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The Gossies: why I’m not going

January 21, 2017
Gossies 2017 Why I'm not going Rosemary Mac Cabe

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 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!)

Gossies 2017 Why I'm not going Rosemary Mac Cabe

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…)

Gossies 2017 Why I'm not going Rosemary Mac Cabe

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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  • Reply Cathy January 21, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I love this Rosemary such an enlightening refreshing read from a very captivating , strong women who stands on her own two empowering feet. X

  • Reply Makeup Monster January 21, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    You have giant lady cojones the size of bowling balls Rosemary, really like that you give your honest opinion without worrying what other people will say or think. Really admire it.

  • Reply Philipa January 22, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I never heard of the Gossies before… feeling like I’m not in the know

  • Reply Carrie Bennett January 22, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Absolutely….although ironically I did vote for the people I like (you included). I think they(you) should have some recognition put their way. After all they spend their time all year entertaining us and /or informing us in their particular area’s. I wonder how they might do that without the naff, tacky pizzazz if it all. Remove the garish popularity driven fuss and just appreciate. Anywho sure it’ll be grand right?

  • Reply Melba January 22, 2017 at 8:06 am

    I love how brave you are! And down to earth. As a nominee you could easily follow the path of least resistance and just go to the event and let it all go to your head. It’s so rare to see someone openly questioning the status quo. Kudos to you, Rosemary.

  • Reply Bridget January 22, 2017 at 10:50 am

    You don’t intentionally intend to be I know that but you are an absolute legend. I love this piece I love what and how you write thank you! You my friend are wonderful!! Day after day I feel nauseous s this growing culture of women and girls fawning over nominees in these awards using phrases such as new Chanel handbag oh my god your my inspiration your my goals !! Please please give women something to really look up to and actually talk about . Thank you Rosemary x

  • Reply Ruthie January 22, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Honesty is (to me) one of the most important traits in a blogger. I love how open you are about your likes AND dislikes. You say the things were all thinking but don’t actually come out with. Certain well known bloggers are all singing off the same hymn sheet, loving all the same products,companies and people and never steer off into anything that may stirr a bit of controversy. I feel these women try so hard not to be honest about certain things so they all just stay in the safe boundaries. You’re different which is totally refreshing! With other women and their content we could basically follow one blogger and get everything we needed. So thank you for being you!

  • Reply Ann January 22, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Girl boss nominee !! Is this the 1950’s . Christ almighty

  • Reply Grace January 22, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    And this is why you’re brilliant, because if the bullshit is there you will speak on it ! . Unlike a lot of the sheep that get in line and follow it regardless of their personal beliefs. If there was an award for honesty ?! You know it would be yours, in the real world I mean .

  • Reply Yvonne January 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Rosemary I love how honest you are and it is one of the reason I follow you. However, I think a lot of your comments are directed towards awards in general and the industry as a whole but unfortunately it is only the Gossies that are taking the heat due to the title of the post.

    I would have preferred the title to address the general nature of the awards process and not one sole ceremony. I mean let’s be fair they are not alone!

    • Reply Rosemary January 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Yvonne, I totally take your point – and you’re right, it is more a piece about Irish awards ceremonies and celeb culture, but with the Gossies coming up, they happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak!

  • Reply Cherry January 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Fake awards for fake people, simple as. All these bloggers/ ‘influencers’, bar a few, are a little clique of lovies, and it’s embarrassing to watch them fawning all over each other on snapchat etc. The clue is in the name, they are ‘influencers’, there to influence their followers choices, I don’t trust a word that comes out of their mouths and wouldn’t base my purchases on their reviews of products. There are a handful of genuine ones on there, present company included, but the majority are in it for what they can get. I’m sorry, but when they blindly hawk some rubbish ‘slimming tea’ then they lose all credibility. The amount of idiots I’ve unfollowed over the last few months, it’s cleansing!!! Lol
    I tend to stick to the good old rural girls, living in the real world, not this Big Smoke bubble of cocktails at the shelbourne every week! 😉

  • Reply Mairéad January 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Yes, yes and yes.
    I love fashion but this all seems so vacuous to me.
    I work in fashion but would feel like such an outsider at these events.

  • Reply Maria-Faith January 22, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Generally follow your stuff but I find an article like this from a former ‘Stellar’ employee a bit ironic, considering your career upbringings and to where you actually gained majority of your followers. Did you mock Stellar then? No need to mock a start-up now. You too came from humble beginnings, so to solely hone in on one woman in particular when you call yourself a feminist is ridiculous. I’ve heard nothing but complaints about this article today so went and googled it and as a previous follower of yours I find this immature, attention seeking and quite frankly, bitchy. Your high horse and iron keyboard won’t last long with an attitude like that to attack another business just because it’s not your thing. Unfollowed

    • Reply Rosemary January 22, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Maria-Faith, there was no “attack” – merely an explanation as to why this type of awards ceremony isn’t my thing. I opened it up by saying that I think Ali is deadly, and I still do; it’s a piece on why I’m not going to the Gossies, and why I don’t like Irish awards ceremonies – it’s not honing in on any one woman. (Anyway – feminism is not about supporting and defending all women everywhere because they’re women.) As for the Stellar comparison, not 100% sure how accurate a comparison that is but, regardless, I started out in The Irish Times.

  • Reply BD January 22, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Excellent and honest article. I agree with you 100%. And would add that I find it concerning how young girls are being influenced by this fake celeb/influencer nonsense. There is a complete lack of social responsibility.

  • Reply Esme January 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    @Sarah, are you ok? Sure, Rosemary’s opinion may not go well with your own, your reaction(s) here are hostile in the extreme. It’ll all work out hun. You’ll be grand.

    On the off chance that you can’t get past this frankly mild article, there’s a solution to that too. Don’t read the next one. Sorted. Best of luck to you. I hope your time on the internet gets better.

    One piece of advice though, but do feel free not to read on if you don’t feel open to advice. Here goes: it’s a little contradictory to be SO aggressive towards the author and then point out that women should be supporting women in the name of feminism. Come on. Be better than that. Love you!

    @Rosemary, nice perspective, well written. Thanks for publishing!

  • Reply Mary January 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I wonder is this a generational thing. What comes across strongly is that VIP areas of Harcourt St nightclubs and model-DJ-presenters who started their careers in reality TV shows aren’t really your jam. But you are an established blogger who got her start through working in ‘old’ media, therefore you – I’m guessing – have plenty of contacts in Dublin, so you’re kind of lucky. The impression I get is that a lot of bloggers lead pretty lonely lives, working away from home, generating content. Perhaps they really welcome an opportunity to catch up with their peers away from press launches. TLDR: why bother dissing an event that isn’t really your style in any case?

  • Reply Orla January 24, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Hi Sarah! No I’m Orla but I agree with Esme.

    Btw, Rosemary’s ass smells lovely.

  • Reply Emily January 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    You are dead right Rosemary! The whole event seems very fake and an excuse to play dress up. Even the categories are a bit of a joke. Girlboss?! Really

  • Reply / January 24, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Just read all the tweets about the post and decided to read the article for a second time because the way some people were going on about it, I thought I had read it wrong. Nope. I can’t comprehend why people are making it out to be this huge bitchy attack on women. It’s like they have read something else entirely when it’s as clear as day that was not your intention. I also cant comprehend how you have “attacked” NOBODY yet people are attacking you for the post – on the grounds that its wrong to attack other women. ???? How is writing an honest post about why you’re not attending an event warrant calling you a “mean girl”? Because publicly insulting somebody on Twitter isn’t typical behavior of a mean girl?? Hypocrisy at its finest.

    Please continue to do what you’re doing; if its worth anything please remember that the people who are giving you such hassle on twitter literally have no leg to stand on. Like I honestly cant get my head around the things they are saying they are just so wrong that its astounding! You don’t deserve it and frankly all they are doing is what they’re accusing you of – only difference is they’re doing it and you’re not!

  • Reply Lisa January 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I didn’t even read the article, but some of the comments are hilarious keep doing what you’re doing rosemary. You’re my fave Snapchater x

  • Reply Rebecca January 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Great article – saying what loads are thinking but afraid to put to paper. Can’t see where the furore is coming from – no one is personally being attacked here and those who are taking it that way need to distance what she is saying from their personal feelings… This article is almost a review of the Irish award ceremony ‘product’ and she chose to lay the negatives out on the table unlike so many others who gush and gush and you don’t even know whether to trust their opinion any more. I’m pretty sure also that Rosemary asked her followers whether they wanted to see an article like this or not and they resoundingly said yes – she obliged; we don’t follow Rosemary for bland, identikit articles and social media posts, we expect some bit of fire in her posts and she could have been a lot more vitriolic in the article, and she wasn’t so fair play!

  • Reply Angela January 24, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Well if it isn’t glaringly obvious who “Sarah” is…

    And the argument that Rosemary obviously just isn’t happy in her own life (and really just wants to wear a nice dress)? Christ, how old are you? Grow up. Move on. You’re just coming across as a child throwing a tantrum.

  • Reply Clare January 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    These comments

    I. Can’t. Even.

    There are so many amazing Irish women working in both the private and public sector, in healthcare, education, justice, science, agriculture etc.. these women try everyday to make a positive contribution to society however big or small.

    It depresses me to see so much adulation given to ‘influencers’ who (for the most part) use their amazing social media platforms to plug product after product after product.

    Everything is great, fabulous, #blessed.

    In reality, everything is #ad #ad #ad

    I don’t want these women to share my views and opinions on different issues…

    I just want them to express ANY opinion on ANY issues remotely related to real life for real Irish women, even occasionally.

    P.s. #girlboss makes me want to jump off a cliff. I know, how obscenely negative of me.

  • Reply Elle January 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I have never agreed with anything you have said before and wouldn’t be you’re biggest fan (Sorry) untill now! The way this played out on twitter showed the true childish side of the whole Irish blogger scene and the way Ali and Marissa responded trashed their own name and businesses. But this did need to be said maybe not just about the gossies but the greater blogger community in Ireland and how stupid it really is , so thank you!

  • Reply Eve January 24, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Thank God someone has seen sense….the moosies are clearly the better option! Great blog Rosemary

  • Reply Jenny January 24, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Wow. Just Wow. I am amazed at how bitchy some of the peoples comments above are. Maybe they have a vested interest but there was nothing wrong with your post…. it was your opinion and you were not trashing anybody or at least it didn’t come across that way to me…. I’m just shocked at some of the comments above… does no body realize that THIS IS AMAZING PUBLICITY for The Gossies… I never even heard of them before this post… please don’t let any of those trolls messages affect you…. you’re inspirational and honest and a lot more women should be like you… I hate that we as women are expected to keep our mouths shut and sit there and agree with everyone and everything… LET’S BE REAL!!!

  • Reply Trish January 24, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    @Sarah I tried hard not to say this but you really are an awful fool…. what’s the bet you have a vested interest in the Gossies Im “morto” for you

  • Reply Your ma January 25, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Omg amazing thanks Rosemary

  • Reply Caroline January 25, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    I love how honest you are. Totally inspiring. You are so right. Well done and well said.

  • Reply Robertarino January 28, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Rosemary, you amazing woman you, this is so true, yet unfortunately, you’ve chosen a job where you are in fact in the industry of being up for a gossie. An actor goes to an acting awards ceremony and doesn’t grumble. You’re so right, all award ceremonies are barfy but it’s the nature of the job. But, that beening said, I bet most of the people up for a gossie are feeling the same as you.

  • Reply Bowie January 28, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    It’s all red lippy and lightning. Am I right folks? Eh Howaya

  • Reply Jane January 29, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    So true , and lots of us Irish business woman with over heads and businessss for years work just as hard and hav just as much following , it seems as a click and I really enjoyed your post to show that others feel as we do , only they are afraid to right it up .

    Well done and keep up the great work xx

  • Reply Jenny January 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Rosemary- you are authentic & honest – something that many ‘influencers & ‘girl bosses’ lack.
    Hence your following. Totally agree 100% with what you’ve said- mind you, No one has ever dared to say these points before but it’s all in outlet heads! You’ve gained a new true follower now. For all those naysayers that spoke negatively about you- they should be up for the ‘Bye Feliciaaaa’ award next year , at the 2017 IF THEY ARRIVE AWARDS (iftas)

  • Reply LN January 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Rosemary is entitled to her opinion. I had never heard of the gossies before but rosemary seems to have described them very well! Lol. They sound a bit sad and very Celtic Tiger which is passe. I was following a well-known lifestyle blogger recently until she showed her Christmas work do where she treated her staff to bags and presents that were in excess of 1000-2000 euro! Hilarious! It made me sick. I stopped following. This culture of materialism needs to stop. Beauty and dress can only go so far. What is inside is what matters, cliched I know! I would prefer to be known for my strength, dignity and talent that a rented dress, fake orange tan and diamante heels. We never see men going around like this?

  • Reply Jen January 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Love this post……blunt honesty and not afraid to tell it how it really is, good on ye!

  • Reply Niatsknaw February 1, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Well said, the whole ‘scene’ is rotten to the core as demonstrated by some of the nonsense around these awards

  • Reply E. March 1, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I remember the days when it was people who worked in medicine or took a year out of their lives to work with slum kids in Brazil were called brave. Now you can be applauded for your bravery for choosing not to go to a z-list awards ceremony. Wow, how empowering.

    And #girlboss? I cringed so hard I almost fainted. That is the kind of patronising tosh that my grandmother and mother fought so hard for, alongside the right to get passive aggressive digs in at other women while calling ourselves feminists.

  • Reply E. March 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Now anyone who thinks some comments about a decision not to attend an event are using the word brave in the wrong context is a bully!

    Maybe it’s easier to call people bullies than think that maybe taking pot shots at other women isn’t exactly nice, or feminist?

    Over and out, this blog is a wasteland of narcissism and shallowness.

    Please continue with your cutting-edge critique of make up and shoes, but leave the serious commentary and actual journalism to people who have some ability.

    • Reply Rosemary March 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      E, I’m not sure what you’re referring to but the word bully definitely didn’t come from me.

      I’m very sorry my site doesn’t reach your exacting standards for excellence in feminism and/or journalism, but I’m sure you’ll find plenty of other websites out there that will. Thanks for stopping by!

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