PAPERhttp://www.82628789.com/PAPERen-usSat, 20 Oct 2018 02:09:04 +0000https://assets.rbl.ms/17461748/210x.pnghttp://www.82628789.com/PAPERPlay It AND Spray It: Massive Attack Made Their Album 'Mezzanine' Into DNA Painthttp://www.82628789.com/massive-attack-dna-paint-2613708187.html

UK electronic act and trip-hop pioneers, Massive Attack, are currently in the midst of celebrating their landmark album, Mezzanine's, 20th anniversary and while most conventional bands would capitalize on such an achievement by going on tour or put out a special re-release of the album to mark the occasion, Massive Attack is far from conventional.

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In a press release, the group announced that they would be reissuing Mezzanine as DNA spray paint. Using cutting edge technology to encode the information of the album onto strands of DNA, Mezzanine is the second largest file to be encoded in this method. After being transcribed into strands of nucleic acid, the album is then encapsulated in microscopic glass spheres to be able to be mixed in with the paint. Available in "matt black," each can of spray paint contains roughly one million copies of the album.

Related | Riccardo Tisci Shows His Inaugural Collection For Burberry

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The decision to mix the DNA encoded album into spray paint probably arises from Massive Attack's co-founder Robert "3D" Del Naja's background as a graffiti artist in Bristol before forming the band. There was even a rumor once that Del Naja was the secret identity of infamous British street artist Banksy.

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"It's a creative way to store your back catalogue," says Del Naja. "Although DNA-encoded spray paint is unlikely to be adopted by street artists seeking anonymity."

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Photo via Instagram

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Sat, 20 Oct 2018 02:09:04 +0000http://www.82628789.com/massive-attack-dna-paint-2613708187.htmlMezzanineGraffitiMerchUnconventional merchReissueRemasterAerosolDnaSpraypaintTrip hopBanksyMassive attackMatt Moen
Lauryn Hill and Woolrich Are Here to Keep You Warmhttp://www.82628789.com/lauryn-hill-woolrich-2613684377.html

Listening to Lauryn Hill can be like a soothing balm, wrapped in the warm embrace of the iconic hip-hop legend's lullaby-like croons. As temperatures start to dive and extra blankets get added to your bed it can be all too easy to just stay home, drink some hot cocoa and cozy up with your favorite records on repeat. Luckily thanks to Woolrich and Lauryn Hill herself, you can now take all that warmth with you and do it in style.

Related | Lauryn Hill Played A Perfect Set At NYFW Last Night

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Woolrich and Lauryn Hill have come together for a limited release capsule collection of coats designed by Hill herself. Featuring collages of album art from Hill's discography that have been screen-printed onto some of Woolrich's most iconic silhouettes. Woolrich is also quick to point out the little known fact that Hill is a talented designer in her own right having made and sewn her own clothes for the past five years. Hill brought over 30 sketches for jackets to the collaboration, covering all aspects from concept to materials to the logos used.

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Ms. Lauryn Hill x Woolrich will be available starting October 20th online and in Woolrich stores. The coats range in price from $2300-$3300 with proceeds going to benefit the MLH Foundation which supports community building iniatives and development throughout the Diaspora. Watch a behind the scenes look at Hill's photoshoot with Woolrich below:

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Photo Courtesy of Woolrich

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Sat, 20 Oct 2018 01:16:05 +0000http://www.82628789.com/lauryn-hill-woolrich-2613684377.htmlThe miseducation of lauryn hillHip hopMusicCoatsWoolrichWinterJacketsCapsuleCollaborationLauryn hillMatt Moen
Pat McGrath Is Giving the Gift of Glam This Holidayhttp://www.82628789.com/pat-mcgrath-holiday-2613676259.html

Pat McGrath Labs has officially announced their 2018 Holiday Collection, featuring luxurious, limited edition eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks. "When it comes to the holiday season, for me, it's all about adornment" McGrath says. This collection is hotter than ever, starring seductive shades in deep jewel tones paired with a substantial mixture of metallic and mattes.

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Mother McGrath covertly debuted this collection on the runway this Fashion Month, from Valentino to Versace and Chloe.

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The 2018 Holiday Collection presents a trio of new MTHRSHP Eye Palettes wrapped in signature baroque packaging ranging from aquamarine, ruby, and pink sapphire. From sparkling emerald to metallic blue and matte browns, these intensely pigmented shades are sure to show up on the deepest of skintones.

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McGrath says that she drew from her past collections with this new launch:

"My fellow Beauty Junkies are always asking me on Social Media to bring back some of our most legendary labs. However, instead of reissuing them, I felt the time was right to create three new palettes that take the provocative principles behind this captivating curation for Holiday Metalmorphosis 005, Dark Star 006 and MTHRSHP Bronze Ambition to the next level."

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In addition to the new eyeshadow palettes, Mother McGrath was inspired by glam icons like David Bowie to create a series of eight new glittering shades that she warns to "Use Without Caution." The new BlitzTrance lipsticks offer full-coverage, high-gloss with pearls and sparkling pigments and also celebrate past Pat McGrath Lab products such as the legendary #Lust004.

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Related | Pat McGrath and The MET Drop Another Collab

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"I wanted to take the sequined spirit of that Limited Edition Lab [#Lust004] and translate it into a seductively simple one-swipe application that empowers men and women elevate their opulence on-the-go," she says.

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McGrath also pairs the new 2018 Holiday Collection eyeshadow palettes with her timeless MatteTrance Lipstick in limited edition packaging. From "Christy" to "Elson," your favorite MatteTrance shades are matched by McGrath to effortlessly fuse eyes and lips this holiday season.

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Head over to patmcgrath.com, and get ready to shop.The Limited Edition Holiday Eye Palettes & Lipsticks are available now, and the new BlitzTrance Lipsticks will be available on October 25.

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Photos courtesy of Pat McGrath Labs


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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:25:17 +0000http://www.82628789.com/pat-mcgrath-holiday-2613676259.htmlPat mcgrathEthan Dspain
Chester Lockhart Wants You to Have a Very Gay Halloweenhttp://www.82628789.com/chester-lockhart-spell-on-you-2613662995.html

Traditionally Halloween has been devoted to all things creepy and scary. Skeletons, demon, zombies, werewolves, spiders, witches, and ghosts have always been spooky mainstays of the holiday, but the problem we seldom ever address is that they aren't very sexy. Sure, there's scores of "sexy" costumes for everything imaginable, but when was the last time you looked at Dracula and wondered if he was a good kisser? Never. Thankfully singer and performer, Chester Lockhart, is here to queer your All Hallow's Eve with his glamorous and seductive rendition of Nina Simone's classic "I Put A Spell On You."

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Related | The X-Rated Halloween Zine Will Make You Scream

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Full of demonic drag queens and spooky backup dancers surrounded by a carnival of looks-serving ghouls, "Spell On You" is like a number from Rocky Horror Picture Show if it was even queerer and more stylish. Lockhart manages to walk the fine line between unsettling and alluring, bouncing between haunted house butler to devil to mummy recently escaped from an insane asylum in a way that is somehow effortless.

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We caught up with Lockhart ahead of the PAPER premiere of "Spell On You" to learn a little bit more about how it all came together:

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What inspired you to cover this particular song?

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The original song has always one of my all time favorite late night naked witch lip syncs I perform alone in my room. I wanted to put my gay and slightly vengeful yet sexy twist on it while getting my wild ghoulish friends to make cameos.

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How did the video for "Spell On You" come together?

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The video came together so last minute and as with all of my content I directed, produced, edited, styled, choreographed and produced / recorded the track myself. I'm so thrilled that I got to showcase a different side of the queer community by inviting some of the most diverse, seductive and scary succubi to serve dark glamour for the spooky season.

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What was the most memorable part of the filming process?

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Having one of the most interesting queens from The Boulet Brothers' Dragula, Distasterina, make a terrifying appearance was a a personal dream come true as well. Filming the video in just four hours was a gay haunted house fantasy.

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What did you hope to accomplish with the video?

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I hope to send a message that the LGBTQ world isn't all sparkles and sunshine all the time. You can be be a walking horror movie (but make it fashion).

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Photography: Alex Harper

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:11:39 +0000http://www.82628789.com/chester-lockhart-spell-on-you-2613662995.htmlBoulet brothersDragulaSpell on youLgbtqMusicVideoVideo premiereHalloweenSpookyRocky horrorDisasterinaMood killerChester lockhartMatt Moen
Avril Doesn't Think She Has 'Resting Bitch Voice'http://www.82628789.com/avril-lavine-billboard-profile-2613673770.html

We learned a lot about Avril Lavigne in her recent Billboard cover story. There's a sign that says "Wine! How classy people get wasted" hanging in her kitchen. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Yolanda Hadid is the person who helped her figure out that she had lyme disease, after doctors couldn't diagnose her. She thinks Shania Twain is hot. Her comeback single "Head Above Water" is charting on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs (the pop-punk icon is unphased).

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Related | Avril Lavigne Returns With an Angsty Piano Ballad

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She also went in depth about her struggle with Lyme disease, and made clear that it is what has kept her out of the spotlight: "She has to let us know she wasn't left behind by a market in which hip-hop has largely displaced traditional pop and rock. She wasn't over making music. She wasn't mourning her divorce. She was annihilated by an infection."

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However, following the profile, we also learned that she does not appreciate anyone saying that she has "resting bitch voice." In the profile, author Anna Peele wrote:

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"When Avril Lavigne is excited, her tone retains its say-something-nice-to-your-sister reluctance but adds exclamation points of shrieks and giggles. It appears that she (like me) simply has resting bitch voice."

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In an Instagram story, live Friday afternoon, Avril laughs with a friend in the car: "If I have resting bitch voice, does that mean I have resting bitch face?"

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"A little bit," her friend responded.

"Eh. At least I have a face and a voice. Look at the bright side, look at the positives." she adds.

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Her vocals were soulful and stunning on "Head Above Water." As for out of the studio... what do you think?

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Photo via Getty

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:02:54 +0000http://www.82628789.com/avril-lavine-billboard-profile-2613673770.htmlAvril lavignePop punkMusicBillboardJael Goldfine
Bops Only: 10 Songs You Need to Start Your Weekend Righthttp://www.82628789.com/bops-only-13591-2613626361.html

New Music Friday always promises a plethora of that good-good new-new from some of your favorite artists, maybe some long-awaited, maybe some tired, through, and delayed, and maybe some songs by a treasure trove of #whos you've never heard of before. We know. It's overwhelming! Thank the heavens PAPER is here help sift through the goodness, the garbage, and the noise, and bring you the best every Friday. We gotchu, sis. Let's bop to it!

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M? is back with her sophomore album Forever Neverland today, her first full-length since 2014's No Mythologies to Follow. As a whole, the new album builds on the Danish singer-songwriter's well-established cred as a melodic jukebox, full of nuanced singing, witty lyrics, knockout collaborations from fellow powerhouses Charli XCX to Empress Of, and hooks upon hooks galore. One such example is "Blur," which blends idiosyncratic production, including a blissful warped post-chorus synthline, with yes, a thousand hooks. The song explores the feeling of being lost in Los Angeles — creatively, personally, and otherwise — but, fortunately for all of us, "Blur" doesn't suffer from a sense of lack. M? instead imbues the song with enough emotion to feel personal, and enough allure to feel universal.

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Related | Danish Pop Star M? Talks Her New Single 'Nostalgia'

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Jessie Reyez, surely one of this generation's most electric young singers, releases her second EP today, Being Human In Public. It's a continuation of the strong themes introduced in Kiddo, an EP with dark, message-driven songs such as "Gatekeeper" and "Figures," but it's a greater evolution toward the light. Songs like the all-women "Body Count" and "Saint Nobody," which is an anthemic, beautifully sung tune about taking control of one's destiny, put Reyez, who has always authored her own career, more firmly position the driver's seat, goddess (and the rest of us) as her witness.

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Future and Juice WRLD dropped a new collaborative album today, merging both rapper-singers' distinctly melodic styles. "Transformer," a glitchy party jam that might make you feel superhuman shakes up the cloudy formula found on most of WRLD On Drugs, with an on-point collaboration with Nicki Minaj.

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Related | Break the Internet: Nicki Minaj

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Empress Of, the solo project of singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez, returns with sophomore album Us. It more squarely centers Rodriguez's pop-centric ear, with contributions from Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, DJDS, and Pional, and possesses an air of lightness. (It also features Rodriguez blending those smart pop melodies seamlessly with Spanish lyrics, incorporating more sonic elements for everyone to enjoy.) "I Don't Even Smoke Weed" is one of many smartly written, catchy standouts: while of course the title jumps out from the album's tracklist, it turns out that the song is more about "eating out the palm" of a lovers' hand, effectively comparing desire and relationship promises to cravings, like those 4am munchies some of y'all find yourself with on nights in (or out) before hitting the club (or before.)

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Dua Lipa drops "Kiss and Make Up" today, a surprise collaboration with K-pop girl group, Blackpink. And of course, it offers the best of both worlds: Dua's undeniable earworms and Blackpink's crossover star power. As a song, it's a simple, cute concept. Sometimes, all you need in life is a radio-pop kiss-and-make-up bop by the world's biggest and brightest. "Kiss and Make Up" is here for your pure enjoyment.

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Related | Dua Lipa Is Your New Favorite Pop Star

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Summer Walker, a promising new R&B singer, delivers her debut project, the cleverly-titled Last Day of Summer. But from taking a listen to the album, it's only just the beginning for Atlanta-based Walker. And she's off to a strong start: the songs throughout Summer are unfussy, lyrically honest, and heartfelt affairs. "CPR" is a great example of her gifts, as a cleverly written metaphor of desire, love, sex, and emotions within a relationship capable of resuscitating itself from darker times. Walker also sings it with unwavering passion, like a blast from past eras of soul singers, but pinch yourself; she's not from a dream. Summer Walker is here and now.

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We should all be well-versed by now in Khalid's school of witchcraft and harmony. The Texas-bred singer-songwriter's new EP Suncity is out today, and "Vertigo" is a shining example of why he's one of our most popular new talents currently breaking through to the masses. Those strings! That twisty melody! His voice, full of lovelorn wistfulness, as if he's lived on earth for double his 20 years! "Vertigo" is nearly five minutes of (delirious) heaven.

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Related | American Dream Teen Khalid Will Never Give Up

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Gus Dapperton releases "World Class Cinema" today, and it's an exercise in the singer's penchant for indie-flavored, R&B. But it sounds and feels like '80s nostalgia, you may discover. It's because in three minutes, Dapperton, from his voice to the song's grooves, are immersive enough to transport you the land of his eclectic influences.

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We've had our eye on Carlie Hanson, the Wisconsin teen who has had quite the breakout this year. "Toxins," out today, is a smart and super-catchy new entry into her confessional catalog. "No money in my jeans," and "take a ride inside your whip" are a couple of many lyrical quips encompassing the world of getting lost in and intoxicated by the whirlwind of new romance. Listening to Carlie Hanson is always like, "yes, I've been there." And "Toxins" is just another compelling reason why we're still following along.

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Related | Meet Carlie Hanson: 18-Year-Old Pop Star in the Making

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Tove Styrke captured our fascination with Sway, an impossible-to-resist mini-album of pop bangers with an emotive bleeding heart. "Vibe" further makes the case for Styrke's chops as a songwriter. "I thought we had a vibe" is a statement that doubles as part accusation, part self-questioning, especially when sung with melancholy. But whether you see yourself in "Vibe," or just enjoy it as the sugary pop confection it is, there's no denying this song carries its own frequency.

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Related | Tove Styrke Will 'Sway' Her Way Into Pop History

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What's your favorite track this week? See you next week, lovers!

Photography: Fryd Frydendah

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 21:40:35 +0000http://www.82628789.com/bops-only-13591-2613626361.htmlNew musicNew music fridayPopM?Finding neverlandJessie reyezFutureJuice wrldEmpress ofDua lipaBlackpinkSummer walkerKhalidGus dappertonCarlie hansonTove styrkeBops onlyMichael Love Michael
Did Bella Hadid Conquer Bangs?http://www.82628789.com/bella-hadid-bangs-1-2613644217.html

There comes a time in every woman's life when she'll come face to face with the question that women have asked themselves in times of crisis since the paleolithic era: Should I get bangs?

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The question creeps into the brain during moments of turmoil, because with bangs, come the seductive possibility of redemption and transformation — as well as the terror of ruin, which spiraling people can't properly judge the risk of, or they're so close to rock bottom that they're willing to throw it all away for their chance at an Anne Hathaway moment.

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Even those of us who know with unambiguous certainty that we would not and will never look good with the hairstyle have found ourselves willfully indulging the intrusive thought that it might make all of our problems go away, after watching a more cheekbone-endowed friend emerged from the battle with bangs victorious.

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Related | Bella Hadid Like You've Never Seen Her Before

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Because bangs are only ever so good, that if you can conquer them you actually get initiated into an exclusive monthly book club with Anna Wintour, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Biel, Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell and Taylor Swift. Or, so traumatically bad that after recovering, you won't ever be able to watch a Zooey Deschanel movie for the rest of your life.

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It seems that Bella Hadid's moment of reckoning has come — and the model has faced bangs, and won. She appeared at a True Religion event in Los Angeles this week, decked out in a Canadian tuxedo, with her chocolate brown hanging charmingly just below her eyebrows, and the rest of her hair ever-so-slightly teased.

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As far as we know, Hadid isn't in crisis at the moment. She and The Weeknd are doing fabulously, and letting everyone know it on Instagram. She walked all over fashion month, and is out here wearing vegan sneakers, starring in films for Dior, throwing 22nd birthday ragers, and doing her part to bring back cardigans.

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However, it's possible that bangs are simply a less fraught endeavor for aliens like Hadid, given that they'll be be found attractive by mainstream society no matter what happens to their hairline.

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In addition, a quick scan actually reveals that Bella has had several previous successful clashes with bangs in the last couple of years, so it appears that in the end, the style wasn't a particularly daunting opponent.

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Regardless of what spurred Hadid to go full Jennifer Aniston, her bangs are being recognized as the harbinger of the final stages of '90s revivalism's takeover, a force which currently has the fashion world's brain in a jar.

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Lead Photo via BFA

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 20:24:39 +0000http://www.82628789.com/bella-hadid-bangs-1-2613644217.htmlHadidJennerFashionKardashian90'sBangsStyeTrue religionDiorBella hadidJael Goldfine
Jess Glynne Learned to Love the Unknownhttp://www.82628789.com/jess-glynne-always-in-between-2613647824.html

Jess Glynne, the musician behind some of the pop's biggest hits like her explosive Clean Bandit collab, "Rather Be," and more recent, "I'll Be There," is back with her first album since 2015 — and it's an absolute standout. The Grammy winning 28-year-old released this month her 12-track project Always In Between, which highlights her journey to self-acceptance, struggle with heartbreak, and views on fame. It's also her second consecutive No. 1 album in the U.K., solidifying the English pop singer as an unstoppable force. Armed with a brand new single, "Thursday," Glynne will be heading out on a U.S. tour this spring, but before, PAPER sat down with Glynne to learn all about her latest LP.

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What inspired you to write this album's lead single, "I'll Be There"?

The inspiration behind that was me and my friends; one of them was going through a pretty tough time last year, and she turned to my album I Cry When I Laugh. I got this message from her saying that it got her through this really tough time, and she listened to it on a whole different level. When she listened to the lyrics, she didn't realize how deep they were and what I have been through and how much it gave her hope and encouragement to move forward with her life. It was really emotional, we got really close over that. When we were in the studio at the end of last year, the idea for the song came from never feeling alone and always having someone there even though they might not be in the presence of you. It's kind of a beautiful message.

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Related | 100 Women Revolutionizing Pop

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For you, this new album is different because you stepped away from the studio and wrote the majority of the songs in a house in Sussix. Why did you want to do that?

I started writing the album a couple of years ago. I just wasn't ready and once i finished touring and things slowed down, I decided to get back into the studio. I want back to LA for two months and I was in and out. My label wanted to try something different for this album, so I met loads of amazing people and wrote so many songs. But I came back feeling a bit lost — feeling like I didn't really know what the direction was and where I was going with it all, so I decided to take some time out.

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Towards the end of last year, I regained my creative spell and decided that I wanted to work with the people that I love working with. So I called my label and said, "Please can we just get a house in the middle of nowhere, where I can take all my people? I don't mind if you want to suggest a few new people to add into the mix, but I want to go somewhere where there is no pressure and where it's organic and natural — no studio, a place where we can have minimal set-ups and just jam." They granted my wish and we went down there for a week, and it was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. We wrote, we ate, we had fun, we created the bones of the album and I came away feeling so good. Not everything on the album is from that week, but the majority of it is.

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"We don't always know what's right and what's wrong, and being in the middle lane is never a bad thing. [It's] actually just life."

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Who did you bring along with you when you went?

It was me, writers and producers — that was it. My director is like my best friend, so she came down with us and we were doing this visual. Another girl that I write with, Ginger, [who's] one of my really close friends, was there. I am really close with all of those people.

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What do you hope people will take away from this album?

We don't always know what's right and what's wrong, and being in the middle lane is never a bad thing. [It's] actually just life. We all have struggles and in-between moments, we don't always know which is the right lane to take. I hope people can understand that it's ok. I feel like this album for me is a journey of self-acceptance. I want everyone to feel happy with themselves and their skin, and that's where I have taken this record.

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Jess Glynne U.S. Tour Dates


Monday, March 25, 2019 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom **
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern **
Friday, March 29, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue **
Saturday, March 30, 2019 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre **
Wednesday, April 1, 2019 - Boston, MA - House of Blues **
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 **
Friday, April 5, 2019 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre **
Saturday, April 6, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer **
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - Charlottesville, VA - Sprint Pavilion (LEON BRIDGES)
Thursday, April 11, 2019 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Metro Credit (LEON BRIDGES)
Friday, April 12, 2019 - Chattanooga, TN - Soilders & Sailors Memorial Aud (LEON BRIDGES)
Monday, April 15, 2019 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium (LEON BRIDGES)
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - St. Augustine, FL - Saint Augustine Amp. (LEON BRIDGES)
Thursday, April 18, 2019 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall (LEON BRIDGES)
Friday, April 19, 2019 - Miami Beach, FL - Fillmore Miami Beach (LEON BRIDGES)
Saturday, April 20, 2019 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues (LEON BRIDGES)
Monday, April 22, 2019 - Mobile, AL - Saenger Theatre (LEON BRIDGES)
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Concert Hall (LEON BRIDGES)
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre (LEON BRIDGES)
Friday, April 26, 2019 - The Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods (LEON BRIDGES)
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory **
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theatre (LEON BRIDGES)
Saturday, May 4, 2019 - Columbus, OH - Express Live! (LEON BRIDGES)
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - Cleveland, OH - Jacobs Pavillion at Nautica (LEON BRIDGES)























** Indicates Headline Show

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Photography: Nadine Ijewere

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 20:16:51 +0000http://www.82628789.com/jess-glynne-always-in-between-2613647824.htmlJess glynneKatie Skinner
Queer Latinx Artists on Intersectional Mexican-American Identityhttp://www.82628789.com/latinx-artists-gnat-2613116974.html

Harnesses are often grouped exclusively with dark, gothic aesthetics, but Chicago-based designer Gnat Rosa Madrid sees the whimsical, femme possibilities in the restrictive BDSM accessory. Her independent brand GNAT is entirely handcrafted, featuring glittering, colorful harnesses that center POC femmes and pull inspiration from decorative Mexican nicho boxes. According to Madrid's site, GNAT aims to promote "safe, exciting, and consensual sex, BDSM, body positivity, gender fluidity, trans liberation, and POC femme supremacy." It's ambitious, but she's dedicated to the mission, using harnesses as a vehicle to start conversations about intersectional identity and outsider empowerment. Below, Madrid pulled together a pool of queer, Latinx artists to model GNAT and reflect on being Mexican-American.

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Related | 50 LGBTQ Musicians You Should Prioritize

Christopher Sonny Martinez


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"I'm here, proud of my hybrid faggot Chicano history."


You can take the Martinez out the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out the Martinez. I'm from Oak Cliff, a neighborhood in South Dallas. ("Oak cliff, that's my hood, put it in his face, get that shit understood" - Young Nino). I identity as Chicano, which for me is a lifestyle. My family is Mexican, but my mom, her mom, my Welita, and my great great grandma all grew up and call Texas our home. Oak Cliff is our stomping ground — a place covered in Brown faces, drag races, and cheap spaces. Or that's how I remember it. Going back i feel the spread of the gringo disease known as gentrification. But, in it's essence it's still the same.

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Growing up Chicano, I felt the browness in my blood. Despite not being spoken to in Spanish growing up, I always felt a richness for our Texican culture. An insatiable appetite for the Sunday morning Menudo ritual, and the late night Whataburger bliss. A hybrid of the Mexican American way of life. A separation still from us and them, "white people."

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Growing up ashamed of your sexuality stunted me in a way I sometimes regret. I was and still am the only "out" faggot in our family. Being brown and gay freaked me out at first, being the only joto in a family of young mothers and fathers felt wrong. I got over it. I'm here, proud of my hybrid faggot Chicano history. I make work for my family, the Martinez's, the Torres', the Rojas' and I make my work for the queerdos and the fucking freaks I surround myself with on a daily basis. I make work for us.

Vicente Ugartechea


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"Growing up poor and brown in Texas meant learning to survive and resist from an early age"


I'm a first generation Mexican-American, born on the border of the United States and Mexico to an immigrant mother. Growing up poor and brown in Texas meant learning to survive and resist from an early age. Our elementary school system prohibited speaking in Spanish amongst ourselves because the teachers felt threatened, although the population of that area was largely immigrant families whose primary language was Spanish. It was cultural and social whitewashing. So now, I occupy a divergent space in American culture.

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Drawing from personal narrative, I make art that explore these landscapes of constructed normativities, ethnocentrism, and privilege as a way of defining and redefining issues that subsist within marginalized identities.

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"Deslenguadas. Somos las del espa?ol deficiente. We are your linguistic nightmare, your linguistic aberration, your linguistic mestisaje, the subject of your burla. Because we speak with tongues of fire we are culturally crucified. Racially, culturally and linguistically somos huérfanos —we speak an orphan tongue." ― Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Xitlalli Sixta-Tarin Sanchez


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"Knowing that bodies like mine do have a history in Mexico made coming into my gender identity feel so much more solidified."


For me personally, being trans never seemed to fit in with my Xicano heritage, growing up in a very binary, heteronormative Roman Catholic household. It wasn't until I started exploring themes of decolonization that I understood that bodies like mine do belong in Xicanx culture and the otherness I felt within white spaces really made sense. Within my work I have discovered so many spaces of gender variance and have really understood my sources of trauma through a post-colonial lens. Knowing that bodies like mine do have a history in Mexico made coming into my gender identity feel so much more solidified.

Gnat Rosa Madrid


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"Put pieces on your body that reveal your inherent beauty and sexiness. Sex with yourself is the most important component."


My artist practice rewards continued practice. I puncture straps over and over, making multiples that can follow all the curves of a body — tight and taut. My harness pieces are always made to transform and enhance the queer beauty wearing her. It's like lighting a vela; she answers your wish by strapping onto your body and transporting you to yourself- the self full of confidence and power. Fashion can be magical. You don't need to change your body, or restrict yourself. Instead, put pieces on your body that reveal your inherent beauty and sexiness. Sex with yourself is the most important component.

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I'm Latina, Latinx-Mexican American by way of Tejas — it may be kitschy, but Selena has always been my idol and role model. I eat a lot and work really hard pray for what i want. The divine feminine goddess la virgen was our matriarch and she is my first mother. I have a last name of colonizers and pale skin, but I'm still Latinx. Being queer and having gay orgasms in Mexico and Texas. Eating tacos and imaging our queer futures. Being hot and sipping topo chico con limon. Feeling close to mi tierra and trying not to feel the weight of the trauma of generations of mujeres. We use femme aesthetics to cope with this world and create happiness and confidence.

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My artist practice leads me back here, where I make glittering adornments for your body, setting the scene like a nicho box covered in glitter and sequins. La muerta painted with flores, Selena singing about forbidden love amor prohibito. Católicos may not like it but mi diosa, resembling a vulva suspended among stars, held up by angels, anoints mi amigxs Tejanx jotxs in glitter harnesses with besos from her red lips.

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Photography: Christopher Sonny Martinez
Harnesses: Gnat

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:09:23 +0000http://www.82628789.com/latinx-artists-gnat-2613116974.htmlLatinxChicanoChicagoGnatLgbtqPhotography Christopher Sonny Martinez
Cardi B Hands Out Winter Clothes to People In Needhttp://www.82628789.com/cardi-b-winter-clothes-1-2613597116.html

What have you done for mankind today? Cardi B, who has never been shy about Being a Real One (TM), woke up to give back on Thursday, by handing out free coats and shoes outside the Marlboro Houses public-housing complex in Brooklyn.

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If you are in New York or were yesterday, you'll recall that it was a blustery fall day, so the charitable gesture was definitely necessary. But even if you weren't in New York, even if it's warm wherever you, dear reader, are, how could you not stan America's Sweetheart doing good deeds for those in need?

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Related | Hennessy Takes Hollywood

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Cardi's close friends and a local designer reportedly organized the event, which drew hundreds of children and parents who waited over four hours in the hopes of getting a free coat and meeting the Bronx queen. "I didn't know it was going to be so big!" Cardi told reporters on-location. "My homeboy Chuck told me 'Hey, let's give out coats to our community. I know somebody who's trying to give out coats,' and I said, 'I'm pulling up, what's up, I'm in here, let's go!'"

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Coat and shoe donors included local stores such as Trax NYC, Daniel's Leather, and NY Tent Sale. Cardi took to Instagram to write about the joyful event, and said she would do a similar drive in her home borough of the Bronx.

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For the rest of you, if you're feeling inspired, donate winter wear or organize your own coat drives nationwide through One Warm Coat, because paying it forward never goes out of style.

Photo via Getty

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:54:56 +0000http://www.82628789.com/cardi-b-winter-clothes-1-2613597116.htmlCharityBrooklynBronxNycCardi bMichael Love Michael
Uffie's 'Papercuts' Is One of Her Best Songs to Datehttp://www.82628789.com/uffie-papercuts-premiere-2613426208.html

The re-emergence of Uffie, Internet OG and electronic scion of the future, has been one of the best surprises of 2018. Having already released the deceptively cute slow-drip of "Drugs," the nostalgic "Your Hood," and the raw and radio-ready "Sideways," Uffie blesses us today with a new track, "Papercuts."

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Related | PAPER People: Uffie

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The track peels back more layers to Uffie's chameleonic persona, revealing a darker heart than before. Sonically, it boasts a delicious bassline and vocoder coos that calls to mind the spectral French-pop of influential acts like Charlotte Gainsbourg. Vocally, Uffie adopts a tone of almost childlike insouciance to grab our attention, as if attempting to disguise the world-weary vulnerability percolating just beneath the surface. And lyrically, Uffie amps up the drama, comparing the irritation of a common papercut to the specific pain of unrequited love. Basically, you can tell she really means it when she sings "stab me in the heart" and "push the knife deeper."

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"'Papercuts' comes from a very deep and real place, in the darkest chamber of my heart," Uffie tells PAPER. "It's about finding the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, but they're not as sure about you. You don't know if they're in or out, up or down. And it gets so painful, you'd rather they stab you in the heart so you'll never have to love again, than face a death by a million paper cuts."

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Dra. Ma! Let it out, sis. Enjoy the PAPER premiere of "Papercuts," below — it's one of Uffie's best songs to-date.

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Selfie courtesy of Uffie

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:19:23 +0000http://www.82628789.com/uffie-papercuts-premiere-2613426208.htmlMusicMyspacePop the glockPapercutsPremiereNew music premiereSidewaysDrugsPaper peopleUffieMichael Love Michael
Inside Tove Lo’s Psychedelic New Film, All About Female Friendshiphttp://www.82628789.com/tove-lo-blue-lips-film-2613587795.html

Tove Lo has always been a vivid storyteller with a steely vision rooted uncompromisingly in the female gaze. On each of her albums, she explores her own sexuality remorselessly: positioning herself as both the object and subject of desire.

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Now, the Swedish pop princess has brought that project to the small screen with her new film: Blue Lips, an accompaniment to her 2017 album of the same name. Starring Tove Lo herself and Ouija-star Ana Coto, Blue Lips was directed by artist Malia James, who has crafted music videos for Troye Sivan, Alessia Cara, Halsey, Hailee Steinfeld, M? & Snakehips and more.

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Related | Tove Lo Pushes Pop To Its Climax

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The 25-minute visual is a Whip It meets Spring Breakers meets Bend It Like Beckham whirlwind, rich with loving, fleshy detail. It bathes female friendship in both heavenly, and neon-club light, celebrating the euphoria and complexities of female intimacy. An all female-team created the film, which, in keeping with Tove Lo's brand, lets female bodies and sexuality breathe on-screen: unfiltered and uncorseted, not so much raw as simply relaxed.

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James says the film's team was committed to working through a female gaze, inspired by visual projects like Beyoncé's Lemonade and Sampha's Process, as well as tough, sensual women-driven films like Morvern Callar and Victoria that she and Tove Lo watched together while writing the script and sharing their experiences with love and friendship.

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"Tove has always been a dream artist for me to work with because she's so fearlessly unapologetic about who she is and I'm honored to show that not only will she tell you to get your fucking tits out, she'll also open up and share her heart with you."

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PAPER chatted with Tove Lo about her acting debut and the creation Blue Lips. See exclusive stills of the film and read our conversation, below.

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Why did you want to tell this story visually?

The past shorts I've done have been more visual albums than films. I love telling stories and feel like I often paint the love and drama scenarios I'm picturing in my head in my lyrics. The idea to use the music as soundtrack and make an actual film felt like a great new step to take and a unique way to show the music.

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This is your acting debut, but your music always has a strong cinematic, visual tendency. Did this kind of performance feel natural to you?

Making these films I've realized I love acting, but this was definitely a new challenge. I'm comfortable performing in front of a camera, but acting is a different thing. I wanna keep doing it for sure, but music and writing is still my number one passion. So I love when they intertwine.

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The film feels like a love letter to female friendship, albeit a brutally honest one. Are its joys and complications something you've had to navigate in your own life?

Malia and I both have. It was long nights of sharing experiences in love and friendship that shaped this story. Portraying real situations where we don't act perfect but you know your friendship will survive it. There's a way to show the version you want to be or show who you actually are. No one acts the way they think is right all the time, but you always try justify your actions. I think this is a beautiful way to show all different sides of two people who are really close. Where there's a lot of history that is both bad baggage and at the same time an unbreakable bond.

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Photos courtesy of Tove Lo

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:32:52 +0000http://www.82628789.com/tove-lo-blue-lips-film-2613587795.htmlTove loSwedishPopFilmMalia jamesAna cotoTroye sivanAlessia caraHalseyHailee steinfeldM? & snakehipsJael Goldfine
Britney Spears Wants to Dominate Youhttp://www.82628789.com/britney-spears-domination-2613569248.html

Viva Las Vegas indeed! Britney Spears announced a big announcement on Ellen last week without saying more than "the announcement is that I have an announcement," in an adorably coy way while looking amazing because Britney Spears.

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Say what? We then live streamed a bizarre, almost-half-hour video in Vegas, the second home of the pop queen, who, fresh off the super-successful multiyear Piece of Me residency, smiled, waved to hollering fans, and said nothing. We did hear mega-mixes of Brit's hits catalogue while watching crews set up what looked to be a stage. Ellen special correspondent Kalen Allen danced awkwardly in the fray while we all watched blown-up images of Brit on a poster reading "Domination" cover the visage of the Park MGM venue.

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It wasn't until she posted an image of the poster in question that we really knew the full tea.

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And now we know! "Domination" kicks off February 2019, and it's a performance residency that will carry Brit through the year. We think it would be iconic if she called whatever her next album is Domination, too, but one thing at a time. It appears then, that, when it comes to Britney Spears, the old adage is true: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

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Photo via YouTube

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:06:24 +0000http://www.82628789.com/britney-spears-domination-2613569248.htmlDominationLas vegasPiece of meBritney spearsMichael Love Michael
Kleenex to Rename 'Mansize' Tissueshttp://www.82628789.com/kleenex-mansize-tissues-2613457277.html

For this week's installment of "unnecessarily gendered everyday items" we bid a farewell to Kleenex's extra-soft and extra-tough "Mansize" tissues.

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"Mansize" tissues were introduced by the Kleenex as a stronger more-handkerchief-like alternative to generic effeminate tissues because, as we all know, when you cry manly tears your going to need a manly tissue to soak up all that liquid bravado. Lasting an impressive 60 years, the product had largely remained a peculiarity of the United Kingdom where it was first introduced. Kleenex announced today that after numerous customer complaints and critiques of unnecessary sexism in their product, that Kleenex would be changing the name to the less offensive "Extra Large."

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"Kimberly-Clark in no way suggests that being both soft and strong is an exclusively masculine trait, nor do we believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality," said Kleenex's Texas-based parent company in a statement about the name change. "Our Mansize tissues remain one of our most popular products, with 3.4 million people buying these tissues every year."

Related | Rico Nasty Wants To Start A Tampon Drive

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Kimberly-Clark stated that the name phase-out was already underway and that customers would soon start to see new boxes on shelves soon. So it now comes time to bid a tearful farewell to Kleenex's "Mansize" tissues as they have now been relegated to the pointlessly-gendered product graveyard among other forgotten gems like Bic Pens "For Her," Q-Tips: Men's Ultimate, and Lady Doritos.

Photo via Twitter

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 03:28:54 +0000http://www.82628789.com/kleenex-mansize-tissues-2613457277.htmlMansizeMansize tissuesUnnecessarily gendered productsBic pens for herLady doritosSexismFeminismTissuesKleenexMatt Moen
Rihanna Turned Down the Super Bowl in Support of Kaepernickhttp://www.82628789.com/rihanna-kaepernick-super-bowl-2613440452.html

Icon of our times, Rihanna, is not only one of the most dominant performers of our time but also a beauty innovator, fashion mogul, and, most importantly, an artist with principles that is not afraid to be political. A fierce advocate for global access to education, Rihanna runs her own nonprofit, the Clara Lionel Foundation, and was recently named as an ambassador for Barbados.

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So when Us Weekly broke word today that Rihanna had reportedly turned down an offer to headline Super Bowl LIII because of the NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the reaction wasn't so much surprise as it was uproarious applause. According an insider, Rihanna declined the offer because of the kneeling controversy surrounding Kaepernick's protest of police brutality during the national anthem, "she doesn't agree with the NFL's stance."

Related | Hollyweird: Rihanna and the 'Umbrella' Curse

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The NFL banned all athlete protests following an outcry from conservatives, including President Trump, who felt Kaepernick's protest was disrespectful of the national anthem and flag. Kaepernick also filed a collusion case against the NFL after not being offered a position by any team as a free agent.

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In response, a fierce outpouring of support for Kaepernick came from fans, activists, and numerous public figures. Everyone from Serena Williams to Jay-Z to Erykah Badu became vocal allies of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. GQ named him their 'Citizen of the Year' and Nike's Ad campaign starring Kaepernick even ignited a new wave of conservative outrage.

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Us Weekly even pointed out that Kaepernick once publicly admitted he had a crush on Rihanna, so it must be nice to see that the admiration goes both ways. In the meantime, we will just have to settle for Maroon 5, and possibly Cardi B, come Super Bowl LIII.

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 01:30:35 +0000http://www.82628789.com/rihanna-kaepernick-super-bowl-2613440452.htmlColin kaepernickProtestKneelingNikeSerena williamsJay-zErykah baduFootballSuper bowlSuper bowl liiHalftimeHalftime showDeclinedFentyRihannaMatt Moen
Zara Larsson Dives into the Meaning of 'Ruin My Life'http://www.82628789.com/zara-larsson-ruin-my-life-2613429338.html

Swedish pop singer, Zara Larsson, may be young at only 20-years old but she already has released two chart-topping albums and has more than ten years of experience under her belt. Gearing up for her third studio album, Larsson returned today with her brand new single "Ruin My Life."

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A sweeping anthem, "Ruin My Life" is Larsson at her dreamiest with pensive piano breakdowns and cinematic sing-a-long choruses that roll into stadium-sized emotional crescendo after emotional crescendo. Larsson unearths a darker side of herself lyrically with this latest release, diving into the dynamics of a toxic relationship. With a self-annihilating fatalism, Larsson's refrain of "I want you to ruin my life/ruin my life/ruin my life" may seem naively reckless but, as the singer explains, taps into a more universal sentiment.

Related | Zara Larsson's Modern Day Love Story

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"Ruin My Life" may not be the perfect fairytale romance that we have come to expect in pop but it is for exactly that reason that the song hits all the more closer to home. "I think we've all been there at one point in our lives," Larsson explains, going on to say that from the outside choosing to stay in a toxic relationship may seem inexplicable to others but there is always a motivation behind it.

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Watch Zara Larsson explain "Ruin My Life" in a PAPER exclusive below:

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Photo via Instagram

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:50:06 +0000http://www.82628789.com/zara-larsson-ruin-my-life-2613429338.htmlMusicPopMeaning behindVideoExclusiveRuin my lifeToxic relationshipsZara larssonMatt Moen
Amazon Fashion Secrets: 15 Halloween Costumes to Tryhttp://www.82628789.com/amazon-fashion-secrets-halloween-2613392382.html

Amazon is the ultimate one-stop-shop for absolutely everything, but it's rarely regarded as a source of cool, new fashion. Keely Murphy, a 25-year-old LA-based stylist, has embarked on a mission to change that through her Instagram @fashionsecrets93, which spotlights Amazon's hidden gems. Every week on PAPER, Murphy will curate a list of Amazon fashion secrets, all of which you can buy here. This week, she's chosen 15 Halloween costumes to try, from Criss Angel to Britney Spears.

Andre Agassi


Andre Agassi


Andre Agassi


Burner


Burner


Burner


Criss Angel


Criss Angel


Criss Angel


Dominic Toretto


Dominic Toretto


Dominic Toretto


Flame Boy


Flame Boy


Flame Boy


Hackers


Hackers


Hackers


Lil Uzi Vert


Lil Uzi Vert


Lil Uzi Vert


Oops!... I Did It Again


Oops!... I Did It Again


Oops!... I Did It Again


Ren Faire


Ren Faire


Ren Faire


Ricky Bobby


Ricky Bobby


Ricky Bobby


Romi and Michelle


Romi and Michelle


Romi and Michelle


Runaway Bride


Runaway Bride


Runaway Bride


SSX Tricky


SSX Tricky


SSX Tricky


Tonya Harding


Tonya Harding


Tonya Harding


VMA Britney


VMA Britney


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Photos via amazon.com

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:08:07 +0000http://www.82628789.com/amazon-fashion-secrets-halloween-2613392382.htmlBritney spearsAmazonAndre agassiBurnerCriss angelDominic torettoFlame boyHackersLil uzi vertRicky bobbyRomi and michelleRunaway brideSsx trickyJustin Moran
Meet Vogds: The Chicago DIY Pop Star Making Radical Musichttp://www.82628789.com/vogds-pocket-monster-2613392014.html

Vogds, pronounced "Vogue, with an s," is the rare kind of pop creator who has their hands, as they put it "in every cookie jar." It's refreshing in a mainstream landscape where the modern pop star rarely goes anywhere, does anything, or even speaks without the hand-to-mouth assistance of a handler or dozens. Some might say this is because many millions of dollars are usually at stake, and where that kind of money's involved, there is little if any room for error.

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Vogds, then, is a welcome DIY-antidote to pop's glistening machinery. The Chicago-based, interdisciplinary non-binary artist leads a cadre of fellow creators called the Radical Visibility Collective (encompassing local talents like Ariel Zetina, Imp Queen, Sky Cubacub of Rebirth Garments, Compton Q, and others). Together, they challenge and push the boundaries of what pop and art can be, with an steely gaze fixed on a more equitable future for queer people who dare to live boldly.

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Related | The Collective Making Intersectional Future-Fashion Accessible to All

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Like all of Vogds' projects, their latest work, Pocket Monster, is an evolution of their debut solo EP 2015's PostCamp and their collaborative effort from this spring Radical Visibility Collective. And while all of their work is built in collaboration with their community, it is a self-directed labor of love — from elaborate set designs and styling to idiosyncratic beats and melismatic vocal riffs a la Mariah Carey). Pocket Monster, a Pokemon-referencing, three-song collection released last week, further positions Vogds as a politically charged anti-pop heroine. The project as a whole examines the ways queerness is scrutinized online and IRL, the demise of American society through capitalism and patriarchy, and gender identity and expression.

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And like big-budget pop productions, Vogds creates engrossing sounds and visuals that hold our gaze and soothe our ears. The catch is: because Vogds is behind it all, their pop transforms into brilliantly self-reflexive meta-commentary. It has to be seen to be believed. And see it you will. PAPER premieres Vogds' self-directed "Shark Weak" video (full of dance battles and lewks for days) from Pocket Monster, below, and they open up about Chicago's innovative DIY scene, "being a non-binary alien," and more.

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In many ways, the sensibility of the music feels almost anti-pop, while embracing pop conventions. And yet, it doesn't teeter too far into parody. What was your intentional musically? What do you think about pop music/the machine, as it were?

The idea of anti-pop and alternative pop is definitely tasty to me. I feel as though a lot of pop music we are offered today is still very normative, watered-down, and often discussing fantasies of excess, party-culture, and hetero-centric love. I almost never write about love, and if I do, it's secretly about social technology. Some of my biggest inspirations are Missy Elliott, Bjork, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, FKA Twigs, and SOPHIE, to name a few. Missy being number one because I think she mixes visual genius, cultural critique, camp, incredible vocals, and unique beats all into one. I also think it is very exciting what queer artists like SOPHIE and Ariel Zetina are doing to fuck up and find the edges of pop music in order to reclaim it; to fight for a more radical and nuanced sound. In producing my own music, I love being able to challenge structure and create riddles within the beats while still playing with typical pop tropes. With this album, I keep the beats very stripped down after building them up for some time. If I create a loop with my beats, I always customize every moment so the beats very seldom repeat the same sequence exactly, keeping the listener on more of an edge, not knowing what's coming next. I truly enjoy mining for sounds to use for beats online; some of my favorites for this album being N64 video games and Pokemon evolution sounds. It's interesting you mention parody because with my first EP PostCamp, I felt like I was making music in parody of pop-trends at the time, [as] myself the caricature, critiquing and embracing the camp within Tumblr-aesthetics etc.

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Related | SOPHIE's Whole New World

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What is the significance of naming your new EP Pocket Monster?

I go by Vogds now, and I feel it is doing something totally different, something I've always wanted to do. Live and make work as my truly authentic self, as campy as I can be sometimes. The three songs on Pocket Monster are a sort of haunting prelude to the coming and current disasters and dystopias of online social platforms, capitalism, and our current political climate. I often think about algorithmic structures within Instagram robotics in terms of how they format our desires via [Instagram] features like popular pages and posts you may like. Queerness always seems to be under attack online, through Instagram shutting down queer activists' pages and posts, our government censoring our conversations of sex and sex work on online spaces, and through simpler things like instilling the feeling of inadequacy by constant comparison to other users. Pocket Monster also refers to a touch screen or phone, or even a phallus. I also have always had such a deep love of riffing. In my performance art pieces, I usually perform in an original fashion installation while vocally riffing for hours on end to exhaust the pop-trope in real time. This is similar to how I find melodies in my music. I riff on the beats I create for long periods of time until I find little bites I like. I also love having the verses surprise you in the way they riff around an idea — always thinking of my vocal love, Mariah Carey.

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"My collective and I often call ourselves non-binary aliens [who are] here to spread queer futurism and radical visibility through fashion and interdisciplinary work as a counteraction to conservative politics."

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Speaking of the machine, it's obvious that you are very self-motivated. How long did it take you to create the sets, make the music, produce all of this? What pushed you to want to create it in the first place?

I think it's all about forcing yourself to do the things you really want to be doing and creating deadlines with yourself and others that keep you accountable. This was definitely the biggest solo project I've ever worked on and am thrilled that it all came together. It took me about a month and a half to make the new original fashion works for the video, some were from the Radical Visibility collection. I had about a week and a half left after finishing all of the fashion to make the sets/props. I definitely had a chaotic apartment for this entire process and worked solidly for weeks. The music I had finished in midsummer, and the first song I started, "Shark Weak," was in January, so I've been anxiously sitting on them for some time. I was working on these songs alone while working on the "Radical Visibility Collective" multi-collaborative album, which features beat-makers and artists like Ariel Zetina, Bon Bon, K I A M, Saki NoSaki.

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I always go back and forth between being a recluse and making my work require human contact. so I'm able to connect with the beautiful intelligent queer community around me. I drew my album cover in colored-pencil, made all original fashion, produced my own music, edit the photography, edit the video, build sets, design, which is definitely not saying I don't have amazing people collaborating and helping, but I love to have my hand in every cookie jar. Chicago definitely teaches you to be very DIY. But on top of this, there are so many amazing artists in the city that are willing to collaborate and help each other grow together, which is also crucial to my practice. In 2017, I was mainly creating visual artwork, as a sculptor, painter, and performance artist. However, with the Radical Visibility Collective album and especially Pocket Monster this is my announcement to the world and community that I am fully dedicating myself to my music while swirling all of my other practices around it. I also am driven to create by the desire to express my non-binary identity. My collective and I often call ourselves non-binary aliens here to spread queer futurism and radical visibility through fashion and interdisciplinary work as a counteraction to conservative politics.

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Related | 50 LGBTQ Artists You Should Prioritize

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What do you make of all the queer art coming out of Chicago (Imp Queen, Ariel Zetina, you, others)? What has being in community with other artists taught you?

I have such a deep, passionate love for Chicago and the artists and queer community here. Since it is slightly more affordable to live here [than other major cities], there is more room for underground and DIY culture to thrive and experiment. The queer community here is so resourceful and finds so many interesting ways to fund their practices to untie from capitalist pressures and hack the capitalist system to work for us. Working with Ariel Zetina on the Radical Visibility Collective album was a dream. Her sensibilities and innovations are next planet. Same can be said over and over for Imp Queen, and her doing makeup for this video also blew my mind. I think Chicago is in a queer renaissance regardless of our political circumstances, we are fighting back by being radically visible, aggressively present, and so hyper stylized and home-made it's impossible to recreate. It is Chicago's scene no doubt, that keeps me pushing myself, keeps me wanting to inspire others in the community because they have inspired me beyond words. I am so excited because as a visual artist, I could feel so alone in my studio and through my music, performing, and fashion-making, I am able to be a much more active member. I have learned through making this video that it is okay to ask for help when you think you have to do it all yourself, and that there is such a powerful community there to uplift each other.

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Stream Pocket Monster by Vogds, below.

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Lead photo: Olivia Vogds


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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 22:01:18 +0000http://www.82628789.com/vogds-pocket-monster-2613392014.htmlShark weakPocket monsterChicagoAriel zetinaPopPop musicMusicDiyQueerLgbtLgbtqArtFashionVogdsMichael Love Michael
Rihanna Uses Highlighter in Places We'd Never Think to Highlighthttp://www.82628789.com/rihanna-fenty-beauty-tutorial-2613415332.html

Yes, the Internet at large is full of beauty influencers and makeup artists who will teach you how to accurately beat your face. But there is one special jewel who stands out above all vloggers, a star who shines brighter than Sirius A, which according to a cursory Google search is the brightest star in the sky. It is Rihanna. Rihanna has blessed us with another makeup tutorial.

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After her Vogue makeup video went viral, it seems that the Badgal has leaned into her new persona as a beauty vlogger. She'll now be dropping weekly tutorials for Fenty Beauty's YouTube channel. Praise the lord.

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Related | Break the Rule: Rihanna

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The first in the series focuses on Fenty's latest drop, the holiday #CHILLOWT collection. #CHILLOWT includes a frosted selection of glosses, lip crayons, lipsticks, and the brand's first-ever full highlighter palette, which includes seven shades of its wildly popular Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter. The collection skews glittery, with packaging that recalls wintery ice.

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Rihanna's tutorial incorporates lavender shades, including a bold purple lip. It's efficient, and Ri carefully explains every step. "I'm going to try to make it as easy and simple as possible for all of you," she says. She does!

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The video shows Ri focusing on eyes, lips, and lots of highlighter, including on — gasp — her ears. It's a very cute look, and the video is full of useful tips. But even if you don't wear makeup, even if you have zero interest in the medium whatsoever, it's worth watching! Because it is Rihanna, and Rihanna exudes charisma and humor with every fiber of her being. Check it out, below.

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Photo via BFA

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 21:36:18 +0000http://www.82628789.com/rihanna-fenty-beauty-tutorial-2613415332.htmlRihannaFenty beauty#chillowtMakeup tutorialJocelyn Silver
Rimowa and Aesop Make the Dream Travel Kithttp://www.82628789.com/rimowa-aesop-travel-kit-2613391913.html

There's been little pause for Rimowa lately. The LVMH-owned luggage brand, which celebrates its 120th anniversary this year, has released collaborations with Virgil Abloh, Fendi, M/M Paris, and Supreme this year.

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Rimowa's latest project is a limited-edition travel kit made in partnership with Aesop, the Australian skin care and fragrance label known for its high-quality (and incredibly addictive) products. The silver case, dubbed the Ko?ln Travel Kit, is stocked with everything from Aesop's classic shampoo and conditioner to cardamom and wasabi toothpaste and star anise mouthwash.

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Related | Adwoa Aboah Stars in Rimowa's 120th Anniversary Campaign

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The Ko?ln Travel Kit will be available online and at select Aesop and Rimowa boutiques beginning on October 26th.

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Photos courtesy of Rimowa


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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 21:22:56 +0000http://www.82628789.com/rimowa-aesop-travel-kit-2613391913.htmlAesopRimowaSkin careTravelTravel kitAesop rimowaShyam Patel
Don't Worry, Pete Davidson Is 'Doing Fine'http://www.82628789.com/pete-davidson-fine-breakup-2613392322.html

The nation has yet to recover from the roiling trauma that is the Pete Davidson-Ariana Grande breakup. The dissolution of their engagement has surely hit the stars hard, though it might be hitting the public harder. Grande even quit social media to (understandably) avoid seeing posts and memes about her own breakup.

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Related | In Conversation: Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande

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But if you were worried about Davidson, don't be! Apparently, he is "doing fine."

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Through an anonymous source, E! reports that, Davidson "has a strong support system of family and friends around him that are keeping him laughing." Though he is technically homeless — he recently moved out of Grande's $16 million Chelsea apartment, and is now staying with family in New York. Fans even briefly set up a joke GoFundMe for Davidson's living costs (it was quickly shut down). Grande has retained custody of their pet pig, "Breathin'" video star Piggy Smalls.

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The source added that Davidson still cares for Ari, and was thrilled that she got to star in the NBC's upcoming special for the 15th anniversary of Wicked, her favorite musical. "While Pete's focusing on himself, he always wishes the best for Ari," the source said. Us too, man.

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Photo via BFA

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 21:17:21 +0000http://www.82628789.com/pete-davidson-fine-breakup-2613392322.htmlPete davidsonAriana grandePete davidson ariana grande breakupPiggy smallsJocelyn Silver
Rare Hip Hop Photographs Unearthed in New Bookhttp://www.82628789.com/rare-hip-hop-photographs-2613355461.html

Over the past few decades, hip hop has risen from a subculture in New York to global domination of many musical markets and a defining component of American pop culture. It's high time, then, that the curation of its history is properly documented. In a new book, culture journalist Vikki Tobak brings together often previously unpublished work of photographers who were early to the scene, capturing icons like Andre 3000, Nicki Minaj, Biggie Smalls and Salt N Peppa at crucial points of their careers.

Contact High celebrates the off beat moments of hip hop history—the quiet moments captured in a contact sheet, for instance, rather than the endlessly looped and meme moments we all know by heart.

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As Tobak tells it:

When I set out to do this project, I wanted to focus on hip hop's visual identity with Contact High. People knew what hip hop sounded like, but what did it look like? And who was behind that imagery? By now, the culture has had enough of a story arc that we're able to look back on certain photographers and iconography and see that this vast archive of imagery tells an important story. Before hip hop became popular worldwide, the photographers in this book were taking pictures and documenting the nascent art form.

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I've worked as a culture journalist since the early 1990s (starting with PAPER!) and saw the importance of creating these visuals in tandem to the music. The photographers especially but also the stylists, the designers and the community were so key in creating these powerful images. Prior to that I worked at an independent hip hop label called Payday Records/Empire Management, working with early artists like Gang Starr, Mos Def, Jeru, Show and AG and that's where I first met many of the photographers in the book.

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I visited dozens of photographer archives and realized just how many images are still out there. Some of these photographers hadn't looked at their contact sheets in years and were surprised at what they saw looking at the outtakes. These rolls of film, many stored away in shoeboxes and closets, were holding iconic moments tucked away, still unprocessed. The in-between shots on the contact sheets tell a deeper story."

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See select photos from the book below:

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 20:07:48 +0000http://www.82628789.com/rare-hip-hop-photographs-2613355461.htmlKanye westBiggie smallsAndre 3000Big boiTyler the creatorNicki minajClaire Valentine
Bella Thorne: How Many Cats Is Too Many Cats?http://www.82628789.com/bella-thorne-cats-2613383557.html

How many cats is too many cats? I suppose that depends on the surface area of one's home, the availability of litter box storage, whether or not you believe in the old wives' tale that felines climb on you and suck out your breath in their sleep. But perhaps we, as a society, can agree that owning a number of cats that veers into the double digits is way too many cats.

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But alas, not Bella Thorne! The actress marches to the beat of her own drummer. And Thorne, who also has a dog named Tampon, loves her some cats. Well, "some" isn't really a fair descriptor. Thorne, at the age of 21, owns 19 cats. Nine. Teen. Cats.

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Related | Bella Thorne Urges SeaWorld Boycott

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According to a new profile in the Los Angeles Times, Thorne's cats live in a castle she designed herself. Apparently she has so many because she found it barbaric to spay her first cat, Lola, and thus has cultivated a solid four generations of cats. It is just so many cats. Pray for whoever cleans up after them.

Photo via BFA

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:07:11 +0000http://www.82628789.com/bella-thorne-cats-2613383557.htmlBella thorneCatsJocelyn Silver
Troye Sivan's Little Brother Tyde Levi Premieres 'Sober'http://www.82628789.com/tyde-levi-troye-sivan-2613351619.html

We all are familiar by now with the inclusive, artful pop of queer singer-songwriter Troye Sivan. It turns out those creative chops run in the family. If you haven't heard of him by now, get ready for 18-year-old Tyde Levi, a Melbourne-bred and talented musician in his own right: He's ready for the limelight.

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Levi's previous single "Goldchains," a saxophone-punctuated, sensual, and irresistibly groovy slow jam, arrived back earlier this summer, and today, he drops the Kai Neville-directed clip for his new song, "Sober." Based on Levi's sonic output so far, it appears that we can expect a more downtempo, but nevertheless melodic, R&B-inflected sensibility.

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His visuals perfectly complement his sound. "Sober," a hypnotic tune with a harpish loop seemingly culled from the Sufjan Stevens songbook, features vulnerable lyrics in the chorus: "Hold me/ Who's gonna save my life?" Levi appears to be singing about a past or current love, with memories of said relationship's ups and downs — a song with numerous potential meanings. The video, then, feels appropriately nostalgic, taking place in wide open spaces, sky, and the road.

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Related | Troye Sivan's Queer Love Songs Are For Everyone

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Levi tells PAPER about the video: "The car has always been my kind of getaway," he says. "When I've just been thinking about too much or I'm frustrated and not thinking straight, I get in, drive and blast music. I scream at the top of my lungs. Ever since writing music I've known I wanted to incorporate driving and singing into a video, and that's what we did with 'Sober.'"

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Levi says that director Neville was integral to bringing his feelings to the screen. "Without him, the feel and overall aesthetic of this project would not be where it is now," he says.

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We can only know that the best is still yet to come for Levi, but he's off to a pretty promising start. Watch the PAPER premiere of "Sober," below.

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Photography: Cybele Malinowski


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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:02:53 +0000http://www.82628789.com/tyde-levi-troye-sivan-2613351619.htmlTroye sivanBloomSoberGoldchainsMusicNew musicMusic videoMusic video premiereKai nevilleVideo premiereTyde leviMichael Love Michael
Tommy Hilfiger Designs For Disabilitieshttp://www.82628789.com/tommy-hilfiger-adaptive-fall-2018-2613327293.html

Tommy Hilfiger's "Adaptive" range is among the first fashion collections to address the needs of people with disabilities. For many in the community, which makes up 20 percent of the American population, getting dressed is a complex task. Now in its third season, Adaptive offers up design solutions including magnetic closures, adjustable features, one-hand zippers, and extended openings that streamline the process of getting ready.

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Today, the label unveils its fall 2018 Adaptive campaign titled "Independence." Shot by L.A.-based filmmaker James Rath, who was born legally blind as a result of ocular albinism and nystagmus, the video features people with disabilities including hip-hop dancer and leg amputee Dmitry Kim, Lauren "Lolo" Spencer, a fashion influencer with ALS, an 8-year-old surfer with cerebral palsy named Gavin McHugh, and Hunter Brown, an opera singer with autism.

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The fall 2018 Adaptive collection is now available on TommyHilfiger.com.

Images Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:48:43 +0000http://www.82628789.com/tommy-hilfiger-adaptive-fall-2018-2613327293.htmlVideoVimeo.comTommy hilfigerTommy hilfiger adaptiveFashionDisabilitiesPeople with disabilitiesFashion for people with disabiltiesShyam Patel
Everlane Recycles 3 Million Plastic Bottles Into New Clotheshttp://www.82628789.com/everlane-renew-collection-2613345310.html

There's 8 billion tons of plastic suffocating our planet and Everlane plans to do something about it. The San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer brand, which rose to prominence for its transparent pricing and dedication to ethical manufacturing, has announced that it will eliminate new plastic (in favor of recycled plastic) from its products, stores, offices, and packaging by 2021. Congruently the brand is launching a collection called "ReNew" on October 24th.

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The line of puffer jackets, parkas, fleece sweaters was made using 3 million recycled plastic bottles. New products will be introduced to the category over the coming years and all Everlane merchandise will be distributed in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bags. Together, these changes will recycle 100 million plastic bottles within the next five years. In addition to clearing its supply chain of virgin plastic, Everlane plans to use silk grown in regenerative farms by 2021 and aims for it to be dyed and washed with 100% recycled water in processes that use 100% renewable energy by 2022.

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Everlane isn't the only fashion brand thinking about its use of plastic. Just last month, French fashion label Courrèges announced that it will cease production of its signature nylon, while New York City-based designer Gabriela Hearst committed to going plastic free by April 2019 back in June. While performance-wear and outdoor brands including Patagonia (which began recycling soda bottles into polyester in 1993) have been on top of the issue for decades, for most of the industry, abandoning new plastic is radical suggestion.

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Hopefully transitions towards sustainable supply chains, like Everlane's will push more brands to follow suit in the coming year.

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Related | Courrèges Will Stop Producing Plastic

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Images Courtesy of Everlane

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:12:54 +0000http://www.82628789.com/everlane-renew-collection-2613345310.htmlEverlaneFashionSustainable fashionPlasticRecyclingGabriela hearstCourregesPatagoniaRenewtodayPlanetorplasticInstagram.comShyam Patel
Lady Gaga's Fiancé's Instagram Is the Ultimate Stan Accounthttp://www.82628789.com/lady-gaga-christian-carino-instagram-2613343772.html

Christian Carino, outside of his relationship with Lady Gaga, is a pretty big deal. He's a talent agent with some of the most famous clients on the planet, including Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, and Mother Monster herself.

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Agents work a lot and make tons of money and scream at people on the phone. We're sure he is very busy! But not too busy to devote himself to his lady love, Lady Gaga. He even has a giant tattoo of her face, based on a photo from a 2011 V Magazine spread.

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Carino's Instagram, which we've been obsessively perusing since Gaga confirmed that the two were engaged, is essentially the world's most intimate stan page. We went off the deep end and did a deep dive. There are so many pictures of Stefani Germanotta living her beautiful life, which apparently includes a lot of baseball. There are mini-ponies! The whole page is even littered with classic "come to Brazil" comments. What a journey.

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Related | Meet Christian Carino, Lady Gaga's Fiancé

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Turns out that apparently Carino only got an Instagram to document his love of Gaga. His first 21 posts are all blurry shots from the Joanne tour, the exact kind of pictures you'd expect a middle-aged dad to take. Gaga doesn't seem to mind! We don't either! Christian Carino, you stan Gaga, and we also stan you.

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Here is Gaga at the Louvre, ensconced in Carino's inked arms.

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Here's a BTS look at Gaga's dramatic arrival at the Venice Film Festival (perfect for this wholly Eye-talian couple). Her face is mostly obscured by Carino scooching across a speedboat, but you get the idea. She yells! She laughs!

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Here is Gaga, tan and beautiful and bare-faced on some gorgeous beach.

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Here is the couple getting attacked by rabid fans.

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Gaga's eyes, which according to another post are the "sweetest eyes" Carino has "ever seen." We thought agents were supposed to be heartless?

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Lady Gaga's lips apparently serve as Christian Carino's home. Perhaps the Malibu mansion is undergoing renovations.

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The piéce de resistance: Gaga with mini-ponies. Mini! Ponies! They are Gaga's (though Carino also has two adorable pugs), their names are Sandy and Gracie, she rides them to help with her chronic pain, and they are perfection.

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A backstage view.

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A mini-monster!

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Dude posts Gaga's performances a lot.

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We get it. Home! Lady Gaga is not a fame monster or a Joanne or a born star, but rather a home for Christian Carino's heart.

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"Why is it that she doesn't need any makeup but can take so long to get ready?" The eternal question of a man who is truly in love with the face before him!

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Yes, we get it! Home! Home! Home!

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Also "Happiness." The more we comb through Christian Carino's Instagram, the larger our hearts grow (three whole sizes, like Tiny Tim or whatever). His love is beautiful!

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Despite the fact that she lives on a cliff in Malibu, Gaga is a New Yorkah through and through. Christian understands her!

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In which Carino invents an acronym for "You Are The Love of My Life." Somewhere out there, Drake furiously sips a Hennessy.

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Gaga and her sister, Natali. We can only presume that the "secret sauce" is precious Germanotta DNA.

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Gaga, betraying the Yankees with this trip to Fenway.

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Photo via Instagram

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Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:00:41 +0000http://www.82628789.com/lady-gaga-christian-carino-instagram-2613343772.htmlLady gagaChristian carinoJoanneA star is bornJustin bieberJennifer lopezChristina aguileraMiley cyrusJocelyn Silver
Person vs. Persona: Maison the Faux Examines Authenticityhttp://www.82628789.com/maison-the-faux-authenticity-2613120398.html

Declaring someone "fake" is one of those ultimate character attacks; in that context, we're basically saying the fake person is deceptive, malicious, cold-hearted, and selfish. When we're misled by a fake person, we think less about their reasoning than our own hurt feelings. But aren't a lot of us guilty of the same tactics sometimes? Don't we all wear masks — some more opaque than others — at different points in our lives?

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Smile Now, Cry Later, the latest production from the creative studio of fashion house Maison the Faux, explored what happens when such a mask fuses permanently, and it also asks why. Working with the skeletons of a show, the seven-scene meta-play, realized most recently on Oct. 5 in downtown L.A., featured actors struggling to find their best take on a particular character, with some even jockeying for the same role. While rooted in an analysis of the line between character and performer, the production alluded to the audience's — or anyone's — everyday acting, too.

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"Everybody in this world struggles with staying true to themselves," Maison the Faux designers Joris Suk and Tessa de Boer note. "Being original and not compromising who you are is one of the hardest things to do, but at the same time it's one of the most important things in life to explore. The performance was very much based around this struggle. Each role and scene revolved around the questions: Who is the real me? Why did I lose myself? Is the original me enough?"

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"Who is the real me? Why did I lose myself? Is the original me enough?"

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Practically anyone can admit that clothes are one way we construct masks for ourselves. That's not really up for debate — but our intentions are. Is it all artifice? A coping mechanism? Do our personas — and the style that helps present them — elevate our identities, or are we covering them up, denying ourselves some inner truth?

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In conversation with PAPER, Suk and de Boer guide us through the character examination that is Smile Now, Cry Later. Read on to learn more about the inspirations behind the show, how the actors wore reflected the mission, and what the crew found in creating it all.

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How did the idea for Smile Now, Cry Later originate? What was the initial mission behind it?

During our last presentation in LA, we spent a lot of time in Hollywood, which led to this presentation. We became intrigued by human behavior: How people can fake their emotions or put on a fake smile and eventually start to believe the fake smile themselves. It's about the tricks we play on ourselves when we "act," how our coping mechanism can take over. So it was an investigation in why people find comfort in playing a character to escape and how dangerous it can be when the character eventually takes over the "real" character and emotions. One of the starting points of the concept was [a reading by Maya Angelou [of Paul Laurence Dunbar's We Wear the Mask, which] we watched over and over again.

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Related | Maison the Faux Takes Hollywood

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Can you tell us more about the seven scenes within the play? What was the narrative for each, who were the characters?

The characters of the play consisted out of Echo, Narcissus, The Teacher, The Choir, Ophelia, Icarus and a few unnamed side parts. Each scene was inspired by either real-life experiences or famous Hollywood scenes in which the line between character and actor are blurred. There were some secret Mulholland Drive references, Truman Show, Birdman and much more, which we mixed with classical Greek and Roman plays. The idea behind it is to mix contemporary Hollywood with the ancient principles of acting: drama and comedy (the smile and the cry). For instance, the final scene was heavily inspired by the final scene of the Truman Show.

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How did you go about choosing performers and collaborators?

We worked together for the second time with Maavven and director Nina McNeely. Most of the people we worked with on this play are either people Nina works with a lot or we have worked with in the past — people we love and that fascinate us for one reason or another. We're always looking for people that connect to the brand and are creators themselves, so the play/presentation is carried by a group of people that all collaborate and add to the creative process. We want Maison the Faux to feel like a place in which everybody involved feels like a part of the same world.

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What role did the costuming play in shaping the personas? Why were houndstooth, leather, and denim used in creating romantic silhouettes?

Almost like an universal language, like the tear and the smile, translated in two ways: the modern and the ancient. Like in the development of the play and the set, we were constantly looking for a classical basis. The materials and silhouettes we used all have that same type of feeling: recognizable but reinterpreted.

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From the photos of the performance, it seems as if the actors are shown struggling to perfecting the characterizations of their roles. Can you elaborate on the experiences they portray — and what those portrayals are meant to represent?

Everybody in this world struggles with staying true to themselves. Being original and not compromising who you are is one of the hardest things to do, but at the same time it's one of the most important things in life to explore. The performance was very much based around this struggle. Each role and scene revolved around the questions: Who is the real me? Why did I lose myself? Is the original me enough? To illustrate, we had three performers playing the role of Echo, all of them trying to replace one another and competing over who can be the best version of a character.

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"It was an investigation in why people find comfort in playing a character to escape and how dangerous it can be."

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How did the audience react to the assistant director's instructions to smile or cry? What purpose does this staged element serve?

We want our performances to be immersive, to really touch an audience and make them feel and contemplate what they are witnessing. The assistant director served many symbolic and structural purposes; the AD tried to control the audience's perception of the play, telling them what to do and how to feel. So not only were the characters struggling to find authenticity in their portrayals, the audience was also manipulated and forced into certain ways of behaving and feeling.

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What did you find in exploring questions about the authenticity of emotions and the line between person and persona? What about the question of, "How do you recognize the mask?

During this whole investigation we found out that the "masks" people wear can be just like fashion. It can make someone hideous and fake, or it can serve a purpose of helping to bring out identity and reinforce someone's realness.

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Photography: Jordan Millington

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Wed, 17 Oct 2018 22:56:49 +0000http://www.82628789.com/maison-the-faux-authenticity-2613120398.htmlMaison the fauxHollywoodJhoni Jackson
10 Intimate Portraits of Women Returning Home From Prisonhttp://www.82628789.com/life-in-prison-photos-10-2599889758.html

While public awareness of the tragedy of mass incarceration may be growing, less attention has been paid to the experiences of female inmates. The prison population has ballooned over the past twenty years, skyrocketing to 2.1 million, making the United States the largest jailer of its citizens in the world. This explosion of the inmate population has not excluded women, and in fact while overall fewer women are incarcerated than men, as a demographic they are the fastest-growing segment of the prison population.

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A 2017 ACLU report found that women are disproportionately stuck languishing in jails, often because even more so than incarcerated men, they can't afford bail. Of the 219,000 women currently held by the correctional system, 113,000 were funneled to state and federal prisons, where inmates with longer sentences are sent. Though violent crime has been steadily dropping nationwide since its peak in 1991, the number of life sentences has nearly quintupled since 1984, and a recent report by the Sentencing Project shows that 3.5 percent of the overall life-sentenced population are female, which is half their representation in the general prison population.

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So why do so many women end up incarcerated? Research tells us that between 23 and 37 percent of female state prisoners were physically abused before age 18 and one in four was sexually abused—higher than the national average. A study by the Department of Justice found that victims of most women convicted of murder were their intimate partner or a family member, and that nearly half of women in state prisons had experienced abuse at some time before their arrest. Drug sentencing laws, a lack of community resources, poverty, and disinterest in the public and policy levels in issues that affect women also contribute to a complex array of factors. But beyond statistics, inmates are people like anyone else, carrying with them into the justice system their histories, relationships, desires, fears, trauma and hopes for the future.

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One of the most challenging times in an inmate's life can be their return to society. Photographer Sara Bennett, formerly a public defender specializing in battered women and the wrongly convicted, has spent years capturing intimate moments in the lives of women who were handed a life sentence but eventually received parole. Her series Life After Life in Prison and The Bedroom Project examine the experiences of women as they return to society following decades in prison. Following their transitions, Bennett introduces us to women whose lives have been impacted by the justice system more than anyone else, and who now have to contend with the joys and anxieties of newfound freedom.

PAPER spoke with Bennett to learn more about the work and the challenges women face upon returning to life outside prison walls:

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How do you find your subjects and what's the process of bringing them into the project?

For many years, I was the pro bono attorney for Judith Clark, who was serving a 75-year-to-life sentence for her role as a getaway driver in a famous New York Case—the Brinks robbery of 1981. I was trying to get the governor to grant her clemency, something rarely granted, and I had to show that she was extraordinary and worthy of the governor's mercy. I photographed women who had been incarcerated with her and had them speak about her influence on their lives.

It was the reaction to that work—viewers were surprised that the formerly incarcerated women were just regular women—which sparked my second project, Life After Life in Prison, where I followed four women as they went about re-entering society after decades in prison. Judy introduced me to my first subject, Keila. The first time I met Keila, she was on her way to a meeting of formerly incarcerated women, and I tagged along with my camera. There, I told all the women about my project, and they all wanted to be included. A lot of the women at that meeting already knew of me, either through my work on Judy's behalf or because I had represented some of their friends as a Legal Aid lawyer. Each woman I met, introduced me to another, and that's how I ended up with my Bedroom Project series, where, so far, I have photographed 18 women.

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Why the designation, specifically, of life in prison?

It was really, really important to me. My only criteria for someone to be a part of this project, or any of my projects, is that they had to have a life sentence, because it means that they never know if they were going to get out of prison. If you have a sentence of 15 years to life, it means that in 15 years you are eligible for parole, but the parole board may deny you. I'm not a practicing lawyer anymore and I haven't been for almost 14 years, although I did have pro bono cases for a very long time. But I was really concerned about the long-termers in prison.

One of the other things I wanted to highlight was the parole system in general. Every state is different but in a place like New York the granting of parole is very slim and has been for a long time. You can have a sentence of 15 to life, and you go to the parole board and they don't care that you have done 15 years, they just care about what you did 15 years ago. The only time you ever hear about a parolee is when they commit some kind of high profile crime, and then the feeling is, 'We have to clamp down on parole again.' I wanted to show a different light—the majority of people who come out of prison and lead productive lives and who are just thriving.

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Given that it's life sentences that you are dealing with, are the women you photograph mostly convicted of violent crimes? Or is it a lot of drug charges?

No, it's all violent crimes. In my Bedroom Project series, all but two women were convicted of homicide. In my first reentry series, all four women were convicted of homicide.

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Did you get to know the women well while photographing them?

Some of the women I know really, really well—the four women who were my original re-entry subjects, for example. I spent hundreds of hours with them individually and spent time with them with their families, going to church, going to their jobs, social events, just hanging out. There are only a few women that I don't know very well and have only met once or twice.

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What are some common threads with women that you see after they were incarcerated for a long time?

Really, resilience. It's just kind of incredible. There's this joy for life and how to get pleasure out of the simplest things. It helps you remember a lot of things that people take for granted—like a comfortable bed, a pillow, a choice in what you have to eat, the ability to just walk out on the street or go to the park. No matter what seems to come their way, including homelessness, doesn't seem to phase them that much. That's been really eye-opening.

One of the women I know really well lives in the homeless shelter and she loves it there. She has a little room, and there's no door, but it's hers. There is no one coming in and telling her she can't have something in there. Even though the shelter has rules, she can put things out if she wants to and she can sit in there with the lights on or the lights off; she can look out the window. She doesn't have to worry that someone is going to come in there at any moment and go through all of her things. There is just a certain peace and autonomy that hasn't existed in these women's lives for so long.

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I can imagine the ability to come and go as they please is a great thing for them.

It really is. Not that many people know what it's like to live in prison. They get their ideas from movies. But in prison, people are constantly being counted, so you are woken up really early every day and you have to stand and be counted and you go through that five or six times each day. You eat your meals at a time that is designated to you, you take a shower at a time that is designated to you—with a little bar a soap that is given to you and that little bar of soap may have to last you a month. Just the very basic necessities of life have been stripped away, so to be able to get some of those things back, they are just very grateful and I've seen that across the board. They are so content with very little.

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Do you see much anger?

Not very much, which is surprising to me. I just heard from someone who has just been given parole after 47 years in prison. He went to prison when he was 17, and is now 64 years old. He was denied parole something like 16 times. I got a card from him that he's so grateful, and I was wondering why he'd be grateful? I believe that the person is just so grateful for being able to come home. I don't see a lot of anger and I don't know why.

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Have any of the women you worked with went back to prison?

Nope. I don't think any of them will.

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What are the biggest challenges you see them face upon re-entry?

The number one challenge is finding a place to live. The second is finding a job and a way to support themselves. There are reentry programs, but very few in general and even fewer for women. If you manage to get a place in a reentry program, then you will have a place to live; otherwise you may end up in a shelter. If you have been in prison for a long, long time, it's very rare that you are going to have a family member to go home to, just because everyone has aged or you have been forgotten. Even if you haven't been forgotten, but you come home and you're 45 and still have a living parent, they may not be able to take you in any more.

Finding a job is really, really hard. All of the women I know have a lot of skills, because when you are in prison you do work. So they may have plumbing skills, electrical skills, painting skills or culinary skills or maybe got a college degree or were running some kind of program in there. Everyone finds work and does some kind of meaningful work in prison, but that doesn't mean when you come home that an employer wants that experience. You have a huge gap on your resume. I know people who say that they were a chef for 25 years for a large institution and hope that the boss doesn't ask you what the name of the large institution was.

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Even though it's a positive event, emotionally it must be very trying.

A lot of people have a lot of anxiety. It's a little scary to come home after all that time away. Little things like walking across the street are hard. Some people get car sick because they haven't been in a vehicle for 25 years. Then there are the technology changes—but they seem to adapt pretty quickly. Reuniting with children which can be difficult. I haven't actually seen any of the people that I have been photographing reunite with children. There may be a couple who have them, but usually, the children are lost to the system or have family members who have turned the children against them. I feel like that's a really deep sadness.

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What's the age range of the people you photograph?

The age range is from 38-70. The minimum amount of time that any of my photographed subjects had was 14 years, and that was only because that person received clemency from the governor. The next shortest sentence was 17 years and after that, anywhere up to 35 years, which two of my portrait subjects served.

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What do you think about the way women who are incarcerated are portrayed in the media?

I used to watch Orange is the New Black and I have to say that I loved the second season where they showed the back stories of the women. It was the only time where I felt that they showed the women in an un-stereotypical fashion.

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Have any stereotypes come up for you that have been confronted? How has the project changed you on this?

I think I've really gotten to know the women in a way that I've never gotten to know my clients, which has been really great for me. I was an appellate lawyer, which means my clients had already been convicted by the time I met them, so I never got to know their home settings. When you are in and out of someone's home, you really get to know them. You get to see how they deal with their problems and who they are. I feel really honored that people allow me to come into their homes and be a part of their lives now. I did form close relationships with some of my clients and kept in touch with them after they came home from prison, so, this wasn't completely new to me. But the women I photograph have shared a lot of their lives with me and whenever someone allows you to do that, you really grow as a person.

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What would you hope the biggest take away for someone viewing this project is? And how do you hope that translates to change in society or the system?

One, I just want people to think about why we lock people up, why we lock them up for as long as we do and why we treat them so inhumanely. When you start to think about all that, the rest follows. Like: why don't we let people out when they have been completely rehabilitated? Why do we put up so many hurdles and requirements and barriers to getting a job when they come home? That was really eye-opening for me, that when they first come home they have to go to a lot of programs, which makes it really hard to have a job. I would love to see policy changes in the whole sentencing structure across the country, so we don't have sentences like life without parole or 25 years to life, like other countries. On a very basic level, we should be asking things like what kind of food do we feed people, and why do we send people to solitary, and why do we treat our pets better than we treat human beings?

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Wed, 17 Oct 2018 17:11:25 +0000http://www.82628789.com/life-in-prison-photos-10-2599889758.htmlMass incarcerationIndustrial prison complexPrisonStory Claire Valentine / Photography Sara Bennett
Tarana Burke On the One-Year Anniversary of #MeToo Going Viralhttp://www.82628789.com/tarana-burke-me-too-2611417381.html

Activist Tarana Burke was probably the most shocked to see that a movement she started in 2006 had gone viral last year when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out #MeToo as a hashtag, in light of the explosive sexual abuse allegations levied against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. The shock wasn't about the movement being co-opted, but in wondering what would possibly happen next. How does a movement live beyond its hashtag?

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Related | Hashtag Graveyard: How to Save a Movement From Dying

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When sexual assault survivors are thrust into the public spotlight, it can re-open old wounds, and prove to be an experience that places them back in their original trauma. But Burke connected with Milano and saw an opportunity for the Me Too movement, which has always been grassroots and intersectional at its core, to include still more voices. The hashtag #MeToo became the seeds for a much more widespread revolution that sprung forward, inspiring many people to come forward, and in some cases has led to justice (the cases of former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and comedian Bill Cosby). Time's Up, a sister organization that formed in light of Me Too's reckoning, has brought together top Hollywood actresses, directors and producers, launched earlier this year and includes a multi-million-dollar legal fund for survivors.

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For people like Burke, while these changes signal progress in the right direction, it also means there is still more work to be done. (See: the circus surrounding the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.) Part of that work involves Burke making herself more visible, despite the risk in doing so—she tells PAPER she has experienced regular death threats. As one of several collaborations Burke has dedicated her time to this year, she is teaming with civil-rights nonprofit Color Of Change and visual influencer platform Paper Monday, for a portrait and multimedia series called Storytellers. The aim of the Storytellers project is to "elevate the experiences and work of those leading the revolution of authentic storytelling about Black people through art and activism," and in addition to Burke, includes the moving stories of other visionaries across age and identity categories. Others featured in the project range from renowned film producer Stephanie Allain to art-world scions Kimberly Drew and Tyler Mitchell, and many more.

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In Burke's story, shared exclusively with PAPER, she discusses her early roots as an activist, her love of history, and the importance of Black people refusing to relinquish their power. "I'm excited to share the history because I come from a tradition of elders and from a community of people that really made me who I am," she says.

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Read on for PAPER's interview with Burke, see photos throughout and hear her Storytellers excerpt, produced by Color Of Change and Paper Monday, below.

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How are you feeling one year after the Hollywood breakthrough of Me Too since it became a hashtag and went viral?

I feel like the last year has been probably one of the strongest we've seen in the movement around people doing work in sexual violence, but has also been the most challenging because it's a gift and a curse. Most people who are working toward a larger goal for humanity if you will, look for ways and opportunities to have mainstream conversations about it and engage people about it, and we've had that chance in the last year. But it has been backed with this extreme backlash and this narrative that's not useful with this work we're doing around it being a witch hunt—basically, just watching the idea of Me Too become weaponized has been a challenge.

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How do you think we can move through that as a society?

I think journalists can talk about it differently, despite how popular figures like the president or certain celebrities characterize the movement. The media could come to everyday people who are actually saying "me too," and talking to the people committed to doing the work to end sexual violence and supporting survivors. There are a lot of other voices who aren't centered in the conversation about Me Too and so, it's just always about what some celebrity or politician is saying and we're always needing to defend against them rather than holding them accountable. It would be great for the media to do that, because they have unlimited resources not necessarily when it comes to money, but when it comes to words and influence and the ability to reach so many people.

There is so much to unpack when it comes to sexual violence, and there's a whole spectrum of what that looks like, and yet, so much of the media's focus is often around sexual harassment in the workplace. There are people who said "me too" who were talking about surviving child sexual abuse, or being assaulted by a partner, or on a college campus, or in a church. People talking about dealing with indignities and injustices that become so conditioned that it's second nature for the survivor. There's just a lot to talk about, investigate and unpack. I'm amazed that millions of people could volunteer information about being impacted by sexual violence, we're talking about people ready to speak out, and news outlets will not approach them unless they have a platform. Really?

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"Christine Blasey Ford was working against so many odds and still managed to get there. So I still feel like the victory is actually in her favor for going there and standing up."

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I think that it points to the idea of a credible victim, too. Who is that person and what does it look like? We saw this come alive in the Senate hearings of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. And she's a wealthy white woman with privilege, but still had to prove herself to go up against this man. What about those who aren't her, who don't even get that far?

Right, well the flip side of that is this: her coming forward was not in vain. It is hard to watch someone like her come forward and be so credible, so moving, and still not get the end result. But we have to remember that at the point she was allowed to come into the conversation and all the things around it, she was working against so many odds and still managed to get there. So I still feel like the victory is actually in her favor for going there and standing up. Even though the Senate still confirmed him, I'm willing to bet that a part of her feels completely moved by the outpouring of love, and of survivors around the world saying "We believe you. Your story resonates deeply with me. This happened to me. Me too." There's something else at play besides just trying to keep this person from being confirmed. There's also the need for survivors to see other people like them represented. It's the same thing we say about being black women in the media, or seeing people of color in the media, or queer people in the media—it's something about seeing yourself in a public figure being courageous that is so valuable. I'm not trying to not acknowledge that there's a lot of hurt and a lot of pain in his being confirmed anyway, but as the dust settles, we realize that we found a hero in Christine Blasey Ford.

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What are some of the most illuminating things that you've learned over the past year? What are some things that you've learned that have helped strengthen what you're doing as an activist?

I think one of the things I don't get to talk about much is how much collaboration I've been involved in this year. A lot of times, folks will single out the most popular name or person involved, but they don't realize how many other people are involved with that work as well. There's nothing I've done this year that hasn't been in collaboration of some sort with other people, and it's been people who I've long admired, people who I deeply respect, and people who, even though we know each other, we haven't traditionally worked across issue lines, and we found a lot of common ground and a lot of space to do that, and it's been super rewarding. I just believe in the power of collaboration and community in general, but a lot of times people say that and we don't really get a chance to say, "Oh, we should do this more," or, "It would've been great if we could have..." and I have seen a high level of collaboration and cooperation among [nonprofits].

Nonprofits are still companies for the most part, and there's still competition and that kind of thing, and I see such a different reality around that. So that's been a big thing this year. Also, being thrust into the national spotlight makes you take stock in who you are, like what are you actually made of, because some people, both literally and figuratively, will try to kill you. I've had death threats and threats of bodily harm, and just all kinds of crazy stuff that I've just been like, really? You know, there's so many nuts out here. But also, just being challenged in so many kinds of ways, you certainly test your metal. I've also learned that there's a deep, deep, deep divide between survivors of sexual violence and those who are not. And there's a dearth of understanding about the life-cycle of a survivor, that people have so accepted these misunderstandings to the point where cases like Blasey Ford or even Anita Hill could happen, because we so expected the stereotypes and the misconceptions we have about what it is to survive sexual violence. So watching this, people think it's actually true. Like, "Oh well, you know, she should've just got up and went to the police and reported it. Hello! What's wrong with her?" There's so many things like that. Oh God, it's awful.

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The blame for these instances still falls on the victim, who then has to "prove themselves" for the world to see.

First of all, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, you are sitting here blaming a person for not coming forward and making them feel bad and inadequate, but yet you want them to come forward? What do you think? There's always a reason. If you come forward right away, you're a liar. There are all the people who question you: Are you sure? What did you wear? What did you do? There's a whole army of voices who try and make you complicit in whatever horrible thing happened to you, and if you wait because you don't want to deal with that and then somehow find the courage later on, it's like, Well, you should've said something earlier! You can't win. I think I was naive about this, like we've all been watching Law and Order: SVU for twenty years, and ya'll haven't learned anything? Still? After all of this?

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"I'm amazed that millions of people could volunteer information about being impacted by sexual violence, we're talking about people ready to speak out, and news outlets will not approach them unless they have a platform. Really?"

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Are you able to say what organizations or people you've been collaborating with over the past year?

Absolutely. Girls for Gender Equity is the organization I came out of. I worked at GGE when Me Too went viral, and we continue to work together and partner, that's where Me Too was essentially housed. And Joanne Smith, who is a director, is just invaluable in terms of a strategy and thought partner. But also on a national level, at the National Women's Law Center, [I've been working with NWLC president and CEO] Fatima Goss Graves, who is just a real example of humility and leadership. Ai-jen Poo, from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Mónica Ramírez [co-founder and president] of Alianza [Nacional de Campesinas], the migrant farm workers' alliance organization. So she's the one who wrote the letter to Hollywood that resulted in Time's Up. That's our little crew!

You've planted the seeds for what has become something so amazing. I think now we're in an environment, even though there's still a lot of shame, there's still a lot of stigma...

But we have made progress. You could not have had this kind of public discourse with this many people saying that they believe us—we literally have an example in Anita Hill. We don't even have to guess what it would've been like or could've been like or what people would've said 20 years ago, we saw it.

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People are talking a lot about the fury of American women, though we've seen more and more men come forward in support, with examples like the 1600 men petition. But what you've brought to light is the idea that this movement actually needs everyone. That survivors are not just one thing, or one type of person. They could be any of us.

Absolutely, yes. But the idea that this is primarily for women, is another part of this dangerous narrative I think. I get it, I get why it's inflated, because we are talking about the year of the Women's March, women are being affronted by our president, and there's so many things happening that are specific to women, but Me Too is not specific to women. It's a survivor's movement and I say that all the time, because I have to underscore that. Do you know that some of the most heart-wrenching letters I get, are from men who feel left out? Men who are survivors. This man actually checked me on Facebook the other day, and I appreciated it, because we have so many trolls that I came at him real snarky, and he made a very good point which is, you're one voice in a sea of voices, and what I see on the news is women, what I hear in the papers and the media is women, women, women, and I'm trying to understand why men and boys aren't inside of that narrative. So what happens is people say, "Oh yeah, boys too," and kind of just brush it off, "Oh yeah, I know it happens to men," so that's what I'm saying.

We need to really examine the whole spectrum of sexual violence because we say one in four girls and one in six boys, it kind of rolls off people's tongue, that's the statistic that everybody knows, but think about that. Think about an auditorium full of boys and count off every sixth boy. That's a lot of children. And those boys grow up to be men. And then there's also people who don't identify as men or women. So there's a whole spectrum of people who get left out when we only focus on women. I don't want to belabor the point, but I think it's an important one. And we are always out in the front, so that's the other reason it's hard not to focus on women sometimes, because we're the ones in the streets and we're marching, and we're rallying, and we're organizing and whatnot. I had the opportunity to clarify and I just want to do that.

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Full transcript of Tarana Burke's Storytellers excerpt:?



I'm three generations in the Bronx. My grandfather came from St. Kitts to the Bronx and my grandmother came from South Carolina to the Bronx - both as little children. The Bronx is part of my family's identity. I grew up in what they call the south Bronx which is really the west Bronx, around Jerome avenue. I also grew up right at the dawn of Hip-Hop becoming more mainstream. Seeing people like Slick Rick and Dougie Fresh and growing up as a teenager, Hip-Hop in the 90s was a big part of my life. Public Enemy coming out was the marriage of what I loved, which was Hip Hop, being from New York, but also social justice.

I was always moved by thinking early on about Hip-Hop as an organizing tool particularly Public Enemy, Poor Righteous Teachers or even Tribe in the ways they told stories and presented an alternative for Blackness. I come from a family that was very Black. I couldn't wear combinations of red, white and blue. My grandfather would pick me up on the weekends and we would drive to 125th street to Harlem Music Hut, where you could get all your mixtapes from, but they also had cassette tapes of elder scholars like John Henry Clark or Dr. Ben Joseph. And we would drive around listening to that. We were Black like that.

And when I was in the seventh grade I was in catholic school and my grandfather started telling me about how Catholics had slaves, and started giving me books to read like Roots, then Before the Mayflower and They Came Before Columbus in the seventh grade. I was like 'why are you trying to destroy my life and what I understand to be the way the world works.' I appreciated what he did, but I also wish it had been done differently because then I went through a period of anger. That carried me halfway through high school and then I found a way to take that feeling and make that become work.

I joined 21st Century Leadership Movement at 14. It became a way to take all this knowledge and cultural awareness and historical awareness my family gave me, and put that into action. They helped me identify and understand what injustice and justice looked like.

I remember in the 6th and 7th grade loving history and American history. I used to know the preamble to the Constitution. I was drawn to the story of America and how we came to be. Even though I knew about slavery and I knew about how we were enslaved, there was still something that was attractive about the American story until my grandfather introduced me to all these different narratives that started peeling away at that. I remember when I recited the preamble to the Constitution to him, he was appalled. That's when he gave me They Came Before Columbus and said 'You need to read this.' And as I was introduced to these different narratives, on my own, I started to understand the complexity of what it is to be American, and what America was. And then the truth, and also the idea that the truth is not just the truth. The truth based on who you are and who's telling it, and how it's been told, and when it's being told, and who it's being told to. I didn't realized that Black people had our own truth of what it was to be American, and what it was to be in America.

That understanding made me confused. It made me angry trying to grapple with that. Then I was introduced to this idea that you don't just have to read about oppression, you don't just have to study and look at it and see it and be angry about it, but you can be active. You can be out here. The premise of 21st Century, the organization, was to continue the legacy of the civil rights movement, Black power movement, labor movements, in a new generation. When I was introduced to those narratives, I realized these people were my age. They were in the marches getting hosed. Once I saw that, I realized that we shape history.

Our truth has always been weaponized against us. The way to push back against these other false narratives is to weaponize it for us. It's also what I'm dealing with now around the #MeToo movement. People keep saying 'oh the white people have taken it from you, the white people are co-oping, the #MeToo movement is not for us, it's for white people.' Here's a thing that you know is true. You have a person here who founded or started doing this work. How can it also then be true that it's not for us? And so I'll continue to hold it up and say this is for us. This is true this is for us. Non Black people are going to do whatever they want to do, it doesn't matter. We stay so focused on what they're doing as opposed to what the power we have that we just give our power over. If we teach our children and teach each other to stop relinquishing our power -- it is what we say it is. This is powerful because I said it's powerful and it doesn't matter what somebody else is saying.



Photography: Rog Walker, Paper Monday

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Mon, 15 Oct 2018 20:05:53 +0000http://www.82628789.com/tarana-burke-me-too-2611417381.html#metooMe tooTarana burkeMichael Love Michael
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