Here's some of the things we've been loving at Smoke this month. You're safe from the Christmas ads here, we promise.
The Tale of Four by Gabourey Sidibe
Actress and author Gabourey Sidibe made her directorial debut with The Tale of Four, a short film looking the everyday struggles of black women in America. Inspired by Nina Simon’s song Four Women, the film captures a day in the life of its main characters, intertwining their stories of seeking agency, love, identity, and redemption.
The first hijab-wearing Barbie
Mattel has unveiled a new Barbie based on Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. It will be the first Barbie to come with a hijab, honouring the US athlete who was the first Muslim American woman to compete wearing a headscarf. The doll is part of Mattel’s Sheroes series based on ‘female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere.’
Defined by the people who live it
Refinery29 launched their Gender Nation glossary: a crowd-sourced glossary of gender identity and sexual orientation terminology made in partnership with GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy organisation. With the belief that people should be able to define their own identities, the glossary currently contains 85 terms with definitions contributed by people who identify with the terms themselves. Refinery29 hopes it will be an informative tool, helping people to learn and understand evolving gender and sexual orientation terminology.
This Dazed article looks at the media’s recent hobby of digging up ancient dirt from celebrity’s social media profiles. Stars like Stormzy have been targeted with publications ‘exposing’ their homophobic and other unsavoury tweets - written when they were teenagers. The article discusses how growing up online has meant mistakes and ignorant behaviour are well documented, yet old statuses shouldn’t be used as ammunition against people now. It also distracts from other issues like prominent figures - who are old enough to know better - behaving problematically today.
REACHING NEW LIMITS
This month, Twitter’s upped their character limit from 140 to 280 for the majority of its users. They had been testing out the new limit with select accounts over the past few months but now that it’s been rolled out to the masses, it’s brought some interesting reactions. Aside from complaining, Twitter users have gotten creative with their longer tweets. Scroll down your feed and you might find people playing games like Chess and Connect 4 with emojis.