Salma Hayek was forced to overcome her snake fear or lose her job on 1996 horror film, 'From Dusk Till Dawn'.
Salma Hayek was forced to overcome her snake fear or lose her job on 1996 horror film, 'From Dusk Till Dawn'.
Boots saw sales of the 'miracle worker' soar during lockdown
'I didn't get a proper salary until I was 51'
You haven't seen the last of her
She'll portray Obama in the upcoming series The First Lady, which also stars Gillian Anderson and Michelle Pfeiffer
International travel could be possible from 17 May – but will our favourite spots be open to tourists?
Prince Harry gave an extensive and wide-ranging interview to James Corden, who went to his wedding in 2018.
Being a country’s tallest building, even for a short space of time, is the sort of literally high achievement that normally guarantees a prominent place in history, as well as the record books. Particularly in a Britain that, until the spate of skyscraper-building in London that has given birth to One Canada Square and The Shard, was rarely known for its ventures into gargantuan architecture. True, Lincoln Cathedral was (probably) the loftiest edifice on the planet from 1311 to 1548 – until a storm removed the top section of a spire that had grown to 525ft (160m). But for the main part, structures that push way up into the firmament, far beyond the averages of their era, have not tended to be a British thing. Much better a stately palace or an elegant mansion than the Tower of Babel reborn. It is this relative restraint which makes the story of the New Brighton Tower so unusual. For here was a project which not only abandoned any sense of moderation; it did so, not in a major capital or a cathedral city – but on a windy promontory on the “other” side of the River Mersey. And it vanished almost as soon as it arrived, “enjoying” an existence of barely two decades before it disappeared into the footnotes of the First World War. It has been gone, this year, for an exact century – and little remains of it but faded photographs. The tale begins in 1830, when Liverpudlian merchant James Atherton bought a 170-acre parcel of land at Rock Point, in the town of Wallasey – the tip of the Wirral Peninsula, which juts upwards, across from Liverpool, on the west side of the Mersey estuary. The Victorian tourism boom that would sweep the coastline of the country was still 30 years away – it would not really gather momentum until the 1860s – but Atherton has his eye on turning an area best known for smuggling and wrecking into a desirable destination. His plan even came with an upbeat name – “New Brighton”, in reference to the East Sussex resort, which had already established a reputation as a holiday hotspot for the wealthy, thanks to the regular visits of George IV during the Regency and later Georgian periods.
Stretch your legs on an active escape after lockdown
Gaga is reportedly offering $500,000 for her dogs back.
One couple went straight to McDonald’s on leaving the hotel
Some fans commented on her stretched fingers and feet
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Michelle Obama's make-up artist reveals how it is done
The average domestic flight was less than half full
It’s been a difficult time to safely see friends and family, but there are more ways than ever to communicate and keep up with people online. For instance, you can follow someone on Twitter, and just succumb to the doomscrolling reality that is our lives right now. And, with the app’s latest feature, you’ll soon be able to “Super Follow” someone if you can’t get enough of their content. Twitter announced its new function during Thursday’s Analyst event. With the Super Follow tool, users can charge followers $4.99 (£2.99) a month for extra content, including subscriber-only newsletters, deals and discounts, and exclusive tweets. Screenshots tease the kind of content users can put behind paywalls, including videos and teasers. Another screenshot shows a Fleet — basically, Twitter’s version of an Instagram Story — marked with a “Super Followers” tag. Think of the feature as somewhat of a hybrid between Patreon, OnlyFans, and Instagram’s Close Friends function. So far, there have been mixed reactions to the new tool: many have argued against charging money for Twitter (or just insisted that the feature won’t take off), and some have wondered whether news outlets will use the feature as another paywall. But others have noted that popular Twitter users should have the option to easily monetise their content, just as they can on YouTube and Facebook. “We believe that content creators should get paid for the greatness that they bring to this website,” wrote Lara Cohen, Twitter’s Head of Global Partnerships. Twitter announces “Super Follow”, like Patreon but on Twitter https://t.co/5YBmEfgsUn pic.twitter.com/aY9g1ozoJz— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 25, 2021 Along with the Super Follow, Twitter unveiled Communities, which will function similarly to Facebook Groups or Reddit communities. Unlike Twitter’s Lists function, which allows users to create specialised feeds devoted to different topics or groups of people, Communities will let users share exclusive tweets with specific audiences. The past few months have been huge for Twitter: the site introduced Fleets in November and Spaces, their Clubhouse-style live voice chat feature, in December. The Fleet function has already been updated into the app, but Spaces are currently available to a small test group. It’s unknown when Super Follows and Communities will be instated, but I for one am just relieved that a certain avid Twitter user was banned before he could take advantage of all these new and varied ways to reach audiences. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Why Is #GretaThunbergExposed Trending?Cardi B Just Got Skincare Advice From TwitterThe Reason Sylvanian Families Took Over TikTok
Despite the many claims, tweets, and hopes for 2021, there was no sudden return to “normal” when Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th US president last month. That’s to be expected, of course. Biden’s assumption of the presidency wasn’t immediately going to change the fact that the US is still living through a time of extreme income inequality and a pandemic that’s taken more than half a million American lives. And, they are still dealing with the very real ramifications of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the pervasive racism, inequity, and xenophobia that existed in America long before the words “Trump Administration” seemed like more than just a sick joke. In other words, “normal” — at least, the “normal” we should strive towards — does not exist yet. But, even though things were never going to change overnight, the question now — 37 days into having a new president — must be: Is Joe Biden doing enough? Certainly, Biden is doing a lot. On his first day in office, he was praised for many of his immediate actions, which aimed to undo some of the damage from the past four years. By the end of his first week, he signed over 30 executive orders to help combat racial inequality and discrimination, the climate crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The US also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and rejoined the World Health Organization. Biden also made several strides that impressed progressives, including his order for the Department of Justice to stop renewing contracts with private prisons and his movement to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 (£10). But the president has also been the subject of some criticism, mostly for his hesitation to adequately address and change harmful immigration measures. While he restored the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and eliminated restrictions on asylum seekers, under his leadership, a migrant facility for children was reopened in Carrizo Springs, TX. The centre first opened under Trump in 2019. “When I read they were opening again, I cried,” Rosey Abuabara, a San Antonio community activist, told the Washington Post. “I consoled myself with the fact that it was considered the Cadillac of [migrant child] centres, but I don’t have any hope that Biden is going to make it better.” Jen Psaki, Biden’s press secretary, said that the facility’s reopening was just a temporary measure intended to keep kids safe from COVID-19 before they can be transferred to “families or sponsors.” But there’s growing concern around this action, and Biden’s decision, especially considering he so often criticised Trump’s immigration policy and referred to his administration’s “overcrowded” detention centres as “a moral failing and a national shame.” And then there’s Biden’s new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines: Under his memorandum, ICE will specifically target immigrants who “pose a threat,” including immigrants convicted of felony and gang-related offences. This is supposedly an improvement from Trump’s ruthless guidelines, but immigration advocates say it is a dangerous return to deportation policies from Barack Obama’s presidency, and could easily encourage racial profiling and discrimination. “We believe that this memo only makes it easier for ICE to detain and deport immigrants, a clear back-track from President Joe Biden’s campaign promises and earlier Executive Orders,” the Texas-based immigration nonprofit RAICES wrote. Naureen Shah of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also called the guidelines a “disappointing step backward.” Biden’s most dangerous failure, though, might be his hesitation to rescind the Title 42 expulsion, a Trump order that allowed U.S. Border Patrol to deny entry to immigrants and asylum seekers — and “expel” almost 400,000 people from the country — citing coronavirus-related concerns. The order has been criticised for violating numerous domestic laws and protections for refugees, and experts say that it’s a very thinly-veiled excuse for mass deportation, as asylum seekers don’t pose greater health risks than any other group of people. (And, as Ted Cruz recently reminded us, Republicans really aren’t all too concerned about the safety risks of traveling to and from Mexico during a pandemic.) There are some measures that are out of Biden’s control. For instance, a Texas federal judge banned the enforcement of Biden’s attempted 100-day deportation ban. But overturning Title 42 should be a priority. “Each day that Biden fails to rescind the use of Title 42 for pretextual border enforcement means more families expelled to the dangerous situations from which they fled,” Andrea Meza, an attorney with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, told CBS News. White House officials have said that the Biden administration needs time to implement “humane” asylum processing systems. But that’s the recurring problem: Time is something we don’t necessarily have, when hundreds of people are getting deported, thousands of Americans are dying of COVID-19, and millions are in need of the financial support they were promised. And although Biden certainly can’t fix all of America’s problems in one month, he’s dragged his feet on many pressing issues — including the fact that 44.7 million Americans have often crippling student loan debt. “President Biden has the legal authority to cancel billions in student debt with the stroke of a pen and he must meet the moment by using that authority, which would not only set us on a path to an equitable recovery, but would also help reduce the racial wealth gap,” Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said. Pressley, along with several other Representatives, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have called on Biden to cancel up to $50,000 (£35,000) in loan debt immediately. Biden has promised to cancel $10,000 (£8,000) but argued in a recent Town Hall that he would not “forgive the debt, the billions of dollars of debt, for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn.” The idea that Americans struggling with exorbitant debt are all Ivy League graduates is a common Republican talking point, and a false one. According to CNBC, just 0.3% of federal student borrowers attended Ivy League schools, and 49% graduated from public universities. Could Biden be doing more? In many ways, yes. He has the power to cancel student debt; he has the power to rescind Title 42. But it is worth acknowledging that Biden inherited problems Trump and Obama did not, and not just because of the unprecedented crises we’re facing right now. There was an unnecessarily, unusually rough transition of power, between Trump’s outright refusal to concede, refusal to give Biden access to intelligence briefings, and refusal to stop an attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol weeks before Biden’s inauguration. “Incoming administration officials always want to fix policies they think are broken,” John Bellinger, a former legal adviser from George W. Bush’s National Council, told the New York Times. Along with other Republican security experts, Bellinger penned a letter urging Trump to concede in November. “But it is important for them to know what the outgoing administration was already doing and why problems that may look easy to fix from the outside may not be quite so easy.” For example, Trump refused to share his vaccine distribution plan with Biden, which concerned both Biden’s advisers and health experts. After Biden’s inauguration, it became clear that Trump actually had no vaccine distribution plan to share in the first place. Biden has succeeded at overturning some of Trump’s most dangerous policies, but especially in the age of COVID, we need to do more than just undo Trump’s damage. When it comes to immigration, we don’t just need something better than Obama’s guidelines and kinder than Trump’s xenophobia: As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says, we need to reimagine our current carceral, unethical system altogether. And Biden has the chance to create — and should aim for — a legacy that’s better than “better than Trump.” Because in 2021, America needs more than just an incremental improvement — we need real change. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Here's Why TERFs Are Already Mad At BidenTikTok Calls For More Looks From Biden's GrandkidsJill Biden’s Inauguration Day Look Is A Tribute
I don’t know when “What’s your sign?” replaced “What do you do?” as a conversation-starter for me, but I do know I’m not alone in my increasing interest in what the stars have to say about life on earth. We’ve been in the midst of an astrology boom for nearly a decade now, and there’s no end in sight. If anything, our collective fascination with astrology only seems to be picking up steam. By the end of 2020, searches for “astrology” and “birth chart” both hit a five-year high, according to Google Trends. This makes sense: The pandemic has led to major uncertainty this past year, and the ongoing upheaval of our economic, social, and political institutions may also be a big factor in why we’re so invested in finding answers to our many, many questions right now — even if they come from far-off celestial bodies. Jennifer Freed, PhD, a psychological astrologer and author of Use Your Planets Wisely, confirms that, during times of turmoil, we often want “something to affirm and reassure us that we are whole, secure, and seen.” For some, that means turning to spiritual institutions; three in 10 US adults have reported that their religious faith became stronger due to COVID-19, according to the Pew Center for Research. But for others, astrology offers a welcome alternative to traditional religious structures. “Astrology has really risen in popularity because people want a symbol system that’s not sexist, racist, homophobic, that helps them connect to each other across all demographics,” Dr Freed says. “What’s really great about astrology is that you have this set of reasons for why things are happening,” explains Annabel Gat, astrologer and author of The Astrology of Love & Sex: A Modern Compatibility Guide. “It creates this cause-and-effect paradigm that’s really exciting for people to explore.” This works on a collective level. When there’s a lot of anxiety surrounding big events, like the 2020 presidential election, it can feel helpful for people to look to the planetary cycles for answers. The same thing holds true for those seeking to make sense of or contextualise the pandemic and even racial justice movements. On an individual level, this means that someone can credit being an Aries as the reason they’re so impatient, and perhaps find it easier to acknowledge and address the issues they see in their personal lives. Learning about your birth chart fulfils something that psychologists call a “mirroring need.” “This refers to a desire to be reflected by something other than yourself,” Dr Freed explains. The mirroring need is why we take personality quizzes online and have heated discussions with our friends on whether we’re a Carrie, a Samantha, a Miranda, or a Charlotte. It’s why we love the Myers-Briggs Test. And it’s why we love to pore over our birth charts, seeing the nuances of our personalities reflected in our planetary placements. We have an intrinsic desire to be recognised and understood. At times, our mirroring need gets more intense. “When we’re in chaos and stress, we’re more psychologically fragmented,” Dr Freed says. “We don’t feel as centred and as calm, and when we’re feeling fragmented and more insecure, our mirroring needs are more hungry. You want something to affirm and reassure you that you are whole and that you’re secure and that you’re seen.” Astrology can offer that reassurance, even among people who don’t really “believe” in it, but simply enjoy the practice and get a thrill out of the experience of self-identification. Astrology also gives people an easy way to connect with others. Kayla, a TikTok creator based in North Carolina, has her “big three” signs (sun, moon, and rising) on display in her Instagram bio — Aquarius, Leo, and Cancer, respectively. “I feel like it makes people understand why I do the things I do, or why I portray myself a certain way,” she explains. Kayla’s Aquarius sun signals that she’s creative and independent, while her Leo moon alerts others to her dramatic flair. “I love to see it when other people put their big three in their bio because it gives me an understanding of their characteristics,” she says. You may feel closer to an acquaintance if you know you have complementary signs, or you may use it as an excuse as to why you always butt heads with someone. Illuminiah, a traditional astrology student based on the West Coast, agrees, likening the “big three” in a bio as a signal to others. “It’s a way to connect,” she says. “You’re saying, this is part of who I am, and this is how I can attract other like-minded people who are also into astrology, or attract other people who are like me. When I see a big three in a bio, I’m like, Oh that’s cute they’re into astrology, and you just feel… I don’t know. Safer.” Given the popularity of astrology accounts on Twitter and Instagram, it’s no surprise that the practice has begun to dominate TikTok too. The video platform has also paved the way for smaller, lesser-known astrologers and astrology fans to build huge audiences. When Illuminiah first downloaded TikTok, she mostly posted funny videos. But after publishing an astrology video that had been saved in her drafts for a couple months, her following exploded. “A lot of people resonated with it,” she says. “I was talking about Pisces risings and people who have that placement, there’s something about their eyes that’s very distinct and a lot of Pisces risings have that in common. It was a catalyst for an entire rising sign series that I started.” Even Lizzo commented on one of her videos. “In a matter of two days, I went from 1,000 followers to 20k followers, and that’s what kind of started the whole astrology thing on TikTok for me last year.” When I ask Illuminiah about why she thinks TikTok users are so drawn to her astrology content, she echoes Dr. Freed’s words. “Above all else in this life, people want to feel understood,” she says. “Looking at your birth chart and finding things that make you self-actualise and make you be like, ‘Wow, that’s so true, I didn’t even realise this about myself,’ it’s very healing for the inner child.” This need is reflected in the most common astrology question she gets on TikTok from her followers: Can you tell me about myself? “I think that every human being is born with a longing to be understood and to feel safe, seen, and celebrated,” Dr Freed says. And, as we inch toward the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, our traditional ways of connecting and being seen are still unavailable to most — but the stars are always there, waiting for us to find ourselves in them. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Defining Astrological Aspect Of 2021 Is HereHow Important Is Your Flatmate's Zodiac Sign?Why Some Astrologers Don’t Believe In Zodiac Cusps
You aren't alone if you've been finding it harder to read in lockdown. With the stress of WFH, remote learning and the general state of the world, jumping into a novel at the end of the day simply hasn’t felt doable. Thankfully, there is a solution to your reading slump: a good old-fashioned audiobook. Having someone read you a story isn't just for kids; avid readers will tell you that an audiobook is an easier and more enjoyable reading experience when you don’t have the brain capacity to concentrate on printed words (which is all of us at the minute, right?).Audiobooks are often spoken about with a slight sneer but the assumption that information isn’t absorbed in the same way while listening is entirely ridiculous. Studies have shown that there are no significant differences in comprehension between reading and listening, meaning audiobooks are a perfectly legitimate way to consume a story. Then there's the fact that audible learning can be particularly helpful for those with dyslexia, making audiobooks a winner all around. The only problem? Audiobook services are known for coming with a hefty subscription fee, excluding many people from the wonders of literary listening. Happily, there is a selection of audiobooks that you can access for no money at all. Yep, you heard us right: tucked away on many of the most popular audiobook platforms are tons of free stories available to users without a subscription. From period classics to some of the biggest books of the last few years, there is something for everyone wanting to dive into the world of narrated tales.Take a look through the slideshow ahead to discover all the platforms offering free audiobooks right now, as well as some of Refinery29’s favourite titles...SpotifyOne of the biggest announcements of the last few weeks was the news that Spotify is finally getting in on the audiobook game. As one of the biggest music streaming services in the world, it was only a matter of time before the app started offering users access to audiobooks but we couldn’t have guessed that every single title would be available FOR FREE. That’s right, you don’t even need a Spotify Premium subscription to access the new titles, which include a selection of classic literature read by some of your favourite film actors. For those searching for a turn-of-the-century novel about one woman’s exploration of her sexual identity, there’s Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, narrated by Hilary Swank. If you're looking for more of an educational read, the platform also offers titles like Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, read by Forest Whitaker. Spotify currently only offers 10 well-known titles, each split into short chapters of eight to 15 minutes, but we imagine the selection is only set to expand in the future. R29’s Best Book: Persuasion by Jane Austen, narrated by Cynthia ErivoBBC SoundsIf, like us, you use BBC Sounds for all your podcasting needs, you may not have realised that they have a selection of audiobooks on site too. Hidden away among the endless list of music categories, the audiobook section includes a curation of new and classic reads from a string of heavyweight authors including Emily Brontë and Roxane Gay. If you're looking for an easy way into audiobooks, most available stories are split up into bitesize episodes of around 15 minutes (the perfect length for a quick lunchtime walk around the park). And if you're searching for an audiobook to send you off to sleep, BBC Sounds also offers the ‘Book at Bedtime’ series which allows listeners to drift off to the dulcet sounds of the hot priest himself, Andrew Scott. R29’s Best Book: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, narrated by Weruche OpiaAudibleOf all the audiobook platforms on the internet, Audible is the biggest and the most well known. Boasting 200,000+ titles, the Amazon-owned site is massively popular among book lovers for its easy-to-use interface and access to the latest releases. However, at £7.99 a month for one book, the fee is fairly steep, which is why it’s wonderful news that the platform offers a year-round range of free titles (including bonus Handmaid’s Tale essays read by Margaret Atwood!). If you can’t find anything in the freebie category, though, don’t despair; Audible is now offering a free selection of hundreds of classic books to help people through the pandemic. Whether you're interested in listening to The Age Of Innocence or Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, there’s an engrossing tale for everyone to listen to on their trips to the supermarket. Plus, those who own an Amazon Alexa get one audiobook a month without having to pay anything extra. Result! R29’s Best Book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, narrated by Thandie NewtonBorrow BoxRemember walking into an actual library? You’d bypass the rows of dusty books and head straight to the audiobook section to scour the shelves of tapes or CDs, no doubt looking for Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry. Taking a trip down memory lane IRL might be impossible right now but you can still access all the treats your library has to offer via the Borrow Box app. Simply download onto your phone or tablet, enter your library card number and voilà: access to thousands of books and audiobooks for free. The platform carries some of the biggest titles of the last few years, from Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race to Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie. Just bear in mind that the app works like a real library, meaning that if someone else has checked out the audiobook you want, you'll have to wait until it’s returned to ‘borrow’ it. This does mean that newer titles often have a pretty long waiting list but there are plenty of older audiobooks you can sink your teeth into while you wait, including pretty much everything in Margaret Atwood’s back catalogue. R29’s Best Book: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, narrated by Anna Maria Nabirye Apple BooksIf you don’t like to read on your iPhone, then the Books app is likely hidden away in one of the many folders on your homepage. But if you're looking for an easily digestible (and free) audiobook, Apple Books is the perfect place to start. Available under the audiobooks tab, iPhone and iPad users can access a selection of discounted and free titles in the 'special offers' section of the app. There are plenty of famous titles to keep you entertained, whether you delve into sci-fi with H. G. Wells' classic The Time Machine or explore the spooky world of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. And if you have little ones to entertain there is also a world of wonderful children’s books, including The Secret Garden narrated by Guardians of the Galaxy’s Karen Gillan.R29’s Best Book: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum, narrated by Tituss BurgessLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Books We’re Picking Up This FebruaryFiction Books About Black Joy You Need To Read NowThis Virtual Library Is Offering Free Books During
For many of us, makeup has taken a backseat during lockdown but there’s one product which makes us feel instantly pulled together and look more awake in seconds: mascara. From Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara (a firm favourite on TikTok right now) to Victoria Beckham’s Future Lash Mascara, new products are launching left, right and centre. But they can’t get all the praise. Especially not when benefit’s new They’re Real! Magnet Mascara deserves the limelight, too. It’s fair to say that benefit has mascara nailed; when its first They’re Real! product launched a few years ago, it assumed cult status fast. But its latest launch (available at QVC, Cult Beauty, Boots and Lookfantastic) is causing quite the stir. I know what you’re thinking: magnet? While brands have jumped on the bandwagon lately, launching everything from magnetic false eyelashes to magnetic face masks, magnetic mascara is still pretty new. According to benefit, it’s all down to the clever brush, which has a ‘magnetically charged core’. The brush then attracts the formula, which is enriched with magnetic minerals, and pulls the product up and out through the lashes without any effort at all. The result is apparently long, defined and voluminous lashes in a couple of quick swipes. As a mascara fanatic whose makeup bag boasts everything from luxury to high street products, I was sold and had to give it a go. At first glance, the magnetic version doesn’t look any different from benefit’s first They’re Real! mascara. The plastic brush is similar to – if not a tad thicker than – the original and the teeth are very short so that you can wedge the brush into the root of your lashes and easily grab even the tiniest of hairs. As I combed the brush through, I actually let out a gasp. It lengthened and thickened my lashes faster than any other mascara I’ve tried, without the dreaded clumps. My lashes are straight and I usually use a lash curler to enhance them but I didn’t need one here as the product lifted my lashes instantly. In fact, they stayed curled until the end of the day. My lashes were so jet black and voluminous, they looked like my trusty Ardell falsies. @jacquelinekilikita I tried benefit’s They’re Real! Magnet mascara #benefit #benefittheyrereal #magnetmascara #magneticmascara ♬ Stranger – CHUNNYT One of my biggest gripes is formulas which take ages to dry or transfer on to my eyelid when wet but this didn’t at all. It also made my lashes feel flexible and elastic, rather than brittle or hard. I applied the mascara to my bottom lashes to really open up my eyes and throughout the day I found that it did smudge a little. That said, the product isn’t currently waterproof, and it removes very easily with micellar water. At £24.50, it’s pricy as far as mascara goes but, as I discovered, one swipe really is enough to make a noticeable, impressive difference to lashes, so it’ll last you a long time. Overall, benefit’s They’re Real! Magnet is a must-buy if you’re a lash obsessive. If you’re looking for affordable alternatives, I love L’Oréal’s False Lash Telescopic Mascara Magnetic Black, £10.99, Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara, £3.50, and Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Very Black, £9.99. All three make lashes full and fluttery in a couple of slicks, just without the smart magnet component, so be sure to invest in a great eyelash curler. 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?TikTok Is Obsessed With This High Street Mascara7 Signs You Need To Clean Out Your Makeup Bag ASAPYes, Trinny London Really Is Worth The Beauty Hype
LGBTQIA+ people throughout history have fought battles for equality, shown solidarity with other oppressed groups and struggled for the right to live proudly. To survive in oppressively heteronormative societies, especially before homosexuality was legalised in the West, we’ve used fashion symbols to interact safely and show pride without endangering ourselves. Prior to the rise of Christianity, queer people played key roles in society but the religion, and later the British Empire’s enforcement of homophobic laws, pushed us underground. Despite losing our openness, we endured by forming our own subculture as the antithesis to the mainstream. Our symbols shone through and, particularly in fashion, became a method of communication. While specific fashions and symbols gained popularity later on, colours became an important – and, crucially, subtle – method of communication. In Victorian Britain, homosexual men wore green carnations in their lapels as an understated form of identification. Dr Shaun Cole, associate professor in fashion at Winchester School of Art, explains: “[Oscar] Wilde and his circle wore green carnations and the colour green weirdly continued to be associated with queer people throughout the 21st century.” Later, before World War II, gay men wore red neckties and other accessories to identify one another. Lesbians inspired by the ancient Greek poet Sappho’s poem describing a female lover wore violet to symbolise their sexuality – a reference to the line “all the violet tiaras, braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined around your young neck”. The colour’s popularity exploded after a 1926 French play was censored for using a bouquet of violets to signify lesbian love. In response, Parisian lesbians wore and gifted violets to one another in solidarity. Dr Cole adds: “Pinkie rings were also worn by gay men and lesbians. While not completely a signifier, it was one of those things that hinted at it, which is discussed in a lot of oral histories.” Colour can denote everything from mood to music taste and for queer people, coded colours help show pride loudly or subtly, depending on how safe they feel. These cues are still present today, especially for those of us who feel safer presenting our sexuality in a subtle way to lessen the threat of harassment and abuse. Student Kate Rice, who often wears the pink and purple colours of the bisexual pride flag, says: “I haven’t had super successful experiences coming out in certain aspects of my life – it’s a nice way for me to still feel happy within myself, so I can still wear these [symbols] around people that maybe didn’t accept it.” Androgynous model and activist Somriddho Dasgupta loves wearing colours that represent androgyny, including pink, purple and blue. He says: “When you let yourself be free, in a way, you also let others experience that freedom through identification. It is powerful.” These signals can also be a cheat method for finding dates. Bisexual student Kendal explains: “When I’m out in a club or something and I see a really hot girl and I see a bracelet or badge on a jacket with the pride flag, I’m like, ‘Okay, I might have a shot here!'” In the modern day, our symbols help identify allies too. Cosmetic doctor Vincent Wong explains: “When I first started going to the gym, I felt really uncomfortable with having a male personal trainer. I thought I’d be judged and one day, I noticed that he had a rainbow flag as his screen cover. I immediately felt more at ease and it turns out he’s an ally!” “There have been numerous cases in the past where people in power haven’t been able to understand a person’s problem because they don’t share their background,” Somriddho elaborates. “I really like that places such as hospital have their queer staff wearing pride badges because it allows queer patients to trust staff and feel safe.” Beginning as a subtle way to find one another, or profess love, these symbols became more political following the persecution of homosexual people in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. While in the camps, homosexual men were forced to wear an upside-down pink triangle as a means of identification. In 1972, the memoir of gay concentration camp survivor Josef Kohout, written by Heinz Heger, was published, raising awareness of the pink triangle’s use. In response, in 1973 a German gay liberation group called Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin called for queer people to wear the triangle for the dual purpose of memorialising those who died in the camps and protesting the continued discrimination of LGBTQIA+ people. The symbol even pops up on one of Frank N. Furter’s costumes in the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show and, in 1987, it was inverted and used by the organisation ACT UP to draw attention to the unequal impact of AIDS on gay and bisexual men by placing it above the slogan “SILENCE = DEATH“. The triangle still crops up today and, like the word ‘queer’, it has been reclaimed to protest its origins. Kate paid homage to it as a teenager by trying to wear pink every day. She says: “Pink was considered a masculine colour until WWII and then Hitler used it to identify gay men, so it was associated with being feminine. So, [wearing pink] was also an acknowledgement of how stupid gender roles were. I really liked the symbol of solidarity it became after the war.” In 1978, after the Stonewall Riots of 1969 kicked off a reinvigorated fight for equality, artist Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag, each colour representing a different aspect of queer community, including red for life, violet for spirit and green for nature. The flag is continually reimagined in fashion but one of the most powerful ways is as a pin worn by allies and queer people alike. Blogger and activist Eva Echo often wears a rainbow flag pin: “Rather than specifically going for a trans flag, I opt for something more inclusive. I don’t want to say to everyone, ‘I’m trans, look at my pin’, I want to say, ‘We’re diverse’.” Although I love flying the flag by wearing rainbow dungarees, the yellow stripe, which symbolises sunlight, resonates with me the most. I have an array of bright yellow outfits for days when I want to celebrate my queerness in a safe way. Bee, personal stylist and founder of the brand QueerYorker, is “cautious” about incorporating queer symbols into her clients’ style. “It’s important to note that we still live in a time where queer people’s safety is always in jeopardy. Hate crimes towards queer presenting people are still going on, especially for queer people of colour.” To help her clients feel proud and safe, she picks flag colours to incorporate into their wardrobes. “I do it in subtle ways such as getting a sweater that is a colour within the flag, like the colour orange – which means healing. That way it’s personal to the client and they know the meaning behind that particular orange.” Although we are able to exist legally in the UK, being LGBTQIA+ is still criminalised in 72 countries and is potentially punishable by death in 11. When it’s unsafe to wear an out-and-proud pride flag on your clothes, queer people adapt. Wong, who is originally from Malaysia where homosexuality remains illegal, loves accessorising with a pride flag brooch and wearing the flag colours in the UK. He has to adapt, though, when visiting family in Malaysia: “As using colours from the flag has become a habit now, I do the same when I go home for the holidays but I choose more ‘conservative’ colours, such as dark green and darker shades of blue rather than bright pink.” For Snigdha, a student who identifies as bisexual and ace, the rainbow flag “symbolises how queer people are confident in their identity” and is a sign of a safe space. Even though homosexuality was decriminalised in India in 2018, “That doesn’t mean the lives of queer, trans and non-binary people has improved in any way. By wearing this symbol that invites hate with pride, we can reclaim our identity.” Today, LGBTQIA+ symbols are sold by fashion giants – who have been repeatedly accused of labour exploitation – during Pride Month. While mainstream representation is important, these pandering campaigns feel disingenuous when the same companies ignore queer interests for the rest of the year. Snigdha says: “Simply pasting a rainbow or a pun about queer people on a shirt doesn’t make you an ally. I’d rather buy from transgender and non-binary artists than a fast fashion brand mass-producing clothes and exploiting many marginalised communities in the process.” Many in the community avoid purchasing from fast fashion brands which have adopted our symbols for profit. Kate elaborates: “It feels so hypocritical, especially as a white, queer person. It feels like I would be conveniently forgetting my own privilege if I participated.” Speaking of privilege, Eva reminds us that for trans people, clothing is an armour to remind the world of their gender. She explains: “You’re saying ‘I’m feminine’ or ‘masculine’ in a very visual way. For example, your face, you can’t really get away from certain features of your face that let people know that you were assigned male or female at birth, but you have control over your clothing. It’s your way of saying, ‘I am feminine, please treat me as such’.” Considering we’ve all been sequestered in our homes this year, it would be easy to assume that the importance of queer fashion symbolism has lessened. Yet as Bee explains, it is more crucial than ever. “Colours and queer symbols are imperative methods of communication between LGBTQIA+ [people]. With COVID and lockdowns, there are no safe queer spaces for us to get together so the next best thing is to communicate with other members of the community while out by wearing items that have the pride flag.” Dr Cole says: “With lots of these symbols, through the 20th century they were the kind of symbols where you had to have the cultural capital and language to be able to read them.” These days, our most iconic symbol, the rainbow flag – redesigned in 2018 by Daniel Quasar to better represent BIPOC and transgender folk – is easily recognisable so we have adapted to show pride in more nuanced ways. To a heterosexual world, wearing a colourful gender-conforming outfit contains no hidden messages but for a queer person who knows the meaning behind their chosen colours, it is a coded message of empowerment. Society works hard to pin us to earth with strict expectations of what femininity, masculinity and androgyny are supposed to look like; these seemingly immaterial colours give us wings to fly above oppression. After centuries of (continuing) persecution, these loud symbols, radiant flags and subtle signifiers are our fashion-forward way of finding each other, memorialising our ancestors and their sacrifices, showing solidarity with other marginalised groups and, above all, portraying defiant pride. As Kate says: “It’s about pride, community and celebration.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Butch Fashion Is Anything But StereotypicalHow Makeup Helps Me Explore My Gender IdentityThe Radiant Beauty Of Queer Parenthood