Pop Culture Fix: Kristen Stewart Grows Up, Bravo Fucks Up, Carrie Brownstein Speaks Up and Other Uplifting Stories

Welcome to your pop culture fix. This was not a great week for people like me who don’t care about the future. All the news this week is about the future!

First a quick note: today is PRIME DAY on Amazon, when there are lots of sales for Prime members. If you shop on Amazon today you should use this link OR if you decide to join Amazon Prime today you should do so via this link so that instead of giving all your money to a corporation, you can give all your money to a corporation and they will give a percentage of it back to us! There you go.

Unusually Attractive Humans

+ This month Marie Claire took their turn offering the world a “revealing” interview with press-wary probs-queer starlet Kristen Stewart. After reading the passage,  “Stewart drops her head, tugs at the hem of her simple black sweatshirt. Fans away a mosquito. Yanks a fallen tube sock from its cotton pool in her Converse sneaker,” our Executive Editor Laneia noted, “i would read an entire post just on these things.” The magazine hits newsstands July 21st and hopefully contains lots of information about Alicia Cargile. HAHAHAHAHA


+ Laverne Cox has some words about cultural appropriation, following that time that people saw “Watch What Happens Live” and then awful things happened, live, causing Laverne Cox to be roundly criticized throughout the media for not striking back when a rich white cis man called a black teenager a “jackhole.” Kara Brown at Jezebel has one primary feeling about this, which is “Andy Cohen is working my last fucking nerve.”

Andy Cohen, shut the fuck up. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. What entire wealth and fame of the Kardashian Klan has been built on emulating black women in a more marketable white body while fetishizing black men. Kylie Jenner’s dumbass cornrows not only looked ridiculous, but continue a pattern of her wearing blackness like a costume.

+ Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker give advice to the fine young cannibals of Rookie.

+ Bad news for New Puck: Marley-Kate and Ryder Bieber-Strong are married.

+ Speaking of marriage, Glory Johnson would like $20,000 a month in spousal support.

+ You should be crushing on Brandi Carlile.

The Teevee

+ Remember Anyone But Me? Welp, you’ll be able to see LOST SCENES from your fave lesbian webseries starting September 1st on Hulu and September 15th on YouTube. Rachael Hip-Flores and Nicole Pacent, Autostraddle’s Top Critters of 2009, will be reprising their roles as Vivian and Aster:

In response to the continuing outpouring of requests from our fans and the many newcomers to the show, we brainstormed and came up with an inventive idea to expand the series by writing and producing ten scenes that, although they stand alone, could have been a part of specific episodes over our three seasons. And we’ll tease the audience to watch the entire show again, so they can see where we imagine these new scenes might have appeared but were never placed. We’ll be shooting in L.A. Allison Vanore and PJ Palmer return as Producers.

+ Flavorwire saw “I Am Jazz” and they liked it.

+ What it’s like to be a contestant on Master Chef.

+ Trans actor Tom Phelan, who plays Cole on The Fosters, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his role and his personal background:

Has seeing portrayals in media made your everyday life any easier given that the subject is less taboo than it used to be?

Yes and no. I think it’s very important for people looking for depictions of themselves in media, but I think as far as real, concrete change, it’s not going to do a lot. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think the most violent trans misogynists are going to be watching The Fosters. We’ve come a long way with being in the public eye, but in terms of lessening violence, there hasn’t been a lot of change. Media representation is great, but it’s not going to promote visible, genuine change. Media representation is for the community and for young trans kids and it’s for people looking to see themselves. I don’t think it’s for the rest of the world. Its primary function is to serve as a looking glass so that people who feel lost and confused can look and see themselves.

+ Anna Pulley would like to know why Orange is the New Black won’t admit bisexuals exist. Also if you are “scary looking,” then you could be on the show.

+ Um, so HBO is doing a six-part mini series by David Simon, creator of The Wire, about a young mayor in 1960s Yonkers tasked with implementing federally mandated integration. Also Winona Ryder is in it. So you’ll want to check that out.

+ Sharon Van Etten wrote a song for Tig Notaro. Also, The New York Times saw Tig and they liked it.

+ Do you like Button & Bly’s travel show? Say so!

The Movie Shows

+ The Oscar voting block is getting a wee bit more diverse.

Not a Pretty Girl: How Women Are Fighting Pop Culture’s Tyranny of Attractiveness

+ Dianna Agron will be playing a “tomboyish lesbian” in a movie called “Hollow in the Land.” No word on whether or not this will be the same “tomboyish lesbian” role she plays in your sex dreams.

+ If you would like to watch the trailer for Amy Pohler and Tina Fey’s Christmas movie, Sisters, you absolutely can go ahead and do that immediately! You’re so lucky!

+ Troop Beverly Hills is a deceptively subtle take on glamour

All the lessons we learned from “Cluleless” 20 years ago. TWENTY YEARS AGO?!!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. I LOVED ANYONE BUT ME. I still remember where I was when Nicole Pacent came out… Oh to be a baby queer again!

    OITNB is such a brilliant, diverse show, but I agree that it could improve its discussion of bisexual identities.

    I can’t wait for Sisters – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey! <3 However, can't help but wish it was a different film entitled Lovers…

  2. I mean, I’m always crushing on Brandi Carlile but that was a good reminder as to why exactly.

  3. I really liked that “not a pretty girl” article.

    “Beauty is valuable, even vital, but it cannot be demanded of anyone, and certainly not of half the population. Women are not national parks; we cannot expect them to remain forever groomed for our visual pleasure.”

    Just, yes.

    • When I was in highschool I was asked out by this guy in the form of a poem he wrote about me, and embarrassingly I said yes and then dated him for like almost two years? Maybe longer? dark times. Anyway one of the lines was “your eyes are dark like national parks” and I remember it because it is HILARIOUS. Even at the time I thought it was awful, so I don’t know what I was doing. But yeah, national parks.

      I think I wouldn’t mind being one of those really overgrown national parks that inexperienced hikers mysteriously disappear in, you know?

  4. “Dianna Agron will be playing a “tomboyish lesbian” in a movie called “Hollow in the Land.” No word on whether or not this will be the same “tomboyish lesbian” role she plays in your sex dreams.”

    Each and every clause of this makes me so happy.

  5. I honestly thought that Glory Johnson wants 20 $ in spousal support. There’s a 0 missing, though!

  6. Thank you for the Tom Phelan interview. He seems very intelligent and talented, and I can’t wait to see him in more things. I love The Fosters, and I love Cole.

  7. Hey Diana Agron are you a method actress because I would be totally game to help you with the, um, research for this new role of yours.

  8. OK I know I’ve been self-exiled from the land of cable for like ten years now, relying on Netflix and Hulu and Amazon and HBO Now (oh god I’m probably paying the same price as cable), but does anyone actually WATCH that Andy Cohen show? Because he sounds like a tool and I feel like Bravo lost its relevance when it lost Project Runway.

    • Now that I’ve thought about it, I definitely do not know of a single person who even watches that show, let alone Bravo. I mean obviously my knowledge is limited, but I have to agree with you about Bravo losing relevance after Project Runway.
      I may or may not have forgotten it was a network until this was brought up.

      • Seriously. Lifetime has UnREAL and Project Runway, and I’m suddenly happy my Roku has a free Lifetime app!

  9. Is it just me or is Brandi Carlile severely underrated in the queer lady community? Her music is everything tbh

  10. That quote from Tom Phelan, wow. Made me think about media representation totally differently.

    • Your comment made me read Tom’s statement again. Wow. Smart kid.*

      *I know everyone on the Fosters is older than they’re playing, but as I’m at the ripe old age of 32, they’re all kids to me ;-)

  11. Great round up of links as always, I really loved hearing what Laverne Cox had to say.
    Now, a moment to be thankful for Dianna Agron playing a “tomboyish lesbian.”

  12. I am so happy with that Flavorwire piece on I Am Jazz. Like them, I had some misgivings about how TLC would handle telling her story, but it sounds like they’ve done well. It’s lovely to know that Jazz and her family are out there, modeling for us what a trans teen’s self-acceptance and a family’s enthusiastic support look like. (Also, is she not the most CHILL kid ever?)

  13. I don’t understand. The description of the Dianna Agron film seemed to mention that she would be a lesbian but then talked about many and varied plot points that did not feature sexual repression, coming out, lesbian pregnancy, sleeping with a man, or psychotic breaks in character that ultimately lead to death.


  14. I’ve been crushing on Brandi since I was eighteen and picked up her first CD on a whim at my college Wal-Mart. I met her at one of her concerts and couldn’t speak to her; instead, I awkwardly stared at her unicorn loafers as she wished me happy birthday and tried to get me to respond for fifteen minutes. I’m seeing her in October, and I’m assuming a repeat of this situation will happen.

    Also cannot WAIT for new ABM episodes! Saw the posts on FB and thought I was dreaming!

  15. Yeah, I feel like Brandi Carlile isn’t talked about nearly as much as she should be around here. *swoon*

  16. Loved the women’s attractiveness article. Smash the patriarchy everywhere and at all times Also K-Stew’s new hair is a good look, well done her.

  17. Oh hey, this is the second lesbian role Agron’s played recently (she was in Bare). After looking her up she’s apparently pretty into being a gay rights activist, that’s kinda awesome!

  18. I would let Kristen Stewart tug on my sweatshirt or any other part of my clothing any day…

  19. I didn’t really get the appeal of Kristen Stewart until I saw The Runaways, and then I suuuuuper got it. That dark lipstick looks fantastic on her.

  20. I agree with Laneia wholeheartedly about Kristen Stewart. I’d probably read an entire book like that. Kristen Stewart Does Stuff. The greatest book of all time!

  21. I found out that Clueless was turning 20 this summer a few weeks ago. And maybe cried myself to sleep over my list youth.

    I’ve always wanted Brandi Carisle’s “They Story” to play at my imagined future gay wedding.

    (Also, Riese this headline simultaneously made me laugh uncontrollably and instantly nostalgic for your glee recaps- “Bad news for New Puck: Marley-Kate and Ryder Bieber-Strong are married.”)

  22. Amy Pohler and Tina Fey’s movie Sisters is the only exciting thing about the Holidays for me this year

  23. Oh my goddess, please let there be information from KStew herself on Alicia Cargile and not weirdly from her mom without her consent.

  24. I’m in denial that Clueless was 20 years ago.

    Much like I was in denial that it was a comedy when it actually came out. (I thought it was serious! Like Pretty in Pink!)

    • Super serious. The movie totally hold up. I watched it last week (I cried [what] I suspect I was processing other feelings, too).

  25. I would like to add another random fact about Kristen Stewart; she was sitting at the table next to mine in my fave hole in the wall bar/restaurant when she was filming in my city; she def looked like a bit of a hot mess and she was mixing siracha with her sake. Haha gross? but I thought you should know :)

    Also on the article of bisexual erasure; it’s true and weird that OITNB doesn’t seem to mention that. Personally one of the main reason labeling myself bisexual isn’t my fave is that the word “bi” reaffirms the gender binary, so I’m not a fan of that. but yeah I def constantly feel all the bisexual hate out there; I feel like most men just fetishize my sexuality or think “yay, 3somes” and most lesbians think “she wouldn’t date me seriously/would leave me for a man” oh and generally everyone thinking I’m a slut just cause of the mere fact I’m attracted to more than one gender.. so yeah there’s still a lot of work to do on that :(

    • 1. So jealous of your odd Kirsten experience.
      2. And don’t worry…there are lovely people out there who won’t put those labels on you. You do you!

      • haha thanks, and I know there are, I just wish they weren’t outnumbered by the other ones. :)

    • I’m glad everyone else is getting this window into the intricacies of her life, I feel like we are all much closer now. #fantasycelebritygirlfriend

  26. I am 100% behind the message of that OINTB article, but I’m not comfortable with how often she describes people as bisexual who don’t identify as bisexual (“many who are bi call themselves…”). On the one hand, bisexuality is bisexuality, naming it is super important, and stigma hella influences some people’s decision not to id as bi. On the other, identity is identity, and the only person who really gets to make that call is the person in question.

    • I agree with this! People should have full power to label themselves. Or not label at all!

    • It’s very true that the person in question should be the only one who gets to label. But bisexual is a good descriptive shorthand, and a lot of self identifications (including my own) fall into what the author describes as “the stultifying mouthsoup that often comprises our attempts to describe sexual inclusivity.” One of the best ways to combat stigma is to use the word more frequently… I’m not exactly sure what I’m getting at. I basically agree with you, and I wanted to quote that stellar line. And I think there’s a significant qualitative difference between using bi to label others vs using it to describe what they do.

      • @pika I know your response wasn’t directed to me, but! I like this quote of yours.

        “And I think there’s a significant qualitative difference between using bi to label others vs using it to describe what they do.”
        I completely see what you’re trying to say now.

        P.S. cute icon

  27. What What Happens Live makes me SO uncomfortable, so when I saw that Laverne Cox was even going on it I got nervous. Laverne Cox’s written response to what went down is–as always–so thoughtful and useful and I hope that it gets circulated widely.


  28. “No word on whether or not this will be the same “tomboyish lesbian” role she plays in your sex dreams”

    I’m absolutely beet-red, giggling like a bashful schoolgirl on the bus now. OH RIESE, YOU KNOW ME SO WELL.

  29. That Buzzfeed article on bisexuality has been one of the highlights of my week! Brilliant and observant and I’m happy Buzzfeed draws attention to bi-invisibility. As much as I love OITNB I can’t help but get frustrated on how the show treats bisexuality. Whether Piper is bi or not doesn’t really matter but the writers should at least acknowledge that both her and other characters in the show are clearly attracted to more than one gender and not shy away from using the term bisexual.

    • Polly asks Piper if she’ll turn gay again. Piper gets mad and says you can’t turn gay but you are on somewhere on a spectrum like the Kinsey scale.
      Alex tells Piper that Piper is a little lower on the Kinsey scale than she is.

      In what world are they not acknowledging that she likes both? That’s just a straight up lie. A lie she acknowledges several paragraphs in.

  30. Brandi Carlile is coming to Minneapolis in a few weeks and I am (not so secretly) hoping that I will run into her at at my favorite coffee shop and we will have a long discussion and she’ll give me life advice and I’ll never feel sad again.

  31. Does that AS amazon link only work for today? Or can I sign up for it anytime and help out this cool af website?

    • Can I use that link to always make all my Amazon purchases help Autostraddle (even if I don’t want Prime)?

    • Hey @dante and @abibelle There’s a big orange button link to shop on Amazon permanently in the sidebar on all Autustraddle posts – if you visit Amazon via that link and shop there, AS makes a small cut.

  32. OMG I’m so tired about hearing about these damned cornrows. They are f’ing hair style. Anyone can wear them. Yes, dark hair and a pale scalp can look awkward sometimes, but cultural appropriation it is not. It’s nice to know the only thing that makes me black is what I do to my f’ing hair. We are such a shallow people apparently. Rap music and braids. Done.

    • Here I thought wearing my hair natural was more of celebration of my roots. Nope, let me go spend a few hours combing, parting, and braiding so that I can achieve cornrows. Much blacker.

    • I feel like this is a painfully simplistic and even offensive interpretation of the argument of cultural appropriation. It’s not just about braids. It’s not just about hair or rap. It’s that popular culture and white peoples have a pretty indisputable reputation of taking parts of poc’s culture and profiting from it while completely disregard those same people. It’s that black culture is admired and profitable when it’s done by white people, but when it’s black people all of the sudden it’s violent and ugly and othered. It’s that when white people take black culture, they silence black people and the struggles that are probably why those very things were created in the first place. It’s disappointing so many reducing it to a hair style to invalidate it. It’s much bigger than that, the hair is just a manifestation of it.

    • Seriously? That’s what you’re taking away from all this?

      “Cornrows, locs, bantu knots, hip hop music, and other parts of black culture were created for by us, and for us. Phenotypical features, like big lips, are things we are born with. Many of these things that are associated with blackness were not valued by greater society until white people became interested, and appropriated them for themselves. Disassembled pieces of black female style that are taken by white people are valued, while whole black female bodies are murdered, raped, and incarcerated.

      White people taking what they see as valuable from POC, while simultaneously dehumanizing us, is basically the history of white supremacy.”


  33. Omg I totally forgot about Anyone But Me. Super excited about this!

    And I hadn’t really paid attention to Brandi Carlile beyond being mildly obsessed with her latest album, but I am definitely reduced to mush post-perusal of that list.

  34. “Media representation is for the community and for young trans kids and it’s for people looking to see themselves. I don’t think it’s for the rest of the world. Its primary function is to serve as a looking glass so that people who feel lost and confused can look and see themselves.”

    I could not have said it better myself. I have these types of conversations all the time with my roommate, who is very sweet and supportive, but who ultimately misses the mark a lot by insisting things about the community without listening to what I, a member of the community, have to say. We’ve had the, “trans people have come a long way, they’re all over the news and in tv shows now” conversation over and over where I’ve tried to explain to him that very excerpt but haven’t been able to find the words. Now HERE THEY ARE, JUST 4 ME.

  35. Dianna Agron as a tomboyish lesbian is like a fanfiction dream come true. I am 100 percent all about this news.

  36. haha, my friend sent me the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler trailer today. I mean, I will watch anything with those two in it.

    Also, love the Brandi Carlile article.

  37. “Dianna Agron will be playing a “tomboyish lesbian” in a movie called “Hollow in the Land.” No word on whether or not this will be the same “tomboyish lesbian” role she plays in your sex dreams.”

    This is the best sentence of my week!

  38. “Stewart drops her head, tugs at the hem of her simple black sweatshirt. Fans away a mosquito. Yanks a fallen tube sock from its cotton pool in her Converse sneaker.”

    good lord, the way we interview women is ridiculous!!

    • Right? I mean I like K-Stew, but 3 sentences like that are totally unnecessary. NOt to mention they read awkwardly…

  39. I am so sick of the almost gleeful misogyny that follows all discussion of the Piper character (and Lord knows you are as guilty as anyone of that Reise) so I almost didn’t click on that link. And, of course, it does it too (because Lord knows white men can be interesting but not Piper). And it is pure bull shit for her to add that Piper EXPLICITLY reprimands Polly for suggesting she could “turn gay” and states very clearly she’s on the spectrum several paragraphs in. Ignores the context of the fact that she only claims she “used to be” a lesbian when her family is trying to grapple with and understand the situation. That other than that she has never once suggested she was straight or gay and has gotten angry at other people for doing so. She was furious at Alex for thinking she wanted to go back to dick. She was mad at Polly for saying she would turn gay. In fact, her sexual identity is very important to her.

    But to do that you have to take a her seriously as a person and understand that she isn’t just a label but a human being who has a lot of feelings about her sexuality. And just like Skylar and Betty Draper and 90% of female protagonists no one will ever take a woman like her serious enough to do that. Not even other queer women. It’s sickening.

    • Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm except why does the entire show build up the complexity of Piper’s identity without ever using the word “bisexual”, even if it’s ultimately not the label that Piper goes with? It’s never presented as an option, or even a reality. THAT is the crux of the entire article.

      • Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm When did Alex or Nicky or Poussey explicitly call themselves lesbians? That’s not how people talk. She is not just bisexual her sexuality is important enough to her that she gets very angry when other people diminish it.

        The crux of the article is centered around an explicit lie, which the author acknowledges going in.

        • I haven’t memorized three seasons of scripts, so you’ll have to apologize without presenting HARD FACTS, but I’m damn sure that Alex, Nicky, and Boo have all referred to themselves as lesbians or dykes at various points throughout the season.

          And what the hell, “that’s not how people talk”?? People never self-identify or refer to themselves by a label!??!? HAVE I BEEN TALKING ABOUT MYSELF INCORRECTLY THIS WHOLE TIME!?!??!

          • *you’ll have to accept my apologies

            Whoops that was a weird typo, holding you up to some ridiculously standard of backing up your claims :/

      • And saying she is on the spectrum but not gay or straight IS presenting it as a possibility. It’s pure bull shit to suggest otherwise.

        Maybe Piper identifies as pansexual. Maybe she identifies as omnisexual. The fact is she clearly states she is in the middle of the spectrum.

        • I genuinely don’t understand how you think “gleeful misogyny” has anything to do with the discussion on bi-erasure on this show.

    • Hmm, you make good points. No one would say that a male character is uninteresting because he is an upper-middle-class WASP.

      Also, the “used to be” a lesbian comment makes sense in the context of the OITNB book: Piper Kerman was strongly lesbian-identified until she fell in love with her husband.

    • I mean, to be honest, I didn’t like the Buzzfeed article at all, as it seemed to conflate OITNB’s treatment of bisexuality with OITNB’s treatment of the word “bisexual,” which I personally don’t really think is a problem.

      I was just presenting the link to everybody here in case they wanted to read it, using the language of the article itself, my opinion was not included in that sentence.

      I have no idea what you’re saying I’m personally guilty of… but I’ve never ridden the Piper hate train and I’m not sure what the “gleeful misogyny” is, maybe you’re confusing me with other writers who write about OITNB?

  40. I was uneasy when Glory Johnson was quoted as self-labeling as straight in an interview. I was very uncomfortable with the way the domestic abuse seemed to be handled, and the number of biting pictures Ms. Johnson seemed only too happy to post on her instagram. I hope she gets nothing, and I hope many young queers in the future can learn from this and be able to spot the warning signs for themselves.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that! It’s quite endearing for some reason haha

  41. Pretty stoked for Show Me a Hero. I might have watched the trailer three times in a row yesterday.

  42. “Women are not national parks; we cannot expect them to remain forever groomed for our visual pleasure.”

    Sometime a line just hits you right in the gut.

  43. I have been told a couple of times that I kinda look like brandi carlile and I cling to this compliment in a way that is decidedly pathetic.

    but at some point, I realized she actually REALLY REALLY looks like my mom thirty years ago and then it got weird.

  44. Riese, I feel like you should say ” This is Autostraddle, g-ddammit.” much more often

  45. anyone but me :D almost finished watching it for the first time. Dianna Agron playing a lesbian makes life so much better fuck yeah

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