CULTURE

The Mystical Union of Halsey and Evan Peters: Tumblr's Greatest Crossover Couple

Turns out angsty Tumblr superstars of 2014 can find real love in 2019.

"Bad at Love" singer Halsey and American Horror Story actor Evan Peters are officially dating.

They made things official this weekend, stepping out on Friday dressed as two of music's most terrifying figures. Halsey went as a red-haired Marilyn Manson, and Peters was a Juggalo, a fan of the Insane Clown Posse. Then on Saturday, they arrived at the 100th episode celebration of American Horror Story as a polka-dot-clad Sunny Bono and Cher.

Elle.com

The two first sparked dating rumors when they were seen on a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. They're both coming off breakups—Peters' seven year relationship with Emma Roberts ended in March after it apparently became toxic. Though it's unclear exactly when Halsey and Yungblud broke up, they were dating at least through September.

Daily Mail

Following Halsey and Peters' roller-coaster debut, fans quickly dug up some of Halsey's old tweets about Evan Peters. For those who didn't know, for a total of seven years, Halsey's been tweeting about her crush on the actor. Though they've all been deleted, as we know, nothing on the Internet ever goes away.


"Halsey, your powers are strong. May this be a lesson to us all!" wrote Mari Lodi in Vulture when the dating rumors began to swirl. It's true that Halsey's ability to successfully tweet her way into a relationship may indicate that she's cast some sort of occult love spell, but honestly, Halsey has always been powerful on her own. She recorded her first demo, "Is There Somewhere," on GarageBand while a homeless teen and scored a major label contract. Her first (and best) album, Badlands, went platinum, and if you listen to its lyrics, you can see that Halsey's always had some sort of divine power. Maybe it's because of her song "Hurricane," but if I had to judge her type of magic, I'd label her as a weather witch, able to conjure up storms and to change the color of the sky (possibly from red to blue to violet) at will.

PinterestLyrics from "Colors", circa Tumblr 2014

Meanwhile, Evan Peters has been dabbling in occultism on his own, albeit in his role on American Horror Story. He was the iconic homicidal ghost Tate Langdon in Murder House, and in a 2012 tweet, Halsey perfectly articulated every teenage girl's feelings about his character. "Seriously Evan Peters stop making me attracted to alleged sociopaths and accused murderers…" she wrote.

https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/wanna-hook-up

Now that their union has emerged from the purely ethereal plane, becoming manifest on our physical one, we can see that it was always written in the stars. They do seem to exist in separate universes, in a way, as they come from TV and pop music respectively. On the other hand, they're both the highest possible evolution of Urban Outfitters teens, Tumblr darlings who somehow made their way into adulthood without losing their perfectly grungy, relatable-yet-alluring mystique. Of course they chose Scorpio season to make their debut as a couple; this time of transformation, rebirth, intensity, and Halloween seems designed for them to join forces. Plus, Sunday was a New Moon, the most goth of all the moons, perfect for a couple that captions their Instagram couple shots "Resident goths."

Sure, their best work may have been done years ago, but maybe this means there's more magic where their early masterpieces came from. Maybe Halsey will write a song from the perspective of Violet Langdon (she did film the music video for "Colors" in the actual Murder House from AHS Season 1). Maybe I don't know which one I'm more attracted to, but I'm not complaining. Maybe if we Tweet enough about our truest desires, they might just become incarnate—though of course, being a world-famous pop star helps.

Halsey - Colors (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com


CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

We've all been there.

We've all looked back at an old photo of ourselves at a costume party, red solo cup in hand, pre-2008- recession smile spread across our faces. "Why would I wear that costume?!" we think to ourselves. Even Justin Trudeau has been there once...or twice...or three times. But in most cases, you just can't believe you thought those cat ears were cute or that you decided "sexy Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man" was a good costume idea. Most people don't look back at old costumes and think, "Wow! That was pretty racist and/or culturally insensitive!" You know why? Because of all the things in the world to dress up as, why dress up as something or someone that's racist/culturally insensitive? Because you're lazy and racist and culturally insensitive, that's why! Here are 13 times celebrities were just that for Halloween.

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