Looking for fun in The Windy City after a year of lockdown? Celebrate night life’s reopening at the thirty-nineth annual Northalsted Market Days®. Ranked as one of the Top Ten Chicago Festivals by Bizbash, this weekend long event is one you surely don’t want to miss. While the event was originally founded in 1982, Market Days continues to expand to become exponentially more enthralling. The estimated attendance of the festival exceeds 100,000 attendees from across the globe. As Market Days emphasizes unapologetic pride and vibrant diversity, all are welcome at this event.
Taking place from August 6–8, the live music street festival celebrates Chicago’s spirited community across a half mile in the landmark Northalsted/Lakeview district. Recognized as America’s first gay village and Chicago’s LGBTQ+ historic landmark, Northalsted welcomes guests of all ages, colors and creeds to join in on the merrymaking. The festival will sprawl across the neighborhood from Belmond to Addison.
The music festival will feature live music line-ups all day, including performers such as Trixie Mattel, Todrick Hall, Greyson Chance, The FIERCE Project, Lisa Lisa, Jody Wately, CeCe Penison, Steve Grand and many, many more. These talented musicians will electrify the festival’s six stages: the Bud Light Seltzer Stage, the Nissan Partners of Progress Stage, the Peach Presents [stage], the Dance Stage by Hydrate, the Chicago Sound Stage, and the Community Pride Stage. DJs will also be mixing and mastering tunes so guests can get their groove on.
Market Days will feature additional entertainment, including 250+ unique vendors and arts and crafts. Food and drinks will also be available at the festival. The suggested admission donation is $15, and all donations go towards Chicago’s local non-profits and fund community projects like the Chicago Pride Crosswalks.
Northalsted Market Days is easily accessed via the CTA Red Line Addison station at Wrigley Field, CTA Red/Brown/Purple Lines at Belmont, multiple bus lines, and ride share car/cab services to hotels and other lodging. The event will go on rain or shine, though it should be notes that severe weather conditions may delay performance times. To purchase tickets and learn more, please visit HERE.
Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, is set to release his first book this month. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.
This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.
The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others.
In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.
360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.
In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.
As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.
Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives.
The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.
Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.
Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.
Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.
Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.
Chapter 5:Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.
Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.
Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.
Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”
Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.
Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.
Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving.
Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.
Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.
Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the nation’s only Black HIV organization focused on ending HIV and stigma in Black communities, released a Juneteenth conversation with celebrity Billy Porter about how his recent HIV disclosure has freed him from shame. This personal story highlights how the intersecting stigmas of being Black, gay, and living with HIV fuel the epidemic among Black Americans and present a tangible barrier to accessing lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment options. Featured as a part of BAI’sBlack Voices Matter campaign, which amplifies celebrities who are using their platforms to support the Black HIV movement, this conversation was released on Juneteenth to honor individual Black freedom and inspire healing. Watch on Facebook or YouTube.
“This Black Voices Matter conversation with Billy Porter is critical because 40 years into the epidemic, we know that stigma is a key driver of HIV into Black communities. While Billy’s fearless public disclosure is unique, his traumatizing life experience is not. This conversation underscores the importance of talking about HIV and defeating systemic anti-Blackness. It is the only way we can access proven HIV prevention and treatment options to end the cycle of HIV in Black communities in the next 10 years under the President’s “Ending the HIV Epidemic” national initiative,” said Raniyah Copeland, President and CEO, Black AIDS Institute.
ABOUT BLACK AIDS INSTITUTE
Founded in 1999, Black AIDS Institute (BAI) is the only uniquely and unapologetically Black think and do tank in America. Our mission is to stop the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals to confront HIV. Black Empowerment is our central theme and we are led by people who represent the issues we serve. We source our capacity building, mobilization, and advocacy efforts from Black leaders and communities across the country, and provide culturally respectful, high-quality, HIV prevention and care services for Black people in Los Angeles. Learn more at https://blackaids.org
It is an excellent idea to look for a future wife on dating websites, but also a little bit risky one. No, when you use a verified resource, you can rely on it, but frauds can dwell everywhere, so it is nice to know how to protect your money or (sometimes it is even more important) your heart.
#1 Chat with a Girl On the Site Only
The most common scammer tactic is to switch from chatting on the hot Russian brides for marriagesite to other communication channels, such as email or messenger because that way the service moderators can’t help you if you get scammed. Of course, if you are suggested to switch to Whatsapp, it does not mean that there is something wrong, especially if you communicate not for the first day and you are interested in each other. Nevertheless, if your interlocutor is not a cheater, she will not be embarrassed by your request to continue chatting for the time being.
#2 Be Suspicious
It may sound like bad advice – to see a double bottom in everything – but remember that an ordinary nice girl won’t be embarrassed by your suspicions and she will calmly be able to explain everything you don’t understand in her behaviour. But scammers will brazenly and aggressively demand your money or on the contrary, very pitifully ask for help, cause your sympathy, but all lead up to one thing – the transfer of funds to their bank card.
#3 Turn on Your Inner Detective
Of course, you shouldn’t be stalking anyone, but it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research. First of all, check if the girl’s picture is real – you can do this with the picture search service on the Internet. Also, google her name. Maybe you’ll find her social networking page, and you can make sure that the other information (her job, studies, etc.) she tells you is true, too.
#4 Tell Your Friends About Those With Whom You Communicate
Some people are too shy to talk about their personal lives, and some are too private by nature, but keep your family and friends in the loop if you can. Yes, you shouldn’t talk about every girl whose picture you like, but if you’re already in a closer relationship, it’s okay to tell. The whole point is that you may not notice any suspicious things because of sympathy, but from the outside, especially to people who care about you, they can be seen.
#5 Keep Personal Details to Yourself
Chatting with maybe your wife-to-be, you want to talk about everything. And it’s okay to talk about what you think, what you dream about, etc. But if they start asking you some numbers, numbers and facts, it’s already suspicious. For example, “the name of your first pet” is one of the most common secret questions to get into someone’s personal account without a password. So be careful what you notify your new acquaintance about.
#6 Admit it If You’re Wrong
Yes, it’s unpleasant to realize that you’ve been the victim of fraud, but if it did happen, it’s a bad idea to just forget about it and never remember. Analyze what happened and what mistakes you made. If you also lost a lot of money, you can go to law enforcement and let them investigate. Whatever you choose, remember that this is one such case, and if you are careful, you may find your love on the site. After all, it’s difficult and risky even in real life, but we all take risks and make mistakes so that we can end up happy with our loved ones.
Also, feel free to ask the site managers for help. Good, trusted resources try always to make sure that their customers are happy. Of course, dating service is a specific niche, because here people build personal relationships and accordingly communicate in private chats, but, for example, if you found out that your companion is a cheater on your own, you can complain about her and save other site users from this mistake.
E! NAMES LAVERNE COX HOST OF NETWORK’S SIGNATURE RED CARPET FRANCHISE “LIVE FROM E!” BEGINNING JANUARY 2022
Actor and Advocate Will Also Headline a Series of Celebrity Interview-Based Specials to Air Throughout Next Year
E!, the global, multi-platform brand for all things pop culture, announced today that Emmy-nominated actor, Emmy-winning producer, advocate and style star Laverne Cox will lead the network’s signature red carpet coverage beginning with the 2022 award season. Laverne’s passion for advocacy, fashion and fun aligns with E!’s commitment to build out a modern, inclusive and interactive experience for celebrities and their fans.
Additionally, she will host a series of celebrity-based interview specials spotlighting trendsetters, tastemakers and those making an impact in the Hollywood community and airing throughout next year.
“Laverne Cox is a risktaker, groundbreaking pioneer and a fashion tour de force,” said Jen Neal, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Live Events, Specials and E! News, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming. “As we continue to evolve the way we cover Hollywood’s biggest nights, Laverne’s passion for, and extensive knowledge of, the fashion community resonates with our audience and we look forward to seeing her shine on the other side of the velvet rope.”
“I’m so excited and deeply humbled to be hosting E!’s iconic red-carpet coverage. For many years I would wake up early on awards show days, get my snacks in place and watch E!’s coverage all day long,” said Cox. “I dreamed of walking red carpets. Now, not only have I had several fun and amazing personal red-carpet moments, I also get to be a red carpet guide for E!’s discerning audience and chat with my colleagues and folks I deeply admire for these very special events in their lives. I can’t wait to get started while hopefully serving up fashion fantasies for the ages honey.”
About Laverne Cox With various ‘firsts’ in her already impressive career, Laverne Cox is a four-time Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy winning producer and a prominent equal rights advocate and public speaker. Cox is best known for her groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black.” This role helped Cox become the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for a Primetime acting Emmy and made her the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television series. Cox can currently be seen in the Oscar-winning film “Promising Young Woman.” She is the host of “The Laverne Cox Show” podcast for Shondaland Audio and iHeart and recently wrapped production on Shonda Rimes’ limited series “Inventing Anna” for Netflix. She is also the Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed documentary Disclosure, which was just nominated for a Peabody Award and is currently streaming on Netflix.
About E! Entertainment E! is the only global, multi-platform brand for all things pop culture, and airs some of the most sought-after reality series on TV, including “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The Bradshaw Bunch,” “Botched” “Overserved with Lisa Vanderpump” and “E! True Hollywood Story.” “E! News” is the leading multi-platform publisher delivering breaking entertainment news and pop culture coverage 24/7 across EOnline and all digital and social media. The brand’s programming slate includes “Daily Pop,” “Nightly Pop” on linear and “E! News’ The Rundown” on Snapchat. “Live from E!” covers signature red carpet events, keeping fans connected to their favorite stars on pop culture’s biggest nights and the “E! People’s Choice Awards” celebrates the best in pop culture and is the only award show for the people, by the people. E! is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. For more information, visit EOnline.
This Women’s History Month, 360 Magazine sat down with Chef Kia Damon. Kia is the founder of Kia Feeds The People (KFTTP) and is a cofounder of Auxilio, both of which are non-profits aimed at combating food apartheid. We dished with Kia on how she discovered her passion for cooking, pathways towards increased Black and QTPOC representation in the culinary industry, and her upcoming video release with EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods, which can be viewed here.
When did you first begin cooking? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?
“I started cooking in my early preteens. I have younger brothers as well, so once we were too old for day care, I had to step up as the older sibling to make sure we ate, especially more so during the summertime because I have working parents. But, it wasn’t until some years later when I started cooking independently for my own health reasons that I truly saw my strengths in cooking and realized that cooking professionally wasn’t a world that was so far away for me, that it was actually extremely attainable and extremely real. So I took the plunge, and to this day some of my family’s still very surprised, because I was definitely burning pots of rice, and they were like ‘this girl has no talents for the kitchen.’ Now I’m cooking and they still can’t believe it.”
We all know foods brings communities together. Are there any experiences you’ve had with community members through Kia Feeds The People that have stuck with you?
“Yes! Honestly, the most connective part was before I even started cooking with KFTTP people when I was looking for guidance from a lot of my friends in the cooking community. Because KFTTP was birthed in a really tumultuous time, I felt like I couldn’t quite gather my thoughts and my feelings. I just felt so emotionally charged and stunted that I felt like I couldn’t even work or think or move because I felt so emotional about everything. But being able to lean into my friends and my chosen family who see me for who I am, who know me intimately and know my heart, they were able to guide me to where I am now and toward my mission for KFTTP. I’m super grateful. These are people that I’ve been able to cook with before, these are people that I’ve literally eaten with before–we’ve shared food out of deli containers at 3am–I’m very grateful for them. And I definitely could not have got to this place without them.”
Are you looking to expand KFTPP outside of Brooklyn, or just focus on this specific community?
“Because I am a Sagittarius, I definitely am looking to expand and looking to grow. I definitely have to make sure I build and flesh KFTTP out as much as possible in Brooklyn before I start thinking about moving other places. But I do have visions, not necessarily to just expand Kia Feeds The People, but to collaborate with other mutual aid organizations and non-profits that already exist in other cities, so that I can support them and [they] have more coverage where they are. I’m not the only one who’s doing this kind of work and it is definitely a collaborative, lifelong mission, so I want to lend hands to the people who are already in this game.”
What do you think is the biggest obstacle facing overcoming food apartheid?
“Personally I think the biggest obstacle is still convincing people that it exists, because we live in such a individualistic world. If something doesn’t affect the next person, then they’re more likely to ignore it, you know. That’s why I think COVID really shook things up, because a lot of us were collectively put on our butts. you know. We’re like “whoa, wait a minute, is this one thing that is really proactively affecting us.” But regarding food apartheid, a lot of people are still familiar with it in terms of a “food desert.” Food desert is a word that’s been used for many years to describe this situation, and a “desert” implies that it is natural, because the world naturally created deserts. When you apply “food desert” to that idea, it implies that this place without food, this place without access to meals, is natural and that’s just the way that it’s supposed to be. But it’s completely unnatural, it’s completely systematic, and [after recognizing that] then we can start looking at it as something that is created by is created by systems. Then, we can put some realness to it and find how all of us are truly affected by them. So I think right now, it’s making sure people know what food apartheid is, and that it actually exists.”
Do you have a favorite meal or cocktail to prepare when you’re bringing family or friends together?
“My favorite meal is red beans and rice. I love a good pot of Louisiana-style red beans and rice, because honestly that–with some corn bread on top and so hot sauce– that really is the whole meal. You think you would need something else on the side but that’s really it. It’s so fulfilling, it’s so delicious, and I definitely try to bring it out when I get to be with my friends and family.”
The culinary world is a male-dominated industry. How can the culinary industry work to become more diverse, and have more Black, QTPOC chefs?
“I think it’s a starts with actually investing in the lives and careers of these black/brown/trans/ LGBTQ chefs because they exist. I know they exist because they’re my friends. And what happens is that maybe they’re put in positions of leadership or maybe not, but they’re they’re not given the same care, support or investment in their skills and education and their needs. You could put someone in a line chef position or position of leadership or whatever, but if there’s no follow through to make sure that they have what they need to be supported in those positions, they’re usually set up for failure, or set up to be harmed in some way. Or maybe a small business that’s LGBTQ or Black has a good profile, [but they may not be] getting access to grants or money. You have to have the follow through. It’s not that we don’t exist, it’s that we’re not properly supported when we are put at the forefront. That’s when it gets tricky and that’s when we’re left open to harm and failure.”
What are you most excited about regarding this video release with Queer Foods and EFFEN Vodka?
“I’m very excited for mom to see it first of all, I love my mommy and she is my number one fan. And she’s a Gemini, so I’m always looking for her approval. But I’m also excited to get to Kia Feeds The People and Queer Stories in front of the world. I feel like we can’t tell enough queer stories, there’s always someone’s story out there. Even though there’s this myth out there that there’s already enough representation, or that maybe it’s too much to keep talking about queer people, that’s actually far from the truth. I’m proud and honored that EFFEN Vodka wants to support what I’m doing and wants to get my story out there. My story is the story of a lot of other Black and brown and trans people’s stories, and it also feels good to partner with someone who sees me and wants to invest in my story and invest in supporting other diverse artists, both in their representation and practice. It just feels good to be seen, and I’m excited for everyone else to see me and to be seen. Just look! Everyone just look! I want everyone to look and feel pride in who we are.”
How can readers donate to Kia Feeds The People?
“You can head to my GoFundMe if you’re not in the city, or if you’re in Brooklyn you can come to a pop up. Please donate to my GoFundMe, I have it on my Instagram page. Share it with your friends, let them know what’s up. Or if you are in Bed-Stuy, you can find me at a pop-up– I have a few coming up in April, so I’m going to be all over the place. Come get some food or throw some money, either way I’ll be very grateful.”
Mix the grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, EFFEN Rosé vodka and a spoonful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir and taste. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with grapefruit, and thyme. Drink responsibly + enjoy!
Kia’s Gumbo Recipe
8 oz andouille sausage
1lb Boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 large yellow onions, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of oil
1 cup AP flour
6 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp Creole seasoning
1 tbsp of fresh thyme
1 tbsp Smoked paprika
½ tbsp Ground sage
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce to taste
Season the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Season well on both sides. Heat a skillet or cast iron to medium heat with enough oil to cover the bottom. When the pan is hot, sear the chicken in batches. Brown the chicken on both sides and set aside. The chicken does not have to be cooked through just yet.
In a large pot add the oil and heat to a medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to cook. Lower the heat to medium low. Keep whisking the roux over a controlled and steady heat until the flour begins to darken into a deep brown. This takes about 30 minutes, so pace yourself.
Turn the heat down on the roux and add in your onion, bell pepper and celery. Stir into the roux, season with a few pinches of salt and sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add in your minced garlic and fresh thyme. Stir for another 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock while whisking the roux. Do this part slowly because the roux will begin to thicken. Take your time and continue pouring in the stock until it’s completely incorporated.
Bring the pot to a boil, meanwhile slice the sausage in ¼ inch rounds on a slight bias. When the pot begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken and sausage. Let the gumbo cook on low for an hour. You want time for the flour taste to cook out.
After an hour, add the remaining two tablespoons of creole seasoning, smoked paprika, ground sage and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir and add your sliced okra. Cook for another 10 minutes, add salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste then serve with rice and chopped parsley.
Photo credit: Solène Michel Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People
360 Magazine had the opportunity to collaborate with Jonte’ Moaning and Brian Thomas for an editorial fashion shoot that encompasses the new age of fashion. The incredibly talented duo worked together to produce a photoshoot that displays high fashion and uniqueness. The creative director of the shoot was Franklin Peña and the production was done by Brian Rubiano.
This shoot features two exquisite looks which Moaning carries off flawlessly. The chained shirt, paired with leather shorts and unique, gladiator boots creates a modern-day, stylish armor. The second look features a silver overcoat with red and black dripping detail falling from the jacket’s shoulders. When paired with this statement red and grey hat, the look comes together effortlessly.
Jonte’ Moaning has been a pioneer for the entertainment industry worldwide. He has influenced major pop artists with his unique discography. His work can recently be seen in the Black is King film which was directed, written and executively produced by Beyoncé. Jonte’ has been of major importance for the LGTBQ+ community and has broken down barriers for men to explore their gender expression.
Jonte’ is best known for taking part in curating the iconic “Sasha Fierce” persona of Beyoncé. Although, he has also worked closely with a number of other notable artists such as Janet Jackson, Cassie, Tamar Braxton, Blackpink and many more.
Jonte’ released his first solo single, “Bitch You Betta” in 2008 and has continued to release music from there. The artist has stated that he was inspired to work on his solo career while he was working alongside performing artists and felt that he “could do it better.”
As a performer, Jonte’ is known for his androgynous look and trademark high heels which challenge classic gender norms. He has worked into the elite status and continues to produce music that embodies all he represents. His music, along with his style makes waves within the entertainment industry and this editorial shoot is no different.
You can read more about Jonte’s successful career on his website, HelloJonte.com.
The photographer for the shoot, Brian Thomas, is an astound choreographer and photographer who is best known for working with legend Michael Jackson. Throughout his career, he has gained a great deal of experience and works closely with a variety of performing artists. Thomas also owns Spinkick Pictures in New York City, which produces extraordinary films.
Thomas has had major success in the directing industry and some of his credits include “Amy’s Victory Dance,” an award-winning documentary as well as, “Follow, Lead, Love” and “P.S. Love Robby,” two documentaries currently in production. He also directed the short film, “Dark Matter” which features dancer Desmond Richardson.
Thomas has also won the GLAM award for various music videos including “Higher Love,” which stares Carishma. He has also worked as the Associate Director for the Cirque du Soleil Flash mob Time Square performance.
Thomas has also choreographed for companies such as Sesame Street, The Electric Company, New York City Knicks Dancers, Brooklynettes, Optimum triple play, Are We There Yet, and numerous other TV and live stage events.
Thomas explained that his mission is to promote empathy through his work with Visual Art. He wants to further conversations about Equality, Representation, and Diversity which he certainly does with his films.
The creative direction of the shoot was executed by Franklin Peña, a professional dancer and fashion model from New York City. He has always been heavily involved in the entertainment industry and in 2016 decided to make the move from the Bronx to Los Angeles. There, he appeared on E Network’s reality show, What Happens at The Abbey. This series takes a glance inside of The Abbey in West Hollywood, which is known as the “Best Gay Bar in the World.” The show follows the workers of the bar as they interact with celebrities and navigate love and drama.
Pena was also tapped by 360 Magazine as a red carpet correspondent in 2017. He continues to grow his success working with a variety of other creatives in the industry.
This shoot was produced by Brian Rubiano. As a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, Brian Rubiano has gained success as an actor and producer. He also started “Humanize It,” his own Film Production and Brand Strategy consultation company.
Rubiano has worked closely with Brian Thomas on many similar films for Spinkick Pictures. Rubiano worked as the Post-Production Producer for both the Award-Winning feature documentary “Amy’s Victory Dance” and the short film “Dark Matter,” both of which Thomas also worked on.
Rubiano has a goal to use his platform, skills & knowledge in order to help artists and the creative community to expand their brand’s purpose. He aspires to be a vessel to the voiceless, marginalized & underrepresented by using film production as his medium.
You can keep up with Moaning, Thomas, Peña and Rubiano on their Instagrams.
Diversity at all-time high due to growing television landscape but notable disparities persist
The explosion of new television platforms across broadcast, streaming and cable has led to an increase in on-screen representation of diverse identity groups, according to Nielsen’s latest Diverse Intelligence Series report: Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV.
Among the 300 most-viewed programs in 2019, 92% had some level of diversity in the cast (i.e. women, people of color or LGBTQ+). Whites, African Americans and LGBTQ+ had the largest overall share of screen while Women, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans were underrepresented relative to their population estimates. The report uncovers notable differences in identity group representation across different platforms; with streaming over-indexing on representation for certain identity groups versus traditional broadcast and cable.
In this report, Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV, Nielsen reports on scripted, reality, variety and news programming on key metrics:
Share of Screen (SOS): composition of the top 10 recurring cast members in a program
Inclusion Opportunity Index (IOI): compares the SOS of an identity group (e.g. women) to their representation in population estimates
Inclusion Audience Index (IAI): compares the SOS of an identity group to their representation in a program’s audience.
The report is powered by Gracenote Inclusion Analytics, a new solution delivering cutting-edge metrics created from Gracenote content metadata and Nielsen audience measurement data, providing the industry with consistent and reliable measurement of granular viewing. The report also leverages Gracenote Video Descriptors, metadata relating to story, mood, character, theme and scenario in each program.
Key insights from the report include:
Overall, representation of diverse identity groups in on-screen programming is low across all media platforms. Streaming fares better for inclusion followed by broadcast and cable. Viewing audiences are increasingly seeking content that tells their stories. As a result, people are migrating to platforms that have broad and more diverse content offerings.
Representation by platform (Broadcast, Cable, Streaming): Nearly one-third of the content on cable doesn’t have parity representation of Indigenous, People of Color (Black, Native American, Asian & Pacific islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle eastern/ North African, Multiracial), Women or LGBTQ talent.
Subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming represents several identity groups e.g. Blacks, Hispanic and Asians well, helping us understand, in part, why more diverse audiences are subscribing to streaming services than the general population.
Representation of identity groups by genre (e.g. comedy, drama, news):
While women are not well represented in any single genre, the highest representation for women is in science fiction, drama, comedy and horror.
Women have the lowest representation in news.
People of color representation is at parity in music and drama, followed by science fiction and action and adventure.
People of color have least relative representation in news.
News does prominently feature LGBTQ talent on-screen.
Reality and horror programming also prominently feature LGBTQ talent.
All audiences, regardless of how they identify, like to see diversity in the content they view on TV. Programs that represent multiple identity groups evenly yield higher overall audience ratings for all viewers when compared to shows that have a significant over or under representation of any one identity group.
Quality of representation matters too. The themes and narratives depicted on-screen can contribute to identity formation and social perceptions. As the industry seeks to improve diversity on-screen, content creators and publishers should consider the context in which women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ talent are presented. Equally important is investing in marketing those diverse programs so that they are watched.
Comprise 52% of the U.S. population; show up on screen only 38% of the time
Women 50+ years old
60% less likely to see themselves in programming than in the general population, and 2x the representation of men 50+
Women 50+ comprise 20% of the population and 20% of all TV viewers, but have a SOS of less than 8%
Men 50+ years old are 17% of the total population and have SOS of 14%
1 out of 4 top performing programs across cable, broadcast and streaming have relative representation of LGBTQ+ cast members
Total SOS for LGBTQ was 7%. LGBTQ people are 4.5% of the population so across all platforms we see fair representation
The highest level of representation is on SVOD (8% SOS), followed by cable (7%) then broadcast (5%).
Aligning representative casting and content themes is an area of opportunity. In the programming where identity groups see themselves represented at parity, these are the themes that are most present:
Black women: emotional, personal relationships, sons, investigation, rivalry
Black men: investigation, thrilling, streets, pursuit, teamwork, discovery
East Asians: challenge, courage and bravery, justice, sons, discovery
South/Southeast Asian males: thrilling, awakening, offices, courtrooms
White women: friendship, family, love, husbands, daughters
Nielsen’s findings aim to show media owners the degree to which their programming is inclusive, coupled with the diversity of the audience they draw. Additionally, brands and agencies will now be able to measure their advertising investment and alignment to inclusive content. The identity groups measured included: Female, Male & Expansive Gender Identities, Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian & Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern/North African, Multiracial, White, Native American/Native Alaskan, and Sexual Orientation. The data, which was both intersectional and granular, enables Nielsen to look at specific identity subsegments like Afro-Latino or Southeast Asian.
“At Nielsen, we believe that the audience is everything and that inclusion is a prerequisite of a healthy media ecosystem, ensuring all communities and individuals are heard and seen,” stated Tina Wilson, Nielsen EVP, Media Analytics and Marketing Outcomes. “The call for inclusive programming that breaks traditional stereotypes and gives a voice to underrepresented groups has never been louder.”
“This work underscores the essential importance of on-screen representation in an increasingly diverse audience landscape,” said Sandra Sims-Williams, Nielsen SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Not only is the business case for inclusion made but it also provides practical recommendations on how media companies can address inclusion gaps. This is a must-read for any media professional who wants to be part of the change that today’s television viewers demand.”
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
Harry Styles made history Friday as the first male to grace the cover of US Vogue. Styles defies gender stereotypes in the fashion magazine, which has become a point of controversy on social media in the days following its reveal.
On the cover of the December issue, Styles is photographed in a field wearing a pale blue, lace Gucci dress. He is featured wearing different skirts a number of times throughout the spread.
“Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with,” Styles says in the cover story. “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.”
While most fans took to social media to praise the artist for his redefinition of gender norms in the shoot, some public figures shared their distaste for the photoshoot and Styles’ stereotypically feminine attire.
Coservative author and political activist Candace Owensquote-tweeted Vogue’s post promoting the cover story, saying “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.”
Styles’ supporters quickly called out Candace, posting TikTok videos of her wearing a pantsuit, citing her hypocrisy. Actress and filmmaker Olivia Wilde responded to Owens’ tweet with a simple, “You’re pathetic.” Styles is set to star in Wilde’s upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling.
Conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro had a similar reaction to that of Owens, saying “Outward indicators of masculinity and femininity exist in nearly every human culture. Boys are taught to be more masculine in nearly every human culture because the role of men is not always the same as the role of women. The Left knows this, of course. The POINT of style doing this photo shoot is to feminize masculinity.”
One of the most recent celebrities to jump to Harry’s defense has been internet personality Logan Paul. On the latest episode of his podcast “Impaulsive,” Paul showed his respect for Styles in his effort to challenge social norms. When his co-hosts questioned his stance on the issue and the “manliness” of the dress, Paul said “What is manly to you? What does it mean? Is manly like being comfortable in your own skin and being comfortable with who you are, regardless of what people think about what you’re wearing?”
On social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok, it is evident that more users praise Styles than criticize him for his bold statement in the cover. Many argue that fashion choices do not define a person’s identity. Despite his detractors, Styles remains one of the biggest names in pop culture and it doesn’t look like his widespread admiration is going anywhere with his first solo single “Sign of the Times” just re-entering the Top 100 US chart on iTunes.
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