Blog Awards without them.
So if you see an “open for nominations” notice for an awards event, please, please, PLEASE nominate your favourite blogger. Nominate YOURSELF.
I’m not the only 40 plus blogger to be a finalist this year, so things are definitely improving. But it’s starting to become generally the same people who become finalists, and that’s because of who has the balls to enter themselves.
I hope that MORE 40 plus bloggers will enter. I hope that more FANS of 40 plus bloggers will nominate their favourites. We need the diversity, we need the competition, we need to make everything more interesting and more competitive (in a good way!) to show just how fabulous older bloggers are and how much they have to share.
So if you see an “open for nominations” notice for an awards event, please, please, PLEASE nominate your favourite blogger. Nominate YOURSELF. My win has, I’m sure, played a huge part in the success of my blog in the last year and the fact that I can turn down more work than I can shake a stick at. I want that for those that want it too.
Blogging has come such a long time way since the days of people thinking it was for young people only. Those days are long behind us, but now we need to get more older bloggers recognised (and hailed) as huge talents in the same way that those lithe fashionistas always have been.
I may have been one of the first 40 plus bloggers to win a major fashion and beauty award, but let’s hope I’m certainly not the last…!
FOLLOW ME ON MY INSTAGRAM STORIES TONIGHT RIGHT AROUND THE TIME THIS POST GOES OUT – I’M PLANNING TO DO SOME LIVE STORIES!
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