A Ballymoney woman has been shortlisted as one of THE best online fashion bloggers in the UK, according to the prestigious publication Cosmopolitan.
Mum-of-one Sera McDaid (PICTURED RIGHT) shares her thoughts - or blogs - online using the name The Agoraphobic Fashionista.
“The Agoraphobic Fashionista is me, Sera, it’s my escape, my bubble and my own tiny safe place on the internet,” said Sera.
“The blog is essentially a lifestyle blog in the sense that it is my story. My style story, my beauty discoveries and indeed, my battle with agoraphobia, amongst other mental health issues. The Agoraphobic Fashionista is my indulgence.”
As the name suggests, Sera suffers from agoraphobia, which she says is: “At its most basic is an extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places. In my own personal case it is an extreme or irrational fear of the outdoors.”
The blog features style, fashion, budget buys and “documentation of a lifestyle spent dealing with mental health, hard topics and shoes most probably.”
Sera explains: “You will not see me at due to the fact I am indeed, as the title would suggest, agoraphobic. Trips out are documented as best they can be. I try to veer away from the woe-be-me tone and strive to talk about these occasions with honesty and respect.”
The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards are the big awards of the blogging season. Sera told the Times: “Run by Cosmopolitan magazine and website, people are invited to nominate their favourite blogs.
“I threw the notion out there to my social media and it seems they felt The Agoraphobic Fashionista was worth nominating.
“Over 43,000 entries were recorded this year and The Agoraphobic Fashionista has made the shortlist in the Lifestyle Category.”
The grand finals award ceremony will be held in London later in the year - something which is obviously problematic for Sera.
“There is a swanky awards bash held over the water for all the finalists though unfortunately, due to obvious circumstances, I won’t be attending,” explained Sera.
“But this is part of the reason why I’m hoping Cosmopolitan might choose to highlight mental health on such a grand platform.”
The voting is still open here: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here
The winners are decided by 50% voting and 50% judges choice so Sera is trying to gain all the support she can - let’s give her our votes.