Trueself

What is Yassification? How to Yassify Yourself

Yassification is the latest meme to emerge from the pop culture hellscape . But does it signify something larger?

Try explaining “Yassification” to anyone who hasn’t noticed the ridiculous illustrations whirling about social media and you’ll be hard pressed to make your translation understood.

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CULTURE

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello Break Up: A Brief History of their Relationship

Were they really dating? Why did everyone think they were a PR couple? And why did everyone hate them?

This couple was the hardest part of the pandemic

Ladies and They-dies, we're free! Late last night, in the evening of November 17, 2021, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello announced their breakup via a joint statement over Instagram stories.

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Trueself

Harry Styles, TikTok Boys, and the Exciting Evolution of Men's Beauty

Brands are finally realizing that Gen Z is not here for archaic gender roles

Look at him. We love him.

Harry Styles has done it again.

Gracing the cover of Dazed magazine, Harry has gone viral for his gender-fluid outfits and his full embrace of eccentric fashion choices. This comes as he launches Pleasing, his beauty brand that celebrates individuality and beauty through nail polish and skincare.

This is not the first time Harry has tested the boundaries of gender norms in clothing. Since his departure from One Direction in August 2015, Harry's solo career has been one defined by curiosity and color. No longer constrained by his 1D image, the "Watermelon Sugar" singer is flaunting the freedom to explore his own tastes and identity beyond any boundary he can break.

Naturally, this has opened him up to much media speculation — especially about his sexuality — all of which he's managed to expertly brush off with the ease of someone who is used to the scrutiny of fame. His sartorial boldness has earned him many fashion fans — including Anna Wintour — who cast him as co-chair of the 2019 Met Gala and made him the first man to appear solo on the cover of Vogue.

Boundary Pushing Has Been A Long Time Coming

Harry's constant boundary pushing follows in a long line of performers who exploit their aesthetics to push the boundaries of what's considered socially acceptable. Often, these have been queer and/or BIPOC artists who weren't accepted by the mainstream anyway and therefore were able — or forced — to shatter its expectations.

Think: Prince, whose widespread appeal doesn't stem from cheap theatrics or musical cliches. Prince was actively political, actively experimental, and fearlessly unapologetic. In a similar vein, Bowie and Freddy Mercury also used media such as music videos and record covers to play with gender norms — while wearing bold makeup on stage as part of their personas.

Harry isn't the only one following in the path of these status-challenging footsteps. Contemporary artists like Jaden Smith, Yungblud, and Jesse Rutherford are among other artists playing with contemporary perceptions of maleness.

In hip hop, Lil Nas X, Yung Thug, and Lil Uzi Vert are pioneering a new type of rapper, one inspired by rock music and alternative aesthetics, therefore advancing notions of Black maleness beyond mainstream constraints.

Now, it's common to see male stars sporting colorful nails and more traditionally "feminine"tailoring. A lot of these emergent aesthetics mirror looks that Mr Styles has sported — Shawn Mendes's turn to jewelry and short shorts, Tom Holland's GQ cover flared pants. And we love to see it.

The Mainstream Adoption

This increased visibility of gender non-comforming options for self-expression has made its way down from the upper echelons of artists and celebrities to the masses. In small ways, masculine dressing is shifting to something more playful.

For example, boys in crop tops and nail polish are pretty much ubiquitous on college campuses and TikTok. Male jewelry is also popular — with beaded and pearl necklaces appearing as common accessories on young demographics.

Lots of this is influenced by social media as much as it is by celebrities. TikTok beauty standards encourage young boys to wear rings, have longer hair, pierced ears, and painted nails. It also encourages a less rigid attitude that shuns archaic definitions of gender and revels in the playfulness of stepping outside of social norms.

This is no surprise considering Gen Z — who are spearheading this normalization, are more queer-identifying and more accepting of LGBTQ communities — bringing them from the fringe into the mainstream.

Big Brands are Taking Notice

Companies and brands have caught on that the same bland, binary, hetro-normative images and products do not work for this new generation.

On the cutting edge, companies like Meloway Makeup are responding to customer demands for more diversity.

Meloway Makeup, a thrilling beauty brand that believes that makeup can be versatile tools of self expression. Instead of being fussy or overly complex like some brands, Meloway wants to enhance your natural beauty in simple ways. Although their line is simple it packs a punch.

Here are our favorite products for any gender:

  1. brow creation gel ($20): No matter who you are, your brows frame your face. They're the unassuming, make-it-or-break-it feature which have more impact on your looks than you think. While horrifying trends like overplucking or over-filling are behind us, we can embrace a more natural shape — just enhanced!
  1. your way eyeliner + remover ($22): Everyone loves a two-in-one! This revolutionary eyeliner pen lets you easily apply the perfect cat-eye, but also remove it if it smudges mid-application. Forget those overly-complex TikTok hacks for the perfect wing — this is all you need.
  1. ready set primer ($22): Meloway is committed to innovating makeup just as much as it's interested in pushing boundaries. This primer does both: providing thicker lashes even before you apply mascara. Say goodbye to flimsy falsies or too-thick coats of mascara with this silky solution.

We're excited to see where the democratization of beauty takes us. Hopefully, it's in the direction of more brands like Meloway and more stars like Harry.

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Everything We Know About Harry Styles' New Brand, "Pleasing" — Popdust

When Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello first got together, the timing aroused suspicion. Their relationship was announced alongside their 2019 single "Senorita," leading fans to speculate whether the relationship was a publicity stunt.

The accompanying music video and every subsequent performance of the single seemed manufactured to say one thing: These are very hot people in love. But lots of people were unconvinced.

Was it Mendes's general awkwardness making it look like he was in pain every time he performed the song on stage? Was it Cabello's natural penchant for drama that had Jenna Dewan famously (supposedly) saying, "She's so extra" during their 2020 AMA performance, or a little something extra she was doing to convince us of their relationship?

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Music Features

Hit for Hit: Justin Bieber vs. Shawn Mendes

Collaboration coming soon? Who can say. But here's a definitive battle between the Canadian Pop Kings.

Popcrush

Just up North, there's a pseudo-Utopia, where the money smells of maple syrup, the residents are famed for their niceness, and there's the promise of Universal Healthcare that has US residents threatening to pack their winter coats in escape.

Though their leadership has its own problematic past (it's Blackface), one thing they might do better than us is producing pretty boy pop stars.

Some of the biggest pop music stars are Canadian expats. There's Drake, the sadboy King himself; The Weeknd, posterchild of Aquarius toxicity; relative R&B newcomer and singer-songwriter, Daniel Caesar; and newly minted pop darling Lennon Stella of Nashville fame.

But arguably, two of today's biggest Canadian pop kings are Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes.

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CULTURE

Gisele Bündchen, Pharrell Williams, and 10 Other Celebrities Fighting Climate Change

Billie Eilish, Jane Fonda, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more are all speaking out against the existential challenge of our time.

There's a lot of hypocrisy to many celebrities' purported support of climate change.

Much of their activism is just big talk, and many fail to use their wealth and power where it actually could make a difference, instead just showing their faces and airing their support for the climate movement when it's convenient, failing to spark legitimate large-scale change.

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