+
Outrage over a Handmaid's Tale wedding photo went viral. But it's not as tone-deaf as it seems.

Silent women dressed up as handmaids from Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel Handmaid's Tale have been spotted at protests of women's rights violations all over the world. In London, they were displayed during Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. In America, it was at Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. "The handmaid's costume has been adopted by women in many countries as a symbol of protest about various issues having to do with the requisitioning of women's bodies by the state," Atwood told the Guardian. The iconic red robes send a powerful message without saying a word. "What the costume is really asking viewers is: do we want to live in a slave state?" The handmaid is the perfect symbol for when you want to smash the patriarchy, not support it. So why did faceless handmaids show up in a viral wedding photo?


Wedding photography Facebook page Van Daele & Russell Photography posted a photo of a kissing bride and groom standing against the "hanging wall" seen in the Hulu show. Faceless handmaids stand on either side of the happy couple. "Praise be! Kendra & Torsten are married!" the photographers said in the post.

The photo was taken at Ontario restaurant Cambridge Mill, which served as both the couple's wedding venue and one of the sets for the Handmaid's Tale. While the couple did not have a Handmaid's Tale themed wedding, they're fans of the show and wanted a photo in front of the wall. The handmaids were added in digitally after the photo was taken.

RELATED: Groom's mom shows up to wedding in bridal dress — updo included

The photo went viral. Many people felt the photo was inappropriate, given what the image of handmaids represents.







The photo has since been removed from the photographer's Facebook page at the request of the couple.

Now, Shawn Van Daele and Clint Russell, the photographers behind the photo, are saying their critics missed the point of the photo. "This image was created and put out by a pair of 'Gender Traitors' who are no strangers to many of the subplots of oppression, violence, and inequality that run through Margaret's brilliant work," Van Daele told the Huffington Post. As a gay married couple, Van Daele and Russell would be labeled as "gender traitors" if they lived in the repressive Gilead.

RELATED: A couple's viral 60th anniversary photo shoot includes their sweet advice for a lasting marriage

Van Daele and Russell feel that emotion has obscured the message. "What's sad is that everyone is reacting exactly as expected – just like in Gilead – and missing the opportunity to think for themselves, to educate themselves, to become engaged activists instead of simply keyboard warriors," Van Daele told PetaPixel.

Instead of outrage, the photographers want to see action. "We'd love to see people out in the streets participating in women's marches, supporting equal rights for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, and so many other important causes…instead of sitting here scrolling through Instagram and knee-jerking their way through comment threads. So you're all correct – it's gross, disgusting, and a horrible concept that is rampantly becoming more "real' in the world day by day and comment by comment," the photographers said in a statement.

Images are powerful. For all the controversy the couple caused, at least they didn't take their wedding photo on rustic train tracks

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

Keep ReadingShow less