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The Best ELLE Long Reads of 2020

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The Best ELLE Long Reads of 2020


2020 has altered everyone’s lives. The coronavirus pandemic forced much of the world into quarantine and the Black Lives Matter movement brought a much-needed reckoning on racial justice and police brutality. Many of ELLE’s best features of the year address those seismic events, illustrating just how deeply and profoundly women have been affected, while others offer an intimate look at women in politics, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Whether you’re looking for a long read to get lost in while you’re spending time at home this winter or a feature that will help you more fully understand how the U.S. and world was changed by 2020, take in ELLE’s best stories below that vividly capture a truly unbelievable year.

What Did Emile Weaver Know?

For months, Emile Weaver denied her pregnancy. A gruesome discovery forced her to confront the truth.

Can Jennifer Robinson Save Julian Assange?

She’s taken on corrupt governments and the Catholic Church. Now the human rights lawyer faces her biggest challenge yet.

Stacey Abrams on Being Vice President: ‘I Am Prepared and Excited to Serve’

An intimate conversation between the rising Democratic star and journalist Melissa Harris-Perry.

Motherhood Through the Looking ‘Gram

COLLAGE BY LIZZIE GILL. FAMILY: WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES.

Parents want to share their lives on social media but at what cost? Molly Langmuir goes down the rabbit hole.

Being Everywoman Is Katie Porter’s Superpower

The freshman congresswoman and single mother isn’t fancy, which is exactly what makes her so effective.

Being ‘the Only Woman in the Room’ Is Not the Same as Being Black

While all women can face sexist discrimination at work, the stakes for Black women have always been much higher.

Molly Wizenberg Comes Of Age, Again

The Seattle chef and food blogging legend takes on her biggest project yet: getting to know her full, queer self.

The Journalist and the Pharma Bro

Why did Christie Smythe upend her life and stability for Martin Shkreli, one of the least-liked men in the world?

Christie Smythe, 24 Hours Later

Stephanie Clifford follows up with the subject of the wildly viral ELLE story, The Journalist and the Pharma Bro.

I Froze My Eggs in Europe. Then, the Pandemic Hit.

What do delays brought on by the coronavirus mean for women who are trying to freeze their eggs or get pregnant?

“We Don’t Know What to Do For All These Mothers”

My mother, an OB-GYN head nurse in the Bronx, finds herself providing medical care—and comfort—in the face of fear.

Bubble-Encased Stretchers. Nine Ventilators Left. All Hands on Deck

Emily Rostkowski is an oncology nurse and cancer survivor herself. But now she spends her days in the center of the coronavirus storm.

An Intimate Conversation Between Rep. Ilhan Omar and Her Daughter, Isra Hirsi

The Congresswoman on representation, surviving war, and her ‘Britney Spears period.’

When All of This Is Over: On the Narrative of Protest and Progress

The protests around the country are only part of the story we’re living.

Resettling as a Refugee During a Global Pandemic

Afghan recipients of Special Immigrant Visas won the chance of a lifetime to move to the U.S. Then COVID-19 hit.

Who Will Represent Us at the Polls?: A Primer on the Forgotten Sister Suffragettes

University of Southern CaliforniaGetty Images

The work of three Black activists provides a blueprint for how to move forward in our current heartbreaking, history-making moment.

My Baby Sister Lisa Did a Terrible Thing. We Shouldn’t Kill Her For It.

Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman to death. Her sister, Diane, wants her off death row.

The Sacklers Destroyed My Family

Illustration by Cassie Skoras

Their name and wealth lives on while my mother and I will never see justice.

Kamala Harris Is Our New Vice President-Elect

The woman who will become vice president on the fight for justice and freedom she’s been waging since birth.

She Knew It Was Breast Cancer. So Why Didn’t Doctors Believe Her?

For Black women, proper treatment requires the medical community to confront its harmful racial biases.

“We Belong Here”: Black Equestrians on Loving a Sport That Doesn’t Love Them Back

In the elite, predominantly white world of horseback riding, Black women face a painful set of challenges

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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Are ‘Telling Friends That They’re Together’ as a Couple

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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Are ‘Telling Friends That They're Together’ as a Couple


All the reports about Bennifer’s back-on romance aren’t downplaying how serious Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are about dating again, just one month after they were seen publicly hanging for the first time. Entertainment Tonight reports that Affleck and Lopez have defined their relationship and are telling their friends that they’re a couple. This is not some casual fling.

Affleck and Lopez, for context, were originally engaged in the early 2000s. They ultimately called off their engagement for good and went their separate ways in early 2004.

Fast forward to summer 2021, and “J.Lo and Ben are very much a couple and have been telling friends that they’re together,” Entertainment Tonight‘s source said. “When they first reconnected, they had to see if the spark was still there because it had been a while. It was, so now they are both fully in it.”

They aren’t ignoring the past though, the source added: “[They have] talked about the past and why things didn’t work out. They are both hopeful about their relationship this time around and putting the effort in. They have both matured and are on the same page and it has been easy.”

Lopez in particular “is elated and really trusts Ben. Ben is more traditional and low-key in his values and Jen is into that. She likes that they can go on dates and have fun. She also thinks that Ben is extremely smart and has a lot of great input.”

ET’s update comes after People reported last week that the two intend to spend a lot of time together this summer despite being bicoastal. (J.Lo is based in Miami, and Affleck is in L.A.) Lopez and Affleckare discussing summer plans,” People‘s source said. “[They] want to spend as much time together as possible. They also want to take a trip.” Generally, “they are both acting very comfortable in their relationship.”

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Shailene Woodley Revealed She and Aaron Rodgers Moved In Together as Soon as They Started Dating

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Shailene Woodley Revealed She and Aaron Rodgers Moved In Together as Soon as They Started Dating


Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers’ surprise engagement came after a rapid-fire romance that started with the two moving in together, Woodley revealed in a new interview with Shape.

“Starting a relationship where you immediately move in with someone—because it’s a pandemic and you can’t just get on a plane and go back and forth on weekends—taught us a lot about each other very quickly,” she said. “We jumped in headfirst and got some of the sticky bits out of the way early.”

Woodley added that while quarantine helped them get to know each other faster because they weren’t traveling for work as much, “I have the perspective that I would have met Aaron in any context, any space in time, because I feel we were meant to be together.”

Woodley and Rodgers’ exact relationship start date isn’t known. But Rodgers was in a relationship with Danica Patrick until July 2020, and Woodley described herself as single in April 2020.

Their engagement was revealed in February 2021, but Woodley later admitted they had actually been privately engaged for a while before the public found out. “Yes, we are engaged, we are engaged,” she told Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show in late February. “But for us, it’s not new news, you know, so it’s kind of funny, everybody right now is freaking out over it, and we’re like, yeah, we’ve been engaged for a while. Yeah, we got engaged a while ago. It’s been—he’s, first off, just a wonderful, incredible human being, but I never thought I’d be engaged to someone who threw balls [footballs, specifically] for a living. I never thought as a little girl, ‘Yeah. I’m going to marry someone who throws balls, yeah!’ But he’s really just so good at it, and I’m really impressed. He can throw fast balls, he can throw slow balls, high balls, low balls. When I first met him, I think my dog like pulled me aside and was like, ‘If you don’t date this dude, I will disown you as my mother because the three feet that I run with you when you throw a ball is nothing compared to the marathon I’m able to run with him.’”

A source close to Rodgers spoke to People in February about how shocked his friends were about his fast romance with Woodley. “It was a surprise that they got so close so quickly,” the source said. “I mean, it really felt like one day he was with Danica Patrick, and then suddenly he was with Shailene. It happened super fast.”

“It was so fast that at first, we thought she was just a rebound,” the source continued. “There was no way this could be so serious. Everyone thought it was a casual thing because that’s what he was telling everyone, even when it was clearly not a casual thing.

“Now we realize that it was clearly a lot more serious than they told anyone,” the source added. “All this goes to show that this must be a very special relationship for him and for her. So everyone wishes them happiness.”

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The Only Thing Better Than a New Swimsuit Is One You Got on Sale

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elle


David Bellemere

Since we basically skipped summer last year, we plan to double down on everything we missed out on as we enter a post-vaccinated world. Apprehensively. So while we won’t jet off to Portugal with the same joie de vivre we would have in 2019, we do plan to rebuild some semblance of summertime fun. Our starting point? Swimwear. Nothing gets us more excited for beachier days than a new bathing suit, with the exception of a new bathing suit we also got on sale. The best part is that our favorite brands seem to be on clearance simultaneously, with styles from Ganni, Oséree, Solid & Striped, Bottega Veneta, and Frankies all heavily discounted up to 70 percent off. Ahead, 19 of the best to shop right now.

1 of 19

Plunge Halterneck Swimsuit

Ganni
matchesfashion.com

2 of 19

Second Wave One-Piece Swimsuit

Madewell
madewell.com

3 of 19

The Taylor bow-embellished floral-print swimsuit

SOLID & STRIPED
theoutnet.com

4 of 19

Lumière Metallic Bikini Set

Oséree
cettire.com

5 of 19

Sunkiss Bikini Top

Medina Swimwear
modaoperandi.com

6 of 19

Apex One Piece Sale

Jade Swim
jadeswim.com

7 of 19

Printed halterneck Swimsuit

Emilio Pucci
net-a-porter.com

8 of 19

Broadway Bikini Top

Marysia
mytheresa.com

9 of 19

Stiza One Piece

Isabel Marant
shopbop.com

10 of 19

Walter Mio Ruched Swimsuit

Norma Kamali
net-a-porter.com

11 of 19

Avalon Bikini Top

Beach Riot
shopbop.com

12 of 19

Smocked Stretch-Crepe Bandeau Bikini

Lisa Marie Fernandez
theoutnet.com

13 of 19

Crinkled Stretch-Jersey Halterneck Bodysuit

Bottega Veneta
modaoperandi.com

14 of 19

Ruched One-Shoulder One-Piece

J.Crew
jcrew.com

15 of 19

Nova Bottom

Dos Swim
dosswim.com

16 of 19

Logo Cross Back Rib One-Piece Swimsuit

Off-White
nordstrom.com

17 of 19

Front Bikini Bottoms

Stone Fox Swim
freepeople.com

18 of 19

Halo Top

Frankie’s Bikinis
frankiesbikinis.com

19 of 19

Sailor Puff Sleeve Corset One Piece Swimsuit

Jonathan Simkhai
bloomingdales.com

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