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7 Essays To Read This Week: Platonic Pairings, The Angry Black Woman Trope, And Naked Moms

This week, Huda Hassan writes about the "Angry Black Woman" archetype used to silence black women. Read that and other essays from Jezebel, Hyperallergic, Jacobin Mag, and more.

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1. "How to Love the Back of a Neck" — The Toast

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"When you love a programmer, you must to learn to love the back of his head," writes Sarah Rosenthal. For The Toast, she recounts being in a relationship with a programmer; it's a relationship that ultimately fails. "The set of the data you two have amassed together in the course of three years will be through," she writes. "There will be nothing else to collect, no other courses to run. He will fail your test..." Read the heartbreaking piece at The Toast.

2. "Vince Staples and the Accessibility of Black Experience" — Pitchfork

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The problem with rap is that those black narratives often get taken and turned into "universal experiences" for all races and people to absorb and claim as their own. Recalling a Vince Staples concert he attended last month, David Turner writes about this conundrum and reflects on the complexity of Staple's music. Read his essay at Pitchfork.

3. "All the Single Ladies: Why Movies Need More Platonic Pairings" — BuzzFeed Entertainment

Jasin Boland / Warner Bros.

Love stories are endearing, but it's a relief when films acknowledge that romance isn't the inevitable option for a man and woman. For BuzzFeed Entertainment, film critic Alison Willmore makes a case for more platonic pairings in movies, praising Mad Max "for not insisting that love or sex is an inevitability from which, barring sexual preference, no man and woman in close proximity can escape." Read it here.

4. "Seeing Beyond 'Kimono Wednesdays': On Asian American Protest" — Hyperallergic

AMA / Via hyperallergic.com

After the Boston Museum of Fine Arts launched "Kimono Wednesdays," a program in which visitors are invited to dress up in kimonos, protesters pushed for the museum to stop the misguided social media campaign. The museum did, but some people were critical of the protesters. Responding to those critics, Ryan Lee Wong offered his own interpretation in a piece for Hyperallergic. "When we ask white people to give us back control of our image, and the markers of race, we are struggling for our livelihoods," he writes. Read the rest

at Hyperallergic.

5. "The Best Place to Get Naked With Your Mom Is the Korean Day Spa" — Jezebel

Jim Cooke / Via jezebel.com

If there's any good place to get naked with your mother, it's at the Korean day spa. For Jezebel, Lillian Li writes about seeing her mom naked for the first time since she was a child. An excerpt: "You can feel so close to your mother and never see her as she is most plainly — a woman with a body, with a stomach that sometimes aches, sometimes jiggles, and breasts that do the same. At the spa, I got to tell her with supreme confidence that she looked good, and I got to watch her believe me." Read her piece at Jezebel.

6. "The Twilight of the Angry Black Woman" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

From Sandra Bland to Nicki Minaj, the racist Angry Black Woman archetype is used to silence women, and worse — but for how much longer? For BuzzFeed Ideas, Huda Hassan retraced the history of this trope and explained why it's so toxic. "The repeated imagery of the Angry Black Woman eats away at black women’s mental well-being while simultaneously training the white population how to expand the trope’s power," she explains. Read her essay here.

7. "Beyond the Model Minority Myth" — Jacobin Mag

Kheel Center / Flickr / Via jacobinmag.com

For too long, Asian Americans have been portrayed as the "model minority" in this country. It's a term that constructs them as "not quite white." Jennifer Pan explores this problematic label in an essay for Jacobin Mag. "It is not that Asians are being assimilated into whiteness — but rather, that they are being assimilated into an evolving formulation of 'not black'-ness," she writes. Read it at Jacobin Mag.

Want to read more?

Anne Helen Petersen writes about Tom Cruise's enduring greatness — and skeeviness. Tom Vellner looks back on his favorite romantic comedies and explained how they kept him in the closet. Lauren Morrell Tabak says goodbye to the last lesbian bar in San Francisco. And Sarah Fonesca pays homage to Lesley Gore.

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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