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Mar
10
2018

The online community hosted on Reddit lets men complain about girls but its users need to know that desire is a mess and that all individuals suffers from it

How shitty are men genuinely? The question hung in the air, invisible but omnipresent, like the smell of a garbage fire from a nearby town. By 2016, a series of catchphrases had come to predominate the chaotic state of gender politics male privilege, rape culture, mens rights but embarrassment reigned. And in the middle of this embarrassment, a group of anonymous humen retreated to The Red Pill, an online community hosted on Reddit, to revel in their loathing.

The name derives from a scene in the 1999 cinema The Matrix, in which Laurence Fishburne offers Keanu Reeves a selection: You take the blue pill the tale ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill you stay in Wonderland and I prove you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

The rabbit hole, in this case, is the reality that women run the world without taking responsibility for it, and that their male victims are not permitted to complain. This attains The Red Pill a continuous, multi-voiced, up-to-the-minute male complaint nestled at the heart of the so-called manosphere a network of websites preoccupied with both the three men rights motion and how to pick up women.

The manospheres most hateful sentiments tend to generate the most attention like Roosh Vs notion that it should be legal to rape a woman on private property( a little bit of hateful stupidity which he afterward claimed to be charade ). In February, Roosh V attempted to organise a meet-up of like-minded men on the grounds of the provincial parliament in Toronto, but he had to cancel the event when a local band of female boxers threatened to disrupt the event with violence.

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But judging The Red Pill by the most extreme statements of its members is, if not unjust, then at the least inaccurate. There is plenty of vileness, to be sure elaborate conspiracy hypothesis formed out of pure misogyny and outright hatred of female freedom. But the bulk of specific comments are becoming more muted and, frankly, pathetic.

In the hours upon hours I expended straying this online neighborhood, I watched largely feral boys straying the digital wreckings of exploded masculinity, wailing their sadnes, concocting vast nonsense about women, and craving the tiniest crumb of self-confidence and fellow-feeling. The deliberation threads are a mixed bag of rage and curiosity: screeds against feminists, advice on how to masturbate less, theories on why females fantasize about rape, descriptions of arguments with girlfriends, guides to going up to strangers on the street, and, most of all, workout schedules and diet regimes.

Reading The Red Pill, then, offers two possible answers to the question how shitty are humen truly?

The first situates The Red Pill as another toxic technoculture on a spectrum of digital misogyny: on Twitter, any woman who says anything even moderately controversial will receive torrents of direct physical threats as a matter of course. Sites such as 4chan exist mainly to post thousands of revenge porn images without consent. Gamers on Xbox Live will be sexually harassed, inevitably.

The answer to the question of how shitty men are, from this perspective, is really pretty shitty.

But an entirely different approach emerges with a slight shift in emphasis: how shitty are humen truly ? That is, how does these mens behaviour online translate into non-digital life? The Red Pill poses one of the absolute conundrums of our time: are we our real egoes on the internet, or are we not?

The head moderator of The Red Pill goes by the manage Morpheus Manfred, and where reference is agreed to give me an interview it was only by online chat. Anonymity is sacred; facelessness is the sacrifice it demands. He moderates the communitys 141,966( and counting) members, and like most of them, describes himself as white, early 30 s, male and conservative( he would have preferred Rand Paul to Donald Trump, but he likes Trumps watch-it-burn style ).

I ask him what event resulted him to The Red Pill( his reply have been edited for length ).

Morpheus Manfred : Having expended my 20 s looking for female companionship, I noticed that the dating game wasnt what I was taught what my parents prepared me for, and what I learned from movies. It was stacked against guys, and it was a very unpleasant experience.

Me : Can you give me two examples?

Morpheus Manfred : Over the past 10 years, the flakiness of women has get worse. Youd meet a girl, hit it off, get her number and agree to a date. And either shed no-show, or cancel right before. I saw myself putting in all this effort for nothing, it was very defeating. Its not the route courting ran when my mothers met.

What I ensure in movies where having a good heart and being yourself is all this is necessary thats not what happens now. Good and nice arent attractive any more. The manosphere basically became a surrogate parent for the life lessons I never got.

We wanted a place where humen could discuss masculine topics without facing the same public shaming outcry that happens on social media sites feminists are quick on the trigger to try to take down anything they consider incorrect Milo Yiannopoulos lost his verified status on Twitter because of his views on masculinity. Its a big topic that has become taboo in our culture.

Me : But surely theres a line somewhere. I mean, the real feelings being expressed here are enmity to women. Morpheus Manfred : Were accused of misogyny almost daily. I wont deny that the language is colorful and theres a lot of emotion expressed by the men on the forum. But[ before The Red Pill] there wasnt actually a style for guys to express these feelings.

Lets say theres a guy who just says I detest women I think thats textbook misogyny. We let them say that. Because theres nowhere else for a human to blow off steam. But they remain, they learn, they ventilate, they get advice, they get back on the horse. The endgame of our advice isnt to dislike females. Its to understand them so you can stop being so darn frustrated by them.

Morpheus claims that The Red Pill helped him find a longtime girlfriend, and that The Red Pill is ultimately little more than an online version of locker-room talk.

Its funny, because Jessica, my editor at the Guardian, had the same idea. Wasnt The Red Pill simply an updated version of locker-room talk? No, I said, its nothing like locker-room talk. Well, she asked, whats locker-room talk like, then?

Locker-room talk runs like this: you say to your friend, my God, did you watch the tits on that yoga instructor, and your friend says, it hurts you, doesnt it, and you say it does, it does, and he says you know Ive sucked tits like that before, and you say yeah right and he says really and you say who and he says in Brazil and you say of course it would be an unverifiable assert, and he shrugs and you laugh and he laughs.

The quantity of locker-room talk is inversely proportional to acquaintance with women. So, as you fall in love, maybe even get married, it no longer becomes feasible to talk with friends about womens bodies in such specific detail because, say, your friend works for your wife, and you dont want him thinking about her cleavage when shes firing him.

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But very quickly mid-3 0s, actually a new locker-room talk emerges. The new locker-room talk goes like this: you ask your friend what summer programming do you have your daughters in, and your friend says Im trying to find something with science in it, and “theyre saying”, yeah, you gotta fight those cultural hypothesis about girls and STEM, and he says totally, and you say Im just trying to do interesting thing like nature walks and journeys to the science centre, and he says we should go together some time, and you say totally.

And then youre taking your daughters to the science center and a gorgeous female strolls by, and you look at your friend, and your friend looks at you, and you dont have to say a thing.

Im not saying this is the way it should be. Frankly, its humbling for everybody involved. But there is a truth there: if you have a running dick and a working spirit, youd better get used to living with contradictions.

It is precisely this capacity for contradiction that the boy of The Red Pill absence so utterly. Their humourlessness is impressive, given that they largely post remarks about the minutium of sex dynamics, which is the substance of almost all comedy.

Under I fucked up. How to fix? Red Pill member AspireToBeGreater requested some advice from the group. He had met a girl. She was all smiley during their initial conversation. But then I horribly botched an attempt to ask her out for drinks because I get nervous. I pulled back and tried to rebuild my frame over a couple weeks. She was still giving off signs of interest , notably proving him pictures of her dogs. I have since asked her to get coffee in a much more casual way, she had a legit excuse and I couldnt read much from her response. Should he keep pushing?

The responds came to a rapid consensus. A commenter noted: Shes turned you down twice, which means shes almost certainly not interested. Another added: Most likely shes simply not that into you if she doesnt even suggest an alternative date.

The above is a fairly typical post. The Red Pill grinds away at the confusions of contemporary masculinity, both real and imagined. The intellectual foundation of The Red Pill is its glossary a shared language of complaint and insight. So we have, for example 😛 TAGEND

Alpha Socially dominant. Someone who displays high value, or traits that are sexually attractive to women.

SMV Sexual Market Value. A shorthand statement for what you bring to the table, whether for a one-night stand or for a longer relationship.

HB Hot Babe ( often followed by a ranking on a 1-10 scale ).

AF/ BB – Alpha Fucks/ Beta Bucks. AF/ BB, as an idea, is closely related to AWALT( AllWomen Are Like That ). All women, in this argument, divide men into two types: alpha males they want to fuck, and beta males they use for financial and emotional support in exchange for sexuality.

Definitions like these run into the dozens. Their primary purpose is clarity, patently. More than lust or hatred, the boys of The Red Pill hunger for clarity. They desire escape from confusion. They desire a system with which to comprehend longing itself.

Dont we all?

In real life, I knew a human once who was the exact opposite of The Red Pill in every regard, and he shattered everything that I believed I knew about men.

Never did he say the least inappropriate thing, at least around me. No locker room talk for him. He had graduated from York University, the most politically correct university in Canada, with a minor in womens analyses. He proudly called himself a feminist, and he was called a feminist proudly by others. In his undertaking as the most prominent radio host at the CBC, “the member states national” broadcaster, he had become an icon of the new multicultural and egalitarian Toronto.

That man was Jian Ghomeshi, who was on 25 March exonerated in three cases of sexual assault and choke after the testimony of the complainants collapsed.

Before Ghomeshi, I believed I knew more or less how humen ran. I thought its embarrassing to say I supposed I was a close observer of people.

I liked Jian; I cannot deny it. We werent close we met during the time in life when you dont form new friendships so much as respectful allegiances but he was fun, pleasant.

And yet I remember a lovely springtime bridal in Toronto where the guests, largely media people, sat around bitching and gossiping as media people do. I made some flip remark about Jian succumbing his hair. Then I considered The Face pass over one of the young women at my table.

I would watch The Face several times with several different females when the subject of Jian came up a half-suppressed deflation, a furtive darkening. The other women told me nothing; The Face simply came and went. But at this bridal, the young woman with The Face did not let her suffering fade into the general background; she leaned in and told me the story of how he had said to her I only want to hate-fuck you to aftermath you up while at work.

I surely remained friendly with Jian after I heard this story. Why? I have no good answer. The best answer I have is that I have been developed not to judge people on the basis of their sex savors. Thats my tendency but its also been my education. I refrained from judging him, half-consciously.

Throughout Ghomeshis trial, as his lawyer Marie Heinen ripped apart the accusers, I saw myself remembering a line from Philip Roths The Human Stain, defined during the halcyon years when Americas biggest problem was the presidents joint taste for cigars and interns.

I myself dreamed of a mammoth flag, Roth wrote, draped dadaistically like a Christo wrapping from one end of the White House to the other and bearing the legend A HUMAN BEING LIVES HERE.

That phrase should have been draped over the Toronto courtroom. The accusers answered like human being, so they forgot to tell things to the police. They forgot their Hotmail passwords. They communicated with each other and with Jian. One of them wrote: You have beautiful hands. They responded in a way consistent with the inconsistency of human sexuality, caught in the mess of desire and its justification.

Much has been written about how the Ghomeshi trial has disclosed various aspects of our culture and society the failures of the criminal justice system, or the reality of rape culture, or the impotence of fourth-wave feminism. The Ghomeshi trial has uncovered nothing. It has only obscured.

Rape culture is a nebulous term, but it remains that men who want to treat women as if they are nothing have ample scope to express that longing online and offline both. Culture, insofar as it is popular, poses the same question over and over: how cool does a guy have to be before he can treat girls like theyre nothing?

When Kesha tried to escape her contract with Doctor Luke, the producer whom she claims raped her, the judge gave the ruling which applies to the music industry as a whole in 2016: My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.

Kanye West was able extol Bill Cosbys innocence and release The Life of Pablo with the line I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ I attained that bitch famous. And it didnt matter; Kanye was way too cool. It was performance. Or it was subversion. It was something, anyway, that built it totally different than some ordinary guy saying that Taylor Swift was a bitch he made famous and so could have sex with her. A critic for the New Yorker described the Swift line as a throwaway boast on an otherwise good song.

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The Weeknd is cool enough to treat females like nothing, too, at least for now. Sure, “hes having” videos in which he shoots his girlfriend, and yes, his song Initiation is a hymn to utilizing the promise of social acceptance to gangbang vulnerable young woman. But “the mens” is friends with Drake. He won two Grammys, and the same people in Toronto who loathed Ghomeshi cheered on the victory.

Not that this was in any way a new arranging, the bargain by which cool men treat girls like theyre nothing. The Rolling Stones? Led Zeppelin and the mudshark?

David Bowie faced rape accusations in the 1980 s, but weve all forgotten about that. One of his fans, Lori Maddox, has claimed in interviews that she lost her virginity to him after he dedicated her champagne and hash when she was about to turn 15. But before we ask ourselves what ought to happen to a grown-up human in a position of power who dedicated an underage daughter narcotics and alcohol and then took her virginity, we should just remember that he dressed really neat and wear makeup and stuff. Bowie was Ghomeshis idol, “the mens” he most wanted to interview.

A few years before Morpheus Manfred started up The Red Pill, Ghomeshi blurbed the Guys Guide to Feminism. He wrote 😛 TAGEND

An admirably accessible guide for guys to understand and espouse the other( often more incendiary) F-word. And its even funny. Quite remarkable. Everyone knows feminists have no sense of humour!

Jian appeared on the back of the book alongside Gloria Steinem and the editor of the online feminist site Feministing.

Where are Morpheus and Ghomeshi now? Morpheus is in a long-term relationship, and developing a sense of humour about himself and his project. Ghomeshi is currently awaiting his second trial. Who is truly shitty here?

Again to return to the our conundrum: are we our real selves online or off? Is the screen the place where we pander the fictions that our offline selves would never dare? Or is the screen where we perform the truth of our being that that world of faces and consequences does not permit?

Among humen today, there is violence concealed under the virtue, and virtue conceal under the violence.

The only constant is the hiding.

In The Red Pills glossary, you can find those two entries 😛 TAGEND

Oneitis When a guy has fallen in love with a woman in the same way a boy loves his mother. He obsesses about her, but she does not reciprocate.

The Unicorn Mystical creature that doesnt fucking exist, aka The Girl of Your Dreams.

If you excavate through the misogyny and the bravado, the sons of The Red Pill want The One. They are as lost in that pursuit as every generation of men has been before them.

Red

The Red Pill is hatred of women in the context of men who want nothing more than to please females, and who are living in a world with a sexual marketplace they find profoundly anxiety-provoking. Briffauts Law, another of the key concepts of The Red Pill, encapsulates male powerlessness as an eternal truth: The female , not the male, decides all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no is beneficial for association with the male , no such association takes place.

But Redpillers are responding to a much more novel and contemporary reality that such biological imperatives: they are responding to women having fiscal and sexual power over their own lives and bodies. And they havent dealt with it yet. The word manosphere is really a misnomer. Not-quite-a-manosphere would be better.

What the boys of The Red Pill need, in all integrity, is a massive dose of Romantic verse. They need a dedicated course of therapy in the novels of Jane Austen and Dostoevsky, combined with significant therapy in negative capability.

They need to learn that love is nasty, in the both the ancient and modern senses of the world that love is endlessly more powerful and real than any marketplace, sex or otherwise.

They need to read Freud, who wrote that every man wants to slaying his father and sleep with his mother and that the only way to be civilized is to recognize that everyone is barbaric style down deep inside.

They need to know that desire is a mess, and that all individuals suffers from its mess.

Instead of culture, the world offers the sons of The Red Pill disdain. Instead of education, outrage.

But its not only the sons of The Red Pill who need to begin again to learn from the fiasco that is men and women. Its everybody. Its the whole world.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Feb
24
2018

Nicolle Smith, 49, powerlifter

I started weightlifting three years ago at the age of 46. Id done competitive athletics in my 20 s and wanted to find a physical activity that would challenge me. I loved the movie Rocky, and the classic train sequence from it, so I decided to join a boxing club. Non-competitive boxing became my second love for 10 years. But eventually it started to take a toll on my body, and I cease just after my 40 th birthday.

If youre not a runner( and I never enjoyed operating ), the options for fitness in the middle years really narrow down to a handful of activities. Many play tennis( which yields a high chronic injury rate in the over-4 0s ), take up yoga( which is fine, but doesnt genuinely get the heart rate up ), or try golf( which isnt my thing ).

I tried British Military Fitness for a year, but you need the staman of a younger athlete. I considered CrossFit, but there was no way I was going to manage the dynamic moves. I was intrigued by the strength-based exercises and set out to find a qualified strength and conditioning trainer. Will Davis at Performance Pro started me off with body weight workouts, and at first, when he asked me to pick up a bar buzzer, I told him I didnt want to lift heavy weights; I worried that I would get big. He insured I would not. I thought about the women Ive watched lifting weights who appear lean, and changed my mind.

Powerlifting consists of three lifts: the squat, the bench press and the deadlift. Lifting weights is technological, but thats what I love about it. You make improvements every week. It has a huge health impact for women as they age. I had a bone density scan last year and the technician told me mine was off the charts. I have also dropped a dress sizing as fat has gradually become muscle.

Lifting provides a challenge for me, and I love the training environment. My gym is full of athletes of all ages, each with their own aims. No one is there to show off. It really is empowering.

My weekend workout

Sessions per week ? Three.
Best pre-workout meal ? Peanut butter on toast.
Most exhausting move ? My maximum deadlift of 92.5 kg; one and a half times my body weight.

Five ways to get started

1 Go to the Global or UK Strength and Conditioning website( nsca.com; uksca.org) to find a trainer with qualifications near you: its about the trainer , not the gym. Finding someone who will teach you proper technique and sort will build injuries less likely.

2 Be patient. Powerlifting takes time. You might spend weeks learning the basics, but once you have mastered them, youll be thrilled when your weights get heavier.

3 Start with a simple squatting. Stand with your feet merely wider than shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders back and keep your back straight. With your arms above your head slowly push your hobo back as you lower it to the floor. Pause and come back up.

4 Get a gym educate buddy; you can watch each others kind and help move the plates on and off the barbell, which can be tiring on your own.

5 Mark Rippetoe is an expert lifter and former Olympic coach. Watch his video explainers or find his book, Starting Strength. Many lifters call it the bible of Powerlifting.

Essential kit

Powerlifting

Powerlifting shoes, 74.95, adidas.com; York padded leather weight lifting belt, 12.88, sweatband.com; wrist supports, 2.99, amazon.co.uk

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Dec
30
2017

My foot looked like a giants. I was shocked. I was 31 and very fit. Id never been ailment in my life

I am a professional bodybuilder and was on my way to the gym, around midday, in November 2016, in my home city of Stoke-on-Trent. I typically work out for five or six hours a day, and can bench-press 180 kg. As I approached my vehicle, I ensure there were lots of ladybirds on the door and roof. I picked one up to take a closer appear. As a kid, I always loved ladybirds, but these didnt look like normal ones; they were a different shape, almost twice as big and black with orange dots. I let them walk over my hand, then brushed them off, get in the car and didnt think anything more about it.

Not long after, I felt a sharp pain on my left-hand side, around my neck. At the gym I told my mate that something didnt feel right. The ache had spread to my left foot and it felt as if it was burning. He told me to get a grip and stop moaning. I did my normal workout and then drove for a couple of hours to Milton Keynes, where I was due to present trophies to wins of a bodybuilding competition the next day.

I arrived around 7pm and checked into a hotel. My foot was still hurting, but I thought it might be from all the driving. Later, I couldnt sleep. In the early hours, I looked at my foot: it was very badly swollen and looked like a giants. I was shocked. I believed maybe Id dropped something on it or knocked it at the gym. I knew I had to get to a hospital, but I couldnt walk.

I called reception and the concierge helped me out of the room and took me downstairs in a luggage streetcar. I got a taxi to the hospital, where they took an x-ray and did a blood exam. They werent sure what was wrong, but advised me to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, as they believed I might be having an allergic reaction. I left the hospital around 7am, with a crutch, made a quick appearance at the bodybuilding competition, then managed to drive home, still in a lot of pain.

By the evening my foot was black and a friend rushed me to the Royal Stoke University hospital. After more blood tests and more disarray, a consultant from another hospital was called. He arrived and told me to strip off, so he could examine every part of my body. He noticed that the left side of my groin was swollen. He said my body was trying to fight an infection. I was 31 and very fit. Id never been ailment in my life.

He asked if Id touched anything unusual or cut myself lately. I said no. He asked if Id been near any chemicals. No. Had I been near any bugs? Thats when I recollected. I supposed mentioning the ladybirds would voice stupid, but I told him anyway. He asked me what kind of ladybirds they were did they appear different? I explained the colouring and the size. He said they voiced like harlequin ladybirds, an invasive species. Id never heard of them and was shocked to learn they carry a fungal cancer in their saliva.

The doctor diagnosed severe sepsis, caused by a ladybird bite. I didnt even know ladybirds could bite. He told me the saliva had got under my scalp and into my system, and I needed to take very strong antibiotics and morphine. There were a lot of nasty side-effects, but I was lucky: one out of three people die from the severity of the sepsis I had. There was a chance theyd have had to amputate my leg, which terrified me. It would have ruined my life.

Afterwards, I couldnt walk properly for a long time and was in a lot of ache. I couldnt eat my weight fell from 100 kg to 75 kg, which for a bodybuilder is a really bad thing. It really messed me up and it took me a long time to recover.

Since then, Ive had a phobia of ladybirds. I dont mind serpents or spiders or wasps, and Im not scared of any other kinds of insect, but ladybirds I merely dont want to be near them. I know Im so much bigger than they are, but it was such a terrible experience. Before this happened, I used to think they were cute and harmless; I used to play with them as a child. Now, if I find a ladybird, I run.

As say to Sophie Haydock

Do you have an experience to share? Email experience @theguardian. com

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Nov
16
2017

Nicolle Smith, 49, powerlifter

I started weightlifting three years ago at the age of 46. Id done competitive athletics in my 20 s and wanted to find a physical activity that would challenge me. I loved the movie Rocky, and the classic develop sequence from it, so I decided to join a boxing club. Non-competitive boxing became my second love for 10 years. But eventually it started to take a toll on my body, and I cease just after my 40 th birthday.

If youre not a runner( and I never enjoyed operating ), the options for fitness in the middle years really narrow down to a handful of activities. Many play tennis( which yields a high chronic injury rate in the over-4 0s ), take up yoga( which is fine, but doesnt truly get the heart rate up ), or try golf( which isnt my thing ).

I tried British Military Fitness for a year, but you need the staman of a younger athlete. I considered CrossFit, but there was no way I was going to manage the dynamic moves. I was intrigued by the strength-based exercises and set out to find a qualified strength and conditioning trainer. Will Davis at Performance Pro started me off with body weight workouts, and at first, where reference is asked me to pick up a bar buzzer, I told him I didnt want to lift heavy weights; I worried that I would get big. He insured I would not. I thought about the women Ive considered lifting weights who seem lean, and changed my mind.

Powerlifting consists of three lifts: the squatting, the bench press and the deadlift. Lifting weights is technological, but thats what I love about it. You make improvements each week. It has a huge health impact for women as they age. I had a bone density scan last year and the technician told me mine was off the following chart. I have also fell a dress size as fat has gradually become muscle.

Lifting offer a challenge for me, and I love the training environment. My gym is full of athletes of all ages, each with their own objectives. No one is there to show off. It really is empowering.

My weekend workout

Sessions per week ? Three.
Best pre-workout meal ? Peanut butter on toast.
Most exhausting move ? My maximum deadlift of 92.5 kg; one and a half days my body weight.

Five ways to get started

1 Go to the Global or UK Strength and Conditioning website( nsca.com; uksca.org) to find a trainer with qualifications near you: its about the trainer , not the gym. Finding someone who will teach you proper technique and form will make traumata less likely.

2 Be patient. Powerlifting takes time. You might expend weeks learning the basics, but once you have mastered them, youll be thrilled when your weights get heavier.

3 Start with a simple squatting. Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders back and keep your back straight. With your limbs above your head slowly push your bum back as you lower it to the floor. Pause and come back up.

4 Get a gym develop buddy; you can watch each others form and help move the plates on and off the barbell, which can be tiring on your own.

5 Mark Rippetoe is an expert lifter and former Olympic coach. Watch his video explainers or find his volume, Starting Strength. Many lifters call it the bible of Powerlifting.

Essential kit

Powerlifting

Powerlifting shoes, 74.95, adidas.com; York padded leather weight lifting belt, 12.88, sweatband.com; wrist supportings, 2.99, amazon.co.uk

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Nov
01
2017

The singer on her eyebrows, how she dislikes waiting and being late

I usually begin late. I am old enough to admit I have a warped notion of day. The problem is, I hate awaiting. I want everyone else to arrive before me so I dont have to wait.

I like to shade in my eyebrows. When I was younger I never gave my eyebrows a thought, but they have become an issue. I blame my mum, who has no eyebrows. You will know I care if I have pencilled in my eyebrows. If I havent, it is like me saying, I am not impressed with this company at all. It is the equivalent of wearing heels. If I am in heels I am either working or I care. These days I am like, I am not wearing heels. Why would I do that? I used to practically wear them to the gym but Ive only had a baby and I dont care.

I will go to the closet, stand there, with one eyebrow done, take a look, head back to the bathroom, do the other eyebrow; its like when you check the fridge again hoping something else to eat will pop up I wonder if I missed something spectacular that I actually want to wear. And then I will take an hour trying really hard not to wear jeans and I will fail and end up wearing jeans with heels and a jacket. By this time I am super-late so I add a great bag and feel as if Ive made an effort.

I go out all the time in New York when Im there, but living in LA means going out is more of a chore. It is not a night-time place and everywhere is so far. Here, I will work out in the morning and I will end up in workout clothes for the rest of the working day. Whereas in New York you wouldnt catch me dead in spandex and sneakers.

Kelis will perform at Y Not Festival on 29 July and Standon Calling on 31 July

Jun
19
2017

Between them, three taste-makers have created the most-copied attires of the year. So who are they?

Once upon a day, the red carpet was where we looked for celebrity style it was all about princess gowns, diamonds and the kind of hair that takes several hairdressers several hours to create. Unattainable, basically. But who wants to try to replicate that any more? These days, its all about the airport, the street, the gym, the selfie. So spare a thought for those working behind-the-scenes teams. Celebrities now have to look good they have to have A Look wherever, whenever. Off days are not an option. A focus on off-duty style demands a professional.

Enter a new breed of stylist who constructs sure the Gucci and the Thierry Mugler is laid down by for any photogenic stroll, green juice in hand, all to ensure their clients look is faithfully replicated. Theres the woman who helps Gigi Hadid, tell, appear the business whether at an award ceremony or flying out of the airport the day after. Or the one who helped turn Beyoncs dance studio workout conducted an investigation into Ivy Park. Or, indeed, the one who devoted Justin Bieber the wardrobe makeover to match the edgier voice of his Purpose album. Monica Rose, Karla Welch and Karen Langley are three names that “youre supposed to” have never heard of. But they have more influence on the way people dress than you realise. Heres how.

Karen Langley hotshot sportswear

Langley
Langley is creative director for Knowles Ivy Park label.

Langley styled Beyonc for the encompas of Dazed& Confounded in 2011 wearing Givenchy, with an ice-cream in her hand, a look of pure trashy Americana pop culture. Knowles has moved through several looks since then from sexy bombshell to borrowed-from-the-boyfriend football shirt – and some of them have come from Langleys very style-conscious brain, including the tough, spiky plaid shirt and denim hotpants in the Flawless video, which has become a uniform of young women everywhere. While the styling credits for Lemonade are Marni Senofontes, Langley is now doing good work as creative director for Knowless Ivy Park. The sportswear line very stretchy, very dance routine rehearsal-wear launched in April at Topshop and JD Sports, and immediately made everyone want to go to the gym. With Ivy Park, athleisure ultimately ran mass marketplace. It is thanks to them you are now actually wearing your leggings all day and have a name for it. LC

Monica Rose the high/ low ratio

Having
Having attained her name styling Kim Kardashian, Rose now works with Gigi Hadid. Photograph: Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images

There was a point in the mid-noughties when Kim Kardashian became less famous for what she wore and more famous for how she wore it. That moment came in 2007, after she was shot for a Complex magazine cover-up and garmented by jobbing stylist Monica Rose. The shoot was a cinch( underwear) but it constructed names of both Rose and Kardashian, who then started working together. The LA stylist has been working since 2003 but is now known for dressing people by body kind, as opposed to look she has worked with Jennifer Lopez, and more recently the Hadid sisters and the Kardashians. Rose follows a specific ratio of high/ low( three components Balmain to two parts American Apparel) but her overall seem is more accessible than that( winking and its the sort of thing you can see in-store at Topshop this season ). Its hardly subtle the focus is on bodycon, thigh flesh and gold, real eyes-on-stalk stuff with added Roseisms: chokers, always a waist, giant coat. But, in a roundabout way, its body-positive. MF

Karla Welch luxe-grunge

Welchs
Welchs luxe grunge look for Justin Bieber. Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/ FilmMagic

The Justin Bieber model from 2014 was all slick edges, tailored leather and crisp white tees. Preened and preppy, Bieber looked very much like David Beckhams style heir apparent. Two year later, the look for his Purpose tour was a volte-face. Stylist Karla Welch choice 60 pieces for Biebers new luxe-grunge seem, which referenced the catwalk as much as River Phoenix and VHS-era skater videos. It started a menswear trend that can now be seen on the high street from Zara to H& M. It comprises flannelled and oversized garments alongside pieces from Jerry Lorenzos Fear of God label and vintage Saint Laurent, topped off by a spinning wheel of ever-changing hair styles( from ill-advised dreads to a bleached crop in the style of Lolly from Orange is the New Black ). Biebers move from stylists puppet to a more personalised, grown-up seem was very much Welchs plan. As she told way site Into The Gloss: I think you are your own business card. PE

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Jun
18
2017

Was Max and Tamaras evening the start of something special?

Max on Tamara

What were you hoping for?
A reciprocal chemical match. And someone whod grow vines with me in Italy.

First impressions ?
Relieved. The name Tamara can entail someone who speaks the Queens English and likes ponies. What did you talk about ?
Her Russian great-grandfather. How her grandmother was given up for adoption. Where our lives had taken us, and where wed traveling next. Any awkward moments ?
A stray hand toppled a glass of wine. Good table manners ?
She had great composure. Best thing about Tamara ?
Shes sensible, open-minded and generous-hearted.

Would you introduce her to your friends?
Id like to introduce her outlook to some of my friends.

Describe her in three terms
Resilient, sensitive, sincere.

What do you think she made of you ?
Relaxed, interested and frightfully British. Did you go on somewhere ?
No, we stayed for coffee and a nightcap. And … did you kiss ?
Just a parting kiss on the cheek. If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be ?
I didnt get a sense of what she does to let her hair down. Marks out of 10 ?
7. Would you meet again ?
For a great conversation on European culture, perhaps.

Tamara on Max

What were you hoping for?
Someone like-minded who wouldnt run away( and secretly hoping he could be The One ).

First impressions ?
A gentleman in every sense of the word. What did “were talking about” ?
Living abroad, the Loch ness monster and good wine. Any awkward moments ?
Breaking my glass. I was impressed that he just kept on chatting. Good table manners ?
He was very attentive. Best thing about Max ?
His cheeky remarks( and his eyes ).

Would you introduce him to your friends?
Absolutely.

Describe him in three terms
Kind, handsome, funny.

What do you think he made of you ?
A chatterbox. Did you go on somewhere ?
No. He had to get up early the next day for a boxing workout. And … did you kiss ?
Just a peck on the cheek. If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be ?
A proper goodnight kiss. Marks out of 10 ?
9( perfection doesnt exist ). Would you meet again ?
I hope so, though we didnt exchange numbers.

Max and Tamara ate at Bronte, London WC2.

Fancy a blind date? Email blind.date @theguardiancom. For a free three-day trial of Soulmates, going to see soulmates.theguardian.com/ subscribe/ blinddate

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Apr
22
2017

By train, by motorcycle, and even by ferry there are now 3m of us who commute for two hours a day, and 900,000 who the hell is on the way for more than three hours. This is what its like to expend a fifth of your waking life in transit – through vicious storms, traffic jam and German lessons

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Tonight on the motorcycle I got caught in a blizzard. But in autumn you assure the valley shrouded in mist

Neil Smith, communications executive

South Lanarkshire to Dumbartonshire

=
5
hours
per day

From my house, I cycle along country roads, then I get two develops across Glasgow, then Im back on my motorcycle on country roads. It takes me about 2hr 15 mins in the morning, and about 2hr 45 min in the evening. I get up about 5.20 am and I leave the house just before 6am, then cycle about nine miles to the station. I change develops in Glasgow, then I have a six-mile cycle at the other objective. I usually get back home about 7.15 pm.

Having a busy job and a family, its one way of fitting in exert. If I was to do the same journey in the car, its not a great deal quicker about two hours each way. I drive sometimes, but when I get out of the car I feel as if Ive seized up. I enjoy riding my motorcycle, and I have more energy and can focus better, especially in the mornings. Rather than sitting in a auto, I can move around when I change train theres enough time to buy a coffee, and I can read the paper, do some work on my BlackBerry or only look out of the window. It improves the quality of my life, even though some people think Im mad for doing it.

Im that middle-aged human in Lycra. I have a decent but relatively inexpensive road motorcycle, and Ive fitted it out with mudguards and panniers; Ive get waterproofed shoes, various layers and a helmet. Its absolutely pitch black at this time of year, so Ive had to invest in pretty good lightings. Im fortunate that we have good motorcycle storage and rains at the office. Every now and then I go in the car and I take suits in, which I leave at the office. I take shirts and other things in every day.

The first leg is almost entirely downhill, and I get into a low gear and dont worry about velocity. There are stretches when I can do about 30 mph. On the way back its the reverse Im climbing uphill the majority of members of the time. Tonight I got caught out in the blizzard. I was penalty until I reached the peak of the hill, but as I get over the top the blizzard reached me like a brick wall. I started to walk, in the pitch black and the pour rain. A van came along and picked me up and took me the rest of the way. Mostly I genuinely enjoy it. On the working day I dont do it, because the climate is bad, for example, I miss being on my bike.

Being in the west of Scotland, in the summer it hardly get dark. Some of the mornings are beautiful. One morning, I was going down this hill and I could see for miles. A deer only ran out and leapt from one side of the road to the other. It was beautiful. You can see right across the Clyde valley, and in the autumn you can see the whole valley shrouded in fog. Its little things like that that make my day.

Cyclists and pedestrians during a London tube strike. Photo: Ray Tang/ Rex
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On the barge I try to get back to sleep. On the develop you get your own personal soap opera

Tim Sewell, marketing manager

Isle of Wight to Salisbury

=
4
hours
per day

If you didnt have to do the commute for too long, youd think it was lovely being on the water. It does attain you far more well informed the seasons. There are certain periods of the year when you assure the sunup and sundown from the barge, and that is amazing. But in the winter, when the whole journey is in the dark, its a slog.

Ive only left my job, but I used to get up at 5.40 am and leave the house at 6.15 am to drive the 10 minutes to Cowes, where I would catch the ferry to Southampton, which would takes 23 minutes. Then Id get on a shuttle bus to Southampton station, and then catch a develop to Salisbury. I would get into the office just after 8.30 am. On the way home, because of the times of the develops and the boats, the journey was a bit longer, but I would get home about 8p m.

On the barge in the mornings I generally tried to get back to sleep for 20 minutes. On the first two boats in the morning, everyone get on and doesnt tell a word, its genuinely quiet. If you catch the 7.15 am ferry, its more social and people are more awake. On the develop, you assure the same people every day, especially school kids, and you overhear their conversations about football and girlfriends and their woes. Its quite funny listening in its a little bit like your own personal soap opera.

The rest of the time youre reliant on your iPad and telephone I read the newspaper on the iPad, would go on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and catch up on personal emails. I get quite good at Candy Crush, and Id catch up on TV programmes, so BBC iPlayer was a bit of a godsend. My journey was in little chunks so it was harder to get into a book.

The worst component was never being at home for my childrens after-school things, or to help them with their homework. You can also miss out on going for a drinking after run or other social things, because even if “youre staying” for only half an hour, it means trying to get home when the barge and develops are less frequent, and your commute abruptly becomes three hours.

We put the house on the market last year with a view to going back to the mainland. Its an easy decision to attain in the winter, but during the summer when the kids are on the beach and were enjoying all of the fantastic things about being on the Isle of Wight, its trickier. We didnt get a buyer and there was a lot of uncertainty at work, so we decided it would be best not to move. I left my job about two weeks ago, and Im looking for another one. Ideally I merely want an hour to commute, but Ill probably have to start looking at jobs in London as well.

The journey runs quicker some days than others. Photo: Robert Harding/ Rex
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I never get bored in the car. But when its raining and windy, the journey feels never-ending

Jane Hegedus, school support worker

Carlisle to Chorley

=
3. 5
hours
per day

If Im delivering training courses, or we have sessions, Ill be in Chorley, which is about 100 miles door-to-door about 1hr 45 mins on a good day. I encompass all areas of the authority, so working near Rochdale, which I have been doing, can be a 250 -mile round trip. I try to get one day a week working from home. If Im in a school for the full day, its an 8.30 am start. Usually Ill devote feedback at the end of the day, so I can be there up until 5pm or 6pm. But some days I can be home by 6pm.

It would be hard to do my work by develop, because a lot of the schools arent close to a train station. The secondary school I go to are quite urban, but the primary schools can be in rural, isolated villages.

I never get bored in the car. I listen to Radio 2. I listen to Chris Evans in the morning and Simon Mayo on the way back. The journey runs quicker some days than others, but the radio keeps me entertained I usually sing in the car. Or Im thinking about run. I might be planning, or ventilating frustrations. Its good quality guessing time.

People think Im mad for doing it. When I first took the job it was a one-year contract, and I supposed I could do the commute for a year. Then it get extended to two years, and then five. At that point the financial crisis hit, and nobody was buying or selling houses, so I was stuck. Then the government changed, and with the reorganisation of local authorities , nothing about our employment is set in stone.

I like driving and the M6 is usually pretty reliable. I recollect the working day I was stuck only a few miles from the office in Chorley, but I was there for about three hours. The other two people I was supposed to be gratifying is likewise stuck in this traffic jam. That commute took longer than four hours.

Sometimes I do get tired of the same route. I drive through the members of the Lake District, and when the weathers nice, its stunning. It lifts your soul in the mornings. Early autumn, youve get that sunshine and fog rolling over the hills its beautiful, like a Constable painting. But when its raining and windy, like it has been the last few days, the journey feels never-ending.


There are certain periods of the year when you assure the sunup and sundown from the barge. Photo: David Taylor/ Rex
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Embankment is a racetrack every morning 40 cyclists all trying to outdo each other

Stuart Crawford, IT worker

Woking to central London

=
4
hours
per day

The ride usually takes 1hr 45 mins sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the wind and traffic. I live just outside Woking, so the first half of the journey is quite pleasant, on leafy roads where the traffic doesnt tend to be that heavy. From Kingston on, the traffic get bad, and when you get to London it gets worse there is more traffic, people pay less attention, and they drive more dangerously.

When I reached Putney Bridge and turn right on to the Kings Road, its pretty grim from there. Im hyper-aware its a completely different mindset from the earlier the members of the journey. Cycling from Woking into Kingston, I can get some speed up and use it as a workout, but cycling in London you cant do that youve got to be so well informed everything thats going on around you. The exception is the Embankment, which is pretty much a racetrack every morning 40 cyclists all trying to outdo one another. You start to see the same three or four people. Theres quite a camaraderie built up, particularly on the long commutes.

Ive probably had about 15 incidents, but merely one youd consider more serious person opened a auto doorway in front of me. Luckily I wasnt running that fast, maybe 18 mph, but fast enough so that I went over the door and into the road. But you have to be aware that these things can happen, and be able to respond.

I generally tend to put my stuff in a rucksack at the beginning of the week and leave it at work, so the first commute in and the last commute Ive got a heavy rucksack with me, but the rest of the time I cycle without a pouch. Sometimes Ill ride in and have a bad day at work, or an injury that plays up, or Ill go out for a drinking after run, so Ill leave the motorcycle at work and get the develop home, which is only about 15 minutes quicker. Luckily Ive got a cycle-friendly employer.

Im pretty geeky, like a lot of cyclists, so I use things like heart-rate monitors. I have got bored on occasion, but turning the commute into a training regime helps, because youve got a defined goal.

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I do anything but run music, Facebook, practise German. Thats the key to happy commuting

Karolyn Webb, university technician

Peterborough to Cambridge

=
4
hours
per day

On the bus I listen to music, catch up with the news, read through Twitter and Facebook. On the develop, it depends which is available on there. There is quite a few of us who commute to Cambridge all down the line, so if there are people I know, we might have a coffee and a chat. If Im on my own, I read or listen to music. Ive been trying to practise German on the develop. Anything, as long as its not work I think thats the key to happy commuting. When I first started, I did work, but it extended the working day vastly, and I dont think it induces you very happy. I see it as day, when youre coming home, to separate run and non-work. I get through graphic fictions and catch up on TV or films.

Including the walking and bus, the journey is about two hours each way. At the moment, moving to Cambridge is not an option. What I pay for a house in Peterborough wouldnt even get me a room in Cambridge. I walk about 10 minutes to the bus stop, the bus then goes all around the houses to the develop station, which takes about 25 minutes. Then its about 50 minutes on the develop, then another 10 or 15 minute walking once I get to Cambridge. Generally the bus is fine, because its the first one and there isnt much traffic at 6.30 am; coming back can be a nightmare because there is a lot of traffic. Getting home can take more than two hours. Yesterday it took about two and a half hours. The worst has been about five hours, with delays and missed connections, but that doesnt happen often.

Sometimes all you want to do is get home and its cold, and for some reason theyve closed the station waiting room, and you dont know why the develop is late. Thats unavoidable. Im sure even the happiest commuter will have experienced that at some point, but certainly on the Cambridge train, there is an element of camaraderie, especially through adversity.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Mar
08
2017

A baby changes everything. So how does it feel when theyre all grown and run? Photographer Dona Schwartz gratifies expectant parents and empty-nesters

My wifes labour began in earnest one December evening in 1994, in the middle of EastEnders. Our flat was full of baby stuff marriage never utilized, all carefully arranged and stacked, the way you might lay out your skydiving gear on the night before a big jump. We decided to watch the rest of EastEnders before we drove to hospital. It was an outward indicate of calmness who for, I dont know and a chance to set our old life on pause in the face of a leap into the unknown.

Twenty-one years later, we find ourselves in possession of what can only be described as a spare room. Technically, its still our oldest sons bedroom, but hes been at university for the last three years, along with most of his stuff. The room is sparse and needs painting. Half a poster hangs on one wall. It appears as if the previous tenant left in a hurry.

Hes merely the first to go. The middle one is presently fielding offers from universities; the youngest is only a year behind him. Children arrive, they take over your life and then, one day, they walk off with it.

This series of photo captures parenting at either objective, including all the trappings of both states. Expectant parents pose alongside equipment they do not yet know how to operate. Some of it they will never need. Empty-nesters are caught in the blasted nests left behind by departing progeny, surrounded by the shiny detritus of adolescence. Either that, or theyre posing in a newly feathered workout room. This latter group appears, if anything, even more bewildered. Nobody genuinely tells you about that bit.

Thats not to say there is no alerting. For me, weekends are a kind of dress rehearsal for emptynest disorder: the children sleep all day, and disappear in the evenings. If they didnt steal fund from my pockets, I wouldnt know they still lived here. I am brimming with unsolicited advice, but most days there is no one to heap it on.

If you were to look at these paintings from the perspective of a parent-to-be, youd likely dwell on the mysterious, unrecorded period in between: that fabled stretch of grinding days, sleepless nights and tearful birthday parties. It will seem both daunting and unimaginable.

Looking at it from the other objective, the thing that strikes me is how short that stretch actually is. Its meant to be your whole life, this 20 -odd-year interval called parenting, but it seems, in retrospect, shockingly brief. I have no idea how big the resulting hole in my life will come to seem, but already I know its nothing a treadmill is going to fill.

Andrea and Colin, 11 days until her due date

Andrea,

Andrea : My excitement has grown over the last few months as I see how happy and impatient my husband has become. Hes been asking lots of questions and practising reading kids books to me every night. Im also excited for her to fulfill our families and friends, and to have a tiny combination of my husband and me. Colin : The prospect that she will have health problems builds me anxious, especially autism. From what I have ensure, that can really be difficult to maintain family relationships through. Until she is born and begins life, that feels like a huge unknown into which all sorts of worst-case scenarios can seep.

Susan and Chris, empty-nesters for seven months

Parents

Susan( left ): There is peace and soothe in our home. There is no hip-hop playing and the TV is off unless we are actually watching it. Other blessings: no dirty socks on the furniture , no dirty pans on the stove , no strange young person going up the back stairs.

I miss the children energy they bring life and action into this old lady home. They have adventures, rubs and a changing parade of girlfriends: some nice, some crazy. Other downers: no helpers to shovel snow , no big muscles to do the heavy lifting.

There is less turmoil and chaos. This filters down to our relations: we get along better and have less conflict. And its fun to welcome them home for vacations, to know the adults they have become, and are becoming.

Kathryn and Michael, 18 days until her due date

Kathryn,

Kathryn : We were married in March 2008 and knew we didnt want to wait very long, both because of our ages and because we believe that openness to life is essential to living out our vocation of matrimony to its fullest.

I cant wait to discover who this little person is that we have been given charge of, and to help him discover his talents and weaknesses, his passions and his mission in life.

I worry about how my own flaws and imperfections may harm him, by teaching him bad habits or lessons about the world that are wrong.

But someone other than ourselves is about to become the centre of our world. My hope is that it will change me by helping me to become less selfish.

Lu and Bruce, empty-nesters for two years

Parents

Bruce: I like the time for unmediated and unrushed dinners with Lu. I also like enjoying the accomplishments of our children and seeing them grow in freedom; they are all quite remarkable, in my opinion. And, as a bonus, my IQ doubled in their eyes once they went off to college. But now the animals all want to sleep with us.

Andrea and Brad, 16 days until her due date

Andrea,

Andrea : We didnt plan this baby. I had recently returned from Iraq, and a baby was something that didnt fit into my adjusting to home supposes. But I always planned on having a family. Brad : Im most excited about playing and spending time with my son or daughter, and watching them grow up. Teaching them how to play ball, fish and hunting. But being in the service and having a family is tough.

Leola, empty-nester of 3 months

Parent

What is it about being an empty nester that I like least? Nothing.

Kathy and Lyonel, empty-nesters for 18 months

Parents

Kathy: I miss the energy and vibrancy that kids bring to a home, to a life that teen spirit. I also miss the role of Mom in my job description.

Lyonel : I like the silence. Children fill up space that you dont know exists. But I miss the daily injection of youth and life. The wonder that kids exhibit at the simplest things, the most banal of experiences. The music and chatter. I miss them awfully.

Bobby and Kevin, waiting to adopt

Bobby

Bobby( left ): It was part of our plan to raise a family two years after our commitment rite. We had to establish stability first in terms of housing and finance. Im excited to have a big influence in shaping someones life at the outset. Instilling our values, or just watching them grow up in good health. But I believe most prospective parents would be anxious not to make any mistakes I dread that, if our children turn to adults and have insurmountable problems, theyll blame us for being bad at parenting. That would break my heart.

Kevin: We have a great support system in our family and friends. We both have secure employment and can provide for children. Our flexible work schedules will allow us to focus on our childs requires. Im excited about helping small children grow, but Im anxious about whether he or she will accept us as their fathers.

Kathleen and Mark, empty-nesters for one year

Parents

Kathleen: I dont always have to wear pyjamas any more and theres more juice in the fridge. Im also not subject to the daily drama that sometimes upset me. But I miss her so much sometimes I merely feel empty. Its really tough because we are the same person, pretty much. So I lost my other half.

Makesha, 13 days until her due date

Makesha,

My baby wasnt planned, but I rejected an abortion or adoption. I knew I was mature enough to raise small children. Im excited about comforting her when she needs me to, or is just simply wanting my attention. The thought of putting her through school builds me anxious, inducing sure she is treated fairly, along with getting quality education.

Lori and Scott, five days until her due date

Lori,

Lori: We had been trying for over three years and realised it is not something we could control. Now were having twins – Im excited being able to raise these newborns in a caring and gentle home and family. I can only imagine how it feels to bringing these newborns into the world and provide all aspects of care for them.

Scott: We had been married for over three years and decided it was time to start a family. Three year later, after many infertility procedures and one miscarriage, we are finally close to starting that family, with twins. Our peaceful, quiet home will soon be gone but replaced with laughter and the audios of happy children.

Kate and Phillip, empty-nesters for four years

Parents

Kate : My children are some of my favorite people and I miss having time to talk and share my life with them. We still have relatively frequent contact with our youngest. The older children have partners and demanding lives, and I find our relations fading in importance.

It is interesting that I continue to fret when they are sick or face difficulties. Our mantra these days is, Theyll figure it out, but in reality it is hard not to want to fix things or butt in.

Phillip : I have much more time to spend with Kate and to do other things I like to do. The liberty from family responsibilities allows me to enjoy the moment. I certainly miss spend some time with each of my children, but I genuinely miss our family unit of five. There was something magical about our little family doing things together that cannot be recaptured.

Dona Schwartzs On The Nest is published by Kehrer Verlag.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Mar
04
2017

For those of us whose scope of experience operates beyond brides, haircuts and dancing Playboy bunnies, a listing of alternative female emoticons

When it comes to women and emojis, it can feel a bit like the 1950 s got trapped in your keyboard. The femoji are all girly girls; they get their fingernails done, get haircuts, get married , and dress up as dancing Playboy bunnies .. Meanwhile menmoji are policemen, construction workers and cyclists ..

There have been many suggestions as to how best to change the emoji-optics. Michelle Obama tweeted that shed like to see an emoji of a girl examining. Always and Bodyform, the feminine hygiene companies, have both launched campaigns to introduce less stereotypical emoji. In Bodyforms case these revolve around periods and include an angry-PMS-face emoji, which isnt stereotypical at all.

Now, Google has waded into the debate and is pressing for more professional female emoji. Isnt it hour that emoji also reflect current realities that girls play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession? reads a proposal from a squad of Google employees submitted to the Unicode Consortium the body that approves new emoji and ensures standardization across platforms.

Yes, it is time! The Google Female AdWords Software Engineer is the emoji that girls both need and deserve. But if were going to ensure a genuinely realistic representation of modern girls we need to go further than that. So here are a few more emoji suggestions that the Unicode Consortium can add to their listing:

Resting bitch face

The RBF-sufferer is constantly told that smiling utilizes fewer muscles than frowning. She would explain that she has extensively researched this fact and it is bullshit, but that would take too many muscles.

Mansplain stres

You might think this is characterized by a somewhat ached facial expression. Well, actually its more like a sort of glazed-eye wince as you pretend to be listening.

Empowerment batteries

Because being constantly empowered requires a lot of energy.

Netflix and chilled by my own inertia

Was going to get off the lounge and guarantee the next feminist revolution is likely to be broadcasted, but my empowerment batteries have run out and episode 5 of OITNB is going to autoplay in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Menstruation magician

And for my next trick I will make this tampon disappear. Following which I will turn water into wine.

Pay-gap smile

When you give person 79% of a smile as they explain to you how the pay gap is a myth, actually.

Basically busy bitch

Sorry to do this for like the 356 th hour, I am the absolute worst, but can we resched drinks because Ive just gotten crazy busy?

Studio slut

Joined Classpass and immediately became promiscuous, visiting a different workout studio every night. After they put up their costs she cancelled in disgust, but her old teachers dont look at her the same way any more.

SoulCycle spinster

Will never love anyone the route she loves SoulCycle. But thats OK because, as she breath expectation, she knows she is a beautiful warrior living for each and every single moment.

Ferrante-faking face

Oh yes I love Elena Ferrante. Such an incisive exploration of female friendship. Which of her books was my favourite? Well, um, you know, all of them really.

The woman card trader

Dont tell anyone but this is who all the women get their Woman Cards from.

The Amazon woman

Thanks to her Prime account she has not insured the inside of a drugstore for four years and buys everything online. The UPS man detests her.

The bermensch

The elusive Superwoman who can have it all and do it all as long as she can get there in an Uber.

Tired Tinderella

Former online-dating enthusiast who is now swiped out.

The ghostess With the mostess

Has been ghosted so many times by Tinder dates that she has developed a sixth sense.

Woman giggling alone with salad

The thing nobody has understood about this stock photo stereotype is that shes not laughing with it, shes laughing at it.

Fertilized eggplant

That feeling when your period is late and you know you must be pregnant despite this being basically impossible as you havent had sexuality for well, lets not even go there.

The everywoman

Whatever you want from emoji feminism, whatever you need. Anything you want done by a small digital image, this one does it naturally.

Leaned in a little too far

Now she has fallen over and cant get up.

Read more: www.theguardian.com