I wrote my first piece for TheGloss in 2010. The site had just recently launched and I wrote about how to rock a short hair cut. It was not my first foray into the blogging world, but the first time that I was given liberty to choose a topic and go with it. Besides the fact that I had that freedom, I was also excited about what the comments would be (I was so unjaded then!) Since it wasn’t a controversial subject in any way, the comments were sweet and without any unnecessary trolling. I felt like Sally Fields: “You like me! You really like me!” Isn’t that what everyone thinks when they don’t get a hate comment?
I eased my way into being a regular on TheGloss. I went from occasionally pitching a piece to Jennifer, to eventually having a daily place on the site. I was home.
TheGloss was the first site that allowed me the freedom to write in my true voice. As in, what you read, my darlings, is pretty much how I speak out loud to my friends and family. In both my personal life and in the online persona, I am candid, perhaps a bit over the top, but always true to my beliefs and myself. I am snarky, I do like to provoke and yes, I’m self-absorbed, but I’m so aware of it, that it’s almost OK, right? I’m saying yes.
Social media has given people the chance to communicate on a whole new level. Although I keep my Facebook account extremely privatized so as to have something for myself (and it’s boring anyway), my Twitter is wide open to the world. And so it began that I, Chatel, started becoming buddies with some of the commenters.
First it was back and forth tweets on Twitter that always ended in one of us just giving the other our email address because 140 characters is lame. I did that with a handful of regular commenters and realized “OMG. These women are ridiculously amazing and JUST. LIKE. ME.” So I became pen pals with a few of them. I’ve always felt you can never have too many smart and funny women in your life, even if they live a continent away.
For example, Sam Escobar was a regular commenter on TheGloss who started following me on Twitter. After a few emails, we realized we had so much in common and voila! When she finally came to NYC to visit, we realized our friendship was legit and not something solely based on email exchanges. The rest is history.
It was when we switched “Dating Hijinks” over to include stories from our readers that the emails really started pouring in, and I don’t mean just stories. People who just wanted to say hello and chitchat. I started getting emails from people with whom I’d engaged with on different articles in the comment section. There they were, in my inbox, with their REAL names attached. You’re not going to believe this, but Breezy’s real name isn’t Breezy. I know; I was baffled, too.