Girls Inc. Online Home

Meet Stephanie!

FirstName LastName

Blogging the Day Away!

Love the Internet? Blogs, which are websites where people share their personal stories or opinions on tons of different topics, are a cool way to take advantage of what the web has to offer.

As a professional blogger, Stephanie Quilao surfs the web and posts on blogs all day everyday! Find out how she turned her passion into a paycheck, and read all about her body image-awareness blog, “Back in Skinny Jeans.” Be sure to check out her DIY tips for getting started blogging!

Describe your work.

I am a professional blogger. I primarily write for my blog “Back in Skinny Jeans,” which is a blog about beauty and body image topics in today’s pop culture. The name “Back in Skinny Jeans” comes from the dream of wanting to be thin again, and wear the jeans I used to wear when I was my thinnest. Many women have a pair of those “skinny jeans” in their closet.

Very soon, I will be launching a couple of new blogs as part of my new blog network. It’s still a secret, but I am very excited about the new venture!

As a blogger, not only do I write, but I do graphic and web design, video blogging, and a podcast called “Chasing Beauty,” which I do with my blogger friend Heather.

Did you always know that you wanted to work in media?

Ever since I was in college, I wanted to go into the media, but I let one comment stop me from doing that. When I was 19, I was a broadcast journalism major in college and wanted to be a news reporter, talk show host, or even radio personality. But someone told me that I wasn’t good looking enough to get a job in media, and because I was so young and insecure, I believed that person and changed my major. I share with all the girls out there that if you really want to do something and you love it, then follow your dream, and don’t allow negativity from others stop you. If you can imagine it, you can do it!

What’s a typical day like for you?

In a typical workday, I spend about 8-10 hours on the computer surfing the web for news and story ideas. In that time, I also read other blogs, make comments on those blogs, and network with other bloggers. The blogger community is fabulous and everyone I have met has been incredibly warm and welcoming. The act of blogging itself is a common bond among many people who use social media.

How have you used self-published media, like blogging, video-blogging, and podcasting, to bring about social change?

Blogging is about the content you write, your ability to help others make a difference in their lives, and the passion that comes through in your writing, videos, and podcasts. I started blogging as a way to make a living, but what drives me to blog is the fact that I am helping to evoke social change in the beauty and fashion industries.

How did you become a blogger?

I discovered blogs two years ago. I read about this guy who was a professional blogger, and he bought a house from money he made from [putting ads on his blog]. I thought that was so cool that this guy had a job writing about things he loves, whenever and wherever he wanted, with no boss telling him what to do. I always wanted that kind of freedom, and so I decided I wanted to do something just like that guy. Initially, when I started blogging, I had side jobs to help pay my bills.

I started out with four blogs. “Back in Skinny Jeans” was just a place for me to simply rant about our society’s obsession with beauty.

What was your first post about? When and how did you make the transition to doing this full time?

My very first post on the blog is called “What is Back in Skinny Jeans?” and it describes [what “skinny jeans” symbolize] in women’s lives!

After four months, I was getting more traffic and making more money just on “Back in Skinny Jeans” than I did on the other three combined. It was a startling discovery. From that [traffic] information, I learned that “Back in Skinny Jeans” was more popular because I was talking about a topic that many people can emotionally relate to, especially girls and women. I wanted to speak out against all this beauty brainwashing we get from the media, magazines, and our culture. I love fashion and beauty products and think that is a fun part of being a girl, but where it gets unhealthy is when we as women start basing our self worth and esteem on whether we conform to a standard of beauty that is not real or healthy.

You wrote an article explaining RSS “The Oprah Way” to your readers. What’s the difference between learning about technology “The Oprah Way” and learning about it in the way it’s typically presented to kids and adults?

The [technical] definition for RSS is “Really Simple Syndication.” I translated RSS to mean “I’m Ready for Some Stories.” It is a way for you to get a quick list online of the latest story headlines from all your favorite websites and blogs all in one place. RSS allows you to surf the web in minutes versus hours. Now, doesn’t that sound like a really cool thing?

One of my talents is the ability to translate “geek speak” into people speak. Today, we have so much power at our fingertips with all this technology on the web and in software and hardware. I want to help more people utilize this power.

FirstName LastName


How do you think girls’ relationship to technology has changed from when you were growing up? What are some everyday ways girls can get excited about technology?

I know I’m going to sound old here, but I knew life before the Internet when the only way to socialize was in person at a dance or hanging out at the mall! We had to fax everything, send real mail through the post office, pass paper notes in class, and use a real phone book with the white and yellow pages to find phone numbers and retail stores. We actually had to call real people and ask to apply to a job. Music still came in records, and the CD was just becoming popular. The Internet has changed our lives dramatically in a short period of time. The last 10-15 years is a blip when you consider it on the history line of mankind.

Girls today are incredibly lucky (I have to say it again, EXCEPTIONALLY lucky!) to be growing up with the access and power of the Internet. Devices are getting smaller with the ability to do more. The Internet and software are getting easier and cheaper by the month, which is enabling millions more people to use technology in their everyday lives.

How can technology inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold?

If you can imagine it and see it in your mind, you can do it. I’ve seen kids who are CEOs of their own Internet business. I met a 17-year-old high school senior, who called up Microsoft and asked them to sponsor a Vista party at her school, and not only did Microsoft help fund it, they sent 5 people to go speak at it. In Silicon Valley, many CEO’s and founders of companies are under 30. The girls of today have the ability to create empires of their own!

In your blog, “Back in Skinny Jeans,” you share a lot about yourself: your struggles and triumphs with body image, stories about your family, etc. What does it feel like to put it all out there online for literally anyone to read? How do you determine what parts of your life you’re comfortable sharing and what’s too personal to publish?

In my life, I have experienced rape by a boyfriend, bulimia, the obsession to be perfect, discrimination because of my gender and ethnicity, and the competitive world of corporate America in a male dominated industry, technology, which included sexual harassment at work. These are some very personal topics, and all of which I have shared on my blog over the course of the year I have been blogging. Many of these stories sat in draft mode or months before I actually published them for the whole world.

I am very proud of everything I have written on my blog. I would have no problem letting a future employer, loan agent, husband, in-laws, or business partner see [these posts]! I write with the intention to help others, and my message is always one of turning adversity into prosperity. For example, I have talked about my experience with bulimia and included examples of the things I did to help me heal. I always let those suffering know that you are not alone, and that there are loads of people who can help you in non-judgmental ways. For years, I didn’t ask for help because I was afraid of being judged by my family, friends, and even society. When I finally did reach out for help, I discovered that the only judgmental person was myself.

NOTE: Stephanie often blogs about and has discussed here some pretty serious issues. If you’re dealing with a difficult situation, or just have questions or concerns about serious topics, reach out to an adult you trust. For more information and directions on how to find resources, please visit or

Recently, girls and women have seen lots of positive advertising and body image awareness campaigns—The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and Ugly Betty’s BE UGLY ’07 campaign are two. But, as you’ve written many times before, the pressures to be thin and look “perfect” still play a huge role in our lives. How can girls and women bring to life the positive messages we’re just beginning to hear?

There are millions and millions of definitions and examples of beautiful. The problem today is that [there’s pressure] to fit ourselves into one standard, and that is usually the standard that the fashion and beauty industries consider “beautiful” at the time.

Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses because she stands up to the magazines and is proud of her body in its natural shape. She spoke up very publicly against GQ magazine when they retouched photos of her to make her skinnier without her permission. As a mother to a young girl, she doesn’t allow any of the fashion or beauty magazines into her house because she wants her daughter to grow up with positive images.

How do we deal with all those dangerous, negative messages?

You have the power to create your reality with what you choose to think about and focus on. I am very excited to see that large beauty corporations like Dove and [major TV networks like] ABC are choosing to present more realistic images of beauty. I am very excited to see entertainers like Jennifer Hudson, America Ferrera, and Chandra Wilson who don’t fit in the cookie cutter definition of “pretty”, win the highest awards in their profession because of their talent.

At any time, you have the power to keep negative messages out of your “space.” Surround yourself with people, energy, and environments that enrich your life and make you feel positive. You create your reality, so make choices that reflect the joy you want out of life.

Last but not least…what do you like to do for fun?

I know this is going to sound real geeky, but blogging is fun for me. Because of blogging I have taken up photography and videography. I take pictures all the time now. My favorite subjects to photograph are people, and I’m most partial to my triplet nieces who are 18 months old now.

I also love to cook. I got into organic and natural cooking about 5 years ago. Learning about organics and natural foods helped me develop a more positive and vibrant relationship with food. I really enjoy the different colors, textures, and smells of organic foods. It’s fun to take pictures of all those beautiful food images.

A special thanks from Stephanie…
Thank you very much for having me. I really enjoyed doing this interview!

Helpful tips for smart blogging!

Have you noticed that some exciting things have been happening on the Internet? Lately, a website’s users have become just as important as its creators because online community activities like blogging, posting comments on people’s blogs, posting to message boards, and sharing photos and videos are all the rage!

Before you publish all your thoughts for the whole wide world to read, check out these helpful tips from Stephanie and Girls Inc.!

First things first: Safety!

  • Before you click “post” or “publish,” think about what is TMI (too much information). Lots of stuff can fall under the “TMI” category, from school gossip to private info about yourself, like your last name, address, or phone number. Every girl swaps secrets with her friends, but the Internet isn’t a good place for private info since ANYONE can see it—and ANYONE can mean friends, parents, teachers, or strangers.

  • Keep your parents in the loop about your web projects and memberships. If you’re nervous about talking about these things with them, remember that the Internet can be a great tool, and they’ll probably be excited that you’re exploring new technology!

Some words of wisdom from professional blogger Stephanie on what to consider when sharing information online:

“When you are thinking about sharing a very personal story about yourself, or anyone else for that matter, on the web, here are some things I suggest to consider asking yourself:

  • Are you proud of what you wrote and the message it is sending?

  • Are you okay with everyone in the world knowing these things about you?

  • Remind yourself that what you write does affect other people.

  • Are you writing with the intention to help others, or just to be sensational (a.k.a. attract lots of attention)? In my experience, and what I have seen in others, is that when you write purely to be sensational and cause controversy just for the sake of causing controversy, it will come back to bite you somehow. When you write with the intent to help others, only good comes of it.

Safety, Check! Now What?

“To get started in blogging, you only really need three things," says our expert, Stephanie.

  • A topic that you are passionate about. This is the most important thing you will need. I tell people to focus on a topic that makes their heart sing. When you write about something you know and feel deeply in your heart, it will show through in your writing, and people love that.

  • A “platform” (a.k.a. blogging program). When you’re starting out, do some research on the various blogging platforms that are available. Find out what your favorite bloggers use! In the beginning, your blog doesn’t have to be fancy, just get writing.

  • Action. As a beginner, it is a good rule of thumb to first focus on the quality of your post, and then the amount of posting you do. I suggest trying to post at least 3-5 times per week. As you get more comfortable, get clearer on what your goals are, and get to know your audience better. Then you can decide on how much and how often you need to post to your blog. It’s vital to bond with other bloggers because not only does it make blogging more fun, but it is a way for you to help each other.

Now, Get Blogging!

Here’s an excerpt from “Back in Skinny Jeans," by Stephanie.

Beauty predictions for 2007

Dove will have company

Another large corporation who’s in the business of beauty like Dove will come out with an equally large and impressive campaign to promote real beauty.

In the major TV shows, you will see more characters like Betty and Dr. Torres

Ugly Betty and Dr. Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy look like real women. You know people just like them in your everyday life. They are not fantasy characters. They are real people like you and I who have the same pains, issues, and struggles. We root for these ladies because they are just like us, and we want to see more of how they deal with the everyday pains of living in a pretty-obsessed society. More viewers means more airtime.

In general, I think 2007 will be an even bigger year for real beauty and healthier standards of living. I find that very exciting! What do you predict we'll see in beauty trends?

What's Next?

  • Learn how to build your own web page!

  • Meet more inspiring girls and women.

  • What would you blog about? Share on the Girls Inc. message boards.