Posts tagged with "alternative lifestyle"

Kia Damon illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Chef Kia Damon: Culinary Compassion In The Kitchen

By: Emily Bunn

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.”

To learn more about Kia, visit her website.

Kia’s EFFEN Rosé Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail

Ingredients: 

  • 2 parts EFFEN Rosé vodka
  • 1 oz of lime juice
  • ½ oz of cane syrup
  • 2 or 3 parts grapefruit juice

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 

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh parsley

Directions

  • 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.
  • Enjoy!
Kia's EFFEN Rosé Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail Photo credit: Solène Michel  Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People for use by 360 Magazine

Photo credit: Solène Michel Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People

Kia Damon image shot by Elina Street for EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Solène Michel 

Frank Pena for 360 Magazine

Jonte’ Moaning × Brian Thomas

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 BeyoncéAlthough, 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. 

As well as being an accredited director, Thomas has choreographed for many notable stars. He has worked with stars such as Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Pink, Whitney Houston, Usher, Jason Durelo and Alicia Keys, all giant names within the music industry. He has also worked closely with stars like Destiny’s Child, Jamie Foxx, Mya, Brian McKnight, Deborah Cox, India Arie, Liza Minnelli, Gloria Gaynor and Marc Anthony to produce stellar choreography. 

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.   

Read more about Brian Thomas and his success on his website, http://brianthomasfilms.com/

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. 

Model: Jonte’ Moaning 

Photographer: Brian Thomas 

Creative Direction: Franklin Peña

Producer: Brian Rubiano

Frank Pena for 360 Magazine

Frank Pena for 360 Magazine

Vaughn Lowery illustration by Allison Christensen for his book Move Like Water x Be Fluid produced by 360 MAGAZINE

MLWXBF

Move Like Water × Be Fluid

By Katrina Tiktinsky

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 projects 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.

Photo of LaJUNE by Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Photo: Armon Hayes, Talent: LaJUNE

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.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid, by Vaughn Lowery, is available this month exclusively on the 360 MAGAZINE’s website. 360 MAGAZINE has received numerous accolades, and has recently been featured on Dancing with the Stars. Stay in touch by following both Lowery (@vaughnlowery) and 360 (@360magazine)

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.

Streaming, tv, film, Nielsen story illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

STREAMING PLATFORMS LEADING THE WAY 

IN ON-SCREEN DIVERSE REPRESENTATION

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.

  • Women insights
    • 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%
  • LGBTQ+ insights
    • 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: 

  • Latinas: dysfunction, emotional, suspenseful, melodramatic, police stations
  • 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.”

For more details and insights, download Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation & Inclusion on TV. Please visit nielsen.com/inclusionanalytics to learn more. Join the discussion on Facebook (Nielsen Community) and follow us on Twitter (@NielsenKnows).

ABOUT NIELSEN 

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 illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Harry Styles × Vogue

By Cassandra Yany

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 Owens quote-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. 

Sam Smith – Diamonds

Capitol Records will release Sam Smith’s new album, Love Goes, on October 30th. Today, as the album pre-order launched, they shared their new single, “Diamonds,” a dazzling dancefloor anthem that showcases Sam’s unforgettable vocals in a defiant tale of love lived without regret. Smith wrote the track with Shellback (Adele, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift) and Oscar Holter (The Weeknd, Tove Lo). Shellback and Oscar Görres (MARINA, Allie X) produced. Download/stream “Diamonds” HERE.

In the official video, Smith dances alone with abandon, reveling in their newfound freedom and emerging from a stormy night to greet the morning sun. The clip was directed by Emmy award winning filmmaker Luke Monaghan, who also teamed up with Smith on such videos as “Too Good At Goodbyes” “Writing’s on the Wall” and “I’m Not the Only One.” Their work together has amassed over 2.5 billion streams. Watch the “Diamonds” video HERE.

The album’s 17 songs were written over the course of the past two years. The pandemic gave Smith a fresh perspective on the album and impacted both its title and the recording of tracks such as the recently released “My Oasis,” a cross-continental collaboration with Burna Boy. As Smith details in this announcement, posted today, “Every time I went into the studio I promised myself I would shoot for the stars and have no limitations…I am sorry it’s taken a while. But these unprecedented times gave me the room and space to fall in love with these songs all over again…After it all I still believe love is the answer. And with love in our hearts and kindness in our words and actions, we sing on.” The new album builds on the 30 billion career streams Smith has amassed and the global success of their multi-Platinum debut and sophomore albums, In the Lonely Hour and The Thrill of It All. For the artwork for Love Goes, Smith worked with world-renowned British fashion photographer/filmmaker Alasdair McLellan (Vogue, Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton) to bring their vision to life. Love Goes is available for pre-order HERE. Fans who pre-order the digital album will instantly receive “Diamonds” plus “My Oasis,”“Dancing with a Stranger,” the chart-topping collaboration with Normani that has sold more than 13 million units and racked up over 2.5 billion streams worldwide, “To Die For” and “How Do You Sleep?” The new album also features collaborations with Labrinth (“Love Goes”) and Calvin Harris (“Promises”). See below for track listing. Love Goes follows 2017’s The Thrill Of It All, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and also topped the charts in the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium. Awarded four stars by Rolling Stone, the album included the hit single “Too Good At Goodbyes,” which recently became Smith’s second song to receive over a billion streams on Spotify, after “Stay With Me.” Smith, who has won GRAMMY, BRIT, Golden Globe and Oscar awards, recently featured on Tiwa Savage’s new song, “Temptation.”

TRACK LISTING – LOVE GOES

  1. Young
  2. Diamonds
  3. Another One
  4. My Oasis (feat. Burna Boy)
  5. So Serious
  6. Dance (‘Til You Love Someone Else)
  7. For The Lover That I Lost
  8. Breaking Hearts
  9. Forgive Myself
  10. Love Goes (feat. Labrinth)
  11. Kids Again

 BONUS TRACKS

  1. Dancing With A Stranger (Sam Smith & Normani)
  2. How Do You Sleep?
  3. To Die For
  4. I’m Ready (Sam Smith & Demi Lovato)
  5. Fire On Fire
  6. Promises (Calvin Harris & Sam Smith)
Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Marsha's House in the Bronx for 360 MAGAZINE.

Marsha’s House: Shelter for LGBTQ+

In Greenwich Village near where Stonewall Inn resides, a monument will be built to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, trailblazers and history-makers for the LGBTQ+ community. Marsha P. Johnson was a black transgender woman and drag queen, whose outspoken activism and radical vision during the Gay Liberation Movement continues to inspire people today.

A monument isn’t the only place bearing her memory. Marsha’s House- operated by the nonprofit Project Renewal- opened on February 15, 2017 to continue to serve the community as Marsha did, by taking in homeless LGBTQ+ young adults. With the added risks and discrimination that they face, Marsha’s House seeks to provide valuable resources and shelter to these LGBTQ+ youth.

According to a report done by the National Institutes of Health, around 62% of homeless LGBTQ+ youth have faced discrimination from their families. Jazmine Pérez, Program Director of Marsha’s House, stressed the importance of having a “safe space dedicated to [LGBTQ+ homeless youth]” as “New York City had never had housing tailored to their needs.”

These youth face particular adversities that are further complicated when alternative housing options do not have the facilities to aid them, or are outright discriminatory towards them. A study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that 41% of homeless and runaway LGBTQ+ adolescents they interviewed have major depression, in comparison to 28% of homeless heterosexual adolescents interviewed.

 Marsha’s House boasts a variety of programs catered towards some of the issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. Pérez outlines services which include “referrals to legal supportive services, education, healthcare, and employment programs.”

Additionally, clients that come to Marsha’s House are assured personalized living arrangements that assist each individual in finding employment and housing. “Our Case Managers and Peer Counselors meet with clients to ensure compliance with their individual living plan. They work closely with our Job Developer, Vocational Counselor, and Housing Coordinator to secure employment and housing.”

Concerns over Covid-19 pandemic are ever prevalent in the context of shared living facilities, like homeless shelters. However, Marsha’s House eases some of this concern by screening potential clients for the virus, enforcing social distancing, and cutting down accommodation from 81 beds to 60 in its 5-floor-walk-up facility. The facility maintains 20 rooms of various sizes, from single rooms to larger rooms that accommodate up to 6 people.

But Covid-19 hasn’t been the only adversity Marsha’s House has faced in recent years. The Trump administration has continued to be a source of disparaging policies and remarks against the LGBTQ+ community. On July 23, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development formally announced a proposal that would reverse the 2012 Equal Access Rule, which warrants protection for homeless transgender people against discrimination by homeless shelters and other federally funded alternative housing. 

This comes as a setback and large blow to the transgender community. A 2015 survey done by The National Center for Transgender Equality shows that “70% of respondents who stayed in a shelter in the past year reported some form of mistreatment, including being harassed, sexually or physically assaulted, or kicked out because of being transgender.” The HUD’s rollback on the Equal Access Rule would only serve to undo the progress that has been made to make homeless shelters more safe to the marginalized people that need them.

    “The rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have disregarded the very identities of our clients and staff, especially when it comes to the intersectionality of our existence,” said Pérez. “Speaking personally, as a woman of color with trans experience, I feel like I have three strikes against me in the eyes of this administration.”

Despite these incredible challenges they face, Marsha’s House continues to receive equally incredible help- from the support coming from their progressive state of New York, to the generous donors that help fund Project Renewal, to the operations staff that help run things every single day. “Our Marsha’s House Heroes are our operations staff. As essential workers, they have not skipped a beat with reporting to work and providing the support our clients needed. Being that we are a shelter, we operate 24/7/365, and our operations staff members are always here for their full 8-hour shifts.”

360 Magazine, LGTBQ+ Pride

2020 Pride Benefit Concert

In celebration of Pride, RCA Records is excited to announce they will be holding a virtual livestream – 2020 Pride Benefit Concert – to help raise funds for the Human Rights Campaign on June 30th.  The livestream will be mixed with performances from some of RCA’s outstanding roster as well as serve as a platform to educate viewers on the mission of the Human Rights Campaign and ways to get involved.  All proceeds received during the livestream will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign: “Pride started with protest. And this year, it is clearer than ever that the fight for LGBTQ rights is intricately linked to the fight against racism and the fight for dignity for us all. Pride is also about celebration and the community we have built, together. And since many of us could not celebrate in person this year, we are looking forward to joining forces with RCA Records to host a virtual Pride benefit concert to close out the month. We are grateful to have this space to bring the community together, to celebrate our progress and redouble our commitment to the work we have ahead of us.”

Set to perform in this 1 hour livestream are Cam, TOBi, WALK THE MOON, Jimmy Eat World, Sam Fischer, SAYGRACE, Isaac Dunbar, Citizen Queen, Christian French and more to be announced.  Fans and viewers can tune in on Tuesday, June 30th at XX on RCA Records’ YouTube channel to catch the livestream.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation together serve as America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality. By inspiring and engaging individuals and communities, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Since its inception in 1900, RCA Records, the second oldest label in American history, has been home to some of the most iconic music artists of all-time celebrating music across all genres.  The label has a rich, storied history which is earmarked by artists continually pushing their artistic boundaries and shaping the cultural landscape.

Follow RCA Records: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Follow Human Rights Campaign: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Mina Tocalini, 360 MAGAZINE, BigKlit, illustration

Notorious BigKlit

‘The epitome of an angry bird’360

Provocative rap sensation BigKlit has announced a special new edition of her infamous 2019 LP, KLITORIUS B.I.G. The album – which includes a number of previously deleted tracks – is available today via ROT$ WORLDWIDE/RECORDS/The Orchard. KLITORIUS B.I.G. features the return of such long-unavailable fan favorites as “FaceFuk,” available now at all DSPs; the track is joined by a companion video, premiering exclusively via YouTube. 

LISTEN TO “FACEFUK”

WATCH “FACEFUK”

With its snarling vocal delivery, intense production, and wildly audacious lyrics, KLITORIUS B.I.G. marks one of the first highlights of what has proven a truly incendiary run from BigKlit. The project was recorded soon after her arrival in New York City, informed by grit, heart, and an insatiable hunger to create something altogether original and her own. 

BigKlit will celebrate the return of KLITORIUS B.I.G. with a livestream release party tonight, June 26, at 8 pm ET. Presented by Brooklyn’s BABY TV, tickets for the event are available on a sliding scale HERE; ticket holders will receive a link and password 30 minutes before the start of the show. Fans purchasing tickets in the 30 minutes leading up to the performance will receive their info in their order confirmation email.

BigKlit made an auspicious debut with last year’s BIG KLITOIRUS EP, followed quickly by the full-length projects. The NYC-based artist quickly caused a worldwide sensation with her breakthrough hit, “Liar.” With its brazenly explicit lyrics and brutal, relentless beats, the track proved one of 2019’s most provocative hits, first blowing up on TikTok before ascending to multiple streaming charts around the world, reaching #1 on the US Viral 50 on two separate occasions. “Liar“ is joined by an age-restricted companion video streaming now via YouTube.

2020 kicked off with the premiere of PSYCHOSIS, a remarkable 30-minute short film directed by @pgdm. “PSYCHOSIS is a dark and dreary fever dream with apocalypse-level anxiety steady throughout,” raved PAPER. “Every song featured in the film hits listeners’ ears like a hallucinogen — they can be deeply disturbing, comforting (‘Beautiful’), or both at once…It’s the type of digi-gothic, post-genre art-making that BigKlit has come to be known for, and her fans are going absolutely nuts over it.”

Last month saw BigKlit teaming up with Universal Music Group/Caroline Distribution recording artist Trippie Redd on a new version of “Beautiful. The track arrived alongside a haunting music video and companion short film, hailed by PAPER as “a work of art that’s unpredictable at every turn…complete with everything you’d likely see in a twisted thriller: lightning, murder, out-of-body experiences and drugs, all with romantic yet eerie songwriting aimed at a subject unaware of their own beauty.” Audiofemme further praised the video and short film, noting that “Beautiful” “embodies the song’s duality with a macabre love story and BDSM imagery. It’s fitting, because shifting the balance of power has been her trademark as a woman in male-dominated rap. By blurring the edges of asserting control or losing it totally, BigKlit remains a provocative artist worth keeping an eye on.”

LISTEN TO “BEAUTIFUL”

WATCH “BEAUTIFUL (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)”

WATCH “BEAUTIFUL (SHORT FILM)”

This spring also saw the premiere of another propulsive single, “Boy Bye.” The rocket-fueled track is accompanied by a spectacular intergalactic sex domination romp of a video.

LISTEN TO “BOY BYE”

WATCH “BOY BYE”

BigKlit is also featured in the new NOISEY documentary, 6 HOURS WITH BIGKLIT, streaming now exclusively via VICE.

CONNECT WITH BIGKLIT:

TIK TOK
INSTAGRAM
YOUTUBE

Luft Balloons, 360 magazine

LUFT BALLOONS

Known for spreading joy across the city of Chicago, Luft Balloons will celebrate the grand opening of its new studio, 345 W. Armitage Ave., from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. Community members will be invited to visit Luft Balloons’ new location to enjoy a massive, colorful, outdoor balloon installation made of 3,500 balloons, and to take part in a contest with the opportunity to win prizes from Luft Balloons. 

Founded by Elaine Frei in 2016, Luft Balloons creates large, bold, balloon installations for events of all sizes and kinds, inside and out, and has worked with high-profile brands such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Nike, Eataly, Nordstrom, BHLDN, and many more.During the grand opening celebration, Luft Balloons will invite guests to visit, while practicing social distancing, and employees will distribute inflated mini balloons with safety pins to pop for a surprise discount on a future order. Discounts will include 20-50% off, a free balloon burst, and the grand prize, a $1,000 installation.“I founded Luft Balloons with the inspiration to “bring the joy” to people around me. Balloons make people happy, they just do, and at Luft Balloons, we are able to take something as simple as a balloon and create magnificent works of art,” said Elaine Frei, founder of Luft Balloons. “I am grateful that Luft Balloons has come so far over the years, and thankful for the support of my amazing team and community. We look forward to celebrating the opening of our new studio with the city of Chicago.”

Since the company’s founding, Luft Balloons has grown from its original location to the 3,000 sq. ft. studio and store in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. The shop sells bespoke helium-filled balloon bouquets from their curated balloon collection as well as assembles artsy air-filled balloon décor – think a smaller-scale piece of Luft Balloons’ installations, arranged and inflated and ready to pick up and hang. Orders are available for pick up or delivery in the Chicago area.

Luft Balloons is open from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. For more information or to place an order, please visit https://www.luftballoonstore.com/