I am sure if you are part of the book community then you will have seen this post doing the rounds and highlighting a message sent to the author Belle Brooks these past few days . If not you can read her post HERE . be sure to leave a comment of support.
For those who have seen it, here’s a recap of the message that was sent to her……
Shocking, isn’t it?
I wish I could say incidents like this are uncommon, but sadly after seeing no less than 5 authors this week decide to take a step away from social media I want to highlight how frequently this does happen.
I have only been part of the book community for a little over two years. I published my first book in December 2017 and there after became slowly connected to certain parts of the community before being fully pulled in and discovering a whole book world on social media.
The first of this type of message didn’t actually filter through until my third book release and sporadic as they are I have had many emails about my appearance and general ‘personal life’ over the years.
I remember the sucker punch to the gut when I read how ‘a woman of your loose moral code’ referring to the fact I am not married to my partner of 13 years even though we have two children ‘shouldn’t be a role model in romance’. There were suggestions to clean up my life, stop flaunting myself on social media like a tart, and stop ‘whoring’ out my heroines.
I am guessing the email was from a religious person, I never responded.
I have had comments about my weight when I gained a couple of stone a few years back and I have also had comments about my being too thin too. Looking ‘skeletal’.
I have had comments about my not wearing make up in some of my Instagram pictures, to too much make up at an Author ball when pictures were posted to my Facebook.
I have had many ‘helpful’ suggestions on how to act and be much more socially accepted and respectable after live videos too.
All of these go right to the trash.
I won’t even read past the first couple of lines if the tone of the email is meant to rip me down.
I am glad to say though that the number of amazing, fan emails and positivity in the content far outweighs the few negative ones and therefore I can just brush them off without a thought. I sometimes wonder if the writers of the critical and unfriendly emails do it to stand out to you and garner some attention. They must realise we get so many good emails and maybe it’s a ploy to be seen and remembered. Who knows? I know in my case, those get zero response from me and I am someone who replies to all my other fan mail personally.
So listen here – I don’t care if Belle went from a tiny size to a quadruple of her former weight… it’s not your place to make her feel bad for it. Her weight in no way changes who she is or how talented she is in terms of writing books. You have no clue why she gained weight or changed in appearance; a true fan would know that she was in fact very unwell, in recovery and on medication when she did gain a little and have some compassion. I personally still think she looks fabulous and glamorous and in no way has she ‘let herself go’ regardless to being unwell. Your perception is flawed. Not that it would matter if she did, as she sells books – not her image.
You are a reader…. not her personal fitness instructor or stylist.
Have you not heard that curvy is the new cool and your opinion to her dress size means nothing – I also love how you assume she would want to meet you after a message like that. I would be ashamed to ever see her again if I were you. You can’t hurtfully insult someone then expect them to ever want to meet you.
Here’s the thing – Authors are human. We are allowed to have our own lives, styles, weight, personalities and still write great books. We are not there to be insulted and emailed when you decide you are entitled to judge us. The only thing you should be judging is our written word, in our books. That’s what we sell…. our stories. That’s it.
Some of us may be more public and interact with fans and such but it makes no difference. Our craft is what we write, not how we look or act.
It is none of your god damn business.
Yes, write to us if it’s about our books, our stories , or appreciating our skills. Do not write to us if it’s to critic our lifestyle, fashion choices or weight. It’s not your concern and we are all adults that are capable of making our own choices. If you do not like that about us, don’t buy our books. We won’t be changing for anyone.
You my friend need a little self evaluation on how you approach people. Words can hurt. Unnecessary opinions aimed at someone in this manner say more about you than Belle. I hope you see all the shares and comments from your message being passed around and really think long and hard about why you felt you were entitled to send her this message. I hope it teaches you to never do anything similar again.
Kindness is not hard. It will change your whole outlook on life. It will change how people perceive you.
I am a strong believer in Karma – you receive what you put out.
“Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.”