Guest Pep Talk [Alison Kranz]: 14 Things I’ve Learned from 14 Months of Giving Zero Fucks

Above, my Zero Fucks Protégé Haley and I demonstrate the Team Zero Fucks secret hand signal which combines the round “zero” of thumb and forefinger with the ASL sign for the letter “F” to provide a comprehensive sign that laymen assume means “AOK.”

Recently, I realized I have three guiding life tenets:

  1. Give zero fucks
  2. If it makes you laugh, do it
  3. Say what you mean and mean what you say

For the sake of this post, I will focus on tenet #1, which I have upheld wholeheartedly since August 2013. Note that I am referring to “fucks” as a noun (though there was a sad, dark expanse of time where I was upholding “zero fucks” in its verb form as well).

You might think “zero fucks” is the opposite of “no excuses,” but I assure you it’s not. At its essence, “zero fucks” means “say yes” and “just do it”; don’t spend too much time overthinking your actions, and certainly don’t spend any time caring what others think. Eliminate that doubt and do what you know, in your gut, is right for you.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from my ongoing practice of giving zero fucks:

  1. If you are tall and wondering whether or not to wear those five-inch platform heels, the answer is “yes.”
  2. You have no responsibility to respond to text messages from your ex. Especially when he refers to you by an old pet name.
  3. As soon as someone says something the least bit offensive on a dating website, block them—that’s what the command is there for. (“I would love to sniff your ass” is not an acceptable opening line.) Remember: If it’s not “fuck yes,” it’s “fuck no.”
  4. If you want to listen to one song on repeat for an entire month, do it. (Exhibits  A, B, C, D, E, F.) And be sure to sing at the top of your lungs. Definitely when you’re in the car, sometimes even when you’re walking across town.
  5. It’s your scrapbook. It’s totally okay if you want to fill it with pictures of unintentionally explicit newspaper headlines and store signs you’ve come across.
  6. If you’re a lady, the pickup line “Excuse me, would you like to makeout?” is very effective on the gentlemen.
  7. Your iPhone autocorrect is smart enough to change “makeout” to “MAKEOUTS.”
  8. If Lady Gaga is playing a show on a Saturday within driving distance from your house, you buy a ticket. Even though you’ve already seen her once this year. (She is the original zero fucks inspiration, of course.)
  9. It’s all right if you want to watch Aziz Ansari’s Buried Alive special seven times within as many months. You’ll still laugh out loud every time.
  10. When you bicycle home in the morning from the house of the HOT MAN you’ve been seeing, refer to it as a “bike ride of pride,” which is the exact opposite of a “walk of shame.”
  11. If you are feeling like you are giving too much of a fuck, go out for a (really fast) run until your brain is cleared.
  12. Life is too short for binding, underwired bras. Embrace the stretchy, soft cup bra, and—when it gets cold—let those nipples fly free. At least they’re comfortable when they do.
  13. Let people read your writing, even if you are afraid of showing a little too much of yourself (or others).
  14. No one’s stopping you but you.

I encourage you to embrace the practice of zero fucks this November and beyond. Who knows what might end up on your own personal list of zero fucks triumphs?


Alison Kranz is an editor, writer, observer, runner, and abundantly photogenic model. She likes wordplay, flânerie, typing, squares, surrealism, and consistent correspondence. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter at @alisondearest.

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