Friday, January 27, 2012

To Mix and Be Mixed

I received a comment yesterday that highlighted the fact that the title of my blog paired with the masthead I've chosen implies that my blog is about mixed race and mixed marriage, but that it's actually more about parenting and style.

When I thought about starting this thing, I thought to specifically focus on the fact that our family has  a mixed race identity--one that is worn more obviously than it is in some other families--and what it's like to move through the current world with that identity. At the time, I was naively astounded by the looks, the comments and questions I received while in public. But as time has worn on, I've stopped paying as much attention or dwelling on people's reactions.

I always knew the blog couldn't exclusively be about mixed race or identity. I think about and am interested in too many different things to write about just that topic almost every day. And just because other people look at us and think about just that or just that at first, we almost never think about it when we're together doing our own thing at home. Our mixed identity and identities don't define us and I never want them to.

I've worked for beauty, design, art and pop culture magazines. I love books and decor and architecture and color and stories and photography and politics and thought and food and travel. Whenever I've worked for a magazine with a specific topic, I became so entrenched in that subject that I longed to write about or explore everything BUT that. I'm a topic schizophrenic. I have no focus. Just like my new family, my interests, experiences and what I want to write about are All Mixed Up. I created this title to reflect both the wild variation of things I write about as well as our mixed race identity (as explained in the "All About Me" section in the right margin).

With that said, I don't want people to visit the blog in hope of something and to be disappointed that it's something different. I don't want the title or my photos or my intentions to be too heavy handed or confusing. So I'm not sure what to do. Would a less intense photo be better? Do I need a subhead or a tagline that explains the blog is about "mixed" things in general? Do I need to write more often about our mixed race identity to have more balance and better support the title?

Your feedback and honesty would be fantastic. Don't be shy. I really want to know what you think. When one starts something like this, there's no editor or co-workers or constructive criticism. It's just you. And it's easy to become confused or lose perspective when it's just you.

via The Beauty File


Flora said...

I just love reading your writing. You're witty and entertaining. It's extra cool that I knew you in high svhool, but makes me wish I had been more outgoing and gotten to know you and others. But better late than never! I say stick to what you're doing because it's awesome. Let others think whatever they want.

Nancy said...

I think it's perfect the way it is. This is your blog, your stories, your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

So I'm the person who left that comment. It wasn't meant to push you in any direction. It was just a thought about the masthead. Ironically, I'm the mother (black) of a mixed race 2 year old in Los Angeles. I think I came to your blog after reading a comment you made in the New York Times on Motherlode about mixed race parenting. (I've been married to my husband for 15 years so the stares I really don't notice - however constantly being asked if I'm my child's nanny . . . .). So I came to your blog because of that, but find the other content very interesting and I read you almost daily. I wouldn't change a thing about what you write about. I just think there's a disconnect between the picture and the current and evolving content.

Anonymous said...

I see your point but I think it's clear because it's explained in the description of the blog. Also, your tag line "Thought, Style & Stories" makes it seem more general.

Laura Mauk said...

@Anonymous #1, but I think you have a great point and I don't want there to be a disconnect. The reality is that I've been avoiding the mixed race topic because as you know, it's complicated and is not always the easiest thing for me to put into words. I think I need to include a little more on the topic (believe me, I've tons of material these days) for myself as well as to honor what was at least part of my original intent. So thank you. I so appreciate your feedback.

Laura Mauk said...

@Nancy, Thank you!

@Flora, Dude, I feel exactly the same way. After my freshman year at Rosary, every other girl in my little friend group transferred to another school. My sophmore year, I had zero friends and would eat my lunch alone in the library every day (my social anxiety was the reason I switched schools). But yes, better late than never and I super love your voice and quips (even just the bits I get on FB).

Leslie said...

Funny, because I never thought of the "mixed" in your blog name to mean mixed race. Never even crossed my mind. So I wouldn't worry about. But if I'm in the minority, then maybe you should change it. Not sure. And I love that picture and it's not too distracting or anything. My 2cents :)

laurafaye said...

I came to your blog for many of the same reasons as ms original anonymous; I found you through another page (can't recall excatly how) and was interested in another's experience of being in a mixed race couple. At the time I was preparing to marry my african beau and having come from an anglo dominant small town in rural australia I was totally unprepared for the stares that we got considering our relocation to a very multicuyltural city. I'm now enjoying reading all your thoughts, stories and admiring your style (as said in your masthead[and I like the original photo because youy're both smiling]).
I love everything you write about as it seems so relevant to my day despite being from a younger generation and different country.
Life for everyone is all mixed up and when you write about life can there be a better title?


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