#WCW Lindy West – An Exclusive By Myla Dalbesio
Why we love her:
As women we are told to be many things: quiet is one of them. Thin is another. Lindy West is neither, and that’s fine with her (and us, too!). Unapologetically fat, feminist, and (dare we say?) fierce, Lindy is an outspoken voice on women’s rights, rape culture, self-love, and body shaming. Her work, while both funny and accessible, doesn’t hold back it’s sharp critiques. Having regularly written for outlets like The New York Times, The Stranger, The Guardian, and Jezebel (to name a few), it’s no wonder that her first book, the 2016 memoir Shrill, landed on the New York Times best-seller list. In Shrill, Lindy dissects the life experiences that define her, and the honesty and wit in her reflections make us love her even more.
A few examples: explaining what it’s really like to be a large person on an airplane. Frankly detailing a series of embarrassing moments that helped break her out of her shell of shyness (including childhood shoplifting, virginity losing, and tipping over a picnic table while eating a pizza). She took on rape jokes from a comedian’s point of view: breaking down how to properly make one, debating them on national television, and dealing with the deluge of threatening internet trolls that proliferated after said debate. For a real gut-wrencher, watch this measured and poignant video West created in which she reads back just a small selection of the horrific comments and messages received in the wake of her television appearance. Pretty powerful stuff.
We love that she used her wedding dress to make a statement to women about self-worth and acceptance, fighting back against decades of consumerist wedding culture demanding brides transform into someone they are not for their wedding days. We love that she started the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign, aimed to help destigmatize the procedure and the women who have had them. And we love that she founded I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, a community-run blog for teens in need of support or advice. Combine that with her defeating, with grace and understanding, one of her darkest and most hurtful internet trolls, and we have a warrior woman built for battle in the modern age. We’re glad she’s on our side.
Image Source: Lindy West