The Emmys are to award shows what your cousin who you used to be close with in high school but now have nothing in common with is to your family. Now imagine that cousin is having a birthday party, and you have the Emmys. The Emmys happen much later in the year than all the other award shows, so by the time September rolls around you’ve all but blocked red carpets and drawn-out presentations out of your memory. And, they occur during Sunday football, no less. Even though there have been many good times in the past, you don’t exactly want to give up an afternoon that will segue into an evening of drinking for it? Not really.
This year’s Emmys lacked a host, a decision that proved to be wise for the Oscars but not so much for the Emmys. In place of a host, they had a few notable presenters that should have filled that role, like Bryan Cranston and Jimmy Kimmel. Thomas Lennon did give a bunch of deadpan voice-overs. He had one good joke about Felicity Huffman being in prison, (anyone remember when she won an Emmy in 2005? No? Neither does she), but other than that kind of fell flat. And that’s a quote you can repeat verbatim at your office water cooler, because I know you didn’t watch the Emmys last night! Here’s what else you missed, that you can also just say with a healthy degree of conviction to convince people you actually sat at home watching a three-hour-plus commercial for The Masked Singer.
Michelle Williams’ Speech
Instagram erupted almost immediately after Michelle Williams accepted her Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, because she gave a speech that is going to be hailed by white feminists everywhere for the next seven years. Williams apparently was paid as much as Sam Rockwell for her part in Fosse/Verdon, which is great, even if the fact that a woman earning as much as her male co-star is considered commendable is pretty bleak. In her speech, Williams thanked FX and Fox 21 studios for paying her equally and listening to a number of her other demands, such as more dance lessons and a different wig. She closed her speech with this: “The next time a woman, and especially a woman of color—because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart—tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her, because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.” I applaud Michelle for acknowledging her privilege and bringing to light the fact that the pay gap is even wider for women of color. That said, it’s sad that we have to sit here and publicly applaud studio execs for… *checks notes* … shelling out a few bucks for better costumes? Doing their jobs? I don’t know if you guys have heard about this, but apparently working in Hollywood is pretty sh*tty.
Natasha Lyonne Can’t Clap
Nicole Kidman can finally rest easy after this gif of Natasha Lyonne clapping surfaced on Twitter.
In case you need a refresher, here was what Nicole Kidman called applause at the Oscars:
Guys, WHAT?? Are people in Hollywood so unaccustomed to expressing joy or congratulations for other people that they never learned how to clap? It’s not hard, you guys! Your fingers need to touch, and you need to do it with enough force so that you actually make a sound and aren’t just touching your fingertips to each other like Mr. Burns.
The Emmys Spoiled ‘Game Of Thrones’
Game of Thrones won Outstanding Drama, but didn’t win nearly as many awards as people thought. (It still won 12, though, just to give you a picture of how entitled GoT fans are.) But people on Twitter were even more pissed when the Emmys farewell montage was broadcast, which apparently “spoiled” the last season of GoT. To be fair, it did show (SPOILER ALERT) clips like Arya killing the Night King, but need I remind you that this sh*t aired in MAY?? You get like, a week max to claim spoilers. I have no sympathy for anyone who is mad at the goddamn Emmys for “spoiling” a highly publicized final season that happened nearly six months ago. Like, you don’t get to procrastinate a paper and then get mad at your professor for failing you an entire semester after you were supposed to turn it in.
Jenny McCarthy Bombed On The Red (Purple) Carpet
As we discussed in our fashion recap, Jenny McCarthy showed up looking like a mess, and also acting like one. Someone gave her a red carpet hosting gig, someone who has probably since lost their job. At one point, Jenny talked to Christina Applegate about growing up watching her and wanting to be her. The funny thing about Christina is that she’s… one whole year older than Jenny McCarthy. Jenny asked Christina what it felt like to get nominated for her first lead actress nomination… when it was actually her third. She also asked Julia Louis Dreyfus to do the Elaine dance and she just said no and walked away. But not to worry, I’m sure Jenny has an essential oil to help her deal with the embarrassment!
Billy Porter Made History
In addition to another show-stopping outfit (Billy’s stylist can do no wrong at this point), Billy Porter made history when he became the first openly gay, black actor to win outstanding actor in a drama for his role in Pose. He quoted James Baldwin in his acceptance speech, saying, “It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.” In completely unrelated news, I am crying at my desk right now. He is now one award away from an EGOT—he’s just missing an Oscar. No biggie, that’s the easy one!
Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner Got Laughed At
While Khloé was at home live tweeting KUWTK (rough, maybe next year), Kim and Kendall presented at the Emmys for Outstanding Reality TV Series. Kendall said, “Our family knows first-hand how truly compelling television comes from real people, just being themselves, telling their stories, unfiltered and unscripted.” Everyone laughed. And while I think the irony is funny, I don’t think it’s completely fair to say that KUWTK is scripted. Sure, every move they make is heavily orchestrated by Kris Jenner. Is the show real? About as real as their faces. But can we honestly say it’s scripted when Kendall Jenner surely is incapable of reading, much less off a script?
Jharrel Jerome Paid Tribute To The Exonerated Central Park Five
Jharrel Jerome won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his role in Netflix’s When They See Us, a miniseries directed by Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five, five children who were pressured into falsely confessing for an assault they did not commit. At only 21 years old, Jerome is the youngest actor to win Lead Actor in a Limited Series (I was still perfecting my Jell-O shot recipe at age 21, but cool), and he’s the first Afro-Latino actor to be nominated for and win an acting category. He dedicated his award to the Exonerated Five, and it was one of the most moving moments of the night.
‘Fleabag’ Cleaned Up
In a pretty major upset (to Game of Thrones fans, can you tell I don’t watch??) Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fleabag, the Amazon Original she wrote, directed, and starred in, won a bunch of awards. Waller-Bridge won for Outstanding Comedy Series and Lead Actress, so okay I guess I really need to get my roommate’s brother’s Amazon Prime password so I can finally watch it!
Other memorable moments included Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech, which urged for Hollywood to employ trans people and paid tribute to her late sister, Alexis. The DJ was really weird and chose inappropriate music choices—Florence and the Machine was played twice, and Chernobyl’s win was accompanied by “Feelin’ Good” and “Shake it Off”. I don’t know, I feel like a nuclear accident is kind of hard to shake off. Alex Borstein, who won for her role in Marvelous Mrs. Maizel, gave a speech about her grandmother who survived the Holocaust and somehow managed to tie it into female empowerment. You love to see it.
Overall, the Emmys seemed a little lost without a host, and although we got some history-making wins, the awards were still overwhelmingly white. If you took away one thing from last night’s Emmys, it was probably that The Masked Singer airs Wednesday, October 2nd at 8pm, only on Fox!!
Images: Getty Images; Giphy
A few months ago, I came across an article from The Cut about the potential mental health benefits of infrared saunas. Even though I was in Los Angeles at the time, the sun was still setting at 4pm, and my mood levels had definitely been suffering for it. At that point, I’d tried exercising six times a week, meditating, and gratitude journaling to keep my Seasonal Affective Disorder at bay, and frankly, sweating it out in a sauna sounded like a way more appealing option. Once I was back in my beloved NYC, I promptly booked an appointment with HigherDOSE, an infrared sauna spa with locations all over NYC, New Jersey, and Connecticut. It’s also the preferred spot of celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, and Bella Hadid, if you’re into that. Read on to find out the alleged benefits of infrared saunas, and what I thought after my 60-minute session.
What Do Infrared Saunas Do?
Simply put, infrared saunas claim to make you hotter in every way (obviously, pun intended). Not only does an hour of intense sweating knock off some water weight, but infrared heat may actually help boost your metabolism. According to Dr. Frank Lipman, who spoke to The Cut, just half an hour in an infrared sauna could help you burn up to 600 calories. (That’s like, one million squats or an hour on the treadmill. If this is what celebs have secretly been doing instead of working out, I will never feel okay again.)
For those of you less obsessed with losing weight (tell me your secrets), infrared saunas also have major skin benefits. Again per Dr. Lipman, infrared heat boosts circulation, blood flow, and collagen production, giving you an immediate post-sauna glow, as well as long-term benefits from regular use. Lipman, along with HigherDOSE’s co-founders, also hype up the detoxing capabilities of infrared saunas. Co-founder Lauren Berlingeri claims that infrared pulls “heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and radiation” from your system, and the instructional pamphlet inside the sauna room advised that some of your sweat may come out as black from all the toxins being released. (Sidenote: I’m still not sure that I believe “detoxing” is a real thing, but I really want it to be.) Other potential benefits include pain relief (from sore muscles to chronic headaches) and a boosted immune system.
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Currently sweating it out at an infrared sauna place. If you don't know about infrared saunas GET ON BOARD! I love it so much. It's not like a regular sauna where I can only sit there for like 10 mins and then I feel like I'm melting. infrared saunas are great for deep muscle relaxation, detoxing, cardio vascular health and your skin! Michelle told me it helps skin heal faster – I don't know about that but it does feel great! But you know, obviously, I'm no doctor(right @steveagee??)
Finally, the mental health benefits: a 2016 study showed that whole-body hyperthermia (whole body heating, specifically to 101.3º F, for the non-scientists among us), could have antidepressant effects lasting up to six weeks. Claims have been floating around for years that infrared heat can influence serotonin levels or release endorphins, but evidence is tenuous. The 2016 study, however, focuses on the “stress” aspect of sitting in a sauna—the extreme heat—and how these bursts of stress can better train your brain to deal with non-sauna stressors, like anxiety or depression. Again, no one’s claiming that this is rock-solid science, but these studies, along with the fact that everyone seems to feel f*cking amazing after leaving one of these saunas, was enough to make me desperate to try it for myself.
So, What’s An Infrared Sauna Like?
I visited the 11 Howard location of HigherDOSE, and was immediately thrilled by the spa-like room I entered. Each sauna room has a private bathroom (with a nicer shower than the one in my apartment), a Bluetooth speaker system, water, chilled eucalyptus towels, and of course, the sauna itself.
You’re given a chromotherapy menu, which tells you the different light therapy colors available to you, and the benefits of each type of light. It’s pretty intuitive (yellow and orange are more activating, blue is more relaxing), but given that I’m a type-A weirdo, I spent the first half hour cycling through all of them anyway. The first 20 minutes felt like sitting in a colorful, less-hot-than-normal sauna. I was warm, but I didn’t have that slowly-being-cooked feeling I get after about 10 minutes in a regular sauna. At the 20-25 minute mark, things got really satisfying, by which I mean sweat started pouring down my entire body. Again, in regular saunas, I’ll notice a drip here or there, then walk out and be surprised at how sweaty I actually am. In the infrared sauna, there was no doubt that I was coated in sweat, and steadily producing more.
I also have a pretty short tolerance for regular saunas; I’d say 20-30 minutes and I’m begging to leave. With the infrared sauna, I was happy to stay in there a full 50 minutes (I left 10 minutes to shower), and honestly could have stayed a bit longer. Promptly after showering, I noticed a few things. My skin was baby-soft, the dull full-body ache from yesterday’s boxing class was greatly improved, and while I didn’t suddenly feel an all-around calm or “mental high,” my anxiety was noticeably tamed. I know this because my face, which is highly sensitive to many things, including heat, got some crazy red blotches about ten minutes post-sauna. But the last time I’d gotten blotches like this, I locked myself in a bathroom for two hours, crying furiously and sending my dermatologist selfies. This time, I washed my face, said “f*ck it,” and moved on with my day. See? Anxiety calming.
I’m not including a description of my blotchy face to alarm you. Any discoloration was gone within the hour, and I trust that if you have skin like mine, you already know that heat is a trigger. But it was truly remarkable to look in the mirror at something that would have typically ruined my day and be able to let it go. In terms of a mental boost from the infrared sauna, I was expecting something like a runner’s high (which I’ve also never achieved, possibly because I’ve never run long enough to get there). But the mental boost I got instead was actually way more valuable to my life—for the next few hours, at least, I didn’t get derailed by minor sh*t. As far as superpowers go, I’ll take it.
So, the only real major con of infrared saunas? The price tag. HigherDOSE sessions cost $45 and up for solo sessions, or $30 and up if you go with two people. As a one-time expense, it’s not bad, but given that many of the benefits are unlocked by regular use, I wish the experience were slightly more accessible. Given my experience, I’d love to go more often, but until my wellness influencer career really takes off, I’ll likely have to limit it to a once-monthly treat.
Images: Keziban Barry; @higherdose (2), @busyphilipps / Instagram;
We love our moms. Seriously. They’re always there for us, and we don’t know where we would be without them. But wouldn’t it be fun if your mom was not just a cool mom, but a famous mom? In our alternate fantasy life, we could be on red carpets and living in some palace in Hollywood while our parents make millions. Like, did any one else see Francis Bean Cobain at the Met Gala and think, “if only my mom had been a famous heroin addict who may or may not have killed my dad. Then that could be me!” Or how like, Jaden Smith is just allowed to do whatever tf he wants (like bringing a handful of his own human hair to that very same Met Gala). It’s like, God mom, did you really have to spend all that time working hard and raising us when you could have been trying to get famous? Like, what were you even doing before you had me?
Okay so, JK, but in the spirit of Mother’s Day, here are the top celebrity moms we want to adopt us, because it’s fun to dream.
1. Blake Lively
Blake Lively is basically the dream mom. She’s beautiful and smart and funny and she loves to cook and she has a hot husband and can you tell that we like her? We’d get to live in a beautiful home in upstate New York, and the once or twice a year we’d get to go to a movie premiere. Sounds like a sweet deal to us.
Blue Ivy is basically the princess of the world, which is what happens when your mom is an actual goddess. Like, I honestly dare anyone to show me a person who looks better pregnant than Bey. Her maternity fashion is on point. And considering she is already prepping for the arrival of her twins, so why not just adopt us at the same time? She’d barely even notice we were there.
3. Katie Holmes
This might seem like a surprising choice, but think about it. First of all, Suri was always the most stylish celebrity toddler, which is right up our alley. And now that Katie left Tom Cruise and all that Scientology bullshit behind, Suri is probably loving life. Also, we’d basically have Jamie Foxx as a stepdad now, and everyone loves a hot stepdad.
4. Meryl Streep
Not gonna lie, it would be pretty cool to have a mom who’s literally a national treasure. Her daughters are successful actors now too, which means Meryl did a pretty great job of raising them. We just need Meryl to hug us every day and tell us we’re beautiful, is that too much to ask?
5. Carrie Underwood
First of all, we really would love to inherit her flawless legs. We know that’s not actually how adoption works, but a girl can dream. Also, it would be pretty awesome to have her sing us to sleep every night. She also probably has a lot of hot country singer friends that she could set us up with. And if any guy ever cheated on us, mom would know exactly what to do.
6. Reese Witherspoon
If you watched Big Little Lies, this should be a no-brainer. You would always have a beautifully packed lunch to take to school, and she would argue with your teachers until they gave you good grades. She’s definitely the mom who’s basically your big sister, which is perfect for talking shit.
7. Natalie Portman
Natalie is perfect and has the body of a small bird, so we would definitely love to get some diet and exercise tips from her. As an Israeli-American, we’d also get Israeli passports, and she’d be sure to throw us an insane bat mitzvah. L’chaim, Betches.
8. Rachel Zoe
We want the clothes. There is no other reason.
9. Michelle Williams
First of all, Michelle has raised little Matilda as a single mom, which is the most badass thing. She also has incredible style and just seems like a person who has her shit very together. We’d love her motherly advice on how to pull off short hair, and also how to wear a choker without looking like a basic bitch.
10. Chrissy Teigen
Let me first just say that this is not a ranking and Chrissy is only number 10 because we wanted to build up the suspense. Of fucking course Chrissy would be on this list. Chrissy is gorg and a casual swimsuit model AND she’s hilarious af, especially on social media (aka the only place that matters). Chrissy is also an amazing cook and if we lived with her and John Legend (#swoon), we’d probs get fat but we’d honestly be okay with it. Actually, I’m not sure if I want Chrissy to adopt me so much as I want to BE Chrissy…
11. Tina Fey/Amy Poehler
Our ideal life situation is being co-parented by Tina and Amy, both of whom are just the best. Their kids are guaranteed to be funny and independent, and we really want to get in on it. Also, like, they’re rich AF.