FAN MAIL FRIDAYS: Insta-Flaunt


Hi everyone! Here's a fan mail fridays post that I found really interesting, and I really poured my heart out in answering it (LOL). It's from a person who decided to remain anonymous and used the moniker "Curious Cat".

Hi The Beauty Junkee! 
I'm an avid follower of local Fashion and Beauty blogs, and yours tops my list in the Beauty Department. This thing has been bothering me for quite a while now so I thought of asking you. I hope you won't get offended, but I shall stay true. 
I see that you and a lot of Bloggers have been posting your goodie bags over at Instagram almost always. Yeah, we get that you all receive free stuff on a daily basis, but what's the point of posting it on Instagram? Are those product placements? Your way of acknowledging brands? Or (pardon the term) you guys are just showing off? 
I've had a friend who's an avid blog reader also and we talked about this, and she concluded that you Bloggers are simply showing off, but I believe there's a sound reason behind it. I guess there's no better person to ask than a Blogger! Hope you can educate me (or us!). Thanks and really, I hope this question doesn't offend you in any way. 
But whatever your reason is, I'll always be a reader because I love your articles-all of them as I can sense your honesty in whatever you say, sponsored or not! 
Best,
Curious Cat

Hi there Curious Cat!

Let me say thank you first for all your kind compliments and I just have to say that I admire your honesty, and for bringing up this issue that-if not clarified-may taint the whole blogging industry which I greatly care for. However, I can only speak for myself.

Liz of Project Vanity tackled this way, way back as a reader of hers asked the same thing as well. I read that too and I've been meaning to write about it, but have forgotten about it completely. Now here's my chance.

Receiving gifts is great-so great that you wanna take a picture of it and post it online, especially for the technology- driven people of today and guess what? Every single soul does it, not only Bloggers. People post their new car, new house, new bling- bling, new gadget, and new boyfriend or girlfriend and it's just the same with me. 

The things I post are press GIFTS. They make me smile because I'm remembered. I don't ask for them-I just receive them and the reason why I Instagram them is because of gratitude. However, there are bloggers who get paid to post a brand or product on their IG profiles. I haven't subscribed to that business idea yet so I guarantee that when I post a product on Instagram, it is out of gratitude (even if I am not really required to) and education for my followers-I enjoy informing everyone about what's the latest out there. Am I required to write a positive review? No, not even a review. Are my opinions tainted by that gratitude? Hell no. Go back to my ABOUT TBJ page and read my disclosure. In fact, there are brands who offered me huge sums of money in exchange of positive reviews and I all turned them down. Because if I am paid for every move I make here on The Beauty Junkee, you'd see me flashing a Mini Cooper S on my Instagram by now.

I digress. Bottomline, we all post about the things that make us happy and it just so happened that that's mine. But beyond the insta-flaunting-as others may deem it-it also helps me get back to this blog's main principle: HONESTY. I'm not saying that I'm pre-disposed to lying, but when I know that my readers and followers know that the product I'm going to review is a gift, I do not compromise.

I actually received an email and it's all about this, and the writer concluded that I'm a show-off. Luckily for me, I couldn't care less about what other people think. What they think of me is their business, not mine and this makes me a freer and happier person. I do what I do just because I want to do it and as long as I'm not stepping on anybody. If you're really irritated by all these, there's always the unfollow button-no need to stress about it! :)

Your take on this?

**Got a burning question about makeups, skin care products, beauty, dieting, and health tips, relationships, and whatever? Just send them to martha.stabarbara@yahoo.com or shoot 'em up at The Beauty Junkee's FB Fan Page via the MESSAGE button and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. (Please, do not send me Math- related queries. :D)

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18 Lovely Thoughts

  1. i create IG just to follow updates whenever i dont get the chance to leave comment on your blog ms m.. this past few days i try to leave comment on your page but i dunno why it just keep on loading..

    well.. i posts anything on my IG it is my account anyway.. i cant pot anything i want to put there (but i keep it private)

    i post me and my baby's picture, gifts received and family events on my IG, pictures says it all hihi..

    hugs ms m! finally got the chance to comment

    rhain

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  2. Very well written Martha! AS for me, I post the products sent on IG because I have to acknowledge the receipt of their product and of course, out of utmost gratitude. But my true reason is --- having a day job I can not blog about the things given to me immediately, thus, as a way of helping the brand or company I post it via IG. That's the least I can do for late reviews and blog post diva?! Godbless you Martha! :)

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  3. Hands down to your answer Ms. M! I've only started reading your blog this year and I've never seen you as someone to boast about your freebies or gifts. I actually see it as a way of knowing what's the newest beauty product out there or what's your intake on certain items, and I appreciate every post that I read. Sometimes, I see it as a reference whether I'd buy this product or not. The honestly is much appreciated and I'm glad that you beauty bloggers are very open with your opnions. I just guess not everyone can think the same.
    More power to you ma'am! And thank you for this heartfelt answer! :D

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  4. Hands down to your answer Ms. M! I've only started reading your blog this year and I've never seen you as someone to boast about your freebies or gifts. I actually see it as a way of knowing what's the newest beauty product out there or what's your intake on certain items, and I appreciate every post that I read. Sometimes, I see it as a reference whether I'd buy this product or not. The honestly is much appreciated and I'm glad that you beauty bloggers are very open with your opnions. I just guess not everyone can think the same.
    More power to you ma'am! And thank you for this heartfelt answer! :D

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  5. Why, that's correct. People post pictures of almost anything on Instagram. Heck, one person I know even posted a photo of a bottle of soy sauce. So bloggers have every right to post their goodie bags too. I've never thought of it as showing off; sometimes it actually allows us followers to see new products.

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  6. I don't mind when the bloggers I follow post sent products on their social media accounts. I think it's a way of educating and updating their readers/followers about what's out there and sharing their experiences with products which after all is (personally) my main reason why I follow beauty bloggers: to update myself with the latest in the beauty industry.

    I rely heavily on beauty bloggers whenever I need to know something about a product before making my purchase. So thank you for being one of the most honest bloggers out there. :) :)

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  7. Very well said, I super love how you answered her question.
    Anyway for me, I love seeing your post on IG, and I really do know and believe that you are posting it for gratitude.Keep posting po, I am always glad to see them.
    Love love love

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  8. though sometimes nakakainggit yung ibang bloggers for receiving free stuffs especially when they are pricey na hindi ko afford but it is also my pleasure to see and read something new bout diff. brands. TBJ completes a post from reviews and prices..everything :)

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  9. I think Instagram was created for image purposes right? Posting something doesn't mean you are showing off or bragging for that,..

    And I think that, that's Ms. Martha's way of APPRECIATION of all the blessings and gifts she receives...

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  10. Swag post or no, I have more respect for the blogger who isn't afraid to rip a product in two if it simply doesn't make the cut... Okay, maybe "rip in two" is a bit extreme, but the writer being critical and objective is important to me when I'm looking to beauty bloggers to help me make up my mind if I should go through with purchasing a product.(When I say critical, I don't just mean listing one negative aspect for the sake of creating a Con list. Put it all out there even if the Cons outweigh the Pros.)

    A lot of times, the products in question aren't cheap, so honesty actually ends up saving the readers money. Not to mention, it earns a blogger her street cred. lol

    I have unfollowed some people because I find their posts OA, but it doesn't bother me as soon as I click on the unfollow button so no biggie.

    --Matromao

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  11. I follow you because I love what you post! I don't hate at all. I love seeing new things from beauty bloggers. Maybe people say you are showing off just because they want to be on your shoes. Who doesn't want to receive free stuff? :D

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  12. I dont want to post bad vibes here but I am totally annoyed with the question. Do they really have to question it. Bloggers are like the friendliest commercial you'd encounter in our modern world today and Im so glad that theyre averywhere. A lot of people wont be able to afford all the products in the market. Lets say a complete set of shiseido ibuki, people would love to try it but not all can afford, some can and would risk to invest if it will work for them. Now, these bloggers post a picture of it on her IG account simply because theyre happy to have it, theyre happy with the results, it worked for them, and theyre just telling their followers whats the pro and cons of this products. Bloggers have followers, they have listeners, people are consulting them from time to time. They are like open magazines. If they have a new celine bag, theyll post it because theyre happy with it, maybe because theyre amazed with the datailing of the bag, the hems, the handle and the kind of leather it has. They tend to show it to people because they also want to advertise that this bag totally worth their money. People today do it a lot and theyre not even a blogger. This is not a rage comment Im sorry if I offended someone with my reaction. I just found myself depending more on a blogger's post than a commercial of the product Im eyeing. Because these bloggers are totally not biased. Keep posting Ms.Martha! It informs us to dig that forever21 black skirt with a slit because it looks great on you! Hehe

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  13. This isn't even an issue if a blogger is a show-off or not. With their posts, we get updated about new products or latest trend. They are the closest we have with honest reviews and endorsements. TBJ for example, we learn more about a product not just the pros but also the cons. These posts helps use choose if the product is suitable for us or not. Unlike in the TV commercials, they alwaystalk about how great their product is

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  14. I really couldn't understand why people would think that bloggers are showing off when they post gifts. They're gifts! For a job well done! Nothing wrong with that. To me, I love seeing haul posts/gift posts because I can get an idea about what's recently relevant in terms of beauty and what the blogger's impressions of it are.

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  15. I take my hat off to you being a blogger who wants to offer to her readers what she thinks is the best and not just posting something because of the offered money. I know a lot on the blogosophere who fill their site with paid blog posts and they are constantly doing it to attract more sponsors without filtering out which brand deserves to be featured! I, for one, believe there are bloggers who want to show-off. *and I cringe when I call them bloggers* There's nothing wrong IG-ing the freebies out of gratitude for I do that too especially when I receive goodies from SampleRoom, goodies you had won from giveaways, etc! :) Our little kiddo inside us kicks in when we receive gifts. What more if you come home to those unexpected stuff, right? You can't help yourself but feel so happy, the next thing you know is that you're IG-ing it and captioning it with an emoji heart and happy face! Kakaloka =)))) *Ohmy! I, too, pour my heart out on this one!* Lol.

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  16. I don't know why some people feel that you are bragging on something whenever you post something that may seem to be envious. I can understand where you are coming from Curious Cat. When I was younger, I always judge people about how they look, what they have, and what they do. I was raised in a very conservative environment until I stepped college and lived independently here in Manila. I was a stereotypical promdi back then. Until I had met several outspoken people and liberated friends. From being introvert to now extrovert, I realized there's more to life than wasting time thinking how people (or even friends) had become the one that we see now.
    I think this is all just an immature reaction.
    Try to look at the happier and positive side of the picture you see on IG so in that way you won't think that it is just for the purpose of flaunting.

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  17. I love your IG, Ms. M! Just like what you intent to do, your IG posts inform me. It's every blogger's job to do so. Never had I thought that posting those photos is just for the sake of showing-off. Besides, wouldn't it be too vain of oneself if you only post your selfies? Lol

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  18. I agree, its not just bloggers who post their stuff online! Everyone does that in this modern world! I appreciate the few honest bloggers who review products with no compromise :)

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Thank you for your comments!