Profile for Kate Fridkis

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Mirror, Mirror: On Pregnancy And Body Image

Mirror, Mirror: Thin Women
Why thin women shouldn't be excluded from talking about body image. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Rules
Kate comes up with better beauty rules. Read More »
Mirror Mirror: Age 65
How Kate wants to be when she's 65. Read More »

I am 19 weeks pregnant. In pregnancy, everything is measured in weeks, and I keep wanting to wish my fetus a happy beginning-of-the-next-week birthday. Because we made it this far and we should celebrate, damn it. But I guess that gets a little excessive. People keep telling me, “You barely look pregnant!” And it’s frustrating, because I am really, really pregnant. I know, because of all the barfing I endured for three months. (So much barfing! Dear God. I can hardly look at a saltine now without a rising sense of dread.) I know, because of the boxing match that seems to be going on endlessly between my very enthusiastic baby and any part of my body he or she can reach. Believe me, I am quite pregnant. So when people tell me, “I can’t even tell!” I have this weird reaction. I know that they are complimenting me. They’re suggesting that I look thin, and I’m supposed to appreciate that. But I also have to resist the urge to stick my belly out and say, “No, no, seriously, look closer! This is the real deal!” Keep reading »

The Soapbox: In Defense Of Personal Essays

Soapbox: Black Bachelorette
Misee Harris
Why has there never been a black "Bachelorette." Read More »
My Nose Job
One writer talks about getting a nose job. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Skinny Girl
Kate used to be known as the skinny girl. Read More »

When I started writing personal essays on the internet, I was half embarrassed, half proud. Even though I grew up in a generation that’s supposedly all about oversharing and Facebooking and nonstop blabby social connectedness, I’d still learned that privacy is a virtue, modesty is preferable, and you shouldn’t air your dirty laundry. But I also wanted to talk about things that felt relevant but had been kept quiet. And I wanted to share those things with other women, because I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be facing some of the same challenges that girls and women all over the world deal with, even if those challenges at times felt intensely, well, personal. Even if they felt too small and mundane for the news. I came into personal essay writing open-minded, scared, and determined.

And then I read the comments. Keep reading »

Mirror, Mirror: Thin Women Are Part Of The Body Image Conversation, Too

Mirror, Mirror: Skinny
Kate used to be known as the skinny girl. Read More »
Hippo-Gate
melissa mccarthy hippo
On Melissa McCarthy and the movie critic who called her a "hippo." Read More »
Too Thin
Some sad things that happened when one woman got too thin. Read More »

People like to make things into battles, with two opposing sides. You know, like in the Mommy Wars where breastfeeding is a battle cry and formula feeding is a ferocious counterattack. Oy vey.

Sometimes, in the world of conversations about body image, it seems like heavy women get pitted against thin women. There are a series of memes that have been endlessly cycling through Facebook with pictures of skinny, currently famous women alongside previous pinups with voluptuous breasts and hips. One caption reads “When did this … become hotter than THIS?” suggesting that our thin-obsessed culture has lost its way.

“EEWWW! She’s just skin and bones!” say the commenters. And then thin women get understandably pissed. Keep reading »

Mirror, Mirror: The Buzz Cut Beauty Queen

Mirror, Mirror: Girl
The girl Kate wanted to be. Read More »
Hell Yeah, I Love You!
Hell yeah, I love you! Getting love is easy this Valentine's Day. Read More »
My Buzz Cut
Why this woman got a buzz cut. Read More »

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, right? Romance and pink things and flowers, too. It’s supposed to be about couples, but I want to selfishly celebrate by acknowledging a woman who made me love myself a little bit more. So often, I think we’re trying to make ourselves appealing and acceptable to other people. We’re worried about how we look to them, how we come across, if we’re pretty and likable. But once, when I was a kid, I saw a woman who made me think there might be another way to do things, and I’ve never forgotten her.

This is my love letter to a buzz cut beauty queen. Keep reading »

Mirror, Mirror: The Girl I Wanted To Be

Mirror, Mirror: Photo
That picture is lying! You look great. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Carbs
Is Kate the only person who still eats carbs? Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Pretty Enough
You are pretty enough to find love. Read More »

She was really beautiful. She was the coolest girl ever. She always knew what to say, and she said it casually, like she barely had to think first. I wanted to be just like her. I was 13, she was 15, and she was perfect to me.

My parents were very supportive. They thought I was smart and pretty and capable. And that is so important, like the concrete they pour into the husk of the foundation of a house when it’s just planks and sticks in the dirt. But the shape of the building, the furniture inside—I think that comes from other girls. That’s how you learn how to be a girl, after all, from the other ones around you.  Keep reading »

Mirror, Mirror: The Photo Is Lying

Mirror, Mirror: Pretty Enough
You are pretty enough to find love. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Rules
Kate comes up with better beauty rules. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Bra
Why Kate's ditching her padded bra. Read More »

I was looking seriously cute. My hair was behaving commendably, my face did not have anything obviously wrong with it, my belt was making my waist look seductive, and my new boots gave me a taller, lither look than I’m accustom to. Even my little boobs were cheerful and holding form in my bra, rather than sliding disobediently down, as is their evil habit.

“You look great!” said my husband, picking up on the whole thing. He snapped a photo on his phone. And another, and then a third.

“Hmm,” he said, “I can’t really get a good angle. Wait.” One more. “Okay,” he said, sounding satisfied. He showed me.

It was a little shocking, how wrong I’d been. My hair was stringy and frazzled at the same time. My face had aged 10 years. My waist was bulging around the belt, and my little stunted legs looked almost hilariously comical in their silly, trying-too-hard boots. Even in the “good” shot, I appeared to be lumbering off to terrorize a small village, possibly to capture a maiden or two and haul them off to my cave for supper. I’m not even going to get started on my boobs. Keep reading »

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