Wealthy couple, Johnny and Moira Rose, find themselves broke after Mr. Rose’s business manager makes off with their fortune. The Roses and their two thirty-something children, David and Alexis, are then forced to relocate to the nowhere town of Schitt’s Creek, given it’s the only property the IRS left them. The pilot episode finds the family moving into the Schitt’s Creek motel and attempting to acclimate to the pace of this presumably backwater town.
Initially, I was hesitant to tune in. I don’t find watching the uber rich struggle to do mundane tasks funny. You can only hear so many versions of the how-much-could-a-banana-cost line before it hits you that Jeff Bezos definitely has no idea how much a banana costs. Financial illiteracy in this age just isn’t cute. I’m not sure it ever was (particularly in Trump’s America) and the disconnected rich person act is just too close to reality to be real fodder for comedy.
While Schitt’s Creek does have an element of schadenfreude, the comedy of the show goes beyond the low hanging fruit of watching the wealthy sleep in a bed of their own making. The strength of the show is it’s ability write beyond that first joke.
The Roses spend a few beats bumbling around, not knowing what to do without business centers or oil baron boyfriends but they quickly find footholds. It’s evident that they’re made of sterner stuff. Viewers learn that before Schitt’s Creek, Alexis escaped from a Thai drug lord’s trunk, Moira fixed a wobbly table, and Johnny built a video empire. The Roses have talents; they’re not Trumps. This foundation gives them something of a fighting chance. It also makes them more likeable.
The Roses are, additionally, not set up to be villains. They’re the victims of white collar crime, not the perpetrators of it. If any, their crimes are spending $850 on a pair of pants and owning too much cashmere. Moira and Johnny quickly realize in the harsh light of Schitt’s Creek that they haven’t prepared their children for life. This self-awareness makes them worthy of at least some sympathy.
The Roses also appear to be cognizant of how much their identity was their wealth. In an early episode, David struggles to separate out clothes to sell to the thrift store. He admits to motel clerk Stevie, “These are my things. I hand-selected each of these things. They mean a lot to me.”
In that moment, the viewer is reminded that the Roses only have what they were allowed to keep. Everyone, regardless of their tax bracket, would be a little lost without their things.
“I am having a very hard time right now dealing with the idea that people think that my things are worthless or funky or fake,” David continues later, after trying to hock his clothes online. This is something universal, in that it touches upon the insecurities and struggles to define the self.
Overall, Schitt’s Creek does a tremendous job humanizing all its characters, not just the Roses. Everyone in the town is allowed to be more than just a punchline about the rich or poor. With its rural setting, Schitt’s Creek could’ve used small town as shorthand for simpleton. However, while the residents may be portrayed as less cosmopolitan, there is no sense that they’re worse off.
There are a few charmingly clueless townsfolk but none of them are reduced to mere a joke. The town’s major, Roland Schitt, has a wispy mullet and a penchant for eating with his fingers but he’s also a loving husband and giving friend. Stevie, with her Target jeans and flawless sarcasm, matches David gibe for gibe.
The Roses quickly earn the viewer’s favor with proof of their own depth. The germaphobic, possible-megalomaniac Moira neglects to care for her flu-stricken daughter, but eventually rallies to her aid. In subbing in at the front desk, Johnny proves both his business savvy as well as his stupidity. There’s a lot of character growth and depth in Schitt’s Creek but not in a way that makes the show about redemption.
Part of the genius of Eugene and Dan Levy’s writing is their ability to add layers beneath their character’s couture and well-moisturized surfaces. They do this without coming across as cliche by balancing the good behavior with the bad.
The Roses also don’t emerge utterly changed after each season. They maintain the elements of their personality that make them Roses. Similarly, the people of the town may learn a thing or two but they maintain their own identities. No one is steamrolled for the sake of plot. Everyone is deserving of dimension and written in a way that resembles real life and that is the success of the series.
At the age of 22, I am still yet to experience the joy and independence that comes with having your own physical space.
As someone with a big family, I grew accustomed to sharing space with others. Whether it’s my wardrobe being in a different room, or my shoes, I’m regularly shifting between places to get what I need.
Just yesterday, I was moving my belongings around, trying to figure out what things are necessary for the current moment in time. I kept the books I needed for the week and organized the makeup and beauty products I’m currently using. I didn’t go full-on KonMari method but did make some progress to feel comfortable in my space.
For me, this is a repetitive cycle. Move things around. Get some semblance of my identity in a shared room. Stuff gets too messy. Set off anxiety. Repeat.
I feel like I’m in a liminal state.
My things are all over the place and so am I.
I’m always in between but I deeply desire to have one whole space that defines my existence.
Not only is it triggering to be surrounded by other’s people’s possessions, but it’s also the extent of the things. Bear in mind, that immigrant families are expert hoarders. That food mixer you’ve used once? It’s tucked away safe for when we eventually use it. (Hint: we don’t.)
I’m not admonishing families for stockpiling things as it comes with the territory of being an immigrant. We have gaajar halwa (a sweet dish made of carrots) stocked in our freezer for unplanned dawats (get-together with a huge feast). And believe me, surprise gatherings are a common occurrence in my house. Just to reiterate, I’m eternally grateful for having such a giving family and spares of everything. It’s a blessing that’s often taken for granted by most of us.
Of course, hospitality is another trait of an immigrant family. Guests are made to feel comfortable in the presence of their hosts. Therefore, it’s commonplace to have things ready for company, even when it is unexpected. Indeed, hoarding stuff is naturally part of being as accommodating as possible.
Living in a cluttered nest is a daily challenge for someone to keep organized, let alone for someone with anxiety.
But there comes the point where things must change for the sake of mental health.
Now that I think about it, my Pinterest ‘Home’ board nearing 2000 pins is a coping method for living vicariously in my place of respite. That Scandi desk with hairpin metal legs and the Vitra Uten Silo storage board is something are recurring home items I wish into existence. I always imagine what it would be like to decorate my own place.
Not to mention, the stress of millennials not being able to afford their homes is something that is always on my mind. Day by day, I try to become more financially literate to achieve the goal of being a property owner. Even though the odds are against me, it’s a yearning for which I’m determined to succeed.
Ultimately, I feel that not having my own place of respite limits my personal growth. How can I grow if I don’t have a space that defines me?
Ever since I can remember, books have been the biggest part of my life. And for me, a good book is simply one that shakes me to my core and keeps me reading. But only a few books have been capable of pulling me into a deep, pure, ecstatic need for words.
A few weeks ago, I watched the movie After. It’s based onAnna Todd’sAfter series which is supposed to be Harry Stylesfanfiction though I really didn’t see the similarity. While the plot of the movie intrigued me, it wasn’t enough. I felt like the film skipped over scenes. So, last week, the reader in me went in search of the first book.
One week later – I’ve read all five novels in the series and my emotions are all over the place.
Tessa is the girl next door – pure, innocent, focused but also flawed in her own ways. Hardin is an encapsulation of the bad boy trope, except for one thing – his love of literature, a side of him which really struck me. He quotes Austen and Fitzgerald, has facial piercings, and is covered in tattoos.
The characters meet through Tessa’s roommate Steph, one of Hardin’s friends. A pre-planned game of truth or dare pushes them closer together under false pretenses, the details of which we don’t find out about until the end of the first book.
The After series encompasses the devastatingly beautiful yet incredibly toxic and emotionally abusive relationship between the two characters; the way Hardin constantly shows up when Tessa doesn’t want him to, the way he acts around her co-worker Trevor, and his intense anger that blows out of proportion and ends in violence almost every time things don’t go his way.
And Tessa has her fair share of moments; when she kisses another boy in front of Hardin just to prove her point, and how she keeps running to Zed Evans (Hardin’s friend) when she has a fight with Hardin. All these factors contributed to making their relationship increasingly flammable and yet, they still somehow always worked it out.
Reading about howtoxic the relationship was was incredibly uncomfortable. Typically, when I read or watch something with such a messed up relationship premise, I call them out on it.
However, something about these books pulled me into them.
Maybe it was the burning chemistry between the two characters, maybe it was the way literature was a constant theme in the story, or maybe it was because I was waiting for the characters to finally be together – without all the bullshit. I also kept reading to see the bad boy turn good.
Because isn’t that one of the reasons we turn to fiction? To make us believe in things we wouldn’t otherwise think possible.
While the After series is not inspiring or life-changing, the books are quick, easy reads that I lost myself in. And now here I am, struggling to get this story out of my head.
Moments like Tessa and Hardin’s heated discussion overElizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Tessa bringing Hardin closer to his estranged father, Hardin taking Tessa to his favorite spot – these are the moments that pulled me through the suffocating thread of their relationship.
And Hardin. He struggles with connecting with the people in his life (until he meets Tessa) and that in itself is the biggest challenge of all. There’s a line in the third book that reads:
“It’s ironic really, that the man who hates the world is most loved by it.”
It was tragic to see that Hardin had trouble seeing that. His character is emotionally damaged and he carries his childhood trauma right up until the fourth book which I found so appealing because for me, as a reader, and as a person, seeing someone face their trauma, accept it, and move on – that’s a story that needs to be heard.
The chemistry between the characters in the After series is undoubtedly palpable. They’re constantly pulled towards each other, mistake after mistake, and although Hardin does some terrible things, Tessa is not the innocent character she started off as.
The book is peppered with hot and heavy scenes, but above that, it has well-rounded primary as well as secondary characters, and a story that will make your heart hurt just a little.
The inherent problem within these books, though, is the fact that Tessa keeps going back to Hardin time and time again. He messes up, lies, destroys everything in his path, and yet she still goes back to him. Although I can’t seem to understand it, I still somehow root for it.
Plot twist after plot twist kept me tethered. Most stories have a beginning, middle, and end, butthe arc of this story keeps rising and falling, keeping you engaged with its tumultuous movement.
I don’t think the books support toxic relationships, but they somehow portray this frightening reality that many people can relate to. So if you’re looking for a quick read, an emotional rollercoaster, and a story that drags you into its depths, this one’s for you.
I genuinely believe in the power of business to incite social change and alleviate poverty, although, in some circles, that may be an unpopular opinion. I have mad respect for entrepreneurs who have started something from the ground up and built a business, company culture and a community around a single idea. That said, as I’ve been scrolling through the many business/entrepreneurship Instagram channels that I follow, I have noticed an increasingly disturbing trend – child entrepreneurs.
Lily Born founded the Kangaroo Cup, a three-legged cup designed for those suffering from Parkinson’s, in order to reduce liquid spillages. Robert Nay created Bubble Ball, part of his larger company Nay Games, which surpassed Angry Birds in downloads. Moziah Bridges started Mo’s Bows, a bow-tie business, which led him to strike a partnership deal with the NBA.
The common thread between all three? They were all under sixteen years old when they founded their respective businesses.
It is easy, if not natural, to look at these young minds and their innovative ideas, and be inspired by them. We definitely should be inspired. These kids deserve credit for noticing a problem, working hard to find a solution to it, and being dedicated to their idea. They represent the consumable narrative that success has no age, and that hard work and passion will get you anywhere.
But this is just one of the many narratives that capitalism conveys in order to keep the system running the way that it runs.
Let’s tangibly think about a child under the age of ten, what is the likelihood that they are doing the day-to-day running of the business like producing the products, keeping the books, managing orders? You guessed it – close to none. Most, if not all, of well-known child entrepreneurs, have gone “into business” with either a parent or a family member. These “child entrepreneurs” are essentially marketing gimmicks for parents puppeteering from above, knowing full well that it is probably illegal for their child to be engaging in any kind of real work. This marketing ploy seems almost like a twisted, neoliberal form of child labor.
Entrepreneurship and start-up cultures are largely focused on funding. Once an idea is solidified, and a market offering is built around it, the long process of securing a source of finance begins. This process is not only grueling but super competitive, with multiple rounds and hundreds of start-ups competing for the same pool of money.
What does it say to a child psychologically when their reward system becomes focused on money? The simple equation for a child is that money equals business growth and further promotion of themselves as brands, which equals to even more money.
These child entrepreneurs are being celebrated for their ability to partake in the capitalist system, and so it is being ingrained in their growth and development that financial wealth and a competitive spirit will get you ahead. In then using these children as examples for other children, we are continuing to spread this unhealthy narrative, pitting children against one another in a bid to become the best of the best.
In disseminating such messages, and putting these overachieving children (or rather their parents) on a pedestal, we are impeding well-rounded growth that acknowledges the value of failure, emotional wellbeing, and health. We are celebrating overachieving at the expense of achieving, and at the expense of just being children.
It is one thing to celebrate and reward a bright child, and an entirely different thing to turn that brightness into a profit-making machine. Parents engaging in this postmodern style of parenting need to take a step back and think about the human they are creating amidst all the funding rounds, publicity shoots and idea generation sessions. It’s the ultimate definition of a Momager / Papager which always seems great in the beginning, having your parent guide you, but in hindsight can be super damaging.
Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, boasts the three M’s: Magnificent Brad, Marvellous Leo, and the queen Margot Robbie. On my way down to London a few weeks ago, I listened to an interview with three of the cast on Radio 4.
Five minutes in, the typical Tarantino question came up: “What effect do you think the violence of these films has on those who watch it?”
Why can’t I bring myself to care about this question? I thought.
With our screen time so saturated with such shows, why are we not directing the same line of questioning to their TV producers? Especially when this blurred line between reality and fiction is where the danger lies. Is it easier to pick apart an obviously fictional film than a show that supposedly depicts real people?
Scientific research shows that while it is hard to tell if there is a correlation between watching violent movies and actual violence, younger kids are most susceptible when they cannot distinguish between reality and fiction: reality shows where fiction is passed off as reality.
It was huge news when Made In Chelsea (MIC) revealed that some scenes were made for “viewers’ entertainment.” Since then, The Only Way is Essex and MIC always qualify the realism before each show with a title shot. Where is this for Love Island?
Model Tyla Carr, who appeared in the 2017 series of Love Island, revealed that producers would prompt islanders to have certain conversations, going as far as repeating break-ups if they weren’t properly filmed the first time. The show wants to create an exciting narrative yet depicts participants in one-dimensional and pre-determined lights to fit a scene which is detrimental to both contestant and viewer.
Love Island, as a rule, also never shows lunchtime – it’s too boring. Too normal. Reality shows are like a video version of social media then, only showing the highlights. This wouldn’t be so bad if the shows were classed as fiction – like a say a Tarantino film – but they’re not.
Body image issues are stemming from the daily dose of six-packs and perky, tight bums.
What danger has the misrepresentation of a fictional genre as reality TV created? For starters, young impressionable viewers are given unrealistic expectations of how to look and behave.
Body image issues are stemming from the daily dose of six-packs and perky, tight bums. Google is flooded with publications – Cosmopolitan,The Independent, and Glamour – highlighting the mental health and body issues that have stemmed from the show. Cosmopolitan, in particular, warn readers of the “The Love Island Effect,” a phrase coined by Food Psychologist and previous Bake-Off finalist Kimberly Wilson.
Posts are continuously popping up advising young people on coping with the promotion of unrealistic body types.
Young Minds recently published such a post by a 17-year-old writer. She wrote that “for two months, we are being continually inundated with uniform body types, far from the diverse society that we live in… we must always remind ourselves that what we are seeing on our screens is far from reality.”
Love Island couldn’t be further from reality and yet, it’s still classed as a reality show. We know it’s been curated for our enjoyment but insecurities quickly rise as the show’s popularity does.
The interactions of the contestants also encourage toxic relationships, show horrific ways of handling conflict, and glamorizes aggressive confrontation. Two years ago, one male contestant called a female contestant a slag.
Then, in the fifth season, contestant Amber Gill tried to convince viewers and contestants that another contestant, Danny Williams, was causing a problem. Contestant Anna Vakili added to that by dismissing him childishly, repeatedly waving and patronizingly saying “bye” as he conversed with Amber.
With over half a million views on YouTube, you start to wonder what our youth are being taught regarding ideal ways to navigate social situations in the real world.
With the moments of redemption few and far in between, one of the most telling signs of the show’s insidious nature can be seen in the fact that both Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, past Love Island contestants, took their own lives within one year of each other.
Reality shows, then, are equally harmful to contestants. The aforementioned Instagram post also references past contestant Simon Searles who revealed, “[the boys would] be working out like crazy during the day trying to stay in shape. They wouldn’t eat anything.”
Not everyone agrees that this smudging of reality with fiction is negative, though.
Ophelia Stimpson, a 25-year-old Oxford grad viewer of Love Island, says the show is “clever” for creating “a theater which panders to ‘intelligent’ viewers.” Stimpson finds it “interesting” that “it actually refers to the people in it as the ‘cast’ and ‘characters’, and that “it’s hilarious [that] the way it’s edited makes it look like they can only comprehend the situation in front of them, with zero emotional depth.”
Tarantino has always been crystal clear about the difference between his reality and fiction.
Hilarious maybe for some, (though how arrogant do you have to be to call them intelligent) but I have an inkling this Roman-like position of letting the masses battle for your enjoyment is not taking into account the bigger picture.
Why is a Tarantino film not nearly as sinister as Love Island, then? Well, where reality shows purposefully blur the line, Tarantino has always been crystal clear about the difference between his reality and fiction.
“I abhor violence in real life and love it in the genre,” he’s said on multiple occasions. His love for violence stems from a love for “good cinema”, not a desire to see it in reality. He has attended rallies against police brutality and repeatedly called out America for not discussing its racist past – something he’s even tackled with Django Unchained.
Interviewers and critics are comfortable asking the hard questions to the producers who are used to answering them, but where are the same questions to reality show producers? Mental health and body issues are topics far more relevant to our society in 2019 than a tenuous link between violence and violence genre.
As the popularity of reality shows grow, we deserve an answer and some responsibility from the top dogs who create them.
After being hospitalized for over a week due to mysterious symptoms, I was concerned about what health condition was making me sick, but was hopeful that the rheumatologist that I was going to meet with would help me figure out what was wrong. Instead, what came out of his mouth still makes me angry to this day.
“I think you’re just anxious.”
I didn’t believe him, and I knew that I had some sort of physical illness. After a year of being brushed aside by doctors, I had decided to leave my university to seek medical care elsewhere. Although I was not diagnosed by a doctor, I knew that my symptoms lined up with an autoimmune disease. I had to self diagnose myself with an autoimmune disorder, albeit one I didn’t know the name of, because it in part legitimized my symptoms and allowed myself to more firmly express my concerns to other doctors. And it turns out I was right – a doctor later confirmed that I have systemic urticarial vasculitis.
Self-diagnosing is not something that many people want to do, but it is something that some ill people, particularly women, may feel forced to do. A study published in February 2019 in Nature Communications found that on average, it takes women four more years to get diagnosed with the same condition.* That statistic basically screams that there are problems in medicine when it comes to diagnosing women with health issues.
Women cannot be expected to wait and suffer. For some health conditions, waiting too long can prove fatal, like my undiagnosed autoimmune disease nearly became due to lack of treatment. As Last Week Tonight episode “Bias in Medicine” points out, women are far too often seen as emotional by doctors for very real physical health issues, which greatly impacts the care we receive.
I had joined Facebook groups for people with various autoimmune diseases after getting sick to try and see how fellow chronically ill people, and particularly women, were able to get diagnosed with whatever disease or diseases they had. It soon became clear that many women in these groups were originally in my shoes and had to try and self-diagnose themselves because they too had been similarly brushed off by doctors.
I was eventually able to find a doctor who took my symptoms seriously and my journey of self-diagnosis came to an end. This doctor completely understood my desire to come to the conclusion that I had an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, as my symptoms and inflammatory markers pointed to that. A biopsy was performed and my autoimmune disorder was formally diagnosed.
More than a year after getting diagnosed, I still question how long it would have taken to get diagnosed with vasculitis if I was a man, not a young woman. In a perfect non sexist world, self diagnosing would not have to exist, because women would not be brushed off as hysterical and would have their symptoms being taken seriously.
Until then, women like myself should not be faulted for wanting to find answers for their very real health problems, even if we do not have medical degrees.
*There are unfortunately no studies comparing the length it takes for nonbinary people to get diagnosed with health issues in comparison to men and women – which is an issue in itself.
When I was six, my mom gave me Matilda by Roald Dahl to read and I fell asleep reading it.
A few days later, I picked it up once more. This time when I read it, I found myself so lost in the text that my mom had to tell me to stop and go to sleep or I wouldn’t be able to wake up the next morning – so began my love for reading books, which then led to an interest in illustration and my love for literature.
More importantly, I decided that when I grew up, writing would be my profession. There was something about creative people that I wanted to emulate, their ability to transport you anywhere in any time, like some sort of time machine super power.
I didn’t waver from that decision even when I heard stories of “struggling artists” and “living in a box” all over media. However, when I was 15, I started thinking practically and chose the Sciences path for my future instead. Let me be clear though, by “practically”, I don’t mean you can’t make writing your career and be successful. I meant that there were two things I loved studying – biology and literature – and I thought if I took Sciences I could continue to enjoy both things.
What no one tells you, however, is how difficult it is to fit into both the sciences and humanities groups at the same time.
As my tables filled with books on chemical reactions and the cardiovascular system, my books filled with poems and paintings. During exam season, while watching a video on organic chemistry for the hundredth time, I would paint flowers in my books. During vacation, when I painted and wrote every day, I also bought a book on genetics to help fill a void. And while my science friends mocked subjects like literature and sociology, my humanities friends rolled their eyes at the sciences, saying that the belief of only a science path leading to a successful future was increasingly frustrating.
Many students who take the science route consider those who take humanities to be wasting their time. This is because many people equate success with earning money and argue that the sciences route will give them access to such jobs. As a result being, a science student is thought to be something to be proud of while humanities as something to be weary of.
As ridiculous as it is to belittle what one likes to study is, unfortunately it still happens. And being somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, I’ve had a chance to experience both fields and their attached stigmas.
Why can’t everyone simply respect whatever others choose to learn and dedicate their time to?
You can be a scientist who enjoys fictional stories or a painter who runs a website about different scientific theories. In a world where being a Youtuber is now considered a legitimate, full-time profession, it’s silly to continue to believe that the only lucrative profession to pursue is within sciences.
Personally, for me, the ability and need to write while being a science student was vital. While studying in school, I made sure to involve myself in clubs, societies, and random competitions of writing. I applied to The Tempest and got to write articles about anything I’m fascinated in, even if didn’t relate to my studies – this is how I kept my balance.
And if you think about it, really, shouldn’t these two things go hand in hand with each other?
To understand emotions, people, and feelings, you need history, you need sociology, you need literature. To understand how things work, to progress, to advance, we need to involve ourselves in its scientific aspect. We might not realize it but we need both to keep the balance.
Beauty trends come and go, and a good nude shade never dies out.
But when you’re a brown girl, you absolutely know the struggle of finding the perfect nude lip shade that suits our lips and complexion.
I say this with conviction, because us brown girls sometimes have not one, but two shades on our lips.
What I mean by this is that the outer rim of our lips can be a little darker while the inner pigment of the lips can be lighter. This could be a bit of a struggle when wearing a nude lip because the nude shade could look like a completely different color when worn – and can often not look like a “nude” shade at all.
And let’s be honest – half the “nude” shades out there cater to lighter skin tones (ahem, hence #notmynude).
This makes it really hard for us girls with a little melanin because these shades eventually either wash us out or make us look like we have ashy lips – and that is just not cute!
But my brown ladies, don’t fret!
I am here to make finding the perfect shade of nude for you a little easier, because I know just how much mainstream makeup brands don’t care to cater to girls with our skin tones!
STEP ONE: Get that lipliner going.
When wearing lighter nude shades, it’s better to line your lips with a brown lip liner. This ensures that the lipstick will stay its true pigment when worn.
This color is perfect to wear as a base, especially before wearing a cool-toned nude shade so it doesn’t wash you out. As an added plus, it is versatile. This silky nude can complement fair as well as dusky skin tones and is also on the budget-friendly side.
What people are saying: “I saw a beauty tutorial where the makeup artist recommended this brand and color because it goes so well with multiple colors- she was right! I have 3 favorite lipstick colors and this nude color enables me to add definition and blends well, no matter what color lipstick I use.” – D.S. Rogers
Or snag the classicMAC lip pencilin Chestnut, which is both reliable and beautiful with any shade of lipstick.
Chestnut is a super intense dark brown. This suits especially darker skin tones when wearing a lighter lip shade. Wearing this under any nude shade intensifies the look and flatters brown skin.
What people are saying: “I highly recommend this lip liner as it’s not too drying and such a gorgeous color! it looks natural on and it’s long-lasting! Even after I had breakfast and lunch, it was still on my lips.” – Andrea T.
This lip pencil is a muted brown with warm peachy undertones. The texture of this on your lips is super velvet-like but still matte on the lips. It is not too pigmented, which allows you to choose the intensity of the color depending on the look you are going for.
What people are saying: “MAC products are the best. This impressive lip liner is thick like a crayon; not easily broken, no sharpener needed, easy application.” – Bell
This lipstick taupe color stays true to its name with its deeper brown and reddish undertone. This shade could look slightly different depending on the individual wearing it, meaning it could look browner or include a hint a little reddish/pink tone for darker skin tones. However, this shade is flattering to a variety of skin tones.
What people are saying: “I had to have it. Can’t believe the price. It is very hydrating and seems to stay for a long time. I am going to stock up before they sell out.” – Catrine
This lipstick is a deeper muted brown with a pink undertone and is one of my all-time favorites – even though this shade isn’t a true nude and has a pink/brown tone tint. It looks like a dusty rose color when worn on the lips, which compliments darker complexions.
What people are saying: “This is a pretty good lipstick for the formula. It’s moisturizing but doesn’t move around on my lips like a lot of other brands have. The color is very natural and has a nice sheen to it. I recommend this to anyone looking for a satin/glossy lip.” – Ray
This lippie is a subtle soft nude shade with buildable color depending on your preference and can be worn just on its own. It has such a smooth formula that doesn’t have a dry feeling on the lips. And for those that like minimal makeup, a little goes a long way with this product.
What people are saying: “I just purchased this and Iove it! I have dark brown skin (I’m South American) and ‘Warrior Pose’ is the perfect nude for my skin tone. I’ll have to buy another since a true nude for my skin is so hard to find. It’s an amazing color for dark skin. Smashbox: More nudes for us gals please!” —sandy
A great everyday matte browny pink nude, suitable for a range of skin tones. I especially love that it doesn’t look too dry on the lips or too glossy – but looks just right.
What people are saying: “To be so inexpensive, Wet n Wild is super great. I’ve used their products for years simply because they last forever, colors are true and up-to-date, timeless and they deliver as advertised. It’s my “go-to” lipstick! – Diandra
This is a liquid matte lipstick with a velvet finish in a warm brown with buildable pigment. This is a true nude on brown skin and a perfect 90’s grunge shade that suits all skin tones. The formula is thin and doesn’t look cakey on the lips, which is one of the reasons why I, as a brown girl, love it. This would easily be a crowd favorite if more knew about it.
What people are saying: “Love it! I’m a waitress and nothing is worse than going in front of your tables with cracked/peeling/faded lip color. But I don’t even have to check my compact with this stuff on my lips! I love how vibrant it is too! Where has this been all my life?” – Erynn
When I was first starting out on my lippie journey, this helped me out. The limited-edition set features 4 travel-size matte lipstick nude shades. Each shade delivers full-pigment lip color with a smooth, ultra-matte finish.
What people are saying: “Super soft, very pretty. The colors also layer nicely if you want to do an ombre lippie. I love these lipsticks.” – Beatrice
This liquid lipstick is a cool-toned nude-beige. Chi is recommended to be worn with a darker lip liner because of how light the shade is (which can wash you out depending on how dark your skin is); however, this can be worn on its own by some.
For those looking for a lighter shade of nude, this is the shade for you.
What people are saying: “This is my favorite lipstick I always buy two at a time because I hate to run out. It looks so dang good on me… what can I say lol..I love this lipstick.” – Eva Lee
This is absolutely the best formula of matte lipstick I’ve tried. I love the wand, the color, the packaging, the smell, the staying power, and the way it feels on my lips. It is dry, but it dries SOFT, not hard, and it doesn’t cause my lips to shrivel up.
What people are saying: “I absolutely love this product. Long-lasting never works on me but this goes on smooth, once it dries I put on a layer of chapstick and it doesn’t dry my lips out at all. It lasts all day and color is even and beautiful. I never write reviews but since there were many so so reviews in here I had to write about how much I love this!” – Customer
Last, but not least, this is subtle sheer brown lipstick beauty with a cool undertone. Mink not only has buildable pigment but can also be worn with or without a lip liner.
If you want a more natural or subtle lip color – as well as a cheaper alternative – this option is for you.
What people are saying: “I freaking love this lipstick. I bought it (hesitantly) after watching a YouTube beauty video. I have brown skin, so it’s usually hard for me to buy products that I can’t see on because so often the colors are just wrong for me. BUT THIS PRODUCT IS GREAT FOR ME!!!! I have a caramel-y skin color, and this color is the perfect mauve-y nude for me. It’s the lipstick I reach for the most, and I’m so sure I’ll purchase it again. The matte doesn’t dry your lips out, the pigmentation payoff is impressive for a drugstore brand, and it’s creamy for a long time before mattifying. I’m obsessed.” — Sanjay Gangal
As The Tempest editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you’ll love, too. Just so you know, The Tempest may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Heads up — prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Chinese diver He Zi took home the silver.
Following years of training and fierce competition, she was dubbed second best in the world in the three-meter springboard dive. After stepping down from the podium though, she found fellow Olympic athlete and long-time boyfriend, Qin Ka, down on one knee, proposing.
Imagine being upstaged by your significant other during a defining moment of your career.
That is a day He Zi will forever look back on and see, not only her crowning achievement but the day that her boyfriend proposed. If might just be me, but I think those things could easily have been on two separate days.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a sweet moment (she said yes, for one). For years, though, the word on public engagements has been a resounding “no” with feminist writers detecting hints of manipulation in what should be a sweet and significant moment for the couple.
But the brides have had their say too. According to David’s Bridal’s “What’s On Brides’ Minds” survey, brides overwhelmingly prefer a more personal, private proposal. 80% said they would scoff at a public Facebook proposal, 63% would not want to be proposed to on a jumbotron, and 57% of the respondents would not want to be proposed to via flashmob.
And with good reasons.
Number one is public pressure.
Imagine being surprise proposed to by your significant other in front of a crowd of strangers. Your response has to be “yes” because if it isn’t, the whole situation will be awkward. The public pressure, then, is definitely manipulative because if you wanted to say no to the engagement, you risk embarrassing yourself and your partner, as well as hurting your partner’s feelings.
There is enough pressure in a private setting without doing that in front of other people.
Another key reason brides tend to stray away from public proposals is the stage fright. She won’t be able to savor the moment if she feels like she’s on stage, even if she wants to say yes.
“I think the biggest thing you can do to help a marriage is to have absolute privacy [for the proposal],” said Calgary-based marriage conflict specialist, Debra Macleod. Macleod has had clients whose marriage began with a showy proposal only to have one of the partners be quietly resentful that their “private moment” had been transformed into a public spectacle.
So, if the evidence clearly states that public proposals are a no-go, why do people continue to propose in that way?
Take Bharat and Romi, a beautiful couple that was engaged recently. By the end of Bharat’s flashmob engagement at the Leicester Square Christmas Festival, the pair looked extraordinarily happy. Romi was definitely surprised but seemed genuinely happy as well.
If you remove everything I previously stated – the pressure, the stage fright, the manipulation – this engagement was perfect. It feels like a romantic movie moment from the 1980s where the woman had no doubts that this is who she wanted to be with and had no worries about being in front of a crowd.
The main issue with public proposals, though, is consent.
Yes, I get it. It is meant as a romantic gesture but too many proposals are complete surprises to the significant others, and too many of those proposals are done in front of crowds of friends, family, or strangers.
As one Redditor points out, a general rule of thumb is that the proposal itself should not be a surprise. The couple should have a discussion about marriage and if that is the direction they’d like to go in, the creativity can start from there, based on your partner’s interests.
If Romi was interested in romantic gestures then, Bharat did an amazing job.
Think positive and positive things will happen. How many variations of this advice have you heard? Has it worked?
“Fuck positivity,” said Mark Manson, a blogger and author of self-help novel The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. “Let’s be honest, shit is fucked and we have to live with it.”
Perhaps crassly put, but Manson hit the nail on the head with this insight which is the overarching theme of TSANGF. As a society, many of us are prone to sugarcoating the harsh realities of life. For our friends, our family, and even ourselves. We tell ourselves to chin up, to give off good vibes and work hard to be, and do, better.
“Let’s be honest, shit is fucked and we have to live with it.” – Mark Manson
That is good advice. However, philosophy isn’t one-size-fits-all. If you’re someone who prefers being hit with harsh alternatives – someone who’d rather learn to stomach the lemons than make lemonade – then TSANGF might be the self-help book for you.
A word soup of cussing, sarcasm and humor, Manson rips the bandaid right off in the first chapter by pointing out a simple truth.
“Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied, and more admired,” wrote Manson (p. 3).
“But when you stop and really think about it, conventional life advice—all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time—is actually fixating on what you lack.” (p. 4)
It tells us what we should be – positive, happier, richer etc – and emphasizes that we have yet to reach it. We have failed. Essentially, we’re negatively impacting our mental health by taking on unnecessary and superficial stresses. Or, in other words, by giving a fuck about everything.
“The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important,” wrote the blogger (p. 5).
Manson’s work is quirky and accessible, his voice taking on the conversational tone of a no-bullshit friend who’s out to set the record straight. His work, described by himself as “a counterintuitive approach to living a good life”, begins by introducing readers to the concept of ‘The Feedback Loop from Hell’ wherein we get stuck in an overlap of emotions and begin to run circles within ourselves.
A situation where a thought on your thoughts snowballs until you find yourself repeatedly stacking on. Like feeling angry and then getting angry about being angry, or being anxious and then getting anxious about your anxiety.And then we feel bad because why are we like this? Why do we allow ourselves to fester in negativity? Manson argues that the most effective way to short-circuit the Loop is to simply embrace the “shit”.
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience,” he argues. “[And] to not give a fuck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action.” (pp. 9-12)
Without struggle we won’t really achieve anything worth achieving but we must first figure out what’s worth the struggle, what’s worth giving a fuck about.
And on Manson goes, using anecdotes involving a Disappointment Panda – a superhero whose superpower would be to tell people harsh truths about themselves that they don’t want to hear but need to accept. Further on, Manson emphasizes the importance of struggles and how things fall apart, discusses the tyranny of exceptionalism, and consistently argues that it is only through the negative experiences that we will achieve the positive we desire.
TSANGF, though, is not exactly unique. Its content isn’t new, the package is. And the voice used to deliver it holds an appeal to it that makes the book charming and fun to read. Ultimately, it’s the humor and creativity which makes this self-help novel worth a read.
In a nutshell, TSANGF posits that without struggle we won’t really achieve anything worth achieving but we must first figure out what’s worth the struggle, what’s worth giving a fuck about.
Startup culture is fraught with unhealthy working patterns, ruthless competitiveness, and a macho social scene. In the US, women-led startups received only 2.2% of funding, while women-led startups (with no male founders) received only 3.4% of funding in 2018.
Doing their part in bringing women-led startups to the forefront is Middle East-based media company, Womena, with its four-month tech-focused accelerator, Womentum.
Every round, eight early-stage startups are chosen and immersed in two different ecosystems: first in Berlin and then Dubai. The cohort is introduced to investors, provided mentorship and access to global markets to equip them with the tools necessary to continue growing following the program. In the words of the founder, Elissa Freiha, “Womena has built a program that we felt was lacking in the regional ecosystem focused on female-led startups.”
In addition to the accelerator, Womena films the entire process. “In Season 2, Womena will take an even deeper look at the founders and their businesses,” said Amira Salah-Ahmed, Womena’s Chief Media Officer. Ultimately, when it comes to these female-founded startups, we could all learn a thing or two from them.
Co-founded by Aboujawdeh and Joe Harb (CTO), the Lebanese start-up Digital Construction Toolbox (DCT) aims to digitize the construction industry with its customizable product management tool.
The need came from recognizing the lack of real-time data in the construction industry, which often resulted in last-minute, ad-hoc changes as an impulsive response. DCT works to battle said impulsivity with its wicked AI tech to automate workflows.
FreshSource is disrupting the Egyptian horticulture agri-chain by connecting small farmers to logistics and distribution networks. The startup also aims to tackle food waste that can otherwise be mitigated by implementing the right food handling and storage practices.
Currently, the brother-and-sister duo, Farah (CEO) and Omar Emara (COO), is relying on an internal database and network to connect vendors with suppliers. With funding, however, they are hoping to build an accessible, digital database.
Chefaa is an online marketplace for pharmaceutical products powered by AI technology. It allows consumers to easily access medication and schedule deliveries, as well as giving patients reminders of when to take their medication.
The inspiration for such a platform came after one of the co-founders, Aref, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and experienced a significant amount of difficulty in trying to remember which medication to take and when.
Luxury Promise is an online marketplace for pre-loved luxury goods, powered by AI and visual recognition technology that can differentiate between counterfeit and genuine products.
Sadiq began her professional career as a lawyer and a casual collector of vintage, luxury handbags. Her passion for trade led her to study luxury authentication. Between herself and the wider Luxury Promise team has over fifteen years of collective experience in the luxury sector and luxury authentication between them, so you can trust that you and your luxury goods are in safe hands.
Co-founded by Zaher, Youssef Hammoud (CTO), and Rami El-Erian (COO), Pas-sport connects Egyptian athletes with sports scholarships through a recruitment and matching process. The platform also offers support and guidance for athletes who may be afraid to go to university abroad, and for coaches who may need help on how to nurture and develop international students.
Zaher played tennis competitively, eventually securing a scholarship at Columbia University, and Hammoud was a diligent swimmer who found himself a place at Auburn University. Their collective experience of the difficulties that international athletes face in finding and securing scholarships led them to create Pas-sport.
Dimension 14, founded in the UAE by Akin and Chris Wallace (CGO), uses AI and Machine Learning to manage complex, decision-making processes. The platform uses deep learning to truly get to know the inner workings of a business before making actionable suggestions.
It can help with scheduling, process optimization and consulting, and has been used in the healthcare, higher education, and mobility markets.
Akin coded her first line when she was only eleven years old, a passion which translated to her academics and career up until the present day. She currently runs mentoring initiatives with the United Nations and Google Women Techmakers.
Co-founded by de Maussion and Ayssar Arida (CEO), MakerBrane offers a community for designers and digital architects all over the world, who both admire and feed off each others’ creative work. The platform is a virtual marketplace where toy creators can design, build and trade digital toys, with instructions that can then be replicated in real life – have a play on their website!
de Maussion has had an illustrious career, spanning the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She holds Masters degrees from La Sorbonne and Paris Dauphine and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Goldsmith’s College alongside managing MakerBrane.
Co-founded by Mansouri, Ghazi Ketata (Product Manager), and Oussama Mahjoub (CTO), Dabchy is a marketplace for pre-loved goods that stretches across Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. It is focused largely on the female consumer. They already have more than 250,000 users, who they adorably label Dabchouchas, and more than 100,000 items on sale spanning clothes, bags, and accessories.
The inspiration for the idea actually came from a Facebook page where women bought and sold clothes which founder Mansouri used to justify the need for a platform like Dabchy. She found that Facebook trading groups were not organized and formalized, so Dabchy stepped in to facilitate a quick and easy transaction of second-hand clothes.
Okay, I see that I have been sleeping on pumpkin drinks a smidge, so here is a pumpkin drink that is nothing like pumpkin spice lattes. It’s so good it’s almost strange, because who knew pumpkins and mint could go together?