My Right To Reply

“O my God…” my opening line to Paul when I called him at work to tell him the Toddler Fashionista article had been featured on the Mail Online… Whilst I thought I had gone into this feature with my eyes open, and prepared for the worst – I could never imagine the scope of this story and how much debate this article would evoke. Mortified and embarrassed only touch the surface of how I felt when reading the awful comments left on this story. But I felt it better to address this life lesson and not hide away and wait for it to pass, (mainly because with the attention it has received, this ain’t passing anytime soon!), so I wanted to write a post to assure my followers and acquaintances that I’m not really the monster portrayed by the press! Hopefully some of you will already have read my Toddler Fashionistas post from Feb that was written before this feature and already have the real side of this story.

There is no point trying to hide this article, just 5 hours after it went live it was shared over 660 times with almost 900 comments. So here it is…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2582552/I-wouldnt-buy-girls-cheap-shoes-M-S-Are-Britains-pampered-children-Toddlers-lavished-45-000-designer-clothes-expensive-toys.html

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 20.02.04

Landing page of the Mail Online. Digitally, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. When the features writer told me it was going here, my heart sank a little but I still thought – ok how bad can it be? The headline alone nearly bought me to my knees!!!

‘I wouldn’t ever buy my girls cheap shoes from M&S’: Are these Britain’s most pampered children? Toddlers lavished with £45,000 of designer clothes and toys

I read this, and thought – just shoot me now. The article has 15 images and reveals our full names, there is no hiding from this one. What I thought was a bit of fun and something to tell the girls about in years to come, has become a day I wish had never happened. Everything I said has been taken out of context, the obscene figures of money, the attitudes of my daughters and the general tongue in cheek banter I had with the writer not knowing that every word was being written and spun as I said it. But even after I read this article, I kidded myself that I could keep it hidden and that no one I knew would ever come across it. Then I scrolled down to the comments. Dear lord its enough to send someone over the edge, what a cruel bunch the Mail Online subscribers are! It’s beyond me that anyone would A. believe half of what they read and B. give enough of a dam to share such a ridiculous story and comment on it.

So now it’s my turn to categorise the facts :

  • Yes the girls have the odd label, who doesn’t like a bit of designer gear? But I certainly would never pay full price for it!
  • If Scarlett ever turns her nose up at an item of clothing, it’s because of the look of it – not because of where it’s come from! She’s 2 for crying out loud!?
  • We like a holiday, thats no secret, but £25k – I bloody wish!
  • Most of Scarlett’s nursery is Ikea, its no secret, it is there in the photographs! I’m not ashamed of that or try to pretend it’s something that it’s not, you can see that for yourself here on my post about her room!
  • It’s true that we don’t buy shoes from fashion shops such as M&S and Next, but what I added to this statement was that its because we are concerned about Scarlett’s ankles turning in so prefer to get shoes fitted professionally each time we buy new shoes!

Of course, none of this would make very interesting or controversial reading so its no wonder it wasn’t included. This whole experience has given me a totally different and very real insight in to the world of journalism, and one that I will never get stung by again. All I can hope is that just a few of the people that have read this article also see this and in future, don’t believe everything they read.

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58 thoughts on “My Right To Reply

  1. Hi Faye. I dip into your blog now and again and it was through another link I read this. To me it was obvious there were tongue in cheek banter comments. Who doesn’t want the best for their children? My daughter in law shops for designer gear for my grandson and he chooses his outfits and he is also 2. She finds bargains online as my son would put his foot down on out of control spending. The readers comments were pure spitefulness. Gorgeous girls by the way.

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  2. What a horrible position that dreadful journalist put you in. As a previous commentator said the only thing which stood out in that article was the lovely looks you and your girls had for each other. You looked a gorgeous, happy and healthy family. It did however introduce me to your blog which looks fabulous and I’ve read lots of other posts today beside this one! Hold your head high, who knew what on earth was going to happen!!

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  3. I had to comment, I rarely do! But I really feel for you, sensationalist journalists need to get their comeuppance. I can only imagine the sinking feeling you’re having. I saw this because a friend shared your side of the story on fbk. I’m sure it will get around and people will see what you have been put through. (I clicked on the link cause I saw so many clothes my little one has too!) I will now check out your blog. Looks like you have great taste in clothes 🙂 and carry on the good work, you and your kids are beautiful in the pics! Dont let this eat you up, focus on the nice comments if you can X

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  4. What I don’t understand is who would be interested in reading that article in the first place.

    It’s awful that your words have been twisted and it doesn’t accurately represent you and your family.

    But seriously, it’s just a list of items and their prices. Really, who cares!

    I think it is just lazy journalism, filling column inches/webpages….

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  5. Ouch! I got really humiliated by the Mirror in 2008 when they wanted a plus size woman to talk about being fat and happy. The interviewer was lovely and a freelance, to be fair she represented what I said quite well. The Mirror took the story, added a size 8 make up artist/model/fitness trainer into the mix and invited us for a photo shoot in London.

    I turned up, make up free with unstyled hair. The model turned up looking like a model. They let her wear her own clothes, I was given a rack of unflattering plus size options to choose from which were all hideous. And the promised hair stylist/make up artist didn’t turn up so I did the shoot in barely any make up with hair that was one step up from just out of bed.

    I still sounded nicer than she did though.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/two-mirror-readers-give-their-provocative-294214

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  6. I read this story in the daily mail and could instantly see it was over exaggerated and quite ridiculous. Any one with an ounce of intelligence will have read between the lines here. My babe is 1 and I buy him quality shoes (to protect his feet) and I don’t buy his clothes in Primark because I find they wear more quickly and are smaller so he grows out of them much faster. Most of the mothers I know do similar, when I looked at the pictures of your girls room, the first thing I thought was IKEA (it looks lovely by the way, and we’re big fans of IKEA) So try not too worry, those with common sense will see this for what it is and the media storm might not pass so soon but it will pass. Soon no-one will remember, and you’ll be able to get back to building your reputation on the truth 🙂 Good luck to you and your family, I hope things settle soon xx

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  7. As another mum who has been caught out by the media , more than once ( naively thinking each time it would be better ha ha ) I can tell you it blows over as soon as your voice is heard by enough people. Don’t worry about the comments from the readers , a lot of them have nothing better to do than make matters worse. Just to give you a chuckle the same paper quoted me as mum of five and I am no goody two shoes ! I was horrified as like you in a relaxed banter I had said that with each child I had relaxed more and more. I went on to have 6 th child and in another paper they quoted that I drove a clown car ( it was in fact an 8 seater Japanese import how else would a family of 8 get around ? The misquotes and nonsense followed by a certain very famous person appearing on the one show who at first suggested that anyone who had six children must surely be of low education , then went on to say I was exceptional ..he’d never even met me! .. I’ve kept the clippings for the kids to have a jolly good laugh. My thoughts are with you and if you ever fancy a cuppa with ‘ the woman who was banned from the school run ‘ lol you know who to message tee hee.

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  8. Faye, I hadn’t seen this article before seeing your response. I have read all the articles and can say that you are one brave lady to have done the piece in the first place. I would not trust a journalist as far as I could throw them and that was before reading your piece! Good for you Faye for posting your right to reply!

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  9. I’m not sure that it matters what a parent provides for their child…how neither expensive nor inexpensive…as long as you are providing… The readers that left nasty comments seemed to forget the bigger picture…media (printed or online) of this nature is for entertainment purposes…for fun (even if portrayed and printed out of context). They troll the internet for no other reason than to get up onto their soap boxes and preach how they think the world should conduct itself. They cast hurtful comments that are completely off point; attack from angles you wouldn’t even consider and often times end up using the comments section as a venue to argue amongst themselves. I’ve seen it in almost every online article ever printed that had some type of sensationalized topic. What’s my point to this comment I’m leaving? Simply put, do not beat yourself up over this. We live in a VERY critical and judgmental world where everyone thinks they are an expert and are not afraid to tell the world (as long as they get to maintain their anonymity online 😉

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  10. As a fellow mum, I really feel for you with this – journalists really do have a tendency to twist things and take what you’ve said and place it out of context. It is so sad that people feel the need to be so hateful about how others choose to parent their children – if your children are loved, happy and healthy then that is really what matters. I have read both the article in the Mail and your response and I have to say that what I noticed most in the Mail article were the photos (having dismissed most of the story as tosh due to my own opinion of the Mail as a newspaper!) I saw a mum whose love for her girls shone through in every picture, a mum who is smiling and happy and engaging with her children. That is what really matters. Hold your head up high and don’t let any of those nasty comments get you down xx

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  11. I really feel for you and your family. My friend was in a nightclub in Vegas a couple of years ago and saw Wayne Rooney. Now she’s a massive Man U fan and went over to say hello. She spoke to him for approx 3 mins about recent games (as she’s a season ticket holder and goes to every game) when she got home most papers had printed a story about home wrecking women and her chatting to him was one of the featured photos. She got absolutely slated in the comments and I can’t say about the other women but she was just a fan who spoke to him for a couple of minutes but unfortunately for her she’s gorgeous and it was assumed she was throwing herself at him. I don’t buy papers and haven’t since my friends article was printed as it’s all hyped to give bored people something to read. It will blow over and who cares what people you don’t know think about you xx

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  12. I do understand that journalists have a job to do but the very first time I was interviewed it was headed “the grandchild of French aristocrats…” – I’m sorry, what? How did the fact my grandfather was a Swiss watchmaker turn into that?
    I am very sorry that you have had a rough time with this, but it will blow over faster than you can imagine and now you can proudly join the Singed by the Press club!

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  13. Hee hee! The Daily Fail? Don’t take it on too much, that lot will soon be bashing some other poor person and they’ll have forgotten all about you. This is a very good lesson for all of us!

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  14. I’m not a Mum but that original article was just typical to me of the worst of journalism! A lot of journalists seem to have to say everything in such a sensational way to make sure they get read and that insults all of our intelligence! Well done with your response Faye and if I were a Mum I’d be very proud of you, your intellect and your two beautiful children.

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  15. Oh my, what a load of rubbish. I bet you read the article and wondered whose family it was that they were talking about. I certainly did. It’s amazing how the media can completely twist everything out of context. What amazes me more is that people actually believe that stuff. I am sure it will all pass very soon.

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    • I know! I doubt they care if its true or not, these people by the looks of things comment on hundreds of features a day being nasty! We’ll be pleased when its all blown over. What an ordeal!!

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  16. Oh my…. how shocking that the media would turn, twist and manipulate the truth of a simple storyline into a complete manhunt. Eh is that not what they do on a regular basis, of course it is, they have neither morals nor scruples, simply get the scoop, change the facts, print and deliver on time with a catchy headline targeted to captivate its audience, no matter what the cost or who it may concern or harm. That is our media of today, anyone who believes everything they hear and read must need their head examined, take it with a pinch of salt, don’t lose sleep over it, because this time next week they’ll be preying on some other poor innocent soul and your story will be history xxx

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    • Scarlett was born with her little feet facing inwards and has always had sort of relaxed ankles, for peace of mind i get her feet measured with Startright or Clarks so I know she has the best support.

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  17. Faye, I love your blog and read it religiously. I’ll second what others have said, work hard and reap the rewards. The cloud will pass and all will be forgotten x

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  18. The article does not mention how hard that you work – I think you are a great example to 2 little girls that if you work hard you can buy yourself and the people that you love nice things. Who wouldn’t want the best for their children? And I can vouch for the fact that my daughter played with Scarlett wearing a head to toe outfit that was not designer and there was no finger pointing or refusal to play because she was not in Burberry! The first person to take the mickey out of themselves is you (I think the same was said for Victoria Beckham and look how well she is doing!) so ignore the negative spin on the story and be proud of who you are and what you have achieved.

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  19. I think that article is hilarious! Just take it as that totally ridiculous. If anyone could believe that a 2 year old would turn down a Peppa Pig t-shirt they have never known a 2 year old. xxx

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  20. Don’t worry about it, yesterday’s news and chip paper is the old saying. You did come off silly and superficial but not horrid or a bad mum and your right ppl should not believe what they hear in the papers.

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  21. As a mum, we do what we feel is best for our children. We are all different. We have different tastes and beliefs. No one should make you feel bad for doing what you feel is right for your children. You want them to look well presented – just like us adults – we like to look our best and if you have the money to do that then great! Ignore the haters and know that you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.

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  22. Its a good thing your not a Muslim…then you would have been labelled ‘Muslim extremist lavishes 45,000 of designer clothes etc etc. Fact is..journalists are scum..plain and simple..they twist, lie and print what they want and unfortunately there is no recourse for the average Joe…best thing is..avoid them like the plague. I myself took the Sun and Evening Standard to the press complaints commision over blatant lies they printed about my ex wife..and the crazy thing was the onus of proof was on me!! The outcome…a piddling little apology after their half a page story which was republished numerous times.

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  23. I just shared the link to an Australian copy of the article, certain it was satire, because of the tone the writer took.

    Journos can be an excellent bunch, but other times, they’ve got their own spin on things and that spin is all about page views. Sorry you got burned, but hey, from one total stranger to another, I’m really glad a friend linked me to your blog and this reply. Hopefully the furor dies down soon for you.

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    • Thanks so much for the repost, i just hope more and more people do it, i’m embarrassed more than anything! today it’ll be in the papers, tomorrow – hopefully it will have calmed down… (fingers crossed!)

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  24. I know it has been a stressful day but I am sure you will be laughing about it by Easter. Normally stuff like this dies down in 24-48 hours.

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  25. I’m sorry you’ve had to experience the dark side of the media. I turned down an interview with the same paper as I didn’t trust the outcome. Hopefully people who know you, and they are the only people that count, know the truth. Hopefully it will pass quickly.

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  26. Faye, don’t get upset, lesson learned. Clearly not what you thought it was going to be, shocking how the journo’s twist to get a story – makes you realise you really can’t trust what you read in the papers!

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  27. I feel for you. I spoke to a journalist about baby food and weaning, and although the journalist was lovely and agreed with everything I said, the context of the writing made me out to sound like a snob who refused food because I don’t believe in the children’s ‘snack market’. The comments were horrible and hurtful, but the best advice (and hardest) was to just not go back to the page. Don’t read any more about it – it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

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