Posts tagged with "celebrity" - Faerye Net 2008-06-16T10:31:11+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Does this really work on anyone? 2008-06-16T10:31:11+00:00 2008-06-16T10:31:11+00:00 <p>Since I&#8217;ve been a member of the <a href="">World Wildlife Fund</a> since age 14, my name has gotten on the lists of many conservation organizations. So much so, in fact, that I no longer need to buy return address labels or jot pads. Ever.</p> <p>Regardless of the superfluity of these items that I have accumulated, I save them and I am vaguely pleased by their appearance in my mailbox; it isn&#8217;t just another thing to recycle. I&#8217;m not sure the address labels will have any effect on which organization I add to my giving when my ship comes in, but I have a vague goodwill as a result of them. So they sort of work.</p> <p>You know what doesn&#8217;t work? Putting a celebrity&#8217;s name on the return address label. This week I got yet another letter from Leonardo DiCaprio touting some conservation org. He&#8217;s the biggest offender, but I&#8217;m not excited by getting mail from Paul Newman, either (sorry, sister sledge). In fact, in all my years, I remember being excited by this tactic precisely once: when I was eleven. &#8220;Mommy, Mommy, Bill Clinton wrote to you!&#8221; She smiled indulgently and I learned about boring form letters with star-power return addresses.</p> <p>Does this work on anyone? Is there some sliver of the population so DiCaprio-loving that they will do whatever he broadcasts? Because by sending them to me, they are only moving paper from &#8216;new&#8217; to &#8216;postconsumer&#8217;. And there are never, ever, free address labels in a star-power begging letter.</p> It's not a bump, it's a pregnancy 2006-01-23T15:33:25+00:00 2008-06-05T17:36:17+00:00 <p>I get annoyed at the strangest things, but I maintain that, as a linguaphile and degreed English nitpicker, I have every right to care minutely about language. </p> <p>If you shop for groceries, you cannot help but know that everybody in Hollywood is pregnant, just delivered, or is thinking about getting pregnant. Everyone. I fully expect to hear next that Colin Ferrell passed out one night and woke up pregnant the next morning. Everyone&#8217;s pregnant. However, somewhere around Jennifer Garner&#8217;s pregnancy, women stopped &#8216;showing&#8217; and &#8216;looking very pregnant&#8217;, and their enlarged abdomens ceased being &#8216;bellies&#8217;. They are, apparently, &#8216;bumps&#8217;.</p> <p>Whose idea was this, and why is it now the premier pregnancy nomenclature? Does anyone else find it vaguely repellant that Star X is &#8216;seen in public sporting a bump&#8217; in the same way that she might sport a Gucci handbag? Even apart from the clear implication that a pregnancy is just the hottest Hollywood accessory trend, the word is not attractive. Bumps make me think of traffic calming measures, poorly surfaced roads, and being jostled in line. They don&#8217;t make me think of new life in any way, shape and or form.</p> <p>Obviously, I am only the Word Police in my own mind, but this lazy, objectifying and ugly choice of words annoys me constantly, and I know I am not the only one. You are free to think I&#8217;m crazy, but as I am the girl who dreamt last night that David Boreanaz was teaching her ballroom dancing but refused to tell her the names of the steps, I think that&#8217;s a foregone conclusion.</p> Sex and the Skinny 2005-10-03T14:43:23+00:00 2010-02-01T15:49:43+00:00 <p>I think everyone who doesn&#8217;t live in a painstakingly created 24-hour reality channel has probably noticed that women in Hollywood are skinny. Sammichless Star Syndrome, I like to call it. Those who are stars get skinnier; those who are rising become skinny. I doubt I even need to name examples.</p> <p>There are many, many explanations for this. Probably the best is simply that fashion designers prefer to design clothing for skinny, skinny bodies. The fabric drapes better, and the body is a better stage for the clothes to do their own thing upon. That affects both models (and therefore the standards of beauty) and Hollywood stars, since they want to wear haute couture on the red carpet. You can&#8217;t get most couture in sizes above a 6, according to at least one disgruntled Victoria&#8217;s Secret model.</p> <p>This obsession with thinness, everyone knows, is bad. It&#8217;s not healthy for most bodies to be that skinny, the unrealistic ideal contributes to the rampant bad self-esteem suffered by American teenagers, and its attendant demons anorexia and bulemia. But what&#8217;s interesting is that the skinny ideal doesn&#8217;t seem to have affected men that much. </p><p>Sure, many guys think individual stars (such as Cameron Diaz) are hot, but psychological studies show again and again that as a group, men find a curvy figure more attractive than a very thin one. Given that the majority of women are heterosexual (or, an even bigger majority, hetero or bi), you&#8217;d think that the male response would have a bigger influence on standards of beauty than that. So here we have one of three things: the best counterevidence for the claim that women only care about their appearance to catch men; evidence that gay male fashion designers* are plotting the downfall of female sexiness**; or a mystery.</p> <p>So I came up with another theory. America has a very strange attitude towards sex. We all know it. Any nudity is sexual; sexual content in movies is controlled more than gore; so forth and so on. High fashion, both for the red carpet and the screen, tends to be low-cut, tight-fitted; it exposes the body. It suddenly occurred to me the other day that perhaps skinniness is the celebrity ideal partially <em>because</em> a more buxom figure is more primally attractive. We clothe celebrities in skin-tight pleather, expose huge swaths of their flesh; maybe in our weird Puritan-subconscious way, we don&#8217;t want them to be viscerally sexually attractive. We want to be able to see them as idols without being embarrassed by the prurience of desire. We want them to have gorgeous faces and alien, otherworldly bodies. We want them to be cyphers for beauty rather than objects of lust.</p> <p>Or I could be crazy. It&#8217;s been known to happen.</p> <p>*Not all fashion designers are gay men. However, I have been known to read <em>Vogue</em>, and I have been shocked to discover that a <span class="caps">LOT</span> of them are.</p> <p>**This is a joke.</p>