Sports

Jessica Springsteen, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid: The Myth of the Self-Made Celebrity Child

Sure, they worked hard for everything they have … but they didn't only work hard to get it.

A globally familiar last name will represent Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics: Springsteen.

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The world is full of pain and horror.

Every day human beings inflict violence and cruelty on one another, and on the planet, for their own greedy purposes. And if you give it the chance, the dark weight of this reality can easily become overwhelming. Which is why it's so important to remind yourself of the points of brightness and joy that — though less dramatic — are far more common than the horror.

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Culture Feature

Celebrities React to the Presidential Debate: "Pls Vote"

Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, and many more celebrities have shared their reactions to Tuesday's debate.

Frank Ocean Urges Fans to Vote

You may have noticed that Tuesday's debate sparked some strong feelings across the board.

It was a thoroughly upsetting night. One man screamed over everyone like a two year old while another man struggled to get a word in edgewise. They were both debating the fate of an entire nation and the futures of billions of people. Healthcare and the Earth's climate were on the chopping block. For most of us, it felt like a nightmare or a fever dream.

Even celebrities weren't exempt from the debate's horror. While most of them have long been able to remain "apolitical," no one was safe from what we saw on Tuesday. In a strange way, the debate was a vulnerable shared experience, one that makes it clear that no matter how powerful or influential a celebrity or political party may be, no one is exempt from the potential collapse of American democracy.

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Culture News

Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Expecting Their First Child, And It's Already Hotter Than You'll Ever Be

At just 20 weeks old, the fetus is reportedly much, much richer and more attractive than you'll ever be.

If you've been considering having a beautiful, Instagram-famous baby during self-isolation, don't even bother. Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid beat you to the punch.

Vulture reports that the 25-year-old model and former hottest member of One Direction are expecting their first child together. Apparently, "family sources" have confirmed that Hadid is about 20 weeks along and the baby is a girl, according to TMZ. Boy or girl, this baby has the genes of two of the world's most beautiful people, and is sure to stunt on us all in due time. Imagine those cheek bones, those cupid-bow lips, that ethnic ambiguity! In a culture that robs beautiful, famous children of their childhoods through paparazzi harassment, sexualization, and criticism in the media, this baby is sure to be one of the MOST harassed and MOST sexualized of all! Look out Kardashian-West children, the Malik-Hadid infant is coming for your crown!

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Music Reviews

On “After Hours,” The Weeknd‘s Toxicity Becomes Tiresome

The crooners first album in four years sounds great, but his lack of remorse is becoming a concern

In the 2012 visual for "Rolling Stone," Abel Tesfaye, otherwise known as enigmatic R&B crooner The Weeknd, presented his fans with a symbolic interpretation of an existential crisis he faced as a budding superstar.

"The Rolling Stone video takes place in a dimly lit studio which represents the two worlds I have been stuck in," he wrote in a statement to his fans. He was about to sign his first major record deal, and he knew that his mysterious persona no longer suited him. "The camera lights symbolize the crossover, and when they begin to flash I look away from the underground...even though I don't want to." But on his major-label debut Kissland, Tesfaye still clung to the shadows. The project was purposefully devoid of catchy choruses and melodic structure, and while the project developed a massive cult following as a result, it boxed The Weeknd into one particular aesthetic.

To step out of his own way, he enlisted the talent of pop sovereign Max Martin for "Can't Feel My Face," a song that would skyrocket Tesfaye into the pop stratosphere. "Abel Tesfaye used to be a drugged-out R&B mystery man. Now he wants to be your Michael Jackson," wrote Rolling Stone. His career since that monumental moment has straddled the line between pre- and post- "Can't Feel My Face," between amorphous R&B and tightly made pop singles produced alongside legends like Martin and Daft Punk.

The Weeknd - Blinding Lights www.youtube.com

On After Hours, the comparisons to the late King of Pop no longer seem to suit Tesfaye. The album is devoid of danceability and instead is presented as a return to form. He's spent the last few years embracing the mainstream success he once was so afraid of, and in hindsight, the singer now criticizes the naivety of his decision. "I'm living someone else's life, suppressing who I was inside," he calls out on "Alone Again." "Cali was the mission but now a n***a leaving," he croons on "Snowchild"–a reference to a similar testament made on his 2011 single "The Morning."

The darkness has always been Tesfaye's ally, so it makes sense he would retreat back into the shadows when the going gets tough. For four years, he was absent from Instagram, declined interviews, and once again became a recluse. When he reemerged, his aesthetic had drastically shifted from the clean-cut, sober epochs of Starboy to a manic, strung out, cigar-lover who harbors a collection of unexplained cuts and bruises. Yet while the songs on After Hours flow in similar shapeless fashion to The Weeknd's magnum opus, the efforts aren't nearly as bewitching as they once were.

He constantly gaslights his ex-lovers (presumably Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez,) at moments pledging to change, ("After Hours") before diving into anecdotes of how he will always be an emotionally abusive addict ("Heartless"). Sure, there is a tinge of remorse scattered throughout, and he's clearly aware that his behavior is detrimental to those around him; but, thematically, the melodramatic saga of The Weeknd has become a tiresome caricature.

In 2019's "Lost in The Fire," Tesfaye crooned that an ex of his should bring her girlfriend over so he can "f*ck" them "straight." Lines like that are problematic in essence, but they've always been excused because it's just "who The Weeknd is." Aren't we supposed to be past all that? Isn't being a damaged man no longer a valid excuse to behave poorly? Here's to hoping that, as time goes on, The Weeknd doesn't devolve into a relic of the cultural past.

After Hours

CULTURE

Robert Pattinson Can't Be "The Most Handsome Man in the World"

That concept is nonsense—and also, it's Jason Momoa.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

It's not just a comforting bromide to tell ugly children; it's an undeniable fact of our reality. Each individual's experience of the world is purely subjective—informed by personal history and unique brain chemistry—which is what makes it so absurd when the Daily Mail declares Robert Pattinson "the most handsome man in the world." We cannot share an identical response to any stimulus, which means that we will never achieve an objective measure of a fundamentally experiential quality like handsomeness. Whoever they chose would necessarily have been controversial—except, of course, the correct answer: Jason Momoa.

Jason Momoa Wet T-shirt

How does the Daily Mail even come to its conclusions? Did they do a survey of the entire world—sending photographers to every rural market in Zimbabwe and through the favelas of São Paulo? Did they spend their entire decade's budget on compiling images of the world's men, or do they not consider the plebeians outside their TV screens and magazine pages to be truly human? Are we not men to them? Clearly we are not, because if they had scoured our planet's bus stops and the secluded tribes of Papua New Guinea—seen every last one of us—they would have realized that there is no jawline as perfectly sculpted as Jason Momoa's, no brow that arches with so much intrigue and allure.

In reality, the Daily Mail made their conclusion based on consultation from cosmetic surgeon Dr. Julian De Silva, who has created a system for defining perfect beauty in mathematical terms. The system relies on the irrational number phi (1.618339…), and the ancient Greek concept of the golden ratio—also known as the "divine proportion"—which has been dubiously ascribed various significance. Dr. De Silva's system measures each feature of a person's face and how the features relate to one another with that ratio in mind. Last year he used his method to declare Bella Hadid the world's most beautiful woman. No doubt a lot of effort went into consolidating data on what people find attractive and fitting it to a theory of phi. It's actually an endeavor that makes a lot of sense for someone in Dr. De Silva's field, despite the limitations of codifying subjectivity and the factual reality of Jason Momoa.

Young Jason Momoa

That said, there are some obvious flaws in how those measurements are made—using only 2D images rather than a 3D scan—and it seems a bit weird that "the most handsome man in the world" would only align with about 92% of Dr. De Silva's Platonic ideal of a male face. But what is far more troubling—and possibly grounds to revoke his medical license?—is the fact that Dr. De Silva put in all this work and didn't take into account the existence of two piercing hazel eyes that squint pure joy directly at your soul each time Jason Momoa smiles.

To be fair, the star of The Lighthouse, and the Twilight series is technically a decent looking human male—as are Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper, and the other men who ranked highly according to Dr. De Silva's system. Pattinson has some solid bone structure and a wild mane of hair that always looks a little dirty, but in kind of a fun way. If we're going to be as generous as possible, it would be appropriate to say that he's sort of a pasty, British, low-T Jason Momoa. But could he pick me up and hold me in his arms like an actual superhero—a Polynesian demi-god—and carry me away from all the world's pain while I hold tight to his beard and run one finger along the bold scar above his eye? No. He's not a sculpted 6'4" tower of benevolent muscle. He's a measly 6'1"—basically a 9th grade basketball player, and just as moody.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman

To put it simply, beauty is entirely subjective and impossible to quantify, and also the Daily Mail and Dr. De Silva are spreading blatant lies and committing Jason Momoa erasure. Canceled.