As long as people with uteruses have been giving birth, we’ve been trying to think of ways to make the entire process less hellish (thanks a f*cking lot, Eve). From water births to surrounding yourself with a bunch of crystals to just taking a f*ckton of drugs and hoping for the best, there are always new methods cropping up to try to, ahem, improve the birthing experience. And to be clear, no judgment on any method. Like, if someone had invented a way that allowed me to painlessly give birth by meditating in a pool and surrounding myself with dolphins, I would have been all ears. (Undergoing a C-section was definitely not that.) And while, to my knowledge, dolphins have not yet been integrated into the labor process, there is an approach to childbirth that’s been gaining traction that incorporates relaxation and meditation techniques, called Hypnobirthing. You may have heard of Hypnobirthing from Kate Middleton, who recently revealed that she had practiced it during her labors with Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. So I decided to look into wtf Hypnobirthing is, and if it’s really as woo-woo as it sounds. Here’s what I found out.
WTF Is It
According to Healthline, Hypnobirthing “involves various relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help relax the body before and during labor and birth.” So, basically, this sh*t is getting yourself into a near hypnotic state to use your super cool mind powers to “ignore” what’s happening and get through labor and delivery. “The idea is that when the body and mind are in a completely relaxed state, birth can happen more quickly and painlessly because the body doesn’t fight the natural process.”
How is that possible? Healthline explains how Hypnobirthing uses a combination of controlled breathing, positivity, and “guided visualization” to keep your body from becoming tense. Like, instead of referring to the agonizing tightening and widening of your cervix as “contractions”, Hypnobirthing calls them “waves.” Instead of visualizing the horrible things happening to your downstairs area, you’ll be guided to visualize a lovely flower slowly opening. Awww, that’s so nice, you guys! Basically, it’s just a way to distract and train your mind to focus on the positive and natural part of labor instead of the frequently negative and painful aspects of it.
Hmmm. I know the mind is a powerful thing, but how much can you actually do to meditate through your vagina being ripped in half by an eight- to ten-pound watermelon? We’ll get into that in a sec. Personally, I had a C-section, and that sh*t was awesome because, well, I didn’t feel much of anything and wasn’t afraid of my pelvic floor being destroyed. Don’t get me wrong, it was still painful and terrible in its own way, but at least I didn’t have to visualize flowers.
How Does Hypnobirthing Work?
The second method is called Hypnobabies, and also requires about six weeks of classes prior to birth. From what I can tell off their website, Hypnobabies basically uses hypnosis as a natural anesthetic during birth, and the classes leading up to the big day are designed to help the mother allow herself to become hypnotized quickly and easily by the time she is in labor. Hypnobabies delves deeper into sleepwalking hypnosis techniques and verbal repetition. So, a mom-to-be may come in with a list of phrases meant to put her in a relaxed, hypnotic state before she starts pushing. It seems like the biggest difference with Hypnobabies and The Mongan Method is that the latter involves hypnotizing yourself to change your mindset as you approach labor and deliver, while the former is hypnotizing yourself during labor and delivery so that you can’t feel the pain.
Even more interestingly, you can have a hypnotherapist in the room with you to guide your breathing, meditation, and thought process, and who will help hypnotize you during your birth. All I can picture is a wacky hypnotherapist being like “AND WHEN I SNAP MY FINGERS, YOU’LL WHIP OFF YOUR BRA ANY TIME I SAY ‘ASPARAGUS’!”
I’m also very childish. We all have our faults.
Is This Sh*t Safe?
Overall, using a method like Hypnobirthing isn’t going to hurt you or your baby. You’re learning to Polly Positive your way through the labor and delivery process with things like daydreaming and breathing techniques. My biggest issue with it is that breathing and positive thoughts aren’t going to help if your baby is breech or there are complications. Like, daydreaming your way through labor isn’t going to stop third-degree tearing or an umbilical cord snapping back inside your cooch (yes, that can happen).
So, yes, go ahead and practice your meditative breathing, but keep in mind that some things—like labor and delivery—can never be fully planned out. Not everything will go exactly the way you want or expect, more than likely, so it’s best to just go with the flow and, in the end, listen to your doctors and medical professionals.
Ok, But Does It Work?
Hypnobirthing sounds great and all, especially if your delivery is going (relatively) smoothly, but does Hypnobirthing really make things any less painful? A comprehensive 2011 study conducted by psychotherapist appeared in the scientific journal Clinical Psychology Review concluded that “Hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis were consistently shown to be more effective than standard medical care, supportive counseling, and childbirth education classes in reducing pain.” So the answer is, essentially, yes.
Hypnobirthing’s popularity obviously skyrocketed after Kate Middleton said on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast that she “really quite liked labor.” How very royal of you, Kate. She said she “realized the power of the mind over the body” during her severe bouts of morning sickness, and wanted to try Hypnobirthing during labor as well. “It was really quite powerful,” she said of the experience.
But the Duchess of Cambridge is not the first celebrity to recommend Hypnobirthing. In 2011, Jessica Alba told Ellen Degeneres in an interview on her show that she planned to use Hypnobirthing for her second child, and had also used it for her first. She insisted it wasn’t as crazy as the name suggested it was, saying it’s “just concentrating on breathing and staying relaxed because it’s when you get tense that makes the whole labor worse and more painful. That’s all it is. It’s not like a weird thing.” Nope. Not weird at all.
In an interview on the blog Made for Mums, Miriam Greaves, founder of Parent Tribes (another hypnobirthing course) does acknowledge that if you’re seriously skeptical of Hypnobirthing, then it probably won’t work because your brain won’t allow it to, just like regular hypnosis. But if you’re willing to do the classes and commit to the techniques (and if you manage to remember them while you’re undergoing the craziest experience of your life), then it might actually help relieve your pain and make labor and delivery smoother. So, as strange as it initially sounds, it certainly couldn’t hurt to try it.
Images: freestocks / Unsplash ; Giphy (3)
Hair extensions—much like microblading, eyelash extensions, and fillers—have been making people hotter for years without you knowing. Now, in the age of Instagram, celebs and influencers alike are finally opening up about how they achieve their high-glam looks (not to mention their flawless no-makeup looks). The rise in hair extensions is particularly near and dear to me: six months ago, I cut off eight inches of hair in a moment of sleep-deprived lob-fever delirium. Since then, I’ve been trying everything short of Sugar Bear gummies to get my length back, a routine my friends finally got sick of hearing about and cut off with a simple question: why don’t you just get extensions?
Hah! I thought at first. Extensions were for photo shoots and reality stars—not me. But after doing some research on what extensions look like today, and how broadly they’re used, I realized that extensions weren’t simply a viable option: they could be exactly what I’m looking for. To learn more, I chatted with Lisa Richards, founder of RPZL. RPZL is the first blowout bar to also offer hair extensions, and they’re a huge part of the reason why extensions have become more accessible. So, set aside your preconceived notions about hair extensions and listen up: here are the five most surprising things I learned.
1. There Are So Many Different Types
Like I said, I’m new to the idea of hair extensions, so bear with me if you’ve heard this before. But I assumed that hair extensions were always a full, glued-on experience—not so. At RPZL, they offer clip-in extensions and clip-in ponytail extensions, both of which can be removed nightly. According to Lisa Richards, those extensions can last for years “if you care for them.” So knowing me, I’d ruin them within six months—but good to know!
The other offerings at RPZL are premium tape and keratin bond extensions, which last 8 weeks and 3 months, respectively. Traditional extensions, Richards explains, “rely on heat,” using a “mini flatiron to melt the keratin glue on an extension and bond it to a small section of hair.” For the keratin option (which is unique to RPZL), the extensions are bonded using “cold fusion:” using a glue that “reacts to ultrasound when used with an applicator.” Basically, we all know about the damage heating tools do to our hair; the keratin option eliminates that step, and is actually faster, too. (Per Richards: “no waiting for an extension to cool” makes the process 3x faster.)
2. You Can Treat Your Extensions Like Regular Hair
Another ill-informed thought I had about extensions was that they consisted of a singular swath of synthetic material, to be kept as pristine as possible for preservation. Nope! While synthetic hair extensions do exist, there are also ones made of real hair (I’ll give you a guess as to which look better). With the real hair extensions, you can style your extensions along with the rest of your hair—Richards specifically says you can “color it, use a curling iron, flat iron it.” This explains a lot of questions I had about how celebs make their hair blend so seamlessly with extensions. It’s also something I feel very dumb for not knowing, so please don’t roast me (too hard) in the comments.
3. Hair Extensions Can Add More Than Length
When I asked Richards what the number one reason for getting extensions was, she summed it up nicely: “inchessss.” And while inches are obviously my #1 concern right now too (*glares at shoulder-length hair in mirror*), the other reason she gave blew my mind. According to Richards, people will also get extensions to add more color to their hair—”without the commitment or damage.” Fun fact: two years ago, I did a very aggressive balayage with a very unskilled stylist who left me with more gray streaks than blond. The idea that I could have just clipped in some blond extensions and gotten subtle highlights instead leaves me shaking with rage. But also, it’s definitely what I’ll do next time I have the urge to lighten up (so, three weeks from now).
4. Not Everyone Can Get Extensions
Of course, not everyone can get extensions for a bunch of reasons (money is the first one that comes to mind, but I bet there are others). What I mean specifically is that not every hair length and style lends itself to extensions. As Richards put it, “people who can’t put their hair in a pony tail” (e.g. people rocking pixie cuts) shouldn’t try to get extensions. “It just doesn’t blend well.” So, sorry to anyone out there who made even more of a dramatic chop than I did, but you’ll need to wait a few months to be extension-eligible.
5. Hair Extensions Are Used In The Royal Family
This is my favorite fact of all time! (Well, other than the fact that Anna Delvey wore a velvet choker to court. I digress.) When I demanded to know what celebs have been secretly using extensions for years, Richards offered up an extensive (hah) list, including none other than the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. (I know you were hoping I’d say Queen Elizabeth II, and I’m sorry. Please continue picturing the monarch with a clip-in ponytail for however long you need to mourn this loss.) Richards estimates that 97% of “all female stars” wear extensions for work or their private lives, but other “surprise” extension-wearers included Tina Fey, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Lauren Conrad, and Chrissy Teigen.
All in all, my conversation with Lisa Richards had me more ready than ever to book an appointment, and ride out these last few months of growing my hair back in style. After drooling with envy over everyone’s waist-length curls at Coachella, I think I deserve this.
Images: @rpzlrpzl; @mercedes2429; Giphy
The winter months are finally behind us, and we are entering into the most beautiful season of the year. Wedding season! There’s almost always an open bar, shrimp cocktail, and the potential you’ll make out with your step-cousin. What’s not to love? In fact, I’m currently looking forward to my brother’s wedding, where, with the help of my unlimited Bar Method membership, I plan on outshining everyone and calling it “Cait’s Big Day.” See! These things are fun!
But I hate to break it to you: no matter how awesome your sorority sister Deborah’s all-inclusive Cabo nuptials were, they were a mere dumpster fire compared to the opulent events that celebrities throw for their weddings . I guess when you made a billion dollars on a sex tape, why not get married in a castle for the publicity to celebrate the third time you found your true love? It doesn’t make a mockery of the sanctity of marriage at all! This year, the main event we’re all waiting for this year is the marriage of the King and Queen of Extra, J.Lo and A-Rod, where I’m sure as a party trick they’ll have Instagram models lighting stacks of hundreds on fire, and serve champagne spiked with liquid gold. But since we don’t know exactly when that’s coming, I’ve decided to take a look back at the most expensive celebrity weddings of all time. Proceed with caution, because these numbers have been known to cause extreme jealousy and even rage blackouts.
1. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra
You can’t mention extravagant weddings and leave out our most recent gluttonous celebrants, The Hottest Jonas Brother ™ and his Bollywood star bride, Priyanka Chopra. Nick and Priyanka had not one, not two, but THREE wedding ceremonies, all in the hopes of luring Duchess Meghan to just one, but apparently she was busy making Kate Middleton cry or whatever. Kidding! I mean, not kidding about the three weddings, I would never joke about something like that. I’m kidding about them trying to trap Meghan Markle into coming, I’m sure they know she already dropped them faster than ABC dropped Quantico.
One of the weddings (don’t ask me which one, I’m already exhausted from this story and I have numerous disgustingly ostentatious weddings to go), took place at the Umaid Bahwan Palace, a royal palace-turned-hotel in India, which costs $60,000 a night. They also put on a fireworks display and wore custom Ralph Lauren designed outfits. I know you’re wondering, “Did poor Nick Jonas have to spend all his Camp Rock money on this wedding?” and the answer is a resounding NO! Thankfully, our lovely couple got practically the whole thing covered by sponsorships including Tiffany & Co, Longchamp, and Elit Vodka. I hope you all are able to get sponsors for you own weddings, because is it even true love if you aren’t getting paid for it?
2. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
TBH I totally forgot Kris Humphries existed until last week, when he decided it was important to let the world know he is the proud owner of a Five Guys franchise. Congrats! This revelation really just made me hungry, but it also got him into this story, so I guess he can call it a win?
In case you also forgot about Kris, let me refresh your memory. His wedding to Kim reportedly cost $10 million, $20K of which was spent on the cake that they all enjoyed, and then they immediately went to their plastic surgeon and had the fat the cake left on their waistline injected into their asses. I’m just speculating, but we all know it’s plausible. This wedding is especially fun because it involves math! If you spent $10 million on a wedding that last 72 days, how much did that cost you per day? Probably more than Kris’s Five Guys franchise will ever take in, that’s for sure. (It’s actually $138,888.88 per day, if you’re seriously curious).
3. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
After Kris Humphries, Kim decided she needed a more famous husband fell in love with longtime friend Kanye West. So, in typical girl-with-no-shame fashion, she decided to throw yet another obscenely expensive wedding.
Kim and Kanye got married in Italy at the Forte di Belvedere, which cost over $300,000 to rent. There was a performance from Andrea Bocelli, and her gown was Givenchy Haute Couture. Okay, now listen hard, because this is the only nice thing I’m ever going to say about Kim Kardashian: I kind of liked her dress. Now excuse me while I go burst into flames. Anyway, the lovely couple was married amongst their friends and family, except for Rob, who deemed himself too fat to attend. If only we could all use that excuse Rob, IF ONLY. When all was said and done, the event cost around $2.8 million, according to E! Online. That sounds atrocious, but TBH the cost per day is WAY less than her wedding to Kris Humphries, so it was practically a bargain.
4. George and Amal Clooney
When the ultimate bachelor announced his engagement, the world was stunned. Everyone thought that George would grow old with his motorcycle and Max, his potbellied pig. But he gave it all up to eventually run for office marry a gorgeous British human rights attorney. Fine, if you had to settle, George, I guess she’ll do.
The pair got married in Venice, with their A-list guests arriving by boat and looking every bit the movie stars they are. Everyone stayed in Cipriani hotel suites that cost a reported $3 million, and George looked dapper in his Giorgio Armani tux, while Amal wore a custom Oscar de la Renta gown, which she showed off on the cover of People magazine. The whole event cost over $4.5 million, and that doesn’t even include all the Casamigos Tequila that I’m sure George provided at no cost.
5. Prince William and Kate Middleton
Finally, we get to the royalty! The parents of the most badass member of the monarchy, Prince George, got married on April 29, 2011. Their wedding is unique because most things didn’t actually cost money. The castle for the reception? Oh no biggie, they own it. The tiara? A loaner from the Queen’s personal collection. Kate’s makeup? Oh, the future Queen consort will do it herself, thanks. So why the f*ck did this wedding cost a reported $34 million? SECURITY. That’s right! A whopping $32 million was spent to keep this event secure. And I guess it was worth it? All members of the royal family (as well as Pippa’s iconic backside) survived the event and have lived on to bless the world with their beautiful offspring, mediocre fashion, and petty family fights.
So there you have it, all the
sh*t celebrities waste money on for marriages that probably won’t last most expensive celebrity weddings. I wish there had been more circus performances and puppies serving appetizers to report on, but if that happened, no one is telling me. Fingers crossed J.Lo will do it!
Images: Giphy (2); priyankachopra, kimkardashian, about_clooneys, katemiddletonphotos/Instagram
Just when we thought Prince William and Kate Middleton literally couldn’t get any more perfect, on Monday they announced that they’re expecting another child together. This is basically the best news in the world, because their last two kids are the almost cute enough to thaw our cold, dead hearts.
They technically only made the announcement now because Kate is having the same severe morning sickness as her last two pregnancies, which means that she’ll somehow still be skinnier than we’ve ever been. But really, the morning sickness sounds fucking terrible.
Because Kate is a little busy puking her guts out, I took it upon myself to brainstorm some appropriately royal baby name options. We hope Her Royal Highness likes them, because she’ll definitely read this while she’s on bed rest.
William: It’s boring af, but doesn’t the future King deserve to have a son named after him? William is a timeless name that will also get him a hot girlfriend in college. Like father, like son.
Harry: If they chose this, everyone would think they were naming the baby after Prince Harry, but we like to think Kate really just has a crush on Harry Styles. She just seems like the type of girl who would go to a One Direction concert.
Ringo: They already have one kid with a Beatles name, so why not throw out the rulebook and pick Ringo? Little Prince Ringo could definitely be the bad boy of the royal family, à la Crown Prince Edvard from the classic film The Prince and Me.
Matthew: No reason, I just like this name. Sue me.
Adele: The crown jewels are nice, but England’s greatest national treasure is definitely Adele. Grammys are cool and all, but she deserves some royal recognition.
Elizabeth: The Queen turned 91 this spring, so realistically time is running out to suck up to her by naming your kid after her. By the time The Crown runs out of material about the Queen, little Princess Elizabeth will be old enough to have her own Netflix show.
Blair: Even though Gossip Girl ended like, a million years ago, we still feel strongly that it’s Blair Waldorf’s destiny to have some connection to royalty. #JusticeForBlair
Diana: Yeah okay they’re probably not going to do this because if they were they would have just named Charlotte Diana but it would just be such a moving tribute and no we don’t have a lot of feelings about this.