Let me start by saying that I know I present a brash, cocksure type of image on the internet. I like to imagine an old man reading my blog posts and saying something like “the girl’s got moxie.” I like to think I seem very self-confident on here.
But the truth is that I looked in the mirror this morning and got very afraid that I was gaining weight. The truth is that, starting out, I was really very worried that nobody would read these blog posts. Who was gonna want to read my writing? Who was gonna care what I thought about body image?
I even got a little scared that somebody was going to get offended. I imagined an old British woman, clutching her chest and saying, “Well, I never.”
I imagined a lot of people seeing my posts and saying, “Who does this Rachel think she is? We’re supposed to care what this loser thinks?”
And I guess my point is that women get that kind of thing a lot. Especially women who aren’t exactly like, super gorgeous. Take this Tina Fey quote:
“I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women, though, they’re all ‘crazy.’ I have a suspicion—and hear me out, because this is a rough one—that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”
I really worry about how ingrained this idea is in our society, and I worry about how it’s been affecting me. I can’t tell you how many times I’d start a post only to think, “this isn’t anything new, is it? Haven’t enough people written about comic book sexism or female representation on television or butts?”
And I guess what I’m trying to get at is that’s some dangerous thinking. Yeah, a million people have written about this stuff, but it’s hardly fixed any of these problems, has it?
So I don’t see how it can hurt for one more voice to be out there talking about these issues and fighting the good fight.
And I hope it doesn’t seem brash or cocksure of me to say that it takes a lot of courage to like yourself, but it takes even more courage to tell people you like yourself. There’s something revolutionary, I think, about a woman getting up every day and deciding that she’s great and that she’s not going to pretend that she doesn’t think she’s great. Take, for instance, this social experiment a girl conducted, where she just agreed with the compliments men gave her on dating websites.
Society expects a weird amount of false modesty from women, and we should be worried about that. Society expects us to be down on ourselves, which is why it’s important that we be as full of ourselves as possible.
And step one of that is just deciding that your opinion is valid, and what you have to say is valid, and that your voice is just as important as every other voice that’s talking about an issue.
I wrote that post about comic books because it’s something I care about. When I first e-mailed it to my fabulous editor, Molly McCaffrey, I’m pretty sure I included a note to the effect of “sorry if I’m rambling a bit…”
And I said that because I was worried that people would think I was talking too much. Because women, am I right? They talk too much.
And my point is that, no, we don’t. My blog posts are great, screw you. I’m great, screw you. A woman is allowed to keep talking even after “no one wants to fuck her anymore.”
It’s hard to believe that your opinion is worthwhile. But my point is that the more I write and the more I read, the more I start to believe that there’s nothing wrong with what I’m saying.
In 2014 Amy Schumer gave a speech at the Gloria Awards and Gala, and while you should really read the whole thing, towards the end she says something that I think every woman should try to remember the next time she’s looking in the mirror and getting afraid that she’s gained weight:
“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you…I am not my weight.”
I was genuinely nervous about doing this internship, but I wrote every post because, you know, I was getting class credit for it.
But I also did it because these are things I’m worried about, and they affect me, and they affect the women around me.
If you take anything from these posts I’ve been doing, it should be that everybody has something worth saying, and everybody can add to the conversation.
So I want to close out this incredible semester by saying what a great experience it was writing on a blog that’s concerned with making women like themselves. And in all sincerity, sappy as it may sound, thank you so much for reading this stuff I wrote. Thanks for letting me ramble, and thanks for letting me have opinions, and thanks for making me really feel like what I’m saying is worthwhile.
And a big thanks to Molly McCaffrey, for basically being the most supportive and awesome editor and blog maker ever. Seriously, she’s the greatest.