Radical authenticity

I've been contemplating writing some version of this post for awhile now and a conversation I had yesterday finally convinced me to take the plunge.  A blogger friend and I were Gchatting about some emotionally charged topics and she said something to the effect of, "I wish more bloggers would tackle tough issues like relationships, body image, etc.  It would be so great to have a forum to discuss these kinds of things."

I know there are many bloggers who cover tough subjects with amazing - sometimes downright astonishing - honesty (hello, Penelope Trunk).  However; is it just me or is there a maddening tendency among many bloggers to portray their lives as picture-perfect fairytale romps through Never Never Land?  While I'm the first one to champion fun and uplifting content, I often find myself yearning for a little more substance and a little less style.  However, I don't take issue with these blogs...not really anyway.  Instead, I take issue with myself.  If I really wish that more bloggers would talk openly about these kinds of things, then why shouldn't I hold myself to the same standard?  

I can tell you why I don't.  I don't because I'm scared of sharing my feelings so openly in a public forum.  I don't because it makes me feel vulnerable.  I don't because I fear that the response wouldn't be positive.  I don't because I worry that no one would care.

But, you know what?  The more I think about it, the more empowered I feel by the idea of injecting some radical authenticity into these posts.  I recently tweeted about how excited I am to have lost 20 pounds since December (woo hoo!).  A couple of you lovelies immediately responded by asking me to share some weight loss advice, so I began working on a post in the form of a bulleted list with tips like eat more fresh fruits and veggies, etc.  Halfway into my post, I realized something.  I could come up with 7 million "tips," and still any post about weight loss would feel incomplete if I didn't share at least a little bit about my mental, emotional, and physical struggle to be in a place where I feel really good about my body.

I'll still share my tips, but I'm re-writing the post.  In fact, I've got lots of topics that I'm excited to blog
about with radical authenticity.  My hope is that this space will continue to be a source of positivity and inspiration, but that I will also provoke some candid conversation on a wide range of topics that affect us all.  Thank you for being the supportive and intelligent ladies that you are.  I look forward to deepening our dialogue and continuing to build our little blog community.



Anonymous said...

Honesty is always the best policy -- and I think there is MORE love that comes at blisschick, the MORE honest I am in my writing there about some of those very things (body image, for example is my MAJOR theme this year).

naturally nina said...

Love this post.

I am guilty of painting a perfect picture sometimes too... for all the same reasons you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and encouraging us all to open up more. I look forward to having that dialog with you :)

Krystal Sandoval said...

Thank you for sharing this with us all.
& Thank you for your nice comment on my blog. :)
You don't sound weird at all, you're sweet.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog posts, I followed you!

gabrielle said...

i'm glad you wrote this because right now i am going through such a hard time with a relationship, and it's so hard to blog in a happy voice while i'm really upset and most likely crying on the inside. i look forward to reading your more "honest" posts! Maybe I will have the courage to do the same.

stephanie alaine said...

see, this is GOOD stuff. this is what its all about. i love your radical authenticity. and i, for one, will be along for the ride!!! :)

flex those courage muscles!
xo s

Struggler said...

Go for it - looking forward to seeing the results!
One thing I've noticed, in many of the blogs I read, is that 99% of people only leave positive, supportive comments. To have a really great dialog, some folk will need to disagree, so just be prepared for that and I think you'll be onto a winner!

Irene said...

You know, I'd been thinking the exact same thing. Everyone seems to feel so pressured to appear perfect.
Like that's what everyone wants to see.
I believe people read blogs because they're desperately trying to RELATE, to feel NORMAL.
I really do appreciate people who open up, because it takes a lot of courage to not care about the negative input. I've learned that I can either worry for the rest of my life about what everyone else thinks, or I can enjoy my life the way I want to.

:) Great post.

Café Chick said...

For me, part of the appeal of blogging is that I can portray a part of me that I'm not often brave enough to show people in real life. Café Chick can have a lot of fun that I'd normally hesitate with, although we are both far from perfect. What's always in the back of my mind is that once a post is 'out there', it's out there forever, even if I choose to delete it later (caches, etc), and sometimes I don't need to remind myself and everybody of a bad hair day way back when ... although I appreciate it when other bloggers open themselves up like this. Double standard? I guess so!

Cupcake Wedding said...

agreed I want honesty, not self-censorship. What a refreshing post.

Anonymous said...

i can't wait to read your next post. you are amazing and inspiring!! :)

Melita said...

i love this! you are simply amazing. i salute you for blogging with heart & authenticity. i, too, am like you, i have a hard time letting any emotions out unless they are good ones. i've always been this way. i am a very positive person (always have been) but i am working on letting emotions out, even if they aren't as pleasant as i'd like them to be. we are all human :) i look forward to the upcoming posts. and CONGRATS on losing 20 lbs since dec, that is awesome!! hugs!!

Jenn said...

This is why I love your blog so much. You do an amazing job of articulating a lot of the things I struggle with blog-wise and life-wise.

I'm probably always going to be one of those pretty pictures bloggers because it's a form of therapy for me, haha!

However, I love reading your blog and Jezebel.com (especially the comments) for some deeper thinking about personal and societal issues.


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