Looking back, I was really naïve; my friends’ families fought tooth and nail to keep practicing their cultures in white America. My friends’ reservation had been set on fire by KKK members at least three times within their lifetime. In the early 20th century, indigenous children had been through state-run conditioning programs that forbade them to know their language and dress in their traditional garb. So, you know, I had to stop using these things as dress-up, because they had more significance than I could ever imagine.

Suzy’s contribution to this ROOKIE article is my new #1 resource for cultural appropriation dickbags.

If people can get you to worry about how skinny you are, they have already taken away a substantial chunk of your time and energy. Seriously. Look at how many “solutions” there are to the problem of girls not being “skinny enough.” Are you doing yoga? Are you running? Are you swimming? Have you gone vegetarian yet? Have you gone vegan yet? Have you tried eating only meat? Are you using diet pills? Are you drinking diet shakes? Are you wearing slimming clothing? Have you tried fasting? Have you tried surgery? Have you tried spinning around counterclockwise while saying “I want to be skinny” backwards 300 times? You’re not trying hard enough! Try harder! Be more skinny!

I repeat: Rookie is so important

If I react in an angry way, I only perpetuate the Angry Feminist stereotype; if I’m nice, I feel like I’m just complying with the idea that women have to be nice and aren’t allowed to be angry. Of course, discrimination can be very personal and beyond my own experience, and I wouldn’t want to tell anyone how they’re supposed to feel or react to anything they feel strongly about. So this isn’t about deciding how angry anyone is allowed to be…I guess it’s about figuring out how to use that anger.