Magazines: Lara Bingle in Who—A Prized Tall Poppy Who Polarises.

Following on from Being Lara Bingle’s debut on Tuesday night, Bingle is profiled in this week’s Who. While the actual show wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped it would be, the article does address some issues about Bingle’s public persona and just how hateful some people find her.

For example, one of the early creators of the reality show, John McAvoy of Eyeworks, said he “was intrigued at the obsession with her… She polarises like almost nobody else.”

But why so?

Bingle herself thinks it’s because of “this tall-poppy syndrome in Australia, it’s never ending.” True that. Just look at Australia’s sweetheart Delta Goodrem, who has apparently gotten too big for her boots coaching other young singers on The Voice.

Perhaps the most insightful comments about how people see Bingle—as someone who’s capitalising on her looks as her primary skill, and should be hated for it, I think—come from her bestie, Hermione. She says her new boyfriend, fashion designer Gareth Moody, “is able to love both sides [of Lara, the public Lara and the very private Lara], and not many men in her life have ever been able to do that. Lara usually attracts men who have massive egos—she represents a prize, she is someone who feeds their egos.”

Brendan Fevola comes to mind…

Related: Shaming Lara Bingle.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] Delta Goodrem: What’s With All the Hate?

Image via Who.

Magazines: A Week After She Split from Grant Hackett, Candice Alley Talks About Single Motherhood to Who.

Well, that was opportunistic, wasn’t it? Planned in advance, you might think? An attempt to get the public’s sympathy vote before Hackett has a chance to publicly defend himself?

I personally couldn’t care less about Hackett and Alley and their seemingly perfect penthouse life (the “exclusive” was shot in their Southbank high-rise apartment where Alley now resides with their two-year-old twins), but when the lead-time on a weekly magazine is a few days, minimum, Alley and/or Who had to act pretty fast to secure the deal. Which prompts me to ask, was the split a long time coming or, like Kim and Kanye are speculated to be, a publicity stunt?

Image via Who.

Magazines: Hollywood Pregnancies—There’s Something in the Water.

You might remember a few years ago, in 2007, when it seemed like every celebrity was pregnant, and some surprisingly so. Nicole Richie with Harlow, Christina Aguilera with Max, Nicole Kidman with Sunday, Gwen Stefani with Zuma, Angelina with the twins, Jessica Alba with Honor, Jennifer Lopez with her twins… it was just never ending!

I was surprised back then to never read an article on the phenomenon. (Then again, I wasn’t as immersed in the fledgling blogosphere at that time and kept my celebrity trend reading to the weeklies and monthlies.) Now I finally get to write about it.

Opening up this week’s Who (and Famous, which came out today, asserting that Blake Lively’s pregnant. She probably just ate too much Thanksgiving turkey. Leave her alone!), a spate of celeb mums-to-be greeted me from its pages. Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Garner, perhaps Kate Middleton. Now this is a high-profile list! Babies by Jessica, Beyonce and Kate have been long awaited, so expect to see a lot more of their bumps in the media. That’s not to mention how often we’ll see their offspring in the pages of the glossies after the births!

I love few things more than bump-watches and babies, so I’ll be keeping a keen eye on the growing stomachs of these celebs. Especially Beyonce, who, after appearing on Sunday Night a couple of months ago, sparked a faux-bump furor over her creased belly. Do we have another Katie Holmes-Suri saga on our hands?

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Beyonce: Countdown to Overexposure.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Jessica Alba Seemingly Enjoying Pregnancy the Second Time ’Round.

Images via Who, The Hollywood Gossip.

Magazines: Who the Bloody Hell is Body-Bullying Lara Bingle?

Lara Bingle looks banging on the cover of this week’s Who.

In the article, Bingle admits her body isn’t the same as it was in her Tourism Australia days, and that she now has to watch what she puts in it and how she looks after herself.

I applaud Bingle for slamming the body police with such body-positive quotes in the article as, “Tread carefully, because it doesn’t just affect me, it affects all women who read it… They have to ask themselves, would they do that to their wives, girlfriends or sisters? It’s just a negative message that doesn’t help anyone,” and “If I’m fat, how does that make a girl who is a size 12–14 feel, and that’s the size of an average Australian woman? It’s ridiculous.” What’s ridiculous is that she even has to pose on the cover of a national weekly to defend herself for other peoples’ problems with how she looks.

I’ve always liked Bingle, and her more curvaceous, healthy and bosomy body just makes me like her even more. It also makes me feel more positive about my own body.

But in the article, Bingle laments the “ripple effect” that has occurred when the way she looks is discussed in the media makes everyday Joe Blows feel like they can comment on her, too; whether that be positively or negatively.

So I’m going to try and refrain from saying anything else about the way she looks, and liken the situation instead to a similar occurrence last week with Miley Cyrus and her own body bullies.

After some YouTube commenter labeled Cyrus fat, she took to Twitter and posted a picture of an anorexic woman:

“By calling girls like me fat, this is what you’re doing to other people. I love MYSELF and if you could say the same you wouldn’t be sitting on your computer trying to hurt others… I don’t wanna be shaped like a girl. I LOVE being shaped like a WOMAN and trust me, ladies, your man won’t mind either.”

While it’s great that these celebs are taking a stand, the fact that anyone has to justify weight gain, loss or anything appearance-related is kind of sad.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Ricki-Lee: Who Cares?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Who Condemns Baby-Body Bullying…

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Katie Holmes in Who: Do Celeb Bodies Make Us Feel Better About Our Own?

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] Miley 1. Weight Bullies 0.

Image via Who.

Magazines: Ricki-Lee—Who Cares?

There have been a few articles in the media over the past week or so kicking up a stink about Ricki-Lee Coutler’s Maxim photo shoot, and her need to bare her new skinny body in general.

My beef isn’t with her new, “sexy” (if sexy means being draped in some pink chiffon and a machine gun ammo belt with your mouth open and eyes half closed…) look; it’s with the inevitable fact that this time next year she will have put all the weight back on and will be on the cover of Who or Women’s Day in an “exclusive” about how she’s fat.

I’ve been wanting to write this article for at least a year now, as it seems that every twelve months or so Ricki-Lee’s espousing how she got skinny or how she got fat again in some magazine tell-all. Not to mention the endorsement deals (Big W’s Hold Me Tight range, anyone?).

My point: Who cares?

Why Ricki-Lee would voluntarily document the changes of her body reflected by the scrutiny of the media and the general public is beyond me. And also, she’s no Kardashian or Oprah; we just don’t care about her that much.

What do you think? A big hullabaloo about nothing, or are Ricki-Lee’s actions damaging to her (predominantly young female [although, with that Maxim cover…]) audience?

Elsewhere: [Sydney Morning Herald] Ricki-Lee Coutler: Too Nude, Too Often?

[MamaMia] Ricki-Lee, Why?

Images via Yahoo!, Who’s Dated Who?, MyGC.

Magazines: Who Favours Victoria Beckham’s Baby Over 9/11.

With all the 9/11 covers sweeping the newsstands, I was expecting an equally fitting cover for Who, which came out on Friday.

No such luck.

While there is a small snippet on the “special report” about “The Children of 9/11”, Victoria Beckham and her new baby, Harper, dominate the cover.

And the anniversary content is even sparser inside, with only the advertised 9/11 kids in a seven-page special, which is also the focus of the editor’s letter. Throw them a bone, why don’t you, Who? (Pardon the crass pun.)

I suppose it really goes to show just how much celebrity culture has become the beacon of our existence, even for the most high-brow of all the celebrity gossip magazines.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Magazine Cover(s) of the Week: September 11 Tributes.

Magazines: Katie Holmes in Who—Do Celeb Bodies Makes Us Feel Better About Our Own?

 

The first thing I noticed when I flipped open to the Katie Holmes story in the latest issue of Who were her stretchmarks. But I was really glad they weren’t pointed out to me: I’m not a fan of body-shaming (though, admittedly and ashamedly, I sometimes succumb to it).

But, looking at Katie’s faded stretchmarks on her taut and toned abs, it made me feel better about my own. (Also, it proves the naysayers wrong: Katie was pregnant with Suri; the Cruises didn’t order her in from some Scientology farm.)

Who, however, does do their fair share of scrutinising, comparing Katie’s current bikini body with her bloated stomach in a shoe store in early May.

As I said above, I don’t like to see others’ bodily “shortcomings” pointed out to me; I’m perfectly capable of noticing them myself, and promptly ignoring them. My own bodily “shortcomings”? It’s touch and go.

The one thing I dislike about myself is my skin. It’s very susceptible to scarring and marking, and my acne scars, stretchmarks, spider veins and cellulite will attest to that. Bad skin runs in my family. But, after several years of struggling with my skin, especially on my upper legs and face, I’ve come to terms with it. You hide the areas you’re not a fan of and flaunt your best assets. I’ve embraced the ’50s silhouette in summer, and mostly wear A-line skirts that end just at the knee or mid-calf. For my money, I think I look better in clothes than I do out of them.

However, I think the only way you can become comfortable with your body is to walk around in your underwear. Or better yet, naked. Frequently. I do this all the time, and I love my body more for it. It helps you understand what you look like in all your glory, and better revel in yourself when it comes time to get naked with someone new. I can’t recommend this enough.

But back to celeb bodies. One the one hand, it would be a horrible thing to be subjected to as a person in the public eye. You would have to have a very thick (yet supple, and wrinkle/scar/pimple free, and perfectly tanned, and…) skin to deal with the scrutiny of celebrity life. But on the other hand, in this day and age, people don’t get into music/TV/film without being well aware what they’ll be subjected to. It’s not fair, but it’s a fact.

And the celebs who are open about their body struggles—Kate Winslet and her weight woes, Khloe Kardashian’s inadequacy when compared to her sisters—or even just celebs who refuse to conform to the skinny-mini stereotype—Kate Winslet (again), Pink and her baby body on the beach—give us someone to hold up as a beacon of hope when we don’t all look like the one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter mould.

While Katie still looks slim in her beach holiday photos (attention is drawn to her protruding—and, in one case, inverted—shoulder blades), her stretchmarks are what I’m looking at. And they look beautiful.

Related: Skinny-Shaming VS. Fat-Shaming.

My Name’s Scarlett, And I’m a Fat-Shamer.

Is There Really a Beauty Myth?

Who Condemns Baby-Body Bullying…

The Hills Have (Dead) Eyes.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] These Are the Un-Retouched, Un-Fake Breasts of a 33-Year-Old Woman Who Has Breast Fed Two Babies. God Bless You Kate Winslet.

[MamaMia] What a Human Body Looks Like After a Baby.

Magazines: Who Speculates About Domestic Violence in the Affleck/Garner Household.

 

While garnishing the article with a “Rumour Patrol” disclaimer softens the blow a little (both puns intended!), I’m not sure Who’s doing anyone any favours by insinuating that Jennfer Garner may have given Ben Affleck the black eye he’s sporting in this paparazzi pic of the family in the wake of the “Blake Lively” nude photo scandal.

Feel free to speculate, as Who has surely done…

Related: Picture Perfect.

Brynne Edelsten’s “No Barbie”, But Should She Aspire to Be?

In this week’s Who magazine, Dancing with the Stars contestant Brynne Edelsten (formerly Gordon) divulges her “normal” childhood in “a modest four-bedroom home” in Oklahoma, and says that while she played with Barbies, don’t mistake her for one.

I’ve blogged numerous times about the virtues of Barbie; I jut don’t think she’s a damaging toy—or role model—for girls.

Edelsten, on the other hand, may be sweet and “shy”, but she’s got a long way to go if she wants to be viewed as someone other than Geoffrey Edelsten’s young, surgically enhanced trophy wife and un-co DWTS contestant.

Whereas Barbie is smart, confident, does dare to bare on the red carpet like Edelsten, but never looks trashy and, judging from her numerous careers in the physical field, is bodily synchronised. Then again, it’s hard not to be when you’re plastic.

Edelsten seems harmless enough, and the Who article reveals that she wants to be taken more seriously as not just Geoffrey Edelsten’s “shallow, pretty” wife.

She unbelievably survived the first elimination on DWTS; overcoming the odds. Now that’s something Barbie could relate to.

Related: Toy Story 3’s Barbie: Not as Dumb as She Looks.

Don’t Just Blame Barbie.

Is There Really a Beauty Myth?

Prime Minister Barbie.

In Defence of Barbie.

Magazines: Who Thinks Jackie O’s Parenting Style is Beautiful?

 

A couple of weeks ago, Jackie O was vilified by the Minister for Families, Pru Goward, for feeding her baby Kitty whilst crossing the road, and most women everywhere jumped to her defence.

As one of Who’s “Most Beautiful People” for 2011, she explains her role as a mother:

“… I think for me the most beautiful thing is the bond you share [with your child]—I know all mothers say that, but you just can’t explain the love you feel. You honestly would die for your child without a moment’s hesitation. You put yourself second and it’s a really nice feeling to be rid of that vanity, to not be so self-obsessed. I love watching other mothers with their babies, too…”

Given the outrage Goward’s comments sparked by women in the media, it seems very timely that Who chose O as one of their finalists this year, and chose instead to focus on the wonderful things about motherhood, as opposed to the mistakes—according to Goward, at least—a new mum is bound to make.

Related: “Cultural Talking Points”: How Does Jackie O’s “Bad Parenting” Relate to Hunting?

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] Jackie O & the Twisted Politics of Being a Bad Mother.

[Girl with a Satchel] Jackie O, Michael Clarke & the Pillorying of Pretty People.