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Am I Insulting?!?

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Hi everyone,

Well this post is kind of sewing related but also a little bit off topic so I apologise in advance!!!

Through vlogging I receive an enormous amount of comments in relation to my figure and my body size which are, in the majority, extremely complimentary.  However, I have recently received a few comments which have indicated that the way in which I talk about my body may be insulting or offensive to others who are larger than myself.

I know you have to take the rough with the smooth and the positive comments outweigh the negative ones, tenfold!!! But I couldn’t help feeling a little concerned that I may be unconsciously affecting my viewers and how they feel about their body image.  To that end I felt that maybe the comments made could have some substance.

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I have made no secret of the fact that I suffer from an autoimmune disease but what my viewers may not be aware of is that this disease caused my weight to plummet suddenly and I lost in the region of 2 stone within an extremely short space of time.

Following a number of tests it was confirmed I was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis which, as the name suggests, is a condition that causes ulcers in your colon as a result of your body attacking itself.  Fortunately my Colitis was diagnosed in the relatively early stages and even more fortunately it was Colitis rather than Crohns which is of course substantially more debilitating and inherently difficult to treat.

Initially I felt aggrieved that someone had the audacity to suggest that I was unable to comment about my own body in any way which I saw fit.  However, given time to mull over the wider implications of the way in which both I and my viewers perceived my body caused me concern.

I have always struggled with my body image and I don’t think anyone can really see themselves as others do.  This is of course coupled with the fact that, as women, we are compelled to put ourselves down constantly and always focus on our faults and flaws rather than the things which we have going for us and, of course, compare ourselves to others.  Given my own body image issues I became concerned that I was in some way impacting upon this impediment in others.

I have therefore committed to be more mindful of how my comments about my body may impact upon others in future vlogs.  Whilst I cannot change the way I look, and the fact that I am drawn to a fitted silhouette rather than a relaxed one, I can change the way people perceive me.  I want my viewers to be fully aware that I have no judgement in respect of anyone else’s body shape or size as we are all different and whether you are overweight, underweight or just right that is a matter for you and only you as it could be down to a number of reasons unbeknown to anyone else.  I have no place to comment in this regard and certainly would not intend to and any comments I make in respect of my own body are no reflection on anyone else’s but purely observations in relation to me and me alone.

Whilst off topic, I have felt compelled to write this post as it is easy for people to comment on my figure and believe that I am somehow lucky to look the way I do but what they don’t see is that I too struggle with body image and do not see my body as others do.  They are also unable to see that this body is a result of being afflicted with an illness which has caused me pain and discomfort for a number of years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

So once again I apologise if this post is too deep but it has been on my mind for some time and I needed an avenue to vent my feelings about it.  It is also not an attempt to gain numerous comments which are sympathetic to my condition it is just a post about what is on my mind right now with no strings attached.

Thanks for stopping by and check out my YouTube channel and instagram account for more sewing lovliness and conversation with a much lighter subject matter!!!

Amanda xx

If you are interested in finding out more about Ulcerative Colitis you can check it out here:

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30 thoughts on “Am I Insulting?!?

  1. Firstly I had no idea you had a blog and I’m so happy to sub! We’ve both obviously got this issue on our minds at present!! Keeping it real and honest love, well done. I wish you all the best with managing your condition too xxxxxxx

    1. Hi Sarah, As you can see I have only just started it and didn’t really want to put it out there for all to see until I knew if it was something that was going to suit me or until I had some content that would actually be interesting to people. This issue is definitely on my mind at the moment and clearly is on yours too.

      I think I’m going to try and carry on with the blog although I am new to all of this and still getting my head round it. Whilst I am worried it will be too time consuming I have found it useful to put my thoughts down rather than vlog about them.

      Thanks for the support as always it means so much and I hope you stay well too xxx

  2. So sorry to hear that you have gone through this. I have watched your videos and cant say that you have been offensive at all. You are lovely and bring joy and inspiration to so many people. I dont think there is a single woman out there who doesnt have body image issues of one sort or another. I have friends with different body types and honestly even the ones who did modelling still have issues. Some have lost loads of weight to get to the magic size but found new things they didnt like about their bodies – and put the weight back on. After many years of struggling with my own body issues that I could never really voice out loud for fear of recrimination from others who viewed my body size as the ideal (dont even get me started on the remarks I get about having 5 kids and remained same size). In the end, I came to the conclusion that when a person accepts who they are and their body – they are less likely to be easily offended by someone else speaking their own individual truth. Each person has their own individual truths which are completely separate and unrelated to anyone else. e.g. I dont drink tea or coffee because its not good for me but when I say that out loud I am not saying that if you drink tea or coffee its bad for you and for you to take offense – but I have had people come back at me and be like “So you think you are better than everyone else who drinks tea or coffee”. People who want to be offended will be offended no matter what you do. I hope you wont feel like you have to change your words too much to cater to that small group of people because you are awesome.
    xxxxxx

  3. Thanks Hila, I think it is just on my mind after the few comments I have had and the last thing I want to do is upset anyone. I fully agree with you that people who are easily offended are likely to be unhappy with the way they are anyway making them super sensitive. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment you were one of the first vloggers and bloggers that I found which made me realise that I am not alone in this sewing lark and gave me the inspiration to get myself out there. So thank you for that I am eternally grateful XXXX

  4. I love your vlogs. Your enthusiasm for sewing makes them great. I think if the intention in your mind and heart is to not hurt anyone, that is all that matters. Don’t beat yourself up about offending people when some people look for offense wherever they go.

    1. Hi Jenny, thank you for your kind words. I think you are right some people do look for offense wherever they go and my intention is clearly not to upset anyone so I have just resolved to be mindful of the sensitive ones. You are so kind and thank you for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment xxx

  5. Amanda I love your vlogs, you are an inspiration to me and I love the way you completely throw yourself wholeheartedly into your sewing, don’t change, I like you just the way you are…!!

    1. Hi Dot, thank you for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. I really appreciate it. I am glad you enjoy my vlogs as it nice to know that all my efforts aren’t in vein xxx

  6. Well said! I watch your vlog too and really enjoy your videos. As you said we all suffer from body image issues and we all have stories that we don’t necessarily want to share! So I think it’s lovely that you have shared your story with us. I think you put it really well too, that we are entitled to our opinions about ourselves but sometimes don’t perceive how we are impacting others – well done for taking the time to think about this and write this post.

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. I was a little unsure about writing it as clearly some things are better left unsaid. However, I felt it was important for people to know that I am conscious of their feelings towards their own size and shape but just because I look a certain way does not mean that I don’t suffer from the same insecurities. I am glad you enjoy my vlog and thanks for watching. Take care xxx

  7. I have enjoyed watching your vlogs and seeing all of your beautiful makes! Your sunny disposition is a joy to watch, I always find myself wishing I knew you in “real life”. As someone who is overweight and struggles with body image, I am admittedly jealous of your tiny waist! But I have never found your commentary the least bit insulting, offensive, or derogatory towards others. I would argue that anyone who says such is simply manifesting their own insecurities by imposing and projecting their negative self-image into your words. I cannot see how someone can watch you and interpret your character as anything but kind! There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “Haters gonna hate”… or something like that. 😉
    Keep up the wonderful work, I look forward to your videos!

    1. Hi Christina, thank you for taking the time to read my post and leaving such a lovely message. Clearly you are right and people will interpret my vlogs in whatever way they see fit no matter what I say or do but I was just concerned that I was potentially effecting people in a less than positive way. The only thing I can do is be more mindful in the future. I am grateful for your support and kind words. Thanks for watching and take care xxxx

  8. Hi Amanda, i’ve just discovered your vlogs today and have watched several already. I enjoyed watching them and seeing your ‘So Over It’ makes – so very inspiring. Can’t believe you’ve copped some flack re your size, – everyone is so unique and with their own challenges they face.
    I haven’t sewn clothes for myself in years, but that hasn’t stopped me buying patterns and fabrics! I’m just about ready to dust off my machines and alter (ugghh) some patterns and start sewing again. I’m totally over what is offered in the plus size range in my local department store – with most of everything coloured black too! It might be winter here – but I want colour and nice prints!

    1. Hi Jenny
      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and to leave a comment I really appreciate it. It think it is true what others have said to me that people will always find a way to express their own insecurities if they feel the need and it just happened to me that it was aimed at me. I love Sew Over It but I fully appreciate that they are maybe not suited to everyone. I am glad you are going to get back into sewing as its so enjoyable. Good luck and thanks for watching xxx

  9. Hi Amanda,
    I have just recently found your blog and having watched many, I love it. I have never been offended by any of your comments. As everyone has said we all have issues that we would like to overcome or be without, me included. I find you refreshing and fun to watch. My biggest envy is your ability to use less fabric which means more makes yay. Keep on being yourself, you are lovely inside and out.
    P.S. thanks for the tutorial on zips. Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy, thank you for taking the time to read my post and to leave such a lovely comment. Definitely being smaller does have its bonuses with regard to fabric requirements!!!! Thank you for your kind words and I am glad the zip video was helpful. Take care xxxx

  10. HI Amanda, I watch your vlog and decided to have a look at your blog. I came across this post and read it with interest and a bit of surprise. I have always watched your vlogs and never have picked up on any weight related comments that would alarm me. I am bigger than average (I’d be about a 24 in sew over it patterns if they went that high) and feel quite sensitive so I feel I would have picked up negative comments if there were any. I wasnt aware you had a condition so am sorry to hear that but I think you have an amazing figure regardless – as you say we never see ourselves as others do. I suffer with ME/CFS so not easy for me to lose weight but I can relate when you talk about never knowing the story behind someones weight because my condition is not one you can see to look at. Anyway! I love watching your makes and videos keep up the good work – Claire

    1. Hi Claire, thank you for taking the time to read my post and leave such a thoughtful comment. I think that everybody’s weight is such a sensitive issue and a hard one to deal with. You are so very kind in your comment about my figure. I am sorry to hear that you suffer from ME/CFS and, having a friend that also suffers from ME, I completely understand that it must be difficult for you to lose weight but you are right unless you wear a badge nobody would know you have this kind of condition that is difficult to deal with and causes you problems on a daily basis. Thank you for watching I am so grateful for the support and for taking the time to visit my blog which, as you can see, is in the baby stages which is why I haven’t really tried to promote it. Take care xxxx

  11. Hi Amanda, I’ve binge watched all your YouTube videos and love everything you sew. I love how matter of fact you are when talking about your body. You don’t convey emotional baggage through your words. That is so refreshing. If anything, I think your approach helps us all to be more accepting of our bodies. So, are you insulting? Absolutely not. Please don’t change based on a few negative comments. I love all your videos, and look forward to many more.

    1. Hi Tara, thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and leave such a lovely comment. I really appreciate it. This topic is something that I was really concerned about for a while and have been through a whole array of emotions in relation to it. But ultimately my intention is completely nothing to do with body shaming but solely how to adjust sewing patterns to fit your body!! I think I was just a little shocked that someone could take my comments so far out of context and place them in a whole other sphere of issues that could not be further from my mind when I am talking about sewing?!?!? But then I just got concerned that maybe I was upsetting people but I just couldn’t see it. As I said in my post I try to be a little more conscious of how my comments may effect others but clearly you can never please everyone so if it wasn’t this it would be something else. I am so glad that you love my channel as that is what makes it worthwhile. Thanks again and take care xxxxx

  12. I’m sorry you’ve suffered with colitis. I understand the losing weight from illness. My immune system tanked after my third son and I had to deal with IBS and got down to kind of a scary weight because any little allergen just made me so sick. I’m healthy now but I’ll probably never be able to eat dairy again. I don’t think there’s a single woman who doesn’t struggle with their body image. I get a little upset when I hear talk about “curves” because I have curves (albeit smaller) too. It’s hard to use language in the way we talk about our shapes that don’t exclude someone. And perhaps we’re all ready to pounce on people for being “negative” because we’re all insecure in that way to begin with. To bring this into the spiritual realm, I think that in this day this is how the enemy of our souls tries to lead us to despair. We all are the size that we are and sometimes there’s a whole host of reasons for those sizes. The awesome thing about sewing is that whatever that size is, we can sew something that fits it. Thank you for this honest conversation. Keep doing what you’re doing; I think you’re very encouraging, and I think it’s admirable that you’re taking the time to address any comments that might be misconstrued.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thank you for taking the time to read my post and to leave such an encouraging comment. I am so sorry that you too have suffered with immune system issues and dramatic weight loss. It is a hard topic to deal with as like you say so many people are unhappy with their bodies and I do strongly believe that you will always see imperfections even if you have a body that most can only dream of. But also that the world is so focused on how people should lose weight they forget that sometimes it is a struggle to keep weight on as a result of an illnesses which is debilitating in many ways.

      Take care and thanks for stopping by xxxx

  13. Hi Amanda

    As a plus size sewist who watches your video I can’t say I have ever noticed you say anything that may have offended. But then I’ve (for the most part) accepted my body and am pretty happy with it. The only reason I want to lose weight is to be healthier. As a fellow vlogger it’s really hard to put yourself out there and to receive negative comments is never nice. But I figure those who are happy in their skin and with their lives wouldn’t bother writing anything negative about someone else. Some people have insecurities that they can’t handle and so try to bring other people down with them.

    Plus it’s a sewing vlog for goodness sake, you have to talk about your body, fit issues and the alterations you have to do to make garments fit your unique shape so that other people with similar body types can be inspired and learn from you.

    You’re doing a fab job Amanda, keep it up!

    1. Hi Hayley, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I am so glad you see things the same way as I do and you are so right it is all about whether people are comfortable in their own skin or not. I have to admit it was one comment in particular that spurred me to write this post as I couldn’t for the life of me understand how my sewing vlog could be taken so far out of context and construed as a body shaming exercise!!!! It really did keep playing on my mind that maybe I wasn’t seeing myself as others do and that maybe I was offensive but I just couldn’t see it. I have resigned myself to the fact that there will always be something that viewers pick up on and I just have to get over it as honestly, what did I expect!!! Thank you for your comment and I love your channel so much!!! I am also glad you seem to have managed to get the right balance with your vlogging as there is no point stressing yourself out over it, its supposed to fun after all. Take care xxx

  14. Hi Amanda,
    how lovely to discover your blog. I never realised! I’ve thought about it, but time is always the issue!

    Reading your post has made me feel quite tearful. Its such a shame that the comments of others result in you having to explain yourself or feel bad about the way you are or question yourself. None of us have the right to judge others. We all have our own demons and struggles in life and you never know what is going on behind closed doors. Why not be positive and supportive rather than critiscise. I am so sorry.
    I’m a plus size vlogger and often feel conscious about putting myself out there, but why should I. Why should any of us.
    In fact sewing is helping me accept my body and if my shape changes it will because I want it to, not because of others negativity.
    Your vlogs motivate and inspire me (and reduce my bank balance 😉 ) and I have never felt bad because of them.
    Take care, and lots of love
    Lizzy
    xxx

    1. Hi Lizzy, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and to leave such a supportive comment I truly appreciate it. You are totally right we do all have our own struggles but I sometimes feel that people fail to appreciate that by the comments they make after viewing my vlogs. I am so glad that my vlogs motivate and inspire you (but sorry about the bank balance) and it is good to hear that you have not felt offended by anything I have said as clearly it is not my intention to make anyone feel bad about themselves. Thanks again and take care lovely xxxx

  15. Just in case you haven’t seen it – Inside Number 23 did a very good vlog recently about dealing with negative comments. xx

    1. Thanks Lizzy, I’m gonna check that out xxxx

  16. Hey Amanda, just came across this blog. Obviously you wrote this back in May and have no doubt moved on, but I felt I had to leave a comment…..As an avid viewer of your vlogs, I have never heard you saying anything that I believe may offend others in terms of body size. I’m overweight and one of the reasons I took up sewing was to make clothes that suit my size, that’s the beauty of sewing and from all of your vlogs I’ve seen (which is all of them I think!), that’s what you demonstrate, amongst other great things.

    Ever since I’ve come across your vlog, you’ve been an inspiration to me and so, so helpful. Such a shame a few negative comments can affect you in this way. Best to ignore them as you can’t please all of the people all of the time! I don’t think you need to justify your size at all, so credit to you for doing that. You’ve not had it easy. I can’t believe folk would even leave a comments like that!!

    Just know that you are fab – like I say, a bit late in reading and commenting, so I do hope you’ve moved on!

    A xx

    1. Hi Agnes, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and taking the time to read my post I really appreciate it. I know you are right and I can’t please everybody all of the time but I do feel that I need to ensure that I also cater to my more sensitive viewers as my channel is of course in no way intended to make anyone feel upset or offended. I am so glad that you have taken inspiration from my vlogs and I get such joy from seeing that I have given you confidence in some way and you have come such a long way with your sewing. I mean who would of thought you would have managed to make a coat for goodness sake!!! I like to think that maybe I had a small part to play in helping you realise that it was a totally achievable task. I appreciate all your wonderful comments and the support you have given me and it is comments like yours that make the negative ones have less of an impact. Thank you so much and take care lovely lady xxxxx

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