Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Believing Survivors

I’m in awe of Christine Blasey Ford.

Yesterday she stood up in front of the whole world and talked about the most painful moments of her life. Even though the decision to do so has come at great personal cost, requiring, for example, her family to leave their home and live in secret locations, with guards.

It wasn’t enough. Kavanaugh’s nomination will advance. I’m not surprised because I’ve stopped expecting men in power to do the right thing. It wasn’t about whether they believed her. It’s about whether they think women—and our bodies and our right to body autonomy—matter.


Filed under Government Watch, Uncategorized

Tagged as , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[On Eating and Reading]

Food Reads

There are some excellent food reads out there right now, so a round-up post seemed in order.

The Carnivore Diet is the Latest Fad to Ignore that Food Does More Than Just Feed Us. Oh man, everything about this piece is so great. Especially:

After 13 days of the carnivore diet, I realized that focusing on physiology fails to capture what makes carnivory so extreme. One valuable lesson of the diet is that human bodies are remarkably resilient: You can shit without fiber and avoid scurvy without vegetables! But reducing food to physiology is as shallow as reducing culture to biology. It’s hard to overstate the sociocultural importance of culinary traditions. Breaking bread. “Comfort food.” Grandma’s recipe. PotlatchsWedding toasts. Birthday cake. Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t have to be a foodie for food to be meaningful—you just have to be a human being.

(Alan Levinovitz/Tonic)


Filed under Eating Instinct, On Eating and Writing, Uncategorized

Leave a comment

Come Work With Me! (Part-Time Writer’s Assistant Needed)

UPDATE: THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. (Thanks so much to everyone who applied!) 

I’m hiring again! I last posted this job in 2014 and have been lucky enough to have the same great person with me for the past four years. In fact, Allison is still working with me, but her career has grown wildly and impressively during that time (I can take no credit for that, she’s just that good) so she’s been promoted over here at Virginia Headquarters to podcast producer (I guess I can take a little credit for that part).

So the time has come to send up the flare once again! I need a (very part-time, freelance) assistant who can manage some of my logistics, help with details for my upcoming book launch, do story research, and so on. Here’s the deal.



Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a comment

Meet Virginia.

My work has appeared in more than 50 national magazines, websites, and newspapers including ElleSlateHarper’s and the New York Times Magazine. At the moment, I’m writing a book (called THE EATING INSTINCT, and coming from Henry Holt Books sometime in 2018), about how we learn to eat, and not to eat. If you’d like to learn more about my research, please subscribe to my newsletter, On Eating (And Writing). You’ll get everything that appears on this blog days ahead of everyone else, plus special newsletter-only content about eating, writing, and other fascinating things.


Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a comment

Farewell Google Reader, Hello Bloglovin’

Those of you who read this blog on the website or via email can ignore this quickie housekeeping post.

But if you read this blog through Google Reader, this is just a head’s up to let you know that since Google Reader’s days are numbered, I have now claimed my blog on Bloglovin’ and you can follow it over there.

I am personally still adjusting to the loss of Google Reader (and pondering why Google killed that but not the completely irrelevant Google Plus?) but Bloglovin’ is growing on me, despite the cheesy name. If there are other blog readers that you use/love/want to see this blog on, let me know and I’ll figure out how to make that happen.

Filed under Uncategorized


[Mission Statement] What’s Going On With This Blog

2013 marks my fourth year of blogging, and when I look back over how this blog (and this whole website, and my career and my whole life while we’re on the subject) has evolved during that time, it’s a little amazing to me.

But what may amaze and delight me may be confusing to my lovely readers. As in, I’ve noticed a lot of new subscribers in the past few months — and a lot of new un-subscribers. Ouch… except I understand why. People often come to my site because they’ve read a specific story that I’ve written elsewhere — and then understandably get bored or turned off when they realize that I don’t blog 24/7 about that specific topic. (Be it MLM marketing scams or lighthouse renovations or what have you.)

So I thought it would be helpful to all you readers, new and old, if I sketched out a clearer mission statement for this blog and kept it posted right here on the top of the blog page, always and forever. (Or until everything about this site evolves again and that no longer makes sense.)


Filed under Uncategorized

Tagged as , , , ,


Those Posts I Meant to Write

Tori of Anytime Yoga (a fellow endo girl, awesome yoga teacher and all around kick-ass person if you’re into that) did this last week and I thought it was pretty genius: She cleared out the Drafts file of her blog by posting a list of all the blog post titles she had come up with, but never got around to writing.

I am so guilty of this, partially because I just don’t have as much time to blog now that it’s a little less intrinsic to my writing day job (than say, when I was going to beauty school and the blog kinda was my day job). And also because I use my blog’s Drafts file to keep tabs on ideas that I think might be bigger than blog posts and should be pitched around to my editors as articles and what not. But sometimes it takes me awhile to decide whether something is a full article, or just a post, or really nothing at all… and anyway, here we are with a drafts folder that is 20 “posts” strong. And that’s after a strenuous round of editing.


Filed under Uncategorized


[Inside the Pink Pyramid] Virginia In OtherWords

I was very pleased to be asked to contribute an op-ed about the Mary Kay story to OtherWords, a project that distributes progressive commentary and cartoons to 250 newspapers around the country — mostly small dailies and weeklies in America’s heartland. (AKA Multilevel Marketing Mecca.) So you can read the piece, The Lipstick Profiteers, on the OtherWords website, or look out for me in your local newspaper.

A big point that I make in this piece: We need to stop blaming the victims. A lot of critics have suggested that I think Mary Kay ladies are stupid. And they’ve suggested that I think this for a lot of different reasons: Mary Kay ladies are stupid if can’t make their businesses work. (It’s a defense only Stephen Colbert could love: There are no bad businesses, only bad business people.) But others suggest that Mary Kay ladies are stupid for falling for the sales pitch in the first place and for thinking they could be successful in this way. Or they think that I think direct salespeople are too stupid to know they’re being scammed. It gets a little confusing.

I interviewed a lot of (current and former) Mary Kay ladies for this project, and trust me, not one of them was stupid. Because this isn’t about stupid and smart. Direct sales doesn’t work by appealing to anyone’s intellect. As I wrote in the op-ed:

[B]laming the women who wind up with basements full of unsold makeup is a cheap ploy — and ignores the power of the Mary Kay sales pitch. When Ash launched her business in 1963, she knew she was selling way more than lipstick.

She promised economic independence and female empowerment with her “Enriching Women’s Lives” tagline. It was a pitch that connected with frustrated Mad Men-era housewives — and continues to speak to women today who are wondering how to support their families in a tight economy, but also chafing against corporate workplaces or low-wage jobs that deny them the flexibility or freedom to also be the kind of mom and spouse they want to be.

Keep reading (and tell me your thoughts!) over here. 


Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a comment

    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

    Pre-order now!