The Good With The Bad: Internet Snarking

Most people are honest, and kind. That’s one of the founding philosophies of eBay, and it has worked out to be mostly true. The same cannot always be said for social media. Brace yourselves, there are some mighty cranky people who own computers. If we choose to put ourselves out there to the public, we can expect our share of comments from those whose cereal has been peed on.

I do try to learn something from even the crabbiest commenter. Listening to our critics can be tedious, but truly helpful in improving our work. I am not counting in this group those whose only comment is, e.g., “your pants are stupid.”

I most often get Facebook complaints about featuring only young or “skinny” women when showing items for sale. I do try to seek out more mature models, and non-skinny body types. The vast majority of clothing advertised is shown on young, skinny women, however. So we have some work to do there.


The stunning Judith of Style Crone has done professional modeling, after age 70.

I do understand the desire to see clothing modeled by women who look more like “us.” Message received, and appreciated.

shirt dress 04_edited-2w

My super-creative friend Pao designs her own clothes, is not a size zero or under 25 years old (are you, Pao?).

The latest crabby comment I got was on an article I published about all the ways to wear crop trousers. There’s a lot of variety in the looks I featured. The Facebook commenter said “Oh, so I guess anything goes, then?”

It’s snarky, but has a seed of usefulness. I think I didn’t fully explain that yes, of course, “anything goes” when dressing one’s own body, but there are still social and religious norms that many choose to follow. Including me: I didn’t wear cropped culottes and an off the shoulder top to my father-in-law’s memorial service (miss you Butch). I wore a simple black sheath, to show respect and to not draw attention to myself. I wouldn’t wear a frothy white gown to a wedding.
Dress conservatively for a somber occasion:

I do fully believe in expressive dressing and breaking fashion “rules”. I wear my whites long after Labor Day, mix prints and jewelry, skip pantyhose, wear black with brown or navy, and show off my 61-year-old arms with pride.  I wear stripes and double-denim all the time. I don’t wear leggings as pants, but applaud those who do. My hair is long and fuzzy and I love red lipstick, even though paler shades do make me look “younger.”


I love my red lipstick.

So please, do feel free to delete any comments that make you feel bad, or are just plain rude. Look, also, for a tiny scrap of helpfulness.

And stay fabulous as always,

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  1. I don’t comment very often, but I do stop by from time to time to see what you are up to. I totally LOVE your hair, and I too am a wearer of red lipsticks. (so sue me commenters) LOL

  2. I can only find inspiration in your blogs, Patti, and all the other fabulous blogs I am a fan of. I guess there’ll always be those negative types but I’ve learned to tell myself that it’s their own problem. I love the fact that you are true to yourself, that you wear red lipstick – your look fabulous – I also love wearing red lipstick and intend to for the rest of my life! And you just can’t please others all the time. You have a wonderful blog, I love catching up with you. xx

  3. I always get confused by complaints like this. Am I never getting any crank comments? Do I always take them as a compliment and never see the real intend behind them? Am I different?
    Like the remark you quote: “Oh so I guess anything goes, then?”.. Why would that be a cranky comment? Perhaps the person who said this was really relieved she could’t go wrong as she was never sure what was in or out with jeans. Is that possible? Writing does not carry a tone. People might mean it totally different from the way it is interpreted. Just a thought. I know it is a different thought and by no means do I want to offend you dear Patti. But I had to say it.

  4. Hey, glad to be a help in representing ‘clothing modeled by women who look more like “us.”’ Yep, I’m not a size zero, more like an ought-ought, if anything. And I’ve got more than 2 x 25 years. Really I just sew all my clothes to make it work, not so much designing.
    Meanwhile, I say just delete snarks in the act, or soon thereafter.
    And…I am so excited to be in the same post as Judith and you!!! The first blogs I ever read. True Bloggesses.

  5. I think nasty comments have a lot more to do with the nasty commenters than with the person or article they posted about.

  6. I was brought up being told that if I couldn’t find anything nice to say then keep quiet. Honestly some people are such miseries. Why is it that we can get lots of lovely comments and it takes just one negative to make us feel wretched?
    Great advice as always and three stupendous examples of fabulous women doing what the hell they want to. Keep up the good work. xxx

  7. I agree with Jodie.
    Lets all just get along! :oD
    If I don’t like a look or an outfit, I just move on to look at another one…simple.
    I don’t criticise anyone for being too thin/fat/old/young… whatever.
    I think we women have a tough enough time without dragging each other down.
    And…as a side… being complained at for being “skinny” is not a compliment.
    A women at my work said to me on Monday: “You just get skinnier and skinnier, Sam! Could your legs be any skinnier? Hahahaha”
    (I am half a stone heavier than normal)
    Then, when I pointed out that a comment like that is rude she was affronted and said
    “It’s a compliment, Sam…for gods sake! I am telling you that you are skinny and not fat”
    That made me madder…she missed the point.
    Anyway, this comment has turned into an essay!!! Sorry Patti!
    Bottom line…Be positive and nice, it costs nothing.

    • Samantha, it just says more about the person telling you that you get skinnier evey day, than about you. I would take such a remark as a compliment. The woman in question isn’t skinny herself I take it?

  8. I just don’t get people who have to troll others online this way… I get that we all have to vent our anger every ow and then, but to attack stangers online just because of their outfits? Oh well, when I was a student I used to work as a supermarket checkout girl, and there were a lot of angry people who seemed to come to the store just so that they could yell at someone. I finally told one cranky woman that I fully understood that it was a lot cheaper to vent her issues in the local supermarket than going to see a therapist, but she should also keep in mind that we, the staff, were not trained to help people with mental health issues… I guess online trolling is just a variation of that, and if/when I ever encounter it, I plan to take a similar approach.

  9. It does remind me of what my husband and I used to say a lot—-people are people.
    I know, Dorie, of Senior Style Bible just posted this pix on FB yesterday showing a fabulous older lady. And there were so many comments on how she’s photoshopped and blah, blah, blah! Why can’t we just be more appreciative and all get along?
    Hope your move is going well!!

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