All that Glitters Is Not Gold – The Awards That Never Were

The highlight of the Plus Size Calendar, the British Plus Size Awards takes place every November in a glittering red carpet affair in London. Now, I have wanted to attend for the last two years but for various reasons have been unable to.

This year I was determined to get there and started a “penny pot” scheme where you put a penny in a pot on day one, 2 pence on day two, 3 pence on day three and so on. By the end of the summer I had over £400 saved up. More than enough for the awards, train, hotel and associated costs. Ans so I started to plan.

I was even more amazed and fortunate to be one of the six finalists in the Best Plus Size Blog category of the Awards. Now being nominated is a wonderful and special thing. Being up against 5 of your favourite plus size friends is even better.

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The Best Babes!

Whilst I would have loved to win the award I genuinely loved all of the other five bloggers so much that I really didn’t mind who won! It is not very often you can say that. But I genuinely meant it.

Anyway the awards started several weeks before for me. I needed to find a perfect dress to wear and this was made possible by the amazing Florentya Dawn in Stockport. I went up to visit them and try on a few outfits and found the dress of my dreams. Now all I needed was the matching accessories.

I found the perfect shoes, believe it or not, on everything5pounds.com. I needed a higher heel than usual as the dress was quite long. All I needed to finish it was a perfect handbag.

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Glitter Heels

Now I had booked myself a luxurious hotel – I had really pushed the boat out at this time and was staying at the London City Suites, which was a stunningly beautiful hotel.  I booked in on the Friday and unpacked ready for the events of Saturday.

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Curls and Roses

Taking a tube over to Tottenham Court Road, I had a bite to eat and then popped into Primark to get a couple of accessories I needed for Saturday.

It was in this shop that I got a message from a friend. “Awards have been cancelled, did you know?”

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Regent Street through my tears

I thought she was winding me up. It was not likely that a well established event and organiser would cancel with just 24 hours ago. So I did what any good blogger did. I went onto Social Media.

There it was, in Black, White and Gold. Plain to see on Instagram.

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24 hours before….

Of course everyone else’s social media started blowing up, people asking what was going on, what had happened, if everything was alright. Calls and texts were made. All to no avail.

I rang the hubby from the middle of Oxford Street. He said “Hello, you all ok?” And I burst into tears. In the middle of the street. I explained to him that it had all been cancelled and no-one seemed to know what was going on.

I literally was in bits. As I said, I had literally saved pennies every day for this opportunity and it was all off.

I went back to my Hotel. I sat and watched Twitter, Instagram and Facebook literally blown up with notifications. Everyone was asking for answers, and it was only going to get worse.

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Montcalm London City Suites at The Brewery

One by one, every social media page associated with the organiser and her several business, plus personal pages were deleted or deactivated. This only lead to more questions. People starting saying that she had run off with the money.

One of the sponsors contacted the venue to see if there had been some kind of catastrophe, only to be told that the organisers had cancelled the venue at 4 o’clock that afternoon. But people had been still buying tickets at 2 o’clock that day! How could that be right?

As the evening went on every one of the social media sights associated with the organiser and her companies disappeared. One after the other. People got more angry as each one vanished, including personal pages and sights. That surely wasn’t a good sign.

I sat in my hotel room all night. I knew that my dream of walking down a red carpet was over. But it didn’t mean the weekend had to be ruined too….

I had already organised appointments for my hair and makeup to be done and I intended on keeping them, after all I needed some heavy duty cheering up.

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Dyeing Time

Saturday evening I was in my room. I knew my hair and make-up looked amazing and I was genuinely gutted that I wouldn’t get to see the full ensemble.

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Hair by Lucie Luella and Make-up by Benefit Spitalfields

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Custom Hair Flowers by Pin Up Curl

I thought about it for a hour, and as I was in a wonderfully luxurious hotel I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they could help.

I rang the concierge and explained what would happen. I asked if they would be willing to take a couple of photographs of me, just so I had a memento of what should have been.

I went downstairs and everyone stopped and looked. The concierge immediately got a staff member who proceeded to take dozens of photographs of me.

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Gown by Florentyna Dawn,

When I had first arrived at the hotel I had a couple of conversations with a wonderful lady called Alice who worked on one of the desks downstairs. She saw me in my gown and was so upset that the event had been cancelled. She was so lovely to me, and it made me want to cry!

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Glamorous and Glittery

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Feeling like a Hollywood Movie Star

I went back up to my room, to get out of the dress of my dreams. No sooner was I in the room, when the telephone rang. It was Alice. She felt so terrible about what had happened that she wanted to send somewine up to my room.

Five minutes later and the doorbell went. There was a lovely lady there with a bottle of Chianti and a box of luxury truffles. It really was a lovely thing to do.

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Wine and Chocolates from the Hotel

The night, I am glad to say wasn’t a total waste. The lovely ladies over at Curvy Kate, who had also been up for an award contacted Club Indulge and the amazing Miranda, and sent out an open invite to anyone who had a BPSA ticket to come and join them for bubbles, dancing and a good time.

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The Lovely Lottie

The lovely Lottie L’amour came to my hotel for pre-drinks and we caught an Uber to Club Indulge. It was amazing to see so many plus size beauties, and I can honestly say it was just the kind of night I needed. I drank, danced, chatted, met new friends and old and had a thoroughly wonderful time.

I honestly didn’t think it would be my cup of tea at aged 42, but I was in my element. I had a really amazing time, and Miranda and the Curvy Kate ladies did themselves proud!

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Club Indulge with Diana and Miranda

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The Divine Diana

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The lovely Kerry aka Ruby Thunder

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Beautiful Babes!!

Did it make up for the loss of the Award Ceremony?

Yes, on one hand it did. We all had an amazing time out, and the hangover the following day attested to it. It also showed you don’t need a red carpet, or a luxury night out to have a fabulous time. I can’t remember the last time I had a night out like it and it certainly cured a lot of my “Blues”

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However, the Awards night was going to be the icing on what had been an amazing year. Whilst I never expected to win, now I will never know. It would be easier knowing that I lost, than to never have the answers that everyone had been hoping to hear.

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A Study in Silver

The real downside to this has not just affected me, but many people. It wasn’t just the cost of the ticket to the Awards, although at £99 was a large enough loss, it was all the other associated costs; for me this involved train tickets, hotels, beauty appointments, outfits and accessories. Looking at my spending, and not including food/drinks/treats and travel in London, my outlay was actually £658.  This for me, is a massive amount of money. Money I could ill afford to throw away.

I wasn’t the worst affected. One lady had flown all the way over from Australia, and others from Europe. The sponsors, many who were small businesses have been affected greatly. There is even talk of some of them having to shut up shop due to the losses they incurred.

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Heavenly Helena

This is where I go from sadness to anger.

This Award Ceremony was to be the highlight of the Plus Size Community year. It was to bring people together to celebrate, promote, network and meet up with friends old and new. It was to give appreciation for all the Plus Size community has achieved and caused. And it was all taken away at the last minute.

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Before the alcohol!

This is what makes me angry. People’s dreams and hopes were shattered and that is what is unacceptable. We deserved a night of Celebration, instead we were given a night with no explanation, excuses or communication.

A post has come to light in the last few hours as I was writing this. An official statement will be released this Friday, a whole week after the cancellation.  For most this is not acceptable and no matter what the explanation, it will never be enough.

We deserved better. We still do.

Leave a comment

  • LaaLaa

    TANYA!!! OMG…you looked absolutely jaw droppingly beautiful! I’m so glad how the hotel did that, it was so sweet and the rest of the bloggers – it’s so good when you all make the best of a situation and count the loss and spend time together – sometimes those random times are the most fun. To be nominated was a great accomplishment and I think you should look at your blog as a winner. Winner in my eyes love! I must try that “penny pot” scheme. BUT onto the nitty gritty, the way some people take advantage of bloggers these days is disgusting and disheartening, I’m extremely shocked by this, I’m intrigued to this official statement because it should of been made known from then cos they knew I’m sure by that day, the fact they was accepting payments 2hrs before the cancellation. I hope there’s compensation somewhere xo

    • Awww thank you so much LaaLaa! It was a great weekend even with the disappointment. It seems like all the money is gone…. xx

  • This is just so so sad and horrible. What a disgusting thing to do! I honestly didn’t really know anything about these awards till all the messages about it being cancelled showed up on social media. But you look so so great and so amazing – forget about winning being nominated is amazing in itself. But I really really hope the organisers face some kind of penalty and you receive some compensation back. The hotel sounds lovely! Again – many many congratulations!

    • Thank you so much, It was a shock to the system, but we made the best of the weekend. Unfortunately the money seems to have all gone, so unlikely to get compensated xx

  • Nikee Rayner

    so glad you got a picture in that stunning dress, it’s the least you deserved after such a horrendous last minute bombshell. I was on the group chat as you found out, and I could tell you were absolutely heartbroken. I know for a while you felt extremely lonely in London, and I’m so glad there was light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Curvy Kate. You will ABSOLUTELY get another chance to walk the red carpet at some point darling, I just know it;) x

    • Thank you darling! I just wanted to have some memories of the outfit and the look. The Curvy Kate lot were AMAZING!! And I hope we all get that chance to walk on the red carpet too xx

  • The dress is beautiful and you look amazing. I’m so sorry that your event was cancelled and at such short notice this is what kind of puts me off of going to ones that are far from my home. I’m glad you all got to have some sort of event in the end even if it didn’t have a red carpet and awards x

    • Thank you Jade, we really made the most of the evening anyway… my sore head the next day proved it! xx

  • Laura

    I think its an absolute disgrace the way the BPSA have gone on. Nevertheless, I’m pleased you still have a good night in the end. You looked absolutely INCREDIBLE in that full length gown, even more beautiful than usual. I hope you get to wear it to another special event xxx

    • Thank you gorgeous. Sadly it was loaned to me for the event by the wonderful Florentyna Dawn and I had to give it back! xxx

  • Hayley Ann Stewart

    Oh darling I’m so sorry I didn’t get to shimmy with you on the dance floor in that wonderful gown. You honestly looked incredible! But then what you wore to indulge was fab as well you total glamour puss. Glad the evening was somewhat salvagable. Speaks volumes about the sorts of women you all are xxx

    • Wouldn’t that have been fab! I hope we can shimmy sometime soon, as it has been too long!! xxx

  • I am so sorry that you didn’t get a chance to walk down the red carpet but you look stunning in that dress. I’m so glad you were able to salvage something from the evening and the hotel were so sweet about it x

    • Thank you Rhian, they really were amazing, as these photographs testify xx

  • Paula

    So sad that the awards were cancelled!! You would have let everyone without breath with that dress!! You look amazing 🙂

  • Lisa Jones

    Out of a sad situation you rose and shine like a Phoenix in your stunning dress and coiffed to perfection. 💖

  • Lisa Jones

    Out of a sad situation you rose and shine like a Phoenix in your stunning dress and coiffed to perfection.

  • Love the Gold shoes, they are super cute, how fun this awards ceremony sounds and what an honor to be nominated, congrats!

  • Amy

    That’s absolutely awful that they just cancelled it like that. Your dress is absolutely beautiful and the shoes are gorgeous – you looked incredible. I’m so sorry that you never got to experience the awards 🙁 you made the best of a bad situation though x

    • We really did Amy, we had a blast with a lot of the other awards nominees and plus size babes, so all was not lost xx

  • I am absolutely disgusted at what happened. I know that sometimes things can be cancelled last minute, but the organisers needed to makes sure they were open and honest about it which they weren’t and haven’t been. Issuing a statement tomorrow is just too late to justify what’s happened. I’m so glad you got to wear your dress and get your hair and make up done. You looked amazing, and how lovely were the staff at the hotel!
    To be fair you definitely did your best to have an amazing night with some great people irrelevant of the circumstances. I just hope you can get some money back.

    • Thank you so much. I agree though, it really was inexcusable. We now know further details and it looks like all the money is gone, so no joy there…. xx

  • I’m still so angry over what’s happened, and that an announcement is apparently being made tomorrow is such bullshit. You looked stunning in your dress, and you were my pick to win our category, and now no one will ever know. Grr.

    • Awww thank you sweetheart! I can’t believe it happened the way it did, but I still enjoyed my weekend xx

  • OMGosh! I can’t believe they cancelled so soon up to the event without explanation. And that people traveled so far and we’re let down. So angry for you hunny! At least you managed to get out on the tiles. You look stunning as always xxx Your time will come for a red carpet moment xx

    • Thank you so much Isabella, it was a strange weekend, but I loved the fact we all pulled together and made the most of it. xx

  • Harriet @ Toby&Roo

    Oh wow, that is terrible! I love your hair in this shade by the way, you always look so fab!

  • Natasha Mairs

    OMG! I really can’t believe this happened! Have you found out if she has really ran off with everyones money? I do, hope you get your money back from this.

    • It was a bit of a shock! All the money is gone apparently…. so unlikely to see a penny xx

  • I heard about this on social media. I can’t believe this happened. What a shame. I would have been fuming. Hope you get your money back.

    • Thank you Stella. It would be nice, but unlikely xxx

  • What a shame about the event being cancelled! I hope you get your money back.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    How very disappointing that you were let down so badly. I am glad at least you were able to have fun despite the bad situation.

  • I remember reading a while back about your nomination and I was so happy for you. I saw the message in one of the facebook groups that it had been cancelled and immediately thought of you, I am so sorry to hear that it truly was cancelled with no explanation. Nice of the hotel to take pictures of what would have been and for your friend for going out and doing something. I can not even imagine what you must have felt like but I would have sobed too like a baby. Hope you get a proper explanation and refund.

    • Thank you Anosa, it was a bittersweet weekend, but I had fun none the less, would have been nice to walk that red carpet though! xxx

      • I bet it would have been and I am sure there will be another opportunity in the near future.

  • you look absolutely stunning in that dress and sorry that it was all for nothing. i saw my twitter blowing up about this being cancelled and it’s horrendous to think the organisers had probably ran off with the money and every attendee had spent so much on travel, hotels etc. but glad something came to light out of a nightmare

    • Thank you Nicol, we certainly made the best of a strange weekend! xx

  • Beautyqueenuk

    You do look just absolutely stunning in that dress and I really hope you get a chance to wear it again. As for the event, what an appalling state of affairs that still you await a reason as to why everything was cancelled and at such a late stage!

    • Unfortunately the dress was loaned to me and I have had to give it back now 🙁 xx

  • Kathryn

    Wow, this makes me half sad and half envious. Sad because the thought of how much effort and time saving money you spent all for you to be let down on a humongous scale, but envious because you were strong enough to turn it around. I really hope you get to walk down that red carpet one day because you are definitely red carpet worthy xx

    • Awwww that is so lovely of you to say Kathryn, I hope I do too, as I have never had the opportunity prior to this night! xx

  • Oh my goodness, reading this post took me on an emotional rollercoaster – I can only imagine what it felt like to live through it. You look amazing, that dress is breathtaking and I’m glad that the hotel took photos and looked after you. And it’s great that you got to go out and enjoy yourself in the end – that dress is fabulous as well. But OMG I’m so angry at the organisers, their behaviour is disgusting!

    • Thank you Sally! It was a rollercoaster for me too! A not very enjoyable one lol. We certainly made the most of the weekend though, so not all was lost xxx

  • Melanie Edjourian

    My goodness that must have been awful for them to cancel last minute. I can’t believe they did that and that their social media pages were closed. I am pleased you still got to go out and have fun but am shocked it even happened.

    • I know, it was just such a shock to the system. We had a great weekend though in the end xx

  • You looked like a silver screen star, and I am so glad that you managed to still make the evening fun. The photos look amazing, and the hotel staff sound so sweet! The dress is utterly divine, and as ever I have epic hair envy! Even though it was a different one, I’m very glad that you still made it to the ball! x

    • Thank you so much Diana, we made the most of a strange weekend, and my head attested to that on Sunday!! xx