American Blogger

American Blogger Poster 001 - Casey Profile with Flag WITH CREDITS 4200x6300

As I’m sure you have heard (and seen) the trailer to the American Blogger documentary was released earlier this week. Chris was here last July to film us for only a few short hours. We had such a wonderful time. Kev and I enjoyed some deep conversations with Chris well after the camera had stopped rolling. He is real. He is genuine. And it was clear as day just how talented, passionate and so excited he was about this movie. I have not seen the movie yet, but I’m excited to and I’m proud to be a part of it. Since the release of the trailer, I’ve been appalled by the cruelty surrounding it (listen when I say constructive criticism is valid and warranted) but I’ve actually felt embarrassed to be a part of a community that has been so disrespectful in how they’ve handled their opinions. We’re all entitled to our own opinions for sure. I mean, I get it, I do. Could the trailer have been different? Yes. Could there have been more diversity with people and genres of bloggers? Sure. Should it have been called American Blogger? Maybe not, but I truly believe Chris had no ulterior motives with the name or the movie. He wasn’t trying to exclude people. He came up with the idea based off Casey’s success and the community she had built around it. It’s their family story to tell. End of story. I’m not here to defend Chris’s decisions or who he selected to be in the film. I will let him speak for himself. However, what does have me all riled up are the comments grouping the women (myself included) in the movie as being all the same. That we aren’t “real bloggers”. I’ve been seeing “cookie cutter”, “perfect lives”, etc… This really grinds my gears. I’m sorry but the twitter thread I saw this morning about how they couldn’t relate to any of us because they still had their sweatpants on and hadn’t had time to wash their hair yet. Ummm hello? You don’t think that happens to me too? And I bet you a million dollars that if someone was coming to film you for a documentary you would have washed your hair, cleaned up your house and gotten out of your pajamas. It seems so ridiculous to judge someone for that. I wish we could celebrate each other. I wish we could celebrate that people have strengths where we might have weaknesses. That we’re not all created as an exact copy of each other. We are all different in wonderful ways. I love the positive community I have created from blogging. I find daily inspiration in these women who are passionately and creatively pursing what they love. Whether that is working full time, being an entrepreneur, writer, being a Mother, an artist, a musician, fashion lover, interior decorator, whatever it is. It’s inspiring to read! Especially when it’s in an area that may not be my expertise. I love hearing their stories. And I have my own story I am trying to tell. My journey has been a roller coaster just like everyone else. We have worked damn hard for everything in our life. I juggle all the same life stresses that you do. I have days where I fail completely at everything. I have days when I struggle at being a good wife and mom. And yes, sometimes my kids have cereal for dinner. So it doesn’t sit well with me when the internet is judging these women in the clip saying we are not deeper than what they see. Each one of us is different in our own way. Let’s not make light of that. I am not one who normally writes about controversial topics, I just truly felt I had to say something. Shame on all of you who are minimizing the stories of these women in the movie. They are real bloggers just like all of you are too. We are all bloggers, in our own communities, writing about our own journeys. That’s the beauty of blogging. I am proud to be in the movie. I am proud of the giant under taking Chris and his family took to work towards this dream of his. This was their story.

With that said… You can have your opinions of course. You can disagree and you don’t have to watch the movie. But think about what you are going to say before you say it. Let’s not spew hate.

*just a note: there is a big, big difference between difference of opinion/constructive criticism and being rude and hateful. I never said we couldn’t share our opinions. In fact I welcome the discussion. I’m not asking for people to have the same point of view. I am talking about being respectful in how we write them.

*also. No ones comments are being deleted so you don’t need to re write a comment accusing me of this. Comments are set to be moderated and sometimes I am just not at the computer to approve them all at that moment. All comments will be approved at some point.

  1. Nicole •

    Hi Jen! This has nothing to do with your post but I have been reading your blog lately on my laptop (whereas I’m usually on my phone) and I’ve noticed the grey font is really hard to read. Is it just me? Perhaps, but I love your blog and thought I’d pass on my recent observation. Be well!

  2. Crystal •

    It is sad people are spewing hate! I for one can not wait to see the movie, some of my fave bloggers are in it!

  3. Michelle •

    I want to make sure I understand your position correctly, it’s not okay to spew hate, but it’s okay to spew shame?

  4. oh dear, I was not aware of all the negative comments! When did we become a society of constantly tearing others down, especially moms? Maybe if people didn’t take the time to criticize others on the internet, they could use those 15 minutes to get out of their pajamas and take a quick shower?

    I guess their mothers never taught them that if they don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

  5. anonymous •

    i don’t think it’s fair to categorize bloggers of color who feel that they are not represented in the film as spewing hate. do you really think that if they “thought before they spoke” that they would change their mind about what is obviously a blatant refusal to try to include more than one token minority? i’m sorry jen, but being “diverse in your own way” is not diversity. differences in branding choices, hair color, personal style, etc…is not diversity. it is surprising to me that a white man thought that he could film his wife’s friends, present it as representative of blogging in America, and not expect negative feedback from bloggers of color. honestly, the more i think about it, the more upset i get because i love blogging and the community is truly special and to be told by you that my feelings are invalid and that i am not thinking before i speak and that my commentary and opinions are simply spewing hate feels hurtful and honestly, racist.

  6. I was on a thread where everyone had different opinions but the main opinion was not positive. I think it’s the diversity of it, from what I noticed. I was quick to say another blogger was in that was quite diverse but ultimately I don’t think people cared because it won’t change their opinion. Nobody liked my comment when i was i was excited to see it, HAHA.

  7. I completely agree. I said this in Latonya’s thread on Instagram, but I want to say it again – a lot of the people who are saying these negative things about the bloggers in this film have also said without realizing it that they don’t even know them. “I don’t know any of the bloggers in this film?” – to quote one specifically. And that’s after they went off about how the film includes only bloggers who aren’t “real.” I love this community and I’m grateful for you and so many of the women in the film. I can’t wait to hear you guys share your REAL stories, like you’ve done a countless amount of times on your blogs. It ticks me off that people are being so critical without even ever having taken the time to get to know these bloggers by actually READING their blogs. What a concept, I know ;). And their criticizing Chris for being narrow and not using a diverse group, when they themselves are judging by saying all the girls in this film are the same before they’ve even SEEN the film. Shame on them, indeed! Could the trailer have done a better job of conveying more specifically what type of blogger the film would feature? Probably. But like you said – this is Chris’ work and he has the right to show it the way he sees fit. I can’t wait to view it. And kudos to you and all the other ladies for being a part of it! It takes guts to be real for the world. Love you and what you do!

  8. AMEN sister!! I haven’t watched the trailer yet but I am now officially intrigued 🙂 I saw a fb post yesterday that is kind of fitting “Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken” So every blogger should be themselves and continue doing what they are doing and continue to be great at it! Don’t worry about the people that don’t get it or have negative feedback. They are probably just jealous anyway 🙂

  9. I am so honored to be a part of this too! I think about all the hope, encouragement, love, and reality I have been able to write about on my blog…I’m so thankful I have a place to sort through my thoughts and create a community with other wonderful women!

  10. I’m so excited for this film and am thrilled you took part! Can’t wait to download it. At the same time, I too, am so deeply saddened by the hate spewed by so many. Breaks my heart that people put such energy into tearing others down. That said, I firmly believe the hateful commentators are loud and few. Those who are blessed by blogs like yours every day are much, much, much, much larger in number and tend to sit back and quietly to enjoy and be edified by our favourite blogs. Perhaps we should speak louder. Or perhaps we shouldn’t combat negativity by mimicking its most often exhibited tactics. I’m not sure. I just know that there is infinitely more strong and silent positivity being sent your way than the few loud people who unfortunately judge and tear down for real reason at all. Hopefully yourself and so many other positive bloggers can rest assured in that <3

  11. What part of your story is being minimized? Married young, had kids, bought house, sold car. Pinterest-y crafts. Paleo. Modcloth. What am I missing?

  12. Ashley •

    I would never pretend to know anyone on the internet. We are all very careful about what we put forward and what we keep private and we all have that right.

    I wish hate and negativity wasn’t a part of the discussion about this movie because it takes away from valid criticisms. My main criticism with the blogging community is their consistently repping the same style. It’s a fact. From Mod cloth, to Kate Spade, to West Elm, there are shops and brands and styles that the blogging community embraces, sometimes all at once. It makes it boring and frustrating.

    To pretend that isn’t a part of this movie is ridiculous. He’s travelling in an air stream trailor – that couldn’t be more twee! His cinematographic style is also very representative of popular photo-bloggers styles.

    I think the other main criticism is the importance that this film seems to place on bloggers and the film maker. From the trailer, it’s pretty boastful. Pride in what we do is important but so is a balance between being humble. Maybe the movie will be completely different. I think it’s that pride in the trailer that makes people think that bloggers are boasting about their perfect lives. In reality, you’re of course being careful to present your best self. There is no way I would let a camera crew into my house today! But with advance knowledge, you better believe I would be showered, makeup’ed and sitting in a sparkling living room!

    Criticizing individuals and their lives is ridiculous and muffles valid criticism. I hope you are ready to have honest discussions about the good and the bad of blogging, but that doesn’t make it ok for people to harass you and your life. I love your blog (however frustrated I get with your occasional mention of certain styles) but never have I ever felt like I ‘know’ you. I know what you put online. I enjoy what you put online. And when I stop enjoying it, I’ll stop reading and you won’t notice! I will never resort to hating on who you are. Because I still won’t know you.

    ps. I need to add that I think you have one of the most well rounded blogs on the internet. I love how honestly you describe the ups and downs of parenthood and marriage. I don’t feel like your life is perfect; I feel like you are grateful for everything though and it comes through brilliantly in your writing.

  13. I appreciate that you are offering your perspective on this, Jen. Some people are just mean and that is that. However, I think the criticism on the lack of racial, gender and topic diversity among the bloggers selected to participate is completely valid. Also, I find the some of the views of one of the bloggers featured to be offensive so I probably won’t watch the film. That said, nobody should be slandered. Oh well, this too will pass.

  14. Ms George •

    Hmmm I don’t think criticism automatically equals “spewing hate”. You, yourself, noted that there are valid criticisms for the trailer. People in the creative industry aren’t going to receive absolute praise for every single project and if that is the industry Chris has chosen to work in he probably well knows it. Bloggers need to be able to accept valid criticism too. Your hardly in a industry above reproach.
    I’d provide constructive criticism to suggest that your post would have been easier to read had you used paragraphs, but then I’d probably be accused of spewing hate.

  15. I’ve said it again and again, my only regret with this film, is I DID NOT wash my hair. My home is always clean anyway, but I totally should have taken an extra second to wash my hair 😉

    Whether or not I love all stories and women in the film (I only know a small few) or I hate my part in the film (anti camera life), I support and respect what this film is supposed to represent. Yes, I think Chris did miss a mark on the trailer, but regardless, people are making a mountain out of nothing. The film is supposed to be about a positive community and a love story to blogging, not a personal attack to those who didn’t have time or chose not to get dressed in the morning. Maybe the film will be focused primarily on the positives, I don’t know, but even if it is, is that bad? No— Life doesn’t have to be only roses all the time, but shit, let’s be happy and celebrate the good in each other. Life is too short to tear apart each others dreams.

  16. I am excited to see the movie! I look up to so many of you that he interviewed and really look forward to seeing the finished product. It was fun to follow along with his journey through Casey’s blog.

  17. I don’t think criticism equals hate. In fact, I have yet to see any hateful comments regarding the movie. People are entitled to their own opinions, and in this case, they happen to be mostly negative. That’s fine. I would agree with most of those negative comments. From what I gather, the film is supposed to show the diverse lifestyle of bloggers, yet every lady in the film is exactly the same. That’s not diverse, nor does it represent most of the blogging community.

  18. Hi, I’m back. I just watched the trailer again— I only watched it really the first night Chris sent it over. 1. I wanted marlowe to see me —–she didn’t recognize me and asked why I don’t look like e and where is my hair. 2. After watching it again, and getting over the fact that I hate to watch myself, I still think, ok, no I don’t like some of the voice over quotes, but other than that, I do really enjoy the trailer. It does focus on community and the positives, and the people who are overlooking over those things, surely are missing the point. It doesn’t say anywhere it’s going to go in depth about the different types of blogging (finance, computer, food, whatever) it’s a range of bloggers— and I know for sure, I’m very different from the other women featured— but I still have found a community with so many of them. I like the positives. And like I said, let’s celebrate.

  19. I had no idea that people were unhappy about this documentary until a couple days ago when I saw something on Facebook. I personally am super pumped to see it!!!

  20. Courtney •

    I’ve been reading your blog on and off for years. It is terrible that a lot of the criticism having to do with the trailer is not directly caused by you or any of the other bloggers (ie the lack of diversity). You are really just dealing with a lot of the backlash out of circumstance.

    However, when anyone decides to put anything into the public sphere like this they are opened up to criticism, and rightly so. Not that I agree with “spewing hate.” But there is something to be said for expressing opinions and, yes, criticism. While it’s not fair to say these bloggers are not “real people,” I think it’s more a symptom of the majority of the population being underrepresented in our culture.

    I highly recommend checking out Lupita Nyong’o’s moving speech on being a black woman in Hollywood and how important seeing yourself represented in the culture is to one’s personal psychology.

    http://www.essence.com/2014/02/27/lupita-nyongo-delivers-moving-black-women-hollywood-acceptance-speech/

    Being hateful and derogatory may not be the ideal reaction to the preview, I think it is a perfect moment to explore why people are upset and what it says about our culture. Perhaps some of the points, while not put in the most eloquent way, are still very valid.

  21. Krystal G •

    I actually didn’t know about this film until you mentioned it and I just watched the trailer. What I don’t understand is why there are no male bloggers featured. The cinematography seems nice, but the trailer really does come off as featuring a very select demographic of people.

  22. Caitlin •

    I’ve seen a lot of comments about this and I just want to say… The trailer completely sucks.. If the trailer hadn’t been so serious and so self-serving and if the title was different, there would be a lot less criticism. Also, a lot of the critics have NOT been full of HATE… They have been hilariously joking about it. Seriously, check out #americanblogger on twitter and have a good laugh. There is definitely some jealousy and a bit of meanness, but overall, its just a joke. Learn to laugh at yourself and move on.

  23. Very well said! The controversy has made me sad too. I hate the current use of the word ‘real’ – “real bloggers, real women, etc. For pete’s sakes, we are all real! Just because somebody’s struggles don’t look like your own doesn’t make them less real or painful. Just because someone’s house, family, or body doesn’t look like yours doesn’t mean it’s fake. We are all different, it’s shameful to try and squash each other’s difference by calling each other fake.

  24. I am so excited to see this film. Blogging has become a passion of mine and I am excited to see everyone’s different perspective on it! Sorry to hear about all of the negativity. I didn’t even know that was going on. To me, the film looks beautiful.

  25. I really enjoy your blog – sure it has an aesthetic that is very ‘of the moment’ but it’s pleasant, balanced and more than anything, you seem like an incredibly kind person – it’s refreshing. I can understand the criticism surrounding the documentary, but I cannot understand it being taken out on the bloggers themselves. You agreed to have a conversation about your life and that is where your participation ended. What was done with the overall tone of the film, the other bloggers interviewed, the just god awful trailer… that has nothing to do with you. So I am sorry you are being criticised or negativity is coming your way because of it. Yeah, the film looks super lame and there are problems with it, but anything beyond a scoff or an eyeroll is over the top and criticism thrown at you is absolutely unjustified. Anyway, hopefully this doesn’t linger with you too long and you’re able to brush it off. This too shall pass!

  26. LucasD •

    Yes, SHAME!!! Shame for minimizing the stories of these upper-middle to upper-class women who have the means to just sit at home dressing up in front of their camera on a tripod and posing for twee pictures! Shame for minimizing the stories of these rich mothers who tote their kids around like props and spend all day looking online for the newest in hipster baby wear to dress them in for their blogs! These are REAL STORIES that NEED TO BE TOLD! These just cut to the very heart of Americana itself!

  27. So I wasn’t going to comment because I really don’t want to offend you in any way and love your blog and the story you tell here on JLK, but I feel that as a loyal reader with a different view I should share what I think of the controversy. I’m happy that you shared your thoughts on all the drama and pettiness behind this documentary because it shows that you are willing to open the floor and create a forum for your readers.

    As a blogger that is not considered part of the prototype that the blogging community/PR companies/brands/the media deems successful or willing to work with, it’s sad to see a film where your subset of the community isn’t represented yet again. It’s sad and disheartening to not see a version of yourself represented, when (by the preview) the film is supposed to share a typical bloggers’ story. To me, it’s not that you are all the same but I see where the entire criticism is coming from. I totally understand that the bloggers featured all have different stories, lives and struggles just like the rest of us but at first glance (because let’s be real, the current backlash is all regarding 2 minutes worth of film, there is so much more we still haven’t seen as viewers) it’s disappointing to not see the different types of bloggers in the community. Maybe Chris will explain in the film that he was focus on a specific type of blogger but by the preview and without the explaining it just seems like it is not a great representation of the community.

    I agree that many of the comments on Twitter are hatefully however I think behind all the vile comments there are also truth.

  28. Caitlin •

    Hi Jen, What happened to my comment? I was respectful and didn’t say anything that you didn’t really, really need to hear.
    You say, “I am not one who normally writes about controversial topics, I just truly felt I had to say something. Shame on all of you who are minimizing the stories of these women in the movie.”
    I say, SHAME ON YOU for minimizing my opinion by deleting my comment.

  29. I had absolutely no intention of commenting on all of this—I agree that the bloggers in this trailer are being unjustifiably attacked, but also that the trailer is truthfully pretty tacky and comes off as self-serving to the filmmaker—but I really wanted to respond to commentor Indiana and say that the “lack of diversity” question cannot be answered with, “There are more white people in this country, so that could by why there are more white bloggers.” Could I ask, “Why are more people of color working low-income, part-time jobs than white people—because there are less of them?” No. The demographics of labor (or we could say privilege vs. poverty) are a very complex issue—one could say THE most complex, important, and routinely ignored issue in this country (and the world), as it perhaps has always been—and to brush it off like that is irresponsible. To have the time (time to research, time to create, time to edit), resources (broadband, a computer, a camera), and skills (namely learned from a good education) to start a blog is a privilege, and it’s worth pausing to investigate that privilege, no matter one’s race.

  30. I agree…I think people are too freakin sensitive these days, and are rubbed the wrong way over everything. First and foremost – it’s his film, and he can do whatever the heck he wants. Second – American blogger might not have been the best choice for a name, but I am 100% sure he never meant to offend or not include anyone.

  31. Tara Sill •

    It’s so appalling that there is anyone that would have anything negative to say about the American Blogger trailer. I commend you all for having the courage to tell your stories. Many of those featured in the trailer are bloggers whose stories I love to follow. It’s amazing how instead of lifting each other up people are always so quick to judge and spread hate. I am one that cannot wait to see the movie! Hats off to the Weigands and everyone that participated!

  32. Oh my goodness – I had no idea this was even going on! I just wanted to say that I am thrilled for this movie, proud of Chris and his family for the support, and excited to see some of my favorite bloggers on the big screen! I’m proud of you ALL!

  33. I’m curious to see the rest of the film and not just this unimpressive trailer. I’d like to give this guy the benefit of the doubt and hope there’s so much more in the actual film. It was probably difficult for him to condense all of it to two minutes. My take from the trailer? It just feels like a film about the mommy-fashion-craft blogger phenomenon, and while their stories might “feel” unique, when compared side by side they’re actually pretty similar. (Mom, kids, white, house, car, affordable fashion, Christian, blogger conferences, sponsored posts, giveaways.) I like your blog, but I really wish you’d be careful with the word hate. So someone has a different opinion than you? That’s ok. It’s not spewing hate. It’s a difference of opinion. No shame, no hate.

  34. Elecia •

    I am so excited for Chris and Casey! Can’t wait to see it! And kudos to you to setting the bullies straight. Anyone that actually follows a blogger should know that they aren’t always perfect. At least all of you that I follow are very honest and candid about that fact. And I know that is something that I have always appreciated. Although, the perfect pictures DO serve as motivation for me to get off my butt and get things done 🙂

  35. @ellie: Lest anyone think that Jen censored my comment, please know that after a short discussion with my husband about all this, I emailed her and asked her to delete it for me. Essentially what I said was that I get a lot of the same criticism over the lack of diversity represented at TxSC (a lifestyle bloggers’ conference that I host) and I take it really personally, but that all in all, America is still pretty white, so perhaps that’s why a lot of lifestyle bloggers are white (<– an off handed comment). Admittedly I wrote my comment in haste and it wasn't my finest moment nor was it completely thought out or accurate of the larger systemic issues of (lack of) diversity in media in the United States. I realized I was being a pot stirrer in the worst way possible, when I really want to be a peacemaker (and I wanted people to back off my friends, okay?). I wrote some dumb things, and after :30 seconds realized I said some unintelligent things that don't represent what I think about (the lack of any kind of) diversity within the subset of lifestyle bloggers, fully. Anyway– I don't want to hijack Jen's earnest post here, so if you want to have a continued discussion with me about it, I welcome you to contact me directly at indiana [at] adoredaustin [dot] com. -Indiana Adams, embarrassing myself online since 1999.

  36. I’ve been a long time reader and have enjoyed checking in with your blog – so I’m coming from a good place on this one. When I go to work, I have a whole group of people I am accountable to – they give me kind words and also they give me critical feedback. Sometimes the work I do is not good, and people call me on it. It sucks. But I am held accountable for my work and my actions. I guess I wonder who you hold yourself accountable to? (and I’m not asking that in a snarky way). Is it just your husband and your friends and your family?

    Because if this blog is your work (and you make money off the clicks I give you, so yes, it is), then you are also accountable to me and your other readers. And we should be able to give you (and the projects you are apart of) critical feedback. Sometimes you mess up. And you will hear valid criticism. And it will suck. But that is life. You can grow from it! Criticism is not hate.

    This movie is very much about a privileged, white, middle class, heteronormative experience. Sure, your life is hard. But as a white, married, middle class, able bodied, christian, cisgendered, woman – your life is relatively (insanely) good. You do not (and will not) face systemic forms of oppression. I wish that you would use your power for good, not for projects that simply prop up the (already) privileged. Next time you are asked to be in a project like this – ask if there are women of color involved. And if there aren’t, turn it down until there are. Try and make some real change.

    And of course you cleaned your house and took a shower. If you think this is truly about house cleaning then you aren’t really listening.

  37. Christine •

    I applaud you, Jen, for standing up for yourself and your community by speaking the truth! I love reading your blog, and I hope you realize that there are so many of us whom you inspire and we don’t want you to change 🙂

  38. Jennifer M. •

    Jen, I’ve been reading your blog since before you had Rowan and were an art teacher. You’ve been losing me for a while, but after this, I’m done.

  39. Rachel •

    In my opinion, I think a lot of the “hate” or “criticism” comes from a place where the vast majority of readers don’t have the luxury to live the lives of these bloggers. We don’t have the time/money/resources to quit our jobs and maintain a blog, have photoshoots, buy nice, expensive clothes, have husbands who work from home, etc. So seeing a movie that further glorifies this privileged way of life could be seen as a slap in the face. Just my point of view.

    The trailer is 100% cheese though. But that’s not your fault, nor is how the final product is received. It’s not your movie! Don’t stress.

  40. Kendra •

    I laughed the whole trailer. The commentary over the clip is hilarious and so cheesy. I hope it’s not during the whole movie! I’m curious to see what the film maker will “show” us. I have never thought bloggers live perfect lives because really, does the person you work with know every gruesome detail of your life? No, god I hope not. Envy brews strange things in people, though that hate and envy should be used in better venues. I mean, if something causes that much disdain, stop doing it! People are so cruel.

  41. Is only a movie chill! You can leverage all this energy in creating your own documentary about what you think is the right representation. We all seem to agree to disagree 🙂

  42. Here! Here!! I am super pumped to see the film. I’ve been following a lot of the bloggers involved for awhile. I appreciate what you said ‘I wish we could all celebrate each other’. You are spot on. When I worked with Dr Angelou a few months ago, a woman working with us just beat cancer. Dr Angelou said ‘Its a win for you, but a win for all of us. We are all so intricately connected. When one of us wins. We all win – because we are all human beings.’ That’s will stay with me the rest of my life. Congratulations and thank you for this space and the words you share.

  43. Hello Jen.

    I am intrigued by this movie but I’m not sure if I will actually watch it (not really a TV watcher myself) but I do think this movie’s criticism is just like every movie/publication that comes out. You dislike some actors, you love others, some get rave reviews, others are ripped apart by the critics. People who work on/in these movies probably feel like people are spewing hate towards their movies all the time as well. I think in the grand scheme of things whatever some jerks say on the internet about this (and everything!) doesn’t really matter. People die every day, animals suffer everyday, someone is hungry…everyday and all day. This is life and some may say that is a morbid way to go about life but I think it keeps you grounded and in tune with what is actually important. You are who are, you do what you do, and if you are happy with your life then you go past criticism and move forward. American blogger and what people think of it is not important.

  44. Well said Jen!
    What most people don’t realise is the huge amount of work you put into your blogs and lives. It’s easy to sit in your sweatpants and judge but much harder to put the work in and achieve something yourself.
    I think you’re a real top gal.

  45. Sandra •

    I’m now an older Mom..my daughters are 27 and 29. I was a stay at home Mom, and believe me, it was much harder than a day job, simply because of the hatred, and cruel other stay at home Moms or Mom’s who worked outside the home. Women are the hardest on each othher. Men, including my husband cannot see it. I believe jealousy it the root of it all. The mean spirited attack on the film is based on jealousy of others. This is America, and we have the right to do, and work at want we want, as long as it is legal. I can’t wait to watch the film. I saw diversity, no two women were alike. If a person of color was attacked for not showing enough whites or asian.,I am sure we would not be having this discussion. My daughter’s both read Casey’s and Jen’s blog. We are inspired and feel very lucky to have young Americans..who care about family and are willing to share to us all. I believe we all need to work on our own lives, to improve what we can and stop..as my daughter’s would say “They’re haters Mom” Jen you are the best..,

  46. I think what a lot of people are saying, is that bloggers often (I’m not saying everyone, but the majority) post only the perfect, well curated, filtered, photo edited, twee version of their life. While the fantasy is nice, the average American woman can not relate to that. Why not try switching to blogging about fails and what real life is really like, which is not perfectly posed and edited pictures btw. Telling the good, the bad and the ugly is the only way to truly tell your story.

  47. Jen,
    I could go on and ranting about simple-mindedness of “the haters,” but I just want to say a quick thank you. Thanks for your honest comments here and for the authenticity of your blog. I love your work.

  48. So I posted yesterday, but I wanted to come back to read the other comments that have been posted, and I have to say this has been such a valuable discussion. Not often do you see constructive discussions happening in these comments. There has been so many positive, candid and some rather blunt criticisms shared – all of which are valid. I do think it says something about Jen and her blog that this is the kind of conversation that can go on here. Beyond that though, A+ to everyone for eloquently sharing their thoughts in a constructive way – if I was a blogger, especially one of those featured in the film, I would be eating this up – such an opportunity to learn from what’s been shared.

  49. My comment was deleted. Weird.

    Couldn’t agree more with this statement from another commenter; “Because if this blog is your work (and you make money off the clicks I give you, so yes, it is), then you are also accountable to me and your other readers. And we should be able to give you (and the projects you are apart of) critical feedback. Sometimes you mess up. And you will hear valid criticism. And it will suck. But that is life. You can grow from it! Criticism is not hate.”

    Stop using the word hate. It’s so uneccessary.

  50. Amarilla •

    I’ve said this before today. This “Haters gonna hate” attitude is really immature. This is not hate, this is my honest opinion – this trailer is beyond ridiculous.

    And your reaction is very shallow. Grow up.

  51. mommaruthsays •

    I think we all get the point, as you made, that “…we’re not all created as an exact copy of each other.” but the film/trailer blatantly fails to show diversity. It should never have been titled “American Blogger” because it’s a complete and total slap in the face to the amazing national community of blogging that stretched beyond mommy-bloggers who focus on family, fashion and lifestyle posts. People have a right to their opinion, however full of “hate” you may think it is – just as you have every right to believe in the purity of the message of this film. Personally, I think it’s utter crap, and I look forward to films that will actually highlight the blogging community from every corner instead of a direct beam down one over-saturated avenue.

  52. Brenda •

    “This movie is very much about a privileged, white, middle class, heteronormative experience. Sure, your life is hard. But as a white, married, middle class, able bodied, christian, cisgendered, woman – your life is relatively (insanely) good. You do not (and will not) face systemic forms of oppression. I wish that you would use your power for good, not for projects that simply prop up the (already) privileged. Next time you are asked to be in a project like this – ask if there are women of color involved. And if there aren’t, turn it down until there are. Try and make some real change.

    And of course you cleaned your house and took a shower. If you think this is truly about house cleaning then you aren’t really listening.”

    Echoing this comment.

  53. I’m back. I’m so fed up with women using words like hate, bullying and jealousy when they are simply being criticized. Just because I disagree with something you do does not mean I’m “spewing hate” nor does it mean I’m jealous. It’s ridiculous that grown women would say such a thing. Instead, try taking a step back, reflect on the criticism, learn from it and move on.

  54. Amarilla •

    Oh, so you deleted my comment…I see.

  55. As a long-time reader I thoroughly enjoy being “shamed” by a blogger when I (and many many others) have shared honest, genuine criticism. I have spent years working in and around the film industry. Not all movies are successful. It’s a fact of life.
    Sure, all of the bloggers are slightly different in their own personal ways, but if you can’t see the genuine criticism of calling a movie “American Blogger” and then focusing on one tiny subset of homogenized bloggers…well, then you’ve been living in your own bubble for too long.
    Besides that, the trailer is just…not good. When I first saw it I thought it was a parody. I’ve never seen a filmmaker congratulate himself so much in a preview. That’s what critics are supposed to do.

  56. I’m sorry did everybody miss the full preview? Yes there are quite a few Caucasian women being interviewed but did anyone see the African African-American woman being filmed? I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Popular Bloggers are most likely women who are of upper-middle-class and that is the population who blogs. Don’t be upset about that fact. Bloggers blog to show us beautiful fun things in life fashion,clothes food etc. They are photos in a period of time. They do not blog the nitty and gritty because that’s not what a blog is really about. If it makes you feel better to watch other people’s pain go flip on Dr. Phil. Seriously people need to get a grip. Can’t wait to watch the film. I love Jen’s blog!

  57. I have to agree that I wasn’t crazy about the trailer, but I’ve seen many trailers that in no way depicted the movie, so I’m not ruling it out just yet. I think you’re right that the title choice was a poor one, but I also can’t find anywhere that Chris Wiegand said he was trying to get a snapshot of every kind of blogger in every class in every part of the country. Not saying it’s not out there, I just haven’t seen it. And while I agree with fellow commenters (and you!) that criticism is just part of the blogging game (trust me, I know), I have seen specific character attacks that I think were way out of line. Even in this forum, people are hiding behind anonymous names with no accountability for their words, so it seems a little hypocritical. You open yourself up to criticism, but the same doesn’t go for them? Just my thoughts. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the film! Either way I enjoy your blog and your willingness to stand up for what you believe.

  58. Jen- you are the only blogger that I follow that is in the film (at least I think so, no one else has mentioned it, and I haven’t watched the trailer or read anywhere else about it), and I pretty much have no idea what the film is about, other than a documentary about bloggers, which is what I remembered from your instgram posts when you were being filmed. I guess I’ve must have missed all the negative talk about it around the web, so I was really surprised to read your post and find out that there is a lot of negativity surrounding the release. I don’t think you’ve made a great case for yourself after scolding and shaming your readers (me included, which is what happens when you say “shame on you” instead of “shame on those people who are minimizing…”) for something most did not even take part in, or even know about in the first place. Now you’ve just added even more negativity around the film, when you had the perfect opportunity to address the backlash in a civil way. After seeing the film poster and reading the first few sentences of your post, I was intrigued about the film and had thought it would be interesting to watch, but now that I know that it has seen so much negative backlash and apparently is all just white SAHMs with their picture perfect lives, I have no desire to watch it anymore.

  59. Yes Allie, I saw the one African American woman interviewed. Of the 30 or so bloggers featured there are three woman of color and no men and no one from the LGBT community represented. You may not understand what it’s like to be marginalized and subjugated based on your race, but for many (bloggers/readers) this is a daily reality that is now reflected in this film. Also there are a lot of ‘popular bloggers’ of color out there. Just because you don’t read them, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be included or heard.

  60. Nicole •

    The title “American Blogger” suggests a look at a diverse population and it’s very clear Chris just chose his wife’s friends who are mostly white, middle-to-upper-class, highly stylized women. It’s unfortunate.

    But what’s more unfortunate is how some people are still living in their bubble and can’t get behind valid criticism. It’s not hate, it’s criticism. All work–yes, including bloggers–is always going to be critiqued. That’s simple the way the world works. Don’t shame people, don’t throw out the word hate–be graceful about what is clearly valid criticism.

  61. Jessica •

    I am really disappointed with how many people are attacking Jen in these comments. Go reread what she said. So many people seem fixated on the hate thing, when all she said is “Let’s not spew hate.” She didn’t say keep your opinions to yourselves, just don’t bring out your mean claws. Directly attacking Jen (as some are doing) is spewing hate. It saddens me that so many people feel that they can say any mean thing they want to on the internet because if you were face to face with that person, I doubt you would say mostly any of what you write from the safety of your computers.

  62. Nicole •

    Jen, why open a conversation if you’re going to delete comments?

  63. All I can say is WOW! It’s very easy for people to criticize others when they are sitting behind their computer screens. I doubt that most commenters here or elsewhere would have the nerve to say half the things they said if it were in person. It’s not Jen’s idea, it’s not her film. Direct your comments to the right person if you have issues with the perspective, lack of diversity, etc.

  64. Hi Jen! I just wanted to say that while I agree that the trailer was kind of really ridiculous and that Chris probably should have put a little more thought into the title/group of bloggers that he chose, I personally have been appalled by the words used to describe the featured bloggers. “Twee”, “Not real”, “Cookie cutter”, “Bottom feeders” to name a few. Yes, that is hate. Yes, I think there are so many amazing bloggers out there that write about really deep topics – their personal struggle with depression, miscarriages, racial issues, etc. But just because a man or woman may not be dealing with those difficulties doesn’t mean that their voice should be silenced or that their words are not valid. I love to read blogs that explore those deeper topics, but I also enjoy blogs that celebrate the happier parts of life – our children, creating a happy home, and yes, (as an art teacher) even arts and crafts! Where would our world be without art? From masterpiece paintings to beautiful photographs to the picture my little girl just scrawled with her crayons. Yes, it’s important. I’m sorry that you were marginalized as a result of this trailer and want to say that I love your blog – it has made me laugh and cry and YES I can so relate to it as a mother and human being. Keep doing what you do lady. xo, Lauren

  65. Sandra •

    Here’s the thing that gets me and always has. By all appearance, I was a young teen who had it all, cute clothes, a car, middle class home, two older brothers and a dog..friends, church, private school..Oh and I had long hair that swished and swayed when I walked, and a cute boyfriend. I had it all..really? Here was my average day as a teenager. Mom was already at work, by the time I woke up. I felt sick, from eating too much candy the day before. Candy was my main diet. Dad, started to yell, first thing..yelling increased, until I was ready to jump in his car to be dropped off at school. Did i have breakfast? No..by 10am I was starved and it was hard to concentrate. Lunch was usually something from a vending machine. I felt sad, lonely and sick most of the day, but made it through by having friends and cute clothes. My Mom worked hard, a workaholioc really, to buy me cute clothes, but now i realize it was an excuse. Dad, sad and frustrated, took his anger out on me, his only daughter. Did neighbors know, church goers, teachers? No..I spent, day after day emotionally surviving, unable to eat a good meal because of nervous exhaustion . I stayed with a boyfriend, just to have someone. I was very alone..inside, even though my world was perfect, perfect clothes, pretty hair, darling shoes, a car, boyfriend..house with a fence, oh and did I say i rode horses too? Yes, I rode horses..It was a dream life in many ways..but if I could trade it all for a loving home, where I was cherished and adored, spoken to with respect, i would give all my earthly bounty for just one hug and hello from my parents. My point is..What you see is not always the real story. Could I have blogged as a teenager about my cute clothes or as a young Mom about my darling little girls? Yes! Behind the scence, my husband was suffering from bipolar and depression.but again like before, mean people judged me that I had it all. We do not really know everything about bloggers. They are big hearted enough to let us see a bit about their lives, share. They love to write. Never judge a person by their blog. It is not the whole story. It never has been and never will be. Just like me, the girl who had it all..but really didn’t..not even close..

  66. Kristina •

    Everyone is just jealous Jen!!
    You rock and I can’t wait to watch it. x

  67. We’re allowed to not like a trailer for a movie. You know, as people with opinions? We are allowed to express them. You might not want to hear or read them, but “shaming” anyone for not sharing your opinion is a bit strong, no?

    I had high hopes for this movie but that “What is a blog?” “UHHHHHH giggle UMMMMM” clip was so ridiculous that I’m not sure it’s worth my time.

  68. Hi Jen,
    I’m a long time follower, but never post. I’ve been following the comments. My only insight is the word PERSPECTIVE. What is really important? American blogger? No. Reader opinions? No. Criticism from strangers? No. Fashion? No. Image? No. Kev? Yes. Finley? Yes. Rowan? Yes. God? Yes. That’s it! Isn’t that a relief?!?!? Keep your eyes on what REALLY matters. You don’t have to defend Chris, the trailer, or your involvement in the film. You have to be you and love your family. That is IT! Isn’t that freeing?! Sleep easy tonight knowing that you love your family and your God. That is it! The rest is just FLUFF. Fluff I tell ya!

  69. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that grown people can’t handle their opinions in a tactful way. Personally, nothing in this trailer was offensive to me. I can definitely understand why there is criticism around it, in the way that most of the bloggers are white. As an immigrant and minority myself, I can completely understand why people would be upset by this. But there is a difference between criticism and hate and what I see most surrounding this is hate. I think being unkind about it doesn’t help anyone or promote any change. If anything, it drives the wedge further. Please, think about what you post on the internet because words can’t be unsaid. I understand that if you are upset, you have a voice and want to use it. I guess what I am trying to say is use it for good, not to bring someone down. Especially since, judging from the trailer, I sincerely do not think that Chris was intentionally excluding anyone! In fact, I saw an African American woman, as well as Drea, who is half Colombian, I think? There was also a woman who appeared to be mixed. But even as I type this it seems so petty to describe them as a race, nationality, or color. They are much more than that and I hope people can get past their anger to see that!

  70. I think this podcast does a decent job at articulating (not at first, the gal stumbles over her words a bit but she does get warmed up quickly) the main criticisms (constructive) that are being expressed over the trailer/film. It’s definitely not over the fact that the women being interviewed cleaned their house or showered or put on make-up. We’d all do that, no surprise. Many of the bloggers interviewed have defended that on their blogs and that’s entirely missing the valid points being made. I am an American blogger as well and viewing the trailer does give you a sense that this film will represent what that means and what that is. Nope, it doesn’t. Had it been represented differently, I doubt this would be getting so much backlash. It focuses on a group of Casey’s friends who represent the tiniest sliver of the blogging world and niches out there. This does the blogging world a disservice, claiming to represent American bloggers when it just doesn’t. I do look forward to watching it, though. I am interested in seeing what all the gals included have to say and I’m interested in what their blogging experience was like, how they got started, what their blogging life looks like now. This is all fascinating to me and in that sense, the documentary is a really great idea. But let’s call a spade a spade. That is all it is. It’s not about your typical “American blogger” and it’s not revolutionary and blogging is nothing new and it’s not going to change the way we see blogging. Like I said, listen to the podcast…

    https://soundcloud.com/technologyadvice/clever-girls-american-blog

  71. Best criticism I’ve read so far: http://bit.ly/1eBihhM

  72. So very well said Jen!

  73. I tend to agree with most of the comments above. This film appears to be a dipiction of white, young, affluent, privileged stay-at-home moms. The only diversity there seems to be in the movie is their geographically location. Hell I bet that they all have the same Eames lounge or shell chairs in their homes and a children’s room furnished by land of nod fee of charge. This isn’t surprising. And I agree that this is not an accurate depiction of the “American Blogger”. But heritage is in right now, so best to cash in on a trend.

    What really sticks with me is how arrogant this community appears. I don’t for one second think that in this movie these women will acknowledge their priveledge. The priveledge that allows them to stay home and “follow their dreams”. I too would love to stay home and make crafts with my kids who are eating home made baby food while lounging around in my pajamas. But instead I have to get up everyday of my life go to work and earn a living because I don’t have that luxury. Does this make me jealous of these women? It does, sure, how could it not? But does that make my criticisms less valid?

    I actually really like Jen and have found this to be the only blog that I read for enjoyment. She seems real and honest with her readers. Sure sometimes she gets a little too twee, but it doesn’t bug me. She is also the only “lifestyle/mommy” blogger around who seems to give back to her community out of the goodness of her heart and not because she is getting something in return. I wish the other women In This film would follow suit. I wish that instead of using their positions of power on the internet for only personal gain would instead use it to help others.

    Rant over

  74. Man alive, these comments! I have my own thoughts about the trailer but they are my own. I have shared them with my close friends and have moved on. It’s a movie, for crying out loud. Also, my favorite comments are the ones accusing you of deleting comments. all the lolz.

  75. I think you raise a lot of wonderful points, and I also think the comments here raise a lot of great points about some issues that may be encountered in the film itself; namely diversity in the bloggers featured and the types of blogs featured. That said, the blogging community is MASSIVE – moms, dads, teens, LGBT, religious, tech, sci-fi, writing, drawing, sports, the list goes on. There’s no way any film would have satisfied everyone.

    I really admire you for opening yourself up to what you likely knew would encounter criticism by expressing your opinion about the feedback to the trailer. This didn’t come across to me as shaming or self-righteous, but as someone who wanted an open dialogue that remained respectful, from which it had veered in other outlets. Keep on keepin’ on mama. Can’t wait to see the film.

  76. I remember seeing bits and pieces/posts on various blogs about this film and I was really excited to see the film and still am excited to see it. I think judging a film by its trailer is presumptuous. I’ve seen movies represented as being a “comedy” and even categorized as a comedy only to find the only funny parts were displayed in the 1-2 minute trailer. Really, I suppose I can see the reason why people are maybe frustrated, but again I say, it’s presumptuous….we’ve seen a two minute trailer. I know diversity exists within the blogging world, but since I began reading blogs around more than three years ago I have only come across a few bloggers that are not caucasian. It’s not because I avoid them…I just haven’t found them by way of links and suggestions on bloglovin. sad, but true.

  77. It’s pathetic that people cannot see that this is one persons perspective on his wife’s role in blogging and experiencing that for himself. Not every movie made needs to represent everyone or everything and be this grand gesture of grand issues. It’s not meant to tell the untold stories of lack of hope and hard times for a big portion of America. It is a simple story, one story of many out there to be told. If you don’t like it, tell YOUR story and put it out there! That’s the point! Keep it up Jen and Chris!!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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