Gwyneth Paltrow, who loves juice cleanses and is responsible for bringing the term “conscious uncoupling” to the mainstream, is no stranger to insults. The skinny, rich, blonde Hollywood star gets plenty of flak for her lifestyle brand GOOP, where she sells eco-friendly nail polish and monogrammable reclaimed-wood skateboards while sharing stories from her fabulous life and namedropping her celebrity pals.
Paltrow’s tone deafness at trying to come across “accessible” to her largely female fanbase is ripe for criticism, and it has become a touchstone of the way that many stars fail at appearing relatable to us regular folks. But there’s one word in particular that keeps coming up in criticisms of Paltrow and others like her that deserves a closer look: “smug.”
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Almost exactly year ago, TIME magazine ran a cover story called “The Childfree Life” about the rising number of Americans who were opting not to have kids. One of those couples was Paul and Leah Clouse, who both felt that they couldn’t balance their creative interests (a bakery for her, a blog for him) and also be good parents. “If we decided to have children, we’d have to grieve the life we currently have,” Leah said.
Now, it looks like the grieving time has begun. Because the Clouses are having a baby.
If you go to Leah Clouse’s Facebook page, you’ll see that her profile photo is now an illustration of her (with pregnant belly), Paul, and their two cats, with a note reading “Baby Clouse Arriving April 2015.” For many people, having a baby is a joyous occasion, and I’m happy to congratulate friends when they welcome children of their own. But I just can’t feel too happy for the Clouses. Keep reading »
I’m a travel writer. I’ve visited Seoul, Santiago, and Vancouver in the past few months alone. My job sounds pretty glamorous on paper: I get to sample exotic foods, visit locations that others own dream about, and meet people from all over the world.
But there is a less glamorous side, too. I usually either travel solo or with a group of other travel writers on an organized press trip — that means that I am spending the majority of my time by myself or with a bunch of people I barely know. Given these circumstances, the number one question people ask about my job is whether I have had any hot vacation hookups. Here’s the sad and possibly surprising answer: nope. While I might stay in hotel rooms with heart-shaped bathtubs, I sleep in their king-sized beds alone.
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The British newspaper The Independent announced yesterday that it would no longer be reviewing any book that was specifically marketed at one gender. While their announcement certainly did its job – garnering a wave of free publicity for the newspaper and allowing them to slap their own backs quite forcefully – it’s not helping the young men and women they claim to be looking out for or the authors whose books will be measured by these new standards.
Most authors have little to no say in how the books they write are marketed. Those decisions are made by highers-up at publishing companies, with the actual writer just hoping that their book will manage to somehow stand out from the pack of new releases. Choosing to boycott a book based on to whom it’s being marketed is kind of like boycotting a band based on who goes to their concerts – there is not much that the actual creator of the work can do. Keep reading »
When you’re laid up with a winter cold, sinus infection or (aaack) the flu, the last thing on your mind is looking beautiful. But some beauty products will actually help you feel better, no matter how bad your symptoms might be. Stock up on a few of these goodies—– some of which cost just a few bucks — and you’ll be ready to tackle flu season. Or at least shuffle to the nearest CVS to restock your Puffs.
I’ve known for most of my life that I didn’t want to have kids, although I didn’t know or use the word “childfree” until I was in my 20s. For a while, it was easy to be childfree. My peers were also young, single, career-focused, and not worried about meeting The One, let alone procreating with The One.
Then I turned 30. Now that my friends are partnering off and starting to have kids, the way that I configure my childfree identity has changed. I still firmly believe that I don’t want children and am actively planning not to have any. But the way I talk about my choice with other people has definitely changed. Being childfree is definitely different in your 30s than it is in your 20s. Keep reading »