This week on Rated Reads, take a look at living without cringe, musicians' new TikTok problem and Doctor Who's new heartstopper.

In defense of being cringe

As Paul Atreides in Dune never put it, cringe is the mind-killer. The fear of being perceived – specifically, being perceived as embarrassing – dominates modern life, and social media has only accentuated it. Is it possible to live without the cringe? At Dazed, Serena Smith makes a case for the cringe-but-free life. When the cringe is gone, there will be nothing, and only we will remain.


The label are begging me for ‘low fi tik toks’ so here you go. pls send help ☠️ x

♬ original sound - Florence

Musicians Are Suffering on TikTok. Do They Have a Choice?

There’s a new trend on music TikTok: established artists discussing how their labels have manoeuvred them into using the social media app as part of their marketing strategy, and getting grumpy about it, from Halsey to Florence + the Machine. At VICE, Julie Fenwick questions whether it’s celebrity entitlement or an indication of sinister corporate marketing.

‘I’m in awe’: trans actor Yasmin Finney on joining Doctor Who

Doctor Who has been setting the Internet alight these past few weeks with an array of announcements, from Ncuti Gatwa taking over the lead role to the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Among it was the reveal that Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney would be starring as the curiously-named Rose – and she sits down with The Guardian here to chat all about the surprise casting and what it means to be pioneering trans representation on screen.

Love Island says LGBTQ+ contestants bring ‘logistical difficulties’ – Lovestruck High proves that wrong

A common refrain from the producers of Love Island in response to criticism that the show exclusively stars heterosexual couples is that bringing LGBTQ+ people onto the show would be ‘logistically difficult’. As new Prime Video show Lovestruck High and plenty of other shows demonstrate, gay people can make good reality TV too. Who’d ever have thought it?

Paul Mescal Is Taking Cannes By Storm

With the new Sally Rooney adaptation on screens, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at how the stars of the last one are doing. Pretty well, as it turns out. Co-lead Paul Mescal has made an impressive mark at the Cannes Film Festival through his acclaimed roles in two new dramas, God’s Creatures and Aftersun, and Vogue catches up with him to see how he’s taking all the success.

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