So, last week was full of cheer, it was a great week for me personally, I loved it through and through. I posted my “Catharsis” post about an image of myself I uploaded onto social media, I had such a lovely response that I released my podcast “Burr Necessities” a week early onto Spotify (Apple Podcasts are a completely different story), I finally reached 1,000 followers on Instagram, both my cats went to the vets and have been very well behaved. It was an all round good week.
But let’s dive into the details, shall we?
I took the above image and had a complete cathartic moment over it, where I shed a few tears at finally feeling good about myself. I can put on all the confidence I want, but showing this much of me on social media had been hard. In the background of my social media, I have been promoting different posts, for different lengths of time on Instagram, to see if it is really worth it’s money when it comes to ‘expanding a brand’. I had already done one day at £5, and two days at £10, but now I wanted to test the bigger amounts.
I sponsored the above image for 3 days at a cost of £15. It was to test how well it would work and also just generally put it out there that everyone is different, and everyone is valid in their appearance. An idea that I personally want to push following my complete catharsis and emotional response to taking this image and actually being happy with it.
For the first 2 days, it garnered likes, my follower count grew, the comments exploded, and it fast became my most popular post on the platform. I am not the kind of person to get thousands of likes, and anything over 100 I know I can achieve with relative ease from using hashtags and posting at the right time. Everything was positive, I got praise, I got compliments, it was all good.
Then the notification came. Someone had commented “why tf is this sponsored?” – I saw it, and I had to decide what to do. The profile who posted it was private, but their profile image was a half naked, muscly body. Was it a troll? Was it a bot? Or was it a real person? I just didn’t know, and I could either choose to respond and invite negativity to the post, or I could just delete the comment.
I chose the latter. Some may find that odd, but I wanted that place, that image to be one that was full of positivity, not letting someone come along and try and change the tone. If I had responded I could have opened it up into a full blown argument, if I had left it there, I could have had more comments of the same. And what would have been my leading response? “Why tf should it not be sponsored?” – I know that would have opened it up further to being torn down from this lofty place of feeling good, of accepting myself and being accepted.
In the process, yeah, I lost followers, was I bothered? Not really. I knew it would happen, but in the place of the 3 followers I lost, I ended up gaining so many more. I like to pretend that my social media isn’t about followers, but it is. I rely on followers to drive people to this blog, and now to my podcast. Even with my smaller number of followers, I have found myself being presented with great opportunities, and whatever I post is truly me – it’s either a selfie or some food or drink because apparently that’s all my life has become with how busy I am outside of work.
But, at the end of the day, I sponsored the post to have it out there. For people who don’t usually engage with me, to engage. It was seen by 6,850 unique users, 65% male, 45% aged 25-34, 84% of them living in England. the post got 330 likes, was saved 5 times to collections and has 49 comments. So 6,520 people chose not to engage with it, even though they saw it, and I was going to let 1 person get to me? One person had to leave a shitty comment and I had the choice to either delete it, leave it, or respond.
To me, I made the right choice, because if more people see it, if it pops up for other people and they see that it got 330 likes, and that 49 people left nice comments then it’s doing what I set out for it to do: show that all bodies are valid. I haven’t let it deter me from this mission of body acceptance, it just simply doesn’t exist except for in my memory and at the moment, it is swirling around my head because it annoyed me so much.
Sponsored posts end up in my feed all the time, and I wouldn’t dare ask why someone had paid to promote it. It is what it is, I can do as I please on my socials because it is mine. I want to be that person that shows it’s okay to be who you are, in the body you’re in and doing what you want. There are no limits, you can have fun, you can live freely. So, why the fuck is it sponsored? Because people deserve to feel good. And I’ll sponsor other posts in the future too.