Saturday, August 15, 2009

ELLE Magazine ... They Can't Be Serious

Did I actually purchase this magazine with my own money at a store? I think I did. I think I actually picked it out for it's cover model, one of many celebrities that I have a car-wreck fascination with (Miley Cyrus), and upon further inspection, thought the articles seemed interesting. Now I'm at page 140 (about half-way through the magazine, not yet to the point where most of the cover-advertised articles begin. And I'm disgusted. Seriously.

For those of you who don't know me personally, or haven't been reading my stuff for long ... I am not a raging feminist, nor am I what could ever be called a conservative, nor am I against many of the things that I thought fashion was about, and stood for. But it's gross. Is this a tome of the fashion industry, or just an old periodical out of touch with, well, everyone except itself?

Granted, I was already irritated because of an article I read yesterday about a neighborhood retailer for which I have some affinity. Then, upon the suggestion of the August '09 issue of Elle, I went to check out Bloomingdale's new ad campaign. The latter was supposedly this cutting-edge video footage of "the future Drews, Scarletts, and Penelopes" of the movie industry. Shot by a female filmmaker (don't know her credits, don't care) named Jen Venditti, it showcases the biographies and -- you guessed it -- screen tests of 19 up-and-coming actresses, each of whom is less interesting than the last, each of whom comes off as extremely affected and intentionally done-up to look a part.

There's I'm-hip-and-edgy-but-still-love-Shakespeare actress Julian Leigh Federman; then there is I'm-in-your-face-and-can-only-play-lesbians/alternative-characters Cristin Milioti; and my personal favorite, the oh-I'm-just-an-innocent-beauty-from-a-Scandinavian-country blonde, Aleksandra Orbeck. The other 16 girls pack an equally dull and presence-less punch, as does the 5-minute Bloomingdale's short. I found myself flipping the channels on Saturday morning television instead of paying rapt attention to this dumpling of female artistic achievement. Gag.

So, I moved on from that page (both in the magazine and online), and found an article entitled, "Get Shorty," which asks us, "In love, do close-cropped girls finish last?...Johanna Cox [author of the piece] the painful truth." This writer has crafted her article-slash-social-experiment out of her haircut. Yes, apparently for most of her life, she had long hair and loved it. She had a swinging pony tail, even though the process of blow-drying her mop "meant paddle-brushing to the point of wrist cramps." She rocked the same culture-approved look from ninth grade to her final semester of graduate school, according to the article, and really never faced any rejection from any men. Hunh. Pictures are available for your acceptance or rejection, here.

Well, sadly, after Ms. Cox (who, FYI, won the first season of "Stylista" and thus a job at Elle) chopped her long, dark locks into somewhat of a pixie cut inspired by a photo posted to ... ... ....(emotional pause) ... her boyfriend didn't think she was hot anymore!!! And he told her so!!! And oh, the rejection that followed, as Cox goes on to describe tediously the many ways in which no men other than those "who know what Lanvin is" have paid attention to her with short hair.

As a chick with short hair myself, I guess I just couldn't believe it. Of course, as expected in middle America, not everyone loves or "gets" my haircut, which is a shorter version of the one I admire on Rhianna. But I certainly don't face rejection by men wherever I go. Both women and men exclaim that they love my haircut, that my 'do is tight, sharp, or hot. Just yesterday I was asked at the gas station who cuts my hair; I had to admit that I cut it, in my bathroom, with some clippers and a pair of sharp scissors. The lady who had asked looked disappointed.

And I must add, that where I live, I can assure you that all these people do not know or care what Lanvin is. The article in Elle is accompanied by a few shots of some well-known short-haired gals such as Amber Rose (she pulled Kanye West, and he only seems to date the physically-beautiful!) and Selma Blair (whom a lot of my guy friends describe as "hot").

I think that perhaps when Ms. Cox cut off her hair, she lost her confidence as well. She was probably so very terrified of straying from the conventional that she projected an entirely different attitude and persona. Girl, if you're gonna rock a pixie cut, you have to rock it! You have to commit. You have to wear that hair 'do on your very soul!

I hated this issue of Elle, because while the magazine purports to be about fashion and lifestyle and to herald the best and coolest hair cuts & colors, spas, night spots, models, trends ... It is really just a collection of never-stray-too-far-from-convention photographs, editorials, and styling. Everything is like a picture of what they think a fashion magazine should be; and the irony is that in trying to imitate an old model, or in trying to imitate anything really, you fall completely short of what fashion actually is: innovation, forward-thinking, artistry.

I wouldn't give a shit ... I mean, I just won't buy the magazine again if I don't like it, you know? ... but it disturbs me that this periodical passes on such antiquated, pack-following, everybody's-doing-it ideology. A recent article discussed the way our society is obsessed with thin-ness and quoted one source as stating "A little anorexia is hot." Someone else has already written more and better than I can respond to that: Love that blog, by the way.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Celebrity Whore #1

I can't seem to put a whole thought together in my head these days. I don't know whether it's the going-on-four-days rash of migraines or the general stress of this life or WHAT.

My last truly happy day was on Friday. We went to the Crimson Lounge in Chi-town to dance, drink and see/hear Samantha Ronson dj. It is a gross understatement to say that the lady impressed! I've never been so enamored of a chick in my life! Her mixes were amazing, the place was cozy and fairly hipster, and it was really fun. There were three V.I.P. areas, but I didn't see anyone more famous than myself there. It's a shame that I haven't gotten myself into more beautiful shape yet. I was too shy to approach Samantha. Plus, when she dj's, she's, like, serious. The house dj was jumping around like his pants were on fire - I guess he was groovin' - but SamRon is all about concentration. She had her headphones on one ear and was just watching that Mac screen and pushing buttons, all that. I was never fascinated by what a DJ does before; for that matter, I was never fascinated by a girl before.

So, on Saturday and all the days following, what have I been doing? Girl-crushing. Celebrity stalking. Whatever. I downloaded a bunch of awesome mixes that she has on her myspace page and also from Zune. Everything that can be purchased of hers, I think I have. I haven't even listened to all of it yet, except when I first decided to download it of course. Sigh, but I digress.

I don't know why Us Weekly or Star don't give me a job. Maybe I should apply; it might just be as easy as that! I mean, I am a stellar reporter, editor and writer, all rolled into one! And I definitely have a passion for the job. I would even sign a contract stating that I would never stand at Jon Gosselin's (of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" fame) gate and ask to meet him, then fall in love with him the next day and have to resign (this happened recently to a Star reporter). I mean, yes, I care a lot about matters of Spirituality/Mysticism/Religion and have studied that quite a lot on my own. I also am involved in pursuing a career in the Law, and of course, I am passionate about social issues such as Healthcare Reform '09.

It's just that this stuff comes so easily to me!! No, I'm serious! One minute, I'm checking Twitter to see whether my crush has posted any tidbit, any drop of minutae from her thoughts or about her life ... and the next thing you know I have meandered through Google, Ask, and Wikipedia and read up on the entire history of D.J. AM (Adam Goldstein), Good Charlotte, Ashley Simpson (I refuse to call her Simpson-Wentz; it takes too long), and all the former members of O-Town. I am a walking encyclopedia of A, B, C, and D List celebrities. Ask me anything, and I can tell you what they're doing. I don't know why I'm like this, and I've started not to care!

All I need now is for one of these ubiquitous online blogs (perhaps my own?) or magazines to send me off to interview and get the "scoop" on everyone! I'll go wherever, do whatever! It's what I do anyway. And I was always told that if you can find a way to get paid for what you love to do anyway, then that's the key ... As they say, then you never "work" a day in your life.

Hollywood, here I come!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

When I Fall, I Shall Rise (Micah 7:8)

...But to effect such a change, you cannot ONLY pray. Prayer is a commitment and a call to action on our part. Much like love, which the Word of God, uh, promotes, also, prayer is a commitment to action, a confession of your faith that -- to put it in more pedestrian terms -- God helps those who help themselves. First, check out the link that set me off this morning:

So what went wrong here? Lord knows, faith can move mountains, and faith as small as a mustard seed, at that. But the Lord asks that we act; almost all of the verbs in both the Old and New Testaments are action verbs, whether it is a command from God to us, or a teaching of Peter or Paul. Our faith must be action, not mere feeling. Our faith must actually move those mountains before us, and God expects us to do the pushing; as a matter of fact, God expects us to find a creative way to move that proverbial mountain that is better than pushing it.

We are meant to use our God-given minds and our resources, and Mr. and Mrs. Neumann failed to do that. Separate juries of their peers found them guilty of both the same charge, which in Wisconsin is called Second Degree Reckless Homicide.

The fact that the homicide was deemed "reckless" rather than Wisconsin's other "choices" of Felony Murder, First and Second Degree Intentional Homicide, and Negligent Homicide (a lesser charge than what they got) seems to be the appropriate charge. I am deeply sorry for any parents who have lost a child to illness or in any other manner. But the court found that they were complicit in their daughter's death; doctors testified that she could, and most likely, would, have been saved if they had only acted on their faith. Reckless Homicide in Wisconsin (and it's similar in most of the 50 states) means that one has caused the death of another human being under "circumstances that show utter disregard for human life." And that is exactly how it went down.

I've been told the story of the man whose house was in great danger; a great flood was about to hit his town, but he felt safe and certain due to his faith in the Lord. So when the floods came to his town, and his house was in danger, and others were drowning in the vast waters, the man climbed onto his roof and waited. He waited for the Lord to save him. He told all who would listen that he had no fear; the Lord would save him. Meanwhile, some rescue workers paddled by the quickly-sinking house with a boat. "Come on down," they said, "We're here to take you to safety!" But the man shook his head and replied that he was waiting for the Lord to save him. Yet again, hours later, more rescuers passed through in their life boats, yelling emphatically to the man that he must come down and be rowed to safety. And once again, the man stayed on his roof, shouting back that he was waiting for the Lord, who undoubtedly would save him...

...Eventually, the waters rose too high even for the house and its roof top. The man perished, drowning like so many others in the rising tides. When he got to Heaven, he asked his Lord, "Lord, why did you not save me?" And the Lord replied, "I sent you two boats in which to ride to your safety."

So we must use our resources, as great or as little as they may be. We have to rise up against any challenge like David against Goliath, and not lose faith but rather let it open our great God-given minds and hearts. It is a great tragedy that this family did not heed the word of that same Lord and use their resources. A quick call to 911 would have saved their daughter's life and spared them all the heartache that has followed.

My prayers go out to the family, each and every one involved, and for the soul of that little girl who passed too soon.