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7 Essays To Read This Week: Changing Names, Instagram Filters, And Boredom

This week, Esther Werdiger wrote about changing her last name when she got married — and how she regrets her choice. Read that and other essays from Racked, The Cut, Vox, and more.

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1. "I Changed My Name When I Got Married and Instantly Regretted It" — BuzzFeed Ideas

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A year after taking her husband's last name, Esther Werdiger is finally beginning to understand why she felt so uneasy about her decision. For BuzzFeed Ideas, she recounts the confusion and anxiety she felt. "I felt as if I’d failed Feminism 101, or something along those lines, and it upset me," Werdiger writes. Read it here.

2. "The Quiet Racism of Instagram Filters" — Racked

Instagram's numerous skin-lightening filters are problematic when applied to people of color. Morgan Jerkins conducted an experiment, examining the photos of five women before and after they were filtered. She found that the modified images "have both racial and cultural implications." Read her essay at Racked.

3. "No, Queer Women Aren’t 'Just Going Through a Phase'" — BuzzFeed LGBT

At what stage does curiosity about women, indulged or not, give women the permission to call themselves queer? In a BuzzFeed LGBT essay, Shannon Keating explains how queer women aren't "just experimenting" and asks why female queerness continues to be qualified, belittled, and disbelieved. Read her piece at BuzzFeed LGBT.

4. "I Lost 100 Pounds in a Year. My 'Weight Loss Secret' Is Really Dumb." — Vox

Javier Zarracina / Via

After losing 100 pounds in a year, Alasdair Wilkins reflects on what he's learned from the experience. In an essay for Vox, he explains how he's more confident now but wishes he could have found a way to be comfortable in his own body before his transformation. Read it at Vox.


5. "Can We Just, Like, Get Over the Way Women Talk?" — The Cut

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There's been a lot of fuss over the way women talk — and how they ought to change the way they speak in order to be taken seriously. For The Cut, Ann Friedman asks why. "...Are women the ones who need to change?," she writes. "If I’m saying something intelligent and all a listener can hear is the way I’m saying it, whose problem is that?" Read it at The Cut.

6. "Ode to Boredom" — Rookie

Illustration by Sarah Rimington / Via

For much of her life and especially as she neared adulthood, Anna McConnell feared being a boring person. "I began to dread moments where I might be letting my mind drift ... I identified moments where I wasn’t thinking 'productive' thoughts as 'boring' moments. This isn’t to say that I necessarily felt bored; rather, I felt anxious about being boring," she writes in a Rookie piece. In it, she reflects on her anxieties and reflects on how boredom can actually be a good thing. Read her highly relatable ode to boredom at Rookie.

7. "The Big Open-Ended Question: On Loving and Accepting My Asperger’s" — The Toast

For years, Magenta Ranero tried to hide her Asperger's. After years of therapy, however, she has realized there is no such thing as "normal" and has begun to accept her disorder. "I try to remember that I’m different, and that difference is also what makes me me," she writes for The Toast. "While I may not have it together all the time, I try hard, and I exist, and I care about people, and that’s what really matters." Read it at The Toast.

Want to read more? Here are some other essays BuzzFeed published this week.

Chloe Angyal wrote about confronting her own eating issues after her boyfriend gained 40 pounds. Karen Onojaife bade goodbye to My Mad Fat Diary. Alanna Okun explained why she's not interested in guys who don't read books by women. Adam Serwer annotated Bill Cosby's famous "Pound Cake" speech. Lucas Mann reflects on the guilt he feels after stealing his brother's death and his father's grief for his memoir. Daysha Edewi broke down what privilege is. And finally, Shannon Keating and Marisa Carroll created a generator of ridiculous euphemisms to describe your queer lady relationships.

Susan Cheng is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Susan Cheng at

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