For decades these seasonal jewelry commercials have portrayed ladies at Christmas losing their frigidity at the sight of a diamond solitaire. While the O-face remains a constant feature in the ads, the message has somewhat evolved. The ads used to be aimed at men — “Wrap me in gold this Christmas!” a blonde coos in a Zales commercial from the late 80s. Now, the ads are aimed at women. The gift recipients aren’t sexy models, but moms in mom haircuts with babies.
Six years ago, I grew a beard, mostly because, clean-shaven, I looked like I was still 17 years old. I invested in some good shirts and stylish blazers—not office-drone garb, but clothes I felt comfortable in. And, of course, I got married and had kids and bought an apartment. Inside, I felt no different from before—small, nervous, new to everything—but apparently I was. Or, quite possibly, the world was different, not in its essence but in how it viewed me. My own children, for example, will never see me as anything but a grown-up, and as they age, the kids of her generation will see me that way, too. One day, my daughters may look at me as I looked at my own father, and think: How am I ever going to become that?
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A small community of fundamentalist Mormons, about 15 polygamist and monogamist families, have established a unique home for themselves, living in modern homes literally carved into the side of a massive sandstone rock in the desert south of Moab, Utah. Rockland Ranch, informally called “The Rock,” was founded about 35 years ago by Robert Dean Foster, who set out to create a safe, remote space for a Christian community that embraced plural marriage. Large houses were built by using dynamite to blast caves into the sandstone cliff, then finished into relatively modern homes complete with running water, electricity, internet access, and more. Reuters photographer Jimmy Urquhart was recently invited to visit and photograph The Rock, and returned with these images, a rare glimpse into a unique Utah community.
Read more. [Images: Reuters/Jim Urquhart]