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. ♦