How to Get High AF in Alaska
On VICE’s weed travel show ‘BLUNT REVIEWS,’ we trek to places where weed is legal to review things a cannabis-consuming tourist can do while they’re stoned. On this episode, VICE’s Trey Smith visited Alaska, where he stayed at Cecelia’s B&B, a weed-friendly bed and breakfast in Anchorage, and sampled a…
A cinematic story of love, style, courage, family and friendship, shot by Oliver Hadlee Pearch and Carlos Nazario on the streets of Brooklyn, capturing our cover star Adesuwa Aighewi.
Adesuwa wears dress Givenchy. Earrings Alexander McQueen.
Jan wears coat and trousers MSGM. Shirt Jil Sander. Belt Giorgio Armani. Jewellery model’s own. Shoes Balenciaga.
When you think of Mongolia, you might picture a group of fierce, yak hair-clad nomads in deels (traditional Mongolian overcoats — pronounced as ‘del’), riding magnificent desert steeds over rolling plateaus and into the distant horizon. Thanks to globalization and the wonders of the world wide web, such outdated romantic images are no longer representative of the country.
In a nation of 3.1 million people, almost two-thirds of the population ,or 2.2 million (as of 2016), now live in urban areas such as the nation’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. And while poverty remains a rising and undeniable issue in the nation’s urban slum communities, Mongolia is also among some of the world’s fastest developing countries and experienced economic growth in the double digits in the early 2010’s.
One only needs to take a look at Ulaanbaatar and its ever-changing cityscape. Newly erected clusters of shining high-rises and shopping malls against a backdrop of Soviet-style tenement blocks and Mongolian and Russian-influenced architecture. The people are changing too, decked out in the latest foreign brands, which can can now easily be purchased at the city’s (formerly government-owned) State Department Store. Dynamism and signs of growth are everywhere.
I’ve always had an open relationship with cosmetic surgery and thought about treatments to correct features of my body I find particularly panic-inducing. A detail on my face, that I’m ashamed about for some reason, has driven me to entertain elective surgery. A fear of wrinkles before my mid-40s has had me investigate botox at the age of 24. I’ll admit I’m haunted by the generic, hyper-smooth faces and android children of celebrities and former models I see staring back at me from screens, magazines and billboards. But I’m not alone in my interest in these kinds of ‘light adjustments’, in fact they seem entirely normal, almost casual, these days. In Australia young people are spending over $1billion on non-surgical procedures every year and they’re becoming increasingly willing to own it. At an age where appearance is everything, the lure of a quick fix is overwhelmingly tempting. And thanks to a multitude of procedures that range in prices and recovery times a quick fix is getting quicker and cheaper.
Dr Naomi is a popular surgeon at Sydney’s Manse Clinic who acknowledges that the recent years have seen a surge in younger clients, with around 40 percent now under 25. She sees this as being the result of awareness and relative affordability. With some treatments priced as low as $300, Dr. Naomi agrees that people come to her for a variety of reasons. From young beauty achievers dabbling in different procedures to others trying to fix a particular problem and those into more mainstream procedures like lip and cheek fillers and botox, she’s seen it all.
I ask her about patients wanting to look like celebrities, and the impact of celebrity culture on her industry. She explains, “It’s much less about big name celebrities than you would expect. Mostly people will bring in before-and-after images from a cosmetic injectable Instagram account, or an image of a girl I’ve never heard of with a few hundred thousand followers.” There’s also an addictive quality to having procedures. “The retention rate is huge. The majority of patients who have one treatment will want to have treatments forever.” And even though Kylie Jenner might have surprised followers by returning her lips to their original state for now, Dr. Naomi believes the procedures are here to stay. “People who are plastic positive used to be the freaks, but now it’s the plastic negatives who are seen as body shamers”
Bella is a 19-year-old Melbourne-based student who spoke to me about her motivations for having her lips filled twice in the last year and suggested that taking photos of herself played a role. “I had really thin lips and I was always overly pouty in my photos to make it look like I had bigger lips. But you could tell, you could see my teeth because I was sticking my lips out so much.” Her friend Saraia, also 19, has had her lips filled three times since she turned 18. “I thought my face would look better with bigger lips, just to balance everything out and make my face more symmetrical. The first time I got them done I wasn’t satisfied and wanted to go bigger. I think it’s just more of a norm at the moment, like it’s very common and not really a thing.”