When Cherien Dabis was a teen growing up in small town Ohio, the First Gulf War broke out. Her family began getting death threats and her Palestinian father, a doctor, lost patients. These experiences came to inspire the filmmaker to write and direct the award-winning “Amreeka,” a movie that tells the story of Muna, a single mother who leaves her life in the West Bank and moves to Illinois with her teenage son, Fadi. While their move to the United States is filled with obstacles, the movie isn’t a total downer. In fact, it’s filled with amazing family moments that are often sweet and funny, showing a different side of the conflict. Cherien spoke to The Frisky about how similar life experiences drove her to become a filmmaker, what it was like to make a film in Palestine, and which movies we should add to our Netflix queue. Keep reading »
After her hugely successful book, Eat, Pray, Love, was published, Elizabeth Gilbert settled into a lovely life with the man she met on that personal journey. Both she and the guy, known as Felipe in the book, had been married and divorced before, and they told themselves they weren’t going to get married again; just promising commitment to one other was enough. That is, until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security decided not to let Felipe, a Brazilian with an Australian passport, back into the country after a trip overseas. Sure, the two could have settled down elsewhere, but they wanted to live near family and friends, so the only real option for getting Felipe permission to reenter the United States was for he and Elizabeth to get married.
While they waited for immigration to look into their case — Felipe needed to secure a fiancé visa and wouldn’t be able to return to the States until he was given one — the two bided their time by traveling around the world together, living as inexpensively as possible in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Elizabeth looked into this thing called marriage. What was the big deal about it? Why didn’t many last? How has it changed over the years, and what does that mean for us? Beyond the obvious questions, she considered every possible angle, including points of view I had never, ever considered, and wrote about how she came to terms with the institution (because she didn’t have much of a choice) in Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, which hit stores yesterday. She spoke with The Frisky about the joys and trials of matrimony. Keep reading »
For the last month and a half, I have been utterly glued to “Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew” on VH1, in which the salt-and-pepper-haired Dr. Drew Pinsky counsels semi-famous entertainers who are battling sex addiction. We’ve written a bit about the topic on The Frisky, sometimes expressing dubiousness that it’s even that common, but the show has definitely taught me — oh, the power of television! — that sex addiction is extremely complicated. In fact, in the show’s voice-over, Pinsky says that sex addiction is as harmful as drug or alcohol addiction.
All of the patients being treated on the show are dealing with sex addiction that has manifested itself in different ways, but I’ve found Jennie Ketcham’s story to be the most compelling. Ketcham arrived on the show as Penny Flame, her porn alter ego. As anyone who has watched Pinsky’s previous treatment shows knows, he insists on calling his patients by their given names and not the personas they’ve crafted, often to shield their demons. And so Penny Flame became “Jennie” again and almost immediately, it seemed, at least to me as a viewer, that Ketcham’s recovery from sex addiction began. Since the show wrapped, Ketcham has left porn and Penny Flame behind and has started a blog, Becoming Jennie, which chronicles her recovery. In her first entry she wrote, “My name is Jennie Ketcham, and I am a recovering porn star. And addict. This day, as every day, is the first day of the rest of my life, and I intend to live it to the fullest.”
After the jump, Jennie talks with The Frisky about being a sex addict, how “Sex Rehab” changed her life, how she feels about porn now, and what her plans are for the future. Keep reading »
Erica Kennedy is known to many readers for her hip-hop novel Bling, but her latest novel, Feminista, has been making waves for its so-called entry into the “bitch lit” genre and its unapologetically ballsy protagonist, Sydney, a writer who finds love almost despite herself. Kennedy, who blogs about “feministas” in pop culture, from Michelle Obama to “The Princess and the Frog,” at The Feminista Files, answered our questions via email. Check out the interview, after the jump! Keep reading »
On the season finale of “MERRIme.com,” Mr. Weisman interrupts Merri’s “binge” and reinstates his original ultimatum. MAC and Jess comfort a very down-and-out Merri, when a familiar face arrives on her doorstep. Who could it be? Cliffhanger, cliffhanger? [MERRIme.com
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Kind of ironic, huh? A book called Hungry that I just ate right up as quickly as I could. But model Crystal Renn‘s autobiography is that good. Seriously, I could not put down Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves for two days straight.
In her incredible memoir, written with former Sassy health editor Marjorie Ingall, Crystal shares how she was just a teen girl living with her grandmother in Clinton, Mississippi, when a modeling scout changed her life. The scout approached her at a charm school class and said Crystal could be just like Gisele Bundchen if she wanted to—meaning, she had to take off a lot of weight. Over the next several months, a 165-pound Crystal became anorexic, starving herself so she could drop 70 pounds and become a “straight-size” model. Keep reading »