Chanel Reynolds of Seattle, WA, never got around to doing any estate-planning—after all, she and her husband José were young and super-healthy. So when José was killed while bicycling near their home, Reynolds found herself drowning in confusion, grief, and unexpected paperwork. For three years, she wrangled insurance documents and muddled her way through probate court battles. Her lack of planning was typical—a recent poll found that 61 ... Read More
Originating in the 17th century, literary salons were once the perfect training ground for aspiring authors, helping them improve their writing by getting feedback and criticism from the greats. (If you made it into Gertrude Stein’s super-elite salon in 1920s Paris, you were definitely hot shit.) Now, many lit lovers are organizing readings to connect with their communities. These salons, which are often free, erase the gap between audience and ... Read More
Dawn Maestas loves tattoos, but she loves getting rid of them even more. The 42-year-old laser tattoo-removal specialist’s two passions in life—her career and fighting domestic violence—collided one day when she received an unusual call at her Albuquerque, NM, office: a girl had been kidnapped by her abusive partner and was forcibly tattooed multiple times with his name. Could Maestas help? She could, and she did. An abuse survivor herself, ... Read More
It’s become a well-traveled path for young women in Hollywood. Step One: Achieve teen megafame by landing a breakout role in a Disney project, being a Svengali-managed pop star, or both. Step Two: Get caught doing something deemed “inappropriate” for your wholesome celebrity brand, even if it’s something plenty of people do in their late teens or early 20s. Step Three: Weather a shitstorm of disapproval with public apologies and/or court appearances. Then ... Read More
In Victorian England, dexterous ladies of a certain class would carefully cut, curl, and glue thin strips of light-colored paper into flowers and ornamental shapes to adorn objects like book covers and picture frames. In her studio in Portland, ME, artist Lauren Fensterstock, 38, uses the same crafty technique, called “quilling,” to carefully curl strips of black paper into pieces of a garden. In her large-scale installations, black paper flowers and blades ... Read More
In a N.Y.C. diner one week after her 25th birthday and only one year after shooting her first music video, rapper Nora Lum, aka Awkwafina, is interrupted mid-sentence by a seemingly inebriated woman freestyling about “Asians doing our thing.” She’s a fan. This sort of thing is happening more and more these days. The Forest Hills, Queens-based rapper and producer first caught the Internet’s attention last fall with her video for “My ... Read More
BUST's Oct/Nov 2013 issue hits the stands today featuring the one-and-only Kim Gordon and her interview with Kathleen Hanna. Hanna, the riot grrrl rockstar who kicked off third-wave feminism, talks with Sonic Youth's front woman, Gordon, about how it feels to be an icon at the young age of 44.  In the issue we only gave you a sneak peek at the interview, below we have the unedited and extended version! Enjoy!   KG: I was trying to remember what ... Read More
It’s late afternoon on a Tuesday and actress Mink Stole has stopped cleaning her apartment to answer my phone call. “How fine can a person be when she’s washing floors?” she responds when I ask her how she’s feeling.  With forty years of theatrical acting experience under her belt and a place as one of John Waters’ Dreamlanders, the nimble actress/singer/advice-columnist took a break from readying her home for a ... Read More
From ’80s teen classic The Goonies to contemporary hit sitcom Raising Hope, Martha Plimpton has been playing roles women love for 35 years. Here, she opens up about acting, activism, and on-screen abortions. Sitting down with the amazing Martha Plimpton is, well, pretty amazing. Minutes after we arrive at the small Italian place in N.Y.C. she’s chosen for our interview, she proclaims gleefully that the vintage refrigerator in the corner is exactly the same ... Read More
In her debut collection of short stories, Chinelo Okparanta takes a look at what it’s like to be a woman in Nigeria. Okparanta, who lived in the African country until she was 10, tells tales of women struggling to survive within the confines of a culture that has not been (and is still not) especially kind to their gender, and although the stories might be fictional, there is clearly a lot of truth behind them. In “America” she focuses on a ... Read More
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