Style

My Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

My Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

Writer Lindy West is one of our long-time favorites — and a feminist firebrand. We are excited to see her move into television with Shrill (based on Lindy’s bestselling memoir and starring Aidy Bryant), which debuts tomorrow, March 15th! Here, Lindy tells us about talking to teenagers about beauty, the bar soap she uses on her face and how she reclaimed the word ‘fat’…

First off, the trailer! Shrill starts tomorrow on Hulu. Lindy, here’s a big question to start with: What’s your take on beauty?
Oh, boy. That is a big question. When I was young, I tried to conform to the prevailing Hollywood standard of beauty. I spent a lot of time trying and failing to look the way that I’d been taught girls were supposed to look.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

How did that evolve?
As I got older, I started to think about bodies — and the beauty and diet industries — in a more critical way. I spent a lot of time looking at diverse bodies, and thinking about this idea we’ve been sold that there’s only one path to beauty — and therefore to happiness and fulfillment and success, as well. It took me until my late 20s to start thinking about what I actually liked. And, of course, it was complicated by the fact that there were very limited fashion options for fat women when I was growing up, so I didn’t have the ability to express myself through style.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

Even now fashion options are limited.
Extremely limited. It almost never happens that I see a picture of a fat woman and I can’t tell you where her dress came from. There are a small number of designers and retailers doing great work, but there’s still no such thing as comparison shopping for us. So, then it becomes a challenge of trying to express who you are, and show individuality, with a narrow range of choices. I actually kind of like that challenge. I’m resentful that I’m forced into it, but it’s fun. Now I wear a combination of plus-size clothes, those stretchy ‘baggy fit’ straight-size clothes, the rare vintage piece.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

What about makeup?
Makeup has always been a mystery to me. I’ll be like, ‘Okay, today, I’m going to master eyeliner!’ I’ll try for 15 minutes, and then my arm gets tired and I’ll give up. And so now I’m 37 years old and cannot do my own eyeliner.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

That surprises me, because when I think of your ‘look,’ I immediately picture you with a bright red lip and glamorous almost 1940s-style hair.
You know, it’s interesting: I absolutely love that look, but it’s not actually my look. Whenever I do press or have my picture taken, people just tend to style me that way. And I do think it has to do with size. I think folks can have such a hard time imagining that fat women can be beautiful that they think the way to make it happen is to over-style them. When it comes to beauty for fat women, it has to be this super exaggerated hyper-femininity. I’m always styled like ‘old Hollywood glamour.’ I have this fantasy about going to a photoshoot and having them say, ‘We’re gonna do a natural look. And you’re not going to wear a bombshell, pin-up dress. We have this weird smock for you.’ I dream of someone saying that to me. Just put me in a smock and do something weird with my face! Fat women don’t really get to be glamorously androgynous, you know?

Beauty Uniform: Lindy WestLindy and her husband, Aham, on their wedding day in 2015.

So, what is your skincare routine?
Okay, I have some bad news for you. You can’t get mad at me.

I promise.
Okay. I’m so embarrassed saying this. My morning routine is…nothing.

Nothing?
I brush my teeth. And I floss.

But wait, your skin is amazing. What do you use?
Bar soap in the shower! Literally, Dove bar soap. On my face and body.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

I am floored.
I spent last summer in L.A., working in the writers’ room on Shrill. I lived with another writer, Samantha Irby, which was really fun. When we first arrived, we were like, ‘Okay, we’re having our big summer in Hollywood. We should probably try to be fancy and, like, take care of our skin.’ Also, I’m 37 and starting to get wrinkles. So, I went with Sam to Sephora, intending to buy maybe one moisturizer, and of course I walked out with 18 things from Sunday Riley. I used them religiously, because we were having our big Hollywood summer. And then in the fall, I came home to Seattle and put my bag of L.A. toiletries in the cabinet and haven’t used any of them since. And I have to say that my face looks exactly the same!

Wow.
I know! This is not me calling out Sunday Riley, by the way. Because I liked using the potions; they smelled nice and made my skin feel good. But in terms of how it looked, there was no difference whatsoever. Honestly, I think it’s just that my skin has a chill attitude. It’s fine with Dove bar soap.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

Do you use a moisturizer?
I have a basic Neutrogena moisturizer that I put on if my face is feeling tight and dry. I try to put on sunscreen if it’s sunny. But, listen, I know I’m being cavalier about this right now, and who knows what my face is going to look like in 10 years? I will probably regret not sticking with my potions.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

Do you wear lipstick?
When I have professional stuff going on, I’ll wear lipstick. I really like MAC’s line of corals. But actually, there is one lip product I’ve been hunting for since last year.

What is it?
When we were pitching Shrill, I spent two days running around L.A. for meetings with Aidy Bryant and Elizabeth Banks — who is a producer on the show. And I noticed that Elizabeth had some kind of lip situation going on where it just looked like her natural lip color, but turned up a little bit? It was a very natural, sheer but enhanced pink. I’ve been chasing that ever since, and I can’t find it. I should have just asked her what it was.

I bet I know what it is! Dior Lip Glow. It goes on basically clear, and then subtly amps up your own lip color.
That’s it! Wait, I’m writing this down. Dior Lip Glow? I’M BUYING IT. Thank you!

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

You’re a stepparent to two teen girls. Any thoughts on how to talk to young girls about beauty?
Kids are obviously inundated with messaging, and there’s a lot of pressure to look a certain way. But kids are also smart, and they’re listening even when it seems like they’re not. I think just living the example sends the message. I don’t talk negatively about my body or other people’s bodies in front of my kids — or at all. I also think it’s crucial to tell girls that they’re smart and funny and capable of things, beyond being pretty. It seems to have worked out in our family. Both girls are super defiant and resilient and totally self-possessed in a way that I was not as a teenager. I’m proud of them.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

Speaking of self-talk, you’ve embraced the word ‘fat.’ But it still makes some people uncomfortable. What are your thoughts?
People should describe themselves however they feel comfortable. But for me, it’s been perhaps the most revolutionary change in my life — reclaiming ‘fat.’ Because it’s the thing that people have used to hurt me the most, my whole life. It made me afraid to draw attention to myself, which held me back in my career. So, I started to think, okay, what if I just say, ‘Yes, I’m fat’? It’s a descriptor and there’s no reason it should be stigmatized. By being afraid of it, I’m kind of endorsing this idea that there’s something wrong with it, and I should be ashamed. You know? So, if I start saying, ‘Yeah, I’m fat and it’s fine,’ then if someone tries to use it against me, it doesn’t work. It immediately takes the teeth out of that insult.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

In the show, did you make a conscious effort to use ‘fat’ in a consistent, neutral way?
Yeah, that was the plan from the beginning — and that’s the way that both Aidy and I talk about ourselves. The whole point of the show is to get away from all these false narratives about what fat people’s lives are like: That we’re all ashamed, that we’re all trying to lose weight, that we’re miserable and hate ourselves and no one has a good relationship. That’s just not true. Dancing around the fact that we’re fat — it’s kind of the same impulse. The whole point is that we can live real, healthy and happy lives. So, if we’re using the word ‘curvy,’ there’s some level of shame and avoidance in that term, and that’s the opposite of what we’re trying to do with this show. If I call myself ‘fat’ in a non-judgmental way, that’s where change comes from, you know? Making people uncomfortable and making them rethink their assumptions.

Beauty Uniform: Lindy West

Thank you so much, Lindy. We can’t wait to watch Shrill!

P.S. More women share their beauty uniforms, including a psychology student and a restaurateur.

(Wedding photo by Jenny Jimenez. All other photos courtesy of Lindy West.)

  1. Sasha L says...

    Love this beauty routine! Lindy, I love that you are equally gorgeous when others give you the all dolled up look, and when you have the natural look in a weird smock, just beautiful and which way.

    I also love the wide diversity of beauty routines COJ shows here- women who do serums and masks and facials, and Lindy, who does….soap. I just love that! Take what works for you!

  2. Amy says...

    I had the same fan girl reaction to this article that I always imagined I would have if I ran into a celebrity I admire in real life: “OMG she’s real! And right here on Cup of Jo like she’s just a normal person!!” *drops phone/scrambles to pick it up again/attempts to act cool*

    Lindy, I love your NYTimes articles!

  3. Sarah says...

    Now I’m going to spend my weekend searching for her amazing dresses!! I’ve never wanted a week of outfits more. Shout out from a fellow fattie!

  4. Charlotte K says...

    I have so far successfully resisted subscribing to Hulu because I have every other streaming service known to humankind but I think I might have to just do it, at least long enough to watch “Shrill”

    • Alina Lane says...

      Not sure if you’re interested, but I just got an offer to upgrade to Spotify Premium and they include Hulu membership as well.

  5. Bella says...

    I think the bombshell look has less to do with overstyling and more to do with lack of imagination. I am thinking that many stylists and hair/makeup people do it because that is their only reference – because they have seen pictures and movies of women with more diverse body shapes with the bombshell look, but rarely of any other style. They are comfortable going for the bombshell/pinup look on a big girl because they have seen it before and know how to do it, but cannot imagine pulling off other looks because – lack of imagination. I recently read an article about black actresses and models bringing all their hair, makeup and even clothes on set, because apparently doing proper hair, makeup for non-white women apparently is just sooooo “difficult” (yeahhhh…sureeeee)

  6. Rebecca M says...

    Love this and agree with the comments above. Just wanted to give an extra shout-out to the Seattle focus this week. Both women truly reflect the Seattle casual attitude.

  7. Katherine says...

    Oh how I adore Lindy West! What a treat to see her featured here! I read Shrill in one night (could NOT put it down) and I dog-earred so many pages (which I normally can’t stand to do to my precious books but I couldn’t let myself forget the power and wisdom of her words). Then she became a columnist for NYT and I’ve read everything she’s written there, as well as gone down the rabbit hole of past Jezebel articles and other places she’s been published. I so wish I had Hulu so I could watch Shrill!

  8. Barb says...

    Lindy for President!

  9. Marki says...

    Lindy’s op-eds in the New York Times are the best I’ve ever read. She’s positively brilliant, and I would give anything to write like her. Check them out: https://www.nytimes.com/column/lindy-west. In “Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt” she writes, “Setting aside the gendered power differential inherent in real historical witch hunts (pretty sure it wasn’t all the rape victims in Salem getting together to burn the mayor), and the pathetic gall of men feeling hunted after millenniums of treating women like prey, I will let you guys have this one. Sure, if you insist, it’s a witch hunt. I’m a witch, and I’m hunting you.” I swear I pumped my fist when I first read those words. Brilliant!

    • Charlotte K says...

      I quoted that final line to a man and he freaked out. Why are they so weak after all these millennia in power!?

    • Carlita says...

      I subscribed to the NYT when Lindy West joined the editorial staff. I understand that she has been busy elsewhere but I have really missed her writing. As the primaries get going and the Times reverts to it’s corporate media bent, I’m thinking about canceling. But if she were to come back…….

  10. Erica says...

    I just love her!

  11. Cynthia says...

    Her wedding dress is stunning, and I like the coral dress in the first picture. The lace inserts set it off. Lindy is so beautiful, inside and out!

  12. Allison says...

    I love that there is a discussion happening on COJ around weight bias and Health At Every Size! As a therapist working primarily with individuals navigating recovery from eating disorders, it is great to see this content becoming more main stream! Regarding the conflation of diet culture and good health, I HIGHLY recommend this episode of Christy Harrison’s amazing Food Psych podcast with Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani.

    https://christyharrison.com/foodpsych/6/healthcare-without-diet-culture-with-jennifer-gaudiani

    • Kate says...

      I couldn’t agree more. I, too, am a therapist working in this field (disordered eating and eating disorders, among other things), and I’m so grateful to Joanna for being a voice of reason, sharing non-diet, evidence-based, weight-neutral information and introducing us to beautiful women of all shapes and sizes. It is a breath of fresh air and, I hope, an inspiration to so many women.

    • Brooke says...

      Another therapist here and totally echoing this! My work with Health at every size and Intuitive eating has begun to change my own joy and love and freedom in my body and life. I highly recommend Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnson, Be Nourishev with Dana and Hilary and Rachel Cole Well Fed Woman for delicious mythical undercurrents and badass revolution on women, sensuality, power, and freedom. Rachel Cole does lots of interviews (including with Christy Harrison) and it’s all soo good.

      And a quote I love from Karly Randolph Pitman: “I will not make war against myself”.

    • Kate says...

      Cup of Jo HAES therapists unite! Wish I could meet you women in real life!

  13. Madeleine says...

    I washed my face with Dove soap for many years and swore by it. My skin looked great and I always got lots of compliments. Then my (horrified) husband who works in the skincare industry told me that I’d bitterly regret it one day and gave me this high end product that, despite all its « amazing properties », has unfortunately never given me results as nice as Dove did. This post is making me want to use it again so badly!!

    • Cynthia says...

      I’ve read that Dove is good for your whole body, including your face, because of the moisturizers in it. Using soap on your face has gotten the bum rap in recent years. I use a locally made oatmeal, goat’s milk and honey soap on my face and my skin looks terrific.
      Price is not indicative of effectiveness.

  14. Carrie says...

    Yes to all of this! Why it is assumed and expected that fat women should be ashamed and uncomfortable in their bodies?? I have never considered myself fat but I did gain about 20 pounds after college and my weight began consuming every spare moment of my thoughts. It was exhausting and suddenly gave me some perspective on how so many women have probably felt their entire lives. We all have way more important things to focus our energy on and I love that women like Lindy are spreading that message and normalizing “fat”.

  15. Jess says...

    Love Lindy! And I am really, really enjoying Shrill. They’ve nailed the tone of it and Aidy is just so likable and lovely.

  16. Erin says...

    Would love to see a week of outfits from Lindy as well :)

    • Kara says...

      Yes please! I second this suggestion.

    • Anna Louise says...

      Just what I was thinking

  17. Marlena says...

    Lindy West is so amazing – as a writer, speaker, creator, and more. And Samantha Irby is a national treasure. Please feature her books (NYT bestsellers) and as a fashion and skin icon! She does amazing skincare roundups on her blog.

    As a plus-size woman, I can’t wait for a fashion roundup of Aidy Bryant’s clothes from Shrill.

    • Julie says...

      I saw her say that the show’s costume designer made most of her dresses and it made me sooo sad! I loved everything she wore!

  18. Vicki says...

    Loved this! I’d love to see her week of outfits so we could see how she styles herself vs the glamour shots on the press!

  19. Molly says...

    Thank you Cup of Jo team for talking to Lindy West! I loved Shrill and it gives me so much strength to see women that look like me represented, and to know they’re out there comfortable in their own skin, living their best lives.

  20. Joaquina says...

    For all those requesting a fabulous new book,
    check out Samantha Irby’s, “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life”. The writing struck such a chord with me and I suspect it will with most Gen Xers, especially fellow women of color. I loved seeing the photo or Irby with Lindy West; both are such powerful advocates and talented writers.

  21. HP says...

    Jane Iredale also makes this amazing lip stain called Just Kissed Lip and Cheek stain and it’s just your lips enhanced + it’s natural and goes on like a balm! Also I want everyone to know about it and buy it so that they can never discontinue it because it’s my holy grail lip product!

    Great post. Can’t wait to watch Shrill.

    • Danielle says...

      Yes! I love this product. It was what I thought of first when she was describing it.

  22. gracemarie says...

    YES! I knew there would come a day when you’d have someone interviewed who just leaves their face alone. Maybe it’s not the best, but it is refreshing!

  23. Cindy says...

    LINDY WEST! Holy cow, do I love her. I heard her interview on “This American Life” and then basically read everything she ever wrote. She changed how I think about myself and my profession (I teach group exercise classes). Love, love, love. So glad good things are happening for her.

  24. Lauren E. says...

    I LOVE LINDY WEST.

    I have a bunch of friends from Seattle who introduced me to her years ago during her time at The Stranger. She is brilliant and hilarious and poignant and I love seeing her flourish.

  25. Amy Bitar says...

    I was about to say DIOR LIP GLOW before you even said it!

  26. Danielle C G says...

    I read both Kelsey’s and Lindy’s books, and they were life-changing for me in so many ways. Thank you to Cup of Jo for bringing them together in this way so that we could celebrate them both!

  27. Sukhie P. says...

    As a person privileged enough to be thin and therefore not receive such criticism from society, I’ve been trying to do work on myself to unpack and dismantle the biases I’ve been socialized into. To my horror, there are few things that seem to threaten thin women’s fragile sense of self as much as a truly happy and self-loving fat (to use Lindy’s words) woman. To be fully happy and unabashedly yourself (for me, “unabashedly brown”) can be the most radical act of resistance. It shouldn’t be shocking to be comfortable in the body you’re in. Everyone should be empowered to experience that level of fulfillment. It shouldn’t make us uncomfortable to see people feel totally at ease with themselves. Side note: huzzah for two Seattle-related posts in a week!

    • Sukhie P. says...

      Also, seeing a doctor who uses the “health at every size” approach was truly transformational for the quality of healthcare service I received. 10/10 would recommend to ANY person.

    • Fernanda Abreu says...

      I had already fallen in love with you after the post. Now, OMG, I have no words. You are amazing. We have to unite and support each others. Thank you for your words.

  28. Elisabeth says...

    LINDY WEST! My favorite. And sister-in-law to another badass writer, Ijeoma Oluo, who wrote the essential “So You Want to Talk About Race” (and does genius makeup tutorials). So much brilliance in one family.

    • gracemarie says...

      Wow I had no idea they were sisters-in-law.

  29. Gemma says...

    YESSSSS THANK YOUUUUUUUUUU!!! Lindy says what I’ve always known but never had a platform to say – fat people are not broken! Everyone needs to get over judging everyone ELSE’s body and live their own damn lives.

    • Natalie says...

      Yes!!!!

  30. Alison says...

    I LOVE HER WEDDING DRESS!!!

  31. awadsie says...

    every single dermatologist i’ve been to over my 51 years of life has recommended Dove and Dove alone as a beauty regimen. why don’t we listen??
    Lindy is not my fave, but samantha irby???? yes, please!!! idea for a new feature: A week of quotes, starting with samantha.

    • Becky says...

      You cant put everyone in the same category and proclaim dove will work wonders on everyone’s skin. It leaves a film on my delicate sensitive fair skin. Totally jealous of people who can use that and that alone but it’s not for everyone. Also never met a dermatologist who recommended it. Ceravae yes, citaphil yep but not dove.
      I do believe in simplicity. I wash my face 1x a day, at night with tatcha oil cleanser. Life changing read about it here. Totally helped my acne. I then moisturize. In the morning spf, and through out the day. Wash it off at night.
      For some a beauty ritual of serums masks and moisturizers is their me time. No judgement there. We all need it. If my skin could tolerate it I would be all about it.
      Side note, everyone should use spf. It will cut down the cost of anti aging in the future if that will help sway ya. I’m almost 35, look 20. That’s enough to convince me.

    • Lisa says...

      Becky, which kind of spf do you use on your skin? So far, I find I’m allergic to everything but ‘white paste’, and I know the condition of my (great, soap-washed) skin would go downhill fast if I used it everyday. Would love to read what works for your delicate skin.

    • Becky says...

      Lisa,
      I use elta md for my spf. Over the course of time (I have laser treated rosace) my spf options have been eliminated. I used love la Roche posay and even cvs had a facial spf that i loved but I can no longer use them. I am fanatical about spf. Laser has been amazing for my skin and spf truly keeps the need for more laser away. Even though the appearance of rosacea is gone the sensitivity has increased over time. I look for spf that has physical sunblock ingredients and is non comedogenic.

  32. Nikki says...

    ^&#* YES LINDY! You’re amazing, the show is going to be amazing. Youre inspiring. Women’s history month, girl you are going down in it.

  33. liz says...

    love love love love love love – beautiful in so many ways

  34. Alison says...

    Soo this is a very teeny part of this lovely article BUT I noticed that Aidy Bryant is wearing her wedding shoes at the Shrill premiere…which makes me love her so much more than I already do.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BiMx8ccHc8u/

    • Sonia says...

      I noticed that too!! Love!!

    • April says...

      I noticed that too! They are fabulous shoes. I love her so much!

  35. Stacey says...

    The comment “When it comes to beauty for fat women, it has to be this super exaggerated hyper-femininity” brought back memories of my teenager years with my mother. She impressed upon me that fat girls have to try harder, dress better, always wear makeup and style their hair to overcompensate for their size especially when it comes to attracting the opposite sex. I’m glad that I’ve found self-love as an adult now in my 30’s, and that I don’t have to always dress better and wear makeup to be myself.

    • M says...

      Oooofffff. I’m so sorry that’s the message you were given as a teen.

  36. Julienne says...

    Love. This.

  37. Sarah says...

    LINDY FOREVER! I love her so much. Sometimes I just google her wedding dress to stare at it because it is the BEST WEDDING DRESS OF ALL TIME.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agree!!! so so beautiful and full of joy.

    • Shana says...

      Yes I loved her dress! Scrolled back to look at it several times!!

  38. What a woman! And that wedding dress is just outstanding.

  39. Cindy says...

    One of my favorite Beauty Uniform posts to date :)
    Shrill might rise to the top of the To-Do list this weekend….

  40. Kate T. says...

    “When it comes to beauty for fat women, it has to be this super exaggerated hyper-femininity.”

    Holy sh*t I almost fell off my chair, I have never been able to put this feeling into words. Thank you thank you!

    p.s. Can we get a week of outfits? Her Dansko sandals are awesome :)

  41. JB says...

    THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS:

    “I think folks can have such a hard time imagining that fat women can be beautiful that they think the way to make it happen is to over-style them. When it comes to beauty for fat women, it has to be this super exaggerated hyper-femininity. I’m always styled like ‘old Hollywood glamour.’ I have this fantasy about going to a photoshoot and having them say, ‘We’re gonna do a natural look. And you’re not going to wear a bombshell, pin-up dress. We have this weird smock for you.’ I dream of someone saying that to me. Just put me in a smock and do something weird with my face! Fat women don’t really get to be glamorously androgynous, you know?”

  42. Jess Mill says...

    WORLDS. COLLIDING.

    COJ, I sometimes wonder how you’re able to constantly come up with fresh content. Never ceases to amaze me. Every article is better then the next and I love you for it.

    Also so much love and adoration to Lindy West.

  43. Sarah says...

    Thoughtful and honest answers, love!

  44. Jenny says...

    Great profile! I’m looking forward to watching Shrill.
    I had to laugh – I’m 49 and have that exact same skin care routine – down to the Dove bar soap (minus the glamorous LA summer).

  45. sof says...

    YES, Lindy!
    Love her!
    So excited to start Shrill on Hulu this weekend!

  46. Scout says...

    I have to say, my favorite beauty uniforms are the ones where people don’t spend a ton of money and time on products no one can afford. She’s so gorgeous, and she uses dove soap on her face and hardly any make up! Why is it a “requirement” that I put so much effort into my looks?!

    • b says...

      This. I went through a phase last year where I was obsessed with skincare products and now I have all this stuff I don’t want to use and my skin is worse off for it. I’m a sunscreen, chapstick, and go kind of person.

  47. Dee says...

    Pah just commenting to say to those below the line who are claiming some kind of moral victory because they can get away with using Dove soap and a cheap moisturiser and have good skin. YOU are no better than those who are claiming there is a moral/ health imperative not to be fat. We all have some health and beauty things we get to let slide and get away with, we all have some health and beauty things we have to work on, or deal with, or come to terms with or put in effort in some way. C’est la vie.

    • Kelly says...

      Love this. Thank you. It’s so easy for some women to act breezy about grooming. I wasn’t duped by the system because I put a lot of time and money into my skincare. I have difficult skin, and I have struggled through hard times with my complexion. It must be nice to wash and run, but some of us really do need special products. What a privilege to act blasé about good skin genetics and to imply that those of us with elaborate routines are suckers.

    • Jenny says...

      I love Lindy West and was thrilled to see her featured! I have learned so, so, so much from this woman about existing in the world without constantly apologizing (for a variety of things) Thank you, Lindy! (If I only used bar soap on my face I would’ve really saved some money and men do it all the time and supposedly age well/aren’t treated like rapidly aging veals when they show signs of normal age!)

    • Jessica says...

      I definitely understand your point. However, think her prefacing the soap only routine remark by saying “Don’t hate me” and then talking about how the lack of other products might catch up with her in 10 years is her way of acknowledging that she’s getting off easy. And not even the tiniest bit of judgement on those who use more products. She even gave all the fancy goops a try!

    • Em says...

      There’s a big difference between being overweight and having bad skin with regards to health and the way society is not set up for overweight people. I’m 118 lbs and have bad skin but the love of my life is morbidly obese. It is NOT the same and until you have someone close to you whose weight struggle you can start to understand, your comment will be very off-putting to those of us who have noticed the difference.

    • Dee says...

      Jessica. I agree I think Lindy dealt with her good fortune to be able to use Dove soap and have great skin very sensitively but there are a lot of comments below the line which don’t share her nuance or tact!

    • Dee says...

      Em. I’m sorry for your partner’s situation and that you were offended by my comment but I don’t think there are absolutes when it comes to these things. One person’s struggle does not devalue another’s. ‘Be kind because we’re all fighting a great battle’ and all that.

    • Lauren says...

      I have to reply to Em above, for the sake of people who’ve had horrible dermatillomania and the like: skin problems aren’t necessarily any easier than fat problems! You probably get that – I just wanted to put it here.

    • whatever says...

      OMG people. Really? You chose to take offense over the soap that somebody else uses? She’s just saying what she does, because the interviewer asked her. It’s not a universal directive, or a judgement on your worth as a person if you don’t use the same soap that she does. Everybody still gets to pick their own soap. You can read and appreciate the post and the individual and keep using whatever kind of soap you want.

  48. I just love Lindy West, and she quite literally changed my life. I’ve mentioned this in comments before, but hearing her on This American Life’s “Tell Me I’m Fat” completely revolutionized the way I saw myself. I rushed out to read Shrill, and I absolutely adore her whip-smart brand of feminism. She takes on trolls of all kinds, and just blows them out of the water. So excited to see her on CoJ! Keep up the fantastic work you guys have been doing to make CoJ a reflection of all of us!

  49. S says...

    Lindy West’s husband, Aham, is creating a movie that I just played in the soundtrack for in a recording session a couple of weeks ago! (I’m a musician in Seattle). Cool coincidence!

    • nadine says...

      so cool S!! how’s the movie called? what do you play? :D

    • S says...

      Hi Nadine! the movie is called Thin Skin. I play violin and viola, but I was playing violin in the soundtrack recording.

  50. Lauren says...

    I get where you’re coming from – I tend to have the same thoughts when dangerous things like free soloing are praised here or elsewhere!

    As I understand it, being fat is mainly bad for your health because it tends to come along with increased blood pressure, clogged blood vessels, and diabetes (and some increased cancer risk if you’re very fat). Fat people who don’t have those problems aren’t statistically more likely to have health problems, as far as I know.

    In the same way, just because a higher percentage of gay men get AIDS than straight men, it doesn’t mean it’s not OK to enjoy gay culture! Let’s not make assumptions about individual people.

    People might say that it’s none of people’s business whether individual fat people are healthy or not, which is obviously true, but I agree with you that unhealthy things shouldn’t be promoted…except that I think we’re talking about two different kinds of promotion here: I don’t get any sense that this article is telling people to eat more and move less! It’s more just promoting one person’s viewpoint, favorite things, experiences… I was floored at the idea that fat women could usually identify other fat women’s dresses!!??? Like there are that few larger dresses on the market?!! It seems to make a lot of sense to try to talk about that and change that!

    Another point is that even being fat really was always horribly unhealthy, I don’t think celebrating fat bodies is the same as celebrating dangerous things like rock climbing just because I really don’t think being fat (or thin) is always really a choice! Something like 95% of people who lose weight gain it all back, and there’s evidence that each person tends to have a ‘set weight’ below which their metabolism slows down, and they’re always hungry. Being black is also “bad for your health” or life expectancy: should I stop playing ABC 123 to my kid?

    Something doesn’t sit right about bringing up health concerns on posts that are meant to highlight individual interesting women. . . like I see a picture in a previous beauty uniform that shows a kid standing pretty close to a busy street, but like, I’m sure they’re handling it?

    • Gabriela says...

      “Being black is also bad for your health”? Ouf. More thought should have been put into this comment.

    • Marisa says...

      True: We should encourage women to be authentically themselves, in personality, style, profession, and goals.

      Also true: We should not encourage obesity as an acceptable, “healthy” lifestyle choice.

      To say it again, we should not shame women for their body shape. Full stop. That said, we should not actively *encourage* the adoption or maintenance of unhealthy choices that are ultimately harmful (i.e. obesity).

      >>”Fat people who don’t have those problems aren’t statistically more likely to have health problems, as far as I know.”

      Please consider the wide array of medical resources who have shown that obesity leads to more health issues:

      https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-risks-overweight
      https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/obesity-health-risks
      -https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html

      From the CDC: “People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:

      All-causes of death (mortality)
      High blood pressure (Hypertension)
      High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
      Type 2 diabetes
      Coronary heart disease
      Stroke
      Gallbladder disease
      Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
      Sleep apnea and breathing problems”

    • Jesse says...

      Lauren and Marissa,

      I’m tired this. Your CDC citations probably come with the best intentions, but can’t we just appreciate Lindy’s superb style?

    • Marisa says...

      @Jesse – Please re-read my comment.

      First sentence:

      True: We should encourage women to be authentically themselves, in personality, style, profession, and goals.

      Lindy is authentically herself in this way. In no way did I discount or discourage others from acknowledging that.

    • Lauren says...

      Hi Jesse, I wouldn’t have thought to bring it up except I was replying to a previous comment that maybe got deleted for being offensive –

      Marisa ya those stats are what I understand too; I think we’re reading them differently.. Living in Mexico City is a risk factor for respiratory disease but I didn’t see any concerned citizens in the promotional piece – https://cupofjo.com/2018/08/mexico-city-house-tour-abby-low/. Same with posts about drinking wine (https://cupofjo.com/2017/04/how-to-order-wine/) and mothering in areas with high maternal mortality rates (Kenya, the DR Congo). It seems like there’s fat prejudice here.

    • Laura H says...

      We actually have Level A evidence — the same level as “smoking causes cancer” — that dieting doesn’t work. We do not know how to make fat people thin long term. We do know that weight loss is the greatest predictor of weight gain. We also have a large body of evidence that shows that weight stigma (that comments like yours perpetuate) and weight cycling (aka dieting) causes the harm that we previously believed was caused by weight. I recommend you start by using google scholar to explore weight stigma and health outcomes and ask yourself if you really care about health of fat people with comments like yours — or perhaps you simply want to make yourself feel as though your weight or health status is a personal choice, an achievement, that you can use as a weapon against others?

      Health is not a moral imperative. Health is made up of many different factors, most of them out of our control. You can research the social determinants of health to better understand how little health is in our control. What fat people can control is that we are worthy of respect and care, what you can control is aiding us by treating us with enough respect to not leave comments like this perpetuating weight bias. To continue to insist that a fat woman loving her body is dangerous or unhealthy is absolutely harmful to people of all sizes. Size diversity is natural and healthy.

  51. What a very awesome and beautiful human. And I’m all over this simplified beauty routine. What began out of budgetary resourcefulness and environmental concerns for me has evolved into the relishing of the beauty of bar soap’s versatility and low key cosmetics. Thanks for sharing this angle, really resonate with it!

  52. Kate says...

    Thank you. Lindy is gorgeous but more than that she is brilliant and a fierce advocate for women. Can’t wait to watch the show.

  53. Caitlin L. says...

    Hi Lindy – you are BEAUTIFUL! Inside and out.
    I work for a brand called A Detacher. We do all our sizing in house which is a big effort, but while not every shape we make works for a plus size woman, I am proud to work for a company that truly makes designer clothing for all body types. If you ever want to borrow anything for a press shoot or whatever, please hit me up.

  54. Paula says...

    haven’t read this yet but OMG THAT WEDDING DRESS!!!!!!

    • Laura C. says...

      Yes!! I thought the same! Albeit I am very “long white simple dress” I am so in love with her wedding dress, it’s amazing!
      And she looks amazing too, I like her!

    • Jess says...

      That was my thought too! Love, love, love it

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, alex!

    • Kristian Olson says...

      I have been scanning the comments just for someone to link more about that amazing dress! Thank you Alex (and Paula who started the thread of dress admiration!!!)

  55. Emily says...

    Wow!! You are gorgeous and I love your insight in acceptance and embracing your beautiful self! I have found being an XL size, that it is difficult to find flattering beautiful clothes and I often feel defeated with style. I would love to know your sources, because your outfits are beautiful in this post. I want a diffierent world for my girls, so I don’t talk negatively about my curves or anyone’s body. I just look for the good in each person I meet and I always find it. I just exercise and try to eat healthy 90 percent of the time and I encourage my girls to learn about their bodies and taking good care of them, and so far my girls are confident and active and it makes me happy. I also love dove for the face. Your beauty and energy shine through, lets change the world all together!

    • gracemarie says...

      I love this comment!

      And I also want to know some of the outfit details. The striped jumpsuit that actress is wearing in the red carpet photo is Amazing.

  56. Meredith says...

    YAY, LINDY!

  57. Heather says...

    Yay Lindy! This was awesome!

    Also: any other TBTL Tens around? First Nora, now Lindy – whose next?!

    • Kayce says...

      Boise Ten here! Don’t you love it when our world’s collide? Phyllis needs to be next!!! Have an amazing weekend!!!

    • Heather says...

      Yes – its always such a fun surprise! Have a great weekend!

    • April says...

      Hey, Friendos! :D

  58. Elise says...

    Love her! And I’m loving all the Seattle representation this week.

  59. Alex Cottrell says...

    Lindy West has my heart forever and always because she is the author of my favorite tweet of all time.

    “I hope that Paul Ryan dies before me so I can be disrespectful about it”

    What an outstanding woman.

    • Ashley says...

      Wait, what? I am not a Paul Ryan fan either, but this is what we are promoting as outstanding? I understand his words may be offensive and hurtful to many and that her tweet was (hopefully) tongue in cheek, but if one side gets as nasty as the other, I think we all lose.

      I wouldn’t want to teach my daughter to talk that way about her opponents, in jest or not.

      (I don’t follow her conversation on Twitter, so it is possible I am misunderstanding the context of the tweet. And I mean no shade at you, Alex, just offering another perspective.)

    • Kristy says...

      Love this too. Lindy graciously gives respect where it’s due, and not where it isn’t. A lesson I think we can all stand to learn.

    • Rainbow says...

      HA!!!! I love this, and for what it’s worth, would totally want my daughter to be clever and righteous enough to make this kind of joke when she’s older :)

      (I mean, she’s 4 now, so her version of this is “I wish I could flush Trump down a giant toilet” — which I also appreciate!)

  60. J. says...

    Ok, so I’m just going to say this and see how it plays out. There have been a number of posts on “fat” women on CoJ and how they are embracing their beauty. I’m all for that but I think most readers ignore the fact that being very large also comes with serious health risks (usually, but not always). When I read this post (and some other on CoJ) I thought to myself “poor thing! Her heart muscles must be strained, her pancreas must be on its way out” and a host of other things that occur under the beautiful skin that we see on the outside. I think more attention should be put on being HEALTHY. There are so many posts on excercise, healthy eating, etc. promoting “fat is beautiful” might be fine and true but is kind of counter to that mentality. I’m
    Not saying you need to be a size 4, but chances are if you’re a size 22, there are serious health issues going on inside of you that are going to come out in ugly ways.

    • Tracey says...

      No one is promoting fat. They are promoting self-acceptance. To that matter, the constant pervasive assumption that we can assume someone’s health by their external appearance is incredibly invasive and damaging. I am of medium build, look perfectly healthy but am not. My body hosts a clusterf*!k of chronic health issues which people are constantly dismissing and invalidating because they can not see them. Many with eating disorders are invalidated because they aren’t skinny enough. Those who are suicidal LOOKED happy enough. There is external self and internal self. You are not entitled to assume someone’s internal health, that is personal, intimate and not up for discussion without consent. You are, however, I suppose, entitled to your opinion, we all are, just letting you know that YOU hurt people by voicing it, what you do with that information is up to you.

    • Anne St.Jean says...

      I agree with you 100% about the importance of understanding that it’s not just about beauty standards and self love. There are enormous health risks involved with being significantly overweight. It hurts my heart that women Lindy’s size can’t dress how they want and have the photoshoots of their dreams, but I struggle to see how it’s a desirable thing to curate fashion culture around being physically unhealthy. Just as we are critical of the too-skinny supermodels with eating disorders, it feels hypocritical not to also take that in the opposite direction.

      BUT I will say that the research on obesity these days has shown that continuing to shame and point the finger at overweight people does nothing to help them. I think it’s perfectly okay to promote self love. I never began to take care of my body until I started to love it. Why shouldn’t CoJ feature this inspirational, amazing, beautiful woman? And there are a LOT of factors involved in obesity that most people are completely ignorant of (watch the Why Are We Getting So Fat doc on Netflix – it opened my eyes and gave me a lot of perspective).

    • jade lees says...

      I hear you. I work in healthcare & think that more attention and education should go into promoting Health. I can only speak to my experience. I am a fat person and have been from the age of 10. I am very VERY conscious of the possible health affects. With that being said – I swim laps and go to the gym daily. I drink 2 litres of water each day. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. I cook all of my meals from scratch. I do not have high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels or cholesterol. I acknowledge and appreciate your concern and understand your pities/sympathies but in my personal experience the assumption that because I weigh more than I would like must mean I am ignorant or lazy has been just as damaging to me as the term FAT.

    • I happen to be J, too! says...

      Well, this is quite the coincidence! Fat girl checking in here, and I just so happened to have my annual physical today. My organs are (brace for it) in perfect condition. My doctor is thrilled with my health. Her philosophy (as is mine) is that the number on the scale matters not if my body is keeping up and I feel good and all of my bloodwork comes back normal.

      There’s a really large misconception that comes with the idea that body fat causes your health to tank. Is it the best thing ever for it? Of course not. But neither are many of the chemicals we encounter on a day to day basis in our makeup, clothing, Diet Coke (I’m guilty!), and foods made with ultra processed ingredients.

      So until you become a data analyst or statistician focusing exclusively on the relationship between body size and health, I’d probably hold off on the “chances are if you’re a size XX, there are serious health issues” judgements.

    • Em says...

      You started your comment as if you were about to say something revolutionary but just went with the same rhetoric we hear everywhere. The health message is out there. It’s everywhere.
      No one asked you for your pity, well intentioned though it may be. It is thinly veiled fat shaming. I’m guessing Lindy’s weight is probably the least interesting thing about her and so I’m happy to hear about all the other fantastic qualities.

    • AnneL says...

      Sorry but nope nope nope nope.
      It’s just not appropriate to comment on someone else’s health when you know next to nothing about their health habits other than their body size. There are many many thin people whose unhealthy habits or practices will come out in ugly ways -you just don’t have the same sense of awareness of “outward” manifestation that you can choose to use to shame them.
      Lindy West is amazing and smart and funny and I trust that she is taking care of herself as much as I trust that anyone in the Beauty Uniform series is taking care of themselves.
      So we will not go down this particular rabbit hole of shame together. Agreed?

    • Abby says...

      Lindy talks about this a lot in her book, and many other fat writers do too. Fat people are not necessarily unhealthy and slim people are not necessarily healthy. There are certainly health risks that are proportionally higher in the overweight and obese but it’s not a definite. You can be fat and perfectly healthy.

      She also talks about how medical professionals are often really surprised about this and want to “prescribe” her weight loss as a one-size-fits-all health solution. And about, though I can tell this isn’t what you meant in your thoughtful comment, how damaging it can be for a fat person’s psyche to constantly be told of others’ “concern” for her health when for the most part, they’re not actually concerned and won’t believe her even if she shares her health stats with them (which, of course, no one should have to feel forced to provide!).

      Anyway, my paraphrasing is not NEARLY as eloquent and heartfelt as she puts it herself and so I guess what I’m saying is: I recommend Shrill very, very highly. Her other writing too, but Shrill is magnificent and perspective-altering.

    • Elizabeth says...

      You mean there have been a number of features on amazing, interesting, valuable women. And some of those women have been fat. And some of those women have been short (don’t they know how dangerous it is to live as a short person? They are so close to all the car exhaust. When ever I see their pictures all I can think is ‘man…they are so short – don’t they know how dangerous that is? Is it really responsible of CoJ to have short women featured? Doesn’t it send the message that shortnes, tallness, gayness, hair-coloredness, opinion-ness, is okay?) – yes, yes it does. And while you might not like it or think it is okay for brilliant, talented, incredible women of all varieties be featured – you obviously have much bigger problems than any imagined issues with Lindy’s pancreas. It may come as a shock to you, but Lindy’s pancreas is none of your business. And this ‘concern’ reads as straight up prejudice.

    • Amanda says...

      Perhaps the key here is that we ought not be judgmental of our own bodies, or of other people’s; rather, we are to love our bodies and care for them, and do the same for other people’s. Some of us eat right and exercise and are fat anyway because that’s how our bodies behave. Some of us eat trash and never exercise and are thin because that’s how our bodies behave. I’m a fat woman and my blood pressure and glucose and cholesterol levels are better than some thinner people I know. How are we to know a whole person’s story just from how they look?

      Could some people be healthier if they lost weight? Sure, of course, not denying that. But that is not for me to decide about someone, especially someone I don’t know and am not in community with.

    • K says...

      I think it is important that we all take pause in making assumptions and providing pseudo-concern in the form of pity, that people living in larger bodies are inherently ill or suffering grave medical issues. Would you make that same assumption about someone living in a smaller sized body? While the medical consequences of obesity are concerning, It may also help to read some of the literature on the medical consequences of living in a world rife with weight stigma.

      Juat a few links:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26627213/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866597/

    • Colleen says...

      Check out Health at Every Size to learn more about the health of people in bigger bodies. I hear that you are coming from a place of concern, but I think you are taking away the agency of a very smart, talented woman who clearly loves the body in which she lives.

    • Jennifer says...

      Nobody’s is ignoring the fact that being large comes with serious health risks. Fat people hear it everyday, every minute from our culture and society. They are bombarded with it constantly. So no they don’t need to be told.

    • EM says...

      I am in healthcare and I honestly feel the same way. I have had countless conversations with patients who wish they had lost weight sooner, or developed healthy habits earlier in life. I am all for body positivity – but I think we need to be real about obesity and the damage one does to their body. Your health is all you really have in life.

    • Natalie says...

      That is actually a myth that you can determine whether or not someone is healthy based on their size! Not all fat people have diabetes and lots of thin people suffer heart attacks! A person who wears a size 22 may have excellent metabolic health while a person who wears size 4 may have cancer. Health cannot be determined by one’s size. There is no illness that is caused by fat. Certain diseases can be correlated with larger bodies but its important to acknowledge that diseases are not CAUSED by fat. Additionally, many people in larger bodies are not treated properly for legitimate health concerns because their doctors tell them to “lose weight” first when in reality there is no safe or proven way to intentionally manipulate our body size long term. Period. And losing weight won’t cure strep throat anyway! I realize that is a hard concept to grasp within a culture that fetishes thinness but false concerns over “health” is just a veiled way of shaming people for being larger than our culture believes is attractive. There is a growing body of evidence (pun intended) that supports this. Did you know for example that experiencing stigma due to fat shaming is more harmful to one’s health than having more fat on one’s body? If you are sincerely concerned about people’s health, the best way to promote it is to normalize size diversity. Resources that can be very important, especially for those of us who have struggled with disordered eating and body image problems that come from diet culture and fat shaming are:
      FoodPsych the podcast with Christy Harrison
      Books by Linda Bacon
      The F*uck It Diet by Caroline Dooner (she has a great blog and instagram account and is releasing a book next week!)
      Lots of people are speaking out on this issue which I believe is one of our culture’s remaining socially acceptable forms of public shaming. Homophobia is not okay. Racism is not okay. Xenophobia is not okay. Ageism is not okay. Fat shaming is not okay.

    • Lindsay says...

      Honestly, I truly think much of our size has to do with genetics and less to do with lifestyle. It’s not as simple as calories in, calories out; weight is not an indicator of health. And, also, how are we defining health anyways? So many things factor into our well-being! Mental health, happiness, belonging, access to healthcare and food, safe communities, etc. I have learned a lot from Lindy, as well as Christy Harrison’s Food Psych podcast, and also from Virgie Tovar, Health at Every Size, etc. Thank you, Cup of Jo for working to highlight all bodies.

      And, huge congrats to Lindy West! I love your voice and can’t wait to watch Shrill. Thank you for making this world better.

    • Liz says...

      Could we just delete this? Please? I hate that this is at the top and potentially distracting from the piece.

    • Kelly says...

      I suggest you re-read the article! Having any reaction to Lindy West begin with “poor thing” is extremely off-base. This woman is, honestly, one of the geniuses of our time- I think we can trust her to make her own decisions about her health. I’d suggest that when you’re ready, you look the implicit biases that let you feel so comfortable commenting about your “concern” about her future health. Life is complicated- you might be surprised how many thin people suffer from serious physical and mental health issues, and how many fat people live lives largely untroubled by serious health issues, beyond the endless faux-concern about their bodies that surfaces without invitation or consent even in discussions about SOAP! My guess is that you intended for your “concerned” tone to be read as kind, but your condescension bleeds through.

    • Katherine says...

      I’d love for you to understand that your intentions behind your comment are actually really damaging, even if you think you’re coming from a caring place. Lindy is beautiful. Lindy is fat. No one’s “health” can be determined by how they look. Our bodies are capable of multitudes and a scale or dress size will never tell you what those multitudes are. She certainly doesn’t need your pity about her heart muscles or pancreas – people can be a size 2 or 10 or 28 and have terrible health. The assumption that she is not healthy simply because of her dress size is incredibly patronizing. She may exercise regularly, she may not. She may eat what you consider “healthy” or she may not. None of that matters – her body is her body. It looks the way it looks. And she is deserving of (self) love and empowerment just like any other person. Please read up on fatphobia and the false equivalency between body size and health – it would be wonderful for you to expand your understanding and be an ally to fat folks instead of someone who is scared of their bodies.

    • Jenn says...

      This type of thinking is the result of a toxic diet culture that regularly engages fat shaming. Health is a complex issue, includes the mental and physical, and you cannot judge it from the outside. I really don’t understand the reply that suggested that the fashion industry shouldn’t promote such an unhealthy lifestyle, given its role in promoting toxic diet culture, unrealistic expectations for bodies, and an ‘extremely thin at all costs” mentality for years. That said, it is heartening to read so many informed and respectful responses to this comment.

    • Pru says...

      Oh what a shame. As a fat person I read this article and loved it and then I moved to the comments and saw your comment.

      I may not be a size 4 but my organs are just fine, my blood is healthy and my bones are strong. My body does everything I ask it to.

      Also, this was a beauty article and it was great. So don’t put these things out there thinking you know all about someone because they are larger than you or thinner than you are. Its narrow minded.

    • Adriana says...

      Sometimes you don’t have much control over your weight. As someone with PCOS and other hormonal issues that can’t be cured (only controlled through healthy eating and exercise) I understand. I follow a rather strict diet, and workout 4-5 times a week. I also know that I’ll never be skinny. But being a certain size doesn’t make you unhealthy. I’m more in shape than friends that are a size 2.

    • Kelly says...

      To me, it’s about self love and respect. Don’t worry – there are plenty of voices judging someone who is overweight. The point is respecting people as human beings, not standing in judgement, and stopping the onslaught of rude attitudes out there. It’s about not shrinking away or feeling shame. It’s about love.

    • Sandra says...

      I am actually glad this thread wasn’t deleted, as one poster suggested. These conversations are what helps enlighten people and shift perspectives. In my opinion, a person’s health is between them and their doctor, period. There are a million things out there that increase your risk of health problems, and those conversations are best left between people and their medical professionals. It isn’t up to us to make health judgements about other people’s bodies.

    • agnes says...

      The day Cup oj Jo tries to educate us I will stop reading right away! What I remember most about Lindy after reading her portrait is her determination, her sense of humour and bold personnality. She feels at ease with her body, I couldn’t care less if she’s fat or skinny.

    • Amy F. says...

      J., I wanted to offer a specific example of my health in response to your comment. I have Crohn’s disease and, when my condition flares up, I’ll often lose 20-30 lbs VERY quickly. It’s because my body is no longer able to absorb nutrients or digest food normally and comes with tremendous pain. I’m always bombarded with compliments from family, coworkers, *everyone* when this happens because I “look healthier.” Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the most depressing feeling in the world to be suffering tremendously and to get such positive feedback about how I look. When I’m healthy, I’m technically “overweight.” The thin = healthy paradigm is so damaging to someone like me.

    • Kristy says...

      Ah yes. Concern trolling at its finest. It’s a shame that fat-phobia is so prominent even among a group of women as lovely as CoJ readers.

    • Kara says...

      You can’t tell what a person’s health is like by looking at them, but you can perpetuate an abusive societal narrative with comments like this. I encourage you to read the links everyone else has provided under it. For the record, I’m a conventionally attractive white lady, and that my health issues don’t manifest on the outside of my body is really just an accident of privilege. No one looks at me and thinks, “Poor thing, her brain is flooding with cortisol and she has to push intrusive suicidal thoughts out of the way in order to get through this grocery store trip.” But even if they did, should I be subjected to the kind of societal scorn that fat people face? I don’t think it would help if I had to deal with that on top of whatever ills I may or may not have. You are Not Helping

    • Ella says...

      So many amazing comments here and I don’t want to keep repeating. But I do want to add that being unhealthy isn’t a crime. Even if you think that being overweight automatically leads to consistent health issues (which it statistically does not), I still don’t see why that’s your business. Smoking is horrible for you and we don’t vilify smokers nearly half as much as we vilify people above a certain weight. We educate about nicotine and impose taxes to deter people from accessibility. So if you’re concerned about health I’d encourage you to push for better school lunches, donate money to improve phys ed programs in underprivileged schools, open a fruit market in neighborhoods that are without. Stop attacking fat people and pretending that has anything to do with the problems you’re pretending to care about.

    • Female while Fat says...

      All the excellent things have been said.
      On the purely practical consideration, I would still like to add that correlation does not equal causation.
      Obesity is not the cause of health problems.
      Want to know something interesting?
      I’m a fat(on my chart it says ‘obese’) woman, age 33.
      Diabetes and heart disease run in both sides of my family. I’m the *only* fat member of my generation (there are a couple in my parents generation). The heart disease and diabetes I am always pegged for have yet to show up in my health screenings, while my two oldest sisters were recently diagnosed with hypertension. I have a thin brother with type 2 diabetes. They didn’t catch it for years because, well, he is thin and they never ran an a1c.
      My doctors insist on screening every physical. Whatever, I am used to it.
      I was screened three times in both my pregnancies for gestational diabetes,(granted, GD is different than regular) and my thin younger sister had it twice. My very thin oldest sister had it in each of her pregnancies.
      I vacillate between defending myself against folks that make comments like yours (but your health!) and refusing to comment.(health history is personal! Whether I’m healthy or not is no one’s business!)
      Mainly, I see comments like yours and I sigh deeply. It’s honestly such a tired perspective, the least interesting topic to discuss about someone.
      My health habits, including my vigorous attention to mental health maintenance, may or may not be the reason I’m not experiencing disease.

      This comment is long enough already. I’ll close with a sad anecdote about fatness and mortality. I have three aunts on my mothers side, two thin and one obese. All three were diagnosed with advanced breast cancer (fibrocystic breasts make it hard to catch it early). Two passed away from it; the one who survived is the one who is obese. She was able to maintain her body mass and protect her organs throughout the brutal treatment.
      Do with that what you will.

    • Em says...

      Closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, chanting to myself “health is not a moral obligation, health is not a moral obligation, health is not a moral obligation.” Breathe in, breathe out.

      Another resource that I’m not sure if anyone listed above is the “she’s all fat” podcast. Please listen.

    • fat is for fattastic says...

      I am fat. And I am not one of the healthy fat people. But does that mean I should only feel shame and ugly, J? The post doesn’t promote being unhealthy. It isn’t suggesting that everyone should go out and get fat. It just says that people who are fat (or short, or disabled, or of any pigmentation or old or or or…) are still beautiful and are entitled to feel as such.

      You comment, under the guise of concern and advocating for health, is the kind of shit we are fed (pun intended) constantly. People can be fat and healthy (as many people have pointed out) and/or it can be an eating disorder and/or it can be genetics and/or it can be caused by socio-economics, the list goes on and on.

      We all have our shit – mine happens to be a food addiction which presents itself physically. You, J may have your own issues such as being a person who reads an article celebrating life and beauty and success and self acceptance and using it to feel superior by writing a privileged, ignorant and shaming comment.

      And yet, I still think we both deserve to love ourselves and not be shamed by society. Love.

    • T says...

      here’s something to think about (because someone mentioned anorexia):

      think long and hard about how you and the people you know view someone with anorexia. in my experience many people feel empathetic and blame societal expectations/pressures.

      Now think long and hard about how you and the people you know view an obese person. In my experience they are viewed as lazy and lacking control.*

      To me this says so much about how fat shaming our society is while simultaneously we are constantly having food shoved at us.

      *I am comparing anorexia and obesity in this comment as my obesity is caused by my eating disorder. However, many people who are obese or overweight do not have eating disorders.

    • Sarah says...

      I hate that this thread is so long; that after the joie de vivre tornado that is Lindy West, the longest comment thread is about her health and her weight. She, and lots of other commenters, have correctly pointed out that her health is none of our business and the fact that she’s fat doesn’t give anyone the right to patronize or talk down to her. She has style, an amazing career and seems to have fulfilling, nurturing personal relationships. @J, I don’t think Lindy wants or needs your sympathy, she’s already winning at life.

      And, because I couldn’t also stop myself from commenting, I just wanted to say that the “well meaning” comments of “concern” about her weight remind me of the podcast UnErased, about the history of gay conversion, where early therapists insisted that they were helping their patients.
      They too likely felt a great deal of sympathy for their patients and believed that by trying to “cure” their homosexuality, they were helping treat the depression exhibited by their patients. Gay wasn’t the problem, out society’s attitude toward homosexuality was. Fat is not the problem, our society’s attitude toward weight is.

  61. Laurie says...

    I started seeing dermatologists in my teens for treatment of acne. Every single one of them has advocated using Dove bar soap. It’s all I’ve used for 30 years now!! Go Lindy! Love her acceptance of and thoughts on the word ‘fat’ and what it does and doesn’t mean.

  62. Amanda says...

    Thank you thank you thank you for this beauty uniform. Lindy is one of my favorite authors, and humans, and this was even more wonderful than I could have hoped for <3

  63. JessicaD says...

    Oh wow, Lindy West is just amazing and my heart skipped a beat to see Samantha Irby, one of my absolutely favorite, beyond hilarious, generous, and kind writers featured alongside her (Samantha was a co-writer for the Shrill Hulu program). She is an amazing author with crazy wonderful unique fun style — you’d find a great week of outfits or beauty uniform or home tour in her!

  64. RM says...

    I’m going to our bookstore to buy her book tomorrow- thanks for the recommendation! (We don’t have Hulu.) And I also appreciate hearing from another woman who has chosen to ignore the skin-care industry. (I refuse to purchase anything that says “anti-aging.” Aging is normal, and should be celebrated, not feared.)

  65. Kelly says...

    Okay I love Lindy West AND Samantha Irby so much!! I just want to watch a show about their roommate summer working in a writer’s room!!

  66. Ravhel says...

    YES to Dove! I’ve wanted to share the same thing on here for so long. Dove is so gentle on the face but cleans well and smells good. Cheap and easy to recycle the box. I refuse to use anything else. Even bring some with me when I go on vacation. Same for Ponds – use on your face at night, body post shower and hands any time. I love products that are multi-use.

    Also, that wedding dress and photo is everything!

  67. Sarah says...

    Well this was just delightful!

    Also delightful is the shout-out to badass Sam Irby! Y’all please do something with her: beauty uniform, week of outfits, what’s in my couch cushions, all the pieces of lint in my navel . . . whatever, I’ll read anything about her.

  68. Margaret says...

    “Honestly, I think it’s just that my skin has a chill attitude.” Bahahahahahahaha! This is me.

    Once, I was with a friend shopping for shampoo at a store with tons of options for all different hair types when a sales associate approached to help me select. When she asked what my hair type was, barely thinking, I blurted out, “Laid back!” Of course my friend DIED laughing, the sales associate was all HUH?, and I tried to back pedal as elegantly as I could. “I mean, I’m pretty laid back, therefore I treat my hair in a pretty laid back way. But to be fair, my hair is pretty laid back. . . I’m just going to pick the one that smells good!”

    I, too, am a bar soap face washer. A convert from a non-face washer at all. And now, on the highest end, I am a HUGE recommender of Osmia Organics’ Black Clay Facial soap!

  69. Monica says...

    I know it’s a beauty uniform post BUT where is her gorgeous green wedding ring-finger ring from? Gorgeous, just like her.

  70. AN says...

    She is the GREATEST! My fave opinion piece: “Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You.” My fave line: “The witches are coming, but not for your life. We’re coming for your legacy. ” God, she’s brilliant. Long live Lindy West!

    • Nora says...

      YES ME TOO! I love her and I think this all the time.

  71. Beth says...

    HA HA! Lindy and I share the same skin routine! Dove soap and moisturizer. That’s all it takes.

    • riye says...

      Me three! Plus sunscreen every day. :-)

    • Emma says...

      Me too! I’ve read so many articles about people who have far more complicated skin care routines, and I always wonder if I should be using more than just Dove soap and moisturizer. But why complicate things when it just works?

    • Jenny says...

      Me too! I just commented on this. I’ve just recently added moisturizer. At 49 I get comments that I “don’t look my age” – so I guess you could say it is working. Simple, cheap and environmentally friendly!

  72. Laura says...

    A girl after my own heart. I love showering at friends’ houses and testing out all their lotions and potions but I’ve been told that my shower looks like a prison ;-). Bar soap, 2 in 1 shampoo/ conditioner and a bottle of Cetaphil for my face if I’m feeling fancy.

  73. Sarah Faith says...

    “Fat women don’t really get to be glamorously androgynous, you know?” This. So much, this. I have never been “fat”, even though I’ve struggled with body dysmorphia or whatever I am allowed to call it, so my whole life (even before puberty), I cannot remember a time I felt “normal” without my hair perfectly done, fully clothed, pressed, down to shoes and socks. There was never space for loose hair, and my most brazen form of rebellion was taking up bare foot running (with a full face of makeup, bien sur). I always yearned to be that girl who got to go to the pool party and not only didn’t have to worry about the obvious issue about walking around in a bathing suit (while being forced to eat, or at least pretend to!), but could also sport wet hair, and/or a ponytail, and/or little to no makeup, and not worry about the increasing sweating and/or sunburn situation. 🥵 Excuse me as I go take an anti anxiety pill and order up some of this magical Dior Lip Glow.

    • Caitlin L. says...

      My heart broke reading this response, mostly because I relate completely.

    • L says...

      “Body dysmorphia” is not synonymous with bad body image or body anxiety; it’s actually an obsessive compulsive disorder, in which people fixate on one or more perceived flaws (and it usually involves repetitious actions around those flaws, such as overzealous plucking of brows, skin picking, etc). These flaws do not have to be and are often not related to weight or size: it can be an obsession with a “too-big” nose or buckteeth or cankles or whatever. I think body dysmorphia has become synonymous with weight or size anxiety colloquially, and is considered the bedfellow of eating disorders/disorder eating, but it’s actually a different thing entirely. So it’s probably more accurate to say poor self/body image. Don’t mind me, just being a pedantic stickler for terminology over here…

  74. China says...

    I was just reading about Shrill on Slate and getting really excited to watch it!

  75. I feel like this is a good time to remind all the Spotify Premium users here that Hulu is now included in your Spotify subscription!

    I loved her perspective on being styled for photo shoots. It’s easy to forget that highly produced shoots have their own vision and it isn’t necessarily the “real” style of the person being featured.

    • Lashley, I have Spotify Premium but did not know about it including Hulu, and now I basically feel like I owe you a big hug because I’ll be able to watch this show. Thanks!

    • Claire says...

      whoa! really? I did not know this! Thank you!

    • Elena says...

      Wowowow! Thanks for sharing. Had no idea. Gonna set that up today and cancel my Hulu! No one wants to pay for something that is free. 💸💸💸

    • Claire says...

      Fyi, if anybody is still reading, some follow up on the Spotify/Hulu subscription. We looked into this, and learned that Hulu is included with a single member Spotify premium account, but is not available to those with a Spotify family account. Also, the Hulu subscription is for the level that includes advertising.

  76. Hani says...

    HERE. FOR. THIS.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  77. Elsi says...

    Love Lindy West and I liked this piece, but I wish the “my beauty uniform” posts were dedicated to people who had more of a beauty routine? Lindy West is great and I don’t need her to have an elaborate beauty routine to be interested in reading an interview with her, but for in this series I would prefer to hear from someone who *does* have more of a beauty/skin care routine. There’s nothing wrong with just washing your face with a bar of soap, but if that’s the case, could we find different, more interesting questions to ask Lindy West?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes we do a mix of styles for this series and I personally love how different they are. I find it so refreshing to see different approaches. The next one will be a beauty product enthusiast! Xo

    • Olivia says...

      I liked it as it reassured me I don’t have to spend a million dollars on fancy potions (even though I am accumulating more of them, use them more frequently, and like them). I always feel behind the curve when I see someone spending $$$$ on these products – like, am I missing the boat here?! Recherche p450 or whatever the heck it is?

      Totally hear you that you like to see someone w a regimen however!

    • Katy says...

      I gotta say, I loved the highlighting of a beauty uniform that was this minimalist. It really drove home the fact that you can be beautiful and self-confident (see: Lindy) without a cart full of products. I fear that only covering individuals who take a more maximalist approach would just further the misconception that women need to spend inordinate amounts of time, money, and energy on their appearances to be worthy of attention and emulation.

    • agnes says...

      I love that “beauty uniform” is ironic and includes sometimes a list of beauty products and tips for your hair, and sometimes not at all, because beauty can be about products, but mostly it is so much about how we are radiant with being ourselves! It is a totally empowering approach. Thank you so much!

  78. Jessica says...

    This is so refreshing! I am tired of being held to the same ridiculous beauty standards myself. And by whom? People trying to sell us stuff, of course. Can it be we might finally be turning a corner here?

  79. Lee says...

    I’m sooo excited for Shrill to start (TOMORROW!). Omg!

    Also, Lindy’s skin is so radiant and clear (very chill skin) and her wedding look is amazing. Very mermaid meets rainbow. Absolutely gorgeous!

    • Brooke says...

      Ohhh mermaid meets rainbow, yes, Lee! What a delightful description. Her skin is totally gorgeous and I love that she was hesitant to explain how she does it without a lot of potions. I say carry-on and rock it how you do! I can’t wait to see Shrill either. Aidy Bryant plus her writing is going to be SO GOOD.

  80. Rachel Lauber says...

    Ahhhhh I love her so much. I shrieked a little when I saw her name. Reading Shrill was a gamechanger for me and I can’t wait to see the series. You’re killing it this week CoJ!!!

  81. Dani says...

    Heard a piece about her on NPR today and that is about it (besides this of course).

    I love how confident she is! Being curvy myself my whole life, it isnt easy being secure with your body.

    Thanks for this, will follow her.:)

    • Abbie says...

      Read shrill (and watch the show but the book is 💯💯💯💯💯 It will guaranteed change your life.

  82. Claire says...

    What an interesting, smart, fun person she seems to be! I like her comments on the language around weight. I look forward to watching this show at some point (we don’t have Hulu at the moment) – I bet the writing is terrific and Aidy Bryant is so funny and wonderful. Also- I love Lindy’s hair in the top photo, and I made myself a note about the Dior lip glow.

  83. Kate says...

    Love this and would love to see a week of outfits from Lindy. Her wedding dress may be my favourite ever and love those black sandals.

  84. Marisa says...

    Have loved Lindy West for years and read every article she’s written (and nodded my head in agreement throughout all of them) and am so pumped for her that she has a show coming out! It looks so so good. Thanks for featuring her here (and the woman in me who has cringed at the word ‘fat’ for her ENTIRE life is thanking you too). She is doing amazing stuff for the world!

  85. Katie says...

    Her skincare routine is living in Seattle and only seeing the sun 8.5 months out of the year. I lived there for four years and only used moisturizer and my skin never looked better. On another note, I have been waiting patiently for the Shrill premiere for MONTHS!! So excited it’s happening tomorrow!

    • Ann says...

      As a Seattleite, I feel compelled to ask: Did you mean to say “NOT seeing the sun 8.5 months out of the year”?

    • Abesha1 says...

      Lol, I lived in Oregon’s Willamette Valley for 10 years and my skin loved it! Rain 9 months a year and soft, smooth with little effort.
      California, not so much. I’ve been parched for years now.

      Metaphor, or reality???

    • Em says...

      Agreed. I feel I’m a bit of an experiment because I have seven sisters in different climates/geographical locations. I have lived in CA my whole life, I’m the youngest and I have the worst skin. 😂. My sisters who never see the sun because they are in rainy London and Seattle- the best skin. It’s like the butt test- your butt should have the best skin because presumably, it never (or rarely) sees the light of day.

    • Sasha says...

      Yup- had best skin of my life when I lived in Vancouver, BC. It’s the humidity and lack of sun in winter. Sadly I had to go back to slathering on moisturizer when I moved back to a place with continental climate.

  86. Katie says...

    My heart melted reading this. I have yet to subscribe to Hulu. My meh attitude about it has turned into hell yes!

  87. C says...

    This is everything. I’m a huge fan of Lindy West, all of her writing- and I was THRILLED when I heard Aidy Bryant was starring in the adaptation of “Shrill.” https://jezebel.com/how-to-stop-being-shy-in-13-easy-steps-1778174400 Just try and read this without laughing! I’m also a fat woman, and I have been my entire life, she’s the only person who talks about fat-acceptance and body positivity in a way that isn’t condescending or a marketing pitch. I adore her, and this beauty uniform!

    • Jo says...

      I have read How to Stop Being Shy in 13 Easy Steps a handful of times in the past few years and I STILL just cried laughing. She is really one of the clearest, sanest, funniest voices in print today. I would pay full price admission to sit in on a conversation between Lindy West and Kelsey Miller!

  88. Nina says...

    I so agree. A few years ago my son was OUTRAGED because another kid at school said I was fat. I was all “I am…it’s ok to say because that isn’t WHO I am it’s just how I look.”

    And IT has a lip product like Dior Glow but its BETTER! Comes in a tube or as a lipstick. Try it out. So moisturizing and flattering. I gave the Dior away and almost deconstructed the IT tube to get the last dregs out.

    • Nikki says...

      What’s the product called?

    • Deb says...

      Nikki I’ve just googled and it looks like it might be “Je ne sais quoi” (I was excited by this news too!) but they also have some intriguing lip stains :-).

  89. ali says...

    Her skin is amazing and her wedding looks like it was a blast.

  90. love x a million! (also kind of amazing about her bar soap routine…!)

  91. Laura says...

    We need to know which red lipstick that is! I would bet it’s MAC ruby woo?
    We also need a week of outfits from her!!!

  92. Ashley B says...

    Love her and can’t wait to see the show!

  93. Lindsey Fox says...

    Holy shit! Lindy West!!!!! I haven’t even read this article and I am freaking out.

    Xx

  94. Isabelle says...

    Been waiting for this for so long !!!! yesss!!!!!

  95. Emily Wallis says...

    Thank you, thank you for doing Lindy. We need more Lindy–so herself. xo

  96. Kelsi says...

    Hell yes THANK YOU. Go Lindy! I’ve been reading you since you first started in The Stranger and your writing has always been a complete delight.

  97. Kirsten says...

    I love all her shoes and would love some sources!

    • Katie says...

      The black Mary Jane clogs are Dankso from a couple of years ago (I have them in red and LOVE them). I don’t think they make them anymore but they DO have a lot of cute alternatives on their site now.

      And as for the rest of her shoes, I would love the sources, too! :)

    • Jana says...

      Yes! Some great sandals and clogs here!

    • Joy says...

      I think the black toe loop sandal is the SAS Pampa model. And no, I didn’t spend all morning googling various word combos until I narrowed it down. ;-)

    • The black sandals are the SAS Pampa…..I have them myself in two colors because they are cute and so crazy comfortable. I clock in my 10,000 steps before noon (I’m a teacher) and days with these shoes are a joy.

  98. Alec says...

    I HAVEN’T READ THIS YET BUT I LOVE LINDY WEST AND I LOVE KELSEY MILLER SO I AM VERY EXCITED

    okay, scrolling back up to read now <3

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Well, THAT made my day! Thank you, Alec! I hope you enjoy!