This has to be the facepalm of the year.
Every Feb. 5, Nutella aficionados worldwide take to social media to celebrate World Nutella Day, composing songs, hosting parties and posting pictures of the sinfully sumptuous hazelnut and chocolate spread on everything from pancakes to pizzas to pastries.
This year’s event was particularly notable, as the “Nutella riots” had surprised the world just 11 days earlier. A French grocery chain slashed Nutella prices by 70%, leading to brawls, injuries, and an “orgy” of shopping madness. The uproar was so extreme that the French government began an investigation to see if consumer laws for discounting merchandise had been broken.
When you’re vegan, fast food is rarely an option. What was once my favorite of the big chains, Wendy’s, has long been a forbidden zone—I can’t be sure the fries aren’t somehow sullied by beef fat or lard. Sure, I think wistfully about the 99-cent crispy chicken nuggets that I ingested almost daily in my car as a teenager, smirking because no one could tell me not to. But those days are deep in the rearview mirror now. I live in Brooklyn. I write nut cheese recipes. I cook my own artisanal tempeh.
If the future looks anything like the Met Gala red carpet looked last night, it’s going to be boring, and rest too heavily on conventional tastes. The theme, Manus X Machina, should have inspired more outlandish and innovative designs, but celebrities and designers alike were inhibited by a deference to traditional beauty and a lack of imagination. Even Lady Gaga looked comparatively normal in a bedazzled body suit and jacket. The truth is, “the intersection of art and technology” is a bit of cliche in the creative industry. Too often, it serves as a placeholder for “the future”. But that interpretation ignores the realities we’re living in now, a present in which unmanned planes trawl the skies and surveillance technology is helping corporations and governments build robust databases of our facial maps. What does fashion look like when it takes into account our high-surveilled environments, or the facts of climate change? Here are some suggestions for our tech-challenged celeb colleagues:
Photo by Flickr user Aaron Fulkerson
In an effort to reverse the effects of rampant institutional sexism that have robbed women of their dignity and agency for hundreds of years, people around the United States are rallying against the much-maligned “tampon tax,” a tax on period-management products, which are legally classified as “luxury goods.” Earlier this year, California legislators introduced a bill that would eliminate the tax. Just this month, five women in New York filed a lawsuit against the Department of Taxation and Finance for its imposition of the tax. And now Illinois is vying to become the sixth state that’s free of the tampon tax.