There’s a lot that’s been filling my days recently and making them significantly better. From eye-opening articles to a previously undiscovered gem of a film, rather than choose one to write a dedicated post about, I thought I’d bring you the collection of things that has been bringing me joy this week. Naturally, I recommend you get involved in all of them!
P.S. Check out the one post I did devote wholly to a book that I finished last week and LOVED. It’s worth your time, promise.
MAGAZINE: National Geographic, the Race Issue
The April issue of my all time favourite print publication is an absolute banger from cover to cover, which I got through in record time. I have often reflected on – and even written about – how utterly absurd the concept of race really is. After all, it’s a man-made structure, a sociological system with no foundation in scientific truth that was created to divide humankind, to dehumanise some so that others may abuse power to horrific heights. This issue does an outstanding job of breaking down the convoluted subject and had me gripped from page one where the editor acknowledges the role the magazine itself has contributed to the problematic discussion around race over its 130 year history. From a powerful photo study on the beautiful diversity of humankind and the rainbow we paint, to a look at the changing racial identity of Britain; from a scientific discussion around the genetics that make us all unique yet all beautifully the same, and an eye-opening article on the rising anxiety of white America, this issue has enough to keep you reading and reflecting for a lifetime. All with the bonus of the powerful prose and photography that only Nat Geo knows how to do. Bravo.
MOVIE: Boys on the Side (1995)
I could hardly believe my eyes when I stumbled across a 90s film with an all-star cast on Netflix that I had never once heard of before... we’re talking Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Mary-Louise Parker, a pre-fame Matthew McConaughey, and a feminist film title to boot. Was I dreaming? I of course promptly got stuck in, half expecting it to be a rubbish watch, thus explaining its absence from my radar and anyone I have since spoken to about it. Turns out, it’s a total gem. It has ridiculous moments, but in that charming way that a lot of 90s films do, and they kind of made me love it even more. I laughed out loud, I cried a not insubstantial amount of tears, and I’m left wondering how long until it’s considered acceptable to watch it again? A film about female friendships and the beauty that can come from life’s most unexpected turns, Whoopi is at her absolute best here. See. It. Stat.
NOVEL: Another Brooklyn (Jacqueline Woodson)
I’ll confess I haven’t quite finished this one just yet, but I’m stuck right in. Highly recommended for any woman after a quick read (it’s a short novel with scarce little text on each page). Despite being set in 1970s Brooklyn – a time and place I have never experienced – the all-too-relatable musings of a teen girl took me right back to that messy, emotional, dramatic time of life like it was yesterday. This is precisely what happens to protagonist August after she runs into a former friend from her teen years while on the subway. Taking her back to a time when her friends were everything, and she thought they were beautiful, brilliant, talented and part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another, much more ominous Brooklyn. A book full of contradictions: beautiful but painful, hopeful but grim, inspiring yet often heart-wrenching.
TV: Queer Eye (Netflix)
Many of us fondly remember everyone’s favourite makeover show of yesteryear, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but fifteen years after this classic first hit our screens, the format has been revamped, the Fab Five given a new lease of life, and I am officially on board for Queer Eye 2.0. The concept remains the same, and is a simple one: 5 gay men, each specialising in a key area, be it grooming, cooking or interior design, give one lucky man a complete makeover, inside and out. Much as I loved the original, there is no denying the new and improved show elevates what the first one did, and I never expected when first sitting down to Netflix to be educated and humbled in regards to so many universally important topics. The boys take on subjects like the current race tensions in America, the common misconceptions about gay lifestyle and so much more, all in a beautiful way. You may not believe that a show like this can answer some of life’s biggest questions but all I can say is PLEASE give it the time of day, it’ll open your eyes in more ways than one and I promise you’ll come out better off.
INTERNET: Royal Wedding Mania
I know it’s kind of past the time when obsessing over photos, videos and memes from the weekend’s royal wedding is really acceptable but I’LL NEVER STOP. Whether it’s watching THAT adorable lip bite moment, appreciating the fact that they actually look like something straight from a 007 film in their reception outfits, falling in love with Meghan's mum who rocked a NOSE PIERCING at the ceremony, or sobbing over the fact that Meghan’s something blue was Diana’s famous topaz ring, I just can’t get enough. Ugh. How can you be so miserable (that it wasn’t I who won Harry's heart) and so overjoyed at the same time? These two are an actual dream.
AND RANDOMLY: a mystical flower
Guys, I think I’ve found some sort of magical lord of the plant kingdom... the Beauty & the Beast rose perhaps? The Tuck Everlasting of the natural world?! In a bouquet I was recently given (he spoils me), all the flowers naturally started drying up over time, dropped their petals as they did so... standard. One of the roses however, didn’t drop a single petal, instead keeping all intact as it slowly shrivelled. It is a thing of beauty and I confess myself enchanted. I’m keeping this baby on my mantelpiece, it’s stunning! What is this magic?