Activist. Comedian. Somehow atrocious at mini-golf.
As a kid there were two things I promised myself I would never be, because they looked incredibly boring: a teacher, and a writer. I am both, and they are not. I believe in the power of speaking the truth in love, and if that doesn't work, speaking the truth a lot louder. I want to leave the world better than I found it.
All I said was, "This doesn't feel great"
As a first-year seminary student, I was inspired by Muslim women who chose to cover. They said that for them, the hijab was a feminist statement. I designed an experiment: for nine months, I covered my hair, arms and legs and stopped wearing makeup. The result changed the way I viewed beauty, power, and faith.
I summarized the Modesty Experiment in Salon. It launched my career. The Beauty Suit (Beacon Press), the book that was born from that piece, is about my nine month modesty experiment and the limits of Kardashian-esque hotness as "empowerment." (Hint: it's just capitalism, rebranded to look like feminism.)
A mouthy Midwesterner walks into a CMS
You can find my latest work on my Substack, Constitutionally Midwestern.
Some published pieces I'm really proud of:
Protip: Don't read the comments
The New York Times, Piling on Clothes to Lay Herself Bare
Brown Girl Magazine, ‘I Cover My Hair—and I’m a Feminist’: An Interview with Author Lauren Shields
"Sunday Morning: 'Lauren Shields: A Nine-Month Experiment in Modesty,'" a great live interview with RNZ (Radio New Zealand)'s Jim Mora
Voices, a podcast about progressive faith
Nonprofit Content Creation
Microsoft Paint + academia = some pretty cool work
Writing & drawing
For a short time, I got to use my writing skills against the wave of disinformation that floods the internet. (It was only short because nonprofit work is fickle.)
I also remembered how much I liked to use humor to talk about difficult topics. I created Lou the Lizard, the embodiment of the "lizard brain" part of all of us that routinely gets tricked by nonsense.