|Courtney Mirenzi of Those Graces|
I stumbled upon Courtney Mirenzi's blog Those Graces a few weeks ago and, to be honest, when I found it I felt giddy. Those Graces is something I'd been looking for for years -- a feminist fashion blog.
Recently I had a chat with Courtney about her decision to add a feminist slant to her style blog and her social media success.
You decided to add a feminist slant to your blog about a year ago, right? How did that affect your blog’s readership?
I made the decision to incorporate feminism into my blog a little over a year ago. (Read about her decision here.) Since then, I've been incorporating feminist issues relating to body image, how to buy makeup with ethics and many more. I think what I ultimately learned from changing course is that a blog could and should be what the writer wants it to be. At the end of the day, most of us blog as a hobby and it can often be stifling to stick to just a few narrow topics.
As far as my readership, it definitely went up after I made a conscious effort to share more of my opinions on feminism and women's issues. As someone who reads a lot of blogs, my favorites are the ones that really open up and address hard hitting questions. In posts where I've shared my thoughts and feelings on difficult topics--those are the ones people love to read and share their opinions on. I want my blog to be a place where people can share their thoughts.
How do you reconcile your passion for fashion with your feminist beliefs?
Being a feminist definitely makes me take a second look at the world I see around me including fashion and feminism. It has made me look at issues more critically, which has in turn driven me to speak out about issues you don't often see on fashion blogs. Ultimately, I think any person has a wealth of interests, some of which might conflict. I think the key is just keeping an open mind and skeptical eye on the world around you.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers considering writing about fashion with a feminist slant?
I went into blogging with this very rigid idea of what my blog would be. I started off as a budget fashion blogger, but over time I learned that my blog can really be anything I want it to be. For anyone wanting to write a blog about fashion with a feminist slant--I would say be open to change and don't be afraid to switch directions or talk about things that may seem unpopular or controversial.
When it comes to beauty and feminism one of the things I’m really concerned about is how we as women can improve our self-image and work to help build the self-esteem of young girls. Any thoughts on this topic?
I think the best thing that women can do for each other is just be honest. For years there seemed to be this wall up where self help "experts" didn't admit their own flaws or feelings. I think it's important to share with other women that we may feel down on ourselves or degrade ourselves due to unhappiness with our appearance. The second you just open up and be yourself, the quicker other women will relate to you and the easier it is to help. I think making self-image and self-esteem part of everyday conversation is also important.
You and your blog were recently featured in the Boston Globe. Congratulations! What general advice would you give to bloggers looking to get their names out there?
Thank you so much! You know, it's a funny thing. The writer of the article literally emailed me out of the blue and asked me if she could interview me. Sometimes good things truly do just happen out of no where!
My advice to bloggers is to respect your readers because they are your community and the most important people (aside from yourself!) at the end of the day when it comes to your blog. If you build a strong community, good things will come.
Cross posted at GeorgiaMae.com.