I sat down and had a virtual cuppa with blogger and all round babe Chloe Plumstead, aka thelittleplum.co.uk.
If you haven’t heard of her, firstly- where have you been? Secondly, after reading this you’ll want to be her BFF. She’s one of those internet queens that you can’t help but love. Honest, sassy, seriously stylish and hysterically funny.
Have a gander of our catch up below, and prepare to internet stalk TF outta her afterwards…
How do you handle your work/life balance whilst having a successful blog and a career in marketing and social media?
I don’t really have a set strategy, it’s mostly just listening to myself and understanding my deadlines and trying to make the two work harmoniously. If I get home after a day of work and all I want to do is eat cheese toasties and watch Netflix, then 9 times out of 10 I’ll give myself that time. However blogging whilst also working another job means that I willingly sacrifice my free time. I look forward to going home and editing pictures or writing up a post that I’ve been stewing over all day.
Sometimes it’s more of a struggle but ultimately, my blog is my passion so I want to spend time growing it. Now I’m reducing my marketing hours I’m slowly incorporating more “life” elements back in (actually going out on a Saturday night or going for a dinner that I don’t feel compelled to Instagram), and I do spend every day with my boyfriend who is always a massive supporter of what I do so it’s just a case of trying to make each element click. It does get tough sometimes, but it’s worth it.
You’re all about the sass and aren’t afraid to be a vocal feminist, what advice would you give those who are afraid of being trolled for speaking up?
Your physical and mental health should always be the priority, so if sharing a feminist perspective means that that might be jeopardised, then don’t feel like you’re letting the side down by refraining. I’m in the hugely privileged position where I feel I can freely share my thoughts and experiences with sex and gender and feminism without facing any backlash in my life, either online or IRL. A lot of men and women don’t have that privilege, so I think it’s important to remember that those who are being vocal online are only able to do so because of their background (my parents are pretty liberal and my job means I can speak my mind without the fear of company policy crashing down on me).
However, if you do feel like there’s a feminist story or perspective that you want to share and the only thing holding you back is fear of judgement from your peers or online trolls, then it’s worth thinking about how what you’re sharing might benefit others – how it might make them think differently, or how it might make them feel assured in their own life. If you have the privilege to see something wrong and be able to call it out, then why not do it? As terribly, terribly clichéd as it is, you have to be the change you want to see in the world.
If you had a time machine, what would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Blowjobs are not that difficult so stop worrying, and being the clever one instead of the pretty one throughout school is going to turn out to be a real credit.
You’ve spoken about self-sabotage in relationships, stemming from your own insecurities- which every gal can relate to- how are you taking steps to get better in this department?
A few days after writing that article I received an email from a girl I had worked with previously, and she’d just dropped me a message to tell me how much she had related to the post and how she too had felt the same way. Going from super-confident to super-self-conscious is a weird, inverted path to walk, but she told me that she indulged in pamper evenings and nice underwear and was starting to feel a little bit like herself again. Of course, the answer to building self-confidence is not overdosing on superficial trimmings, but the other day I bought myself the pinkest, prettiest pair of matching undies from Topshop and putting them on
Of course, the answer to building self-confidence is not overdosing on superficial trimmings, but the other day I bought myself the pinkest, prettiest pair of matching undies from Topshop and putting them on did make me feel good. I’m also trying to incorporate smaller, healthier changes into my life like walking more, drinking more water and swapping normal tea for green tea, because self-care from within is important. Tackling insecurities are a tricky game and honestly, I’m still dealing with my own, but I think the most important thing is giving myself time; the way I feel today is not going to be the way I feel always.
Leading on from the last question, what are your top tips for self-love and self-care?
One lesson I’m learning at the moment is to listen to my body. I’m tired a lot and my energy levels are pretty low, so I’m trying to make some small changes to combat this. On the days that I do, I feel the difference both physically and mentally, so it’s something I want to pursue. Another big lesson I’m learning (or re-learning, as we all go through these continuous cycles in life) is that my attractiveness as a person comes from more than my physical appearance. I’m ambitious, I’m witty, I have strong beliefs – ironically all of the things I’m now getting to grips with are all the things my boyfriend has said he’s loved about me all along. My biggest tips for self-love and self-care would be to take time. In an age of instant gratification we’re all so impatient to do this or feel that
My biggest tips for self-love and self-care would be to take time. In an age of instant gratification we’re all so impatient to do this or feel that that when that doesn’t happen straight away, we feel short. Don’t compare yourself, listen to your body and give yourself time.
The blogging world can, on the one hand, be a very uplifting and empowering space for young women, but on the other pit us against each other. How have you learnt to navigate this tricky terrain?
We are in competition with one another, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I took a Feminist Writing module at University and of course, we studied the fantastic Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speech and book We Should All Be Feminists. In it, she says: “We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men.” This was my experience of school. It wasn’t about which girl was performing the best in class, but who was the most popular with the boys. Now, however, we have thousands of young women – especially in the female dominated fashion blogging world – building and spearheading an industry where we are competing for jobs and accomplishments. And this is healthy competition that we should all appreciate and encourage, because that in itself is empowering to us as women.
We are enacting some level of change, however small that may be, and another woman’s success does not encroach upon your own. When I see another blogger doing well, it’s a fist pump moment for me.
Follow Chloe on social @chloeplumstead
Words by Chloe Laws