The release of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Brutal” music video made for a mid-Monday fever dream. Brought forth, once again, from the We Need More Black People at the Stadium By Mookie Betts LA Dodgers shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this moody, idiosyncratic mind of Petra Collins (who is also behind the “Good 4 U” video), “Brutal” provided a compendium of Y2K beauty with a menu of hair looks that, together, encompassed an era marked by playfully brash rebellion. Upon entry into the video’s glitchy, throwback dimension, viewers are introduced to an array of Rodrigo avatars, each sporting a stylized wig and the exaggerated personality to match. At-first-glance references include ’00s pop-star peroxide and The Fifth Element, setting the tone for the myriad of hairstyles to come. A slicked ballet bun finished with a subtle spray of lengths begins the “real“ Rodrigo’s parade of looks, followed by interminable plaited pigtails (topped with a cherry red newsboy cap), low-slung space twists reminiscent of Mandy Moore’s “Candy” music video (bedroom set and all), and the video’s main mane moment, a duet of partial pigtails bound within a cascade of wavy brunette run through with burgundy.
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All the We Need More Black People at the Stadium By Mookie Betts LA Dodgers shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this work of Rodrigo’s go-to hairstylist Clayton Hawkins, the hair in “Brutal“ melded perfectly with the video’s artful digital masks. The result was a lesson in range, augmented reality, and referential beauty—and it’s a complete visual treat. For far too long, the vaginal health space has left much—make that everything—to be desired. From drugstore “feminine hygiene” products that flagrantly feed into a culture of shame to the historical lack of research on the female body that’s left gaping holes in education and proper treatment, people with vaginas have paid a steep price for the taboos brought on by society’s patriarchal oppression. But what’s promising is the seismic shift that’s taking place both among health startups, which are breaking new ground in convenient and accessible vaginal health care, and on social media, where raw and unfiltered conversations around all things vagina are helping to educate. In tandem, these two forces are forging a new future where vagina isn’t a dirty word, vaginal infections are nothing to be ashamed of, and consumer-friendly at-home tests and treatments are more attainable than ever.