Posts tagged with "The Cut"

Just kidding, Senators can’t wear sweats to work

October 2, 2023

The United States is on the brink of a record-breaking government shutdown, thanks to lawmakers’ inability to see eye-to-eye on anything. But this week, senators found time to address an issue of high priority: Their own dress code.

According to a report by The Cut, just days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced that senators could wear whatever they wanted on the floor, senators from both parties unanimously voted to walk that rule back and make business casual attire mandatory.

Until now, the Senate dress code wasn’t formalized, although custom held that everyone dress for a board meeting in order to step onto the floor. Historically, senators found a way around the unofficial uniform by voting from the edge of the floor in their sweats, keeping one foot in the cloakroom while they give a thumbs-up or -down from the periphery.

When Schumer initially relaxed the guidelines, he did not take suits off the table; indeed, he clarified that he would continue to wear one. But many of his colleagues still lost it: Susan Collins of (R-Maine) scoffed that she planned to “wear a bikini,” while admonishing the change, which she said “debases the institution.”

Shelley Moore Capito of (R-West Virginia) deemed the lax code “terrible,” while Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he wasn’t “not a big fan.” Chuck Grassley of Iowa said simply, “It stinks.”

Right-wing troll Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) , who is notably not a senator, went after Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania)—the poster child for wearing what he wants, which generally means shorts and a hoodie, and voting from the edges—on Twitter. She also called the change “disgraceful” and disrespectful of institutional etiquette, before she went back to voicing her support for January 6 rioters.

Somehow, the prospect of senators wearing whatever they wanted to work so inflamed the Senate that its members drafted a resolution. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, introduced a bill that forces men to wear slacks, a jacket, and tie on the floor. “Though we’ve never had an official dress code, the events over the past week have made us all feel as though formalizing one is the right path forward,” Schumer said. For his part, Fetterman has said that “if those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine,” then he is prepared to “save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor.”

On that note, yes: The Senate and House remain at odds on their spending bills as the shutdown deadline looms. Now that the important issue of suits has been settled, maybe the next order of business could be keeping the government running so that millions of Americans who are already struggling can get their paychecks?

Research contact: @TheCut

Trends: It’s going to be a ‘barefoot-boy’ summer

May 22, 2023

In recent weeks, a certain type of stylish urbanite has been spotted traipsing around town footloose and fancy free: actor Jacob Elordi shoelessly braving the L.A. streets on a coffee run, say, or the musician Mike Sabath (of Mike Sabath and the Moongirls). For spring 2023, the Italian brand Etro sent male models down its runway wearing short-shorts, caftans, and breezy blousons paired with feet as naked as the day they were born, reports The Cut.

So, The Cut is calling it now: 2023 will be Barefoot-Boy Summer™. And to be perfectly frank, all the signs are there. It aligns with the ongoing bohemian-hippie vibe coursing through the culture—Grateful Dead, the Elder Statesman, tie-dye, and all that.

A are foot is gorpcore taken to its purest, most natural conclusion. And the burgeoning movement is the only logical response to two footwear trends: (1) years of increasingly chunky, cumbersome, look-at-me designs (thanks Balenciaga!) and (2) the ridiculous hype cycle to which the men’s shoe market has been held hostage (the one in which, every week, some “new take” on an old favorite sneaker is released and yet also, inevitably, unavailable to the masses).

Finding shoes—finding the right shoes—has become a nightmare. So why not just … forgo them altogether?

“I generally don’t wear shirts or shoes, honestly,” says Sabath. “I just feel more free.” But truth be told, Sabath says that he almost never walks around barefoot in urban areas (such as Los Angeles, where he was recently photographed shoeless on a smoothy run). Still, he does admit that he’s a fan of barefoot hiking. (His No. 1 tip: Watch out for snakes.)

Recently, a photo popped up of Nick Hudson, a photographer who splits his time between Brooklyn and the Catskills, barefoot on the sidewalk in front of his Bed-Stuy (Brooklyn) townhouse. When asked about his sole survival, he replied “Barefoot is my preferred way to be.”

Hudson says that the barefoot-on-the-streets-of-Brooklyn moment was atypical, that he ran out for a photo and couldn’t be bothered with putting on shoes; he figured, hey, the sidewalk in front of his house is almost like an extension of the inside. However, when he’s upstate, you can usually find him without shoes—around the house, driving, heading to a local creek. “It’s not a conscious thing,” he says. “But if I can get my shoes off, I will.”

Hudson, who is Australian, admits that it can be a controversial subject (just look at the spirited comments on his wife’s TikTok post of the barefoot-in-Brooklyn image)—but notes that it’s culturally more acceptable back home. He recalls friends playing rugby without shoes; and his cousin going barefoot on public transportation to the beach when they were younger, explaining to Hudson that he was “getting his summer feet on.”

“You know,” he says, “getting your feet acclimated to being barefoot.”

There are certainly movements to go barefoot, the idea of “grounding” or “earthing” (putting your bare feet on the earth), which scientific studies say can have salubrious effects or engender feelings of emotional peace or well-being. Other studies say that walking around and/or exercising barefoot (or as close to barefoot as possible) is actually good for the body.

The New York Times recently profiled a man who has basically gone without shoes for the better part of two decades.

Recently, the disgraced rapper and “designer” Kanye West has been spotted wearing a socklike shoe—just a sole with a nylon topper, which he has reportedly trademarked under his Yeezy brand. Say what you will about him, but West has certainly been influential in terms of his style over the years.

And on a recent episode of HBO’s plutocrats-behaving-badly nighttime soap, Succession, as the eccentric Swedish tech billionaire Lukas Matsson makes his way from his idling private jet to the one belonging to his maybe-enemy, Shiv Roy, it becomes clear the gorpcore enthusiast is not wearing shoes.

“[Matsson] is an anti-business, anti-corporate industrial mogul,” says Michelle Matland, the show’s costume designer. “He wants to be seen as a casual hipster who’s freethinking and not tied to the business world at all. It may be an affectation, but to him it’s real. Not wearing shoes, wearing T-shirts and sweatpants, or anything that does not indulge in Madison Avenue or Wall Street, Bezos, Elon—all those new-style entrepreneurs.”

Alexander Skarsgård, who plays the tech entrepreneur, said the moment was unplanned, and Matland adds that the actor, like his character, “is a free spirit and a creative, and once he’s in the groove, that’s the kind of magic that happens.” She also notes that one could see in the bare feet a subtle cue from the character to entice the buttoned-up Shiv to loosen up.

The Society for Barefoot Living (yes, a real thing) says that it has noticed no discernible uptick in barefoot popularity of late but that it would “welcome and celebrate” any increase in awareness and practice

“I think, in general, it’s good when something makes you think, What the fuck is happening?” Sabath says. “It kind of loosens up your perspective a bit. But it’s really healthy to notice that some other option exists. And oftentimes when people yell about something, it’s probably because they do it already or want to do it.”

He adds, “My thing is, if someone feels good about something, then they should do it.”

Research contact: @TheCut

‘Summit’ talks: What on Earth is the ‘Boyfriend Cliff’?

July 22, 2020

On July 20, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a detailed, colorful poster entitled New York Toughdepicting the surge of the coronavirus pandemic within the state as a steep mountain that New Yorkers worked hard to flatten by their cooperative actions to shelter in place, shut down all nonessential businesses, test for the virus, social distance and wear masks; and support the healthcare heroes who work at the front.

But in addition to this familiar visual metaphor, Claire Lampen, a writer for New York Magazine’s The Cut, noted that the poster “…also features a bunch of highly specific yet bewildering symbols: ‘Winds of Fear’ bluster around the mountain as the crisis builds; a mask mandate at the mountain’s peak helps usher New York into its first phase of reopening; and the economy, portrayed as a river (?), feeds into the “Sea of Division” (??).

However, “perhaps the most perplexing detail,” Lampen says, “is the “Boyfriend Cliff”—represented by a little crag [midway up the right side of the mountain] with a small man dangling from its tip.”

“Is the ‘Boyfriend Cliff’ where we dispose of … boyfriends once we are through with them? Does the ‘Boyfriend Cliff’ refer to a boyfriend named Cliff?” she asks.

Or does the “Boyfriend Cliff” symbolize your relationship falling off a cliff when you and the significant other you don’t live with, who (again) may not be a boyfriend, realize you won’t be seeing each other for a few months due to social-distancing recommendations.

Some think it’s a personal reference made by the governor. For example, Syracuse.com seems pretty certain the “Boyfriend Cliff” harks back to a comment Cuomo previously made at a press conference, concerning his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, her boyfriend (not named Cliff), and the Cuomo family’s Spaghetti Sundays.

Chrissy Teigen, who weighed in on Twitter, seems to agree with this reading. She reminded Cuomo that he had claimed to “like the boyfriend,” prompting Cuomo to clarify, “We do like the  boyfriend. Alll boyfriends face a steep climb.”

The Cut contacted Cuomo’s office for answers. Two days later, Peter Ajemian— Cuomo’s senior deputy communications director—offered an explanation. According to Ajemian, the “Boyfriend Cliff” is simply “an ongoing‎, playful bit the governor has been doing publicly with his family over the past few months to help lighten spirits during an incredibly difficult time.” And why a cliff? There is so much we still don’t know.

Research contact: @TheCut

Tripping the light fantastic: Is light therapy for you?

March 11, 2020

Many consumers are “going into the light” these days—not seeking “the rapture” or eternity, but instead pursuing its radiant, restorative properties. Indeed, devotees believe, light therapy—also known as photomedicine or photobiomodulation—promises a host of physical and psychological benefits.

According to New York Magazine’s popular feature, The Cut, the following is only a partial list of what one company promises that sitting under a small panel of red lights will improve: athletic performance and recovery (owing to faster muscle recovery and joint repair), sleep (thanks to increased melatonin production and a “healthy circadian rhythm”), and skin quality (as a result of reduced inflammation and increased collagen production).

The red lights, in this case made by Joovv, represent just one of dozens of at-home therapies based on the idea that light can change us on a cellular level.

This past summer, the journal, Frontiers in Medicine, published an issue dedicated to photomedicine, heralding improvements from exposure to the lights that could help minimize the effects of aging, skin cancer, and psoriasis; as well as autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. There’s even some evidence that neurological problems, including Alzheimer’s and traumatic brain injuries, can be improved with light therapy.

It does make intuitive sense that light could change the skin: For example, we know that a baby born with jaundice will often be treated with light. And many people claim they have seen their seasonal depression lift after using a SAD lamp.

Light-therapy devicesuse different kinds of light, from invisible, near-infrared light through the visible-light spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue), stopping before the harmful ultraviolet rays.

So far, according to The Cut, the effects of red and near-infrared light are the most studied; red light is often used to treat skin conditions, whereas near infrared can penetrate much deeper, working its way through skin and bone and even into the brain. Blue light is thought to be especially good at treating infections and is often used for acne. The effects of green and yellow light are less understood, but green might improve hyperpigmentation, and yellow might reduce photoaging.

For red and near-infrared light, scientists speculate that the light interacts with something called cytochrome c oxidase, or CCO, a photosensitive enzyme found within the mitochondria. When CCO finds light, it converts it to energy and uses that energy to do whatever that cell is supposed to do—only more efficiently.

Sounds promising? Yes, says The Cut. Still, there are a few claims about light therapy we should know not to fall for

Any at-home device that makes confident promises about green or yellow light is to be met with skepticism; the evidence just isn’t there yet. Pulsing red light, a hypnotizing effect some devices offer, should be regarded with interest mixed with some suspicion. (Dr. Jared Jagdeo, director of the Center for Photomedicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, told The Cut of firmly of pulsing red light, “Nobody knows the function of that. Anyone who claims to know the function of it, they’re just hypothesizing.”)

Finally a few words to the wise from The Cut: Anything cheaper than a few hundred dollars is probably ineffective, and prescribing yourself light therapy for some ailment instead of visiting a doctor is inadvisable.

Research contact: @NYMag