The Best ELLE Long Reads of 2020

2020 has altered everyone’s lives. The coronavirus pandemic forced much of the world into quarantine and the Black Lives Matter movement brought a much-needed reckoning on racial justice and police brutality. Many of ELLE’s best features of the year address those seismic events, illustrating just how deeply and profoundly women have been affected, while others offer an intimate look at women in politics, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Whether you’re looking for a long read to get lost in while you’re spending time at home this winter or a feature that will help you more fully understand how the U.S. and world was changed by 2020, take in ELLE’s best stories below that vividly capture a truly unbelievable year.

What Did Emile Weaver Know?

Amy Lombard

For months, Emile Weaver denied her pregnancy. A gruesome discovery forced her to confront the truth.

Can Jennifer Robinson Save Julian Assange?

Celeste Sloman

She’s taken on corrupt governments and the Catholic Church. Now the human rights lawyer faces her biggest challenge yet.

Stacey Abrams on Being Vice President: ‘I Am Prepared and Excited to Serve’

Stacey Abrams

An intimate conversation between the rising Democratic star and journalist Melissa Harris-Perry.

Motherhood Through the Looking ‘Gram


Parents want to share their lives on social media but at what cost? Molly Langmuir goes down the rabbit hole.

Being Everywoman Is Katie Porter’s Superpower

Amy Harrity

The freshman congresswoman and single mother isn’t fancy, which is exactly what makes her so effective.

Being ‘the Only Woman in the Room’ Is Not the Same as Being Black

Getty Images

While all women can face sexist discrimination at work, the stakes for Black women have always been much higher.

Molly Wizenberg Comes Of Age, Again

Dorothee Brand

The Seattle chef and food blogging legend takes on her biggest project yet: getting to know her full, queer self.

The Journalist and the Pharma Bro

Caroline Tompkins

Why did Christie Smythe upend her life and stability for Martin Shkreli, one of the least-liked men in the world?

Christie Smythe, 24 Hours Later

Caroline Tompkins

Stephanie Clifford follows up with the subject of the wildly viral ELLE story, The Journalist and the Pharma Bro.

I Froze My Eggs in Europe. Then, the Pandemic Hit.

myshkovskyGetty Images

What do delays brought on by the coronavirus mean for women who are trying to freeze their eggs or get pregnant?

“We Don’t Know What to Do For All These Mothers”

My mother, an OB-GYN head nurse in the Bronx, finds herself providing medical care—and comfort—in the face of fear.

Bubble-Encased Stretchers. Nine Ventilators Left. All Hands on Deck

Jeff Rhode

Emily Rostkowski is an oncology nurse and cancer survivor herself. But now she spends her days in the center of the coronavirus storm.

An Intimate Conversation Between Rep. Ilhan Omar and Her Daughter, Isra Hirsi

Ilhan Omar

The Congresswoman on representation, surviving war, and her ‘Britney Spears period.’

When All of This Is Over: On the Narrative of Protest and Progress


The protests around the country are only part of the story we’re living.

Resettling as a Refugee During a Global Pandemic


Afghan recipients of Special Immigrant Visas won the chance of a lifetime to move to the U.S. Then COVID-19 hit.

Who Will Represent Us at the Polls?: A Primer on the Forgotten Sister Suffragettes

University of Southern CaliforniaGetty Images

The work of three Black activists provides a blueprint for how to move forward in our current heartbreaking, history-making moment.

My Baby Sister Lisa Did a Terrible Thing. We Shouldn’t Kill Her For It.

Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman to death. Her sister, Diane, wants her off death row.

The Sacklers Destroyed My Family

Illustration by Cassie Skoras

Their name and wealth lives on while my mother and I will never see justice.

Kamala Harris Is Our New Vice President-Elect

Inez & Vinoodh

The woman who will become vice president on the fight for justice and freedom she’s been waging since birth.

She Knew It Was Breast Cancer. So Why Didn’t Doctors Believe Her?

Collage By Christa David

For Black women, proper treatment requires the medical community to confront its harmful racial biases.

“We Belong Here”: Black Equestrians on Loving a Sport That Doesn’t Love Them Back

Celeste Sloman

In the elite, predominantly white world of horseback riding, Black women face a painful set of challenges

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