Here’s why the white south is still in denial about slavery

Here’s why the white south is still in denial about slavery

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The menu at the Cabin was long, one of those unwieldy, laminated mega-menus that grace the tables of roadside diners and chalets everywhere, and reflected a classic attention to theme (gumbo burger, gumbo omelet, gumbo). If the menu had been covered in tinfoil, I would’ve had a late-summer tan by the time I reached the dessert page. When our waiter approached, I asked — in what I imagined was a small act of clever, Yankee defiance — if the gumbo was any good. # p #1_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
My friend Gabbie and I had come directly from a tour of a former sugar plantation down the road, in Vacherie, La., called Oak Alley , and I had a crook in my neck. Up until that morning, whenever I heard the word “plantation,” I’d thought “slavery.” When I’d booked the tour, I had done so in the spirit of a visitor to Dachau or Wounded Knee. But the tour itself was given in the spirit of a visit to the home of a tasteful, Southern movie star. Our guide, in a tone equal parts admiring and envious, devoted 90 minutes to the armoires, linens and chamber pots of the home, but almost no time to the people who built, creased and cleaned them. The words “slave” and “slavery” were never mentioned. # p #2_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
“I guess the white people in antebellum drag getting misty about ‘the Golden Age of the South’ might have been our first clue,” Gabbie observed. # p #3_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
We did hear the word “servant” on the tour, two or three times, in the telling of what were meant to be amusing anecdotes about the idiosyncrasies of the servants’ owners. Our guide was dressed in an elaborate, sky-blue ball gown, and chirped about what fun it was for her to “go back in time and live like Scarlett O’Hara for a day.” # p #4_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
As Gabbie read from the menu in her best Vivien Leigh, her eyes began to widen. She dropped the drawl and informed me that the Cabin had been serving busloads of visitors to Louisiana’s plantation country for more than 30 years on the strength of its reputation for authenticity, which the menu explained thusly: “Our goal is to preserve some of the local farming history, serve meals typical of the River Road tradition, and make your visit a relaxed and memorable one. The Cabin Restaurant began as one of the 10 original slave dwellings of the Monroe Plantation. Through the efforts, ideas, the love, sweat and patience of friends and family, you are able to enjoy a small sampling of Southern Louisiana history.” # p #5_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
The love, sweat and patience of actual participants in the “local farming history,” the original builders and tenants of the Cabin, were not dwelt upon or mentioned in the menu’s text, but their contribution to the restaurant’s ambience was subtly alluded to. As the waiter brought our food I read: “In the grand dining room, the roof is supported by four massive beams … placed so that the room resembles a Garconnier (the visiting bachelor’s quarters on a river road plantation.)” # p #6_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
And we put our menus down. I’ve enjoyed almost every spoonful of gumbo I’ve had over the years, whether in expensive restaurants, coffee shops or train stations, but I might have had my last one contemplating the events witnessed by the roof beams of a “visiting bachelor’s quarters” on a 19th-century sugar plantation. # p #7_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
– – – – – – – – –– When the Civil War ended, there were no truth and reconciliation commissions formed to process memories, no Nuremberg Trials to enable reflection, no Great Emancipator to free the future from the past — only ghosts and the ravenous politics of memory. The need for national reckoning was quickly subordinated to the political imperative of reunification, and on both sides of the Mason Dixon line, forgetting became more valuable than remembering. # p #8_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Southern apologists earned sudden fortunes in a gold rush of nostalgic forgetting. Within a year of the war’s end, a Virginia journalist named Edward Pollard published a novel called ”The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates,” a breathless, self-pitying fantasy, and the first of many to recast the conflict as a tragedy of fraternal strife and regional repression, to blame the Confederate defeat on the overwhelming resources and underhanded tactics of the North, exalt the Confederacy’s most ruthless generals as paragons of honor, revel in stories of freed people run amok, wallow in tearful, postwar family reunions, and pine for the “Golden Age” of hoop- skirts and happy-go-lucky chattel. It depicted slavery as a benign if not beneficial institution, and relegated further discussion on the topic to the offstage realm of “touchy” subjects, where, for perpetual Northern fear of offending delicate Southern sensibilities, it has languished ever since. # p #9_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
“ Have you ever dreamed of waking up to an antebellum room that would be the envy of Scarlett O’Hara? The fulfillment of just such a dream is the essence of the Edgewood experience. Hosts Dot and Julian Boulware offer eight luxurious and charming guest rooms; six in the main house and two in the former slave’s quarters.” — Country Collections Magazine. # p #10_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
The scores of histories and plantation novels that followed Pollard’s, many produced by members of what came to be known as the Dunning School (after its founder, Columbia history professor William Archer Dunning), an influential movement of celebrity, revisionist scholars — a sort of mutton-chopped Heritage Foundation — helped concoct a broad, new Southern culture of perpetual grievance and nostalgia for a reimagined, antebellum idyll. The primary focus of most Dunning School stories was not the war itself, but Reconstruction, a period that Claude Bowers, an early-20th-century successor to Pollard (and given to similarly Glenn Beck-ian flights of tearful, dissociative rage) called “The Tragic Era.” It was a decade, as he saw it, marked by unrestrained Yankee corruption and sadism, which punished the South for secession and forced black suffrage on an already politically neutered white population. Bowers’ books demonized “fanatic” abolitionists and Ulysses S. Grant, exalted the Ku Klux Klan and Andrew Johnson, and sold hundreds of of thousands of copies. # p #11_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
“When a nigger died they let his folks come out the fields to see him afore he died. They buried him the same day, take a big plank and bust it with a ax in the middle enough to bend it back, and put the dead nigger in betwixt it. They’d cart them down to the graveyard on the place and not bury them deep enough that buzzards wouldn’t come circlin’ round. Niggers mourns now, but in them days they wasn’t no time for mournin’. — Mary Reynolds, former slave, 1936 # p #12_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
By 1932, and the publication of “Gone With the Wind” — the ultimate Lost Cause novel and still the most popular book in America, after the Bible — Lost Cause literature succeeded in sacrificing the very meaning of the Civil War to the demands of myth-making. (The 1939 movie sealed the deal.) The culture of forgetting had become a national religion. # p #13_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Seventy years later, movies like “The Help” — the latest in a long line of tributes to the unsung white heroes of black history, and a gauzy rendering of the civil rights era as a triumph of the human spirit over mean people — have taken up where ”Gone With the Wind” left off. A direct descendant of Lost Cause culture, modern nostalgia is souvenir nostalgia, a taxidermical, preservation-fetish that isolates parts from wholes, pulls symbols out of context, and shrinks cultural memories to the size of a 9/11 commemorative coin. ( Never Forget! ) It’s woven into every corner of the culture, high and low, North and South, as pervasive as sleep. And it is a black hole of memory, the place where memory goes to die. # p #14_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
“One woman thought all the slave houses (now guest rooms) should be torn down, because it was an insult and exploiting slavery and so forth. And I replied, very nicely, that I think she would be destroying history.” — Mary Hill Caperton, manager of the Quarters, a bed and breakfast in Charlottesville, Va. # p #15_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
The Cabin is only one of dozens of former slave quarters around the country that have been gussied-up into hotel rooms or restaurants. It was exceedingly pleasant and brightly lit, full of cheerful, laughing patrons. Astonishingly tall, wholesome-looking children in middle-school basketball jerseys pointed ketchup-dipped fries at their dad’s brows and made gentle jokes about their hairlines. The Doobie Brothers’ “China Grove” bubbled down from speakers in the rafters. # p #16_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
A man with a wide smile appeared next to our table, seemingly out of nowhere, and introduced himself as the restaurant’s manager. We chatted about the proper pronunciation of “crawfish,” and the differences between the gumbos made on the bayou and in New Orleans, and when the subject turned to the Cabin, I asked him how it felt to run a place that used to house slaves. “It’s history, and that’s all there is to it,” he said. “It’s not something we dwell on, or push out there for people to see. It is a touchy subject. We just want people to have a nice time when they come here, and to enjoy the food and the history. This is a place where everybody feels welcome.” # p #17_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
He had a point. Gabbie and I seemed to be the only ones in the room not smiling, and for a moment the queasiness of chronic self-doubt, the familiar nausea of the self-ostracized, the vegetarian in the steakhouse, made me wonder if it was us. Were we the ones not seeing straight, arching our eyebrows through a life on the wrong side of the looking glass? And then I wondered why I was flattering myself. # p #18_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Dead-eyed nostalgia, whether practiced by Tea Partyers, advertising directors or me, in my “heritage” running shoes, typing away on a computer built by indentured servants, can be invisible to us. As invisible as the whip — the very old, well-used buggy whip — hanging on the Cabin’s wall must have been to whoever decided it was a good idea to hang it there. # p #19_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Back then, black and white lived apart, went to different schools and churches, played on different playgrounds, and went to different restaurants, bars, theaters, and soda fountains. But we shared a country and a culture. We were one nation. We were Americans.” –Pat Buchanan # p #20_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Don’t get me wrong — I like nostalgia, I miss nostalgia. The kind that involves remembering, anyway: mostly private, typically accidental, not always rosy. When my great-uncle told stories about flying bomber missions over Germany, he didn’t merely recall events — experiences that he had a complicated affection for — he wondered about them. His eyes grew pained and befuddled; his chest rose and fell with a fullness no amount of time could diminish. He wasn’t running from himself to an imagined past, he was finding himself in his story, sorting it out, trying to see it clearly. # p #21_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
House (now Speaker) John Boehner recently complained that Barack Obama and congressional Democrats “are snuffing out the America that I grew up in.” –Think Progress, July 1, 2010 # p #22_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Of course childhood nostalgia — the kind of remembering you do when remembering is new, when memories are full and dramatic because they’re few, and weightless — is different. Mourning hamsters. Idealizing grandparents. Chronicling summers like they’re centuries. When I had 12 years to look back on, they were eons. When I had 20 I said, “my whole life” and meant it. # p #23_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
But the past I remembered then wasn’t even my own. I sported a ridiculous ’50s trench coat and well-thumbed copies of “On the Road” in the ’80s the way 20-year-olds in ancient Rome probably carried Euripides in their vintage Greek togas. When you’re young, nostalgia isn’t about the past, but the future. It’s a train in the distance, a sound from the old days hinting at the new. When your own past is too frightening to look at, and the future is terrifyingly unknown, you fake your way through the present. I spent my days wanting something I couldn’t name, and because I didn’t have memories to attach to that yearning, I yearned for a time before me. I conjured a past and missed it and bought an overcoat I prayed I’d grow into. # p #24_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Lincoln’s famous “house divided” analogy was a perfect one for a country in crisis, acknowledging as it did the psychic architecture of the nation, a collection of rooms under one roof. But his deep commitment to an authentic, family-like, postwar reconciliation was not matched by his successors. The North’s implementation of Reconstruction, in its moderate and radical forms, amounted to first coddling, then humiliating, a wayward sibling. # p #25_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
After Lincoln’s assassination, Republicans struck an implicit deal with the South, a sort of economic/cultural tradeoff, in which the South was allowed to construct the edifice of the Lost Cause culture in return for letting Northern investors exploit the South’s resources. For decades after the war, at cemetery and monument dedications, Blue-Gray reunions and Veterans Day parades, Northern politicians and former generals made a point of describing the conflict in the language of the Lost Cause, praising the chivalry of once-estranged brothers, lauding their former enemy’s fierce dedication to their mission, and rarely acknowledging what that mission had been. The relative postwar silence of the North on the issue of slavery, and the flagrant corruption of newly established Union military governments, helped stoke already flourishing Southern resentment and denial. Instead of beginning a period of reflection, the South spent the late 19th century dressing up in old uniforms and comforting itself with revisionist stories. # p #26_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
The Reconstruction-era South didn’t invent dishonesty, but its response to America’s defining trauma has become a foundational lie, supporting an ever-growing edifice of false history. It’s a lie so big no one will forcefully challenge it, a lie that’s too big to fail. In the sesquicentennial year of the Civil War, the “stars and bars” fly over state capitals, proclamations are issued that honor the Confederacy without mentioning slavery, and commuters drive to work on highways named after white supremacists. And appeals to wounded pride and the lost values of imagined pasts are an everyday part of our political culture. # p #27_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Just like Pollard and Bowers before them, modern-day, Lost Cause-ers like Pat Buchanan reversed the tide of postwar popular opinion about a conflict, this time in Vietnam, by pining loudly for a law-and-order Eden that had been despoiled by protesters. And now the wholly invented fiction of hippies spitting on soldiers returning from Southeast Asia is believed by more Americans than remember what My Lai was. # p #28_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
The same pattern has repeated itself many times, from Morning in America to WMD, from the Swift Boaters to the Tea Party. The decade following the Civil War amounted to a tragic, missed opportunity for the South to engage in a different kind of remembering. Even a little grown-up nostalgia could have gone a good, long way. The illness implied in its suffix, the sickness of the heart that a powerful longing produces, can be as necessary and cleansing as a storm. But of course that’s what the Lost Causers were afraid of, are afraid of still, and have always been quick to nip in the bud. # p #29_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
WASHINGTON — President Reagan said Thursday that he has decided not to visit the site of a Nazi concentration camp during his trip to Europe next month because he wants to focus on peace rather than the past. He added that he believes West Germany’s present sense of collective guilt for the Holocaust of World War II, in which millions of Jews were killed, is “unnecessary.” — The Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1985 # p #30_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
During a tour of Houmas House, another Louisiana River Road plantation, as our guide told a story about the acquisition of a particularly expensive set of silver by the proprietors of the estate, we wandered to a window, and noticed a ramshackle structure in the distance, maybe 70 yards away. Unmarked, unrenovated, unattended, a dilapidated cottage with a small front porch, half reclaimed by grass. A former slave cabin? Our guide said yes, and that plans to renovate the structure were in the works. She added that we were free to go out and take a look, once the tour was over. # p #31_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Later that day, at Destrehan , a former sugar plantation a few miles down, the guide neglected to mention that it was the site of the largest slave revolt in American history. # p #32_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
When I asked Angela da Silva, a professor of black history at Lindenwood University, and owner of the St. Louis-based National Black Tourism Network, for her thoughts, she said, “Jesus coming down off the cross couldn’t get me to stay in some gentrified slave cabin with a jacuzzi in it. The misery and pain that happened in those cabins … This is about shame. People who own these places want the history to go away. But it won’t go away. And until we as black people insist on the story being told, no one has any incentive to change their business model.” # p #33_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Da Silva grew up just a few miles from the Baker plantation in Missouri, where her family worked as slaves from 1837 until the end of the war. She learned almost nothing in school about slavery, she says, but her grandmother told her stories that she remembers to this day. As she spoke about sleeping in the same bed with her grandmother until she was 10, and waking up in the middle of the night to ask questions about her ancestors and life on the plantation, her voice softened, and she cleared her throat. I could hear her slow, full breathing over the phone. # p #34_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
“Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn’t that remarkable? But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” –U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann # p #35_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
Slavery is rarely mentioned on any private plantation tour. Proprietors typically insist that innovative architecture and interesting design justify their focus on the “Big Houses,” but that argument can be awfully hard to fathom. Leaving aside obvious exceptions like Monticello, surely the most notable thing about most plantations is not who lived there, who designed them or what they look like. A beautiful home made beautiful by slaves is not important for its beauty. To elevate aesthetic elements over history in the public presentation of slave estates is to demote people once inventoried like candlesticks to a status even lower than that of things. It’s an obscenity. # p #36_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
There is a small museum on the site of the I.G. Farben Building in Germany (a building that, it should be noted, is considered an architectural masterpiece), the former headquarters of the company responsible for enslaving hundreds of thousands of prisoners at its notorious “factories.” It’s dedicated to the memory of a former prisoner, and exhibits photos and documents from Farben’s disgraceful past. Tour guides at Auschwitz itself do not include the commandant’s extravagant house on their schedule. The point isn’t that American slavery is the exact moral or material equivalent of the Holocaust, but that our country’s “original sin” has not been fully, culturally processed. # p #37_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
If America is a family, it’s a family that has tacitly agreed to never speak again — not with much honesty, anyway — about the terrible things that went on in its divided house. Slavery has been taught, it has been written about. There can’t be many subjects that rival it as an academic ink-guzzler. But the culture has not digested slavery in a meaningful way, hasn’t absorbed it the way it has World War II or the Kennedy assassination. We don’t feel the connections to it in our bones. It’s hard enough these days to connect with what happened 15 minutes ago, let alone 15 decades, given the endless layers of “classic,” “heirloom,” “traditional” “collectible,” “old school” comfort we’re swaddled in. But isn’t it the least we could do? What is the willful forgetting of slavery if not the coverup of a crime, an abdication of responsibility to its victims and to ourselves? # p #38_39 # ad skipped = NULL #
If it’s true that we’re all breathing Caesar’s breath — that because of the finite amount of perpetually moving molecules on Earth, one or two that he breathed are in each of our exhalations — then we don’t need to dress up in his clothes to connect ourselves to the past, we’re already wearing them. The past is with us always, but we need to live with it, open our eyes and poke around in it, take it all in: the good, the bad and the mythic, if we want to stay connected to the ever-changing present. # p #39_39 # ad skipped = NULL # Don’t let Silicon Valley control what you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day. Email Address

Katia Moochooram: “Whatever you want, if you work hard for it, you can achieve it” – Le Mauricien

Katia Moochooram: “Whatever you want, if you work hard for it, you can achieve it” 1 Mai 2019 22h43 83
The 21st century is the era of social media consumption, and whether we like it or not, we all somehow find ourselves connecting and communicating with others through these platforms. Katia Moochooram: “Whatever you want, if you work hard for it, you can achieve it”. With the social media influencer sphere expanding in Mauritius, we, a group of four University students reached out to Katia Moochooram for a one-to-one conversation outside of the social media realm. As a media savvy and a one-woman band with crisp and vivid content, along with her successful collaborations and her personal projects, she inspired us to share with her followers some aspects of her that are less known. Photo by courtesy of Katia Moochooram
To begin with let’s find out who an influencer is. An influencer is someone with whom individuals connect and draw inspiration from, through his/her lifestyle, tastes, trends and engagement.
Katia Moochooram, crowned Miss Earth Mauritius in 2015, talks to us.
What do you do for a living?
I am a social media brand consultant and, in a nutshell, it means that I help brands promote what they would normally do through traditional media on social media, by communicating it in a good way. Many brands in Mauritius however, approach social media influencers in the wrong way I feel. Without knowing the influencer’s values and basing themselves on the number of followers that an influencer has, is not necessarily the best approach. They don’t take the time to know the person and with the snap of a finger they expect you to do a promotion or a photo for their brand. It is surreal. If a project or a service really resonates with an influencer, we can then communicate on it in an engaging way, to ensure maximum outreach. My work is to portray how the social media influencer adds commercial value. In cases where I get approached by a brand not within my remit as social media consultant, I would then design an appropriate strategy and link them up with other influencers who I feel would do a better service to the brand. However, if the brand reflects my personality, then why not? I am happy to represent it and feel privileged to be seen as the right person to convey the message.
What makes you a great influence for Mauritians?
I don’t consider myself as an influencer per se. I’ve been a model for more than ten years now, this was not planned but it just happened. I learnt a lot from the experience and one thing it has definitely taught me is what kind of visuals and optics would usually make good content. Your photo composition has to be great and compelling. My love for travelling definitely helped too. I don’t travel just for the sake of creating content, but living in the moment and capturing this on camera has produced a collection of my memories and how these connected with me at that particular point in time.
How does travelling inspire you and how has it changed you?
I was eighteen when I had my first solo travel. It was a trip to the UK to visit my family. Ever since, my ensuing trips have all been equally enriching and meaningful as they’ve led me to scenic places undreamt of, made me interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Discovering those new cultures, and what simple living is all about, has taught me some deep lessons about happiness and contentment which are not to be found in materialism but rather rooted in simplicity.
You visit a lot of places in Mauritius, do you do that for fun or for promotion?
Always for fun! People always say Mauritius is a gem, and to be honest I am yet to discover the east part of Mauritius. But when I find a special spot, I always share it. I do this because I want to grab my followers’ attention as often times, we, Mauritians, are unaware of certain places on our own Island. I am an adventurous person by definition and when I feel connected to a place, I like to capture the moment and share it.
What’s it like to be a social media influencer?
It’s a lot of pressure actually, but not one that takes a toll on you. At the end of the day, I love to share my content and communicate and it feels great to know you are contributing to your viewers’ knowledge and their making an informed opinion. I often get messages, for instance, requesting me to repost an old post. This is hard work, but I gladly oblige because I love sharing.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Wow, I don’t see myself in a year (laughs). I am someone very creative and I always have a project to work on, I can’t stay idle. For any personal project, I like to involve as many Mauritian artists as possible whenever I can. I have a couple of ideas in the pipeline. Relationship wise, I’d definitely like to settle down and have my kids. Being a housewife is definitely not an option for me because I need to do something every day. Entrepreneur wise, maybe develop another business. The ideas are here, but sometimes it is very hard to just put it on paper and execute, you really need to motivate people and get them onboard. This year I am drawing the line with fashion and modelling unless there is someone special or a brand I would really love to represent. Fashion and modelling have never been a priority for me, it just happened to me randomly when I was 17 years old. But I always knew it would one day stop and that would be the time for me to move on and do something different.
How has being crowned Miss Earth changed your life?
It is virtually impossible to have a say or make yourself heard in Mauritius if you are a simple citizen because sadly enough this country is ruled by nepotism. Hence what matters is not what you know, but rather who you are connected to in the corridor of power. But ever since I was a child, I’ve had this innate connection with people, nature and animals, so much so, that my parents felt that it had to be my calling. Hence, I have always felt the urge of doing something to help others. I never considered myself as a paragon of beauty but I entered this competition to make my voice heard. Winning it was the cherry on the cake. I’ve had the privilege of living one of my dreams through Miss Earth finale by attending a conference of the United Nations in Vienna. Because there were only 6 African countries, I got to sit on that podium to represent Africa and share my views. This experience really boosted my self-confidence, and it was a dream come true. This has reinforced my belief that hard work really pays off big time. Everything is achievable if you work hard at it.
If you had to name one of your biggest setbacks, what would it be?
The aspirations I had after being crowned Miss Earth Mauritius were short lived. When I got back to Mauritius and tried to collaborate with organizations, offering to be their goodwill ambassador and using my image for that, it did not really appeal to them, not even to NGOs where I always got a standard response, “we’ll get back to you.” I was very keen though to get involved and talk about issues, educate people about them and find ways to solve them as opposed to being just a poster girl used for promotion. We hear a lot of social or environmental institutions wanting to supposedly make a change, but when it comes down to it, there is always a hidden agenda and interest behind it. So, all the projects that I had in mind, none of them were realized. That’s when I said, if I really want to make a change, then I will have to do it on my own. This is where I decided to use social media for a positive spin to communicate and share my views.
What is your biggest success so far?
Every project that I work on, big or small, is to me a success. I love my small projects just as much as the rest. But if I have to mention the biggest project so far, I guess it would have to be Body By Katia M. Two months of preparation and hard work went into this. My boyfriend and I worked on this project along with a few friends. He is a professional basketball player and helped me design my workouts as I have a knee problem and require a mindful workout routine. I am not a fitness trainer, but since my followers were asking me to post my daily workouts, I came up with this idea and it was delivered in a very engaging way. It was a free program and more than 2000 people downloaded it, the messages and feedback I got for Body by Katia M were very positive and as a matter of fact I have two new series of workouts, coming soon. So, watch that space.
Can you share some advice for your followers?
I am conscious that my diverse lifestyle and blend of content are the reasons why my audience connect with me on so many levels. My advice to them is just be authentic and go out and meet people and see the real world. Social media has the tendency to project a rosy picture of things but out there are real life stories about struggles, trials and hardships and success. Finally, I’d say strike the right work and personal life balance and be mindful that you will also meet people who will take advantage and use you. How you deal with this breed of individuals determines how you stand up tall in a world often run by interests and hidden agendas.
Courtesy of Middlesex University students
(Adil Baguant, Naima Meerun, Rhishma Sourindra & Shabnam Adamjee).

‘I never thought there was a way out’: Perrie Edwards bravely opens up about the crippling effects of her anxiety in her first-ever solo interview

It’s seriously heating up between Perrie Edwards and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain The couple are on the dreamiest holiday and we’re jealous AF 22 Jun 2017 It’s like battling with yourself – my mum got me dolls to paint and I would sit there shaking when she left the house for two minutes… At first, I was like ‘don’t leave me on my own, I will literally die’. It got to the point where I was like ‘mum, you go to the shop and take your phone and then as soon as you’ve been gone and I start to feel a bit funny, I’ll ring you’. I did the same with Alex’s mum, Wendy. She’s been incredible. It was Christmas time and she was like, ‘I’m going to go walk the dog and I’ll be gone for two minutes and then I’ll take my phone and if you need me then ring’ I’ll try and stay as long as I could without ringing her. I’d be like shaking and she would say find something to keep your mind occupied like paint. My mum got me these dolls and I’d started painting them shaking like this thinking ‘don’t ring her, you’re an adult, you can do it’. It’s like battling with yourself. The more I did it, the better it got. Nothing is going to come overnight; it’s not going to happen that quick, so you have to tell yourself and rationalise with it. “I would search ‘Leigh-Anne, the black girl in Little Mix”‘: Leigh-Anne Pinnock emotionally recalls actively looking for online racist hate Leigh-Anne Pinnock “I would search ‘Leigh-Anne, the black girl in Little Mix”‘: Leigh-Anne Pinnock emotionally recalls actively looking for online racist hate Josh Newis-Smith 15 Mar 2019 Josh Newis-Smith Now I’m a completely different person to what I was a year and half ago, we are all going to go through hard times in our life… Thinking back then to 18 months ago, I thought it would never get any better. Now I’m a completely different person to what I was a year and half ago. It is exactly that. I’m a human, we’re going to go through hard times and hard periods of our life, it’s not going to be an easy ride all the time. That’s what we forget. On social media, it seems that way that living are living these idyllic lives and it’s not. There’s going to be bumps in the road, that’s life. How you deal with it is how you are as a person and it can make you as a human. Read next Little Mix Little Mix’s Power video ft. Stormzy is here & it’s a girl power delight The feisty, girl-power anthem comes with a colourful video which flits between eras – from the 60s & 70s to 80s… 09 Jun 2017 We’ve gone through heartbreak. You can be heartbroken and be miserable but instead you have a performance to prepare for and interviews to do… That’s hard. That is really hard. I think sometimes when you’re in this industry, you have to be an actress sometimes which is sad because it does suck that you can’t show your emotion 24/7 because you have to be on, ready for the camera. We’ve gone through heartbreak. You can be heartbroken and just want to get in bed and throw the quilt over your head and never come out for a week and eat ice-cream and be miserable but instead you have a performance to prepare for and interviews to do. You have to put it to the back of your head and get on with it. Sometimes it’s better because I think if I didn’t have work at the time that all the anxiety was going on, I wouldn’t have gone. If I didn’t have 3 other girls to think about and be strong for, because we were preparing for the Glory Days tour, and I always have mini breakdowns during tour because learning that much choreography is a lot. It’s so intense. It’s so mentally and physically draining. Although it’s fun, it’s hard work. If I didn’t have the other 3 girls to think about and the tour to prepare for and all the fans that want to see the show to be the best it can be, I don’t think I would have come back to work. I was happy to be at home with my family with Hatchi and call it a day. It was that daunting trying to go back to everything. I hated my freckles and I went home from school and said, ‘mum I’m thinking of getting a skin peel’… My relationship with beauty has changed. I don’t know if it comes with age, I don’t know if confidence comes with getting older and not caring what people think anymore but when I was younger, I was in the playground and we were playing catch the kisses. One of the boys was like yeah let’s play catch the kisses and I was thinking I really hope someone catches me for a smooch. I ran and I looked behind and there wasn’t one person chasing me. They were all after Nicola and I remember thinking what about me? One of the boys was like, ‘don’t kiss her, she’s well freckly!’ I remember thinking what the heck is wrong with my freckles. I hated them. I went home and I was like, ‘mum I’m thinking of getting a skin peel!’ And she was like, ‘what?’ I was like, ‘surely they can peel off your skin and put new skin on?’ She was like, ‘what is wrong with you? Why are you saying this? That is nonsense. Advertisement Why do I have to do something that makes me unhappy like wear loads of foundation to make my skin look flawless when people are still going to say I look sh*t… Growing up – being in the dressing rooms, getting changed in front of all the girls – I had this big scar of my stomach and it’s just a lot when you are a kid. You think it’s the end of the world. You think ‘Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I have a flat stomach?’ As you get older you think, ‘damn I think it’s pretty quirky!’ I love freckles. I’m like this in the sun trying to get more. I love them whereas when I was a kid, it was a different. I just think when you’re a kid, everything is ten times worse. You worry about the silliest things, don’t you? Age definitely helped me and becoming confident in my own skin through the industry. I’ve always said you can’t please everyone. Why do I have to do something that makes me unhappy like wear loads of foundation to make my skin look flawless when people are still going to say I look shit and they’re going to say why’s she wearing too much make-up? I may as well be myself and let it be that. Who gives a crap?

Andre Carvalho: The Garden Of Earthly Delights

Sign in to view read count This third album from Portuguese bassist André Carvalho is a study in contrasts. Inspired by the work of artist Hieronymus Bosch—his style in general and, of course, the titular painting—Carvalho set about composing a long-form work reflecting the range and balance of character(s) endemic to the mysterious Dutch painter’s creations. This stunning suite is the result. Reflecting Bosch’s art, Carvalho deals with and delves into the topic of humanity. That, naturally, results in a balance of highs and lows, joys and fears, and the concrete and surreal. The stage is set with a “Prelude” hinting at those ideals. There, Carvalho’s arco bass embodies the shifting sands of time and being, Eitan Gofman ‘s bass clarinet adds a touch of dark-hued beauty to the picture, the blending and swirling of said horn with Oskar Stenmark ‘s trumpet and Jeremy Powell ‘s soprano forms a rich and moody sonority that fills the canvas, and guitarist Andre Matos and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren prove sensitive to all of the changes that develop in the atmosphere. It’s a finely-calibrated sextet that tends this garden. ADVERTISEMENT As Carvalho and his compatriots move deeper and deeper into Bosch’s world, the music comes to lean on some of its central struggles—most notably, the pitting of form against freedom and style against self. For example, take “The Fountain,” where Gofman’s peaceable flute musings are set against a backdrop of uncertainty. It’s but one of many illustrations of how one man’s art begets another’s; as the program plays on, not surprisingly, there are plenty more. Strong performances abound across the album, as each track manages to stand on its own and complement the others. Carvalho captures the imagination with his true solo stand and artfully individualistic rendering of the Dragon Tree on “Dracaena Draco.” The myth and mystery endemic to avant-garde attitudes come to the fore on “Of Mermaids And Mermen.” Sound sculpture and ambient music reckon with the void and the great unknown on “The Towers Of Eden.” And slamming rock meets with skewed and skewered horns on the aptly titled “Evil Parade.” Carvalho’s work, like that of his inspiration for this project, is both in bounds and out of this world, presenting earthly delights and otherworldly insights all at once.
Track Listing: Prelude; The Fools Of Venus; The Fountain; Dracaena Draco; Of Mermaids And Mermen; Cherries, Brambles And Strawberries; The Towers Of Eden; Evil Parade; The Thinker In The Tavern; The Forlorn Mill; Phowa
Personnel: Oskar Stenmark: trumpet, flugelhorn; Eitan Gofman: tenor saxophone (2, 4, 5, 10), flute (3, 4), bass clarinet (1, 7, 11); Jeremy Powell: soprano saxophone (1, 2, 4, 5, 10), tenor saxophone (6, 8, 11), flute (5); André Matos: guitar; André Carvalho: couble bass, wrinkled paper (9); Rodrigo Recabarren: drums, percussion, bomba legüero.

Prada’s New Partnership, Vampire Facials Linked to HIV Infections

Prada Menswear Fall 2019 (firstVIEW)
Read today’s dose of chic intel right here…
Highsnobiety to Launch E-commerce With Exclusive Prada Deal ( Business of Fashion ) On May 22 the popular fashion publication Highsnobiety will launch its long awaited e-commerce platform. The site will kick off with an exclusive deal to carry Prada Linea Rossa. Other products and collaborations will arrive in “drops,” and there are even plans for Highsnobiety to have an in-house label. “The Highsnobiety commerce model is where we’d be dynamically dropping products over time, sometimes once a week, several a week, where we team up with brands to strategically release product in a content-led model,” founder David Fischer told BoF .
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Apr 13, 2019 at 9:00am PDT
Vampire Facials Linked to HIV Infections at Spa ( CNN ) There have been two cases of HIV linked to a spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both clients of the spa received “injection-related procedures,” including vampire facials. The spa was shut down last September due to unsafe practices that could spread blood-born infections. The health department is now offering free and confidential HIV and hepatitis B and C testing for “any clients who received injection-related procedures at VIP Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, between May and September 2018.” (Shutterstock)
Facebook Unveils Redesign, Announces New Instagram Shopping Options ( The New York Times ) Facebook will update its look on mobile and desktop platforms. Not only will the social media platform have a sleek new design, it will also shift focus away from its “news feed” to place an emphasis on group chats. In other news , Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will broaden its in-app shopping feature to include influencers. Beta-testing for the “Checkout” feature launched last month with several high profile fashion and beauty brands.
Oprah Reveals the Baby Gift She’s Giving to Meghan Markle ( Harper’s Bazaar UK ) Oprah plans to lavish the new royal baby with books! Apparently it’s her go-to baby gift. “I have a standard gift that I do for people that I really care about,” she explained . “I don’t know the baby’s name or the baby’s gender, but this baby will have enough books to last a lifetime.” (Patrick McMullan/PMC)
Gitano Opens the Garden of Love Grupo Gitano has announced the opening of Gitano Garden of Love, an outdoor restaurant and bar. The restaurant, located at 76 Varick Street, boasts star-studded chefs, and an innovative cocktail program. “We are honored and thrilled to connect our homes in Tulum, Mexico, and New York City,” says James Gardner, CEO and founder of Grupo Gitano. “We are partnering with clean energy innovator SmartFlower, we will educate local public-school students in our urban farm and are inviting the community for daily sunset meditation sessions with leading mindfulness teachers around our reflecting pool.”
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