Millennials Love Taking Baths Because We're Broke

Photo courtesy Shestock/Getty Images

It's kind of like how we love to sleep

I suppose I have the New York Times to thank for the fact that the following words, arranged in precisely the following order, have been rattling around my head for the last few days: "For Tug Rice, an artist, the bath is a seasonal comfort." Those words were written toward the end of an article about the current, sky-rocketing popularity of baths, and they sent me to Google so that I could find out if Tug Rice—who is quoted in the article as being set on "Prioritizing self care in the new year!"—is real. (He is. His Instagram bio explains that he is a "wayward bachelor who dabbles in watercolor." So.)

But there are other reasons to be interested in this article, ones that have little to do with watercolor-dabblers. The Times has zeroed in on baths as a trend because baths sit right in the center of a Venn Diagram of a trio of millennial interests: Instagram-friendliness, self-care, and "gadget-free zones." Baths, Times writer Ruth La Ferla explains, are "retreats from the sensory overload of daily life," and are "a practice that, like yoga, white-noise immersion and maintaining a sugar-free diet, is an adjunct of so-called self-care." They are also, though this goes unmentioned in the article, really cheap—if not free. Which is almost definitely why so many millennials have actually started soaking in tubs until we're little more than wrinkly, pruned-up versions of ourselves. (Share to Instagram, 1.1K likes, 369 comments.)

If you happen to have a home with a usable bathtub (which is, of course, not always the case), a bath is one of the forms of relaxation that has the lowest barriers of entry. All a bath requires is that you fill up your tub and hop on in. And while, yes, you can spend money on bath accessories ranging from ever-popular bath bombs to wooden bathtub caddies to bath salts ranging from basic Epsom to goop (also basic, but in a different way), it is a far less expensive escape than, say, that other Instagram-friendly activity: going on a luxurious vacation.

And so baths abound and are written about as if they are the newest millennial obsession, as fleeting as any other aesthetically driven trend, like color-coordinating your books. And perhaps they are; perhaps there will be other millennial-beloved activity trending on Instagram soon enough, but I can promise you one thing, it will probably be something inexpensive, because the one thing all these millennial trends—including color-coordinating books and posting to Instagram itself—have in common is that they're cheap.

Every millennial trend piece, whether revolving around things that millennials love or things that they hate, has affordability as its unifying theme. Everything millennials have killed, from J. Crew to dating to drinking to going to movie theaters, died an ugly death because they were too expensive to be worthwhile. And all those things millennials have raised to prominence, from houseplants to skin-care products to crafting to baths, are, if not free, then at least relatively affordable and accessibly priced.

Of course, that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of ways in which cheap hobbies and interests aren't being monetized by brands, and, in turn, by everyone from media companies to Instagram influencers, as a means of selling products. (All of which makes it impossible not to lament the uniquely uncomfortable fact that so many people seeking to profit from the self-care narrative invoke Audre Lorde while doing so, ever comfortable in their lack of self-awareness as to what Lorde meant when she wrote, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.")

Despite brands' best efforts to get millennials to spend money in the manner of the generations before them, it isn't going as well as they'd like. That's why, as per a recent Vox article, credit card companies are making it more difficult to earn rewards. Writer Chavie Lieber explains, "Banks offer patrons a line of credit with the expectation that they'll make money off interest rates when bills aren't paid on time or in full," and the way that this works with rewards programs, is that banks assume that people will sign up to get rewards, utilize the credit lines, but fail to pay their balances in full. But as credit card users have started to "game the system," by, uh, paying off their balances, credit card companies have gotten upset at their diminishing margins and begun to punish users by rolling back perks. In other words, get ready to start hearing about how millennials are killing credit card companies any day now.

This doesn't mean, of course, that there won't still be the continued onslaught of attempts for people to profit from free activities, like bathing and, you know, sleep. That's capitalism's way, and it's something that it would be wildly disingenuous of me to pretend that I'm not a part of, since I work in media. And yet, it is possible to be ethical within the constraints of this system, I think (I hope), and one way to do that, or begin to do that, is to acknowledge that the system exists, that there's a reason that baths are trendy right now, and it isn't just because Tug Rice, an artist, gets seasonal comfort from lounging in his tub. It's also because baths don't cost anything, and you don't have to answer emails when you're in them, and they feel really nice when you're tired and burnt out and, no, a bath is not a form of political resistance, but that's okay, because it is a time to do nothing, feel nothing except the water on your body, and maybe read something, on paper, from a book you randomly selected from your color-coordinated bookshelf. What book? Who knows? Who can really find anything on those shelves anyway? Luckily, it doesn't matter. Everything is fine. Because you're in the bath. And it's free. Like all good things.

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

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.

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

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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)

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.