Don't rob a powerlifter

On being "the consuming woman"; the seesaw press; working out is not deeply fatphobic. This is Link Letter 88!

Don't rob a powerlifter
Vogues of 1918

A dispatch from book research: I've been revisiting Unbearable Weight by philosopher Susan Bordo, and found a bit I wanted to share:

Some have argued that female hunger (as a code for female desire) is especially problematized during periods of disruption and and change in established gender-relations and in the position of women. In such periods (of which our own is arguably one), nightmare images of what Bram Dijkstra has called "the consuming woman" theme proliferate in art and literature (images representing female desire unleashed, while dominant constructions of the female body become more sylphlike–unlike the body of a full developed woman, more like that of an adolescent or boy (images that might be called female desire unborn). Dijkstra argues such a case concerning the late nineteenth century, pointing to the devouring sphinxes and bloodsucking vampires of fin-de-siècle art, and the accompanying vogue for elongated, "sublimely emaciated" female bodies.

That last part reminded me of the time I stumbled upon a bunch of old Vogue covers, and was bowled over by a) the fact that they used to be very cool illustrations, and b) how easy it was to see trends of body shapes over the years. Compare 1921 (arguably before the flapper's rise to prominence, shortly after women got the right to vote) to 1928 (flapper heyday women too powerful now question mark?).

Bordo originally wrote this book in 1995, and it was reprinted in 2003, long enough ago that she was writing about a whole entire other generation that broke our brains in a very specific way. In looking back at some of the media this time, I'm struck by how much the envied women of the time do look effectively adolescent (tw), eating disorders doing the most to try and suspend their bodies in time. It is hard to keep these big, decadal tidal forces in mind, to remember that there are sinister reasons that culture will denigrate "the consuming woman," the big beautiful horse. And that is for a lot of reasons, high-minded and not. But it is also literally because, in real terms, as in the case of the Rochester woman powerlifter in her 80s who defended her house from a burglar this week, women who eat will kick your fucking ass if need be.

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On squatting 400 pounds at seven months pregnant
A Q&A with powerlifter Lucie Martinsdóttir.


~Discord Pick of the Week: Watch this if you feel like you are "going backwards" (a fake concept):


An extremely thorough guide to how long it takes to lose muscle. Almost certainly longer than you think! And it never takes as long to get back to where you were as it took to get there in the first place.

Forgotten exercise: the seesaw press. As someone on an eternal journey to catch sight of her delts for the first time ever, these are the kinds of blog posts I need.

A new documentary is out about Venice Beach and Gold’s Gym! Beasties, assemble!

People who return to eating meat after becoming vegetarians. (Most vegetarians do, per the article.) Also coincidentally: A vegetarian runner's quest to become a meat eater.

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The National Eating Disorder Association tried to end its support helpline because its workers decided to unionize. Just before the helpline was set to end, NEDA changed its mind and decided to replace the staff with a chatbot instead. The chatbot, named Tessa, proceeded to suggest to people seeking its counsel to lose weight, count calories, and measure and weigh themselves. After two days, NEDA took the chatbot offline. Congrats to NEDA on an unusually-public, unusually-grand slam of poor decisions!

Because on the internet no one knows you’re a dog, it can be easy to forget that not all content that makes your blood run cold or hot is created in earnest; in fact, an upsetting lot of it is created by cynical content farms trying to drum up engagement (and even if it’s not intentionally that, it’s often unwittingly basically that). Here is one such post, stating “Working Out Is Deeply Fatphobic,” by the Instagram account [checks notes] “young gen z activist underscore.” Be careful what and who you take the time to get upset about out there! Being wrong and annoying is the number one way to make money online now.



A simply incredible drama: a YouTube running influencer, William Goodge, claimed he was going to run across America, and then was caught red-handed by a British athlete who flew to Oklahoma to prove he was cheating.

An ode to the side yard.

Living creatures are constantly evolving into crabs. This means humanity has one natural endpoint.

People are building the fastest vehicles they can in Tears of the Kingdom, and I can’t wait for the eventual time-trial races across Hyrule. (The engineering aspect of the game is very good.)

That’s all for this week! I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—