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Cunnilingus on camera is changing. So are attitudes towards womens pleasure.

2023-03-21 05:10:46

Cunnilingus on camera is changing. So are attitudes towards womens pleasure.

Have you found yourself transfixed when your internet boyfriend is about to go down on the big screen? Or, maybe you’ve wondered how the actors make it look so real? Well, you're certainly not alone.

Cunnilingus on camera is changing. So are attitudes towards womens pleasure.(图1)

Don’t Worry Darling, a film directed by Olivia Wilde premieres today, features a scene where Harry Styles simulates oral sex on Florence Pugh(Opens in a new tab). In the original trailer, it showed Alice (Pugh) with her head back in the throes of ecstasy, lying back on the dining table, while the top of Jack's head (Styles) is seen between her legs. 

Wilde has already come under some scrutiny over this scene. In an interview with AP News(Opens in a new tab), she admitted that people were already upset with her for including it. She later challenged the criticism in a future interview(Opens in a new tab). "Female pleasure, the best versions of it that you see nowadays, are in queer films," Wilde said. "Why are we more comfortable with female pleasure when it’s two women on film? In hetero sex scenes in film, the focus on men as the recipients of pleasure is almost ubiquitous." Pugh, on the other hand, responded to the constant media focus on the scene, stating in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar(Opens in a new tab) that: "the movie was bigger than that." She explained her frustration by saying: "When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry."

When it comes to viewing cunnilingus on film, people still question why we're seeing it on screen, even when it’s filmed through the female gaze. In Mary, Queen of Scots, Saoirse Ronan and Jack Lowden stirred up controversy over the historical accuracy of oral sex, leading to viewers questioning its authenticity. Questions arose like: would a Queen really have oral sex performed on her to save her chastity? (short answer is yes(Opens in a new tab)). When director Josie Rourke was asked why she focused on the face of Ronan, instead of on Lowden’s performance of oral sex, she explained(Opens in a new tab): "to get what feels like an authentic female orgasm on screen? We need to see her face to do that."

SEE ALSO: How to perform cunnilingus like a pro

It’s not the first time we’ve seen our favourite actors perform oral sex. And it’s certainly not the first time the internet has lost its mind about seeing it played out either. Similar things happened when Adam Driver sang into Marion Cotillard in Annette(Opens in a new tab), and when Ryan Gosling dove face first into Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine, earning the film an 18 rating.(Opens in a new tab) 

As we're starting to see more cunnilingus scenes on our screens, what does it mean to society and wider culture when we see characters eating pussy on the big screen? How does it affect our views on female-focused pleasure?

What goes into staging a cunnilingus scene?

Intimacy coordinator Dr. Jessica Steinrock, PhD, who runs Intimacy Director and Coordinators Incorporated(Opens in a new tab), tells Mashable that staging sex scenes takes a large amount of choreography. Requiring welfare checks and safety measures to make sure that everything is enthusiastically consented to throughout the entire filming process. 

"We’re also there as actor advocates," she says. "I talk with the actors give [to] them a safe space and ask questions on boundaries so that their needs are met away from some of the really strong power dynamics that are within Hollywood." She tells me that organisations like SAG AFTRA(Opens in a new tab) provide accessible protections for actors performing intimate scenes and, in 2020, they quite literally protected actors on set with their policy changes. 

Part of the work Steinrock undertakes is making sure that there is no contact between the genitals of actors, whilst simultaneously helping each member of the cast and crew tell the story. 

"It's almost the exact same type of illusion we use to make it look like someone's mouth is in contact with someone else's vulva."

"We as intimacy coordinators essentially have three jobs," she explains. "First off, we liaise between departments and work with costume and camera, and the director and the actors, we make sure that everybody knows what's going on with the intimate scene before we get on set that day."

Steinrock goes on to explain that they’re there to answer questions that might feel embarrassing. "Sometimes those questions are deeply personal. And so, having someone in a job, whose role is to sit that person down, have a conversation with them, saying 'hey, how are you feeling about this? What are your questions about the actual physicalities of this masking technique that we're going to be doing?'" she says.

The third part of her role is to choreograph the scene. She works with the actors and camera departments to give the illusion of closeness in the same way a stunt coordinator might stage a punch. "It's almost the exact same type of illusion we use to make it look like someone's mouth is in contact with someone else's vulva," she explains. 

Why do people react negatively to cunnilingus?

The cultural reaction to kneeling at the altar, pussy worship, lip service, muff diving, rug munching, head, licking out, or cunnilingus has changed over the years. In classic TV shows like The Sopranos, (which first aired in 1999),  the act is portrayed as emasculating. One scene from the show, Junior Soprano (Dominic Chianese) says, “They think if you suck pussy you'll suck anything”. sigh

This school of thought is still present today. "Sucking pussy" has been seen as a submissive and unmanly thing to do by celebrities like DJ Khalid(Opens in a new tab), who has stated that he had never gone down on his wife, he repeated “I don’t do that.” Later in the interview, he explains that he doesn’t give head — despite still expecting his partner to go down on him — because he sees himself as the king (whatever that means), and so performing oral sex would confuse the hierarchy of his relationship. “It’s different rules for men," he explains (and I use that term lightly).

SEE ALSO: How women squirt on camera, according to porn stars

But it’s not just celebrities who don't believe in oral sex reciprocity. In a now archived post on Reddit(Opens in a new tab), one user stated that "real men should not eat pussy" because "it causes the woman to subconsciously lose respect for you and see you as her bitch." Yikes. But, despite this outburst, the comment sections on this, and other posts(Opens in a new tab), are quick to question what’s being said, from calling out ‘red flag behaviour’ to labelling the users behind these posts as ‘incels’. 

This is important because there is still a sizeable pleasure deficit when it comes to pleasure between mixed-sex couples. Heterosexual men are reported to orgasm 95 percent of the time they are intimate, whereas heterosexual women only come 65 percent of the time, according to a study on orgasm frequency(Opens in a new tab). This is called the orgasm gap(Opens in a new tab) and if we ever want to close it we need more representation of what sex looks like in a real world setting — and, according to the same study, more oral sex. 

"It may come as zero surprise that men are much less likely than women to give oral sex in a mixed-sex relationship."

As it stands, only 18.4 percent(Opens in a new tab) of women are able to come from penetrative sex alone, this number rises up to 60 percent when clitoral stimulation and penetration are combined. Oral sex is enjoyed by 90 percent(Opens in a new tab) of women and it’s easy to see why when 78 percent reported an orgasm in at least one of their most recent oral experiences. 

It may come as zero surprise that men are much less likely than women to give oral sex in a mixed-sex relationship. In fact, in a study conducted for the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality(Opens in a new tab), only 44 percent of women reported receiving oral sex, compared with 63 percent of men. This is despite there being no gender differences regarding the amount of pleasure it gave them. It really is different rules, huh?

Is our perception of pleasure changing?

It certainly feels like attitudes towards cunnilingus are changing, but are they actually? The answer is a complicated one. "The story we're telling has definitely become a little bit more pleasure-centric from scripts I was getting in my very first days. That said, what I have noticed as indicative of a positive trend is the care of actors," Steinrock says.

She explains that using a safeguarding-conscious approach with actors, and the production series as a whole, naturally leads to nuanced storytelling because of how safe the setting for these scenes is. In her experience, being able to have these conversations and set these boundaries leads to realistic pleasure-based performances. 

Of course, some veteran actors aren't all that keen on the new way of doing things. Game of Thrones alumnus Sean Bean recently said(Opens in a new tab) that intimacy coordinators "spoil the spontaneity." More important than spontaneity, however, is the safety of actors on set and it’s clear that the strict-yet-necessary restrictions regarding consent, boundaries, and touching are being welcomed by actors, directors, and production companies as a whole.

There should be space for all kinds of sex on our screens. We’re not here to yuck someone’s yum. Media is a form of entertainment, so why not show a variety of pornographic and authentic representations. Maybe it’s time to start having more open and honest discussions around sex means better literacy when it comes to differentiating porn from real sex(Opens in a new tab), which means we can begin to step away from performance and into pleasure when we hit the sheets. 

Opening our horizons to new and more expansive representation is a must. Especially because there is a direct link between sex misinformation and sexual violence(Opens in a new tab). One way that we can do this as a society is to examine the "traditional" roles within relationships and debunk misogynistic views, like sluttiness and easiness, which are often attributed to women (not men)(Opens in a new tab) who engage in casual sex frequently (amongst other completely normal things). This ‘sexual double standard’ has damaging implications where women’s safety and perceptions of sexual deviance(Opens in a new tab) (read: autonomy) are concerned.

"A lot of the time seeing sex in movies is people’s first interaction and touchpoint for how intimacy works. I'd love for us as a society to get more comfortable talking about pleasure and intimacy in broader ways. I think we can use media to really support those conversations by showing pleasure in a wider breadth," says Steinrock. But what needs to take place for that to happen? 

How the media can influence future depictions of female pleasure.

Sex education should be our first line of defence when intervening on things like sexual violence, teen pregnancy and reproductive knowledge —  it’s not often that we look to it to balance pleasure equity, despite being a well-proven antidote(Opens in a new tab). In the meantime, variety across other touchpoints like porn and mainstream media can help to diversify the lens we view sex through.

Ness Cooper(Opens in a new tab), a sex and relationship expert and clinical sexologist, tells Mashable that while watching more real depictions of cunnilingus is sure to make most women feel more empowered, there is still a sizeable gap in what we’re seeing and how we’re interpreting it. "In the past, there's been a lot of negativity around female pleasure sex scenes, often highlighting pain, which has meant that many sexual acts that women may enjoy have become stigmatised and shamed," she explains. "This means that individuals can struggle more when talking about pleasure, and when they do decide to explore it, they can be unnecessarily worried or stressed about it, making the experience less enjoyable. But bringing more awareness to how pleasurable these acts can be through various media can help reduce stigma, shame, and barriers even around sexual discrepancies," she says. 

While we’re seeing more sex positive depictions of female pleasure on our screens, there’s still a long way to go. Hopefully, we’re moving in the right direction.

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    Cold water swimming: The ritual empowering people with prenatal depression

    While many are familiar with postpartum depression(Opens in a new tab), the depression faced by people who've become new parents, prenatal depression(Opens in a new tab), which occurs during a pregnancy, is far less spoken about. A new documentary short on streaming platform WaterBear(Opens in a new tab) is shining new light on prenatal depression and a niche, helpful ritual some pregnant people are wading into: cold water swimming.


    Cold water swimming(Opens in a new tab), the practice of swimming outdoors in colder or polar regions, has proven to provide solace for some pregnant people, as Within the Water(Opens in a new tab) examines. Directed by Katharina Koall and Eleanor Church, the short film unpacks stories of pregnant women who have turned to the practice, while examining experiences of depression during pregnancy.

    The 11-minute film feels achingly intimate, with slow-cut shots and the ever-present sound of rippling waves. Women sit with their children near the water, holding seashells and expressing the myriad of emotions they've faced while pregnant. As the documentary follows them over nine months, they share anecdotes of their fears during prenatal depression alongside the joys of pregnancy and later parenthood, and discuss the comfort cold water swimming brought them.

    When it comes to pregnant people, the International Forum for Wellbeing in Pregnancy, a British charity, has suggested that antenatal swimming(Opens in a new tab) is generally "a safe form of exercise," though this may depend on individual medical conditions. The forum writes that the practice of cold water swimming can improve blood circulation, reduce aches and blood pressure, and promote mental wellbeing, and suggests some precautions to take too(Opens in a new tab).

    While cold (or "open") water swimming swimming sits at the crux of the short, the film is really more about shining a light on the stigma of prenatal depression, driven by the women interviewed and the stories they share with the camera.

    "That feeling of being in that ice cold water is so feels like a reset," one woman says.

    Credit: Katharina Koall and Eleanor Church.

    Filmmakers Koall and Church tell Mashable their passion for making Within the Water stemmed from their own individual experiences with prenatal depression.

    "We felt strongly that [prenatal depression] isn't spoken about enough," says Koall.

    In the UK, the National Health Service estimates that around one in eight people(Opens in a new tab) undergo some form of depression during their pregnancy. Treatment can include(Opens in a new tab) various forms of therapy or antidepressants.

    SEE ALSO: How to support someone with depression virtually

    Church said that the film captures a "shared mechanism to regain control" amongst the women turning to cold-water swimming.

    "Prenatal depression, although relatively common, is kept in the dark," she says. "The more we spoke to people about the project and opened up about our own experiences, the more people shared their own. It can be extremely lonely keeping this to yourself."

    While researching the film, Koall said that a number of perinatal mental health workers outlined how "under-recognised and misunderstood" prenatal depression can be.

    "The stigmas around the idea of being 'unmaternal' and focusing pregnancy on the baby rather than on the mother are still prevalent — attitudes that can be damaging and, at times, dangerous," she says. "These forms of depression are portrayed as a weakness, an instability, and while they can feel like that, this film explores the extreme strength and resilience that is needed to live through prenatal depression, to control it and be empowered."

    Within the Water is available to watch for free on WaterBear(Opens in a new tab).

  • Debate rages about whether saying youre a proud Slytherin really makes you a Hufflepuff


    Debate rages about whether saying youre a proud Slytherin really makes you a Hufflepuff

    Time to get to the bottom of this once and for all.

    SEE ALSO: Snapchat's new Harry Potter lens lets you practice your wizard skills

    A tweet about people claiming fealty to Hogwarts houses went up on Tuesday, and has caused some conversation among Potterheads.

    Okay, let's unpick this.

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    The sorting hat explains in its various songs that each of the four Hogwarts founders had a quality they prized in their students. Here's a recap of what the sorting hat said about Hufflepuff and Slytherin in Harry's first sorting.

    "You might belong in Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true And unafraid of toil."

    "Or perhaps in Slytherin You'll make your real friends, Those cunning folks use any means To achieve their ends."

    So Hufflepuffs are hard-working and Slytherins are mercurially ambitious. Seem like pretty separate qualities. So why the anger?

    Well, Hufflepuffs are sometimes the subject of derision. Hard-work apparently doesn't pay off, as they're broadly characterised as "a lot o' duffers" (credit to Hagrid for providing that insightful analysis of clique culture in schools).

    This broad derision has been applied directly to those who identify as Slytherins.

    There seems to be some consensus that proclaiming yourself a Slytherin has a whiff of cool-guy pretentiousness. But regardless of what constitutes Slytherinhood or Hufflepuffery, but here's the kicker.

    Young Harry Potter was going to be sorted not into Jock House (ahem sorry, Gryffindor) but into... dun dun dun... Slytherin. The only reason he didn't get put in there was because he actively thought "not Slytherin!" during his sorting.

    So basically you can proclaim yourself member of any house, because it's our choices who define who we are, far more than our abilities (H/T Albus "Gets-Small-Children-to-do-his-dirty-work" Dumbledore). You go ahead and be a proud Slytherin if you want. Alternatively you can take the house quiz at Pottermore(opens in a new tab).

    Or you just could try not slotting yourself into the incredibly restricted categories that are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Or, as I like to call them: Jock House, Dork House, Nerd House and Evil House.

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

  • Ted Cruzs dinner was gatecrashed by protesters against Brett Kavanaugh

    Ted Cruzs dinner was gatecrashed by protesters against Brett Kavanaugh


    If Ted Cruz thought his Monday night dinner was going to be quiet, uninterrupted affair, he thought wrong.

    The Texas senator was forced to leave a restaurant in Washington D.C., in a scene all too familiar to Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

    SEE ALSO: People across the country stage walk outs in solidarity with sexual assault survivors

    Protesters entered Fiola, an upscale Italian restaurant, seemingly opposed to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and heckled Cruz and his wife.

    Apparently an "old friend"(opens in a new tab) of Kavanaugh's, Cruz sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee who will decide his fate as a Supreme Court nominee.

    Kavanaugh is facing multiple(opens in a new tab) accusations(opens in a new tab) of sexual assault and misconduct, which prompted women's rights organizations to run a national walkout on Monday in solidarity with survivors.

    In a video posted on Monday night by Smash Racism DC, the group of activists can be heard chanting the words, "we believe survivors," referring to people who have experienced sexual abuse.


    "While our interruption does not compare in scale to the interruptions his actions as a Senator have had on millions of American lives, we hope that it reminds Cruz and others like him that they are not safe from the people they have hurt," Smash Racism DC wrote in a tweet.(opens in a new tab)

    "This is a message to Ted Cruz, [Brett] Kavanaugh, Donald Trump and the rest of the racist, sexist, transphobic, and homophobic right-wing scum: You are not safe. We will find you. We will expose you. We will take from you the peace you have taken from so many others."

    In another video posted by the same Twitter account, a woman who describes herself as a survivor of sexual assault and a constituent of Cruz's asks him: "Do you believe in survivors? We believe survivors. Senator, I have a right to know what your position is on Brett Kavanaugh."

    Cruz's dinner wasn't the only site of protest, either. NBC affiliate KXAN reported(opens in a new tab) that survivors of sexual assault had protested outside Cruz's office on Monday, in support of Kavanaugh accusers Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. 

    Kavanaugh's nomination was originally opposed(opens in a new tab) by Cruz, although many including the Texas Tribune(opens in a new tab) have noted his changing attitude.

    Cruz was also the committee member who suggested Ford testify in public.

    "These allegations are serious and deserve to be treated with respect," Cruz said in a statement, published by the Tribune.


    "Professor Ford should have a full opportunity to tell her story before the Judiciary Committee, and Judge Kavanaugh should have a full opportunity to defend himself. That hearing should be sooner, rather than later, so the committee can make the best assessment possible of the allegations."

    Ford will testify against Kavanaugh in an open hearing on Thursday, CNN reports.(opens in a new tab)

  • Are Twitters birthday balloons broken?


    Are Twitters birthday balloons broken?

    We already know that Twitter is withering away like a sad little grape on a vine, but today it seems the party may really be over.

    Yesterday, Feb. 2, a Twitter user claimed "TWITTER GOT RID OF BIRTHDAY BALLOONS" adding "elon is such a miserable little man he cannot bear the idea of anyone experiencing happiness." While Musk may indeed appear to be a miserable little man, we had to look into the claim about the balloons.

    Here's how the balloon feature usually works: When you sign up for Twitter, the site asks for your birthdate. When you view your own profile on that date, a note under your bio wishes you a "Happy Birthday" and a delightful little animation of multi-colored balloons floats across screen (PS tap to pop them). If you've made your birthdate settings public, the balloons appear to anyone visiting your profile, along with a message reading, "Today is their birthday!" Click the message, and the balloons appear again.

    I did some digging, and I still see them on desktop on profiles that share their birthday publicly. But on the mobile app, the balloons are gone. And though "Today is their birthday!" still appears, you can't click on it for more balloons. Users are also reporting that they do not see the balloon animation when viewing their own profile on their birthday.

    The only explainable reason for this might be happening is that you've turned off "reduce motion" in your Accessibility settings. To check on the mobile app, navigate to "Settings and Support" > "Settings and Privacy" > "Accessibility, display, and languages" > "Accessibility" > "Motion" and make sure "reduce motion" is turned off.

    To see balloons, double check that you've toggled "reduce motion" to off. Credit: Twitter

    If you tried that and the balloons aren't showing up for you today, I'm wishing you a happy birthday and encourage you to watch this hour-long animation(Opens in a new tab) of sweet little balloons to celebrate.

  • Matt Damon has more to say about sexual harassment and, oh boy …

    Matt Damon has more to say about sexual harassment and, oh boy …


    Matt Damon needs to stop talking about sexual harassment until he actually gets it.

    After a whole week of being lambasted by folks like Alyssa Milano following his unfathomably misinformed ABC News interview, the Hollywood star has more to add. More!

    SEE ALSO: Matt Damon attempts to speak about sexual harassment and shows he STILL doesn't get it

    In fact, Damon thinks we should be talking more about the men in Hollywood who aren't sexually assaulting people. In an interview with Business Insider(opens in a new tab), promoting his new film, Downsizing, Damon said he thinks men "who don't do this kind of thing" should be given a pat on the back.

    “We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole s—load of guys — the preponderance of men I’ve worked with — who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected.”

    Look, Damon appears to be coming from a good place, but dude, this moment in history is not about men who "don't do this."

    Damon goes on to congratulate himself on being one such non-harasser, and refers to an ambiguous "sexual harassment thing" that he would totally sign, guys.

    "If I have to sign a sexual-harassment thing, I don’t care, I’ll sign it. I would have signed it before. I don’t do that, and most of the people I know don’t do that.”


    It may surprise you, but the reaction to Damon's comments has been less than positive.

    Look, we get it Damon, you're trying to be supportive of your workmates who haven't assaulted anyone, that you know of.

    But perhaps, given the circumstances surrounding your ol' pal Harvey Weinstein, who is facing sexual assault and harassment accusations from over 100 women, it'd be the perfect moment to lend support to victims, acknowledge Hollywood's systemic sexual harassment problem, and shut the hell up.

  • Keanu Reeves turns 55 and Twitter is so happy for him

    Keanu Reeves turns 55 and Twitter is so happy for him


    The internet's number one crush of 2019, Keanu Reeves, is turning another year older, wiser, and hotter today and it's time to celebrate.

    As Reeves turns 55 years old on this #ManCrushMonday (55? Breathtaking!) Twitter users are celebrating their good-haired, personal space-respecting(Opens in a new tab), slow-mo strutting king by fondly looking back his career.

    If we're being honest, the GIFs, threads, videos, and old photo collages of young Keanu are as much a gift to us all as they are to him, so please enjoy!


    Happy birthday to our collective internet boyfriend!

  • Rite Aid surveilled customers using facial recognition tech with links to China

    Rite Aid surveilled customers using facial recognition tech with links to China

    The next time you pop into your local drugstore to grab a gallon of milk, remember there’s a chance the store is secretly analyzing your face.


    A new report from Reuters(Opens in a new tab) uncovered facial recognition cameras throughout dozens of Rite Aid locations in largely low-income, non-white neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles. Furthermore, the investigation also discovered that the facial recognition firm has ties to the Chinese government.

    According to the report(Opens in a new tab), Rite Aid has rolled out hundreds of facial recognition systems in its stores across the U.S. since around 2012, making it “one of the largest rollouts of such technology among retailers in the country.”

    Rite Aid utilized its facial recognition technology to match customers faces with facial recognition scans of those “previously observed engaging in potential criminal activity.” When a match was made with a current customer, store security would be alerted. Security would then check the facial images and, if they determined the images correctly matched up, the customer would be asked to leave.

    Reuters discovered these surveillance cameras in 33 out of 75 Rite Aid stores in Manhattan and central L.A. In some cases, the report said, store security even went over how the system worked with Reuters reporters.

    “Most were about half a foot long, rectangular and labeled either by their model, “iHD23,” or by a serial number including the vendor’s initials, “DC,” says the report.

    The investigation found that the cameras were three times more likely to be installed at Rite Aid stores in poorer areas than in richer ones. Stores in majority Black or Latino neighborhoods were more than three times as likely to have facial recognition cameras installed.

    Rite Aid first worked with a facial recognition company called FaceFirst. The report details a number of cases where the technology displayed racial bias. The facial recognition technology would often match two completely different people, whose only similarity appeared to be skin color.

    Previous studies have found facial recognition tech often misidentified people of color. Some big tech companies, such as IBM and Microsoft, have pulled its own facial recognition technology from law enforcement, citing these issues.

    In 2018, Rite Aid began working with a different facial recognition firm called DeepCam. While the company’s technology appears to be far superior to the previous vendor, there is another issue. As the report points out, DeepCam is closely linked to a facial recognition firm in China called Shenzhen Shenmu Information Technology.

    One of the co-founders of DeepCam is the chairman of the Chinese-base company. In fact, Shenzhen Shenmu uses the domain name One of its largest investors is the Chinese government.

    The U.S. government has placed bans and restrictions China-based companies from doing business in the U.S. over data privacy issues. Chinese phone giant Huawei is a perfect example.

    However, even U.S.-based companies with strong connections to Chinese companies haven’t been able to escape data privacy concerns. Donald Trump’s reelection campaign recently ran ads against TikTok, citing data concerns stemming from their China-based parent company ByteDance. The Trump administration has even floated the idea of banning the app from the U.S. over these concerns.

    As for Rite Aid, the drugstore chain informed Reuters(Opens in a new tab) that it had shut off all its facial recognition cameras and will no longer be using these systems in-stores. The company cited “a larger industry conversation” on the “increasing uncertainty around the technology’s utility” as its reason for ending its facial recognition program.

  • Fishtail brows are a thing now, and were not sure why

    Fishtail brows are a thing now, and were not sure why


    The past few years have seen something of an eyebrow renaissance, from the squiggle brow to the feather brow to -- yes, this is real -- the Christmas tree brow.

    The latest brow trend has Instagram literally splitting hairs: fishtail brows.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    Beauty bloggers are drawing in their quintessential "Instagram brows" and then adding another end flipped up, like a fish tail.

    SEE ALSO: Thanks to 'squiggle brows,' your eyebrows can finally look like tiny snakes

    The trend started with skyzeditz(opens in a new tab), a makeup account on Instagram known for photoshopping new looks on influencers and celebrities. They posted this edited photo of a selfie from makeup artist dessimua(opens in a new tab).

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    Huda Kattan, an artist who started the popular Huda makeup brand, posted another skyzeditz brow photoshop on her own Instagram.

    A post shared by Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty)(opens in a new tab) on

    Like many of the people commenting on Kattan's post, we just want to know why this look was created.


    Were braid brows not enough? Was it inspired by a certain Academy Award contender, like the Shape of Water fish-man dildo? How do you pull off this look without looking angry all the time?

    Despite the criticism, Kattan and skyzeditz inspired other makeup artists to try the trend themselves.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    As wild as the look is, you kind of have to admire the artistic skill it takes to create these otherworldly brows.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)

    Sure the brows make the wearers look like fairy tale villains, but paired with sweeping lashes and expertly blended smokey eyes, they're glamorous villains.

    Not everyone is about this mermaid-inspired trend, but it's definitely a creative choice if you're down to try a more adventurous look.

  • Guy Fieri has reached an emotional turning point

    Guy Fieri has reached an emotional turning point

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


    If you think you have the celebrity chef who rocks spiked platinum blonde hair, backwards sunglasses, and an eccentric wardrobe brimming with bold flame prints and retro bowling shirts all figured out, think again.

    While Guy Fieri does embody all things righteous and funkalicious, he's been mulling over how he can leave behind more than just a lighthearted legacy.

    For years, Fieri has embraced his status as the man who inspired many memes(Opens in a new tab). After first receiving the Saturday Night Live(Opens in a new tab) treatment(Opens in a new tab) from Bobby Moynihan in 2009, Fieri became somewhat of a muse for parody artists and people online. He was impersonated in CollegeHumor videos(Opens in a new tab), voice dubbed(Opens in a new tab) by a number of YouTubers, and his distinct style made him an extraordinarily popular Halloween costume. (Even Chrissy Teigen's dressed as him.)

    To this day, the internet loves to poke fun at Guy. Recently he and his team, known as Knuckle Sandwich, decided to flip the switch and start cranking out high-quality Fieri memes of their own. Playing into the joke was a bold social media strategy, but one that worked to his advantage. The memes are such a hit with millennials and Gen Z that Guy has managed to find a whole new wave of fame online.

    Before mastering social media, Fieri built an impressive career offline. Since winning The Next Food Network Star in 2006 (the show would later lose "the next" from its title), he's established restaurants across the country, authored several books, won an Emmy Award, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has hosted and starred in a variety of culinary and competitive food shows — some of which, including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games, are still on the air today.

    After nearly a decade and a half spent in the public eye, the 52-year-old chef doesn't want to become complacent. As he reflects on his priorities in quarantine, he knows what he wants to focus the majority of his energy on in the future: helping restaurant workers.

    Guy's got a plan. Credit: Mediapunch / Shutterstock

    The food industry's first responder

    "You know, when this all happened I was just standing by waiting to go cook," Fieri said during a phone interview with Mashable. He was calling in from his family ranch in Northern California where he and his 23-year-old son Hunter are temporarily quarantining as they cut brush and trim trees in preparation for a rough fire season ahead. Fieri and his family have been staying home for weeks, but he's still working.

    When the coronavirus pandemic began escalating in the United States, Fieri thought, "Who am I going to go cook for? How are we going to make a difference?" He knew that social distancing, while crucial to people's safety, was taking a crushing toll on the restaurant industry, so he partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to create a fund dedicated to helping restaurant workers affected by COVID-19(Opens in a new tab).

    SEE ALSO: Guy Fieri loves John Krasinski and 'The Office' as much as you do

    "There wasn't really anything happening in our area, so I kind of stood by. I waited a couple of days, and was starting to get a little stir crazy," Fieri explained. "I was talking with my team at Knuckle Sandwich, and I said, 'I've gotta do something.' We were having a conversation about restaurants being closed, so I said, 'How do we make money for the employees?' The more people we talked to and the more time we spent talking, the bigger it blew up. It was really just like a jam session with your buddies. We were sitting around trying to figure out what we could do to make things better."

    Guy's no stranger to serving. Credit: Jeff Lewis / AP / Shutterstock

    The fund — which Fieri referred to as "a gigantic tip jar" — makes it possible for restaurant workers in need to apply for a one-time $500 check that can be put towards everything from utilities to personal housing, child-care, groceries, or medical bills. The goal is simply to lighten the financial burden on the millions of people struggling in the food industry. To kick off the fund, Fieri sent out videos to 45 people and asked for their help. "At the end of every video I made, I said, 'The restaurant industry has served all of us for so long and now it's our opportunity, it's our moment that we can serve the restaurant industry.'"

    Since the fund publicly launched on March 27, it's raised a whopping $21.3 million, which means the team will currently be able to fund $500 grants for more than 40,000 people in need. The NRAEF team has awarded more than 10,000 grants to date(Opens in a new tab), but recently announced that due to "an overwhelming response of more than 60,000 applicants," the application process has been put on hold.

    While the NRAEF focuses on covering the restaurant workers who already applied for grants, they've stated on their website that they "remain committed to helping as many restaurant workers as possible, and are continuously fundraising to assist additional restaurant workers in the future." The team encourages those who still wish to apply for financial assistance to watch their social channels for updates about the fund.

    Launching emergency funds focused on a hard-hit industry has become a trend recently. Similar fundraising efforts have focused on gig workers.

    Guy's small business focus

    Through shows like Triple D, Triple G, and Tournament of Champions, Fieri has used his platform to put small businesses and restaurant owners in the spotlight. But after watching chef José Andrés travel to Puerto Rico in 2017(Opens in a new tab) and serve millions of meals to those whose lives had been devastated by Hurricane Maria, Fieri was inspired(Opens in a new tab) to step up his philanthropic efforts.

    After the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas(Opens in a new tab), which killed 58 people and left hundreds injured, Fieri called on Caesars Entertainment and fellow celebrity chefs(Opens in a new tab) — including Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Gordon Ramsay — to help him put on an elaborate "thank you" dinner for around 3,000 first responders. And when highly destructive fires burned through California in 2017(Opens in a new tab), 2018, and 2019(Opens in a new tab), Fieri worked to cook thousands of meals for first responders and evacuees.

    Patty Rough, a Paradise resident who lost her home in the Camp Fire, thanks Guy Fieri and Jose Andres for Thanksgiving meals. Credit: Karl Mondon / MediaNews Group / The Mercury News via Getty Images

    In response to the coronavirus, Fieri didn't stop after launching the NRAEF fund. He raised awareness and bolstered spirits by appearing on John Krasinski's Some Good News show and Will Smith's quarantine show, "Will From Home,"(Opens in a new tab) he filmed seven episodes of a quarantine special, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Takeout(Opens in a new tab) (and has four more on the way), and he's working to help local restaurants in his hometown of Windsor, California.

    "The mayor of Windsor sends me this video of him going to a restaurant and getting takeout, and I said, 'Alright, I like it. You want some help with it?'" Fieri recalled. "So we came up with 'Meals with the Mayors(Opens in a new tab).' The Mayor of Windsor and the Mayor of Flavortown. I'm up here at my ranch, and Dominic [Foppoli,] the mayor of Windsor, is back in his office. Restaurants send him a to-go meal, he eats it, and I sit here and talk to the owner about it."

    "It's this mini Triple D-esque type visit, these little 5-minute vignettes of restaurants," Fieri said, noting the video also acts as a free advertisement. The two have recorded around 35 mini episodes and now Foppoli plans to take part in the initiative with mayors in other cities.

    What keeps Guy rollin' out

    When Fieri appears on your screen in any capacity, you know you're in for a good time. Like most famous people, he has his critics(Opens in a new tab) and his feuds(Opens in a new tab), but Fieri's upbeat mentality, sense of humor, and unapologetic refusal to adopt a more subdued personality are large reasons why, after all these years, he remains beloved by people of a variety of age groups and political affiliations. His fans can rely on Guy to lift their spirits and provide comfort, but what does Guy turn to in troubling times?

    "My family," he said, calling out his wife, parents, and two sons — Hunter, 23, and Ryder, 14 — who, if you didn’t already guess, pre-approve the brilliant memes that his team makes for his social accounts. Fieri, who fully admits he doesn't understand every meme that's presented to him, said he'll show his sons a concept and they'll go, "Oh my god, dad. That's the funniest thing in the world," or "Oh my god dad, this is the best one."

    Guy also finds comfort in cooking, listening to music, enjoying a good cigar, being outdoors, and spending time with his chihuahua, Smokey(Opens in a new tab). But ultimately, he's restless.

    "If I'm doing something, I'm much more at ease. I have to be creating, or contributing, or supporting, or generating. And I Iove to make people happy," he said. "Do I have bad days? I definitely do. I mean, I get depressed and bummed out like anybody does, but I have to exercise or do something to shake it. I can't sit there and dwell on shit."

    "I've got a lot of people counting on me and I've got a lot of opportunities to do stuff," Fieri said. "I surely don’t want to spend any of that time not making something happen."

    The future of Fieri's career

    "I won't be bored," Fieri said with a chuckle after running through a lengthy list of things he plans to achieve in the future. When travel is safe again, he and his son hope to carry out their postponed tour of Asia — a follow-up trip to Guy & Hunter's European Vacation(Opens in a new tab). He also wants to focus on expanding Chicken Guy!(Opens in a new tab), his new restaurant franchise, and of course, producing shows.

    Though he'll "always probably keep up with Triple D," and continue traveling the country testing out different restaurants, Fieri really wants to popularize his newest show, Tournament of Champions, which allows him to help propel careers forward. Tournament of Champions is an intense bracket-style competition show where 16 of the world's best chefs compete against each other for a championship belt and a major fan following.

    "There's people on that show that aren't as widely known — that need to be recognized for not just how awesome they are as a person, or how awesome they are as a cook or a restaurant owner, but all of it combined," he said. "Doing those kinds of projects to me is so important because it gives me a chance to celebrate my brothers and sisters in the business that I don't think get as much attention as they deserve. You know, I've had my run. I've really enjoyed it."

    Guy Fieri unveiling his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . Credit: ETIENNE LAURENT / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

    The coronavirus pandemic has also changed Fieri's plans for the future by filling him with a desire to help restaurants recover.

    "This next chapter, in the next year, all of the restaurants trying to rebound and recover from the pandemic are gonna need a lot of attention," Fieri said. "We're gonna do a real big campaign to remind people to go back out and eat, and to go to restaurants, and to visit your mom-and-pop joints. There are a lot of industries that are going to need some extra love and attention and the restaurant industry is one of them."

    Before Fieri hung up the phone, he couldn’t help but search for a silver lining.

    "One of the things we're learning through the pandemic... I think people are starting to [realize,] ‘You know what? We've gotta take care of each other more," he said. "That's one thing I've enjoyed. We've had so much negative shit going on for so long, and we hadn't even gotten to the presidential race yet. So to now see people helping and being involved? I mean, come on."

    More deliciousness from Internet of Yum:

    • Foods of Unusual Size: From itty-bitty cakes to giant pizzas

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

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

    • 7 YouTube channels that will teach you how to cook