November 28, 2023


Amazing parenting technician

‘Design Mom’ Gabrielle Blair Pivots to Politics

2 min read
‘Design Mom’ Gabrielle Blair Pivots to Politics

“I’m much more likely to get people that don’t agree with me politically to listen to me if they think we’re on the same ‘team,’” Ms. Blair said. Though she is openly in favor of abortion rights and considers herself to have become more liberal since starting her blog, Ms. Blair deliberately played on assumptions that a Mormon mother with a large family would lean conservative. “Maybe I’m supposed to feel bad about it, but I don’t at all,” she said.

Before blogging, Ms. Blair majored in graphic design at Brigham Young University and was an art director at ad agencies in New York City. After the birth of her fifth child in 2006, and while experiencing a repeat bout of postpartum depression, she started Design Mom to find “community and validation” with other moms and “cute shoes that don’t fall off and don’t have Buzz Lightyear on them,” she said.

Kathryn Jezer-Morton, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Concordia University who is writing her dissertation on online motherhood (that’s to say, mommy blogs), described Ms. Blair as “one of the elder statesmothers.”

Ms. Blair’s readers were there when she had her sixth child, Flora June, who is now 12; when she moved from New York to France to Oakland then back to France; when her oldest, Ralph, now 25, left on his two-year Mormon mission trip to Colombia and when he came back; when she tried different ways to cope with depression; signed a contract to write a parenting book with her husband, Ben Blair, and then postponed it to write “Ejaculate Responsibly.” Ms. Blair blogged about it all.

As part of that original crop of “momfluencers,” Ms. Blair is paving the way for her peers, showing how your content can change as your life does, Ms. Jezer-Morton said. “She’s showing us a little bit about how this trajectory can last into later middle age, where you’re not parenting babies anymore, and you’re kind of moving on with your life.”

After the first viral thread, Ms. Blair posted about more political topics on Twitter, including gun safety, child welfare and Donald Trump; she changed her bio there to include “Thoughtful threads” in addition to “Life in France” and “Mother of 6.”

Recent posts on her Instagram feed, where she has 167,000 followers, reflect duality: One video shows some of her children making hand-shaped cookies with their grandmother. A subsequent photo captures a daughter protesting in Paris, wearing a shirt that says “USA Hates Women” and holding a sign that reads “Hold men accountable,” with a doodle of a fist yanking a sperm back by the tail. On her blog, Ms. Blair tackles subjects like hot flashes and panic attacks while also posting house tours and festive desserts for two.

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