This week’s published stories were heavy lifts, so we’re skipping the essay (I promise there will be more!). But I’m still dishing up the cream of my latest consumption crop.
I interviewed Kate Hudson on her newest nutrition line INBLOOM, daily life in quarantine, and wellness intentions for 2021. Her approach to staying sane in lockdown? Flexibility, simplicity and self-compassion.
I don’t know how she has manages to carve out time for herself while parenting three kids and running her wellness empire from home (she now has Fabletics, INBLOOM, King St. Vodka, a podcast, and two books under her belt).
“Much of 2020 was about doing the best I could under circumstances that were anything but consistent,” the actress-turned-wellness-mogul says. “We all had to adapt to new ways of working, schooling our children, socializing and living.”
It sounds like her secret is setting screen-time and work boundaries, balanced with self-compassion, “Some days we do better than others, but I also try not to be too hard on myself or on them during these unusual times,” says Hudson. “Sometimes screen time is just another one of the things helping to keep us all connected and sane!”
Respiratory health is anticipated to be the next big wellness trend. But after talking to 11 experts, I discovered it’s not a trend at all. Western doctors have been advocating for daily respiratory maintenance for years; Ayurvedic practitioners, for centuries.
A recurring sentiment I heard across my interviews was that us humans like to complicate things, overlooking solutions right in front of us—in nature, in our bodies. Whether it’s improving the air quality in your home (did you know it can be 2-5x more polluted than outdoor air?) to practicing breathwork, there are so many ways to protect your respiratory health. But like all healthcare, access is never equal—Jasmine Marie, the founder of black girls breathing, reminds me “respiratory wellness expands beyond our body and lungs into a socio-political issue” too.
This story was such a pleasure to research, I learned so much.
📱Is Instagram dead?
“It took Boomers an eternity to get on Facebook, and when they did, they silver-tsunami’d the site faster than a Denny’s salad bar. Now, Facebook’s bright-blue logo reminds many teenagers of their grandma’s new hair dye.”
But the fall of IG will more likely be because “the Instagram aesthetic is too homogenous for the most individualized generation in history.”
🙏Did you manifest it or was it your white privilege? Why is there this resurgence of positive thinking among Gen Zers? We’re seeing “a culture of specialness: the use of spirituality to create this idea of being exceptional…People want to believe that they can close their eyes and wish for a mega-mansion. But it just doesn’t work that way.”
🛌 Turns out there’s a name for my sleep habits—“Revenge bedtime procrastination”: people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late-night hours.”
📝Why you should stop keeping a personal scorecard. “If your happiness depends on an escalating list of worldly accomplishments, you might find that your fear of failure supplants your ambition,” writes Arthur Brooks.
“Prime Minister Trudeau calls himself a feminist so why does Canada host a company that inflicts rape videos on the world?” writes Nicholas Kristof.
Life & Death:
⏳Wise words from Cicely Tyson, who the world lost this Thursday at 96.
“I’m not scared of death. I don’t know what it is. How could I be afraid of something I don’t know anything about?”
👀Our information economy has been superseded by an attention economy (where the most valuable currency is our attention). But how will a moneyless attention economy play out in the world of old-fashioned, but still-needed, material goods? Michael H. Goldhaber made predictions in 1997 that are scarily on point.
🤙🏿Deaf Black signers are finally bringing attention to Black American Sign Language on TikTok. “Black ASL grew out of the immoral seeds of racial segregation.” It makes sense then, that code switching exists within Black ASL too.
“The same way Black hearing people adjust how they speak “to meet the needs” of their white counterparts, Black ASL users employ a similar mechanism depending on their environment,” writes Allyson Waller
👭“The world can be a terrifying place, but in Stars Hollow, the world is still this wonderful, lovely place.” John Stephens, one of the writers of Gilmore Girls, tells The New York Times. I’ve been rewatching this show for the umpteenth time lately and this anniversary story was the sugar to Lorelai’s black coffee.
Bling Empire (Netflix) is total trash. But if I—someone who despises reality TV (except for cooking shows)—am hooked, then surely anyone can watch it.
Being Asian Canadian, I’m biased. It’s really exciting to see an all-Asian cast in a typically white reality TV format. Up until now, all-Asian casts were relegated to “ethnic” reality TV shows with subtitles (think, Terrace House). Sure non-Asians watched them but if they did, it was niche. Otherwise, Asians in the white reality TV space were always side characters. Here, Asians don’t feel “othered”—it’s, dare I say, *refreshing*?
I also love the diversity of Asian experiences—it’s about time people realize Asians aren’t a monolith. I of course relate to Kevin, a South Korean adoptee raised by white parents in the U.S. He’s also not hard to look at, which makes me so optimistic that the tide is turning—are Asian men finally being portrayed as desirable on screen? Check out photographer Andrew Kung’s work for more on this; his photo series—The All-American, To Be Seen, Redefining Intimacy—are helping reimagine the Asian American man. I digress to give you a taste.
Ok but one more note on Bling Empire, can we just take a moment to appreciate Anna Shay, the Russian-Japanese socialite who I want to guess is a boomer but has had too much botox to tell. As TV Guide critic Diane Gordon says, “The wonderful thing about Anna is how little she cares about impressing anyone and how skilled she is at reading people and knowing their motives,” now that’s an Anna I strive to be in my 60s.
Can you differentiate between loneliness, social anxiety, and depression? Jameela Jamil’s interview with Dr. Vivek Murthy gets into it. Plus, the cycle of loneliness and how to get out of it.
“I’ve had friends who’ve lost loved ones who’ve said they went through weeks where no one reached out to them, not because they didn’t care, but because they were trying to give them space. Sometimes I wonder if we give each other too much space.”
Studies have shown one of the major peaks of loneliness happens during young adulthood. But how can Gen Zers and Millennials be so lonely when we’re so connected by technology?
“Technology reinforces the predominant culture that tells us to be successful, we need to accumulate fame, wealth or power. We hold those people up who’ve achieved these milestones as success stories and we attribute these successes to one person.
We have a culture that’s tilted away from interdependence to independence; to be truly successful we’ve got to do things on our own, be self-sufficient. The reality is we have evolved to be interdependent species. If we’re forcing ourselves to do the opposite, that creates conflict, and that conflict manifests as people having low self-esteem, being depressed and anxious, because we’re chasing an ideal that doesn’t speak to us.” -Dr. Vivek Murthy.