An Apology From Taylor Davies
By: Taylor Davies

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Dear Readers,

I didn’t address this apology specifically to the IFB community, because many more people have been affected by this post than just our members. The following was written on my own, without pressure or demand from anyone at IFB.

In the course of the last week, I have been called a twat, an elitist, a fat-shamer, a ditz, a terrible writer and a disappointment – just to name a few. Some of these comments were left here, some elsewhere. From all corners of the Internet, I hear you.

Do I feel like a terrible person? Yes. Is that the point? No. That post was never intended to be about me, or what I think or how I feel. That post was intended to learn about you. How you feel, what you think, what you want. So it’s because of you that I’m writing this, not because of me.

To say that the post accomplished that “conversation starting” goal would be an understatement, but the way that I went about beginning it was flawed. This was not the intended result of my post – to leave members of IFB feeling betrayed, saddened, angered, bewildered, and disappointed. I think my apology in the comments of the post has been lost amongst the conversation, so I’ll reiterate what I want so badly to make clear to you:  I am sorry.

I made a mistake in the way I attempted to broach this subject on IFB. I should have presented more facts and evidence, giving my words validation and value. I should have chosen my words more carefully. In bringing up the issues of body image and beauty in the world of fashion blogging, I wanted to hear the thoughts of every demographic of the community. It has been interpreted that myself and IFB do not believe that success in blogging can be achieved if you do not meet a certain physical, racial or beauty standard. Let me say again that this was not my intent nor is it what I think or know to be true. I will repeat, though, that I understand how this conclusion was reached, and I know that intention does not excuse actions.

What I will admit is that I think I’d become a bit too comfortable in my role at IFB. I felt welcomed and very much at home as I posted, interviewed bloggers, helped plan the conferences and took an important role in the direction of IFB’s content. Suffice to say, I’ve been quite abruptly thrown from my comfort zone out into the unfamiliar.

IFB has allowed me a platform to be both a teacher and a student, and I feel like I really failed you all in both regards last week. My post did not reflect all that I have learned and all that I love about the IFB community.

I truly believe that no one can grow or learn if they don’t make any mistakes. Making a big mistake in a public forum with your company on the line and an entire community at stake? I’d say that’s a start.

Again, I am profoundly sorry for how we arrived where we are right now. Though, after reading the response posts and hundreds of comments, I feel awakened and inspired by the passion of the independent bloggers who have spoken out. I can only hope to channel some that into my future endeavors here.

As long as I hold this roll, I will strive to improve myself and to empower you. I’m not asking for forgiveness, only requesting a chance to make amends, to improve and to advance the voice of IFB with the help and guidance of you all, as well as our whole team.

Please know that my email inbox, like that proverbial door, is always open. To continue this conversation, to further our understanding of each other on this matter, to say anything at all, please email me at taylor.ifb@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Taylor Davies

Comments

  1. Marie Denee says:

    Thank you Taylor…

    Thank you for hearing the concerns and the outcry of those who were offended. I truly appreciate you stepping up and apologizing. I too, see this as an opportunity for all of us to learn and address the issues here.

    I am sorry for those who did call you out of your name… not cool… BUT I THANK YOU for sharing your concerns and owning it here… THAT, takes courage…

    Thank you

  2. Erin says:

    Bravo, Taylor! This humilty shows so much to te community. Yes, it was a snafu, but you can only learn and grow from it. Thank you for addressing it head-on – classy move! x

  3. Taylor – I read the original post last week and definitely bristled. I understood exactly what you were trying to say but can also see how it could have been mistaken for something much more offensive than intended. That’s the downside to starting a conversation on the internet – not everyone knows your heart or can “hear” your tone. I just wanted to say how brave I think you have been, not just for broaching a “taboo” topic, but for addressing and taking responsibility for the negative response. Sometimes the most difficult kind of mistake to accept is the one that was unintended. Head up and on to happier things!

  4. Joanne Mason says:

    Taylor, thank you so much for this post. Unfortunately, I was one of the offended members. I was really not expecting an apology so this post seems very sincere and genuine. Keep up the great work and keep your head up, everyone makes mistakes.

  5. Avatar of Madeleine Gallay

    I dream of the time when respectful opinions that are not honied down will be welcome.

    So strange that certain people/bloggers/sites are criticized for their opinions whilst mean girl sites aka fashion police/who wore it worst exist and thrive.

    It sometimes seems that until we can say everything without condescension or malicious intent we’re stuck.

    You write beautifully and your sensitivity is beautiful. And your thoughts are hardly worthy of name-calling – that is simply appalling.

  6. Courtney says:

    I believe your apology is sincere, but a bit too late. After reading the Open Letter and reading Jennine’s responses all I know for sure is that this is my last comment on IFB. I deleted my account this morning and I am ready to find a new community. I don’t wish you guys ill, but what I do sincerely hope for is that you actually understand why we were so upset and work to come to your own conclusions about it over time.

    • Courtney says:

      Just wrote you an email Taylor, but just wanted to put this out there: Though I’m disappointed in IFB as a whole, I do appreciate and respect your apology.

    • Avatar of Mouthwash
      Mouthwash says:

      Courtney, I personally am in the same boat. I too have found myself considering deleting my account. I have been saving up all year to attend the IFB Conference in NYC for February, but now…Now I am not sure if it is something that I want to be a part of. The way Jennine has handled this, I find myself wondering what she is like in person. Is she anything like she comes across here in the comments? If so…Why do I want to spend my hard earned money to experience that in person? I understand that there will be several others there, etc.

      But I will give deleting my account more thought – however the IFB logo is certainly being removed from my blog.

  7. Amy says:

    I appreciate your apology, and I saw your previous one, but at this point I don’t think you’re the one who needs to apologize. You admitted that your wording was poor, and you had good intentions. You didn’t get defensive or accuse offended readers of bullying. Your post was badly written, but you weren’t the one to create the big PR screw up, and you’re not the one I would like an apology from.

  8. Taylor,
    I did not see your original article, but did see all the fall out, discussions and a number of the comments submitted to both your article and the Open Letter to the IFB community. I know I’m got a lot of my info second hand, but admit I was troubled by what I understand to be the content of the original post. However, you did not deserve the personal attacks you’ve been receiving. People have said a lot of negative about you and I’d like to take this opportunity to say that with your apology, you have show a tremendous deal of integrity, humility, grace and bravery and you do deserve to be applauded for that.

    Thank you for taking the time to sincerely address the concerns of the community. I can only hope those leaving hateful, mean comments have learned something as well. It is one thing to disagree with someone and voice that disagreement, it’s another to needlessly make personal attacks. Thank you again.

  9. Avatar of
    BELLA Q says:

    You stepped up Taylor, and I so respect and appreciate that. Truly you show what I had wished for, just a shifting and a reposition. It is regretable what could be a very interesting discussion get derailed by name calling, and I am glad you show thick enough skin to get through that. In my opinion a discussion is important to all parties involved for thought and growth. Kudos.

    It is my wish to see this as an opportunity for a more concise focus on the community part of IFB. I applaud your forthright honesty and willingness to address this.

  10. Rebecca says:

    Well done, Taylor. It takes so much bravery and maturity to admit a mistake. Even more to learn from it. I’m sure you could think of a million arguments and reasons to defend yourself. You could have easily taken to the comments and become defensive or dismissive, but that only would have made you look petty and immature. You should be proud of yourself for the way you’ve conducted yourself throughout this whole event. Thank you for being a great example and I will continue to thoroughly enjoy your other blogs.

  11. Avatar of TrendHungry
    TrendHungry says:

    You are a strong woman and have a lot of courage!

  12. MissCalli says:

    That was brave and thank you for stepping up, but see, I am not a big fan of solving problems with humbleness alone. I would prefer a more constructive and solution-oriented post. The simple fact that this whole mess (open-letters and insults included) happend points very clearly in one direction: Yes, we as a community need to talk MORE, not less about body image, female objectification and, why not, freedom and empowerment.

  13. Avatar of Natalia Gutierrez

    I read your original post and I understood what you meant, and I liked it, you encouraged all of us to be confident to create amazing content no matter our body types or race, or anything else. Because the fashion industry needs successful bloggers to show everyone that we’re not all 0 sized models. But yes, it was easy to think you were saying something else. Anyway I want to tell you I’ve never felt super confident with outfit posts, and only lately I’ve started to do them, but thanks to what you wrote I feel more empowered to do them, I have to make a statement for curvy girls now!
    Thanks for your maturity, and please, keep doing this.

  14. Avatar of Mouthwash
    Mouthwash says:

    Taylor, thank you so much for your apology. I know that this must have not been an easy one to write. Well done. It takes a special kind of strength and marturity to not lash back when under scrunity.

    Agree with Amy however – your apology is great appreciated, however the apology I really want is the one from your boss: Jennine. She was rude, condecending and incredibly defensive, even going so far to to call her community as “bullying”. I would like to say it is a “priveldge, not a right” to have readers and a community who cares enough to participate.

    Again, thank you so much Taylor for your apology. I take it to heart!

    Amber

  15. Much respect for your apology Taylor. I will say, that despite how you may feel and that fact that…well maybe the topic wasn’t handled in the best way, I’m glad the topic was opened. Despite the perception that those who commented were “bullies,” I actually enjoyed the discussion. I was able to say a lot of things and talk about issues I’d had, but never found an opportunity to express. I think it was a discussion that needed to be had and one that should be explored further. Now that many of us have asked for diversity, hopefully there’s room to be made for it.

    I know your heart was in the right place. Kudos for your bravery!

  16. I will willingly admit that I was incensed by the original article and by the Open Letter follow up, but I would like to say that I appreciate you having the humility to step up and apologize. This was well thought-out and articulated, and touched on many of the things I took issue with. That shows me that you have in fact been listening to the conversations that have been happening surrounding your post and learning from your mistake. Brava. I genuinely think that a lot of this could have been avoided had this been posted in place of Jennine’s letter.

    However, while I am willing to forgive you because you’ve demonstrated actual growth, taken responsibility for your actions and shown an understanding of the situation that is real and nuanced, I must say that I am still less than pleased with Jennine’s response to this controversy. If an apology from her is in the pipeline then do ignore this, but if not, nothing significant has been done to change my opinion about the general climate at IFB of late, and I will still be leaving.

  17. Pearl says:

    Those who were name calling were totally out of order full stop, you shouldn’t have been subject to that.
    The apology is appreciated but I feel still neglects to address the main issue people were upset about. Not that you couldn’t be a top blogger if you didn’t meet a certain beauty criteria but that it implied those ‘diverse’ bloggers were not top tier because they were lazy. An opinion which seemed to be echoed by other staff members of IFB in the comment replies.
    Perhaps it would be worth addressing the comments on the original post and trying to turn this into a constructive debate. I openly admit it really has affected how I fee about IFB and as well meant as your apology is it will take a bit more to change those feelings.

    • Pearl says:

      I just wanted to come back and add that I think all the other issues people have been having with IFB lately seem to have come to air from Taylor’s post too, for which she shouldn’t be blamed. I think we should look at this in a positive light, now things are out in the open IFB can work on them and move to make IFB even better in the future.
      Thank you Taylor for hanging in there and correcting your mistake, we all make them at some point!

  18. Wow, very classy Taylor. Hopefully, we can all learn from this experience and continue a more positive and empowering conversation. It takes a lot of guts to say sorry. So proud of you! Love IFB!

  19. Toni Styles says:

    It takes a big person to apology and say sorry. Thank you for being that person Taylor. Love this community! xo

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  20. Avatar of Ally
    Ally says:

    While the apology is appreciated, I think the best thing for IFB to do is stop posting about this. It is clear how Jennine feels about this matter and this whole affair has caused the wrong kind of discussion. The more you bring it up, the more people will get upset. Ultimately, people will be driven away.

    Hope you guys recover.

  21. Avatar of FashionableUnicorn

    I thought the article you wrote was great and it does seem that the ‘popular’ bloggers are skinny and pretty. I also think it’s kind of immature for people to call you those names just because you wrote that article. I mean, we’ve all heard the saying “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
    xx Michaella http://fashionableunicorn.blogspot.com/

  22. Avatar of Zhenya
    Zhenya says:

    THANKS FOR THE APOLOGY TAYLOR, I DO SEE PEOPLE GET UPSET AND MISUNDERSTAND POSTS(BECAUSE THATS WHEN YOU NEED TO HEAR THE PERSON AND SEE THE FACE EXPRESSION), AND ANYONE CAN BE MISUNDERSTOOD! I DO READ BLOGS OF ALL SIZES, RACES, ETC, EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL AND I LOVE CONFIDENT PEOPLE WHO DONT LOOK LIKE TALL THIN MODELS..EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, AND I WAS NEVER EVER CONFIDENT IN SHOWING POSTS OF MYSELF POSING IN MY NEW OUTFITS JUST NOWDAYS..SO ANYHOW THANKS FOR THE APOLOGY AND ITS NOT ABOUT YOU, BUT JENNINE YOU KNOW…XXXX

    GIVEAWAY: http://diamondsandspikes.com/2012/08/17/giveaway-hm-collar-necklace/
    http://www.facebook.com/diamondsandspikes
    http://diamondsandspikes.com/

  23. Taylor, thank you so much for taking the initiative to pen this very sincere apology.

  24. gabi says:

    thank you for writing this taylor! I was very late catching up with things but from what i’ve read, your first post was very poorly worded. from the beginning you’ve been apologetic and understanding–i am very disappointed in how defensive jenine has been, and i hope to see an apology from her as well. i hope she understands how the original post was offensive and knows that most people weren’t bullying, but expressing justifiable hurt and anger. something like this should be seen as opportunity for education and growth. kudos.

    • debi c says:

      couldn’t say more than gabi..i still see some people in the comments section have missed the point.we were upset for a reason.we are giving up on ifb for a reason.again i tell you taylor i appreciate your apology.

  25. girlwithnodragontattoo says:

    Taylor – this is a very well written apology and honestly, the problem most of us in the community had was not with you, but with Jennine’s Open Letter and her response to comments under the Open Letter. It would have been so much better had this apology followed the article. I am amazed the Jennine has been so rude and condescending. I hope I will never get a chance to meet her.

    Thank you for being so good about the whole thing. You seem like a sweetheart.

  26. I talked about this topic with a couple of bloggers and one made a very good point:

    “The underlying issue is that no matter what good intentions IFB started out with (representing/being a community for all bloggers), they havent’ been able to maintain that track. a lot of the ire directed at IFB was not so much at this article specifically but rather at the underlying issue: that IFB is quick to point out problems in the industry but never does anything about it.

    A lot of comments pointed out that IFBs articles are always highlighting the skinny, blonde, white w/e.. jennine responded that they had just posted an article about 15 chinese bloggers to look out for. the original commenter responded that that was the precise issue. instead of categorizing the chinese bloggers in their own article, why weren’t they appearing regularly with the rest of the mix? if they promote this kind of segregation, aren’t they the ones perpetrating the very problem?”

  27. Julia Slinkhart says:

    This “apology” is a very transparent way of saving face, and the fact that you’re playing the “victim” card here makes me more offended and annoyed than ever.

    Taylor, if you want to see a list of amazing women who run high-quality plus-size fashion blogs, you can find them here:

    http://feminspire.com/response-to-ifb-there-are-loads-of-great-plus-size-fashion-blogs/

    That article pretty much sums up all my feelings.

    I hate to say goodbye to this community, but I think it’s time.

What do you think?