Things That Matter

Here’s Why Pinterest And The Knot Are Finally Prohibiting Slave Plantation Wedding Content From Their Sites

Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide are two of the largest online wedding planning platforms in the United States. The two organizations are implementing new policies so that some content related to slave plantation weddings can no longer be promoted on the websites, according to BuzzFeed News.

The two companies are taking two different approaches to moderating how former plantations market themselves on the services. While the Knot Worldwide is policing certain language, Pinterest is taking things further by restricting some content altogether. 

The Knot Worldwide thinks language is the source of the issue.

“We want to make sure we’re serving all our couples and that they don’t feel in any way discriminated against,” chief marketing officer of the Knot Worldwide, which owns the Knot and WeddingWire, Dhanusha Sivajee told BuzzFeed News.

Content that glorifies the history of former Southern slave plantations, which are quite often used as wedding venues, will be prohibited. The way these regulations will be enforced is by reviewing the language used to describe these historical locations of mass abuse and white supremacy. 

Plantations will still be allowed on the Knot and WeddingWire, but vendors cannot refer to them as “elegant” or “charming” because people were once forced into labor, banned from literacy, and beaten to name a few of the horrors that regularly occurred on such properties. 

The new language guidelines refer to all wedding venues because some former plantations have tried to move away from that legacy in name.

“You can imagine there could be former plantations that maybe have changed their names to manors or farms,” Sivajee said. 

Pinterest is taking a more hardline approach on plantation weddings. 

The content on Pinterest is user-generated and the platform is essentially used as a search engine to find inspiration. A company spokesperson told BuzzFeed that it is working with Google to de-index searches for plantation weddings. 

When users try to find plantation wedding content it will no longer turn up and if such content does appear, users will see an advisory that the content may violate the terms of use. Pinterest will not allow plantation weddings to be promoted through their advertisement service either. 

“Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things,” a Pinterest spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them.”

A civil rights advocacy group, Color of Change, is largely responsible for these new policies. 

“The decision to glorify plantations as nostalgic sites of celebration is not an empowering one for the Black women and justice-minded people who use your site,” the organization wrote to the Knot. 

The Knot Worldwide says they are working closely with Color of Change to determine the best course of action with the new guidelines which will be rolled out in the coming weeks. 

“Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen,” the letter said. “The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry.”

Slave plantations were able to “rebrand” themselves as romantic venues.

Celebrities (and people who don’t care about slavery) like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds notoriously wed at Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina. In 2018, the couple was called out of for their wedding again six years later. In Marie Claire’s coverage of the backlash, journalist Pippa Nerada wrote, “Boone Hall Plantation, South Carolina, is an (admittedly beautiful) house that was, like most of its kind, built by slaves.” 

Plantations weren’t merely built by slaves, they were where those slaves were tortured and raped, but it appears even reporters must insert that such locations are “admittedly beautiful.” 

Arisa Hatch, VP of Color of Change, says the organization is trying to uncover, “all the different ways that the wedding industry is disrespecting black folks by romanticizing … forced labor camps that brutalized millions of slaves.”

These attitudes that celebrate the Antebellum era come in the wake of tourists complaining that plantation tours, which allow visitors to view plantations for historical purposes, focus too much on slavery or don’t portray white people nicely enough

Margaret Biser, who worked as a plantation tour guide wrote in Vox that people would ask if slaves got paid, try to shut down conversations about slavery, tried to get her to admit that slavery wasn’t that bad, tried to assert that slaveowners housed slaves out of benevolence, and asked if slaves were loyal to their masters.

“All the misconceptions discussed here serve to prop up one overarching and incorrect belief: that slavery wasn’t really all that bad,” Biser wrote. “And if even slavery was supposedly benign, then how bad can the struggles faced by modern-day people of color really be?”

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Millennials Are Replacing Engagement Rings With Diamonds Pierced Into Their Fingers

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Millennials Are Replacing Engagement Rings With Diamonds Pierced Into Their Fingers

Pixabay

The centuries-old tradition of proposing with an engagement ring is facing a new challenger. Because if Instagram is anything to go by, engagement finger piercings are now a thing. Yup, some people are now choosing to declare their eternal love for each other with a diamond piercing instead of an actual ring. Here’s how it works.

Dermal piercings are the latest trend replacing engagement rings.

Getting your ears pierced (probably in the window of Claires, with your friends surrounding you) is a rite of passage for most 13-year-olds. But this isn’t that kind of piercing. It’s called a dermal piercing or (to those in the medical profession) a transdermal implant. It’s hardcore and when done right can look pretty cool.

Also known as microdermals, anchors, dermal anchors, and single-point piercings.

They refer to any piercing that lies on a flat surface of the body – in this case, the finger – and is held in place with an ‘anchor’ that is implanted beneath the skin. Ouch. The jewelry then sits on the surface of the skin, making it look like there are gems or beads on the body.

How Does a Dermal Piercing Work?

PSA to all weak-stomached readers: skip this paragraph. First, a qualified technician will sterilize the area and then use either a dermal punch on to remove a small tube of flesh, or a needle to make an L-shaped pouch, then, using dermal forceps, an anchor with either a footed or round base is inserted into the area.

How long does a dermal piercing last?

While you might not get a choice about what type of dermal base is used, there are several variations. Some are punctured with holes so that the tissue can grow in and around the piercing while others have pivoting feet that keep the piercing in place over time – FYI this is V. important as these little accessories have a habit of migrating and rejecting over time (if this happens to you speak to your piercer STAT as a displaced piercing can be fixed as long as you act fast!).

So why are people opting for piercings?

One reason might be cost: tAccording to recent surveys, most American couples expect to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on an engagement ring, while dermals come in at around $70.

But there are lots of potential complications.

A dermatological expert told the BBC, “If the piercing is not deep enough there is a risk of it moving, known as migration. If it is too deep the skin begins to grow over the piercing, known as embedding. Other risks include inflammation, scarring and infection – particularly if it is on the hands, as is the case with these particular piercings.” They also point out that, “Another problem with having a dermal piercing on your hand is the increased likelihood of it catching on something.”

… Let’s just take a second for that to sink in.

If the mere thought of your ring piercing catching on your clothes or hair isn’t enough to put you off, some piercing studios have said they won’t do dermal piercings on people’s fingers, for that very reason. So if you’re thinking of getting a finger piercing, keep in mind that it will hurt, it could migrate, embed itself, or get infected, and you may accidentally rip your finger skin off while putting on a sweater —all in the name of love. You have been warned.

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California Groomed Killed At His Own Wedding By Alleged Party Crashers

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California Groomed Killed At His Own Wedding By Alleged Party Crashers

Melgoza Family

A Chino, California groom was beaten to death by two uninvited men that crashed his wedding reception. Joe Melgoza was attending his reception which started Saturday evening and went on until Sunday morning. The party was held in his sister’s backyard.

When two wedding crashers showed up, 30-year-old Melgoza tried to fight them off. The brawl would result in Melgoza’s death from a blunt force head trauma, according to NBC News. Now his family is mourning during what should have been a wonderful time in Melgoza’s life.

Two strangers crash Melgoza’s wedding.

Police identified the two men as brothers Rony and Josue Castañeda Ramirez. They didn’t know the groom but lived in the neighborhood. There was some confusion at first because it was a wedding reception with two massive families. 

Because it was such a big party and it was two big families, we just assumed that somebody knew them because they were right there among us,” Velasquez told Oxygen.com.

The brothers were eventually asked to leave and they did. But they came back to the reception armed with bats. 

“Those cowards came back with bats. They were in the alley and it was dark… My brother tried to go get them. They pulled him into the house and they killed him,” Andy Velasquez, Melgoza’s brother, told NBC. 

The groom’s family believes he was just trying to protect his family from the invaders when he and his brother-in-law chased them into a dark alley. 

“They were in the alley and it was dark,” Velasquez told NBC. “My brother tried to go get them.”

Police responded to a fight at 2:20 AM on Sunday morning, according to CBS News. When they arrived, officers found a huge crowd and the two alleged attackers. 

When police heard of another victim that was missing, authorities discovered Melgoza’s body in the backyard of a different home. 

The victim, later identified as 30-year-old Joe Steven Melgoza, suffered blunt force trauma to his head. Officers began life-saving efforts, and Melgoza was transported to Chino Valley Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries,” the Chino police said in a statement. 

The brothers have been arrested by law enforcement.

The two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and are being held without bail. According to Oxygen, who reviewed the criminal complaint, they both have been charged with first-degree murder and two accounts of assault with a deadly weapon.

“They don’t have any relationship to the victim or anybody else at the reception,” Sgt. Dustin Tomicic told Oxygen.com.

Melgoza leaves behind his siblings, widow, and 11-year-old daughter. Melgoza had full custody of his daughter who will now be cared for by her grandmother and siblings. 

“You could see it in his face, how happy he was,” his widow said.  “Just the way he looked at me all day.”

Velasquez told Oxygen that he was heartbroken he didn’t get to say goodbye to Melgoza, his last words to his brother were, “You know I got you forever, bro, you know this.” The family has started a GoFundMe page for the father’s funeral services.

“He always had a way to make you smile. He was there for you at any time to give a helping hand. He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way,” Melgoza’s cousin Alice Alvarez wrote on the GoFundMe page. “He leaves behind his daughter Lilly who will be in good hands with Joe’s family. We are asking for your support in this time for Joe’s services and for his little girl Lilly. Isela, Joe’s mom is devastated, heartbroken and is having a hard time processing it all.” 

Strangers chip in to support Melgoza’s family.

The fundraiser has surpassed its $20,000 goal with $30,973 from 817 donors thus far. It’s been shared over 3.3 thousand times. 

I do not know Mr. Melgoza or his family, but I read his story and I want to help. I’m so sorry for this terrible tragedy. I hope this small donation helps. He seems like a wonderful father and husband. My sincerest condolences to the family,” one donor named Pat Geil said on the GoFundMe page. 

Melgoza started dating his widow Esther Bustamente just a year before the wedding, but they had known each other for a decade. The family told Oxygen the wedding was beautiful up until the tragic end. 

“He showed me how to be a man, how to be a father, how to work hard, how to be responsible. I don’t know what I’m going to do without my brother. He was there for me, always. He guided me through everything,” Velasquez said.

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