Category Archives: celebrities

It’s Too Cold for This Shit.

And by this shit, I mean absolutely everything.  Seriously.  I usually try and embrace all of the seasons and take them in stride,  “Hey, it’s winter, pretty soon we’ll be complaining about how hot it is!”  I  even believe myself most of the time.  After today, though, when I waited a cumulative 47 minutes outside in subzero wind chills for the CTA, after I slipped going down the stairs, after my I got my stupid coat sleeve wet trying to wash my hands, after I was pushed out of the way by a full grown man for a bus seat, after I dropped my glove and bus card onto the disgusting floor, after I stepped off the bus into a pile of slush up to my ankle, I surrender.  This is a big, huge, miserable bucket of suck and I would give my yet-to-be-conceived firstborn for a single afternoon swimming in Lake Michigan.  Taking a shower in the morning is the happiest part of my day because it is the only ten minutes of the day I’m actually warm.

  • It is too cold to go to the grocery store.  I will make a meal out of zucchini and cream cheese if I have to.
  • It is too cold for that stupid Erin Andrews probiotics commercial.
  • It is too cold to talk about anything other than how cold it is and how much worse next week is going to be.
  • It is too cold for every single living soul to turn into an amateur weatherman.  Today I heard everything from six inches of snow to 40 degrees tomorrow.
  • It is too cold to mop the floors a-fucking-gain.
  • It is too cold to listen to one more word about Justin Bieber and the fact that he acts very similar to 70% of 19-year-olds in the United States and it is too cold to scroll through the hundred or so memes that have already been created and are running rampant on Facebook.   Two things about this: One, if he was a well-loved superstar to adults instead of teenagers here on a Visa and we were making jokes about deportation, the country would be up in arms. He’s not selling government secrets; he’s an idiot teenager    Two, one of the most popular memes thus far is a split-shot of the Biebs and a tough looking criminal with a caption along the lines of “Oh, I’m gonna love you!”  Wait, so rape jokes are okay if we don’t like someone’s music or attitude?  Come on.
  • It is too cold to watch one more fluffed up weatherperson – who is almost always a perky little girl – standing outside in frigid temperatures telling us how cold it is.  WE KNOW.  WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE HER STAND OUTSIDE??
  • It is too cold to remove the plastic Christmas decorations from my front yard because their cords have been frozen to the ground for three weeks.
  • It is too cold to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because no matter how high the heat is, the toilet seat is like fucking ice.
  • It is definitely too cold for this idiot, Republican GOP candidate Susanne Atanus, who believes “God controls the weather and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are his punishments for the gay rights movement and abortions.”  In other news, Santa Claus really does travel the entire world in one night giving gifts to good, deserving (heterosexual) children and the Easter Bunny is totally real.
  • It is too cold to even enjoy the beautifulness that is Harry Connick Jr. on American Idol because J-Lo is wearing a dress without a snowsuit over it and it makes me mutter incomprehensible things like, “I bet SHE didn’t almost freeze to the front gate trying to get in.  I bet her stupid front door wasn’t frozen shut.”  (True story.  That was when it was actually 20 below as opposed to balmy 7 degrees we’re enjoying right now.)
  • It is too cold for Captain and Tenille to get divorced.  WTF???
  • It is too cold to be sitting at the laptop with two fur-covered animals just staring at me instead of keeping my feet warm.
  • It is too cold to not have a fireplace.
  • It is too cold to not be dressed like Randy from a Christmas Story and I hate scarves.
  • It is too cold to drive a car.
  • It is too cold to enjoy national media pointing out how miserable it is here.  Jimmy Fallon has polar vortex songs and I can’t even be happy about them.

I am declaring this weekend Summer in January.  The heat’s going up to 80, static electricity be damned – hey, the ensuing fire will only create more heat!!! – we’re getting beach cocktails, spreading out a blanket on the floor, and only playing Jimmy Buffett for 24 hours.  Who’s with me??

Four short months ago.

Four short months ago.

Christmas List

Dear Santa,

I know you’re busy this time of year.  I know you’re probably inundated with adorable letters from adorable children; children who have probably spent their year trying to be good instead of calling people doucheboxes on the internet and secretly harboring fantasies of tripping people on the bus that were mean to them like I have.  So I’m not going to ask for anything too crazy or expensive, because I just might not deserve it.  But I’ve put together a list that I think will benefit everyone should you choose to grant any of my Christmas wishes.

1.  No more twerking.

2.  A do-over button on Candy Crush for when you notice the move you should have made right after swiping out something useless.

3.  A worldwide, yearlong ban on Kanye West’s name being mentioned in the media.  If any media outlet slips up and runs a story on him or even says his name, they face a punishment of spending an entire day with him and Kim telling each other how amazing, special, and talented they are.  No breaks, even for vomiting.

4.  The Blacklist should be a weekly show all year long – none of this “Season Finale” nonsense until we find Red.

5.  A pop-up box on Facebook anytime a user tries to share a story that says, “Are you sure?  Have you checked Snopes?”

6.  Speaking of Facebook, AnE1 WhO PoSTs a STaTus ThAt LoOks lieK DIs has to go back to third grade for two days.

7. Ditto to anyone who says “supposably,” “irregardless,” or “Valentimes day.”

8.  Every year at this time, we retire one awful Christmas song in the rotation and replace it with a new, good one.  This year I vote we switch “Wonderful Christmastime,” with “Underneath the Tree.”  Sorry, Sir Paul, but Kelly Clarkson rocks that shit and your song?  SUCKS.  So hard.

9.  My neighbor to please drop his new habit of whistling like a mass murderer as he’s walking up the stairs in the middle of the night so as to ease my night terrors.

10. Please let Jay Cutler not throw any interceptions in the endzone this Sunday; I simply cannot handle any more controversy.  (I know this will happen before Christmas, but trust me as I believe in you, if you lived in Chicago, you would feel my pain.)

11. Every news story about a celebrity or athlete being arrested or just generally being a moron is to be counteracted by a story of an athlete or celebrity doing something good.  There are more like Andre Johnson than there are like Lindsay Lohan.

12. Anyone cataloguing the triumphant exploits of their Elf on a Shelf must also show the aftermath, whether that be the cleanup or the careful explanation of why Elfie was in the car with Barbie to begin with.

13. On a personal note, I would like a nonstick pan.  And by nonstick pan, I mean nonstick even when it comes to eggs, or at least an honest advertisement which states, “Nonstick unless you are cooking eggs, in which case you’re going to be really mad trying to clean this.”

Pretty please Santa?  If you can’t accommodate them all, maybe just a few?  Or if you only pick one, can it please be the Kanye ban?

Merry Christmas,

Courtney

Also, can I get my cat to sit still long enough to take a fun picture like this?

Also, can I get my cat to sit still long enough to take a fun picture like this?

 

 

 

 

Blame the Media! Blame the Media!

I saw this video yesterday entitled “How the Media Failed Women in 2013,” and it confused the hell out of me.  It’s only about three minutes long, take a look.

Am I the only one that thinks the message got a little lost here?  Don’t get me wrong, overall, I think The Representation Project, which produced the video, has a great mission and anyone striving to make the world a better and fairer place should be commended.  But this particular video completely missed the mark to me for a couple of reasons.

One, women did a lot of great things this year.  The first part of the video supposedly focuses on this, but I lost the plot.  How is the Hunger Games and Gravity  breaking box-office records a win for women?  Because it’s a strong female lead?  That’s great and all, but we can’t just skim over the fact that two stunning, Oscar-winning actresses starred in said movies and that just *might* have had something to do with it.  Malala Yousafzai being named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people?  Yes.  GoDaddy veering away from the sexual in their multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad and sticking with humor?  NO.  Not the same thing.  Not even close.  Aside from the fact that one is fighting for women’s rights in a war-torn country at an age where most American girls are still getting a allowance and one is changing their advertising – the real reason they’re not doing those commercials is because they were stupid, awful commercials, despite the pretty and talented women involved.  I promise you they’re not changing their tune out of respect to women. It’s simply a poor example.  What is being celebrated here is a lack of perceived sexism as opposed to actual accomplishments, and it defeats the purpose.

Which brings me to the second part of the video, where we start to see how far we have to go.  In this segment, there’s several clips of current advertisements, music videos, and performances all portraying women in a sexual manner.  There’s Rihanna in her own music video, Miley Cyrus in a performance she helped design – and seriously, we all just need to get the fuck over that one – Megan Fox on a magazine cover.  To say that they are being sexualized and exploited is ridiculous.  These are grown women who are using their sexuality and talent to make money and achieve celebrity and there is nothing wrong with that.  They aren’t the victims we somehow we want them to be.  But by victimizing them, we make them into poor misguided little girls who don’t know up from down or left from right instead of the strong, confident women they are.  Which only perpetuates the stereotype that women are easily confused and will blindly go along with whatever the media tells them they should.  We live in a world where sex and beauty sells.  What do you want them to do – put on their sweats and recite math problems onstage to prove a point?

Also, since when are we offended that attractive people are being cast in commercials to sell products?  This part of the video targets commercials showing attractive women in bikinis because again, this can only be perceived as exploitative and misogynistic.  Untrue.  Why don’t they show average looking people in their commercials?  I’ll tell you.  Because one wants to see me chowing a giant Carl’s Jr. cheeseburger in a bikini.  TRUST.  I certainly don’t want to.  Here’s the thing.  What do we want to happen differently here?  What should a commercial for Axe Body Spray be?  Explain it to me.  Don’t use anyone who fits society’s standard of beauty, male or female, and make it interesting and suggestive to the prospective buyer.  It’s for Axe freaking Body Spray.  Why are we placing one iota of importance on their commercial?

The last portion of the video has nothing to do with the sexualization of women, nor is it exploitative.  To me, it’s a hundred times more terrifying than seeing a woman in weird bikini dancing with a foam finger.  Why?  Because it’s not commercials, it’s not advertising, it’s not music videos.  Nor, to be clear, is it a misrepresentation of women.  It is actual comments from men, both elected officials and media personalities alike, in regards to women in positions of power.  Comments like, “Well, you can’t do that, to be fair…women just haven’t done that much.”  Men lamenting the fact that the changing the hats the military wears to something more unisex actually has a headline that reads, “Military switching to girly hats.”  Fox News, “We only have the prostate, the women have the breasts, the ovaries, the uterus,” in regards to women paying more for health care due to having more working parts, apparently.  Fox News again, “I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but…” which is a sentence that has no possible acceptable ending.  Fox News yet again, “Know your role, and shut your mouth,” to the lone female on the panel.  Perhaps the most frightening, a headline from the New York Post that reads, “No Wonder Bill’s Afraid!” next to a picture of Hillary Clinton.  Why is this the worst, you ask?  Because Hillary Clinton was the fucking Secretary of State at the time, furious regarding one of the most maligned operations of the United States and somehow this headline tried to  reduce her to a hysterical female and elevate her husband – who held no office at the time – as the more important party to the story.

Let’s pick our battles, shall we?  Let’s concentrate on getting ignorance – both male and female – out of office and making our decisions.  I don’t know about you, but I’m much more concerned that an elected official in the United States of America believes that women have super abilities which make their bodies able to distinguish rape from consensual sex than I am about what Robin Thicke’s backup dancers are wearing. I’m much more worried about the fact that people like Rush Limbaugh still have a following than I am about the fact that Flo-Rida’s latest video has half-dressed girls in it.

The fact remains that WE are the ones watching this.  WE are the ones demanding it.  We can’t keep blaming the media for clamoring to provide exactly what we’re asking for.  They aren’t going to change their content until we change the channel.

Yeah, I feel really fucking sorry for this girl.

Yeah, I feel really fucking sorry for this girl.

Excuse Me, I Have a Tiny Violin I Want to Hit You With

I don’t read gossip magazines.  I don’t follow celebrity blogs or Twitter feeds, I don’t watch E! or Extra or TMZ.  To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure if those are the “popular” celebrity sites or shows; those are just the ones I remember flipping past on the television when I do watch my late night reruns.  Part of the reason is that it makes me feel old – either they’re showing videos and photos people like Dakota Fanning and Abigail Breslin doing grown up things when in my head, they are permanently ten years old – or they make me feel dirty and old, i.e. showing a picture of Taylor Lautner shirtless and I’m all “Ooh, yummy,” until I remember that he was probably still in diapers when I graduated high school and then I’m all, “Ew, I’m old enough to be a cougar,” and have a drink instead of continuing to hurt my own feelings.  Another part of the reason?  Is that I despise everything Kim Kardashian and it is fucking impossible to watch any sort of gossip/celebrity show without that stupid bag of hair smiling beatifically for a photo-op with that walking piece of arrogance she’s engaged to.

But the biggest reason of all is shit like this interview with Mariah Carey in which she compares her time on American Idol to working with Satan every day. I had to read the whole thing because I thought to myself, “That’s impossible.  She wouldn’t actually say something so ridiculous.”  She did.  Read the article.  Her exact words? “It was like going to work every day in hell with Satan.”

Really, Mariah?  Was it really so bad?  Was it really just so, so, very difficult to get paid 18 fucking million dollars to judge a talent show?  18 million dollars.  Do you have any concept of how much money that actually is?

 

THINGS I WOULD DO FOR 18 MILLION DOLLARS

Yes – Pretty much anything

No – Eat a baby

I once had a manager when I was waiting tables whose night was not complete unless he made someone cry.  He would scream profanities at you that didn’t even make sense, “Fucking yes bread is slow stop waiting dammit go!” “Don’t care steak broken fryer!” and my favorite, a horrifying Hunger Games version of red light green light, “Get out! Where are you going! Get that out!  Get back here! What are you waiting for?! Pay attention and stop!” until you were slip sliding in your own sweat holding a full tray of food above your head with one hand, questioning every life choice you ever made.  Do you know how much money I made doing that four or five times a week for three years, Mary Poppins?  Three dollars an hour.  And do you know what else?  I did it with a fucking smile, because I had a job and I was grateful. How long would you make it in a regular job, Ms. Mariah?  As a mail carrier, a receptionist, a customer service rep?  A nurse, a social worker, a teacher?  You’re a very lucky woman.  You were born with an extraordinary talent that you’ve used to your advantage, which ensures that you will never actually have to “work,” in the real world a day in your life.  From what the article stated, part of your problem is that Nicki Minaj called you “insecure,” and “bitter.”  Instead of having the audacity to feel sorry for yourself, prove her wrong.  Take a look around and be happy and humble at what life has provided you with. Or at least get a better publicist that will advise you against complaining about the show that paid you 18 million dollars in one year to sit on a stage and look pretty.

Yes.  SHHHHH.  Dummy.

Yes. SHHHHH. Dummy.

 

Great. Now I’m Dysfunctional, Too.

I recently came across the blog post, as I’m sure many of you did, by Matt Walsh entitled, “Abstinence is Unrealistic and Old Fashioned.”  In it, he details a letter written to him by a high school fan who felt uncomfortable with his desire to wait until marriage to have sex after his health teacher called his approach outdated and old fashioned.  It’s an interesting subject, and I certainly don’t envy the high school health teachers of today who have to teach it.  We’ve put them – at least in public schools – in an impossible position; yes, you have to teach sex education because our students are having sex, but don’t glorify it because we really don’t want them to.

I’m a fan of Matt Walsh.  I don’t always agree with him; in fact, I often don’t agree with him, but I like his style and conviction.  That being said, his response to this particular subject?  Pissed me off.  Anyone who blogs – myself included, and believe me, I understand that not everyone believes that all bus drivers and Dominick’s customers are sadists who simply want me to explode in public – writes with a broad stroke, tending to stereotype both sides of an argument.  I’m right, you’re wrong, here’s why.  I get that.  But while I hope that the fan who wrote the letter sticks to his own convictions, it’s because they are HIS opinions, his thoughts, and his beliefs.  Not because his perspective is “right,” but because when it comes to sex, your own convictions and beliefs are the only ones that matter.

So to his scathing response, in which he accuses the teacher of being a gossipy teenager at a sleepover and likens her to a bully out to humiliate those who choose to abstain; where he challenges that any sex outside of marriage is dirty, wrong, and casual; and calls anyone who had an enjoyable sexual encounter before marriage a liar – I have a few counterpoints.

No Matter What You Believe, Teaching Abstinence Isn’t Effective.

There are plenty of articles and studies to back me up here, and I’m not going to list them all.  Instead, I’m going to employ some common sense.  Take a hormone-fueled teenager.  Now, pick one thing in the world – doesn’t matter what it is, but let’s say a grape – and tell them absolutely, no, you cannot TOUCH or even THINK about grapes until you’re married.  Grapes can have very bad consequences and if you touch the grapes now, you’re going to regret it.   Now, in every movie, commercial, magazine, and billboard that said teenager is exposed to, show a whole bunch of people enjoying the fuck out of grapes.  But repeat, over and over, that grapes are totally awesome, but just not until you’re an adult and married.  Does anyone else remember being a teenager?  Do you remember how impossibly far away being an adult seemed?  Here’s a clue – they’re going to touch the grapes.  And if the teenager hasn’t been taught the actual significance and importance of them but instead only been told “NO.  YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE GRAPES AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ANY TOOLS TO COPE WITH THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE TAUNTED WITH GRAPES,” chances are when they do get a hold of them, they’re going grab and enjoy them with complete and reckless abandon, because they don’t understand what they’re dealing with.  Doesn’t it make more sense to teach them to enjoy and respect the grapes instead of smashing them?

Single People Can Have Meaningful Relationships, Too.

The author disparages what he calls “casual sex,” which in this post, at least, seems to blanket all sexual encounters outside of marriage or a lifetime commitment.  Someone who considers themselves sexually liberated is actually just a sad, lonely person willing to settle for, and I quote, “Use me and I’ll use you.”  The fuck? Say I am a single woman in her thirties.  I have a career, a home, a plethora of interests, and an active social life.  I don’t get to have sex? Or I do get to have sex, but any encounter I have is sad, lonely, and meaningless?  Bullshit.  Not everyone’s life map directs them to a singular committed relationship, and to say that those people don’t understand sex or what it means is ludicrous.

There’s a Whole Lot of Dysfunctional Folks Out There.

There was one particular quote in this post that really made me want to respond, and this was it. He asks, to anyone who had premarital sex, ” Are you glad that you gave yourself to someone other than the person you now love eternally?”  and if the answer is anything but no, “you’re dealing with someone in a very dysfunctional marriage.”  How dare you?  How do you unilaterally decide that anyone who didn’t save themselves for marriage and isn’t despondent about it is incapable of a healthy relationship?  It’s untrue.  And telling people they should be ashamed of themselves for enjoying something natural does nothing but make people question themselves and really, don’t we have enough to fucking worry about?

Here’s the thing.  The letter from the kid who wants to save himself for marriage?  Good for him.  I hope he follows his beliefs and is happy with whatever decision he makes. He’s not wrong – because it’s his decision – and maybe his teacher didn’t respond appropriately. But that girl sitting next to him in health class, the one who thinks she’s in love with the boy that may be in love with her, who is going to “give herself” to him – she shouldn’t be made to feel bad about her decision, either.

Everyone is going to enjoy the grapes eventually.  Let’s not shame anyone for deciding when to take them.

Forbidden grapes.  You know you want them.

Forbidden grapes. You know you want them.

Jimmy Kimmel is Awesome and Please Calm Down

By now pretty much everyone has seen Jimmy Kimmel’s video montage of the reactions of children after their parents tell them they ate all of their Halloween candy.    If you haven’t seen it, please take a minute or six to take a look.

Priceless and hilarious, yes?  Apparently not everyone thinks so.  Here’s some quotes from folks outraged at this horrible example of parenting.

“Is it just me, or does anyone else thinks this sort of borders on emotional and mental cruelty toward children??  It’s pretty darn close to bullying, isn’t it?” Commenter on NBC article.

“Cruel and potentially damaging.” Child psychologist Mark Barnett.

“Inappropriate parental behavior.” Psychologist Jane Annunziata.

That’s just a couple of the criticisms, but you get the gist of it.  These parents are only out for a couple minutes of fame, and by participating in a prank, may be causing lifelong damage to their children’s psyches.

People?  Get the fuck over yourselves.  It’s funny.  It’s CANDY, for fuck’s sake.  They didn’t tell them Santa hated them, that the Easter Bunny didn’t exist, that their favorite teacher was actually an alien, that the dog was dead.  They told them someone ate their candy.  And they didn’t even do it!  The kids got their candy back!

I’m just going to point out two things and then leave it alone.  One – most kids that have parents willing to buy them a costume and take them trudging around in the rain for several hours trick or treating are probably reasonably in tune with their children and whether playing a prank on them is going to destroy their entire life.  Two – if your kid reacts like some of them did, such as the two-year-old who called someone a bitch, they probably deserve a spanking a lot more than a bag of candy, anyhow.

Hell, I believed my dad built the Sears Tower until I was probably eleven.  My cousin Carrie – who isn’t actually my cousin, MORE LIES, MOM AND DAD – was told that Santa vacationed with a bunch of girls in bikinis in the off season.  The list goes on and on.  We’re fine.  These kids will be fine too.  Get over yourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re a Big Mean Bully, Social Media

Remember when you were in junior high school and there was that one awful, mean girl?  The one who made a big point to take your usual seat at the lunch table and leave you standing with your stupid lunch bag, too timid to stand up to her and turning bright red when none of your other friends did either?  She was the one that told the boy you liked how you wrote his name in your notebook, made fun of your bookbag, helpfully told your teacher about the note you wrote (at her insistence,) and loudly announced that you had your period in a room full of prepubescent boys.  Then she asked that boy to the dance for you, bought the same bookbag in a different color, and conspiratorally asked you for a tampon in the bathroom, fooling you once again into thinking she was your friend.

Of course you remember her.  She was a fucking menace.  All of us remember her.  Because at one point in time, we all knew her, or we were her, or wanted to be her friend, depending on which way your hormones were raging that day.  Junior high girls are the epitome of bullies; they’re why no woman, ever, recalls with complete happiness the preteen years.  There may have been good moments, but they were all tainted by that awful girl.  You show me a woman that cannot recall, with alaming accuracy, a traumatizing encounter with that girl at her school and I will show you a woman who is still plotting her revenge.

So what is it, exactly, about social media that makes grown women turn into the adult version of that girl?  Under the guise of screen names, we have no problem calling other women fat, ugly, stupid, the list goes on.  We have no trouble criticizing a woman’s entire parenting style based on one photograph, her entire wardrobe based on one outfit, her entire personality based on one comment.  What the hell, ladies?  What about the anonymity of the internet has turned us all into Regina George?

I bet Maria Kang is wondering the same thing.  If you haven’t heard – and I’m sure most of you have – Ms. Kang is a fitness blogger who has come under a staggering amount of scrutiny for a photo she posted to her own Facebook page.   Here’s the picture.

What's my excuse?  Macaroni and Cheese?  Does that work?

What’s my excuse? Macaroni and Cheese? Does that work?

Looks pretty good, doesn’t she?  Three little kids and still puts that much time and energy into her fitness and health?  She probably eats healthy and hardly ever uses the cats “bothering her” as a reason not to do her home fitness DVDs.  I bet she doesn’t have a recipe called “Spaghetti Monster” that includes cream cheese.  And I’d wager she doesn’t eat chicken kiev for breakfast whilst watching the marathon on TV!  Kudos to you, Ms. Kang!

This is what went through my head when I saw the picture.  Did it make me feel bad about myself?  No.  Did I feel as though she was chastising me or shaming me?  Not so much.  Did it propel me off the couch?  No, but if I was forced to pick an emotion, it would be “inspired” as opposed to “shamed.”  If she can do it with three kids, I certainly could.  Then I saw she was a fitness blogger with a huge following, and honestly, I thought, what a fabulous tagline!  If I was actively trying to lose weight, I would print this picture out and put it on my fridge.  Good for her!

The internets disagreed.  While there were certainly people that supported her and agreed with the message, a good portion of the 18,000 comments – yes, you read that right, and I bet you couldn’t find an article about the government shutdown with half as many comments, but that’s another bag of apples entirely – were downright hateful.  People called her a liar, (because obviously she couldn’t look THAT good,) a terrible mother, (because clearly a nanny was raising her children; obviously the only thing that is important to her is looking beautiful,) and even went so far as to question her children’s parentage, (“They’re probably not even her kids; they all look different.”)  Common denominator in these comments?  All women.

What the hell, ladies?  Why the hate?  Here’s a successful woman – a wife and mother who blogs about what works for her and how she’s been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and workout routine while managing a busy family.  She’s a fitness blogger, which leads me to believe that most people following her are women trying to do what she does, who are looking for advice and inspiration.  So why, instead of taking that photo as an inspiration and getting moving, are we sitting behind our computers, trying to find the faults to tear her down?  It makes no sense.

While we’re on tearing down – can we all please leave Miley Cyrus the fuck alone?  I swore I wasn’t going to chime in on this so as not to add to the fact that WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT HER, but I can’t help myself.  I saw today that Paul McCartney finally weighed in on what is apparently the debate of the goddamn year.   It’s only a matter of time before the President chimes in and then we’re all going to be mad because he has better things to be doing but you know what?  We made this happen.  We have taken a performance on an awards show and elevated it to a national concern about the youth of today, turning Miley into a cautionary tale about what happens to good little Hannah Montana when she doesn’t listen to her parents.  Give me a break.   You don’t want your daughter to look up to or emulate her?  I bet your mama didn’t want you to act like and dress like Madonna, which only made you like her more.  And I bet her parents didn’t want her dating that boy who tried to look like that dirty hippie, Paul McCartney.

My point?  She isn’t really doing anything different – it’s just that every single word, thought, and action is immediately visible and public now.  And at this point, it doesn’t matter what she does or says – she could be saving orphans and kittens in her spare time and people are still going to be all, from behind their computers, “Yeah, but did you see those shorts she was wearing?”  Which is how I hope she sees it – something along the lines of “Well, they’re not going to be happy anyway, might as well get naked on a wrecking ball!”

Maybe next time instead of automatically assuming the worst, we think for a second of whether we would say out loud to one person what we’re about to publish silently to hundreds?   Don’t turn into that junior high bully.  You remember how awful that felt – I bet women like Maria and Miley do, too.

Not One of the Cool Kids

I have to start by saying I was completely unaware that Abercrombie and Fitch was still considered the store for the cool kids.  I was also unaware that teenagers still use the terms “cool,” and ” the in crowd,” when referencing the popular kids being that the last I checked, teenagers today are not characters from “Grease,” and use a whole slew of words that most of us born before 1990 don’t even understand.  But if the backlash surrounding this article highlighting their CEO’s comments is any indication, the war between the popular kids and the geeks is still going strong.  Only now there’s the added stipulation that you can’t be one of the cool girls if your pants size is in the double digits.

CEO Mike Jeffries made this comment in an interview with Salon (several years ago, to my understanding, if we’re all being fair,) ““In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon.”

So let me get this straight.  Essentially, the CEO of a clothing line known for their overtly sexual advertisements showcasing standard-sized fashion models – which is somewhere around a size 2 -stated that they make their clothes with their target demographic in mind.  Their target demographic is teenagers who fit the common perception of beauty.  And the common perception of beauty for a female is not a size 16.  It’s just not.

Is that fair?  Fuck no it’s not fair.  Is it right?  Of course it’s not.  Does it need to change?  Of course it does.  But bear with me a minute.  When I was a teenager, there was a store in Woodfield Mall – I’m not sure if they were a chain or not – called 5-7-9.  Why were they called that?  You guessed it – those were the sizes they carried.  Of course, they also carried sizes 0-4, but they didn’t carry anything above a size 9.  When I was a teenager, I would have sold my goddamn soul to have bought my dresses from 5-7-9.  That’s where everyone who was ANYONE bought their clothes.  However, Jesus blessed me with early puberty and a set of knockers that required underwire at the tender age of 12; juniors clothing was out of the question way before I was a junior.  Was I overweight?  No.  Not at all.  At 16, I was a solid size eight.  (And yeah, it has to be said that OF COURSE I want to go back in time and bitch slap teenage me and tell her that that Mountain Dew addiction was going to catch up in a major way and manifest itself in a lifelong affair with sugar and fast food that she will never, ever shake.)  But my point is that I was a very healthy 5’4, between 130-145 pounds, and a I felt like a GIANT compared to my girlfriends.  And not being able to fit into clothes from 5-7-9 was kind of heartbreaking.  I couldn’t understand.  Why did all of their clothes look terrible on me?  How did their size 9 jeans not pull over my hips?  I wanted their dresses, I wanted their clothes, I wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to buy my damn dress in the Misses section of fucking Penneys, no matter that it looked a thousand times better on me.  It wasn’t from the POPULAR store.

Fortunately, my mother has a low capacity for unwarranted histrionics and finally – likely after a hissyfit of giant proportions on my part – put her foot down and said something along the lines of, “Their. Clothes. Don’t. Fit.  It doesn’t matter how mad you get about it, they’re still not going to fit.  I’m not sitting here anymore.”  And while at the time I was probably apoplectic with the anger only a teenage girl can muster, she was so right.  And I am so, so damn glad she didn’t let me buy an ill-fitting dress just because it would have made me happy in the short term.  Christ knows I have enough pictures of me with a mullet and with a tuba and braces and glasses and perms; I certainly didn’t need to add a too-tight, fuschia-feathered nightmare to the mix.

What’s my point?  That was damn near twenty years ago.  The stores and the trends might have changed, but the perception is the same.  Mr. Jeffries certainly surprised people by coming outright and saying it, but to me, the backlash is misplaced.  Saying that Abercrombie hates fat people because they don’t make sizes above a ten for women is like saying that Lane Bryant is discriminating against the single-digit ladies.  Boiled down to semantics, it IS  the same thing.  They’re both making clothes to fit their target audience, to flatter and fit their customers.  And Abercrombie isn’t the ones making their audience the cool kids – there’s about a million other societal factors that make the “cool” kids synonymous with the “beautiful” kids.  Abercrombie is simply cashing in on it.

There’s no easy answer or quick fix.  But I think my mama had it right: this doesn’t work for you, here’s something that DOES, go kick ass in that instead.  Who the fuck cares where it’s from, who cares what the label says, who cares what size it is, look at how great you look.  Concentrate on that, drill it into your daughter’s head every day.  You look beautiful, you ARE beautiful, I love you.  No clothing line is ever going to do that. no matter how popular it is.

And if your kids are part of Abercrombie’s “cool” standard and you don’t want them to shop there?  Tell them why.  They may not get it now, and they might not agree with you because, hey, they’re teenagers.  But explain yourself.  So many of the comments I’ve seen in response to Jeffries’ statement have been contradictory to what their point should have been, “Well, he obviously wants to try and be around the cool kids now because, look at him, he clearly wasn’t when he was in high school.”  What is that proving?  It’s okay to make fun of someone’s looks if they did it first? It’s okay to call someone ugly if they call you fat?  What does that teach anyone?

No wonder kids are confused.  I am too.

Yeah.  I'm not sure why we're surprised the CEO said something unpopular.

Yeah. I’m not sure why we’re surprised the CEO said something unpopular.

 

 

 

Yahoo’s Top Searches: Time To Reevaluate Again

I did a post a while back about the top searches on Yahoo! and how maybe, just a little, this is why other countries hate us.  Very rarely are they related to politics or war or hunger or poverty or – well, the list goes on and on, but safe to say they’re generally a little too Kardashian-based to warrant actual news or current events.  That’s not to say they’re not interesting search terms, but seeing what hundreds of thousands of people apparently search on a daily basis never fails to intrigue me.  Today’s was one of the more abstract I’d seen in quite a while, so I decided to share.

Here’s a few of the top searches from today.

Nude Beach Shut Down

First of all, is anyone else a little concerned that the nation’s top nude beach is in Mazomanie, WISCONSIN???  Don’t get me wrong, I love Wisconsin.  I love my family there, I love camping, I love Summerfest, I love fishing.  But nude beaching it?  In Wisconsin?  Have I missed something?  Is a Midwest state where it’s only warm enough to even be on a beach like seven times a year really the go-to spot for nudists?  If that’s not curious enough – the nude beach has apparently only been shut down on weekdays, as that’s when the majority of “shenanigans,” ensue.  Apparently, 83 of the 92 citations issued in the past four years have been on weekdays.  On one hand, I’m thinking maybe I’ve been in Chicago too long, as 92 citations in four years seems extremely low, considering we have nearly as many murders every two months here.  On the other, I have to ask – if you are arrested on a nude beach in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, on a Tuesday afternoon, where exactly is your rock bottom?  That has to be it, amirite??

Vonn Waits in Car

Apparently Lindsey Vonn showed up with her “boyfriend” Tiger Woods at his daughter’s baseball game, but instead of walking in the arm of her new man proudly, she stayed in the car for an hour to avoid seeing Tiger’s ex-wife.  Is it just me, or is this guy the dumbest person, like, ever?  Don’t you have publicity people?  And do they not realize that hiding your girlfriend in the car is going to garner more attention that showing up unobtrusively and watching the game?  I get not being ready to have them both in the same place, but having her sit in the car like a dog or naughty child seems relatively counterproductive to your image. Also, honey?  Just start running now.  You’re pretty, you’re smart, you’re talented – you do not need to be this jackhole’s arm candy.   If it was you who wanted to wait in the car – you are not ready for the scrutiny your relationship is going to garner.  If it was his idea?  I repeat, he’s a jackhole.  Start running.  Nothing good is coming from this.

R. Kelly Mansion Loss

The rapper’s home apparently was sold recently, in foreclosure, for a reported $4 million dollars less than it was worth.  I’m going to skip over the fact that someone who had enough money to take out a $4 million mortgage and who “Isn’t having money problems,” according to his financial advisor, isn’t paying his bills because it makes me want to eat my own head.  My question is more – why is this news?  The man has a video of himself peeing on adolescents.  (Yes, yes, he was acquitted.  So was O.J.)  He’s clearly not the brightest crayon in the box.  Are we really surprised that he didn’t balance his books properly or invest his money wisely?

Cheerleader Stretcher

This has been on the list all day long and I was finally curious enough to look at it.  An Atlanta Hawks cheerleader fell on her head in the middle of a performance last night and had to be carted off the court on a stretcher.  Um, hello?  Is this really that interesting?  I fall down ALL THE TIME.  Seriously, someone should follow me around with a camera; it’d be like YouTube gold.  Not long ago, I slipped on some ice and simultaneously hit my head on a glass door – it was a far more entertaining fall than this one was.  That being said, if I am ever to garner unwanted publicity, I sincerely hope that the most interesting thing someone says about me is better than what was said about Kristen here, which was “She’s obsessed with oatmeal creme pies.”  Fucking seriously?  That’s the only defining characteristic you can come up with?  She likes COOKIES???  I hope she gets out of the hospital and immediately punches/disowns the person that gave that information to the reporter.

So there we have it, folks.  The most interesting things that happened today involved a cheerleader falling, a rapper losing a house, a philanderer continuing to be a dick, and a nude beach in Wisconsin.  Way to go, internet!!!

dude wtf

 

Friday Blast Off: Why Are We Still Paying Attention to Kanye?

Haven’t done the Friday Blast Off: What I Said vs. What I Meant in awhile, mostly because the past few weeks it probably would have consisted of “What I Said – Nothing,” and “What I Meant – YOU DAMN JACKHOLE, GET IT TOGETHER!”  But something caught my eye this week that made me actually roll my eyes out loud, if that’s possible.  Going through Yahoo! news earlier in the week, I came across the headline, “Kanye West’s On-Stage rant: Rapper disses Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake in London.”   And even thought I knew – I KNEW – it was going to make me want to punch my computer, I clicked on it.

Hey guess what?  I was right.  Here’s three people/things he said really smart stuff about.  And by really smart stuff I mean – Oh, right, you are still a fucking idiot and please fall off my planet.

Taylor Swift

Poor little Taylor.  She’s come under some fire lately, most notably because that whole teen-angst thing that has made her famous has kind of played itself out.  If you wanted to date her before, you’re scared to now because you are for sure going to end up the chorus of a song detailing what a heartbreaking bastard you are.  (She was too young for you anyway, John Mayer, you dirty bird.) That being said, the girl is still selling millions of albums and selling out arenas all over the world and continues to win awards; she’s clearly doing something right.  Despite this, Kanye once again dissed her in comparison to Beyonce, seemingly apropos of nothing.  What, exactly, has this girl done to him that makes him so publicly criticize her?  I mean, if he was having a baby with Beyonce or married to her, I could at least get the reasoning behind it.  But he’s not.  In fact, he’s having a baby with the most talentless bag of hair I’ve ever seen.  (Oh yes, still so much hate for the Kardashians.)  And it’s not like Beyonce’s some big underdog that needs his championing.  In fact, if I had to guess, she would probably rather not be associated with this idiot at all.

Dissing Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s New Song

Which brings me to my next point.  I may not be in the music industry, and I while I do love me some rap I realize that knowing every single word to Eazy-E’s “Gimme Dat Nutt,” while impressive, does not make me extremely knowledgeable about the background of the genre.  (Totally true story.  I also do Eminem’s “Without Me,”  at karaoke.  Want to surprise a DJ?  Be a blond white girl in your thirties and put your name in on that song.)  Keeping that in mind, one thing I do know is that Jay-Z kind of helped make you, Mr. Art School.  And as of this writing, I have yet to find anyone that dislikes Justin Timberlake.  The man has somehow crossed that line where men want to be him and women want to – um – be with him.  I predict there will be many a song released in the next year with the same vibe as “Suit and Tie.”  These two are powerhouses, like them or not.  They could come out with a song with duck calls and cats meowing and I promise you people will be fighting each other to find the next underappreciated animal noise.  They’re just that good.

Mocking Artists Who Take Money for Endorsements.

Right, kind sir, you probably started that whole clothing line because you have a deep, abiding love for fashion and that’s your life dream.  And the other products you’ve endorsed, you’ve probably just really believed in their message, right?  Like Pepsi changed your life and you need to broadcast and help spread their words?  Please.  Do you think that previously mentioned bag of hair you impregnated with your demon spawn isn’t going to exploit the hell out of every single product that child touches/uses/wears?  During his tirade, he sings, “”Remind me again why we in this s***?  Since when was making art about getting rich?”  You dick.  You. Dick. You just dropped $11 MILLION on a house and are worth about $90 million.  Please, tell me more about how you are only doing this for your art and you don’t care about the money.

I’m not denying Kanye’s talent, as he surely has it.  He’s an excellent producer and songwriter – hey, he’s famous for a reason, at least, unlike his rotten pregnant girlfriend.  But his true colors have been bleeding through for awhile, and what they’re showing is an extreme air of entitlement and an inflated sense of self worth that’s bordering on narcissistic personality disorder and we all need to STOP CARING.

Because if we don’t, in 15 years we’re all going to obsessively listening to someone called Kimye and honestly?  I can’t live in that world.  I just can’t.

Kanye

It’s probably how he practices his autograph. Douchetard.

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