• Rosemary Mac Cabe

The Gossies 2017: Why I'm Not Going

I was in two minds about whether to write this post about the Gossies and, honestly, this is not an attempt to tear anyone down. I'm not in the business of belittling Irish businesses, and I really respect what Ali Ryan, who founded Goss.ie and is an all-round deadly woman, has done with her site – I'm just not enthused about the Gossies. This isn't anything to do with my being bitter, either; I'm nominated for two Gossies this year – as best influencer and best blogger – so I'm not mad at the Gossies for any reason. What I am mad at is the Irish celebrity culture: it's the same culture that created Fade St and Diary of a Debutante (please say I'm not the only one who remembers this!); that means there's still a VIP area in Krystle that's always full of Fair City extras and TV3 presenters; a culture that makes getting invited to an event more important than actually achieving something, either professionally or personally.

Why aren't I going to the Gossies?

So without further ado, here are the reasons (and I promise there aren't all that many) I won't be going to the Gossies – this, or any other year. (Although, after this, it's fairly unlikely that I'll ever be nominated again!)

The Gossies tickets are ridiculously expensive

As a nominee (*ahem* have I said that enough times?), I get a free ticket – but I don't get a plus one and, honestly, I wouldn't ask anyone to spend €150 to come with me. I would probably offer to go halves on their ticket, but that would only apply if I really, really wanted to go in the first place...

I don't feel like I'd have anyone to hang out with

Like in all industries, there can be cliques within the blogging world. There are definitely bloggers, especially in the fashion and beauty categories, who are really friendly with one another – probably from meeting each other at events and so on – but I'm not necessarily in the group, if that makes sense.

Don't get me wrong; I think I get on pretty well with most people who are in the blogger / influencer / Snapchatter category – at least, those I've met. But, bar Emma from Fluff & Fripperies, there aren't any bloggers who I would consider my close friends. With that in mind, I'd rather spend an evening having dinner and drinks with one – or a few – of my friends than spend an evening "talking shop" with a host of Gossies nominees.

The whole thing feels very Celtic Tiger to me

Y'know that whole Lillies / Krystle / Reynard's scene? Well, the Gossies most definitely plays into that. The aforementioned tickets are €150 each, the dress code is black-tie and the event is hosted by Vogue Williams – could it be any more 2005? It's all Prosecco and rented dresses and schmoozing like there's no tomorrow, and honestly that kind of thing just doesn't interest me at all. (If you've been to one VIP Style Awards, you've been to 'em all...)

I don't want to keep up with the Joneses

There was once a fairly well-known Irish blogger who did not get invited to one of these annual awards ceremonies. So, she did what any self-respecting human being would do – she went anyway, did the red carpet, had a glass of Prosecco and then, as she hadn't been invited and had no ticket to get in to the actual event, she went home. (This is a true, horrifying story.)

The whole thing feeds into this idea – that it would be embarrassing not to be invited; that showing up to things is good "for your profile"; that it's important to "show your face" so that your name is known within the industry. I don't mean this cockily, but I've spent almost a decade going to events "for my profile" and having my photograph taken and dressing up... And I'm just done. I'm so done.

The Gossies nominations don't mean anything

It could be argued that there's no such thing as a meaningful award, really – it's all a big popularity contest, right? But our little old Emerald Isle is especially bad for these kinds of things. Firstly, these kinds of events are designed exclusively to garner publicity and/or money for the publication in question. The nominees – and winners – are also chosen with that aim in mind. (And I'm not making this up; I know this because I've worked on similar events.)

It starts with asking who could possibly be in the running; then, "Who'll talk about us / canvass for votes?" It's important that the nominees / winners will get publicity (ergo money) for the publication in question. People who don't share their nomination on social media? It's very unlikely that someone who ignores their nomination will ever be nominated again.

Also, as I saw someone else pointing out, the Gossies nominations are shockingly Dublin-focused – and it is incredibly bizarre and questionable that there's a significant crossover between sponsors and nominees. (Cocoa Brown sponsors star of the year; Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown CEO, is nominated in three categories. Meagher's Pharmacy sponsors influencer of the year; Meagher's CEO Oonagh O'Hagan is nominated in the #girlboss category.)

The Gossies winners don't mean anything, either

The first rule of Irish awards ceremonies? If you don't show up, you don't win. The second? If you canvass hard enough – and show up – you'll definitely win. Any of these "online voting" awards can totally be rigged by hard canvassing, and there's an air of inevitability about them, too. If you're big enough on social media, and you canvass your followers, well, of course you're going to win.

The bottom line? I'd rather not

There are approximately 10,000 things I would rather do than go to a black-tie event with people I don't know all that well, all competing for the same meaningless prize, wearing a borrowed dress and heels that don't fit me and spend the evening talking about just how busy we all are. So, y'know: I'm sorry, Gossies – it's not you, it's me.

(I'd rather go to the Moosies, tbh...)

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