How’d Whole Damn Woman even come about, you ask? You didn’t ask? Eh, here goes anyway.
In graduate school at the wise age of 22, my English-degree emphasis was creative nonfiction–telling true stories using the elements of fiction. I studied how self-expression connected us to one another. Throughout grad school, my goal was to be a writer telling my stories to help others feel less alone. And then life, money, an ex-boyfriend, and a move back to my childhood bedroom happened, and I lost that path.
Social media gave me a chance to start telling my stories again. I used Facebook to do it. I called my efforts “confessionalism” to honor the works of Sylvia Plath and Alanis Morissette, but as I learned, that was not the platform for raw self-disclosure. Being vulnerable in a place where people have no limits on their cruelty brought out the worst of my insecurities. I mean, arguing in writing is my talent, but that shit is wasted on Facebook.
I quit Facebook, lived on Twitter, and dabbled in Instagram. On Twitter, I was LaGritina, Tata McBoobalot, Foodiku, and more identities than I recall. But again, the vitriol of Twitter wore me down (I do not thrive in a place where the 45th American president did), and I felt strain on my mental health. I quit it all for thirty days. I needed to decide what I wanted from social media, if I wanted anything from it at all.
What I wanted was to share food because no other thing brings people together than a good fucking meal. So, DSM Food Lover was born on January 13, 2019.
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.
- DSM Food Lover didn’t reflect me as a whole.
I wanted to talk about everything. My passion isn’t just food; It’s also what makes us human, what makes us fucked up and beautiful, what makes us scared and determined. I wanted a place to express the whole picture, MY whole picture, and help others express theirs. So, at the risk of harming what tiny following I’d built, I switched to Whole Damn Woman on February 20, 2020 (hello innocent pre-pandemic life). Whole Damn Woman officially became a business on July 1, 2020.
Despite my never-ending frustrations with social media, I finally found a place where I could be me, where I could tell stories to reduce stigma, share information, improve self-acceptance, and empower others and my community. I finally feel whole, and I can share Whole Damn Woman’s mission to educate and empower people to embrace who they are.
My name is Seeta (C-tuh), I am the founder and CEO of Whole Damn Woman, LLC., and I like chai and cheese. I’m literally eating fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar as I write this. I was born, raised, and still live in Des Moines, Iowa, but I also lived in Kansas to complete my Master’s in English. In grad school, I served as a graduate teaching assistant during which I taught English composition I and II (oh, the grading).
I moved back to Des Moines in 2003 and continued my career as a college educator. I taught as an adjunct (part-time) instructor at multiple institutions in the Des Moines-area, and I literally taught whatever I was asked to teach (at least twenty different types of courses). In 2013, I returned to graduate school to complete a certificate in sociology, so I could teach that as well because I guess English, lit, writing, film, and communication weren’t enough. But, after more attempts than I remember to land a full-time position (and countless volunteer stints and creating a campus food pantry), I learned the hard way I’d never get one. Let’s just say what I learned in that process gave me a renewed passion for social justice, which plays a major role in Whole Damn Woman.
On the personal side, I’m married to a guy (Hubster) who is a foot and an inch taller than me. We are childfree. He wants a dog, and I want a cat, so the electronics and stuffed animals are our pets. We live about a quarter-mile from my childhood home, and I frequently have to remind my father to stop worrying about my yard. In addition to cheese and chai, I’m a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs, I love traveling, I suffer from many things with acronyms, and I love writing and hope to publish romance novels as soon as I can work out how to unfuck the cluster that is my long-term work-in-progress. Feel free to say hello!