This week begins with a new moon in Aries and, for as long as we want to believe it, everything is possible. The Aries new moon is a bonfire bash, with Mercury, Chiron, the Sun, and Venus all under the constellation of the ram. There’s something irreverent and unstoppable in the air, something teenage, something earnest, something that believes in a thing called love. With Mercury in Aries and Mars in Gemini, people are very likely to say what they mean and do what they say. While no one is guaranteed to like the results, they are likely to hear something along the lines of “don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Just think about Aries Lil Nas X responding to “Montero” haters with the reasoning, “Y'all love saying we going to hell but get upset when I actually go there lmao.”
With Pluto squaring Venus and Neptune squaring Mars, it’s important to remember that just because we can say something, just because we want something now, doesn’t mean we should go for it. Aries is great at shooting their shot, but isn’t always prepared for what comes after the game is won. Set your sights a little farther in preparation for the week ahead so that when temptation knocks, you’ll have something to measure it against.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
A French manicure with a coloured tip is refreshing. On the one hand, it's clean and minimalist, but more fun because you have a pop of colour replacing the traditional white stripe. Still, if you're looking for a more unexpected design that plays off the colored French tip you already know and love, consider this summer's trending design: the "outline French." Like a French manicure (including the coloured kind), this variation keeps the base of the nail neutral, focusing the accent at the tip. The difference is that instead of swiping a clean line of polish across the end of the nail, you give the illusion of an outline by rimming the polish around it, leaving negative space in the center. The result is a cool, graphic French tip that can be any color you want — neutral white, black, or something bright. Take a look at some of the coolest iterations of the outline French manicure trending on Instagram, scroll ahead.Nail artist Amber J.H Nails gives us an outline French in an electric-blue shade. The design can also be called the "double French," for the twin stripes on top and bottom of the tip.Cat Quinn, the Executive Director of Global Trends for MAC Cosmetics (and former Refinery29 beauty director!), shows off an outline French manicure with each elongated almond nail given a different bright accent shade.This white outline French — out of CB Beauty Salon — shows how the thinness of the graphic lines gives dimension to short square nails.The Nail Bar, a Minneapolis-based salon, gives us an outline French manicure designed using black polish, which reads classic and edgy at the same time.Let nail artist Quisa confirm: The outline French is the best poolside manicure, and should be paired with an ice-cold cocktail.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Top 5 Nail Polish Trends Of Summer 2021Lil Yachty Just Announced A New Nail Polish LineThe Best Bright Nail Polish To Buy This Summer
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 29: The U.S. Supreme Court on April 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. Supreme Court Justices are currently hearing arguments via teleconference on whether school officials have authority over what students say when they are not on campus. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images) On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This case presents a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that essentially legalised abortion in the US, and it will be the first abortion case argued before the Supreme Court since the anti-abortion Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed last autumn, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority. What is Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs? Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs was filed in March 2018 by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi — to block the state’s unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban. The law, enacted by the Republican-dominated state legislature, would ban abortions if “the probable gestational age of the unborn human” is determined to be more than 15 weeks, with limited exceptions for medical emergencies or “a severe foetal abnormality.” It would also hand down severe penalties on doctors who provide abortion care after 15 weeks. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in December 2019, upholding a lower court’s 2018 decision. “In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability,” Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote in the decision. “States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not impose an undue burden on the woman’s right, but they may not ban abortions.” Why does it matter that the Supreme Court has decided to take on the case? This case provides a clear path to potentially overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing outright bans on abortion on a state by state level, which is what anti-choice activists have wanted all along. The Supreme Court could not uphold Mississippi’s abortion ban without overturning Roe v. Wade’s core holding, so the case presents a major threat to reproductive rights across the country. Roe prohibits states from banning abortions before fetal viability, the point when foetuses can sustain life outside of the womb, or around 23 or 24 weeks. This will be the first “pre-viability” abortion ban the higher court will rule on since Roe. “This will be, by far, the most important abortion case the Court will have heard since the [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey decision in 1992,” University of Texas School of Law professor Steve Vladeck told CNN. “If states are allowed to effectively ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, as the Mississippi law in this case does, then pregnant women would have a far shorter window in which they could lawfully obtain an abortion than what Roe and Casey currently require.” What will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned? If Roe v. Wade is overturned, over 20 states would be able to prohibit abortion outright, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Eleven states, including Mississippi, already have “trigger bans” on the books, which means they would immediately ban abortion after an overturn of Roe. “Alarm bells are ringing loudly about the threat to reproductive rights,” Nancy Northup, President & CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement provided to Refinery29. “The Supreme Court just agreed to review an abortion ban that unquestionably violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent and is a test case to overturn Roe v. Wade.” Anti-choice lawmakers in states across the country have already been chipping away at abortion rights for years, making the procedure all-but-impossible to access in many places: Just this year, they have introduced, advanced, or passed over 300 anti-choice bills. Reminder: 77% of Americans are in favour of upholding Roe v. Wade. What would happen to the sole abortion clinic in Mississippi? For now, abortion remains legal in Mississippi and the unconstitutional ban will continue to be blocked as the Supreme Court reviews this case. “As the only abortion clinic left in Mississippi, we see patients who have spent weeks saving up the money to travel here and pay for childcare, for a place to stay, and everything else involved,” Diane Derzis, owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, said in a statement provided to Refinery29. “If this ban were to take effect, we would be forced to turn many of those patients away, and they would lose their right to abortion in this state. Mississippi politicians have created countless barriers for people trying to access abortion, intentionally pushing them later into pregnancy. It’s all part of their strategy to eliminate abortion access entirely.” When will the case be heard? The Supreme Court will likely hear the case in its next term, which starts in October, with the decision probably coming in spring or summer of next year — not long before the pivotal 2022 US midterm elections. Let’s be explicit: anti-abortion extremists made it clear that this was the goal all along. It’s why they couldn’t wait to rush Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court before the November election. Keep your hands off of our health care. https://t.co/HL95SzqKMw— Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of MA (@PPAdvocacyMA) May 17, 2021 Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This New Drama Shows The Reality Of Abortion BansHow At-Home Abortion Changes Women’s LivesWhy Poland's New Abortion Law Is Causing Protests
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Ghislaine Maxwell attends day 1 of the 4th Annual WIE Symposium at Center 548 on September 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images) Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein and an alleged co-conspirator in his many sexual abuse scandals, will be the subject of an upcoming docuseries from author James Patterson. This is Patterson’s second project exploring Epstein’s life; his Netflix documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich premiered in 2020. The series, to be called Chasing Ghislaine, was announced on Monday, and will premiere later in 2021 on Discovery+. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will provide an inner look at Epstein’s “wealth and influence,” but also show how “Maxwell’s alleged role within this conspiracy threatens a shadowy cabal of international elite and world leaders who might do anything to keep their identities — and motives — hidden.” Chasing Ghislaine will feature more than 30 interviews conducted by journalist and author Vicky Ward, who apparently knew Maxwell socially. “We have the definitive look at the man and his alleged primary co-conspirator, who many believe holds the keys to the remaining mysteries of Epstein’s operations, including the web of men whose money propped him up and allowed him to victimise young girls for nearly two decades,” a representative for Discovery, Inc. said in the announcement, adding that the team behind the series will “shed light on the case — and the suspected cover-up.” With Maxwell’s trial expected to finally begin in November — almost a year-and-a-half after her arrest and almost two years after Epstein’s death — Chasing Ghislaine could not come sooner. Since her 2nd July arrest at her New Hampshire home last year, Maxwell has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY. That same month, she pled not guilty to six counts of sex trafficking charges, which included perjury, “transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity,” and “conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.” In March of this year, Maxwell faced additional charges for sex trafficking a minor and a sex trafficking conspiracy charge by federal prosecutors. While her previous six convictions could land her in prison for up to 35 years, the additional two charges could extend her time behind bars exponentially. Despite the bizarre ways in which Maxwell has tried to escape public attention — and tried to evade police detection following Epstein’s death — the attention around her could not be more heightened. Lest we forget, let’s thank James Patterson (of all people!) for bringing this deeply disturbing story to our small screens once again. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What's Revealed In Ghislaine Maxwell's DepositionGhislaine Maxwell Was Complicit, New Documents SayWhy Is Trump Wishing Ghislaine Maxwell "Well"?
As if to formally mark the beginning of sandal season, Ashley Olsen was spotted on Friday night wearing a pair of flip-flops. What’s more, The Row designer styled her strappy sandals — that many deem fit only for indoor use or a day at the beach — with an oversized, navy blue coat, a slouchy blue button-down, and navy blue trousers for dinner in New York City. The beach staple has been undergoing a renaissance in the fashion world ever since #GanniGirls begun to pair them with leopard print prairie dresses in 2018. Still, few dare to wear them in the city, where anything could splash, squish, or smack our almost completely bare feet. Unlike other sandals that have some sort of protective barrier on the sides, or are elevated off the ground, flip-flops offer little to no protection from the street. And yet, the CFDA winner and all-around style icon Olsen makes a strong case for wearing them out — and pairing them with suiting. It doesn’t hurt that The Row manufactures some of the most sought-after flip-flop styles, including the platform thong sandal, another contentious footwear choice from the early aughts. Unlike some of the styles from back in the day though, The Row’s version, called the Ginza sandal, is beloved by every fashion enthusiast on Instagram, from Monikh to Blanca Miro. Blame it on the Olsen effect. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Olsen Twin Sets The Bar For Isolation StyleMary-Kate Olsen Had A Bizarre Zoom DivorceThe Best-Dressed Celebs At PFW Watched From Home
Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates attend the Goalkeepers event at the Lincoln Center on September 26, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images) On Sunday, The New York Times published a report detailing billionaire Bill Gates’s “questionable behaviour” in and outside the workplace, providing some possible insight into his sudden divorce from Melinda French Gates. From Gates’s relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to a confirmed extramarital affair, it appears that Melinda may have had multiple reasons to end the couple’s 27-year marriage. Despite this, both tweeted statements saying that parting ways was a mutual decision. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” read a joint statement on 3rd May. But these new details of the billionaire’s relationship with women — specifically women he employed — tell a different story. According to The Times, Melinda most recently grew upset with Gates’ relationship with Epstein — a friendship that began in 2011. Both Epstein and Gates spent time together on multiple occasions, including taking flights on Epstein’s private jet and attending parties, dinners, and meetings at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, often in the company of “young and attractive women.” When the two men’s friendship became public in 2019, Melinda is said to have grown “unhappy” and, at that time, hired divorce lawyers to start the process of dividing the marital assets. But the problems within the couple’s marriage, allegedly as a result of Gates’ behaviour, existed long before 2019. In 2000, Gates entered into an extramarital affair with a Microsoft employee. And on more than one occasion, Gates is said to have pursued inappropriate relationships with other employees and subordinates. One such alleged incident occurred in 2006 when Gates attended a presentation by a woman Microsoft employee. Immediately following the presentation, Gates reportedly “emailed the woman to ask her out to dinner,” according to The Times. “If it makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” Gates is said to have included in the same email. In a separate trip, which is said to have occurred a few years later, Gates stood behind another woman employee during a cocktail party and said, “I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?” At least six current or former employees claim Gates made their work environment “uncomfortable.” In 2019, Microsoft’s board of directors opened an investigation into Gates’ 2000 affair, and a year later Gates stepped down from the board. “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Gates, told The Times, which was included in the same report. “Gates’s decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter.” The report also alleges that Melinda took issue with how Gates handled a 2018 sexual harassment allegation against his money manager, Michael Larson, of over 30 years. Larson was accused of sexually harassing a manager of a bike shop that Gates’ venture capital firm, Rally Capital, had a vested interest in. After the alleged victim’s attempts to handle the matter personally proved unsuccessful, she sent a letter to the Gateses, under the oversight of a lawyer, asking for help. Gates then supposedly moved to settle the matter “confidentially,” and the woman signed a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for an undisclosed payment. Larson continued, and remains, at his job. Melinda reportedly “wasn’t satisfied” with Gates’ decision. So far, a spokesperson for Bill Gates has denied any relationship beyond philanthropy with Epstein and also denied his alleged behaviour as the cause of couple’s divorce. “It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances, and the timeline of Bill Gates’s divorce,” Arnold told The Times. “The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’s divorce are becoming increasingly absurd, and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterised as ‘sources.'” Meanwhile, Melinda has refrained from speaking publicly about the circumstances of her divorce since tweeting their joint statement. In court documents filed in Seattle, Melinda’s reason for divorce was that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Apple Plans To Fix iPhone XS "BeautyGate" BugMelinda Gates On Closing The Gender Wage GapMalala Talks Gender Equality With Melinda Gates
When we discuss the topic of new parenthood, we often consider it through the experience of new mothers first and foremost. We have a level of structural support in place for women during pregnancy and postpartum, peer networks are available and there’s a natural, cultural acceptance that the mother and baby bond is at the heart of the journey. All of this is crucial, of course, but since so much of the conversation around parenthood is focused on mothers, the emotional and psychological needs of fathers are often sidelined. In London-based photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor’s latest series, Present Fathers, the experience of new dads takes centre stage. Inspired by watching her own partner adapt to becoming a dad, Harris-Taylor started the series to spark a dialogue around the absence of support or visibility for first-time fathers. “My partner was pretty lucky to have several months of paternity leave so we were very much both involved from day one,” she explains, “but some time after the birth of our son, I realised he didn’t really know where to turn for support or where to explore and express this new role he’d found himself in.” This made her wonder about the experiences of all the other new fathers out there. Where were they? Did they feel the same way? “We just don’t really hear from or see new fathers, at least not in comparison to new mothers,” she continues. This curiosity became the catalyst for the project. Armed with her camera and an innate sensitivity, Harris-Taylor travelled back and forth across southeast London, taking beautiful, naturally lit portraits of dads and their young kids. Some of them were friends and people she knew already; others were strangers she found by word of mouth and reaching out on Instagram. In the resulting pictures, children tumble through the frames in a blur of arms and legs, climbing over their dads with tenderness and affection. They’re joyful images and refreshingly sincere, giving equal space to moments of uncertainty and exhaustion alongside scenes of families laughing or playing. “I think we’re so used to seeing motherhood in this way, and images of mothers and babies seem to hold so much value,” says the photographer. “The love and bond fathers can have with their babies and children is no different yet we rarely see this kind of intimacy, which then perhaps makes it seem more remarkable than it should.” Alongside the images, Harris-Taylor gathered quotes and thoughts from interviews with each dad, and their words reveal a constellation of unspoken anxieties. “Each father shared their own unique story with me and I learned so much about their understanding of their roles individually,” Harris-Taylor says. “Many of them seemed wary of being perceived to complain and were keen to always put the emphasis back onto the achievements of the mother. Of course she is important too, but it felt a shame that some felt even when directly given the opportunity, society might not allow them to show vulnerability. A lot of the conversations were really just affirming why I wanted to make the work: the lack of support fathers get, the isolation that comes from becoming a parent and even being able to express the love they have for their children.” Present Fathers isn’t the photographer’s first project to explore an aspect of parenthood. In another of her series, Milk, she photographed new mothers, unfolding the highs and lows of the act of breastfeeding. These are themes she doesn’t think she would have explored if she wasn’t a mum herself. “My personal work tends to come from my own experiences, preoccupations and vulnerability,” she says. “I guess often I want to find out more – to find out if others are going through what I am and, in some ways, validate my own experiences while also learning from others.” From the time she’s spent meeting the dads she photographed, and from her own experience watching her partner become a father, Harris-Taylor has become much more attuned to understanding what needs to change in the ways our societies represent and talk about fatherhood. “I think a bit more openness is needed, in general,” she says. “It’s all the little things that add up, there seems to be so much for mums out there – groups and forums online, activities advertised solely for mum and baby – not taking into account that postnatal depression can exist within fathers too. Even just simply asking fathers how they are doing and coping can go a long way. In a time when gender roles are converging and parenting is hopefully becoming more equal, it seems only right to put those supports in place. Especially now we’re realising just how many men are suffering, untreated, with their mental health.” Bola, one of the men Harris-Taylor photographed for the project, echoes this sentiment. “The support was [and] is generally absent,” he says. “All you get is a one-off two-week paternity leave and that is it. There is not enough time to bond with your child and support the mother at that critical and important moment. There are barely even any organisations that I’m aware of that support fathers. Every support though is there for the mother.” Harris-Taylor’s favourite image from the series is of a man called Nathaniel and his son, shot against a midnight blue background. It’s an impactful portrait in which he holds his fidgeting son in his arms and gazes directly into the lens. “I find this image powerful because it seems to somehow combine protectiveness with vulnerability,” she explains. “Most of the shots in the series show a bit more of the home environment but this one has a kind of simplicity and directness, I think. I found Nathaniel’s expression, alongside his beautifully written words, quite poignant.” Nathaniel speaks openly and honestly about his journey into fatherhood, and his words resonate far beyond his own experience. “I encourage all fathers, and particularly young or new fathers, to be more open and communicate about how they’re coping or not coping,” he says. Later, he adds: “It’s also imperative to our growth as fathers and the relationship with our children that we do the work to break/resolve any generational curses we may have inherited from our own fathers. Unlearning is harder than it seems but we must make a change if we want our children to be greater and go further.” For Harris-Taylor, part of supporting that change is taking these pictures and offering the fathers she meets a space to share. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?An Intimate Look At Breastfeeding Mums (NSFW)Photos Of Daughters Who Have Lost Their MothersIntimate Photos Of Postpartum Depression
I’ve been on the waiting list for the Paloma Wool Enya top for months. I’ve wanted it since I saw YouTuber Nayna Florence wear it in one of her videos but due to the item’s popularity, it’s perpetually sold out. The Enya top is just one of many fashion items that have achieved cult status in recent months – along with the House of Sunny Day Tripper cardigan and Hockney dress – after the meteoric rise in popularity of this kitschy, maximalist aesthetic, dubbed by editor and consultant Emma Hope Allwood back in January as ‘avant basic’. View this post on Instagram A post shared by paloma wool (@palomawool) The avant basic woman is easily identifiable. As well as owning a wardrobe stocked with the latest drops from Paloma Wool, House of Sunny and Lisa Says Gah, she drinks oat milk, decorates her home with Astrid Wilson prints and the Murano mushroom lamp, and ‘curates’ an immaculate Instagram feed. She’s quirky but not different. As Allwood puts it: “If Summer from 500 Days of Summer was an Insta gal with a mullet.” Up until now, thanks to a seemingly endless lockdown, the look has been confined to Instagram and well-dressed walks around the park. Now that pubs and restaurants are open though, all bets are off. Avant basic, also described as ‘kindergarten kitsch’ or ‘hot girl maximalism’, is set to take over the summer. Leicester-based Natasha, 24, is a huge fan of the trend. She owns “quite a few pieces” from brands like House of Sunny and Lisa Says Gah and feels that the trend reflects her own personal style. “I usually wear quite a lot of clashing patterns, a lot of bright colours,” she says. “And it’s definitely an asset knowing that these brands are all sustainable too. I don’t mind investing my money into these brands.” Moya, 21, lives in Dublin and is another fan of avant basic fashion. “I love the colours and funky patterns,” she says. “It kind of reminds me of my mum, who wears very colourful mismatched pieces.” Like Natasha, Moya says she’s “happy to invest” in sustainably made clothing. The style feels ultra modern but has its roots in the 20th century. Olivia Yallop, creative director at The Digital Fairy, explains that “the psychedelic swirls, flared trousers and bohemian checks are reminiscent of the carefree fashion of the previous ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967.” This much is clear from the names of several House of Sunny designs, such as the Beatles-inspired All You Need Is Love bomber jacket. Yallop adds that the trend is also potentially “a nod to the decadent aesthetics of the post-plague roaring ’20s, which internet users are eagerly anticipating for summer 2021.” But the trend is not a straightforward rehashing of ’60s psychedelia or ’20s decadence. This time around, the aesthetic is coloured by the impact of the pandemic. “Cool girl maximalism has been trending on Instagram as a reaction to clinical minimalism for a while now, but it was accelerated by last year’s cultural embrace of ‘chaos’ as a lifestyle aesthetic,” Yallop explains. She describes the trend as “the unofficial uniform of post-pandemic hot girl summer” and adds that the style tallies with the current sense of optimism now that the end of lockdown is nigh. The trend is also a “product of the algorithm”, according to Yallop. “The wide range of aesthetic influences make it feel like an attempt to accumulate whatever’s trending together for maximum impact on an explore page,” she says. The trend certainly gained traction thanks to the internet: the Holiday the Label checkerboard-print pyjamas stocked on Lisa Says Gah went viral and sold out after Gigi Hadid posted an Instagram video wearing them. Despite the trend’s apparently ubiquitous popularity, not everyone who wants to has been able to get involved. Manchester-based Lucy, 22, liked the trend but found that its sizing is hardly inclusive, leaving her unable to jump on the avant basic bandwagon. As a woman with bigger hips, she’s found that the slip dresses and straight-leg jeans that dominate this trend simply don’t work for her. “It’s a very specific silhouette,” she says. “And if your body doesn’t fit into that cut, it seems like you’re just pushed out of it.” Sizing isn’t the only thing barring consumers from getting involved with the trend. Twenty-three-year-old Ella, also from Manchester, says that brands like House of Sunny aren’t within her budget. “I usually just look on Depop for the clothes but then people resell them at stupidly high prices,” she says. Lucy has encountered the same problem: “You’re expected to have the originals, but the originals are a bit out of my price range.” Moya also has doubts about the style’s longevity: “There’s an element of unsustainability with these pieces being ‘trendy’. There’s a huge difference between buying a sustainable pair of everyday jeans vs a pair of checkered, groovy, colourful trousers.” Yallop shares the same concern. “Avant basic feels inherently anti-sustainable,” she says. “I’m not sure anyone will still be using psychedelic swirled trousers or checkerboard tufted rugs in 2022.” Ultimately, while brands like House of Sunny, Lisa Says Gah and Paloma Wool are more sustainable than most with their smaller collections, infrequent restocks and locally sourced materials, there’s more to sustainability than just how the clothes are manufactured. What good is a ‘sustainably made’ top if it ends up unworn and consigned to landfill after two years? With this in mind, it’s vital that we think hard before buying into this trend – or any trend, really. “I can never tell whether I like the trend or whether it’s just been shoved down my throat so much that I’ve now convinced myself I like it,” says Lucy, which is ultimately the crux of the issue here. We ought to follow the leads of women like Natasha, who feel assured and empowered in their style choices. Sure, thousands of other women wear this trend too – but as the story of that Zara dress taught us, ubiquity in fashion isn’t an inherently bad thing as long as we’re sure we like our purchases. “If people think it’s boring, I personally don’t care,” Natasha says. “And I don’t really care if [the trend] goes out of style or not. I know I’ll wear it for years and years because it was very up my street to begin with.” While writing this, I get an email to say that the Paloma Wool Enya top is back in stock. I bolt to the site and immediately add it to my basket – but then pause to think if I really want to spend £77 on this top. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what I decide. I wouldn’t be superior for shirking ‘algorithm fashion’, as Allwood puts it; nor would I be a bad, ‘basic’ or fundamentally unoriginal person for buying into the trend. All that matters is that I stop and think about whether I actually like this top when it’s laid bare as an item in a shopping basket and not dressed up as a cult, must-have product on my Instagram feed. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?A Dress For Every Activity That's Not A WalkStyle Picks: Everything On Our May Wish ListIs There A Way To Protect Designers From Copycats?
Amazon is a treasure trove: if you look hard enough, you'll find some of the most game-changing products, and they can all be delivered straight to your door! We love products that make our lives easier, and these 41 options are no exception. Sometimes we're looking for something silly that will make us smile, and sometimes we have a genuine problem that needs solving, but we can always find solutions if we search on Amazon.
At its best, ‘The Nevers’ offers flashes of the lively dialogue that elevated Whedon’s best work. But the enthusiasm comes at the expense of developing any of the characters beyond their immediate impact
It’s every middle-aged out of shape amateur footballer’s nightmare. Someone brings a camera to the game and captures you in all your huffing puffing tight-shirted glory, shattering a thousand delusional inner commentaries. In those photos you realise you are not the younger version of yourself that compels you to keep playing – nor do you look anything like the stylish Italian greats like Maldini or Pirlo, or the super lean heroes of your Seventies childhood. Photos emerged on the weekend of Keir Starmer looking less than match fit, doubled over and puffing, before finishing the game with a pint. Having been his teammate on a number of occasions previously on Sunday mornings in north London, I knew his game as organised, his captaincy skilful – it was fair to predict he might be heading for a higher role in politics. Contrary to those photographs Keir is very good to play with: he’s solid, not flashy and works hard, which is probably why he looked so knackered. He wasn’t much of a goalscorer, it has to be said, and his “shoot to miss” policy might need some sort of parliamentary investigation. It doesn’t surprise me he’s not stopped despite his new job: for many of us amateur football is the last true link between the dreams we had as kids and the lives we lead today. Especially in a season when we can’t even watch our professional teams live. I’ve kept going too – in spite of having similarly unflattering photos of me mid-match broadcast when I wrote Above Head Height, my book about five-a-side football. An Amazon number one bestseller, newspapers, magazines and Match of The Day: The Premier League Show sent photographers and cameramen to shoot me and my friends. I have never looked so static in all my life. I used to be a box-to-box midfielder; now the only box I’m likely to be getting into is one covered in wreaths. For men in midlife, giving up a kickabout just isn’t an option. I still play two games a week despite health issues which suggest I really shouldn’t. I can’t see, I can’t hear, I have asthma, my insteps have gone but I have no intention to stop, I still have a decent game two out of three weeks. The people I play with range in age from 15 to 73, it’s the same all over the country. Self-organised small-sided games are going on everyday in every city and town in the UK and companies like Power League offer a platform for avid five-a-side nuts, but beyond that there are any number of leisure centres and schools renting their pitches to an array of ageing men and now women in new and vintage kits of their heroes. Admittedly the demand to play in my regular Friday night game once lockdown allowed it again at Easter was naturally greater than on a rainy February night and we’ve been sailing at full capacity ever since. Amateur astroturf football is a great leveller. For those 60 or 90 minutes it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, where you’re from, who you support. There are bonds formed that transcend normal social boundaries. Last Friday I found myself stood outside our local pub having the post-match debrief where people who shoot from the halfway line are forced to explain their actions, and temporary goalkeepers who give the ball away to the opposition striker to score are mocked mercilessly. This time I was with four Manchester United fans, which as a Leeds United fan is not a date I would otherwise arrange, but we played together so we drank together.