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Maricia Josephs Shares Her Musings From The Industry

Fashion
Photographed by Kaye McCoy

meet the face behind musings of krav

In celebration of Black History Month, NYLON is running a spotlight series called Black Girl Power... The Future Is Bright. Every day, phenomenal black women from different industries will be featured to tell their stories—revealing how they became who they are, showing what they have accomplished, and pinpointing how they navigated their careers. Black women deserve to be celebrated 365 days of the year, and we hope that this series will inspire everyone to believe in the power of #blackgirlmagic. 

Maricia Josephs is a 23-year-old journalist, writer, and ASOS Student Insider. She's currently finishing up her last semester at Georgia State University while continuing to run her innovative and resourceful site Musings of Krav. Established in 2011, Josephs' blog is geared towards career-curious young women. (The title of it comes from an old nickname that Josephs was given based on her obsession with Lenny Kravitz.) Essentially, it's an amazing resource where readers can go to learn all about career how-to's. 

"I decided to conceptualize a platform featuring specially curated interviews with professionals—mostly with women of color in fashion—career advice, and internships," she says. "But on Musings of Krav, we do it with 'style' and by that, I mean in a fresh, relatable, and fashion-forward way."

When Josephs was 16 years old, the first real interview she ever conducted was with Jessica Brown—better known as Angela and Vanessa Simmons' cousin on MTV's Daddy's Girls—when she was a guest at Josephs' high school (the Preparatory Academy for Writers in New York) for career day. "I somehow swindled my way into being her escort for the day, and I interviewed her as I walked her from class to class about her life and the show," she says.

Ever since then, Josephs hasn't stopped writing. We look forward to seeing where the talented blogger goes following graduation. In the meantime, gain some insight from her perspective in the interview, below.

 
How did you turn your blog into your brand?
Essentially, it’s an extension of myself. As someone who was interning and finding myself professionally, I thought it was important that l share my own career process on MOK and on social media. Because of this, I have acquired a collective of peers who follow my journey. We ask each other for advice, network, and gain inspiration from our projects and accomplishments. That is what my brand is centered in, both personally and professionally. We're all trying to be successful in our fields, and supporting one another is crucial. 
 
What's your creative process like?
It's very organic. I literally just create based on what or who I'm genuinely inspired by or what I feel there is a 'need for.' It's a flow I go with. It's in the moment. If a woman moves me, I simply go ahead and interview her. That's my favorite part about having my own platform—it's my own voice and I can showcase my own taste. Reading my favorite magazines, books, and websites, like NYLON, Steal like an Artist, and The Coveteur, also helps get my creative process going. 

How do you maneuver your industry as a black woman? 
By staying equipped and fearless. I let my passion, talent, and experience speak for itself. “Be so good, they can’t deny you,” is one of my favorite quotes—it’s what I repeat to myself every day. I know what I want to accomplish and I know that I want my journey to influence others in a way that pushes them to realize their dreams are attainable. I have to be fearless in all of my pursuits to do that.

Could you describe a moment where you felt like you defied the odds or broke a barrier? 
Thinking about it, I haven't had one of those moments yet. I'm still waiting for it. That big moment, you know? However, if I look at the bigger picture I believe my overall journey has been about me defying odds as a young professional. Every accomplishment I make before I even graduate college, and even just at my age, is me breaking a barrier and paving the way for other young women to do it at a younger age than me.

How did you grow into your black identity?
I didn't truly grow into my black identity until I moved to Atlanta and began my undergrad at an HBCU. I got an extensive and thorough lesson on black history and became acquainted with that piece of myself. I came to terms with what it means to be black in this world—a black woman, specifically. I finally experienced true black pride and gained a sense of it for myself. It was a shock to me how much I didn't know or understand beyond the watered-down textbook lessons I learned in my social studies classes over the years.

Growing up, where did you look for inspiration? Who or what inspires you now?
Growing up, I typically looked for inspiration in fashion magazines but mostly in my mom. She was young and at the time still experimenting with different elements of her personal style and career, and it was fascinating to me. The really cool thing was that my mom was inspired by women like Erykah Badu, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, and the group 4 Non Blondes. Now that I think of it, I'd call her the 'alternative Jamaican girl.' She embraced every part of her and all of her interests without adhering to labels saying what she should be like. That is the kind black woman I'm growing to be. My mom still inspires me but what I'm inspired by has expanded. Now, I’m inspired by all of the women working and following their dreams, like the ones I interview for my website. A solid example would be Vashtie Kola—she literally does it all and she does it well.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for MTV

I'm not okay

I didn't know it was possible, but we've been blessed with something even better than Tessa Thompson in a suit: Tessa Thompson in a blazer, and nothing else. Her Men in Black: International on-screen and press tour looks are working overtime to make me gayer, it seems.

Thompson showed up at the MTV Movie and TV Awards wearing an oversized Thom Browne metallic blazer, and I don't see anything underneath (I'm not complaining!). She paired the blazer with a tiny black bag and black platform oxfords, and all of these pieces together made Thompson look like the most powerful person alive. I'm ready for her to run the world.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for MTV

Thompson wore her hair in the iconic vintage victory roll style popularized by working women during World War II, which could have been her way of celebrating the fact that she's the first female leading character in the Men in Black franchise. She let the rest of her hair fall in loose waves behind her.

I feel like at this point, we should just give Thompson the menswear trend. No one is going to do it better than her.

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Photo by Rachel Dennis

Finally

"What do girls even do together?" This question, or some iteration of it, is frequently posed to me once someone finds out I'm bisexual or hears me mention my girlfriend, or if I make any reference to being interested in girls. I would be annoyed by it, but I have empathy because I know how hard this kind of information can be to find. In fact, the details of how two people with vaginas have sex isn't very widespread information. And, I know that I didn't really have all that much information about girl-on-girl sex before, well, actually having it myself. It's precisely this kind of situation that queer sex educator Stevie Boebi is trying to fix.

Boebi has gained a big following for her informational YouTube videos about how to use a strap-on, how to scissor, how to fist someone, how to choose a vibrator for yourself; any question you could have, she will get you an answer. She doesn't shy away from topics that people wouldn't be quick to ask someone about IRL, either, like BDSM. And she covers the kind of things that are definitely not what we're taught in sex education classes—likely not even in the most progressive curriculums. A study from GLSEN notes that only 4 percent of teens reported learning anything positive about queer sex in their sex ed classes, and points out that in some states, it's actually prohibited to mention queerness at all.

Particularly when it comes to sex with two vaginas, the lack of available public education leads to a general lack of understanding of how we have sex, which then leads to a lack of understanding in the queer community, too. "I just think that lesbian sex is so oversexualized, and we're the least educated," said Boebi when I asked her recently why it's so important for her to spread knowledge about queer sex in particular.

Boebi said that she started out on YouTube making videos about technology, but after she came out as a lesbian, her audience flipped from mostly male to mostly female, though she would prefer a less rudimentary gender breakdown ("the algorithm only deals in binaries, sorry," she quipped).

Ultimately, her sexuality led her to change her content entirely, because she wanted to educate people who couldn't find answers to their questions anywhere else—even on the internet.

"I started getting a lot of what I called 'stupid questions' from very confused teenage girls saying, like, 'How do I do it? Can I get AIDs from fingering someone?'" Boebi told me. They were questions that probably should have had easily Google-able answers, but, when Boebi looked for lesbian sex education content to send to fans who were asking her, she came up empty-handed. "I couldn't find anything. I think I found, like, two articles on Autostraddle, and that was it," she said. "And then I was like, Well, shit! If no one else is going to do it, then I guess I will."

Boebi's audience is mainly comprised of 13- to 24-year-olds, so she keeps in mind that she's helping people who may not be experienced, or even out yet. She uses her own experiences to inform her work sometimes, but also researches extensively and talks to people she knows who "have fancy Ph.Ds in sexology and shit," who can answer her questions or point her to resources she should be referencing.

Boebi's charm is in her relatability; even if she's talking about things we've been conditioned to feel shame around, she does it in such an open and honest way that all that shame disappears—as it should. She does this by perfectly meshing professional talk with jokes and sarcasm, and even uses characters based on star signs. She knows the importance of taking on taboo topics, because there are so many people who won't otherwise find answers to their questions. "I don't actually struggle in my everyday life asking people if they've ever been anally fisted before," Boebi joked with me. "I'll take that burden."

And keeping her tone light and humorous is of the utmost importance to her. "When people are laughing, they're comfortable, and I want people to feel comfortable," Boebi said. "And I want people to know that I'm comfortable talking about sex, and they can be, too." It helps also, Boebi told me, that her audience is separated by a screen, and she's not "in a room with a 12-year-old talking about my labia."

Beyond instructional sex videos, Boebi also deals with other rarely discussed facets of sexuality and physicality. Boebi is polyamorous, and talks openly about it, confronting the stereotypes and the misinformation about the identity head-on. And, she was also recently diagnosed with Ehler's Danlos Syndrome after going years without a diagnosis, and she aims to start working more with disabled queer sex educators to make her work more inclusive of people with disabilities. Though she pointed out to me that her work was already encompassing of disabilities, she "hasn't been a part of the disability activist community for very long," and so she has a lot to learn.

And, though Boebi's happy that she has the platform she does, she wants a more inclusive array of sex educators to join the scene. "My voice is my voice, and it's unique to me, but I think there should be way more," she noted. "Especially people [with intersectional identities]. That would make me so happy if we could diversify sex educators."

And, though Boebi says there's no "ideal way" to educate people about sex, she's definitely on a better track than the public education system, and she makes clear that there's nothing shameful about sexuality—in fact, it's just a part of being human, and a really fun one, at that.

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Photo by Nicholas Hunt / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

This photo makes me so happy

It can't be understated how big of a phenomenon the Spice Girls were during the late '90s. Their impact was felt from the bustling streets of London to the dry desert land of Scottsdale, Arizona. The latter place is where a young Emily Jean Stone was so immersed in fandom that she asked her second-grade teacher to call her Emma, after Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Emily is the Academy Award-winning actress Emma Stone. What's even better, she's still a huge Spice Girls fan.

Stone went to the Spice Girls reunion tour at the Wembley Stadium in London and finally met the woman who inspired the name the actress is now known by. Bunton shared a photo of the two of them outside of the venue on her Instagram. She captioned the photo: "When Emma met Emma."And even added the hashtag #2become1. I can't figure out if I want to cry from sentimentality or serious envy.

As for Stone, she once cried when Mel "Scary Spice" B. sent her a video message so I can only imagine what this moment felt like for her. Let this be a reminder that even Oscar winners can be stans.

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Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.

BREAKING: JON SNOW FINALLY APOLOGIZED FOR SEASON 8 youtu.be

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