The Question of Diversity in Blogging

The Question of Diversity in Blogging | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

“The majority of the finalists are white. The fashion finalists are all female, and there’s not a single plus size girl among them.”

This is a quote taken from a blog post written in response to the announcement of the UK Blog Awards finalists by a blogger who didn’t make the finals. You may or may not know, but I’m the judge for the UKBA fashion category.

Whilst I’m not going to credit the author for an (often factually-incorrect and largely speculative) blog post, I WAS hurt at the accusations. Especially when I was personally very upset at the lack of diversity in the final eight when the list was published.

(Note: NOT the same as upset at the actual list of finalists.)

To set the record straight: Judges’ scores contributed 60% and bloggers’ votes contributed 40% to this round.

And on the matter of judges’ scores, there were three criteria we judged the entrants on for them to progress to the finalist stage: design and ease of use, quality of content, and relevancy [to the category].

There was no criterion to score bloggers for their diversity. I could not, quite rightly, score anyone higher just for being male, or plus size, or over 50. Or for being a person of colour or a blogger with a disability.

That would go against everything that is fair about the judging process – that your score is based on merit, and merit alone.

So that ultimately meant that if zero male fashion bloggers entered (i.e. were nominated/nominated themselves), there would be zero male finalists. And even if there were MANY male entrants (for the sake of argument I’m not actually saying how many males there were – to be honest I don’t know), then they had to score highly enough in those three criteria to be in the top eight AS WELL as gain enough votes.

The question is not, Why wasn’t there a more diverse line up of finalists, but Why wasn’t there a more diverse line up of ENTRANTS?

[Image composed of bloggers I have featured here on the blog in the past, from left to right: Fashion on the Fourth Floor | Style is My Pudding | Silver Londoner | Grown & Curvy Woman | Alicia Fashionista | Bag and a Beret | Petite Style Studio | I Want You to Know | Strut in Her Style]


The judging process

First, to put paid to one misconception among the entrants: Everyone who entered would get to the first round and therefore be a nominee. Many nominees were ecstatic to have made it to the first round and couldn’t believe their luck. Without wanting to rain on their parade, the awards are open to ANYONE resident in the UK who has a blog, with just one exception. UKBA were quite clear right from the start that they would be screening for influencer fraud using SocialChain’s Like-Wise tool, so if anyone that entered didn’t make it to the first voting round, that was why.

And if they weren’t a UK resident, they too could not progress any further. Finally, it also seems very obvious that to enter the UK Blog Awards you have to have a BLOG, but believe me many were online retailers or magazines, not blogs at all… yes, really!

Therefore we were looking for bloggers who were honest, in the UK, and er, bloggers. Not retailers or blogs belonging to a business.

The UKBA have been very transparent about how the judging process works: the first round was where the blogs were rated by way of 60% from judges’ scores, and 40% from votes they’ve gained as explained above. Then the final eight for each category will be judged by two category judges and the winners are ultimately adjudicated by UKBA themselves.

I cannot stress this enough: Lack of diversity can be an issue as someone can only judge the valid entrants put in front of them. I can’t magic up more males or plus size nominees at the click of my fingers. And the quality of their blogs has to be high enough to get into the top eight, and they had to have campaigned for enough votes to make up that 40% to get into the top eight.

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Therefore, to be criticised for not having any males hurts my feelings, because I WANTED more quality male bloggers in the list of nominees; they just weren’t there. I was sorely disappointed that there weren’t more plus size bloggers, or more bloggers of colour for me to judge.

I simply worked my way through the list of bloggers, in alphabetical order, giving a score for each criterion. I submitted my scores to UKBA. And the finalists were made up of those who had the combination of highest scores and highest votes.

At no time did I score bloggers and think about whether they “should be” in the top eight, or keep tabs on what “type” (for want of a better word) of bloggers were the top scorers as I went along. (There are too many blogs to judge to start thinking that way.)


The truth about the diversity issue in this instance

I mentioned right at the beginning that I was personally disappointed at the lack of diversity in the fashion finalists. Please, please, PLEASE understand, however, that I am most certainly NOT disappointed at the actual list of bloggers themselves; I stand 100% by the list. I will continue to defend these eight fashion blogs as the fashion finalists because they are all of a VERY high standard.

What the bloggers who chose to criticise UKBA failed to understand is that you can’t control who enters awards. You can nominate someone on their behalf, but it is up to them to accept the nomination.

If they don’t accept it, they don’t get a nomination.

During the nominations period I myself nominated LOTS of bloggers of/from different niches, ages, sizes and colours. (I will admit I didn’t nominate any male bloggers as I really only “know” one UK male blogger.) Of course they may have already nominated themselves, in which case it’s an automatic route to the first judging round (fraudsters excluded).

Sadly, most of the bloggers I put forward didn’t accept the nomination.


What we can ALL do to increase diversity at awards events

As a judge I would have LOVED to have seen a plus size blogger as a fashion finalist. The same goes for a male blogger, a blogger of colour, and so on. But the truth was that those more diverse bloggers just didn’t quite score enough, or perhaps didn’t gain enough votes, to make that final eight. (The judges don’t have access to the number of votes the nominees received.)

When I announced on my blog I was the fashion judge, I made a BIG point of encouraging bloggers I knew – and those followed by non-blogging readers – to enter. Guess what: a record number of bloggers over the age of 40 were nominated. I’m not saying that was all down to me, but hopefully I had a little bit to do with it. The fact that I won the actual Fashion & Beauty category two years in a row at UKBA was hopefully another incentive for older women: Being over 40 is NOT a barrier to success and to working in an industry that traditionally favours the young.

I was proud to have been nominated (never mind winning!) and to have represented older bloggers.

I WANTED more older bloggers to enter this year. I CAMPAIGNED for more older bloggers to enter. In fact, I made a point of talking about diversity back in that September blog post:


“The thing I always said that was most important about being nominated – more so than winning – was the fact that I was representing older bloggers, in my case the over 40s. If no over 40 bloggers enter the UK Blog Awards (or, indeed, ANY blog awards), then we won’t be represented in any way. I think it is VITAL that a good proportion of those eight finalists (I’m talking specifically about the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories here as they’re the industries that traditionally favour the young) are older. It’s also vital that we recognise plus size bloggers. And bloggers of colour. And bloggers with disabilities. (You see where I’m going here.) It brings me back to the point of not being invisible.

Because the point of blogging – and the blogosphere – is the fact that we can access regular people, and hear their voices, and see their imagery. Regular people come in ALL shapes, sizes, colours, ages, abilities, etc. We WANT to read what ordinary people have to say and to read their stories, because that’s how we find out that they’re actually extraordinary. Let’s not allow the blogosphere (=cough= Instagram) to become oversaturated with homogenised “beautiful people” that we’ve been seeing in traditional advertising for decades.

Don’t get me wrong – I love and appreciate seeing a girl who is model material as much as the next person, but is that all I want to see? No.”


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And when the nominees were announced, I wrote a post championing the older bloggers and encouraged everyone to vote for them.

The final result is that we have two fashion finalists over the age of 40. I call that a win. The blogger that I quoted above (and admittedly, a few others who wrote similar posts) failed to mention the fact that we have age diversity in the fashion category. We have one teenager, a few (I assume) 20-somethings, and two over 40s (NEXT year, 30-somethings and over 50 bloggers!).

THIS IS HUGE considering the still-abundant age bias towards 20 year olds in the fashion industry.

What is also great about the new system – the mix of judges’ scores and readers’ votes – is that stops it becoming a popularity contest. Bloggers can become finalists because of their talent, not just how willing they were to ask every Tom, Dick and Harry out there on the internet to vote for them.

A second result: the eight fashion finalists are a COMPLETELY NEW set of bloggers compared to previous years. The new system has freshened things up. I can say that this category was becoming a little stale as three of last year’s finalists had been finalists three years’ running… and I was one of them. I was getting bored of seeing MYSELF in the nominations year after year (she says with her tongue firmly in her cheek, but you know what I mean).

My point is this:

In order to have more diversity in something like the UK Blog Awards, we have to encourage more diverse groups to enter. Instead of going online and moaning about the lack of diversity in the final line up (one declaring she would never have anything to do with UKBA again), wouldn’t it have been better if those bloggers had decided to encourage particular groups/bloggers to enter themselves – and others – the following year?

I did. That means everyone else can do it too.

Want to make a change? Then ACT. Don’t just whine about it.


P.S. Please post with kindness… as Refinery 29 says: Start a conversation, not a fire. Any offensive or disparaging comments, or those designed to provoke a negative reaction, will be deleted.

Disclosure: This post was not sponsored or endorsed by the UK Blog Awards (I am not being paid to be a UKBA judge). All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of UKBA.


  1. 30 January 2019 / 2:55 pm

    I am sure you did your absolute best to judge your category as fairly and with an open mind as possible, Catherine, and I love that it has gotten more age inclusive. My only bugbear with blog awards is that there never seems to be a category for blogs like mine that don’t neatly fit a niche/also aren’t lifestyle blogs. The actual writing bit of blogs is pretty undervalued imho, while I do appreciate that the visual medium is more and more what makes a blog a success, I find it hard to get overly excited about blog awards for which I know I will never be nominated. It did seem like there were a lot more grumpy pants nominees this year, I would have thought anyone involved in this sort of highly competitive contest would not go into it with any expectations if they were being sensible about it. Thanks for explaining the criteria, I do think the inclusivity thing is a real issue, but like you say a tricky one to fix. x

    • catherine
      31 January 2019 / 1:07 pm

      Thanks Steff for your vote of confidence! Funnily enough there was an awards event (the Thirty Plus Awards) which didn’t focus on niches, moreover it was based on things like best photography, most addictive blog, most innovative content, etc. Unfortunately ThirtyPlus is no more, but there was at least one awards event that did it that way. To be honest I think if you’re writing about anything and everything then it’s classed as a lifestyle blog because you’re writing about your life… if you’re not then I guess it’s some sort of social commentary, whether you’re discussing anything from politics to mental health? But do remember that you can nominate YOURSELF for UKBA, so why not have a think and enter next year?! x

  2. 28 January 2019 / 1:54 am

    Very interesting. I am a Black, Male, 50-year-old blogger in the U.S. and I just posted my first (hopefully last) fashion blog. I usually blog about things I see in the world but I was prodded to do a fashion post.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 3:32 pm

      Thanks Patrick – it’s a shame that you’re in the US and couldn’t enter to be honest…!

  3. 27 January 2019 / 10:13 pm

    Hi Catherine,

    I too entered the Blog Awards this Year and was happy to have a chance to participate.
    As a relatively new blogger I know that I am still learning my way around, and often feel like giving up as the pressure of work and completing my styling course can be quite a struggle. However, I know that this is my passion and really want to persevere.
    Sadly, I did not get through to the next round, and will try again next year, where I hope to be in a better position.

    My only criticism was that I did not get any notification of whether I got through or not. I was waiting for an e-mail, and it was only when I went on to the site that I then saw the name of the finalists. This was not a good way to find out.
    Also, would have liked to have had feedback, so that I could see where I could improve for next year, as well as what was positive on my blog.

    Instead it left me feeling pretty low about my blog and made me think of giving up. As I didn’t even warrant an e-mail from the Blog Awards.

    So I am glad you have opened a discussion or written a blog in response to comments.
    I wish all the finalists the best of luck.

    Keep Up The Good Work
    Kind Regards

    Oncel Brett
    The Autumn

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 3:42 pm

      Hi Oncel – all nominees DID get an email sent to them to say whether they had made the finals or not… maybe it’s in your Junk folder? I’m so sorry you didn’t receive anything but rest assured they were sent out (the MD of UKBA even had a delivered receipt for it)…!

      If you wanted feedback then UKBA are happy to give you some, they said you’re more than welcome to send a DM either via Twitter or Instagram and they’d be happy to help you out for next time (they asked that any of these sorts of questions to the judges are directed back to them).

      Anyway PLEASE don’t feel low about it – I’ve entered dozens and dozens of awards and competitions over the years, and you can’t get low every time you don’t get through: KEEP entering and KEEP trying! Always make sure that your blog is the very best it can be and look at every aspect of your blog to see if it meets up to the criteria. Look at award-winning blogs to see what they’re doing that you’re not (I don’t mean copying of course, I mean use as inspiration). As I’ve found out myself you have to have a very thick skin if you wish to enter these sorts of things – although I’ve won a few I’ve entered A LOT so my “winning ratio” is actually very low!

      Check your spam folder, and if there’s nothing there get in touch with UKBA x

      • 28 January 2019 / 7:18 pm

        Hi Catherine,
        Thank You for the response and looking into this.
        I have checked my e-mails and there is nothing there, so will contact the Blog Awards directly.
        Also, I am not overly sensitive and didn’t expect to get through first time. It appears that there has been a technical fault some where.
        I would never have mentioned anything if it hadn’t been for the post about the awards.Thus this was not a question directly to you as a judge, rather a feedback comment from me in response to your post.
        As I have said previously I wish all the best for the finalists, and am pleased that those that didn’t get through were sent e-mail notifications.
        I wish you all the best.
        Thank You once again for your time and attention.

        Oncel Brett
        The Autumn

  4. 26 January 2019 / 1:01 pm

    Another great topic, Catherine! I like that the list of finalists consisted of all fresh and new faces. And I agree with you that you can only work with the group of people who are nominated/enter. Many years ago, I worked in the financial industry…which was and I believe still is…a male dominated industry. I was in a position along with my male supervisor to hire new applicants and there was a huge push to hire a certain percentage of female and minority financial advisors. While creating more diversity in a certain niche is hugely important, we simply didn’t have qualified applicants to meet the percentage requirement. As a result, we were instructed to leave positions unfilled. Very qualified white men simply were not even permitted to be considered for these positions. As the people in the hiring positions, we had absolutely no control over who submitted applications for the job but yet we were held completely responsible for not filling these positions with qualified people. It was all very strange to me. And it seems the issue of diversity was a problem far removed from where we sitting. And now I am wondering once again…how do we solve the issue of diversity in any niche really? Good food for thought.


    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 3:47 pm

      Yes that sort of thing goes on a lot in business, Shelbee – and it’s not right that positions are left unfilled when there ARE suitable candidates. It’s like a reverse discrimination: you’re discriminating against someone because they’re not the right sex or in a minority. It should be a similar situation to what I was faced with, where I think you have to accept it this time that you don’t have a very diverse line up, but it means you can put measures into place to encourage minorities to enter.

      Food for thought for sure, and a tough problem to solve x

  5. Karen
    26 January 2019 / 11:25 am

    Catherine, with the greatest respect, I’d like to raise a few points here. First of all, if someone is flagging a lack of diversity I wouldn’t refer to that as ‘whining’ or ‘moaning’ – that’s very charged vocabulary. And I don’t think the raising of this topic is about your feelings. Several times you refer to how much this has hurt or disappointed you, but isn’t this about more than you? Diversity is SUCH a big and urgent topic. And if there is a lack of diverse bloggers, I don’t think it’s enough to suggest that they should just put themselves forwards. If generations of industry prejudice don’t encourage you to come to the party, you don’t come to the party. Of course, you are quite right to encourage everyone to champion and encourage diversity and to lead from the front, as you have. For many years, I’ve been a big fan of your blog and writing, but this is a topic that needs an awful lot of unpicking. Industry wide – I appreciate you carry no sole responsibility for this as a judge! No disrespect intended, just adding to the debate. It’s an important one to have.

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you, Karen, for your comment which I really appreciate. Unfortunately as I didn’t link to the actual blog posts here you can’t tell the tone of the person (people) I was referring to: it was very much how I described it – the “facts” that one stated were largely inaccurate as I mentioned and the accusations were based on speculation. It was an extremely unfair article. My suggestion to act and not moan was to those who never do anything to actually change things. My choice of word was in the context of those who never do anything to improve a situation, as she hasn’t. I believe in making a positive out of a negative and she definitely didn’t do that to any extent. I most certainly would not describe ALL discussions about diversity as moaning – far from it!

      Secondly I cannot help that this hurt my feelings, and I have every right to express those feelings as this is, after a personal blog, and I am the ONLY person responsible for the line up of the fashion finalists (the voting results aside of course). It DID feel personal, and I was talking about diversity with reference to these specific blog posts and these specific awards. I’d already expressed my sadness about the lack of diversity in my talks with UKBA once the finalists were announced, and to have someone come along and criticise me for something I didn’t have any (legitimate) control over was like having someone rub salt in the wound.

      So unfortunately it DID hurt my feelings in this instance. I can’t help it.

      You said “If generations of industry prejudice don’t encourage you to come to the party, you don’t come to the party” – while I have no control over others’ feelings, I myself face prejudice to some extent working in the fashion [blogging] industry, where brands usually favour those a good 20 years younger than myself. However I decided to face up to the youth bias of the fashion industry and entered four years in a row, finding myself winning twice. Therefore I cannot be the ONLY blogger with enough confidence to enter – blogging is, after all, an industry which is open to EVERYONE regardless of age, colour, sex, etc.

      You said you “don’t think it’s enough to suggest that they should just put themselves forwards”… I quoted myself from last year where I said that I desperately wanted to see a diverse lineup, and I even nominated a huge list of diverse bloggers I thought should enter. I doubt it was a lack of confidence that meant they failed to accept the nomination (some of the girls I nominated have confidence oozing out of them and they’re some of the most diverse bloggers I know); moreover, a lack of interest in awards events. One told me flat out she had zero interest in winning an award.

      Me raising this topic was specifically in reference to UKBA19. I used it as an example, and while I appreciate you saying I carry no sole responsibility as a judge I AM entitled to express my feelings here with regards to this situation, so I stand by what I said and how I said it…!

      But thank you for being incredibly civil about it, I’ve raised similarly charged topics in the past and been met with nothing but vitriol – thank you for such a thoughtful and polite comment x

      • karen ball
        29 January 2019 / 7:39 am

        Thanks so much, Catherine. A class act, as ever. Thanks for taking my comments in the spirit in which they were intended. True, I don’t have full context.

  6. 26 January 2019 / 5:08 am

    Just by writing this post you are getting the word out there that more people need to act – for themselves! There does need to be more diversity, but for that to happen, more people need to stand up and participate. You said it spot on above when you said you have to be in it to win it – truer words were never spoken. Kudos to you for being a judge and for being the influencer you are in the blogging world!

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:40 pm

      Thanks Suzanne – I think the more we talk about it the more it will encourage a more diverse range of bloggers to enter such awards. The great thing about the UK Blog Awards is that individuals themselves have control over whether they’re nominated or not, so it’s up to everyone to encourage each other to enter (and this year our little 40+ community DID encourage each other, and we DID manage to get two older bloggers in the finals so of that I’m very proud – of myself and of all of you)! x

  7. Orazia
    25 January 2019 / 9:03 pm

    Maybe they need some sort of campaign to encourage POC and men/nonbinary bloggers to nominate? Something like you encouraging the over40s, but for ALL the nonwhite non20somethings, done by UKBA? How do we get more people in the pipeline, so that we get more people making it to the finish line?

    Also, if you have a simple solution to that, I’d like a pony as well 🙂

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:42 pm

      Funnily enough Orazia that’s exactly what we’re discussing for next year… lots and lots of ideas and strategies have been put forward and will be discussed at length. So I may not be able to come up with a pony for you(!!) 😉 but I’ll do my best to widen the encouragement doors of diversity in 2020!

  8. jodie filogomo
    25 January 2019 / 2:42 pm

    I’m been reading how even some companies are talking about diversity in their models. It’s great and about time!!

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:43 pm

      Yes it’s slowly trickling through Jodie which is a step in the right direction 🙂

  9. 25 January 2019 / 2:00 pm

    Kudos to you Catherine for doing the judging. Many years evaluating student creative writing has taught me how difficult it is to actually quantify how good something is or isn’t. And I was only judging the words. Can’t imagine how difficult it is when visuals etc etc come into play. Good on you for taking this on. 🙂

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:44 pm

      Thank you so much Sue – yes it’s VERY hard when it’s purely subjective as to how “good” something is. Thankfully the criteria was very specific and was applied to each and every nominee fairly, hence me standing by my line up of finalists 😀

  10. 25 January 2019 / 9:23 am

    This was such a great post, Catherine. I am so appreciative for ALL you do to educate bloggers (of all colours and sizes and ages!) on your blog. Your photography tutorials still come in handy and so many of your posts have inspired mine. Your ‘voice’ and experience is needed online.

    There are very low barriers to entry in blogging, anyone can start a blog about whatever they like whenever they like. I agree with what Liz Klebba says in her comment about bloggers needing thick skin though. While it may be easy to start a blog (open wordpress account, pop in bio and a photo, and start writing, voila!) it sure isn’t easy to KEEP blogging when there are few readers, low engagement, very little money, and criticism for what you say and wear.

    I am SURE that blogging, like fashion, will get more diverse as time moves on. There are brilliant blogs out there by people who look nothing like Blaire Eadie and the Californian RewardStyle girls. Next year, let’s hope that more diverse blogs are galvanised into wanting to enter the awards. I read some of the criticisms of the award on Twitter and I thought the comments were really naive and unfair. No matter what the award is, any time voting is involved (the Oscars, Brexit, the US Presidency) there are always going to be people who find fault with the process and outcome. C’est la vie. Your sense of fairness is not in question by anyone who knows you or reads your blog, that’s for sure! xx

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:47 pm

      Ugh yes to needing a thick skin Lisa – we need it for blogging, for entering competitions and awards, and for judging! I agree that the comments were very unfair, and I feel for those who run UKBA who are trying to do something different and make a positive change. To have wheedled out fraudsters was a MASSIVE step in the right direction, and they didn’t get any praise for that. No awards events are ever going to please everyone all of the time, but to fail to see any positives at all was such a shame. Thankfully those that complained were in the minority x

  11. 25 January 2019 / 8:15 am

    This is brilliant Catherine! I have so appreciated the support you have shown to over 40 and 50 bloggers. Your point is spot on – and I personally don’t believe in positive discrimination – instead encouragement to enter is the right tact. Well said and fab writing xx

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:48 pm

      Thank you ever so much Maria, I really appreciate your support and kind words!! x

  12. 25 January 2019 / 7:56 am

    Fascinating to see some real insight into the nominating/judging process, thanks for sharing that! It really is a shame that some people won’t accept their nominations or even nominate themselves because they don’t feel encouraged to do so. The blogging community is supposed to be JUST that, a community and it pains me to see how far away from that we seem to have come over the years! Here’s to a future of change!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:51 pm

      Hopefully we’ll get there Sarah – I know that many 40+ bloggers who didn’t initially do anything to campaign for votes changed their minds after reading my comments about it being important to have yourself represented. And YES to that point about us moving away from us being a community! I think the 40+ community is largely very supportive, but many younger bloggers do not have this at all, which is a massive shame 🙁

      We have to come together and support one another to make a change don’t we, we can’t do it on our own x

  13. 25 January 2019 / 6:26 am

    Thanks for shedding light on the process. Funnily enough I came across several male fashion blogs recently and they were very readable (all in their 20s – I wonder if there are any male over 50s bloggers!).

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:53 pm

      Thanks Gail – I need to find out who these male bloggers are as I mostly know only US male bloggers. It’s a shame my husband Keith (Silver Londoner) didn’t continue with his blog, he certainly filled a niche being a UK over 40 male style blogger…!

  14. 25 January 2019 / 3:16 am

    It is a bit of a conundrum isn’t it but you can only judge fairly on what guide lines are before you. Shame some of those you nominated didn’t accept . Hopefully next time more diverse bloggers will have the confidence to accept.
    Many thanks for the link up.

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:54 pm

      I was so upset they didn’t accept the nominations, Jill… maybe next year if I keep persisting?!! 😉

      Thank you for your comment x

  15. 25 January 2019 / 12:20 am

    Thank you for all your hard work on the behalf of others in the blogosphere! At the Influencers of Midlife Summit this past weekend in Atlanta (attended by quite a few bloggers), the comment was made that blogging requires a thick skin. Your travails, unfortunately, prove the point once again. It’s always lovely when people fault you for something over which you have no control whatsoever… (Shaking my head in awe and wonder, but not surprise.)

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:57 pm

      Thanks Liz… ugh yes my skin has had to get thicker over the years. I can handle disparaging comments over what I wear because I honestly don’t care (I’ve had my siblings laugh at what I wear for years so #WaterOffADucksBack), but I couldn’t help but take this personally. I was solely responsible for the final lineup and I was already sad about the lack of diversity. As I said to Karen above – it was like salt being rubbed in the wound 🙁

  16. 24 January 2019 / 9:54 pm

    This reminds me a bit of tiara syndrome—that women tend not to self-advocate because they assume someone will automatically recognize their good work. (Not that I’m accusing anyone of doing this deliberately!) I think we all need to be a little more loud and proud about our own work, and also champion others, as you’re doing here. I haven’t paid much attention to awards in the past, but I certainly will now!
    Cheryl Shops |

    • catherine
      28 January 2019 / 4:58 pm

      Gosh I’ve not heard of tiara syndrome before Cheryl: what a great term! Championing others is so important, so hopefully we can make MUCH more of a change next year. Thank you xx

  17. 24 January 2019 / 9:31 pm

    Thank you for hosting. Have a lovely Friday.

    • catherine
      24 January 2019 / 9:35 pm

      You too Nancy

  18. 24 January 2019 / 8:52 pm

    Yes I can see it’s a dilemma. If the pool isn’t diverse the result won’t be. Thank you for championing us older bloggers. I think many of us are small bloggers in our category and so don’t have confidence to enter.

    • catherine
      24 January 2019 / 9:35 pm

      It IS a huge dilemma, Anna – and the range of diversity wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. But I know that everyone was judged fairly so I know not to feel guilty about it! I hope the diversity of entrants changes next year.

      As for entering: Please note that the judging scores were introduced to give ALL bloggers a chance, not just the ones who can muster up lots of votes… size doesn’t make any difference! You can be blogging for only a few months, and if your blog is SERIOUSLY good then you have a very good chance of making the top 8. If you’re proud of what you write and produce then that’s all the confidence you need!! In fact, none of the fashion finalists have huge Instagram followings, for example… all have between 2k and 16k followers – all are micro influencers! Nearly all of them have messaged me to say how amazed they were to be a finalist and that they’ve never been nominated for anything before. It’s the old “you have to be in it to win it” thing, isn’t it?!

      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

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