Sunday, 20 January 2013

Could this be the downfall ...

This post is all my opinion and my thoughts - I'm not asking that you think the same as I do, but I just want to get my thoughts and experience out there.

So Vogue, we all know the name, we know the blog, we know the graphics - and they look good, there's no doubt about it!
But what's it like behind the scenes, being involved? Well it's not as great as it seems.

Before last Autumn, almost anyone could be a model, all you had to do was apply and wait to see if you were chosen - there were a few rules, i.e. not changing your face - fair enough, I get that, it's annoying when you book someone and then they change your face.
I got accepted and had one feature, many people were accepted and had a feature or two, and to be honest this system worked well and all was well in the Vogue-o-sphere.
Then the Vogue ozone layer fell a little - the opening of Vogue Model House. Now to be a model in Vogue magazine, you had to be a model here, and for that, you needed SD's, a minimum of 500 to be precise (500 for 6 months and 900 for 1 year). The rules and regulations were still the same as before.

So I got the 1 year contract, I was happy to pay 900 SD's and get my monthly feature in Vogue, to me it would be worth it, 900 SD's for 12 features, I hadn't been hired by anyone else and there were no other places looking for models at that time, my friends thought this too, and so Khol also signed up on a 6 month contract.

After that the Vogue scene became rather quiet. By the end of 2012 there had been only 1 more issue, we'd only had one feature and our contracts were well underway - currently another issue has been released, I was featured, but Khol wasn't - and her contract was almost finished so she decided to quit on mutual terms, it didn't look hopeful that there would be any more features of her, and there was no sign of a refund - paying 500SD's for one feature, I'll let you decide for yourselves if that is fair.

To be honest the whole idea of Vogue is kinda running down the drain for me at this point. In the last issue a graphic designer was hired to do some work, they firstly messed up with some of the credits on the pages, and then these pages were removed making the issue shorter! It just didn't have the same sparkle that previous issues had when it was all jelinna's work. And I think quite a few readers noted this and left comments to say so.

At this point I was already on the fence about staying, it wasn't the same magazine that I paid to be featured in. Then came another interesting blow - a co-owner has been hired. I know this girl reasonably well, and she's barely been on the blogging scene that long - it really doesn't make sense to me or to the people who I've discussed it with. 

So for me, this is the beginning of the end. 
It's also added onto the other little niggles there's been with it - namely communication. Which became so stressful, even asking a simple question was difficult, and caused more trouble than it was worth.

I asked jelinna, with a 1 year contract how many photos should I expect to get, the reply was 10-12, on my calculations, keeping with 1 issue every 2 months, I'd need to be featured twice in each issue - realistically not going to happen. So yesterday I decided to quit Vogue. 

Some of you may gasp and say "Throw away this opportunity?!?!" but I would be rather blunt with you and tell you it's not worth it, it's a virtual magazine, it literally means nothing in RL.
"But you paid 900 SD's!!!" you exclaim next, and this is where it gets interesting. I paid up, on these rules:
I completely understand them, and totally get the final sentence: "For violation of the rules you will be excluded from the agency and you will not get SD back" This makes perfect sense, and is completely acceptable.
But I didn't break the rules, I followed them to the 'T', so surely I could get a partial refund? I think it's reasonable to ask for a partial refund (I would never expect full, I did get 2 photos from the contract), half would seen right to me. 
So I asked this when I said I would like to quit Vogue:
To me this is fairly reasonable, I've explained why I'd like to leave and why I think I'm entitled to a partial refund - it's not like I've said "I'm quitting, refund me now!", and the response I get:
Apparently I should have known when I signed up that I wouldn't want to stay with Vogue for a full year, it's all my fault apparently, and because I couldn't predict what I'd be thinking now, well, I don't get a single SD back. To me and the friends I've discussed it with, this isn't fair. As I said in my message, it could be seen as a rip off - and this is exactly what I think now, and nothing will change my mind.
Jelinna is ripping people off because she can make graphics and has a bit of fame, and it's not fair to the Stardoll Public! 

I wanted to make this post now to help people see that paying money (albeit virtual money) for a feature is absolutely not on, particularly when you can go to any other SD magazine and get a feature for free, there are many good and up-and-coming magazines which don't ask for anything - Haute, Flare, Elle ... the list goes on! So I want to put the word out there to you people desperate for a magazine feature - don't part your SD's for it, because if you have any doubts after taking the contract, your SD's will be long gone, and these days on Stardoll money is tight for most of us with these rising prices {there will probably be a post soon about that!}

Sorry for the rant, and that it's not about fashion or style, but to me it's an important matter!