Tag Archives: celebrity

S(Monday) Scraps 108


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


Filed under Books, Chicago, Hollywood, Media

S(Tuesday) Scraps 109


1. HOOPS: Bill Simmons, who I generally love, gets rightfully reamed by college basketball player Wayne Washington when Simmons refers to his dreads as “stinky.”

2. AUTHORS: Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep, American Wife) gets interviewed by The Rumpus about her new book, Sisterland.

3. NEW MEXICO: The New Yorker‘s Rachel Syme, writes eloquently about the hometown she shares with Walter White.

4. CELEB: I really dig this advice from Olivie Wilde in Glamour, or rather, this advice from her ghostwriter. Regardless, I’m into it.

5. MOMS: My favorite, Roxane Gay, interviews her mother for The Hairpin about how she feels about her mothering decisions, 30 years later. Should we all be so lucky as to have these conversations.

6. SPORTS: What does it say about you as a parent when you push your daughter down the path of soccer, dance, or chess? Apparently a lot?

Related Post: Sunday 108: George Saunders, OITNB, Ill-Doctrine, etc.

Related Post: Sunday 107: Amanda Palmer = awesome, millennials worry, email mapping!

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Filed under Books, Family, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

I Get Pitches

When you blog, you eventually start to get emails from PR companies and folks that are just dying to offer you “fresh content” that “Google loves” and that will “titillate your readers”. Too bad it is all so ridiculous, because otherwise I’m sure my readers would love to be titillated…

Do you need to figure out how to get the opposite sex to notice you?

Do you need to figure out how to get the opposite sex to notice you?

Do you need an app that makes a miniature keychain book of your photographs?

Do you need an app that makes a miniature keychain book of your photographs?


Do you need any assistance with hair below the neck?

Do you need anything from someone with the gmail handle celebritytweens@gmail.com?

Do you need anything from someone with the gmail handle celebritytweens@gmail.com?

Bah. It’s hard to convey to advertisers and PR folks that writing about beauty culture or the cult of celebrity does not mean you will write about their tween gossip or manscaping must-haves.

Related Post: Mixed messaging on the interwebz.

Related Post: Curve Appeal vs. American Apparel’s idiotic contest


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Filed under Advertising, Body Image, Food, Hollywood

Celebrity overshare vs. Celebrity megashare

Angelina Jolie/mastectomy

Ashley Judd/sexual assault


Catherine Zeta-Jones/bipolar disorder

Gwyneth Paltrow/miscarriage

RA Dickey/sexual abuse

Scott Brown/sexual abuse

Christine Quinn/bulimia and alcoholism

The news has been plastered lately with the celebrity megashare, Angelina’s breast cancer NYT editorial is only the latest. Are they trying to sell books and drum up their fans? Or win elections? Or are they really trying to help people by using their celebrity to shine light on difficult subjects?

My latest on Role/Reboot:


Related Post: On Beyonce’s superbowl performance

Related Post: What if it were an 18-year-old female pop star talking about her sex life?

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Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Republished!

Why don’t we talk about Charlie Sheen being a bad role model?

This week on Role/Reboot I wrote about the the term “role model.” I realized that, in my own head, I have a tendency to hold successful women to a higher standard, expecting them to be on “good behavior” and set the “right example” all the time, and for everyone. There are so many bad-behaving male celebrities, and we never talk abou them as being bad role models. I think in some ways it’s as simple as the fact that there are many more men in the limelight, and so the need for “role models” is not so dire.

We assume that women who seek fame or success should also be moral role models as well. We don’t hold men to that standard. Some of them just want to be rich and famous and don’t give two shits about who they influence along the way. I’m not suggesting that’s a great attitude, only that it’s one we accept from men. Maybe Rihanna just wants to be rich and famous? Being a “role model” has never seemed to be her priority, so we do keep trying to drape her in that mantle?

Screenshot_4_4_13_1_06_PMRelated Post: You guessed it, I’m a privileged white girl

Related Post: Sometimes, though, people are actually kind of cool


Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media, Republished!

Hot Guys Reading: Hot or Squicky?

Got a tip from reader Betsy that goes like this:

I ran across this tumblr that’s pictures of hot guys reading books — much in the vein one of my favorites, cute boys with cats. At first I was psyched because I do enjoy attractive men who also enjoy reading, but I got a bit unnerved reading the captions…It has a lot of voyeuristic looking shots, and many of the captions admit that these photos were taken without the man’s knowledge (or clearly, consent). After your post on the man tumbling hot girls of OWS, I thought you might be interested to see a similar situation, this time with men as the ogle-ees.

This dude is a model, not a civilian

Betsy raises several very excellent points. One, women are by no means the only recipients of unwanted ogling. Second, it’s the lack of consent that poses the biggest problem, not the ogling itself. It’s the difference between a photo of Ryan Gosling on a red carpet smiling for the camera, and a photo of Ryan Gosling grocery shopping with his mom and trying to be a regular dude. For another, slightly more sinister example… consider the difference between Scarlett Johansson in lingerie for GQ vs. Scarlett Johansson in a naughty photo someone hacked from her phone.

As Betsy so eloquently put it, the voyeurstic non-consensual shots make me feel a “little squicked out.” Squicked… such a great word, but I digress! There have been hot guys on trains (even hot guys reading!) that I would have loved to immortalize on this blog, but just the thought of someone doing the same to me makes me real uncomfortable, and so I restrain myself.
Ownership of one’s image gets real tricky when you’re a celebrity (I’m not saying it should be tricky, it seems pretty cut and dried to me that I don’t have the right to see photos of Sarah Jessica Parker’s kindergartner on his way to school. Historically, though, we give paparazzi all kinds of rights). But for us normal folk, it seems like it should be safe to ride the CTA to work in the morning without someone snapping a pic and posting it to the blogosphere without your knowledge. Now if you ask me first, I just might smile at you 🙂
Related Post: “Don’t take my picture!” “But you’re at the beach!”

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Filed under Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media

Why I Want a Kardashian to Wink at Me

Like every other unfortunate soul in the internet-connected world, my screens have seen more Kardashian Koverage than normal with the announcement of Kim’s divorce. I’ve watched bits and pieces of Channel Kardashian (aka E!), but only enough to know that I can’t actually handle a full dose of the blown-out, bedazzled, bandage-dressed ridiculosity.

My biggest issue with it, also my problem with Jersey Shore, is the complete unwillingness of the characters or the producers to throw a wink at the viewers and acknowledge the insanity and inanity of their lifestyle.

I’m reading Chuck Klosterman’s 2003 pop culture essay collection Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. As Kate (of Smart Girls, Stupid Things) explained when she lent it to me, Klosterman was one of the first to offer up this kind of academic analysis of pop culture phenomena from the perspective of someone so deeply entrenched. The novelty of this kind of commentary has since worn off, since pretty much everyone on the internet attempts it on a regular basis (self very much included).

I just finished the essay “What Happens When People Stop Being Polite” about Klosterman’s obsession with the early seasons of The Real World. This passage is sticking with me:

“The kids talk directly into the camera every single day, but they are ceaselessly instructed to pretend as if they are not being videotaped whenever they’re outside the confessional. Most of all, they never openly recognize that they’re part of a cultural phenomenon; they never mention how weird it is that people are watching them exist.”

Imagine how different a show Keeping Up with The Kardashians would be if every now and then Kim or Khloe looked straight at the camera and said “Can you believe we get paid 15K to show up at this club opening? This shit is nuts, y’all.” What would happen if one of them acknowledged that the cost of the Kim/Kris marriage (dividing wedding expenses by days they were married) is twice the national annual income of a family of four? What happens then?

Unlike the original Real World kids, who ostensibly didn’t know what they were getting into, the Kardashians are savvy media players manipulating their image in the press on a minute-by-minute basis. It makes their refusal to cop to the absurdity of their lifestyle that much more infuriating. We can still have the glitz and the glam of Kardashians and the drunken, brawling hijinks of Jersey Shore, let’s just not pretend any of this is “normal” or “real.” The entertainment value of such programming isn’t where the danger lies. The real danger is that all involved, in front of and behind the cameras, insist on propagating the preposterous conceit that the whole kit ‘n caboodle isn’t a profit-driven entertainment juggarnaut.

Speaking of Kardashians, did you guys see the SNL clip this week?

Related Post: Does “curvy” Kim Kardashian really broaden the spectrum of “acceptable” body types?

Related Post: The Kardashians schill Kotex, and other reasons you can’t trust advertising.

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Filed under Books, Hollywood, Media