Before I get too bogged down in TargetGate news — I’m on SheLoves Magazine this month talking about quitting as a spiritual practice:
Quitting dieting was the first step, the hardest. After that it got easier, faster, the rush of it. It was the gateway drug to a lifestyle of quitting.
Before I quit, dieting was the thing that defined me. Dieting had been demanding my attention since I was 10, when my father hung a graph-paper chart on the inside of the bathroom cabinet for me to chart my weight every morning, a line graph that only ever climbed up and up toward failure. Dieting held me tight, whispered shame-secrets dressed up as promises, for twenty years, until I decided: Enough. Enough counting Points and measuring portions; enough tying my self-worth to a number that never goes down far enough, always springs back up; enough wasted energy trying to make an unruly body conform to what society calls good. I cancelled my Weight Watchers account and threw away all the unworn jeans purchased a size too small. Enough purging money into a six billion dollar industry designed to tell me if I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t worthy.
I’d had enough.
I was enough.
You can read the rest of the post here. (And if you’re my family and this post raises some questions for you, maybe we could chat about that? How about sending me a text, for minimal awkwardness?)
Now, for the exciting part: Target heard us! They’ve announced that they’ll no longer be merchandising their toy or kids’ bedding departments by gender. I wrote about my reaction to this news for TIME.com:
But we don’t have to teach our kids to live inside the narrow confines of gender stereotypes. This is why Target’s announcement that it’s removing gender identifiers from its toy and kids’ bedding department is a big deal. When toys aren’t color-coded pink or blue or labeled “boys’” or “girls,’” kids are freed up to play with what they want and pursue their own interests. No longer boxed into their half of the toy section, children of all genders can be nurturers and builders, scientific and creative, peaceful and rowdy, chaotic and organized, homekeeper and adventurer. Our kids contain multitudes, and we owe it to them to let them explore their full range of interests without anxiety or limitation.
Because my tweet to Target back in June was seen as a catalyst for Target’s decision, I was interviewed for articles discussing the change in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Washington Post, and for a hot second I was on Good Morning America. (Remind me sometime to write about how surreal it is to have a camera crew in your living room.)
Perhaps most importantly, Target’s decision seems to have gotten under the skin of the evangelical complementarian camp: Denny Burk and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood have some stern things to say about gender, and Albert Mohler thinks I’m a bad mother.
More on this later, but for now I’m basking in the fact that well-behaved women rarely make Al Mohler’s podcast.