At Feministing, I wrote a letter to my sixteen-year-old self, inspired by a recent post at the blog Letters of Note:
Dear 16-year-old Chloe,
Greetings from the future! It is really hot here. Not because global warming has sped up dramatically in the last seven years, but because New York gets really hot in the summer time and New York is where future you lives. I know you got excited reading that, but future you is not a Broadway dancer – sorry to burst that dream, but we didn’t really have the talent for it, and besides, Bob Fosse was a pretty misogynistic dude. Future you is a feminist writer who lives in New York. So just think about that the next time people at school roll their eyes and make fun of you for “making something a feminist issue”: one day not long from now, people all around the world will be rolling their eyes at you for doing that! A few other important things:
Be nice to Mom. She knows more than you do about pretty much everything. I’m pretty sure that when 30-year-old Chloe writes a letter to 23-year-old Chloe, she will say the same thing. So be nice.
You are not fat. You are Chloe-shaped. Please stop wearing jeans in the height of Sydney summer – there is nothing wrong with your legs. Your legs are not fat. Your legs are Chloe-leg-shaped.
For me, one of the best parts about this piece was the comments it inspired at Feministing – lots of readers wrote letters to their own teenage selves in the comments section. It’s so gratifying to see your reflection and writing inspire other people to reflect and write. You can read the rest of my piece here, and be sure to check out the comments section!