You can’t say no one ever told you how.

Credit: veggiedoodlesoup

While working in public health and around other professionals concerned about the existence of food deserts, or food apartheid as coined by activist Karen Washington, I’ve been struck by the ongoing alliance between those who advocate for food equity and those who consider themselves soldiers in the ongoing “war on…


This Is Us

We lose our childhoods in a million different ways

Credit: The Author

When I was 11, the most stressful place on Earth was the Flynn O’Hara store near Westchester Square. It was the only retail store that sold the uniforms I needed for my brief stint in Catholic school.

Flynn O’Hara was the place where my mom usually realized I had gone…


At least pretend like our deaths matter to you.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When the Centers for Disease Control altered their operational recommendations for K-12 schools in March, they included new recommendations like “revised physical distancing recommendations to reflect at least 3 feet”, signaling movement towards a full-scale re-opening of US schools. Alongside these recommendations is a section called “health equity considerations”, which…


It’s a special case study in how public health authorities do harm.

Source: NYC Department of Health

In January 2012, the New York City Health Department promoted a controversial “anti-obesity” campaign that was meant to bring attention to the dangers of “super-sized” portions commonly found in fast food restaurants and convenience stores, which are described as having grown over time. One image in particular was described as…


I didn’t know how bad things were until I did.

Source: The Author

I first met my husband’s parents six weeks into our relationship. It was Christmas. Our friends turned into the trees along the road to get to a warmly lit home with two people waiting on the porch for their son. I stalled around the trunk of the rental car with…


Sometimes, the best way to honor someone is to go against tradition.

Source: The Author

If you’re poor and you die in the Dominican Republic, your body is typically displayed in your house for one day. People come to view you as you decompose in the humid heat until you absolutely must be buried. They pray over you and with your family, often for hours…


Stop calling healthcare workers “heroes”. Too many of us have gone unsaved.

Credit: Mike Luckovich

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a resurgence of admiration for the healthcare workers who are faced with overcrowded hospitals, scarcity of personal protection equipment, and just generally unsafe working conditions. It seems natural that the “healthcare hero” ideal would re-emerge during a time when hospitals are under the spotlight as…


While you celebrate the new administration, so many of us are still waiting. It is cruel, but usual punishment.

Photo: Unsplash

I spent many childhood days in a Bronx welfare office a few feet away from the bustling shops on Fordham Road. The office was in a cement building painted over with gray paint. If you weren’t looking for the metal door that opened into the waiting area, you wouldn’t find…


Clothes are about more than just feeling good, white feminists

Credit: the very cool Body Liberation Photos with Lindley Ashline

The last thing you should have to worry about when a loved one is hospitalized is how you look when you show up to be at that person’s bedside. And yet.

Not long ago, I rushed back to the Bronx for a medical emergency. It was/is the kind of emergency…


A look at reactions to Gabourey Sidibe’s engagement reveal a frustrating, persisting reality: when good things happen to fat people, the world doesn’t know how to act.

A compilation of comments under theshaderoom’s announcement of Gabourey Sidibe’s engagement.

I once had a conversation on campus with a few fellow graduate students about the upcoming weekend. I, like every other weekend, was going to spend time with my husband and pretend that I was in no way affiliated with an academic entity. …

Marquisele Mercedes

Catch me on patreon.com/marquisele or on Instagram @fatmarquisele

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