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Saturday Links: Bury Me in Sequins and Cheshire Cats Edition

Clothes from our trippiest dreams, popsicle existentialism, guinea pigs of various species, and more.

Minna
A Cheshire Cat jumpsuit by Romance Was Born.

I’ve saved up my precious pennies to buy some of the fashion label Romance Was Born’s pieces, and they’re among my most treasured possessions. When pictures of their new collection for spring/summer 2013/2014 started filtering through Instagram earlier this week, my reaction was of intense awe and wonderment. The clothes are creepily psychedelic—a cornucopia of lucid dreams and nightmares. The designers, who are based in Australia, usually collaborate with other Australian artists to produce distinctive prints. This time around they hooked up with Tanya Schultz of Pip & Pop and DISNEY. Romance was Born x Pip & Pop x Disney = literally the best garments I have ever laid eyes on. You can see the collection’s presentation right here or check out more images here and here. My favorite piece is the Cheshire Cat jumpsuit above, which is heavily laden with sequins. Seriously, when I die, bury me in it.

Julianne

Solana Rowe, aka SZA.

Solana Rowe, aka SZA.

The 23-year-old New York-based singer Solana Rowe, better known as SZA, just released a free eight-song EP, and it is the DREAMIEST, shoegaziest R&B—a type of music she categorizes as “glitter trap.” The first song, “Castles,” samples Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere,” and plunges the listener into lyrics that are like a longing diary entry. “Wish I was prettier…for ya,” she sings. “Maybe I’ll understand when I get older.” This week, Rowe was profiled in the Village Voice, where she confesses that she wanted to be Lisa Simpson when she grew up. I love her already!

Within dance-music circles, there is a constant dialogue about appropriation that goes far beyond Baauer’s “Harlem Shake.” The producer/DJ Rizzla, one of the smartest people in dance music, recently delved into that murky territory in an interview with FACT magazine. He explained the difference between paying homage and stealing, and how not to be an appropriator—musical, cultural, or otherwise. The article’s details might feel a little esoteric at times, especially for non-dance-music fans, but Rizzla’s general advice is great for anyone. “Holding yourself accountable for originality is essential nowadays, because it’s so easy to be influenced by everything around you,” he says. “Get to know it, and you won’t want to rip it off.”

Anaheed

Two 17-year-old activists at SPARK, a group that agitates against the sexualization of girls by the media, wondered what would happen if they followed the advice put forth by the two big American magazines targeted at teenage girls. So they came up with The Seventeen/Teen Vogue Challenge, which challenges them to spend the month of April doing everything that those magazines tell them to do, focusing on a different section each week. Alice Wilder took on Seventeen, and YingYing Shang tackled Teen Vogue. This week’s topic is health and fitness, which means Alice has had to eat lunches like this one:

From the project's Tumblr.

From the project’s Tumblr.

And last week, Alice dared YingYing to try out a flirtation technique that Seventeen calls the “bump-and-flatter”:

They were partially inspired by Jamie Keiles’s Seventeen Magazine Project from 2010, but Alice and YingYing wanted to focus on comparing the two magazines. Some of their findings so far, according to Alice: “Teen Vogue has higher-quality interviews and life advice, but [the clothes in] Seventeen can be more affordable.”

I made someone in my own life a guinea pig this week, too. Apparently there’s a new TV channel just for dogs? According to the company’s website it’s supposed to comfort lonely pupsters while their owners are at school/work by broadcasting “relaxing and stimulating content” that includes “invigorating images, animation, and exciting real-world sounds to keep them up and running.” I tested out this sample clip on my roommate Piney. Judge for yourselves, but he didn’t seem all that invigorated to me:

Bianca

The cover of Planta, a CSS record that comes out in June.

The cover of Planta, a CSS record that comes out in June.

CSS, my favorite rockin’ ladies from Brazil, have a new single called “Hangover,” and it made my week! Its bright synths, fuzzy guitar, electro-dubby horns, and overall playfulness have me dreaming of carefree summer days. The band’s new album, Planta, is scheduled to come out on June 11, and if you happen to live near L.A., they’re running a competition to win a makeover courtesy of their gorgeous selves. (The catch is that they’re going to film it for an upcoming web series.) They promise to “spice up your life” and even throw in some free “fashion, confidence, [and] relationships” advice. #CSSmakeover: Yes, please.

Two other kick-ass ladies who brought me a lot of joy this week were Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace and her wife, the artist Heather Gabel. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, they talk about Grace’s first year as a transwoman and their five-plus-year marriage. “Growing up, I never had a role model to show me that you can be trans and live a happy life,” Grace said. “I hope that I can be that source of hope for someone out there who’s struggling.”

Emma S.
Jason Segel, YA author.

Jason Segel is adorable and cuddly and I love him even more now that I know he’s written a series of YA novels. I’m pre-ordering them (in my heart).

Suzy X.

Aamira Fetuga, right, and Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield.

Aamira Fetuga, right, and Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield.

On Thursday, Aamira Fetuga, an eight-year-old girl from Tennessee, trailed the Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield around the capitol building with a petition and a team of activists. Campfield had just proposed a bill that would reduce state welfare benefits for families whose children performed poorly in school. In this video by The Tennesseean, Sen. Campfield put poor parents on blast: “Every child should have a quality education and a parent who cares,” he said, implying that a parent’s inability to attend parent-teacher conferences was a sign of his or her general apathy toward education (without considering issues like the inability to take time off work or a lack of access to transportation). When asked by a fellow activist, “What are you worried about?” Fetuga replied, “I’m worried about the lights being cut off.” To which the senator responded, “That won’t happen as long as you have a decent parent who’s willing to show up at two conferences.” Fetuga and her crew continued following Campfield around the state capitol, and by the end of the day, the senator decided to hold off on the bill—at least until next year.

Gabby
schadenfreezers

Have you, like me, ever found yourself frustrated by the terrible jokes printed on Popsicle sticks? You know, the ones that are just as boring and overly sweet as the frozen treats themselves? If so, the solution may be SchadenFreezers, a Tumblr devoted to animated GIFs of melting ice pops that reveal sticks printed with depressingly honest questions and answers like this one, which was re-posted earlier this week on BuzzFeed. SchadenFreezers are described as “the orange-, grape-, and cherry-flavored joy derived from the suffering of others.” I can’t stop looking at them and getting kind of depressed, but also totally MESMERIZED.

This pie chart, by Ann Friedman at The Hairpin, completely nails every worry I’ve ever had over period blood. Totally sad, totally true.

Stephanie
Anne Smedinghoff

The story of Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old U.S. Foreign Service officer who was recently killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan while delivering textbooks to a school, is a very sad one that hits close to home for me. Smedinghoff was from River Forest, Illinois, which is adjacent to the town I live in. Her story received local and national coverage, but these images from her hometown, of trees covered in white ribbons in her honor, are especially powerful. After a friend told me about the tributes, I drove around to look for them, and I found ribbons on practically every tree that lined the streets. ♦

17 Comments

  • Abby April 13th, 2013 1:42 PM

    Okay guys…. I’m sorry that this is completely unrelated, but I have to tell someone and I need advice. So last night I went on a first date with a guy, and we went and saw a movie, and we made out in the back of the movie theater (I know, classy). Also he tried to touch me through my pants, but asked him not to and he did, so he was respectful of my limits. Anyway, I had a nice time, and even though I’m not sure if I like him LIKE THAT, it was nice, and the making out was, um… more than nice haha. Oh, also, this was my first kiss. So I went back to my suite and told my suitemates that we made out, and one of them is seriously being so judgey about it. I heard her saying that it was “slutty” to do that on the first date and she’s been giving me weird looks all day today. What do I do?? We used to be pretty close but I can tell she’s judging me for this, and it’s bothering me a lot.

    • Anaheed April 13th, 2013 9:18 PM

      Ugh Abby that sucks. I mean first of all anyone who would try to shame you like that is not really your friend — but you have to live with this person for at least a little while more, yeah? Is what’s bothering you a lot the fact that your friend has turned on you, or is what she said actually making you feel bad about making out with this guy?

      • Abby April 13th, 2013 9:55 PM

        Thank you for responding to me Anaheed :). It’s mostly that she’s being weird about it. We’ve always been pretty friendly with each other even though she’s really conservative and I’m not, but suddenly she’s just not okay with it… she even has drunkenly made out with multiple guys… but somehow it’s worse because I was sober? I don’t know… I just wish she would talk to me about how she’s feeling instead of gossiping about me behind my back. I think tomorrow I’ll ask her.

        • Anaheed April 13th, 2013 10:31 PM

          I just wish she would talk to me about how she’s feeling instead of gossiping about me behind my back.

          I think this is totally what you should tell her. And you can be like “I know we don’t share the same values, but I don’t judge yours, so I wish you would keep your judgments of mine to yourself.”

    • TessAnnesley April 13th, 2013 9:57 PM

      Oh duuuuude, that’s awful! Friends who shame you for doing whatever you like with a boy (and this one sounds like a stand-up boy, if I’m honest; he respected you and everything) aren’t good friends in my opinion. Because this person has been awesome in the past, if I was you I would try to talk to her about it. Why is she acting this way? Is it because she thinks it wasn’t consensual (sometimes friends act all slut-shamey because they’re worried the boy pressured you into it)? Could she be jealous because she likes the boy herself? Or has she simply got it in her head that your personal business is her business?
      These are all wild theories of course, but if that last one is the case then you smile sweetly and say “What I do with a boy (or a girl for that matter) is no one’s business but ours, so I’d appreciate it if you stopped being judgemental of me. That’s what asshats do, and I’m pretty sure you’re not an asshat, so kindly stop acting like one.” (You do not have to use those exact words obviously, that’s just me being facetious.)
      Good luck with it darling, you deserve to do what you like without anyone making you feel bad about it!

    • Disha April 14th, 2013 2:00 AM

      I think that your friend is actually kinda jealous that you can actually started doing things that she usually does but u wasn’t used to (making out) , you know? N maybe she feels like you’re ‘following’ her and she’s uncomfortable/ insecure about it.
      Just talk to her with chill and coolness that you need her support ,not judgement in this case. And tell her although you’re now have made out with someone and no matter how hot it was, she’s still da bomb.
      No worry.
      There you will have her “approve!”

    • Abby April 14th, 2013 7:24 PM

      Okay, guys, you are all seriously the best :). I love having all these Rookie sisters :). I talked to my suitemate today and we’re okay again… it turns out that she was being weird because she had gone out with this guy before (I forgot to mention this in the first message) and she was just kind of like…. didn’t want to hear about him anymore, because she really didn’t like him. Anyway, the guy and I aren’t doing anything else because he ended up being a total creep (found that out last night when he was pushing me to do stuff I didn’t want to), so it’s over. Thank you for all your advice, you guys are the best!!

  • AllieBee April 13th, 2013 4:33 PM

    You have NO CLUE how much I wish I could buy Rookie Magazine at the supermarket, instead of Seventeen Magazine! You guys should go to print!

    http://thatalisonwonderland.blogspot.com/

  • whatever April 13th, 2013 5:05 PM

    SZA is so fab, she should be more well known. And those grrrls at SPARK are great too, but a lot of the diet sounds really unhealthy and extreme. Did anyone else see the fistful of macaroni cheese thing on it??

    (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ
    http://teenmoonwitch.blogspot.co.uk/

    • raggedyanarchy April 14th, 2013 10:27 AM

      Only a fistful of mac’n'cheese? A fistful is like what I put in my mouth in one bite! Macaroni and Cheese is not to be trifled with.

    • friendswaffleswork April 14th, 2013 2:32 PM

      alice wilder here! that diet sucked. part of the deal when i suggested this action to Dana, our boss was that we had to be safe. so i wasn’t technically starving- i would have eaten if i was but it did feel horrible psychologically.

  • myy April 14th, 2013 2:05 AM

    Saturday Links are my favorite!!!
    And the Romance Was Born collection is unbelievable! I’m saving up . . .

    http://cactusflowerblog.blogspot.com/

  • Tara A. April 14th, 2013 2:47 AM

    If Rookie Magazine went to print, my life would be made (although you’d have to make sure that it was distributed internationally for those of us who don’t live in the US :P).

    You’ve got to love what Aamira Fetuga did! I don’t think that I would ever have had the courage to do that as an eight-year-old.

    Oh, & that TV channel just for dogs sounds amazing! My dog always gets seriously agitated when she gets left alone- maybe that’ll help her calm down.

    https://www.unlockingpandorasbox.blogspot.com

  • Beatrice April 14th, 2013 11:41 AM

    Cats are so much easier to cater too. My cat is pretty happy just watching Milo & Otis or football (chasing the ball, y’know?)

    http://aclosetofonesown.tumblr.com/

  • BabyCthulhu April 15th, 2013 1:14 PM

    I love that more people are scared to get blood on their underwear than to get attacked by a shark

  • Cactus Woman April 17th, 2013 2:44 AM

    Okay. I’ve decided.
    I’m going to DIY a Romance Was Born-esque dress for prom!
    This is perfect… also I have the exact same haircut as all the girls in the show (minus the neon color, sadly). I want it to be extra-glittery so that a trail of sparkles will follow me while I dance like a maniac. XD

  • goodgodlemon April 17th, 2013 5:56 PM

    I’ve been listening to SZA pretty much non stop since reading this!