Things I Read That I Love #296: She is Also Tiny and Platinum Blond With a Look of Engineered Disaster About Her

HELLO and welcome to the 296th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about what I’ve been doing on my mental health break! (A LOT OF READING) This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.


The Quickening, by Leslie Jamison for The Atlantic, September 2019

I love everything this woman writes so much. (Also just a heads-up that this essay talks about the author’s eating disorder, but doesn’t mention specific numbers.)

Desire was a way of taking up space, but it was embarrassing to have too much desire—in the same way it had been embarrassing for there to be too much of me, or to want a man who didn’t want me. Yearning for things was slightly less embarrassing if I denied myself access to them, so I grew comfortable in states of longing without satisfaction. I came to prefer hunger to eating, epic yearning to daily loving. But during pregnancy, years later, the ghost of that old skeletal girl sloughed off like a snakeskin.

Heather Armstrong, Queen of the Mommy Bloggers, by Lisa Belkin for The New York Times Magazine, February 2011

I’ve been reading a lot about blogs but like what people said about blogs a long time ago, like for example this blog.

Upstart Crossword Puzzle Builders Get Their Point Across (and Down), by Peter Rubin for WIRED Magazine, September 2019

I do a ton of crossword puzzles and am both bamboozled by some of the VERY politically incorrect answers and by the occasionally surprisingly progressive answers (this piece mention “lesbian” showing up in a Times crossword recently which you bet your ass I noticed) but also had sort of assumed that the archaic nature of some crossword answers was just par for the crossword course but guess what PEOPLE are changing that!!!

A duo of articles for you:

This is How Things Work Now at G/O Media, by Laura Wagner for Deadspin, August 2019

This article was published on August 2nd and details how the company got rid of women and replaced them with white men the new owner had worked with previously, or hired men to work over women who’d been doing their jobs successfully for years,  and that was really just the beginning of the issues at Gizmodo Media Group since its acquisition.  if you read it you will not be surprised by the subsequent publication of this article:

The Adults in The Room, by Megan Greenwell for Deadspin, August 2019

Probably one of my favorite things I have read all year.

“The only idealistic belief at Gawker Media was that a journalistic enterprise could make money without scamming people; the guiding principle at Forbes and sites of its ilk was that scams are good as long as they make money.”

The air conditioning trap: how cold air is heating the world, by Stephen Buranyi for THe Guardian, September 2019

I read this with great interest while an air conditioner blew on me.

Watching a Spectacular Public Meltdown With Just a Hint of Jealousy, by Sarah Hepola for The New York Times, August 2012

(Worth noting, as the possibility for both is mentioned in this piece, that both Hepola and Cat Marnell did indeed write their books)

“This feels a little unprocessed,” I told writers who shared their tales of date rape and eating disorders, but it was hard to deny that the internal chaos, that fog of confusion, could make for compelling reading, like dispatches from inside a siege. Yet “unprocessed” was exactly what Marnell’s pieces were, and damned if I couldn’t stop devouring them.

How Queer People Brought Some Actual Reality to Dating-Reality TV, by Jenna Wortham for The New York Times, August 2019

Part of the thrill of watching “Are You the One?” is that it feels more real, more honest. You get the uncanny sense that the contestants’ identities aren’t as mediated, because they are all used to performing, whether or not they’re being televised.

How Whitney Wolfe Herde Changed the Dating Game, by Sarah Hepola for Texas Monthly, February 2018

Um, also this post led me to THIS post and holy wow. Anyhow this is what is happening regarding women and men dating each other on dating apps, specifically Bumble. Or what was happening in February 2018 but listen IDK it was interesting.

People like rules. This is one of the dirty secrets of human behavior. An enormous amount of anxiety in the dating world derives from not knowing exactly what the rules are. Should you text her after two days? Or two hours? Would splitting the check with him be a sign of disinterest or decency? Over on Tinder, where the perception is that everyone is neck-deep in casual sex and naked selfies, I’ve witnessed something quite different happening: nothing. My Tinder matches are a long scroll of people I never heard from once. He was attracted to me, I was attracted to him. But when no one has to make the first move, it’s often the case that everyone does diddly-squat.

The Swimming Pool Library, by Naomi Skwarna for Hazlitt, August 2019

At one point she mentions that “the public pool was (and is) a place where class was visually erased, swimming attire being more-or-less universalizing” and I was like oh wow, that’s true, I’d never thought of it like that!

Pools are naturally erotic, like the language we use to describe them—aquamarine, sapphire, azure, and cerulean—all the horny words for a blue you can’t quite hold onto. They are also natural sites of tension (drowning, social exclusion, sunburn). They are places where we reveal our bodies to each other in public anonymously, above and below water. Pools were the first public spaces where it was socially acceptable to be somewhat undressed, and cinema, like the Esther Williams aquamusicals of the 1940s, normalized the female body in a tight maillot, bullet tits and all.

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2744 articles for us.

7 Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed that crossword article, and it reminded me a bit of a book I read recently – Word by Word by Kory Stamper, a Merriam-Webster lexicographer who details, amongst other things, her fight to have certain offensive and outdated dictionary entries rewritten. Word-nerd subversive resistance 4ever!

    • I have noticed a sudden upswing in the use of a derogatory term for getting ripped off that refers to gypsies. People seemed surprised to learn it’s a shitty term. I hadn’t heard it in years and suddenly a bunch of people at work were spraying it around. 😕

      • Ugh. I remember being surprised to learn that word’s history too, but that was like a decade or two ago. There’s so much cultural baggage embedded in our language and I know it can take time for mainstream discourse to readjust, but one would hope it would happen a bit faster than that.

  2. Look, I *know* air conditioning is awful and damaging and leading to the impending heatdeath of the universe BUT as someone who seems to run 5 degrees warmer than everyone else, global warming is gonna have to pry climate controlled rooms from my sweaty hands.

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