Film News

Gal Gadot's Cleopatra Biopic Is Missing Intersectionality

A very simple question: Was Cleopatra an Egyptian ruler?

A very simple question: Was Cleopatra an Egyptian ruler?

If you didn't know, the answer is yes. Do we, as a global consumer society, have access to internationally-acclaimed Egyptian actors who could potentially play the role of Cleopatra? That answer is also yes. So, could Patty Jenkins, the director of an upcoming Cleopatra biopic, have picked an Egyptian actor to portray one of the most iconic Egyptian rulers in the country's history? Say it with me: Yes.


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MUSIC

Rihanna's Fenty Show Provokes Muslim Outrage

Rihanna's Fenty lingerie event featured a song that sampled a sacred Islamic verse. I understand why people are upset. I'm upset, too.

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In Islamic culture, anything to do with the prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. is held sacred.

His image, his habits, and his words must all be regarded with great reverence. And reverence is not what Rihanna's Fenty lingerie show was about–not even a little bit.

But while I understand why many people are upset and offended by the show's sloppy disregard of cultural beliefs, I have to take a step back and look at the whole picture. To me, this is less an example of a corporate entity exploiting an under-represented culture and more like a disastrous case of telephone.

Let's start with the song in question. "Doom" is a 2016 dance/electronic song by British music producer Coucou Chloe. The entire song's hook, chorus, and verses are built around a cropped and sped-up sample of a Hadith (narrated by Mishary bin Rashid Alafasy). For my non-Muslim readers, a Hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H., or of his implied approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence. If this sounds vague and open-ended, that's because it is.

If you really dig into it, there are actually different levels of authenticity to Hadiths; some are regarded with mild skepticism and some are as sacred as the Quran itself. The specific Hadith that's sampled in "Doom" references a conversation between Mohammad P.B.U.H. and his followers, wherein he describes a period of time before the Day of Judgment called Haradge, or, "The Killing." He goes on to describe this Haradge as a period of chaos (or "doom") when you aren't killing your enemies, but killing yourselves: friend killing friend, neighbor killing neighbor, brother killing brother. Frankly, I'm surprised Blumhouse Productions hasn't optioned the rights to this Islamic nightmare yet.

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Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: "Jen from Appleton" and the Epic Bath and Body Works Rant

Sometimes you've just got to get yourself that Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread.

I hope Jen from Appleton, Wisconsin is doing well these days.

As for Angela, the star of the best Bath & Body Works rant of all time (and there are surprisingly many on YouTube), I hope she's living a Winter Candy Apple-scented life to the fullest.

In 2012, the aspiring vlogger posted a rant about her dire mission to acquire two coveted candles from Bath & Body Works: Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread. The outstanding 11-minute video recounts her harrowing journey to the store in APPLETON, WISCONSIN (it's very important the store is called out for their heinous treatment of Angela).

After the video was discovered and spread across Tumblr, it was recognized as a cultural masterpiece of our time, a treatise on the frailty of the human condition and our undying perseverance to end our own suffering at any cost.

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Culture News

Lady Gaga x Oreo and Other Odd Celebrity Food Collaborations

It's an unprecedented time for brand deals and nonsensical collaborations

I'm convinced that the Supreme Oreos that terrorized the internet (and which I haven't stopped thinking about since) were the cultural reset.

Released in February 2020, right as everything started to go wrong, these bright red Supreme Oreos were met with equally visceral confusion and anticipation. Despite many on the internet claiming that Supreme and Oreo had gone too far, the 3-pack of Oreos inevitably sold out in minutes online.

But the chaos didn't end here. Bidding sites were on fire, with one auction reaching almost $92,000 before being taken down. And apparently, they just tasted like regular Oreos.

It seems Oreo have not learned their lesson. Just announced: their collaboration with Lady Gaga

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Culture Feature

Jay-Z's 7 Best Albums

On his 51st birthday, we take a look at Jay-Z's best albums.

Shawn Carter, AKA Jay-Z, was born December 4, 1969.

He was raised in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn, NY. He discovered a passion for music at a young age but became heavily involved in the streets as a crack cocaine dealer.

Jay's involvement with the drug trade would end after a near-fatal brush with death. This encounter motivated him to go legit and pursue music.

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TV

Everything You Need for "Euphoria" -Inspired Makeup Looks

Life is short, go for a bold eye like Jules.

Regardless of how you felt about the hit HBO teen drama Euphoria, you have to admit the looks in the show are pretty iconic.

From Rue's grungy over-sized aesthetic to Jules' femme futuristic looks, there are plenty of outfits shown throughout the series to inspire you to reinvent your whole wardrobe. Not to mention the makeup looks, which are so unique and striking as to have inspired hundreds of Halloween costumes last year. But why reserve a neon eye shadow or sequin eyelid look for Halloween when you can channel your inner Maddie or Jules all year long?

Euphoria Season 2 may be a few months away, but HBO is releasing two special episodes much sooner. The first of these specials, "Trouble Don't Last Always," focuses on Rue (played by Zendaya) and just dropped on HBO Max. To celebrate, we've listed some of the most essential cosmetic products to help you make your Euphoria-inspired makeup dreams come true—no drugs required.

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