The Edith Zimmerman interview

July 15, 2011

Today’s interviewee is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn whose work has appeared on NYMag.com, Esquire, Buzzfeed and The Awl. I first became familiar with her work thanks to her hilarious Letters to the Editors of Womens Magazines column. Now she edits the wonderful ladyblog (but don’t let that stop you from checking out and enjoying it, fellas) the Hairpin. You can find out more about her here.

There are a lot of lady-sites out there. Instead of explaining what the Hairpin is, can you tell us what it’s not, what you won’t find on there that you might on other blogs?
Hm. It's not very long! You could read a whole day of the Hairpin as you work, I think, depending on what you do.

What have been some of your favorite posts on there that exemplify why it’s so great?
Some of the more successful posts have been Ask an Abortion Provider, Women Laughing Alone With Salad, and What Your American Girl Doll Says About the Rest of Your Life. The Scandals of Classic Hollywood series is always terrific, and the Personal Bests series ("The Best Time I...") is funny, heartbreaking, shameless. The Week in Estate Jewelry is a personal favorite. And then everything else, too!

What are your most-read sites/blogs?
I have the New York Times, Newser, Tumblr, and Twitter as open tabs, and then try to burn through a bunch more on Reader.

Do you have any regulations for yourself on how much time you spend online a day, and how much you let yourself interact in comments sections?
No, I spend most of my time online and don't really do much else. And I love getting into the comments! Hairpin commenters are incredible.

Do you ever get stuck for ideas for posts? What do you do to come up with material?
I get stuck all the time, and I never know what to do. Mostly I groan about the internet and how stupid I am, and then go get a coffee. I don't know. That's not a very good answer.

What would you say are the most incorrect assumptions people make about blogging full-time?
I'm pretty much a walking (sitting) stereotype, so I'm not sure. I rarely get dressed or leave my house, and when I do it's usually to meet up with someone I chatted with all day, and we talk about what we talked about, and then we go home.

What was the evolution of your GQ Chris Evans profile? What was your original assignment and how did you work with your editor to make it the version we see now?
The assignment was to profile Chris Evans for the July issue!

There are some articles online that say that confessional/first-person celebrity profiles are a trend. Do you think that’s the case now from your perspective, and as a reader, do you prefer those to other styles of profiles?
Oh, I don't know! I like whichever ones have quotes that make me feel better about them being so rich and beautiful.

Did you read many of the comments on the story? Did they change the way you felt about the piece at all?
Are you trying to tell me something, Claire?

If you at the age of 13 knew you’d be writing a profile like that, who would you have hoped it would be about?
Thirteen is what, 8th grade? Drew Bledsoe.

What are some of your favorite/most memorable moments from your time as an intern at Esquire?
Probably when I interviewed a woman who invented (I think?) anal bleaching. She lived in Australia, and we ended up going off script and just talking about beauty and nutrition for an hour past when the interview was supposed to end. Also when they called to offer me the internship in the first place. I said yes, then leapt up and down the hall in joy for 10 minutes.

What magazines do you subscribe to?
The New Yorker and a lot of women's mags.

What’s some crappy music you love?
There's no such thing as crappy music! But also Britney, Avril, Katy Perry, and Akon. I love pop music & pop hip-hop. Wiz Khalifa and Nicki Minaj. I listen to a lot of radio.

What are some of your favorite thing you’ve found online lately?
taaz.com. It's a makeover site where you upload your face and add all sorts of makeup and contacts and eyebrows and hair. It's amazing.

How does it feel to be the 287th person interviewed for Zulkey.com (and now WBEZ?)
GOOD. You made me tread carefully there for a sec!