PAPERhttp://www.23880175.com/PAPERen-usSun, 19 May 2019 01:53:35 -0000https://assets.rbl.ms/19068909/210x.pnghttp://www.23880175.com/ PAPER James Charles Presents His Receiptshttp://www.23880175.com/james-charles-receipts-tell-all-2637504687.html

The long James Charles-Tati Westbrook saga isn't winding down anytime soon. After posting an eight-minute apology video addressed to Tati last week, the makeup blogger/ influencer has now come out with a 41-minute tell-all entitled, "No More Lies." In the video, Charles explains himself, and is taking out all his receipts since Coachella weekend.

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First, he addressed the Sugar Bear fiasco that began the whole feud. Charles explained that the reason he endorsed Sugar Bear vitamins was because he couldn't get an "artist pass" — a step above the VIP passes available to the public — to the second weekend of Coachella. He decided to reached out to his friend, YouTuber Nikita Dragun, who he knew was being taken care of by Sugar Bear Hair.

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"Despite what Tati said, this was not a big scheme that orchestrated beforehand," he said. With screenshots from his text message exchanges with Westbrook, he said he could not reach the beauty guru or her husband. He then issued a public apology via Instagram, and continued to make "countless attempts" to reach out after.

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Charles also refuted Westbrook's claims that he did not promote her products, showing screenshots of videos and tweets in which he mentions Halo Beauty.

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With regards to those accusations of the blogger abusing his power and sexually manipulating men, he responded,"I am a 19-year-old virgin. I have never and will never use my fame, money, or my power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting. That is not me. The fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind."

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Charles then went on to explain the whole deal with the waiter from Westbrook's birthday, showing the full exchanges between him and his friends present during the meal, as well as the messages between him and Sam the waiter. He gave context to the "I'm a celebrity" quote, which Tati used against him, saying that it was an inside joke. He also showed that it was Sam who slid into his DMs, telling him he was bi. And when Charles had invited the waiter to his hotel room, you can see that Charles said, "You don't have to do anything [sexual]," when Sam expressed he was nervous. Long story short, he says, "Everything that happened in that hotel room was 100% consensual,"

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Within the span of 41 minutes, Charles also addresses Jeffree Starr's video explaining how he is into "straight men." He says that he's since apologized to all the straight guys he has DM'ed. He also addresses Zara Larsson's comment about Charles commenting on her boyfriend's photo.

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Charles uses the tail end of his video to tell his viewers that this drama has taken a toll on his mental health, and that he will be taking a break from producing any more videos for YouTube. "Having to read the hundreds of thousands of tweets and the YouTube videos and the articles about me and my character and my family, based on things that were almost all lies, like ... messed me up. It messed me up." he said. "It's becoming very concerning to me that as a society, we're becoming okay with guilty until proven innocent instead of the other way around."

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Watch the whole vlog below.


Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

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Image via Getty

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Sat, 18 May 2019 23:45:35 +0000http://www.23880175.com/james-charles-receipts-tell-all-2637504687.htmlMental healthFamous peopleYoutubeCareLgbtqJames charlesTati westbrookBeautyBeauty bloggerLgbtDramaCelebrityCelebrity gossipJasmine Ting
Ruby Ibarra Is on the Risehttp://www.23880175.com/ruby-ibarra-interview-2637500502.html

Over on the West Coast, Ruby Ibarra's been leading a movement. With her crisp and sharp verses that flow to killer rhythmic beats, the young Filipino emcee has given a voice to Pinays (slang for Filipino women/ Filipinas) not only in the Bay Area, but everywhere else in the world. Known for using Filipino cultural references, and Filipino languages such as Tagalog and Waray in her lyrics, Ibarra presents a unique sound — a whole other language — that accurately and succinctly represents the immigrant struggle. She speaks to Filipinos directly, and welcomes others to see things through her people's eyes. And though she hasn't just hit the mainstream music scene just yet, Ibarra has already managed to create a unifying anthem with her 2018 single, "Us," as she chants her mantra, "Island woman rise."

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Ibarra was born in the Philippines, and lived the first few years of her childhood in Tacloban City. She and her parents moved to San Lorenzo, California, and since her teenage years has been consumed by hip-hop — crafting her own rhymes, and her own style. Eventually, she began to perform publicly in the Bay Area's underground hip-hop scene, in local circuits and cyphers. She soon released original music through Soundcloud and YouTube. And in 2017, she released her debut album Circa '91. Today, the rapper has amassed a following, counting among her admirers comedian Ali Wong, actor Harry Shum Jr., as well as local celebrities from the Philippines.

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PAPER spoke with Ruby about her and her band's (The Balikbayans) recent trip to Manila, finding her voice in rap, and connecting to her roots through music and language.

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What was it like being back in the Philippines?

It wasn't the first time that I was back for music. I would say this was probably the third trip that I've gone to the Philippines specifically to perform, but this was my first time to go with my new band that I just formed in the last six months. Being able to travel with [The Balikbayans], and knowing that we all have different Filipino-American identities, and seeing how the experience — not just as musicians — but I think on a personal level. I think that's what made the trip even more memorable for me. It was essentially a homecoming for each of us individually.

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We performed at the Malasimbo festival, which is kind of similar in its approach to music as Coachella here in the States, where they invite a lot of bands from around the world. And to be able to be on a lineup that has names like Robert Glasper was just, to me, very mind-boggling. And I could say for sure that the people in my band were overly-excited. This is someone they look up to musically. So to be able to be on the same lineup as musicians that we highly respect, and to be in the Philippines at the same time is incredible. And what I've been wanting to do, too, since the release of Circa 91 in 2017 was to be able to bring the music back to Manila, specifically. I think that when I have a project that centers on an immigration story, it only makes sense to bring it back home.

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You rap and sing, not just about the immigrant struggle. Your songs also, to some extent, talk about the struggle of Pinoys and Pinays in the homeland. How do you make sure to stay connected despite being so far away?

I grew up in a household where my family spoke in the native tongue. And they really made it a point for me and my sister to be able to understand, and for me specifically to speak the language, too. So, we had not only language but food and a lot of the traditional practices that my parents made sure that we learned since me and my sister were kids. Growing up with the Filipino culture here, I never really felt too far away from the Philippines. And growing up, too, in the Bay Area. When we talk about the Filipino diaspora, and just the immigration story across different Filipino identities whether it's Filipino-American, Filipino-Canadian — it's definitely very different. I think I'm also very fortunate that I'm Filipino-American who happened to grow up in the Bay Area where there's a very big Filipino-American community here. We're very close to Daly City in San Francisco where there's a big community. Growing up around a large community of Filipinos, I never really felt far from my identity.


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"Growing up around a large community of Filipinos, I never really felt far from my identity."

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What was the immigrant struggle like for you and your parents?

Although I was only four or five years old at that time, I think that I kind of had to grow up very fast. Having those two identities at a young age, and being thrown into a new community, a new culture, new surroundings — I think a lot of my fast growing up came from the fact that I saw how moving from one country to a whole other place kind of changed also the relationship between my parents. And I saw how being first-generation Filipino-American also affected my parents' not only identities, but also how they navigated through the US and how they also saw themselves.

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In what way?

I remember seeing my mom, and she wanted to enter the workforce. Coming from the Philippines, she had an accounting degree, and after months and months of applying, the first job that she was able to get was as a janitor in McDonald's. I remember seeing my mom kinda feel like she had to swallow her pride in a lot of the moments, her first moments here. And seeing that as a kid — seeing someone like my mom who I saw as someone being my superhero, or someone who I thought was invincible, and seeing moments of vulnerability like that and seeing her break down at times really opened up my eyes. And I saw that there are these very complex layers of being an immigrant. And also realizing at an early age that when you talk about immigration, or even the American dream, it's not this fairytale that people make it out to be. Even just within the lens of the educational system, we see a lot of people who migrate from "third world countries" that come here to the US, and you see that their degrees don't translate equally here.

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How did you decide that rap was the channel you'd use to express all of this? Was this something that you wanted to do since you were younger?

Absolutely! If I can recall, the very very first time I heard hip-hop enter my ears was when I was five years old. We had just moved to California. I think we were about three months in, and I was digging through one of the suitcases. We weren't fully unpacked yet. I was digging through one of my mom's suitcases, and one of them was just completely filled with cassette tapes. And I remember one of them had this emcee on the front. He was holding a boombox on the cover, and I popped in the tape, and it was this rapper named Francis Magalona from the Philippines. He's one of my influences for hip-hop. And I just remember the first track that played, and just being completely entranced in the music. My young five-year-old self just gravitated towards the rhythm that was coming out of his mouth. I remember at that very moment I instantly fell in love with hip-hop. Fas forward two weeks later, I was able to recite his song "Mga Kababayan" in verbatim as a five-year-old kid.

Again, I attribute a lot of my identity to the fact that I also grew up in the Bay Area. And growing up here in the Bay, hip-hop is definitely a big part of the community. You walk outside, you can hear Too Short or Tupac blasting out of someone's speakers out of their car. It's just heavily embedded in the lifestyle here. So, growing up, artists like Snoop, artists like Ice Cube were a big part of my childhood. And, eventually, I got introduced to artists like Lauryn Hill, and Wu-Tang, and that was my transition. Once I heard of those musicians, I thought I wanted to write my own music, and I was inspired enough to want to try and use music as my form of storytelling.

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When did you decide this was something you wanted to turn into a career?

I would say, for the most part, music has always been something I was absolutely in love with but didn't see as a viable career option for me. As much as my parents were more on the liberal-thinking Filipino-American's side — they didn't really push me and my sister to do anything we didn't want to do — but they still very much heavily stressed the importance of education. So it's always in my mind to go to school, finish school, get a degree, and get a job. So I never really thought that music could be a career path for me, but I think it wasn't until I released Circa '91 when I sat down and I thought this could be a possible career path. There's actually an audience for me. I think, for most of my career, I kind of set it in the back-burner and was just putting out music because I felt like I needed to express myself. I felt like if I didn't write, if I didn't record, if I didn't perform, then I didn't have place where I: a) felt like I was in peace, but b) also feel like I also had a voice.

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What were some obstacles you feel like you had to overcome in order to get where you are today?

I think a lot of those obstacles really just come from letting people knowing that I come from an authentic place. I think before that, a lot of the videos that I came out with as an artist — I was more focused on proving why I had to be on the mic, and kind of showing off the lyricism. I grew up listening to a lot of '90s hip-hop, so I felt like I wanted to introduce myself first, and I think I got people's attention but people didn't know my story. So, it wasn't until I came out with the last project where people knew who the person was behind the mic. And I think that's where a lot of the internal struggle for myself as an artist, you know, what kind of lane do I want to take. What kind of artist do I want to be? And, ultimately, I thought, "What's the purpose of having a platform if I'm not using it to say anything?" So I decided if I was going to write a full project that it had to be not only about myself, but also a chance to chronicle my parents' stories. Because oftentimes, we don't hear what a forty-year-old Filipina goes through, or an immigrant father that came from Manila went through. I thought it was very important to be able to amplify those voices, those stories we don't often hear.

I feel like for the most part I'm very fortunate to be an artist in a time where I kind of have resources. I pretty much have resources available to me to be able to put my music out there on my own without needing the middleman, or these bigger corporations. And, I think, that's one of the advantages of social media right now. We have platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, where the artists can really take matters into their own hands. And we're able to not only put out music in front of so many more ears, but we are also able to keep our integrity and keep continuing to make the music that we want to make, and doing things in our own terms.

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"I thought, "What's the purpose of having a platform if I'm not using it to say anything?" So I decided if I was going to write a full project that it had to be not only about myself, but also a chance to chronicle my parents' stories."

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I know you use Waray and Tagalog in your rap. What inspired you to choose to do that? How do you think it makes your music more powerful?

The first time I used Tagalog in my rap, I was part of a cypher. I think this was right after college. And it was just me wanting people to hear what our dialects sound like. And I felt like there weren't a lot of emcees that were doing that, so I was like, "Fuck it! I want to do this. I want people to hear our beautiful language." I remember doing that at a live performance, and people were like, "Oh! Wow!" This is something that surprised people, because again Tagalog, even Waray or Cebuano—those are all languages people don't often hear, especially when we put it in the scope of American music. So after that experience, as an emcee, I felt like, "Oh! It sounds dope within the sounds of hip-hop." So when it came to writing Circa '91, which was more very heavy in themes and subject matter, again the intent for that album was to create my immigrant story, reflect on what it meant for me to be a first-generation Filipino-American. And I knew for sure that I had to include those different [languages] in at least one of the songs on the album. Because I feel like when you talk about the immigrant story, there's no way that you can fully express it or tell it without using language as well. When we think about the different immigrant communities that we have here in the US, you can't walk into a Spanish community or a Filipino community and not hear one of their beautiful languages. I think language will, and always will be, an important part of identity, and also be an important part of what it means to be an immigrant community.

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Your mantra is "island woman rise" or "brown woman rise." What does that mean to you?

To me, it means reclaiming your story. It means rewriting this narrative that we've been erased. It means empowering each other. When you hear the chant, "Island woman rise, walang makakatigil!" which means "no one can stop you," it's kind of like an affirmation where you remind yourself that who you are and what you want to be and how you accept yourself in this world is all connected and tied to the before that came before you and your ancestors. You can only move forward as much as you know about your past. So, I think that when we created a track like "Us," to be honest I never imagined it would become an anthem for a lot of young Filipino-Americans. But to see the impact that the song and the music video has had on so many young women, and when people tell me that they felt represented, they felt visible when they saw the music video, that to me just proved that we need more representation, we need to see more of us in bigger screens. We need to see more of us in a lot of the music that we listen to. Because, ultimately, what I want to do with the videos, with the music, is for young girls out there who could've easily been me in the '90s, feel like there's someone out there that looks like them.


Images courtesy of Ruby Ibarra

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Sat, 18 May 2019 22:36:39 +0000http://www.23880175.com/ruby-ibarra-interview-2637500502.htmlMusicApahm#apahmAsian americanRapHip hopHip-hopFilipinoAsianAsian pacific american heritage monthRuby ibarraIndieJasmine Ting
Shawn Mendes Opens Up About His Ongoing Battle With Anxietyhttp://www.23880175.com/shawn-mendes-anxiety-2637439184.html

Shawn Mendes may seem like he has it all put together on the surface, but the pop star's just opened up to fans about his mental health struggles.

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While speaking to People, Mendes said that he's still learning to cope with his anxiety — a formerly "secret" struggle that he initially revealed was the inspiration behind his single, "In My Blood," last March.

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Related | Shawn Mendes Is Calvin Klein's Latest Poster Boy

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"Talking about the problem, putting it out there, was one of the scariest but most important things I've ever done," Mendes told the publication. "Just doing that helped me the most."

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However, he also mentioned that it's been an ongoing battle, but he tries to remember that "everyone deals with some level of anxiety or pressure. We're all in it together."

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Mendes then went on to talk about how his loved ones keep him grounded in the midst of it all, saying, "I still go back to Toronto and hang with my friends from growing up, and my family has also been so supportive" — which, honestly, is a smart thing to do when you're struggling or feeling overwhelmed. Read what else Mendes has to say, here.

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Photo via Getty

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Sat, 18 May 2019 01:13:20 +0000http://www.23880175.com/shawn-mendes-anxiety-2637439184.htmlShawn mendesAnxietyMental healthSandra Song
Mac Miller Legacy Fund Launched For Young People Struggling With Substance Abusehttp://www.23880175.com/mac-miller-legacy-fund-launched-for-young-people-struggling-with-substance-abuse-2637435307.html

MusiCares — a non-profit started by the Recording Academy — has just announced the creation of the Mac Miller Legacy Fund, which will focus on aiding young musicians struggling with substance abuse.

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On Thursday, Miller's close friend, Vince Staples announced the launch of the fund during the annual MusiCares Concert for Recovery. According to the organization's website, they will receive a $50,000 grant from the Mac Miller Circles Fund started by his family at the Pittsburgh Foundation following the rapper's untimely passing from an accidental overdose last year. The money is meant to establish the new Mac Miller Legacy Fund, which is supposed to help "members of the music community age 27 and under who are facing addiction."

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Related | Travis Scott, SZA, and More to Perform at Mac Miller Tribute

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Currently, the Mac Miller Fund has assets totaling close to $1 million thanks to public contributions and the proceeds from the Mac Miller tribute concert that took place last October.

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"These grants celebrate Malcolm's life and legacy by funding two respected organizations that provide opportunities for young people to realize their talents and potential," Miller's family wrote in an accompanying statement. "It's critically important to our family to fund a safety net for artists and musicians who are struggling with substance addiction. No life should be cut short for lack of expert help."

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Photo via Getty

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Sat, 18 May 2019 00:51:05 +0000http://www.23880175.com/mac-miller-legacy-fund-launched-for-young-people-struggling-with-substance-abuse-2637435307.htmlMac millerRecording academySubstance abuseAddictionMusicaresVince staplesSandra Song
Kim Kardashian Shares First Photo of Son, Psalm Westhttp://www.23880175.com/psalm-west-first-photo-2637433488.html

At long last, Kim Kardashian has finally given fans a glimpse of her fourth child with Kanye West. Not only that, but she also revealed that the couple decided to name him Psalm via a new Instagram post.

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Yep, you read that right. Per TMZ, in what appears to be a nod to the family's strong religious beliefs, they've named their son Psalm — which is a sacred song or hymn. And it makes sense, especially seeing as how West has recently been hosting his own Sunday Services, which have spurred whispers of a plan to start his own church.

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Related | Kim Kardashian Aced Her Torts Law Exam

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Whatever the motivations behind Psalm's name though, it looks like both Kardashian and West are over the moon about the new addition to their family. As Kardashian's latest post shows, West was feeling "blessed beyond measure" this past Mother's Day — even providing an adorable photo of Psalm snuggled up in his crib.

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Check out the post for yourself, below.

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View this post on Instagram

?Psalm West ?

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

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Photo via Getty

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Fri, 17 May 2019 23:23:04 +0000http://www.23880175.com/psalm-west-first-photo-2637433488.htmlKim kardashianKanye westPsalm westNorth westSaint westChicago westSandra Song
The 'Old Town Road' Movie Is Here and It's a Star-Studded Masterpiecehttp://www.23880175.com/old-town-road-movie-2637430008.html

"Old Town Road" has become a global cultural event, uniting everyone in the name of genreless music and yeehaw. The long-awaited visual arrived today and it's more perfect than we ever could have imagined.

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Related | How Yeehaw Took Over The Internet

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In the short movie, Lil Nas X is an outlaw on the run who falls through a time-machine portal while fleeing some gun-slinging white southerners. He emerges in the same spot in 2019, now a Black suburban neighborhood, and brings Yeehaw to the people. Unsurprisingly, his charm and comedic gifts are just as evident on-screen as they are in his music and on his prolific Twitter. Plus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Chris Rock, Haha Davis, Rico Nasty, Diplo, Jozzy, Young Kio, and Vince Staples all join in on the fun in absurdly perfect roles.

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Diplo plays a washboard. Vince pays up when Lil Nas X beats him in a stallion versus car street race. Rico is a bored teen worker overseeing a bingo game at a retirement home. Basically every single scene is a joyride.


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As a whole, it's genuinely a comedic masterpiece, from the dialogue to the costumes, that gets to the heart of the humor of yeehaw. No offense to our girl, but it does take the cake over North West's DIY version. It's so good that people are already calling for a feature length telling of "Old Town Road."


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Photo via YouTube

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Fri, 17 May 2019 22:26:47 +0000http://www.23880175.com/old-town-road-movie-2637430008.htmlLil nas xBilly ray cyrusChris rockHaha davisRico nastyDiploJozzyYoung kioVince staplesOld town roadJael Goldfine
Dunkin' Donuts Pivots to Nail Polishhttp://www.23880175.com/dunkin-donuts-nail-polish-2637412940.html

Beauty is big business right now and everyone wants in, including the beloved Northeast donuts and coffee chain, Dunkin' Donuts. They say America runs on Dunkin', and now you can wear nail polish made by the brand too. Quite the pivot!

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The eight shade limited-edition collection was created in partnership with nail brand Lauren B Beauty. The shades are inspired by the fast food restaurant's signature lattes and Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Flavored Coffees. Yum.


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Each shade is named after something delicious sounding: Cocoa Mocha (chocolate brown), Caramel Craze (bright brown), and Blueberry Crisp (navy blue) are latte-inspired (yes, there's a blueberry latte), and Butter Pecan (a rich brown), Pistachio Almond Fudge (turquoise), and Banana Split (pastel yellow) are named for Baskin Robbins flavors.

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Amazingly, this isn't the breakfast chain's first foray into beauty. Earlier this year, the brand launched a munchkin' flavored lip balm set, which is also available to purchase online.

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As for how fans are taking the new nail paint drop, Twitter had some clues. "If you're ever curious as to how we're progressing in this world, Dunkin Donuts has nail polish now," one user said.

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"Dunkin' Donuts really came out with some "inspired" damn nail polish," another added.


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For now, the collection is limited and will be available across 41 nail salons in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Florida and Maryland. Guests who visit a participating salon and select a Dunkin' color will receive a $3 Dunkin' gift card, while supplies last, so they can perfectly pair their nail color with the matching beverage at their nearest restaurant. To find a participating salon near you, click here.

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Photo via Instagram

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Fri, 17 May 2019 22:03:43 +0000http://www.23880175.com/dunkin-donuts-nail-polish-2637412940.htmlDunkin' donutsNail polishMunchkin lip kitBeautyFast foodBaskin robbins ice cream flavored coffeeLatteDunkin donutsJeena Sharma
Page Sick: The Best Celebrity Stories From This Weekhttp://www.23880175.com/page-sick-james-charles-queer-eye-2637384613.html

Each Friday, Page Sick looks back on a week of ridiculous Hollywood headlines that we couldn't help but click on. If celebrity obsession is sick... put us in the hospital. We're unwell.

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There's something delicious about an influencer getting canceled. We saw it with former fake USC student Olivia Jade earlier this year, and now the schadenfreude comes courtesy of beauty guru and Coverboy James Charles. You might know him as the guy who used a ring light to shoot his graduation photos, or as a passionate proponent of assless chaps. More recently, he attended the Met Gala and took the opportunity to lobby for more "representation" of influencers in "the media."

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Over the weekend, Charles actually found himself extremely represented by multiple outlets. Even the New York Times was reporting on the animosity between him and vlogging mentor Tati Westbrook after the latter posted an extraordinary video in which she publicly ends their friendship and accuses him of selfish behavior. "There's so much going on with James Charles right now that I do not support, that I do not agree with," she explains in the vlog. "Fame, power and a fat bank account will change almost anyone. If you don't have people that will tell you to your face that you are doing the wrong things, you will change... I don't think there's any getting through to you and I don't want to be friends with you, I don't want to be associated with you and I need to say that very publicly so that chapter can be closed."

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This whole thing started in the most influencer way possible: Tati got mad about Charles doing sponcon for a vitamin company that's a direct competitor to hers. But there's also so, so much more to it. More than you — more than anyone — would think. Ultimately everyone has taken Tati's side, and Charles has lost literally millions of followers, including some big name celebrities.

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How many times have you watched the apology video? I personally have hit double digits.


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Tati has since posted a follow-up video asking people to chill out, but how can we possibly? Here's what else happened to famous people this week.

There Was Secret "Queer Eye" Drama!


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The whole reason Netflix's rebooted Queer Eye works so well is the impeccable casting. The Fab Five have such natural chemistry, and on screen treat each other with kindness and respect. The friendships seem genuine, sincere, deep. But that's just the magic of reality TV production, baby! It turns out that Antoni and Karamo weren't even on speaking terms while season one was filming.

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The two are supposedly friends now, if the first episode of Karamo's new podcast can be believed. He claims a mysterious "third party" got involved and conspired to make them enemies. Okay, but what if it was Bobby? A twist.

Kardashian Watch


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A busy week for Kardashians, as always. We learned that Kylie Jenner is expanding her beauty empire beyond makeup into skincare, and possibly the hair styling space. North West signaled possible future musical ambitions by getting in on the "Old Town Road" trend. And her mom Kim Kardashian lit the internet on fire with a single emoji, while also using her fifth wedding anniversary with Kanye as a savvy marketing opportunity.

Wedding Scam Alert


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Celebrity hairstylist Jordan Blackmore (clients: Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth Olsen, Selena Gomez) alleges he fell victim to a scamming wannabe bride. He's filed a lawsuit against his former fiancee, alleging that she planned their entire elaborate wedding ceremony as a PR stunt to get attention. They've since broken up, and the ceremony turned out not to be legally valid. He's seeking $2 million in damages.

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The wedding does sound worth scamming for. It reportedly cost in the realm of $1 million, and included horseback riding, zip lining, hiking, yoga, watercolor classes, karaoke, a BBQ and s'more buffet, lunching by the pool and "movies under the stars." Additionally, the "happy" couple apparently had the guests flown in on private jets and put up in the expensive Amanigiri Resort, where suites cost up to $4350 a night. All the insane details here.

"Game of Thrones" Sucked to Film


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Arya Stark has joined Sansa in admitting that becoming an HBO celebrity isn't all it's cracked up to be. Like Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams has admitted to the press that she suffered mental health issues while the show was filming.

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"I went through a huge period of my life where I'd tell myself every day that I hated myself," Williams shared. "It got to a point where I'd be in a conversation with my friends and my mind would running and running, and I'd be thinking about all the stupid things I've said in my life and it would just race and race."

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Turner mused on the same topic last month during an interview with Dr. Phil. We're excited to see what both of them do next!

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Bonus round: Miley on Black Mirror. Whoopi Goldberg, eternal style icon. Why RuPaul didn't do the Met Gala in drag. How to run a Jonas Brothers fan Tumblr for 10 years. Ezra Miller's band!

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Photo via Getty


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Fri, 17 May 2019 21:45:02 +0000http://www.23880175.com/page-sick-james-charles-queer-eye-2637384613.htmlCelebrityHollywoodGossipTmzInstagramJames charlesTati westbrookMet galaVloggingContentYoutubeQueer eyeAntoni porowskiKaramo brownPage sickKatherine Gillespie
Nipsey Hussle's Final Music Video With John Legend and DJ Khaledhttp://www.23880175.com/nipsey-hussle-john-legend-dj-khaled-2637427590.html

DJ Khaled's new album, Father of Asahd, his first since the release of his 2017's chart-smashing Grateful, was released today to widespread excitement on social media. The record has no shortage of upbeat, sure-to-be club hits, featuring the likes of SZA, Cardi B, and 21 Savage. The highlight of the album for many, however, is the appearance of the deceased rapper and community activist, Nipsey Hussle, on the track "Higher."

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The song also features John Legend, who sings the chorus and plays a grand piano during his emotional lines. "You keep taking me higher and higher/ Don't you know that the devil is a liar," Legend belts passionately during the chorus, backed by a heavenly sounding choir. Hussle's verses are particularly motivational, as he tells a story of generational struggle that eventually turned into success in South Central LA.

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Related | Remembering Nipsey Hussle's Legacy

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Along with the release of the song, DJ Khaled also released a video for "Higher," and it's extremely moving — especially in the wake of Hussle's unexpected death. Hussle was killed on March 31, 2019, in front of his The Marathon store in Los Angeles. The video is dedicated in the memory of Hussle, with a message at the end of the video stating, "Rest in Paradise."


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Khaled also posted a tweet with a tribute to Hussle the day before the release of his new album. It's in this tribute that Khaled recalls filming the video for "Higher" a short time prior to Hussle's murder. He also shares that 100% of the proceeds from "Higher" that would normally go to Khaled and his collaborators are going to be given to Hussle's children.

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Watch the video for "Higher ft. Nipsey Hussle, John Legend" below.



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Photo via YouTube

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Fri, 17 May 2019 21:19:44 +0000http://www.23880175.com/nipsey-hussle-john-legend-dj-khaled-2637427590.htmlNipsey hussleJohn legendDj khaledBrendan Wetmore
Gucci and Balenciaga Won't Hire Underage Models After 2020http://www.23880175.com/kering-group-underage-models-2637426189.html

Some big news came out this week at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, where Kering Group CEO Francois-Henri Pinault announced plans to stop hiring models under the age of 18. As the parent company to some of the world's most prolific luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, the change is a big step towards creating stricter labor laws for underage models in the fashion industry.

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"As a global luxury group, we are conscious of the influence exerted on younger generations in particular by the images produced by our houses," Pinault said in a statement. "We believe that we have a responsibility to put forward the best possible practices in the luxury sector and we hope to create a movement that will encourage others to follow suit." The decision follows a similar one made in August 2018 by Conde Nast and Council of Fashion Designers of America, who announced they would cease to hire underage models for editorials in its various titles unless they were the subject of an article.

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Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering's chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs, added in her statement, "In our view, the physiological and psychological maturity of models aged over 18 seems more appropriate to the rhythm and demands that are involved in this profession."

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Related | New Web Series Spotlights the Trials of Male Models

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While the decision is a positive one for establishing healthy work environments and regulating the industry, it does bring into question catwalk stars like 17-year-old Kaia Gerber, whose quick rise to top-model status began when she was just 16. Some of the biggest names in the business like Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen got their careers started on major catwalks long before turning 18, as well.

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On the flip side, Kering's biggest competing luxury conglomerate, LVMH, has announced it will not be doing the same. In a statement following this announcement, LVMH's Antoine Arnault said, "We will not be following suit. We are sticking to our position." Arnault continued, "Let's not kid ourselves... it's not because one group bans these models that they will stop working. On the contrary, we provide them with a protected environment, so I am totally against this ban on models aged under 18."

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This comes after the two conglomerates agreed not to hire models under the age of 16 in a 2017 initiative to better work environments.

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Photo via Getty

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Fri, 17 May 2019 21:09:57 +0000http://www.23880175.com/kering-group-underage-models-2637426189.htmlGucciBalenciagaFashionModelsKering groupLvmhRoytel Montero
This Swedish Designer Turns Oysters Into Jewelryhttp://www.23880175.com/mia-larsson-oyster-jewelry-2637414270.html

There may not be a ton of evidence to prove that oysters are an aphrodisiac, but thanks to Swedish jewelry designer, Mia Larsson, and her latest collaboration, the salt-water mollusks have never been sexier. Making a series of one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces from oyster shells for & Other Stories, the designer is reimagining ways to make products that are equally stylish and sustainable.

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While a seafood feast could leave you feeling fabulous (and frisky), the leftover shells have also proven to be a uniquely beautiful and durable material to create all kinds of accessories. "I think, like fine jewelry, oyster shell jewelry is a wardrobe treasure to value," Stockholm-based Larsson says. "It feels special to put them on, like a gem, and each one is unique."

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The limited collection, which drops May 21, features seven pieces (rings, earrings, a hairclip, a necklace) all constructed from decomposable sea material. Larsson says she sourced her first batch of oyster shells from a seafood restaurant in Stockholm, and took them to her atelier to wash them off. Using recycled silver, the innovative designer handcrafted the shells to create recyclable, environmentally friendly accessories.

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Anna Nyrén, the head of Co-labs & Other Stories, ultimately took to the idea saying that, "being able to see where the actual product comes from and that the material is sustainably sourced and handled with great care really speaks to [her] heart."

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But the inspiration didn't end there: & Other Stories also created a complementary ready-to-wear collection inspired by the treasures of the sea. With organic cotton tops, jumpsuits and an embroidered, recycled polyester mesh dress, you can get the whole look without diving too deep in your pockets.

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The Mia Larsson co-lab collection will be available on Tuesday, May 21 through www.stories.com and exclusively in the US at the Soho New York store. Follow the Swedish designer on Instagram (@mia_larsson_jewelry).

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Photos courtesy of & Other Stories

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Fri, 17 May 2019 20:50:16 +0000http://www.23880175.com/mia-larsson-oyster-jewelry-2637414270.htmlMia larsson& other storiesFashionStockholmSwedenJewelryRoytel Montero
Bea Miller Wants to Tell The Truthhttp://www.23880175.com/bea-miller-interview-2637404549.html

Bea Miller is the kind of young artist who makes you wonder why there are so many milquetoast industry plants drifting around in pop. Miller drifts nowhere. The 20-year-old force of nature and New Jersey-born daughter of two moms got herself onto the X Factor when she was 13. Seven years later, she's worked her way to writing and touring with her own brassy, exuberant bops, which balance sunny self-love and girl power, with vulnerable introspection.

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Related | 100 Women Revolutionizing Pop

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Miller is almost upsettingly good at being a pop star: bouncing around stages in sparkly jumpsuits, never at a loss for words, keeping crowds hanging on every syllable of the honest, self-deprecating anecdotes she shares with every song. With her huge, throaty voice, she sings euphorically about masturbation, body positivity and not wanting to be someone's girlfriend, as well as about missing someone so much she can't breathe. Miller's songs take an optimistic but ferocious approach to the question of how it feels and what it means to be a young woman in 2019. Her incandescent attitude shines through on every song, including her most recent: a collab with 6LACK and irreverent self-love break-up song (in the spirit of "Thank U, Next) called "It's Not U It's Me."


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Milller has had to fight to be the kind of gutsy, personality-driven pop star she's become. She spent her teen years instructed to sing generic love songs written by someone else, even though she begged to write on her own songs. But starting with her second album Aurora, released last year (and she promises, to an even greater extent on forthcoming work) she's only singing songs that tell the truth.

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Following her sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom, PAPER sat down with Miller to talk about the journey of her career, prom, why the internet sucks, and the best advice Harry Styles ever gave her.


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Do you get tired of being known for the X Factor?

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Definitely. Those shows, they're good because they get people started — they got me started. But it can be really hard to separate yourself from them. It's difficult to be known for being on the X Factor, rather than what I've done after. Sometimes, it's a little brutal, like "I work hard. I wrote the song, and I did this thing and that performance. Why can't we talk about these things?" It was already seven years ago for me. It's definitely gotten better, now a lot of times people don't even bring it up and I'm just known for what I'm doing now. I definitely, definitely learned things there that were helpful when I was like, 13 or 14. But now that I'm older, and I've been doing this for a lot of years. I don't feel like super attached to it anymore. But obviously I wouldn't be here, if I hadn't done it, and I understand that.

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You were 13 when you competed on X Factor. You're 20 year old now. What have been the big moments in between?

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When I was 13 was when I was on X Factor and my vocal chords hemorrhaged so I had to be sent home. That's when one of your vocal chords, splits and starts bleeding, it's really brutal. I went home, I couldn't speak for a month, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't sing, hum, whisper, talk, do anything. I went to school with a whiteboard and I had to answer questions that way. So I healed and recovered, and got signed to label. I was 14 when we moved to California. We didn't have any money, so we lived with my uncle in Huntington Beach, which is like an hour and a half away from LA. That was rough having to drive to LA and back every single day.

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So that was when I was 14, then, you know, between 14 and 15, I was recording my first album and just meeting people and running around going through the motions, trying to put myself out there and make myself known. I was young and really didn't know what's going on. One day I was this girl doing nothing in New Jersey and all sudden I was in California in studios and working with important people.

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"You just gotta pay your dues."

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Was retaining control over your work and image difficult, starting so young in the industry?

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On my first album, it was difficult. I had just turned 15, I was totally new to the music industry. My team essentially said, "We've been doing this for longer than you, so we know what will work and what won't. And we want you to record the songs that these writers wrote that we think are hits." I was a very feisty 15-year-old, so that made me really upset. I was really angry and aggressive, I cut off all my hair, dyed it blue and was like, "Fuck you world." I was a very angry kid. I gave them a lot of of pushback, I really fought them on that and was like, "I'm going to write my own songs." I don't want to say somebody else's words. Eventually, we reached a compromise, where I told them I would sing songs that other people wrote, but only if I actually relate to them, only if I could really see them, as if they were my own truth. It was like I'm not gonna lie to people. Because it felt like lying to sing songs I didn't write. I was like, "I'm at least going to sing ones that hit me, that I understand and I can truthfully sing. And, I was like, "I want to write the next one," and they were like, "If you do this first album and listen to what we say, you can do what you want moving forward." Like you just gotta pay your dues.


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Since then, you've released your second album, Aurora. Did your label keep their word on letting you write it?

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They kept their word on that. It's really cool, they really let me do what I wanted to do for the second album. I didn't really believe they would, but they meant it. I wrote the songs, I told them who I wanted to work with and who I didn't. There's only one song on all of Aurora that I didn't write. We were like, "You know what, this is a cool song. Let's just throw it in there." But every other one came from my brain. I had never fully been able to express my personal truth until then.

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You moved to LA when were in middle school. Did you get the chance to go to high school?

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I went to high school, but just for my mom, I really didn't care. I think it's important to stay in school, if you want to do something with your life that requires a deeper education. But I knew that I wanted to make music or movies or you know, do something... I actually wanted to be a director when I was a kid too. I knew that I was going to do something where I didn't need to know trigonometry. So I was like, "Mom I don't need to do this." Like, I already can pay my bills, dude. And it kind of crushed her. She wasn't like, "You have to do it. I just want you to graduate high school. It's important."

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"I knew that I was going to do something where I didn't need to know trigonometry."

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Do you ever wish you had the full high school experience? Prom and cafeterias and such.

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I actually did go to prom! It was very important to me that I went to prom, even though it's stupid. I'm just a very sentimental person. Like, it's pretty cool that I get to do something with my life that a lot of people don't get to do. I think there is something special about the things that everybody does. It sometimes makes me really sad that that I don't have a lot of shared experiences with other young people. It can be really alienating and lonely. I remember I used to watch all my friends together in school, interact, like they would all laugh about so many things I didn't know about. They were all together every day, experiencing things and all the same drama and the same teachers. I always really felt like I was on the outside. So it was really important to me that, if I wasn't able to have most of those experiences — have a tight knit group of friends that really understood me — I would at least get to do a few high school things that everyone gets to do, that everybody understands. So prom was just this one thing that I could do that made me feel like I actually went to high school. I forced one of my friends from middle school — his name is Lucas, still one of my great friends to this day. And I was like "Lucas, I don't care if you have a girlfriend, I don't care if you have some girl you're going to bring, you're bringing me to prom. You are obligated as my best friend to take me to prom because I need this." I said that when we were in like eighth grade and he actually did it.

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Did you wear a designer dress?

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No! It was just like sparkly, super corny, over-the-top prom. We got the corsages, we did the whole thing. I was like, "I gotta have this one dumb experience that everyone gets." I'm really glad I did it.

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I'm always curious about this with artists and celebrities. What is your relationship to the internet and social media like?

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I fucking hate the internet. I hate it. I'm an old lady and I don't know anybody else my age who agrees with me on this. But I don't like talking to people on the phone. I don't like texting people. I don't like facetiming people. If I'm on facetime I'm just sitting there like, on the inside, I want to explode. I just want to put my phone down and go do something else. Anything else. I'd rather be sitting on my couch doing nothing, being in that moment doing nothing. I don't like any of that stuff. I don't like cell phones. I don't like always being reachable.

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As an artist, I don't like the fact that the internet brings this mindset of "we know you." I think it's really weird that people who I've never met, think that it's their place to speak on my life. I won't go on Twitter for a few days and when I come back people will have tweeted at me like 1000 times, 'Where have you been, how could you not be talking to us?" And I'm like, "I was out living my life." I mean, it's cool that you can connect with so many people from far away so quickly, just all the same time. But I think that we abuse it. I don't think we use social media platforms for their original purpose. It's about bragging, it's about pretending your life is better than it is, and making other people feel bad because their life doesn't look as cool as yours does. It's about nitpicking people's lives and finding things that you don't like, rather than about actually connecting or togetherness. People also just take it too seriously. I don't think it matters. Real life matters. Put your phone away and just like that, it's gone. It's gone in an instant. How can something really matter that much if it disappears that easily?

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Do you think you'd be happier if it all disappeared?

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I've always fantasized about being a musician in the '90s. Or the '70s, because that was a great time for music. Before you had to have a big following on a social media platform in order for people to care about what you're doing. Sometimes people even ask me about my following before they ask me about my music, and that's really sad. I think it's cool that I can talk to all my fans and my friends who live far away that easily. But people live without it, so I think we don't really need it. Sometimes I fantasize about what it would be like to make music in a time where music spoke for itself and Instagram didn't speak for it.

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"It sometimes makes me really sad that that I don't have a lot of shared experiences with other young people. It can be really alienating and lonely."

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You're on tour right now. What has that been like?

You release music and it's weird, because you write it alone and only one or two other people in the entire world heard it. And then you release it, and you see the streams going up and there are people out there listening to it. But it doesn't seem real until you are with them and they're singing the words. There are people the world listening to my song so many times that they know the words, that I wrote when I was just sitting in a little room. It really makes it feel rewarding. It really makes it seem important. It's a good feeling.

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So, Aurora came out last year. What is inspiring you right now?

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On Aurora, I was as truthful as I could be at the time, but I was younger. I wasn't as secure with myself. There were definitely a few things that I would cushion in my lyrics, where I would be extremely truthful. But I was also afraid of certain things. I was afraid of being 100,000%, literally word for word, what is going on in my life today. I would generalize it, I would speak my truth, but in a way that other people could insert their lives into it to where it wasn't super specific.

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Pop is kind of this warfare between specificity and universality. How you kind of negotiate that?

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With the new stuff, I still want to be relatable to people. But I'm being a lot more specific. I'm really proud of the music on Aurora, like I love it. It's not like I've gotten older and am like all that shit is corny. I'm really proud of that album. But I want to express myself even further for the new music. And when I was writing Aurora, sometimes I would ask my co-writer, I'd be like, "Is this too weird or specific?" If they were like, "Yeah, maybe," we would make it easier to swallow. With the new stuff, I'm working with people who want me to say exactly what I want, and they love it. I'll be like, "Is this too weird?" And they're like, "Maybe but, who cares? Let's just do it anyway." So with the new stuff that will be filtering in throughout the year, I've been telling specific, true stories about my life, which I don't hear very often in pop music. I always make sure the choruses are open-ended. But on the verses, I have the attitude, "You're a fan of me, you listen to my music, let me tell you a story about myself." I think some people will hate it. But that's fine, because there will be people will love it too. And I love it.

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Do you read everything that's written about yourself?

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No. Ohhhh no. The best advice anyone in this industry has ever given me is, not to read anything about yourself.


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Who gave you that advice?

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God I fucking hate saying this... because it makes me seem like a dick, but Harry Styles actually told me that. One Direction came from X Factor UK, so they came to our season. And I guess Harry just liked me, and he appeared in this hallway, like he came to say hi to me. Someone came to get me and was like, "Bea come here, Don't tell anybody." And then we walk into the hallway and Harry is standing there like ,"Hey Bea!" It was crazy, it was really weird. That was a really crazy time in my life. But yeah, we spent quite a while talking and I think I told him — I was like, 13 I didn't know what I was doing — and I was like, "People just don't like my outfits, they don't like what I'm doing, they don't like my voice." And he was like, "Yo, never read what people say about you."

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What's a question you get asked too much?

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I get asked too much about other artists.

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"I fantasize about what it would be like to make music in time where music spoke for itself and Instagram didn't speak for it."

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Like who have you met, who do you want to collaborate with?

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It's more like, "So you went on tour with this person? Is there any advice that they ever gave you that you can share with us?" I'm like, fucking ask them. I don't know!

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Like they're fishing for a story about you and Selena Gomez or something?

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Yes exactly! They want to find something where they can make the headline of the interview like "Selena Gomez said this to Bea Miller," and I'm like, "I don't know, y'all can talk to her"! Sometimes I feel like people just want to interview me just to get information about someone they care about more, which sucks... it's not a good feeling. I haven't gotten questions like that in a while, now that I'm doing my own tour, and my own thing. I get it, I'm not the most successful artist in the world. But it used to really bother me when that happened, I'd be like, "I'm here, ask me something about me!"

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What's a question you wish people would ask you?

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"How are you doing?" Nobody ever asks just, "How are you?" and actually wants to hear the real answer. I think a lot of artists and a lot of people need to be genuinely asked how they're doing and given the freedom to tell the truth in their answer.

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Photos courtesy of Charlotte Rutherford

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Fri, 17 May 2019 20:19:07 +0000http://www.23880175.com/bea-miller-interview-2637404549.htmlSelena gomezHarry styles6lackBea millerJael Goldfine
Bops Only: 10 Songs You Need to Start Your Weekend Righthttp://www.23880175.com/bops-only-lana-del-rey-2637392595.html

New Music Friday always promises a plethora of that good-good new-new from some of your favorite artists, maybe some long-awaited, maybe some tired, through, and delayed, and maybe some songs by a treasure trove of #whos you've never heard of before. We know. It's overwhelming! Thank the heavens PAPER is here help sift through the goodness, the garbage, and the noise, and bring you the best every Friday. We gotchu, sis. Let's bop to it!


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After teasing it for over a week with snippets on Instagram, Lana Del Rey's new Sublime cover of "Doin' Time" is finally here. The song is for the new Sublime documentary that premiered last month at Tribeca Film Festival. Lana's version is a faithful cover that re-enlivens the original so fans of both acts will be pleased, while putting her very special witchy essence onto it. The original instrumentation is updated with deeper bass, propulsive percussion, and a catchy, reggae-lite swagger that Lana totally owns. Plus, the lyrics "All the people in the dance will agree/ That we're well-qualified to represent the L.B.C." sung in Lana's enchanting croon take on a new, California-cool vibe. And "Doin' Time" comes just in time for summer — cue vintage montages of beach bums with tan lines, drop-top convertibles on the 405, and endless rows of sun-dappled palm trees.


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Carly Rae Jepsen basically made Dedicated for the gays, so now that we all agree, "Want You In My Room" is the pre-Pride Month, sex positive anthem you didn't know you needed. Anyway, CRJ totally snaps on this '80s-tinged electro-pop joyride, making her desire plain and clear through a magical vocoder. "I wanna do bad things to you/ On the bed/ On the floor," she sings. I have to scream because I feel like my inner slut is being totally validated here. Again, as it gets warmer outside and the shorts get shorter and the drop-tops get lower, I expect to hear "Want You In My Room" plenty times in public, and of course, in private.


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Houston hot girl Megan Thee Stallion drops her long-awaited debut album Fever today. It's full of the simmer and innate star power that is quickly making the 24-year-old rapper a sensation. Helming all writing credits save her collaborations with Juicy J and Da Baby, Meg shows off an impressive range of creativity, switching up her flows from party rap to her sobering Texan drawl over beats that incorporate the best of Southern hip-hop trends and soul samples. "Simon Says" with Juicy J is a wildly fun, wall-to-wall banger. Meg is the dance commander, telling you just where to put your hands, knees, toes, and ass, while Juicy J is a willing co-captain. I've been wondering when someone would make this generation's "Get Low," and "Simon Says" is a pretty legitimate frontrunner.


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Tyler, the Creator's first album since Flower Boy is here. IGOR is entirely written, produced, and arranged by Tyler, and "What's Good" is so good. The minor-key abyss incorporates multiple Yeezus-style tonal shifts with Transylvanian synthesizer, '90s breakbeats, and fuzzed-out vocals. That "Dracula, Dracula, Dracula" bridge and jagged-breath outro, too? It's admittedly a lot to take in, but Tyler's restless creativity and artistic evolution is undeniable.

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Related | Tyler, the Creator's 'IGOR' Is a Shapeshifting Collage


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Halsey, ever the outspoken feminist, issues a new single and anarchistic new video for "Nightmare" today. The song fuses trap bass trends with angsty rock rebellion, and an instantly memorable hook about what you can't tell a woman who know herself. She shows notable lyrical growth on the track, getting ultra-specific about personal struggles including self-image ("I wish I could cut some parts off with my scissors") and the dystopian reality of womxn and femmes in Trump's America ("C'mon little lady give us a smile/ No, I ain't got nothing to smile about). Then there's, "I've been polite but won't be caught dead/ Letting a man tell me what I should do in my bed" — a nod to the current furor over Roe v. Wade). Halsey's "Nightmare" is a powerful song serving as a beacon of solidarity and a call to action.

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Related | How to Help Women in States With Severe Abortion Bans


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On perhaps the opposite end of Halsey's inspiring rage is Morgxn's equally inspiring, soaring piano ballad. "A New Way" is calling for us to find a new way of being — one fueled by childlike wonder and joy. It's about moving beyond despair and darkness and embracing a wilder, freer sense of self. Arena-filling drums and Morgxn's autobiographical lyrics paint a picture for how this is possible for all. "I remember when I was 19/ I remember how it felt to feel untamed/ It's the way you act like you own it/ Cause every story, you hold it," he sings, reminding listeners of their personal power. Morgxn tells PAPER the song was written as a cry for help in trying times. "It's a way back to myself — where joy and hope ran like the blood in my veins," he says. "This song is both about remembering that we have the power but also the responsibility to make a change."


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Iranian-Swedish singer-songwriter Snoh Aalegra has a sound so soulful and singular that Prince sought her out before he died. His mentorship of her runs strong in her music, but Aalegra's smooth delivery and captivating presence is all her own. It's felt greatly on "You," a stunning, minimal reflection on unconditional love and devotion. When she sings, "I just can't live without you," that last syllable is stretched and scatted, imbued with warmth, longing, and even a hint of despair. It's raining in New York today. This will be my soundtrack on those days, and whenever I need a little extra comfort. "This is a very special song to me," Aalegra tells PAPER. "It's about the unconditional love you have for that person you can't live without, no matter how much pain they put you through, you're always right back in their arms." Watch the video to "You," here.

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Related | Prince: The Profane and the Profound


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Trace leans into her intimate, R&B-soaked electropop on "All My Friends." On it, she contemplates loneliness but transcends it with yogic wisdom. "Change has happened/ It's okay that some things will have to fade," she sings. The song chronicles her experience moving to LA and launching her music career more fully. She examines relationships we keep and why, and implores we all do the same. To that end, "All My Friends" is highly effective: a blissed-out meditation that reminds us we are the company we keep.


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Joey LaBeija's first single from his upcoming "pop" project, Tears In My Hennessy is a rhythmic, electronic dance-floor freakout about unrequited love. To mirror how those situations skew one's perspective, LaBeija fusses over a distorted vocal that grows more menacing the more confrontational his lyrics become: "Why you wanna play with my emotions?" Play "Simulated Love" repeatedly to live your best Janet Jackson (revenge) fantasy, and then get the hell out of dodge, should you find yourself unfortunately trapped in an alternate reality with a lover.

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Related | PAPER Predictions: 100 People Taking Over 2019


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Ingrid Andress is an emerging Nashville-based singer-songwriter pushing the bounds of what country music can achieve. (When written immaculately, it crosses over with no trouble, cc: Kacey Musgraves). Having cut her teeth as a top pop songwriter for everyone from Alicia Keys to Charli XCX, Andress is now officially striking her own gold as something of a country-music Sia. You can hear those chops on "Both," which skewers conventional patriarchal storytelling with a refreshingly empowered perspective and a charming sense of humor. In "Both," a song about a lover who wants to have his cake and eat it, too — ever heard the phrase "let's keep it casual?" (groan) — Andress sets a firm boundary that is fair to, like, any sane person. "You can tell me to stay/ You can push me away," she sings. "Baby, love me or don't/ But you can't do both." Yes!

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Related | Charli XCX Is Pop's Cult Leader

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What was your favorite track this week? See you next week, lovers!

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Photo via Instagram

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Fri, 17 May 2019 20:14:15 +0000http://www.23880175.com/bops-only-lana-del-rey-2637392595.htmlLana del reyCarly rae jepsenMegan thee stallionTyler the creatorHalseyMorgxnSnoh aalegraTraceJoey labeijaIngrid andressMusicNew musicNew music fridayBops onlyMichael Love Michael
BEA1991 Manufactures Paradise in 'My Own Heaven'http://www.23880175.com/bea1991-my-own-heaven-2637329932.html

The concept of a "vacation" is actually quite strange. Leaving your everyday life behind to visit a foreign locale, relax, and cut loose in a way you might not do under normal circumstances is perhaps more telling about the strains of capitalism than some innate desire for escape. Entire industries have been built around this culture of vacationing, aimed at constructing a 360 fantasy for the tourist to temporarily inhabit. It's an artificial world designed to live just outside our own reality — a waking dream to temporarily lose yourself in.

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This notion served as a point of departure for the documentary art film, My Own Heaven, created by musical polymath BEA1991 and filmmaker Jona Honer. Setting sail from Miami on one of the world's largest cruise ships, the clip follows a semi-detached BEA as she goes through the voyage's pre-planned activities, attempting to embrace the artifice of the cruise despite visible reservations.


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"The visual is an active attempt and social experiment that I put myself in," BEA says of the film. "To try and experience happiness in a place where I had a feeling that I probably wouldn't. I wanted to experience a happiness that wasn't built for me."

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Soundtracked by BEA1991's single of the same name, there's certain despondency to her performance that's heightened through shoegaze-y guitar melodies. This palpable distance between BEA and her character is what makes My Own Heaven so intriguing.

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"Being a documentary filmmaker, I drafted a concept where BEA could be a hybrid character," Honer says. "Meaning that she is aware of the concept but still has to interact with a real environment. I didn't know BEA very well, so I went to look at her Instagram. I was intrigued by this post where she is screaming in all directions from a large pier. The question, 'What is she yelling at?' eventually led us to a cruise ship and the song 'My Own Heaven' augmented the ambivalence that we wanted to express in this concept."


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In an effort to better understand concepts that informed My Own Heaven, PAPER asked BEA1991 to describe her own idea of paradise. What we got was a multimedia meditation on the concept:

The Essentials of "Paradise:"?


Immortality, peaceful afterlife, every color, talking to plants and animals, orgies... something we don't have.

"Paradise" as a Bird:


"Paradise" as a Song:


BEA1991 in "Paradise:"


On the Root of "Paradise:"


In many ways I think we live in a paradise already. Just look at how water moves, but it's overruled by human worries and constraints and digital content and cement. But people are tired of being reminded of the beauty of nature. What is "paradise," anyway? Maybe the term has been milked and has lost its strength? Romanticism and idealism is taking an alternate route; I think it's going to implode and re-establish itself according to the norms we live by today. The current (but fading) approach to paradisal experiences is a cruise ship, a bounty holiday, a cocktail with a libido — something that you pay for. It's not something that "happens to you in a moment of clarity and full appreciation."

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I'm not so sure people even want paradise anymore. We want drama and emotions and emphasis on anything that can make us feel alive, rather than a smothering hand that feeds us sugar and keeps our mouths shut. It might be a long way away, but I think a big part of us will evolve into that direction. Maybe I think that the longing and idealism of paradise lies in the past, and that what the western world wants now is everything that is real. I think we're going to get it, too. The concept of paradise will change according to what we [the West] are going through in the present moment. Right now, we're spoiled, confused consumers looking for answers in every way possible.

On "Vacation Culture:"?


It scares me. To adhere, gives me the feeling I should be living in extremes — either earning money and working hard, or spending money and chilling hard. The best realizations or concepts have come to me during a holiday or trip of some kind and I've always wanted to get right to it in the moment. I guess the force of transplanting your physical self can have a lot of impact on the works of the mind.

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Then, does a vacation have the potential to be the starter of more work?

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It surprises me people are able to really play out this proposed concept of a vacation in real life. I've spent time watching them in the past, people spending out the perfect holiday. It's like watching people wander around in a supermarket. What is it that they needed? Is it the food they are even looking for? Or is it an emotional realization they're looking for in between the pickles and the mayonnaise?

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I think I've decided I don't like the word "vacation." The culture of it, the general cultivation and economics of it — almost an invitation to use the phenomenon as a concept for something else. (e.g. how could you get the entire planet population to spend two weeks throwing money at something completely different, in exchange for mental expansions and physical health?) Could be a fun art project.

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Stills courtesy of BEA1991

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Fri, 17 May 2019 19:30:06 +0000http://www.23880175.com/bea1991-my-own-heaven-2637329932.htmlBea1991My own heavenJona honerMatt Moen
Tyler, the Creator’s 'IGOR' Is a Shapeshifting Collagehttp://www.23880175.com/tyler-the-creator-igor-2637415993.html

After a few listens straight through Tyler, the Creator's newest project — at his recommendation — I'm still unsure what it's about. Tyler does warn in his directions, however, that Igor should be listened to without expectations so as to have an unadulterated first-time listening experience. Still, it's hard to press play and not harbor some preconceived notion of what an album featuring rap maestros like Playboi Carti and Kanye West sounds like.

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Tyler also warned that the surprise album wasn't anything like his previous releases, and he certainly delivered on that promise. While not completely unexpected, the sound combinations on Igor are jarringly lo-fi, brightened only by spurts of energetic vocals and receding '80s synths. There's a fair amount of distortion employed in the construction of sustained kicks and backing keys, but none of these elements remain for too long at any one point. Where his past albums, like Cherry Bomb and Wolf, delighted in terrorizing speakers' volume limits and their abilities to maintain gurgling bass lines, Igor delights in taunting.


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The ebb and flow of energy within Igor's instrumentation isn't the only exciting part about it, though; the lyrics are unsurprisingly clever at times, but tease in the same way the accompanying instrumentals do. It's clear that Tyler is deliberately oscillating between calling upon pop-rap tropes and calling upon his unmatched lyricism. Songs like "What's Good" contain a repeated motif, "I see the light," perhaps to fill space or to cushion the blow of the more crushing drum hits. "Dracula, Dracula, Dracula Suck me first, I might get back at ya," he cuts in quickly during the song's third verse. The line puts this oscillation at the forefront, but also clearly marks a moment when the lo-fi filter on his vocals is lifted and his words become pops rather than waves in an undercurrent.

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Much of the album is like this: an imperfect collage of pitches, frequencies, and styles. On the over-six-minutes-long "Gone, Gone / Thank You," Tyler pieces together soaring vocals that sound like they might be heard from underneath the floorboards of a choir practice with his classic, musing rap tone. In the same song, spoken-word vocal samples exist alongside a shifting drum pattern. The cut-and-paste project is intricate, but also falling apart — which is maybe what makes it so damn entertaining to listen to. On no other album could you hear a single song that contains twinkling synths and a verse from Playboi Carti with a reference to Woah Vicky. Igor is the chaotic cousin to Tyler's already chaotic discography, heightening the stakes with each fiery verse, soaring chorus, and buzzing backing track.

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Stream Tyler, the Creator's Igor, below.


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Photo courtesy of Tyler, the Creator

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Fri, 17 May 2019 18:53:08 +0000http://www.23880175.com/tyler-the-creator-igor-2637415993.htmlTyler the creatorKanye westPlayboi cartiMusicIgorBrendan Wetmore
Grumpy Cat Is Deadhttp://www.23880175.com/grumpy-cat-dead-2637401166.html

Internet's favorite morose feline Grumpy Cat is dead. The news was announced by the family through a Twitter post on Friday. The reason behind the sudden demise was apparent complications from a urinary tract infection.


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"We are unimaginable heartbroken to announce the loss of our beloved Grumpy Cat," announced the owners (Tabatha Bundesen, Bryan, and Crystal). "Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became to tough for her to overcome. She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha. Besdes being our baby, and a cherished member of the family, Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world -- even when times are tough. Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere."

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The unexpected passing of Grumpy, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, has shocked the beloved cat's fans across the world. Many users shared their condolences on social media. "You brought so much joy into so many lives... rest in peace Grumpy Cat," one user said.


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Then there were others who reminded the world of her sizable fortune. "RIP to grumpy cat, she was a beautiful reminder that even if you work every day for the rest of your life you will never have as much money as a cat with a funny face," another noted.

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Grumpy Cat first rose to popularity in 2012 after her family shared a photo of her perpetually frowning face on Reddit. Within the first two years itself, the cat has earned nearly $100 million from paid appearances, book deals, and a thriving modeling career, the Express.co.uk reported.


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The cat reportedly suffered from a rare condition called feline dwarfism, that resulted in her permanent expression. There were many other side effects of her condition, including wobbly legs, that required regular vet checkups and constant care.

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Just before her initial tryst with fame, Bundesen was working as a waitress and was able to quit her job "within days" of her first social media appearance.

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Currently, Grumpy Cat has 2.4 million Instagram followers and 1.4 million Twitter followers and also a company (started by Bundesen) called Grumpy Cat Limited.

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Photo via Instagram

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Fri, 17 May 2019 18:31:54 +0000http://www.23880175.com/grumpy-cat-dead-2637401166.htmlGrumpy catDeathTardar sauceTabatha bundesenCatsGrumpy cat limitedJeena Sharma
How Gryffin's Stage Design Tells the Story of the Universehttp://www.23880175.com/gryffin-stage-design-2637408251.html

Coachella 2019 had its fair share of viral moments — from #Chapchella to Ariana Grande's big *NSYNC collab moment — but the unsung heroes of the festival will always be the artists' set designers. The large scale coordination that goes into every set change, every graphic, and every spectacle that occurs onstage is nothing short of miraculous. Designers and directors are often given tight deadlines to adapt already existing stage shows, and sometimes even bring together brand new shows to the massive desert platform in Southern California.

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One of the undisputed great show designs to come out of the festival this year was the set for electronic DJ and producer Gryffin. The show, titled "Gravity," is based on the producer's debut album of the same name, and was creative directed by Jordan Miles Rosenheck. As Gryffin's creative director, Rosenheck wanted to prepare the show to be as connective to audiences as possible, since Gryffin is soon to take "Gravity" on tour across the nation.

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Gryffin's music has a hyper-specific pull within the vast pool of modern EDM. Despite also capitalizing on collaborations as a way to draw in pop listeners, a la electronic royalty Zedd and David Guetta, his tracks are much more spacious without leaning towards an ambient sound. Masterful pop melodies delivered by the likes of rising artists Elley Duhé and Katie Pearlman fit perfectly in between Gryffin's bright keys and shifting drops. There's an entire universe to explore within every Gryffin song: a universe of galactic proportions.

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Related | 5 Performances That Won Coachella

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Unsurprisingly, the theme of the stage show is just as fitting to the motifs within the songs' compositions. Rosenheck set out to design a show that would tell the story of the universe for Gryffin, winding through his discography and pulling festival goers into the narrative, all under the humongous Sahara Tent. "Gravity" is divided into sections, beginning with the Big Bang and ending with an examination of human connection in present day. From the storyline to the visuals, like stock video, packs, and intricate lighting designs, Rosenheck had his work cut out for him — not to mention an extremely short timeframe.

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PAPER caught up with Jordan Miles Rosenheck to hear more about the process that went into creating the show and the insider challenges that designers face when presented with such a task like Coachella.


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Let's start with the idea of "Gravity." Why did you build the show out from that concept?

We actually didn't come up with "Gravity" until we had built out some of the track artwork and we moved forward with a portal theme. We knew that we were coming out with a full-length album, so I was pretty much tasked with, "OK, what's the best name for this album?" We had a long list, and we actually didn't come up with "Gravity" in that initial list. We liked a few names, but it didn't quite feel right with anything on that initial list. I scrolled past the movie Interstellar, and it circulates around gravity and how gravity is the thing that connects everything in the universe in a different dimension.

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I called up Dan, aka Gryffin, and he mentioned it was one of his favorite movies and we started to get really comfortable with the idea of calling it "Gravity," for many reasons. One, it had really good creative utility because it's the same length as "Gryffin," as well as the same first two letters. Visually, it looked great. We liked that it was concise and a big word with a big idea. Above all else, we're dealing with portals and gateways and stuff like that, and when you really take a step back, gravity is that main force that connects everything. It's invisible and elusive and mysterious in that way. It makes sense with the portals, because if we were able to jump into a different dimension or go to another place in the universe, you would likely do that by leveraging gravity. It seemed to encompass everything we wanted really well and also have a big feeling to it, which Gryffin's music is big.

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It makes sense, the part about traveling through the universe and having gravity be a central force. It somehow also has a really cool metaphor for DJing, too, with transitioning through tracks and building out songs on a really grand scale.

Totally. The idea of music and the idea of it being a universal language — it connects the universe, it grounds us to our Earth, and it's so inexplicable and unexplainable. Gravity is our connection to the universe.

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"Gravity is our connection to the universe."

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What music did you grow up with?

Music in my life has always been around and important. My dad was more so into the jazz and classical stuff, my mom more so some of the pop stuff, a lot of bossa nova and world music, which I've grown to really, really love. I honestly think that's the future, as the world becomes more globalized and cultures start overlapping more. I had music like that in my life.

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How has been your experience navigating the music industry?

In college, the best experience you could have in music in Santa Barbara, where I went to school, was working for the West Beach Music Festival. It was primarily reggae stuff, and it was right on the beach. That was my first gig in college, and then after coming back to LA, I started working at CAA in the music department. I was an assistant there and pretty early on I realized I didn't want to be a booking agent. I pitched the head of the department on creating somewhat of an art director role for the department that wasn't there. That was mainly creating pitch decks at the time. It evolved into more, but I ended up creating that position and was in that position for a bit. Working at the agency can serve as a solid foundation for propelling yourself elsewhere.

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After CAA, I went to a startup called Boomrat, where I was the creative director. Soon after joining Boomrat, we were acquired by Live Nation, and Live Nation had recently acquired Insomniac. I stayed on with Insomniac as an art director, and helped art direct a few of their electronic festivals like EDC and the many others that they have. I left Insomniac about a year and a half in to join the founder of the previous startup, Boomrat. We started a new company separate from music, but had a lot of music people on the platform. We created an app for co-working spaces, specifically for a co-working space called NeueHouse, which was like a mini LinkedIn that connects people within a co-working space. That had a lot of music people on the app, and during that time I was doing some contract work with a few different DJs and artists, as well as Red Bull Music quite a bit. About a year and a half ago, I decided to start my own creative studio. I'm still involved with the app, but I really started focusing on being a creative director and working with both artists.


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How did you meet Gryffin?

Serendipitously, I was at Interscope Records for a meeting with the marketing department and Gryffin's manager walked by the meeting. We ended up meeting and about a month later he hit me up telling me that they were looking for a creative director for Gryffin.

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It's amazing how all of the experiences connect that you never think really would. You know they're all related, but it all comes together when you have the right amount of talent and the right opportunity.

It really is. I wasn't at Interscope Records to meet Justin, Gryffin's manager. I was there for a completely different reason. It ended up, through gravity, our paths crossed and we ended up working together. It's been the most creatively fulfilling and challenging thing I've ever worked on and I'm super grateful for it.

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"A dream for me would be that we'd create a show that could live in a Sahara Tent or a Broadway theater."

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Now that you have the ability to lend your artistic voice to Gryffin's project, especially in the Sahara Tent at Coachella, what do you see in other concert visuals that you want to expand upon?

I would always go to Coachella and watch shows and have these grand ideas in my head about how I would design a show for that artist. There are bits and pieces that I've collected from shows that I liked that exist in our show, but in a different way. I also collected a lot of inspiration from nature documentaries. As soon as I was watching, I started researching and storyboarding the show. Every time I saw these visuals, I was like, "What if the story of our universe was presented in a much more engaging and beautiful way by the best animators and best studios across the board? What if all this content was so much more relatable to a young kid to watch, where they're more interested in understanding what the story of the universe is because it's done with great music and incredible visuals?" A dream for me would be that we'd create a show that could live in a Sahara Tent or a Broadway theater. It's not artist or DJ-centric, but more of a visual experience with a bit of a narrative, and dancing and choreography, whatever it may be. Kind of a la Cirque du Soleil, but with more of a narrative and less weird, where maybe in the future of the festival you're going to see an act and experience a narrative and be told a story.

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That comes through, too, especially the storyboarding part when watching the nature docs. I think that's something people neglect to do, especially with set design: research, but research for yourself, not just on a topic. There's a certain amount of looking inward to cultivate a shared voice while cultivating a specific image.

Exactly. I also feel like, something I've learned from building the show — and rightfully so — is that you can only do so much storytelling in a concert design or a show when working with an artist. There's so many variables. You don't want to overshadow the music, clearly, so you want it to be subtle enough and nuanced enough that people aren't watching the visual so intensely and trying to find out the story. You want to have more easter eggs, which I think we've done a good job with. I'm actually curious if people came out of it and said, "Did I just get told the story of the universe?" I did find that you're limited in how much storytelling you can do, and it's because you don't want people focusing on too much. The setlist changes, the music and the vibe changes, so it's a hard thing to do. I think that is something that wasn't frustrating, but was like, "Oh, if you want to really tell a story visually, you have to do this maybe without an artist up there, or perhaps create a separate show that is more about creating a narrative."

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Did you experience any real roadblocks when building it out, besides just storyboarding?

I'd say the biggest challenge would be timing. Before going into our Palladium show, which was the first show that we presented the "Gravity" show with, we didn't have a ton of time. It was like, a month and a half. It's a lot of visual content in our show, and it was an hour-and-twenty-minute show. Fortunately we happened upon a couple really awesome animators and studios, and an awesome editor who worked really hard with us to get to the finish line. I was really impressed with what we were able to build before the Palladium. I think timing was one. Money and budget is inevitably one. More money is great, you can hire better studios, have more revisions if you have the time, and so on and so forth. I do also think there's something to say for having a budget that's a little bit limiting, because you're forced to get more creative with your money and be more efficient with it to maximize your dollar. I think we definitely experienced that, and some of the visuals that came out of that pressure were really beautiful.

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Related | Friends With You Brought Childlike Optimism to Coachella

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Like with anything, and any music project, the budget and time seems like it's never enough. A month is crazy, though, but it's a testament to the team and the network you built with this show.

I come from a different type of background than show directors or designers where I haven't been in that space for a long time. I think a lot of electronic artists pick from a similar pool of studios that do this kind of content. The time limit actually restricted us from working with two studios. By that I mean, two studios were like, "It's too late, we can't help you." So, in conjunction with that we wanted to reach out to some non-traditional studios because I'm obsessive on Behance, and there's so many talented studios across the world that don't get opportunities like this. It forced us to reach out to even more of these non-traditional studios, and in that process we happened upon a few incredible animation studios, but specifically Tolm Studios, all the way out in Estonia. They had recently posted this project for a library client, and I could tell that it was a very passion-driven project to show their versatility and animation skill. It blew my mind. They ended up working with me, and I really do believe they're some of the more elegant visual effects that I've ever seen. I feel super grateful to have crossed paths with them. It's like gravity, baby!


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Gryffin is on tour this summer with "Gravity." Check out a complete list of tour dates here.

Photos via Spencer Miller

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Fri, 17 May 2019 18:04:40 +0000http://www.23880175.com/gryffin-stage-design-2637408251.htmlGryffinCoachellaMusicDesignJordan miles rosenheckBrendan Wetmore
Meet the Queer Southern Designer Dressing Gus Dappertonhttp://www.23880175.com/troy-allen-gus-dapperton-2636112952.html

Drawing on his experience growing up as a queer man in Savannah, Georgia, SCAD student and fashion designer Troy Allen sees his garments as "show pieces" that are meant for having fun and making great memories in. This was inspired by his reputation as someone who is loud and knows how to entertain. He tells PAPER, "Even though I do love going out and being social, sometimes I feel like people just see me as a rodeo clown." In this way, his clothes are also a satire of being expected to put on a show and be happy and fun when that's not always what he's feeling inside.

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Allen, who launched his namesake label in 2018, started making clothes because he's "too femme to be masc and too masc to be femme," which makes it hard for him to find clothes that fit his unique sense of style. All of his designs are handmade, and his recent Spring 2019 collection speaks to a Southern aesthetic through its romantic silhouettes and pastel color palette. This sensibility landed Allen designing all of the clothes bedroom pop star Gus Dapperton has worn on his recent tour, and due to Dapperton's own fluidity and experimental fashion sense, it's a collaboration made in heaven.

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PAPER spoke with Allen about his Southern upbringing, his collaboration with Dapperton and how it felt to see someone don his designs at Marc Jacobs' wedding.

What was growing up in Savannah, Georgia as a queer kid like?

I grew up in a very conservative family, and there was always a strong emphasis on being perfect. I initially went to a private Christian school, and then my parents divorced when I was in the sixth grade. I had just started navigating being queer and having that feeling that I was not the same, which led me to a really dark place. But I ended up going to a public arts school, which was a blessing because I got to see a lot of diversity that I had never been around before. I realized that there was no such thing as being normal; you could be whatever you wanted. At that time, I also started getting into ballet. I was really scared to do ballet just because I was a boy and it was the South. My parents fought about it constantly, and I just wanted to dance. I also struggled a lot with internalized homophobia. And I think it was not until really the last few months that I've been able to fully embrace who I actually want to be. You know, wearing glitter, having pink hair all the time.

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"I realized that there was no such thing as being normal."

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How did you get your start in fashion design?

It was actually Wicked, the musical. Every art kid had a weird connection to it. And I was in seventh grade and I had started dancing, and I was too scared to tell people that I was interested in fashion and wanted to be making the tutu's rather than dance. (I do love ballet. I still do it. I have actually have a show today.) I still to this day have not seen Wicked live. But I got the book, and I would just re-sketch all the costumes and then I showed that to my babysitter, and she was like, you should like sketch other things. Then, I got to high school and my teacher was like, why don't you design costumes, you should do that.

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What's your mission with your brand?

I view it as a dream. I want it to be lighthearted and fun and give people an escape where they have the freedom to be themselves. For so long I was so afraid of dressing up and being myself, and so with my clothes, I wanted to do the opposite and embrace individuality and show people that you can do whatever you want and have fun. I want to be that person that someone can look at and say, it's okay to be myself and to have fun. I can still name the queer men and women who I looked at when I was younger. It was like, wow, they're really being their true, authentic self.

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Where do you draw inspiration from?

I'm constantly into the idea of exploring love and romance. Romanticism is my favorite art movement. It's quite grotesque. It's sublime terror. Obviously it's romantic, but it's also about horror and horror is my favorite movie genre. For Spring 2019, I was inspired by all my favorite women in horror, like the Carrie prom dress. I'm also interested in exploring the idea of someone who is always performing and providing for people, but isn't providing for themselves. Spring was definitely womenswear, but I'm trying move into genderless [looks].

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How did you end up collaborating with Gus Dapperton? What has that experience been like for you?

I styled Gus on a shoot for my friend, Jess Farran. He's very particular about what he wears, and our styles kind of just meshed. Then a few weeks later, he asked me to do his tour looks. Before that I hadn't really done anything for boys or anything gender neutral. He really pushed me and believed in me. Gus is such a hard worker and so inspiring, so it was really great experience collaborating with him.


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How did it feel to see someone wearing your designs at Marc Jacobs' wedding?

Honestly, I had a hard time processing it. It was kind of full circle, having something I made be worn at special event like his wedding; it was quite surreal. Marc Jacobs was my first exposure to fashion as a kid in the South and has always been an icon to me, so having that opportunity was really incredible.

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What are your plans to expand your brand in the future?

Right now I'm focusing on spreading brand awareness, building relationships, and creating a community, but most importantly, optimizing the ultimate party playlist.

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Photos courtesy Troy Allen

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Fri, 17 May 2019 17:19:23 +0000http://www.23880175.com/troy-allen-gus-dapperton-2636112952.htmlTroy allenScadGus dappertonSara Radin
Women Are Revolutionizing the Sex Tech Industryhttp://www.23880175.com/women-revolutionizing-sex-tech-2637401915.html

Sexual gratification has always been a huge motivator in terms of technological innovation — just look at the way porn revolutionized online payment processing and streaming. However, a less publicized aspect of sex tech progress has also recently emerged in the form of more concrete, physical innovations, particularly for women. From Sweet Vibrations' tuLips clit vibrator to WankzVR's popular range of virtual reality experiences catering to women to the rise of crystal dildos, technology exclusively dedicated to vulvic pleasure has slowly gone from a whispered-about taboo to a full-blown conversation about innovation in the mainstream tech world.

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Granted, the sex toy industry has always been somewhat geared toward those with vulvas, apart from things such as primarily femme-presenting sex robots or the Autoblow AI, which utilizes machine learning to improve the blowjob experience. However, given the issues we face in relation to the (mostly heterosexual) female-male orgasm gap, not to mention mainstream porn's prioritization of the male gaze, it seems like the right thing at the moment is to prioritize conversations about improving upon vulvic orgasms, especially given American sex culture's not-so-secret aversion to female pleasure. Thankfully, things appear to already be improving in terms of society's skittish approach to the female orgasm, and you have a handful of innovative, women-led companies to thank for that.

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Just take the success story of sex toy company Lora DiCarlo, which made headlines earlier this year after their Osé Robotic Massager (pictured above) had its CES Innovation Award in robotics suddenly rescinded due to the product being "immoral, obscene, indecent, profane" — despite the groundbreaking technology holding eight patents with applications not even necessarily exclusive to sex toys. Thankfully, after much outcry over the obvious gender bias of the situation, the award was recently returned to Lora DiCarlo with an apology from the governing body behind the event. Even better? According to founder Lora Haddock, in addition to securing $2 million in funding from investors in the wake of the incident going viral, the Lora DiCarlo team is also working with them to "help them with some of their gendered language," "how to create a safe environment for all genders," and "create that conversation not just around gender, but sexuality and sex, as well."

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Related | Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Masturbation?

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"We've created this social mission that really boosts gender equity," Haddocks says, before adding that the company's triumph is largely thanks to the large number of (primarily) women who supported them. "A surprising amount of people rallied behind us. It wasn't us who made the change alone."

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Lorals founder Melanie Cristol also recalls overcoming a similar experience with overt gender bias while developing her flagship product: a single-use, latex panty meant to encourage the "80 percent of [people with vulvas] who turn down oral sex for various reasons" (body dysphoria/dysmorphia, physical discomfort, being on your period, etc.) to take part in what research has proven to be "the most pleasurable sexual activity" for them.

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After a long research and development process, Cristol went in search of a condom factory with the capacity and appropriate machinery to help produce a product she wanted to sell as something that was "going to change the world and help millions of women enjoy oral sex." And though one US-based condom company was initially "very interested," Cristol says that after she specified that it was "an extension of a dental dam that will stay on while performing oral sex on a woman," she was unceremoniously "ghosted" by the company.

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Related | This Female Sex Toy Had Its Award Revoked for Being 'Obscene'

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"Eventually they told me that they talked it over with the board, and the board was uncomfortable with the nature of the product," Cristol says. "It's kind of a recurring thing that comes up. A lot of people are comfortable the concept of vaginal intercourse, but when it comes to oral sex, I think there's an additional layer of taboo — particularly oral sex for the pleasure of women."

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Thankfully, Cristol eventually found an overseas manufacturer willing to take on the project and is currently in the process of expanding Lorals' line of products, which will hopefully soon incorporate transparent and STI-prevention models. That said, while talking to both Haddock and Cristol, it was obvious that the common denominator between both these stories was their determination to overtly go up against the status quo and stubbornly push forward — all in the name of gender equity.

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However, it's obvious that this kind of action, as well as the seemingly endless innovations happening within vulvic-centric sex tech at this moment, likely wouldn't have been a thing even just a few years ago. So then, what exactly has changed? According to both Haddock and Cristol, you can thank the #MeToo movement.

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"With the advent of social media and the internet, people are more empowered to speak up for themselves and talk about these issues."

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"We're at a point where society doesn't put up with that shit anymore, and with the advent of social media and the internet, people are more empowered to speak up for themselves and talk about these issues," Haddock explains, while also pointing toward the fact that Lora DiCarlo's viral CES story garnered almost 20,000 shares alone on social. "People feel heard and feel like there's a sense of camaraderie — that there are people out there who understand them. That they're not alone."

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For her part, Cristol also agrees and adds that thanks to the empowering rhetoric of #MeToo, she's noticed that people are much more eager to "take ownership of their sexuality."

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"[It's about] defining exactly what you want in a relationship or any kind of intimate activity, and realizing that that is yours' to decide," she says. "This has led to outpouring of so many different products that help women and all kinds of people enjoy their sexuality."

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That said, Haddock also adds that Lora DiCarlo getting its award back isn't the end of the fight. Instead, she hopes people won't just stop at sex tech innovation and continue to tackle other questions surrounding gender parity in a similar fashion.

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"It's not necessarily about just talking about things, it's about true policy change and making change," Haddock concludes. "I think we'll start seeing that within not just the sex toy sex realm, but... across the board in tech and other industries other than just tech and business." And, honestly, amen to that.

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Welcome to "Sex with Sandra," a column by Sandra Song about the ever-changing face of sexuality. Whether it be spotlight features on sex work activists, deep dives into hyper-niche fetishes, or overviews on current legislation and policy, "Sex with Sandra" is dedicated to examining some of the biggest sex-related discussions happening on the Internet right now.

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Photo courtesy of Lora DiCarlo

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Fri, 17 May 2019 17:05:25 +0000http://www.23880175.com/women-revolutionizing-sex-tech-2637401915.htmlSexSweet vibrationsCrystal dildosWankzvrAutoblow aiLora dicarloCes innovation awardSandra Song
Ava Max Talks Headlining the PrideFestival Tea Dance in NYChttp://www.23880175.com/ava-max-pridefestival-tea-dance-nyc-2637400289.html

Ava Max burst onto the pop scene in fall 2018 with an asymmetrical ice blonde 'do and a dream; her song "Sweet but Psycho" skyrocketed on the charts and was a staple entry on every Spotify workout playlist for months. The song, now certified platinum in the United States, cemented Max as a new and powerful voice in the ever-growing dance pop stratosphere.

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Now, Max will be making her Pride debut at Jake Resnicow's PrideFestival Tea Dance at the all new rooftop of Pier 17 on June 29, 2019, alongside Eurovision superstar Conchita Wurst. Resnicow, who's been producing massive Pride events in the city since 2010, is particularly excited to invite Max to the stage this year, telling PAPER, "I've always been a big fan of Ava. She's such a talented artist. Many have made comparisons to Lady Gaga and Sia. She's truly special."


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This year's Pride weekend is especially exciting for New Yorkers because of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, marking a half-a-century history of the modern fight for gay rights in the United States. The world will flock to Manhattan in June for tons of official and unofficial World Pride festivities, including music festivals, concerts, parties, parades, drag shows, and so much more.

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Related | King Princess to Headline San Diego Pride

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The events on Resnicow's roster range from the Ava Max-headlined Tea Dance to the massive Javits Center-located We Party PRIDE FESTIVAL, with none other than the legend Cyndi Lauper herself performing. There will be no shortage of events to attend during Pride, so get your flights booked, schedule off, and get ready shake it all weekend long.

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PAPER caught up with Ava Max in preparation for her Tea Dance announcement about her excitement to perform new songs, her fans' reactions to her singles, and her favorite LGBTQ+ icon.


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How have you felt about the reaction to your singles so far?

It's been amazing and overwhelming! I would have never expected any of this happen, let alone how fast my music has been spreading and connecting.

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Which song in your discography are you most excited to perform live?

"Salt," because it's the song I haven't officially released and I think it's become a fan favorite, but also secretly my favorite too. Who knows, it might even be on the album.

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Related | PAPER Predictions: 100 People Taking Over 2019

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Why did you choose to perform for Pride here in NYC?

For one, I support the LGBTQ community and want them to feel as proud of themselves as possible. My song "So Am I" is all about inclusivity, and I'm extra excited to perform this song at pride. Also, I grew up on the East Coast — what up, NYC! I feel super honored to even be invited to perform at this year's World Pride. So thank you, and I cannot wait to sing, dance, and party with all of you!

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Is this your first time celebrating at a pride festival?

I've gone to pride festivals before, but I've never performed at one. I cannot wait!

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Are you working on a full length record? Will you be performing any new songs at the Pride event?

I am definitely working on a full-length record, which I'm thrilled for everyone to hear. I don't want to spoil the show.

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Who is your favorite LGBTQ+ icon, and why do you admire them? (Could be an artist, an activist, anyone!)

I love Gigi Gorgeous. Actually, she reached out to me on Instagram to tell me that she supports me and my music. It was really sweet and I hope to meet her someday.

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Tickets to see Ava Max and Conchita Wurst at the 2019 Tea Dance are available here.

Photos courtesy of Atlantic Records

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Fri, 17 May 2019 15:38:54 +0000http://www.23880175.com/ava-max-pridefestival-tea-dance-nyc-2637400289.htmlAva maxGigi gorgeousLgbtqPrideConchita wurstBrendan Wetmore
Latinx Artists Use Sci-Fi to Imagine Postcolonial Futureshttp://www.23880175.com/queens-museum-latinx-scifi-2637390968.html

As a genre, science fiction has always been a space for working out our questions, hopes, and anxieties about the future — it's a locus for what happens when we imagine possibility, utopian or dystopian. Even though sci-fi is typically set in the future or an alternate reality, it tells us a lot about our present conditions. TV shows like Star Trek tried to explore race relations, gender, and militarism in the 1960s, at a moment when progressive social movements were suggesting alternative ways to live, and throwing cultural anxieties into stark relief by picturing the future.

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Related | Uzumaki Cepeda Creates for Carefree Bodies of Color

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Even so, much of sci-fi has been imagined via the white male lens, and when we think of the genre's obsession with technological innovation and progress, it is tinted with shades of imperialism; the impulse to create 'new worlds' can at once suggest social justice and colonial missions. What happens when those who have been left out of — and often hurt by — these narratives, imagine what sci-fi looks like to them?

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In a new exhibition at the Queens Museum in New York, 30 Latinx artists have drawn on conventions of the genre — technology, time travel, space exploration, utopia/dystopia, "aliens" — to intervene in ongoing colonial narratives and suggest worlds where different societies can cohabitate peacefully, particularly at a moment where immigrant futures are uncertain. Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas was originally staged at UCR ARTS at the University of California, Riverside and its travel to the Queens Museum interlocks with the museum's history as the venue for two New York World's Fairs, in which technological development and globalization were tentpole themes.

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Using the profound grammar of sci-fi to topple the status quo, here are five must-see pieces from Mundos Alternos, open now through August 18, 2019 at Queens Museum:

Organic Arches (Time Traveler), Chico MacMutrie and Amorphic Robot Works (ARW)



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MacMutrie's high-tensile Tedlar fabric tubes resemble many things — a spine, intestines, or a tunnel might first come to mind — and they invite viewers to reconsider boundaries by stepping inside of the work and moving through space and time (queue Instagram Stories). As the tubes inflate and deflate at the behest of a central computer program, they chant with life-like breath; Organic Arches is never just one thing, and asks audiences to consider transgressing seemingly "stable" borders — those of art, time, space and the state.

Future Fossil, Clarissa Tossin


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Tossin melted down her old rubbish to create this sculptural work, a speculative core sample of an earth marred by pollution. Speaking with PAPER about the synergy between environmental art and colonialism, she says that "anything that you consider 'other' and not yourself opens a space to create a hierarchical relationship between two parts. We are talking about the environment, and we think about it as this 'other' and not part of ourselves, it means that we can go there and extract as much as we need to serve ourselves."

By using materials that are ubiquitous today — like plastic bottles and electronic waste — in the sculpture, Tossin implicates our present-day habits in her rendering of what is to come. "If I start thinking that things are connected, that what I do to you or what I do to the environment effects me, I take responsibility upon my own actions and choices. If you don't think that what you do has an effect on the environment, it is just a posture that replicates what is needed to colonize anything."

Coconauts in Space, ADáL


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Nuoyrican artist ADáL re-stages a key moment in the history of innovation, imagining what would have happened if Puerto Rican astronauts had been the first to reach the moon. Underpinning the photo series is the colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, wherein Puerto Rico has been exploited as a strategic site for American economic and military interests. It questions space travel's supposedly benign, exploratory mission and highlights the ways in which it is undoubtedly nationalist. Like other artists in the show, ADáL also suggests that Latin America is a site of innovation unto itself, but has been mined and suppressed by colonial forces.

Autonomous InterGalactic Space Program, Rigo 23


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Rigo 23's immersive installation dovetails with Coconauts in Space by asking what a Zapatista space mission would look like. Rigo 23 has been collaborating with indigenous Zapatisa artists and artisans from Chiapas, Mexico to envision a future autonomous from the Mexican government and global oppression; in this iteration of the project, Rigo 23 asked Zapatista activists how they would travel to another galaxy. The artist built a large-scale model of a space ship complete with a women's health centre, corn and coffee fields, gathering spaces, and classrooms, suggesting that progress might be centered around community needs, rather than capitalist or imperial ones. Rigo 23 argues against the myth that indigenous folks are inherently concerned with returning to the past, but in reality are deeply concerned with forging a future.

The Cosmos (Spaceship), Beatriz Cortez


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Cortez's installation emulates a pavilion, à la World's Fair, signaling the Western penchant for flaunting technology and imperial exploits. The exterior of the pavilion is mirrored and cracked, reflecting the gaze of the audience back at themselves and by extension, implicating them in the project's accusations, while hinting at resistance. Inside, a 1911 audio recording plays of Ishi, the last known member of the Yahi people in the Southwestern United States. Anthropologists at the University of California studied Ishi for the final years of his life and here, Cortez creates a time capsule, preserving his voice as a reminder of the 19th-century California genocide that destroyed his people and hauling it into the present.

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Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas is on at the Queens Museum April 7-August 18.

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Photos provided by the Queens Museum.

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Fri, 17 May 2019 15:35:53 +0000http://www.23880175.com/queens-museum-latinx-scifi-2637390968.htmlScience fictionQueens museumLatinx artistsPostcolonialismColonialismImperialismSculptureInstallationsScifiTia Glista
How This Artist Uses Makeup to Cope With Her Disabilityhttp://www.23880175.com/gravemoth-rheumatoid-arthritis-beauty-2637187743.html

Instagram has evolved into a space for young artists to share experimental art, and makeup has been an essential tool for facilitating that. For 19-year-old Alex Paine (@gravemoth_), however, makeup is not just entertainment, it's integral to dealing with her seronegative rheumatoid arthritis — a condition that causes pain and swelling that rendered her nearly incapable of pursuing drawing or painting.

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That's also when she turned to makeup as more than a source of transformation or improving her appearance. "It used to be about what was cool and trendy, but now I do what I love. For me, it's about the images, their composition and the way different colors play together," explains Paine, whose Instagram grid is filled with ultra-colorful, glittery looks with emo undertones.

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Related | Blondetaki Is the Spooky Black of Beauty

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The young artist not only uses her work to communicate her most intense emotions and pain but also tackle important conversations around mental health. But she doesn't want you to feel sorry for her, she just doesn't want you to feel alone. "I've been focusing on mental and chronic illnesses but not in the traditional way. I like to talk about things that help me and my experiences so that others know they aren't alone. It makes me feel less alone too," she says.

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Although admittedly her condition has gotten worse and more painful over time, Paine only intends to widen her platform addressing a number of issues such as diversity, inclusivity, and unrealistic beauty standards.

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In talking with PAPER, the Melbourne-based artist breaks down the inspiration behind her work, her favorite products, and the change she'd like to see within the industry.


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Tell me about your work and everything you share on Instagram.

Whew, that's a lot. I've been posting every possible day since September 2017. It started off with fascination and very quickly I fell in love. I've always been artistic; it's my biggest passion and something I've always used to deal with my mental health.


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I was diagnosed with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis in 2015 when I was 15, and it has gotten worse over the years. It's made it extremely difficult to draw, sketch and paint. So when I realized that makeup didn't just have to be used for making oneself pretty, I instantly fell in love. Once I realized I could turn that love into something more, it sort of lit a fire. That's where all my work comes from — that little fire. It used to be about what was cool and trendy, but now I do what I love. For me, it's about the images, their composition and the way different colors play together. I took photography in high school and it's been a lifelong passion so I try to play with that in my work.


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What inspired you to create all your emo looks?

They're all inspired by how I'm feeling, or often music. I like to use my work to express my emotions in a way that words can't, it's very soothing. The color black also just draws me in. I grew up listening to metal and I've always been a kind of alternative kid. I've only just started embracing my softer side through my makeup journey, it has been a lot of fun.


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How do you create them?

My brain just kind of comes up with them? It's like a light-bulb moment, I just see it as an image in my head. Once I have an idea I love that my heart bursts and sometimes I can't even sleep just thinking about how I'm going to do it and what products I'll use.

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I use an array of different things. I have a thing for not seeing labels and just thinking about the textures and formulas of different products and how they will or won't work for the result I'm looking for. I have a large makeup collection because I'm a bit addicted to the perfect details. I could tell the difference between three different cherry reds and those little details matter to my final image.


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Is there a message you're trying to communicate with your work?

Sometimes. Lately I've been focusing on mental and chronic illnesses, but not in the traditional way. I like to talk about things that help me and my experiences so that others know they aren't alone. It makes me feel less alone too. I've also been trying to use my natural skin a lot to show my skin and blemishes. Like I said in one of my recent posts, "We all have skin, what's so bad about it?" Especially in the beauty industry. there's a lot of unrealistic face-tuning going on. Even though I don't have the most problematic skin (large pores, some hormonal acne, but mostly nice), I like to be that little reminder that we all have normal skin textures and that's okay.


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What are some of your favorite makeup brands and products?

Milk Makeup Blur Powder, Blur Stick, and Blur Foundation changed my life. Sugarpill eyeshadows are great too; Glisten Cosmetics' Disco Dynamite Palette blew me out of the water. Ardell Stroke A Brow pens changed my no eyebrow having life. You can also never go wrong with a good lash, special mentions to Rogue and Rouge. Then there are the Spectrum brushes that make blending easier. I could honestly go on and on.


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What does beauty mean to you and how would you define your aesthetic?

Beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes for me, so does my aesthetic. If I had to describe it, I'd probably say arty, fun and bright with a hint of darkness.


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What would you like to see reflected within the beauty industry?

More realistic standards please. We all look normal in real life, so why portray these unrealistic standards? I bet half of these models look flawless without all the unnecessary retouching anyway, so it's time for young girls and boys to start feeling more secure rather than having to unlearn all the toxic nonsense to feel good about themselves.

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Follow Alex Paine on Instagram (@gravemoth_).

Photo via Instagram

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Fri, 17 May 2019 15:14:23 +0000http://www.23880175.com/gravemoth-rheumatoid-arthritis-beauty-2637187743.htmlAlex paineMakeup artistBeautyGrave mothArthritisMelbourneSkincareMilk makeupBlur powderSugarpillGlisten cosmeticsArdell stroke a browJeena Sharma
SnowBlood Presses on With 'Into Your Heart'http://www.23880175.com/snowblood-into-your-heart-2637393047.html

SnowBlood, the artist persona of former Millionaires member Dani Artaud, is a bubbly, synth-pop heiress. She's making a comeback that's almost unheard of; as PAPER reported back in April, Artaud is going on tour as SnowBlood this summer in her first solo effort. She's worn many hats in the industry — from the 2000s glam pop of the Millionaires to her indie pop-rooted duo Mr. Downstairs — but she's finally ready to bring her star power front and center.

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Her new song, "Into Your Heart," is a far departure from Dani's previous ventures in creating and writing. Her voice shines and is bolstered by a heavy dance instrumental, one that encourages dancing to its fullest extent. In the video, footage of the Spice Girls is spliced between different frames of her dancing, bopping up and down in the same way that one might have in their bedroom to their Spiceworld CD.

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Related | The Millionaires Walked So Kesha Could Run

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The track continues the revival streak of #20NineScene, a welcome movement online that's ushering back in the stars and themes of the 2000s into the new age. There's not a lot of people in the world who can continue on for years and years performing after their initial rise. Artaud couldn't be more excited for the new era recalling to PAPER in April, "Somebody the other day was sending me videos of Millionaires on Warped Tour, and that was literally 10 years ago. So 10 years later, I'm finally playing as a solo artist. I'm so stoked."

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We couldn't be more excited either, because who doesn't need a refreshed dose of sparkly MySpace stardom in their life? Listen to "Into Your Heart," below, and read Artaud's full interview with PAPER about touring as SnowBlood, what sounds she's excited to explore in her music, and how she thinks her sound has changed over time.


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What's the story behind "Into Your Heart"?

"Into Your Heart" is a really special song to me. It's completely different from any song I've released so far as SnowBlood, both in the writing process and sonically; for that reason I almost didn't release it! My debut self-titled album, released October 2017, has a very distinct sound that I was afraid of straying too far from. But over time, I've realized I mustn't limit my art. I want to be free to express any emotion or sound with my music and not just one style or genre. All the lyrics and melodies for this song came to me while I was taking a shower! Normally I write all my songs to tracks. This is the first time we — producer Mystery Skulls and myself — composed a track around a song I had already written, which was really fun and freeing.

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What about upbeat pop music attracts you to it as a genre/medium?

It's funny, I listen to a lot of really chilled out music, but I honestly can't help making upbeat dance songs. It's an entirely different mood that forces you to listen and just let yourself go. When I'm writing any song, I always imagine how I would feel performing it live on stage. And I always imagine getting the crowd off their feet and dancing with me. I'll actually be performing a full set live for the first time this summer supporting Mystery Skulls and Phangs; 30 shows across the US and Canada. I'm super excited to get back out there and perform my songs for the first time, plus some new unreleased material as well. it's definitely going to be a great tour and everyone should come! Ticket link is over at SnowBloodUniverse.com! Am I plugging hard enough?

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What kind of music do you want to keep making?

Genre-spanning pop music! Those who have followed my whole career know I started in more of a rap world, then indie pop, and now synth heavy electronic music. I can't wait to evolve even more as SnowBlood! When I first started this project, I imagined it would embody my true Gemini essence, embracing multiple sounds in perfect harmony. I want to continue experimenting with sounds and then listen to my audience — see and hear what songs they connect with most, and make more of those. That's not to say I won't be making more songs with my original sound from my album, because I definitely will, but I look forward to experimenting more and keeping my releases interesting, like, you never know what you're going to get! But whatever it is, it will be some version of maximalist pop, cause I just can't help myself.

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Has the message you're trying to get across in your music changed over time? Why or why not?

Well, if we're going as far back as Millionaires, I would say yes it has changed quite a bit. Even so, no matter what I'm singing, I always try my best to exude love and choose topics people can connect with. Although my sound may shift, my intention is always the same: to make human connection by spreading love, positivity, and understanding. I want listeners to feel empowered when listening to my music, while also embracing their fears and insecurities. There's so much negative energy in the world as it is, I have zero intention of creating more.

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"This song is my homage to the '90s golden age of pop music."

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Why did you splice the video with Spice Girls footage?

Because they're the best. "Into Your Heart" is strongly tinged with a '90s pop sound, and that was very intentional. Growing up, I was very lucky to have a family who embraced all kinds of music, ranging from oldies, disco, classical, salsa, and metal. It wasn't until I heard pop and dance music in the '90s that I really, really fell in love with music and was inspired to be a pop artist one day. I remember the moment I heard "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls and I was forever changed. This song is my homage to the '90s golden age of pop music.


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Photos courtesy of SnowBlood

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Fri, 17 May 2019 14:26:53 +0000http://www.23880175.com/snowblood-into-your-heart-2637393047.htmlSnowbloodMillionairesDani artaudMusicBrendan Wetmore
Joey LaBeija Is Poised to Become the Puerto Rican Robynhttp://www.23880175.com/joey-labeija-simulated-love-2637302452.html

It's been a long and trying year for beloved New York DJ and musician Joey LaBeija, but it appears his pain is not in vain. The queer artist's fullest collection of work since his 2016 and 2017 EPs Shattered Dreams and Violator is out June 13, and it is a nine-song dancefloor catharsis inspired by a messy, emotionally volatile breakup.

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LaBeija's new album is fittingly called Tears In My Hennessy, and with it comes a new, left-of-center pop persona. The project heralds his turn as a full-on vocalist. Our first taste of his new direction came with "Adoption" back in March — a pussy-popping traphouse banger that is pretty much the queer "Thank U, Next." That song isn't on TIMH, but today, we get "Simulated Love."

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Related | Joey LaBeija Just Dropped the Queer 'Thank U, Next'

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"Simulated Love" opens with tinny, progressive airhorns that give way to a lockstep trap beat recalling the tightly choreographed pop of Janet Jackson. LaBeija's voice, distorted and pitch-shifted amid the fray, pleas for mutual love: "Do you wanna stand beside me?/ What do your intentions hold?/ Look directly in my eye/ The truth is worth its weight in gold."

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It grows menacing as the melodic instrumental drops out and his vocal robotrips over and over: "Why do you wanna play with my emotions?" Emooo-tions is elongated, like the period of time LaBeija spent in romantic limbo when this was made.


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"Simulated Love," along with the rest of TIMH, was something LaBeija, a perfectionist self-producer, spent months listening to, almost to the point of breaking. "I would make it a seven-minute stem and go outside and listen to it in the studio parking lot, pace back and forth, smoke mad weed, and by the time I was done smoking, I'd have a song," he says. "I was really stressed out at the time, so to sit back and reflect on writing this now is a trip. I was sad but at the same time, I knew making dance music was a powerful way to get through all that I was going through."

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Making matters more complicated, LaBeija was also living out of his recording studio with his ex, who he knew was seeing someone else. "I was making this music as a way to let him know that I knew," he says.

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The new album also marks a newfound independence for LaBeija, who is releasing it on his own label, called Coming For Blood Recordings. "It's been such an arduous process to get this thing out from publicists to labels, and I was like, I have to do this myself," he says. "I'm super proud of what I've done and it's sort of like a fuck you to those who didn't see the vision. It's gonna be great and I want to keep my control, and my freedom. I'm so ready for it to be out so I can play it live and be the Puerto Rican Robyn."

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Hear Joey LaBeija's "Simulated Love," below, pre-order Tears In My Hennessy, here, and follow Joey LaBeija on Instagram (@joeylabeija).

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Tears In My Hennessy tracklist:

  1. Ride
  2. Dial Up Affection
  3. Simulated Love
  4. Tears In My Hennessy
  5. Charity
  6. Gaze of Vacancy
  7. Wait
  8. Dry Your Eyes
  9. Animosity

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Photography: Julian Camilo

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Thu, 16 May 2019 22:09:04 +0000http://www.23880175.com/joey-labeija-simulated-love-2637302452.htmlTears in my hennessyComing for blood recordingsSimulated loveMusicNew musicJoey labeijaMichael Love Michael
Coolest Person in the Room: Jonah Rollinshttp://www.23880175.com/coolest-person-jonah-rollins-supreme-2637328724.html

Popularity is relative, and especially in the digital age. You could have hundreds of thousands of followers online, but be completely unknown in the streets — massively famous on Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, but lack any kind of real, authentic cool in person. For our new series, Coolest Person in the Room, New York-based photographer Megan Walschlager pinpoints all the people whose energy is contagious regardless of their following count or celebrity. Meet Jonah Rollins (@jonahalmost), the NYC-bred, truffle-loving, skateboarding, model, DJ and hypebeast you need to know.

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Related | Coolest Person in the Room: Martin Jerez

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Tell us about your day job.

I do production at Supreme.

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How did you get into that?

I studied production management at FIT, and I got into that because I took a product development class that I really liked.

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Was that your knitting class?

No. I had to make this little dinky collection and cost it out and do all the behind the scenes stuff for it. But basically my professor told me that production was the least glamorous part of the fashion industry and I feel like I took that as a challenge to glam that shit up.

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So since you work at Supreme are you a big skateboarder?

I feel like I used to be a huge skater when I was like 15. But as I've gotten older, I'm just sick of getting hurt. Now I'm like a sideline skater. Like I watch the videos, I read the blogs-

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Still hype!

I'm still a fan, but now I'm just riding around and keepin' it low-key.

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You like ride your skateboard to work and stuff, right?

Yeah, everyday! But you will not catch me, like, jumping downstairs or handrails or any of that shit anymore.

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"I always tell people nightlife is the root of everything."

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I also know you're super involved in nightlife — you DJ sometimes and you're a big raver, right?

Yeah, for sure. I'm just gonna be real about that. I think nightlife is just so important in New York. I always tell people nightlife is the root of everything. If you are a fashion student, you can go out and you can meet fashion designers — you can meet anybody. That's how I made all of my friends basically: through going out. That's how I even linked with the people that got me my job in a way. It's one of those things that if you want it, it's out there. You just have to hit the club and meet the people that you want to meet.

And then as far as raving goes-

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Don't even get me started!

Right, don't even get be started [Laughs]. I went to Berghain when I was like 18 and it just like changed my life as corny as it sounds. I had never heard techno music or anything like that before. And then if your first exposure is something that intense, then it really reshapes... well, it reshaped my interest in fashion and music and all different kinds of stuff. So that's kind of where my interest in that started.

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You grew up in Texas?

Yeah, so I'm actually from New York, but I grew up in Texas. I moved there when I was like 11. And then I moved back to New York when I was like 17 after I graduated. But Texas is like a weird trap. It's one of those places that if you don't leave you can get sucked up into this weird — I don't know how to explain it, but I was glad to leave for sure. It was not for me.

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Totally. I'm from rural Indiana and I remember being in high school and looking at New York nightlife and being so enamored.

Exactly. And you know what it was? I saw that movie Party Monster when I was like 16. As fucked up as that is-

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Same! And that's not supposed to be a glamorous movie!

It's really not! But I was like, "Damn, this is so cool. I wanna go out and dress up and feel the fantasy!" And that's why I love nightlife - because you can really get your life out here and live the fantasy! It's just cool to move to a city and be the person you dreamed of being when you were a little teenager in bumfuck wherever. And this was kind of that year where I feel like I fully realized that in a way. It's been good for me.

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"Dye your hair. Wear the crazy clothes. Go to all the parties. Don't sleep. This is it."

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Yeah, you've had a lot going on. You've started modeling a little bit, DJing — what are your other projects?

So, I really want to keep DJing and DJ more. Right now it's just fun. The thing with all of this stuff and art and creative endeavors in New York is — I feel like when there's so many other people doing shit, I feel like you can put a lot of pressure on yourself to make something happen. Especially if you're trying to make a living out of it or whatever. So my goal is just to have fun with all the creative projects I wanna do.

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Like I'm trying to release this t-shirt line, I wanna DJ more parties — but I don't want to put pressure on myself to make it happen in a way that affects how I feel about it or the quality of the product, if you will. It's one of those things where I'm taking it day by day and as I have ideas, and as things come up, then I'm down to do them. And as far as modeling goes, if the check clears, I'll throw whatever on. It's New York, it's a hustle. At the end of the day we're all trying to eat, so...

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Tea! What is your go-to drink for a night out?

So...

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Are you gonna say a mezcalita?

You already know! Spicy grapefruit mezcalitas with a chipotle salt rim.

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I forgot your other passion is charcuterie, truffles and, like, bougie eating.

Yes, this just goes back to living the fantasy. I just realized these things don't have to be exclusive to certain kinds of people. Like I can be my bummy, skater, raver self and also buy a truffle on the weekend and make some pasta with it. So, that was me just kind of being like, "Let me live this fantasy. I'm gonna spend $40 on a truffle and go all the way out with it." Whether it's like truffles, charcuterie — I just bought my first charcuterie board. This sounds so corny, but I'm just trying to use my inspirations to find new ways to plate charcuterie in a radical way.

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Right, didn't you make one inspired by spiraling.

Yes. I made one that was inspired by the sequence of events of a night going out to the rave. There's the pre-ki, the rave itself and then the afters spiral. So the plating was spiral-inspired. It's just fun and being ridiculous and living the fantasy. We really only have one life to live, so I wanna eat as much truffle, fine meat and cheeses as I can and go to all the raves, model all the clothes. If you're not living life to the fullest, what are you doing?

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What song leaves you wigless when you hear it out?

My forever favorite at any rave is "Energy Flash" by Joey Beltram. That's just a classic New York track. But if I'm at a party and it's just like house music, I will always go nuts for "Gypsy Woman". And I have some guilty pleasures. Like I can bop to a Kim Petras moment — like the one that goes, "I don't want it, I don't want it, I don't want it all-"

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"I Don't Want It At All"?

Yeah, that song goes hard, I can't even front.

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"We really only have one life to live, so I wanna eat as much truffle, fine meat and cheeses as I can and go to all the raves, model all the clothes."

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Do you have any getting ready routines or pre-game rituals?

I really like taking a long, steamy shower. And just making sure the skin is on fleek as much as it can be. I also get the music goin'. You have to set the atmosphere before you go out so you're in the mood already. The fantasy doesn't start when you go out, the fantasy starts at home from within. You have to get into it.

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What do you think are some of the coolest places in New York?

I really love Sugar Hill Disco in Bed-Stuy. I think that's a cool venue.

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Is that a bar or a party?

It's a club that's been there since the '70s and it's still run by the guy who started it, so it just has this really classic New York feel. But he's down with people throwing raves and parties in there, so it's one of those things where the architecture and the vibe are just totally New York, so that's always cool.

Also, I'm a sucker for a rooftop, so anytime I can see the skyline or feel that downtown fantasy, then I'm there for that.

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I love. Do you have any parting words?

I guess just reiterating that this is it. On some real shit: YOLO. I've really been internalizing all that end of world shit that you see on the news every day — like "Global Warming! We only have 40 years of inhabitable life left on this earth!" and shit like that, so I just was like. "Fuck, this is it. I have to go in. I just turned 23 and I've been in New York for 6 years and I can really see time passing by. You're only young once. Dye your hair. Wear the crazy clothes. Go to all the parties. Don't sleep. This is it.

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Follow Jonah Rollins on Instagram (@jonahalmost).

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Thu, 16 May 2019 21:47:00 +0000http://www.23880175.com/coolest-person-jonah-rollins-supreme-2637328724.htmlMegan walschlagerJonah rollinsNycNightlifeNew yorkSupremeInterview & Photography Megan Walschlager
Los Angeles' Raw Strip Show Centering Othered Bodieshttp://www.23880175.com/thicc-strip-body-positivity--2637323571.html

Watching dancers perform at a strip club, 30-year-old writer-comedian Alison Stevenson remembers asking herself, Why can't I be a stripper? She answered her own question within seconds.

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The longtime fan and patron of strip clubs explains, "That's not to say that there aren't fat strippers, but I just know that, from my experience, it's not something you see a lot at strip clubs, to see larger women."

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So Stevenson decided to make that opportunity for herself, and for anyone else othered by the "sexy" status quo. Putting out a call for interested collaborators, she found Elizabeth Flores, 28, and Linda Douglas, 27, and the body positive strip show, Thicc Strip — coined by Douglas — which debuted last December in Los Angeles, where the organizing team is based.

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This weekend, the trio hosts the event's second edition, again in LA., and now "bigger and better," Stevenson says. Presenting a varied show, from style of performance to the diversity of people performing, Thicc Stripp will give "the spotlight and the literal stage to people that are traditionally marginalized, when it comes to fat bodies, disabled bodies, black and brown bodies," Douglas adds.

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Part of Thicc Strip's mission is to redirect body positivity back to its genuine intentions of inclusivity, and away from acceptance only for white bodies in hourglass shapes and other ideals that are, just like the tall-and-thin images championed by the beauty industry at large, generally unrealistic. "The body positivity community can be very curated," Flores says. "What we're doing is very in your face. There's no editing when you're dancing onstage. We wanted that to be part of our movement. It isn't just this flat-stomached, curvacious, proportionate model — it's everything."

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Raw stripping, with all capitals — that's how Stevenson describes Thicc Strip. "There's twerking, there's pole work, there's jiggles everywhere," she says. "People are going to be throwing money left and right, making it rain all over."

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Thicc Strip fortifies community, too: A quarter of the proceeds are directed to the Los Angeles chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project. Plus, independent retailers like Kidd Bell, Proud Mary Fashion, and the Plus Bus Boutique are on deck, and Curvy Couture is sponsoring Thicc Stripp by providing a free bra to anyone who wants one.

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On top of the positive impacts of seeing marginalized bodies empowered onstage, body positivity praxis at Thicc Strip starts at the door, even before the show begins. Everyone who walks in will be asked to name their favorite curve, be it their "dimples, double chin, their belly," Douglas says, or any part of them that makes them unique, that they want to give focused appreciation.

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"A lot of times we go into an event and feel insecure, so we're going to start the actual night off on a positive note, and ask people that simple question about their favorite parts," Douglas says. "They're able to notice, Hey, I didn't feel comfortable about my curves, about my double chin, but this girl next to me is in love with her double chin and is embracing it."

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A total of 15 dancers will perform, including Stevenson, who participated in the inaugural edition. The group, ranging in age from early 20s to mid-40s, some with experience and others first-timers, have been training weekly ahead of the show with a dance coach and strip instructor. But preparation goes beyond the physical, Flores explains: "It also focuses on self-love, and they talk about their mental health, and the vulnerability of what they're doing. It's an entire process."

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Like Flores, Douglas won't be performing at the event (both are focused on managing the myriad behind-the-scenes details) — but she knows well what it's like to step into pole classes that exclude bodies like her own, purporting that size or height make spins and other tricks impossible. "They weren't doing any modifications," Douglas says. "They said, 'If you can't do it, then you can't do it.'"

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Thicc Strip will shut down those misconceptions. "We have a lot more strength than people are going to give us. We're able to push the boundaries of what we're expected to be able to do," Douglas says. "What we're doing with Thicc Strip is we're proving people wrong."

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Thicc Strip will be held this Saturday, May 18, at Daf Creative Studios in LA. For more info, see @thiccstripofficial on Instagram.

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Photography: Jessica Hinkle

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Thu, 16 May 2019 20:41:20 +0000http://www.23880175.com/thicc-strip-body-positivity--2637323571.htmlThicc stripStrip showLos angelesJhoni Jackson
NYC Club Legend Maripol Shoots the Met Gala Aftershttp://www.23880175.com/met-gala-polaroids-maripol-2637127751.html

Most of us will probably only ever experience the Met Gala through its red carpet coverage, and that's okay. Clicking through photos of famous people wearing bizarre and beautiful and sometimes even deliberately unflattering couture is never not fun, and this year everyone really brought it.

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?Except... for actual Met Gala attendees, the red carpet is just the first stop on a wild ride of socializing and celebrating and attempting to catch Anna Wintour’s eye from across the room as though to say, “February cover?” When the journalists have disappeared and the doors have closed, the real fun begins. Then, when those formalities are over, the real real fun begins. Hello, exclusive all-night after parties!

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Related | 26 Camp Experts Pick Their Favorite Met Gala Looks

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2019's official post-Met Gala event at Up&Down was hosted by Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams and sponsored by Gravity Technologies. The food? After months of gown fittings, definitely McDonald's. The lighting? Sufficiently dark and mysterious, so that nothing too gossip-worthy showed up on Snapchat. The photographer? None other than Polaroid legend Maripol, who captured Jenners and Hadids dancing with French Fries in hand.

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All the grainy debauchery, below.?

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Photography courtesy of Maripol and Gravity Technologies

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Thu, 16 May 2019 19:45:42 +0000http://www.23880175.com/met-gala-polaroids-maripol-2637127751.htmlCostume instituteAnna wintourHarry stylesLady gagaMetropolitan museum of artCampNotes on fashionPolaroidsMarisolPhotographyPartiesAfter partyFashionKendall jennerKylie jennerGigi hadidMcdonald’sMet gala 2019Katherine Gillespie
How to Help Women in States With Severe Abortion Banshttp://www.23880175.com/how-to-fight-abortion-ban-2637210300.html

On Tuesday night, Alabama passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country, which now sits on Governor Kay Ivey's desk for approval. The bill constitutes a near complete ban on abortion, including in cases of rape or incest (the one exception would be when the mother's life was at risk). Should the measure pass, the procedure would be considered a felony, meaning doctors who perform abortions could receive up to 99 years in prison. Truly dystopian stuff.

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Despite its extreme legislative leanings, Alabama doesn't stand alone; three other states, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio, have passed hyper restrictive bans on abortions at six weeks — before most women know they're pregnant — in the past three months. While none of the bills have been enacted yet, they are part of a clear and spoken desire on the part of (mostly, but not all male) Republican lawmakers to attack Roe v. Wade, which they hope the conservative-stacked Supreme Court will overturn. Even without the draconian laws, abortion access in particular and by proxy health care for menstruating people in general have become increasingly difficult to obtain for women and girls in states across the nation.

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Even if you live in a liberal state with relatively easy access to healthcare, there are increasing barriers to abortion around the country and people need your help. Here are ways you can do that, both directly and indirectly:

Think Globally, Act Locally


You can both donate to and volunteer with nationwide groups like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Naral, but you can also seek out local, grassroots organizations working on the ground in states most affected by restrictive bans. This Twitter thread includes state-by-state information on groups to send your money to.

Donate directly to abortion funds


While it's important to help organizations doing work around reproductive care, it's also extremely effective to donate straight to a fund that directly pays for abortions for women and girls who need them but can't afford them. The National Abortion Fund has a list of ways to give, including to local abortion funds. In Alabama, for instance, there is only one: the Yellowhammer Fund.

Volunteer to Be a Clinic Escort


You can escort people seeking abortions to clinics in most states, and it's an especially helpful thing to do in places where protestors gather outside to harass and attempt to humiliate patients. The Cut has a helpful guide to becoming an escort here.

Don't Stop Talking


Abortion is one of the most divisive topics in the country right now, and one of if not the most highly stigmatized medical procedures a person can obtain. If you have the courage and privilege to speak out, on whatever platform you choose or among your own circles, please do. For many reasons, abortion (and reproductive health in general) is mired in misinformation, dogma and stigma. So educate yourself on the consequences of extreme abortion bans, which aren't going anywhere and may only get worse, and help the people around you understand them too. Don't panic and give up — look to the people who have been doing reproductive rights work for years, give them the resources (money and time) that they need, and wherever you can, amplify their work.

Vote


2020 is coming up soon, but state and local elections matter too. Check to see if you're registered and stay up to date on elections happening near you.

Photo via Getty

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Wed, 15 May 2019 19:45:36 +0000http://www.23880175.com/how-to-fight-abortion-ban-2637210300.htmlAlabamaAlabama abortion billAbortionHeartbeat billReproductive rightsRoe v wadeSupreme courtMisogynyWomens rightsWomens health careContraceptionYellowhammerClaire Valentine
Nowstalgia: Jonas Brothers' Second Cominghttp://www.23880175.com/jonas-brothers-nowstalgia-cover-2637100053.html

On a conference call, the morning after the Met Gala, Nick Jonas divides his and his brothers' career in two: before and after Disney Channel first aired the "Year 3000" music video in 2007. Before "things weren't working," afterwards "it all came together." In the infamous clip, a 15-year-old Nick, 18-year-old Joe and 20-year-old Kevin, dressed in Converse and graphic tees (Joe in camouflage, Nick and Kevin in Ed Hardy) fall into a portal in a suburban living room, shimmering with CGI sparkles like an Instagram filter. They emerge enthused to find that, among other developments, in the future they are rock stars wearing matching suits, with a pile of magazine covers and a new album that outsold Kelly Clarkson.

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We are on the phone, along with Joe and Kevin, to talk about the Jonas Brothers' surprise reunion and their first album in six years, Happiness Begins. Much like the rest of the world, however, I am fascinated by their past.

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Like the Jonas Brothers' second coming, "Year 3000" is an intoxicating orgy of nostalgia for anyone who lived through their genesis: malls were in their heyday, technology was magical, not terrifying, Instagram was a prototype on a jewel-colored Mac desktop in Silicon Valley, and Kelly Clarkson was the gold standard for album sales. The prophetic song feels self-congratulatory now, but at the time, it represented a fantasy. The Jonas Brothers didn't know that they'd spend much of their adolescence in matching suits, or that their next album would, indeed, crush Clarkson's corresponding My December in sales that year.

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Without that video — a cover of British pop-punk band Busted, whose original lyrics envisioned a future full of triple-breasted women, instead of cute space girls with Star Wars buns — we might never have met the Jonas Brothers. Their debut album It's About Time had middled out on Columbia (it would later become a fan favorite), while they spent a couple years opening for their teen idol forbearers: Jesse McCartney, the Backstreet Boys, Jump5 and The Cheetah Girls. It was only after "Year 3000" went "viral" (in the way things did in 2007, conducted via hallway chatter and YouTube-binging sleepovers, alongside clips like "Salad Fingers," Shoes" and "Charlie Bit Me") that Disney realized Nick, Joe and Kevin, with their unthreatening good looks, nuclear New Jersey normalness, and formidable skills with guitars and microphones, were the perfect raw material for their cottage industry of boys and girls next door.


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They released their breakout second album The Jonas Brothers on Disney's label, Hollywood Records later that year. Quickly, they saturated the Disney multiverse and the lives of early-to-mid 2000's suburban youth. They made a guest appearance on Hannah Montana that broke cable records. Their songs could be heard in Aquamarine, Zoey 101, on Cartoon Network's Friday program, and leaking out of iPod minis, mall speakers, high school gyms and 100,000-seat stadiums. The Camp Rock series, entanglements with other famous teenagers, various concert films and their sitcom, Jonas, followed.

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Nostalgia is an inescapable fog hanging around Nick, Joe and Kevin, as the world watches them tease each other on TV hosts' couches and jump around in matching suits again, for the first time in six years. It's not just about them. That bedazzled, low-rise moment is on everyone's minds. An avalanche of blog posts about their reunion begin with some iteration of the pseudo-incredulous question: "Avril Lavigne, JoJo and Ashley Tisdale are dropping albums, Amanda Bynes is back, Lindsay Lohan is making TV and the Jonas Brothers are getting back together. Is it 2019 or 2009?" PAPER recently debuted a column, called "This Week In 2009," to feed our appetite for photos of Rihanna with a momager haircut, and Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag making out in surgical masks during the swine flu panic. The Jonas Brothers have already made it into several installments. The guys confirm they did not engineer their reunion to sync up with our cultural nostalgia cycle, but due to it, talking about the good old days will be an extra compulsory aspect of their press tour. At 26, 29 and 31, the Jonas Brothers aren't unwilling, but a bit ambivalent about rehashing their adolescence.

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Related | Break the Internet: Amanda Bynes

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"We're not really defined by those years," Nick claims, when I ask the trio about how they look back on the fever pitch of the JoBro craze. But when I nudge, he admits the period was undeniably influential. "We had a lot of fun... you know, it was sort of a rocket ship to the moon during that time. When Disney played our video for 'Year 3000,' everything changed. It all started to happen when Disney got on board. Our years doing Camp Rock and TV shows were really formative."

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It's not that the Jonas Brothers are at odds with their origin story. They'll soon release a glossy Amazon documentary reliving it, and this past weekend, gave a euphoric rendition of their oldie "Burnin' Up" on SNL. But they've previously indicated otherwise. "I don't feel as frustrated now as I did then," Joe says of a candid as-told-to essay he gave New York Magazine in 2013, a few months after the band's break-up. He wrote then, "Being a part of the Disney thing for so long will make you not want to be this perfect little puppet forever." He detailed an authoritarian, image-obsessed company culture (recalling that High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens was put on lockdown in the Disney offices after her nude photos were leaked), and how the band became stifled under Disney's tutelage, forced to maintain an increasingly awkward and false teen marketability as they grew eager to sing about more complex topics than crushes and homework. Joe and Kevin were required to shave every day, and allusions to anything sexier than a kiss or darker than a minor bummer were "sugar-coated." The essay is emotional, but not scornful, simply trying to make people understand the many factors that led up to 2013, when the Jonas Brothers cancelled their tour, scrapped their fifth album, and stopped being a band.


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Joe doesn't walk back anything he wrote. But with the anxiety he faced back then as a newly unemployed solo act now largely evaporated, he speaks to the same topics with adult, big picture complexity. "We were having to censor ourselves, I think any artist could relate. That's not fun. We were at a standstill with our TV show and the movies. We were young adults, having to pretend like we're young teenagers," he reiterates, but explains that to be frustrated with the company was "such a weird mindset to get into, because we have Disney to thank for so much, they got us started in our career."

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Nick bristles at the cartoonish idea that he and his brothers were victims of Big Bad Disney, or anything besides mutual investors in their image and success. "Before this becomes an indictment of Disney and Disney culture, I think it's important to say that, though we felt limited at times, bottom line, Disney was really good for us; really good training wheels for anybody that wants to become a musician or entertainer, as far as work ethic and all the rest. There was a balance to it all, and we could have had it a lot worse." They seem acutely aware there was no cost to their relationship with Disney more valuable than what they gained: "[Those years] are a major part of our story and a big way that our fans connect with us and continue to today." If it were the case that the world couldn't move on from their childhood, Nick says, "It might be tougher to accept... But we have to continue to make new statements and push ourselves to create who we are, every day."

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"We were young adults, having to pretend like we're young teenagers." — Joe Jonas

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Why would they be inclined to dwell on the past? Since their break-up — when Nick was 21, Joe was 24 and Kevin was 26 — each Jonas has transitioned into an entirely new life. Following his Married To Jonas reality TV show, Kevin retreated into his family and pursued real estate development, satisfied to spend his days as a non-famous. Joe and Nick each rebelled, a little. Joe, "the bad boy," experimented with the archetype he'd been cast in as a teen by dating famous models and growing a beard. Seeming to find the role ill-fitting, he then opted to become the frontman of fun dance-pop band DNCE, of "Cake By The Ocean" fame. Baby Nick tripled in size, made a vulnerable, sexy R&B record, landed a few underwear billboards, and emerged as a Hollywood heartthrob following his effective performance in blockbuster Jumanji. As you might have heard, the latter two have also recently gotten married, attaching themselves to famous and successful women who, aside from appearing to make them genuinely very happy, also brought them back into the fold of A-list celebrity even before the reunion was announced.

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Instead of reminiscing about the highs and lows of their days sketching Mickey Mouse's ears with a CGI wand or picking at scabbed-over angst at the behest of a pesky writer, the Jonas Brothers would rather talk about all the good things in their lives, now. For instance, how sublime it feels to be the Jonas Brothers, again.

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"It's been incredible, being back together after the longest time apart and spending this amount of time together in the studio, not to mention actually announcing this stuff and the response to the music," gushes Kevin. "It's been so overwhelming and so exciting. It means so much to us to be able to do this again as brothers. It's just beyond..." The words "incredible," "exciting," "amazing," "overwhelming," as well as "crazy" and "surreal" are repeated over and over in our conversation, as they describe getting to know each other as brothers and musicians again. "It had been four or five years since we spent any time by ourselves, you know, just hanging out."

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Today, the Jonas Brothers are poised to become a bigger force in music than they ever were in their Disney days. They've achieved this — despite re-entering a radically different pop landscape than the one they departed, now ruled by rappers making country, bearded scumbros making rap, and teen girls making ASMR — by doing exactly what first made them a sensation: clean, universal, good vibes pop songs.

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"We take what we do seriously, but we don't take ourselves seriously." — Nick Jonas

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Both of their new singles, "Cool" and "Sucker," radiate an unforced joy and playful confidence that seems to be the defining quality of the Jonas Brothers' second coming. "It's all about having fun," says Nick. "We take what we do seriously, but we don't take ourselves seriously."

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The sound of the Jonas Brothers not taking themselves seriously is so pleasant that "Sucker" — a carbonated love song that sounds the way Pop Rocks fizzling on your tongue feel — has become their first ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It doesn't sound like old Jonas Brothers, but it also doesn't sound like much else in pop right now. With the help of OneRepublic frontman, songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder (as well as popcraft overlords Max Martin, Greg Kurstin and Justin Tranter), the Jonas Brothers have shed their pop-punk-curious crunch and Disney sing-along sugar, while staying faithful to the drums-and-guitar roots and tactile storytelling that made a generation fall in love with them. The effect is a flavor of blissed out pure pop, that both sounds both refreshing next to today's deluge of morbid pop cyborgs and comfortingly familiar.


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"We had a real sense that it was important for us to stay authentic to who we are," Nick explains when I ask how they resisted the urge to abandon their rockist roots for pop's current greener, genre-scrambled pastures. "When you go back and and listen to Jonas Brothers records, they're written and produced as rock and roll records." However, he says "that doesn't mean that we can't try out other sounds, or go on a journey to get there," and promises there's at least one trap beat and one yeehaw moment on Happiness Begins.

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Despite the above, let's be honest: a No. 1 Jonas Brothers single in 2019 doesn't make any sense (a glitch in the simulation, as they say). The Jonas Brothers belong in the past: in the childhoods of a generation now in their mid-twenties, and in a normcore, suburban fantasy that feels like it should have lost its appeal in our increasingly conscious times.

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Plus, boy bands don't get number ones anymore. The last time one accomplished the feat was in 2003, when B2K's P. Diddy-assisted "Bump, Bump, Bump" hit number one (overtaking Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me A River), according to Billboard. Even unfathomably famous ones: One Direction's highest entry on the Hot 100, 2013's "Best Song Ever," peaked at No. 2, lagging behind "Blurred Lines." Their own hits, 2008's "Burnin' Up," "Tonight" and "A Little Bit Longer," never made it past No. 5 during the reign of Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" and Rihanna's "Disturbia." Their new trophy signals the JoBros have begun to transcend the silos of a traditional boy band audience, and thus, our general disdain for the culture young women tend to love.

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How did they do it?

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There's a cinematic mythos to the Jonas Brothers' reunion story, which, indeed, will be soon available to stream. It went like this: Nick, the architect of the reunion, had started occasionally slipping JoBros songs into his solo sets and realized he was craving their brotherly magic. As they began spending time together on the set of their documentary, the seed in Nick's brain broke ground, and became an explicit conversation. Then, there was the spontaneous jam session of "Love Bug" in Cuba that reminded them of the magic of playing together. Then came the "intervention," when Kevin and Nick flew to Australia where Joe was hosting The Voice to address the baggage left over from their last run as a band, which they'd realized would be a prerequisite for a successful reunion. They did so with a series of conversations that Kevin describes as "the kind probably only brothers can have without wanting to throw a table at each other" ("they're in the doc, and they're heavy," he promises). During these talks, they decided that this time around, it would be all about having fun. Kevin adds: "The choice to do this wasn't out of need, it was more, 'This is something we really want to do together.'"

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The Jonas Brothers' break-up went like this: the flame was Nick's solo ambitions. The gasoline was burn-out, the colliding egos of a band with two frontmen, diverging tastes (evident in the forked road of DNCE and Nick Jonas), and general paralysis. "We lost touch with what we wanted to say, because we were trying so hard to say something different from what we said in the past, musically and creatively," Nick explains. Plus, instead of becoming deluded by their preternatural fame, it had given them imposter syndrome and anxiety. "We understood that our level of success and fame had reached a point, where our musicianship and writing and performing abilities needed time to grow and catch up to it."


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When I ask what kept them humble enough to realize this, Nick admits: "I think it was a combination of humility, and just being scared that it was all going to disappear." He references what he recalls as a Coldplay soundbite, that helped them through that choice: "I don't want to misquote, so you might want to fact check, but something about the fact that, they had become too big, you know, for their level of musicianship, so they worked harder than ever and went even deeper creatively. We really related to that." I'm unable to confirm the words belong to any member of Coldplay, but wherever the Jonas Brothers came across it, it must have been a comfort to know they were navigating charted rockstar waters.

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Listening to the brothers reflect, it seems that the pyre underneath the Jonas Brothers' flame-out was simply the reality that Nick, Joe and Kevin are genuinely skilled, creative musicians, who were always going to clash with their cramped confines. Maybe the demises of commercial boy bands aren't a product of personal dysfunction at all, but rather, of their artistic health — evidence that they're composed of living, breathing human beings, rather than attractive androids positioned in the right spots on a music video set. If a group of kids in the Jonas Brothers' position forge ahead cheerfully into the complex chaos of their twenties without craving autonomy from each other or Disney's iron fist, someone should probably check under their curls for lobotomy scars.

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"I think it was a combination of humility, and just being scared that it was all going to disappear." — Nick Jonas

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"It really took the last six, seven years to figure out who we were as people and what kind of music we wanted to make." Nick says. He mentions tactfully that "a lot of young performers find this transition into adulthood really challenging," and implies pushing the bounds of their wholesome, juvenile aesthetic while still operating as the Jonas Brothers might not have been pretty: "If we had continued to try to push things forward the way we were operating, it might have been difficult. Perhaps we would have had to make bolder statements... shocked people into understanding who we are. I think the world is more accepting of us as adults than they would have been if we insisted, 'This is who we are now, accept us.'"

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If they hadn't abandoned their spot at the top, and taken the time to grow up and chill out, avoiding many of the more excruciating personal and professional pitfalls of young pop stardom, the Jonas Brothers might have found themselves somewhat tragic figures in 2019, doomed to a career mired in nostalgia. Instead Nick, Kevin and Joe are having the time of their lives on their prodigal pop homecoming. I doubt they'd have this moment if they'd staged their return, however, by attempting to make the world see them as more than "just a boy band." With no ambitions beyond "trying to bottle happiness" and bringing "positive vibes to the world," as Nick explains of the album title inspiration, the Jonas Brothers, against the odds, have plucked themselves out of our "Week in 2009" column and earned a place in the living, breathing cultural fabric of 2019.

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Maybe the key is simply prioritizing what's always been at the core of the Jonas Brothers: the fans — their palates and desires, giving them new lyrics to tattoo on their ankles, Easter eggs to mine for the details of their lives, and concerts to scream at with their friends.

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"The reunion... felt like getting my best friend back after a long time," one fan, whose handle is @jonasbr0, says on Twitter. Another, whose display handle reads "Kat LOVES the Jonas Brothers," claims "I'm the most excited that anyone has ever been about anything," revealing "When I graduated high school I decorated my cap to say "I'd rather be at a Jonas Brothers concert." "Their music has brought some of my best friends into my life. We've all grown up together with the boys" says @taylaxo.

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Nick muses, "The best part of this go around, is the fact that those fans have lived with our records for so many years that they're part of their lives, and they're really meaningful to them. We can feel that energy. All those years of fearing it was going to disappear are now kind of..." he trails off.

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Stream the Jonas Brothers' Complete Collection, below.


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Photography: Robin Harper
Styling: Britt McCamey
Grooming: Marissa Machado (for Art Department using R+Co)
Ferret from Hollywood Paws


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Wed, 15 May 2019 13:52:58 +0000http://www.23880175.com/jonas-brothers-nowstalgia-cover-2637100053.htmlJonas brothersNick jonasJoe jonasKevin jonasDisneyDisney channelHappiness beginsKelly clarksonJesse mccartneyBackstreet boysThe jonas brothersJump5Cheetah girlsHannah montanaCamp rockAvril lavigneJojoAshley tisdaleAmanda bynesLindsay lohanSpencer prattHeidi montagStory Jael Goldfine / Photography Robin Harper / Styling Britt McCamey
Kylie Jenner: Get Rich or Die Followinghttp://www.23880175.com/kylie-jenner-transformation-2629088275.html

Kylie Jenner knows we've all wondered out loud who her plastic surgeon is. She just doesn't care. Once one of the more unassuming members of America's most famous family, these days her arched eyebrows and permanently pouted lips — sculpted and painted according to the impossible ratios of beauty YouTube and augmented reality apps — transfix hundreds of millions of eager fans and are ubiquitous on every feed. The 21-year-old makeup mogul says her dramatic transformation (from private teenager to public businesswoman, from demure girl-next-door to bombshell) was a conscious one, and more considered than you might assume. She's happy to talk about it.

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Related | Katy Perry: Outside the Box

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"People think I fully went under the knife and completely reconstructed my face, which is completely false," she explains to me over the phone, casually and with little prompting. "I'm terrified! I would never. They don't understand what good hair and makeup and, like, fillers, can really do." I'm eager to indulge in the fantasy that anyone can look like Kylie Jenner if they just watch enough tutorials about crease application, and tell her as much. She gently interrupts. "I mean, no," she says with a conspiratorial laugh. "It's fillers. I'm not denying that."

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On Instagram, where she reigns supreme, Jenner comes across as coy. Her captions are minimal, her grid curated, her selfies serious. In conversation, though, she's surprisingly relaxed and generous and upfront. A cool girl with fillers in her face who is down for whatever. She's genuinely excited to discuss her formerly secret daughter Stormi, and says young motherhood has changed life entirely for the better. "It's genuinely what I wanted... to be a young mom," she says. "I thought, This I what I want to do, and if people accept it or don't accept it then I'm okay with every outcome."

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Two days before our interview, she recalls, the 11-month-old took her first steps — with father Travis Scott present. Jenner gushes about him, too. He's a great dad, a "big kid," a fantastic partner. To put rumors to rest, they aren't married yet, or even engaged. Don't expect her to keep something like that a secret. When it happens, and she seems certain it will soon, "I'll let everybody know." With Kylie, you can usually expect fanfare. A few weeks after we speak, she throws an overtly aesthetic Astroworld-themed birthday celebration for Stormi, involving elaborate Instagrammable neon photo backdrops and custom merch in pop up stalls. Guests enter through the mouth of a giant balloon in the shape of her daughter's face. They eat fries from pink cartons covered in Louis Vuitton-Stormi monograms. DJ Khaled, in attendance, gifts one-year-old Stormi her very first Chanel bag.

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"What I'm trying to say is I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited."

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Now that we've got the plastic surgery slash secret pregnancy talk out of the way, what Jenner really wants to discuss, with the authority of the eldest girl at the slumber party, is makeup. Its mysterious power. Makeup has made her unfathomably wealthy, and has given her purpose and identity outside of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians sphere. She's in awe of the famous makeup artists she is privileged to regularly work with and laments the fact she'll never be as good as they are, exuding way more modesty than is necessary — watch any of her "getting ready" tutorials and feel something at least proximate to awe. Even before it became her business, she explains, lipstick was her almost singular hobby, an "obsession" she didn't necessarily intend to monetize at first. Of the now-iconic lip kits that started it all, Jenner says she never did any consumer research, "wasn't educated on what the beauty business really was," and never even stopped to observe what the big brands were putting in drugstores. She simply "followed her heart" and invented the exact product she wanted to buy.

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"I just knew for myself as a customer, like, why am I buying a lip liner and a different lipstick? I wanted it the same color, I wanted it to be easy," she recalls. "And I really spent every last dime that I had starting it, not even knowing if it would be successful."

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In 2018, when Forbes predicted Jenner would be crowned America's youngest self-made billionaire within a year, the Internet understandably bristled. But while Jenner definitely exhibits the blithe financial attitude her detractors would expect ("I don't define myself by how much I have. I honestly don't wake up even thinking about it") she is able to acknowledge how certain Kardashian-related privileges gave Kylie Cosmetics an edge other fledgling beauty brands would kill for. "I had such a huge platform, I had so many followers already and I had so many people watching me," she admits. Still, she's eager to assert that "the self-made thing is true." Her parents "cut her off at the age of 15" and told her to start making her own way, and Jenner says that since then she hasn't received a single cent.

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"My parents told me I needed to make my own money, it's time to learn how to save and spend your own money, stuff like that," she explains, taking her time to think through the statement. "What I'm trying to say is I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited."

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"Makeup is something that makes me feel empowered, makes me feel good, and I think it's such a positive thing."

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Jenner has been trying to curb her social media use, lately. Her screen time has "been going down 20 percent" each week, according to an app on her phone. But she also knows that social media is her "advertisement, the way I show my products." She doesn't feel guilty about exposing her young followers to a filtered vision of beauty that apparently requires millions, close to billions, of dollars to achieve; isn't losing sleep over the occasional piece of diet pill sponcon. Just hopes fans know that she's "trying to set a good example." The pursuit of prettiness has enriched her life, and she believes it can help others, too. When a woman's reflection matches the mental image she holds of herself, Jenner's transfixing, selfie-laden success story seems to imply, she is free to go forth and conquer.

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"Makeup is something that makes me feel empowered, makes me feel good, and I think it's such a positive thing," she says, with an earnestness that's nothing if not compelling. "There's no harm in playing around with it and feeling good about yourself." Maybe the fillers are optional, after all.

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Click Here to Order Katy Perry's Transformation Issue

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Photography: Morelli Brothers
Styling: Anna Trevelyan
Hair: Tokyo Stylez
Makeup: Ariel Tejada
Nails: Lily Jafari
Styling Assistants: Ryan Dodson and Karissa Mitchell
Production: AGPNYC





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Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:58:25 +0000http://www.23880175.com/kylie-jenner-transformation-2629088275.htmlKylie jennerBeautyTransformationKim kardashianTravis scottStory Katherine Gillespie / Photography Morelli Brothers / Styling Anna Trevelyan
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