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Your First Look at Orange Is the New Black’s Final Season Is Here

It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since we first entered Litchfield Penitentiary alongside Taylor Schilling’s Piper Chapman and met the diverse array of women inside. In 2013, Orange Is the New Black helped put Netflix on the map as a place to find incredible original content, and it was one of the OG binge-worthy shows. Those things seem commonplace now, but the show truly was a game-changer in many ways.

Since then, we’ve laughed and cried alongside these incredible female characters like Red, Taystee, Nicky, Suzanne (Crazy Eyes), and Pennsatucky. But now it’s time to say goodbye. On July 26, Netflix will begin streaming the seventh and final season of OITNB—and I, for one, am canceling all my weekend plans to spend it with my “friends.”

Seriously, this teaser trailer showing the cast singing along to Regina Spektor’s iconic theme song, “You’ve Got Time,” got me unexpectedly emotional.

When last we left them in season six, Piper was released from prison while Taystee faced a guilty verdict in her trial for Piscatella’s murder. As always, Netflix isn’t sharing a ton of plot details, but here’s what we know, thanks to a quick plot summary and some new images.

“In its final season, the ladies of Litchfield come to terms with the fact that prison has changed them forever. Piper struggles with life on the outside, while life in Max, as corrupt and unjust as ever, goes on without her,” Netflix said in a press release. “Taystee’s friendship with Cindy still hangs in the balance as her life sentence looms, Gloria and her kitchen staff are confronted by the hard truth of Polycon’s newest profit stream, while others chase drugs or dreams and grapple with the reality of their place in this world.”

From the looks of things, there will be plenty of emotional moments for everyone—and we can’t wait.

The final season of Orange Is the New Black will be available on Netflix on July 26.

People Are Freaking Out Over Elle Fanning’s Cannes Film Festival 2019 Fashion

To say Elle Fanning has been turning it out on the red carpet at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival would be a serious understatement. As a member of the festival’s jury (the youngest ever!), she’s expected to show up for all the major premieres—and oh, has she shown up.

Night after night, event after event, Fanning and longtime stylist Samantha McMillen have been putting together some epic looks, and people can’t handle it. One particular Dior ensemble—a custom couture creation, inspired by an iconic 1947 photograph—has gotten everyone talking. The actress wore a full-skirt, ruffled blouse, and wide-brimmed hat to the premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and, appropriately, and looked like an old Hollywood movie star. She even got the poses down on the red carpet.

The outfit is actually a callback to famous black and white photo of a model wearing one of Christian Dior’s haute couture creations in the ’40s. According to the brand, it took 450 hours to make Fanning’s modern recreation of the look.

And every last second was worth it, judging from the extremely positive reaction on social media. “ELLE FANNING….. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING UP AT THIS LEVEL,” one user wrote. Another had a brilliant request for the Hollywood powers-that-be: “Y’all better cast elle fanning (21) and rosamund pike (40) as a daughter-mother grifter duo in some noirish movie asap!”

Fanning’s fashion commitment to her lewks appears to be endless: Earlier this week, it was reported that she actually fainted at a cocktail party because the corset on her Prada dress was too tight. But not to worry, she posted on Instagram afterward about it, reassuring fans that she was okay.

“Oops, had a fainting spell tonight in my 1950’s Prada prom dress but it’s all good!! #dresstootight #timeofthemonth,” she captioned a selfie.

In light of the Dior look, To All the Boys I Loved Before author Jenny Han chimed into the Twitter conversation, sharing her thoughts on what makes Fanning’s approach to fashion so delightful to watch. “What I love about Elle Fanning’s red carpet style is she is always very much herself,” she wrote. “There’s always a little bit of whimsy, a little tartness, and it’s always fun. She’s evolved just beautifully while staying completely true to herself! What I’m saying is I stan.”

Well said, Jenny.

Aladdin Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

Mena Massoud and Will Smith in Aladdin

Disney has had repeated success remaking it’s animated hits and the newest entry in the series is Aladdin. Like Beauty and the Beast before it, this version of Aladdin is a largely faithful adaptation right down to being a full musical like its animated counterpart. For the most part, audiences seem be getting behind the new version of the popular tale, but there are some notable exceptions.

Our own Eric Eisenberg is one of those exceptions. While Eric admitted the soundtrack to the new Aladdin is top notch, in the end, the movie fell victim to the sin of following its source material too closely, thus lacking any creativity of its own. Eric gave the film two and a half stars, saying…

The new Aladdin does have a fun energy and charm – not to mention one of the best soundtracks of any Disney musical ever – but all of these positives are simply borrowed, and there is a very real and notable limit to its creative energy.

The lukewarm to negative reviews are in the minority, the Rotten Tomatoes score for Aladdin is currently in the high 70s, but they are there. ScreenCrush gives the movie points for effort, saying that Will Smith works hard, perhaps too hard, to make his Genie work. In the end, however, the new Aladdin doesn’t surpass the original in any way…

But there’s still nothing that this Aladdin does better — or as well — as the original. Even the parts pulled directly from the 1992 Aladdin by Ron Clements and John Musker, like the songs, have lost something in translation.

Aladdin is one of the movies that came out during what’s called the Disney Renaissance. The studio’s animation division, that had been nearly shuttered only a few years before, was riding high on a series of successes. Parents taking their kids to see the new Aladdin saw the original on the big screen as kids themselves. It seems some reviews don’t think those adults are going to find the same magic here.

The decision to have Guy Ritchie, the man behind movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, direct the live-action Aladdin always seemed like an odd choice. The Associated Press largely throws what doesn’t work about Aladdin at his feet, saying…

It’s pretty clear after watching the new live-action Aladdin that doubts about Will Smith’s casting as the Genie are overblown. It’s the guy behind the camera who should be doubted. And stuffed into a small lamp forever.

If you’ve seen the 1992 animated movie then you know the story. Aladdin is a homeless beggar on the streets of fictional middle eastern Agrabah. He gets enlisted by the Sultan’s villainous vizier Jafar to obtain a magic lamp, but ends up unleashing the Genie trapped inside himself. Aladdin then uses the Genie’s magic to transform himself into a prince in order to try and impress the princess he’s fallen in love with.

However, while some find the new movie weak, for the most part, critics are giving the new film, passing, if not stellar grades. Variety finds the melding of live-action and CGI to be a task uniquely suited to a stylish director like Guy Ritchie…

Where the director really shines is in melding practical elements with virtual ones. Whether making Smith’s computer-enhanced and cerulean-skinned Genie look natural sharing the screen with Aladdin or swooping the camera along magic carpet rides through virtual sets, Ritchie’s style embraces the kind of expressionism needed to pull off such a fanciful tale.

One of the hardest jobs that the new Aladdin had to accomplish was making the Genie work. Robin Williams’ version of the character from 1992 wasn’t just great, it was iconic. It became one of the great animation performances of all time. How in the blue hell does Will Smith try to take on a role like that, still make it feel like Disney’s Genie, while somehow avoiding a comparison that is not going to go well?

Many reviews think that Will Smith did a good job, or at least a good enough, job, in that regard. THR says Smith infused the role with his own personality and made it work, even if the CGI maybe doesn’t work all the time…

Smith, faced with the impossible task of living up to Robin Williams’ iconic voice performance, easily makes the role his own. His infectious personality shines throughout, and he even manages to infuse his martini-swilling Genie with moving emotional moments.

The Genie does also get a bit more to do in this version of the film. He spends a large part of the story “disguised” as human in order to actually play a part in the story beyond simply being the source of magic when needed.

The top performances in the new Aladdin however, clearly belong to the two human lead characters. Mena Massoud who plays the title character and Naomi Scott’s Jasmine are getting generally positive reviews for their performances. As the New York Post puts it..

Massoud and Scott make a live-action “Aladdin” succeed on a different level than a cartoon can — as a teary romance. “A Whole New World” is more moving than the original.

The one way that the new Aladdin does make significant changes to the original animated movie is in the way it handles Princess Jasmine. She has a lot more agency in the new film, and even gets her own song, an original tune written for the film called “Speechless.” If we’re being honest, many reviews don’t think the song is all that good, however nobody is blaming Naomi Scott’s performance for that.

In the final analysis, it seems quite clear that if what you want from the new live-action Aladdin is a slightly modified version of the movie you already, know and love, then you will likely enjoy the new movie. If, however, you are looking for a movie that tries to do something creative with the popular property, you’ll find the film lacking.

Based on the success of the Beauty and the Beast remake from a couple of years ago, it seems like moviegoers are perfectly happy with just getting the same story over again and so the new Aladdin may be about to make a billion dollars.

The new Aladdin hits theaters Friday.

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Living With PCOS Taught Me to Redefine My Standards of Beauty

Today is Sunday so I pluck. First, I buzz my face with an epilator, pulling out some of the longer dark hairs on my chin. Next, I park myself in front of the lighted magnifying mirror and pull out every little black hair I can find. I have to put a time limit on this stage or my face will be red and blotchy from aggressive examination. Finally, if I still feel too fuzzy, I lightly scrape my upper lip and cheeks with a tiny eyebrow razor. The fun colors and feminine face on the package reassure me that these blades are fun products for ladies…as unfeminine as it feels to shave my face.

My unruly chin hairs are a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a metabolic disorder affecting 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44. Up to 70 percent of us living with PCOS experience “hirsutism,” aka excess hair. So, I’m not alone in my weekly grooming routine.

But that’s not the half of it. Other symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, acne, insulin resistance and infertility. But the real kicker I’m reminded of every time I look in the mirror is that PCOS can also cause hair loss. That’s right, many of us live with excess hair and hair loss at the same time, thanks to an excess of androgens pumping throughout our bodies. Over one in five women with PCOS (including me) have androgenic alopecia, according to a 2014 study—a fancy way of saying we’re balding.

The culprit behind my faint beard and thinning hair are androgens—hormones including testosterone which are (unsurprisingly) often categorized as male. This is a bit of a misnomer—all humans produce androgens, but biological males typically produce more than biological females. As a woman, too much testosterone disrupts the reproductive cycle and can cause the tandem effects of facial hair growth and alopecia as the cherry on top.

My naturally fine hair started to thin in my 20s—an all over fallout unlike the receding hairline many men deal with. Two pregnancies in three years made the problem even worse—major hormonal events like pregnancy can cause hair to shed for all women, not just those with PCOS—leaving my scalp barely covered.

My self-esteem tanked, as I frantically started testing any product I could get my hands on to conceal my hair loss—powders that make hair look thicker, clip-in hairpieces to blend in with my own hair, topical solutions which promised to help my thinning strands regenerate. But after my second postpartum shed, concealers weren’t enough: I bought a wig.

Then there were the chin hairs. I had a few stray sprouts when I was younger but pregnancy caused a full-on sperbloom. I wanted to be at my most feminine while I was pregnant, a goddess at the root of creation and growth. Instead I felt like a witch with broken, stringy hair on my head and whiskers spreading across my face.

It’s not just the attack on typically feminine definitions of beauty—PCOS also impacts what society tells us is one of the most fundamental elements of womanhood: fertility. It took seven years and many, many fertility treatments before I was finally able to get pregnant. My fertility struggles felt like an inability to “accomplish” womanhood, that was reinforced every time I looked in the mirror. Between the fertility challenges and the haywire hair growth patterns, PCOS can be like kryptonite for a woman’s self esteem. No wonder women with PCOS report higher rates of depression and anxiety.

All the Celebrity Weddings in 2019 (So Far)

While 2019 has yet to see a wedding on the scale of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s elaborate Indian festivities, there are still plenty of celebrities walking down the aisle and saying, “I do.”

There’s already been another Jonas wedding, as Joe and Sophie Turner pulled off a surprise ceremony in Las Vegas, complete with an Elvis impersonator. The couple is also planning another, more traditional ceremony this summer—and let’s just say we’re pretty excited to see what this one brings. The surprise small wedding followed by a bigger party later might just be becoming a trend, as Us Weekly reports that Zoe Kravitz and her fiancé Karl Glusman are already legally married but have plans for a French wedding in June.

Here’s a rundown of who’s tied the knot already this year—while we wait for news of weddings from engaged couples like Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, J. Lo and A-Rod, and Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney.

Captain Marvel’s Nick Fury Almost Lost His Eye In A Fight With The Skrulls

Warning: spoilers for Captain Marvel are in play. If you still haven’t seen the film, you may want to come back once you’re current.

Acting as the ‘90s throwback that it was set up to be, Captain Marvel set the table for a lot of different things that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has — and will — engage in during its thematic course of events. One such moment was, naturally, how Nick Fury lost vision in one of his eyes, something that had been alluded to previously but never explicitly shown onscreen before Captain Marvel.

While Captain Marvel gave us a definitive answer, we almost got an entirely different scenario altogether. One that would have seen Nick Fury losing an eye during a fight with some angry Skrulls.

During a recent interview for the home video release of Captain Marvel, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were on hand to provide some insight into their big ticket MCU hit. And when it came to how Fury’s accident originally happened, Fleck provided the following commentary on how it was originally supposed to happen:

The scenario that the Captain Marvel team eventually landed on was not only a surprising turn of events, but also the most Samuel L. Jackson moment the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever included. During the action of the film’s third act finale, Fury casually gets his eye scratched by Goose, the cat co-star of Captain Marvel that has stolen the hearts of the world. This leads to him shouting a very PG-13 friendly, “Mother-Flerkin!”

It’s certainly that elusive surprise that Ryan Fleck seemed to be looking for when talking out the thought process behind plotting Captain Marvel’s reveal of just how Nick Fury got his memorable look. He continued to discuss that point in greater detail during his interview alongside Anna Boden for CBM:

No one can blame Nick Fury for not wanting to talk about losing his eye to an intergalactic creature that had taken the form of a cat. It’s not an easy story that you could tell to just anyone, as there are a lot of other details that’d need to be involved in the telling. But losing an eye to mysterious circumstances involving the last person you trusted? That’s a total super-spy story, and that would probably get you at least one round on the house when going out for drinks.

Keeping the Marvel Cinematic Universe fresh is something that definitely takes a lot of work, and outside-the-box thinking. Changing Nick Fury’s pivotal, eye-destroying moment was one of those instances where the process worked out in everyone’s favor.

As we move into the future of the MCU, it’s that type of thinking that should propel the series into its next story arc. So if you see a cute animal on screen at any point in the future, think twice before holding it too close to your face.

Captain Marvel may still be in your local theater. If it isn’t, you’ll be able to take the film home either on Digital HD as of May 28th, or 4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD on June 11th.

Thor’s Hammer Vs Aquaman’s Trident: What’s The More Powerful Weapon?

Has Thor's hammer met his match with Aquaman's trident?

*There are some spoilers for various Marvel and DC movies throughout this story, particularly the recently released Avengers-oriented flick. *

When you picture Thor and Aquaman, the first thing that comes to mind could be their origins in mythology. It could be how they are both the most powerful long-haired and bearded titans of their respective cinematic universes. Or it could be how they are both played by actors who are seemingly too ripped to be human.

Honestly, though, when it comes to Thor and Aquaman, let’s face it: what you really care about is that epic hammer and that sweet, sweet trident.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s God of Thunder, played by Chris Hemsworth, and the Atlantean king of the DC Extended Universe, completely reinvented by Jason Momoa, may have powers of great strength, yet still take great pride in their trusted weaponry. We can’t help but wonder, however, what is more powerful: Mjölnir or the Trident of Neptune?

Of course, in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor’s sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) destroyed Mjölnir out of spite and, and while it made a brief return in Avengers: Endgame, at the conclusion Captain America had to return it to 2013-era Thor in order to correct the alternate timelines. So, Thor’s proudly rocking Stormbreaker for now.

Still, for the purposes of comparing these two heroes, we figured Thor’s hammer would be the definitive weapon to focus on rather than splitting focus.

Depending on whether you are more of a DC fan or a Marvel fan, you might already have chosen which you prefer between Thor’s hammer and Aquaman’s trident based on personal alliances. Regardless, both have proven to be worthy assets to their respective owners. But which is the more powerful weapon?

Thor and Loki on Earth with Mjolnir

Thor’s Hammer

The origin of Thor’s hammer dates back centuries before Thor’s first appearance in Marvel comics in 1962.

Mjölnir, whose name is said to be derived from a Proto-Germanic word meaning “grind,” is an object of Norse mythology, depicted as one of the most powerful and cowering weapons in existence. For instance, one strike with this bad boy and you can say goodbye to Mt. Everest.

Yet, the destructive power of Thor’s hammer barely scratches the surface. It is a weapon of great complexity and some pretty high standards.

As deemed by Odin, Thor’s father and the king of Asgard played by Anthony Hopkins, only those who are worthy of Mjölnir’s power can be given the strength to wield it. With that in mind, what makes someone worthy of Thor’s hammer?

In the comics, Thor describes those worthy of wielding Mjölnir as being pure of heart and noble of mind. This explains why he was unable to retrieve the hammer while exiled on Earth in his 2010 solo origin movie. He was a narcissistic jerk.

Once his time on Earth as a powerless simpleton proved effective in grounding his ego a bit, Thor managed to prove himself and he Mjölnir were reunited, reinstilling him with his thunderous power.

A weapon as selective as Thor’s hammer must really come in handy. For one, Thor never has to worry about Mjölnir falling into the wrong hands. Any sinister adversaries he comes into conflict with will most definitely not be seen as worthy.

Additionally, let’s say that Thor is somehow incapacitated and unable to grasp Mjölnir at a particularly pressing moment in battle. Any allies of his who, hopefully, fall under the qualifications of being of pure of heart and noble of mind to the extent that Mjölnir will accept can take Thor’s hammer and let it rip.

Captain America has been worthy to wield Thor's hammer in the comics

This, of course, was hinted at in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Captain America (Chris Evans) came shockingly close to lifting Thor’s hammer, visibly triggering triggering the god’s anxiety, not to mention how Vision (Paul Bettany) revealed his worthiness minutes after his creation. It was later confirmed that Cap had the power in him all along when he took charge of Mjölnir in the thunderous climax of Avengers: Endgame.

However, you would be surprised by how many other characters Thor’s hammer has deemed worthy throughout the comics’ history. Some of them barely made the cut.

Superman, during a DC-Marvel comics crossover event, wielded Thor’s hammer, but only for as long as Mjölnir determined that he really needed it. Bruce Banner’s Hulk has managed to lift it, as did his even grounchier alter ego Red Hulk, along with a few X-Men.

Even Deadpool got his hands on it before. Hmmm, maybe Mjölnir’s standards are not as high as we thought.

When it comes to the unworthy who have felt the wrath of Thor’s hammer, that list is longer. Thor has taken on the likes of his adopted brother Loki and planet-eating Galactus in the comics. He has even managed to defeat fellow heroes such as Iron Man or the Fantastic Four’s The Thing. Clearly, his weapon is powerful.

Yet, even some unworthy folk proved to not be completely vulnerable to Thor’s hammer. Fellow mythological god Hercules took on Thor and won, as did Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch. In one of the funnier comic book defeats I could find, Hulk managed to outsmart Thor by causing him to knock himself out with Mjölnir.

You may need to be pure of heart and noble of mind to wield it, but even Thor’s hammer is not impervious to motivation and a little cleverness. Still, it levels mountains, so there’s that.

Jason Mamoa as Aquaman aided by the Trident of Neptune

Aquaman’s Trident

According to its mythological origin, Aquaman (nèe Arthur Curry) is not the original wielder of the Trident of Neptune, nor is the original wielder even the sole original. In fact, that is only its name in Roman mythology. In Greek texts, the trident belongs to Poseidon.

DC’s interpretation of the myth borrows from the Roman equivalent, which depicts the trident as created by three Cyclopes (so, three one-eyed monsters) who forged impenetrable adamantine with Neptune’s own essence into a shape resembling a fishing spear. The three prongs are said to represent the three different kinds of bodies of water: seas, streams and rivers.

Aquaman’s trident serves as a symbol of his authority over the seven seas, as well as a few other fun purposes.

With its triple-pronged head and indestructibility, Aquaman’s trident appears to be a weapon of great effectiveness in battle. That would be considered an undeniable assumption. Aquaman has used the trident to slay sea monsters and wound his greatest enemies, such as archnemesis Black Manta or the powerful DC villain, Darkseid.

Aquaman uses the Trident of Neptun to take down Darkseid

The Trident of Neptune is capable of much more than violence, however… even if it used for that purpose most often.

Aquaman’s trident allows the wielder complete control over the seven seas, power to manipulate water, which allows him to create whirlpools, tidal waves, and even part the seas a la Moses in The Ten Commandments. If you are in the mood for another biblical reference, Aquaman could also flood the entire Earth with it if he wanted to.

Aquaman’s trident is not exclusive to waterbending, however. It possesses a vast array of magical abilities, including changing the appearance of people or objects, or making them disappear altogether. That may be a neat trick, but when he really wants to make an impression, he can use the trident to conjuring bolts of lightning and manipulating thunder.

Waaaaaiiiiittttt! Aquaman has the power of lightning and thunder? Looks like you’ve met your match, Thor.

Speaking of which…

Who will win: Thor's hammer or Aquaman's trident?

Hammer Vs. Trident

It’s main event time. Which comic book hero weapon is most powerful: Thor’s hammer or Aquaman’s trident?

As for similarities, both Mjölnir and the Trident of Neptune have proven to be of great imperviousness, except for that time Thor’s sister, Hela, crushed the hammer in one hand. However, we have yet to see Aquaman’s trident suffer a similar fate in future films, so whether it upstages Mjölnir in indestructibility is still up in the air.

Both weapons also possess the benefit of only allowing chosen champions to wield it. Thor’s hammer is the sentient one that is literally impossible to lift if not deemed worthy, though. I would have to award points to Mjölnir for encompassing the better security feature, but also take some back for letting Deadpool take advantage.

Thor’s hammer also allows him to fly, strike gargantuan blows against enemies, conjure bolts of lightning, and, as I have said before but cannot stop saying, level whole mountains for Odin’s sake!

The question is, however, which weapon is more powerful. Admittedly, Thor’s hammer has nothing on the ability to change the shape of matter, creating tidal waves and hurricanes, and manipulating, not just lightning, but also Thor’s bread and butter: thunder.

Thor may be the God of Thunder, but with the Trident of Neptune in his hands, Aquaman is literally the perfect storm.

By the power invested in me by CinemaBlend, I dub Aquaman’s trident the victorious weapon. Admittedly, it’s close.

Which do you think is the more powerful weapon?

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Low Libido: 10 Mental and Physical Factors That Might Be Causing It

So you just haven’t been feeling it lately—sex with your partner, sex in general. Maybe you’re even feeling meh about your other bedside BFF. While there’s no one cause of low libido and no “right” level of sexual interest—it’s different for everyone—a noticeably low sex drive in women is almost always a symptom of something that requires attention in your life or your body. “To begin to figure it out, ask yourself how you feel about your body and your partner. Evaluate the stresses in your life, and look at your lifestyle choices: sleep, foods, exercise, job satisfaction, friends,” advises Felice Gersh, M.D., OB-GYN, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, California, and author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness.

Here are some of the most common causes of low libido; it’s helpful to consider which might apply to you before you seek advice from your physician or ob-gyn.

You have small kids.

“It makes evolutionary sense that we don’t feel like procreating when we’re not feeling up to the demanding task of child rearing,” says endocrinologist Romy Block, M.D., co-founder of Vous Vitamin and co-author of The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health. Coming off childbirth and breastfeeding, it can also take time for your sex hormones to get back in balance, so don’t sweat it if you’re not feeling back to your sexual norm right away.

You’re aggressively trying to lose weight.

While maintaining a healthy weight can help you maintain a healthy sex drive, “a starvation or radical diet can shut down libido—nutrient deficiencies take a huge toll,” Dr. Gersh says. Extreme restriction isn’t healthy, nor is an extreme gym routine. “While moderate exercise increases libido, extreme exercise has the opposite effect.” In other words, everything in moderation—if you’re hitting the gym so hard that you’re always worn-out, laying off a little could help re-energize your interest in sex.

You’re low on certain vitamins.

Even if you’re not crash-dieting, it’s possible you could still have a vitamin deficiency that’s depleting your interest in sex. “Vitamin deficiencies are a very common cause of fatigue and low libido and should not be overlooked,” Dr. Block says. One potential culprit: low iron, which years of periods, pregnancies and nursing can deplete, Dr. Block says. “In addition, most of us are deficient in Vitamin D if we are not taking the proper supplements,” he adds.

Sleep hasn’t been happening.

Skimping on sleep is another surefire way to feel disconnected from your sexy side. “Our bodies lose the desire for sex whenever we’re struggling to meet our own energy needs,” Block says. If you religiously get to bed on time but are still waking up exhausted, you might not be getting the quality sleep you need. It’s worth talking to your doctor about what might be the cause.

You’re unhappy in your relationship.

If you used to be all over your partner but now rarely feel into the idea, it might be time for couples’ counseling—or at least an honest, open-minded talk. Maybe underlying tension is pre-empting your arousal, or maybe you two just need to take some time to focus on your intimate connection. “Physicians can always refer patients to sex therapists, who can suggest new ways to help increase your desire,” says ob-gyn Jill Hechtman, M.D., medical director of Tampa Obstetrics.

Your hormones are off-kilter.

“Sex-hormone deficiencies—estrogen and testosterone in particular—are the number one reason I see in my practice for a lowered libido,” Dr. Gersh says. The culprit could be the pill or another hormonal contraceptive, like a progestin IUD but that’s not always the case. (In fact, some women find that hormonal contraceptives actually increase their desire). Pregnancy/breastfeeding can also alter your hormones. So can age. “By age 40, the average woman has a testosterone level half of what it was at age 20,” says Dr.Gersh; your doctor can test your levels and give you a prescription if they’re low.

Your sex drive can also be swayed by imbalances of non-sex hormones, including thyroid and adrenal hormones, oxytocin and melatonin. If you can’t think of any other obvious causes for your lack of desire, ask your doctor about doing a full hormone workup.

You’re super stressed-out.

If you’ve been pouring all your emotional energy into your job or worrying about finances or family drama, there might not be much left for sex. “What can help is finding a form of mind-body medicine you love,” Dr. Gersh says. “Consider guided imagery, meditation, yoga, progressive relaxation, and others. Or learn about essential oils—vanilla essential oil is an aphrodisiac.”

You’re on antidepressants.

“Antidepressants like Prozac or Paxil notoriously cause low sexual desire,” Dr. Hechtman says. If you suspect this is an issue for you, talk to your doctor, who may be able to switch you to another medication not associated with this side effect.

You’re not on antidepressants.

Untreated depression is strongly linked to low libido, so don’t let the potential side effects mentioned above scare you off seeking treatment, if you think you might need it. “Sometimes, treating underlying anxiety and depression with an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can actually improve libido, in spite of the potential side effects,” notes Dr. Eliza Orzylowska DeBow, M.D., an ob-gyn in New York City.

Sex just doesn’t feel good.

If pain or dryness keep you from fully enjoying intercourse, it makes sense that you’ll crave it less. Talk to your gynecologist, who may prescribe medication for dryness or refer you to a specialist if a solution isn’t straightforward. “Pinpointing a reason for pain can sometimes be difficult, so a referral to a clinician who specializes in sexual health or a pelvic physical therapist is often needed,” Dr. DeBow says.

Gallant, Skylar Grey, And Jamie N Commons Remade ‘Runaway Train’ With A Video Spotlighting Missing Children

Twenty-five years ago, the Minneapolis rock band Soul Asylum released a socially conscious video for its 1993 hit “Runaway Train” that doubled as activism. In showing images of real missing children, the clip, which received regular rotation on MTV, facilitated in the location of 21 of them. Just imagine what would happen if a similar concept was executed in the age of social media. Well, you don’t have to.

The nonprofit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has recruited alt-R&B crooner Gallant, electronic-tinged vocalist Skylar Grey, and ragged-throat British singer Jamie N Commons to update the song for 2019. It’s called “Runaway Train 25” and it comes with a new visual that spotlights some of the more than 400,000 kids who are reported missing every year.

As 61 percent of recovered children are found in the state in which they’re reported missing, the new “Runaway Train” video will — in addition to being amplified via social media — show missing kids based on the viewer’s location. This information is updated directly from the NCMEC.

“It’s up to us to help bring home #MissingKids,” Grey wrote on Twitter to accompany the video’s premiere. Pirner, the original songwriter, also told Billboard he’s interested to see how the video update might have such an impact thanks to modern technology.

“If it does have an impact at all, I’m pretty thankful that they thought of involving this song for their rebooting of the concept,” he said. “It’s all with very real intentions and very sincere wanting to help.”

Watch the new version, titled “Runaway Train 25,” above. Learn more about the project and see how you can help at RunawayTrain25.com.

How I Stopped “Doing It For Instagram” and Learned to Love “Unlikeable” Moments

Open up your Instagram feed. What do you see? Fresh-cut peonies. A woman in the middle of her sun salutations series atop a mountain. A runner in the final stretch of a marathon. Instead of these polished moments of triumph, how great would it be to see a snap that shows someone at their worst? The moment their muscles clenched at the ten-mile mark. The split-second when the ceramic pot spins off the wheel and splats on the ground. What if people posted images of those far more frequent mess-ups and total wipeouts for all their followers to see?

We now live in a moment of aspirational dread on social media. And it’s hit our hobbies hard. Instead of just going for a run, you have to share a picture of your mile count in the health app. You can’t just macrame a wall hanging—you have to post daily progress on your stories. It seems there is little we do for the joy of doing it because we’re always trying to prove that we’re enough, by getting as many “likes” of approval as possible. This is especially true for women. We bear the brunt of the myth of perfection.

My hobby is surfing. It isn’t something I picked up during a quick trip to Baja last year. I’ve been at it for almost two decades. When I’m in the water, it’s not cute. I don’t live in a tricked-out camper van parked near a mellow beach break. Picture Blue Crush. Now picture the opposite of that.

While I can surf, I also kind of suck. I’m goofy and the opposite of cool. Sometimes I eat shit. But, oh my god, is it fun. Surfing is something I don’t have to be good at. I don’t do it for the boomerangs, or to filter the picture later. I just do it for me, and I don’t spend time worrying what I look like when I get up on that wave—or how it’ll look to other people when I show them later.

One of the best rides ever happened as I struggled to catch a wave. In the dog-eat-dog world of the lineup on the water, a moment’s hesitation tends to mean that a better surfer will score the wave you’ve missed. On this particular occasion, a surfer who witnessed my struggle paddled up behind me and called me into a swell line. He even made the effort to give me a tail push to help me catch it. He didn’t know me, and he could have taken the wave for himself, but instead helped a kook in the lineup just to be nice. I love that guy. I caught the wave and rode it to well, but that wasn’t the best part. His act of kindness was the best part. That moment won’t be recorded on video or posted and re-posted on Instagram. But the feeling of connection—even if just for a moment—has remained with me ever since.

When I finally decided to come clean about being a sucky surfer, I posted an Instagram video of me looking like the goof that I am. I’m wearing a blue, unflattering, one-piece neoprene suit that makes my less-than-lithe body look even lesser lithe. I paddle into the wave and pop up with too much effort. Even though I catch it and turn left to ride the wave’s face, my arms fly up in an effort to balance, making me look like a football referee calling a touchdown. Worse, I’m standing too far back on my board to gain any speed. Instead of a cool kick out with the flip of my hair, I just flop over. Instagram accounts that gain followers in the surf world are filled with the graceful, the talented, and the beautiful. (And there’s that van again, dammit.) But, to my surprise, when I posted myself in all my glory-lessness, thick-bodied and awkward, instead of feeling shame, I felt a kind of freedom.