Rated Reads shares our pick of the best articles from around the web. This week: an exclusive Billie Eilish interview and whether halter tops are arguably summer's sexiest trend.


Billie Eilish: ‘To always try to look good is such a loss of joy and freedom’

Miranda Sawyer catches the global pop star Billie Eilish in her car – not the best moment for an interview. After a nerve-wracking start, Eilish opens up about her new album (“not a covid album”), freedom in not caring about body image and the music industry.

“’I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked,’ she says. ‘And immediately I am like, oh my God, how do they look like that? I know the ins and outs of this industry, and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, oh God, that makes me feel really bad. And I mean, I’m very confident in who I am, and I’m very happy with my life… I’m obviously not happy with my body’, she adds casually, ‘but who is?'”


Why McDonald’s Is Partnering With Saweetie, BTS

Following McDonald recruiting Saweetie and Korean pop storm BTS for meal collabs, Time’s Raisa Bruner looks at the history of McDonald’s swapping movie for musician partnerships. Travis Scott snatched $20 million from his McDonald’s meal last year.

“’We saw our customers framing and even selling their receipts from the Travis Scott and J Balvin meals,’ says Jennifer Healan, Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Brand Content and Engagement for McDonald’s, ‘so we wanted to build on that fan passion for memorabilia.’”

Bruner pins the move down to nostalgia for the 90s/2000s pop worship era and customers wanting more for their money. It’s got us craving a Big Mac and some large fries.


70s Fashion meets Y2K style: How halter tops became summer 2021’s sexiest trend

The men’s trend of the summer: halter necks, claims Camay Abraham. As Y2K fashion claws its way back, “biceps everywhere will be busting out of the 1970s staple in due time” Abraham writes.

Designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin says on the one-strap wonder: “’I looked up to so many girls like Lindsay LohanParis Hilton, the Olsen twins and they all had these amazing looks. I always felt like only they could wear halters, and as a man I couldn’t have access to it. We didn’t have that option back then. So when I started my own brand, I wanted to make sure to create a safe space where I could express that and have guys wear these looks influenced by the 2000s and feel confident.’”

Abraham gives us a brief history of the halter, from Halston to Jackie Chan. With men’s fashion undergoing major refurbishment, we’ll be seeing people of all genders donning the garb soon.


Never Have I Ever’s Poorna Jagannathan: ‘I love the ferocity of the MeToo movement in India’

We haven’t got over our latest binge, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever. Rituparna Chatterjee chats to the show’s star about feeling marginalized as a brown actress: “’Who has agency is changing slowly in Hollywood… Who is writing these stories is changing. And it’s very recent. So when you see Never Have I Ever, Master of None, Crazy Rich Asians, they’re not written by white people. They’re written by us, right?’”

The pair also talk about Jagannathan’s play Nirbhaya and how crucial its topic was within India’s MeToo movement.


How ‘toxic positivity’ took over the internet

We’ve heard of toxic negativity, but toxic positivity? Apparently, it’s the most insidious trend currently sweeping the internet.

“’It’s the overgeneralisation of being happy or optimistic in all situations no matter how dire they may be,’ explains psychotherapist Elizabeth Beecroft, LMSW. ‘Toxic positivity is similar to a ‘good vibes only’ mindset, where people believe that no matter how difficult or stressful a situation is, one should try to maintain a positive mindset.'”

Sara Radin explains why suppressing our unhappy emotions can do more harm than good. Creating a pressure to be productive and perfect, Radin points out some useful advice for dodging those false pandemic positivity vibes.

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