What I Think About Cultural Appropriation

“Do you want a bindi?” The girl who asks me blinks with her synthetic rainbow falsies. I’m at a tapas bar in England, shimmying to reggaeton beneath a canopy of upside-down sombreros. “Sure!” I shout back. The girl—a white English girl—untacks a gemstone from her paper and presses it against my forehead. There. A bindi. Looking back, I wonder now: did she know what a … Continue reading What I Think About Cultural Appropriation

Why I Used to Hate My Body

“Don’t worry. You’ll fill out.” I can’t remember who told me this, but I held onto it like a God-breathed promise. I wanted to feel full. Filled-out. Like a Build-a-Bear teddy. Freshly fluffed. I know this will make your eyes roll. But believe me when I say, in middle school, I felt—and was told—that I was too skinny. It didn’t matter that skinny girls thrived … Continue reading Why I Used to Hate My Body

How My Hair Defines Me

I have another movie recommendation for you to watch on Netflix and that is Nappily Ever After. It’s your basic chick-flick where your girl slowly falls in love with her hair. It has all of the clichés of having a professional job, being wealthy, and cute love interests with a few added bonuses. However, I bring up this movie as a starting point for a conversation: … Continue reading How My Hair Defines Me

Why Discipleship Weirds Me Out

I like to think I’ve encountered my fair share of quirky Christian trends. 24-hour prayer sessions. Pre-wedding lingerie parties. Haunted houses that bring people to Jesus (no, seriously, that’s a thing). But one of the many buzzwords that has stumped me is discipleship. “Discipleship is teaching biblical precepts, while modeling and guiding others toward living righteously as followers of Jesus Christ. This should be a … Continue reading Why Discipleship Weirds Me Out

Why I Want to Get to Know You

One of my most treasured memories is with my friend, Ana. We’re in an outdoor pool in rural South India, drifting through the water like lily pads. Then, one of us—I can’t remember which one—asks the other: “Who were your closest friends in high school?” For the remainder of our time in the pool, we take turns describing the inner circle of people who shaped … Continue reading Why I Want to Get to Know You

Give Me Real Christianity

He’s a world-renowned evangelist. Millions of people have become Christians because of him. That should sound inspiring to me. Instead, I sit in the thousand-seater church, picking at a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and mentally consider my dessert options for afterwards. Donuts To Go or an Oreo McFlurry? I know what’s coming: an altar call. I dislike altar calls. I find them confrontational and emotionally-manipulative. (Read more about … Continue reading Give Me Real Christianity