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7 Essays You Need To Read This Week: Free-Range Parenting, Counting Calories, And Bindis

This week, one mother wrote about her struggle to reclaim parenting and her reflections on her own childhood. Read that and other essays from The Fader, The Frisky, and Rookie.

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1. "How an Anime Series Helped Me Recognize My Depression" — BuzzFeed Geeky

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For most of his childhood, Jean-Luc Bouchard could not identify with the depressed characters he’d encountered in fiction. Then he found anime. One series in particular — Paranoia Agent, a psychological thriller about a mysterious assailant terrorizing Tokyo — helped him recognize his own depression. Read his essay at BuzzFeed Geeky.

2. "Your Fave Is Problematic, and That's Okay for You, But They Still Need to Apologize" — The Fader

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Weeks ago, Bjork told The Gentlewoman that “sound is the n*gger of the world,” yet few people acknowledged or expressed outrage at the singer’s racist language. For The Fader, Rawiya Kameir examined multiple offenses from some of people’s most beloved celebrities. “I am ready for my problematic faves to finally begin owning up to their offenses,” she writes in her essay. "If to err is human and to forgive, divine, then to apologize is essential." Read it at The Fader.

3. "The Struggle to Reclaim Parenting" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Four years ago, Kim Brooks was arrested for allowing her son to wait in a car with the windows down for just a few minutes. This week, she wrote a piece on being a mother and free-range parenting. In it, she reflects on her own childhood. “Many of my most joyful memories involved these moments of sudden independence when the world opened up, when I felt myself alone and awake in it; I knew my parents’ love most acutely in these moments of expanding distance, of letting go,” she writes. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.


4. "Empathy Isn’t Everything" — Rookie

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Alex-Quan doesn't want your empathy. For Rookie, they wrote an essay on how empathy is a utopian value. It’s one “that operates within the systems that reward some people at the expense of others.” In their piece, they touched on the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the Black Lives Matter movement, and how international leaders did not show the same amount of support for #BlackLivesMatter. "I don’t want to know if you can understand what it’s like to be me,” they write. "I want to know that you will give me the due respect despite your inability to understand." Read it at Rookie.

5. "When a Queer Woman Counts Calories" — BuzzFeed LGBT

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Camille Beredjick thought being in love with a woman meant she'd be immune to patriarchal beauty standards. She wrote about her struggle with an eating disorder, her road to recovery, how she learned to love her body — and to allow someone else to love it too. Read it at BuzzFeed LGBT.

6. "The Soapbox: My Bindi Is Not Your Bindi" — The Frisky

There’s a difference between being proud of one’s culture and having ownership over one’s culture. That’s why cultural appropriation — in this case the donning of bindis by non-Indians as a fashion trend — is so problematic. In Beejoli Shah’s own words, “we’re at peak bindi exotification.” Shah, who is an editor at The Frisky, wrote a piece on the religious significance of wearing a bindi, misappropriation, and racism. Read it at The Frisky.

7. "What It’s Like Speaking a Different Language From Your Parents" — BuzzFeed Ideas

James Chapman / BuzzFeed

Zakia Uddin wrote about the strange phenomenon of speaking a different language from her parents. With her father and mother, she speaks in an incomplete mash-up of Bengali and English. In her essay, she writes about identity, language, and growing up a third culture kid. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

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

Contact Susan Cheng at

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