boast post · shine theory · writing

Shine Theory and an Epic Boast Post

Do y’all know #shinetheory? We’re big fans of it over here at Hook & Eye. Although we don’t use those words to frame it, shine theory is part of the impetus behind our boast posts, which are our (sporadic) attempts to publicly celebrate each other’s accomplishments, and our own. Coined by Ann Friedman–she of the epic email newsletter The Ann Friedman Weekly–in NY Mag’s The Cut, shine theory is essentially this: powerful, smart, accomplished women should not be feared or envied. They should become your best friends. As Friedman writes of the socially-conditioned impulse to hate women who seem to have it together, or just have, more than we do,

Here’s my solution: When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.

Friedman also runs a great podcast with her long-distance bestie, Aminatou Sow, called Call Your Girlfriend that is the direct result of shine theory–Ann writes that she and Amina became friends when Ann got over her envy of Amina’s epic print mixing and general awesomeness–and largely about it.

I think of Erin nearly every time that I listen to Call Your Girlfriend, because Erin is that person I might just hate if I didn’t dig her so damn much. Her killer shoe game (Fluevogs4life!), incredibly well-developed friendship skills, thoughtfulness, and savvy make her a person you want as a friend, because having her as a friend makes you look good.  More than that–and you, dear readers, know this from reading her work here and elsewhere, even if you haven’t had a chance to meet her in person–having Erin in your life online or off makes you a more thoughtful, aware, and informed person.

If being friends with awesome people makes you look good, I must be looking pretty great today, because–boast post!–today is the day that Erin’s astonishingly good and incredibly timely book Notes from a Feminist Killjoy is officially published. I had the great pleasure of seeing her read from it at one of her first book tour stops last night, and it is such fun to see her and her words making their way in the world via this new project. Written as a series of linked notes, Erin uses her training as an academic to name and articulate the things we feel in our bones but do not have the words for, rendering intelligible to us the things we experience moving through the world in gendered bodies. One of Erin’s great strengths as a writer is her ability to link the personal and the political, to connect the intellectual and the affective–you’ve seen so much of that here every Monday on Hook & Eye–and Notes from a Feminist Killjoy does this so beautifully. As Sara Ahmed (I know! Sara Ahmed!) writes in her blurb,

this book offers a powerful plea for a feminism that is willing to kill any joy that derives from inequality and injustice.  All feminist killjoys will want this book on their shelves!

If you want a little more shine theory in your life, by supporting Erin and by reading her really excellent writing on female friendship, grab yourself a copy of Notes from a Feminist Killjoy from our friends at BookThug.

We’re so terribly proud!

2 thoughts on “Shine Theory and an Epic Boast Post

Comments are closed.