Before We Begin Again

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Hello, friends. It feels a little weird to not say anything about this past week before we begin posting new content again. As many of you know, we chose to use our platform this past week to amplify voices that need to be heard. And even though we are planning to share our regularly scheduled content again beginning tomorrow, we did want to make it very clear that we do not consider things business as usual. We believe changing the systemic racism that still prevails in our country will be a multi-generational marathon and not a one-week sprint on social media. We are ready to continue to learn and grow ourselves and we’ve been SO proud to see that you all are in it too.

Before we begin again, we did want to share a few things that feel strange to leave unsaid. First, we’ve heard from a lot of our black readers this week; more than ever before. Thank you SO much for all the comments, direct messages, and emails. Thank you for reading our site and taking time to interact with us, including criticism. And we want to keep hearing from you, as much as you want to share. We’re glad you’re here.

One piece of criticism that we’ve been thinking about a lot this week (and one that we will continue to think on/work on) is that our black readers feel underrepresented in our content. We would love to work with black and other POC content creators if they are interested in contributing to our blog. If this is you or you know someone, please email us at: support AT abeautifulmess DOT com with a sample of your work. We have approached a few talented black writers in the past, but we do not currently have someone in this role and we are super open to it. We will continue to look ourselves, it’s not our audience’s job to find someone. And we will be aiming to make sure it’s a true, organic fit. We do not want to participate in tokenism.

As I just mentioned, we have approached a few black content creators in the past to contribute and they were unable/uninterested because they already were building their own brand/business. This leads me to the second thing that we feel we could greatly improve here at A Beautiful Mess. With our platform, we have the opportunity to highlight other bloggers, writers, makers, business owners, course creators, etc. Yes, we have promoted BIPOC in these capacities in the past, but we could be so much more intentional about this. We can and will do better. Getting to lift up other women (and men!) business owners and influencers is such a great privilege and we do not take it lightly. We already have a lot of ideas around this to incorporate into our blog and social content weekly. We’re excited!

And just to be clear, we do not plan to publicly point this out every single time we do it. We have a lot of ways we can help, and we also have a lot of work to do ourselves. A lot of this work needs to be done in private. We do not want to use our brand to virtue signal. Yes, we want to stand up and loudly demand justice and equality for our country that we love. We also know as white women of privilege we should also sit down, listen, and amplify marginalized voices too. We believe both are necessary.

Another thing we’ve been thinking a lot about this week is police reform. We believe the role of law enforcement is vital to our communities, but it’s also clear that reform is needed. One organization we feel is addressing this is the ACLU (and yes, we donated) and we’d love to learn more.

In the 12+ years we’ve been blogging we’ve never taken an intentional week off from sharing content. We are proud we got to take this (very small) step this week. It’s not about us, but we want to honor the influence we’ve been given by you all who have chosen to come here and read our blog for years.

Thank you. -Emma, Elsie, and the A Beautiful Mess team

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