Tuesday, September 16, 2014


The Hairpin Rom Com Club: She's All That

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.01.18 AM
Welcome back to The Hairpin Rom Com Club. It’s just like a book club, except you will not be expected to listen to anyone talk about their monogamous sexual partners, or, god forbid, children.

This week’s movie is She’s All That, starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachel Leigh Cook, and a cast full of late-nineties favorites. There’s Paul Walker as a frosted-tip jerk, Anna Paquin as a sexually frustrated private school girl slash fairy godmother, and Matthew Lillard playing Everything That’s Wrong With Reality Television. READ MORE


Six Signs You're Truly Comfortable In Your Relationship

1. [yelling, from the bathroom.]

"Hey babe! Can you come here?"

"I just put toilet paper in there this morning. Did you drop it in the toilet?"

"No. Come here. Look at this poop. My shit is... it's, like, blue. Babe, my shit is blue. Come look at this. Bring your phone."

2. "You look different. Are you not wearing makeup?"

"No, I'm not wearing skin. I am sick of adhering to skin-filled beauty standards. Pass the chips." READ MORE


A Letter To My Aunties


I heard some of you tried to Google me.

My mother tells me this sitting on the edge of my childhood bed. I’ve been gone from the home I grew up in for five years. I left to start my life. I’m back now to show my gratitude—like a spiritual praxis; there’s a cord that ties me to my family and their needs; I am a healer at my best.

As a kid I didn’t understand why my life had restrictions. Unlike so many of my friends, I had a list of terms and conditions governing my free spirit; a body of rules that determined my morality. READ MORE


The Best Time I Was A Child Con Artist

My family has many unwritten rules. The second most important is: do not open the door if the doorbell rings only once. In our family, if the doorbell only rings once, you were either a salesperson or a canvasser. And salespersons and canvassers are liars and thieves.

My mother came to this conclusion shortly after she first immigrated to Canada; two scam artists pretending to work for the government tried to enter our home. Looking back, this is probably why I couldn’t make it as a (sort of) con artist, selling chocolates on the mean streets of southwestern Ontario. READ MORE


The Red Heads

The Red Heads

The Irish Redhead Convention takes place in County Cork

Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist, writer and sea creature. Prints of her paintings are for sale here.


More Than the Banana Skirt

Nichelle Gainer, author of the fantastic Tumblr Vintage Black Glamour, had an in-depth interview with Collector's Weekly that came out months ago, and none of you told me, but we'll put that behind us for now. I make no secret of being fiercely interested in mainstream depictions of people of color, historical depictions of people of color, artistic, religious, political—my boyfriend knows to tell me if a show has any black people in it to get me to watch—but throw in some GOWNS? I'm all there.

Gainer, who's releasing a coffee table book of her findings, initially started the project as research for a novel, but soon found herself enamored by 'Negro beauty pageants', and soon discovered that an aunt of hers was a major player in them. She knew that the resulting blog she wasn't filling a void, particularly, but instead creating a space where famous African-Americans' identities' weren't just pigeonholed into the handful of famous photos that are conjured up when one hears their name. She builds out our visualizations: READ MORE


Thrift Store Wigs, Absolutely No Heart: The Brittany Murphy Story

Brittany Murphy Lifetime 1

Lifetime has recently been focusing on biopics instead of their usual awesomely bad cyberseduction-forbidden-priest-romance fare. Last year, they released The Anna Nicole Story; despite a decent cast (Adam Goldberg, Cary Elwes) and this shot of Martin Landau as J. Howard Marshall, the film fell flat. So far, this year we'll see The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Movie, an unauthorized Aaliyah flick to look forward to (or fear), and a Whitney Houston movie directed by none other than Angela Bassett.

Lifetime’s latest release, The Brittany Murphy Story, seemed like it came out of nowhere. And it did; The Brittany Murphy Story was shot in just two weeks, with the lead actress having only two days to prepare for the role. If I was going to sum up my review in one sentence, that sentence would be: this movie was a depressing three-ring circus with lots of thrift store wigs and not much heart. READ MORE


The Internet is a Mirror: An Interview With Astra Taylor

People line up to cast their votes outside polling station in Majuli, a large river island in Brahmaputra riverOnce, someone tweeted that the Internet was garbage, and I retweeted it. Twitter was feeling like a huge circle jerk. Google was refining that search personalization algorithm, but Gmail wasn’t sending my emails. OkCupid sent me an email with a picture of a guinea pig with an arrow connecting a “YOU” to it. And I quit Facebook over a year ago, so that my feelings wouldn't be toyed with or updated.

Astra Taylor is a multi-hyphenate: documentary filmmaker (Examined Life, Zizek!), writer (The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age), and activist (The Rolling Jubilee campaign) doesn’t so much think that the Internet is garbage, but rather that it could be more democratic. She was in town for the Toronto International Film Festival’s Doc Conference, where she spoke about how the Internet is affecting documentary filmmakers. We sat down together to discuss her book, women on the Internet, and drinking from the fire hose of social media. READ MORE


Meet Perfection

Brought to you by Absolut

From seed to sip, every drop of Absolut Vodka is expertly crafted by generations of farmers and distillers from the small village of Åhus, Sweden —in a region with more than 400 years of superior vodka-making expertise. What’s their secret? High quality, locally sourced ingredients— pristine aquifer water & pure winter wheat (the latter carefully selected in partnership with 450 local farmers).

These high quality ingredients, in conjunction with the care and attention of a village that has been crafting vodka since 1879, results in a smooth, rich vodka that transforms any cocktail.

To learn more about how Absolut is crafted please visit: meetperfection.com.


Snackwave: A Comprehensive Guide To The Internet's Saltiest Meme

Over the past few years, an aesthetic we like to call "snackwave" has trickled up from Tumblr dashboards. Now a part of mainstream culture, snackwave is everywhere: it's printed on American Apparel clothes and seen in Katy Perry music videos. It's the antithesis to kale-ridden health food culture and the rise of Pinterest-worthy twee cupcake recipes. It’s the wording in your Instagram handle, a playful cheeseburger selfie, Jennifer Lawrence announcing on the red carpet that she’s hungry for a pizza. In snackwave world, everyone is Claudia Kishi, and your junk food drawer is also your blog.

What we’ve written here is merely a guide to understanding the rise of this very Internet 3.0-specific aesthetic. Snackwave is no longer a lowbrow joke bonding tweens across Twitter feeds and Tumblr blogs. It’s being co-opted by corporate Twitter accounts and fashion companies, both of whom are seeking to talk just like their ‘net-savvy young consumers.

Both of us are very much a part of this scene—in fact, we’ve got McDonald’s Sweet 'n Sour sauce IVs hooked up to our veins right now. We know snackwave inside and out. So grab a bag of Funyuns, a sleeve of Oreos, and get ready to ride the snackwave. READ MORE


Is My iPhone a Tool of the Patriarchy? Notes From an Investigation

New U2 album automatically loaded onto iTunes, Nicki Minaj's Anaconda remains suspiciously absent.

No default Beyoncé ringtones available, but there is some bullshit called "Stargaze."

Autocorrect changes "menstruating" (perfectly natural bodily function) to "men's trusting" (two words that should never be seen together). READ MORE


Bill Cosby's Pound Cake

There are three men I picture when I hear the words "my dad:" first and foremost, it's my actual dad. Second is Terry Crews, specifically in his role as Julius in Everybody Hates Chris, the patriarch of one of my family's favorite shows—also, he sort of looks like my dad. The last is Bill Cosby, who is, well, everybody's dad (Hairpin pal Michelle Markowitz already vehemently claims Claire Huxtable as her mother).

Last week's New Yorker profile of him was likely released due to the upcoming 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, but his post-Huxtable fame —the comedy and lecture circuit—has a newfound relevance in our post-Ferguson world. Cosby's famous polemic known as the "pound cake speech" places, to some, almost equal blame on the unfairly convicted/prosecuted/killed person as it does the aggressor.

"These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! And then we all run out and are outraged: “The cops shouldn’t have shot him.” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said, “If you get caught with it you’re going to embarrass your mother."

Cosby accused poor people of “not holding their end in this deal,” and built to an expression of metaphysical disgust. “You can’t keep asking that God will find a way,” he said. “God is tired of you.” The definitive TV father had run out of patience.

I interviewed my dad for an article on Ferguson a few weeks ago; though he and Cosby were born in different eras, their POVs are starkly similar: you shouldn't have been fooling around in the first place. What I've seen amongst my generation has been much more empathetic– I'm not sure where the divide is. Criticism of Michael Brown's character have been hotly defended– the New York Times hastily apologized and explained themselves after they called Brown "no angel" and detailing his alleged robbery. Why are some people so eager to divvy up the blame, where others are more singularly focused?

Just because Cos has been the Ultimate Dad—the profile is called "The Eternal Paternal"—doesn't mean he is necessarily right about pound cake, the weight of responsibility, or anything. Two of Cosby's protégés— Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor—rebelled against his old-fashioned ideals, with Murphy notably working the generational divide in his act. Maybe we should all tell our dads to get with the times and get rid of the idea that all young African-American men have to do stay alive is to put their heads down and stay out of trouble. Anybody got a purple leather suit?

'Shy People' and the Consequences of Excavating a Lost Film


-Look over there.

-I don't see anything.

-You don't see them. They'll see you.

Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky's Shy People opened in New York and Los Angeles in December of 1987 after winning the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and receiving a handful of rave reviews. The film was seen by few people and nominated for even fewer awards, even though its lead actors—Barbara Hershey, Jill Clayburgh, and Martha Plimpton—teetered somewhere on the mostly recognizable and well-liked edge of B- and C-list. In May of 1988, the film was given a slightly wider release, allowing it to take one final gasp of air before falling into the murky depths of forgotten films and becoming an official bomb.

Considering the fact that major publications failed to get even its general plot correct in their Fall movie previews, the fate of Shy People was unsurprising—most notably to Roger Ebert.

Of all of the great, lost films of recent years, "Shy People" must be the saddest case. Here is a great film that slipped through the cracks of an idiotic distribution deal and has failed to open in most parts of the country...If you want to see it, move decisively; it will be pushed aside soon by the big summer releases. With slightly different handling, "Shy People" could have been a best-picture Oscar nominee.

Roger Ebert

May 20, 1988

In 2014, Shy People barely exists. READ MORE


Weekend Roundup

Have you ever seen Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest? You should, one, because it's fascinating, and two, because director and producer Michael Rapaport manages to make some of it About Him in only a way that Michael Rapaport can. Anyway, in it, Q-Tip discusses his mindset after the group's mind-blowing debut album, Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm: "They were talking about a sophomore jinx. Sophomore jinx? What the fuck is that? I'm going to make the Low End Theory." Their follow-up record is one of the greatest albums of all time.

Here's Hairpin 3.0's Low End Theory: We were not like most girls. We lied, died, and celebrated our favorite tee. We got some busy jellyfish to exercise with us, bloodfeasted on the best sandwich in town, and then popped by the doctor for a quick, run-of-the-mill stool examination. Fun! We dismantled the idea that white ideals of beauty are the only valid ones, went to the just for kydz fun zone, wished for self-washing hair, and didn't feel bad if we made friends from the internet, as long as they weren't Nev Schulman. We mounted a fox. We lost our voice, but never lost our spirit. Alright! The Source gives us five mics.

Really, though, Haley and I are both proud of this week, and we hope you are too. As always, call or beep us, if you wanna reach us (we're just your basic average girls, but we're here to save the world)—comments, concerns, questions, pie recipes are all welcome. A follow up to a question posed last week: the spam is still in the process of being slayed, but it's been a little better in the past week, no? All thanks goes to Dusty. Behind the scenes: Haley is off getting a tattoo, and I'm considering learning how to cross-stitch. We both bought tickets to see Mindy Kaling and Emily Nussbaum in the The New Yorker Festival and had the above reaction. How are you?

Because we love the ladies: before you go, relish Hairpin pal Michelle Markowitz's summer fling, and read Mallory Ortberg's righting of a wrong/her own list of disruptors after Vanity Fair released their atrocious one. Full disclosure: Haley and I are on it, but so are so many women that we love and respect and Instagram stalk (hi, Pilot), and we endorse it for them, not us. You're all on my list of "The Best", and I wish you the happiest weekend.


Thrashin' Fashion: Laia Garcia Reviews NYFW

NY1-c (1)

Another fashion week has come and gone, and just like that, we no longer covet things available tomorrow or next month. Now, we're coveting things awaiting us in the distant future: February, March, and April. Modernity is old news. New York Fashion Week—always looking forward, always looking for the next best thing, always dreaming, never sleeping. READ MORE