Can you masturbate too much?

Can you masturbate too much?

Can you masturbate too much?Wherever there is content extolling the benefits of masturbation, so too will you find a whole on...[Details]


Bobcat rescued after being stuck in a cars grill f

Bobcat rescued after being stuck in a cars grill f

Bobcat rescued after being stuck in a cars grill for miles on ThanksgivingA bobcat just received the best Thanksgiving miracl...[Details]


Trump praises Native Americans and uses racial slu

Trump praises Native Americans and uses racial slu

Trump praises Native Americans and uses racial slur in the same sentenceYou may have survived Thanksgiving with your racist u...[Details]


Terry Crews on alleged sexual assaulter back at wo

Terry Crews on alleged sexual assaulter back at wo

Terry Crews on alleged sexual assaulter back at work: SOMEONE GOT A PASSSince practically Day 1 of the sexual misconduct reck...[Details]


Fake Roy Moore accuser tries to trick the Washingt

Fake Roy Moore accuser tries to trick the Washingt

Fake Roy Moore accuser tries to trick the Washington Post and fails spectacularly Project Veritas, you just played yourself. ...[Details]


Blogger gets seven years in jail after writing abo

Blogger gets seven years in jail after writing abo

Blogger gets seven years in jail after writing about toxic spill in VietnamA court in Vietnam has sentenced a blogger to seve...[Details]


If Trump doesnt believe the Access Hollywood tape

If Trump doesnt believe the Access Hollywood tape

If Trump doesnt believe the Access Hollywood tape is real, he should just ask Billy BushThat President Donald Trump would buy...[Details]


Donald Trump just retweeted anti-Muslim videos fro

Donald Trump just retweeted anti-Muslim videos fro

Donald Trump just retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British extreme far-right groupUPDATE (3:15 p.m. ET): Updated to includ...[Details]


Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way befor

Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way befor

Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way before her big royal engagementMeghan Markle knows all about making important de...[Details]


NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Laue

NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Laue

NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassmentDetails on the alleged inappropriate behavior l...[Details]


Internet rallies behind a dog named Jack thats ban

Internet rallies behind a dog named Jack thats ban

Internet rallies behind a dog named Jack thats banned from the state of MarylandDamn, Jack. A good dog (they‘re all good dogs...[Details]


Donald Trump tries to talk trash on Twitter but ta

Donald Trump tries to talk trash on Twitter but ta

Donald Trump tries to talk trash on Twitter but tags the wrong accountDespite mashing his fingers against his phone enough ti...[Details]


Victorias Secret models slammed for allegedly sing

Victorias Secret models slammed for allegedly sing

Victorias Secret models slammed for allegedly singing the n-word backstageAnother Victoria‘s Secret show, another controversy...[Details]


British Parliament is actually calling on Trump to

British Parliament is actually calling on Trump to

British Parliament is actually calling on Trump to delete his Twitter accountIt‘s not uncommon to see members of the UK Parli...[Details]


The mystery of Trumps Twitter mentions and where h

The mystery of Trumps Twitter mentions and where h

The mystery of Trumps Twitter mentions and where he finds those awful retweetsDonald Trump loves to tweet, this much is known...[Details]


This graph compares Trump tweets with Fox &amp

This graph compares Trump tweets with Fox &amp

This graph compares Trump tweets with Fox & Friends, and Im sorry to even make you lookIf you want to predict President Donal...[Details]


The Ikea tote bag has now been reimagined as a hol

The Ikea tote bag has now been reimagined as a hol

The Ikea tote bag has now been reimagined as a holiday stocking because¯\_(ツ)_/¯Ikea‘s iconic Frakta shopping bag has now bee...[Details]


This years winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award

This years winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award

This years winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award will make your skin crawlAnd the winner is... LA LA LAND! Oh wait...SEE ALS...[Details]


Relax, everyone. These pictures prove royals have

Relax, everyone. These pictures prove royals have

Relax, everyone. These pictures prove royals have taken selfies before.Everyone knows a life of royalty comes with certain sa...[Details]


Why apologies for sexual misconduct will never be

Why apologies for sexual misconduct will never be

Why apologies for sexual misconduct will never be enoughUpdate 12/5 5:45 pm ET: This list has been updated to include more me...[Details]


Today's Headline


  • Can you masturbate too m

    Can you masturbate too much?


    Wherever there is content extolling the benefits of masturbation, so too will you find a whole onslaught of voices condemning it. The topic always comes along with conversations about frequency, namely: Doing it too much. "While anxieties and negative attitudes about sexuality can be found throughout history, masturbation has particularly been a behavior of concern," says Sarah Melancon(opens in a new tab), Ph.D, a sociologist, clinical sexologist, and resident expert at The Sex Toy Collective.

    Libido is built out of our reward system — and so the more positive experiences you have, the more you want. Masturbation and orgasms beget wanting more masturbation, sex, and orgasms. TL;DR: masturbation is amazing. Solo sex is a fantastic (and free!) way to de-stress, unwind, and boost positive neuro-transmitters(opens in a new tab). It can also help boost mood and self-esteem.

    At the same time, there is nuance. Zachary Zane(opens in a new tab), author of Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto(opens in a new tab) and sex expert for Momentum Intimacy(opens in a new tab), points out, you can do pretty much anything too much. "Masturbation only becomes an issue if it's negatively affecting other aspects of your life," he says. For instance, if your masturbation habits have you skipping work, ditching sex with your partner, or are causing pain or injury, then it may be worth it to reevaluate your masturbation habits. "But if it's NOT negatively impacting your life in any way, then keep at it! Enjoy it," Zane says.

    In all likeliness, your wanking habits are probably completely normal and fine.

    In all likeliness, your wanking habits are probably completely normal and fine. And so, for this glorious month that is Masturbation May, we will be doing away with the pervasive idea that if you’re getting off too much, you’re doing something wrong or shameful or might break your dick/clit. Let’s shift the mindset.

    The roots of 'dangerous masturbation'

    Why are people so obsessed with how often you touch your junk? Melancon says that it’s pretty heavily based in religion. "Many religions condemn sexual activity(opens in a new tab) outside of heterosexual marriage, including masturbation," she says. "In Judeo-Christian religions, masturbation is considered a sin." This harks back to the "spilling the seed" story of Onan in the Bible. Onan was having sex with his brother’s wife and instead of climaxing inside her, he pulled out so that she wouldn't carry his off-spring. You know, a really cute and chill situation. God obviously curses him for spilling his seed because, well, The Bible. Ironically, the story on which this concept is based actually describes Onan pulling out rather than masturbation. 

    Want more sex and dating stories in your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's new weekly After Dark newsletter.

    In the Victorian era(opens in a new tab), masturbation was thought to cause mental illness. These pervasive views on the dangers and evils of masturbation may be  more coded in 2023, but the ghosts of the past still seem to follow us.

    Can you actually masturbate TOO much?

    Basically, not really. As long as you’re not rubbing yourself raw or ditching work to pound it out 24-7, Silva Neves(opens in a new tab), an accredited psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist, says that getting yourself off is not an issue you need to be worried about. "There is no evidence to suggest that masturbation is bad, and there is no agreed definition on measuring what is 'too much,' because everybody's limits are subjective and individual," he says. 

    SEE ALSO: Sex addiction isn't recognised by science. So, why are people still being diagnosed?

    What’s more, there is no evidence that frequent masturbation is in any way bad or addictive. The idea that masturbating too much can become a problem is heavily steeped in shame and sex negativity. Neves tells us that using terms like "porn addiction" or "sex addiction" is highly problematic — as it both increases shame around sex and is not endorsed by either the ICD or the DSM-5 as an addiction. 

    Long story short: You can’t masturbate too much as long as you aren’t hiding away in your room, ignoring your friends, family, and obligations in order to get off constantly. It’s about cultivating healthy habits.

    How you feel about masturbation informs how you feel about your behaviors.

    It’s not usually about whether you’re masturbating too much, it’s about how you FEEL about the behavior. A recent study(opens in a new tab) found four groupings of individuals based on masturbation frequency and sexual satisfaction. 

    1. High masturbation frequency + Satisfied

    2. Low/no masturbation frequency + Satisfied 

    3. (图2)

      High masturbation frequency + Dissatisfied

    4. Low/no masturbation frequency + Dissatisfied

    For those who reported high masturbation frequency and dissatisfaction, Melancon says that this group probably consists of people who view masturbation as being either bad or "less than" partnered sex. "This would likely include individuals using masturbation as a coping mechanism as well as individuals who are lonely and would rather at least some of their masturbation was actually partnered sexual activity instead," she says. What’s more, studies have shown(opens in a new tab) that people who have higher levels of religious belief are more likely to view their masturbation habits as "addictive," when the behaviors themselves are by no means clinically compulsive.

    SEE ALSO: Celebrate Masturbation May with sex toy deals from Satisfyer, Lelo, and more

    If you can shift away from the idea that masturbation = less than, gross, wrong, or addictive and into a mindset of masturbation = happy, healthy, and normal, you’re likely to see a massive improvement in how you perceive your habits. After all, masturbation is a healthy and OK form of sexual activity. Enough with the shame.

    Dealing with death grip.

    Like all good things in life, you might run into problems. Death Grip refers to masturbating in a repeated way, with a very tight grip on the penis. It can also refer to clitorises that are receiving the same, intense form of stimulation (often with a vibrator), leading to temporarily diminished effectiveness of other forms of sexual activity. The term "Death Grip" was originally coined by sex columnist Dan Savage in 2003. Savage was also the first person to coin the term "pegging" (when a cis-man is anally penetrated by someone wearing a strap-on or dildo).

    Death Grip is not an official medical diagnosis — it’s a recognized phenomenon that has been seen in many clinical settings. But, the aim should be dealing with it without pathologizing people. Death grip is actually highly treatable and highly subjective. It’s only a problem if you believe it’s a problem and want to do something about it. There’s nothing wrong with preferring or even needing one form of stimulation to receive pleasure, if that’s what you want. 

    If you’re experiencing Death Grip and feel like you’re losing sensation, change up your masturbation habits. Kenneth Play, an international educator and the bestselling author of Beyond Satisfied: A Sex Hacker’s Guide to Endless Orgasms, Mind-Blowing Connection, and Lasting Confidence(opens in a new tab), refers to "Habit Loops That Rule Our Sex Lives." He tells us that "The more you masturbate in a particular way, the more deeply ingrained a particular pathway to orgasm becomes, and our sexual identity forms around it. Our habits create a fast track to pleasure, and they can put up roadblocks to other forms of sex." 

    "When we masturbate in different ways for a couple of weeks, we start to rewire our habit loops, and we can learn new ways of getting pleasure."

    It’s not that you’re damaging your penis/clit or causing permanent desensitization, it’s just that you’ve gotten used to masturbating in a certain way — and so other forms of sex don’t feel as intense. "We can break our habit loops by turning down the volume on them for a while. We can put the vibrator away or relax the death grip on our penises," Play says. "When we masturbate in different ways for a couple of weeks, we start to rewire our habit loops, and we can learn new ways of getting pleasure."

    Melancon also suggests bringing in a mindfulness practice. “Mindfulness-style practices can help one expand one’s sensory awareness, so over time a lighter grip can become more pleasurable,” she says. Staying connected to our bodies can help to foster stronger connections between our genitals and our minds.

    It’s not that you’re masturbating too much, it might just be that you’re masturbating in the same way a bit too much. It might mean that you’re masturbating in a way that isn’t super connected to your body and doesn’t foster a ton of awareness. Masturbation frequency doesn’t need to cause problems if we cultivate a creative and positive mindset around it. Death Grip isn’t permanent and it simply means a change-up might be in order. 

    All in all, your masturbation habits are probably completely fine and we’d do better to celebrate self-love, rather than demonize it.

  • Bobcat rescued after bei

    Bobcat rescued after being stuck in a cars grill for miles on Thanksgiving


    A bobcat just received the best Thanksgiving miracle: a second chance at life.

    Richmond Animal Care and Control(opens in a new tab) in Virginia rushed to the aid of the wild, big kitty after it was struck with a car on Thanksgiving Day by a citizen on her way to work.

    According to their Facebook post(opens in a new tab), the woman parked her car only to find the bobcat unable to move inside the grill.

    SEE ALSO: Rescue dog uses his smile to help find a forever home


    Rescuers rushed to the scene where they sedated and freed the bobcat, according to the Facebook post. He was then transferred to another animal care center, the Wildlife Center of Virginia for further treatment.

    Luckily for the cat, he only endured one minor scrape on his back.

    I bet this little guy is quite thankful.

  • Trump praises Native Ame

    Trump praises Native Americans and uses racial slur in the same sentence


    You may have survived Thanksgiving with your racist uncle, but President Donald Trump won't let that feeling of relief last long.

    At an event honoring the Navajo code talkers who played a vital role in the U.S. military during World War II, Trump couldn't stop himself from making a racist dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, calling her "Pocahontas."

    SEE ALSO: John Oliver calls President Trump's Puerto Rico comments 'horribly racist'

    After three of the 13 remaining Navajo code talker veterans had the chance to share their history in the Oval Office on Monday, the president got up to give his remarks. The Navajo code talkers(opens in a new tab) served in the Marine corps during World War II, communicating top-secret messages in a code derived from their complex native language.

    Trump immediately handed over a binder of his prepared statements to the veterans, and proceeded to go off book. And that can only mean disaster with him.

    In his typical image-obsessed fashion, he first complimented the "good genes" of the elderly veterans. Then things got downright offensive.

    After admiring the Native American veterans' long history in the United States, he told them, "we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her 'Pocahontas.'"

    And the moment was as horrifying and awkward as it sounds.

    The president's derogatory nickname for Warren stems from the Massachusetts senator's claims that she has Cherokee ancestors. Although Warren was criticized by the press during her 2012 Senate race for not being able to back up these claims, Trump seems to think it's okay to make up a racist nickname for her.

    And as many have pointed out, it's not okay.


    Some also pointed out the tone deaf juxtaposition of celebrating Native American war heroes in front of a presidential portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was responsible for the death and displacement of many Native Americans, and who also happens to be one of President Trump's favorite predecessors.

    Sen. Warren responded to the president's remarks on television shortly after the event.

    Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had other ideas, telling the press corps that she thought categorizing Trump's "Pocahontas" jab as a slur was "ridiculous."

    UPDATE Nov. 27 3:55 p.m. PT

    The Navajo Nation responded to the incident with a statement, insisting that "cultural insensitivity is unfortunate."

  • Terry Crews on alleged s

    Terry Crews on alleged sexual assaulter back at work: SOMEONE GOT A PASS


    Since practically Day 1 of the sexual misconduct reckoning in Hollywood, Terry Crews was one of the strongest voices speaking truth to power. Now that his alleged harasser has been welcomed back to work, he's not backing down.

    Crews famously accused a "high level Hollywood executive" of groping him at a 2016 party, leading top WME talent agent Adam Venit to take a leave of absence. Mashable has confirmed that Venit returned to work on Monday.

    For his part, Crews did not mince words in his response to this development:

    Sources familiar with the situation tell us that after a two-week internal investigation, Venit was suspended for 30 days without pay and demoted from head of the powerful agency's motion picture group. Even without that title, Venit is a true Hollywood power broker who represents high-profile celebrities like Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Emma Stone, Dustin Hoffman, Liam Hemsworth and Steve Martin.

    Presumably, Venit returns to WME even while still under investigation by the LAPD, after Crews filed a police report about the incident last month.

    Crews says that personally called on Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of WME, with his concerns. In a Tweet, Crews posted pictures of a HuffPost article Emanuel wrote in 2011 demanding that Mel Gibson be blacklisted from entertainment for his infamous anti-Semitic tirade.

    According to Crews, he gave Emanuel a printout of the article with a few edits. Emanuel – the man who in all likelihood chose to reinstate Venit – allegedly handed it back to Crews, claiming that "it's different."

    In the past month, Crews has gone on record about the incident, while also shining a spotlight on how both race and gender factor into sexual harassment.


    ABC Breaking News(opens in a new tab) | Latest News Videos(opens in a new tab)

    As this cultural shift in sexual assault continues to unfold, it's important to note which victims and predators slip through the cracks. Crews remains steadfast in his bravery as he demonstrates that victims are often not treated equally.

    And, in some cases, alleged perpetrators are still apparently considered too big to fail.

  • Fake Roy Moore accuser t

    Fake Roy Moore accuser tries to trick the Washington Post and fails spectacularly


    Project Veritas, you just played yourself.

    The group, founded by conservative "guerrilla journalist" James O’Keefe, tried to expose the Washington Post(opens in a new tab) but ended up looking pretty dumb in the end.

    It all started when a woman approached the Post with a story. She said that when she was 15 years old, she'd been impregnated by Roy Moore, the Alabama senate candidate who has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting teenage girls.

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert dissects Roy Moore's sexual assault allegations with brutal wit

    But when the Washington Post fact-checked her story(opens in a new tab), it didn't add up -- and then they watched her walk into the New York offices of Project Veritas. The "sting" was supposed to expose, I don't know, some liberal conspiracy against Moore. Instead it showed just how professional and thorough the Washington Post is when it comes to checking facts.

    The story was met with delight online.

    The botched undercover investigation shouldn't come as a surprise. This is the guy whose organization failed to get a CNN reporter onto a boat filled with dildos(opens in a new tab), and who outed its own plan to infiltrate a George Soros event by forgetting to hang up the phone(opens in a new tab).

    The conversation between the woman and Washington Post reporter was supposed to be off the record. But when the Post found out her true motives, all bets were off, according to executive editor Martin Baron


    “We always honor ‘off-the-record’ agreements when they’re entered into in good faith," Baron said. "But this so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us. The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap. Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled, and we can’t honor an ‘off-the-record’ agreement that was solicited in maliciously bad faith.”

    O'Keefe didn't respond when the Post asked "if he was working with Moore, former White House adviser and Moore supporter Stephen K. Bannon, or Republican strategists."

    But he did try to defend himself by bragging about trending on Twitter, and then releasing a totally unrelated video before asking his supporters for more money.

    So, take that, competent mainstream media.

  • Blogger gets seven years

    Blogger gets seven years in jail after writing about toxic spill in Vietnam


    A court in Vietnam has sentenced a blogger to seven years in jail for reports he wrote about a toxic spill in the country.

    On Monday Nguyen Van Hoa was found guilty of spreading "anti-state propaganda" about a chemical spill that occured in Vietnam in 2016.

    SEE ALSO: Trump slurps shark fin soup as U.S. works to remove itself from the shark fin trade

    The spill, which occured in April, has been dubbed the country's worst environmental disaster. It happened when Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, a Taiwanese-owned steel factory released chemicals which included cyanide, into the sea.

    The discharge killed marine life, causing at least 70 tonnes of dead fish(opens in a new tab) to be washed ashore and destroyed some 200 hectares of coral reef. Hundreds of people were believed to have fallen ill after eating the poisoned fish.

    Thousands of demonstrators had come out to the factory protesting(opens in a new tab) and demanding compensation. It was these protests that the 22-year-old blogger wrote about that led to his arrest earlier this year.

    “The sentencing of Nguyen Van Hoa shows how profoundly the government’s paranoid desire to maintain political control trumps notions of justice and human rights," Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia told the New York Times. (opens in a new tab)

    "How else can one explain that executives of an international firm that poisoned the ocean... are free to go about their business while this idealistic young journalist is heading to prison for helping expose their misdeeds?"

    'Defaming' the government

    But Nguyen isn't the only blogger to be affected.

    Another blogger, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom, was jailed earlier in June(opens in a new tab) this year for 10 years, for distributing propaganda against the state.

    Mother Mushroom first rose to prominence in 2006 writing about political and environmental issues.


    Her blog was frequently critical of the government, and she wrote about controversial issues like Beijing's financing of a bauxite mine in Vietnam and the government's handling of the toxic chemical spill.

    At a closed-door trial, a judge said she had defamed the government(opens in a new tab) and published inaccurate information, among other charges.

    Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as "Mother Mushroom" (L) Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Vietnam's government was heavily criticised after it remained silent for weeks after the chemical spill incident, only coming out later in June (opens in a new tab)to acknowledge that Formosa had indeed leaked chemicals into the South China Sea.

    The company later admitted responsibility and agreed to pay $500 million in damages.

    It re-opened (opens in a new tab)in May this year, with the organisation saying it would "improve environmental safety measures" and aim to re-start commercial production by the end of the year.

  • If Trump doesnt believe

    If Trump doesnt believe the Access Hollywood tape is real, he should just ask Billy Bush


    That President Donald Trump would buy into a conspiracy theory isn't a surprise.

    That he would concoct a new one that attempts to completely retcon his own history shows that, even after an absolutely bananas 10 months in office, he still has the power to stun us.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's tweets since he was elected president: A complete breakdown

    But that's where we're at as word continues to spread that Trump is privately suggesting the infamous Access Hollywood tape -- the one published by the (opens in a new tab)Washington Post(opens in a new tab) in which Trump audibly advocates sexual assault to a chuckling Billy Bush -- may not be real.

    The New York Times first reported(opens in a new tab) the whisperings as a buried nugget in a story about how Trump is tacitly endorsing Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race despite the heap of allegations facing Moore.

    And, on Monday, the Times' White House reporter Maggie Haberman said a third person has reported Trump's doubts over that being his voice on the tape.

    This all despite the fact that Trump fessed up and even offered an apology(opens in a new tab) for his statements after the story broke and his continuing to defend the conversation as "locker room talk."

    But no matter how much Trump may be trying to convince others -- or even himself -- that the video isn't him, if there's one person who knows the truth, it's Billy Bush.

    A littler over a week after the Post published the tape, Bush was fired by NBC(opens in a new tab) from his job at The Today Show. And though it would take months for Bush to publicly address the incident, he gave no indication that the conversation is, in any way, fake.


    Speaking to (opens in a new tab)The Hollywood Reporter(opens in a new tab) in May 2017, Bush said:

    "Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. [Trump] liked TV and competition. I could've said, 'Can you believe the ratings on whatever?' But I didn't have the strength of character to do it."

    When considering he was fired for his part in the conversation but Trump was elected president, Bush noted, "the irony was glaring."

    And if there's a guy who you think would try to claim the "tape is fake" card, it's the guy who actually lost his job because of it.

    The conversation was recorded in 2005 and one can forgive a fuzzy memory, especially from a man who has spewed so much vitriol just in the last 2.5 years, let alone the last decade. But even Trump can't possibly be this delusional, right?

    For their part, the folks at (opens in a new tab)Access Hollywood(opens in a new tab) are standing firm and saying that, yes, the tape is real.

    Bush hasn't commented on this latest wrinkle but he was recently hit in the head by a golf ball(opens in a new tab) which, frankly, would give him a far better excuse than Trump for having a hazy recollection.

  • Donald Trump just retwee

    Donald Trump just retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British extreme far-right group


    UPDATE (3:15 p.m. ET): Updated to include White House comment on the videos.

    U.S. President Donald J. Trump woke up Wednesday morning and retweeted three anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, unverified videos from the deputy leader of one of Britain's most extreme far-right groups, Britain First.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's latest tweets lashing out at UCLA players are his most unpresidential yet
    Credit: realdonaldtrump/twitter

    The Twitter feed of Jayda Fransen, who was convicted(opens in a new tab) of religiously aggravated harassment last year after hurling abuse at a woman in hijab in front of her four young children, is basically just a stream of hateful content targeting Muslims and immigrants.

    Fransen was charged again(opens in a new tab) with religiously aggravated harassment in September this year.

    She was ecstatic that the U.S. President retweeted her unverified videos:


    Last year, Britain First announced(opens in a new tab) it was launching "direct action campaign against Muslim elected officials" targeting "where they live, work, pray". They singled out Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, and Sajid Javid, cabinet minister.

    The killer of British MP Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, reportedly shouted “Britain First”(opens in a new tab) as he shot and stabbed the Labour MP last year, one week before of the EU referendum.

    Cox's husband tweeted in response to Trump's retweets:

    The first video tweeted by Fransen is entitled "Muslim migrant beats up migrant boy on crutches" but according Geenstijl(opens in a new tab), the news site that posted it, "the perpetrator was not Muslim or a migrant, but a Dutchman."

    Credit: Geenstijl/screengrab

    On Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that whether or not the videos were real, "these are real threats we have to talk about.

Popular articles


  • In 2020, semi is the new

    In 2020, semi is the new ex, because not every relationship is official

    Maddy, a 24-year-old woman in New York City, defines "ex" as a past exclusive relationship.


    Well, most of the time.

    I spoke with Maddy after she completed a survey I created for this article all about the term "ex." It was distributed over social media in February, and 283 people responded. During our conversation, Maddy discussed a woman she considers an ex — even though they were never exclusive.

    "It does feel like she's my ex, even though that goes against my own definition," said Maddy, who requested to be referred by her first name for privacy reasons. "Just because of the level of closeness and the level of how much we expected from each other."

    Maddy is not alone. It's 2020, and there are so many permutations of relationships beyond exclusive ones (not to mention those within polyamorous relationships, which I will not dive into here). We all have our own nebulous definition of "ex."

    There are so many paths a relationship can take, and there are just as many degrees of emotion we attach to them — even when they're labeled outwardly as "casual." When these types of entanglements end it can feel heartbreaking, as much as when you experience the end of a "real" relationship. But if those people are not exes, then what are they?

    I propose we call these not-really-exes "semis." It's another prefix and incredibly fitting: Those people who got part of the way towards a "real" or "serious" relationship, but not quite all the way.

    Here's how it is used in a sentence: "Ugh, I got a 3AM text from my semi from last year."

    I know, I know — yet another dating buzzword to describe our current dating landscape. There are, however, several reasons why I feel a word like "semi" is incredibly necessary.

    Our current state of dating

    In retrospect, it does make some sense that the English language has not kept up with the various types of relationships we see ourselves in today. For a long time (and is still the case in some areas of the world), dating was something facilitated by parents, or at least one's family. It usually culminated in marriage and the promise of children.

    In the United States and many parts of the Western world, this shifted in the twentieth century in part due to social movements like the sexual revolution. Thanks to technology, however, dating in 2020 is far different from the courting of the nineteenth century and even dating in the twentieth century. It's shifted the kinds of relationships we have with each other. And as our romantic interactions have changed, a plethora of terms to describe the scourge that dating has become have emerged.

    "It does feel like she's my ex, even though that goes against my own definition"

    Dating apps are certainly part of this. With a few swipes right and messages, you can get a date seemingly in an instant — and thus begins a new, unique relationship. Whether it be a one-night stand, a short-term relationship, or a life partner, it is in fact a relationship. That is even more true for queer people: More queer couples meet each other online(Opens in a new tab) than heterosexual couples.

    But it's not just dating apps that have contributed to an array of relationship permutations. Social media as a whole has had a hand in this. You may follow someone on Instagram that you dated years ago and haven't spoken to since, for example. But something as ubiquitous as texting has also shifted our relationships. You can talk to someone for days on end and create a deep connection even if you barely had any face-to-face time.

    For better and worse, tech has made connecting much easier, and thus made forming deep connections with our fellow man much easier. On the upside, we can make friends online and keep in touch with faraway loved ones. The downside, though, is that we have tons of different relationships with people — and we don't always know how to categorize them.

    SEE ALSO: The best dating apps for finding love while social distancing

    Guy Winch(Opens in a new tab), psychologist and author of How to Fix a Broken Heart(Opens in a new tab), believes these loose definitions are generational to late millennials and Generation Z. The trend among young people is to not want to label relationships, to "see where things go." Considering we are the first generations where apps and online dating permeated our dating experience, it makes sense.

    It's this uncertainty that led Kate Wiswell, author of Full-Frontal Nerdity: Lessons in Loving and Living with Your Brain(Opens in a new tab), to coin "eggplant"(Opens in a new tab) as a descriptor for someone who was not just a friend, but not a boyfriend, either.

    Even six years after writing that blog, Wiswell believes the English language lacks language nuanced enough for the plethora of relationships we have. "I still feel incredibly frustrated by the lack of ability for us to have the right words to try and describe what we're going through," she said in an interview with Mashable.

    SEE ALSO: Jameela Jamil, bisexuality, and the anxiety of not feeling 'queer enough'

    Millennial and Gen Z dating histories, according to Winch, are like the gig economy — patchworks of experiences. "There's not the understanding of this linear process of you start dating someone, it intensifies in seriousness, and then either you get into a committed serious relationship or it drops off," he said in an interview with Mashable. "That's no longer the main model I think people are using."

    Labels do have their downsides, such as giving people false expectations or they can be seen as restrictive. But not labeling the relationship can also cause a lot of confusion. "People 'go with the flow,'" said Winch, "but then they start to question, 'Well, where is this flow going?'"

    How people define "ex" now

    Samantha Rothenberg, a comic artist who goes by @violetclair(Opens in a new tab) on Instagram, told me that she only considers someone an "ex" if they had that conversation where they label their relationship.

    "An ex must be someone who I had the relationship talk with where we firmly established that I'm his girlfriend, and he's my boyfriend," she said.

    In my survey, 73.4 percent of the 283 respondents agreed with Rothenberg and said they use "ex" only to mean a past exclusive, monogamous relationship.

    But that is not the whole story. While many felt the same way, others have a looser definition of the term. Over 37 percent said they refer to someone they've dated in the past for a certain amount of time as an ex, and 20 percent said an ex is someone they've dated for any amount of time.

    Since we live in a time of friends-with-benefits and fuck buddies, I also asked about sexual relationships. Around 19 percent of respondents say they consider an "ex" a past, non-exclusive sexual relationship for a certain amount of time, while 6 percent consider an "ex" a past, non-exclusive relationship for any amount of time.

    Additionally, Rothenberg polled her some 200,000 followers about the subject. The majority of the 4402 respondents, 54 percent, said they use "ex" more loosely than just past "serious" relationships.

    SEE ALSO: What to do when body image is affecting your sex life

    Not only is our definition of "ex" all over the place, but so is the amount of time we feel necessary to deem someone an ex. When asked about how much time is "a certain amount of time," respondents answered anywhere from a month to six months to years.

    While Rothenberg has a tight personal definition, she said that it makes defining past relationships that did not have "the talk" harder to talk about. "It does kind of leave this weird gray area when I'm referring to one of those relationships," she said, "I'm never sure what the correct term to use is."

    The "ex" conversation becomes even more layered once you consider queer relationships, which can take varying degrees of platonic and romance at any given time. This is something heterosexual people cannot seem to wrap their heads around even decades after When Harry Met Sally.

    Maddy said she does not know how to define the word when it comes to other queer people. "If ex is based on relationships," Maddy said, "the only real model for relationships that we've had for hundreds and hundreds of years is straight relationships."

    Why "semis" deserve to be named

    There is an argument that we don't need to name these relationships, that they are unnamed for a reason: They are not significant enough to have their own names. If you were not in an "actual" relationship, why legitimize them with language?

    It's because these relationships, even undefined, are significant. We invested enough time and attention to have genuine feelings for this person — why else would we be talking about them? If they were insignificant, this gap in language would not exist because we would simply forget about them, they would not come up in conversation, we would have no need to truncate "that Tinder guy I hooked up with for six months but then it got weird…" or what have you.

    If it takes a paragraph to explain someone's role in you life, it's a lot easier to just create a word for them rather than will those feelings and memories away.

    "Even if someone is not officially your boyfriend or girlfriend, it can still hurt so much when it ends"

    "Even if someone is not officially your boyfriend or girlfriend, it can still hurt so much when it ends," said Rothenberg. She described how the emotional pain of a "situationship"(Opens in a new tab) ending could be brought on because you're left with the fantasy of what could have been — rather than the reality of how a relationship could have played out where you see that you were not a compatible couple.

    Furthermore, your brain cannot tell the difference between those "not really" relationships and "real" ones. Breaking off a friends-with-benefits arrangement or with someone you dated but never DTRed(Opens in a new tab) — it's painful. "Those relationships hurt because the fact that they're nebulous doesn't mean that our mind doesn't fill in the blanks at some level," said Winch, "With all kinds of hopes and expectations and anticipations."

    Even if we do not know the future or the other person's intentions, our mind fills that void. Winch commented, "Psychology hates a void. Something's going to go in there, even if you're not fully articulating it." That's what makes our hearts break over semis: it's not about what actually happened. It's about what we thought would happen, or what we thought about what was happening. If you pour your hopes and dreams into a friend with benefits you believe will for sure want to marry you, and then they don't, of course it's going to hurt.

    That is why we should not brush these semis aside, and why we should label them.

    "We need to find a way to embrace the uniqueness of various relationships," said Wiswell. "There aren't just a few little buckets that we can put everything into."

    Where do we go from here?

    It's difficult to say whether this relationship trend will continue. Wench believes trends to be a generational pendulum — perhaps those who come next will balk at the way millennials and Generation Z labeled or did not label their varying relationships, and the tides will shift.

    Furthermore, we don't know the technological developments that will change dating. The landscape got a complete overhaul in the 2010s, and it may, and probably will, happen again.

    Our language should change with the times. I want my and others' feelings validated by the words we use; I want there to be words to use, period. I do not want to have to rattle off a paragraph to describe someone who meant a lot to me — so instead, they'll be my semi.

  • Snoozers are losers: Eve

    Snoozers are losers: Everything you need to know about the button we love to hate


    When your alarm went off this morning, did you leap cheerfully out of bed like some kind of psychopath... or did you do the predictable thing and hit that snooze button?

    Love it or hate it — or even love to hate it — the snooze button is as much a part of our modern morning routine as breakfast radio shows and scoffing cereal.

    SEE ALSO: 5 ways to clean your computer keyboard — Clarification Please

    But what's the story behind this quirk of modern life? And by tapping that fateful nine-more-minutes-of-sleep option, are we really cheating the system — or just ourselves?

    A brief history of the alarm clock

    Credit: Anuj Biyani/Flickr

    Before we consider the concept of snoozing, we have to look at the bigger picture. That's right, it's time to do a deep dive into the history of the alarm clock.

    Way back in the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Plato had a water-based alarm clock that would rouse him and his students for dawn lectures.

    Skip forward a few hundred years to around 725, when Buddhist monk and polymath Yi Xing created another water-based contraption with gongs that went off at certain times.

    Mechanical clocks as we'd recognize them today emerged around the 14th century. Monks get most of the credit for creating them, in order to stick to prayer schedules.

    From then on, clock towers in town squares would chime in the mornings to wake people nearby. If you weren't close enough to hear, you might employ a knocker-upper to bang on your bedroom windows. With the advent of the industrial revolution, some factories would sound a morning whistle to wake workers.

    Leap all the way to the 1780s, when American Levi Hutchins(opens in a new tab) is said to be the first man to make a personal alarm clock. It could only be set to 4 a.m. (the time Hutchins considered proper to wake). Despite being a clockmaker by trade, he never commercialized the concept.

    The first U.S. patent for an alarm clock that could be set to the owner's required time was registered in 1876 by Seth E. Thomas(opens in a new tab), who went on to manufacture such devices through the Seth Thomas Clock Company.

    When was the snooze button invented?

    Credit: Telechron

    In the mid-1950s, arguably a time of huge technical advances and massive growth in the household appliance market, the first bedside alarm clock with a snooze button was released.

    Marketed as "the world's most humane alarm clock," General Electric-Telechron introduced the "Snooz-Alarm" model as a "new kind of alarm" that "wakes you, lets you snooze, wakes you again!"


    Rivals Westclox(opens in a new tab) swiftly followed with a "Drowse" button, offering a 5- or 10-minute respite from your alarm, a standard it continued for many years after.

    However, it was the "snooze" description and nine-minute duration that won, eventually becoming the industry standard still recognized today.

    Few manufacturers have since tried to mess with the format, although the popular Sony range of Dream Machine alarm clocks boasted a large snooze button labelled as a "Dream Bar(opens in a new tab)" for many years.

    Why was snooze set to nine minutes?

    Credit: GollyGforce/flickr

    The main theory behind why the snooze period was set to nine minutes is a technical one(opens in a new tab). The snooze function had to be worked in around the existing gearing of a small alarm clock, and keeping the time period in single digits is said to have(opens in a new tab) presented a more logical technical solution.

    The secondary reason, which may be due more to user experience(opens in a new tab), is that nine minutes is a satisfactory time for a brief rest. If you get past the 10-minute mark, your body may start to fall into a deep sleep, making waking up again more unpleasant.

    But why is it still nine minutes?

    In a completely programmable digital era, the fact that snooze is set to a default (and in many cases, an unchangeable default) nine minutes is what is described as a "nostalgic artificial standard."

    In other words, it's either an homage to how things have traditionally been done, or an if-it-ain't-broke-then-don't-try-to-fix-it type scenario.

    Apple's iOS platform and Amazon's Alexa both default to the nine-minute norm. The more fragmented Android market offers five-minute, 10-minute, and user-defined periods.

    Of course, now we don't hit a physical button on an actual clock. We tap a touchscreen, or simply tell our devices to "snooze."

    Snooze button stats

    A recent survey of nearly 20,000 people by Withings(opens in a new tab) found that around 50% admitted to hitting the snooze button at least once in the morning, with a sleepy 15% putting off their alarm three times or more.

    Withings found the under-30 age group are the guiltiest for multiple snoozes. A similar British YouGov survey(opens in a new tab) supports this data, suggesting 58% of under-35s use snooze at least once when their alarm goes off.

    Is hitting snooze good for you?

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    There are two major reasons, according to science, that snoozers are losers.

    Professor Matthew Walker(opens in a new tab), a neuroscientist and director of the University of California's Centre for Human Sleep Science, states that "when we are artificially wrenched from sleep by an alarm clock, a burst of activity from the fight-or-flight branch of the nervous system causes a spike in blood pressure and a shock acceleration in heart rate."

    Repeating this wrenching process by pressing snooze frequently puts your cardiovascular system through such a shock again and again, causing what Walker says is "multiplicative abuse to your heart and nervous system."


    If that wasn't bad enough, then snoozing can also adversely affect you on a hormonal level by increasing your body's level of cortisol, a hormone that is released when you're stressed.

    Sleep expert Neil Robinson explains that "by dozing off for those extra minutes, we're preparing our bodies for another sleep cycle, which is then quickly interrupted — causing us to feel fatigued for the rest of the day that lies ahead."

    A bonus reason to not be tempted to press snooze is for the sake of your relationship. A Sleep Junkie survey(opens in a new tab) of more than 1,000 Americans found that the more people's partners hit the snooze button, the lower they rated their relationship satisfaction.

    Sooo, what's the alternative?

    Credit: Phillips

    So, we now know we should steer clear of the snooze option, but what are the alternatives?

    One increasingly popular option is to ditch an audio-based alarm clock in favor of a light therapy solution. These "sunrise alarm clocks" or "wake-up lights" gradually illuminate in a way that simulates the sun rising, promising a more gradual and natural wake-up process.

    Lumie(opens in a new tab), MOSCHE(opens in a new tab), and Phillips(opens in a new tab) are just three manufacturers that offer products along these lines. Depending on the model, some also give you a sunset option for a bedtime chill-out session, the ability to wake to different sounds, and options to change the amount of time the light gradually brightens.

    More recently, wearables are a viable alternative to a traditional alarm solution. Smartwatches will not only gather useful data about your night's rest, they'll also wake you gently in the morning.

    Apple Watch owners can take advantage of the device's haptics by setting the alarm to vibrate(opens in a new tab) for a more sedate way to wake, and manufacturers like Withings(opens in a new tab) and Fitbit(opens in a new tab) offer smartwatches with vibrating alarms to wake you silently.

    Finally, if you can't afford to splash out on a new alarm clock or a smartwatch, you could opt for audio that wakes you in a more civilized manner than the traditional blaring alarm. Birdsong(opens in a new tab), gentle music(opens in a new tab), or even a song from your own music collection(opens in a new tab) could be considered a better alternative, especially if the sound increases gradually.

    TL;DR: Step away from that snooze button, people...

  • The Simple Life reboot d


    The Simple Life reboot dream lives on: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie reunited at an event

    Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have been through a lot(opens in a new tab) over the years. Thank goodness everything seems to be hunky-dory these days.

    The stars of The Simple Life were just seen together in public for the first time in years — and their reunion quickly sparked rumors about a reboot of the iconic reality television show that debuted 15 years ago.

    SEE ALSO: Paris Hilton's New Music Video Is Very Unicorn-y
    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 08: Paris Hilton (L) and Nicole Richie attend The Daily Front Row's 4th Annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards at Beverly Hills Hotel on April 8, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Daily Front Row) Credit: Getty Images for The Daily Front Row

    Hilton and Richie were spotted catching up on Sunday at The Daily Front Row's Fashion Los Angeles Awards, where they each presented awards — to Philipp Plein and Juicy Couture, respectively.

    If you look hard enough, you can spy Richie's husband (and Good Charolette frontman) Joel Madden, as well as former Disney Channel star Rowan Blanchard sneaking in a photograph in the lower right-hand corner.

    Nicole Richie & Paris Hilton (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage) Credit: WireImage

    While one photo is a far cry from the duo's iconic days ruling tabloids and television together in the early 2000s, their reunion inspired plenty of imaginative folks who've spent the better part of the last 10 years dreaming of a reboot to the reality show. And then there was a tweet from the reality show's official account.

    The two might reunite again sooner than you'd expect, though not on screen. Hilton is engaged to partner Chris Zylka, and she's confirmed(opens in a new tab) to Entertainment Tonight that Richie is on the guest list for the wedding.

    But until the day The Simple Life ultimately returns to air, we'll just be watching videos of the two screaming "sanasa" forever.

  • Bimbos are good, actuall

    Bimbos are good, actually

    The bimbo is back and Gen Z is reclaiming it with a leftist flair.


    The modern bimbo is hyperfeminine, embraces their hotness, and rejects the capitalist mentality that they must showcase marketable skills.

    Bimbofication isn't exclusively for cis women — everyone who aligns themselves with femininity and finds joy in being ditzy can identify as a bimbo. Above all, the modern bimbo isn't necessarily uneducated or unintelligent, but their personality doesn't revolve around their degrees and resúmé. The modern bimbo takes the male gaze that's been unavoidable since birth and creates a caricature of it by performing vanity and cluelessness.

    Despite the derogatory origins of the word "bimbo," used to dismiss beautiful women as unintelligent, Gen Z is leading the effort to reclaim the word. Syrena, a 21-year-old self-proclaimed "intelligent bimbo" who goes by the handle fauxrich, offered a diagnosis in a recent viral TikTok.

    "Do you not care about society's elitist view on academic intelligence? Do you support all women regardless of their job title and if they have plastic surgery or body modifications?" Syrena asks her followers in a singsong lilt, before asking if they also dream of owning dozens of shoes and idolize the late model Anna Nicole Smith. "I'm no doctor, but I think you may be a New Age bimbo!"

    The prognosis: pink glitter and Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits.

    @fauxrich(Opens in a new tab)

    it’s my diagnosis, treatment is juicy couture and pink glitter

    ♬ original sound - 💖princess💖(Opens in a new tab)

    The bimbo's resurgence is especially popular on TikTok, where, as (Opens in a new tab)Rolling Stone(Opens in a new tab) put it, bimbos are something of an "aspirational figure." The tag #bimbo has just over 81 million views. The tags #bimbotiktok and #bimbofication have 8.9 million views and 5.8 million views, respectively.

    The phrase "bimbofication" gained notoriety in 2017, when an illustration of a buxom woman in a minidress picking up a book and transforming into someone more conservatively dressed went viral. Though the artist insisted that it was fetish art, not an anti-feminist condemnation of sexually confident women, the internet was outraged over the implication that women could be either hot or intelligent. In a (Opens in a new tab)Deviantart blog post(Opens in a new tab), the artist apologized for offending people, and wrote that the image was meant to satisfy a client's kink, not make a statement.

    The image took on a life of its own, and inspired memes, spin-offs, and even fanfiction(Opens in a new tab) that imagined the various versions of the woman as a queer book club. The meme format made a comeback in late November following Harry Styles' Vogue cover, which features the musician in a Gucci ball gown.

    Personally, I began jokingly calling myself a bimbo earlier this year when the term "himbo" started trending. Himbos are known for being traditionally masculine men — the himbo is hot and dumb, but above all, he respects women. When viral discourse over the term brought the word back to TikTok, young women asked why the word "bimbo" wasn't met with the same affection. Spoiler alert: It's the same reason femininity has been belittled and dismissed for centuries.

    The short answer: Sexism!

    Syrena, the 21-year-old diagnosing her followers as New Age bimbos, is a college student studying health science. As a woman in a rigorous educational program, Syrena rejects the expectation that to be taken seriously in professional or academic settings she has to distance herself from hyperfemininity.

    "I think all-inclusive feminism includes boss babes, sluts, bimbos, PhD holders, single moms, and just ALL women in general."

    "I think we don't have to 'be' anything to be taken seriously, as women should be taken seriously in all spaces regardless of how they look," Syrena said over Instagram DM. "I think all-inclusive feminism includes boss babes, sluts, bimbos, PhD holders, single moms, and just ALL women in general ... The people who believe it's anti-feminist are those who believe bimbos are who they are for the male gaze, which is completely untrue."

    Syrena added that she herself had to unlearn her own "inner male gaze" in the process of identifying as a bimbo. Diving headfirst into the hyperfeminine should not be equated to giving in to the male gaze. The TikTok creators who identify as bimbos have made it clear they're putting on the costume not to appeal to men, but to make fun of them. Kate Muir, who posts on TikTok as bimbokate, told Rolling Stone that she uses her online persona to make men uncomfortable by pairing stereotypically feminine visuals with jarring messaging.

    "Being a self-aware bimbo is amazing," she captioned(Opens in a new tab) one TikTok of herself dancing in front of a mirror. "You become everything men want visually whilst also being everything they hate (self-aware, sexually empowered, politically conscious.) Reverse the fetishisation of femininity."

    The real appeal of the term, aside from consciously choosing to lean into your inherent hotness, is rejecting the societal expectation that women must have it all. (Anyone, Syrena explained in another video, can be hot with confidence.)

    @fauxrich(Opens in a new tab)

    Reply to @saddestsaphic we are ALL hot to someone and all NOT to someone... what are you to YOURSELF?

    ♬ original sound - 💖princess💖(Opens in a new tab)

    To have some sort of value in American society, the modern woman is expected to be compassionate and maternal, but also ambitious and goal-oriented. On top of that, women are pressured to meet a constantly changing beauty standard. Juggling all of these expectations is so exhausting and instilled in women from such an early age, it's taking a psychological toll on teenage girls. In his book The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls From Today's Pressures, University of California, Berkeley, psychology professor Stephen Hinshaw described the juggling act as excelling at "girl skills," achieving "boy goals," and being "models of female perfection." Between conflicting messaging about being both family- and career-oriented, plus immense pressure to be sexually appealing from a young age, the teenagers Hinshaw profiled in his case studies were "set up for crisis" and at higher risk for anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

    Which is why the bimbo resurgence is transgressive — by leaning into the caricature of femininity, Gen Z's New Age bimbos are turning the male gaze back on itself.

    Jaime Hough teaches introductory gender studies courses at Washington State University and wrote her PhD dissertation on women's expression of sexuality. Dealing with that triple bind, as Hinshaw describes it, is an exhausting, lifelong juggle. Hough is especially enamored by the resurgence of the bimbo because it's such a middle finger to that triple bind.

    "I’m just going to care for myself, feel good, and look pretty. Fuck the rest of you."

    "I think part of bimbofication is saying I'm not going to do it all," Hough said in a phone interview. "Today I'm just going to focus on being pretty, because I want to. I'm going to let go of being assertive, going to let go of caring for everyone else. I'm just going to care for myself, feel good, and look pretty. Fuck the rest of you."

    The modern bimbo is inherently anti-capitalist too, because no matter how intelligent, accomplished, and ambitious they may be, contributing to the market is not a priority. Everyone has likely performed some form of (Opens in a new tab)unpaid emotional labor(Opens in a new tab) at some point in their lives, but women take on more of it than cis men. From waking up earlier than cis male coworkers to get ready in the mornings, to doing the bulk of household duties because men simply "aren't as good at it," to (Opens in a new tab)regulating their emotions(Opens in a new tab) to appear more approachable.

    "In our culture, we rely on women to do almost all the emotional labor we don't teach men how to do," Hough said. "And so, women are always carrying this huge mental emotional burden of thinking not just about what I want to do, but whose feelings are going to get hurt and how can I do it in a way that their feelings don't get hurt? How can I achieve my goals without making anyone feel threatened?"

    Being a bimbo also involves rejecting the pressure to be constantly productive.

    In addition to the triple bind young women face, all young people are expected to meet some level of productivity. If something isn't directly related to self-improvement, it's not seen as valuable in American culture. The labor and expense women put into maintaining their appearance, Hough added, isn't directly profitable, but that doesn't mean it isn't work. Being a bimbo also involves rejecting the pressure to be constantly productive.

    "I believe that productivity is constantly fed to society as being a slave to capitalism by working or thinking about work," Syrena said. "I think productivity can be learning something random that you like."

    Identifying as a bimbo is so enjoyable because, whether it's feminist or not, you're allowing yourself to be selfish for once. If you have to spend hours futzing with your appearance to have any value in this capitalist hellscape, why not make it your entire personality?

    Don't confuse the New Age bimbo with girlboss second-wave feminism. The New Age bimbo is intersectional, and transcends gender or heterosexuality. Though the classic bimbo is a skinny, blonde, heterosexual white woman, TikTok's modern bimbos are queer, trans, people of all races and of any and all body types. Chrissy Chlapecka, a 20-year-old TikTok creator who wrote the "Bimbo Bibble," styles her videos as (Opens in a new tab)open letters(Opens in a new tab) to "the girls, the gays, the theys," and (Opens in a new tab)"anyone who, unfortunately, likes men."(Opens in a new tab)

    Anyone who embraces femininity can be a bimbo; TikTok has also come up with the gender neutral term "thembo" to describe someone who's hot, dumb, and respects women. TikTok creator little_sun_boy coined the phrase "bimboy" as a spin-off of himbos. Instead of someone who's large, masculine, and ditzy, the 24-year-old creator explains that the bimboy is small, feminine, and ditzy. In an Instagram DM, little_sun_boy clarified that while the bimboy is feminine and ditzy, he isn't ditzy because he's feminine.

    @little_sun_boy(Opens in a new tab)

    ##bimboy(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ Cute - Prod by Rose(Opens in a new tab)

    Ultimately, the bimbo's newfound popularity points to a shift away from the belittling of femininity. Hough noted that stereotypical hyperfeminine women in children's media, like Sharpay in High School Musical and Yzma in Emperor's New Groove were written as the movies' villains and, though it's subtle, that messaging only adds to the triple bind young women grapple with in their childhoods.

    Nothing is black and white, though, and categorizing traits, goals, and interests into "for boys" and "for girls" is harmful for all impressionable kids. I myself was reluctant to admit my own queerness because I was so insistent that being hyperfeminine could only mean that I was heterosexual, and when I did come to terms with it, I overcompensated by getting rid of my frilly wardrobe and extensive makeup collection. But surprise! You can be two things at once! I, for one, have now leaned even further into hyperfemininity with an even more extensive makeup collection and a newfound zest for wearing over-the-top looks that I put on for my own artistic enjoyment, not for a man's.

    Distancing from the color pink is a common experience in feminist circles. Hough and many of her peers in academia were reluctant to embrace the color that had been forced upon them since birth. A (Opens in a new tab)2011 study(Opens in a new tab) led by Stefan Puntoni, an associate professor of marketing at the Rotterdam School of Management, (Opens in a new tab)concluded(Opens in a new tab) that the relentlessly pink, gendered marketing used in breast cancer awareness ads actually may repel the women the ads are targeting. Female participants were less likely to think they were at risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer when they were shown pink advertisements than when they were shown colorless or neutral-toned ones. Participants were also less likely to donate to the causes when shown pink marketing materials. Puntoni hypothesized that the color pink triggered a "defense mechanism" that made some female participants unconsciously ignore or downplay the advertisement's message.

    New Age bimbos subvert the patriarchy by reclaiming femininity without pitting women against each other.

    American culture has a habit of forcing femininity and masculinity on children from birth, so rejecting the color pink is a natural reaction to foisting bubblegum bows and flamingo-toned tutus on infant girls. But distancing yourself from femininity for the sake of distancing yourself from women is just internalized misogyny. The sexist and backhanded compliment (Opens in a new tab)"not like other girls"(Opens in a new tab) has been reborn and recirculated in different forms over the last two decades, from bimbofication fetish art to the (Opens in a new tab)"Bruh girl" versus "Hi girlie" trope(Opens in a new tab)s popularized on TikTok this year. Regardless of whether they identify as women, New Age bimbos subvert such patriarchal categorizations by reclaiming femininity without pitting women against each other, whatever their gender may be.

    "One of the things I love about this new wave of bimbofication is that it's very anti-hierarchical, and no one's degree makes them better or smarter, that's not a thing we value," Hough said. "This new wave of bimbofication is this idea that this is about self-love and self-pleasure. Anything that gets in the way of that, like traditional educational values or capitalist values, isn't worth it."

    But then again, expecting that anything women do must be in the name of subversion goes against the modern bimbo's hedonist principles. All you need to do to be a new bimbo is be feminine, feel pretty, and not particularly care about what men want from you.

    Cyndi Lauper put it best in her 1983 bimbo anthem: Girls (and gays and theys) just wanna have fun.

  • Quordle today: Here are

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 18

    Sorry about the difficulty level of today's Quordle. I wouldn't say it's a hard one, so much as it's simply one that takes longer than usual. But your mileage may vary from mine!


    If it's a little too challenging today, you've come to the right place for hints. There aren't just hints here, but the whole Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

    What is Quordle?

    Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

    Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

    Yes, though not diabolically so.

    Where did Quordle come from?

    Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30(Opens in a new tab). Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab) six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue(Opens in a new tab) from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

    How is Quordle pronounced?

    “Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

    Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

    Yes and no.

    Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

    After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

    What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

    Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

    Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

    Is there a way to get the answer faster?

    In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

    Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand(Opens in a new tab) suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

    Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

    If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

    Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

    Three of four words contain a letter that occurs twice.

    Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?


    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    S, W, B, and R.

    What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

    Are you sure you want to know?

    There’s still time to turn back.

    OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

    1. STINT

    2. WEDGE

    3. BUGLE

    4. RIGOR

  • My Chemical Romance is b

    My Chemical Romance is back, and after the year weve had, their timing is perfect

    My Chemical Romance is back, just as we're all getting emo again.


    The night before My Chemical Romance's reunion show in Los Angeles on Friday, band members handed out blankets(Opens in a new tab) to fans camping outside. Some especially devoted fans had been waiting outside the Shrine, a venue known for its chaotic lines, since Tuesday(Opens in a new tab). The band's last performance together was in 2012, about a year before they split. Fans stayed emo throughout the six year hiatus — and My Chemical Romance's return couldn't have had better timing. When the band opened(Opens in a new tab) the show with its 2005 song "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," the audience sang along with their whole chests and meant it.

    My Chemical Romance's lead singer, Gerard Way, who usurped Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz to become emo king of the 2000s, said the break up was right. He told(Opens in a new tab) the i that when the album The Black Parade was released, "it was a good time to be counter culture." In 2006, president George W. Bush was in his second term in office and the U.S. was embroiled in "war for oil."

    The Black Parade was My Chemical Romance's third and most commercially successful album. As a whole, it follows a character called The Patient as he comes to terms with his inevitable death from terminal illness and descends into hell. The song Welcome to the Black Parade, which is about literally welcoming death, became emblematic of emo culture itself. In the last 13 years, it's become recognizable based on the single opening note(Opens in a new tab) alone.

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    "But when Danger Days was out, we had Obama, things were going really well, we were making so much progress," Way continued in the i, referring to My Chemical Romance's fourth and last studio album. "I'm able to read the writing on the wall pretty clearly, and I was like, 'Nobody really needs us now ... I think it's time to finish."

    That era had plenty of issues(Opens in a new tab), including weathering a crippling recession and further American intervention(Opens in a new tab) in the Middle East, but Barack Obama's presidency inspired(Opens in a new tab) a sense of hope most of the world hasn't felt since the 2016 election.

    Internet culture, which has always been dark, ramped up after Trump took office — memes have only gotten bleaker and more surreal. When economists predicted another incoming recession earlier this year, millennials and zoomers joked(Opens in a new tab) that they were ready because they had nothing to lose in the first place. A 2019 Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index report(Opens in a new tab) on millennials found that major depression was the most prevalent health condition affecting the generation. That may be because younger people are more open to discussing mental health issues — the American Psychological Association reports(Opens in a new tab) that Gen Z is the generation most likely to report mental health issues — but you have to admit that when climate change, a failing healthcare system, crippling student loan debt, and an increasingly divided nation loom over you, the future can seem pretty miserable.

    In a post(Opens in a new tab) recapping last year, Way called 2018 "a year of black magic." When a Guardian reporter asked(Opens in a new tab) if the band would ever get back together earlier this year, Way seemed to allude to the dumpster fire we're all continuing to exist in.

    "That's the stuff I thought about when the world started to get super fucked up again," he told the Guardian in March this year. "It definitely came into my head, but I'd changed so much as a person. I didn't know how I'd fit into it any more, I didn't know how the band would fit into it any more. But you're right, the world is definitely in need of something more positive."

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    My Chemical Romance may be known for its macabre aesthetic — the Daily Mail once referred(Opens in a new tab) to them as a "suicide cult band," sparking outrage among fans — but its music does have more uplifting notes. Welcome to the Black Parade discusses being unashamed of a broken life. Its chorus, in which the Patient declares he'll "carry on," was a Tumblr rallying cry.

    Like most music beloved by teen emos, My Chemical Romance's music embraced sadness and owned up to anger. During the Los Angeles show, Way described the song "Our Lady of Sorrows" as "a little stabby" before launching into a guitar riff that turned the entire auditorium into a gloriously chaotic dance floor. Between songs, he asked the audience how many people were seeing My Chemical Romance for the first time, and seemed surprised that nearly everyone raised their hands.

    As much as the band embodies the millennial spirit, nobody in the band is a millennial. Age ranges are arbitrary, though: Gen Z is very(Opens in a new tab) much(Opens in a new tab) into(Opens in a new tab) emo music too, now, thanks to TikTok and generational depression. Emo Night(Opens in a new tab), a wildly successful themed party that plays alt rock and pop punk from the aughts, draws in thousands of self-proclaimed emos every month. Modern artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Princess Nokia, and the late Juice WRLD credited(Opens in a new tab) the emo music they listened to as young teenagers as influences that shaped their musical styles.

    In the pit on Friday night, I danced among two teenagers who brought their parents, a 26-year-old who was able to fly in from Chicago because he could afford it with his "new grown-up job," and a couple in their 30s who saw My Chemical Romance during Warped Tour in 2005. The thousands of Killjoys — the fandom named itself after the band's last album — who managed to snag tickets all shared the same anger, sorrow, and reverence for Mikey Fuckin' Way as they did a decade ago. (The nickname for Mikey Way, the band's bassist and Gerard's younger brother, is even printed on official merch(Opens in a new tab).)

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    It's fitting that My Chemical Romance closed its show with "The Kids From Yesterday," a ballad about taking "one last ride" since growing up. I started listening to My Chemical Romance in middle school, just before the band released Danger Days. In the decade since, I scaled back on the eyeliner and drugstore hair dye, but haven't gotten any less emo. Despite both the fans and the band maturing, dancing to Welcome to the Black Parade when My Chemical Romance performed a second encore was just as much of a near-religious experience as the first time I heard it.

    In its review(Opens in a new tab) of the show, the Los Angeles Times asks why My Chemical Romance returned now, of all times. Conspiracy theories(Opens in a new tab) aside, I can probably answer that question: we're all feeling a little stabby.

  • Teens are apparently ste

    Teens are apparently stealing soap dispensers and urinals from school for the devious lick trend

    Students are stealing paper towel dispensers, lab equipment, and school bus parts to flex as "devious licks" in the latest back-to-school trend on TikTok. Well, at least they claim they are.


    In a video posted last week(Opens in a new tab), TikTok user @oskarsoskar, unzips their backpack and pulls out two COVID antigen testing kits. They toss the kits into a larger pile of boxed kits on their bed, and then pans over to a duffle bag filled with even more kits. As the music builds, @oskarsoskar pulls out a drawer from under their bed, revealing even more antigen testing kits.

    "Mfs doing great licks,"@oskarsoskar captioned the video, which has more than 2.3 million views as of Monday. "I'm out here doing a whole Heist."

    People are flexing their stolen goods for this trend. Credit: tiktok / oksarsoskar
    School administrators and other students are getting fed up with "devious licks." Credit: tiktok / oksarsoskar

    They posted the video again the same day, racking up 4.6 million views, and captioned it, "I won this trend."

    The opening bars to Lil B's "Ski Ski BasedGod"(Opens in a new tab) — sped up to a frantic, tension-building trill — provide the backing track to these alleged school supply heists, which has become a trend on the app as schools return to in-person classes. In a typical video, the TikTok user unzips their backpack to reveal their apparently stolen goods. The more difficult to obtain, the more devious the lick. Toilet paper rolls, class pets, and a classmate's shoes are small-grade licks. Mid-tier licks include parking signs, school laptops, and desk chairs. Especially complex swipes like an entire filing cabinet or security cameras are referred to as nefarious, diabolical, and godforsaken licks.

    As of Monday, there are over 76,000 videos using the sped-up version of "Ski Ski BasedGod," and 24,500 videos using an identical sound posted by a different TikTok user. The tag #deviouslick has 175.2 million views.

    The trend started when TikTok user jugg4elias posted a video on Sept. 1 showing off a box of disposable face masks they claimed to have stolen from school, according to Know Your Meme(Opens in a new tab).

    "A month into school...absolutely devious lick," they captioned the video, adding "Should've brought a mask from home. Now look at you walkin round campus maskless you dirty dog."

    The video racked up more than 345,800 views before it was removed on Monday.

    TikTok user whiteboywes upped the ante last week(Opens in a new tab), posting a video unzipping their backpack to reveal a wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser. The video now has more than 13 million views, and the user appears to have changed their name to dtx.2cent.

    It started with a box of masks. Credit: tiktok / jugg4elias
    Then it escalated to hand sanitizer dispensers. Credit: Tiktok / dtx.2cent

    Amid videos of actual stolen property, TikTok users are also bragging about implausible heists. The tongue-in-cheek videos feature students admonishing others for their small licks before revealing "stolen" cop cars and school busses.

    "In just a few minutes...I'm going to win this trend," TikTok user ucharlie captioned video of himself pretending to dismantle a boiler(Opens in a new tab).

    Students are joking about pulling off even bigger heists. Credit: tiktok / josesiq_
    In a tongue-in-cheek twist on the trend, one guy joked about stealing the entire planet. Credit: tiktok / sheluvmichael_

    Another user posted a video of a massive bronze horse statue(Opens in a new tab) at the entrance of their school building, writing, "I'm finna hit the most diabolical lick of the school year."

    One posted space footage of planet Earth(Opens in a new tab), joking they "hit the biggest lick in the universe."

    Other students are fed up with the antics. TikTok users complained that school bathrooms are closed because of missing toilets(Opens in a new tab) and stolen bathroom stall dividers(Opens in a new tab). One user joked about being scared to use public restrooms(Opens in a new tab), lest their shoes be stolen from under the stall door in the name of a devious lick.

    And school administrators are threatening consequences for the trending theft. TikTok user drexerss posted a recording of a school announcement(Opens in a new tab) imploring kids to stop stealing soap dispensers and warning students that if caught, they'll be disciplined.

    "For those that are participating, please know that when we do catch you we will discipline you to the fullest extent and you will be arrested and you will be responsible for any of the monetary damages that have been done," the school administrator said in the video. "Because of the antics of a few, we don't have soap in any of the boys' restrooms...nor do we have any more soap dispensers so you will not be able to thoroughly wash your hands."

    The administrator added that the school had to close one of the bathrooms because of the damages from this trend.

    In a Facebook post(Opens in a new tab) on Sunday night, Sunlake High School in Land O'Lakes, Florida told parents that stealing school property may seem like a "harmless prank," the trend does involve "criminal activity."

    "Soap dispensers, exit signs, safety signage for fire rescue, and classroom telephones are just a few of the items that were removed and stolen this week," the school posted. "We love our Seahawks and we do not want to see any of them arrested so PLEASE talk to your kids. If they are participating in this activity you will be hearing from an administrator and our School Resource Officer. Let's work together to put a stop to this now."

    One student on TikTok said participants "took this devious lick thing too far" and now their school is only allowing transparent backpacks(Opens in a new tab). Another school is taking "anti-menace" measures by locking soap dispensers in metal casing(Opens in a new tab).

    It's unclear if these measures were already in place, or if students are posting these consequence videos to get in on the trend.

    And while the trend may appear harmless, already underfunded schools are taking a hit. YouTuber and streamer Arthur EXE responded to another student(Opens in a new tab) who claimed they stole a SMART Board, which can cost a classroom between $2,000 to $7,000 for the hardware alone.

    A lot of you don't realize how expensive a SMART Board is. Buying a SMART Board is basically taking out a small loan.

    "A lot of you don't realize how expensive a SMART Board is," Arthur EXE said, adding that his mother is a teacher. "Buying a SMART Board is basically taking out a small loan...This might be the greatest lick in history."

    The base price of the interactive board itself doesn't include the cost of installation or software licensing, which varies by brand but can still cost tens of thousands of dollars. And while the cost of most classroom furniture like desks, boards, and basic technology is covered by the school district, teachers are still burdened with paying for other supplies out-of-pocket(Opens in a new tab).

    Bottom line: devious licks can be fun, but they do hurt actual teachers trying to do their jobs, and punish students who didn't even participate in trend. And while there aren't any lick-related arrests made public yet, it's a very real consequence of attempting a heist just for some clout.

  • Guy & Alison &am

    Guy & Alison & David & Samin & Chrissy: How the internet redefined the celebrity chef

    Internet of Yum digs into all the things that make us drool while we're checking our feeds.


    In the '90s and early aughts, a celebrity chef was someone who turned their kitchen chops (be that knife skills or simply being charming behind the counter) into Food Network shows, packed restaurants, bestselling cookbooks, merchandise, or a deal with a sought-after brand. Now, they're someone who turns their bestselling cookbook into a Netflix show, or their YouTube show into a Hulu show, or their popular YouTube show into spinoff YouTube shows, or their blog into cookbooks, or their Instagram popularity into a TV Show, or their Twitter goldmine into a Martha Stewart-esque empire.

    That's because social media, memes, better smartphone cameras, and streaming have changed the formula for success — and Food Network faltered when all that began to take shape.

    "The thing where people used to say chefs are rock stars, it really continues to be true," says Allen Salkin, author of spicy tell-all From Scratch: Inside the Food Network(Opens in a new tab).

    But just like you never had to be the best musician to top the music charts, you never had to be the best chef to be a celebrity chef. It’s always been more about personality than how well one can cook. Or, how well one can interview other chefs or travel the world eating exotic foods with other famous people.

    That was true in the ‘60s when Julia Child demystified French cooking. That was true when Emeril first yelled “Bam” in the ‘90s. That was true when Guy Fieri started bringing camera crews to greasy spoons in the aughts. And it’s still true now when Alison Roman answers questions about The Stew, her face masked by Instagram’s puppy-ears filter. Or when David Chang travels to Morocco with Chrissy Teigen for a Netflix show(Opens in a new tab) and wonders, “How the hell did she go from SI swimsuit model to the modern-day Martha Stewart almost? It’s like crazy.” (Teigen was named one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2019, honored as a pioneer in the food space by celebrity chef Eric Ripert(Opens in a new tab).)

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    "Even the word chef is complicated — some people define it as anyone who has a culinary degree, others say you have to run a restaurant kitchen, others say you need both," says Emma Laperruque, food editor at Food52, an influential food site. Still, there have been home cooks who've made the transition to "celebrity chef."

    "These days, it can go in the opposite direction: a celebrity who turns into a culinary influencer," she adds.

    Star power

    Julia Child wasn't the only chef on public television, but she certainly is the most well-known. In 1967, four years after The French Chef taught Americans how to make crepes and cook a goose, Joyce Chen used the same set to teach upscale Chinese cooking. But Joyce Chen Cooks fizzled out after one season because it couldn't get a sponsor(Opens in a new tab). Chen, the first woman of color on a national cooking program, had to work with a vocal coach to soften her strong accent. Looking back on her show's short life, media scholars and food historians note she didn't have the same "charisma"(Opens in a new tab) as Child, and xenophobia may have played a role. (Child and Chen were friendly, and Child often ate at Chen's Cambridge restaurant.)

    For decades, PBS would be a main source of televised cooking for Americans. But the business of PBS was very different than later iterations of televised chefs. PBS offered cooking programs as a public service. The Food Network, which launched in 1993, was made to make money, and celebrity sells.

    The Food Network debuted just months before Martha Stewart turned her magazine, Martha Stewart Living, into a syndicated TV show. More Americans were spending money on home decorating and improvement. The American economy was booming and people had extra cash. Stewart may be more of a lifestyle guru, but she's also been called a celebrity chef over the years. She's had a renaissance recently due in part to her collaboration with Snoop Dogg on a VH1 cooking show,(Opens in a new tab) a friendship made for the internet.

    In the beginning, there wasn’t even a working oven on the Food Network's set(Opens in a new tab). One time, someone behind the scenes mistakenly broadcast porn(Opens in a new tab); rather than hurting the network, the flurry of complaints proved to advertisers that people were watching. Entire seasons were shot in a week. Emeril Lagasse, whose photo could have been next to the dictionary definition of “celebrity chef” in 2000, came up with his “Bam(Opens in a new tab)” catchphrase to wake up a tired crew(Opens in a new tab).

    As the Food Network grew, there was controversy in the kitchen. Food Network hosts were (Opens in a new tab)TV chefs(Opens in a new tab). Not real chefs. The same lines in the sand would be drawn decades later as cooks began to show off their chops online. Those are YouTube chefs. Those are Instagram chefs. Not real chefs. And yet, an Instagram chef or a YouTube chef has the power to be more famous than someone who owns a successful restaurant.

    “There’s disagreements with people about who is a celebrity chef and who's a food influencer. It's so blah blah blah blah blah."

    “There’s disagreements with people about who is a celebrity chef and who's a food influencer. It's so blah blah blah blah blah,” says Guy Fieri, a Food Network prodigy. “Whatever. I don’t even think about shit like that.”

    “If you're doing something good in the industry, something good for people, you know — who's educating people, entertaining people, helping people, all inside of food... those are my criteria,” Fieri says of who should be considered a celebrity chef.

    Salkin considers Fieri the Food Network's last home-grown star. The next big twist to come from the network, he says, was Ree Drummond, a home cook who built her own fandom through her blog, The Pioneer Woman(Opens in a new tab). In 2011, she went from influencer to Food Network star with even more influence.

    "Having created a nation of people who knew what kale and shallots are, [the Food Network] made a business calculation that they can run dumb crap over time and they’d get a couple more thousand viewers," Salkin says. At the same time, Bravo and other cable networks were also running food shows, particularly competitions. Then in 2015 came higher-brow content like Chef's Table from Netflix along with "the broad, the Instagram and YouTube chefs," he says.

    In 2006, a year before Emeril Live was cut due to declining ratings, Fieri won The Next Food Network Star. The show, which later dropped “the next” from its title, ran until 2018. By then, YouTube was already being called “the new Food Network.”(Opens in a new tab) Fieri was still the show's most famous winner. He’d become popular not for his own cooking but for spotlighting diners, drive-ins, and dives in his show of the same name. And for leaning in hard when the internet turned him into a meme. (He has a team that comes up with the memes, which he then runs by his sons.)

    Internet power

    Other celebrity chefs have tried to transition to the internet with varying degrees of success. Ina Garten is popular on Instagram, her "store bought is fine" catchphrase fitting in well with home cooks looking for recipe ideas. (Same goes for her willingness to make a humongous quarantine cocktail.) Tom Colicchio of Top Chef has also upped his Instagram game during the coronavirus pandemic. With his New York restaurants closed(Opens in a new tab), he's been showing off(Opens in a new tab) his sourdough(Opens in a new tab) bakes. Garten has 2.6 million Instagram followers to Colicchio's 246,000.

    In between them sits Alison Roman at 560,000 Instagram followers. Roman's recipes have become proper nouns (The Cookies, The Stew, The Pasta) and she's been dubbed "the face of home cooking(Opens in a new tab)" and "the prom queen of quarantine(Opens in a new tab)." She's even referenced "store bought is fine" in an Instagram caption(Opens in a new tab) before.

    The Nothing Fancy(Opens in a new tab) author is casual and unfiltered. She fits the millennial ideal of cramming a bunch of people into a small apartment, everyone drinking out of a hodgepodge of glasses and eating anchovies, but anchovies in effortlessly cool and delicious dishes. She dons filters to answer cooking questions in her Instagram Stories. It's endearing, although she says it's more out of embarrassment than trying to be cute.

    "I'm not wearing makeup or like I just went for a run or like didn't get dressed or take a shower, and I'm like 'I look like shit' but if I put a filter on, I look OK," she says. "It's like an obvious way of saying I do care what I look like. Not enough to style myself for a video on Instagram, but like enough to put dog ears on me that smooths out my rosacea."

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    But her say-whatever, keeping it real vibe got her in trouble. She sent shockwaves through the Twittersphere when she basically called(Opens in a new tab) Teigen a sellout. Teigen responded with a sad tweet(Opens in a new tab) noting she'd been making Roman's recipes for years.

    Celebrity chefs criticizing one another(Opens in a new tab), either for being "sellouts" or bad cooks, is a time-honored tradition. But the masses didn't demand an apology when Lagasse dunked on Rachael Ray. Or when Stewart did the same. Or when Anthony Bourdain roasted Fieri. None of those barbs had a negative impact, overall, on anyone's fame. What makes Roman's gaffe different? We have apology culture and cancel culture, sure, but we also have a heightened awareness of privilege, how successful women should treat other women, and internet power. Roman, a white woman, criticized a woman of color over how she leveraged her fame. She was disparaging another woman to differentiate herself. In this dynamic, though, Teigen has the real power. She sits at the cool table in our social media cafeteria. Roman sold a TV show recently (production has been on hold because of coronavirus) and Teigen planned to executive produce. Like Martha Stewart, Teigen is a lifestyle guru who in some circles is considered a celebrity chef. She uses her cooking to propel her fame, after all.

    Unlike those other food celebrity dust-ups, this time there was an apology(Opens in a new tab). And a public olive branch in return.(Opens in a new tab)

    "It was stupid, careless and insensitive. I need to learn, and respect, the difference between being unfiltered and honest vs. being uneducated and flippant," Roman posted on both Twitter and Instagram, tying it back to her own insecurity. A few days later, she was making The Pasta with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show.(Opens in a new tab)

    Before the brouhaha, when asked what made someone a celebrity chef in 2020, the New York Times columnist and restaurant-trained chef said it depends.

    “If you’re asking the cool kids on Twitter about who they think is important and cool, it’s different than like my mom,” said Roman. For what it’s worth, she said she makes recipes for both the cool kids and moms.

    "I'd rather be known like overall for good work than like for one recipe that's very successful," Roman said. "That's more important to me than like, 'Oh did you make The Cookies by that girl.'"

    "It's not like my main goal to make hit after hit after hit. That feels exhausting. And I will fail if that was my objective."

    When she's writing a new recipe for her column, she's thinking about how she can make something delicious that anyone can make.

    "It's funny because plenty of people, especially at the New York Times, people love to comment like, 'Oh well I do it this way,' and like 'I do it that way.' And I'm like, yeah, I know you can do it a lot of ways, but I'm trying to write one recipe that is as inclusive as possible," Roman said.

    Accessibility has been part of celebrity chefdom since Rachael Ray taught a busy nation how to make 30-minute meals nearly 20 years ago. The difference now is we're not spending 30 minutes watching how to make something. We're scrolling through Instagram at lightning speed. Or we're double-screening it, scrolling on our phones while we watch Netflix or YouTube.

    Some celebrity chefs of the aughts have tried to harness the power of YouTube. Both Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver have YouTube channels, although Ramsay with 14 million subscribers has more than Oliver's 5 million. Last year, Ramsay was nominated for a YouTube Streamy Award for Food(Opens in a new tab), but didn't win. Instead, the honor went to Andrew Rea, the home cook behind Binging with Babish, a YouTube show with nearly 7 million subscribers that recreates food from TV and movies. Binging got its big break in November 2016 when Rea made the "moistmaker" sandwich from Friends. Since then, he's made the Krabby Patty Supreme from SpongeBob SquarePants and Direwolf bread from Game of Thrones with star Maisie Williams. He's spun his success into another cooking channel called Basics with Babish, where he teaches viewers how to make hummus and sourdough, and a lifestyle show called Being with Babish, where he plays Oprah and gives gifts to deserving fans.

    "Anyone with a camera and an internet connection can make content now. I'm not saying that all of that is good," Rea notes. "But there's so much of it out there, and there is so much of it that is genuinely good and really [well] produced, really well thought out, really affable, and really enjoyable shows on YouTube that nobody's watching because they either didn't market themselves correctly or they didn't get as lucky as I did," Rea says.

    "I try not to ever fall into the trap of thinking that I'm special for having made this," adds Rea, who wouldn't call himself a celebrity chef. Those are "your Gordon Ramsays, your Alton Browns," he says. Although, not calling yourself a celebrity is a requirement for internet celebrities. Like Roman, he has to be approachable, aspirational.

    "There's so many levels of what could be considered a celebrity chef," Rea adds. "When does the line start? When you have 100,000 subscribers, when you have 250,000 subscribers? Like when do you become a celebrity chef?"

    Claire Saffitz, the Bon Appétit chef whose memeability comes close to rivaling Fieri, also never wants to be called a celebrity chef. Saffitz hosts the magazine's YouTube show Gourmet Makes where she recreates junk food from scratch. People relate to her frustration, which is on full display when she tries to make gourmet Doritos or Peeps.

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    Her videos consistently net between 5 million and 10 million views.

    "Absolutely not. I cringe. I think if I ever get to the point where I expect recognition, I'm a sociopath," she told Mashable last year at Vidcon when asked if she considered herself a celebrity.

    Rea, who didn't go to culinary school, was recently featured in a Bon Appétit challenge. A professional chef walks him through making a Jean-Georges egg — fluffy scrambled eggs stuffed in an egg shell and topped with whipped cream and caviar, but they use ostrich eggs and salmon roe — while they stand back to back. Jean-Georges Vongerichten has a restaurant empire, but he never made it big on TV. He had a short-lived PBS food-travel series with his wife, but he's known more among foodies than the "cool kids on Twitter," as Roman would say.

    "I was really flattered that they chose a pretty technically difficult recipe for me to do," Rea says. "I was like, OK you guys have confidence that I can hold my own."

    Rea considers Saffitz and other Bon Appétit stars celebrity chefs. "They're people who walk down the street and will be recognized," he says. "They're superstars."

    Perhaps Rea isn't as recognizable because he doesn't show his face on his cooking shows. You see his torso covered in a black apron, his hands, and his arm tattoos. His soothing voice comforts you. The colors pop.

    "I shoot it. I edit it. I do the voiceover. I write the instructions, the little jokes. So good and bad, stupid and smart, ugly and pretty. The show is me. It is an extension of me," he says (adding that he does outsource some of the multi-camera footage assembly for his spin-off cooking show Basics with Babish).

    His look — the minimalism, the high contrast — can also be seen with food content on Instagram. And on Netflix.

    Netflix slides in

    Netflix turned Samin Nosrat's bestselling cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat(Opens in a new tab), which aimed to give home cooks the confidence to use their own instincts, into a show. With its brightly colored food close-ups, the show would fit right in on Instagram. It's part documentary show, part cooking show, part travel show, a formula that's been used before but is especially inviting with Nosrat's boisterous laugh acting as the secret sauce. It's also only four episodes. Netflix doesn't have a problem bucking TV traditions on series length, and the show is better for it. Nosrat leaves you wanting more.

    Sometimes Nosrat, who was named on the Time 100 list(Opens in a new tab) as a food pioneer alongside Teigen last year, screws up(Opens in a new tab) and it still makes the cut. She thinks of it as a teaching tool. Julia Child did the same thing. So does Rea.(Opens in a new tab) In the "Salt" episode, where she visits Japan, she talks about how imperfections in a dish make it human.

    David Chang shows a similar attitude in his own Netflix shows. The restaurateur behind Momofuku can lure a mob of hungry hipsters to a hole in the wall with a single tweet. On both shows, Chang talks about his changing perspective on food and internet fame. He's reached a point where he's "OK making really ugly food." And he's still wrestling with having his "life out there in social media." Chang's been leveraging his platform recently to spotlight the struggling restaurant industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.(Opens in a new tab) He's closed some of his own businesses too. Likewise, Fieri has been raising money for unemployed restaurant workers.

    In the first episode of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner(Opens in a new tab), Chang smokes weed with Seth Rogen as the two eat their way through Vancouver. In another, he rides camels in Morocco with Teigen, who turned her first cookbook, Cravings, into an online platform. Like many celebrity chefs, she's a merch machine.(Opens in a new tab) Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is also only four episodes. The first season of Ugly Delicious(Opens in a new tab), which shows Chang traveling around and unpacking the evolution of various foods like pizza and fried chicken, is eight. The second, which debuted in March, is half as long and kicks off with Chang talking about becoming a dad. It's more about his personal journey than food.

    Famous-chef-talking-to-celebrities-while-eating programming isn't new. Anthony Bourdain perfected it. Netflix is just doing it with a new, edgy celebrity chef. The same idea will probably be recycled in a decade from now on whatever the next Netflix is with whoever the next Chang is.

    "Everybody wants to be Anthony Bourdain," Salkin says. "They want to travel around the world and tell gritty, reflective stories about the power of food. Every fucking person thinks they can be the new Anthony Bourdain."

    Everybody also wants to be the next Guy Fieri. They want to travel around, eat greasy food, and talk to salt-of-the-earth chefs. The Burger Show(Opens in a new tab), a YouTube show turned Hulu series, features chef Alvin Cailan — who became well-known for his food truck turned restaurant Eggslut — eating burgers at various restaurants with celebrities like Padma Lakshmi, Lana Condor, and H. Jon Benjamin.

    "In order to sell a television show you need something new unless you’re already somebody," Salkin says.

    Making it last

    Internet celebrity, even Netflix celebrity, can be fleeting. And being a famous cook doesn't open as many doors as it once did. Winning a food competition show doesn't guarantee you your own spin-off. Many food competition winners, for example, can't get their restaurants(Opens in a new tab) to stick. You're also competing for the internet's attention with a bunch of home cooks.

    No matter what you call today's celebrity chefs — food celebrity, culinary influencer, YouTuber, Instagram personality — they all have to compete with our ever-shortening attention spans to keep their stars shining bright. Yet, the concept of a celebrity chef isn't going away, even if the definition has loosened over time.

    "As all times do, we will create our own celebrities who are right for the times," Salkin says. "Just wait, the next food celebrity is going to use the moniker," he pauses for drama, "the Sourdough Stud."

    Nicole Gallucci contributed to this report.

    More deliciousness from Internet of Yum:

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    • TikTok recipes are a pain to follow, but a joy to watch

    • How to best organize all your saved recipes on Instagram

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