American Blogger

American Blogger

This is the second post about American Blogger I've written. The first one never made it onto my blog because it was promptly deleted shortly after I finished it. Not because I didn't stand by what I had written, but because sometimes it's easier to be quiet. It's certainly much safer. However, after some serious thought, I realized that some times contrary viewpoints need to be shared and things need to be shaken up and challenged. Because without a challenge, or at the very least, a conversation, there can be no change.

In case you weren't aware, earlier this month, the blogosphere erupted into a firestorm when the preview for the upcoming documentary, American Blogger, was released. There was a lot of nastiness and no shortage of opinions about the documentary. On the flipside, there has also been an overwhelming amount of support and a lack of understanding as to why some people are a bit upset about this film.  For those of you who have yet to see the trailer, take a moment to view it:

The first time I watched the trailer, I was admittedly angry.  The second time, I was incredulous. Was this really suppose to reflect the blogging community I know? The third time, I tried to listen to the voices of the bloggers that were suppose to be representing me, but it was hard. And it's not about being petty or jealous, my dislike of this particular film, and the millions others like it, is simply because these types of films continue to perpetuate the lie that beauty only comes in one shade and only certain stories are worthy of being told.

We often blame the media, saying that they're only catering to the needs of the masses--it's not personal. But then finally, we are presented with an opportunity by one of our own to empower us by showing a diversity of voices, and it still falls short. Why? Why, in 2014, are we still doing this to ourselves?

My disappointment is not about or because of  the bloggers in this film specifically, it's about the bloggers that I didn't see. It's about the fact that we live in one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations in the world and yet 98% of the bloggers featured in the upcoming documentary looked the same. It's a bit disappointing to say the least.

There have been explanations of course. But the explanations are even more troubling that the film itself. Because what does it say about us if 98% of our friends look exactly like us? The irony is I've read a lot of posts in defense of American Blogger, and what I find to be most telling is that each of these bloggers who defending the lack of diversity are the very same ones who have 50+ people listed on their blogrolls, and every single one of them looks just like them.

That being said, although I may have my reservations and opinions about the film itself, I absolutely refuse to participate in tearing down the bloggers who were featured. I have seen a lot of that nastiness circulating on social media. We can do better y'all. These women may have immaculately cleaned homes, or perfectly tousled hair or whatever other insults people have been hurling at them, but at the end of the day, these are real women, with real emotions, who cry real tears. To insult them for cleaning their homes, or putting on their "Sunday's best" in anticipation of filming their scenes is just wrong.

So, it's like this: what I saw in the trailer and on the website is not a reflection of what I know to be true of blogging or America in general.  That is not us. We are so much more diverse, and complicated, and sometimes we're a bit more unconventional and off the beaten path. We're more than just a tight-knit group of friends. And we span every corner and crevice of this country. Through the wealthy neighborhoods and the not so wealthy ones. And each of us have amazing stories. I think the filmmaker now realizes the err of his ways. Probably. Hopefully

Maybe some lessons were learned from this. Maybe not. I don't wish the filmmaker or his wife any ill will. What's done is done. I just hope that should an opportunity present itself for second documentary, they try a bit harder to capture the diversity of cultures, styles and voices in this crazy place that we call home.

What are your thoughts about American Blogger? Have you watched it yet? Do you plan to? 


  1. I don't get what's up with being upset about the clean homes or pretty outfits or nice hairstyles, either. I mean, I had guests over yesterday--and you can bet I picked up clutter before they came. I mean, isn't that normal? That's what my mama taught me. And who wouldn't want to look their best when being filmed?

    But, on the larger guess is that maybe "American Blogger" was a poor choice of title for the film being made. If the title was smaller the expectations for the film wouldn't have been so high.
    I haven't seen the entire film, just the trailer like probably most have. And I don't tend to read any larger blogs so I'm not really familiar with the bloggers who are included. I do think it would have been much more interesting of a film to include bloggers who aren't well known or "successful" or from more obviously different niches and backgrounds.

    And your comment: "Because what does it say about us if 98% of our friends look exactly like us?"
    --That touches on an issue of lack of bonds between different communities that I don't know will ever go away, and it's sad, really. I many of my own relatives could easily go a lifetime without making friends with someone of Hispanic descent if it didn't so happen that I'd married Angel?

    1. Yes ma'am, I'm already a neat freak to begin with, but if I know company is coming over, I take it a few extra steps. It's just a common courtesy.

      And yes, American Blogger was not the appropriate title for this. This was more of a tiny peek into the lives of very similar bloggers. Don't get me wrong, they are all unique it their own way, but the blogosphere is so vast. I already know enough about my own niche, it would have been interesting to get another perspective. Maybe male? I honestly don't read much from male bloggers, so it would have been interesting to hear their perspective.

      While my dad was still in the Army, I didn't notice the lack of bonds between the communities, because we were essentially one community. Our parents went to war together, and it didn't matter who we were, where we were from, or what shade we were. Especially after 9/11. We were family. For life. I truly miss that.

      But oh well, like I said. It is what it is. Thanks for stopping by and getting involved in the discussion. I always love hearing your take on things!

  2. I have not watched it yet, I don't know if I want to. I too feel just like you in that the documentary is not a true representation of the blogging community as a whole.

    1. I think that is the general consensus Adrienne. I think it was a great idea, but it just wasn't carried out in the best manner possible. It will be interesting to see if there is a sequel to this though.

  3. I haven't watched it, nor do I think I will. I felt like the trailer was very cookie cutter and seemed more to gear to "mommy bloggers" and there's a lot of us that don't identify with that.

    1. Same here. I really did think about watching it, but I just don't feel right spending my money on something like this. I'm all for diversity, as you can tell. I can get behind Cheerios all day long, but supporting this project just seems wrong.

      But those are my personal opinions. I have nothing against those that do support it, I just think they need to be aware that there is a valid reason that some people choose not to. One that has little to do with "hatin" and more to do with not feeling a connection to the film.

  4. I'd heard some of the fuss about this but hadn't watched the trailer yet. Truthfully...doesn't really seem that appealing. You're absolutely right- everyone looked very similar and kind of "cookie cutter/trendy." Definitely not a good representation of the blogging community as a whole.

    Found your blog through Southern Blogger link up btw :)


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