The Escapologist Cocktail Bar, London, England
Today’s Lounge is hosting a meeting of the coven, kittens! Bring your wands and spellbooks! Let’s change this timeline into one we like better! Or we could just, y’know, drink and bitch about things all day. That’s kind of reality-altering. In its own way.
Today is WEDNESDAY. There’s light on the horizon.
Perhaps we will make pancakes this morning in celebration of Aunt Jemima’s retiring (although we haven’t had any of her dyed corn syrup or just-add-water nonsense in years). There was an eruption on social media yesterday when a whole bunch of people learned at once about the racism and stereotyping underling her imagery and it was an eye-opening moment. These things need to keep being reiterated generation after generation because we keep willfully forgetting. Quaker Foods was very diligent about trying to update her image over the years, but at the end of the day, you can’t “update” the mammy stereotype that birthed her nor can you erase the history of how the character was developed. It’s true that getting rid of her erases one of the few advertising mascots with a Black face, but considering how all Black advertising mascots, from Uncle Ben to “Rastus,” the guy on the Cream of Wheat box who was actually a chef named Frank L. White, are based in either slavery tropes or racist stereotyping, an industry-wide rethink is in order. Somehow, Betty Crocker, Mrs. Butterworth, the Brawny paper towel guy and Mr. Clean all manage to exist without referencing harmful stereotypes. And if you think we’re “losing history” by getting rid of racist advertising mascots or taking down statues of slave-owners, you’re only telling the world you don’t read books or go to museums. And that’s that on that.
In other news, we have a lovely Menu of Distractions for you today, if you don’t feel like talking about pancake syrup:
The Emmys Are On and Jimmy Kimmel Will Be Back
This year’s Cannes Film Festival was cancelled, the Tony Awards have been postponed indefinitely and the Oscars have been pushed back two months. But it looks like the 2020 Emmys will go on as scheduled.
Will it be a live or virtual event? Who knows? All that seems certain is that Jimmy Kimmel will be back for the third time as host. “I don’t know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it and I am hosting it,” the late-night talk show host said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The #VogueChallenge Is More Than a Hashtag
If you’ve opened up social media this week, you’re likely to have seen a slew of new Vogue “covers.” They might feature your neighbor, co-worker, or the art student next door. The DIY front pages stem from the #VogueChallenge, a viral endeavor that reimagines what the glossies they mimic could be. The content offers a peek at photographers on the rise, aspiring models, and anyone willing to open up Photoshop and have a little fun. The faux-covers envision Vogues from countries yet to have an imprint, a range of cover subjects more diverse than anything fashion has attempted thus far, and a wealth of painting and illustration. While this isn’t the first time people have taken it upon themselves to create their versions of existing magazines—the early aughts saw similar undertakings on online forums like The Fashion Spot and Livejournal communities—this specifically highlights creators who were historically excluded from the conversation.
8 Black Artists on Life in America Right Now
The Artist Statements project is an ever-evolving creative tribute to the joys—and the sorrows—of Black American life. At a powerful moment of reckoning both across the country and around the world, it serves as a living document, regularly reflecting inspired new imagery and texts from leading Black contemporary artists.
The Prints by Black Women Artists Your Walls Have Been Missing
You’re going to need a lot of Command strips for this haul.
If you, like me, are always on the hunt for your next great art find, you’ve come to the right place. While it’s fun now and then to hop on a trendy home decor website, pick a basic print, and be on your way, I’d argue there’s no better feeling than buying a meaningful piece by an up-and-coming creative to support the person who created it. In light of the current protests going on in our country, it’s important to commit yourself to investing in Black creatives, now and always. Ahead, 16 Black female artists whose talents range from mixed media to graphic design. Get ready to make some more room on your walls; I know I am.
“Comedy Loosens You up for the Other Feelings”: The Divine Contradictions of Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei built her career turning the characters audiences are most likely to overlook into the characters who are impossible to ignore. A single mother trapped in an abusive relationship. A cash-strapped exotic dancer struggling to quit the trade. Brooklyn’s foremost expert in automotive knowledge and tire tracks. And those are just the parts that have earned Tomei Oscar nominations. “Usually you get a blueprint, particularly with female roles, and you fill it in,” Tomei says matter-of-factly. “You fill it in as much as you can so that it’s a full-dimensional person.”
Michelle Obama’s Fashion Evolution in Over 100 Looks
In case you’ve missed it, is not playing any games when it comes to her style. My forever First Lady has been serving up jaw-dropping looks back-to-back while promoting her book Becoming. I’m still trying to catch my breath after seeing her hit the stage with Sarah Jessica Parker wearing . And I’ll never forget how classy she looked in that white suit with . Both are very trendy looks that caught me a little off guard, to be honest.
But Michelle’s style hasn’t always leaned towards the trendy side. Remember when Barack was in office? While in the White House, Michelle stuck to timeless closet staples, but now we’re getting a chance to see her experiment more, showing off her personality through her outfit choices. And I’m here for it.
See exactly how Michelle Obama’s style has evolved by taking a look back at her best fashion moments over the years.
Striking Portraits of America’s Most Legendary Drag Queens
An ongoing photo series honors the art form’s true pioneers during Pride Month and beyond.
It’s queer icons like these that Harry Hanson and Devin Antheus seek to recognize and capture in their ongoing photo series, Legends of Drag. Featuring striking, high-drama photos alongside captivating interviews, the project highlights drag elders from all over the country who were instrumental in securing rights for today’s queer community and championing the art of drag. From Darcelle XV, the oldest working drag queen at age 89, to Donna Personna, who participated in the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco, each queen has an extraordinary story to tell.
So You Want to Be a Socially Distanced Orchestra
Here is music that could safely be played by a reduced symphonic ensemble.
Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” might not be a great idea. Schoenberg’s “Gurrelieder,” with 150 instrumentalists and even more singers? Ditto. As the pandemic endures, much of the attention in resuming the performing arts has been on the size and density of audiences. But symphony orchestras are often just as packed onstage as in their auditoriums. If concerts are to go forward with social distancing restrictions in place, they will have to include not just fewer listeners, but also fewer players.
[Photo Credit: finchinteriors.co.uk]