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Body Type: Words about the tricky business of the physical self
Welcome! Here's what this publication is all about.
Hi! I’m Mikala.
I’m a writer, editor, and former newsroom journalist [find my other work on my website] in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as a live storyteller who created The Body Show for the 2022 Capital Fringe Festival. Here’s a five-star review.
Also: I’m working on a book of essays about body image and exercise, and am represented by Kayla Lightner at Ayesha Pande Literary.
What is Body Type all about?
“Body image” is the Big Important Topic here, and I examine through essays how things like exercise, eating, media, and culture influence the thoughts and feelings we have about our bodies. These are complicated, thorny topics that I try to approach with nuance and vulnerability. Sometimes I just fire off hot takes.
I want to feel better in and about my body as much as I can (knowing that it’s OK and normal if I can’t always accept it or love it), and I want you to, too.
Some things that inform my interest and expertise:
I lived with binge eating disorder for many years, so …
… I used to be about 70 pounds heavier, which changed once I got into therapy for disordered eating and fell in love with strength training, and then …
… I became a certified group fitness instructor, a one-time competitive powerlifter, and a (not officially) certified Woman Who Likes to Lift Weights.
That’s why I write about things like the agony and the ecstasy of weight loss compliments, why research doesn’t make being fat any easier, how pushing yourself through exercise doesn’t mean punishing yourself with it, whether any woman isn’t fucked up about her body, why Ozempic gossip and selective body policing will destroy our brains, why I’ll never run again, why it’s OK that skinny influencers show their little fat rolls, why junk food needs no defense and healthy food needs no praise, etc.
What will I get if I subscribe to Body Type?
You’ll get at least two posts a month (usually more), most free, some paid. Paid subscriber posts are generally more “advice-y or spicy” — they offer more how-to insights, or something related to sex/anything else commenters might want to discuss with more privacy.
Paid subscribers also have access to my special “Body Type Guide to Safe, Sane, Sustainable Change,” series, which dives deeper into meaningful habit and behavior change around exercise, eating, and body image.
Body Type is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
What do people have to say about Body Type?
Here are lovely things readers have emailed me/commented here:
“Finally, a body image newsletter that doesn't overcorrect for diet culture! Expect research-backed, common sense takes on the dangers of diet culture rhetoric *and* the absurdity of (some of) the anti-diet culture rhetoric that's risen up to replace it, plus actionable advice for feeling better in and about your body.” —of
“This is so great! I find a lot of writing on both ‘diet culture’ and ‘beauty culture’ to be twisting itself into knots and being more exclusionary than it likely intends to be in the name of being assertive. We don't always need to be assertive – sometimes we just need to be allowed to be people!” —of in response to, “Is ‘exercise’ a bad word now?”
“This is honestly the best approach I’ve come upon! Having tried body positivity, neutrality, fuck-all-it-y, I feel like this is the one that resonates the most. Such a weight is lifted off, thank you so much for this.” — Reader comment on “A body image mantra: ‘I don’t like it, but there it is’”
“I love how you've approached this sensitive topic with nuance and thought. Nowadays — be it because of social media algorithms — we’re bombarded by content we either 100% agree with or 100% disagree with, but your reflection was so beautifully nuanced and real, and you analyzed the two seemingly contrasting fields of body image so well.” — Reader comment on “Sometimes it’s easier to just lose weight”
“These are the kind of nuanced conversations we need to have about our bodies. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” — Reader comment on “On Taylor Swift’s Scalegate”
What if I have ideas I want you to write about, or I feel weird about something you wrote, or I want to be a paid subscriber but I can’t afford it right now?
Email me! I’d love to talk to you about your idea, allow it to inspire or inform something I write, or maybe collaborate with you on something you want to write.
Email me! Let’s talk about it. Maybe I got something wrong and need to be more open-minded. Or maybe we just don’t agree. I’d still like to hear your perspective.
Email me! I’ll give you a comped paid subscription, no questions asked.