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Katy Perry, former chandelier, changed into a hamburger at the Met Gala

2023-04-15 01:20:41

Katy Perry, former chandelier, changed into a hamburger at the Met Gala

Katy Perry, former chandelier, changed into a hamburger at the Met Gala(图1)

At the Met Gala, Lady Gaga wasn't the only person with more than one look.

On Monday night, pop star Katy Perry graced the pink carpet at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing a chandelier on her frame.

Designed by Moschino's Jeremy Scott, it was already an impressive-looking if not highly impractical outfit. Yes, even the lights switched on.

SEE ALSO: Met Gala 2019: How celebrities did 'Camp' on the pink carpet

Well, turns out Perry had another trick up her sleeve, switching outfits mid-event. Perry's second act was a hamburger costume, complete with a lettuce dress and a toothpick hat.

Katy Perry, former chandelier, changed into a hamburger at the Met Gala(图2)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: Katy Perry attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue) Credit: Getty Images for The Met Museum/

It's only one of the most sought-after high fashion events in the world, but OK. Here's a video of her changing into the outfit in what appears to be the Met bathrooms — and yes, that's Jennifer Lopez wandering past.

You can't say the outfit has exactly gone down well with everyone. But it's the kind of thing you'd expect from Perry, to say the least — among the pop star's most outrageous outfits(Opens in a new tab), her colossal winged outfit from the 2018 Met Gala is a (somewhat less cartoonish) highlight.

What is even fashion anymore?

Katy Perry, former chandelier, changed into a hamburger at the Met Gala(图3)

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    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:

    A semi-useful hint about today’s puzzle

    Synonyms for all four words are in the following sentence (in no particular order).

    Place Willy Wonka's latest treat on a specific part of your tongue and you'll notice the flavor is sweet in one spot, bitter in another, and citrusy in a third.

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

    One word has a letter occurring twice in a row.

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

    Yes. The last letter of the alphabet has a cameo.

    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    Z, S, G, and G.

    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. ZESTY

    2. STICK

    3. GIVEN

    4. GOODY

  • Rihanna attends the official unveiling of the street named after her

    Rihanna attends the official unveiling of the street named after her


    You can now officially visit the most badass street of all: Rihanna Drive.

    The Barbados street celebrated its new moniker on Thursday. Yes, Rihanna herself was in attendance and, because she has never half-assed a single thing in her life, she delivered a speech and contributed her own statement for a commemorative plaque.

    SEE ALSO: 5 years ago, Rihanna invited press and fans on a plane around the world with her. Here's what went down.

    The event was a personal one for Rih, who is the Cultural Ambassador for Barbados and a native of the island. The street, which was formerly known as Westbury New Road, is the one on which she grew up.

    View this post on Instagram


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    "My life was shaped on this very road," she wrote. "I was just a little island girl riding bikes, running around barefoot and flying kites in the cemetery, but I had BIG dreams. Dreams that were born and realized right here."

    Now that's some bad gal real estate.

  • The Smell of SNL: An oral history of the cannabis that changed comedy forever

    The Smell of SNL: An oral history of the cannabis that changed comedy forever

    Saturday Night Live has offered plenty of marijuana humor in its 45-year history. But few modern fans know that the show's groundbreaking original cast smoked pot in the offices regularly — in particular, an Afghani variety grown by a friend from Connecticut who goes by the name Captain Jack.


    Now Jim Belushi — SNL veteran, Blues Brother, and younger brother to the late founding cast member John Belushi — has hired Jack to help grow his famous plant for his Belushi's Farm(Opens in a new tab) operation near Medford, Oregon. The result can be seen in Growing Belushi(Opens in a new tab), a three-part documentary that just premiered Wednesday on the Discovery Channel.

    We talked to Belushi, his cousin Chris Karakosta, and Captain Jack himself, and delved into the show's documented history, to find out the story behind a strain originally known as Gulzar Afghanica — or, according to Belushi's branding, "the smell of SNL." (Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.)

    CAPTAIN JACK: I was born in the Bronx. My grandfather was a bootlegger for Dutch Schultz, the Bronx beer baron [and mobster(Opens in a new tab)]. And my dad was a New York City cop. So I grew up a little conflicted.

    After I graduated high school, I went to a prestigious forestry school in upstate New York. I was always interested in being outdoors, fishing, hunting, all that stuff. You know, I thought I wanted to be Smokey the Bear. But I was also the social chairman of my national fraternity. [John Belushi's first movie] Animal House was like a child's nursery rhyme compared to the reality of it. Fraternities were crazy back then.

    In 1964, when I started college, hardly anybody spoke of weed. It was a thing for beatniks. So the first two years was wild partying, beer swilling, binge-drinking madness. And then the second two years, '66-'68, was like Electric Ladyland(Opens in a new tab). A friend came to visit from the Bay Area [with cannabis and psychedelics], and the world changed.

    JIM BELUSHI: I didn't smoke with John. That wasn't part of our relationship. My first time with cannabis — I was a freshman in high school in 1968. In Chicago, they rolled those joints real skinny like a toothpick. And you wouldn't let any smoke escape the car or whatever. But it didn't really get you high. Those strains back then had like 6, 7 percent THC.

    Everybody would drive across the border [from Illinois to Indiana] and comb up and down these corn fields at night and look for marijuana growing wild. It was called Indiana ragweed. When I went, we just pulled all the weeds, because we didn't even know what it looked like. We brought it home and dried it and smoked it and got sick. We didn't even know about buds. We were cooking the leaves in water.

    BOB WOODWARD [Belushi biographer]*: In the fall of 1969... John announced he hated alcohol and that anybody who drank was "straight." He introduced [then college girlfriend, later wife] Judy to marijuana. They would put masking tape and wet towels around the door of the girl's dormitory and smoke pot for hours, listening to rock groups like Led Zeppelin...

    Once he convinced the girls to go exploring with him. Growing wild in the flat, wide-open farm fields of central Illinois, there was a huge patch of marijuana. It was called Rantoul Rag, named for the nearby town and for the harsh effect it had on the throat... it tasted horrible, and no matter how much they smoked, they didn't really get high, only dizzy.

    (*from Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward)

    CHRIS KARAKOSTA [General Manager, Belushi's Farm; Jim and John's cousin]: We grew up as Albanians in this small community. You know, I remember when John was busking in downtown Chicago. He had really long hair. And his parents were horrified, right? A hippie! And then boom, boom, boom, you know, the job at Second City.

    John Belushi joined the cast at Chicago's legendary Second City improv theater in 1971. This led to a Broadway show, Lemmings, and various tours over the next few years. He met Dan Aykroyd at a Second City show in Toronto in 1974. The two became fast friends, and were recommended to Canadian producer Lorne Michaels when he was looking to start a new comedy show to replace Johnny Carson reruns on Saturday night on NBC.

    John Belushi in his breakout film role: Bluto in "Animal House." Credit: warner brothers / Getty Images

    CAPTAIN JACK: It was John and Dan that I originally knew, and I met Dan through [soon-to-be-SNL writer] Tom Davis and Al Franken. We all partied hard together. We had mini-Woodstocks in the Catskill Mountains at my friend's farm. We built stages. People would come and stay for a couple days. Everybody was friends with everybody. Dan came up, he played harmonica on stage a few times. I used to do a little of that, so I got to play with him, and I have one beat-up old cassette tape with our names on it together.

    I liked to smoke, and I'd been to forestry school, so I had my little patch of plants for myself. It wasn't a business at that point. But I had a real good education in the genetics of plants. I met some guys from Canada who'd been to Afghanistan, and said my genetics didn't look anything like the genetics in that part of the world.

    After school I was unemployed, so I basically went on the hippie trail, looking for a special Afghan plant that was responsible for producing the world's finest hashish. It was the thinnest, bendiest, skunkiest — it was just the be-all and end-all of cannabis.

    When I saw them in harvest season, as a botanist, I was amazed. They were bluish-purple. They just had the thickest bottle brush-like foxtails. Kids today would say they were really "stacking nugs, man"[Laughs]. The best stuff fell off when you looked at it cross-eyed. They dry it upright so the little trichomes can have their heads knocked off easily, not squished between closed-up leaves.

    I just wanted to bring back the seeds, and I was rewarded in more ways, culturally speaking, than I could ever have dreamed.

    DAN AYKROYD:* Captain Jack brought that original strain from Afghanistan, and it kept you up, you know. You could fly an F-16 on it, or judge a murder trial. It was just beautiful, stimulating Indica that he brought back. Sometimes the hallways would smell, the very pungent smell of it. It was just what we needed to stay at it through 3, 4, 5 in the morning.

    (*from Belushi and Aykroyd's LiveNation chat(Opens in a new tab).)

    JIM BELUSHI: Those hallways were filled with it. That's why they called it "the smell of SNL." I mean, where do you think the Coneheads and stuff like that came from?

    Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, and Laraine Newman as Coneheads in a 1977 SNL sketch. Credit: NBCUniversal via Getty Images

    DOUG HILL (SNL historian)*: The first Saturday Night staff meeting commenced about noon on Monday, July 7, 1975... the odor of marijuana smoke was already noticeable on the 17th floor [of 30 Rockefeller Center]. The first day they arrived, Al Franken and Tom Davis had slipped across the street to the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to get high, assuming one did not light a joint within a national television network’s headquarters. They soon learned differently...

    From the beginning, grass was a staple of Saturday Night, used regularly and openly on 17 as, in [show writer and director] Tom Schiller’s words, "an inspirational tool." At least one executive walked into a meeting on 17 and was casually offered the circulating joint. "Want a toke?" he was asked...

    [NBC VP] Bob Kasmire, among others, says that only about one of every three drug jokes the show submitted got on the air. But in the end the network’s reservations were overridden by an even greater fear: that Lorne Michaels and his team might resign and the revenues from the show might cease.

    (*From Saturday Night: A Backstage History, by Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad.)

    CAPTAIN JACK: I had free rein [at SNL] for the whole first five years. Lorne always tolerated my presence. Mr. [Bill] Murray is a good friend of mine. Laraine [Newman, founding cast member] was a buddy for sure. I got a little apartment on 73rd Street and Central Park for $500 a month. I could afford that for a few seasons of SNL, so I didn't have to drive all the way back to the country.

    The word "dealer" does not apply to this backstage situation. There was a lot of sharing, a lot of being welcomed. You come bearing gifts, you know. Anything went. There was no stigma. You know, [cannabis] doesn't create talent, obviously, but it does alter your mood a little bit and loosen you up. I'm not gonna go any further with claims than that.

    I was lucky enough to go to the read-throughs on Wednesday afternoon. They didn't smoke then. But they went all night, they basically lived on the 17th floor, and I could go visit anytime. When you were hanging out with Dan, you could go wherever you want. He and his family remain my true extended family to this day. In those days, you could do no wrong backstage. You could pretty much get away with murder. That cast was too valuable to NBC.

    There was a time plants were just sticking out people's windows at 30 Rock. The whole building smelled like a skunk. My weed had no competition when it came to the smell. Some people didn't want to grow it because it smelled too much.

    Dan and John bought a building on Hudson Street that looked like Berlin after World War II. I mean, it was in a pile of rubble. It had boards on the windows. It had spray-painted on it, "warning, dangerous building." And you'd never see anything going on there except late on a Saturday night, when you'd see the limos parked in this godforsaken neighborhood. That was the Blues Bar. That's where the party happened.

    The original SNL cast: Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtian, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi. Credit: NBC via Getty Images

    DAN AYKROYD: We never performed high on the show. I mean, I didn't. John, maybe a couple of times.

    As his fame rose, John Belushi began to shun cannabis in favor of cocaine. His particularly vicious addiction brought him into conflict with almost every director he worked with, from Steven Spielberg to Blues Brothers director John Landis. Soon he began freebasing, and then mixing cocaine with heroin — the so-called speedball. It was a speedball injection that killed Belushi in Los Angeles on March 5, 1982. He was 33.

    CHRIS KARAKOSTA: I think anybody in John's position would probably need some some type of medicine to stabilize, because to rise from where we were to where he got in that short of a time is really difficult at that age, extremely difficult. He was searching for medications, something for him to be able to manage all this. And he rose to the top and, you know, a couple of the things that he was doing didn't go so well. And it was difficult for him. He just couldn't handle it.

    JIM BELUSHI: I believe that if John was a pothead, he'd be alive today. If we knew then what we know now about marijuana, that it's a medicine, a path off opiates... back in the '70s it was just about getting high.

    And then by the time I was on SNL [between 1983 and 1985], there was no weed at all.

    Lorne Michaels left the show in 1980 and didn't return until 1985. His successor Jean Doumanian clamped down on cannabis smoking in the office, reportedly intimidating one of the writers with her gun-toting bodyguard friend when he complained about it. Having cleaned the halls of the smell of SNL, NBC would not allow it to come back.

    TOM DAVIS*: I returned to the show as a writer in January of ’88. As I took a seat in the writers’ meeting with Jim Downey, now head writer... I took a joint out of the breast pocket of my flannel shirt and lit it up. There was a collective gasp from all the young writers. Jim: "Uh, Tom—there’s no more smoking in the office." I put it out.

    *From 39 Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL, by Tom Davis

    JIM BELUSHI: A friend of mine in LA, his kids and my kids were the same age and in the same class. We all got along very well and he invited us to his 2,500 acre ranch in Oregon. It's three miles of river fronts. Just beautiful. We went in the fall, then in the spring, and we just had the most joyous time with family. I dove in to the river one time naked, and I came out, and I was baptized.

    So I got 13 acres on the river, first place I looked at. It was an Elks' Lodge picnic ground. The Elks got old, and they never recruited, so it kind of fell apart. I built a home on it, refurbished the stage and the picnic grounds, and became friends with Becca and Charlie next door and just fell in love with them. They were just the best neighbors. We'd sit and they'd smoke their Winstons and drink their whiskey and talk into the night. Becca got ill and passed. She wanted me to have the property and give Charlie a life estate. So I got this 80 acre farm.

    And that was the point of, well, now what do I do? Well, let's grow something. I mean, it is the most perfect spot to grow in southern Oregon. Let's take a look at what became legal here and grow that. I mean, they call it a cash crop.

    CAPTAIN JACK: All these years, I never allowed hybridization [of the Afghan strain]. The original is still alive and well. It's more of a full spectrum product, as opposed to [more recent] high THC strains.

    Dan has remained my lifetime friend. His kids are like my proxy godchildren. He and I, we've traveled all around the U.S. in his Crystal Head(Opens in a new tab) mobile. And I've worked as a landscape architect and the captain of a tuna boat, which is where the alias comes from.

    JIM BELUSHI: When I was doing Blues Brothers with Danny, we'd do gigs on the east coast, and Captain Jack was in Connecticut. So he would come see the show, we'd have cheeseburgers after, and I would talk to him kind of casually, you know, I didn't really know his history. I just knew he was a friend of Danny's. And then when I started the farm, he said, "you should get Captain Jack!" So we hired him.

    CAPTAIN JACK: I came to work as a consultant. And, you know, a critic.

    Belushi also brought on his cousin Chris, who managed a successful chain of restaurants in Florida, to manage the business.

    CHRIS KARAKOSTA: Jim and I had Captain Jack's strain for the first time about two years ago when Danny introduced us to it. We were on Jim's patio in Brentwood. And we had so much fun. It was a creative high. It was different from anything I've ever experienced.

    I mean, I'm not a stand-up comedian, but I felt like one that night. Jim was telling stories, I was telling stories and we laughed and cried with laughter for a good three hours. And then that's when Jim mentioned to me: Now I understand, you know, how those writers came up with all this stuff on SNL.

    It was so much fun. We laughed for hours, which was awesome. And I'm not really a smoker. I should be, because I'm very stressed. But for the most part I don't really use cannabis. Jim has been helping me figure out a microdose. I just can't overmedicate.

    Belushi with his farm crew and product. Cousin Chris is standing at the right. Credit: belushi's farm

    Turning Captain Jack's "smell of SNL" into a cash crop wasn't all plain sailing for Belushi. In 2019, as seen in episode 1 of Growing Belushi, he sprays Jack's cannabis plants with organic fertilizer, but forgets to turn the grow lights off as required during the spraying — and leaving them on afterwards, distracted by a phone call from his daughter. The next day, his crew discovers that the plants are burned and ruined. Belushi confesses on the spot.

    JIM BELUSHI: That did happen, we just reconstructed it for the show.

    CAPTAIN JACK: The language we used at the time was more salty than the language in the reconstruction.

    CHRIS KARAKOSTA: Jim called me a fucking bitch, because I was screaming at him. And my comment back to him was, "No, I'm a smart bitch. You're a dumb bitch because you left the lights on." It was not pretty.

    At the time he wouldn't tell anybody he did it. He was way too embarrassed. He certainly didn't 'fess up to it. And now the whole world's going to know. So it makes me feel better. Finally.

    Captain Jack helped grow a new crop from seed. Testing revealed that his strain contained 18 percent THC, two percent CBD, and four percent terpenes. It registered unusually high levels of myrcene, a sedative terpene(Opens in a new tab) also found in mangos. The science of terpenes in cannabis is still in its infancy — but personally, as in other anecdotal reports(Opens in a new tab), Belushi believes that myrcene helps create a richer experience known as the "entourage effect."

    JIM BELUSHI: If you smoke half a joint, eat a mango, wait 45 minutes, then smoke the rest of the joint, it's like three times the elevation. And that's what pulls the paranoia and anxiety down, you know, the edginess. The entourage effect of Captain Jack, that's where the medicine really lies.

    With so much riding on the September launch of the "Smell of SNL" strain, Belushi's Farm has opted to press the flower into more expensive extract forms. It will be sold in Oregon dispensaries as Captain Jack vape cartridges and concentrate — to the delight of Jack himself, who loves his Puffco Peak. Still, he misses those old-school Afghan nugs.

    CAPTAIN JACK: On Jim's farm, they've turned the crop this year into extract. I only got one little chance to take a puff of that flower. I said, "Hey, don't forget me! I had something to do with this!"

  • A guide to floral foam videos, the slime videos of 2018


    A guide to floral foam videos, the slime videos of 2018

    For what seemed like eons, but was really just most of 2017, the internet was deeply into slime.

    Though slime videos are still a mainstay of the Instagram Discover page, our natural inclination to change things up has led us down the path to other forms of ASMR entertainment, including soap cutting and kinetic sand slicing.

    Elsewhere on Instagram, another ASMR-friendly trend is emerging in the form of crunchy, squishy, glitter-heavy floral foam videos.

    SEE ALSO: Step aside slime, these ASMR soap videos are the newest trend on the internet

    View this post on Instagram
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    But first: what is floral foam?

    You likely know floral foam as a craft supply used in floral arranging. Traditionally, a florist might use a block of foam saturated in water to secure cut flowers inside a vessel. The ASMR creators of Instagram, meanwhile, have discovered its alternative use as a highly absorbent, delightfully sliceable first class ticket to Insta stardom.

    Dry floral foam straight from the shelves of your local craft shop has a malleable quality that makes it perfect for crunching and crumbling on camera. When wet, floral foam becomes heavy and fragile. With just a squeeze, soaked foam disintegrates into a murky green liquid.

    But while the sopping remnants of a craft-store staple aren't Instagram-worthy in their own right, the most successful foam crushers add glitter to the mix, lending the foam and its sparkling guts a galactic quality.

    An example:

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    Should we be crushing floral foam with our bare hands?

    According to Australian floral retailer Koch & Co, floral foam is made with formaldehyde(opens in a new tab) and other not-so-fun chemicals, and should be handled while wearing gloves, ideally in a well-ventilated area.

    Still, those going without gloves don't need to panic. Per a piece on floral foam safety from the Sydney Morning Herald(opens in a new tab)'s Liam Mannix, the craft supply isn't as toxic as one might expect.

    Per SMH:

    "The foam is made with two toxic chemicals, but is not necessarily harmful. There is almost no phenol or formaldehyde left in the finished product – less than 0.1 per cent of each chemical."

    But while floral foam won't do much damage to your body, as the piece and florists(opens in a new tab) have(opens in a new tab) noted(opens in a new tab), dumping the non-biodegradable residue down the drain isn't great for the planet, something viewers should keep in mind.

    Who's doing it?

    A few accounts to check out:

    1. @issafloralfoam(opens in a new tab), the self-declared "FLORAL FOAM QUEEN" of Instagram. (She's also on YouTube(opens in a new tab).)

    View this post on Instagram
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    2. @turdtwig(opens in a new tab), a popular account that features all sorts of ASMR clips. If you're looking to watch a car run over a block of floral foam topped with egg shells and skewered with dry spaghetti, this is the account for you.

    View this post on Instagram
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    3. @asmrfloralfoam(opens in a new tab) shares a mix of wet and dry floral foam videos to suit all your crunchy ASMR needs.

    View this post on Instagram
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    4. @floralfoamluver(opens in a new tab) has more than 117,000 followers and is the place to see a potato masher destroy a block of foam.

    View this post on Instagram
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    5. The #floralfoam(opens in a new tab) hashtag, featuring thousands of videos for your perusal.

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    Happy viewing! Don't forget to wear headphones for an optimal experience.

  • Finstas make online dating so much more complicated

    Finstas make online dating so much more complicated


    In our Love App-tually series, Mashable shines a light into the foggy world of online dating. It is cuffing season after all.

    I will never again let someone I'm dating follow my finsta.

    That's a sentiment that countless finsta users have when establishing emotional boundaries. In relationships built on intertwined online and in-person interactions, it's often a point of contention.

    If you haven't been initiated into the bizarre world of niche memes and astrology tag(Opens in a new tab) posts, a finsta is a secondary, private Instagram account used to keep snarky screenshots, rant about your personal life, and post (mostly) risqué selfies that would leave the family members who follow your main account absolutely appalled. Finsta followers are usually a highly curated selection of close friends who wouldn't judge you for your bizarre one-night stands, validate you when you're feeling yourself, and support you when your mental health dips.

    If a single group text represented only one circle of friends, then a finsta would be the overlapping portion of a Venn diagram. Friend groups don't always overlap, but on your finsta, you can access all of their unrelenting support on one platform.

    But when it comes to romance, deciding whose follow requests to approve can get hairy.

    I personally have had a finsta for longer than any relationship I've been in and allowing a partner to follow it ended in disaster. In my case, I forgot to block the now ex from my finsta after we broke up. I posted a screenshot from a funny Tinder conversation with someone else weeks later. I woke up to a seething late night call from the ex, who was furious that I was on a dating app and even more enraged that I posted about it on the not quite public, but not quite private platform.

    SEE ALSO: Which dating app is right for you? Use this guide to figure it out.

    The whole debacle made me wonder if anyone should ever let their significant other follow their finstas. When I put out a call for thoughts on it, people were passionate about maintaining boundaries between the person they're dating and the content they post in private.

    Caroline Long, a college student in Boston, said she rejected her boyfriend's follow request about a month into their relationship.

    "If there's life news or drama I'm posting about, he's usually the first to hear about it anyway," she said. "And I've had my finsta for a while so there's some old, old posts about former boyfriends and issues that I'm sure wouldn't be fun for him to peruse."

    Online dating expert(Opens in a new tab) Julie Spira says couples with finstas don't necessarily need to share the accounts with each other for a healthy relationship. As long as you're not going out of your way to hide anything, Spira believes having a private space to vent is fine.

    "When you're in a relationship, there are always things that you share with your close friends that you just might not share with your partner," she said during a phone call.

    Finstas are appealing because they allow for vulnerability when there's an insurmountable pressure to be perfect on social media.

    Finstas are appealing because they allow for vulnerability when there's an insurmountable pressure to be perfect on social media. Sydney Smalls calls her finsta a "little safe space," which is why she's hesitant to approve her boyfriend's follow request.

    "It's where I'm the most honest version of myself online so I only trust a few people with what I write about," the New York-based production assistant explained. "Even though I trust my boyfriend it would just be an added level of pressure for some reason."

    Many share her view; although they feel supported by their partners, the finsta users who shared their stories with me said that they would censor their posts if their partners followed them.


    When I was convinced someone was ghosting me, for example, I turned to my finsta to talk through it. An army of close friends analyzed screenshots down to the timestamp and deliberated in the comments, concluding that although ghosting was a possibility, I should suck up my pride and double text. In the end, I had nothing to worry about — the support network I had through my finsta convinced me not to sabotage a new relationship, and all I had to do was literally communicate. But if I had let that person follow me, would I have asked for advice in the first place, or would I still be wallowing in my own anxiety?

    Finstas are like a semi-public diary for soliciting advice and rationalization and inviting someone you're actively dating into it might make you less inclined to seek out that advice. The private accounts are a valuable space to talk out issues beforehand so you can approach your partner with a reasonable level-headedness.

    "Having a space for myself ensures that I'm being honest about what's upsetting me," Long said, elaborating on why she doesn't let her boyfriend follow her. "And how I'm getting from Point A to Point B. Not that I'm dishonest with my boyfriend, but I don't feel as obliged to cater or censor finsta posts for a certain audience."

    For Danika Frank, a writer in Los Angeles, using a finsta to separate herself from the people she dates keeps her codependence in check.

    "So it was good to have a space, a place where I could dissect my own thoughts away from them," she said. "Even if I was stressed about something relationship-wise, I could break it down on there before bringing it up to them."

    Philadelphia college student Mal Sary, who went through a break up while she and her ex were still living together, said having a non-physical space to get away helped her through it until she could find somewhere else to live.

    "Instead of yelling at my ex, I just used my finsta to channel a lot of my anger," Sary said.

    In addition to having a defined place to put their thoughts in order, the people who don't let their significant other follow their finsta felt like they didn't have to because their relationships were already healthy enough. Although Smalls' boyfriend doesn't follow her private account, she doesn't turn to her finsta to complain about him when they have issues in their relationship.

    "When I'd have problems with my ex, I'd just post about it and hide it from him and let it build," she said. "This time, I just talk directly to [my boyfriend]. It kinda feels disrespectful now. I don't want to talk about him behind his back [because] I know he wouldn't do that to me."

    Jeung Bok Holmquist, an artist in Madison, Wisconsin, adds that their partner doesn't follow their finsta, but that doesn't give them a pass to complain about him.

    "I guess I only wouldn't [allow a finsta follow] if I was actively talking about my partner on there, but I also shouldn't be talking shit about my partner in private," they said. "So then that's just a clear sign of a bad relationship!"

    That doesn't mean that not allowing a romantic interest to follow you ensures smooth sailing. Nothing you post on social media is truly private. Anything can be screenshot, passed through the screen grapevine, and end up hurting everyone involved. But do people have an obligation to break the trust of following a friend's finsta to protect another friend's feelings?

    Evy Oliverio, who works at the United Nations in Beirut, was seeing someone who encouraged her to follow his finsta, until she DM'd him and realized she was blocked. Their mutual friends still followed him and could see that he wasn't interested in her anymore, but didn't tell her. She later found out that he had promptly started dating someone else "for real" after "months" of telling her he "wasn't ready."

    "We had enough mutual friends who knew about him dragging me through metaphorical dirt," Oliverio said. "And yet none of them would be like 'Ev, this is happening.'"

    Spiro, the relationship consultant, is cautious about breaking that trust. Even though it may be hurtful to mutual friends, if someone invites you to their finsta then you have a "digital moral obligation" not to share what they post.

    "There needs to be spoken and unspoken rules of what you do and don't share."

    "Either you're in something that's private or you're not," Spiro said. "I love the fact that this is small and intimate, but I think there needs to be spoken and unspoken rules of what you do and don't share."


    Despite the moral obligations, Oliverio notes that finstas are still public, even if your account is set to private, and she'd rather step in than see a mutual friend be hurt.

    "You allow who you want to see it but the fact that someone else besides you 'sees' your truth, it's no longer private," she noted, acknowledging that it doesn't justify sharing secrets. "I do think that if you and I have a mutual friend and on their finsta, they start dragging you, I'd tell you. And secondly, hold them accountable."

    At the end of the day, finstas are yet another aspect of how the internet muddles dating. But that doesn't mean that finsta users shut their partners out of their secret accounts entirely. For Valentine's Day last year, Holmquist made their boyfriend a zine with drawings from their finsta posts when the couple first started seeing each other. As long as there's open and honest communication between a couple, finstas shouldn't be an issue, they said.

    Spiro says it's "almost distrusting" when someone insists on following their partner's finsta.

    "I think trust and communication is something couples engage in every day but that doesn't mean that they're on a third-party text or phone call every time they're communicating with somebody else," she said. "You need to have your personal life, and they have their personal life, and you need to have your communication together."

    I, for one, value the tightly knit support network in my finsta over any potential partner's insecurities. If a partner asked me to give it up, I'd probably dump them and immediately post about it on my finsta.

    Even if it makes dating more complicated, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    More from Love App-tually

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    • I don't miss being single, but I do miss swiping

  • Glass skin, jello skin, glazed donut skin: TikToks obsession with anti-aging comes to a head

    Glass skin, jello skin, glazed donut skin: TikToks obsession with anti-aging comes to a head

    Every day my TikTok algorithm feeds me dozens of anti-aging solutions. I’m 23. My skincare routine consists of washing my face and applying moisturizer, yet the videos I get served urge me to do more — apply more serums, try more fancy tech solutions for taut skin, and spend more time in front of the mirror. The "get ready for bed with me" or "day in my life" TikToks that frequent my For You Page aren't ads; they’re something more insidious: a normalized culture of costly, laborious anti-aging routines targeted at young women like me. 

    In one of these videos a 31-year-old woman applies silicon patches around her mouth and on the center of her forehead, ending her regimen by taping her mouth shut to prevent the appearance of a double chin, tired eyes, and drooping cheekbones. Another creator sings the praises of an "anti-wrinkle" straw. A 23-year-old recommends serums to achieve "glass skin." Others advise their followers to lay on their backs while they sleep and to limit their facial movements throughout the day. The tag "anti-aging" has a whopping 3.1 billion views on the app with "anti-aging skincare" amassing 392.2 million. 

    TikToks that frequent my For You Page aren't ads; they’re something more insidious: a normalized culture of costly, laborious anti-aging routines targeted at young women like me.

    When German beauty and skincare creator Rose Friederike(Opens in a new tab) posted a TikTok of her pumping a pink device full of air on her face — a cross between a chin strap and a blood pressure monitor — for her 4.3 million followers, there was a rare moment of mainstream outrage. The caption reads, "face lift ASMR." Her video was flooded with comments that "it's okay to age" with one user dueting the video to ask, "where do we draw the line?"

    Katie Cameron, a 29-year-old freelance artist, finally had enough of the constant demonization of daily activities in the never-ending quest to preserve youth. Inspired by body neutrality, the philosophy that encourages accepting your body as it is, she posted a video(Opens in a new tab) captioned, "starting a pro aging routine out of spite for the grotesque anti aging industry." Parodying the popular anti-aging routine videos, Cameron slurps out of a straw, repeatedly furrows and raises her brow, smiles, and squints her eyes. The TikTok is fittingly soundtracked by indie musician Mitski screaming. 

    "So many of these anti-aging tips are just don't do normal things that people do. Like don't emote, don't eat like this, don't drink like this," Cameron told Mashable. "It's very restrictive, so I thought it'd be freeing to do something where I'm just smiling and enjoying seeing my face move." Many of the over 100,000 people who viewed her video found her exaggerated facial movements liberating as well. One comment reads, "as someone fighting a fear of aging, thank you for this." 

    The Mitski audio Cameron used was initially posted by @undefeatedshitposter2 (Opens in a new tab)with overlapping clips of TikToks that encapsulate the expectations for young women perpetuated on the platform, including buccal fat removals, "preventative" Botox, and wrinkle-prevention exercises. On Jan. 11 @sylviesbritishaccent(Opens in a new tab) posted a similar video, featuring screenshots of women shaving their faces, donating blood to burn calories, and doing a ten-step bedtime routine, soundtracked to a compilation of women screaming in films like Pearl and Midsommar

    SEE ALSO: Body neutrality is one way to reject diet culture. Here's what that means.

    This moment comes two months after internet sweetheart Julia Fox announced(Opens in a new tab), "aging is fully in." In the much discussed video(Opens in a new tab) she goes on to say, "If I see another product that says anti-aging on the label I'm going to sue because I'm going to age regardless."

    "It made a lot of people feel good to hear that and from somebody with fame and influence. At the same time, Julia Fox gets neuromodulator injectables to freeze her wrinkles and just a couple of months ago did a paid ad for Xeomn, a Botox alternative," Jessica DeFino, beauty writer and author of The Unpublishable(Opens in a new tab), a newsletter that critically examines the beauty industry, explained to Mashable. "It's exciting to hear that some people are interested in pushing back on anti-aging marketing, but it's really important that we consider our behaviors when we are doing that because pro-aging language means nothing if it is not met with pro-aging behavior and actually aging faces."

    The beauty industry has started embracing pro-aging rhetoric, but their end goal remains the same: profit off of women's insecurities. In a 2017 look at the business of anti-aging for The New York Times Magazine(Opens in a new tab) writer Amanda Hess wrote, "Beauty expectations for women haven’t been revised so much as they’ve been rebranded, with words like 'renewing' and 'vitality' and 'radiant' serving as cutting-edge euphemisms for 'youthful.' The implication hiding beneath is an unsettling one. You may think the stigma against older people is social, a construction of our culture and what it chooses to value. The ads suggest otherwise: Youth, they seem to say, is simply natural." But creators on TikTok aren't so coy.

    The beauty industry has started embracing pro-aging rhetoric, but their end goal remains the same: profit off of women's insecurities.

    The change in marketing hasn't affected the anti-aging industry's earnings. It continues to grow. As reported by Vox(Opens in a new tab), the anti-aging industry grew from $3.9 billion in 2016 to $4.9 billion in 2021 in the U.S. During the same period, it went from $25 billion to nearly $37 billion globally. Cosmetic surgery is booming. A survey of members by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons(Opens in a new tab) found that demand for cosmetic surgery surged since the pandemic began, driven by women under 45. The survey also identified Botox as the most popular cosmetic noninvasive procedure and facelifts as the second-most popular surgical cosmetic procedure.


    Coined the "Zoom boom,"(Opens in a new tab) this growth in cosmetic surgery is in part due to a desire to look good on camera. The Huffington Post reported on how the ubiquity of FaceTune(Opens in a new tab), a popular photo retouching app, has spurred young women to get cosmetic surgery in order to look like their edited photos. NBC News uncovered(Opens in a new tab) that influencers, including those on TikTok, are being offered cheap cosmetic procedures in exchange for promotion. The hyper-awareness of how our faces look due to online meetings, selfies, and creating TikToks, combined with the prevalence of filters, has proliferated unreal expectations.

    The anti-aging trends on TikTok all seek the same outcome, but it goes by different names: "glass skin," "jello skin," "vampire skin," and "glazed donut skin." But they all mean the same thing. "A lot of beauty trends today are all about getting the skin in real life to look as filtered as possible, which generally means no deviation in tone, or texture, poreless, wrinkle free, no fine lines, just sort of this flat, reflective, shiny glow, which is not what a face looks like. That's what a phone screen looks like," explained DeFino. "There is a lot of glorification of youth tied up in that because part of this flat, glassy skin means trying to mitigate any sort of wrinkles, fine lines or, sagging that may appear as you get older."

    SEE ALSO: Slugging, gua sha, rice water, and more: How stolen cultural beauty practices feed viral videos

    There's also the fact that as algorithmically dictated feeds have overtaken the chronological content of our friends, anti-aging feels more inescapable than ever on platforms like TikTok. But the tide is slowing turning.

    With viewers becoming more cognizant of the anti-aging rhetoric on their FYPs, the pro-aging movement is picking up steam with creators like Ting Ma leading the way. The 52-year-old's bio reads, "my face carries all my memories. Why would I want to erase them?" Ma first gained popularity on Instagram(Opens in a new tab) for her fashion and beauty content, and during quarantine she started posting pro-aging videos as well. In one of the videos pinned to Ma's TikTok, she says, "I don't want to look 30 when I am 52, why should I look younger than my age. I earned 52 with dignity. I wear my wrinkles and gray with pride. Aging is a privilege. It is to be celebrated." One comment reads, "as a 20 year old, I can say that we need this kind of representation." Another says, "thank you I love this mentality! I am done with people taping up their faces and doing 'preventative Botox.'"

    "At the beginning I wanted to raise awareness that I'm not invisible and that we should celebrate a woman's life," Ma explained to Mashable. On Instagram her audience is around her age, but when she started posting on TikTok her videos reached a much younger audience. "I'm happy I can help young people feel hopeful about aging because society has put so much pressure and unrealistic expectations on women," said Ma. Pro-aging content is a reaction to the unhealthy beauty standards perpetuated by TikTok, in which youth is celebrated — and while you might not be able to rewire the desire to appear young immediately, consuming more pro-aging content is a start. 

    And this movement isn’t just happening on TikTok. The tides are changing. Five days ago, YouTuber Jordan Theresa posted a video titled, "TikTok is bad for women, actually"(Opens in a new tab) unpacking the standard of beauty created by TikTok. On Jan. 12 writer Amanda Fortini tweeted(Opens in a new tab), "Big, big backlash coming against Botox and fillers, I can feel it. Natural, imperfect, beautifully flawed (and gasp, even wrinkled) faces are going to be the chic thing." This trend is in line with Gen Z's interest in more naturalistic and casual feeds on apps like BeReal and through random photo dumps and messy vlog-style videos that aren't filtered and over-edited.

    The point is not to make aging cool or trendy, but to allow people to look like they look without having to feel on trend.

    The goal, DeFino said, is to allow "all faces to exist exactly as they are without facing any social, financial, economic, or political consequences."

    The recent backlash against anti-aging content, whether it be through creators like Ma or parody videos like Cameron’s, makes me hopeful that young women will eventually stop being fed videos about glass skin in favor of women embracing their face’s natural texture. DeFino is more cautious.

    "While it might be well-intentioned to make aging chic, it's actually enacting a lot of the same behaviors as anti-aging, but in an equal opposite manner,” she warned. "The point is not to make aging cool or trendy, but to allow people to look like they look without having to feel on trend. Aging isn't a trend. It's an inevitability."