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'Everything As A Service' Is Coming: But We're Not Quite There Yet

‘Everything As A Service’ Is Coming: But We’re Not Quite There Yet

Just another way to lock customers further in – and pocket some additional revenue. JL
Rob Pegoraro reports in ars technica :
Today’s leading edge IT pushes toward automated deployment of everything from bare-metal servers to “containerized” workloads, juggling the networking and storage and system-management support and cloud providers have started to drop their infrastructure into their customers’ data centers. Even the definition of “cloud” versus “on-premises” has gotten foggy, thanks to private cloud options. One Web portal makes everything just a service that can be managed like cloud instances. Cloud providers and IT vendors are starting to shape this vision
For the past decade, information technology and cloud computing vendors have increasingly pushed the virtualization and abstraction of every possible part of IT infrastructure further and further, turning what used to be things you bought and paid for into services that you subscribe to. First there was software as a service, and then compute and infrastructure as a service, then platforms as a service, and now even storage and databases as a service. The “private cloud” brought the same models into enterprise data centers. And the “hybrid cloud” blew the data center walls out and mixed everything together. But managing each decoupled element of this brave new world of randomly distributed infrastructure has become increasingly complex. Arguably, it hasn’t really changed the business of running enterprise IT as much as it has made things complex in new ways.
But what if there was an “as a service” to fix that, too?
Today’s leading edge of enterprise IT pushes further toward automated deployment of everything from bare-metal servers to “containerized” workloads, juggling the networking and storage and system-management support through one portal or another, even internally, and cloud providers have started to drop not-so-little outposts of their infrastructure into their biggest customers’ data centers. Even the definition of “cloud” versus “on-premises” has gotten foggy, thanks to such private cloud options as Microsoft’s Azure Stack and Google’s Anthos that let enterprise clients move cloud resources back into local data centers.
It’s tempting to believe that all of these could be put behind one Web portal that makes everything just a service that can be managed like cloud instances—scaled up and down on demand with a monthly bill (or charge-back). So cloud providers and major enterprise IT vendors are starting to try to shape this vision to their particular strengths—and some vendors may actually succeed.
Enlarge / We did it, you guys—we found the cloud. Mischa Keijser / Getty Images But, while sales pitches may anthropomorphize “The Cloud” into a sentient and unstoppable being , the reality of “everything as a service” offerings is not quite as tidy as that—yet. And, while a few brave companies with greenfield IT projects may be grabbing onto “almost everything as a service,” not everyone is ready to follow them. As many of you told us , all of these new options increase the scope and complexity of a cloud migration. While moving email from local hosting to the cloud may have been obvious (yes, it really is past time to migrate off of Lotus Notes ), the vote isn’t nearly as automatic with each new level of “as a service” abstraction.”We’ve kind of had a pendulum swing from an ‘Oh my gosh, everything’s going to go to the cloud,'” said Edward Parker, a director and data and cloud infrastructure analyst at BTIG Research . “This is not going to be a smooth, sweeping transition.”
For almost 56% of respondents to our survey, that transition has yet to even start—they reported that their companies had not begun moving apps or services outside traditional centralized data centers.
With that number being as big as it is, there’s plenty of opportunity for vendors selling the “everything as a service” model—and plenty of reasons why it can work well if implemented correctly. The work of cloud platform and major enterprise infrastructure vendors to build increasing amounts of intelligence into management systems for virtualized and “as a service” assets is nudging the industry down that path. And some (but not all) enterprise IT shops have been pushing the ball forward themselves for the past decade.
Enlarge / Rows of servers and racks. Whether big or small, this is what most corporate datacenter look like. 4X-image / Getty Images Connectivity and compatibility The upsides to moving an app or process to the cloud should be obvious: no sunk cost in hardware, the ability to scale the service up or down to match your usage, and the assurance of leaving the everyday maintenance of its infrastructure to specialists.
Parker paraphrased a common line of thought among cloud clients: “We certainly don’t have the overhead to stand up all these apps—let’s just pay for it by the drip; it just makes my life easier.” The biggest gotcha that many businesses will need to overcome with cloud services is the reliance on outside connectivity—so the connection between your business and the Internet needs to be more robust than it would otherwise be. It’s tough to find a workplace where net connectivity isn’t business-critical, but if you’re sourcing your stuff to the cloud, that criticality is absolute.
“If you’re going to be moving to a cloud service that expects always-on, how do you make it so that those who might not have an always-on world can function?” asked Tom Bridge, partner at the Washington-based IT consultancy Technolutionary and a host of the Mac Admins Podcast . For smaller businesses that lack assured and affordable bandwidth backed by a service-level agreement, this can argue against moving much beyond mail to services vendors. Less-full-featured services can also introduce employee headaches—businesses often need to deal with less obvious gotchas like different UXes between Web apps and synchronized desktop apps.
Having employees who aren’t new to the cloud can help enormously with setting expectations. Bridge commented that, during mobile-device management rollouts, for example, his experience is that a good 25% of staff won’t adopt without “their boss standing over them to do it”—and advised management not to brush off the concerns of those holdouts.
“If they’re getting forced into a new system they see no value in, they will resist, and often I think that resistance is valid and valuable, because it can show you disconnects between management’s choices and the choices of the people actually doing the work.”
Companies that recognize this and make some effort to address employee concerns (instead of blowing them off with anodyne non-response statements) have a much clearer and easier path to service adoption. Dino Dai Zovi, staff security engineer at Square, offered a simple version of that advice in his Black Hat opening keynote : “It’s all about cultivating empathy.”
Enlarge / Real talk: this is basically what “the cloud” really looks like. Erik Isakson / Getty Images Privacy and regulatory compliance For larger enterprise, the story is somewhat different. They may not lack for bandwidth, but they have other reasons to lean toward private-cloud service models that position cloud resources on their own data centers. And one of those reasons is the hammer of regulatory compliance.
Companies have long had to deal with industry-specific regulations, especially in the financial sector, along with the consequences of laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley on data retention and control over IT processes. Complying with privacy regulations has become a growing concern, thanks to the rise of such sweeping privacy rulesets as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s still-evolving California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). But the “as a service” approach offers advantages here as well, in that it provides a chance for cloud-service providers to leverage their scale to develop in-house compliance expertise that can be bundled with services.
“If they’re getting forced into a new system they see no value in, they will resist” “I think that many SMEs [small-to-medium enterprises] would struggle to dedicate the technical and legal resources to compliance with data protection laws that the largest cloud providers do,” emailed John Verdi, vice president of policy at the Future of Privacy Forum , a Washington-based, industry-funded think tank. “At the same time, there is a perception among smaller firms—perhaps accurate, perhaps not—that cloud providers’ data-use agreements prioritize data processors’ compliance over that of data controllers.”
It’s certainly true that a cloud provider will not automatically save an enterprise customer from its own dimwitted data habits. “A cloud provider like AWS may offer tools that help enable GDPR-compliance, but it’s still up to the company to use them effectively and to take whatever other measures they may need to ensure their own compliance,” said Cathy Gellis , a California attorney who specializes in digital issues.
“In other words, GDPR compliance isn’t contagious, where one company can catch it from another,” she added. “But non-compliance sort of is, because if you do business with another company that’s not itself on the ball with the GDPR, it may well make it hard for you to be.”
What kind of cloud service you sign up for—from general-purpose storage providers like AWS or Google Cloud to customizable services like Salesforce’s CRM to specialized cloud apps covering functions like employee benefits—can also weigh heavily on how much input you have over regulatory compliance. “The further down the continuum you go, the more control you give up in terms of being able to know and control the treatment of personal data,” said Tennille Christensen , a technology transactions attorney in California who specializes in working with early-stage companies and entrepreneurs. “The more control you give up to your sub-processors, the more you have to trust them.”
Christensen advised asking those more specialized providers to offer legal cover. But she added a good-luck-with-that caveat: “You can, if you like, ask your subprocessors (cloud-service providers) for an indemnity, to get you some legal coverage, but many of the larger providers (who are best equipped to meet the more difficult privacy obligations) won’t offer one.”
The CCPA promises to add further compliance complications when it goes into effect at the beginning of January 2020. But while that bundle of California regulations follows much of the broad outlines of the GDPR, it’s also still being tweaked with amendments. “I put a notation in my calendar to check back in late September to see what the bill looked like and start doing the majority of my own education and preparation for clients at that time,” Christensen said. Page: 1 2 Next → Machine Leasswork Out of Design Optimization
Whose cloud is it, anyway? Regulatory compliance has provided a particular boost to the appeal of private- and hybrid-cloud offerings, said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research . He cited one big reason: “data residency.” For example, the GDPR requires storing some data locally, while Russia mandates in-country storage for reasons unrelated to privacy. “You can’t have any SaaS provider who does not provide you with a European, EU-centric data center,” Mueller said.
Mueller also noted the appeal of optimizing existing IT investments: “You still have the hardware—you want to use the license on your books.”
Finally, there’s performance—especially for locations outside the United States, Europe, and Asia. As the data-regions maps of Amazon , Google , Oracle and Microsoft show, offices in Africa, South America, and the South Pacific are likely to suffer pronounced latency by shoving everything into the cloud rather than taking a smart service-based approach.
“You buy a company in Brazil, and you’re completely in the cloud with SAP or Oracle, and you can’t get any good latency for your company in Brazil,” Mueller said.
Enlarge / A data center stock photo. I spy with my little eye some de-badged EMC Symmetrix DMX-3 or DMX-4 disk bays at right and some de-badged EMC CX disk bays at left. Disk arrays like these are a mainstay of traditional enterprise datacenter SANs. Bryce Duffy / Getty Images The “residency” issue, bandwidth concerns, and other issues that push companies toward needing to keep hardware within their physical environments are part of what’s driving efforts by some cloud vendors and service providers to put their chocolate environments into customers’ own peanut butter data centers—to offer the same sort of on-demand infrastructure but within their physical location. Cloud vendors have begun to provide some of the management capabilities of their public cloud tools for use in managing customers’ own on-premises data centers—providing some of the capabilities of “as a service” management across private and hybrid (mixed on-premises and hosted) cloud environments. The difference between those two approaches is who owns and maintains the actual hardware.
Data breach as a service One of the major problems often faced by companies deploying to the cloud is properly configuring security for the applications and data put into them. Cloud computing’s reputation has gotten rained on the hardest during the times that companies or organizations have left cloud databases naked to the world —no hacking needed, just the correct URL. This problem isn’t just limited to Internet-facing or mobile applications—improperly configured networking and authentication can expose internal applications using virtual private clouds, as well.
For instance, UpGuard Security’s Vickery has made a speciality out of uncovering storage buckets mistakenly left world-readable by notables like the Mexican National Electoral Institute , Booz Allen Hamilton , the Department of Defense . “One of the biggest mistakes, from an operational angle, is not taking a security-integrated view from the beginning,” Vickery said. “If you are being forced to skip a basic security step (like authentication) during development in order to simply make things work, then you need to stop and reconsider your team’s level of understanding of the platform.”Vickery noted that improvements in cloud-storage management interfaces still allow for operator error. “The AWS Web console pages are definitely displaying large labels indicating when a bucket has overall public listability or access, but there is still the issue of individual file-level access,” he said. “I’ve also seen examples of companies turning off top-directory level listing or downloading and also assuming that this change automatically trickles down to all individual files.”
Vickery’s advice: Do your homework upfront. “Wise startups realize concepts such as segmentation, logging, and mandatory authentication are not ingredients that can be baked into the dish after the meal is already served,” he said.
“There’s just no good reason to have a critical system administration service like SSH exposed to the entire world.” Matt Chiodi, chief security officer for public cloud at Palo Alto Networks , advised that cloud clients and cloud providers “document all aspects of the shared-responsibility model” so it’s clear what the provider will do to warn of any misconfiguration by the client.
Login security can remain a weak spot as well, thanks to iffy implementation of two-step verification by providers and ambivalent adoption by their customers. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology , complained that support for the unphishable login verification of USB security keys lags in business cloud applications compared to consumer apps.
While G Suite admins have been able to mandate security-key usage since early 2017 , for example, Microsoft only recently added official support for them in Azure Active Directory . Slack does not yet support them, either. Phone and app-based two-step verification can be compromised either by SIM-swap attacks or phishing sites coded to ask for these temporary credentials before stuffing them and the password into the real site.And phishers do know how to target cloud services: a study released this past August by Twilio based on emails scanned by its SendGrid delivery service ranked cloud services as the most-phished vertical over the previous 30 days. An unsecured administrative console for the open source Kubernetes cloud-app-deployment platform led to one of the more colorful breaches of cloud security in 2018, when hackers used one of Tesla’s Amazon cloud accounts to run cryptocurrency-mining software .
Enlarge / This kind of thing doesn’t usually happen, but if it does , you want it to happen at your cloud provider’s datacenter and not your on-prem one. Because that way the cloud service provider has to deal with it and not you. John Lund / Getty Images The ability to spin up apps in online virtual machines or containers offers even more efficiency, but it can also vastly escalate the risks of a company’s poor security posture. “This problem will likely only get worse as cloud adoption grows and the environment grows more complex,” said Palo Alto’s Chiodi. (Palo Alto Networks purchased the firm that uncovered the Tesla cryptojacking episode, RedLock, last fall.)
A July study by Palo Alto’s Unit 42 subsidiary found that, too often, companies had failed to correct bad security habits before replicating them at scale in virtualization environments. The result: 29,128,902 vulnerabilities found in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud , 1,715,855 in Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Machine , and 3,971,632 in Google Cloud Compute Engine . The study also reported that 40,000 containers—just over half of those scanned—had insecure defaults, while 56% of organizations had at least one publicly open SSH service.
“There’s just no good reason to have a critical system administration service like SSH exposed to the entire world,” Chiodi said. He added that the mayfly-esque lifespan of cloud resources—”about two hours and 7 minutes”—makes it even harder to oversee the security of any one app spun up in a cloud VM. “It makes it really difficult for companies to keep track of assets,” he said.
Chiodi’s advice amounted to the same basic counsel of other experts—do the things you’d need to do for security even if you never sign up for a single cloud service. “The whole beauty of a cloud environment is the entire environment can be deployed from a template,” Chiodi said. “It has all their security tools, it’s patched; if you’re deploying from that every time and you’re keeping that template up to date, that problem shouldn’t exist.” The alternative is an accelerated on-ramp into the next set of data-breach headlines: “If you’re automating bad things, bad practices, yes,” he said, “they will scale as well.”
Rise of the machine overlord One of the biggest issues facing running “everything as a service” is how to do all the things humans now do at smaller scale to keep IT operations up and running, with less demand for human involvement. While locally staged resources from a cloud provider may take some of the economic issues of hardware ownership out of the picture and place the burden of managing those racks on someone else, companies with heterogeneous systems and needs may not be eager to hand their entire operation over to AWS, Google, or whomever to run for them because of the cost of converting over to those platforms. And while some companies have already handed over operation of their IT infrastructure to a data center operator or services organization, they’re still paying for the human touch to keep things running. In an ideal world, “everything as a service” would drastically reduce those costs while giving companies the ability to grow or shrink every component of operations on demand. Enlarge / While you were partying, I was studying the blade (server). anandaBGD / Getty Images To make that scale requires a different level of automation than spinning up a new cloud server instance. Ideally, the same sort of cloud-server smarts that allows for near-constant uptime and seamless replication of data could also be put to work automating the deployment and management of these services.
Constellation’s Mueller said that capability is slowly emerging. “Oracle will today tell you there’s truth to that,” Mueller said, pointing to its Autonomous Database offering. “If they patch a self-driving database, that will be patched no matter where it is.”
Mueller predicted that Google would follow Oracle into that market: “Most likely it’s going to be Google saying, ‘We know Kubernetes really well, and we’re going to manage Kubernetes for you.'” But for now, he said, humans will still drive everything. He cited both the desire of organizations to retain control over their own processes and simple inertia.
Vickery cautioned that doing rule-based cloud deployments right will demand stepping on more IT department toes. “Rule and template-based cloud deployments are a step in the right direction, but it still doesn’t fix the underlying problem,” he said. “If you make a system that can be misconfigured, a certain percentage of the population will misconfigure it. The ultimate fix is to engineer systems [that] offer options, but not the options [that] run completely counter to a target user’s intent.”
In other words, either take the key from the humans or give them a smaller one. Said Mueller: “You can’t scale everything with humans, as much as we love them.”

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Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers (2019) [PC]

“This time, The Warrior of Light must become The Warrior of Darkness.”-Naoki Yoshida, Director of Final Fantasy XIV
“ The following is a contributor post by the Teal Time Mage .”
No words embody the true spirit of Japanese Role-Playing Games more than “Final” and “Fantasy”. The sheer magnitude of this videogame juggernaut stretches far back to my childhood when I played Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for the first time on my Super Nintendo. From there, my passion went on to include Final Fantasy VI and VII (I still say Sabin Figaro suplexing a ghost train is the greatest scene in videogame history!). The FF game I was really looking forward to was Final Fantasy XV because of its Shakespearean plot and quirky “road trip” setting. Alas, I would have to wait a staggering ten years before I could play such an ambitious new entry in the Square Enix library. It was at this time that my friend Zeno recommended Final Fantasy XIV to me.
My initial reaction was nonplussed, as I was not much of a fan of MMOs (monthly subscriptions and toxic player communities have turned me off in the past). A year later, though, I was finally swayed after all our mutual friends started playing FFXIV. It was at this point that I time-traveled back to being 5 years old again, enchanted at the magic and wonder of the world of Final Fantasy. True, FFXIV had its fair share of pitfalls in its initial launch leading to a rushed release date, a peppering of lagged controls, and an overly confusing HUD system which many gamers and critics alike found repulsive. The critical failure of the 1.0 launch of FFXIV forced a complete overhaul under the leadership of Director Naoki Yoshida. Yoshida (or Yoshi-P as he is sometimes referred to) raised FFXIV from a clunky mess of an MMO into a mainstream pop-culture phenomenon that has since spawned a J-Drama series, several worldwide FanFests, marketing with major snack outlets, TV commercials featuring A-List Hollywood stars such as Tom Holland and Hannibal Buress, and even a sponsorship for Wrestlemania 33 featuring WWE Wrestlers Austin Creed and the New Day (themselves hardcore gamers on Creed’s Youtube channel UpUpDownDown – see the video below where “The Man” Becky Lynch tries her luck at a dungeon playthrough).
At the time of this review, a live action series is currently in development for Netflix. This impressive impact on the Final Fantasy series as well as the gamer community, in general, instills a sense of endearing attachment with me that has lasted for the last 3 years.
As a new player for FFXIV , you can customize your own character race and job class from a multitude of different options as you venture through the world of Eorzea (which consists of the forested village of Gridania, the seaside port town of Limsa Lominsa, and the desert city of Thanlan). My player-character is a Miqo’te, a cat/human hybrid who journeys to Thanlan to join the Immortal Flames. Along the way, the protagonist is swept into a battle of good and evil in the form of the surrounding conflict between the invading Garlemald Empire and the free City-States of Eorzea (think Star Wars meets Dungeons & Dragons with just a dash of steampunk). Tertiary antagonists featured are the Ascians (a cabal of conspicuously cloaked conspirators), and the destructive Kaiju-like Primals rampaging across the land (eagle eyed Final Fantasy fans may recognize the latter as classic Summons Titan, Garuda, and Ifrit). In slaying the Primals and halting the advance of the Garlean Empire, your character gains the moniker of “Hero of Light” at the climax of the 2.0 version: A Realm Reborn.
Whenever I was dungeon crawling, I always relied on my free company “HeavenisticChaos” to help me out, coaxing me into the MMO mindset. You have the standard “Tank” who serves as the main defender, 2 “DPS” players who dole out the damage, and the “Healer” who keeps the party healthy when the chips are down. There also exist “8-Player Trials” for intense boss fights and “24-Player Raids” for extensive dungeon maps and item grinding, the majority of which usually bear homages to characters and locations from previous Final Fantasy games (one of my favorites being the aforementioned Ghost Train). Recently, FFXIV implemented a new “Squadron” system in which you excel as a ranked Officer in a Grand Company of your choosing; you can recruit and train 8 NPCs into your own dungeon crawling party and/or item farming group. I found this system quite refreshing: it bypasses wait times in favor of an instant queue, as well as introducing a party AI that flows well with the overall dungeon mechanics.
In the time since I started playing this massive MMO, 3 expansions have been released: Heavensward 3.0 which takes place in the snowy plains of Ishgard and the ensuing Dragonsong War, Stormblood 4.0 based in the eastern setting of Ala Mhigo and their struggle for Independence, and finally the most recent expansion which I will be focusing on, Shadowbringers 5.0.
Visuals: 9/10
Shadowbringers is a gorgeous game blending contrasting colorful overtones: the opening area, for instance, utilizes a pale yellow sky against a forest filled with drab gray grass and lush lavender trees, making for a palatable portrait primed with paradoxes and peculiarity. One of the main hub cities, known as the Crystanium, features a cool blue crystal spire at the forefront within a mishmash of primary colors reflecting the function of the city as a sanctuary as well as a place of commerce. Other noteworthy locales are the swamp ridden Rak’Tika Greatwood, the Wild West-styled gulch of Amh Araeng, and the grassy hills of II Mheg. Each of these new areas are vibrant and gloomy, replete with open fields you’ll spend hours traversing.
Two new races have been added to the player customization process: the bunny girl Viera, and the burly blue beasts known as Ronso (once again, longtime Final Fantasy fans should be familiar with these races). My one gripe is that the two new races are gender-locked at present, with the Viera as female only and the Ronso as male only.
The new enemies encountered in the game, known as “Sin Eaters”, are angelic creatures reminiscent of Judaic/Christian statues including Lions, Seraphim, and Celestial Dragons. Tetsuya Nomura (of Kingdom Hearts fame) was responsible for many of the creature designs in the Boss fights, and they all share a fair shake of ominous and opulent; the images presented are usually associated with the forces of good, yet here are depicted as sinister and openly hostile. I just wish that there were more of the “Sin Eaters” encountered, as I find their presence more unique than the usual monsters encountered on the world map.
New Beast Tribes encountered include the Dwarves (actually the First’s version of Lalafells), the returning Final Fantasy creatures Nu Mou, and my new favorite race, the Fae or Fairy Folk spoken of in Celtic lore (I have such a crush on new character Feo Ul). Nostalgia and nuance spun together certainly gives me goosebumps playing Shadowbringers , as I’m sure other Final Fantasy alumni can attest. Gameplay: 8/10
Final Fantasy XIV has certainly come a long way since its 2.0 overhaul. 5.0 has once again changed all the job class battle mechanics, effectively “trimming the fat” for techniques and spells that were often underutilized or skipped over completely. Playing primarily as a Dark Knight, I found many of the new move sets refreshing and energetic. For instance, there is increased focus on mob-clearing attacks including “Flood of Darkness” and “Stalwart Soul”, moves which can be chained through the Darkness meter in order to use more powerful attacks. You also have not one but two “Plunge” maneuvers available to you that can either be stacked or rested with charging bars split between them. Perhaps my most favorite new addition to combat is the level 80 technique known as “Living Shadow”, in which you summon a shady doppelganger for a limited amount of time to attack enemies for added damage (recharge time means you need to be sparing using this move, though, so pick your openings wisely). Many gamers might bemoan the loss of some of their favorite rotational skills (the Healer’s classic “Protect” spell has been removed completely), but I feel the new changes offer a balanced style of gameplay that innovates rather than impedes the MMO experience.
Two new Classes have been introduced for the expansion, namely Dancer and Gunbreaker.
Dancer is a more nuanced DPS class because of its rather rudimentary 1-2 combo of “Cascade” and “Fountain” leading to more random combat options featuring powerful move sets such as “Fountain Fall” and “Reverse Cascade”. These techniques can generate points for the “Fan Gauge” which can unlock “Fan Dance 1” and finally “Fan Dance 3” for single enemy targeting. The AoE equivalent to this rotation would be “Windmill”, “Bladeshower”, “Rising Windmill”, and “Bloodshower” to culminate with “Fan Dance 2” and again to “Fan Dance 3”. The “Fan Gauge” reminds me of Red Mage’s spell stacking skill sets with white and black magic bars giving access to a wide variety of spell casting, the key difference being that Dancer is mainly utilized as a weapon based ranged DPS as opposed to Red Mage acting in a more ranged capacity via spell casting. Outside of combat, I noticed that the Dancer will run quicker in battle stance not so dissimilarity from the Ninja Class. But perhaps the most interesting aspect to Dancer is the “Closed Position” technique that assigns other players your buffs, with the other character being gaining the “Dance Partner” stat; this reminded me a bit of the Dragoon’s ability to boost damage for other DPS classes.
Gunbreaker is the new Tank class that I’m sure Final Fantasy VIII fans will go nuts for as you finally get to use the Gunblade in battle. Tanks will utilize more offensive skills in accruing damage through the 3-step combo of “Keen Edge”, “Brutal Shell”, and “Solid Barrel” used in quick succession (I found it similar to my times playing as Paladin and Dark Knight before the class overhaul in 4.0). The exclusive mechanics come from the “Powder Gauge” system, where the third combo move can add a notch to your gauge for more powerful cool-down techniques; these include “Burst Strike” and “Fated Circle” for singular targets and crowd controlling respectively. It seems like a good class to choose; however, most of the dungeons I’ve come across with a Gunbreaker Tank tend to have the Healer pushed to their limits to keep the Tank alive, although this may just be the over-eagerness of online players and not necessarily an issue with the class.
While I wouldn’t say Dancer and Gunbreaker replaced my personal favorite classes of Dark Knight and Red Mage, they looked aesthetically interesting with either the cowboy or dancing acrobat archetypes featured. Indeed, a lot of my HeavenisticChaos friends went nuts with these new classes as they were clear fan favorites of the series.
Dungeon Crawling is in top form in Shadowbringers . Holminster Switch is your first foray into 5.0 that serves as an example of the formulaic layout of the expansion. You fight wave after wave of “Sin Eaters” to arrive at their mutual leaders (“Light Wardens”) who each encompass the final boss of each dungeon. The Dohn Mheg dungeon hits me with a rush of the Alice in Wonderland world from the original Kingdom Hearts due to its whimsical design structure, curious pacing, and quirky monster designs. I think Mt. Gulg is the most awe-inspiring dungeon out of them all because of the sheer adrenaline kick I get out of the massive scaling you do while the background keeps constantly shifting.
Of course, there is vested interest in the instances as well; there is one called “Legends of the Not-so-Hidden Temple” (no joke) where combat is minimized and you must evade traps and sentries in order to progress to the main goal. I did like the brief reprieve from active battles for a shot at tomb raiding.
Exploration in the overworld is much the same in previous expansions: you have to search for Aether Currents with your trusty compass in order to unlock “flight mode” for quicker, more efficient transportation. You’ll be spending a good chunk of time navigating every nook and cranny for these small green orbs, but luckily it never feels too difficult to overcome. There are also quest-related Aether Currents that are much easier to spot on the map post-4.0 due to the fact that the map icons contain a “+” indication on them. With the inevitable Beast Tribes being added, it would behoove any new gamer to unlock these currents and take to the skies (don’t worry; unlike Final Fantasy XV , you won’t crash and die from hitting a lamp post).
The breakout new addition to the 5.0 patch is the “Trust” system. Now you can enter into 70-80 main story quest dungeons with an instant queue consisting of main characters who are usually NPCs. You can customize the “Trust” system from a selection of several DPS, one Tank, and two Healers.
Another new addition is the “Hunt” Story Quests. Once again, you have a selection of different quests to undertake based on the class you are currently equipped with. The “Hunt” quests seemingly replace the more traditional “Job Quests” from previous expansions. Most interestingly of all, you are required to complete the “Hunt” quests in order to proceed through the final stretch of the main story, but it will net you level 80 gear and weapons so it makes it worth your time.
I’m thrilled at these new enhancements to Shadowbringers, as it really feels like a streamlined way of facilitating the main story without all the tedious level grinding and long queues to advance through the dungeons, instances, and cutscenes (I remember one such case during launch day of Stormblood, where there was so much queue congestion keeping players from proceeding in the story). Audio: 10/10
As is the case with most of the games in the series, Final Fantasy XIV features some truly awe-inspiring audio tracks which reflect both the tone and story of the 5.0 expansion. Masayoshi Soken more than proves that he is the future of Final Fantasy’s musical compositions whose foundations were paved by the legendary Nobou Uematsu. The majestic Celtic, Classical, and Hard Rock blend seamlessly into the melodious tracks. What I really dig about Shadowbringers is that it uses character themes as well as locales. I look back fondly on the bittersweet theme song for the Crystal Exarch, or the tranquil pixie theme for Feo Ul, even the Warrior of Darkness theme replete with somber beauty.
As far as memorable area themes, the Crystanium theme stood out to me as it felt true to the Final Fantasy whimsy I’ve been in love with for decades. There is also the Rak’Tika Greatwood, with its mesmerizing vocals reflecting the natural beauty of the area. Amarout’s gentle piano theme accurately conveys the sense of tragic isolationism in its tracks, which I felt to be both sad and placating at the same time. But perhaps my all time favorite song from Shadowbringers is the main theme that is played during the official trailer; I always feel leery when rock music is integrated with JRPG tracks, but this song just gets me so pumped because it symbolizes how darkness can be utilized for empowerment rather than corruption, which I feel goes to the theme of the expansion. I was very fortunate to hear Soken’s band “The Primals” perform previous FFXIV themes such as Ifrit, Titan, and Shiva with the beautiful vocals of Susan Calloway at last year’s Fanfest, so I can say with absolute certainty that new players will be in for a real treat with 5.0’s new musical library.
Voice acting is really well done; I feel that casting UK actors for the English dub facilitates the gravitas of the characters in a fantasy setting. What I found to be quite interesting is that Square opted for more Irish accents to be used by several of the characters (this especially worked wonders for the pixie voices). I was discussing with my pal The Well-Red Mage on whether voice acting is necessary for the game to convey the sense of emotional weight or scale, and I can say that both voice and text work really well in tandem. The best way I can elaborate on this is that text is used in short and sweet cutscenes that go into details about the story and where the player is about to go, and how that connects with the overall plot. By contrast, voice acting is used in extended cutscenes that highlight character depth, emotional extremities, and shocking revelations of the plot. I would say text is best used in plot interludes to get a proper frame of reference for what’s going on, and voice acting will occur at these almost episodic cinematic cutscenes to give the player a denouement of the trials they faced. Themes: 9/10
As the title of the expansion might suggest, Shadowbringers deals heavily with the dichotomy between light and darkness as the root of the story. The topical themes are interpreted from the story, locations, characters, and enemies that the player encounters across the expansion, as evidenced both on an internal and external level in each kernel of the game.
Externally, the world of “The First” embodies the innate corruption of the light as it stagnates the land with constantly murky yellow skies devoid of stars and moons; the state of the world indicates how too much light can be just as detrimental as too much darkness. Additionally, there is also the sociological corruption of Eulmore, whose hedonistic decadence spurs constant gentrification. The wealthy elite celebrate while the impoverished majority suffer and starve; the city even strives to maintain the status quo through a sort of religious rationale in which the elite believe it is their divine right to rule because of the so-called “sinful” lives the less fortunate live. Eulmore’s conservative mentality is challenged by other city-states of “the First”, mainly the Crystanium, who wish to bring back the night in order to being balance back to the world and stop the coming calamity which will occur if the world becomes consumed by light.
On an internal level, one can see the moral conflict and personal struggles faced by the characters. None fit the bill more so than the player-character as they go through the process of forsaking the moniker of “Hero of Light” in order to embrace the new “Warrior of Darkness” title to give hope to the despondent people and restore balance back to the world. There is also a powerful theme of redemption present in the game running parallel with the concept that darkness is not purely an evil concoction, that what we may think to be villainous may, in fact, be acts of desperation to save family or friends. What Shadowbringers does so well is it portrays redemption in its characters through their failings, moments of clarity, and even to a degree, survivor’s guilt.
Other tertiary themes I’d like to bring up are religious freedom, which encompasses much of the Rak’Tika Greatwood (hopefully we will see more of this explored in future patches involving the local Beast Tribes), and the theme of fatherhood. The latter of these themes is embodied in two characters predominately, and focuses on how it is best to move forward and allow prodigies to grow and flourish instead of locking them away from the world or over-protecting them; this parental perplexity concludes with one of the best battles I’ve seen in modern video gaming. Narrative: 9/10
As a purely standalone story, the 5.0 expansion gleams with a savory palate that makes you hunger for more; a lot of this can be attributed to the fast-paced and deep writing of Banri Oda and Natsuko Ishikawa. I was most fortunate to meet Ishikawa-san at Pax East a few years ago, where she spoke about the game’s new dynamic direction breaking off from the main saga of FFXIV ; I was immediately left in awe that we were going back to some classic Final Fantasy themes and locations which had enchanted me in my youth.
Unlike previous expansions, 5.0 has a very streamlined plot focusing on a crusade to kill the “light wardens” and restore balance to the world. There is very little of the political complexity that encompassed the last two expansions as far as theocracy or revolution; the stakes are higher because it talks about averting catastrophe. This gives a very straightforward narrative as you traverse the world of “the First” towards accomplishing your goal (think the original Kingdom Hearts where you travel from world to world, defeat the big monster at the end, and seal the keyhole instead of the intricacies of a shadowy society). As such, the plot keeps moving forward with a plethora of POV characters and playful dialogue.
One drawback from the story is that the main quest lines tend to drag a bit in the middle of the game. I must’ve spent 3 hours trying to put a train cart back together in Amh Araeng (I was playing in there so long that I thought I was in a Wild Arms game as I zoned out at my computer). Thankfully, the game kicks into high gear after these egregious endeavors.
The train cart aside, I found the story to be well written and spread out for an enjoyable experience that gamers new and old will enjoy. I don’t want to go into too many spoilers, but for those who have played Final Fantasy XIV up till now, you will experience the culmination of previous story arcs from the game which weaves itself beautifully into the narrative. Uniqueness: 8/10
I wouldn’t go so far to say that Shadowbringers pioneered the story and mechanics presented (as it pays homage to plenty of games from the franchise), but I do feel it enhanced the gaming experience in the 5.0 expansion. The added “Sin-Eater” enemies offers an interesting new group of monsters to fight both in a combative way yet also in a storyline way as all the bossess reflect the corrupted areas that you explore.
Perhaps the greatest innovation the expansion offers you is greater emphasis on characterization, as well as new characters never before seen in the MMO. These heroes and villains go through superb character arcs that feel gratifying and thought provoking, once again a credit to the newly added writers of the game (I do sincerely hope that Ishikawa-san stays on as a lead writer, as I’m giddy with anticipation what her lore-building will lead to).
The newly added classes, races, and even dungeon mechanics (the “Trust” system being one of my favorites) bring a much needed overhaul to the game which I’m sure fans of the series will find most enjoyable.
Once again, while I don’t believe Shadowbringers changed the course of the MMO, it did bring it to the peak of what FFXIV can be with its current quality and scale. Replayability: 7/10
While the story is exquisite, there is is no available way to replay the story in its entirety. As of this review, and from bits of info I heard at last year’s Fanfest, Yoshida is planning on doing a “New Game+”-like scenario where you will be able to reuse your current weapons and armor, but you will have to replay the entire story all over again, so there won’t be any skipping around to your favorite parts. Again, there is no current way to use this system at present. However, you can replay all the previous dungeons, trials, and raids for added experience, item, and currency grinding (the cap of the latter resets on a weekly basis); opportunities may arise where you can roll for a chance to obtain rare musical scripts and mounts to be used in game.
The best utilization of replayability is to try another class of your choosing in order to max it out at level 80 for added variety in your dungeon queuing (it’s advisable to have one of each Tank, DPS, and Healer on hand for added flexibility), the added bonus of which is greater access to the “Hunt” quests as well as level 80 armor and weapons.
If one wishes to simply rewatch story cutscenes, you need only retreat to an inn, and open up the “Unending Journey” book, a type of Theater Mode where you can revisit some of your favorite moments from the 5.0 expansion. Challenge: 10/10
For those looking for a harder challenge to unlock in the game, there are added trials (known as “Savage” and “Extreme” for added challenge levels) which can be unlocked by either side-questing or by visiting the Wandering Minstrel who can give you access via your Duty Finder. If you succeed in these trials, you’ll be given added bonuses including more powerful weapons and armor.
In addition, you can start crafting quests to better hone your equipment or selling items on the market board for netting Gil. This may become vital for future Beast Tribe quests as they usually have one in particular in which the quests are for crafting alone.
For those gamers that want a more solo experience, there are also the recently added Blue Mage quests in which you must fight enemies to gain added spells in your repertoire. These enemies can be found in the overworld, dungeons, and trials; you have to defeat them each in turn in order to be given a chance to obtain the added spells.
In summary, there is a lot to do in the 5.0 expansion even after you finish the main story: added challenges, high-grade weapons and armor, and even alternate class grinding will have you exploring the game for hours on end. My Personal Grade: 9/10
In conclusion, I would highly recommend Shadowbringers for any gamers interested in playing Final Fantasy XIV. The 5.0 expansion has the highest level of storytelling, characters, added combat mechanics, and innovative gameplay styles, making for an enjoyable playing experience. It truly is the crème de la crème of this MMORPG Juggernaut. As a standalone story it certainly is a mostly well-paced, deep, and philosophical exploration of light and darkness. The juxtaposition of light being a catalyst for an impending calamity gives a unique presentation of character depth and storytelling. The newly added selection of classes and races help to give players added options for customizing their characters, or simply a nice change of pace from their current preferences.
On a personal note, I will add that my playthrough experience helped me rediscover my enthusiasm of this franchise; the last few entries in the Final Fantasy series were enjoyable, but ultimately left me thirsty for more, and Shadowbringers helped to fulfill that role. I find myself transported back to my very first Fanfest, where I cosplayed as a Red Mage as Yoshida wore a Scarlet Witch T-shirt (hinting that Red Mage would be added in the Stormblood 4.0 expansion), and getting the thumbs up from him for asking about mount flight conversion for previous steeds (Sleipnir being one of my all time favorites).
My experiences with Ishikawa-san also left me in awe that the writing staff not only produced some high quality storytelling, but also were interested in reading some of my own works, a nice summation of the tremendous staff they have working on this expansion. Fast forward two years later to my second Fanfest, where I cosplayed as a Blue Mage variant from Final Fantasy XI: it was at this time that the Square Enix President came out in a blue cape and mask, and his entrance was followed by the Blue Mage reveal trailer – this left me in shock as I had twice deduced what new classes would be added to the game.
Listening to Soken’s band “The Primals” performing the musical tracks from the game got me extremely pumped for whatever the future would hold for the 5.0 expansion. For those looking for added information of the world of Final Fantasy XIV, I would try getting the official Lore books packed with background information on the characters, classes, races, and locations found in the game. I was lucky to get autographs by several of the staff who worked on the game, and even asked a few questions at their Q+A panel regarding seasonal events and added mini-games to the Golden Saucer. Final Fantasy XIV is more than just a game, it’s an experience built on the community of its fans, and the commitment of its staff. And it’s for this very reason that I recommend you play a part of it in this majestic tapestry they have woven within this most recent 5.0 expansion. Aros Elric as Red MagePhoto by Yellow Diamond Services ( www.yellowdiamondservices.com )Cosplay by Night Angel Cosplay ( http://www.nightangelcosplay.com )Props by UltimateBach
The Teal Time Mage lives at a fixed point in time that is set between 1991 and 1997. Outside of his time vortex of nostalgia, he writes horror short stories, cosplays, and coordinates for various charity groups. Find him on Twitter @ArosElric , on Facebook @ArosElricCosplay , on Final Fantasy XIV’s Cactuar Server under the name “Aros Erlic”.
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BS138 Chapter 19: Each One Wants to Die More than the Other

Each One Wants to Die More than the Other
Translated by alice of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
At Anjie, whenever a facility meant to keep out and deal with idiots appeared, it was quite popular.
Just take Anjie’s old men, hunters, and explorers: when they were outside of Anjie they were insufferably arrogant, but at Anjie they had to eat and shit as well.
So sometimes if one worshipped a person, or if they respected some hero or something, the best was to leave some distance—sometimes if you knew what your idol ate, drank, shit, farted, or hit the feeling would be even more shocking than a thunderbolt.
So distance gives birth to beauty. This ancient saying really isn’t trying to trick anyone.
In conclusion, since Anjie’s people all eat and shit, all public places like hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and task trading centers were rather loud and messy. However, this kind of rambunctious spectacle was a slightly higher grade compared to those outside of Anjie.
In actuality this was Anjie. Anjie’s dumbasses had nothing excessive experience and excessive strength. Because of this, fighting and butt-biting in crowded places was a daily drama. Similarly, these places were also the focus of the attention of the Street Safety Office. For better or for worse, the honorary title of “The Most Peaceful Street” was given to Anjie for the past hundred years. This honor only brought a little bit of order or Anjie’s Operations, but it was still good that it was like this. If it were too violent, there would be no one to keep things in order. Otherwise, Anjie’s men with their headaches would surely group together and–
Pah, is it easy for you to cleanse the underworld? How about finding someone to beat up!!
So, everyone always knew about the spectacles at Anjie’s restaurants.
However, most people knew the situation had become a bit strange. In the past, even if one stood outside the window, people walking by could hear the commotions in Anjie. Now, not a sound could be heard outside of these restaurants. In addition, the eerie silence was like there wasn’t a restaurant that existed at all. All the dumbasses of Anjie knew that Anjie’s idiot repelling public buildings went the whole twenty-four hours a day without rest, from morning until night.
So, unable to hear the commotion of the restaurants, the bored dumbasses of Anjie were suddenly faced with a rare situation. In a flash, they became very curious. So, the dumbasses originally unwilling to eat in the restaurants excitedly rushed into Anjie’s restaurants.
And then these idiots were paralyzed. Moreover, they simultaneously slapped themselves.
Call you curious!! Call you cheap!! You went into the restaurant without thinking about the reason and now caused a huge fuss!!!
At the moment, these miserable dumbasses were faced with a horde of beasts with their bloody mouths wide open. These beasts ranged from all kinds of levels, and all sorts of sizes. However, the excitement in their eyes was surely bloodlust!! They were surely about to be eaten!! Curiously killed the cat as the saying goes, but they absolutely did not want to experience this first-hand!!
“Owner! Let me get five servings of these beasts’ favorite foods! Then let me take ten mochis to go!” Jinyu sat down next to the third row of beasts, arrogantly ordering food. As for the dumbasses of Anjie that suddenly ran in and were paralyzed to the spot, Jinyu chose to ignore them.
These guys definitely wanted to dine and dash, hehe, how depressing.
“Also! Remember to give me the cost price!!”
In a flash, the formerly peaceful restaurant reached a level of silence where the drop of a needle could be heard. At this moment, the food in the mouths of the people who came to eat, suffered because it turned bitter.
The things inside Anjie’s idiot-repelling buildings were unreasonably expensive! If it was two to three times more expensive than things outside of Anjie, that was because the owners were happy and gave a discount. Usually it was five to six times the price, and even more, Anjie’s old guys and strong ones were still pleased to come here for dinner. Anyway, it was more trustworthy and quiet than the establishments outside–
This silence was directly because of the lack of star-chasers and murderers. In reality, the strong all had people they looked up to. And the enemies of the big guys were everywhere in the world.
So, when the old guys and strong guys who usually ate food at five to six times the price suddenly heard that the manager was willing to sell at the cost price, they thought these goods better be thrown, and people better die. These kinds of extreme emotions tormented them until they wanted to explode!!
However, when they cast angry eyes on the culprit, they were faced with the wary gaze of several beasts, rustling, and ready to fight. And that boy dressed in black behind the culprit looked at them lazily. In an instant, they were utterly defeated and continued to eat the food that was probably ten times more expensive. These fucking beasts were too scary! They’d have to buy another one or two tomorrow! Even if they didn’t have the strength to fight well, it’d be fine to haul them around town!
The people who said this were the most adaptable and strongest. Those that were currently eating, and those dumbasses that just rushed in and were paralyzed with shock slowly delayed coming over. Adding to the fact that Anjie’s dumbasses were feeling daring, once they confirmed that the beasts with large mouths of blood were collectively waiting for meals, their formerly paralyzed bodies could now move. The first thing these people did was rush out. At the same time, Jinyu led the thirty beasts to become key investigators to pay attention to the qilin and defend and inform Jinyu about him. Some people were bold enough to go to the remaining vacancies and sit down, pretentiously ordering meals, ready to continue observing the enemy.
In reality, Jinyu’s origin was a bit weird. Besides, his strength was a bit lacking. Even though he was rather mild, he shouldn’t become an opponent, but when he lead thirty beasts who listened to him! This really gave them brain damage!
And while Jinyu was ordering food for his beasts, he completely forgot about the boss at his side. What surprised Jinyu was that this guy did not flip out, but rather his eyes turned cold as he said, “Hey. Your way of thinking isn’t right.” Qi Qinglin furrowed his eyebrows then continued, “According to the food chain here, you should be getting food for me first.”
In a flash, those happily waiting beasts began to tremble.
“Moreover, as my partner, you should first order food for me!” This sentence was spoken with a voice even colder than the last. Furthermore, Qi Qinglin’s previous sentence made goosebumps stand up on the beasts, Jinyu, and even the eavesdropping people. “If you’re like this next time, I won’t mind biting these beasts all over. Or do you think drowning is more fitting?”
Qi Qinglin’s face and mood told Jinyu that these beasts were absolutely unparalleled. Even more, the atmosphere of these goods were unprecedented. Those beasts waiting for food on the side were timid and close to freaking out.
“Hey… in my view, I didn’t really forget. Even more, this is our first time coming here. What about for the boss and chef who didn’t understand, what if the food accidentally had poison in it? So these guys are taste-testing for you first, really.”
Jinyu’s words made Baozi unable to hold back a pitiful howl. It sounded incredibly tragic, but to the boss, it sounded like happiness.
With a gentle nod, Qi Qinglin saw Jinyu’s dark expression had a slightly pleasant look. “I’ll accept your explanation.”
Hah…Jinyu and the beasts let out the breath they were holding.
“But next time, don’t use such a second-rate explanation.”
! Jinyu almost exploded with anger. You’re the second-rate one! You and your whole family!
“Manager!! Get me fifty servings of your most expensive signature dish!! It should have qilin meat!!”
Jinyu indignantly ordered the food and increased the order by tenfold. As for qilin meat, it was whatever he wished!!
Qi Qinglin watched how Jinyu’s lips twitched noticeably. His partner was timid, already thinking of kissing him. And for qilin meat, how would that taste?
At that moment, the chef, manager, and waiters in the kitchen turned their grief and anger into strength. One frenzied vegetable cutter almost cut through the chopping board while the other gritted his teeth and held his snippers, “Make all the other orders according to the cost of when an SSS-ranked beast makes a surprise attack!! From that group of beasts and the loss they’ve brought, I’ve never had this much of a commotion!”
“Manager, what about qilin meat?”
“Damn! Can you not replace it with a qilin deer! Then write qilin on it! You dumbass!!”

The More Than Classically Beautiful Viola Davis Is the New Face of L’oréal Paris

The More Than Classically Beautiful Viola Davis Is the New Face of L’oréal Paris by Princess Weekes | 2:33 pm, September 10th, 2019
Today, Oscar-winner Viola Davis was announced as the newest international spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris, which may seem like a small thing, but considering the shameful way people have spoken about Davis’ looks in the past, this is a much bigger deal than it sounds.
Back in 2014, Boston writer Alessandra Stanley referred to actress Viola Davis as “ less classically beautiful ” in her review of Shonda Rhimes’ then-new show How to Get Away With Murder . For full context, the piece not only started off by saying that if “Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,’” but the full line containing the infamous quote appeared as such:
As Annalise, Ms. Davis, 49, is sexual and even sexy, in a slightly menacing way, but the actress doesn’t look at all like the typical star of a network drama. Ignoring the narrow beauty standards some African-American women are held to, Ms. Rhimes chose a performer who is older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful than Ms. Washington, or for that matter Halle Berry, who played an astronaut on the summer mini-series “Extant.”
Naturally, the internet came for Stanley’s neck, and the author defended the piece, saying that it was praising Shonda Rhimes “for pushing back so successfully on a tiresome but insidious stereotype”—except she, as a white woman, saying that Viola Davis is less classically beautiful that Kerry Washington and Halle Berry, reeked of colorism and agism. After all, Berry and Davis only have a one year age difference, and no one would ever consider Berry too old to play a sex symbol.
This probably wasn’t a piece that Stanley should have written, but if she had the insight she pretended to have, she’d have realized that her words put Davis into a box where she was inherently perceived as lesser. Viola Davis is a beautiful woman, with cheekbones that could break through skulls and a smile that can make the sun seem jealous. But you put that on a dark-skinned woman who isn’t the usual glamour size (while still 100% in shape and regular-size) and we have to act as though we’ve forgotten what people look like.
Davis spoke with Refinery29 on the phone, and she said that this was an opportunity that she was excited for. “It does not escape me that it’s come to me at this part of my life,” Davis said. “It’s a beautiful opportunity and responsibility to be able to spread the self-affirming message of worth to women around the world, and for my face to be attached to that self-affirming message.”
She continued, “I thought the only way for people to see me was when I was on the red carpet. I could wear the dress, I could wear the lipstick. I was trying to show that I was good enough. I think that is too much of an ongoing narrative out there: that you get your worth from something on the outside. Really, if it’s not coming from within, it’s coming from no place.”
While this is a makeup line, Davis also wants to make it clear that this is not just about outer beauty, but inner beauty, as well—not to mention changing the overall perception of what a beautiful Black woman looks like.
“I hope that they see that this is a different trajectory that beauty is going into,” Davis says. “The fact that you can be darker than a paper bag and that is not attached to anything negative. The fact that you can be of a certain age. I hope that in me they see themselves.” And I can say I am so excited to share this new makeup line with my mother, because she is Davis’ complexion and age, and I want her to see a woman like her as the face. Representation isn’t just for the future; it’s also for those in our lives who didn’t get to see these things when they are young.
“I’ve done the work on myself so that I can pass on the message of worthiness and beauty coming from within, which is what I’m telling everyone now,” Davis says. “I have a lot of hope because I think that women are getting it: Our worth is not attached to just the physical.”
(via Refinery29 , image: Screenshot) — The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone , hate speech, and trolling.— Follow The Mary Sue

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