Meagan

NEW GRIMES SONG. I REPEAT: NEW GRIMES SONG. THIS IS NOT A DRILL! It’s called “Go,” features Blood Diamonds, and was originally written for fellow queen Rihanna. It’s also your new song of the summer—be ready to dance to this at barbecues and pool parties.

“Go” is catchy and danceable, but still retains Grimes’ faerie-magick vibes. I had to stop listening to this at work because I found myself doing too much interpretative dancing at my desk, and my coworkers looked over at me like, Is she okay…? I’M FINE, GUYS—just JAMMING THE HECK OUT OVER HERE.

In other all-caps news: PUGS! Specifically, PUGS DRESSED AS CHARACTERS FROM GAME OF THRONES. Oh my god, my heart exploded into a thousand Westerosi gold coins at the sight of the Stark pups on a hill overlooking Winterfell. The costumes are exponentially cute, but the set design is also quite brilliant, and includes a few little details from the series, like Jon Snow’s sword, Longclaw (or Longpaw?). The little Daenerys Targaryen is also absolutely spot-on as she barks on a rock, presumably calling out to her three dragons.

I vote that these pugs reappear as guest stars in the television show. This is the kind of thing that will ease the pain between the next season of Game of Thrones and the sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.
Amy Rose

I’m very upset that the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a Massachusetts law providing a 35-foot “buffer zone” between anti-choice protestors and abortion clinics.

Nah, but let me (momentarily) spare you my anger and give you the facts: The buffer zone was put in place because a scantier one, of six feet, was found impossible to uphold by Massachusetts police, who found that a brief distance between protesters and clinics was unwieldy and difficult to oversee—sometimes to the point of violence. The 1994 murders of two Massachusetts Planned Parenthood workers, which were committed by anti-abortion opponents who made their way inside of the clinic itself, were acts of terrorism that speak to a solid part of why that precedent was set, although there are far more insidious, and less overtly newsworthy, aggressions that take place in front of abortion-providing facilities.

If abortion-opposing protesters are nonviolent, as, yes, they often are, why is it a big deal that they be relegated to a safe distance away from where they could potentially harm or intimidate patients, while still easily being heard and seen? I ask this especially as the Supreme Court, who handed down this decision, has a wide and heavily regulated space between its doors and the area where protesters are allowed to gather on the sidewalk outside the grounds.

If you have ever been outside of an abortion clinic, you might know that dealing with anti-choice picketers is not always 100 percent friendly—not, as Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., characterizes it in the official case ruling, a cool ’n’ casual zone where “personal, caring, consensual conversations” take place. (This description sounds to me like one belonging to a diner on a 1990s TV show about fictional blond teenagers livin’, laughin’, and lovin’, not a place where wrongly politicized surgical procedures are going down. Where—or when—the fuck do these Supreme Court Justices live?) Fuck this entirely. It sets dangerous precedents for the safety of women nationwide.
Shriya

The New York Times created this short documentary, Gnarly in Pink, to accompany this article about the Pink Helmet Posse, a California-based skate gang made up of three shreddin’ six-year-old girls. Though they are so young, they have already recognized that skateboarding (and many other sports) are male-dominated, and they want to change that. I am 15 years older than these skating babes, but the documentary was super inspiring for me, and it brought a li’l tear to my eye to watch such dedicated and talented young girls slay.
Brittany S.

Dreamy soul singer FKA twigs released the fabulous, gold-drenched video for “Two Weeks,” and it is AMAZING. The visuals make both her voice sound even more luxurious, and I love watching her sit on a throne like the queen she is.

Our own Julianne conducted a wonderful interview with FKA twigs about both her music and astonishingly cool sense of style. At the end of the Q&A, the two talk about womanhood and sexuality, specifically in terms of twigs’ “Papi Pacify” video. That discussion leads to my favorite of her answers:

I’m 26, so I haven’t really figured it out yet, because I feel like I’m just entering into womanhood. Sometimes I feel 15; other times I feel fully grown and mature and handling all my business. It can waver from day to day, hour to hour. So I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I’ve always been a quiet person, and I guess maybe that can be seen as a weakness in some ways, as I’ve always been soft-spoken. But ironically, as I’m getting older, I’m realizing that being quiet makes people unsure of you, because what they don’t know is more scary and makes them wary in a way. It can influence what people project onto you.

Similarly to the music she makes, FKA twigs is so ridiculously refreshing as a person.

Photo by Daniel Shea via Inland.

Photo by Daniel Shea via Inland.

Rookie contributor and general goddess Britt Julious is starting her own publication about Midwestern identity, Inland, and it looks like such a cool project! Being a native Chicagoan (and Brittany!) like Julious, I’m excited to read all the stories she gathers about life in Middle America. She’s looking for submissions and will be starting a Kickstarter to raise funds to pay contributors, if you want to get involved!

The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams was the star of this biting critique of rape culture, which addresses not only the way college campuses handle sexual assault cases, but the differences between the ways we teach men and women what to fear in social situations. The clip is smart and hilarious, but also all too real about the way women have to, as this video’s co-star, Jordan Klepper, says, “spend their whole day[s] just navigating an obstacle course of sexual menace.”
Arabelle

The Supremes in a 1960s photo shot via Collector's Weekly.

The Supremes in a 1960s photo shot via Collector’s Weekly.

I’m so happy about Lupita Nyong’o’s Lancôme campaign! In my excitement, I’m also thinking about how black beauty is tied to the very foundations of the history of makeup, so I was really happy to read this piece outlining the history of black glamor. It contextualizes the history of glamor in terms of family, race, and class. I’m stoked to read the forthcoming book the piece previews, Vintage Black Glamour, which comes out in September.

When I heard that American Girl is discontinuing two dolls of color, I was very sad. Sign this petition asking American Girl to make another Asian-American doll, which was made by two 10- and 14-year-old sisters!
Julianne

Spike Lee, via his Instagram.

Spike Lee, via his Instagram.

Spike Lee is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his seminal movie Do the Right Thing by throwing a free block party on the very streets in Brooklyn where he filmed it TODAY! If you haven’t seen this movie yet, it embodies a particularly charged time in which hip-hop was first igniting a real movement of empowerment among young black people, and you can feel the energy of it crackling through the film and in the soundtrack by Public Enemy. Watch it as soon as you can! And if you’re in Brooklyn, come check it out, ’cause it will surely be a celebration.

A violinist and mezzo-soprano from Springfield, Virginia named Tona Brown just became the first trans woman of color to perform at Carnegie Hall in a performance entitled “From Stonewall to Carnegie Hall.” Her performance marks the first LGBT Pride event at the historic venue in Manhattan, and, remarkably, she got there because of fans crowd-funding her Indiegogo campaign. As she told the Huffington Post:

My first reaction to the news that our proposal was approved by Carnegie Hall was amazement. I couldn’t believe that we got a yes! I started tearing up while telling my friends, because I thought of all the great artists who have crossed that stage. Many of them had enormous obstacles to overcome, like I do as a transgender person of color in America.

If anyone deserves it, it’s Brown. For proof, check out her performance as La Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, above. It’s the BEST.
Anna F.

Photo via Hazlitt.

Photo via Hazlitt.

Kathleen Hale, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary writers, has written an account of her sexual assault and personal evolution from feeling like prey to predator. It’s a very difficult read—but also one of the most powerful pieces of writing I’ve come across in a long time.
Estelle

In a recent MTV interview with Jenny Slate, of Obvious Child and Parks and Recreation fame, she mentioned that she plans to make a “Marcel the Shell (With Shoes On)” movie.

Do you love Marcel the Shell? WHAT? YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT HIM? Please go away and do not be friends with me (just kidding, we are definitely friends). Marcel is an adorable stop-motion character which Jenny co-created with Dean Fleischer-Camp. The creative duo made a couple of videos starring this tiny little dude, who has really great self-esteem, an adorably quavery voice, cute shoes, and one li’l googly eye.

In this video, Jenny treats us to an original Marcel the Shell song, “My Mother Got Lost in the Rug.” It’s really sad and sweet, you guys. Love you, shell friend.
Caitlin D.

Photo by Tayler Smith via Autostraddle.

Photo by Tayler Smith via Autostraddle.

Have you ever had someone chide you for “wanting attention” because you dyed your hair pink, went out in face glitter in the daytime, or did basically ANYTHING cool to your appearance? As though attention is even a bad thing! Next time that happens, point them toward Arabelle’s explanation of Most Important Ugly, the recent photo exhibition she co-created with Tayler Smith, which explores makeup as a way to express all kinds of different aesthetics.

Turia Pitt on the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly.

Turia Pitt on the cover of The Australian Women’s Weekly.

The cover of this month’s Australian Women’s Weekly is gorgeous. It features 29-year-old Turia Pitt, who has continued to achieve athletic excellence after getting caught in a brushfire while running an marathon, which left her with burns covering half of her body. Says the Weekly’s editor-in-chief: “Any attempt to describe the magic and beauty of Turia seems to get lost in platitudes or clichés. Yet I have never met a more remarkable person.”
Naomi

I’ve been caught up in the World Cup, which unfortunately included the Uruguayan player Luis Suarez allegedly biting an Italian opponent, Giorgio Chiellini. Anyway, someone decided to ask Bruce Springsteen’s opinion on this debacle, and I propose we regularly ask Bruce’s opinion on everything in the world, because though he says he has only watched a “little bit” of the World Cup, his peaceable answer—and this crossover of my favorite interests—made my heart happy.
Gabby

Jean Beraud's "The Drinkers," via The Toast.

Jean Beraud’s “The Drinkers,” via The Toast.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-editor of The Toast, is a genius, and I think she deserves a book, television show, and a line on QVC. This week, she wrote a satirical account of “Women Listening To Men In Western Art History,” which encapsulates so many of my feelings that I can’t even talk about it. I can only communicate my approval by emitting a guttural “YESSSSS.”

I thought this piece, “My Imaginary Friends: The Beauty YouTuber Economy,” was very fascinating and relatable, because I love watching haul videos. I find them soothing, but a bit unsettling! While I really do appreciate hearing my peers review their latest lip balm and crop top purchases, I’m also like, Do we really need to buy so much stuff? Am I being brainwashed by these videos? Why am I suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to visit the mall so I can pick up three new pairs of yoga shorts and a cupcake flavored lip stain?
Rose

Photo by Daniel Arnold via Vogue.

Photo by Daniel Arnold via Vogue.

This week, Vogue published a photo series by Daniel Arnold which pictures people looking at art around the city. Arnold, who is one of my favorite photographers working today, wanders around New York taking pictures of strangers, and this is a great example of how cool that can be.

My favorite shot, above, features one of the coolest sculptures I’ve seen in a while, Tara Donovan’s urchin-like acrylic monolith at Pace Gallery in Manhattan. If you’re looking for something to do on a steamy summer afternoon, go check it out, and, like Arnold, check out other people who are also checking it out. And no matter where you are, take a peek at his awesome Instagram. ♦