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Is “Prospect Park West” The New “Sex And The City”? I Don’t Think So

The book Prospect Park West won’t be released until Sept. 9, 2009, but author Amy Sohn, a former New York magazine columnist, is getting a huge publicity push from a woman who knows a thing or two about making four NYC friends popular worldwide. Sarah Jessica Parker’s Pretty Matches production company, along with HBO, has optioned the novel for a half-hour series. “It’s got sex, parenthood, and celebrity. Brooklyn is about to blow up nationally,” an insider at Simon & Schuster told the New York Post. But after reading a brief description of the characters, I doubt I’ll relate to any of them, and I’m a New Yorker. The four women are yuppies who, like other urban pioneers, are trying to stake their claim on the outer borough of Brooklyn, but only the overpriced neighborhood of Park Slope. They’re “burned out, bitchy, and beyond salvation,” yet they expect to be noticed and loved. Basically they seem like the same women I run into on a daily basis — rude mommies who think everyone’s top priority should be their kid. Reading is an escape for me, but Prospect Park West seems like it’ll be torture. No, thank you! Keep reading »

Finally! Uganda Will Outlaw Female Circumcision

Officials in Uganda are finally passing a law outlawing female circumcision, which is prevalent in the eastern part of the country. Uganda’s prez, Yoweri Museveni explained, “There is no part of a human body that is useless.” Not to mention the fact that this “operation” hurts like hell and is very dangerous. Crude tools are used to make the cut and are often shared between girls. Oh yeah, and there’s no anesthesia. This mutilation increases the risk of HIV transmission and can cause excessive bleeding or even death. So, why do tribes force girls to take part in this atrocious practice? Keep reading »

Tracey Emin Is Our New Favorite Artist

The other day, we told you about Hadley Freedom’s essay, “The New Confessional Journalism Turns Female Writers Into Tedious, Self-Hating Semi-Celebrities” in The Guardian. In it, the writer prattles on about how female-focused media run the same stories over and over where a women grapples with hating her thighs/ex-boyfriend/inability to have a relationship at all. I have to disagree with her, as I think sharing a personal story is one of the most powerful things you can do. Not every tale can have a happy ending—and if it doesn’t, is it not worth sharing? Sure, I sometimes get weary of hearing the same story told in the same way, but when a confessional story is sincere, striking, and well-told…nothing’s better. I am inspired by women who find fresh and unique ways to share their stories on the page or off. And that’s why I am so moved by British multi-media artist Tracey Emin’s exhibit, “Those Who Suffer Love,” now on display at London’s White Cube Gallery. Keep reading »

Do You Have Cankles? July Is Your Month

File this in the “we-make-you-feel-bad-about-yourself-so-you-spend-money” bin: Gold’s Gym has designated July as “Cankle Awareness Month.” (Not kidding. Next thing you know, they’ll be making up brutal poop-brown colored ribbons to stick on lapels to raise awareness! Ugh.) According to their Web site: “The word comes from the combination of ‘calf’ and ‘ankle.’ It occurs when the calf merges with an obese or swollen ankle.” Yeah, we got it. But what we don’t get is why Gold’s is claiming that cankles are the “fastest growing aesthetic affliction in the United States,” beating out the dreaded muffin top and saddle bags. Say wha? Last I checked, teeny, skinny people can get cankles too—it ain’t all about weight. And it ain’t all that huge a deal. This is one fitness ploy that isn’t going to see me buying a membership. [Say No To Cankles] Keep reading »

Was Steve McNair’s Death A Murder-Suicide?

On July 4, former Titan’s quarterback Steve McNair was found dead in his Nashville apartment. The 36-year-old was shot at close range, twice in the head and twice in the chest. McNair’s secret mistress Sahel Kazemi, 20, was also there, fatally shot once in the head and laying on top of the gun that was used to kill them both. There were no signs of forced entry and are currently no suspects. [NY Post] Keep reading »

Fashion Designer Anand Jon Alexander’s Legal Troubles Get Even Messier

At the end of last year, fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, who was featured on “America’s Next Top Model” and has worked with celebs like Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige, was convicted of raping seven aspiring models between the ages of 14 and 21. Now, the case has gotten even more messed up. Last week, the LA district attorney’s office released a transcript of a phone conversation between a juror who sat on Alexander’s trial and Alexander’s sister Sanjana. In it, the juror flirted with Sanjana, saying he thought she was sexy and wanted to see her after the trial. She had called him after he slipped her his number a couple times during the trial and said she did so against orders from the judge because she didn’t want to anger the juror. In the taped phone conversation, Sanjana didn’t say much beyond “thank you” to the juror’s advances. Keep reading »

Buh-Bye, Accutane

You either love it or loathe it. For me, many, many years ago, Accutane was a life (or should I say face?) saver. A new college graduate, I was supposed to be past the age of weekly (and daily) breakouts, but somehow, my body didn’t know that. Go figure. So, after trying everything else in my derm’s arsenal, I finally succumbed and let the doc put me on Accutane, with its monthly blood tests, three gajillion forms of required birth control backups and insane drying effects. (Let’s just say I should have bought stock in Aquaphor. I’m still, closer to a decade later than not, trying to finish off the tubs of it I bought for my constantly chapped lips.) But at the end of it all, I ended up with some pretty decent skin. But not everyone had the low-resistance path I did—side-effects included depression, mood swings, extreme dryness…one guy even tried to use the drug as a defense in a murder case. So, when I heard the makers of Accutane were taking it off the market, I was a little surprised (despite the side-effect claims). Keep reading »

Do You Eat Dude Food? Does Your Guy Like Chick Drinks?

If you’ll indulge me in a little gender stereotyping here, most men are total trash compactors when it comes to food. They’ll just eat, eat, eat, eat, eat anything on their plate and suffer the consequences in the john later.

Except, that is, when it comes to a fruity yogurt parfait. Or a granola bar. You see, those foods are just not manly enough.

A. K. Whitney at Sirens Mag has an interesting essay up about “gendered foods”: how our culture designates some dishes “male foods,” while others are “female foods.” And though there are definitely exceptions, she is correct that it’s women who usually nosh on “lighter” foods like yogurt parfaits, rice cakes, garden salads, and quiche.

More than likely, silly sexist belief systems are the reasons foods get “gendered.” But here’s another thought: maybe guys are just smarter than us and realize rice cakes are generally lame and flavorless? Keep reading »

Why The Eff Did Sarah Palin Resign?

On Friday, I was vegging out on the beach, enjoying an Italian ice and the latest issue of Lucky, when I got a text from a friend: Sarah Palin was peacing out as the governor of Alaska at the end of the month. For the next hour, I compulsively read the news on my iPhone, trying to make sense of Palin’s semi-loopy announcement.

“[I want to] fight for all our children’s future from outside the governor’s office,” she said. “I thought about how much fun other governors have as lame ducks. They maybe travel around their state, travel to other states, maybe take their overseas international trade missions. I’m not going to put Alaskans through that. I promised efficiencies and effectiveness.”
[New York Times]

Um, Sarah, remember 10 months ago when you ran for freaking VICE PRESIDENT? What if McCain had won the election and had some inevitable health problem? You could have landed plop in the Oval Office. Would you up and quit then? Also, you think the best way to by efficient and effective is to…hand the reigns over to someone else? Keep reading »

Have Bad Self-Esteem? Self Help May Not Work For You

We’ve all been there: casually strolling through the self help section of Barnes & Noble trying not to make eye contact with anybody. But maybe you can save yourself the awkwardness: a Canadian study has found that if a person’s self-esteem is already in the toilet, reciting positive self-help mantras are useless. In fact, they could actually make you feel worse!
Keep reading »

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