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What I Wish I Knew Before I Became an Influencer

Amelia interviews Leandra about the one thing she rarely discusses

07.27.17

Leandra and I have been friends for eight years, and we’ve worked together for four of them. As recreational BFFs who cohabitate in the work space, we know more about each other than a therapist would feel comfortable with. The one thing we rarely talk about, however, is her status as an “influencer.” Last week, I sat her ass down with my phone on record and changed that. I asked questions and she talked. Below: the transcription of her responses. — Amelia


“When I launched Man Repeller, it was 2010. Some of the most popular personal style blogs that were around were Sea of Shoes, Fashion Toast, Bryanboy, Garance Doré, plus the street style photographers like Phil Oh and Scott Schuman who documented them. I didn’t intend for Man Repeller to become much beyond a resume-booster to help me get a job at a publication following graduation. I had a dream of reporting at New York Magazine, or becoming a well-respected fashion editor, which was genuinely an important part of the aspiration. (The respect!) You know the scene at the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada, where the sea of fashion editors are putting on their heels and running across the Soho cobblestones to get to work? I wanted my life to look like that so badly, but it also felt so literal. On the one hand, I loved it, but on the other, I knew I had interests that transcended fashion and putting clothes together. I wanted to write opinions that were independent of style.

It took a year after starting Man Repeller to recognize that I was sitting on what could become a viable business, even though I more or less knew out of the gates that I’d figure out how to monetize Man Repeller. I didn’t necessarily believe I’d grow it to a place where I was funding and employing a team of 15 people, but I knew I would be able to take care of myself — I just didn’t know for how long. So originally, I monetized as a means to ride the wave. How much longer are people going to be interested in booking me as talent? How much money can I make to suffice as a cushion between now and the time I have to find a real job?”

On defending a budding brand

“Only recently (in the past two years or so) did I stopped feeling like I need to defend what I do. Brands were genuinely excited about working with Man Repeller from the get-go, but in my social circles, the overarching sentiment for a long time was, ‘So cute and fun that you have that blog, but what do you do for money?’ It took me a while to realize that it’s a really good thing people think what we do is easy; it means we make it look seamless, you know? The audience is always supposed to think, ‘I could do that, too!’ To that point though, I’m also a very honest and vulnerable person, so when I’m going through shit, it’s tough for me to mask that. It’s one of the cornerstones, in my opinion, of what made Man Repeller resonate so deeply. When I launched in 2010, you didn’t hear ‘authenticity’ and ‘transparency’ as often as you do today, but those principles have been such an integral part of my personal DNA and the DNA that runs through Man Repeller.”

On being an influencer and the responsibility that comes with it

“I still find the word ‘influencer’ to be a fairly cringe-worthy one, but there’s no better word out there. Sometimes I refer to influencers as people with large social followings, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way. I’m not entirely sure what makes it feel so dirty, but I wrote a story about this a few months ago, and a lot of the comments underneath the story were pointed and smart. Some of the opinions deposited were something to the effect of: To be an ‘influencer’ means you’re a sell-out. That you take money to exist and sell an unrealistic life. And it can feel that way, but I also think the conversation around being a sell-out, or being inauthentic for making money from a sponsored post, is dated. You’re not a sell-out for taking money, you’re a sell-out if you sacrifice your point of view for the money.

I feel like people can do whatever they want with their social media following so long as they’re adhering to FTC regulations. Personally, I don’t care what people are presenting, sharing and showing, versus what they’re not. People are allowed to do whatever they want. It’s their life, their social media platform. But they should be aware of the personality and lifestyle they’re projecting, and how comfortable they will be aligning with it in the future.

I know myself to be an open book, to be someone who’s all about heart and soul and wearing her guts on her sleeves, and it would be impossible for me to project a life that didn’t feel reflective of the one I’m actually living. The difference, I suppose, is that I don’t share as often as I used to when I’m feeling down. Recently, the lows have become so much more frequent, they’re almost the rule, not the exception, so I end up not posting at all. That’s curious too, you know, because sometimes it can feel like even though I don’t want to say anything, I’m also silencing myself.”

On whether she’d do it all over again

“If given the chance, would I do it all over again? I think so, yeah. I’ve built a brand on a number of important principles and beliefs that define my core. There’s a sense of humor and intellectual curiosity and fuck-it attitude but also thoughtful inclusiveness and, paradoxically, a secret-club-like-quality about Man Repeller. But the best things about being in this world have been the relationships I’ve developed. If you’re someone who has always admired the fashion industry from a distance, earning access is dreamlike. Suddenly you have relationships with these people who once seemed mythical. The access to clothes is a blessing and a curse; when a hobby becomes your job, it’s no longer recreational, but I don’t get too caught up in that.

Positive reinforcement from the community — Man Repeller’s audience across the various channels we use to connect — has been a huge part of what keeps me going. It’s remarkable that we can strike such intimate friendships in 2017 with people we’ve never met.”

On how she’d approach doing it all over again

“I think it’s better that I was naive going into this. There was no proof of concept, no learnings to glean from when I started because there was no industry dedicated to new media, or becoming ‘Instagram famous.’ If I knew everything then that I know now about being an ‘influencer,’ I don’t think I would bat an eye before pursuing it again — I know myself well enough to know that I’m a narcissist. I get a real kick out of myself! I have a big personality, I’m comfortable sharing, I’m extroverted, I’ve got all the makings of what defines talent on the internet, right?

If I knew everything I know now about running a business, though, I would probably think three or four times about whether I was actually cut out for it — whether I was genuinely interested in launching a media brand. Because that’s what has really shaken me to my core, and made me feel, at times, so profoundly unlike myself. But I hope that I would push myself to do it again.”

Advice

“When people say they don’t know what they want to ‘be’ when they grow up, I think that’s because they don’t know how to talk to themselves yet, or ask the right questions. All the answers that inform the decisions we make, no matter what, come from within. Nobody else is going to be able to answer your grander life questions for you. I think that’s been the big revelation of marriage for me: I got married at 23. I was incredibly young. There is a ton of formative growing that happens over the course of a person’s twenties, and I’ve spent the last five years depending on my husband to grow for me. At a certain point this past winter, though, I hit a wall and realized that I still needed to grow for myself and by myself. What I needed was to get really comfortable feeling lonely; that was the only way that I’d get through it. Which I’m still working on, of course. Our respective humanities are a work in progress.

I think this is a good lesson for anyone trying to figure out a career path, too. Your mom can’t really tell you what to do, or speak to your soul the way that you can speak to your own soul. Your favorite teacher, or whoever you’ve decided is a mentor to you — your best friend, your heroes! — can help guide you. They can ask all the smart questions, but the answers can only come from deep within you.”

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis and Edith Young. 

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  • Arden

    Thank you x a million for this!!! Hearing someone like Leandra who is such an iconic figure to people like me (young women, now in their early twenties, who spent their formative years reading her thoughts) speak openly and candidly about her career trajectory is so refreshing and comforting.

  • Love everything about this article. Leandra you are such an inspiration to those who really want to break into fashion. Thanks for doing this interview!!

  • Micah Lpez

    I honestly love Leandra even though i’ve never met her, she so remarkably honest about who she is and the fact that she’s constantly evolving. The thing about learning to be alone is so profound, often we’re all on the look out for that special someone who will make us whole wether it be a spouse, a friend or maybe a mentor. Ultimately its important to learn to overcome things alone. I read somewhere online that said something along the lines of just because i’m alone doesn’t mean i’m lonely.

  • Allie

    Such a fan, Leandra. So well spoken and open. It makes this interview, a method I didn’t think could be beautiful, just that. Maybe I’ve missed the youtube interview goldmine but I think you’re quite special. I feel like I can relate to your identifying characteristics. In my career it’s helped me a lot (both in my craft and with the politics that go along with any industry) but in my personal life I find myself putting my foot in my mouth. I say everything I think, without enough consideration between my head and my mouth. I would be so interested to hear your take on that. If it ever happens to you. And just to read more of your writing again in general. Sending love.

  • Maren Douglas

    Leandra you rock. Thanks so much for always being open and vulnerable. And creating this amazing community. Much love to all at MR.

  • Magdalen Trela

    Man, did I need this today! I come to Man Repeller daily because it fills me with such a force of strength and makes me push myself to learn more and do better. Thanks to Amelia and Leandra for always keeping it real. It’s inspiring!

  • Damn, that last part is exactly what I needed to hear. Overall, amazing answers. I’m so glad that we have you as an influencer, Leandra.

  • Well said, Leandra!

    I’m sorry to hear the downs are more prevalent than the ups lately, and try not to feel bad about not sharing that stuff. Sometimes keeping experiences to yourself…even bad ones…is a good thing. I struggle with that too at times, and find that I have to remind myself that the outside world isn’t entitled to know everything…or at least not while things are still raw or unprocessed in my brain.

    Keep doing the amazing things you’re doing, and we’ll all be here when you’re ready to vent or chat!

  • maisonsheik.com

    I just love this, and especially her honesty in admitting that she knew going in that she would monetize this site. So many bloggers use the old trope “I just used this as a way to update my family/friends, and poof, it’s a business!” No, hahah.

    Also, Leandra: for what it’s worth, the posts you have written out of pain have been the most poignant ones. I hope that you feel inspired to open up more and continue to have your voice felt on manrepeller.

  • sleepingonsnow

    When were these pictures taken? Because I know Leandra has been talking about feeling uncomfortable and adrift in her personal style, and SHE IS KILLING IT IN THESE PHOTOS. The look feels different than before but not disjointed from her past.

  • Maggie

    Amazing interview! I’ve read MR for years and have watched it evolve into the media company it is today. Leandra is a social influencer, but I see her as a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman. She’s successfully monetized her content while maintaining an authentic tone. I work in a very male-dominated industry and it’s refreshing to follow a woman that’s created such success while being intelligent, goofy, and genuine.

  • Kat

    Thank you for sharing. I love the honesty and openness of man repeller, it’s what makes it stand out. I can read about clothes anywhere, but here I can connect with someone’s thoughts. The community are fantastic too – most blogs I read through Feedly, but here I come direct to the site so as not to miss the comments!
    You have built a wonderful place here, I hope we can be a small measure of support in dark times.

  • Néo Bourgeois — Christum

    hahaha Oh lady, who are you? J. Robert Oppenheimer? Yeezy? With this Arrogant Disclosure yours being connected mostly to marketing mid—tier items to office workers.

    Love those cheeks:)

    • Look, boy, envy needs to be done properly: “your’s” and “mid–tier” don’t even exist. Neither do people who have their spelling corrected by aliens, actually.

      • Néo Bourgeois — Christum

        can’t take me down a notch, what else? I create reality.

  • TCAN

    Lovely piece. You guys are simply the best!

  • Jennifer

    Leandra and Amelia are both rock stars in my book!

  • Sabah Malik

    It’s like this site just knows when you need to read, hear or feel something.

  • Jamie

    Every time we hear from Leandra these days, I wonder what the future of Man Repeller looks like. It sounds like she’s been dealing with burnout for quite some time now and she’s becoming more and more vocal about it while her editorial presence seems to shrink. Will she be relinquishing some control on the business side so she can focus on her personal life and work more on things within the realm of MR that excite her? Will she eventually turn out the lights and move on to something new? What does Leandra want to be when she grows up?

    • Leandra Medine

      TURN OUT THE LIGHTS!? Of course we won’t turn out the lights!! At this point, Man Repeller isn’t mine anymore. It belongs to all of you, and as long as you want it to exist, as long as you want to read it and engage with it and come to our events and buy our overpriced (but made in the USA!) t-shirts, as long as you want to be a memberrrrr of this clubbbbbb, it will continue to give as much as it can.

      I am a dramatic over-sharer who wears her guts on her sleeves (not to be redundant or anything!), so I am perhaps more open than other founders would be about the vicissitudes (of the vicissitudes) of my moods and how they correlate with both my personal and business life, but one of the best things I have learned about this company in the past 2 or so years is that it doesn’t need me to thrive. I will make sure that it wants me for as long as I want it, but I feel so proud and strongly about the incredible team of creators and visionaries that we have assembled — often they prove themselves as stronger thinkers, writers, doers etc than I am.

      I made a decision at the end of May to take a couple of months off from writing hoping it would allow for me to take that step back everyone is always saying invites perspective, but making that decision took a lot of courage for me! Def more than my typical over-sharing (which is often touted as “bravery”). I wondered what my value/worth would be if I wasn’t feeding Man Repeller consistently and rapidly pace but the hiatus has been important — perhaps not so personally or intellectually (although I am still journaling! And who knows maybe one day I will make those notes public because what are boundaries? I don’t know…), but because the opinions and ideas and curiosities and jokes and GUSTO of the writers who aren’t me who have assumed the task of nurturing this site’s voice extend so far beyond the size of my singular purview and when I get to consume THAT Man Repeller as a user, not a founder, it is like eating an ice cream sundae! I hope the same rings true for you Jamie!

      • Leandra you are a human being. With feelings, emotions, strengths and weaknesses. If you need time for yourself, you have to take it! We can’t change the yesterday, because it’s over, we can’t change the tomorrow because it’s not here yet. The only time we can change is the NOW! If you want to do something, do it NOW. You don’t have to be someone or something for people you don’t even know personally. I can imagine, you started one day this thing, because you wanted it so bad, without the knowing to where it will go. This is the real success and as many other successful people, there comes a time to stop, look around, make a reset and check out the position. Maybe you were too fast and your soul is not fast as that and it gets sick because of this. Our soul is delicate and fragile. Wait there for it, until it catches you. If you want to be with yourself for a undefined time, be that! The time will not wait for you, so take what you need, gurl! One day you grab it at the cojones and you will go on with it anyway 😉
        Arzu
        (The girl at the breakfast at Castille in Oct 17, who was saying “Hi Leandra” to you, while you was catching some buns and fruits from the buffet ;)). Ah and sorry about my bad English!!

      • Basil

        I did wonder about whether or not you’d taken a step back on writing, as there have been lots of Harling articles (which I love. She’s awesome. I said it on another article and I’ll say I again – I want her to do a Beyoncé diet).

        I really hope you figure things out – it’s hard being a grown up, even more so when you’re responsible for so much.

      • Moira Hull

        our Dumbledore <3

        • Gene Day

          Succinct. And hilarious.

      • Coralie

        While I will always be excited to see a new Leandra article on here, I
        think you have done the best job of all the big blogs I read to find
        other writers that just feel like a big family. Everyone has their own
        style and ideas, but they all fit completely with the vibe of what this
        site started as. I don’t even have a favorite writer – they’re all so
        good!

      • Alexis Thomolaris

        I think one of the craziest and most real actualizations of MR acting as a true “virtual reality” and friendship circle beyond the internet is the fact that I almost saw this coming. I, too, had been worried about not seeing so much Leandra and what that meant for the future of MR. In fact, more so than that, I wondered what it mean for Leandra…how is she doing? Is she choosing this “behind the scenes” role for a reason? The list goes on. I fell in love with MR because of Monocycle which to me was like a one-on-one with Leandra. So yes, Leandra you kind of is MR to me. And I MISS U. Hurry back ❤️

  • Marion A.

    “Your mom can’t really tell you what to do, or speak to your soul the way that you can speak to your own soul.” So good!!

  • Modupe Oloruntoba

    “There’s a sense of humor and intellectual curiosity and f***-it attitude but also thoughtful inclusiveness and, paradoxically, a secret-club-like-quality about Man Repeller.”

    This is why I am always here!!!

  • gracesface

    Remember StylikeU? I think they’ve mostly transitioned into just interviews for their What’s Underneath Project but this might have been the first time I was introducing to Man Repeller and I love ya for it, Leandra! This was an excellent interview, Amelia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiE6wfYBM00

  • Leandra I think that you are the queen of all fashion influencers. The way how you write your post is different and highlight your brilliant personality.
    Simona
    https://www.spaghettitrends.com

  • Genevieve Sisco

    This was great! Maybe because I am an old GenXer I more think of Leandra as the new generation’s Anna Wintour…without the baggage (no offense…I think she is pretty cool still)…To clarify I think I’d Leandra as an editor of information that I enjoy. As a senior exec (which feels as bad as the word influencer to me) in finance…there is nothing wrong with making money. And kudos when you can do it with what you are passionate about and your best friend!

    I have been an avid follower forever…and love the new talent that has joined, the Instagram Stories and some of the merch. I just wish there was more that was aimed at my age (kids in college-1st grade) and that don’t live on the coasts (I did back in the day…alas, no more).

    Anyway, keep up the great work and be proud!

  • Jessa Gibboney

    Timing is not always everything, but it is certainly something and the timing of this interview seems serendipitous for me! Leandra, I have never met you, but your consistency is admirable and something I strive for in my life, my writing. Thank you for pushing me to continue asking the questions of myself that no one else can answer. Cheers!

  • Leandra, girrrl. You’re one of my sheroes. I, too, often hear that I have a “cute little blog” and “sweet little lifestyle business” – I think it’s one of the most insulting (and sexist) things you can hear. But also, I love that your work – which is influential and groundbreaking and visionary and SO MUCH EFFING MORE THAN FASHION – was interpreted as such at one point. It just proves it only has to make sense to you (and your of loyal “influencees”). You and your work are anything but little, and cute. I love you and what you’ve created. MR’s influence goes far beyond where I think even you might imagine.

  • Alice

    I love you Leandra 😘

  • Kittybat

    I love this article but I also appreciate seeing all these bomb ass pix of Leandra again. Thanks girls!

  • Leandra. We love you.

  • Charlotte Ellens

    I really love the refreshing honesty and humour from MR.
    As a woman who married young (and is still pretty young) who just started out in media, I am only encouraged by what you have to say. You don’t sugarcoat that the path to doing what you want is always going to be easy, but you do show that getting to do something you love is achievable. Thanks for being open about your journey.

  • Sarah

    Love Leandra and Man Repeller for never being afraid to be vulnerable with readers – vulnerability is what allows so many of us to connect with Leandra’s writing and the writings of others on the site.

  • Jaime Gelpi

    Sitting here nodding my head in complete agreement with a smirk of a smile because of how much Leandra has influenced (get it) me as a writer. And a woman in general. You know that question people always ask: “If you could have lunch with someone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?” My answer is always (and will always be) Leandra. Proud to be (probably, I’ll argue with someone about this) the biggest fan of this secret club we all call Man Repeller and the brilliant mind of the woman behind it.

  • Christine

    This is a really inspiring articles coming to me at a right time. Thank you!

  • Jennessa Rose

    This article SPEAKS to bloggers like me. Leandra (if you’re reading this) you’ve always been my biggest fashion inspiration. I have a big quriky personailty as well and it shows in the way I dress. Thank you for your bad-ass attitude. – newly up and running http://www.jennessarose.com
    xxxx

  • Caroline Plummer

    Thank you for this great piece. Very inspiring as always.
    Caroline

  • Meredith

    Thanks for posting this, Amelia and Leandra! It’s so easy with this rapidly-changing world to start following a blog (or social media celeb) for a year or less, become bored, then move on to the next bigger and better “person.” I’ve leapt from one blog to the next over the past 10 years. The only one I can’t seem to shake is Man Repeller. Leandra, I talk about your blog to everyone I know. Seriously! I think it’s so smart, witty, informative, and non-judgemental. I also have many beliefs that are different from the beliefs projected in this blog. Yet somehow, I never feel belittled or stupid for thinking something different. You have such an open and inclusive air about your opinions, writings, and blog. It’s the most refreshing site out there. I also love it because it is smart writing. It’s easy to feel your brain turning into mush when scrolling through Instagram or other fashion blogs. But not at all when I see your posts or blog. So all that being said, thanks for doing what you do. Thanks for opening up your life to the world. It really has made a big impact on my life over the past 6 years, and on the lives of so many others.

  • Leah

    I have been reading Manrepeller since it’s early days as a kid in high school who loved fashion but only connection to it was stalking the pages of Vogue and movies based in New York. (I can still quote The Devil Wears Prada to this day.) I read job articles all the time and consistently keep circling back to the idea that career trajectories can be fun, entertaining and successfully atypical instead of a classic 9-5. I loved this interview and it makes me feel so much less alone in the idea that pursuing something I’m passionate about and different from what I know others to be doing around me is the right step. I also love the bond and respect you and Amelia have for each other. It gives me oooey gooey good feelings that two strong, smart women can work together to build an amazing thoughtful brand in what some might consider the most superficial, self-focused industry. Thank you for being so open and honest. This was a joy to read.

  • Britt+Whit

    love the honesty in this! The comment about growth and growing as an individual is so right on! More like this please 🙂

    love,

    Britt+Whit

  • me

    Leandra: I read MR because of Y. O. U. (There, I said it. )

    I’ve been reading MR since Dec 2010 & am SO DAMN PROUD of your amazing professional (and personal) journey over the last 7 years.

    Sis, You truly are the heart & soul of MR ….

  • Elizabeth Stewart

    Reading through these comments is giving me *chills*! MR does such an incredible job at fostering a community that feels so personal that I almost swirled into an identity crisis reading these comments, because I identity with each and every one. (How exciting to see others are in the same boat but am I that unoriginal?!) Leandra and all of the incredible women behind MR have inspired me so much. Cannot express how thankful I am for their work.

    http://www.pantseatair.com

  • Jesus, this article cut to the core of me. Even influencers on a small scale feel all of these things. Definitely obsessed with Leandra now.

  • Michelle Doyle

    Gosh Leandra, I just want to give you a big grandma hug, followed by a stomp on your Manolo clad toe. You should’ve taken a time-out earlier, and should stop any self loathing because of your decision to do so. Every entrepreneur goes through periods like this, especially creative slightly loopy ones. Believe me I know. I’m a crazy creative, turned banker, turned entrepreneur, turned corporate communications kick-ass. And when I my hair started falling out and my mouth started bleeding from stress, I woke up one day and just stopped. I ‘stopped’ for a year. And I was almost disappointed that the world kept turning and didn’t miss my contribution to it.
    Every time someone asked me “what I’m doing now”, I felt ashamed. So I got a life coach and tried to sort my head out. Unfortunately a coach can only do so much. The inspiration had to come from somewhere else. And on 1July this year after reading a lot of Man Repeller (which I didn’t have time to follow before), I just started writing. I write about myself, fashion, beauty, health, food and am loving it. Like you I’ll figure out how to make money from it later. The more important thing is that I’ve got my spunk back and people who know me say they can “hear” it in my writing.
    So my feeble advice to you is to stop not pause. For a little while. Find your spunk. And only start writing again when you’ve found it. The world is such a depressing place, people can watch the news if they want hear gloom. People like you (and one day hopefully me, down here on the tip of Africa) have a duty to give readers positive food for thought, words dripping with enlightened realism, and of course a little glamour.
    All of the best.
    Michelle

  • Hansika Vijayaraghavan

    As someone who just launched a fashion/culture/comedy/deep thoughts website dedicated to South Asian Americans, this is totally ringing to me. I’m going in this as a fun blog but I always wonder if it’ll end up being successful or something that I can really make something of 🙂 thanks Leandra for being ever so inspiring as always

  • SJ

    Leandra, when I first found you, it was 2011 and I was a nerdy 15 year old who loved her history, books, political theory, and fashion. I was never trendy and I knew I never would be. Finding you was like coming up for air (also, I sensed that you shared my deep and abiding propensity to be dramatic). But I didn’t know that or myself or life well enough to know that at the time. I kept coming back to you because instead of feeling like the weird kid who liked dressing like Jackie Kennedy in a crowd of kids who looked like mini Disney-era Bella Thornes, I found someone even weirder. Yes, I first followed you because I laughed at you and your outfits. I thought it was ridiculous. I took a break from everything, including you, a few years ago. When I came back, I had come into my own and I loved my style. And I followed you again because I realized I loved you, too. Not to be creepy or anything! Also, I think it’s a true testament to your voice and authenticity that a traditional conservative like me has stuck with and supported someone so markedly different than me. But maybe we’re not that different after all? Anyway, it’s been 6 years of growing and learning and disagreeing and laughing with you. Here’s to many many more!

  • Marcela Garcia

    I have an ambivalent relationship with “influencers”: I look at their blogs/instagram, etc, for fun and for inspiration, yet I am aware that their curated lifestyle is far from real life. Either their clothes are too expensive, their travelling schedule is insane, and their work seems a distraction from a lot of political, social, and economic matters that young women should be interested in and fight for. Besides, I get annoyed at how they drive you to constantly buy clothes, makeup, shoes, etc, and promote an unreal standard of beauty, just like magazines do. That is why I love Man Repeller: for me it shows the perfect balance between how fun dressing up is and how even if we follow fashion it shouldn’t dictate us how to live our lives and how see ourselves. Leandra’s post on why she does not wear makeup was so refreshing, empowering, and just one of the best I’ve read in ages! And it is about more than just fashion: I love to read its articles on other issues. So in the end, I may not stop following influencers, but the ones that do not take themselves so seriously, the ones that care about other things besides clothes and buying stuff, and the ones that dare going against society’s norms are those that really stand out and will leave an imprint on our generation.

  • Katie

    “Our respective humanities are a work in progress.” ****THIS****

  • Now I am just in love with Leandra (‘s brain, personality, attitude towards life,…) even more.

  • Evelyn

    I know Im a few days late to this post, but I’ve been following Man Repeller for years now and it never ceases to amaze me at what Leandra has built. I started reading Man Repeller because I love fashion, but it quickly became my favorite website and Leandra became my favorite “influencer” if you will, because Man Repeller transcends fashion and style. Like Leandra its witty, smart, funny and socially and politically aware. When people ask my favorite blog or blogger I explain Man Repeller is so much more than a blog site. The entire team are INCREDIBLE writers and somehow find ways to maintain an engaged audience and unique take on the happenings of the world during a time where we are so overly saturated fashion/content sites. You guys stand out in the best possible way!

  • Great interview!

  • Isabel RC

    I absolutely, 100% love Man Repeller for its honesty and “f***-it attitude”, as you put it. Despite it being such a big community (and such a staple in the world of blogging!), the whole team’s honesty makes me feel close to everyone, as if we’re a big family. It also makes me feel less lonely, sad, or confused, when I see someone like Leandra going through the same things I go through 🙂 So a big big big thank you from a big big big fan from Madrid!

  • GFY

    “Recently, the lows have become so much more frequent, they’re almost the rule, not the exception, so I end up not posting at all.”

    It is virtually shamanic to be authentic and transparent to large groups of people…disconnecting from that larges scale relationship regularly to center and nurture your SELF is vital…2 mos a year in European vacation style seems essential. An undocumented vacation. Or at least going to a media/socializing-free house in the woods/coast/mountains on weekends. It’s an investment in mental health that also makes you more present during the week. Because as you said so well: “when a hobby becomes your job, it’s no longer recreational”.

    We need recreation for restoration and while I think the mr camp was an almost sub-conscious attempt to share recreation with the public in for restoration, it was still more like a work party in the woods. When you share all of yourself, all of the time…well, I think me-time is an actual thing. Perhaps putting yourself in the opposite of your daily life, or the most restorative environment you can think of – perhaps with-OUT people if you are surrounded by people all day, would shift the balance of “high” days back to center.

    PS: I keep getting a warning message on the comment form saying ” this connection is not secure….blah, etc”. Could that be looked into? It’s stressful. Thank you!

  • Nora

    Great article!

  • Summer Mosher.

    Leandra, you are such a light. Thank you.

  • Danielle Cardona Graff

    The last paragraph is everything. Exactly what I needed to read today! xo

  • Betsy Rehnberg

    Sums up exactly why I have continued to look to this site (for years now!!!) as an inspiring, honest, hilarious, and relevant platform. Leandra & MR Team- thank you!!!!

  • Nathália Santos

    Like it happened to so many other readers of yours, I couldn’t have found this interview at a better time. I’m actually going to print it and carry it with me so I can read it again whenever I’m feeling insecure about myself. I’ve just quit my job to start my own business, to follow my dream of becoming a food writer and I share so many of the feelings Leandra described… Thank you so much, Leandra and Amelia, for this inspiration piece. I admire you guys a lot! ❤️

  • ALL ABOUT THIS. Leandra you are an inspiration and please enjoy that delicious time off you’ve worked so hard for.

  • John

    Butt-ugly clothes