In the glory days that were 2011, I read more personal blogs than I could keep track of in my feeble human skull, which is why I was a devotee of Google Reader (RIP), the now-defunct RSS feed aggregator. I would eagerly visit my feed every morning before school, opening new blog posts in tabs on my laptop–a bounty of outfit ideas, recipes I wanted to try, and 3,000-word birth stories.
However, just like Google Reader, the heyday of personal blogging seems to have come and gone, at least in the sense that the original players in the game have either stopped blogging entirely (many instead opting to organically ride the Instagram influencer train) or morphed into something different. Furthermore, the blogging space is so saturated now that it’s essentially impossible for any new contributors to stand out and take hold in the same way they once could. That’s why the personal blogs that still exist–and still maintain a steady enough stream of compelling content to keep me coming back–feel like special treasures in the digital abyss.
Only a few fall into this category for me, and, perhaps surprisingly, none of them are fashion-related. I think that’s partly because most of the personal fashion bloggers whose blog posts I consumed rabidly once upon a time, like Susie Lau and Nicole Warne, have pivoted to full-time influencing, a pursuit that doesn’t always lend itself to fleshing out the emotional connection between ourselves and our clothes in the same way blog posts did. Others, like Tavi Gevinson and Leandra Medine (hi!), continued to explore this connection but on a larger scale with Rookie and Man Repeller, evolving beyond what I think of as a traditional “personal blog.”
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The traditional personal blogs I still follow can be classified as either lifestyle or health-adjacent. In the former category are Cup of Jo and Latonya Yvette, who (in addition to intermittent posts from other contributors) keep their blogs up-to-date with highly personal dispatches about everything from milestone birthdays to dealing with anxiety. They also both post their favorite links from around the internet on Fridays, a time-honored personal blog franchise.
In the latter category are Apples Under My Bed and The Real Life RD, which are both run by registered dietitians. I discovered them years ago when I was at a low point in my relationship with food/body image and desperate for rational voices in the world of health and intuitive eating. Heidi, the dietician behind Apples Under My Bed, has tapered off on blog posting since having children, but whenever she does write something I’m always comforted by her perspective. Robyn, a.k.a. The Real Life RD, remains one of my favorite resources for questions related to nutrition and women’s health, but I also genuinely look forward to updates about her life. Perhaps this is why both of these sites and the women who run them stand out to me: I’m interested in what they have to say, but I also just want to hang out with them.
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Damn. Writing this made me nostalgic. When did personal blogs become such a relic of the past? And what am I hanging on to with these final few? Do you still care about personal blogs? Which ones do you read?
Graphic by Madeline Montoya.