Winnipeg woman shares photos and stories promoting individuality
ASHLEY TOKARUK, CONTRIBUTOR
Steph Jael has attracted a worldwide audience to her blog and redefines the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” by sharing her personal photography in combination with her story telling skills.
She started her blog, titled Shirts Are For Boys, as a school assignment six months ago to voice her opinions and encourage individuality among humanity.
“It started to evolve into this thing that I didn’t expect it to,” said Jael, 27. I totally fell in love with blogging.”
People in Germany, Israel, Australia and the United States are reading and engaging with Jael’s posts.
“Canada seems to love me the most,” she said. “I think maybe my mom is reading it over and over.”
To promote individuality, she writes posts about mental health, body image,culture and sexual orientation, all of which can be considered controversial topics.
Jael recently shared a post discussing skinny shaming that evoked strong emotions in readers, both positive and negative. She said she received emails overnight that ranged from “screw you” to “good for you”.
“With writing, you are putting words out there for people to critique, and you are a lot more vulnerable and bare,” said Jael. “But when I receive negative feedback, I welcome it the way I do positive feedback. I’m just happy that I’m getting feedback.”
She enjoys blogging because she thinks it is an effective medium for two-way communication between her readers and herself.
“I also deal with a lot of censorship on my photography on my other social media platforms, so blogging has allowed me more freedom,” she said.
Is blogging the easiest way for an audience to receive the information being shared?
“I think that blogs are less effective compared to other social media outlets because social media and other stuff is more accessible than reading blogs,” said Lauren Wycoff, 21, a student at RRC. “But once you actually get people to finally visit your blog I think they can provide a lot of opportunity for awareness that Instagram or Twitter can’t.”
Jael’s blog is successful as an effective form of communication among her audience and her passion is apparent.
“There’s a certain responsibility that comes with freedom of speech, and when you put something out into the world, I believe you should add value in the content you’re creating,” said Jael. “I really enjoy blogging because you can be a little bit more personal as well as create valuable content.”
You can read Jael’s posts at www. shirtsareforboys.wordpress.com