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7 Essays To Read: Keeping An Ex-Husband's Last Name, Tan Lines, And Multiracial Salons

This week, Jill Gallagher explains why she opted to keep her ex-spouse's last name after their divorce. Read that and others from Medium, Gawker, Broadly, and more.

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1. "After My Husband Left, I Kept His Last Name" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Hannah K. Lee for BuzzFeed News

After she and her husband got divorced, Jill Gallagher opted to keep her ex-spouse's last name. She did so in order to signify that she's not the same woman she was before her marriage. "Getting married changed more than my name — it changed who I was," she explains in an essay for BuzzFeed Ideas. "I went from being Jill D’Urso, unloved and uncertain of herself, to being Jill Gallagher, someone who was undeniably loved." Read the poignant piece here.

2. "Tan Lines" — Medium

Chris Kindred / Via medium.com

Durga Chew-Bose becomes more aware of her skin during the summertime. "I tanned fast. Brown to dark umber in a matter of hours," she writes for Medium. "But what struck me was this: It was as if my white friends were wearing their tanned skin — bathing in it — as opposed to living in it." In the essay, she ruminates on the language of tanning, growing up brown, and American society's strange obsession with being tan. Read it at Medium.

3. "Learning to Be a Lesbian Online" — Broadly

broadly.vice.com

Josie Thaddeus-Johns first realized she was into women at age 23, after years of thinking she was straight. "While my friends at university had been flipping sexualities weekly, I was living my straightest life," she writes in a Broadly essay. "Now, years later, here I was, puffing up to the sidelines like a latecomer to softball practice. 'So, guys, what did I miss?'" Knowing nothing about lesbian culture, she turned to the internet — but even that offered little insight. Read Thaddeus-Johns' essay on that experience at Broadly.

4. "Here's What's Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up" — Gawker

Dee Barnes / Via gawker.com

Straight Outta Compton is not a perfect film. In fact, the biopic makes no mention of Dee Barnes, a television host Dr. Dre brutally assaulted in 1991. For Gawker, Barnes writes about the movie's flaws and N.W.A.'s misogyny. "There is a direct connection between the oppression of black men and the violence perpetrated by black men against black women," she explains. "It is a cycle of victimization and reenactment of violence that is rooted in racism and perpetuated by patriarchy." Read the whole essay at Gawker.

5. "Women Who Cook: Dismantling the Myth of the Bitch in the Kitchen" — The Toast

the-toast.net

"Who did you call on when you came back from school with a rumble in your belly? ... whose feelings did you hurt when you pushed away your meal?," asks Lilian Min. For The Toast, Min points out the gender disparity in professional kitchens, how men are lauded for their cooking, and how women are often expected to toil on without praise or gratitude. Read it at The Toast.

6. "Hair Is Hair: Making the Case for Multiracial Salons" — Racked

Getty Images / Via racked.com

Before Nadra Nittle moved to California, she had never heard of a multiracial salon. Reflecting on the salon she now attends, she writes, "I might see a black stylist working on a Latina’s hair or an Asian stylist tending to a white woman’s tresses. This sight feels revolutionary, not just because blacks are involved but because everyone else is involved as well." For Racked, Nittle makes the case for more multiracial salons. Read it here.

7. "Growing Pains In The Movement For Black Lives" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Rick Wilking / Reuters

One year after the death of Mike Brown, it seems that everything and nothing has changed. Mychal Denzel Smith, who went to Ferguson on the anniversary of Brown's death, reflects on the Black Lives Matter movement. Although resistance is at times messy, it's still very necessary. "Ferguson remains ground zero in the fight for black lives because the police continue to harass, beat, shoot, and kill black people," he writes. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

Want to read more?

Four writers, Shannon Keating, Brittani Nichols, Sarah Karlan, and Ellen Cushing, discuss why movies about queer women are mostly terrible. Mathilda Gregory explains why Friend's Fat Monica was her TV role model. And finally, Ellen Cushing spoke to her cheating ex after finding his email in the Ashley Madison hack.

Susan Cheng is an editorial assistant for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

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

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