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Zahra Barnes head shot - SELF

Zahra Barnes

Executive Editor

Zahra Barnes joined SELF in November 2015, working on the Culture and Health teams before eventually becoming Executive Editor. She has spent her career as a reporter and editor covering people's lives with a focus on wellness.

Zahra specializes in sexual, reproductive, and mental health, all with the goal of destigmatizing these topics and highlighting issues in underserved communities. She’s passionate about exposing the systemic and institutional flaws that lead to health disparities for marginalized people, as well as providing service that helps readers navigate these systems for the best mental and physical health outcomes possible.

When Zahra’s not working, you can find her watching scary movies, eating salted caramel gelato mixed with Phish Food (life-changing combination), and enjoying time at home with her partner and their perfect ginger tabby, Sonny.

Health

This Is What Straining to Poop Can Do to Your Butt

It’s pretty gnarly. 
Health

7 Things No One Ever Tells You About Having Sex While Pregnant

You may feel more turned on than normal.
Health

The Herpes Symptom Many People Miss

Here’s what everyone gets wrong about cold sores.
Health

Can an IUD Fall Out During Sex? 

And other IUD questions you might have.   
Love

The 23 Sexiest Shows on Netflix to Stream Right Now

Is it getting hot in here?

Here’s When You Should Actually Worry if Your Heart Skips a Beat

Thankfully, most heart palpitations are harmless.
Health

12 Reasons Why You Might Have a Bump Near Your Vagina

Ob-gyns explain why you shouldn’t always panic.

5 Small Acts of Self-Care That Can Really Add Up

Like refreshing your space with BEHR DYNASTY™ Paint.

ASICS' Gorgeous New Activewear Makes Me Actually Excited to Work Out

Beautiful and functional? Yes, please.
Culture

19 Sexy Movies on Netflix to Gear Up for Hot Girl Summer

Grab your popcorn and buckle up.

How to Be Your Own Best Advocate When You Have a Chronic Illness

This week on Checking In, we talk about self-advocacy.
Checking In Podcast

How Do You Even Start Dating Right Now?

This week on Checking In, let's talk pandemic dating. 

How to Have the Best Birth Experience Possible—Even in a Pandemic

We dive in on this week's Checking In podcast episode. 

Climate Change Is Real. Here's What We Can Do About It.

A letter from the interim editor in chief.
Checking In Podcast

A Beginner's Guide to Meditation 

Here's what's up this week on our Checking In podcast.
Checking In Podcast

If You’re Feeling Reluctant About the COVID-19 Vaccines, Read This

This week's Checking In podcast episode dives in.
Food

Introducing SELF Magazine's Healthy Eating Trailblazers

A letter from the interim editor in chief.

8 Things No One Tells You About Sex After Menopause

There’s no need to go into it without preparation.
Health

21 Condom Mistakes You Should Avoid Making

Yes, there is a wrong way to use a rubber.

This World AIDS Day, Let's Work Together to Fight Stigma

Let’s have a conversation.