BUST: For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests - BUST http://bust.com Mon, 29 May 2017 07:25:16 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb debbie@bust.com (BUST ) Shut Up and Listen Because Heather Matarazzo Turned Princess Diaries’ Fake Show into a Real One http://bust.com/feminism/192947-heather-matarazzo-shut-up-and-listen.html http://bust.com/feminism/192947-heather-matarazzo-shut-up-and-listen.html dylp5y02

If you've ever wanted to watch an episode of Shut Up and Listen, the fictional show Lilly Moscovitz hosts in the Princess Diaries, then we have great news for you – actress Heather Matarazzo has turned Lilly's show into a weekly podcast. In the same way that Lilly unapologetically spoke her mind onscreen, Matarazzo uses the podcast (which is named, of course, Shut Up and Listen with Heather Matarazzo) as a platform to do the same 16 years later. 

The podcast premiered on March 28th, and the episodes feel less like structured interviews and more like genuine conversations, with each episode featuring only one guest. As Matarazzo explains it, each episode is an opportunity where she can engage in honest and authentic conversations with her guests. Matarazzo herself is sassy and outspoken, sharing her opinions with ease in each episode, making no topic off limits. She’s more than comfortable with talking about “every single thing that you’re not supposed to talk about at a dinner party,” she tells BUST.

unnamed copyphoto via Heather Matarazzo

There are currently 12 episodes of Shut Up and Listen available for streaming on iTunes and Soundcloud; the episodes, which run anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours, have featured guests like director Lexi Alexander, actress Stephanie Beatriz, and astrologer Chani Nicholas.

“I love every single conversation that I get to have,” Matarazzo says, adding that she enjoys collaborating with “people who [she] feels are incredibly talented, have a strong voice and have a story to tell.”

When it comes to choosing these guests, Matarazzo remains selective. “I don’t want to have someone on just because they have a name because that’s not what this podcast is about.” For Matarazzo, engaging with her listeners and being authentic is more important than being successful. “I think that’s where the success comes from,” she says. “Whether they’re conscious of it or not, people know when you’re full of shit.”

The actress is looking to have candid conversations with people who are passionate and strong in their beliefs. For instance, she says she’d love to speak with Brie Larson, who most recently made a splash at the Oscars when she refused to clap for Casey Affleck. “Actions speak louder than words, and that was huge,” Matarazzo says, adding that she’d be interested in discussing the ways in which people in the spotlight utilize the power and responsibility they’ve been given. “How much does one need to 'play the game' to get where they are to create change? And then does the fear of losing that power keep someone from speaking out?”

Matarazzo doesn’t tiptoe around difficult topics or shy away from calling out other celebrities who don’t use their platforms to address important issues. For instance, she challenged Charlize Theron last month when the actress claimed that pretty women don't get "meaty" roles. She also made waves on Twitter after calling out Lady Gaga for her lackluster Super Bowl performance, which she mentions briefly in the first episode of Shut Up and Listen. “Beyoncé knew how to use her platform and Lady Gaga sang a few lines from a song and that was it,” Matarazzo said, adding that the tweet lost her nearly 100 followers. “The one thing I truly can’t stand is hypocrisy.”

tweetheather

Shut Up and Listen is a one-woman production – other than the podcast artwork (which was created by artist By A Person), Matarazzo does everything herself. This includes recording, mixing and editing the audio, booking guests and publicizing the podcast. Rather than constraining herself to seasons with a set number of episodes, Matarazzo plans to continuously create and upload content.

“I don’t get paid to do this,” she adds. “It’s coming from a real, true desire to communicate and do what I can in my own little corner of the patchwork quilt of the world to make a change and make a difference.”

Top photo via Heather Matarazzo's Twitter

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ems626@nyu.edu (Elissa Sanci) ROOT Fri, 26 May 2017 13:42:17 -0400
BUST’s ‘Poptarts’ Podcast Returns to ‘Twin Peaks’ http://bust.com/tv/192937-bust-s-poptarts-podcast-returns-to-twin-peaks.html http://bust.com/tv/192937-bust-s-poptarts-podcast-returns-to-twin-peaks.html twinforbust

Poptarts is a twice-monthly podcast hosted by BUST Magazine editors Emily Rems and Callie Watts that celebrates women in pop culture. The first half of each episode is devoted to a hot topic in entertainment, and in the second half, a segment called “Whatcha Watchin'?,” Callie and Emily dig into all the shows, movies, books, music, videos, and podcasts they've enjoyed since the last episode, and either praise or pan each experience.

This week, everyone is talking about David Lynch’s Twin Peaks reboot on Showtime and Poptarts is no exception. In episode 9, “Twin Peaks!” available now, Emily is enthralled and can’t wait to continue the mysterious journey next Sunday. But Callie’s confusion around the new narrative set 26 years after the original supernatural soap concluded is leaving her wondering whether she’ll follow Lynch back into the wilds of Washington.

Check out all our podcast episodes for free on iTunes, and don't forget to rate, subscribe, and review!

This podcast was produced for BUST by Rachel Withers.

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emilyrems@bust.com (Emily Rems) ROOT Wed, 24 May 2017 17:03:32 -0400
One In Four Women Has Stopped Removing Her Armpit Hair http://bust.com/feminism/192946-1-in-4-women-stopped-removing-underarm-hair.html http://bust.com/feminism/192946-1-in-4-women-stopped-removing-underarm-hair.html pithair

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mintel market researchers have determined that as of 2016, nearly one in four women have stopped removing their underarm hair. Mintel states that 95% of women between the ages of 16 and 24 reported removing hair from their underarms in 2013. Three years later, only 77% of women in the same age group reported removing underarm hair. 

Additionally, within the same time frame, research shows that women have become less likely to remove hair from their legs. Olivia Rudgard of The Telegraph  writes, "Leg-shaving is also falling out of fashion — in 2013, 92 per cent said they shaved their legs, a proportion which had fallen to 85 per cent in 2016."

Between 2015 and 2016, industry figures show a 5% decline in sales of hair removal products. 

But of course, body hair and its potential removal are entangled with much more than just fashion and sales. For centuries, body hair removal or maintenance has been an arbitrary aesthetic mandate for women. While the ancient Greeks considered female body hair uncivilized, unshaved pubic hair was once again expected of women in Europe's Middle Ages and in Elizabethan England. The shifting trends around female body hair have always depended varyingly on health issues like hygiene, STDs, and pubic lice; class issues and essential conversations about race and privilege; and on the capitalist systems that seek to exploit these complicating factors. 

bodyhairtumblr.com/laurabreiling

While body positive feminism in the era of Instagram may be to thank for the increased popularity of body hair, the feminist conversation around hair and hair removal isn't over. In "The Problem With Feminist Body Hair," Niloufar Haidari writes: "The hair removal processes of WOC, especially those from Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia often involve much more than this basic process of labor... The reality is that many WOC have been called hairy their whole lives, and most often by white women... For me, hair removal was performed as a form of assimilation into white society."

We should continue to take down body hair removal as an aesthetic mandate for women and femmes. In taking down these mandates, we must also acknowledge easy body hair removal as an act of privilege, and that when it comes to your body, there is no right answer. To remove or not to remove is your choice and yours alone. 

So to the one in four women growing out her pits this summer: you go, girl! And to the women going hair-free: you go, too!

tumblr_oqk8difRrw1rit3gho1_540.giftumblr.com/laurabreiling

Top photo: tumblr.com/laurabreiling

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ogl207@nyu.edu (Olivia Loperfido) ROOT Fri, 26 May 2017 12:33:32 -0400
These Stunning Photographs Celebrate The Beauty Of Inclusivity http://bust.com/arts/192945-gorgiality-erez-sabag-photography.html http://bust.com/arts/192945-gorgiality-erez-sabag-photography.html Erez Sabag GORGIALITY Sabina 1

Fashion Photographer Erez Sabag Dazzles with GORGIALITY, A Spring Rainbow of Bright, Inclusive Beauty during Skin Cancer Awareness Month

World-class fashion photographer Erez Sabag lights up the Robert Miller Gallery in Chelsea, NYC with Gorgiality, a multimedia exhibition that illuminates the beauty of inclusivity and supports the Look Better Feel Better Foundation during Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

Erez Sabag coined the word “gorgiality” on set to express the beauty he sees in individuality. “Real beauty,” he says, “is an intangible quality that defies definition, boundaries, and standards and which ultimately asks people to be themselves.”

For Gorgiality, a multimedia exhibition, he collaborated with makeup artist Georgina Billington and creative director David Warren. A signature Sabag short film shares a kaleidoscope-esque glimpse into the synergy of their collaboration. Together, the creative team and sixteen models explode the notion of an ideal, singular standard of beauty.



What might, in some spreads be covered up, concealed — “Imperfections,” Sabag says, his fingernails painted gunmetal black curling into air quotes— were highlighted, in order to “expand the definition of what gorgeous can be,” notes Warren in the foreword of the black suede covered catalogue that accompanies the exhibition.

In a small front gallery, the models are bare-skinned in fresh-faced headshots that are simply clipped to the wall. The portraits reveal skin tones in every shade of sepia. Alyona, Ebonee, Leaf, Maeve, Natalia, Sabina and others are the living art upon which makeup and styling, and then production and installation serve to spotlight.

Erez Sabag Gorgiality 051117 TL 539

A portrait of Natalia with open lips, the color of a freshly split cherry, encapsulates the exhibition. She is wearing a white linen painter's jacket with a color-by-number pattern drawn on. A similar pattern crosses her cheeks and brow in black liquid liner; a matte white stripe across her lashes swoop upward. She models the experimentation of this collaboration and how the Gorgiality collection uses “makeup to explore and reinforce our identity” and, also by refusing to adhere to black and white standards or to dictated schematics, they “open up the narrative of our aesthetic universe.” The colors of Gorgiality spread throughout the galleries like spring rainbow across a clearing sky.

Red lips greet. At 60x90 inches, Maeve’s mouth (below) holds a tiny figurine of a man with a push broom. He labors to mop on burgundy wine colored lip gloss, as if he were plastering up a larger-than-life billboard. Her teeth are his scaffolding in the C-print front mount plexiglass edition of three.

Erez Sabag GORGIALITY Maeve 1

Orange brushstrokes, a queen’s war paint on a woman named Genesis (below), commands a far gallery wall in a mounted portrait. Wearing a regal copper neckpiece, she licks grandly, victoriously.

Erez Sabag Gorgiality 051117 TL 478


Sabina’s freckles glow in hues of rose to peach (top photo). Flecks of metallic leafing illuminate the bridge of her nose, her brow. The accent was added during the photo shoot and then again on the exhibition Baryta Photo Rag Print that is bare, hung un-mounted at 90x60-inches, in which she glimmers in her edition of one.

Yellow emoji faces with grins painted around nipples for noses answers the question posed on the nearby wall, “Can we be cheeky and brave at the same time?”

Erez Sabag Gorgiality 051117 TL 531

Painted stick figures, with surreal eyeballs for heads, hold daisies and run across the spring green grass. The lovers leap over a heart-shaped smile.
Cobalt netting stretches across Ebonee’s chin (below). Her halo of hair blows out of the plexiglass mounting and onto the white gallery walls. Her dark eyes are luminous with sky-blue shadow deepening to lavender to violet to plum.

Erez Sabag Gorgiality 051117 TL 503

At the end of this rainbow, there is a real pot of gold. All proceeds from this exhibition, showing through Skin Cancer Awareness Month, benefit the Look Good Feel Better Foundation, an organization that has helped cancer survivors cope with the impact of treatment on their appearance since 1989.

That’s Gorgiality.

For more information on how to take care of your skin this Skin Cancer Awareness Month, visit the American Academy of Dermatology.

GORGIALITY is showing The Robert Miller Gallery through June 3, 2017. The exhibition’s limited-edition catalogue and selected prints are available online at Gorgiality.com.

Amy Deneson is a writer in New York. Follow her @amydeneson and amydeneson.com.

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amy@amydeneson.com (Amy Deneson) ROOT Fri, 26 May 2017 12:13:30 -0400
football, etc.'s "Corner" Is The Perfect Hazy Summer Album: BUST Review http://bust.com/music/192944-football-etc-s-corner-is-the-perfect-hazy-summer-album-bust-review.html http://bust.com/music/192944-football-etc-s-corner-is-the-perfect-hazy-summer-album-bust-review.html footballetc promo npr

It’s a 12-hour drive from Texas to Alabama, but when you take the time to sit with (in?) football, etc.'s new album Corner, it shares so much of the hazy, summer sentiment of Katie Crutchfield’s Ivy Tripp. That kind of unhurried, clear vision of a record is surprising, considering it was actually produced in five days with minimal overdubs. But yet, holed up in J Robbins’ Magpie Cage in Baltimore, Texan trio football, etc. have channeled some of that Waxahatchee Lakeside shimmer into this album.

Indeed, opener "Save" is all pinched harmonics and seascapes over the sad realization of a relationship gone overboard. Heartfelt "Overtime" is wistful and contemplative, with its stuttering strings and swirling chorus: “And you may try and wonder why you’re still the bad guy.” That leads seamlessly into the similarly hopeful "Try Out" with its rollicking floor toms, as vocalist Lindsay Minton looks for the reassurance we’re all searching for.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that football, etc. plays the kind of heartfelt jams you might hear on an indie film - the Stratford sisters would be all over this. But it would be unfair to dismiss the Texan troupe as sub-par prom odes. There’s tenderness in "Space" as Minton takes a moment’s reflection towards her own demons, with artful harmonies filling the emptiness. The inward-facing analysis continues in the deliberately discordant "Eleven," where “the world is upside down” and she can’t “tell the sky from the ground” longing for someplace else.

Corner is just as the name would suggest, intimate and shielded - much like the lyrics in the record - but the clean guitar lines and charming vocals act like a floodlight guiding the way forward.

It’s not a boundary-breaking release, but no one should put football, etc. in the Corner. They deserve brighter lights.

Catch football, etc. on their European tour with DAGS! (Milan, IT) from July 1st. Corner is released on May 26 via Community Records.

Part-time guitarist and full-time feminist, Cheri is Deputy Editor of The Girls Are, an online and print magazine showcasing the best and brightest women musicians from across the globe. You'll find her words scattered across the likes of The Guardian and Under The Influence. Cheri is also part of The Other Woman collective hosting a monthly new music show on Resonance FM. Follow her on Twitter @thedivinehammer.

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cheri@thegirlsare.com (Cheri Amour) ROOT Fri, 26 May 2017 11:53:48 -0400
Here's How Your Menstrual Cup Can Help Girls Go To School http://bust.com/living/192925-company-donates-menstrual-cups-from-purchases-to-girls.html http://bust.com/living/192925-company-donates-menstrual-cups-from-purchases-to-girls.html rubycup 1

We know that using menstrual cups can save all kinds of tampons and pads from landfills. But now, they can also save girls from missing school. For every menstrual cup purchased, Ruby Cup (rubycup.com) donates one to a girl in East Africa, where pads are expensive and not having adequate options can often keep girls at home during their time of the month. The cups are distributed by way of an educational workshop that teaches reproductive health and also aims to take the stigma out of menses—period.

By Lisa Butterworth

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socialmedia@bust.com (BUST Magazine) ROOT Mon, 22 May 2017 17:22:59 -0400
Solange On Intersectional Feminism And "A Seat At The Table": BUST Cover Story http://bust.com/feminism/192922-solange-knowles-digs-deep-and-opens-up-about-life-as-a-woman.html http://bust.com/feminism/192922-solange-knowles-digs-deep-and-opens-up-about-life-as-a-woman.html solange1

Turning The Tables

With her latest album, A Seat at the Table, Solange created not only an R&B masterpiece, but also a call to action.  Here, the soul-singing superstar opens up about her upbringing in her mom's salon, talks about her womanist awakening, and shares a tearful moment with our interviewer.

By Jamia Wilson

Photos by Nadya Wasylko // Styling by Peju Famojure // Makeup by Tracy Alfajora // Hair by Amy Farid // Nails By Mis Pop // Stylist Asst: Anna Estelle Flaglor // Shot at Attic Studios NYC

Top photo: Song Seoyoon Jacket; Wendy Faye Jewelry Earrings

Solange Piaget Knowles is a time traveler. At just 30 years old, she already represents a bold new synthesis of R&B, funk, soul, and hip-hop, expertly carrying the mantle of her creative forbearers while imagining whole new artistic worlds into existence.

Despite pressure to confine herself to fit narrow industry standards for female R&B vocalists, her latest album, A Seat at the Table, is her most overtly political, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful release to date. In it, Solange takes unapologetic ownership of her cultural pride, voice, and style. “All my niggas let the whole world know,” she declares on her song “F.U.B.U.” “Play this song and sing it on your terms/For us, this shit is for us/Don’t try to come for us.”

Clearly, Solange was unambiguous about her goals and intentions while making her third studio album. Beyond serving as a love letter to blackness past and present, A Seat at the Table is a call to action. A breathing piece of oral history, the album empowers listeners to share and celebrate their stories of triumph and tribulation, practice self-care, and reach back for ancestral wisdom while marching forward in the face of injustice.

I first meet Solange during her BUST cover shoot in Long Island City, Queens. Taking shelter from frigid winds, I confirm that I’m in the right place when I notice the shadow of her long silhouette and curly fro swaying on the bright studio wall. For the next few hours, Solange dazzles in a number of bold futuristic styles, including stunning designs by Issey Miyake, whom she’s credited on Instagram for inspiring the avant-garde aesthetic she and her mom, Tina Knowles Lawson, developed for A Seat at the Table’s visual elements. Lithe and graceful, Solange glides around the set with an air of purposeful lightheartedness, despite being tired from recent travel.

During a break, I stroll over to check out the pulsing playlist we’ve been enjoying, featuring Sun Ra, Sade, Outkast, Prince, Cassie, Michael Jackson, Animal Collective, and Marvin Gaye. When I notice the music is playing on Tidal—her brother-in-law Jay-Z’s streaming service—Solange’s team confirms that she made the mix. As I continue to listen, I recognize how whispers of this eclectic blend of intergenerational influences made it in to her emergent sound.

Solange’s recent tribute to the 20th anniversary of Erykah Badu’s iconic debut album, at Essence Magazine’s Black Women in Music event, is just one example of her reverence for the artistic lineage that inspired her own evolution. Of Badu, Solange remarked, “she is mother, she is sister, she is friend, she is auntie, she is chief, she is warrior of many tribes. She is a beautiful reminder that you cannot put us in a box.” Her words, while directed toward Badu, could easily be used to describe Solange’s own persona—one that centers the beautifully messy complexities of black women’s lives.

 

solange2Kenzo jacket; Stella McCartney pants; LRS boots

The next day, a few hours before Solange is due to “get back to [her] babies”—she lives in New Orleans with her husband, music video director Alan Ferguson, and her 12-year-old son Julez from a previous marrriage—we meet for breakfast at Hotel Americano in Chelsea’s gallery district. Illuminated by the sun streaming in from the patio, Solange sips decaf as if she hadn’t just spent the past 48 hours keynoting at Yale, modeling for BUST, and attending Open Ceremony’s protest-inspired ballet performance and fashion show.

Admiring her air of tranquility despite her demanding schedule, I note that she truly “woke up like this,” as her older sister Beyoncé—whom she affectionately refers to as “B”—famously sang on her self-titled album. After commiserating about the power of the protests at JFK airport that occurred following Trump’s Muslim ban, and our shared aversion to the cold weather’s effect on our Southern-bred sinuses, we dive into the deeper conversation.

"I was so invested in the visual storytelling, of wanting to see black men and women in the way that I see them every day, which is powerful but graceful but also vulnerable and also regal and stately."

Solange starts out by describing how growing up in her mother’s Houston, TX, hair salon inspired her. “I saw women of all kinds, from doctors to teachers to strippers to drug dealers’ girlfriends to judges. I saw the entire spectrum of black women,” she muses, vividly describing the clientele who she refers to as her “2,000 aunties.” Passionate about the power of the salon as a convening space for women to care for themselves and tell stories about their lives, Solange noted the common threads between their experiences. After nibbling on her plate of smoked salmon and eggs, she says, “I would see them come into the salon, and carry these woes of whatever they were dealing with in the world, whether it be career issues, relationship issues, self-esteem issues, or whatever they were working through. And as you know, a black hair salon is really kind of a mediation and therapy session between you and your stylist and the other women in the salon,” she says with a laugh. “I would hear these conversations,” she continues, “and I think what I was hearing, outside of the triumph and the resilience and the grace, was also just how hard it is out in the world for us.”

That female bonding didn’t end once the salon closed for the night. From the way Solange describes it, the Knowles family home was also a place where sisterhood ran deep. “I grew up in a house with five women,” she says. “My mother, my sister B, Kelly [Rowland, of Destiny’s Child] actually moved in with us when I was five. And my other—I also consider [her] my sister, but she’s actually my first cousin, Angie—she moved in when I was 13. So this household was all women’s work. Literally. And there was absolutely nothing that couldn’t be done between us. My father was super smart and brilliant and instilled many wonderful qualities in us, but my mother was really the heart and soul of the family.”

Chatting more about how she “felt the sisterhood of black women everywhere” as a result of her upbringing, I share with Solange that her conscious lyrics have created for many, including myself, a sense of spaciousness and possibility in the midst of a tense and traumatic social climate. “Thank you for recognizing that,” she says. “I think that as women, and as black women in general, we’re always having to fight two times harder.” Solange straightens in her seat. “And you know, even with my videos, I was so invested in the visual storytelling, of wanting to see black men and women in the way that I see them every day, which is powerful but graceful but also vulnerable and also regal and stately. And how we use style as a language, and our pageantry, and how we communicate.”

Storytelling is just one way Solange leverages her platform to lift up her community as she climbs. Like Prince—the late artist whose activism inspired Solange’s January lecture at Yale—she walks her talk by investing in women and people of color, in public and behind the scenes. For example, her collaboration with hairstylist Nikki Nelms inspired a tidal wave of YouTube and selfie memes celebrating and emulating her natural black tresses that became known as the “Solange Effect.” The phrase was coined by writer Doreen St. Felix in Vogue to describe a phenomenon that both elevated public conversation about black women’s beauty, and helped Nelms cultivate global recognition. Solange has also been compiling a directory of black-owned businesses, curating a crowdsourced A Seat at the Table syllabus, and speaking out about moving her money to a black-owned bank.

This past February, while accepting her very first Grammy for Best R&B Performance for her song “Cranes in the Sky,” Solange recognized the far-reaching impact of performers with social justice legacies like Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone, who “push political messages through their music and artistry.” In a media and political landscape that is becoming increasingly fraught with fake news and “alternative facts,” she used the Grammy stage to call for truth telling and community building. “I think that all we can do as artists, and especially as songwriters, is write about what’s true to us,” she said. “I felt like I won far before this, because of the connectivity that the record has had, especially with black women and the stories that I hear on the street.”

solange3Saint Laurent dress

Although Solange’s political voice is more amplified on this latest album, I learn during our talk that she’s been building support systems for black women and girls since she started a group called “The BF club” in middle school. She reaches for her phone and shows me an image of her 13-year-old self, posing with other young brown girls with cornrows and delightful smiles. “I realize, looking back, that it was really about creating fellowship in a space that felt like it didn’t belong to us, because it was a predominately white school,” she says. “We were giving each other sisterhood and camaraderie and just creating safe spaces for ourselves.”

Since Knowles speaks so much about how powerful women inspire her, I ask if she identifies as a feminist. “Yes. I am a proud black feminist and womanist and I’m extremely proud of the work that’s being done,” she says, referring to the school of thought put forth by writer Alice Walker in her 1983 essay collection In Search Of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose, in which African-American women are placed more centrally in the struggle for women’s liberation. “I’m a feminist who wants not only to hear the term intersectionality, but actually feel it, and see the evolution of what intersectional feminism can actually achieve. I want women’s rights to be equally honored, and uplifted, and heard...but I want to see us fighting the fight for all women—women of color, our LGBTQ sisters, our Muslim sisters. I want to see millions of us marching out there for our rights, and I want to see us out there marching for the rights of women like Dajerria Becton, who was body slammed by a cop while she was in her swimsuit for simply existing as a young, vocal, black girl. I think we are inching closer and closer there, and for that, I am very proud.”

"I want to see us fighting the fight for all women—women of color, our LGBTQ sisters, our Muslim sisters. I want to see millions of us marching out there for our rights."

Reflecting on how she developed her black feminist identity, Solange ruminates on how both the women at her mom’s hair salon and writers and activists online helped inform her perspective. “I feel really grateful that I’m also a student of black feminists and womanists,” she says, “and of women who have created this terminology for us to use as we carve out our space. That is one of the beautiful things about the Internet. I’m a high-school educated woman. And I rely on incredible women like the ones you mentioned [we had spoken previously about the groups Crunk Feminist Collective and Black Women’s Blueprint], and women like yourself, to really guide me through the process of carving out my feelings, and how I articulate them.”

Solange’s remark about carving out her feelings leads me to thinking about the ways she’s literally rewriting the rulebook for women vocalists, and transforming the cultural narrative as a composer. Above all of her other talents as a singer, actor, model, and producer, Solange prizes her identity as a songwriter most of all. Her eyes light up when I ask about the role of writing in her life and work. “It means everything to me,” she says. “I consider myself a songwriter first, and in the trajectory of what I’m trying to create, singer comes last. I’m really invested in storytelling.”

Her longtime writing prowess has flourished since she won second-place in the United Way’s jingle-writing competition in elementary school, and expanded into an impressive songwriting and production resume that includes, among many other achievements, writing, arranging, and co-producing every song on her new album, and serving as music consultant for Issa Rae’s HBO show, Insecure. Although I’ve observed an increased focus on this aspect of Solange’s talents in recent profiles, many features about her are more eager to focus on her personal relationships, vocal abilities, and fashion sense than on her formidable composition skills. It’s with this in mind that I share with her my frustration with a longtime trend I’ve observed in mainstream music coverage. “Solange, I’m exhausted by it,” I say, “but why is it that mostly white women vocalists get praised for writing their own music?”

Solange responds thoughtfully. “I don’t know the answer to that,” she says. “I think that the black female voice, especially in R&B music, has always been kind of accessorized. Because I guess it’s supposed to be just so easy and effortless for us, as vocalists.” She sighs. “[Singing] is something that a lot of people think that we are all just blessed with. And so, maybe that’s it. But I do know that there are so many black women who paved the way for me as a songwriter. I think about Missy Elliott, and what she achieved not only as a songwriter, but as a producer in such a male-dominated industry at the time. I mean, you can’t get any more feminist than what she was writing.”

solange4Issey Miyake jacket

Despite Solange’s magical ability to make it feel like she’s bending time and space in her performances, we aren’t able to shape shift our way out of the reality of her impending flight departure time. I thank her for taking a risk by speaking truth to power, and for providing affirmation and solace at a time when so many are in the throes of alienation due to the prevalence of sexism, racism, and state violence targeting people of color. “I’ve literally just been immersed in gratitude that the work that I feel like I was the most afraid to do, in the beginning, has been received in this way,” she says, wiping away a few tears. “What this project has done for me is more than I could ever—I’ll start crying—but more than I could ever do for anyone else.”

Heartened by Solange’s vulnerability, I realize that the resonance and connection her album provided for countless women means just as much to her as it does for us. Humbled, I placed my hand on my heart and share that A Seat at the Table moved me in a way that felt similar to when I read Ntozake Shange’s award-winning choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide /When the Rainbow is Enuf. Tears well up in my eyes as I say, “Thank you for your assertion of self and for the knowledge that I’m not alone in my experience. We’re persevering.”

solange5Marni top; LRS pants; Wendy Faye Jewelry earrings.

Our eyes meet, and she declares, “Well, that is what women are doing for me. When I read [poet, essayist, and playwright] Claudia Rankine, that is what she’s doing for me. I feel like black women go through so much on a daily basis, we need to tell each other, ‘Hey girl, you’re not crazy.’”

And with that, we end a conversation that has traveled across our shared experiences, raised our consciousness, and brimmed with therapeutic reflection. As she walks out the door in her silky, pearl-colored Tigra Tigra shirt, I notice the writing on her back for the first time. Embroidered in scarlet are the words, “GOOD LUCK.”

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socialmedia@bust.com (BUST Magazine) ROOT Mon, 22 May 2017 16:36:23 -0400
Workshops galore at the London BUST Craftacular http://bust.com/diy/192906-workshops-galore-at-the-london-bust-craftacular.html http://bust.com/diy/192906-workshops-galore-at-the-london-bust-craftacular.html York Hall in Bethnal Green is going to be literally bursting with crafty goodness on 4 June, when the London BUST Summer Craftacular rolls back into town. There will be over 70 awesome designer-makers selling their wares, and we've also put together a pretty amazing line-up of DIY workshops. Check out this little lot and get crafty next Sunday... 

 Brush Lettering SQ LO RES copy

Put pen to paper and learn the art of modern – and on trend – brush lettering with super stationery creator Betty Etiquette. 12-1pm: £5 book online HERE, and 1-2pm: £5 book HERE.

 

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Learn to knit with Sincerely Louise, a maker of fabulous woolly faux taxidermy and knitting kits. Even complete beginners can make a phone cosy critter or fox headband – plus you get to keep the needles. All for £3! 12-2pm; DROP-IN. 

 

The Make Arcade Watermelon Pinata workshop

What could say summer party lounder than a mini watermelon pinata! Make one with added glitter and pom poms with The Make Arcade! 2-4PM, £5 DROP-IN. 

 

summerspritz

Concoct a deliciously scented and shine-inducing hair spritz with handmade haircare creator Hairy Jayne – who isn't actually hairy at all! 2-3pm, £8 DROP-IN. 

 

DIY Moth Repeller Traid Thoughts Blog Post 1 

Join clothing recycling charity TRAID to make a herb- and spice-filled tea bag to repel pesky clothes-munching moths. Add a personal embroidered message, too. ALL DAY, DONATIONS WELCOME. (Image from Thoughts blog, which published a DIY tutorial for this project here.) 

 

IMG 7486 copy

Get knotty and knitty with Riannon of I Make Knots and make yourself not one but TWO statement i-cord necklaces in a tempting range of fabric yarns.
ALL DAY, £10 DROP-IN. 

 

Pakaji for web and insta copy copy

At this intensive all-day workshop by Bobbin & Bow you'll make a beautiful, traditional Polish Pajaki chandelier using rye straw and tissue paper.
£75; Book online HERE

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victoria_woodcock@hotmail.com (Victoria Woodcock) ROOT Thu, 18 May 2017 07:30:33 -0400
Flashback Friday: Amber Tamblyn Before She Painted It Black http://bust.com/movies/192943-amber-tamblyn-bust-cover-story-2009.html http://bust.com/movies/192943-amber-tamblyn-bust-cover-story-2009.html unusual

BUST’s muti-talented poetry editor Amber Tamblyn has been on a self-actualizing blitz this year. The new mom to three-month-old Marlow Alice (squee!) just made her directing debut with Paint It Black — a dark, daring film adaptation of the novel by Janet Fitch—that has been earning rave reviews since its premiere May 19. On top of all this, Tamblyn also stars in Can You Forgive Her?, an off-Broadway play that opened on May 23. And just this past weekend, Tamblyn paired up with literary rock star Roxane Gay to host “Feminist As Fuck,” a reading series that showcases the most riveting feminist voices writing today, as part of the Vulture Festival in NYC. 

We’re so proud to call Tamblyn an FOB (Friend of BUST). But before we were besties, we were drawn to her gritty, authentic portrayals of American girlhood in movies like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and TV shows like Joan of Arcadia, so we asked her to grace the cover of our Feb/Mar ’09 Issue, back when she was just 25.

Enjoy this Flashback Friday reprint of that memorable cover story. Then round up your girl gang and support feminist filmmaking by hosting an outing to Paint It Black at a movie palace near you!

55 am tam copy

With a new TV show, a new famous boyfriend, and a new home base in the Big Apple, actress Amber Tamblyn is moving at warp speed. Here, she puts on the brakes for a quick breakfast and talks about poetry, politics, and plotting with Amy Poehler.

by Lisa Butterworth // photos by Michael Lavine
styling by Deborah Afshani // makeup by Kristofer Buckle
hair by Matthew Monzon // props by Wil Pierce
dress: Alberta Ferretti; headpiece: Jennifer Behr; earrings: RJ Graziano; gloves: Lacrasia; Dress: J. Mendel; earrings: RJ Graziano; hat: Jennifer Behr; Gloves: lacrasia; top and skirt: Sonia by Sonia Rykiel; crinoline: Vintage; stockings: Wolford; Shoes: Lanvin; earrings: RJ Graziano

It’s 9:30 in the morning, and I’m poring over the menu at a restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side when Amber Tamblyn appears, scanning the small space and looking slightly hurried. I catch her eye and she comes over, setting down a bag of doggie treats with a wry grin. “Here,” she says, “I brought you these.” For a second I think she might be serious, until she tells me she’s brought along her boyfriend’s dog—a perky-eared mutt instantly familiar to anyone who’s seen the paparazzi shots of the 25-year-old actress with her significant other, actor/comedian David Cross. Leaving her oversized sunglasses on the table, she sweeps out to tie her canine charge up closer to the entrance, where she’ll be able to keep an eye on the dog through the windows.

It was Tamblyn’s idea to meet here at Shopsin’s, a tiny restaurant with an eccentric, 800-item menu. I’ve barely familiarized myself with the 50 flavors of French toast when Tamblyn returns, tossing her bag on the floor, shedding her long, hooded sweater, and unwrapping a colorful scarf from around her neck. She’s wearing black leggings, black boots, and a big gray T-shirt that says “Write Bloody” over a bird-on-a-typewriter graphic. I notice her black-painted fingernails as she whips her long brown hair back into a messy ponytail before ordering orange juice and huevos rancheros (“I’m going to be totally boring and get what I always get”). She tells me she flew in from Los Angeles the previous evening and went directly to Williamsburg to see her friends the Cold War Kids play, which explains the neon paper wristband she’s sporting. “I’m literally wearing the same thing I wore last night,” she says. It’s not an apology, just an example of her willingness to tell it like it is.

Tamblyn’s brazenness, coupled with her smart and snarky attitude, sets her apart from her peers in the industry—she is no one but herself. Though born and raised in Venice Beach, CA, she doesn’t subscribe to the Hollywood aesthetic, maintaining a refreshingly normal weight and refusing to “fix” her adorably less-than-perfect teeth. As an actor, Tamblyn takes roles for the challenge they provide or to work with women she admires, not necessarily for exposure or to be “the next big thing.” And whereas many actresses attempt to cross over to pop-singer stardom, Tamblyn has been successfully building a second career as a published poet and spoken-word performer. (At a recent reading in an indie record shop in Nashville, TN, she shared “Hate: A Love Poem,” killing the audience with lines like “I sit in fast-food bathrooms just to remember your smell” and “My fist thinks you’re ugly and would tell you to your face.”) She’s independent and outspoken—a self-proclaimed feminist in a time when many people shy away from the word, especially in the media. And she’s always fighting for the cause, whether it’s as a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries, or rocking the mic at Girl Fest in Hawaii, an event dedicated to ending violence against women and providing girls with role models. When I tell her she strikes me as the quintessential BUST girl, she says, “Holla!” then leans into my recorder on the table to add, “You hear that, readers?”

Tamblyn was born into a Hollywood family: her father is Russ Tamblyn, an actor famous in the ’50s and ’60s (he starred in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and West Side Story), and again in the ’90s, when he played Dr. Jacoby on the television series Twin Peaks. David Lynch happens to be a family friend, and Dennis Hopper and Neil Young, both close friends of her father, are Tamblyn’s godparents. “My dad was adamantly against me acting, because he was a child actor,” Tamblyn says. But it was his career choice that led her to inadvertently join the business: her father’s agent came to see a 10-year-old Amber in a school production of Pippi Longstocking and immediately suggested sending her to auditions, helping her to land a role on General Hospital in 1995 that lasted six years. Acting, Tamblyn discovered, was surprisingly grounding. “My mom didn’t put me on any meds when I was younger, even though I was really hyperactive and crazy,” she says. “But she did let me act, and that was a very focus-driven experience for me; it helped me curb all of my energy into one single resource.” She came into her own at 20 with her leading role on the television series Joan of Arcadia, which aired from 2003 to 2005. In it, she nailed the role of a sassy teenager who receives messages from God—an angsty, funny, sympathetic performance that garnered her an Emmy nomination, making her the second-youngest actress ever to be up for the award.

That role also launched her into the realm of girl culture, a position that was solidified in 2005, when she starred (along with America Ferrara, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel) in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, that super-rare specimen of a highly successful girl-buddy movie. Now she’s making the move back to television as the lead in a new show on ABC called The Unusuals, about a police unit in New York’s Lower East Side. “She’s a real tough girl with a smart-ass attitude,” Tamblyn says of her character, fresh-to-the-force Detective Casey Shraeger. It suits Tamblyn, and it’s the kind of role she waits for. “It’s very rare that you find anything that’s good for young females. I’ve read a hundred scripts this year. Crap, crap, and more crap.”

Amber 04 114a cmyk

To shoot The Unusuals, Tamblyn is moving to New York, a big change made easier by her blossoming relationship with Cross, who lives here. Her union with the nearly-20-years-her-senior comic instigated countless comments of the “WTF?!” variety in the blogosphere last August, when photographers first snapped the couple together while they were out walking Cross’ dog. But despite the age difference, chatting with Tamblyn makes it clear how much the two have in common. She happens to be hilarious, cracking off-handed jokes about everything: whether it’s the paparazzi (“Oh yeah, love ’em. Every household should have two—one for the kitchen, one for the bathroom”), the random facts I know about her background (“Aww, girl, you done read up on your Wikipedias”), or how she leverages her acting ability (“Sexually? To my disadvantage”). When our food arrives, Tamblyn reveals that Cross introduced her to Shopsin’s—which is as well known for its grumpy, foul-mouthed owner/chef as it is for its culinary offerings—on one of their first dates. “I fell in love after that,” she says with a hint of sarcasm in her voice, “right here at Shopsin’s. As soon as he was like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna like this place, where if you ask for orange juice they say go fuck yourself.’ I knew he was right,” she says, feigning wistfulness. Though she says she wasn’t much of a pooch person before meeting Cross, she’s a doting dog-sitter to Ollie Red Sox, and when she tells me she’s gotten really into cooking recently, she adds, “especially with my boyfriend. We cook a lot together; we’re nesting.” Still, preparing to move east is not without its stress. “I’m trying to move all my stuff from L.A. to New York and I’m like, ‘What should I pack?’” she says. “Should I take this to New York? Am I going to be this person in New York? What if I’m not?”

But it’s hard to believe this represents anything more than a momentary freak-out, because Tamblyn seems completely comfortable in her own skin. It’s this confidence that, even with her kinetic energy, lends her an air of maturity. She seems older than her 25 years, something that not only makes the age gap between her and Cross less shocking, but also explains how she’s managed to avoid the typical pitfalls of young celebrity, like DUIs, stints in rehab, or incriminating photos. “Having parents who are my friends, that’s the main reason,” she says, “but I wasn’t always the greatest of greats. I moved out when I was 17. I had a lot of problems with my dad. We had a really hard time seeing eye to eye,” though she adds that he always let her make her own choices. “My dad’s full of sayings. He’s always like, ‘Go to the edge, take a peek, and then come on back.’ I think I’m still hanging on by two fingers, off the edge, at times.”

It probably helps, too, that Tamblyn makes fast friends with intelligent, creative, inspiring women, and her working relationships go well beyond the final “cut.” Alexis Bledel, Tamblyn’s Sisterhood costar, is one of her besties, and when she receives a text message from Tilda Swinton—with whom she starred in 2006’s Stephanie Daley—during our conversation, it prompts Tamblyn to tell me her nickname for Swinton is “Anam Cara,” Gaelic for “soul friend.” It’s fitting that Tamblyn is our current cover girl, not only because she’s paved her own way in an industry that rewards conformity, but also because it’s like honoring one of our own: “I subscribe to BUST. I’ve bought BUST for years. I’m an avid reader!” she says. In fact, if Tamblyn had her way, the cover of this issue would look very different. “I emailed Amy Poehler, who’s a very dear friend of mine, as soon as I found out about this [story], and I was like, ‘Listen, dude, if that toast ain’t comin’ out of the toaster anytime soon...’” she trails off, miming a pregnant belly. “I wanted to do the cover with her, of us recreating the Janet Jackson album cover, with her holding my boobies from behind, and it would read ‘Women support women—without underwire.’ She was so down! But she was like, ‘Girl, I’m gonna pop. I don’t even know if I’d be able to get my hands around you. Trust me, it’s not easy doing Will doggie style.’”

Tamblyn met Poehler on the set of Spring Breakdown, a comedy they filmed several years ago—along with Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch—that has yet to see the light of day. But for Tamblyn, just shooting the movie, in which she plays a high school student on spring break, was awesome enough, “especially because I went through a really gnarly, very bad breakup at that time,” she says. “Sometimes life just does that for you—it gives you great circumstances,” she says. “I did that film right after this very toxic relationship, and it was so amazing to just laugh all the time with those girls.”

The experience moved Tamblyn to write a poem for Posey, which she plans to include in her next book. Tamblyn’s been writing poetry since she was a kid, putting out two chapbooks on her own (with the help of Kinko’s) before Simon & Schuster published Free Stallion, a collection of her poems, in 2005. But if you’re imagining rudimentary verses scribbled in a journal, think again: Tamblyn counts family friend and San Francisco’s poet laureate Jack Hirschman as a mentor. “Kill Me So Much,” a Hirschman-inspired poem she wrote at age 11, was later published in San Francisco’s Café magazine. Her poems are intimate and raw, but that kind of exposure, she says, “never scared me. Poetry has been a way for me to relate my experiences without any direct repercussions, whereas a magazine quote or something you say on the red carpet directly comes at you.” She furrows her brow. “As I say that, I’m thinking about my new manuscript, which is totally against everything I just said, so basically, I’m a liar.” That book, which she’s editing and shopping to publishers now, will include personal emails, “funny anecdotal shit,” and articles she’s written for Nylon and Interview, along with poetry, she says. If that’s not enough to keep her busy, Tamblyn’s also active in the spoken-word community: she masterminded The Drums Inside Your Chest, a huge event that’s held annually in Los Angeles and features performances by the best contemporary poets in the country, and before our interview, she performed at The Lasers of Sexcellence, a Midwest tour of readings, with her “creative other,” poet Derrick Brown—the man behind Write Bloody, the publishing company her T-shirt extols.

Amber 05 073 2a cmyk

Tamblyn says she thinks her poetry was the reason she landed her role on General Hospital in the first place. “They did what’s called a cattle call, when the audition is open to anybody. I must’ve come in like five or six times. It was between me and this one other girl, and I totally brought a poem up in that room.” The poem was the aforementioned “Kill Me So Much,” which she casually mocks as a superpolitical, “call-to-arms” piece. “I think they were like, ‘She’s wise beyond her years,’” she says, affecting a deep, “adult” voice. I mention that she probably gets that a lot. “I think I’ve gotten it so much that if I don’t get it, I get worried,” she confesses. “I’m like, ‘Oh, shit! Am I not wise beyond my years anymore? Am I less wise than my actual years?’”

I don’t think she has to worry yet. While many young actresses make their rounds on the club circuit, Tamblyn puts her celebrity to work for the issues she believes in. During the presidential primaries, she, along with Sisterhood costar America Ferrera, were the acting heads of Hillblazers, a youth-oriented organization supporting Hillary Clinton, and Tamblyn’s been an avid promoter of Planned Parenthood for years, most recently helping them lobby to overturn an amendment that prevented college students’ birth control from being covered by insurance. “It’s odd to me how controversial the idea of basic women’s health care is,” she says. “I do not understand the idea of anyone being pro-abortion; I think it is an oxymoronic term. At no time ever is any woman like, ‘Yay, I’m gonna go get this done.’ There is no group of people that want to further the advancement of that experience. It’s about the freedom of your own body; that’s what the argument is about, and I get really irate about it.” Tamblyn took particular offense to the way abortion was discussed by the candidates during the final presidential debate. “Hearing those two dudes talk about abortion, I screamed at the TV, ‘You don’t get to talk until you can push a pineapple through your penis hole!’” she says, passionately, holding up a scolding forefinger. “‘Neither of you! Shush!’”

Tamblyn’s combination of energetic irreverence and unapologetic opinion makes me feel as if I’ve truly gotten to know her, though when the check comes, I still want to know more—it’s easy to feel comfortable around someone who is so obviously at ease with herself. I ask if there’s anything else we should cover before she walks Ollie over to the photo shoot. “I think we need to talk about why I haven’t taken a bite of your French toast yet,” she says, reaching over the table with her fork. “Oh, snap,” she says with her mouth full, then declares my selection “delish” and air-kisses her fingertips. “No, I don’t think there’s anything else. Mayonnaise: not into it. There, we’re done.” 

This story was originally published in BUST Magazine, Feb/March 2009.
To purchase this back issue, click here.
Want more of this kind of awesome pop culture coverage delivered right to your door? Subscribe to BUST!

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socialmedia@bust.com (BUST Magazine) ROOT Thu, 25 May 2017 14:55:13 -0400
14 Gifs Of Wine-Drinking Ladies On TV To Celebrate #NationalWineDay http://bust.com/eat-me/192942-national-wine-day-gif.html http://bust.com/eat-me/192942-national-wine-day-gif.html olivia pope with wine

Happy National Wine Day! While sometimes these hashtag holidays can get out of hand (did you know yesterday was National Scavenger Hunt Day?) we are always down to celebrate our favorite fermented grape adult beverage. Whether you're a wine connoisseur like Scandal's Olivia Pope (above), or you can't tell the difference between Trader Joe's cheapest vintage and a classy bottle like Parks & Rec's Leslie Knope (and me), we've got the perfect TV-lady-drinking-wine-gif for you.

1. Betty Draper on Mad Men

BETTY DRAPER

2. Amy Schumer on Inside Amy Schumer

amy schumer

3. Issa on Insecure

INSECURE

(I can't find a gif of Molly and Issa at the wine tasting but also THAT SCENE)

4. Cersei on Game of Thrones

cersei

5. Olivia Pope on Scandal

olivia pope

6. Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation

Leslie Knope

7. April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation

april ludgate

8. Kristen Wiig on SNL

snl

9. Betty White

betty white

10. Mindy on the Mindy Project

MindY Kaling

11. Stella on The Fall

the fall

12. Liz Lemon on 30 Rock

30 rock

13. Cookie Lyon on Empire

empire

14. Linda on Bob's Burgers

bob's burgers

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erikawsmith@bust.com (Erika W. Smith) ROOT Thu, 25 May 2017 14:05:16 -0400