I (Shannon) kicked off the very first day of February in the company of some pretty spectacular women at BlogHer Health 2020 in Los Angeles, while enjoying 80 degree weather in the winter. There truly are no words to describe the energy that was palpable in the air at Rolling Greens, where the event was held, but I will do my best to try to hit the highlights.
Since joining the BlogHer creators group on social media, I have wanted to attend one of the conferences. Not only are they renowned for being a great supportive network for women to surround themselves with other creators and bloggers, but the speakers are phenomenal. I knew the lineup would be awesome.
The day starts bright and early with check-in and instagrammable moments around the event space, as well as getting to know the sponsors. The outdoor space was tented, so after grabbing some breakfast nosh, I chose a seat, where I met a few fellow bloggers. The attendees were from a variety of backgrounds, some from California, but from all over the US. Many women were health bloggers, or journalists for women’s publications, as well as some who blog for medical practices, and several I met were lifestyle bloggers who wanted to learn more about self-care, and general women’s health issues.
After scooping up a front row seat (lucky me!) I settled in for the event to start. We had a warm-up from “The Class” instructor, Sophie Kos, which was a bit of meditation, self-awareness, and fitness. This 10-minute session was a game-changer in regards to the mood. All of a sudden, I felt that I was in the exact place I was supposed to be, and I embraced it.
The panels started with a self-care session, with Monica Padman from Armchair Expert (one of my fave podcasts), Alli Webb of the DryBar (ahhh, I may have visited every DryBar in America), and Jen Gotch of ban.do. The discussion regarding mental health, and being an entrepreneur were ah-mazing! We, as women, have to stop being ashamed of taking care of our mental health, and talk about it!
Next up, “Paging Dr. Google” with Dr. Jessica Shepherd, and fellow doctors. The primary message was for women to own their health, be advocates for themselves, and stop trusting Google over your trusted resource: your doctor. If you don’t trust your doctor, get a new one!
Lisa Ling was one I was excited about seeing in person. She is such a renowned journalist, that even being in the same room as her, felt empowering. She spoke with the creators of Baby2Baby (Kelly Sawyer and Norah Weinstein) on how their non-profit helps women and children who are impoverished. So moving!
Several other medical professionals spoke about the need for vaccines, more research into women’s health, and SEO experts spoke on getting your blog to the top of Google results, but I saved my most fave parts of the day for last.
First, let me say that when I saw that Hunter McGrady was on the speaker list, I knew I had to be at this event. She. is. everything. Hunter, alongside Maye Musk, and Camila Coelho sat as part of a discussion about embracing our own worth, our differences from one another, and loving ourselves. In the words of Hunter McGrady, “We need to truly love who we are. It’s 2020, and it’s about time we started doing that!” Right after she left the stage, I was able to meet her, and let her know what an inspiration she is to not only me, but to so many women. She couldn’t have been kinder, which was so refreshing.
Also uber-exciting, was meeting Hilary Diff. Hilary was at the event speaking on women’s products, such as tampons and pads, and knowing what is in the products you put in and on your body. I was able to sit and chat with her for a few moments (see the pic, I mean, we are practically BFFs lol!) and she, too, was so very kind.
Two super powerful women who literally created a vibe in the space was Busy Philipps and Nancy Northup. Of course, Busy Philipps is a well-known actress (I really wanted to chat with her about being an extra a few times on Dawson’s Creek, but there wasn’t a chance to meet her, unfortunately.) but Nancy Northup is the President and CEO of Reproductive Rights. This panel was captivating. Busy and Nancy got real, and stayed real the entire panel discussion. I walked away feeling more empowered than I have ever felt, as a woman.
Other celebrities were part of the event, Kelly McCreary, LeAnn Rimes, and other super successful women in the medical profession, but overall, the vibe of this event is that women should support women, and we should most definitely support and take care of ourselves- medically and mentally. BlogHer was most definitely worth flying across the country for. What one thing would I change from this event? I will have a battery pack to recharge my cell phone next time, so I can take more pics!
I left feeling more creative than ever, and inspired to continue down the path that Gerry and I are on. I have full control over what I want for my life, whether that be the adventures that Gerry and I experience together, or the choice I have made to live a child-free life. Thankfully, I have that choice, and I hope that as we fight for the rights that we have as women, we can continue down whatever path we choose for ourselves. We own who we are, and who we want to become. BlogHer was an event that reaffirmed that we can spread awareness of whatever topic we want, through blogging, conversations, or even via social media. It is a freedom we have, as humans, but more specifically as women. In the words of Busy Phillips, “This bitch contains multitudes”. We can talk about whatever we want to to talk about, so… let me know, what do you want to talk about?