The Importance Of Telling Your Story

Image Credit: Tana Gandhi

Image Credit: Tana Gandhi

It is not often that we cover controversial topics on Clementine Daily. As firm believers that positivity and encouragement and joy are attributes we strive to encompass, our conversations rarely turn to hot-button issues rooted in the judgment of others. This does not, however, mean we wear rose-colored glasses. Our deepest discussions engaged around various dinner tables often include a number of topics – from Egyptian revolutions to childhood vaccination schedules – each issue saved for a forum that lends itself to a more productive, more gracious conversation. There are less snap judgments, less hurt feelings. The only bullies lurking are our own, often nestled in defensiveness or jealousy or intolerance, character flaws that can be understood and – hopefully – overcome in the context of our closest relationships.

The Internet does not operate this way, and although we are incredibly grateful for the role it plays in building communities, it can just as easily orchestrate the opposite: destroying them.

Last summer, I was interviewed for a film called “American Blogger,” one whose recently-released trailer has received waves of negativity and public criticism for its lack of diversity, inaccurate portrayal of career, and glorification of a homogenous lifestyle. The filmmaker has been called prejudice. The project has been called irrelevant. And we – the bloggers portrayed – have been called self-serving.

And today, I want to call attention to these negative judgments in hopes that we can move forward, celebrating one man’s artistic endeavors and realizing that even the most beautiful of harmonies can leave many voices unheard.

Here is what I see, from where I’m sitting. I see a family of five following a dream to tell their story, one of loss and gain – of miscarriage and support. I see a young mother celebrating a son with special needs. I see a tattooed artist supporting her family in the Midwest. I see a brave black woman sharing pride, respect and gratitude for her platform. I see a Mormon crafter crediting the Internet for her incredible business success. I see stories of adoption and grief and restoration and cancer and resilience and infertility and – perhaps most – sheer, unadulterated optimism.

I see bloggers who are more than a sum of their parts, who are more than the roles they play and the hats they wear and the color of their skin. I see more than demographics and misinterpreted quotes and magic hour lighting. I see a filmmaker who invested time, money, energy and passion to tell his story, allowing fifty women to come along for the ride. And I see bravery.

I see a filmmaker who chose to represent a small sliver of a large, vast community – one that cannot be defined within the length of a feature film. Bloggers are doctors and fathers and professors and scientists and grandparents and hairstylists and decorators, and this film depicts but a grain of sand.

Yet it is my firm belief that a grain of sand – when offered together – can provide solace and dry land from stormy waters.

I find it unsettling that the harshest critics of this film trailer are bloggers themselves – those who felt the film silenced their voice or excluded their group. Yet it is my truest belief that – in a world where we can publish our innermost thoughts to the far corners of the world – the only voices left silent are those that fall on deaf ears.

We are not for lack of voices. We are for lack of listeners, those who hear with intention and speak with grace. Listeners who are open to learning more about a small sliver of a counter-culture (inspirational blogs) within an even larger counter-culture (blogs). Listeners who do not argue prejudice with prejudice or squeak wheels with oily words.

It would seem, then, that to tell our stories we must first listen with a willing ear and an open heart. Otherwise, we’re little more than a lost grain of sand scattered about a busy, crowded pavement.

We’ll be contributing to the conversation on Twitter today with hashtag #AmericanBlogger. Feel free to follow along; we’ll be the ones with sand in our toes.

47 comments

  1. Incredibly well-written! Thank you for adding in a voice of goodness. I am so saddened by a controversy that has developed when no one has even seen the movie. Chris & Casey Wiegand have the biggest hearts of anyone I know and have done nothing but try to share grace and love. For them to receive such hate is appalling. It’s time for #AmericanBloggers to share kindness!

  2. I think the trailer is very…well, hokey. After reading what you wrote, now that is a documentary I want to see! But the way the trailer depicts this film, it does seem like a very narrow group to call the film “American Blogger” because it focuses on white, straight, family oriented women. These people aren’t BAD, but to try to say (again, in the trailer) that this is the “American Blogger,” well, I think that is what people are upset about.

    • Maggie, we appreciate your constructive feedback! Thanks for commenting. We can see your point, but hopefully the film will change perspectives.

      xo, as always!

  3. *yawn*
    You are defending your choice to be a part of this film. This is a completely ridiculous, self-serving film. It’s so easy to call the people who are dissing this movie as ‘negative’ but come on! It is so silly I couldn’t help but laugh through the trailer. And everyone I’ve spoken to says the same thing!
    I feel sad for the bloggers whom I’ve read for years, and are genuine & have found success, but submitted themselves to this craziness due to ‘internet friendships’. How sad:(
    This guy is a total douche. Quit sugar-coating a bad movie because you made the stupid decision to be a part of it.
    Shame on you, Erin. I truly thought you had more integrity. Take a step back and look at the crap this guy did to make himself famous.
    As one legitimate film critic wrote, “isn’t it the critics job to decide whether the cinematography is groundbreaking?”
    Just take a step back. That’s all I’m asking.

    -blog reader

    • Hi Claire:

      I’ve stepped back and taken a long look. And where I initially wanted to defend all I disagree with, I think it’s important to put my money where my mouth is.

      I won’t reduce this response to name calling when I’ve never met you or judge your entire work by just a snapshot of your writing. So I’m asking you for a favor: Will you please share your blog so I can offer a positive outlook by supporting you?

      Thank you for joining in and sharing your perspective!
      e.

  4. Pingback: Introducing American Blogger, A Chris Wiegand Film | Design For Mankind

  5. I understand why you wrote this, and why you’re trying to point out the beauty in the film. I follow some of the bloggers represented, and enjoy them very much. But, have you noticed that the only people defending this film are the women that were interviewed for it? Don’t you think it says something that even young, white, middle class, female bloggers are rejecting this project? That even we, who would be his target audience, find it incredibly narcissistic?

    • Hi Jessica:

      Thank you so much for your input! I do think it says something about young, white, middle class, female bloggers. We just disagree on what it says about them.

      Having seen the film, I can’t help but support it and the women I was fortunate enough to be placed alongside. Some shared the immense struggles and hardships they have overcome…character I will always support, no matter my proximity to the triumph.

      We do truly appreciate your perspective…without it, the world would be a lesser place! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      e.

      • Perhaps the problem is with the trailer then. I’m hearing that there is substance and real life depicted in this film, but the trailer paints a glamorous portrait of Chris W. interrupted by beauty shots of landscape and pretty young women. Maybe we’ll all feel differently once the full film is released.

          • Trailers are sales tools. This one doesn’t make me want to see the movie. There’s no drama, no story–is he on a quest for something? Is he trying to find out why his wife is online all the time? If this was the story of a young widower, trying to gain insight into his late wife’s online life and friends, that might be interesting. Or the story of a young couple hitting road to enlarge their world and meet their online circle. But it’s neither of these–it’s a guy with a picturesque trailer meeting pretty women who sit at keyboards. There’s no story arc, no tension, no drama. Why should I care about these characters? Why should I care about their world? He doesn’t explain why. That’s what filmmakers do–they show you a new world and show you why it’s important.

  6. I’m sorry but this “Let’s look at the positive side” and “Haters gonna hate” attitude is really immature. I’m not even finding the lack of diversity and the narcissism of the movie offensive… It’s just that it is a bad, shallow product.

  7. The importance of telling a story is to tell the whole story. I looked at the trailer of American Blogger and I only see your story. Last time I checked my Feedly I subscribed to bloggers who are of all races, sizes, and ages. I am not hater, I love to celebrate any blogger’s accomplishments so, congrats on being featured. However, when all is said a done this is not the story of American Bloggers when you exclude the greater population.

  8. I’m totally going to wait for the film to make a decision about the content of the film, but I understand the criticism about the trailer…it felt very narcissistic and self serving. More about the film maker than the film. Hope the move is more about the bloggers than the person making it.

    • Thanks for your input, Jennifer. We can see where you are coming from. Hopefully you’ll change your mind when you see the movie. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

      xo

  9. I’ve been really quiet about this online but I have to say that I think it’s bullshit that you’re put in the position to have to defend this trailer. It’s bullshit because you are legitimately one of the most kind and well-intentioned people I’ve ever met and when I first got to know you I wanted to hide you in a cave to protect your sweet-spoken nature from the rest of the world. I knew you’d defend the trailer because you’re an amazing person who sees good intentions and positivity even in the most horrible things. I could probably call you the c word and you’d thank me for being honest. That’s why I hate that you’re voluntarily taking the flack for a trailer which really spoke for itself. I’m sure all the people involved are all very kind to animals and have their own struggles and even have very important messages to share, but the fact is that that trailer failed miserably at its intent and the director’s quotes defending it were painful to read. I still half suspect this whole thing is an Andy Kaufman-inspired satire, because honestly, it’s just baffling to watch.

    Maybe the filmmaker will recut it, rename it, reshoot it. Maybe he’ll learn from his mistakes. Maybe the trailer was intentionally terrible so that tons of people will watch the movie to see if it’s just as uncomfortable. Or maybe he’ll double-down and say even worse things and you’ll be aligned with that because you’re defending him.

    You’re a grown-up and you’re amazing but I want to rescue you from this. Sometimes you can be too close to a project or to the people to see it objectively. Objectively, as your friend, with nothing to gain from this, I can tell you that it’s a bad product as a trailer, unless it’s purpose is to make people aware of how shallow and vain we can all seem online sometimes. And really, that would be a good movie. And one I’d watch, frankly. But I’m not sure that was the purpose. And the fact that I’m not sure if he’s genuine or being sarcastic falls on the shoulders of the filmmaker (who seems very young and can learn from this).

    I’m sorry. I just can’t not say anything here. Don’t hate me.

    • Oh Jenny, I will never, ever hate you. I love you and appreciate you and I’m listening and I’m hearing. And I get it. We all need to speak our voices, and I love hearing yours. Emailing you now!

    • Jenny just recapped every conversation I have heard/had about this trailer, but with less cursing.

      I’m a filmmaker, too, and I have a hard time knocking anyone for the time, money, and endless list of effort that goes into a project of love, but the trailer just makes me incredibly uncomfortable in a First World sort of way. Fortunately, for everyone involved in the project, it’s not about me (despite my being an American blogger), and the lens of my definition only carries the weight of one man’s opinion. My only hope as the criticism of this film continues to mount is that the audience can differentiate between those being shaped by a vision and those that are doing the shaping.

      • Whit! Thank you for sharing your opinion, and this was beautifully stated. All my thanks for a kind, constructive criticism and – as always – for sharing your perspective.

        • After watching the trailer my initial though was that it looked like a beautifully filmed collection of personal experiences and stories. After reading some negative responses it seems like that is one reason why it has some people upset. The beauty, the portrayal of a pretty, stylized, perfect, lifestyle, and career. My thing is no one has seen what the story tellers actually share AND why is it wrong for someone to find and share beauty even among something as messy as life itself. We all know how messy life is. W wants to wallow in that? I want to be able to celebrate the successes, be inspired by the beautiful, share in the encouragement and support that many have found in the blogging world. I hear and respect where some of the negative opinions are coming from but I also want to give the film a chance and somehow know that even though it isn’t a complete portrayal of ALL American bloggers (How could it really be) that I’m sure I will enjoy the gorgeous filming and glimpses of the perfectly imperfect lives of the bloggers filmed.

          • Jessica, what a fresh perspective you have. Thank you for your inspiring input.

            We’d love to hear what you think about the movie when you see it. Check back :)

  10. Boy, do I have to agree with Jenny 100% on this. This trailer made me angry on your behalf. You were interviewed in good faith, you couldn’t have known what he would do with it, and the final product is not your responsibility. This trailer is an embarrassment, but it should be an embarrassment for *him*, not for you.

    As for him, I can’t imagine anyone writing voice-over like that and not having an inkling of awareness that he might come across as ludicrous and self-congratulatory in the extreme. Or the utter lack of perspective shown by showing a teeny sliver of the blogosphere and calling it “American Blogger.” Maybe there’s more to the movie than the trailer shows, I can’t say. I hope so, for your sake.

    I’m sorry, too. You’re the best. This, not so much. But this isn’t you.

  11. I started reading this blog a while back because I loved the daily quotes, and since then I have stumbled upon a really beautiful space that I enjoy visiting each day. My opinion of the trailer wasn’t so great, but I’ve seen plenty of trailers that don’t accurately depict the film, so I’m not forming my opinion just yet. But I so admire the way that you handle not only your posted response, but your open-minded and gracious response to commenters. In my humble opinion, it says way more about you than a film ever could.

  12. Just curious if there are any bloggers in the film over 50? Would love to have seen more age diversity. I know a lot of the bloggers I read are younger but would hope some older “folks” are represented. Should have included Young House Love.
    They are true American blog success story!!

  13. I am so glad that people are talking about this! I watched the trailer a few days ago and it rubbed me the wrong way. For the last few days I’ve been overanalyzing my reaction and decided it was the voiceover first that I reacted to and then the I was wondering if it was a parody movie, like Spinal Tap. I felt clueless mostly. Thank you for the discussion, Erin.

  14. Hi Erin! I wrote this comment over on Jen Lula’s blog, but after reading your post I wanted to add it here as well. While I agree that the trailer was kind of really ridiculous and that Chris probably should have put a little more thought into the title/group of bloggers that he chose, I personally have been appalled by the words used to describe the featured bloggers. “Twee”, “Not real”, “Cookie cutter”, “Bottom feeders” to name a few. Yes, that is hate. Yes, I think there are so many amazing bloggers out there that write about really deep topics – their personal struggle with depression, miscarriages, racial issues, etc. But just because a man or woman may not be dealing with those difficulties doesn’t mean that their voice should be silenced or that their words are not valid. I love to read blogs that explore those deeper topics, but I also enjoy blogs that celebrate the happier parts of life – our children, creating a happy home, and yes, (as an art teacher) even arts and crafts! Where would our world be without art? From masterpiece paintings to beautiful photographs to the picture my little girl just scrawled with her crayons. Yes, it’s important. I’m sorry that you were marginalized as a result of this trailer and want to say that I love your blog – it has made me laugh and cry and YES I can so relate to it as a mother and human being. Keep doing what you do lady. xo, Lauren

  15. I am personally very excited to see the film. Who cares about trailers?! Chris Wiegand set out to make a film, not a trailer. The film should be the topic of discussion, but not until people get a chance to see it for themselves. Great blog post!

  16. I’m a more recent reader of your lovely blog. Honestly I think the worst part is the voice over. It’s just SO dramatic for something that really isn’t…dramatic. I really think that if a normal person did the voice over…in a normal tone…like maybe even a woman??? since it’s all about women bloggers then that alone would do wonders.

    In the end, some people love to take any excuse to be mean though. Nobody ever gives anyone the benefit of the doubt. I agree that the trailer is kinda cheezy but I’m going to assume it’s from lack of experience and not from some weird conspiracy to undermine bloggers who aren’t white, female, and pretty :) And kudos for your graciousness. Really.

  17. Unfortunately, people these days have not been trained to delineate between voicing appropriate, constructive criticisms/disagreements, and personal attacks. I blame the tabloid culture!! UGH.

    I have blogged a lot in the past 4 years, and one effect I didn’t like that it has had on me is making me MUCH more opinionated! And I suspect this is a common effect had on many many bloggers. With true journalism, in contrast to blogging, you are forced to consider the audience more; you are forced to consider editors and publishers etc. The process itself is more disciplined and forces you to think through everything. Blogging however, like anything self-published, is more conducive to taking for granted that everyone understands you; that your opinion is IT.

    I am personally working on stepping back from my own quickly-formed opinions and taking time to consider how others might perceive something, and what I may have missed! I wish more bloggers would show evidence of doing this too!!! We have so much to learn from one another!

    The effect I have LOVED of blogging has been the confidence and encouragement to create. To share beauty. To be artistic in daily life! This has enriched my life in so so so many ways – and it looks like that is the common thread for everyone interviewed in this American Blogger project. Which is awesome.

    I am definitely going to watch the film when it comes out, mostly because I have the highest respect for so many of you individual ladies – Anna of IHOD, Bridget at Tales of Me and the Husband, etc. I have admired and been encouraged by y’all from a distance in so many ways in the last few years.

    I do really wish this project – in which the filmmaker was HONORED enough to be able to include lovely people like you all! – appeared to have been produced and created with more …self-awareness? I think this trailer alone is an example of why we need need NEED constructive criticism, why we can’t just create in a comfort zone! and why we should be surrounding ourselves not just with Yes-Men, but with those who will help us outgrow our natural ignorance or self-centeredness. To realize the world doesn’t revolve around us or the people who like us. And to be challenged that it doesn’t matter what our intentions are or that we are good people (most of us have and are!) – but that when we are putting ourselves out there as responsible creators and artists, when we are speaking for people… we just can’t create in a bubble. Or at least, if we do, we must acknowledge the bubble for what it is! :)

    I feel like I can say this because I was homeschooled and actually raised in a bubble. I truly thought I was adorable and everyone loved me and I loved everyone. But my first semester at college really helped smack me with the reality that not everyone is like me. And the way I see the world is NOT the way everyone does! This new self-awareness has helped encourage me TO be an artist, actually – to bravely reflect my unique view of life to others; to be excited to see theirs. But it has also taught me to do so with care, and with the realization that I can’t speak for everyone. To learn to offer the caveat: this is just MY story.

    I think its awesome that Chris Weigand wanted to share his and his family’s story. And part of that was sharing and seeing the stories of those who like his family, who are in their circle in the blogging world. That is understandable, and I will enjoy seeing it! I think it is fair to say that he needed some guidance on the trailer and, honestly, the title – or at least an intentional SUBTITLE! – which he either never asked for or never took.

    It seems like a better approach would be something describing One Family’s Love Story with Blogging. How Blogging Changed My Life. Something like that.

    That’s just my own two cents on the project. I hope it is fair!

    I am still definitely going to watch it – I have been blown away by your graciousness and am excited to see you in it! You and Anna Liesemeyer, who was just glowing in her pregnancy. SO beautiful!

    • Hi Kallah:

      I couldn’t appreciate this constructive note more. Thank you for voicing your words with intention and grace; I’m so grateful for the way in which you stated your perspective. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
      e.

    • I am hesitant to admit this, but I have been closely following this saga, and keeping up with many of the comments on the sites who wrote about it, which I love so much (yours Erin, and Jen of Jen loves Kev, and Ashley of Lil Blue Boo). I think what has enraptured many of us up is that this has been a huge reflection of our lives as bloggers, especially the lifestyle niche, and what our greater audience on social media may think of us. Do they all think we’re shallow, and perhaps even a joke, a carbon copy of one trendy pinterest project after another? While some of the very disparaging comments would lead us to believe that, most of the push back has been valid criticism. With all that being said, I’ve read A LOT of people’s opinions on the matter, and I have to say that this was the most honest, respectful, open minded evaluation I have seen. One I wish I would have had the foresight to write. Wonderfully stated, and I couldn’t agree more,especially in regards to blogging making us all so darn opinionated. And Erin, you have been beyond amazing though all of this. Truly.

  18. I am thrilled that Chris took the time to make the film! Who else has provided a window made of truth and reality to look through so that the rest of us could learn about the fascinating culture of blogging?! As a brand new blogger, I am so grateful for the making of this film! There are thousands of bloggers out there that inspire again and again! But this is the first ATTEMPT (that I know of) to create a feature film to shed light on this amazing community that exists out there in cyberspace!

    Willingness to listen to one man’s point of view, a man married to a madly inspirational woman who has been through so much AND DARED TO WRITE ABOUT IT FOR STRANGERS TO READ in an ATTEMPT (an extremely successful one at that) to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! How dare anyone, especially those in the blogging community, express outrage. He is a human! He has a right to his depiction! His art IS film! Art is the artists interpretation of the world around them! I thought the trailer depicted a world that I could very much are Casey Leigh intertwined in! I am THRILLED for the release! I am ready for the tears and the empathy! I yearn to be moved by another’s story. That is the essence and purpose of a feature film! Whether it is starring Captain America, Iron Man, or Casey Weigand, we go to the movies to watch the screen and FEEL something!

    If anger is what you felt watching the trailer, or if frustration consumes you because the film did not highlight your slice of blogging real estate (or the whole neighborhood), my guess is that reevaluation of WHY you do what you do (write, share, post personal photos, etc.) is in order. Eat some fruits and vegetables, do some yoga, go out and find a tree and breath some fresh air. Then, go back to your phone, desktop, laptop, or iPad and watch the trailer again and appreciate the fact that we are FREE to participate in this amazing community. Be grateful that you have a film to watch! Maybe you can find some respect for Chris since he is an artist out there making things happen! Creating amazing footage out of his own inspiration and understanding so that the rest of us have SOMETHING NEW TO EXPERIENCE come early June!

    http://www.nicolegavrilov.com

  19. I’m late to comment on this, but here’s what I think:

    Erin, you know that I think you are absolutely, 100% the bees knees, and while I don’t know all of the women in this movie, I am familiar with the work of several of them, and there is no doubt that this movie features some incredibly talented people (yourself definitely included). Also, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that Chris and his wife had only the very best intentions when they set out to make this movie.

    That said, I too was pretty surprised at the trailer, but even far more stunned at the response Chris and his wife have had the to pushback they’ve received. Here’s the thing: a textbook definition of white privilege is making a movie entitled “American Bloggers” with only 2% (1 out of 51) of the bloggers being of colour, when America is actually almost 40% of colour (per the 2011 census, people of color made up 36.2% of the US population – 13.1% black, 5.0% Asian, 16.7% Hispanic or Latino Origin, 1.2% American Indian and Alaska Native Persons, and .2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Persons), not to mention not including one male in the mix, & not being open to the possibility that there *might* be something wrong with that. Rather than just saying “dammit, we didn’t even think of that, we should do something about it,” their response seems to be more along the lines of “Oh well, haters gonna hate.” And that has been the most disappointing of all.

    While I’ll always continue to support your work, Erin, I definitely won’t be watching the movie.

  20. I usually don’t comment on these things, but after reading designsponge today I was curious about the so-called controversy about a movie that few people have actually seen. I think the purpose of a movie title is to convey a sense of what the movie is about while being catchy and drawing attention to it’s existence. This title certainly did that! While the trailer is undeniably goofy and hokey-the voiceover has a Saturday night live quality about it-and should be considered bad marketing on the filmmakers part, I am surprised by all of the vitriol that has been directed at the director and his family and the bloggers that were involved, without even having seen the movie. I am a 45 year old white, middleclass female and the majority of the bloggers I read seem to be similar (though I don’t know them personally). This is mainly because I am lazy and computer illiterate and when I read one blog I usually end up finding blogs that are linked because these women are usually friends, likeminded and support each other. I don’t have a problem with this. The content on the internet is overwhelming and I enjoy the small group of blogs that I read. Someone made a comment about it being a “video selfie”. I’m sorry, but what is a blog? It’s own version of a selfie. The reason we read a lot of these blogs is to get a little peak into someone else’s version of their life. Should every film documentary director have the responsibility to represent every single demographic in the United States? Writers write what they know about, bloggers blog what they know about and film makers do the same. The director purposefully interviewed women that his wife has a relationship with and he doesn’t seem to try and hide this fact. The fact that so many people have put so much weight and expectation in the title of a film is baffling to me. Wow, the bloggers look pretty and actually put make-up on and cleaned their house because they had a film crew coming. What a shock. Don’t see the movie if you don’t want to but to personally attack and insult (even from the so-called friends) the people who are in it with such hatred and arrogance says some sorry things about the state of our culture. I am usually pretty disgusted when I read the reply comments on blogs such as the huff post, but I guess I am surprised to see it from a group of people who seemingly support each other. I like design blogs because the comments are typically very positive. I am so happy (and not ashamed) to read blogs from people like Erin and Grace who show such grace when speaking from their heart and dealing with people who disagree with them. I am curious to read the comments after people have seen the movie.

  21. Hello Erin,

    I’m English and hadn’t heard of this film until now. I’ve just watched the trailer and whilst it is more than a little cringe-worthy I would probably want to watch the whole documentary before making a final judgement.

    My initial thoughts, beyond the fact that a lot of white women are up-front and represented, were is that really how bloggers live? Beautifully made-up and sitting with a backdrop of stylish crafts and patterned soft furnishings? I write in my pj’s, at a desk crammed into the corner of my bedroom, to the strains of a kid hoovering up bananas on Minion Rush. I would hope the documentary might show the reality behind the reality presented on the internet. Sometimes life isn’t all peonies and colour blocking…

    I admire your positivity in the face of negativity. That is something I can get behind. I’m perennially forgiving and optimistic. I don’t like to the see the ‘bad’ in people, or voice it, and at times that means you get burnt, you get hurt and you question yourself. What you don’t need to do is justify your choices to anyone, unless of course you want to.

    Keep on weaving words wonderfully X

  22. Pingback: On Windows And Doors: Having a Productive Conversation Online | Design For Mankind

  23. Oh, what Jenny, Whit, Alice and Karen said – you are one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in real life that I met via the internet first. I had you mixed up with another Erin for oh, I don’t know, a year? And you never made me feel bad like the chump I was over it.

    I’ve been learning a ton over the past few years about inclusion and being blind due to inherit white privileged I didn’t know I had thanks to my friendships with patient, wonderful, outspoken people of color and it would have been *so much better* had Chris and his wife just said, “You know what, we should have included more people of color and a more diverse set of people in general (and hey, maybe a guy or two!). Sorry. We’ll do that in part 2.”

    Because I’m able to learn, I’m sure the Weigands can learn, too. The internet is a wonderful and sometimes scary and very public learning playground. And sometimes a person (or couple) takes a whole lot of heat so everyone else can learn along with them. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It just is.

    Also, I love you like crazy. xo

  24. About 2 years ago, I became an avid reader of several blogs similar to yours including many women featured in the documentary. However, unlike most of the people joining this discussion, I am a 16 year old African American female. Just putting that label there feels like I am limiting my entire being to a label that tells you very little about who I am as a person.
    These blogs became a way for me to look at the type of women I want to grow up to be. These blogs taught me how to search for a deeper relationship with God. However, the lack of representation in this film is saddening. It is saddening because on a daily basis I fail to see “myself” on television or major movies. It is saddening because my little sister BELIEVES that wearing her hair curly is not pretty compared to wearing straight hair. It is sad because I want to see the God centered women, who are doing the “good” don’t have to come from a certain background or have long straight blonde hair.
    It’s hard to explain why this representation matters so much, but I felt the lack of it in the trailer.
    I don’t think the fault for this is on the bloggers in the documentary, and I’m hesitant to even blame the filmmaker… Because he probably doesn’t know or understand. But I think if “change” is really the goal of the film expressed by the trailer, it needs to include change that can affect all Americans and not just the ones he knows and can relate to.

    (I hope this makes sense! Happy Easter!)

    • Hi Kayla:

      Oh, I feel for you and I hear you, and thank you for sharing your story. It saddens me that your sister believes her hair is less beautiful when curly, as one of my favorite style bloggers (whom I recently found through the documentary) has the most beautiful natural hair imaginable:
      http://www.latonyayvette.com/

      I hope you and your sister love her as much as I do! And thank you for your kind words – I completely hear you. Happy Easter right back atcha! ;)

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