When I wrote Lush and the Unnatural Truth last September, I didn’t expect it to turn into a controversy. In this post I posed that Lush Cosmetics was misleading consumers by advertising themselves as an “all natural” company while being anything but. One year, 12,000+ views and a few Tumblr fights later, I’m sharing lessons learned from “The Lush Post.”
Lesson One: Don’t Silence Yourself But Be Ready For the Fall Out
I’m no stranger to controversy. I’ve shared my opinion on race and fashion blogging. I’ve criticized Lucky Magazine. I’ve talked about thinspiration. With these posts, I prepared for fall outs that never came.
I wasn’t ready for what happened after The Lush Post.
One of the great things about blogging is that anyone can share their opinion. However, this also means that anyone can disagree. Strongly. I realized that readers weren’t attacking me, but my view. And since I stood behind what I wrote, that was totally fine by me.
Lesson Two: Don’t Obsess Over Where People Are Discussing The Post
In the month following The Lush Post, I scoured my Google Analytics trying to figure out where people were discussing the post. Don’t do this. It will drive you crazy. Eventually I realized this one posts wasn’t me. It was just a post, which people were entitled to have opinions on, just like I was entitled to have an opinion.
Lesson Three: Know When To Stop Arguing
It is my comment policy to reply to every comment left on my blog. The Lush Post was getting comments nearly every week, forcing me to revisit the argument continuously. After awhile, I was exhausted and I realized there was nothing more I could say about it.
So I did something I agonized about for weeks: I closed the comments. To date, The Lush Post is the only post where I’ve ever had to close comments. However, no comments were deleted. To date I have only ever deleted one comment on my blog because it was disparaging to Audrey Hepburn. No one messes with Audrey.
Lesson Four: People Love Lush. Like Love.
Throughout this entire experience, the most fascinating thing to me was people’s love for Lush. I’ve encountered a lot of brands in my three years of blogging, but never before have I’ve encountered a brand that is a lifestyle as much as it is a company. If anything, the enthusiasm of Lush’s customers is a testament to the company’s products and branding.
The most important thing I learned was to take deep breaths, don’t take it personal and know when to walk away. In the end, writing that post and seeing how people responded taught me a lot of blogging and the type of blogger I wanted to be. Would I write another post on this blog about Lush? No, probably not. But hey, that’s OK, too.