Magazine Cover of the Week: Kristen Stewart Vamps it Up for W’s September Issue.

Kristen has a certain Lindsay-Lohan-as-Elizabeth-Taylor, Brigitte Bardot quality to her on the coveted September cover of W, wouldn’t you say? Nice to see her breaking out of her scowley-grunge mould.

Elsewhere: [Pink is the New Blog] Code (in the) Red.

Image via WhyFame.

Body Image: Brown Eyed Girl.

A few weeks ago, just after I’d watched the “Born This Way” episode of Glee, I served two Asian girls at work.

It was hard to see their eyes properly, as they had a lot of eye makeup on and their fringes were tickling their lashes, but I was pretty sure they had blue—or Elizabeth Taylor violet—contacts in.

It reminded me of Tina Cohen-Chang’s “Brown Eyes” t-shirt from the New Directions’ performance of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, as part of the 90-minute after-school special on acceptance. In the episode, Tina hates her brown eyes, so takes to wearing blue contact lenses to appear less “Asian”. (Can you really blame her, when her only real characteristic on the show is her Asianess? And her boyfriend, Mike Chang’s, Asianess. For that matter, there are other Asian surnames than just Chang, Ryan Murphy!)

I wasn’t sure if this was an actual phenomenon outside of the pop culture world, but given the propensity of Western, Barbie-esque images to infiltrate other cultures, especially Asian ones, it doesn’t surprise me that blue eyes are all the rage.

As a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl myself, I love my features. But as a child, having both a mother and sister with blonde hair and blue eyes, I did feel like a bit of a black brown sheep until the age of about 10 or 11.

Apparently, even Paris Hilton wears blue contacts to mask her naturally brown peepers.

What do you think? Would you wear coloured contacts to change the shade of your eyes? And have you ever seen any Asian girls wearing obvious contact lenses?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Born This Way” Episode.

Image via The Daily Mail.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

“The Class Boundaries of Veronica Mars.”

Why the Body Image Advisory Group’s voluntary code of conduct didn’t work.

Rachel Hills on the internet, artifice and being fake.

“The New Middleton Class”.

Speaking of the Middleton’s, Melinda Tankard Reist takes issue with the admiration of Pippa’s ass online:

“The FB site provides an opportunity for men everywhere to share their sexual fantasies for the young maid of honour. Knock her up, bash her in, cause her injury such that she would not be able to walk. Wrecking and shredding a woman’s anus is a popular porn script.

“And all this is supposed to be accepted as a compliment. Of course there are no ‘Pippa the Wonderfully Supportive Sister Appreciation Societies’ or other pages lauding her gifts and character and other non-body related attributes.”

Bret Easton Ellis on the spectacle that is Charlie Sheen.

“Filling the Gaps” in the online feminist community’s “call-out culture”.

In what was Elizabeth Taylor’s last interview, with Kim Kardashian for US Harper’s Bazaar, she divulges her thoughts on living like a queen, the Krupp diamond and Twitter. I was never a fan of Taylor, but this interview made me one.

What does it mean to be a feminist today?

Is the male body “Repulsive or Beautiful?”

Ever been hollered at in the street as you walk past a construction site? “Why Men Cat Call” sounds interesting, but is disappointingly dismal.

Amélie sex (noun): intercourse undertaken in the classic missionary position which, by itself, is not objectionable—during which the male is impervious to the female’s lack of enjoyment.”

The bromance VS. Bridesmaids“Homance”.

Don’t give up your day job: “Freelancing on the Side.”

Images via I Just Have So Many Feelings, Sydney Morning Herald.

Magazines: Size Matters—Independent Zine ZINm Plays with Proportion.

 

You’d never catch a newsstand glossy changing its size, except for the occasional handbag edition of Cleo or Marie Claire.

But independent zines can afford to experiment with size, as this month’s edition of Marc Bonnici’s independent ZINm does.

Inside, Bonnici profiles his favourite magazine covers, from Ginnifer Goodwin on Lucky, to Adam Lambert for Galaxie, Elizabeth Taylor on her People tribute issue, and Nicole Scherzinger for Pride.

Related: ZINm Review, Issue 6.

George Michael Paper Dolls in Independent Zine ZINm.

Independent Zine ZINm Preview.

Elsewhere: [Marc Bonnici] Homepage.

Pretty Girl Bullshit.

 

White Girl Problems is the latest Twitter phenomenon to sweep the pop culture world, with such gems as “Fine, if that’s the way you’re going to act, then you’re uninvited to my Elizabeth Taylor memorial cocktails” and “I’m sorry you think I’m being a bitch”; the passive-aggressive “apology” heard in relationships the world over.

While the Twitter profile is poignantly taking the piss out of the problems of the privileged, there is the issue of race there, also.

Like, why is it called White Girl Problems? Why not Privileged Girl Problems? Or Rich Girl Problems? But even with that, it would be feeding into the classism debate. Whichever way you look at it, White Girl Problems is a double entrendre of racism and classism.

It also highlights the body image battle a lot of young girls face, be they white, black, rich, poor, or whatever. Here are a couple of examples:

While I’m not personally offended by the Twitter feed (I am a white girl with [first world] problems, after all), I can understand why some might be.

Racialicious, actually writing about the Alexandra Wallace/“Asians in the Library” scandal, says that it all comes down to “white female privilege”, meaning “you can say more outrageous shit because you’re a pretty white lady”.

That may be so (I have been known to voice my opinion on all manner of topics that may be deemed controversial: the baptism of babies being bullshit, pretentious parenting, and abortion [more to come on that last one in coming weeks]), but how long have men—of all races but, yes, particularly Caucasian ones—been getting away with it? And still are. Charlie Sheen and Chris Brown are two names that spring to mind…

Related: First World Problems.

Rihanna’s “S&M”: Is It Really So Much Worse Than Her Other Stuff?

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Charlie Sheen’s Witness.

Why Are Famous Men Forgiven for Their Wrongdoings, While Women Are Vilified for Much Less?

Elsewhere: [Twitter] White Girl Problems.

[Racialicious] Go After the Privilege, Not the Tits: Afterthoughts on Alexandra Wallace & White Female Privilege.

Images via TV.IGN, Anu News, Film Junk.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

Rebecca Black is subversifying the pop world.

“Yet here the discerning viewer notes that something is wrong. Because it is a simply matter of fact that in this car all the good seats have already been taken. For Rebecca Black (her name here would seem to evoke Rosa Parks, a mirroring that will only gain in significance) there is no actual choice, only the illusion of choice.

“The viewer knows that she’ll take the only seat that’s offered to her…”

The Awl even goes so far as to say Black’s relationship with the rapper in her “Friday” clip might be Lolita-esque, and that the video is a commentary on “a crypto sex scene from which we return to the suburban house party”. Creepy.

What it feels like for a (tween star) girl.

I hate answering the phone. When I lived at home, I would never answer the landline when it rang. Now that I fend for myself and can only afford one phone, I only answer numbers I recognise. So does Pamela Paul, via MamaMia.

Extremely racist anti-abortion billboards aimed at African Americans.

Lucy Ormonde asks if it’s acceptable for women to make the first move. My answer: hell yes! Otherwise I would never get any action!

“Words That Are Transphobic & Why.”

The Sartorialist’s “sturdy” shitstorm.

It’s okay to be “fat”, just as long as it’s in the right places, ie. bum, hips and boobs, allowing for a small waist, à la Kim Kardashian and Christina Hendricks.

After reading this review, I can’t wait to see Sucker Punch: a “Burlesque meets Inception” amalgamation of “bustiers, fishnets and glitter instead of asylum uniforms” where Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish et al’s characters reside in the film. These are just some “of the many clues that we are not actually inside the mind of a young girl, but inside Zach Snyder’s spank bank!”

Perhaps it could have been titled something else, but “How to Be Skinny” has some good points.

Kate Walsh is not a loser!:

“She’s certainly not a loser, based on her many accomplishments. Having a baby doesn’t instantly turn you into a winner. If you feel like a loser for not having a baby, that is your personal truth, but it is not The Truth. And! The fact that so many media outlets picked up this one sentence segment—from a long cover story with quotes about divorce, high heels and Lady Gaga—shows that we, the public are the real losers, for placing so much importance on how a woman uses her uterus.”

“5 Seconds of Every #1 Song From 1993–2011.”

“What Celebrity Culture Means:” Asking completely unqualified famous teenage boys their opinions on abortion and rape:

“‘Thanks for joining us tonight Mr. Bieber. What are your views on climate change? How do you feel about Iraq? And what do you think of the criticism levied against the parents of the Columbine shooters?’”

Going Gaga for breast milk.

On catastrophes and guilt.

Is gay marriage really the hallmark of society’s downfall? Not according to this fab pie chart.

Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, John Galliano et al: our obsession with celebs behaving badly.

Sarah Ayoub-Christie likens the freelance market to war, via Lois Lane, on The New Adventures of Superman. I’m inclined to agree!

“Jackie O & the Twisted Politics of Being a Bad Mother” at MamaMia.

Jezebel has also picked up the story.

Where’s the (nerd) love?

Today’s celebrity perfumers could take a lesson from the late Liz Taylor in personal branding.

90% of Facebook users take note: “Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling.”

The fashion life cycle of the meat dress.

Images via Democratic Underground, Graph Jam, Feministing, The Awl.

The Allure of the Co-Star.

 

From “Rashida Jones on the Lure of the Co-Star” by Irin Carmon on Jezebel:

“You kind of fall in love with yourself in the eyes of this other person… You’re in a cold place and you want to connect with somebody, you’re not near your husband or wife, and you’ll want to connect with somebody else.

“It’s hard for actors to distinguish between those feelings, and it’s hard to tell your body to communicate these things physiologically and yet it’s just acting and nothing else. With emotional stuff like that, it’s like a weird, short, unaccounted-for affair.”

Just ask Elizabeth Taylor!

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Rashida Jones on the Lure of the Co-Star.

Image via Station Hollywood.

Book Review: Another City, Not My Own by Dominick Dunne.

Two weeks ago I reviewed the lacklustre The Mansions of Limbo by Dominick Dunne. But as my favourite author, Dunne can do no wrong in my eyes. This time around, I’m reviewing the book that changed my life, Another City, Not My Own.

There’s nothing in particular that makes it a life changing book for probably anyone other than myself, but after I’d read it, there was no going back. I picked up the “novel in the form of a memoir” in mid 2009 after reading O.J. Simpson’s confessional, If I Did It. I had become fascinated and obsessed with the case, and Dunne’s commentary in the afterword was my first encounter with the famous name dropper.

I’m sure I Wikied him, as I do all new authors and books I come across to better familiarise myself with their writing and whether I want to commit to a book by them, and found out that Dunne was a Hollywood producer whose drug and alcohol fuelled lifestyle caused his wife to divorced him and the industry to shun him. Dunne became a recluse, penning his first New York Times Bestseller, The Winners, in a cabin in Oregon.

The murder of his daughter, Poltergeist star Dominique Dunne, and the subsequent “slap on the wrist” her killerand boyfriendreceived drew Dunne out of the woodwork and into the public glare once again. He became an advocate for victims rights and justice brought against rich and famous offenders, covering such high-profile cases as the trial of Claus von Bülow, charged with attempted murder as his estranged wife Sunny lay in a vegetative state after an alleged insulin overdose; Kennedy relatives Michael Skakel and William Kennedy Smith, serving time for the murder of teenage neighbour Martha Moxley (on which the 1993 novel, A Season in Purgatory, is based) and acquitted of rape charges, respectively; the Menedez murders; and, of course, the O.J. Simpson trial, for Vanity Fair. I could not get enough of his storied history and fascinating accounts of the dark side of Hollywood.

While I have only read a small sampling of Dunne’s published books, as they are quite hard to get a hold of, I just knew from the first self-deprecating paragraphs denouncing his credibility as a crime reporter and mention of the notorious footballer cum alleged murderer cum black hero O.J., as with all good books, that this was going to be one to remember.

Another City, Not My Own chronicles Dunne’s alter ego Gus Bailey’s return from New York back to the city that ruined his life, Los Angeles, for the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fictionalised (Dunne’s real son Griffin is now Bailey’s son Grafton; A Season in Purgatory is the narrator’s book-turned-miniseries), and such famous names as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, the Spellings, Michael Jackson and Heidi Fleiss make guest appearances, if only in the form of dinner table gossip fodder. In addition, the larger-than-life main players, O.J., Nicole Brown Simpson, the Goldman family, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney’s dead daddy Robert Kardashian, pool boy Kato Kaelin, racist cop Mark Furhman, Nicole’s drug addicted friend, Faye Resnick, and super-lawyers, prosecutor Marcia Clark, and the arrogant Johnnie Cochran for the defence, make Another City, Not My Own read like a salacious gossip mag or blockbuster movie.

This book boats a twist, turn and pop culture reference on every page, making your eyes race to keep up as your mind tries to savour the action, because once you’ve read the shock ending, which links to another high profile ’90s murder, there’s no going back.

Related: The Mansions of Limbo by Dominick Dunne Review.