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7 Essays To Read This Week: Twitter, Emotional Labor, And Being Fat At Your Own Wedding

This week, Matt Ortile wrote about a relationship he wanted so badly to work — one that began on Twitter. Read that and others from the Washington Post, The Cut, The Toast, and more.

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1. "12 Stupid Mistakes the U.S. Military Is Making" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Aleks Sennwald for BuzzFeed

The Army needs a major restructuring. And while there's been no shortage of criticism hurtled at the military and even plans proposed to fix it, there's so little scrutiny of the mundane. David Atkinson, who was formerly deployed in Afghanistan, suggested 12 ways to fix the military in a piece for BuzzFeed Ideas. In it, he touches on everything from the soldiers' ineffective workouts to their drinking problem. Read it here.

2. "How I Tried to Slide Into a Relationship" — BuzzFeed Books

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

In a tearjerking piece for BuzzFeed Books, Matt Ortile recalls a relationship that he believed in and wanted so badly to work — one that began on Twitter. "When I was with Nate, I felt heard. And in this comfort, I came to see Nate exactly like the constellation I drew: that brunette twentysomething, who worked in media and had read me like an open book, who understood me, already knew me before he even met me. It was as though we’d skipped the hard parts, the growing pains, like I’d slid into a relationship." Read the entire essay here.

3. "An Open Letter to My White Friends Who Love the Kardashians" — The Cut

Kylie Jenner / Instagram / Via nymag.com

After Amandla Stenberg called out Kylie Jenner's cultural appropriation of black hairstyles last week, Lindsay Peoples penned an open letter to her white friends. In it, Peoples took cues from the Hunger Games star, asking her friends what their lives would look like if they loved black people as much as they loved the Kardashians, and reflected on her own racial awakening. Read it at The Cut.

4. "What My Landlord Learned About Me From Twitter" — The New York Times Magazine

Haley Mlotek / Via nytimes.com

In a hilarious essay for the New York Times Magazine, Haley Mlotek wrote about the awkwardness that ensues when your prospective landlord asks for your Twitter handle. "Couldn’t they just creep on me silently, like a normal person? I wondered, perturbed and embarrassed, realizing that my most recent tweet was a joke about penises and my most recent Instagram post was a selfie of my recently dyed purple hair," she writes. Read it at the New York Times Magazine.

5. "Raising Free-Spirited Black Children in a World Set on Punishing Them" — The Washington Post

Carl Juste/Miami Herald via Associated Press / Via washingtonpost.com

For black men and women, it's difficult to be free-spirited in a world set on restraining and punishing you. For the Washington Post, Stacia L. Brown wrote about raising her daughter to believe that she can do anything she puts her mind to. "I’ll let her run as far she wants along an amusement park’s asphalt. I’ll hope security doesn’t stop her, assuming I’m not nearby. I’ll pray for one more year where these are my anxieties alone to bear, one more year where she isn’t saddled with some sense of herself as trapped between prejudgment and unjust punishment." Read it at the Washington Post.

6. "My Wedding Was Perfect – And I Was Fat as Hell the Whole Time" — The Guardian

Jenny Jimenez / photojj.com / Via theguardian.com

Fat women are told by society to shrink or disguise their bodies. But Lindy West hid from no one at her wedding. For The Guardian, she wrote about wedding culture, the fraught concept of "beauty," self-love, and expressing herself as a fat woman. Read it at The Guardian.

7. "Where’s My Cut? — On Unpaid Emotional Labor" — The Toast

the-toast.net

Constantly having to listen to the woes of men and offering advice — let alone navigating society's patriarchal expectations — is a lot of work, and it can be exhausting. Jess Zimmerman wrote a brilliant essay on the value of this emotional labor and how women ought to receive compensation, if not recognition, for all that they do. Read it at The Toast.

Want to read more?

Shannon Keating and Yao Xiao created a graphic essay on the many ways strangers harass lesbians on the street. James Tennent explained how toxic masculinity is harmful to everyone. Kim TallBear wrote about Native Americans' fight for an ancient skeleton and how science exploits Native identity. Anne Helen Petersen reviewed Trainwreck, explaining how Amy Schumer calls bullshit on postfeminism. April De Costa paid tribute to The Baby-Sitters Club and a character from the book who helped her cope with having diabetes. And finally, Kaye Toal recalled the one time a co-worker sexted her by accident.

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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