Announcing Our New (Anti) Advice Column!
Dear Circe Community--
It's with incredible excitement that we are announcing a new column on the (always free!) Circe Substack!
"Embodied: An (Anti) Advice Column" welcomes letters from everyone with a body (that's you!) about anything you and your body may want to explore in depth...a thing that can still be disturbingly difficult to achieve with one's family and friends for many people, especially those living inside bodies that have been marginalized in any way.
"Embodied" is a deep dive into the terrain brought up by the letter writers (again, that's you!) that is nonprescriptive and will not purport to tell you what to do or act as though we have all the answers. Rather, Gina and Emily will--sometimes collaboratively, sometimes according to our respective individual knowledge--explore, discuss, and interrogate the topic at hand, from literary questions such as how to handle intimate material like sex or abuse in your memoir to personal questions like how to cast off the internalized shame of disability or illness.
Some things we love to talk about (if not always in a jumping up and down way) include: menopause, gender identity, cancer, visible and invisible disabilities, libido, pregnancy, neurodiversity, so-called-kink, miscarriage, caregiving, domestic violence, hospice, orgasms, pandemic and other illness-related anxieties, infertility, parenting, navigating longterm desire, brain chemistry, the Hunger Games of online dating, infidelity, ageism, skin hunger, body parts present and lost, ableism, nudity, death, relationships to food, exercise and wellness culture, health care, and all things writing the body. Uh, to name a few...
Gina and Emily will be reading letters effective immediately sent to email@example.com and will answer one letter per month on Circe's Substack...but if you all are as interesting as we think you are, we may also select additional letters for discussion on Instagram Live, extra columns, or even (gasp...Gen X over here!) TikTok.
It is our goal to demystify and destigmatize the many ways we carry bodily shame and ways in which this can limit our potentials, our lives, and the joy and meaning we find in our relationships, our work, our communities. But to be clear: we are no gurus! We struggle with many of the same issues you do, and we will share our personal experiences as we weigh and consider yours, and will draw from books, other thinkers, and cultural criticism and popular culture as we attempt to tackle the Big Things, as well as the Little Things that turn out to be bigger than anyone anticipated.
"Embodied" also absolutely does not claim to be all things to all people, and so if you write in with a question truly far outside our realm of experience, we will also invite an occasional guest columnist to broaden our scope to the widest possible reach of all things body-related.
Finally, because this is always a given at Circe, your confidentiality will of course be protected. Send us a letter under a pseudonym or your own name--under a dummy email account or your own account--either way, we will never reveal the source of our letters. While we are only two (overworked to the point of derangement!) women, and cannot promise to answer every letter we receive, we will seek to select letters that represent the broadest spectrum of topics.
"Embodied" is a natural outgrowth of our Circe community, the motto of which is, "All bodies, all stories, all stages." And while we don't have all the answers, this is an opportunity for us to give back to our community in ways in which we've both been trained: Gina as a former therapist with a master's in counseling, and Emily as a former chaplain and a lifelong amputee and personal trainer for her friends.
The world is a better place when we are less alone. We look forward to reading your letters!
-Emily and Gina
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