The first Toni Morrison book I read was The Bluest Eye. It changed my life. As many young browns growing up in predominantly white areas: I spent a lot of my childhood praying my skin was lighter, I was picked on. I remember the exact click moment I had when I saw myself in these pages even if it wasn’t my exact story or experience. I went on to read everything. I’ve been thinking about Toni a lot lately for two reasons: As many of you know, I recently lost my father and the rehabilitation facility he was in for the final months of his life was two towns over from where she lived. Every time I drove or took the train through that town I reflected on not just her power and wisdom but what her day to day life was like. If anyone knew she was there and if I might bump Into her one day. Were people taking care of her like I was my father? Should I move up there?! I’ve been struggling with a lot of questions lately. And the other reason I’ve been thinking about her is because she didn’t write TBE until she was 39. This fact has given me so much hope as to what is possible in our second acts. I have yet to learn how to mourn people that you don’t know but who changed your life. I’ve been mourning a more personal loss. But this also feels personal. Thanks for everything you did for us, Toni, I hope you knew how many of us you gave breath to.
Doing a thing on early style inspiration and found this gem of Ma and Baba at the top of the WTC in 1974
48 hours at my favorite retreat in the woods of upstate NY the @omegainstitute thanks to their Juno Residency. It was enough time to write and reflect if only a little. I descend from the hills covered in crystals lol. When they say grief is a process they did not lie - and in the quiet of the woods I was faced with mine. Humbled by how long it will take. Grateful for the space to reflect.
Just some bitches getting ready for a party
Friends since we were 12
Yesterday, we had a memorial and cremation for Baba. So grateful for all the friends and family that came to support us. Thank you for all the flowers, cards, notes and texts ❤️ This is an excerpt from the eulogy: “In the last few months of his life, Baba started to share many memories of his childhood in India. He would go into a dreamlike state and reflect on the beauty of his ancestral home or playing in the gardens behind Belur Math. On the last day of Baba’s life, he sat on the terrace of the nursing home he spent the last 3 months of his life in and looked out over the lush greenery of upstate NY. He turned to my mother and said, “I can just see it now, this is the mango tree, this is the lychee tree and this the jamrul tree.” My mother said, “Have you lost your mind? These trees aren’t here.“ He said, “In my mind, I am seeing them here.” Baba dreamed of India until the day he died. So, it feels appropriate that as his spirit left his physical body, India bowled their first ball against Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup. Pakistan would later suffer a humiliating loss against India—something that we can be sure had him smiling from the heavens.
My father - Sunil Baran Mukhopadhyay - joined the ancestors early this morning. He was so resilient, a true fighter, fighting illness and ailing health for the better part of two decades. He went peacefully in his sleep still a smile on his face when I got to him this morning - laughing his way to death like he did through life. It is so like him to go on Father’s Day - it was his favorite holiday and he would always call me before I got to call him asking “do you know what today is?” and I’d always pretend I didn’t remember. Baba was a good man with a big heart matched by an even bigger laugh. Happy Father’s Day, Baba. I love you and we already miss you so much.
Raccoon tan af; absolutely no interest in going home #auntieleisure
auntie is logging off 💋
This legend is not just inspiring she’s extremely fun. She also knows good light when she sees it!
Please read @theothernwa on how to get an abortion as a teen in a moment when our reproductive rights are under attack. “First of all, I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to be ashamed of. Accidents can happen even to the most careful among us. And it’s only logical that if teens are mature enough to become parents, they are mature enough to decide whether or not they want to give birth. Having access to abortion should be your right, regardless of your parents’ beliefs.” I’m so proud of what we’re doing at @teenvogue - link in stories!
Really excited to finally share this with the world! I went to the edge of Malibu to talk to the inimitable @mindykaling about her new movie, fashion, motherhood and so much more for the summer issue of @vanityfair. Thank you for the opp and for your fearless vision @radhikajones and for the awesome editing @clairehoworth. 📷 @williamshirakawa 👗 by @hayley_atkin_ link in bio!!
Our work here is done, comrades.
Happy first taste of summer 📸 by @anjali.kar ofc
Today is the 10-year anniversary of @mediajustice an organization that has been led for the last decade and more by the inimitable @culturejedi. It is crazy to think about how much has happened in the media space in the last decade and it is no small part to Malkia's vision for change and her mastery of the tools and art of storytelling. When I tell you Mac is a legend and a hero to so many of us (for more reasons than I can list and many reasons unfair), I'm still not able to fully communicate the impact she has had on our communities, the fight for media justice and in my own life. It was through working at CMJ I learned the value and importance of disenfranchised communities telling their own stories - not just the act of it but owning the means to tell them. Grateful to the family I met through this amazing org. Here we are a decade ago when CMJ was born 😎
Been thinking a lot about the things my mama sacrificed for me to live the life I live. This is her passport photo from 1974 leaving the familiarity of Utterpara for the wild streets of NYC. My favorite story she always tells me is how when she landed at JFK she asked the passenger next to her why there’s sand all around the airport. He said “lady that’s snow - welcome to NY!” Today, mama lives upstate - a true queen of winter - refusing to live anywhere she doesn’t have a good view of snow covered trees.
Read a thing tonight about how I learned about my parent’s life in 1970s NYC through a series of happenstance walks with my mom around this wild and weirdly small town. Thanks for having me @sstefanovic 📷 via @_senari_ 🥰
Hey I’m part of this cool storytelling event tomorrow and I’m going to share a story about the two train + one bus trip my mom would take when pregnant with me from the Bronx to Redhook, Brooklyn to see the one south Asian gynecologist she knew in NYC. Link for tickets in bio - come thruuuu 🤗
So excited to announce a new sex and relationship column for @teenvogue by one of my fave thots @theothernwa!! Down to Find Out will explore all the existential dating, love, relationship and other quandaries for young ppl. The first installment is about digital consent. When should you send that nood?! (Link in stories)
Today’s mood: never 👏🏽under 👏🏽 esti 👏🏽mate 👏🏽 teen 👏🏽 girls 👏🏽
It extremely me. 📸 via @kelly.bales
Excited to share a new series @teenvogue “Boys to Men” @thomaspagemcbee and I had a series of conversations about how best to take his tremendous work on deconstructing masculinity and get it to the teens. What we realized was that there were very few places where people were talking openly about the process of becoming a man - what they need to learn and unlearn as boys - to become men. That as a process it is not taken for granted. That in that process there is opportunity for intervention and for change. It seems appropriate that our first installment features @kendrick38 who has been a leader in using his platform to talk about manhood. Link is in stories: Plz share this with someone you think could benefit from their wisdom.and look out for new profiles monthly.
It is @gloriasteinem’s 85th bday today so a perfect time to repost this extremely casual pic of us from the Gloria Awards last year. How blessed we are to walk among such legends.
We went to a party 👯♀️
“I became emotional watching Shrill in a way I wasn’t expecting because we’ve become so accustomed to fat people being the butt of jokes, the sidekick, or the object of derision. We have been deprived of the representations that engage the realities of our lives. I realized that it was one of the first times I had seen a reflection of what it is like to be an actual fat woman. We dress cute. We date. We love our friends. We’re ambitious. We need access to reproductive health care. And while the show is about how fatness impacts her life and the prevalence of fat discrimination, it doesn’t solely focus on that. Like most forms of discrimination, it’s something she bears the brunt of, something she realizes impacts her life, but doesn’t fully define her.” I wrote about @shrillhulu link in stories
Our March/April cover is live and it’s Nico Parker and Marsai Martin 2 girls on fire. Story by @claire_ifying (link in stories). Pics via @bec_parsons
When your bff gets profiled in the Times for being a bad ass b - breaking the mold for what pundits look like and say - and name drops you ♥️ link in stories
“Chromat is not just about inclusivity, despite that being such a fundamental part of the brand. McCharen-Tran is charting new territory in fashion that goes beyond a nod to diversity, but instead reimagines how we think about our futures: different-abilities, gender-queer and diverse in race, all realities that are proving to be statistically true. But, what really sticks out at a Chromat show is how much the crowd cheers as they see models that represent a new world confidently stride down the runway. This is not the norm in fashion. It’s a nod to community, a community that has never really been a part of fashion. The type of community that will be required to survive and save us from the impending reality of climate change.” I wrote a review of @chromat’s show. Link in stories!
WHO LET AUNTIE OUT 📸 via MY QUEEN @kelly.bales #nyfw
It’s fashion, dahrling.
“perhaps the most vital aspect of today’s Hollywood is the increasing power of representation it is experiencing. Seeing yourself represented in popular culture is an affirming experience, especially for people who have not had many opportunities to view themselves on the big and small screen. Representation instills validation and sparks aspiration. It opens your imagination up to what can be achieved, even when the world has previously told you otherwise” - @gabebergado. This year’s young Hollywood is setting a new bar for what diversity and inclusion look like. Check it out on teen vogue dot com.
Me n my bish serving high quality looks