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First Off: The strange and unexpected consequences of my first big win

For Insider's new essay series, John Paul Brammer writes about taking the number one spot for the first time.
From left to right: blouse, Fox & Fawn ($32); jeans, Buffalo Exchange ($16); shoes, Fox & Fawn ($28); t-shirt, Beacon’s Closet ($14); Calvin Klein skirt, Beacon’s Closet ($16); Maje shoes, Beacon’s closet ($40); collared blouse, clothing swap ($0); bolo tie, Fox & Fawn ($13); pleated shorts, found at parents’ house ($0); Clarks sandals, Poshmark ($30).

Want to save the planet? Start with your closet.

The buck shops here.

Women are told to balance their ambition with motherhood. It’s a losing battle.

Devoting all that energy to walking the tightrope doesn't leave room for anything else.
"Twilight" helped to launch Robert Pattinson's career.

People love to write off teenage girls. Here’s why they’re dead wrong.

The teenage girl is a cultural and economic tastemaker. Mock her at your own risk.
My hair before extensions (left) and after (right)

My hair extensions were a big part of my identity. But after learning how exploitative they are, I’m giving them up forever.

I used to think of my extensions as a gift from one woman to another. The truth is often much worse.

After my dad died, grief could have destroyed the holidays. So my mom and I built a new tradition instead.

Ours was always a stay-at-home-for-Christmas family, but we decided to give ourselves the freedom to escape.
Nicholas Powers, a single dad experiencing parental burnout, said eating marijuana edibles helped to ease his anxiety and guilt.

I ate marijuana edibles, and it eased my parental burnout and guilt about being a single dad

Nicholas Powers, a single dad, was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Taking marijuana edibles helped him cope.
A selection of headlines from Well Being Journal, a magazine sold at Whole Foods and other stores.

Whole Foods is selling dangerous anti-vaccine propaganda in its checkout aisles

The grocery store promotes itself as a mecca for healthy living. The checkout aisle tells another story.

I’ve been picking the skin on my fingers until it bleeds for as long as I can remember. This is how I finally stopped.

Kicking my dermatillomania required a much different approach to problem solving than I was familiar with.
'Parasite' and 'Hustlers' set their sights on the class divide and feasted on the rich.

In a political landscape dominated by class warfare, 2019 was the year movies ate the rich

Movies like 'Parasite' and 'Hustlers' turned their sights on the class divide and feasted on the one percent.