Oh Taylor. Between her recent dispute with Nicki Minaj and critiques for perpetuating “white feminism”, pop singer Taylor Swift has had quite a year in the media as of late.
Armed with her classic red lip and passive aggressive twitter account, Taylor has yet again got herself into a hairy situation when she “pet” The Weeknd’s hair without permission during a Grammy after party this past February. Known for his unique hairstyle, The Weeknd stated that when he first met Taylor, “‘the whole time she was talking …she was kind of like petting my hair?…she must have been a little gone after a few drinks. And of course I’m not going to be like ‘Hey, can you stop?'”.
Whether Swift was too overcome with her own white privilege or perhaps celebrity status is still in question. However what cannot be denied is the fact that Taylor Swift apparently does not understand boundaries. Not only does this situation pertain to black micro aggressions but also inconsiderate behavior in general. Inappropriate hair touching is a known annoyance for many black people as being “pet” is often a behavior associated with animals but also displays the lack of control of their own bodies.
Despite what fans think however, T.Swift and The Weeknd remain friendly on good terms- he was even a guest performer on her 1989 tour this summer. So perhaps it wasn’t quite as extreme or uncomfortable the incident was made out to seem. This goes without saying though, that please ask and wait for consent, before touching another’s body.
What do Conan, Colbert, Wilmore and Kimmel have in common? Two things: late night shows and being male. And while some (ahem Jessica Williams, Chelsea Handler, Kristen Schaal) have begun to penetrate the male-dominated area, the ‘genderization’ of comedy has been dually noted by comedian and long time correspondent on The Daily Show, Samantha Bee. A photo of the late night comedian cast from Vanity Fair’s October issue was released yesterday. It quickly became a gender controversy when the lack of women became instantly obvious. Although not entirely all male and white as of recently (Thank you Larry Wilmore), it does without a doubt seem that diversity of all kinds is still a major absence.
However with Samantha’s new late night show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee airing this year, it seems like Bee will have the last sarcastic laugh on the matter. Bee responded to Vanity Fair’s feature of the eight male comedians by posting her own photo onto Twitter. The picture portrays Bee as a centaur with red lasers as eyes, dominating the male scene.
But gender, or for that matter racial inequality, is by all means still present, even though a couple more white women have joined the late night comedy crew. However, today I am thankful for seeing these gaps closing with each small triumph and “first”. Although small, its changes like these that increasingly transform society. I’m thankful for the media for being a platform for social change when calling attention to inequalities is necessary. And of course, another thank you goes out to Samantha Bee, for making America laugh at our country’s preposterous antics and for always being, as she puts it, “female as f**k.”
Check out this week’s find in the iTune App Store in App of the Week!
Summer is sadly coming to an end and most of us are starting to pull out our school supplies to head back to college, but with the apps that I found you might save yourself a little money on notebooks and pens. Don’t fret you’ll still be able to get those lecture notes organized, write flawless papers, put together spectacular spreadsheets and seamless PowerPoints.
Microsoft Office has brought the computer programs we know and love into app form for iPad users. A lot of us have converted to iPads because of their versatility, convenience and ability to use apps so why not use them to help out with your school work? What you might not know as that a lot of universities have already purchased subscriptions for these apps for their students.
How it works: You can search “Microsoft” in the app store and find Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, One Note, Outlook and Remote Desktop and download the app of your choosing. The app is compatible with iPads, iPhones and iPhone touches. (Disclaimer: I am not an android user so I cannot say if the apps are compatible with android devices) From there the app will prompt you to create an account using your schools’ “edu” email address and from there you are ready to ace your classes. All of your documents will be saved to your school’s drive and you can even set them up to be backed up on your storage cloud.
Create spreadsheets in “Excel”, organize your notes by subject in “One Note”, write papers using “Word” and put together brilliant presentations using “PowerPoint.” Since I have downloaded these apps I have been able to stay better organized and notebooks and pens are a thing of the past. I can honestly say I love these apps and will continue to use them for as long as I am in school.
On August 22nd and 23rd, 2015, at Exposition Park in Los Angeles California, FYF hosted an event attendees would not forget. (Just typing that statement, I can hear some festival goers say, “It wasn’t better than last year,” or “It was better when FYF first started out.”) Yes, on its 12th year now, FYF may have had some more lively years, but this year was one for the books. FYF was equipped with captivating artists, mesmerizing sounds, the friendly people of LA, and delicious food. Before I get into all the exciting parts of FYF, let’s take a moment to thank Sean Carlson, the founder of FYF, for introducing the world to FYF in 2004.
Before I enter any festival, I have to have the essentials that help guarantee a decent day out. First and for most, always check the weather. Just because there are stormy clouds in the morning, it doesn’t mean it will be a jacket kind of day. Clouds clear, and you don’t want to pass out while watching your favorite artist. Remember fashion kills, but don’t let it kill you! After you check the weather, be sure to dress appropriately, or don’t; festivals are outlets for expression, so use them to your advantage.
If you aren’t one for backpacks or anything of that matter, still consider a Camelbak. My small Camelbak holds about 1.3 liters, and lasts me most of the day. Depends on the festival, but I’ve never had to fill it up more than three times in one day. Stay hydrated everyday, but especially on festival days!
Finally just make sure you bring sunblock, a portable charger, a towel, comfortable shoes, chapstick, and cash.
F@ck Yeah Festival
Okay, sorry for beating around the bush. It is now time to fill you in on the amazing weekend I was able to share with everyone who went to FYF.
Who said, ‘Boys Don’t Cry?’ Because by the time FYF was around the corner I was Balling. Frank Ocean was originally supposed to drop his new album in July, and grace us with his presence for Saturday’s headlining performance, but for personal reasons Ocean dropped out of delivering both. Not to worry, because if LA can’t get Frankie, we get Kanye West. Yes, Yeezus stepped in to give the community of FYF a show they would remember. West knew exactly how to get the crowd fired up, bringing out Rhianna for ‘FourFiveSeconds,’ and ‘All Of The Lights.’ West also brought out Travi$ Scott (Travis Scott), to perform ‘Upper Echelon,’ and ‘Antidote.’
Christian Garcia, a festival goer, stated, “Aside from his sick stage setup and his crazy live performances, Kanye honestly threw one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a while. Rowdy, but everyone was enjoying it.”
Saturday consisted of many talented artists, and I had the honor to catch some of their performances. I have videos of some of them in the video links below, but again my camera skills are atrocious when people are going crazy next to me, so I apologize in advanced for my crappy videography skills. Anyway, Saturday consisted of artists such as Tennis, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kaytranada, Shlohmo, Flying Lotus, The Drums, Chet Faker, Bloc Party, Purity Ring, Run The Jewels, and many more. I personally only heard Tennis while walking into the festival, and only saw BADBADNOTGOOD, Kaytranada, Shlohmo, Chet Faker, and Kanye West. For the artists I did have the opportunity to catch, they put on a show. BADBADNOTGOOD shared a jazzy performance, and captivated their audience with covers of hip-hop songs such as ‘Lemonade,’ by Gucci Mane. Kaytranada threw a dance party inside the arena right after BBNG, and I could say with confidence, he made everyone dance their problems away. After, I left to the Lawn stage to catch a glimpse of Shlohmo. The LA native artist performed hits off his album, ‘Dark Red.’ I stayed the whole show because it was easy to get lost in the artist’s mesmerizing synths, and electrifying guitar. I caught up with a fan who stayed to watch Flying Lotus in the arena.
Carlos Maldonado, from Burbank California, was struck with, ‘awe,’ as he listened and watched Flylo’s psychedelic performance. When asked about his experience at FYF he said, “Kanye, Kaytra, Flylo, Flume, and Death Grips were my favorite performers because just listening to familiar songs live, and seeing them live gives the audience an indescribable experience.”
To sum up day one, Chet faker brought out the gorgeous Banks to help him serenade the crowd with their hypnotizing vocals as they performed, ‘1998,’ and of course, Kanye proved once again that he knows how to put on a show. The whole day was filled with talented artists and great music. The venue was big, but had enough free water fill up stations and convenient medical tents just in case fans were feeling under the weather. It was a non-stop party, even when walking from stage to stage. Friendly people saying “hi,” or complimenting clothes kept the spirit of camaraderie alive when trying to reach the next artist.
Below I have attached a video of Kayne performing Black Skinhead and provided some links to other videos I recorded on my phone at FYF. I recommend checking these out, but I apologize for the quality. I know you can find better videos online, but I like to think that mine are engaging. Flying Lotus video shot by Carlos Maldonado.
The attitudes and weather was no different; still friendly and still hot. Performances from Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian, Nicolas Jaar, Flume, MAC Demarco, HEALTH, Death Grips, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Morrissey, and FKA Twigs, left the crowd with a satisfying yet empty feeling. The emptiness coming from the fact that FYF is over.
Jared Bitoon, a festival goer, said,”Flume’s visuals were dope, especially during, ‘You and Me.’ It felt like Flume was really being intimate with the crowd.” Jared went to comment on how Flume was his favorite performance of the weekend. Flume is always a treat to watch live, but this time he outdid himself bringing out the beautiful Lorde to smile and dance to her song he remixed, ‘Tennis Court.’ He also brought out Andrew Wyatt, and Marcus of Collarbones. “He makes the intimacy level of the crowd very enjoyable,” as Jared pointed out.
Though I did not catch Mac Demarco, I heard his show was a bit rowdy and there was mosh pitting. Mosh pitting could be fun, but sometimes too much for festival goers that are trying to just enjoy the show. So just be respectful if you like to get crazy and let the music consume you. Talking about mosh pitting, Death Grips brought the crowd alive with their insane performance. Their experimental hip-hop sound gets the listeners attention in an intimidating, yet intriguing way. Death Grips bring a punk element to their music, and just watching them intensified my respect for the genre.
“FKA Twigs ended my summer perfectly,” Sydney Yatco laughed as I asked her how FKA performed Sunday night. As the summer season is winding down, FKA channeled the intimate vibes of her audience and gave them a show they would not forget. “I feel like I paid $150 just to watch Twigs perform. That’s how amazing she was!” Sydney ended.
After all the music and positivity throughout the weekend, if I may paraphrase Sydney Yatco, FYF was a great way to end the summer. Share your FYF experiences with us, and express what you enjoyed about the festival.
Below is the video of Flume ft. Lorde and links to other videos I recorded on my phone at FYF. I recommend checking these out, but I apologize for the quality. I know you can find better videos online, but I like to think that mine are engaging. FKA Twigs video was shot by Sydney Yatco.
If you’ve read the title of this article and are thoroughly confused and possibly offended, let me first explain. Recently, Black Canadian model Winnie Harlow has been making waves in the media for her unique look: her black and white skin. Winnie Harlow has a skin condition called vitiligo, one that interferes with her skin pigmentation.
Lately, the look has been captured by the media and in return has been replicated by fans. Now replication of trends on social media is nothing new-except when it starts racial controversies. Many of the fans replicating the look are white and in turn are applying dark makeup.
If at this point you’re thinking so what, allow me to give a little recap on the history of blackface. In the 19th century America, it was customary for actors in theatre and later film to wear theatrical makeup when playing a black character. It proliferated many of the horrendous stereotypes such as “coons” and mocked African Americans with enormous amounts of disrespect. Blackface minstrel shows were however quite popular satire in those days yet had prolific effects on the Black community. These effects are still seen today yet fortunately are now a big cultural “no no” to attempt in society.
So is duplicating Harlow’s look appropriation, appreciation, or just racist? Winnie responded to the controversy earlier this week in an Instagram post:
“My response to this is probably not what a lot of people want but here it goes: every time someone wants fuller lips, or a bigger bum, or curly hair, or braids does Not mean our culture is being stolen. Have you ever stop to realize these things used to be ridiculed and now they’re loved and lusted over. No one wants to ‘steal’ our look here. We’ve just stood so confidently in our own nappy hair and du-rags and big a**es (or in this case, my skin) that now those who don’t have it love and lust after it. Just because a black girl wears blue contacts and long weave doesn’t mean she wants to be white and just because a white girl wears braids and gets lip injection doesn’t mean she wants to be black. The amount of mixed races in this world is living proof that we don’t want to be each other we’ve just gained a national love for each other. …It is very clear to me when someone is showing love and I appreciate these people recreating, loving and broadcasting something to the world that once upon a time I cried myself to sleep over #1LOVE”
Sadly, as always with social media, Harlow received numerous amounts of backlash and hate for her response. And to be honest, I’m on the fence about it. Appropriation and appreciation is always such a fine line I think everyone tries hard to find. However, if a subject as touchy as blackface is being called a “trend”, I know it would be hard to receive general support. It is important to note that Harlow is not the only one with vitiligo and ultimately this is still a sensitive subject for the many dealing with this skin condition. As for my word of advice: tread lightly on social media. Personally, that line is defined by ignorance or lack thereof. Knowing the historical underpinnings of any trend is crucial if you are going to appreciate it appropriately.
What are you’re thoughts about this debate? Use the hashtag #glamorouspaper or comment down below to add your voice in the matter.