Shelby Lohman, ’19, shares her musings on life as a young married women on her blog ‘Wom­anhood Unveiled.’ She poses here with her Natural Family Planning charts — a subject she wants to be very open about.
Courtesy | Shelby Lohman

For Shelby Lohman, it was her husband who opened the door to telling her story. 

As her first year of mar­riage was wrapping up, Lohman, ‘19, was looking for a way to express her various thoughts and musings on the joys and chal­lenges of her life post-grad. In November of 2019, she started toying with the idea of starting a blog. But after “quietly made a website,” she hes­i­tated to do any­thing with it. 

When the coro­n­avirus shut­downs began a few months later, however, the role her husband Andrew played in caring for their household inspired her to revisit the project.

“The first post that I pub­li­cized was talking about Andrew; how he was so husband-like during quar­antine and stepped into being the care­taker,” said Lohman, who teaches high school math. “Sud­denly, he was the only one going grocery shopping and I was staying home so that he was the only one putting himself out there.”

As she was putting these thoughts together, Andrew saw her writing and asked what she was doing. When she told him about her idea for the blog, she said “he gave me the kick in the butt to actually commit to it.”

“I also under­stand the desire to share things with other people — espe­cially aquarium stuff,” Andrew said, who is pur­suing a masters degree in aqua­culture and aquatic science. “I can under­stand her desire to share what is important to her.”

Thus, Lohman’s blog and related Instagram account “Wom­anhood  Unveiled” got rolling. She posts blog updates every Sunday, and uses the Instagram page to promote her blog as well as an outlet for shorter musings and pho­tog­raphy. She dis­cusses her Catholic faith, mar­riage, home­making, Natural Family Planning, and life as a young pro­fes­sional in a candid and con­ver­sa­tional manner. 

“The name of the blog was really important to me, and though I knew it would include the word ‘wom­anhood,’ I wasn’t sure what the other word should be,” Lohman said. “I settled on ‘unveiled’ because it’s typ­i­cally asso­ciated with unveiling a sculpture or a beau­tiful piece of artwork or some­thing like that. I liked the fact that it was alluding to the beauty of wom­anhood.”

When starting the platform, Lohman said that her initial intention was “to fill a space I didn’t feel like was filled.” Now, over seven months into the project, she has con­nected with other accounts within her sphere.

“There are a lot of women out there trying to build it in their own way that I’m way more aware of now than I was eight or nine months ago, which is a good thing,” Lohman said. “And I’ve ended up falling in with a whole bunch of other women who also share about NFP, or that will share about mar­riage or Catholicism, that I’ve found along the way.”

‘Wom­anhood Unveiled’ gained over 1,300 fol­lowers during its first few months, mostly from Hillsdale social circles but more recently from online spaces ded­i­cated to Catholic wom­anhood and Natural Family Planning, which is one of the things Lohman wants to be very candid about on her platform.

“I try to just be really no bullcrap. Not like blunt or crass or any­thing, but I’m going to tell you my honest thoughts and expe­ri­ences,” she said. “I just want a really open account for the 20 some­thing or 30 some­thing women to relate to, or for the high school and college women to look forward to.”

Regan Meyer, a Hillsdale senior, is one of those young women with whom Lohman’s platform con­nects.

“Every­thing she writes is so beau­tiful, espe­cially in how she con­nects seem­ingly mundane things to her Catholic faith,” Meyer said. “I really value her insights, espe­cially because there have been instances of me and [my boyfriend] having a dis­cussion and then seeing that Shelby had com­mented on exactly what we were talking about. It’s also really great to see a Hillsdale alumna talk about both her pro­fession and her vocation to mar­riage.”

One of Lohman’s chal­lenges in curating her brand’s aes­thetic was coming to terms with the fact that her apartment isn’t the most Insta­gramable. The stereo­typical influencer’s living space is open, white-washed, and bathed in natural light, and Lohman said she spent a lot of time at the beginning editing her pic­tures taken inside her home to match that look.

“Even­tually I realized that if I really want to share an honest, real account of wom­anhood, then my pic­tures should reflect that honesty,” she said. “And I’ve been trying to keep that in mind when it comes to things like, ‘Can I get a photo that doesn’t include all the stuff in the back­ground in our apartment?’ and the answer is probably no. And my response needs to be, ‘that’s okay, because our apartment is our apartment.’”

Ulti­mately, coming to terms with her living space was a lesson in accepting and rejoicing in your life as it, she said, not as you wish it might be.

By far, her favorite part about sharing her thoughts is hearing from people who were encouraged by or res­onated with some­thing she wrote. When people reach out in the com­ments of an Instagram post or through direct message, it “makes [her] day.” Though by nature of her subject matter the majority of her audience is women, Lohman said she espe­cially enjoys hearing from men. 

Overall, Lohman said she wants to know that other people are with her in reflecting on the fem­inine mystery as she “unveils” it in small ways.

“It’s the epitome of what I was going for,” she said.