essays

Essayist in a forthcoming anthology for teenage feminists from Macmillan.

CONQUERING MY JEANS, MY LEGGINGS, AND MY ANXIETY / RACKED, JUNE 2017.

The love I feel for my fat — my curves, the stripes of my stretch marks that make me feel like a tiger, the strength in my legs, my resemblance to ancient stone statues of goddesses — is hard-won. It has taken years and years of deprogramming and acceptance and eating disorders and running the shower too hot as if that would melt most of my body off of me. I guard this love jealously, fiercely. I brook no resistance to it. I accept no criticism of it.

The Toxic-Masculinity-Destroying Magic Movie We Need Right Now / the establishment, december 2016.

To have empathy, and to express it, Newt must act in ways that subvert the framework of toxic masculinity. He cries; he is nurturing, and kind; he has no issue referring to himself as “mama” or “mum,” and sees himself as a mother and not a father to his beasts. He is able to do what Grindelwald can’t: he is able to see people as people, and not just as their potential usefulness. 

How I Learned to Love My Love Handles / Marie Claire, september 2016.

Love handles have the indignity of being known by a single joke—that they're great to hang onto during sex har har har, as if the only reason to appreciate part of our bodies is if it's attractive to some dude named Trent who pounds protein shakes every morning and then marinates in his own protein-laced farts while using the word "females" to describe his relationship problems on Reddit. Great.

Thank you for everything, Motion City Soundtrack / Revolt, August 2016.

I found out that Motion City Soundtrack was breaking up by accident, from a promotional email from some ticketing vendor who correctly figured that my interests included a Motion City Soundtrack farewell tour. It’s not the way I would have chosen to find out, but I hadn’t paid a ton of attention to them since graduating college, for a myriad of reasons that boiled down to the fact that they, being the soundtrack and saving grace of my adolescence, reminded me of too much pain. I took it for granted, I think, that they were eternal — as eternal as the memory of listening to them as a conduit for joy, when I truly believed I no longer had the capacity for joy.

Why I Want You to Notice That I'm Fat / Marie claire, july 2016.

Sometimes I just want to lay in my bed and wonder what it must be like to wake up every day—not just some days or half of my days or in some contexts or among certain people—without the anxiety that accompanies being a woman, being a fat woman, being a fat queer woman. As much as we profess that we can get rid of it, that we should just not care and live our lives and be happy and free and dance in a field of sunflowers, the reality is that we are targeted.

I Found My Home In A Horse’s Stall / BuzzFeed, March 2016.

I had absolutely nothing in common with most of the kids I knew, whose families, I assumed, met this standard of functionality. I didn’t know how to talk about mine; I didn’t have the context or the language or the ability to point at any specific thing and say, This. This is the wrong thing. This is a thing I do not deserve.

Volunteering At An Abortion Clinic Made Me Lose Patience With The Abortion Debate / BuzzFeed, November 2015.

My body is not an abstract when I put it between someone who needs a shield and someone who wants them to hurt. The women I watch marching into the clinic with their jaws set and their fists curled are not abstracts. In another place they might not have to be this brave; they could just walk in, see their doctor, and walk out. But the sidewalk is fraught, so they are courageous.

My Teenage Co-Worker Sent Me A Sext By Accident And All I Got Was This Essay / BuzzFeed, July 2015.

Lyle was your typical high school jock. Long of limb, muscular of ab, downy of mustache. I suppose you could describe him as nice in that he only agreed with shitty things other people said, and rarely offered shitty opinions of his own. He was very boring. He spent most of his shifts standing in a corner where the security camera couldn’t see him, playing Farmville on his phone. Lyle and I had a perfectly cordial working relationship. Whenever we were on shift together, I would do most of the work and then at the end of the night I would make him clean the custard machines. That is not euphemism. That is the most disgusting job we had to do before closing, and so I gave it to him.

Naturally, I wanted to fuck Lyle, just to prove that I could.

How Finding A Fat YA Heroine Changed My Life / BuzzFeed, March 2015.

Eleanor is fat. Eleanor is fat and dresses loudly and talks loudly and has loud opinions about everything. Eleanor is fat and smart and terrified. And Eleanor ends up OK, and loved, and still looks like me. She doesn’t change. She is entirely herself, and it’s enough. Eleanor is the first fat YA girl I’ve ever read about who didn’t have to change herself to have a happy ending. I met her when I was 23 years old.

What I’ve Learned About How To Be A Girl / BuzzFeed, February 2015.

Around 15 I dye my hair for the first time. I figure if I have to be different, I might as well be really different. All along, underneath this, there is a kind of level despair — a part of me feels anguished, always, even when I am happy. There is a war in me, and I have learned to ignore it. I dye my hair before my mother gets home one day. It’s red dye. My natural hair color is almost black. I don’t bleach it first, so what I wind up with is this sort of rusty auburn. I love it. I look in the mirror and for the first time I see someone that looks like me.

On Being Fat and Romantically Interested in Other People / Big Fat Feminist, February 2012.

 When you grow up fat, you grow up believing that you’re not ever going to be attractive to anyone. You don’t even do this on purpose - the world does it for you. For me, they did it through fat jokes on Friends, fat jokes on Will & Grace, fat jokes on every single sitcom, ever, headlines on my mother's Cosmo and Self telling me (I wasn’t supposed to be looking at them, but whatever) both that my sexuality only mattered as long as it was relevant to men and that being fat automatically made my sexuality irrelevant to men, “No Fat Chicks” bumper stickers, bullying in school, and rampant self-hatred and body-shaming in my family. I don’t think I ever had any agency in deciding whether or not I thought I was attractive until college. I just sort of knew, because the world knew, that I wasn’t. I was fat. How could I be?