Create & Cultivate 100: Content Creator: Leandra Medine

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THE ORIGINAL. 

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Nothing can stop them, our thumbs go all the way up to Leandra. Both of them. 

And yet, what can we say about Leandra Mendine Cohen AKA the Man Repeller that has not yet been shared? 

An American author, blogger, and humor writer best known for Man Repeller, an independent fashion and lifestyle website, from the beginning Leandra knew that good fashion is about pleasing women, not men. 

From that premise she built her online kingdom. Sometimes dressed in the role of King, sometimes Queen, and occasionally the oddball Jester, but no matter the outfit, the swagger and the wit, always took precedent. Followers and readers tuned in religiously to hear her take on Kanye West, on maximalism and minimalism, and most recently on her pregnancy. 

It's not that she dared to be herself. It's that her choices, both sartorially and editorially, seem to involve no dare at all. It was/is, quite simply, her truth. (Though we'd be willing to bet that at a slumber party she'd certainly choose dare.) She simply was/is an original. And as those slashes imply, has remained so in the face of trends and blogger takedowns, industry turnover and the highs and lows of heels and life. 

At her core she claims, she's a storyteller. "We're humans," she says. "We strive on a connection. We need it to survive."

More of her story below. 

Name: Leandra Medine

Instagram Handle: @manrepeller

Climb or be climbed. There's a cutthroat mentality to all biz worlds, especially the content world. Whatupclickbait. But you have managed to stay above the fracas, if you will, without stomping on anyone. How've you done it over the years?

I don't know that I agree that there is a cutthroat mentality in the content world, at least not in this day and age. There is enough business to go around, that has been my philosophy out of the gates and I am a very collaborative worker. The success of my peers only lights my star, and that's true vice versa also. I try not to forget that.

Given your recent "Different Kind of Pregnancy Announcement" and the overwhelmingly powerful response from women, why do you think you've been able to connect with readers?

At my core, I'm a storyteller and a very self-aware analyzer of my own identity and I think the combination of these things and how deeply I respect and honor honesty have made connecting really natural. This is a hard question to answer because I didn't necessarily set out to connect, it's something that is so embedded in my DNA and the way that I communicate. I mean, we're humans, we strive on a connection. We need it to survive.

What kind of content do you think women are craving?

Precisely the kind of content MR produces, that is why we publish what we do. The balance, we have found, never undermines a woman's intellect for the simple reason that she enjoys a candy piece every now and then. It's also a judgment-free zone, but one where no topic is off limits for intellectual dissection.

It's a judgment-free zone, but one where no topic is off limits for intellectual dissection.

I think all women in their late 20s and mid-30s have reached the 'will I ever be happy again' point. What would you say to those women struggling with life and/or career who don't have a partner by their side?

When we're in the throes of upset, it's hard to recognize that station lasts forever.

"We're humans, we strive on a connection. We need it to survive."

Tweet this.

SO. Let's LIGHTEN the mood for a sec. Do you sing in the shower-- and if so, what's the go-to jam?

Yes, of course, and mostly show tunes.

What is your biggest professional pet peeve?

Hmmm, being asked questions that maintain answers that are really easily Google-able! (This is absolutely not a comment on this questionnaire, which has been a delight to fill out)

What about your career makes you feel the most complete?

The piece that encapsulates my having a purpose that is bigger than I am.

What would you consider your superpower?

My hankering to learn about other people's vulnerabilities.

When you run into a career obstacle, what drives you forward?

The necessity to pay bills.

What kind of an 80-year-old lady do you think you'll be?

I'll probably talk out loud to myself a lot, and wear sunglasses in the dark.

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