The "Buranovo Babushkas" watch video, for the first time, of two of their members appearing on Russia's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? program. David Greene/NPR hide caption

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A man carries his son at a Beijing park. China's one-child policy has been blamed for the current gender-imbalance in China, where sex-specific abortions remain common. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Amira Al-Sharif photographs Matt Logan, a regular at Tompkins Square Park in New York City. Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR hide caption

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Military officials salute the casket of Gen. Vang Pao in Fresno, Calif. Lianne Milton for NPR hide caption

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Noorain Khan committed to wearing the hijab when she was 8. She took it off when she was 20. John Poole/NPR hide caption

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Haniya Aslam (left) and Zeb Bangash have won critical acclaim in Pakistan, where female musicians face challenges simply because they're women. Courtesy of Nida Rehman hide caption

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People have long speculated about why girls love horses, according to Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. She says that by identifying with these dynamic, strong animals, girls are expressing their own power. Corbis hide caption

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Magan's mother, Marcy Hebert, says Magan was interested in hunting before her brother was. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Dressed in customary black and red funeral clothing, villagers from the Otuam fishing community carry the casket of their late ruler Nana Amuah-Afenyi V, who died two years ago. He is succeeded by his niece, King Peggy, a secretary at the Ghanaian embassy in Washington, who says she had to save up to give her uncle a fitting send-off. Eric Don-Arthur for NPR hide caption

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Theresa Sparks is running for a spot on San Francisco's board of supervisors — and if elected, she will become the city's first transgender supervisor. Today, Sparks is open about her background — but for many years, she had a secret life. Courtesy Frank Gaglione/ hide caption

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Laren Weddell (left), Yasmeen Sandoval (middle) and Brittany Poor Bear (right) completed their womanhood ceremony this summer. Nikki Silva hide caption

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Beyonce as her onstage alter ego Sasha Fierce at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009. Christopher Polk / Getty Images hide caption

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The Record

Pop Personae: Why Do Some Women Perform In Character?

Female performers like Beyonce create alter egos to reach out beyond themselves and to their fans.

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NPR producer Erin Killian started keeping diaries when she was 8 years old. When her apartment burned down, she realized just how much she cherishes them. Erin Killian/NPR hide caption

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