Starting as DSM Food Lover on January 13, 2019, my newest Instagram account became Whole Damn Woman on February 20, 2020 to reflect becoming a whole version of one’s self. But . . . that’s not where this began.
In graduate school (the first time around), my emphasis was creative nonfiction, and I studied how self-expression connected humanity. Life happened, and I lost that path.
Over a decade ago, I tried to be myself on Facebook, but I learned the ugly consequences of vulnerability before understanding my insecurities. I called my efforts “confessionalism” to honor the works of Sylvia Plath and Alanis Morissette, but as I learned, no one likes too much honesty.
From there, I joined Twitter as LaGritina, Tata McBoobalot, Foodiku, and more identities than I recall. Again, the vitriol of Twitter wore me down, and I felt the strain on my mental health.
I left social media completely for thirty days to decide what I wanted, if I wanted anything from it at all. I didn’t realize it, but I was missing what I studied in graduate school: self-expression and human connection.
The platform I missed–as much as I hate Facebook-owned anything–was Instagram, but I didn’t think I had much use for it. I returned with a private account under my real name. It still didn’t feel right. It was too restrictive. I am a dramatic, loud, expressive Leo whose thoughts run faster than limitations of my mouth and fingers. I needed something public, and I wanted it to be about food. Thus, DSM Food Lover was born.
Three problems (and by “problems,” I mean two boons and an actual problem) arose:
- DSM Food Lover gained a larger following than any of my previous accounts,
- DSM Food Lover became so much a part of my identity that people started introducing me that way, yet
- that didn’t reflect me as a whole.
At the risk of harming my tiny, new business with my kinda decent following and blooming partnerships, I switched to Whole Damn Woman. I did it because I’ve struggled to be just that. I’ve always felt fragmented. I wanted to be my whole damn self, and I wanted others to embrace their whole damn selves.
“So, here is us, on the raggedy edge.”
Whole Damn Woman officially became a business on July 1, 2020, and the mission is to educate and empower people, especially womxn, to feel whole. I’ve got a ton of things coming up including unlearning courses, events, and more food.
I hope you join me in this mission!