I know that you identify as a feminist. How did you discover feminism, and what does it mean to you?
I think I’m speaking for a bunch of girls when I say that the idea that feminism is completely natural and shouldn’t even be something that people find mildly surprising. It’s just a part of being a girl in 2013. That kind of normal, non-scary, chill vibe that you had with it, and that Rookie has, was really encouraging when I was like 14. Even now, I find a lot of feminist reading quite confusing—often there’s a set of rules, and people will be like, “Oh, this person isn’t a true feminist because they don’t embody this one thing,” and, I don’t know, often there is a lot of gray area that can be hard to navigate. It’s just something that I’d assumed was natural for a long time. It’s not some crazy kind of alien concept to me. Did you ever have that problem of getting into feminist writings and then feeling confused about all the ways people’s opinions differed and all of the weird rulebooks and you’re like, What?
Oh, yeah. Ultimately, I think we are all here for the same reason. I think it’s so personal, though, for each person who identifies as a feminist, and it can be related to the hardest shit that they’ve had to put up with in their lives and all of these different ways in which they’ve been oppressed and marginalized. It can be so delicate and hard to navigate, that sometimes I just feel like, “I never want to write about this again, because how can you ever know enough?”
“How can you ever have read enough to be able to talk about this in the right way?” What I’ve learned is that the answer isn’t to retreat into ignorance, but to find the ways in which it’s important to you and talk about that and help other women talk about their experiences too. Just finding the human part of it is what I find myself coming back to when I feel disillusioned with feminism as a community. It’s complicated. Ultimately, I’m a feminist, yes, but I certainly have moments where it has to feel like something that is mine, and…
And not something that a hundred different people can define in exactly the same way.
Yeah. Finally, I have some more questions for you from Rookie readers. One of them asked, “Is your hair big because it’s full of secrets?”
I love that. Um, yes. But also, I’m on this crazy hair vibe right now where if you ask me when I last washed it I couldn’t even tell you, because it’s summer here and we swim all the time, so it’s mad in there, dude. It’s just dry and awful.
It’s working out, it looks great, don’t wash it.
OK, these are really lame things to be talking about, but a lot of people ask me about my hair, so: The trick for me is, don’t wash your hair that much. I wash my hair a couple times a week, sometimes once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. You shouldn’t do that, readers at home, ’cause this is a unique type of straw I’ve got going on here. But also I use product: I use one called Potion 9 by Sebastian, but it’s expensive, so just find some sort of like creamy situation and scrunch it into your hair when it’s wet and then let it dry. No blow-drying, no brushing. Peace. Hair tips with Ella. Getcha hair on.