7 Essays To Read This Week: “Bad Blood,” Pop Music Stardom, And Counterculture

This week, BuzzFeed Ideas Editor Bim Adewunmi wrote a piece on the strange conformity of YouTube’s beauty tutorials. Read that and other essays from The Atlantic, The Fader, Grantland, and more.

How to Be Spiritual” — The Awl

Jaimie Lauren Keiles wrote a guide to being spiritual, for those of us who are not. The essay, hilarious and strangely comforting, teaches us how to pray and find spiritual moments in our everyday lives. An excerpt: “When you were younger, you probably experienced words and music in a far more transcendent and affecting way than you do as an adult. Seek prayer that nurtures this relationship. Jenny Holzer truisms, advertising slogans, and exceptional tweets can all make for great prayers, as can great works of literature and hackneyed self-help.” Read it at The Awl.


The Curious Conformity of YouTube’s Beauty Tutorials” — BuzzFeed

YouTube beauty videos are all variations on a predictable formula. “Whether a lookbook, a contouring and highlighting tutorial, a haul or even just a chat between a woman, a camera and her public,” they all follow a set of unspoken rules. Bim Adewunmi investigated the common tropes found in makeup Youtube and reflected on her findings and what they say about viewers. Read her essay at BuzzFeed.

Sian Butcher / BuzzFeed

A Girl Without a Country” — Rookie

Having spent her childhood in both the United States and India, Upasna Barath never felt like she belonged in either of her homelands. In India, the other kids made fun of her Hindi pronunciation and American lunches. But things were still hard for Barath when she moved back to the States. This week, she wrote an essay about cultural assimilation, race, and fitting in. Read it at Rookie.

Caitlin H.

Truly Outrageous: What the New ‘Jem and the Holograms’ Film Gets Wrong About Modern Pop Stardom” — Grantland

A week after the Jem and the Holograms trailer debuted, Hazel Cills wrote an essay on why the film’s preview caused such an uproar. “…The idea that pop stars don’t have teams behind them, that they’re the sole authors of their music, that nobody is styling them — those are sort of antiquated notions in 2015,” Cills writes. Her essay touches on Hatsune Miku, PC Music, and the state of pop music and stardom today. Read it at Grantland.


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7 Essays To Read This Week: “Bad Blood,” Pop Music Stardom, And Counterculture

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