*Adds knitwear to shopping basket*
Jennifer Lopez is a well-known triple threat: Singer of anthems like 'I'm Real', star of beloved movie roles - need we mention Maid in Manhattan - and top notch dancing like the routine in the Get Right music video.
It's hard to believe that the eternally youthful looking J-Lo turned 50 this year and it seems life is going better than ever. She headlines a Las Vegas show, her upcoming Cardi B-starring movie Hustlers is a must-watch and she's engaged to baseball legend boyfriend Alex Rodriguez. And, well, they're just the cutest.
Most recently, the actress wore a total of four amazing red carpet outfits at the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) to mark Hustlers' release.
“Black girls can swim,” says Serena from London. “That narrative saying Black girls don’t swim — that’s a fat lie.”We’ve all heard the stereotypical phrase that Black people can’t swim because “our bones are too dense” and we’d “sink in the water”. While these tropes are steeped in deep-rooted racism, there’s another issue facing Black communities. According to recent figures from Sport England, 95% of Black adults and 80% of Black children do not go swimming, and a lot of that comes down to haircare. Alice Dearing, who is one of the top female marathon swimmers in the UK, wants to change that. The 23-year-old, who has represented Great Britain at three World Championships, three European Championships and has her eyes set on Tokyo 2021, has joined forces with Black-owned specialist swimming brand SOULCAP, to challenge stereotypes facing Black communities in the world of swimming. Their new campaign, BlackGirlsDontSwim, invited Black swimmers to share their own positive and negative experiences using the hashtag. Their real life stories form the basis of a two-minute short film called Black Girls Don’t Swim, which was released on Instagram this month. We hear from 9-year-old Analah, a contributor to the film, who says: “People used to say I couldn’t be a professional swimmer because of my hair,” while Madison Freeland notes the negative comments made towards Black women athletes. “Growing up as a Black female swimmer in a predominantly white sport, there was a bunch of talk in the stands,” she says. “[They would say] ‘those girls have to be on steroids. They’re probably swimming 80 hours a week just to swim that fast.’ Why couldn’t we just be talented swimmers?”Dearing admits that her experience of being a minority in the water has had its challenges. “But I’ve always believed that there’s a way around them,” she says. “We’re turning this stereotype upside down, to show people that Black girls can and do swim.”> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by SOUL CAP | Natural Hair Care (@soulcapofficial) on Aug 7, 2020 at 1:00am PDTThe freestyler also told Sky Sports this week that she co-founded the Black Swimming Association (BSA) alongside journalist Seren Jones, inventor Danielle Obe and musician and filmmaker Ed Accura earlier this year. They hope to bridge the gap between swimming and the Black community by reaching out to schools and swimming clubs. Dearing and SOULCAP also have plans in place to host a series of coaching workshops for swimmers in local clubs around the UK, where swimmers from all backgrounds will have the opportunity to train and learn from Dearing herself. However, the workshops have been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.“It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced swimmer, or someone who is just starting out,” says Toks Ahmed-Salawudeen, director at SOULCAP. “These stereotypes affect us all. And with your help, we can start to make swimming more accessible for everyone.”Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Meet The Women Of The British Black PanthersHow My Sistah's House Helps Black Trans PeopleBlack Women Are Racially Profiled Too
Hailey Bieber wants the people to know that, despite being the face of a major global beauty brand, she’s never been over-the-top when it comes to products. The model revealed to Allure Magazine that she tends to stick to the basics when she’s off duty (clear brow gel, a quick swipe of a lash brush) and that’s it.But recently, the star made one addition to her pared-down routine — and she says her skin is better for it. “The one thing that I started doing in quarantine that changed my skin a couple months ago was double cleansing,” Bieber told Allure. “Double cleansing has really been a big game-changer for me.” In fact, the star credits the Korean beauty practice of using two cleansers (one oil, followed by one cream or foam) to her clear, maskne-free skin, even during the pandemic.According to dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, double cleansing is a useful step in your routine, especially when you’re wearing more sunscreen during the summer. “Sunscreen can be stubborn to remove, so double cleansing is a good practice,” Dr Garshick says.However, Dr Garshick warns that while heat and increased mask-wearing might tempt you to scrub down multiple times a day, overdoing it can backfire. “While you may feel a desire to use something harsh or to increase the frequency of cleansing, it’s important that we keep our skin hydrated and taken care of in a gentle manner,” she says. “Or you risk over-cleansing, which can strip your skin, causing imbalance and more breakouts.” If you do wish to take a page out of Bieber’s book, look for gentle, non-comedogenic oils and cleansers with hydrating ingredients, like ceramides, to protect your skin’s barrier, Dr Garshick recommends. Then, follow up with a solid moisturiser — and, in true celebrity fashion, plenty of water.Refinery29’s selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Underrated Appeal Of A Simple Skin RoutineBeauty Editor-Approved Skincare Products Under £12I Tried All 10 Of CeraVe's Cult Skincare Products
Less than a month ago, H&M was gearing up to launch another of its signature designer collaborations, this time with Beirut-based womenswear brand Sandra Mansour. Then, on 4th August, an explosion in the Lebanese capital left thousands wounded and nearly 200 dead. The collection release was postponed due to the events. Now it’s here and includes a £80,000 donation from the Swedish fashion brand to the Lebanese Red Cross.The 15-piece H&M x Sandra Mansour collection is available starting Thursday, both in stores and online. According to Mansour, the brand’s CEO and founder, the collection, from the start, was intended to be a message of hope, “something we really need right now,” she said in the press release.The collection, titled “Fleur du Soleil,” was inspired by female artists, like Toyen, Dorothea Tanning, Lena Leclercq, and Bibi Zogbe, as well as nature. She was especially drawn to the sunflower, which, according to Mansour, “represents the cycle of life, and its dependency on sun and light.” The fabrics, which include dark lace, jacquards, and embroidered organza, were inspired by paintings. The result includes feminine, yet edgy dresses, tops, and skirts, each with a touch of frill and delicacy, in a natural colour scheme of taupe, black, and white. Gold earrings, rings, and headbands are also featured throughout, with pieces starting at just £8.99.For the campaign, the Fleur du Soleil collection was photographed in a fairytale-like forest setting. “The first things you notice about Mansour’s designs are their dreamy qualities and sheer beauty, but then you get further drawn into the craftsmanship, the storytelling, and the modern youthfulness,” says Maria Ostbom, H&M’s Head of Womenswear Design. “There’s also something empowering about the femininity.” Shop the just-launched H&M x Sandra Mansour collection now. For ways to donate to and support the city of Beirut, click here.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?How You Can Help Beirut After The ExplosionH&M’s Latest Sustainable Collection Is Very 1920sFashion Is Going Carbon Neutral, But Is It Enough?
Three days after a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the back seven times, leaving him paralysed from the waist down, the Wisconsin Department of Justice identified the officer who pulled the trigger as Rusten Sheskey. Sheskey is a seven-year veteran of the police force and is currently on paid administrative leave while the Division of Criminal Investigations, FBI, and local officials investigate the incident.Currently, no charges have been announced against Sheskey, who was seen on video holding a firearm to Blake and firing round after round into his back in front of his children. But with the release of his name, a picture of the officer — and the story he is telling about the events of Sunday evening — are beginning to emerge. US State Attorney General Josh Kaul gave a brief account of how law enforcement were portraying the events that led up to the shooting.Officers said they responded to a call from a woman who said a boyfriend showed up to her house unexpectedly. When police arrived on the scene, they attempted to tase Blake before Sheskey shot him as he bent over into the driver’s side of his car. Kaul said that Blake had a knife in the car.It’s unclear whether Blake was the boyfriend referred to in the call for help, but Patrick Salvi Jr., an attorney for Blake’s family, says that Blake did not have a weapon on him and that he had just stopped his car to break up a fight when he was shot by Sheskey.“In the vehicle he did not have a weapon,” Salvi Jr. told CNN. “I can’t speak directly to what he owned, but what I can say is his three children were in the car and that was in the front of his mind. That is the most important thing to him in his life: his family and his children.”Now that Sheskey has been named as Blake’s shooter, many are wondering if his past is representative of his actions. It turns out, Sheskey comes from a family of police officers. Sheskey’s grandfather, Oreste Maraccini, worked for the Kenosha Police Department for 33 years. Prior to being employed by KPD, Sheskey worked at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, as a member of their police department, where he was part of a special detail assigned to investigate anti-Black hate crimes at the university.In 2019, Sheskey told the Kenosha News that he enjoyed being part of the department’s bike patrol unit because of the community relations aspect of the job. “What I like most [about my job] is that you’re dealing with people on perhaps the worst day of their lives and you can try and help them as much as you can and make that day a little bit better,” he said. “We’re in a public service job, a customer service job, and the public is our customer. I think that, especially with the officers that we have here, everybody strives to make sure that the public feels served and happy with the services they receive.”Despite Blake’s history on the police force investigating anti-Black crimes, the officer is still being held accountable by the public for shooting an unarmed Black man seven times during mass civil unrest over police violence. Blake’s family continues to demand justice for him, too. “They shot my son seven times, seven times. Like he didn’t matter. But my son matters,” Blake’s father, Jacob Blake, Sr. said on Tuesday. “He’s a human being and he matters.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Kyle Rittenhouse Charged For Kenosha ShootingWhat To Know About The Jacob Blake Police ShootingWomen Athletes Have A Lot To Lose By Striking
Dear Daniela, Is beauty sleep a real thing? I have acne-prone skin that is also partial to eczema and dullness. I’m on top of my skincare and it’s working, but do I also have to get exactly eight hours to see a positive difference in my skin or is that a myth? Should I be using a special nighttime regime to help support “beauty sleep”? Adeola, 29Something very strange has happened when it comes to sleep. My parents’ generation (and, as lovely as my mum and dad are, they are Boomers) never ever spoke about sleep, other than to comment on the occasional bad night of it. A sleepness night was considered just an occasional annoyance, not a symptom of anything untoward. Now, thanks to the wellness boom, we utterly obsess over sleep, the quality of it that we have, the “right” amount for all of us and fastidiously log and chart our sleep to reach the optimum level. Beauty sleep is a big part of this new movement, with countless products on the market claiming to “work while you sleep” or “supercharge your sleep” – Cult Beauty has seen a 121% growth in their sleep category alone. But is there really any substance to it, especially if you have a chronic skin condition?“Your skin is regenerating constantly and during sleep there is some evidence that points to enhanced skin turnover in the early hours, provided we are getting sufficient sleep,” said aesthetic doctor Dr Kishan Raichura, of The Lovely Clinic. “Our skin needs us to be asleep at night! Cellular regeneration depends on us getting sufficient sleep so this is a crucial consideration if we want our skin to be looking and feeling it’s best.” Essentially, we do need to be asleep, and getting good quality sleep in order for our skin to repair and recover. But we can’t necessarily single out certain conditions that are exacerbated or alleviated by sleep or lack thereof. “The epidermis and dermis (the two uppermost layers of the skin) are composed of cells that are dividing and replenishing throughout the day, and of course throughout the night as well,” explained Dr Raichura. “Additionally, there are specialised cells known as fibroblasts within the second layer that produce structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which confer unique properties in healthy skin,” explained Dr Raichura. Collagen and elastin are what gives the skin bouncy, tensile strength and makes it look plump and juicy. The more hydrated and supple the skin, the better it reflects light and appears glossy and radiant. You know when you’re tired or poorly and your face looks a little drawn? The opposite of that, basically. There are some ingredients in skincare that are better suited to nighttime use, like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinoids, because their exfoliating power makes makeup application dicey immediately afterwards, and their sensitising properties don’t mix well with sun exposure. But it’s not entirely true to say that your skin has different needs at night — it’s more that your lifestyle is better suited to certain products at certain times. When it comes to sleep and skin, it’s more that we need to be properly resting and rested to allow our skin to do the work it needs to do. This regeneration can help with lots of things; improving dull skin, and also supporting healing from conditions like eczema. “Efficient skin regeneration is essential for maintaining glowing, healthy skin. Ensuring good sleep is still a very much underrated strategy for optimising our skin – and of course our health,” added Dr Raichura.It’s not to say that getting exactly eight hours on the nose will unlock benefits that seven hours won’t – it’s more that getting good sleep is checking off the “rest” tier of your skin’s hierarchy of needs, allowing you to focus on more specific concerns. Consistent deep sleep no doubt improves the appearance of your skin, and also, your overall health – which has a positive correlation with how radiant your skin looks. See where I’m going with this? It’s why I consider zinc to be a skin supplement: if it helps my immune system, that helps my skin, too.Of course, getting good sleep is easier said than done. If you figure out a way to stop yourself obsessing over conversations from five years ago at 1am, let me know, okay?Daniela Got a question for our resident beauty columnist Daniela Morosini? No problem, qualm or dilemma is too big, small or niche. Email email@example.com, including your name and age for a chance to have your question answered. All letters to ‘Dear Daniela’ become the property of Refinery29 and will be edited for length, clarity, and grammatical correctness.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?I Tried Clean Sleeping & It's ExhaustingRefinery29's Bedtime Beauty RoutinesHow To Humidity-Proof Your Skincare Routine
In an Instagram story posted yesterday, model Olivia Culpo revealed that she has endometriosis, a condition that affects an estimated one in 10 British women during their reproductive years. “I’ve never publicly said this before but I have endometriosis,” she wrote on the story. “Aka the most excruciatingly painful cramps/periods. Anyone else reading this have endo? No fun.”When you have endometriosis, tissue that is similar to what makes up the uterine lining grows elsewhere in the body, usually on the outside of the uterus and nearby organs. And like Culpo says in her Instagram story, this can cause intense period pain, as well as issues including painful sex and constipation.“There’s a surgery you can get for it but I don’t want to get,” the former Miss Universe said. The surgery she’s referring to is called laparoscopic surgery, a procedure that removes scar tissue, endometrial tissue, and cysts that build up due to the condition. Instead, Culpo is choosing to use “lots of heating pads, lots of water, and lots of Midol.”Other celebs have opened up about their endometriosis diagnoses in the past, too, including Halsey to Lena Dunham. And their experiences sound similar to Culpo’s: painful, exhausting, and even frustrating.In her story, Culpo advised her followers and those watching to be vigilant if they’re experiencing symptoms of endometriosis. “I just think it’s really important if you are having very painful periods and you are not being diagnosed with what you think could be endometriosis, definitely do your research because if you don’t discover that you have this, it could get in the way of your fertility,” she says. “You could have tissue growing in areas that you really shouldn’t have that would interfere with maybe getting pregnant some day, your eggs could be getting damaged.”That’s one of the reasons Culpo says she’s decided to bring awareness to the condition now. “My doctor tells me about people who come to her in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s about not having been able to have kids,” she shared. “The thing that’s so sad about that is because they may have had endometriosis that may have affected their fertility in some way and if they had caught it earlier, they could have frozen their eggs. There would have been more options.”In an article she wrote for Refinery29 earlier this year, actress Bojana Novakovic, who also has endo, shared a similar sentiment. “For me, a huge part of my problem was shame. The symptoms of endometriosis were embarrassing to talk about. I didn’t want to tell anyone that my nether regions ached, that sex was painful. I thought I was weak… It’s important to destigmatize pelvic pain, so that we can talk openly about solutions. After all, if I had heard someone talk about it when I was a teenager, I might not have lived in all that pain for nearly 20 years.”“It’s a disease that is very poorly understood, even though it’s been almost a hundred years since it was first described,” Shaheen Khazali, MD, a consultant gynecologist and endometriosis surgeon, and honorary secretary of the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE) previously told Refinery29. “We are still struggling both as a scientific community and as doctors to properly understand and address the issue.”If you’re experiencing symptoms such as painful periods or other uncomfortable symptoms such as such as painful urination, sex, and bowel movements, you’ll want to head to your doctor to make everything is alright. “You just never know,” Culpo says. “You don’t want to wait too late, so I want everyone to take that seriously.”Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?My Urgent Endometriosis Surgery Was CancelledMy Endo Went Undiagnosed for Two DecadesHow Periods (And More) Affect Your Sleep
There's not a hairdresser in the world who will tell you that this Autumn is anything close to ordinary. From school closures to continued WFH routines, the crisp fall season just isn't quite the same when you start your day on Zoom. But there is one thing that can help usher in a fresh start: a professional haircut. That's because during this time of general uncertainty and anxiety, small acts of self-care — like a getting a (safe) salon haircut or ordering a new cardigan to throw on your shoulders for video conferences — have the ability to spark a significant amount of joy. If you're looking to make a change, we've compiled a gallery showing the five biggest haircut trends, from the blunt lob taking over LA to the feathered layers that will instantly revive your quarantine grow-out. To see the the full style forecast, scroll ahead. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Simple Trick That Made My Hair Grow Faster3D Balayage Will Make Hair Look Fuller & Longer5 Autumn Hair Colour Trends That Are Blowing Up
Notting Hill Carnival has long been one of the most important and exciting events in the cultural calendar. For two days across the August Bank Holiday, crowds eleven times the size of Glastonbury gather in west London to watch bright floats, soca bands and parades of dancers glide through cramped streets, while on every corner massive sound systems and make-shift stages smelling of pimento blast ska, reggae and dancehall. Millions of people from around the world gather to soak up the very best of Caribbean culture. But this year will be different. We won’t be packed in like sardines, standing skin to skin, talking to the mandem as they try to secure their whine. In May, organisers announced that Notting Hill Carnival would be cancelled for the first time in its 54-year history. Thankfully, we’ll have something to celebrate: for 2020, Europe’s biggest street party will be held virtually, with four channels streaming performances from 29th August, kicking off with a live countdown on the big screen at Piccadilly Circus.The three-day digital festival will celebrate Notting Hill Carnival’s history and feature performances, talks and films, with a focus on the food, dance, music and culture of carnival. There will be live-streamed DJ sets from King Tubby’s and Rampage sound systems and steel pan from past Panorama champions the Ebony and Mangrove steel bands. Artists from across the Afro-Caribbean diaspora will also be performing, including Jamaica’s Koffee and Protoje, Grenada’s Mr Killa and Big Red, Nigeria’s Davido, Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, as well as the UK’s WSTRN, Ms Banks and Stylo G, while Spotify has dedicated a whole microsite to the weekend. While many of us will be disappointed that we can’t hit the streets to whine our hips to Machel Montano or AYYY with our girls to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ — a bottle of Uncle Wray in one hand, a delicious roti in the other — it doesn’t mean we can’t recreate the vibes. We may not be in Ladbroke Grove, but we’re still bringing the west London street party home with finesse. To show you how, we invited photographer Serena Brown to capture the celebrations, with stylist Alizé Demange kitting us out in our best Carnival-ready outfits. Press play on the Spotify playlists below, and join us in soaking up the sun; Carnival is cancelled, long live Carnival! Nadia wears: dress, Myae Made; necklace, Lijo; earrings, Image Gang; trainer’s, stylist’s own. Jasmin wears: co-ord, Elliss; scrunchie, 27 October Store; trainers stylists own; necklaces, Lijo. Alri wears: cage bra, stylist’s own; skirt, Elsie & Fred; earrings, Atika; trainers, stylist’s own. Nadia wears: dress, AGR; necklace, Lijo, trainers, stylist’s own. Jasmin wears: dress, 3:19; jewellery, stylist’s own; trainers, stylist’s own. Alri wears: bikini top, Liberty Rose; trousers, AGR; shoes, Clarks. Nadia wears: dress, ASAI; necklace, Lijo; trainers, stylist’s own. Jasmin wears: dress, AGR; earrings, Image Gang; trainers, stylist’s own. Alri wears: co-ord, Liberty Rose; shoes, Clarks; jewellery, stylist’s own.Nadia wears: co-ord, stylist’s own; jewellery, stylist’s own; shoes, By Far. Jasmin wears: dress, Aries; shoes, By Far, jewellery, stylist’s own. Alri wears: top, ASAI; skirt, Elsie & Fred; shoes, By Far; skirt, stylist’s own; jewellery, stylist’s own.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What Notting Hill Carnival Looked Like In The '90sThese Women Nailed Carnival Dressing: Here's HowThe Ultimate Notting Hill Carnival Playlist
As lockdown started to loosen, the majority of us jumped at the opportunity to venture back out into the outside world. Whether that meant enjoying a socially distanced pint at the pub or making use of the weekly slashed restaurant prices, it’s safe to say our social calendars have been booked and busy throughout the month of August. While the long-awaited experience of catching up with friends and family has been lovely to say the least, it has also meant that we’ve been missing out on tons of quality TV and film time. While entertainment releases may not be at the top of our priority lists right now, indulging in some great telly is still a viable use of time in between back-to-back social functions. So, if you manage to grab a free evening on your own this month, you’ll be happy to know that Netflix is bringing the goods for September. Not only do they have a brand new Ryan Murphy horror series starring Sarah Paulson, but there is also a blockbuster thriller fronted by Spiderman himself, Tom Holland. But if all of that sounds a little too scary, there are also a handful of rom-coms and mysteries to keep you satisfied this month. To check out everything that is coming to UK Netflix this September, click through the slides ahead... For reality TV fans the most exciting release is likely to be the third season of Selling Sunset, which returns to the platform just three months after the premiere of season two. If star-packed blockbusters are more your bag, you’ll be happy to hear that a new movie starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on the way, seeing the Hollywood pros team up as a crime-fighting duo. And for those who enjoy the sci-fi universe, Danish drama The Rain returns for its third post-apocalyptic season. Click through to discover everything coming to UK Netflix this August.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?These Are All Shows The Netflix Just RenewedNetflix's Movie Tells The Story Of A Wilder HolmesThe Society Creator Has Season 2 Hope
Wednesday was an unprecedented day for athletes in multiple sports leagues. Courts sat empty and fields went unplayed — almost in a domino effect — as team after team joined a nearly sports-wide wildcat strike. The united work stoppage was a protest in response to the shooting for Jacob Blake, a Black man, who was shot by Kenosha, Wisconsin police in front of his children. But after months of protests across the United States against police brutality, professional athletes have taken a stand: They decided that the US is not entitled to receive entertainment from Black people while the state continues to gun them down in the streets.While this action is notable for the sheer intersport solidarity shown, it’s also notable because it wasn’t just the men’s professional leagues who participated. In addition to the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer, teams from the Women’s National Basketball Association and tennis player Naomi Osaka refused to play. Osaka announced that she would not play in the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, ultimately forcing the tournament’s hand and they decided to postpone their matches.“Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “And as a Black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis. I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction.”In addition to Osaka’s statement, the entire WNBA decided not to play the three games scheduled for Wednesday night. The Washington Mystics had arrived to their game prepared to protest, with shirts that spelled out “Jacob Blake” and seven bullet holes painted on the back. When the women’s league first got word of the NBA players work stoppage, they met for over an hour to try to decide whether or not to play. Initially, the WNBA players planned to go ahead with their games as scheduled, but to stop play at the seven-minute mark of every quarter in protest. But the Mystics decided that they could not play, and the rest of the league made the call to stand with them.“We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA and will continue this conversation with our brothers and sisters across all leagues and look to take collective action,” the Atlanta Dream’s Elizabeth Williams said on behalf of the players. “What we have seen over the last few months and most recently with the brutal police shooting of Jacob Blake is overwhelming and while we hurt for Jacob and his community, we also have an opportunity to keep the focus on the issues and demand change.”> The entire team & staff of the @WashMystics pic.twitter.com/CYFsSn2phs> > — ᴍᴇɢʜᴀɴ ᴍᴄᴘᴇᴀᴋ (@meghanmcpeak) August 26, 2020This is not the first time some of these women athletes have vocally protested with the Black Lives Matter movement. Naomi Osaka, who is a Black and Asian player in a predominantly white sport, flew to Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death and penned an op-ed for Esquire about the fight against systemic racism.But women’s leagues also have a lot to lose. Several WNBA players responded on Twitter last night in regards to criticism that their platform was “too small” to have an impact, and the reality is that most women athletes, like WNBA players, make a fraction of the money that NBA players do. For that reason, their actions require greater risk and potentially greater sacrifice.While this WNBA season has seen more nationally televised games than in years past (in 2019, only 16 regular-season WNBA games were on ESPN), having WNBA games on national TV is still a major opportunity for exposure for the league. When the Mystics and the Dream made the call to not play, they were afforded a large, national audience on ESPN2 for their protest and message. But this also came the expense of giving up a chance to play basketball for a potentially new audience and continue growing their league. Of course, for these women, it was a sacrifice they were willing to make for a larger purpose, but a sacrifice nonetheless.> .@E_Williams_1 of the @AtlantaDream reads a statement as a representative for all WNBA players. pic.twitter.com/Gb0fhYM8T9> > — WNBA (@WNBA) August 27, 2020The united stance that athletes have taken — including women athletes — is telling of how powerful this movement really is. At the beginning of the 2020 season, which was already truncated by a pandemic, Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle said, “Sports are like the reward of a functioning society.” After more than 400 years of oppression and brutalisation, Black athletes are telling America that they can no longer enjoy the fruits of their labor while continuing to treat them as second-class citizens. Together, en masse, professional athletes are realising the power they have as a collective, and are using it to make change — men and women across sports, together.“This isn’t just about basketball… When most of us go home, we still are Black.” Mystics player Ariel Atkins said. “We’re not just basketball players. And if you think we are, don’t watch us. You’re watching the wrong sport because we’re so much more than that.” When you tell the story of the 2020 sports strike, don’t leave the women out of it.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What To Know About The Jacob Blake Police ShootingBlack Lives — And Black Joy — MatterHow To Help Black People Today, Tomorrow & Forever
My first introduction to manifesting (or so I thought) was pretending to read The Secret in middle school. You know, that film-turned-self-help book based on positive thinking that sold 30 million copies and turned everyone into philosophers? It claims that thoughts can change a person’s life directly, that what you think literally becomes reality. I was reminded about that phase of my life recently, when I started noticing a lot of manifesting videos were landing on my TikTok “for you” feed. As evidenced by my The Secret kick, I’ve always been into the idea of thinking your way to what you want. So I asked a few experts to refresh my memory about how, exactly, it’s done. And they explained to me that the practice outlined in the book is a little different from what I’m seeing gain traction on social media.The Secret advocates for “the law of attraction.” But while manifesting is about turning your dreams into reality, what some people miss — including my middle school self — is that it requires you to take concrete actions toward the thing you want, Sarah Potter, a tarot reader, professional witch, and colour magic practitioner based in New York City, tells Refinery29.So when I tried to think my school crush into asking me to be his girlfriend (probably over text) and didn’t actually do anything about it myself — that wasn’t manifesting. “I don’t want to spread the belief that if you sit and think good thoughts all the time, everything you want happens,” Potter says. “That’s not reality, that’s not manifestation. That’s spiritual bypassing and denial of pain and trauma.” So what does a true manifestation practice look like? First, you form a very clear, specific goal and outcome. “I think we have to be very clear with our intention. The more specific we can be, the easier it is to make something happen,” Potter explains. But your dream doesn’t have to feel realistic, necessarily. Potter says if you get very clear with your intentions, you can make anything you want happen. When I asked her what she meant by anything, (like, anything?) she clarified, “I think you should dream as big as you possibly can.”Once you’re crystal-clear on your intention, you’ll need to implement those actions. So say your intention is to meet the love of your life. First, develop a picture of the person of your dreams — the more specific, the better. Then, ask yourself: In addition to putting your intention to be with this type of person out into the world, what kind of actions can you take to bring yourself closer to them? If you dream about an adventure buddy, take an adventure. If you’re deepest wish if to have a super-kind partner, start being kinder, and stop hanging out with unkind people. Date, and also work on opening yourself up to love.Sounds simple, right? But Potter has seen it work. In her own life, in her clients, and even in her friends. Astrologer Lisa Stardust has as well. “Manifesting does work. If you keep your intention, or your goal, in mind, you’ll find that you’re able to envision what you truly want to call in,” Stardust tells Refinery29. “This will enable you to bring your dreams into reality.”The more I look into manifesting — whether it’s through chatting with witches, astrologers, or scrolling through my carefully curated TikTok “for you” page — the more I realise that… I’ve done this before, although maybe not intentionally. In fact, I’m think I manifested the job I have right now. Sure, it sounds bizarre, but hear me out.During my post-grad search for employment, I envisioned myself working at one of my dream outlets (a list that Refinery29 was on). I’d stalk their websites, subscribe to their print editions, and familiarise myself with their mastheads, imagining my name on one. These positive thoughts were accompanied by concrete actions. I worked hard in college and in my internships, I networked, I had a few more post-grad internships and fellowships, and I aggressively applied to every open full-time position I saw. And while Refinery29 wasn’t the first job I got after graduation… I’m here now.As I speak with Potter, I start to realise: I was manifesting! Of course, I don’t want to pretend that I got to where I am because of magic — I was privileged to be able to devote so much energy to my studies and to accept low-paying jobs and internships, to put it mildly. While landing this job that has put me on the path I’ve always envisioned for myself, the outcome of manifesting can be unexpected. “I think sometimes we manifest things and they don’t look how we thought they would,” Potter explains. “Sometimes the job we think is a dream job isn’t, or the person we really want to be with isn’t actually a good match. I think there’s also being open to the possibility that what you’re manifesting is not going to come to fruition in the form you thought it might.” In other words, be open and flexible.Maybe it goes without saying that there isn’t any scientific evidence out there that explicitly says manifesting works for sure. Although, there is some interesting literature available regarding quantum theory and our reality. Still, trying to manifest something isn’t actively harmful, and attempting to make your dreams come true using a combination of your thoughts and proactive actions won’t hurt you. So why not try it out?If you’re ready to take a crack at manifestation, Potter has some easy-to-follow tips to amp up your practice. First: Try keeping track of the moon cycles. “I think a really great guide is working with cycles of the moon,” she says. “When the moon is new, it’s an optimal energy to set an intention. And when the moon is full, we can release any blockages or let go of anything that’s no longer serving us.” Following the moon and its cycles can get you into a good rhythm for manifesting, she says.There are rituals you can use alongside manifesting, such as alter building, candle magic, and using different coloured flowers, herbs, and botanicals to amplify your intentions. An easy one Potter says will work for anyone making a career-oriented manifestation (hello, promotion) is to write a letter of intention, place under an orange candle, then meditate on the intention while watching the candle burn.“Step back from [the intention] after that,” she suggests. “If you stay hyper-focused on it I feel like that can mess with the magic. Let it go, and see how it unfolds.”As you begin your journey into manifesting your desires, don’t be too hard on yourself. “Rid yourself of obstacles and limiting belief systems, ask the universe, take action, trust the process,” Potter says. She also cautions against obsessing over whether or not your practice is “working.” Trust that it is, and remember to show gratitude for what you already have.If manifesting was as simple as it sounds, you might think that I’d currently be a millionaire — no, a billionaire — living on a beach in Hawaii without a care in the world. I’m not. But could I get there if I really wanted to? Who knows! In Potter’s words, I’ll just have to keep “thinking it, saying it, and creating it” — and wait and see.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What Weird Office Bathroom Habits Really MeanPhotos Of The Shared Experiences Of Black GirlhoodTikTok Witches Unite For Black Lives Matter