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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson

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).”

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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

  1. 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.

    1. 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 celebrate those differences. Both genders have strengths they bring to the table, and rather than striving for SAMENESS, we need to strive for EQUALITY in our differences. The world needs more gentlemen who value women, and more ladies who value men, not more women acting like men. We need more kindness and love, more acceptance and understanding, more respect for each other, and we need to calm the heck down and be more unified as a country!

      As for whether or not you should post political things on your blog…you have every right to do what you want. I follow you for the design content, but you have a platform for others to hear your voice–and if you want your voice heard, then more power to you. I celebrate freedom of speech! I think you are dead-on when you say we are in a civil war–which is terrifying–so perhaps your end goal could be more understanding, less polarization, and more unity.


      1. YES! I 100% agree w all you said!

      2. Aimee—-
        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.

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

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

      5. Aimee – so well said! Agree 100%!

      6. 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.

        1. 👏🏻 👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿Yes

        2. Tina, I agree with you.

        3. Amen. Completely agree.

        4. 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 things are about your humanity. There is far too much dehumanizing going on in our world to disastrous effect and none of us should feel we have to strip away our own humanity because others might do so. But I do understand the anxiety of how it may affect your business. I know it’s not an easy balancing act, but I think you do a great job at it.

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

          2. Extremely well said Joann!

        5. Absolutely correct!

        6. 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.

        7. 🙌🏻 It’s ok to be angry when people do bad things!

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

        1. 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!

        2. 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

      8. 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.

        1. 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 need secure borders. We need common sense gun laws. We need people of all faiths to feel welcome. When Obama was president Catholics and Evangelicals did not feel welcomed, they felt attacked by a self-proclaimed Christian, Obama. They didn’t see any truth in his labeling of himself.
          Seeing his pic in emily’s post made me a little queasy for a variety of reasons and none of them in regards to race. I love Emily and I can agree to disagree on him. I love that she is thoughtful and tries to see the other side and I love her design. Emily making posts I disagree with doesn’t change my love for her blog. ♥️

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

          3. K. I really appreciate your comment and thank you so much for the support. I wonder how Obama made evangelicals feel unwelcome. I truly want to know. I think that would help the rest of us understand. email me at hello@emilyhendersondesign.com and please help me understand. xx

          4. 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 behind. That’s not normal or rational or even understandable. Do I think Obama was perfect? Not at all. But this poor us, we were so persecuted narrative that people on the right seem to have applied to themselves regarding Obama and then COMPLETELY REVERSED now with Trump makes me wonder if they’ve ever heard the word hypocrisy. Because if you don’t consider Obama religious or “worthy” then there’s no way in hell you can call Trump that.

          5. 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.

          6. 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.

          7. 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. (https://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/baltimore-riots-larry-hogan-117414) I can also find you actual news footage from almost any news outlet of Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville spewing racial epithets, raising nationalist propaganda. And, I can show you footage of the President proclaiming he is a nationalist. This is shocking and unacceptable.

            I am all for civil discourse. But it has to be based in fact. Our adult citizens have to take it upon themselves to research and read the newspaper. If you don’t want to read the NYT, then read the Wall Street Journal. Every. Single. Day. Check out the Economist, the New Yorker, the Atlantic. CBS Sunday morning is fabulous. Pew Charitable Trust does thorough non-partisan research. Don’t listen to talking heads on either side of the political spectrum — stop listening to Fox and MSNB unless it is actual reporting (as opposed to commentary). AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON’T JUST “GOOGLE IT” AS YOU SUGGEST AND USE EVERY UNCHECKED HALF-TRUTH AS YOUR PROOF. There is so much garbage on the internet, so please be discerning in what you refer to as your source. Also, please don’t count Trump’s self-proclamations over twitter as fact, when we have evidence that so much is simply false. It is really ruining our country’s ability to have a reasoned argument.

            Finally, people will have an issue with my tone because I don’t just roll over and say, “well that is your opinion.” I understand that we will have to agree to disagree. But what we all think has to be based on something.

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

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

          9. 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.

          10. 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.

        2. 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 geoengineeringwatch.org). 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.

          1. ditto Ashley.

          2. I don’t endorse him whole heartedly, just as a person. this wasn’t meant to be political, but I see that it definitely was. I just love him as a man of grace who is raising daughters to improve our world. I know he isn’t perfect, but between him and trump I think we all know who cares about the future of women more.

          3. 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.

      9. 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!

        1. thanks, amy. we don’t have to agree. I truly appreciate you. thanks for reading, commenting and staying with me even when we disagree. xx

        2. 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!

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

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

      11. 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 platform to be able to actually say this.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. I agree with you Terri!

        2. How’s your 401k today?

        3. 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.

          My portfolio is doing great. This is because I re-invested post-Bush. I was lucky enough to be scared by his deregulation, sold out in 2007, and bought back in in 2009. I am emptying my portfolio by Summer 2019 because Trump is driving us into the ground with tariffs and focusing on industries like coal (it’s like supporting the horse and buggy industry when the car was invented – decline is inevitable and the reasons have zero to do with politics). He has no coherent plan whatsoever, and no long-term thinking at all.

          I’m of the opinion that the president can do very little to help the economy, but can sure as heck kill it quickly. And Trump is doing his darndest. Right now we’re riding on fumes from the ridiculous tax cut (thanks for the extra $18k I’m going to get this year, Trump, maybe I should donate it to cut the INSANE debt you’re getting the country in – after Republicans put a cap on Obama’s ability to spend, let’s cut taxes while increasing military spending! Makes total sense and not hypocritical at all!)

          Also, I’m pretty sure you haven’t checked your 401k balance since the end of August. Cause it ain’t 29% anymore. But enjoy your social security and medicare, because its going to be gone by the time we millennials retire.

          Yes, I am a fiscal and financial nerd, I admit it, and I get WAY too wound up about boring financial issues as opposed to social ones that get most other liberals’ motors running. But for your own sake, don’t buy the BS that Republicans are better for the economy. The last time that was true was under Jimmy Carter.

        4. Well said!

      12. Amazingly said!

      13. Very well said!!!!!

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

      15. Perfectly said!!!

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

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

      18. 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 with the above, sameness is NOT what we are meant for. Please read (I promise they are easy and short) The Letter to Women and Mulieris Dignitatem. He brilliantly describes the dignity of women and what we can bring to the world in whichever way we were designed and gifted to do so…as career women, homemakers, etc. It is so incredibly respectful and truly exciting. I am not your typical “modern” feminist in that I believe abortion hurst women, men, obviously it hurts children, and it hurts society. So you won’t find me marching for “women’s rights” when it includes women, but you will find me shoveling the snow and salting the sidewalks of the local crisis pregnancy center, and volunteering at the local Right-to-life office. We have adopted and we have helped financially support women who choose to parent and yet need financial support for school or supplies. So, a feminist with boundaries. *wink. Your blog…I’m not going to stop reading. We all react emotionally sometimes. If you did so regularly, maybe I would be turned off, but I respec how you usually are so respectful. Thank you…and keep posting when you feel you ought to…and when you mess up by being too rash…you win some and lose some and don’t sweat it. SOme of us raging “conservatives” still really appreciate your honesty and design. Peace.

        1. 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.

          1. 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

        2. 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: https://www.exposecpcsct.org/.

        3. 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.

      19. I could not have said it better.

      20. 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.

      21. 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.

      22. Well said.

      23. Well said! Agree with everything you wrote.

      24. Yes, exactly what she said!

      25. 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.

      26. 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 tariffs on things to equal out the economy – worldwide!

        I don’t think “corporations are evil.” How many of us have corporations to thank for our income? And when we get income, we are able to go spend that income on decor, handmade crafts, the lady-next-door’s startup business, you name it.

        For these reasons and more, Obama is not my model for equal rights and equal respect. The less government is involved, the more breadth for true value to drive opportunities.

        1. Well said!

      27. thanks, Aimee. I agree with so much of your comment. I think where a lot of us get caught up is equating Obama with Trump when it comes to their views towards women. Obama respects, supports and coaches women to be the best WOMEN they can be. He demonstrates this with his two daughters. Trump has never, nor will ever truly respect an average woman. That’s the difference that i’m talking about today.
        Does this negate his presidency? No. Other things will. In 50 years from now his failings will not be about how he treated women, because that was known from second one. There will be no Dateline expose. No 60 minutes viewing. He’s not for us and never has been nor will be. That’s what I’m talking about today. This is not political, it’s WHO IS ON THE SIDE OF EQUALITY? I talk to my kids about equality all the time and honestly trying to rationalize politics to a 5 year old has made me realize how simple it is.
        Be kind to others. Say sorry when you are wrong. Check in on your friends when they seem hurt. If only we, women, could treat ever person like a preschool teacher does, the world would function better. Emotions would be met with love. And nap time would be implemented. xx

      28. Well said.

      29. 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!

      30. 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.

      31. Well said

      32. Aimee,
        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.

      33. SAME SAME SAME!

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. Josie, before you unsubscribe you should realize this:.In order for creative people to exist and give you interesting content we have opinions. If you want a watered down version of us, you’ll get a watered down version of design. I know because I see it every day. It’s changing out there. Everything is starting to look the same and thats because people are scared. Not brave. Nobody is taking a risk because they are scared of backlash. So if you want homogeny you can get it, but is that really what you want? If you take the opinion out of a creative it becomes corporate. Its boring. Esoteric. Unnecessary. Easily discarded. Is that what you want? Asking for a friend 🙂

        1. I’m not sure I buy this statement. Everyone has an opinion and beliefs and that opinion or those beliefs may make them who they are. But I don’t think that they have to be exhibited along with the work they do and that it’s an all or nothing. There are other designers I follow that stick to just design and I love their designs as well and their designs don’t seem watered down to me. I also get exhausted by all this.

          Sure, I could have (and should have) skipped this post as you suggested in the beginning but sure enough I got sucked in to reading the posts and responses. Here I am writing a response myself. I don’t want this, I just want your great design tips and ideas……..but, this is your site and you can say and do what you want (I firmly believe that) and I can decide to follow you or not in the future.

        2. Emily, thank you for your response. Everyone is entitled to opinions and whatever drives their creativity—it’s just that, I personally don’t believe that political opinions need to be added as a footnote to whatever someone’s creative work is. I agree with
          Anonymous, who posted after you. But that’s ok—it’s your perogative. I might not be the type of follower you want then. It’s just not for me to be subject to political debates on an interior design blog. Thanks. Take care.

        3. BOOM 🤜🏼💥

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

    4. 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.

  2. 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 stand up to American elites and help middle class Americans to move their jobs back to USA. He could easily be one of them to sit comfortably and parties happily with globalists at his luxury apt on the 5th Avenue.
    I wish Americans wake up and support President Trump.

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. 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?

      2. EXACTLY!

      3. 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.

      4. I agree. I want to research more about this. xx

      5. 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.

    3. 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?

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

        1. Agree. Big time

      2. 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.

        1. 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

          1. 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!

      3. 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.

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

      5. 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 economy should be held accountable.
        I’m not a Trump fan but I’m not hesitate to say he’s a great president and a warrior to confront Chinese communist. Party.

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. I agree with both of you ladies. ☝️

          2. 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.

        2. I get that. It must be really frustrating to see your anti-politics on an instagram all the time. But things can’t stay as they are. we can’t stay enemies like we are. So I want to create a dialogue. Lets talk. and if you aren’t into it, that fine. but I’d love to keep the conversation going. xx

      2. 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. 🙂

        1. 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.

    5. THANK YOU!!!

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. I don’t have blinders on either. xx

    9. 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.

      1. 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 way and I avoid them. I don’t understand how any woman, especially a mother, could support him. I find him to be anti everything I’m for and I think he is an amoral criminal. I’d like to see his whole family and the administration put on Riker’s Island prison. But, I thought thaT 25 gears ago when I lived in NYC.
        Sorry to be so longwinded…basically, you expressed yourself in the moment. Nothing wrong with that.

        1. 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.

      2. Thank you, Amanda.

      3. 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.

  3. 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 to reason with monsters. But I respect it– he TRIED to reason with them. He did the right thing. But we learned from his efforts, we have to stand for our ethics, for the rights of women and POC and the poor, etc, regardless of what twisted opinions are on the other side. The people who unfollowed you for your feminist Obama post –they are troubled. They are on the wrong side of history. Please don’t weaken your side to please racist sexist monsters. We hope they see the light one day. But don’t let them drag you into their abyss. Love you

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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 perfect president. I believe his use of executive orders paved the way for Trump to do the same. He was not always right but Obama had grace, humility and understanding…. Trump does not. I believe those are qualities that make a good leader.

          1. I like your posts and will continue to follow them.

      2. 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, but it’s either naive or disingenuous to pretend there isn’t some correlation.

        1. 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.

        2. 💪💕Jennifer. Beautifully written!!

        3. 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.

      3. 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!

      4. 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.

        1. 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.

      5. 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.*

      6. 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. https://www.google.com/amp/s/psmag.com/.amp/news/research-finds-that-racism-sexism-and-status-fears-drove-trump-voters

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

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

    4. You are 💯 correct!!

    5. 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.

      1. 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 from that system. If I do nothing to dismantle it then I am perpetuating it.

        It is not my fault I am racist. I did not create our government or our media. It is absolutely my fault if I choose now to ignore it and accuse those who point it out of being divisive.

        1. 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!

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

        3. Yes Daisy! All very painfully true.

        4. 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)?

        5. Thanks Daisy. Its a complicated position and an even more complicated response. You know that I am taking it in, digesting it and will come out the other side with more clarity. xx

      2. 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.

        1. Yes!

    6. Completely agree!! Well said!!

    7. Spot on.

    8. 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)

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 100 % correct.

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

  4. 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!

    1. I am also disappointed in myself, but as I laid out in the post, i could have celebrated him in a way that was just more in line with what he is and what I am. doesn’t mean I won’t in the future, i’ll just be smarter about it. 🙂

  5. 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!

    1. thank you 🙂 I pretend that I am my own follower and I would have double tapped that photo 🙂

  6. 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.)

    1. 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.)

      1. 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.

        1. Precisely, Lisa!

      2. 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.”

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

  7. 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

    1. I’m neither being apologetic or backpedaling. It’s tricky and I believe every word I said – there are many ways to approach all of this and I didn’t approach it the way that was the most “me”. It’s a lesson in being intelligent and pointed in your actions on social media, not flippant and emotional. I think we can all learn that lesson, honestly. xx

    2. 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?

    4. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

    1. YOU ARE DOING THE GREAT. It shouldn’t feel invisible and i’m sorry it is. In 80 years from now the status of ‘stay at home mom’ will be wildly different. Hopefully. xx

      1. I understand you are a brand and feel you have to ‘stick to your brand’ and i completely respect you for this post and its your decisions what is your brand….. BUT I disagree that this Obama post was so ‘off brand’.

        Part of your brand in my opinion is that you are a strong confident woman who is in a powerful position running a company. And your post was about feminism, nothing more.

        I have to ask this:
        If the shirt was on a large, white, country boy would this post have offended people as much? What if the short was on George Bush would that have been offensive? If the answer is no to this than I think the people who un-followed you did so for hateful reasons, purely because they think Obama is such a terrible person that they cant like anyone who thinks otherwise. There is something terribly wrong with that.

        I get it, the avenue with which you present ideas matters and Obama is obviously controversial. But so is George Bush. But if they would be ok with the same meme with George Bush instead of Obama than their issues isn’t with the message or your posting it, its with the person reading it.

      2. Made me cry while I’m supposed to be getting kids ready for school…I think we DO need positive affirmation about staying at home from other woman, especially successful women like you Emily (I’ve NEVER felt judged by you btw, for being a SAHM but some other people, certainly). Who else really gets it other than women/moms and where can we see more representation? Not really in the media I consume. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks, much love from a long time conservative follower who has stayed with you thru all the political and has no plans to leave <3

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

  11. 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 movement has left behind all the women who are doing, by choice or not, the most important CAREER in the world—taking care of other people, their families.,” please know that, as a woman who does not have children, I hear that as: “you will never be able to have the most important career/ be fully contributing members of society.” I think a more inclusive take on feminism is that it is about supporting the full agency of women over their lives and their bodies. It’s about valuing women as people, not in relationship or comparison to men. If that means having kids, and devoting 100% of your time to raising them, great. If that means not having kids and devoting 100% of your time to your career (or, better yet, 60% of your time to your career and the remaining 40% of your time to taking full advantage of the fact that you don’t have kids), that’s fine too.

    1. 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 between those options. If you were a person of color, for example, you’d probably have to find a way to adress political issues if you wanted to or not. So you do have an opportunity here to start a conversation with your (i believe) mostly white, mostly female, mostly well-off readership. It’s up to you to figure out what kind of conversation you want to have. All the best to you & the team!

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

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

    3. Yes, Samantha, yes to this.

      Thanks for sharing Emily.

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

    5. 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, I would like my more confrontational personality traits to be equally associated with my womanhood, as is my gentleness and compassion.
      Anywho, just food for thought, knowing that you’re someone who’s striving to take on all opinions and perspectives. Again, I truly appreciate you and this blog, and I’m soaking up all the comments, those that I agree with and those that I don’t!

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

  12. 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.

    1. THANK YOU. high fiving you back.

  13. 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 the hate, and let it absorb and neutralise the negativity. Good luck! xx

  14. 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.

  15. 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 things on Instagram, regardless of political party, because I use Instagram as an escape. I read and listen to the news for my political fix. It’s also why I personally chose to get off Facebook over a year ago. To me, political things includes – political figures, political statements, anything “go vote” related that talks down to people who choose not to vote (again, I vote but it’s not something I want to see people be aggressive about on instagram), and more. I do this not based on whether or not I agree or disagree – but because it was unhealthy for me to see so much political backstabbing and unkindness on social media. It might not even be the post itself, but the comments under it that are uncomfortable. It’s why I stick to the news – it’s less stressful for me to just get the facts. We have to start protecting ourselves and curating our own content if that’s what is mentally best for us.

    Just another perspective from someone who has been a loyal follower of your blog… wanted to give you a different perspective of why you may have lost some followers.

    1. thank you. I think thats an interesting perspective and while I also use instagram as an escape I also like to follow the people who i respect and see what they are saying. But I think thats great feedback. xx

    2. 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 kind, authentic and gracious). And it’s YOUR Instagram, for you to do with it what you want! 🙂 But the obvious divide the insta post incited, the anger that we read in the comments there (and even in some of the comments on this post) doesn’t create unity. It divides. Some people hated the post so much they unfollowed and some loved it. But it never stops there with political posts on Instagram. THEN some people commented with an angry response. THEN some people responded with hatred toward the people who hated the post. THEN more people jump on the comment section and responded cruelly and hatefully towards more people responding cruelly and hatefully. It’s a vicious cycle. And the question is: is the division created worth it? I would argue, no. It’s not. In certain forums, it’s necessary, sure. But people— especially when following a designer —are not only wanting great design tips, but we are also searching for things that unify us. The political climate of country right now is tragic and sad. And we can’t escape the constant negativity, no matter what political side we land on. We love the beauty, light and love you bring to the Insta/blosphere. 🙂

      Loyal blog follower and will remain so. 🙂

    3. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. agreed. no keeping quiet here. just doing it in a way that yes, might burst through the bubble. 🙂

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 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?

    1. thank you megan. very much. I agree, most of this for me isn’t political either. xx

    2. Very well put!

  20. 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.


    1. 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😀❤️️

  21. 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

    1. THANK YOU. it’s early (well 4am and I can’t sleep) and I’m nervous to read the comments so thank you for a positive one and I agree with you. xx

      1. I hope you are feeling OK now, at 9am CA time. I think people have made really good points – Instagram as an escape, separating how we feel about issues, and entire political parties, from our current president’s behavior, and above all, how much your authentic voice makes this blog what it is.

      2. I haven’t read through your whole explanation and thought process simply because I thought it was long winded and, I’m not saying this to be horrible but just… what’s your point? to be liked? Not to offend? You are either a brand (like music artists who now have to make money by representing a brand and therefore cannot be political) or you’re an individual with thoughts that you present via the platform you have – unapologetically. Why the long explanation? The sort of ‘please like me’ wishy washy let me explain everything and love everyone post is unnecessary. Not everyone is going to like you – whether you post about Obama or not. To me just choose. Make up your mind. You got a bit pissed and posted what you thought. Either hide your phone or just be yourself. But don’t ‘let’s talk/please love me/what do y’all think’ it.

  22. 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

    1. 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 🙂

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.”

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

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

  28. 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.

  29. I love this. I love you. That post was spot on. 🙌🏻

  30. 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.

  31. 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

    1. Thanks, Bex. I think its interesting that people are thinking this is apologetic. Its an inquiry. An analysis and a discussion. If I were sorry for what I did I would not want to talk about it again. but I’m going to edit and rephrase some things to ensure that this isn’t me saying ‘I’M SO SORRY GUYS’. Its not the message I would change, its how I sent it. xx

    2. 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.

  32. 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 design and the work your people do is not. So thank you!

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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 🙂

  36. You are amazing! Keep it up!

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

    1. 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! 👏🏻

  39. 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 move the needle, raise our fellow planet occupants who may not have the same privilege you and I do and bring it all out into the open creating change in the end. Thank you for being you.

  40. 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. http://washdw.wpengine.com/pastor-when-white-folks-say-obama-was-an-embarrassment-heres-what-you-say/

    1. 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.

  41. 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 feel strongly put off.
    Your considered political voice in social media is welcomed. I appreciate this reflection post.

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

    3. kari,

      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 🙂

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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 to a snail’s pace, no one watches a snail. It’s route is very predictable and not terribly interesting to watch.

    1. THIS.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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 thoughtful in the ways we express our thoughts or dissent is a really important reminder for us all in this day and age. I appreciate you!

  48. 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.

  49. I was actually one who clicked like on that Instagram post. However, I just want to say I learned a lot from this post! I agree you did nothing wrong. But I really respect how you looked deeper into it and decided to grow and get better from it. I tend to get defensive, so I could really learn to do what you did! Love your design. Love your creativity. Love your authenticity and humanity. And I’m sorry you had anxiety over all of this! Being a human is hard. You’re doing a great job. 🙂

  50. You be you Emily. That is what I like about your site. No matter how slick, how much of a “brand” it becomes, it, and you, are honest and not strictly about the bottom line. Honesty, integrity and more than just being “on message, on brand” all the time is the honest way of doing business.

  51. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for creating a sense of dialogue on a very polarizing subject. I appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to be open to different sides of the issue and also be introspective enough to ask the question, “how can I do better”? Thanks for being a compassionate human and running your business with that perspective. It’s refreshing and inspiring.

    1. Totally agree, Brooke. Thanks, Emily, for being that kind of person. I wish I were more like that myself, but mostly I just sadly shake my head in disbelief at the “deplorables.”

    2. Yay, Brooke! You said it so well. I completely agree – “refreshing”.

  52. Oof. This is such tough stuff. I always try to remind myself that people are inherently good and that most of us want the same things, we are just divided on how to get them. Like you, I try to keep an open mind, to focus on the positive, and to find common ground. HOWEVA, I one time lost my mind on Instagram and posted something completely out of character. ( After yet another mass shooting, I wrote, “If one more person says, ‘Guns don’t kill people’ I am going to scream, as loud as I can, right in their fucking face, ‘YES THEY FUCKING DO!'”) Subtle, right? It felt great to write it, and it is for sure how I feel , but it is not pushing the conversation forward to engage in that way, and I was yelling right at all of my friends and family who *mostly* agree with me. So I deleted it. I think you are thoughtful, informed, and kind-hearted. Not everyone is going to agree with you and that is fine. Post whatever you feel. You’re a person before you’re a brand. xoxo

    1. Emily, here is the thing – either this is a business for you or it is not. If this is your business, you want to reach as many people as possible to see your talents. And you are very talented. If it is not, then post about whatever hits your mind that day and everyone be damned. I for one come her for style and design – it is a space that I would like to be neutral and inviting to view your talents. If it becomes a negative space for me, I have no use for it and the negativity will override my need to come here. There are plenty of other sites I can visit that have just as much talent without the political and negative overtones. So, I think you have a legitimate business decision to make here (albeit, probably a personal one too). Just because you button your lip on issues does not mean you check your morality at the door, it means you make a daily effort to be open to all types of followers for your business sake. Good luck!

      1. Emily – Totally agree with Anon 3’s post above. I almost didn’t read this post as you suggested but, unfortunately, curiosity got the best of me. When I’ve read your political posts in the past, I have honestly almost unsubscribed from your website not only because I’m so tired of the policial discourse everywhere but because of the vitriolic responses that follow your posts. I have stayed not because I share your political opinion but because I have loved the design information you have shared and how you have shared it.

        1. Exactly how I feel, Lover of Design. I haven’t been reading this blog long (found it by way of Anne Bogel) and when I started looking at past limousine-liberal political posts by Emily and the ranting responses of her “Amen Corner”, I really wanted to stop reading it.

          @Anon3, please refer me to design sites that “have just as much talent without the political and negative overtones”. @ Tracy, tell me about some of these design bloggers who post prayer hands and talk about Jesus. If they’re as interesting as Emily’s (I lasted all of three days before coming back after I determined never to visit here again) then that’s where I’ll go.

      2. I 100% agree with ANON 3

      3. Of course you folks have every right to unfollow if you feel the environment is negative, but I’d hope you see that doing so limits your exposure, hardens your bubble and makes you a dreaded “snowflake.” And plenty of ‘businesses’ have political views. In fact, corporations put more $ where their mouths are politics-wise than any individuals do.

        As a personal example, I’m an atheist, and if I felt it was “negative” every time bloggers and folks in the design world posted #blessed, prayer hands, God references, etc. etc., I wouldn’t be able to follow anyone. But that … would be crazy, yes? Would make me a thin-skinned snowflake, yes? I think so, and I’m cool with following people on Instagram or bloggers who mainly talk about Jesus in their bio. To each their own.

  53. Love you Emily! Keep being true to yourself.

  54. I never comment, but since I was one of the 4,000 that unfollowed, I thought I would weigh in. I thought the post was a mistake. The image was clearly photoshopped, and just seemed incendiary to post it. It wasn’t well thought through. However, you are entitled to post it, if that is what you want to do. We see a lot of “noise” on social media. Sometimes we have to purge some of the noise. This post made me question whether or not I still needed to see your posts on instagram daily. Was it just more noise? I still look at your blog fairly regularly, but decided I could forgo the instagram posts.

  55. I’ve also been up since 2am stressed out, and I’m not looking forward to getting up in 30 minutes with my twin 2year olds, so fist-bump to a fellow sleepless mama. Regarding your post, I mainly want to say that I appreciate your kindness and honesty, just generally. And regarding political posts (or posts that can be read as political, which is almost anything these days)…it’s so tough. Anything that communicates genuine love and care for EVERYONE and faith in our country to come together is the message that’s so desperately lacking from both sides now. When people are already feeling hurt, anything that drives the nail in more makes people feel extra touchy and even more defensive of their own equinimity. So yeah, I think taking the post down was the right thing to do. 🙂

  56. Hi Emily,
    I LOVE President Obama and I don’t understand the hate for him and his family. He is a wonderful leader, father and husband. I loathe Trump. He divides our country, I rarely see him interact with some of his children and he has been married three different times. He has bragged about sexually assaulting women and was accused of rape by a previous wife. He sleeps with porn stars and has made disgusting comments about his daughter, Ivanka. I would not follow someone who loves Trump so I guess it makes sense that some unfollowed you for loving Obama. It’s hard out there. Some of my husbands family like Trump and I don’t want anything to do with them. They are supporting someone who I feel is destroying our country.

  57. You are human being and are allowed to have opinions. I don’t get the mind set of people that think just because you are a public figure that you aren’t supposed to act like a person with views that have to do with the rest of your life. Everyone takes sides, and gets to go out into the world and talk about it. That doesn’t change just because someone is a public figure. Good for you! You have a mind and opinions and you don’t have to apologise for that!

  58. Emily, I really appreciate you talking about this so transparently! I saw that IG post and it immediately brought a smile to my face and I double-tapped. In fact, I have a cross-stitch of the same phrase framed in my bookcase. I actually didn’t feel it it was off-brand at all, and even as a Canadian I really relate to what you said about Obama. For me, it totally seemed more “awesome guy who thinks women have and deserve their own thoughts”. I think it’s okay that you posted it, I think it’s okay you took it down if that felt right to you, I think it’s okay to use “offensive” language (women have a right to be mad!), and I think it’s okay to want to make your message more palatable, if that seems like the most effective way. I guess, just do you and I’ll keep following, both because I love your design work and also because I love reading your thoughts about life, parenting, and politics.

    Also, I 1000% agree with what you said about valuing activities/qualities that are considered feminine. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops! As a woman who truly enjoys homemaking/cooking/etc, I wish our society recognized the value of those things as well, and I’m so glad you’re using your platform to say so.

  59. Frankly, I’m kind of sad that you backed down from the point at all. You said it yourself: “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.”

    Maybe there is a lesson in intentionally wielded power. You have a big, politically diverse following. You could do a lot to push the needle toward positive action if you “made people hear by listening.” Not saying you should labor over every thought. Just maybe thinking about the power you have and the influence that’s possible with that power. Also want to be clear, though, that messages like “tolerance” and “civility” are reeeally useless and do not help the people losing their lives to bigotry.

    Lastly, peace out racists! Never needed you anywayyyy!

  60. Emily, I rarely comment, but I loved this insta post. I WANT to know what the people I admire are thinking about politically, because I don’t have any interest in supporting someone who supports a racist, sexist, bullying government that doesn’t actually represent me or the popular majority. I think there is a line to be drawn between attending to your followers and being honest about your beliefs, and I hope you come down on the side of honesty.

  61. I truly believe being silent in the face of what Trump is normalizing is being complicit. I also get that for you audience is hugely important because that is what you sell to companies & brands so it is risky for you personally. People who say ‘stick to design’ are incredibly rude and condescending – YOU get to design your message. Your brand is and always has been personal – that is what people connect with.

    Sometimes I – a huge liberal myself – am turned off by the smug cheeky bumper sticker mentality that we can fall into. Memes and smug T-shirts can seem less progressive and curious and more certain and smug. I feel the need to say that I am not tone policing we NEED to be less apologetic about addressing inequality and the way we now have language to define these persnickety concepts is SO AWESOME “privilege”, “color blind” etc… What I mean is that we ALL have work to do, our country was not some fantasy land of equality for everyone when Obama was in office. Things have been unfair, unequal and dangerous for minorities for A LONG LONG TIME. The reaction to the women’s march that I proudly attended a couple years ago was eye opening to me. Anyways thats my own take – I TRY to focus on progress that needs to be made rather than making it a our-side vs their-side discussion. It’s hard because the media does that so well and we are wired for baseball team enthusiasm about “our side”.

    I don’t think you were wrong – and I am so glad you didn’t apologize, I hope you learn and grow and feel like you can approach these topics (more) confidently with strategy and purpose in the future :-).

  62. Emily – Amazing post! As more Americans – and women in particular – build independent brands online, we know that this is a tight rope.

    Personally, I’m a lifelong Republican who left the party when it was consumed by the racial fear that is now so palpable. My parents are still on the other side – and actively admit that growing up in a different era where they had no black and brown friends and neighbors has left them fighting an internal struggle (over our former President and the current one). They are afraid – of drugs that actually are sometimes brought in from other countries, of losing neighborhoods where people are easier for them to understand, and of not having a majority advantage for themselves and their children.

    But the mainly thanks for the post because many of us are building ‘personal brands’ and when you are trying to bring your authenticity but the world is so inflamed, it’s helpful to have a framework like you laid out.

    Also, I would be sad but have archived that post too – you do more good bringing people in and connecting with them. Better to be connected than ‘right’ some of the time – even if some of us are all in for the sentiment.

  63. …And also to follow up on the feminism front – feminism isn’t to blame for not valuing ‘traditional women’s roles’ toxic masculinity is. Men aren’t allowed to cry and women are called ‘hysterical’. Men who stay home with the kids are mocked and women who work outside the home are pitted as the natural opponent to SAHM – none of that is feminism, that is brought to you by toxic masculinity which upholds and reinforces the patriarchal power and economic system we live in. Intersectional feminism is about equality, making opportunities & freedom available for all.

    1. Melkorka…..💕💕💕. Gender equality means improvements for both genders. Equality in western society essentially will cause a loss of ‘power’ to white middle class people and that is what they fear the most!!

  64. You have the right to post or write anything you like. Readers have the right to unfollow or stop reading anything they like. This is America and for now at least freedom of speech is still intact. What bothers me is the vilification of those who choose to unfollow. Why does the choice to unfollow an Instagram account make that person racist, intolerant etc? Aren’t the people making those comments truly the intolerant ones? We are free to believe what we want. I am free to like certain things about President Obama and I am also free to like things about President Trump. Gasp!!! (and yes, I’m a college educated professional working woman)

  65. Hi Emily, I’ve never commented on your blog and I’ve been following you for a long time! But I wanted you to know how much I appreciate this post, and I wanted to hopefully provide some reassurance that the 4k followers you lost do not represent the majority mindset of Americans. I am a registered republican who LOVES Obama (both as a President and a human) and HATES Donald Trump. *insert shrugging emoji here* I am feminist, but I also agree that that word can be/has been/is toxic and polarizing at times. I truly do not understand how ANY WOMAN EVER could be a supporter of Trump (or feel anything other than fiery revulsion toward him), but perhaps this post has helped me realize that I am a part of the aggressive polarization that plagues our country right now. Regardless, I applaud you for sharing your beliefs to your large following. “We must stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone.” … Fortunately, you are not alone, and I hope the negative responses don’t discourage from speaking up about what is right in the future. You already know this, but you’re doing a great job. Keep it up 🙂

  66. Politically, I’m similar to you, but not a carbon copy. I’m not a Hillary fan (even though I voted for her) and I like to lean out of politics (I still always vote, though). My mom is a feminist who actually dislikes Michelle Obama for putting her husband ahead of her own career (note: her view, not mine), so I don’t think saying “I should’ve posted a pic of Michelle…” would’ve been the silver bullet. All of the preceding being said, I live with a Republican who voted for Trump. It’s hard. Really, really hard. I don’t mind reading your political posts and may even like them, but I can see why many people, even those who share your views, would want to find an escape from the (usually terrible) news.

  67. I happen to LOVE Obama, and I really appreciate when you write about your political feelings. I have stopped following numerous design blogs who never acknowledge some of the awful things happening in our country today. I think you approach it in a thoughtful way, and even ask respectfully for opinions from people with differing beliefs. Keep up the great work!

  68. Reading this post has made me realize how outraged I am that a feminist picture would result in such a wave of hate, and (more surprisingly) how strangely protective I feel of you and your blog. I think the latter is due to the fact that you’ve always shared so much of yourself in your writing that it’s hard as a longtime reader (when did that happen??) not to feel like you’re one of our circle of friends. So I guess I just wanted to offer up some friendly encouragement to you, stranger I’ve never met: What you do, and specifically the way you do it, means so much to so many people. Keep at it. xx

  69. Hi Emily, Thank you for this post! I admit, when I saw a clearly photoshopped vintage Obama photo on your instagram feed, I thought it seemed a bit out of character for your brand. I followed the comments that day and was pretty surprised by the polarity on display. I also think that it is very in character to see you take it down and later write a thoughtful response and encourage discussion in the comments section. In my view, you set a great example of how we can be both respectful AND passionate, which I think is a tricky balance that is becoming ever harder to achieve. I have really appreciated the way that you approach political discussions over the last few years and have used your platform to help your audience engage in discussions with one another across our bubbles. It’s a rare thing to find opportunities for this kind of discourse outside of the safety of closest family and friends these days. This is why I think, to me, Instagram is exactly the place that I want to see those accounts that I admire sharing their views, having discussions, doing it their way, and infusing it all with meaning beyond just the stagnant visual. I don’t want the accounts I follow to just stick to design. In fact, I don’t think design can be teased out from all the other issues that drive us and that we care about. The diversity and the passion that comes through in the creative accounts that I follow where the authors are truly being themselves are what make it compelling enough for me to come back again and again for more. Thanks again for giving us a place to hear each other – and please KEEP TALKING! I think we all need it more than we know.

  70. The design posts you create are like works of art, individual masterpieces. I understand they take a tremendous amount of work, even going so far as involving yourself with investment properties to get the REAL quality fresh content. Almost unbelievable, I can’t believe we get all this for free, I would be very happy to pay a subscription. At the same time, even thou your tag says…”style, play, everyday”, I think we have been incrediably spoilt and our expectations that when we come to your blog we are going to get design content – (not everyday events)
    The last week or so, even thou no one is questioning the value and importance of; post on voting, post on bushfires, post on your cat, post on haircuts, (the target sponsor post I totally get), then the Obama photo post, I don’t think the more recent posts are in line with the initial reason people come to your blog. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was part of it, rather than that single photo post, as it must have crossed your mind when you mentioned all the “stick to design” comments.

    1. I agree with Anon. While you have every right to blog whatever you want, and you are usually a voice of measured reason, you probably need to separate the business from the personal a little bit. I follow you for the design……that IS the name of your company, right? I follow other bloggers who are political, others about minimalism, etc., and while you are a great writer, posts about other topics seem out of place here. I’m not following you to see what haircuts the employees get or what you think about politics. And that seems to be happening more and more lately, and I find myself not reading your blog. I think you need to figure out what your brand really is. I absolutely LOVE your design style, and that content is fabulous!

  71. There was nothing objectionable or offensive about the post, other than one minor curse word. Good people with a platform to reach a huge audience have an obligation in times like these to speak up about important things, so honestly, THANK YOU for posting it (even if it was photoshopped). If people are willing to miss out on your great design content because of their own backward ass opinions, then its their loss.

  72. Hi Emily! I never comment on blogs but felt the need to send you a virtual hug. I’m a Minnesotan (not even a “coastal elite!” Lol 🙄) who admittedly loves the Obamas, and I quite frankly admired your original Instagram because I thought it was cheeky and honest and it made me smile to see the humanity behind your brand.

    I actually first became a die-hard and loyal reader because of a slightly political post on your part. I remember one time after a mass shooting my heart was full of pain and grief and it felt so icky scrolling through Instagram and seeing brands and “influencers” posting hashtag pray for whatever and then continuing on with their branded content. You, however, said that it didn’t feel right to post your regularly scheduled content that day and instead shared a bit about gun violence. I instantly shared it with literally everyone I knew. Your honesty and transparency was so refreshing and helped me to get through that day— to know that behind the blogs I love there are real people who are sometimes sacrificing losing some followers in order to bring attention to what matters to them (whether conservative, liberal, or in between.)

    I appreciate how eloquently and thoughtfully you put together this blog post, even though you, to quote the t shirt, don’t owe any of us shit! I’m so sorry how this whole situation has hurt you and your brand, but I’m with Orlando that maybe anyone who reacts that strongly to a former president or the feminist movement (its 2018 you guys YEESH feminism shouldn’t be controversial!) isn’t aligned with you anyway. Please please please don’t let this sacrifice your heart and your voice and your values in order to pander to a broader audience. You are a person. You are not crate and barrel. Thank you for continuing to share your design talents and a peek into your life; it is a privilege for all of us. As always, I can’t wait to see you do next ❤️ All of the internet hugs 💕💕💕

    1. Dear Emily, I don’t know which item made me more sad/mad. Your lose of 4K followers or the fact that so many people (I assume women) hate Obama. That completely stunned me!! It is hard to understand the “WHY?” of both.
      After reading so many of the responses to your post, I think others have expressed this same concern so eloquently.
      I belong to a book club of mostly teachers who taught primary school for years. We all agree if we had had a student like Donald Trump in our class, we would have called his parents in during the first week to work out a plan to change his behavior and attitude.
      Please consider the remaining 38,000 as multiplied by 3 because of the enthusiasm of following you!
      And , yes, keep using your voice!!!!! We need that!
      With a hug you definitely deserve, Mary Louise

  73. .It’s business and how some one feels personally about politics or anything for that matter should not come in to play. I’m a person with my own opinions too but I would not risk hurting our business by discussing politics, religion etc. with clients. Your business is obviously different than my construction company but our clients come to us for our expertise not our opinions. That being said, you have the right to run your business the way you see fit.

  74. As a Libertarian leaning conservative who doesn’t agree with most of your politics, I would encourage you to not fret about the 4,000 losses. Who cares? It’s not worth your time in stressing about it. Don’t be insecure. Post your thoughts and then let it go. People will deal with it. Or not.

  75. Always! And thank you for this post. Regardless of how one leans politically, equality is proven science (oops, I forget that recently EVEN SCIENCE, has taken a bashing. I am dumbfounded by this one and other hateful rhetoric. )

  76. I love you and what you do and stand for. I think you are beautifully vulnerable and it’s refreshing. I follow you because you are authentic. I don’t always agree with 100% of what you say and that’s good because it challenges my own ideas. Be you. That’s what has made you successful. God bless you, your family and your business.

  77. I personally love your design, your “real-ness”, Obama, and profanity. Not necessarily in that order.

  78. I agree with everything here. A year or so ago I posted something political on Facebook after a couple of glasses of wine. The next day I thought, oh that may have offended some of my conservative family members. No one said anything, but I made a rule for myself of not posting anything when I had had even one drink. I can say what I think but it must be thought out and considered and cannot be impulsive. I have held to that rule.
    And, on Obama, yes how can we not all agree that he is a good man? Disagree with his policies and views if you will, but he is a moral, intelligent human being by any definition. No, it seems we must vilify those we disagree with. I am working hard to not be that which I detest-mainly a closed-minded, hateful, person. It’s hard though and some days I succumb.
    Thank you for this post. You came as close as anyone has to saying what I think.

  79. Emily – thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions so openly. This is your blog, your company, your life – you are able to do what you feel is best and once in a while others may not agree. That is life and that happens to all of us – no one can please everyone. Very few people share themselves so publically, all. the. time., and it is inevitable that once in a while something is going to come out that maybe you wish you would have done or said differently. I have a feeling every single one of us has said something at one time or another that they wish they could take back, clarify, or say differently. It’s just that most of us aren’t doing it in a public forum. You are living authentically and being real and open on the internet – that is a very hard and brave thing to do. I follow your blog not just because I love your design work, but I love how you share you life in a way I relate to and respect. Keep going.

  80. Emily,
    I appreciate you breaking down your thought process. And like you said, you are only human, just like the rest of us!! I think part of what makes reading your blog so enjoyable is that you ARE human and have a personality and opinions, and also I suppose, the great design 🙂 So if you want to talk about something besides design, I say go for it! I guess that’s easy to say for someone who mostly agrees with your political leanings, although I would consider myself more of a moderate than you.

    One other comment with regards to your third point above: I remember having a conversation with my inlaws (Trump supporters, hate Obama) about how I missed Obama because he was such a classy, nice, family man and their response completely took me by surprise. They basically thought he was the opposite of classy and a horrible human being. HUH!?! Anyway, I share in your surprise over people hating on Obama for non-political reasons and still don’t get it to this day. I personally didn’t agree with everything Obama did politically, but I definitely think he is a genuine and nice person and wanted to do the best he could to help the people in this country.

  81. You win some, you lose some. Can you imagine how many followers you would have lost if you were a Trump supporter and posted a pro Trump picture?? A lot more than 4,000.

  82. White women, your dominant demographic, are foot solders of the patriarchy. We saw it in the voting polls in 2016 and this year. The internalized misogyny is deep, and runs deeper in women who are older or don’t live on The Coasts. I myself am like you, a white woman from California, shocked by the excuses women are making for men. But then I hear my mother talk about how I could be a better wife by serving my husband and I cringe. I hear my co-worker lament about that’s just the way it always is, or stop complaining its a compliment and I cringe. We may be living in a bubble, but at least I am an educated enough feminist to recognize systematic sexism. I also recognize my privilege and its ability to cloud my experiences. That’s what a lot of people can’t even fathom, that the sexism (and racism) runs so painfully deep, that its unrecognizable without taking off the blinders and questioning everything and listening, actually listening to stories from women who have experienced injustice and want inequality. But that’s just too much work for people.

    1. Thank you Sara! Been reading through these comments looking for someone to point this out, you said it much better than I could have.

      I would like to point out how truly disrespectful it is for people that are benefiting from all of the content provided by Emily, for free, to demand that she just be quiet and design. Successful creative endeavors are work that require intellectual dedication, rigorous study, and emotional investment. Frequently with poor financial compensation. No one here is a customer with a contract, or paying for a subscription. Demanding or chastising Emily, or Orlando, or any other blogger you follow because the content wasn’t exactly what you wanted when you wanted it is just not cool. Emily is one of the more transparent and authentic bloggers out there. She doesn’t appropriate design images and pass them off as her own like another famous designer does. She is supportive of and gives credit to her team, she is generous in promoting guest content from other designers, and she makes meaningful contributions to her community and people in need. We all benefit from her example. Thank you Emily for standing up, being yourself, and making a difference. Emily tries to broaden her world, and yours too. That’s the whole point of art. And yes, design is art, please don’t even go there.

      Pssst, Emily, if all else fails do what Martha did and get yourself a second personal Instagram account that isn’t a “business” account. I would follow that. 😉

  83. Thank you for “using your voice”. You are being an ally. We currently have a president that has said the most nakedly racist things in the history of the office. Worse yet, it is becoming normalized and excused. As a woman of color, I’ve come to the harsh realization that most people don’t care about racism, that they will tolerate it even if they don’t have racist ideology as long as they get any sort of benefit out of it. Staying quiet is the same thing as agreeing. I’m sorry that you lost four thousand followers, and I’m sorry it caused you so much anxiety. But, I hope you are ultimately proud of being brave and taking a stance.

    1. Thank you for speaking up and as a white woman, I am so fricking sorry for what we’ve done in this country. And for all the years I spent not realizing how bad it was.

  84. Ugh … that you would even for a minute think that he would wear a shirt like that. It means you actually know ZERO about him. And posting/reposting/sharing fake picutres/news/information is actually part of what has gotten the country into this mess.

  85. Great post, thanks for sharing. I am with you on everything you said. Social media can be so…sigh. I was not offended by the image or message. However, I’m not 100% sure I wouldn’t be if it were something that was pro angry Trump. Would I be motivated to unfollow if it were supporting some of Trumps (what I feel are harmful) ideas? Possibly. That being said I enjoy your design posts and it’s nice to know you are a human who’s personal ideas I respect as well. Was it off brand? Maybe a tad. As you mentioned, there are probably less negative or crude ways (this was barely that!) to promote the important message of feminism and equality. Onward, sister!

  86. Sorry but this “Brand” stuff makes my skin crawl. Our current president is all about his brand, his followers, his base. Please don’t put who you are ahead of what your business is about – they are not one and the same. If you are feeling shamed to ‘stay in your lane’ and actually considering kowtowing to those doing the shaming then ask yourself how you and your kids will look back on that. Will you feel good looking them in the eye and saying you soft pedaled your opinions for your business? Will they think you sold out? Part of what has thinking humans riled right now is the fact that much of Congress is kowtowing to the bully-in chief even after professing disgust in many cases – hypocrites of the first order. Don’t be one. Be who you are. If people can’t separate your opinions from your design information you can’t change that. Not everyone is going to like all your design information either so how many hoops are you going to jump through to salvage followers? Sorry if that seems harsh – I’d talk to my grown sons in the same way because they are adults and I respect them. You, too.

  87. Emily, I’ve followed you for years, tell everyone I know to read your blog, I bought your book and constantly shop through your feed. So I am saying this from the perspective of a long-time fan, who happens to disagree with you politically. For me, what it comes down to is that I (and a lot of my friends) are tired of EVERYTHING being political. When people say “keep it to design,” it might be from exhaustion of their beliefs being assaulted at every click, more than from anger or the belief that you shouldn’t have a personal political opinion. Everyone has an opinion! We are humans, it’s impossible not to have one! But when Orlando says to you “those that unfollowed because of that were probably not that aligned with you anyway,” what I hear is “if you don’t agree with me politically, you aren’t welcome in my space.” What do you expect people to do?

    1. I very much agree with this and you did a nice job of verbalizing it.

    2. I’m exhausted by it too but isn’t that a bit of a cop out? I’m a white, educated, employed woman and I’m tired of politics infiltrating what seems like every aspect of life. BUT what about the millions of others that not coming from such a privileged position? Remembering them is what encourages me to fight through a bit of “exhaustion”. If they can overcome some of the horrific things they are forced to, often times in their day-to-day, I can deal with a somewhat political instagram post here and there, especially considering I can very simply just scroll past it.

  88. I am a Republican, and I still follow your blog! I did not like one sentence above, though…..about California succeeding from the country. That is the reason Trump won! He seemed to remember Christians, Midwesterners, farmers, pro-life supporters, Southerners, electricians, factory workers, etc. The whole middle of the country had felt forgotten by the east coast and the west coast.

    How has Trump really hurt women? I serve on a non-profit Board……all women employees. This is the first year in seven years that we have had trouble getting employees and we were forced to raise our base pay, give sick days, etc. Financial problems are the biggest problem most families face. It is the number one cause of divorces. If the finances of a family are better, life is better.

    When my sons graduated from college, they were given $6000 each to join the company. Signing bonuses have been a thing of the past for over a decade now. If competition for workers goes up again, women college graduates will also receive those bonuses. My daughter is a very young widow. She certainly was happy that she received a tax cut and a bonus check. It was not “peanuts” to her.

    I am a college graduate, but I think Democrats don’t understand the ordinary “Joe.” in the middle.

    1. Ordinary “Joe” here in the middle of the country. Yes, the economy *continues* to improve. It has done so from the massive recession that Obama took over (from Bush) and led us out of. The trends you are seeing can be attributed more so to Obama than to Trump though Trump has continued to keep things moving in the right direction. If your perception is that we hit a wall 2 years ago and suddenly had a massive turnaround, you might go look at some unemployment rate trend charts to see that this is not true and possibly it just took a longer time to impact the midwest (the blue collar part of the midwest). One more warning, we are now due for a recession. Will you blame that on Trump if it happens? Or will you blame the midterm election shift where 1 of the 3 lawmaking bodies is now in the hands of the other side?
      How has Trump hurt women? Well I guess I don’t really like him saying that he just “grabs them by the….” I have a son also and he is going to be raised to know that this is DISGUSTING. But I’m glad your son’s got signing bonuses! Hopefully they have respectful attitudes towards women so they can keep those jobs.

  89. Not fond of OBama. Really do not like TRump.
    Odd how people attack others point of view. We will be in serious trouble if we slam the door on our right of free speech. While I disagree with some points of view, I will always support their right to do so

  90. THIS.
    So many people turn their backs on what they believe in simply because of some un-follows and a negative feedback. If it’s truly what you believe in, what you feel should be happening (on ANY side of the political spectrum….remember, there are many of those in the middle than just the extreme lefts and rights shown all over media) in the world, then speak it. Staying ‘on-brand’ is everyone’s way of trying to tear down anything they don’t believe in. People are more than just home decor or DIY or beauty regimes. They are the people that vote, the people that shape any nation. Opening up real conversations is the only way people can begin to see the other side of things and maybe bring to light some things those reading wouldn’t normally think about.

  91. I think you also failed to note how many people are inherently racist. A lot of racists don’t actually think they are racists but much of the hate of Obama is due to racism. Even if you did not agree with his politics, it’s hard to argue what a great man he was . These are the same people supporting a president who puts children in cages, grabs women by the pu&&y, cheats on every wife he has, enriches himself and his family at the expense of others, gaslights our country on a daily basis and I could go on and on. These are the same people saying but the stock market, but low employment, blah blah blah. It is seriously disturbing how so many of his cult will excuse ANYTHING he does.

  92. Love you, love your original post, and I love this thoughtful follow up. Keep speaking up, keep listening, keep making soup. 🙂 XX

  93. Yaaaasssss!!! I LOVE you!! I loved that post but also, this resonates with me so much! I actually started bawling while reading it. I don’t even know how to adequately describe the feelings it brought up in me. All of it!! I just….want to to say thanks. Thank you, thank you.

  94. I’m all for free speech and saying what you feel but I completely agree that there are respectful and positive ways of doing it, in most cases, that are much more likely to change someone’s feeling towards something rather than push people away.
    I would guess the main reason most people unfollowed was not because of your political view (you’ve been honest about that before), not because of a deep hate for Obama, not because of the language, not because they are racist or sexist, but likely because we have become so used to people on the extremes of either side screaming their opinions and labelling each other as this or that. So when someone says remembering a man who actually stood up for women’s rights (to loosely quote) many assume you’re implying because they have different political views you don’t believe they care about women or women’s rights. Which just isn’t true. Ya there are some wackos that are very sexist but the majority of people, either side of the political spectrum truly want equality and don’t appreciate being labeled or assumed as being “racist” ,“sexist”, “snowflakes”, etc.
    And don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Trump in the least, but to slap a label or assume someone is this or that because they voted for him is ridiculous. From what I can tell most voted for him because either they didn’t trust Hillary or they really wanted economic stability. And if you’re going to say economics is a bad reason to vote for him. Just think about how much losing 4K follows affected your day. Then imagine not having a job, living in poverty day in and day out and believing voting for someone can change that for you and your family. That’s not selfish, that a will to live in many situations. It’s had nothing to do with that they are racist or sexist and everything to do with wanting to be able to feed their kids and have a stable life.
    But that’s a bit of a tangent. Point being, we all want people to feel the way we do but we’re not willing to take a moment and appreciate how they feel and not be judgmental of where they’re coming from.
    So I appreciate your post, but I really appreciate that you came back to it and addressed it from a thoughtful place and made an effort to understand others.

  95. While I am not a fan of Obama’s politics, I can respect that he was our president and is a dignified, respectable individual. I guess I feel like if 4000 people were willing to unfollow you based on your insta post, maybe those were followers who aren’t worth having. It is a very narrow-minded person who unfollows you just because your political views differ.

  96. This post kind of broke my heart today. Admittedly, it was a rough morning with my toddler and I’m a mom in need of a night with three glasses of wine scrolling Instagram… that said, what I love about you Emily is you are authentically yourself. You talk about going back to church and figuring it all out! Your children losing their minds and having no idea how to handle it! I love those things because none of us have it all together! I do feel like you are censoring yourself on the blog and I guess across all platforms. And while I align politically with you, and am definitely one of the followers that liked that post lol, I just cannot understand how one post could incite so much anger and hate. I understand the need to take down the post to preserve your company, remove unnecessary stress, and maintain your brand. That said, women censoring themselves and apologizing for voicing their beliefs is gut wrenching and constantly demanded by a society that just doesn’t respect us as equals. All this to say, your opinions and values brought you so many supporters, like me, and we love you.

  97. In response to your question at the end of the post– I definitely think it was an “off brand” picture, but I’m not bothered by that. It exhausting to keep up a curated image and sometimes you just want to be your darn self for a minute.

  98. If I didn’t already follow you on instagram, I would start now. Thank you.

  99. I’m sure it’s incredibly hard when you ARE your brand. You want to show personality and who you are and your beliefs. I personally like to know WHO is behind the brand and their story and I think you do that beautifully. But yeah, I guess the post mentioned wasn’t exactly “on brand” but I’d never unfollow you over it. Sheesh! Maybe those people who unfollowed needed to go anyway? Like weeeding a garden, maybe it’s necessary to grow! I appreciate how thoughtful this post was and I think you’re a wonderful, talented and insightful person. Keep it up!

  100. I’m not finished reading this but I don’t know how more “on brand” you being you could be. As a long time reader, I trust your aesthetic and you – and if I’m not into the content that minute, fine. I’ll be back because it isn’t all about me. So, long and short – please keep being rad and we’ll keep reading. ❤️

  101. Hi Emily,

    That post was pretty dang innocuous! I think when you have such a wide reach, and such a large following, you can and should be political. I wish you’d left the post up. 4,000 followers is a lot, but think about the community you want to cultivate. If people aren’t willing to engage in tough conversations, or follow anybody with differing beliefs, are those really people you want in your corner?

    I love design and follow many design blogs, but I frequently struggle with the a-political-ness of the design world. People are so afraid to ruffle feathers that they keep things so tame and consumer-oriented. When California is on fire, mass-shootings are happening weekly, and the president is sending thousands of troops to the border to prevent people from seeking ASYLUM, it feels hard to log on and read affiliate posts about the best Christmas decorations, or justifications about redoing an already beautiful space.

    I understand this is your career, and that people need relief from a hectic and partisan world. But I think focusing on how to make our country, and the world, a more beautiful space, is not something that should be shied away from. I love reading about charitable acts your team takes on, but with your reach you can and should be talking about politics, feminism, voting, and social justice. If people aren’t on board for that, good riddance. I (and probably many others) would be more drawn to your work if you took a stand.

  102. BRAVO Emily. I don’t follow on Instagram and had no idea this had happened. You easily could’ve taken the easy way out and not addressed it further. Bravo for speaking your mind, for having the depth to be introspective, and the thoughtfulness to acknowledge how others might feel. Frankly, I think we need more of this in Social Media and in online content. Life is not perfect – it’s messy and WEIRD – don’t hide behind the perfect picture of design. Your thoughtfulness and well-informed opinions are appreciated!!!

  103. Emily, this is so well said. So. Well. Said. And imagine – I don’t even agree with every single opinion! The thing is, I believe we should be allowed (and not shamed) for voicing opinions. Of course, as you said, it ought to be in a mindful and conscious way. But social media shouldn’t shut us up. I think a brand should attract or repel. You’ll gain new followers for this, but you already know that comes with some unfollowing as well. But as a new business owner, all I can say is thank you for your transparency. The world feels a little out of control these days, and navigating this stuff can be so hard. I appreciate your gracious response to what happened. Cheering for you.

  104. I appreciate your deep thinking on this but I also think you are apologizing or some extent for your belief in feminism. And if we want progress for women we need to stop apologizing for feminism. It wasn’t so long ago that female celebrities shunned being identified as feminist. Let’s not return to that.

  105. Wow… sorry you had to apologize or explain yourself . I think you are right about a civil war. And I think racism played apart of part in the exodus. Not sure how it will end, but I think your guided approach to opinions should help.

  106. It makes my blood boil that you have even experienced ANY stress over this. People act as though you OWE them something…here you are providing free advice and inspiration to make their lives more beautiful and they can’t stomach one photo of a political figure that they don’t particularly like? You have every right to post something that you believe in and that is close to your heart. This is exactly what is wrong with the country today..no one has any tolerance for something they disagree with. Even something said in a respectable way can cause such harsh reactions. I could understand someone unfollowing if you were posting political statements regularly, but ONE? Just keep scrolling people!

  107. Your forum for your voice. Speak your truth! (I miss Obama too)

  108. Just wanted to chime in that I actually didn’t see the original post, but one of my favorite things about EHD team overall is how you marry business+personal. We might not have the same sense of style ; )…but I love how 3 dimensional you are and it’s inspiring. So thank you!

  109. I love you. Thank you for your smart, frank, thoughtful HUMAN-NESS. You are not Crate and Barrel and that’s what makes you and this community great!

  110. I love your blog. I love your design. Keep it genuine and real. Those are also the followers you want. Keep it up!

  111. I like when blogs get more multidimensional and aren’t just about decor and design. I think of decorating my home as a way to create a space where I can engage with my family and friends in discussions about life and that includes political issues. I’m sorry demand has to drive what you put on your blog – I guess that’s true with any business, but I think it adds an interesting dimension and connects pretty homes to what happens in them. That includes political discussions, women taking a larger share of the unpaid household work, and the fun of moving furniture and pillows and art around until you have it juuuust right. Thanks for sharing it all!

  112. you’re allowed to be a complete human being. End of.

    I would unfollow if something was malicious, which I’ve never seen from you, but others have different standards and bubbles they want to be in.

  113. Emily, I adore that you are a complicated person striving to express multiple facets of herself. I read your blog regularly but don’t follow you on instagram just because I have to stop time on-line somewhere. So very glad Or”lawn”do is in your life. Stay true to yourself. Sending joy your way.

  114. I adore Obama and I am a feminist, but I didn’t love the post. I agree with you that it probably wasn’t the best example to support your views (which you have every right to express!).

    In reading some of these comments, some things come to mind. I get how some people may not be Obama fans. His political views are in opposition to theirs, and that’s that. Makes sense! People think differently! Let’s learn from each other! I have plenty of conservative friends who didn’t like Obama politically, but think he’s a good guy (because, really, how is he not a good guy?). It’s not racism (for this group), it’s politics. I can understand how they may be feeling tired of the romanticizing of Obama. However, these same friends do not support Trump. That’s how we can stay friends (ha!).

    What I’ve been trying to do over these past couple years is to understand the bubbles of those that can support Trump despite the laundry list of reasons why they should not (based on their morals, economic status, etc.). I’m still trying, but one thing I’ve learned is a good way to step inside is to read their news. I never used to give Fox the benefit of a click, but out of curiosity, on the day of the Women’s March, I went on over to foxnews.com to see what they had to say. This may not come as a surprise, but it was next to nothing. What was prominently displayed as the leading story on the NYT and WSJ was demoted to a hard-to-find video on Fox, a short clip that only showed excerpts of impassioned speeches from celebrities on that day (which taken out of context seemed like they were ranting lunatics).

    I feel like I could write a dissertation on this subject, but I’d just like to urge people on both sides to read/watch different news outlets. And to those who only go to Fox , or, say MSNBC, for their news, please understand that you’re not getting the whole story.

  115. I greatly appreciate your thoughtful, well-considered post. As a Libertarian in Austin, a town often described as “a blueberry floating in a bowl of tomato soup”, I have come to expect the general population around me to make denigrating remarks about conservatives with the assumption that everyone else agrees with them. These people are genuinely unaware that they are offending others because it never occurs to them that there could be other viewpoints on the same topic. I make a policy to not talk politics because I have found that people want to attack my views rather than try to understand them. This happens in spite of me making strong attempts to have them illuminate me on their stance.
    Regarding your comment about people wanting you to be a “plastic version” of yourself, I get where you are coming from and would agree with it if you were an independent blogger with no financial responsibility toward anyone other than yourself. Unfortunately, as you stated you are supporting 10 employees and 4 family members. Your brand and the reason that you have grown to this size is based on decor, not politics. Consequently, sadly, when you make polarizing statements you have to do so knowing that you risk alienating both readers and corporate sponsors. Companies don’t want to risk being associated with someone who is viewed as a wildcard and who could taint their reputation by association. However, I think your reflection on moving forward with measured, respectful and inclusive communication is a great stance. It allows everyone to learn from each other and to gain understanding of other’s beliefs. After all, this country is based on the idea of accepting that everyone has the right to believe what they believe.

  116. Emily, I understand that your social media presence is part of your business and supports many individuals’ livelihood. However, companies and business do not exist in isolation of personal views and political inclinations. It represents you and your employees. And I feel as human beings, it is our duty to stand up for what we think is morally and ethically right and just. So, if you cannot voice your views without backlash, you’re really better off without those followers. Those people will spew hate and disrespect anywhere. If they can’t stand political discourse or opposing views, if only to hear out and make themselves aware of the “other”, then there’s no point in engaging those people. Please don’t stop speaking out for bettering this world if only for our kids and their future. I agree that there are more effective and strategic ways of doing so but please don’t stop.

  117. I admire your bravery to put your opinions out there in a non confrontational and open minded way. That is true leadership and our country is in desperate need of people like you to kindly stand up for those whose voices are not heard, whether that be women or any other marginalized group. Continue to speak your beliefs respectfully and let those who cannot tolerate it walk away

  118. Well said Emily!
    Social media is a double edge sword and it’s hard to make sense of it sometimes. I like that you’re human in your posts which to me makes you authentic. It really is sad today how polarized the country is. It sounds like you’ll be more self censored now❤️ but don’t lose your authentic self. As a designer, your gorgeous designs speak for themselves and we’re all a little more savvy for following you. Thank you and, just breathe- you’ll be ok❤️❤️Love from a fellow Oregonian

  119. I know a post like this can be painfully difficult to write.. THANK YOU for taking the thought and time to do this. This sort of transparency and honesty is what helps us connect to the human in all of us and makes me not despair entirely about the direction social media is going in.

  120. You have the right to post whatever you want here. But people also have the right to unfollow. I loved the post in question. I also question if a man would ever feel so guilty. You expressed your opinion. You are a person. Own it. Don’t apologize.

  121. First of all, this post is very thoughtful and seems to be a response to a lot of introspection on your part. I appreciate that in a person, whether we agree or not on the photo. I also want to say that I appreciate the fact that you are delicately pushing back against Orlando’s suggestion of “allying yourself more with those that like you and your thoughts.” He said something recently on social media about (I’m really paraphrasing here so forgive me) unfollowing him and/or not supporting him if you voted in a way or supported ideas that he felt were “against” him. I didn’t unfollow him because he provides daily LOLs on the IG and I really like him and his work. BUT, I will never forget that he said it. It made me feel unworthy somehow. Like I must be so lousy of a person that he would forgo my hard earned money to purchase his book. Over politics! The idea of only doing business with those we are “allied with” is a dangerous notion and one that got us exactly to this point of extreme polarization that you speak of. And he may not care about losing followers, but apparently you do. And I’m so glad that you do. Please don’t stop caring about what the other “side” is thinking/feeling/reacting to. We need more of that from everyone.

  122. I have to admit, I was disappointed when you took it down but I understood. I felt in some way that “they” won. I realize that the “us” vs “them” issue is at the root of many problems in our world today. Truth be told, in the Obama vs Trump realm, I don’t see that changing. I’m not for blanket statements usually ever. However, in my personal opinion, the heart and soul of the actual hate for Obama comes down to the color of his skin. “They” would never outright admit it, but it’s true. Nobody can hate a man that fight for the rights of humans and families. Nobody can hate a man that puts his wife and daughters on a pedestal etc. I truly feel that they hate him because he is brown and unfamiliar and not like them. That is honestly the scariest fact that has come out of Trump being our president for me. I had no idea how many people today are still racist to their core. I am happy to debate about the issues. About pro life vs pro choice. About universal healthcare. But I will not debate about race equality. Human is human. White, Brown, Black, (Orange 🙄) etc. The fact that we still see color when discussing human beings and their value is a shock that I don’t think I will ever understand or get over. How have we not evolved past this as a human race? How are we ever going to change it?

    1. Alison, you have expressed how I feel much better than I can.

  123. I love this post. I am a conservative (although politics aren’t my thing) stay at home Mom of six kids. They range from 16-7. I have followed you for years. I didn’t see this post and I would have archived it just like you. I don’t like contention so I would have taken it down once too many negative thoughts were expressed. I’m here for design, but I’m here for you too. This post was well written and kudos for posting it. And I love that your 90 year old self says make more soup.

  124. I read your blog primarily because of your design expertise, but also because of your willingness to “put yourself out there” on a variety of subjects. I suppose I might feel differently if I didn’t agree with your political views, but I say keep doing what you’ve been doing. Don’t overthink and overedit yourself. Your instincts have helped carry you this far, so don’t listen to the haters.

  125. Emily – THANK you for your beautiful, well-curated content, day after day. I have long admired you and your work, team, blog, design aesthetic…. just yesterday I sent my sister a link to your christmas decorating blog post with the note “I love her!” 🙂

    Please keep doing YOU and speaking with your authentic voice. It’s a big part of what makes you – and your brand – so appealing. Haters gonna hate, right??

    And I couldn’t agree more…. why are WOMEN unfollowing based on a pro-FEMINISM post? What is wrong with these people? I suspect female Trump supporters are either uneducated, uninformed, or too self-interested to understand the harm he continues to do to, well, just about everything…. national debt, our environment, immigrants including children (!), women’s rights, status of the U.S. in the global eye. Even American soybean farmers are going bankrupt because Trump imposed such high tariffs on trade with China – and that’s where the soybeans are exported to! My list could go on and on. My opinion, he is an embarrassment. What president TWEETS?! ….. BUT your post wasn’t even about all that!! It was just pro-feminism.

    You go girl!

  126. I’m so sorry so many people left because of that post. It’s such a… tricky time right now, and being able to navigate that while having thousands of people “know” you must be very hard. As a liberal white woman, I am definitely on the Pro-Obama track (I miss him and his family so much it hurts sometimes), and I appreciate seeing all the celebrities (whether of the Hollywood, design, or blog variety) post their personal feelings and show that they are more than their brand, whatever that may be. It makes me feel like I’m following a human person and not a “human”, if that makes sense. I’ve followed your blog and social media for years now and even though we don’t know each other, reading your blog posts and seeing your instagram photos makes me feel happy. I think you’re doing the best you can, and by recognizing that there were some mistakes made, you can learn from them and try to do better the next time. I always appreciate seeing the “behind the scenes” of you and your family, and again, it makes you more relatable. Hugs from NYC!

  127. I’ll never stop following you. Amen.

  128. Emily, I respect your opinions and passion. You obviously care a great deal. I don’t look at Instagram very much because I struggle with social media so I didn’t see the post. I just wish people would try to be civil and respectful, regardless of their beliefs. A lot of people are jaded with politics and it started long before the last presidential election. Although we are blessed to have freedom of speech, when it’s hurtful and offensive or just obscene, then it infringes on the rights of others. So, I’ve been trying to watch/listen/read news channels that are considered liberal or conservative. Sometimes it really hard but it’s also interesting because they don’t always report the same stories. Or if they do, they only report the way they believe. It doesn’t seem like any of them just report the facts. I want to make up my own mind, not have it swayed by one-sided reporting. If we only surround ourselves with people who share our own opinions, we limit ourselves. There was a time when journalism was respected and personal opinions of the reporters were not aired. Now most of it seems like the type of reporting we used to scorn. I’m tired of politicians who are more interested in being re-elected than working together. I’m very tired of celebrities who are very vocal about what they support but live in palatial estates and have extravagant life styles. That is their choice but it seems to me that if they really care about people who are struggling with basic needs, then be generous enough with your resources that it impacts your lifestyle. And I’m so tired of the way award ceremonies are used to promote social platforms. Most people don’t care. I’ve stopped watching most of them. I could probably go on and on but enough said. Thank you for the opportunity to get some of this off my chest. I do read your blog a lot.

  129. I like Obama as a person better than I like Trump. I would rather grab a beer with Obama than with Trump. Obama as a president is a disaster and elitist. My heath insurance is $1200/month and covers nothing. Middle class plebes like myself saw our rights and our wallet erode under his administration.

    1. Unfortunately, your healthcare is a result of a Republican Congress and House stripping the Affordable Healthcare Act of everything Obama wanted it to be, and then calling the ensuing disaster “Obamacare.” Trump wanted to strip it even further and thankfully was shut down. Hard to imagine but it could be much worse today.

  130. I LOVE your voice and what you stand for as a person and as a brand.
    As a fellow small business owner, I know how hard it is to walk the line of being very clear about your beliefs and not alienating clients/customers. The fact that you took the time to write 2,500 words about your feelings about a situation that clearly doesn’t have a right or wrong answer shows how much character and strength you do have.
    I’ve repeated myself often on this point the last few weeks, but I feel like our country’s fundamental problem is that we are allergic to having nuanced conversations about triggering topics.
    I completely understand why you wanted to post the photos. I loved it and emotionally responded to it as well. But, I also completely understand your struggle. Yes, losing 4K followers is hard (but honestly, it’s a drop in the bucket), but I think it’s about how you use your voice to help encourage hard discussions. Brené Brown is such a good example to me of someone who is clear about her views (she also curses, which is refreshing to me).
    All this to say that I know how hard it is. The fact that you are aware of how hard it is and that you care speaks volumes. You are human and your vulnerability is what makes you one of my favorite people to follow. Bravo.

  131. Not a fan of most of our Presidents, politically or culturally. Well, I was fond of Reagan in some ways, but his politics weren’t always great. Regardless, I have respect for them as our Leaders and recognize how I could never handle all the pressure they deal with. As President, it seems you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. In the end, we can’t just sit around complaining and blaming them for everything wrong in the world. At some point we have to do more than just post on social media-we have to start with ourselves, our communities. We can find ways to get out there and make a difference-any difference in a positive way would be helpful. I don’t be care about your “beliefs” regarding politics. I care about your heart toward loving and serving others. I care about how you aren’t helping your community. I care about giving each other a hand and practicing what you preach.
    The other day I was in a grocery store and I saw a woman wearing a T-shirt all about loving and respecting one another and being tolerant of everyone. A baby next to her started crying uncontrollably and the lady was obviously very pissed off. So, she is wearing a shirt about being kind to everyone but she doesn’t even have the capacity to love a baby who has no self-control whatsoever.
    I know we can do better as a people. We are a blended nation of so many cultures and ideals, but we all have a commonality-we have each other. We can show support to each other regardless of whether we get what we want through political agendas. WE can’t always focus on ourselves-we can focus on others sometimes as well. #loveoneanother

  132. I wish we all were as thoughtful and circumspect regarding the meaning and power of our words. Cheers to you, an intelligent, thoughtful and successful woman.

  133. Emily, I like you better because yo. u posted that pic! And, it’s not because I agree. I already knew we agreed about Obama. I liked it because you showed the true Emily and not just the blogger Emily who wants to appeal to everyone for the sake of her business. The true Emily has passionate opinions and wants to share them. It’s more important to show who you really are then have those 4,000 followers. I bet you will gain 5,000 followers from showing that side of you

  134. I am a conservative. I voted for Obama his first term. He disappointed me greatly. Did not vote for him the 2nd time, and hoped he would not win. I also voted for Trump and will do so again as long as the country keeps getting better and healthier. Do I agree with everything he does? No. Do I think he loves this country? Yes, I do. Has he been given a fair shake by the media? Not even close. They seek to destroy him and anyone that is conservative. He has promoted so many women not because they are women but because they are right for the job. Isn’t that what we want? I did not unfollow you, obviously, because I enjoy the dialogue. I was surprised by the picture but not angered at all because you have a right to your thoughts. I was a bit disappointed you took it down once you saw the backlash. To be fair, I probably would have done the same, but I was hoping you would see it out (of course I have no skin in that game). I think it would have died down, but who knows? It’s so touchy right now, Perhaps next time speak to both sides if you want to have your voice heard by everyone. Easy to say, hard to do. I still love your posts and can’t wait to see the makeovers!!! Ha. See? We can disagree and still like each other!!!! 👭

  135. I have no problem with your expression of your views and am really impressed with how much thought you put into this post and how much soul searching you have done. I am not on any social media except FB, where I always appreciate when friend of all political stripes can discourse thoughtfully. I do not agree politically with you, though I do not like Trump and did not vote for him, but I feel that is beside the point. I can appreciate different views and can’t fathom unfollowing someone just because our views differ. I read your blog because I love your design style. Even that is different from mine, but I appreciate it and love learning why you make the stylistic choices you make. They help me be a better curator of the things in my home. Surrounding yourself only by what you already agree with (or already design like) is part of the problem we’re running into as a society. We can just turn off other opinions and only hear/see what we want to and pull the blanket over over our heads and pretend we’re all carbon copies. I knew your political views (or thought I did) before I started following your blog but they just didn’t matter. It is your space and your communication device and I would naturally expect you to, I don’t know, communicate on it as you saw fit! In short, though we have political differences, I’m not offended when you share yours in any way. Keep being you!

  136. Hi Emily, as a fellow portlander, I have been following you since your time on Design Star. I want to say thank you for using your platform for these important messages. Do I love looking at your designs? Absolutely! You have inspired so much of my home. But I don’t see enough people with the platform you have using it to share theae types of posts in such a challenging time. Sure I am biased because I am a huge Obama fan, but just wanted to share how much this post meant to me. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  137. Also, can I please just say, even for an influencer that has amazing engagement, this post will probably go down in history as one of your most-engaged posts. THINK ABOUT THAT.

    Stick to design? Phooey. We are humans, let’s talk about human things… including design, but everything else too.

  138. PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR 90 YEAR OLD SELF and use your platform. I’m a 28 year old woman, I have been following your blog and instagram for a long time – I think more than 5 years?? AH. Anyway, I don’t think it was off brand. I think for your true followers, if they have been paying any attention, it is clear that you are left leaning and they either agree with that (like me) or decide to deal with it/not be bothered by it. By “true followers” I mean people that follow you as a person across many platforms, not just the plastic you that posts static images on instagram that they can double tap without using their brains. If someone was all of a sudden shocked and offended that you posted a photo of Obama, boy bye. They haven’t been paying attention anyway and they are very fickle if you posting a photo of a past president makes them unfollow. I think you post your opinions in a thoughtful enough way that even a conservative follower can deal with it.

  139. So 4,000 racists unfollowed you? I would be celebrating.

  140. You missed the two biggies for why people, including a lot of American white women, don’t like Obama or feminist t-shirts – racism and internalized misogyny. People don’t like him because he’s black, and they don’t like women because they’re female. They may not know they’re racist and misogynist, they may react with great anger and indignation to having it pointed out, but it’s what’s drove the nationwide 17% increase in hate crimes last year. It took me until Nov. 9, 2016 to really understand this about my fellow Americans and it breaks my heart, but there is nothing wrong with fighting hate and holding up a mirror to terrible people. Now, the photoshopping, profanity and provocative nature of the wine-fueled post? Probably not on brand. But honestly, anyone who unfollowed you over that, let alone took the time to explain why they hated the black president, or despise women, or love the racist-and-misogynist-in-chief-Trump is not worth your time. I’ve always believed I would have been on the side of the light in the 1930s and 40s and it’s been a great relief to see myself and so many other people, especially women, speaking out and stepping up these last two years. Don’t let the haters get you down.

  141. I appreciate your thoughts, but I do feel like you, as with almost everyone else, pretend like your political, moral beliefs are better or more intelligent that another’s. Saying ‘I wish California could succeed’ is about as terrible of a comment as I have heard. Wanting to be surrounded with only like minded people because you somehow believe yourself to be morally or politically superior, I believe, is at the core of our country’s division.

    1. agree.

  142. I think you hit the nail in the head by saying that the biggest failure of the feminist movement is devaluing the role of mothers and fathers. I’m a feminist too, but I can’t understand when women say derogatory things about having kids, breast-feeding, staying at home if you want to, etc. Being parents and raising a family is still is, and will always be, as important or more important (the latter is my opinion) than a career. Family is what gives many of us true meaning in life! I’m a lawyer and I want to keep on working when I have kids, but I think that kind of mentality is damaging for society as a whole.
    And as for the US’ politics, as a Chilean I have to say it looks terrible. We recently came back from a roadtrip through Northern California and even there we could see the HUGE differences you guys have between urban, rural, democrat and republican lives. The tension was papable! You guys have a gigantic country where people have lives that are way too different from one another and apparently ignore and resent “the other” (that being an immigrant, a person from the other party, a homeless person)…my country is so small in comparison that the mere thought of such a huge place – with such a variety of lifestyles, thoughts, environments, etc. – managing to stay together as one nation is mind-boggling. I align on the center-left, and I liked Obama most of the time, but travelling through rural areas I could see why people voted for Trump…

  143. Whenever any woman I follow on social media in design/fashion/etc posts a political thought, she is told to stick to pillows (etc.). I can’t help to think this is just an extension of the misogyny you are trying to fight against (albeit internalized by the women who are commenting it). We’ve all been told to stand still and look pretty, to keep our thoughts to ourselves and be a ‘good girl’. In these overwhelming female, and certainly feminized professions, there seems to be an overwrought emphasis on protecting this antiquated ideal of feminist. We should ALL have political opinions, we should ALL be willing to share them, debate them, and respect that other people have them. I’m loving the medical community’s response to being told to stay in their lane, I hope we push back too!

    1. It’s possible/probable that it had to women more but it does happen to men too. For example there’s this spice company Penzys that has become very vocally political in opposition to Trump and the guy who runs it and write the social media posts gets a lot of “shut up and just sell spices” type comments. Even brands like Cheerios and Old Navy are critisized for being too political for having add campaigns that include multi racial families.

  144. I want to hear what you have to say about anything! We are allowed to disagree with you, but you should never apologize for speaking up on something that’s important to you like asking for respect of women by people in power! I hate when people say “but the economy!!” There is so so much else that is at stake in our culture. Money will not fix all of our problems. I, too, have said that I feel like we are living in the blue/black vs white/gold dress world because I literally hear/see something different than roughly 50% of America on any given day. It’s exhausting. You have a voice, you should use it. We also don’t need to live in a world where we are totally writing people off for their design talent because of their political beliefs. That is making this divide wider!

  145. It’s your blog/brand and you’re allowed to post whatever you want! And people that tell you what/how/when to post aren’t being helpful, they are just trying to control you. Keep being you and people will value your authenticity. That’s the whole reason why people like influencers (I know, loaded term) anyway 😉

  146. Here’s the thing: I follow you because your design is beautiful and I love all of your tips. Yes- it’s fun seeing your family and life outside of design, and those aspects of your life make it fun to follow you. So while I disagree with some political things you post, I just disagree! That’s it! I don’t need to unfollow you or get frustrated about it. So keep posting what you would like to post, obviously in a respectful way as you always do.

  147. I follow your blog for design advice. It’s your blog and your political opinions are your business. I have followed O’s career since he was at the University of Chicago and then as a state senator. His presidency was a great disappointment in the area where he alone could have done the most good – fatherless black urban families. As for women – Trump has made the future brighter for women in general and many of their children through his stimulation of the economy and the return of many thousands of jobs. My children will be fine no matter who is president but the future now looks a lot brighter for many many more than those under O’s lackluster recovery and that includes women. Also, there is no need to label those who have a different opinion as “racists” or “monsters” as a reader here has done.

  148. Emily, you are someone who is excellent in navigating her way in our current world, and your desire to learn all sides, regardless of how you feel, is so inspiring. Something I keep thinking about lately is the feeling I keep getting that “the middle” is an unacceptable place to be, both “politically” and even more so socially. Here’s a big one that is often avoided, and WOW, it is scary putting this out there for fear of backlash, but here goes. The thought of an unborn baby being aborted make me sick to my stomach. That’s something personal that I feel, and something that personal isn’t going to change (as in never ever will change… this is coming from someone who first held her preemie when she weighed 1 lb 13 oz, and she is doing amazing 5.5 years later). I can never support the act of abortion. HOWEVER, I also understand that someone could be in a place in their lives where having a baby would be absolutely detrimental, for what ever their personal reason is. So, am I the person who is going to go out Saturday morning and hold up an anti-abortion sign on a street corner? No. Am I the person who is going to post something tonight on social media about how “it is a woman’s choice”? No. So… if I’m neither one of those people, then does anyone even what to hear from me? Do I even speak at all? Of course, I’m talking about a big one here (yikes!), but this goes for so many issues.

  149. Emily, for what it’s worth, I like you even more. You care deeply about things and I can relate to that. Thank you for being so genuine.

  150. Emily–I am an Obama lover and very liberal. I was irritated by the post b/c you stated you didn’t know if it was photoshopped (which it to me very obviously was)—didn’t research to see if it was photoshopped, then didn’t believe people who told you it was (or said you didn’t care). I am so bothered by this–it does matter. You have a large following and you are sharing a fake photo. You have a responsibility. I’m sure you would agree we have a problem with people believing news and photoshopped pictures on the far right fringe of the Republican party. This is the same thing, just on the other side. I agree with your sentiments that you can post political discussion, just in a much better more thoughtful fashion. Thanks for “hearing” my 2 cents. I hope you understand where I’m coming from.

  151. Emily, I want to say something measured and hopeful that tones down my feelings and promotes a generic “we’re all in this together!” feel, but I don’t feel measured and hopeful and I don’t feel we’re all in this together. I feel like you, especially re: 3 & 6: aghast and hopeless. You are a smart, thoughtful, good human being and I’m tired of pretending that the people who disagree with you so profoundly don’t have scarily different values. I’m so proud of you and happy that you’re not apologizing for your “brand,” for yourself.

  152. I think your posts are fine. No one is forcing anyone to read them. If it “offends” them they have the option to skip that day’s story. The fact that people attack each other on all these comments sections is baffling. I believe most of the venom on social media is coming from unhappy people who do not have the courage to handle their real lives and take it out on strangers on the internet. It is a sad state of affairs but I do not think it is your problem to solve. Post what you want , this is YOUR platform and if should reflect your views. What you are experiencing is a reflection of the divisive and hateful state of our country. It will get better.

  153. “Trying to be more like men should not be our goal. Men should try to be more like US”–amen!!!!

  154. Emily, I love how invested you are with your entire self about everything – politics, your followers, your family & business – your passion is inspiring. Leaning in so hard to what deeply matters to you is beyond inspiring. I wish I had even a tenth of your emotional energy! I appreciate so much how transparent you are with the good, the bad & the polarizing. It’s so hard to be that present & vulnerable, especially with everyone watching (& judging). Even if I don’t 100% agree with every single thing you post, I appreciate you so much. As a mother to 3 little girls, I’m glad there are strong female role models like you, effecting change in our society.

  155. love you, love the things you have to offer. love that you share your strengths and weaknesses publicly, and welcome discourse on them. you have my support on this issue and many, many others. like the person on IG said, keep on keeping on — i’ll be along for the ride.

  156. I was glad to see your post – I like to know where people I choose to follow stand on issues that I care about. Keep doing you

  157. I do think that post was off-brand because, like you said, of its aggressive nature. What I still don’t understand despite your attempt in this post to see both sides of the coin, is why feminism is such a polarizing issue and why is it seen as a political one? This perception of feminism as a man-hating agenda that destroys families and children is true of exactly zero feminists that I know, and I know a lot of feminists. A huge part of my personal feminist agenda is working toward an egalitarian partnership with my husband, one where he cooks and cleans and takes care of the children as much as I do. I strongly believe that children need fathers too! Oh, and, you know, we would like to be seen as actual people who dont exist solely for the benefit of others (men or even our children).

  158. So many questions here. I’ll just sort them into two categories.

    1. America
    2. Emily

    1. Oh America. I used to be a centrist liberal, the sort who always thought she could vote Republican if only the right one would come along. The sort who believed (and still does) in capitalism. But the events of 2016-2018 have convinced me that patriarchy and racism are inextricably wired throughout our culture. I used to think even those WORDS, patriarchy, racism, were kind of unnecessary. In essence, white Americans centered on a family structured around human’s historically majority biology (can’t think of another way to say that) don’t want to lose power/resources. Feminism weakens the authority of the men and the women who built their lives around traditional models. Anti-racist thinking questions America’s mythical “bootstraps.” And our current leadership’s practices of inflammatory tweets is the match to our dynamite. (Sorry for the metaphor.) We are in a fierce deep fight, you put yourself in the path of fire.

    2. Dear Emily. It’s not so much a question of whether that post was “on-brand,” more a question of what you, you, want and need your brand to be. It would be much more lucrative to stick to style alone. A broader audience, less controversy. With the money you make in that strategy, you take care of your family but you could also support political causes, privately. Only you can know what kind of political voice you need in your “brand,” that public self that is the foundation of your business. Must it be partisan? Maybe yes. Might it be a more general support of causes, without reference to party or politicians? Maybe yes.

    It’s your life and your talent and the pains and the joys of it belong to you. Not us. I wish you all the best, and I thank you for the genuine good nature you express here.

  159. You are probably right about not posting while drinking (we’ve all had to learn that lesson!) but you should not allow yourself to be silenced, either by your critics or yourself; edited maybe, but not silenced. I suspect that you’d be more upset with yourself, later in life, if you looked back on this time in our history and found yourself to have been too timid to have spoken out. It’s times like this that require boldness and courage. And if you ever start to lose followers again, just tell those of us who agree with you and we will put the word out into the world that you can do great design and have a socially conscious political opinion at the same time! I bet we can more than make up for the loss of followers.

  160. Thanks for your words. I’m with you. Not in all your political views, but I feel the same about the lack of decency we see on social media when it comes to opposing views and it’s so sad. The screen alienates us. We forget there are humans behind those screens. And I’m willing to bet that 90% of us would never vocalize what we write on these platforms if we met with the person face to face.

    Also, amen to not putting down men! We are turning men off to our pleas by our tactics. My husband being one of these men. He is so supportive of me and sees me as his equal. But when he sees feminist posts he is just turned off, due to the muddying of the waters you spoke of. I don’t think the goal is to make women fit in a man’s world and in his role, but to respect and see us all as equals. Whether we stay at home or strive for corporate success. And we need to continue to celebrate the men who DO fight for us.

    Thank you again. I appreciate the wide variety of things you post. I enjoy the varying opinions and discussions and I think it is NECESSARY to share them. It doesn’t do any of us any good to shy away from opposing views. Otherwise, how do we grow and learn?

    Anyway, before I end up with a novel of my own… Haha. Thank you! Keep being an advocate for good!

  161. I’ve lived in Portland and Alabama, and I went from living in downtown Chicago to the suburbs in Georgia, and I agree with your comment about people being in their own like-minded bubbles. I’ve encountered bubbles in all of these places, and everyone just seems to assume you think the same way and can’t seem to fathom anyone thinking differently. And they are fueled by everyone around them agreeing and being like-minded. For that reason, I like the idea of being exposed to other thoughts and ideas from people on social media, but I don’t appreciate it when it is put out there with the assumption that everyone agrees with you, as if only your bubble will see it, or put out there in negative or insulting ways. Giving credit and acknowledgment to other viewpoints keeps things from being so polarized. I think you’ve done that here and in other political posts in the past, but not on that Instagram. I appreciate you being thoughtful about your response here. I don’t always agree with you politically but I do respect you for acknowledging, and at times even giving voice to, other views.

  162. Emily, longtime follower, first time commenter here. I appreciate all the thought and energy you put into this, and then to share your thought process and learnings with us. That takes incredible vulnerability and courage. I missed this post, but I would have been on the “double-tap if you agree” side of things. After reading this post, I agree with you that it’s a little off-brand for your regular Instagram feed, but maybe would have done better in stories? For some reason it seems more fun and engaging there, less strict, probably because it disappears in 24 hours. Mostly, I hope you keep being awesome. (And as someone who doesn’t live in California, I hope it doesn’t secede because the rest of us need all the help we can get! 😉

  163. I know this is an over-simplified trope, but you really can’t be all things to all people. And some days we all show sides of ourselves in not so flattering ways. I posted something to Facebook one day that nearly lost me my sister (over politics) because I was just feeling mad and snarky that day. I feel bad for you that your “mistakes” are so public, and you have to worry about your business taking a hit over it.

    I think you’re doing a fantastic job of discussing important issues in a respectful way. Keep up the good work! Be kind to others, as I know you always are, but don’t forget to be kind and forgiving to yourself as well.

  164. Emily, Thank you for being so open and attempting to create a safe space for civil discourse. I wish you hadn’t taken the post down but I’m one of the people who didn’t get why women were so upset behind a feminist message in the first place. I also am unfortunately coming to the realization that society as a whole is not as idealized as I’d imagined and that many people do in fact oppose gender and racial equality for their own various reasons. Please don’t second guess your thoughts on things that you are passionate about. Seeing people of influence stand up for important causes are the bright lights of hope in times that make many of us afraid of the current state of politics.

  165. Just did the math. That’s about half of one percent of your Instagram followers. I realize it hurts, but you’ll be fine. Keep calm and carry on.

  166. I need to add, I don’t think staying home with kids has to mean someone is anti-feminist. But I do think the anti-feminist sentiment is fueled by people who are deeply invested in the dominance of a model where women stay home.

    There’s a difference that’s hard for me to articulate – I think true feminism comes home when women are primary home-carers, and their partners who go out to the wage-earning world support and value their work.

  167. Oh! Also, I like to follow people more than I like to follow brands. I mean…I know you are a brand. But the more I can feel connected to someone the more I like their content. Getting a sense of one’s humanity is always a huge win in my book. So…in case you needed more support to keep posting and being authentic, there you go ❤️

  168. Dude. Now I need to follow you on instagram! 😛

  169. I check out your posts because the projects are beautiful and let me escape all the outside noise. I can’t even watch comedy shows because they all talk politics. I know we are human and we all have opinions about each side. If your business is driven by people like me on both sides, I just feel, use a different platform. Every celebrity also now voices opinions, when what got them there is our need to watch , or read and escape all the opinions from the regular world. I thought oh no not Emily too:/
    I so enjoy your posts, and I really don’t care who you vote for. I am being very honest and sincere. Just tired of everyone who gains a voice to tout their opinions knowing its a hot topic, which have separated so many dear friends along the way…. I do applaud all the igers that have helped people donate to those in need like the fire situation, it doesn’t matter what side you are on, that’s just good ole humanity coming together for good. Just my 2 cents.

  170. FREE SPEECH. For you and for any other human on the interwebs. No need to censor yourself; these times call for radical honesty.

  171. Thank you for writing this all out Emily. I hope it makes at least a few people stop and think that there is a living breathing incredible human behind the Instagram handle. I think you can do design and share the thoughts that impact your life! Keep up the beautiful work and the thought provoking work! Xoxo

  172. Personally, I wouldn’t want any anti-Feminist pro-Trump hate-monger followers anyway, so I say good riddance.

    I keep having to tell myself, WHO are these dumb white women who continually vote against their own interests, and I really believe that if you only get information from Fox and Friends or aren’t interested in politics and just cluelessly vote party line, they have no idea that they’re voting against better schools, childcare, family leave or any safety nets for working families, while also voting for a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic bigot?!!

    To me it just seems hypocritical that folks perpetuate the vitriol towards Obama (since the Republicans in Congress stonewalled his ability to get stuff done) and, similarly, the rudeness also shown to John McCain before his passing. Honestly, I bet if you’d posted a picture of him thanking him for his service on Veterans Day, you’d lose a bunch of MAGA weirdo followers too. Yikes!

  173. Like you said, women (especially Black women and other women of color) have a lot to be angry about. When we say we need to process violence toward women one way – rational, caring – we tell the men who run the world, and the kids watching us, that they should only have to take us seriously or deal with us when we are whatever they deem as rational, and we tell women who are really struggling with trauma that they can’t express it in whatever way it comes to them. You have a brand and your family to protect but you should get to engage authentically with your audience and, if 4K people don’t want to be part of that, then that’s 4K fewer people who will make you question your right to feel what you feel and share it next time. People get to vote with their dollars and participation but you have a big platform and you use it thoughtfully – please don’t stop.

  174. I read every word and want to thank you for your nuance—something so often lost in our online world! Keep up the good work; when you show us your heart, everybody wins.

  175. It’s rare for me to comment on a blog – as much as I enjoy them! If I see something on social media that I don’t care for, I just keep scrolling. If I am repeatedly uncomfortable by someone’s posts, then I will unfollow. I am a Christian conversvative, but I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton (both on principle of character, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I voted outside the two main parties) and I didn’t vote for Obama (values didn’t align with mine). I can’t imagine where the hate for Obama comes from – it was refreshing to have 8 years without scandal. The Obamas seem like a wonderful family. When did preaching tolerance make everyone so unwilling to tolerate others opinions? It’s like people say “If you don’t agree with me, then I HATE you.” That’s awful, and the exact opposite of the values our country was founded upon. You have ever right to your opinion, Emily. And, I think you are smart to evaluate the experience and recognize your responsibility as a business owner. We all have to live and learn. And every one of us needs some grace from time to time. Keep up the good, thoughtful work.

  176. I loved the Obama post. This one has me wondering what you are hoping for from your readers. If you wanted to just explain why you did what you did and how you would do things differently, I find that fascinating as a reader and user of social media. But I think you also want to make an argument for your view of feminism and then ask that everyone comment and speak nicely, despite the fact that feminism (rightfully, in my opinion) is incredibly triggering for many people. I love reading your thoughts, even when I don’t agree. Here is what I am working through: is it fair to share your opinion on a very difficult issue and then be upset when people have strong reactions (eg by asking that people keep their comments “nice”)? I’m not sure.

  177. The “off brand” in a more “on brand” way confuses me. You recognize that you are an individual with opinions, but also that you are a business that supports 10 people and 4 family members. It sounds like it’s time for you to either get back in your lane or redefine what Emily Henderson Design is. Maybe you’ll be like Nike and take a political stand or just be Switzerland.

    I very much appreciate the self-awareness of this entire post, though.

  178. I have watched Obama and Trump do speeches, talk to ‘the people’ and generally behave in public. Obama strikes me as an intelligent, confident and humane person that considers others in day to day life. A family man that likes a laugh. Trump strikes me as a paranoid, mysoginistic, arrogant person, a person that, people who know him, fear or dislike. Someone who enoys making people feel bad, so he canfeel better. So for the women in America (I’m Dutch so just observing the madness from the sidelines), think honestly, which man would you rather be married to, sit at a table with each night, lie next to in bed, talk to about your day? Would Obama be a better husband? Or would Trump? Put all your prejudices aside. Think about it. Now imagine Obama is white. Do you still think this has nothing to do with racism? #tokillamockingbird

    1. Hedda- We aren’t marrying either one of them. They are President. This has nothing to do with anything.

  179. The post was the sort of thing many of us might do after a few drinks. What made it stand out for me is that your blog and social media posts are generally very thoughtful. But we can’t be “perfect” all the time and I appreciate posts like this because it does few more authentic. Actually, I am someone who has unfollowed or considered unfollowing people who DON’T post something political (and liberal). I feel like my values and vision for this country are so out of step with the current administration that I have a really hard time relating to Trump supporters or those who are neutral on Trump. I wish that wasn’t the case but the issue of family separation at the border was a new low and I’m just not sure how I can follow/socialize with/etc people who don’t openly and loudly speak out on these issues. Thanks as always for these thoughtful posts and for continuing to try and figure this all out.

  180. I think it’s so weird how, once we’ve gotten followers, we have to constantly remind ourselves about our “brand” instead of allowing ourselves to just BE PEOPLE. How weird it is that to be a brand who has the “guts” to be a real person again, to show emotion, to be vulnerable (things often associated more with women too), is “brave”. I love seeing brands who use their names (like Emily) be real, flaws and all. Even if I may not have posted it myself (and probably out of fear for my own “brand”, which yes makes me feel cowardly), I respect you for your feelings. And, I respect the feelings your posted about here today, even if I don’t agree with all of them. Part of me still feels like we heap a lot on us as women where, like in your post, we feel compelled to apologize for offending. It’s a constant struggle to draw our own line in the sand (and do it again and again). Thanks so much for putting yourself out there like this. I hope our paths cross someday in person!

  181. If you felt good about the post, then I would have said it was on brand – because your brand is you. But you evaluation is real and right.

    I am 100% in the same camp as you politically, although I’m from the Midwest and live in the South, and have always lived in conservative areas so I think my perspective is different. I agree with almost everything you wrote except for #6 – and I pretty strongly feel differently from you on that. I think we’re creating more political divisiveness because we keep looking for evidence of it, and we just keep reinforcing it over and over again. There’s always a choice of how we choose to see things, and what we send our energy to – and looking at the media, politicians, social media, other groups of people, etc. – as the cause for the divisiveness takes the responsibility off of ourselves. But we have the responsibility – the ability to respond – to every situation with less divisiveness. We need to keep making that choice again and again and again if we want to change the situation. You have done this in blog posts before where you’ve genuinely opened conversations, I think this time you just made a different choice and missed the mark, so you’re seeing more divisiveness. That’s okay, next time you’ll choose again and heal the divisions. Your posts (all of our post, whether we have a following or not) – whether they’re divisive or healing – DO contribute to whether or not we’re polarized and what we see more of. We can’t ever doubt our power and responsibly as one person.

    We don’t need to lean in or lean out, and we don’t need men to do anything – we need to STAND. Stand in our authentic power and truth as women. I think you get to this in the last couple paragraphs. Leaning any which way is inherently a position of weakness, standing is powerful.

  182. Thank you, Emily! This post is brave, well-written, and meaningful. Most of all, it’s so clear that you CARE SO MUCH about your work, your platform, and your readers. You’ve obviously poured a lot of soul into posts like these, and I just want to say that I see that <3 You are an inspirational businesswoman and creative! Much love, respect, and admiration.

  183. I think the post was off brand! I respect you for taking it off & taking the time to write your feelings. I 100% agree with you that the feminist movement has devalued the woman or man who stay home as the primary care taker of children. I have been both a stay at home Mom & for 8 years been the only bread winner while my husband stayed home. Anyway, I have always been taught to be respectful of other people’s religion & their politics. I don’t like options to be cast in an angry or aggressive way. I love you & think we are BFFs!😂 after all I have a photo of us together at the Rose bowl flea after we attended the create & Cultive a couple years ago!❤️

  184. Hi Emily! Thanks for being open and vulnerable as always. I am sorry you lost so many followers. I know that must hurt, but I always want you to be true to yourself as a designer AND a human being. It bums me out when you worry too much about what everyone else thinks, whether the content is design related or political. You have acknowledged yourself that you have lost your weirdness as a designer on here- partially a bi-product of caring too much about outside forces. Post what you want! That being said, I embrace the message you were trying to convey, but I agree it does seem off-brand and I am not sure Obama himself would be thrilled at having his image used in this way being the classy guy he is. As Michelle would say- when they go low, we go high!
    Anyway, I think a lot of people such as myself see IG as more escapist than other social media outlets. I am guessing a lot of those 4k people just want to chill out on IG and get a little break from news/politics and may not necessarily disagree with the message. Take Design Sponge as an example – I love Grace Bonney and how much of an activist she has become over the years, and while I am an ally of the causes she cares about, sometimes I skip her more political stories because I simply am just tired and IG is how I unwind at the end of the day.

  185. I watch in horror ( I am Canadian) as the divide in America widens at an alarming rate. There is so much misinformation, hate and intolerance that is frightening to observe. How will you ever come together as a nation? Emily, I admire your true desire to engage in respectful dialogue. I am obsessed with design and follow numerous design blogs. Your blog is my favourite because although your content is very unique and informative, it is your voice and personality that sets it apart . Take heart . You do a great job.

  186. As an Obama-loving feminist, I was tempted to agree with the original post. But, there was something off about message on the shirt, that had nothing to do with a curse word. I think women owe men the same that they owe us: respect, compassion, sacrifice. In our friendships, in our marriages, and in politics. Whether to right the wrongs of the past, or just to be a decent human.

    Emily, thank you for your continued work towards bridging the gap. Your transparency in this post increases my respect for you. Don’t stick to design – you’re a whole person, not just a brand. How great an opportunity you have, not just to inspire beauty in design, but also challenge us to love each other better.

  187. I’m saddened that you’re not confident enough in your opinions, success and that you seem to care overmuch about what people think of you. I understand that presenting yourself well, in a relatable way, is the cause of much of your success. But is it worth it to you, to be “on brand”, suffocating your authenticity, for one more set of followers?

    #3 made me laugh. You’re being naive if you didn’t realize the kind of hate that still lives on in this country. People over react to Obama because they’re racist. He’s a decent man, agree or disagree with his politics. People don’t like him in the same way they are more aggressive or belligerent with a successful woman vs a successful man.

    #7 feminism is about choice.
    Also pointing out that Google and other tech companies gave 4wks of paternity leave before Zuckerberg did. And did you know why he instituted that policy? Because of Sheryl Shandberg, who demanded it.

  188. I really valued this post. Of course, I initially followed you for design but I truly appreciate the authentic views you share. I too am concerned about how polarized our society has become. To the point where I feel like I should move to the rust belt to live for six months so I can get a better understanding of others views. Clearly, I am missing something or not understanding something. The challenge with social media is balancing the need to promote your business/ ideas while still preserving your own identity and not alienating your followers. That’s a pretty high bar. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts in a fair, intelligent and well articulated way. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  189. LIKE. And also please buy Pensey’s Spices. Seriously, take a moment and research what the Wisconsin owner/founder has done with his marketing in the last year or two and you’ll find you did the right thing, among many who won’t. I’m on IG and missed your post. But I love it and you even more and will support you further and might send you some spices. 🙂 https://www.penzeys.com

  190. It is ON brand in my opinion because it is YOU and who you are and what you believe. I’m really try to think about if I hadn’t agreed with your post how would I act? And I feel like I could be objective about it and realize that my favorite design gal might have different opinions than my own and that is OK! Thankfully you don’t and I can fully enjoy you politically as well but I feel like you tread a really good line with your political posts. Most of the time you are 100% open to the other views. So, why can’t they be open to you having your opinions? It’s really strange to me to HATE and unfollow someone just because they think differently than you! Please keep being you in your posts. Please, it’s kind of like when you stopped doing most of your vintage posts and people wanted them back because it seems innately part of you. I would feel the same if we lost this side of you. Thank you for your realism!!

  191. Hi Emily,

    I think it’s very generous of you to take the time to break this down for your readers who disagreed with you posting the image. I didn’t, and I wish you didn’t need to (because, uh, it’s YOUR brand/company/name/life so you do you!) but I think it’s kind of you to offer an explanation to readers with differing views.

    That being said, I disagree with point 7 in a big way. Why would 4,000 women unfollow you overnight? Why does any modern woman feel averse to being called a feminist? It isn’t because we (feminists) are bad at messaging; it’s because a great deal of women have been conditioned by internalized misogyny, plain and simple. This isn’t comfortable, but it is the truth. As to the idea that modern feminists don’t value childcare or domestic work, I think this is an incorrect impression based on the ideas of second-wave feminism of the 60’s and 70’s. I think the intersectional feminist movement we are in today is far more sensitive to and cognizant of the needs of caregivers, and the demands that come along with caring for others full-time, whether in a paid or unpaid situation. I highly recommend checking out the work of Ai-Jen Poo, a labor rights advocate who is trying to change the conversation we have around domestic work. You can hear her on a fantastic episode of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend here: https://www.callyourgirlfriend.com/pay-caregivers-fairly-with-aijen-poo/

    Also, I take umbrage at the notion that being assertive about having a voice or a seat at the table is “trying to be more like men,” just as I take umbrage at the further implication that a man who can communicate his emotions clearly would be seen as “trying to be more like us.” This gendering of behavior is harmful to all of us, as I believe that we should be trying to move beyond this kind of language – deeming what is “manly” and what is “womanly,” or what kind of behavior is masculine or feminine. I want my future children, regardless of gender, to be as strong as they are empathetic. I want them to grow up in a world where they feel as comfortable expressing their emotions as they do defending their ideals, without anyone blinking an eye. I think you and I overall agree about the big picture (equality for all!) but how we get there, and what language we use, well, it *matters.* And while I agree that men need to be strong allies for us, it is dangerous to espouse the idea that relying on men to be our voice is the ONLY way we’ll get any real societal change. That simply isn’t true – it’s going to take EVERYONE, male, female, and gender non-binary. Women need to keep speaking up. Women need to be angry ! Because anger is okay! It’s *justified*! We don’t need to be scared of it; as my therapist would say (lol I am very much a hipster east-side Angeleno cliche right now), anger is a helpful emotion. It’s our gut telling us that a situation is unfair.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if you’ll read any of this, but I truly do appreciate you being so thoughtful about this topic, even if we disagree on some of the finer points. I love reading your blog for style inspiration and ideas, but I also love that you give us a glimpse of the human being behind all of it. I think you’re a very thoughtful, considerate person and businesswoman, and you shouldn’t shy away from being opinionated and open about things you feel passionate about. Keep doing you!

  192. I would posit that the people who tell you to, “stick to design,” on a particular post probably disagree with your opinion. Rather than saying, “I disagree and here’s why …” they are telling you to be quiet. Discourse over.

    Your comments on the current state of feminism struck a chord. I have been a stay-at-home mom since my youngest was born 12 years ago. When I meet new people and they ask what I do, there is always a hesitation (on my part) followed by an immediate justification of why my husband and I made that choice for our family. I often feel that, although I would consider myself a feminist, by making the choice to stay home I have gone against the purpose of the movement. I know there are people who would not consider me a feminist and would feel that I am not setting a proper example for my kids as I am not raising them while having a career outside our home.

    I think one reason you are so successful is that you come across as a whole person online. You are a designer who creates beautiful spaces, who is a mother, who is a wife, who has opinions, who makes mistakes. All of these things in combination help people online connect with you. Thank you.

    1. Lisa, I just wanted to say that as a working mom, I admire the job you get to do for your family. I am only a working mom bc my husband is a teacher and we can’t make ends meet on that single salary. You can absolutely be a feminist and a great role model for your kids while also being a stay at home mom. <3

      1. How kind! Thank you! All the best to you and yours.

  193. I think the deep divide in this country right now troubles most all of your actual readers, whichever side they are on. There is mounting evidence (from the FBI, recent stories from the New York Times, etc.) that the conflict is being manufactured and kept alive by experts in social manipulation using all sorts of tools never before available such as paid trolls. Who has an interest in making half of us feel the other half hates us? Finding that out would probably help us all heal, but that is definitely outside of the purview of a design blog. In the meantime, I think your only alternative is to be true to yourself. That’s why you have followers in the first place. And at least we know its really you! But since you asked, I would say stick to the issues that are important to you — like feminism, respect, etc. and avoid political personalities or symbols unless it is truly necessary to the point you are trying to make, because in this climate, we aren’t even talking about real people anymore, we are talking about flashpoints or flagged terms. And I would say if you are going to repost something, make sure it is something you absolutely would say yourself.

  194. As someone who has read and loved your blog for years, I’m going to skip past everything about politics just to say… you might want to see a doctor and ask about a prescription for a foam for your scalp psoriosis called clobetasol. My doctor prescribed it to me a few years ago when I was in the middle of an attack and it was transformative, as in the only thing that’s ever helped my very itchy/burning/red scalp. Hope that helps!

  195. Emily,
    What happens to the world if haters are allowed to sensor?
    Never apologize for authentically representing yourself.
    Never forget, that is your “brand”.
    “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” – Albert Einstein
    This is your corner of the world, Emily, you created it to do with what you want.

  196. I have been out of town and missed the original post. I am the kind of person that accepts, whatever, you be you stuff.

    That said, I think back to when Hobby Lobby or Chick fil a, for example, voiced political opinion and it pissed me off. I avoided those business until my pissy pants had forgotten. Large corporations do not openly voice political opinion, but of course allow their 💰 to speak for their believes and politics….


    This loss of readership would give me pause. I suppose this is the double edged sword of a popular voice (or power, for lack of a better word). You influence me constantly regarding home decor and shopping. My core beliefs, not so much. Sometimes doing the “right” thing becomes costly. “Right” sounds really awful/judgy.

    F—k, I’m rambling 😆 I have nothing to loose. I love the blog, you and everything involved 🤭

  197. I think you did not need to remove this post. Many of us are feeling nostalgic for Obama (and I’m Canadian! Oh, so maybe I don’t get an opinion either?!) Emily, I say keep using your voice to spread love & light. We all need more of that in our lives. XO

  198. I have never commented on your blog before, though I read (and look forward to!) it every day. My advice is to use your platform as you see fit. I like that this isn’t a space where you pretend to have all of the answers all of the time–you let us in on your thought process. This post is a perfect example. You have a unique opportunity to use your voice to support what you think is good in this world. Please continue using it!

  199. I’m thrilled that you posted your authentic feelings in that instagram post—and here today. I’ve become very annoyed by (and very suspect of) bloggers who have remained silent during these last two years. How is that possible??? I want to know that the people I follow are good people with values i can respect. With these posts, you’ve proved that you definitely are an amazing person. Thank you. And don’t worry about the lost followers. If they actually think Trump walks on water, they’re dead weight anyway.

  200. My internal thought was I saw it in my feed was, “yes! Obama! Feminism! Emily!” LIKE. and then I continued to scroll lol. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it was something that could be disagreed with….I guess, therein lies the polarization you mentioned. Sigh. <3

  201. Your’s won’t be the first blog that I have unfollowed due to unwanted political content–and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

    Yes, you have the perfect right to post anything that you want to post but there are consequences. I do not care if you are an Obama supporter or a Trump supporter. My response would be the same in either case. I follow a design blog to see beautiful design. In the same manner, I pick up a design magazine to be inspired. If I picked up “House Beautiful” and was confronted by political talk from either side of the fence, I’d feel duped and annoyed. Many of us just seek a respite of beauty in which we can momentarily escape the ugliness of the political landscape. To be blindsided by a political post in such a venue feels very intrusive, sneaky and unwelcome. There are plenty of places for free speech and for political discourse. More than enough, in fact and your post will not change anyone’s political opinion. Most likely, such a post will result in exactly what happened: Lost readers.

    If that’s what you want, then post all the political talk you want. It’s your right and choice. If not, keep your eye on the reason you have attracted readers: Design. Although, yes, you are an individual with thoughts and opinions, your design content is what I signed on for. When that is not delivered and something intrusive is offered up instead, it is a turn off. For now, count me among the unsubscribed. There are lots of design blogs to follow that don’t add this to the mix and I will be happily following them instead.

    1. Victoria – I feel exactly the same way, we’ll said.

    2. @Victoria, where are the design blogs that don’t offer up intrusive political talk? Please direct me to them! The only other design blog I read is Apartment Therapy and while it doesn’t have political content, it’s not nearly as interesting and well-written as Emily’s blog … as interesting and well-written as her blog strikes me when it sticks to style, that is.

  202. You have made so many wonderful comments. I’m curious if you have ever thought of your blog and posts as a relief for people from the grind of all the politics and hate. I think everyone deserves a voice including you. But I wonder if you lost most of those followers because they themselves are constantly on the battle lines of what they believe and they come to you and your beautiful design for a break. It’s like the Friday night date with no kid talk or the midday movie. You are a stand for reprieve and peace. I wonder if people are tired and just want one place to take a break and think of the ideal.

  203. I like seeing that there’s a real human behind a brand. Thanks for sharing this!

  204. Hi Emily,

    I would appreciate if you didn’t use the phrase ‘angry feminist’ as a negative. First of all, feminists (male and female) have a right to be angry – they want equality and unfortunately, a lot of people DON’T want that. It is incredibly frustrating when all social and scientific evidence shows we deserve it.
    That term also kind of feels in support of the notion that women shouldn’t be angry, but easy and pleasant to everyone. While I agree with you that we need to be constructive, we do not need to please everyone and it needn’t be considered ‘displeasing’ that we show our emotions when upset. Anger is an emotion that is valid, and personally, I don’t care if someone thinks I am an angry feminist – I am. But it is not in the way that the phrase is often used, and that you seem to be using it here. I lead a happy life and have a wonderful partner (a male angry feminist) and lots of friends who also believe their health and happiness is not more important than others who might not look the same as them. I’m not alone, angry and bra-burning (though I support anyones right to be just that).

    Also – a lot of people hate Obama because of racism. Period. I am not saying he was a perfect president (he was not), but the mistakes he made just in no way compare to that of the current president. This is factual. So for people to hate Obama while defending Trump is a matter of someone not believing in equality and wanting to protect the status quo they benefit from, or a matter of ignorance. Which is a big problem in the US – a ‘leading’ country that unfortunately does not lead in education.

    It is GREAT of you to rethink a post that didn’t get your message across clearly or constructively enough. However, as you said – it is people in power that need to take a stand. YOU are a person in power. You are a white, successful, wealthy, business and property owner. As you said men in power need to take a stand, so do you. So please don’t back down from what you believe in for the sake of followers – be brave, and just refine your message so it is clear.

    ***also just a note on your Mark Zuckerberg comment. You know that the US is the last developed country without paid maternity leave right? This shouldn’t be on business owners – this should be a collective government funded leave. And for those of you who will say ‘but its a woman’s choice to be a mother, why should the collective pay?’ – because THERE WOULDN’T BE A COLLECTIVE IF WOMEN DIDN’T HAVE BABIES. Also, this argument might hold SLIGHTLY more value if your country had more accessible healthcare and believed wholeheartedly in women’s health and reproductive rights.
    In Canada, we continue to receive one year paid maternity, and have recently been given the option to take 18 months for the same amount of pay. I also have never worried about accessibility and affordability of birth control. When I worked in the states, I felt AWFUL when my employees that were brand new mothers dragged themselves to work so soon simply because they couldn’t afford not to. I cannot imagine the emotional and financial stress of this and it was truly heartbreaking to see.

    I am just here hoping that justice wins, that love wins and that everyone fundamentally can believe that their rights are not more important than others.

  205. I loved that IG post! That sound, after reading this blog post, it probably was off brand…which you said yourself. I also LOVE it when you get all political – IMO, a lot of the design blogs I follow make it seem like the people behind them aren’t human, they’re just a machine for content and sponsored posts. Of course, your business IS a machine – consistently quality content and inspiration, sponsored posts that support a thriving business, and ideas that stretch me to think outside the box about design many times. The best part of your machine is that we get to see the REAL people behind it – people with well thought out political views, families struggling with losing dear pets, reorienting your personal approach to your work (I LOVED your post about shifting your focus back to more styling. I feel like many of us your same age are striving to recenter around the work we truly love.) Anyway, I say, keep on keeping on. Maybe just stay away from memes with curse words in them after a couple glasses of wine on a Saturday night. (Or don’t – because who hasn’t done something similar? It honestly makes me love you more, but I realize you have a business to run.) ❤️

  206. I really appreciate this post. I saw the Obama picture when it went up and I’m anti-engaging in useless commenting. Freedom of speech is valuable and your total right as an American, but it was off brand for you. I was not angry about it because you have a right to be the person you want to be. It never ceases to amaze me that people have the inability to ignore what they don’t like. They match aggression with aggression and that never solves anything. I am one of those that does not agree with your politics and I’m ok with that. I like you as a person and I love what you bring to the design world. I intentionally follow people that challenge my viewpoint because I think that bubbles are dangerous and understanding the other side, even when you wholeheartedly disagree, is part of what we are called to do. Love is greater than hate. Always. We can disagree and still love. Disagreement does NOT mean that I hate you. And sadly, it seems that is the root of so much of the polarization seen in our current societal climate. We don’t know how to disagree and still show love. It saddens me deeply. Thank you for this post today! I still disagree with you on many viewpoints AND I still love you at the same time. Imagine that?

  207. I don’t get this post. It seems it was motivated by the fact that you lost 4000 followers. If you’d gained 4000 followers would you have left it up? If the numbers of followers are important then stick to business-related posts. If you want to be more personal and free to post what you want then accept that your followers also have the choice to follow or not. The analysis you posted is baffling. Is it just based on the comments to your post or have you compared and analyzed similar posts on instagram and blogs?

  208. Every time you blog about an issue outside of design, it reminds me that you are a real person with thoughts and feelings and experiences and hopes and dreams and thoughts about the future. You are a well rounded human with a large platform of followers. Not everyone will agree with you, but I think that sharing your human side is worth the cost of a few that are going to leave. I’m sure it doesn’t feel great to watch the number of followers slide, but those of us that are with you, will be here for the long haul.

    Personally, I think it is completely unfair for people to tell you to stay in your lane and just design pretty content for them to look at. (Same goes for athletes, actors, etc.) We are all dynamic humans with more than a single interest. If people can’t understand or respect that, maybe they are better off just scrolling pinterest.

  209. I’m sorry but I don’t see a problem. You exercised your free speech and your followers exercised their right to unfollow you when their values didn’t align with you. IMO People that post political garbage of any persuasion that aren’t pundits are virtue signaling. I don’t want that drama. The results would be the same (if not greater) if you were conservative. The Republic (because the U.S. is not a democracy) is still intact. Get a social media manager (if you don’t already have one) to approve your posts if you want to be inclusive of all people.

  210. Get yourself a personal account and use that for these kind of posts. Boom. Problem solved.

    1. Exactly!

  211. so well said emily! So glad somebody said it. I don’t think you should have archived the post but understand why you did. This is your company you are the face and you are not crate and barrel. YOU should share your beliefs feelings and thoughts.

  212. The person in the White House got where he is—and stays where he is—by deliberately inflaming resentments and building hate. Every aspect of our discourse and daily life is affected by this. If we’re white, Christian, wealthy, and appear hetersexual, then the hate and divisiveness threaten our mental and financial stability. If we don’t fit into those categories, then our very lives are at risk. That’s the way it works, and for the greedy madmen at the top, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

    Its working very well for him and his billionaire family and cronies; that’s why he stokes the passions of unstable racists and anti-Semites every day. It’s honestly terrifying, but I’m not sure what aspect of it is a surprise to you.

  213. empowered women empower women. you are one of those women.

  214. Regarding #3: I find this absolutely crazy, too, because those same people who HATE Obama, love our current “leader” who is far from an admirable person. So as my mom always says, “consider the source.” You’re not wrong, Emily. Keep speaking out. The more people who hear this message consistently, even if they don’t agree now, may one day realize they might have been wrong as they see just how many people (influencers included) despise what’s going on politically. (((hugs)))

  215. This is a tough one. I share all of your views on Trump and the current state of politics. So half of me wants to say USE YOUR VOICE! But the practical side says as a businesswoman you have to consider the fallout.

    I have stopped consuming books, movies, products from people who I have found out to hold ultra conservative views that clash with mine. It kind of bugs me that I can’t set aside my personal views when it comes to artistic endeavors especially, but that’s the way it is. Some of these choices have made me sad, especially with formerly fave authors (I’m looking you at you Linda Howard).

    You have to decide if you are able/willing to take the potentially financial hit by standing up and saying what you think. Lot of people facing the same decision right now. It’s not an easy one.

    I hope more of us have the courage to put our values ahead of our wallets, whenever and wherever possible.

  216. Regarding your concerns with feminism and why other women may disavow that word and movement: I have been a feminist since I was a teenager. I am now a mother of two sons. I have never shied away from the movement and never regret saying I am a feminist.
    I don’t believe the real failing is the lack of making mothers and women whose work is done in a home feel less valued than women in out of home career fields because I don dont feel that’s true. The work of motherhood is valued in the feminist movement. It’s celebrated and it’s integral to our society as a whole. There is no denying that.
    In my opinion, the actual failing within the movement has been allowing people who feel threatened by that word, Feminism, to control the narrative of what feminism is and means. Feminists are branded as man haters by people who are threatened or scared by equality and power and fear a change in the status quo for whatever reason. But instead of ignoring that ridiculous slight and moving forward with a message of strength and inclusivity, so many feminists do what women instinctively do, which is try and make sure everyone knows “No, really, don’t be mad, that’s not what I meant!” Keep the peace. Don’t ruffle feathers, explain away why the criticism is unfounded and then you’re on the defensive and the narrative has changed.

    That happens everywhere women try to claim power. Just look at Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. You may agree with her politics or hate her politics, either is fine, but she accomplished something incredible – unseating a veteran politician who had tremendous power. Enough power that he ignored her campaign because he thought he could easily afford to. And then she unseated him. And is now the youngest member of Congress. But what has been the focus? Her clothes. The narrative is being shifted to diminish her strength and change the narrative. And everyone always takes the bait, because we want to make sure people don’t hate us, and that everyone understands, and that ingrained desire to keep the peace is weaponized against us.

    I see that a bit in this post too. And that she not a criticism! We all do it. “Oh no! Someone is offended! I spilled something! I made a little scene and stirred up some opinions and I’m so sorry! I had an opinion and got a proverbial stain on my dress and now I need to fix it so nobody is uncomfortable and everything looks pretty pretty and proper again! Apologies to all! It won’t happen again!”

    I mean, why do we all do that? Try not to ruffle any feathers, right?

    I fully understand the regret over not articulating your feelings in a way you felt aligned more with who you want to be in the world, and that’s so valid. But it’s also valid to have felt that the image you posted resonated and resonated enough to share! It’s a complex issue because it involves branding and business, but I personally think losing 4K followers whose knee jerk reaction was to react with anger at the image of a former president and a feminist message was a win. Because your brand is you. You are selling you. You and your vision, you and your outlook, you and your perspective! Would you truly want numbers over a core audience who can either respect differences of political opinion or who align with those opinions? Why?
    YOU create communities on these blogs and pages and keeping things so sanitized that it feels like you’re having a tea party while the world is burning isn’t the way to go, ultimately. It’s ok to have and share opinions, even if they aren’t expecting expressed in a perfectly polished way. That sounds human. Thats relatable. That’s real. We can’t dilute ourselves to the point where we feel shame for things like this. It was a social media post! The world will go on! But as I think does there will be evidence that you paid attention, took a stand, felt moved in a moment! Don’t archive that! It’s vital. ❤️

  217. Ok – I hesitated writing but feel like I need to put out my 51 year old female feelings – after being silent on my own social media for fear of backlash. And before I began to write this, I quickly read through some of the other comments and I understand I will likely be in the minority of the supportive, ‘you go girl’ themes…..I hope I can respectively communicate my beliefs as that is my intention and hope that any responses are equally respectful.

    First, I will say, that I come here for design inspiration and I believe a good majority of your readers would say them same. There is SO much noise regarding politics in the media right now that is nice to have a place to just unplug from that. Of course, you are human and have opinions but I think not EVERYTHING needs to be said – you keep that for those in your real life, the friends and family who know you (like many other things I presume). While you realize it or not, you are ‘famous’ for a specific THING and when you deviate and begin to talk politics it can appear arrogant and likely unrelatable to many who may feel differently than you.

    I consider myself a feminist – I graduated from high school and college in the 80’s when women were entering the workforce in huge numbers, me included. I worked for 10 years in marketing/advertising before having my first daughter when I was 31 and then chose to stay at home and raise my children. I began my own design business 7 years ago – a totally different ‘career’ from what I had done before. To me, THAT is feminism – raising good humans, working if you choose, not if you don’t. I am disturbed by the brand of feminism my two daughters are seeing – vagina hats and crudeness, de-masculating men. I see the merits of the MeToo movement but if we are ever to be equal, we must acknowledge our own roles and short-comings.

    I am conservative, fiscally but socially moderate as many of us, yet not portrayed as much in our media. I strongly disagreed with Barack Obama’s economic policies, he was taking our country in a direction far from what our founders intended. He was a master at playing ‘identity politics’ (see #6 in your post). Nothing divides us Americans more than chopping up our whole into pieces and Obama did that better than anyone. He has a lovely family, is a man of conviction (not mine) and made history. It is shameful that if you disagreed with him on policy it was automatically assumed you are racist.

    Do I love our current President’s personality and demeanor? Heck no! But do I believe that Obama made the perfect path that gave us Trump? Heck yes! Obama just had more class and cool when doing his wrecking.

    While I was very unhappy that Obama was President for 8 years, I respected our democracy and knew that there would be an opportunity for change. I fear that knowledge is missing from our younger generation – knowing that a President is temporary but our democracy is forever and we should keep it sacred and know that another election is coming, that our country has always ebbed and flowed. We need to appreciate that balance of power, I believe it ultimately gives America it’s strength.

    Finally – let’s acknowledge how women have benefited during the last two years; median household income is the highest level ever recorded, unemployment is at 49 year low, women’s unemployment is the lowest level in 65 years, we are funding more vocational training, enacted record tax breaks that meant more money in working American’s pockets. Sure, while these are not SPECIFIC women’s issues they benefit many, many women and ALL Americans. And I will say it again, our President is NOT my favorite personality, but his administration and policies are producing results that are benefitting our country, and I would guess, your business. I wish our media could cover it better but their bias exists stronger than ever.

    I am going to end here – I promise! I hope I was able to communicate some perspective. I live in a super liberal west coast city where my views are definitely in the minority and that is ok, and I would bet most who know me think I feel as they do. I know I live in the best country and enjoy more freedoms than many in our world only pray for. I like you too much to allow your politics, just one small piece of who you are, to unfollow you. I would hope those who know all of me would feel the same about me. We must learn how to respect each and everyone’s political perspectives.


    1. There was literally just an article in the Washington Post about how he employed right-wing consultancies to help prey on people’s antisemitic feelings (vis a vis George Soros). Jesus. Read something.

  219. There’s a lot here and this comment thread is insane, but I wanted to share my reaction to one specific statement you made. You think the biggest failure of the feminist movement is still treating motherhood and managing a home as secondary careers. I think that is a very real problem. I’d like to share with you another major concern. Much of the feminism we see and hear about today is not intersectional, meaning it does not partner it’s fight for women with fights for people of all minorities: racial, ethnic, LGBTQ, nonbinary, etc. White feminists who take up the crusade of white women without working hard to understand the specific injustices facing all of these groups and actively working to right those wrongs do immeasurable harm. I’d encourage you to explore intersectional feminism. As a white woman, I’m trying to learn more about feminism from women of color and it’s been incredibly enlightening. Thank you!

  220. I actually felt really disappointed that you took the post down. It almost made me feel like yet again, the bullies/y won. Of course, I feel this way because I love Obama and I love the message so it wasn’t personally offensive to me. I also struggle to understand why so many people act as though they had to ENDURE the 8 years of his presidency. I get that it wasn’t a perfect presidency or that maybe they didn’t feel represented, but to endure it denotes another thing entirely. I would love some rational and intelligent people to kindly explain why his presidency was so awful for them. Like you, Emily, I am deeply worried about how divisive our country has become and how quickly women in particular seem to be to cut each other down. My husband recently said, “I just always thought there was this unspoken thing where women stood up for each other and supported each other. A tribe mentality.” Gah, I wish! Instead I feel as though so many of us are acting and reacting in ways that we would never even allow of our children! What ever happened to the Golden Rule or our shared sense of humanity? Regardless of party lines, shouldn’t we all be at least somewhat invested in the health of our country as a whole?

  221. “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.”

    YES YES YES. I tend to be more conservative (and I’m a SAHM)- sometimes I feel alienated by the feminist movement because of this! It feels like there is only one way to be a feminist. Can’t tell you how refreshing it is for you to vocalize this. There are a lot of women like me and if we can all get behind embracing all women it could be even more powerful.

    1. I agree with you entirely, with the exception of one detail. It is not feminism that devalues traditionally women’s roles — it is the patriarchy. Your work and commitment as a SAHM are valuable and amazing! And as women we should lift each other up.

  222. I liked the post! I like when you discuss politics and other non-design things (like coping with pet death). You should’ve just tossed a mini-bottle of a lil somethin somethin in your coffee while at that flea market to take off the edge from the haters. It’s Friday so I suggest you enjoy a well deserved cocktail this weekend!

  223. I don’t agree with your political views, but I agree with your right to express them. What I found offensive is the posting of a t shirt with a curse word – especially in light of your views about your children and curse words. I guess I’m just disappointed that such an excellent blog “went there” and became like others who use that language.

  224. I am one of those people that believe that if you are a design site, you should stay that way. You obviously are entitled to your opinion in all these things but why can’t you separate your personal account and business? I also unfollow anyone who gets political because I don’t want that. Social media is an escape. I want to see designs and get ideas not be reminded of this political civil war we are in as you so aptly put it. I can do that on my own time if I choose.

    I also want to say I agree that women should not try to be more like men. They need to value themselves, BUT men should not try to be more like women either. The goal is to create equality, not to morph into each other. That’s devaluing either side. Men need to be men and respect women and recognize their strengths and women need to value themselves and men. We are equally important but that doesn’t mean same for either side.

    1. Well said!

  225. Why would you care so much what other ppl think..you’re putting too much unnecessary pressure on ur shoulders. If ppl unfollow at the end of the day it’s not a big deal. It’s a fallacy to think that this will have a major affect on ur business. Everyone is so focused on their own lives…dont sweat it and enjoy your life.

  226. You’re a human being. You have thoughts and opinions. We all have differences and need to respect them.
    I’m so annoyed by the outrage when the public discovers someone in social media or on TV acts like a normal person.
    Am I perfect at work at all times and sure to not disagree with others? Mostly. Yet keeping it PC all the time is unrealistic.
    Also, why should you have to censor yourself???? You’re an adult. You do what you want. We need to talk about things that are on our mind. We need to stop avoiding topics for fear of conflict.
    More information is always ok.

  227. Being twenty two and growing up as a designer and a person influenced by your work, opinions and personality is and has been wonderful.

    So all I have to say is Thank You for being a part of it Emily, hopefully one day I’ll get to meet you and your amazing team !

  228. I’m shocked that more people aren’t chattering about Orlando’s comment: “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 reflects the acceptance of ever-increasing polarity of this country, and seems to fly in the face of Emily’s usual encouragement of peaceful, civil discourse between opposing views. This mindset of comforting onesself after losing followers esentially because they are conservative/Republican and not in the same “bubble” as you just doesn’t make any sense to me, and seems to be in opposition of wanting to hear everyone’s voice, as Emily usually preaches.

  229. I for one was delighted when I saw that post pop up on your feed. While it may not have been what some consider “on brand,” I think you and all of us women have a right to be angry about how we are being treated. The tone-policing is maddening. So women only deserve to be heard if they are soft and polite and don’t use swear words? Um, no. Women can’t show anger without being labeled as “too emotional” and are dismissed out of hand. It has to stop. Bravo for not apologizing. I appreciate your self-examination and the warmth you bring to your brand. But don’t feel like you can’t get angry and show it. Or be sad and show it. Or experience a wave of nostalgia and want to share.

  230. Let’s face it. If the Petersiks posted a pic of the Trump sign in their yard there would be an avalanche of unfollows. It’s the nature of the beast. I’ve also been boycotting businesses who outwardly support the current regime (LLBean how I miss you). Personally, I’m dreading faking tolerance through the holidays. I think we need to be angry and we need to be polarized. I like that you are not just design. Things are too dire for that.

  231. Emily,
    I was disheartened by the angry women shaming and unfollowing you. Personally I got a kick out of the shirt, thought it was funny and I miss President Obama as well. I’m also saddened that you felt you had to archive that post, but understand all too well. You’re a force to be reckoned with and I’m so happy to be a fan.

  232. First time to this blog, clicked through from someone’s retweet. So, I can not say anything about a lot, but as for #3, yes, you are correct, he is not liked in MANY circles and it grows daily as the divide is pushed by the media, which in turn is leading to #6. There is a line that has been drawn and there is no grey area. The P.C. culture has pit Socialism against Capitalism in our Country. The winner is going to be “Who wants it more”. So buckle up because this is not over yet and by the looks of things, it is going to get even more ugly than any of us can imagine. For me personally, Trump is doing a fine job and if the media would report the truth instead of opinions with an agenda, people would see it. But, I have more time to actually read the Executive Orders and pay attention to things the W.H. are actually doing than most people in the Country. Have a great day everyone. I wish you all well.

  233. Yeah I wasn’t a fan of this post but I didn’t unfollow (obviously). I cringe whenever you post politically charged posts. Most I skip. My guess is that I am neither right wing nor left wing leaving me just “out” and mostly annoyed we cannot accept our differences without needing to have a deep conversation about why. Accept and respect all.

  234. I think the call for public figures, like yourself, to stick to their main platform comes from a place of frustration. Our country is very divided, and we all have strong opinions, and they are everywhere!! Honestly I get tired of celebrities and anyone famous shoving their political opinions in our faces. Just because you can doesnt mean you should.

  235. byeee Felicia! You should be able to post whatever you wish. We all know the real reason that people don’t like Barack Obama, so it’s good to see who those people are. And to say good riddance.

  236. Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of your actions. I, for one, enjoy the occasional bursts of individualism outside of the design world. I wouldn’t want a cookie cutter living room and I wouldn’t want to read a cookie cutter blog. And, I especially like that you re-visit your actions! It shows a willingness to listen, review and grow. Ok, maybe you shouldn’t post after three drinks but, haven’t we all? Your message was not offensive nor hate-filled. I, too, miss the thoughtfulness and the careful word choice of the former president. We can argue about economics, militaries, and budgets but who can argue about language that is thoughtful, empathetic, and reflective? I appreciate the genuine approach to your public face (and of course, the design talents you so freely give!). Thank you for letting me share a little slice of your world.

  237. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this. I think if I saw this post in your feed (which I didn’t), the only thing that would have been startling to me would have been the curse words. I totally agree with what you said in your post.

    If it makes you feel better, I’ll share my own social media anxiety moment:

    Back in the summer, I posted a video of my toddler son being caught with his hand in the cookie jar – literally, except the cookie jar was a donut box on our kitchen counter. My husband took a video of himself reprimanding our son (who isn’t allowed to climb on the counter and isn’t allowed to eat endless donuts) because I wasn’t home and he knew I would find it hilarious that he climbed on the counter (who knew he could do that? and tried to steal a donut. I thought it was so cute and funny that I posted it to my social media channels.

    One thing led to another, and this donut video went somewhat viral. Soon, random people who have never met us were posting horrible comments about my husband’s parenting, our neglect, all this terrible stuff – and some nice people were defending us and the whole thing was just so upsetting that I literally read only 5 of the thousands of comments and couldn’t even look anymore. My husband got a couple of messages from people threatening to report him to CPS for *not letting a toddler have a donut* .

    I did the same thing as you, which is try to calm down and then reflect on what I learned from this negative experience. First, I realized that I was far too naive about social media and needed to adopt more of a “what could people find to criticize?” approach to my posts, especially anything parenting-related. Parenting is so polarizing.

    Second, I learned that many people can see the same exact video and come away with completely different interpretations (like the “What color is the dress?” debate that you mentioned) and that’s one reason why politics are SO DARN COMPLICATED. They were RAGING over whether my toddler got a donut, so when I scale that out to the rage people spew when it’s something that’s actually important, like women’s rights, I can only imagine what you experienced.

    I share this with you only to say that social media is a scary place. But, it’s not unlike the real world where we proceed with a certain naiveté until a bad experience forces us to be more guarded. I was pretty blasé about my personal safety until I had a scary stalker at age 21; I was pretty casual about my Facebook videos until the internet indicted my parenting over a toddler’s donut.

    I still love you and appreciate your transparency. I think we can all stand to extend each other a little grace. Sorry for writing a novel.

    1. Jordan, good point! It is SO complicated. I’m sorry to hear about your story of the negative comments for an innocuous thing [with your toddler]. But yet it’s so believable.

      I love that Emily is able to be strong and keep going, even with all the negativity (that ALWAYS ensues from social media).

      (PS – Not an Obama fan, but I very much respect Emily posting her opinions.)

  238. I am about to comment and the comment below my impending statement is “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.” Agreed.
    To that point, rarely can there be civil disagreeement because far too many people on social media do not understand the concept of boundries and more importantly, manners.
    I do not regard OB as a president, politician or social commentator. He is smart and appears to be an excellent father and husband. I cannot find a single positive to state about his wife.
    We will continue to disagree most likely. My once very liberal mindset has morphed into a moderately conservative one and if anyone makes a crack about my being lockstep with my husband’s thinking, I DON’T HAVE ONE.
    You are brilliant at what you do which would lead most of us to think that you think brilliant thoughts as well. If you want to share them, you pay for the podium. I can choose to open the door and leave if I don’t like it.

    1. I agree with you, Karin.

      Out of curiosity, what caused your mindset to morph?

  239. The more accurate thing to say is that many people dislike Obama because we view him as a fraud

    Someone who manipulated us with his “image” as a moral leader in order to pull the wool over our eyes and get away with lies and policies which would otherwise be scrutinized

    Do you even know how much he did to discourage and penalize whistleblowers?

    What he did to target journalists?

    How he weaponized our intel community for political gain?

    Spying on congress?

    How he lied to our face on TV about when he learned of HRC’s illicit email server?

    We hate him because people like you forgive him for all of these SERIOUS offenses, all because he puts his kids on TV and fills out NCAA brackets.

    People who value the latter and allow the Office to get away with those offenses, should truly, truly, truly not be allowed to vote.

    Please educate yourself.

  240. That’s because many know Obama for the evil he is ! Yes he could talk eloquently but there is as far as it went. The man is evil and we as God fearing people cannot abide him. I think as time goes by you too will see his true colors. He was brought on board to take America down and that is only the tip of the iceberg.
    Trump is coarse and crude at times but he truly cares about this country. He doesn’t try to fool you, he says it like it is which many of us find refreshing as a politician. It’s about time someone stood up to all the foolishness of political correctness and many other thing. Do you not know that we as a country have been sacrificing our children to BAAL.? and many in government and the entertainment industry worship Satan and preform SRA on innocent children and others. Too many are blind to the truth. People need to wake up! Pedophila and human trafficking of children is rampant and Obama is not innocent in all this. Call me crazy but the truth will come out because God is fed up with it all.

  241. Had the day off today due to the hazardous air quality here in CA and found myself reading your entire post. I’m saddened that you had to experience such harsh comments. I ❤️ President Obama and am in agreement with your initial post. I see why you took it down but we are all grownups. If someone didn’t like the post you just skip it and move on! To not follow someone over that post is just silly. Keep raising those beauties of yours and taking care of your family and employees. Discussion is good but you have to be a listener not just a talker. That isn’t a conversation! I’m still a follow😉.

  242. I didn’t see your original Instagram post, but I too miss President Obama. I miss having a President that I could feel confident wouldn’t spout of nasty, rude, negative words that I’m afraid of having my kids emulate. Seriously, I can’t believe we live in a time where I have to turn off the news when my kids enter the room because the President of the USA calls people idiots, stupid, low IQ, etc, on the regular.

    I am sorry that your followers had such a negative reaction to your post. I’m afraid that it’s part of the feelings cultivated (not exclusively) by President Trump. The words that he uses make people feel as though they have to choose sides…and he stokes those feelings every single day. There’s no in between for him – I’m right, I’m best, and the other sides are terrible, crime-loving idiots. I feel it too. I didn’t vote for GWB, but if you would have shown me a picture of him (now or 10 years ago), I wouldn’t have the visceral reaction that I do when I see the current president. I hope that we have new leaders come forward and bring back civility and honesty. We need someone to bring people together instead of continually trying to tear us apart. I hope that it’s coming.

  243. Trust me, you don’t want these 4000 people back. Anyone who thinks that Trump is better for this country than Obama was is no friend of mine and I wouldn’t give them the time of the day, regardless if in business or privately. I do realize that we live in a bubble here in California and a bigger one in SoCal, but I am so glad to live here where I don’t have bigot, racist, white supremacists around me. It’s hard enough for me to come to terms at the large number of Americans being completely in favor of Trump, I was also naive to think that bigoted racists were obliterated to a greater extend. Learning that we’re somewhat in a minority is harder to take than I thought. Screw these 4000 people, they’re not worth your time (nor anyone else’s)!

  244. I agree with your 90 year old self: thank you for using your voice and being brave. Though it is sad that it requires bravery to expect society to treat men and women with equal respect and value.

    By the way, I was a stay at home mom raising 2 feminist daughters (now grown) for 20 years, and I have never felt that feminism devalued my choice to put my legal career on hold to be at home with them. Yes, a few individual women criticized me for choosing a more “traditional” path. Yes, many more conservative men and women praised me for “doing the right thing”. Yes, both of those groups were condescending and demeaning.

    Neither group understands the principles of feminism: that men and women should be treated with equal rights and protection under the law, valued for their work on equal terms, provided with equal opportunities, and afforded the same respect for their person and their choices. Thankfully, the vast majority of women I have encountered over the past 20 years have absolutely no problem understanding and accepting these fundamental feminist principles. Thank you for being one of them.

  245. Hi Emily,
    I honestly didn’t want to read this post because I try to shield myself on insta from controversy (I save that for Twitter 😬). But I clicked and I’m thankful I did. I am an evangelical conservative, traditional (add whatever other adjective you please) Christian. I used to keep out of politics but then one day politics became a moral thing and I couldn’t avoid it. Or maybe it always has been and I just woke up to the fact. But I love, love, love reading and listening to all angles of an issue, discussing it with my husband and friends, and praying and reading God’s Word as I chew on it. And although I adore your design and personal life shared on insta, I appreciate your openness to hear and respond to different views as well as boldly stating your opinion. After reading this I decided it’s going to make all sides upset and defensive even though you tried (or at least I feel you tried) to be diplomatic. And all that to say, if all sides are upset then that means you’re in the middle and I love the middle. It’s where ideas are heard and considered. Thank you.

  246. I’m one- one of your unfollowers on that day. I’m not here for the political crap, it makes be nauseated! Don’t we hear it, & read it ALL DAY LONG in social media?? And, from my point of view- While you’re wondering if people really LIKE you, perhaps you should be asking yourself if you really like them? Was it truly surprising that we left, after you’ve sided yourself against a whole bunch of us 2 years ago- from Day 1 after the election??? The ones that showed up for your club, because we love being inspired by your style & decor posts~ But we’re really not wanted here. That’s the way we feel. Not that you care, as many pointed out in that same Instagram post. You don’t like it? Leave, nobody cares.

    1. And yet you’re still here.

      1. Yes, for style inspiration, & to enjoy Emily’s beautiful rooms. Isn’t that the point??

  247. The Republican Party as it’s known today has deep ties to Southern racism:


    Prior to this, many Southerners were Democrats because Lincoln was Republican and opposed slavery.

    Trump is a racist. His father was a racist. Their business can even be described as racist. There are countless facts that support these statements.

    In my opinion, to support Trump is to turn the other cheek to racism regardless of whether you are racist yourself.

  248. You have every right to offer up your opinion (a couple of wines in on a Saturday night or not!) without ‘losing’ those who refuse to hear an opposing point of view to their own.
    I’m writing from New Zealand where, as a family, we have followed US politics for years. Some of that interest stems from living in the US for a number of years where one of our 3 sons was born, and some is the desire to understand a political system other than our own one here. A number of our US friends are Republicans. I respect their right to their views yet do not share their political following. The fact that we are of differing political views is no reason to ‘defriend’ them simply because it’s hard to hear what they have to say!
    Addressing feminism and politics, I’m proud to have a young, capable and female Prime Minister as our country’s leader who also manages motherhood alongside her career. Did I vote for her? No. Do I agree with all of her party’s political policies and decisions? No. Do I respect her and her ability to lead? Absolutely!
    Too many people are afraid to stand up and say how they feel for fear of others turning away. But for the few ‘followers’ can not cope with a viewpoint other than their own there are many more for whom your courage in voicing your truth is all the more reason to follow you!

  249. First off, loved the photo and message with the Obama photo. I don’t think you needed to explain yourself to anyone but appreciate that you did. Keep doing what you feel is right.

  250. I find it peculiar that race isn’t part of your breakdown on folks’ responses to Obama. To me, that is the huge elephant looming over in the corner of this post. Also, I think how readers identify with the various intersections of feminism (race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.) informs how they read the meme in question. I happen to love the meme and don’t care who knows it.

  251. Keep speaking your truth! As a fellow Obama loving feminist, I am obviously biased but if we mute our beliefs, it just contributes to living in an echo chamber

  252. I am not interested in your political views. We are bombarded with everyone’s political views via TV, magazines,newspapers FB etc. Stick to what you do well. You are very talented and have a following.

  253. Em,
    This post is well thought out and on point. You’re human, and the more human you are to your readers and followers the more we trust you. Not everyone needs to like or follow you. Stay true to who you are! This only makes your voice and brand stronger. Tons of love, E

  254. The fact that you took down the photo, that you are so sensitive to your follower number, that says the most here whether you see it or not. Personally, I wouldn’t have shared or posted an image where I couldn’t verify the source ahead of it and it was clearly photoshopped so it’s disappointing to share an image like that, especially from a designer. But taking the image down because you lost followers is admitting you are willing to compromise your morals in the name of your brand. And yet you post this, because you still want the hits and to profit from your professed ethical code that you really won’t stand up for. You’ve done a lot of political posts lately and I’m fine with that but embrace it as part of your brand. You will lose followers and maybe business partnerships and you can’t please everyone but you should be true to yourself. Maybe other followers and other partnerships will come because they are looking for someone real. It’s like if a post isn’t getting you the positive attention of “America’s porch”, you feel like you’ve let people down but compromising your morals is letting yourself down. No one likes an internet persona that is inauthentic.

    Some people will never agree with you politically. Some people will never want to find a middle ground. Some people will never like your designs. All of that is something you should accept and instead use a moral compass above the internet stranger and instagram likes to measure the worth of your argument.

  255. “Stick to ” is so condescending and de-humanizing, it makes my blood boil. Our own president didn’t stick to real estate and reality tv. It always makes me wonder, throughout different humanitarian crises, at what point had people stayed out of things too long? Like when are you allowed to cross that line?

    I love your design and style, obviously that is why I follow you, but I think it’s the more personal interaction that you have with your audience that is so engaging, whether I agree with you or not. It’s hard to see politics infiltrate our outlets but it’s also hard when some brands pretend like nothing is wrong. I assume very few people could tell you what the perfect balance is so my only advice would be to follow your gut. Some of your best posts seem to be the ones where you went with your instincts and they run the gamut from meaty design posts to parenting posts to political posts.

    Thank you for the thoughtful post. Hopefully it has a lot of people thinking.

  256. I’ve never understood the “stay in your lane” thought. Like okay Debbie, you’re an accountant, so you should only post things about accounting and not about politics either but they do it while telling others not to.

    I think this post just shows that you do put a lot of thought into your posts, which always shows whether it’s a reflection piece or not. It’s your blog, your media, all in your opinion. You love blue, others don’t and yet they don’t tell you to stick to blue when you decide to do green.

  257. The reason we communicate our emotions like that is because it makes men comfortable. If and when we don’t we are labeled as crazy or hysterical and most importantly ARENT LISTENED TO OR TAKEN SERIOUSLY. At this point in time meant to take us down a notch…”put us in our place” but 75-100 years ago could land a woman in an unsafe place. Hell it could today depending on a woman’s social and financial status and/or just how abusive or how powerful
    The man asserting his dominance is in her life. I also am going to go out on a limb and say you don’t curse not just because you have children but because it was subconsciously beaten into your brain that it was not “ladylike”. These microaggressions add up and make women feel like there is one way to be a woman, one style of communication appropriate, and only one way to be heard. It’s ridiculous it’s antiquated and I’m sad that a woman who employs 10 people and supports her family feeds into it. Be you. Be brave. And teach your daughter the same shit you teach your son.

  258. Hi, Emily–when I saw this post it didn’t stand out to me because it mirrors everything else in my feed–in my life, really. I am, like you, desperate for a better leader for our country and I deeply miss the Obamas–their compassion, decency and morality. I want to thank you for committing to bravely stand behind your personal beliefs and to continue sharing them so that you may help bridge the dangerous divide in our country and spark dialogue. Good for you for using your influence to engage in conversations which may eventually lead to understanding and common ground. Trump crosses a line which demands that we speak out.
    I would love to see you work into your brand the occasional unfiltered posts that follow 2 or 3 drinks–you can preface them with the wine emoji so everyone knows it’s an informal off the cuff post. Things like this keep your feed real and fresh. Anyway, thank you for what you do….

  259. Emily, this is a fascist government. There are literally Nazis in the streets. The President isn’t even trying to hide the fact that he and his family are corruptly enriching themselves. Children in cages. Roe vs Wade threatened.

    It’s ok to be angry and emotional. That’s a normal response.

    1. Emily, bravo to you for expressing yourself. I get what you are saying, but don’t be hard on yourself. I love your designs, but I especially love the lessons you are giving your children. Of course they are too young to understand this all, but you are setting a beautiful example that you should speak about what is important to you. And, that you are keeping an open mind when listening to others when they may not agree with what you have to say.

    2. Oh, get over it, you people are so over the top. Just stop and grow up, not everyone agrees with your uninformed opinions. Fascist government, Roe v Wade threatened, good grief. If I wanted to hear about how people dislike Trump I’d watch cnn. I just want to hear and see decorating, period.
      You’ve just lost another reader.

  260. Since you’re asking, yes, the post was a fairly off brand due to the issues that you mentioned about tone and language. The sad reality is though that even had it been a completely innocuous photo of Obama people would still have been offended and unfollowed you. Possibly not as many but I’d bet at least 2/3.

    As a Stay at home mom by choice and a lifelong politically active feminist (who majored in Political Science and practically minored in Women’s Studies) I do want to take exception to the idea that feminism doesn’t support caretakers, especially stay at home moms. While there are certainly “feminists” who don’t because like any self identified group we are not monolithic, one of the central tenents of feminism is that women (and men!) should be able to choose their own life path and not have it determined or limited by their gender. Women (and men) should be able to choose to stay at home with their children and if they prefer to work and/or believe that working outside the home is better for their family they should have the support they need (like quality affordable childcare) to do so. This idea that feminists have something against stay at home moms is almost exclusively a construct of the conservative “family values” movement and is designed to pit women against each other in an effort to keep us divided. So far it’s worked 🙁

  261. Hi Emily! Politics and beliefs aside, I do think that Instagram post was “off-brand” for you, and here’s why – normally the content that you share with us is content that you create and curate. Together the image and your caption share a story that tell us about you – and I like you for you, not just pillows and sofas! The image by the artist felt like a quick grab (hey, you didn’t even know it was Photoshopped at the time, or by who). I much prefer the image you just posted, of your hand holding the phone with the post. That feels like you – thoughtful, intentful, and “styled”. Thanks for this post, Emily, and I didn’t unfollow!

  262. I think you are a brave, genuine, beautiful (inside and out) woman, and I appreciate this blog post. I remember seeing your Instagram post and thinking to myself how I didn’t quite agree with the tone of the message on the t-shirt, although I’m 100 percent pro feminist. I now completely understand the reasoning and circumstances of your post. I hate that you had to explain yourself though, because you should be free to be yourself without judgment. Please know that you are an amazing human being and we could certainly use more people like you. Thank you for being you!

  263. Keep up the great work and stay true to what you feel is right! We love you!!

  264. I love that you use your voice to do more than just design. You are an extremely gifted designer, but you also have the opportunity to reach so many people. I have never commented a post before, but I’m doing so to encourage you to continue using your role and do something big with it. We all love design, that’s why we follow you, but there is something bigger going on in our country right now. I’ve grown to really respect you as a person who is willing to put their neck out there and get the conversation going. I loved that Instagram because I love Obama. Maybe it was off brand, but when it feels like the country is being torn apart and there is so much hate and violence, maybe it’s ok to go off brand every once in awhile.

  265. Hello Emily,
    This is your blog and you mustn’t let the social media negativity alter your deeper self. You are talented and disciplined but you are a person, not a “brand”- your individual voice is what gives your blog its strength and vitality.

    I dislike the photoshopped image (mostly for aesthetic reasons) but am depressed and disturbed by the hatred toward Obama. It shocked me during his presidency also. Anyone who believes that it is not somewhat intensified by racism (conscious and unconscious) is probably not looking with clear eyes. We live in a country that was perfectly comfortable with “colored drinking fountains” and “help wanted-female” ads not so very long ago. As the old ways change, we will be going through some very rough times-stay strong and hopeful.

    We need you!

  266. Nice post. I’m one of those people who would have agreed with your Insta post if I’d seen it (goes to follow Emily – now you’re only down 3,999), but like your honest self-assessment and self-awareness. I’m sorry those 4k people got so freaked out *by one post* that they had to unfollow you – it’s obviously a huge part of the problem. I have FB friends with whom I don’t engage even when they post the most idiotic memes awash in demonstrable falsehoods, because I at least know what they and other crackpot conservatives (note: not demonizing all conservatives here, just the crackpot ones. :-)) are thinking about, even if it leaves me scratching my head. I’m at least trying to understand, which is more than I can say for those 4,000.

  267. I disagree with the sentiment of ‘sticking with design.’ Our designed homes are not just a set where we behave like ‘designers’; they are homes where we experience the world in all it’s ups and downs (overwhelmingly downs now). The success some media brands had in villianizing Obama is staggering to me. My parents are very conservative but when Obama ran his first time as President they had nothing but respect for him. At this point, they could be, maybe not a ‘hater’, but definitely people who don’t like him and believe some of the absurd things that have been made up about him. As for your particular post, I admit it’s not in my taste but I certainly am not offended by it. For some reason I wasn’t following you on Instagram. I will now. Hoping others will follow.

  268. What I find most distressing is that people “unfollow” someone just because they they don’t agree with a post. That just further perpetuates the bubble that person is living in! Suddenly disagreeing with someone now translates into not liking them. I like plenty of people I don’t agree with. As I teach my kids, it’s OKAY to disagree with someone. It doesn’t mean you or they are a bad person. And it’s also OKAY to have your own beliefs challenged from time-to-time. If you aren’t hearing/seeing both sides, then how do you know you’ve made up your mind based upon all information available??

  269. Is the post still up? I looooove me some Obama and I appreciate your message.

    -36 year old white girl from Mississippi

  270. Ha! Scalp psoriasis! Same here, sister! A bit of extra stress in life and it turns into a massive flare up. Love your style, design and hearing your opinions on all things.

  271. I found that when I spoke out on the #metoo movement and why women don’t come forward when they’ve been harassed or assaulted, it really makes people uncomfortable. To them, I had to say “I’m sorry my rape makes you so uncomfortable.” And boy does it make them uncomfortable; I lost friends over it. I had one “friend” tell me to “#walkaway” – this was the response from a mother of 3 teenagers when I wrote a post about why victims don’t come forward. And she wasn’t the only friend I lost, one of my closest friends went away with her. It was so heartbreaking to have someone say that to you after you summoned up the courage to make such a post. It was heartbreaking to see how it affected other friends of mine who are victims as well – therapy worthy stress was induced by this single conversation. It taught me a lot about who I want to be – more brave, stand up for myself more often, and ditch the awful people in my life, which isn’t a one time process but something that needs to be done more frequently, like spring cleaning. Emily, you do you!

  272. With all due respect, your followers follow a blog titled “”Style by Emily Henderson”. How does politics impact style? I don’t expect to read about movies on a food blog. If you plan to blog beyond style, then perhaps you may want to change the name of your blog to “Thoughts by Emily Henderson” or something broader than style,

  273. I thought it was totally on brand and totally YOU! I wouldn’t stress about the 4,000 unfollowers, you have incredible fans and those are the people that are important to your brand. Keep up the amazing work, you’re my favorite!!!

  274. Wow! I’m so sorry you had to deal with this…and all over a random picture of Obama. I love him too…as a president and overall human being. I almost forgot sometimes that not everyone agrees. I think I forget because it’s just so crazy to think that no one would like him but would like some washed up reality TV personality that says terrible things about women and minorities. Stay true to who you are and what you believe!

  275. This was a quality post. Normally I’m immediately turned off to political conversation (in line with my views or not) because it’s too emotional and polarizing. The business you’ve built enables you to share your thoughts to the masses. You have every right to say what you feel—not everyone will want to hear it, but that shouldn’t hold you back from saying what you want to say. You can’t please everyone—keep being you and you’ll inspire confidence in others to do the same.

  276. Hi, Emily! First of all, I love your blog. You’re very talented, and you have a fabulous personality that shines through in every post. Like many others, I think you absolutely have a right to voice your opinion. While I don’t always share those same opinions, I’ve always respected the way you’ve presented your point of view — and welcomed other points of view. I didn’t see the Obama post on IG when it was posted, but it probably did feel “off-brand” to many because it felt so polarizing. The message on the shirt also seemed “off-brand” for President Obama, so that confused me even more. It didn’t feel like a positive message at all, and I think that felt off-putting for readers. As I think you’ve already figured out (based on today’s post), I think you can successfully walk that fine line of sharing your views in a way that feels more like you’re initiating a dialogue with your readers. That’s where you shine.

  277. It’s easier to shy away from these types of conversations, especially if you’re in the public eye. But knowing this personal side of you, that we’re aligned on our hopes for the future world for our children, makes me like you even more. I say put the photo back up– wave your flag and be proud of what you stand for. Ultimately love, equality, and justice will be on the right side of history and I have to believe we can come out of this and turn around. I get teary when I hear him speak and see pictures of him. I’m a breast cancer survivor, DX in 2012, and the ACA kept my family from going into financial ruin. Before the ACA, health issues were the #1 cause of bankruptcy in this country. What people don’t realize, if they think it’s costing them more money, is that their state government likely didn’t vote to accept federal funds. Meanwhile they just hear Fox News telling them that ACA sucks (because it has Obama in front) and they don’t do any research into details. And as a side note– the economy stats Trumpers toss out drive me nuts! You’re welcome that you inherited Obama’s economic prowess and are reaping the benefits of the restructuring he created. Yeesh!

  278. WOW. Everything always HAS to end up being about Politics. I’m so out. I’ll find another good style blog without the drama.

    1. Please share when you find a style blog without the drama, Estelle Stone! I’m serious. I like to think I’m good at internet searching, but I haven’t found another one with design theories this interesting. It would be great to read a design blog from someone who was actually conservative, but I’ll take someone who just doesn’t blare his/her leftist opinions.

  279. Emily, I wish I could give you a reassuring hug. Let me say that you have always presented your blog as your personal space. It’s your company, it’s your choices, it’s your taste and your vision. If people want to boycott you because of a room color choice or a floor decision, you wouldn’t think twice; you know that your taste woun’t please everyone. This is much the same. You clearly have the brains to have an opinion and you shared it. That is the very thing that makes America great. That’s the reason we have elections in the first place, because we have different opinions. Don’t bother yourself about it. Penzey’s Spices is totally open with their opinions and their business is doing just fine. Carry on and be proud.

  280. One of the reasons I follow your blog, in addition to your great style sense, is my perception of your positive values. Stay strong and continue to share your beliefs. It’s more important now then ever.

  281. I truly appreciate this post and your honesty. While I don’t like to follow “politics” on social media, you should not need to censor yourself or not share your personal opinions because of what others might think. Since you posted on your business social media account, I agree that it might warrant more thought before posting. But to unfollow someone because of a difference of opinion seems so silly. I know my own opinions. But if I’m only exposing myself to people who think like I do, how will I ever challenge myself to see another viewpoint or, heaven forbid, change my opinion on an issue. I don’t have to agree with everything you stand for to follow you (or anyone for that matter). My favorite posts are your design posts, but there is more substance to real life, and I do appreciate that you talk about those issues and encourage a positive dialogue. If a post doesn’t interest me, I won’t read it. But I love your work, so I keep coming back!

  282. I think you’re human and you posted something many of use would have posted on a Saturday night after a tumultuous two years. I think I saw it and liked it, but didn’t realize the backlash until now. I know other bloggers (and podcasters) are getting flack for dropping in political – or really just opinions about the world – talk. While I understand that your business relies on followers, you still have to be authentic, right? And, I think the beauty and responsibility of having a platform like you do is to occasionally use it to talk about bigger issues now and then. And maybe in doing so, using your forum and your thoughtful way of expressing yourself, you can help some people understand the “other side.” xoxo

  283. Dear Emily. I love that you are open and honest. I feel the humanity and compassion through your posts. It’s why I enjoy following you. It’s horrible to admire someone who appears one way only to find out later they are anti-gay, women abusers, sexual predators, etc. etc. etc. And building on that, it’s even worse to know a person is any one of those and yet somehow you still admire and support them????… Anyway, you are on the right side of history here my friend. Keep on being you.

  284. This was an interesting read for me. I don’t follow on instagram, but read the blog regularly, so I never saw the instagram post.

    Politically I lean towards the left in national elections and towards the middle in state/local, so the post probably wouldn’t have bothered me.

    However, I do have some non-political thoughts. I think that I’m not surprised that 4k people unfollowed you, because I am pretty selective about who I follow on instagram…and mostly that’s because of “influencers”. I think as blogging has changed over the last decade and the rise of sponsored content blended with non-sponsored content and blogging/social media becoming a livelihood and a business with $$$ on the line, I think followers/readers have started treating “influencers/bloggers/Emily” like a company and not like a person. I am much more critical of companies and businesses than I am of individuals/friends/family. I don’t know if this is making sense. But I think that readers are sort of tired of being marketed to ALL the TIME. And I totally get the need for sponsored content, the need to advertise, all of it…but I think it has changed the way in which we relate to bloggers and it’s not always very sensitive. So when a post came up, that sort of advertised Obama, some readers/customers bailed. I think that’s just part of the gig so I don’t think I would read too much into it. At this point, while I love reading blogs, I try my best to keep “ads” out of my instagram page and save that for cute baby pics of friends and family. My guess is more and more people are doing the same because of the sheer amount of opinions/advertisements out there.

  285. Well done!!

  286. Thanks Emily for your honest post. I think people are very black or white when it comes to social media, and they really forget there is a real person, entitled to his/her own opinions. I think its really silly (and shallow) to be unfollowed because of such a post, despite the person’s political stance. In my opinion, their loss – you have great content to share. I only recently stumbled onto your blog and was completely blown away.

  287. I have been watching this play out with many female business owner in social media. At first I agreed with the point of view that you should be allowed to use your voice as you wish. But now I disagree for this reason. You are the leader of your following or community. Maybe it would be a really be a beautiful thing to make your WHOLE community feel valued and included by not posting controversial political stuff. Maybe the point is to love and value your community because we all matter. In the past (like decades ago) I think it was more common for leaders to keep their private values to themselves. It was okay to have private personal life. Maybe we should bring that back. Maybe lines and boundaries would help ease some of this strife that seems to be everywhere. Just a thought.

  288. Stand for what you believe. We fell in love with Emily Henderson for her unique personal design style!!! We appreciate the person behind her “art” as design truly is. A few messages of a personal note – even in the political realm make you a leader and I for one admire that and value your opinion(s) esthetically and otherwise!! If you lost 4K readers so be it.

  289. First of all, what a good post. I didn’t even see the original but I enjoyed reading this. I think you handled yourself well in explaining things without being snarky or defensive.
    Here’s my thoughts on it: I understand why you took it down. When you saw it was creating an environment for negative devicivness to fester you put a stop to it. And that’s the right thing to do, because no one will be convinced to “swap sides” in a social media argument anyway, so there’s no upside. However, I hope no one in your life will be hard on you for posting it. Because a big part of your brand is…you. You matter, your opinions and thoughts and your real life matter. Beyond design. You’ve set it up that way with personal posts. If you never posted anything outside of design that reflected your true self that authentic personal component of your “brand” – the HUMAN component – would be missing. So hold your head high keep learning and figuring out and sharing as you go. I appreciate you.

  290. In this day and age there are two different moods I often feel.

    1. Everyone needs to be political because the fate of our country and environmentally our world depends on it.
    2. I just can’t handle politics right now as it’s so disheartening, aggravating, and deeply saddens me.

    So I feel like it’s a lose lose or a win win. You should be able to do whatever you want, regardless and realize people are going to react and it will affect your brand and business as it does all of us out here. But I can tell you I’ve gotten overwhelmed by social media posts before but never commented something like “stick to your dayjob” because I believe everyone should be involved in politics.

    And note that you will always lose followers who are on either side of the fence with political posts but that’s healthy. The comments are the problem. I unfollow all the time for things I dont like and it’s healthy for me to do that (social media really is uncool lol) and it’s healthy for me as a business owner to learn that I’m ok losing sales as long as it’s for something I am passionate about.

  291. Why do you care how many followers you have anyway?

  292. Keep on keeping on, Emily! You are fighting the good fight. Feminism means we don’t have to define ourselves in a singular way. 💪

  293. I am a proud feminist. I also happen to be religious, a stay-at-home mom, prolife and a Democrat living in a red state. Just about everyone can find something to get mad at me about and they often do it loudly. I know how it hard it can be to live your truth and I think the amount of humility you show in your self-analysis is heroic. Kindness is not always the winning choice, but it is the right choice.

  294. You do you and eff the haters. If your (or anybody’s) message is of love and not hate, it’s all good with me.

  295. I like hearing your thoughts on design AND family, fashion, politics, loss of pets/nannies/gorgeous trees, etc. I appreciate this explanation for the post. I also long to be heard and understood when I feel like I didn’t communicate something as I intended. I don’t understand people that react so strongly to what they consider a different opinion, a misstep, whatever. YOU like to consider all sides, SOME like to unfollow/slam doors/yell. On another note, read From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein. It’s a juicy memoir about working in the White House.
    From a long time Emily fan, former Republican and current Independent (when he won after the Access Hollywood tapes was more than I could handle)

  296. I was so happy to see that post as it gave me a sense of your values and beliefs as they resonated with mine. Like you said, you are HUMAN and have opinions to share outside of your work and I appreciate that. And truly at this point in America, we need EVERYONE talking. Thanks for being you!

  297. So this is not directly in answer to your question, because I didn’t see the original post. And I am a weird follower of yours because I don’t actually pay that much attention to home design–I just love looking at your pics because they make me happy. I never comment. But I’m commenting now, because I just want to tell you that the reason I check in on your blog so often is that I so admire your intelligence, thoughtfulness, and moral fiber. It is really frickin’ rare these days to see someone online (or anywhere, for that matter) be able to discuss politics, marriage, child-rearing, and business with such candor, and rarer still to see someone who is able to take mob criticism and turn it into something constructive and not hateful. Social media is not for the faint of heart, particularly for someone whose livelihood is sort of tied to it, and it takes real courage and generosity of spirit to strike that balance between what’s good for the bottom line and what’s right for the community. If your post was off-brand, that seems like a small misstep for a brand that has so much to offer, and I’m not just talking about advice on where to place your sofas. I hope you keep it up!

  298. I saw the original post on instagram and it honestly shocked me how hateful the comments were! I just don’t get it. What alternate universe are people living in where they value “family” and “morals”, etc but believe that Trump = good and Obama = bad???? No matter how much i try to understand the opposing views, I cannot see the other side of this one and quite honestly I don’t think I want to. I say good riddance to the people hateful enough to unfollow you.

  299. The lesson is to post what you want and care less about what other people think.

    1. I like this idea!

  300. The underlying loss and frustration of your post were spot on. 4,000 followers is a small price to pay for standing up for the rights of women. Remember, our daughters are watching. We must show them that we’re prepapred to hold the line for us and them.

  301. The people who didn’t like the pic of Obama would have unfollowed you for a pic of Michelle as well. Not everyone is reasonable or able to be kind. Hating Obama smacks of racism. That’s where we are as a country. Do hateful people really deserve to be catered to? It’s not really about you or what his shirt said. Thank you for speaking up. We all have an obligation to shut down the ugly, hateful nonsense that is passing for a “different perspective”. Racism isn’t a valid side.

  302. Emily, I read your instagram because of your decorating edginess, youthful outlook. I do not read you for a political lecture, weather I agree or disagree with your viewpoint. I don’t like entertainers to discuss politics and take advantage of their popularity either. The reason being it’s their and your polarizing view point judging against another. It’s divisive. We need people to come together, discuss how to do better, to support, to care for the stronger USA.

  303. I wish that you had not taken that post down. Not just because I love Obama (I miss our dad!) but because you should not be censored or punished by readers for being your authentic self or expressing your beliefs. And I find it hard to believe that any offense was caused by the appearance of “shit” in your post. Grow up people.

    This is a very long comment. It borders on a treatise. I broke it up into four comments. And I added fun clicks and cute kids to break up my heavy response. In my defense, I wrote this hopefully to provide fodder for more comments from your readers. Selfishly I also wrote this for me. By that I mean, I wanted a place to pull together the thoughts, quotes, and information I’ve gathered over the years. Some of these items actually came from your readers and things they have posted. Anyway, I apologize in advance for length and density, but I hope this helps…

    Here we go….

    QUOTE: “We confuse the idea of having a job, with fulfilling your purpose.” Quote from JayZ on Colin Kaepernick controversy.

    QUOTE: “saw your post on IG this weekend with the Obama image/photoshop. I read the horrible comments and your calm/modulated responses. And I thought…shots fired by Emily Henderson she is really putting herself out there… But I wondered why now? Where is THIS coming from? It’s a big move for a Saturday night IG post.” Quote from a comment I left on your Return To Your Design Roots blog post.

    COMMENT: I’ve read your blog for years. I’ve watched you grow from a cheeky cheerful designer playing with vintage items to the core of most pintrest boards, and a design inspiration for a nation of followers. I respect your drive, charisma, style and most importantly your brand. And respecting your brand is NOT a negative thing. I see so many bloggers (not just you) hit with the “you’ve sold out for money” comment or “I’m tired of reading your product placement click bait posts”. It makes me think many readers don’t understand or respect the importance of branding. The necessity of branding. The clarity branding brings. I think readers feel it is a “marketing gimmick and manipulative” to monetize your personal passion. I think readers feel it is weird to call oneself a brand. It seems elitist and entitled. But it isn’t. Point of clarity on branding and monetization…when I say branding I don’t mean the largess of product placement whereby you get free design items. Rather that I respect how developed your brand is to RESULT in that largess. And many readers of your blog and others unfairly confabulate the two. Basically, there are layers to branding, representation, access, and authenticity. And those layers are ever shifting and even growing. So, I respect women who brand their personality and their personal vision to create a profitable business. It is difficult, it takes time, and it is not for the faint of heart.

    At this point, you Emily Henderson, are a masterclass on branding. But conversely that brand expertise has become a barrier. It has forced you to be an apologist of sorts. By that I mean, Women. Must. Always. Be. NICE. (so sayeth the patriarchy and social norms). The Emily Henderson brand is cheerful, bright, smart, and feels attainable while also being high end. But most importantly your brand is NICE. You are an influencer extraordinaire in the branded blogging space. Given your keen intellect you know the Emily Henderson brand exists in a unique place of power and privilege. And with the current American civil war of today, your thoughtful heart says you MUST use that position to voice your views on social issues AND styling. It is your purpose and yet it is your (albeit well decorated) prison. Note, I think you’ll take some hits for saying it is a civil war and California should secede…but for what it’s worth I agree with you.

    I started this portion of my essay long comment with a quote from JayZ about purpose vs. job. Calling versus career. Since your brand IS personal it devalues your brand to not use your unique position. The question then becomes, how do you break out of that prison in an authentic and BRANDED way? And I posit the tunnel under the wall of your brand must start with BLENDING of purpose and job. You must be deliberate and careful in that blending. You cannot be off the cuff. And your IG post was off the cuff. It was not “on brand.” And you got hit hard as a result. Additionally, your social issues posts are rare. And those posts are a reaction to current events so massive in scope that to NOT post makes one wonder about the humanity of any blogger. But even still your social issues posts are not on brand. You just don’t pay the same 4K subscribers lost price for those social issues posts.

    Which brings me to a hopefully helpful suggestion for your calling vs career crises. Perhaps instead of reacting to things in the news (ie. Your post on Charlottesville, Gun Violence, and Voting for Trump) you create a once a quarter post on social issues of your choosing. Social issues that bother you. That gives you time to pick something recently relevant, think, research, and meditate on how to express your social issues posts. That allows you to be careful and conscious of your brand while also creating a space for your calling. It also creates a communication rhythm with your readers whereby those that only want pretty can knowingly avoid the political. And yet it is regular enough that those that crave humanity in their influencers believe you have a heart not just a mass market brand. Admittedly, this is still a risk for you and your business and therefore your family and employees. But it is a calculated risk. Which is the best any personal brand can hope for.

    Enjoy the charm of Zendaya is Meechee

  305. I am Canadian. I am saddened by the lack of civil discourse about the problems you face when airing your views. Please keep expressing your beliefs in a kind and thoughtful way, just be aware there will always be push back.
    And work towards electing a government for all the people.

  306. It’s your “off-brand” posts that keep me around and remind me that you are more than a rich white woman designing million dollar homes (I can’t relate at all to that part of you). I much more relate to the equality-seeking, real-talking, Target-loving side of you. Also while I’m here, LOL at the sound bath post – I’m sure it was lovely and it’s so nice that you took your crew out. But who among us ‘regular’ folks would drop the cash for that?! Anyways, I think the post was an honest expression of how MANY of us were feeling and of how all of us are living (though some are in denial).

  307. I saw your post and it made me like you even more (without having met you, obviously). I have family whom I love on the Trump bandwagon and I try really hard not to post anything political and I wish they would do the same. It raises my blood pressure a little when I see their pro-Trump posts, but I don’t comment. I imagine that posts for the other team raise their blood pressure too. It’s become too hot to mess with and I think ultimately, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Losing 4 thousand followers shocks me though….Hang in there!

  308. Emily, I think you’re awesome. I’m 53 years old, so my emotions can get a bit motherly towards you, reading various posts. I love to witness your style evolving, especially the latest pivot back to your vintage roots. I wish I could have taken you to the huge and incredible Sausalito Flea Market, back in the day. It was replaced by a strip mall years ago, although the wound still feels oddly fresh when I do a drive by. I’m a staunch Obama loyalist forever too.
    If you had three drinks before your post, you were compromised. Politics, feminism, blogging, followers, partnerships and paychecks. If anyone can balance it all and remain true to themselves, it’s you. My point is you may have taken a different approach, had you not consumed the cocktail trio. Carry on, Warrior and only post sober! xo


    QUOTE: ‘Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion, is being asked to dance, and equity is making sure your music is played.” Quote unknown source. But Equity in this case means the reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, treatment, and outcomes for all.

    This is a doozy. Race is such a complicated and fraught issue. I considered not even commenting on it. But as an African American woman and in response to your statements on Obama I felt I had too. I’ll start this comment with a personal experience. In my job I am in a leadership position and manage complex teams of sales and technical engineers. But my environment is mostly male and always white. Which results in many personal and professional relationships with Republicans and conservative white males. One evening during the 2016 presidential election I spent time with a senior leader who is white and male. We were close co-workers but not true blue personal friends. Yet somehow, we discussed race, politics, religion and the election for three hours. You know all the things you DO NOT discuss at work. The discussion had agreement and disagreement, humor and history, context and commentary. Basically it was everything I wish we could have on twitter or the news. It was a profoundly REAL conversation. But the key quote from my old white dude co-worker was…”I get there were mistakes. I get America messed up in so many ways in our history. It’s terrible and terrifying how badly we have behaved. But I wish that I didn’t have to apologize for being an old white man. I wish I could be myself and be proud. But then I feel ashamed, because for the most part no one ACTUALLY asks me to say anything or be anything other then an old white man. So it leaves me wondering why do I feel so badly about having to apologize for myself when that apology never actually happens? When apologizing doesn’t really affect me or my life to any degree.” And my response was…”Supremacy and privilege, not love, means never having to say sorry your sorry. It means never having to think TOO hard or fear others TOO much just because of who you are.”
    Let’s start by agreeing there IS a difference between white supremacy and a white supremacist. The “ist” part of the word is the key. White supremacy is a state of being whereby white people have had it PRETTY GOOD for the last 1500 years or so of history. A white supremacist is a person who thinks not only should white people keep having it pretty good, they should make sure everyone else has it PRETTY BAD. One is a state of being. One is a political point of view that demonizes others and ACTS on the demonization of others. Both of them are toxic to most minorities. Toxic because most minorities have paid a high price for both supremacy and supremacists. When white people say why is everything about race or I’m not a racist. Well, I kind of agree. Most white people are not racists. Because most white people are not white supremacists. Which means most white people do not ACT on their state of supremacy by burning crosses and hoping we can bring back slavery. So to accuse most white people of being a racist is a dismissal of their humanity. And as that dismissal continues to be bandied about, it becomes an annoyance whereby white people are always defending their lack of racism while feeling persecuted for things they would never DREAM of doing. Basically, if there is a Kinsey scale for racism on one end is a woke white person who is always apologizing for past sins to the point of annoyance. And on the other end of the Kinsey scale is the hood wearing KKK and Nazis. I’d say most white people fall somewhere in the middle. These fair to middling white people think and feel innocuous things like:
     They have some black co-workers and are fine with that
     They wouldn’t burn a cross
     They think black people should have rights
     They think immigration should happen, but only the “right” and “legal” way, but are unclear on what the right way is
     They think slavery was a sin, but that was a long time ago so stop making excuses and pull yourself up by your bootstraps
     They feel like a nebulous “something is wrong and it can’t be all black peoples fault” with the many shootings of black people by police but they’d never feel it is the police’s fault because being a police is being on the front lines and in danger so they did what they had to do
     They feel like a opiate addiction is a crisis for white people but the crack epidemic was a failure of moral character for black people because just say no to drugs
    And all of those feelings and positions are relatively innocuous. They aren’t mean or horribly racist. They aren’t scary. But the key word isn’t innocuous. The key word is RELATIVELY. Because the question is relative to whom? And there is a world of hurt and facts that surrounds the word relatively. Facts such as: :
     Committing genocide and stealing a country from Native Americans
     Enslaving Black people to build that country while espousing freedom for the common man (a severely cognitive dissonant act so weird that we STILL haven’t come to terms with it)
     Destabilizing Latin American countries by creating the largest American market for illegal drugs in the world and then not accepting refuges from the countries we destabilized.
     By the colonization of almost every country in the world (ie India, China, Africa, South America, and Australia) which destroyed native cultures and tribes.
     By creating the GI Bill which created the modern-day middle class and then not allowing any minority soldiers (black or Hispanic) to take advantage of that bill.
    And these few facts (when there are many many many more) cannot be denied or really apologized for. These facts have generational consequences and these facts can only be agreed to and adjusted by equitable policy’s, politics, and practices.
    Which brings me to Obama. Shortly after becoming president white Republicans swore they would block every one of Obama’s policies. They swore not to work with him. Before Obama even really began to be our President they swore to ignore him and his ideas. They did not do that to Clinton or Carter. The Democrats never did that to Reagan or Bush (Senior or Junior). In all of American history and all American presidents that act by the Republican’s was unprecedented. And the only difference between Obama and all presidents before him was his race. So when someone says, Republicans or White People are racist they are saying the common element in many responses by white people is to PROACTIVELY do or say something FOR NO OTHER APPARENT reason then race.
    Which brings us to respect. I loath Trump for how poorly he expresses himself. For the acrimony and malicious words he uses in most of his communication. For his arrogant dismissal of people while they are talking to him. I find him to be mean-spirited and small minded. And that is before I even come close to assessing his policies. Obama always focused on family. And he never spoke dismissively to anyone. Obama had enough nuance to make jokes at the White House Correspondents dinner while also telling us calmly he killed Osma Bin Ladden. I CAN NOT count the number of times Obama said the word hope. And I CAN NOT count the number of times Trump said the word fake-news. The fact that Obama at least focused on hope and unity is enough to deserve our respect. And these facts have nothing to do with either Trump or Obama’s polices. They have to do with their character.
    Which brings me to the racist lack of respect of white people to Obama. The well meaning white people who lie in the middle probably do generally respect Obama’s character. They may be comfortable in their white supremacy but again they are not white supremacists. So they don’t correct their friends or weigh in on conversations with family when the question of respect for Obama comes up. They stay comfortable in their white supremacy and chalk it up to “a difference of opinion”. Which enables and conceals many racist actions by those white people that ARE supremacists and immediately hate Obama for now other apparent reason then race. And that complicity is horrifying to minorities because white sin lies not in slavery, but in complicity. And when white people become complicate to supremacists, brown people pay the price. Nay, minorities are STILL paying that price.
    So how does one begin to understand how much they’ve lost (minorities) and how much they’ve taken (white people). I believe most white people don’t even really understand racism and our history. They know the big moments like slavery, Civil Rights, and Black Lives Matter…but they don’t really know the details. Which means they don’t really understand what supremacy means to white people and thus what racism means to minorities. I believe most minorities cannot fully and completely articulate on facts as well as the feelings of their pain. Education and context are key for both sides. To that end I’ve collected a number of links and articles that may help. At the very least I suggest any white person that has the knee jerk reaction to being called a racist watches the movies I’ve listed at the end of this comment. And after watching those films and maybe even reading these links…think to yourself (as a white person or a minority) what would have happened if THEY had never come? What if white people had never tried to profit on our land and our bodies? What would the world be now? And because love and peace is NOT always the answer I leave you with this MLK quote:

    QUOTE: “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
    Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” – Quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Babies. Kiddies. Cuteness Overload!!!

    1. This is the thing I tried to say, but I was so much less articulate. It is easy for us white women to say “look can’t it just be how it was 10 years ago?” in the same way it is easy for a white man to say “gosh the 50s were a better and simpler time.” But for whom?

    2. This is the only comment that matters. Thank you for sharing this.

    3. This is such a powerful comment. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I can’t seem to find the links for movies and articles you mentioned above. I apologize if I missed something, but could you please post them again? Again, thank you so much for sharing.

  310. I think you are fine. Look, people are crazy on the internet. I’m a republican. I voted for Trump. I am happy with some of the things he has achieved, and I am horrified by some of the things he has said. You are allowed to post something that stirs YOUR feelings. You didn’t do anything wrong. People have just lost literally ALL of their chill.

  311. COMMENT #3 CONCLUSION: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    “Stick to design” is so dismissive and unworthy. You keep doing you, brilliantly.)
    BRB getting a t-shirt that says DESIGN BLOGGERS DON’T OWE YOU SHIT” – quote from one of your readers on today’s post

    “But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn’t really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn’t about who can sit and who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it’s about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.” Quote from The Handmaid’s Tale by Marget Atwood

    Life is hard and self care is important in these troubled times. We may not have guns and Gettysburg but we are in a Civil War. We are polarized and reactive. We are sad nd desperate. We are in trouble. And every single person who reads this blog and you Emily Henderson can’t let this moment in time make you scared. We have hope and heart. We still have some pride in ourselves and America. Be courageous. Be careful. Be wise. And fight for what is right. Always. No matter the cost. I wish you well and I’ll see you on the other side.

  312. NO REGRETS! Readers (women) need to rise above the pettiness of politics and support a fellow American in expressing HER views. Whatever their views are. Isn’t that what our freedom is all about? ♥️

  313. I hope those opposing the word “shit” aren’t also supportive of the current President. That would be very hypocritical. Trump swears, but more than that, he says vile, disgusting things. I am with you, Emily, and continually shake my head at anyone who can support our current President. There is not enough money in the world to make me supportive of anyone of his caliber. Kudos to you for speaking out!!!!

  314. Emily,
    I love your design eye AND the fact that you speak your truth on much more than just design. That said, I was totally thrown off by that insta post and almost commented in the moment. The issue I had (and still have!) is that you said, “I don’t know if the image is photoshopped”.

    I mean, c’mon — the image was so obviously photo-shopped — it was a total hack job of an image. How could you not have known that? That man is brilliant and classy and thoughtful about everything he does. Do you think he’d really wear that shirt? Of course not. He doesn’t need to – his actions speak so much louder, more elegantly, and more powerfully about his support and respect for women than any t-shirt could ever do.

    In our post-truth era, misinformation is more than irresponsible, it’s downright dangerous. By sharing that photo discredited your well-intentioned message, negated your intent and the possibility of bridging divides and fostering understanding. I’m as liberal and feminist as they come and I was instantly turned off by the image itself — could barely read your caption as a result. You, of all people, should understand the power of visual storytelling.

    All of this said, keep speaking up about the issues that matter to you — no matter how many followers you lose (or gain!) Also, I have to say that I admire your willingness to address the controversy around this post — and your openness to hearing feedback from your fans. We are all learning quite a bit from the dialogue you’ve created.

    Looking forward to reading more about design, fashion, parenthood, politics and whatever else strikes your fancy in the days, months & years to come. 🙂

  315. I don’t have much to say on the topic per se, but you are such an incredibly and brave woman not only for taking a risk and posting that photo in the first place but for baring your faults and mistakes, analysing them and sharing them with the world. This is the biggest life lesson for me that I will take from this post. This experience shows how to build resilience through mistakes with softness and kindness but without diluting your own person. Keep fighting the good fight. We have your back xxx

  316. Hey Emily,
    Although we sometimes differ in our political views, I want you to know that I always appreciate your openness to different opinions. It’s always interesting to read through the comments to hear why people voted the way he/she did. So thank you for that. I always learn so much.

    Don’t sweat the post. Life is too short. You’ll gain those 4,000 followers back in no time. IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.

  317. Sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If it’s that important to you, then don’t sweat the 4,000.

  318. You write so well, and I think your ‘brand’ should encompass more than design, just like much bigger corporations support various charities or initiatives internally and externally. Of corse, that is easy for me to say, as I am also a Californian, but a moderate one so I am more like you open to changing positions.
    But I do agree, sending any post after even one glass a wine is not wise. Pause, and wait a day.

  319. Woah there are so many comments that you will probably not see this one but can we talk numbers here? While I agree 4K followers sounds like a lot it was exactly .005% of your total. That being said, I think you should use your voice that you’ve worked so hard to achieve and thoughtfully put things out into the world.

    You may have lost 4K followers, but what if you affected at least one person in the middle to vote a different way next time.

    Also, I LOVED your post and that shirt and Obama in it and I just died when I saw it.

  320. DON’T CHANGE!!! I hate when people say stick to music, acting…insert whatever you do here as if just because you are in the public eye your opinion on politics does not count. These times require people to stand up and let their voice be heard even if in a imperfect way. There is no shame in being real!!

  321. Things are polarized right now, and everyone takes everything to the extreme. There was not anything wrong with what you posted…you had the right. But I agree with your latest blog post, that maybe you should be a bit more thoughtful before posting to ensure it ties with your brand. Is it fair…no, but it seems necessary right now. I applaud you speaking out…and I applaud your introspect on the impact. I personally love you and agree with your stance on all fronts…don’t be afraid to be you. xo

  322. What a fantastic post. I’m not American so I can only comment on the feminism issue and say that I wholeheartedly agree with your points. I think it’s extremely important to speak out about issues like this, and that your “off brand” content is actually what I love about this blog! You are a human woman with valid opinions and I love that about you and your team. Plastic doesn’t interest me!

  323. You can’t make everyone HAPPY! We will never have the same likes or dislikes. I have friends that LOVE or HATE Trump. PEOPLE get over it. I voted for Trump…don’t hate. I still will continue to like you. 🙂

  324. I really enjoy these posts Emily. Thank you for bringing things that are in everyone’s mind with grace.

    I want to know who else is tired of living in their own bubble! I know I am. It feels like this forum is one of the few places where conservatives and liberals can have a civil discussion without screaming at each other.
    I do believe that MANY people do not want to even approach other’s points of views (e.g. 4000 of your followers) but the good you’re creating by allowing other people to chat/discuss outweighs is immeasurable.

    Now, how can we chat/talk with each other about politics/social-events even when we don’t have the same politics? I really want to know.

    My family’s side is all very apolitical. That means, They live in a blue state and they’re liberals, so they don’t feel any different all year round.

    Meanwhile I live in Ohio, and I really want to know, how can I talk with people who do not have the same politics than me?? Really, I know some of my neighbors are conservative (I’m a liberal) and I wish we could talk with each other about politics, without alienating others/ourselves.

  325. Emily, I was riveted by your post (as I am by your ‘design only’ posts). Lots of your thoughts articulated exactly how I feel about the issues you highlighted. Well said!

  326. <3 <3 <3 Thank you so much for being a real person and sharing that reality with us. I love hearing what people learned from almost any experience, and this one was especially good. Well-written, thoughtful, and from a unique perspective. I learned from you learnings (especially the civil war part – a few years ago that would have seemed overly dramatic but the label just seems accurate).

    #1 & #2 are inspirational – You're so right that there are ways to convey messages that are assertive without being aggressive and more positive then negative. "Sharing opinions in a way that allows engagement and conversation rather than making people feel attacked or unapproachable" is going to be my new motto. Thank you for articulating that so others can follow!

    #3 I guess? Idk – I <3 him. Do we have data on how hated he is, or was it just that some people were really loud?

    #4 – So strong to apologize for the curse word, but not your intent or posting. This whole thing echos with how strong and secure you are – just like the design mistakes post from a long time ago – you're human, sometimes you make not the most amazing choice the first time, but then you learn and fix it, because you're an amazing human and amazing designer, and you find your way <3

  327. Hey Emily, I’ve been following you for years on your blog and look forward to your posts and all you do in design! (Seriously I send my friends links to your blog when they ask how do I make my space more cozy or how do I decorate well?) With that said the post did feel a little off brand. I understand wanting to speak out about world issues but when I first saw it I was like who posted this? I would say I am more on the conservative/moderate side but I also agree and resonate with so much of what you said about the polarization of our country. Like can two people from different points of views not have an engaging conversation anymore and try to see the world from another persons viewpoint. I think that’s vital to our success as a nation. So thank you for saying something about that. Maybe just make the post fit with your overall brand more next time, like the photo felt out of place with your overall brand look and feel. Now I’m not quite sure how to do. Maybe through stories is better bc it is more in the moment or maybe mention your doing a more personal blog post? Maybe the photo was so low res and not as styled so it just felt out of place among all your perfectly styled and beautiful pictures on your feed. Anyways I’m a graphic designer so I get how do you make a space on social media that is on brand but still allows you to talk about your life and other things that matter to you & is revelant to big issues in our country/the world. Anyways I appreciate your blog, your teams work, and your desire to seek more understanding. Even by asking your audience what they think shows just how much you care. So thanks for being you and for being brave and vulnerable in this hard social media day and age!

  328. i have even more respect for you, both for the original post and now this one. keep doing you, we love it. for everyone else, there’s crate & barrel.

  329. Oh, Emily, I am so sorry that you had to endure such criticism. Obama is a man of grace and intellect, and, yes, he has an appreciation of women that our current leader does not. I, too , am not comfortable with cursing (I blame it on my upbringing), but I think misogyny is far more offensive than any curse word. Hang in there please, and do not stop speaking your mind.

  330. I see a lot of people on here saying we should try to all get along and be open-minded which I agree with in a perfect world. However, I do think there comes a time when you have to take a position and a stand on certain things. Racism, for example, is simply wrong. People should choose a side on that. Misogyny is simply wrong. Our president says things like “there are very fine people on both sides” when a bunch of self described white nationalists rally and a counter protester gets run over by one of them and killed. That would have been a time for him to take a side. He chose not to and I have to wonder why not.

    It’s easy for me as a middle class white lady to want to get along with everyone because some people are not saying it’s understandable that the police would shoot and kill my son because he was playing with a toy gun at a public park. I think we all have to examine how our privelege allows us to wish for a “simpler time” when we were not having these arguments with each other. It wasn’t a simpler time for everyone. It was a simpler time for people like me. Progress is messy and hard sometimes. It will require all of us to be uncomfortable, at the very least.

  331. Hi Emily,
    I don’t like Obama at all and what he has done, but I am not here to go into details about the reasons I don’t. I do want to say that regardless of your views or mines, I have never been discouraged to avoid your website or not follow you. I love your blog and your design ideas and even follow you on Instagram. I have been a fan since the Design Star days and I still read your post’s and enjoy reading the comments that follow. If you post something that people would be offended by it’s very easy to just ignore the post, or Instagram picture altogether, it’s your blog! We all have the right to express our opinions and those opinions may not be to everyone’s liking. We can’t make every single person happy but we can all still have healthy conversations regardless of point of views and respect each other.

  332. Emily-
    While I tend to be more conservative in my beliefs, you are one blogger that I actually ENJOY reading an opposing viewpoint. You are well educated and well read and I LOVE the way you write about political topics. I believe what you said about your friends and how you try to see things from both sides because I can FEEL that when you post. Like your post about gun control–I read two interior design blogs that day that posted about gun control and I unfollowed the other one. Not because I didn’t think she should have posted her beliefs, but the way she did was very frustrating. She yelled and swore and thrust her beliefs on her readers in that post and it was very off putting. She had no intention of trying to understand the other sides views–she just wanted to yell. Which I understand it’s a very emotional topic, especially when you have children, but as a public figure, there is a decorum and etiquette that should be followed and she did NOT do that that day nor did she ever come back and apologize or explain her actions. You on the other hand, were the eptiomy of class and I read the entire post and every. single. comment. It was beautifully written and it made we want to continue to follow you as I really felt like you were using your platform for good!
    Do I agree with your insta post? Not necessarily….but I didn’t unfollow you because of it. It was your typical “brand” but it wasn’t crazy either. I believe that you have an amazing platform to use and reach so many people that you should definitely continue to use it in the way you have been. If you continue to write about social and political issues as you have been, you’ll gain those 4,000 followers back and then some! Thanks for always being authentically you!!

  333. I applaud you Emily and agree with everything you said in this post. I respect the fact that you do voice opinions. That is who you are and in this time of turmoil in our country it’s important for people to speak up. While I enjoy reading decorating blogs and Instagram posts, it’s nice to know that there is a real human behind it all who is more than just pretty pictures.

  334. This is very interesting! I was filled with judgement toward the people who unfollowed you UNTIL! I wondered how I would have reacted if your post was a picture of Trump and how cool he is!!! Yes, I would have a VERY hard time with that, might even unfollow you.
    This is the first time in my 60 years I’ve had trouble not letting politics affect my friendships. Yes, this is a very polarizing time.
    While Brene Brown (I’m a big fan!) can say “unfollow me” and mean it, she is in a different business than you. I would not feel comfortable sharing my political views following that dramatic loss of followers. Its too bad, but you’ve got work to do!
    Love all your posts and your peeps. Take care!

  335. Stay authentic to yourself.
    Your business may support 10 people and your family, but what is most important is your family. Over the years you may have experienced – or will experience both “high” and “low” times. Remain steadfast in your beliefs and values, be flexible and “pivot” when faced with personal or professional adversity. You will find, in the end, that your beliefs, morals, ethics will be reflected on and in your children as they mature. That is a greater gift than a random 4,000 followers.

  336. Emily~

    Keep being you. Design is art. Art is human. Humans have feelings and opinions. You are an artist and artist have always had a lot to say. Look at Frida Kahlo, Georgi O’Keefe, Jane Austen…

    You continue to be you. That is your passion. That is your purpose. And we ALL benefit from it. Well, mostly my house.:)-

  337. You’re great. At the end of the day, there isn’t much you can do for people who get so offended by one post that they shut you down. And I agree, whatever your politics, Barack Obama is a decent man. You do good work, we love what you do and I for one am fine with you expressing your views.

  338. Thank you, Emily-your insight and thoughtfulness is moving and inspiring. Will be doing some soul searching today I didn’t even realize I needed. Big hugs

  339. Well said. Encouraging more empathy among the entire country is important no matter what president you support. We clearly all need to open our minds to the experiences of others so we can grow together.

    I think it was very brave of you to put this post out there and an interesting thing to read about the challenges of growing a business during such divisive times. As a marketer, I agree with you there was another way to communicate your message that would be more on-brand and on-tone, but you can’t be perfect every time.

    Remember there are many people (much more than 4,000) who believe influencers, businesses, people, etc. MUST use their voice to speak out and stand up for what is right.

  340. I am shocked and saddened that you received such a public whipping from a predominantly female audience over an innocuous photo of a young Barack. President Obama was and is always careful with his words. I wish I could say the same about President Trump whose trail of foul words, public extra-marital affairs, and history of encouraging violence in his political base has led to a marked rise in gunshot deaths and hate crimes. Its up to you Emily, but television and books might be a safer venue for you and your family.

  341. Emily, i have radically opposing views to yours (politically). However, I continue to be impressed by how open you are to an opposing viewpoint, and in how NON-polarizing a way you voice your opinion. Also, when you said: “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“ my jaw kinda dropped because that’s almost exactly why I don’t identify as a feminist (in today’s sense of the word, not the original sense of the word, which I think has evolved dramatically).
    For that reason and because, from everything I can tell on social media, feminism means a desire for men to “step down” or “it’s our turn” and to me, that reads as extreme condescension – not on the part of the woman, but, were a man to “step down” it would be condescending of HIM to do so. Like “I will relinquish this place for you, because otherwise you could never earn it because you are inferior to me.” No! We are, in a true sense, EQUAL to men. It’s not “our turn” because that wouldn’t be equal – it would mean men are taking a back seat to women. It’s both of our turns! Merit should be what makes someone stand out, not gender.
    Which also means – to me – that men don’t need to be more like us. We don’t need to be more like them. We need to be men and women, separate but equal.
    That was longer than I meant. Thank you so much for being an example of how we should all be dialogueing in these controversial times.

  342. So you lost 4K racist followers; you should celebrate that! Be true to yourself. Keep up the good work, Emily, and remember those 38K “likes”.

    1. ……..they’re all racist?

  343. If you had posted a photo of JFK or Lincoln or FDR any other former American president, and said you missed them, you would not have received so much vitriol. You know why? Because it’s not about really politics. That kind of visceral, knee-jerk hostility toward Obama is personal and it is absolutely racist. It’s the ugliest kind of racism because it’s systemic, and it’s a poison bred so deep in the bone that people won’t even admit to feeling it. They only know they must instantly lash out in disgust.

    Telling you to “stick to design” is not only anti-feminist, it’s anti-humanist. And anti-American, if it comes down to that. But it’s incredibly condescending and insulting, not to mention a very effective way of making you doubt yourself and your own critical thinking. It puts you in your place where you belong, lady. The worst misogyny is that which women inflict upon each other. It’s internalized hostility that arises from having been treated as an inferior gender for generations. All of this criticism, all of this “political” debate is really just a big fat, “Who do you think you are, Emily, with your brains and your talent and your big opinions?”

    So that’s your question to answer: Who DO you think you are? Are these pearl-clutchers a demographic worth maintaining, worth catering to? Are your principles and freedom of speech worth sacrificing for 4000 followers who are willing to slam a door in your face over a black man in a t-shirt? It’s great that you’ve opened this up for discussion, however, ultimately, only you an decide this.

  344. Meh. I liked the original post. This watered down version looks like an attempt to regain followers. In the context of #metoo and unequal wages, the sentiment is on point. Anyone who is pretending to be offended by the word “shit” instead of our current president’s vitriol, ignorance, and hatred needs serious introspection.

  345. I have never commented on any post ever for any blogger/person I follow – this is a first but I felt like it was a good time. I want to preface this by saying I did not vote for Hillary, Trump or Obama. I did and do vote in every election, just not for any of them and would consider myself in the center on most issues.

    In my opinion…I really think that Americans have lost the ability to separate what is opinion and what is fact. We all hold our own views and really owe no one else any justification for the OPINION each of us hold. With that said, we all need to look inward and recognize that our beliefs are indeed opinions, and also recognize that other people may have a difference of opinion. This is not only good, but what makes America a great country! Too often I hear my friends, family, elected officials (on both sides), news outlets (yes CNN and FOX and all channels for that matter), make assertions without prefacing it with “In my opinion…” I am very clear with my students (college age) that anytime that make a statement that is an opinion, they should start with, “in my opinion.” It immediately helps your statement gain credibility since your audience can hold a different opinion and not be left bitter that your statement was contrary to your opinion. Again, this is all MY OPINION. I also make an effort to show them an actual print newspaper now and then so that can see where the more fact based articles are and where the opinion ones are (i.e. the opinion section). You don’t always have to agree or even understand another persons opinion to respect the fact that they are entitled to have it, just like you are.

    Regarding CA succession…I know you are joking (at least I hope since I live here and have my whole life as have my whole family for over 150 years), but there are wonderful people living outside this state, all around this country. Good people who work hard and want to support their family’s just like you do. They may have voted for Trump because they thought their top few policies were better for their lives. That doesn’t make them bad people…it just means their lives are different and their opinion is different. This is a huge country with so many different people. I am still working on visiting every state, but each time I go somewhere new I am in awe of the issues unique to the people living in different parts of this country – things we don’t event think about in CA and cannot even begin to understand. I know this makes me a better America, something I strive to be. Still working on it though and I will for the rest of my life!

  346. I agree with your desire for reasoned, rational discourse. And getting chewed up like that would definitely give me psoriasis. HOWEVER. Saying “I should have said it in a less aggressive, less in your face, less profane way” is the same as saying you have to edit yourself to be worthy of respect and kindness – which is the OPPOSITE of feminism. You do not need to put yourself in a box. Your anger and sadness are valid. You are asking for respect for women, for all women. Pointing out that that doesn’t exist isn’t an insult to anyone – it’s fact – and if it pushes some women’s buttons that’s ok – those are buttons that need to be pushed! I suggest you read some of Rachel Cargle’s work about this topic, particularly how often she’s called out for being too aggressive and how she handles it. It’s powerful. You are powerful and multifaceted. Keep being real. xo

  347. Honestly, if people don’t like it they have choices to follow other designers. You have to be true to yourself, because really that’s what you have at the end of the day. Will losing 4,000 followers really impact your life in one year, five years, ten years? …..Don’t overthink it too much. In the scheme of life you did nothing offensive.

  348. The case of “can’t we all just get along even if we don’t agree politically” is misguided.
    Our country is so polarized because of the type of individual Trump is. And those that support him can’t be supported by those who oppose him. I believe he is a morally corrupt individual who cares only about money. He is racist, sexist, a cheater, against equal rights FOR ALL and an embarrassment to the United States.
    I have zero issue with someone’s political view. What I do have an issue with is how another human could support a person like that. You say you aren’t racist, ok. But then what seems to matter more than anything else is the almighty dollar. By golly look at the economy! Who cares if the debt is ballooning or the environment goes to shit? So sorry (not sorry), if you support a person like Trump then your moral values don’t align with mine and we can’t be friends.

  349. Eh, not the most thoughtful post. I voted Obama twice, but I think he was a mediocre president. I admit that I do swear, and I am a feminist, but having said that, I think that the message on the t-shirt was just meant to shock. Your post would not have made me pull my name off your list — it is something that I might have done when I was young before I figured out that there are better ways to convey a message. Just say what you feel is important and deal with the consequences.

  350. Ok, here are my thoughts. While the post was off-brand and perhaps off-message, I think it was a human thing to do. You are entitled to your opinion, same as they are, even when you may have missed the intent. Nobody ever gets it *right* all of the time. This country has become utterly polarized and unity seems a far away dream right now. The 4K people that may have un-followed you need to figure out their own responses to political messaging, whatever it is, and maybe they close in those messages until their world is very small and safe. Hopefully not. But you should not feel as though your voice should be quieted or dismissed. The only way democracy moves forward in a positive and sustainable way is when we can all listen and debate about all points of disagreement. I can only hope we can get back to that.

  351. As a Gen Xer and lifelong, unabashed feminist, I’ve always lamented the fact that so many women of my generation seemed to run away from the term “feminist.” I think that’s because we allowed the opposition to define us as “man haters” or “women who want to be men.” I am neither of those things, and the same is true of the feminists I know and follow.

    I’m thrilled that younger generations of women (and men!) have embraced the term and that feminism (as a word and as a movement) is becoming culturally relevant again. It’s too bad it had to happen in reaction to things like the #metoo/#timesup movement and the 2016 election, but I think that ultimately it will provide positive social change.

    I love this line: “trying to be more like men should not be our goal. Men should try to be more like US.” I hope you don’t mind if I share it (with attribution, of course).

    One other thing I’d like to touch on from your post is the divisiveness in American society today. It’s an issue I care deeply about and something I actively work to overcome in my social media and IRL interactions. Thank you for addressing it. I think one reason it has become so pervasive is that we no longer agree on underlying facts. It used to be that Republicans and Democrats shared the same facts and many of the same goals, but our paths for achieving those goals were different. With social media and 24/7 cable and online news spewing the information that agrees with your point of view, whatever that might be, we no longer share that same basic understanding of facts. And hiding behind our computers or phones, it’s so easy to lash out personally at someone with whom we disagree. Then, of course, there is the purposeful spreading of misinformation and disinformation in an attempt to exacerbate those existing divisions. It’s a difficult, entrenched problem, and I wish I knew the solution.

    Thank you, Emily, for your thoughtful post about these important issues.

  352. I am a woman who lived through the sixties and seventies as an adult. I follow your site because I enjoy learning about how you make/made your decisions, even though I will not be in the major decorating mode anytime soon, and I sometimes feel shell shocked by the Mid Century Modern vibe. I enjoy reading your posts about products and fashion. If I lose interest, I don’t read the whole post, but I don’t quit checking the site. It pains me to hear younger women (almost everyone!!) trying to avoid being called feminist. We worked so hard for the gains that have been made. Even back in the seventies, there were extreme positions taken like “don’t volunteer, it demeans women as workers” and the age old anti-man and anti-mother arguments. Many women and especially women of color felt marginalized by the high-profile feminists of that era. Phyllis Schafly was way out there on the other side. But we did change some things for the better, and we need so much to support each other to prevent losing these gains. . Appreciate each other. Work together to improve not run to our separate corners. How we do this is problematic. I am like you in that I generally want to hear all sides of an issue and not prejudge based on a label. To me, feminism and feminist are adjectives but not labels. You can tell from other comments to this, that we have a long way to go to relearn how to be civil and listen to each other. Don’t, don’t trim your opinions to please others. That way only leads us on the wrong path, but do continue to listen.

  353. I absolutely wish that our president was a person who spoke of and treated others with respect, and he absolutely does not do that, and I don’t think he’s capable of it as a human. Like you said, it shocks me that anyone could appreciate his values, words, or actions, especially compared to a man of character like President Obama. This is particularly true when I think of people who are willing to support this administration despite the blatant efforts to marginalize, harm, and disrespect vulnerable populations. I, too, miss having a president who demonstrably cares about people and relationships with individuals and other countries. I respect you for sharing your opinion about where we are as a country, and agree that the polarization is stunning and seems impenetrable. I also agree with Orlando [all the time because he is the best]. You have a platform and if you feel called to use it to share a message that is important to you, then you should do that. I will also say that anger isn’t wholly the territory of men and women certainly have a right to feel that emotion, but I think I understand what you’re saying about finding productive ways to express it. Keep it up, and I love your work!

  354. Please continue to use your voice and platform to encourage dialogue and challenge us. Yes, you are a brand, but you can be one with an open-minded social conscious. That is required of all modern brands moving forward. If followers do not like that approach then I support their decision to unfollow you. Sadly, they will remain trapped in a bubble with like-minded people, unable to grow and evolve.

  355. I think you show great maturity and wisdom, trying to understand the point of view of those that disagree with you. I don’t believe either side has it all figured out, but I do think we would find better solutions AND live in a much more peaceful country if we all tried to empathize and understand each other the way you are striving to do.

  356. Love you, your words and Orlando xx

  357. I appreciate all the work you put into your social media, however, I prefer to that you stay in the “bubble’ of style and design when you “speak”. Style and design are why I follow you.

  358. I cannot respect a president (Obama) who would hound through the courts a group of women (Little Sisters of the Poor) in an attempt to force them to violate their consciences and sincerely held religious beliefs. These are women who have dedicated themselves to serving the elderly poor. Why try to force a group of nuns to act against their freedom to practice their religion?

  359. I support you and greatly respect your thoughtful and honest discussion of the issue. If all I wanted was to look at pictures of pretty rooms, I’d buy a magazine. You are interesting to follow because (not despite the fact that) you are an actual person. I appreciate that you use your platform to ignite civic thought…. while also showing us pretty rooms. 😊

  360. Anger is real and valid. It might not be part of your brand, but actually I think it is important to be in touch with your feelings—both joy and pain—because they have a lot to teach. Women are usually socialized to be “nice,” which is not the same thing as tolerant, loving, gracious, or honest. I am way more sick of people being “nice” and clutching their pearls when confronted with real emotion, than I am of anger. Anger is a HEALTHY response to widespread injustice and the collapse of democracy under the Trump administration.

    I am disappointed you are walking back such an innocuous post. It hurts my heart that people get more upset about curse words than about ICE abuses, strained ties with our allies, hundreds of important jobs at the State Dept and other agencies going unfilled, hideously unsuited people leading Dept of Education and the EPA, and the prostitution of the American govt for the benefit of Trump’s corporation. Really, really disappointed.

  361. I love that picture, I love this post, and I agree with what you’re saying about us being in a civil war. I cannot understand how anyone is still supporting the President as he single handed lay tears our country apart. Keep on being you, and hopefully someday a picture of the Ex President in a feminist shirt will create the response it should.

  362. Hi Emily, I one-thousand-million-percent support you in posting whatever you please on your own platform. It’s yours and that the beauty of it I also think that when you have a big megaphone like you do, you do right by yourself (and all of us) to speak your truth, on whatever topic. I’m much more drawn to people who are truly authentic, more than anything else. Thank you for being you!

  363. Emily, it’s your blog & you can do what you want. I find it a little scary that 4000 people would react like that – but this country never finished the civil war. It’s clear in Charlottesville & it’s clear in this blog.

  364. Emily, first and foremost, I so appreciate your introspective post because you willingly CHOSE to look inward and reflect on the situation (and share it with us!), rather than brushing it off as simply “haters gonna hate”…. Regardless of whether we are republicans, democrats, independents, lions, tigers, or bears, the ability to reflect inward on how one’s outward words/actions affect others, is (in my book) the highest totem of responsibility when professing political statements. Or really professing anything (but people tend to get less heated when discussing the curtains vs. drapes debate lol). My friends and I might not uniformly be affiliated with the same political party, but I keep em around because 1. they are respectful in their political statements, 2. they are considerate to others opinion when making said statements, and 3. they better have a counter argument ready when liberal-ass me steps in to question their thought process and put a new perspective on their previously held rhetoric of understanding. Of course…we still end up taking things personally sometimes (the 2016 election was RUFF; but we’re past it…I think). All in all, this is hella easier said than done.

    Also, part of me sometimes questions WHY we should disassociate with a distinct characteristic of ourselves (being a strong-willed feminist, for instance, is in my personality for LIFE) for the sake of pleasing, or appeasing, others. I have not amassed a following of peeps the way you have, and so I cannot speak to the amount of scrutiny you face every. single. day. when you post on social media. Should you post what you stand for and lose 4k of support…should you try to please everyone and keep it strictly design while feeling like you aren’t being true to yourself…I don’t think it’s that binary of a situation.

    I do think, however, that all the people who “unfollowed” you should realize that although you aren’t apologizing for the content of what you said, you are, by following it up with this post, realizing, listening, and starting a conversation based on their reaction. What more could they want? (Besides the obvious) You are offering them a seat at the table, an invitation to engage in ongoing issues, WITH the knowledge that their voices are HEARD, and that you will REFLECT on what they say with the greatest intentions and sincerity.

    Can THEY say the same for you? Were they receptive and open to having a discussion when they unfollowed you? NO, when they unfollowed you, they basically said, “this doesn’t align with my perspective. Peace out, hun” In my book, turning a blind eye on other people’s perspectives is actually THE WORST thing we can do when it comes to finding solutions and potentially, coming to a political compromise. I mean come on, maybe we don’t WANT to change our stance, but we SHOULD make space for an environment that encourages conversation between like AND unlike schools of thought. It’s like little kids that are picky eaters…most parents try to get them to eat things other than grilled cheese. Sometimes, it works! They ate the crock pot coq au vin, success! Other times, not so much, and there is no judgement when exhausted parents give in to letting their kid have a hot dog for dinner for the 17th night in a row. But hey, at least the parents tried.

    I’m sure there are faults with this metaphor (maybe the parents themselves are picky eaters…hmmm) but in the end, we cannot say we lost with dignity if we didn’t at least try. AND YOU ARE TRYING! If you had just let the Obama post sit there, without offering up a following introspective post (for us hungry readers to much on during our lunch break), nobody would think twice! We’d all just love you a little more for it, or a little less for it haha. But the fact that you DID have the ingenuity and integrity to say “something’s not quite right” and explore your feelings with us, says A LOT MORE than just you dropping an Obama-feminist bomb on us little people.

    The fact that you are firmly not apologizing, is ok. For now, at least. I mean c’mon, if we (your reader community) can’t even handle one aspect of your personality (albeit one that arises 3 drinks in hehe) without going flipping bananas, then how the eff are we actually supposed COME TOGETHER?? Do we want harmony in celebration of our differences, or do we want futile homogeneity, as a result of people being unable to communicate, without the side effect of our need to decimate…

    Only time will tell. But I thank you for working towards a world that is receptive as it is instructive, both for self and for humankind.

    (end rant!…..if anybody actually reads this whole thing, BLESS YOUR SOUL, the coffee finally kicked in and I couldn’t stop myself haha)

  365. I miss the days of politics and public information being shared and debated over by well informed and educated members of society. The problem with this post, many of the comments below and the constant spread of hate muffled by a really poor attempt to plead for a loss of followers is social media. We all think we know it all and our opinions mean something, but the reality is our opinions are just OPINIONS- they are not facts, they are not right or wrong, they are OPINIONS. 99% of the information on the president of this country, his administration and politics in general spreads via social media which hasn’t no credibility or authenticity or regulation regarding fiction or nonfiction content published as either. I think we can all do each other a huge favor by reminding ourselves to stop ASSUMING we know so much or have any right to misinform others on subjects we are most certainly not experts of and highly unlikely even considered to be informed if one were to be examined by a professional on the industry of politics whom meets criteria and has credentials of “expert” by definition. Stop making our country weak by using this platform or any unregulated social media outlet to educate and inform others on things you really know very little about!! Why not? Simply ask yourself, why not?! Because you think you have a voice and the right to be heard and a right to free speech and blah blah blah? Yes, of course you have the right, but should you? Not if you choose to abuse these rights by spreading words with no credibility based on EMOTIONS AND OPINIONS RATHER THAN RESEARCH AND FACTS. I hope we can all get over ourselves and the disturbing entitlement that has become such a norm amongst our society. Leave politics and informing the public on political events and issues, both good and bad, to the professionals whom specialize and make it their career by truly prioritizing and valuing politics therefor paying for an education and years of experience in the very subject therefor earning them a right to debate on political rapport,events and issues. If nothing else, I hope we all can take one step back to consider simply talking a lot less and listening a lot more.

  366. Emily, I love you, I love your design sense, your ethics and your willingness to be self-critical. I too am scared of the extreme polarization in our country today. You set a good example of how to be open and open-minded. Thank goodness Orlando was there to talk you off the ledge at the flea market when some of your followers were fleeing. He’s wonderful too and I follow him because of you. I’m sorry that you lost so many followers but I like the Brené Brown quote someone quoted.

  367. I would rather not hear political comments in your blogs too. I feel like I am inundated with politics living in the DC area and its all so polarizing now and difficult to discuss without offending someone. I go to your design blogs to get away from it all. I’ll go to cable news if I want to hear about politics. I love you tho. : )

  368. Miss Obama SO much! I agree that you should speak out as you see fit, and not give your personal control over to unnamed others who might disagree with you. By losing these followers, you are merely building a more focused and receptive group. You GO girl!!!

  369. I am a feminist and I may not agree with everything Obama did, he was a man of grace, good character and respect for family. If you lost readers you have gained me forever. You are entitled to an opinion .

  370. I too am concerned about the polarisation that is taking place. It is happening in Australia too and I suspect many other western countries. I think everyone needs to maybe calm down, step back and just treat others with respect no matter their gender, ethnicity, age, ability/disability, and political leanings. No one side is 100% correct. There is a lot of nuance. LISTEN, EMPATHY, RESPECT.

  371. I loved your post, and would have equally respected a choice to leave it up or keep it down. I love Barack Obama with my whole heart. I love your definition of feminism. And I love that you are a designer, a mama, a feminist, a human who really thinks deeply about things and tries to look at them from all sides. I like your mix of posts. I get a little annoyed with design bloggers I love who never take a political stance and I appreciate that you continue to do so in such a thoughtful way. I’ve got your back and I’m with you all the way.

  372. Part of your popularity is due to the fact that you come across as an authentic person and a whole person. Sanitizing your personality or opinions to so as not to offend certain followers is BS and is what would actually harm your brand. The social media obsession with the quantity of “followers” is ultimately a shallow measure of success and influence.

  373. I guarantee these were the same 4000 people who stirred up hatred when you showed Charlies’s diapers in the cupboard or said anything negative about mothering. This is what Trump has done though, made it OK to be less tolerant and to hate more. Be true to yourself. It’s OK to say you miss grace and class in politics.
    While I’m sure it’s hard to lose followers, you are left with a more open bunch of people who won’t test you down when you want to write a personal post.

  374. I think you’re doing fantastic.

    This post reminded me of something I had written down several years ago when going through a difficult time. I think it’s applicable to this situation:

    “There comes a point when you realize:
    Who matters,
    Who never did,
    Who won’t anymore….
    And who always will.
    So, don’t worry about people from your past,
    There’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.”

    Emily, you are not a robot. You are a strong, worthy and powerful woman who has the the right to express emotions, opinions and enjoy a few drinks on a Saturday night (every night in fact). Followers who see your true light will follow and listen to what you have to say and share. The others who can’t get out of their closed minded way, will leave.
    Good riddens to bad rubbish!

  375. Keep the real coming, I love scanning your room makeovers and design inspiration but I click through to read 2500 words about your marriage, the lessons you learned on social media, and how you parent. Thanks for sharing all of it!

  376. For me, IG is a political free zone. I am subjected to it on other social media sites and just want to come here to enjoy the talents of women of so many gifted women.

    Maybe another IG account would be better served for your more personal thoughts on social/political issues. Just a thought.

  377. Very well written. I loved the first post too. But you have more to think about than just your political views. I hope that doesn’t make you keep too quiet. People should know what you think. It won’t change the haters but it might open the eyes of those who have yet to decide how they feel.

  378. Emily, it’s your blog. You are free tobpost about design, politics, or anything in between. It’s up to your followers to stay or go. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. I, for one, am sticking right by your side on this 🙂

  379. Emily, I love your voice and that you’re open and willing to post about more than design. I want to hear your opinions, it enhances your brand and displays your humanity imo. Keep it up!

  380. It is YOUR blog, it literally has your NAME on the blog and your instagram. So you can post whatever you want. I love the photo but if I didn’t then I can make the choice to follow or unfollow. Nobody can tell you what to “stick” to or how to run your social media or blog because you are the creator. You could wake up tomorrow and decide you wanted to shift to travel or clothes or politics and we stay or go but YOU decide what it is YOU do.

    I imagine it is hard because you are a brand and a business. So you get to decide- add social commentary to your brand and your business or have two accounts, one that is truly personal and one that is your brand/business.

    The consequence of having a socially responsible or feminist business/brand is that you lose followers, but maybe that is OK. Up to you. You, You, You because you own it, you created it and you can make it anything you want it to be. And people can follow or not follow as long as you are happy with what you created! Cuz you don’t owe us SHIT girl!!!!! The meme will tell ya everything you need to know.

  381. Very well done post. I am a long-time reader. I recognize and appreciate that as a personal brand you do speak out about issues beyond design. I think you always do so thoughtfully. Your post gives good perspective for why you felt you didn’t hit the mark this time around. Even if I were to disagree with you on these more personal posts (although I generally don’t) I would not unfollow.

    That being said I do unfollow influencers when I see them align with products or services that are far left field f