Badass Literary Babes: Know My Name; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Emily Park

A year ago, I rediscovered my love for books. Since then, I have devoured over 20,000 pages of memoirs, fantasies, contemporary fictions and romances, and historical fictions.

Last month, I decided I would turn my reading obsession into something tangible. So, I started sharing some of the Badass Babes I’ve met between the pages. 

In the first installment of Badass Literary Babes, I started with the very first two characters I met when I started reading again. I thought I would continue along this timeline, but my hunger has only grown in the last month. 

I finish an average of two books a week, and I have a to-be-read list of over 320 books. If I continue going down the line in order of the books I have read, I don’t think I will ever catch up, and I’m scared I’ll forget just how badass these babes are. So, I’m going to switch it up and share Badass Babes from an older favorite and a recent favorite read.

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Friendship Breakups Exist, and Sometimes They Hurt Worse

By Nicole Mitchell
Photos by Justina Kellner

“I’m going to break up with my best friend after this.”

That’s what I said during my first appointment with a new therapist after she asked me what I was going to be doing after our appointment.

As a military brat, I grew up with friends in all places, so the inevitable ending and beginning of friendships was nothing new for me. But this friendship was like no other. We spent most of our time together throughout our last years of high school: time at school, sleepovers, hanging out at coffee shops, and even holidays were spent exclusively together. 

Then there came a time when we just weren’t clicking anymore. That friendship we had in high school was changing. Gradually, our relationship felt one-sided and different. We hardly ever talked, and when we did it felt as if I had to control the conversation completely. I had lost my best friend, but we were still pretending that we were okay.

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Au Revoir, French Girl

By Reese Bentzinger

My career goals constantly changed in college. One class could make me go from journalist to anthropologist. But who I wanted to be was never in doubt: The French Girl.

You’ve seen her, maybe followed several versions of her on Instagram. Despite lacking filters, her photos are perfect. She always manages to catch perfect lighting while drinking wine by the Seine. She’s skinny, yet wrinkles her nose at the thought of diet and exercise. Every night she manages to tangle herself in spontaneous adventures even though she’d prefer to be at home with her books.

She’s imperfect, and she knows it. That’s why she’s perfect.

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Badass Literary Babes: Educated & Where the Crawdads Sing

By Emily Park

Before the pandemic hit, I could count the number of books I read for my own enjoyment (at least since I graduated from high school in 2015) on one hand.

When I was a child, I almost always had my nose in a book. I read from the time I got home from school, to the time I fell asleep. I read up in the tree in my backyard. I read nestled in my bedroom closet. I read under the covers with a flashlight. I read under my desk at school. Book after book. 

As I grew up and got distracted by other things, I lost that hunger for books that I used to have. But over the last year, I have found it again, and I have met some inspiring, strong, badass babes among those pages—both real and fictional—I’m excited to tell you about.

In this first installment of Badass Literary Babes, I’ll introduce you to the first two babes I met when I started my rediscovery of literature last year.

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My birthing story: I was one of the first non-binary births at Truman Medical

By: Max Sheffield-Baird

I never expected to become pregnant. I had made my peace with it years ago. I was assured by an OBGYN over five years ago that I could not ovulate without medical assistance. As I came to terms with my gender identity as a non-binary trans person, I saw my lack of menstruation as my body doing me a favor and saving me the dysphoria of a monthly reminder of my body not quite fitting the person I knew myself to be.

I’m a nurse. I’ve actually attended two births. Each time I cried. It was a sacred experience to witness. Whether you’re religious or not, I was able to see the argument for a Deity when I’d see a baby take their first breath and their parents get to hold them for the first time. For my own birth experience, I had nervous anticipation. No one comes into Birth prepared. Not really. I had a birth plan but I also knew that nothing goes 100 percent as planned. It was an exercise in letting go and surrendering to the process. I’ve never been very good at that.

I did expect to educate the labor nurses and obstetricians around me on my gender identity and how best to support and affirm me as I went through one of the most vulnerable times of my life. I created a sign and hung it over my hospital bed at Truman Medical: “My name is Max, I’m non-binary, I use they/them pronouns.” The nurses asked questions and were respectful. They asked me if “mom” was still appropriate to use.

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