In between all the over-filtered beach thirst traps, there’s a lot of genuinely good content on Instagram. There are tons of designers and artists creating cool original work, from photoshopped pictures of Harry Potter characters to important political artwork. As much as I love Bachelor contestants who call themselves “creators,” I prefer actual creative talent, especially when people use their creative talent to spread an important message.
One of these creators is Becca Rea-Holloway, who runs the Instagram account The Sweet Feminist. Becca specializes in cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats, all branded with feminist messages. It’s a perfect way to bring together fun and colorful designs with important political messages. A few weeks ago, after Alabama passed its law effectively banning abortion, Becca posted a cake with the message “ABORTION IS HEALTHCARE,” and it immediately went viral. I don’t know about you, but I saw the cake reposted on tons of Instagram stories.
View this post on Instagram
Last night, HB314 passed Alabama’s Senate. It is now the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country – it makes abortion a felony at conception, punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment (note: the governor has not signed this law yet. *Abortion is still legal in Alabama*, and this law will be challenged). One thing that’s been bothering me a lot lately (other than the systematic degradation of our collective right to bodily autonomy) is the willingness of some to write off the states where these laws are passing. If you’re writing off these states as “backwards”, or calling for a general boycott (which organizers on the ground are saying is not a good idea) you are also saying that you are willing to abandon the residents of those states who do and will need access to abortion. Abandoning Alabama, or Georgia, or Ohio will not save you. It just feeds into the false narrative that abortion access is only for some. Abortion access should not depend on geography. If you buy into the idea that Alabama and other states like it are “backwards”, you erase all the factors that shape lawmaking there (like: disenfranchisement and voter suppression, racism), as well as the people who are on the ground working towards reproductive justice. If we are willing to abandon the residents of Alabama, or Georgia, or Ohio, we are complicit. It’s not enough for abortion to still be accessible for some. It must be safe, legal, and accessible for everyone. Today is a good day to donate to @yellowfund, @sistersong_woc @ppse_advocates #thesweetfeminist #sweetfeminism
It’s a simple message, and a simple design, but it’s instantly recognizable to those who know the work of The Sweet Feminist. That’s why, when Miley Cyrus posted photos from a shoot with Marc Jacobs and Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, one of the images immediately raised some eyebrows. It’s the best photo of the bunch, and it quickly got reshared tens of thousands of times. What’s the issue? In the photo, Miley Cyrus is licking a cake that looks exactly like The Sweet Feminist’s cake. But Becca Rea-Holloway’s name was nowhere to be found.
When someone as big as Miley Cyrus posts something controversial, it doesn’t take long for everyone to notice. That includes the followers of The Sweet Feminist, who were quick to point out that Miley’s cake looked suspiciously similar to the one Becca made. The Sweet Feminist posted a comparison of the two cakes, calling out Miley Cyrus and the other teams involved for stealing her original work and not even giving her a credit. Swipe to see how similar the cakes really are.
View this post on Instagram
@mileycyrus just announced a collaboration with @marcjacobs @plannedparenthood @happyhippiefdn using this image. It is a direct theft of my own original art work from May 2018, with no credit. It’s literally my exact handwriting, message, and concept. Swipe for comparison! Cake art is for everyone, but this is inexcusable.
Miley Cyrus quickly responded to The Sweet Feminist’s post:
While it’s nice that Miley Cyrus actually responded to The Sweet Feminist’s post rather than ignoring it, her response here is a little disappointing. First of all, she acknowledges that she and her team saw the original cake online, but they obviously didn’t care enough to figure out who made it and commission them to make another one for their shoot. Considering that it had already gone viral on Instagram, it wouldn’t have been that hard to find out. She also comes across pretty combative in asking Becca to correct her post, as if she’s done something wrong by asking to be credited and compensated for her work.
But the biggest problem is that Miley Cyrus then deleted The Sweet Feminist’s comment from her post. As the guys involved in Fyre Festival will tell you, deleting comments on social media is rarely a good look, especially when it’s someone rightfully calling you out for a mistake.
Becca commented back in response to Miley:
While you might not care about the particulars of who saw the original cake and where they saw it, Becca has a point when she says that “someone got paid to make, style, and photograph this cake, and it wasn’t me.” It wasn’t just the idea for the words on the cake, but the actual cake and photoshoot that Becca was left out of. It’s tough for creators to get paid fairly for their work, and this would have been a major opportunity for an artist like Becca.
But for me, the worst part of this story is the subsequent backlash that The Sweet Feminist has received. She posted another comment directed at Miley, in which she also criticized Miley for asking her to correct her original post:
After posting these comments, Becca posted several screenshots of DMs and emails she’s received from Miley Cyrus fans, and they are truly awful. In today’s culture of rid- or-die fans on social media, the environment can quickly become toxic, like last year, when Nicki Minaj fans sent thousands of death threats to a writer who posted a mediocre review of her music.
Here are a couple of the messages that The Sweet Feminist posted:
These are just a couple of the hundreds of equally nasty messages that Becca received. While I’m sure that Miley Cyrus wouldn’t approve of horrific messages like this being sent on her behalf, that doesn’t change the fact that Becca now has to deal with them.
This is something that has happened repeatedly in recent years on social media. When a major star rips off a smaller creator, they have to decide whether it’s worth it to put their career, and their mental health, on the line just to request credit for their work. While Miley Cyrus and those she was working with might not have intentionally ripped off Becca’s work, they’re not the ones who have to deal with the consequences.
Unfortunately, the problem of famous stars ripping off less famous artists has only become more common with the rise of social media. Just a couple weeks ago, Chris Brown (who’s already problematic for many other reasons), pulled many images in his newest music video directly from other artists, of course without any sort of credit.
View this post on Instagram
@chrisbrownofficial , famed woman beater, has a new vice. In the just-released music video for “Wobble Up” featuring @nickiminaj and @g_eazy , Brown and co-director @arrad seem to be ripping concepts from artists @mariussperlich and @tonyfutura . Planning to credit them sometime in the near future? Or did their checks get lost in the mail? • #mariussperlich #tonyfutura #art #artist #chrisbrown #geazy #copycat #visuals #concept #body #bodypaint #beachbum #bootybuilding #tropical #beach #lemon #fruit #photography #wiwt #ootd #sand #palmtrees #sun #dietprada
The Kardashian-Jenners have also been known to pull, um, inspiration from lots of people. Here’s one example from 2016, when a makeup artist named Vlada noticed that an image from the new Kylie Cosmetics campaign looked a little too familiar.
Yeah, that’s not great. So, in short, go follow The Sweet Feminist, donate to Planned Parenthood, and be sure to credit creative people when you’re inspired by their work. It’s too bad that this whole drama even had to happen, because everyone involved here has the same goals when it comes to women taking control of their bodies.
Images: Shutterstock; thesweetfeminist (7), mileycyrus, diet_prada, vladamua / Instagram
Wedding season is supposedly during the summer, but just when you thought that gag-worthy shit was over comes fall—another time that’s considered wedding season. Before the wedding planning, there’s a ton of crying over the new engagement ring you can’t stop obnoxiously showing off to everyone who has the misfortune of coming within a three-foot radius of you. We get it. You have bling worth more than my life savings, and you finally found someone who still wants to be with you even after they’ve seen what you look like six tequila shots deep. Amazing. But, as you can tell from your Pinterest boards, showing off your engagement ring is just as important as like, the marriage license itself. You need the right caption (for the love of God and all that is holy, do not write, “He put a ring on it!!”), the right lighting, and of course, the perfect mani to go with it. Need help getting triple-digit likes? You’ve come to the right person, obvs. Here are the best nail polish colors you need to enhance that rock of yours, so all your followers die of jealousy.
If Your Ring Is Rose Gold, You Need…
It’s in the pink family, so without getting matchy-matchy, opt for the perfect crimson red to really bring out the pink accents of your rose gold ring, you basic bride-to-be, you. With just the right amount of shine, it’ll even reflect off of the diamond, giving your nails a slight pink hue in your next Insta.
OPI Classic Nail Lacquer in Red My Fortune Cookie
To state the obvious, rose gold is honestly just a pink-ish take on the classic gold shade. It still has a slightly dark gold tone, so if you really want to make that rock shine, go with a champagne color. This one is a golden-beige with a fab pearlescent undertone, so it’ll really bring out the ~rose~ in rose gold and make your ring look so much shinier.
Essie in Imported Bubbly
If Your Ring Is Gold, You Need…
Gold is def on the yellow-y side more often than not, so even if your setting isn’t yellow gold, it still can range from a dark yellow shade to even a burnt orange. It’s a warm band, so you’ll want a warm color to enhance and contrast the gold, like a shimmery peach. It’s a super faint orange and pink color, so it’s def going to pick up on the gold shine and glistening bling.
NARS Nail Polish in Orgasm
Luckily for you, gold is the most neutral metal ever. You can get really crazy with your nail polish color, but since the attention is on your most prized possession, you don’t want anything overwhelming, obviously. A mellow taupe/nude looks fab with a gold ring, because it gives your hand a dark contrast, while making your ring look a million times brighter.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Fashion
If Your Ring Is Silver, You Need…
Blue is apparently the most attractive color to the human eye, so there’s like, 100 likes right there. With your cool-toned, silver band, pair it with a calming, pale baby blue for the maximum shine and attention.
Zoya Nail Polish in Blu
White and silver go together like black and white. I usually stray from a white manicure, unless it’s June-August, but for an engagement ring nail-fie, I’ll make an exception. White is head-turning and bright on its own, but it gives your silver ring its own background to make a statement with.
Yves Saint Laurent Beauty La Laque Couture Nail Polish
If Your Ring Is Platinum/White Gold, You Need…
If you can’t tell the difference between this and a silver, it’s fine. Me neither, but apparently it’s a thing, and some of you have it. It looks like a shinier and “whiter” version of a silver, so your diamond is probs hella shiny, too. Cool down all of the bling with a contrasting metallic gray. The subtle shine will enhance your ring to make it look elegant and way bigger (!!). You didn’t say it, but you were thinking it.
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Bang the Dream
As if you couldn’t notice, I’m trying really hard to stay away from saying, “just choose black,” because like, this isn’t just your regular everyday manicure. You just found the man you’re going to have sex with everyday for the rest of your life—you need to change at least one thing up. Since platinum and white gold bands are obviously lighter in color, going darker really works in your favor. For the next best thing after black, go with a sultry violet or deep purple. It’s classy, formal, and convenient for transitioning into the next season.
Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Glaze Nail Lacquer in Purple Glaze
Complaining about the weather is totally one of our favorite pastimes, until shit gets real and we’re actually like, sweaty or something. God forbid. There’s really nothing worse than sweating, and unless you’re paying $300 a month for a workout class that makes you sweat, you should obviously avoid perspiring at all costs. Seriously, it’s disgusting.
While antiperspirants and deodorants take care of common problem areas like your underarms, sweltering NYC heat encourages another kind of sweat to rear its ugly head—back sweat. Not only does back sweat make your morning commute that much more unpleasant (and I’m already in a bad mood when I have to wake up before noon), it also leads to bacne (I don’t even like looking at that word) and really puts a damper on all those slutty backless dresses and swimsuits you want to wear. The cute and unnecessarily expensive leather/suede backpack you haul around could, unfortunately, be contributing to the issue since leather isn’t a particularly breathable or moisture-wicking material. So, here are a few backpacks we’ve found in summer-appropriate materials, just in case the one you use for work is making you sweat like any one of us in church.
1. Rebecca Minkoff Julian Nylon Backpack
This isn’t like, a regular backpack. It’s a cool backpack. The absolute angels at Rebecca Minkoff took the Julian leather backpack and made it lightweight for summer. Dreams do come true.
2. Baggu Canvas Backpack
This cotton canvas backpack looks like it belongs on the floor of a minimalist Tumblr bedroom, but you’re probably going to just fill it with shit like chopsticks you’ll forget about and crumpled up receipts. It also has a laptop sleeve, which you’ll probably leave something important in and find two weeks later.
3. Marc Jacobs Biker Nylon Backpack
If it didn’t sound like a bad line from an Old Navy commercial, I’d tell you that this Marc Jacobs backpack is fashionable and functional. Backpacks are typically kind of nerdy, but this one is Marc Jacobs so it’s actually sorta edgy (which isn’t easily achieved by nylon bags, but whatever).
4. Herschel Retreat Backpack
Herschel is kind of like, the Vans of the backpack world. Pretty much everyone has one now, and they’re kind of making us all look like hipster dudes from Brooklyn. But they’re functional, not ugly and can probably fit a bottle of wine, so why not?
5. Kate Spade Watson Lane Large Hartley Backpack
I know we like, just said that Kate Spade isn’t cool anymore because of the whole Coach thing, but I’ve pretty much already talked shit about every other designer that you preppy betches probably love, so I’ll let you have this one thing, as long as you don’t get carried away. This nylon backpack is actually so cute and black and white stripes go with everything (just ask Kris Jenner).
After what feels like a full minute since the last one, NYFW has arrived! This is the week when the fashion industry’s top designers, models and photographers gather to celebrate the latest trends in clothing and accessories. It’s basically the best week of the year, which is amazing because there are officially now only two weeks of the year that aren’t fashion week. That made us curious, what exactly does the industry do when it’s not celebrating itself in a trendy world capital? We launched an investigation and talked to the top names in fashion to find out.
“There are thousands of photographs taken at every fashion week, which means the bulk of time in between fashion weeks is spent scrolling through pictures and clapping for each of the models as if they were still walking down the runway. This is an important ritual that can take up to 18 hours per day.” — Anna Wintour
“Coping with the fact that it’s not fashion week is something that no designer should have to do alone. That’s why we all gather in between the London, Paris, New York and Milan events to hold hands and watch Michael Kors weep uncontrollably.” — Kate Spade
“Just because the fashion industry acknowledges that sometimes it’s not fashion week, doesn’t mean we have to accept it. We hope to eventually live in a world where every day is fashion day. That’s actually my greatest wish, followed by world peace.” — Kendall Jenner
“After a full day, the fact that it’s not fashion week gets to be pretty exhausting. That’s why in the ’80s Calvin Klein began the tradition of hosting fake fashion weeks in his apartment so people didn’t go insane. He’s credited with saving the industry by many in the inner circle.” — Heidi Klum
“Not fashion week? I don’t understand the question.” — Marc Jacobs
Sorry to fall into a stereotype that matches my chromosomes, but after Googling “what is the super bowl?” I decided to give it a strong, hard pass. That is, until someone informed me that Gisele Bundchen would be there. And that Lady Gaga would be performing at halftime. Though I was pulling for another meat dress—or at the very least, a revival of her Mona Lisa poncho—I was not disappointed by anything Gaga did on that stage. Including the in-air acrobatics. V impressive.
^^^ Never forget.
The real thing on my mind though (besides wondering if Mike Pence was enjoying the performance or if he was just in the corner of the bathroom rocking back and forth mumbling “no homo”) was Gaga’s makeup. From the bright red lip, to the subtle plastic surgery she’s received over the years, to the eye mask thing. Even through the lens of my alcohol impaired eyes, I could tell that it was spectacular.
According to Allure, the artist behind Gaga’s makeup is a woman-turned-face-magician named Sarah Tanno. Here’s a play-by-play of what she did. In case you are as curious as I am, or want to copy the look and subsequently film yourself hip thrusting in a studded metallic bodysuit to “Poker Face.”
Sarah began Gaga’s makeup with a petwer cream shadow. She used Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow in Au Revoir.
Next, she smudged a shimmery lavender pencil all around the eyes, Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon in Violet Femme.
Then, she swiped a plum shadow in the crease of the eye, and a light lavender shadow on top of the lids in the middle to give dimension. To top off the shadow portion, Sarah highlighted Gaga’s brown bone with a “frosty pale pink.” She used colors from the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plush Shadow palette for this.
For the winged eyeliner, Sarah started with a black pencil and then put a liquid on top of it. (Genius.) She used Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer. Hmm, sensing a theme here.
Lastly, Sarah added a shit fuck ton of mascara (love) and brightened up the eyes by putting Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in Pink of Me on Gaga’s waterlines. In other words, you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars at the Marc Jacobs section of Sephora buying 65 slightly different shades of pink and purple just to get the eye makeup portion of Gaga’s look. Already questioning if this is worth it, but in the name of journalism we’re going to keep going.
To get the perfect red, Sarah put You-Already-Know-Who-Made-This Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Dashing, a deep “candy apple red” on Gaga’s very talented mouth.
She then swiped a fuschia gloss over top. (Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lipgloss in Hot Hot Hot.)
Eye Mask Situation:
Marc by Marc Jacobs Self-Stick Eye Crystals. JK. It was just a decal made out of crystals, probably not made by Marc Jacobs but you never fucking know. As for how to replicate this, not entirely sure, but I suggest a trip to your local craft supply store and a dose of humility.