Explore PS's Best Feature Stories of 2023
It's been quite an eventful year. Through the ups and downs of 2023, here at PS, we published hundreds of stories that charted history-making moments, critical issues affecting our readers today, and emerging trends in pop culture, lifestyle, wellness, and more. We covered a variety of topics, ranging from the return to teenhood and the queer history of hip-hop to the stigma around periods in sports and trans folks finding community during a record year for anti-trans legislation.
For what would've been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in late January, we published a collection of stories marking the past, present, and future of abortion access in America. During Pride Month in June, we highlighted trans and nonbinary voices and their moments of gender euphoria and joy. In September, we celebrated Latine Heritage Month by spotlighting Latinas who have made the decision to prioritize their mental, physical, and spiritual health instead of the ever-present hustle culture. These are just a few examples of ways our editors, writers, and contributors have brought attention to important issues and tackled complexities not often talked about.
To commemorate the end of the year, we've gathered an essential reading list of PS's best stories from 2023. From insightful personal essays to thoughtfully reported features, these stories represent some of our favorite works from the past 12 months. Take a look back below.
PS's Best Features: These Women Inspired the Trends You Love
In celebration of Women's History Month, PS contributor Noella Williams highlighted all of the women who inspired many of the trends we love today, from K-pop to Y2K fashion and beauty. As she wrote, proper credit can often get lost or distorted as trends go viral, so we wanted to honor and spotlight the creators behind cultural phenomena like maximalist nails, Black hair products, and Pilates. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: Why There's Still Stigma Around Periods in Sports
As part of For the W, PS's package focusing on the next generation of women athletes and the issues most important to them, contributor Kristine Thomason unpacked how college athletes deal with their periods and why period taboo still exists today. The feature weaved in perspectives from athletes, coaches, exercise physiologists, and more on how we can open up the conversation around periods and sports. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: For These Trans Folks, Community Is Everything
During this particularly frightening time for LGBTQ+ people, and trans individuals in particular, community is everything. Despite the overwhelming number of anti-trans laws rising across the nation, joy still persists. Williams spoke to trans folks about what support has looked like and meant to them and how allies can actively stand up for them. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: We're Reverting to Teenhood — and It's Not a Bad Thing
The craze surrounding Olivia Rodrigo's pop-rock music, teen-coded TV shows like "Never Have I Ever," and the resurgence of Y2K-era trends are just a few examples of adult millennials reliving their teenhood through nostalgia. In this feature, contributor Athena Sobhan analyzed how and why adults have been finding comfort in music, TV, and movies that serve as reminders of their youth. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: How Nostalgic Beauty Trends From the Barrios Became Mainstream
Many mainstream beauty trends today — like glossy brown lips or artfully gelled edges — were born in Latine communities. In fact, growing up, Latinas were often villified for wearing these exact trends for appearing "hood," "ghetto," or "unsophisticated." PS Juntos Content Director Johanna Ferreira spoke with beauty industry professionals, including Tresluce founder Becky G, on how these beauty trends represented an act of resistance and how Latinas are now reclaiming these nostalgic aesthetics. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: It's Time to Credit Ancient Asian Beauty Rituals
In a similar vein, ancient Asian beauty rituals have been whitewashed and even become gimmicky over the years. Yet as contributor Alyssa Lapid underscored, it's past due time to give credit to the centuries, if not millennia, of Asian practices and traditions passed down through generations. Sheet masks, jade rollers, and gua sha are a few of the common beauty tools and ingredients that are rooted in Asian history and deserve appropriate recognition. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: The Black Maternal-Care Gap Continues to Widen Post Roe
To recognize what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Roe, 50 Years Later presented a collection of stories that charted the past, present, and future of abortion access in America. More than six months after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, contributor Melanie Whyte spoke with healthcare professionals to investigate how doulas are fighting to close the Black maternal-care gap. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: As a Disabled Person, Experiencing Joy Often Comes With a Trade-Off
In this poignant essay, contributor Brijana Prooker offered insight into living with Sjögren's syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the glands that produce moisture in the body. As a disabled person, she explained she occasionally chooses to be in pain in order to feel joy, prioritizing her mental health over her physical. This feature also delved into other stories of people who live with chronic illnesses and who have made the same sacrifice to experience fun and happiness. Read the full story.
PS's Best Features: Hip-Hop Has Always Been Queer — That Story Just Hasn't Always Been Told
On the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, PS paid tribute to its legacy with a series of stories honoring women's excellence in rap and hip-hop culture. As part of the package, contributor Taylor Hosking called attention to the queer rappers — and out queer rappers — who have always been at the forefront of and innovated hip-hop, regardless of whether they were credited or recorded in history. Read the full story here.
PS's Best Features: A Message to Little Black Girls in White Spaces This Halloween
Ahead of the spooky holiday, PS Senior Health Editor Alexis Jones reflected on her experience with Halloween growing up as a little Black girl in predominantly white spaces: "I always kind of felt like I was putting on another skin, one much lighter than mine," she wrote. Her honest essay offered an uplifting message for young Black women who may feel othered on Halloween. Read the full story here.