writers read

Because writers read, here are five things I read this week:

Ashley Graham: Shamed If I Do, Shamed If I Don’t

Plus-size supermodel and body positivity activist Ashley Graham is used to being shamed for being “too fat.” But now she’s being shamed for being “too thin” too, which she addresses in the first-person essay for the Lenny Letter.

Graham recently posted a picture of herself in which she appeared to have lost weight and everybody lost their damn mind!

After posting the photo she began receiving comments such as:

I am so disappointed in you.

You dont make plus-size dollars anymore, you make backstabbing dollars.

You dont love the skin youre in, you want to conform to Hollywood, you believe being skinnier is prettier.

You used to be a role model and I looked up to you.

The irony of it all is that she actually hasn’t lost weight. In fact, Graham says she’s heavier than she was three years ago. But that’s not the point.

The point is it’s HER BODY! So what if she had lost weight?! It’s HER BODY. As Jennifer at Stellar Fashion and Fitness wrote, “Ashley Graham doesn’t owe you anything.”

In her Lenny Letter essay Graham declares, “I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life and what my body should look like for their own comfort. And neither should you.”

Sign up for the Lenny Letter and read the essay here.

This Popular Female Wrestler Is Shattering The Silence Around The Domestic Abuse She Endured


Many of my friends give me a hard time for being a fan of professional wrestling but #PutTheNailIt is a campaign I hope we can all get behind. Stephanie Bell aka Jade of TNA Wrestling has broken the silence about the domestic abuse she experienced at the hands of an ex-boyfriend and hopes that by sharing her story she’ll encourage other women to come forward, too. Jade keeps her left ring fingernail painted purple as her vow to end domestic violence and the silence around it via Safe Horizon’s #PutTheNailinIt campaign. Read her story here.

Life After Divorce: How YouTuber Shameless Maya Promoted Herself Into An Empire

I’ve been following the journey of Shameless Maya since the day she set out to shamelessly promote herself via social media for one year in an experiment meant to build her personal brand. It worked and she’s turned YouTube popularity into profit and her experiment into an empire. This profile from xoNecole.com delves into the Maya behind the “Shameless Maya” brand and her fight to stay true to herself as her brand booms.

Black Girl Nerds Reviews: Suicide Squad


Bae and I are going to see Suicide Squad this weekend because we’re blerds and proud of it. I don’t normally read reviews of a movie until after I’ve seen it to be sure my opinions of the flick are all my own, but when Black Girl Nerds speak, I listen so I had to check out what they had to say. (Caution: This review includes a few slight spoilers.)

Glamour Exclusive: President Obama Says, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” 

There are so many quotes in this exclusive essay for Glamour magazine by President Barack Obama that I want to tweet, post in my workspace and shout from the mountain tops, but this has to be my favorite: “Yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.”

I won’t go on and on about the essay because it’s the best thing I’ve read all week and I just want you to go read it for yourself right now.

What have you been reading this week?