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Saturday Links: In Defense of Pizza Edition

Plus One Direction goodness, post-Grammys feelings, and two different looks at young female athletes.


HOW COULD YOU LOOK AT THIS AND SEE ANYTHING BUT BEAUTY. Photo via the New York Times, our sworn enemy.

HOW COULD YOU LOOK AT THIS AND SEE ANYTHING BUT BEAUTY. Photo via the New York Times, our sworn enemy.

On Monday, the New York Times published an editorial defending the decision to put pizza on the Meh List in their “One-Page Magazine.” Obviously, we were not the only readers who disagreed STRONGLY with the inclusion of this superfood on a list that also included spin class and “pressing # when finished.”

Many of you may know that pizza is the official food of Rookie. It’s also kind of our uniform—like Queen Bey, many of us own pizza-themed clothing. This great food makes up probably 140% of the typical Rookie staff member diet. Truly, we eat, sleep, and even breathe pizza. Although that might seem physically impossible, it’s inarguably TRUE—our adoration of pizza transcends the rules of natural science.

What’s most offensive about the disgusting argument put forth by Willy Staley, one of TWO reporters it apparently took to compile that five-item list, is that his main complaint about pizza is precisely what makes it so beautiful: its accessibility to all humans. It’s easily shareable, has humble ingredients, and can be found in many if not most places. It’s as though Staley didn’t consider the needs of pizza’s biggest fans, or even realize who they are: He mentions picky children, but that is incorrect-o. Pizza’s most ride-or-die fan base is made up of teens and college students. IT IS YOU. IT IS ME. IT IS ALL OF US.

Staley posits that lately, pizza has been received undue hype. But what he doesn’t seem to understand is that for SOME PEOPLE (including the community of a particular online teen girl rag), pizza is literally always exciting. His lunacy continues when he compares his pizza feelings to his ambivalence about nachos, another teen diet staple he finds “meh.” Like, wow. I can’t even respond to that. What’s next, cheeseburgers?

In closing, if you stand with pizza, you stand with not only Rookie, but teens everywhere. This has been a public service announcement from me, Hazel Cills.


Madonna performing "Same Love" at the Grammys. Photo via Jezebel.

Madonna performing “Same Love” at the Grammys. Photo via Jezebel.

In light of some of Madonna’s recent WTF-ery, Lindy West wrote about not just what a bummer it is to see Madonna becoming clueless, but also about the fear of one day getting to that point ourselves.

There’s no shame in obsolescence, really—it happens to everyone. I get the same sinking feeling every time a comedian I idolize rails against “political correctness,” or a gay icon throws around “t******s.” Oh. It’s happening. You are getting old. You don’t get it anymore. You don’t know it, but you have become the bearer of old ideas. And I know I’ll be there eventually too. I am way more terrified of that not-getting-it than I am of crow’s feet and saggy neck-skin.

In lighter Grammys news, three of my absolute favoritest ladies performed last Sunday and totally SLAYED, but you probably already caught their appearances. How happy does T-Swift’s smile at the end of “Drunk in Love” make you on a scale from one to how happy you were when Jay-Z made the sippy cup joke? (Though I am not into the Anna Mae reference and felt weird when Jay + Bey said it onstage together.) And for anyone else who got teary-eyed proud of Lorde’s double-win, she wrote this sweet note in the New Zealand Herald:


FINALLY, I have not experienced a cultural event unless I know what @Seinfeld2000 had to say about it. So this comparison from that entity was helpful:



Photo of Cathy Horyn via Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images.

Photo of Cathy Horyn via Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images.

News broke this week that Cathy Horyn, chief fashion reporter for the New York Times, is resigning so she can take care of her partner, who is very sick. There are not enough words to convey the enormity of the hole she will leave behind in fashion criticism. That field is currently very tied to marketing, so few big-name critics will risk talking badly about a designer’s work, lest the company in question pull their advertising dollars from the publication dissing them. Horyn has never seemed to care about these political economics. She’s always spoken her mind, whether or not it might offend flashy brands or celebrities. She’s been banned from shows, called out in ridiculous Twitter feuds, and insulted by Oscar de la Renta and Lady Gaga, among others, but I feel like those things don’t even register in her radar. No one else on her level is brave enough to give an honest critique of what they see, regardless of commercial or social effect, and so I’ll miss her criticism a lot. The good news is, she’s writing a book about the history of fashion reporting in the Times, and I can’t wait to read everything she has to say about everything in general. Long live Horyn.




Like so many others, I am a smitten devotee of the style of our own Arabelle, the OG Fashion Pirate, beauty renegade, underwear champion, and all-around badgyal ingenue. Swapping clothes with her would be a mega-dream to me (although she’d get the short end of the stick), but she is definitely more sartorially adventurous than a good 85–95% of the population. So a lot of fun ensues in StyleLikeU’s latest “Second Skin” video, in which Arabelle swaps clothes with designer Dynasty Ogun, a casual-menswear fan who does not wear lingerie! It’s so interesting to see how not-like-one’s-self both Arabelle and Dynasty are while wearing clothes that aren’t even in the general vicinity of their wheelhouses (spoiler: Arabelle isn’t even allowed to wear makeup!), and it underscores how intensely personal style is, how it’s an extension of an individual’s VERY BEING.

For a pre-Super Bowl look back at the shitstorm that ensued after 2004’s “Nipplegate,” when Justin Timberlake accidentally revealed Janet Jackson’s areola by rippling off a piece of hercostume, here’s Hillary Crosley writing at Rolling Stone:

Jackson may have thought Nipplegate was a mere ‘wardrobe malfunction,’ but the flash of nudity went beyond that: She had unwittingly sparked America’s dismal Jezebel trope surrounding black female sexuality—the idea that black women are irrational sexual beings that must be controlled and stamped out. Janet bore the blame for Nipplegate alone—everyone associated with the production claimed ignorance, and after his vague apology, Timberlake didn’t discuss the event again.

Amy Rose

A portrait of Sappho, who JUST DROPPED A NEW VERSE, by an unknown artist, via Rex Features.

A portrait (by an unknown artist) of Sappho, who JUST DROPPED A NEW VERSE. Via Rex Features.

I love the surviving work of Sappho, an ancient Greek poet whose writings were largely destroyed by the Catholic church for their depictions of lesbian desire. The word lesbian is actually derived from Lesbos, name of the island where Sappho lived—that’s how important her impact on the history of same-sex love is! This week, part of a “new” Saphho poem was discovered, which is crazy-exciting considering how few of her works are around today.

The fragment provides some insight about her family life by detailing how badly she wanted her brother, Charaxos, to return safely from a trip overseas, and I’m deeply into how she’s basically saying to everyone, “Please stop trying to comfort me by telling me he’s going to be fine, because you actually have no idea—you, bro, are no Zeus, so shut up and let me feel my feelings.” SAPPHO STAYS THE REALEST, EVEN ALL THESE CENTURIES LATER.


Hannah, a member of Shatila's newest basketball team, showing off her moves. Photo via Vice.

Hannah, a member of Shatila’s newest basketball team, showing off her moves. Photo via Vice.

If you’d like your heart warmed up a bit, read this short dispatch from Shatila, Lebanon, where Palestinian teens living in a 65-year-old refugee camp are forming the area’s first all-girl basketball team. Despite the terrible conditions and real threats of violence they face, the girls gather every weekend to practice the fundamentals of the game and, of course, to make friends. I love how the girls interviewed here know how badass they are—like 14-year-old Razan, who told the reporter, “We’re not just a team, we’re a voice.”


Courtney Love has a new web series, and despite the Dave Grohl–bashing, I can’t wait to see what she has to say.


Madonna and Miley, via Claire Zulkey.

Madonna and Miley, via Claire Zulkey.

The ever-entertaining Claire Zulkey riffed some suggestions of new ideas to supplant the tired female-superstars-suggestively-grinding move in light of this week’s Madonna/Miley MTV Unplugged hump, and I think she’s on to something:

Like, maybe they can hold their bank statements up to the camera to brag about how rich they are. Or they can do a double-dutch jump rope routine (seriously, I would love this.) They can force all the people they’ve ever had sex with to perform a choreographed dance while they sit back and judge.

When old(er) people complain about the music of today—how they don’t understand it! How all the new bands sound like bad versions of these superior old bands!—it’s usually the most annoying thing ever, but I found the lone exception to that rule: Scott Seward’s I Listened To All of Pitchfork’s Top 100 Tracks of 2013 And I Did Not Die.” Seward used to be a rock critic, but now he’s mostly a dad who owns a record store. He checked out Pitchfork’s top picks in earnest, and the results are really funny—whether he “gets” it (on 2 Chainz: “I love when rappers take on the feds. They are suitable foils for genius rap stars”) or dismissive (on Ty Seagall: “Don’t hate it. I’m too old for it though. It sounds too young on me. I’ve seen too many people die”). He makes fun of himself as much as he does Vampire Weekend, so I chortled out loud over about 80 of the entries.


Haley Berg, a 15-year-old who's already made a commitment to a college. Photo by Cooper Neill.

Haley Berg, a 15-year-old who’s already made a commitment to a college. Photo by Cooper Neill.

When I read the headline Committing to Play for a College, Then Starting 9th Grade,” I couldn’t help clicking. Even though I always knew I wanted to go to college, I changed my mind about schools on a daily basis when I was a junior, and I would have been at a total loss if someone had made me choose before I even got to high school. That said, I was really psyched to see young female athletes getting attention, and I’m proud of those girls, but I’m still hoping the system gets tweaked—I don’t know if it really has their best interests or education at heart. ♦


  • filmfatale February 1st, 2014 12:22 PM

    Where is the link to the Lindy West article?

  • Bethany February 1st, 2014 12:22 PM

    Yay for everything on here :)

    One tiny thing the madonna link goes to a piece by Demetria Irwin, I googled ‘Lindy West Madonna’ and I think maybe this is the piece Tavi was talking about as the Demetria piece is the only madonna article on clutch?



    • Amy Rose February 1st, 2014 12:28 PM

      It’s there now! Thanks.

  • NotReallyChristian February 1st, 2014 12:50 PM

    I’m surprised that the early-recruiting article doesn’t mention gymnastics, where this is a big problem. The gymnasts who are most aggressively recruited by colleges are the elite-level gymnasts and top level 10 athletes (the level just below elite) and the problem is that gymnastics takes such a toll on the body and injuries can happen at any time so girls can end up committing to a college 3 or 4 years before they go and then not be able to take the physical pressure of competing week-in and week-out when they get there. A few girls have even had their offers taken away because of injuries, and others have changed their minds after making an unofficial commitment like Lexie Preissman, 2012 junior national champion who changed her commitment last year from Geogia to LSU. Aly Raisman (from the 2012 Olympic Team) was originally committed to Florida before she decided to go professional instead.
    It’s tough – the teams have to move early if they want the top girls but the earlier the girls commit the less certainty the team has about whether they’ll still be healthy and excited about it years later.

  • mangointhesky February 1st, 2014 12:51 PM

    Go pizza!!!!!!


  • honorarygilmoregal February 1st, 2014 2:12 PM

    Taylor Swift’s performance of “All Too Well” at the Grammys was amazing.

    To the Palestinian girls who formed that all-girls basketball team: you go, ladies! :)

  • irismonster February 1st, 2014 2:14 PM

    I love Beyonce but the Anna Mae line makes me really sad. I’m aware that neither one of them probably wrote that line, but I just don’t understand how she, being such a confident feminist, could have let that one slide…

    • Tavi February 1st, 2014 2:26 PM

      Oh no, Jay-Z definitely wrote it.

    • thebrownette February 3rd, 2014 1:24 PM

      Yeah, it’s such a bummer. It makes me so uncomfortable.

  • Shutterbug1998 February 1st, 2014 2:54 PM

    omg omg the my little pony in the video that Julianne posted is something I sent to Arabelle in a care package
    freaking out

  • GlitterKitty February 1st, 2014 3:07 PM

    Pizza should not even need defending because pizza is awesome. Yeah there is “meh” strip mall pizza but there is also really good pizza that will be delivered right to your front door and fancy gourmet pizza too.

    And oh gosh I just love Lorde she is so talented and funny and very sweet too. Can I be proud of her even though I don’t know her?

    And the old people complaining about current music and saying “How all the new bands sound like bad versions of these superior old band” is literally my mom. My personal favourite is “Daft Punk are popular but they sound just like Earth Wind and Fire so what’s the point?”

  • Majel February 1st, 2014 3:56 PM

    This picture made me order a pizza… and it wasn’t good :’(

  • Jace February 1st, 2014 4:27 PM

    I was happy to see Beyoncé and Jay Z sing the controversial line together. Not because I like the line but because it seemed to direct it in a way that I think was how they intended it to be heard and understood.
    I wondered how much thought was put into that little part of the performance because in the end, I think it would have made people feel more confused and angry had Jay Z spoke it alone. It felt mutual as opposed to abusive.
    Different words could have been chosen that would have made this pop song more understandable or appropriate for everyone but since the song speaks of their (and only their) sex life, this could be an honest glimpse into their sexual interests and turn ons.
    It is a confusing line- it’s hard to admit confusion with a performer I admire so much. I can’t imagine Jay Z or Beyoncé meaning anything hurtful but I guess that didn’t mean it couldn’t accidentally happen.

    Also, yay for Rutgers and their new course being offered on the queen!

  • aliastro February 1st, 2014 4:52 PM

    In Anamanaguchi’s latest music video, they for real sent pizza into space:

  • anaisabel13 February 1st, 2014 5:14 PM

    So sad to see Cathy Horyn leave. Always thought she was a bad-ass critic if there ever was one. And that’s something that’s especially hard to be in the fashion industry. Lots of love to her and her family </3


  • SparksLefty February 1st, 2014 5:26 PM

    I’m not even a T-Swift fan at all, but OHMIGOSH. Her grammy performance hit home hard for me. Heart-breakingly beautiful.

  • AngstyTheBrave February 1st, 2014 5:51 PM

    Uuuummmm, I know that it was probably uncensored in the article, but could someone please censor the T-word in Tavi’s section please? I know it’s making a point about transphobia, etc. but it still hurts, especially coming from a few cisgendered people.

    But this was a great Saturday guys.

    • Tavi February 1st, 2014 6:53 PM

      Making the change now. Thank you for pointing that out.

  • constance February 1st, 2014 6:00 PM

    I love Sappho, and I’m so excited about the new poem! I’m not sure it’s completely true to say that the Catholic church destroyed her works, though. I know Wikipedia isn’t always trustworthy, but food for thought?


  • Sophii February 1st, 2014 6:51 PM

    I love the ‘second skin’ series so much and the episode with Arabelle is the best <3
    Sappho's poetry is really wonderful and the story behind it is fascinating.
    So excited for Courtney Love's web series :')


  • wutevrzz96 February 3rd, 2014 11:04 AM


  • rmp February 3rd, 2014 4:58 PM

    The Courtney Love clip reminds me a little bit of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2YS3U3F3UE And I love Courtney Love to death, but it just seemed a little parodic and sad to me.

  • LoverOfTheLight February 5th, 2014 11:29 PM

    I loved Scott Seward’s article on the top 100 Pitchfork songs! As much as I love Vampire Weekend, his commentary was hilarious. Also I was ecstatic that he loved Disclosure! I always feel so alone in my undying affection for their CD. It’s absolutely perfect. Ugh, Disclosure, you wreck me.

    Great Saturday! Thanks, Staff! :)

  • yeowoman February 6th, 2014 1:28 AM

    currently a senior in hs, recruited collegiate scholar-athlete, going to play a sport in college. i worked just like, and know players just like, the girls we read about in that article, stephanie. i agree, it’s so amazing that they’re so talented at such a young age, but the culture around their success, not just the recruiting system, is so fucked up. i had a coach when i was 12 that would take away our trophies when we came in second place. why? it didn’t matter that we were the second best out of 64 teams, what mattered was that we weren’t the best players at the tournament that weekend. these girls have been raised with this mentality. somehow i came out alive, but i really pity the girls who have been sucked into it. it’s honestly so fucked up and i get so upset when i think about all these squandered childhoods. yes, we have learned stuff about how to succeed, yet we haven’t truly experienced being children– i mean i kinda have, i didn’t take the path these kids took (division 3 athletes, holla), but i still feel cheated some days.