Emily Kirkpatrick
Emily Kirkpatrick is a writer for hire currently covering all things Vanities at Vanity Fair.
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Courtesy of Normal People/Hulu; Bridgerton/Netflix

Even a year ago, the idea of thousands of women lusting online after a spoon or a simple, silver necklace would have seemed like a concept straight out of a Black Mirror episode reject pile. But today, that libido-driven conversation is not only dominating social media, but seems likely to be a harbinger of even more fetishized on-screen objects to come.

Since the show first came out on Christmas Day, my Twitter feed has been flooded with opinions about the Jane Austen-meets-Gossip Girl bodice-ripper known as Bridgerton. And while an impassioned discussion surrounding the series is pretty impossible to avoid given its no-cutaway sex scenes and a woman’s confusion about the purpose of cum being a central plot device, one thing I didn’t expect to come out of all of this is just how horny everyone would get over a spoon. …


Leave it to months of social isolation to bring out peoples’ kinkier sides online

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Photo: Igor Ustynskyy/Getty Images

Though it feels like light-years ago, last January gave us the debut of Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina-scented candle, an electrifying hug between Brad Pitt and Jen Aniston, and an eerily portentous dating show called Love Is Blind. So with a lusty start like that, it should come as no surprise that 2020 has turned out to be one of the internet’s horniest years on record.

When the term “horny on main’’ first became a fixture of internet meme culture circa 2016, it was considered to be an embarrassing and pathetic quality bestowed upon those unable to keep their chaste public and filthy private lives separate on social media. When Ted Cruz’s Twitter account was caught liking a clip of incest porn, he was guilty of being horny on main. As was Pope Francis when his official Instagram account liked a picture of adult entertainer Natalia Garibotto dressed as a lingerie-clad school girl in November. And who could forget the overly enthusiastic Beto O’Rouke supporter who penned a 2018 viral tweet comparing the presidential campaigns of Richard Ojeda and Michael Avenatti to “the guy who thinks good sex is pumping away,” while Beto is more like “the guy who is all sweet and nerdy but holds you down and makes you cum until your calves cramp.” …


Humans 101

It’s become pop-psych shorthand for our entire personalities

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Photo: Everton Vila/Unsplash

I’ve belonged to my fair share of Facebook self-help groups over the years, and while the people in them are as diverse as the topics they’re looking for guidance on, I have noticed one constant. When it comes to relationship advice, the first response is almost invariably: “What’s your attachment style?”

It feels as though the simple psychological rubric of attachment theory has become a kind of interpersonal catchall—a shorthand for people’s entire personalities and outlook on life, erasing individual nuance in favor of a more palatable stereotype. But while attachment has become a powerful tool wielded by armchair therapists, who seem to promise our entire dating history can be boiled down to the quality of our mothers’ hugs, the theory has yet to be born out by actual science. …


The ‘Kiss From a Rose’ singer explains how to make his go-to quarantine snack

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Photo source: Nick Knight

About a month ago, I FaceTimed with Seal for two hours for a New York Times profile. We had a wide-ranging conversation that ran the gamut from his social media habits to his thoughts on the pandemic. But one thing that didn’t make the final cut of the article is the Grammy winner’s signature baked potato recipe, which he relayed to me in extensive detail. While I haven’t tested it out for myself, I must admit, it does sound pretty tasty.

I didn’t want this recipe to go to waste, so I decided to share it here verbatim with anyone who might be interested. …


These reality show franchises gave me permission to celebrate all of the most difficult aspects of myself

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As I began my sophomore year of college, the combo platter of anxiety and depression I’d been quietly coping with for months suddenly spiraled out of control. Time slowed to a painful drip. The school, ill-equipped to deal with my abrupt mental shift, sent me home to New Hampshire to recalibrate for two weeks. There, while searching for small reasons to stay alive, I discovered the one thing that actually managed to compress the ponderous march of time back into its previously manageable chunks. I discovered the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

I instantly became enmeshed in their fights and backstories, carefully picking my way through who had done and said what to whom. From there, my obsession only grew. With an iron grip on the family remote control, my mother — a diehard Bravo fan — introduced me to more and more of the franchises. Each day, we would recap the series with a fervor and gravity typically reserved for gossip about people we actually know. These shows became a momentary respite from the fictional narratives my anxious, depressive brain was frantically whipping up about myself. …


It’s more than Wellness™ or self-care. It’s about taking control.

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Photo: ullstein bild/Getty Images

I generally consider myself a rational human being. My friends will tell you I’m a natural-born realist with a caustic sense of humor. Add to that a career in journalism where I’ve been trained to approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism and you’d think I’d be thoroughly immune to even the slightest hint of a grift. But thanks to a decade spent covering the fashion industry, and the impenetrable allure of all things New Age, I’ve also developed an uncanny ability to justify even the most outlandish price tag. …


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Emma Stone, a Louis Vuitton spokeswoman, in Louis Vuitton on the cover of Vogue UK

I’ll never forget picking up my first copy of AdBusters.

While it may sound obvious now, at 13 years old I was truly shocked to discover that all the seemingly different brands of the world were in fact owned by the same small cadre of mega-corporations in an attempt to create the illusion of choice. …


The brand has a long history of racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior

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The #DGTheGreatShow ad that sparked the most recent boycott of the brand.

Accountability has never been the fashion industry’s strong suit.

It decries photographers like Mario Testino and Bruce Webber as sexual predators one day, and hires them to shoot celebrity portraits and magazine spreads the next. The Council of Fashion Designers of America sets the age limit for models at 16, and next season NYFW’s biggest designers cast 15-year-old Hailey Clauson.

Bad behavior just doesn’t seem to stick in this business. And why would it when there have never been any real repercussions for designers who are overtly racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, transphobic, fatphobic, and misogynistic. …


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Photo by Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash

TL;DR: I quit my relatively cushy, full-time reporter job at the New York Post after one of my tweets went very viral with no backup plan and no real professional prospects.

But the full-length version of how I came to that decision is something slightly more complicated. Something much more quintessentially, perhaps tiresomely, millennial.

I should probably start by saying that I did actually enjoy my time working at the Post. …

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