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A Mummy Blogger Had Admitted To Trashing Other Influencers On An Anonymous Snark Forum

In this week's newsletter: a British mummy blogger admits to anonymously trashing other influencers, and the stressful paradigm that's created when photoshopping advances...as our obsessions with spotting it also increases.

Posted on November 15, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. ET

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It's...Clemmie Hooper's account.

A British mummy blogger named Clemmie Hooper had to publicly apologize after she was caught trashing other influencers — and her own husband — on a British snark forum. Clemmie, known as @mother_of_daughters, has more than 660,000 followers on Instagram, and her husband, Simon aka @father_of_daughters, has 1 million.

In November 2018, Clemmie reportedly created an account with the username “AliceInWanderLust” on a forum called Tattle.life, a UK cousin to the influencer/blogger snark forum Get Off My Internets, or GOMI. After creating an account, Clemmie began to bad-mouth several other bloggers.

Clemmie’s comments now appear to have been deleted, but here are some highlights. In one, she called a small-time Instagram couple desperate imitators of herself and her husband. In another, she wrote that interior design blogger Emily Murray was “smug as fuck” and “incredibly try hard.” “Alice” also took aim at Candice Brathwaite, an activist, influencer, and curator of an Instagram account highlighting diverse mothers. “Candice is often really aggressive and always brings it back to race, priveldge and class because she knows no one will argue with that,” she wrote. “It feels like a weapon to silence people’s opinions.”

Clemmie also defended herself. In one post, she wrote: “I actually don’t mind MOD. I use to read her blog when I was pregnant with my first child, the birth stories were really lovely. And you know what, good on her if she’s re-aligning herself and posting less of her kids. At least she had another job outside the #ads.” However, in one comment, she called her own husband a “Class A twat,” which LOL. She also engaged in speculation about her own finances, asking if anyone knew what Simon does for a living and speculating they pay for their children’s school “through a trust fund or the grandparents.” In March, after posters grew suspicious, “Alice” vehemently denied she was Clemmie.

Late last week, according to screenshots shared on Tattle.life, influencers like Susie Verrill, Bethie Hungerford, and others began to post on their stories that they had heard there was a traitor in their midst who was dissing them on a snark forum. Comments like this also appeared.

Instagram

Finally, Clemmie came clean and apologized via Instagram stories. She told her followers she was just trying to defend herself and it got out of hand. She didn’t mention her handle, but the Guardian confirmed it was the “Alice” account. A spokesperson for Clemmie provided BuzzFeed News with the same statement but did not respond to further inquiries.

Instagram

The fallout has been intense. Many women didn’t buy Clemmie’s apology and pointed out she often took aim at accounts with much smaller followings, and therefore less power, than herself. In particular, women have called on advertisers to drop Clemmie as a sponsor for her comments about Candice, which they called racist, and even called for her to lose her job as a midwife.

My reaction to the whole thing is very well summed up by Twitter user @SarahSpoon.

Rather than succumb to the intoxicating gossip about Clemmie Hooper’s (inexcusable) behaviour, or join forces with strangers trying to get her struck off at work, better we examine why women grow up to think the only way to achieve self-worth is to rob others of theirs.

Also, I read this column from Heather Havrilesky yesterday that makes me think what Clemmie did can’t be unique. Now I am wondering: How many of the notoriously toxic super-commenters on GOMI are actually influencers themselves in disguise? I’m willing to bet more than a few.

On that note, if you know of any, feel free to let me know. *eyes emoji*

Stephanie McNeal

I'm driving myself crazy trying to figure out if this influencer is photoshopping her pics.

I cOuLnD’T hElP bUt WoNDeR...are influencers getting better at Photoshop, or am I getting more obsessed with spotting it?

Earlier this week, I came across a Reddit thread furiously discussing whether an influencer’s now-deleted Instagram photo had been photoshopped. People claimed to see faint black lines drawn over her hair and said her blindingly white shoe soles appeared to be floating above the street.

Reddit / Instagram

Their insinuation was that the photo was photoshopped or pieced together and that the lines were cursor mistakes that weren’t deleted. I reached out to the influencer, but she has not responded.

For me, the debate comes down to the shoes. In some of the influencer’s other photos, her shoes seem to have natural shadows underneath them. But in others, there are no shadows.

(See left: no shadow. See right: natural shadows appear.)

Instagram

There are a few more examples of this. Feel free to email me if you want to see them and descend down into this petty rabbit hole with me.

While the mystery has not been solved, the post did, as you can see, send me on a galactic spiral deep into her Instagram feed. Then I got even further into my own head, wondering, Am I becoming more paranoid or are photoshopping skills getting better?

In other words: Is she photoshopping her images or do I think I see something I don't?

After some reflection, I have come to realize that whether the photo has been edited isn’t really the point. Of course, I would really like to know the truth (mostly to help put me out of my misery).

We’ve had to advance our human instincts because photo-editing technology, and the weaponizing of that technology, has become so commonplace. I’ve become a better detective for it, but I don’t want to be. It’s giving me a headache.

The moral of this story is that I do not know if this influencer in question, whose photos receive thousands of likes and gushy comments, sometimes edits her pictures. It’s not the first or last time it’ll happen.

What I do know is that if your antennae are picking up signals that things are...off when you look at Instagram, you’re most likely not imagining things. Your brain is naturally responding to this new...reality we’re in.

Someone please crop me out of this mess and photoshop me onto my couch, taking a nap. Thanks.

Until next time,

Tanya

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