I really really don’t want to like Cheryl Strayed. I found Wild annoying, both because her approach to backpacking offends my sensibilities (doesn’t everyone know not to wear new boots on the trail?) and because it felt like she mentioned how attractive men find her every other page. She is not helped by the fact that Reese Witherspoon is playing her in the movie – I don’t have strong feelings about any celebrities, really (rapey ones excluded – those guys give me the strong negative feels), but that chick does not make me want to watch her for 2 hours.
I do, however, occasionally fall under the spell of Dear Sugar, because even though her tone is over the top, it is also very effective at making me feel like her advice is For Real. She just did an interview with Refinery 29, with a writer who is basically their only strong voice on staff (unless by “strong voice” you mean “lady who writes about shoes she really likes”). I enjoyed it. My favorite bit:
“I always wanted the column to be helpful to people. But, we so often see self-help in this kind of soft, entitled, unchallenging way. Like, ‘whoever you are, that’s okay.’ I do think that whoever you are, that’s okay. And, I also think you can do better, and you should. I’m not into thinking, ‘Oh, wherever you are, that’s the place to be.’ I think that that can lead to some really nasty shit. Some of the most entitled assholes I’ve ever encountered thought of themselves as evolved hippie children of the new age.”
Tell me about it. Sometimes – like when we were at a play in Berkeley surrounded by 65 year old white people – I feel like my inevitable future is to be a smug old liberal with an eco-friendly car, supporting charities for people that in no universe would I ever interact with, buying essential oils for my aches and pains and listening to NPR but not really caring for much beyond my spoiled dog. Oh hell no.