As we head into winter and the middle of the year (how is it June already?), I decided to change up the website, add a bit of personalisation and say Hi! My name is Kellie, and I’m the editor of Woman of Style and Substance. Once a month, from now onwards, I will be writing a “Notes from the Editor” article regarding my observations of the world around us and the hottest topics at the time.
If you are new around here, I started Woman of Style and Substance in 2009, and the website was initially called Mummy of Style and Substance. The website came to fruition because I was a Mum of a school-age son, a toddler and a baby and needed an outlet for my sanity. I was also tired of the parenting websites dedicated to advertising baby products and promoting unrealistic expectations of Mums.
The parenting websites focused on babies and kids (naturally), recipes and family life but lacked something for Mums and other topics that Mums were interested in (other than parenting and house-related content). Then there was a different spectrum of women’s lifestyle websites aimed at corporate women with a lot of disposable income, mainly promoting luxury brands. But, of course, if you were a middle class working Mum, you didn’t fit into either category, so that’s where I found my niche. And it did pretty well, as we were nominated for quite a few awards.
By 2014, we wanted a more diverse female audience, so we changed the “Mummy” to “Woman” and dropped most of our parenting content. It has been a women’s lifestyle website ever since. Although we don’t have a media outlet backing (or the funding) behind us, the website has around nine hundred to a million page views a month and consistently has done for the last few years, which we are very proud of our achievements.
You may have noticed that our socials were quieter than usual from the start of the year. In late January, I had emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction, which turned out to be bowel cancer (June is Bowel Cancer month. Keep an eye out for our Bowel Cancer post next week). Unfortunately, it has taken me a while to recover, and I lost momentum with the social media posting. In addition, my perfectionism was hindering the process by causing me to doubt myself and I avoided posting because of it. The new algorithm hasn’t helped either, as followers hardly see our feed posts anymore, and I know that’s an issue with most accounts on Instagram, but it is disheartening.
Going back to the changes we are making, we are looking to incorporate more of everything regarding the new direction we are going in. There will be more home and interiors related content and bigger and better beauty, fashion, lifestyle, travel, events, sales and wellbeing content. We are also looking at a WSS book club, where are discuss a book per month. We are also hoping to have more giveaways/ competitions. We will also have more from our Women of Style and Substance interview series. Let us know what you would like to see more of on the website (or even our socials)! We’d love to hear from you.
As we start a new month and into the chillier time of year (Winter is well and truly back with a vengeance this year, isn’t it?), I think we need to get back to a simpler way of life. To me, young people seem to have lost their way because of social media and where society is headed in general. As a Gen X, I am left shaking my head at what we have become as a society and wonder how this is affecting young people. It seems like the general public needs to be constantly reactive when you are on social media. Be it those who are perpetually offended (how exhausting would that be?) to those who virtue signal for causes they are not prepared to do anything to help with in real life. Take, for instance, climate change. Are they wearing sustainably sourced clothing or wearing fast fashion? Are they preparing food at home or ordering takeaway and getting home delivery regularly? Are they recycling correctly? All these things add up, and if everyone played their part, we could make a huge difference. However, going by the recent elections, people seem to want the politicians to do something about climate change when in fact, we could all be doing our part.
I’ll be writing an article about ways we can become more proactive in helping the environment soon. However, we have quite a few articles about being environmentally friendly and sustainable (search either of those two topics in the search bar at the top right-hand side of this page). I believe people are more concerned about being reactive online than being proactive in the community. I often think that this emotionally reactive way of living has transferred into the real world, and that’s why there is so much division and hate now. There doesn’t seem to be a community spirit anymore, and everyone is out for themselves. Maybe it’s a Melbourne thing? As we were locked down for two years. Perhaps it’s an entitlement thing? I honestly don’t know anymore. It is sad, and somewhat scary, to see people so divided though. It’s scary to see how much impact and influence social media has had on society. I can see why so many people are jumping off the platforms. Not just for taking back control of their time but for the mental health benefits too.
I had to laugh at the comments on The Conversation’s post on Instagram a few days ago about how to manage finances due to the rising cost of living. It had all the sensible suggestions, such as limiting spending on non-essential items like takeaway and food delivery services such as Uber Eats and Menulog, buying excess clothing and other things and cancelling subscription services like Netflix and Disney+ etc. With social media being as reactive as it is, of course, the comments lit up with people crying about taking away their “right to live and having enjoyment”.
When I was in my 20s, there was no such thing as subscription services. We couldn’t afford to have Foxtel; we rarely ate out and we holidayed in our state, as we were saving to purchase a house and we bought in an area we could afford when we did have the deposit. People want to have everything but don’t want to make the sacrifices as we did. Of course, we would have loved to have had overseas holidays, bought designer pieces, and new clothes every other week, eating out regularly and bought a house in the inner suburbs, but the reality is, we couldn’t. You have to start somewhere, don’t you? The government can’t do anything about the price of houses because it is driven by demand and we had very low interest rates for so long. However, they could lower stamp duty. They won’t though, as the states need the revenue from it. Similar story with the cost of living. Raising wages will only raise the cost of products and services (as businesses will have to pass the increase onto the consumer), which will in turn increase inflation.
As for a simpler life, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could slow down and enjoy real life without being on electrical devices? Personally, I have been reading more, getting outside more, gardening, doing things around the house, travelling and enjoying time with my family. I find that more fulfilling than being on my phone constantly. As humans, we need time with other people. After all, social connection is essential to nearly every aspect of health and well-being. Connectedness and that one on one time naturally invites intimacy, empathy and openness, something you can’t get from staring mindlessly at social media for hours on end.
Essentially, what I am saying is, make the most of your real-life and spend it doing what you love with those you love. We’ve lined up some great articles to help you simplify your life with winter gardening tips, winter skincare, relationship advice, winter wardrobe essentials, planning a memorable weekend getaway, how to try and prevent colds and flu and a lot more.
Have a wonderful month!
PS. Next month’s “Note to the editor” will be a lot shorter. I promise!