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Actress Aunjanue Ellis wants Mississippi to 'take it down.' It's time they did.

For once, red-carpet questions about a woman's outfit make sense.

Actress Aunjanue Ellis wants Mississippi to 'take it down.' It's time they did.

Ahead of the NAACP Image Awards, "Quantico" actress Aunjanue Ellis approached her show's costume designer with an unusual request.

Ellis wanted to find a way to send a message to the state of Mississippi, where she was born and raised. So she turned to "Quantico" costume designer Sami Rattner for help.

The result? A beautiful white dress with the words "Take it down Mississippi" written across the front, accompanied by a red handprint.


Ellis at the 47th NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.

Take what down? Her message references Mississippi's state flag, which includes blatant Confederate imagery.

In June, Ellis penned an opinion piece for Time, saying she would no longer act in the state until it takes the flag down. And she asked other Mississippi-affiliated actors, authors, and artists to do the same.

She's not boycotting because she hates the state, but rather what the state's flag represents. She's asking that people take a long look at whether that imagery (and all that comes with it) is worth keeping.

"Mississippi is my home," she wrote. "Everything I love the most in this world was born here, or I discovered here. ... The sum total of this state is not that flag."

The Mississippi state flag. Photo by Bill Colgin/Getty Images.

Back in 2001, the people of Mississippi voted on whether to replace the Confederate symbol.

The new flag would have replaced the Confederate battle symbol with 20 stars on a field of blue, representing Mississippi being the 20th state. Sadly, the referendum to change the flag failed by a wide margin, leaving Mississippi as the only state still including the Confederate battle symbol on its state flag.


Photo by Getty Images.

Will the state ditch the flag? Hopefully. Until then, we can all expect Aunjanue Ellis to continue speaking out.

Ellis at "The Birth of a Nation" premiere during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Psychological horror is the best horror.

Psychological horrors terrify us. Not with jump scares and gore, but by seeping deep into our dark and twisted insides. As the audience, we are left not exactly spooked. More like utterly unnerved.

It's a form of storytelling that inspires so much creative layering and nuance, that even those who are normally horror averse can find something to sink their teeth into.

Just what makes these movies so compelling? The answer to that is obvious when we look in the mirror.

The foundational formula for this horror subgenre is simple: Start with mystery, incorporate elements of horror and be sure to add a dash–or five–of disturbing psychological components. Anything from mental illness to extreme cult practices, it's all fair game in this world.

Instead of monsters, ghosts and chainsaw-waving hillbillies, the victims in psychological horror are often fleeing from more insidious types of darkness: trauma, society and human nature itself. Unlike a fun, campy slasher flick (no offense Jason and Freddy), the "evils" of psychological horror are what we universally face on a daily basis, at least on an emotional level. One might not ever find oneself physically turning into a demon bird ballerina like Natalie Portman in "Black Swan," but most of us have felt the specter-like presence of perfectionism.

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