Brazil carnival often has an anything-goes kind of attitude, but the naming of a 7-year-old to the coveted role of drum corps queen is causing controversy this year. Julia Lira has been appointed to the duty, usually reserved for barely-dressed models, by her father Marco Lira, who is the president of Viradouro samba group. If he gets his way, Julia will samba for 80 minutes in the Rio de Janeiro heat as she leads the Viradouro drummers down the parade route. A judge is now considering whether to allow her participation. And a children’s rights group says she’s too young for the role, especially in a country where sexual exploitation of children is a major problem. At the heart of the controversy is the queen’s traditionally sexy function: She is a sensual muse who causes the drummers to beat harder and faster with every rhythmic swing of her hips. The queen’s chest is usually covered, unlike most of the other participants, but her costume is nowhere near demure. However, an artistic director for Viradouro says Julia’s costume will be appropriate for a child, and the group won’t explore any sensuality. Julia lit up when she made a presentation to the former drum corps queen in a rehearsal, and said, “I’m happy because I like to dance,” when asked why she wanted the title. [New York Post] Keep reading »
What you’re looking at is the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s special Olympic preview issue. The cover model is 25-year-old Olympic hopeful Lindsey Vonn, an alpine ski racer who is the first woman to have won the World Cup back-to-back. While her wins are typically what grab headlines, now it’s this image, one which some people, many of them women, are saying sexually objectifies this female athlete. According to Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, writing on Women Talk Sports, women rarely appear on the cover of SI, and when they do, it’s typically as a sex object (see: the swimsuit issue). Writes Dr. LaVoi: “When females are featured on the cover of SI, they are more likely than not to be in sexualized poses and not in action — and the most recent Vonn cover is no exception.” So, does Vonn’s cover depict a skier racing down a hill — or an attractive young woman sticking her posterior provocatively in the air? As Chris Chase points out on Yahoo! Sports, the 1992 edition featured downhill racer A.J. Kitt (a man) with his butt in the air, and no one complained that he was being objectified. What’s the deal? Sounds like it’s OK to objectify men, but not women. Double standard, anyone? [Yahoo! Sports] Keep reading »
A whole lot is going on in Tiger‘s neck of the woods today. After the jump, the latest news—from him checking out of sex rehab to the latest sexts to make their way into the public eye. Keep reading »
John Edwards should have known better than to let his videographer/lovah bring her camera into the bedroom. Andrew Young—the former Edwards’ staffer who originally took the fall for having the affair with Hunter—described finding the tape in Rielle Hunter’s trash in his book and he’ll be appearing on “Nightline” and “20/20″ tonight to describe exactly what was on it. Hunter is in court as we speak, trying to get a restraining order for the tape to be kept under wraps. If she doesn’t, who knows what could happen? Let’s just say that more than a few people would be interested in watching.
While politicians make sex tapes with far less frequency than Hollywood folk or rock stars (or maybe they’re just better at keeping them a secret?), Edwards is hardly the first to find himself in this situation. After the jump, a history of politicians and their naughty tapes. Keep reading »
Ruh-roh. Rielle Hunter has gone to court to suppress “a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature.” The alleged video recording is in the possession of Andrew and Cheri Young. Mr. Young was Edwards’ long-time assistant, and he gave an interview with ABC News describing what was on the tape he found in Edwards’ trash can. Though he never saw her face in the video, he described the woman as “visibly pregnant” and “wearing a bracelet” and a “thumb ring” resembling those often worn by Rielle Hunter. Thumb ring? Really? Eww. [ABC News] Keep reading »
Turns out that People got it right this week—Elizabeth Edwards has, in fact, reached her breaking point and is ditching her philandering hubby of 32 years. Yesterday, a spokesperson for Elizabeth confirmed that she is “moving on with her life after a excruciatingly painful period.” John has confirmed the story, too. He says, “It is an extraordinarily sad moment, but I love my children more than anything and still care deeply about Elizabeth.” Elizabeth is staying in the couple’s house, while John is shuffling between their beach home and an annex to the family house they refer to as “the barn.” She’s supposedly had divorce papers drawn up for more than a year, but just recently decided to move forward with the process. According to some reports, the final straw for Elizabeth was meeting John’s love child, Quinn, who is now 2 years old. Others say that John made the decision. A friend told the magazine, “John feels like, ‘I can’t live with you checking my cell phone, asking who I was with, where I went. That’s not how I want to live the rest of my life.’ I think they realized she still doesn’t trust him.” Regardless of how or why the decision was made, it certainly sounds like a good one. [People, MSNBC] Keep reading »