You're My Marmite
Wrapping up the year with a whole pile of gratitude for you, friends.
No podcast today. Burnt Toast is officially on holiday hiatus until January 4, when we’ll be back with lots of New Year, No Diet content for you (and the continuation of Jeans Science!). But I did want to pop in quickly to say: Thank you, so much, for being here.
At the start of 2021, this was a nascent little newsletter showing up in about 700 inboxes once or twice a month. We’re closing out the year with well over 10,000 of you on the list. And (I don’t mind saying) enough paid subscriptions that my gross newsletter income now exceeds what I earned from my last anchor client. (I’m not gonna say who, but let’s leave it at: Corporate media should be nervous about how they’re going to retain talent now that newsletters are so definitively disrupting publishing!) I’m increasingly in the position to hire great help, and a big goal for the next year or so of Burnt Toast will be to begin bringing in contributing writers, paid well above market rate.
I now publish Burnt Toast three times a week (Tuesday essays, Thursday podcast episodes, and Friday Threads1) so it’s also a much bigger part of my work life, and I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a job more. The very best part? Getting to know all of you through the emails you send, the comments you post, and our delightful Friday chats. It is such a privilege to hear and hold your stories. They are frequently inspiring or hilarious but more often, heart-breaking and enraging. There is so much work ahead of us: So many shitty diet trends to debunk, so many industries (fashion, healthcare, education…) profiting off fatphobia. And there is so much that we all (me very much included!) still need to learn about how fatphobia intersects with racism, gender discrimination, and other forms of oppression.
But I am also hopeful—because so many of you are here. You’re having the hard conversations (or at least, thinking about what those conversations might look like) with your parents, your partner, your kids. You’re challenging yourself to un-learn so much, to understand the cultural and historical contexts for diet culture so we can burn it all to the ground.
We talk a lot about how to give yourself permission to take up space here; to wear the clothes we want, to eat the food we want, to let go of the bullshit rules that have kept us small. But you and I both know this work is so much bigger than any one person’s self-improvement project. Fatphobia is a social justice issue. Next year, I plan to do a lot more reporting on the industries that exploit fat people, and the cultural normalization of anti-fatness. And also to think more about how we can all advocate for a more weight-inclusive world. AND I’m going to finish writing that book about how to divest our parenting from diet culture! OK, it’s gonna be a big year.
So, I’m signing off to enjoy this winter break with my family. But I just wanted to make sure you know how honored and excited I am to be doing this work with you.
And I’d love to know: What stories do you want to see on Burnt Toast? Where else do we, as a community, need to take this conversation? Hit reply or post your thoughts in the comments.
PS. If you have anyone in your life who needs to join the Burnt Toast community – you still have time to get a gift subscription for a holiday gift! You can schedule it to arrive any day you like. And here’s that pretty gift certificate you can download, print and fill out for them:
A quick reminder that if you love Burnt Toast but don’t love three emails a week, you can go to “My Account” and manage your email notifications, as well as set up your podcast app to get BT episodes there.
Yes I grew up eating Marmite. Yes it is the VERY BEST THING to put on your burnt toast. No, neither of my children will touch it.