Friday, December 10, 2010

On Being a Blogger Misfit

Not too long ago, I mentioned my blogging in casual conversation. (I guess you could call that Mistake #1, but to my credit, I did not bring it up initially!)

I brought up the huge community of people who both read/publish blogs that center around "healthy living," sharing stories about meals, husbands, dogs, and races. These blogs have become a 10-plus-minute part of my daily routine but have a larger impact. I've been known to cook a recipe I've seen on a blog, covet items I've seen reviewed on them, or push harder in my training to "measure up" to them.

But as time goes on, I've learned better. Chobani yogurt is the worst Greek yogurt I've ever tried (go Fage!). I don't need a Vitamix, and I don't have the lifestyle to support signing up for/traveling to races all the time. And you will never catch me wearing a tutu to a marathon.

I admitted to my conversing peer that my blog does not really fit in too well, a reflection of myself in real life. ;) Of course, my blog has been around longer than most, so perhaps it wasn't about fitting in moreso than staying true to the roots of this blog.

The response came: "Well, you're not those well-to-do Caucasian girls....." (paraphrased because obviously I don't have superior memory)

Uhhhhhh. (my exact response)

I'm sure the comment was meant in the nicest way possible. :/ I have been invited to a blogger meetup or two, though my schedule kept me from going. However, the thought of it gave me this anxiety, beyond the one that comes with meeting new people. And after this person's comment, I knew why:

I hate to be anecdotal and controversial, but I see very little diversity in this specific blog community. First of all, most of these bloggers are women. I love reading men's blogs that fit in this genre, because they offer such a nice perspective. Although some are just as obsessive as their female counterparts (man + Garmin = ???), but they don't dish around for compliments.

When I look in the mirror, I see just "me," but everywhere else, I'm just "that Asian girl." There are NO Asian girls that rank in the so-called "top healthy-living blogs." You look at pictures of meet-ups and are lucky to find one or two once in a while. When I was running in San Antonio, I definitely had trouble finding others who looked "like me." Of course, that could be due to sheer numbers (my racial group is probably around 6% nationwide).

Not that I never see people "like me" running out there, but comments like the one above makes me wonder if people even take me seriously. There are stereotypes (that are thankfully being less strongly portrayed in the media these days, thank goodness) that Asians are physically weak, closed-minded, submissive, grammatically unsound, and brain-heavy.

So when I'm out there, I often swear that I can hear people's thoughts -- Why is this "Asian chick" running marathons? Why is she dating a "White man" (who, for the record, came to America in his teens)? Is she [hold on] trying to become White?

No, I am not trying to become anything!!! I was raised on little and very sheltered because my parents were immigrants. Naturally, once I fought my way to higher education, I had to face the shock that there were so many people living with so much more (though not necessarily better) than me. And thankfully, I do not wish I was them. I do NOT want to "become White." I like my culture and its values, even if I can't stand some of those people "like me" sometimes. I fell in love with a "White man," whose values are strikingly similar to mine, however differently or however far apart we grew up.

I guess what spawned this entry is my offense to the fact that this person implied that people were judging me because I am different. No, I will never obtain the readership that many of these bloggers have, and I know it's NOT because of these superficial differences.

Okay, maybe these differences are beyond superficial... I'd like to think I add a different perspective to the blogging community.

So here's a toast to all of us misfit bloggers out there! Keep blogging!


  1. I have a lot I could say about these questions of identity politics and belonging (about the privilege of whiteness, about being a young white girl teaching African American history (seriously, all three of these things have come under fire this semester - race, gender, and age), about the funny looks I get at times for being a small, Jewish, progressive, cerebral, female athlete...)

    But mostly I just wanted to let you know that I love this post...

  2. Have you read

  3. I never think about your being Asian actually. I just love your sincerity and that you share yourself and your take on healthy living. Although it is interesting that there isn't a ton of diversity in this blogging niche.

  4. I want to say a lot in support of you through a lot of this. Although I come from quite a different perspective, I was definitely a minority in our high school.

    Here's an attempt at a simple way to put it. At the very least, there's more to you and I than the surface. We look at everything in the world based on its character. It's a lot more meaningful and it has a lot more to say.