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7 Essays To Read This Weekend: Orientalism, Black Beauty, And Anna Kendrick

This week, BuzzFeed writer Anne Helen Petersen analyzed Anna Kendrick's image for BuzzFeed Ideas. Read that and others from The Atlantic, The Awl, Vulture, etc.

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1. "The Ascendancy of the 'Awkward Older Sister'" — The Atlantic

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

We’re all too familiar with pop culture’s “cool big sisters," the ones who have no interest in mentoring their younger siblings. Now, thanks to the internet, the world is seeing the rise of the "awkward older sister," which Caroline Framke wrote about this week. Women like YouTube sensation Grace Helbig, Amy Schumer, and Rookie mag founder Tavi Gevison have started a movement of women mentoring teens with compassion and honesty. Read it at The Atlantic.

2. "Yoko Ono and the Myth That Deserves to Die" — Vulture

John Knoote/ANL/REX Shutterstock/1967 Rex USA. / Via vulture.com

For decades, the public has blamed Yoko Ono for breaking up The Beatles, but this is a myth that deserves to die. Lindsay Zoladz, a critic at New York magazine, looks back on Ono’s art, recalls her own past opinions of the artist, and reflects on how they’ve changed. Read it at Vulture.

3. "What Baltimore’s Young People Have to Say About ‘Thug’" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Where the media sees "thugs" taking advantage of the Baltimore riots, Khaliah Williams sees a society that has failed our children. Williams, who teaches at a high school outside the city, wrote a powerful essay, sharing sentiments from her students, who condemned the media's use of the word "thug." Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

4. "Chinese Whisperers" — The Awl

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

The theme of this year's Met Gala, "China: Through the Looking Glass," was conceived to be a celebration of China and its designers. In the end, the event turned out to be a spectacle of the West's idea of the country rather than a genuine tribute to China. Jiayang Fan critiqued the "Orientalist costume parade," asking some pertinent questions about how the world views China. Read it at The Awl.

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5. "The Inconsistent Acceptance of Black Beauty" — Huffington Post

Jason Devaun / Via Flickr: 34316967@N04

"We live in a world in which black features are only beautiful on the face and body of a white woman," Lauren Dozier writes. In an essay, originally published on Literally, Darling, she recounts growing up in a society that constantly imposes "white" standards of beauty on women and how that clashes with black beauty. Read it at the Huffington Post.

6. "What Shonda Taught Me About Being a Woman" — The Toast

ABC / Via the-toast.net

After Meredith Talusan's transition, she watched a lot of television to learn how to be a woman. Shonda Rhimes' shows, specifically, became Talusan's template for behaving as a woman and socializing with cis women. This week, she wrote about what the things Rhimes taught her. Read it at The Toast.

7. "Anna Kendrick Vs. the Hollywood Type Machine" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images / BuzzFeed News

We all know that the women around us contain multitudes. Anna Kendrick, who has fought against and defied Hollywood's type machine through on-screen roles and interviews, powerfully suggests that celebrities can as well. BuzzFeed News feature writer Anne Helen Petersen wrote about the Pitch Perfect 2 actress, her image, and how she's much more than just a "cool girl." Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

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

Shannon Reed wrote a humorous piece on the 10 (really specific) compliments she wishes she'd received throughout her life. Nikesh Shukla wrote about cooking chapatti, a dish he grew up with, and how that experience brought his mother back to life. And finally, Anne Helen Petersen paid tribute to Betty Draper, the difficult woman on Mad Men.

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

Contact Susan Cheng at susan.cheng@buzzfeed.com.

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