Why I Turned Down a 4-Figure Fee Over Diversity (or Lack of)

Why I Turned Down a 4-Figure Fee Over Diversity (or Lack of): Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb with three other influencers at the Specsavers SWOTY Awards

I was afraid it might happen one day, and it recently did: I turned down a big fee to work with a brand because the campaign was horribly exclusive.

And when I say horribly exclusive, I mean exactly that: A sea of white, slim women with (mostly) blonde hair. Not a single person of colour. Not one body that looked over a UK size 12. Not one person with any sort of visible differences whatsoever. Everyone looking age 40-50 ish.

Then add me to the mix: I’m white. I’m a size 10. I’m (for all intents and purposes) blonde. I’m in my late 40s. In other words, I’M JUST THE SAME. I would be accepting a four-figure sum to become part of a campaign for a footwear brand with 10 other influencers who are all white, slim and blonde (bar three brunettes. Whoop-de-diversity-doo).

 

[Reading time: 9 mins]

The images included in this post are all from campaigns I’ve worked on in the past which, I’m proud to say, have been very inclusive and diverse (top to bottom): Specsavers, JD Williams and JD Williams again.

 

Last time I checked, I was pretty sure shoes could be worn by women of colour, by women over 55, by mid-sized and plus-sized women, and by women with disabilities and/or visible differences. Am I right?

As much as I needed the money, I just couldn’t do it. And the story behind how I got to that stage – in terms of trying my damnedest to make the person in charge of the campaign see what was happening – is perhaps even more disappointing and shocking considering the rise in prominence of Black Lives Matter and the awareness of diversity in the media and everywhere in the past 12 months.

To me, a total lack of diversity is something a brand simply cannot “get away with” anymore – yet here we are.

 

My diversity policy

Two years ago I wrote a post entitled Diversity: What We Can ALL Do to Ensure Diversity on Brand-Blogger Campaigns and Press Trips. In that blog post I made a promise to my readers that before I worked with any brand, I would ask what their diversity policy was. In other words, What other bloggers are working on this campaign – are they a diverse mix?

So far, every time I’ve asked that question, I’ve been met with a resoundingly positive response, like this for example: “I’m so glad you’ve asked that question, and yes we [the PR agency/the brand] are committed to ensuring that we have a diverse mix of faces, colours, sizes, ages, etc. in this campaign.”

Which is EXACTLY what I want to hear, and exactly what I SHOULD be hearing.

Why I Turned Down a 4-Figure Fee Over Diversity (or Lack of): Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb modelling for JD Williams with two other models/influencers

Then in May, an email landed in my Inbox asking me to take part in an Instagram campaign for a footwear brand (I’d not worked with them directly before).

PLEASE NOTE that I was not dealing with a contact at the brand, it was the head of a blogger outreach agency (so not even a PR agency). Therefore how much the brand was aware of the campaign and who was being asked to participate I don’t know; however, I have to assume that, as it’s in a brand’s interest to know – and be involved in – these matters, then they were fully aware of what was going on and who was being approached.

Anyway – I was dealing with a blogger outreach agency.

Everything seemed perfectly fine; they agreed to my fee for a few pieces of content. Once a campaign I’m going to be working on is agreed in principle – and before I sign any contracts – I ask The Diversity Question.

 

Where it started to go wrong

It wasn’t answered the first time I asked. I had to ask the question again in another email amongst a few other questions [“and will the brief contain details that answers my question about diversity? If not a list of the other influencers involved would be great, thank you”]. The other questions were answered, but STILL, the diversity one was not.

At this point, alarm bells were starting to ring.

This time, as well as glossing over my question about diversity, the reply had a brief attached and I was pressed for when my content would be created and submitted for approval. I was also given the campaign hashtag. Because other influencers had already posted their content, I decided to have a look at who was already working on the campaign via the hashtag he’d given me.

I was SHOCKED.

What I saw was a sea of white, slim, mostly blonde women aged about 40-50. That was IT.

When you’ve asked the question several times about diversity and you see that, it gets your back up a bit. MY BACK WAS WELL AND TRULY UP.

One more go. Another email back to my contact, and this is exactly what I asked:

“…I’m still waiting on your feedback about my diversity policy where XBrand is concerned? I’ve looked at the examples you gave me and looked up the hashtag that’s being used – I’m very concerned about the lack of diversity amongst the other influencers so far. They are all white and slim, mostly blonde… not a single plus size, face of colour or anyone with disabilities amongst them. I did ask for a list of the other influencers and the assurance that XBrand is committed to diversity in its campaigns: so far I’ve not seen any evidence of that : -(“

FINALLY he answered my question (in a roundabout way). This was his answer…

“In terms of diversity, we are working with [sic] all a range of influencers, you’ll also see that XBrand in general have a very diverse social: [he included a link.] This campaign in particular is running on many fronts and you’ll see the TV ads which are running include a diverse mix: [another link.]

Basically, the part about the TV ads being diverse is true. I’d seen them previously and was impressed. (The TV ads were made by a separate creative agency however, nothing to do with the blogger outreach agency.) The part about their diverse social is sort of true; it could be an awful lot more diverse, however. There are the occasional pair of legs of colour(!), but that’s about it. A token gesture to diversity, if you like.

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The real rub was the lack of truth in his first statement: “In terms of diversity, we are working with [sic] all a range of influencers”. I’m sorry, but that part was utter B*LLSH*T. Unless the women of colour, or the plus size women, or the older-than-60 women or the women with visible differences that were also participating in this campaign had yet to post their content or weren’t using the hashtag, that was nothing but BS.

 

Issuing an ultimatum – and having to make a decision

By this point, I’d long since sent a link to the campaign hashtag to some girlfriends and shown Keith to ask their opinions. I merely asked Keith what he saw with regards to who was being used in this campaign – his immediate response? “They’re all white and middle class.” (This was without ANY prompting from me.) I had the same sort of reaction from my girlfriends: All white. All slim. Where are the faces of colour.

Although I sort of knew it was probably a lost cause by this point, I decided to give my contact one last chance. It was, effectively, an ultimatum:

“Until I either have the names of the rest of the influencers who will be working on this campaign (which all other brands have been very happy to provide me with when asked) so I can see for sure that a diverse range of influencers will be involved, or more diversity appears in the hashtag search, I’m afraid I can’t proceed with this campaign.

I’m incredibly disappointed that I’ve not yet been given the reassurance or proof that this would be a diverse campaign, and I did ask for that information right at the beginning when agreeing to work on it. I have seen extremely exclusive influencer campaigns in the past and I vowed to make sure I would never take part in them. It would reflect very badly on MY brand considering I wrote this post a couple of years ago – the Black blogger Stephanie Yeboah wrote in 2019 “By only using white influencers, brands are telling Black women we don’t belong”. [source]

I’m sorry if my tone comes across badly but after having asked so many times about the diversity of the campaign I’ve now had to put my involvement with it on hold. There are SO many diverse influencers out there who, I’m sure, would dearly love to (and deserve to) work on this campaign”

[and I gave a list of eight diverse UK-based influencers as examples for him to refer to.]

And considering I wrote a post about fees and exactly what bloggers/influencers should AND COULD be charging, I’ll be completely upfront and tell you that I was potentially losing £1200.

That’s £1200 I could desperately do with.

Why I Turned Down a 4-Figure Fee Over Diversity (or Lack of): Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb modelling for JD Williams with two other influencers

A tiny shred of me hoped he’d see that he was completely in the wrong and do something to correct it. I was basically giving him a chance to redeem himself, to redeem the brand, to redeem the campaign. But of course, was happened was…

Tumbleweeds. Nothing. No response. For two weeks.

A week after emailing him I went away to the detox retreat for a week (which I’d already planned), gave him a couple more days after I got back, then emailed again:

“I was wondering if you’d had time to discuss my thoughts with the team at XBrand yet, it’s been nearly two weeks and I hadn’t heard back from you about where we go from here…? Looking at the IG hashtag there are still no plus-size influencers or those of colour appearing yet, so I’d really like to know if and when the more diverse influencers you mentioned are coming on board. If you’d still like to go ahead with the collaboration with me (as and when the more diverse influencers are involved) let me know; if not, I have the shoes waiting to go back so let me know if you’re arranging a collection and I’ll get them ready.”

I thought I was shocked when he kept dodging my diversity question… I was even more shocked when this brief response came back:

“Hi Catherine,
I hope you are well. The campaign has now finished so if you are happy to return the shoes then that would be great. Do you have the return labels?
Kind Regards…”

Like, WOW. Just, WOW.

In all my blogging career I have never been so utterly shocked at a total and utter lack of professionalism in terms of washing over what were – and are – very, VERY valid and reasonable questions and requests. I was not being a diva. I was not personally asking for special treatment. I was merely asking for assurances that the campaign I was being asked to be part of was going to include influencers from a wide, DIVERSE range of people.

To repeat what Stephanie Yeboah wrote, “By only using white influencers, brands are telling Black women we don’t belong”. The brand – through this blogger outreach agency – was also telling plus-sized women, older women and women with disabilities and visible differences that they, too, don’t belong. That they can’t wear this brand’s shoes.

It’s one thing to produce high quality, diverse advertising campaigns and social media feeds. But all that means nothing when you fail to pay a diverse mix of bloggers and influencers to promote and represent your brand – you are being exclusive TO THE MAX if you only spend your influencer marketing budget on influencers who have white privilege, thin privilege and able-bodied privilege.

 

Protecting my brand

By asking the diversity question I am protecting my own brand. There was NO WAY I could put my brand [“Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb”] amongst that sea of white, slim, “middle class” women (as much as I detest the class system and the boxes it puts people in with its outdated assumptions, I’m using it here to illustrate a point). I’M EFFECTIVELY ONE OF THEM.

By accepting £1200 to take part in this campaign and represent this brand, I’d be saying that due to my white skin, my size 10 able-bodied figure and my appearance of being middle class AND adding the campaign hashtag, that this brand is only for women like me. Everyone else is excluded.

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I’d be saying – along with the brand – that their shoes (and for the record, I really, really love their trainers) are not for women of colour, plus-sized women or older women. Or those with disabilities or visible differences. They’re ONLY for women like me… oh and alright, if you’re brunette you can wear them too, I suppose.

I’d be accepting a healthy fee to be yet another influencer with many privileges in a sea of generic faces – a fee that COULD be going to a blogger of colour or any one of the other diverse influencers I’ve mentioned. Someone that deserves to be more visible than me.

Just… NO. It’s wrong and my conscience won’t let me accept that money without remorse, regret and ill-feeling.

 

What’s happened since

So I’ve repacked the (unworn) shoes, and I’ll be sending them back. It was all too obvious that by not replying to me for two weeks and waiting for me to chase him, it was possible to say “this campaign has now ended…” – absolving him of any further discussions about diversity.

It sparked me to create a page on my blog that’s essentially there for me to direct brands and PRs towards. I’ve listed a non-exhaustive list of diverse UK-based bloggers/influencers that brands – if they’re struggling to find a more diverse mix – can hopefully approach for their campaigns. Bloggers that I would LOVE to see used. Bloggers that I’ve seen used by other brands I’ve worked with, ones that should be used MORE.

Here’s the page if you’d like to check it out: Diverse UK-Based Influencers.

Remember this page is aimed at brands, so it will only ever contain UK-based influencers. And as my audience is mostly aged 35-55+, I’ve only included influencers of colour who are either that age or who are relevant to that age group. (It would be too long if I were to include influencers of colour under the age of 35 – it needs to be a practical and useable list.)

I’d like to give a shout out to some of the brands that I’ve worked with who HAVE used a diverse mix of women [and sometimes men, where relevant] in campaigns I’ve been involved with:

Avon – Dove – Fantasie – JD Williams – L’Oréal – M&S – Nivea – Revolution – Specsavers – and more.

Kudos to the brands that DO recognise the importance of diversity.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve just worked on an Instagram campaign with my old collaborative partner, JD Williams. Although they’ve always been incredibly inclusive, I once again asked The Question… straight away I was given a list of everyone they’d approached, no quibbles whatsoever, no dodging the question. And what a wonderfully diverse bunch they were too (some have been added to my Diverse UK-Based Influencers page).

And as a final push to rectify the situation, I emailed the brand direct. Twice. I had a contact there who’d been in touch with me a couple of years about writing an article for their blog, so I checked LinkedIn and it turned out she stills works there. I emailed to explain the situation and because I wanted her to know why I didn’t go ahead with the collaboration – I didn’t know what he would (could) have possibly told her for my lack of content produced (I hadn’t signed anything due to the diversity problem so I wasn’t breaking a contract).

I got no answer, so I sent another email a week later just to check if she’d received it… I requested a read-receipt for that email, and got one. So I know it was opened by someone. But it’s been a couple of weeks now and I’ve had no answer – nothing. So I can’t tell you what the brand themselves have to say in their defence, or whether they’re burying their head in the sand about it, or whether they’re purposely ignoring me.

Who knows. Whichever way, it’s incredibly disappointing.

It’s 2021, and there has been MORE than enough talk about diversity in the media and online for every single person working in this industry to know that you can’t get away with all-white, all-thin, all-able-bodied campaigns anymore. It does nothing but harm your brand if you don’t read the room and reflect the need for representation of – and respect for – all.

I will continue to make sure I’m only part of diverse projects and campaigns. And ANYWAY, isn’t it more interesting to see more interesting faces and more interesting people with varied and more interesting stories to tell…?

What are your own experiences with and thoughts on diversity? Do you think most brands get it right – or are you still seeing all-white, not-diverse campaigns by those who don’t seem to have got the memo? Comment below…

 

Stay safe XOXO

Catherine signature

 

Coming up: An Instagram live discussion on this topic

I’m planning to hold an Instagram Live about this topic next week, Thursday 15th July, at 8pm UK time (3pm EDT, 12pm PDT). I would REALLY love it if you could make it – it’ll be on my Instagram feed after the event so you can always catch up afterwards if you miss it or can’t be there.

If you yourself fall into any of the categories classed as diverse, or if you feel you’re not represented in brand-influencer campaigns, or if you’ve had similar experiences with diversity issues, then I’d love for you to contribute on the night if you can. I hope it’ll be a lively and positive discussion 😀

Linking up to… Monday: Inspire Me Monday, Ageless Style Linkup (first Monday of the month), My Glittery Heart, On Mondays We Link Up || Tuesday: Style With a Smile, Trend Spin/Walking in Memphis in High Heels, Turning Heads Tuesday, Spread the Kindness, Confident Twosday, Happy Now Blog Link Up || Wednesday: Style Me Wednesday, WowOnWednesday || Thursday: Chic & Stylish || Friday: Fancy Friday, On the Edge, Fabulous Friday, Fabulous Friday’s Link Up

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37 Comments

  1. Emerald
    22 July 2021 / 10:09 pm

    I find it incredibly annoying only to see slim white women representing brands. It’s so unrealistic and it leaves so many women out – I fail to see why this company couldn’t have responded to your well-worded messages and why they wouldn’t want to be inclusive. Well done for speaking out, Catherine – I do think as white middle-class women things usually go our way (not including things that can affect all of us such as illness, heartbreak and other tough times). Hence we shouldn’t shy away from saying what we think.

  2. 14 July 2021 / 4:38 am

    BRAVO for you Catherine!!! Your allyship is priceless & benefits those of us who have been and continue to be marginalized, unseen, and unheard!
    Xx
    Joi @Inmyjoi

    • Catherine
      Author
      14 July 2021 / 3:43 pm

      Thank you SO much Joi – that means an awful lot coming from you 🙂 . Many, many changes are needed in influencer marketing still (unfortunately), but I hope it makes every blogger/influencer sit up and realise that they, too, need to make PRs and brands accountable for their actions and representation x

  3. 10 July 2021 / 12:20 pm

    Hi Catherine, well done you! I admire a blogger/influencer/lovely people who can stick to their principal. I also hope you are well as we haven’t spoken for such a long time. xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      10 July 2021 / 6:31 pm

      Anna that’s really kind of you, thank you ever so much…! And yes all good here thanks, hope you’re doing okay x

  4. 9 July 2021 / 9:11 pm

    Well done you sweetie. I can imagine that this was not an easy decision to make with the financial loss, however you stayed true!

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

    • Catherine
      Author
      10 July 2021 / 10:34 am

      Thanks Danielle – no not easy at all, but I’m glad I stuck with my decision x

  5. 9 July 2021 / 2:06 pm

    Gosh, I hope this guy learned something from you. He sounds so oblivious (who is betting is is old and white?). What appalling behaviour; it reflects so badly on a brand when representatives (or influencers) that are associated with them do not acknowledge the massive gap in their treatment of diverse people. Thank you for doing what we ALL should be doing– using our positions of privilege to ensure that NO ONE is treated unfairly or left out. Brava for taking a stand instead of taking the easy money. xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      9 July 2021 / 2:49 pm

      Thank you Lisa – and yes, I agree 100%. The money would have been nice (and lord I need it!), but I just couldn’t take it and not feel terrible about it 🙁

  6. Lynn Jones
    9 July 2021 / 9:55 am

    [ polite and proud applause goes here ]

    Good for you, Catherine. Thank you for pressing the diversity agenda and using your influence (no pun intended) to bring that to the fore.

    FWIW, I’ve noticed a more diverse set of models in JD Williams’s emails and that makes me think more favourably of the brand. Seeing people in the clothes I like with a body shape similar to mine (may a deity of their choice have mercy upon them ), makes me more inclined to buy something.

    • Catherine
      Author
      9 July 2021 / 11:31 am

      Thanks so much for the support Lynn 😀

      I, too, am very encouraged when I see a diverse mix of people in advertising and the media – and yes, JD Williams have always been very good at this (hence why I’ve enjoyed working with them for so long). There are so many fabulous and inspiring women (people) out there, and it makes sense that we should celebrate them and make them visible, doesn’t it? x

  7. 9 July 2021 / 2:55 am

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time, and a post like this (and the values it demonstrates) is just one of many reasons why. Thank you!

    • Catherine
      Author
      9 July 2021 / 11:31 am

      Oh Leah that’s really kind of you to say – thanks my lovely xx

  8. 8 July 2021 / 8:52 pm

    Brava Catherine. Let’s hope the chap/company in question will learn from this x

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 9:47 pm

      I really hope so Liz, though considering I gave him so many chances to wake up and smell the coffee (I practically rubbed the bloody beans in his face) that I don’t actually hold out much hope…!

  9. Debs Paine
    8 July 2021 / 8:31 pm

    There is no excuse for this behaviour. Bravo for taking a stand, I’m sure you will be offered far more work than this brand could have given you because of your stance on diversity.

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks Debs – I don’t blame the brand, it was all down to the chap running the blogger outreach agency. It’s just a shame that it had to happen at all 🙁

  10. Wanda Bleach
    8 July 2021 / 7:04 pm

    As an older plus sized woman, I do not care to see older plus sized women in ads. All it is is a reminder of my own shortcomings and makes me much less likely to buy something since it is an accurate representation of what I myself will look like in that product.

    And the lack of diversity of POC in an ad campaign doesn’t bother me either as maybe it’s just a product favored by slim white ladies between 40-50 and why should the company bother to lose possible sales by virtue signaling in their ads?

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 9:45 pm

      Gosh Wanda… I thought about deleting your comment but I thought I’d approve it and reply as a learning exercise for anyone who might feel the same way.

      First of all, your comment about how you feel about seeing other plus-sized older women upset me. You describing being older and plus-sized as having “shortcomings” – nothing could be further from the truth, and I don’t want other women who may describe themselves as older and plus-sized to think that they have shortcomings due to their appearance. They don’t. YOU don’t. Getting older is hard enough without blaming “shortcomings” on weight or size. Keeping weight off is hard for menopausal women and our worth is far more than just what we weigh. Shortcomings come from attitudes and how we treat others, nothing to do with appearance.

      Secondly, and this is the far more upsetting part (and I won’t sugar coat this), you need to get your white privilege in check. The lack of diversity in a campaign and it not bothering you (the lack of POC in particular) is, for you, due to you having white privilege, no other reason. I thought that the observation made by the Black blogger Stephanie Yeboah that I quoted might have nipped any comments like yours in the bud, but it seems not.

      The point of diversity isn’t for virtue signalling or tokenism. Quite coincidently, I read your comment as I was watching the British Asian TV presenter Anita Rani being interviewed on The One Show (I don’t know whether you’re British or not or know the programme, but either way it doesn’t matter) – she was describing her experiences growing up and looking at magazines as a young girl of Indian heritage. She said, “If you open a magazine and don’t see anyone who looks like you, you grow up feeling that you’re not beautiful.” THIS is why representation is important. It’s not tokenism. It’s about making EVERYONE, regardless of colour, background, culture, size, ability or age, feel that they belong. To make them feel that they, too, are capable of achieving what the people they are looking at have achieved, whether that be money, lifestyle, happiness, professional success, being loved, creating, helping others… the list goes on. It’s why it’s VITAL that we see women and POC in governments and running companies. It’s why we need to see women and POC in science and politics and engineering and all the other white male-dominated industries (you get my drift).

      A brand wanting to avoid diversity because they might lose sales would be ignorant and shameful, and – in this current climate – social, cultural and possibly financial suicide: you only have to read the rest of the comments here to realise that that’s the case.

      Please, please stop being the problem and learn from this.

      • Christine
        9 July 2021 / 12:05 am

        Gosh – I too was saddened to read Wanda’s post. I am also a follower of the Trinny tribe & am a big fan of another member who happens to be a plus size older woman. But more importantly she is colourful vibrant & endlessly creative with her clothes. She has a glorious smile & the most wonderful twinkle in her eyes. She is fun. Only this morning I was trying to track down items of clothing she wore because she looked so great. I wish Wanda could see her & what I see in her (but it is not for me to name her) & women like her. The confidence this woman oozes is so attractive – it is not a “showing off” but I feel good about myself attitude. It makes me feel happy. And well done Catherine for taking a stance & maintaining your integrity. I am an older woman, white & an average size, but I too get tired of the stereotypes we see in so much advertising. Brava.

        • Jane
          9 July 2021 / 1:01 am

          While it is certainly possible to disagree with Catherine’s position, this comment from Wanda reads as completely canned, as though “Wanda” is a troll, maybe even the chap in question? Who knows, but Catherine gave Wanda a polite, sincere and respectable reply!

          • Catherine
            Author
            9 July 2021 / 6:17 pm

            Thank you Jane – I definitely don’t think it’s him (doubt he reads my blog!), but I really appreciate you recognising the point I was trying to make 🙂

        • Catherine
          Author
          9 July 2021 / 6:12 pm

          Christine the lady you’re referring too sounds absolutely glorious… how wonderful to be her, thoroughly enjoying what she’s wearing! I feel the same about Georgette of https://grownandcurvywoman.com – the very last way I would describe her is of having shortcomings due to her size or age – quite the opposite. And thank you for the support and for recognising that stereotypes are not the way forward anymore x

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 8:05 pm

      So glad you think so, thanks MK xx

  11. Pilar
    8 July 2021 / 4:20 pm

    So inspiring! Everyone should use their platform for issues that matter. You don’t need to be political or an activist, just use your platform for good. Bravo and thanks!
    I do see more diversity in the campaigns. But I feel that my favourite brands (fast fashion, sorry planet) keep using 20 somethings and micro dresses, skirts and shorts. I have yet to find brands that have clothes I like an fit, but aimed at ME, a 40yo mum of two who can’t be showing her derrière while shopping for groceries and don’t like the athleisure trend
    Worst, I live in the States, in Arizona, in the freaking hell during summer and I made a promise to purchase only natural fibers or recycled fabric clothes so yeah, I still wear jeans and tees only

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you for the support Pilar – I’m just saddened that it really did happen [get to a stage where I had to turn down a campaign over a lack of diversity].

      I know what you mean about the types of models used for some brands, but I feel like it’s getting better. It really depends on the brand. I do like the fact that Asos don’t retouch their photos at all and you see real skin and stretch marks for example (as well as models of all ethnicities and sizes), and Mango often use older models, though still slim. Progress IS being made… who would have dreamt of seeing models’ skin not being retouched or a model wearing a hijab 10-15 years ago?? So let’s keep the pressure up and call out those brands when they’re NOT being diverse!

      • Pilar
        16 July 2021 / 10:31 pm

        Quick stupid question…. Why I don’t get any more email alerts about you or anyone replying to my comments on your posts!? Did I click something wrong!?

        • Catherine
          Author
          17 July 2021 / 9:20 am

          Hi Pilar… I have no idea how/why that could have happened, I’m so sorry! Unfortunately it’s not something I “control” (if you see what I mean) so I’m a bit stumped! I do control the mailing list that sends new posts via email (the Mailchimp subscription), but the comments and replies thing is via my WordPress (blog) account and that happens automatically. I’ve looked at my Settings, I can’t see anything that says I’ve got the wrong setting for that to happen (and I haven’t touched the Settings lately for me to have accidentally have changed anything)… I honestly don’t know what to suggest? I’ll keep trying to find out and drop you an email if/when I find something out to help you x

  12. Rory
    8 July 2021 / 4:17 pm

    Quite frankly, photos with diversity are far more visually interesting and compelling than the sea of same. This is coming from a person who may be the palest thing to walk this Earth. This was a very thoughtful and inspiring post. Thank you.

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 4:19 pm

      Thanks Rory – I’m really glad you appreciate that diversity is more interesting and compelling as you say. I think I may use your “sea of same” expression if that’s okay…!

  13. Helen Williams
    8 July 2021 / 3:38 pm

    Well done, Catherine on sticking by your principles, despite a financial loss.

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 4:13 pm

      Thank you Helen, I really felt like I had no choice, though I’m still astounded that he thought it was okay to gloss over it…!

  14. 8 July 2021 / 3:14 pm

    Very well done Catherine, as well as being racist/sizest or whatever ist they are being, it’s also boring!
    Who wants to see one type of model?
    Come on shoe supplier, get real.

    I admire you for turning down your fee, that is difficult in this climate.

    Love Avril

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 3:23 pm

      Thank you ever so much Avril – you’re absolutely right, it IS boring!! I’m still utterly shocked at their attitude. I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable taking that money though, so I just had to pretend it was never offered to me in the first place…!

  15. Kathy Luff
    8 July 2021 / 3:13 pm

    Well done you! Congratulations on taking a stand and sticking to it, despite the financial penalty.

    • Catherine
      Author
      8 July 2021 / 3:18 pm

      Thank you Kathy – it was not an easy decision to make in terms of the financial loss, but an easy one in terms of the principle of the thing 🙁

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