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Always be Optimizing - Part 1

American essayist Jia Tolentino on the pressures women face to be an ideal version of themselves, which nowadays means youthful good looks combined with picture-perfect lifestyles

In this essay, American essayist Jia Tolentino writes about the pressures women are under to present the very best version of themselves; to optimize their personal brand. Today, she argues, that means youthful good looks, the impression of spontaneity and a wardrobe full of expensive athleisure wear. She writes about her own experience of frenetic barre classes 'a manic and ritualized activity', and explores the conflicts between feminism, health, beauty and self-confidence.

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Beyond Today: Jia Tolentino: is the internet fuelling self-delusion?

Beyond Today: Jia Tolentino: is the internet fuelling self-delusion?

The New Yorker writer on living life online.