12 May 2011

Hitting the big time.

This was published a few days ago but Blogger broke and so the post was removed (by Blogger, not me). I received a number of supportive comments on the initial post - thank you - but these have gone too. I will try to repost them below when I get time. I also saw a number of Google searches in my Stat Counter that stated I am a narciccist and a red Teletubbie. Thank you, too, for thinking of me. Onwards and upwards. Here's the post.

I think I can say that last week I hit the big time. Or at least I hit the big time online. Maybe it's premature of me to say this, or vain, but I think I have. You can disagree ;)

While I didn't win the Best Australian Blogs competition (and being nominated as a finalist was in fact hitting the big time) - but a big congrats to those who did win -  a couple of things have happened to validate my thoughts. It also got me thinking about my ability as a writer to critique performances, and also be critiqued myself.

It started when I received a response via Twitter from Megan Washington following my critical review of her concert at the Forum.

That was a pretty big moment for me. Having the singer I just wrote about, that I was unimpressed with, writing back. Thanks Washington!

Wow - it's pretty flattering that she took the time to read my review and tell me her (brief) opinion. I enjoy how the internet brings everyone closer and allows for a rather immediate interaction between fans and celebrities. I received lots of great feedback from friends and strangers on my blog and Facebook - thanks so much. I was quite nervous in writing and publishing the review. But I am glad I did - I am glad I provided an alternative, balanced and honest opinion. I have always doubted my ability as a music reviewer - I don't believe I know enough about music - but after this, maybe I am not so bad after all.

The other thing that has happened has been a series of questionable Google searches. I have had strange ones in the past - 'why does Carly Findlay wear vaseline?' was funny - if the googler knew me, why not ask me personally? But these recent ones take the cake.

'Carly Findlay nude'. 'Carly Findlay bra'. 
'Carly Findlay breasts'. They're great. And I don't blame anyone for ogling googling them :P
And Hayley alerted me to 'Carly Finlay (sic) I am a slut'. Hmmmm. Really?

My initial reaction after the first Google sighting was a lot of laughter and to share the news on Facebook:
I checked my blog stats and someone googled me twice: 'Carly Findlay nude' and 'Carly Findlay bra'. Does this mean I've really made it? 
It is a bit creepy. But on the upside... Hahah I've always wanted my body to be admired. Next time someone comments on my appearance for being red or ugly etc I can say 'there are people out there searching for what I look like naked'!

I was finding it quite amusing. Ok, equal parts creepy and amusing. And the searches may not even be me. (But I'd secretly like to think the searches were!)

And then I received this response from a contact on Facebook:
I pray, for your sake, that it's not someone with a fetish for people with skin conditions/disorders/diseases. Or a stalker. Because that would be really creepy indeed. Maybe you have a secret admirer.
I was mightily pissed off. The person that wrote this was a contact I'd made through a mutual appreciation of a singer. I told her I was very annoyed. Hurt actually. While there was some slight concern there, I was hurt that she'd thought that people would want to see me nude to ridicule/fetishise over my skin, especially when I receive so much support from friends and strangers about my appearance. Brain. Fingers. Disengaged. I deleted and blocked her from all my social networking sites shortly after. She'd said a few questionable things so this event was good justification to delete and block.

The search for 'Carly Finlay I am a slut' baffled me. Firstly, my surname is spelled wrong. And I haven't opened my legs for a man for quite some time. I could tell you the exact date, but I am not that kind of girl. Hell, I haven't even shown off some cleavage in the hope to draw peoples' eyes from my 'sunburn' to my boobs in recent months. Really. I am that content with my life right now.

Maybe this search wasn't about me. But it sure made me laugh and say 'what the fuck?' - indeed. What the fuck? about this search and about what fuck(s) I've been getting for someone to think I am a slut. Hold on... on re-reading the search term, maybe they're declaring to me they're a slut and want me to come running?? Again, WTF???, and maybe this search wasn't about me.

I get it. Weird things happen because of the internet. And there are weird people on the internet. I get recognised from my blog and TV work. Someone on the train interrupted a conversation to tell me he recognised me from a picture on the internet. My friend and I laughed and laughed, and thought it was a real novelty. I am not freaked out by these Google searches. They are a little weird but I don't feel threatened or unsafe. I put myself out there on the internet and accept I am going to encounter a few questionable reactions and responses. Fortunately I have only only received one yucky comment about my appearance and that's a feat considering how many posts I've written, and also how many people I encounter in real life and online.

These events that made me think that I've hit the big time show me a few things:

That other people are just as curious about me as I am about celebrities.

That celebrities value critical opinion.

Not to take the internet too seriously.

And that by me putting my opinion and life out there for all to read means I am just as vulnerable to criticism, curiousity and weird online behaviour as the celebrities. (I am not thinking or saying I am one, it's just made me think realise I am more identifiable now.)

I think it's really interesting that the opportunities I've created for myself online allows a dialogue with so many people - celebrities, and people who may or may not be thinking about what I look like naked.


  1. Hey, if you got it - you got it. And you've got it, my friend!

    Of course people are googling you...you rock!
    You're my hero. :)

  2. This is an interesting post, (defnitely open for discussion) On the one hand, I'm amused. 'Carly Finlay (sic) I am a slut' Really? Made me kind of laugh. On the other hand, I'd be a little creeped out and feel a little vaunerable at all the "wanna see you naked" posts. (If that were me. But then again, you seem more outgoing than I am and have a better sense of humor for sure.)

    I'm so glad that Megan Washington took the time to read your review and not dismiss it or take it personally like some would have. You made a lot of good points in your review, as well as showcasing her good qualities too. That makes you a great music reviewer. (I agree that I love it when musicians take the time to interact more with their audience. it makes the show so much fun!)

    It irks me that someone would imply that the reason someone would google you is because they have a fetish with disease. I'd block them too.

  3. I also wanted to add that blogging defnitely opens up the world around you and allows you to connect with people in ways that you never could before. (I know it has for me)

  4. aaah this is so creepy and weird! bra? whaaaat?? i bet you didn't know whether to laugh or cry!

    I think it's safe to say you have made it when you have a stalker ;) but I'm not sure whether to offer you my congrats or not haha

  5. yep, creepy indeed! I suppose that's what you get when you put yourself out there...and we have to be prepared for it, weirdos and all!!
    Heidi xo

  6. Yep - you definitely know you've made it when people are googling naked pictures of you! The internet is a very strange place. Wonderful, but undeniably strange.

  7. As always Carly, I love the way you write. I can't explain the search terms or the weird comment you got (nasty) but how great that Megan Washington read your review. And I'm pretty sure that when people google your name and boobs, you've made it. Weird as it is.

  8. Well I loved this blog post, as I usually do with your blog! Interesting way to communciate, by Google search term...perhaps it'll be the next big craze?!

  9. It's so funny what people seach on. I get lots of hits on "Cajun big butt", and I never know whether to laugh or cry.


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