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Articles on this Page
- 11/06/12--10:11: _26 Voters You Will ...
- 11/06/12--11:51: _Joan Rivers Wins Vo...
- 11/06/12--14:22: _18 Most Tired Elect...
- 11/06/12--16:58: _Beyoncé Joins Insta...
- 11/06/12--22:51: _The Romney Campaign...
- 11/07/12--05:45: _Beyoncé's Reaction ...
- 11/07/12--05:54: _Michelle Obama: Fou...
- 11/08/12--08:14: _33 Retina-Assaultin...
- 11/08/12--12:07: _Fashion Magazine Co...
- 11/09/12--11:29: _19 Cute Pajamas To ...
- 11/14/12--07:53: _Victoria's Secret's...
- 11/14/12--12:10: _As Not Seen On Runw...
- 11/15/12--06:58: _Plus-Size Fashion B...
- 11/15/12--09:52: _Tyra Banks Explains...
- 11/16/12--07:48: _Rihanna's Nude Perf...
- 11/16/12--15:07: _11 Kinds Of Lady Ga...
- 11/19/12--07:11: _To Discuss: Justin ...
- 11/19/12--13:01: _Chris Brown Is Unwe...
- 11/20/12--10:33: _10 Reasons Why Tren...
- 11/20/12--15:20: _There Is No Point S...
- 11/06/12--10:11: 26 Voters You Will Really Hope Are Victims Of Auto-Correct
- 11/06/12--11:51: Joan Rivers Wins Voting
- 11/06/12--14:22: 18 Most Tired Election Day Trends On Instagram
- 11/06/12--16:58: Beyoncé Joins Instagram With Another Obama Plug
- 11/06/12--22:51: The Romney Campaign's Final Fashion Moment
- 11/07/12--05:45: Beyoncé's Reaction To The Election
- 11/07/12--05:54: Michelle Obama: Four More Years
- 11/08/12--08:14: 33 Retina-Assaulting Moments From The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
- 11/08/12--12:07: Fashion Magazine Confirms "Human Barbie" Is A Real Person
- 11/09/12--11:29: 19 Cute Pajamas To Wear On Those Days You Just Want To Do Nothing
- 11/14/12--12:10: As Not Seen On Runways: Guy Fieri's American Tattoo Prints
- 11/16/12--07:48: Rihanna's Nude Perfume Meant To Recall "Glistening" Skin
- 11/16/12--15:07: 11 Kinds Of Lady Gaga Haters
- 11/19/12--07:11: To Discuss: Justin Bieber's Pants
- 11/19/12--13:01: Chris Brown Is Unwelcome In Sweden
- 11/20/12--10:33: 10 Reasons Why Trends Are Meaningless
- 11/20/12--15:20: There Is No Point Shopping For Clothes On Black Friday
They're casting ballets and ballads at the poles. Either they're having a lot more fun with voting than you or just: ARGH.
There is no better way to vote — or tweet about yourself voting — than this.
If Instagram users love two things, it's American flag stuff and showing off. Obviously an activity that combines both of those things — voting! — would lead to a big, big day for the social network.
Putting your "I Voted" sticker on your duck-face lips.
Or your cheeks.
Follow her @BaddieBey — because I guess “Beyonce” was already taken.
First there was @BadGalRiri, and now — finally — there's @BaddieBey.
Instead of flaunting weed like fellow diva of the self-assigned "bad" descriptor, Rihanna, she's flaunting her political leanings! Which may or may not be more wholesome depending on your personal views. After Bey's late arrival to Twitter, and Tumblr, it's good to know she's completed the holy social network trinity with this even later arrival to Instagram. So even if Your Guy loses the election, you can at least go to be knowing Instagram has won
a THE Beyoncé.
Oh if only we had charts and graphs to show we knew Ann would wear red and Paul Ryan would wear baggy!
Image by Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
For Romney's concession speech — about which there was virtually zero feverish outfit speculation (for shame, all of you) — the clothing was just about what you'd expect. We had no complicated charts and graphs and stats and polling data and MATH to model what they might have worn, which perhaps dampened excitement leading up to the moment, but they looked great, even if the clothes were expected. Ann, naturally, wore a bright red dress with statement jewelry; Romney, of course, wore a suit with a tie and his hair neatly combed; Janna Ryan wore a dress no one planned to remember anyway; and Paul Ryan wore a suit that could fit an extra set of limbs. Now that the election's over, you might be thinking, maybe he'll have time to visit a tailor! But ask yourself this: after months of huge clothes being his Thing, in sort of an increasingly endearing way, would you really want him to?
She's journaling, posing, and wearing earrings.
Two new images of note on Beyoncé's Tumblr. First, a handwritten note, obviously.
This is Beyoncé. She doesn't type.
And a reprise of her famous Obama hoops, of course.
Also: vampire teeth! For...well, whatever!
Her clothes are among the most documented of anyone ever. While it's almost hard to imagine the obsession continuing for another four years, so it shall.
Image by Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Any major political event of the past four years involving Michelle Obama has come with an analysis of her clothes. It starts on Twitter and seeps across the internet, to blogs and newspaper websites, and ultimately to the printed pages of magazines, until every one of her photos is wrung dry of all potential meaning. Her 2012 election night outfit will prove no different, but that metallic burgundy dress and black jacket seem beside the point this time. The amazing thing about this fashion moment — and this night — is that it signifies another four years of truly, exhaustively obsessing over her and her style in a way that perhaps no one has ever been obsessed over.
First, I'll get the election night look out of the way briefly: the dress was a repeat of a Michael Kors dress Michelle last wore publicly as FLOTUS in 2010. The fact that the dress is old instead of new reaffirms what about Michelle's style fascinated everyone four years ago. She repeats clothes, like we all must do, in a time when most famous people seem excused from this plebeian obligation. Even for events as high profile as her husband's reelection speech, she's comfortable wearing an old dress. Yes it's a designer dress, yes it's expensive, but Michelle makes it relatable. For someone in her office, that is an exciting quality. If Michelle spent the next four years wearing everything she wore the past four years, the obsession over her style would probably be just as feverish as we match up her looks to the date she last wore them.
I find it hard to imagine the obsession over her style continuing for another four years, because it is just such an unusual thing, and an unusually BIG mainstream thing for the fashion industry. I remember the first months of Michelle Obama's fashion icon status. On the campaign trail in '08 it started becoming clear that she had the potential to incite feverish enthusiasm by doing something as simple as wearing clothes, in the way few icons — Jackie O., Princess Diana — had done before her. Fashion writers like me began scrupulously logging every single outfit she wore, and my editors at the time joked about how we were setting ourselves for a really tedious eight year-long Michelle dress obsession. The possibility was too exhausting to fathom, so we laughed nervously and pushed it aside. And now, here we are.
These next four years could solidify Michelle as one of the most documented, analyzed, valuable dressers ever. Women like Jackie O. and Princess Di became fashion obsessions that would transcend their time, but they lived in a pre-Internet era when demand for new images of their clothes could hardly have been met at the same pace it is today. The blog Mrs. O, for instance, feeds this need, documenting all of Michelle Obama's clothes as she wears them. Similar fan sites exist for celebrities, like Rihanna or Lady Gaga, but the obsession with their current tastes ebbs and flows with their various phases as artists and fashion plates. Few wonder or study how entertainers' clothes are impacting labels' bottom lines (Harvard researchers determined in 2010 that Michelle's appearances in various labels' clothing was worth $2.7 billion over the first year following Barack's election.) Also, with most public figures, we're less obsessed with discerning when something has been worn before or is from a place like H&M that we average people shop at, because we don't expect or even really want them to be average. Most fashion icons are an escape. Michelle is an escape — but one that also seems real.
The one other person who's inciting a style obsession as significant as Michelle right now is Kate Middleton, but she's held her duchess title for a fraction of the time that Michelle has been first lady. And Kate turned into such an obsession by following Michelle's brilliant recipe: she shops at normal-people stores like Topshop, always looks ladylike and put-together, and clearly follows and enjoys fashion, but doesn't let it overshadow her human-ness. Like Michelle, she's fancy, but she's used her clothes and image to make you think that you could have lunch with her and it wouldn't feel that much different from hanging with a girlfriend. (Rihanna, on the other hand, I couldn't imagine having lunch with and it being normal in any way at all.)
So here's to another four years. We on the internet created the beast that is Mrs. Obama's style, and we'll definitely be blogging and tweeting and pinning it through to the end for the next four years and probably beyond.
It's the brightest, loudest, shiniest fashion show known to man. Make sense of it, if you can.
Apparently there was some sort of Americana theme.
This glittery reappropriation of the American flag was in honor of either the election, Kate Upton's success wearing a flag bikini on GQ (she wasn't in the show because the show's casting director "would never" cast her), or the National Guard, who had been staying in the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City where the show tapes but were kicked out the night of the show. To the company's credit, Victoria's Secret previously leant the National Guard the generators they had brought in for the show before the storm hit. But the event went on as planned, even though the National Guard is still working on hurricane relief efforts and the depressed post-Sandy mood still permeates the city, where lots of red-carpet events have been canceled.
Model Karlie Kloss got to wear this floor-dragging feathered headdress, which somehow made it into the show even after No Doubt had to pull a video with Native American imagery — including a big fluffy headdress — that was widely deemed offensive.
This is probably the wrong pose.
I assume she's blowing a kiss — which is a signature VS runway-model move — but oh this is gaffe-y.
Some looks felt awkwardly "too soon."
Remember that the show tapes a month in advance — it won't air on TV until Dec. 4, at which time you might be thinking about the new year.
Image by Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Well, sort of.
Sebastian Faena for V Magazine; styling by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele.
Valeria Lukyonova became a viral sensation in the U.S. when Jezebel posted a video about the alleged surgery she underwent to look this way. V magazine managed to book the Ukrainian, who calls herself "the most famous Russian woman on the Russian-speaking internet" for a feature in the new "Girl Power" issue hitting newsstands November 15.
In an accompanying interview Valeria describes her typical day: "In the morning I work on my face and I get a massage, then i spend some time on the Internet. I meditate and travel in my astral body, and after that I work out at the gym. I go for a walk with my best girlfriend, I get home, and I make dinner for the man I love. Then I spend some more time on the Internet, do some reading and meditating, and go to bed."
When Valeria went viral, people wondered whether she was real or simply a photoshopped creation that exists in pixels alone. Through an anonymous source, V confirmed she was real, and booked her for this feature. The magazine notes, "Our source also claimed that the Security Service of Ukraine is having Lukyanova's activities monitored. 'Be careful,' we were warned. 'We're worried for you and do not want you to suffer from her.'"
With the weather getting colder, you're probably getting less and less interested in leave your bed, apartment, or couch. So now's a great time to update whatever it is you wear when you do nothing but laze about and watch Housewives . Here are some ideas.
Neon satin pants.
Pajamas are a great way to wear whatever trends you secretly want to wear but would never want to be seen in publicly. Like: neon satin pants! These are by Juicy Couture for $78.
Get the matching cami if you really want to Go There.
It's by Juicy also, and $58.
Rompers are really fun for sleep but you probably don't think of them as PJs.
If you don't wear rompers out in the world because you feel like they show too much leg, but have always wanted to include them in your wardrobe, sleep rompers are a great way to go. This leopard mesh one is by Juicy Couture and costs $45. (It's also available in a more subdued purple, if for some odd reason you wanted to be more subdued.)
Put on a pair of heels and you could wear this as your Rihanna Halloween costume next year.
From Nasty Gal for $168.
The industry has proven racially insensitive many times before Karlie Kloss wore a Native American headdress on the runway, prompting outrage.
Karlie Kloss on the Victoria's Secret fashion show runway.
Image by Starpix, Amanda Schwab / AP
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show costs $12 million. Preparations for it begin a year in advance. The creative team starts working on costumes and show themes in January or February, even though the show doesn't tape until November. This is a huge, expensive, news-making fashion show — probably the most viewed in the world — that is planned over many, many hours, spanning many months. Even with all that planning and thinking and discussing of things before the show, young supermodel Karlie Kloss made it down the runway blowing kisses in a gigantic, floor-grazing Native American headdress. That costume, within a few days after the photos coming out, became controversial enough for Victoria's Secret to apologize for its inclusion and to announce the look would be edited out of the the show when it airs on CBS on December 4.
Many compared the gaffe to No Doubt's Native American–inspired video, which also had to quickly be pulled down and apologized for after similar backlash. But the Victoria's Secret incident felt symptomatic of the racial insensitivity on many runways and in many fashion photo shoots, whose long planning periods don't seem to prevent serious missteps. Let's review.
For its spring 2013 show, Dolce & Gabbana included imagery of black women that was widely viewed as "colonialist" and offensive.
Image by Stefano Rellandini / Reuters
These earrings drew particular ire.
Image by Stefano Rellandini / Reuters
What if The New York Times had reviewed his clothes instead of his terrible restaurant?
Guy Fieri, have you, if not looked at the clothes in your closet, at least felt them?
When you felt them, did nausea spread from your thumb and forefinger throughout your entire body? That certain kind of intense near-seasick feeling that can only be brought on by a grown man (who is not PSY or Justin Bieber) wearing a suit that offends the senses of both sight and touch with its disturbing, glistening brocade pattern?
When you protect your eyes from the sun, do you consider that a thick bright yellow frame paired with a reflective neon orange lens might actually hurt the eyes of everyone else?
Have you ever looked at them yourself and thought, These will make everyone around me need sunglasses and People probably know who I am even if I don't wear my name on the side of my face?
Image by Matt Sullivan / Reuters
When you went to the Kentucky Derby in May, did you notice that your pink shirt — the one that glows like Pepto Bismol — actually sort of clashed with Lori Fieri's outfit?
And somehow managed to wash out your sun-kissed complexion? Did you realize when you slipped your arms into that gray jacket that its suggestion of faded stripes detracted from it like a plate leaching grease from one of your infamous Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders?
Image by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
Why do you wear tattoo prints?
Why do you wear glasses indoors? Do you read Us Weekly enough to know that even Angelina Jolie doesn't do that?
Image by Jeff Gentner / Getty Images
While advocates for fashionable plus-size clothing have made some progress, researchers studying the “fatosphere” don't expect major retailers to start catering to them any time soon.
Fashion blogger Gabi Gregg poses in a bikini. The image was part of a "fatkini" photo series that went viral and landed Gregg on the Today show.
Plus-size shoppers are among the most marginalized retail consumers. Finding high-end designer clothes in plus sizes in mainstream stores — or finding any clothes that are plus-size in stores that don't specialize in plus-size apparel — remains a huge challenge. Through the Internet, a vocal contingent of frustrated shoppers has managed to organize and demand better offerings from big retailers. These so-called "fatshionistas" are the subject of a new study by researchers hoping to learn how marginalized groups attempt to overcome their stigmatized status and find inclusion in mainstream markets.
For the study [PDF], published this month in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers Daiane Scaraboto of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and Eileen Fischer of York University studied the Internet's "fatosphere" — blogs by plus-size women, many of whom expressed interest in fashion. Scaraboto and Fischer, over the course of more than three years, analyzed as many blogs — and their comments — in the fatosphere as they could, going as far back in time as they could (about 10 years). "Indeed, until the online Fat Acceptance Movement provided consumers with an opportunity to communicate and share ideas about larger bodies, those in the plus-size segment tended to interact only sporadically and in very small groups," the study notes.
They then whittled down the blogs in the study group to 89 that addressed "the core issues for the Fat Acceptance Movement," finding that "as the Fatosphere evolved, the feed started to incorporate an increasing number of blogs dedicated to plus-size fashion." They then narrowed down the field of blogs to the 10 biggest, most fashion-focused, and most influential in the fatosphere, which they thoroughly analyzed from their first posts through December 2010. Scaraboto and Fischer also examined media coverage of plus-size fashion in three major papers, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily, from 1995 to 2010.
"The Internet seemed to provide a forum for people who couldn't connect to one another" in any other way, Fischer told BuzzFeed Shift. "They developed that sense of collective identity rather than suffering in silence." The more progress fatshionistas seemed to make, the more proactive the community would become about advocating for more plus-size clothes in mainstream stores — and the more mentions plus-size fashion seemed to get in mainstream media.
However, fatshionistas haven't made any very big inroads in the plus-size marketplace, as far as Fischer can tell. Fischer, a marketing professor and the director of entrepreneurial studies at York University, notes that as a scholar of business, "You think of a market test as having certain characteristics," but the plus-size fashion market tests "just don't." While stores will launch plus-size lines, it seems like they often don't give them a fair chance at gaining real traction in the marketplace.
"We've given ourselves permission to stigmatize fat people in a way we haven't given ourselves permission to stigmatize anyone else," Fischer adds. "You can't really decouple fat fashion from other discourses on fat-related issues. As long as the only way of talking about fat is in terms of a war on obesity, and you're obviously unhealthy if you're not a certain BMI — as long as it's demonized to be fat — it's going to be easy to avoid it if you're a marketer."
Many high-end fashion labels and clothing makers argue that it's more expensive to develop plus-size samples, and thus to produce things in bigger sizes, or that sizing is too difficult to standardize above a 12 or 14. "I've seen all the arguments about making fashion for the full-size figure, and I know all of that, but at some level they could still make more plus-size offerings and make money," Fischer says.
What Fischer urges retailers to take away from the study is that they shouldn't assume plus-size shoppers don't want fashionable clothes, "because they do." They also shouldn't assume that these women can't afford plus-size clothes, and should make sure that when plus-size customers come into a store, they have enough of the size 18 or 20 in stock for them. "It's also training your staff not to hate fat people," Fischer says. "I'm sorry to be so blunt, but some of the anecdotes in the blogs were just so horrifying — this assumption that you were somehow not intelligent or not able to afford a good dress or that you couldn't possibly be in a professional setting that you'd need one, so [retailers think] why should we bring in clothes for you, because you don't need them. It was just not even subtle."
Vogue Italia's "Curvy" section.
Though Fischer doesn't see the mainstream fashion industry improving its offerings for plus-size women in a meaningful way anytime soon, she says there's been some progress. "Some of the bloggers that we looked at had really made inroads in being a blogger for Vogue Italia" — which has a "Curvy" section on its website — "for example. It was a pleasant surprise to see the inroads that have been made. But it felt like tokenism." This is obvious in fashion media, where plus-size models remain — if more visible than they were 10 years ago — an exception.
The best plus-size clothing is being made by small retailers and designers who don't have an established reputation. "They do what they need to survive and that may come along with catering to a plus-size segment. But the mainstream is very wary," Fischer concludes. "And the only way to explain it is to think they'll be stigmatized to have fat women wearing their clothes."
Ideally, she'd like you to download her new Smize Yourself! app.
At midnight Thursday night Tyra Banks launches her Smize Yourself! app for iThings ($1.99). If you've managed to avoid learning what "smize" means over the past three or four years, understand now that it's a combination of the words "smiling" and "eyes" with a more clever, marketable spelling than "smeyes" (I mean, gross).
Smiling with the eyes is an important skill that separates great models from passable ones, Tyra has explained many times over on America's Next Top Model. Now, she's moving smizing into the year 2012, with an app that incorporates facial manipulation technology similar to Fatbooth (which makes people look fat) and Oldbooth (same, but old) to turn any old headshot into the perfect smize shot. Tyra held a Skype chat Thursday morning with reporters to answer questions about her place in the tech world, to demonstrate a few smizes, and to disabuse me of the notion that smizing applies to sexts.
Say, if you were a politician or a high-ranking government official, foolishly sending sexts or Twitter direct messaging and e-mailing naked self-portraits, is there a way to smize so that when the photo leaks, you at least don't look like total crap? "I think smizing isn't the best way to send a sexy photo because it's a head shot, so there's no blackmail," Tyra explained. "It couldn't be something that would embarrass you or ruin your career."
Besides, sexuality with women, she believes, isn't expressed most strongly with the body, but the face or the eyes. "Here's my commercial," Tyra said, turning her head to the side and flashing a big smile. "Use the smize app!" (Hear that, Washington?)
Smize Yourself! is a way for Tyra to help everyone smize without giving everyone private lessons, which would be physically impossible. "I have millions of people on Twitter... constantly sending me pictures, saying, 'Tyra, am I doing it right? Can you teach me how to smize?' … 'Am I fierce enough?' So I decided to create an app based on that."
What she lacks in sexting advice, she makes up for in online dating tips. "I know about market research for dating sites," she said. For instance: "A woman who shows more cleavage gets more clicks." Also, men who look off to the side — a side smize — get more clicks, as do men doing some sort of activity.
"I'm kind of an expert on the online dating thing," Tyra continued. "I don't do it myself but I've guided my friends through the photo-taking process. I'm all about it for them. I teach them how to smize. I take their pictures myself."
Tyra is into online dating "because I think it's about marketing, and I think one of my strengths is marketing, and online dating is just marketing yourself."
One reporter on the call, a straight man, asked Tyra if he could be fierce like her, or if that adjective didn't apply to his kind. "For a straight man to be fierce, you have to act like you don't care but smize at the same time," Tyra explained. "Your eyes have to smile but you have to look like you don't care, smizing away from the camera." (The reporter attempted to create the expression over video chat with Tyra, and worked on his side smize for as long as he could until the PR person sitting in on the call cut him off.)
The advice Tyra gives to friends setting up online dating profiles is akin to the advice she gives for creating that other widely relied upon self-marketing tool: a résumé. But a LinkedIn profile, the Harvard Business School grad noted, must be approached quite differently than a dating profile. "You should not show cleavage. I think makeup should be what you think is minimal but actually a little more" than your normal amount, because it's less apparent on camera. The LinkedIn crop should be from the shoulders up, and, of course, "I think you should do a subtle smize. A subtle, confident smize. With the mouth."
The Smize Yourself! app is all part of Tyra's goal of creating a generation-spanning empire. She's been taking meetings in Silicon Valley with investors and seeking out investment opportunities. "We're looking for female-run businesses or businesses that are really tranformational for the female consumer, so we're not just throwing it around for the sake of the dollar," she explained. "Possibly even half a century from now, I want a little girl to experience something from the Tyra Banks company, and her to have no idea that I was a human being."
Rihanna is finally giving a scant bit of insight into the much-debated name, ad, and packaging of her third fragrance.
After Rihanna tweeted the first photo from the new campaign for her latest fragrance Nude, it raised the question that comes up every so often about what "nude" means, exactly, in terms of a shade of commercial fashion and beauty items. Why does nude, by definition, match a white person's skin? In this Nude fragrance ad and packaging, the nude color is more akin to a white person's skin than person of color's.
Rihanna doesn't seem likely to quiet this debate with her latest statements about the scent. According to WWD, the fragrance is "is meant to bring to mind thoughts of 'glistening' skin." So, whose skin?
If you want the fragrance, you can buy it at Macy's this Black Friday, if you really want to put yourself through Black Friday.
Wherever she goes, whatever she does, anti-Gaga activists wait in the wings. Which is the point of her, really.
Gaga either wearing claws or morphing into some kind of robot at the launch of her fragrance in London in October.
Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images
Everything Lady Gaga does seems to be as much about getting people to love her as getting people to hate her. Because what kind of mega celebrity would you be if people didn't expend considerable energy hating you for what you wear (or don't), what you say (or tweet), and how you spend your charitable foundation's money? A terrible, boring one with nothing to talk about, that's what. A Jessica Alba WANNABE, and Hollywood has enough celebrities whose biggest strength is wearing chiffon. So here are some categories of Lady Gaga haters who, if anything, at least keep the entertainment world (and Gaga) interesting.
These women and men arrived at the office of the company promoting Gaga's South African concert at 10:30 Friday morning to protest Gaga's upcoming concert and existence, generally. According to Channel 24, an anti-Gaga contingent from the South African Council of Churches held a peaceful march on November 9 to the department of Arts and Culture in Pretoria to deliver a written request to ban Gaga from the country. Heat South Africa tweeted that the request was signed by chief director of arts and culture, Duduzile Nchoba.
Channel 24 says these people's concern is "the extent of Satanism in South Africa at this time, and that Gaga's visit could lead to an exponential growth in Satanism."
A huge protest of a Lady Gaga concert by Muslims took place over the spring in Jakarta, where Gaga was denied a concert permit.
He favors a style with a crotch that hangs almost to his knees but are like leggings everywhere else. WHY?
Biebs at the AMAs.
Image by The Associated Press / AP
We all know Justin Bieber's going through some stuff right now. His girlfriend won't take him back, his voice is dropping, his biceps are getting bigger. It's a lot for a cherubic 18-year-old to deal with on top of always making sure his skin is Cover Girl campaign–worthy. Plus, he has to manage the angst of being mega-famous as he becomes a man, which is maybe why he grabs his crotch on stage all the time. Unless — the crotch-grabbing is necessary to keep his pants from falling down? Because they're not as tight around his waist as they are from the knees down, where they fit, most confusingly, like leggings?
Image by Kevin Winter / Getty Images
At Sunday night's American Music Awards, Bieber wore at least two styles of drop-crotch pants. One leathery red pair for his performance that came with the shoes attached, and another sweatpants-like black pair for his red-carpet photo op.
Someone has been plastering posters of Rihanna's battered face around Stockholm in advance of Brown's concert there. And a Swedish journalist is urging fellow reporters to publish statistics about violence against women instead of reviewing Brown's show.
Chris Brown performing at the American Music Awards in L.A. on Nov. 18, 2012.
Image by Kevin Winter / Getty Images
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — Tonight, Chris Brown will perform in Stockholm. But for the past few days, a campaign to boycott it has taken root in the city's streets. One poster plastered around bus stops looks, at first glance, like a Brown-approved promotional poster, complete with sponsors' logos and the URL of the ticket vendor's website. Except Brown's image has been replaced by the infamous photo of Rihanna's battered face taken on the night of the 2009 Grammys.
No group has claimed credit for the guerrilla poster campaign, which is going viral online. And Brown has other struggles in Sweden: On Monday, his opening act, Swedish hip-hop band Panetoz, announced they were pulling out of the gig, citing "technical changes in Chris Brown's production." Band member Nebeyu Baheru told the TT news agency, "After everything that's been written we have of course discussed [the boycott campaign]. But we try to separate our music from everything else going on. We are not behind [the campaign] and do not want to be associated with it."
Meanwhile, prominent members of the Swedish media are urging a boycott of Brown's concert. Writing in one of the main Swedish broadsheets, Svenska Dagbladet, music critic Kristin Lundell said she was "disgusted" by Brown's upcoming visit to Stockholm and his gig at the Globe Arena, one of the country's premier entertainment venues.
"It is impossible to separate between the artist Brown and the woman beater Brown," stated Lundell, who called on fellow journalists to publish statistics about violence against women on Tuesday instead of reviews of Brown's gig. She also suggested that members of the public donate money to organizations fighting domestic violence instead of spending cash on Chris Brown concert tickets.
But Jonna Sima, editor of the weekly current affairs magazine ETC Stockholm and a former music critic, feels that Swedish journalists are ratcheting up a moral panic. "There's a lynch mob mentality" surrounding Brown, she told BuzzFeed Shift.
"I'm not sure I would go to Brown's concert myself, even though I like his music. But there's a difference between a private person boycotting someone, which is to do with expressing a personal opinion, and the media doing so. ... It seems some in the media have arbitrarily chosen to boycott Brown forever," she continued. "What Brown did to Rihanna was horrific but he has served his punishment, he's done community service, he's been in therapy, he has apologized." (After Brown pleaded guilty to attacking Rihanna, he was ordered to serve five years on supervised probation and to complete six months of community service, including roadside cleanup, graffiti removal, and manual labor.)
Svenska Dagbladet was the first media outlet in Sweden to announce that it would not send reporters to cover Brown's gig.
"This is a journalistic mistake," says Sima. "We're talking about a big artist with lots of fans who is performing at a prime venue. Journalists should be covering the concert. Besides, not doing so is a missed opportunity to bring up the issue of violence against women."
Some women's rights activists in Sweden are grateful for the debate that has emerged as a result of the guerilla poster campaign and the partial media boycott.
Carina Ohlsson, president of the Swedish Association of Women's Shelters and Young Women's Empowerment Centers, says the controversy has helped refocus the conversation surrounding violence against women.
"The positive thing about all this is that here the discussion is focused on the perpetrator," she said. "In order to work in a preventative manner, in order to fight violence against women, you have to focus on those responsible, you have to consider the man's role, to consider society's expectations on men and why men hit women, rather than focus on how the victim should avoid being beaten, which is all too often what the debate around this issue centers on."
Ohlsson added, "I don't want to take a stand on the poster campaign or the boycott." She feels individuals must decide whether or not to go see Brown in concert. Brit Stakston, a Stockholm-based media strategist specializing in digital activism, thinks guerilla campaigns like the one against Brown's show here can be "very effective." "The images of the poster have been circulated online and journalists chose to boycott the concert," she noted, adding that it's hard to know whether or not some people decided to not buy tickets to the show as a result, but it's a possibility.
"Campaigns like these present a great opportunity to highlight different aspects of a public figure," she continued. "These days, when we make mistakes, we have to deal with it. An artist like Chris Brown will have to convince us that he is still worth listening to and still worth respecting. It's not possible to keep the public in the dark today."
Successful campaigns must "mobilize ahead of the ticket release," Stakston said, "and not just when the concert happens." A campaign's influence also "depends on what kind of commercial muscle you're up against. In this case we are talking about a huge marketing campaign for a concert at a major arena and there is a lot of money at stake. But none of that rules out the possibility of influencing public opinion — and that has happened here."
Stakston noted a campaign in Stockholm to boycott the reggae artist Sizzla's show because of his homophobic lyrics led to the show's cancellation.
Monroe Friedman, emeritus professor of psychology at Eastern Michigan University and author of the book Consumer Boycotts: Effecting Change Through the Marketplace and Media, says that carefully executed campaigns can be effective, but notes that "it's hard to get people to pay attention, to get people to really think about what's going on around them."
(Brown's and Rihanna's reps did not return BuzzFeed's request for comment.)
But Brown isn't just up against guerilla activists — he's also up against the music industry. Last month, Irish acoustic hip-hop band Original Rudeboys turned down a Chris Brown opening slot in Ireland. Sean Walsh, ukulele player for the band, explained the decision by saying: "Even though it's a huge opportunity to play in the O2 arena with a major hip-hop star and a substantial fee was offered, we are completely against Chris Brown's assault on Rihanna. In addition, with our latest single 'Blue Eyes' being about domestic violence, it goes against everything we are about as a band, and supporting Chris Brown would send out the wrong message to our fans."
Before that, a group in England calling themselves Abuse Sticks Out launched a guerrilla campaign to plaster Chris Brown albums with advisory stickers bearing the message "WARNING: Do not buy this album. This man beats women.” The organizers mailed packs of stickers to activists around the country, and they targeted work by other artists, including John Lennon, who has been accused of beating his first wife, Cynthia Powell, and Michael Fassbender, whose ex-girlfriend accused him of breaking her nose, though she later withdrew the charges.
Ironically, it seems the one person whose feelings are being overlooked in the anti-Brown guerrilla campaigns and media boycotts is Rihanna's. Does reproducing the leaked image of her battered face violate her privacy? Do women's rights campaigners override Rihanna's own attempts to move on by using her image and past to promote their cause?
"You have to be very careful about publishing images of victims of crime. If you publish images on the Internet, they never go away," Ohlsson said. "We run a big campaign called Cause of Death: Woman. It's an international campaign which uses images of women who have been victims of violence, and we've been very careful about talking to them beforehand to get their approval."
Just three days before her ex's scheduled gig — amidst rumors that Rihanna and Brown were having a rendezvous in Stockholm — Rihanna performed at the nightclub Berns in the chic district of Östermalm.
But Brown did not show up, and on Saturday Rihanna left for Paris after tweeting, "Stockholm thank you, I love you so much. I think I'm gonna spend the night with you guys!!"
No one can agree on what is going on in fashion! So maybe we should just stop trying to decode it and wear whatever we want, whenever we feel like it.
According to the Associated Press, an "adult-quake" is currently "shaking fashion."
In a story published by the Philippine Star, the AP says that this fall's clothes "aren't taking their cues from club kids, college students or teenage rebels." Citing the influence of period dramas like Downton Abbey and Mad Men, this article argues grown-up, elegant clothes have seized the current fashion mood.
It's not just fashion experiencing this adult-quake, says Tom Morton, North American chief strategy officer for forecasting and advertising company Havas Worldwide. He prepared a report that dealt with the "pushback against youth obsession."
In other words, young people can't afford designer clothes, "adults" can, which is pretty much always the case independent of cultural or economic trends.
Meanwhile, "Women's Wear Daily" says "sexy" is in.
You know, as if looking sexy were ever out. WWD cites the rise of designer Anthony Vacarello, whose dresses are essentially bathing suits with floor-grazing pieces of fabric hanging off them (he famously put Anja Rubik in one such thing at the 2012 Met Gala), and Kate Upton as proof that sexy is the new hotness.
Questioning the ongoing appeal of the genre is as pointless as questioning what the average man finds attractive about Kate Upton, the jiggly swimsuit model who, it stands to note, has pulled herself up by her string bikini straps to the upper echelons of fashion. She now has multiple Vogue editorials in her book.
So if anyone can make us forget about Downton flapper dresses, it's Kate Upton in one of her patriotic bikinis.
Many fashion blogs, like "Style Bistro," are still hyping the dip-dye hair trend.
"It’s time to move on from usual black or blonde to eye-catching rainbow shades. Dip dye hair trend can add distinction and totally change up your look," the site reports, although I have a hard time taking a suggestion to dip-dye my hair seriously when Xtina's headache-inducing, (not-)Kool Aid mane is given as an example.
Image by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Or Black Thursday, or whatever stores are doing nowadays. The best deals on apparel will come online toward the end of the year.
A Christmas display at a Connecticut Wal-Mart that is probably freaking you out already.
Whatever adjustments you make to your Thanksgiving schedule — drinking fewer glasses of wine, not staying up for the pie — so that you can hit the mall before sunrise on Black Friday, know that you can get smashed, sleep in and not miss out any any deals on fashion and beauty items. If you can control yourself and resist the onslaught of Black Friday marketing, and just buy your clothes and makeup and other gifts closer to the end of the year, you'll probably save more.
"A lot of analysts are forecasting that at the end of December there will be better deals," says Oona McSweeney, VP of retail and special markets at Stylesight, a trend forecasting company. "I think for fashion, wait it out."
McSweeney adds that really, you don't need to leave your house at all this holiday shopping season. "The deals you’re going to find online are going to be just as compelling as what you’re going to find in the stores," she says. "I think you should stay at home under your blanket with a glass of wine and shop online." (The same is not necessarily true of videogames and electronics, so if those are high on your list you might have to actually go out in public and — horrors — buy them physically.)
Savvy shoppers (you!) should also be aware that a lot of east coast retailers are stuck with excess inventory that piled up during Hurricane Sandy, which knocked out a week of pre-holiday shopping. So that should lead to great deals as Christmas and New Year's appraoch.
So why does Black Friday keep going if it's no longer the best way to score deals on most gift items? Because it still gets people into stores. Last year's Black Friday saw the biggest sales of all time, second only to the year prior (2010).
Part of what keeps it going is just the ritual of it. "There are people who have literally built a decade or longer of having a tradition — you have Thanksgiving, you get up early [to shop on Black Friday]. It’s almost like a sport — you’re not going to break them away from it," McSweeney says. And it really is sport-like — a lot of shoppers going in groups devise elaborate plans, so that when they hit Target or wherever they're going, each shopper can target something different, ensuring no deal is lost.
The other thing that keeps Black Friday alive is aggressive marketing by retailers, eager to get as much foot traffic into stores as possible to end the year — and keep their fourth quarter — in the black.
And shoppers are susceptible to the marketing, of course. April Benson, Ph.D, author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop says many Black Friday shoppers have a "herd mentality." "Retailers really bank on your being impulsive and certainly the hype contributes to impulsivity," she says. This leads to poor buying decisions: "The judgment can go out the window when [shoppers are] under the pressure to keep up with the Joneses, even if what that means is to be on the line at 4 a.m."
Benson notes that studies show that what makes people truly happy is not material things, but experiences, like vacations or going to see a play. "I think the holiday fervor is all disproportionate with reality. I think that there’s entirely too much emphasis on the material aspects of the holidays," she says. "I think people need to really think about what it is they’re really shopping for — what do they want themselves or the recipient to get out of the gift, and what kind of a gift would be the most appropriate? And often it’s not a thing."
But if you must shop Black Friday — absolutely cannot resist, just have to go to the mall and buy stuff — you are probably best off going as soon as whatever store you want to go to opens, rather than having a turkey sandwich and going in the middle of the day, when everything's a big mess. Celebrity stylist Robert Verdi, who worked many years in retail says that by joining the post-brunch Black Friday crowd, "you’re not going shopping, you’re going pushing and shoving and standing in line." He adds, "At least at the top of the day, you have first pick. Yes, it's going to be crowded outside the store before the door opens but when the doors open that crowd dissipates very quickly. If you said let's go at 11! — no, you’re screwed."
But really, just get drunk on Thanksgiving and sleep in. You're not missing anything.