Genre: Fiction / Chick Lit / Contemporary / Humor Publication Date: Sept 2017 Date Finished: 12 Dec 2018
Sometimes life behind the screen is not as rosy as it seems… Meet three Mummy Bloggers – each of them followed, idolised, imitated, taunted and trolled online.
IN A NUTSHELL…
The story revolved around the lives of these 3 famous Mummy bloggers with entirely different personalities and followers. Their lives were somehow connected (I’ll get to that later) and parang nagbiro ang tadhana because these women got nominated for the Best Parenting Blog award. It’s more than just a recognition, the award comes with a handsome amount of $500,000 plus a business opportunity to grow & expand their brand. Rules are in and each blogger should deliver & be sure that they shine and increase their visibility & influence to keep their edge before the awards night.
Mummy Blogger #1:
ELLE CAMPBELL aka The Stylish Mumma
Social Media Army: Mummas (SMs)
Most used Hashtags: #grateful #wondermom #fitmomma
- She’s the woman we all wanted to be – a stylish wife to a handsome & rich husband; mother of two beautiful boys who got their own IG accounts where they post their perfect OOTDs (not surprising at all) and they describe the boys’ way of dressing as Prince George meets Harry Styles;
- Elle’s a lifestyle guru with the best kitchen & perfect abs despite eating desserts (but really she only bite them for picture purposes, kunwari #cheatday pero in reality, she throws it to the bin after posting on IG)
- She’s always perfect, always posed and that’s because she planned everything. Siya yung type ng influencer na minsan, nakakainspire pero minsan nakakainis kasi she only exudes perfection.
- Her feed is flawless & perfectly curated. Every word & photo is planned & coordinated. Nothing should be repeated and she has a social media manager to make sure that everything is on point.
But Elle’s life wasn’t all shiny and white before she met her husband. She came from a small town and fought her way to get the life that she wanted. She left & forget her old life and decided not to look back. That’s why her current status is the epitome of perfection. If I were to describe her, she’s the survivor type. Nothing can stop her to get what she wants. Not even the people she loves and she’ll grab every opportunity & make the most out of it. Devious & dangerous. That’s Elle.
She exuded enough success to have them want to see her every day, but she remained vulnerable enough that they didn't completely hate her. She spoke the language of gratitude while appearing to have it all. #HUMBLEBRAG
Elle’s character is savage. How savage, you may ask. Let’s see…
- She forced her husband to fake an illness so she can be the center of a very dramatic situation & gain sympathies. #cancerwife Everything was perfectly orchestrated up to the last detail & even forced Adrian (the husband) to lose weight so he can look sickly & believable. How fucked up is that?!
- Then when she found out that her dad got cancer and have a few months to live, she did a TV interview & told the show that her dad died. Again, for more sympathy & drama.
- And finally, when things got complicated, she “handled” the situation and threw Adrian under the bus. Elle told the organisers that she was in an abusive relationship & the fake cancer illness was all Adrian’s plan. Grabe di’ba?! Napaka-impakta ni ate! To the highest level!
Mummy Blogger #2:
ABI aka The Green Diva
Social Media Army: Green Divas (GDs)
- Abi is like a combo of a hippie, earth-lover, everything-organic influencer with no edit button.
- She speaks her mind and ABSOLUTELY nothing can stop her.
- She gets called #dangerouscunt at least once every hour in a day.
- Abi & Grace got 4 kids (2 Abi’s previous marriage + 2 from her partner, Grace)
- Abi was previously married to Adrian (now Elle’s husband) for 12 years and they kept everything civil for the kids.
Out of all the three mummy bloggers, I find Abi to be the funniest but also a bit all over the place. Medyo krung-krung but Abi had a sad & heartbreaking married life with Adrian. He cheated & Elle was calling her to let her know about their affair. Abi felt that she was left in a cold, sad place. Bruha talaga ‘tong si Elle eh!
But on top of that, her blog style is also too controversial that you can’t ignore it. She’s an advocate of everything natural but at some point, she had to come clean and revealed that she doesn’t actually practice everything that she preaches/supports. For example, the hate for vaccination and medicines from pharmacies. But later on, Abi came clean and apologised for not telling the truth.
Fast forward to the present, Abi & Elle had a feisty online feud that made everything complicated. The Green Divas attacked Elle & her followers retaliated. Nakakaloka ang mga pasabog ni Abi! But in the end, pure intentions won! Nanalo ang tunay na puti kesa sa labang brand X! haha!
Mummy Blogger #3:
LEISEL ADAMS aka The Working Mum
Social Media Army: Working Mums (WMs)
- Leisel works in a magazine & her officemates are mostly millennials who complains about everything. Tawang-tawa ako sa part na nagrereklamo yung officemates niya na they lack sleep because they had a late night drink & attended an early Barre class while drinking their cold brew in the pantry. Wow, di’ba? #firstworldproblems! Samantalang siya, she doesn’t know how she can even last for the day because she’s exhausted from lack of sleep, she’s got deadlines to meet at work & more momma duties when she gets home.
Yung minsan kapag nakinig ka sa tao kala mo katapusan na ng mundo kasi ang laki ng problema nila, habang ikaw gusto mo lang na makatulog ng maayos #millennials
- The Working Mum is married to Mark and they got 3 kids.
- Mark had a messed-up adult life and so their setup is not usual; Mark is the house-husband; he takes care of the kids while Leisel works but he’s got carpentry work from time to time.
- Leisel is Grace’s sister; so Abi & Leisel are sisters-in-law.
- Leisel had the least number of followers amongst the 3 so to say that she’s “addicted to the Likes, to seeing her modest followers growing” – I can really relate to this. It’s normal & that’s part of the experience.
She described her blog as “RELATABLE” because it was. Most of the time she would post rants on her Facebook page and talk about the realities of a working mother. The challenges & their real feelings and how sometimes, they wish they had a break from everything. Of course, these posts attracted followers & trolls. At first, it wasn’t anything scary until the day that one of them came to her house and stabbed. Yes, the drama is real, people! OMG!
The incident was both a blessing & a curse for Leisel because her personal relationship was put into test; at the same time, her blog was getting attention not just from the followers but also from the media. After all, any kind of publicity is an opportunity waiting to be explored.
I LOVE …
that I found a book about blogging! I’ve been searching for fictional stories about blogging and I’m happy I found this. Holly Wainright presented different types of bloggers thru her Elle, Abi & Leisel and I must say, they are very close to reality, if not the perfect impersonation! Ang galing! I’m impressed! The character development & how each personality change on/off their social platform. She basically personified some of the influencers that we have! Their aspirations and what happens behind every post; the process; everything!
As a blogger, I can relate that sometimes, you sacrifice family time for the sake of putting up a post just so to keep your engagement with your followers. At times we forget about the feelings of the people around us when we take social media & blogging too seriously. Not everyone understands it and you can’t force them to embrace it either.
Then add up the moment when you get addicted to likes and hope that one day, sponsorships will finally come your way. Wainright presented blogging as a form of business & how bloggers vie for huge deals/sponsorships. It’s true tho! Nowadays, blogging is no longer just a hobby. It’s a business and you are your brand and you do everything in order to sell your brand.
With social media, where do we really draw the line?
I also appreciate the highlight on the privacy concerns; With social media, where do we really draw the line? You will realise that you attract an audience as you open up & release more personal details & it feeds your desire as a content creator. Suddenly, you’re looking at a bigger picture; Suddenly, the word INFLUENCER is waving at you and you want that.
But then again, what about your privacy? It’s not just for yourself anymore. The privacy & security of the people in your life is also at stake. Most of the time it’s 50/50 – you get exposure, maybe win some endorsement, but you lose privacy. You get vulnerable to threats & other potential risks.
The Mummy Bloggers also touched the following:
- the LGBT-related topics thru Abi & Grace
- depression & mental health problems thru Kristen & Leisel.
- marital problems thru Leisel & Mark when they discussed the feeling of not having (financially) enough for their family.
- and how each couple handles every problem that comes their way and in the case of Elle & Adrian, they were like the Ride-or-Die couple, but then Elle became too greedy that later on, she left him with all the blame.
- A sad social reality when Mark is seen as the good husband because he’s taking care of his kids. He gets praises from people like “your wife is lucky to have you” while the wives/mothers na pareho niya yung ginagawa never get the praise, or even a thank you! Nothing because it’s their “job” anyway. Sad no?
For me, this book is complete - family drama, check! humor & timely issues (social media) check! Exciting plot twists, jealousy, the juicy evil plans & web of lies, darn it! check! Grabe! Kinabog and telenovela!
- The story of Kristen (Leisel’s attacker); the depth and nature of this character was beautifully constructed. She’s a representation of the other side of the social media users aka the trolls and it was given a dramatic background.
- Their panel interview at The Breakfast! and they had the segment called “She Says”
Who Should Read This?
I recommend this book all the bloggers, content creators & social media savvy people. I’m actually wondering why this book wasn’t hyped! Because it should! I am giving this 5 stars!
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