Bustle - Our Daily Pick

Bustle - Our Daily Pick

Bustle provides a fresh spin on news, entertainment, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, books, and any and all subjects that concern women.

#Society & Culture
#Fashion & Beauty

Episodes


This Anxiety Technique I Saw On The ‘Teen Mom’ Reunion Legitimately Helped Me Sleep

Practicing EFT tapping for anxiety helped me get to sleep faster, and studies show it's effective for other kinds of stresses, too.

This Anxiety Technique I Saw On The ‘Teen Mom’ Reunion Legitimately Helped Me Sleep

Practicing EFT tapping for anxiety helped me get to sleep faster, and studies show it's effective for other kinds of stresses, too.

06:19

8 Jun 21

How TikTok Led This Viral Artist To An Autism Diagnosis

Morgan Harper Nichols has a new book, a revamped podcast, and a long-sought autism diagnosis, which has finally given the artist some answers.

How TikTok Led This Viral Artist To An Autism Diagnosis

Morgan Harper Nichols has a new book, a revamped podcast, and a long-sought autism diagnosis, which has finally given the artist some answers.

08:52

7 Jun 21

Colds Are Back!

During COVID-19, rates of common colds and influenza dropped away. Now people are vaccinated and socializing, they're back. So what's the etiquette when sick?.

Colds Are Back!

During COVID-19, rates of common colds and influenza dropped away. Now people are vaccinated and socializing, they're back. So what's the etiquette when sick?.

05:44

4 Jun 21

Everything You Need To Know About Gemini Zodiac Signs, According To Astrologers

Here's everything you need to know about Gemini zodiac traits — and what it means if Gemini is a major influence in your astrological birth chart.

Everything You Need To Know About Gemini Zodiac Signs, According To Astrologers

Here's everything you need to know about Gemini zodiac traits — and what it means if Gemini is a major influence in your astrological birth chart.

05:42

3 Jun 21

Why Women Dropped Friends During The Pandemic

Why women ended friendships during the pandemic, and what they learned about their values from doing so.

Why Women Dropped Friends During The Pandemic

Why women ended friendships during the pandemic, and what they learned about their values from doing so.

04:52

2 Jun 21

I'm A Beauty Editor, & This Is The One Makeup Product I'll Never Understand

I'm a beauty editor, and — out of all makeup products — I will never understand the appeal of matte lips. Here's why.

I'm A Beauty Editor, & This Is The One Makeup Product I'll Never Understand

I'm a beauty editor, and — out of all makeup products — I will never understand the appeal of matte lips. Here's why.

03:49

1 Jun 21

Why This Cookbook Author Insists “Food Is Political”

In Yasmin Khan's third cookbook, the author and activist brings readers to the eastern Mediterranean.

Why This Cookbook Author Insists “Food Is Political”

In Yasmin Khan's third cookbook, the author and activist brings readers to the eastern Mediterranean.

04:44

31 May 21

How Sustainable Fashion Is Finally Becoming Less Elitist

Once reserved for the white, rich, and thin, sustainable fashion now comes in varied sizes and prices, made and modeled by people from all different races.

How Sustainable Fashion Is Finally Becoming Less Elitist

Once reserved for the white, rich, and thin, sustainable fashion now comes in varied sizes and prices, made and modeled by people from all different races.

08:51

28 May 21

How Getting Divorced Was Instrumental In Paying Off My Student Loans

One woman describes how her divorce settlement allowed her to pay off her student loans and launch her business.

How Getting Divorced Was Instrumental In Paying Off My Student Loans

One woman describes how her divorce settlement allowed her to pay off her student loans and launch her business.

04:29

27 May 21

Jhumpa Lahiri Writes About Fluid Identities. Why Are We Trying To Pin Hers Down?

With the release of her new novel 'Whereabouts', Jhumpa Lahiri reflects on a new kind of displacement.

Jhumpa Lahiri Writes About Fluid Identities. Why Are We Trying To Pin Hers Down?

With the release of her new novel 'Whereabouts', Jhumpa Lahiri reflects on a new kind of displacement.

09:21

26 May 21

Here's What Derms Really Think About TikTok's Chlorophyll Water Trend

TikTok seems to think that drinking chlorophyll water is the key to clearer skin. Here's what dermatologists have to say about the trend.

Here's What Derms Really Think About TikTok's Chlorophyll Water Trend

TikTok seems to think that drinking chlorophyll water is the key to clearer skin. Here's what dermatologists have to say about the trend.

04:48

25 May 21

Casey Wilson Just Wants To Gossip About 'The Real Housewives'

Casey Wilson’s “celebratory lifestyle” is on full display in her new memoir, 'The Wreckage of My Presence,' but so are her intimate struggles with self-compassion and body image.

Casey Wilson Just Wants To Gossip About 'The Real Housewives'

Casey Wilson’s “celebratory lifestyle” is on full display in her new memoir, 'The Wreckage of My Presence,' but so are her intimate struggles with self-compassion and body image.

07:38

24 May 21

I Tried Therabody's Compression Boots & They're A Savior For Sore Muscles

One editor's review of Therabody's RecoveryAir compression boots, which speed post-workout recovery and relieve muscle soreness.

I Tried Therabody's Compression Boots & They're A Savior For Sore Muscles

One editor's review of Therabody's RecoveryAir compression boots, which speed post-workout recovery and relieve muscle soreness.

06:21

21 May 21

The Uncomfortable Rise Of Grieving Online

Andrew Kaczynski took to Twitter; Amanda Kloots, to Instagram. People are turning to social media to document their public grieving in live time.

The Uncomfortable Rise Of Grieving Online

Andrew Kaczynski took to Twitter; Amanda Kloots, to Instagram. People are turning to social media to document their public grieving in live time.

05:50

20 May 21

The One Easy Swap To Fix Your "Revenge Bedtime Procrastination"

Revenge bedtime procrastination is what happens when you unwind at night by staying awake instead of actually going to sleep.

The One Easy Swap To Fix Your "Revenge Bedtime Procrastination"

Revenge bedtime procrastination is what happens when you unwind at night by staying awake instead of actually going to sleep.

06:00

19 May 21

I'm Using This Dark Spot-Fading Serum For The Rest Of My Life

An ode to the Topicals Faded serum, my skin care hero for fighting hyperpigmentation and brightening my glow.

I'm Using This Dark Spot-Fading Serum For The Rest Of My Life

An ode to the Topicals Faded serum, my skin care hero for fighting hyperpigmentation and brightening my glow.

04:36

18 May 21

Fertility Awareness Is Controversial. During The Pandemic, It Was Some Women’s First Choice.

Two women explain why they switched to fertility awareness for birth control during the pandemic.

Fertility Awareness Is Controversial. During The Pandemic, It Was Some Women’s First Choice.

Two women explain why they switched to fertility awareness for birth control during the pandemic.

05:15

17 May 21

What Happened When I Worked Out With Obé Fitness For A Week

I tried the Obé Fitness app for a week to see if the workouts are worth the hype. Here's my honest review.

What Happened When I Worked Out With Obé Fitness For A Week

I tried the Obé Fitness app for a week to see if the workouts are worth the hype. Here's my honest review.

07:59

14 May 21

A Sleep Expert Reveals The Secret To Pulling Off A Lucid Dream

You really can “wake up” in your dreams — here's how to have a lucid dream, according to sleep experts.

A Sleep Expert Reveals The Secret To Pulling Off A Lucid Dream

You really can “wake up” in your dreams — here's how to have a lucid dream, according to sleep experts.

05:12

13 May 21

Starbucks, Makeovers, & Vegas Trips: Women Reveal Why They Keep Secret Bank Accounts

Here's why women really keep secret bank accounts and what the money is for.

Starbucks, Makeovers, & Vegas Trips: Women Reveal Why They Keep Secret Bank Accounts

Here's why women really keep secret bank accounts and what the money is for.

06:42

12 May 21

Experts Share Their Best Tips For Making Socializing Feel Normal Again

Experts share their tips for improving your social skills post-COVID.

Experts Share Their Best Tips For Making Socializing Feel Normal Again

Experts share their tips for improving your social skills post-COVID.

05:30

11 May 21

How Trainer Meg Boggs Is Using Instagram To Bring Body Inclusivity To Fitness

Athlete and advocate Meg Boggs tells Bustle about how she champions self-love and body inclusivity in fitness.

How Trainer Meg Boggs Is Using Instagram To Bring Body Inclusivity To Fitness

Athlete and advocate Meg Boggs tells Bustle about how she champions self-love and body inclusivity in fitness.

04:51

10 May 21

Halsey's Go-To Designer Thinks Sustainable Fashion Should Be The Law

In this installment of "Power Players," Hillary Taymour, the Collina Strada designer and founder, discusses the importance of sustainability.

Halsey's Go-To Designer Thinks Sustainable Fashion Should Be The Law

In this installment of "Power Players," Hillary Taymour, the Collina Strada designer and founder, discusses the importance of sustainability.

05:37

7 May 21

What Fitness Trainers Really Think About The Buzzy DB Method Workout Machine

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a fancy piece of home gym equipment, it’s worth looking into The DB Method reviews — here are what fitness pros say.

What Fitness Trainers Really Think About The Buzzy DB Method Workout Machine

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a fancy piece of home gym equipment, it’s worth looking into The DB Method reviews — here are what fitness pros say.

04:58

6 May 21

How To Decide Between Using White, Pink, & Brown Noise To Sleep Better

Experts explain the difference between white, pink, and brown noise, and how to choose the right one for your sleeping soundtrack (or workday playlist).

How To Decide Between Using White, Pink, & Brown Noise To Sleep Better

Experts explain the difference between white, pink, and brown noise, and how to choose the right one for your sleeping soundtrack (or workday playlist).

05:18

5 May 21

I Tried Hair Botox & Got The Smoothest Strands Of My Life

Our editor reviews hair botox, a strand-smoothing, frizz-fighting treatment —here's how it works.

I Tried Hair Botox & Got The Smoothest Strands Of My Life

Our editor reviews hair botox, a strand-smoothing, frizz-fighting treatment —here's how it works.

05:15

4 May 21

3 Ways To Turn A Situationship Into A Legit Relationship

Experts reveal how to turn your situationship into a relationship –here are three ways to strengthen your connection.

3 Ways To Turn A Situationship Into A Legit Relationship

Experts reveal how to turn your situationship into a relationship –here are three ways to strengthen your connection.

04:09

3 May 21

I Used Nail Polish Colors To Channel Different Energies — Here's How

I used my nail polish colors to channel different energies and amplify intentions. Here's how your manicure can do more than just look pretty.

I Used Nail Polish Colors To Channel Different Energies — Here's How

I used my nail polish colors to channel different energies and amplify intentions. Here's how your manicure can do more than just look pretty.

06:09

30 Apr 21

Anxious About Living With A Partner For The First Time? Experts Share Their Best Tips

Experts explain how to deal with the anxiety of living with a partner for the first time.

Anxious About Living With A Partner For The First Time? Experts Share Their Best Tips

Experts explain how to deal with the anxiety of living with a partner for the first time.

04:19

29 Apr 21

Somehow, Single Men Sucked More In A Pandemic

Could single men suck even more during a global pandemic?.

Somehow, Single Men Sucked More In A Pandemic

Could single men suck even more during a global pandemic?.

04:53

28 Apr 21

Why John Walker Is The Perfect Captain America

Steve Rogers is the Captain America we want. John Walker in 'The Falcon and the Winter Solider' is the Captain America we deserve.

Why John Walker Is The Perfect Captain America

Steve Rogers is the Captain America we want. John Walker in 'The Falcon and the Winter Solider' is the Captain America we deserve.

04:23

27 Apr 21

Here's How Healthy Your Hard Kombucha Really Is

Experts answer: Is hard kombucha good for you? Here's how it compares to its less-spiked cousin.

Here's How Healthy Your Hard Kombucha Really Is

Experts answer: Is hard kombucha good for you? Here's how it compares to its less-spiked cousin.

03:56

26 Apr 21

GameStop Stocks Are Helping Me Pay Off $13K In Student Loans

One woman describes making enough money from investing in GameStop stocks to pay off her student loans.

GameStop Stocks Are Helping Me Pay Off $13K In Student Loans

One woman describes making enough money from investing in GameStop stocks to pay off her student loans.

05:09

23 Apr 21

Don't Write Maria Bakalova's 'Borat' Success Off As A Fluke

In less than a year, 'Borat 2' scene stealer Maria Bakalova has gone from a relatively unknown Bulgarian actor to an Oscar-nominated Hollywood phenom.

Don't Write Maria Bakalova's 'Borat' Success Off As A Fluke

In less than a year, 'Borat 2' scene stealer Maria Bakalova has gone from a relatively unknown Bulgarian actor to an Oscar-nominated Hollywood phenom.

05:00

22 Apr 21

I Donated My Eggs To Pay Off My Student Loans

One woman explains how donating her eggs allowed her to pay off $22K in student loans.

I Donated My Eggs To Pay Off My Student Loans

One woman explains how donating her eggs allowed her to pay off $22K in student loans.

04:48

21 Apr 21

Doctors Explain Why Staying Hydrated Can Help Your Vaccine Side Effects

An Investigation into how and why staying hydrated can impact your vaccine side effects.

Doctors Explain Why Staying Hydrated Can Help Your Vaccine Side Effects

An Investigation into how and why staying hydrated can impact your vaccine side effects.

04:02

20 Apr 21

Meet The Woman Behind The Last Decade's Most Important Films About Sexual Assault

From 'Allen v. Farrow' to 'On The Record,' Amy Ziering has produced some of the last decade's most important films about sexual assault.

Meet The Woman Behind The Last Decade's Most Important Films About Sexual Assault

From 'Allen v. Farrow' to 'On The Record,' Amy Ziering has produced some of the last decade's most important films about sexual assault.

07:59

19 Apr 21

Experts Explain How Long-Term Anxiety Affects Your Body

Whether you’re feeling uneasy after the past year or have dealt with symptoms for much of your life, experiencing chronic anxiety can take a toll.

Experts Explain How Long-Term Anxiety Affects Your Body

Whether you’re feeling uneasy after the past year or have dealt with symptoms for much of your life, experiencing chronic anxiety can take a toll.

08:03

16 Apr 21

Doctors Explain Why It Takes Time For The COVID Vaccine To Fully Protect You

Just a little bit longer, and you're home free.

Doctors Explain Why It Takes Time For The COVID Vaccine To Fully Protect You

Just a little bit longer, and you're home free.

05:04

15 Apr 21

The Woman Behind The Culinary Pilgrimage To Rural Maine

In her debut memoir, the restauranteur charts her unlikely path to freedom. At The Lost Kitchen, Erin French treats guests to a one-sitting, prix fixe dinner.

The Woman Behind The Culinary Pilgrimage To Rural Maine

In her debut memoir, the restauranteur charts her unlikely path to freedom. At The Lost Kitchen, Erin French treats guests to a one-sitting, prix fixe dinner.

07:45

14 Apr 21

Nasty Cherry On Their New EP, Charli XCX & How They "Broke Netflix"

The band rose to prominence with the help of Netflix’s docuseries I’m With The Band — but now they’re charting a future all their own.

Nasty Cherry On Their New EP, Charli XCX & How They "Broke Netflix"

The band rose to prominence with the help of Netflix’s docuseries I’m With The Band — but now they’re charting a future all their own.

07:11

13 Apr 21

Demi Lovato Says She’s “Cali Sober.” Here’s What That Means To People In Recovery.

“Recovery is not one-size-fits-all, and we have to do what best allows us to survive.” Demi Lovato describes her recovery from substance use disorder and her relationship to the term "California Sober".

Demi Lovato Says She’s “Cali Sober.” Here’s What That Means To People In Recovery.

“Recovery is not one-size-fits-all, and we have to do what best allows us to survive.” Demi Lovato describes her recovery from substance use disorder and her relationship to the term "California Sober".

06:06

12 Apr 21

4 Effects Of Long-Term Anxiety, According To Experts

And how you can cope...

4 Effects Of Long-Term Anxiety, According To Experts

And how you can cope...

08:03

9 Apr 21

On Kamala Harris’ Indian Ethnicity & The Ongoing Racial Violence

Why is her South Asian identity always mentioned as an afterthought?

On Kamala Harris’ Indian Ethnicity & The Ongoing Racial Violence

Why is her South Asian identity always mentioned as an afterthought?

06:46

8 Apr 21

How Young People Got The COVID Vaccine Before They Were Eligible

Four 20-and 30-somethings share why — and how — they got a shot.

How Young People Got The COVID Vaccine Before They Were Eligible

Four 20-and 30-somethings share why — and how — they got a shot.

05:47

7 Apr 21

How Taking Nudes Helped Me Feel Better About My Skin Condition

“I started to realize that my spots and squiggles actually looked quite beautiful in the soft lighting.”

How Taking Nudes Helped Me Feel Better About My Skin Condition

“I started to realize that my spots and squiggles actually looked quite beautiful in the soft lighting.”

05:05

6 Apr 21

How To Support Asian Owned Businesses, According To Wknd Nation's Phuong Ireland

Wknd Nation’s Phuong Ireland speaks out.

How To Support Asian Owned Businesses, According To Wknd Nation's Phuong Ireland

Wknd Nation’s Phuong Ireland speaks out.

04:38

5 Apr 21

Turbo Relationships, One Year Into The COVID-19 Pandemic

At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of couples stepped on the gas pedal. But how are they doing now?

Turbo Relationships, One Year Into The COVID-19 Pandemic

At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of couples stepped on the gas pedal. But how are they doing now?

07:46

2 Apr 21

Hookup Culture Is Out & Serious Relationships Are In, According To Gen Z

All because it looks better online.

Hookup Culture Is Out & Serious Relationships Are In, According To Gen Z

All because it looks better online.

07:42

1 Apr 21

How To Deal With Separation Anxiety From Your Partner

After spending 24/7 together, time apart might feel weird.

How To Deal With Separation Anxiety From Your Partner

After spending 24/7 together, time apart might feel weird.

05:26

31 Mar 21

Julia Cheek’s Everlywell COVID Test Has Revamped At Home Testing

Julia Cheek predicted, it seems, the 2020 necessity of accessible medical testing. What does Everlywell’s Tiresias see next?

Julia Cheek’s Everlywell COVID Test Has Revamped At Home Testing

Julia Cheek predicted, it seems, the 2020 necessity of accessible medical testing. What does Everlywell’s Tiresias see next?

08:52

30 Mar 21

Why Are Movies So Hard To Watch In Daylight These Days?

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the latest film that’s almost unwatchable on your average TV.

Why Are Movies So Hard To Watch In Daylight These Days?

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the latest film that’s almost unwatchable on your average TV.

04:43

29 Mar 21

Anxiety About The End Of Coronavirus Lockdown Is More Common Than You’d Think

“It’s going to take me some time to not see these things as unsafe or dirty.”

Anxiety About The End Of Coronavirus Lockdown Is More Common Than You’d Think

“It’s going to take me some time to not see these things as unsafe or dirty.”

05:42

26 Mar 21

Can Space Help A Broken Relationship? Therapists Weigh In

Spending time apart can bring you closer together.

Can Space Help A Broken Relationship? Therapists Weigh In

Spending time apart can bring you closer together.

04:29

25 Mar 21

The Second Wave Of Instagram Poetry Is Here

It is more comedic and crass and has far less calligraphy, but they’re still baring their souls in a series of stanzas.

The Second Wave Of Instagram Poetry Is Here

It is more comedic and crass and has far less calligraphy, but they’re still baring their souls in a series of stanzas.

07:40

24 Mar 21

8 Grounding Techniques For Panic Attacks From TikTok Users

Soothe your body and mind.

8 Grounding Techniques For Panic Attacks From TikTok Users

Soothe your body and mind.

04:42

23 Mar 21

How Long-Haul COVID Affects Fitness Trainers

'My identity has been taken away.'

How Long-Haul COVID Affects Fitness Trainers

'My identity has been taken away.'

07:46

22 Mar 21

Another Coronavirus Birthday, & The Lessons I’ve Learned

On finding joy after a painful year.

Another Coronavirus Birthday, & The Lessons I’ve Learned

On finding joy after a painful year.

04:42

19 Mar 21

3OH!3's Nathaniel Motte & Sean Foreman On 'NEED,' "Last Breath," & Getting Woke

But as two white, cis men with a controversial past, where do they fit in?

3OH!3's Nathaniel Motte & Sean Foreman On 'NEED,' "Last Breath," & Getting Woke

But as two white, cis men with a controversial past, where do they fit in?

07:46

18 Mar 21

HBO Max's 'Generation' Does The One Thing Other Teen Shows Don't

To craft a story with a distinctly Gen Z perspective, the new HBO Max series went straight to the source.

HBO Max's 'Generation' Does The One Thing Other Teen Shows Don't

To craft a story with a distinctly Gen Z perspective, the new HBO Max series went straight to the source.

05:26

17 Mar 21

Why A Trauma Anniversary Brings Up So Many Emotions

Having some emotion on an anniversary doesn't mean you haven't processed the trauma.

Why A Trauma Anniversary Brings Up So Many Emotions

Having some emotion on an anniversary doesn't mean you haven't processed the trauma.

05:06

16 Mar 21

Here's How It Worked When I Tried It

Could it actually calm the rage I feel from hearing trigger sounds?

Here's How It Worked When I Tried It

Could it actually calm the rage I feel from hearing trigger sounds?

07:35

15 Mar 21

Qualifying For COVID-19 Vaccine Because Of Your BMI Creates Complicated Feelings

Olivia Zayas Ryan thinks of herself as a “relatively healthy person," and wasn’t expecting to get the COVID-19 vaccine until whenever vaccine appointments opened for the general population in New York City, where she lives. That changed, though, once she saw a friend post on Instagram about how she's eligible for the vaccine because her body-mass index qualifies her as obese.

Qualifying For COVID-19 Vaccine Because Of Your BMI Creates Complicated Feelings

Olivia Zayas Ryan thinks of herself as a “relatively healthy person," and wasn’t expecting to get the COVID-19 vaccine until whenever vaccine appointments opened for the general population in New York City, where she lives. That changed, though, once she saw a friend post on Instagram about how she's eligible for the vaccine because her body-mass index qualifies her as obese.

06:17

12 Mar 21

Roommates With COVID-19: What A Group Of 5 Did When One Got Sick

Since November, five recent grads have been sublet-hopping together in a seasonal resort town out west, while working locally in retail and restaurants.

Roommates With COVID-19: What A Group Of 5 Did When One Got Sick

Since November, five recent grads have been sublet-hopping together in a seasonal resort town out west, while working locally in retail and restaurants.

07:29

11 Mar 21

The Javits Center Isn't Empty Anymore

Home to New York City's vaccination hub, the once soulless convention center is a surreal reminder of all that we've lost — and the hope that lies ahead.

The Javits Center Isn't Empty Anymore

Home to New York City's vaccination hub, the once soulless convention center is a surreal reminder of all that we've lost — and the hope that lies ahead.

08:25

10 Mar 21

Is The Beauty Trend Worth The Hype?

People have been turning to Vaseline for, well, over 150 years (that's when it first came out) for its moisturizing powers.

Is The Beauty Trend Worth The Hype?

People have been turning to Vaseline for, well, over 150 years (that's when it first came out) for its moisturizing powers.

04:36

9 Mar 21

COVID-19 Vaccination Disagreements Are Ruining Friendships

Prior to the pandemic, childhood best friends Alex and Kayla have made cross-country trips to see each other at least once a year for the past decade. So as soon as the COVID vaccine started rolling out, Alex, 38, texted Kayla, 37: “Girls’ trip in 2022 for sure!”

COVID-19 Vaccination Disagreements Are Ruining Friendships

Prior to the pandemic, childhood best friends Alex and Kayla have made cross-country trips to see each other at least once a year for the past decade. So as soon as the COVID vaccine started rolling out, Alex, 38, texted Kayla, 37: “Girls’ trip in 2022 for sure!”

05:43

8 Mar 21

How Gaining 100k Instagram Followers After #BLM Protests Affected Jessica Wilson's Mental Health

California-based dietitian and activist Jessica Wilson had a pretty standard Instagram presence until mid-2020: her professional account published content challenging eating disorder treatment standards and educating followers about what trauma-informed practices, particularly for communities of color, could look like.

How Gaining 100k Instagram Followers After #BLM Protests Affected Jessica Wilson's Mental Health

California-based dietitian and activist Jessica Wilson had a pretty standard Instagram presence until mid-2020: her professional account published content challenging eating disorder treatment standards and educating followers about what trauma-informed practices, particularly for communities of color, could look like.

05:33

5 Mar 21

Dylan Farrow Is Finally At The Center Of Her Story

Dylan Farrow's story has been scrutinized, fact-checked, and impugned since 1992, when she accused her adoptive father Woody Allen of sexually assaulting her at age 7.

Dylan Farrow Is Finally At The Center Of Her Story

Dylan Farrow's story has been scrutinized, fact-checked, and impugned since 1992, when she accused her adoptive father Woody Allen of sexually assaulting her at age 7.

04:11

4 Mar 21

COVID-19 Meal Support Social Media Accounts Provide Eating Disorder Support In Lockdown

When food became a problem for me in college — a problem in that I would frequently skip meals — my nutritionist offered to sit with me while I ate my daily turkey and cheese sandwich.

COVID-19 Meal Support Social Media Accounts Provide Eating Disorder Support In Lockdown

When food became a problem for me in college — a problem in that I would frequently skip meals — my nutritionist offered to sit with me while I ate my daily turkey and cheese sandwich.

06:52

3 Mar 21

Tim Burton, Please Leave Wednesday Addams Alone

Poor Tim Burton. Does he need help? A pep talk? A snack? A hug? I’m asking because it seems like for the past few years, Tim Burton has given up on being a film director and instead began a full-time career as a parody of himself.

Tim Burton, Please Leave Wednesday Addams Alone

Poor Tim Burton. Does he need help? A pep talk? A snack? A hug? I’m asking because it seems like for the past few years, Tim Burton has given up on being a film director and instead began a full-time career as a parody of himself.

03:54

2 Mar 21

Notes On A Marriage In A Pandemic

There is a nationwide shortage of Grape-Nuts and I’m positive that this will save my marriage.

Notes On A Marriage In A Pandemic

There is a nationwide shortage of Grape-Nuts and I’m positive that this will save my marriage.

06:25

1 Mar 21

How Thrifting TikTok Is Providing An Escape In Lockdown

“Does anybody else rely on thrifting as a therapy right now?” Sam, 24, asks TikTok from her car, post-thrift shopping session, wearing a mint green button-down that she found at Second Chance in Monterey, California. “I can’t do a FaceTime therapist; that just won’t work for me. So thrifting, finding all the cool, random, weird things, makes me happy.” Her video is flooded with comments from women who agree. When I’m in a bad mood that no amount of 4-7-8 breathing can fix, I drag myself onto the subway and ride all the way uptown to my favorite Goodwill on New York City’s Upper East Side. I’ve found brand-new AGOLDE jeans, Marchesa workwear, and a Calvin Klein camel coat, plus polka-dotted candlesticks. But really, I just like being in there, unsure of what I’ll find. (Yes, the employees know me.) Not that long ago, I wouldn’t have publicized the fact that most of my wardrobe is used. That attitude is changing, with millions tuning in to watch strangers sift through other strangers’ stuff on ThriftTok. People are finding the most underrated thrift stores in their area, tips on how to keep your thrift day anxiety-free, and the secondhand excitement of spotting genuine '60s-era Coca Cola merch. During a pandemic that’s adversely impacted many people's mental health, ThriftTok — a kind of vicarious, all-virtual retail therapy — is a safe outlet for the satisfying surprise of a score. “The sense of euphoria experienced while thrifting is real,” says Montreal-based trauma therapist and clinical counselor Gabriella Evans, MA, CCC. “It’s simply the neurotransmitter dopamine being released in the brain. Dopamine is an important part of the brain’s reward system and levels are actually at their highest point when we are anticipating a potential reward, like that cute vintage dress or perfect piece of kitschy kitchenware. Hence the thrill of the hunt.” The value of thrifting for self-care can vary for different people. Dr. Sophie Chung, MD, founder of Qunomedical, notes that while “running your hands through fabrics” is calming for some, “a person with OCD might feel a nagging urge to buy a certain item or something terrible is going to happen.” Evans affirms that while thrifting, like retail therapy, isn't a literal treatment for depression or anxiety, it can be thought of as harm reduction — there are significantly fewer negative effects than other high-dopamine activities like drug use or gambling. ThriftTok takes that principle one step further, providing the vicarious thrill of witnessing “the thrift gods rolling through the racks” without acquiring anything yourself. Finding inspiration in ThriftTok versus IRL retail therapy can relieve another stressor — the financial kind. When Jess, 27, was in college, her vice when she was upset was to spend money. “I would go to Sephora and spend $300 instead of buying textbooks. And I did not grow up in a situation where I could afford to do that, so I’d end up having to go to the library for the rest of the quarter every single night to use the textbooks there instead.” “Getting myself away from that has been really important to my mental health,” she says. “It’s like my crutch was the thing that was also causing the majority of my stress. And I feel like thrifting is such a safe middle ground. It’s Nicorette for people who like to shop.” Of course, just as Nicorette gum contains nicotine, buying $4 crocheted tank-tops is still spending money. And acquiring things you don’t need or absolutely love can be detrimental to your own long-term mental health, especially if clutter becomes a source of guilt. ThriftTok has also started discussions about the ethics of thrifting and reselling. “With all the information on there, I came to the conclusion that I don’t feel the best about buying a ton of stuff, because there are families that rely on thrift stores to support themselves," Sam says. "I tend to only come out with pieces that really resonate with me.” In this way, secondhand shopping can be a kind of coping mechanism if you see it as an exercise in curiosity, as something to do (double-masked) while movie theaters, spas, and other kinds of self-care activities aren’t accessible. Even if you don't buy anything — or don't feel comfortable going thrifting IRL — there's plenty of #ThriftTok to keep you sated.

How Thrifting TikTok Is Providing An Escape In Lockdown

“Does anybody else rely on thrifting as a therapy right now?” Sam, 24, asks TikTok from her car, post-thrift shopping session, wearing a mint green button-down that she found at Second Chance in Monterey, California. “I can’t do a FaceTime therapist; that just won’t work for me. So thrifting, finding all the cool, random, weird things, makes me happy.” Her video is flooded with comments from women who agree. When I’m in a bad mood that no amount of 4-7-8 breathing can fix, I drag myself onto the subway and ride all the way uptown to my favorite Goodwill on New York City’s Upper East Side. I’ve found brand-new AGOLDE jeans, Marchesa workwear, and a Calvin Klein camel coat, plus polka-dotted candlesticks. But really, I just like being in there, unsure of what I’ll find. (Yes, the employees know me.) Not that long ago, I wouldn’t have publicized the fact that most of my wardrobe is used. That attitude is changing, with millions tuning in to watch strangers sift through other strangers’ stuff on ThriftTok. People are finding the most underrated thrift stores in their area, tips on how to keep your thrift day anxiety-free, and the secondhand excitement of spotting genuine '60s-era Coca Cola merch. During a pandemic that’s adversely impacted many people's mental health, ThriftTok — a kind of vicarious, all-virtual retail therapy — is a safe outlet for the satisfying surprise of a score. “The sense of euphoria experienced while thrifting is real,” says Montreal-based trauma therapist and clinical counselor Gabriella Evans, MA, CCC. “It’s simply the neurotransmitter dopamine being released in the brain. Dopamine is an important part of the brain’s reward system and levels are actually at their highest point when we are anticipating a potential reward, like that cute vintage dress or perfect piece of kitschy kitchenware. Hence the thrill of the hunt.” The value of thrifting for self-care can vary for different people. Dr. Sophie Chung, MD, founder of Qunomedical, notes that while “running your hands through fabrics” is calming for some, “a person with OCD might feel a nagging urge to buy a certain item or something terrible is going to happen.” Evans affirms that while thrifting, like retail therapy, isn't a literal treatment for depression or anxiety, it can be thought of as harm reduction — there are significantly fewer negative effects than other high-dopamine activities like drug use or gambling. ThriftTok takes that principle one step further, providing the vicarious thrill of witnessing “the thrift gods rolling through the racks” without acquiring anything yourself. Finding inspiration in ThriftTok versus IRL retail therapy can relieve another stressor — the financial kind. When Jess, 27, was in college, her vice when she was upset was to spend money. “I would go to Sephora and spend $300 instead of buying textbooks. And I did not grow up in a situation where I could afford to do that, so I’d end up having to go to the library for the rest of the quarter every single night to use the textbooks there instead.” “Getting myself away from that has been really important to my mental health,” she says. “It’s like my crutch was the thing that was also causing the majority of my stress. And I feel like thrifting is such a safe middle ground. It’s Nicorette for people who like to shop.” Of course, just as Nicorette gum contains nicotine, buying $4 crocheted tank-tops is still spending money. And acquiring things you don’t need or absolutely love can be detrimental to your own long-term mental health, especially if clutter becomes a source of guilt. ThriftTok has also started discussions about the ethics of thrifting and reselling. “With all the information on there, I came to the conclusion that I don’t feel the best about buying a ton of stuff, because there are families that rely on thrift stores to support themselves," Sam says. "I tend to only come out with pieces that really resonate with me.” In this way, secondhand shopping can be a kind of coping mechanism if you see it as an exercise in curiosity, as something to do (double-masked) while movie theaters, spas, and other kinds of self-care activities aren’t accessible. Even if you don't buy anything — or don't feel comfortable going thrifting IRL — there's plenty of #ThriftTok to keep you sated.

05:42

26 Feb 21

I Moisturize My Entire Body Now, Thanks To COVID

Remember the massive productivity boom that came at the beginning of COVID? Everyone thought they'd finally write that novel/become fluent in a third language/master home cooking thanks to the endless stay-at-home orders. Much of the pressure to accomplish these highly ambitious goals fell by the wayside, but one positive habit I took up during quarantine actually has stuck: I now moisturize my entire body, not just the skin on my face. I've been a beauty editor for more than five years now, so I'm well aware that your skin is your largest organ and it's important to take care of all of it, not just your décolletage and above. Taking care of only the skin on your face is kind of like only washing your upper body in the shower — of course moisturizing isn't just for select parts of your bod. But I'm lazy. So when quarantine ambition levels reached their peaks in March and April, I gazed into my overcrowded beauty cabinet for inspo on how to up the ante on my self-care game (because social media told me to), and dozens of body care products, all covered in dust and hidden in the back, stared back at me. The bottles had been giving me the side eye whenever I reached for a (face) serum or (face) moisturizer for who knows how long. But the thing is, body care has been exploding over the past year or so. An ever-increasing chunk of beauty brands known for other categories have recently entered the space: Drunk Elephant, True Botanicals, Cocokind, and Versed are just a few examples. Not only that, but according to consumer data platform Influenster, customer reviews of body care products grew 140% year over year between 2019 and 2020. Clearly there's no shortage of options when it comes to lotions and creams to hydrate your limbs. Besides the saturated body care market, my skin is reason enough to begin giving TLC to the areas below my neck. Because of my laziness, my hands, arms, legs, and heels have slowly crumbled into flaky, itchy, dry-as-hell appendages due to their lack of moisture and nutrients — all while my face gets spoiled with layers upon layers of fancy products (twice a day, no less) and glows in all its glory. I only have the pandemic to thank for smoothing out this, uh, not-so-pretty disconnect between my face and my body. It all began one evening early in quarantine after showering. Hell-bent on leaving the bathroom glistening with moisture — #dolphinskin — I reached for my unopened The Body Serum from Nécessaire as my first layer. My limbs immediately slurped up the hydrating trio of hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide, then begged me for more. To seal in the nourishing goodness, I applied the Mutha Body Butter all over, which contains various butters (like the OG, shea butter) and fatty acids to replenish the skin's barrier. I couldn't stop caressing my arms for the rest of the night: Why did I wait till my early thirties to start moisturizing my body? As the months flew by, I started to experiment with my body care regimen. I had a body oil phase (shoutout to Irene Forte Skincare's Rose Body Oil, which I completely drained), and went through so many creams — including Drunk Elephant's Sili Body Lotion, Sol de Janeiro's Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, and La Roche-Posay's Lipikar Balm. By now, I think I've brought my body skin back from the parched dead state it was in for so many years. My legs and arms haven't itched or been scaly for months; my hands, ravaged into dehydrated claws from sanitizer use, are creamy and baby-soft. If there's one teeny tiny silver lining to this year of horror, it's that my body is finally getting the TLC it deserves.

I Moisturize My Entire Body Now, Thanks To COVID

Remember the massive productivity boom that came at the beginning of COVID? Everyone thought they'd finally write that novel/become fluent in a third language/master home cooking thanks to the endless stay-at-home orders. Much of the pressure to accomplish these highly ambitious goals fell by the wayside, but one positive habit I took up during quarantine actually has stuck: I now moisturize my entire body, not just the skin on my face. I've been a beauty editor for more than five years now, so I'm well aware that your skin is your largest organ and it's important to take care of all of it, not just your décolletage and above. Taking care of only the skin on your face is kind of like only washing your upper body in the shower — of course moisturizing isn't just for select parts of your bod. But I'm lazy. So when quarantine ambition levels reached their peaks in March and April, I gazed into my overcrowded beauty cabinet for inspo on how to up the ante on my self-care game (because social media told me to), and dozens of body care products, all covered in dust and hidden in the back, stared back at me. The bottles had been giving me the side eye whenever I reached for a (face) serum or (face) moisturizer for who knows how long. But the thing is, body care has been exploding over the past year or so. An ever-increasing chunk of beauty brands known for other categories have recently entered the space: Drunk Elephant, True Botanicals, Cocokind, and Versed are just a few examples. Not only that, but according to consumer data platform Influenster, customer reviews of body care products grew 140% year over year between 2019 and 2020. Clearly there's no shortage of options when it comes to lotions and creams to hydrate your limbs. Besides the saturated body care market, my skin is reason enough to begin giving TLC to the areas below my neck. Because of my laziness, my hands, arms, legs, and heels have slowly crumbled into flaky, itchy, dry-as-hell appendages due to their lack of moisture and nutrients — all while my face gets spoiled with layers upon layers of fancy products (twice a day, no less) and glows in all its glory. I only have the pandemic to thank for smoothing out this, uh, not-so-pretty disconnect between my face and my body. It all began one evening early in quarantine after showering. Hell-bent on leaving the bathroom glistening with moisture — #dolphinskin — I reached for my unopened The Body Serum from Nécessaire as my first layer. My limbs immediately slurped up the hydrating trio of hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide, then begged me for more. To seal in the nourishing goodness, I applied the Mutha Body Butter all over, which contains various butters (like the OG, shea butter) and fatty acids to replenish the skin's barrier. I couldn't stop caressing my arms for the rest of the night: Why did I wait till my early thirties to start moisturizing my body? As the months flew by, I started to experiment with my body care regimen. I had a body oil phase (shoutout to Irene Forte Skincare's Rose Body Oil, which I completely drained), and went through so many creams — including Drunk Elephant's Sili Body Lotion, Sol de Janeiro's Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, and La Roche-Posay's Lipikar Balm. By now, I think I've brought my body skin back from the parched dead state it was in for so many years. My legs and arms haven't itched or been scaly for months; my hands, ravaged into dehydrated claws from sanitizer use, are creamy and baby-soft. If there's one teeny tiny silver lining to this year of horror, it's that my body is finally getting the TLC it deserves.

04:09

25 Feb 21

Ceremonia Pequi Curl Serum Keeps My Wavy Hair Bouncy & Frizz-Free

Ever since I grew out of my Shirley Temple curls, my hair has never decided whether it’s straight, wavy, or curly. Most days, it settles on a frizzy mix of all three. I’ve never really known how to get my hair to do what I want it to: Ideally, I’d have Elaine Benes ringlets, but I’ll settle for soft, bouncy tendrils that suggest a Botticelli painting. Is that so much to ask for? Well, with an assist from the new Ceremonia Pequi Curl Activator Serum, it turns out my dream ‘do is achievable. You know the saying: Curly hair never dries the same way twice. But, with almost nothing but time on my hands during the pandemic, I’ve been experimenting with a styling combo of Ceremonia’s serum and the Curly Girl method, a technique for keeping curls (and waves) hydrated and bouncy. And I’m a lot closer to understanding how to work with my hair rather than against it. Read on for the details of how I tamed my waves. We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. Long lauded in the natural hair community, the Curly Girl method developed a following on TikTok thanks to a viral audio that went, in part, "My whole life I've been brushing through my hair like this, and TikTok is making me realize that I think I actually have curly hair.” The basic tenets are only brushing your strands while they're wet, preferably while they're being deep-conditioned; styling by scrunching with a curl-enhancing product; and drying by plopping your hair on your head with a T-shirt, rather than a towel. (Rubbing your hair with a towel can mess with the cuticle, leaving your hair frizzier than before. Who knew!) I adopted the Curly Girl method over the summer and noticed a difference in my hair from the first plop. Where before, my thick hair would air dry into a Mia Thermopolis-y triangle, it smoothed out, allowing individual waves to develop. But for scrunching, I used whatever hydrating creams I had lying around, most of which had been purloined from a colleagues’ desk back when I used to work at an office. It was fine, but sometimes left my hair a little crunchy or oily. Not ideal. Enter Ceremonia’s newest product, launched on Jan. 25. My interest was piqued by the “curl activator” moniker; if the curls of my youth could simply wake up, I thought, I’d be on the express train to Elaine Benes-ville. The serum contains pequi oil, which is common in other curl-enhancing formulas to help waves sproing to life, while castor oil and murumuru butter provide moisturization. The travel-friendly bottle size suggests a not-so-far-off future where it could join me on trips to visit my family in Puerto Rico, where, thanks to the humidity, my curls tend to perform their best. At its $20 price point, it won’t break the bank to restock, but I’ve also found you don’t need to use a ton of it at a time. I switched to using Ceremonia’s serum a few weeks ago, and I’m pleasantly surprised by how it’s helped define my hair’s texture through a very dry New York winter. The serum also smells amazing — a little musky, a little sweet. It hasn’t 100% restored the soft spirals my two-year-old self boasted, but my hair now air dries into uniform, soft, bouncy waves. Compared to six months ago — when my locks seemed to dry into second-day hair even though they had just been washed — it’s a vast improvement. Given that my waves are significantly weighed down by a pandemic-induced lack of haircut, I’m confident that whenever I’ll be able to razor some layers in, they'll have even more body and life. I also love that I’ll be supporting a Latina-owned business with my future purchases. Curl serum + scrunch + tie dye T-shirt is by no means a magic formula for the ultimate hair of my dreams, but it’s a big step up from my pre-pandemic hair routine of doing… absolutely nothing.

Ceremonia Pequi Curl Serum Keeps My Wavy Hair Bouncy & Frizz-Free

Ever since I grew out of my Shirley Temple curls, my hair has never decided whether it’s straight, wavy, or curly. Most days, it settles on a frizzy mix of all three. I’ve never really known how to get my hair to do what I want it to: Ideally, I’d have Elaine Benes ringlets, but I’ll settle for soft, bouncy tendrils that suggest a Botticelli painting. Is that so much to ask for? Well, with an assist from the new Ceremonia Pequi Curl Activator Serum, it turns out my dream ‘do is achievable. You know the saying: Curly hair never dries the same way twice. But, with almost nothing but time on my hands during the pandemic, I’ve been experimenting with a styling combo of Ceremonia’s serum and the Curly Girl method, a technique for keeping curls (and waves) hydrated and bouncy. And I’m a lot closer to understanding how to work with my hair rather than against it. Read on for the details of how I tamed my waves. We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. Long lauded in the natural hair community, the Curly Girl method developed a following on TikTok thanks to a viral audio that went, in part, "My whole life I've been brushing through my hair like this, and TikTok is making me realize that I think I actually have curly hair.” The basic tenets are only brushing your strands while they're wet, preferably while they're being deep-conditioned; styling by scrunching with a curl-enhancing product; and drying by plopping your hair on your head with a T-shirt, rather than a towel. (Rubbing your hair with a towel can mess with the cuticle, leaving your hair frizzier than before. Who knew!) I adopted the Curly Girl method over the summer and noticed a difference in my hair from the first plop. Where before, my thick hair would air dry into a Mia Thermopolis-y triangle, it smoothed out, allowing individual waves to develop. But for scrunching, I used whatever hydrating creams I had lying around, most of which had been purloined from a colleagues’ desk back when I used to work at an office. It was fine, but sometimes left my hair a little crunchy or oily. Not ideal. Enter Ceremonia’s newest product, launched on Jan. 25. My interest was piqued by the “curl activator” moniker; if the curls of my youth could simply wake up, I thought, I’d be on the express train to Elaine Benes-ville. The serum contains pequi oil, which is common in other curl-enhancing formulas to help waves sproing to life, while castor oil and murumuru butter provide moisturization. The travel-friendly bottle size suggests a not-so-far-off future where it could join me on trips to visit my family in Puerto Rico, where, thanks to the humidity, my curls tend to perform their best. At its $20 price point, it won’t break the bank to restock, but I’ve also found you don’t need to use a ton of it at a time. I switched to using Ceremonia’s serum a few weeks ago, and I’m pleasantly surprised by how it’s helped define my hair’s texture through a very dry New York winter. The serum also smells amazing — a little musky, a little sweet. It hasn’t 100% restored the soft spirals my two-year-old self boasted, but my hair now air dries into uniform, soft, bouncy waves. Compared to six months ago — when my locks seemed to dry into second-day hair even though they had just been washed — it’s a vast improvement. Given that my waves are significantly weighed down by a pandemic-induced lack of haircut, I’m confident that whenever I’ll be able to razor some layers in, they'll have even more body and life. I also love that I’ll be supporting a Latina-owned business with my future purchases. Curl serum + scrunch + tie dye T-shirt is by no means a magic formula for the ultimate hair of my dreams, but it’s a big step up from my pre-pandemic hair routine of doing… absolutely nothing.

04:59

24 Feb 21

I Can't Concentrate On Anything Anymore

A pandemic night in begins when I feel my wheels grease silently to a halt. This isn’t a painful slowdown, something coloured with resignation. It’s more desultory than that, an elevated detachment that causes me to look at my day, shrug, and say, I guess that’s it. I live alone, which depending on who you speak to is a very good or a very bad thing during a pandemic. Generally I like it, though when I tell people about the quiet isolation of my evenings they speak about themselves. The pandemic has weighed them down, they say, and getting by is now all that can be mustered. Sometimes I agree, though only a little, since the process of investing in an opinion feels like a lot of effort these days. Plus, the ample vacancies of my pandemic evenings haven’t been excavated in an attempt to “be kind to myself.” They just are. While I can never predict the time that my night will begin, the first step is always the same. I kick the oversized Oka scatter cushions out from under my feet and splay myself across my favourite blue sofa, the longer one, the one that faces the television. From there I half-watch something while scanning GrubHub and Postmates and DoorDash. Sometimes I close all these apps and go to the fridge to heat up the thing I know I should eat. Other times I acquiesce to the need to feel something and order a burger. Something sticky, excessive, anesthetizing. Once I’ve eaten, time spins itself out. My “Continue Watching” tab on Netflix is now an abandoned sea of documentaries and period dramas cleft open for five minutes before I set them adrift. The reason why is always the same and always new: why this, why now. Sometimes I make an addition to that list, on other occasions I wander into a book purchased on a day I felt particularly optimistic. After 12 pages or so I give up, slipping in a crumpled CVS receipt to mark the point of my resignation. These markers always become dislodged, usually when I fall asleep with the book somewhere near my head, but it doesn’t matter. I will need to re-read these pages if I want to understand what happened. Their contents have not entered my brain, not really. I drink inconsequentially and without commitment in this time. Usually a smidge of white wine in a small tumbler. It makes me “relaxed,” though I use quotation marks because I wasn’t unrelaxed before. I guess I am now just a little drunk. In this time I refresh my work email, wondering if I’ll find a crisis that I can solve. I rarely do. The only emails I get after 5 p.m. now are from news outlets and I just delete them. I’ve already seen the news on Instagram. Social media is where I spend most of my hours in the smudge of sunset that follows work. On my bed, on the sofa, in the bath. I watch and wait for something to appear, something that I ought to know. Nothing ever does, and so I slip through tangents like this: And so it continues. This is my life now and maybe it is yours too. I honestly don’t hate it, though I don’t think it behooves me to analyse it. Not because it would be too depressing, but because that would break it. I realized this when I read that big New York Times feature on how America is “embracing numbness as an antidote for the overload of digital capitalism,” and that started long before the pandemic. We “want to get rid of everything… so we won’t have anything to lose,” and “there is no enthusiasm for desire in this culture, only the wish that we could give it up.” Crikey, I thought. How dramatic! In truth, I don’t really feel like I’m embracing anything, and neither do I feel like I'm giving anything up. My life now is like a verbless sentence. The chaos of the pandemic is outside my front door, and inside it I am like a duck gliding lazily across a mill pond. I know change will eventually come, which makes my current predicament less of a minimalist cavity and more like a dash or a hyphen, something transitory that has no meaning unless it’s placed between two coordinates; where we once were and where we will be when the pandemic is over. So as I begin to close down my apartment for the night, it’s in a drift rather than a paddle. I plump the cushions on my sofa, I place my phone on charge, I turn off the lamps in each corner of my living room while my electric toothbrush whirs in the background. I listen to music for the 10 minutes it takes to complete these chores, not via a speaker, but through my headphones, so I can hear all my favourite bits over the sound of my own footsteps. These are the small optimizations I have made to my life in the last year. Sometimes I dance because it makes me happy, though when I catch sight of myself in the mirror I frown at the knowledge that despite being safe and COVID-free, the loneliness of 2020 has aged me more than a normal year. Then I laugh and feel foolish for thinking that this matters. Once the lights are off, the cushions are upright, the wine-smudged glasses are lined up in the dishwasher, I walk the 4 meters from the center of my lounge into my bedroom. I swallow my tablets, I climb into bed, and I play the audio of an article about an obscure segment of British history that, for reasons entirely unknown, is the only thing I am able to concentrate on. I know that when sleep comes it will be deep and easy. This is the upside of this existence, one that is comfortingly and mercifully dull. It's crushingly low stakes, and on the whole I feel rather lucky for it, so as my breathing slows and I feel myself floating again, I hold tightly to, well, absolutely nothing. Tomorrow I will wake up and do it all again, and that is fine. Just fine.

I Can't Concentrate On Anything Anymore

A pandemic night in begins when I feel my wheels grease silently to a halt. This isn’t a painful slowdown, something coloured with resignation. It’s more desultory than that, an elevated detachment that causes me to look at my day, shrug, and say, I guess that’s it. I live alone, which depending on who you speak to is a very good or a very bad thing during a pandemic. Generally I like it, though when I tell people about the quiet isolation of my evenings they speak about themselves. The pandemic has weighed them down, they say, and getting by is now all that can be mustered. Sometimes I agree, though only a little, since the process of investing in an opinion feels like a lot of effort these days. Plus, the ample vacancies of my pandemic evenings haven’t been excavated in an attempt to “be kind to myself.” They just are. While I can never predict the time that my night will begin, the first step is always the same. I kick the oversized Oka scatter cushions out from under my feet and splay myself across my favourite blue sofa, the longer one, the one that faces the television. From there I half-watch something while scanning GrubHub and Postmates and DoorDash. Sometimes I close all these apps and go to the fridge to heat up the thing I know I should eat. Other times I acquiesce to the need to feel something and order a burger. Something sticky, excessive, anesthetizing. Once I’ve eaten, time spins itself out. My “Continue Watching” tab on Netflix is now an abandoned sea of documentaries and period dramas cleft open for five minutes before I set them adrift. The reason why is always the same and always new: why this, why now. Sometimes I make an addition to that list, on other occasions I wander into a book purchased on a day I felt particularly optimistic. After 12 pages or so I give up, slipping in a crumpled CVS receipt to mark the point of my resignation. These markers always become dislodged, usually when I fall asleep with the book somewhere near my head, but it doesn’t matter. I will need to re-read these pages if I want to understand what happened. Their contents have not entered my brain, not really. I drink inconsequentially and without commitment in this time. Usually a smidge of white wine in a small tumbler. It makes me “relaxed,” though I use quotation marks because I wasn’t unrelaxed before. I guess I am now just a little drunk. In this time I refresh my work email, wondering if I’ll find a crisis that I can solve. I rarely do. The only emails I get after 5 p.m. now are from news outlets and I just delete them. I’ve already seen the news on Instagram. Social media is where I spend most of my hours in the smudge of sunset that follows work. On my bed, on the sofa, in the bath. I watch and wait for something to appear, something that I ought to know. Nothing ever does, and so I slip through tangents like this: And so it continues. This is my life now and maybe it is yours too. I honestly don’t hate it, though I don’t think it behooves me to analyse it. Not because it would be too depressing, but because that would break it. I realized this when I read that big New York Times feature on how America is “embracing numbness as an antidote for the overload of digital capitalism,” and that started long before the pandemic. We “want to get rid of everything… so we won’t have anything to lose,” and “there is no enthusiasm for desire in this culture, only the wish that we could give it up.” Crikey, I thought. How dramatic! In truth, I don’t really feel like I’m embracing anything, and neither do I feel like I'm giving anything up. My life now is like a verbless sentence. The chaos of the pandemic is outside my front door, and inside it I am like a duck gliding lazily across a mill pond. I know change will eventually come, which makes my current predicament less of a minimalist cavity and more like a dash or a hyphen, something transitory that has no meaning unless it’s placed between two coordinates; where we once were and where we will be when the pandemic is over. So as I begin to close down my apartment for the night, it’s in a drift rather than a paddle. I plump the cushions on my sofa, I place my phone on charge, I turn off the lamps in each corner of my living room while my electric toothbrush whirs in the background. I listen to music for the 10 minutes it takes to complete these chores, not via a speaker, but through my headphones, so I can hear all my favourite bits over the sound of my own footsteps. These are the small optimizations I have made to my life in the last year. Sometimes I dance because it makes me happy, though when I catch sight of myself in the mirror I frown at the knowledge that despite being safe and COVID-free, the loneliness of 2020 has aged me more than a normal year. Then I laugh and feel foolish for thinking that this matters. Once the lights are off, the cushions are upright, the wine-smudged glasses are lined up in the dishwasher, I walk the 4 meters from the center of my lounge into my bedroom. I swallow my tablets, I climb into bed, and I play the audio of an article about an obscure segment of British history that, for reasons entirely unknown, is the only thing I am able to concentrate on. I know that when sleep comes it will be deep and easy. This is the upside of this existence, one that is comfortingly and mercifully dull. It's crushingly low stakes, and on the whole I feel rather lucky for it, so as my breathing slows and I feel myself floating again, I hold tightly to, well, absolutely nothing. Tomorrow I will wake up and do it all again, and that is fine. Just fine.

07:20

23 Feb 21

Eve Hewson On 'Behind Her Eyes,' Family Quarantine & Period Pieces

Until recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Eve Hewson was from another era. Her onscreen wardrobe has been dominated by Victorian standing collars, her dark hair reliably swept back, and her performances — in series like The Knick and the BBC drama The Luminaries — constricted by the social mores of the time period in which she plays. But in her new Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes, the Irish actor isn’t simply ditching the buttoned-up corsets for luxury athleisure and satin robes — she’s taking a baseball bat to set and fully releasing her rage between scenes. “I was sort of blessed with really great, serious, dramatic, grounded work,” Hewson says of her career thus far. “So, when I got this part, I really let it rip. I went all out. And I've never had more fun, honestly.” It’s hard to describe Behind Her Eyes without giving too much away. Based on the international best-selling novel by Sarah Pinborough, it’s a moody and twisted love triangle with a big swing ending that will leave you rattled. When I talk to Hewson days after finishing it, I’m still perturbed. “I’m so glad it f*cked you up,” she tells me, laughing. “That's the kind of work I like to do!” Which isn’t to say playing Adele — a lonely, temperamental housewife who is alternately icy and volatile — came naturally to Hewson. The 29-year-old is infectiously chatty, our conversation ricocheting from her work to her adoration of Alec Baldwin (she listens to his podcast Here’s The Thing in the bath) to my love of Cameo (“Wait, is it the thing that Bella Thorne is on?”). It was the bat, which she asked the prop department to procure along with a cushion to hit, that helped her rev up before filming. “Before I had to do an intense scene, I would just be whacking the bat and hear, ‘Rolling camera, action,’ throw the bat away and go into it,” she says. It’s a testament to Hewson’s approachability that the Method-y tic wasn’t a turn-off on set. “Everybody on the crew, if we were having a stressful day or people were tired and things weren't going well, they'd be like, ‘Can I borrow your bat?’” Hewson already has a lifetime of experience upsetting expectations. The same my-therapy-bat-is-your-therapy-bat ethos at odds with playing Adele is also at odds with what most people expect from rock star progeny. “The bar is set so low for your personality. They really just think you're going to be a piece of sh*t," Hewson says of growing up being known as Bono's daughter. "If you just say please and thank you, people are floored by that." It was a childhood that came with some desirable perks, to be sure: Hewson would spend summer breaks on U2 tour buses, prank calling her dad’s A-list phone contacts, like Justin Timberlake, to pass time. By Hewson’s description, the energy at Bono’s full house seems pretty typical. “It's people fighting over the potatoes,” she says. After 10 years living on her own in New York City, the NYU grad moved home to Dublin just as the pandemic hit, sad to be leaving friends but ecstatic to be reunited with her Guinness. “Because of lockdown you could hire a truck to come and they just do pints for you,” she says proudly. “The Irish people will always find a way.” Hewson calls mornings with her parents and three siblings “pretty mental.” Not that she knows firsthand, having completely reverted to her teenage self, including her teenage sleeping habits. “I don't experience the mornings,” she tells me. “When you work, you have to get up like 3 in the morning, you're working all day long, you never sleep. So I thought, okay, well I'll just take advantage of this, and I will sleep forever.” In fairness, her 2019 was as hectic as her 2020 was soporific. She starred in the biopic Tesla — yes, another period piece — opposite Ethan Hawke, headed off to New Zealand to shoot the miniseries The Luminaries, and eventually landed in Scotland for Behind Her Eyes. After a run of capital-D dramas, Hewson’s beginning to figure out exactly what kind of career she wants to have. She loves Carrie Fisher, whose semi-autobiographical film Postcards From the Edge is Hewson’s all time favorite. “I think it's a really funny, honest depiction of what it's like working as an actor. And also as an actor who already has a famous parent.” And, of course, there’s Baldwin, who actually impersonated Bono on SNL in the '90s. “He seems like he'd be a good time on set and as much as I love working with great serious actors, you also want to have a bit of banter and be able to enjoy your work.” Now, her year of hibernation is ending. Hewson is away from home once again, in London this time. Well-slept and clear-eyed about the kind of projects she wants to pursue, she’s hoping 2021 comes with “a lot of a work” and “maybe a sprinkle of some love thrown in there.” Oh, and getting booked on Baldwin’s podcast, of course. She’s never met him, but hopes injecting it into the ether can make it come true. And if that doesn’t work, she could always swipe her dad’s cell phone for a prank call again.

Eve Hewson On 'Behind Her Eyes,' Family Quarantine & Period Pieces

Until recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Eve Hewson was from another era. Her onscreen wardrobe has been dominated by Victorian standing collars, her dark hair reliably swept back, and her performances — in series like The Knick and the BBC drama The Luminaries — constricted by the social mores of the time period in which she plays. But in her new Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes, the Irish actor isn’t simply ditching the buttoned-up corsets for luxury athleisure and satin robes — she’s taking a baseball bat to set and fully releasing her rage between scenes. “I was sort of blessed with really great, serious, dramatic, grounded work,” Hewson says of her career thus far. “So, when I got this part, I really let it rip. I went all out. And I've never had more fun, honestly.” It’s hard to describe Behind Her Eyes without giving too much away. Based on the international best-selling novel by Sarah Pinborough, it’s a moody and twisted love triangle with a big swing ending that will leave you rattled. When I talk to Hewson days after finishing it, I’m still perturbed. “I’m so glad it f*cked you up,” she tells me, laughing. “That's the kind of work I like to do!” Which isn’t to say playing Adele — a lonely, temperamental housewife who is alternately icy and volatile — came naturally to Hewson. The 29-year-old is infectiously chatty, our conversation ricocheting from her work to her adoration of Alec Baldwin (she listens to his podcast Here’s The Thing in the bath) to my love of Cameo (“Wait, is it the thing that Bella Thorne is on?”). It was the bat, which she asked the prop department to procure along with a cushion to hit, that helped her rev up before filming. “Before I had to do an intense scene, I would just be whacking the bat and hear, ‘Rolling camera, action,’ throw the bat away and go into it,” she says. It’s a testament to Hewson’s approachability that the Method-y tic wasn’t a turn-off on set. “Everybody on the crew, if we were having a stressful day or people were tired and things weren't going well, they'd be like, ‘Can I borrow your bat?’” Hewson already has a lifetime of experience upsetting expectations. The same my-therapy-bat-is-your-therapy-bat ethos at odds with playing Adele is also at odds with what most people expect from rock star progeny. “The bar is set so low for your personality. They really just think you're going to be a piece of sh*t," Hewson says of growing up being known as Bono's daughter. "If you just say please and thank you, people are floored by that." It was a childhood that came with some desirable perks, to be sure: Hewson would spend summer breaks on U2 tour buses, prank calling her dad’s A-list phone contacts, like Justin Timberlake, to pass time. By Hewson’s description, the energy at Bono’s full house seems pretty typical. “It's people fighting over the potatoes,” she says. After 10 years living on her own in New York City, the NYU grad moved home to Dublin just as the pandemic hit, sad to be leaving friends but ecstatic to be reunited with her Guinness. “Because of lockdown you could hire a truck to come and they just do pints for you,” she says proudly. “The Irish people will always find a way.” Hewson calls mornings with her parents and three siblings “pretty mental.” Not that she knows firsthand, having completely reverted to her teenage self, including her teenage sleeping habits. “I don't experience the mornings,” she tells me. “When you work, you have to get up like 3 in the morning, you're working all day long, you never sleep. So I thought, okay, well I'll just take advantage of this, and I will sleep forever.” In fairness, her 2019 was as hectic as her 2020 was soporific. She starred in the biopic Tesla — yes, another period piece — opposite Ethan Hawke, headed off to New Zealand to shoot the miniseries The Luminaries, and eventually landed in Scotland for Behind Her Eyes. After a run of capital-D dramas, Hewson’s beginning to figure out exactly what kind of career she wants to have. She loves Carrie Fisher, whose semi-autobiographical film Postcards From the Edge is Hewson’s all time favorite. “I think it's a really funny, honest depiction of what it's like working as an actor. And also as an actor who already has a famous parent.” And, of course, there’s Baldwin, who actually impersonated Bono on SNL in the '90s. “He seems like he'd be a good time on set and as much as I love working with great serious actors, you also want to have a bit of banter and be able to enjoy your work.” Now, her year of hibernation is ending. Hewson is away from home once again, in London this time. Well-slept and clear-eyed about the kind of projects she wants to pursue, she’s hoping 2021 comes with “a lot of a work” and “maybe a sprinkle of some love thrown in there.” Oh, and getting booked on Baldwin’s podcast, of course. She’s never met him, but hopes injecting it into the ether can make it come true. And if that doesn’t work, she could always swipe her dad’s cell phone for a prank call again.

06:09

22 Feb 21

What Is COVID Tongue? Doctors Explain

Fever, a cough, fatigue — at this point you can probably recite the symptoms of COVID-19 in your sleep. But even as the pandemic nears the year mark, a new, puzzling possible symptom has emerged: COVID tongue. Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist from King's College London, tweeted in January that COVID-positive patients were emailing him with strange oral symptoms, including inflamed, discolored tongues, and sores in their mouths. And while it may seem counterintuitive that a respiratory virus could make your tongue weird, experts tell Bustle COVID tongue isn't all that out there. "We know that SARS COV-2 triggers a variety of diffuse inflammation and clotting reactions throughout the body, so it is not surprising that the presence of mouth sores has been documented," Dr. Kathleen Jordan M.D., SVP of Medical Affairs at women’s health provider Tia, tells Bustle. She explains that a lot of things can cause inflammation that breaks down the epithelial lining — that inner layer of skin — in your mouth, and causes an open sore prone to infection and pain. Herpes, infections, and canker sores are all common culprits. COVID might now be joining that list. A study in British Journal of Dermatology in September 2020 found that, out of 666 patients, over 25% had some kind of symptom in their mouth or tongue, including swollen lumps on the tongue, scalloping at the tongue's edges, or burning sensations. And a June 2020 study in Evidence-Based Dentistry suggested a link between COVID and painful mouth blisters. Professor Spector, who leads the UK arm of the crowd-sourced ZOE COVID Symptom study, told TODAY that COVID tongue can show up as a furry coating on the tongue surface. Why? “The tongue contains a high concentration of a protein called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)," Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh M.D., an otolaryngologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center, explains. "It's been found to be a primary attachment site for the COVID-19 virus." The virus enters cells via attachment sites, using them as gateways. Because there's a lot of this protein on the tongue, the COVID virus might show up there in droves — and make your tongue look like a fuzzy bath mat. COVID tongue isn't on the World Health Organization's official list of symptoms, and it's also not used to diagnose COVID. "Tongue lesions, or ulcers, are not a typical classic indication of COVID-19, and are very nonspecific with many possible causes," Dr. Jordan says. "One should not assume that you have COVID if you have a mouth sore." One study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in August 2020 suggested that, for a lot of people, mouth ulcers might be side effects of the battering that COVID gives the immune system, rather than symptoms themselves. This kind of tongue weirdness can also be caused by mouth infections like oral thrush, dehydration, or antibiotics. If you suddenly develop a swollen tongue or a strange sore in your mouth, Dr. Jordan recommends keeping the sore area clean with medical rinsing. If there's the faintest possibility you might have COVID-19, she says, you should get tested and quarantine until your results come back negative. Amorim Dos Santos, J., Normando, A., Carvalho da Silva, R. L., De Paula, R. M., Cembranel, A. C., Santos-Silva, A. R., & Guerra, E. (2020). Oral mucosal lesions in a COVID-19 patient: New signs or secondary manifestations?. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, 97, 326–328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.012 Nuno-Gonzalez, A., Martin-Carrillo, P., Magaletsky, K., Martin Rios, M. D., Herranz Mañas, C., Artigas Almazan, J., García Casasola, G., Perez Castro, E., Gallego Arenas, A., Mayor Ibarguren, A., Feito Rodríguez, M., Lozano Masdemont, B., Beato, M., Ruiz Bravo, E., Oliver, P., Montero Vega, M. D., & Herranz Pinto, P. (2021). Prevalence of mucocutaneous manifestations in 666 patients with COVID-19 in a field hospital in Spain: oral and palmoplantar findings. The British journal of dermatology, 184(1), 184–185. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.19564 Shang, J., Wan, Y., Luo, C., Ye, G., Geng, Q., Auerbach, A., & Li, F. (2020). Cell entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(21), 11727–11734. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2003138117 Sinadinos, A., Shelswell, J. (2020) Oral ulceration and blistering in patients with COVID-19. Evid Based Dent21, 49. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-020-0100-z

What Is COVID Tongue? Doctors Explain

Fever, a cough, fatigue — at this point you can probably recite the symptoms of COVID-19 in your sleep. But even as the pandemic nears the year mark, a new, puzzling possible symptom has emerged: COVID tongue. Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist from King's College London, tweeted in January that COVID-positive patients were emailing him with strange oral symptoms, including inflamed, discolored tongues, and sores in their mouths. And while it may seem counterintuitive that a respiratory virus could make your tongue weird, experts tell Bustle COVID tongue isn't all that out there. "We know that SARS COV-2 triggers a variety of diffuse inflammation and clotting reactions throughout the body, so it is not surprising that the presence of mouth sores has been documented," Dr. Kathleen Jordan M.D., SVP of Medical Affairs at women’s health provider Tia, tells Bustle. She explains that a lot of things can cause inflammation that breaks down the epithelial lining — that inner layer of skin — in your mouth, and causes an open sore prone to infection and pain. Herpes, infections, and canker sores are all common culprits. COVID might now be joining that list. A study in British Journal of Dermatology in September 2020 found that, out of 666 patients, over 25% had some kind of symptom in their mouth or tongue, including swollen lumps on the tongue, scalloping at the tongue's edges, or burning sensations. And a June 2020 study in Evidence-Based Dentistry suggested a link between COVID and painful mouth blisters. Professor Spector, who leads the UK arm of the crowd-sourced ZOE COVID Symptom study, told TODAY that COVID tongue can show up as a furry coating on the tongue surface. Why? “The tongue contains a high concentration of a protein called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)," Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh M.D., an otolaryngologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center, explains. "It's been found to be a primary attachment site for the COVID-19 virus." The virus enters cells via attachment sites, using them as gateways. Because there's a lot of this protein on the tongue, the COVID virus might show up there in droves — and make your tongue look like a fuzzy bath mat. COVID tongue isn't on the World Health Organization's official list of symptoms, and it's also not used to diagnose COVID. "Tongue lesions, or ulcers, are not a typical classic indication of COVID-19, and are very nonspecific with many possible causes," Dr. Jordan says. "One should not assume that you have COVID if you have a mouth sore." One study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in August 2020 suggested that, for a lot of people, mouth ulcers might be side effects of the battering that COVID gives the immune system, rather than symptoms themselves. This kind of tongue weirdness can also be caused by mouth infections like oral thrush, dehydration, or antibiotics. If you suddenly develop a swollen tongue or a strange sore in your mouth, Dr. Jordan recommends keeping the sore area clean with medical rinsing. If there's the faintest possibility you might have COVID-19, she says, you should get tested and quarantine until your results come back negative. Amorim Dos Santos, J., Normando, A., Carvalho da Silva, R. L., De Paula, R. M., Cembranel, A. C., Santos-Silva, A. R., & Guerra, E. (2020). Oral mucosal lesions in a COVID-19 patient: New signs or secondary manifestations?. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, 97, 326–328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.012 Nuno-Gonzalez, A., Martin-Carrillo, P., Magaletsky, K., Martin Rios, M. D., Herranz Mañas, C., Artigas Almazan, J., García Casasola, G., Perez Castro, E., Gallego Arenas, A., Mayor Ibarguren, A., Feito Rodríguez, M., Lozano Masdemont, B., Beato, M., Ruiz Bravo, E., Oliver, P., Montero Vega, M. D., & Herranz Pinto, P. (2021). Prevalence of mucocutaneous manifestations in 666 patients with COVID-19 in a field hospital in Spain: oral and palmoplantar findings. The British journal of dermatology, 184(1), 184–185. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.19564 Shang, J., Wan, Y., Luo, C., Ye, G., Geng, Q., Auerbach, A., & Li, F. (2020). Cell entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(21), 11727–11734. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2003138117 Sinadinos, A., Shelswell, J. (2020) Oral ulceration and blistering in patients with COVID-19. Evid Based Dent21, 49. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-020-0100-z

04:05

19 Feb 21

Does TikTok Affect Your Attention Span? Experts Explain

TikTok is the place to go for sea shanties and oddly complicated dance-alongs — but if you've been spending hours on it a day, you might find that you suddenly can't remember when you read a real book, or watched a show on Netflix without scrolling through your phone at the same time. With videos so short they max out at a minute, can TikTok mess with your attention span? Researchers know that the brain is plastic; in other words, it changes over time, rewiring and creating new connections. So the idea of lots of quick videos "training" your brain to respond shorter and shorter content isn't that far-fetched. But experts tell Bustle that TikToks are actually safer than they seem. For one thing, it's tricky to measure attention span, aka roughly how long you can pay attention to one thing or task, without getting distracted; on average, it's around 20 to 30 minutes. A study published in Nature Communications in 2019 found that in general, our collective attention spans do seem to be narrowing, thanks to how fast everybody consumes information on social media. Trends rise and disappear rapidly, and the main character on Twitter one afternoon may be forgotten an hour later. But that's the big picture; your own brain is harder to figure out. When you scroll through TikTok, neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez Psy.D. tells Bustle, you're actually in pursuit of dopamine. "When you scroll and hit upon something that makes you laugh, your brain receives a hit of dopamine," she explains. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by the brain's reward system, and it produces feelings of pleasure — and motivates you to find another hit. "When you see something you don't like, you can quickly pivot to something that produces more dopamine," Dr. Hafeez says. Dopamine does play a role in attention. Research from 2016 in Current Biology shows that when people get a dopamine boost from something, they're more likely to pay attention to similar things in the future. Like Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, Dr. Hafeez explains, TikTok isn't designed to foster long attention spans. But she notes that the adult brain is less susceptible to changes in its attention span than adolescent brains, so hours of TikToks might not change how you focus long-term. Attention involves a bunch of brain regions, including ones that control decision-making and rewards, and researchers are still figuring out how social media might affect them. A study from MIT published in PNAS in 2020 found that maintaining attention in the brain requires two things: dismissing all the other stimuli, and dampening your impulses to do something else (like switch the channel). And a 2020 study in Nature Scientific Reports discovered that people who use a lot of social media show signs of extra impulsivity — in other words, they click away on a whim. Research on social media and the brain has mostly focused on multitasking — paying attention to TikTok, Insta, and your Twitter feed all at once. The science there doesn't look great; a study in World Psychiatry in 2019, for example, found that people who multitask across social media tend not to do well at tasks that require them to filter out distractions. And a survey conducted by Canadian researchers for Microsoft found that people tend to lose interest in what they're watching after around 8 seconds, if it's not sufficiently diverting. But there's no real evidence that TikTok, specifically, will have any long-term effects on your attention span. A review of the available science in Yale Journal Of Biology & Medicine in 2019 found that the relationship between technologies and attention spans is inconclusive; the one thing research does say is that multitasking often overwhelms your brain's attention centers. Jill Daino LCSW, a therapist with Talkspace, tells Bustle that the COVID-19 pandemic may also have had a negative effect on your attention. "It is not that we don't have the ability to concentrate on longer things; it is that right now we may not have the bandwidth, given that we are stretched so thin in all areas of our lives," she says. If you feel you're switching off more rapidly than you used to, Dr. Hafeez recommends using meditation, reading books, doing crossword puzzles, or watching movies to train yourself into enjoying long-term attention. And try not to be hard on yourself if you just can't seem to handle Lord Of The Rings marathons right now. "It is crucial to remember that we are all doing our best to navigate the challenging circumstances of the past year," Daino says. Put that box set away for another time. Anderson, B. A., Kuwabara, H., Wong, D. F., Gean, E. G., Rahmim, A., Brašić, J. R., George, N., Frolov, B., Courtney, S. M., & Yantis, S. (2016). The Role of Dopamine in Value-Based Attentional Orienting. Current biology : CB, 26(4), 550–555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.062 Bari, A., Xu, S., Pignatelli, M., Takeuchi, D., Feng, J., Li, Y., & Tonegawa, S. (2020). Differential attentional control mechanisms by two distinct noradrenergic coeruleo-frontal cortical pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(46), 29080–29089. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2015635117 Firth, J., Torous, J., Stubbs, B., Firth, J. A., Steiner, G. Z., Smith, L., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Gleeson, J., Vancampfort, D., Armitage, C. J., & Sarris, J. (2019). The "online brain": how the Internet may be changing our cognition. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 18(2), 119–129. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20617 Isbell, E., Stevens, C., Pakulak, E., Hampton Wray, A., Bell, T. A., & Neville, H. J. (2017). Neuroplasticity of selective attention: Research foundations and preliminary evidence for a gene by intervention interaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(35), 9247–9254. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1707241114 Lodge, J. M., & Harrison, W. J. (2019). The Role of Attention in Learning in the Digital Age. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 92(1), 21–28. Wegmann, E., Müller, S.M., Turel, O. et al. Interactions of impulsivity, general executive functions, and specific inhibitory control explain symptoms of social-networks-use disorder: An experimental study. Sci Rep10, 3866 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60819-4

Does TikTok Affect Your Attention Span? Experts Explain

TikTok is the place to go for sea shanties and oddly complicated dance-alongs — but if you've been spending hours on it a day, you might find that you suddenly can't remember when you read a real book, or watched a show on Netflix without scrolling through your phone at the same time. With videos so short they max out at a minute, can TikTok mess with your attention span? Researchers know that the brain is plastic; in other words, it changes over time, rewiring and creating new connections. So the idea of lots of quick videos "training" your brain to respond shorter and shorter content isn't that far-fetched. But experts tell Bustle that TikToks are actually safer than they seem. For one thing, it's tricky to measure attention span, aka roughly how long you can pay attention to one thing or task, without getting distracted; on average, it's around 20 to 30 minutes. A study published in Nature Communications in 2019 found that in general, our collective attention spans do seem to be narrowing, thanks to how fast everybody consumes information on social media. Trends rise and disappear rapidly, and the main character on Twitter one afternoon may be forgotten an hour later. But that's the big picture; your own brain is harder to figure out. When you scroll through TikTok, neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez Psy.D. tells Bustle, you're actually in pursuit of dopamine. "When you scroll and hit upon something that makes you laugh, your brain receives a hit of dopamine," she explains. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by the brain's reward system, and it produces feelings of pleasure — and motivates you to find another hit. "When you see something you don't like, you can quickly pivot to something that produces more dopamine," Dr. Hafeez says. Dopamine does play a role in attention. Research from 2016 in Current Biology shows that when people get a dopamine boost from something, they're more likely to pay attention to similar things in the future. Like Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, Dr. Hafeez explains, TikTok isn't designed to foster long attention spans. But she notes that the adult brain is less susceptible to changes in its attention span than adolescent brains, so hours of TikToks might not change how you focus long-term. Attention involves a bunch of brain regions, including ones that control decision-making and rewards, and researchers are still figuring out how social media might affect them. A study from MIT published in PNAS in 2020 found that maintaining attention in the brain requires two things: dismissing all the other stimuli, and dampening your impulses to do something else (like switch the channel). And a 2020 study in Nature Scientific Reports discovered that people who use a lot of social media show signs of extra impulsivity — in other words, they click away on a whim. Research on social media and the brain has mostly focused on multitasking — paying attention to TikTok, Insta, and your Twitter feed all at once. The science there doesn't look great; a study in World Psychiatry in 2019, for example, found that people who multitask across social media tend not to do well at tasks that require them to filter out distractions. And a survey conducted by Canadian researchers for Microsoft found that people tend to lose interest in what they're watching after around 8 seconds, if it's not sufficiently diverting. But there's no real evidence that TikTok, specifically, will have any long-term effects on your attention span. A review of the available science in Yale Journal Of Biology & Medicine in 2019 found that the relationship between technologies and attention spans is inconclusive; the one thing research does say is that multitasking often overwhelms your brain's attention centers. Jill Daino LCSW, a therapist with Talkspace, tells Bustle that the COVID-19 pandemic may also have had a negative effect on your attention. "It is not that we don't have the ability to concentrate on longer things; it is that right now we may not have the bandwidth, given that we are stretched so thin in all areas of our lives," she says. If you feel you're switching off more rapidly than you used to, Dr. Hafeez recommends using meditation, reading books, doing crossword puzzles, or watching movies to train yourself into enjoying long-term attention. And try not to be hard on yourself if you just can't seem to handle Lord Of The Rings marathons right now. "It is crucial to remember that we are all doing our best to navigate the challenging circumstances of the past year," Daino says. Put that box set away for another time. Anderson, B. A., Kuwabara, H., Wong, D. F., Gean, E. G., Rahmim, A., Brašić, J. R., George, N., Frolov, B., Courtney, S. M., & Yantis, S. (2016). The Role of Dopamine in Value-Based Attentional Orienting. Current biology : CB, 26(4), 550–555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.062 Bari, A., Xu, S., Pignatelli, M., Takeuchi, D., Feng, J., Li, Y., & Tonegawa, S. (2020). Differential attentional control mechanisms by two distinct noradrenergic coeruleo-frontal cortical pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(46), 29080–29089. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2015635117 Firth, J., Torous, J., Stubbs, B., Firth, J. A., Steiner, G. Z., Smith, L., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Gleeson, J., Vancampfort, D., Armitage, C. J., & Sarris, J. (2019). The "online brain": how the Internet may be changing our cognition. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 18(2), 119–129. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20617 Isbell, E., Stevens, C., Pakulak, E., Hampton Wray, A., Bell, T. A., & Neville, H. J. (2017). Neuroplasticity of selective attention: Research foundations and preliminary evidence for a gene by intervention interaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(35), 9247–9254. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1707241114 Lodge, J. M., & Harrison, W. J. (2019). The Role of Attention in Learning in the Digital Age. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 92(1), 21–28. Wegmann, E., Müller, S.M., Turel, O. et al. Interactions of impulsivity, general executive functions, and specific inhibitory control explain symptoms of social-networks-use disorder: An experimental study. Sci Rep10, 3866 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60819-4

05:56

18 Feb 21

How To Play The Guitar For Beginners, Straight From A Top Teacher

Quarantine has made DIY artists out of all of us. While bedroom pop has long been on the rise — just take popular indie artists like Gracie Abrams and Clairo who are known for the sound — the pandemic helped solidify the lo-fi, guitar-heavy, handcrafted style of pop as one of the music industry’s reigning genres. And as we wait another few months (*knocks wood*) to be vaccinated, there’s never been a better time to pick up a guitar and begin strumming from your very own room. But how do you get started, and will you be able to play along by a campfire with your friends in six months? (Or at least post an epic acoustic cover of “Drivers License” on TikTok?) Enter Mike Papapavlou, a New York-based guitar coach who was recently named Guitar World’s 2020 Guitar Teacher of the Year. In addition to working with individual students, Papapavlou has also led classes for companies like Citigroup and WeWork. Not only does he believe that anyone can pick up a guitar, he thinks it’s the perfect hobby to focus on over the next few months. “Playing guitar regularly as a busy adult is incredibly rewarding,” he tells Bustle. “[It’s] therapeutic, relaxing, energizing, and creative.” Below, Papapavlou shares five tips for would-be guitarists. Did you play an instrument when you were younger and want to get back into music? Are you looking to impress some friends the next time you can all finally see each other in person? Do you want to play at Madison Square Garden? Before even picking up a guitar, Papapavlou believes it’s important to be honest with yourself about your reasons for investing in it. “What’s this all about? What’s your why? What artists do you listen to?” he asks. “If I had to boil this all down to one question, it’s, what’s the desired outcome you’re looking for?” Your answer will affect many aspects of how you choose to move forward, both in terms of the type of instrument you pick and the music you learn to play. One of the most important aspects of learning guitar is figuring out who’s going to teach you, whether that’s a music coach or just a YouTuber whose videos you really like. (There are listing sites like MusicStaff and Music Teachers Directory to get started finding a coach in addition to word of mouth, and a few free and low-cost online resources include courses from Paul Gilbert, Andy Guitar, and JustinGuitar.) There are also music instructors at various price points who specifically focus on working with beginners, and many have moved their teaching completely online in the pandemic. Papapavlou notes, however, that not every teacher is an expert at every genre, so it’s important to find one who clicks with what you want to do musically. “Being more specific about the style of guitar you want to play is better,” he says, when it comes to getting what you want out of your lessons and progressing quickly. For goal-oriented people who want to work toward learning a song, Papapavlou says to focus on music in a genre that you love. Unsure which songs are considered easier than others? Thousands of songs use four basic chords — E-minor, C, D, and G — he says, and it’s easy to find music with those chords that you’ll be inspired to learn. Practice sessions are going to vary greatly based on how much general music experience a person has before they begin learning guitar. Many newbies start off by just learning how to hold the instrument and the mechanics of how it works before moving onto anything more complicated like scales or chords. Often artistic flair comes along the way, too. So is it better to practice every day for a few minutes or to have a single one-hour session every week? Papapavlou says the name of the game is frequency when it comes to making quick progress. “It’s all about getting used to holding [the guitar], touching it, strumming it,” he explains. He recommends that his students start with practicing 10 minutes a day, every day, then work up to 20 minutes a day, and so on. Whether people gravitate toward working on certain skills on different days or just practicing everything every day, Papapavlou says the most important factor when just starting out is to make sure to play consistently in some respect or another. One pro tip he gives to people who are busy, especially in today’s ultra-connected world, is to put a recurring scheduled time to practice guitar on their Google Calendar or whatever tool they use to plan their days. One of the best ways to ensure that you practice is to actually see your instrument regularly. “Put your guitar somewhere that’s very visible — not in the closet, not in the case. It should be somewhere you’re constantly hanging around anyway, and it should be looking at you so that you’re reminded [to play],” Papapavlou says. Finding accountability partners is also an important part of the process. One of the major reasons Papapavlou encourages people to find a music teacher or coach — or at least a friend who knows how to play — is that having someone to check in on your technique and offer positive and constructive feedback is an important part of getting better. YouTube videos may show the basics, but they can’t tell you how your own playing is going. While you might be tempted to speed through lessons — whether they’re from an online course or with a coach — it’s critical to take your time, understand the fundamentals, and make mistakes along the way. “The key to progressing fast is to practice slow,” Papapavlou says. “You have to be OK with sounding a bit crap before you sound good.” Papapavlou also says students’ own mindsets can get in the way of their progress. “Look into what your expectations are of yourself,” he says. “Some people say, ‘I don’t have any musical talent! None of my family members picked up an instrument!’ That’s not going to serve you.” Instead of focusing on the negative, remind yourself why you want to play, come up with a routine, and be OK with progressing at a steady pace. “With patience, perseverance, and persistence, anyone can learn how to play guitar,” he says. “It’s not a God-given gift, and that means anybody can pick it up.” Mike Papapavlou, New York-based guitar coach and Guitar World’s 2020 Guitar Teacher of the Year

How To Play The Guitar For Beginners, Straight From A Top Teacher

Quarantine has made DIY artists out of all of us. While bedroom pop has long been on the rise — just take popular indie artists like Gracie Abrams and Clairo who are known for the sound — the pandemic helped solidify the lo-fi, guitar-heavy, handcrafted style of pop as one of the music industry’s reigning genres. And as we wait another few months (*knocks wood*) to be vaccinated, there’s never been a better time to pick up a guitar and begin strumming from your very own room. But how do you get started, and will you be able to play along by a campfire with your friends in six months? (Or at least post an epic acoustic cover of “Drivers License” on TikTok?) Enter Mike Papapavlou, a New York-based guitar coach who was recently named Guitar World’s 2020 Guitar Teacher of the Year. In addition to working with individual students, Papapavlou has also led classes for companies like Citigroup and WeWork. Not only does he believe that anyone can pick up a guitar, he thinks it’s the perfect hobby to focus on over the next few months. “Playing guitar regularly as a busy adult is incredibly rewarding,” he tells Bustle. “[It’s] therapeutic, relaxing, energizing, and creative.” Below, Papapavlou shares five tips for would-be guitarists. Did you play an instrument when you were younger and want to get back into music? Are you looking to impress some friends the next time you can all finally see each other in person? Do you want to play at Madison Square Garden? Before even picking up a guitar, Papapavlou believes it’s important to be honest with yourself about your reasons for investing in it. “What’s this all about? What’s your why? What artists do you listen to?” he asks. “If I had to boil this all down to one question, it’s, what’s the desired outcome you’re looking for?” Your answer will affect many aspects of how you choose to move forward, both in terms of the type of instrument you pick and the music you learn to play. One of the most important aspects of learning guitar is figuring out who’s going to teach you, whether that’s a music coach or just a YouTuber whose videos you really like. (There are listing sites like MusicStaff and Music Teachers Directory to get started finding a coach in addition to word of mouth, and a few free and low-cost online resources include courses from Paul Gilbert, Andy Guitar, and JustinGuitar.) There are also music instructors at various price points who specifically focus on working with beginners, and many have moved their teaching completely online in the pandemic. Papapavlou notes, however, that not every teacher is an expert at every genre, so it’s important to find one who clicks with what you want to do musically. “Being more specific about the style of guitar you want to play is better,” he says, when it comes to getting what you want out of your lessons and progressing quickly. For goal-oriented people who want to work toward learning a song, Papapavlou says to focus on music in a genre that you love. Unsure which songs are considered easier than others? Thousands of songs use four basic chords — E-minor, C, D, and G — he says, and it’s easy to find music with those chords that you’ll be inspired to learn. Practice sessions are going to vary greatly based on how much general music experience a person has before they begin learning guitar. Many newbies start off by just learning how to hold the instrument and the mechanics of how it works before moving onto anything more complicated like scales or chords. Often artistic flair comes along the way, too. So is it better to practice every day for a few minutes or to have a single one-hour session every week? Papapavlou says the name of the game is frequency when it comes to making quick progress. “It’s all about getting used to holding [the guitar], touching it, strumming it,” he explains. He recommends that his students start with practicing 10 minutes a day, every day, then work up to 20 minutes a day, and so on. Whether people gravitate toward working on certain skills on different days or just practicing everything every day, Papapavlou says the most important factor when just starting out is to make sure to play consistently in some respect or another. One pro tip he gives to people who are busy, especially in today’s ultra-connected world, is to put a recurring scheduled time to practice guitar on their Google Calendar or whatever tool they use to plan their days. One of the best ways to ensure that you practice is to actually see your instrument regularly. “Put your guitar somewhere that’s very visible — not in the closet, not in the case. It should be somewhere you’re constantly hanging around anyway, and it should be looking at you so that you’re reminded [to play],” Papapavlou says. Finding accountability partners is also an important part of the process. One of the major reasons Papapavlou encourages people to find a music teacher or coach — or at least a friend who knows how to play — is that having someone to check in on your technique and offer positive and constructive feedback is an important part of getting better. YouTube videos may show the basics, but they can’t tell you how your own playing is going. While you might be tempted to speed through lessons — whether they’re from an online course or with a coach — it’s critical to take your time, understand the fundamentals, and make mistakes along the way. “The key to progressing fast is to practice slow,” Papapavlou says. “You have to be OK with sounding a bit crap before you sound good.” Papapavlou also says students’ own mindsets can get in the way of their progress. “Look into what your expectations are of yourself,” he says. “Some people say, ‘I don’t have any musical talent! None of my family members picked up an instrument!’ That’s not going to serve you.” Instead of focusing on the negative, remind yourself why you want to play, come up with a routine, and be OK with progressing at a steady pace. “With patience, perseverance, and persistence, anyone can learn how to play guitar,” he says. “It’s not a God-given gift, and that means anybody can pick it up.” Mike Papapavlou, New York-based guitar coach and Guitar World’s 2020 Guitar Teacher of the Year

06:37

17 Feb 21

Is Listening To Podcasts Before Bed Bad? How It Affects Your Brain, According To Sleep Experts

Sometimes you need a little help drifting off into dreamland. Maybe you're a white noise devotee, or perhaps listening to podcasts before you sleep is more your style. Turns out podcasts and sleepy time go hand in hand — according to 2019 data from Edison Research, more than half of nearly 6,000 people surveyed report having tuned in to their favorite pod to relax before bed. Absorbing that new content stimulates your brain. A 2016 study published in the journal Nature found that listening to stories, like podcasts, activates multiple parts of your brain, including the areas responsible for sensory processing, emotions, and memory making. The same is true when you listen to a podcast before going to sleep, says Dr. Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., author of The Committee of Sleep and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University. And once you fall asleep, that's when your brain gets to work sorting through the information it took in during the day, including that pre-sleep podcast, says Dr. Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Chicago. According to a sleep research theory called the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis, your brain organizes all of that data during a stage of shut eye called slow-wave sleep, says Hanlon. Picture a bunch of neurons huddled around filing cabinets, working together to decide what information from the day is new and needs to be filed away, and what info is already there and doesn't need to be re-filed, she says. Then the neurons take a break for a while. That makes up the long peaks and valleys (literal slow waves) of brain activity during this type of sleep, which will take place regardless of whether or not you listened to the latest episode of your favorite pod. How active your brain is before that phase of sleep, though, depends on your pod of choice. If you're on the edge of your seat (or bed) listening to the crime podcast Sword and Scale, it might be harder to fall asleep than it is with Get Sleepy's peaceful soundscapes. "You don't want to listen to something that you'll want to pay attention to because you don’t want to get re-activated," Hanlon tells Bustle. "Listening to something that’s interesting to you will grab your attention and keep you awake." But exactly which podcasts keep you wired depends on the individual, says Hanlon. You might be able to listen to a true crime thriller and feel totally calm afterwards just in time to hit the hay, whereas somebody else might stay up late with anxiety or nightmares from those scary stories, she explains. "The phrase 'If it ain't broken, don't fix it!' applies," Barrett tells Bustle, of those who can still wind down after an exciting pod. "For people who have any trouble falling or staying asleep, a meditation or other soothing podcast would be better." Creating a pre-bedtime routine is also important to help your brain wind down, says Hanlon. This is where listening to a podcast may work to your advantage when it comes to falling asleep. "It’s a paired response," she says. "If you do the exact same things before you go to bed, including listening to a podcast, then your brain knows that it’s getting ready for sleep. It doesn’t matter what podcast it is as long as it relaxes you." Your nightly routine is just one component of good sleep hygiene, says Hanlon, which also includes setting the right atmosphere for sleep with darkness, a cool temperature, a comfortable bed, and sticking to a regular sleep schedule. Like during the day, your brain is also constantly processing outside stimuli while you're asleep, though you might not be consciously aware of it, she says. That includes podcasts, if you like to use them as background noise while you snooze. If that's the case, don't be surprised if some podcast content drifts into your dreams, according to Hanlon. She recommends keeping the podcast at a low volume so that any loud or sudden noises don't startle you awake. But if your favorite pod is keeping you up later than you'd like, that's probably because it's compelling enough that you're paying attention and actively listening. If that sounds like you, Barrett suggests listening to a relaxation pod to help your brain power down before bed — fortunately, there's no shortage of podcasts to fall asleep to with the help of soothing soundscapes, bedtime stories, and ASMR. Some of those relaxation podcasts may actually promote deep sleep, according to Hanlon. Those slow waves in your brain while you sleep happen at a specific frequency, and listening to something that’s close to or at that frequency may help drive that phase of sleep, she says. A 2014 study published in the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience found that hearing certain tones can indeed encourage those long, slow brain waves. So whether you're all about action-packed serials or prefer a peaceful soundscape to help you doze off, the bottom line is that listening to a podcast before bed impacts everybody differently. If you're able to fall and stay asleep despite listening to exciting content, then keep doing what you're doing — your brain is processing that new information without disrupting your rest. If not, perhaps a relaxation-focused podcast could help solve your sleeping woes. "Before you go to sleep, you want to try to do things that are relaxing; that will wind you down instead of start you up," says Hanlon. "Pick a podcast that is calming, relaxing, and routine to you." Dr. Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., author of The Committee of Sleep and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University Dr. Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Chicago's Sleep Research Center Bellesi, M. (2014). Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211398/

Is Listening To Podcasts Before Bed Bad? How It Affects Your Brain, According To Sleep Experts

Sometimes you need a little help drifting off into dreamland. Maybe you're a white noise devotee, or perhaps listening to podcasts before you sleep is more your style. Turns out podcasts and sleepy time go hand in hand — according to 2019 data from Edison Research, more than half of nearly 6,000 people surveyed report having tuned in to their favorite pod to relax before bed. Absorbing that new content stimulates your brain. A 2016 study published in the journal Nature found that listening to stories, like podcasts, activates multiple parts of your brain, including the areas responsible for sensory processing, emotions, and memory making. The same is true when you listen to a podcast before going to sleep, says Dr. Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., author of The Committee of Sleep and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University. And once you fall asleep, that's when your brain gets to work sorting through the information it took in during the day, including that pre-sleep podcast, says Dr. Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Chicago. According to a sleep research theory called the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis, your brain organizes all of that data during a stage of shut eye called slow-wave sleep, says Hanlon. Picture a bunch of neurons huddled around filing cabinets, working together to decide what information from the day is new and needs to be filed away, and what info is already there and doesn't need to be re-filed, she says. Then the neurons take a break for a while. That makes up the long peaks and valleys (literal slow waves) of brain activity during this type of sleep, which will take place regardless of whether or not you listened to the latest episode of your favorite pod. How active your brain is before that phase of sleep, though, depends on your pod of choice. If you're on the edge of your seat (or bed) listening to the crime podcast Sword and Scale, it might be harder to fall asleep than it is with Get Sleepy's peaceful soundscapes. "You don't want to listen to something that you'll want to pay attention to because you don’t want to get re-activated," Hanlon tells Bustle. "Listening to something that’s interesting to you will grab your attention and keep you awake." But exactly which podcasts keep you wired depends on the individual, says Hanlon. You might be able to listen to a true crime thriller and feel totally calm afterwards just in time to hit the hay, whereas somebody else might stay up late with anxiety or nightmares from those scary stories, she explains. "The phrase 'If it ain't broken, don't fix it!' applies," Barrett tells Bustle, of those who can still wind down after an exciting pod. "For people who have any trouble falling or staying asleep, a meditation or other soothing podcast would be better." Creating a pre-bedtime routine is also important to help your brain wind down, says Hanlon. This is where listening to a podcast may work to your advantage when it comes to falling asleep. "It’s a paired response," she says. "If you do the exact same things before you go to bed, including listening to a podcast, then your brain knows that it’s getting ready for sleep. It doesn’t matter what podcast it is as long as it relaxes you." Your nightly routine is just one component of good sleep hygiene, says Hanlon, which also includes setting the right atmosphere for sleep with darkness, a cool temperature, a comfortable bed, and sticking to a regular sleep schedule. Like during the day, your brain is also constantly processing outside stimuli while you're asleep, though you might not be consciously aware of it, she says. That includes podcasts, if you like to use them as background noise while you snooze. If that's the case, don't be surprised if some podcast content drifts into your dreams, according to Hanlon. She recommends keeping the podcast at a low volume so that any loud or sudden noises don't startle you awake. But if your favorite pod is keeping you up later than you'd like, that's probably because it's compelling enough that you're paying attention and actively listening. If that sounds like you, Barrett suggests listening to a relaxation pod to help your brain power down before bed — fortunately, there's no shortage of podcasts to fall asleep to with the help of soothing soundscapes, bedtime stories, and ASMR. Some of those relaxation podcasts may actually promote deep sleep, according to Hanlon. Those slow waves in your brain while you sleep happen at a specific frequency, and listening to something that’s close to or at that frequency may help drive that phase of sleep, she says. A 2014 study published in the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience found that hearing certain tones can indeed encourage those long, slow brain waves. So whether you're all about action-packed serials or prefer a peaceful soundscape to help you doze off, the bottom line is that listening to a podcast before bed impacts everybody differently. If you're able to fall and stay asleep despite listening to exciting content, then keep doing what you're doing — your brain is processing that new information without disrupting your rest. If not, perhaps a relaxation-focused podcast could help solve your sleeping woes. "Before you go to sleep, you want to try to do things that are relaxing; that will wind you down instead of start you up," says Hanlon. "Pick a podcast that is calming, relaxing, and routine to you." Dr. Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., author of The Committee of Sleep and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University Dr. Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Chicago's Sleep Research Center Bellesi, M. (2014). Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211398/

06:19

16 Feb 21

People With Chronic Illness On Getting COVID Vaccinated

While plenty of people have felt free to flaunt COVID restrictions throughout the pandemic — rationalizing, inaccurately, that if they got sick, it wouldn't be that bad — people with chronic illnesses have had a vastly different experience: many chronic conditions raise your risk of having a severe case of COVID. People with chronic illnesses have been self-isolating, restricting their movements, and taking extra precautions — in many cases, for nearly a year. Now, the COVID vaccine offers a potential salve to worries about getting sick. “People with any condition that might lower their immune system should get vaccinated in an effort to help their body’s immune system fight COVID-19 if they are exposed,” Dr. Kathleen Jordan, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and senior vice president of health provider Tia, tells Bustle. That includes people receiving chemotherapy, and those with autoimmune diseases, lung conditions like cystic fibrosis, asthma or emphysema, diabetes, kidney dialysis patients, or those with HIV, she says. If people with these conditions contract COVID, they are at higher risk of a severe case. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended in December that people aged 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions be vaccinated in Phase 1c, the third vaccine rollout stage. In countries like the UK or Australia, people with chronic illnesses have also been placed at the head of the COVID vaccine queue. But the CDC also notes that if you have a weakened immune system, it’s not yet known how your body might react to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, as few people with chronic illnesses were part of vaccine safety trials. The vaccine offers a light at the end of the tunnel, but for people who live with chronic illnesses, the rollout presents complicated questions. Below, five people with chronic conditions tell Bustle how they feel about the promise of the COVID vaccine. I have a chronic illness, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, [which affects your body's connective tissues]. People assume that that means I'm in a priority group for the vaccine, but I'm not. I'm in no more danger than the average person (less now, actually, as I've already survived a nasty bout of COVID and long COVID). Still, people assume I'm a priority. And what that really says to me is that people fundamentally misunderstand what chronic illness is. This assumption that "you're chronically ill and therefore must be at risk" is about an inherent idea that people are either entirely sick or entirely well. That illness is a binary, when in fact the reality is that there's a spectrum or even a spider diagram of illness. Either you're sick and need a vaccine immediately, or you're well and don't. But that's not the way it works. There are those of us who sit wavering in the middle, sometimes really sick, sometimes really pretty well. When I say no, I don't need a vaccine as a priority, people look at me as if this invalidates my earlier honesty about the consequences of my condition, as if this means I'm not as sick as I've claimed. My dislocating joints don't change my relationship with COVID; that doesn't mean they don't affect my life. I've been terrified of COVID because science legitimately doesn't know what would happen if people like me with congenital heart defects caught COVID; the most relevant empirical data has shown that people with acquired heart disease are at increased risk of severe illness; and I would likely be de-prioritized in an ICU shortage situation because of my medical history. So in that sense, qualifying for a vaccine is an incredible relief because now I don't have to find out what would happen if I got COVID. But the reason I'm eligible for a vaccine has nothing to do with any of that. It's because I'm a speech language pathologist, and have an expensive Master's degree and certification, and work at a school. It doesn't help that I found out I'm eligible for the vaccine at the same time that educators in Massachusetts were bumped from phase 2b to 2c. So most of my coworkers — even the ones with chronic conditions — may have to wait another six weeks to be eligible, even though the state is pushing very, very hard for schools to reopen. It's like I completed a marathon only to turn around and find out that some of my fellow runners were run over by cars. I cannot wait to get the vaccine. I'm not worried about side effects; whatever they are (if I get any), side effects will be far easier to deal with than getting COVID again. My husband and I are both pretty sure we had it in March or April. I haven't been offered a jab yet, but my husband was called out of the blue by the local hospital, who were ringing local businesses that were still open and offering their leftover shots to anyone that could get there in time. He had two days of feeling a bit sore, having a headache and not sleeping very well following the jab, but he seems fine now. If that's what the side effects look like, I'll take 'em. I have no idea how long I'll be waiting. But that's OK: aside from walking the dog, I've been more or less under house arrest for nearly a year. A few more weeks or months won't kill me. I have ulcerative colitis, chronic migraine, and psoriatic arthritis. I am on immunosuppressants for arthritis. They’re amazing and how I can walk. But they’re why I’ve been home for a year. My whole workplace is back in the office except me. I don’t drive and my commute is an hour and 15 mins each way on public transport. My doctor won’t let me go back until I am vaccinated, which I am very on board with. I haven’t been given information about the side effects yet because it’s still a bit up in the air about what vaccine everyone will get. There’s certain amounts of Pfizer and certain amounts of AstraZeneca here. Medical practices don’t have arrival dates or logistics information or initial dosage numbers yet. It’s taking a bit longer to start rolling out here, which really is fine; we don’t need it as badly [because Australia has a very low COVID infection rate]. My doctor will only vaccinate with my rheumatologist’s sign off. I trust that between the two of them, they’ll cover me with all the information I need and make sure I won’t have any major interactions. I cannot wait to be vaccinated to have a little peace of mind — but still wary because my partner is way down the priority list as things stand. I also started a new "wonder drug" for my cystic fibrosis back in October, which has indeed worked wonders, but I feel I haven't been able to take full advantage of the benefits yet. We are doing very strict shielding — I don't go outside at all, and we have not "bubbled" with anybody else. My partner goes outside for a run three times a week. We have all food delivered and "decontaminate" on arrival. I'm not sure how we may ease this up through the progress of each of us being vaccinated two times, but I think I will feel happier to go outside for exercise after my first shot. I am in category 4 (high priority), so supposedly I will have my first shot before mid-February, but I haven't heard anything yet. Ed will be at the back of the queue as a "healthy" 27-year-old — unless they invent a category for carers/people living with vulnerable people like for ordinary flu jabs (which he gets for free each year on this basis). Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

People With Chronic Illness On Getting COVID Vaccinated

While plenty of people have felt free to flaunt COVID restrictions throughout the pandemic — rationalizing, inaccurately, that if they got sick, it wouldn't be that bad — people with chronic illnesses have had a vastly different experience: many chronic conditions raise your risk of having a severe case of COVID. People with chronic illnesses have been self-isolating, restricting their movements, and taking extra precautions — in many cases, for nearly a year. Now, the COVID vaccine offers a potential salve to worries about getting sick. “People with any condition that might lower their immune system should get vaccinated in an effort to help their body’s immune system fight COVID-19 if they are exposed,” Dr. Kathleen Jordan, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and senior vice president of health provider Tia, tells Bustle. That includes people receiving chemotherapy, and those with autoimmune diseases, lung conditions like cystic fibrosis, asthma or emphysema, diabetes, kidney dialysis patients, or those with HIV, she says. If people with these conditions contract COVID, they are at higher risk of a severe case. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended in December that people aged 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions be vaccinated in Phase 1c, the third vaccine rollout stage. In countries like the UK or Australia, people with chronic illnesses have also been placed at the head of the COVID vaccine queue. But the CDC also notes that if you have a weakened immune system, it’s not yet known how your body might react to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, as few people with chronic illnesses were part of vaccine safety trials. The vaccine offers a light at the end of the tunnel, but for people who live with chronic illnesses, the rollout presents complicated questions. Below, five people with chronic conditions tell Bustle how they feel about the promise of the COVID vaccine. I have a chronic illness, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, [which affects your body's connective tissues]. People assume that that means I'm in a priority group for the vaccine, but I'm not. I'm in no more danger than the average person (less now, actually, as I've already survived a nasty bout of COVID and long COVID). Still, people assume I'm a priority. And what that really says to me is that people fundamentally misunderstand what chronic illness is. This assumption that "you're chronically ill and therefore must be at risk" is about an inherent idea that people are either entirely sick or entirely well. That illness is a binary, when in fact the reality is that there's a spectrum or even a spider diagram of illness. Either you're sick and need a vaccine immediately, or you're well and don't. But that's not the way it works. There are those of us who sit wavering in the middle, sometimes really sick, sometimes really pretty well. When I say no, I don't need a vaccine as a priority, people look at me as if this invalidates my earlier honesty about the consequences of my condition, as if this means I'm not as sick as I've claimed. My dislocating joints don't change my relationship with COVID; that doesn't mean they don't affect my life. I've been terrified of COVID because science legitimately doesn't know what would happen if people like me with congenital heart defects caught COVID; the most relevant empirical data has shown that people with acquired heart disease are at increased risk of severe illness; and I would likely be de-prioritized in an ICU shortage situation because of my medical history. So in that sense, qualifying for a vaccine is an incredible relief because now I don't have to find out what would happen if I got COVID. But the reason I'm eligible for a vaccine has nothing to do with any of that. It's because I'm a speech language pathologist, and have an expensive Master's degree and certification, and work at a school. It doesn't help that I found out I'm eligible for the vaccine at the same time that educators in Massachusetts were bumped from phase 2b to 2c. So most of my coworkers — even the ones with chronic conditions — may have to wait another six weeks to be eligible, even though the state is pushing very, very hard for schools to reopen. It's like I completed a marathon only to turn around and find out that some of my fellow runners were run over by cars. I cannot wait to get the vaccine. I'm not worried about side effects; whatever they are (if I get any), side effects will be far easier to deal with than getting COVID again. My husband and I are both pretty sure we had it in March or April. I haven't been offered a jab yet, but my husband was called out of the blue by the local hospital, who were ringing local businesses that were still open and offering their leftover shots to anyone that could get there in time. He had two days of feeling a bit sore, having a headache and not sleeping very well following the jab, but he seems fine now. If that's what the side effects look like, I'll take 'em. I have no idea how long I'll be waiting. But that's OK: aside from walking the dog, I've been more or less under house arrest for nearly a year. A few more weeks or months won't kill me. I have ulcerative colitis, chronic migraine, and psoriatic arthritis. I am on immunosuppressants for arthritis. They’re amazing and how I can walk. But they’re why I’ve been home for a year. My whole workplace is back in the office except me. I don’t drive and my commute is an hour and 15 mins each way on public transport. My doctor won’t let me go back until I am vaccinated, which I am very on board with. I haven’t been given information about the side effects yet because it’s still a bit up in the air about what vaccine everyone will get. There’s certain amounts of Pfizer and certain amounts of AstraZeneca here. Medical practices don’t have arrival dates or logistics information or initial dosage numbers yet. It’s taking a bit longer to start rolling out here, which really is fine; we don’t need it as badly [because Australia has a very low COVID infection rate]. My doctor will only vaccinate with my rheumatologist’s sign off. I trust that between the two of them, they’ll cover me with all the information I need and make sure I won’t have any major interactions. I cannot wait to be vaccinated to have a little peace of mind — but still wary because my partner is way down the priority list as things stand. I also started a new "wonder drug" for my cystic fibrosis back in October, which has indeed worked wonders, but I feel I haven't been able to take full advantage of the benefits yet. We are doing very strict shielding — I don't go outside at all, and we have not "bubbled" with anybody else. My partner goes outside for a run three times a week. We have all food delivered and "decontaminate" on arrival. I'm not sure how we may ease this up through the progress of each of us being vaccinated two times, but I think I will feel happier to go outside for exercise after my first shot. I am in category 4 (high priority), so supposedly I will have my first shot before mid-February, but I haven't heard anything yet. Ed will be at the back of the queue as a "healthy" 27-year-old — unless they invent a category for carers/people living with vulnerable people like for ordinary flu jabs (which he gets for free each year on this basis). Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

07:28

15 Feb 21

Ouai's Curl Crème Worked Well On My 4C Hair

For the last two years, cult-favorite haircare brand Ouai has been working with members of its community to concoct the perfect styling essential for curly hair. After countless testing and feedback on its formulas, the Ouai Curl Crème is officially here as its first crowdsourced product that's meant to be inclusive and work on all curl types. Anytime a product claims to be inclusive for all hair types, I see it as a challenge. I have thick 4C curls that feel barely manageable on most days, so I'm a skeptic about most "curl-friendly" tubes of styling creams or mousses. Brands that aren't exclusively formulated for natural hair tend to be a hit or miss for me — they either have little to no impact that leaves my curls undefined, or they bring out my curls but leave a white residue that is painfully obvious. But Ouai has become an industry favorite brand, so I had to see if the new product truly lives up to its all-inclusive claim. Ahead of its launch (it's now available in both a fragrance and fragrance-free version for $32 each), I tried Ouai's Curl Crème on my 4C curls to see how it held up. The cream is made from chia and linseed oils, which work together to form and shape curls, control frizz, and help protect hair from humidity. Coconut oil works to seal damaged cuticles and hydrate while babassu oil conditions, softens, and enhances shine. It also contains other popular natural hair-friendly ingredients, including glycerin, which is known to help nourish and hydrate curly hair. It's also silicone free, which is great for natural hair as silicones tend to weigh strands (especially curls) down and prevent other moisturizing ingredients from penetrating into your hair shaft. Ouai included a fragrance-free version in the launch, but if you love to leave your wash days smelling like your products, the regular version of the crème has a light floral fragrance with hints of bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood— the same scent as the Ouai North Bondi Perfume. Getting my 4C hair to appear defined is a struggle with most products, but with the Ouai Curl Crème, my curls began to come through fairly quickly. I've found that the trick with this product on coarser hair textures (like my own) is definitely applying on wet or damp hair. My hair tends to be very frizzy when dry so I figured (based on past experiences with similar products) that applying the cream on my dry curls wouldn't help much. The instructions suggest applying sparingly and directly to dry hair to help define and smooth frizz, and applying on wet hair to enhance curls and create your favorite curly styles like a wash and go. The crème has a light buttery texture that is easy to apply. I'm used to a thicker consistency in natural hair curl creams that can sometimes be too heavy and leave buildup, but this lightweight formula melted into my hair and disappeared almost immediately. I applied a dime size of the product to damp sections of my hair, combing it through first with my fingers before using a Denman brush for more definition. I was pleasantly surprised to find that as I added more product to the same section, I didn't see the white buildup start to accumulate that's so common in other curl formulas. This product did not disappoint in giving me hydrated curls without product buildup. However, because I do have coarser coils, I had to also apply a little gel for more long-lasting definition. If you have looser curls (3A to 4A) this product could be your next go-to for an easy twist out or wash-and-go. For those with thicker curls like myself, the Ouai Curl Crème is a great alternative if you find curl puddings and curl smoothies to be too thick; for super-defined curls, you'll probably need an additional product, but the Curl Crème works great as a hydrating base. Rele, A. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J. Cosmetic Sci. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/

Ouai's Curl Crème Worked Well On My 4C Hair

For the last two years, cult-favorite haircare brand Ouai has been working with members of its community to concoct the perfect styling essential for curly hair. After countless testing and feedback on its formulas, the Ouai Curl Crème is officially here as its first crowdsourced product that's meant to be inclusive and work on all curl types. Anytime a product claims to be inclusive for all hair types, I see it as a challenge. I have thick 4C curls that feel barely manageable on most days, so I'm a skeptic about most "curl-friendly" tubes of styling creams or mousses. Brands that aren't exclusively formulated for natural hair tend to be a hit or miss for me — they either have little to no impact that leaves my curls undefined, or they bring out my curls but leave a white residue that is painfully obvious. But Ouai has become an industry favorite brand, so I had to see if the new product truly lives up to its all-inclusive claim. Ahead of its launch (it's now available in both a fragrance and fragrance-free version for $32 each), I tried Ouai's Curl Crème on my 4C curls to see how it held up. The cream is made from chia and linseed oils, which work together to form and shape curls, control frizz, and help protect hair from humidity. Coconut oil works to seal damaged cuticles and hydrate while babassu oil conditions, softens, and enhances shine. It also contains other popular natural hair-friendly ingredients, including glycerin, which is known to help nourish and hydrate curly hair. It's also silicone free, which is great for natural hair as silicones tend to weigh strands (especially curls) down and prevent other moisturizing ingredients from penetrating into your hair shaft. Ouai included a fragrance-free version in the launch, but if you love to leave your wash days smelling like your products, the regular version of the crème has a light floral fragrance with hints of bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood— the same scent as the Ouai North Bondi Perfume. Getting my 4C hair to appear defined is a struggle with most products, but with the Ouai Curl Crème, my curls began to come through fairly quickly. I've found that the trick with this product on coarser hair textures (like my own) is definitely applying on wet or damp hair. My hair tends to be very frizzy when dry so I figured (based on past experiences with similar products) that applying the cream on my dry curls wouldn't help much. The instructions suggest applying sparingly and directly to dry hair to help define and smooth frizz, and applying on wet hair to enhance curls and create your favorite curly styles like a wash and go. The crème has a light buttery texture that is easy to apply. I'm used to a thicker consistency in natural hair curl creams that can sometimes be too heavy and leave buildup, but this lightweight formula melted into my hair and disappeared almost immediately. I applied a dime size of the product to damp sections of my hair, combing it through first with my fingers before using a Denman brush for more definition. I was pleasantly surprised to find that as I added more product to the same section, I didn't see the white buildup start to accumulate that's so common in other curl formulas. This product did not disappoint in giving me hydrated curls without product buildup. However, because I do have coarser coils, I had to also apply a little gel for more long-lasting definition. If you have looser curls (3A to 4A) this product could be your next go-to for an easy twist out or wash-and-go. For those with thicker curls like myself, the Ouai Curl Crème is a great alternative if you find curl puddings and curl smoothies to be too thick; for super-defined curls, you'll probably need an additional product, but the Curl Crème works great as a hydrating base. Rele, A. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J. Cosmetic Sci. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/

05:07

12 Feb 21

I Accept My Eyes Have Dark Circles — But I Still Want To Fix Them

I’ve had bags under my eyes since I was a teen. Back then I used to stand in front of the mirror with makeup remover and a cotton ball, convinced there was still a kohl-colored shadow to be wiped away. There wasn’t. It was just my skin. While many — and I mean, many — people have commented on them, usually in the vein of pointing out how tired I look, the best description I've received came from my sixth form English teacher. They were, she said, “like dark shadows.” Perhaps it was childish optimism, but until then I still believed that maybe I was the only one who could see them. I was wrong. Back then I self-flagellated twice over for things I didn’t like about myself — once for the feeling itself, which no amount of drugstore “self-love” could quell, and again for the fact I didn’t like it, which seemed like a betrayal of sorts. Around the same time, I began investing in YSL’s Touche Èclat. Despite the Kate Moss ads and the breathless magazine write-ups, the click-click-click just turned my shadows from dark gray to metallic silver. An upgrade, maybe, but not worth the 27-pound price tag for a teenager with no job. Next came Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk foundation, which I chose because they used it to create the deception of perfect, makeup-free skin on Downton Abbey. This effortless look was all that my 22-year-old self strove so effortfully for. The foundation works brilliantly and I still wear it today — though not literally today, because we’re in a global pandemic. Makeup is now something I only wear when I’m seeing somebody I work with or somebody I fancy. There is no in-between — and thankfully, no overlap — so my dark circles are back with a vengeance, no longer a crumb of soot wrapped in the wax of an expensive cream candle. When I went to the doctor’s for an appointment about a recurring ear infection a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even thinking about my face, which is progress of sorts. After a look down my ears and a prod up my nose, the doctor told me I was very congested. “Is this, like, normal for you?” she asked, peering through her clear visor. “I think so,” I replied, wondering if I had been doing breathing wrong all this time. The doctor told me she suspected I had allergies. This was partly due to the congestion and a eustachian tube dysfunction — not an infection after all — but there was something else, too. Something she didn’t want to say out loud. Thus began a digression about her boyfriend who had allergies that he hadn’t identified either before they started dating. One of his symptoms, she said, pointing to the skin under her own eyes while looking an inch below mine, were his “dark shadows, like shiners.” A silence unfolded then, as we both looked at what she had said, before I realized it was my line. “Oh, yes,” I said, “because I have quite bad shadows under my eyes, too.” She beamed, or at least I think she did. I couldn’t see because of her mask. I came away with a long list of drugs to buy, most of which I planned on ignoring since British parenting and a lifetime of NHS care has bred a self-sabotaging suspicion of medicating anything non-essential. But on the walk home, vanity began whispering to me through my unblocked ear. Maybe these strange Latin tinctures were my way out of the shadows? When I arrived at CVS, I had to press one of those little buttons where the salesperson opens a locked door for your medicine. I wanted to put them back when I saw the price, but I was too embarrassed. I blacked out on the exact total, but let’s call it $83, or rather $83.67 because, as I’ve learned, no sum in America is ever a round number. I paid it begrudgingly, shoving my pills into my handbag so I didn’t have to look at them. By the aforementioned British parenting codes, financial frivolity is perhaps the only thing worse than constitutional weakness. Once home, I started popping my pills at the allotted time and was surprised to find myself, dare I say it, hopeful? It wasn’t my ear or my congestion that I cared about fixing — when I got home I googled “what does congestion feel like,” and truthfully, I’m still not sure — this was all about my eyes. Some days in that first week I woke up convinced they were better, and what joy I felt! But the next day I’d wake disappointed, convinced they were returning to where they began. On one hand, I sort of don’t care either way. It is what it is, and at 32 I’m much better at accepting myself as I am than I ever have been. But the journey there hasn’t been linear, and the destination certainly isn't black-and-white. A few years ago, I probably would have told you that accepting your flaws is an all-or-nothing enterprise, but being locked down for a year in a one-bedroom apartment thousands of miles from home has helped me realize that loving everything about yourself is a fool's errand. I think it was all the alone time that did it. I had no choice but to get on with it or things would have gotten very dark, very quickly. But all that time brought something else with it, too. Time for new projects, new hobbies, new books, new serums. I knew my shopping carts wouldn’t remake me anew, but it didn't matter. The trying brought a joy all of its own. I don't need this particular flaw to go away to feel good about myself, but I reserve the right to try. It’s the warmth of dumb hopefulness that I like most, and no matter my age, that’s a high I’ll hold onto for as long as I can.

I Accept My Eyes Have Dark Circles — But I Still Want To Fix Them

I’ve had bags under my eyes since I was a teen. Back then I used to stand in front of the mirror with makeup remover and a cotton ball, convinced there was still a kohl-colored shadow to be wiped away. There wasn’t. It was just my skin. While many — and I mean, many — people have commented on them, usually in the vein of pointing out how tired I look, the best description I've received came from my sixth form English teacher. They were, she said, “like dark shadows.” Perhaps it was childish optimism, but until then I still believed that maybe I was the only one who could see them. I was wrong. Back then I self-flagellated twice over for things I didn’t like about myself — once for the feeling itself, which no amount of drugstore “self-love” could quell, and again for the fact I didn’t like it, which seemed like a betrayal of sorts. Around the same time, I began investing in YSL’s Touche Èclat. Despite the Kate Moss ads and the breathless magazine write-ups, the click-click-click just turned my shadows from dark gray to metallic silver. An upgrade, maybe, but not worth the 27-pound price tag for a teenager with no job. Next came Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk foundation, which I chose because they used it to create the deception of perfect, makeup-free skin on Downton Abbey. This effortless look was all that my 22-year-old self strove so effortfully for. The foundation works brilliantly and I still wear it today — though not literally today, because we’re in a global pandemic. Makeup is now something I only wear when I’m seeing somebody I work with or somebody I fancy. There is no in-between — and thankfully, no overlap — so my dark circles are back with a vengeance, no longer a crumb of soot wrapped in the wax of an expensive cream candle. When I went to the doctor’s for an appointment about a recurring ear infection a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even thinking about my face, which is progress of sorts. After a look down my ears and a prod up my nose, the doctor told me I was very congested. “Is this, like, normal for you?” she asked, peering through her clear visor. “I think so,” I replied, wondering if I had been doing breathing wrong all this time. The doctor told me she suspected I had allergies. This was partly due to the congestion and a eustachian tube dysfunction — not an infection after all — but there was something else, too. Something she didn’t want to say out loud. Thus began a digression about her boyfriend who had allergies that he hadn’t identified either before they started dating. One of his symptoms, she said, pointing to the skin under her own eyes while looking an inch below mine, were his “dark shadows, like shiners.” A silence unfolded then, as we both looked at what she had said, before I realized it was my line. “Oh, yes,” I said, “because I have quite bad shadows under my eyes, too.” She beamed, or at least I think she did. I couldn’t see because of her mask. I came away with a long list of drugs to buy, most of which I planned on ignoring since British parenting and a lifetime of NHS care has bred a self-sabotaging suspicion of medicating anything non-essential. But on the walk home, vanity began whispering to me through my unblocked ear. Maybe these strange Latin tinctures were my way out of the shadows? When I arrived at CVS, I had to press one of those little buttons where the salesperson opens a locked door for your medicine. I wanted to put them back when I saw the price, but I was too embarrassed. I blacked out on the exact total, but let’s call it $83, or rather $83.67 because, as I’ve learned, no sum in America is ever a round number. I paid it begrudgingly, shoving my pills into my handbag so I didn’t have to look at them. By the aforementioned British parenting codes, financial frivolity is perhaps the only thing worse than constitutional weakness. Once home, I started popping my pills at the allotted time and was surprised to find myself, dare I say it, hopeful? It wasn’t my ear or my congestion that I cared about fixing — when I got home I googled “what does congestion feel like,” and truthfully, I’m still not sure — this was all about my eyes. Some days in that first week I woke up convinced they were better, and what joy I felt! But the next day I’d wake disappointed, convinced they were returning to where they began. On one hand, I sort of don’t care either way. It is what it is, and at 32 I’m much better at accepting myself as I am than I ever have been. But the journey there hasn’t been linear, and the destination certainly isn't black-and-white. A few years ago, I probably would have told you that accepting your flaws is an all-or-nothing enterprise, but being locked down for a year in a one-bedroom apartment thousands of miles from home has helped me realize that loving everything about yourself is a fool's errand. I think it was all the alone time that did it. I had no choice but to get on with it or things would have gotten very dark, very quickly. But all that time brought something else with it, too. Time for new projects, new hobbies, new books, new serums. I knew my shopping carts wouldn’t remake me anew, but it didn't matter. The trying brought a joy all of its own. I don't need this particular flaw to go away to feel good about myself, but I reserve the right to try. It’s the warmth of dumb hopefulness that I like most, and no matter my age, that’s a high I’ll hold onto for as long as I can.

06:13

11 Feb 21

How Much Space In A Relationship Is Normal? A Therapist Weighs In

Since every couple has their own needs, habits, and expectations when it comes to love, it can be tough to pinpoint how much space is normal in a relationship. You might happily be attached at the hip. You might happily forget each other exists for hours on end. And who's to say if either stance is right or wrong? While there may not be an absolute answer, it's definitely possible for your relationship to lean too far in any one direction. Let's start off by focusing on what might happen if you spend every waking moment together. One way to tell you don't have enough space is if you start noticing signs of codependency. "Codependency occurs when someone is too reliant on their partner psychologically and emotionally," Sasha Jackson, MSW, LCSW, a licensed therapist, tells Bustle. If one or both of you is becoming codependent, you might experience anxiety, fear, or even mistrust (read: suspicion and jealousy) when spending time apart. Think along the lines of obsessively checking your phone for texts, worrying about what the other is doing, and/or not knowing how to fill a day spent alone. These behaviors may mean you need firmer boundaries — and yes, more time apart. If you struggle with the idea of spending more time apart, think of this: Jackson says space actually makes a relationship stronger, in a "distance makes the heart grow fonder" type of way. When you maintain your own individual lives — full of personal hobbies, work, friends, etc. — you actually come back to the relationship happier, and that in turn makes it stronger. So, how do you do it? "A good way to promote space is to support each other’s desire to do activities alone or with friends," Jackson says. If your partner wants to go out, offer to help them get ready and then usher them out the door. While they're away, focus on a hobby that makes you happy. Or simply enjoy the peace and quiet. It'll also help to create stronger boundaries around social media and phone communication, Jackson says. You might start by promising to call at a certain time instead of texting back and forth incessantly. This change will give you a chance to experience life on your own before reuniting at the end of the day. It's often easier to identify when you're spending too much time together than it is to identify when you're spending too much time apart. But here's a clue: If you and your partner currently have too much space in your relationship, you'll likely notice that a sense of rejection has started creeping in. "Rejection causes a person to worry about the validity of the relationship or if they are 'good enough,'" Jackson says. Over time, one or both of you might begin to feel insecure, lonely, frustrated, sad — even angry. And this is when you'll get "clingy," Jackson says because you're craving intimacy. What's the remedy? Spending more time together. Go on dates, check-in, create traditions, and talk about ways to stay connected, so that you don't slip back into rejection territory again. Since there is no "normal" when it comes to space and relationships, it'll be up to you to assess your personal situation and communicate with your partner the moment things feel off-kilter. "Take time to sit with each other and figure out what works best," Jackson says. "[Talk about your] goals and see how they can be combined to create a balance."

How Much Space In A Relationship Is Normal? A Therapist Weighs In

Since every couple has their own needs, habits, and expectations when it comes to love, it can be tough to pinpoint how much space is normal in a relationship. You might happily be attached at the hip. You might happily forget each other exists for hours on end. And who's to say if either stance is right or wrong? While there may not be an absolute answer, it's definitely possible for your relationship to lean too far in any one direction. Let's start off by focusing on what might happen if you spend every waking moment together. One way to tell you don't have enough space is if you start noticing signs of codependency. "Codependency occurs when someone is too reliant on their partner psychologically and emotionally," Sasha Jackson, MSW, LCSW, a licensed therapist, tells Bustle. If one or both of you is becoming codependent, you might experience anxiety, fear, or even mistrust (read: suspicion and jealousy) when spending time apart. Think along the lines of obsessively checking your phone for texts, worrying about what the other is doing, and/or not knowing how to fill a day spent alone. These behaviors may mean you need firmer boundaries — and yes, more time apart. If you struggle with the idea of spending more time apart, think of this: Jackson says space actually makes a relationship stronger, in a "distance makes the heart grow fonder" type of way. When you maintain your own individual lives — full of personal hobbies, work, friends, etc. — you actually come back to the relationship happier, and that in turn makes it stronger. So, how do you do it? "A good way to promote space is to support each other’s desire to do activities alone or with friends," Jackson says. If your partner wants to go out, offer to help them get ready and then usher them out the door. While they're away, focus on a hobby that makes you happy. Or simply enjoy the peace and quiet. It'll also help to create stronger boundaries around social media and phone communication, Jackson says. You might start by promising to call at a certain time instead of texting back and forth incessantly. This change will give you a chance to experience life on your own before reuniting at the end of the day. It's often easier to identify when you're spending too much time together than it is to identify when you're spending too much time apart. But here's a clue: If you and your partner currently have too much space in your relationship, you'll likely notice that a sense of rejection has started creeping in. "Rejection causes a person to worry about the validity of the relationship or if they are 'good enough,'" Jackson says. Over time, one or both of you might begin to feel insecure, lonely, frustrated, sad — even angry. And this is when you'll get "clingy," Jackson says because you're craving intimacy. What's the remedy? Spending more time together. Go on dates, check-in, create traditions, and talk about ways to stay connected, so that you don't slip back into rejection territory again. Since there is no "normal" when it comes to space and relationships, it'll be up to you to assess your personal situation and communicate with your partner the moment things feel off-kilter. "Take time to sit with each other and figure out what works best," Jackson says. "[Talk about your] goals and see how they can be combined to create a balance."

04:28

10 Feb 21

Unpacking 'The Bachelor's Ties To Evangelical Christianity

Matt James began his season of The Bachelor with a prayer asking “Father God” to bless his journey to find a wife among 32 women on national television. When he opened his eyes, the women responded with whoops and cheers. "That was so beautiful," one said, wiping away a tear. “OK, Reverend Matt, preach!” said another. Lifting his champagne glass for a toast, James lost his train of thought, breaking into a smile when he caught sight of the dildo presented to him by one of his already adoring contestants. For someone like James, whose Christian faith is foundational, appearing on The Bachelor doesn’t seem the most obvious place to land a spouse, especially given the guaranteed carnal temptations of hot-tub dates and Fantasy Suite Week. But this perception relies on a narrow idea of Christianity as synonymous with conservative family values, a perception increasingly on the outs among millennials and Gen Z. On The Bachelor, a prayer and a sex toy existing in the same scene is hardly out of character. The franchise has long mixed vocally Christian leads (see: Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Hannah Brown and Bachelors Colton Underwood, Peter Weber, and Ben Higgins) and contestants (see: Madison Prewett, Cassie Randolph, and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, to name a few) with overt sex appeal. The bigger question is how America’s guiltiest pleasure became a hotbed for highly Instagrammable twenty-and-thirty-something Christians in the first place. For Kristin Du Mez, historian and author of Jesus and John Wayne, it's to do with the intergenerational shift underway among under-40 believers who see no friction between sex appeal and shining for Christ. “You can draw people into Christ with brand appeal and being really cool with celebrity culture,” Du Mez says, citing hipster megachurches like televangelist Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, where A-list musicians are recruited for star-studded performances. Other megachurches like Hillsong are known for their celebrity congregants, which until recently (due to a scandal involving pastor Carl Lentz) included Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez. In fact, the connection to Bachelor Nation is so explicit that before Bieber became a parishioner at another megachurch, Churchome (which also counts Seahawk Russell Wilson as a congregant), the singer nearly spoiled the ending of Peter Weber’s Bachelor season when he ran into Weber and Prewett at Hillsong before their season wrapped. Du Mez teaches at Calvin University, where for the past decade she’s observed attitudinal shifts in her mostly twenty-something students, who are eager to shed the image of Christians as culture warriors. Instead, they want to be deeply embedded within popular culture; to influence it, and in some cases, to lead it. While many Bachelor Nation members become influencers after appearing on the show, their sponsored content isn't always agnostic. Promoting Christ via products can be of service, too, as Prewett has proven. Since leaving the show (and breaking up with Peter Weber), she's teamed up with FaithSocial to promote a social network delivering upbeat Christian content to a global body of believers, and also launched the Family Virtues bracelet line. Less firebrand, more lifestyle brand. In some ways, this is nothing new. Evangelicals began broadcasting sermons live on cable television in the sixties, and they were early out of the gate on reality TV too, with Evangelical families sharing their stories on shows like The Preachers of Los Angeles, Rich in Faith, the Duggar Family’s 19 and Counting, and Duck Dynasty. In this context, Cassie Randolph’s decision to appear on the faith-based reality television show Young Once, a series documenting a countercultural college experience void of booze and sex (she attended a Bible college in California), is practically normcore even given her leap to the Bachelor franchise. But what is new is the amount of sex that now comes along with it. Less than 45 minutes into Matt James’ Bachelor season, one contestant met him wearing nothing but lingerie, a setup seen as entirely reasonable, at least in terms of trying to make an impression among a sea of women on night one. What's more, within Christian circles, the trope of the "smokin' hot" pastor's wife has become so popular that it's now a meme. The logic here, according to Duke Divinity’s Kate Bowler, goes something like this: the most obvious evidence that God is good should be your family, especially the happy, satisfied wife. Men are to be rugged and muscled, while women are alluring and demonstrably pleasing partners. As Du Mez puts it, that “God gave men testosterone so they can be tough and able protectors of the church and home.” Most of the Bachelor’s Christian guys, Matt James included, are former football players, perfectly fitting that mold. Many fans tune in precisely because of these values. “For viewers worried about divorce, secularization, and gender fluidity, the Bachelor is a welcome relief,” says Bowler. The show’s fanbase, according to consumer data, draws heavily from the Midwest and Bible Belt with hotspots in small towns like Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Meridian, Mississippi. “When you look at the history of the show, it has always catered to a very specific audience that is very invested in a sort of all-American, middle-America approach, and they go where the ratings and money are,” says Taylor Nolan, who first appeared on Nick Viall’s Bachelor season. By embracing Christianity, the show has confronted and in some cases subverted some of the most pervasive myths about sex and faith. When Luke Parker, a self-described “born-again virgin” who served as the villain of Hannah Brown’s Bachelorette season, issued an ultimatum that Brown, also a devout Christian, not have sex with anyone else lest he leave, she sent him home while uttering an instantly iconic line for the franchise: “I have had sex… and Jesus still loves me.” Then there's Kristian Haggerty, best known in Bachelor Nation for being part of the franchise’s first same-sex rose ceremony on Bachelor in Paradise. Haggerty, an ordained minister, identifies as a “Jesus follower” on Instagram, and when we connect via Zoom, she's wearing a blue t-shirt referencing the Bible passage John 3:16. Haggerty doesn’t believe being on Paradise or The Bachelor is at odds with Christianity. In fact, her faith contributed to her connecting more deeply with the Paradise cast. While you might assume contestants do nothing more than drink margaritas and make out with potential love interests on the Paradise beach, Haggerty recalled a different scene. She, along with Adams, Miller-Keyes, and Angela Amezcua, prayed together, shared insights from devotionals, and listened to Christian music. She’s fully aware, however, that many Bachelor Nation fans think she’s at odds with God for her sexuality and have written to her saying as much. She admits the criticism stung, at one point shaking her faith, but she also understands what her visibility can mean to people who feel forced to choose between their sexuality and their faith, and it's this tack that she takes when I ask why she thinks so many Christians end up on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. “It’s really personal for everyone,” she says. “The main thing is that God uses everyone — even the participants on a reality television show.”

Unpacking 'The Bachelor's Ties To Evangelical Christianity

Matt James began his season of The Bachelor with a prayer asking “Father God” to bless his journey to find a wife among 32 women on national television. When he opened his eyes, the women responded with whoops and cheers. "That was so beautiful," one said, wiping away a tear. “OK, Reverend Matt, preach!” said another. Lifting his champagne glass for a toast, James lost his train of thought, breaking into a smile when he caught sight of the dildo presented to him by one of his already adoring contestants. For someone like James, whose Christian faith is foundational, appearing on The Bachelor doesn’t seem the most obvious place to land a spouse, especially given the guaranteed carnal temptations of hot-tub dates and Fantasy Suite Week. But this perception relies on a narrow idea of Christianity as synonymous with conservative family values, a perception increasingly on the outs among millennials and Gen Z. On The Bachelor, a prayer and a sex toy existing in the same scene is hardly out of character. The franchise has long mixed vocally Christian leads (see: Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Hannah Brown and Bachelors Colton Underwood, Peter Weber, and Ben Higgins) and contestants (see: Madison Prewett, Cassie Randolph, and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, to name a few) with overt sex appeal. The bigger question is how America’s guiltiest pleasure became a hotbed for highly Instagrammable twenty-and-thirty-something Christians in the first place. For Kristin Du Mez, historian and author of Jesus and John Wayne, it's to do with the intergenerational shift underway among under-40 believers who see no friction between sex appeal and shining for Christ. “You can draw people into Christ with brand appeal and being really cool with celebrity culture,” Du Mez says, citing hipster megachurches like televangelist Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, where A-list musicians are recruited for star-studded performances. Other megachurches like Hillsong are known for their celebrity congregants, which until recently (due to a scandal involving pastor Carl Lentz) included Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez. In fact, the connection to Bachelor Nation is so explicit that before Bieber became a parishioner at another megachurch, Churchome (which also counts Seahawk Russell Wilson as a congregant), the singer nearly spoiled the ending of Peter Weber’s Bachelor season when he ran into Weber and Prewett at Hillsong before their season wrapped. Du Mez teaches at Calvin University, where for the past decade she’s observed attitudinal shifts in her mostly twenty-something students, who are eager to shed the image of Christians as culture warriors. Instead, they want to be deeply embedded within popular culture; to influence it, and in some cases, to lead it. While many Bachelor Nation members become influencers after appearing on the show, their sponsored content isn't always agnostic. Promoting Christ via products can be of service, too, as Prewett has proven. Since leaving the show (and breaking up with Peter Weber), she's teamed up with FaithSocial to promote a social network delivering upbeat Christian content to a global body of believers, and also launched the Family Virtues bracelet line. Less firebrand, more lifestyle brand. In some ways, this is nothing new. Evangelicals began broadcasting sermons live on cable television in the sixties, and they were early out of the gate on reality TV too, with Evangelical families sharing their stories on shows like The Preachers of Los Angeles, Rich in Faith, the Duggar Family’s 19 and Counting, and Duck Dynasty. In this context, Cassie Randolph’s decision to appear on the faith-based reality television show Young Once, a series documenting a countercultural college experience void of booze and sex (she attended a Bible college in California), is practically normcore even given her leap to the Bachelor franchise. But what is new is the amount of sex that now comes along with it. Less than 45 minutes into Matt James’ Bachelor season, one contestant met him wearing nothing but lingerie, a setup seen as entirely reasonable, at least in terms of trying to make an impression among a sea of women on night one. What's more, within Christian circles, the trope of the "smokin' hot" pastor's wife has become so popular that it's now a meme. The logic here, according to Duke Divinity’s Kate Bowler, goes something like this: the most obvious evidence that God is good should be your family, especially the happy, satisfied wife. Men are to be rugged and muscled, while women are alluring and demonstrably pleasing partners. As Du Mez puts it, that “God gave men testosterone so they can be tough and able protectors of the church and home.” Most of the Bachelor’s Christian guys, Matt James included, are former football players, perfectly fitting that mold. Many fans tune in precisely because of these values. “For viewers worried about divorce, secularization, and gender fluidity, the Bachelor is a welcome relief,” says Bowler. The show’s fanbase, according to consumer data, draws heavily from the Midwest and Bible Belt with hotspots in small towns like Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Meridian, Mississippi. “When you look at the history of the show, it has always catered to a very specific audience that is very invested in a sort of all-American, middle-America approach, and they go where the ratings and money are,” says Taylor Nolan, who first appeared on Nick Viall’s Bachelor season. By embracing Christianity, the show has confronted and in some cases subverted some of the most pervasive myths about sex and faith. When Luke Parker, a self-described “born-again virgin” who served as the villain of Hannah Brown’s Bachelorette season, issued an ultimatum that Brown, also a devout Christian, not have sex with anyone else lest he leave, she sent him home while uttering an instantly iconic line for the franchise: “I have had sex… and Jesus still loves me.” Then there's Kristian Haggerty, best known in Bachelor Nation for being part of the franchise’s first same-sex rose ceremony on Bachelor in Paradise. Haggerty, an ordained minister, identifies as a “Jesus follower” on Instagram, and when we connect via Zoom, she's wearing a blue t-shirt referencing the Bible passage John 3:16. Haggerty doesn’t believe being on Paradise or The Bachelor is at odds with Christianity. In fact, her faith contributed to her connecting more deeply with the Paradise cast. While you might assume contestants do nothing more than drink margaritas and make out with potential love interests on the Paradise beach, Haggerty recalled a different scene. She, along with Adams, Miller-Keyes, and Angela Amezcua, prayed together, shared insights from devotionals, and listened to Christian music. She’s fully aware, however, that many Bachelor Nation fans think she’s at odds with God for her sexuality and have written to her saying as much. She admits the criticism stung, at one point shaking her faith, but she also understands what her visibility can mean to people who feel forced to choose between their sexuality and their faith, and it's this tack that she takes when I ask why she thinks so many Christians end up on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. “It’s really personal for everyone,” she says. “The main thing is that God uses everyone — even the participants on a reality television show.”

07:58

9 Feb 21

2021 Is A Lucky Year For Finding Love, According To Astrology

As an astrologer, I have good news for anyone who's looking for love in 2021, which is that the stars are in our favor. This year delivers some special cosmic moments that'll boost our luck in finding love, up the passion in our relationships, and sprinkle some romantic fairy dust over all of our fantasies. There will be challenges too, but there's lots to look forward to when it comes to the love astrology of 2021. Firstly, let's introduce some of the major players when it comes to the cosmic love game: Venus and Mars. Sensual Venus is the planet of love, romance, and pleasure, while feisty Mars is the planet of sex, passion, and chasing what we want. These relationship-oriented planets are forming some lucky connections this year that will offer us sparkling opportunities in love — with a high point being when they meet in a relatively rare conjunction aspect this summer. Unlike 2020, during which Venus and Mars had intense retrogrades, both planets will be direct through 2021 (although Venus will start one during the last two weeks of the year). This equates to more forward-flowing energy and less drama in our romantic lives. It's also important to note that Uranus, planet of surprises and sudden change, is making a ton of standout aspects to almost all the planets throughout 2021, which will affect our love lives, too. Uranus brings about unpredictable shifts and shakes up the status quo — so don't be shocked if by the end of the year, you end up with an exciting romance. The major Uranus transits could also shake up your "rules" in relationships and open you up to more unconventional situations in love. Unfortunately, we'll have to deal with Mercury retrograde on Valentine's Day 2021, which could mix up some signals and cause miscommunications for all the lovebirds who are celebrating — but things should improve from there. Let's look at what the upcoming seasons bring when it comes to romance in 2021, according to astrology. Springtime is known for bringing new beginnings — and that's definitely the case for our love lives this year, too. That's because on March 26, love planet Venus cozies up to the glitzy sun to form a super special aspect known as the Venus Star Point. This alignment brings magic, romance, and the thrill of a pleasurable new beginning in love, making it a great time for new relationships to blossom. This aspect also helps us to see our dreamiest desires more clearly, allowing us to get confident about what we want in love. More excitement in love arrives on April 22, when Venus aligns with unpredictable Uranus in sensual Taurus — bringing all sorts of unexpected surprises in matters of the heart. This could suddenly shake up our romantic values, spin our relationships in a totally new direction, or even bring a special someone into our lives out of the blue. Anything is possible during this period, so go with the romantic flow. There are a couple super romantic transits taking place during summer 2021 that'll up the potential for steamy summer flings — and could help catalyze relationships that long outlast the season, too. Firstly, Jupiter, planet of growth and good luck, is dipping into dreamy water sign Pisces from May 13 through July 28, which brings a shiny sense of optimism. Expect to feel more romantic and poetic during this period, and more willing to explore the depths of your feelings. It's a good time to start an emotionally-involved and spiritually-aligned relationship, and it bodes well for singles who are looking for love. Even more major is the conjunction of relationship planets Venus and Mars that takes place on July 13 in fiery Leo. These two planets only meet in the zodiac once every two years, and the passion-filled alignment kicks off a new cycle when it comes to relationships, sexual expression, and creativity. We're getting bolder and more confident in the way we chase after what we want, and more expressive about what brings us pleasure. Prepare for passion and flying sparks. The summer's hot energy peaks during the Venus/Mars conjunction, but we'll still be dripping in sexy vibes from June 27 through July 21, as the two planets travel through glamorous Leo side by side. You already know about Mercury is retrograde on Valentine's Day this year — but from Sept. 27 to Oct. 18, Mercury will retrograde in Libra, the sign of partnerships. This could cause all sorts of missed connections in love. The good news? We can use this slowdown to strengthen our communication skills within relationships and smooth out any beneath-the-surface drama that we've been pushing aside. It's a good time to consider a partner's point of view and be more diplomatic about handling conflict. While Mercury retrogrades are annoying, we'll thankfully enjoy a year that's nearly free of any love-planet-related retrogrades — which means energy in our love life and sex life will be flowing forward, allowing us to access romance and passion unhindered. However, that's going to change come Dec. 19, when Venus begins its retrograde in pragmatic Capricorn. While this backspin isn't hitting until the last two weeks of 2021, it actually offers us a helpful opportunity to take stock of where we're at in our love lives as we close out the year. If you're linked up, this is a good time to reflect on what's working — and not working — in your relationship. If you're single, this is an important chance to get serious about your romantic values — that way, you'll know exactly the type of love you're trying to manifest as you enter 2022.

2021 Is A Lucky Year For Finding Love, According To Astrology

As an astrologer, I have good news for anyone who's looking for love in 2021, which is that the stars are in our favor. This year delivers some special cosmic moments that'll boost our luck in finding love, up the passion in our relationships, and sprinkle some romantic fairy dust over all of our fantasies. There will be challenges too, but there's lots to look forward to when it comes to the love astrology of 2021. Firstly, let's introduce some of the major players when it comes to the cosmic love game: Venus and Mars. Sensual Venus is the planet of love, romance, and pleasure, while feisty Mars is the planet of sex, passion, and chasing what we want. These relationship-oriented planets are forming some lucky connections this year that will offer us sparkling opportunities in love — with a high point being when they meet in a relatively rare conjunction aspect this summer. Unlike 2020, during which Venus and Mars had intense retrogrades, both planets will be direct through 2021 (although Venus will start one during the last two weeks of the year). This equates to more forward-flowing energy and less drama in our romantic lives. It's also important to note that Uranus, planet of surprises and sudden change, is making a ton of standout aspects to almost all the planets throughout 2021, which will affect our love lives, too. Uranus brings about unpredictable shifts and shakes up the status quo — so don't be shocked if by the end of the year, you end up with an exciting romance. The major Uranus transits could also shake up your "rules" in relationships and open you up to more unconventional situations in love. Unfortunately, we'll have to deal with Mercury retrograde on Valentine's Day 2021, which could mix up some signals and cause miscommunications for all the lovebirds who are celebrating — but things should improve from there. Let's look at what the upcoming seasons bring when it comes to romance in 2021, according to astrology. Springtime is known for bringing new beginnings — and that's definitely the case for our love lives this year, too. That's because on March 26, love planet Venus cozies up to the glitzy sun to form a super special aspect known as the Venus Star Point. This alignment brings magic, romance, and the thrill of a pleasurable new beginning in love, making it a great time for new relationships to blossom. This aspect also helps us to see our dreamiest desires more clearly, allowing us to get confident about what we want in love. More excitement in love arrives on April 22, when Venus aligns with unpredictable Uranus in sensual Taurus — bringing all sorts of unexpected surprises in matters of the heart. This could suddenly shake up our romantic values, spin our relationships in a totally new direction, or even bring a special someone into our lives out of the blue. Anything is possible during this period, so go with the romantic flow. There are a couple super romantic transits taking place during summer 2021 that'll up the potential for steamy summer flings — and could help catalyze relationships that long outlast the season, too. Firstly, Jupiter, planet of growth and good luck, is dipping into dreamy water sign Pisces from May 13 through July 28, which brings a shiny sense of optimism. Expect to feel more romantic and poetic during this period, and more willing to explore the depths of your feelings. It's a good time to start an emotionally-involved and spiritually-aligned relationship, and it bodes well for singles who are looking for love. Even more major is the conjunction of relationship planets Venus and Mars that takes place on July 13 in fiery Leo. These two planets only meet in the zodiac once every two years, and the passion-filled alignment kicks off a new cycle when it comes to relationships, sexual expression, and creativity. We're getting bolder and more confident in the way we chase after what we want, and more expressive about what brings us pleasure. Prepare for passion and flying sparks. The summer's hot energy peaks during the Venus/Mars conjunction, but we'll still be dripping in sexy vibes from June 27 through July 21, as the two planets travel through glamorous Leo side by side. You already know about Mercury is retrograde on Valentine's Day this year — but from Sept. 27 to Oct. 18, Mercury will retrograde in Libra, the sign of partnerships. This could cause all sorts of missed connections in love. The good news? We can use this slowdown to strengthen our communication skills within relationships and smooth out any beneath-the-surface drama that we've been pushing aside. It's a good time to consider a partner's point of view and be more diplomatic about handling conflict. While Mercury retrogrades are annoying, we'll thankfully enjoy a year that's nearly free of any love-planet-related retrogrades — which means energy in our love life and sex life will be flowing forward, allowing us to access romance and passion unhindered. However, that's going to change come Dec. 19, when Venus begins its retrograde in pragmatic Capricorn. While this backspin isn't hitting until the last two weeks of 2021, it actually offers us a helpful opportunity to take stock of where we're at in our love lives as we close out the year. If you're linked up, this is a good time to reflect on what's working — and not working — in your relationship. If you're single, this is an important chance to get serious about your romantic values — that way, you'll know exactly the type of love you're trying to manifest as you enter 2022.

07:06

8 Feb 21

The COVID Vaccine’s Effects On Mental Health, Explained

The moment Athena, 22, received the COVID-19 vaccine in mid-January, they felt an enormous weight lift off their chest. The health promotion and education student at the University of Utah has spent the last 10 months taking every COVID precaution in the book: living with an autoimmune disorder, Athena couldn’t take the slightest risk of being exposed to the virus. “I've had a fear of just leaving the house to go for a walk, but now having the vaccine means even that small part of my life can go back to normal,” they tell Bustle. “I’m not much of a happy crier, but I happy cried.” While there are obvious reasons to be excited about the physical benefits of getting immunized, experts say the mental health benefits may be transformative. “The vaccine provides tangible evidence that we will be able to move about our daily lives again without fear and worry for our safety, or the safety of others,” Melissa Dowd, MS, LMFT, a psychotherapist with the virtual health platform PlushCare, explains. “This is so important for our mental health and provides relief from the constant stress and worry we have all been experiencing.” The percentage of people dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns has sharply risen since the pandemic started. Research by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) showed that 40% of adults in the United States reported struggling with their mental health or substance use at the end of June. A study published in the JAMA Network in September found depression symptoms in the United States were now three times what they were before the pandemic started. “Much of the stress is not due just to fear of getting the disease but is also due to loneliness and separation from friends and loved ones,” says Kruti Quazi, LPC, NCC, CCTP, the clinical director at Sesh, an app that offers virtual peer group support. Though people have found creative ways to stay close to each other at a distance, loneliness has remained a pervasive source of stress, anxiety, and depression throughout the pandemic. Mental health experts believe the vaccine will profoundly reduce one’s overall anxiety by making it possible for people to safely reconnect in-person, though public health officials caution that social distancing is best practice until most people are immunized. Just as the vaccine won’t “turn off” the pandemic, getting immunized won’t be like flipping the switch on your emotions. “Once the vaccine becomes more widely available and restrictions begin to lift, it is very normal that we might feel a bit uncomfortable as we readjust to feeling safe again and develop our new routines, post-vaccine,” Dowd says. Activities or behaviors you’ve avoided for the last year — taking an Uber, or going to dinner at a friend’s house, for example — won’t feel safe until the vaccine is more widely available. Still, Dowd says that even when public health officials give the green light on these activities, it may be anxiety-provoking to move forward. Current practices, like the 6-foot rule, can give a “sense of safety and control” that soothe people’s stress. “Examining your thoughts and facing your fears are some of the most powerful things that we can do in order to overshadow old learning,” Dr. Russ Morfitt, Ph.D., co-founder and chief psychology officer at Learn to Live, an online therapy platform, tells Bustle. “As you face your fears, you actually should expect that you’re going to feel discomfort. [...] Then along the way, you get the opportunity to learn that you can really handle that discomfort that you feel, and that tends to subside.” Athena’s experienced this firsthand. Incorporating simple tasks into their day such as going grocery shopping, rather than ordering groceries online, has become an important tool in working through their pandemic-related anxiety. “A part of my depression and anxiety comes from not having a daily routine, [which] has been thrown off by COVID. So, being able to go back to my routine with time will be huge,” they explain. The support of their partner, family, and therapist has also helped them take these small steps forward. Quazi suggests being mindful that “different people will react at a different pace during this ‘unlearning’ process.” Some immunized people may feel comfortable safely socializing with family members at a distance or running errands. On the other hand, Quazi says, “Others may get vaccinated for their own peace of mind and continue to isolate until there are clear community guidelines in place for reopening.” Epidemiologists estimate that somewhere between 70% to 90% of people still must be vaccinated before it is safe for the general population to begin returning to pre-pandemic activities, so masking up is still best practice. But after nearly a year spent socially distancing, obsessively sanitizing, or agonizing over every public interaction, the vaccine provides a new hope for people that have been struggling with unchecked stress. As Athena describes it, the vaccine is “one less barrier to feeling like yourself again.” Dr. Russ Morfitt, Ph.D., co-founder and chief psychology officer at Learn to Live Ettman CK, Abdalla SM, Cohen GH, Sampson L, Vivier PM, Galea S. Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in US Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2019686. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19686 Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1

The COVID Vaccine’s Effects On Mental Health, Explained

The moment Athena, 22, received the COVID-19 vaccine in mid-January, they felt an enormous weight lift off their chest. The health promotion and education student at the University of Utah has spent the last 10 months taking every COVID precaution in the book: living with an autoimmune disorder, Athena couldn’t take the slightest risk of being exposed to the virus. “I've had a fear of just leaving the house to go for a walk, but now having the vaccine means even that small part of my life can go back to normal,” they tell Bustle. “I’m not much of a happy crier, but I happy cried.” While there are obvious reasons to be excited about the physical benefits of getting immunized, experts say the mental health benefits may be transformative. “The vaccine provides tangible evidence that we will be able to move about our daily lives again without fear and worry for our safety, or the safety of others,” Melissa Dowd, MS, LMFT, a psychotherapist with the virtual health platform PlushCare, explains. “This is so important for our mental health and provides relief from the constant stress and worry we have all been experiencing.” The percentage of people dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns has sharply risen since the pandemic started. Research by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) showed that 40% of adults in the United States reported struggling with their mental health or substance use at the end of June. A study published in the JAMA Network in September found depression symptoms in the United States were now three times what they were before the pandemic started. “Much of the stress is not due just to fear of getting the disease but is also due to loneliness and separation from friends and loved ones,” says Kruti Quazi, LPC, NCC, CCTP, the clinical director at Sesh, an app that offers virtual peer group support. Though people have found creative ways to stay close to each other at a distance, loneliness has remained a pervasive source of stress, anxiety, and depression throughout the pandemic. Mental health experts believe the vaccine will profoundly reduce one’s overall anxiety by making it possible for people to safely reconnect in-person, though public health officials caution that social distancing is best practice until most people are immunized. Just as the vaccine won’t “turn off” the pandemic, getting immunized won’t be like flipping the switch on your emotions. “Once the vaccine becomes more widely available and restrictions begin to lift, it is very normal that we might feel a bit uncomfortable as we readjust to feeling safe again and develop our new routines, post-vaccine,” Dowd says. Activities or behaviors you’ve avoided for the last year — taking an Uber, or going to dinner at a friend’s house, for example — won’t feel safe until the vaccine is more widely available. Still, Dowd says that even when public health officials give the green light on these activities, it may be anxiety-provoking to move forward. Current practices, like the 6-foot rule, can give a “sense of safety and control” that soothe people’s stress. “Examining your thoughts and facing your fears are some of the most powerful things that we can do in order to overshadow old learning,” Dr. Russ Morfitt, Ph.D., co-founder and chief psychology officer at Learn to Live, an online therapy platform, tells Bustle. “As you face your fears, you actually should expect that you’re going to feel discomfort. [...] Then along the way, you get the opportunity to learn that you can really handle that discomfort that you feel, and that tends to subside.” Athena’s experienced this firsthand. Incorporating simple tasks into their day such as going grocery shopping, rather than ordering groceries online, has become an important tool in working through their pandemic-related anxiety. “A part of my depression and anxiety comes from not having a daily routine, [which] has been thrown off by COVID. So, being able to go back to my routine with time will be huge,” they explain. The support of their partner, family, and therapist has also helped them take these small steps forward. Quazi suggests being mindful that “different people will react at a different pace during this ‘unlearning’ process.” Some immunized people may feel comfortable safely socializing with family members at a distance or running errands. On the other hand, Quazi says, “Others may get vaccinated for their own peace of mind and continue to isolate until there are clear community guidelines in place for reopening.” Epidemiologists estimate that somewhere between 70% to 90% of people still must be vaccinated before it is safe for the general population to begin returning to pre-pandemic activities, so masking up is still best practice. But after nearly a year spent socially distancing, obsessively sanitizing, or agonizing over every public interaction, the vaccine provides a new hope for people that have been struggling with unchecked stress. As Athena describes it, the vaccine is “one less barrier to feeling like yourself again.” Dr. Russ Morfitt, Ph.D., co-founder and chief psychology officer at Learn to Live Ettman CK, Abdalla SM, Cohen GH, Sampson L, Vivier PM, Galea S. Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in US Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2019686. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19686 Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1

05:30

5 Feb 21

Why Does Good News Make Me Sad? The Science Behind Intense Emotions

It's been a tense few years, to say the least, and your emotions are probably running the gamut from nonexistent to the extremes. Whether it's watching the inauguration, seeing people get vaccinated, or hopping on a Zoom call with your best friend, everything from the most intense to the most mundane can cause conflicting feelings. But dissolving into a puddle of tears on days when good things are happening is a disorienting experience, to say the least. If you're asking yourself why good news makes you sad, you're not alone. "We often feel more than one emotion during an emotionally charged experience," says Dr. Navya Singh, Psy.D, the founder and chief clinical officer of behavioral healthcare platform wayForward. "People experience different emotions from one another even when experiencing the same event (one family member can be extremely saddened by the loss of a grandparent and another feel a sense of relief that the person is no longer suffering)," Dr. Singh explains. Maybe it was your birthday last month and that sense of anticlimax after you hung up from your very lovely Zoom party hit you hard. The COVID vaccine is an incredible feat of science, but knowing that you're so close to the pandemic finish line (when so many people did not make it) is a tough emotion to cope with. Or maybe you're thrilled and relieved about the inauguration, but find yourself anxious to get the day over with, given that insurrectionists stormed the very same building just two weeks ago. If any of this sounds like you, Dr. Singh says that it's very normal. "There is no 'right' way to feel," she tells Bustle. "We all have different life experiences that contribute to us experiencing and expressing our emotions differently. This is important to remember when thoughts such as 'I shouldn't feel bad, sad, mad, etc.' or 'this is the wrong way to feel' start to come to us." Particularly for BIPOC at this point in history, intense and mixed emotions can remind you to seek out community support. "Black and brown people simply do not have the option of forgetting when white supremacy is emboldened in the ways that we have witnessed," says psychotherapist Elizabeth Ohito, L.C.S.W., referring to the Capitol insurrection. "It is actually emotionally intelligent for us to stay alert, connected to each other, and also to feel a full range of emotions from anger to sadness in light of the current state of affairs." "A deluge of feelings challenges our ability to hold boundaries with others and with our time," Dr. Vaneeta Sandhu, Psy.D, the head of emotional fitness at mental health platform Coa. Especially when you feel like there's something you should be feeling, it's important to be clear about how much emotional capacity you have to spread around. "When you’re feeling at risk of sacrificing your emotions by focusing on what others around you are feeling, give yourself permission to excuse yourself from the conversation," Dr. Sandhu advises. "This is a way of holding a boundary to protect your own emotional bandwidth, and gives you the extra space to manage the wide array of emotions that are coming up." It doesn't make you ungrateful or broken if you're sad when everyone around you seems happy. "Validating yourself may look like giving yourself permission to feel that emotion of disappointment," Dr. Sandhu says. Instead of beating yourself up that you're not feeling like you "should" be feeling, try acknowledging what's going on for you. "Name the emotion you are feeling, and then sit with it," Dr. Sandhu suggests. "This approach can help acknowledge the differences of others, while still allowing yourself space to feel that disappointment, and that’s OK." You can also use your mixed feelings as a reminder to be gentle with yourself and reach out for support. "Rather than putting blinders on and 'powering through,' move more slowly and deliberately, and stay in connection with friends and loved ones," Ohito advises. That way, you won't have to experience the massive spectrum of feels alone. "Remember that emotions are meant to be felt and that they are never permanent," says certified holistic wellness coach Kama Hagar. It's OK to go through the entire spectrum of feels. "Normalize the ebbs and flows as well as the deeper emotions that are settling in right now." Whether you journal, confide in a trusted friend, chat with your therapist, meditate on particular feelings, or something else entirely, Hagar tells Bustle that it's important to give yourself permission to tune everything else out. "Let yourself reset — even as you squirm and find even just a glimmer of peace of mind. You not only deserve it, but you need it."

Why Does Good News Make Me Sad? The Science Behind Intense Emotions

It's been a tense few years, to say the least, and your emotions are probably running the gamut from nonexistent to the extremes. Whether it's watching the inauguration, seeing people get vaccinated, or hopping on a Zoom call with your best friend, everything from the most intense to the most mundane can cause conflicting feelings. But dissolving into a puddle of tears on days when good things are happening is a disorienting experience, to say the least. If you're asking yourself why good news makes you sad, you're not alone. "We often feel more than one emotion during an emotionally charged experience," says Dr. Navya Singh, Psy.D, the founder and chief clinical officer of behavioral healthcare platform wayForward. "People experience different emotions from one another even when experiencing the same event (one family member can be extremely saddened by the loss of a grandparent and another feel a sense of relief that the person is no longer suffering)," Dr. Singh explains. Maybe it was your birthday last month and that sense of anticlimax after you hung up from your very lovely Zoom party hit you hard. The COVID vaccine is an incredible feat of science, but knowing that you're so close to the pandemic finish line (when so many people did not make it) is a tough emotion to cope with. Or maybe you're thrilled and relieved about the inauguration, but find yourself anxious to get the day over with, given that insurrectionists stormed the very same building just two weeks ago. If any of this sounds like you, Dr. Singh says that it's very normal. "There is no 'right' way to feel," she tells Bustle. "We all have different life experiences that contribute to us experiencing and expressing our emotions differently. This is important to remember when thoughts such as 'I shouldn't feel bad, sad, mad, etc.' or 'this is the wrong way to feel' start to come to us." Particularly for BIPOC at this point in history, intense and mixed emotions can remind you to seek out community support. "Black and brown people simply do not have the option of forgetting when white supremacy is emboldened in the ways that we have witnessed," says psychotherapist Elizabeth Ohito, L.C.S.W., referring to the Capitol insurrection. "It is actually emotionally intelligent for us to stay alert, connected to each other, and also to feel a full range of emotions from anger to sadness in light of the current state of affairs." "A deluge of feelings challenges our ability to hold boundaries with others and with our time," Dr. Vaneeta Sandhu, Psy.D, the head of emotional fitness at mental health platform Coa. Especially when you feel like there's something you should be feeling, it's important to be clear about how much emotional capacity you have to spread around. "When you’re feeling at risk of sacrificing your emotions by focusing on what others around you are feeling, give yourself permission to excuse yourself from the conversation," Dr. Sandhu advises. "This is a way of holding a boundary to protect your own emotional bandwidth, and gives you the extra space to manage the wide array of emotions that are coming up." It doesn't make you ungrateful or broken if you're sad when everyone around you seems happy. "Validating yourself may look like giving yourself permission to feel that emotion of disappointment," Dr. Sandhu says. Instead of beating yourself up that you're not feeling like you "should" be feeling, try acknowledging what's going on for you. "Name the emotion you are feeling, and then sit with it," Dr. Sandhu suggests. "This approach can help acknowledge the differences of others, while still allowing yourself space to feel that disappointment, and that’s OK." You can also use your mixed feelings as a reminder to be gentle with yourself and reach out for support. "Rather than putting blinders on and 'powering through,' move more slowly and deliberately, and stay in connection with friends and loved ones," Ohito advises. That way, you won't have to experience the massive spectrum of feels alone. "Remember that emotions are meant to be felt and that they are never permanent," says certified holistic wellness coach Kama Hagar. It's OK to go through the entire spectrum of feels. "Normalize the ebbs and flows as well as the deeper emotions that are settling in right now." Whether you journal, confide in a trusted friend, chat with your therapist, meditate on particular feelings, or something else entirely, Hagar tells Bustle that it's important to give yourself permission to tune everything else out. "Let yourself reset — even as you squirm and find even just a glimmer of peace of mind. You not only deserve it, but you need it."

05:50

4 Feb 21

Combatting COVID On Film & TV Sets Is Even Harder Than It Sounds

In mid-December, Tom Cruise made headlines for screaming at the crew of the new Mission Impossible movie for violating COVID guidelines on set. “If I see you doing it again, you’re f*cking gone!” he warned two crew members standing too closely together during leaked audio captured of the rant. He then turned his attention to the entire production, calling on everyone to achieve a “gold standard” and set an example for the industry. “If we shut down it’s going to cost people f*cking jobs, their home, their family. That’s what’s happening.” That “gold standard,” however, is even harder to maintain than it sounds. Just ask Demerie Danielson, a COVID compliance officer (CCO) who worked as a nurse before joining a company that works with productions like Netflix and Amazon to ensure safety on set. “It's something unlike anything I've done before,” she says. “As cliché as it sounds, you can't do this job if you're doing it just for a paycheck.” The job itself is loosely defined, usually requiring only the completion of a two-hour course. The title varies — COVID manager, Infection Prevention Coordinator — as do the specific protocols. But the general structure is the same. Danielson’s days often start the night before filming, when she’ll prepare PPE kits and confirm scheduling for how regularly the cast and crew are getting tested. She then shows up a “good two, three hours prior” to call time to ensure that everyone gets properly screened in time for work. She and the other CCOs will huddle with the crew to go over what’s expected for the day in terms of shooting as well as coronavirus news, like the latest local numbers and trends or any new medical advances. From there, CCOs monitor every aspect of the production for proper safety, including testing, making sure everyone has their protective equipment on, sanitizing between scenes, and maintaining the proper occupancy for the square footage. After production wraps, CCOs stick around to disinfect and clean before going home to start prepping for the next day. It’s an overwhelming job, and one that only gets more complicated depending on where the production is shooting. Some standing sets can be manipulated so that what looks like a closed room can still allow for airflow. But if a production is constantly moving locations or filming on-site, a lot more planning is required to scout places with COVID protocols in mind. By far the biggest challenge is the severity of the responsibility. "I've seen one person in my time [miss their testing day] and try to come in the next day thinking, You know, I’ll just slip through the cracks. There's so many people. And that's not the case. It's our job to stay on top of that," Danielson says. "We've had to send people home and they’ve had to re-onboard [to] make sure they're safe to join the set again. We are the first essential layer of support, so [if anything goes wrong], it definitely falls back on us." That's not to say they're without help. Danielson says on-set medics and health and safety managers have been vital in assisting with temperature checks and arranging travel for the cast. Yes, people still try to flout guidelines, and there are times when tempers flare. "Some of [these people] have been [working in film] forever and we're coming into their space and we're changing everything up and giving them a new way of doing it," Danielson says. "I've definitely seen people get angry." But while their work doesn’t prevent outbreaks entirely, Danielson is happy to note that most of the people she works with take her role seriously. “I think for the most part people have been very good at adapting," she says, adding that in her experience, encountering people on set who don't want to wear masks or PPE is rare. On the hard days — which are not infrequent — she values having other CCOs to turn to for support. “You work a lot. And I think it's nice to have someone who understands not only preparation, but [also that] being on set sometimes people are not exactly happy to see the COVID compliance officer," Danielson says. “I became a nurse to help people, that was my goal ... So I try to just keep in mind that although it’s a lot of time dedicated to this specific position, it’s not everlasting. But the footprint that I’ll make hopefully will be.”

Combatting COVID On Film & TV Sets Is Even Harder Than It Sounds

In mid-December, Tom Cruise made headlines for screaming at the crew of the new Mission Impossible movie for violating COVID guidelines on set. “If I see you doing it again, you’re f*cking gone!” he warned two crew members standing too closely together during leaked audio captured of the rant. He then turned his attention to the entire production, calling on everyone to achieve a “gold standard” and set an example for the industry. “If we shut down it’s going to cost people f*cking jobs, their home, their family. That’s what’s happening.” That “gold standard,” however, is even harder to maintain than it sounds. Just ask Demerie Danielson, a COVID compliance officer (CCO) who worked as a nurse before joining a company that works with productions like Netflix and Amazon to ensure safety on set. “It's something unlike anything I've done before,” she says. “As cliché as it sounds, you can't do this job if you're doing it just for a paycheck.” The job itself is loosely defined, usually requiring only the completion of a two-hour course. The title varies — COVID manager, Infection Prevention Coordinator — as do the specific protocols. But the general structure is the same. Danielson’s days often start the night before filming, when she’ll prepare PPE kits and confirm scheduling for how regularly the cast and crew are getting tested. She then shows up a “good two, three hours prior” to call time to ensure that everyone gets properly screened in time for work. She and the other CCOs will huddle with the crew to go over what’s expected for the day in terms of shooting as well as coronavirus news, like the latest local numbers and trends or any new medical advances. From there, CCOs monitor every aspect of the production for proper safety, including testing, making sure everyone has their protective equipment on, sanitizing between scenes, and maintaining the proper occupancy for the square footage. After production wraps, CCOs stick around to disinfect and clean before going home to start prepping for the next day. It’s an overwhelming job, and one that only gets more complicated depending on where the production is shooting. Some standing sets can be manipulated so that what looks like a closed room can still allow for airflow. But if a production is constantly moving locations or filming on-site, a lot more planning is required to scout places with COVID protocols in mind. By far the biggest challenge is the severity of the responsibility. "I've seen one person in my time [miss their testing day] and try to come in the next day thinking, You know, I’ll just slip through the cracks. There's so many people. And that's not the case. It's our job to stay on top of that," Danielson says. "We've had to send people home and they’ve had to re-onboard [to] make sure they're safe to join the set again. We are the first essential layer of support, so [if anything goes wrong], it definitely falls back on us." That's not to say they're without help. Danielson says on-set medics and health and safety managers have been vital in assisting with temperature checks and arranging travel for the cast. Yes, people still try to flout guidelines, and there are times when tempers flare. "Some of [these people] have been [working in film] forever and we're coming into their space and we're changing everything up and giving them a new way of doing it," Danielson says. "I've definitely seen people get angry." But while their work doesn’t prevent outbreaks entirely, Danielson is happy to note that most of the people she works with take her role seriously. “I think for the most part people have been very good at adapting," she says, adding that in her experience, encountering people on set who don't want to wear masks or PPE is rare. On the hard days — which are not infrequent — she values having other CCOs to turn to for support. “You work a lot. And I think it's nice to have someone who understands not only preparation, but [also that] being on set sometimes people are not exactly happy to see the COVID compliance officer," Danielson says. “I became a nurse to help people, that was my goal ... So I try to just keep in mind that although it’s a lot of time dedicated to this specific position, it’s not everlasting. But the footprint that I’ll make hopefully will be.”

05:15

3 Feb 21

Celebrating Black Leaders, Quietly Fearing Violence

And Wednesday’s inauguration was peaceful. Thank goodness. An uncomplicated transition of power in which now-President Joe Biden addressed the nation saying, “Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.” There were echoes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the benediction led by Reverend Silvester Beaman and poem “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman, a fitting reminder that our country celebrated the work of King two days prior. If Monday’s MLK Day had a theme, it was to undo the Dr. King of white America. On social media, Black people posted quotes, and clips from speeches, to offset the myth that King was a passive man whose only dream was to see his kids grow up judged “by the content of their character.” White people love that quote. Especially racists. They love to lob it back at us in order to say our empowerment denigrates the story of our most venerable Negro. As if lobbying and organizing, protesting and policymaking, played no part in King’s agenda. They treat the holiday as a day of white comfort, posting platitudes about nonviolence. “Dear White People,” the Black internet said with resounding clarity, “Stop using Dr. King as an example of peaceful protest. You shot him too.” When King died in 1968, he was one of the most powerful men in America — and the most hated. In the words of his daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King, “many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice would likely hate, and may already hate” the man he authentically was. Growing up, MLK Day was a reminder that Black people who spoke out in America risked being silenced by violence. “Oh that poor man,” my mom said as we watched the news together back in 2000, the day Colin Powell announced his possible presidential run as a representative of the Republican Party, “that poor man is going to be shot.” My mother was 14 when King was murdered, and had seen her own father murdered the previous year. She couldn’t imagine a world in which a Black man could run for president and survive it. I was living in Harlem during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration. I didn’t go out and celebrate, in part because I was afraid I wouldn’t get back home alive. My years of growing up as a Black American, a Kentuckian, had convinced me that if there was ever a time for white supremacists to declare war upon our joy — upon our gorgeous, ebullient hopefulness — that day would be it. I was wrong. About the day. But not the next eight years. The relentless tallying of Black people killed at the hand of the police, a permissible, pervasive Black death in my social news feed, sent me into deep waves of despair. They weren’t going to shoot the first Black president — the most powerful man in America. They were going to shoot all the rest of us, all of us Black people who weren’t. When President Trump was sworn in, on a platform of racism, fascism, and hatefulness, with white people rallying behind him, I stayed in bed most of that day. I called in sick. I went into the office the next day, seeing in my colleagues not people but percentages, knowing more than half of white America was comforted by his presence in the Oval Office. “We must face the hard fact that many Americans would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over Black Americans,” Dr. King said in 1967. His words could not have been more evident for me than on the day that 45 took office. Except for, perhaps, on the day that white supremacists stormed the Capitol earlier this month. Again the lives of those who rally for freedom were in grave danger, especially progressive women of color. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a “very close encounter” with death, and feared her Republican colleagues might “create opportunities for [her] to be hurt or kidnapped.” While attempting to gather gas masks and flee for safety, Rep. Ayanna Pressley realized that, in the time leading up to the insurrection, every panic button in her office had been torn out. But I wasn’t filled with terror as I watched a riotous mob of white people desecrate Capitol Hill. I was filled with a strange happiness. I was a witness to an undeniable spectacle of how impotent America has grown in its brutality. That Trump supporters would resort to anti-democratic violence to dampen the voice of the oppressed made it clear that, as King put it: “…the price that America must pay for the continued oppression of the Negro and other minority groups is the price of its own destruction.” Those who oppose freedom oppose America, and they will not be on the right side of history. Poet Amanda Gorman laid this out so elegantly in her inaugural poem: “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated." When President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in yesterday, I can’t say I felt this fight was over, but I can say I felt deep relief. The fight is different now than I believed it to be in 2000, in 2009, in 2017 — or even on Jan. 6, 2021. It’s not about protecting ourselves from white supremacy. It’s about stopping it. As Dr. King put it in his oft-misquoted “I Have a Dream" speech, we are coming to cash our check. Yes — Dr. King said, CASH OUR CHECK. That promissory note that all Americans would be granted the inalienable rights of liberty; “a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” We did that thing. We showed up this year to America the (voter) bank and demanded it show us a democracy. And we’re not gonna stop until that check is paid in full.

Celebrating Black Leaders, Quietly Fearing Violence

And Wednesday’s inauguration was peaceful. Thank goodness. An uncomplicated transition of power in which now-President Joe Biden addressed the nation saying, “Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.” There were echoes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the benediction led by Reverend Silvester Beaman and poem “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman, a fitting reminder that our country celebrated the work of King two days prior. If Monday’s MLK Day had a theme, it was to undo the Dr. King of white America. On social media, Black people posted quotes, and clips from speeches, to offset the myth that King was a passive man whose only dream was to see his kids grow up judged “by the content of their character.” White people love that quote. Especially racists. They love to lob it back at us in order to say our empowerment denigrates the story of our most venerable Negro. As if lobbying and organizing, protesting and policymaking, played no part in King’s agenda. They treat the holiday as a day of white comfort, posting platitudes about nonviolence. “Dear White People,” the Black internet said with resounding clarity, “Stop using Dr. King as an example of peaceful protest. You shot him too.” When King died in 1968, he was one of the most powerful men in America — and the most hated. In the words of his daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King, “many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice would likely hate, and may already hate” the man he authentically was. Growing up, MLK Day was a reminder that Black people who spoke out in America risked being silenced by violence. “Oh that poor man,” my mom said as we watched the news together back in 2000, the day Colin Powell announced his possible presidential run as a representative of the Republican Party, “that poor man is going to be shot.” My mother was 14 when King was murdered, and had seen her own father murdered the previous year. She couldn’t imagine a world in which a Black man could run for president and survive it. I was living in Harlem during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration. I didn’t go out and celebrate, in part because I was afraid I wouldn’t get back home alive. My years of growing up as a Black American, a Kentuckian, had convinced me that if there was ever a time for white supremacists to declare war upon our joy — upon our gorgeous, ebullient hopefulness — that day would be it. I was wrong. About the day. But not the next eight years. The relentless tallying of Black people killed at the hand of the police, a permissible, pervasive Black death in my social news feed, sent me into deep waves of despair. They weren’t going to shoot the first Black president — the most powerful man in America. They were going to shoot all the rest of us, all of us Black people who weren’t. When President Trump was sworn in, on a platform of racism, fascism, and hatefulness, with white people rallying behind him, I stayed in bed most of that day. I called in sick. I went into the office the next day, seeing in my colleagues not people but percentages, knowing more than half of white America was comforted by his presence in the Oval Office. “We must face the hard fact that many Americans would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over Black Americans,” Dr. King said in 1967. His words could not have been more evident for me than on the day that 45 took office. Except for, perhaps, on the day that white supremacists stormed the Capitol earlier this month. Again the lives of those who rally for freedom were in grave danger, especially progressive women of color. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a “very close encounter” with death, and feared her Republican colleagues might “create opportunities for [her] to be hurt or kidnapped.” While attempting to gather gas masks and flee for safety, Rep. Ayanna Pressley realized that, in the time leading up to the insurrection, every panic button in her office had been torn out. But I wasn’t filled with terror as I watched a riotous mob of white people desecrate Capitol Hill. I was filled with a strange happiness. I was a witness to an undeniable spectacle of how impotent America has grown in its brutality. That Trump supporters would resort to anti-democratic violence to dampen the voice of the oppressed made it clear that, as King put it: “…the price that America must pay for the continued oppression of the Negro and other minority groups is the price of its own destruction.” Those who oppose freedom oppose America, and they will not be on the right side of history. Poet Amanda Gorman laid this out so elegantly in her inaugural poem: “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated." When President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in yesterday, I can’t say I felt this fight was over, but I can say I felt deep relief. The fight is different now than I believed it to be in 2000, in 2009, in 2017 — or even on Jan. 6, 2021. It’s not about protecting ourselves from white supremacy. It’s about stopping it. As Dr. King put it in his oft-misquoted “I Have a Dream" speech, we are coming to cash our check. Yes — Dr. King said, CASH OUR CHECK. That promissory note that all Americans would be granted the inalienable rights of liberty; “a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” We did that thing. We showed up this year to America the (voter) bank and demanded it show us a democracy. And we’re not gonna stop until that check is paid in full.

06:39

2 Feb 21

The KHive, Kamala Harris’ Online Fan Club, Is Ready For Their VP

On the November day that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election victory was called, Harini Krishnan’s teenage daughter pulled a classic Gen Z move: She took out her phone, aimed it at Mom, and started recording. Krishnan, a Democratic organizer who helped lead Biden’s Bay Area campaign, felt the win viscerally. In the video, her voice is small, almost tender — a departure from the strong, determined tone she used at campaign events. It’s as if, for the first time in almost two years of battling trolls, hate, and disinformation, she's allowing herself to be vulnerable. “I can’t tell you what this feels like,” says Krishnan in the video, heaving through sobs. Krishnan, who turns 48 on Inauguration Day, has a miles-long CV. She is a 2020 Democratic National Convention delegate, a California Democratic Party Platform Committee member, and a national grassroots organizing lead for South Asians for Biden. But, she says, the title she's proudest to bear is an unofficial one: She’s a member of the KHive, Vice President Kamala Harris' de facto corps of supporters. Like many online-borne movements, the #KHive hashtag's origin is disputed. Vox credits a 29-year-old attorney, Eric Chavous, who first tweeted it in 2017, inspired by Beyoncé’s “Beyhive.” Daily Dot cites MSNBC anchor Joy Reid. Many KHive members attribute it to activist Bianca Delarosa, who lists “founder of KHive,” in her Twitter bio. (A few weeks after the Vox article credited Chavous, Delarosa, who's been accused of online harassment, tweeted, “Okay, I, Bianca Delarosa, started KHive. It wasn't some random dude.”) Thus, in true modern fashion — with an origin story contested on Twitter — a movement was born. I’ve spent the past few weeks talking to members of the KHive, like Krishnan. The group lives across social media, and particularly on Twitter. Last fall, HuffPost estimated the group included around 60,000 people. What’s unique about the members I've spoken with is how their initial purpose has evolved. Now, rather than just being Harris' hype machine, they see themselves as her first line of defense against the rumor mill. “I've always said [that] the KHive is a very scrappy bunch,” says Reecie Colbert, who's in her 30s. “It's scrappy because there's such a massive amount of disinformation about Kamala.” In 2018, Colbert, a D.C. financial analyst, started Instagram and Twitter accounts with the handle @BlackWomenViews to lift up stories about Black women in the news. She focused heavily on politics: Black candidates, Black lawmakers, Black activists. The California senator was an obvious subject. The following year, during the Democratic primaries, both Krishnan and Colbert noticed how Harris faced increased and often contradictory scrutiny compared to her competitors. President Donald Trump called her “unlikeable” and a “monster,” siccing his followers on her. He said she was so far left of Bernie Sanders that she was a communist. Meanwhile, Sanders supporters crucified her for being a part of the Democratic establishment and not progressive enough. This double standard drove Colbert to start collecting receipts. “The frustrating thing is a lot of the negative opinions that are formed about Kamala are based on disinformation and misinformation,” she says. “They’re not actually based on facts.” She started replying to individual Twitter trolls who posted hateful or misleading claims. The people badgered on. Then, she began writing lengthy Twitter threads addressing common false narratives, using news articles, video interviews, and lists of bills on the Senate website. (She still responds to trolls occasionally, albeit with something quick, like a “Fcuk off.”) This documentarian persistence isn’t unique to her, she says. It’s a trademark of the KHive. “You’re going to see receipts,” she says. The driving reason that Harris continues to be so distinctly scrutinized from all sides, Krishnan argues, is due to her hyphenated identity. “She has that triple whammy — she is a woman, a woman of color, and a Black woman,” she says. (Last summer, after Harris was announced as Biden's running mate, Facebook and Amazon removed memes and merchandise that featured racist, sexist, and graphic content targeting her.) In response, her supporters come from different racial, gender, and ethnic backgrounds, building an intersectional community. “All of these people took on the mantle of fighting disinformation and misogynoir on social media,” says Krishnan, who's Indian American. “That's how it started, but then [the name] became a badge. It became a term for an extended family of Kamala Harris supporters.” Some of those friendships have extended into real life. Others plan to meet after the pandemic for in-person celebrations. Krishnan watched the 2020 election returns in New Jersey with KHive comrades. "We gathered at the TV Asia headquarters," she says. "[We'd] all flown in from different places. ... And in a socially distanced manner, we sat in chairs apart from each other. These people had become my extended family. I'd never met [them] before." On Jan. 20, when Harris took her oath of office at the inauguration, she became the first woman, the first woman of color, the first Black woman, and the first South Asian woman to be vice president. She’s also the first stepmom in the role, the first “Momala.” To Courtney Phillips, co-founder of the grassroots organization Mamas for Kamala, Harris’ motherhood emphasizes another way in which she’s intersectional. “There are so many things about who she is that ruffle the feathers of people who have a traditional view of what a politician should be, what a president should be, what a woman should be,” says Phillips, a white 33-year-old, who joined the KHive in 2017. As the mother of a 5-year-old daughter, she’d heard rigid expectations in parenting communities. The attacks about Harris’ parenting started to sound familiar. “It feels personal,” the North Carolina resident says. Throughout our conversations, I have one nagging question: Harris will be second in command to the most scrutinized office in the world. How will the KHive judge her politics, especially when she, inevitably, has to make unpopular decisions? Phillips is confident she won’t disappoint them. “We trust whatever she's going to do,” she says. “If she says something, we're on board with it.” Krishnan echoes that same unwavering trust: “She's going to be a voice for social justice, so we're in it for the long run, whatever that is.” Krishnan has to cut our interview short, as she has to prepare for another phone call. Kamala Harris, she tells me, is calling.

The KHive, Kamala Harris’ Online Fan Club, Is Ready For Their VP

On the November day that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election victory was called, Harini Krishnan’s teenage daughter pulled a classic Gen Z move: She took out her phone, aimed it at Mom, and started recording. Krishnan, a Democratic organizer who helped lead Biden’s Bay Area campaign, felt the win viscerally. In the video, her voice is small, almost tender — a departure from the strong, determined tone she used at campaign events. It’s as if, for the first time in almost two years of battling trolls, hate, and disinformation, she's allowing herself to be vulnerable. “I can’t tell you what this feels like,” says Krishnan in the video, heaving through sobs. Krishnan, who turns 48 on Inauguration Day, has a miles-long CV. She is a 2020 Democratic National Convention delegate, a California Democratic Party Platform Committee member, and a national grassroots organizing lead for South Asians for Biden. But, she says, the title she's proudest to bear is an unofficial one: She’s a member of the KHive, Vice President Kamala Harris' de facto corps of supporters. Like many online-borne movements, the #KHive hashtag's origin is disputed. Vox credits a 29-year-old attorney, Eric Chavous, who first tweeted it in 2017, inspired by Beyoncé’s “Beyhive.” Daily Dot cites MSNBC anchor Joy Reid. Many KHive members attribute it to activist Bianca Delarosa, who lists “founder of KHive,” in her Twitter bio. (A few weeks after the Vox article credited Chavous, Delarosa, who's been accused of online harassment, tweeted, “Okay, I, Bianca Delarosa, started KHive. It wasn't some random dude.”) Thus, in true modern fashion — with an origin story contested on Twitter — a movement was born. I’ve spent the past few weeks talking to members of the KHive, like Krishnan. The group lives across social media, and particularly on Twitter. Last fall, HuffPost estimated the group included around 60,000 people. What’s unique about the members I've spoken with is how their initial purpose has evolved. Now, rather than just being Harris' hype machine, they see themselves as her first line of defense against the rumor mill. “I've always said [that] the KHive is a very scrappy bunch,” says Reecie Colbert, who's in her 30s. “It's scrappy because there's such a massive amount of disinformation about Kamala.” In 2018, Colbert, a D.C. financial analyst, started Instagram and Twitter accounts with the handle @BlackWomenViews to lift up stories about Black women in the news. She focused heavily on politics: Black candidates, Black lawmakers, Black activists. The California senator was an obvious subject. The following year, during the Democratic primaries, both Krishnan and Colbert noticed how Harris faced increased and often contradictory scrutiny compared to her competitors. President Donald Trump called her “unlikeable” and a “monster,” siccing his followers on her. He said she was so far left of Bernie Sanders that she was a communist. Meanwhile, Sanders supporters crucified her for being a part of the Democratic establishment and not progressive enough. This double standard drove Colbert to start collecting receipts. “The frustrating thing is a lot of the negative opinions that are formed about Kamala are based on disinformation and misinformation,” she says. “They’re not actually based on facts.” She started replying to individual Twitter trolls who posted hateful or misleading claims. The people badgered on. Then, she began writing lengthy Twitter threads addressing common false narratives, using news articles, video interviews, and lists of bills on the Senate website. (She still responds to trolls occasionally, albeit with something quick, like a “Fcuk off.”) This documentarian persistence isn’t unique to her, she says. It’s a trademark of the KHive. “You’re going to see receipts,” she says. The driving reason that Harris continues to be so distinctly scrutinized from all sides, Krishnan argues, is due to her hyphenated identity. “She has that triple whammy — she is a woman, a woman of color, and a Black woman,” she says. (Last summer, after Harris was announced as Biden's running mate, Facebook and Amazon removed memes and merchandise that featured racist, sexist, and graphic content targeting her.) In response, her supporters come from different racial, gender, and ethnic backgrounds, building an intersectional community. “All of these people took on the mantle of fighting disinformation and misogynoir on social media,” says Krishnan, who's Indian American. “That's how it started, but then [the name] became a badge. It became a term for an extended family of Kamala Harris supporters.” Some of those friendships have extended into real life. Others plan to meet after the pandemic for in-person celebrations. Krishnan watched the 2020 election returns in New Jersey with KHive comrades. "We gathered at the TV Asia headquarters," she says. "[We'd] all flown in from different places. ... And in a socially distanced manner, we sat in chairs apart from each other. These people had become my extended family. I'd never met [them] before." On Jan. 20, when Harris took her oath of office at the inauguration, she became the first woman, the first woman of color, the first Black woman, and the first South Asian woman to be vice president. She’s also the first stepmom in the role, the first “Momala.” To Courtney Phillips, co-founder of the grassroots organization Mamas for Kamala, Harris’ motherhood emphasizes another way in which she’s intersectional. “There are so many things about who she is that ruffle the feathers of people who have a traditional view of what a politician should be, what a president should be, what a woman should be,” says Phillips, a white 33-year-old, who joined the KHive in 2017. As the mother of a 5-year-old daughter, she’d heard rigid expectations in parenting communities. The attacks about Harris’ parenting started to sound familiar. “It feels personal,” the North Carolina resident says. Throughout our conversations, I have one nagging question: Harris will be second in command to the most scrutinized office in the world. How will the KHive judge her politics, especially when she, inevitably, has to make unpopular decisions? Phillips is confident she won’t disappoint them. “We trust whatever she's going to do,” she says. “If she says something, we're on board with it.” Krishnan echoes that same unwavering trust: “She's going to be a voice for social justice, so we're in it for the long run, whatever that is.” Krishnan has to cut our interview short, as she has to prepare for another phone call. Kamala Harris, she tells me, is calling.

07:31

1 Feb 21

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