Initial Findings and Data Codes

Participants:

13 women – all Pinterest users

I am a white, middle class, single mother of two children (ages 9 and 6) who works in lower-level management of higher education.

writer and educator

white, mother of two, unmarried but living with my childrens’ father, Master’s Degree in Human Development, works at natural birth center as Director of Client Relations.

White, graduate degree, teacher, grad student (again!)

white, single, no children, business development admin

I am a white woman, in a complicated relationship, who works as an executive assistant.

I am an African American female, married with two children, and a second grade teacher.

I am a white doctoral candidate about to finish her PhD loaded down with student loan debt.

White, workibg class, single, chef

I have a BA in English and a Secondary Teaching Credential in English. Currently, I work from home as a consultant. I am married without children.

I am white–though I am half Mexican. I’m a married mother of three. I have a bunch of grad degrees and I’m a professor of health economics. I’m a first generation college student and I study race and health.

I am a married white woman, with no children. I have CA Teaching Credential, and MA in Curriculum and Instruction. I am a Program Director at the San Diego YMCA.

White, working poor, married mother of three. I’m a counselor at a homeless shelter.

Data that Matters:

Empowering Aspects of Pinterest:

Visual Rhetoric:

The visual focus, the lack of spotlight on comments or commentary, & the access to galleries by new artists, designers, & architects!

At it’s best, it’s a collection of some of the best and most interesting ideas on the internet.

That I can keep all of my info in one spot and that it’s organized visually so I can quickly find the pin I need. That the pins are linked to websites where I can find or purchase the original.

I love seeing how creative people are and ways in which people try to make other’s lives a little brighter or more fun – through creative hacks, DIY projects, photography, meals, decoration, words, etc.

The concept is great. It helps organize my mind. It’s pretty.

Community:

I love the ideas and post others share and their links.

I like that people can share and find inspiration, products, ideas, and recipes.

 But going along with my other answer, I actively work not to judge the woman who use those portions. They have the power to determine what is important in their lives and what they want to pour their energies into in their lives.

Access:

I used to have to spend time in bookstores stealing ideas from their crafting magazines (and not purchasing them). Now I can do the same invention activities on my couch.

Disempowering Aspects of Pinterest:

Normalized Class/Race Content:

African American post on black hair and fashion of the black community.

Being mixed-race, I just have to go with my white side on Pinterest.  

I enjoy Pinterest, but at times it can seem superficial and financial impractical.

I am poor, so I am looking for cheap do it yourself projects and renovation ideas I can steal and apply to my flea market shopping.

Restrictive Notions of Motherhood/Gender:

 There is faction of feminism that feels like it’s putting more pressure on women to become perfect housewives, mothers, and dinner party hosts, and that if you follow what’s on the site you are becoming a 21st century Martha Stewart.

Domestic activities may not appeal to all, but each woman has a right to choose that for herself.

Parenting. I don’t need one more person telling me what I’m not doing enough of.

Body/Fat Shaming:

I try to avoid non- holistic beauty boards as to steer myself away from pins that potentially kill self-esteem.

I actively avoid boards that promote extreme diets and weight-loss gimmicks because they are either spam or trying to sell me something.

I would like to see more of the “you only have one body, love it, don’t try and change it” pins, because while I like to work out and take care of myself you should love yourself first.

General Shaming/Anxiety:

I really don’t dig the shaming that happens.   

I actually really like the “pintrest fail” culture that has emerged that emphasizes that it’s ok to try these ideas, fail, and then laugh about it. These are hobbies for more of the users. I appreciate that those memes foster that mistakes are inevitable. I think we could use more of that honesty on the site.

 I wish that some of the pins weren’t so image-based and were more “realistic” in terms of how someone could actually achieve that “look.” I could see it being a slippery slope if someone thought that they had to live in a Pinterest world 24/7.

Feeling like if you pin it, you must do it.

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