“It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”
– from the diary of Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin, among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen.
In this week’s Irish Times – the link between happiness and getting dressed, and I answer a question about underwear.
“I treated them contemptuously because I marveled at their ability to be so naked in their assertion that what they looked like was something that demanded time and money and attention, and because I was afraid that kindness would mark me as a fellow soldier in the fight against physical imperfection, when all I wanted was to be so naturally beautiful I’d never have to ask someone to help me look better.” What’s it’s like to be the meanie behind the cosmetics counter.
Alexander Fury’s wrath is always fun to read (though I did enjoy Gods and Kings, the McQueen/Galliano book that he eviscerates in this article).
“When I heard this story I thought about all the women I know today who falter when it comes to pitching, the writers who have trouble selling their voices in professional settings against established male writers. To know Ager was so ballsy, so aggressively hungry, in the year Nineteen Thirty-Fucking-Three makes me want to step up my game currently.”
The past, present and future of Tumblr book clubs.
What one week of harassment on Twitter looks like.
Ask not for whom the bell trolls; Lindy West’s experience with the troll who impersonated her dead father, and what happened afterwards.
A look inside The Onion.
And things to watch: firstly, a Sundance panel talk with Lena Dunham, Jenji Kohan, Mindy Kaling and Kirsten Wiig (<3) and secondly, a Vice interview with surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz.