Welcome to “Aesthetic Rising,” a new monthly column where I put together my two favorite things — fashion and astrology — just for you. I’m really excited to take you on this journey, but first, let’s start by discussing how I might be unqualified to give you advice on both of these things!
First of all, my wardrobe is 90 percent from thrift stores, so who am I to ask you to buy clothes online? I believe strongly in the “Ten Percent Strategy,” which is a term I just invented to describe the exceptionally stylish ten percent of my wardrobe, made up exclusively of pieces that I buy online and pay a bunch of money for. Some of the items in these astrology collages are pricey, but I chose them with the Ten Percent Strategy in mind, meaning that I used my top-secret process (twenty tabs open at once) to search the internet for unique, high-quality items. Yes, these items will cost more than other clothes you might buy, but hopefully they will be the most complimented, fashionable, awe-inspiring ten percent of your entire wardrobe. But if you’re truly broke and need a column with good fashion deals, don’t worry, I’ve got that one coming on the way soon.
Also, these horoscopes are meant to be read with a grain of stardust. We already have horoscopes on Autostraddle written by the brilliant Corina Dross, who taught me everything I know. Seriously, if you want to actually learn astrology, her online class is easily the best money I’ve ever spent. So while I do know a lot about astrology, I’m not using any of my knowledge in these for-entertainment-only horoscopes. To put it simply, Corina’s horoscopes are like a quinoa and kale salad tossed in a light vinaigrette (good for you) and my horoscopes are like cake pops tossed in sprinkles (cute but garbage). Corina’s horoscopes are like the Oscar-nominated film Carol (powerful and important) and my horoscopes are like the reality television show The Real L Word (fake but fun).
I’m also giving the birthday sign of the month extra outfits to choose from, which means I hope you will forgive me if I forget to write “HBD!” on your Facebook wall. And I did my best to create a balanced presentation for different genders, but if you’re personally sad with the representation of your gender identity, I encourage you to choose one item from any of the collages and pair it with the fashion that’s already in your closet. Basically, you’re great and I want this column to make you feel cool.
Oh Leo, how do you do it? How do you look so good all the time? This is how I find you in a crowd: you look better than me. I’m not even mad, though. When the zodiac came together to align Leo, the stars probably said something like: “you know what sounds fun? Let’s make a sign where the point is that they’re all just super charming and attractive.” I understand, you can’t help it that you are this way.
During this month of your birth, you should put your charm on display by wearing something from this tasteful yet summery collage and pretending that you’re on the beach. Choose any non-beach location: a parking lot, a PokeStop, or perhaps even a Ghostbusters showing. Spread out your beach towel, put some chilled beers in an inflatable kiddie pool, kick back and wait for people to walk right up to you and ask, “Is there where I catch a Pikachu?” Slide your sunglasses down your face slowly and tell them, “No, this is the beach.” Everyone will be so blinded by your confidence that they’ll simply believe you, and your impromptu fake beach and your birthday party will be underway.
Another possibility I see in the stars for you this month is a situation in which you’re wearing something from this collage and you serendipitously run into Kate McKinnon. She’ll think you’re so good-looking that she’ll cancel the rest of her Ghostbusters promo interviews and elope with you. Does that resonate? Tell me how it goes.
I feel like Virgos are the sign most likely to walk around with a clipboard. Look at all of these people, can’t you just imagine them being in command of a clipboard, squinting at some detail on the wall before chuckling to themselves and checking a goal off their list? Organization never looked so dreamy. This month, you should wear one of these outfits and walk around with a clipboard. I see this working out really well for your love life. Everyone will want to know what you’re writing, and eventually, someone cute will come and ask you. This will give you the opportunity to impress them with your ability to make strong eye contact and talk about your goals. With any luck, they’ll be a Gemini or a Sagittarius with a deep need for someone to help get their life together, and in no time you’ll be expressing your love for them by cleaning their apartment.
I see you attending house parties this month filled with your favorite things: puppies and succulents. Set aside your social anxiety for a night and go to that party, because odds are in your favor that there will be a chihuahua that you can cuddle, which will ease you into the task of socially gathering. I also encourage you to keep some googly eyes in your pocket this month so you can secretly stick them to the succulents you find. You’ll gain a new friend in whoever decides to join you in this activity. Other good news? This hamburger hat is my favorite thing in all of these collages, and I chose it just for you. But if you’re vegan and can’t get behind the burger symbolism, this kitten shirt is also the greatest possible thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
I don’t care what your ex-girlfriend thinks, I know that you’re a gifted person who is just misunderstood. Have you ever thought that maybe it isn’t that you’re too intense for people, but that people don’t deserve your powerful ability to heal wounds? Make this the month you finally stop listening to Usher’s “My Boo,” on repeat while feeling nostalgic about the girl who got away. You’ll feel better by treating yourself to a total transformation. Even if Classic Goth is your usual style, I encourage you to venture into the realm of Health Goth this summer by trying on some of these looks. I know personally that if I saw someone wearing any of these things, I would probably burst into flames because of how sexy they look. So if you’re trying to date me specifically, I see that as a possibility in your future.
Me and everyone I know is a Sagittarius, and boy oh boy, aren’t we just having a grand old time this summer delicately ruining our own lives just for the fun of it? My dear friend and fellow-Sagittarius Mey uses the hashtag #SelfSabotageSummer to describe this phenomenon, and I encourage you to use it if it gives you clarity. I’m not worried about any of us, though, because I know that when we make reckless life decisions it’s so we can feel fun, wild, and free. Sometimes, this is what we need to feel in order to learn and grow. So while I care about you and hope you’ll check in with me and let me know that you’re making safe decisions, I also hope you’re doing something new and out of your comfort zone this month. Those blue velvet heels are a good start.
Forget about that dream project you’re working towards. Just let the pressure of it evaporate from your brain space for a second. In fact, drop the pressure of that thing for thirty whole minutes and do something that’s absolutely useless. Do you know how to yodel yet? There’s a place to start. Did you learn all of the Yo-Yo tricks that you possibly could during the 90’s? Be honest. I also found a pretty terrible Instructable on how to learn shadow puppetry if that sounds interesting. Or remember that game from middle school, M-A-S-H? It doesn’t matter if you’re already a full-grown adult living in a shack with your thousand kids and wife Demi Lovato and driving a box on wheels, play that game again just for fun. I see a valuable life lesson or perhaps a headache waiting for you in this meditation exercise. Either way, you’ll feel better afterwards by putting on one of these outfits and walking through the world like the impressive, capable, and generous soul that you are.
It’s time to go on that trip you’ve always dreamed of. You know, that trip where you find a mountain to stand on so you can look at the world straight in the eye and scream. I encourage you to explore all the places you can get away with screaming this month. Buy some Razberita’s at the gas station, grab your friends, find a pool, splash right into the water and scream! Locate the nearest roller coaster and take the innovative approach by screaming with your mouth closed during the slow climb up. Doesn’t that feel good? I’m so proud of you. Now chill out, buy a new journal and write about what you’ve learned from this experience. Please report back, by the way. The world needs more of your solutions right now.
Your monthly advice comes from the greatest tweet ever tweeted. This tweet, thought into existence by (the problematic) Kanye West, states: “I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.” Ask yourself: what do I need to relinquish responsibility for in my life right now? It could be the painting you bought at Goodwill that you can’t find a place for in your home. You’re allowed to throw that paint-by-numbers away. Or it could be the nebulous feeling that you have to do something before you lose the opportunity to do it. Remember: you are not responsible for the pressure the world puts on you to do any specific thing. You have so much time to dream.
Listen, I want to apologize to you for that thing I said earlier about Leo being the best-looking person in the room. I know it hurt you. But do I actually have to tell you that you look good? Because I know you already know it. And no pressure, but everyone is looking at your Instagram this summer to steal tips from you on how to Live Your Best Life. I’m not even going to tell you what you should do this month, because I know it won’t compare to the inspiring things I’m seeing on #AriesInstagram these days. For example: pose with a statue of Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson (I saw both?), go on an impromptu camping trip, form a grrrl gang punk band, start a queer dance night at your local dive bar, live your dreams, keep shining like the star you are, be the person we’re all jealous of and aspire to be, etc.
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Taurus, and I refuse to apologize. Part of my defense of Taurus has to do with the fact that they have it hardest in the game of internet astrology stereotypes, because they’re primarily associated with eating food. This is unfair because, first of all, everyone has to eat in order to continue living in this world and also I’ve dated enough of you to know that you enjoy several other activities, including: cuddling, laughing, dancing, sharing good advice, listening, chilling out, etc. This month, you deserve to find a really good hammock to drink a really cold beer in. You deserve to see some art that will change your life. You deserve to do some really gay karaoke with some really good friends. It’s great that you’re so humble, but this month is a good time to fall in love with yourself.
I’m really going off the book here, but I’m getting a strong vision for you this month. I see — balloons? Of the hot air variety? And puppies, but in baskets? Wait, no, I’m definitely describing a children’s movie from the 90’s called Napoleon. But the metaphor of living like a puppy floating above the world in a basket tied to balloons still applies. You’ve got a natural sense of wonder and awe that would be good to lean into this month. Find all of the dandelions to blow away and make a thousand wishes. Find all the places in the world you can throw more glitter on. Consider carrying actual glitter in your pocket to throw on people who say terrible things. Buy some chalk and fill the streets with technicolor messages that people need to hear most right now, like: #blacklivesmatter. I look forward to seeing how you heal the world in the most whimsical way possible.
Hey, how are you feeling? I know the answer is usually “a lot.” It’s okay, you’re right, it’s really hard to jump back into the dating scene after a breakup. I know a Cancer who recently used a dating strategy on me that totally worked and perhaps you could try it. Instead of meeting up with someone for a real date, just text back and forth for however long it takes them to say: “I don’t want to chase you anymore, can we fast forward to the part where you come over and I scratch your back?” This is the gayest thing I’ve ever said, but it was prompted by the magical stay-home-and-cuddle force you possess as a Cancer. This month, tap into this energy and figure out little ways to make the world feel more comfortable for you. Start by skipping the drinks once in a while and just go straight to the back-scratching.