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Ink Minx Is Creating A Safe Space In Tattooing

Art
Photo by Sofie Stenmark

Shanzey Afzal talks about creating her dream

"I was always a rebellious child, so it's not too surprising the way I turned out," Shanzey Afzal tells me. It's been a year since we first met; she'd sneaked into a cocktail hour for a very millennial pink, very overpriced feminist networking event I'd volunteered to do social media for. Afzal walked around with a handmade sign offering free tattoo consultations, and we got to chatting over a botched ink job I'd received, and soon enough she was sharing what she hoped to turn her creative baby, Ink Minx, into—namely, a true safe space for all people to get tattoos. One year later and it's shaping to be everything Afzal had hoped for and more. "It's my childhood dream come true," she tells me.

As a first-generation American, of Pakistani and Indian origins, Afzal spent most of her early life abroad, getting her first taste of the tattoo world through practicing henna with her family. "In my culture, it's called mehndi. On my dad's side of my family, I was the youngest, so I would constantly have it done by other women, and do it for my mom's side of the family where I was the oldest."

Henna is an artform embedded with a strong, feminine energy that bonded her relatives together in tradition, but that also offered Afzal a point to pivot and create a new path for herself. "I'm one of the first women in my family to work," she pointed out, noting that her family was filled with "really strong, independent women," but also women who chose to raise families rather than pursue careers.

Afzal knew she was different though and set out to build a career for herself, first focusing on the music industry, before turning her passion for getting tattoos into work as a tattoo creator, and, eventually, leading to repurposing a '63 Shasta trailer into an incredibly Instagrammable, anchorless tattoo shop.

This trailer has become a safe space for clients who often find themselves alienated by traditional tattoo parlor culture. In part, this is because femininity and trust remain crucial to Afzal and her work with Ink Minx. But she also credits her religious upbringing, which, especially when paired with her deeply feminist beliefs, make her a unique figure in the tattoo industry. "It turns out, a lot of my clients don't come to me just for the feminist aspect, they come to me because they relate to my culture," Afzal said. "But that wasn't the original intention."

Jewish and Muslim women, women who are uncomfortable with the intimacy of getting a tattoo, anyone who yearns for an extra level of safety and privacy can find a rare comfort in Ink Minx.

"Part of having that small space," Afzal said, referring to her trailer, "is it really is just meant for two people. It's meant to not be an area where you have to be concerned about how you look or being cool in a tattoo shop." This positive draw came as a coincidence, along with her desire to pursue her dreams head-on. "I'm 26, and I wanted to really set an example for other young women," she said, noting that, in the future, she'd love to expand to a much larger trailer and accumulate a collective of artists working within the same core values.

"I just don't just want to sell myself. I really want to provide something," Afzal said. Her priority is not fame, but helping clients use tattoos as a method of healing. "I'm not the best tattoo artist," she said. "But I'm providing something that women really want, and I'm doing great tattoos for them." Her policy—originally women only, now women first—reflects her feminist intentions. Her male followers seem to understand that and champion it; a man donated a large tattoo to a female client of Afzal's choosing during a recent Kickstarter campaign.

The Kickstarter—which more than surpassed its goal—allowed Afzal to take her trailer on the road for the first time, as she embarks on a journey across the East Coast, tattooing at art fairs, towing her '63 Shasta along with her Jeep, complete with Ink Minx vanity plate. It's just the beginning for Afzal, but it's the start of a really exciting opportunity for all women to find entry into the world of tattooing.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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