I'm really not even sure why I keep getting stuck on it.
But I'm stuck. Maybe you can help me out.
This is The Healthy Living Summit, a conference of young food bloggers.
Here's a link to the 2013 Chicago presenters for the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo.
Here's the 2012 lineup for Nourished, a newer food blogger conference.
Here are the speakers for this year's Women's International Summit for Health.
I found this photo on BlogHer, as part of the 2011 list of Voices of the Year.
And just to call myself out, check out all the bloggers on my sidebar.
Are you noticing anything?
I just read a great post on The Dusty Baker, titled Why are Women the Gluten Free Gladiators. The author, Jacqueline Raposo, poses a great question. When so many chefs and restaurant owners are men, why is it that women are leading the call in gluten-free businesses? And for that matter, why is it mostly women that are turning this little thing called a blog into sustaining careers?
Great questions and I have lots of answers.
But today's post is about a different question.
Why are all the bloggers white???
I know I can't be the only one thinking this, yet I don't hear anyone ever mention it.
You might tell me that there are non-white bloggers, and you'll prove it by telling me of: _____, _____, and _____. You can fill in the blanks in your comments below because I realized that I didn't know the names of any non-white bloggers, except those that are also big names on The Food Network. I started to google it and then realized that was EXACTLY MY POINT.
I can't name even one big non-white blogger (I can name a few who are friends of mine). Maybe you can name three non-white bloggers. Awesome. But how many white ones can you name without even thinking about it?
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Lady. Shauna Ahern, The Gluten-Free Girl. Karina Allrich, The Gluten-Free Goddess. Would you like me to keep going?
How about Kelly Brozyna, The Spunky Coconut, Kath Younger of Kath Eats Real Food, and Katie Higgins of Chocolate Covered Katie?
I didn't have to google any of these names and I could go on forever.
Oh, and there's me. I'll say it. I'm White.
I'm also part Black and Native American though, and I consider myself multi-racial. But most people don't know that, and perception is half of the game when it comes to race. In the blogging world, I think I am considered a white blogger just as much as anyone else because that's what people see when they look at my photos. In fact, most of my photos on this blog show me with straightened hair because, to my mom's continued frustration, I often think I look prettier with straight hair (I mean, that's what most people on TV look like, right?). I know that I have to search out gluten-free blogs written by women who aren't white, because they aren't as easy to find.
Where's the diversity?
There's a group called Blogging While Brown and they actively seek out, support and highlight Black bloggers. So I know they're out there. I'm sure I could google and find more groups like this. After all, it's not only white people who want to eat healthy or have to eat gluten-free.
So what gives, people?
I personally love that women are the crusaders in this. I love that we're standing up for our health and the health of our families. But I'm also ready to see a little diversity, a little acknowledgement that gluten-free is not just about a bunch of earthy-crunchy white women, and neither is talking about food and health. I want to see more diverse recipes, diverse faces, and hear diverse stories.
So I'm opening up this discussion. I'm just going to put out there what I see and invite you to share your thoughts, comments, agreements, and disagreements (respectfully of course).
I am a multi-racial woman who blogs while (appearing) white and I would love to see more diversity in the food blogging community as a whole and the gluten-free blogging community specifically.
Food for thought a.k.a. a few ideas that keep coming to me as I'm about to post:
- I appear white and so people assume that I am. I am making the SAME ASSUMPTION about the other bloggers I've mentioned because I don't actually know their racial background. So I'll call myself out here for assuming other bloggers are white because they appear to be.
- There are a lot of young women who read food blogs as inspiration for learning how to eat healthy, and also many who suffer from disordered eating patterns. Wouldn't it be nice if we/they could see a more diverse representation of what healthy looks like? I am not at all trying to put down any bloggers and I'm a big fan of all the women I've already mentioned, but I also know that seeing images like the one above of the Healthy Living Summit does not exactly seem representative of the full spectrum of what healthy looks like. I know that as far as we've come in terms of race, people still tend to stick with their own race even if that's not the way they want it to be. I find myself in the same predicament right now as I'm putting together a group of women for a project, and lo and behold, they're all white. So I find myself trying to figure out how to navigate that and make the group more diverse, while also acknowledging that outside of college -where my friends were a rainbow of colors- I've ended up with pretty much all white friends.
- Perhaps there are just as many gluten free blogs written by women of color, and I'm just wrapped up in my white bubble of blogging friends. Again, I'll call myself out on this and invite you to share blogs you think I should know about.
- Perhaps there are just as many gluten free blogs written by women of color and they're not getting the same attention. If that's the case, I offer my blog as a place for them/you to write a guest post and introduce your blog to me and my readers.
- I'm pretty sure I know my readers and that the majority of commenters are going to be white. And that many people will read it but feel uncomfortable leaving a truly honest comment. But in order for this to really be a discussion, I invite you all to consider this a SAFE SPACE to leave discomfort and fear at the door and share your thoughts openly. I just want to talk about this, because no one else seems to be.