The Reading List: "You Don't Look Fat, You Look Crazy"
We met Ashley Longshore at Whitney Wolfe's lake house in the Fall of 2016. We even sat next to her at dinner, shyly drinking in her presence: bejeweled fingers (and teeth), wild hair, colorful clothing, aperol spritz in hand.
After reading her book, "You Don't Look Fat, You Look Crazy: An Unapologetic Guide to Being Ambitchuous," we wish we'd held her hostage at that table, monopolizing her, asking her every single question we could think of in hopes that some of her (metaphorical and literal) glitter would rub off on us.
But alas. We return, frequently, to the pages of her book for inspiration, motivation and empowerment.
Part memoir, part social commentary (like her art), "You Don't Look Fat, You Look Crazy," is a must for any aspiring entrepreneur, artist and woman. As entrepreneurs and women, it spoke to us in the way only a fellow female entrepreneur can, in a voice of a fellow woman who wants nothing more (aside from a cherry red Gulfstream named Thunderpussy) than for every woman to take "life by the balls" and buy our own damn Birkins because we've earned the money to do so by pursuing our personal passions (or, have someone else buy our Birkin's because that's what we've decided we want out of life).
It spoke to us, because Longshore embodies an unapologetically empowered life that embraces femininity, where her woman-ness is an extension of her success, not a caveat; where her success and ambition as a woman isn't to the detriment of other women. Her success and ambition, rather, is the door opening for other women to be equally (or more) successful. With her, it feels as though there is infinite everything. As long as it's your choice.
But not in a rosy lens sense. She's a realist, too. To say that she fearlessly or courageously discusses the realities of being a self-made success - the days filled with hopelessness, tears, setbacks and self-doubt - feels like it cheapens her voice, because she seems fearless and courageous by default. And you will understand this in reading "You Don't Look Fat, You Look Crazy" or appreciating her (many) works, as they imbue you with a sense that you're just as innately fearless as her, you just don't know it yet. Because fearlessness, courageousness, creativity - and every other adjective we aspire towards as women, entrepreneurs, artists and humans - don't exist as opposites of self-doubt, failure, and insecurity, they exist despite.
And, FYI Ashley, we'll be one of your clients, the kind who set aside 30% of their paycheck every month because your art speaks to us. We have our eye on "Horny Nasty Rich Modern Fucking Woman," because that's who we want to be. Fuck yeah.