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Here's the Plan—Ready?
The Jane Wiedlin and Belinda Carlisle of newsletters has got the beat! We're declaring our endless love—and the start of a vacation (of sorts).
What’s up, Spreadimals?
Well, let us tell you what’s up over here. Oh, just that we’re 13 months pregnant; recovering from Covid (seriously—at least, the pregnant one of us is; the other of us is lounging glamorously in her backyard by the blow-up pool, in case you were wondering); one episode into this season’s double-lead The Bachelorette; and ready to DO THIS THING. And by “THIS THING” we mean bring SpreadBaby into the world and otherwise kinda-sorta take a “break”—inasmuch as you can call maternity leave a break. What does this mean for the Spreadiverse? For the next couple of months, you’ll be hearing from us a little less. We’ll still drop the occasional Spreadable morsel in your inbox, a reminder that, yes, we do still exist—and we miss you. And that you miss us, right??? Then you’ll blink and it’ll be September, and we’ll be back—BIG TIME. Honestly, Spread’s gonna be huge this fall.
A quick aside that’s actually the point (we’ll get there): Brad Pitt just stumbled upon the ultimate excuse for being a d*ck. According to a profile by Ottessa Moshfegh (yes, that one) in GQ, apparently he suffers from face blindness—the inability to remember the cling-ons who come up to him at Hollywood parties insisting they’ve met and—we’re extrapolating here—the less memorable women in a well-worn little black book. It’s a medical condition! Yeah.
We mention this little piece of “news,” dear readers, only to say that no matter how you emerge after our weeks apart—if you end up with a summer glow-up or use the season to let it go, let it go completely—your Spreaditors will always spot you in a crowd. (We’ll then walk up to you and launch straight into whatever’s on our mind/whoever’s recently crossed us/you get the idea.) But for now, instead of the usual heaping buffet of conversation, we’ll leave you with a smattering of stories and other internet delights—a charcuterie board or crudités platter, depending on your dietary restrictions—that are amusing us circa now.
Love and spiked snow cones,
Rachel & Maggie
Patricia Explains It All
I think it would be safe at this point to call the New Yorker’s Michael Schulman the Spread’s favorite celebrity interviewer, wouldn’t you, Rachel? His Elizabeth Moss inspired an hours-long debate about Scientology over at Spread HQ, and, as faithful readers will recall, his Jeremy Strong almost drove us (and a significant swath of Hollywood) off the rails last fall: Whew! This time he nails the ish of Patricia Arquette: In her younger roles, “her blowsy sexuality belied an undercurrent of strangeness,” writes Schulman. Don’t you love that feeling when a writer just puts their finger right on it? This is a long Q&A, not a profile, but it ably covers Arquette’s construction of her dual role on Apple TV+’s culty and “claustrophobic” Severance (I’m only one ep in, don’t spoil it) and (yes!) touches on her eccentric three-gen family of showpeople, her childhood dreams of becoming a nun, and growing up in a sorta-kinda-cult called Subud.—Maggie
Goldberg Goes There
We’ve been calling for New York Times gender and politics columnist Michelle Goldberg’s big manifesto on the Modern Feminist Movement for awhile now. In a series of too-short columns on “sex positivity” and the Johnny Depp trial and more, she has appeared to be winding up for one, and on this week’s Ezra Klein podcast—yes, we know we’ve been recommending him a lot lately; feels like the Roe upset has ole Ezra on a lady-oriented roll—Goldberg delivers, diving into basically every constant Spread topic (other than Rachel’s baby and Top Gun). I’m not even going to bother trying to paraphrase the Times write-up—it’s summer, I’m lazy, ok? But look people, it’s all here.—Maggie
“We discuss a ‘flabbergasting’ poll about the way young people — both men and women — feel about feminism, why so many young people have become pessimistic about heterosexual relationships, how the widespread embrace of feminism defanged its politics, why the anti-abortion movement is so good at recruiting and retaining activists — and what the left can learn from them, how today’s backlash against women compares to that of the Reagan years, why nonprofits on the left are in such extreme turmoil, why a social movement’s obsession with ‘cringe’ can be its downfall, how ‘safe spaces’ on the left started to feel unsafe, why feminism doesn’t always serve poor women, whether the #MeToo movement was overly dismissive of ‘due process,’ how progressives could improve the way they talk about the family and more.”
Cover 2 Cover
I can’t remember the last time I got excited-in-a-good-way about a magazine cover, but last week delivered two that sent me screengrabbing and texting them over to Maggie—and with feeling! First was The Crown’s baseball-capped Emma Corrin (photographed by Jamie Hawkesworth) looking so young, fresh as a daisy, and nonchalantly gender fluid—all of which is true to her IRL self—on the cover of Vogue. Then, in a polar-opposite move, came Kim Kardashian wrapped in fake-blonde hair on Allure. The stories accompanying each are a serious step up from the stock text we’ve been seeing of late. For Kardashian, longtime Allure editor and shorter-time Goop editor-in-chief Danielle Pergament turns a bare-bones meeting into an entertaining encounter with—I’m going to say it—the world’s shiniest star. Meanwhile, over at Vogue, Corrin, who is queer and nonbinary, is treated with a warmth and understanding by queer writer Emma Specter that feels especially rare for the magazine’s often chilly pages; pronouns play a part in the profile because Corrin uses “they,” but more striking to me was each time Specter uses “we” to describe herself and her subject and the generation to which they both belong.—Rachel
Mission Quite Plausible?
Some of us are still talking about Top Gun: Maverick. In the Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan, who’s the same age Tom Cruise claims to be (60), buckles down to finally watch the original for the first time, finds it to be both propaganda and, separately, homoerotic—and chases it with the new sequel, which she loves in spite of herself. Same! Read it here. —Rachel
Thirsty for Sisterhood
If you crave an excuse to rewatch Girls Trip (always) or need a sequel to last week’s recommended reading on Lilith Fair, Patrice Peck’s love letter to the New Orleans-set Essence Festival—a real love fest for Black women—will do the trick. Read it in the New York Times here. —Rachel
Mama’s Little Helper, Anyone??
A former long-serving Allure EIC pops up over at Airmail—refuge for the Condé Nast old guard—to tell us about…sex gummies? Do tell, Linda Wells! While science still hasn’t figured out how to reawaken the female libido, a host of OTC products claim to help a gal get where she needs to go, including CBD-infused creams to increase blood flow and lubrication; the aforementioned gummy (named Libido!) full of herbs purported to aid blood flow—according to the candy’s creator, it “mirror[s] an after-dinner mint.” There’s even a supplement whose (not especially rigorous-looking) studies show it may help increase the “orgasmic potential” of women on desire-killing SSRIs. [Insert raunchy-sounding play on the name “Spread” here.]—Maggie
The New Yorker finally discovered celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser dispatching staff writer Naomi Fry to do the Q&A honors for its digital “family issue.” Y’all, this is the form for Ms. Laura. Fry, who’s a great interviewer, tees up each question oh-so expertly and just lets Wasser gooooooo and keeeeep going—you’ll instantly feel like you’re in an office with Laura Dern and some really good pastry. Wasser is wise, she’s fun, she’s glamorous, and boy is she DISHY. Elsewhere in the issue, which is really more of a package than an issue but whatever: What’s new in prenups by Michael Waters (their users are getting younger), plus Emily Witt on the new “mature” dating app.
Plus: If you’re teetering on the brink of Wasser territory, the Atlantic’s newish podcast series, How to Start Over, hosted by writer Olga Khazan, has got the episode for you: “When Can a Marriage Be Saved?”—Rachel
Are You a Tyra or a Lyla?
It’s something of a relief for me that Taylor Kitsch has finally got a few years on him. The older I get, the more inappropriate it seems for me to send my (fortysomething) friends GIFs of Tim Riggins, the supposedly 17-year-old football star who stole my (thirtysomething) heart in Friday Night Lights. Do I love grown- up Taylor as much as the man-boy Tim? Not quite. But when he shows Esquire writer Madison Vain his iPhone videos—from his wildlife-chasing off-camera life in Bozeman, Montana—of a wolf puppy drinking milk from a baby’s bottle? I came pretty close to recapturing that Riggins rush. Read the story here.—Maggie
PLUS: Because We’re Not Disciplined Enough To Cut Anything Today!
Tape is the new old bra (New York Times)
What is up with Elon Musk’s wanton procreation? Extra…babies? (Vanity Fair)
Group trip to Istanbul for hair transplants! Who’s in? (GQ)
We couldn’t be less drawn to this Netflix show about building your own sex room, but maybe you will be—and who are we to judge? (Daily Beast)
Wow, Maggie! This is quite a declaration. I’d like to hold space, as they say, also for Allison P. Davis, Andrea Long Chu, E. Alex Jung, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, and a few others whose names I can’t summon through my combo of baby brain and Covid brain but whose celebrity work I know I love. (Those in addition to my forever favorites of the genre: Vanessa Grigoriadis, Jessica Pressler, and Daphne Merkin.) But I’m impressed that you’re willing to commit to M. Schulman a full six months ahead of the next Spreadie Awards; ship that blurb!—Rachel