In Celebrities on January 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Phewee, what a flume ride, I’m exhausted but although it was scary at times, I’ve learned a lot from this experience.

I’ve learned a lot about what people get out of burlesque and why they love it. I’ve learned that people feel very strongly about their right to wear very high heels and a strong individual look. I’ve learned that there is a self-defined proud ‘vintage tribe’.  It’s been really interesting.

But the best thing of all was finding out – when I got up this morning and opened the comments, almost scared to look – that there are a lot of wonderful people with strong opinions, who are willing to have a conversation and talk things over. Who would rather come to an understanding than keep slugging it out.

Thank you so much for that. It’s really strengthened my faith in human nature. There are far far more nice people  out there than nasty ones.

I’ve now amended the post, taking out the specific term which caused offence and which I honestly didn’t know was a derogatory term. I’m so grateful to Indiyesreally in comments for spelling that out to me.

I’ve also edited the rest of the piece in a way which I hope makes the points I was trying to make clearer and takes out some bits of nonsense that clouded the issues.

Next time I’m going to post about fluffy kittens (in killer heels…)


Why Miss Piggy? She’s the only woman, er, pig, more glamorous than Dita von Teese.

  1. We love you, Maggie. Keep writing.

    • I agree. We love your writing, your style and your wit. Much easier for some to citicise than praise-
      ‘you can please some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time’

      Looking forward to the next novel. Coming soon in Oz I hope.

  2. Dear Maggie, at last, Miss Piggy!
    Congratulations on very graciously riding out the storm.
    Here is my post just made on the fabulous Retro Chick site I have discovered via the hurly burly of your last 48 hours – so many thanks for that.
    “Hi there,
    First up, what a great piece on retro/femininism, etc currently on your blog; some excellent points.
    I have just come to your blog for the first time via the tornado the very recent Maggie Alderson post on flat shoes, DVT, etc unintentionally created. I am absolutely sure that Maggie meant NO HARM what so ever to anyone, but the backlash she attracted is a reminder of just how easy it is to offend. Having said that, in the early 80’s, Oxford St, Sydney, I magically found myself part of a wonderful group of friends (including a variety of transgender sex workers). Several of them wore incredible amounts of makeup, huge wigs and very HIGH heels all the time. Despite being straight, blonde and 20 years old (and from a very different environment) they accepted me into their vibrant community which was made up of just about every type of person imaginable – gender and sexual orientation (too many to list), race, age, colour and creed (many of them professional entertainers). Friendship in this fold was based on one thing only, acceptance.
    There was a lot of love and laughter (as well as some political protests) and I always felt very protected by these sometimes much older and vastly more life-experienced folk. Sadly, most of these people are no longer with us (as a result of the horror of the early AIDS epidemic), but I feel quite sure that if they had read Maggie’s post of a couple of days ago they would have: 1. roared with laughter, 2. agreed with everything she said and 3. definitely not been offended.

    Back to your post piece, I know how important it is for people to feel comfortable with their looks. I have been making clothing for a living for over 20 years. We all get up in the morning/night and get dressed to go out into the world and conduct our business/relax, etc. If one is comfortable with one’s appearance one tends to get more done happily. What we wear doesn’t really matter its what we ACHIEVE/EXPERIENCE in the outfit that’s really important. Bernadette

  3. Dear Maggie,

    I read your post, and then your post-post, and found myself wondering what on earth had happened. Now a post-post post. You’re a gracious person.

    I’m about 5 ft 1 1/2 (the 1/2 is important at my height…) and I’ve been following you since early Good Weekend days. I’ve read you talk many times about lovely high heels that I can’t wear because of back problems. So thanks for thinking of people like me 🙂

    And I saw the Muppet Movie with my 6 year old daughter on Friday, and I was wondering how I could get the divine Miss P into my comment. But you’ve beaten me to the post!


  4. Hi Maggie

    I won’t be commenting on your (or indeed, any other – apart from technical/professional) blogs/posts etc. after yesterday.

    I subscribed purely to read your work, not to get involved in discussions with strangers on the internet. It was stupid of me to post a comment because I feel obliged to respond when people respond to me. I don’t like debating, it’s more being polite and not ignoring someone who has bothered to address me. But I have a heavy work and study load and am battling a chronic illness, so I really don’t have time to get drawn into massive discussions, however important. I got drawn in yesterday, but won’t again.

    I’m glad you haven’t been silenced. Maybe people will think I have, but to me, my political and consumer vote has the most power – and my experience is that a lot of people commenting on the internet aren’t listening anyway, they’re just broadcasting.

    I’m sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings yesterday. But I hope I made my position really clear that any kind of harassment or violence against women (or anyone, for that matter) is absolutely wrong, against the law, and there is no such thing as an ‘excuse’ or ‘justification’.

    As I said yesterday, I don’t have any more time for this. I just got the email today and wanted to use the opportunity to say sorry to anyone whose feelings I hurt.

    Don’t be offended if I don’t respond to any replies. I think I’ve said more than my fair share already.

  5. Darling Maggie, I think you have been extremely gracious and polite in the face of some very unsisterly commenting. Well done. xxxx

    PS: I think I would have been tempted to say this:

  6. Grace Under Fire. Wow. I’m amazed at how you handled all that. Thank you for showing us how its done.

  7. Maggie, thank you for making me smile today! Can’t wait for the movie!

    I shall be looking for style tips from Miss P, I already got me some 30s gold shoes!

    I am going to carry on reading your blog, you know what, maybe sometimes you ave to cause a storm for new people to appear on your horizon?

    Like I said, I can’t apologise enough for being rude to you.
    It won’t happen again, I have also learned from tbis experience.

    xx Matilda

  8. Hi Maggie,

    Oh, if all the people attacking you were judged by everything they said…..well, God help them. I am a devoted fan who sees you as the best kind of person – human. I do think that reading on-line comments are an internet Russian Roulette. Mostly you are dealing with reasonable people, but there is always the element who use their anonymity to be really unpleasant. Unfortunately the price of blogging. Just to let you know, seven years ago, 5 weeks after my daughter was born, I was waiting to have an MRI to find out if I had Multiple Sclerosis. I had to wait a couple of hours before the scan and was losing my mind. One of the worst days of my life. I bought ‘Shoe Money’ on a whim and sat in a cafe to read. It was perfect. It was just the right mix of escapism and humanity. Thanks for the help. You will always be my saviour. Will stop lest I start blubbering (P.S. Brain fine).

    • Can I start blubbering instead? Thanks so much to that. SOOOO many more lovely people than nasty – and many of those who started harsh, turned reasonable and willing to discuss things, once they could see I’m really not a bigot. Just a human, making an error of judgement. There are one or two who are still cross, but I do understand it’s not really about me and if it helps them to get it out, I’ll jsut look away while they continue to fling things xxxxx

  9. Grace under fire said it all! Wow.
    And now, please, can we get back to fashion and not bashing?
    I, for one of many, am impatiently waiting for your next book.
    Change of topic: Remember when you wrote about navy blue. I have been and continue to search for navy blue clothes and even shoes. Why is there such a lack of navy blue. Does anyone know?
    Post soon, Ms. Maggie! You are much beloved.

    • Colours have fashion cycles, just like everything else design related. When navy is all over the catwalks it will trickle down and be everywhere.
      I love navy too, but find tan or grey shoes stop it from being too matchy matchy or nanna.

      • Yes, I agree – navy shoes are one step too far even for me. I, wickedly, like to wear it with black shoes (in winter). And in summer actually. I lvoe my black patent Birkenstoks with navy and GOLD sandals look amazing with it x

    • Thanks for that, but it was good to find out how polarised opinions are on various issues. Also had insights into worlds I don’t know much about. And met some really great people in the process. But thanks for being easy on me… Editing the new book now. Should be out by the end of the year. xxx

  10. V cool handling.
    Read that article ages ago and thought nothing of it.
    What a backlash, undeserved.
    Keep writing, freely.
    Look forward to your next book for some fun and escapism.

  11. You made a mistake but handled it very graciously. Well done woman! I think a career in politics beckons…. 😉

  12. Miss Piggy, LOL!

    In the latest Muppets movie she plays an editor for Paris Vogue, hilarious! She gets around in all these teeny tiny coture outfits!

    There’s nothing like the Muppets to lighten the mood!

    • I know – I loved it. She looked exactly like Donatella Versace in her first scene and I’m sure it was no accident… I’d forgotten how much I love Fozzie bear too WOCKA WOCKA!

  13. I agree – Your grace will see you through Maggie. And don’t censor your opinions too much please! I enjoy reading your thoughts whether I have the same perspective or not. Chin up dear and soldier on.

  14. Dear Maggie,

    I am so pleased to have found you again – I didn’t realise how much I had missed your column until I received Style Notes the book (I really don’t know how I managed to lose you…).

    I found you just in time to see you receive a verbal bashing from what seemed to be most of the female population of the blog reading planet – you poor thing! you must be devastated.

    I know from reading your previous work that you do not engage in putting others down – ever. I read the column with that in mind and was not at all offended – but I can see how others could have been. I put this down to ‘clumsy words’ – and know you will always be mindful from now on.

    So CONGRATULATIONS on your ‘getting of wisdom’, this experience will make you an even better writer.

    I look forward to your future columns – they will be warm witty AND wise!


    • Thanks so much Debra. Support from people who have known my writing from way back means a lot, because I feel like you really ‘know’ me, whereas a lot of the people who got cross – and they had good reason – didn’t know my track record.

      I was very touched though, how many of the ones who started off cross, were willing to engage in discussion. It was really encouraging.

      I have a column every week in M in the Sunday Age and S in the Sun Herald, which I sometimes re-use on here. I would prefer this always to be fresh, but it’s a time issue. I also contribute every week to a great UK based website


      Maggie x

  15. Omg. The last time I visited this blog I was so awe-inspired by the whole Dita Von Teese note that I couldn’t stop raving about it! I actually empathized with ur write up -( I too think of myself as an *old school feminist* even though at my age I’m supposed to wear sky scrapping heels and red eye shadows to grab eye balls) – so much so that it sowed a fashion blogging bug in me. And here I can see it’s creating massive paranoia amongst the haters. Well, I’d just like to say that u inspire me. And I hope I get to meet u someday 🙂

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