When We Get Nervous, We Tell the Truth
Fresh off our Grammys sweep, the Buproprion and Escitalopram of newsletters is rethinking polyamory (again) while sunning on the lido deck of our superyacht.
What would make the perfect women’s magazine? Juicy yarns, hot goss, big ideas, deeply personal examinations of women’s lives—and none of the advertiser obligations. Welcome to the Spread, where every week two editors read, listen, and watch it all, and deliver only the best to your inbox.
We are still hoarse from Ladies Night at the Grammys, at which all nine telecasted categories were swept by women—Miley, Billie, Victoria Monét, SZA, Laney Wilson, Karol G, and that other blonde one whose name1 escapes2 us—plus wins by boygenius and Paramore; performances by Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo and, you know, Joni bleepin’ Mitchell and Tracy flippin’ Chapman. It’s a lot for us, thanks for asking. Having all our “friends” in one place, trying not to hurt anybody’s feelings by not spending enough time with any one of them? We were Spread thin for a moment there. So while you may find this issue a bit compact, we promise it’s still brimming with the good stuff.
You’ve got the music in you,
Rachel & Maggie
If even Sofia Coppola—a white woman making films about white women, who also happens to be born into Hollywood royalty—has to watch her Apple projects get unceremoniously axed, imagine the uphill battle of Issa Rae. Who is on her second Time cover of the past 12 months, thankyouverymuch, and doing a helluva lot: In addition to appearing in two Best Picture-nominated movies3, she’s got her own production company (Hoorae), indie music label (Raedio), management company (Color Creative), marketing agency (Fête), prosecco line (Viarae), hair-care brand (Sienna Naturals), and she co-owns a coffee shop in Inglewood—all of which exist to give more members of her community a leg up. Hi Barbie, Any chance of a last minute ballot run in 2024?
Read “Hollywood’s Unkept Promises” in Time here.
How do you get in the ring on the domestic arrangement du jour after this hot take and this one and this “definitive look”?
By offering a hardcore brainiac neg, of course! Polyamory, writes party-pooper Tyler Austin Harper in the Atlantic, is just another “banal, pleasure-seeking self-indulgence” of “wealthy, elite culture” of the 2020s. “This culture would have us believe that interminable self-improvement projects, navel-gazing, and sexual peccadilloes are the new face of progress. The climate warms, wars rage, and our country lurches toward a perilous election—all problems that require real action, real progress. And somehow ‘you do you’ has become the American ruling class’s three-word bible.” Sheesh, just when we were warming up to the idea4!
Read “Polyamory, the Ruling Class’s Latest Fad” here.
There but for the grace of god.
In the Cut, Rebecca Gale highlights the convoluted childcare arrangements of parents who work full time yet have no formal childcare—patchwork schemes largely dependent on grandparents, “the most popular form of child care in the country”—here’s the kicker—even for those who can afford other options. “Even if child care were free, we are finding that there is a group of parents that would not take it.” Sorry, what?
Read it here.
“I was editing the best magazine, I felt, in the world.”
Our pals over at Print is Dead (Long Live Print!) just posted their interview with The Tina Brown. Even though she is not interviewed by your Spreaditors (our lawyers are talking to their lawyers) it’s an excellent listen—one that inspired us to crank up 2018’s The Vanity Fair Diaries on Audible afterward. In the PID edition of that signature TB dish: a bit about when all of Hearst was offered up to Brown on a platter, and she considered taking over Harper’s Bazaar. Who’s ready for some Spread fanfic?
Maybe don’t share this one with your new-mom pals.
After her baby was born, South Korea-based New York Times writer Lauretta Charlton holed up for two weeks in one of the country’s chichi postpartum care centers, or joriwon, where “fresh meals are delivered three times a day, and there are facials, massages and child-care classes. Nurses watch over the babies around the clock.” You know, for research.
Read it here.
More love-to-hate-’em fodder on the superyacht life…
…that continues to trend: Elle has a excerpt from Private Equity, Carrie Sun’s NPR-/Vogue-/Oprah-anticipated memoir about being the assistant to a billionaire hedge funder, which is out next week5. Turns out the hardest part of the job isn’t chartering last-minute helis to the Eras Tour, it’s learning to read her boss’s mind and make sure his life is “frictionless” to facilitate work, work, and more work.
Read it here.
You’re welcome, Republicans.
Professional “woke mob” watchwoman Pamela Paul rolls her tank into the culture wars again—this time, covering “detransitioners” who rethink their gender transitions, and the New York Times’s favorite lightning-rod subject, childhood trans healthcare. To illustrate her point, she introduces us to 23-year-old Grace, who transitioned as a teen, going through hormone therapy and a double mastectomy she now regrets: “I was told there is one cure and one thing to do if this is your problem, and this will help you.” LGBTQ advocates are crying foul about Paul’s facts, studies, and choice of expert sources. Well, you know what we always say: Pam to the rescue.
Read “As Kids, They Thought They Were Trans. They No Longer Do,” in New York Times Opinion here.
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As you probably know by now, Substack gossip goddesshas been on a roll with Tay Tay recently, riffing on her basic-b manicure and, now, her new album name: “Lace up your saddle shoes and repost a Cleo Wade graphic on Pinterest. Taylor Swift is taking you into the Chamber of Secrets of your nearest Brandy Melville for some breakup (I’m assuming?) songs. This Emma Watson-hiding-books-in-tube-stations-in-2016-ass album title, lmao.” Yes Chef’s kiss.
For those playing at home, that’s Barbie and American Fiction.
Not that we’ve ever needed a peg to keep on recommending our ur-Spread, ur-polyamory story, “Scenes from an Open Marriage,” by “publishing twin” Jean Garnett, but not only is it timely all over again, it’s also perhaps even more enjoyable than ever read by Garnett herself on this recently released Paris Review podcast.