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BuzzFeed, Find Your New Favorite Thing

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    Ryan Lochte. He has the lips of a guppy, the agility of a dolphin, the body of a man — and about as many facial expressions as a highly controlled public figure, like Mitt Romney (famous for: pensive stare ) or Katie Holmes (famous for: that smirk ). Let's take a look at a few of the expressions in Our Manly Love Lochte's emotional arsenal.

    Image by Clive Rose / Getty Images

    Expression One: The "Am I as Awesome as I Think I Am?" Face.
    Usage: Most commonly in the pool, after a match, as subject awaits his standing — and the attention of cameras from international media outlets who will undoubtedly ham up Subject's rare sort of pansexual hotness. Also common when Subject awaits instruction from a coach.
    Also Seen: When Subject is dry, either accepting a medal or getting psyched up before a race. Occasionally, the "Am I as Awesome as I Think I Am?" Face is the precursor to speaking to a fellow swimmer, most commonly Michael Phelps.
    A Photo Catalog:

    Image by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

    Image by TIM WIMBORNE / Reuters


    View Entire List ›


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    Apparently her hair has felt so burdensome that sometimes she fantasizes about cutting it all off (Bill Cosby talked her out of that, she says).

    Oprah has posed for loads of O covers, but never with her hair in its natural state, as she does for the new September issue. Oprah writes about her hair inside the magazine, which hits newsstands August 7. A press release about the issue contains an excerpt:

    Winfrey writes that wearing her hair naturally – as she often does on weekends and on vacation – makes her feel unencumbered and that she once wanted to just cut it all off. “I wanted to wear it close-cropped a la Camille Cosby but her husband Bill convinced me otherwise. ‘Don’t do it,’ he said. ‘You’ve got the wrong head shape and you’ll disappoint yourself.’ I took his advice.” Although, never one to shy away from a style update, Winfrey is a firm believer that changing your hairstyle can change what we see and feel is possible. “I even notice a change in my dogs when they get their summer cuts: they’re friskier and livelier, feeling more themselves once the weight of the hair is released.”

    Don't let the mention of her dogs' "summer cuts" detract from her winning relatable nature!

    Oprah's hair looks quite different when she goes to the bother of getting it done.

    Here she is with Hugh Jackman in June.

    Image by Theo Wargo / Getty Images

    And here she is in April.

    Image by Frank Gunn / AP


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    If you've missed Lochte's adorable/painful television interviews over the years, here is a compilation of the highlights.

    Video edited by Dorsey Shaw.


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    Creating the leotards for Team USA's gymnasts is a process that takes a year and a half, thousands of Swarovski crystals, and many rounds of testing. Each one is like a wedding dress: a spectacular creation the ladies can't wait to debut on the big day.

    Photos: Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images, Thomas Coex/Getty Images, Brian Snyder/Reuters

    GK Elite has been making Team USA's gymnastics leotards for the Olympics for more than two decades. At this summer's Games, the team debuted their sparkliest, most innovative leotards yet. Veteran gymnast Shawn Johnson even called the red bedazzled number the girls wore to win gold in the team competition the most beautiful leotard she's ever seen — and we've only just seen some of what's in Team USA's leotard arsenal. Kelly McKeown, executive vice president of design and corporate relations at GK Elite, took time out from her busy Olympics schedule, where the company is outfitting gymnast teams from all over the world, to chat with BuzzFeed Shift about all things Olympic leotards.

    The ladies' leotards are made from a fabric called Mystique. Can you explain the significance of the material?
    It's become the standard fabric in the industry. People love it because one, it has a compression fit and two, it really defines the muscles and shows off muscle tone. When you're competing you wanting to be dressed properly — in fancy attire, basically — and Mystique has a sheen to it and it looks a little dressier and classier than something that has a dull finish.

    So compression fit — does that mean like Spanx?
    It's not really like Spanx. You know how Under Armour has compression shirts? They're tight-fitting. The leotards are sort of the same as that. It's nice as a woman to have something that pulls you in and is supportive.

    Does it feel different to wear than a leotard one might buy at, say, American Apparel?
    No, other than it's compression fit. It's not a huge difference where you're uncomfortable.

    How long does it take for GK Elite to make the US team's performance leotards?
    The first meeting I think was about 18 months ago. We started talking about the whole process and concept and things like that. It's been a lot of prototyping over the past several months and back and forth, showing designs to the federation and the coaches and having the athletes try them on and making changes, whether it's lines or color.

    The U.S.'s Gabrielle Douglas on the balance beam.

    Image by EMMANUEL DUNAND / Getty Images

    How many leotards does each U.S. lady gymnast get?
    The U.S. got eight competitive leotards each, so they have a wide variety. Some of the countries (GK outfits many countries for the Games) will get a lot lot lot less and they have to wash them for competiion in a sink. So the U.S. is definitely well-equipped with apparel.

    Which countries end up with fewer?
    I don't know how many leotards every country has. Some countiries will get maybe three different loetards, but they'll gt two of each. The U.S. likes the variety of the looks.

    There's a lot of psychology behind what you wear when you compete. If you look amazing and you feel amazing you're going to be more confident. The leotards are usually quite a big surprise at the Olympics — no one wants to reveal what they're wearing prior to the Games. It's like your wedding day when you don't want anyone to see your dress and then on the day it's the big reveal and everyone talks about the leotards.

    Fashion designers collect inspiration for their designs on mood boards and things like that. Does it work the same way with the gymnastics leotards?
    It's an artchitectural inspiration behind some of the jeweled designs. The team has some patriotic looks that they haven't worn yet — I'm not sure which day they're going to wear what leotard but there's some patriotic influence behind some of them.

    The other element that's big is the Swarovski crystals. There are more crystals on the apparel on this Olympic Games than ever before. It's becoming another new standard. The other day, when the US won the gold, they had a red leotard encrusted with crystals. It was so elegant — they got a lot of complements on how elegant they looked. In fact I went to the champagne toast and Shawn Johnson was there with the parents and she came up to me and said, "This is the most beautiful leotard that I've ever seen." So I think that's a big statement coming from someone who's worn hundreds of these.

    How much do they cost?
    I don't have any cost sheets in front of me, but I know some of them cost in the neighborhood of $500. They have eight so I don't have all the prices here, but some of them are $400 or $500. They're paid for by sponsorships that all feed into the funding for the team. Funds are allocated for different things, like uniforms.


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    You know what? He's just the best. Period.

    Image by LEON NEAL / Getty Images

    He has phun with spelling.

    No one cares because he's so good-looking.


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    Lots of powerful relationships are made at the Olympics. But perhaps none is more significant than the swimmers that together make Phelpte. Feel the love.

    Relationships can develop a push-pull quality when partners are in the throes of an Olympic bromance AND fiercely competitive at the same time.

    Relationships can develop a push-pull quality when partners are in the throes of an Olympic bromance AND fiercely competitive at the same time.

    Here Lochte may pull away, but Phelps, perhaps drawn by inexplicable force, eagerly floats forth to his man.

    Image by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / Getty Images

    The convenient part about being Olympic swimming bros is always having someone around to be straight with you.

    The convenient part about being Olympic swimming bros is always having someone around to be straight with you.

    "I don't have that embarrassing goggles mark on my forehead, do I?"

    Image by Al Bello / Getty Images

    Or just do the things you love to do with you. Like the backstroke.

    Or just do the things you love to do with you. Like the backstroke.

    Image by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / Getty Images

    Or comfort you when you look down.

    Or comfort you when you look down.

    "Tweet me a #JEAH later, will you, Phelpsie? Rough day."

    Image by Al Bello / Getty Images


    View Entire List ›


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    When do significant others have worthwhile opinions on their partner's fashion choices — and when do they need to just shut up? The Fashion Mailbag is here to help.

    Graphic by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

    I plan to attend a wedding as my boyfriend's date this month. The couple getting married are his friends. I want to wear a dress that's a little edgier than we expect the crowd there to look (pastel skirt suits are what I envision). I think the dress is cool and appropriate for the occasion but my boyfriend thinks it's inappropriate and wants me to wear something else. We've had a few bad fights (plural!) about it. What can I do?

    Your question has two important components. One, how do you deal with a romantic partner who wants to have serious input on your wardrobe? And two, what is appropriate to wear to a wedding if you're attending as someone's date?

    FIrst, the relationship part: nothing is more odious in a romantic relationship, to me, than a partner who tries to control the other. You can't control other people any more than you can get delete all the "#jeah"s from Ryan Lochte's Twitter feed. It is an exercise in futility. I know you feel the same way because you're fighting against his attempt to control you instead of lying there like a wet noodle and letting it affect you. Knowing very little about the arguments and nothing about your relationship I don't know if he's a manipulative fighter. But I'm guessing not, because he's not doing a very good job of convincing you that you're wrong, and what abusively manipulative partners do very well is convince you that you're wrong when you're not at all wrong.

    The other question is, does he just disagree with you on THIS outfit or does he try to control what you wear all the time? I had a boyfriend who started telling me not to wear my hair up a few months in. I didn't care what he thought and wore it however I wanted to, but God how annoying that was. It didn't last. That was a small red flag among many.

    So if your boyfriend isn't manipulative or hyper-controlling or just interested in fashion the way Simon Van Kampen was when he took his wife Alex shopping in St. Barths in those awkward Real Housewives of New York segments, then your relationship is probably okay! Now as for the fashion part of this question: I admire your steadfastness with this edgy dress. However, if your boyfriend really strongly objects to it you might want to reconsider wearing it. He knows these people better than you, and he may also know what will sartorially fit in there better than you.

    You may not want to sartorially fit in, and I'm normally a fan of NOT doing like everyone else does. However, at a wedding you should really try to look appropriate. I believe guests should wear whatever they want to a wedding as long as they honestly believe it won't compete with the bride's dress. If you were going to Snooki's wedding, you could show up with maxi pads stuck to your privates like pasties and no one would look twice, probably since Snooki would probably do every loud thing she could think of, like project hologram GIFs of her flashing her vagina everywhere you look. But if you're going to something a bit stuffy? Don't show too much skin, maybe also don't want to wear anything that's solid neon, and don't turn your breasts into a shelf just for the sake of having something to set your drink on.

    If you still think he's just being crazy about this and your dress is totally okay, then wear the damn thing. He'll get drunk right after the ceremony anyway and stop caring. Stuffy weddings are always the booziest, which is one thing to look forward to.

    Have a fashion question for Amy? Write her at amy.odell@buzzfeed.com.


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    What would happen if a team of BuzzFeed bloggers had the opportunity to design their dream pair of jean shorts from puffy paint, glitter, tassel trimming, faux leopard fur, and other epic crafting supplies? We found out — and asked All on the Line host, styling genius, and Elle creative director Joe Zee to judge which jorts were the most fab and which jorts were the most, well, drab.

    Our quest to create the most amazing jorts in all the land as a blogging staff began at M&J Trimmings in New York's Garment District. Peggy Wang and I journeyed here one day to select an array of crafting supplies that would best showcase the Buzz team's creativity, when applied to a pair of denim bottoms.

    M&J Trimmings is a wonderful store full of every kind of trimming you could fathom. They have trimmings made from everything from chandeliers crystals to latex tinsel, and every kind of crystal, stud, and fabric pplique you could dream up.


    View Entire List ›


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    The fan with the best letter to Ryan Lochte explaining why (s)he is the number-one fan of them all will get invited to “a very special event that Ryan Lochte will be part of.” I'm OBVIOUSLY entering this contest.

    Ryan poses with his silver medal following the men's 200 m individual medley final.

    Image by Adam Pretty / Getty Images

    Via: ryanlochte.com

    Dear Ryan Lochte/Prime Minister of Lochte Nation,

    I am hands down, without a doubt Lochte Nation's biggest fan, and am so confident in my supreme fanaticism that I'll even admit some seeming super-fan fallacies, like: I do not own the glasses with the mesh lenses that read "REEZY JEAH"; I also do not own all the products you endorse, including but not limited to a Nissan and swimming trunks by Speedo. However, I DIYed my own perforated "LOCHTENATOR" shades out of a mason jar and jegging trimmings left over from BuzzFeed's ultimate DIY jorts contest, and I wear them constantly — to sleep, Tweet, type, work out, watch you on TV, swim, shower, and text. (I put a rubberband on the glasses arms so that they don't fall off when you excite me at work and I burst out of my desk chair to scream "REEZYYYY!!!" and throw green glitter around.) Another sign of my terrifyingly strong affection for Lochte Nation are the green Swarovski crystals I have glued on all of my possessions, including but not limited to: my Beyoncé poster and Blue Ivy doll, my nails, my cat's nails, my teeth, the laptop BuzzFeed lets me write things like this from, and ALL of my shoes (which should go without saying, really).

    You have also inspired me to be as much like you as possible. For example, I think about practicing swimming laps — which is certainly what you spend most of your time doing — basically all the time. I am also training myself to become less grate at spelling because it's SO adorable when you do it, and I am SERIOUSLY dialing back on the number of facial expressions in my emotional repertoire and perfecting the one where my eyes go just a little bit lazy and my lower jaw hangs limply from my upper jaw, like I'm stoned and waiting for someone to feed me a slice of pizza.

    Lastly, I have been told by a real British person that the Brits don't know who you are and don't care about your flawless, extraordinarily charming existence. To remedy this gut-wrenching humanitarian crisis, I have already begun planning a street art campaign to get your face plastered on the sides of buildings across the U.K. that will make Banksy look like last season's harem pants and the cat artists in Arizona look like Maria Sharapova getting creamed by Serena Williams. Because I know in my heart that the best way to get the Brits (and all the other crazy people in the world who don't know who you are) on your side is to let them see you before they let them hear you.

    Also, though you (or whoever reads this aloud to you) may feel afraid to be in the presence of someone as rabidly N 2 U as me, know that it will be cool — I won't touch you unless you initiate contact for some good Facebook pix, but I also won't be like that person on a date who's so shy they can't think of anything to say and force you to make all the painfully awkward conversation. In fact, you won't have to speak at all because I'll bring a swatch of sparkly green tape to put over your mouth.

    ALL KISSES NO HISSES!!!
    Amynator


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    Over the past few years the fashion world has decided to say eff you to dogs and gucci goo (sorry, had to ) to cats. The most famous feline of them all is Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld's fluffy white ball of divinity named Choupette . Here's why her life is superior to everyone else's.

    Her designated sitting places are elegantly labeled.

    Her designated sitting places are elegantly labeled.

    How would you feel if you came to work one day, and on it was a pillow designed by Karl Lagerfeld that read, "Ici, c'est la place d'Amy Odell" (or, your name). Freaking fabulous, that's how you'd feel.

    Source: i-donline.com

    She is the only living thing fabulous enough to keep Karl's ego in check.

    She is the only living thing fabulous enough to keep Karl's ego in check.

    "You know, personally, I don't even think I'm that famous," the designer — widely regarded as one of, if not THE world's best — told British Vogue. "Now, Choupette really is famous. She has become the most famous cat in the world. I even get propositioned by pet food companies and things like that, but it's out of the question. I'm commercial. She's not. She's spoiled to death. Obviously." Moving on!

    Source: soundbites.typepad.com

    She has maids.

    She has maids.

    Two "personal maids," Lagerfeld has said, "for both night and day."

    Source: i-donline.com

    She gets to do whatever she wants.

    She gets to do whatever she wants.

    "She has lunch and dinner with me on the table, with her own food. She doesn’t touch my food.," Lagerfeld confessed. "She doesn’t want to eat on the floor." (To be fair, I wouldn't want his food, either.)

    Source: i-donline.com


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    This kitty has a lot in common with supermodels like Kate. She's very finicky about food, is excessively groomed, refuses to eat on the floor — and the list goes on.

    Source: harpersbazaar.com

    Following a widely fussed-over photo spread in i-D magazine, Harper's Bazaar has unleashed its feature about Karl Lagerfeld's insanely spoiled cat Choupette. This creature's unrelenting exposure, insanely photogenic good looks, and bizarre lifestyle have in just a few months turned her into the Kate Moss of felines — the girl everyone wants to photograph, the girl no one in fashion would dare insult, the girl who can get everyone to click and look and, ugh, just sigh. The Bazaar feature includes two new photos of the kitty, and another interview with Karl about the cat. Amazingly, despite Choupette being the only thing he's asked about these days, Karl found some new information to reveal about her that further proves how very much like a super model she truly is. For example:

    • "She has an attitude like a princess," Karl says.
    • The driver takes care of her in addition to her two maids. You know Kate's driver has to do the same those nights she's stumbling around London in the wee hours and needs an accomplice to help shield her exploits from the paparazzi.
    • She is fussy about food. Just before Karl's interview, Choupette got sick! Egads! "She had eaten something she wasn't supposed to eat. They had changed her food because she's grown-up now, and the food was not right yet. So I had the doctor come in the middle of the night," Karl tells the magazine.
    • She only eats luxurious things served on luxurious plates. "She doesn't like to eat on the floor, so I have to put the food on the table. Her dishes are by Goyard. She has one for water, one for her little croquette, and one for her pâté. You have to serve everything, and she makes a choice," Karl explains.
    • She is groomed excessively. Brushing occurs twice daily.
    • Everyone in the fashion industry "wants" her. "She's really a stunning beauty," Karl says. "Her eyes are blue, blue, blue, blue, blue. And also her movement is so beautiful."
    • She doesn't do her own nails. "The doctor does her manicure. She hates when we do it ourselves. The only time she makes a scandal is then," explains Karl. So it follows that:
    • She's not above the occasional temper tantrum.
    • And finally, Choupette is like a supermodel because: she expects a lot of attention. "[W]hen I'm working, she sits next to me. And when I want to write letters, she sits on the papers because she doesn't want me to write letters," Karl says. But also it's like, who WRITES letters? Maybe Choupette just wants him to get with the program and pick up an iPad.

    Read more about Choupette at HarpersBazaar.com.

    Source: harpersbazaar.com


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    This. Guy. That quote plus more Lochte-ness in this video from his sponsor Gillette, which turned the act of gifting him a custom bling razor into a huge press conference.


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    Whatever brought massive crowds out for Trojan's giveaway of 10,000 sex toys around New York, enough showed up that only a fraction got vibrators — and the city tried to shut down the event.

    Trojan Vibrations Pleasure Carts. YAY!

    Image by Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

    Trojan wants to take the vibrator conversation mainstream. If you think it's already mainstream, Trojan proved you wrong today when so many people showed up for their vibrator giveaway in New York that the publicity stunt was disrupted, and carts full of vibrators emptied in minutes. If vibrators were actually mainstream, no one would have snickered at this event on Twitter or in the media and probably not nearly as many people would have showed up to claim one.

    The concept of giving away 10,000 vibrators in two days was interesting enough to the press that everyone from Howard Stern to the New York Post covered the event. They helped get the word out to many more people than Trojan expected to actually care, and the giveaway stations around the cities got so swarmed that the company is now uncertain of whether they'll be able to continue the campaign as planned tomorrow.

    Apparently street teams giving things away from the sorts of "hot dog carts" Trojan was using do not usually need permits from the city. However so many people flocked to them (Trojan posted the carts' locations to their Facebook page) that the city decided they needed permits after all. When I stopped by 22nd St. and 5th Ave. not long after the giveaway began there this afternoon, the cart had been emptied (each only holds about 150 vibrators). A robust line, maybe about 50, eager men and women (but mostly women) were lining up to give their email addresses to purple shirt-wearing Trojan reps who promised to get these people their vibrators somehow, some way. In fact, they might even mail the vibrators to them.

    The crowd at 22nd and Fifth quickly attracted two cops, who instructed the Trojan reps to move their massive line closer to the side of a building, out of the way of pedestrian sidewalk traffic. Once they found out what was going on, they chuckled and put their names on the list for free vibrators, too. A passerby asked me what the line was for. "They're giving away vibrators," I said. He winced and practically ran away from me.

    So why did so many women go out of their way for the free sex toys? Providing definitive answers is impossible. But, a few theories:

    • Women don't want to invest $50 in a device devoted to their personal sexual pleasure.
    • Free stuff!!!! Everyone loves free stuff.
    • People wouldn't think to go out of their way to buy vibrators but hey, if they're free, take advantage of that lunch hour and go for it?
    • The massive publicity surrounding this event only reminded women that they aren't getting off nearly as much as they want to, thus lighting a fire under their asses to go and get some free assistance with the matter. There is a lot of bad sex out there as an entire genre of memoirs and many TV series have exploited.
    • There's something empowering about going out of one's way for a free vibrator. Like: "How was your day?" "Great! I got a free vibrator out of a hot dog cart." You would never brag about getting free condoms, which are pretty easy to come by these days (in New York at least).
    • The vibrator conversation is starting to go mainstream so when women heard "10,000 free vibrators" they thought, "Oh, I need one of those! And I'll happily wait in line on the street for it."

    And then there's the matter of why this was all so hilarious/scary to so many people. Do vibrators and the women who want them really freak people out so much that they feel compelled to flee the scene of a hot dog cart carrying a hundred of them? Maybe what's actually freaky is that the giveaway served as a reminder that many women have a hard enough time attaining sexual satisfaction — whether they're getting laid or not — that they want a mechanical device to help.

    But if more women are seeking greater sexual satisfaction? Fabulous, I say. A lot of them have a hard time getting it so whatever makes it easier — vibrators out of a hot dog cart, say — great. Let's not be so sneer-y about it.


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    I hope this practice becomes more widespread because Instagram really has the potential to inspire eye-catching fashion choices . If not for Instagram, how else would she get the idea that the item of clothing she really needs to buy next is a leather baseball hat?

    Miranda Kerr poses nude in the new issue of Harper's Bazaar (it makes sense — it's for an editorial about boots). But clothes are not next on her list of things to buy.

    Source: harpersbazaar.com

    HB: What are you buying this fall to update your look?

    MK: Leather baseball cap — I saw this particular one on Instagram and ordered it immediately.

    Oh how I HOPE this is it:

    Source: s3.amazonaws.com


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    Nail art? Been there, done that. If you're looking for new ways to play up your nighttime look, try doing something… different with your eyebrows/face.

    It's hard to tell what's going on here. She could have some metallic foil type thing on her upper lids or bits of patterned felt? Unclear but definitely eye-catching and, happily, obviates the need for eye shadow.

    From the Ivan Grundahl show at Copenhagen Fashion Week.

    Image by Unger Anthon / AP

    Image by Unger Anthon / AP

    Erase brows with powder — then draw them back on at an angry-face angle with Sharpie.

    From the Stine Ladefoged show at Copenhagen Fashion Week.

    Image by Unger Anthon / AP

    At least they let her show some gray. Rare, that.

    From the Kallol Datta show at Lakme Fashion Week.

    Image by PUNIT PARANJPE / Getty Images


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    Romney's new pro-life running mate opposes federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act, and abortions in cases of rape and incest.

    Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney in March.

    Image by DARREN HAUCK / Reuters

    1. He supports the "Sanctity of Human Life Act."
    Ryan was among the 62 representatives sponsoring the bill, introduced in January of last year and declaring that "life begins with fertilization." The bill defines life as beginning at conception and give states the right to ban all abortions*, including in instances of rape and incest.

    2. He wants to cut funding for Medicaid, which covers millions of low-income women, and to shift control over the money from the federal government to the states. This would hit some family planning services hard:
    Planned Parenthood says that half of all visits to their clinics are paid for by Medicaid, while one in ten relies on the program for healthcare.

    3. He voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
    Ryan supported Indiana representative Mike Pence's attempts to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

    4. He opposes the Affordable Care Act.
    In a statement on his website, Ryan says the ACA "may irrevocably impair the American identity." Republicans central objection to the legislation is that it is too expensive, but it also includes specific benefits for women, including copay-free birth control for insured women and increased access to preventative healthcare services, including cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and birth control. The act also forbids insurance companies from charging women more for coverage than men.

    5. He supports a bill that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage based on personal beliefs.
    Ryan co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act of 2012, introduced by fellow Republican pro-life Wisconsin representative James Sensenbrenner in July. The bill would allow employers in public and private sectors to deny women birth control coverage if they had a moral or religious objection to contraception. It seeks to undermine the compromise Obama reached with religious groups on this issue, allowing them to opt out of contraception coverage in favor of insurance companies providing it instead.

    *Correction: The Sanctity of Human Life Act gives states the right to ban abortions, without exception; it does not ban abortions, as a previous version of this item stated.


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    The Closing Ceremonies were a mish-mish of every famous Brit who could so much as keep a beat on a trash can lid or walk to and fro on cue. Obviously the most important people summoned for the cause were the Spice Girls and the supermodels. Which was more fab?

    Spice Girls!!!

    Spice Girls!!!

    Let's not beat around the Union Jack-shaped topiary, everyone still wants to talk about the Spice Girls and I am no exception.

    I thought their performance was pitch-perfect. Even if they didn't really sing, the performance wasn't nearly long enough, and it was sort of slap-dash, it happened and it was like 1995 all over again. Let's assess the fashions, one Spice at a time.

    Scary Spice (Mel B)

    Scary Spice (Mel B)

    GREAT catsuit. Perfect for her (since it was kind of scary), the event (since how do you stand out in a sea of lights that don't stop flashing the rainbow?), and 2012 (since no modern 37-year-old diva would dare perform in something other than a skintight sparkle suit).

    Image by LEON NEAL / Getty Images

    You go, Mel B. You've done J. Lo proud!

    Image by LEON NEAL / Getty Images

    Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)

    Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)

    I love that her ass had a Union Jack flapping off the back. She had to pay homage to this pivotal moment in British cultural history in some way, and that was just enough to bring us back there but not SO much that it overpowered the whole performance.

    Image by LEON NEAL / Getty Images


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    Bookings of cat models for fashion editorials and ads has doubled over the past few years. And thanks to the recent rise fashion's most famous cat, Choupette , the glamorization of cats probably won't stop anytime soon.

    Choupette in the forthcoming September issue of V, with Laetitia Casta. Spread styled by Carlyne Cerf de Douzeele and shot by Karl Lagerfeld. The issue hits stands August 30; see the full spread on Vmagazine.com.

    Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

    Forget retouching. Forget naked women. Getting people to look at fashion photography these days is as simple as adding a cat. Over the past few years felines have become some of the most popular and celebrated fashion models, appearing regularly in magazines like Elle and Vogue, and in ads for brands like Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana.

    Source: bombayandburmesecats.com

    "I think they're really seen and respected as a creature of beauty and elegance, and sometimes sensuality, because of their beautiful, stealthy bodies," says Cathryn Long, an agent from All Creatures Great and Small, which represents animals for acting and modeling work. "They're really so much more highly regarded and appreciated than they ever used to be." Her talent roster includes all kinds of animals — sloths, pigeons, dogs, horses, snakes, you name it — but she says that over the past few years, her bookings of cats for fashion work have doubled. "Really there's nothing that is not touched by cats anymore. Before it might have just been [ads for] cat food or cat litter. Now it's not." If cats aren't appearing in fashion magazines, they're probably adding warmth to a scene of a family in a Verizon commercial, for instance.

    Sarah Cristobal, editor of the edgy fashion magazine V, says cats are "back on the brain" among her fellow editors. "Definitely, people in the office have been like, 'I should get a cat,'" she says. "[Cats'] personalities do match the fashion set — they're beautiful and graceful but also kind of finicky." Also, they're the most viewed animal on the internet and — in an age when many fashion companies are trying to get their fashion films and ad images to go viral — the wit, humor, and chicness of cats just makes sense.


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    Sitting next to the first lady — wearing gold of course — the gold medalist reveals she indulged in an egg McMuffin once the Olympics were all over. Michelle teased, “You're setting me back Gabby.”

    First, the clip!

    Gabby discusses leaving home as a teen to train, her high-protein training diet, and meeting Duchess Kate Middleton.

    Here's Gabby eight years ago, when she was 8.

    Here's Gabby eight years ago, when she was 8.

    And here's how she arrived on stage at Leno.

    And here's how she arrived on stage at Leno.

    Having spent the past two weeks in track suits and leotards, her stylish appearance (and friendship with MObama) will only leave the fashion world yearning to dress her.

    But at the airport the night of the taping, she wore flats.

    But at the airport the night of the taping, she wore flats.

    Like an average girl.


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    A group of three 16-year-olds from New Jersey successfully petitioned the Presidential Debate Committee hire women moderators for this year's debates for the first time in 20 years. With 20,000 petitions launching on Change.org each month, their success was hardly a sure thing.

    Sammi, Emma, and Elena.

    When 16-year-olds Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis learned a few months ago that a woman hadn't moderated a presidential debate since 1992 — not once in their lifetimes — they were appalled. Emma, Sammi, and Elena attend Montclair High School in New Jersey, and study politics together through the school's Civics and Government Institute.

    They drafted a petition to rally support for women debate moderators and posted it to Change.org, upon the suggestion of a history teacher. The petition was headlined, "Select a woman to moderate a 2012 presidential debate," and addressed to the Presidential Debate Committee. It reads:

    Women and men will never be truly equal in our country until they’re one and the same in positions of power and both visible in politics. We need to take immediate action in order to move towards this change. It is time for a woman to have a chance to show what she’s capable of by moderating debates in the upcoming election.

    Please, in one of the three upcoming presidential debates, appoint a woman moderator.

    The girls posted the petition on a Monday in early June, and by Friday it had accrued around 100,000 signatures. Change.org noticed the petition's success, and reached out to the girls to help them take the campaign to the next level of exposure by pushing it out to the site's network of national media contacts. When they had reached 170,000 signatures, media watched as they attempted to physically deliver the petition in boxes to debate organizers. They were ultimately prevented from delivering the signatures, but their trip to DC still made a statement. On Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Bob Schieffer, Candy Crowley, Jim Lehrer and Martha Raddatz would moderate the debates, thus splitting the duties evenly between men and women for the first time.

    The ladies' petition is the latest in a string started by teenagers unafraid to call themselves feminists as they rally support for causes they feel passionate about. Earlier this summer, Julia Bluhm gained national attention when she successfully petitioned Seventeen to lay off retouching and add real-looking teens to its pages; Emma Stydahar and Carina Cruz, both 17, received a similar level of exposure when they launched a campaign asking Teen Vogue to do the same, even though the magazine rebuffed their pleas.

    Successful Change.org campaign are rare. Most of the 20,000 launched each month around the world accrue something like five signatures and die as quickly as they begin. But the site's organizers, like Shelby Knox, keep an eye out for the best petitions with the most signatures and potential, and do their best to put the campaigns' organizers in front of the national media.

    Knox says that successful petitions — the ones that go viral — have a couple of things in common: a strong personal narrative that resonates with a lot of people and authors the public will want to support, like upstart teen women. "People are really inspired by young people taking an interest in politics and the world around them and trying to change it," she says. In the case of the Emma, Sammi, and Elena, "these are three adorable girls from New Jersey who can't even vote but want to change the process. You can tell people will want to be on their side," she explains. "You don't want to be the one that tells teen girls they can't do something. There's a mass sentiment, yeah, you go girls, I'm going to tweet your petition, I'm going to sign your petition."

    Viral Change.org petitions get the attention of their targets fairly easily since every time a petition is signed, those targets receive an email saying so. (Petition authors must know what email addresses to put on the petition, of course.) The teens who started the campaign to get women moderators for the presidential debates targeted the executive director of the commission on presidential debates, Janet Brown, and her co-chairs, Frank Fahrenkopf and Mike McCurry.

    Knox has worked on a number of successful campaigns started by teen girls. One in Corpus Christie petitioned her school for a gay-straight alliance after her attempt to start one led to the shut down of all student clubs on campus. Another young woman who was bullied for her sexual orientation got the rating of the film Bully downgraded from R to PG-13 so that more young people could see it.

    "A long treatise on why a piece of congressional legislation should be passed is unlikely to get that much attention," says Knox. "It's really the story — so for instance with the presidential debate campaign, it's really these three girls were so appalled that there had not been a female debate moderator, that the last one had been four years before they were born. They [were] articulate and smart and did not shy away from calling themselves feminist — they just had a great story about three friends saying, 'This is wrong let's see if we can change it.'"

    In the wake of the announcement that two of the four presidential debates will be moderated by women, the girls continue to do press for their efforts. I spoke to them following a life appearance on MSNBC this afternoon. "We wrote [the petition] and we did all the work for it. The only thing we physcially could not do was we really didn't have the tools to reach big media names," Elena explained, noting, "we didn't receive any media training." She says prior to working directly with Change.org, the teens promoted the petition themselves on Facebook, Twitter, and by emailing it to friends. All in all they estimate they spent around 24 hours on the whole thing before Change.org started helping — and the work hasn't slowed down.

    Sammi admits she's "astounded" by how the petition has exploded. "I thought it would get local support and attention, but it was amazing to watch it grow," she says.

    "This has taken up a lot of our summer," Elena adds. "I had to miss sleepaway camp."


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