10 Things Your Hate Makes Me Grateful For


10 Things Your Hate Mail Makes Me Grateful For

Putting yourself out in public on a blog, like I do here on Inside Out Style makes you a target for internet trolls.  Writing a blog and sharing photos of yourself is an act of vulnerability.

The internet is a big, big place, and it makes many people anonymous, so they feel it’s quite OK for them to leave comments like this one:

Why troll comments make me gratefulIt’s very easy on the internet to de-humanise others.  When nobody knows who you really are, with a fake email address and a bogus username, you can spew any sort of vitriol you like.

This year my focus of the year is to be more grateful.  So I decided that I would focus on the positive rather than the negative.

10 Things Your Hate Makes Me Grateful For

  1. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I’m surrounded by a loving family
  2. Your vitriol makes me grateful that most readers are supportive, kind and thoughtful
  3. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I was brought up to not say anything if I couldn’t say anything nice (aka manners)
  4. Your vitriol makes me grateful for my resilience, born from the hardships and inner strength I’ve developed over my lifetime
  5. Your vitriol makes me grateful for the amazing community of women who support each other with love and care in my online programs
  6. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I see beauty in all people
  7. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I don’t have this kind of hate in my heart
  8. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I don’t feel the need to belittle others to make myself feel better
  9. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I am true to myself and choose my clothes in an authentic manner that make me happy.
  10. Your vitriol makes me grateful that I am strong and so have no need to take your opinion with any weight

I think Brene Brown put this as perfectly as could be put in her interview here:

“At the end of the day, at the end of the week and the end of my life, I want to be able to say that I contributed more than I criticised.” Bréne Brown

My aim is to help have a positive impact on the lives of women, not a negative one. And yes I feel vulnerable each day when I stand outside my house taking photos of my outfits which I share on the blog (and the neighbours drive past and I’m sure am wondering what I’m doing).  I’m not a natural extrovert nor a natural model.

But I think it’s important that us regular people (the not-supermodels) feel that style is achievable no matter your size, shape or age. That there are so many wonderful bloggers out there of all ages who are showing that there is no cookie-cutter style that should be worn by all.  That there are alternative avenues to discovering information on style than the glossy fashion magazines.  This is why I love my Stylish Thoughts interviews as they show other viewpoints and styles than my own.

Expressing your authentic essence and personality, through your style is my passion in life.  It’s called ‘personal style’ for a reason, as it’s individual.  We don’t have to love everyone else’s style, or even want to emulate it, but when it comes from an authentic place we can understand it and appreciate it.

As Taylor Swift sings, “haters gonna hate, shake it off” and that’s what I do.  But it can be a learned skill to do so.  When we’re young we are often told things by those close to us that have a profound effect on our self-esteem that we take as truth rather than opinion.

I’ve met many women over the years who have negative self-image and opinions of themselves due to vitriol and hatred spread by those around them in some way or another.

If you have some of these messages rolling round in your head, then it’s time to examine them and see if they are really true or just an opinion of someone else.

Remember, opinions are not facts.

Life is too short to hate yourself or any of your body parts.

Don’t spend your life hiding your light away and hating yourself.  You’ll regret not living your life to the full.

At the end of the day, would you rather be remembered for negativity and criticism or for contributing more positivity to the world?

Oh, and by the way, life is also too short to spend your time hating on others.  It’s a toxic way to live and won’t make you happy.

If you’re not keen on what I share here, feel free to move onto one of the other 440+ million other blogs and find the tribe that’s right for you.

Spread love, not hate.

Help Learn to Love Your Body More…

Letter to My Body


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Imogen, I don’t comment often enough although I read every one of your blog posts. Thank you for putting yourself and your love and caring for others out there each time you post. You are a beautiful and classy lady who enriches your readers’ lives.

    • Thanks Cynthia, I love what I do, it’s my passion and I’m also lucky enough to be mature and resilient enough to laugh off this kind of comment. I really appreciate you stopping by and reading all the posts!

  • Imogen, I think you are simply wonderful, helping those of us who are, as you say, the “not-models”, to still enjoy becoming more stylish, in our own wonderful and various ways. You are so kind, encouraging, knowledgeable, and inspiring! That is why so many of us love you–not because you are the apex of style or the model everyone wants to photograph, but because you ARE the champion of individuality in style, of personality, of each person’s journey of self-discovery and making the best of our own lives and looks. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I think that when you think about all the women you have helped, you will know that comments like the ones you shared above are not important enough to get you down.

    • Thanks Elizabeth, I’m so happy that you too see the beauty in everyone and appreciate your own individual style journey. I don’t let these kinds of comments get me down as I know they come from an unhappy place that I don’t reside in!

  • You’re a beautiful woman Imogen, inside and out! I have enjoyed your blog so much and am grateful for all the wisdom and inspiration you provide to me and countless others. Thank you!

  • How gracefully you shake this off. And how grateful I am for all the vulnerability you put yourself through for making this fantastic blog. You have taught me not only about style, but also to more actively seeing the beauty of others.

    By the way, I would take “ nerdiest” as a giant compliment. Your analytical approach to style is awesome.

    Best regards,

    • Thanks Carol and hugs right back! I don’t let this stuff bother me, but know that nasty comments are something we all get in life and thought it was a good reminder to not take others opinions as facts!

  • You and a warm and loving person and I am so sorry that you are being harassed in this way! You’ve helped so many with your expertise and suggestions and I just think it’s sad that someone would choose this dysfunctional behaviour to approach you.

    • Thanks so much Bernadette – I don’t let it worry me and I know that my work here has a positive impact, but I know that others may not have my resilience and might take little snipes and comments from so called friends or family to heart when they too should just “shake it off”

  • Such a powerful and positive message from a beautiful person doing wonderful things for us ordinary women. Thank you Imogen.
    I love your perspective. Keep doing what you are doing because you do it so very well.

    • Thanks Marloes, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment! I think we have an amazing opportunity as image consultants to change lives for the better – I think about my work as being in the self-esteem and confidence arena – not fashion – as this is the long term benefit my clients gain!

  • I was touched reading your post, Imogen. Thank you so much for what you are, do, and share with passion, helping women feel at their best and happier.

  • Psychologists say it takes 5 compliments to counteract 1 insult. Here are mine. 1). You are a very pretty woman and, from looking at your old blog posts, I think you look even better now than you did in 2008. 2) You are very generous to freely share your knowledge of style with your readers. 3) Your understanding of style is encyclopedic. I’ve learned more about proportion and cut of clothing that compliment my frame from reading your blog than from any other blog or book. 4) Your understanding of color and contrast is even better. Your eye for color is amazing. You explain things nobody else even mentions. 5) You explain how to put outfits together for every style, not just your own look. You are a master of your craft.
    As for your troll, she seems very angry with a lot of rage. To quote the tweeter in chief, …. “Sad”.

    • Thanks so much Cindy! Having been blogging since 2008 I don’t let this kind of thing bother me (it did when I started but not anymore) but as you say – we all get criticism and take it to heart so easily and so it’s an important thing to remember that we should all give out more genuine compliments to those around us every day!

  • Dear Imogen,
    Please know that you are valued and contribute everyday to your community.
    Thanks for being a positive in this very negative world.
    I have never commented before-but know I check in everyday.
    I find your expertise very helpful. Stay kind and strong.

    • Thanks Elaine! I really appreciate you coming by and reading – that makes my day! Negative comments are just part of the internet space and I’ve learned to not take them to heart.

  • You are wonderful, Imogen. I, too, read every one of your posts. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. I’m glad you’re taking the high road and ignoring the haters.

  • I’m so HAPPY that you put yourself out there for us to read and see all your wonderful blog posts and pictures! I’ve learned so much from you! Thank you Imogen!! <3 <3

  • I am so sorry that you are exposed to such ugly, sick nonsense. I really enjoy your posts and they brighten my day. You have taught me, and so many others, really useful information that adds to our happiness. I hope that many others will write in to support you and to drown the memory of that nastiness. I send you every best wish.

  • I can not believe someone would say such shocking things to you, Imogen, or really, to anyone. The anonymity of the internet sometimes brings out the worst in people.

    You are such a beautiful person, inside and out — I’m glad you have the confidence to ignore anyone who doesn’t see it. Striving to be more like you!

  • You are lovely and generous to a fault. You are an expert in your field, you educate in a way that is crystal clear and have had an impact on many the world over, including this reader from Canada’s westernmost coast. Thank you for pushing through your vulnerabilities in order to give of yourself — you do Brene Brown proud.

    • You are too kind Filomena – I try every day to share with generosity all I’ve learned, much of it from fabulous women just like yourself who have taught me so much over the years and helped me hone my knowledge!

  • It takes a lot of courage to put oneself out there and you are to be commended for that. The internet tends to enable those whose lives are miserable to attack anonymously others who seem to be leading better and happier lives than themselves. While the insults definitely sting, unfortunately these types of attacks have resulted in suicides in many young people who were targeted this way.

    I have been fortunate to have found your wonderful blog and the 7Steps program. Keep up the good work and ignore the nuts!

    • Rebecca – this is totally the reason I decided to write this – I am lucky that I can laugh such comments off and see them for what they really are, but I know that others are deeply affected by hateful barbs like this and think it’s important to share this message to help others feel stronger too.

  • Oh, and Linds, I’m sorry for the hurt in your life that has caused you to lash out in such a catty way. You’re better than that and I hope you will see that yourself some day.

  • My dear Imogen I will be linking to this post from my blog. Unfortunate that people project their anger on to others but it’s all about how we take things and make them positive. A bug hug f!

    • Thanks Lorena – I really appreciate you sharing this – as a blogger you’d be aware of the nasty that can be out there and it’s important not to let them have power over your feelings!

  • I am so grateful that you do put yourself out there. You are an absolute delight and so many benefit from your knowledge and kindness. Lots of love.

  • I think people who post horrible things like that don’t have happy lives. When we are doing what we love and with those that we love, things like that would never cross our minds let alone post them.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and love it when it drops into my inbox. I have never had any style or dress sense. If I’ve ever looked good it’s either pure fluke or because someone else has dressed me. Reading your blog has made me aware of so many things about colours, body shapes and patterns etc. It’s given me so many ideas and also the confidence to try new things.

    The details you put into your blogs and how generous you are to put it out there for free is amazing. Looking good and highlighting your best bits makes you feel good and when you feel good it goes towards having a happy life. You have an incredible talent of being able to put into words and pictures how to look good.

    You add value to so many lives in doing what you do.
    Thank you.

  • Imogen that’s an awful message to have received. What a load of rubbish. Why would that person even bother to send that, I have no idea. What a brain full of yuck that poor person must possess. You’re lovely and your blog posts are something I look forward to reading every day! I am grateful to you for your positive blog and your lovely other readers for their comments and for this community, even though I don’t recall commenting before. You just have to accept don’t you that there are, bizarre and shameful for humanity as it is, weirdos and crazies out there, some of whom unfortunately are dangerous and or various degrees of quite unpleasant.

  • Oh my, that person must have an awful life. If you have not read “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West, you should. She delves deeply into this troll topic.

    You are one of my favorite bloggers and I so appreciate you. I’ve learned so much and refer to your posts often. It is obvious that you are passionate about your craft and we are all lucky that you share your passion with us!

    • I’ve not read that book Laurie, but have had a couple of people recommend it to me. Thanks for reading and I’m hugely flattered that I’m one of your favourite bloggers!

  • I have never before written a comment on any blog that I read. But I am so stunned that someone would decide to write something so nasty on yours, that I am moved to do so now. Your blog is fascinating and incredibly helpful. You are extremely generous with your knowledge and time to share all of this information with us. I find “style” to be a somewhat intimidating topic and you are helping to demystify it for me. Thank you so much for all that you do. And it shouldn’t matter…but I know it does anyway…I think you look fantastic!

    • Lisa – I’m hugely flattered that your first ever blog comment is here! I’m really happy that you find style just a little less intimidating after reading my posts too. That makes my day!

  • I have always loved the quote, “Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours burn brighter.” I have only sympathy for someone who shines such an ugly light on to others. You have much to be grateful for, and we are grateful for you.

  • Wow! This person clearly hates themselves is all I can think of when reading that comment.
    I have been following your blog for several years, did the 31 day challenge, and I believe you give us a plethora of ideas to put our best selves forward.
    Keep up the good work. X