An opera singer with stage fright, a stay-at home mother who's tired of seeking societal approval, a dark and twisty virgin, and a young woman who has struggled with body hatred and bulimia are among the ten women who seek out Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque for an opportunity to change their lives in just six weeks—and Deirdre Allen Timmons' A Wink and a Smile captures their transition on film.
The first movie to explore the process of becoming a burlesque dancer, this musical documentary shows that Burlesque is more than just a campy striptease. It's about embodying a powerful persona, mocking traditional gender roles and sexual scripts, exploring sexuality through a teasing playfulness, and having a wicked sense of humor. A Wink and a Smile is full of delightful surprises that uncover both the history of the art form and its modern day incarnation through a handful of today's popular performers. Burlesque is about the creativity of the reveal, not the reveal itself, so here's a brief interview with Timmons intended to whet your desire to see this film.
While the April Issue of French Vogue features a somewhat creepy spread of model Lily Donaldson equipped with a pretend pregnancy, baby doll, and high-fashion look, this month's French Elle issue is trying something different...models shot without makeup or Photoshopping. Yippee!
By now you might have heard of the Republican protest referencing the Boston Tea Party of 1773 by using tea bag iconography to protest federal tax spending, complete with Tax Day protests occurring around the country. When Wonkette caught wind of the new campaign, they said "The bit about the tea bags, though — that is just not good television." They forgot about Rachel Maddow:
Maybe it's cause we're on the West Coast, and it takes a good three hours for us to catch up to ANYTHING in New York, but no Gawker, the joke's not old yet. Tomorrow maybe, but today we can relish in conservative ignorance at its most laughable, and wait for those sweet, sweet, tax returns...
Monday night's Daily Show had a segment wherein Jason Jones traveled down to Florida to find out about senior citizens' sex lives. Here's the video, in case you missed it:
I found this video to be pretty interesting (although WTF is up with the sexual assault guy?), since I don't spend that much time thinking about how STDs affect seniors (and I bet you don't either). So I did a little digging around and found the full-length version of "Sex and the Seniors." Watch it, and hear the charming poem one of the seniors wrote about reproductive health, after the jump!
Everyone's already linked to this, but why not us too? Here's every quiet woman's perfect revenge fantasy, seemingly-meek Susan Boyle, mocked by the TV audience for her spinsterhood and middle-aged looks, showing up Simon Cowell and all the haters on Britain's Got Talent with a lovely version of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miz. I know what she's been dreaming a dream about!
"The average age of entry into prostitution today in the Untied States is 13 years old." The stories of some of the girls whose lives bear out this disturbing statistic are told in Very Young Girls, one of three documentaries in recent years that examine the lives of black girls and women.
WARNING: What you are about to see will amaze, delight, and possibly cause you to make a closet full of gem sweaters. Straight out of the Midwest, the following artist has been sweeping the nation, rapping about everything from zombies to gold pants, breaking down the barriers that divide us by turning people of all types into Junior Gems. Blog readers, meet Leslie Hall!
Leslie Hall is more than just a rapper, singer, dancer, crafter, fashion designer, and curator of the world's largest Mobile Museum of Gem Sweaters; she is also an inspiration. Through her unique (and always glamorous) style, catchy party jams, and midwestern diva attitude, Leslie and her friends (the LY's) have created a new style of music and living that the aspiring MC and feminist in all of us will be able to appreciate. Come with me and let's explore the wonders that are Leslie and the LY's.
To whet your gem sweater appetite, here is an amazing video and song about making crafts:
More shining, midwestern glamour after the jump, of course!
Those of you who, like me, have been hooked on VH1's Rock of Love Bus this season (perhaps against some of your better feminist judgment), may have found last night's finale a bit unfulfilling. Not only was it a challenge to care whether it was Taya or Mindy (the two final contestants) who won Bret's cowboy-hat loving heart in the end, but the episode broke some new and unsettling ground when it came to reinforcing sex and gender-based stereotypes. (You thought they had already broken all of the available ground and then some, didn't you?)
This season of Rock of Love Bus kicked off with some vagina shots on top of a bar, so it shouldn't surprise us that it ended with some sex and gender weirdness as well. What is surprising, to me at least, is that the show's finale managed to both promote and condemn female sexuality AT THE SAME TIME. How is this possible, you ask? Read on and let's discuss!