This tradition in the Egyptian justice system of burning tongues is terrifying!
This tradition in the Egyptian justice system of burning tongues is terrifying!
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Online dating is a minefield even before you get to grip with the latest dating trends – straightforward ghosting is becoming passé, apparently, now that something called zombieing is taking over. So, new research revealing what members of Gen Z consider the “dos” and “don’ts” of dating app etiquette definitely makes for interesting reading. According to the survey by Tinder, caring about the environment and sustainability is a top priority for Gen Z daters. Nearly three-quarters (74%) said they wouldn’t match with someone who holds different views on green issues to them. “We’ve seen an increasing amount of love for environmentally-friendly dates in member bios, including a desire to meet up with fellow plant-based matches,” said Tinder’s Vice President of Product and Growth, Udi Milo. So, if you’re trying out sustainable beauty products or embracing a more sustainable way of life, it could pay to mention this in your bio. Equally important is sense of humour: 73% of Gen Z daters – people aged between 18 and 25 for the purposes of Tinder’s survey – said they wouldn’t match with someone who doesn’t find the same kind of things funny. Nearly as many – 71% – said it’s a deal-breaker if a potential match holds opposing political views to them. This suggests that discussing the results of the latest UK elections might not be such a great conversation topic on the apps this weekend. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds said it’s important for their match to be an animal lover. So, posing with a cat or dog on your profile pic could be a shrewd tactic, even if it seems like a total dating app cliché. Finally, food appears to be pretty important as well. Half of Gen Z daters saying they wouldn’t match with someone who doesn’t share their culinary tastes. And if you’re a good cook, it probably pays to brag about it. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
The definitive list
There is, once again, a trendy term going viral. A term that is dividing generations and genders. A term that groups a number of food, fashion, decor, and aesthetic preferences by how not-trendy they are. The word is “cheugy” and it’s as cringe-y as it sounds. “Cheugy,” as defined by the viral TikTok that started it all, is “the opposite of trendy.” The word denotes more than just all things out-of-style, though. It also points to how “behind” a cheug might be for following a certain trend long after its prime. For something to be cheugy, it has to have been the height of fashion at one point. Cheugy, according to the triumvirate of creators interviewed by The New York Times earlier this week, groups the millennial girlboss aesthetic, the MLM “girlies”, and the basic Christian Girl Fall as irredeemably untrendy. It’s Wine Mom Script wedding announcements and American Typewriter “Live, Laugh, Love” signs. It’s definitely chevron and Minions. It’s Uggs and overly decorated dorm rooms, but it’s also Hype House and, according to one of the word’s creators, lasagna. The term was first introduced to TikTok at the end of March, but it didn’t generate much buzz until The New York Times wrote about it. Given the newspaper of record’s ability to legitimise anything it covers, “cheugy” went from being a made-up word thrown around by a small group of 20-somethings to being a “real” word with the ability to upset and offend real people. Over the past few days, trend-reporting TikTok accounts have introduced thousands to what some call “a Gen Z word,” reigniting the truly exhausting Gen Z vs. millennials showdown from earlier this year, and prompting counter-TikToks defending chevron and Starbucks like their side partings and skinny jeans. Cheugy is becoming as widespread as the creators intended, but its use is mostly being fuelled by backlash. While some see “cheugy” as a value-neutral word that describes the “married at 20” aesthetic, others see it as a reductive, dismissive, or even offensive grouping of people for simply liking what they like. For every person like Trisha Paytas that proudly calls themself a “cheug,” there is someone who cries misogyny or classism. @trishlikefish88 #cheugy ♬ love letters – Burbank Perhaps the most valuable contribution to the cheugy discourse to date is a TikTok by creator @kierabreaugh. In a stitch with well-known millennial creator @rod, Kiera asserts that cheugy is “not a phrase that came from Gen Z to millennials,” but instead is a word that came “from white girls” to describe “other white girls.” She adds that it’s interesting to watch “white women micromanage what makes other white women cool” and the whole video is hashtagged: #internalizedmisogyny. According to Kiera, this is just white-girl-on-white-girl crime, nothing more and nothing less. Urban Dictionary has two entries for the word “cheugy.” According to the first, penned by @cheuglife (also the name of a popular Instagram account cataloging, you guessed it, all things cheugy), cheugy is anything that was, “stylish in middle school and high school but is no longer in style.” This definition points to how locally, racially, and socio-economically specific the word really is. If the metric here is what was once trendy in middle and high school, then what’s cheugy for the class of 2014 is different from what’s cheugy for the class of 2020. At best, this is a word specific to a group of people with a shared background, rendered useless once applied to other contexts. Maybe a more precise definition of cheugy, is to look at it as a word that describes how “trendy” young women look back on the trends they once embraced and question the people who still embrace them. The word cheugy and its origin story are rife with contradictions. According to The New York Times article, the creator coined “cheugy” when she was a teenager in 2013, and it caught on among her classmates and camp friends. “Everyone in our sorority knows the word cheugy,” one of the creators added. Of course, some might argue that everything about sororities is undeniably cheugy. As the second Urban Dictionary entry, published a few days after The New York Times article, says, the word was coined by a now 23-year-old white woman, “on whom the irony is apparently lost.” To that end, it’s worth pointing out that what was once deemed cheugy isn’t destined to be forever cheugy and can, in fact, be rescued by affluent elites — the kind that coin words like “cheugy” — and repurposed into “throwback” trends. Likewise, today’s trendy and appropriative long acrylic nails and gold jewellery craze will be written off as cheugy once cool white elites get over them. Even Avant Basic’s cool-factor is precarious; we’ll all be cringing at our old House of Sunny and Lisa Says Gah in a few year’s time. But trends and currency and coolness are all relative, and cheugy’s limitation is that it’s only talking about one very specific band on the spectrum of trendiness. It could even be argued that the word “cheugy” has already been so overexposed that it is, itself, cheugy — if it was ever trendy enough in the first place to qualify. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Jewish Creators Reclaimed This Antisemitic TikTokDua Lipa's Vest Is On-TrendA Guide To The Impossibly Cool Teens Of Generation
The marriage registration system in England and Wales has been reformed to remove an 184-year-old gender bias. From this week, the names of both parents are being included on marriage certificates, instead of just the father’s. The change comes as a new electronic marriage registration system is introduced in England and Wales in order to simplify the process. Previously, marriages were recorded by couples signing a registry book at the wedding venue. Those details were then added to an electronic register at a later date, creating room for error. The government called this week’s reform “the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837”. Sharing his own experience of how the previous system needlessly erased the role of mothers, Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: “When Hazel and I got married in 2017, my dad and Hazel’s mum shared the day with us, but sadly my mum and Hazel’s dad could not be with us, both having passed away beforehand. “Whilst Hazel’s dad could still be part of the day by being listed on our marriage certificate, one was missing – my mum. These changes bring the registration process into the 21st century and means no parent will be missing on their child’s wedding day.” The news was welcomed by writer and campaigner Caroline Criado Perez, creator of the Invisible Women newsletter, who wrote on Twitter: “I’m so delighted by this. I’ve always said I wouldn’t get married until mothers are included on marriage certificates. It sat so wrong with me to willingly take part in the erasure of women. Anyway, the wedding’s on.” The change brings marriage registration in England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the names of both parents are already included. At present, weddings with up to 15 guests are permitted in England, with receptions allowed as long as they take the form of a sit-down meal in an outdoor space. From 17th May, the rules could be loosened to allow up to 30 guests. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
The Beatles’ Rocky Racoon is the soundtrack to my childhood. Sitting around the kitchen table on a Friday night with my parents and younger sister (once we had discovered, around the ages of five or six, that life went on after 7pm), we would play music and I’d sing along to every track with my dad, his face lighting up to see me sharing in one of his greatest joys. But by the time my teenage years rolled around – close though we still were – he and I had grown short on shared hobbies. True, he tried his best to make me a football fan, and I would dutifully do my best to fake enthusiasm, never wanting to let him down (though never entirely sure which end of the pitch Spurs were supposed to be aiming for). But I think deep down he knew I was only ever in it for the boys and the bagel-stand meet-up at halftime. So when I turned 12 in 1998 and dad discovered I could qualify as a scuba diver, he wasted no time getting me trained and certified so we could share one of his favourite hobbies on a family trip to Thailand that Christmas. I soon found myself quite literally thrown in at the deep end (of a bone-achingly-cold training pool in Essex), trying hard to keep a smile on my face. I was apprehensive, but I got it: I was growing up quickly, and my dad wanted something we could enjoy together as the years went by – as did I. I had always been a daddy’s girl (I still am), and treasured any time we spent just the two of us. Fast-forward from chilly Romford to sweltering Phuket, more than 20 years ago, before the “gap-yah” and Full Moon party crowd discovered it and it was still a true island paradise. We were on our way to my first dive, on a shipwreck, with some family friends whose daughter was my age and also learning to dive. I still vividly remember the rocking boat, my fried-egg breakfast sitting uncomfortably on my chest, the salty sea air and smothering heat blending with the boat’s petrol fumes: the sounds and senses of childhood holiday adventure. I was nervously perched at the edge of the boat, trying to remember which way to turn the valve on my air tank to ensure my air supply was working, trying to picture what it said in the textbook I’d left back at the hotel room.
There are only a limited number though
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MONSTER: KEVIN HARRISON JR. as STEVE HARMON. Cr. NETFLIX © 2021 Spoilers are ahead. It isn’t very far into Netflix’s Monster that we hear the titular word. Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is a Black 17-year-old living in Harlem, New York. He attends a fancy high school and is an aspiring filmmaker. He’s also on trial for alleged involvement in the murder of a convenience store owner that took place during a robbery. The film is set during Steve’s trial with flashbacks showing his life leading up to his arrest and during the trial, the prosecutor calls him and another man who was involved in the crime “monsters” while giving his opening statement to the jury. It becomes quickly, heavy-handedly clear that Steve is not a monster. He loves film and photography. He’s a great student. He loves his adorable little brother. He helps his mum with cooking. He’s sweet to his girlfriend. He talks graphic design with his artist father. All of these things build out Steve’s character, which is fine when it comes to making the film’s key point: Black people are often judged by the colour of their skin in the criminal justice system, when each one of them is an individual with a full life, a backstory, and the potential to be innocent. The problem in Monster is that the other Black characters who are involved in the murder trial are not seen through that lens. As the movie clearly tells us, Steve is a human, not a monster. This is what his lawyer (Jennifer Ehle) says they must prove to the jury and what Steve repeats about himself in voiceover. But, while proving that Steve is human, Monster dehumanises other Black characters, accidentally perpetuating a narrative that there are “good” Black people and “bad” ones. Steve, as we’ve established, is “good.” He is young and ambitious and comes from a middle class family. On the other hand, we have twenty-something James King (Rakim “A$AP Rocky” Mayers). King is an acquaintance of Steve’s from his neighborhood. Steve is wary of him at first, because King is intimidating. But, when King turns out to be welcoming towards him, Steve uses him as a muse for his filmmaking. In the scenes that show King and Steve together, King is a whole person: He shares wise words with Steve. He plays basketball. He has friends. He exchanges stories over a game of chess with an old man in the park. But, this is Steve’s story, and King’s development is soon left by the wayside. We find out that King was one of the robbers of the store along with his cousin Bobo Evans (John David Washington) and that he coerced Steve into telling him whether anyone was in the shop. (The state prosecutor is trying to pin Steve as the lookout.) At the end of the film, it’s a relief that Steve isn’t convicted and Harrison’s fantastic performance is responsible for that feeling. But, when King is convicted, Monster doesn’t seem to be saying anything about that outcome. Yes, King is involved in the robbery, but should we feel for him, too? Is there a point being made in that he sees Steve as a snitch? Did the jury see King as an anonymous Black “monster” or did they just rightfully figure out that he was involved? King is the character who could easily be used to make a bigger statement about how Black Americans are treated by law enforcement and the justice system, or about how he ended up in the position that led to robbing a store in the first place. Instead, his story just fizzles out. Steve doesn’t even seem conflicted about King’s outcome and he had been forming a relationship with King in which he specifically was learning not to judge a book by its cover. What happened to that lesson? Then there’s the handling of Bobo and teenage character named Osvaldo Cruz (Jharrel Jerome). We barely see Bobo pre-robbery and he’s presented like a typical bad guy, looking tough and barely speaking a word to Steve when King introduces him. When Bobo pops up at the trial, it’s because he’s on the stand after taking a plea deal due to prior offenses. If King is the “bad” person who had some redeeming qualities, Bobo is just plain “bad.” In a film with a theme about how everyone has a story, this portrayal is an odd choice. As for Cruz, he’s a teen from Steve’s neighbourhood who has bullied him. This character is very simple: He’s mean to Steve. He’s in a gang. He’s young and in over his head. All of this seems to equal that we also shouldn’t feel too much sympathy for him, because all of that is reserved for the “good” Steve. Of course, there have to be people who are actually guilty in the case, but the film isn’t clear on what we’re supposed to make of them. Monster is based on the 1999 young adult novel of the same name by Walter Dean Myers. While this adaptation from writers Radha Blank, Cole Wiley, and Janece Shaffer doesn’t stray too far from the book plot-wise, Myers’ work does explore the character of King further. And since King and Steve are on trial at the same time, the book also more heavily features King’s lawyer, Asa Briggs (Dorian Missick) while in the film we barely hear from him. There’s also more exploration into what it means that Steve was somewhat involved in the crime (there’s a little more explicit involvement in the book), his feelings about his own innocence, and why he might have ended up in this situation at all. To its credit, Monster does highlight the fact that lawyers are there to do their jobs; they have their own biases and wrongful convictions happen disproportionately to Black people. According to a 2017 Michigan State University study, Black prisoners who were convicted of murder are 50 percent more likely to be innocent compared to others who were convicted of murder. Other crimes also see higher rates of wrongful convictions. For instance, innocent Black people are 12 times more likely to be convicted on drug charges than white people. But, given that we know King actually is guilty, what message are we supposed to receive other than that young Black men from good families get to prove they’re innocent while others aren’t? If the point was that someone like Steve gets to walk free while someone like King doesn’t — regardless of their guilt — that’d be one thing, but the film doesn’t go there. Unfortunately, while there was plenty more to explore and a clear path for a more nuanced treatment, Monster undermines its own premise. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Let's Talk About The End Of Things Heard And SeenThe End Of 'Old Guard' Promises A SequelWhat Why Did You Kill Me Is Really About
If you don’t know a horse girl, aren’t one yourself, or haven’t seen one on throwback TV shows like Wildfire, horse girls are, simply put, girls who love horses. Sometimes they ride them — but they don’t have to; you can be a horse girl if you’ve never even been in the presence of a horse. Horse girls watched Spirit on VHS on a regular basis and preferred Felicity — a fellow horse girl — to the other American Girl dolls. The O.C.’s Summer Roberts was a horse girl (hello, Princess Sparkle), Beyoncé is a horse girl, and Kacey Musgraves is definitely a Horse Girl. But despite their representation at the A-level, until recently, true horse girls haven’t exactly enjoyed a vaunted social status. Their exceptionally long hair got pulled, and their detailed horse drawings folded up and passed around class. Urban Dictionary describes them as “girls who gallop on the track during gym class.” And frankly, some do: In Finland, hobbyhorse riding, according to The Wall Street Journal, is a growing sport that involves young girls riding fake horses, made of cloth or plastic horse heads attached to sticks. But it’s not just hobbyhorse girls who were subject to mockery. Even those whose horse-related interests ended with My Little Pony T-shirts and binder stickers were often forbidden from sitting at the cool-kid table. In the last few years, however, horse girls have found themselves at the centre of attention — and not because they can clear a fence with grace while galloping on all fours. Horse girls everywhere were vindicated when Musgraves performed “High Horse” horseback at the Houston Rodeo in 2019. At the same time, Western tropes were (once again) experiencing peak popularity, with Ganni’s heart-embossed cowboy boots and Canadian tuxedos spotted on every #GanniGirl from New York to Copenhagen, and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road (Remix)” — which saw the singer in an enviable selection of cowboy wares for the music video — reaching the tops of music charts. View this post on Instagram A post shared by K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@spaceykacey) Today celebrities aren’t wearing lace bodysuits while horseback at a packed arena, or a custom hot pink cowboy hat at the Grammys. Instead, like most things this year, the horse girl look has mellowed out since the pandemic, becoming more outdoorsy — think cottagecore vibes — than showy. With nowhere to actually go but outside, everyday horse girls have become standard sightings on social media feeds and beyond. It began with Gigi and Bella Hadid, who spent a majority of quarantine last year at their sprawling farm in Pennsylvania, where every day is an episode of The Saddle Club. It was there that Gigi shot her little sister for the August cover of Elle — a shoot that included photos of her nuzzling up with her horse while wearing Hermés leather chaps, cleaning it in a Saint Laurent blazer, and riding it in a Dior dress. Since that shoot, Bella has posed with her horse on Instagram on countless occasions, calling him her “fearless son” and braiding his mane like you would your best friend’s hair. GUCCI ARIA 26 mars 2021 Roma Cinecitta On Instagram, entire lifestyle brands have embraced the sudden demand for equestrian style, like Recreational Habits, which launched in the pandemic and features a curated mood board titled @rhequestrianclub and preppy-athletic apparel. Runways, too, have become enamoured with horse girls. A model on a horse, albeit in a wedding gown, closed Chanel’s spring ‘21 Haute Couture show, while Celine’s fall ‘21 film featured a lineup of Gen Z models horseback riding. The most blatantly equestrian display was at Gucci’s fall ‘21 show, when models carried whips and crops while wearing riding boots, helmets, and tailored velvet blazers. Some models wore harnesses — others carried them. The film showcasing the new collection concluded with every horse girl’s dream: two white Stallions. In turn, sartorial items that would once live only in the wardrobes of actual equestrians are becoming wardrobe mainstays for all. Knee-high boots, like those featured at Gucci’s show, have surpassed both ankle-height and over-the-knee styles on our spring wishlists, while cowboy boots continue to reign supreme on runways. Stirrup leggings, a big trend of the last year, have single-handedly made leggings cool again, and shrunken, fitted polos are frequently spotted on Instagram and TikTok. Arguably the most horse girl item of all — chaps — is back, too, and not just on Hadid or Kim Kardashian. According to fashion writer Laura Reilly, chaps are the one fashion item she’s most excited to wear post-pandemic. “My friend and I are planning a chap party in their honour,” she tells Refinery29. Reilly originally bought her leather chaps on eBay for “a Halloween that never happened.” “All of my friends have a pair in the back of their closets somewhere — they just need an excuse to wear them.” But really, with horse girls taking over fashion, is an excuse even necessary? Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Permission To Wear Cowboy Boots Officially GrantedThe Gucci x Balenciaga Rumors Are True (Kind Of)Chanel Brought Flower Crowns To The Runway
Nadia Ayala, the star of Hair Me Out’s newest episode, knows better than anyone the importance of change. Ayala, who is a new mum to a one-year-old, hasn’t done much to her hair over the last year outside of a ponytail. “I’m a new mom and it’s a little bit harder to do my hair,” she says. “Because I have so much hair I always keep it so short so that it’s easier to maintain.” On the hunt for a new look, Ayala went to Michael Sparks, pro stylist, and owner of Tabb & Sparks salon, for a blunt asymmetrical bob inspired by Kate Mara and Lucy Hale. “It gives me more confidence when I’ve got a good style going on,” Ayala says. “This is definitely the mom makeover I need.” Sparks started off on a clean, shampooed canvas before chopping his client’s hair. “I cut her hair super straight on the bottom,” Sparks explained. “Then I used my razor gradually creating an A-line shape.” Once Spark perfected Ayala’s shape, he created layers around her face to create movement. To style, Sparks applied mousse to Ayala’a roots to add grit to her strands before curling them. Sparks added tousled, barely-there curls around Ayala’s hair to give her an effortless “I woke up like this,” making her mom makeover look easy. Her final look was proof that you don’t have to chop off all of your hair to dramatically change up your style. Click play to see her transformation. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
No matter what the weather on your side of the world, the second week of May is sure to be a reprieve in an otherwise stormy season. The new moon in Taurus on the 11th cups the dark waters of April’s full moon in Scorpio and transforms them with a bright sliver of possibility. This lunation is uninterested in complications and determined to find pleasure wherever pleasure is on offer. Pleasure, here, can be as hedonistic as a night-in with a new date and an array of libations. Or, it can be the simple relief of carving out time and space to direct all your attention toward an activity that gives you a sense of purpose. Jupiter shifts into Pisces for the time being, encouraging the dreamers inside each and every one of us to rise up and claim more space in the mundane world. The air is buzzing with potential, bolstered by Saturn’s trine to Mercury on the 12th which is sure to usher in a great deal of clarity to all prospects and soften the Mercury retrograde shadow that starts to creep in on the 14th. The reins loosen and the ropes are allowed to hang slack, a gift of increased freedom and individual responsibility. Here, we are called to rely less on authorities who don’t always have our best interests in mind and temper ourselves for the sake of our communities. We are tasked with holding reverence for both our individual joy and our collective agreements. Aries Sun & Aries RisingIf you’ve gotten the sense that this coming week is a great time to work on building some foundations for your future ambitions, trust your intuition, because it is most certainly on the right track. The new moon in Taurus is here to help you break ground and move your plans steadily forward. If you find that acting on whatever opportunities arise is at odds with your more personal affairs, it might be time to change your perspective. What might appear in the form of a distraction or emotional obstacle can very well serve to enrich your understanding of what you’re planning. Everything occurs in relation to everything else. Anything can be a teacher if you’re open to learning.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoTaurus Sun & Taurus RisingSometimes, when one looks at an open field, it can be tempting to notice what’s missing from the scene rather than what’s available to us in the present moment. Longing for what’s past can feel like a sacred ritual, a way to underscore what something meant to us and to keep it close. But, by now you must know, dear Taurus, that there are other ways to hold something sacred — ways that recognise the life cycles of all living things, including the life of a relationship. What comes also goes, what had a story before us has a story after us. So this week, when you come upon a space of possibility, do your best to see what’s there that’s good and get it while you can.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoGemini Sun & Gemini RisingFor some people, a dry spell followed by a flood of information and correspondences can feel like chaotic weather. But, for Mercury-ruled magicians like yourself, new data means new tasks. Whether you’re simply digesting what comes through, or you’re responding in kind, this week is sure to fill you with a sense of purpose. With Mercury in your sign making a trine to Saturn on the 12th, there’s an optimistic and exciting nature to the responsibilities you take on at this. It’s a good week to make plans, to set things in stone, and trust that the commitments you make will not only serve you well but inspire the same level of commitment from others.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCancer Sun & Cancer RisingWhen people speak of shadow work, of personal excavation, they often speak of the heavy work. But learning to work with the wounded parts of ourselves and the magic medicine they hold isn’t restricted to retreat, crying jags, and processing. Sometimes, the best kind of healing is the kind that comes through play and experimentation. It should come as no surprise to you, Cancer, if the joy that’s available to you this week amplifies the edges of whatever darkness you nurture. Light defines shadows, throws them in your path. But, they’re just a part of the experience — they don’t have to diminish it. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLeo Sun & Leo RisingIt can feel good to have people depend on you, especially when their regard is the result of your steadfast support. That kind of faith can feel a lot like love, especially for someone who so rarely asks for help yourself. It’s important to recognise, dear Leo, the emotional toll of anticipating the needs of others. It’s important to remember that not all reliances are born of love and so, not all support can be received with grace and gratitude. This week, as the new moon lights up your 10th house, try to imagine what other roles you can play in your social networks, roles that highlight what you bring to the table rather than who you can be for someone else.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoVirgo Sun & Virgo RisingThis week’s new moon might arrive under the auspices of slow-and-steady Taurus, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the days ahead are bound to move at an energetic pace. Set your intentions, dear Virgo, and then get to work! Saturn in Aquarius trines Mercury in Gemini on May 12th and the aspect is sure to offer up a good amount of clarity on all kinds of pressing matters, especially ones having to do with making plans and coming to mutual agreements. The stabilising force of this aspect is a gift and, if you key into it, it’s sure to keep you on track through the upcoming Mercury retrograde.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLibra Sun & Libra RisingIt’s one thing to know that everyone processes big emotions differently and a whole other thing to relate to others with that knowledge in mind. When the events that elicit these big emotions are shared ones, it can be doubly hard to recognise that while two people can share an experience, they rarely experience it in the same way. Two realities are possible and intimacy can truly flourish when more than one reality is given validity. This week’s new moon in Taurus encourages you to facilitate space for your own emotional experience by gently parsing out what feels true for you right now, even if it’s not true for others. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoScorpio Sun & Scorpio RisingThis week’s new moon in Taurus is a moon concerned with your relationships. It’s a moon that invites you to share yourself and your resources with others. You are encouraged, Scorpio, to let your defences down, to show up fully and trust that you will be received. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially if keeping an emotional distance has felt like finding safe harbour in an otherwise tumultuous season. Try your best to remember that you are not the same person you were last year — very few people are — and therefore all attempts at connecting are new terrain. Sometimes old relationships deserve a new approach. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoSagittarius Sun & Sagittarius RisingWhile it's almost certainly true that work has been the major focus of this season for you, the new moon in Taurus offers you a feeling of discipline and determination around that work. if you’re open to shifting your perspective or — better yet — your methods, you’ll encounter a greater sense of your capabilities and your limitations. Believe it or not, understanding your relationship to time leads to a lot more free time. Saturn trine Mercury in Gemini the day following the new moon is an aspect that boosts general clarity around communication issues and, in your case, spreads the new moon’s strategic influence to your more intimate connections.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCapricorn Sun & Capricorn RisingKnowing what we want — what could or does bring us pleasure — is sometimes a far cry from knowing how to go about getting it. This week’s new moon in Taurus aims to show you a steady path toward what you desire and leaves it up to you to start down that path — to prioritise it. Saturn, your ruling planet, trines Mercury the day following the new moon and gives a purposeful, clarifying shine to the intentions you’ve set forth. New details and missing pieces are sure to come into focus if you’re ready to receive them. Work with the universe, Capricorn, since the universe has all but conspired to work for you.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoAquarius Sun & Aquarius RisingSometimes showing up for others means showing up for yourself first. The phrase “self care” feels like it’s everywhere, but, apparently, the more we use a phrase and the wider it spreads, the farther we get from knowing what it can mean for us. While internet infographics can help us parse between activities and rituals that pertain to our physical, mental, and spiritual health, so many of these options can stack up as one person’s pleasures and another person’s chores. One fool-proof way to figure out what you can do to help yourself feel cared for is simply asking yourself the question and allowing any answer — no matter how silly or mundane — to be valid. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoPisces Sun & Pisces RisingThis coming week holds a great deal of sweetness for mutable signs (Gemini, Pisces, Sagittarius, and Virgo) and Saturn’s trine to Mercury in Gemini is sure to help direct that sweetness toward a well-placed catchment system: a budding connection, cupped hands, an open mouth. It’s important to focus on where the honey flows and follow it there, Pisces — especially since other people's communications fail to lead you in the right direction. You know more than most that language is an imperfect tool and the directions of others rarely applies to the journey you’re on. Trust your inner compass; no matter what you settle on, you’ll find you’re far from lost.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseObsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVIDHow Important Is Your Roommate's Zodiac Sign?
For years, the Oscar-winning star of Amadeus and Scarface had an abrasive reputation. But today he’s 81 and full of fun. ‘I was probably insufferable,’ he tells Adam White, as he plays it for laughs on Apple TV+’s workplace comedy Mythic Quest
With little else to do but stay at home in front of our screens, online betting companies have effectively had a captive audience over the last year. As gambling venues closed and many found themselves feeling vulnerable, lonely and in financial stress, it wasn’t surprising that searches for online casinos hit an all-time high in the UK last year. Spending on online slots, poker, casino gaming and virtual sports increased, and online gambling ads were everywhere, making life difficult for people already living with a gambling addiction, those in recovery and anyone susceptible to developing one. The gambling industry pledged to halt radio and TV advertising during the first lockdown but critics pointed out that spending on online gambling marketing is five times greater than spending on television marketing. Gambling addiction charity Gordon Moody said it saw a surge in the number of women seeking support after becoming addicted to online casino games. “They’re very easy to access – but they’re also highly addictive,” warned the charity’s chief executive. Against this backdrop, 28-year-old Stacey Goodwin from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, decided to share her eight-year history of gambling addiction and help other women on TikTok via her account @thegirlgambler. “I was hugely scared but the pandemic pushed me. Seeing all the gambling adverts, I thought it must be so hard. People are so trapped,” she tells Refinery29. Stacey was introduced to the world of gambling at the age of 18 while working part-time in a betting shop to earn money for nights out. Despite seeing people losing every day, one day she decided to put a pound in a machine and “unfortunately” won £36. “It wasn’t a lot but it gave me a high and then it played on my mind more and more. That’s when it started.” Slots were her game of choice and, soon enough, she was putting notes into the machines, despite vowing she never would. “In order to get the same kind of high, you need to increase your stakes.” At her worst point, she was doing £20 a spin. “That’s the only thing I could do to get the high my brain needed.” @thegirlgambler I AM HERE FOR YOU! ♬ original sound – Stacey Goodwin770 There were days when Stacey wouldn’t have time to go to a betting shop but still wanted to gamble. “Soon enough, 99% of my gambling was online. I don’t think my wage ever lasted longer than 40 minutes in my account because I would go online in the middle of the night and lose it all.” Online gambling took her addiction to the next level. “Previously I’d try to hide I was gambling so much by going from shop to shop, whereas online, people don’t know who you are.” There were very few limits to how much she could gamble so she felt anonymous and free of judgement – unlike in the betting shops, where she was a rarity as a young woman. “There’s nobody to watch you, nobody to see how upset, distressed or angry you are because you’re hidden behind a screen,” she says. “If I was in a shop and I was getting upset, maybe somebody would have walked over and said ‘That’s enough for today’ and helped me step out, but online, there’s none of that.” Some websites do affordability checks, which require users to share income information, but if you’re that far into an addiction you’ll just lie, Stacey says. There’s also the option of asking to be ‘self-excluded’ from gambling premises or websites but it’s often possible to break your self-exclusion agreement and gamble online without being identified. Stacey can’t be sure how much money she lost in total but after eight years of “burning through thousands of pounds a month”, combined with taking out loans to fund her habit, she believes it’s close to a million. “Money was just gambling tokens” to her at that time. “It’s strange, because I’d never spend hundreds on clothes or makeup or anything like that, but I wouldn’t even bother gambling unless I had £200 to do it with.” In hindsight, Stacey recognises the impact of her addiction on her mental health and quality of life. “I can’t remember a time when I felt happy in that eight-year period,” she admits. “It was like every part of my brain other than the addiction was unplugged. I walked about in unwashed clothes, I didn’t look after myself, I couldn’t think about anything other than gambling and money. I was sad all the time because nothing in my life mattered other than gambling. I hated myself – I was so ashamed, so guilty. The depression and anxiety were horrific.” It’s strange, because I’d never spend hundreds on clothes or makeup or anything like that, but I wouldn’t even bother gambling unless I had £200 to do it with.Stacey It was losing £50k in six days – an experience that haunts her still – and an attempt to take her own life that made Stacey realise she needed professional help. “I thought, This is so much bigger than money and I need to get help because it’s either my addiction or me, one of us needs to give.” Stacey found Gordon Moody and, after spending four days on a retreat for female gambling addicts arranged by the charity, managed to turn her life around. “There were other women who’d been through the same, which was massive because I thought I was the only woman in the world who’d fallen into this trap.” She learned about why gambling addiction happens and the tools available, like Gamstop and Gamban, which let you put controls on your online gambling. On the whole, though, Stacey says that the help available for female gambling addicts is poor, partly because of the stigma and a lack of awareness that women are suffering at all. “Gamblers Anonymous were brilliant but I was 22 when I went to a group and I was sat in a room full of older men. I was scared to death so I never went back,” she admits. “There needs to be more of a gender split [in the help on offer] because being with those other women changed it for me completely.” @thegirlgambler ##fyp##recovery##addiction##makechange##petition ♬ mrblocku says no more fortnite – ethan GambleAware recently commissioned research by YouGov to better understand the experiences of women and gambling, and found that gambling harm can indeed be experienced differently in men and women. Women are more likely than men to have negative experiences with scratch cards and bingo, for instance, and to cite stigma as a reason for not seeking treatment for gambling disorder. Stacey now gives advice to other women via TikTok and Facebook, and has written a book about her experience, The Girl Gambler. “I give them tips, point them to services in their area or services that I’ve used. There’s been such a huge response, I’m messaging people all the time.” She is also campaigning for “triggering” scratch cards to be removed from the front counters of shops. Stacey believes her role in creating awareness and helping women with gambling addiction is particularly crucial right now. With daytime TV full of gambling adverts, she says, “there’s a lot of women working from home and looking after children who are more likely to see them.” People should be wary of the pink branding and references to the “community” aspect of these websites, she says. “Some companies take advantage of people feeling low, lonely or depressed and say things like, ‘There’s great community on here’.” Escapism also plays a role in these adverts’ appeal. “It’s advertised so much as a fun, harmless thing that people think it’s okay to do it more and more, because that’s how it’s portrayed.” Jane Rigbye, director of education at GambleAware, told Refinery29 that it’s vital women aren’t overlooked or underrepresented when it comes to support and treatment. “For this reason we run a campaign that is targeted specifically at women to raise awareness of the National Gambling Treatment service, to signpost women experiencing gambling harms to the help that is available.” To women who may be suffering in silence, Stacey says: “You are not alone. There’s a huge number of women out there who find the escapism they’re looking for in gambling, and it quickly becomes a problem. We might not speak about it enough but so many women are going through this, and there are tools out there to help.” If you are concerned about your gambling, or that of a loved one, the National Gambling Helpline is available for free, 24/7, on 0808 8020 133. GambleAware also offers free, confidential advice and support. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Why Alcoholism Is A Feminist IssueMy Shopping Addiction Landed Me 25k In DebtDo You Have A Microshopping Addiction?
As far as British period dramas go, there are some characters that are pretty much guaranteed to make an appearance: the wisecracking matriarch, the soldier with a heart of gold, the young couple falling madly, hopelessly, desperately in love. The latter is of course the most integral part of a period piece, with every show from Bridgerton to Downton Abbey putting a swoon-worthy couple at its centre. Once in a blue moon, however, an old-timey drama diverges from the genre’s cliches and chooses to focus its story outside the realms of romance. This spring, the BBC is doing just that with its new three-part drama, The Pursuit Of Love. Based on the acclaimed Nancy Mitford novel, on the surface the series is like any other relationship-based drama. Dig a little deeper though and you’ll find that the story really revolves around the importance of female friendships. Starring Lily James as the lead character, Linda Radlett, the drama charts Linda’s journey from sheltered 17-year-old to worldly woman alongside her beloved cousin Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham). Starting in 1920s Oxfordshire, the first episode sees a teenage Linda ‘confined’ to her family’s gigantic countryside estate. While she dreams of escaping her privileged yet stale day-to-day existence, her father, Matthew (Dominic West), forbids her from getting an education, preferring that she stays locked away from prying eyes and books that might (gasp) empower her mind. Thankfully, she is allowed one visitor to keep her company: her favourite cousin, Fanny, who attends a nearby girls’ school. Although rather different on the surface, the pair’s relationship is deep-rooted, based on thousands of late-night sleepovers and secret meetings held in a cupboard. It’s there that they discuss their detailed plans for their future selves, from Linda’s fantasy fairytale marriage to the Prince Of Wales to Fanny’s somewhat less ambitious relationship with the local postman. Their fantasy suitors speak volumes about their lived experiences: Fanny’s motherless childhood leads her to seek stability, while Linda’s controlled existence sees her craving faraway castles. With plenty of time to kill before their coming out balls (a high society version of ITV’s Take Me Out), Linda and Fanny have to find other ways to entertain themselves, which leads them to their sophisticated and fantastically fashionable next-door neighbour, Lord Merlin (Andrew Scott). A true embodiment of a Bright Young Thing, he verses the girls in everything from new wave artists to modern literature, showing Linda a world beyond the walls of her stately home. It doesn’t take too long for things to heat up, though, when Lord Merlin’s friend and Oxford student Tony Kroesig (Freddie Fox) is introduced to the Radlett cohort. While the first episode of The Pursuit Of Love does wade into romantic territory, the overall theme of the drama bases itself around familial love. In a world where both young women will be expected to fly the nest and become homemakers, their earnest desire to stay together forever is a reminder of how close friendships can be when you’re young. Sure, there’s a cringeworthy amount of childish giggles and shared bathtimes but watching the characters graduate from romantic teenage dreamers to all-grown-up realists is believable and heartfelt. This ‘end of innocence’ theme is present in the art direction too, with the punk-inspired soundtrack reminiscent of a ’00s teen movie. From cousin Fanny’s narration to the musical montages of old photos and film clips, the first episode verges on Clueless vibes. Though Linda’s wardrobe is nowhere near as fabulous as Cher Horowitz’s, her demeanour sits firmly in the ‘not a girl, not yet a woman’ rom-com category we’ve come to know, with Fanny’s sensible and bookish sidekick allowing her to shine. Discussions of classic period drama topics like marriage and children are present and correct but The Pursuit Of Love centres the sweetness of female friendship – a welcome change in a genre that often revolves around men. We’ll have to wait to see how the story progresses but at first glance the series is here to spread the message that romantic love isn’t the only kind that can last forever. And that’s a sentiment we can certainly get behind. The Pursuit Of Love airs on Sunday 9th May at 9pm on BBC One and will be available on BBC iPlayer soon after. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Lily James Has A Response To Those Viral PhotosAre Lily James & Dominic West Dating?The Netflix Rebecca Trailer Is Glamorous & Haunted