Op-Ed: Actually, Your Beliefs DO Belong On Your Blog

 

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It was a regular post for a blog that regularly does holiday DIYs, but one little sentence made it go from a festive DIY to a highly charged political debate. When Jessica Quirk posted her American Flag DIY on the What I Wore Facebook page, she included one little suggestion for her readers. To do the DIY, just don't buy your supplies from Hobby Lobby.

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Quirk's Facebook posting was in reference to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Burwell V. Hobby Lobby case, by “allowing .. for-profit corporations to be exempt from a law they religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest. ”  The significance of this case in this country is meaningful in a few ways, one, that for-profit corporations now have religious beliefs, and two, the that Hobby Lobby does not have to cover birth control or abortions in their insurance plans for their employees.

Quirk has long been vocal in her political beliefs, I remember during the Presidential Debates, she would tweet along (as did a lot of us). She has shared on her social channels her beliefs before, but here in this particular Facebook posting, naturally, not everyone was on the same page as her, which is to be expected on such an emotionally and politically charged topic such as reproductive rights.

The thing that caught my attention was that her some of her followers did not think politics had a place on her personal blog.

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Now, unless a blog is a news blog that only reports the news, 99.99% of blogs are 100% opinion. We share our opinion on whether we think Birkenstocks are cool to wear. We share our opinions on whether or not we should wear clothing made in sweatshops. We share our opinions on whether or not we should wear fur. Our blogs consist entirely of our political, cultural, and yes, even religious beliefs. This Hobby Lobby ruling is not entirely out of context for What I Wore since she regularly posts DIY projects, and Hobby Lobby is potentially a store where her readers might be getting their supplies for these projects. Had she believed in not wearing clothes manufactured by sweatshops would it be her place to say not to shop at places like The Gap?

Now, unless a blog is a news blog that only reports the news, 99.99% of blogs are 100% opinion.

If something moves you, and you have an audience, by all means, write about it on your blog. Especially, if it is relevant to your blog's topic. If religion plays a big part in how you dress, then yes share that with your readers. If feminism plays a big part in who you are, then, YES, write about it on your blog.

Blogs today are so, how do you say? Vanilla? People are too afraid to write about what they REALLY feel. Too afraid to offend anyone, or end up on the pages of Get Off My Internets, or whatever, most bloggers opt to focus on content that doesn't move anyone one way or another. Seriously, it's making the blogosphere boring.

Quirk did the right thing by aligning her values with her content. She brought awareness to her beliefs; she stuck out her neck. Sure, there are a few people who did not agree with her, but the vast majority of the comments (including from myself) are supportive.

More bloggers should take risks sharing what they truly believe. After all, isn't that what authenticity is all about?

[Image credit: What I Wore]

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16 Responses

  1. Aimee @ Irresistible Icing

    I totally agree with sharing your opinions on your blog. One of the reasons i started a blog is to have a space in the world where nobody could dictate what I had to do and when. I can’t write about these things at work or I would be fired. It’s MY blog and MY opinions. Surely some people are doing to disagree but there’s others that will agree. I posted something today and lost a few followers for it. Do I care? No, not really. If you un-followed then we didn’t have anything in common anyways!

    Reply
  2. didi fitch

    I’ve followed What I Wore for years. I like that she has a point of view and opinions. I like that she’s authentic and personal in her posts. Being authentic means not pleasing everyone. I applaud Jessica!

    Reply
  3. Onianwah

    YES, my opinion belongs right on my blog. Isn’t that the reason why bloggers do reviews? Share their PERSONAL opinions, duh. If I can share my opinion about a product then I can state my opinion about ANY TOPIC UNDER THE SUN.
    I am naturally not very forceful about pushing my opinions on others, I just do what I want to do but if I wanted to state an exact opinion about something, I would with no hesitation.

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com
    Lagos, Nigeria

    Reply
  4. Kate

    I think this is a HUGE issue in the blog world. I’m definitely not a confrontational person but have no problem expressing my opinions on issues like this in real life, but for some reason, expressing them via twitter or on my blog is really intimidating. I feel like such a huge percentage of fashion bloggers are very conservative and express their religious beliefs very publicly, so I tend to just fall into the group that just stays quiet – I feel like in my real life circles, most people feel the way I do, but in the blog world, I feel like I’d just start a lot of controversy so I tend to avoid it. But you’re right, that makes things BORING. And I’d like my readers to like me for me, not just for a silent image I portray.

    Reply
  5. Alexa Dorsainville

    I totally agree! My religious beliefs are a big part of who I am, so I always try to encourage others in my blog posts in every way possible. Of course, I sometimes just post about the outfit (here’s what I wore, style inspiration.. blah blah..) But I make it a purpose to incorporate what is truly me (ie my personnal beliefs) on my blog. Like you said, that’s what sets a blog apart from others and make it interesting!
    Thanks for bringing that subject out in the open! 🙂

    Alexa
    http://thefashionpeak.com/

    Reply
  6. TlvBirdie

    Bloggers shouldn’t be afraid of writing what they do really THINK AND FEEL,
    though these thoughts need to be correct and attract your real behavior. It’s like you can’t scream about vegan and green lifestyle, and outside of the internet eat meat balls and Mc donald on a daily basis, just an example.
    Blogs are meant to be a place to make people read your thoughts, unedited by magazines or other’s opinion. Otherwise, what’s the point? Reblogging images?

    P.S. : and unfollowing subject shouldn’t scary any blogger faithful to himself.

    Olya
    http://www.tlvbirdie.com

    Reply
  7. Donna

    Wow! Opinion is allowed, but apparently you don’t understand the entire details of the debate. Telling your followers to not shop at Hobby Lobby is over the line. This type of rhetoric is disappointing from IFB.

    Reply
  8. Anastasia

    I’m agree that bloggers should share what they think and believe in. But there is a difference. Maybe blogs are not 100% vanilla, but they certainly are like a shelter of outside world – sometimes cruel, demanding and very r e a l. So for people, blogs satisfy the need to be distracted and to relax from stress of real life problems. If people what something “real” they would go to read politic news, not fashion blog. And I personally don’t think it’s bad.
    xx
    http://fashionpeekaboo.com

    Reply
  9. Rachel

    I do think this is a huge issue, but on my part it is not something I really have the chance to do much about. Yes I believe that we should share our views if they are relevant on our blogs on social media, but my blog is my business. I support, I’m a member of and I’ve actually worked for in the past a mainstream political party, but because of our vast unpopularity with a large sector of the public I’ve found if I’ve made mention of it on my blog or social media I’ve lost followers, and as I said, its my business. I can still talk about politics, detailed stuff that only other people (my friends) on Twitter would really engage in, but I’ve found, and I’ve seen with other bloggers with my views and similar readership demographics, if I say something outright in support for my party and its policies, my business will take a hit in a big way.

    Reply
  10. CynthiaCM

    I often do share my personal opinion on my site and on social media, especially my views on body image (which is generally different from the so-called “mainstream” because I offer a perspective of a smaller woman. However many body image activists tell me that I should be “happy” with my size because I AM small (as in size 0). However, what they don’t understand is that many are often insulting smaller women because they talk about how size 0 can lead to “eating disorders.” Well, the issue is that whether a dress is labelled size 0 or size 2, the waist is still going to be (for example), 24″ and 24″ waists aren’t “eating disorder small” for a lot of people). I’m also a little bit more “conservative” (in quotes because I don’t consider myself uber-right AT ALL) than many fashion and lifestyle bloggers in Toronto and have been called an “over-privileged brat” more than once regarding certain social issues, even though my views are perfectly legitimate (mostly regarding education and housing).

    Reply
  11. Sarah Blodgett

    While I totally agree that you should be able to express your political/religious/etc opinions on your own blog (and I think the Hobby Lobby comment on What I Wore was completely appropriate for a DIY blogger), I also think bloggers who are trying to turn their blog into a business need to be conscious of the effect that bringing controversial issues into their posts can have (ie losing followers who may otherwise love your fashion but not your politics). As a licensed Cosmetologist, day one of beauty school they taught us that politics and religion have no place in a hair salon, because it’s a business and people are there to relax and de-stress. So my point is, I think bloggers should consider their overall goals, brand, and business strategies before posting anything, especially controversial topics like politics or religion, and if it seems like the right option for your blog strategy, then go for it.

    Reply
  12. Lix

    I agree with this 100%. That comment makes me see red. I’ve actually got hate myself on my blog for posting about my anxiety, my views on welfare, my financial situation… my “liberal agenda,” in short. And what I want to do is post about it MORE OFTEN. I need to be more efficient in what I do but my politics are a big part of my work as a blogger and even as a photographer now. I have a platform and I’m going to use it. I don’t give a shit if someone unfollows me for it. No follower matters THAT much.

    Reply
  13. Munachi

    Being controversial on your blog has two very distinct sides. Some blogs are set up to be strictly fashion in whatever form they may be (personal style, roundups and edits, etc) and in those cases stating your political, religious, or otherwise controversial opinion can be out of place and just plain inappropriate. However there are blogs that have a niche but encompass the lifestyle of that niche (like a DIY blogger talking about where or where not to buy your DIY products). Her political opinion in her post isn’t out of place pertaining to her blog. She regularly talks about the lifestyle of DIYing rather than just spouting out tutorials and guides so her saying what she feels about an issue within HER NICHE on HER BLOG is understandable. Just as we can stand up against wearing fur as a personal style blogger, testing products on animals as a beauty blogger, or purchasing items from sweatshop environments as lifestyle blogger it makes sense for her to stand up against a craft store as a DIY blogger. It would be ridiculous for me to not talk about the issues that are important to me WITHIN MY NICHE because I encountered a reader who threatened to unfollow me because of my strong suggestion to shop local and small business rather than multi-million dollar mass consumer chain stores. It’s MY blog and yes it’s in the “fashion blog” category but my platform is within my niche so why shouldn’t I be able to express it? The key is to stay within the subject matter and style of YOUR blog.

    Reply
  14. Katie R

    I can get pretty heated when it comes to voicing my political beliefs, but I attempt to keep it off my blog for the most part just because I’m worried about fashion, not politics. I’m a conservative and am perfectly comfortable with my beliefs and I don’t feel the need to push it on anyone else.

    Reply
  15. Erica

    I totally agree. I’ve struggled with creating my blog because I wanted to balance both news and fashion stories on it, and always worried that I lacked the proper credentials or would never be taken seriously on either side. Sometimes readers forget that bloggers and writers are still people with diverse opinions and beliefs that are subject to change. Freedom of speech doesn’t stop at the blogosphere, if anything, it’s encouraged.

    Reply
  16. Vanessa

    I really like the shorts. I think a pair of Bandelettes (www.bandelettes.com ) would look really cute under these shorts.

    Reply