She Might Be Loved's Georgina Grogan. In the Hot Seat.
Georgina Grogan is one of those people that I instantly took to. She has presence, appears fearless and yet has bags of charm and is quick to laugh. Sheffield based, Georgina Grogan created the blog She Might Be Loved and rapidly gained a strong following for her keep-it-real beauty advice, her positivity and honest-from-the-heart product reviews. Georgina Grogan is an excellent example to plus-size women not to shrink themselves into the background of life (she models too) and an inspiration to women (of all sizes), who aspire to creating their own business. I got Georgina Grogan in my Hot Seat and she has answered my questions candidly, even those that are probing. Enjoy!
Why did you start blogging?
A mix between boredom, loneliness, and I really wanted a hobby, something to call mine. I was working in retail and decided to take a gap year before starting University, I just really needed a timeout to go off, have fun, to do something other than just stress about studying. It was actually a couple customers that made me take the final plunge, people were always asking me how I did my hair, makeup, what I was wearing, it made sense to finally make a place to write about it all and give me a positive outlet.
What were you doing professionally before She Might Be Loved?
I worked at Lush. I didn’t realise at the time of applying but it was probably the most perfect place for me to go. I learnt an incredible amount about skincare, haircare, how things work, ingredients, and customer service. I also started doing the social media for the store after they saw how my blog was going, I’d help organise and run blogger events, it was a great time and my only job before freelancing.
Why did you feel the need to champion plus-size women?
I’ve been fat since a child, I’ve always been bullied, experienced being left out due to my size, I’ve never been able to shop with ease and I’d hate to think that it’ll always be like this. By plus size women talking about their experiences, sharing their guidance, tips, and speaking out against people treating us differently I hope that one day people can fully accept body positivity and people will be judged by how they actually are, and not how they look.
What do plus size women experience that we should know and be empathetic to?
Everyday life is completely different for a visible fat person than it is a ‘straight size’ person. You really cannot comprehend how different we’re treated just for the way we look. I work from home so I’m quite sheltered to everyday commuting, workplace talk and so on. There’s the constant diet talk for one, diet culture is everywhere, even in places it has no right being. People don’t like if you take up more than what they see as your ‘fair space’ so if you spill over onto a bus seat, or bump them in a restaurant trying to get through a gap.
How do you reconcile and message, striving for good health with supporting plus size women?
I used to think that as long as people were ‘healthy that’s all that mattered’ but it was really narrow minded of me and chronic pain has taught me a lot. Health is more than physical health and from I’ve come to learn is that mental health is far more important. If you actually have a happy mental health and a positive outlook on yourself, I do believe that you can make informed and safe choices. Whereas if you don’t, you may look and be physically healthy, but you might hate yourself, and how upsetting is that thought? I try and help spread this message more now that I’ve learnt to understand it so much. You can be healthy or unhealthy at any size.
Why did you start the magazine and what are the USP’s?
She Might Be has been something that I’ve wanted to do for years now and just over 100 days ago I finally took the plunge. It’s a completely body positive online magazine that is updated by plus size women. There’s plus size fashion, beauty, ‘fat politics’ and so much more. It really is a great resource for plus women, but also for anyone who wants to understand and be a better friend to plus size people. We don’t talk or promote diets, praise weight loss, or talk about food. Women of all sizes are hounded at every angle in life, whether it be on TV, radio, in magazines or on adverts in the street, about how they ‘should’ look, so we created a safe space on the internet.
Why did you launch a beauty box in such a competitive market?
It wasn’t something I had even considered before being asked to be honest! I’ve been blogging for over 3 years now and I’ve not seen many blogger collabs with boxes, so I was very flattered to even be considered to curate one. I guess it was more of that I always want to say yes to new experiences so I can learn about things more in the industry and of course it’s every girl’s dream.
Why did you select Melting Cleansing Balm to feature?
When we first started talking about it I was asked to name my top 10 products and the Melting Cleansing Balm was on that original list. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I HAD to have it in there. It’s the best cleanser I’ve ever used and MERUMAYA® is a brand that I 100% support so having the chance to feature my favourite brands meant that it just had to be included.
Do you feel pressure to always look your absolute best because of the notoriety She Might Be Loved has brought you? How do you handle that?
I’ve always been like this to be honest, I love dressing up and spending hours to get ready, my mum and I say that I just simply ‘don’t do casual’ and I still don’t. I like to stand out and a big girl wearing bold clothes, dramatic makeup and brightly coloured hair certainly does. I’m not saying that I always go out with perfectly curled hair and full makeup though! I probably would have tried before chronic pain but now I prefer to just be honest and real with everyone.
What has been the most gratifying part of your work and the effect you have had on other women?
Up until the age of around 18 everyone had always talked about my body negatively and now I receive comments from women saying that I’ve made them feel better just by being me. Just by posting photos wearing different things, just by living life, I’ve made them feel better about themselves because plus people are so often portrayed negatively and finally they can see someone who looks like them having fun and doing things. It’s such a strange thought and it makes me want to be even more open and honest with people so that I can help as many people as possible.
You have been a champion of MERUMAYA®, please tell us what it is about the brand values that compels you to support?
I love everything about the brand, from the knowledge that Maleka possesses, to all the work that goes into making products perfect. You can tell that there is a lot of love with this brand, there’s a lot of thought, and I’ve always loved how hands-on Maleka is with everything. It isn’t just a name she’s created and left it in the hands of someone else, she gets to know her customers, what they want, what they love, it really makes a big difference.
Have you been subject to any ‘hate’ having put yourself in the public eye? What advice would you give others on how to handle that?
I’m fortunate that I don’t receive much at all but whenever I do I just simply delete it, block the person and carry on with my life. I know it’s not that easy for some people but I really don’t dwell on it.
What is in the plan for the next 3 years in building your business and profile? Will you create your own products?
I want to focus more on my social media business in the next few years, I love social media, I love helping companies unlock their full potential, and hopefully I’ll get to do some more outreach work with bloggers as I always find it’s helpful if you truly understand the people you’re trying to work with. For the magazine I want to create a huge network of writers and continue to daily update, we’ve had such an amazing response that I can’t wait to see how far we can take this. I can’t say I have any plans for products but I’m always open to anything! I’d definitely consider creating some makeup or fashion pieces, that would be a dream.
What do you predict for the beauty blogging community in the next year or two. What do they need to do in order to maintain their resonance with the reader and their influence.
2016 has been huge for blogging and the industry is only going to get bigger, but in a beyond saturated community, it’s only going to get harder to stand out. I personally think it’s all about creating your own little community on your blog, engaging with your readers, get to know people and they’ll stick with you but it’s easier said than done. You really need to utilise your time to make sure you’re creating content as much as you’re sharing and connecting with others.
What are the most damaging behaviours for a blogger that lose the reader's trust?
I think the two big ones are those who give everything a positive review. They just love everything about everything. Those who don’t declare samples/sponsored work. People want transparency, even if the brands ask you not to, you should think about who’s more important.
What would you like to say to brands in how they approach you?
I’m having a lot of laughable requests lately so I would just love for brands to be friendly, honest, and actually understand mutually beneficial collaborations
Which two MERUMAYA® products would be on your desert island list?
Melting Cleansing Balm (obviously!) and the Exfoliating Skin Peel. My thanks to Georgina Grogan and if you would like to ask her any questions, please add them below and I will put them to her. Alternatively, you can follow Georgina Grogan at She Might Be Loved