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    Asian-Americans are better off than other American adults, according to Pew.

    Source: s3-ec.buzzfed.com

    New research from the Pew Center released today finds that Asian-Americans are richer, have more college degrees, and value parenting and marriage more than adults in this country as a whole. Perhaps as a result, they're more likely to raise kids in two-parent households.

    Pew's findings are a result of surveys conducted by phone from January 3 to March 27, 2012 of 3,511 Asian Americans in English and seven other Asian languages. Statistical highlights:

    • Eighty-two percent of Asian Americans are overall satisfied with their lives, while 75 percent of the general public is.
    • Among Asian Americans, 51 percent said they were satisfied with their personal finances, versus 35 percent of the general public.
    • Asian Americans are more likely to have college degrees: 49 percent do, while 28 percent of adults do.
    • They also make more: Asian American households have a median household income of $66,000. The median for U.S. adults as a whole is $49,800.
    • The report cites media favorite Priscilla Chan, Mark Zuckerberg's new wife, as an example of the 37 percent of "recent Asian American brides" who married non-Asian grooms.
    • Asians recently surpassed Hispanics as the largest immigrant group in the U.S. — and they're packing more degrees than any immigrant group. Pew found that 61 percent of Asian adults aged 25 to 61 who came to American in recent years at least have a bachelor's degree, adding, "This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals, and almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history."
    • A successful marriage is one of the most important things in life for 54 percent of Asian Americans, while the same is true for only 34 percent of adult Americans. (See also: this.)
    • Asian Americans place higher value on parenting than U.S. adults: 67 percent of those surveyed said being a good parent is one of the most important things in life, while just 50 percent of U.S. adults agreed.
    • Fifty-nine percent of Asian Americans are married; 51 percent of U.S. adults are.
    • Asian American children are more likely to be raised in a household with two parents — 80 percent are versus 63 percent of American children generally.
    • Almost half of Asian Americans surveyed think parents of their national origin put too much pressure on their kids to succeed in school (just 9 percent of U.S. adults said the same).

    Read the full report here.

    Earlier: 53 Reasons Why Asians Are The Superior Race


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    I tested a bunch of long-wear makeup and discovered a lot of it actually does what the brands who make it claim it does.

    Wearing makeup has always seemed like a few-hours affair to me. Like hanging out with That Friend who drinks too much, it's only a matter of time before things just become a mess. We wear it to work, go home, see it looks 50 percent worse than it did in the morning, wipe it off, and then wake up and do it all over again. But you have to figure that if countless heavily made-up female pop stars can grease up and pretend to have sex with fake beaches for music videos without any sign of their makeup ending up where it's not supposed to (unlike that sand, I imagine), they must be wearing some seriously resilient stuff.

    Source: 2.bp.blogspot.com

    I always just sort of assumed that's celebrity magic – they have People for that, the way Gaga has People to sculpt horns from her forehead and Naomi Campbell has people to rub lotion on her legs and put her underpants on for her (or so I've been told).

    With beach season, wedding season, and wanting-to-look-fit-and-therefore-gymming-a-lot-more season here, with sweating and face grease becoming part of our daily lives once more, the time seemed right to do the unthinkable: go to the beach with a full face of makeup. It might make me look obscenely vain, but these are shameless Jersey Shore-ian times, and besides, this is science!

    The products obtained for this experiment were a random assortment of things labeled "longwear" that we found online. The full list:

    MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (in NC20), $17
    Clinique Lash Power Mascara - long-wearing formula (in Black Onyx), $15
    Tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush (in Tipsy), $25
    Chanel Rouge Double Intensite - ultra wear lip color (in Rose Morganite), $35
    Stilla Stay All Day - waterproof liquid eye liner (in Intense Black), $20
    Essence Stay All Day - long-lasting eyeshadow (in Coppy Right), $2.99
    Rimmel Lasting Finish - 25-hour foundation (in Warm Ivory), $7

    Upon application (over Neutrogena SPF 30 sunscreen because I just say no to skin cancer and pale is the new tan), everything seemed pretty standard, except:

    1.The Clinique mascara, which is amazing. I'm a mascara snob/addict so I've only been using Dior and Lancome for the past few years. But this Clinique stuff went on smooth with good traction on the lashes, separating and lengthening without too much fussing.

    2.The Chanel lip color went above and beyond pretty much all lip products I've tried in terms of staying power. As Vogue contributor Lauren Santo Domingo so eloquently stated:

    "I would probably wear red lipstick in the morning, but there’s something I find so unappealing about lipstick on coffee cups, Starbucks cups—for that simple reason I start with nothing. Once I’ve had my coffee I’m fine. I just don’t want to be walking around with my Starbucks cup with big red lips on it. Whenever I see that, I cringe…it just seems so vulgar. Nightime’s a different story. Also someone taught me a really good trick, where you go like this [licks the rim of her glass and then sips] which is kind of gross—and you have to be really discreet—but it really works like a charm to keep lipstick from sticking to your glass."

    Well, she's clearly not using this Chanel stuff. You put the color on, let it rest for one minute, and then apply the gloss over top. The color part is like a sealant on the lips (you can feel how thick and sticky it is) but once it dries it GOES NOWHERE. It is not a transient guest on your face like LSD's lip stuff, whoring itself out to your champagne glasses and coffee cups and kissing partners — it is your lips. This is probably the most faithful lip color I've ever worn.

    Once I was all dolled up, my boyfriend was alarmed by my clown face beach look. I normally wear only a touch of powder, concealer, blush, and mascara, and when I go to the beach I wear nothing, so I could understand his shock. But I forged ahead, in the face of his disgust and looking sort of freakish (it's not like I had reality television cameras around to justify the vanity in the slightest). Here's how it all looked in an iPhone self-portrait:


    View Entire List ›


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    The shoes that fashion designers force models to wear in runway shows have caused several disturbing injuries.

    I've watched many a fashion show worrying about two things on the runways: boniness and shoes. If the latter fail and a model takes a tumble, they've got a long way down being so tall; and then of course they don't have the fleshy padding most of us do to protect our bones in those situations. In fact, runway shoes may be the industry's top source of psychological turmoil, tears, and bloodshed. Here are eight pieces of evidence that suggests as much:

    Model Meghan Collison said her heels from the Chanel resort show were so damaging to her feet, she couldn't wear MOCCASINS for a week.

    Model Meghan Collison said her heels from the Chanel resort show were so damaging to her feet, she couldn't wear MOCCASINS for a week.

    "They destroyed the back of my feet," Collison (pictured above) said of the shoes (pictured below). "I was bleeding afterward. Hard plastic with no socks on? Not fun! Especially because we had rehearsal three times. I walked around for the next week with the backs of my moccasins folded down to let them heal! At least the shoes looked amazing." Yeah, screw health — plastic shoes looking good is what truly matters here.

    Image by Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

    Image by PIERRE VERDY / Getty Images

    Top models refused to walk Alexander McQueen's spring 2010 show because the "Armadillo shoes" were too scary-looking.

    Top models refused to walk Alexander McQueen's spring 2010 show because the "Armadillo shoes" were too scary-looking.

    No one fell in the show, but Frockwriter reported that Abbey Lee Kershaw, Sasha Pivovarova, and Natasha Poly all refused to do it because these 12-inch "shoes" (I like to call them "hoofs") were so scary-looking.

    Source: cdni.condenast.co.uk


    View Entire List ›


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    Kate Upton's breasts could have been barely restrained by a solid white, black, or red bikini for her new GQ cover — but no, the magazine dressed her in a flag-inspired triangle top. Because something about a flag pattern just seems to just do it for her male audience.

    Source: s3-ec.buzzfed.com

    Kate Upton posed for the July issue of GQ licking a popsicle, clad in a flag-print bikini. You probably looked, breathed in and out as usual, saw the sky was still blue, and went back to everything being normal. The sight of a busty blond in a flag bikini with something in her mouth on the cover of a men's magazine is about as shocking as Lady Gaga accessorizing her studded leather harness with fringed wings.

    The sex appeal in that Kate Upton cover comes not just from her bursting bust, phallic snack, or skimpy swimwear — it also comes from that flag imagery. The flag bikini is a quintessential men's magazine look — women's magazines definitely play with flag stuff, especially when they want to get extra-American around the Fourth and all that, but they don't make any of their cover girls wear it in triangle top form since it's generally perceived as tacky and anti-style. For example, when Britney Spears appeared on her first and only Vogue cover in November of 2001, red-and-white flag stripes served as a background to her clothed torso, rather than a means of barely concealing it.


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    See what the Queen, Prince Harry's ex, and more random flamboyant people are wearing to the UK's famous races.

    Image by CARL COURT / Getty Images

    The UK's annual Royal Ascot horse-racing event seems more like an arena for people to see and be seen than to watch fine thoroughbreds run next to each other. The Queen and some other royals attend, a dress code mandates hats and fancy attire, and people always experiment with ways to outdo each other, fashion-wise, in ways both pretty and just plain scary. This year, tired of the skimpy dresses and small fascinators of past races, stricter dressing requirements are being enforced for certain areas of the racecourse by people dressed in matching purple outfits wearing badges that say "Dress Code Assistant." They have pashminas and properly sized fascinators on hand for anyone whose dress is too short, shoulders too exposed, or head too bare. Look at them in action!

    Image by CARL COURT / Getty Images

    This year's event is well-under way but far from over. So let's check in on the showy things everyone's wearing! I expect this purple dress code patrol has quite a lot of clothes' policing to do. But first up, the most important people.


    View Entire List ›


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    Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis just announced their breakup — and already the Daily Mail alleges he's hooking up with 26-year-old “bisexual actress” Amber Heard. (The two star together in The Rum Diary .) Apparently he also bought her a horse so they can “ride together.” (Feel free to leave your puns about that in the comments.)

    Depp and Heard in November.

    I sort of hope he buys her a VEST so they can wear those together.

    Via: dailymail.co.uk


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    In a new study, almost two-thirds of women over 50 surveyed across the U.S. reported that their weight or shape negatively impacted their lives. This is concerning not only for their own well-being, but also for its impact on their kids.

    Today's dieting young women plagued with body-image concerns aren't necessarily likely to grow out of them when they get a little older, have kids, retire — just you know, age — according to new research. A study from the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows that women over the age of 50 commonly struggle with body image and eating issues. Researchers from the University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program, led by Dr. Cynthia Bulik, found that 62 percent of 1,849 women aged 50 and older surveyed across the U.S. said their weight or shape had a negative impact on their lives (the average age of respondents was 59). Other statistics from the study:

    • 3.5 percent of study participants reported binging.
    • 8 percent claimed to have purged.
    • More than 70 percent said they were attempting to lose weight.
    • 7.5 percent said they were taking diet pills to lose weight; 7 percent reported engaging in excessive exercise to slim down; 2.5 percent said they took diuretics; 2 percent said they used laxatives; 1 percent admitted to vomiting.
    • 66 percent reported feeling unhappy with their overall appearance, while 84 percent were dissatisfied with their stomachs.

    Bulik told Time many of the women surveyed developed eating disorders after the age of 50, and that they're often triggered by major life events like divorce, losing a spouse or a job, or becoming empty-nesters.

    The trend is concerning not only for women over 50 — who are assaulted daily with reminders of how bad it is to age like a normal person — but their kids. Research shows that moms who are unsatisfied with their bodies can easily pass those insecurities on to their daughters. One highly publicized example of this is Dara-Lynn Weiss, Vogue's infamous Diet Mom, who forced her daughter to lose weight through a Weight Watchers-esque program after a doctor decreed the 7-year-old girl clinically obese. In the article, Weiss admitted dissatisfaction with her own figure.

    A mother who expresses concern about her own not-thin-enough body — or openly admires a "neighbor with the long, thin legs," for example — sends the message to her kids that physically looking a certain way is what's valued and praise-worthy. Even little comments like "I feel so fat" that seemingly have nothing to do with one's child can seep into a young girl's psyche and influence her own body image, a body image expert explained to me when I was researching the effects parenting like Weiss's can have on kids.

    So overall, no matter what age we are, we could all afford to feel a little better about ourselves. It would be nice if more of the youth- and thin-obsessed women's media out there made more room for that.


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    “The costume is not that heavy, but it doesn’t bend very much (so sitting down can be difficult!) and it does get hot in the summer,” a rep from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which conceived (pun intended!) Pillamina, explains.

    Source: media.washtimes.com

    The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the abortion rights group and health care provider, recently announced that "Pillamina" would trail Mitt Romney on his bus tour through swing states this summer. Pillamina is a human-sized costume that looks like a huge pack of birth control pills.

    She's following Romney because, he "has clearly said that not only was Griswold v. Connecticut not decided correctly, but that he opposes President Obama’s birth control benefit, which will lower costs for millions of American women," Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards said in a statement. "The bottom line is that access to birth control is an economic issue for women. Period. That’s something that President Obama clearly understands, and that Mitt Romney simply doesn’t."

    Eric Ferrero, Planned Parenthood Action Fund's vice president of communications, answered a few questions about Pillamina and her journey.

    Who designed the Pillamina costume?
    The costume was created years ago by a costumer, and was used off and on at different events by Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers.

    How did she come about?
    In 2010, the Pillamina character was created for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s “Birth Control Matters” campaign, designed to spread the word about birth control as basic preventive health care and support the no-co-pay birth control provision of the Affordable Care Act. She was dubbed “Pillamina” in her first video, a Gossip Girl spoof.

    In 2010 and 2011, the Planned Parenthood Action fund released a series of three videos starring Pillamina (“Birth Control Girl,” “Pillamina Returns,” and “Planned Parenthood Goes Bollywood”) — the last one was one of The Daily Show’s “Moments of Zen” last year!


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    The 55-year-old Today anchor, who is reportedly being replaced by NBC, covers the August 2012 issue of Ladies' Home Journal . She told the magazine, “I don't always understand my worth. I think it's a chronic condition for women. I'm not talking about professionally. I'm talking about in our personal lives. We constantly punish ourselves with degrading thoughts when we look at ourselves in the mirror. We allow people to treat us poorly, we allow our husbands or boyfriends to get away with things or we have relationships with girlfriends or colleagues who don't treat us well. We don't defend ourselves as we would our own children.” As for Today 's recent loss in the ratings war to Good Morning America , she said, “It's hard not to take it personally.”

    LINK: Ann Curry: "I Don't Always Understand My Worth"

    The 55-year-old Today anchor, who is reportedly being replaced by NBC, covers the August 2012 issue of Ladies' Home Journal. She told the magazine, "I don't always understand my worth. I think it's a chronic condition for women. I'm not talking about professionally. I'm talking about in our personal lives. We constantly punish ourselves with degrading thoughts when we look at ourselves in the mirror. We allow people to treat us poorly, we allow our husbands or boyfriends to get away with things or we have relationships with girlfriends or colleagues who don't treat us well. We don't defend ourselves as we would our own children." As for Today's recent loss in the ratings war to Good Morning America, she said, "It's hard not to take it personally."

    Via: lhj.com


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    What's a good summer hair look for the office? The Fashion Mailbag uses photos of Hair Queen Jennifer Aniston to give you some ideas.

    Have a fashion or style question for Amy? Writer her at amy.odell@buzzfeed.com.

    What are some good summer hairstyles that will keep my hair off my face when it's hot but are also office-appropriate?

    Why, there is only one answer to your question! And it is THIS:

    Source: media

    Talk about something that looks insanely simple to do oneself, won't take any time at all, and will have everyone Tumblr-ing about you for weeks! KIDDING, jesus — this is one of the most complicated updos of our time. (But it is SO pretty and fun to look at.)

    Anyway, for those of us who aren't Blake Lively, spend no more than ten minutes on our hair in the morning, and like to try new looks from time to time, here are a few ideas, as demonstrated by my favorite hair icon of all time, the Hair Woman we had to look up to before we had Blake Lively, Rachel Green Jennifer Aniston.

    STYLE 1: Front-side bobby pin.
    Part hair on side, then bobby pin front piece of hair to the side of your face, underneath other hair. (Depending on the thickness and texture of your hair, you may want two bobby pins for added hold.)
    See it on Jennifer:

    Source: hairstyletwist.com


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    A sudden bout of strong winds and rain made wearing hats and dresses to the Royal Ascot quite treacherous. But this is the U.K. so they kind of had it coming!

    Wind assaults racegoers on the fourth day of the races.

    Source: s3-ak.buzzfed.com

    For reference, this is what it was like wearing large hats on the third day of the Royal Ascot:

    Image by ANDREW WINNING / Reuters

    You could wear a dinner plate with a plastic English breakfast on it without having to pick it up from the ground like this lady.


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    The July issues of Vogue suggests her career won't stop at men's magazine purgatory. Just look at how great she looks covered up in some of fall's most fashionable things.

    See Kate Upton in American Vogue.

    Source: i.models.com

    Source: i.models.com

    In the magazine's July issue, she models some of fall's finest items of fashion, including a including $2,000 leg-sized cigars Givenchy has ingeniously recast as shoes, a $4,000 fur-trimmed coat by Michael Kors, a $690 Hermes hat, and a blue Altuzarra blazer and skirt ($2,300 and $1,700 respectively). So there to anyone who thought she was cheap. It's a far cry from what GQ did to her:


    View Entire List ›


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    Thighs bulged, murses proliferated, and floral prints positively flourished on the runways at the latest Milan Men's Fashion Week shows. Let's take a look at the highlights!

    First up: DAD DENIM!

    First up: DAD DENIM!

    Calvin Klein may be more famous for its jeans than any label showing on the Milan runways, thereby having the power to make the unthinkable — dad jeans — hot. This is great for Barack Obama, who's gotten more shit for his dad denim than any famous dad in recent memory.

    Image by Pier Marco Tacca / Getty Images

    The 2009 dad jeans offense that rocked the world.

    Source: assets.thefiscaltimes.com

    Calvin is also making (or, trying to make) the dad denim jacket happen.

    Calvin is also making (or, trying to make) the dad denim jacket happen.

    So, Mr. President, consider yourself redeemed — for now. If Michelle hasn't shipped all your denim pants to Goodwill you have photo evidence to convince her not to.

    Image by Pier Marco Tacca / Getty Images

    Versace offered another unexpected denim option.

    Versace offered another unexpected denim option.

    I'm not sure one would call these DAD jeans per se, but they'd certainly be great for packing snacks for little league practice.

    Image by Pier Marco Tacca / Getty Images


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    That's the amount she's estimated to have spent on all the clothing she's worn for public appearances so far this year. I don't care how much she spends but I wish we had something substantive to talk about along with her outfits.

    Kate with her dog, Lupo, watching Prince William play a charity polo match.

    I'm all for a well-dressed celebrity. Following the sartorial evolution of fashion icons is a huge part of a fashion writer's job, whether it be how Rihanna went from the sunny Caribbean girl in belly chains and bra tops to the edgy head-shaving diva with shirts that say cunt, or how Kate Middleton went from the London party girl with the thick suede waist belts to the Duchess of Cambridge with an impressive array of Alexander McQueen outfits. Clothes are much more than things that keep us from being naked — they are a reflection of our times, of our culture, and of the people we idolize within them. Also, they're FUN. So I see nothing wrong with obsessing over a certain celebrity's style, the way some people obsess over a certain athlete's throwing arm (or hair, if you're Tom Brady).

    So now that we're about to find out the cost of Kate Middleton's wardrobe — which the British papers estimate at around $54,600 so far this year — a no doubt hard-hitting debate shall ensue over whether or not this is an appropriate expense. (The money for Kate's clothes comes from Prince Charles, who funds his public work through a private estate he holds as Prince of Wales. His accounts will be released for public view this week.) Of course it's an appropriate expense. Kate hasn't had to do much in her role so far other than wear clothes and not screw up — which isn't easy to do when you're the most famous woman in the world. In fact, she's done a fantastic job of wearing her clothes and not screwing up!

    Her designer things — by labels like McQueen, Roland Mouret, and Jenny Packham — have thrilled the fashion world and editors of the fashion magazines she seems destined to cover one day. Her clothes are consistently classy, appropriate, and conservative without being too boring. (We don't turn to her for avant garde fashion experimentation — we have people like Anna Dello Russo for that.) One or two ice dancer-esque outfits excepted, she's managed to be stylish without coming across as a scary raging fashion person that no one can relate to. And occasionally, she wears things twice (some shoes even more than that!) and throws in High Street pieces from Zara or Reiss or Topshop, stores she reportedly shops at like a normal person.

    She has the option to employ a stylist, but is said to dress herself, and though she could get any item of fashion she wanted for free, insists on paying what normal people would pay for everything she wears. (Borrowing or accepting free clothes could be problematic — when designers stand to benefit so greatly from the exposure, free clothes could represent taxable income, which is why Nancy Reagan had to stop borrowing things.) All of Kate's image-crafting has reflected pretty well on a once-scandal-plagued royal family so far. It seems like a worthwhile investment; the public doesn't want to see the royals running around in $14 jeans and $4 rubber flip flops. Kate sits comfortably in that Vogue-approved place the people want her to occupy.

    The problem with Kate's image, while it's been fun to follow, is that that's all we've got — pretty princess wears pretty clothes, The End. She's been married to Prince William for more than a year, and barely spoken a word publicly to her people. Sometimes it seems like all she does is shop, stand, walk from the car, pose, walk back to the car, repeat. And there are plenty of opportunities for screw ups in just that — she could fall or wear a politically polarizing outfit (like Michelle Obama did with an ill-fated McQueen gown) or forget her fascinator. Eventually the royal family will have to let her really vocally infuse her image with some more substance — charitable causes she's passionate about, books she likes to read, etc. — otherwise Prince Charles's estate is just footing the bill for a show pony. And that's something that's easy to resent.


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    If you thought her biggest life accomplishment was selling her Skinny Girl margaritas to a liquor company for a bajillion dollars, you're wrong. Her Most Important Achievement in Life was working as a production assistant on Saved by the Bell . She Instagramed photographic proof.

    Source: distilleryimage4.instagram.com

    Now ^THIS^ is what Instagram needs more of.


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    The writer and filmmaker died at the age of 71 in Manhattan Tuesday . The inspiring, witty, and hilarious quotes she leaves behind in her books, movies, and essays seem endless, but here are a few of my favorites.

    Image by Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."— Harry, When Harry Met Sally

    "Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic."— Sam, Sleepless in Seattle


    View Entire List ›


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    The cast's press tour has been nothing short of visually stunning and spectacularly quotable. “Sometimes a thong completely betrays you,” Channing Tatum said.

    It has the potential to inspire a shirtless vest-wearing fashion craze.

    It has the potential to inspire a shirtless vest-wearing fashion craze.

    Matthew McConaughey does a particularly spectacular job with this look.

    Source: comingsoon.net

    Source: comingsoon.net

    All expected stripper archetypes are explored.

    All expected stripper archetypes are explored.

    "There's some leather chaps, there might be a fireman or two, a policeman's outfit — you know, the staples," Channing Tatum said on the Today show. Evidently also: soldiers!

    Source: comingsoon.net

    It's patriotic.

    It's patriotic.

    Uncle Sam or Uncle EIGHT PACK?

    Source: comingsoon.net


    View Entire List ›


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    The men's shows rage on in Milan and Paris, where the hottest designers are showing what the most stylish dudes with wear in the spring of 2013. Here are all the outfits every dude who considers himself “well-dressed” needs to study.

    Upgrade your plain white shirt and hike up your pants.

    Upgrade your plain white shirt and hike up your pants.

    Floral prints pair well with a wistful, dewy summer skin. Basically just make yourself look like you've been crying all day.

    Image by Francois Mori / AP

    Shrink polo shirts in the dryer.

    Shrink polo shirts in the dryer.

    If they don't pull at the arpmits, they're not tight enough.

    Image by Francois Mori / AP

    Image by Francois Mori / AP

    From afar, clothes should suggest that you have ladylike breasts.

    From afar, clothes should suggest that you have ladylike breasts.

    A model performs at the start of a sixty-hour fashion show event for the label Band of Outsiders in Paris.

    Image by AFP / Getty Images


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    CNN's major gaffe with the supreme court health care ruling and premature reports about Nora Ephron's death are a reminder that especially when it comes to the internet, you can't always believe what you read. Editors who cover celebrity deaths say they're more skeptical of online reports than ever before.

    Nora Ephron.

    Source: iwatchstuff.com

    When news of Nora Ephron's death ricocheted around Twitter Tuesday afternoon, it was hard to tell whether the filmmaker and author had indeed died or whether the news was just another celebrity death hoax. As it turned out, it was neither: the tweets were based on a prematurely released tribute (since removed) on Wowowow.com written by Ephron's friend, the gossip writer Liz Smith (who later said she regretted prematurely reporting the news, and didn't try to confirm it with Ephron's family because she didn't want to bother them). When Ephron did pass away later that evening, the news was reported — accurately — by the Washington Post.

    Early reports of Ephron's death, like Smith's, were greeted with skepticism because few outside of her close circle of friends and family even knew she was ill. But we live in a world where every news-related tweet, no matter how seemingly far-fetched, needs to be taken seriously — even though inaccurate reports of celebrity deaths surface on Twitter all the time, often as pranks.

    With all the fake death reports on the Internet, "you just become instantly more skeptical," says Us Weekly senior online editor Justin Ravitz. "I was on call when Whitney Houston died and when someone with the inside scoop said, 'I'm hearing a rumor that Whitney Houston died,' I'm like, that's ridiculous — that sounds like a Twitter hoax. It seemed like a classic fake story."

    Long gone are the days when the New York Times was the only reliable source for a celebrity death. The problem now is that sometimes Twitter is actually right. So now, when a famous person dies, reporters — and everyone else — must sift through often-conflicting layers of news from all corners of the internet. Over the past few years, the climate has grown even faster and competitive. (Just think what hearing about Kurt Cobain's suicide on Twitter would have been like.)

    Bill McDonald, the obituaries editor for the New York Times, has been in his current position at the paper for six years, and says that even when he started there was a lot less noise on the Internet to sift through. "We would look at what the L.A. Times or Washington Post did, but there weren't as many blogs or news sites," he says. "Now obviously there's a much more diverse news in the sense of [the number of] outlets. In some ways that's useful because you do often hear of things now that we might not have before."

    But sometimes outlets report different things, making the job much more difficult. McDonald has seen a number of celebrity death hoaxes over the past six years, including rumors that Jeff Goldblum had fallen off a cliff while filming a movie around the time of Michael Jackson's death. He says his team doesn't follow Twitter that closely, and confirms deaths with celebrities' reps before hastily running with sketchy reports. "We have to be vigilant and not do anything impulsively," he says.

    In the case of Ephron, her son Jacob Bernstein, a contributor to the paper, "was in touch with the writer of our obituary, so we were not going to do anything until we heard from him," McDonald says. Once they noticed the Smith post, they started making calls to find out if it was true, but the Times isn't always necessarily concerned with getting the news of a celebrity death up first. "We also like to be prepared and have an obituary ready, so we may not be as eager to tell the world right away, particularly if none of the world is aware of it," he says. (The Times prepares obituaries for older celebrities, but when someone younger like Adam Yauch dies, they often don't have anything on file.)

    It's also easier to confirm news about celebrities who are in the news more often, as Us editor Ravitz explains: "With [a celebrity like] Lindsay Lohan, we have a lot of sources. Someone like Nora Ephron doesn't have tons of reps and sources we would deal with on a daily basis." He says they also took note of Smith's post, but found out from Ephron's publisher that she was still alive and prepped their post to publish only when they got confirmation of Ephron's passing. In this instance, they weren't worried about being first with the news — though sometimes the site does post death reports before receiving confirmation, as in the case of a celebrity of intense interest to the Us Weekly audience, like Whitney Houston. "You wait and sort of say, well, okay, TMZ is saying that Whitney Houston died, and if we're still waiting for confirmation, you can kind of go up with the headline and post it as a report and say reps cannot be reached," Ravitz says. "If people don't come out of the woodwork and say she's alive and well, you put it up because you know people are going to start talking about it and searching for it."

    Though Washington Post media writer Paul Farhi notes that TMZ doesn't have a perfect track record, they have accurately reported major stories like Michael Jackson's death and Mel Gibson's meltdown before other sources. "But I would not go with TMZ reporting without independently verifying," he says. "I think it's generally accurate but not always. Do I trust the Washington Post or the New York Times or other sources more? Yeah, I do I trust them more."

    Farhi sees another value in TMZ: they are not beholden to publicists or reps who negotiate stories about their celebrity clients with many mainstream publications. "I like the fact that there is now a completely oppositional, anti-celeb medium like TMZ because these things have punched through the tremendous management of information that surrounded celebs for so long," he says. "The instinct to report the truth about celebs is a very good one because there's so much untruth about them." TMZ may be able to get their news out more quickly because they "don't care about getting exclusive wedding photos," Farhi adds. "The parking lot attendant, the paramedic, and the cops tend to be TMZ sources."

    Everyone seems to agree, Twitter is not to be trusted. After all, I typed "Lindsay Lohan dead" into the site's search box just before publishing this story, and this is what I saw:

    "Twitter is essentially people shouting on the corner," Farhi says. "You wouldn't give people shouting on the corner any real credibility. They may turn out to be right but there's a fairly low prospect that's going to happen."


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    Madonna, J. Lo, Jessica Simpson — they've all been through the special hell of a highly publicized marital dissolution. Katie could learn from them as she navigates the end to her five-year marriage to Tom Cruise.

    Oh Katie, don't look so glum! All of these women emerged from their divorces victorious. So pay attention.

    Become A Mogul, Like Jessica Simpson

    Become A Mogul, Like Jessica Simpson

    Jessica Simpson's music career may have died following her divorce from Nick Lachey, but she went on to build a fashion empire approaching a worth of $1 billion — which is the kind of business mega luxury label Michael Kors does. The cash didn't stop flowing: Simpson got pregnant, used the press about her never-ending pregnancy to launch a maternity line, and forge a reportedly multi-million dollar Weight Watchers deal. And apparently, you don't even have to be pregnant to get a Weight Watchers deal: the company told Us Weekly they had been talking to Simpson since before she was pregnant.

    KATIE'S TAKEAWAY: Focus her post-divorce "sadness" into her work, like the Holmes & Yang line she launched with her stylist last year. Grow the business while settling down with a new romantic partner — someone attractive and known but definitely not more famous than you — gain ten pounds, get Jenny Craig's interest, get pregnant, sign a multi-million deal, then have the baby after an unusually long pregnancy. Everyone will be riveted! Oh also, tweet your way through it to show you have personality. OPTIONAL: acquire mummy costume for said tweeting.


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