Archive for the 'guest post' Category


This is a guest post from Fraylie. I love the way she writes, which is why I have her on here so often.

Last week, my roommate, Jessica, and I sat in a Union Square coffee shop while donning two newly purchased felted wool hats. Jessica’s was a demure dusty rose with an elegant grosgrain hatband in “whiskey.” Mine looked like Indiana Jones had stumbled onto a Vogue cover shoot, unsuccessfully trying to appear brooding and coquettish. We were sipping hot chocolate (because that’s what damsels in hats drink) while waiting for a screening of The Hunger Games and my inevitable need to feel awkwardly attracted to the baby faced Peeta Mellark.

Forever alone, I joked. I exaggerated the sigh preceding my habitual quip with Jessica when we talk about our prolonged illness called singledom.

Two thirty-something women sat beside us. I heard one of them say to the other well why don’t you just try OkCupid? Jessica and I bit our lips and looked at each other sympathetically. We had both forayed into that online cornucopia of lovelorn couch surfers with poor results. Before I had time to put my foot in my mouth, I leaned over in their direction.

“Don’t do it,” I chirped, pulling at the brim of my hat. Half expecting my comment to go unnoticed, I was surprised by their enthusiasm during what became an hour-long conversation about finding love in New York City.

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buzzcut beauty

This is a guest post from Rebecca Neff Brown. She sent me a photo of herself with buzzed hair and I was like, “OH MY GOD, Please write a guest post for me!” Because she is obviously awesome, and because I am a passionate proponent of buzzcuts. I’m letting her introduce herself:

I’m a personal stylist and fat fashion blogger. I live in Seattle, WA with my beardly and amazing husband, Bob, and our little, furry dog named Waffles. Recently I got a buzzcut, and I love it, and now I am going to tell you ALL about it.

I knew it was coming. The buzzcut.

I had grown my hair out for years after a particularly jarring haircut that made me look, in my husband’s words, like a Romulan. After two years of growing it out, it was luscious and long and braidable. I got tired of it and just cut it all off one day. Not buzzed-short, but short. And then I got it cut shorter. Then I buzzed the sides. Then I cut the top shorter…. It was calling to me, the buzzcut. It was only a matter of time before I went all the way.

It was rainy and freezing, and I found an amazing parking spot right across the street from the barber shop where my husband gets his hair cut. I felt like it was destiny, getting a good parking spot like that. The shop wasn’t crowded at all, it was a Thursday afternoon. Out came the clippers with the #4 guard, and off came my hair.

And readers? I love it.

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Kate on March 18th 2012 in beauty, body, guest post

An announcement

So it’s Body Image Warrior Week– the fabulous creation of Sally McGraw (of Already Pretty fame)! We’re hooking up with NEDA for NEDAwareness Week and drawing attention to the need to talk about body image. All of the BIWW participants submitted a post and we’re now featuring those posts on our blogs. Here’s the one I picked. It’s by Rosie Molinary:

Years ago, there was an ad (Nike?) that I just loved.  It read:

You are born.  And oh, how you wail! Your first breath is a scream. Not timid or low, but selfish and shattering, with all the force of waiting nine months under water. Your whole life should be like that: An announcement.

I tore it out when I saw it and plastered it on my vision wall in my bedroom, my eyes focused on those words: an announcement.  Could I live my life like an announcement? And would the way I lived my life be worthy of an announcement?

I am reminded of that ad when I watch my son, in his full self-possession, move through the world.  He is irrepressible, embodied joy, electric.  He, indeed, lives his life as an announcement.  He’s not scared to make an announcement, and he is certainly not scared that his announcement isn’t good enough.  Just by being, his announcement is special, he reminds me.

Every single child begins that way- we all begin self-possessed and confident about our announcement.  All of us come into this world playing big, not small.  We don’t suppress our cries or laughs or joys.  We don’t think badly of ourselves.  We live life as an announcement and what we have to announce feels worthy, valuable, like a gift to the world.


But, too often, somewhere on the way to adulthood, something shifts.  Our sense of our own brilliance fades.  Our understanding of our own beauty dims.  Our announcement is quieted.  Maybe it was the media that overwhelmed us.  With instant access to information, with thousands of images shot at us every day, maybe we digested and internalized too much of the scrutiny.  Maybe it was an unintended slight that stung us or a comment that someone delivered flippantly that we have held onto forever.  Maybe it was not being chosen for this or being ignored by them, maybe it was a loss so significant that it still seems like our soul is empty from it.  Maybe it was the way our body matured into adulthood that felt like a betrayal, or the way that it didn’t.

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Kate on February 29th 2012 in guest post

getting pregnant killed the skinny voices

This is a guest post from Nicolette, who sent me an email saying “I wrote something that should probably be on your blog.” I agreed, and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on what it takes to stop the voices that tell us we should be skinny. Because those damn things can be incredibly persistent. 

The pressure has always been there, ever since I was old enough to notice bodies or to read Teen magazine (who is that younger version of myself who actually had a subscription to that magazine? 2012 Nikki can barely recognize her).  It was the pressure to be a certain kind of pretty, to wear make-up, to do my hair a certain way, to have certain clothes, and to be skinny like all the models whose bones played the role of hanger to each month’s trends.

I studied those magazines like they were bibles, and I went to insane lengths to meet their standards.  I showered every single morning.  Every morning I straightened my naturally wavy hair before caking on a layer of foundation/eyeliner/eye shadow/et al.  I felt wrong leaving the house without straight hair, wouldn’t have dreamt of going out without make up.  But the biggest pressure of all was always the pressure to be skinny, horrifyingly, “perfectly” skinny.  Like the hanger women in the magazines.

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Kate on February 24th 2012 in beauty, body, guest post

an ode to beards

This is a post from Fraylie.  Remember her? She has occasionally written about the time right after college, for ETDC. She worked as a waitressconsidered grad school,  tried to get an office job, and went shopping for an appropriate outfit for interviews. When she did get an office job, she didn’t have time to write me awesome posts anymore, but just the other day, she sent me this one, about dating. Yay! Welcome back, Fraylie! 

I’m fairly new to New York City. I began my job in the West Village nine months ago, moved to Brooklyn six months ago, and began a semi-regular latte routine at a SoHo coffee shop about one month ago. When my friend introduced us, I shook hands with the barista and said pleasure to meet you. Then he smiled and replied the pleasure is all mine. It took five words for me to become hooked like a school girl. After many failed attempts on OKCupid, the novelty of meeting a kind human being in real life was overwhelming. I started to buy painfully expensive lattes twice a week, always making sure to tip, and blushing profusely during the few times I received the drink for free.

There’s a trickiness about the area South of Houston. As it seems, the space presents itself as a gated enclave for models cat walking between shoots. Light shines on their cheekbones as though higher powers hold a perpetual mirrored clamshell before their faces. Women purse their lips on Crosby Street just so. Their hair is coiffed in the perfect ballet bun. They wear fur and black leather. And there’s always a few of them curling their long arms down the wooden counter in the coffee shop.

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Kate on February 16th 2012 in beauty, guest post, relationships

eat that ice cream!

A reader named Jackie sent me some photos of herself eating ice cream, along with this note. I asked her if I could publish it, because I wanted to share her story.

As a long-time lurker of Eat the Damn Cake, I’ve always admired the women who sent in pictures of themselves eating that cake. They looked so happy and carefree. There was once a time when I never thought I’d feel that way about cake–I had an eating disorder for nine long years. It came and went in terms of intensity and form, but it was always there. Big family events were always punctuated by trips to the bathroom or serious food gymnastics to avoid the calories. I wasted a sad amount of time during my teenage years hating myself and being scared and anxious.

But this is me, eating ice cream, exactly two years after the last time I purged. I look happy and carefree. I don’t feel that way all the time, but today, I definitely do. And I feel proud. I’ve got that recovery swagger now, and it makes eating cake no longer daunting. For anyone out there struggling—recovery is totally possible (for me, it took admitting myself into treatment)! And it will happen, if you’re ready for it and you deeply want it. Eat the damn (metaphorical and literal) cake and work for what you want.

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Kate on February 11th 2012 in food, guest post

bald and beautiful

This is a guest post.  Sarah is a first-year graduate student, getting her PhD in philosophy. She and I have been writing back and forth for around a year now. When she talked with me about her hair, I begged her to write a guest post for me. Here it is (begging works). She is awesome: 

I am bald, I am 22, and I am female. Sometimes I think that this is an unfortunate combination of traits; but other times, I feel differently.

To make a very long and painful story rather shorter: I had just turned fourteen when my hair began to fall out. It was the beginning of eighth grade. It started innocently enough with a few extra strands left behind in my comb after I showered. At first, I thought nothing of it, but it quickly became very apparent that what was happening was something I needed to think seriously about. Because it was all gone before I turned fifteen.

The year my hair fell out was the worst year of my life. Maybe this is biased, but I contend that eighth graders are the cruelest creatures to inhabit that awkward chunk of life known as ‘adolescence’.  To be fair, it’s a tough time for everyone. We want people to acknowledge that we exist, but not as much as we want to blend inconspicuously into the background. To say that it is difficult for a rapidly balding female to go unnoticed in this environment is a laughable understatement. My middle school morphed into a freak-show and I was the main attraction. My classmates pointed and sneered and snickered and laughed; I tried my hardest to escape their piercing stares, but found myself trapped in a nightmare that had become my life.

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Kate on January 3rd 2012 in beauty, being different, guest post, uplifting