Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify from July 27th to hear Sam Adegoke reading Monika Nagy's winning entry to the Yahoo short story competition.
Is it appropriate for a healthcare professional to post a picture of themselves in a swimsuit to social media? If your answer is, “Yes, duh,” then you’re on the same side of the debate as the hundreds of people who have been using the Medbikini hashtag since this past Friday.The hashtag went viral in response to an article posted by the Journal of Vascular Surgery, titled, “Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons.” As you can probably glean from the title of the paper, the study hoped to assess how many young vascular surgeons were posting unprofessional content to social media. If you’re thinking they were looking for HIPAA violations, or perhaps questionable TikTok videos, you’d be partially right. The social media screeners (three people, all of whom were identified as male) reviewed social media profiles, looking for content including offensive comments about the surgeons’ coworkers or patients and unlawful behaviour.But many feel the paper went off the rails with its screening process, also deeming posts that showed surgeons “holding/consuming alcohol” or wearing “inappropriate/offensive attire” as “potentially unprofessional.” And as far as we know, the doctors were not showing themselves doing these things in the operating room; it appeared as though they were getting dinged for, say, drinking a cocktail in a bar — just while also being MDs. “The unprofessional nature of simple alcohol consumption is potentially a topic of debate, but there is evidence that the general public might hold physicians to a higher standard,” the study authors wrote.Controversial political or religious comments (which the study notes were “largely limited to comments centred around specific stances on abortion and gun control“) were also considered unprofessional.What really made people take notice, though, was that “inappropriate attire” included “pictures in underwear, provocative Halloween costumes, and provocative posting in bikinis/swimwear.” And while men can and do post pictures of themselves in underwear, sexy costumes, and bathing suits, most people read this as sexist language that targeted women. In a show of solidarity, medical professionals responded by flooding social media with photos of themselves in bikinis and swimwear. Along with the hashtag Medbikini, many posters added comments that call out the sexism that female medical professionals experience on a daily basis. “The all white, all male editorial board which published this paper reveals the sexist system of double standards that has existed in medicine since its inception and has allowed women of all shapes, colours and sizes to be shamed, harassed, judged, and underpaid,” a psychiatrist based in New York City who goes by travelbeyondsize wrote on Instagram. > View this post on Instagram> > apparently in the medical field, being a woman and posing in a swimsuit is considered unprofessional according to a recent study published (and then retracted) by the Journal of Vascular Surgery ☀️ so here’s a fat, happy doctor who is proud to pose in her swimsuit, bra, or even less to demonstrate that accepting our bodies is a significant piece of wellness and being human 👊🏽 the highly regarded academic journal which published this peer reviewed paper condemning physicians who wore revealing Halloween costumes, posed in swimsuits, drank alcohol, or posted controversial social, political or religious comments cited “conscious and unconscious bias” as factors which contributed to its investigators’ conclusions. However this goes beyond unconscious bias, the all white, all male editorial board which published this paper reveals the sexist system of double standards that has existed in medicine since its inception and has allowed women of all shapes, colors, and sizes to be shamed, harassed, judged, and underpaid. Medicine is a field built and operating under a white supremacist patriarchy. It’s time for a dismantling. . . . travelbeyondsize medbikini fatswim everybodyisabeachbody summerbody fatwanderbabes fatgirlstraveling plussizefashion plussizetravel plussizetraveltoo plussizetraveller plussizedoctor doctorsofinstagram gendergap genderparity dismantlewhitesupremacy dismantleracism dismantlethesystem womeninmedicine fatgirlstraveltoo travelinclusivity doctorsinbikinis fatswimsuit plussizeswimwear medsailors medsailsorsgreece> > A post shared by Travel Beyond Size (@travelbeyondsize) on Jul 27, 2020 at 5:50am PDTYalda Safai, MD, a psychiatrist based in New York, tells ABC News that while she competed in beauty pageants and modelled throughout medical school, she was often discouraged from posting images of herself in a bikini to her social channels because it would allegedly undermine her profession. “I could be intellectual, I could be caring,” Dr Safai said. “I could have the best intentions for my patients. And yet it comes down to how I choose to dress and how I choose to behave outside of my profession.”“Oddly enough I found myself shying away from making a medbikini post myself out of fear of being the victim to the same sexism and ridicule expressed in the article,” Rushelle Julien, DDS, wrote on Instagram. “You see as a Black woman the same rules that apply to my white counterparts do not apply to me. I deal with double the discrimination and double the prejudice. Professionalism for me is really veiled racism designed to keep me in check. For me it’s caused anxiety, depression, self doubt, and the need to always be perfect. Believe me when I tell you IT IS EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!!!”The journal has since retracted the study and apologised on Twitter, saying that “the review process failed to identify the errors in the design of the study with regards to conscious and unconscious bias,” ending with a pledge to improve the diversity of their editorial boards. One of the study’s authors, Thomas Cheng, also apologised on Twitter, stating, “Our intent was to empower surgeons to be aware and then personally decide what may be easily available for patients and colleagues to see about us.” “Unprofessional social media content not only reflects poorly on the individual, but also the medical profession as a whole,” the study stated, before it was retracted. I don’t know, though… When I’m choosing a doctor, I’m more concerned about whether they have a degree and whether they take my insurance than whether they’ve recently been to the beach. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?BAME Healthcare Workers Open Up About Their FearsMoney Diary: An ICU Anaesthetist On 60kInside The Nightingale Hospital: A Nurse Tells All
It’s been a subdued summer for most of us, with none of the usual vacation plans and get-togethers. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be making plans for next year — and for Google, those hot summer 2021 plans involve… continuing to work from home. In an announcement today, the tech giant revealed that it planned to have most of its 200,000 employees, including contractors, work from home until at least July of next year. The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision was made last week by CEO Sundar Pichai, and will apply not only to those working in Silicon Valley, but other Google offices across the US, as well as in Brazil, India, and the UK. Pichai was reportedly influenced by child care considerations for his employees, given that it’s unclear whether schools will reopen this autumn. In California, where its headquarters are, COVID-19 cases have been surging. Google employees in its North American offices began working from home in mid-March, initially until 10th April, then pushed the reopen date to July of this year and then to September before announcing its latest date. Google isn’t alone in setting a long-term timeline for returning to offices. Twitter announced in mid-May that its employees could WFH indefinitely. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he expects half of its workforce to go fully remote in the next 5 to 10 years. Google has been more hesitant about committing to a fully remote workforce, with Pichai saying in an interview in late May that it was still too early to tell how much would change for Google. Amazon recently announced its corporate work-from-home policy will be extended to January 2021. Microsoft’s employees are allowed to work from home through October, and it’s unclear if that’s going to be extended.Tech companies have been at the forefront of long-term work-from-home policies, but the ability to be fully remote is still uncommon overall. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 63% of jobs in the US “require significant onsite presence.” Among workers making the lowest 25% of wages, only 1% have a flexible workplace that allows at least some remote work. People working in hospitality and retail have talked about feeling pressured to return to work as soon as possible, without reassurances that their safety would be taken seriously.Those lucky enough to work for some of the biggest tech companies are also receiving serious perks as they continue to work from their home office for at least the rest of the year. Companies like Google and ecommerce platform Shopify have given their employees a $1,000 (£850) allowance to buy WFH equipment. But there’s also the possibility that long-term WFH may mean companies start considering cost-of-living adjustments for workers who move away to cheaper areas. Facebook announced in late May that employees who leave Silicon Valley may face a pay cut. Many experts are predicting a shift in what kind of jobs are available and where people live as a consequence of COVID-19.Though many industries have suffered from the economic downturn that’s resulted from COVID-19 shutdowns, tech companies like Microsoft have seen their stock values go up because more people are working from home. Stocks of video conferencing software Zoom are up 243% compared to last year. Last week, CNBC reported that just 6 companies now make up 49% of the NASDAQ 100’s value: Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Tesla.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Do You Have To Go Back To Work If You Feel Unsafe?Coronavirus Has Changed Offices ForeverThe Truth About Working From Home Overtime
In the worst part of lockdown, I started religiously drinking two cans of Guinness every night like I was Tom Hardy prepping for Bronson. I knew full well that doing so might not be the best thing for me. But I had been wearing the same bobbled joggers for two months and as long as I was wearing them, I figured all rules were out the window.Every day I opened dozens of blank emails and pitched editors already snowed under with requests for commissions. Every evening when I clocked off, I’d make dinner, crack open two cans of the black stuff and lie on the sofa, watching another blue night fall over the rooftops. We’ve all developed some quiet little methods of pressure release during lockdown. Like me, Prudence* got furloughed from her job back in May. “I’ve been waking and baking since then,” she admits. “Very bad… But also very good.” She expects to stop when she starts work again. “I will miss it but I’m sure I’ll feel better for not doing it.”Jo* has been quarantining in her own private Great British Bake Off. She discovered a local ‘treat box’ delivery and has been eating one “ridiculously indulgent” cake every day for 10 weeks. Sophie* reports staying up late, sleeping too little and drinking too much (“I know it’s just boredom,” she adds). Meanwhile, Ilana* has quit bras: “The braless existence is one I’ve fully embraced and I don’t think I’ll go back to wearing one if/when we return to ‘normal’ life.”Whether we’re trying to forge good habits or break bad ones, publishers have long been capitalising on our habit obsession. ‘Habit lit’ – books about making and breaking habits – is a goldmine: Atomic Habits, published a year and a half ago, has sold 2 million copies already and is still in Amazon’s top 50 bestsellers. The contemptuously titled Make Your Bed was only one rank behind it in last year’s charts. Another New York Times bestseller, Tiny Habits, enjoyed a 12-way auction for US rights (UK rights sold for an undisclosed six-figure sum). In lockdown, a perfect storm of anxiety, stress and isolation has acted as the perfect explanation-cum-excuse to develop or keep new ‘bad’ habits. Annmarie Carvalho is a lawyer turned psychotherapist and often sees clients who work in the fast-paced world of law. Many of them have got themselves into a habit of overworking, although she’s loath to call it a ‘bad’ habit. “It’s difficult to tackle in many professions, because it brings you rewards, and it makes you feel good on a temporary basis.” She’s well aware of lockdown’s ‘hothouse’ effect on habits. “I’ve noticed this in myself as well: everyone has their own particular insecurities and ways of dealing with them.” In lockdown, she says, you have fewer distractions, so ‘bad habits’, be they nail biting or wasting time on a particular website, have become more pronounced. Carvalho finds that trying to control small, harmless habits can be a little pointless. “It reminds me of that whack-a-mole game. You push one down and something else pops back up.” Therapy, she adds, can at least help reduce the harm caused by our truly bad habits.Freud was the first to point out that some bad habits or behaviours have ‘secondary’ or ‘epinosic’ benefits, i.e. the benefits people get from not overcoming a problem. Nowadays therapists are more likely to call it a ‘payoff’ or take another version of a non-judgemental attitude towards it. You see ‘payoffs’ all the time in social psychology; a recent example is ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’. Nicknamed on Chinese social media, it refers to a pattern of staying up late after work as a kind of ‘compensation’ for hours lost. I ask Lisa Eringer about ‘secondary benefits’. She’s a psychotherapist who specialises in addiction and anxiety. Eringer says she is more likely to call these benefits ‘protection’: something you buffer your habit with so you don’t have to delve into the underlying reason you’ve developed it. She saw two distinct trends a month into lockdown. Some people did really well at the start and then struggled. Others struggled to begin with, picking up a bad habit or two, then had a vibe check after a month or so. For example, a few clients reported drinking too much. “For them it was like: ‘Okay, I can do this for three or four weeks and manage it with alcohol. But this is going to have a big impact on me if I continue like this.'” Moments like this help you pin down what you get from your bad habit (like the temporary relief from anxious thoughts that alcohol might bring) and seek it elsewhere, Eringer says. She also warns against turning the introspective mood of lockdown into a self-hate sesh. “When it comes to habits like drinking, the worst part of it can be the shame.” Lockdown, she says, is “not the time for the glow-up.” Dr Julia Coakes is a psychologist in Leeds who specialises in a type of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) that focuses on acceptance. Like Eringer, she says, a few of her clients reported drinking more. “We’re feeling a background level of anxiety and when we’re bored, bad habits are really attractive.” (Other clients have seen nail-biting, hair-pulling and skin-picking go up.) On top of the anxiety and boredom, a lot of us feel out of touch with who we are and what we believe in, she points out, which erodes a sense of purpose, identity and self-esteem. To break your lockdown habits, she says you’re going to have to feel your feelings. “For example, if you’re not having that second glass of wine, you’ve got to sit with the anxiety instead. Today’s society is a lot about trying to make a feeling go away – for example, if we exercise it will feel better. While that may be true, sometimes we have to let emotions have space.” Dr Ross Ellenhorn has worked in mental health for over 30 years and his new book, How We Change, explicitly focuses on the reasons why we get stuck. For him, the real headache of lockdown comes from the uncertainty over when this will end – a lack of what’s called ‘time perspective’ in social psychology. “If you don’t have a sense of when things end, your morale drops and that means your motivation drops.” At first, we had a sense that we could get through this, he explains. “But it just keeps going on and on and on. That breaks down your ability to keep hoping, and then you don’t want to get excited again about change.” Like a lot of us, Dr Ellenhorn is amazed at how well most of us have adapted to having our lives turned upside down. The reason it worked, he feels, is essentially that we all did it together. “As long as we’re doing it in a group, as long as we have a shared mission: you remove those things, and you make it your own choice.” In turn, this created a bit of false confidence in our own willpower. “When you’re not going to die tomorrow if you don’t do it, it becomes really hard.”If you can tune out the influencers and learn to live with this background hum of anxiety, he says, you’re winning. “If people are kind of buying what our culture teaches us, and they’re saying, ‘Oh, I should be dieting right now, and I’m a bad person, because I’m not working out,’ that’s not good. But to spend some time studying yourself and feeling uncomfortable without having the option to escape: that might be good.” He doesn’t like giving advice but, when pushed, says anxiety deserves a little more credit. “Be a little forgiving of this part of you that wants things to be safe. Without that part of us, we’d probably all be dead. Have some love for the part of you that’s holding you back. It’s doing its job.” *Names have been changedIf you are struggling with mental health issues, please make an appointment to speak to your GP or get in touch with Mind.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Is Lockdown Making Our Friendships Decay?My Trauma Was Unlocked In LockdownThis Is What Hair Salons Look Like Post-Lockdown
The following is an extract from Feminist City by Leslie Kern, which explores how cities are built for men and the ways that women fight to take up space. Looking through the lens of geography, pop culture and public and personal history, the book exposes how female bodies are ostracised in urban spaces. In particular, the following extract considers how young (white) girls are expected to exist separately to cities but when teenage girls explore urban landscapes together, it gives female friendships greater power.When we were fifteen my friend Sally and I snuck downtown for a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at what was then the Bloor Cinema. My parents were out of town and I was supposed to be spending the night at Sally’s. At some point during the raucous live show that accompanied the movie, we lost what remained of our money, and therefore, our passage home to the suburbs. After some searching on the sticky theatre floors once the lights came up, we realised we were out of luck and emerged into the chilly, 2 a.m. spring air of Toronto. Confident that the city would somehow provide for us, we decided to make our way to Yonge Street. We figured that the two dollars or so left in Sally’s pocket would get us a hot chocolate and a place to sit in a 24-hour coffee shop. In the morning, we’d walk down to Union Station and sneak onto a commuter train, where we could take our chances that no ticket collectors would come by. Although we were annoyed we’d lost our money, our attitude was very matter-of-fact. Together, we didn’t have anything to fear. The details are fuzzy almost thirty years later, but I don’t think we made it to Yonge Street as directly as we’d hoped. We hitched a ride in the wrong direction before striking up a conversation with a couple of teenage boys who lived in the city, also under an apparent lack of parental supervision. As a group of four, we spent the rest of our night wandering up and down Yonge Street, sitting in CoffeeTime and McDonald’s and sneaking into office buildings where we could lurk in the stairwells. A homeless artist drew our portraits in a coffee shop; we interrupted a fight between a couple on their way out of a club; we visited our favourite concert venue—the Masonic Temple—and sat in a parkette talking about our favourite bands. In the morning, our new friends bought us subway tokens and, seemingly out of a sense of obligation more than actual interest, asked for our phone numbers before waving us off on a westbound train. Afterwards, the whole night felt like a dream, a tall tale no one but Sally and I would believe. Of course we couldn’t tell our parents or siblings, and rapidly, the whole weird night became our secret. We spoke of it so rarely that after Sally and I passed out of each other’s lives after high school, I hardly thought of it. When it came back to me I had to wonder if I imagined the whole thing. But I still have the hasty portrait that we bought from the homeless artist, sketched in black pen on the back of a McDonald’s placemat, taped into my journal of the time.Sally and I managed to hide the full truth from our parents, although I was berated for what my parents believed was a more mundane lie about where we’d held our sleepover. Neither the scolding nor the ridiculousness of the night itself deterred us from future transgressions. I know that as a sensible adult, I’m supposed to look back and say, “That was ridiculous! What were we thinking? It’s a miracle we weren’t murdered!” Instead I can’t help but see it as a moment when our young friendship allowed us to experience the city in a whole new way, to test our own limits, and to gain a sense that the city could be a place for us. These moments of taking charge in our lives were possible because we never questioned that we could count on each other. We knew no one would be left behind or tattled on. Friendship made freedom in the city a possibility for us. In turn, the city streets intensified our bond. It wasn’t just that we rebelled and broke the rules. Taking up space in the city at night—using urban public spaces at times when girls are typically excluded based on social norms and sexist limitations on mobility—was a formative, perhaps even transformative, experience.Our night on the town isn’t the kind of teen girl story you’re likely to see in a movie or television show. In her study of major teen films from the 1980s and 1990s, feminist geographer Alison Bain found that films reproduce “the notion that girls’ culture doesn’t extend beyond the bedroom.” In these popular films, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless, Sixteen Candles, and Heathers, among others, girls’ bedrooms are the primary sites for scenes of friendship and interaction among girls, although the semi-private school bathroom also figures regularly. In public spaces, especially urban spaces, girls are portrayed as boys’ “appendages” while out on dates or at public events. Urban spaces were often totally absent. Bain found “little cinematic coverage of intersections or street corners as gathering points for girls,” except in films like Foxfire where girls’ rebellion against male violence and social control is the movie’s explicit theme. The city doesn’t seem to be a place where mainstream filmmakers imagine teen girls interacting with one another, building relationships, and claiming space. > The needs and wants of girls and young women are almost completely ignored in architecture and planning.Perhaps not surprisingly, these films showed little racial or class diversity within the teens’ social groups, always centring white characters. Racial invisibility may hint at where we imagine diversity to exist: not in the private spaces of the home or the affluent suburbs. Movies that centre Black and Latina girls and their friendships are seem more likely to be set in cities, such as 2016’s The Fits (Cincinnati) or 2000’s Our Song (Brooklyn). The girls in Our Song struggle with everyday urban issues facing girls of colour: the closure of their high school due to asbestos, living with the threat of violent crime, and the lack of affordable health care. They try to stay connected to each other through their marching band, but face the possibility of a future where their circumstances will drive them apart.Outside of the movies, the needs and wants of girls and young women are almost completely ignored in architecture and planning. When communities advocate for “spaces for youth,” the kinds of spaces they come up with are skate parks, basketball courts, and hockey arenas. In other words, spaces that have boys in mind as users, and where girls have trouble finding access, acceptance, and safety. When Swedish architecture firm White Arkitekter actually approached teenage girls to design scale models of public space, the girls came up with “places for sitting together face to face, protected from weather and wind, to see without necessary [sic] being seen, a sense of intimacy without being constrictive; and most of all, to be able to leave an imprint on their city.”Despite the lack of attention to their needs, girls do use urban spaces, and in a variety of creative ways. Geographer Mary Thomas studies how girls use public space in cities, querying how they resist, and also reproduce, gendered norms through their patterns of “hanging out” in various consumption spaces. Subject to more spatial control than boys, girls struggle to find places to hang. They must develop their own strategies for avoiding adult surveillance and gaining permission to explore, including using the power of friendship to assuage parental fears about girls alone. Girls can even work together to make direct claims on the city. For example, girls in Hanoi formed a collective to create ‘zines to educate bus drivers and passengers about girls’ safety from harassment on public transit. In Kampala, a youth collective fought to improve hygiene in the city as well as more walkable infrastructure to make sure girls could continue to go to school or work.The ways that teenage girls and their friends take up space tends to be the subject of more derision than celebration. Their tastes and passionate interests are ridiculed as frivolous, childish, and uncultured. Their takeovers of mall food courts, group trips to the bathroom, and constant slumber parties are portrayed as equal parts annoying and mysterious. In a culture that routinely mocks teen girls and their interests, desires, and hobbies, there are few sources from which to imagine or recognize the ways that girls collectively shape, transform, and re-make their worlds, especially urban worlds.Girls coming together in urban spaces challenges perceptions about who the city is for. In appropriating abandoned or masculine spaces, leaving their mark through graffiti, and occasionally, erupting into violence of their own, the city as “patriarchy in glass and stone” is re-cast as a space of possibility… Girls’ presence on city streets, a place where they have been deemed out of place, can and should be considered part of girls’ repertoire of resistance to varied modes of control within an adult-dominated, patriarchal society.This is a condensed extract from Feminist City by Leslie Kern, out now, published by Verso.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Cleanse, tone and moisturise. When it comes to skincare, the old adage is something many of us follow religiously to keep our skin in check. But whether or not you’re a skincare obsessive, chances are you’ve added another product to the lineup and it’s a must-have for everyone. Enter: sunscreen. Thanks to extensive research, we now know exactly how the sun’s UV rays can play havoc on skin. From the more serious effects, such as skin cancer and sunburn, to aesthetic gripes like sun spots, pigmentation and fine lines, UV has a lot to answer for. While wearing sunscreen all year round is a no-brainer, a daily slathering of sunscreen is especially important in the summer months when rays are much stronger and we tend to spend more time outside. Most dermatologists recommend sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, perhaps even SPF 50 if you have lighter skin, are easily susceptible to sunburn or use skincare ingredients like exfoliating acids and retinol, which can make skin sensitive to sunlight. But lately, brands have taken sunscreen to a new level, formulating facial and body products with an enormous SPF 100. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, SPF 100+ sunscreen was found to be “significantly more effective in protecting against sunburn than SPF 50+ sunscreen in actual use conditions,” when tested by 199 participants. Those studied are reported to have “worn both sunscreens simultaneously during activities” for a number of hours. The study concluded that after exposure, 40.7% of the participants (81 of 199) showed an increased redness of the skin on the SPF 50+ protected side. Increased redness was seen in just 13.6% (27 of 199) of individuals when looking at the side that was covered with SPF 100+. In other words, skin was less sunburned when participants wore SPF100+.So should you ditch your trusty SPF 30 for the newer, higher version? And will it really make that much of a difference to your skin over time? Here’s what an expert thinks.What are the benefits of using SPF 100?“This study is an interesting one and has compared levels of sunburn following a single sun exposure with SPF 50 versus SPF 100 in 199 healthy people,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Zainab Laftah at Omniya Clinic in Knightsbridge. “While there was a higher recorded rate of sunburn with SPF 50 in comparison to SPF 100, it is important to acknowledge a significant number showed no difference between the two sunscreens.” So are there actually any skincare benefits to SPF 100? “SPF 100 creates a physical barrier that blocks 99% of UVB rays (responsible for sunburn and skin cancer) from penetrating the skin,” says Dr Laftah. “Its biggest limitation is the opaque white tint. However, if you have a fair skin type that always burns and never tans and do not mind the white cast appearance, then it may be suitable for you. In reality the majority of us are unlikely to be walking around with a white coating on our skin and so SPF 100 is less practical than the traditional mineral sunscreens.”What’s the difference between SPF 100 and SPF 50?“SPF (sun protection factor) is a measure of protection against ultraviolet B rays burning your skin,” says Dr Laftah. But SPF is not linear. “This means SPF 100 does not equate to twice as much protection as SPF 50. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, SPF 50 98% and SPF 100 99%. Moreover, wearing SPF 100 does not make you invisible from the harmful rays of the sun.” Other sun protection practices are encouraged if you’re spending time outside, such as staying in the shade, wearing a hat and sunglasses and covering up when possible. “The key is to use a sunscreen that you like and reapply often,” adds Dr Laftah. “Consider opting for a broad spectrum sunscreen (which protects against UVB, responsible for sunburn and skin cancer) and UVA wavelengths, which penetrate deeper into the skin resulting in fine lines.” Your sunscreen should be labelled ‘broad spectrum‘ and feature both UVA and UVB on the label. How should you apply SPF 100?The rule of thumb is that sunscreen should be applied around 20-30 minutes before sun exposure. If you want to give SPF 100 a try, Dr Laftah recommends reapplying (yes, even to facial skin) every two hours to ensure adequate protection. This goes for all levels of SPF, as we absorb topical skincare, sweat, experience humidity and may come into contact with water. “The current SPF 100 sunscreens have a thick consistency and leave a white cast therefore are less practical,” adds Dr Laftah. “A more user-friendly formula may appear on the market in the future, though.”What are the best SPF 100 skincare products?Currently, only a handful of brands in the UK offer skincare products with high factor SPF 100+. If you want to give it a go, try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 100 Dry-Touch Lotion, £14.90, which is a chemical SPF. The texture is just like a nourishing moisturiser; it takes a couple of seconds to absorb and needs to be rubbed in properly to avoid lots of white residue, but the finish is matte to the touch. Also try Ecran Sensitive Trigger SPF100, £18.96, formulated for sensitive and reactive skin or Mesoestetic Mesoprotech Melan SPF 130+ Pigment Control, £60, which contains both chemical and mineral sun filters and actually boasts a very high SPF 130 for those prone to pigmentation. If you’re looking for a mineral sunscreen which won’t make skin appear chalky, try Paula’s Choice Sunscreen SPF 50, £21, Soleil Toujours Extrème UV Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45, £45, or SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50, £41. All provide high, broad spectrum protection (against both UVB and UVA rays), suit darker skin types and don’t leave behind any ashy streaks. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?11 Popular Sunscreens Tried & Tested On Dark SkinThe Difference Between Chemical & Physical SPFEvery Question You've Ever Had About SPF, Answered
Recently, my primary school headteacher took the time to scan old photos of school events from the 1970s to the early ’00s. Finding myself in these shots was a fun game of Where’s Wally, spotting things I don’t remember obsessing about back then but which clearly haunted me throughout puberty. One image stands out the most: our leavers’ disco. I was 11, proud and present at the front of the photo. I already had boobs and a gut, and was wearing lilac platform mules and a tiny denim skirt. I never thought of myself as grown then but my body was already doing its own thing, leaving my mind to catch up. I fondly remember the short skirt from the photo (dark-wash denim, extremely Y2K) and so I threw the photo up on Instagram Stories with the caption: “Screaaaaming!” Clearly, fashion has always been a passion and seeing that I wanted to wear revealing outfits from the very beginning makes me feel sad that I can’t anymore. You see, now, faced with a body that has always fought against me, I have to wear a chub rub short under any garment that reveals more than an inch of leg. Thanks to these sartorial saviours I’m saved from the burning sensation of chafing between my legs, but the mini skirts that I’ve loved since day dot don’t feel quite right with shorts poking out underneath. Fortunately, though, there are a few brands offering chub rub shorts in a wide range of sizes and colours, which helps make my new styling options more bearable.The main label offering them up, Snag Tights, has been producing the line for the past two years and when we spoke, CEO Brie Read said she thinks the concept is far from new. “I’ve been plus-size since my late teens and used to wear things like cycling shorts, which worked but still hurt – you could avoid chub rub but the seams would pinch and often make me bleed.” Read says that the Snag Tights shorts aren’t focused just on practicality but on presentability too. “I don’t think just because you need to wear something, it should be ugly. We make them fun, pretty and just a little bit nicer to wear.”Although I now see that the chub rub short can be just as much a cute staple as a wardrobe necessity, I didn’t always see it that way. In fact, the first few times I wore these shorts – handmade by cutting the legs off a cheap pair of tights, of course – I felt mortified every time I glimpsed myself in a mirror, got caught in a group photo or looked down to find them peeking out along my thighs.While I have gained weight since that photo was taken in Year 6, and my style has evolved beyond denim mini skirts and platform mules, my predilection for displaying as much of my body as possible in tiny outfits remains. Being unable to do so due to the size of my thighs and the need for a sweat-resistant undergarment brings all the memories of bad body image from my youth to the front of my mind. It sounds incredible that covering up my larger frame makes me more embarrassed than revealing it but as anyone who has tackled the titans of disordered eating and troubling self-image can tell you, it is often the most mundane things that trigger days under the duvet, crying about the body you’re in.Speaking to other plus-sizers about the emotional games that a garment can play with you proved that my experience is far from unique. The women I spoke to all agreed that accepting the need for chub rub shorts is far from a straightforward move, and that having to adapt ourselves, our styles and our wardrobes to accommodate our body shape – through need, not want – is as difficult an adjustment as finding out the summer before starting high school that you now have to wear a bra every day.Just as this feeling rears its head every so often, so too does the ‘80s trend, which favours leggings and pedal pushers donned underneath outfits. Now, instead of being a shameful secret, the chub rub shorts I’ve worn for the past year can be seen in high street retailers, on TikTok street style and celebrity Instagram feeds. Worn on their own or under summer dresses, the mid-thigh Lycra short is currently a styling trick for all sizes, which has benefited me and my fellow chafe-avoiders in two ways: shorts like these are more widely available and come in more patterns, colours and prints than ever before.Dulcie, 26 and a size 16, confides in me that she sees this as more of a worry than a blessing. “It’s cool that everyone is wearing them and they are more readily available, but it won’t last – once they’re deemed not ‘in’ anymore they’ll be hard to find again.” While I’m inclined to agree with the cynicism, seeing the shorts as a style option rather than a medical one has helped me come to terms with wearing them. When Shakti, 24 and somewhere between a size 16 and 18, chimes in with more scepticism – “It’s a bit of an eye-roll moment that things relating to being fat aren’t trendy until skinny people make it so” – I find myself conflicted: because I didn’t need chub rub shorts until I reached a size 20, I didn’t think anyone else would either.With these women, only two sizes smaller than me, confirming that they too need anti-chafe protection, I wonder if the problem was even with the shorts in the first place. Were they just an easy place to pin my upset about gaining weight? Knowing that the strict body positivity I promote online allows no space to process negativity towards weight gain, it seems as though I channelled my frustration into hating a garment so that I would not hate myself instead. When Read confirmed over FaceTime that even her size 6 customers have cited chafing as their reason for wearing chub rub shorts, I realised that my frustration was multiplied by the lack of discourse around this wardrobe staple. Had it been common knowledge that women of all sizes are wearing cycling shorts to avoid chafing discomfort, perhaps my associations of shame and self-hatred wouldn’t have existed at all.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Fixing Fast Fashion Isn't A Plus-Size ResponsibityThe Joy Of 'Shapeless' Plus-Size DressesMaking Clothes As A Plus-Size Person Is Radical
As the world slowed down with bars and restaurants closed and all social activities halted during the coronavirus lockdown, we all had to find things to do in the comfort of our own homes. For some, this meant trying their hand at making banana bread and sourdough, or taking up a new hobby such as knitting, rollerskating and languages. For others it meant rediscovering their love of activities they enjoyed during childhood. Dance has a firm place in our hearts thanks to TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing and movies like Dirty Dancing and Step Up. From street to contemporary to ballet, dance has many health benefits: it improves your cardiovascular health and stamina, strengthens bones and fends off illnesses. Research also shows that it can improve your mental health by boosting your overall happiness. Happily, you don’t have to be at a wedding, club or bar to shift some shapes. Ahead, we caught up with two young women who have spent lockdown rediscovering their love of dance in the comfort of their own homes, and who share why they decided to revisit the childhood hobby that sparked joy. > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Samantha Yu (@sammkyu) on Mar 28, 2020 at 6:22am PDTSamantha Yu, 31, lives in Angel, London, with her fiancé Aaron. The New York native moved to London three years ago.What made you get back into dance during lockdown?For years I had been missing the buzz that comes with dancing and had been longing to revisit it. This video from my friend and Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company dancer Dylan Tedaldi put me in a playful mood one Saturday morning in late March. Lockdown was in full swing by then and I think I was just itching to move, to get some energy flowing and to feel a bit more free through it all. It was also a gorgeous day, which meant I was searching for ways to spend time on our terrace, which we’ve been very thankful to have while we’ve been at home.For how long had you not danced? I started taking dance classes when I was 8 years old. I started with jazz and then over the years explored tap, ballet, modern, musical theatre, contemporary, hip hop and probably more! The last time I performed was in the spring of 2015. It was with a great group of friends who had all been dancing for years and wanted to keep doing it, even as we got older and had full-time (non-dance-related, for most of us) jobs. What made you fall out of the habit? As I was wrapping up my final dance performances, I was simultaneously discovering new passions. I started getting into boxing, which was an incredible new world of finding rhythms, practising combinations and challenging myself physically. Instead of going to the dance studio on weekends, I’d be at the boxing gym. (If you’re in NYC and interested in trying boxing, look up Michael Tosto at Title Boxing NYC. If you’re in London and interested in trying boxing, look up Caleb Bowen, who used to be at BLOK and is now at Sweat by BXR.)> Lockdown had been in full swing for a few weeks by then and I think I was just itching to move, to get some energy flowing and to feel a bit more free through it all.> > SamanthaHow does it make you feel that you’ve rediscovered your love of dance – has it relaxed you, made you feel less anxious about the pandemic?I found and felt JOY just because I was moving, because I was DOING IT. I think part of why I was out of the habit for so long was that I was nervous about what would happen if I tried to pick dancing back up again. I thought, What if I’m not as good as I once was? What if I can’t retain the choreography? But approaching that first session, and all the following sessions, with Beginner’s Mind — with openness, eagerness and no preconceptions or expectations — meant that I was able to truly be present and just relish the process of rediscovering dance and playing with movement. Have you been taking classes and if so, which ones?I’ve taken online classes with a few incredible teachers — a hip hop class with Karon Lynn (Instagram, YouTube) who is based in Los Angeles, and a contemporary class with Brice Mousset (Instagram, YouTube) who is based in New York. There’s nothing like sharing a studio with fellow dancers in class but the ability to connect with other students from around the world to learn together has been wonderful. Are you going to keep it up?I definitely want to keep up the dancing. One of my resolutions this year was to start dancing again and I’d like to stick to it now that I’ve had a start, whether that’s with a quick freestyle session, virtual class or at the studio (if and when studios open back up). What advice would you give to anyone wanting to try freestyle dancing for the first time?GO FOR IT! Dance classes are challenging but also SO encouraging and fun. They’re GOOD VIBES spaces where all are welcome. There are so many different dance styles and so many different teachers out there — enjoy the process of learning and discovering what makes you feel the most good. Maybe start out with a feelgood cardio “Sweat Fest” with Ryan Heffington to get things going! Find joy in simply letting go, moving, and letting your body be free. DashDividers_1_500x100Rachel Hosie, 27, lives in London but is currently staying at her parents’ house in Leicestershire. What made you get back into dance during lockdown?I spent lockdown at my parents’ house, which is my childhood home, in Leicestershire — not only does this mean I’m lucky enough to have room to dance (my London flat is so small that the entire thing would fit inside my bedroom here) but I’m also living with my younger sister, Holly, for the first time in years, and dancing was a huge part of both our childhoods.I stumbled upon my ballet bag at the bottom of my wardrobe and when I opened it up to find multiple pairs of well-loved ballet shoes, leotards and skirts — and a cereal bar that expired in 2006 — a wave of nostalgia flooded over me. So many warm memories came rushing back. There’s also the fact that I do actually have a ballet barre and large mirrors in my childhood bedroom (I wasn’t lying when I said dancing was my life).For how long had you not danced and what made you fall out of the habit?I did ballet for 18 years, from the age of 2 to 20. I know what you’re thinking: how can you do ballet aged 2? I don’t remember any more than sitting on the floor doing ‘good toes naughty toes’ to be honest, but I went to class every week and, according to my mother, loved it.I kept it up all through my childhood and teenage years, also branching out to other styles like modern, jazz, theatrecraft, tap and lyrical. Dancing was my life. Since moving to London after my degree, I’ve got really into my fitness and now do all sorts of exercise including the odd jazz, zumba and dance cardio class, but only occasionally, and for some reason I haven’t done any ballet or anything classical at all. Life took over and I forgot how much I loved it. I think I also felt like dancing, and ballet in particular, was something you needed to commit to doing regularly, rather than just dropping in and out like other fitness classes.How does it make you feel that you’ve rediscovered your love for dance – has it relaxed you?It feels amazing! I really feel there’s a type of dance for whatever mood I’m in. Sometimes I want to do a technical pointe class, sometimes I want to learn an empowering Beyoncé routine, sometimes I just want to put on a beautiful song and let my body move to the music however feels good.I’ve been particularly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed getting back into ballet. The mutual strength and grace required really appeals to me — lifting heavy weights has been a passion of mine for the past three years, but the strength you need in ballet is completely different. It’s so challenging and in that way, completely addictive. Dancing just makes me feel awesome: I definitely don’t look like a prima ballerina or a Pussycat Doll but I feel like them and that’s all that matters. I think for me, part of the reason I’m so enjoying getting back into dance and finding it so comforting is that it’s a throwback to my childhood. Dancing was my great love in life for 18 years and returning to it provides comfort and a sense of stability (not literally, I’m very wobbly) in these uncertain times. > Dancing just makes me feel awesome: I definitely don’t look like a prima ballerina or a Pussycat Doll but I feel like them and that’s all that matters. > > RachelHave you been taking classes?I’ve been doing all sorts! Ballet-wise, I’ve been doing YouTube classes by Kathryn Morgan and Lazy Dancer Tips, Seen on Screen dance has fun Instagram Lives, Pineapple Dance Studios has also been highlighting what all its instructors are doing (I like Marky J’s jazz), and of course, my private lessons with Holly!Will you keep it up?Absolutely! I never thought a rekindled love of dancing would be an outcome of the lockdown but quite frankly I’m thrilled about it, and I’m definitely going to keep it up when I get back to London, whenever that may be.And what advice would you give anyone wanting to try ballet for the first time?Go for it! One of the great things about dancing at home is no one can see you, so you can truly lose all your inhibitions, which is so freeing. You don’t need to wear ballet shoes and a leotard, you don’t need any equipment, just some of your favourite songs and a little energy.Don’t be afraid to try different styles either: ballet may not be for you but maybe you love street or belly dance. There’s so much out there, you’ll never get bored, and we’re so privileged to be able to sample everything through our phones right now.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Roller Skating: Summer's Underdog Pandemic HobbyHow Hobbies From Period Dramas Got Cool AgainHow Hobbies Have Become The Ultimate Humblebrag
In June of last year, photographer Tyler Mitchell premiered his latest work for an exhibition at the Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (FOAM) in the Netherlands. For the show, Mitchell — who made history in August of 2018 when he was chosen by Beyoncé to become the first-ever Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue — showcased a handful of images taken between 2016 and 2019, each portraying Black youth in the summertime. Mitchell’s show then traveled to New York City, where he put on his first-ever solo exhibition in the US. And now, the full breadth of his portfolio is about to become available no matter where you are. Today, Mitchell announced the release of I Can Make You Feel Good, the 25-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer’s first book. And while each of the photographs on its pages was taken prior to 2020, what they represent has never felt more important to showcase: Black joy. “I would very often come across sensual, young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun — the kind of stuff Larry Clark and Ryan McGinley would make,” Mitchell told FOAM at the time of his exhibition. “I very seldom saw the same for Black people in images — or at least in the photography I knew of then.”> View this post on Instagram> > Can’t believe I’m finally sharing this. As a photographer, your first published monograph is a moment you dream of. So happy with how it came out. 206 pages of Black life in immersive full bleed with amazing essays/contributions by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Deborah Willis, Isolde Brielmaier (Curator-at-Large, ICP), and Mirjam Kooiman (Curator, FOAM). Out in the world August 25th. Pre-order now at the link in my bio.> > A post shared by Tyler Mitchell (@tylersphotos) on Jun 29, 2020 at 6:59am PDTIn the book, you can expect to find stunningly lit photographs of young Black people, some fashion models and some not. “I make very little distinction between my commissioned and my personal works, using them both as an opportunity to create this utopian universe,” Mitchell is quoted saying in The Guardian. Most of the images are taken outside. One photo shows two men lounging on a billiards table surrounded by gummy bears, while another series of images shows a group enjoying a picnic. Friends are seen Double Dutching, playing on a swing set, and hula-hooping. In a submission titled “Untitled (Heart),” a woman, wearing an electric blue low-back one-piece, is shot at the beach. Of the 206-page book, which you can pre-order now before its official release on 25th August, Mitchell calls it a “declaration,” one that is “gut punching in its optimism,” according to The Guardian. “It feels important at a time like this to declare such a thing.”Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Photographer Just Made <em>Vogue</em> HistoryDario Calmese Just Made Vanity Fair History
We all want to be there to support our friends, especially during their biggest moments. Sadly, though, the coronavirus pandemic poses an obstacle to doing just that. Back when COVID-19 first began to spread, many people were forced to re-schedule their weddings or have more intimate ceremonies on Zoom. Now that the pandemic is becoming increasingly politicised, some places are re-opening, and others are shutting back down, the question of whether to attend a large event such as a close friends’ wedding is much more complicated.Choosing not to go to a wedding because you don’t feel safe or comfortable doing so during a global pandemic does not make you a bad friend, but the decision not to be present on this big day will likely come with some friendship fall-out and sad feelings on both sides. We spoke to Lizzie Post, etiquette expert and co-president of the Emily Post Institute, about how to handle declining this particular important invitation with civility and compassion.When it comes to dealing with not being able to attend a close friend’s wedding because of coronavirus concerns, Post says, “A little bit of compartmentalisation is helpful.” According to the expert, you have to be able to recognise, give space to, and communicate a few different things. Sit with the disappointment you feel about being too uncomfortable to go to the wedding and voice that very real disappointment to your friend. Then, you have to give your friend space to also be very disappointed and sad, especially since you’re probably not the only guest who has made the decision not to be at the wedding. Finally, you should keep a firm standing on your sound decision not to attend since it’s based on safety. “Those are three separate things you bring to the table with that conversation with your friend,” Post explains.Taking time to think about all three of those things separately allows you to stand firm on your decision, offer sympathy and support for your friend, and save some space for your own emotions to be taken care of. Though your own feelings about the situation you’re being asked to put yourself in and your own disappointment about not being able to attend the wedding of a close friend are completely valid and deserve space, Post says they don’t have to be at the centre of this conversation with your friend. “You can deliver the news, support your friend, and they will deal with it,” she advises.In addition to offering support for your friend and allowing them to be upset about your decision not to attend the wedding, there are other ways to show you care in the lead up to the big day. Post suggests sending surprises like flowers or sweet treats as a way to make your friend feel special during this stressful yet exciting time. It might also be worth offering to send a video message to the newlyweds that can be played at the reception or viewed in private if you think that might be appropriate. Post points out that even in the best of times, even the most rational people can be dramatic when it comes to their weddings. “I don’t know why, but when people are getting married, they often irrationally display their upsetness with other people,” the etiquette expert shares. The fact that you may be dealing with a bit of a bridezilla or groomzilla here is something to keep in mind. Post says, “Just give your friend permission to fall into that zone and give yourself a break.”Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?How Many Weddings Are Being Postponed Until 2021Is It Possible To Get Legally Married Online?We Got Married Over Zoom
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness,” asserts a character in the Samuel Beckett play Endgame. That may be true, but the behaviour of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, suggests that this idea needs modifying. Nothing is funnier – or more tragic – than having no sense of humour.Running through a mad repertoire of mixed theatrical genres in Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Polonius applauds a troupe of actors for their proficiency in performing “tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable or poem unlimited”. To do full justice to the Trump administration, this range would have to stretch to another hothouse hybrid. We would have to designate this as “hilaro-tragedy”, because mere tragicomedy fails to capture the edge of hysteria of this form of governing, where denial of reality is the new normal. Brazen smearing of any inconvenient fact as a “hoax” is – as any functioning sense of humour would have to concede – the biggest hoax of all.