Q&A with Mar Yvette from Marpop

Mar Yvette is a TV host, lifestyle expert, entertainment reporter, and the author of Marpop.com.

Q. How does your cultural identity influence the content that you create, or how you interact with your audience? Which is more of a dominant influence of your cultural identity, American or Latina culture?

My cultural identity as a third-generation Latina is a very important part of who I am, but being an American is the dominant influence. If we really want to get into the bigger picture of labels, I'd say being a woman is greater than both of those, and greater than that is simply being a human being who wants the same things as every other person on the planet — love, health, happiness. That said, because I happen to be Latina (Mexican-American), I feel that I am bicultural. I have strong ties to my heritage that are inextricably linked to who I am — this bond finds itself in the food I eat, the values I hold dear such as family and faith, and the sense of humor I share with my audience.

Q. Where do you personally find inspiration related to the topic/topics that you blog about? How has that changed/evolved over the last year?

I find inspiration from the people I meet, the places I visit, the food I try, events I attend, products I buy, the list goes on. Since I write about lifestyle — food, travel, fashion, beauty, entertainment, arts and culture — I have the privilege of sharing all the things I love and will never be at a loss for ideas. The past two years specifically have proven to be the greatest change in how my blog has evolved. That was when I began following an almost entirely vegan diet. Because so much of what I share is food related, it presented a huge shift and my audience has grown with me in this focus on a healthier, plant-based lifestyle. It has also flowed into other areas that I cover including beauty, fashion, and even entertainment.

Q. How did you first become interested in becoming a blogger? What was it that made you choose the topic areas that you chose?

I have always been a writer. My career began when I was a freelancer for music magazines, which then led to becoming an editor at fashion and design publications. That eventually led me to become an editor of digital content and on-air lifestyle expert and host. My interests have always been varied, but always within the realm of lifestyle. Over the years, the fact that I am Latina has never dictated the content I create but it does bear some influence — if there is a Latina/o-owned beauty brand or restaurant or event, that does pique my interest and can sway my decision to feature it, but it is not the only deciding factor. I always cover topics and feature products/places/activities that I genuinely like.

Q. How has your blog evolved over time? How has the emergence of various new forms of social media and other communication platforms changed the content you create or how you connect with your audience?

My blog has evolved tremendously over time. It started out simply as an online profile of all the articles I had written for magazines. It has also undergone multiple design iterations and improvements. Over the past five years it has really become my online identity, a portal into my world, which runs the gamut from my list of top vegan beauty items to a fun TV segment I did with exotic animals or a celebrity or sometimes both!

Q. How do you maintain an authentic relationship with your audience when you work with brand partners?

I maintain an authentic relationship with my audience because I do not ever promote products, places, or activities that I do not personally believe in. Publicists and brands regularly approached me to see how we might work together, and I have had to turn down quite a few because it simply does not align with whom I am and the lifestyle I promote. For example, I was asked to participate in a campaign for M&M's candy. While this used to be one of my favorite brands growing up, because I have become more health conscious over the years, I could not promote a food item that I do not eat myself. A similar example was when Dove recently approached me for a new campaign to promote their antiperspirant. Because I try to inform my followers of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, I could not in good conscience promote a product that has known harmful chemicals and that I would not ever personally use.