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The 7 Things I Learned After Instagramming a Photo of Obama & Losing 4k Followers


A few weeks ago, on a Saturday night, after a couple of drinks and some nostalgic feelings, I Instagrammed the below photo and caption:

“Tired on a Saturday night. Remembering a man who actually cared about the future of women. This man. [heart emoji] (I don’t know if his T-shirt is photoshopped but I know, believe and love his general feminist message that can not be faked. Double tap if you agree with it).”

feminism today

Over the course of the next 18 hours, I engaged in a lot of comment wars and lost FOUR THOUSAND followers. FOUR THOUSAND. I’ve never experienced that immediate of a response or loss. Sure there have been times when I’ve lost followers in large numbers in the past, and when I have, it’s been because I said something slightly political or, you know, encouraged people to vote. But FOUR THOUSAND OVER ONE NIGHT???

That was unique and I had to ask myself a million questions. Most importantly: Why would I post that? followed by Why would four thousand people unfollow because of that? To be fair, it also got 38k likes, so I don’t want to overshadow the positive support here either. Full disclaimer: This was a photoshopped photo by Kidd Bell, which is the shop that makes the shirt. It was a meme, floating around that I saw via The Wing and, well, I responded to it emotionally.

The next few days, I reflected on that stupid number loss and thought about what I would have done differently, if anything. I learned some things about myself and you (my readers) after I posted that. That’s what this post is about, but let me preface this by saying that many people want me to “stick to design,” and if you are one of those people, I’d say head to the new Rooms Section to read some robust older design-heavy posts OR click away and come back Monday for a design post. For those of you interested in hearing me discuss some political and feminists discomforts in regards to social media…keep reading, because here’s are the seven things I learned from this experience:

***Update: this is not an apology post. This is an analysis, a reflection and a discussion – I do not regret the message, just the way it was sent.

1. I need to execute any “off brand” non-design moments in a more “on brand” way, with more thought, strategy, intention and positivity. 

A 10pm-Saturday night, after 2 drinks, FINE THREE, re-gram of something that ignited me emotionally but is actually kinda negative may not be the way to do it. Just because I was in that mood did not mean that everyone else was. What I did was not “wrong,” but it wasn’t “right,” either. The funny thing is I don’t really even like that quote. Women have a lot to be angry about, but I don’t feel like that quote’s aggressive or negative tone helps anyone (aka men) feel more receptive. Generally, I want to promote positivity and less in-your-face aggression.

So why did I do it? My response to seeing it was first nostalgia for Barack Obama as a leader, then excited by seeing him younger and imagining what he was like, and then lastly I was fueled by the quote on his shirt, excited by imagining that a powerful, well-respected man of grace, would be upset enough to actually wear that shirt. Even if it was photoshopped. But if I wanted to promote this general message, I could have found a less aggressive and polarizing way to do it. Keep reading.

2. Many people want me and others online to be a certain plastic version of ourselves.

I know this by the amount of “stick to design” comments I got (I’m not exactly sure how many, but from the almost 2,500 comments this post received, it was enough to stand out). They want us to set aside our humanity, our humanness and not broach hot-button topics. They like it when I talk pillows, not politics. They prefer sofas, not social issues. I get it, but I’m not Crate & Barrel. I’m a company, but I’m also a person full of seriously imperfect, irrational, last-minute, well-thought-out (or not thought-out) ideas and opinions. And just like you, I feel compelled to share them, and yes sometimes, I forget to edit or stop myself. Usually, it takes me days to write, edit, rewrite, and re-edit a social or politically driven post (like this one I wrote after the 2016 presidential election). Tone is everything and the tone of that photo was off-brand for me. Not what I said, but what was on his shirt. I don’t plan to “stick to design,” but how I diversify should be better intended and have more of a positive message, not an aggressive one. But I’m approaching the age where I care more about what I want to say than I do about the reactions to it. More opinions, less apologies. But I would like to be able to share my opinions in a way that allows engagement and conversation rather than making people feel attacked or unapproachable.

feminism today

3. People REALLY don’t like Barack Obama.

Honestly, this is hard for me to understand. People HATE him. Politically, I get it—many people didn’t enjoy his time as a president. We all see the world differently and we live in bubbles that inform this perception and skew it drastically. But socially, emotionally and culturally, I thought that most of us at least respected the person that is Barack Obama. I felt confident in this knowledge based on a TON of one-on-one research with conservatives both close to me and strangers I came in contact with. They didn’t love him as a president but respected him as a person and family man.  When it comes to family values and general morals, respecting others, living a life of community service/intention/love, I really thought that most of us liked the persona that is Obama, despite the controversy of his political successes or failures. I’m depressed with the knowledge that where we all place value in the world is wildly different than what I thought. I’m aghast at how someone could actually hate him and prefer the values, speech and behavior of our current president. Mostly, I really wish that our bubbles weren’t so solid.

4. A lot of people don’t like curse words.

I get it. I’m extremely conservative at home and spell things like H.A.T.E. even when talking about Birdie’s feelings on broccoli. So advertising the word “shit” turned people off. I get that and I’m sorry for the offense. I will be more careful moving forward and honestly do regret that. A lot of my friends in social media refuse to give up the curse words because it’s just semantics, but because I have kids, it’s just easier to not curse than it is to explain to them why they can’t but I can.

5. Social media is dangerous to your mental health.

I knew this, of course. But I didn’t join social media ’til I was almost 30, with a fully formed frontal lobe. This isn’t just fancy speak for “being mature.” It literally means that a part of your brain doesn’t fully form until you are in your early twenties and that part of the brain is in charge of consequence and rational reasoning, which of course affects your emotional and mental health. As I saw the numbers dropping that morning, I started to have anxiety. Sure, I like to be well “liked” but it’s more than that—it’s my business and one that supports 10 employees and four family members. If/when I mess up on social media, it can affect my business (potentially). I was with Orlando at the flea market that morning and he was all proud of me and at first, reminded me that, in his words, “You are allying yourself more with those that like you and your thoughts, and those that unfollowed because of that were probably not that aligned with you anyway.” This was what I had been telling myself for hours but man, as the numbers dropped and dropped, I realized it was ruining my day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and my heart was beating with worst-case scenarios playing out in my brain. After a few hours, he said, “I don’t know if this anxiety is worth it to you.” I agreed and archived the post (which isn’t deleting it, but basically). I did that with some shame, which created its own kind of anxiety, but reduced it in general. I also now have really bad scalp psoriasis. Don’t feel bad for me, it’s my own fault but it’s not awesome. (For anyone wondering, no our kids won’t have social media on their cell phones until the last second possible. Hopefully, there will be a backlash and culturally they will think it’s uncool because, despite my career needing it, social media can be VERY UNCOOL.)

6. We are in a political civil war where even an innocuous comment picturing our former president ignites a battle.

I’m not just saying this—I think we are in America’s first post-military civil war. The level of polarization is so extreme. It’s like a daily game of “what color is the dress?” Remember when that happened and so many people thought it was black and blue and others thought white and gold and it was SO hard to comprehend how someone else could see a completely different color? That’s how we are. And listen, I truly am someone who tries to understand every side to every situation. It’s actually extremely annoying to my friends because I’ll defend things and play devil’s advocate to situations that most people feel only has one real side. I challenge issues like immigration, social services like SNAP, charter schools, etc. I try to be so open because there is almost always another side and listening brings information = education. But I feel so often alone because the world is not full of people trying to understand or accept the views of others. And ANY mention of Obama or Trump ignites this insane emotion in both ways. I’m seriously worried about the polarization and feeling pretty depressed about what to do about it. Frankly, I often just hopelessly wish California would secede (which of course isn’t a solution for the nation as a whole).

feminism today

7. Just because your audience is 80% women does not mean they’ll like a so-called “feminist” post. 

Obama is a feminist. He stands for gender equality, and if the word “feminist” strikes a nerve, then know that it just means someone who wants equal rights for women and men. That’s it. Why, oh why would 4,000 WOMEN unfollow me for that comment??

And then I realized this: I think the movement has avalanched and the original simple message of equality is being buried. We just want to be paid, treated, spoken to, and respected the same as men, but that message isn’t being heard the same by all. It’s getting muddied.

I think that we have devalued what’s so great about women because we value “success” in a completely male-made construct. The job of caretaker and mother still isn’t valued as an equal career outside of the home. We want women to “lean in” instead of men “leaning out.” It’s like we have established how women should be treated in the workplace, and recognize that women should be considered “powerful,” but the movement has left behind all the women who are doing, by choice or not, the very important CAREER of —taking care of other people, their families. THAT is the failure of it all and I wonder if that is what so many women are also responding to negatively. The fact that being a good parent, mom or dad, is still perceived as a secondary job is the biggest failure of the feminist movement, in my opinion.

The most frustrating part is that the only people who can properly relay this message to the world is in fact MEN. Women can’t tell the world how important we are, we need men to do it because until women are actually IN positions of power, men are the ones that will make change.

So I think I projected that desire onto this photo. I’m desperate for a well-known, well-respected MAN to tell the world the extreme value to society of being a woman. This shirt didn’t do that at all; it was just wishful thinking on my part and it was a failed wish. So far, all we have is Mark Zuckerberg. Say what you want about Facebook but a man who gives his company four months PAID parental leave (yes, for moms AND dads), is telling the world how much he values the day-to-day work that was typically a “woman’s” role.

Culturally right now, we are doing a great job of telling men how to talk (or not) to us and educating women on how to lean into, and garner and leverage power, but when it’s done aggressively—like this shirt—I think it negates a lot of what many of us value in women: our ability to communicate in a rational, caring, non-violent, smart and confident way. It feels to me like the jerk frat boy version, not something I myself would say. We all know that women are just as, if not, more capable than men in everything we do, but where we excel, where we are undeniably better is expressing our emotions in a way that can be heard, understood and provoke change. Me sharing that image with the language on the shirt did not send that message. And I know that I’ll get criticism for saying that when women can’t assert themselves the same ways as men without being perceived as shouting but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: trying to be more like men should not be our goal.  Men should try to be more like US, so we need to set that example on a day-to-day basis. You can be pissed off at how men treat us, yes, though a better response is not to join them in an aggressive word battle. Instead, shut them down by showing them intellect, assertion and power. It’s like dealing with a toddler, yelling back and matching their tantrum is not the answer and in fact actually reduces our power. 

Yes, we should demand equality, but I think that the stance and angle of this shirt (and message) is actually alienating and negates our power.

So I guess that’s how I feel about the feminist movement. And really who I should have been Instagramming is Michelle Obama because SHE is a strong, smart, woman who uses her power for good and places value on the right things in the world. She is a good example to us all. But I suppose HER wearing this shirt would feel angry and somehow putting that meme on a man felt less “angry feminist” and more “awesome guy who thinks that women have and deserve their own thoughts.” And that’s not equal.

It’s like I had a dream where I woke up in the future and asked my 90-year-old self what I should actually care about in life and the answer my future self gave was “Use your voice. Be brave. Say what you want to say in a way that will make people hear by listening and reacting… even if they react against you.”

She also told me to make more soup.

Check and check.

So, after 2,500+ words on my feelings, I want to hear from you. What do you think? As loyal followers, do you think this post was off-brand and I was right to take it down when I did? Or no? I also ask, pretty please, that we keep it civil in the comments today. These are hot-button topics, and I know people can get passionate on both sides (rightfully so), but I’d rather this be more of a safe place than an ignited place. Okay, now that I’ve said my piece…tag, you’re it. xx

Fin Mark


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its your blog and you should be free to post as you like. people can read or not. to unfollow you because they do not agree with a post points to that person’s issues.

Aimee Hada

Emily, While I am a bleeding conservative, I LIKE YOU!! I love my liberal friends! Your sentiments were thoughtful and I can tell they come from a place of understanding and open-mindedness, which our country needs a whole lot more of right now. I didn’t love the insta post, if I’m being honest, mostly for all the reasons you spelled out above–the aggressive tone, propensity for more polarization, etc. Politically, I feel like Obama sent our country to hell in a handbasket, but I have always respected the man and the office he held. I can say the exact same thing about Trump. While I don’t agree with a lot of what he has done or said, I still retain respect for the office he holds and pray we come out of his presidency in one piece. By definition, I AM A FEMINIST. I stand for women’s rights and equality and empowerment. I do not, however, feel like it helps our cause to stand for these rights with anger and an aggressive undertone, and with the underarching message of “society needs to see us the same way they see men!” Men and women are divinely different, and we need to… Read more »


YES! I 100% agree w all you said!

Allison H.

I was going to comment but you basically said everything I would have! Thank you for eloquently voicing a point of view that is usually automatically dismissed or, at best, belittled. I hope your voice will make others understand where so many of us conservatives are coming from.
Thank you for making me feel not so alone and isolated in my views.


What she said!! Brilliant post, Emily, and her sentiments match mine EXACTLY.


I 1000x agree with what she said!!!!

Amy D Austin

Aimee – so well said! Agree 100%!


The one point I take issue with is you don’t think we should respond with anger. I invite you to examine that. Anger is a real and valid emotion that women are allowed to feel. Often, as women we are raised to suppress that. Why? Possibly to keep us “under control?” If the centuries of inequality doesn’t make you angry then perhaps you live a life of extreme white privilege? Perhaps you’ve never suffered from any sort of prejudices or discrimination? I’m not sure of course. Maybe you have. Just the other day a police officer dismissed me completely because I am a woman and wouldn’t listen to me until a man “came to my aid.” It angered me so much!! And just imagine if I was black and male? All of this is to say, anger is not a disservice it often is the emotion that sparks the real change in society.


?? ????????Yes

Angélica A.

Tina, I agree with you.




Amen. Completely agree.


I agree with Tina that we need to leave room for the healthy expression of anger. Implying women shouldn’t express anger is the same as saying men shouldn’t cry because it’s not masculine. I am all for behaving with dignity and respect, but we need to be certain that emotions are validated equally, and recognize that there are times when expressing anger is very much warranted. I see the phrase on the shirt more specifically about sexual harassment and sexual assault rather than a broad statement of feminism. From that perspective, it definitely is necessary at times to counter that kind of aggression/manipulation/violence with aggression. Therefore, I feel it’s a statement of empowerment expressing a strong defense of women’s safety, well being and autonomy. Imagine it being said to Harvey Weinstein in a hotel room when he’s just threatened to ruin a woman’s career because she resisted his sexual advances. That’s how I see it, as a crucial vindication, a speaking truth to power, not mere negative aggression. Emily, I hope you never feel you can’t speak about your values, beliefs and respectfully expressed opinions for the very reason you pointed out, that you are a human being and these… Read more »


Joanne, thx for your response to Emily, you stated it perfectly and I am in 100% agreement with every point you made.


Extremely well said Joann!


Absolutely correct!


Anger is a secondary emotion, that is, it cannot exist without another emotion attached to it. At its root, is sadness or feeling afraid/anxious. Yes, we are allowed to be angry, but we need to talk about the root emotion.


?? It’s ok to be angry when people do bad things!


Would love to know why you think Obama sent us “to hell and a hand basket”. Legitimately would like to know.


Me too. He’s didn’t send the country to hell in a hand basket. Like I tell all you state these things, show me the facts!


I also am curious why you would say that. We went from the lowest place to a much higher ground for us to relax a bit. Please explain. Thanks. Monica


Could you please detail how Obama “sent our country to hell in a hand basket”? I’ve heard this sentiment before but don’t understand what he did that make people think this of him. I am really interested to find out what you think he did. Thank you.


For evangelicals, it was the way he marginalized them. He acted as if he was a Christian but his actions were very anti towards them and their beliefs. He also polarized and divided the country in regards to race. I was so excited to have an African american president at first as were others I know, but he used divisive language and once again separated and elevated issues like Trayvon Martin before knowing the true story. He vilified police which led to many haters going on rampages against people paid to protect our citizens for very little pay. Because he was not a uniter but a far left radical is the reason for the rise of Trump. It isn’t because of racism or sexism it was bc there were many good hard working God-fearing people that felt vilified by his words and actions. The way the media made every scandal go away and there are hundreds of them if you just go ahead and google them, made half of America see how propaganzied and brain washed the far-left had become. What we need is more mainstream leaders willing to work for common goals and solutions. We need common sense. We… Read more »


I love how you say Obama was not good for Evangelicals, but Trump, who cannot stay married and not cheat on who he’s married to is such a great Christian leader. Total hypocrisy.


The reason we have Trump is NOT because Obama “was not a uniter but a far left radical.” It is because people are afraid of equality. They see minorities in positions of power, graduating from Ivy League Universities, living a well traveled and well appointed life and they feel threatened. Chipping away at privelage is terrifying to some.


Honestly, with all due respect, this is… really hard for me to believe any rational person could think or stand behind. Trayvon Martin was a teenager murdered by a man who wanted to kill him for the “sin” of being African-American. If you didn’t see it then, you should CERTAINLY see it in all of George Zimmerman’s actions since then. He got away with straight up murdering someone because of the racial issues in this country. How else would you have wanted a President to react to what happened? Was he supposed to shrug his shoulders and say “Oh well?” And honestly, this whole Evangelical thing is nuts. You think Obama didn’t take them seriously? I disagree, but even if we say that’s true, why should he have? All of these so-called Evangelicals are completely fine with Trump cheating on every wife, assaulting women, insulting women (and everyone else)… basically he doesn’t do one thing that makes him someone they should tolerate, let alone admire, but they’re fine with him. So maybe other people aren’t the problem. Maybe it’s the damn Evangelicals! They hold him up as a paragon of virtue even as he breaks every rule they allegedly stand… Read more »


Because you did not feel welcomed he was a bad president? I am Catholic. Most Catholics are a one issue voter. Right to life. Obama did not support this. As usual this is a TOTAL SET UP for us vs Obama. And now we have the MOST unchristian President ever. And yet most Catholics and Evangilists support him.

This is unchristian . Jesus would be repulsed by Trump.


I find it so much more offensive to see someone post a comment here that “Catholics” did not feel welcome under Obama, and that evangicals were “marginalized.” Seriously?
Please speak for yourself because I know so many Catholics who campaigned for Obama both times and miss his presidency. If anything, Trump’s election revealed that many so-called Christians don’t care about family values.

These are hard times. The name Obama could be replaced by Trump in K’s above comment and be more accurate in my opinion. So we live in a time where people have polar realities, and by undermining the press, our current president had made it easier for his fans to ignore the truth.

I think we will all be judged by how we chose to your our voice during these times, and I applaud you, Emily, for including the hard topics on occassion, among all the throw pillows.


At first glance, K’s post sounds really “fact filled,” as if she (he?) is trying so hard to be fair and balanced. But it isn’t — it is generalized, based on no actual data, and, therefore, so frustrating. For example, I am a practicing Catholic and I NEVER felt more American and included as I did under Obama — please don’t suggest all Catholics “did not feel welcomed.” Please don’t group me in under some false statement. I will try to do the same for you. I never felt Obama was polarizing, never saw him vilifying the police. Clearly you did. Neither of our thinking makes it so, actual facts do. Try to stick with actual events, such as which riot leaders cited Obama as a reason that they incited hate or looted a community. My hunch is you can’t find much evidence in that regard (and I don’t count forwarded facebook posts as actual data). On the flip side, there is footage of a speech Obama gave in 2015 after the Baltimore riots where he condemned the riots, saying there was “no excuse” for such behavior. ( I can also find you actual news footage from almost any news… Read more »

Kennard D Lilly

” He also polarized and divided the country in regards to race.”

He actually didn’t. His racist Republican counterparts did.


I would say stick to design. There are so many political sights if I want politics. Just like I don’t like politics in Sports. We need to find things that unite us and not divide us. The post was offensive (not enough to unfollow) but just didn’t appear too smart to be honest. I would encourage you to be a Uniter and and not a divider.


One way he acted like a Christian was his fidelity to his wife.
He also passed the affordable care act which outlawed yearly and lifetime caps on treatment.
He welcomed strangers with his work for the DREAMERS.
Those are three Christian actions.


I voted for him twice, but I vehemently disagree with many things that he did. Enabling Monsanto, drone strikes on American civilians, pushing 5G WiFi through without any research in health effects (which are devastating, check out Environmental Health Trust), letting the pharmaceutical companies rampage unchecked at the expense of American health, (insurance for all doesn’t address the way big pharmacy has suppressed low cost non pharmaceutical health solutions.) Chem trails (see Destabilizing developing regions in Africa and South America with heavy handed and shortsighted bullying, like many presidents before him. He was known for diplomacy but he did not change the US’s legacy of overreach that much. I did appreciate many, many things about him, but I have to condemn many others. I’m always surprised when fellow liberals endorse him wholeheartedly, because I have such mixed feelings about him.


ditto Ashley.


Anytime liberals say conservatives are the ones who are conspiracy-theory minded, you can point to things like ‘5G WiFi health effects”, “chemtrails,” and “non-pharmaceutical health solutions” (like – cupping? acupuncture? The (sorry Emily) bonkers-sounding soundbath stuff? Any other one of a million placebos?). Sorry, Ashley, but no – though I hear you on drone attacks and short-sighted diplomacy. Please tell me you aren’t also anti-vax (a place where the extremes of both parties meet – extreme liberals find them ‘unnatural’ and extreme conservatives think they’re a government conspiracy to further interfere in their lives).

I guess we all go a little mad sometimes – and want to feel like we’re right and know more than everyone else, have the ‘inside track’ on fringe theories, and that everyone else has the wool pulled over their eyes by ‘big pharma’ or ‘mainstream media’ or whatever.


I was going to respond but then realized Aimee pretty much read my mind!

Emily, while we probably differ in 98% of our politics—I appreciate you always trying to see all sides and I pray I do the same thing even if our conclusions are different!
At the end of the day, I LOVE your designs and find you super entertaining. If you ever post something I don’t like—I just scroll past it—because thank God for freedom of speech!


Agreed. Thank goodness for freedom of speech! Say what you want, Emily. I love your thoughtful, nuanced take on balancing your brand with work topics and occasionally your personal feelings. People are following you because you are you, and you’re helping us all feel braver to express ourselves and examine our own thoughts, even when we don’t agree with you. Thanks for being brave, you’re doing great!


Right on Sinclair!!! Emily does a great job!

Tina B

Oh, my goodness…yes, yes and yes! to everything Aimee so eloquently said.

Joey Adams

THIS is the perfect response and echos my sentiments a lot. The only thing I would add is that if people are listening to main-stream news only then they are not getting the whole story. This is not some trickle-down Obama economy. Trump has been undoing scores (literally) of Obama’s executive orders which repressed our economy. My 401K made 2% for eight long years. Now it makes 29%! THAT is from changing Obama’s policies! Do you know how much this means to a middle class person? I may still have to work until I’m 70 but now maybe I won’t have to eat cat food when I retire. At my age, those lean 8 years will continue to hurt me for the rest of my life. And the democrats are enjoying this recovery as well but good things like that aren’t discussed on main stream news. You shouldn’t be surprised, Emily, that so many people don’t agree with what is on TV and social media. As a conservative I have been unrepresented and bullied into silence but I am still here–among the thousands and thousands of us. I am grateful that you have invited me to a safe and sane… Read more »


Your grasp of economic history is weak. Obama got us out of the recession that occurred under George W. Under Obama, 401Ks earned much more than 2 percent in the last few years. And unemployment went down. (These are simple facts: not debatable).
Granted, the stock market has been amazing (mostly) since Trump was elected. But he was also coasting on the economy built under Obama. We shall see how long it continues.


Agree with you Teri all the way. Obama inherited a nightmare and it took almost 5 years for my 40l(k) to gain back what it lost and then some – all under Obama. Facts matter as you say. Most people don’t fact check unfortunately.

Angélica A.

I agree with you Terri!

Valeri Johnson

How’s your 401k today?


Regulation repressing jobs? Please explain what jobs are repressed by regulation? Because right now, banking regulations and consumer protections are being unwound. And doing that same thing led to serious economic recessions in the late 1980s (Reganomics clearly led to the recession that caused Bush Sr. not to get reelected), the bubble of the late 1990s and most memorably the disgusting behavior by the ultra-elite – the investment banks and lenders – that created the 2008 financial crisis. (And no, I’m not a complete partisan – the fact that Bill Clinton subscribed to the cult of Greenspan didn’t help either). But there was a reason we were discussing a ‘surplus’ during the 2000 election, but by 2008 were in deep recession requiring George HW & Paulson to do the first bailout. Suddenly Al Gore’s ‘lockbox’ didn’t sound so ridiculous! Environmental regulations are also being unwound, including those that were put in place after the Deepwater Horizon debacle. It’s just a matter of time before the next horrible incident occurs that not only hurts the environment, but kills employees and destroys entire industries. Talk to the shrimping industry decimated by Deepwater Horizon if you think eliminating environmental regulations helps create jobs.… Read more »


Well said!


Amazingly said!


Very well said!!!!!


Aimee said everything I feel perfectly!!! No need to say more – she hit the nail on the head for me too!


Perfectly said!!!


Aimee – I completely agree. Thanks for putting my sentiments into words.


I commented above but you said it all much better – I feel exactly as you do.
Thanks for you thoughtful words.


Emily, I agree with much above. Despite being a conservative (I’m tired of lables on both sides, but how do we distinguish?), I appreciate how you usually seem to be open-minded and really try to understand the ‘other’ side. I didn’t like Obama and didn’t respect him in about any way, but I have always respected the office of the POTUS. In “Rawhide Down” – A fantastic read about Reagan’s attempted assasination, the surgeon, in response to Reagan stating, “I hope you are a Republican,” replied, “Mr. President, today everyone is a Republican.” My point being, don’t like Obama one bit, but more than 1/2 the country voted him into office and I respect the office. There is much I do not like about Trump and it would take way too much time and space to list them all. However, I do appreciate much of what he has done (Not all) and while I cannot stand his rudeness or pompous behaviors (I think Obama was also pompous but somehow he wasn’t so raw about it and the media loved him.), I respect the office. I am a true feminist, and while I am in complete support of equality, I agree… Read more »


Christina – Well said! I also disliked Obama but respect the office of the president. I’m another raging Conservative that usually stays silent but people can get so mean and vicious with their comments. Just because I am a Conservative that voted for Trump does not mean I support his behavior, I don’t. On a personal level he offends me greatly. But, I wanted a conservative appointed to the Supreme Court and I knew Hillary would never give me that. A President will last 4 or at most 8 years, whereas a Supreme Court Justice can last 30 years and have an even longer/greater lasting impact so the appointment of a judge was the most important issue for me. I got the conservative justice I wanted so I do not regret my vote. I feel that in the future the presidency and Congress will most likely go liberal and I wanted at least one branch to be conservative to balance that out. I know that many of Emily’s followers will whole heartedly disagree with me and I can respect that. This is my personal point of view.


You got a alcoholic, semi-rapist appointed to the supreme court but you’re happy because at least he wears the label “Conservative”? Bad trees don’t yield good fruit FYI


I appreciate the thoughtful way you explained yourself and several points here, but I don’t think you can call yourself a feminist if you support those pregnancy centers that mislead women. Please educate yourself:


Interesting that you mention that over half the country voted Obama into office, since that is not true of the current president. And spending your time trying to lure women into a fake clinic where they will be given misinformation by people pretending to be health care providers makes you decidedly NOT a feminist. Words mean things.


I could not have said it better.

Sarah C Bradshaw

Aimee, I was going to write a response, but then I read yours and realized I would be saying what you said, VERBATIM. Thank you for being an eloquent, thoughtful “bleeding conservative” (as I am), and for using your words so well!!

Emily, WHAT SHE SAID. That’s what I say. I thought your post was off-brand, but not surprising or offensive, since I know I’m a conservative and you aren’t. But you can say anything you want here on your blog. There’s a quote that floats around, often mis-attributed to Voltaire, “I wholly disagree with what you say and will contend to the death for your right to say it.” That is my mindset when listening to/conversing with my liberal friends. We rarely agree, but believe with every fiber of my being that we should all have the freedom to say what we think without censure.


Agreed! Thank you for stating things so clearly.
Men shouldn’t be like US; they should be who they were created to be. The world needs both diversity AND equality.


Well said.


Well said! Agree with everything you wrote.


Yes, exactly what she said!


EXACTLY, Aimee! It would be shocking to find any woman who isn’t a feminist, but it’s as if the definition has gotten pushed into a liberal specific outlook, one in which down plays the value of men. As a mother of sons, I am not okay with this dangerous mindset. “The future is female” really throws me off… no… the future is mankind, BOTH men and women being equally celebrated/paid for their strengths. Emily, I appreciate this follow up post and feel for hownuou must have been reeling over the numbers. You are solid gold.


I’m a loyal EHD follower and I think you 100% have the right to use your blog for the messages you want. You have been nothing but beautiful about being open to other people’s opinions. Like Aimee, I’m conservative. I can’t follow Joanna Goddard’s blog, because I don’t feel welcome there. I do feel welcome here, though, because of your open, respectful point of view, Emily. You can somehow imagine that people have other views. I agree with equal rights and equal respect for women and men! There are lots of women in power. Each individual is responsible for his or her own actions. But equal doesn’t mean advantaged. Pay should be based on an individual’s results. Not on gender. No, I don’t think that the Queen of The Crown should get paid based on gender — that’s very sexist, in my mind! Equal doesn’t mean affirmative action. Affirmative action is not equal! It is literally judging on skin color, as opposed to the qualities of an individual that should drive their career. I believe that a free market economy with reduced government regulation produces more opportunity for all – women, men, and even everyone across the globe! Stop putting… Read more »


Well said!




Well said.


You said exactly what I have been feeling. Everything..about celebrating men and women for their differences, and for the call for more acceptance and understanding. We don’t all have to agree on all political topics to be a unified country, just accepting of one another’s viewpoints.
Sometimes I wish there was no political party to ‘belong to’, therefore no ‘side’, or ‘right’ or ‘left’.
Well done to the author of this previous comment, it was beautifully written…Thank you!

Lori Murphree

Emily, I have been following since your Design Star days. I love your authenticity and your design blog — your posts teach and inform. I consider myself middle of the road politically. I belong to a teacher’s union, have been a social worker, and my faith informs my politics — in that I ask “what would Jesus do?” I support your free speech. However, I caution you to choose wisely. This particular post is a little crass — with a photoshopped message at that. I think there are a million photos out there that of President Obama that would have made the same point, but at least been real and not fake. Probably more powerful and certainly more dignified.


Well said


I do wonder if we all watch different news sources because I don’t understand how you could respect Trump as a man, though I do understand respecting his office. I’m not trying to be confrontational, I just really want to know what information informs your decision that Trump is a good man. I also want to know what specifically Obama did that made the country go to “hell in a hand basket”. I know we are all different people with different values, but if we can agree that Obama, as a man, can be respected, how can we so wholeheartedly disagree on everything else.



Samantha Smith

NIcely done. I follow you because you are a human and not just a designer. Keep it up. I feel the same way about my business, people say just post pretty pictures of events, but that is not the whole story. Keep up the good work.

Josie Sheets

This is exhausting. Society is so divided and heated right now. Exactly why I want to escape every once in a while and enjoy some interior design aesthetics…….. I guess I’ll unsubscribe too.


Josie- come on. Do not read post if it is exhausting! But unsubscribing is a punishment.


Glad you are human. And someone who shares compassion and empathy. I say, be yourself and let the chips (rhymes with it anyway) fall where they may. If people don’t want what you are selling in design, it will be their loss. I love your blog and so does my millennial daughter who is both a design fiend and a new decorator.
Keep doing what you do.


Hell Emily: I’m your reader from Taiwan. I generally like Obama if I was an American. Regretfully,, Obama was too weak and had no knowledge of Pacific Asia politics when he was in the white house and that adversely affected my country. I observed Obama from admiration to huge appointment, Obama is a liberal elite, who silently sides with so called globalists/liberal billionaires in America, those people move jobs out of USA and many of your readers don’t know that globalists have profound and mutual interests with Chinese Communists Party in China. Globalists do business in China, especially exclusive business through consent/grant from CCP government. They buy cheap goods in China, taking advantages of little to non-existent local environmental regulations, avoiding human rights, worker rights of Chinese people. At home, they found both Republican and democrat elites; sadly, Obama is one of them. Obama is fully aware of these but he keeps mute and doing nothing to his people. Trump is not perfect but he is brave and intelligent to stand up my country’s worst enemy-CCP. He is courageous enough to be the first American president to stand up against CCP’s bullies in neighboring countries. He also brave enough to… Read more »


Bravo! You hit the nail on the head! Thank you.


Ann, while I strongly disagree about pretty much everything you said here, I appreciate you not just knee jerk attacking Democrats but rather giving concrete examples that illustrate why you feel the way you do about Trump. I often wish American Trump supporters had the same impulses.


Kelly – how can you thank her for not ‘knee jerk attacking democrats’ and then turn right around and knee jerk attack republicans in the last sentence? Seriously? How does that work?


Martha, that wasn’t the point. It was that she was expressing ideas (incredibly misguided and incorrect as they may be, in my opinion) rather than resorting to personal attacks, which is a behavior I have noticed in many (obviously not all) internet-based political discussions involving Trump. The vitriol happens on the dem side too, clearly, but I have rarely encountered a Trump supporter that wants to have an honest political discussion in good faith. Some do, I’m sure. If you are one of those kinds of Trump supporters – great! I’ll even ask you, in all sincerity, what are the reasons why you support him?

Robin Melchior


Jane LaBombard

Yes! I appreciate Ann’s perspective and examples. Every time I engage in a debate with a Trumpster by asking a question, I get “Jim Accosta’d”, instead of an answer.


We are called racists every single day. Hilary called us deplorable. It really gets pretty tiresome having to defend the principles that made this country great all the time.


I’m Sorry but this person sounds like a paid troll. He is literately saying everything the trump party wants him to say. How has trump helped your country exactly? Facts need to be used not generalities. I’m sorry no person from Taiwan would say ‘Obama is a liberal elitist’.
I wish this wasn’t the first comment, I was hoping the first one would spark real thinking. Maybe it can be moved down?


Yeah, that read like a scripted comment to me too.


Agree. Big time


My first thought was “why are there paid trolls on a style blog!?” But even if this is someone’s real thoughts, I don’t think encouraging people to support one politician or another is a very on the nose response to the actual post topic… Americans are wising up and are no longer becoming polarized over every little thing even though certain trolls wish we were. People on any side of the political aisle can appreciate feminism, we’re allowed to have things that isn’t an “us vs them” mentality where party A is right so party B must be wrong and you have to be for or against something. People unfollowing over a mild post about feminism is an example of that kind of polarization, this comment is another. Let’s not be so easily taken in by words crafted to anger and divide people, which is the real root of the issue here.


Amen amen. I didn’t necessarily agree with “all things in the post” , but so what? It’s ok for me to hear others opinions. I can still like someone even if I don’t support everything about them. Glad people are getting wise to trolls! Build bridges, not division. We are all in this together and we must remember how we are similar and not just respond out of personal experiences, but with consideration for all people


Yes to building bridges together! That’s what we need. If we can foster basic decency and aim for harmony, we can learn from and include many points of view into the next steps for our nation. Thanks for saying this!

Jenny B

Nailed it. There are literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of those paid trolls. Unfortunately when you post something political the paid trolls come. There are factories of them in other countries, usually college kids paid great salaries compared to working somewhere else. Ironically, most of them don’t believe what they are paid to say, but probably have no concept of their effect on our society.


Agree….sounds like a troll. ‘Trump is not perfect but he is brave and intelligent’


Hi Liz, I’m not a paid troll. I’ m Taiwanese who reads English on line news daily. I also enjoy reading Emily’s blog, her design inspires me and contents make me happy. I’m not Trump’s fan, when Hillary lost the election, I was as sad as democrates. I also read a few books by Trump’s advisors. Especially Death by China by Navrro, Trump’s trading advisor. His books on China’s trading tactics are not fiction or fantasy. They are solid truth and the assertions could be eaisly vertified. Trump is not perfect/likableas a husband or a person. He’s not regal nor elegant as my impression as an American president. However, his determinations in helping the middle or lower classes wins my respect. U Americans are lucky to have Trump to fight for your best interests. Free trade concept is a myth, invented and propaganda by globalists. The outcomes/ fruits of free trade is workers of the. Globe competing for the best efficiency and the worst salary that results not only in America but also Taiwan, factories were moved offshor, wages are stagnant for decades. Working families are suffering. I do not blame workers of lower salary countries. Politicians who facilitate global… Read more »


Ridiculous. Trump is a cancer on our country. The good people of America will never support him.

Kimberly Hight

The good people of America already have!

And Emily, this is the reason I believe so many unfollowed…there is so much of this hatefulness in any forum where politics are introduced and most people are weary of it, and not appreciative in seeing it fin place we go to for beauty and inspiration.


That’s why I unfollowed Em on Insta, which I did regretfully because I really do love her designs. Her viewpoint isn’t one that I support, and I don’t want to be seeing it in my inbox or my Insta feed. I’m just not in the mood to fight when I check my phone.

Mariann Alexander

I agree with both of you ladies. ☝️


I do align with Emily politically, but I was thinking of purging my instagram of politics so that it can just be a mindless escape for me. It’s because at that moment, I might not want ANY politics. I like to get my politics from well-researched news sites. I read the Washington Post, The Chronicle, The Nation, The Marin Independent Journal and The Economist weekly if not daily. I like to set aside a time to do that rather than have my mind space assaulted by politics at any moment. I don’t have cable so I listen to NPR mostly. I like “I’m just not in the mood to fight when I check my phone.” I like that you are obviously still reading the blog. This is a good way to handle it.


Wow. So in your opinion people who support Trump’s policies are “not good”? Really appreciate you labeling millions of people so easily. Must be nice to live in your world where things are so simple! You do know that that kind of thinking actually won the election for Trump don’t you? Thanks for that.
Love, A Deplorable. 🙂


People who support Trump are ok with his racism, antisemitism, homophobia, and on and on. And no, those are not good people, those are bad people. We killed those people in WWII. America’s official policy is that everyone is equal. If you support Trump, you are against that, and you are therefore anti-American. There is no place for Trump and his followers and all their hatred in our country. It goes against our very Constitution.




Absolutely agree!
Bravo to you for articulating this so perfectly. Obama was in way over his head and used rhetoric and obfuscation to cover this fact.

Kate M

I don’t usually post on comments because it is usually not in my best interest to engage. But I felt bad that this person was being called a troll because they expressed their personal experience with Obama and Trump and living in Taiwan. I don’t think most people understand the complicated relationship the US has with Taiwan and China. Dealing with China and the CCP is economically significant and I think Obama felt he had to play into the CCP’s interest to keep our economy running post-recession and to keep consumer goods low. I also do not think Trump is standing up to the CCP because of Taiwan. I could be wrong on this point, I have not recently kept up with Trump’s or the State Department’s relationship with Taiwan. While I personally support Taiwan and think they deserve a better position in global relations, I also, unfortunately, see the that we also have to remain in good relation to China keep our economy up. It is really an impossible situation that will not have a resolution for many years.


Ann, you offer a very interesting perspective. Thanks for helping to take the blinders off of do many who refused to see the charade the wad President Obama. These same folks also need to remove the blinders they are wearing in regards to President Trump. He is trying to help all of us understand the bigger picture. We have been lied to for years. Eake up America!


I think that Obama was moderate. I don’t have blinders about him. I think that he made compromises from all sides and that is why I appreciate him. Being a lefty, I actually don’t feel he was progressive enough. So, no, those on the left don’t have blinders on about Obama.


No, Trump is not brave or intelligent, he is a narcissist/sociopath. Unless you’ve FULLY briefed yourself on his past business and personal dealings, be quiet. If you are educated about who he was before he was president and still support him, shame on you.
He likes to talk about bringing jobs back to the US, but you can’t show proof he’s done so, because it’s all a lie and hasn’t happened. The people in the US going on, and on about job creation and unemployment for minorities are white people making unsubstantiated claims.
The only reason he ran for president was because he made a deal with the devil (Putin) for Russians funneling money into his dirty, failing, real-estate “empire” and keeping afloat during the recession.
There is a reason he gets along so well with oligarchs and dictators, compared to our the leaders of our actual ALLIED countries. He is like them. They have the same values or lack thereof.
You gave several reasons for liking Trump, but they’re all based on absolutely nothing but feelings. He hasn’t done 1 thing to make this world or our country a better place. He may end up being our demise.

Andrea Taylor

I knew the t-shirt was photoshopped and it still made me smile and sigh longing for the past— a president who respects women and who I could listen to with amazement and who made me proud of my America. He is so young there and filled with greatness- but he didn’t know it yet. That’s why I responded to the photo. You are not just a person and a wife, mother and boss— you’re a brand but a brand with feelings. And I think that’s why you’ve become popular. We see you get excited about a sink AND about Birdie’s giggles. So why wouldn’t you share what’s on your mind about the outside world every once in a while? It does affect all of our lives! If you said you hated plaid… would all the plaid lovers drop you? I think they would try to convince you plaid is awesome. This political climate is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. My heart is breaking for the country. You’re either this or that. No one can talk about a disagreement anymore. I’m guilt of this behevior as well. I hear someone talking about the man in the white house in a positive… Read more »

Loveley of

Andrea Taylor, you expressed everything i was thinking.
Emily, try not to let the number of followers on Insta stress you out or cause you anxiety. i get it. but still, in the grand scheme of things, you have an amazing one in a million life, so just focus on that.

Jennifer A.

Thank you, Amanda.

Wake up

Omg Amanda! Your insanity is hurting my brain. Stop watching CNN and wake up. I don’t have the time or desire to even list and correct all of your baseless misstatements. Also, it would be a tremendous waste of time as you are the type of person, among many who posted on here, that is so very certain that your view is the right one and anyone who disagrees with you is evil.


Thank you for this post. I fear you are doubting yourself too much, and letting haters get to you. Honestly, why did/do so many people hate Obama SO MUCH? Hint: racism. That’s it. Obama is a black man who is intelligent, accomplished, well-spoken, attractive, classy, etc etc and I think it was a huge threat to the worldview of some people, who needed to believe that as white men they were superior. They will never admit it, but honestly, its the only reason that makes any sense. He was a centrist. He wasn’t a communist or a muslim or an immigrant, as they accused him of being (and why would it be so horrible if he was?). On the second day of his term, Republicans in the government made a united public pact to eternally shut down any and all things that Obama tried to do, forever, no matter what. Do you remember that? It was insane. He was extremely accommodating to Republicans. They hated him no matter what, before he ever did or said anything. From the progressive perspective, his attempts to reach across the isle and be kind and understanding to Republicans was actually his big flaw– trying… Read more »

Laura Jewell

Racism, really? Again? Way can’t anyone criticize St. Obama without being a racist? I don’t care what color he is, I don’t like his politics. Liberals always try to shut down the conversation with the racism, sexism, etc line. I’m a republican woman who is not any of those things and am tried of the hate thrown our wsy by the left and yes, the media. I could go on and on but I know you won’t bother to get off your high horses and consider an honest discussion instead of labeling people you don’t know.


Laura: “Labeling people you don’t know”? You mean like you just did — accusing all liberals of trying to “shut down the conversation” and then telling the OP to “get off your high horse”?

What about your rant was an “honest discussion”? Racism is part of this conversation whether you want to talk about it or not. If you’re not open to talking about the Republicans who said racist things about Obama, his wife, and his daughters, then you’re not open to having an “honest discussion.


This. Yes, Laura great comment. Good Republicans need to be honest with themselves about the fact that some in their party (not all and I believe it is a small minority NOT the majority) are truly racist and don’t like Obama just because of his skin. That does not mean I think you are racist Nico. I don’t believe that. But there is a percentage of the population however small that are almost always very right leaning that are racists and they are a loud percentage who use the internet and politics to breed hate. There are a smaller percentage in this group that also hate women, specifically strong women. That does not mean ALL republicans feel this way. But until you are honest with yourself that MOST of the people that are racists and do hate women gravitate towards this president for a reason then you truly aren’t looking at the reason why he is so politically divisive. I as a Democrat can also be honest and say a small minority in our party are ‘ELITIST’ and don’t understand the common person or what they need. I love Obama but he is not a saint and was not a… Read more »

Pam Swingle

I like your posts and will continue to follow them.



Jennifer Goodyear

I am sorry you feel victimized but people aren’t just making up the claims that race is involved. I married into an upper middle class white family and I have heard racial slurs about Obama used at the holiday dinner table. I have lived in a suburban, mostly white neighborhood and just because I’m white people think its “safe” to use racial slurs about politicians in front of me. I have ridden in ubers where the driver points out confederate statues and then proceeds to talk about what a shame it is that the liberals are letting blacks into what used to be good colleges. I used to always walk away when those types of comments were made but now I stand up and call people out. I have lived, traveled and worked in a variety of locations around the country and have heard racially discriminatory language from about half of the people that I’ve met that self identify as republican, I truly am not exaggerating here. To be fair I’ve also heard racially discriminatory language from democrats, but at a much lower rate – definitely single digits. Just because you are republican doesn’t mean you are a racist, sure,… Read more »


Thank you, Jennifer, for calling it out. I know that it’s hard to do. I’m Latina, but my husband is white, and he’s constantly shocked at the racist things people will say to him (often about Latinos because we are in Southern California). They assume that because he’s white that he will agree.


??Jennifer. Beautifully written!!


Thank you so much for your comment Jennifer. I feel like it showed an honesty about racism that most white people will not admit to, or worse, have no problem with being around, or even worse, agree with. I remember my in-laws making all kinds of horrible comments (including racist ones) about Obama, but now defend Trump to the nth degree and get super defensive if anyone says anything even slightly negative about “the president of this country who deserves the utmost respect.”
Makes me sick.


Laura, I truly want to know your opinion as a conservative. WHY do you hate Obama if you do? I can understand dislike for some of his politics as I have disliked conservative presidents in the past but I really don’t understand the vitriol. And if you happen to like our current president more than Obama, please explain why. I really want to get out of my bubble and understand and maybe even see the good in him. Because right now Trump terrifies me with his foreign policy, his disregard for other humans even in our own country, his lack of respect and decorum, and his continuous lies. I don’t want to attack each other. I want to understand!


You are fully allowed to criticize Obama and not agree with him politically, all the while respecting him as a man and a decent human being. What I believe Emily was saying is that a lot of people just generally dislike Obama as a person, many of those same people who are so in love with Trump. In this case, I have to agree with Nico here and say that this is just blatant racism. BLATANT.


The racism isn’t blatant. It’s unconscious. People are often so racist that they haven’t dug deep enough to uncover it. The worst is someone white who hasn’t uncovered the depths of their racism and been honest about it and vice versa for other cultures as well. There is a lot of unconscious sexism in our country as well. People don’t even realize they are doing it. Why does everyone hate Hilary so much too? Case in point.

FYI the Hilary thing was rhetorical. Please don’t open that pandora’s box.

Samantha Zutler

Laura: the pain (?) and discomfort you feel about what you perceive to be as allegations that you or your fellow Republicans are racist just does not compare to the impact of actual racism and systemic white supremacy on people of color. It just doesn’t. Glennon Doyle said it best: the fact that you are white does not mean that you have never experienced discomfort or discrimination. It just means that you do not experience discrimination *because of your race.*


Laura, two studies examined the election and found that fear of losing status to other races and genders largely fueled the success of Trump’s campaign. It’s not just “that old racism thing.”, it’s based in facts, whether you care to acknowledge them or not.


Yes, 100% it’s racism. Trump is a cancer on our society. History will not be kind to him or his supporters.


This. Not sure how anyone can genuinely not know why President Obama is so reviled by some.


You are ? correct!!


I like Obama but I don’t call people who don’t like him racists. Branding people racist makes us not hear the often complex reasons they have for not liking a politician. And it makes us not hear those reasons. That’s part of the problem we have in this country right now. We’re not willing to listen to the actual reasons people come to their conclusions about our leaders. We gloss over their real and genuine feelings with “you’re just a racist.” You know who I don’t like? Tim Scott. I can’t stand his stance on the environment and that he accepts campaign donations from oil and gas interests. You know what? He’s black. And a Republican. Do you want to gloss over the fact that I truly BELIEVE he’s a danger to our environment while he’s in the Senate? Are you going to simply brand me a racist because he’s black? No. Because you probably disagree with his politics as well. That’s called political bias. And when you called people who don’t like Obama racists, you’re using your political bias to discount almost 50% of the population. That’s unfair and it’s dangerous. And that’s why our country is so divided.


Racism is real. If you grew up in America you are a racist (I am one). Racism is not owned by only one political party, Democrats and liberals are racist too. You don’t have to love Obama or his politics, of course you can disagree. It is ignorant to pretend that lots of people who dislike him aren’t basing that on a gut feeling that is heavily informed by their racism. They try to rationalize it by pointing to his politics but at the end of the day a lot of it is still racism. A heavy reason that people back any politician is “likability,” which is totally based on bias. Research shows that the taller candidate usually wins, and the more attractive candidate usually wins. So no, people are not just sitting down and meticulously analyzing policy positions before they choose a candidate. They are operating with their gut, steeped in our national smog of racism. Racism is all around us an we cannot avoid it. To pretend otherwise is lying to yourself at best and actively oppressing others at worst. Beverly Tatum defines racism as “a system of advantage based on race.” As a white person I benefit… Read more »

Mariana Green

Thank you for this!!! Yes!
I am a white, liberal feminist. We can be the most racist of all! I encourage any other white liberal feminists out there to read ‘Why I’m No Longer Taking To White People About Race’ by Eddo-Lodge, a fantastic, mind opening, short, not-arduous read!


Daisy: I’m an older white woman, and your comment is one of the best descriptions of racism I’ve read.




Yes Daisy! All very painfully true.


I disagree, Daisy. Am I allowed to pick any adjective in the book and assert that you (and I) are that?

Are you saying that, specifically, those who grew up in America are all racist, and those who grew up other places… well, they may or may not be? (What causes them to be?)

Being racist seems like a decision someone makes, not something branded upon them by the country they’re born in.

What are specific ways that the advantage is based on race (I’m actually asking in honesty, not trying to be facetious)?




Most “racist” people do not know they are racist. They are brainwashed by the foundation of white supremacy that this country was founded on. That’s the real problem. When people get up in arms about being called a racist it is because they have a picture in their head, an idea of what they *think* a racist looks like and they don’t fit in that picture. So they convince themselves they are not racist. Racism is a large, systemic, complicated reality. Until people take off the rose colored glasses and can see the world outside of their paradigm (which is very hard to do) then real racism will never go away.

Mariana Green



Completely agree!! Well said!!


Spot on.


Hi Emily! Great post, I love to see someone who is more than just a brand on Instagram, someone who is genuine and a real person. Good for you for not apologizing. (I also loved the original image in question by the way haha)


You called Republicans Monsters with twister opinions. I don’t think you are inviting discourse. You are being very superior. It’s a classic Hillary move: let me tell you why I’m doing the right thing, and perhaps your smallish brain will grasp it, but probably not”. Your post reeks of privilege and condescension. By the way, I loathe Trump. But I also loathe your tone. Be Nicer.


Everything I wanted to say but said in a much better way than I would have, haha. Cosigned, same, amen, etc. Especially that love you @ Emily. Nicely done, Nico.


100 % correct.

Sophia I Liebman

YES!!!!!! Thank you Nico couldn’t have said it better my self


I have never once commented on a blog before (your’s nor anyone else’s) and I have been following your blog for a few years now so here goes… Just want to say that I am disappointed that you took down the post of beloved Barack. We are whole people and if expressing yourself emotionally is wrong than when will the world be right? I support you, I support women, I support men. There’s my two sense and my emotional response to your blog which I felt more than moved to reply to today ; ) TGIF!


Emily, I appreciate it a lot that in these difficult times when the easiest option is to avoid discussion altogether, you are not afraid to express your opinion on polarising subjects such as this one. And yes God knows you do it in an extremely respectful way! Also, as a European, I guess I have a different approach to the concept of being “offended” (a quote from Stephen Fry always comes to my mind – you can Google “Stephen Fry quote offended” if you want to know which one :D). But anyway, I don’t think your Instagram post was offensive in any way and I’m sure you’re open to discussion concerning the pros and cons of the presidencies of Trump and Obama. Keep doing your thing and please do your best not to worry about the lost followers – if it matters to you, I am one of those who would rather see an honest Emily standing up for things than an Emily who avoids saying what she really thinks for the sake of keeping her numbers up. Especially in these difficult times!


Dear Emily,
I really enjoy your blog and You As A Human Being, but the post didn’t thrill me because the shirt is so obviously photoshopped and it’s a crude message that seems out of character for President Obama, whom I admire and miss every day. Still, it’s one post among thousands, and you’re very self aware about what you’re saying and how it’s received. All of which is to say, breathe and give yourself a break. (And “stick to design” is so dismissive and unworthy. You keep doing you, brilliantly.)

Cici Haus

Can I just ditto Felicia’s comment? She said it perfectly.

(Also, I completely agree the failure of feminism is not supporting any choice a woman makes, including taking care of her family as a career. I struggled with that aspect in college.)

Lisa Smith

I would argue that third and fourth wave feminism do support women making a range of choices including embracing traditionally “feminine” things and roles. While I think there’s still an inherent responsibility to working to advance and protect other women’s choices, even if they’re traditionally “masculine”, I like the “you do you” aspect of later waves of feminism. Also I’d love to see this advanced for men – the thing where it’s “so amazing!” and “babysitting” when a father is caring for his own child is nuts, as is all the pressure on men to me traditionally “masculine”. Everybody just do you. Everyone else support everyone else.


Precisely, Lisa!


Ditto to both Felicia and Cici. Emily you are brave to come back and explain yourself in a world that’s ‘triggered’ by anything. There is no winning in any argument but I love that you are real and honest. You are true to your own beliefs. Dr. Seuss says “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Jenna Brown

Ditto!! Well said. Your real fans are here for you, Emily!


Long time daily reader here, and this post diluting your personal viewpoint in the interest of popular opinion is a little disappointing. I have noticed a bit of theme here in the past year of you posting, getting negative feedback then addressing it by being incredibly apologetic, back-pedalling and then taking a very safe, defensive approach with content. But my sense is this weakens your authenticity. You do you, honey!

I think over the long term it will be far more damaging to your brand if you try to be all things to all people. You’ll never make everyone happy so you may as well be true to yourself.


BRB getting a t-shirt that says DESIGN BLOGGERS DON’T OWE YOU SHIT


Yeah, I agree with this comment. I’ve loved your blog forever but it does feel like you’re so heavily influenced by how people react. I also wouldn’t label myself “aggressive” but if we can’t post a picture of Obama in a feminist shirt with a woebegone comment about a time when we were proud of our President, then I just don’t even know what we’re doing here. I also kinda feel like this post was a little click-baity and I’ve gotten a little annoyed at the decidedly tiny “sneak peeks” to draw out the full reveal posts for weeks on end. Just feels like you’re trying to fill a content calendar rather than give people what they want.



Melinda, I would follow your content.

Emily, the post reads a bit like you’re admitting to a crime you didn’t commit. You really didn’t do anything wrong or that you need to apologize for.

And hell, what’s wrong with being emotional about these things?


Melinda’s comment is EXACTLY how i felt when i read this post. She said it perfectly.

Emily, keep being you and don’t apologize (or unofficially apologize as this post seemed) for it. i follow you because i like your content and political/social views. i like that you aren’t this super perfectly polished, no opinions about anything important, design-only blogger. that makes you real and interesting. trying to be middle of the road about important things just makes a person seem super corporate and fake.
also, if you were pro-trump, i would unfollow you. but that’s okay. who cares. everyone can all follow/unfollow whoever we want. you don’t need to make everyone happy.


As a Brit, I think your post was great (we miss Obama over here too!!) and I think you should be able to occasionally talk politics if you want given that your brand IS you. I too cannot understand people who would choose Trump over Obama, but it’d be interesting to know more about your audience and which way they lean politically. Being able to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your home is a luxury. Is that a luxury that Republicans can more easily afford, as (very) generally they are more likely to be wealthy?


Emily, I really admire the way you try to keep an open mind and and from other people whose opinions are different from your own—I wish more people did that! This country would be a lot better off. And I live that you use your voice/celebrity status to share moral issues that are important instead of just being a safe, bland brand. I’m sorry for the backlash you got. Also, I LOVE what you said about feminism and valuing ALL the work women do, including being caregivers. I consider myself a tough-girl feminist; I have been a leader in my industry, have lived and worked on four continents, have summitted world class peaks and run marathons. But right now I am choosing to stay home and be a full-time caregiver to my one- and three-year-old. It’s what I choose, but sometimes I feel very invisible. So thank you for what at you said about valuing all of women’s contributions.


Very cool article. To my regret, there are very few of them.

Samantha Zutler

Agreed with Nico on the comment about racism. All of this hand wringing about how divided our country is, and the need to see the other side – I get it, and i guess I agree to some extent but, also, the hard truth is that a great deal of our country is racist. So whenever I hear the “we’re so polarized; we need to find more middle ground” argument, I feel like the subtext is : “what’s a little racism if it means more unity?”. I think part of the reason we’re so divided right now is that, for the first time, we’re starting to confront that racism, and it’s ugly. Second, I’m not sure you can lay the devaluing of motherhood and caretaking at the feet of the feminist movement. I think that’s borne of devaluing women in general – we live in a misogynistic culture (especially now). How could that possibly include valuing women for being mothers? And how can the fact we don’t value women as mothers the fault of the feminist movement? Nah. Let’s leave that blame with the patriarchy. Third, when you (and I know others do it too) say things like: “but the… Read more »


Hi Emily, I agree with what Samantha said. Feminism isn’t about devaluing motherhood. It’s about making sure all women can chose how they live their lifes. Thanks Samantha for expressing that. I wanted to add – first of all, thanks you Emily for writing this post and making us part of your thought process, even at the rist of even more anxiety. Good job on being open! I want to point out that there are many, many options between “pillows only, no politics ever” and “i want to talk about my opinion all the time.” How you want to nagivate this is completely up to you! I think it’s worth checking out how other women (and women-run businesses in the creative space) handle this. Some ideas and inspirations: Emily McDowell, who’s very open about her position, A Beautiful Mess, which tend to be very coy but still do post get-out-the-vote messages, or Justina Blakeney, who is very authentic. I personally also love BodyPosiPanda’s IG. You see, tons of options! You get to chose what feels good for you and your company. And one thing I also want to say: You are in a privileged position to be able to chose… Read more »

Samantha Zutler

Hi Jess – thank you for giving me some new Instagram accounts to follow! 🙂


I have never been so supportive on a comment on your blog before this. I, too, get frustrated when it feels like feminism and female success depends on the ability to nurture a family in addition to having a fulfilling career. Like Samantha said, we need to support the autonomy of all women, their decisions, and what they consider a happy and fulfilling life. That’s what feminism looks like.


I agree with what Samantha said and think this post is messier than the “off-brand” meme. I’m kinda worried that you’re just now realizing there’s people who hate Obama and that a lot of white women aren’t into feminism. As often quoted, 53% of white women voted for Trump. It’s a huge bubble that worries about losing 4k followers when you still have 743k because of what you said and can then hide vs. the literal danger a lot of people of color find themselves in daily because of who they are in our political climate. Grace Bonney’s latest podcast episode with the People of Craft founders could be very helpful as you’re thinking through all of this.


Let’s be clear Elizabeth – 53% of women who voted (which was 36% of the eligible white women), voted for Trump. Not 53% of all white women. That’s 19% of the white women in the country.


Sorry, typo – *53% of the white women who voted


Yes, Samantha, yes to this.

Thanks for sharing Emily.


Samantha, your comment is so perfectly spot on. Thank you!


First, thank you Emily for being brave and addressing these issues head on. I fully appreciate the weight of this and the impact it has on your personal and professional life! I think the (mostly) respectful dialogue that you’ve sparked in the comments section is attributable to the decency and authenticity you bring to us every day. Second, I just want to support this comment because, while I absolutely do not believe you’d intentionally degrade non-mothering women’s choices, I have always been a little chaffed by statements about motherhood being the true actualization of a woman’s worth and happiness. And to a larger point, it might be worth questioning how invested you are in traditional gender roles. The whole “women should strive to be more like men” thing is a double edged sword. Who says being loud, assertive, brash is an inherently male attribute? I think we do men a disservice by assuming this. And also, as a woman who is inherently outspoken, vocal, and opinionated, I certainly would not want to be accused of “trying to act like a man.” That’s just who I am! While I try very hard to be empathic and open minded in my approach,… Read more »


Meant to say “women shouldn’t strive to be more like men.” Oops!

[…] post The 7 Things I Learned After Instagramming a Photo of Barack Obama & Losing 4k Followers appeared first on Emily […]


Thank you for your bravery in sharing your thoughts. I’m sure it wasn’t easy and you obviously put thought into this blog post. Sending you a high five.


Hey Emily, I’m really struggling with this. I want to tell you go to right ahead and voice your opinions because that’s what makes you stand out; what I consider to be your socially responsible and caring nature feed into your brand values. I think it’s great that you’re open and honest and speak out about the issues that matter to you. But that’s easy for me to say because I agree with your politics. How would I feel if you were super right wing and posted supportive images of Trump? It would sicken me and, yeah, I would probably be tempted to unfollow. Maybe the answer is to continue to promote ways in which people can help, love, support and care for each other without getting specific about party politics? The bottom line is that I think your personality is a massive part of your brand and you shouldn’t feel you have to suppress it. I imagine that the vast majority of your readers and followers are fully behind you and love you for your caring personality and openness (as well as your awesome style) so, hard as I’m sure it is, try to feel that love instead of… Read more »


This type of photo was uncharacteristic of you (I never would have picked something photoshopped for such a message…) but based on your blog you spend so much time trying to be mindful of people from all walks of life that the dip in unfollowers seems like an unfair overreaction. We should always strive for understanding each other, but there’s always people who just want to shout their opinions at you and leave the moment you express any kind of political sentiment. I understand wanting to tailor these posts to people who radically disagree with you and probably would do the same in your position, but you can only reach a mutual understanding if you and everyone else is allowed to voice their opinions and stay true to themself… otherwise you’re just opening up a platform solely for people with STRONG and LOUD opinions.


I think part of the challenge I have when people say they want to be open and then only post content promoting one side or the other is that it doesn’t feel very genuine. Are we at this point that no Republican can post anything positive about any Democrat? Are we at this point that even if you dislike the current president, there is nothing positive you can post about any political leader who is currently or was ever a Republican? To me, reaching across the aisle and being truly open to ideas is more than just generating discussion – it’s examining your own biases and taking action to actively promote what you are preaching. I think it would be interesting to see what the reactions would have been if you had posted a photoshopped republican leader with that type of shirt on. It’s your blog and your social media, so you do you of course – but would it have generated as many unfollows? More? would people have been more on board if you, a person who clearly is liberal, is posting something positive about a republican? I personally find your blog inspiring but unfollow anyone who posts political… Read more »


Yes. I totally agree with this. Being “open” to other ideas (or truly (peacefully) tolerant) can’t, by its very nature, be one sided. Are all republicans misogynistic? No. Of course not. Are all liberals the only people fighting for the rights of women? No. Of course not. Are Librals bad people? No, not all of them. Are republicans bad people people? No, not all of them. As Americans, we desperately need people who are REALLY open. People who are REALLY able to live in tolerance to other ideals and opinions. People who can see the POSITIVES about both parties. Not just the negatives. People who are willing to step outside of our own bubbles (that isolate us to being around people who agree with us, think like us and want what we want) and consider other sides. What would America be like if we all gathered enough courage, respect and tolerance to support other opinions and—whether we agree with one another or not—see the humanness and INNATE VALUE (because they’re a living breathing person) of people who don’t agree with us. And I believe that you, Emily, care SO much about your readers (I mean…this blog post was so very… Read more »


Connie you said it better thank I ever could!

Instagram is my guilty pleasure of looking at pretty pictures and locations. I don’t want any political stuff in my feed. None. I, too, left Facebook a couple years ago because of the negative and loud posting from all perspectives.

The loss of followers is sad. But maybe they felt as I do–when an Instagram is 99% pretty rooms and design and then a shock picture appears, I feel like the poster is just hiding their true feelings and the wine unfiltered the impulse to show how they really feel about half the country.

Maybe you should post more of how you really feel?? Here and on Instagram.


If it makes you feel better, pretty much everyone in Canada liked and/or respected Obama. The 14 months when both Obama and Justin Trudeau were world leaders together was like a tease of what great things are countries could have accomplished together. Also, Canadians generally find a well-placed curse word hilarious.


Justin Trudeau is an autocrat -one can’t even run for office as a Liberal without being his echo. Also, He’s often made a fool of himself on trips abroad. At least his father was Intelligent, but I think he got his poor mother’s intellect.


Like the rest of the world, Canadians love Obama (every poll consistently has him about 80 per cent approval). And it WAS a hopeful time when he and Justin were leaders together.
More importantly to this post, though, was that your Obama tweet was just fine. We are living at a critical point in history (i.e. climate change; rise of facism) and, as you say, Emily, it’s important for those with a platform to use it for good. Ultimately, it will also likely benefit your business. Thanks for sharing.


I guess what I’m trying to say is that with any argument there are two side and you shouldn’t put all the blame on yourself when it’s both your actions and reactions that led to this situation. We should ALL grow and learn from this, not just you catering the way you express yourself to please the loudest voices among your followers. Try and stay in touch with all political views and be mindful of how you voice things, but try not to water down your opinions… Mutual understanding is what will burst through the solid bubbles, not keeping quiet.


I feel two things:

– We have lost our ability to engage in civil conversation, or even heated debate, with our peers, friends, families and role models when we disagree with their positions and still be friends, or friendly, with them. And we are worse off for not having the ability to converse in a way that broadens our mindset and opinions regardless of whether we deem them to be right or wrong.

– I once heard the quote once “everyone’s dystopia may be someone else’s utopia” and in this time in the world, that could not feel more true whether it applies to politics, or design.

A 4K follower loss means something to you because of its economic impact to your company and staff and the impact to your sponsorships but the quality of the impact of those followers might mean less in the long run than the initial 4K sting on its face.

Be you, be true. And sometimes we should all take uncomfortable positions and we all need to be okay with being uncomfortable.


Yes. This. We don’t have to agree. It’s 1000% okay for you to have strong beliefs “on one side” and still be respectful of those that have totally opposing viewpoints. The answer is not to temper your views or how you express them, it’s to continue engaging those with different beliefs and not trying to “win” them over. Disagreement is uncomfortable but that is what is necessary to drive understanding of our differences.


I’m a long time reader of your blog who really enjoys the personal and introspective parts of your posts. So much that they will even get me to read sponsored posts that really have nothing to do with me (water filtration ??‍♀️). Being personal is part of your brand, obviously and it works for you. I admire that you’re willing to engage readers in “political” issues when so many other bloggers don’t. (I put political in quotes because things like voting and gun control and feminism (and so much else) are only called “political” topics because politicians, lobbyists and giant corporations have been in charge of the narrative for years. )

Because personal is political and political is personal and those folks who think they can “stay out of politics” aren’t acknowledging their privilege that allows them to stay out of these types of issues.

I’m hopeful that some people who read the comments on the first post and the comments here will maybe ask themselves what you asked them: why is feminism making me so angry? And who does that anger serve?

Leigh H

Very well put!


Hi Emily,

I love how thoughtful you were about this post. For me, the bottom line is that we cannot apologize about being feminists. Equality demands no apology.

Be your true self and speak your mind.



I think that is what people are having a problem with; EH is being her true self. Emily keep doing what you are doing and forget about the haters. Never apologize for being who you are. We all know how amazing you are?❤️️


I will continue to follow you Emily, in fact you are one of two favorite “Emily’s” (Emily Hallman -sewing- is a fantastic follow!). I have always loved your straight forward support of the Obama’s and what they stand for. I will admit the t-shirt was a confusing message, but I too- enjoyed the young Obama face in the photo. I long for the days of having a leader with integrity, who fought for lifting the American people, including all women.
Continue to be you- I love your style inspiration along with your concern for our country. At the end of the day, if we continue to live our fullest selves, assist those who need a helping hand, speak truth to power and believe in a better world–we will live in the light of hope. That will indeed lead to a better world


I remember seeing this post and liking it, literally and figuratively, because it warmed my heart. I hate the state our country is in. I miss Obama every day. When people like you — a successful, lovely woman who shows over and over again that she cares about her family and the world around her, a woman older than me who I look up to — post something like this, I appreciate it. A lot. It fills some of the “decency and respectfulness” qualifications that I miss seeing in Obama and desperately want to see in a president. When you have a following and you post something like that, I understand that you’re opening yourself up to backlash, and I also get that it isn’t your cross to bear, that you’re just one lady. But I’m telling you it does mean a lot to me xx


That article is spot on, Jennifer. Emily, don’t worry about it. Say whatever you want to say. Think like Orlando – he puts whatever he feels like saying on his Instagram and makes his feelings about the current state of our politics very clear, and he doesn’t give a damn if people unfollow him. If right wing conservatives unfollow you, let them go off and start their own design blogs so they have their own little safe spaces 🙂


Emily, I support (and agree with) you on all of this. I think we all need to let our authentic voices be heard. How else will we pop the bubbles in which we all live?


You are experiencing what you have because (as we have learned from the last two elections) white women side with the patriarchy every damn time. And yes, the Obama-haters are racists. Period. If someone is offended by that, then they need to consider why they are so offended and do the deep soul searching it takes to be a thoughtful member of society. But it’s much easier to click unfollow and not have to be uncomfortable.


I think you did nothing wrong. The political environment in the U.S. is toxic but this is THE country for free speech and it is your right to speak your piece. Just be you. And you know how you get angry with a friend/husband/coworker and in a fit of pique block them or unfriend them? And then in a week you’ve calmed down and refriended them. I think that is what will happen here. Just ride it out.


Emily (et al), I’m quoting Rachel Cargle (@rachel.cargle on IG) when I say, “We cannot overcome what we ignore.” What seems most at work in the unfollowing of 4k followers is white fragility and the undercurrents of white supremacy reproducing in one way or another. Power working the way it’s intended to work–to keep us all in our place. I encourage all white women following Emily and her team to think about what is causing us to disconnect instead of engage with curiosity, become defensive and silence others speaking truth to power, shrink ourselves instead of speaking up against injustice. I encourage white women followers to engage in the work of Rachel Cargle, Layla Saad (@laylafsaad on IG). Layla recently reminded her followers: “Understand that for me to be Me, I may have to disappoint You.”

Sarah Layton

Just replying to up vote this of sorts. Rachel Cargle and Layla Saad are definitely worth looking at.


I want to read authentic Emily. I love that voice and that’s why I read the blog!!! Stay true to yourself. Please!


I think you should have kept the post up. Obama is a wonderful father, husband, leader, writer, and speaker. Doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says and does, or that I thought he was the perfect president. But there’s something wrong with people who can’t tolerate a blogger expressing opinions. Those 4K people who flounced away in a huff because someone had an opinion that differed from their own? They aren’t worth worrying about. They are the definition of “intolerant.” You should be glad they’re gone from your readership.


I love this. I love you. That post was spot on. ??


I’ve never been in your position, with so much reach on social media and also so much responsibility.

And I understand that it gets very, very complicated when your identity becomes your brand – tied in with paying a team of staff and £££ partnerships and sponsorships.

But it makes me sad on your behalf if you feel you can’t express your own political beliefs openly on your own platform. You’re a feminist who voted for Obama and respect and admire him as a politician and a person – none of that is a bad thing! And 38k likes suggests that many of your key audience are right on board (including me). But I do understand your desire to express your opinion in a positive and inclusive way.

Man this is rambling but I’m trying to say don’t beat yourself up! You’re walking a really tough line and you’re doing great.


I’ve never commented on any post on social media before, but I just had to tell you I’m so sorry you even felt you had to do a follow up “I’m sorry” post to that one.

You are amazing; this world and some of the people in it are not. It boggles my mind you would be unfollowed for that.

To be honest, I wish more companies, influencers, public figures etc would stop pandering to the lowest common denominator. We are better off without them, and they don’t deserve you and what you offer. Sometimes people don’t deserve to be met in the middle.

Love xx


I so agree, Bex. Keep in mind, in Canada, most Dems *would* fall in the middle of our political spectrum, and the “radical” change they speak of is just basic government services here. It’s all relative. I think a lot of the blue wave came from Dem candidates refusing to compromise on their (and their constituents’) principles, instead of pandering to a middle that may or may not exist. All this is to say, I’m so glad to hear people use their voice; certainly even when they don’t have to, but because they can. Being apolitical is a luxury most of us don’t have, and I appreciate anyone who will step out of their bubble to engage and and make a racket on our behalf.


Can I interject some humor here? Honestly, your situation could have been a lot worse. You could have said something nice about Trump and you would have lost a lot more followers. Ha! At least I think it’s funny and some levity on the situation is warranted. There are hundreds of millions of Americans with lives and upbringings from just as many different places and situations and all with opinions. The truth is roughly half voted one way and half the other way. I think the American thing to do is say it’s your blog/Twitter/instagram/whatever and you post what you want and people can read it if they want. I’m certain you and I wouldn’t agree on everything politically, but I come to your blog because you design a lot of pretty stuff I like to look at, and I learn new stuff. Not that I can afford most of it ? I imagine that’s why some of the comments in your blog post said “just stick to design” because your work is an escape for people, and it can be tough to feel like political issues or presidents creep into every area of our lives. That’s stressful, but your… Read more »

rahoul ganjaparket

Thanks for sharing greate
I love how thoughtful you were about this post. For me, the bottom line is that we cannot apologize about being feminists. Equality demands no apology.
pls see more

Leigh H

Hi Emily, Could you have chosen to express your support and desire for a more pro-feminist environment in a different perhaps less reactive, buzzed 😉 way, sure, I imagine you would have enraged a fair share no matter how “clean” and thought out you had expressed this sentiment. You are human being who owns a business that is based on letting us into many aspects of your life, the longer you do this and the more you let us in, you will naturally lose some and my guess is gain more followers. This makes me like you even more. The fact that this angered some to the point of not following you, as you eloquently expressed, is a testament to the deep divisions in our culture right now and the deep destain for our former president. I think you should let yourself off the hook for this one. I think we all are faced with this very dilemma right now. I come back to this quote often when trying to navigate similar waters, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr.


To answer your questions: I agree with your assessment of the post being “off-brand” and your decision to take it down. I find it admirable that you (and many others) are navigating this whole new sphere of business which blends your [personal] social media with your separate brand. You are human and should be able to express yourself as such, and I don’t envy you or anyone else in the public realm who is constantly subject to so many onlookers’ opinions. Please be easy on yourself. And never apologize for being a proud (and occasionally angry!) feminist 🙂


You are amazing! Keep it up!

Jennifer Goodyear

My advice to you is don’t waste your fame. You have the ears of so many more people than most of us could hope to reach. I think the way you have handled political issues in the past has been pretty deft. You find a way to weave it in with grace. I would encourage you to do some research in the behavioral sciences to potentially nudge people a little further, but honestly I think you find a really nice balance – you stick to your main design content which reaches a wider group of political views while sprinkling in social posts. This particular Instagram post wasn’t particularly deft but I don’t think you should have to apologize for it or take it down either. It’s such a small amount of your content. You lost those followers on Instagram, not necessarily as readers on the blog.


This idea that in our current political climate, feminism has become a triggering word is just silly. I’ll never stop telling my daughter what feminism means. I show her every day what it means to be a strong, capable woman who, through actions and voice, demands equal treatment. I’ll never apologize for it. Women who don’t want to acknowledge feminism obviously don’t see the irony in the fact that their very right to vote/speak/tweet is because of the feminist movement.

And yes, we also all have the privilege of being able to change the channel if we don’t like what we are reading, which I guess is a reality that needs to be accepted if you’re going to voice an opinion about the world, even if that opinion is about this dystopian hell-scape that we’re living in currently.

I’m sure that part of fame and “creating a brand” is that others don’t always see you as a whole person. But you are!!! You are a powerful woman who exists beyond her brand, you are going to have views about the world, and you should! Please don’t erase the evidence of your convictions, wear them proudly
emblazoned on your OWN T-shirt!


I didn’t love the Obama post, it felt off and polarizing to me. But Emily, if you wore the shirt instead of posting an Obama meme, it would be a-ok with me. And probably a lot more people. Feminism is worth fighting for.
*chanting* GET! THE! SHIRT! ??

Nicki Inch

Emily, I’m sorry we live in a world that thinks it’s ok to tear down a person in order to maintain their privilege in the world. The world (I say this because I live in Canada and am including my own country’s shortcomings in this comment), is shifting once again and those folks who have been used to their privilege in society are getting uncomfortable and don’t like it thrown in their face. I say too “effin” bad. Get used to it. Unfortunately there are consequences for that attitude and there is pushback as a result. We need more people like you around, people who have influence on the society that is created through social media, who have these huge followings on various platforms, those who can push these ideals and make people of privilege feel just that little more uncomfortable. I’m glad you have decided that you would rather be authentic than bow to the wishes of a mere 4,000 followers. I can guarantee that you will gain 4,000 followers back and more by staying true to yourself, espousing your political views along with your brand of feminism. It is through discourse like this that we are able to… Read more »


I have actually stopped following design brands that do not acknowledge the unique and troubling social, political times we are in – I can’t support a person/brand that really thinks pillows are all that matter. I appreciate you being true to yourself and broaching the hard topics. But I don’t think we should be apologizing for or excusing anti-Trump comments. People that hate Obama and love Trump don’t do so because of resume or character- they do so because they are uncomfortable with a Black leader. I won’t sugar coat that because we are complicit when we do.

Katie K

Totally agree, Kristina. There are days, when there’s so much craziness going on in the world, and I find it so troubling when some bloggers don’t even acknowledge it (e.g. family separation). I’ve stopped following some because of that as well.


Thank you for your considered words. I’m a conservative who likes Obama as a charming human, but doesn’t agree with his politics. One of the things that felt so off for me was the removal of your professional voice. I may not agree with your politics in all areas, but I generally agree with your approach to careful words. For the issue of why Obama can spark so much negative emotion, I have some thoughts. Obama is polarizing to many conservatives not because he was a terrible guy, but because he is now a (in my opinion) unmerited superhero of liberals. He is (and should be) respected for the barriers he broke, but in the era of outrageous Trump, Obama is now looked at as flawless. The lamb before the lion. I’m an NOT a Trump supporter, so understand that this isn’t Trump defense. Many rational conservatives have the same reaction to Obama that liberals have to Reagan. “Yeah he was a good guy but PLEASE stop pointing him as perfect… what about _____ problems?!” There are absolutely people who hate him and I stand with none of them. But when someone stands with him as a superhero/perfect savior, I… Read more »


This was a very well reasoned and expressed post, Kari. Thanks for sharing your point of view – it’s different than mine but I can clearly see and understand why you feel the way you do!


Agreed, thanks so much for this considered and reasonable commentary. I am liberal and can agree with some of your points. I think the thing for me, and many liberals, is that Obama is remembered as a “superhero” mainly due to how VILE trump is. It’s a relative comparison. If we had a moderate, competent, respectful leader in office now, you’re right — I don’t think Obama would be so glorified and missed.



from this liberal-minded person, thank you for this insight. you are right, when obama was in office, i agreed with a lot of his ideology, but of course, he wasn’t perfect and had missteps. and probably many more to someone more politically conservative. it’s good to hear your measured perspective on the matter. it has given me some additional perspective on the matter. i’m having a hard time navigating how increasingly polarized and reactionary we are becoming in this political climate, so anytime someone can explain an opposing perspective to me in way that is thoughtful and considered, it is much appreciated 🙂


I agree with most of your points, although I have an issue with comparing men as a whole to verbally aggressive toddlers. That seems like “reverse sexism” to me. I know the term “sexism” inherently implies a power differential, so “reverse sexism” may not be the most accurate description, but hopefully you get what I mean. There are millions of good men out there that aren’t throwing volatile toddler tantrums. My husband is one of them and I assume your husband is too. We are not going to gain ground as women by putting men down as a whole.


I loved this post. As a 26 year old female in the work place I look up to you and how you approach these political issues. I see you as a compassionate and strong willed woman who is exactly the type of person I want to be. From my perspective sometimes I see you struggle with balancing passion and being political correct. I can relate as I’m exactly the same way. Selfishly, I love when you get my fired up as I was inspried by the Obama picture as well. But I understand you have a larger group to cater to.


I guess, my feeling on this is why women constantly feel they need to apologize for making a minor mistake or misstep? It really frustrates me that this is expected. I have enough to do, why must I be tagged with the additional responsibility of taking care of people’s feelings. You posted something that emotionally resonated, then you took it down. A male would never write an apology post that is pages long! The apology is in the action, you removed the photo. One sentence is fine, acknowledging a difference in taste. I have followed you for years because your style and approach was different, lots of vintage, featuring new makers, and you embrace comfort thoughtfully. Your family, fashion and social posts are extremely very safe, a bit neurotic, and definitely from a white privelaged woman, maybe this is just not comfortable for you at this point. It might take you time to find your voice (just as much time as styling). Those 4,000 will drift back. Taste is an oddly personal, hard to pin thing. You can’t and won’t be able to do interesting things without testing those waters. If you worry about every step, you will be slowed… Read more »



Kelcey M

Hi Emily, great read – I appreciate your analysis and how you might have changed this to be more receptive for people in the future. I took no offense, but it’s a tricky line and respect overall is most important. I so agree with not trying to fill a stereotypical man’s version of what power looks like – I’ve thought about this a lot Regarding the workforce and business in general and how different that would look if women or all genders together built that world. I do try to keep that in the front of my mind when defining what my sucesses look like and how I can use my own instincts to reflect strength. It would be much easier to trust those intuitions if respect were a given, but I think we’re making progress.

patricia blaettler

A meme is a meme is a meme. It’s not philosophy, science, literature….Generally they’re meant to get a laugh or provoke a thought; they’re often ironic. And that’s it.
For so many to get their knickers in a twist seems like a big waste of time. If it makes you smile, great. If it gets you mad, just be on your way.


One of the things I’ve admired about your more personal blog posts is that you’ve walked the fine line of not diluting your opinions or feelings on topics that aren’t design, and really making efforts to understand the thoughts and opinions of readers who don’t see things just as you do. That’s brave. In a time that is so polarizing politically, it’s so EASY to like or share a post that can be viewed as aggressive because frankly, we’re living in a time where those in power are expressing their emotions in a very aggressive and off the cuff way. I too, long for a time where we had a president like Obama who was thoughtful and full of grace. And that can even be said for the presidents before him, both Republican and Democrat. I for one appreciate your unique voice, and even when I disagree, am so glad that the conversation is being had. To say that you should just “stick to design” is asking you to not be YOU. I’ve also struggled with occasionally clicking the share button out of an emotional response, and then seeing the reactions devolve into something nasty. Understanding that we should be… Read more »


I’m sure it goes both ways, given the emotionally-charged, super-polarized political climate right now. My first reaction to your post was to say, what’s the big deal? It’s a picture of Barack Obama with a slightly cheeky photoshopped feminist phrase. But I’m a big ole’ lib, so of course it doesn’t bother me. On the other hand, I fired my pest control company because the trucks all have Trump bumper stickers on them. I decided that the company does not share my values so I will not support them monetarily. I’m sure others were drawn TO the company because of the stickers. It’s the risk you take as a business person who puts their political opinions out there to both the praise and damnation of a politically polarized public.

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