ERIN MCKELLE IS A HUMAN, AND IS ALSO FAT

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Name: Erin McKelle

Age: 20

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Occupation: Freelance writer, social media strategist, communications whiz, and badass feminist blogger

Where did you come from? I was born in Columbus and adopted by a family who lived in the suburbs of Cleveland, where I grew up and spent the entirety of my childhood.

A Fear: That I won’t reach my professional goals. I’ve always been very ambitious and been successful in my ventures, but I’m always thinking about what’s next. I want to make my passions my career, which I’ve been able to do so far at a young age. Even writing this, I’m realizing my fear may be irrational or more likely a part of the high standards I set for myself.

A Goal: To revitalize my physical fitness and not let working out fall by the wayside. I truly enjoy the rush I feel when I exercise and want to cultivate that more consistently.

A Memory: During the end of my first year of college, I was walking to my dorm after a particularly great therapy session and work day at my university’s LGBT Center, where I was interning. I remember seeing the tall trees and the pretty brick buildings and thinking to myself that if God existed, this is what it would feel like. Since then, it’s been hard to call myself an atheist.

A Mistake: I don’t believe in regrets or mistakes- if you learn from something (and you can learn from any experience), it becomes valuable. But I would say that I’ve made the mistake of being too self-conscious and not putting myself out there because I feared being rejected. It’s amazing how a subtle shift in your attitude can make all of the difference in the quality of your life.

A Hero: Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman to ever complete the qualifying course on America Ninja Warrior. I remember seeing the clip of her conquering the course last summer and being so inspired- she truly embodies the power of womanhood. She also connects me back to body positivity, as she used her height and small stature to her advantage, when others insisted it would bring her down.

A Fault: I’m often passive-aggressive and it’s something that I’m trying very hard to let go of. It’s a behavioral pattern I picked up during my childhood and never realized how it’s affected my relationships until recently. Also, it’s usually better to be direct with people- I find it creates a lot less stress.

A Talent: Writing. From a very young age I’ve always loved to write and it’s been a talent I’ve been complimented on since I was in elementary school. My writing is usually what connects me to people and what I’ve found has been the most impactful to others, which has been such a blessing.

A Prized Possession: My teddy bear Daisy- I’ve had her since I was an infant! She’s a classic looking bear with black eyes, a red bow, and brown fur. We’ve been cuddle companions for twenty years and I never plan on abandoning her! She’s been with me through everything and I still sleep with her in my bed to this day.

A Need: Privacy and personal space. I’m very introverted, so I naturally need to have my alone time away from other people. If I don’t get this, it’s hard for me to really concentrate on anything. Being alone revitalizes my spirit!

I want More: Face to face contact. Up until recently, all of the people I’ve dated have been long-distance and most of my friendships were as well. I now value seeing and being with someone in real time, offline and want to bring more of this into my life.

I want Less: Job insecurity! Since I’ve decided to pursue freelancing full-time, it means that I don’t have a salary or anything to really fall back on if things don’t work out. This makes me work that much harder, but it would be nice to not have to worry about what I’ll be doing six months from now or how I’ll pay the bills if I don’t find another contract after one ends.

What would you change about the world? I would eliminate violence as a whole. We’re so quick to insult, ridicule, hit, curse, and beat on others and it’s very disturbing to me. I see more and more violence in mainstream media and it’s perfectly acceptable to violate others if it means getting what you want. If we could stop using violence in our lives, including verbal and emotional violence, we could repair so much. I know that for me, most people will use my size as a weapon against me when they are trying to hurt, but because I’ve embraced who I am and what I look like, it’s transformed this negative into a positive. I want to see that same thing happen for a whole host of issues.

What do you love about yourself? My passion and enthusiasm for life. It’s something a lot of people notice when they interact with me and I think it’s a quality that isn’t cultivated enough in our world.

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