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Uggs are certainly ugly, or at least inelegant. They look like something Frankenstein’s monster would wear if he were an elf. The shapeless, unstructured boots, pulled on in a hurry, can make anyone look like a slob, which has made them the target of special scorn. For as long as Uggs have been popular, it hasn’t been hard to find someone furiously denouncing them. “Ugg boots are not sexy,” the Independent declared in 2003, “unless you’re Mrs Bigfoot on a lone mission across Antarctica to find Mr Bigfoot.”

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One morning in late July, Chris Santos climbed out of bed filled with anxiety over which pair of shoes to wear. This wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary; for Santos, almost every waking moment revolves around athletic footwear.

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The Domestic Violence Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County is in a surprisingly pretty brick building. No one there seems to stare much if you sob while you are waiting for your lawyer. The guard who asked me to remove the pen in my ponytail (so I would clear the metal detector) did so with impressive grace.

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Published in Culture

LET’S say you have what you believe to be a healthy marriage. You’re still friends and lovers after spending more than half of your lives together

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At any given point, the 38-year-old, her sharp features framed by brown hair and offset tonight with raspberry lipstick, is working with some 30 composers, hardly letting her seventh month of pregnancy slow her down. As Matarazzo approaches the theater entrance, one of two sexagenarian women collecting tickets says, “This is probably not what you’re looking for. This is a sneak preview.” With chunky necklaces, dyed hair, and sneakers, they look like the kind of retirees who make a hobby of these things

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Before the Civil War, most black barbers explicitly groomed wealthy white men, like businessmen and politicians. Black customers were not allowed to get haircuts in these black-owned barbershops, mainly because white customers didn’t want black customers getting shaved next to them. That smacked too much of social equality, so barbers capitulated to the wishes of their white customers both in the North and the South.

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