LITERALLY THE SAME COLOR
Another day, another overblown beauty trend. Right now, something called "blorange" (blond + orange) hair is blowing up all over the internet. And don't get me wrong, it's really pretty: basically a salmon color that comes in varying degrees of saturation, from a slightly pink-tinged blonde to more deeply Manic Panic-ed shades.
A photo posted by Michelle Zapanta (@michelle.zapanta) on Jan 28, 2017 at 7:11pm PST
A photo posted by Indulge Cuts&colours (@indulgecutscolours) on Jan 29, 2017 at 12:02am PST
It's really just the much more expensive version of mixing your Pretty Flamingo and Psychedelic Sunset, which yes, I did that way before it was cool. But some beauty fans are trying more DIY-esque versions, which also look really cool:
A photo posted by Lia Weiz (@liaweizmakeup) on Jan 29, 2017 at 7:45am PST
Chances are high for it to really blow up online in the next couple of months. Right now it's starting off slowly, with just over 3,000 uses of #blorange on Instagram and only a few articles covering it. One of those articles, reflecting the craze to come, is a HuffPo South Africa piece entitled "Forget Rose Gold, 'Blorange' Is Your Cool New Hair Trend."
But like, real talk for a second: blorange is exactly the damn same as rose gold. Even the names give it away: blorange = blonde + orange, rose gold = pink + blonde. In the hair world, where orange hair is described as "red," the buzzwords are clearly getting at the same thing, a more extreme strawberry blonde. And 'blorange' is just a sillier way to describe it.
Case in point: here are some pics tagged #rosegoldhair.
A photo posted by Ashlee Evans (@ashevans5) on Jan 29, 2017 at 8:33am PST
A photo posted by 🐺Momma Fox🐺 (@imogenhearts) on Jan 29, 2017 at 6:20am PST
There are even plenty of pictures tagged as both #blorange and #rosegold, which makes sense considering they are two names for the same color. But the real craze started when Gigi Hadid instagrammed a picture of herself with blorange/rose gold hair (presumably a wig):
A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on Jan 27, 2017 at 4:35am PST
Two out of three magazines discussing Gigi's insta refer to it as "blorange." One (Allure, which gets all the points from me) refers to it as "rose gold." Because if Gigi Hadid wears a wig for an editorial photo shoot, it must be something new and never-before-seen, right?
Listen, fashion world, I understand things are passé and done with once they've been around for about six months. And you still like your rose gold hair and don't want to get rid of it just yet. I get it. But if you absolutely insist on trying to bring back a trend that hasn't even had time to go away, can you at least give it a less ridiculous name next time?
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Plus celebrities react to Nigerian protests.
Young people across Nigeria have been pouring into the streets for the last two weeks to protest police brutality, specifically the controversial special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Tension came to a head on Tuesday when armed forces fired on protestors in Lagos, the biggest city in Nigeria, who were out past the state-mandated curfew. According to AP News, "Police also fired tear gas at one point, and smoke could be seen billowing from several areas in the city's center. Two private TV stations were forced off the air at least temporarily as their offices were burned."
Not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
October 21, 2020 marks the third annual International Pronouns Day.
Created by an independent board and first observed in 2018, it's one of those small commemorative holidays that trends on Twitter in hopes of drawing attention to a pressing social issue, like International Women's Day (March 8th) or the ever so serious National Taco Day (October 4).
But Pronouns Day in particular "seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace." The organization's website further describes, "Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people's multiple, intersecting identities."
But in the words of nonbinary activist and Trevor Project's Head of Advocacy and Government Afairs, Sam Brenton, "Pronouns are hard." Never before have pronouns been scrutinized as closely as they are in 2019 for their power to (in)validate or accurately describe something as fluid as gender identity. In fact, it was only this year that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary expanded the definition of "they" "to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary" (thus codifying a long history in English language of using "they" to refer to a singular non-gendered entity).
‘Everyone has the responsibility to be respectful.’ — The @TrevorProject’s Sam Brinton is explaining why pronouns a… https://t.co/pMMO8KRvBR— NowThis (@NowThis)1571253180.0
But throwing an additional wrench in the works is the fact that not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
Take me, for instance: Despite having female biology, I couldn't pass a lie detector test saying I'm a "woman." But my pragmatic, Puritan family is still endearingly confused by the idea of "liberal arts," let alone the notion of gender fluidity. And I'd rather share a communal language with them than do the emotional and mental labor of re-orienting their worldview for them. Plus, I have the privilege of passing as female without feeling too, too, terribly dysphoric (which non-binary people can definitely suffer from, despite not identifying as trans).
But enough about me, look at Queer Eye's beloved Jonathan Van Ness. While he's been outspoken about being genderqueer, gay, and HIV positive, he prefers he/him pronouns. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary," Van Ness said. "I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman." As he told Out magazine, he doesn't identify as a man, but he does prefer "he/him/his" pronouns. In his view, those pronouns don't detract from or contradict his non-binary identity, because gender is not about simple binaries between masculine and feminine identifiers. "Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it," he said. "I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to."
On the other hand, last month non-binary singer Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are "they/them." Smith posted to Instagram, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out." People like Smith and Trevor Project's Sam Brenton simply feel more validated, seen, heard, and true to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns. Smith wrote, "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!"
Most importantly, as pretty much every non-binary person and activist is aware, changing cultural norms is hard. While LGBTQ+ activism is inspired and passionate and dedicated to expanding human rights to all gender identities, we all know that changing society's entire understanding of gender and pronoun usage is about slowly opening minds. As Smith wrote, "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you." Happy Pronouns Day to you/him/her/they/(f)aer/zim.