Latest Refinery29 News
Nov 30, 2021
Rachel Murray/Getty Images Unbothered is a Refinery29 community for and about Black women, with the objective of highlighting the beauty, strength and power that the Black woman embodies.The brand, which is currently Refinery29's most popular channel, was founded in 2017 by black employees who wanted to see themselves reflected internally and externally. Keke Palmer, actress, singer and television personality, teamed up with Unbothered to debut “The Hookup”, a live dating experience at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in Los Angeles. Drinking, dining, and dancing were all part of the event's programming, with the ultimate goal of setting guests up for matchmaking. Palmer's new video series Keke's Korner, which examines issues like love and relationships, was the inspiration for the live event. Thanks to Palmer and her creative partner Lenoria Addison's vision, the event brought together Black singles with the purpose of restoring the art of in-person dating as people emerge from their social cocoons. INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: Lenoria Addison and Keke Palmer attend Refinery29's Unbothered, ... [+] 'The Hookup' at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen Rachel Murray/Getty Images "I love Unbothered because of the platform they've created for Black women to share their real stories. I'm so excited to be partnering with them to seek out more of those stories and curate conversations that reflect our culture," says Palmer. "You may have seen us in the streets getting into some real talk about cuffing season for Keke's Korner and it was so rewarding to bring that to life at “The Hookup” last night. MORE FOR YOU Palmer was thrilled to play cupid and create some love matches for people looking for a place where they were encouraged to date. "If the worst thing you do is make a new friend at the end of the day, you're making progress," Addison said of her expectations for the event. “We just want guests to have a good time and put themselves out there to meet new people. We're focusing on teaching people how to be courageous in love and dating." The evening included a tribute to the 2000s era and decor. A guest photobooth, curated question cards, and special love-themed beverages helped the daters break the ice. During this evening of old-school fun, Palmer led guests through the night with date-friendly activities like dining roulette and trivia. DJ Iesha Irene played music that was specially selected to help people unwind. Attendees were handed two unique calling cards at the start of the evening on which they could share their contact information with potential dating partners. INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: Refinery29's Unbothered and Keke Palmer present 'The Hookup' at ... [+] Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen Rachel Murray/Getty Images “I think the art of dating has become atrophied through social media and dating apps. That's why I wanted to include aspects that would help them break the ice and stay on the traditional dating path. We've lost the ability to dance and have meaningful conversations. We wanted to encourage daters to do so. I observed how much fun they were having, especially with the speed dating round and the friendly to frisky cards, and I realized that it's something that people desire just as much as I do.” Chelsea Sanders, Vice President of Multicultural Brand Strategy and Development at Refinery29's Unbothered, wanted to make the dating event less of a guessing game. “Since the pandemic, we’ve forgotten how to date. We wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere where people could really get to know one another. Our Unbothered audience is mostly made up of Black women who enjoy watching Black Love, so we wanted to give them a chance to witness it first hand. We simply wanted everyone to feel connected, regardless of whether they left with love or a hookup." It's all about celebrating the experience of being a Black woman at Unbothered. According to Sanders, the speed dating part was included to mix up the dating experience by allowing the women to choose who they wanted to meet. "The males will move, but the women will remain stationary. We're giving our ladies the option of dating whomever they want." Palmer would like to tour multiple cities, similar to Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out show, which travels to different locations. The goal is to allow individuals to meet new people in their particular cities and find similar people who are looking to date seriously. Each city's unique elements will be used to curate the themes. "I want to make it so that we are immersed in the experience, not outside of it, not producing it, but genuinely experiencing it," Palmer continues. This is my way of giving back to my generation; I want to encourage them to go offline and remind people what it's like to meet, communicate, and see each other in person. It's possible to have a good time while looking for love.” Follow on socials @r29unbothered @keke @noraradd Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn . Check out my website .