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Posts Tagged ‘magazines’

        There is something to be said for being a part of the middle class…without any of  the demands expected of the rich and famous.  Have you ever stopped to think about what your life would be like if you were one of those celebrity names in the tabloids?  Every family has issues in their family tree with some relative or another. 

        Think about it…what if cousin Ralph committed a crime and was photographed for a magazine, making sure to give an interview which made a connection between his name and your’s in the article; or, your sister decided to become a singer (and she howled like your neighbor’s hunting dog) but still, she badgered your professional contacts to try to get an audition; or say, your Grandma decided to go on a talk show and talk about her sex life before she married Grandpa?  Maybe your father wants to write a best seller that very closely resembles your life pre-celeb days? Or a relative goes on a large shopping spree that they can’t possibly afford to pay for on their own?   How would you handle it?

         In today’s world, with everyone having access to so much digital information…if you are a celebrity, and the media decides to do a little digging…they are sure to find some family member, friend from the past, or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend who is more than ready, willing and able to spill the beans for a little $$$.  What’s more…you don’t even have to wait for the media to find those who are willing to spill the beans for a fee…your relatives can go viral just by publishing a blog.

          You don’t have to look far to see examples of what I am talking about.  After all, there are painful family issues that allegedly haven’t been able to be resolved in private, such as families like the Lohans who make the news regularily, with custody battles, blog posts, or writting letters to media outlets criticizing one another; rehashing the past and the present family problems.  These issues are deeply personal and have the ability to cause life long discord with in a family unit.  

           Then you have the media’s flavor of the month, the Spears family.  Either they focus on the latest exploits of Brit, Jamie Lynn, her mother, father or ex-husbands and boyfriends or they hint at some kind of rumor that vaguely resembles a sliver of truth and wait to see the fireworks.  You can understand the potential added damage done to an individual when there is intensive media scrutiny focussed on them. There is enough family drama in most families, without having to create an intense watch and see environment.

           What about family members who stay in the background until they have shopped around the possibility of writing a tell all book…like Oprah’s father, allegedly considered doing?  Or a little less reclusive personality, such as…Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone who actually did write a book recently, detailing his complicated relationship with his sister.  Remember many years ago, the explosive book called Mommy Dearest, written by Joan Crawford’s daughter about her very famous mother?

           We’ve all seen that the tabloids will exploit a family member’s run- in with the law.  Or, maybe a business owner or individual who slaps a lawsuit on a family member of a celeb, knowing that it will get settled because of the negative PR.   A recent example of a legal situation was when Hulk Hogan’s son was sent to jail for allegedly being the driver in an accident that seriously injured one of his friends.  All the while, his family was going through a seperation/divorce and the media attention only added to their personal difficulties.  This fed the flames of many articles and celebrity gossip shows for many weeks.

            There is never a lack of divorce related stories or custody issues either.  We have come to know more about certain star crossed couples, and their problems, than we need to know; think of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, or Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, Pamela Anderson and any of her exes.  In these cases, many times the courts are often at fault for allowing legal records to become released to the public through the media; that is why you occasionally hear of circumstances where divorcing couples use a private mediator to settle their marriage issues.  Sometimes it is through individuals or their family members that we learn what is often harmful to the well-being of the couples or their children.  I am sure in the long run they come to regret the fact that so much private information has become public knowledge. 

            What about those situations where family members are estranged from one another and they use the media to communicate with each other about family issues.  I think about in that case, Angelina Jolie and her father.  Or, maybe Kellie Pickler who had a difficult relationship with her estranged birth mother.   Or Jennifer Anniston and her mother who allegedly became estranged, from one another, over too much personal information being given out. 

           Some celebrities don’t publically acknowledge their family problems…others confront them head on.  Which way is most effective for them, sort of depends on why the violations take place in the first place.  Some celebs feel that they must go public and defend themselves and others…keep a quiet counsel and deal with things privately.  It is not easy either way.  The power of criticism is strong…and you can’t please everyone, no matter what action a celebrity chooses to employ to deal with the fallout. 

           Regardless of celebrity status…it is helpful to remember that those people are human beings with feelings too.  They have relationships that can be damaged, and, they are often afforded little privacy as it is.  You would think that their family members would have a little bit of loyalty and a desire to keep some issues private; and, not turn their private relationships into some sort of pay- per- view.  But often, these situations aren’t JUST about money.  Sometimes, the interviews and books are written out of more complex issues; such as, unresolved issues involving trust, envy, control, anger, betrayal, neglect, abandonment or favoritism.  So when you see one of these interviews or books; remember that it might be more about getting even, than it is about getting rich!

           Certainly, the people who publish the reports, interviews, books, and celeb gossip programs aren’t going to keep potentially scandulous information to themselves; not when it is their bread and butter.  So think about that, the next time you purchase one of the tabloids, weekly celeb mags, tune in to the gossip programs, or purchase the latest personal memoir about someone famous; you are enabling them to sell out their own family members.  What if your friends or relatives did that to you?  What kind of tales could they tell about you to allow them to make money off from you or your past?

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       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

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       Ok, here we go…a few months ago, i heard about a lawsuit on one of the ABC news programs between Mattel, the makers of the Barbie doll empire, and MGA Entertainment, Inc the makers of the Bratz doll line.  The issue seemed to spring from Mattel’s allegation that the designer Carter Bryant was working for them when he came up with the concept for the Bratz doll line; and therefore, they felt that it infringed upon their copyright since he was under contract to them at the time of the design; the jury seemed to agree.

         The jury awarded Mattel $100 million dollars in compensation today.  Wowie…that would pay for a whole lot of Barbie cars, Barbie swimming pools and certainly alot of Barbie mansions.   Now that $100 million, was nowhere near the amount that Mattel was seeking; it was more in the area of $1Billion dollars that they felt MGA should owe them with the success of the Bratz dolls,  toys and other assorted items MGA endorsed with the Bratz line. 

          I don’t know if you have ever seen the Bratz dolls but their heads are large…and they wear exceedingly seductive outfits and they have long hair and heavy makeup on these dolls.  They are very sensualized dolls that have been marketed to young girls and preteen girls as the heighth of fashion dolls.  In comparison, Barbie has been a mainstay in the toy market for years..but, since the sales began on the Bratz line…Barbie sales have fallen.  The competition seemed to pit the “good girl image” with the “bad girl image”…what image do you think young girls in a hurry to grow up wanted mom and dad to buy them?  Their choices are influenced by the things they see in our culture as “grown up”.   With growing concerns about body image and a healthy attitude towards their self concept…we need to understand the connection that takes place in a child’s world view and how that affects their emotional development! 

           Teaching young girls to value their bodies as something more than window dressing to get attention used to be the norm; that is no longer true.  Experts have been dealing with an increased awareness that young women are not happy with their bodies and will go to extremes to try to achieve the “look” that is in vogue.  We have young women (and young men) who are tortured with anorexia, who are struggling with obesity, who pay for plastic surgery to get their bodies to fit a certain mold, putting foreign substances such as botox into their bodies, breast augmentation, etc.   Educating them to the truth that the images they see in magazines and on television are adjusted with the magic of photo retouching and airbrushing techniques…that no-one has a perfect face or figure.  It is time to stop and teach young people the importance of self acceptance.  Stop allowing them to think that they don’t measure up to someone else’s standards of what is the ideal.

           We really need to examine the culture that we expose our children to from magazine articles, to television shows, to media advertising, to fashionable clothing lines that seem to say it is ok to dress our young girls in clothing meant for older teens or young adult women.  Everything is sexualized or sensual in it’s design…this marketing technique needs to be addressed.  We are allowing this, when we purchase these types of products for our children and then wonder why behaviors seem so out of synch with the type of behaviors that should be appropriate to their ages.

           Parents are the ultimate stop gap for their children…it is their money, for the most part, which purchases these items.  If we raise the bar on what we expose our children to…then, the industries that our dollars support will have to adapt to the demand for a more traditional age appropriate level of decency in the children’s clothing, toys, accessories, music, television programing, advertising, etc. 

            In an age where we try to protect our children from predators on the streets, in our schools and in every other area of life; we need to understand that if we send the children mixed messages about what is appropriate role modeling; how can we expect them to know when someone inappropriately crosses the line in their conduct?  Children learn their boundaries from the adults in their lives who set limits…so we need to re-examine how we condition our children by the choices that we make. 

            Children may still want the Bratz dolls over the Barbie dolls…who knows…children don’t always know what is in their best interests; however, the adults who care for them should know…shouldn’t they?

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        Dances with the Stars is on again tonight…it is Monday, people.  I don’t know about you; but, i plan to vege on the couch and enjoy the show.  Each week it is exciting to see who ups the ante and forces the other competitors to deliver the best performance they can muster.

       The hardest part is waiting till tuesday to see which celebrity and dancing professional  is next to go.  It is getting to the part of the show…where…we have all invested a little bit of our own cheerleading for our favorite dancing couples.  Two dances definately puts a little more pressure on the couples dancing…so, this will be very, very interesting! 

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       For the last few months…the party girls of the celebrity world have been toning it down.  When everything was so very out of control on the scandal sheets, regarding  Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and other’s; the papers started focussing on those with the good girl, role model image. 

         It seemed that they couldn’t wait to build them up; and, slyly they WONDERED IF MILEY CYRUS, and others like her, wouldn’t also soon be on the same path to self destruction.  Their headlines screamed a false concern about the future of those in the limelight; would they too end up on drugs/alcohol/addicted to sex, and the partying lifestyle?  Please, it is just a ploy to sell newspapers!

       Then last year, when Jaime Lynn Spears announced her pre-marital pregnancy…it was almost with glee, that they had another poster girl to shine the light on.  Now that Jaime Lynn has pulled back out of the glare of the press…Miley Cyrus has been moved to the front of the line for the tick tock of the self- destruction time bomb that the tabloid rags have been trying to promote.

       Last week, there were some photos put online that show Miley in her underwear.  She has apologized for those “inappropriate photos”.  Then today, there were some pictures taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, for the equally famous magazine Vanity Fair, which Miley says, she thought were going to be “artistic” shots.  Even if they would have been purely “artistic” shots….why should a 15 year old be allowed to put it out there for public viewing?  Bad decision…someone should have put an end to the idea before it became reality.  Teens don’t always want to hear advice about what is right and wrong…but, still someone should have pointed out that this was a really, really, bad idea!

         Hello, where were her advisors, the ones from her family or from her show, to guide and protect a barely 15 year old girl from making such a mistake?  Was there no contract that gave her creative control over which pictures would be used; thereby, saving her from what she has allegedly described as “embarassment” over these latest pictures?  I have only seen one…and that picture shows her wrapped in a sheet with a bare back.  If a regular person took this kind of “artistic” shots…because of her age…it could be considered objectionable or suspicious by law enforcement.

        Who in their right mind would promote a 15 year old girl in such photos for a magazine?  What kind of message is that sending?  I mean come on…”artistic” is one thing…but, this is not an adult woman.  I think that there are some adults involved here who could have used better judgement. 

       I know that Miley Cyrus has been upfront about her faith guiding her footsteps. These types of decisions will not only hurt her professionally, but, it can also damage her testimony as a Christian.   No, she is not perfect…none of us are.  We expect her to make mistakes as she grows up just like the rest of us have; however, eyes are watching her.

        However, because she is NOT an adult…it would be wise if her management would make sure that she is better protected from those in the industry who would take advantage of her fame. If her advisors put their stamp of approval on this project…then maybe they need replacing.    After all, they allegedly allowed her to be put in this position by making an error in judgement regarding these photos.

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       Standing in the line at my local Walmart today i saw a headline screaming out at me about a scandal involving Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke of Dancing With The Stars fame.

         Supposedly, the two of them had an affair during their time on the show.  I didn’t read the article…but, later tonight i read online that they are being accused by some as having an affair. 

          I don’t know about you…but i don’t believe it.  I would be shocked if it turned out to be true.  I remember, Drew’s wife was expecting a baby during that season and she was there alot.   She was at many of the dancing practice sessions as well as the performances.   

         It seems to me that she would have had a close up view on how they acted towards one another.    His wife is also a talented and successful dance choreographer herself; so she is aware of how two people appropriately act towards each other when they practice dancing. 

           I highly doubt that she would have been as supportive of  Drew and the show, if she suspected any such rumor as being true, either then or now!  Remember, this was almost two years ago…she would have had plenty of opportunity to sense whether anything inappropriate has been going on during this time.

           I just think sometimes, people look for reasons to splash the latest rumour or hurtful thing to sell newspapers or magazines.  It seems that the beautiful, Miss Cheryl Burke recently broke up with the boyfriend from that time period…so who knows…who is behind the rumors; and, what the goal is by spreading such innuendo.  For the record, i believe they have both denied any such affair.

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