I’ve mentioned recently that I’ve become enamored of Freeform’s The Bold Type, which centers on the wildly unrealistic careers of three best friends in their mid-twenties working for Scarlet Magazine, a fictional analog for Cosmopolitan. The show was inspired by Joanna Coles, who was the former editor of Cosmo and Marie Claire before briefly becoming Hearst Magazine’s chief content officer. Years before The Bold Type premiered, I was familiar with Joanna Coles—Cosmo was a lifeline to me as a young woman. It was a window into a glamorous world that I sometimes still yearn to access—the beauty, the fashion, and the pleasure. Now, more than a decade on from my serious readership, I’m aware of the many criticisms that have been lobbed Cosmo‘s way, but my life does look a lot more like the pages. I own more than one designer handbag, by house is colorful and cutely-decorated, and I actually own a vibrator or two. I have a job I’m not ashamed of in a business-casual office, a graduate degree, and a bright yellow car. I may not have the career-minded, go-getter spirit of the target Cosmo reader, but I fit the aesthetic. I think teen Chels would be proud.
But back to the show. There are a lot of things one could write about The Bold Type, like the fact that no one achieves the amount of success that Kat, Sutton, and Jane have by age 25 in the fashion/publishing/journalism industries, every queer woman depicted on the show is thin, femme, and gorgeous, and that your bosses, even if brilliantly played by Melora Hardin, are not supposed to be mother-figures. But none of that has bothered me in the least. The Bold Type does the work to be progressive and in many ways succeeds, but it has the elements of Sex and the City magical realism—impeccable clothing, gorgeous apartments, and a shiny, clean New York City that is most definitely actually Toronto. None of these, however, is what I want to talk about. I want to talk about babies.
That’s right! In a show where the main characters are twenty-six years old, I am forced to discuss reproduction, and no, I’m not referring to Kat’s past abortion. I’m talking about how The Bold Type absolutely fumbled the ball on the topic of being childfree.
The background: in season four, after marrying beau, Richard, 15 years her senior, Sutton becomes pregnant, only to miscarry a few episodes later. The plot device of Sutton’s miscarriage was expected—a baby in the mix would permanently alter the tone of the show, which is dependent on its independent, professional women. What wasn’t expected is that a show that for three seasons was so on the pulse of the cultural moment would hand the “I don’t want to be a mom” plotline to the character with the notoriously fraught relationship with her own mother.
I’m not in the business of disbelieving women when they say they don’t want children. If I were, I don’t think Jen Kirkman could be one of my favorite comedians (she quite literally wrote the book on this topic). Just because I want to become pregnant and be some little jerk’s mother doesn’t mean that anyone else should have to do the same. I’m a monthly donor to Planned Parenthood and I believe that abortion is healthcare. It shouldn’t be a political issue. It’s healthcare that protects the lives and autonomy of people of all genders. I’d be a complete hypocrite if I believed otherwise. My feelings on the topic are so strong, in fact, that I’m outraged that they wouldn’t write Sutton’s story to be bulletproof. Sutton (like Kat, who similarly doesn’t want children) could have been a role model to teens and women in their early twenties who don’t want to follow traditional heteronormative, patriarchal paths. But the writers of the show penned Sutton’s story on crumbling rice paper, not giving it the dignity of credulity and leaving Sutton open to the same horrible question that every uterus-haver hears from the day he, she, or they graduates college until menopause or hysterectomy: “When are you having kids?” If the answer is anything but, “My insemination ritual is this evening, I’ll be registered for organic diapers at Target,” you hear the same refrain: “You’ll change your mind.” I don’t want to tell Sutton that she’ll change her mind. She deserves better. But sweetie…you honestly might change your mind someday. And here’s why:
First, most of Sutton’s story arc has revolved around her relationship with Richard. In the beginning, it’s a torrid, secret affair. Then, after they split, he gets company policy changed to allow them to date. Then it’s above-the-board, hunky-dory, and serving rom-com realness in Paris. Before you know it, they’ve moved in and married, overcoming challenges like long-distance with panache. Just prior to their wedding, Sutton plans to sacrifice her New York career to move to San Francisco with Richard (holy recycled Gilmore Girls plotline from 2007) and start anew. It’s only when her boss, Oliver (the glue who holds the damn show together, quite honestly), gives her the promotion she’s been angling for that she decides to stay, throwing a wrench into the plan and eventually leading to their split. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the show would fight for a relationship to which they’d devoted hours upon hours of airtime? In their epic fight scene, Richard makes an excellent point—their major life decisions have rarely been instances of compromise; they’ve mostly been instances of him caving to her whims. As much as I’m loath to give a man credit for anything, he has been very patient and indulgent, sacrificing many of his own desires to act as Sutton’s support system. A decision that Sutton makes overnight and that they barely discuss shouldn’t be what ends their four-season relationship arc.
Second, when Sutton finds out that she’s pregnant, she’s pretty into it. When her friends ask her if she’s happy about the pregnancy, she earnestly responds that she is. Her relationship with Richard during this brief period deepens; he’s overprotective to a ridiculous degree, but until this point, they’d never acted quite so…married. As someone who has been married for nearly four years, the whole glamorous hot-sex dinner-party life they’d been leading is hardly realistic (not that anything on the damn show is realistic). Even the wedding they throw together in a matter of days is stunning and perfect. The scene where Richard accidentally takes allergy medicine instead of a painkiller and winds up half asleep and barely able to move? That’s some husband shit right there. When Sutton miscarries soon after and, numbly unable to grieve, discovers that she’s relieved about not having the baby, it makes perfect sense. She’s 26 (very young to be a mother these days) and on the precipice of beginning her dream career. Just as she couldn’t have predicted where she’d be now two years ago, she can’t predict where she’ll be in two years—a baby could have cost her so many opportunities. It’s only when Richard expresses an interest in immediately trying to conceive again (which, what the fuck, dude? Maybe don’t try to rush a woman who’s barely recovered from a miscarriage into immediately getting pregnant again.) and they agree upon a 5-year-plan that she begins to discover that she doesn’t want children at all. Adding deadlines always makes things stressful. Even five years, which seems like a pretty big window, is still a clock ticking down the seconds until you have to irreparably change your life. Sutton, still probably dealing with imbalanced hormones, stress, and grief from her lost pregnancy, gets thrown into a pressure-cooker. Again, as a person who actually wants a baby, sometimes I remind myself that doing so would prevent me from going out for random weeknight Mai Tais and it really throws me for a loop. Momming is a lot.
Third—speaking of moms, we’ve gotta talk about Babs. Sutton’s estranged mother, Babs, with whom she’d recently reconnected, is a serious alcoholic whose negligent parenting left Sutton to fend for herself her whole life. Since no one on this show will go to a goddamn therapist, Sutton’s disappointment in her mother’s many relapses breeds bitterness, resentment, and denial. Ask any woman with a rocky relationship with her mother (I am well-qualified to speak on the topic) and she’ll tell you that that particular childhood trauma complicates her relationship to her own pursuit of parenthood. Will I be the same way? Will I overcompensate in the other direction? Will I fuck my kid up? All you want is to give your kid a better life than the one you had, but who among us has the tools to be a perfect mother? Who could possibly ever be “ready” for it? For Sutton, whose mother’s negligence is tantamount to abuse and whose father was completely absent from her life save one meeting (and whose bizarre aversion to therapy has left her without perspective and coping tools), it is impossible that she has a healthy relationship to the idea of family. Throughout the series, Sutton is pathologically unable to accept help or charity from anyone, preferring to tough things out on her own. Mothering can, in real life, be very isolating, but what it should be (as anthropological observations bear out) is a community endeavor. Mothers must ask for help—from their spouses, their families, their friends. The phrase “it takes a village” is a cliché for a reason. Sutton’s happy marriage to a loving man has already triggered the ways in which she cannot function in “healthy” relationships. I mean, the man (who’s a millionaire!!!) tries to buy her a sewing machine for like $2,000 and she loses her mind. I wouldn’t think twice if someone tried to give me a $2,000 present, and all of our wedding rings total didn’t cost that much. Her inability to accept it is a knee-jerk, fear reaction that, AGAIN, could be worked through over years with a qualified psychotherapist. By refusing to seek professional help for her inability to seek help (ahh, the complexities of mental health), she manifests her greatest fear—the fracturing of her relationship with Richard.
And fourth, we gotta talk about that. I mean, not to be a shallow, materialistic monster, but the man has more money than God and lets you live rent-free in his apartment that must have cost more than most small towns in America. Your engagement ring alone definitely cost more than my car. He’s also been your rock while you’ve pursued your various dreams and has actually started working on his own emotional issues regarding his fraught relationship with his recently-deceased father. And he also offered to do 100% of the parenting while you go live your best life. I understand that this offer in itself runs counter to Sutton’s entire being and brings up her fears about being a bad mother and continuing the cycle of abuse, but on the other hand…you can’t just give this man a baby? I mean, Kat’s living in your makeshift bedroom now…where are you planning to go? This, I know, is a Bad Take™, but it’s the one that really tugs at my heartstrings (my husband and I have a similar age gap to Sutton and Richard but I’m definitely the Richard in the situation). I’d volunteer to fill Sutton’s shoes faster than Katniss Everdeen volunteers to fill Primrose’s. I go to therapy. I’d turn myself into a human Pez dispenser if I never had to earn money again.
But that’s entirely unfair of me. I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t believe Sutton, or that she bears an undue portion of the blame. Far from it. Hey, Richard—if you wanted to be a dad so badly, you couldn’t have gotten married before your early forties, to a woman your own age? “Unlucky in love” doesn’t apply to this extremely attractive, wealthy, intelligent man: men like this hold the keys to the world. Him being a bachelor into his forties was a choice, just like Sutton deciding not to have children is a choice. Men like Richard are given decades to put their careers first, to follow their ambitions, and as such, have no right to even suggest that women whose frontal lobes have only just finished developing stall or abandon their own dreams to raise his offspring. And I’m sorry, but his hypothetical, as-yet-non-existent children are more important to him than his relationship to the love of his life? What if Sutton did want children, but was unable to bring a baby to term? Are you open to adoption? Would you leave her if her inability to proliferate your DNA was a physical shortcoming, rather than a willful decision? Also, how could you legally marry someone before ever having one (1) discussion about children? Did you really think that the offhand comment “I want what [my friends] have” was sufficient to inform your future wife of your desire to procreate? Literally get the fuck out of here with your inability to effectively communicate.
Ultimately, neither of these people should be parents any time soon, and this show has a responsibility to start normalizing therapy and communication. Therapy is not just for people with mental illness or huge problems in their lives—therapy is a space where anyone (with health insurance or immense wealth because this country is an absolute dumpster fire) can go to talk things through, gain perspective, or simply unburden themselves of boring work stories so that they don’t stupefy their friends at Happy Hour. Sutton deserves better—not just better character development and storylines, but better treatment. No one should have to recover from the wounds of negligence and abuse on her own. Sutton has every resource available to her—it is incumbent upon the writers to grant her the dignity of peace of mind. And five, ten years from now, after regular therapy and a robust understanding of her issues? She may still not want kids, and that decision will be fucking rad. But the current writing trajectory leaves open the possibility for the dreaded prophesy of our nosy elders—that she will change her mind, undermining the hard-fought and hard-won rights of women who don’t wish to become mothers.
Good afternoon! It’s 400 degrees out and I honestly don’t have the energy for an intro.
Did you know that when your Pyrex lids get all cracked and shitty from years of use/the dishwasher, you can replace JUST THE LIDS? I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me in the past decade to do this, but I finally did and let me tell you—it’s a gamechanger. Full disclosure, I did buy them on Amazon because there was a better selection and the option for multi-packs, but c’mon. Can we briefly discuss this muted aqua color? If, perchance, you are reading this and not already a ride-or-die Pyrex stan, you must immediately make peace with your god and join us. Pyrex glassware lasts a lifetime, is microwave-safe, and will never get the inevitable tomato-sauce stain that plastic containers do. This beginner set, at least, is essential. I have easily three of these. This set is so sleek, so elegant. I am truly such a psycho that I bring a Pyrex container or two with me pretty much everywhere I go so that I can avoid plastic takeout containers at all costs.
Right now I’m reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and it’s checking all of the boxes. It’s fun, it’s provocative, it’s a mystery–I recommend it highly, especially for people who, like me, knew virtually nothing about the Sikh religion.
I guess I’m using quarantine to develop a new personality, because I just got a bunch of fun eyeliners and eyeshadows from Glossier? I got the Colorslide in “Stable Relationship,” “Early Girl,” and “Hardcore Velvet,” and the Skywash in “Pool” and “Lawn.” I’ve basically been wearing the exact same makeup look, if you can even call it that, for my entire twenties (just winged black liquid eyeliner and a matte lipstick in the red/pink/mauve family). I cannot endorse these products enough–I usually hate eyeshadow and think I look terrible in it, but I’m a convert now.
It’s my birthday in roughly 40 days, so please get me these earrings, they’re all I want. In both metals, to match all of my looks.
The most important song on earth to me right now is “Bummer Days” by Liza Anne. Who can relate?
Good morning! I’ve made an extremely controversial decision and started writing the date the British way, because (I capitulate) it makes more sense and is more aesthetically pleasing. This, from the same woman who changed her iPhone to 24-hour time in England and was perpetually confused for 3 weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not conceding in the aluminum vs. aluminium debate. Also, what a fuck-you thing to do on “Independence Day” weekend, innit?
Anyway, it’s been a big week for culture, so let’s get to it:
The most important thing that has ever happened in my entire life happened this week, and it’s the TRILOGY of Las Culturistas‘ “Top 200 Moments in Culture History.” It has moved me. It has shaped me. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I gasped.
Miel’s album is coming out on 22 July and we simply have to stan! Her new single, “Must Be Fine” is avail to stream on Spotify right now!
The last thing I need is an excuse to drink, but I love a lemon drop.
I finally got the crossbody of my dreams for a ridiculous price. Call me basic all you want, but it’s a classic MJ shape. One day I will have the finances to justify a full-price, current season, actualMarc Jacobs bag, but today is not that day. Okay okay okay, maybe I also got this one too, but literally how could I not at that price??
I got this moisturizer in my Causebox and I really like it. It’s super lightweight, smells great, and has SPF 30. I also got this serum, which I haven’t tried yet, but apparently I’m supposed to be using hyaluronic acid all the time now? All of my products seem to have it. I guess 28 is old in skincare years.
Currently binge-eating these lentil chips, and concerned about the subscription option…quitting wheat (based on my Everlywell results) has been a journey!
Please don’t judge me for the particular retailer, but I may have gotten this case set for my new MacBook, and this ergonomic mousepad set for my work computer. Between the computer, my phone case, and my ribcage tattoo, I am way, way too on brand. Perhaps next is just blowing this print up and hanging it in my office?
I read The Cactus by Sarah Haywood this week and in spite of myself, really liked it. The Eleanor Oliphant comparison is apt; they both have wildly unlikable protagonists. Like, truly, awful people you’d never want to be around. I will say, I think Susan’s about-face is a tad abrupt (I know motherhood is a moment, but like, probably try therapy instead of having a baby).
We finally set up our AppleTV (and by we, I mean my husband bought it off a friend over a year ago and it sat unused in his office, until I got frustrated attempting to screen mirror with our TV on Friday and set it up), so we will be using that to watch Hamilton on Disney+ (which we have a year free trial of through our mobile provider).
Speaking of D+, anyone else just counting down the minutes until Black Is King?
As the foremost millennial scholar and fan of the 1982-1993 sitcom Cheersand its spinoff, Frasier(1993-2004), I believe it is my sacred duty to write about them, and to air my many grievances against the shows and their glaring inconsistencies. I should clarify that I love these shows with my entire heart…it is because I care that I must criticize. This is the first installment of what I genuinely plan to turn into an academic/cultural study of Frasier, as outlined in my first ever Library School assignment.
Frasier is a show about male familial bonding, but Frasier Crane moves 3,000 miles away from his only son to “start over.” You’d think the conceit of Frasier would be that he moved back to Seattle to take care of his father after he’s shot in the line of duty, but Marty moves in with him after he’s well established in Seattle.
Frasier never mentions being from Seattle on Cheers. Also, though I don’t have the episode, I swear Norm mentions being from the Chicago area in an early episode of Cheers; in the later seasons, in one of the episodes with Kevin McHale, Norm references going to Celtics games with his father as a kid.
In the pilot of Frasier, Frasier explains that just six months ago, his wife left him, and that at the time, he contemplated suicide by climbing out onto a ledge. However, in the final season of Cheers, after the infamous ledge scene, Lilith goes to live in an eco-pod with her (deranged) lover for roughly six months. When she returns, Frasier rejects her proposal that they reunite, but the show leaves open the possibility of reconciliation. Frasier begins after all of these events, the divorce with Lilith being finalized, Frasier moving to Seattle, setting up a residence, and establishing a new career in radio. The timeline just doesn’t add up, sorry!
To that point, on Frasier, Frasier often refers to Lilith with contempt, which is unfounded; even during their separation after her infidelity, he always regards her with respect and admiration. In fact, on Cheers, Frasier and Lilith are perhaps one of the all-time best TV couples; the circumstance of their divorce and animosity are creations simply to justify the premise of Frasier.
We meet Frasier’s mother, Hester, in season three, episode 8 of Cheers, yet Frasier makes several references throughout the series to both his parents being dead. Then the spinoff, Frasier, centers around his relationship with his heretofore dead father, Martin. (The explanation in The Show Where Sam Shows Up is so weak it’s nauseating; later, when Woody resurfaces on Frasier, he casually mentions having heard of Martin. Why would Woody know more about Frasier’s family history than Sam, his closest friend?) Also, Niles is never mentioned in Cheers; the only characters on Cheers with confirmed siblings that we meet are Sam, Carla, and Rebecca.
Furthermore, on Cheers, Frasier’s mother literally threatens to murder Diane with a gun, but in season five of Frasier, Marty Crane extolls his late wife’s gentle nature. Hester, played in flashbacks by Rita Wilson, is the picture of domesticity, which contradicts her insane behavior on Cheers, as well as the established fact that she was a serious research scientist, much like Lilith.
In season one of Cheers, it is established that Sam Malone had been married prior to the show beginning. We even meet his ex-wife in season 1, episode 2. But shortly thereafter, any and all mention of this is dropped, and his character is portrayed as a lifelong bachelor.
Frasier’s first wife, Nanette, is played, in order of appearance, by Emma Thompson, Dina Waters, and Laurie Metcalf. Recasting is normal (I mean, Emma Thompson was busy), but did they think the audience wouldn’t notice her no longer being British?
Eddie the dog is played by two different dogs: the original, and his actual biological son. Again, this is normal—how long do dogs realistically live? But Eddie looks younger in the later seasons than he does in the earlier seasons, and seems to be utilized less and less as the series progresses. Wasted potential, as Eddie was obviously the glue holding the Cranes together (and this, coming from someone unfriendly to the canine species!)
And finally: how dare these shows pretend like Bebe Neuwirth isn’t hot? Her mere presence could melt Carbon. Bebe Neuwirth is so attractive that a friend of ours (who shall remain nameless) famously asked my husband “Have you had yourself to Lilith yet?” A fox of the stone cold variety. Please put some respect on Emmy and Tony-winner Bebe Neuwirth.
Bonus grievance: as a proud (?) Bostonian, NARY a cast member of Cheers had a half-way decent Boston accent, except for my beloved Coach (RIP), a Rhody native.
Next time, we tackle Niles, to whom I feel a potent sexual attraction. What does that say about me as a person? Tune in next week.
I’ve made no secret of my obsession with stand-up comedy. Both of my favorite stand-up podcasts have ended their runs (Put Your Hands Together and 2 Dope Queens), so I’ve been bingeing specials just to feel whole again. And what better time to immerse yourself than during a quarantine? I live in a state that is sort of opening up, and has a decent-ish handle on COVID, but I’m not taking any chances. Imagine if I died to go out to, like, Bertucci’s. Or worse, imagine if I went out, got asymptomic COVID, and infected someone else! The level of selfishness of my fellow man never ceases to amaze. All of which is to say, wear a fucking mask, take what precautions you can, and find things to do at home. Might I suggest…watching these? For your pleasure, a list of the specials I’ve watched since stay-at-home orders went into effect. There will be more.
*these are all on Netflix unless otherwise listed
Taylor Tomlinson, Quarter Life Crisis
Fortune Feimster, Sweet & Salty
Pete Davidson, Alive From New York
Alice Wetterlund, My Mama is a Human and So Am I (Amazon)
Michelle Wolf, Joke Show
Gary Gulman, The Great Depresh [x2] (HBO)
Hannah Gadsby, Douglas
Seth Meyers, Lobby Baby
Marc Maron, End Times Fun [x2]
Joe Mande, Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Show
Jenny Slate, Stage Fright
Trevor Noah, Son of Patricia
Patton Oswalt, I Love Everything
W. Kamau Bell, Private School Negro
Eric Andre, Legalize Everything
Whitmer Thomas, The Golden One (HBO)
Ronny Chieng, Asian Comedy Destroys America!
Simon Amstell, Set Free
Donald Glover, Weirdo
Judah Friedlander, America is the Greatest Country in the United States
Does this list already exist on the internet? Maybe it does! Who cares! The last time my husband and I watched 30 Rock, I literally kept a pen and notebook in the living room and recorded each one, because I care. Tag yourself—I’m (blank-budget cuts).
Good day, sunshines! This is only…three days late. That’s fine! And I’ve changed the name of this again because I can’t commit to anything! How I didn’t think of this extremely basic pun in the past 5 years is beyond me. And on that note, I’ve been writing this blog for five years. My how time flies when the world is falling apart.
I started bingeing The Bold Type recently and *very Joan Jett voice* I hate myself for loving it!!
I almost bought these Pride Pumas because I’m predictable.
Ziwe Fumudoh has been doing the most iconic Instagram lives and watching the reposts is one of my singular sources of joy in this terrible world!
I’ve long wanted to become a headband person, but I have impossible hair and wear glasses, so things about the ears can be a bit tricky. This Madewell scarf/band is a DREAM. It actually stays in place and is so, so cute.
This TED Talk was assigned for my Library Science course, and man do I love me some Adichie.
Morning! From the title, it may seem like I’m ambivalent about my father (hardly the case), but I am deeply ambivalent about “Hallmark holidays,” because I am a joyless person. Mother’s/Father’s Day just feels like a marketing scheme for bougie brunch places, my favorite of all the places that I’d prefer not be clogged with toddlers while I’m trying to enjoy my mimosa. See? Joyless! And now I’ve made myself crave a mimosa, though I have neither orange juice nor sparkling wine. Chardonnay and lemonade? Y/N? (I’m writing this on Saturday morning, so it’s not out of the question that I may nip off to the store.)
Speaking of the store, I still haven’t returned to grocery shopping, but I plan to resume in the very near future. I have gone to Target briefly a couple of times. I hate wearing the mask—it gives me so much anxiety and for some reason, I clench my jaw really tightly underneath. Is that a thing? But obviously, as I’m not a MORON WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, I rock a mask 100% of the time I’m out in public. Which brings me to my next gripe:
People BE going to restaurants with outdoor seating and not wearing masks! What the actual hell? I have been isolated in my house for 100 days! Do you know how emotionally difficult that is for someone with depression? I’m simultaneously living my best and worst lives, missing my friends and family, for what? So that a few absolute knobs can cause a spike in infections that keeps us home until I’m in my mid-thirties? Absolutely not! I haven’t been able to get my teeth cleaned or my glasses prescription updated, but you can have fried clams overlooking the beach? Please eject yourselves into the sea.
Have I complained sufficiently? Haha, it feels good to be back on this, my public private place to talk to myself.
Speaking of my delicate skin, unable as it is to produce melanin, I have given myself over to the gods of Curology. A friend recommended it to me, as my prior attempts at skincare consisted of occasionally using an oil cleanser and forgetting to take my eye makeup off at night. It’s only been three days, so I’m not seeing a visible difference, but my skin feels really soft and I’ve actually started to maintain a nightly skincare ritual, which is a small miracle.
Speaking of custom products designed specifically for me, I also caved and ordered Prose. I heat process my hair twice a week (or so) to varying degrees, I dye it, and my hair is naturally very curly and dry, so I’m giving actually taking care of it a go. I went all in and ordered the oil too, because why not? I truly can’t believe it took until I started going gray for me to actually give a shit about taking care of my hair, but there’s no sense in dwelling on the past.
I have tentatively begun home workouts. I have a legitimate phobia of exercise or movement generally (I legitimately talk about this in therapy, it’s a long story). I have sobbed in gym parking lots, unable to walk in. I successfully completed this video without having a panic attack, so I’m going to see what else Miss Adriene has to offer. I’d really like to check out some body-positive yogis, so plz lemme know whomst to Google. I’m not averse to a paywall!
Even though it’s 14,000 degrees out, I was in the mood for a really big Cab the other day, so I tried out Bread & Butter‘s. When I drink reds, I tend to like them less bold, like Pinot Noirs, but I began my wine journey as a Cab girl and I’ve gotta honor my roots! Also, we’re chilling our red wines, right? The hill I will die on is that we all drink whites too cold and reds way too warm.
We finally bought *actually good* Bluetooth speakers and it has been a game changer. We got this one for me (super portable!) and this one for our house. In addition to awesome sound quality, they’re such fun pops of color against our mostly black-and-white decor. And big bonus, they have a “party mode,” so you can play music from both of them at the same time. Surround-sound!
I’ve been on something of a health journey lately; without going into too much detail, I’m trying to be more mindful about food and making sure I’m actually nourished. I customized a May Designs notebook to keep track of my meals, water intake, and, yes, exercise. It’s super cute, and I feel like it will be something I keep reordering.
Alt. Subtitle: I wrote about my feelings because of course I did
I started a post a few weeks ago that I wanted to be a long, comprehensive guide to anti-racist activism. I wanted to signal boost the work of Black and marginalized creators. I had big dreams! I kept the title of the post, because when I look back at my own body of work/internet footprint, I want it to reflect what I actually stand for. Here’s how that post started:
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to announce as loud as we possibly fucking can that BLACK LIVES MATTER and ACAB. And in the spirit of these two tenets that guide my beliefs/value system, let us proceed with an (incomplete) list of things you can actually do from home to make a difference re: the current news cycle.
I mean, we’ve known J.K. Rowling was a TERF, but she’s such a bigoted TERF that she managed to distract from worldwide protests for racial justice with a few tweets. She retweeted this article! I couldn’t even make it past the first couple of paragraphs because it was so dumb and hateful! To insinuate that lesbians are the most marginalized letter in the queer initialism is simply too much to bear, especially considering that Black trans women are NOTORIOUSLY the most targeted demographic on this earth. We are *literally* in the middle of a civil rights movement about abolishing the oppressive forces that allow for the unchecked murder of Black folks, particularly Black trans folks. I’m not saying it’s easy to be queer—every demographic in the LGBTQIA+ community experiences undue pain and burden because we live in a society that is still evolving, but my god, a straight cis-woman callously using lesbians to spout anti-trans hate speech? Retire, bitch.
This article has a super thorough list of ways to support Black trans people right now, from signing petitions to donations.
Remember to unfollow anyone who posts hate speech and to use your dollar wisely. Don’t support or buy from any person or institution that is anti-Black or anti-trans.
Well, the Lindsey Graham stuff was going to come out eventually (pun not intended). I will never be able to see a ladybug again without throwing up, and if you don’t know what I mean, please don’t Google it and traumatize yourself. I’ve curated an internet experience for myself in which I actually didn’t see any overtly homophobic jokes about him; I just saw the reactions, from which two very important themes emerged: a. Most homophobes are straight and b. No one should be outed…unless they’ve devoted their career to enacting policies harmful to the LGBTQ community, in which case, fuck them and their hypocritical bullshit. Him being gay is not the butt of the joke, and internalized homophobia is real, but Lindsey Graham is a piece of human garbage who deserves to be removed from office. Click here to donate to his opponent, Jaime Harrison. I don’t know that much about him beyond the Issues section of his site (not exactly a leftist, is he?), but he would be a vast improvement for South Carolina and we need more people of color in Congress.
Pretty well-intentioned, right? I mean, I guess. But in my haste to address the issues of the day, I think it bears noting that my first two points, while both containing links to donate to causes that help Black folks, are still ostensibly about white people. In all the internet chatter, what stood out most to me were queer issues centering white people. Issues that pertain more immediately to my identity and concerns. That’s not allyship. Yes, I’d been donating, retweeting, posting 20 Instagram stories a day with links to anti-racist resources, but I was still thinking about myself. So I took some time to listen and reflect on what I could do that would actually effect change. And none of that is going to take place here. It’s going to take place in Boston at protests. It’s going to take place at really awkward family dinners where I have to explain that there aren’t, in fact, “lots of good cops.” I can’t participate in blatant slacktivism and give myself a pat on the back because I posted a link to a change.org petition.
This is a dumb blog that no one reads that I created when I was 23 and wanted to be Alison Roman, or whomever the Alison Roman was five years ago I chose the name “Della Bites” because it was supposed to be a recipe blog. My cat’s name is Della, and “della” means “of the” in Italian…it was a poor attempt at a pun, and I committed really hard by buying the domain. It evolved into a place where I just share things that I like, be they leopard-print peacoats or esoteric Netflix comedies. So while the real work has to happen off-line, what I can do here is make a more conscious effort to boost Black-owned businesses and support Black and Indigenous creators, artists, and activists. Black Americans make up roughly 15% of the population; it stands to reason that 15% or more of everything that I share or talk about should reflect that. I already have a ton of guilt about the capitalist “window-shopping” aspect of this blog, which conflicts with my increasingly communist-leaning values; by sharing content from primarily white creators, I’m a participant in white supremacy. There’s no getting around that.
So, ultimately, fuck our good intentions. They’re not good enough. Actions speak louder than words, and no amount of my white self-aggrandisement will stop police from killing Black Americans unchecked, corporations (and the Supreme Fucking Court) from bulldozing sacred territory for pipelines, or the Earth from careening into the sun. When you scroll through Instagram, do you mostly see white faces? When you shop online, are all the models thin and white? If that’s been your normal for your entire life (*raises hand*), you don’t even notice it until you start looking. The first step of actually doing something is by looking in the mirror and taking accountability for your own racism (and not by doing a black-and-white front-facing celebrity video).
I vow to do better in my private and public lives. And if I fail, I want my white friends to call me out, because the onus is not on people of color to make sure white folks are doing the work. Change is already in the air—it’s palpable. We’re living through a Civil Rights Movement, and as bleak as things seem right now, I’ve never felt more hopeful and energized to participate. So things around here (and on my socials, etc) are going back to “business as usual,” but I want that to reflect a new “usual” or normal.” I worry that even this post is taking space away from folks whose voices we need to hear more than mine, but you gotta write what you know.