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The Face Behind the Paper Bag

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The time has come to properly introduce myself to you. I started this blog in 2009 and had no idea what it would grow into. To say that I am pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

When I first started blogging I donned a paper bag to keep myself honest. I believed that a certain sense of anonymity would allow me to in a way be more transparent and it worked. I did feel like I could be more open, more myself, and not worry about El Qué Dirán. I would reveal my true identity to a few people here and there, but for the most part I was happy to be the blogger behind the paper bag. It felt safe.

As the blog has grown, it has become harder and harder to keep my identity a secret and if you really wanted to know you could have figured it out. I’ve left clues. I Facebook “like” my own page under my real name. I’ve “accidentally” sent emails and blog subscriptions from my personal account.

The paper bag has served me well, but it no longer feels like it is keeping me honest. It is starting to feel like I am hiding behind it and I don’t want to hide. I am ready to just be me. Even The Unknown Comic eventually revealed himself. So here goes…

This is me with a paper bag over my head. The idea of Unknown Mami was inspired by The Unknown Comic. I fancy myself funny on occasion and I am unknown to many.

Unknown Mami

This is me without the paper bag…

Unknown Mami without the bag

My name is Claudya with a “Y”. I’ll tell you the story behind that some other day. The picture above was taken 7 months into being a mami. I was desperate to connect and to have a sense of community. I missed acting and I missed making people laugh, my 7 month old did not get my jokes at all. I made the paper bag with clip art and PowerPoint.

This is me in black and white. I wear glasses full-time because I have iritis and some corneal scarring. When I started blogging, I mostly wore contacts.

Who is Unknown Mami?

This is me in technicolor in my kitchen. That is a partially eaten quesadilla in the background. Help yourself.

Unknown Mami without the paper bag

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Just ask Unknown Papi, he doesn’t like me when I’m angry.

05

This is me on the day that I got married. I’m looking at Unknown Papi in this picture. I love the way I’m looking at him, like I know that he is as awesome as he is.

Getting_married

My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades…

07

I’m just keepin’ it real in this one. I’m a busy Mami with a blog and I don’t always get to groom the way I should.

08

I know it’s weird, right? The drapes don’t match the ‘stache.

This is me on a good day…

09

This headshot was taken by my friend Ashley Forrette.

So there you have me. You now know my name (it’s Claudya, don’t worry I’m terrible at remembering names too) and you know what I look like. What does it mean for this blog? Not much.

I’ll still keep blogging the way I’ve been blogging, but if you “accidentally” catch a glimpse of me in a picture or I “slip” and sign an email with my real name it won’t be a big deal because I willingly took off the paper bag.

And don’t worry about the paper bag, I’ll still use it. I’ve become so fond of that paper bag, I almost don’t recognize myself without it.

Thank you so much for the support you’ve shown me as a blogger, a mother, and a fellow human being. Thank you for making me feel that it is okay to show the face behind the paper bag.

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  • http://www.reallyimamom.com/ Imperfectmomma

    Hello! Nice to finally see ya :) You are a beautiful woman 

  • http://www.bullinachinashopmama.blogspot.com/ Tina

    Well I already knew you were beautiful. But you truly are stunning.  And I owe you a thanks…3 years ago I started my blog and this anonymous gal in a paper bag who made me laugh helped encourage me and I didn’t feel so silly for doing it.  You have inspired me.  And while I must continue to show my life literally through my feet for a cairety of reasons, I am so happy to see the face and the name behind the bag.  best,
    Tina

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      You are awesome and so are your feet.

  • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

    :-) Funny thing. I changed my profile photo too, today. By the way, I figured out how you look when you posted that “multicolor” knit-texture photo – and yes, knew how beautiful you are. I know you’re gorgeous on the inside. And now, with or without the paperbag, you’ll be loved in exactly the same way, Unknown Mami. Okay, Claudya :D. At least if I ever think what you and I have in common, I know what to say, eh? “ya”!

    Be well, always. And I hope we get to meet face to face some day. Love you.

  • http://twitter.com/LaliQuin AutismWonderland

    I love all your pictures!  I have been waiting forever for this big reveal.  I understand so much of what you meant.  We start blogs not knowing what will become of them and hiding seems safe.  But you are too good to hide. 

  • http://brokenwon.blogspot.com/ won

    Nice to meet the other side of you! 

  • Jeanie

    My guess is that you were a little nervous about this “reveal”. I would say it was done beautifully and is a total success. You are far to beautiful to keep your head under a paper bag, even a very cute paper bag.

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      Your guess is correct, I was very nervous. Thank you for always being so kind.

  • http://mami-dearest.blogspot.com/ Isaida @ Mami Dearest

    Nice to finally see you! I knew you were a beautiful mami :)

  • http://www.pumpkindelight.blogspot.com/ Kimberly

    Beautiful shots!  It’s a big deal posting personal photos on a blog, and I respect your reasons for not doing it sooner.  It’s nice to be able to put a face with the name though! :) 

  • http://pinkguayoyo.com/ Helenabeatriz

    Bellisima!! Love it :) 

  • Zulay

    Love it!!!!

  • MoMo

    I’m getting a little misty. Nice to see your beautiful face on here (although I though the bag was nice looking too). Love, MoMo

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      Thank you Momo. Love you, too.

  • Cnceltica

    Yay, finally! You are even more b
    Beautiful than you were in college.

  • SamiJoe

    You are very beautiful!  I’m so glad I stuck around long enough to meet the real you.

  • http://www.chaka4612.blogspot.com/ Tom

    I was also anonymous on my blog until the third year so I know how you feel. By the way, your picture unveiling looks much better than mine did.

  • Bossybetty1

    Love the unveiling!  You are gorgeous inside and out.  Here’s to being honest and loving all sides if ourselves!

  • http://www.katharinesthoughts.com/ Katharine

    Well hello! The great thing about listening to your voice over the years is that we all knew you were beautiful, by the way you wrote…inside and out! BTW I can’t seem to find an updated pic of me that I can live with…can I borrow your bag?

  • Myya Says…

    How exciting!!! I knew your name but I have to say that seeing your face has always made me curious. Congratulations :)

  • QQ QandleQueen

    Claudya!  You’re gorgeous!  I didn’t suspect any less, of course, but it’s nice to be validated.

  • http://twitter.com/nycpatty Patty Aizaga

    Que Bella! It’s so nice to see your beautiful smile. Congratulations on this great moment :)

  • Kim Christopher

    Well, well, well! Who’d have ever guessed you were cute as a button . . . oh, that’s right, all of us!! Nice to meet you, C!

  • http://www.ttelroc.blogspot.com Kristin_The_Goat

    Hey Claudya!  It’s great to see you face to face!  

  • Auntnikki12

    You are so stinking CUTE!!!!! I’ve been waiting a long time for this. You did teach me, however… that it really doesn’t matter what someone looks like. I thought I needed to see your eyes to be able to connect with you. I thought I needed to see your face to feel comfortable, but I didn’t need any of that. I’ve loved following you since the day I joined you. You’ve been inspirational and very supportive, and I appreciate you for who you are, with or without the bag! Thank you for taking this step, it can’t have been too easy for you.

  • Eva Gallant

    How nice that you decided to expose yourself!  

  • Auntnikki12

    I have to say, I did feel some sense of familiarity with this reveal of yours. I am sure I know you from somewhere!! But I can’t see how.

  • StarTraci

    So glad to see the bag come off! I have been so afraid that I would use your name on a comment — haha! But seriously, I’m glad the world has seen your amazing smile!!!
    :-)
    Traci

  • Ttownsend

    YEAH!!!!! You are so beautiful…but I knew that WITH the paper bag. ;)

  • http://www.landlock-mo.blogspot.com/ Rebecca

    Holy Toledo Bagface!  You really did show your mug!  Remember when you teased us and said you’d reveal your mug and it was in fact a MUG!  Yeah, I thought this was going to be another trick.  You are beautiful!

  • http://thatgirlblogs2011.com thatgirlblogs

    Mami!  I love it/you!

  • Frau

    Hi Claudya you are just a beautiful as I imagined! Nice to but a face to the words/laughs/tears…..etc! 

  • http://misadventuresofmub.blogspot.com mub

    I so had my fingers crossed yesterday when you posted your teaser post that we might get a glimpse under the bag ;)  So glad that was the case!!!  Just lovely!  

  • http://www.brandonspuppy.com/ Amanda

    So nice to “see” you! You really are stunning. That wedding picture is awesome. =)

  • http://www.lifeofkaylen.blogspot.com/ Kaylen

    Well Hellllloooooooo! I love that you are “out” now. And you are beautiful, with a beautiful name. :)

  • Judy Retirednottired

    Glad to see you from behind the paper bag. I have just started my blog in February and I understand the need for privacy on the internet.  i am so glad to follow your blog and have you comment on mine = i tried to read your blog every day

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      Thank you for your support.

  • http://thinspiralnotebook.wordpress.com/ Tara R.

    Yay! You are beautiful! It’s good to finally see the unveil. 

  • http://afcsoac.blogspot.com/ lisleman

    The headshot taken by your friend is great.  Lovely smile.  Your decision on this would not of mattered to me, I browse over here for the funny words coming from that great mind of yours.  Also, the SIMC meme.  You look similar to our neighbor across the street (she also has 2 girls).  While you were a mysterious Latina I had this picture in my mind.
    http://pinterest.com/pin/255368241341067146/

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      I wish! What a letdown it must be to see the real me. I’ve got nothing on Sofia.

      • http://afcsoac.blogspot.com/ lisleman

         No it was not a letdown.  You are wonderful in every way.  I just wanted to share how my mind filled-in the unknown picture.  My pick was a good one right?

  • http://twitter.com/NibblesNFeasts Ericka Sanchez

    Bella, bella, bella! I love your wedding photo!

  • Elissa Lerma

    Hi Claudya with a Y. Nice to finally meet you. Elissa (yes with 2 s’s)

  • http://www.puttingthefunindysfunctional.com Cyndy DysFUNctional Mom

    I’m almost as excited to know your name as to see your face for some odd reason!
    You are so beautiful.  I mean I always knew you were but you are more physically beautiful than I imagined, and you look younger than I pictured too.
    And OMG I’m so excited that you really did it!!!!

  • Liz Thompson

    LOVE!!!!

  • missliz

    Well, hello gorgeous!  You managed to keep a lot of us dangling while holding our breaths.  It is worth every second!  As said before me, I think you are as beautiful inside the bag as you are outside.  Now I see where your girls get that fabulous hair!  Thank you for stepping outside of your comfort zone.  You have inspired me to do the same! 

  • deborahpucci

    Claudya, It is so nice to see you and I love your name! You are so pretty, a beautiful bride and I love your head shot “on a good day” which I am sure you pull off every single day! Thank you so much.

  • Angelia Sims

    You are gorgeous!!! Great to SEE your happy mug. :-)

  • otin

    Yay! Now you’re the known Mami!   You look great!

  • http://twitter.com/MeandtheMexican Me and the Mexican

    It’s so nice to see the woman behind Unknown Mami!  You are just as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside.  I’m a big fan!  What an exciting reveal!  

  • http://xishellwords.blogspot.com/ Michelle

    Yay!!  So glad you did this, I really enjoy following your blog and had created an image of you based on a composite of people that I already know (curly hair, glasses) but you look just as you should, like you!  So nice to “meet” you in a new way :-)

  • http://terrisonoda.net/ Terri Sonoda

    Well hello Clauyda. My my, you are stunning!  And you want to know something kinda weird?  I pictured you somewhat the same.  I knew you had to be gorgeous. Somehow I just knew that.  Paper bag or no paper bag, I’m a fan of you, your blog and your beautiful photos.  Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.halfpastkissintime.com Mrs4444

    :) Glad you finally “came out”. 

  • http://liquidmindsoul.blogspot.com/ CiCi Winningham

    Stunning is indeed the word to describe your gorgeous self. Doesn’t it feel good to just be you now? I know you said you would still use the bag, but after the growth of your blog and your meeting so many other bloggers, it is a privilege to be among your followers who meet you face to face. 

  • http://www.thebipolardiva.com The Bipolar Diva

    you’re just as beautiful as I had imagined! ♥ you!

  • Keetha Broyles

    You are just beautiful!  No need to hide behind that old bag any more.

    I HOPED this was what your big surprise was going to be!

  • Heather – Acting Balanced Mom

    Nice to ‘meet’ the second real you!

  • http://www.melissahasra.com Melissa

    You’re gorgeous, just like I knew you would be. :) 

  • tettelestai

    You are one pretty lady!! How nice to see you in-bagged?? Is that a real word?? Anyway it truly is lovely to ‘see’ you ;-)

  • Ann in the UP

    How do you do, and thanks for the revelation.  But, as the others have said, we almost all had a picture of you in our minds because of all the things you have written.  It’s nice to see your smile, (and mustache) and it’s nice to witness your comfort with being known.  Have a hug from me.

  • brainella

    Gorgeous. You have a beautiful smile. How does it feel to be unmasked? :)

  • http://tikitikiblog.com/ Carrie

    I am so happy you have shown your beautiful, sunny, awesome face!

    (and I am glad I have seen the real thing in real life!)

    besos!

  • Rachel The Digital Latina

    So great to see your face! What a beautiful face it is! Thanks for sharing your identity with us! What a great post. :)

  • http://www.growingupblackxican.com/ RubyDW

    yay i still remember the day we met outside of blogher and you came up saying im the unknown mami with the paper bag lol it was the best! 

  • http://tracismixedbag.com tracismixedbag

    You are beautiful, just as I suspected. 

  • http://www.ttmillersandboys.blogspot.com/ Tami Miller

    Yeah to the removal of you paper bag!!!  You are gorgeous!  I feel more connected to you now that I see your face.  

  • http://itsallaboutthephotos.blogspot.com/ PhotoPuddle

    Well aren’t you gorgeous! Lovely to see who you really are! I am sometimes tempted to reveal myself on my blog too as there’s no real reason for being anonymous. Maybe one day.

  • http://livehigh2.blogspot.com/ oceangirl

    Aah and I had to cry, something is not right with me.  Thank you Mami for revealing your beautiful face.  You are more beautiful than Salma Hayek I had imagined and so I was a little surprise to see a soft sweet face.  I love your smile looking at Pepi.

  • Karen and Gerard

    You are so pretty, I’m glad to see you finally removed the bag–although, I must say it was a very clever idea!

  • NancyJinks

    I know what you mean about keeping it real!  I used to be lots more forthcoming until I realized lots of my family members were reading!  Slowly trying to forget that as I blog!  You really are beautiful without the bag!  But I do love that bag!

  • http://pamelahutchins.com/ Pamela

    I wish I’d known you when you were just a paper bag — this is my first introduction to your beautiful face :) I found you b/c my friend Vidya Sury follows you, and now I can see why!

  • Classic NYer

    Holy shit, you’re pretty!

    Oh, and if you’re not using that bag anymore, um, could I have it?

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      I’m still gonna rock the bag most days.

  • http://cowpattysurprise.blogspot.com/ Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise)

    Oh darlin’, I came over to get a peek.  I’m so happy you ditched the bag, you are a beauty to behold.  I always knew there was something wonderful under that bag!

    Great pictures sweetie, (well, ‘cept for that one with the blown up lips)!

    Thanks for sharin’.

    God bless and have yourself one great weekend sweetie!!!  :o)

  • La Principessa

    As gorgeous on the outside as the inside. Love your writing, now have a beautiful face to put with it.

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    So happy you came out of the bag, Claudya! I love the picture of you looking at Unknown Papi!!!! 

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  • Melsboxofchocolates

    so nice to finally put a name & face to one of my favorite bloggers. Love how you did a variety of pix. You are beautiful!

  • http://myinnerchick.com/ My Inner Chick

    Omg, 
    You. Are. Stunning.

    I knew it!  Xxx

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      Well, aren’t you kind?!

  • latinodadblog

    You is one hot mama!

  • http://diet-coke-rocks.blogspot.com/ Chris H

    You are gorgeous Claudya, and your name is rather neat too!
    Thanks for taking of the freakin paper bag!

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      I love you!

  • Lindyloumacinitaly

    My computer is still not fully recovered but I just had to call by and discover what the big reveal you promised me is! Good to meet you Claudya. :)

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  • http://honduras-gumbo.com/ Laurie Matherne

    And you think your moustache is bad? I have one, too. But I don’t post it for everyone to see. Nice to see some shots of you. 

  • http://www.indigoroth.com/ Indigo Roth

    Hey Claudya! Thanks for coming over, it’s been ages! It’s a pleasure to see the face behind the paper bag! Indigo

  • Paula Wooters

    Well, pleased to meet you, Mami!  Now that Google+ posts my real name, there’s no keeping any secrets over here anymore, either.

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      Yup, the day came where I just couldn’t hide behind the paper bag anymore.

  • Raymonde

    You are beautiful, when can I come and do some portraits? 
    Claudya, wow I know a bit more of you and you are the same I imagined. Thanks for sharing. xxx

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      I’d love it if you came and did some portraits.

  • Linda Wilson

    Goodness me, Claudya-

    Get that bag back on right now, young lady! 

    You make me feel sooo old and frumpy. I know I’m only 18 even if the outer casing is a little worn round the edges….

    Happy Day,
    L x

  • http://lettrefamily.blogspot.com/ dina@4lettrewords

    Not sure how I missed this monumental event, but like the other four-thousand-eleventy people said, you are so BEAUTIFUL.  (I knew you would be.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.s.seaman Ellen Stewart Seaman

    It must be so much easier to breathe without that bag on!

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      I still use it when I’m hyperventilating.

  • TOI

    You are so beautiful but i knew it even before this big reveal

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  • Tree Lindsay

    You are beautiful, and just too funny! lol Glad to finally see the real you! :)

  • http://scrapsofmygeeklife.com scrappinmichele

    Awwww! So nice to see your beautiful face, Claudya. But you will always be Unknowmami to me

  • Melsboxofchocolates

    I’ve been MIA and come to find you out of your bag! What a great surprise. Looking good Mami!

  • http://www.facebook.com/arifovicmiss.net.ba Zoran Arifovic

    nije  problem  trebali  ste  odnma reć nije  nikakav  problem  oćete  sa  suprugom  djete je u  školi kod  bake  je  neznam  ima  i  dragicina  sa  magdalenom  kad  je  bila mala  curica  sve  štima  ok  uslikat ću  je  sad  ova  je  slika  velika  može  ..moment gospođa  se  sređiva neće  na modnu  reviju ja mogu i  u pidžami  ja sam  cool   evo  nadam  se  kompropmisu ja ću  stavit  u  svoj  web  nadam  se da  nemože  uslikao  sam je  naravno  koda  ali  slika  može  na  profilo  reaLNO  NADAM  SE DA  TU  I  NEJ+KA  OSTANE U  ALBUMU  HVALA  

  • http://www.facebook.com/arifovicmiss.net.ba Zoran Arifovic

    Zoran Arifovic  

  • http://www.facebook.com/arifovicmiss.net.ba Zoran Arifovic

    sekund da  ja  svoju  prebacim  sad  loviš  me  u  mutnom  malopruije  nemojn  bufdi  cool

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  • http://www.stacysrandomthoughts.com/ Stacy Uncorked

    You are even more beautiful than I imagined. Well, not that I was imagining you regularly or anything. ;)

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      You’re funny.

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