Belated Greetings, Dames Nation!
Due to a scheduling snafu on Dame Margaret’s part, this is greeting you on Monday afternoon rather than Friday, but hopefully it will be welcome even off schedule.
Something truly momentous happened Thursday— well, actually, two momentous somethings. First, Janelle Monaé announced a release date for her first full album since 2018’s Dirty Computer: on June 9th, The Age of Pleasure begins! In and of itself, that would be cause for celebration, but even more impressive, Ms. Monaé also accomplished something I would never have believed possible: she released a music video even gayer than the one she made for “Pynk.” That’s right folks! She made something more gay than these pants:
So, take a moment out of your Monday to absorb the glorious, slutty queerness Monaé’s serving up in “Lipstick Lover”— which I cannot embed, because it’s ~*eXpLiCiT*~. I hope you are all, collectively, as excited as I am for the way our summer soundtrack just got upgraded.
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Speaking of June 9th…
What I neglected to mention previously, however, is that noted #Damesfavs Hannah McGregor and Marcelle Kosman of the podcast Witch, Please will also be there! In order to celebrate being JUST ONE MONTH UNTIL C.A.M.P., they came by our (JKR-critical and trans-inclusive) podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text to talk about reimagining summer camp and, even better, to play a brilliantly silly game our producer AJ designed just for them: plotting different C.A.M.P. activities on a graph based on how Canadian/essentially Hannah/essentially Marcelle they are.
If this video leaves you as eager to learn pétanque from Hannah and Marcelle as it has left me, then you’ll be comforted to know that you still have 11 days to sign up and join us at C.A.M.P.! We’re accepting registrations up through Friday, May 26th— you can head to bit.ly/nspcamp to learn more and sign up. Seeing Dames Nationals there would be so fun!
And in one last bit of Not Sorry news, the Taylor Swift class I’m teaching for them (about which I’ve written at great length before) starts this Tuesday!!! We’re accepting students right up through the beginning of class— and, honestly, even after! I’ve been having the best time immersing myself in Taylor’s music in preparation for the class and I’m really excited to dig into it with the great group of students who’ve already signed up.
A Few Endorsements Dame Margaret is In a Position to Share
In no particular order, here are a few things that have been making my life better lately:
After many months of searching for the ideal outfit to wear to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour on Friday, I finally settled on this jumpsuit from Sugarhill Brighton— my second jumpsuit from the brand— and it’s even better in person than I’d hoped. On the edge between a 12/14 US, the UK 16 fits me perfectly. Unfortunately, this still tops out at a UK 18, which means it’s not as size-inclusive as I’d like, but it’s so excellent I’m sharing it anyways.
This is quite mundane, but: as we head into beach season, I felt I ought to highlight the beauty that is the Wet Brush, a brand of brush specifically designed to be used on wet hair without causing undue damage. At some point in the last two year, these brushes replaced all others in my home because they simply did what they were supposed to more quickly, and with less pain, than any other brush I’d previously used. But for the beach? With a good detangling spray, they are simply indispensable.
My cute new ~*highly aesthetic*~ portable charger from Anker— I got mine in lavender, to match my purple hair, but it’s worth noting that the black is 30% off right now. The two things (other than the pretty colors) make this charger great: (1) you can plug it directly into the wall to recharge the battery rather than needing to remember a separate cord just for the charger and (2) it supports fast charging, which is especially clutch when you’re charging on the go. It does require special, fast-charging cables, but you can get them in a bundle from Anker for a discount. I went for a 6-ft cable (in matching lavender, obvs.) for when it’s plugged into the wall and a pair of shorter, 1-ft cords, which I prefer for charging while out and about— less cord in which to get all my other belongings tangled up.
While I try not to encourage ordering things from Amazon if I can avoid it, this endorsement does (presently) involve Bezos’s bad brand: I recommend buying snacking candy of your preference in a giant, industrial-sized bag, one much too large to cart around with you, and then serving it to yourself in actual snack-sized portions in elegant little containers. I like to use my vintage cocktail glasses, but this would be a great place to treat yourself to, say, a single vintage teacup, or beautiful candy dish. This is the only method of portion control that I’ve ever (1) genuinely enjoyed or (2) found effective.
As you might be aware, claw clips, that staple of 1990s hair culture, have made a massive comeback. If you’ve looked upon this revival with a combination of longing and discomfort, as I have, wishing to participate without experiencing the emotional timeline collapse of wearing at 30-something the exact same hair accessory you loved at 12, I may have a solution for you. These $5 Target clips are super effective at actually holding my hair back and clearly “on trend” without being something that I literally owned in 1998.
And finally, on the topic of things that were big in the 90s, I’ve been finding myself completely delighted by Chris Halls’s series of backup singer videos (natively designed for TikTok but experienced by me on Instagram, because I am old), wherein he and an equally charming friend lipsync along to the backup singer bits in a wide variety of 90s power country-pop— real mom tunes. I desperately want a playlist of both all the songs they’ve already covered and others they ought to— it’s just such an ideal VIBE.
That’s all for this issue, Damespals, but we’ll be back on Friday!
XO/ Dame M.