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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Catfishing with Katie

A reader/friend emailed me the other day to check to make sure I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth, or stopped blogged, either one being awful, I suppose. Granted, I've fallen behind in my blogging, but I think I'm hopefully in the upswing, and back to it. I'll be honest, I thought about just shutting things down all together, calling it quits, more than once in the past month. You've heard all the usually reasons from other bloggers who have fallen by the wayside--- takes too much time, feel like a sell-out, don't feel inspired,etc.,etc. And in the past three years, I've seen a lot of bloggers bow out, but not for the reason I'm about to give. 

I'm too famous. Or maybe the problem is I'm not famous enough. Now before you just cuss me and close out of this screen, thinking to yourself, "Katie, has done lost her fool mind for real this time!", hear me out. Read me out, whatever, you know what I mean.



 I'm clearly not famous. I make just enough money from blogging that I can occasionally buy myself some new clothes from Old Navy (hence the Old Navy-heavy #OOTD in this post). But I'm not famous enough that Old Navy wants to work with me, even though I do ACTUALLY WEAR their brand, unlike most of the bloggers currently shilling for them. Alas that's a rant for another day, so back to my original point. 

I've never been stopped on the streets by a  "fan", but apparently I'm all over Pinterest to the point that my students want to mention it during class, while I'm teaching, on a daily basis. This is not something I expected from blogging---this intermixing between my regular day-to-day life and my blogging life, and it is not something I enjoy. Why are my students so obsessed with the fact that I actually do something in my spare time? Again, another day...

I'm not going to be able to quit my day job and blog full-time ever. But it has recently come to my attention that someone is using my blog photos to catfish people on OKCupid. Until two weeks ago, I really had no idea what OKC was, other than another dating site like Match or Christian Mingle or J-Date or whatever that Wanna Date a Cowboy dating site is. I think it's a step up from that hook up app, Tinder (which I literally had to Google the name of, that's how out of the loop I am), but since I have been married for over ten years and don't use dating sites, I'm not entirely sure. Oh, I'm so simple and naive.

Let me start at the beginning. I wake up one Monday morning, and since I am dreading getting out of bed and actually starting my workweek, I am wasting time on my phone. I see that my blog's Facebook page has a new message, so I click over to check it out.  Expecting one of my usual FB messages about where to buy cardigans (I know, I own a bunch) or just a general "Hello, I like your blog" (which I love to receive), I'm reading still half-asleep with one eye open and picking crusty eye boogers out of the other one---glamorous I know! Well, here's the message:



Ummm, awkward?! Feeling pretty wide awake by this point, I debated what to do. Originally, I wasn't going to respond to the message at all. Curtis thought the whole thing was hilarious, but I was (and still am) seething over the fact that someone is using me to try and hook up with other people. And clearly, the whole thing was a ruse because they would never be able to meet face-to-face because they aren't me!

Truthfully, as much as I was creeped out by the whole thing, I felt kinda bad for dudeman. I mean he went through all the trouble to reverse image search my photo and track down my blog and then my Facebook page and then message me. And it was all for naught. After explaining that I do not have (and never will have) an OKCupid account, I asked the guy to give me the profile link, so I could check things out for myself. Sure enough, a photo of me, with a promise of more photos if I "click" with the suitor.




Now there are people who will say that when you put your life and photos on the internet, then you are fair game to whatever happens with them. I have seen photos of myself on Pinterest with horribly degrading comments. I have dealt with plus size women criticizing my photo's on a plus-size retailer's Facebook page- oh, the irony. I have seen my photos on Tumblers dedicated to the fetishism of  plus-sized women. All this abuse and degradation for a couple of new fall items at Old Navy? Hardly seems worth it sometimes.

I started my blog as a way to feel better about myself and encourage other women to get out of fashion slumps and dress for the bodies they have. I know first-hand that self-esteem and confidence are slippery slopes and that sometimes something as a simple as a new dress can make a huge difference. That is still the main reason I blog, but it gets harder and harder to justify it with this kind of insidious invasion. It gets harder to enjoy blogging and sharing photos when I worry about where they may end up, you know?


I've contacted OKCupid three times asking for something to be done about the profile, but I've yet to receive a response from them. Not that I'm surprised really, but it's frustrating nonetheless. But the fear is, what if this is just the tip of the iceberg? What else is out there that hasn't surfaced yet?

Cardigan: Old Navy (Buy Here)
Camisole: Old Navy (Buy Here)
Skirt:Old Navy (Buy Here)
Shoes: Kohl's (Super old, but Similar Here)

19 comments:

Katie Frost said...

Wow. I guess I "get" that people steal images/content and use them for their own or for bad purposes, but jeez. Seriously, why set folks up like that guy who tracked you down on FB (sorry, this is totally creepy to me)? Like you said, they're never going to be able to go anywhere with it since they aren't you.


I think it's sad that folks have to use other people to make them feel better about themselves. We don't have to be best friends and you don't have to "approve" of my choices, but why do they feel the need to poke fun, put down, etc? No one benefits from that.


Anyways. I enjoy reading what you post and Pinterest of course. Keep it coming.

Katie Frost said...

This happened to a friend of mine and she started putting a watermark with her blog name on every picture she posted so that folks couldn't take them without giving credit to her blog. If you decide to push through this, you may want to look into that.

Katie Frost said...

I don't normally comment on any blogs that I read but this really bothers me. I have enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate the time you put into writing, taking photos editing them and all the behind the scene things that go with blogging. And I LOVE your sense of humor! :) But the invasion of privacy is unacceptable. My daughter is a middle school teacher and she has also learned that sometimes your life is not your own when you teach teenagers. Technology is a good/bad thing in this day and age. Please know you will be missed if you shut down your blog but as a reader I understand :)

Katie Frost said...

I just want to let you know that bloggers like you are inspiring. My weight has yo-yo'd up and down ever since I can remember. I have struggled with body image my whole life. But in the past year or so (thanks to bloggers like you) I have slowly began learning how to accept and love the way I look. It's okay to be plus size and fashionable! Bloggers like you have really turned my self-esteem around and I just wanted to thank you for that. :)

Katie Frost said...

Ugh, people suck. I know it's not the point of this post, but your hair looks absolutely fantastic!

Katie Frost said...

Oh my gosh I would FRE@K OUT!!!!! What is wrong with people???? I quit blogging when someone started copying my posts. BTW, I hope you continue blogging, because I love the outfits you post. That being said, I think we all can understand if you decide to stop.

Katie Frost said...

Oh my goodness! I am so sorry this is happening to you. I really appreciate the styles you show (and by the way, I love your hair and just pinned it to my Pinterest page), but I would totally understand if you chose not to continue blogging because of this kind of behavior. Ultimately, though, I think that the things other people chose to do are not your fault and you don't want their poor decisions to dictate your life. And I would miss you!

Katie Frost said...

I'm truly sorry this is happening to you. Not sure if this helps, but I've been silently following your blog for some time. You've really encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, embrace my post baby body, and dress to feel sexy and confident again. Regardless what you decide, and I'm sure people will understand, know you made a difference to at least one person.

Katie Frost said...

Um, yeah, can we talk about the bloggers that brands do work with that don't actually wear their clothes on the regular... big pet peeve of mine. The only thing I can suggest to you is that you focus on the reasons that you do blog and ignore the other sh*t. It's kind of a sign you've made it sort-of big if people are snarking on you. No one even cares to talk about me, so that's how un-famous I am.

Katie Frost said...

Oh my gosh, this is awful! I am so sorry Katie, what a freaky experience! It does get harder and harder to blog for the right reasons these days, with people making sites and forums to poke fun, invasion of privacy, and copycats. Your blog is a source of inspiration and light, but real life always trumps the blog world. Do what is best for you, and we folks will always love you (and not the creepazoid catfisher on OKC!) <3

Katie Frost said...

Oh my gosh!! I can't even imagine how creepy that was for you. I am so sorry you're having to deal with this stuff just because you want to share your knowledge and advice. I completely understand why you would want to stop blogging, although I (selfishly) hope that you don't. You're a sweet person and really don't deserve any of the hassle you've had to deal with.

Katie Frost said...

Ho-ly crackers. I would die. What a horrible, horrible experience. I'm so sorry for you. For this OKC thing and all the other nasty stuff you've had to deal with since you've started your blog. I've just started reading your blog (I know, I know late to the party) and I really enjoy it and would hate to see you go away. But, damn. Yuck.

Katie Frost said...

Might be worth contacting a lawyer specializing in internet issues to help you get cooperation from OKCupid. p.s. It has always made me a bit nervous when you've posted photos of your son ... you might want to ask a lawyer about that too.

Katie Frost said...

Well sorry to see someone using your beauty for their benefit but sure am glad to see new posts from you

Katie Frost said...

I really enjoy your blog and I would hate to see you close it down but I get it. We have a similar shape and I have such a hard time finding clothes. You have helped me feel more comfortable wearing skirts! I really appreciate your blog because it's practical and you have great style. There's nothing worse than liking a piece of clothing on a blog only to discover that it costs $1,200 and/or the blogger got it for free. Um, hello? Who actually pays that much for clothes?! I could wear and afford pretty much everything shown on your blog and I really appreciate that.

Katie Frost said...

Hi Katie, wanted to say I light up when I see a new blog post in my email!


I 'follow' you because I love your style AND admire how you dress your curves. I'd understand your reasoning if you chose to stop blogging; your personal life/information/photos should be safe from devious and snarky people. I deleted my facebook account a few weeks back and it has been most freeing; I don't say that to encourage you to stop though! Nor was I having to process rubbish.


Write when you want to write, don't feel you have to get something out to your readers. You have a life outside of blogging, and we're not going anywhere xx

Katie Frost said...

I just discovered your blog recently. I have enjoyed your post and feel your take on fashion is closer to my own personal taste. It's upsetting to know that someone has abused your blog when so many of us find it refreshing and inspiring. I just wanted to encourage you to continue your blogging but, I understand why you would consider bowing out.

Katie Frost said...

Good lord, people are so horrible and ridiculous sometimes! I'm so sorry this has happened to you and made you feel uncomfortable about what's out there on the internet. I completely understand your reservations about continuing your blog, but I, like so many others out there, selfishly hope you'll feel comfortable to stay with Hems for Her. You're still one of my favorite bloggers, Katie! XOXO

Katie Frost said...

Watermarks can be removed if someone really wants to use the photo. It gives them another step but scammers care scammers and will use unauthorized photos no matter what.

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