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THINX Put On The Most Empowering Anti-NYFW Event

Fashion
Photo by Bridget Collins

Full-on goosebumps

When we received the invitation for THINX's NYFW event, it was presented on a silver platter. No, like, literally. We were instructed to unwrap sealed pieces of newspaper to find a small slab of concrete and another set of directions:

Hold this piece in both hands. Proceed to smash it on the ground over the newspaper provided. This action is supposed to be a metaphor for smashing the patriarchy, breaking glass ceilings, etc. Get it? Within the concrete, you'll find how to access the full INTERSECTION experience. But, you'll find no explanation of what the experience actually is, because #mystery #intrigue #avantgardeAF

At the bottom of the invitation, we were told to wear white. (To hell with the no white after Labor Day rule!) A post-RSVP follow-up email stated that we would not be permitted into the venue if we did not follow the dress code.

Leading up to the date, we still had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We assumed that we would see women wearing their underwear because, hello, period panties. Given that it was called INTERSECTION, we figured that the topic of intersectional feminism was bound to come up, but would there be blood? "We understand and believe that at its core, feminism is intersectional—that for women to be equal, we must all be equal," THINX stated in the press release. "With INTERSECTION, we aim to explore a similar concept for the future of fashion."

We knew that we had arrived to Stage 37 when we saw a line of people dressed in white snaking down the block. Upon being ushered into the warehouse, we were told to take a seat on the cubes that were strategically positioned on the floor and covered with a program printed in the form of a newspaper. Within the program was another sheet of paper with a chart of the "Intersecting Axes Of Privilege, Domination, and Oppression," and an excerpt from Maria Root's "Multiracial Oath of Social Responsibility."

Photo courtesy of Sydney Gore
Photo courtesy of Sydney Gore

A live band softly played in the corner, which continued as background music throughout the night. Some attendees were guided to the balcony level upstairs while others stood around the outskirts of the cubes. THINX explained the seating arrangements in the following statement: 

Here, the models and audience are one (like, ur literally sitting together), there’s no front row (we had a feeling Anna wouldn’t be spotted [or spotting??] at this show), and there will be no angels in bedazzled bras to be found (not rly sure there are any bras tbh). Instead, there are ten empowered humans with stories to tell; with paths that, tonight, have crossed—with lives that have now intersected, with yours.

It felt like being in some sort of a futuristic dystopia where everyone was united by feminism. The show began with Niki Morrissette singing Whitney Houston's "I Am Every Woman." From there, THINX models Iman Artwell-Freeman and Melina DiMarco stood on top of their cubes to talk about how they don't exactly fit the prototype for NYFW's unattainable standards for modeling.

One by one, the spotlight would shine on seven more figures, who each took turns rising on their square platforms to deliver prompts. All of them were dressed in different white garments of clothing that were cropped to reveal a black pair of THINX underwear. Ashlee Haze recited her poem "For Colored Girls (The Missy Elliott Poem)," while South Sudanese model Mari Malek told the story of how she went from being a refugee in Egypt to a model, actress, DJ, and humanitarian in the United States. Comedian Sue Smith talked about "white girl problems," and actress Maria Jan Carreon performed Diana Son's "R.A.W. 'Cause I'm A Women,'" a short play about refusing to be an Asian fetish. Sawyer DeVuyst's prompt touched on the woes of love from the trans perspective. 

Miki Agrawal, She-EO and co-founder of THINX, was the last to stand and closed the show by breaking down the concept of privilege and using her own personal life as an example, despite the fact that she is a biracial woman of color born into a family of immigrants from India and Japan. She said:

All we’re trying to show is that it’s important to acknowledge privilege in all its forms because it increases our propensity to inspire a movement of service, of giving back, of helping others, of eliminating poverty, of elevating consciousness. We’re more likely to live a life that serves others and not just ourselves and our families. Guilt is not necessary, but a “Yes and” attitude is. Yes, I acknowledge my privilege and I’m helping others with the privilege I have. And that’s why we brought these amazing women and men here tonight. We want to highlight those who have a "Yes and attitude." Who are using their time to elevate causes and movements that matter? They’re creatives, activists, and social entrepreneurs who are in service of a higher power, a greater good for other people. And that’s what we at THINX stand for too. Until we are free, nobody is free. And that’s why we live a life of service, of leadership, of social entrepreneurship, of empowering others, and this is the path that I love to challenge all of us to strive for because we are all not free. These are all people who are moving the narrative forward for the planet, for women, for so many oppressed groups so that we can eventually create unity.

At the end, everyone with a seat was encouraged to take home their cubes to use as a "Period Pedestal." Of course, we all took away something greater from the overall experience. Some spectators in the audience were moved to tears—Agrawal cried in sync with her sisters who were seated near her. If you didn't have goosebumps while inhabiting this space, you couldn't possibly be human.

The fact that we could sit in complete silence to listen to all of these powerful voices was incredible in every sense of the word. THINX is about so much more than periods—it's about creating a community where everyone is equal, and that deserves to be celebrated.

Photo by Bridget Collins
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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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
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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Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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