Nearly 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year in the U.S. alone, according to the U.S. government health figures, yet people will the condition are rarely represented in the mainstream fashion industry. But thankfully, The Radical Beauty Project is trying to change that by creating a platform for people with Down syndrome to be regularly featured in independent fashion shoots and, according to Radical Beauty's site, "provide an alternative vision for beauty" by publishing a photo series that stars people with Down syndrome. Initially launched in 2016, the photo series was an offshoot of the Culture Device Dance Project, a U.K.-based contemporary dance company for professional dancers with Down syndrome.
In 2012, Jane Fonda gave a Ted Talk about “life’s third act” – the last three decades of life which she described, “age not as pathology, but as potential”. Artist Matthew Morrocco has explored “life’s third act,” in his first photography book, Complicit, published by MATTE editions. The images chronicle Morrocco’s time spent photographing himself with older, gay men in New York City from 2010 to 2015.
Amanda Lepore’s childhood was far from the glitz and glamour that surrounds her today. Growing up, Amanda was bullied for being different from all her peers because although she was born a boy, her internal identity was female.
In her teens, Amanda started taking hormone therapy and underwent gender reassignment surgery that was paid for by her boyfriend’s father. She fled New Jersey and became a fixture on the New York City club scene in the early ’90s with the likes of Kabuki Starshine, Richie Rich, and Michael Alig (whose rise and fall was made into the feature film Party Monster). After meeting photographer David LaChapelle, Amanda Lepore became his muse, appearing in his cheeky, colorful photographs including the Amanda as Marilyn and Amanda as Andy Warhol’s Liz Taylor in his After Pop series.
Three years before the #MeToo movement went viral, New York–based performance artist Emma Sulkowicz became famous for the 2015 performance piece Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), in which Sulkowicz carried a 50-pound dorm mattress around Columbia University’s campus for nine months to protest the university’s lack of action against an alleged rapist.
Eighth Grade is the next dramedy to add to the list of classic coming-of-age films. It premiered at Sundance on January 19, 2018, as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition and became the most talked-about film of the festival. Eighth Grade follows Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, who’s known for voicing Agnes in Despicable Me, during her last week of middle school. Kayla spends her free time posting YouTube videos with titles like “How To Be Yourself,” “How To Be Confident,” and “How To Put Yourself Out There,” but in real life Kayla is socially awkward and sits alone during lunch in the cafeteria. She even wins her eighth grade superlative Most Quiet.