I’m Low-key Stalking Dakota Johnson’s Hair

Not to make this all about me, but as a person with very curly hair, I’m rarely impacted by celebrity hairstyles. Instead, all the lobs and inventive looks just reinforce what I know to be true: I’ll have long layers until I die. So my threshold for celebrity hair obsessions is pretty high. There’s Nicole Kidman’s curls in Moulin Rouge, Julia Roberts’ ringlets in Mystic Pizza, and now Dakota Johnson’s phenomenal hair. There’s no self-interest in it because I can’t relate to her texture, which is how I know my love is true.

The adoration is a recent thing. Johnson keeps a low profile outside of the Shades of Grey trilogy, I can only assume because the series is such a moneymaker that she can pick her projects carefully. But 2018 is bringing us more Dakota than ever. With Bad Times at the El Royale premiering this week and Suspiria hitting theaters a few days before Halloween, she’s just started hitting the press circuit to promote the two, bringing her incredible hair along for the ride.

Her bangs are the MVP. Most often center-parted, they’re curtain bangs to the prettiest degree, with a hint of straight-across fringe depending on how they lie. The layering is magnificent. Her hair gradually falls into a cool, seventies-like shag (Suspiria is set in the decade, so that makes sense). The versatility is the best part: whether her hair is pulled half-back, up in a pony, or down and flowing, her face-framing layers manage to skirt the look of prom-y tendrils. Even within a single night’s look, from one angle they look like Audrey Hepburn–esque baby bangs and from another like sexy rocker bangs falling into her eyes.

It’s like a magic trick. Barely there bangs from one angle:

ITALY-CINEMA-VENICE-FILM-FESTIVAL-MOSTRA

PHOTO: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Baby bangs from another:

Suspiria Red Carpet Arrivals - 75th Venice Film Festival

PHOTO: NurPhoto

But, what? Out of nowhere, shaggy bangs:

Suspiria Red Carpet Arrivals - 75th Venice Film Festival

PHOTO: Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis

I reached out to Johnson’s hairstylist, Mark Townsend, for some intel. He attributes the excellence to her embracing products. Where before she was a “dry shampoo and that’s it” woman, Townsend has recently convinced her to bring some styling extras into the fold.

Townsend finger-combs some Dove Curls Defining Mousse into Johnson’s hair and rough-dries it with a Dyson blow-dryer, he says. When her hair is 90 percent dry, he sprays her ends with Oribe Royal Blowout, and smoothes them with a round brush while her top layer of hair sets in Velcro rollers (I know, very retro, but Townsend says volume is back in a big way).

Honest Beauty Sea Salt Spray gives her bangs that piecey texture, and then Dove Extra Hold Hairspray, sprayed onto a toothbrush and applied, keeps them in place. The rule is to never curl the tendril, Townsend says. He keeps it looking natural by just slightly bending the hair toward her face, and giving her bangs a trim every few weeks to keep them between her eyebrow and lash, which is apparently a crucial inch of space.

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - October 11, 2018

PHOTO: RB/Bauer-Griffin

"Bad Times At The El Royale" New York Screening

PHOTO: Steven Ferdman

"Bad Times At The El Royale" New York Screening

PHOTO: Steven Ferdman

Premiere Of 20th Century FOX's "Bad Times At The El Royale" - Arrivals

PHOTO: Jon Kopaloff

Premiere Of 20th Century FOX's "Bad Times At The El Royale" - Arrivals

PHOTO: Jon Kopaloff

"Suspiria" Press Conference

PHOTO: Vera Anderson

Again: This will never be my life. Even so, I do have a flat-iron, bobby pins, and a dream.

Related Stories:
Dakota Johnson and Chris Martin Apparently Got Matching Tattoos
Emma Stone Just Wore a Bouquet of Real Roses in Her Hair
‘Curtain Bangs’ Searches on Pinterest Are Up 600 Percent

I’m Lowkey Stalking Dakota Johnson’s Hair

Not to make this all about me, but as a person with very curly hair, celebrity hairstyles rarely impact me. Instead, all the lobs and inventive looks just undercut what I know to be true: I’ll have long layers until I die. So my threshold for celebrity hair obsessions is pretty high. There’s Nicole Kidman’s curls in Moulin Rouge, Julia Roberts’ ringlets in Mystic Pizza, and now, Dakota Johnson’s phenomenal hair. There’s no self-interest in it because I can’t relate to her texture, which is how I know my love is true.

The adoration is a recent thing. Dakota keeps a low profile outside of the Shades of Grey trilogy, I can only assume because the series is such a moneymaker that she can pick her projects carefully. But 2018 is bringing us more Dakota than ever. With Bad Times at the El Royale premiering this week and Suspiria hitting theaters a few days before Halloween, she’s just started hitting the press circuit to promote the two, bringing her incredible hair along for the ride.

Her bangs are the MVP. Most often center-parted, they’re curtain bangs to the prettiest degree, with a hint of straight-across fringe depending on how they lay. The layering is magnificent. Her hair gradually falls into a cool, ’70s-like shag (Suspiria is set in the decade, so that makes sense). The versatility is the best part: whether her hair is pulled half-back, up in a pony, or down and flowing, her face-framing layers manage to skirt the look of prom-y tendrils. Even within a single night’s look, from one angle they look like Audrey Hepburn-esque baby bangs, and from another, like sexy rocker bangs falling into her eyes.

It’s like a magic trick. Barely-there bangs from one angle:

ITALY-CINEMA-VENICE-FILM-FESTIVAL-MOSTRA

PHOTO: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Baby bangs from another:

Suspiria Red Carpet Arrivals - 75th Venice Film Festival

PHOTO: NurPhoto

But, what? Out of nowhere, shaggy bangs:

Suspiria Red Carpet Arrivals - 75th Venice Film Festival

PHOTO: Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis

I reached out to Dakota’s hairstylist, Mark Townsend, for some intel. He attributes the excellence to Dakota embracing products. Where before she was a dry shampoo-and-that’s-it woman, Townsend’s recently convinced her to bring some styling extras into the fold.

Townsend finger combs some Dove Curls Defining Mousse into Dakota’s hair and rough drys it with a Dyson blowdryer, he says. When her hair is 90 percent dry, he sprays her ends with Oribe Royal Blowout, and smoothes them with a round brush while her top layer of hair sets in Velcro rollers (I know, very retro, but Townsend says volume is back in a big way).

Honest Beauty Sea Salt Spray gives her bangs that piecey texture, and then Dove Extra Hold Hairspray, sprayed onto a toothbrush, keeps them in place. The rule is to never curl the tendril, Townsend says. He keeps it looking natural by just slightly bending the hair toward her face, and giving her bangs a trim every few weeks to keep them between her eyebrow and lash, which is apparently a crucial inch of space.

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - October 11, 2018

PHOTO: RB/Bauer-Griffin

"Bad Times At The El Royale" New York Screening

PHOTO: Steven Ferdman

"Bad Times At The El Royale" New York Screening

PHOTO: Steven Ferdman

Premiere Of 20th Century FOX's "Bad Times At The El Royale" - Arrivals

PHOTO: Jon Kopaloff

Premiere Of 20th Century FOX's "Bad Times At The El Royale" - Arrivals

PHOTO: Jon Kopaloff

"Suspiria" Press Conference

PHOTO: Vera Anderson

Again: This will never be my life. Even so, I do have a flat iron, bobby pins, and a dream.

Related Stories:
Dakota Johnson and Chris Martin Apparently Got Matching Tattoos
Emma Stone Just Wore a Bouquet of Real Roses in Her Hair
‘Curtain Bangs’ Searches on Pinterest Are Up 600 Percent

Kate Middleton Wore Alexander McQueen (Again!) to Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding

It’s been a busy month for Kate Middleton: Earlier this week, she and Prince William made their first joint appearance since the birth of Prince Louis—and now, the couple made their way to Windsor to attend Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding. When it came to her outfit for the ceremony, the Duchess of Cambridge stuck with two of her go-to brands: Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy.

On Friday, Middleton wore a raspberry-colored, knee-length Alexander McQueen dress to the to the Windsor Castle nuptials. It featured a super-defined silhouette, with long sleeves, strong shoulders, and a fitted waist.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

PHOTO: WPA Pool

She color-coordinated her accessories—a Philip Treacy fascinator, velvet Prada heels, and a velvet clutch—with the dress. She finished off the look with sparkly, teardrop-shaped earrings.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Alexander McQueen is to the Duchess of Cambridge what Givenchy is to the Duchess of Sussex: a luxury brand they can always turn to for special occasions. The British label has been a favorite of Middleton’s since she joined the royal family. And it’s emerged as a favorite outfitter for royal weddings.

Earlier this year, Middleton wore Alexander McQueen to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding, which also took place at Windsor Castle.

Prince Harry Marries Ms. Meghan Markle - Windsor Castle

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Then, of course, there was her own Royal Wedding gown from 2011. (Coincidentally, Markle also wore an outfit by the brand that designed her wedding dress to Princess Eugenie’s nuptials.)

The Wedding of Prince William with Catherine Middleton - Westminster Abbey

PHOTO: Samir Hussein

The Duchess of Cambridge has worn Alexander McQueen to plenty of other events: christenings, royal ascots, royal tours… But her Sarah Burton-designed looks for weddings, specifically, stand out as some of the most memorable. And this pink number is no exception.

Related Stories:

You Have to See Princess Eugenie of York’s Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos Royal Wedding Dress

Meghan Markle Returns to Windsor Castle for Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding—and She Wore Givenchy

All the Celebrity Arrivals at Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding

Meghan Markle Returns to Windsor Castle for Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding—and She Wore Givenchy

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made a highly-anticipated—if brief—appearance at Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding. To return to Windsor Castle, where she got married back in May, the Duchess of Sussex opted to wear a matching coat and dress from the brand that designed her wedding dress.

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Markle once again tapped Givenchy to create her look for this formal occasion. She picked a collared navy coat with a coordinated dress underneath (very Kate Middleton of her!) from the French fashion brand.

PHOTO: DANNY LAWSON

As is customary for these kinds of events, Markle also wore a fascinator by Noel Stewart. She kept her footwear pretty classic, slipping on some navy suede Manolo Blahniks.

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Markle and Prince Harry are expected to dip out early from today’s festivities to prepare for their upcoming royal tour. On Tuesday, they’ll head out on a two-week trip during which they’ll visit Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand. So get excited for even more incredibly regal looks from the Duchess.

Related Stories:

The Meaning Behind Princess Eugenie’s Gorgeous Royal Wedding Dress

Meghan Markle Is Reportedly Giving Wedding Tips to Princess Eugenie

Here’s When Meghan Markle Might Be Wearing Her Next Tiara

You Have to See Princess Eugenie of York’s Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos Royal Wedding Dress

If you thought all the Royal Wedding excitement was done for the year, rejoice! Princess Eugenie of York married Jack Brooksbank today. Like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s, the ceremony took place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The bride wore a stunning Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos gown, with a silhouette that had a special meaning for the princess.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress features a v-shaped back, which exposed her scar from a childhood scoliosis operation. Ahead of the ceremony, she explained to ITV that she specifically requested a silhouette that showed it off. “I’m patron of [the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Appeal] and I had an operation when I was 12 on my back,” she said. “It’s a lovely way to honor the people who looked after me and a way of standing up for young people who also go through this.”

BRITAIN-ROYALS-WEDDING-EUGENIE-CEREMONY

PHOTO: OWEN HUMPHREYS

The gown featured a folded neckline and back detail, as well as a full train. WWD reports that the jacquard fabric is also embedded with symbols for Princess Eugenie: Pilotto and De Vos included a thistle to represent Scotland, a shamrock to represent Ireland, a York Rose to represent England, and ivy to represent her home at Kensington Palace with Brooksbank, Ivy Cottage.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Though many brand names were floated ahead of the ceremony (from Erdem to Vivienne Westwood), Princess Eugenie made it clear in an interview with British Vogue that she wasn’t going to spoil the reveal ahead of her wedding date. “I’m not telling anyone who is making it, but I can say it is a British-based designer,” she said.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

PHOTO: WPA Pool

It’s pretty customary for a British royal wedding to feature a dress made by a British designer: Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Markle in Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller, Princess Diana in David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Sarah Ferguson in Lindka Cierach… Princess Eugenie did concede to British Vogue, however, that her wedding gown was an pretty easy choice: “[The dress] is the one thing that I was really decisive about. As soon as we announced the wedding, I knew the designer, and the look, straight away. I never thought I’d be the one who knew exactly what I like, but I’ve been pretty on top of it.”

BRITAIN-ROYALS-WEDDING-EUGENIE-CEREMONY

PHOTO: YUI MOK

Another royal tradition honored by Princess Eugenie on her wedding day: She topped off her with a sparkly headpiece. She chose to borrow Queen Elizabeth II’s Greville emerald Kokoshnik tiara. According to the Telegraph, it’s made from platinum and features a 93.70-carat center emerald surrounded by six smaller stones, and dates back to 1919.

BRITAIN-ROYALS-WEDDING-EUGENIE-CEREMONY

PHOTO: JONATHAN BRADY

Brooksbank proposed to Princess Eugenie with an engagement ring featuring a rare padparadscha sapphire surrounded by small diamonds, similar to the one her father, Prince Andrew, gave her mother. “Why I loved it so much is it changes color from every different angle that you look at it, which is what I think of Eugenie—she changes color, and it’s just so amazing,” he told the BBC.

Princess Eugenie Announces Engagement to Jack Brooksbank

PHOTO: WPA Pool

Now, onto the next royal wedding

Related Stories:

Mark Your Calendars: Another Royal Wedding Is Happening

Meghan Markle’s Wedding Veil Had a Hidden Connection to the Queen—and More From Queen of the World

Why Meghan Markle’s Stella McCartney Reception Dress Won’t Be on Display With Her Wedding Gown

All the Celebrity Arrivals at Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding

The second royal wedding of 2018 is finally here. Today, October 12, Princess Eugenie of York married Jack Brooksbank at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England. And true to every royal wedding, exciting celebrity arrivals were in store: Sources say that Princess Eugenie invited over 800 guests to her nuptials. While some familiar faces may be absent for parts of the day—Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expected to miss some of festivities—the guest list for the ceremony was still stacked. Ellie Goulding, Kate Moss, James Blunt, and more were in attendance.

See every celebrity arrival from Princess Eugenie’s wedding ceremony, below.

Obsessed with the Royals? Same. Click here to get Meghan Markle updates—and more—from Glamour’s daily newsletter.

The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 4 Recap: More Penny and Bernadette, Please

The Big Bang Theory hyped its latest episode as a Young Sheldon-type crossover—thanks to the appearance of Sheldon’s childhood best friend Tam—but that wasn’t even best part of the episode. That honor goes to Bernadette and Penny’s mission to befriend Raj’s new fiancé, Anu.

To be fair, the Sheldon/Tam/Leonard storyline in “The Tam Turbulence” was classic Big Bang, but it was Melissa Rauch and Kaley Cuoco who stole the episode with their buddy-cop humor and deadpan delivery. It’s that reason why I believe Big Bang could still live on as a spin-off should it choose to; the Bernadette/Penny show more than proved that.

But let’s get back to the episode. Penny and Bernadette go on a mission to dig up info on Anu, and in the process exhibit Bachelor-level behavior not endorsed by yours truly (though, TBH, it was hysterical). Penny tells Bernadette that she’s “really worried about this Raj getting married thing.” Bernadette agrees. After all, it’s not like they make marriage to their respective spouses look that great.

Here’s where they really go off the deep end: Penny suggests that because her deep-dive social media search on Anu has turned up empty, it’s time to call in reinforcements. Bernadette phones her dad—a retired cop—to see if he’ll run a background check on Anu. No, he says. Of course, that’s not good enough for Bernadette and Penny. If he won’t help, they’ll just go to the hotel where Anu is a concierge and do the work themselves.

the-big-bang-theory-bernadette-penny-2018-season-12-episode-4.jpg

PHOTO: Michael Yarish/CBS

The whole scene that follows (including Bernadette’s story of how she can fit her entire body into her dryer) is brilliant, but if I ever have friends that pull the same shtick on a future boyfriend of mine, please tell me to get new friends. Bernadette and Penny introduce themselves, but Anu is five steps ahead of them, knowing Raj’s friends have just come to get the dirt on her. Doesn’t matter—she’s happy to go along and suggests an ultra-trendy restaurant they all have dinner at later that night. Penny’s impressed; she’s been trying to get into this restaurant forever, to no avail. “Oh, please, getting into impossible places is my super power,” Anu says. And with that, Penny divorces Leonard and marries Anu. Kidding!

Later at the restaurant, Bernadette wants to know why Anu would marry someone she just met when she seems like such a smart, successful woman. Fair question, Anu says, before adding that in her 20s, she tried dating the “normal” way. “I met a guy, fell in love, we moved in together, I put him through culinary school, screenwriting classes, and finally dumped him when he wanted to become a midwife,” she says. “Then I realized, my parents are happy, they had an arranged marriage, why am I fighting this?”

Penny and Bernadette are still skeptical, saying they both married for love and it turned out…well, fine, they guess. In other words, maybe Anu has a point.

the-big-bang-theory-anu-penny-bernadette-season-12-episode-4.jpg

PHOTO: Michael Yarish/CBS

Over the course of the evening, Anu turns the tables and gets Bernadette and Penny drunk in hopes of getting gossip out of them about Raj. It works. They spill about Raj’s love of Britney Spears and that he takes baths with his dog…while they both wear swimsuits. Oh, and he snot-cries every time Hugh Jackman sings. Exactly what a girl you just met wants to hear. But he sounds better than half the guys I keep meeting in L.A., so maybe don’t write him off too fast, Anu.

Of course, this all gets back to Raj and he is livid—rightfully so. “Do me a favor and stay away from [Anu],” he yells at Penny and Bernadette.

They feel bad for a minute before coming to the conclusion that they should do damage control and take Anu out again, especially if they can use her to get them into Soho House. “We owe it to Raj to try,” a sly Bernadette reasons.

I can’t wait to see this unfold. Bring it on, Benny.

Netflix’s New Series *Westside* Is Basically the Reality TV Version of *A Star Is Born*

Netflix is debuting a new reality TV show next month, and it’s basically the IRL version of A Star Is Born. On Thursday (October 11), the streaming giant dropped the trailer for this new show, which is called Westside and follows nine aspiring singer-songwriters as they attempt to pursue their dreams of stardom.

In the clip, the celebrity hopefuls alternate between belting their hearts out, butting heads over their competing egos, and casually dropping one-liners like, “We’re going to mine our lives for the truths we want to share.” Yup. It goes deep!

You may recognize some of the faces of Westside. According to Entertainment Weekly, the cast includes Pia Toscano, who appeared on the 10th season of American Idol and placed ninth, as well as Taz Zavala, Arika Gluck, James Byous, Caitlin Ary, Leo Gallo, Alexandra Kay, Austin Kolbe, and Sean Patrick Murray, all of whom have already released a few songs on their own, to minor success. On the show, they’ll put out at least 18 songs, per EW, likely a mix of solo singles and group collabs.

Watch the trailer for yourself, below:

Westside starts streaming on Netflix November 9. If you’re already hungry for more of this Glee meets The Hills goodness, you can stream one of the songs featured in the trailer, “We Are the Ones,” right now.

This isn’t the only music-inspired movie or TV show premiering this year. You also have Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddy Mercury biopic, to look forward to in November, as well as Vox Lux, the explosive indie movie coming out in December where Natalie Portman plays a Gaga-esque pop star.

Related Stories:

Here’s Every New Scary Movie and TV Show Hitting Netflix Before Halloween

Netflix Is Making the Rom Com Cool Again

25 Insanely Romantic Movies to Stream on Netflix for All the Feels

What IVF Is Really Like

“How are you?” is a tricky question to field when you’re responding to someone who doesn’t already kind of know the answer. And when you’re going through infertility treatment, not many people already kind of know the answer.

There’s no shortcut to explaining the physical and emotional state of infertility treatment to the uninitiated. There’s no quick way to work through the sea of acronyms, the IUIs, and the SETs and the PGDs, that clutter your existence. There’s also no one-liner that adequately captures the feeling of being simultaneously captive and adrift, an existence beleaguered by a long list of instructions to follow but no discernible end in sight.

This is what makes Private Life, a new film by Tamara Jenkins recently released on Netflix and in theaters, so invaluable. In addition to being a crackling and touching story, it’s a much-needed reference point for the fertiles of the world to understand the particulars, and particular madness, of infertility treatment.

“IVF is like making your way through an obstacle course located inside an eccentric billionaire’s lawn maze.”

Private Life is about Rachel and Richard (Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti), two middle-aged New York literary types who can’t get pregnant. Their diagnosis is a combination of advanced maternal age on Rachel’s part and low sperm count on his account. In short, they waited too long.

The film walks us through their process of trying to become parents “by any means necessary” with such a delicate accuracy that there were moments I, an IVF-veteran, wasn’t sure I could keep watching. My heart accelerated through all the scenes of waiting, by the phone and at the doctor’s office, the shots, the treatment plans, the maybe, maybe, maybes, and sorry, sorry, sorrys. I recognized the marriage that’s been put in service of fertility treatment at the cost of nearly everything else. I also recognized Rachel’s largely unacknowledged resilience. It didn’t surprise me to learn that Jenkins had been through much of this herself.

My story. At age 35, I got diagnosed with secondary unexplained infertility. It’s a diagnosis that means I was able to have a baby without any assistance, and then, for reasons they couldn’t understand, was not able to get pregnant with another. The madness I experienced was void of the existential quality that I suspect many other infertile women who don’t already have a child face. The question of whether or not I would other get to experience motherhood was not at stake.

Still, like everyone else going through infertility treatment, I really wanted a baby. So often women feel like they need to mute or hedge that desire. Maybe someone has it harder, or babies ruin feminism, or it’s selfish because of global warming or poverty (better to help needy children elsewhere) and, well, you name it. The list can go on and on but the desire remains. We long to have kids.

Private Life

PHOTO: Seacia Pavao / Netflix

Here’s what I did to get one: I had two IUIs (they squirt sperm in uterus during your peak ovulation window), one with Clomid (a pill I took that made my ovaries mature 2 eggs at once); an IVF retrieval (a few weeks of many, many needles filling me with hormones that made my ovaries mature 21 eggs at once, followed by a surgical procedure in which the eggs were removed and then fertilized); a four-month wait while the resultant embryos were tested for chromosomal and genetic abnormalities; a medicated transfer (many more needles filled with hormones that shut down my natural cycle so they could control my body—and my mind, making me batshit crazy—followed by the placement of a single embryo in my uterus); a pregnancy!; a miscarriage!; a three-month wait before another transfer, this time medication-free; 11 months after it all began, another pregnancy; 9 months later, a baby boy.

Many people have lists that are much longer, and credit card bills that are much higher. According to FertilityIQ, the average IVF patient goes through more than one cycle of IVF and spends around $50,000 on infertility treatment, and insurance coverage is rare.

Here’s how it felt: It’s like making your way through an obstacle course located inside an eccentric billionaire’s lawn maze. You climb up the walls, you paddle through the streams, you swing on the ropes. You are working so hard! You are giving it your all! You have absolutely no idea where you are going.

Private Life shows us how to tell these stories and convinces us that they matter, too.

It’s like being a low-ranking spy on a important mission. You are busy, regularly receiving and executing lots of instructions, while understanding that the stakes are high. You are a good servant, you follow orders, but never are you clued into the master plan. You start to wonder if there is a master plan, or if your overlords (your doctors) are more susceptible to the forces of fate that you realized. You soon understand it’s the latter.

It’s knowing there is always one more thing to try.

Research shows that I am far from the only woman who found it emotionally intense. One study of 200 couples found that half the women and 15 percent of the men said infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives. Another found that women dealing with infertility felt as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer or recovering from a heart attack. Also, infertility is really common. One in eight couples struggle to get or stay pregnant, and yet we really hear their stories, or witness their pain.

In addition to being a good movie, Private Life shows us how to tell these stories and convinces us that they matter, too. Rachel’s distant focus in the passenger seat of the car, her beating her husband’s chest when he fails to consider bad news from her side, her determination despite being called a junky, all come together to flesh out a side of womanhood that often remains under covers.

May the film help infertile women, past, present, and future, respond to “how are you?” honestly, with the hope that whoever’s listening might understand their answers.


Elissa Strauss lives in Oakland, California; she has written for The New York Times and Slate and is a contributing writer for cnn.com.

Taylor Swift Threw an Epic AMAs After Party

The American Music Awards was a big night for Taylor Swift, and she celebrated in — pun intended — style.

After a show-stopping performance, four award wins that cinched her the record for the most decorated female artist in AMAs’ history, and urging fans to get out and vote on November 6, the “I Did Something Bad” singer capped off the evening with a massive after party alongside some of her best friends.

The guest list included Shawn Mendes, Jack Antonoff (who has collaborated with T. Swift on several albums), Hayley Kiyoko (who performed on Taylor’s Reputation tour) — as well as actor Ruby Rose and Taylor’s longtime hairstylist Riawna Capri. The Swift Squad took the opportunity to share some photos of the evening on Instagram, and needless to say you’ll be pretty disappointed your invites got lost in the mail.

Taylor herself also shared a carousel photo to the ‘gram of herself posing with some of her Reputation dancers, writing, “Getting to perform with people I love this much is a real mood.”

One of her dancers, Robert Green, also posted a photo from the evening along with a sweet tribute to the singer. “So…my #WCW obviously goes to @taylorswift! What a night!” he wrote. “Congrats on winning every single nomination at the AMA’s last night…and more importantly for being such a BOSS when it comes to standing up for what’s right. We need more fearlessness such as yours! It is always and honor working with you.”

It’s been quite some time since Taylor’s epic Fourth of July and birthday parties have graced our social media feeds, and it’s refreshing to see she and some of her squad back together. Even if the old Taylor is technically dead, it’s clear that her party planning skills most certainly are not.

Related: Voter Registration Spiked After Taylor Swift’s Instagram Post