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PHOTOGRAPHED BY SAVANA OGBURN.

By: MOLLY LONGMAN

I kicked off 2020 resolving to go on at least 20 dates, a so-called carrot on a stick that I hoped would force me out into the cruel, daunting dating world and out of my comfort zone.

Then, of course, the world changed. And so too did dating. Zoom dates became the norm. Plus, the age-old dating habits and phenomenons we’d come to know and hate, such as ghosting and paper-clipping, were replaced with COVID-era versions, including apocalypsing (treating every relationship like it’s your last) and wokefishing (when someone pretends to hold progressive views to get laid).

“This past year, we’ve seen the dating landscape shift in unexpected ways — from new digital dating conventions to all-new approaches to relationships,” says Priti Joshi, Bumble’s vice president of marketing strategy and operations. …


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By: WHIZY KIM

Throughout the pandemic, losing a job has practically become a shared national trauma. Some 40 million Americans lost income at some point or another in 2020, and even though it’s a new year, the waves of layoffs are far from over. And there’s a special kind of devastation that comes with finding yourself losing your livelihood at the end of one year and the start of another — a time that’s supposed to be marked with joy and optimism, but that suddenly feels gloomy, and like a black pit of insecurity.

The difficulties that come with being laid off go beyond the financial; it’s not just about the money, or the unshakable anxiety that comes with not knowing how you’re going to pay your bills or eat. It’s a loss of self, of routine, of the coworkers you talked to every day. So, where do you go from here? How do you survive what could be months of being unemployed? …


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PHOTOGRAPHED BY AMANDA PICOTTE.

By: ELIZABETH GULINO

Manifestation can feel a little… squishy. Whenever I hear someone describe the practice, I find myself thinking, Is that really it? You think about your intention, take some positive action, and — live your dreams? Am I missing something? That’s why the 369 manifestation method, which I’ve seen popping up on my TikTok for you page recently, is so appealing to me. It offers some concrete steps, to make me feel like I’m really manifesting.

“I love how TikTok is putting all of these things in the spotlight,” says Sarah Potter, a tarot reader, professional witch, and color magic practitioner based in New York City. “What I do like about this 369 method is that it breaks manifestation down in an easy structure. …


By: MOLLY LONGMAN

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PHOTO: ALEXI ROSENFELD/GETTY IMAGES

It was roughly mid-August when it first occurred to me how much I was dreading winter in a pandemic. It was a feeling akin to the Sunday scaries. By September, I could feel the apprehension settling in, even though winter was a ways away.

I wasn’t alone in my trepidation. In November, Vice President Elect Kamala Harris tweeted, “We are facing a dark winter if we don’t get coronavirus under control.” Of course, she was right. On the first official day of winter, 1,963 people died in the U.S.


When doing our hair for the office is off the table, how much of our natural hair routines do we keep under wraps?

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BY: SYDNEY CLARKE

This goes out to all the Black women who somehow managed to not completely neglect their hair during the mismatched highs and lows that made last year so unbelievable. My hair has gone through three cycles of protective styles, an extended dry-scalp mini-series, and even now I’m going back and forth on whether to dye my hair, loc it, or invest in a wig. (Just reading that back I can feel the anxiety — yikes.)

Until I settle on a hairstyle, I decided to pull my bonnet from the crevice it fell into near my bed and sleep under its silky protection — a routine so many Black women are familiar with. Growing up, my mom wrapped my head in a silk head tie or scarf to protect my hair from drying out on cotton pillowcases. Like recipes and stories from childhood, I have head ties that are older than I am that go missing in the house and reappear when I least expect to find them. …


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PHOTOGRAPHED BY FLORA MACLEAN.

BY: MOLLY LONGMAN

The first full week of 2021 didn’t go as planned, to put it mildly. After watching thousands of Trump supporters storm the Capitol building in a violent insurrection, many of us are feeling… a lot. Stressed, drained, traumatized. Angry, frustrated, disbelieving. Exhausted. Wired.

Many Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are feeling especially traumatized due to race-based stress reactions, says Candice Nicole Hargons, PhD, director of the Center for Healing Racial Trauma. “Thinking from a Black perspective, remembering how everything unfolded during the [Black Lives Matter protests this] summer and in the past, and how the situation was treated so differently creates anxiety, but also anger,” adds Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist with Talkspace based in the Washington D.C. …


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By: ANGELA LASHBROOK

Early this spring, as it was quickly dawning on Americans (and especially New Yorkers) how devastating the Covid-19 pandemic was going to be, Martin Cahill walked across the Ed Koch Bridge from Queens to his girlfriend’s apartment in Manhattan. She had just completed a two week-long quarantine after returning from a work trip, and the couple decided they wanted to be together to weather the duration of the pandemic — however long that was going to be.

It was somewhat traumatic, Cahill remembers, to pack as much as he could carry into a bag and take his first steps in what would eventually become his new life. …


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By: LAURISE MCMILLIAN

Welcome to About My Business, Unbothered’s brand new career column. For years, I was getting tons of DMs like “How can I negotiate my salary?,” “I don’t know how to discuss mental health with my boss,” and “Why does this white woman insist on asking me everything just because I’m Black?” This is a space to answer your questions while spilling my guts, tips and tea.

For three years, I spent most of my time at Refinery29 juggling its main Instagram account along with Unbothered’s. I was always proud as hell to let people know that I was not just the token Black editor. For a while, ya girl ran the white stuff too. Under my direction, the @refinery29 Instagram grew from 1.6 million to 2 million followers. Million. I had millions of people watching my work every single day. That sh*t is stressful. …


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Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Today: a consultant who makes $165,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a J.Crew cashmere sweater.

Occupation: Consultant
Industry: Consulting
Age: 29
Location: Ski Town, CO
Salary: $165,000 base + $30,000-$40,000 annual bonus
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $4,900
Net Worth: $55,700 (Assets minus liabilities) Assets: ~$20,000 in my checking account, $75,000 in a 401(k), and $35,000 in mutual funds. Total Debts/Liabilities: $74,231 to my parents. (Grad school was very expensive, but also worth it as my salary more than doubled. I am lucky that my parents gave me a loan with 3% interest, which is significantly below market rate.)


Facing an Islamophobic world as a visibly Muslim woman requires a hell of a lot more courage than stepping out with my hair in a ponytail.

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By: SARA HUSSEIN

My ears burned red as I walked through the park, my hair uncovered in public for the first time in almost 20 years. I had mentally prepared myself before leaving the house, anticipating the feeling of the wind blowing through my hair, the strands stroking my cheek. But the thing that struck me most that day was the distinct, extraordinary sting of my ears rubbed raw by the crisp spring air.

There were many things I probably should have expected when I decided to stop wearing hijab two years ago (like my cold ears on that brisk morning in Toronto), and yet somehow I was still caught by surprise. …

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