Shame is one of our most overwhelming emotions. It’s also something we rarely discuss. In this series of six essays, Lucia Osborne-Crowley explores what makes shame so powerful. Reflecting on her own experiences following a violent sexual assault, Lucia reveals what she has learned about where shame comes from, what it’s for and how it works. Determined to loosen the grip it has had on her life, she believes that being open about shame will limit its power.
Shame’s long shadow
What is shame and why is it so powerful? A violent sexual assault left Lucia Osborne-Crowley suffocated with shame, but she’s now determined to understand how this overwhelming emotion works.
Shame, condemnation and conscience
Where does shame comes from and what fuels it? Lucia Osborne-Crowley explores audience, gender and the difference between shame and guilt, asking if either can ever be useful.
How shame makes us sick
The fight-or-flight response can have long-term consequences for our bodies if left unchecked. Lucia Osborne-Crowley investigates how shame and trauma are connected, and how both can lead to chronic ill health.
Shame and how our bodies betray us
Embarrassment about our desires, bodies and bodily functions can silence us. Lucia Osborne-Crowley asks whether a low-level but constant sense of shame is stopping us getting the help we need.
Shame and the online free-for-all
Lucia Osborne-Crowley looks at how shame manifests online, where public humiliation is common and second chances all too rare.
About the contributors
Lucia Osborne-Crowley is a writer and journalist. Her first book, ‘I Choose Elena’, was published in 2019. Her second book, ‘My Body Keeps Your Secrets’, will be published in 2020. Her news reporting and literary work has appeared in Granta, GQ, the Sunday Times, HuffPost UK, the Guardian, ABC News, Meanjin, The Lifted Brow and others.
Eduardo Rubio is a Mexican-born artist and illustrator living in Madrid. His work mainly involves collaboration with publishing houses and brands; he also works on personal projects, which he exhibits in galleries and museums.