Celebrities and advertising are like birds of a feather, so it's no wonder that even our most beloved public figures (I'm looking at you, Queen Latifah) usually end up trying to sell us something. And hey, sometimes it works. I mean, would any of us have tried delicious Jell-O pudding pops without the endorsement of a certain celebrity?
White lipstick called "Ghosttown," a greyish nail polish called "Factory," and an eyeshadow called "Sleepwalker," were just some of the products of the MAC/Rodarte Fall 2010 makeup collaboration themed around the Mexican bordertown of Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, where 400 women have been murdered and gone missing (and that's just the reported cases--actual statistics are probably much higher.) The faux pas has finally hit the fan though, and while MAC almost immediately backtracked and said they would donate all proceeds to Juarez groups, they just announced that they are not continuing with the line at all.
I grew up in a limited-television home, and didn't have a television to myself in college until senior year, when I was too busy to watch the free cable. Now that I'm paying my own bills, food and kitty litter have won out over those extra 40 channels, 35 of which I have little interest in. I've managed to acquire three different television sets for free, but for the first year or so they sat unwatched except on Thursday nights, when we would hooks up the antenna for The Office and its attendant Thursday night workplace comedies.
But even though I wasn't making my use of our television - televisions - I still had to watch my programs. But how could I? Where would I go? What method should I use? After ten years online, I knew that the Internet to be a many-splendored resource for media, but my tracking skills had gotten a little rusty.
You bookworms out there probably don't need us to tell you about Laura Lippman. You already know that she's an award-winning novelist, best known for her crime stories (which feature awesome female protagonists) and her time as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. But did you know that she's also a member of the Bitch Media National Advisory Board? And that her latest book, I'd Know You Anywhere comes out today? We sent a few questions to Laura to get the scoop on her new novel and the inspiration behind the awesome women she writes.
We are hoping to build a broader network of organizations so that we can intentionally share successes, strategies and lessons learned. We are particularly interested in hearing from and connecting with other groups led by Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non-Conforming People and People of Color.
The Discovery Health channel is among my favorite TV channels, along with The Science Channel, TLC and the regular Discovery Channel. So a couple years ago when they started airing shows about "super morbidly obese" people getting bariatric surgery, I, of course, was quite interested. With sensationalist titles like Half-Ton Teen and World's Largest Man, how could I resist? Indeed, how could anyone resist shows that had promo spots consisting of firemen breaking down someone's wall to get their bed out of the house? Obviously, that's the point. These shows were not meant to teach, inform, or help. They were specifically designed to exploit the misfortune of these victims of our weight-obsessed society for monetary gain.
The commonality of really problematic depictions in Hollywood and other aspects of pop culture is, to my eye, a pretty compelling argument for improving representation on the creative teams behind the media we consume. However, it's clear that better representations aren't necessarily something that people are interested in. Indeed, Silverstein notes that in the world of television, shows created by women about women are among the least likely to get picked up, which suggests that the networks don't care about accurate depictions.
Meet Barbara Gordon, librarian at the Gotham City Public Library by day, and crime-fightin' wonder Batgirl by night. Gordon was first introduced to the Batman comics and TV show in 1966, as an attempt to bring in female readers and viewers. While previous female characters (Batwoman and Bat-girl) were introduced in an attempt to dodge accusations of homosexuality between Batman and Robin, Batgirl wasn't there for romance as much as she was for ass-kicking. And did I mention that she was a librarian?
We're back again! We're rounding up some of the most interesting things we read this week on another edition of On Our Radar.
On Salon, Tracy Clark-Flory highlights the Menstruation Machine, an art project designed by Japanese artist Hiromi Ozaki. The machine is "fitted with a blood dispensing mechanism and lower-abdomen-stimulating electrodes" to mimic the effects of menstruation. Woah.
On Transgriot, Monica Roberts compares the fate of flight attendant/folk hero Steven Slater to a flight attendant that made headlines in 2008. Brown, a black woman, "was according to her attorney thrown against a first class lavatory door and elbowed in her breast" by Victoria Osteen, co-paster of Texas-based evangelical megachurch Lakewood Church.
I, for one, am pretty bummed about Cathy ending. Alan Gardner interviews the creator of the comic strip, Cathy Guisewite, on The Daily Cartoonist.
Ralph Blumenthal investigates the disturbing rise in untested rape kits for the September issue of Marie Claire. The story is available online here.
Lesley Kinzel dissects Nikki Blonsky's recent announcement of a scholarship in her name to "'the longest running' fat camp in the US" and obligatory the blow-up on the Huge Facebook page on Fatshionista.
After years of speculation surrounding her sexual orientation, photographs of Queen Latifah embracing her personal trainer and purported partner surfaced this weekend. On Colorlines, Jamilah King writes on why we shouldn't force her to come out publicly.
On Threadbared, Minh-Ha T. Pham interviews Thuy Linh N. Tu, the author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion.
Sociological Images' Gwen Sharp looks at the curious history of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.
Holly Ord delves into the mixed representations of Jessica Simpson in popular culture on Women's Eye on Media.
Find something that piqued your interest this week? Leave it in the comments section!