Congressional Staffers Keep Our Government Running. Our Jobs Make It Hard To Function Ourselves.

In the past few months, an Instagram account coined “Dear White Staffers” has posted a stunning quantity of anonymous (and unvetted) anecdotes about working in the halls of Congress. The conditions described range from toxic workplaces and sexual harassment to tyrannical bosses and unaddressed substance abuse issues, with the account posting screenshot DMs from former and current staffers detailing what the day-to-day looked like in their respective offices. Overwhelmingly, contributors say they are overworked and underpaid in jobs that promised to fulfill their sense of purpose but have fallen short even by that standard.

I was one of them, and this is a first-hand account and my own account of what it is like to work in our government. 

“Fuck I hope you die.” Really bright and happy quote to start of the morning. This is a fraction of what it’s like to work for a member of Congress. 

“We don’t get into this to make money.” We say it out of reflex. We also say it as a justification. I was hired in a low-level staff position after multiple unpaid internships and didn’t earn enough to rent in the same place I worked.  I worked two jobs to make ends meet. Again, I was thankful. I reminded myself that I was not in this to make money. I was receiving a student loan payment. It was an enormous help. I am very thankful for that. 

But I’m also frustrated. My time working for a member of Congress gave me scars. I was diagnosed with a serious anxiety disorder two years in. I began seeing a therapist weekly and much of the conversation was driven around my work. I began medication and tried to rationalize why I was doing this. I spent repeated nights crying about work, stressed about tomorrow. Crippling anxiety woke me up in the night. My partner and family began to notice. 

I also began drinking more to numb the anxiety and feelings of stress—a very common coping mechanism for those working for members of Congress that’s been detailed in many @Dear_White_Staffers accounts. During my time in D.C., I saw it firsthand. I always described it as a “work hard, play hard” environment. But now, I see the ugly underbelly of addiction, depression, and hopelessness that runs through the foundation of our nation’s government.

Staffers are the backbone of Capitol Hill. And yet, congressional offices are woefully understaffed. By the time I left, a huge chunk of the work I was doing was not even on my job description. I hear what you’re thinking: a lot of people are overworked. First of all, we shouldn’t be—and the quiet uprising among the ranks on Capitol Hill comes as employees from a range of industries are demanding better treatment. But secondly, stretching staffers isn’t just bad for their morale, but bad for the people we’re hired to serve. Hiring more staff members and paying them fairly would help us to do better work for you.

While some current or former Republican staffers have shared their accounts, discussions around @Dear_White_Staffers have focused on the progressives whose public statements run contrary to their staff’s own experiences. That is an enormous problem. We cannot let this narrative drive the conversation. This truly is an issue that affects both sides of the aisle. Focusing only on the progressives who don’t always live up to their standards lets the conservatives have none off the hook. This is unacceptable.

The experiences detailed to @Dear_White_Staffers speak to a fundamental breakdown in our society. Like those in other low-paying but essential government positions, staffers do this work because they want to make a difference. Many of us believe in our work and in our boss’s ultimate goals for the country. We want to make people’s lives better, but at what cost to ourselves? In many ways, it is a “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” moment. We are turning the wheels and keeping the machine moving. 

We stay in these jobs because our loans get paid, we get health care and dental care. Raising the pay for Congress is integral, just as it’s important for everyone to have access to health care and student loan assistance.

The moral of this story is that without adequate pay and time off our government will continue to crumble.

Why We Needed Elizabeth Warren

It was pretty clear, even before Super Tuesday, that Elizabeth Warren was not going to be the Democratic Party’s nominee. Whatever Crest 3D Whitestrips-induced spell Joe Biden cast over the people of South Carolina that spread faster than the Coronavirus into the campaigns of both Buttigieg and Klobuchar pretty much solidified that. I knew it was a long shot, but I was still excited to cast my vote for a female candidate that I truly felt was the best person for the job.

On Sunday night, two days before I would vote for Warren, I was chatting with my ex-boyfriend about the election. Which I recognize was probably my first mistake. He tried to convince me to switch my vote to Bernie. At the time, I was a little annoyed but mostly just glad that, as his EX-girlfriend, I could argue with him without having to worry about the impact it would have on an already fragile and clearly unhealthy relationship. But now, after a Tuesday that most can agree was not-so-f*cking super, I’m pissed.

And I’m not the only person who had to fight off a Bernie bro trying to bully them into changing their vote. So for those of you who, like me, are angry that Warren is out and could use some commiseration, or for those of you who, like my ex, are angry that she didn’t drop out sooner, here is a list of reasons why Warren’s candidacy was f*cking important and it’s a god damn shame that she’s gone. 

Me to everyone who said Warren wasn’t electable.

Would you like your white man to be 77 or 78 years old?

I mean seriously America. How did we go from the most diverse cast of characters candidates in a presidential race to two men who if you squinted and tilted your head just right, could be the same person on different days? One post-spa visit that offered half-price tanning and teeth whitening packages, and the other post-night of literally being the old man who went to bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning. 

Me, I’m more disappointed.

Yes, Warren is white and 70—she’s not the most representative of the diversity we need to see in American politics. But she IS a woman who, in addition to being a fashion icon for every girl who has ever wanted to wear exclusively all black with just a pop of color—was able to get a point across during a debate without yelling, completely losing track of a thought, confusing his sister for his wife, or being compared to a communist dictator.

May I remind you: 

She could have beaten Trump

I’m not entirely convinced Trump will, under any circumstances, leave the White House in 2021. I wouldn’t be surprised if he glued himself to the chair in the Oval Office and just whined “mine” until we all gave up trying. But, of the three valid candidates still in the race on Tuesday— Biden, Bernie, and Warren (Bloomberg doesn’t count because according to Wikipedia Warren killed him during the Las Vegas debate, and Tulsi doesn’t count because no explanation needed)—I honestly feel like she had the best chance to win.

Trump and Russia clearly want Bernie to be the candidate, which is a red flag that no one, not even someone like me who throws herself into red flags like a slalom skier who forgot how the race works, should ignore. And Biden? Did everyone just forget that Trump basically won Impeachment, a game in which Biden was implicated in foul play? Do we think this is going to end up working out for us? Let’s ask the man himself:

Doesn’t instill a ton of confidence.

Please, look me in the eye and tell me Warren is less electable than those two and say it with a straight face without recognizing that you are being just like, a little bit sexist…which brings me to my final point: 

Are we just supposed to be okay with how sexist this is?

Even my Bernie bro ex thinks Warren was the most qualified candidate. He agrees most strongly with her policies, and thought she would make the best president. But he and so many others like him had no intention of ever voting for her because “she wouldn’t win”. The “it’s not that I don’t want a female President, I just don’t think the rest of America is ready for it” argument. It’s a self-fulfilling sexist AF prophecy, and now we all have to live with those people saying they were right. I’m starting to feel like the ceiling was made with bulletproof glass and everyone is so wrapped up in Hilary 2016 PTSD that they won’t even let us try to break through. 

so solid you can feel your head banging on it.

— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) March 5, 2020

Eventually, I will rally behind whoever the Democratic nominee ends up being, and I’ll rally hard. But for just a little while I am going to wear all black with just a pop of color and sit shiva for the loss of Elizabeth Warren from the top of our ticket.


Images: Maverick Pictures / Shutterstock; Giphy (4); audreygelman / Twitter

NYC May Legalize Gay Conversion Therapy, And Here’s Why

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I know. I know. But before you lose your f*cking sh*t like I did, hear me out. I was sitting in a meeting when the NY Times clickbait banner shot across my phone like lightening, reading, “New York City is legalizing the discredited practice of gay conversion therapy. Here’s why.” I had a moment of panic and shoved my screen in the face of my coworker who’s smarter than me, and in a matter of seconds she read the article and explained why it’s a necessary thing and not quite as bad as it sounds.

It’s been almost two years since the NYC council rejoiced after passing a ban on conversion therapy, a widely disparaged practice that, according to GLAAD, is any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. It’s been ruled illegal in 18 states and the District of Columbia and has been denounced by medical professionals for many years. A 2009 report by the American Psychological Association confirmed that it does not work, harms patients, and infers that sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity is a mental disorder, which it is not.

So why the f*ck is New York City, one of the most liberal places in the country, making it legal to subject people to such a backwards-thinking practice? Basically, to ensure the case doesn’t go to the Supreme Court, where the outcome could royally screw us until the end of time. The New York Times explains, “The move is a gambit to neutralize a federal lawsuit filed against the city by a conservative Christian legal organization. If the case were to be heard by the Supreme Court, advocates for the LGBT community fear that the panel could issue a ruling that could severely damage attempts to ban or curtail conversion therapy.” The article continues with an interview with the speaker of the council, who is openly gay and HIV positive, Corey Johnson. He says, “Obviously I didn’t want to repeal this. I don’t want to be someone who is giving in to these right wing groups, but the Supreme Court has become conservative; the Second Circuit, which oversees New York, have become more conservative.”

And before you totally panic, it’s not repealed yet. The Associated Press reports that the proposed repeal is going to a committee hearing next week, then will have a vote in the council, then has to be signed by the mayor. And, the NYC law that bans conversion therapy for minors will still remain in effect.

The lawsuit was started by a conservative Arizona-based group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, saying conversion therapy is a First amendment issue, and by making it illegal, they’re censoring speech. So yeah, it’s total bullsh*t, but this is the world we live in now! Don’t forget to go to the voting booth on November 8th, well-informed of what you’re voting for to keep our state Supreme Court from being potentially even more conservative-leaning!

Want more news explained in a way that’s not boring and easy to understand, AND delivered straight to your inbox five times a week? Sign up for The ‘Sup!

Images: Giphy

How A Messy Breakup Led To The World’s First Space Crime

When you hear the words “space crime,” your mind probably conjures up images of intergalactic overlord zipping through the cosmos in a flying saucer. You’re probably thinking aliens, guns that shoot lasers, jars full of glowing green stuff, and whatever else it is that Scientologists believe in. But what if I told you that the first-ever space crime may have already been committed and it was actually petty as f*ck?

I give you, the story of astronaut Anne McLain and her estranged ex-wife, Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden. As amazing as an astronaut and pilot lesbian power couple may seem, their messy divorce and custody battle has given way to space crime after Worden alleged that McLain hacked into her bank account…FROM SPACE!!

So what went down exactly? According to a complaint Worden filed with the FTC, McClain was working on the International Space Station when she used her downtime to engage in every earthling’s favorite past time: f*cking with your ex. Worden believes that McLain illegally accessed her bank account from space, due to the fact that McLain seemed to have a weirdly accurate knowledge of Worden’s personal spending, despite the fact that she wasn’t even on the planet when this spending took place.

Worden then used her expertise as an Air Force intelligence officer to get a list of the computers that had logged into her online banking account. And wouldn’t you know it, one of those computers happened to be on the international space station. And so the first allegation of criminal wrongdoing in space was born. Personally, I’m not sure if I should be comforted or horrified by the fact that a human being can be faced with the full vastness of the cosmos and still be like, “Hold up I’m just gonna go stalk my ex real quick,” but here we are.

McLain adamantly denies that she did anything wrong or unusual in accessing the account (apart from being in zero gravity when she did it) and says she just wanted to make sure there were sufficient funds in Worden’s account for herself and their son, who is currently the subject of a custody battle. Worden is calling bullsh*t on that and has filed a complaint with NASA’s Office of the Inspector General, accusing McLain of identity theft and “improper access” to her bank account.

But what is a space crime, exactly? And who is in charge of space law? Basically, when you’re in space you are subject to the laws of your earthly residence. Sh*t that is illegal down here is still illegal up there, meaning space is actually less lawless than international waters or like, Burning Man. That said, if McLain is found to be in the wrong here, this would be the first recorded incident of space crime in history, though perhaps not the first time a messy divorce has led to someone saying “f*ck it!” and moving to the Moon.

It’s impossible to tell who is right in this she-said-she-said, but one thing is clear: you can never escape relationship drama. No matter how far you run.

Why You Really Shouldn’t Trust Fitness Advice From Influencers

In news that should surprise nobody, a study showed that influencers don’t know how to give proper weight loss advice. I’m not even talking about the clearly sponsored tea ads that we all know are B.S.; I’m talking about the influencers with actual weight loss blogs and recipes. Yeah, apparently even the ones who seem legit can’t be trusted. A UK study was recently presented at a conference in Glasgow that gives scientific backing to this claim that the info these influencers are selling is misleading, to say the least.

The research conducted research on the 14 most popular UK influencers with fitness blogs, and they were chosen based on the following criteria:

So here’s what happened. Of the 14, 5 didn’t make the cut because too much of the blog content didn’t relate to fitness or weight loss. The 9 remaining influencers’ blog contents were further analyzed for credibility. The research had 12 indicators that they used to quantify credibility (science will turn anything into numbers, it’s crazy). These indicators looked at transparency, proper use of other resources, trustworthiness, adherence to accepted nutritional guidelines, and bias. They were measured on a pass/fail basis, and just like in high school, 70% was the pass rate. The study found that 5 influencers did not provide evidence-based references (so, scientific studies) for their nutritional advice and they presented their opinions as facts.

The researchers also took 10 latest meal recipes from each blog and analyzed their nutritional values. These values were then compared to guidelines in the Public Health England’s “One You” calorie reduction campaign (so their version of USDA’s My Plate)  and something called UK Food Standards Agency’s Traffic Light Scheme (which sounds to me V. CONFUSING, but turns out it’s just their cute little method of labeling their food). Only three recipes met the UK’s public health criteria.

So who really passed? Just one. The passing blog is run by a degree-qualified blogger, who is also a registered nutritionist with the UK Association for Nutrition. Interestingly enough, a medical doctor did not pass. Considering that doctors are not trained in nutrition (a lot of people don’t realize this), this is not that surprising to me. The lowest scoring blog was run by an influencer with no nutritional qualifications.


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love that for us | @mf_flynn

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Now first of all, this study has an extremely small sample size. Nevertheless, the findings are still important. Let’s be real, personal trainers and nutritionists SHOULD require, at minimum, a certification course and passing a certification exam. Not all the online trainers you see will have these certifications. Better personal trainers have degrees in their field that require years of work, and better nutritionists are registered dieticians, which means they have to take the Board Exam.

As someone who has degrees in both fields, I can attest to the amount of work we do. We talk about the cycles of metabolism in deep detail. I’m talking all-nighter required levels of detail. We literally remember the glycolysis pathway with each metabolite and catalyzing enzyme, along with the byproduct of each metabolizing step. We also remember the actual chemical illustration (the hexagon looking things, you see? Yea, those). A nutritionist who knows their science should know it takes 10 steps to get a sugar molecule into usable energy for your body because they should’ve learned it in an Advanced Metabolism class (pre-requisites include organic chemistry). A personal trainer who knows their sh*t should know all about the correct ways to periodize training programs to overcome the general adaptation syndrome for their clients’ continuous progression because they should’ve learned that in Kinesiology 101, or at the very least, during their certification course.

That all too science-y? Thank you. The point is this: People cannot just start going to the gym, getting their own bodies in better shape, and start giving out advice. Not only does that put people’s health at risk, but it also demeans an entire industry. That’s like if someone who put Neosporin and a Band-aid on their cut started calling themselves a doctor.

people take one mirror pic at their local gym and swear they’re fitness influencers

— J (@oh_jdiaz) June 12, 2019

The main takeaway from this study? Be careful who you take advice from! They may have the perfect IG feed with a blue check, but that doesn’t mean they’re qualified to dole out advice. Nutrition and fitness is a field that is super scientific and specific, and it deals with your HEALTH. Always, always double check someone’s background in the field before believing what they have to say.

Images: Ayo Ogunseinde / Unsplash; dietstartstomorrow / Instagram; oh_jdiaz / Twitter

An Author Who Lost Her Book Deal Over A Viral Tweet Is Suing

For those of you who only read news with clickbait headlines (hi), you’ve probably read the many absurd stories about author—or shall I say, soon-to-be former author?—Natasha Tynes, who first made the news in the Washington Post. If you haven’t, allow me to fill you in with a quote from The Cut’s take on the story: “Natasha Tynes, a Jordanian-American writer who lost her book deal after publicly shaming a bus operator, is suing her publisher for $13.4 million for causing her ‘extreme emotional distress’,” Yep, you read that right. Honestly, any story that involves a lawsuit for “emotional distress” is going to be good—it’s just a fact. So let’s jump right in to this ongoing saga that makes the publishing world look like reality TV.

Just to summarize the main events of the story, here’s both what happened last month and the fallout that’s unfolding right now in one sentence: Tynes wrote a book with Rare Bird Lit Inc., but said book was pulled after the author tweeted a photo of a black female transit worker eating on the D.C. Metro, calling the behavior “unacceptable.” I mean, there is so much wrong with literally all of that, starting with the fact that, while technically against the rules, eating on public transit is hardly a big deal. I’ve seen New Yorkers on the subway ignore way more serious rules, like blocking all of the doors with their spaceship-sized strollers or jumping over the turnstile instead of paying the MTA. 

Here is a screenshot of the offending tweet that caused a sh*t storm. Honestly, I’d love to make a Twitter account just to ask this lady where the transit worker was supposed to eat her breakfast. At her desk in her beautifully decorated corner office? Lol.

So after Tynes sent her tweet, a true sh*t storm was swiftly released unto her. She was accused of being “anti-black,” “entitled,” and a “terrible person.” She ended up deleting the post less than 30 mins later. Good, I guess? She also issued an apology for her “short-lived expression of frustration” and reached out to the whatever the D.C. version of MTA is to make sure the employee who was eating wouldn’t get in trouble. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late because the people of Twitter were already enraged, and the employee in question was “hurt and embarrassed” by being publicly shamed online. Lastly, sh*t hit the fan when Rare Bird Inc. released a statement that basically said Tynes’ tweet was so bad that they didn’t even want to be associated with her, so they pulled her book.

And for those of you who don’t get why this was such a big deal, Tynes’ own ex-publishers summed it up pretty succinctly: “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies. We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”

Tynes, after tweeting about the transit worker eating her breakfast:

But the drama didn’t end there. “Tynes was hospitalized for ‘an acute anxiety reaction and suicidal ideations’,” according to the WaPo. As you can imagine, because it’s 2019 and people suck, Tynes received online threats, and, according to the lawsuit, “she became the subject of racial slurs, including being called a ‘terrorist,’ ‘a plane bomber,’ ‘un-American’ and ‘a radical Muslim,’ while others called for her deportation.” So what did Tynes do? Wait for this nightmare to blow over? Nope. She hit Rare Bird Inc. with a 36-page lawsuit. Ok, so I kind of stopped feeling bad for her at that point.

I didn’t read all 36 pages, because I have a life, but in the lawsuit, Tynes rails against Rare Bird Lit for “Subjecting an immigrant woman of color to this racial torment for own personal profit…  while its imprint publicly lectured ‘that we have to be allies, not oppressors,'” noting that the imprint is an all-white company. Sounds cool, but it completely glosses over the fact that Rare Bird wasn’t the one subjecting Tynes to racial torment—it was the individuals who sent her the threatening messages. And those people didn’t send her those messages because her publisher dropped her—they sent them because Tynes herself went after a transit worker on Twitter. In essence, Tynes is attempting to sue her book publisher for the consequences of her own actions, when it doesn’t seem like the publisher had really anything to do with it.

Also, it remains unclear how Rare Bird would profit from cutting ties with one of their authors, except in a PR sense. This seems to me like a classic case of “entitled lady did something completely ignorant and, instead of offering a genuine apology and learning from her mistake, decided to double down on her actions and then sue.”

The last word so far is from Rare Bird Inc.’s lawyer/mouthpiece David Eisen, who pointed out the most important aspect of this whole thing: the f*cking irony. Eisen said, “It is ironic that, having taken advantage of her First Amendment rights with an ill-advised tweet, Ms. Tynes now seeks to stifle and punish use of those very same rights of a respected book publisher who legitimately expressed its opinions of her conduct, rather than take responsibility for her own actions.” He’s not wrong, except I don’t think either of these people understand how the First Amendment works. For the last time: the First Amendment does not mean you can say whatever you want without consequences from private individuals/companies. It means you cannot get in trouble with the government for saying whatever you want (provided it’s not hate speech, etc).

Also, Rare Bird released a statement on Twitter basically saying this lawsuit is total bullsh*t and Tynes’ book wasn’t sh*t to begin with, anyway. I paraphrase. Here is their actual statement:

Statement from Rare Bird

— Rare Bird (@rarebirdlit) June 10, 2019

So, I don’t know where Tynes got this $13.4 million figure when her book only sold 50 presale copies, and only a few hundred were going to be printed, and it wasn’t even a well-received book to begin with! Whatever ass cavity she pulled this number out of, I want her to represent me in my next salary negotiations. In any case, as an English major, this is the most exciting thing to happen in literature since… like, ever, so I’m living for it.

Images: Giphy (3); The Washington Post

‘The Telegraph’ Published A Gross Fat-Shaming Piece About Nike

Another day, another unnecessary opinion getting posted on the internet. I can say that, as someone whose unnecessary opinions get posted on the internet all the time. In my case, they tend to trend towards things like the pivotal Best Kiss Award at the 2005 VMAs or why Love Island is the most important show in the history of television. You know, harmless stuff. But in the case of English journalist Tanya Gold, unnecessary opinions tend to include things like campaigning against a sports brand for having the audacity to show some love to a criminally neglected audience: plus-size women.

In an piece for The Telegraph titled “Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie,” Tanya Gold rails against Nike for the inclusion of plus-size mannequins in their flagship London store. Except, according to Gold, these human-shaped crimes against humanity are not just plus-size: “the new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman. She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat.”

“She heaves with fat” is the kind of thing I whisper while I watch my cat try to climb onto the windowsill in my bedroom, but yes it’s also a totally acceptable thing for a grown woman to say about an inanimate object built to showcase clothing.

Hey @Telegraph #tanyagold this plus size athlete has run 5 marathons, an Olympic triathlon, 2 tough mudders, a 42 mile ultramarathon and hundreds of other races and ALL in this Fat size 18 body!! If you are ever in need of some coaching to help you with your worthyness call me!!!

— Too Fat to Run? (@Fattymustrun) June 10, 2019

Before diving into this mess of bigotry masquerading as concern, let’s get something straight really quick. The plus-size mannequin, while an inclusive and realistic representation of many women and a progressive step in the fashion industry, is first and foremost a savvy business decision. Nike launched a plus-size collection in 2017. Since the addition of these mannequins, searches of “Nike” and “plus size” have sky-rocketed. As a brand that is no stranger to using controversial statements to boost sales, a move like this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Does any of that negate the positive effect these mannequins have had on women who finally feel like they’re being catered to by one of the world’s biggest brands? That’s a conversation for another day. (But the answer is no, it doesn’t.)

After insulting the plastic person that has apparently ruined her life, Gold pivots to her apparent hatred of the advertising industry, complete with a quote from Don Draper. You know an argument is about to be relevant when it’s building its foundation on a TV show that ended four years ago.

“Advertising has always bullied women, but this is something more insidious.” As someone who works in advertising, I find this line of attack equal parts tired and one-dimensional. But we don’t even have time to focus on that argument before Gold starts listing all of the different body-ideals foisted upon women by the media, ranging from “the spindly, starved creature” to “the Kim Kardashian.”

It’s no secret that women are held to an unrealistic beauty standard, one that has a tendency to drastically impact our entire lives. But using that idea as a basis to justify fat-shaming is both hilarious and misguided. This woman got so turned around in her own logic that she stumble onto a trail leading towards actual rational thought.

You see, somehow, on the way to her argument as to why overweight mannequins shouldn’t be allowed in public, Gold has outlined the very reason that they serve as a beacon of hope to so many: because they’ve never been featured there before. That plus-size mannequin is standing proudly (or as proudly as she can being headless and also not alive) next to a size two mannequin in a major location of a global brand. That’s a big deal for a lot of people, which naturally means someone had to try and tear it down.

But Gold is too busy to notice that because she’s out here, leading a crusade against everything from Nike to the advertising industry to porn to video games to Kim Kardashian for unfairly dictating women’s appearances….all while writing an op-ed attempting to unfairly dictate women’s appearances.

“I would never want a woman to hate herself for what she finds in the looking-glass,” says Gold. Unless that woman is overweight and looking for athletic clothes to wear so that she can perhaps change that fact. Or to lounge in around the house because they’re comfortable. Or to wear because she’s a f*cking human and is allowed to buy overpriced athleisure just like the rest of us.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but overweight people need workout clothes, too. Just because someone is large does not mean they are unhealthy. Big women can run marathons and lift weights and do sports and live their lives and perhaps punch women who try to tell them otherwise in the face if they are so inclined. And even if they are unhealthy, it’s not up to some woman with a word processor and access to a short-sighted editor to decide what they get to wear.

Wow @Telegraph – nice job with the Tanya Gold click bait. I look like that @nike mannequin, and I’ve done a 10k, a half, & a marathon this year. And there’s another 10k & a half coming up. If you think obese women can’t run you’ve clearly been living under a rock.

— Tegwen Tucker (@tegwentucker) June 9, 2019

Perhaps it never occurred to Gold that these mannequins, this  kind of mainstream representation from a fitness brand, could  give overweight people the confidence to actually start exercising. The road to wellness is daunting and overwrought with obstacles as is, God forbid Nike try and make it a little smoother for people who are already inclined to avoid it.

Gold’s outrage is built upon the fact that this “fat acceptance” movement will stop overweight people from trying to change their lifestyle, but she also doesn’t want to give them the means to do so.  Almost sounds like she cares less about their well-being and more about being an intolerant asshole.

TL;DR:  Hate Nike? Then don’t shop at Nike. Hate plus-size people? Then don’t be plus-size. But also maybe try not being a giant piece of sh*t while you’re at it.

Images: Twitter (@tegwentucker, @Fattymustrun)

Why Is Ashton Kutcher Testifying In A Murder Trial?

Ashton Kutcher’s life turned into a live-action episode of Dateline last week when he had to testify at a murder trial. No, this was not an elaborate stunt he concocted to convince MTV to bring back Punk’d (although I fully support any show that makes Justin Timberlake cry), this is real life. So now I’m sure you’re thinking, “WTF is Ashton doing testifying in this case, and more importantly, why is he sporting facial hair that makes it look like he’s the sexual predator?” Never fear, FBI agent Sweetest Betch is here to take the case.

So here are the facts. Ashton testified in the case against the “Hollywood Ripper,” who is accused of murdering at least two women, including Ashley Ellerin, a girl Ashton was seeing at the time. The “Hollywood Ripper” is obviously a nickname given to the alleged killer in an attempt to sensationalize the case *check* and terrify the public *check*. My favorite profiler, S.S.A. Agent Hotchner, would not approve. Anyway, the alleged killer’s real name is Michael Gargiulo, so I’m pretty sure he is also a former Bachelorette contestant and my local news anchor.

Here’s what happened. On the night of February 21, 2000, Ashton went over to Ashley’s Hollywood home to pick her up and go out to dinner and drinks. They had spoken earlier that night, at 8:24pm, but by the time Ashton got to her apartment at 10:45pm (for dinner? Really, pal?), Ashley was not answering. Police believe that after talking to Ashton, Ashley was attacked from behind by Gargiulo, who allegedly stabbed her 47 times and then fled the scene. When Ashton got to the apartment, he rang the doorbell but no one answered. He looked in the window and saw what he thought was red wine spilled on the carpet, which he didn’t think was weird because she had had a party days earlier. Ashton left, figuring she bailed on him because he was so late to pick her up. He found out the next day that she had been brutally murdered, and that definitely wasn’t wine. Oh no.

Ashton also testified that the next day police approached him and he was “freaking out” because his fingerprints were on the door. He was never considered a suspect, but imagine if he was falsely imprisoned?! The world would never have been blessed with his star-making turn as Steve Jobs, or been able to Netflix and chill while watching The Ranch, or enjoyed his time on Two and a Half Men, or wait… I’d be kind of fine with that?

Ashley Ellerin was a student at L.A.’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising when she met Ashton, and was originally from Northern California. She allegedly encountered Gargiulo when he offered to help her when she had a flat tire, and then he began showing up at her home unannounced. Seriously, and I cannot stress this enough, f*ck that guy.

Gargiulo is also charged with the murder of Maria Bruno, the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy, and is suspected of murdering Tricia Pacaccio. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Based on my knowledge of over 200 hours of Criminal Minds, I can say confidently and with no authority whatsoever that Michael Gargiulo is a human piece of trash. Well he’s worse than that, but I can’t think of better words than that because I’m so mad right now. If he is found guilty, I hope he is sentenced to the maximum punishment and is also forced to watch Two and a Half Men on a loop for the rest of his life. Welcome to the bad place, Michael.

Images: Giphy (2)