Tag Archives: BuzzFeed

The 17 Hottest World Cup Players with Freckles*

*This is not a list of sexy soccer players.

Half of you are very disappointed that there is not actually a gallery of freckled soccer stars, and the other half of you read the title and were like… is she for real? No, I am not for real.

This week’s Role/Reboot piece is on the ubiquitous World Cup Hot List… hottest thighs, hottest abs, hottest butts, etc. etc. etc. and man I’ve been getting feedback in all kinds of directions. Half of you seem to think I’m going too hard on the lists, and that there’s nothing wrong with appreciating some chiseled pectorals in list format on Buzzfeed. The other half of you think I’ve overstated what I believe are the differences in how we view male and female bodies, and that men actually have it much harder than I’m giving them credit for. Can’t win ’em all.

Later this week, with permission, I’ll post some of the feedback, but in the meantime I would like to draw a distinction between two questions that I think are markedly different:

1. Is it, in general, okay to lust after (and document your lust for) attractive bodies, male or female? In other words, is there anything wrong with appreciating the human form in the first place? This is a HUGE question, with many pieces (short answer: no, long answer: it matters a lot what you do with that attraction and how you express it), that I’m not really prepared to answer right now. Similarly, the individual case of being attracted to someone is a lot less interesting to me than the macro trends on how we, collectively, as a society, treat bodies and beauty.

2. If you object to “Hottest Asses of the U.S. Women’s Ski Team” on the pages of Esquire or Vice because you find it reductive, demeaning, hypersexualizing, or reinforcing of problematic views about bodies, is it hypocritical to not object to the “Hottest Thighs of the Australian Men’s Soccer Team”? I think it is. I don’t think I can claim the first is an issue and the second isn’t, even though I absolutly believe that the media coverage of female bodies is markedly different than male bodies. The problem is not the same, but it is related.

Anyway, more an all of that and much talk of “shit buckets” of body coverage here:

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Related Post: I  love the Olympics

Related Post: On Olympian Holley Mangold vs. Conan

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Filed under Body Image, Gender, Republished!, Sports

S(Monday) Scraps 108

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1. THIRD COAST: Tom Dyja, author of The Third Coast, is interviewed about the Midwest, Chicago, hot dogs, etc on the Freakonomics podcast.

2. COMICS: Bill Watterson, genius behind Calvin and Hobbes, has beautifully illustrated a little life philosophy for all those twenty-somethings (or forty-somethings) trying to figure it out.

3. YEAR25: The blog Wait But Why explains with hand charts, graphs, and cartoons why we millennials are chronically dissatisfied. Yes, it’s talking about you.

4. AUTHORS: What if famous authors had instagram? #malaise #misunderstood (BuzzFeed).

5. BEYONCE: Todrick Hall has created an incredibly elaborate Cinderella parody exclusively set to Beyonce songs. It’s called…wait for it… Cinderonce.

6. CELEBS: Just for kicks, a gallery of celebrity photos from back in the day. Damn, Stephen Colbert, you were fiiiiiine.

Related Post: Sunday 107: Amanda Palmer in the nude, mermaids and workplace discrimination

Related Post: Sunday 106: Hoffman, Delaney, sex ed in Ireland

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Filed under Books, Chicago, Hollywood, Media

Why is it okay to put 16-year-olds in lingerie ads?

This is Gisele Bundchen at age 16 in a Macy’s catalogue:

Gisele

(Via Buzzfeed)

This makes me extremely uncomfortable. I think it’s a pretty twisted world we live in when a fashion director dresses a teenager up in fishnets and a velvet bra to try to convince other women (presumably Macy’s catalogue-receiving women in their 30s and 40s) to buy this underwear.

Selling clothes is always an exercise in aspiration. Wear this and your thighs might look slimmer! Wear this and hunky men will drape themselves all over you. Wear this and you’ll want to go to the gym! Wear this and other women will admire your style! Whatever you want to happen will happen if you only for the love of God buy these clothes!

What’s so bizarre about using underage models is that the aspiration you create in the minds of your consumer is impossible to fulfill. 30-year-olds will never look 16 again. Instead of building a vision about looking and being your “best self” (what brands like Dove do with campaigns like Real Beauty, manipulative in its own way), this ad creates impossible dreams. And what strange dreams to have!

See? Ann Taylor uses extremely attractive but age-appropriate models

See? Ann Taylor uses extremely attractive but age-appropriate models

You would never use a 16-year-old to sell a power suit, right? Because women who want to look powerful don’t want to look juvenile. They want to look attractive, and sleek, and put-together, but nobody aims for “junior prom” when they want to rock an interview.

But when you’re trying to look sexy (as anyone who is purchasing fishnets and velvet pushup bras likely is), looking youthful is part of the aspiration. We’ve conflated “adolescent” with “sexy” for so long that it seems natural for a teenager to model underwear the way it would never seem natural to put her in a skirt suit. That’s kind of scary, and we’re still doing it.

I feel like every party here is wronged in some way, the 16-year-old model who’s been tarted up, the rest of 16-year-olds who don’t look like this model and are intimidated, the 39-year-olds flipping through this catalogue and wondering why a girl their daughter’s age is being used to sell them underwear, any men who might catch a glimpse and lust after her, however briefly, not knowing she’s not even legal, teenaged boys who end up with bizarre expectations of what women wear under their clothes (hint, it’s usually not this).

Who wins? Macy’s, probably, if this ad sold a lot of tights. Sigh. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

Related Post: But how old is she really?

Related Post: Bras for 9-year-olds

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Filed under Advertising, Body Image, Gender, Sex

Sunday Scraps 93

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1. BOOKS: The always excellent, sharp-as-a-muhfucking-tack Margaret Atwood is interviewed for The Rumpus about Oryx and Crake, the state o’ the ladies, and how to write dystopia.

2. CHICAGO: Because I live in Chicago, when travel blog Go Go Go wrote a “How to Visit Chicago” post 8 MILLION people emailed me. He is mostly right. I try to avoid fights with homeless people, which he seems to think is kind of essential, but to each their differences.

3. NERDERY: Uuunnnnhhhh, this makes me so happy. The folks at the aptly titled Overthinking It have calculated President Bartlet’s West Wing approval ratings.

4. HISTORY: If you dig little-known stories about cool historical people who you’ve never heard of doing neat shit, this BuzzFeed piece about a 13-year-old girl who played pro baseball in the 20s is for you.

5. FOOTBALL: I read somewhere that at one point a third of the NFL coaches were disciples of Bill Walsh. Dude wrote a 500 page manifesto and it happens to be on every football coach’s shelf. Who knew? ESPN has the scoop.

6. GUNS: I missed this post-Newtown, but dang… this XOJane essay by Haley Elkins knocked me over. It’s about growing up with guns and why they (some of them anyway, in the right hands) should still scare the living shit out of you. Read it now, kthxbai.

Related Post: Sunday 92: My new favorite NBA player, 30 Rock goodbyes, pictures of people sleeping

Related Post: Sunday 91: McDonald’s and books? Sci-fi gender swapping, celebrity yearbook photos

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Filed under Books, Chicago, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

Monday Scraps 83

1. GIFTS: After Romney’s post-election definition-of-a-sore-loser quotes about the “gifts” the President gave young people and minorities (Did you know you can buy a 24-year-old’s vote for a couple of months of contraception. TRUE FACT), Jon Stewart shared a few other “gifts.”

2. MORMON: Super excellent piece by McKay Coppins for BuzzFeed on being the sole Mormon reporter on the Romney press bus.

3. MEXICO: What happens to journalism when bribery, threats, and frequent spates of violence directed specifically at the press plague your country? Just ask reporters covering Mexico’s drug wars (NYT Book Review).

4. LANGUAGE: Which words does the NYT use too often? A new internal tool lets the paper (and curious spectators) explore the patterns of language perpetuated and created.

5. HILLARY: Gail Collins + Hillary Clinton = excellent reading. What will Hillary do next? Sleep, aparently, and exercise.

6. DENVER: This is from 2007, but I’m kind of obsessed with Katherine Boo this week, so I’m sharing it anyway. For the New Yorker, she covers the story of Denver’s superintendent and the journey of one turnaround school that couldn’t quite turnaround.

Related Post: Sunday 82: Kevin Durant and the OKC, Rachel Maddow nails it, cute MD photos

Related Post: Sunday 81: Callie Khouri, Anita Sarkeesian, sex surrogacy

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Filed under Education, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 64

1. WEIGHT: Super stellar essay from my recent Jezebel favorite, Lindy West, on the intricacies of talking to pre-teens about fitness, nutrition, weight, and body image.

2. ART: Ahhh, this short comic by Chelsea Martin, “Heavy-handed Acne”  is just so beautiful and poignant and I love it (via The Rumpus).

3. PRIDE: Buzzfeed collected 32 images from Pride that will probably make you cry… in the good way.

4. WORDS: Basic but superbly addictive word game from Shy Gypsy. Make word associations across the map to keep the game branching out (i.e. Cow and Horse share the word Cowboy).

5. TECH: Fabulous, fascinating interview with Genevieve Bell, the director of interaction and experience research at Intel,  about the contents of our cars and the life cycle of technology (Slate).

6. CAREER: The unbeatable Jessica Hagy (of This Is Indexed) has contributed a series of her trademark line graphs, on the subject of finding a career path, to Forbes.

Related Post: Sunday 63 (Cabrini-Green, Merkel vs. Rae Jepsen, Anne Friedman, school lunches)

Related Post: Sunday 62 (Is this racist? Authors in bikinis, Sandberg, grammar points)

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Filed under Art, Body Image, Books, Gender, Media

Sunday Scraps 57

1. GEOGRAPHY: Lovely essay by Ciara Flynn at Thought Catalog about the lure of a geographic change when you’re looking to jumpstart your life.

2. CULTURE: Should you check your email? Here’s a flowchart, but I’ll cut to the chase: The answer is probably no (via The Rumpus).

3. HOLLYWOOD: Where are they now? Buzzfeed has a gallery of child actors from the 90s (supporting characters only) and what they look like these days. Generally speaking, not good.

4. EDUCATION: David Brooks’ column in the New York Times is about institutions of higher education and the growing trend to measure students’ progress after $250,000 and four years. Reasonable, right?

5. SPREAD: CNN has a pretty sweet gallery of images from space documenting the spread of humanity around the world.

6. BOOBS: Thanks to New York City’s topless-in-the-park laws, a brave contributor at The Gloss ventures out sans shirt to see how the law works in practice.

Related Post: Sunday 56: Letter from Hef to Chicago, interview with Barney Frank, Come to Bed with Bryn and Caro

Related Post: Sunday 55: Photos from juvenile detention centers, fake MA towns, geeky tattoos

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Filed under Education, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People