hey I’m a snake

People use the metaphor of snakes shedding their skin all wrong and I hate it

Hanna Brooks Olsen
7 min readFeb 18, 2023

I was a weird snake girl and a pedant. I’m still both, I guess.

This was originally published to my newsletter, Mischief Missives, which is free. I also have a newsletter about the history of mental health. You can subscribe to either, if you want.

As you are well aware by now, some people were Horse Girls. I say “people” because Horse Girl is a deceptive moniker in that it attempts to assign a childhood personality type to a single gender when in actuality, Horse Girls come in all sorts. But I — a girl who actually occasionally spent time around horses and literal horse professionals — was not really a Horse Girl.

And like, sure, I liked horses okay. I liked the smell and I enjoyed the tilty light of stables. And I had a dream of being a charra girl because have you seen those outfits? I played with My Little Ponies and had some of the other accouterments of horsiness (I would still draw blood for a pair of white fringed cowboy books like the ones I had in the 2nd grade). I had a Barbie horse — though in an oversight of engineering that I definitely attribute to a lack of women Horse Girls in STEM in the 1980s, my Barbies couldn’t actually ride on their designated Barbie horse because Barbie’s hips only moved…