When honesty sometimes isn’t the best policy

A few days ago, on a post Britmums Live high, I wrote about being more honest on this blog, and about why honesty is definitely the best policy. However what I didn’t write, and what I thought didn’t need writing, is that sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy.

Sorry if this sounds a little bit contradictory, but hear me out. I do wholly agree that honesty, about me, on my blog, is the right policy. So that means being the “me” I am in real life. Even if it does mean there may be more swear words here and more pictures of my make-up free, double-chinned face. (Feel free to run and hide!)

Make-up free woman www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Me, au naturel, the day after Britmums Live (oh how I want to not share this photo, but I’m being honest and all that….)

Where I believe honesty isn’t the right way is when it hurts others.

We all have views and opinions of others. Sometimes positive but often negative. “I wouldn’t wear a skirt that short if I were her” or “I can’t believe she’s going back to work full-time after just having a baby” or “She’s having another baby? I’m not sure that’s a good idea” or “I can’t see what he sees in her, he could do so much better” and so on and so forth.

Sadly as humankind – or even more sadly womankind – we have a tendency to gossip or bitch about others. And I’m no saint here, I do it too. But I draw the line about being honest in that way here on my blog.

It’s one thing to think such thoughts. It’s one thing to say them to your other half in the privacy of your home. It’s another thing altogether to put them on your blog. A public place where that person might read your negative opinion.

Which is why you won’t see that kind of honesty here.

Since Britmums Live at the weekend I’ve seen several blog posts where the blogger has shared their disdain about Katy Hill winning Fresh Voice at the BiBs awards ceremony.

Katy Hill presenting at Britmums Live 2014 www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Katy Hill presenting the BiBs awards at Britmums Live on Friday (excuse blurry photo – was maxi zooming!)

I won’t lie, I voted for Katie from Hurrah for Gin, and was disappointed that she didn’t win as I love her blog. But I also love Katy Hill’s blog, and find it sad that some people have voiced the opinion that somehow she didn’t deserve to win.

Just because she was a Blue Peter presenter, and has been a mum for the last few years, does that somehow make this a fix? Just because she is a celebrity does that mean she can’t be nominated and win an award for having a great blog?

Does that mean that photographers can no longer win the photography award? That writers are banned from the writer award? As this wouldn’t be fair on others?

And would the aforementioned bloggers have written the same thing about another blogger if she weren’t in the public eye?

I find it very sad. The blogging community, on the whole, is a lovely, supportive one, but this nastiness does leave a bad taste in the mouth.

I don’t know Katy Hill really. I saw her at Britmums Live last year and again this year, and I read her blog, that’s about it. But what I do know is that she is a great blogger. She is also a lovely lady who came up to me at Britmums Live last year and told me she liked my dress, and complimented me on looking so good 7 months after having a baby, which made me feel AMAZING (so much so I mentioned it in my post-BML blog post last year). She doesn’t get up on some kind of celebrity high horse and she doesn’t expect any kind of star treatment. She was there as a blogger, like the rest of us, to learn, mingle and enjoy the blogging community.

It was clear to see from her reaction when she won the award that she was delighted, chuffed, proud and emotional at the recognition of her hard work. In the same way any of us would be if we’d won an award.

It’s shitty that there have to be losers, especially when there are some exceptional blogs out there, but that’s no reason to piss all over the parade of the winner.

Katy – if you’re reading this, congratulations on your win! It was well deserved.

To anyone thinking about writing something negative on your blog about another person, blogger or not, celebrity or not, just remember they are another human being, with thoughts and feelings, so think about how it might feel if the shoe were on the other foot.

*climbs down off soapbox*


16 Responses

  1. Verily Victoria Vocalises says:

    I for one was one of the people who wrote what I felt about Katy winning the award. As I said in my post, I believed it was a conflict of interest in the fact that she was presenting the awards as well as winning and to me that looked a bit odd. I don’t believe I was mean or nasty, just voicing an opinion. Nadine Hill is the video round-up editor for BritMums and she won the video category. No problem with that, but then she wasn’t introducing all of the other award winners.

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I didn’t read your blog post on this subject, I just saw a few others that were really quite nasty. I’m not sure there is a conflict of interest when she was just presenting the awards, as she was nothing to do with the actual judging, and I’m guessing that she was lined up to present the awards well before the nominations came in. I just believe that it’s important to think of other people’s feelings when we’re blogging, it’s easy to think “it’s my space, I’ll write what I want”, but I would HATE to read something nasty written about me online. Anyway, thanks for commenting.

  2. Sally says:

    I can’t really comment on the award thing as I’ve not tracked it at all but from what I’ve seen on Twitter, Katy seems like a really lovely woman.

    But I’ve often thought that we imagine celebrities have skin of Teflon. Sometimes the things I see online are just breathtakingly mean, and not something I imagine those people would dream of saying to someone who worked as a GP, or an estate agent or anything else for that matter. Just because someone works on TV or radio, does it make it more acceptable to say you’d like to punch them in the face (which I once saw a blogger Tweet about a celebrity) or that they’re a slapper (I’ve also seen that, too).

    Actually, I suspect telly types are often more hurt by those comments because their entire career is built around how they’re perceived by others and it’s so tied up with their identity. You’re absolutely right – it’s important to remember everyone is entitled to the same degree of kindness and courtesy, regardless of the job they do.

    Except the tax man and my dentist. None of the above applies to them. Naturally.
    Sally recently posted…What I’m Doing NowMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks for commenting, and that is such a valid point – I do think that most celebrities probably struggle more than us mere mortals, due to the nature of the business that they’re in. I just don’t think being nasty online is right. I know everyone likes a good bitch about other people, but there are times and places for it – of an evening, at home, with a glass of wine in hand for example works well, but not online where it might actually hurt.

  3. I felt so sad when I started to see those posts. It just means people have made a judgement based on a superficial perception of someone, and not considered how she might feel.

    I don’t know Katy well, but I do know she is a lovely girl, who would be the first to say that she’s not a writer or a photographer. She just puts her writing and photos on her blog for the world to see, the same as any of us.

    Votes may have got her to the final, but the finals are judged. Judged – and I can say that, because I was one of the judges last year, so I know it to be fact. It’s also a panel of judges, not one person. So Katy’s blog was judged, and deemed to be the best.

    It is disappointing when you’re a finalist, and you don’t win – I’ve been there – but I’ve never pulled down the winner. I’ve always congratulated him or her and moved on.

    Anyone could see how utterly thrilled Katy was to win her category – I caught her calling her husband to tell him, and she lost the plot on the phone to him too, so I can tell you it was genuine. It meant so much to her to be part of our community of bloggers, that I’d imagine this has been hurtful, if she’s seen it.

    I’m mostly disappointed because I thought we were better than that. When I sat up there on my panel, and then wrote my post after the weekend, I wanted to impress on bloggers just what great voices they all have, and how if we can support each other, we can achieve so much in the name of women. I’m a litte gutted that people weren’t really listening 🙁

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      There’s not much to say to this other than I agree. It is sad and so disappointing, but hopefully it is the minority and a one-off.

  4. Kate S says:

    Everything you just said. I know Katy fairly well (only via social media) but she’s lovely, totally non assuming and I think it’s really sad if anyone feels they have to put her down for winning. Bad side of blogging I’m afraid x

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      That’s the impression that I had of her too, so I’m glad you’ve backed me up there. I hope it’s just the minority and a one-off this time.

  5. I didn’t know about these posts until I read about them here and frankly I’m disgusted and sad. I had to wait overnight before commenting so that I didn’t swear too much. Like you I don’t know Katy (I spoke to her at Britmumslive but that’s about it) and she does seem genuinely lovely, but for me that isn’t the point. She could have three heads and breathe fire for all that it matters. There was a lot of talk over the weekend about supporting each other as bloggers and as women but it is precisely this type of public put-down that taints the water for the rest of us swimming in it.(Sorry for all the mixed metaphors!)
    Michelle @ Bod for tea recently posted…Kirstie Allsop and feminism – have we missed the point?My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I know what you mean. It’s up to the rest of us now to show just how supportive we can be!

  6. Alison Perry says:

    I haven’t seen all of the blog posts you’re referring to, just one, and even that made my mouth gape open in disbelief. I don’t really understand why someone might think it’s OK to slag a person off in a public way. Especially after the empowering, inspiring words of Emma Freud – telling us all that we had a powerful voice. Why use that voice to knock someone down?
    Criticism for a good cause can be effective or criticism in a constructive way can be fine… but being nasty about someone who is in the same blogging community just seems cruel.

    I think Sally’s comment about us thinking celebrities are Teflon coated is spot on. I also think people extend this belief to brands sometimes. I’ve spoken out before about how when you lash out at a brand in a public way, it’s not some big faceless giant you’re attacking, it’s a person. They might have made an error of judgement which has led to being slagged off, but everyone makes mistakes, and we should show compassion and understanding.
    Alison Perry recently posted…10 Signs Summer Is HereMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Very true, Alison. I think people seem to forget that behind their computer is a world of people reading those hurtful words, and possibly the person who is being attacked reading them too.

  7. Grenglish says:

    I read some of these posts and they made me feel really sad too. I don’t know Katy, but she has taken the time to comment on some of my posts, has tweeted back to me on twitter and was incredibly supportive to me before I read my keynote on Saturday.
    Yes she is a celebrity, but she is part of OUR community and I imagine she’d feel as hurt as you or I would if those comments were about us.
    She seemed so totally thrilled and excited to have won her award, I hope none of this mean spiritedness takes that away from her x
    Grenglish recently posted…Talking About the M-WordMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I really hope it doesn’t take it away from her too, she seemed so genuinely thrilled when she won.

  8. Susie says:


    I just came across your blog, I’m not in the mummy blogging community at all (as my children are now grownup) so I’m not that up on the event that you’re talking about though I have heard of it.

    I found this post to be very interesting. I completely agree about being honest (though, of course, you can be honest without being warts and all – I think)and about when not to be honest. I wrote a post earlier in the year about a restaurant that I’d been to, it was an acerbic piece though I tried very hard to not be too sharp and to temper it with the good things that I had to say about the place. It was well written, I’m pleased with it as a piece but..I have always regretted publishing it. The restaurant’s owner got in touch with me and we spoke via email, I stand by my sentiments but I don’t think that I used them in the right way. I’m all about young startups and foodie ventures and this restaurant was borne out of a little food van and blood, sweat and tears. I forgot that behind that venture were incredibly hard working people who weren’t in it for the money (not just) and I decided that, moving forward, that was a kind of honesty that I didn’t want on my blog. There is enough of that around for my voice not to be one.

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder.
    Susie recently posted…How to find a nice pair of shoes when your feet resemble paddles or where to get a pair of wide fitting shoesMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I think it’s always important to remember that our honesty may hurt someone so to do a quick check before posting anything truly honest. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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