Larson empowers women one post at a time

Tracy Larson’s No Makeup Required is one of the top five parenting blogs for the Kindle.  - Courtesy
Tracy Larson’s No Makeup Required is one of the top five parenting blogs for the Kindle.
— image credit: Courtesy

Redmond resident Tracy Larson was born to write.

Beginning when she was 8, Larson found herself constantly keeping notes of her thoughts. Her dream of writing manifested into her blog, No Makeup Required, “a digital haven of wit and wisdom for real women,” as her tagline states.

As the founder and writer of No Makeup Required, Larson doesn’t just love to write. Her passion for empowering and inspiring women has driven her to use her writing for a purpose. Her goal is to make women feel better after leaving her blog; to feel less alone in their trials and triumphs.

Larson’s love of writing translated into her blog after reaching a moment of inspiration. One of her friends was struggling with the death of a child, while another was adapting to becoming a new mom; two women at the same time, on opposite sides of the spectrum. Larson saw the strength of these women, and made a decision.

“In that moment I realized there’s a lot of real life going on between women that needs to be written. I thought, I need to start this, I’m not waiting anymore,” said Larson.

Since 2010, No Makeup Required has been ranked in the top five parenting blogs for the Kindle, in competition with the blog of a Washington Post columnist, among others. Larson’s blog has clearly drawn an audience.

Although it’s a key demographic, the site isn’t just for parents. Larson makes the point that when you’re a mom, you’re also a woman. Women are sisters, aunts, daughters, friends; Larson reaches many identities other than solely those experiencing motherhood. It’s a women’s blog, with a slice of mom in it.

“When you’re a mother, sometimes you’re focused so much on being a mother that other parts of your life get lost in the shuffle. We are more than just moms,” said Larson.

To reflect this, Larson made other adjustments and decided to re-design No Makeup Required after a year and a half of being online. She wanted to add more features, space for comments and also a space for men. The date of the re-launch this past spring had a purpose. May 20 was the anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s Transatlantic Flight, and Earhart is one of Larson’s favorite women in history, so she chose the significant day for her launch. Earhart was a strong woman who went for her dreams in a time when it was difficult; a perfect representation of what Larson wanted her site to stand for.

Contributors to the blog love supporting No Makeup Required because of what it symbolizes.

Frequent contributor Jamee Tenzer said, “Tracy has created a user-friendly environment that is fun and informative. I love to be a part of helping moms feel good about what they are doing in life.”

Authenticity is a big part of Larson’s goal for No Makeup Required. She’s arranged her content into six core feature areas. They bring out the real quality Larson has worked hard to maintain.

Catching Curveballs, Wisdom Wednesdays, Who is She, Conversations with Men and Conversations Between Girlfriends; all six contribute to setting No Makeup Required apart. They reflect Larson’s belief that women and moms can learn from each other, from other generations and from women of the past. The features play into Larson’s goal of looking at life differently than typical blogs. Instead of always writing about how frustrating life is, she strives to remind women that time is going fast and they should try to enjoy their lives.

As a busy woman herself, Larson lives by her words. When asked about balancing being a mom, a wife and working, Larson’s answer is simple: Balance is a myth. Sometimes the dishes get left in the sink overnight, the dog has an accident on the carpet or the kids need something brought to school; life happens. When life happens, priorities come into play.

“I know I’d rather spend time with my kids than work in my garden. I can fix the garden when they’re gone, right now I’m enjoying them,” said Larson.

In November, No Makeup Required plans to help LifeWire supply cell phones to domestic violence victims to use for calling for help in life-threatening situations, or as a means of contacting support as they move through being a survivor. Larson believes every woman should feel connected and supported. Through the participation of No Makeup Required in a cell-phone drive, Larson hopes to make a difference.

Mary Coughlin is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.


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