“More Boyfriends Than T. Swift”

In response to recent outcry from a small group of fans, popular clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch has ceased sales of one of their shirts. The shirt in question read:

#more boyfriends than t.s.

The slogan was in reference to Taylor Swift (t.s.) bu also to popular media outlets such as Twitter, and now Facebook, who use hashtags as a search and organizational tool. Reportedly, a petition circulated beginning on June 18th, calling for the stores to pull the shirt from their floors. The petition was started via Change.org by Emma Worley of Pennsylvania, and was signed by die-hard Swift fans, of Swifties. The reported number was 130 (which seems extremely low to me, as the attendance list for my GYM class in high school had more names than that), but apparently that was convincing enough to the brand name, which has been under fire in recent weeks for being too exclusive.

On the petition page, those signing could leave comments. One read as follows:

“It’s just plain hurtful and insulting. Taylor’s private life should remain so. It’s unprofessional for such a huge company to insult and poke fun at a celebrity in one of their t-shirts. Besides, none of them knows exactly what goes on in Taylor’s private life. She herself said that she’s only dated two men in the past two years, which isn’t a lot. The media exaggerates Taylor’s past relationships A LOT. It’s a form of bullying, which should never be encouraged, ESPECIALLY by such a huge company. I’m disgusted and have lost all my respect for Abercrombie and Fitch.” — Anushree Jayan, Singapore

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Paris Hilton on What’s Important in Life

No, it’s not a joke. Paris Hilton actually spoke about morals and values, and what she holds near and dear. I would advise you to take it with a grain of salt, but my own suspicions of Hilton’s moral compass come through loud an clear.

In case you don’t remember why she was famous in the first place– it’s okay, a lot of people don’t– it was a sex tape released in 2003, entitled “1 Night in Paris,” with Rick Salomon. Shortly thereafter, she starred alongside Nicole Richie in “The Simple Life,” which chronicled their experiences as wealthy, spoiled socialites slumming it along the average, blue collar civilian. It was during the experience that Paris revealed she didn’t know what a soup kitchen was.

Since then… well, she hasn’t come a long way, it seems. After the premiere of “The Bling Ring,” starring Emma Watson, and telling the tale of thieving youngsters, Hilton spoke about the pitfalls of being so materialistic… none of which she seems to have been able to avoid herself.

“There’s much more to life than all of these possessions and everything. And if you want those things, you’re gonna have to work yourself, just like I did.”

Yes, she owns 44 stores across the country, but work? She is the heiress to the Hilton Hotels. Heard of them? To put a number to it, she is valued at $100 million net worth.

The irony is that while “The Bling Ring” centers around a group of teens that rob celebrity homes– which happened to Hilton a few years back (she kept the key under her doormat…)– and her immediate reaction was:

“I don’t know what I’d do if I saw them. I’m not a confrontational person. But I would literally be like, ‘You guys need serious help. And I want my stuff back.'”

To put it in perspective, Hilton drives a pink Bentley with a diamond-encrusted dashboard, and a $300,000 California Spyder Ferrari. She also owns a $12,000 yellow Chagoury Couture dress, and over 200 pairs of designer shoes.

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Magazines Search for a New Type of Cover Girl

Unsurprisingly, A-list Hollywood actresses– you know the type: outrageous amounts of money, ridiculously high heels, and sculpted husbands– are not the most relatable to the everyday female. This may seem like obvious news but there are some resounding effects.

Jess Cagle, managing editor of Entertainment Weekly, puts it this way:

“…[M]ovie stars are less revered than they used to be, and also audiences have shifted their allegiance in large part to television.”

Due to this shift in “allegiance” so to speak, editors have adjusted their magazine covers to satisfy the readers. For example, Glamour’s covers were 50% populated with film stars, but when the magazine realized that their edition featuring Lauren Conrad– a reality TV star– was the best selling issue in 2012, they opted to make film stars the minority of cover girls.

Other leading ladies who have made sales mile markers are Beyonce and Lady Gaga, showing that musicians pack a lot of punch as well. The growth of social media has also aided in the relability of some stars, especially those who tweet, or are patrons of Instagram and Vine, for example. Other possible reasons for the attachment to reality stars is the ongoing, weekly relationship  developed through regular programming, versus the roughly two hour relationship created during movies. The personal investment is much more temporary with movies than with television.

Another speculation is that most movies (as of late), appeal to men, and women make up the majority of magazine buyers, so  a gap is created where women do not relate to male movie stars.

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Kate Upton: future Angel?

“Plus size” model Kate Upton has received quite the media attention in the past few months. From sex symbol to respected model, Upton has climbed the ranks as a force to be reckoned with. She loves her body the way it is, and so do we, despite some of the outrageous comments made about her appearance. In fact, stylist Sophia Neophitou, who has helped cast several VS runway shows, didn’t have anything nice to say about Upton as a model:

“We would never use [Upton for a Victoria’s Secret sho]. She’s like a Page 3 girl (referencing the  curvy women often featured in The Sun, a British tabloid). She’s like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.”

Upton took it in her long-legged stride: “I’m doing fine in my career, I don’t need to walk down their runway so it’s all good. She can think that and I can think whatever I want about her.”

The 20 year old bombshell has now modeled for Victoria’s Secret, Vogue Italia (November 2012), British Vogue (January 2013), and US Vogue (May 2013), as well as Sports Illustrated (twice), and GQ.

The model also has Youtube fame after a viral video and a music video in which she was featured, and boasts almost a million Twitter followers. Her fame has also helped spark the weight and body image debate, especially after a blogger dared to call her overweight (she’s 130 pounds).

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Abercrombie & Fitch FINALLY Apologizes

The media has taken a sharp turn towards body image and how it is portrayed, specifically by the fashion industry, especially when it comes to models, mannequins, and clothing sizes. For some reason, fashion size expectations have been even more under fire than usual. There’s always some valid complaint regarding the unrealistic expectations of bodies (mostly female), but as of late, that voice has been louder than ever, and the headlines are smattered with size-related statements. One of the most popular headliners was Abercrombie & Fitch, for their (until now) unapologetic refusal to dress women over a US size 10. A 2006 interview with CEO Mike Jeffries said it all:

“We want to market to cool, good-looking people. In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

His statement was met with quite a bit of backlash, in the form of viral videos, photo campaigns, and a petition with over 68,000 signatures. On Wednesday, the company publicly responded to the petition:

“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”

Unfortunately, the company is still quietly under scrutiny for not providing wheelchair accessible entrances to all of their stores.

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Kate Upton on the Cover of Vogue

Twenty year old Kate Upton is doing more than making a name for herself: she’s helping facilitate a much needed and long awaited change in the way women are portrayed in the media. The bombshell graces the cover of the most recent edition of Vogue, where she is referred to as “the hottest supermodel on earth,”:

a90d42d2-4b62-49d1-bd9e-01193869c837_kateuptoncover_vogueWe must celebrate the appearance of a plus sized model on the cover of a high fashion magazine, marking Vogue’s effort to promote and picture healthier looking promises, recalling a promise they made in 2012. The magazine expressed an interest in the well-being of their readers and promised to not work with models under the age of sixteen, “who appear to have an eating disorder.” The magazine also encouraged designers to rethink how they picture, design, and market clothing, which often drives models to diet in order to fit into unrealistically proportioned clothes.

Upton speaks fondly of her own body, ignoring the preposterous “overweight” comments that have been thrown her way:

“The things that they’re rejecting are things that I can’t change. I can’t change my bra size. They’re natural! I can work out and I can stay healthy and motivated, but I can’t change some things. I really just live my life. I love my body. It’s what God gave me! I feel confident with myself, and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great.”

Seeing a little too much of Kat Von D

Within the past week, tattoo extraordinaire, and Miami Ink leading lady Kat Von D made a trip to NYC. Specifically, she stopped into a Barnes & Noble to sign books… did she tattoo the pages? Lame joke, but I wondered for a brief nanosecond.

She made an appearance… and boy, did she make an appearance! She showed more than her pretty, embellished face and signature at the book signing. For some reason, she came wearing this:

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WHY, Kat? Why, why why did you do that? Did you not know what a Barnes & Noble was? Had you never been there before? Because, in case you didn’t pick up on it, it’s not a brothel, or a casual hangout spot for scuba divers with loose morals. It’s where people go with their families. So ditch your see-through spandex-y, Barbie-sized, wet-suit looking jumpsuit, and put some real clothes on!

Given that this was a publicized event, one would think that the artist didn’t want to highlight her chest with a print, animal print bra behind her sheer, skin-tight top. Might as well just have painted it on. And that zipper? Is that even comfortable? Seems dangerous. Where does one even buy such a suit? Not that I want one for myself. I want to write them a strongly worded letter. Bad clothing company! Bad!

Not the first bad decision she has made: she dated serial cheater Jesse James, and just recently got engaged when Deadmau5 proposed… via Twitter… after they had broken up…

The Importance of Eyebrows

Many women spend a huge portion of their daily routine working on their eye makeup, because that is where the eye naturally falls. We make eye contact during conversation, to indicate interest; our eyes are very expressive, so we highlight them. That’s all well and good but have you seen what a person looks like without eyebrows?

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Like the photo says, eyebrows are more important that you think. They work with the eyes, framing them. They are one of the most expressive features of your face, and need some tender loving care every so often!

One of the biggest mistakes women make with their eyebrows is over plucking. The follicles in your eyebrows are very sensitive, so if you pluck too much, it takes a long time for those hairs to grow back; they might not ever grow back at all! So, don’t go pluck happy. It could cost you your brows! Now if only upper lip hair were that sensitive…

If you have already over plucked, just stop! Give your brows some recovery time. For the time being, fill in your eyebrows with pencil or shadow. Following up with clear mascara helps hold your faux brows in place, and helps them blend into your natural browline.

One of the common mistakes men make is thinking that because they’re men, they shouldn’t groom their eyebrows, like it’s too girly or something. I’m not saying go pluck and shape them, but a guy with a nice set of eyebrows has an advantage! At least address your unibrow. You can do it in the privacy of your own bathroom so no one has to know that you pluck occasionally.

Dressing your Man

Dress your man, and he looks good for a day; teach a man to dress himself, an he looks good for a lifetime. A few weeks ago, we posted an article about men’s fashions. That article reported on patterns, which are still very in! But for a more subtle, but still sexy look, men have options. We have another tip below, so listen up!

Employ some color! It’s springtime. Embrace it. Instead of your standard white button down, go for a saturated pastel– lavender, yellow, sky blue. These colors are eye catching, and when paired with jeans or khakis, always match! Don’t try to be too matchy-matchy; let the shirt be the focal point of the outfit. The other parts of the ensemble should be subtle. Banana Republic offers an especially comfortable, colored button down in their Soft Twill Line,  costing $59.50.

An important thing to remember when choosing what shade to wear, is what it will look like against your own skin tone. A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to warm and cool tones. For men with lighter, cooler skin tones, stick to cooler colors, like blues and greens. For men with darker, richer, warmer skin tones, stick to the warm colors, like pinks, reds, and oranges. When in doubt, ask a salesperson for help.

PS, does anyone wish their closet at home looked like this one?

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The Dark Side of the Modeling Industry

The Devil Wears Prada gave us an insider’s look at a fashion magazine. The film, based on the novel, is the nearly true life account of one woman’s experience working for Vogue. Yes, names had to be changed and even some situations were tweaked, but the veil was a thin one. Meryl Streep’s cold character is known to be reminiscent of American Vogue’s Anna Wintour:

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The novel’s author, Lauren Weisberger, gives her honest account of what it was like working for one of the best known names in fashion… of course she had to disguise some elements, and leave out aspects of truth (like the fact that she suffered amoebic dysentery before being hired, leaving her rail thin, although still a target for criticism regarding her weight).

Last year, editor-in-chief at Australia’s Vogue was unexpectedly dropped from the work roster. One day after her surprise-firing, she was offered a book deal to tell her story. She took it. Kirstie Clements recently published The Vogue Factor, in which she recounts the things she saw and heard as editor. Clements recounts some particularly extreme dieting habits– which may not surprise you at first given that it’s the modeling industry and when isn’t there an extreme diet going around? But Clements recalls models snacking on tissues. Yes, tissues. This isn’t an episode of My Strange Addiction— apparently the tissues would expand in their stomachs, stifling and hunger pangs. Clements also reports seeing models on hospital drips. She also addresses the issue of airbrushing. So many people are quick to say a photo has been airbrushed to make someone look skinnier, but Clements claims that some models were so skinny that they had to be airbrushed to look less malnourished.

 

New trend for athletic apparel

There is a new trend emerging for athletic apparel, and it’s snowballing. The trend isn’t gaining popularity for how cute or sexy it is– it’s actually extremely functional. What makes it better than the rest is how scientifically advanced it is.

Meet the new Kickstarter Radiate shirt. It changes colors as you exercise. It’s not like a mood ring. The color changes are based on body heat. So, if you are working a specific muscle group, the area of the shirt covering that muscle group will react to the heat created, causing it to change colors.

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The creator, Kenneth Crockett, had this to say about the technology involved: “We raised the bar on [thermochromic technology] and engineered it to a precise and specific temperature range, and with that temperature range, we were able to calculate just how hard you’re exerting certain muscles.”

To demonstrate its effectiveness, Crockett donned a dull purplish/grey shirt and began exercising. After a few reps of chest presses, the shirt had turned a bright pink color. “It’s the only shirt that shows what you’re doing in real time,” Crockett said, “And as I work out harder and harder, it gets brighter and brighter.”

Sales of the shirt are skyrocketing. Within thirty hours of making it available online, Radiate Athletics met their goal of $30,000. Surprisingly, the NASA-developed technology that the shirts employ is relatively affordable; shirts start online for only $25.