HELLO and welcome to the 324th 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 know more about LuLaRoe!!! 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 Escalating Costs of Being Single in America, by Anne Helen Peterson for Vox, December 2021
“When we talk about all the ways it’s become harder and harder for people to find solid financial footing in the middle class, we have to talk about how our society is still set up in a way that makes it much easier for single people to fall through the cracks.”
The Future Is Not Only Useless, It’s Expensive, by Dan Brooks for Gawker, December 2021
“And this is why the future, be it NFTs or Memoji or the howling existential horror of the Metaverse, looks so ugly and boring: it reflects the stunted inner lives of the finance and technology professionals who produced it. As the visual manifestation of cryptocurrency, NFT art combines the nuanced social awareness of computer programmers with the soulful whimsy of hedge fund managers. It is art for people whose imaginations have been absolutely captured by a new kind of money you can do on the computer.”
Debt Demands a Body, by Kristin Collier for Longreads, November 2021
The author’s Mom took out hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in her name to fund her gambling addiction; and the weight of that, atop the student loan debt the author legitimately took out, it takes a toll.
They Don’t Make Heterosexuals Like Pamela Des Barres Anymore, by Sophie Atikinson for Gawker, January 2021
To see the world through Pamela’s eyes is to enter a parallel reality where sweetly ordinary-looking men are transformed into supermodels and monologuing stoners are profound and subversive thinkers.
The Epic Family Feud Behind an Iconic American Weight-Loss Camp for Kids, by David Gauvey Herbert for Bloomberg Businessweek, August 2021
I swear every kid I knew whose parents thought they needed to lose weight were sent to camps like these, and I’d see their ads everywhere, and then there was that MTV show. I of course went on a small journey to their website and was surprised by how much it seems to contradict the current state of the program as described in this article!
Simon Rex Doesn’t Want to Be That Guy Anymore, by Nate Jones for New York Magazine, November 2021
Do you remember this man??? I remember this man! We were all obsessed with him in high school ’cause he was hotttttt and on MTV. His picture was on some bedroom walls. And I guess ultimately I didn’t really know anything about him until I read this at the nail salon.
Kevin Durant and (Possibly) the Greatest Basketball Team of All Time, by Sam Anderson for The New York Times, June 2021
Sam Anderson has been one of my favorite journalists for ten million years now I think, like generally although I enjoy basketball it’s not my favorite topic to read about but when he writes about it, surprise it is!
The Boy King of YouTube, by Jay Caspian King for The New York Times, January 2022
YOU KNOW I’M A SUCKER FOR GROWN-UPS WRITING ABOUT THE STUFF ON THE COMPUTER TV THAT THE KIDDOS ARE WATCHING!!! This one is about a boy who is famous for playing with toys on YouTube, like 500 million people watch videos of him playing with legos???
In Praise of Bad Taste, by Lindsay Zolaz for Bookforum, Dec/Jan/Feb 2022
“Tackiness, it would seem, has always been in the eye of the beholder—a disapproving audience, real or imagined, clicking their proverbial tongues. They usually judge from the other side of some perceived divide, whether cultural, socioeconomic, or generational.?
My Friend’s Life Was Ruined* by a Magnolia Network Home Makeover *made worse for quite awhile, by Meg Conley for Home Culture, January 2022
I… can’t believe that the homeowners have to pay for the entire renovation themselves for a reality TV show??? I also read this girl’s story on her own instagram, which included a lot of text message exchanges, and it’s remarkable how many weeks and months she was so polite and understanding and kind and full of exclamation points despite it being clear that Candis had fucked up hard! Personally it um doesn’t take much for me to transition from chipper to obviously annoyed, I was impressed by her patience.
What the LuLaRich Documentary Left Out, by Anne Helen Peterson for Culture Study, September 2021
Anyhow and then from that post, I landed here! I love Anne Helen Peterson’s brain and look forward to reading more Culture Study. ANYHOW so Meg grew up in the Mormon Church in Orange County and knows Deanne of LuLaRoe from back then, and her insight on it all pulls on so much personal experience and cultural history, it’s really fascinating. She talks about how embedded MLMs are in Mormon culture and doctrine (which the documentary suggested as well), which is fascinating ’cause I grew up in a super liberal town where MLMs were everywhere too (my Mom did Tupperware for a bit, there was always a lot of Amway going around). She gets really deep into how various Mormon beliefs are intrinsic to MLMs and then also how the documentary centered whiteness and it’s really cool stuff!