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Big Stories

Weekend Reads: Female Empowerment, Body Image, And Marriage

Our special guest this week is BuzzFeed’s deputy book editor, Jarry Lee, talking about some of her favorite stories she’s read recently.

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“The mix of things presumed to transmit and increase female power is without limit yet still depressingly limiting,” Jia Tolentino writes in this piece examining the commercialization of female empowerment for the New York Times Magazine. Tolentino smartly observes how “empowerment” has been diluted over the past four decades, becoming more of a marketable term for corporate brands rather than a real celebration of female strength.

“By age 30 I have already thought enough about food to fill three lifetimes,” writes Amy Stephenson for The Establishment, recounting her deeply painful struggles with body image and eating over the years. A must-read for anyone who’s ever felt uncomfortable in their own body.

This essay excerpt from Melissa Broder’s new book is a moving account of her (once open) marriage to her husband and his chronic illness. Broder writes with surprising honesty about monogamy, mortality, and the dark realities of an incurable disease. “I think about my own fragility and that I, too, will someday be dead. In universe time, I am already dead.”

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