Mag Cover of the Week: Princess Diana at 50.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you might not have seen Newsweek’s “what would Princess Diana look like now?” cover, Photoshopped to look like she’s strolling down the street with daughter-in-law Kate.

Now, there has been a bit a lot of an uproar regarding the supposed tastelessness of the cover, however, I kind of like it.

I think it satisfies the public’s morbid fascination with the royal family, especially in the wake of Will and Kate’s wedding, and it’s also kind of cool. Look: faced with a copy of a magazine with a picture of Diana we’ve seen a thousand times versus a magazine with this picture, I’d buy the Newsweek.

I haven’t had a chance to read the accompanying article by Tina Brown yet, but from the snippets I have read, it’s nothing to write home about. Cover definitely wins out over copy this time.

What do you think of Newsweek’s take on Diana at 50?

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Royal Wedding: The Other Event of the Decade?

Image via IBTimes.

TV: Glee Gets Down on Friday at the Prom.

So Rebecca Black has officially permeated the zeitgeist, with “Friday” being performed by Puck, Artie and Sam at McKinley High’s junior prom on last night’s episode of Glee.

And despite Quinn’s monotonous efforts to be crowned prom queen, along with Finn as her king, she lost out to “queen” Kurt.

Kurt’s date Blaine told Kurt of what happened to him at his last prom (he and another gay friend were set on by the school homophobes and gang bashed) and that he wasn’t 100% comfortable with attending, but he went for Kurt anyway.

Kurt’s dad, Burt, was concerned that Kurt’s “royal wedding-inspired” tux, which he handmade himself, wasn’t appropriate and that Kurt shouldn’t draw any extra attention to himself and Blaine.

Kurt thinks, despite Santana and Karofsky escorting him to and from classes as part of their Bully Whips anti-bullying squad, that McKinley is really coming around to the idea of gay acceptance, because he hasn’t been physically or verbally abused since returning from Dalton Academy.

Hatred builds up inside if we can’t let it out, and it seems that the kids at McKinley let it out sneakily and quietly, by “secret ballot” for prom queen.

But you know Kurt: he sucked it up and went out there in front of the school to tell them… “Kate Middleton, eat your heart out.” Okay, I was expecting something a little more inspirational than that, considering the “gay prom” issue is one that’s rampant in the U.S., and also here, as a recent episode of SBS’s Insight will attest.

But I suppose we have Chris Colfer’s Golden Globes speech to comfort us.

And, as is Glee’s trademark, the controversy was wrapped up nicely into one 42-minute episode and McKinley’s homophobia will live to fight another day.

Until then, let’s get down on “Friday”!

[SBS] Gay in School: SBS Insight.

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

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Original Song” Episode.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Gwyneth Paltrow Addresses Tabloid Culture & Her Haters.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Glee “Sexy” Review.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Blame it on the Alcohol” Episode.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] How to Make a Woman Fall in Love With You, Glee Style.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Glee “Silly Love Songs” Review.

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

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The (Belated) Underlying Message in Glee’s “Never Been Kissed” Episode.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Underlying Message in Glee’s “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” Episode.

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

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Grilled Cheesus” Episode.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Britney/Brittany” Episode.

Images via Showbiz Nest, I Am Thea 07, Maurissa Weiner.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Embrace your inner slut:

“If someone calls you a slut, there’s nothing you can say to refute the claim because it never had any cognitive content anyway.

“If you try to argue that you’re not a slut, you’re implicitly buying into the idea that there are sluts out there. If there’s some criterion that will set you free, that standard will indict someone else—someone with a higher ‘number,’ or shorter skirt, or a later curfew. So we get bogged down in slut/non-slut border skirmishes over a line nobody should have tried to draw in the first place, and we all lose.

“Even virginity is not a defense against alleged sluttiness. Virgins can be sluts if they dress the wrong way, walk the wrong way, or even instill the wrong thoughts in other people. Some people will convict you of sluttitude because your body is the wrong shape, or the right shape.”

Sluts just can’t win. That’s why you should (as above) embrace your inner slut and join the SlutWalk next weekend in Melbourne, at the State Library from 1pm. I’ll be blogging more about this throughout next week.

Glee’s Mercedes just can’t get a date!

Video vixen VS. female bodybuilders:

“It is not ‘respectable’ to be black, female, voluptuous, and sexy on a stage for profit, but it is perfectly acceptable to be black, female, muscular, and ‘unsexy’. Is this double standard acceptable? Is one profession truly more sexualized than the other?”

I don’t entirely agree with this hypothesis. I think it’s far more acceptable to be conventionally and femininely sexy, as opposed to muscular and unconventionally masculine. Sure, the video vixen job title isn’t exactly perceived as a classy, “respectable” occupation, but neither is female bodybuilding. Society as a whole would much rather see women shaking what they were born with (or, you know, what the plastic surgeon gave them) than manipulating their bodies via hormones and free weights.

The surrogacy debate rages on at MamaMia

“$150,000 Doesn’t Make You Rich. Discuss.” Okay, I will: I come from a family where my mother stayed home with my sister and I, and my dad worked three jobs at some stages. I was very young then, so I have no idea how much money he brought in. But I can tell you, it sure as hell wasn’t $150,000, and we struggled to keep our heads above water week-to-week. We never had savings, we could never go on family holidays that required much travel because we couldn’t afford flights or accommodation. I missed out on all but one of my seven cousins’ weddings because we couldn’t make it interstate. My parents have only bought two houses in their lifetime: the other nine we resided in throughout my lifetime were rentals. I also don’t know how much my dad makes now, but it is a lot less than $100,000, and my mum’s on a pension. In my opinion, $150,000 a year is rich.

“Opposition leader Tony Abbott says the Government is punishing ‘aspiration and hard work’,” with the new middle class welfare breaks. Is working three jobs and hardly being able to see your family not hard work, Mr. Abbott?

How to deal with your boyfriend’s porn-watching habit.

The argument for Pixar movie heroines who aren’t princesses, “from all the girls with band-aids on their knees”.

The perils of being smiled at by a cute guy in a café when you’re not wearing makeup.

Texas’ “10 Hottest Female Sex Offenders”. “No doubt that 4-year-old boy, that 2-year-old boy and that 13-year-old girl are taking solace even as we speak that at least they were abused, molested and assaulted by a hot person.”

Hillary Clinton, brownies and Vanity Fair’s cover line.

The aftermath of the royal wedding and the state of Britain’s monarchy for the next 30 years.

Gay/straight chicken: when straight men insult homosexuality and “gay men insult women”.

“Is Kate Hudson Coasting on Cuteness?” My money is on “yes”. When was the last time she starred in a box-office smash, or was nominated for an award other than a Razzie?

Images via Jezebel, Fashion Fame.

Magazines: Forget People. Time’s Most Influential Things.

I always enjoy Joel Stein’s satirical take on Time’s 100 Most Influential People at the back of the magazine.

Here, some of his picks for this year’s most influential things:

1. Earthquakes.

2. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s reactor core.

5. & 6. Protests and Tweets helped bring down Hosni Mubarak.

7. Diplomatic cables, á la WikiLeaks.

13. The drug called Charlie Sheen.

16. Home. “No one goes out anymore”.

20. Birth certificates.

24. Eyjafjallajökull. The Icelandic volcano, for those of you who need refreshing.

29. Justin Bieber’s hair clippings.

33. The royal wedding.

34. Korans. “Ironically, there are rarely book burnings in cold climates.”

36. Auto-tune. “Turning normal 13-year-olds into YouTube music sensations.”

38. Meat desses.

47. White-girl problems.

52. Jeggings.

56. Tigers. “Amy Chua’s tiger mom: Charlie Sheen’s tiger blood; Margaux Fragoso’s memoir Tiger Tiger; Robin Williams’ playing a tiger on Broadway…”

67. Friday.

70. Kate Middleton’s Issa engagement dress.

76. Veils. I believe the correct terminology would be the niqab, batula, burqa or chadri.

81. Supermoon.

82. 3-D everything.

[Time] The Time 100 Most Influential Things in the World.

[Jezebel] Know Your Veils: A Guide to Head Coverings.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Michelle Obama Combating Childhood Obesity Makes Her One of Time’s Most Influential People.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Tiger Mom Must Be Doing Something Right. She Made Time’s 100 Most Influential People List.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Lady Most Likely: Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Royal Wedding: The Other Event of the Decade?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Pretty Girl Bullshit.

Images via Snopes, Zurmat, Ald Talks.

In the News: Osama bin Laden & Racism.

So, yay. Osama bin Laden is dead. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past week and a half, you would know that.

It’s very cut and dry: they captured bin Laden in a hideaway compound in Pakistan after months of observation, they shot him dead in the head and chest, did a DNA test against his dead sister’s genes, and buried him at sea once it was confirmed it was him.

But the emotions surrounding bin Laden are anything but cut and dry.

The news showed masses celebrating in the streets in the U.S., and his followers mourning him in the East.

But the mistake a lot of people make, I think, is thinking that everyone in the East holds bin Laden in high esteem.

I encountered such racism the day of the martyr’s death, when I sent the equivalent of an office email around my workplace when I heard the news in the mid-afternoon. At this point it wasn’t common knowledge, so I thought most people would like to know that the man who single-handedly changed the world on September 11, 2001, was dead.

A couple of hours later, a colleague approached me and said he thought my message was a bit inappropriate. I asked how, as it is not uncommon for the AFL grand final results or who won the Melbourne Cup to be broadcast around my workplace, as this was a news story just like them.

He said there are Muslims in our workplace and they might have found it offensive.

I told my colleague—and friend, might I add—that I was offended by his small-mindedness, and to get out of my face. In the nicest possible way, of course!

But, legitimately, I was offended by the fact that he thought all Muslims were proud to have bin Laden as their figurehead; the person who represents their religion and culture to the rest of the world. That’s like saying that someone like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin or—God forbid!—Adolf Hitler is adored by the white masses, not taking into account that these people are morons (the former two) who slaughtered millions of people (the latter). This is an abhorrent worldview that, unfortunately, a lot of people hold true.

I followed this altercation up with a friend who happens to be Muslim, just to be sure that I wasn’t overreacting, and he assured me I wasn’t.

There’s always going to be people who have a bigoted attitude to people and cultures they aren’t familiar with, but hopefully bin Laden’s death can be used as a stepping stone in the right direction.

(Note: in reference to a post on the day of the Royal Wedding where I hypothesised that the decade between 2001 and 2011 would be book ended by two of the most important events in our history—September 11 and the Royal Wedding—it looks like I was wrong. The decade has been defined by one horrible man who introduced us to “the age of terror”, and has now escaped it to “rot in hell”, as the headlines have espoused. Not to become a martyr and move on to paradise, or Jannah, as one simple television commentator argued as a reason why they should have captured, not killed, bin Laden. Oh, the ignorance.)

(Note #2: Also check out Mia Freedman’s latest Sunday Life article, in which she demystifies the niqab and addresses bigots.)

[MamaMia] A Normal Face.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Royal Wedding: The Other Event of the Decade?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Back to the Draw-ing Board: Australia’s Year of Indecision.

Images via Huffington Post, Zimbio, Sydney Morning Herald.

On the Net: The Gender Politics of the Royal Wedding.

From “Theory: Why Women Care About Princesses” by Echidne of the Snakes on Jezebel:

“… What is it that little girls seem, once again, to be emulating in their play? Cinderellas and ballet dancers. I believe that the reasons for those choices (by their parents and the toy industry and the society) are the same old ones: Here are role models for girls which apply even in a world of gender inequality, yet don’t truly alarm more egalitarian parents. Those role models are not that different from the models given to boys: football players, space heroes, characters with gigantic muscles and super-powers. That they are fewer and more anemic goes with the territory of gendered expectations.

“Sure, children grow past those types of toys, and they even grow past the gender-policing stage. But perhaps something remains, something which is then evoked by a royal wedding in women or a football game in men.”

[Jezebel] Theory: Why Women Care About Princesses.

[Echidne of the Snakes] Homepage.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Royal Wedding: The Other Event of the Decade?

Images via Legitimate News, Vipfuly, Coco Perez.

In the News/Body Image: Poor Pippa.

She’s in possession of the ass that launched a thousand Facebook groups. She’s sister to the future Queen of England. She’s from a self-made millionaire family. But I kind of feel sorry for Pippa Middleton.

Why?!, you ask? She’s got everything a girl could ever want!

No, she’s got everything her sister could ever want. Kate’s—sorry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge—the one who signed up for a lifetime of scrutiny and the weight of the world on her and her husband’s shoulders, not Pippa. And Kate’s had ten years to prepare for it.

Despite being there when Kate was falling out of clubs and into cars in her let’s-show-Wills-what-he’s-missing days, the world only really took notice of Pippa when she spilled her curves into that dress two weeks ago.

To be clear, I think she looked great. Healthy, fit, glowing, and a booty the envy of most girls… and guys! But could she have realised the furor that has erupted ahead of time?

Sure, she wanted to be there for her sister, and no doubt her dress will be copied the world over as much as Kate’s.

But for all the good press, there’s just as much bad.

A friend of mine mentioned the amount of freckles Pippa has, and how she “won’t age well”. Jesus, she’s only 27!

And the inevitable nude photo scandal has emerged, to the delight of Facebook fans and the chagrin of the royal family.

Only time will tell whether Pippa can handle the microscope of the public, whether she be put under a good or bad lens.

Image via Pop on the Pop.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Porn star Stoya Tweets, “If you think pubic hair on a woman is unnatural or weird, you aren’t mature enough to be touching vaginas.” You go, girl!

Beware hot baths in winter: they can cause heart attacks!

Celebrities and mental illness.

I was absolutely disgusted by Bob Ellis’ take on the ADFA sex scandal on ABC’s The Drum Unleashed, comparing the unconsented filming of a young female cadet during sex to the girls discussing last night’s date on Sex & the City. Here are some choice excerpts:

“Let us imagine the girl agreed to be filmed, and then, afterwards, being mocked for it, and flabbergasted by the number of leering hoons who saw the film, made the complaint. Would that then occasion the sacking of her commanding officer, the court-martial of fifteen or twenty of her fellow recruits, and the bastardising of her lover?

“… She would have been mortified. She would have cursed for months the prurient observers of her bed games. She would have railed at them in the canteen. She would have sobbed on the phone to her mother. She would have attracted some sympathy. She would almost certainly have got over it… And she might… have married the boy.”

“… They, and we, should be careful when we attend too closely to what occurs in a bedroom consensually, and how we punish either participant.

“… Is the young woman, moreover, to be named, and acclaimed, and promoted, and hereafter entrusted with frontline command on some field of battle? Who would trust her in any high army position? Who would be sure she was truthful? Or sound of judgment? Or loyal? Or reliable under fire?”

To end, he makes sure we know that group sex didn’t occur, “as it sometimes does in traveling footballers’ motel rooms”, as if that somehow makes it okay.

Kim Powell writes in response at News with Nipples about Ellis’ assertion that (male) society owns female bodies, as he began the above piece by reminiscing about an old M.A.S.H. episode in which the shower Hot Lips Houlihan is using is lifted by a crane and the menfolk gaze at her naked body.

Girl with a Satchel posts a smashing review of Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

Vintage Gala Darling, circa 2005. Glad to see she hasn’t changed :).

“7 Reasons to Get Excited About the Royal Wedding”… one week later!

In relation, is Princess Catherine doomed to repeat the same fate as Diana? A royal comparison.

Also, “Jessica Rudd shines some perspective on the wedding and the Republic.”

Much to my chagrin, tanning beds are safe… for some things!

Sarah Wilson on private schooling:

“I know parents want to provide the best for their own kids… I don’t know that fancy pools and excursions to Tuscany make for a better education.”

“Things Fat People Are Told”:

“If a fat person defied any of these pronouncements in any way, they spoke of having their lives and experiences denied. They couldn’t really have low blood pressure. They couldn’t really be getting married.

“The hostility fat people experience is extreme. One woman spoke about being on an operating table for a C-section and having a surgeon mock her fat, suggesting they get rid of it while they’ve got her open. Another spoke of sitting in an ambulance while a police officer refused to believe she was raped. Others were told they should be happy to have been sexually assaulted. We heard about how transgender persons were belittled for being too fat to pass. We heard about fat people who were sick and were denied treatment until they lost weight. Fat mothers were told they were selfish for being fat because they would orphan their children. Or that their children would never love them. Or that they’d just ruin their children’s lives so maybe the baby should just die in the womb.”

Lisa Simpson would “totally be a Jezebel reader if she were human.”

Images via Jezebel.

Event: The Royal Wedding—The Other Event of the Decade?

Today is Friday (Friday, everybody’s looking forward to the weekend…), 29th April, and you all know what that means: it’s the Royal Wedding, y’all!

Granted, I couldn’t care less, but I will be spending the evening on the couch with some books and mags, tuning in every now and then to check on the festivities (namely Kate’s Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine’s dress and to perve on Prince Harry).

(I also have a special event of my own occurring today that takes excitement precedence, and that is getting my first tattoo!)

But with an expected audience of 2 billion people, is this the event of the decade?

It hasn’t quite been ten years since September 11, so is it possible that the Royal Wedding could take the terrorist attack’s place as the most significant event in the past decade? (On that note, what about Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis?)

It’s hard to compare the two: one was one of the most horrific events in human history that changed the way we think, act and feel, the other is an exercise in royal extravagance and tabloid obsession.

2001 to 2011 will be book ended by the saddest and happiest televised moments.

How will you be spending the day?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Apocalypse Now: 2012 Come Early?

Images via Think Progress, Great Dreams.

Magazines: Accessorise.

From “Falling Stars: The Plight of the Windsors” by Peter Conrad in The Monthly, February 2011:

“Some feminist critics complain that during the decade Kate spent waiting for William to propose, she worked only one year, as an accessories buyer for the fashion label Jigsaw. I’d say this was astute training for her role, since she is to function as an accessory.”

Image via This Memphis Belle.