TV News

Lili Reinhart Super Casually Comes Out as Bisexual

The Riverdale star announced her plans to march in an LGBTQ+ for Black Lives Matter protest.

In the midst of the world bursting into flames, you might've missed the news that Cole Sprouse has split from his Riverdale co-star, Lili Reinhart, after three years of dating.

Rumors of the pair's breakup have surfaced time and time again, so we're not sure what's making this time any more significant. But, nevertheless, rest assured that the possible exes are keeping busy: Sprouse, for one, was arrested while protesting in support of Black Lives Matter in Santa Monica over the weekend. Reinhart took to her Instagram story to announce that she was planning on participating in an LGBTQ+ For Black Lives Matter protest in West Hollywood. She also very casually mentioned the fact that she's bisexual.

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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.

FILM

"Hustlers" Could Be the Best Movie of the Summer

STX Entertainment is about to rob us of our money and, honestly, I'm okay with that.

JLO STEP ON MY NECK

James Devaney/Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and Cardi B are coming for our necks, y'all.

After weeks of teasing us, the first full length trailer for Hustlers is here. Watch below:

Hustlers | Official Trailer [HD] | In Theaters September 2019 www.youtube.com

The film, inspired by writer Jessica Presser's article, "The Hustlers at Scores," for New York Magazine, is about a group of strip club workers who decide to rob their deep-pocketed, greedy Wall Street clients after the 2008 market-crash. The too-good-to-be-true story follows Constance Wu's character, Destiny, as she looks for a life that allows her to take care of her grandma and "maybe go shopping every once in awhile." After Crazy Rich Asians, Hustlers appears to be the kind of "artistically challenging" role the actress has been looking for. Although, in the trailer at least, Jennifer Lopez outshines the rest of the star-studded cast as the seasoned matriarch of the stripper clan. The Academy should be prepared to finally give the triple threat the Oscar she deserves (Lopez was robbed for Selena. Yeah, I said it).

With Hustlers, writer-director Lorene Scafari—of Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and Seeking a Friend for The End of The World fame—decided to take on real women's stories instead of doing another reboot, and she had very specific stars in mind to make it happen. The screenwriter chased after stripper-turned-rap-sensation, Cardi B, and breakout star, Lizzo, for over a year to get them involved in the project. Before her screenplay was completed, the director envisioned Cardi B in the role of Diamond, elaborating for IndieWire, "I think musicians and singers, performers, they're just naturally very great at timing and rhythm and they just kind of are natural-born actors," She continued, "Lizzo, she comes with so much personality, Cardi comes with so much personality. I wanted to write them characters that showed off their personalities, but I also wanted to make sure that they still felt like they were part of the world and part of the ensemble and that nobody's sticking out and everybody is still existing in the same movie."

In the midst of a summer bummer at the box office, Hustlers gives us hope that the season will end on a high note. Scafaria seems to balance the film's big budget, star-studded appearances with the style and technique of a woman with a vision—and it's a delight to witness. Hopefully, the movie will live up to the trailer.