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Billy Porter’s Ego would like for you to know he wore dresses before Harry Styles.

Billy Porter is the latest in a long line of blurred gender lines in fashion.



Our beloved Harry Styles is in the news because he was minding his business and Billy Porter got salty about it.

I’m mostly joking. I don’t really care that much about Harry Styles (even though! his albums are immaculate), but it’s unfortunate that this necessary conversation has to happen at his expense. Harry Styles is just doing Harry Styles. He doesn’t bother anybody, he’s nice to everybody, and he just wears his little outfits. The praise he receives for those outfits is hyperbolic in relation to any ground that he’s actually breaking, because he’s not doing anything that scores of musicians haven’t done before him. I did not now for sure that Boy George was a man when I was a child. That is groundbreaking non-binary presentation in popular entertainment, not Harry Styles putting on a dress.

Harry Styles has the enormous privilege of being a straight, white, cis male sex symbol who was in a boy band. Anything he does that is counter to what that mold would typically do is going to receive way more praise than that same event would garner if performed by anyone else. That is what Billy Porter is trying to say in this interview with The Sunday Times.

“I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I created the conversation (about non-binary fashion) and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time…I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it. I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but… He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life…I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars. All (Styles) has to do is be white and straight.”

Billy Porter is absolutely right. All Harry had to do is be white and be straight, but let’s not make assumptions about what he does and does not care about. Harry himself has said that he’s always liked “fancy dress” from a young kid and his sister, eyewear designer Gemma Styles, says their mother used to dress them both up, but Harry was the one who actually liked it. Harry’s philosophy on style is the same one I have:

“You can never be overdressed. There’s no such thing. The people that I looked up to in music—Prince and David Bowie and Elvis and Freddie Mercury and Elton John—they’re such showmen. As a kid it was completely mind-blowing. Now I’ll put on something that feels really flamboyant, and I don’t feel crazy wearing it. I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit. Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with. What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away. When you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play. I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything—anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself. There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”

Is Harry Styles non-binary? No. But gender shouldn’t be boiled down to what clothes you wear, because clothes don’t have a gender. They’re just clothes. I am not non-binary, but I’ve been doing my nails and wearing heels off and on since high school.

That said, I didn’t know who Billy Porter was in high school. I didn’t put on “girls’ clothes” because Billy Porter made it okay to do so. I didn’t realize men could wear “women’s clothes” because Billy Porter opened the door for me. Billy Porter’s ego has erased all of the people who opened the door for him to wear his outfits of varying taste level on a red carpet.

Andre Leon Talley’s shiny muumuus and dramatic capes paved the way for Billy Porter.

B. Scott suing BET for being forced to take their make-up off and sport a ponytail to report on the runway paved the way for Billy Porter.

Miss Jay’s bobs and heels and ruffles on primetime television for ten years paved the way for Billy Porter.

And those are just the ones I identified with. That’s not even touching on Prince’s assless yellow lace awards show performance or Sylvester telling us we don’t have to take our clothes off to have a good time or Andre J being the first man in a dress on the cover of a high fashion magazine.

This is a lesson in ego muddying your point. You can have the most valid point of view in the word and initiate an overdue conversation that we probably should be having, but if you center yourself, a big chunk of your audience is going to bypass the conversation altogether. Very few people are actually breaking new ground. It is 2021. Somebody came before you. Somebody laid the cobblestones for the path you walk.

Harry Styles is the latest in a long line of glam rockers pushing the boundaries of masculinity. Billy Porter is the latest in a long line of blurred gender lines in fashion. Just because Billy Porter thinks he deserves a Vogue cover doesn’t mean his point is completely off the mark, but he’s not the pioneer he thinks he is.
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
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Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson are officially dating.



Well, I didn’t have this one on my Bingo Card, but I also didn’t have Kristen Stewart and Lady Gaga as Oscar frontrunners either.

A source close to Kim tells E! News the 41-year-old reality star and 28-year-old Saturday Night Live comedian are officially dating: “They are really happy and seeing where it goes.”

“Pete has told her he doesn’t want to see anyone else,” noting Kim apparently feels the same. “She is telling some people they aren’t super serious but she isn’t seeing anyone else… She’s trying to not make a big deal about it but is super into him.”

(cont. E!)

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson are officially a couple and you know what? I think that’s excellent. I wish I had a funny comment about it, but I genuinely think they are two goofy people under weird public pressures who are probably very relaxed around each other and have a lot of fun together.

Is Pete THE most attractive guy? Not really, you probably have to get to know him and he gets hotter. Plus, we know he got that hammer. But hello, Kanye looks like an angry chipmunk so what’s Kim’s track record? Besides, she built like a plastic ant. The leagues are not that different.

I hope they have big fun for as long as they’re together. And I hope they both feel like they hit the jackpot.

And I hope she’s using birth control because, as happy as I am for them, nobody needs to be tied to Pete Davidson as the father of your children.
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo


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Zazie Beetz pays lip service to colorism.

Don’t talk the talk if you are not prepared to walk the walk.



I was sold on The Harder They Fall as soon as I saw the trailer. I didn’t completely understand what it would be about, but I saw Regina King and I saw a western full of Black people. That was enough for me. When I looked up more information about the film, I learned that the characters were based on real people. It wasn’t a biopic or a historical account, but the actors in the movie were playing characters based on real Black people from the Old West. Zazie Beetz was playing Stagecoach Mary, who I’d never heard of, so I looked her up.

Do casting directors have to cast for accuracy? No, not really. There are plenty of movies about real people where the actor in the role looked nothing like the character in real life.

Is it the responsibility of actors to turn down roles offered to them when the role should have gone to an actor from a more marginalized segment of society? Not necessarily. They have free will to accept any role that interests them. The public in turn has free will to criticize them for it, and that actor has to accept that the consequences of their actions may be some public backlash.

So I was not surprised to see Zazie Beetz cast as Stagecoach Mary. I was annoyed, but not surprised. I am however surprised to see that Zazie has gone on record about her privilege and about colorism in the press.

It’s on your mind and you just…don’t care? It’s on your mind and you have decided to acknowledge it exists but do nothing to improve the situation or change the narrative?

Zazie Beetz is a bi-racial woman with a German father and a Black American mother who moved to the US from Germany as a tot because the homogeneity of Germany wasn’t the best place to raise a little brown girl. She has said — like many other bi-racial Black folks with a white parent — that she sometimes doesn’t feel Black enough. And I hear that. This is not me questioning her Blackness.

But Zazie can’t say that she considers colorism in the roles she takes, and then take this one where the director had the opportunity to give us a full figured dark skinned love interest and we got the typical thin beige lady. It feels so obvious in the movie that the director felt we wouldn’t believe the chemistry and attraction between Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) and Stagecoach Mary unless she was a skinny light-skinned woman. She’s the only light-skinned actor in the entire film, and she happens to be the love interest.

I’m just irked by the fact that there are more than enough roles specifically written for the Zazie Beetzes and Zoe Kravtizes of Hollywood. Most of the leading roles in Hollywood are written for White Women. Most of the leading love interests written for Black Women have someone in mind who looks like Tessa Thompson. Roles for dark skinned women who aren’t a size 2 are few and far between. Stagecoach Mary was the perfect opportunity to cast someone who isn’t even invited to audition for most of the other roles written for women. The source material was a rarity, and if Zazie truly had colorism in mind, she would have turned it down.
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
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Princess Belcalis Continues Her Reign

Cardi B. shows no signs of slowing down, long after her 15 minutes ran out.



We shouldn’t be talking about Cardi B. right now. “Bodak Yellow” should have been a flash in the pan, a hot summertime single that finally capitalized on the zeitgeist of reality stars trying to make a hit. It was brash, it was catchy, but it wasn’t groundbreaking, and Cardi wasn’t an especially great rapper. The lyrics weren’t overly clever, the rhyme schemes were simple, and her delivery was so awash in saliva I’m sure she left the mic wet.

Four years later, and we’re still paying attention. We’re waiting to see what she’s going to wear next. We’re waiting to see who she’s going to charm next in Hollywood. We’re waiting for her next album. And it all started because of a little video proclaiming her imperviousness to the elements regardless of attire.

Cardi the Scientist

In 2014, Cardi B. posted a Vine from a hotel hallway and it went viral.

Not only did it spawn countless imitators, it caught the attention of Mona Scott Young and the Love & Hip-Hop NY franchise. Though the VH1 reality show purports to focus on the women in hip-hop (those trying to make a name for themselves as emcees and those married into the business), the casting net has widened over the past decade to snag everyone from managers to video vixens to “boutique” clothing store owners who should never step up to a mic again, Rasheeda. Cardi was a stripper when she hit viral fame and was cast on the sixth season in 2015. Her first feature (on a reggae single) came out later that year and her first mixtape in 2016, after which she left VH1 for good with two seasons under her belt. She released “Bodak Yellow” in 2017, and the rest is history.

But “A Hoe Never Gets Cold” hasn’t lost its potency, and now it’s the subject of academic research.

Turns out Cardi B may have been onto something when she famously proclaimed that “a hoe never gets cold” — and now science is backing her up on it.

A new study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology has confirmed why scantily clad women are less likely to catch a chill than their covered-up counterparts.

(cont. NY Post)

This is not peer-reviewed, the sample size is too small, and the data could be interpreted as correlation as opposed to causation, but who else is having a Vine from 2014 used as prompt in scientific study?! Here’s the general outline of the research, if you’re so inclined.


Cardi the It Girl

Nobody at Paris Fashion Week has as much fun (or press coverage) as Princess Belcalis.

From Mugler and Chanel (everyday faves for Cardi) to Schiaparelli and Richard Quinn (keep the girls guessing!), it was an event every time Cardi stepped outside. Even when she looked like a sunflower from the Fresh Prince’s school play.

Royalty sticks together.

Cardi the Host

Cardi B will host the 2021 American Music Awards, which are set to air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 21.

A five-time AMA winner, Cardi has three nominations at this year’s show – favorite female hip-hop artist and two nods for “Up” as favorite music video and favorite hip-hop song.

(cont. Billboard)

Cardi B. is naturally funny. She went into Love & Hip-Hop with a sizable following, not because she had any music out, but because she had an unfiltered personality that was engaging, entertaining, and authentic. She’s managed to keep that part of herself, even through social media missteps, and it’s part of the reason why she’s been able to grow in popularity where so many others fade away.

Cardi B. is also a professional. If you give her a script, she will deliver the lines. I wasn’t sold on her casting in Hustlers because not every musician’s charisma can translate to the big screen, but I believed her. It wasn’t exactly difficult to believe her as a stripper, but still. She can deliver a line.

I’m not sold on Cardi as a host, because she’s not a great talk show guest. She works best in the highly structured environment of a movie set or performance stage or the completely unstructured environment of social media. When she has to censor herself, when there are beats in a conversation that she needs to hit…I haven’t seen that talent yet, but she’s had time to improve! I don’t need her to banter necessarily, but if she can make the teleprompter feel natural, she’ll do fine.

But the point is — we want her to do it and we want her to succeed. Because we like her and she’s the People’s Princess.

Cardi, America’s Sweetheart

Princess Belcalis is just like us and she’s excited about being famous. I, too, would be on social media gagging whenever a famous person mentioned my name, and her Twitter Love Story with Penn Badgley is currently the cutest thing online.

During press for You, Penn mentioned his admiration for Cardi’s ability to be authentic online. Cardi saw it, and she fangirled.

In response, Penn changed his Twitter avatar to Cardi.

And of course Cardi noticed…

…and changed hers too.

And now Penn, as Joe from You, has sent Cardi a letter.

And y’all, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy watching Cardi B. just be famous and enjoy it. Ten years ago she was getting fired from the grocery store and now she’s a real celebrity with real celebrity fans. Love that for her!

Cardi the Wedding Officiant

Cardi Tries is a webseries by Facebook Messenger where Princess Belcalis tries something out of her comfort zone and cameras capture the magic. She’s tried everything from ballet to rhythmic gymnastics to teaching pre-school, but last month she officiated a lesbian wedding, with Raven-Symone as the ringbearer.

In the latest episode of Cardi Tries—the rapper’s Facebook Messenger series—Cardi is joined by That’s So Raven star Raven-Symoné as she officiates a same-sex wedding in California. The episode, released in time for National Coming Out Day, sees Cardi officiate the ceremony for newly weds Brandi and Shannon, as Raven is their ringbearer.

“By the power invested in me by the state of California and my online course, I now pronounce you wife and wife,” Cardi declared.

(cont. Complex)

Becoming a marriage officiant is actually really easy. I did it a few years ago when my best friend was getting married and I basically sent off for the paperwork, sent it back, and then went down to City Hall to file it. I’m just tickled that this is one of the things she wanted to do and now a lovely ladycouple can say Cardi B. officiated their wedding. And Cardi isn’t letting her new certificate go to waste either: Kal Penn barely got “I’m gay….” out before Cardi offered to officiate his wedding too. Princess Belcalis as the go-to officiant for gay Hollywood weddings? I’m here for it.

Cardi The Champion

Princess Belcalis has managed to snag at least one top 5 single every year since “Bodak Yellow,” with a number one single in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021, and she hit #3 in 2019. For a predicted one-hit wonder, she is exceptionally consistent, and the industry knows that if you want some buzz, but Cardi on the track. Did Normani need a feature on “Wild Side” — not really. Did Lizzo need a feature on “Rumors” — not really. Both songs were good enough to stand on their own, but both camps wanted/needed buzz, and Cardi gave them a little extra shine.

But I don’t mean a champion of the charts — I mean a champion of femcees. Cardi is not shy about a collaboration and she loves to give a shoutout to the other girls in the industry. Nowhere is that more evident than the soundtrack to Halle Berry’s new movie.

Halle Berry is making her directorial debut with Bruised where she plays the starring role as a disgraced MMA fighter. Berry and Cardi B. serve as executive producers on the soundtrack, and they put together a roster consisting of only female hip-hop talent.

Look at the lineup! Look at the material! Look at the range and the variety!

That is how you give love back to the girls and it’s so good to see! I’m so enjoying this shift in hip-hop where the women are allowed to give props to each other instead of go at each other, because they have forced space in the industry to make room for more than one at the top. When there’s only one throne at the top of the stairs, everybody fights to sit in it, and nobody is going to help you climb. Now that we are in a second golden age of women in hip-hop, we can see the space for everybody, and Princess Belcalis is putting the girls on.

I don’t know where Cardi’s career will be four years from now, but if the past four years are any indication, we have a lot to look forward to. She’s been steadily improving her craft while branching out to other areas. She continues to show us how hard she works and how hungry she is by how busy she makes herself (while pregnant half the time). And she’s still likeable. Everybody who meets her wants to work with her, and you don’t get there just because you make hits.

Cardi B. is still the girl from Vine who never gets cold, and I say long may she reign, whether she wants to wear the ermine or not.
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo

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