Today is Amelia Christina Diamond’s last day at Man Repeller. After five years of kooky observations, charming self-deprecation, moving tributes and sad desk salads, she is saying farewell to Man Repeller.
Did I cry as I wrote that sentence? Sure did. But it’s fitting, I suppose, since tears have at times felt like the glue of our relationship: tears of laughter at our desks, tears of stress over dinner, tears of empathy for each other’s tears. It’s not that everything is always funny or sad when she’s around, it’s just that to know Amelia is to know her emotions, and to share your own. To enjoy her fully is to traverse the emotional chasm that typically separates two human beings.
The first thing I learned about in-real-life Amelia — as opposed to the witty writer I’d always enjoyed from afar — was that she has trouble zoning out when anyone in the room is making a sound. As you can imagine, this made her life in a small and crowded office difficult at times, but it also made mine a delight. Because it meant that she was consistently in a state of receiving — animal gifs, Instagram DMs, one-off comments and questions. She was always present, always receptive, and she would love for you to stop chewing so loudly. One of my greatest accomplishments at Man Repeller was the day Amelia told me she loves the sound of my typing.
This kind of quirky discernment is one of the things that makes Amelia so special, because she’s serious until she’s not. She hates soup but eats it constantly. She wants to be “someone who bakes” but hates to bake. She wants to be a morning person and will get there… if it… kills her. She will dissolve into a puddle of laughter on her most stressed out day. She will rearrange her horse figurine to face you, for comfort. She will give you a soft sweater she doesn’t need anymore.
The first time I was alone with Amelia, I was brand new to Man Repeller and we left work at the same time. I was ecstatic to be in her presence, still am. As soon as we got to the block where our commutes demanded we split, she asked, “Is it weird if I give you a hug?” It was indeed weird — wonderfully weird — just like her. In celebration of that very special something that’s specific to Amelia, I asked the Man Repeller team to share their favorite thing she wrote for the site. Read on to see what we chose, and then share yours in the comments.
Love you so much, Amelia. Meet you later for a cry?
The One That Cracked Me Up Every Month
Soak Up the Sun Sheryl Crows, Your HOROSCOPES Are Here!, as chosen by me, Haley Nahman
I chose her August 2018 horoscope because it was the last one she wrote for Man Repeller — but it’s here to represent the column in its entirety, which encapsulated so many things I love about Amelia:
-She completely dreaded writing them, would put them off forever, and then write them loopy at 3 a.m. after two glasses of wine and a long day.
-They were somehow both nonsensical and funny as hell.
-They were always incredibly long, even though every month she swore she was going to make them shorter to save herself time.
-She always managed to squeeze in a butt joke.
-There were completely and utterly her.
Amelia has a wonderful gift with words — and many beautiful and poetic pieces to prove it — but her horoscopes stick out in my mind for their sheer force of personality. As a non-believer, I never thought I’d enjoy an astrology column so much. This became even more true when I was tasked with editing them, which involved a long laugh-filled process wherein I’d ask Amelia questions like, “What did you mean by ‘but then again butts are always the butt of the butt jokes am I right’?” And she would always say something like, “Change anything. I wrote those drunk.”
Of course she didn’t actually — she wrote them on planes, in cars, on the floor of her living room, from bed. If she had to write them at work, she’d spend all day getting the entire rest of her to-do list done (even if it meant cleaning our her inbox or maybe dusting the floorboards), then showing me animal videos on Instagram just to put off starting them. They were her Achilles’ heel, her precious darling, her most creative reprieve and something that always brought us together, even when they stole her away from the world for hours at a time.
The One That Made So Many People Feel Understood
Social Menopause: Have You Gone Through “The Change” Yet?, as chosen by Harling Ross
“This story speaks directly to one of Amelia Christina Diamond’s specialties: identifying, and subsequently naming, a phenomenon that tons of people are observing without even knowing it. From social menopause to the Avocado Theory and ‘plandids,’ she has a way of tapping into a broader undercurrent and bringing it up to the surface with both specificity and panache — the kind that tugs at both your heartstrings and your smile corners. This is part of what makes her a great writer, but it is also what makes her a special human being — someone who dependably de-fogs the lens through which you experience the world, someone who helps you see yourself more clearly.”
The Most-Referenced One
The Avocado Theory, as chosen by Simedar Jackson
“My good friend from a job past and I talked about this story at length and about how much we love Man Repeller, and it’s just a good memory I have of Amelia being hilarious and saying how I feel about the world. It’s also so interesting to have read this before really knowing Amelia and realizing the way I imagined her after reading this is not too far from the real thang.”
The One That Genuinely Helped
How Peer Pressure Changes With Age, as chosen by Matt Little
“This was a tough one but I really liked her advice in this story. It’s compassionate and wise without being condescending or prescriptive. It’s funny and light but serious and intentional and perfectly embodies the older-sister’s-cool-best-friend attitude Man Repeller strives for. Amelia, if you’re reading this, consider it your warning of the many forthcoming advice emails I’ll be flooding your personal Gmail inbox with. <3”
The One That Celebrated New York
Reimagining the Best Summer Scenes (and Outfits!) from Sex & the City, as chosen by Elizabeth Tamkin
“Amelia and I worked on a lot of shoots together but this one was a joy to do market for. Home base for this shoot was at Amelia’s West Village apartment in which we squeezed four models, a hair and makeup crew and the most market you could ever imagine. The story itself is humorous, nostalgic and I just love how I can hear Amelia’s voice in the writing.”
The One That Freed the Nipple
I Wore Fake Nipples Like Samantha Jones for a Week, as chosen by Jasmin Aujla
“Honestly there were so many to choose from, stories that have made me really laugh and others that have made me feel so understood. Stories that made me feel like I already knew Amelia and we were great friends far before we’d ever met. But I’m choosing this story because Amelia’s commitment to trying something that puts her out of her comfort zone for the sake of her craft and truly owning it is something to be admired — I remember seeing her during the research for this story and genuinely thought she was just cold. Her ability to not take things so seriously, laugh at herself and give a really honest recap of her experiences are some of my favorite things about her!”
The One That Held a Light Up to the Dark
Remembering Kate Spade and Her Legacy, as chosen by Crystal Anderson
“It’s a bit dark but I really loved Amelia’s tribute to Kate Spade. In a sea of tributes, Amelia found a way to be both light and thoughtful and somehow also didn’t shy away from a heavy topic in what could have been a fluff story. Her writing was delicate and lovely and beautiful and perfect and it made me cry; mostly because of the sweet way that Amelia navigated a tough topic, with a level of grace that you rarely see in these sorts of tributes. Amelia’s work manages to take herself out of the equation and focus on the subject and at the very same time, you can feel her voice in the words.”
The One That Is Equally Charming and Bizarre
Maybe the Secret to Embracing Your Flaws Is Renaming Them, as chosen by Nora Taylor
“This is Amelia Diamond in a nutshell. Fun, bizarre and just really trying to support you being you. Amelia just wants us to feel less alone, to have a good time and to let our freak flags fly. That doesn’t mean that she isn’t thinking deeply about what’s happening and why it’s happening, she just wants to shine a light on that little part of yourself that you may not love and let you know that it’s special. I love this story because I can hear it in her voice, cracking up midway through a particularly ridiculous turn of phrase. This story brings me great joy, just like Amelia Christina Diamond herself.”
The One About a Crush
Is Dev Patel Single? I Need to Know, as chosen by Edith Young
“Amelia’s line of questioning/ode to Dev Patel ranks high on my list of favorite-pieces-by-Amelia-ever. Other runners-up, highlights and tender moments I’ll never forget with Amelia include: our attempt to plug up the hole of a leaky planter with chewing gum in order to save a shoot; our visit to the apparatus with which a Gossip Girl actor routinely bathes; the day we shot our first story together (overalls for adults); the time we went to the Juicy Couture revival preview together and encountered Paris Hilton and her chihuahua (also named Diamond); the moment I assigned this as her contact photo in my phone so that it visits me every time she gives me a call; and the privilege of witnessing ‘the process’ behind her Man Repeller horoscopes.”
The One The Internet LOVED
A Trajectory of Your Life As Told By Your Eyebrows, as chosen by Emily Zirimis
“There are so many Amelia stories that I love — in the vein of both humor and in styling. That said, this particular story stands out to me because it arose in one of Amelia and my early convos back in 2016, when we were at our old office. I sat across from her and we’d often talk about how much we hated sad salads and boring meal delivery service lunches when one day I said, ‘We should do a story on the timeline of eyebrow types — like when you’re 13 and you tweeze them into oblivion, and when you’re in high school and paint them on like caterpillars.’ She said, ‘Ooo yeah let’s definitely do that!’ The story eventually made its way onto the July edit calendar, and Amelia spun it into this beautiful story with different personalities and names per eyebrow type. I loved illustrating each type of eyebrow per her descriptions. It ended up being a large traffic driver month after month — people love eyebrow content! Amelia wins!!!”
The One That Makes You Feel Seen
A List of Things I Consistently Regret But Continue to Do, as chosen by Emma Bracy
“I have seven words for you: ‘The last quarter of a large burrito.’ This list-cum-essay is not only hilarious, but it — like so many of Amelia’s pieces — gets to the heart of a simple truth: She SEES me. Amelia Diamond’s generosity of spirit always pours off of the page and out of the screen and is there anything more satisfying than stumbling onto a small corner of the internet that feels like home? Even if I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Amelia personally, I would read this piece and think yes, bitch, I too always regret trying to finish the entirety of a large burrito, and ‘bitch’ is a term of endearment reserved for only my closest of friends. I love this piece in particular because not only is it so relatable and familiar, it makes me LOL every time I read it. Truly a gem.”
The One With Ali MacGraw
Iconic Actress Ali MacGraw on Expensive Things and Getting Older, chosen by Patty Carnevale
“I love reading Amelia’s interview pieces. Sometimes reading a profile is almost like reading a dictation, but Amelia writes in a way that makes me feel like I’m basking in the warmth and wisdom of her conversation. Also the styling is always such a treat. My favorite is probably her interview with Ali MacGraw, though Stacy London would be a close second!”
The Ones That Proved She Was Special
A flurry of stories, as chosen by Leandra Medine
“Choosing a favorite of Amelia’s stories feels impossible. I am the #1 fan of her mind — it is in a comedic class of its own (see: Social Menopause, The Avocado Theory), hilarious and thoughtful, she makes stuff work, even when it seems that no one can (one time she wrote 20 Truths about French Fries for National French Fry Day). Her perspective is a bright hole that pierces through the clouds even when it doesn’t mean to, and I guess that’s the thing — when I started Man Repeller, I didn’t know this consciously, but I wanted to make a place for optimistic people who are not ignorant, or frivolous — who marvel, unapologetically, in their own trivialities, who see depth in fashion and what it can do for a woman; who celebrate the human spirit even when it seems impossible. Amelia was the first person I met who could embody these competencies without my ever needing to articulate them.
And when she finally agreed to veer off the course she had set for herself (working, essentially, at every single reputable print publication under the sun before finally going freelance to pursue her dream of writing novels full time) and come work with me, the first story she pitched confirmed this. It was a recap of an appearance Lindsay Lohan did on Oprah. The take was refreshing in what it did not do: try to tear Lohan down. Instead, it invited the reader to consider an alternative opinion that may not have been in line with the rest of the internet’s thinking but was valid, worth being heard, still probably different from your own perspective, but thoughtful enough for you to respect it. I learned pretty quickly that when Amelia felt passionately about a pitch, it was worth enabling her pursuit of the story. That magic was in progress in that wacky mind of hers. I never, for example, saw this going anywhere, but thank goodness she wrote it. It snowballed into an invisible column (which persists, I might add!) that I have referred to as All The Ways in Which Amelia is Type A-.
To read her writing is to receive a hug from someone who genuinely cares about you, even if she doesn’t know you. It is to feel understood in all the ways you thought you never needed validation (leaving a group text is a death sentence, huh?), it is inspiring as hell, so honest with itself and never tries to apologize for what it is, even though it always invites an outside perspective. I will miss her dearly.”
As will we all.
Feature photo by Simon Chetrit.