Black Girls Blogging: Katrice Mines of My Vicarious Life

Social media provides Black women opportunities to define who we are and what we hope to become. Black Girls Blogging is a new feature on For Harriet that explores the ways Black women share their voices and build community online.

At first glance, you'll assume My Vicarious Life is a typical fashion blog but Katrice Mines' stirring commentary sets it apart. The Editor-by-day found the perfect balance of the aesthetic and the intellectual. She shares her inspirations and motivations with us below.

What made you decide to start MVL?
I started MVL in 2010 as a space for me to chronicle my self-imposed challenge of getting to know the city – restaurants, boutiques, attractions and everything in between. The challenge was inspired by what felt like constant explaining to people what I enjoy about being single and to prove through my posts that life is what you make it.

You edit a print publication. How has that impacted the way you approach blogging?
My career as an editor helps me to provide a very curated approach to content – choice and presentation. Although is a light and airy lifestyle blog, I take care to offer crisp writing and well-considered posts. And it has also helped me to stay true to my editorial scope, which is very much centered around insight on the things that I love and only what I believe worthy of coverage. When my readers leave MVL, I hope that they feel as if they have had an experience with me.

MVL began with more of a lifestyle focus, but you now seem to focus on fashion. What inspired the shift?
The shift happened organically. I love fashion {and shopping} and so I tend to gravitate more to what gets my attention in that realm. But, my aim this year is to be more diverse with my content. You'll see more commentary, more travel and more of me in my professional life. In short, I'm fighting the "shift" because if you talk to me, you'll actually get so much more. I'll be chatting you up about a World War II documentary or something along those lines.

What's the best thing your blog has given you?
My blog has essentially given me – me. I launched hoping that it would inspire others. MVL has, in fact, inspired me. I have learned to accept my voice and to take myself seriously, and I realize that through my blog, I become more of myself everyday.

What have you learned about yourself through blogging?
Two things: That I am obsessed with excellence and with the opportunity to enliven others. If I learn something, I can't wait to share it. I receive something, I can't wait to share it. I'm trying to live my best life so well that others can't resist doing the same.

In what ways has your blog enabled you to connect with Black women online?
I did a post in October titled, “How Blogs are Bringing Black Women Together,” and it was simply to say thank you to the women who have become a community, of sorts, for me and for us. Blogging has somehow allowed us to take down some of the barriers that we place up out of socialization and to realize that we are not each others enemies. I have connected with so many brilliant women that I now consider my sisterfriends on Twitter and Facebook – and met many of them in person because of our online introductions. So many women that I didn't even know lifted me up when I was just getting started and so unsure of myself and my blog, and that has made all the difference.

What advice would you give to women looking to find their voice online? 
I would say take some time to carefully consider what exactly they want to bring forth and to be authentic -- above all else. Two things that can make establishing yourself difficult in the sea of content is being unsure and trying to be all things to all people. Decide your thesis and stay true.

Visit and follow Katrice on Twitter

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