Culture & Criticism
7 Essays To Read: Blaxicans, Text Flirting, And "Doing It For The 'Gram"
This week, Walter Thompson-Hernandez interviewed a handful of South L.A. residents about the complexity of identifying a Blaxican. Read that and other essays from
Refinery 29, The Cut, Rookie, and more.
Can you be both black and Mexican at the same time in South L.A.? For BuzzFeed Ideas, Walter Thompson-Hernandez interviewed a handful of Blaxicans from Los Angeles about the complexity of identifying as both black and Mexican. In his essay, he retraces the history of the term and describes the challenges of those who have embraced both cultures. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.
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For a few years of her life, Michele Filgate wanted to be ugly. As a teen, she thought that girls who dressed up and tried to make themselves look pretty were "vapid, anti-intellectual, and narcissistic," she explains in an essay for Refinery 29. That's why she actively rejected trendy clothing, arming herself with ill-fitting sweaters and old jeans and wanting her appearance to match how she felt on the inside. It wasn't until recently that Filgate has started to confront these self-esteem issues. Read her essay at . Refinery 29
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We're all guilty of flirting by committee — sharing screenshots of conversations with potential suitors and consulting on how best to respond to a text with a horde of friends. For The Cut, Alana Massey makes the case for an end to this habit, and she explains why we do it in the first place. "When we rely on them to conduct our personal communication, we’re trying to absolve ourselves of responsibility for things not working out — which can be comforting in the face of romantic disappointment ... It means withholding our emotions and sabotaging opportunities to be forthright and vulnerable in the ways that actually endear us to people." Read it at . The Cut
Illustration by Jim Cooke / Via
Jennifer C. Martin and her husband have always had an egalitarian marriage, a bond in which the partners treat each other as equals. But after her husband was fired from his job as a teacher at a Christian school, Martin realized that many Christians are raised with a complementarian view of marriage. "It’s a relatively positive spin on a patriarchal relationship—God loves you and your husband equally, women!," she explains in a Jezebel piece. "It’s just that one of you is going to stay home with the babies and let your spouse be in charge whether you like it or not." In her essay, she explains how sexism in church nearly ruined her life. Read it at . Jezebel
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The show, which featured fictional HBCU Hillman College, is the very reason he decided to attend Bethune-Cookman. For BuzzFeed Ideas, Luckie reminisces on his college-bound years and describes the lasting significance of the sit-com. "The show introduced Americans to versions of blackness beyond the walls of the Huxtables’ brownstone," he writes. Read it at A Different World holds a special place in Mark S. Luckie's heart. BuzzFeed Ideas.
Illustration by Javier Jaén / Via
With all this talk of diversity in the past year, the word has come to lose its meaning. "It has become both euphemism and cliché, a convenient shorthand that gestures at inclusivity and representation without actually taking them seriously," Anna Holmes writes in a piece for The New York Times Magazine. She argues that though various industries have made efforts to focus on diversity, women and minorities still make up a small number and those in the workforce. Read her essay on "diversity" at . The New York Times Magazine
Illustration by Mithsuca Berry / Via
Recently, young people on Instagram have been getting a lot of flak for taking selfies and putting their best moments on display. But Hazel Cills argues that the staging of a photo doesn't make the moment captured any less significant or real. "If we’re going to talk about how sharing photos and experiences online is coded with happiness, that only the gold gets posted, then we need to talk about how keeping memories in general is coded with happiness," she writes. Read her essay in defense of "doing it for the 'gram" at . Rookie
Want to read more?
Neil Strauss shares how he learned that
to stop cheating, he needed to stop being so cynical. Michael Seidlinger writes about drowning in the anxiety created by Twitter and Facebook and, ultimately, quitting social media. Ramona Emerson shares what she learned about herself after moving back into her parents' house at 29. Ben Henry writes about his hair and his blackness. Kirsten King breaks down what's it's actually like to live as an anxious person, with illustrations by Haejin Park. Daysha Edewi performs a spoken-word poem about what she wishes someone would have told her about having sex. Susie Armitage writes about overcoming her fear through acrobatics. And finally, Ella Sackville Adjei recalls an awful one-night stand she had with a racist.