Monday, February 24, 2014

What It Means To Be a Barbie Girl

I've always liked Barbie. Sure she has that ridiculous and unattainable figure, but despite floundering between hundreds of careers, she always seemed true to her blond self holding utmost to her undying love for pink, her sisters, Ken.... She has it together. She lives in her freaking dream house. It's hard to not want to be like Barbie.

But this.......

Meet Blondie Bennett.

She is committed to living her life like Barbie. Obviously that means dieting, breast enhancement, plastic surgery, lots of bleach, botox, and spray tans. Keeping up with all that is a full time job. So she makes her living off online sugar daddies who send her money to see pictures of her dressed up as a sexy doll. As if all of this isn't enough, she is now also going to hypnotherapy to make herself dumber. And she excitedly reported that it is working saying "Recently I went to pick a friend up at the airport and couldn't remember if I needed to go to departures or arrivals. I also got lost for three hours driving to my mum's house - the house where I grew up." Nooooooo.
That's right this woman wants to make herself dumber. She explained, "I want people to see me as a plastic sex doll and being brainless is a big part of that."
The feminist inside me is raging. This is so sad on so many levels.
First of all, she way overshot on those boobies. Barbie is not that racked. 
Second, who said Barbie was stupid? Among her 100+ careers in her resume/closet, Barbie has been a Presidential candidate, an astronaut, a prima ballerina, a teacher, a doctor, a Vet, a news anchor, and a business woman. 

Any one of these careers would require loads of education, training, skill, and intelligence indicating she is absolutely not a vacuous woman. She is more likely a woman in debt with student loans. So what makes Blondie think that she is nailing it by becoming an airhead?  
And the upsetting desire to be nothing more than a "plastic sex doll" is probably the most distburbing part of all this. Especially because Barbie is not a sex doll. In fact, other than her chest which helps her fill out her clothes nicely, Barbie is missing all other anatomical components. And she is not even promiscuous seeing as she has been in an adroable long time committed relationship with Ken.

In fact, Barbie recently was under fire for appearing as a sex symbol in a special Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Among the critics, Forbes contributing writer Teresa Genaro said, “Every winter when the swimsuit issue rolls around, Sports Illustrated reminds me that in its world, women are still objects to be admired for what they look like, not for what they do. Adding Barbie to this year’s mix—literally a plastic, unhealthy, commercial exemplar for little girls—insults women athletes and women readers, who deserve better from a magazine that could choose to counter the objectification of women instead of glorifying it.”
But because she isn't stupid (and has revamped her image considerably since her "math class is tough" days of the 90s), Barbie wrote an incredibly empowering open letter posted on the Mattel website responding to why she chose to do this. And her response seems to go against everything that poor, misguided Blondie Bennett is striving for.
In her response, Barbie says, "I, for one, am honored to join the legendary swimsuit models. The word “model,” like the word “Barbie,” is often dismissed as a poseable plaything with nothing to say. And yet, those featured are women who have broken barriers, established empires, built brands, branched out into careers as varied as authors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.”
Yes, posing in your swimsuit can make you look like an objectified sex symbol. And yes, certain clothes and looking a certain way can make you appear to be provocative and promiscuous, but it doesn't mean you are. I happen to agree with Barbie that women should be able to wear pink to an interview at MIT and not be discounted for how they look. And while this means that I believe everyone should be entitled to create their own reflection and become anything they want, it still doesn't stop me from wanting to hate Blondie Bennett's choices. It is not Barbie who is the problem here, it is the idea that life is easier and nothing else matters if you are pretty. The problem is women seeing only one kind of beauty and finding themselves so worthless that they are willing to change who they are entirely. Barbie does not stand for these values. We have just pushed them onto her, shaming her for happily existing as herself because we need someone to blame. Do we blame He-Man for men behaving like scuzzy, egotistical gym rats?
Blondie Bennett needs to be going to hypnotherapy alright, but it should be for learning to love and be herself because that power of pink, power of being a woman, is what I always thought Barbie really stood for.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much

There was this:
Then this:

But New Zealand's Prime Minister has even bigger problems to defend.
"To the best of my knowledge, no. I've taken the unusual step of not only seeing a doctor but a vet, and both have confirmed I'm not a reptile… I've never been in a spaceship, never been in outer space, and my tongue's not overly long either."

Less Clowning Around

Send in the clowns. This is no laughing matter.
According to the New York Daily News, the World Clown Association (I didn't know that was a thing) has reported a serious drop in the number of clowns which means that we could be facing a clown shortage.
This could be devastating. Imagine a clown car pulling up and only a lone clown sits behind the wheel.
Apparently, one of the big problems that has caused the decrease in Bozos is age. “The challenge is getting younger people involved in clowning,” explains Association President Deanna (Dee Dee) Hartmier.
Yes, I could see that being a problem. I think not enough high school guidance counselors are pushing kids into Clown College. But with College and University tuition and the job market and economy being what it is, clearly they should. This professional clown shortage means job openings. In fact, I'm thinking I should probably just shift careers a bit. As a dancer and actress constantly looking for work this may wouldn't be a bad idea. I'd just wear more make up. 
Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger believes that the youth aren't getting into clowning because it "isn't cool anymore." I'm not sure when clowning was ever cool, but I could see it being problematic that many people in their 20's and 30's might feel a bit embarrassed to show up at their high school reunion, friends' weddings, or on dates and have to explain their profession as a clown. It's bad enough having to talk to someone who just made partner in a law firm saying you are "in between things."
So what does clowning pay? Well according to New York Clown Alley, you can get up to $300 for a birthday party. That's pretty good, but would hardly pay your rent. And those big clown shoes are probably expensive. Still, that's better than my last pay check. 
I did some further research online and found that there are three kinds of clowns.
1. General Clowns are freelancers who work birthday parties, events, etc. They make about $20/hr and usually report to making $38,000/year.
 2. Rodeo Clowns are the daredevil clowns responsible for using their antics to not just make people laugh but for distracting animals like bulls at the rodeo when the riders fall off. This sounds horrifyingly dangerous. These clowns make at least $50,000/year.
3. Salaried Gig Clowns are the ones with regular jobs in shows like the circus. They have their room and board paid, health insurance, and while there were mixed salaries listed, these clowns are making some decent money. And they have health insurance in case their nose honks or they are looking a bit pale.
But before I start painting my face and packing my bags to run off with the circus, the article also states that despite the drop in numbers of clowns, standards are even higher nowadays for clowns being hired. Great, yet another audition to fail. David Kiser, the Ringling Bros. Director of Talent, says “No longer is it good enough to just drop your pants and focus on boxer shorts." Ain't that the truth. If I had a dollar for everytime I've said that.....
Anyway, maybe it's for the best that there are less clowns out there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Time to Show Your Love

Tomorrow is the big day.  

Here are some great last minute gift tips. And in case you have intentions to make me your last minute Valentine, these are the only gifts I will be accepting.

Diamond-encrusted heart-soled stilettos
Price: $116,000
 From British designer Christopher Michael Shellis. I refuse to go out unless these are on my feet.

A chocolate portrait of my face
Price: about $85-150
From company Choc-Edge, it is created with a machine similar to a 3D printer that uses a digital image to create this thick layered chocolate. Until I am eating my own face, I will not be happy.

A "Balthazar" of Bordeaux.
Price: $195,000
Only sold in a wine shop in the Dubai International Airport, this 12 liter bottle of wine also comes with a first class ticket to France for a private tour of its Chateau Margaux vineyard and dinner with the winemaker. That and the fact that it is 12 liters make that price seem absolutely reasonable. I refuse to get red wine mouth from sipping any other wine but this.

A bouquet of Kadapul flowers
Price: Considered Priceless
You've never heard of the Kadapul flower? You are a peasant. This rare flower is actually a form of a cactus and is only found in dark hidden places in Sri Lanka. It blossoms at night and emanates a beautiful, calming fragrance. But tragically, once it picked, it only lasts a couple of hours. Do not even attempt to give me plain old roses. 

A gilded greeting card
Price: $5000
These personalized cards from Miami-based Gilded Age Greetings are hand painted on calf vellum and adorned with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires with 23 karat gold lettering. Forget licking an envelope, you can save your tongue for other things. This masterpiece comes in its own silk box with complimentary silk gloves for handling. Screw you Hallmark.

Big Hunka Love Diamond Bear
Price: $29,999
There's only one of these available?! It better be mine. This 4 1/2 foot Vermont Teddy Bear Company bear is "stuffed with more than enough love to last a lifetime." (Which is great, because a lifetime is undoubtedly longer than our relationship will last so I'll still have someone to hug when I've left you to live in poverty from showering me with ridiculous lavish gifts.) Anyway, this cuddly friend in his "romantic red velvet bowtie" comes with a "wow factor" which is a hunka burnin' love "fire rose" diamond flanked by two smaller diamonds making it over 5 carats of poop colored diamond. Do the pajamas matching the red velvet bowtie come with it too? If they don't, you better find those too, otherwise this teddy is going in the trash.

And I'm telling you cheapskates right now, if you wait until the 15th none of these will be marked down like those bags of candy hearts.....And no lame excuses about it being canceled due to weather.

So here's hoping your Valentine's Day is the lavish kind that makes everyone feel envious of you on facebook. Because that's what it's all about right?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Selfies Most Wanted

A new day, a new terror to obsessively worry about.
A man broke into a family's house in Denver. He didn't hurt anyone or steal anything, all he did was take a selfie with a haunting, mocking smirk using the woman's cell phone.
 This is like the start of a Lifetime movie that at first seems like something you can sit and mock while enjoying a glass of wine, but quickly becomes filled with plot twists that will haunt your dreams.
So the cops are on the look out for a bold hipster with a penchant for ironic selfies. All of Brooklyn would be suspect if this hadn't thankfully happened miles away in Denver-where the subway and bicycles from Brooklyn don't go.
I can't help but think that this will be the continuation of the disturbing new trend of escalating selfies. First they were just innocent, but annoying "look at me" pictures in the bathroom or car, then they became braggy "look at what I'm doing" pictures of people in cool locations or doing better things with their Saturday afternoon than you were. But before we knew it, the selfie had gone to a new level with things like "Funeral Selfies." The more wrong of a place to snap a picture, the more right it felt.
People just can't help themselves. And it has all led to trouble, like the man last week who was arrested after taking a selfie of himself with the phone he had just stolen. Idiot.
Anyway, back to the Selfie Creeper in Denver....I just hope this isn't something that people start doing. I would like to think this is one isolated incident where this man was just involved in a drunken bar dare or something. Though since a neighbor who was interviewed by the cops said they were pretty sure they saw this man lurking around the neighborhood, that is seeming unlikely. Oh god. If I look at my phone when home alone and discover that some dude has just taken a freaky selfie-I don't know what I'd do! Certainly demand the police sit on my house with protective detail for weeks. I'd also then demand that I get to play myself in any Lifetime movies or Law and Order SVUs made.
So.....yes. Selfies are becoming terrifying. I probably won't sleep tonight.
But I also need to mention that there is a brilliant website doing their best to put a stop to this madness-or at least make us be held accountable. is an effort by independent students in association with The Tyler Robinson Foundation . As they describe on their website, their goal is turn "vanity into charity" with "one-hundred percent of funds raised by the #selfiepolice will be contributed to Vittana, an innovative organization dedicated to fighting world poverty by providing student loans to college aged kids in third world countries." You can fine yourself or charge your friends. I'm not saying I'm innocent and don't post selfies so I think this is something we should all get behind. It may be the only way to save humanity at this point.

Pull a Date Out of Your Hat

Just in time for Valentine's Day.....A young woman has taken finding love in NYC into her own hands by posting missed connection posters throughout the subways looking for a man she saw riding a Brooklyn bound A train in November.
Cleverly designed to look like an official MTA poster, this grabs your attention and rips at all the cold, loveless souls by reminding us that a fragile heart is at stake. And she even impressively scripted that in several languages.
But it turns out that these posters aren't just looking for lost love. They are about their author, performance artist Maria Luisa Portuondo Vila, looking for attention for herself and her art and art collective. Ugh, isn't anything real anymore? Even love is an internet hoax.
While Vila does claim to the NY Daily News that this is both an attempt to find love and an art project saying, "I really saw this man in the subway and I like him," I am skeptical. Mostly because of that sketch of the man she is allegedly looking for. It shouldn't be too hard to track down a man wearing a top hat around Manhattan. Right? And if I saw a man in a top hat on the train that I found that beguiling, I certainly would rely on the easy conversation starters of "I love your hat" or "You must have a great milliner" or "Do you have a rabbit in there?" Under no circumstance would I just sit there and let that top hat gentleman pass by.
Also, I feel she may be living out an artist fantasy and just thinking of one of these men. Not that I can really blame her. Maybe she is thinking that like with Frosty the snowman, if she puts a top hat on the man he will become real.

Speaking of men in top hats, remember that man a couple of years ago who ended up in the emergency room with a tiny top hat glued to his head. Maybe he's single?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The First Olympic Victory

Canada has won the Olympics before they even started.

I Hate Valentine's Day and Now You Will Too.

Much of the Northeast is covered in nothing less than 40 feet of snow which means as a shut in,  I have had plenty of time today to peruse the interwebs to find things to write about.
And this is what I decided you most needed to know about. You are welcome and I'm sorry.
Japanese women are allegedly tweeting about creating love potion chocolates for their Valentines using special ingredients such as period blood and hair.
Now, because of the absurdity of this, many have been speculating about the veracity of this disgusting trend, let's assume for a moment that what we read is true.
While, I find this absolutely revolting, and truthfully am questioning whether I'll be able to eat chocolate in the near future, I am also intrigued. Maybe this is why I am single this Valentine's Day -and all other Valentine's Day in recent past. Maybe, since I haven't been making chocolate spiked with my menstrual blood for my boyfriends, they leave me because they don't have a part of me inside them. That must be it.
The Japanese call homemade chocolate gifts for men "honmei choco," and they don't always have to have secret ingredients included. But when you read the tweets of these girls (in the article in link above) about what they are putting in their chocolate and why they are doing it-you will be scared.
It's weird that chocolate, the great savior of my PMS pain, is now being made into something disgusting that is giving me stomach pains. Why? Don't take chocolate from me!
Anyway, this concept, is not new. Historically, and throughout many cultures, a woman's period is considered sacred and powerful. In Cherokee tradition, menstrual blood can destroy a woman's enemies. And in Africa, menstrual blood is used in powerful magical charms. So it does not seem too far off base that women would use the blood and power of their V to try to cast a V-Day love spell.
Still, I am pretty sure that if I was a dude in Japan (or anywhere really), I would avoid the consumption of any and all chocolate gifts. Just in case. Stick to those conversation hearts. Period.
 *Also, I hope this post has effectively helped ruin this cheezy, overrated holiday for everyone.