How often do you think about your ex-best friend? What happened? How did you deal with it? Continuing the conversation on friendships, Gen Z stars Kaori Oinuma and Vivoree Esclito talk about how they deal with friendships ending.
If you’re not already aware, there’s a trend on TikTok where people ask their male partners “How often do you think of the Roman Empire?” because for some reason, the answer is rarely “never.” Now people are saying that an equivalent of the Roman Empire question is “How often do you think about your ex-best friend?” Go ahead, ask the question to your friends. The look on their faces will tell you everything you need to know.
The widespread relatability of the question implies that so many of us have undergone the loss of a friendship and it still lives rent-free in our minds regardless of how it ended. And as we are aware, losing a friendship is often just as heartbreaking as a breakup, if not more. Best friends Kaori Oinuma and Vivoree Esclito were not safe from this very human experience, and while their friendship is standing strong today, it’s because it’s built on lessons they’ve learned before.
IT’S OKAY TO BE VULNERABLE
In her experiences with friendship, singer-actress Vivoree chooses to move on, but has also learned that it’s perfectly okay to feel hurt and be vulnerable. After all, losing a friendship is still losing something or someone that you valued for a certain amount of time.
“Growing up,” she shares. “I didn’t give myself freedom to feel any heartbreak…Parang natatakot ako masaktan.”
If she felt that there were certain friends that are sort of drifting away, Vivoree just lets them go. “Iniisip ko na lang na maybe hanggang doon na lang yung friendship natin.”
But she admits that if a friendship were to end now that she’s older, she really would be heartbroken. “I’m gonna let myself feel the heartbreak.” Pushing emotions away is often easier than letting yourself acknowledge and feel the pain. That’s why the “how often do you think of your ex-best friend?” question hits a little hard—because while we often think about a friend we lost, how often do we really process what happened and how we feel about it?
Now, Vivoree has learned that “It’s okay to feel pain, to feel vulnerable, kasi we’re all just human beings.”
ACCEPT THINGS AS THEY ARE, FOCUS ON THE GOOD
Young actress Kaori recounted her own story about friendship breakups—when her one friend in Japan suddenly cut her off and stopped talking to her completely for seemingly no reason. As a young girl who didn’t know much Japanese yet, she relied on a friend who helped her with the language and their lessons in school. But one day, the friend ghosted her completely, making her feel even more isolated.
“Out of nowhere, one day, bigla na lang na lang siyang lumalayo sa’kin.” Kaori wondered what was happening, and even thought about the possibility of other people influencing her friend to stay away from her because she was a foreigner in Japan.
“Ang ginawa ko was tanggapin…inaccept ko ‘yung nangyari.” At some point, Kaori did try to reach out to the friend and asked them how they were doing, but she no longer tried to rebuild the friendship.
“Natakot na ko na nagawa mo na once, [so] mayroong possibility na magawa mo siya ulit.”
Kaori learned then, she shared with LionHeartTV, that some people really do just leave your life, but others come in and make it better, too. She also shared with NYLON that you don’t need to overthink too much if a friendship isn’t made or lost. Kaori moved on with her life and found better, more loyal and trustworthy friends—like Vivoree!
Action, drama, and a whole lot of romance are in store for Bubblies and soon-to-be-Bubblies starting October 13! Can’t Buy Me Love, the upcoming teleserye starring Gen Z icons Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan, dropped its full trailer last Monday. The highly-anticipated primetime series looks to be an exciting romp filled with thrills and suspense, love and laughs, and of course, that classic DonBelle charm.
In the trailer, also seen in the series’ previous teaser, Caroline (Mariano) seems to be abducted by unknown men and left to drown, but Bingo (Pangilinan) saves her. She assumes he’s the one who kidnapped her, but eventually warms up to him, and so starts their unorthodox relationship. Quick scenes show Caroline and Bingo’s respective struggles with family and the treacherous road ahead involving deaths, dangers, and secrets—one that they’ll traverse together. It’s definitely something new from the couple—a love story tackling different cultures, crime, and an unusual first meeting between leads helmed by Mae Cruz Alviar, Cathy Garcia-Sampana, and Ian D. Loreños.
Belle Mariano’s Caroline Tiu is a wealthy daughter from a traditional Chinese family with a tumultuous relationship with her sister, and Donny Pangilinan’s Bingo Rivera is a young man working hard to provide for his family. The harm that befalls Caroline—her kidnapping and almost-drowning—we can assume is caused by her family’s wealth. Meanwhile, the trouble Bingo gets into, which is perhaps connected to Caroline’s problems, is caused by his own family’s lack of money to afford healthcare.
Caroline and Bingo meet at Caroline’s sister’s engagement party, where Bingo is working as a waiter. The stark contrast between Caroline’s high-society lifestyle and Bingo’s financial struggles paves the way for the series to explore the tensions between people of different class backgrounds and the lengths people go through to obtain money. It’s a fresh take on a tried-and-true trope that looks to rattle plenty of emotions from the audience.
The phenomenal Gen Z loveteam DonBelle has made many root for their romance both on and off-screen since they were first paired up in teen series He’s Into Her (2021-2022). Since then, they’ve worked on rom-coms Love is Colorblind (2021) and An Inconvenient Love (2022).
Can’t Buy Me Love is their first foray into primetime television, and is a new challenge for the pair. However, throughout their different projects, DonBelle has shown that they can act with heart and do comedy, drama, and romance like nobody’s business. And whatever screen they’re on, their chemistry straight-up leaps out of it, as shown in the 2-minute trailer, so it’ll be exciting to see what they do with Caroline and Bingo. And further solidifying DonBelle’s first teleserye as a TV moment, the show will premiere on Netflix on October 13, a full three days before it airs on TV.
Can’t Buy Me Love also features a star-studded cast that includes Ruffa Gutierrez, Maris Racal, Albie Casiño, Nova Villa, Agot Isidro, Enzo Pineda, Rowell Santiago, Vivoree Esclito, Darren Espanto, Celeste Legaspi, Kaila Estrada, Karina Bautista, and Joao Costancia. Just from the trailer, we learn that the storyline is set to have many twists and turns, the production is grand and immersive, and that DonBelle is embarking on a thrilling new chapter.
Can’t Buy Me Love will premiere on Netflix on October 13, iWantTFC on October 14, and Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, Jeepney TV, TFC, A2Z, and TV5 on October 16!
There’s another kind of pandemic going around: people that think it’s okay to take photos or film strangers in public and subject them to Internet ridicule or vitriol just for a few thousand likes. We really should stop invading people’s privacy.
Isn’t it crazy how you could just be eating lunch at a restaurant, minding your business, and you could go viral for being that pathetic, lonely person on your phone eating by yourself? Or how you could just be at a concert or a sports game with a poker face, but you were caught in the background of a content creator’s video and now your face is blasted to hundreds of thousands of people and you’re being called out for being mean?
You could be scrolling on TikTok or X and stop short when you realize “Wait…is that me?” and then you open the comments to see people either laughing at you or pitying you.
Anything can go stupid viral these days. The age of virality and content creation is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it gives people the chance to get creative and earn a living. But on the other hands, it allows people to think they’re entitled to everything because hey, they’re just making content.
It’s nothing new to take photos or videos of someone without their knowledge and post them for the world to see. But TikTok and the way we currently use social media these days have exacerbated the problem. For the most part, it’s pretty reasonable why we shouldn’t encourage this practice, but in case you’re still not really sure why, read on.
Honestly, why are people still surprised when strangers glare at those filming in public? Why wouldn’t people get upset at being made into content in desperate attempts at humor or virality? It’s an invasion of their privacy, especially if their faces are seen. There are so many weirdos out there that can find a person’s school or workplace by just their face, and you could invade someone’s privacy even more that way by posting them online without their knowledge.
But listen, if filming is necessary to ensure yours or someone’s safety—by all means, film away. We’ve all seen how important it is to have documented proof of injustice.
But when all you’re doing is making weird faces over your dinner or doing an outfit check, get a grip. You don’t need to bother people by putting them, on purpose or otherwise, in your content. Please respect people’s privacy. Most of us don’t walk around the streets hoping to get famous because we’re in the background of someone’s TikTok.
Just because you’re in public doesn’t mean they consent.
I get it. It is pretty difficult to film your own content in public without having anyone else in the shot. But in such cases, you can easily ask someone if they’d be okay with appearing in the video, inform them you’re filming, or even blur out their faces in post.
Because what’s so hard about asking people if they’d like to be part of a video? And if you’re uncomfortable with asking them directly to their face about filming, then there’s obviously something wrong with what you were planning to do.
Unfortunately, people don’t really value strangers’ consent to be filmed when the content they’re making banks on the reactions. There’s a whole slew of content out there that makes strangers the butt of the joke, or participants in something they don’t know about. And while sometimes it’s harmless, it’s never guaranteed that a person is okay with posting a moment they’re involved in for the world to see for a number of valid reasons.
If your content relies on stranger’s responses or reactions in the moment without prior knowledge, then what’s so hard about asking if they’re okay with the video being posted after the fact? There’s plenty of things and topics we can use to consume as media—unconsenting people shouldn’t be one of them.
People are not yours to make fun of or make sad stories about.
Like HOW can people not see that this is a massive violation of privacy, and it opens up that person to ruthlessness of Internet comment sections … even if the video isn’t mean half the comments will be
We’ve become so desensitized to things because of our social media consumption that we take a look at one photo or a few seconds of video and immediately pass judgment without knowing the context. The infamous TikTok wherein a young girl gets upset at being touched by a content creator received tons of comments from people asking why it was such a big deal to her, saying she was racist, and generally being unnecessarily cruel to a young girl who never consented to being filmed or touched by a stranger.
The girl’s sister clarified that she was on the autism spectrum and had “contamination OCD,” but the damage has been done. People have proven that they’ll jump to conclusions and run with their own uninformed narratives just because they saw something on social media and wanted to express their opinion. What happened to knowing the context? What happened to minding your own business?
People also love to project their own insecurities onto people they see and make up their own stories based on a single photo or a few seconds of video. Listen, just because someone is eating alone doesn’t mean they’re sad or pathetic. Willingly exposing people to ridicule or vitriol and not realizing the possible outcome of our actions signals a very dark future for humanity—and I’m really not being overdramatic.
Seriously, don’t film, touch, or harass people randomly in public for content. That’s just basic respect for their privacy, boundaries, dignity, and personal space. It’s just really sad that boundaries are being crossed or disrespected in the name of content. A sense of knowing when it’s okay to do something for content and when it isn’t is critical in this day and age. And if you’re unsure—just ask!
Many people have said that it might be a good idea to adopt Japan’s practice of having your camera make a sound whenever you take a photo, and while it’s usually just an offhanded statement to highlight the unethical practice of taking photos and videos of people in public, the sentiment is understood. This mindset that we have that it’s okay to do whatever serves us without considering how it could affect other people needs to change. And it’s much easier and far better for everyone if we all just listened to our conscience and started caring more about the people around us.
Halloween may just be a month away, but themed parties can be thrown any day. Casual, non-theme parties are classic and reliable, but honestly?Can be a bit basic. Take it from Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney, who threw a glamorous 80s prom-themed birthday party for her 26th birthday on September 19 titled “Syd’s Prom.” Guests sported voluminous curls, red and pink ruched and ruffled satin, glittery accessories and bold makeup. The party had an 80s-inspired colorful dance floor, disco balls, balloon arches, streamers, star confetti, and all the bright, retro extravagance of the time. All the photos taken make it look like you’re looking at an old photo album, and it is so cute!
Clearly, Sydney is a fan of the theme parties, but some people may not care enough to follow the theme when they arrive. And that’s okay! When you throw a theme party, you can’t expect everyone to go all out or spend so much just for an outfit. But as a guest, you should still at least try to match the theme.
Personally, I love a good themed party, no matter how simple or elaborate. Give me “masquerade” or “pajama party”, and I’d be excited—and I’m not even a frequent party-goer. A theme just adds another layer of excitement to a party, gives people the chance to express their creativity, and brings everyone together in a fun, cohesive way. Need more reasons to throw a themed party? Scroll down below.
Let’s be real: one of the best things about Halloween is seeing what everyone dressed up as. This year, we predict a whole slew of Barbies and Kens and half-and-half Barbenheimer-inspired costumes. Some people spend all year building the perfect party or finding the perfect outfit, and people have only gotten more and more creative as time passes by. But who says you have to wait until Halloween to get those creative juices flowing?
From low-key Tuesday night dinner parties to birthday extravaganzas, hosting a themed party gives someone the chance to work around a solid concept instead of building something from scratch and making individual disjointed decisions. Sydney knew exactly what she wanted with her 80’s prom-themed party, and she nailed her vision down to the film cameras, her glorious shiny pink dress and bejeweled accessories, and even the wired microphones used by guests and the band. Her party looks straight out of Pretty in Pink (1986)!
So if you want a 2014 grungy Tumblr-themed party like 2010s icon Tyler Oakley? Go for checked flannels, Converse, beanies, chokers, and striped shirts under graphic tees. Decor could include band posters or Arctic Monkeys and Halsey album covers on the walls.
Or maybe you want to be adventurous and host a murder-mystery night, like they did for Freddie’s birthday in the iCarly reboot (hopefully yours turns out better, though!). Create your own characters or find a mystery to solve on the internet, tell your guests what to wear, and really immerse yourselves in something fresh and new.
You could do Bratz or Mean Girls, red carpet or Stranger Things, folklore or Alice in Wonderland, pirates or superheroes. No matter how vague or specific you want your theme to be, the possibilities and the ways to execute them are endless.
A SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS
Of course, you have to make sure people relate or at least understand your theme. A themed party is at its best when people can easily participate in terms of looks. When everyone’s all dressed up according to the theme, but with their individual signature flair, having fun and bonding, that’s when the magic happens. It’s like you’re transported into a different world or time period—and the pictures will show exactly that.
At a themed party, I love seeing what other people are wearing or what they brought that’s on theme. It’s a great conversation-starter, too! It’s so fun when people get excited talking about the decisions they made, the references they’re making, or how they put together the outfit or, if they’re the host, the party itself.
Undoubtedly, the popularity of themed parties is growing. Just look at TikTok! The last few birthday parties I was invited to were all themed, too. I was told to dress up like I was in Euphoria, my favorite Taylor Swift album, and like I was going to Harry’s House. I never had to break the bank to come up with something that fits the theme perfectly, and no one was ever strict about the dress code anyway. It was all in good fun—as any party should be!
More than the partying, I love the research, picking out the clothes, talking to other friends about outfit plans, and finally seeing everyone and everything all decked out according to theme.
When everyone’s dressed up similarly, but with their individual signature flair, having fun and bonding, that’s when the magic happens. It’s like you’re transported into a different world or time period—and the pictures will show exactly that.
So whether it’s for a Halloween bash or your own birthday, don’t feel silly about picking and sticking to a theme. It’ll make a great night even more unforgettable.
K-Pop powerhouse ATEEZ came back to the Philippines for the finale show of their The Fellowship: Break The Wall world tour and shared some funny, heartwarming, and incredible moments with their Filipino ATINYs!
When 8-member K-Pop boy group ATEEZ first performed here in the Philippines last year, they brought the house down. As a headliner for the 2022 K-Pop Masterz Ep. 2, ATEEZ brought their signature intensity to the stage and made it impossible not to want them back. And come back they did—in a huge way! Last September 16th, at their The Fellowship: Break The Wall concert, the band all but tore down the walls of Araneta Coliseum in an epic celebration of their first solo concert in the Philippines. The trends even included the epic hashtag #ATEEZBreaksTheBigDome!
The concert was the finale show of their third world tour, as they traveled all over the globe performing and making memories with their fans. From endless laughter to idol-audience interaction, Break the Wall in Manila was something special as Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, and Wooyoung (member Jongho was unable to make it due to an injury) exhibited their performance prowess and strengthened their bond with Filipino ATINYs at their first solo show, showing all of us that 8 (and thousands of loving fans) truly makes 1 team. Here are some highlights from the night.
When Filipino ATINYs sang their hearts out to Say My Name even before the concert started, that’s when everyone knew how hyped the show was going to be. And no one disappointed—ATEEZ and their fans matched energies as they performed a diverse roster of songs. Their setlist included the high-powered and anthemic Answer, fun and catchy Wave, and the emotional ballad Mist. No doubt, they proved to everyone exactly why they’re renowned performance kings.
The likes of NCT’s Taeyong, SHINEE’s Minho, and Lapillus’ Bessie and Haeun have done the Bouncy TikTok challenge, but Filipino ATINYs ate as they moved like a flash mob, synced up to perform the dance challenge as ATEEZ cheered them on.
Maknae and vocal powerhouse Jongho was unable to attend due to a leg injury, but ATEEZ and ATINYs offered their unbridled support for the singer, as seen in the loud cheers and singing of his parts during their opener HALA HALA. Get well soon, Jongho!
Honestly, what’s a boy group without all of their hilarious dogshow moments? The boys are no stranger to playful teasing and rousing laughter. When Wooyoung had a little slip-up during a quick ment during their performance of The Real, leader Hongjoong (mistakenly written in the original post as Mingi) teased him about it seconds after, and even after the show long ended.
Many a K-Pop fan has dreamt of their idol taking their phone and filming themselves with it during a concert, so we can only imagine how this fan felt when Yeosang in all his glowing glory took their phone and filmed himself blowing a kiss. That ATINY’s life has forever been blessed!
In an adorable mistake, the members took away “namin kayo” from “mahal namin kayo” and cheered it back to their fans as an expression of love. No one correct them, please. “I love you” in the ATEEZ and ATINY community is “namin kayo” now!
Sunrise is a beautiful, slower song by ATEEZ that encourages people to just keep it up—to keep going no matter what anybody thinks or says. With Seonghwa acknowledging that he almost cried during the performance, its heartfelt lyrics, and joined by ATINYs singing along, it’s clear that Sunrise made for a special moment between band and fans.
Member San has mentioned before that he went to Cebu with his father when he was younger, and while he’s forgotten that visit, he’s glad to have made new memories in the Philippines with his beloved ATINYs. Fingers crossed he and ATEEZ get to make many more in the future!
Twenty-year old Olivia Rodrigo, fresh from the launch of her much talked-about second album GUTS, absolutely slayed at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. From her vampire music video winning Best Editing, a killer performance, and viral moments not even featuring her but about her, Olivia was a major highlight of the awards show.
This Fil-Am Gen Z singer-songwriter is making waves as she continues to be bold in her lyricism, authentic in her character, and brave in the way she’s blazing a trail for this new generation. She came, slayed, and left the VMAs like it was nothing. Here are just some of her best moments from the show.
A GAG-WORTHY PERFORMANCE
Olivia kicked off her set sitting on a foggy, forest-like set singing vampire, the lead single from GUTS. Her red Sandy Liang set and leg warmers over sneakers were exquisite, perfectly matching her bold, youthful energy.
As the beat picks up, sparks flew from the set and she, ever the actress, looks around worriedly as if the stage was collapsing. It was, in fact, a recreation of the vampiremusic video, complete with being fake-escorted from the stage only to come back for an incredibly fun and hyped performance of get him back alongside pink-clad Olivia clones.
Put those beefing rumors to rest! Taylor Swift, another woman of the hour as she had fun (and looked gorgeous doing it) at the VMAs, showed support for Olivia during the singer’s set. The two have been subject of unfortunate social media rumors, but in this moment, this was just one singer-songwriter who started off young showing unbridled support to another.
STRAY KIDS WANTED TO SEE HER
“which artist that you are hoping to run into tonight?”
International K-Pop group Stray Kids is just like us! After being asked who they wanted to run into at the awards show, member Felix revealed that the members really wanted to see Olivia Rodrigo. The band has shown appreciation for her music before, so fingers crossed that they got to meet.
If her Sandy Liang set and her plaid vintage dress from Chloe Sevigny’s sample sale wasn’t enough proof of her fashion icon status, the young star’s sparkling custom Ludovic de Saint Sernin gown she wore to the VMAs definitely was. The 150,000 hand-embroidered Swarovski crystals catch the lights perfectly and light up a room the same way she does.
THE TALK OF THE TOWN
olivia’s such an actress she got people on twitter thinking the set falling apart was not planned https://t.co/NO0SwPFtNO
After weeks of social media discourse about the young artist’s music style, Gen Z icon status, “beef” with other artists (that she’s promptly squashed), Olivia’s still making headlines as her performance garnered confused reactions. From Selena Gomez’s reaction to the faux stage malfunction to people thinking Olivia herself was unaware of the malfunctions, the 20-year old certainly isn’t leaving the trending page any time soon.
In the world’s ever-growing repertoire of queer media, stories about sapphics/women-loving-women still take up much less space than their male-dominated counterparts. There’s much discussion to be had about “proper” queer representation in media in general, but for now it’s good to diversify our own libraries, per se, by checking out these movies, series, and books all available to watch, stream, and read—and all about the sapphics.
The Half of It (2020)
This movie is a consistent placer on lists of great WLW media. And for good reason! The Half of It is a retelling of the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, in that it features our protagonist Ellie (Leah Lewis) pretending to be someone else while communicating with someone they like. The Half of It is a subversive and refreshing take on sapphic media, touching on issues of freedom and friendship as it puts young, sweet relationships in the limelight.
Baka Bukas (2016)
Fresh from the successful theatrical run of her new film Rookie, Samantha Lee has proven to deliver quality queer content. As Lee’s first project as director, Baka Bukas achieved success and set the foundations for her career of crafting beloved sapphic stories. In the film, Alex (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) helplessly falls for her best friend Jess (Louise delos Reyes) and they must navigate a world of changes to their relationship. Baka Bukas will be available to stream on Netflix starting August 25.
Shiva Baby (2020)
Danielle (Rachel Sennott) is a hot queer mess. What else would you be when you attend a shiva (a week-long period of mourning practiced in Judaism) with your entire family, your ex-girlfriend, and your sugar daddy and his wife and child?Shiva Baby is praised for being hilarious and awkward, with Danielle being “cringe-worthy in the best way,” and is a movie to be watched through horrified looks and snorts of laughter.
Billie and Emma (2018)
Set in the 90s, Billie and Emma lays out the conflicts of being gay and being a young woman in a small town. Billie (played by openly queer Zar Donato) is sent to a strict all-girls Catholic school where she meets smart, popular Emma (Gabby Padilla), and faces a slew of resistance to their relationship—one of which is Emma’s sudden pregnancy. Samantha Lee’s second film is genuine, fun, and is unafraid to be honest in representing tough issues. It champions queer love both in the story and its production.
This high school rom-com is light fun with a sweet ending. Crush was accompanied by a calling-out controversy involving star Auliʻi Cravalho, targeted at co-star Rowan Blanchard. Regardless, the two exuded adorable chemistry and sincerity in the coming-of-age film about artist Paige (Blanchard) navigating her long-harbored feelings for crush Gabriella (Isabella Ferreira) and newfound feelings for Gabriella’s sister AJ (Cravalho).
The way Samantha Lee consistently delivers lovely, genuine sapphic stories is awe-inspiring. Her most recent work is a love story set in the world of high school volleyball. Rookie stars Pat Tingjuy as Ace, a reluctant basketball player-turned-volleyball player, and Aya Fernandez as Jana, the driven captain of the volleyball team. Rookiewon three awards at the Cinemalaya 2023 awarding ceremony: Best Editing, Audience Choice, and Best Actress for Tingjuy.
Warrior Nun (2020)
If you were on X (formerly Twitter) last year, you’d have seen the outrage that poured in at Netflix’s cancellation of fantasy series Warrior Nun. Thankfully, just last August 16, it was announced that the story will continue as a trilogy, much to the delight of its dedicated fanbase. The story of demon fighters, “warrior nuns,” Ava (Alba Baptista) and Beatrice (Kristina Tonteri-Young) hopefully gets to continue in all its glory.
Sleep with Me (2022)
Samantha Lee’s first streaming series is a warm, intimate look at a budding romance between Harry (Janine Gutierrez), a late-night radio DJ and wheelchair-user, and Luna (Lovi Poe), a textbook writer with a disorder that only lets her sleep during the day. Sleep with Me is a comforting rom-com with adorable performances, discussion on intersectionality, and a clear focus on love between two women.
This miniseries looks into the world of online dating coupled with the pressures of being an online couple. This close to breaking up, Beth (Kylie Padilla) and Cindy (Andrea Torres), receive news that they were selected to join a #RelationshipGoals contest where they have to prove to everyone that they’re the perfect couple so they could win a whopping 10 million pesos. Now the question is: how far can they go before something snaps?
Pearl Next Door
Webseries Pearl Next Door is another local offering that stars beloved BL Gameboys character Pearl (Adrianna So) and chronicles her journey to find love. Whether that’s with Karleen (Iana Bernardez), her best friend, or Alex (Rachel Coates), her former childhood best friend, you’ll have to watch to find out. Presented in a screenlife format with characters talking through screens, Pearl Next Door captures a modern, easy charm largely due to the distinct personalities of its characters.
Hailee Steinfeld plays prolific poet Emily Dickinson in this comedy-drama series about her life, romance with her best friend and future sister-in-law Susan Gilbert (Ella Hunt), and the limitations and pressures placed on a woman artist at the time. In a deliberate decision, Dickinson uses modern language and anachronism to deliver a fun, steamy, relatable story about love, womanhood, and freedom.
One Last Stop (2021)
Casey McQuiston’s debut novel Red, White, and Royal Blue found peak success both as a novel and now as a hit Amazon Prime movie adaptation. Their second novel One Last Stop is another prime example of WLW literature done well, with eccentric but authentic characters, a very subtle magical/sci-fi premise, and soaring, electric writing. August Landry meets punk, leather-clad rebel Jane Su on a train and falls in love. Only one problem: Jane is lost in time. She’s from the 1970s, she’s stuck on the train, and August will do anything to help her.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating (2021)
Everybody loves a good fake dating trope. Popular, bisexual student Hani comes out to her friends, but they’re invalidating and disbelieving! She lies that she’s actually in a relationship with a girl—Ishu. Ishu is smart and driven, and she agrees to fake date Hani if it means it gets her elected head girl. The YA novel is a breath of fresh air as it puts Bengali girls in the spotlight and uniquely intersperses their stories with a tried-and-true trope.
She Gets the Girl (2022)
Alex is brave, flirtatious, and fresh from a breakup she hopes isn’t for good. Molly is awkward and incapable of talking to her crush. They hatch a plan to work together to get their respective interests to love them, but can you take a guess as to who falls in love instead? Slow burn with a lot of banter, She Gets the Girl is a lighthearted classic YA read written by real-life wives.
Juliet Takes a Breath (2016)
Juliet is a lesbian Latina interning in Portland, Oregon for her favorite white feminist author Harlow Brisbane. She spends her summer figuring out everything about not just being gay, but being a gay, female, person of color in this vast, crazy world. Juliet Takes a Breath is a funny, moving, intersectional exploration of identity and the complexity of people.
The Falling in Love Montage (2020)
A light, fun read, The Falling in Love Montage sees cynical Saoirse embark on a summer fling with the vivacious Ruby. They agree to go on cheesy, romantic dates that’ll end the moment summer does—but of course, when has that ever worked out? This book offers a cute premise, a love built between two very different girls, family, and strong personalities.
It is stellar to see so much diversity in contemporary media, and we hope it only gets better from here. Love female and sapphic love by breathing in these stories and letting them lead us towards a more open world.