One glance at your Facebook feed will prove there are few people who aren't eager to close the book on 2016. After all, its pages were tough for so many people to endure. The year not only brought us national and international tragedy in the form of gun violence and terrorism, but also setbacks for women that make our future rights seem all too uncertain. But as much as we wish the memory of 2016 fades faster than a cheap pair of black jeans, we can't forget its chapters also featured so many strong woman voices reminding us of what we can accomplish, even in the face of hardship. And that's where 2016's Best of Bustle comes in.
Because, as much as 2016 seemed to deliver crushing blow after crushing blow, there were times when women and the women of Bustle absolutely crushed it. And though we do have a fight ahead of us in 2017 — facing legislation curbing reproductive rights and an administration that has so far been anything but feminist — the past year has proved that women are unstoppable. And one scan of Bustle's stories proves the future is female.
So, below, read the stories and watch the videos from Bustle that made us laugh, made us think, and, mostly, made us realize that no matter what's in our future, we will stand up strong, together.
"'Orange Is The New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Won't Let Hollywood Tell Her Who To Be," by Rachel Simon, Photos by Meredith Truax
"That said, acting in such heavy roles takes a toll. Brooks says she understands Taystee's pain, for instance, because it is the pain of so many people she knows, or knows of; she lists Wiley, her younger brother, her father, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Sr., Sandra Bland. To film Wiley's death scene, Brooks says she channeled the grief and anger of the black mothers and fathers dealing with the losses of their children. It's a tactic that clearly proved effective, evidenced by viewers' intense reactions to the scene, but using it took an emotional toll on that actor herself as well.
'I kept telling the director, "I don’t have that much in me, so let’s make sure that whatever angle you need, whatever the camera person needs, let’s get it right, because I can’t do this over and over and over,"' Brooks recalls. 'Because yes, we’re pretending, but to think of that really happening to someone that you love, how devastating that is...'
She trails off, but her point is clear."
"I Ate The Last Meals Of Famous Murderers For A Week," by Emma Lord, Photos by Hannah Burton
"When you examine these last meals, though, you can't help but put yourself in the shoes of the person who chose them, even if only for a few seconds. Whether out of curiosity, or horror, or judgment, the finality of this choice and the assumptions you make about the person based on them are oddly compelling. So at the beginning of this experiment, I wasn't sure what to make of my own interest in reading about this; I thought that maybe by recreating it myself, I would find some clarity."
"A Body Project," Marie Southard Ospina & Kara McGrath, Photos by Substantia Jones
"A Body Project aims to shed light on the reality that 'body positivity' is not a button that, once pressed, will free an individual from being influenced or judged by toxic societal beauty standards. Even the most confident of humans has at least one body part that they struggle with. By bringing together self-identified body positive advocates, all of whom have experienced marginalization for their weight, race, gender identity, ability, sexuality, or otherwise, we hope to remind folks that it's OK to not feel confident 100 percent of the time, about 100 percent of your body. But that's no reason to stop trying."
"I Wore '90s Steve Madden Stretchy Slides For A Week & Here's What Happened," by Kara McGrath
"After a couple months of periodically checking Etsy and eBay, I finally found a pair of 'US Size 7, 90s Steve Madden Platform Sandals, Slip On Wedge Sandals, 90s Minimalist, 90s Chunky Sandals, Army Green, Vintage 90s Sandals.' While I was personally always partial to the all-black versions, I figured this olive-green variation would do.
Here's what happened when I rocked a pair of everyone's favorite '90s sandals for a week in the summer of 2016."
'NSFWomen' Episode 1: "How Do Homeless Women Cope With Their Periods?" by Janet Upadhye & Bustle Video
"A big box of tampons probably runs around $10, so that can be half of what we make during the day. I'll just go get the tampons that I need, and that'll leave me with nothing. And then ... I can't eat."
"4 Women With Powerful Bodies Explain What 'Strength' Means To Them," by Erin Kelly, Photos by Hannah Burton, Styling by Jenna Wexler
"It’s important for women to feel strong because they are strong. And our world needs women who stand in their strength, especially right now. Our world needs the insight women provide, our workforce needs the leadership women provide, and our families need the nurturing women provide. ... An empowered woman is the woman who will stand up for herself."
"This Is Why I Didn't Report My Sexual Assault," by Gabrielle Moss & Bustle Video
"I didn't report it for, you know, a thousand reasons. A million reasons."
"Carrie Fisher Drowned In Moonlight, Strangled By Her Own Bra," by Lindsay Mannering
"In her 2008 book Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher wrote, "I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I wanted it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra." On Dec. 27, 2016, Fisher died following a massive heart attack. Here is the obituary I hope she wanted.
Carrie Fisher drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra on Dec. 27, 2016 Earth Time. But what is date and time, really, anyway.
After giving 60 years of wisdom and light to this world, on Tuesday Earth morning Fisher ascended to the stars from Los Angeles, Calif. The actor had suffered a human heart attack on Dec. 23 while on a flight from London to L.A.; four Earth days later, the decision was made, somewhere, somehow, to make the other side her new home."
"27 Photos Of My Fat Face That Prove Camera Angle Is Everything," by Marie Southard Ospina
"Before I knew what Photoshop was (and before I discovered the not-often-taught concept of falling in love with your own body), I blindly trusted the imagery I encountered in my magazines. I believed the models on those covers must be just as 'perfect' in life as they looked in their photos: As thin, as proportional, as curvy 'in the right places,' as lacking in the visible belly outline and neck fat departments as one could be. Years later, when I started taking my own photos with the help of my partner slash photographer, I began to see just how straightforward it is to make yourself look thinner or fatter."
"My Dad Is An Unarmed Black Man: Will He Be Shot Next?" by Alexi McCammond
"I feel 'lucky' that my dad hasn't been wrongfully pulled over by police too many times throughout his life, especially in recent years. But I've spent 23 years listening to the racist comments people make about him, and in light of these shootings, I've realized that this could happen to anyone. During trips to the grocery store, I've heard white cashiers assume out loud that we 'must have just received food stamps,' given the amount of groceries we were buying for our family of five. Other kids' parents at school would tell my mom that 'there's a difference between a black person and a n*gger' and that, 'lucky' for her, my dad, my siblings, and myself are not the latter."
"I Ate Like Lorelai Gilmore For A Day & Let Me Tell You, That Woman Is Some Sort Of Super Human," by Kelsea Stahler, Photos by Hannah Burton
"The life of one Lorelai Gilmore is the epitome of greener grass on the fabled other side. She drinks coffee all day, she eats everything fried, gooey, and delicious with endless gusto, and balks at fresh fruit and vegetables the way a cat might at a bath. Throughout all that, she manages to zip around on foot and in her manual Jeep, talking with the fervor of an eloquent parrot who also happens to be an expert on David Bowie and the Bangles.
Every time I watch Gilmore Girls, I think, This is the way to live. Endless coffee, all the best savory foods that no woman near or in her 30s is 'supposed' to eat regularly, and endless energy. Celebrity diets and fancy bottled water can take a hike, because I wanted the Gilmore diet... And then I actually did the Lorelai diet for a mere 24 hours. And it almost broke me."
"Bashing Romance Novels Is Just Another Form Of Slut-Shaming," by Sarah MacLean
"'So, still writing sex books?' It’s not the kind of question you expect at a funeral, walking from the church to the burial plot, particularly from a man who has known you for most of your life. But there it was, boomed through the cemetery on a clear winter’s day, loud enough to ensure that half the assembled mourners heard what he no doubt thought was a terribly unique, terribly funny question. A question he no doubt believed would embarrass me, and not because he was asking it at the top of his lungs at a funeral.
'You write smut novels?'"
"The Old Britney Spears Is Never Coming Back, And There’s Nothing Wrong With That," by Lia Beck
"It's not a stretch to say that people get attached to the way their idols were in their original form, especially with musicians. 'I like their old stuff better' is a jokey cliché at this point when it comes to how people talk about bands, but really, I'm sure any music fan can think of several groups where they legitimately do like their old stuff better. And this idea works with everything from celeb crushes to actors who no longer take the type of roles we want them to. Celebrities are so incredibly easy to project your own ideas on to that it's really no surprise that we would want old Britney back."
"On The Baby-Sitters Club's 30th Anniversary, Author Ann M. Martin And Editor David Levithan Reflect On The Success Of The Series," by Cristina Arreola
"To say readers simply cared about the characters of The Baby-Sitters Club is an understatement so egregious it nearly feels untrue. Readers were absolutely, positively crazy about Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and the characters who followed: Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, Abby, Logan, Shannon, and more. Readers never owned just one Baby-Sitters Club novel; they owned 40 or 50 or 100 or 200 of those Easter Egg-colored paperbacks. Many of those die-hard fans still treasure those Baby-Sitters Club novels. Some of them are parents now, and some of them are passing down their well-worn and well-loved copies to their children.
And perhaps that's what's most surprising about the success of The Baby-Sitters Club series. It's not that the original readers still love the books; it's that new readers love the books."
"5 Lisa Frank Halloween Costume Ideas For 2016 That Are All Your '90s Dreams Come True," by Kelsey Nguyen, Photos by Hannah Burton, Styling by Bry Crasch
"The secret to crafting your own Lisa Frank costume is all in — you guessed it — the colors. Spare no inch of skin, my fellow '90s babes. Mix and match vibrant hues, experiment with neon eye shadow, ditch your OG tresses for a night and go daring with tie-dye locks — the options are endless. I mean, it is Halloween, after all (translation: the one night when you can get away with glittery whiskers and beyond)."
"Some Guy's Wife Wins Gold Medal At Rio Olympics," by Gabrielle Moss
"In a shocking upset today that had fans cheering and competitors picking their jaws up off the floor, Team USA nabbed yet another gold medal — this time for the women's 100,000-meter run, courtesy of track and field competitor Jim's Wife. Many are calling Jim's Wife's win the 'Cinderella story' of the Rio Games; after competing at three previous Games without a single win, Jim's Wife — who athletic experts agree 'looks pretty good for her age' — has achieved a startling come-from-behind victory, overtaking early favorites for the gold like Japan's Lady Who Just Had a Baby and Brazil's own Luiz's On-and-Off Girlfriend. In her heart-stopping win, Jim's Wife not only earned herself a gold medal, but broke the previous 10,000-meter record set in 2008 by Uzbekistan's Woman Who Never Goes on Dates Even Though Her Mom Knows Lots of Great Guys Who Would Love to Meet Her."
"The One Thing That Saved Sweet Briar College Could Be What Keeps Women's Colleges Alive," by Christine Stoddard
"Ever since men's colleges began going co-ed in the late 1960s and '70s, more and more women's colleges have been shutting their doors. In 1960, there were 230 women's colleges. Today, there are 43. March's near-closure of Sweet Briar College — a 114-year-old Virginia school with respected equine and study abroad programs — seemed to sound the death knell for single-sex higher ed. If a school as storied and beloved as Sweet Briar closed, what hope did many other women's colleges have?"
"How Juicy Couture Brought The Tracksuit Back For All Of Us," by Kara McGrath
"It sure seemed like the Juicy Couture tracksuit was retired for good around the same time everyone started caring more about Emma Watson than Paris Hilton. JC will forever be a beloved brand, but when even the founders said they'd probably never wear a pink tracksuit again, the glory days when Britney Spears was handing them out at her wedding were almost certainly in the past. So how did the Juicy Jumpsuit go from a must-have fashion item in 2001 to a Ben Affleck punchline in 2004 to a highly anticipated launch in 2016? The fashion gods are fickle, and it looks like the tides are turning back in Juicy's favor."
"The Simplest DIY Paint Job To Make An Old Piece Of Furniture Look Like New," by Jenna Wexler, Photos by Lauren Perlstein
"Even if you're well out of school and living in your own place, there are always those few pieces of furniture that stick around — whether you like it or not. Maybe it's a storage piece from your dorm room, a hand-me-down coffee table from your first apartment, or a dresser you bought on a budget but never really *loved*. You know the one, and you've definitely contemplated getting rid of it a few times. But the reality is, as much of a grasp as you may have on your personal home decor style, purchasing all new everything can be daunting (and very expensive). Finding a balance between old and new is both economically responsible and the key to curating a home that looks and feels totally unique. The trick is figuring out how to work with what you've got, and revamping old furniture yourself is a great way to split the difference."
"Bustle's Anxiety Project: Exploring Social Media & Its Stressful Impact On Millennials," by Erin Mayer and Olivia Muenter
"Everyone has a theory on why anxiety might be increasing in younger generations. Is it social media? What about climate change? Or could it be the 2016 election cycle? How about all of the above? Olivia Muenter and I, who are both members of Bustle's fashion team — and who both deal with anxiety on a regular basis — have spent the past few months exploring anxiety in the modern age from a few different angles; the topic is multi-faceted and anything but simple. Anxiety is different for everyone. Some experience panic attacks, others feel an urge to delete all their social media accounts in search of mental peace, some, like myself, spend all day on WebMD diagnosing themselves with rare diseases."
"How To Get A Bikini Body — For Feminists!" by Marie Southard Ospina & Bustle Video
"Want to turn your flab into abs in just two weeks? Well, that's too bad, because that's not how exercise works. And even if it did, no one else gets to tell you what your body should look like."
"I Had a Second Trimester Abortion & I Am Sick Of Hearing Politicians' Opinions About It," by Karen Agatone
"As I adjust to life after saying goodbye to Evelyn, everything feels a little more personal. To watch politicians question my ability to make an educated yet devastating choice for my body and family has been painful and infuriating. The decision that was made for my baby was made after days upon days of difficult research, and after consulting the medical opinions of some of the best specialists in the country. To be scolded by anti-choice protesters and politicians alike about 'the value of life' is something I will never get used to. I am Evelyn's mother, and no one valued her life more than I did. No one."
"Why Christian Siriano Won't Dress Melania Trump Anymore," by Olivia Muenter
"'Unfortunately, at this time, what Melania and her world represents, I just don’t think represents… we don’t share the same values and the same things, as a lot of designers, especially a lot of young gay designers [feel],' Siriano says. 'It’s very hard to support people that don’t support you.'"
"This 11th Century Wisecracking Poet Invented The Listicle As We Know It Today," by Charlotte Ahlin
"If you’ve ever been to the internet, you’ve probably run across a listicle or two — maybe even a list of must-read books. And you've probably run across some sort of moral panic over listicles. Apparently, numbered lists on the internet are destroying modern literature as we know it. But before you break out the pitchforks and torches, you should know that the so-called 'listicle' and the modern novel are just about the same age. The first listicle and the first novel were both penned sometime in the early 11th century, and they were both (naturally) written by women."
"I Went To The Miss America Pageant & Had A Full-On Existential Crisis," by Gabrielle Moss
"If Miss America no longer exerts a pull of intense fascination and anxiety, aspiration and anger, on the average young American woman, what role does Miss America now play in our culture? And could the fact that both the show and the pageant winner no longer loom as large in the public consciousness actually be a net positive for the idea of Miss America itself and the women who compete in it? The drive to find an answer — and my drive to buy one of those tank tops with the fringe on the bottom — led me to Atlantic City."
"I Deleted My Dating Apps For A Month," by Michelle Toglia
"I used to meet guys IRL all the time — at bars, parties, walking down the street, weddings, etc. But at some point in the last year or so, I lost the balance between online and offline dating. Maybe I got lazy, maybe my mindset was different, or maybe the dating scene changed as more people started using them. After all, Pew Research Center reports that since 2013 online dating usage among millennials has tripled. Even though I don't think I was ever addicted to my apps, I could tell they were frustrating me. The WTF messages stopped being screenshot-worthy and more often than not, conversations would just drop off. My dating life existed solely online — an environment with endless choices, uncomfortable messages, and no verbal cues. I was bored, stressed, and slightly horrified all at the same time."
"10 Books I Wish My White Teachers Had Read," by Crystal Paul
"As a black student in public schools, I had a white art teacher give me a failing grade on an essay project because, as he explained to me, 'graffiti isn’t art.' I was kicked out of classrooms for 'having an attitude,' rolling my eyes, playing with my braids, or wearing a gang-related shirt (it was FUBU). Once, I was kicked out of class for telling (and attempting to show) an incredulous math teacher that I already knew how to do the work he was condescendingly explaining... again. I had white principal who refused to sign the recommendation letter I needed to complete my application for a private high school. Let's not forget the metal detectors, police officers, and zero-tolerance treatment that make many of these public schools feel more like prisons than learning centers."
"I Let My Dad Dress Me For A Week & This Is What Happened," by Summer Arlexis
"A running joke in my family is that if he could, my dad would dress me in turtlenecks and ankle-length skirts for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I was grateful that I own neither when I agreed to let him dress me for a week. Other than the fact that I own several men's sweaters, my dad and I have absolutely nothing in common when it comes to fashion. It's not that he's a terrible dresser; he just doesn't put much thought into it. He's told me he has about six pants and shirts he prefers to rotate. So naturally, giving him access to my two closets of clothes, shoes, and accessories gave him major anxiety. According to him, I only own 'fancy' clothes (we clearly disagree on what's casual and what's not) and it's no wonder I take so long to figure out what to wear."
"I Can't Remember My Rape — And That Shouldn't Matter," by Gabrielle Moss
"When I felt bad, jumpy, and scared in the weeks and months that followed, I wondered if I was 'allowed' to feel that way — I thought those symptoms were reserved for 'real' victims, people who had to live with the memories. I just had to live with the memory of no memory — that shouldn't be so hard, right? A heavy drinker at the time, I became obsessed with the idea that I had possibly been raped in the past and just hadn't woken up in time to register anything. I became nervous and paranoid, and even more afraid of telling anyone — I simply couldn't put the words together and make them come out of my mouth. Because I knew as soon as I did, I would be admitting that this had all happened, and that it had affected me, even if I couldn't remember every second of it."
"Donald Trump, My Grandfather & What It Truly Means To Receive A Purple Heart," by Emily Shire
"Trump was certainly right when he said it was 'much easier' for him to get his hands on a Purple Heart than it is to actually receive a Purple Heart. I know this from the experiences of my grandfather, Seymour Eisenstat. He suffered injuries in World War II that would dramatically affect the rest of his life, and he suffered them in the service of protecting his county. That's how one actually gets a Purple Heart, Trump. As others have pointed out, most people don't 'want' a Purple Heart, because one only receives it after being wounded or killed in action, according to the Purple Heart criteria."
"On Newt Scamander, Toxic Masculinity, & The Power Of Hufflepuff Heroes," by Emma Lord
"Newt Scamander is a rare bird — rarer even, perhaps, than the Thunderbird he recklessly smuggles into Manhattan in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt tears up in wonder as a baby Occamy hatches, and tenderly refers to himself as 'Mum' to a group of them. When Newt's privacy is violated by Queenie's Legilimency, his reaction, though he is feeling 'angry and embarrassed,' according to the screenplay, is merely to say, 'Please don't read my mind,' and then, 'Sorry, I asked you not to.' When Newt's beasts — the very nearest and dearest creatures to his heart, and the purpose of his entire life's work — are threatened, he doesn't try to lash out or fight or punish anybody. His pleas for MACUSA to see reason are entirely an appeal to their emotions, an attempt to reason not just with their heads, but their hearts: 'No, no, don't hurt those creatures — please, you don't understand — nothing in there is dangerous, nothing!'
Newt Scamander takes every trope we know about the Male Hero — the toxic tropes that we have grown up with, that are so internalized in traditional narratives that we don't even blink at them anymore — and flips them on their head."
"I Don't Post About My Workouts For Fun — I Do It Because Every Single Day, I Feel Unsafe," by Emma Lord
"My mom taught me how to run ... But because I am a girl, she had to teach me other things. Like how if you're going to leave the house to run, always tell someone exactly where and for how long. Never run on the trails in the park without a buddy. Never run after dark. Never run without your phone. Every few months, she forwarded me some variation of the same article — the one that says that when rapists are looking for women who are easy to subdue, they look for women with long ponytails to grab, women who are alone, women who have clothes that are easy to take off. In other words, they look for runners. They look for me."
"Gloria Steinem On Why Film & TV Became A Great Battleground For Equality & Feminism," by Kelsea Stahler
"The film industry — which has recently become a battleground for issues such as equal pay (thanks in large part to outspoken women like Jennifer Lawrence) and equal hiring practices (which are so bad in Hollywood that the government has begun to intervene) — can act as tool for change when more diverse points of view and previously untold stories are represented.
As Steinem puts it, 'If we don’t have everybody sitting around the campfire, everybody loses.'"
"'Good Girls Revolt' Made Me Realize I Was Taking My Own Success For Granted," by Martha Sorren
"Often when people argue about the importance of showing women in a variety of roles on television shows and in movies, they cite the important message used by the Geena Davis campaign: 'If she can't see it, she can't be it.' But in the case of Good Girls Revolt, that's not what makes the show so significant. In fact, it's almost the opposite. I don't see much of myself in Patti or Cindy or Jane on the Amazon series, because the real women behind those characters fought for me to never have to go through what they did."
"Romance Novels Brought Me Closer To My Mom, Even After She Was Gone," by Adam Minter, Design by Alyssa Foote
"In the days following [my mother's] funeral, her novels remained in the backseat of my rental car, waiting for a decision. I felt as if I’d spent the years missing who she was entirely. She lived alone, mostly, and I spent the better part of a decade working in China, away from her. But as I spoke to her friends, family and neighbors, she re-emerged to me as someone I really had to know, again. A teen beauty queen, she was brains, too. Lots of them, in fact. She was brilliant and funny, laughing hard at dirty jokes although she didn’t often tell them. She was also the person who everyone went to with their problems and secrets. In fact, so many secrets died with her that she might have made a living as an extortionist had she not been so sweetly natured.
One night, on a long drive by myself, I figured that if her Iliad could open a world to me, her romances might explain something, too."
"I Have HIV, But It's Stigma That Makes Me Sick," by Karen Fratti
"Four years ago, at the age of 28, I was diagnosed with HIV. I am a heterosexual, white woman and I grew up in the suburbs. I never stuck a needle in my arm, and I was never a sex worker. I just slept with men, and sometimes I didn’t use a condom — and I got HIV.
That’s it. That’s the whole story.
Except that it’s not the whole story. Because saying 'HIV,' at least in certain circles, is like saying 'Bloody Mary' three times into a mirror late at night at sleep-away camp. It conjures up a lot of fear, the kind that makes everyone squeal and run away to the safety of their sleeping bags, for no reason at all."
"I Went To The Kylie Pop-Up Shop & Lived To Tell The Tale," by Sara Tan
"'I want to be like her some day,' a 19-year-old shopper tells me as she inches closer to the front of her roped-off queue. 'She's so ambitious and she's going to get her dreams out there — she's going to get done whatever she wants, and that's cool.' She wasn't the only young woman who felt this way. There are many who believe the only reason these girls sacrificed sleep and money was to shop Kylie's limited-edition glosses and palettes — they're dead wrong."
"If Hillary's Campaign Emails Were A Love Song, This Is What That Would Sound Like," by Emma Lord and Bustle Video
"If you don't happen to be getting Hillary Clinton's campaign emails yourself, then allow me to explain — I often do double-takes at her subject lines, because sometimes they are so casual that I unconsciously assume they're from somebody I actually know. A few of them are delightfully vague ('One last time'), a few spark curiosity ('Wow wow wow'), and a few I genuinely thought were from my mother ('Quick question (have a second?)'). It's all very catchy and effective, really, because I am a chronic email ignorer and these subject lines always catch my eye. And then one day, I read one of these subject lines right next to another one and something in my brain just clicked."
"Meet The Women Who Are Going To Repeal The Hyde Amendment," by Celia Darrough
"Three years after a landmark decision, the backlash to the Roe v. Wade decision was still in full force. As the anti-abortion movement gained steam, it was Sept. 30, 1976, when the United States' House of Representatives passed legislation to prevent federal funds from being used for abortion services. Forty years later, the Hyde Amendment continues to prevent women from accessing their legal right to an abortion. But these women are going to change that."
"Tim Burton Explains Why 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' Features A Predominantly White Cast," by Rachel Simon
"For fans of Ransom Riggs' 2011 bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, one of the things that made the news of its big-screen adaptation so intriguing was imagining which actors would make up the ensemble. The book features a large cast of characters, from the eponymous children to the many adults who throw them into peril. The idea of seeing them portrayed on-screen thrilled readers of Riggs' book hoping to see a diverse group of actors take on the challenge. Yet in reality, the few dozen characters that make up the movie version of Miss Peregrine's are predominantly white, with Samuel L. Jackson's Barron being the only notable exception. Sitting down at New York's McKittrick Hotel to discuss the film, director Tim Burton tells me why that's the case."
"I Traveled 2,737 Miles For A Date," by Michelle Toglia
"I'm texting with Ray, a 28-year-old who works in Occupational Safety in Alaska. We'll be meeting for the first time in about a week in Portland, Oregon, a place neither of us have been, and I'm trying to convince him I'm not a serious person. Ray and I were set up by MissTravel, a dating site for travel-seeking singles. We’ve been getting to know each other and have texted here and there for the last month leading up to our trip that the site arranged for us. Earlier this year, the site approached me and asked if I wanted a first-hand account of what it’s like to travel hundreds of miles for a first date with one of their members. I asked zero questions because um, hell yeah, take me anywhere!"
"‘Suicide Squad’ May Not Fridge Its Female Characters, But They’re Feeling The Cold," by Samantha Rullo
"The overt sexualization of Harley is caught in a similar gray area. Is Suicide Squad pandering to male viewers by giving Harley a revealing costume that looks nothing like what she wears in the comics, or is this commentary on the sexualization of female comic book characters? The amount of gratuitous close-ups of Harley's butt peeking out of her sequined shorts suggest the former, but brief moments hint at the latter. For instance, after Harley believes something terrible has happened, she sits in the rain alone and cries, visibly devastated. But when the rest of the Suicide Squad comes across her, she immediately puts on a happy face and lounges across the hood of a car as she makes a funny comment. It's clearly all an act to hide her inner pain and if Suicide Squad had more moments like this, it could've actually said something about the sexualization of women in movies — the emphasis on their appearance rather than their actual character."
"Donald Trump Dismantled The American Dream, But I Won't Let Him Destroy Mine," by Kadeen Griffiths
"In the 2016 election, the voice that emerged carried a message of hate all the way to the White House. That voice said that me, and immigrants like me, did not deserve to be in this country and had no right to the American Dream. That voice said that being a woman makes me a sexual object unworthy of respect. And, despite saying all of that, that voice is now the voice of the future president of the United States. I can understand why the American Dream feels more unachievable than ever. I can understand why immigrants might feel scared, hopeless, depressed, and lost.
But this is not the end for us."
'Love Factually' Season 1, Episode 2: "Why Do We Cheat?" by Bustle Video & Kathryn Kattalia
"Relationships differ for every couple, but there is one thing that many people seem to agree on when it comes to murky matters of the heart — that cheating is wrong. But if that's the case, why do people cheat in the first place? We know that infidelity in any type of relationship can be an emotionally and mentally draining experience for both the person being cheated on, and the person doing the cheating, and yet chances are you or someone you know has felt the emotional impact of cheating at least once at some point. If people hate cheating so much, why do we put ourselves and the people we love through it?"
"Ranking The 2016 Presidential Campaign Slogans In Terms Of How Little They Actually Mean," by Arielle Dachille
"Speaking of meaningless catchphrases, let's talk about the 2016 presidential race. Some candidates have fallen, and some are still clinging to political relevance with the jaws of life. But suspended campaigns or not, the candidates have given us some real head-scratching slogans. Donald Trump's own inspirational but vague one promises that he will 'make America great again,' without ever defining when or how America was once great. In equally ill-defined terms, Ted Cruz tells us that he'll 'reignite the promise of America' without specifying what the promise of America was, or how he plans on going about reigniting it. Carly Fiorina's promises some hazy new possibilities ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), while Ben Carson's sorta sounds like an ad for conditioner. Not to be the kind of person who quotes the Donald, but WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!"
"The DNC Platform Is Ultra-Inclusive This Year, Unless You're A Member Of This Demographic," by Raina Lipsitz
"Mandisa Thomas, founder and president of Black Nonbelievers, tells Bustle that her group is dedicated to challenging the unique stigma faced by black atheists, who are often 'perceived to be rejecting [their] blackness.' She sees the exclusion of atheists from the Democratic Party's platform as 'disheartening' and a 'lack of acknowledgement of diversity within these United States.'"
"7 Feminist Lessons From Roald Dahl's 'The Witches,'" by Caroline Kepnes, Design by Caroline Wurtzel
"As a child, I would have told you that my favorite Roald Dahl books were The Twits and The Witches ... My beloved The Witches, a book that taught me to beware of women wearing gloves. You read that book and realize that all mice might, in fact, be children, children just like you. And of course The Witches capitalized on that most primal fear: Your parents die and your world is turned upside down.
You pick it up as an adult and whoa. There’s a whole other book in there — a hilarious, feminist commentary on women, work and family. Here are seven feminist lessons I learned from The Witches."
"I Got Lip Fillers For The First Time & This Is What Happened," by Courtney Mina
"When it comes to talking about cosmetic surgery, some people practice 'my lips are sealed' secrecy. Many don't want to expose themselves to the harsh judgement of society — a society that happens to be absolutely obsessed with cosmetic surgery while simultaneously being judgmental of it. Just take a look at all the backlash both Lana Del Rey and Kylie Jenner received after folks started accusing them of having undergone cosmetic treatment.
Despite being scrutinized by the internet, Jenner actually admitted to having lip fillers. And her admission sends an interesting message to the world: That no matter how attractive someone may be perceived as, everyone has their own insecurities. When it comes to the world of beauty, I also prefer the 'loud and proud' method of sharing all of my personal experiences in the hopes that others may benefit from them."
"5 Feelings The Perfect Lipstick Gives You, According To Bustle Editors," by Irma Elezovic, Photos by Hannah Burton, Design by Bry Crasch
"Some may say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but I'd have to say lipstick is mine. No matter how I feel, or how tired and disheveled I look, I know that a swipe of the right lipstick will give me that boost of confidence I need (just like a best friend should). And as a beauty enthusiast, I always keep multiple tubes of my favorite lippies at home, next to my desk, and in my bag. That way I can quickly grab, apply, and feel ready for any situation that might be thrown at me (my boss calling me into a meeting, a last minute date, etc.)."
'NSFWomen' Episode 2: "Here's Why These Abortion Patients Became Advocates," by Abbey Adkison & Bustle Video
"There's so much that needs to be done in our communities, and the work needs to start from the ground ... I feel like I'm a better parent to my children for making the decision to have an abortion."