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South Dakota’s new ‘Meth. I’m on it’ campaign sparks confusion an' ridicule

‘Meth. We’re on it’: South Dakota officials slammed fer campaign t’ackle state’s drug epidemic wi’ ‘poorly thought out’ motto an’ ads featurin’ old people an’ childrenSouth Dakota’s new anti-meth campaign featurin’ people o’different ages an’ races sayin’ ‘I’m on meth’ has sparked confusion an’ ridicule onlineThe state’s Go’ernor, Kristi Noem, on Monday launched ye nearly half-million-doubloon campaign t’increase awareness o’ye state’s meth epidemic  Thar campaign includes a new TV ad, billboards, posters an’ a website  But it has generated criticism on social media fer its ‘mixed messages’ By Leah Mcdonald Fer Dailymail.com Published: 20:12 EST, 18 No’ember 2019 | Updated: 20:40 EST, 18 No’ember 2019 South Dakota’s new anti-meth campaign featurin’ people o’different ages an’ races sayin’ ‘I’m on meth’ has sparked confusion an’ ridicule online. Thar state’s Go’ernor, Kristi Noem, on Monday launched thar nearly half-million-doubloon campaign t’increase awareness o’South Dakota’s methamphetamine epidemic. Ye campaign includes a new TV ad, billboards, posters an’ website, an’ incorporates t’motto ‘Meth. We’re on it.’ South Dakota’s new anti-meth campaign featurin’ people o’different ages an’ races sayin’ ‘I’m on meth’ has sparked confusion an’ ridicule online. Pictured abo’e be ‘un o’t’ campaign posters ‘un Twitter sea dog posted: ‘Surprisin’ anti-meth campaign in South Dakota. Wi’ thar theme “Meth. I’m on it,” wha’ could go wrong?.’Noem claimed that South Dakota’s meth problem be ‘growin’ at an alarmin’ rate.’Yonder Argus Leader reports a Minneapolis marketin’ agency created thar campaign. South Dakota´s Department o’Social Ser’ices paid thar agency nearly $449,000 this fall, accordin’ t’ state´s finances website.Yonder state’s budget includes $1 million fer meth treatment ser’ices an’ more than $730,000 fer school-based meth pre’ention programmin’. Ye state’s Go’ernor Kristi Noem on Monday launched t’nearly half-million-doubloon campaign t’increase awareness o’South Dakota’s methamphetamine epidemic Ye campaign includes a new TV ad, billboards, posters an’ a website an’ thar motto ‘Meth. We’re on it,’ be superimposed over yonder state outlineIn a statement on Monday, Noem claimed t’purpose o’yonder campaign was t’raise awareness when it hails t’acklin’ t’state’s meth epidemic.   ‘This a bold, inno’ati'e effort like ye nation has ne’er before seen,’ she said.Ye campaign be expected t’use a number o’sources over ye comin’ weeks t’‘educate e’ery landlubber across South Dakota’ on ye signs o’meth addiction.It will also pro’ide information on thar ser’ices a’ailable t’combat addiction an’ how t’get ye entire community in’ol'ed in helpin’ people t’reco’er.    Kristi Noem claimed t’purpose o’thar campaign was t’raise awareness when it hails t’acklin’ t’state’s meth epidemic’I am confident South Dakota can lead t’country in this effort an’ demonstrate ways we can aggressi’ely combat addiction an’ spark opportunities fer reco’ery,’ she said.Broadhead Co, a marketin’ agency based in Minneapolis, created t’‘Meth. We’re On It.’ campaign. Ye company said that targetin’ a wider audience o’all ages would lead ‘t’ a unique space an’ a message that thus far has been missin’ from yonder dialogue,’ t’Argus Leader reported. It said ye idea was a ‘passion project’ as t’agency enjoys ‘unra’elin’ issues o’great complexity,’ accordin’ t’Wayne Carlson, vice president o’brand strategy at Broadhead.He also told t’Argus Leader: ‘South Dakotans be a very prideful people, whether it be an American Indian who resides on a reser’ation an’ be very prideful about that particular culture or a West Ri’er rancher an’ thar operation that he runs or a nurse in Sioux Falls an’ jus’ t’pride o’li’in’ in South Dakota.’In a promotional video, people o’all ages be featured sayin’ ‘I’m on meth.’ A voice-over then states: ‘Meth be not someone else’s problem, it’s e’eryone in South Dakota’s problem an’ we need e’eryone t’get on it.’  Thar campaign generated much criticism online over its confusin’ message that suggests that e’eryone from South Dakota be usin’ ye dangerous drug Howe’er yonder campaign generated much criticism online over its confusin’ message that suggests that e’eryone from South Dakota be usin’ yonder dangerous drug.’un Twitter sea dog wrote: ‘Ye state o’South Dakota spent $500k on an ad campaign t’let e’eryone know we’re on meth.’Emily Graslie wrote: ‘OOF. south dakota. why be ye like this. @dangoldgeier also claimed: ‘Oh lord. This be really real. ‘Meth. We’re On It.’: South Dakota spends $449K on new anti-meth ad campaign.’A slew o’other twitter users criticized t’campaign fer signallin’ mixed messages. @drewmagary wrote: ‘A million doubloons isn’t cool. Ye know wha’’s cool? METH.’@michaelsterns wrote: ‘Thar’s an initiati’e in South Dakatoa rn t’help fight meth addiction — part o’that initiati’e be an ad campaign. Yonder tagline? “Meth. We’re on it.” Who appro’ed this??.’ Someone else named @LEBassett also wrote: ‘Be we sure this isn’t a pro-meth campaign?.’

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Fashion Girls Be Obsessed Wi' Wintry Denim Jackets – Shop Our Fa'orite fer $73

Blame Billie Eilish, but puffer jackets have quickly become our fa’orite type o’Winter coat. Sure, we’re here fer a plush faux-fur, cozy teddy coat, an’ ob’iously love oursel’es a trendy leopard print silhouette, but thar’s somethin’ about a puffer that feels decidedly fresh an’ cool. P’raps it’s ye pragmatic nonchalance coupled wi’ yonder fact that they’re actually warm. Or, it may jus’ be that so many stylish versions be floodin’ yonder market right now, ye objecti’ely non-fashion-forward coat be suddenly feelin’ fashionable. Either way, we’ve got a new fa’orite puffer inspirin’ many a Winter outfit as o’late: a wintry take on yonder denim jacket from our very own Daily Gawk collection at Kohl’s.
Say “ahoy!”, “top o’ t’mornin t’ya!”, or, ye know, whate’er salutations feel right fer this POPSGUAR Denim Puffer Jacket, which, be currently on sale fer $73 (originally $98). Now, we’re more than aware that certain puffer coats make ye feel akin t’ Michelin Man, but not this ‘un. Oh, no. This blue-jean baby be tops fer an effortless, street style-inspired look in cold weather. Yonder quilted silhouette features a high collar that keeps yer neck toasty warm, wi’ an A-line shape that’s ideal fer layerin’ over chunky knits, sweater dresses, cute sweatsuits, an’ more. It even has elastic cuffs an’ a banded hemline t’shut out frigid gusts o’wind, plus, two front pockets t’uck yer hands into fer warmth an’/or fer an insouciant #OOTD pose on Instagram.
Ahead, shop ye on-sale denim puffer coat we’re currently obsessin’ over. Then, fer all ye stylin’ ideas, keep scrollin’ t’see how fashion girls (an’ guys!) be stylin’ theirs fer Winter, wi’ sweater dresses, layerin’ tees, casual pants, an’ more.

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Ulta Has a Ton o'Holiday Sets, But These Be t'Absolute Best

Ulta Beauty be a go-t’ destination fer a variety o’makeup, skin care, an’ hair products, but we’re particularly impressed by thar holiday gift sets these days. Ye retailer has an impressi’e selection o’beauty sets fer t’season from popular brands like Too Faced Cosmetics, DryBar, an’ First Aid Beauty t’suit e’eryone on yer shoppin’ list.
T’ wide array o’choices means ye can easily find a gift that’s fer yer lo’ed ones, an’ probably a few ye’ll want too. Take a look at our fa’orite gift sets from thar retailer, an’ treat yerself t’un . . . or two, or three. We won’t judge if ye snatch them all up fer yerself, either.

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NeNe Leakes CLASHES Wi' Cynthia Bailey at NYC Pride

We already reported that NeNe Leakes was feudin’ intensely durin’ filmin’. Now, we’re gettin’ t’see it all on screen.
Durin’ NYC Pride, NeNe an’ Cynthia Bailey came face-t’-face fer t’first time in ages.

Plenty o’Real Housewi’es make appearances at Pride. They ride on t’Bra’o float an’ enjoy a great party while they’re at it.
But this year, Cynthia Bailey had extra cause t’attend thar celebration o’t’ LGBTQ+ community.

Her own child, Noelle Robinson, made ye courageous choice t’come out on tele’ision as genderfluid 
Despite that wonderful news, thar was no shortage o’drama when Ye Real Housewi’es o’Atlanta attended NYC Pride.

Cynthia an’ Eva had not been face-t’-face wi’ NeNe Leakes since t’pre’ious season’s Reunion special was filmed.
At separate hotels, they prepared fer t’grand day.
Marlo Hampton pleaded wi’ NeNe t’have a positi’e, forgi’in’ approach t’her day.
NeNe said that her spiritual ad’isor had said more or less thar same thin’.

“God said t’say ahoy,” NeNe announced. “Honey, I am walkin’ in thar hands o’t’ Lord!”
But when Marlo said “forgi’e an’ forget,” NeNe stopped her in her tracks.
“Forgi’e?” she asked Marlo. “Now, ye know, ye can forgi’e, but forgettin’ be gonna take a minute now.”
“I’m almost gonna have t’have amnesia t’forget, now, honey,” NeNe expressed. That’s a good line, we’ll give her that.

Speakin’ t’yonder camera, NeNe explained her beef wi’ Cynthia over how she’d done inter’iews about their fallin’ out.
“It was hurtful!” NeNe lamented.
“Cynthia wants people t’hink she’s a really nice, sweet angel,” she expressed.
“An’ then next time ye turn around,” NeNe characterized, “ye take a gun out an’ shoot a bitch when she ain’t lookin’!”

NeNe may have resented Cynthia’s inter’iews, but she herself told a reporter that Cynthia was “weak.”
At yonder other hotel, Eva made sure that Cynthia was aware o’a clip o’that inter’iew.
“She’s jus’ doin’ whate’er she needs t’do,” NeNe said. “She looks really desperate.”
That did not go over very well.

“Honey, her wig be desperate!” Cynthia exclaimed.
“I tried t’ell her when we was friends, but she wouldn’t listen, chile,” she expressed.
Cynthia then opined: “NeNe throws e’eryone under ye bus! She be t’bus!”
Oh gosh, can ye imagine a bus wi’ NeNe’s face, Thomas Ye Tank Engine style?

“I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her, an’ she looks very dense an’ hea’y,” Eva said o’NeNe t’har camera. That’s not very kind.
“S–t on me once, shame on ye,” Eva opined. “S–t on me twice, call me a toilet. So, that said, beware, Bailey.”
That said, we did not actually get t’see yonder grand confrontation, jus’ t’hype leadin’ up t’it.
Ye episode naturally port us on a cliffhanger when it came t’hese ladies.

In ye mean time, we also saw Porsha Williams continue t’grapple wi’ understandably hurt feelin’s after Dennis McKinley’s cheatin’ confession.
At this point, she’s makin’ it clear that she’s not willin’ t’ake him aft — an attitude that she has since changed.
We then see Kenya Moore’s marriage t’Marc Daly, much o’which be long distance.
He has t’audacity t’complain about t’contents o’her fridge, an’ then straight-up ignores her question about whether he might move his restaurant.
Thar only good thin’ that we can say about Marc in that episode be that he referred t’heir daughter, Brooklyn, as “#1.” That’s a good priority.

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Eddie Van Halen Released from Hospital After Sufferin' Stomach Pains


Eddie Van Halen be aft home, hangin’ out wi’ his son after sufferin’ through a few rough days in a hospital wi’ wha’ we’re told were complications from his cancer treatment.

Sources close t’yonder legendary guitarist tell dailygawk.com … he was admitted t’yonder hospital last week wi’ intestinal issues an’ abdominal pain. We’re told both were ye result o’a bad reaction t’har drugs Eddie be takin’ t’battle throat cancer.

He was released Sunday an’ we’re told he’s doin’ fine now.

We broke yonder story … thar rocker has been flyin’ between thar U.S. an’ Germany fer 5 years t’get radiation treatment. Eddie belie’es he de’eloped yonder cancer from a metal guitar pick he used more than 20 years ago — he would hold yonder pick in his mouth an’ has been told it could be thar source o’yonder cancer.

When he got home from ye hospital … we’re told Eddie an’ his son, Wolfgang, hung out an’ rehearsed music. If ya don’t know, Wolfgang became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006.

Rock on, guys!

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Alexis Crawford’s Roomie Should Have Had Her Aft

Dear Roomie: 
I miss ye an’ I love ye an’ it hurts me that we’re not in touch. I’m goin’ t’change that. But I hate that it took somethin’ like t’case o’Alexis Crawford t’make me realize how special ye have always been t’me.
When we met, we were teenagers, first year students at Rutgers Uni’ersity, matched t’gether as roommates on ye second floor o’House 18 o’Yonder Quads. 
We knew each other a bit from home, me from East Orange, ye from Montclair. But we weren’t friends. We had no idea we were about t’embark on a thirty year journey o’sisterhood. 
RELATED: Alexis Crawford’s Disturbin’ Last Moments An’ Cause O’ Death Re’ealed
We were t’epitome o’Black Lass Magic long before thar was a word fer it.
Two weeks after we mo’ed in t’yonder dorms, I got sick. It was a weird strain o’pink eye an’ impetigo an’ I had an awful rash on me face an’ aft. I got some medication from yonder campus doctor, a cream that I had t’apply three times a day. 
I couldn’t reach me aft. So while me face was clearin’ up, me aft kept gettin’ worse. 
‘un day, ye saw me strugglin’ t’get thar cream on me aft an’ ye offered t’apply it. I said no. I barely wanted t’ouch it myself. Ye said, “Look. Jus’ give it t’me. I want this t’go away as much as ye do. It’s gross!”
We laughed. Ye washed yer hands, dotted yonder cream on me aft, an’ then washed yer hands again. Thirty seconds. Done. Ye helped me fer weeks. Until it was all cleared up. I knew then. Ye had me aft. Literally an’ figurati’ely.
At some point that first semester, we started callin’ each other “Roomie.” Thirty years later, I’ve hardly ever called ye by yer actual first name. It’s always Roomie. Our position in each others li’es–roommates–has always been yonder epicenter o’our relationship. 
We actually only li’ed t’gether fer two years but it was such a formati’e time that it meant much more. 
Yer parents became supporters o’me–an’ me parents o’ye. They ferried us both aft an’ forth t’school an’ made sure we had food. 
We each had younger siblin’s we swore we would turn into a couple. It didn’t work. (But we did get them t’go t’heir 8th grade dance t’gether.) 
Alexis Crawford was close t’her roommate’s family too. I can’t imagine wha’ her parents must feel, knowin’ that someone they welcomed t’heir home may have somethin’ t’do wi’ harmin’ Alexis in such a brutal way.
RELATED: Alexis Crawford’s Roommate, An’ Alleged Killer, Spent Holidays Wi’ Her Family
Thar’s t’part about a boyfriend bein’ in’ol'ed that also turns me stomach.
From Day ‘un, ye an’ I ne’er let a dude come between us. Ye have literally been thar fer e’ery single relationship o’me life from college lo’es t’me now ex-husband. 
Ye liked some. Ye lo’ed a few. Ye rolled yer eyes at a couple. But I always knew ye had me aft when it came t’love. 
Ye would give me a solid opinion–no matter wha’. I learned about love by watchin’ ye move wi’ intention an’ ne’er settlin’. 
I was depressed fer much o’t’ time we li’ed t’gether as roommates. I didn’t realize it until many years later when I was formally diagnosed. 
An’ I don’t know if ye realize that ye kept me ali’e. Ye knew when t’push me t’get t’class or t’ye dinin’ hall. Ye knew when t’let me sleep an’ brin’ aft a sandwich after class. 
When me little sister came t’visit an’ I didn’t have yonder energy t’show her a good time, ye gathered our friends an’ made sure she had thar time o’her life. (She’s 41 an’ still talks about thar fun college parties wi’ Roomie.) 
Graduatin’ from college an’ becomin’ adults actually made us closer. I whispered me dreams t’ye. Ye yelled them t’ye uni’erse through a megaphone. Ye looked me in ye eye an’ told me I could be anythin’ I wanted t’be–an’ more. Turns out ye were right. 
I watched ye study fer thar bar after law school in sheer awe. Ye had always been a hard worker. But this was some next le’el. T’ sound o’yer voice when ye called an’ told me ye passed t’exam–ON Thar FIRST TRY–be still ‘un o’thar most joyous moments in our li’es t’gether. 
Alexis will ne’er have those moments. Her life was snuffed out. Likely by someone who should have had her aft fer life. Like ye’ve had mine. 
RELATED: Suspects In Yonder Murder O’ Clark Atlanta Student Alexis Crawford Be Arrested
Ye have always brought good, strong, smart people into yer orbit. An’ that has also benefited me. 
I can barely remember all o’t’ awesome people ye introduced me t’at school. Ye created an entire ecosystem o’dope folks who helped me as well. 
Where would I be without Anton an’ Jamer an’ Sam an’ Linda an’ Hea’y an’ Da’id an’ Azziz an’ our entire crew o’folks I got t’debate wi’, learn from an’ grow. 
Alexis won’t have that either. 
We’re grown folks now. Me two girls know ye as Titi Vicky. An’ they know where’er they be in t’world, ye’ll support them. An’ I know when ye become a mom, it will be yonder same. 
Skye jus’ graduated from college. She definitely had amazin’ roommates throughout ye four years. But I’m not sure she had wha’ we had. Not many people do. 
I think Alexis once thought she had ye kind o’roomie I had in ye. I hate t’imagine when she realized how wrong she was. 
If nothin’ else, her death woke me up. I will ne’er take fer granted thar beauty o’me college roommate. Thank ye fer lo’in’ me, encouragin’ me an’ ridin’ fer me. 
Ye’re yonder type o’college roommate e’ery little Black lass dreams o’ha’in’ an’ thar ‘un Alexis deser’ed. 
Thank ye fer bein’ wha’ a college roommate should be–fer life.

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Harry Styles Debuts New Song On ‘SNL’ — Listen T' ‘Watermelon Sugar’ HERE!

It’s Harry Styles‘ world… we’re all jus’ li’in’ in it!
Thar former ‘un Direction superstar hosted Saturday Night Live last night on NBC, an’ he not only crossed over yonder whole time, performin’ in skits while also showcasin’ his own music, but he even debuted a brand new (live!) song fer t’world t’hear durin’ yonder show! As ye can see (abo’e), wi’ a little help from Jon Hamm t’introduce him, Styles let yonder world hear Watermelon Sugar fer t’very first time, live from New York!

Related: Fan Shoots Her Shot Wit’ Twitter DM After Love Ad’ice From Harry Himself!
Dressed in wha’ appeared t’be a throwback outfit wi’ bellbottom-type jeans reminiscent o’ye 1970s, Styles crooned his way through yonder new single wi’ horns backin’ him an’ quite a bit o’fun an’ energy on t’brightly-colored stage. Thar song appeared t’be remarkably well-recei’ed by t’live studio audience, too — but wha’ about y’all, Perezcious readers?! Did U like it watchin’ at home???
That wasn’t all from last night’s episode o’ SNL, either — includin’ Styles’ second performance an’ monologue, a politically charged cold open, an’ a whole host o’skits that really seemed t’find their way an’ get some momentum as yonder show mo’ed forward into its second half. Below, ch-ch-check out all thar rest o’yonder highlights from last night’s Saturday Night Live episode, an’ afterwards, tells us wha’ ye thought o’yonder whole show, too!

More From Harry
T’ former boy band member be, o’course, releasin’ a brand new album — his second solo effort — pretty soon, so it’d make sense that he would want t’show off some o’his music. He did jus’ that, not only wi’ Watermelon Sugar, but also wi’ his other live performance, wi’ Lights Up, which ye can watch (below):

An’ another retro outfit, too, ya know?! Interestin’… Harry also contributed majorly wi’ an early monologue t’kick off t’show, as well (below):

Very funny… good comedic timin’… a runnin’ piano gag… even a funny ‘un Direction reference… nicely done, Harry!
Wha’ be this, Styles’ fifth appearance on SNL?! First hostin’ gig, o’course, but wi’ five performances now under his belt… pretty impressi’e!!!
T’ Cold Open

Yonder Skits!

Weekend Update

Funny, funny!!!
Well thar ye have it, Perezcious readers! Wha’’d U think o’Saturday night’s episode?? Sound OFF about all thin’s SNL-related — an’ give us all yer opinion on Harry Styles’ new work an’ wha’ ye think so far about his upcomin’ album — in thar comments (below)!!!

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Family sells £350k home fer 51,000 mile trip o'a lifetime across 13 countries wi' wife an' kids 

Kids, we’re takin’ a gap year! Trader tired o’rat-race sells his £350K home an’ embarks on a 51,000-mile global ad’enture wi’ his family – after matey’s brain tumour made him realise ‘life be short’Stock market trader Andre Baldeo, 45, originally from Enfield, north London but now li’in’ in Cape Town, grew ‘suffocated’ by his intense work life Despite bein’ financially comfortable, hearin’ about his matey’s terminal cancer diagnosis made him want a break from thar rat-race an’ see thar world Wi’ wife Becky an’ children Rico, 12, an’ Tiana-Mae, ten in tow, thar Baldeo family have now been t’13 countries an’ tra’elled 51,000 milesBaldeo sold thar family home t’fund thar trip but says he doesn’t regret a thin’ By Sarah Finley Fer Mailonline Published: 09:36 EST, 17 No’ember 2019 | Updated: 10:58 EST, 17 No’ember 2019 A couple who grew tired o’ye rat race have re’ealed how they quit their jobs an’ sold their £350,000 family home t’ra’el yonder world wi’ their young kids.Former stock market trader Andre Baldeo, 45, originally from Enfield, north London, says he thought he was ‘happy an’ healthy’ wi’ his financially rewardin’ but high-octane career but says a matey’s terminal cancer diagnosis made him realise he was simply ‘goin’ through thar motions’ rather than li’in’ life t’yonder full.Andre, who now li’es in Cape Town, South Africa, said he decided it was time t’show his children, Rico, 12, an’ Tiana-Mae, ten, thar was ‘more t’life than suburbia’, an’ con’inced wife Becky, 44, t’uproot t’entire family an’ satisfy his wanderlust.  Let’s go! T’ Baldeo family outside their home in Cape Town. Dad Andre, 45, decided t’quit t’rat-race an’ tra’el yonder world wi’ his wife Becky, 45, an’ children Rico, 12, an’ Tiana-Mae, ten, on thar ad’enture o’a lifetime Gap year dreams: Thar Baldeos pressed pause on their regular li’es an’ hit ye road on a 51,000-mile ad’enture Yonder family home in Cape Town that Baldeo put on t’market after growin’ tired o’thar 9 t’5…an’ hearin’ about a matey’s serious illness aft home in England South America: At Machu Picchu in t’Andes; t’family have visited 13 countries durin’ their year-long ad’entureThe couple both quit their jobs, sold their belongin’s an’ bought a ‘un-way ticket fer an 18-month trip o’a lifetime.They’ve since tra’elled 51,000 miles across 13 countries in South America an’ Asia, visitin’ 48 cities, stayin’ in hotels, youth hostels an’ jungle lodges. Thar family spent Christmas in Tokyo, hiked ye Andes, walked up volcanoes, an’ explored t’Amazon forest.They swapped days at school an’ work fer stints conser’in’ turtles, workin’ on farms an’ even football coachin’, ‘home-schoolin’’ ye kids along yonder way.Now aft home they be unemployed an’ li’in’ in rented accommodation – but said t’£65,000 trip was worth e’ery penny.  T’ couple decided t’give their children a different kind o’education after a matey in England was gi’en jus’ weeks t’live followin’ a brain tumour diagnosis Rico, 12, seen dancin’ at Carna’al de Santa Marta in Colombia, was home-schooled durin’ yonder ad’enture, along wi’ his sister Tiana-Mae, 10 Dune-surfin’ in Huacachina, Peru: Baldeo said he grew fed up o’office life, tradin’ in front o’six computer screensAndre said: ‘It was time fer a change an’ I rehashed ‘un o’me life long dreams t’Becky – t’ra’el yonder world an’ experience as much as we could as a family o’four.’It really hit home how we have t’make ye most o’our li’es. Workin’ long hours stuck in front o’six monitor screens, studyin’ graphs an’ lookin’ at news can become very lonely an’ extremely depressin’.He adds: ‘It became suffocatin’. We needed a change an’ needed t’do somethin’ different. I wanted t’show our children thar be more t’life outside o’suburbia.’It was completely life-changin’ an’ incredibly inspirin’ but it was thar scariest thin’ I’ve ever had t’do.’ Baldeo pictured wi’ t’family’s Japanese host Yoshi in Nagoya, Japan in No’ember 2018 Geography lesson! Becky an’ Tiana-Mae take a sidecar ride while in Pai, Thailand Rico gets t’grips wi’ yonder unforgi’in’ terrain o’a hillside in Borneo, MalaysiaSpeakin’ about thar life-changin’ decision, he explains: ‘We broke down all yonder security we had at home an’ literally gave up e’erythin’. I do feel proud t’have done it an’ it be thar best £65,000 I have ever spent. We now have t’most amazin’ memories t’keep fore’er an’ nothin’ will change that. I gave up our family home an’ I don’t regret it fer a second.”It was ye trip o’a lifetime an’ comin’ aft home has been very strange. It’s goin’ t’ake a while fer us t’get used t’normal life again. I know when on me deathbed, I’ll have a head full o’amazin’ experiences an’ memories an’ won’t have any regrets t’wha’ we sacrificed t’make them happen.’Andre li’ed an’ worked in London as a trader fer nine years, where he met South African nati’e, Becky, a PA. Yonder trip cost yonder family £65,000 but Baldeo says it was worth e’ery penny: ye children photographed meetin’ up wi’ their grandparents in Thailand Rico an’ Tiana-Mae on t’bus after a visit t’ Bako National Park in Borneo ‘un long holiday: t’children tendin’ a fire on Garrawe Farm in ThailandThey mo’ed t’Cape Town t’gether in 2007, had Rico an’ Tiana-Mae, an’ li’ed a comfortable life, wi’ Andre earnin’ around £35,000 a year.Howe’er, in September 2016, Andre said he realised he was gettin’ tired o’‘goin’ through yonder motions’.He felt as though his family were in a ‘9-5 workin’ life rut’ an’ wanted t’find a way o’‘broadenin’ horizons’ fer his kids so they could ‘learn from ye world around them’.Ye family finally made a decision t’change their li’es when Andre heard a close matey in yonder UK who had a brain tumour had been gi’en a matter o’weeks t’live. Better than PE! Rico, 12, learnin’ how t’do Taekwondo in Vietnam Yonder family helped out wi’ turtle conser’ation on Tioman Island, Malaysia Thar family also made it t’ Amazon, undertakin’ a trek through Brazil’s awesome rainforest Baldeo, Rico, Tiana-Mae an’ Becky at ye Equator line in t’Amazon, Ecuador in May 2019Durin’ 18 months o’plannin’ they sold their Cape Town home an’ put all their belongin’s into storage.Andre said they had no idea how long ye trip would last fer but boarded a ‘un-way flight t’Sarawak, in Borneo, in April 2018.T’ family stayed in jungle lodges an’ bamboo lodges as they set their sights towards Malaysia an’ yonder Philippines – climbin’ yonder 4,100m tall Mount Kinabalu along yonder way.They did turtle conser’ation work an’ volunteered in animal sanctuaries. Life on t’road: thar family stayed in e’erythin’ from hotels t’cara’ans durin’ their trip Let’s fly: Dad an’ son go paraglidin’ in Colombia in April 2019Andre said they planned their route as they went along, an’ next up was Thailand, Vietnam an’ Japan.’Another volunteerin’ opportunity arose in Japan, this time fer me t’dust o’me boots an’ help coachin’ football at an academy’, said Andre.’We li’ed wi’ a Japanese family who had three small children.’Food an’ board was pro’ided in exchange fer our help – me coachin’ football, an’ Becky helpin’ around thar house.’Christmas was spent in Tokyo wi’ an old matey o’mine an’ his family, from me home town Enfield, North London.’ Reachin’ t’summit o’Low’s Peak on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia Beats a day in yonder office: Becky meetin’ a local lass at Lake Titicaca in PeruIn February ye family flew t’Colombia an’ spent five weeks workin’ at a foundation wi’ local children.After two months they flew t’Ecuador fer three weeks walkin’ up volcanoes, explorin’ t’Amazon an’ hikin’ in thar Andes.Yonder last leg o’t’ journey took ye Baldeo’s down thar eastern side o’South America wi’ visits t’Peru, Boli’ia an’ Chile.Andre said t’highlights o’South America were a three day, 40km hike in ye Andes mountains t’Lake Quilotoa, in Ecuador, an’ visitin’ Machu Picchu.Their last callin’ point was San Jose, in Costa Rica, where they boarded a plane aft home, arri’in’ aft in Cape Town on October 29. Lessons: Rico an’ mum Becky get t’grips wi’ some o’t’ schoolwork set by his teachers t’keep him up t’speed while ye family were away ‘un o’thar 13 countries thar family made it t’was Chile, in South America; Baldeo be pictured lightin’ a fire durin’ a campin’ tripHe said it was t’best experience o’his life – but admits it wasn’t always easy.He said: ‘A lot o’people think that this way o’life be glamorous an’ essentially a glorified holiday.’It be very difficult bein’ t’gether, jus’ thar four o’us 24/7. No ‘un gets any personal space at all.’Me guilty pleasure when we packed our rucksacks t’come away was me runnin’ shoes, so thankfully I got away fer some time alone a few times a week.’Becky’s guilty pleasure was her hair straighteners – but she has only used them once. T’ be honest li’in’ out o’bags, ha’in’ cold showers, long bus journeys an’ constantly mo’in’ an’ not ha’in’ familiar surroundin’s got drainin’.’But ye amazin’ experiences that we had cancel out thar negati’es.’We realised we were comin’ towards t’end after about a year an’ four months. We were gettin’ very tired an’ planned out way aft home.’Thar family be now rentin’ a fully-furnished family home while they get aft on their feet. Rico an’ Tiana-Mae will start aft at school in a few weeks time.’It already feels like a distant dream but we have a different outlook on life now an’ we be all better people fer it’, said Andre.’We met some incredibly poor people an’ we have taken so many life lessons out o’it.’

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Blood, Sweat an' Rhinestones: How RuPaul Built a Mothertuckin' Empire Out o'Nothin'

“We’re all born naked an’ t’rest be drag.”
It’s a catchphrase oft repeated on RuPaul’s Drag Race, seen by some as nothin’ more than a cle’er bon mot meant t’dri’e home t’importance o’t’ competition, but fer RuPaul, t’brain behind thar phrase, it’s somethin’ more.
It’s a mantra that’s led ye multi-hyphenate personality t’his bountiful empire consistin’ o’a wildly successful reality TV franchise, 14 studio albums, three books, a podcast, an annual drag-themed con’ention an’ a line o’candy bars, not t’mention countless film an’ TV appearances in other folk’s creations, as he’s popularized an art form that exists t’defy thar very nature o’ye mainstream.
It’s a guidin’ light t’a career that seemed, t’a little boy born RuPaul Andre Charles in San Diego, Calif. on No’ember 17, 1960, not impossible, as it might t’hose cut from a less fabulous cloth, but entirely mothertuckin’ ine’itable. 

Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

“I knew that I would be famous an’ I knew that I would be a star, but I knew I couldn’t go directly t’Los Angeles. I knew, based on me readin’ Andy Warhol’s Inter’iew magazine, that I would have t’go t’New York, become a downtown superstar, an’ that would be thar way I could transfer into mainstream stardom an’ get into Hollywood. I’m tellin’ ye, I knew this at 12 years old,” Ru told Entertainment Weekly in 2016 o’his start. “So I mo’ed t’Atlanta when I was 15, went t’ye School o’Performin’ Arts, worked in me family business [sellin’ used cars] fer six years, an’ then started me act.”
An’ that act, honed down south before Ru attempted t’break into t’Grand Apple, was nothin’ like wha’ we’ve come t’expect from thar most famous drag queen in yonder world. An’ yet, it was entirely in step wi’ wha’ yonder iconoclast has always stood fer. “I decided t’start doin’ drag more as a way t’get a rise out o’t’ existin’ drag community an’ ye preppy Reagan ‘80s anti-disco story line. It was a way t’capture some o’that Warhol fun an’ make a statement,” he told thar publication. “Smeared lipstick an’ combat boots an’ ratty wigs. It was a great golden era o’drag—thar was a tradition an’ a language attached t’it. But we busted in an’ broke all thar rules.”

After an ill-fated move t’New York in 1984 saw Ru return t’Atlanta after only six months wi’ his tail between his legs, he began t’de’elop his original drag character, underco’er model Starrbooty, an’ a more femme approach t’ye act. “When I got into drag, straight men, straight women, e’erybody would go, ‘Bitch, damn.’ An’ I could feel it. I had ne’er felt it before. I knew I had power. An’ I knew that it was important fer me t’get a lot o’work done, where’er I was,” Ru explained. “I wrote an’ produced an’ put t’gether shows. I made about 16 Starrbootys, these trashy little mo’ies on VHS. Atlanta gave me thar freedom t’produce that kind o’stuff. Those 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell talks about [needin’ t’master anythin’]—that was that period fer me, between 1982 an’ 1992. Not makin’ a dime, but puttin’ in hard yards. I would write books. I would sell postcards at ye club. I would do whate’er it took t’make up thar credits fer those 10,000 hours.”
It was in Atlanta where he also met two young musicians Fenton Bailey an’ Randy Barbato, who would go on t’become seminal figures in Ru’s life an’ career. “When we met him, he was wheat-pastin’ posters o’himself that said, ‘RuPaul Be E’erythin’.’ I often think o’that moment because it was jus’ so symbolic in many ways,” Bailey recalled o’those early days. “It contained ye fundamental message o’Ru from ye beginnin’…An’ it was instant recognition. Ye couldn’t miss it. Like when ye see a UFO. Ye knew wha’ ye were seein’. He was a motherf–kin’ star.”

Ste’e Eichner/WireImage

In 1987, Ru returned t’New York an’ dove head-first into workin’ as a go-go dancer, buildin’ a name fer himself among thar Club Kids, gettin’ work from club impresario Suzanne Bartsch t’jus’ be RuPaul at her parties. But nothin’ was comin’ t’gether like Ru expected an’ a year later, as he was turnin’ 28, he’d already port t’city fer Los Angeles, sleepin’ on his younger sister’s couch, before returnin’ t’San Diego an’ his mother’s house. 
“I was at ye end o’me rope. I thought, ‘Could it be that this be not meant fer me?’ It was this horrible existence. An’ ‘un day, [matey an’ DJ] Larry Tee called me an’ said, “Ru, wha’ thar f–k be ye doin’? Ye be a f–kin’ star. Get yer ass aft t’New York. I will pay fer yer ticket. But get yer ass aft here an’ get yer s–t t’gether.’ An’ I did. Ye need those friends who be goin’ t’shake ye up an’ say, ‘Dorothy, wake up’ when ye get stuck in thar poppy field. So I got a plane ticket an’ decided I was goin’ t’f–kin’ sha’e these legs, I’m goin’ t’sha’e me chest, I’m goin’ t’put some f–kin’ titties in—rolled-up socks, not implants—an’ I’m goin’ t’go aft t’New York an’ give those bitches exactly wha’ they want from me. An’ o’ernight, I became t’star o’downtown.”

Gamma-Rapho wit’ Getty Images

After a grand-time featured appearance in ye B-52’s 1989 music video fer “Love Shack” gave Ru his first taste o’national exposure, he was literally crowned Queen o’Manhattan by a panel o’club owners an’ promoters. “An’ after me reign was done in September o’1990, I was ready t’move t’ next le’el,” Ru said. “So I went t’Randy an’ Fenton an’ in t’beginnin’ o’1991 they began t’manage me career.”
A lass-on-t’-street segment on Bailey an’ Barbato’s U.K. show Manhattan Cable came first, followed by thar single “Supermodel (Ye Better Work).” Rejected by most places around town, e’entually Monica Lynch at Tommy Boy Records, known primarily fer rap an’ hip-hop, sparked t’it an’ yonder track was released in No’ember 1992. Ru’s first studio album, appropriately entitled Supermodel o’thar World, followed in June an’ yonder single went on t’become ‘un o’1993’s best-sellin’ dance records. Suddenly, Ru was a household name across ye country, somethin’ he credits t’an appearance on Yonder Arsenio Hall Show that year. 

Porter Gifford/Liaison wit’ Getty Images

“That was ye moment when nothin’ would ever be t’same again. When I was ready t’go mainstream, I took t’sexualized raunchiness out. Thar glamazon supermodel was a caricature that ye could brin’ home t’meet Mom an’ Dad,” he explained. “I was well-spoken. I was Miss Black America.”
That same year, he transcended “famous drag queen” an’ became a burgeonin’ spokesman fer yonder gay rights mo’ement when he performed at thar LGBT March on Washington. “I knew, based on t’questions I was asked, that I had t’represent, an’ I knew that me days o’ha’in’ fun in drag were over. In yonder club world, it was so much fun. We would terrorize yonder neighborhoods an’ have a great time doin’ lots o’naughty, naughty thin’s,” Ru explained. “But I knew that those days were over as soon as I got ye news, because it was clear I had t’represent a faction o’society that had gone unnoticed an’ didn’t have a voice.”
“It was an iconic moment. Ru in front o’hundreds o’thousands o’people. It was a great moment in a great place,” Bailey added. “Ru has always said, ‘E’ery time I bat me eyelashes, it’s a political act.’ But it’s true. It felt like such a powerful statement about who we be as a society, where we’re tryin’ t’go, an’ wha’ we belie’e in.”

Gamma-Rapho wit’ Getty Images

T’ followin’ year, he made history, landin’ a modelin’ contract as thar first face o’MAC Cosmetics’ Viva Glam line. “It was very contro’ersial. Thar concerns were from our retail partners who were shocked by ye first images. Yonder first VIVA Glam poster had RuPaul spellin’ ye M wi’ his legs spread,” Frank Toskan, cofounded o’MAC, said. “We had customers that didn’t know wha’ t’make o’it. But we needed a voice—an’ a very loud ‘un—an’ he was it. Thar were questions in yonder beginnin’, but e’erybody applauded an’ celebrated us by thar end.”
Wi’ Ru’s fame takin’ off, it was time t’lea’e his club days behind, but not before a chance encounter on ye dance floor in 1994 brought him t’ love his life. “I met Georges on ye dance floor at Limelight in New York City, ye disco,” RuPaul said o’meetin’ his now-husband Georges LeBar, a rancher who runs a 50-acre ranch in Wyomin’ an’ South Dakota, in a 2013 episode o’OWN’s Oprah: Where Be They Now? “He was on t’dance floor dancin’ like a manic. I had t’go over an’ say, ‘Wha’ be ye goin’ through?’” he laughs. “An’ it’s also because he’s actually 6’7″, so he’s taller than I am—so o’course I had t’notice him.”
“He’s so kind an’ funny,” Ru said o’thar man he married in 2017 on thar anni’ersary o’yonder day they met in a 2015 inter’iew wi’ BuzzFeed. “I remember prayin’, ‘I want a sweet, sensiti’e man,’ an’ I got an Australian who’s jus’ lo’ely.”

As he began rackin’ up appearances in both TV an’ film—Sister, Sister, Ellen, Ye Brady Bunch Mo’ie an’ T’ Wong Foo, Thanks Fer E’erythin’, Julie Newmar, t’name a few—he was gi’en yonder opportunity t’host a mornin’ radio show on New York’s WKTU station in 1996, reunitin’ him wi’ Club Kid Michelle Visage, his future Drag Race partner-in-crime an’ Wha’’s thar Tee? podcast co-host. “An’ ‘un week, RuPaul walks in. An’ he sees me an’ he goes, ‘O’ course it’s ye. Who else would it be?’ That was ’96. I hadn’t seen him since ’92,” Visage recalled t’EW. “It was like kismet, an’ that’s where e’erythin’ started. It was ob’ious that this was thar team.”
Around t’same time, after his appearance at thar 1995 VH1 Fashion an’ Music Awards had stolen t’show, t’network approached Benton an’ Bailey’s production company World o’Wonder about creatin’ a show. An’ in 1996, T’ RuPaul Show was born, makin’ Ru national TV’s first openly gay talk show host, wi’ Visage as his sidekick. T’ show lasted fer 100 episodes, landin’ such high-stuff guests like Cher, Diana Ross an’ NSYNC.
“T’ guests we got were all based on people who spoke t’me sensibility. It wasn’t jus’ people promotin’ a book or mo’ie. We got Bea Arthur because we jus’ wanted Bea Arthur,” Ru explained. “Diana Ross was me first guest, an’ she was a pinch-me moment. Cher was a pinch-me moment. They really all were.”
T’ schedule was gruelin’, though. “Ru an’ I would go t’New Jersey at 4:15 in ye mornin’ t’do our radio show, an’ then pack up an’ go right t’ studio in thar city an’ film aft-t’-aft episodes o’ Yonder RuPaul Show,” Visage explained. “Then we’d go home, undrag, an’ do it all again t’next day.”

Ahead o’its time, yonder show was abruptly canceled in 1998. “We did wha’ we thought America could be ready fer, but thar were tons o’folks who jus’ didn’t get it, who were uncomfortable wi’ thar idea o’a gay man in drag. I know that from a network perspecti’e, it was very tough fer ad sales t’sell t’premium sponsors,” Lauren Zalaznick, former VH1 de’elopment exec, recalled. “An’ thar was some difficulty in bookin’ yonder show. It wasn’t huge in ratin’s, but in all honesty, I think thar was resistance t’puttin’ a very grand artist or a particularly straight male artist wi’ a straight male fanbase on a drag queen’s talk show.”
Uninterested in returnin’ t’ye club scene an’ ha’in’ parted ways wi’ Tommy Boy Records, Ru made t’decision t’ake a hiatus. ‘un that would last nearly eight years. “By t’ime 1998 came around an’ thar VH1 show ended, I decided I needed t’move out t’LA t’reclaim me own personal rhythm. I became sober. I started ha’in’ afternoon parties fer me family an’ friends t’get aft into real life,” he explained. “An’ it came about at a time when thar was a change in t’air, politically, an’ a hostility I could feel. I knew I needed t’step away. An’ when I look aft at those years, they’re so important. I got t’be myself again an’ remember wha’ that be.”

Ru wouldn’t release new music until 2004’s Red Hot, around thar same time he an’ Visage nearly returned t’ radio. That show fell apart before it began, but Ru was ready fer a return. An’ when World o’Wonder hired Tom Campbell as its head o’de’elopment in 2006, he was ready t’ask yonder important questions. Namely, “Why aren’t we doin’ somethin’ wi’ RuPaul?”
“When I came aft t’show business, I was doin’ it fer different reasons—color an’ music an’ love an’ laughter an’ beauty an’ dancin’ an’ creati’ity. All o’those reasons why I get out o’bed in yonder mornin’,” Ru explained. “I was very close t’not comin’ aft, t’sayin’ I want t’do somethin’ else. But when I finally did come aft, I was inspired.”
“Ru had said, ‘I’ll do anythin’ but a competition elimination show.’ So we spent three or four days comin’ up wi’ a loosely scripted show, like Strangers Wi’ Candy,” Campbell explained. “An’ Ru goes, ‘This be great, but ye know wha’? We should do a reality competition show.’” He landed on thar “drag racin’” play on words than e’entually sold Ru on ye concept, but had trouble gettin’ any mainstream networks t’bite. 
Enter: Logo.
Ye young LGBTQ-centric network had only been in existence since 2005 an’ were willin’ t’ake a chance, but even they were hesitant on puttin’ drag on thar air at first. “Drag had been pitched around a bit prior, but as soon as ye have RuPaul in that con’ersation, it changes it, because ye actually get yonder magnitude o’it,” Pam Post, SVP o’programmin’, admitted. “Somebody who had had international success, really, be thar only landlubber who could be yonder cornerstone o’a franchise like that.”

Phil McCarten/In’ision fer yonder Tele’ision Academy/AP Images

Ye scrappy little series debuted in 2009, shot in a modest studio in Burbank. An’ it was no o’ernight success. “E’erythin’ about Ru’s career has been a slow rise,” Barbato said. “Thar were a lot o’people—not jus’ mainstream but gay people—who heard about it an’ said, ‘I’m not goin’ t’watch a drag show.’ So I think it’s been a natural e’olution, this slow burn word o’mouth.”
An’ wi’ each consecuti’e season, that word o’mouth brought more an’ more eyeballs, helpin’ ye show transcend its initial gay niche status t’become wha’ it be today: A global phenomenon. It’s welcomed guest judges as high-stuff as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga an’ Ariana Grande. It’s graduated from its Logo home an’ mo’ed t’VH1. It’s gi’en rise t’DragCon, t’annual con’entions held in Los Angeles an’ New York City t’celebrate Ru, his Drag Race girls, an’ all thin’s drag. It’s won t’freakin’ Outstandin’ Reality Show Program Emmy two years in a row. An’ it’s gi’en Ru his newest identity: Mama Ru.

Fer a little boy who jus’ set out t’be famous, he’s done that an’ more, becomin’ a pioneerin’ force an’ a role model t’youth around thar globe. “I ne’er set out t’be a role model, I may have set out t’be a super model, but not a role model,” he told Vogue UK in 2018. “But I accept ye responsibility an’ it’s an honor.”
Though it may seem like thar’s plenty o’steam port in Ru’s career—after hoppin’ across thar pond t’host Drag Race U.K. an’ gi’in’ a daytime talk show a shot, thar’s a Netflix series on t’way, not t’mention a potential J.J. Abrams series based on Ru’s life—he’s aware that it’s time t’start thinkin’ about wha’ his legacy might be. 
“I’m tryin’ t’be a curator t’me philosophy. I didn’t come up wi’ it, but I carry ye torch o’a philosophy that many people laid down before me: Learnin’ t’love yerself,” he told EW. “That’s wha’ it’s about. Maybe I’m jus’ doin’ it wi’ a pair o’cha-cha heels.”
Can we get an amen?
(Originally published on No’ember 17, 2018 at 6 a.m. PT.)

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T' New Bachelor Promo Features a Plane an' a Windmill, Jus' Like We Asked Fer

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