An Interview with Pauline Campos

 

Pauline Campos is a Sometimes Radio Personality, a writer, speaker, commissioned artist, award-winning photographer, and founder of Girl Body Pride and #ChingonaFest. She’s also Latina Magazine’s #dimelo advice & relationship columnist. She has been recognized as 2014 nominee for the Hispanicize #Tecla award for Best Parenting blog, a 2015 Latism Top Bloguera and BlogHer ’15 Photo of the Year honoree. Her first book, BabyFat: Adventures in Motherhood, Muffin Tops, and Trying to Stay Sane, will be released September, 2015.

We need to edit that last line - Pauline's book BabyFat was released in September, 2015! Pauline is a member of Twigtale's Parent Advisory Council and we are delighted to profile her and celebrate her new book. Below is an excerpt from BabyFat's official description.  

It’s a memoir. Please don’t call it a mom-oir. That sh*t’s just patronizing. This is the book that wrote itself in Pauline M. Campos’ head when she realized that her baby had become a toddler and the expiration date on her socially acceptable baby weight had worn out. The Latina Magazine #Dimelo advice columnist and Aspiring Mama blogger gave herself a one-year-or-bust deadline, then embarked on the search to find the mama lost in the muffin top with the requisite weight loss plans, attempted (and failed) exercise programs, and a singular focus on the scale and not wanting to toss it out the window.

We asked Pauline to answer nine questions about her book, parenting, storytelling, her next projects and her spirit animal. We are so happy to share her voice with you. 

1. What are your highest hopes for this book?

Oprah’s book club. Wait…is that even a thing, anymore? I don’t even know. What I do know is that I am busting my butt to make the six years out into this book worth all the sleepless nights and the bazillion revisions. Highest hopes? A spot on the New York Times bestseller list, a movie based on the book, and a BabyFat placed in every maternity ward diaper bag handed out to new moms on the way out of the hospital.

2. Your early career was in journalism, but you transitioned to writing your personal narrative in this book and on your blog. It obviously resonates with a large audience. Can you tell us what it's like to connect to others by sharing your personal story?

It’s mind-boggling and humbling and rewarding and totally validates my desire to work at home in my pajamas. My first blog was a product review blog and I sucked at it. When I finally decided to just…write…I couldn’t believe people were coming back to see what I had to say next when all I was providing was another story. No gimmicks. No contests. Just…me.

3. What do you regard as the most important way storytelling can innovate parenting?

Wow. Good question. Pardon my while I awkwardly buy time to figure out a meaningful and insightful answer…

Dammit. Okay, let’s just go with this: As a writer, I am always looking at the world from two perspectives; the story-teller is always framing what I see and experience in a narrative with a beginning, middle, and an ending. The mom sometimes rethinks her steps (do I really want to yell at my kid for using permanent marker on the wall?) because she is conscious of the fact that while she is the one living the story, it’s the story-teller writing it. So, I guess sometimes, maybe, being a story-teller influences my parenting choices. Usually, I think, it’s a positive thing.

4. How did your journey and personal revelations on identity and body image impact the way you parent your daughter?

Actually, the reverse happened. Having my daughter influenced my identity and body image issues and how I try to deal on a day to day basis. It’s one thing to be a mental mind-mess when you’re going solo, but quite another when you are directly responsible for raising another human being who just so happens to be using you as their map on how to navigate the entire world, starting with their own identity and body image.

I’m not going to lie and say I am always going to love what I see in the mirror or that I never have a bad day, because I don’t…and I do. But I can say that for my kid, I’m trying to love me and be nicer to myself every day.

5. Who are the storytellers that inspire you?

Those that are willing to put it all out there from the good to the bard to everything in between. Life isn’t perfect and stories that try to pass perfection off as reality just fall flat, I think. I don’t want to know the What, I want to know the Why, too. Storytellers that can share a personal narrative in such a way that it feels both an honor to be allowed a glimpse into such a gift and like a good conversation with a friend to whom I can relate…those are my favorite kind of storytellers.

6. What is your parent spirit animal and why?

I think seahorses have this whole pregnancy thing figured out. I’m not against the father giving birth, for starters.

7. What family story do you hope your daughter tells to her friends when she is an adult?

I want for her to be able to tell the story about the lady who raised the girl to believe in herself, love who she is always, and trust in the power of her voice.

9. What will your next project be?

Ha! I’m ADHD so I’m working on 50 million things at once and hedging my bets on which one comes to fruition first. I’ve got a podcast I’m in the process of relaunching, a follow up to BabyFat, two coffee table quote books in the works, and I’m dreaming up a self-empowerment book for kids.