Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

23 April 2015

You Can Sit With Me If You Want To

I'm very sorry, this post is very long.  

You know what I stand for? Kindness, friendship and acceptance. I like to think that I have a personality that meshes with tons of different groups of people. The friends I made over the years are vastly different and I treasure every one of them. I am blissfully happy when I'm surrounded by friends, and am a firm believer you can never have too many. So it may come as no surprise that I'm very against the concept of "you can't sit with us.

My hatred, no that's too harsh, we will say disapproval, of anyone that uses and/or whose actions portray the phrase "you can't sit with us" stems from two specific times in my life: high school and my first two years in Dallas. I attended the cliquiest of cliquey high schools. There were distinct groups, and I didn't belong to a single one of them. Certainly not the popular kids, not the jocks, not the drama people, not the smart people, I didn't fit in anywhere. That messes with a kid when you don't have a group to associate yourself with. I had a long-term boyfriend, and pretty much just put all my eggs in that basket. 

I had deemed myself a guy's girl, until I moved to another state for college, joined a sorority and my whole life changed. People can hate on the greek system all they want,  I will always come to its rescue. The girl that never felt part of a group, never felt like she was a part of anything or felt important to any of her peers, immediately, and I do mean immediately felt accepted, wanted, welcomed and appreciated in Pi Beta Phi. Heck, even people who weren't part of our sorority were embraced with open arms, and dubbed honorary Pi Phis. Everyone totally got that sorority life wasn't for everyone, but meaningful, important friendships were. We accepted and befriended anyone who we enjoyed being around, and who enjoyed being around us, greek or non-greek. It was simple, it was lovely, it was shockingly mature. I'm still proud to have my name associated with this organization. 

This three paragraph rant is leading up to something not totally unrelated, but unrelated. I was having a difficult time writing this post without the backstory of why I'm so irritated. Ok pretend you read those first three paragraphs in yesterday's post. Let's start fresh. *you're killing me over here, Sarah* I know, I know I'm sorry. 

I have 3 specific issues with this Reward Style, Like To Know It, and their conference. Reward Style is an affiliate link system for fashion bloggers to make money off items they recommend to their readers. The Reward Style Conference is taking place right now, just a few blocks from my hood, in Downtown Dallas. You can follow on insta using #RSthecon. 

Issue #1- The reason for my first three paragraphs, is the insane level of "You Can't Sit With Us" associated with this conference. I'm not talking about the girls in attendance, but rather the conference specifically. Please tell me why anyone that has been approved for Reward Style, and wants to pay for it, can't attend? I'm trying to think of another blogger conference out there that accepts/rejects bloggers from attending, and I can't think of one. A conference is to improve your craft, by learning from peers that have been successful. Who better to attend a fashion blogging conference, than an eager, smaller fashion blogger, looking to grow?

If they only accept the top 200 earners, and please correct me if I'm wrong which I very well could be misinformed, what do the best of the best get out of a conference, exactly? 

Why can't anyone attend? I have deep seeded issues with a You Can't Sit With Us vibe, and I do not like it at all. 

Issue #2- Like To Know It. 

        Issue #2 Part A: When I "like to know it" on an image, with hopes of learning where I can purchase the one glaringly obvious item that is the focal point of the image. But then I get the email and said item isn't included. 

That would be like me posting this picture, and not linking to my boots in the email!!

        Issue #2 Part B: When you ask a question about where someone got something and you get an answer back about signing up for like to know it. Now I will say, I don't do this. I just watch and observe.

Maybe it's just me, but "don't bite the hand that feeds you" comes into my mind here.

        Issue #2 Part C: Suggested items for people on a budget. Helene brought this up to me this morning and I couldn't agree more. I will gladly follow my friends who have like to know it, and will like their image if they are linking to things I can afford. But when someone deems something as "suitable for those on a budget", I click like and it turns out to be a $150 top, I get angry all over again.

        Issue #2 Part D: It's rare that stuff I can afford is showcased, because that doesn't bring in the money.

Issue #3- First, why do lifestyle bloggers get berated for doing sponsored posts and trying to make a buck? I put more effort into some of my sponsored posts, and even have more fun writing them than I do regular posts, yet I still find myself feeling like I'm doing something wrong. Secondly, why do I have to disclose at the very tippy top, before I can even say hello, that this post is sponsored by X company, and then include in every social share the word #ad?

How come Reward Style doesn't require disclosure on every post, and the word #ad in every social share? That honestly bothers me.

It bothers me because every time I insta something that requires the hashtag #ad, I feel like a giant sellout. But I shouldn't, you know why? Because the MLB campaign, I just got to do, for example, was THE BOMB. I couldn't get over how perfect that campaign opportunity was for my blog. I was beyond excited about it, then found myself feeling sheepish as I typed #ad into my Instagram caption, and mentally calculated the readers I lost as I put a disclosure at the very top of my post.

I love clothes, like I love them, and I very much support the fashion blogger. I just don't support the way Reward Style goes about doing things, particularly this conference, and I wanted to get it all off my chest.  I'm not always right, and sometimes I let my issues from my past interfere with my feelings on certain topics, so I also want to open a discussion, for those that disagree or agree with me. If you feel I'm way off, educate me, seeing as I'm not a fashion blogger! This is officially an open forum!

And for those that do have RS, but weren't invited to the conference, you have an open invitation to come party with me in Deep Ellum. It's way more fun than Downtown Dallas, and that I know is for certain.



  1. excellent post! you know i agree with this 100%. I think that fashion bloggers and lifestyle bloggers are treated differently for reasons I'll never truly understand. I focus on words they focus on clothing. I can appreciate both but both are not appreciated at the same level. And the fact that this conference is very "look at me" doesn't make much sense, since we should all be in this together. But you're right, we can't sit with them.

    But for real, you can come sit with sarah and I any day!

  2. THIS. POST. I have issues with the "you can't sit with us" attitude in general. Not just by certain groups of fashion bloggers or specialty bloggers, but even in the lifestyle blogger community. I just feel like it goes against everything that blogging IS. I want to see more YOU CAN SIT WITH US type of situations and less the opposite.

    So yes, I applaud you for discussing a topic that needed to be discussed! SO many high fives to Sarah!

  3. I agree with this completely!

    I have to say that I do often get irritated with sponsorships, but it's not BECAUSE OF the sponsorship. (And this is speaking in completely general terms, not specifically focusing on you, of course!) I completely understand when it's something you truly love or enjoy and put effort into it (like the MLB campaign. It's obvious you were into it), but it's when I see the same post over and over again from various bloggers halfheartedly pushing some product (like Kleenex). Those partnerships tend to seem so forced and unnecessary. It screams, "I'M ONLY DOING THIS FOR THE MONEY." If that makes any sense whatsoever. A sponsorship post needs to feel just as real as the other posts.

    And the fashion bit.. Oh man. I don't know how many times I've just sat back and thought, "How the crap do these people pay for these clothes?!" A $150 shirt is NOT something I will ever buy, even if I HAVE the money for it. I just don't get it!

  4. I'm not really a blogger, but I like the post a lot today because you're expressing your true feelings on something that's important to you. Also - I hate the you can't sit with us mentality as well....

  5. I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED THIS. also cheers to the sorority life for those who aren't all about that sorority life, that was my experience too. just working for the lifelong friendships.

    I've never understood why it's cool for fashion bloggers to be all exclusive, they're usually the ones that don't comment back too. like, okay. sorry you're too cool for me.

  6. UGH on the "you can't sit with us" attitude, hate that! I struggled to fit in in high school too, and usually just hung out with my one or two close friends. To me it's always the more the merrier! I know how it feels to be on the outside looking in so I always try to be inclusive of everyone. I don't even know a lot about the whole fashion blogger, like to know it scene, other than that it seems very exclusive and "we're too cool for you but buy this stuff with our links". Gross.

  7. thank you for this! i'm so not into the fashion aspect of things so had no idea this was going on but yuck. i'm glad you're speaking out about it because if we can't be real and authentic, what's the point. thanks for not having that attitude of exclusion!

  8. This post pretty much sums up how I felt a few months ago about blogging. I was lucky enough to attend a blog conference called Thrive which is the kryptonite to "You Can't Sit With Us." It's all about not trying to compete with each other but come together to help each other thrive in this blogging world. It's exactly what I needed because this whole You Can't Sit With Us was really dragging me down.

    As for this Reward Style conference, I'm coming to the conclusion that it's just a marketing scheme at this point. It's going to make those bloggers who don't fit into the top 200 work harder on pushing for more money in the hopes that next year they can be lucky enough to hit the mark. Which will make it rain dolla' dolla' bills. "I'm a pusher Cady, I'm a pusher."

    Fun fact: Regardless if it's Reward Style or Like to Know It or whatever, you're suppose to disclose it just like when you're being sponsored. People just don't do it. It's all in the FTC guidelines. Matter of fact anything that someone clicks that can make you as a blogger money, or that company has to be disclosed, before the link. So don't feel guilty, feel proud that you are doing it right. Also that one day when the legal system catches up with the internet, you've covered your rear, and won't get hit with a fine.

  9. It sounds like an a-hole way to drive demand for a conference, which is awful! I feel like, for the most part, the blogging community is SO helpful to one it should be. Why be so exclusive? Oh well, sorry about your frustration and if I lived near I'd party with you and say screw that non-accepting conference ;) xoxo, ganeeban

  10. People stink! I can't believe a company that's out to make money would turn people away that's just ludicrous! Also I'm glad you linked that best to do in Dallas post, we're visiting my husband's uncle over the 4th this summer and I need ideas of what to do!!

  11. THANK YOU, THANK YOU,THANK YOU for saying what has probably been on most of our minds for the longest! One of the reasons why I love blogging so much is because of the community and how much we can learn from others! I def think they are wrong for making these "cliques" that make very deserving people feel left out! If I were there i'd def be down to party with you!

  12. Yes! I entirely understand needing to put #ad in a social share, for example - but EVERYONE should have to do it. And that's insane that RS only invites the top 200! I guess I could maybe understand if, like, they invited the top 10 to a thank you event or something but for a conference? That doesn't make any sense.

  13. This post deserves an amen, hallelujah, and a hell yeah x10. I couldn't agree with you more. We seem very much alike. I’ve always been the laid back, floater with all different types and groups of friends, the complete opposite of excluding anybody. As far as the conference goes, they should just put a "you can't sit with us" banner on their door because that's exactly the way it works. It's like the CEOs out at happy hour while everyone else is stuck in the office eating left over catered sandwiches from last week's meeting. How's that fair? It doesn't bother me one bit, but I feel for those that are part of the program and could gain something from attending and networking and don't even have a chance to make the decision if they're going to go or not. I didn't know the conference was this weekend until today. Is it wrong that I immediately began to think up my Dallas escape plan?

  14. You know, Sarah, I just love you and your personality! This has kind of to do with this post, but lots to do with just following you. Obviously, I don't spend too much time on my blog. Wish I did. One day will, but right now, I don't. That said, I do spend lots of time reading blogs- reading your blog. And posts like this (really all your posts, but posts like this, too) give me even more insight into who you are and you are just a great person. I am all about the "you can sit with me" attitude all the time; people are pretty great. Even when I would rather have an introverted moment, I have to admit that I like talking to people and letting people "sit with me."

    That's the end of my creepy comment. Like you lots.

  15. I have never heard of a conference accepting or rejecting attendees. That seems so...elitist and wrong. And it makes me wonder what the hell is going on at that conference that only the inner circle get to be party to.

  16. So beyond happy that you took the time to write this. I think there is room for all of us at the blogging table so why can't we be nice...and inclusive? I personally don't even want to give bloggers who seem snotty and un-inclusive the "clicks" on shopsense or rewardstyle. I have NO problem with affiliate links, if I am going to buy a product I would love a blogger to earn a commission (why not?!) but I don't like supporting this elitism idea.

  17. I love this post. More and more lately I have noticed the "you can't sit with us" attitude of some fashion bloggers--and I hate to call out a group of people like that, but that's where I've noticed it most. The whole thing you brought up about people asking where they got something and a don't mind giving a blogger an affiliate click - I certainly don't mind using like to know it or whatever other platform to make a commission if they're the reason I'm buying a product. What I DO mind is when someone takes the time to write a comment back, but instead of answering the question, essentially telling people "you'll have to sign up to get that top secret information!" The whole thing seems scammy.

  18. I have so many thoughts on rStyle and liketkit that I have an entire draft post about it. Mostly because of what you mentioned - the bloggers using it do not follow the regulations as far as mentioning that it's an ad and they're making money off of each click! The part that irritates me the most is that none of the bloggers mention the stored cookies - the fact that the bloggers may make a commission off of an item I purchased that is completely unrelated to what they linked! And the shadiness of linking THIS SHIRT and THOSE SHOES so you can't even see what brand they are without clicking? Ugh, don't get me started.

    I will say I got a good laugh at checking out the #rStheCon on's basically the same exact posed picture by each blogger posted over and over again. Pretty? Absolutely. But the first time was enough!

  19. I could have written this post myself... that seems to be the attitude for a lot of bloggers lately. Like you, I was in a sorority that welcomed a diverse group of women and I like to be friends with everyone. Blogging is so competitive and honestly I just do it for fun! What's the point otherwise? Amazing post, girl!

  20. I couldn't agree more. I've sat back and wondered why the fashion blogging seems to get off being nothing but ads and not having to disclose it and why lifestyle bloggers always have to. We shouldn't feel wrong for agreeing to a campaign we love. I always laugh when bloggers have thousands of dollars of merchandise because most likely they would have never been able to afford all that if it wasn't given to them to market. I also think the you can't sit with us attitude is going to bite them in the end. I know myself and from reading the comments above me get turned off very easily by that attitude. If you don't have readers, eventually you won't have anyone to market your stuff to. Why can't we all just be nice and friendly in the blogging world?

  21. Yes to all of this! As someone who is a very small scale fashion blogger, there is something about RStyle that is just...I don't know the right word. Just not good. I don't like the thought of getting commissions on things that are not even being promoted. And the whole exclusivity of it puts a bad taste in my mouth.

  22. Amen! I hate that we bloggers feel like we can't take sponsored posts or we get flack from readers about being a sell out. We put a lot of time and energy into the blog. It's perfectly OK and great to get rewarded for our efforts every once in a while! And it really bugs me that "fashion bloggers" basically write sponsored posts every day and it's considered normal. Like just because I might not be that creative in fashion or I'm a little more shy when it comes to what I wear, OR (and most accurately) I cannot afford to be a fashion blogger with the best of them, doesn't mean I shouldn't get to be paid for the blogging that I do and feel comfortable with. Ok. I'm done. Thanks for providing the forum to rant. lol

  23. I've never even heard of this (obviously, I would never be allowed to play with those folks), but it sure is interesting to keep up with trends in blogging. Thanks for sharing. :)

  24. #1 I love you and love this post! I couldn't agree more! #2. yes it's 4 am and I'm still reading blogs... #3. I could not agree more with well all of this but numero 3 for sure! You are not a sell out and I love how you cleverly weave sponsor content into your post. If I knew how to type a clapping emojicon on my mac I would! Good post! :) #youcansitwithus


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