If Big Little Lies Season 2 Is Happening, It Should Be an Anthology

Big Little LiesFew shows achieve what Big Little Lies achieved.
The HBO limited series gave us eight episodes of iconic characters, incredible performances, a mommy war for the ages, and a death hardly…

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Sick baby’s treatment ‘should continue’, High Court told

Doctors say giving further intensive care treatment to Isaiah Hasstrup is not in his best interests.
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Did you know you should give under-fives vitamin tablets?

Many parents are unaware of this vitamin supplement advice, a study finds.
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Uber Suffers Setback as U.K. Court Rules Its Drivers Should Have Workers’ Rights

Uber Technologies suffered a setback in a British court when an appeals tribunal reaffirmed a decision that the company must give its drivers employee rights like paid vacations.
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Uber Suffers Setback as U.K. Court Rules Its Drivers Should Have Workers’ Rights

Uber Technologies suffered a setback in a British court when an appeals tribunal reaffirmed a decision that the company must give its drivers employee rights like paid vacations.
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Should we separate the art from the artist?

Louis CK is the latest to be accused of sexual harassment. If proven guilty, should we look at his work in a different light?
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This Is Us Star Mandy Moore Warns “There’s Darkness Coming” & Viewers Should “Be Patient”

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“There’s darkness…

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This Is Us Star Mandy Moore Warns “There’s Darkness Coming” & Viewers Should “Be Patient”

This Is UsThis Is Us fans better buckle up. If you thought you’ve got a handle on all the drama the Pearson family tackles every week, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
“There’s darkness…

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Armani Designed It. Richard Gere Wore It. And You Should Too

A camel-hair polo coat elevated Richard Gere’s stud-for-hire in ‘American Gigolo.’ Its enveloping fit and alpha-male lapels can pay off for you, as well
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Schedule alert! Every game tired teams should lose this month

Schedule alert! Every game tired teams should lose this month
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Harvey Weinstein Scandal: ‘People Should Lose Their Jobs’ Over This, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Says

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, weighed in on Harvey Weinstein’s spectacular fall from grace after numerous women have come forward accusing him of sexual harassment and assault. “The Harvey Weinstein thing is abysmal – and it’s not just his behavior, it’s the behavior of everyone around [him],” said Sandberg, speaking at an event Thursday […]

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Both sexes ‘should be taught about periods together at school’ – charity

A charity says not talking about periods can be damaging and wants it to be discussed in class.
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Books of The Times: Stephen King and Son Team Up for a Novel About Women Whose Sleep Should Not Be Disturbed

In “Sleeping Beauties,” by Stephen King and his son Owen, women who fall asleep don’t wake up, and grow tendrils that are best left alone.
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Abortion should not be a crime, says doctors’ body

The pregnancy association votes to regulate terminations in line with other medical procedures.
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Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders Should Change Your Attitude About the Menendez Trials, Says Dick Wolf

Edie Falco, Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez MurdersLaw & Order is taking “ripped from the headlines” in a whole different direction with Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.
Creator Dick Wolf was on hand for…

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Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders Should Change Your Attitude About the Menendez Trials, Says Dick Wolf

Edie Falco, Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez MurdersLaw & Order is taking “ripped from the headlines” in a whole different direction with Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.
Creator Dick Wolf was on hand for…

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5 Fall Wardrobe Staples You Should Seriously Invest in Right Now

Branded: Fall 5For some reason, around this time every year, we get a serious itch to do some wardrobe restocking.
Maybe it’s that back-to-school feeling that creeps up every September, or maybe…

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Zadie Smith Thinks We Should ‘Retain The Right To Be Wrong’

“I have seen on Twitter […] people have a feeling at 9 a.m. quite strongly, and then by 11 have been shouted out of it,” the author said. “That part, I find really unfortunate.”
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NHS checks ‘should be done at shops and stadiums’

Health officials say the novel approach could save lives by spotting the early signs of disease.
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11 Comically Ugly Celebrity Wax Figures That Should Be Melted Immediately

Look, we get it. Recreating a celebrity’s likeness in wax, or any material (aren’t some of them 70 percent wax already?), is hard. But it shouldn’t be this hard, should it? See 11 times that wax sculptors missed the mark, from Ryan Gosling, to Justin Timberlake, to Beyoncé, Beyoncé, and well, Beyoncé.

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You Should Start Each Day with a Huge Breakfast

Science confirms what your mom has been saying all along.

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25 Crop Tops You Can (and Should) Transition Into Your Fall Wardrobe

Branded: Crop TopsCrop tops are a big part of your summer uniform, but do they have a place in your fall wardrobe? Yes and no.
We’re not saying that when temps drop you can simply whip out your…

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Barnwell: Should the Lions really shell out for Matthew Stafford?

Barnwell: Should the Lions really shell out for Matthew Stafford?
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How Well Should You Know Your Partner Before Getting Married?

It’s so romantic! You meet one night when you least expect. You’ve recently sworn off dating and tell yourself you’re content
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Bridget Foley’s Diary: When Should Ivanka Cry Uncle Over Dad?

Before the presidential campaign and election, Ivanka Trump self-identified and was perceived as a businesswoman passionate about women’s empowerment. You’d have been hard-pressed to hear someone speak negatively about her, with words such as lovely, hard-working, self-directed and genuine typical descriptives.

 
And then, Dad ran for president and won.
 
Throughout and after the election, and especially since her role in the Trump administration shifted from merely “daughter,” as she said she initially intended, to G-20 Summit-attending formal adviser, Ivanka has taken her hits, critics questioning not only her qualifications but also her motives and her silence in light of various presidential outbursts. Following President Trump’s shocking equal assignation last weekend of “blame on both sides” when white supremacists, many brandishing swastikas, stormed Charlottesville, Va., to protest the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the criticism escalated exponentially, with many wondering, how could Ivanka not speak out? 
 
Whether or not she knew just what she was getting into in accepting her White House role, surely Ivanka knows her father, and she is accustomed to life in shared spotlights, his and her own. Though thrust into the former as a child when her parents’ public marital woes made for tabloid grist, she chose the latter early on. An adolescent flirtation with modeling crossed over to television; at 15,

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My Pilgrimage to Elvis’ Graceland — and Why Every Music Fan Should Go

A church of kitsch, it’s the epitome of style’n’class for a poor boy with little education making the American dream his own.

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If You Hate Your Friend’s S.O., Should You Stew in Your Misery or Jump Ship?

It depends on a lot of factors—including how much they suck.

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15 Latinx-Owned Etsy Shops Everyone Should Support

What’s better than shopping with purpose?
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Should You Kondo Your Kids?

Marie Kondo, the decluttering guru, now has two children and offers advice about how to reconcile a well-organized life with the messiness of parenting. Hint: Teach your children how to fold clothes.
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Nonfiction: Deep Dives Into How Poetry Works (and Why You Should Care)

New books by the former poets laureate Robert Hass and Louise Glück examine the finer points of poetic form and practice.
NYT > Books

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Pharrell Williams Thinks You Should Clean Your Closet

Multitasking hitmaker Pharrell Williams on the importance of an annual wardrobe purge, the world’s most comfortable T-shirts and his latest collection for Adidas.
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Should owners seek fans’ advice on players? (Yahoo Sports)

Should NFL owners consult fans about whether to sign controversial players?

The Ravens found themselves in a jam when owner Steve Bisciotti revealed he was consulting with fans about possibly signing Colin Kaepernick. But is he on to something?



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Sarah Huckabee Sanders Learns Why You Should Never Ever Wear Green On TV

It’s asking for trouble.
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How Often Should You Replace Your Athletic Shoes?

It might be time to toss your lucky sneakers.

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Should you finish a course of antibiotics?

Experts are divided over whether people should always finish a course of antibiotics.
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Nikki Blonsky Says Ariel Winter Should “Cover Up”

Nikki Blonsky said Ariel Winter should be able to wear what she wants — but only to a certain extent.
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Alicia Keys got neon yellow, orange, and pink box braids for the summer, and we’re living for her new look.
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MillionaireMatch.com - the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!
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Chris Hemsworth Thinks Charlize Theron Should Play The Next James Bond

“It’s time.”
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Should we be worried about net neutrality?

Some of the world’s largest internet companies are taking part in a day of protest against changes that say will affect net neutrality – but what is net neutrality and should UK citizens be concerned?
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We Are Not Hysterical: 18 Strong Female Voices You Should Read

Strand Book Store staff recommends reads by outspoken women.
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On the Runway: Should Lanvin Become ‘a French Michael Kors’?

The house has a new artistic director and reportedly a new direction. But is that really the right choice?
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Just Because Rihanna Can Go Barefoot in the Airport Doesn’t Mean You Should

For decency and germs.

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Why You Absolutely Should Talk About Your Exes On A First Date

Five reasons to “go there” when getting to know someone new.
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What Julianne Hough Should Wear on Her Wedding Day, Based on Her Dancing With the Stars Gowns

Julianne HoughJulianne Hough is always dressed the part, so what will she wear when it’s time to be a bride?
With her wedding to hockey pro Brooks Laich just days away, the Hollywood triple threat…

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NFC East Q&A: Should Dez Bryant be considered an upper-echelon receiver?

NFC East Q&A: Should Dez Bryant be considered an upper-echelon receiver?
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Books of The Times: A Brief but Potent Scare in ‘You Should Have Left’

Daniel Kehlmann’s new novella concerns a screenwriter whose working vacation with his family turns into a nightmare.
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The live-action remakes that should have been left alone

As The Jetsons heads back to screens, here’s a look at the live-action remakes that bombed on the big screen.
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100 Questions Every ‘Harry Potter’ Superfan Should Be Able To Answer

Can you Stupefy this impossible 100-question quiz?
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NFC East Q&A: Should teams be more concerned with Ezekiel Elliott or Dak Prescott?

NFC East Q&A: Should teams be more concerned with Ezekiel Elliott or Dak Prescott?
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Abortion should not be crime, says doctors’ union

The British Medical Association has supported removing abortion from criminal law.
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Why You Should Be Paying More for Your Socks

Yes, it’s worth it.

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35 Reasons J.K. Rowling Should Never, Ever Leave Twitter

J.K. Rowling is the powerhouse behind the “Harry Potter” universe, and we love her for it. From the books to the films to the theme parks, you’d think a woman who has already given us so much couldn’t possibly give us any more.

But, au contraire, friends. Rowling’s Twitter presence has long been lauded, primarily for her ability to take down trolls and provide consistently humorous musings on the world.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which first hit bookshelves back in 1997, we’ve decided to celebrate Mother Potter in the best way possible: Rounding up her most iconic tweets for our reading/retweeting pleasure. There are 35 of them. You’re welcome.

Her #relatable feelings of frustration that led to needing cake:

This classic response to a troll that does double duty as a song lyric:

These epic responses to/subtweets about trolls:

Her complete and utter vitriol toward President Donald Trump:

That time she wrote out “Expecto Patronum” for a fan’s tattoo:

When she’s frequently expressed her love for otters:

 

When she received a truly incredible mug for her birthday:

That time she served up some serious sass about women and sex (… and women everywhere started clapping):

When she admitted that killing all those people in the “Harry Potter” world was hard on her, too. Even Snape:

When she revealed the one thing that rivals Voldemort in terms of evilness — printers:

Those times she filled us in on the ups and downs of her writing life:

That time she said she doesn’t care if you think she’s a bitch:

When she referred to herself in the third person to declare that she loved the casting of a black Hermione in the “Cursed Child” play:

That time she said the phrase “penis hat”:

When she proved she’s ~ just like us ~:

J.K. Rowling ― never stop tweeting. Ever.

From June 1 to 30, HuffPost is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the very first “Harry Potter” book by reminiscing about all things Hogwarts. Accio childhood memories.

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Should You Beware the Air You Breathe on Planes?

Despite the occasional odd odor, the air quality in cabins may actually be better than you think, Scott McCartney writes.
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Should Oasis fans expect a Manchester reunion?

Rumours have reignited of a possible Oasis reunion at Ariana Grande’s Manchester benefit concert this weekend.
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Should a Man Ever Wear a Speedo?

An investigation.

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No, Authors Should Not Be Constrained By Gender Or Race In The Characters They Create

This was the BBC.com headline:

Spy Author Anthony Horowitz ‘Warned Off’ Creating Black Character:

Author Anthony Horowitz says he was “warned off” including a black character in his new book because it was “inappropriate” for a white writer. The creator of the Alex Rider teenage spy novels says an editor told him it could be considered “patronising” … Horowitz, who has written 10 novels featuring teenage spy Alex Rider, said there was a “chain of thought” in America that it was “inappropriate” for white writers to try to create black characters, something which he described as “dangerous territory”.

Dangerous territory, indeed.

What are we to make of this? Is an author limited to only writing characters within their race? What about gender? Religion? Age? Ethnicity? Sexual orientation? Where do the boundaries stop?

The old adage, “write what you know,” is a thesis that implies a writer should limit their imagination to the parameters of their own life and experience. But does that maxim still hold true today? Certainly in these times of viral accessibility, contact, research, knowledge, and interaction with people, places, and things far outside our own proximity is as every-day as 24/7 updates from the farthest corners of the globe. Our ability, consequently, to gain perspective sufficient enough to write outside one’s own “house” is not only doable, but, perhaps, universal and insightful, presuming one does it well.

But is it “patronizing”? Are we, as writers, simply not allowed to write outside, say, our culture, regardless of how well we might do it? Has society become so compartmentalized, so hypersensitive, politically correct, and wary of triggering repercussion, resentment, or misinterpretation that reaching beyond our own skin ― literally and figuratively – has become verboten to us as creative artists?

Interesting questions, these; particularly when you consider that men have been writing about women since time immemorial without particular societal concern that they couldn’t possibly know, couldn’t authentically muster, the requisite experiential perspective. It was a given that they could get the job done; accepted without debate. Yet the specificity, the sensitive and unique nature of being female, could be considered as disparate from the male experience as being black is to a white person, but that hasn’t stopped male authors, from Vladimir Nabokov to Wally Lamb, from creating their women of note.

Which is fair. Because the explicit job of an author is to climb inside the experience of LIFE, real or imagined, to tell compelling stories that reflect the incalculable diversity of detail, nuance, thought, and emotion of any variety of people, places, and things. And the creative mind can find and translate authenticity whether writing about Martians, coquettish teens, dogs who play poker, or characters who exactly mirror the author‘s gender or race.

I’ve had my own experience with this interesting conundrum: my last novel, Hysterical Love, was told through the first-person point-of-view of a thirty-three-year-old man, and it goes without saying: I’m not one of those. Yet I felt completely capable of infusing my story with authenticity by relying on my skills of observation, as well as my experiential knowledge as the sister of five men, the mother of a son, the wife of a man; my years on the road with rock bands, and the immersive research of being a close friend to many, many men throughout my life. I’ve been told I pulled it off, even by the men who’ve read it, so my conviction proved out.

But is the divide between cultures, races, wider than that of gender diversity? Does a white writer delegitimize their prose by including black characters? Is the reverse true?

I don’t think so. I think it depends on the writer, the quality of their work; the depth and sensitivity of their depictions. Those are my initial responses. But I also understand the question:

About two years ago I had an article up at HuffPost titled, “No, White People Will Never Understand the Black Experience,” a piece that became a flashpoint for much conversation on the topic of race. It was written in response to events of the time, particularly the egregious injustice of Sandra Bland’s arrest and subsequent (and inexplicable) jailhouse death, and the cacophony that arose amongst, amidst, and between parties on both sides of the racial divide as a result. My own thesis, my perspective on the tangible limitations we each have in perceiving and assessing the realities of life outside ourselves, is made clear by the title alone. But while there’s obviously much more to that debate, here and now we’re discussing the issue as it relates to the job of being an author and I have some specific thoughts on that.

Inspired by the many responses and conversations that ensued after the aforementioned article, as well as others written on the topic of racial conflict, bias, and injustice, I took one of the stories referenced, about an interracial couple’s experiences with police profiling, and developed it into a character-driven novel called A NICE WHITE GIRL, a title that reflects commentary made within some of the conversations I had.

This “sociopolitical love story” is told through the intertwining points-of-view of a black man and white woman dealing not only with pushback to their new and evolving relationship, but the ratcheting impact of police profiling that ultimately leads to a life-altering arrest. It’s a story that’s human, gut-wrenching, and honest, built on the foundation of my own experiences in a long-term interracial relationship earlier in my life, as well as journalistic research and interviews, personal interactions, even friendships with members of the black community. Given a commitment to creating the characters outside my demographic as authentically and sensitively as I possibly could, without watering them down or pandering to political correctness, I believe I served both my story and its cultural demands well. Did I?

Every author relies on, taps into; mines the wealth of thought, opinion, perspective, and acculturation of their own unique life experience. Certainly that’s true. But as artists, as observers and chroniclers of life by way of prose, we go beyond that pool of reference. We reach out, we expand; we explore plot lines and include characters that stretch our imagination, that dig deep into worlds, events and experiences, imagined or real, that can pull us onto less traveled roads that might demand the challenge of research, of specific observation, even outside consultation. We take these extra steps, even for fiction, because we want to infuse our work with inherent realness. Particularly when writing characters outside our culture. That was certainly the demand I faced when embarking upon this latest novel.

But I am a white woman who’s written a book with a black male character, inclusive of his mother, his sister, and various friends. I’ve depicted their family life, their interactions, relationships, thoughts and feelings. Do I not have the creative right to do that? Will I be seen as patronizing, insensitive, off base, and inappropriate? Will this make my book too controversial for representation, for publishing, for sale? Will it garner derision and disdain from members of the black community? Even members of the white community who may resent the harshness with which I depict some of the police?

I don’t know. Maybe. But it was a story I felt passionate about, compelled to write; that took the many debated aspects and elements discussed in my articles and put them into fictional form, with imagined characters who embodied and borrowed from people I knew, from conversations I’d had, from ideas, agendas, politics, and passions that had been conveyed to me by real people expressing essential and sometimes controversial perspectives. I was determined to honor them by candidly, honestly, and without apology, telling the story.

But perhaps, as Anthony Horowitz was told, I’m entering territory that is off-limits, that puts me at odds with those who might frame me as presumptuous and patronizing. “A nice white girl” who’s stepped outside of culturally acceptable boundaries.

I hope not, because I, like Mr. Horowitz, see that as “dangerous territory.”

Just as brilliant male authors have gorgeously written female protagonists; as female novelists have conjured male characters ringing with truth; as writers of one ethnicity have honestly depicted another; as fabulists have invented entire worlds of imagined wonders, authors must be limited byNOTHING. Not a thing. They must be free to create without fear of cultural naysaying, societal judgment, threat of reprisal, or the discomfort of crossing cultural boundaries.

The only mandate to which they’re obligated is GOOD WRITING. Writing with wit and clarity. Honesty. Authenticity. Sensitivity and depth. Engaging prose, compelling plots, and visceral emotion. And, if need be, if determined helpful, the use of “sensitivity readers” who can ascertain if the writer got the cultural references right.

But just as Idris Elba could certainly make magic as James Bond, as Anthony Horowitz could create an intriguing black spy for his books; as I can write characters both male and of a culture outside my own, so must every author of merit and worth be allowed to view the entire panoply of life as fuel for their imagination. Anything else is antithetical to the mission of art… and stymying art serves no one. Not the writer, not the reader, not the myriad members of our diverse world hungry for stories that reflect their lives. Art is imagining; creating, mirroring, and provoking… all of which can and must be achieved by artists free to explore without the limiting effect of creative and cultural boundaries.

Photo by Anete Lusina @ Unsplash

___________________________________________________________

Follow Lorraine Devon Wilke on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon. Details and links to her blog, photography, books, and music can be found at www.LorraineDevonWilke.com.

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Heath Ledger’s Thoughts On ‘Macho Bulls**t Culture’ Should Inspire Us All

Heath Ledger wasn’t one to fall by the wayside. He was constantly pushing himself to be better, learn more and grow within an industry that typically only opens its gates for a select number of artists. 

In “I Am Heath Ledger,” the new documentary airing on Spike Wednesday night, viewers get a glimpse into Ledger’s personal goings-on and what he hoped to accomplish, not just as an actor, but as a “multidimensional artist,” before his tragic and untimely death at age 28 in January 2008. 

“The end game, ultimately, for Heath was to produce and direct feature films, and that passion was leading to some amazing opportunities for him and would have been something incredible for him to fulfill,” director Derik Murray told HuffPost in a sit-down interview following the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of “I Am Heath Ledger” last month. 

Matt Amato, Ledger’s friend who co-founded the production company The Masses with him, echoed that statement to HuffPost, explaining Ledger was ready “to flip the paradigm of this male-driven, macho bullshit culture that we’re drowning in” with his directorial debut, “The Queen’s Gambit,” which was sadly never made. The movie, based on the book of the same name, would have told the story of a woman who struggles with alcohol addiction as she works her way into the chess championships. 

“Matt and many of the [’I Am Heath Ledger’] cast would talk about the fact that Heath would be as interested in what the role had to offer as he was to who the director was,” Murray said of Ledger’s decision to take on certain projects. “He would look at those directors and he would be very much present during the filming and be learning from them each step of the way. He talked about how his passion was to be a director with ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ but it wasn’t to be.” 

Below, Murray, co-director Adrian Buitenhuis, and Amato talk with HuffPost about their documentary and Ledger’s craft, constantly alluding to the fact that everyone can learn a little something from the actor, who left this world far too soon. 

Congratulations on the premiere. Looks like it was a wonderful night. 

Derik Murray: I think what made the Tribeca premiere really special for all of us was that the family was there and many of the close friends that were interviewed for the movie. For many of them, that was the first time they saw the movie and so there was a lot of anticipation on our part as to how that would go ― not fearful, just anticipation — but it was fabulous. Everybody loved the movie.

Had Heath’s family been given the chance to see the film beforehand? 

DM: We showed Heath’s family a rough cut, frankly for the purposes of talking about archive and pulling more material together and making sure we had some of the facts straight. But also, with the trust we built with them, we wanted to extend that [option], so we showed them the rough cut and that was a very emotional experience for them. They called us at 1 o’clock in the morning, very emotional about the movie and very much at the state of mind that they had no idea what it was going to be — they couldn’t really visualize it — but the message loud and clear to us was that it was Heath. It really captured his spirit.

Matt, I’m truly sorry for your loss. This couldn’t have been necessarily easy for you. What was this film process like?

Matt Amato: I’m just coming out of the end of a six-month journey, and I’m relieved. The important thing for me was the family, and they love it, and now it’s about the audience’s feelings about the movie. It exists now for the audience and I hope it’s inspiring for young people to not waste a minute of their life — to really, live, live, live.

What did you want an audience member to leave the theater or a viewing of this film thinking or feeling?

Adrian Buitenhuis: I definitely wanted people to be inspired. Inspired to see what you can do in your life and what you’re capable of. And also to show someone who, even if they gained a lot of success ― at least in Heath’s case ― [didn’t] forget about his friends or his family and kept them really close. It’s a nice testament to how to have relationships in your life. He made everyone close to him feel special in a way. He never looked down on anyone, from what I can tell making the film, and was inspiring his friends to be better and they were inspiring him. To see him as an artist and his work, and being able to work with his work, was really great.

He’s kind of like a director of the movie in a way, because it’s a lot of his photography and footage that’s shown throughout.

DM: We’ve been talking about this for quite some time, is that Heath, in many ways when making the film, would direct the storyline with all the footage that came forward to us. We’ve been calling him a director/co-director/partner all the way through.

How did you go about gathering the photos and footage Heath captured?

DM: When we first started doing the research, we realized Heath was much more than just this star of his generation or his acting ability — he was a multidimensional artist. When we learned that, we did some research on Matt’s involvement and his relationship with Heath and The Masses and, in that world, Heath was in partnership creatively with Matt, in business, and doing some amazing work with music videos and working with various artists, and that was something that Heath was very passionate about. The end game, ultimately, for Heath was to produce and direct feature films together, and that passion was leading to some amazing opportunities for him and would have been something incredible for him to fulfill.

On the footage, through Matt, we had access to these music videos and then Matt was kind enough to open the door to some of the content that Heath had filmed and also content that had been filmed of Heath through his personal journey. That then basically started a dialogue with the family about the content that they might have through the estate and then friends stepped forward and provided us with their content, as well. So it was really a community effort that brought all that content together that you now see on the screen that captures Heath in an amazing way, through his own lens.

For those who only know Heath as an actor, it really opens those doors for you to see him as a human being.

MA: Yes, he was pretty wonderful. We talked a lot about directing and what we’d do if we moved forward with our company together … Heath’s vision was an authentic vision. We were going on to make “The Queen’s Gambit,” which would’ve been his first movie, and I’m sure he was going to nail that. He was going to be working with his favorite cinematographer, Ed Lachman, who does amazing work with Todd Haynes. Heath was so turned on by how Todd works with Ed and he got a lot of clues about how we should work. He was not impressed with big money movies. He really liked how Todd worked with his producer, Christine Vachon, and all the sets and locations. A lot of times when Heath would do a movie, he would just completely drop off the map, because when you’re making a movie you have to stay focused and it’s like a 24-hour day, but I knew that he’d resurface when he was done. But with “I’m Not There,” he called me every day, like, “Man, we did that! And we did this! Oh my God, we’re making art!” He was just so thrilled to be working with Todd Haynes. So, as directors, we were very against the hierarchy kind of thing. When we did our music videos together with the crew, we would be the ones to go to Home Depot and get the mops and the brooms and get food for craft service, so when the crew would arrive, they’d see us doing that stuff …

DM: Heath Ledger on craft service!

AB: That was probably a mean craft service.

MA: Yeah, he really cared about people. But then, once we got there, we would work to his max. Then, he would never really care about people’s complaints, you know, because we had set the bar. His energy and passion is something I think about all the time when I have a camera in my hands. Heath really kicks my butt.

It seems he inspires you to this day. 

MA: I was working on the day he died, on a Bon Iver video in Wisconsin. I didn’t know what to do at that point — the world was just kind of turned upside down in one moment. I really thought long and hard about what I was so supposed to do — stay or go to LA or New York? And I thought to myself, “Well, what would Heath want me to do?” He wants me to shoot with a camera and create something beautiful, that’s what he wants me to do. He doesn’t want me to stop and worry and be sad. So from the moment he died, he was kicking my butt, and he still does it. He gives me the energy to work harder, to explore camera angles and shots, to push myself to make something as excellent as it could possibly be.

The whole thing about Heath’s intelligence and his growth, each movie he did he became smarter — he was really absorbing everything. And that was big for a young person to not come off as a know-it-all or be threatened. He wanted to know. And that curiosity allowed him to be open and get really, really smart. I believe that by the time he died, he was quite brilliant. 

His energy and passion is something I think about all the time when I have a camera in my hands, Heath really kicks my butt.
Matt Amato on Heath Ledger

It would have been nice to see what “The Queen’s Gambit” could have been.

MA: Hopefully we’ll make “Queen’s Gambit.” We’ll do it in St. Louis, with Ed Lachman. St. Louis has now become the chess capital of the world … My little work co-op is right around the corner and there’s the world’s largest chess piece there, and it’s the Queen. It’s like right there, and I look at it and I’m like, “I’m no dummy! I can see the sign!” It’s about a young women, and we really wanted to flip the paradigm of this male-driven, macho bullshit culture that we’re drowning in. I feel like our culture really needs nurturing in this way and we need to be reflective and look at people and deal with people like this.

AB: You guys valued the fact that there was a big community of artists in LA who valued the stuff that didn’t have a place to come together.

MA: Yeah. Heath was ready to chuck LA for the next chapter. He wanted it to be in Brooklyn so he could be near [his daughter with Michelle Williams] Matilda. He was ready to leave all that behind. 

I loved that the film focused on his life and his art at the end, rather than the media circus that surrounded his death.

DM: It’s interesting because we’re doing, and have been doing, a lot of work of this kind where we work with the families and estates. But this film, when the assembly was coming together, there was all sorts of media clips that were helpful in moving the story forward, but Heath’s footage really just kind of took a hold, took a different spirit, and said, “This is the path we’re going to go down.” It was clear that the media footage was completely in contrast with who Heath was. We already learned in the film that it was something he wasn’t comfortable with, so you’re really seeing the true Heath in these one-on-ones or sit-down interviews. As we started pulling those out and letting it breathe, and giving more space to Heath to tell the story, the film really became and transformed itself into the film it is today.

MA: And music was really important to me. I really wanted to flood this production with music. Music that he was responsive to. I wanted music to sail us over the sad parts ― because music can do that, it does transcend. Bon Iver is one of the greatest musicians in the world today and to have his music in our movie is such a gift.

DM: Two fabulous Ben Harper songs are in the film, we’ve got two Bon Iver songs — they’re there for a purpose and a reason, and they’re beautiful. Their compliment to the story is incredible.

MA: Mia Doi Todd, Carlos Niño, Edward Sharpe. These were all people that Heath admired, and there were more to put in, but we had to stop some place.

AB: All the artists were so generous because either Heath had a big impact on their lives or they were just inspired to be a part of it and lend their music to the project. It was a real collective. The same way people brought the footage together, musicians were coming and saying, “Yeah this is important, let’s do this.” And that was great.

DM: That’s why the cast is so eclectic, you know, it’s not just driven by actors that were working with him on films. It has that music component to a significant degree.

To see the moving documentary on Heath Ledger’s life, tune in to Spike at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 17. 

 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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What Every Person Who Loves A Child Of Divorce Should Know

There are fundamental truths most 5-year-olds understand about the world: The sky is blue. The grass is green. Your family consists of you, possibly siblings and your parents. But that truth is altered if your parents split up.

I was in kindergarten when my parents got divorced. They worked hard to make my reality as normal as possible, but even at a young age I knew something was different about my family compared to my friends’ families.

I wouldn’t change anything about our situation. My mom was my best friend growing up and is to this day; my dad got remarried and he and I gained an amazing family who we can’t picture our world without. The divorce didn’t give me a terrible life. What it did give me was invaluable insight ― especially when it comes to relationships.

The following is what people should know about loving a child of divorce, culled from my personal experience and expert advice:

We worry about commitment.

People whose parents split up might fret more about their serious relationship dissolving ― perhaps seemingly out of nowhere. That’s because our view of commitment may be altered by the divorce, according to Jane Greer, a New York-based marriage and sex therapist.

“Be aware that their feelings about commitment and getting married may have been impacted by the divorce,” Greer told The Huffington Post. “It might have made them reluctant to take the next step … They may feel that it won’t work out.”

We crave relationship validation.

Kids of divorce may feel a greater need to know where they stand with their partner. The best way to do that? Open communication.

“They will do better when they have clarity about where things are going in the relationship,” Greer said. “Feeling secure allows for more openness and more personal sharing.”

And require patience ― particularly around holidays.

Two Christmases and two birthdays may seem like a sweet deal, but they also require a lot of coordination. We worry about this the first time we bring our significant other home because it can get a little hectic and we don’t want it to scare them away. But trust us, the reward of spending time with so many people (and the food and presents, of course) is worth it in the end.

Fights will sometimes scare us.

Admittedly, kids who’ve grown up around fighting parents may not be the best at handling conflict. More specifically, we may be a bit averse to it because we fear we might be abandoned altogether.

“Children of divorce can sometimes be more sensitive during arguments as they may have witnessed their parents arguing in front of them,” Jacqueline Newman, a New York-based family law specialist, told HuffPost. “They may take more extreme positions and think that a small tiff could be the end ― simply because as children the fights they did see led to the ending of the relationship.”

But we know it’s okay to call it quits if the relationship isn’t working out.

Some of us may have come to understand in time why our parents decided to separate and know that it was ultimately the best decision for everyone involved. We may carry this lesson into our own relationships. We know divorce ― eventually ― isn’t the end of the world.

Our family dynamics will likely be more complicated than yours.

Some kids of divorce may be closer to one parent than another. This could depend on factors like the terms of divorce, who became the main caregiver and even how other siblings interacted with each parent, Newman said.

“I recommend that when dating someone who has this type of family connection that you try to understand it rather than be annoyed by it,” she said.

We’re resilient.

If our parents divorced when we were younger, we had to bounce back from a heavy situation earlier than most people our age.

“I think that children of divorce are often more resilient than children who grow up in intact families, because they have to be,” Newman said. “Depending on how the parents handle the situation, many children grow up way faster than they should and have to handle adult emotions in a way that they do not understand.”

We love hard.

Kids of divorce treat relationships with the gravity they deserve. We not only want love to be successful ― we’ll do everything we can to make it happen. That includes not settling, staying open and working through our own issues to make sure we’re approaching our unions in the healthiest possible way.

Because ultimately, we know relationships are worth it.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Here’s Why Gay People ‘Should Be Embarrassed’ To Support Trump

Hey gay RepublicansJustin Sayre would like to have a word with you. 

In his latest video for HuffPost Queer Voices, the writer-performer doesn’t hold back when it comes to conservative members of the queer community who continue to support President Donald Trump. (WARNING: video above contains graphic language.) 

“You should be embarrassed to be a gay Republican,” Sayre says in the clip. “I can’t fathom that you would think, ‘Oh, it’s OK to vote Republican now ― especially for this Republican.” 

And don’t get him started on former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who is known for his inflammatory, trollish comments about women, people of color, transgender individuals and Muslims. “[His words are] a tool to use against you, to show that there is hatred within your group for your own rights,” Sayre said. 

Sayre’s “International Order of Sodomites” (I.O.S.) gathers once a month for “The Meeting,” a variety show honoring an artist or a cultural work that is iconic to the gay community. The next installment of “The Meeting” is dedicated to the Velvet Underground and hits Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York on March 19. 

You can check out Sayre’s comedy album, “The Gay Agenda,” here. Meanwhile, the latest episode of “Sparkle & Circulate with Justin Sayre,” the official I.O.S. podcast, was released last month featuring an interview with Intimacy Idiot author Isaac Oliver

You can also view some previous performances from “The Meeting” on Sayre’s official YouTube page. For more Sayre, head to Facebook and Twitter.  

Keep up with the latest in LGBTQ entertainment with the Queer Voices newsletter.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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The sequels that should never have been made

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7 Resolutions Every Married Couple Should Make Together

For BRIDES, by Elizabeth Mitchell.

New year, new marriage. Well, sort of. Whether you just got hitched in 2016 or are coming up on your 10-year anniversary, it’s never too early (or too late) to start working on your relationship and building toward a healthier, happier future together. But exactly what goals should you set, and more importantly, how in the world will you actually get yourselves to stick to them? That, couples, is the question.

According to research from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 8 percent (yep you read that right) of Americans actually make good on their New Year’s resolutions, which, admittedly, doesn’t look so promising. The biggest problem, however, is the goals themselves. Instead of thinking big (i.e. we’ll do spinning together five times a week), in reality it’s best to start small (i.e. we’ll do one spinning class a week) and work your way up from there.

You’ll also want to get much more specific with your resolutions, as opposed to keeping them very vague and general. For example, don’t just vow to be more affectionate in 2017; find measurable ways you can achieve this goal, like touching each other every time you watch TV, and make that your New Year’s mission. See, easy right? And definitely not nearly as overwhelming as just trying to get in more physical touch.

From learning his “love language” to playing the appreciation game, we’ve put together 18 New Year’s marriage resolutions to get the love flowing and the bonds growing in 2017. Remember: you can tailor any and all of these to make them reachable and achievable for your own relationship.

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1. Plan a weekly (or bi-weekly) date night.

Even if it’s at home once in awhile, commit to a weekly (or bi-weekly) date night to reconnect and keep the romance alive in your relationship, suggests psychologist and relationship expert Paulette Kouffman Sherman, author of Dating from the Inside Out.

2. Practice more positive talk.

Vow to say five positive things for every negative remark toward your spouse, recommends Sherman. Not only will this help nip the negativity in the bud, but it will also build both of you up and encourage you to focus on the good in each other — as opposed to dwelling on the not so good.

3. Play the appreciation game.

Every evening at dinner, practice telling your partner one thing you appreciate about him and have him do the same for you. It can be something specific like how he helped you solve a dilemma that day or more general like the fact that he works his booty off to support you and the fam! Switch it up nightly, and let the love flow.

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4. Actively seduce each other.

And vow to make it a priority at least once a month (if not more), advises NY Times Bestselling author of 101 Nights of Great Sex, Laura Corn.

“Dream up something unique to do together in the bedroom, make a plan at least a week out and let your partner know something special is coming.” Drop hints along the way (sexting works well!) until the big, unforgettable night. “The elements of surprise and anticipation that this helps create are critical to a lasting, powerful sexual relationship.”

5. Fight fair.

According to marriage and family therapist Alicia Taverner, LMFT, owner of Rancho Counseling, the best New Year’s resolution for couples is to fight fair.

“This means refraining from things like name calling, criticism, attacking personality or character traits and bringing up past issues into a current fight. You want to fight about the topic at hand and discuss it until you feel there is resolution or an agreement to disagree.”

Here’s how she recommends structuring the gripe: “I’m upset/angry/sad about ____. In the future I’d like it if you could ____.”

6. Touch each other every time you watch TV.

One thing Crystal Rice, owner of Insieme Consulting, finds that couples in trouble have stopped being affectionate in non-sexual ways. So vow to do better!

“By simply sitting next to your partner on the couch, you increase the probability of affection, a commodity often seen far too little in long-term relationships,” she says.

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7. Stop lying about the little things.

Like looking good in a sweater that’s gotten too small! Yep, you heard us right.

When we lie about the little things, it gets easier and easier to lie about the bigger stuff, explains Rice. “And then one day you wake up and realize you’ve been lying about feelings or thoughts or concerns that should have been brought to light many months or years earlier. You don’t have to be a rat about it. You can say, ‘I like you better in the blue sweater.’”

Whatever you do, just don’t lie.

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Nick Jonas explains why you should buy his new headphones

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George Michael Was A ‘Filthy’ Gay ‘F***er’ And We Should Honor Him For That

Last night, after word spread that pop star George Michael died at the age of 53, I sent out several tweets honoring the man who meant a lot to me as a queer young man who came out in the late ‘90s. My first tweet instructed those unfamiliar with Michael (and the brilliance of what he created) to seek out his music. This was my second tweet:

I was referencing Michael’s well-publicized history with cruising for sex in public places (he was arrested by an undercover policeman in a Beverly Hills men’s room in 1998 and again 10 years later in London). While I was being cheeky in a way that I thought he would appreciate in the big Wembley Stadium in the sky, I also meant it. It was my way of paying tribute to how open, outspoken and unapologetic he was about who he was (once he came out in 1998), his sexuality and looking for gay sex in what could be referred to as non-traditional locales.

But shit soon hit the fan. People who thought I was being “disrespectful” and “tacky” and “tasteless” flooded my Twitter mentions. A few people commented “too soon.” Others couldn’t believe that this was the only aspect of his life that I had chosen to concentrate on (which means they obviously didn’t read my aforementioned tweet). How dare I! One person called me “the 2016 of people” (which is actually kind of amazing) and another promised to “piss on my grave” when I died (I mean… don’t threaten my corpse with a good time, right?).

I tried to explain that as a queer, sex-positive man, this part of Michael’s life ― these moments of queer sexuality and his sex life that were made very public ― helped to reorganize and shape how I saw and embraced my own sexuality, which was nothing short of a miracle considering the homophobic and sex-negative culture we live in.

My tweet wasn’t a joke and it wasn’t rude or disrespectful. If you read it that way you’re implying that gay sex ― public or otherwise ― is shameful. I don’t and neither did Michael.

In fact, after the pop star was caught in 1998, he turned the incident into a celebratory song (accompanied by a splendidly self-conscious video featuring a public restroom that turns into a disco and Michael dressed as a cop) about the joys of having sex outside:

After his arrest in a public toilet on a drug-related charge in 2008, he opened up to The Guardian about his love of cruising saying, “the handful of times a year it’s bloody warm enough, I’ll do it.” He added, “It’s a much nicer place to get some quick and honest sex than standing in a bar, E’d off your tits shouting at somebody and hoping they want the same thing as you do in bed.”

No shame. No embarrassment. No mincing of words. Just the truth about what he liked and how he liked it.

In 2011, he playfully quoted his 1987 hit “I Want Your Sex” to tweet a similar message:

So why all of the frantic pearl clutching? Why the attempts to bleach this part of his life from his legacy? Because we like our heroes wearing halos and because gay sex ― public or otherwise ― is still an absolutely terrifying concept for too many people (including some who may support queer rights). It’s seen as disgusting. It’s seen as unnatural. It’s seen as contributing to the downfall of modern civilization. In fact, William Pryor, a man that Donald Trump is considering as a nominee for the United States Supreme Court, believes that consensual gay sex should be illegal ― even in the privacy of one’s own home. 

But let’s not forget that the sex acts that gay men engage in aren’t secret satanic practices. It’s the exact same kind of sex that most non-queer people have, just with a different distribution of equipment (and if anyone wants to claim that non-queer people don’t also enjoy blow jobs or butt sex, I’m going to laugh you right off of this planet).

Even scarier and sadder to me than the non-queer people who have a problem with gay sex are the queer people who are up in arms about my tweet. I’ve encountered folks like them before and in some ways, I understand their trepidation and their fear. The general idea is that if we don’t “behave” ourselves ― especially if people like Michael (who represent us in a world where queers are all too often invisible, ignored and/or vilified) don’t ― and quietly assimilate into mainstream society, we won’t be able to keep the rights that we have (and gain more). And so, instead of speaking frankly and honestly about sex ― that tireless boogeyman that has mesmerized and terrorized our society for centuries ― we should just shut up, get married, have kids and stop causing trouble.

But we can’t do that. Our queer fore-parents worked too hard, and too many died, for us to walk away from the dream of sexual liberation for all of us. That means we must not buy into a broken system that is simultaneously obsessed with and panic-stricken by all things sex. It means we must not accept the sexual status quo that all-too-often results in fake piety in the streets and discreet sleaze in the sheets. It means we must not pretend that Michael never had or loved gay sex. Let’s not sanitize him just because it would make it easier for some of us to eulogize him or love him or play his music for our children or our grandparents.

Michael himself wouldn’t want that. He’d hate it. Consider what he told The Guardian in 2005:

“You only have to turn on the television to see the whole of British society being comforted by gay men who are so clearly gay and so obviously sexually unthreatening. Gay people in the media are doing what makes straight people comfortable, and automatically my response to that is to say I’m a dirty filthy fucker and if you can’t deal with it, you can’t deal with it.”

And before anyone says that I’m claiming public restrooms should become bathhouses or that we should all be pumping our neighbors in the park, I’m not. While I constantly try to question, unpack and challenge why our society feels the way it does about sex and what it deems is OK and what isn’t, I understand that there are currently laws against these activities and I understand why they exist. I’m talking about pushing back against the shame and hysteria that accompanies any kind of discussion of a gay person’s sex life and striving to not view sex or sexuality ― queer or otherwise ― as bad things. 

I also want to briefly acknowledge Michael’s long struggle with substance abuse and how it may or may not have played into his sexual appetites and activities. Gay men, drugs and sex have an intimate and complicated history and I don’t want to ignore any of that. But I also refuse to write off his sex positivity or his candor about it as merely a result or symptom of his experiences with drugs.

So, yes, George Michael was an incredible singer and a beautiful songwriter but he was also a gay man who wasn’t ashamed of his sexuality and who loved sex. I want to honor all parts of his life ― the musical and the sexual, the triumphs and the setbacks ― and I refuse to shy away from any of it out of a misguided and incomplete attempt to pay “respect” to his life or his death. Ultimately, the best way I know how to honor him is to talk about who he really was, what he really did and how it changed my life ― and that means all of it, including his hunting for dick in the men’s room.

You’ll be sorely missed, George. Thanks for everything you did ― all of it ― and I hope the men in heaven are as hot as you were and that you’ve found yourself a nice fluffy cloud where you’re already getting into all of the best kinds of trouble. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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You Should Never Wear Thumb Rings. It’s A Juju Thing.

In his book “Mystic’s Musings“, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has warned women to never wear any metal rings on their thumbs as it “will lead to attracting occult forms”.

Sadhguru, a name which means uneducated guru, is an Enlightened Yogi, Mystic, Humanitarian, New York Times Bestselling Author, and more than likely a genius.

So as much as I am a long term fan of fashion guru and thumb ring advocate, Rachel Zoe, (I love receiving her quarterly Box of Style and fashion advice via The Zoe Report) I am going to have to draw the line here.

Rachel is even quoted as saying “why are you asking me if I’ve read a book“. I’ve read the book, Rachel, it’s now up to you to stop just accessorising with gay abandon and enlighten your fashion followers!

Sadhguru and Rachel Zoe both share an affinity for snake jewelry. Spiritual seekers and Isha meditators can buy copper snake rings from Isha Shoppe USA to be worn only on the ring finger. Rachel Zoe has always adorned snake jewelry and encourages followers to stack, mix metals and wear snake rings on their thumbs on her website. Let’s see if she is boho enough to swap her over the top 6 carat bezel cut diamond wedding ring for a hand crafted consecrated copper snake ring which can be purchased for only US$ 8. That would be bananas.

Are 7 Of My Favourite Celebrities Accidentally Attracting Bad Juju?

1. Jada Pinkett-Smith


2. Heidi Klum


3. Namaste Elle McPherson


4. Peace Out Nicole Richie


5. Kristen Stewart


6. Sofia Vergara

7. Rachel Zoe

Love you Rachel!

This article was originally posted on kristavandersharp.com and is republished here with permission.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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According To Trend Experts, Everything You Own Should Be This Color In 2017

“Greenery,” we’re relying on you.

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Trump Says U.S. Should ‘Cancel Order’ for New Air Force One, Citing Costs

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested the U.S. government should cancel its order with Boeing for a new version of Air Force One, making the aircraft maker the latest company to come under scrutiny by the incoming commander-in-chief.
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Why Parents and Doctors Should Think About A.D.H.D. in Preschool

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Healthy women should take breast cancer pill, says NICE

Hundreds of thousands of healthy women should take pills to cut their risk of breast cancer, says NHS watchdog.
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8 Online Retailers You Should Never Order From

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The Bride’s Survival Guide: 150 Mistakes You Should Avoid for the Perfect Wedding

The Bride’s Survival Guide: 150 Mistakes You Should Avoid for the Perfect Wedding


Everyone knows how overwhelming planning a wedding can be, so what’s a bride-to-be to do? It’s much easier to learn what not to do, and let everything fall into place for a lovely, unforgettable wedding. This guide tells you what not to do with plenty of etiquette and money-saving tips. Included in the book is advice like: Mistake #11: Getting bossed into inviting too many guests; Mistake #89: Getting a cheap aisle runner; Mistake #146: Wearing troublesome undergarments; and more. Each entry is ranked with an icon, such as major catastrophe or money-waster. This book advises on entertainment, wardrobe, toasts, decor, locations, family, guests, budget, vendors, wedding party, and more. Don’ be blindsided by mistakes that plague every bride and groom. With this book, you’ll figure them out ahead of time and have no regrets on your perfect day.

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Design Experiment From The 1980s Should Inspire Artists Protesting Trump Today

This is an important and calling time for artists,” Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko expressed in a statement.

This sentiment has been gaining traction around the nation as artists appalled with the results of the recent presidential election turn to art as a vehicle for communication, catharsis and resistance. However, Wodiczko did not write this statement in 2016. He wrote it in 1988, during the Ronald Reagan administration.

At that time, Wodiczko was using art to address the glaring wealth disparity plaguing New York City, evidenced by the tens of thousands of homeless individuals living in abandoned buildings and on city streets each night. Many of these individuals had been thrown out of mental hospitals and halfway houses because of federal subsidy cuts, Wodiczko says, or pushed out of low-income housing by burgeoning real estate moguls like ― yes ― Donald Trump. 

Trump was only one of a large number of real estate corporations that were basically owning Manhattan.
-Krzysztof Wodiczko

“Donald Trump was, at that time, part of an aggressive real estate development process,” Wodiczko, now a professor in residence at Harvard University who spends much of his time in the U.S., explained to The Huffington Post in a phone interview this week. “Very rapid, uneven development. With the building of new housing and real estate projects for upper-middle-class residents, there was also a process of destruction of the buildings where poor people lived. Trump was only one of a large number of real estate corporations that were basically owning Manhattan. But he was special because of the visibility and upfront decor which was appealing to those who are in love with richness.”

In response to the changing landscape of New York City in the late ‘80s, and the many people this rapid development left behind, Wodiczko created a series of “Homeless Vehicles,” retro-futuristic objects melding art and industrial design, meant to serve the homeless population directly and immediately, while engaging others who might ordinarily look away. 

“My first instinctual response was to try to design something to help people, to ameliorate their conditions as an act of emergency help,” Wodiczko said. “I started to speak with homeless people, collecting and recording what they said. Step by step, I realized this vehicle would offer emergency help, but also have informative and symbolic functions, articulating through design all the needs of homeless people that should not exist in a civilized world.”

The vehicles ― four-wheeled metal carts topped with rounded, silver cylinders, meant to house recyclable items and other emergency supplies used and collected by homeless individuals ― feel like alien spaceships ripped from another dimension. Or high-tech weapons whose images float, untethered to actual science, in our anxious minds. They not only address homelessness but embody it, through their unheimlich ― or literally, “unhomely” ― aesthetic. 

Marked off in black and yellow safety tape, the sci-fi forms are viscerally jarring. In a society that often relegates problems such as homelessness to invisibility, these uncanny devices demand attention. Their resounding strangeness is sprinkled with echoes of familiar visions, too. The vehicle’s shape recalls the shopping carts upon which so many people experiencing homelessness rely. Plastic bottles and cans, which many homeless people collect and sell, can rest inside the carts. 

The “Homeless Vehicles” project, Wodiczko said, is therefore both symbolic and practical. In the 1990s homeless men and women would wheel them through urban city streets, highlighting their realities while serving to distribute free emergency supplies to individuals in need. The vehicles made homelessness impossible to ignore, through a design that made America’s most overlooked population resemble a squad of otherworldly adventurers. 

“It was an exposition and articulation of the unacceptable conditions of their lives,” Wodiczko explained. “People should not need this kind of equipment.The utopian vision of this kind of project was based on the hope that its very function would eventually make it obsolete. I wanted to contribute to the understanding of the unacceptability of the situation, and bring people closer to the homeless.”

Artnet’s Blake Gopnik shared an image of a Homeless Vehicle in front of Trump Tower on Monday, a reminder of just how much has changed ― and how much has not ― since 1988. In fact, Wodiczko’s artist statement is strangely profound in light of Trump’s recent election:

I commend artists moving against populism and the visual culture that promotes and perpetuates some oversimplified thinking that politicians disseminate. Populism plays on the fantasies and nostalgia of dissatisfied people who feel hopeless, proposing a neo-nationalist focus, and resorting to simplistic ‘solution’ concepts in order to mobilize the masses.

When asked his opinion on our nation’s new president-elect, Wodiczko was blunt. “I share the reaction with half of the people in this country,” he said. “It’s not necessary to even explain it. So many people have the same feeling of disappointment and fear. I can immediately see the very dangerous impact of the policies Trump is proposing for immigrants, masses of people who are part of our society and our culture, who have lived here for many years, and who contribute to the economy and culture. Now they fear being deported, their families being broken into pieces.”

Wodiczko sees a strong parallel between homeless and immigrant populations, as both are “agents who spread the visibility of the condition of democracy,” although they too often remain unseen. To counter this cultural epidemic, Wodiczko has made both populations subjects of and participants in his work. His “Immigrant Instruments” use a similarly sci-fi infused visual language to turn conceptual problems into physical interventions. 

One instrument, dubbed an “Alien Staff” in 1992, takes the shape of an adjustable staff with a video screen and speaker at the head, inspired by the look of a biblical shepherd’s rod. The staff operator mans the instrument, confronting strangers and sharing the story of her unique immigration process through a pre-recorded video which plays on the staff’s screen. A technologically mediated conversation ensues, with the staff as the third party uniting difference. Through genuine sharing, both “alien” and “stranger” are in some way rendered alien and strange, bringing people closer together.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related… + articlesList=5826088ae4b02d21bbc8796a,582358c5e4b0d9ce6fc05d24,58233febe4b0d9ce6fc03c5a

Whether through a “Homeless Vehicle” or an “Immigrant Instrument,” the artist uses his creative interventions to bring unlike populations of people into direct contact, bringing them face to face for a simple, human conversation. “To give an opportunity to those whose voice is not heard, who have no face, who think they don’t make any difference,” the artist said. 

If Wodiczko were to have the same opportunity with the new president-elect, a chance to talk to Donald Trump one on one, face to face, he would issue him a stern warning. “I would tell him to start thinking about the implication of all of the ideas that helped him become the president and all of the contradictions still hidden within them,” he said. “It’s time to reevaluate and rethink his program. Think of people, of everybody, who will be affected. Change all of this, make a program and agenda to be useful for living rather than for dying.”

Although Wodiczko likely won’t be speaking directly to Trump anytime soon, his message is urgent and universal. No longer can voices go unheard, can faces go unseen, can fear and hatred masquerade as populist rhetoric. It’s time to have difficult and honest conversations as human beings, about our wants and our needs, the same today as they were nearly 30 years ago.

It is time for artists to draw attention to those people, those voices, those wants and those needs, by any means necessary. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Should You Learn to Code?

Should You Learn to Code?


On May 15, 2012 Jeff Atwood (co-founder of Stack Overflow) published a blog post titled “Please Don’t Learn to Code” in response to Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s resolution to learn how to code in 2012. In that post he argues against “learning to code just for the sake of learning how to code,” a sentiment that sparked an active online debate. This book is a compilation of several different perspectives on that debate. Should programming be taught to every student as part of their core curriculum, similar to mathematics, reading, and writing? Should every working professional take time to learn a programming language, even if their profession isn’t obviously related to technology? Those are questions we each ultimately need to answer for ourselves. But for anyone who does decide to learn programming, there’s an ever-growing collection of free online resources designed to teach programming concepts and to walk newcomers through their first projects. These are exciting times! We hope you enjoy this compilation. -The Hyperink Team

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Yes, You Should Wash Your Jeans. Here’s the Right Way to Do It.

Because freezing them doesn’t do a damn thing.​

Style – Esquire

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�Qu� hago si mi media naranja es toronja? / What Should I do if My Half Orange is Grapefruit?: Gu�a para comprender, tolerar y amar a nuestr

�Qu� hago si mi media naranja es toronja? / What Should I do if My Half Orange is Grapefruit?: Gu�a para comprender, tolerar y amar a nuestr


A pesar de que el hombre y la mujer han vivido juntos desde m�s de diez mil a�os, todav�a es poco lo que ambos saben de las diferencias entre uno y otro sexo, lo cual sigue provocando conflictos, separaciones y divorcios. Con base en estudios cient�ficos recientes, los autores proporcionan en este libro informaci�n sobre las diferencias entre los cerebros masculino y femenino que los llevan a manifestar comportamientos “inexplicables” o “indeseables”, que muchas veces son rechazados por el sexo opuesto por desconocimiento o meros prejuicios. La presente obra pone a su alcance, de manera sencilla y amena con un fresco sentido del humor que lo har� sonre�r m�s de una vez, una serie de conocimientos que le ayudar�n en gran medida a entender, tolerar y amar m�s profundamente a su pareja
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Data Game: Tech Giants Should Go To Iceland

Technology experts in Iceland are confident they can attract some of the big players in the industry.
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Bill Maher Thinks GOP Should Listen To Pope Francis On Climate Change

Bill Maher praised Pope Francis’ views on climate change on “Real Time” Friday night.

While admitting to have “mixed feelings” about the pope, the host did appreciate his views on this particular topic, especially in contrast to those held by many Republican representatives in Congress.

“I think it’s just awesome that this pope took on this issue,” Maher said. “I love that Boehner invited him to talk to Congress, and there he was the Grandmaster Flash of crazy non-evidentiary nonsense, lecturing the Republicans on reality.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Maher discussed British Prime Minister David Cameron, Kim Davis and Josh Duggar.

Also on HuffPost:

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Meet Phases, the Indie Pop Band That Should Be on Your Radar ASAP

A few years ago, you may have read our enthusiastic plea to add superband JJAMZ and their bubbly tunes "Never Enough" and "Heartbeat" to your summer playlists. Since then, the L.A.-based group has reinvented a…


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Why You Should Start Over With Linda Lavin at 54 Below

There is a line in Matilda where Mr. Wormwood sings: “All I know I learned from telly.” It’s meant to be a negative, and I get why, but I am not ashamed to admit that I learned a lot from television. Two shows I watched many times growing up were Alice and Knots Landing, mostly in reruns. So needless to say I was extremely happy when The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife was announced. This was before I covered theater for a living, back when I was a mere fan, and I knew I had to go. Lucky for me, not only did I see Linda Lavin and Michele Lee in that, but I’ve 2015-09-11-1442007389-4141635-LindaLavin.jpgseen them both since, Lavin more frequently than Lee. While the latter is currently donning a tremendous amount of stage makeup and multiple wigs for Wicked, the former is gracing a more intimate stage, that of 54 Below. You should go tonight or tomorrow.

This isn’t Lavin’s first visit to 54 Below, though it’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy it. Lavin’s Starting Over is so named because she says “that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.” She doesn’t delve very deeply into any Lazarus-like experiences she may have had, but it doesn’t matter. Lavin, age 77, is as charismatic as she has ever been. She delivers a line and a song with a tone that is immediately identifiable and still unique. About a quarter through the piece, she discusses briefly her performance off-Broadway in the mid-1960s revue The Mad Show, with music by Mary Rodgers, and makes light of the fact that the song she is about to sing, “The Boy From…,” features lyrics by Esteban Ria Nido (aka Stephen Sondheim). Lavin’s delivery of that song, with a faux Spanish accent and an eye roll, shows her at her best.

I’ve always known that Lavin started out onstage in musicals. She notes in the show that as a child she wanted to be a dancer, but at the age of ten turned to singing, and after that, sang always, including “when a fridge opened and the light turned on.” I knew she starred in It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman on Broadway. (For those of you who — like me — missed that performance originally, you’ll get to relive it a little bit at 54 Below, as this many years later she delivers a version of “You’ve Got Possibilities” perfect to samba to if there was a dance floor. In fact, she dances a little bit onstage with a life that belies her age.) Most people however don’t know she is a singer. She’s now best known for television and plays. So it was no surprise to me when someone at a neighboring table snuck a picture with a whisper to his companion: “She is actually good.”

Lavin is clearly someone who loves the stage. One of the (many) reasons I don’t generally like cabaret is that the “spontaneous” patter never feels that way. Lavin has clearly been doing this act for years and the reactions and dialogue are certainly more actress than person at this point. However I never felt cheated because of that. It is Lavin’s joy of being up there that carries the night. A recurring theme of the night — not surprisingly for a show that is called Starting Over — is that when one door closes, another opens. At one point, after pianist Billy Stritch delivers a touching rendition of “Cottage for Sale” and the mood has turned melancholy , Lavin reiterates the “door” statement and then exclaims: “But it’s hell in the hallway!” I knew this was not a sudden declaration, thought of in the moment; I still laughed. She sells it. That wry persona you might know from the small screen is accompanied with enough warmth that you want to follow her lead.

You have two more performances to catch her this go-round — tonight and tomorrow. There are tickets still available. Buy them. Eat some food. Enjoy someone who is really a treasure. Oh, and then also buy tickets to see her in Manhattan Theatre Club’s Our Mother’s Brief Affair starting in January. We all know she is genius in straight plays, as evidenced by her Tony win and handful of additional nominations. Oh, and while you’re supporting Lavin, consider seeing Lee as well. Although her 54 Below dates are behind her, not only is she in Wicked, she’s performing her solo show, Nobody Does It Like Me, The Music of Cy Coleman, at the Kennedy Center in November.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Arts – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Why You Should Start Over With Linda Lavin at 54 Below

There is a line in Matilda where Mr. Wormwood sings: “All I know I learned from telly.” It’s meant to be a negative, and I get why, but I am not ashamed to admit that I learned a lot from television. Two shows I watched many times growing up were Alice and Knots Landing, mostly in reruns. So needless to say I was extremely happy when The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife was announced. This was before I covered theater for a living, back when I was a mere fan, and I knew I had to go. Lucky for me, not only did I see Linda Lavin and Michele Lee in that, but I’ve 2015-09-11-1442007389-4141635-LindaLavin.jpgseen them both since, Lavin more frequently than Lee. While the latter is currently donning a tremendous amount of stage makeup and multiple wigs for Wicked, the former is gracing a more intimate stage, that of 54 Below. You should go tonight or tomorrow.

This isn’t Lavin’s first visit to 54 Below, though it’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy it. Lavin’s Starting Over is so named because she says “that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.” She doesn’t delve very deeply into any Lazarus-like experiences she may have had, but it doesn’t matter. Lavin, age 77, is as charismatic as she has ever been. She delivers a line and a song with a tone that is immediately identifiable and still unique. About a quarter through the piece, she discusses briefly her performance off-Broadway in the mid-1960s revue The Mad Show, with music by Mary Rodgers, and makes light of the fact that the song she is about to sing, “The Boy From…,” features lyrics by Esteban Ria Nido (aka Stephen Sondheim). Lavin’s delivery of that song, with a faux Spanish accent and an eye roll, shows her at her best.

I’ve always known that Lavin started out onstage in musicals. She notes in the show that as a child she wanted to be a dancer, but at the age of ten turned to singing, and after that, sang always, including “when a fridge opened and the light turned on.” I knew she starred in It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman on Broadway. (For those of you who — like me — missed that performance originally, you’ll get to relive it a little bit at 54 Below, as this many years later she delivers a version of “You’ve Got Possibilities” perfect to samba to if there was a dance floor. In fact, she dances a little bit onstage with a life that belies her age.) Most people however don’t know she is a singer. She’s now best known for television and plays. So it was no surprise to me when someone at a neighboring table snuck a picture with a whisper to his companion: “She is actually good.”

Lavin is clearly someone who loves the stage. One of the (many) reasons I don’t generally like cabaret is that the “spontaneous” patter never feels that way. Lavin has clearly been doing this act for years and the reactions and dialogue are certainly more actress than person at this point. However I never felt cheated because of that. It is Lavin’s joy of being up there that carries the night. A recurring theme of the night — not surprisingly for a show that is called Starting Over — is that when one door closes, another opens. At one point, after pianist Billy Stritch delivers a touching rendition of “Cottage for Sale” and the mood has turned melancholy , Lavin reiterates the “door” statement and then exclaims: “But it’s hell in the hallway!” I knew this was not a sudden declaration, thought of in the moment; I still laughed. She sells it. That wry persona you might know from the small screen is accompanied with enough warmth that you want to follow her lead.

You have two more performances to catch her this go-round — tonight and tomorrow. There are tickets still available. Buy them. Eat some food. Enjoy someone who is really a treasure. Oh, and then also buy tickets to see her in Manhattan Theatre Club’s Our Mother’s Brief Affair starting in January. We all know she is genius in straight plays, as evidenced by her Tony win and handful of additional nominations. Oh, and while you’re supporting Lavin, consider seeing Lee as well. Although her 54 Below dates are behind her, not only is she in Wicked, she’s performing her solo show, Nobody Does It Like Me, The Music of Cy Coleman, at the Kennedy Center in November.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Should You Wear a Ring to an Interview?

Despite identifying as a strong independent woman, I feared wearing my wedding ring to a job interview. My wedding ring was the first ring that I’ve worn on that finger (no engagement ring). I was so proud of the man I married, yet still harbored something inside me that felt less valuable to this work team because I was a married woman.

Thoughts raced through my head about potential bosses not wanting me because a married woman might pop out a kid at any time (single women have working ovaries too you know) and maybe couldn’t be a full team player in their eyes. I wondered if instead of hearing that I grew tired of living in hotel rooms in my last job that they would translate it to mean I wasn’t up for a challenge and that I had settled into stable family life.

The worst part of the interview was feeling like I was staring in the mirror, with only one slight difference. Though my network, I knew one of my interviewers was only a couple years old than I, and he was also recently married. I was on a similar path at the interviewer, only he was male. It tore me up inside because I doubt he carried my same fear of being viewed as less valuable based on his marital status. Statically speaking, married men make 11 percent more money than their single counterparts. So his recent vows might just give him a leg up in the workplace, meanwhile I was worried about falling into the static that shows that employers prefer childless women.

Just hours before my interview I sat spinning my wedding band, contemplating what it meant if I took it off and how easy it would be to just slip it into my coin purse. I was so newly married that the ring hadn’t worn a pattern in my finger yet. It would have been so easy to be someone else. Then I was reminded of wise words a friend told me, choosing to be your authentic self feels so much better than trying to fit into something you are not. I am a married woman, I know that at the end of the work day that I want to come home and bask in the fact that I got to be myself all day without wearing a mask.

So I went into the interview with renewed self-confidence, properly installed ring (engineering joke), but knowing in the back of my head that the interviewers may not want me because I might be seen as an eminent baby-making-machine. And if they did see me in the way I feared? Then it wasn’t a place I wanted to give my time and talent to. After all, an interview goes both ways. I could not like this job for as many reasons as they potentially didn’t like me.

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A Dozen Reasons Art Lovers Should Be in Scandinavia Right Now

Gerhard Munthe, Suitors, 1892. Collection of the National Museum, Norway. Photo: Norjan kansallismuseo, Øystein Nerdrum.

The Magic North: Summer Biennials, Festivals and Exhibitions in Scandinavia 2015

With temperatures neither blistering nor blustery, summer in Scandinavia reveals the magic of the northern landscape, from the spectacular fjords of Norway, to the forests of Finland. This year in particular, there is quite a convergence of festivals, biennials and notable exhibitions occurring in late August in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. From the historical to the contemporary, from city centers to the far-flung reaches of the Arctic Circle, there is an abundance of events and exhibitions drawing art lovers to the northernmost reaches of Europe.

Theodor Kittelsen, The River Sprite, illustration for Troldskab, 1887. Collection of the National Museum, Norway. Photo: The National Museum, Norway, Jacques Lathio.

A mystical atmosphere suffuses many of the paintings in “The Magic North,” currently at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki (June 18 – September 27, in cooperation with the Norwegian National Museum, where it was shown earlier this year), an exhibition of Norwegian and Finnish fin-de-siècle and early 20th century works, from artists such as Edvard Munch, Gerhard Munthe, Hugo Simberg and Theodor Kittelsen. In these works, the artists mixed the heady influence of European symbolism with the folkloric traditions of their home countries, producing such unforgettable images as Kittelsen’s iconic wide-mouthed trolls and vacant eyed river sprites. In such company, even the more straightforward and naturalistic landscapes and portraits seem to evince a kind of strange, animistic energy.

Hannah Ryggen, Fear, 1936. Creative Commons License BY.

Under the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the turn of the century, artists of that time revived certain folk arts and traditional crafts, in search of a national style of expression. Norway’s rich history and tradition of tapestry weaving inspired artists of the period, such as Gerhard Munthe, who, to his chagrin, became quite famous for his achievements in this “minor art.” Yet Scandinavia’s most distinctive voice in tapestry weaving was yet to emerge: in the 1930s, Swedish-Norwegian artist Hannah Ryggen became known for her idiosyncratic, expressive and wholly modern tapestries, weaving together political and personal themes. An exceptional collection of her works spanning three decades is currently on view in the exhibition “Hannah Ryggen: Weaving the World” at the National Gallery in Oslo (June 12 – October 4).

Artists like Ryggen, however, were working against the grain of the 20th century, as modernism and formalism took hold in Western art. Denmark’s Ordrupgaard Museum is taking a look at a hitherto overlooked aspect of a group of works made by one of modernism’s masters, produced in his later years. “Matisse and the Eskimos” (August 21 – November 29) presents works from Matisse’s paper cut outs, focusing on a group of works inspired by a collection of Inuit masks belonging to his son-in-law and the books of the Danish polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.

Maria Friberg, From the Series “Still Lives” (4), 2005. Courtesy of the Gothenburg Art Museum.

At the Göteborg Museum of Art, in Sweden, “The Romantic Postmodernism” (May 30 – September 13) explores links to the art historical past in a selection of works of Nordic art from the 1980s to the present. These contemporary works evince connections — aesthetic or otherwise — to the Romantic landscape, including early photographs by Olafur Eliasson, abstract paintings by Rolf Hanson and photographs by Maria Friberg.

Installation view, After Babel / Poetry will be made by all! / 89plus, Moderna Museet, 2015. Photo: Åsa Lundén, Moderna Museet.

While “The Romantic Postmodernism” looks to contemporary art made in Scandinavia, an exhibition at the Moderne Museet Stockholm takes a more international outlook, exploring the pluralism of the present in an exhibition titled “After Babel” (June 13 – August 30), curated by Daniel Birnbaum and Ann-Sofi Noring. As one would expect, language takes center stage in “After Babel,” with works by Yael Bartana, Etel Adnan, Haegue Yang, Rivane Neuenschwander and others. Also occupying center stage is an actual tower — a concept by Simon Denny in collaboration with architect Alessandro Bava — that gradually and evocatively winds its way through the history of the intermingling of art and industry. And while at the Moderne Museet, don’t miss Adrián Villar Rojas’s major solo exhibition, “Fantasma,” on until October 25.

Sophie Dupont, A Slow Walk, Body And Room Encountering in Mirrors, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Copenhagen Art Week. Photo: Hans H. Bærholm.

In Copenhagen, five contemporary art centers are joining together to present an exhibition entitled “TRUST” (August 29 – October 25), curated by Sonia Dermience, featuring more than forty artists, with parties, performances, films, an online radio station and more. This is just one of many eruptions of art going on in Copenhagen, timed to coincide with Copenhagen Art Week (August 21 – August 30), which kicked off with the international art fair CHART at Kunsthal Charlottenborg last weekend. Sixty galleries, museums, project spaces, fairs and art centers across the city are participating in this weeklong art bacchanal, and the art continues to spread throughout the city, beyond institutional walls and into the subways and the streets.

Martin Whatson, mural on the Scandic Stavanger City, 2014. Photo: Ian Cox, Nuart.

For fans of street art, next week the Nuart Festival (September 3 – October 11) will open for its 9th edition in Stavanger, Norway. Year by year, this picturesque Norwegian port town is adding to its collection of public murals painted by renowned international street artists. This year’s invited artists include Iranian duo Icy & Sot, Italian artist Pixelpancho and New York legend Futura, among others. Nuart Festival also features a discursive component in Nuart Plus, a symposium program exploring issues relevant to street art and its development. 

Erkka Nissinen, Video for the Turku Biennial, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and 7th Turku Biennial, 2015.

Lastly, the biennials: there are four biennial art exhibitions occurring right now in Scandinavia, each with its own distinct character and setting. And a fifth is set to open in the next week: the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (September 12 – November 22), curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose, which features an exciting roster of artists, such as Kader Attia, Kerry James Marshall and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, under the theme “A Story Within A Story.”

The 7th Turku Biennial (June 10 – August 30) takes place at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova in Turku, Finland, with this year’s theme, “The Unexpected Guest,” driving the curatorial process. Half of the artists were chosen by the curators of the Turku Biennial, while the other half were invited by those artists. There are many surprising moments in the Turku Biennial, but highlights include the absurdist videos of Erkka Nissinen, the unsettling sculptures of the Finnish art collective Anna Breu and photographs by Aino Kannisto and Satu Haavisto.

Ai Weiwei, Think Different (How to Hang Workers’ Uniforms), 2015. Courtesy OpenART 2015. Photo: Sandra Subraian Ekholm.

The city of Örebro in Sweden is host to the largest public art biennial in Scandinavia, now in its fifth year. OpenART 2015 (June 14 – September 6) showcases 130 artworks by 72 artists from 19 countries within Örebro’s city center. This year features a special initiative, curated by Feng Boyi, to bring 13 contemporary Chinese artists to the Swedish biennial including artists Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing and Cheng Dapeng, and raising the biennial’s international profile. Works range from playful sculptures situated in the river Svartån, an oversized park bench and a model of the city entirely made of sweets and pastries.

Daniel Steegmann Mangranè, Phantom (kingdom of all the animals and all the beasts is my name), 2013-2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Momentum 8 (June 13 – September 27), in Moss, Norway, inundates the viewer with various levels of sensory deprivation and sensorial enhancement, from a virtual reality environment enabled by an oculus rift device by Daniel Steegmann Mangranè, a participatory work involving both multi-sensory illusions and sensory deprivation by artist duo Lundahl & Seitl, to the colorful, immersive fur-filled installation by Hrafnhildur Arnardottir a.k.a Shoplifter. The theme here is “Tunnel Vision,” accompanied by a thought-provoking reader addressing the shifting social priorities between the Internet and the public sphere, as well as the concept of “Nordic seclusion.” It’s a fascinating show with far-reaching intellectual, theoretical, and curatorial ideas.

Landscape image from Lofoten. Courtesy of Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF). Photo: Kyell Ove Storvik.

For the ultimate experience of the remote northern lands, however, one should travel up to Norway’s Lofoten Islands — where the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF, August 28 – September 27) takes place. Located on the northwest coast, just above the Arctic Circle, the landscape is dramatic, rugged, and staggeringly beautiful. Lest the landscape upstage the art on display, LIAF 2015, entitled “Disappearing Acts,” relents to its environmental context by gathering a collection of ephemeral, performance-based works, sculptures submerged into the sea, and an exhibition of works staged in a soon-to-be-demolished building. It begs the question — would Scandinavia still be such an extraordinary and beautiful place, if we weren’t around to appreciate it?

Steinar Haga Kristensen, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II): The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Conceptual State into Stabilized Theatrical Sensibility (Consensus Image), 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF).

–Natalie Hegert

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Why You Should Stock Up on Beauty Products at CVS

Pack of gum, some Band-Aids, your prescription—these are the basic necessities that are often the basis for a trip to your local CVS. But if that’s all you buy there, you’re totally missing out on the plentiful (and surprisingly legit) beauty offerings. Here, the top hair, makeup, and skin-care products to scoop up on your next visit.
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5 Times John Green Offered Advice Everyone Should Follow

John Green has a way with words, even when they’re not on the pages of his best-selling books. 

Between building up his Nerdfighter community with his brother, Hank, and racking up more than 4.5 million Twitter followers, Green has found time to offer words of wisdom in interviews and vlogs, through Tumblr posts and Reddit “Ask Me Anything” sessions. In honor of his 38th birthday on August 24 (which the author is celebrating by matching donations to Water.org), we’ve gathered some of his most inspiring messages. From talking about dating to opening up about mental health, here are five times John Green offered some wonderful nuggets of wisdom.

1. When he had the perfect response to a fan whose boyfriend said she was too smart for him.

In a video from 2010, Green responded to fans after asking them on Twitter if they were dealing with any problems. “My boyfriend says I’m too smart for him, but I really like him. Should I start acting stupid?” a fan asked. After turning into “a giant squid of anger,” he gave the best answer.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Venn diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you don’t want to date is a circle.” 

2. When he offered some kind words to a fan on Tumblr.

A 22-year-old fan with cerebral palsy who identifies as bisexual reached out to Green on Tumblr, asking “How are we to deal with prejudice that comes from within our own families?” Though Green began his humble reply by stating he didn’t know “how to give advice,” he offered an inspiring message.


I don’t know how to give advice but I just want to say that you are a human being, and you are important and cared for. Neither your disabilities nor your sexual orientation make you less human than any other person–you are complex and important and worthy of love. There are people–and I’m very sorry if such people are in your family–who seek to dehumanize the other. Maybe the are [sic] scared and maybe they are acting out systemic biases they inherited and maybe they don’t know how to include you in their overly narrow definition of personhood, but that is not about you. That is not your fault. You are not broken or wrong; the social order is.

 

3. When he gave advice for those figuring out what to do with their lives.


Study broadly and without fear. Learn a language if you can because that will make your life more interesting. Read a little bit every day. But most importantly try to surround yourself with people you like and make cool stuff with them. In the end, at least in my experience, what you do isn’t going to be nearly as interesting or important as who you do it with.

 

4. When he opened up about his mental health.

During a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, a fan asked Green if he had any advice for “people who suffer from depression and the like.” The author answered by talking about his own mental health before closing with some encouraging words.


There is hope. There is treatment. You are not alone, and while I know the struggle feels at times completely hopeless and futile, there is a far shore for the vast majority of people, and I wish you the best.

 

5. When he talked about what makes someone a “nerd” — and why it’s a good thing.


I love nerds! I am obsessed with nerds. I have a great affection for people who are intellectually engaged with the world, and who, who don’t treat everything superficially. And I think when people talk about nerdiness, what they’re really talking about is smart people who are trying to think hard about the world, and I don’t think that’s an insult, I think that’s a great thing.

 

And as a bonus, here’s one last quote from Green that might not count as wisdom, but still serves as some pretty solid advice.

Happy birthday, John!

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Besides the Sales Pitch, Artists Should Offer Care Instructions

The conversation that artists are most likely to enjoy having with buyers concerns what inspired them to create this or that and the ideas they seek to express in their work. Less enjoyable are negotiations over price (how much it costs, if any discounts are available, how they will be paid), and less enjoyable still is a discussion of the type of care that their artwork may require over time. Too often, artists shy away from questions of care, because they themselves may not know much about the materials they are using and how their pieces weather over time (and what, if anything, to do about it) and because they worry that such talk might cause prospective buyers to back out of a purchase.

Phoebe Dent Weil, a retired sculpture conservator at the St. Louis Art Museum who continues to work for private and institutional clients, claims that artists need to look beyond the initial sale to the long-term maintenance of their work. And, they need to talk to buyers about how to keep artworks looking good. “Collectors may get very upset if the sculpture they buy starts to look very different and starts to lose its value,” she said.

Weil herself was called in by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts when a polished carbon steel sculpture in its collection by the Italian artist Pietro Consagra rusted all over. Should the museum sand off the rust and polish the piece, knowing that the rust would recur? She spoke with the artist, who was still alive, recommending that the work be painted, which might make the piece look a bit different but would provide lasting protection. The artist was happy with the recommendation and began incorporating paint into his other steel works. He also was lucky that the conservator the museum chose to contact had an idea about how to keep his work from looking good. That helps the artist’s reputation and keeps the museum interested in his work.

Light, heat, humidity, dirt, dust and especially water are all potentially harmful to works of art, and the damage is dependent upon the materials used and where the objects are located. Artworks placed outdoors are most likely to experience changes through cold, heat, moisture and pollutants, and some materials are better able to weather these changes or be treated than others. Stone sculpture, for instance, is porous and can absorb water vapor up to four inches deep, taking airborne pollutants into its interior. Eventually, when it dries out, the stone will “sweat” out these particles, which creates an erosion on its surface, slowly eliminating some of the detailing.

Bronze, too, reacts badly to humidity, turning green. Weil stated that chlorides in the patina — the surface sheen of an object — occasionally reacts with high humidity to cause “bronze disease,” which is green mold-like spots that start appearing on the surface. She noted that there is not much one can do to permanently stop this condition, although regular cleaning and waxing of the work does provide some protection from the humidity. Wood is most severely affected by moisture in the air, expanding in high humidity and contracting in a dry environment. Two adjoining wooden pieces in an object may expand against each other and knock themselves out of line, and the glue holding pieces together may dry up and cease to bind the parts together. The ideal relative humidity levels are 55 percent for wood, 50 percent for stone and 40 percent for bronze.

Unlike paintings and drawings, wooden sculpture cannot be placed under glass to protect them from strong light. She noted that these pieces should be kept away from windows where direct sunlight would hit them, since their veneer absorbs heat which can lead to cracking.

Certain types of antiques or sculpture are born trouble, no matter what anyone does, Weil claimed. Claes Oldenburg’s outdoor pieces, for instance, are cast in Everdur bronze that has the distinction of tarnishing and discoloring very rapidly. If one touches a piece made in Everdur bronze, the mark must be immediately cleaned off or else the fingerprints may be permanently etched into the metal within a matter of days.

Other problems may have been found with Cor-ten steel, which has been used for works by Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso and many other artists. Cor-ten was thought to be an answer to outdoor environmental conditions as it formed a tight oxidation layer that stabilizes and acts as a buffer against further corrosion. Weil stated that there have been serious problems when conservators seek to clean graffiti off works made of this metal. “To clean it, you have to remove the entire rust layer. Then, another rust layer has to develop.” The result is the removal of actual metal, which may change the proportions and appearance of the entire work.

Artists, of course, choose the materials they use often for other reasons than longevity. Picasso would not have pasted newsprint onto some of his late Cubist canvases had his concerns been the problems conservators would face decades later. As a result, artists should provide guidance to their buyers in the maintenance of their work. Here are some Don’ts that Weil has to offer:

Don’t use Pledge on a wood sculpture. It may leave residue, cause discoloration and provide moisture that enters the wood.

Don’t use Brasso metal polish on metal sculptures. It has a mild abrasive and leaves a residue of white powder that collects in corners.

Don’t use a rag to remove dirt and dust. The rag may catch on sharp points and abrade the surface. Feather dusters are better but are more difficult to control. Instead, use a soft bristle paint brush, taping the metal ferule to guard against scrapes.

Don’t put a waterproof coating on stone sculpture. Rainwater will get underneath the coating through cracks and cause the coating to chip off, distorting the overall look of the piece.

And, of course, what one might expect from a conservator: If a buyer has questions about how to protect a work from damage or restore a piece after damage has occurred, contact a qualified conservator.

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Your Fall Fashion Horoscope: The Trends You Should Try Based on Your Sign

We’re thisclose to autumn, making now the perfect time to figure out which of fall 2015’s trends you want to incorporate in your wardrobe. Because all that fashion can be a bit overwhelming (in the best possible way, of course), we decided to do the only logical thing: consult the stars. Loft teamed up with Stefanie Iris Weiss and Sherene Schostak, a.k.a. the Saturn Sisters, for a series of fall horoscopes and gave us the chance to chat with them about the best fall trend for different astrological signs.

Sign: Aries
Best fall trend: Statement earrings

kendra-scott-gray-black-sky-dangly-earrings

“As a rambunctious Ram, you tumble into new situations headfirst, sometimes without thinking, and a pair of statement earrings announce your arrival in advance. You’re brave, impetuous sign actually rules the head, so accentuating yours with can’t-turn-away jewelry is definitely the right call.” Kendra Scott earrings, $ 55, kendrascott.com

Sign: Taurus
Best fall trend: Turtlenecks

cos-black-turtleneck

“You were born to make everything around you super cozy, and a formfitting turtleneck does the trick in an instant. This choice keeps you comfortable all season long.” Cos wool sweater, $ 69, cosstores.com

Sign: Gemini
Best fall trend: Neon

j-crew-neon-yellow-green-v-neck-cashmere-sweater

“Not many signs can rock neon, but as a fashion-forward, always-on-trend Gem, it’s an easy choice. You’re a born communicator, and flash of bright, bold color is just another way of announcing the presence of your genius before you’ve even opened your mouth.” J.Crew cashmere sweater, $ 198, jcrew.com

Sign: Cancer
Best fall trend: Winter florals

loft-black-blue-floral-shirtdress

“You were born to soothe and nurture everyone around you, but you often forget that a little bit of self-care goes a long way. Swathed in delicious, alluring winter florals, you’ll be transported back to the lush and abundant month of your birth, even if, baby, it’s still cold outside.” Loft dress, $ 90, loft.com

Sign: Leo
Best fall trend: Over-the-knee boots

ivanka-trump-tan-suede-over-the-knee-boots

“As the zodiac’s most beloved drama queen, you make sartorial statements that say, ‘Turn on the floodlights: I have arrived!’ Adding a pair of over-the-knee boots to your fall wardrobe does just that; there’s no way you won’t be noticed when you confidently stride into the room.” Ivanka Trump boots, $ 179, lordandtaylor.com

Sign: Virgo
Best fall trend: White or cream monochrome

apiece-apart-white-blouse-jeans-monochrome-outfit

“You’re having a really good year, Virgo, thanks to lucky Jupiter’s presence in your sign. Take that auspiciousness to the next level by rocking your signature look: all white. White is your color, and no one wears pure, unadulterated perfection quite like you.” Apiece Apart shirt, $ 310, apieceapart.com

Sign: Libra
Best fall trend: Skinny scarf

nasty-gal-skinny-black-scarf

“You just can’t help it: elegance, glamour, and beauty are practically oozing out of your perfectly sized pores. A thin, skinny scarf, artfully tied around your lovely neck, shows the world that you might just be another incarnation of Jackie O.” Nasty Gal scarf, $ 18, nastygal.com

Sign: Scorpio
Best fall trend: All black

misha-nonoo-black-ribbon-jacket

“You were born to brood in the chicest way possible, and wearing all black is a simple, direct way to embody your feminine toughness. In the darkest head-to-toe hues, you’re telling everyone that you’re a Scorpio, through and through. Only the powerful need apply.” Misha Nonoo jacket, $ 595, mishanonoo.com

Sign: Sagittarius
Best fall trend: Flares

siwy-flare-melissa-jeans

“You’re the zodiac’s gypsy spirit, so looks inspired by the sixties are just your jam, Sadge. This easy-breezy bohemian look says, ‘I’m about to jet off on yet another adventure.’ You may not even know where you’re going until you get there, but in leg-flattering flares, the journey is just as important as the destination.” Siwy jeans, $ 238, siwydenim.com

Sign: Capricorn
Best fall trend: Utility jacket

loft-khaki-utility-jacket

“You’re endlessly practical and continually amaze your colleagues and friends with your ability to get things done with little fuss. Are you actually a super hero, Capricorn? This fall you’ll totally rule the world in an on-trend utility coat. So many pockets in which to stash the tools of your world-dominating trade.” Loft anorak, $ 90, loft.com

Sign: Aquarius
Best fall trend: ’70s

hm-patterned-jersey-dress-70s-style-turtleneck

“No era in history better befits your quirky, eccentric fashion sense. This fall, you can dress like you think: like a crazy, beautiful genius torn between going to Studio 54 or a feminist consciousness-raising meeting. The seventies may have been four decades ago, but it was way ahead of its time—and so are you.” H&M dress, $ 15, hm.com

Sign: Pisces
Best fall trend: Velvet shoes

jimmy-choo-velvet-ballet-flats

“Your dreamy, compassionate sign rules the feet, so it’s always important to treat yours to the very best. This fall, add a pair of elegant velvet shoes to your ethereal repertoire. They will remind you to stand your stylish ground even as you rescue all the people and animals around you, as you’re always wont to do.” Jimmy Choo flats, $ 550, jimmychoo.com



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What Every Woman Should Know About Looking Better in Clothes

“Your sleeve is a 26,” Zac Posen tells me as he prods at the arm of my blazer. “Actually, 25 3/4.”

We’re perched in a back corner of his atelier for a photo-shoot fitting. Together we’ve decided that I’ll wear a shapely skirt suit, and though it’s my size—a 12—it does not fit. The skirt is so tight it won’t zip up. The jacket fits in the shoulders but drowns out my waist. And the mermaid shape is so snug I can’t walk at all. As you can imagine, I’m embarrassed—and briefly consider running for the door.

Lauren-Chan-Zac-Posen

But Posen is unfazed. In fact, he’s already remeasuring so he can tell where to pin, let out, and take in the garments. “Alterations,” he tells me, “are the game changer when it comes to the perfect fit.” And once he’s done, voila: The skirt zips, the jacket accommodates, and I can move. “The right tailoring can make any garment work for any body,” says Posen. “And it can make you feel confident—especially when, these days, a lot of clothing is two-dimensional, but in real life every body is different, and women have curves.”

As a size 12, those words hit home for me. I often feel left out by fashion: In a standard size range, a 12 is regularly too tight; in a plus-size range, even the smallest 14 is too wide. I’ve learned to shop around this conundrum, but I’m still left standing in a fitting room feeling defeated more than I’d like to admit. And I’m not alone. Women of many body types struggle to fit properly into clothing—so let’s do something about it! Isn’t it time we stop trying to fit into our clothes and have our clothes fit us instead? Here are a few suggestions on how to start:

Step One: Ignore Your Size
That’s right—ignore. Sizes vary between countries, companies, and even articles of clothing. The U.S. government has been attempting to fix this problem via regulation since the 1940s, but instead, the situation has actually gotten worse, with the arrival of vanity sizing—in which bigger garments are tagged with smaller numbers to entice customers (that’s why the 00 now exists). “The mentality that the lowest size is best needs to go out the window,” says plus-size model and fashion designer Candice Huffine. “It’s just a number that somebody made up”

Her advice? “Try on several sizes, bigger and smaller,” she says. “Some people have tag phobia: They don’t want to buy a bigger size because of the number on the label. If you care about that, cut the tags out when you get home!”

Step Two: Shop for Your Biggest Part
It’s an easy truth that changes everything: Buy an item to fit the widest part of your body and take the rest of the garment in. That means no more jackets that gape open and muffin-top-inducing jeans. (Amen!)

“I’m a fan of blazers,” says Huffine. “But when I find one that fits through my shoulders and bust, the waist is often too big. I buy for my broadest part, then create an hourglass by taking in the midsection.”

So what does this mean for your shape? If you’re pear-shaped, buy to fit your bottom and take in elsewhere. “I have a small waist and bigger hips,” says celebrity stylist Sara Paulsen, who’s worked with Mindy Kaling. “I often wear A-line and flounce-hem skirts, which balance my proportions. I buy to fit my hip, then take the waist in—I sometimes even nip a fitted skirt right under the butt to create a flattering curve.”

If you’re muscular, the widest part of your body may be your shoulders and biceps. “I tend to have to fit my arms in jackets and take the body in,” says Hannah Bronfman, the founder of fitness site HBfit.com. “I always buy a size larger and make adjustments.”

Height can also make it more difficult to wear off-the-rack clothing. “It’s really hard for short girls to wear midi skirts,” says celebrity stylist Kate Young—whose clients include Selena Gomez and Natalie Portman. “They make you look shorter. Either go maxi—to the floor—or have the hem taken up above the knee.”

Tall women face the opposite dilemma. “Finding clothes that really fit my body has been a lifelong struggle,” says cover girl and denim designer Karlie Kloss. “Growing up, I found that if pants were long enough, they were much too big; if they fit in the waist, they were way too short.” If that sounds like you, buy a length that fits and have a tailor adjust the waist—or look to the solution Kloss herself invented, a Frame Denim line with 40-inch inseams. (Hudson Jeans and the Gap also offer extended lengths.)

Runway-for-bodies

Step Three: Master E-Shopping
When shopping online, it helps to know your bust, waist, and hip measurements; most sites translate their sizes into those numbers. Also, consider brands that take fit into account: Rent the Runway shares photos of customers in each item (with their honest reviews), so you can see how a piece works on a variety of shapes and sizes. There are also companies that help with fitting woes; True Fit, for example, works with brands like Jason Wu and Marc Jacobs to generate suggestions based on your sizes, previous purchases, and its own e-commerce database.

Step Four: Make Your Alterations
The next step is the all-important nipping and tucking. Find a good tailor by asking a trusted boutique, department store, or dry cleaner in your area for a recommendation. If you’re technologically inclined, try in-home tailoring services like Mend and zTailors. Here are a few things a tailor will be able to do to your garments:

  • Create your shape and size. Generally, you can hem or take a seam in as much as four inches; any more will throw the look of the garment off. And ask your tailor to follow the lines of your body. “If you’re working with a dress or jacket, fit the shape of your back,” says Posen. “It’s curved, not a straight line!”
  • Make more room. “People tend to think that you can only make stuff smaller, but you can make things a little bigger too,” says Young. “If a dress is hugging a bit, you can often find some room in the zipper or the side seam to let out.” You can also cut a slit or vent in a dress.
  • Find the right length. “With skinny pants, you can wear any heel height, since the hem should grace the top of the shoe,” says Young. For wide-leg pants, which should hit the floor, “buy two pairs and have one altered to wear with flats and one to wear with heels.” If you buy only one, hem it to work with the heel height you wear most often.
  • Streamline your silhouette. A tailor can close up pockets in a pair of pants,
  • add hook-and-eye closures between gaping buttons on a shirt, or create darts under the bust or in the back of a top to create cleaner lines. If you always tuck in shirts, remove the bottom few buttons so they don’t show under clothes.

Step Five: Consider Custom-Made
Still unsatisfied? Look into made-to- measure clothing, either from a tailor or via sites like eShakti and small boutiques on Etsy. It can be expensive (shirts start at around $ 100, and a full suit can run upwards of $ 1,500) but worth it, at least for frequently worn items. “Custom-made clothing is economical,” argues Posen. “If you take good care of them, your garments can last for a long time.”

Huffine’s made-to-measure must is a cocktail dress—like the Sophie Theal- let she wore to this year’s Pirelli calendar launch. “I needed to wear a bra and I wanted to wear Spanx, so she designed around that,” she says. “In the end, the gown was something I knew I would be comfortable and feel like myself in.”

And that, of course, is the point. The outfit I reach for when I want to feel like my best self? You guessed it: Posen’s expertly tailored skirt suit. With it on, I stand taller, smile bigger, and behave more confidently. “We need to stop letting fashion make us uncomfortable,” says Huffine. “When something is tailored to fit you perfectly, it takes all worry away. Your garment isn’t fighting against you—it’s working with you.”

So the next time you’re standing in the fitting room, remember: It’s not you that needs to be altered. It’s your clothes.



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10 Signs You’ve Found the Woman You Should Marry

Women are great. Like really, really great.

As a strong, independent woman, I can confidently reiterate that women are a necessity in all heterosexual men’s lives. The woman you’re dating should enrich your life. In fact, she should make it so amazing, that you can’t wait to marry her.

Here are 10 ways to know that the woman you’re with is the one you should marry.

1. She’s sweet.

A sweet woman is hard to find — especially in a big, tough city. So a good woman is surely a keeper. When you find a woman who is sweet, or any version of it, put a ring on it!

2. She makes you smile.

Whether you’re in Central Park or in the South of France with her, she makes you really, really happy. You should able to laugh and be silly with her. Communicating is easy because you can talk to her, and I mean really talk to her. You feel safe and comfortable sharing your emotions with her. You know she’ll be by your side through thick or thin.

3. She’s a good partner.

Your life is better with her in it. She’s someone you can build (and imagine!) a great life with. Picturing having a family with her is a no-brainer, because she’d be a good mom. She’d be such a great wife that you’d consider giving her a wife bonus. Just kidding!

4. You want to be with her.

Plain and simple, you want to be with her. You hear stories from your friends about how they love being single, or they dread seeing their wives. Maybe your single friends talk about how they don’t want to give up the bachelor life. Your coupled friends say they work late just to avoid spending quality time with their significant others. But you don’t feel that way. Being with her never gets old. You want to be with her — as much as you can!

5. She thinks you’re a dime piece.

You catch her checking you out pretty often. You might be in gym shorts, or in black tie formal, and she always thinks you’re the sexiest man alive.

6. You trust her.

She’s loyal. You know she’s your ride or die lady. She’d never cheat on you, because she loves you too much. She could be on a girls trip in Ibiza for 10 days straight and you know you have nothing to worry about. She’s there when you need her and she makes you a priority.

7. You think she’s hot and sexy.

She could be fully dressed, or sans clothing, but when you look at her, you think “Daaaamn.” You know you’re lucky, because she’s so hot and sexy.

8. She’s your biggest supporter.

She’s always singing your praise. Whatever life has in store for you two, you know she’ll be your biggest cheerleader. She’s always there for you.

9. Everyone likes her.

Everyone likes her because she’s that wonderful. She’s easy to talk to. She’s friendly and personable. She’s so great that even a homeless person would want to be her friend.

10. She lets you have space.

A good woman will give you space. She doesn’t crowd or smother you. Man days, man nights, man cave, you name it — she lets you do your “man” things.

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Stuff Every Groom Should Know

Stuff Every Groom Should Know


All the Skills You’ll Need to Get from “Yes!” to “I Do”Including: How to Budget for a Wedding How to Choose the Best Best Man How to Pick the Perfect Tux How to Write Your Own Vows How to Survive Your Bachelor PartyPlus tips on building a guest list, suggestions for stress-free receptions, tricks for melting cold feet, advice on dealing with your new in-laws, and much, much more!

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15 Rom Coms That Probably Never Should Have Been Made

There are the greats: When Harry Met Sally, My Best Friend's Wedding—too early to add Trainwreck to that list? We don't think so. But we've been over the champs. What about the flicks that never…


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We Should Build A Wall That Keeps Burning Man Attendees From Coming Home

What separates the burning men from the burning boys, is really nothing, because they’re all awful. This is why we should seriously consider Cultivated Wit’s new proposal to raise $ 7.3 billion to build a wall that’d prevent Burning Man attendees from returning home. 

Perhaps it would be too intense to burn not just the Burning Man man, but also burn all the burning men, so a wall seems like a justified response to the annual wildfire that will continue to rage in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert near the California border starting August 30.

Make Smokey Bear proud and prevent this fire from ever happening again. The proposed wall may only appear to save San Francisco. The wall may also put the rest of the country at risk as burning families are forced to move into new neighborhoods outside of the Bay Area. But California is in drought, and we must band together as a nation to help our fellow Americans overcome this crisis. Sometimes you’ve got to fight fire with over seven billion dollars of concrete. 

 

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25 Waterfalls Every Nature Lover Should Visit Before They Die

There’s something about falling water that enchants us humans. Whether it’s the smooth sheets of a long-exposure photograph or the raging waters of a moment captured in all its power, one thing’s for sure: we. love. waterfalls.

This week, our love of falling water sent us on a quest to find 25 of the most beautiful, most diverse, and most amazing waterfalls on the globe. A list that we think is worthy of the “before you die” classification. A list that every nature lover should add to their bucket list.

We’re not sure if we pulled it off, but after days of scouring the Internet and reading more “Top 10″ and “Top 20″ and “Most Beautiful” lists than we care to count, we’ve come up with a list of our own. Below are the 25 waterfalls we think EVERY nature should visit before they die, accompanied by beautiful photos captured by the 500px community.

1. Angel Falls

2. Yosemite Falls

3. Gullfoss

4. Victoria Falls

5. Niagara Falls

6. Fairy Falls

7. Iguazu Falls

8. Plitvice Falls

9. Manawaiopuna Falls

10. Havasu Falls

11. Rhine Falls

12. Multnomah Falls

13. Soca River Falls

14. Kaieteur Falls

15. Sutherland Falls

16. Nohkalikai Falls

17. Seljalandsfoss

18. Langfoss

19. Torc Waterfall

20. Burney Falls

21. McWay Falls

22. Skogafoss

23. Pearl Shoal Waterfall

24. Kawasan Falls

25. Detian Falls

Keep in mind that our initial shortlist had 46 waterfalls listed! Iceland alone had 6 contenders and the Pacific Northwest has enough to keep you busy for weeks. Cutting down to a final 25 was painful and difficult, and chances are good that any waterfall you think should have made the list but didn’t was considered.

Still, let us know in the comments if you think we left out a must-see waterfall. Bonus points if you’ve got your own photo of that waterfall on 500px!

And if you just want to browse more beautiful waterfall imagery from the 500px community, give this link a click and forget about getting anything else done the rest of the day.

A version of this post was originally published on the 500px ISO blog.

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The Sweet, Sentimental Reason You Should Order a Few Thousand Custom Cocktail Napkins for Your Wedding

Call it a happy accident: When one bride and groom (a friend’s parents) married in the ’60s, there was a printing mix-up that left them with thousands and thousands of custom cocktail napkins—way more than…


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This Is How Much You Should Tip Your Wedding Vendors

When you’re planning a wedding, figuring out how much to tip wedding vendors is one of those details that’s often left to the very end of the planning process and creeps up on couples when they are juggling dozens of other last-minute details. Many people forget about tipping wedding vendors until the final days and, well, even hours before the wedding. How do I know this? To be totally honest, that’s just what happened to me when I was my planning my wedding, and I now see it all the time with our DIY Wedding Mentor clients (clearly there’s no judgement coming from me on this one!). So in order to avoid the last-minute stressor of figuring out who to tip and how much, you want to start thinking about tipping vendors now before you have too much going on and are too frazzled to straighten it all out. 

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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This Is How Much You Should Tip Your Wedding Vendors

When you’re planning a wedding, figuring out how much to tip wedding vendors is one of those details that’s often left to the very end of the planning process and creeps up on couples when they are juggling dozens of other last-minute details. Many people forget about tipping wedding vendors until the final days and, well, even hours before the wedding. How do I know this? To be totally honest, that’s just what happened to me when I was my planning my wedding, and I now see it all the time with our DIY Wedding Mentor clients (clearly there’s no judgement coming from me on this one!). So in order to avoid the last-minute stressor of figuring out who to tip and how much, you want to start thinking about tipping vendors now before you have too much going on and are too frazzled to straighten it all out. 

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The Women Who Should Be Directing Superhero Movies Now

We at Obsessed have been suffering from SMOS—Superhero Movie Overload Syndrome—for several months now. It's real, and it's debilitating. Lynsey outlined the causes of the condition perfectly: There are simply too damn many of these…


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Here’s How Far In Advance You Should Send Those Wedding Invitations

The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That’s why we launched #MannersMondays, a series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week’s question below!

Anna Post — great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette — is here to help us answer this week’s question. Find out what she had to say below:

Wedding invitations are typically sent roughly eight weeks out from the wedding, with an RSVP deadline about two or three weeks prior to the wedding. These dates are all flexible — the mailing date might easily compress down to six weeks or expand up to ten. Under special circumstances, like a short-notice wedding, the time frame can compress as much as needed. Or for far-flung guest travel, it would likely expand outward even more. You don’t want the invitation following immediately after the save-the-date (otherwise what’s the point of the save-the-date?), so in your case, you might compress the timing a little. Here’s what you should think about as you set your timetable:

Ask your caterer when he or she will need an absolutely final guest count by. This is usually within a week or two of the wedding date. Then count back a week or so to give you time to track down any guests who haven’t replied on time. This is your RSVP deadline. From there, count backward four to six weeks. This is the date you will mail your invitations.

If you plan to send additional invitations as you receive “no” RSVPs, count back an additional two weeks to set your mailing date, so that guests whose invitations are sent later still have plenty of time to reply. Nothing says “‘B-list guest” like receiving an invitation at the last minute. Any B-list guests should never know they were B-list.

Once you know the date you will mail your invitations, plan backward a little further to the date you will need your invitation order to arrive because that’s not the same as the date they will be mailed. In between those two dates, you will need one to two weeks to address your envelopes (this is traditionally done by hand), assemble stuff, weigh (don’t skip this step at the post office!), seal and stamp your invitations. You will also want to double-check that the addresses are correct. Even with a small guest list, this takes time.

You can submit your wedding etiquette questions via Facebook or tweet them to us @HuffPostWedding with the hashtag #MannersMondays.

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T.J. Oshie trade should change up things in Washington and St. Louis

T.J. Oshie trade should change up things in Washington and St. Louis
ESPN.com – NHL

5 Fashion Rules Short Girls Should Stop Following

For too long, girls with petite frames have been told what they can and cannot wear as a result of their short stature. Well, vertically challenged fashionistas: The buck stops here. Today, we’re debunking five common fashion myths regarding short girls everywhere. Read on for our styling tips and tricks for how to successfully break these archaic fashion rules once and for all.

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Knee-High Gladiator Sandals Will Swallow Your Legs: The key to wearing knee-high gladiators as a girl with shorter legs is balanced proportions. At 5’ tall, Kourtney Kardashian keeps from looking squat in the sandals by showing off her legs in shorts. A tailored romper is a great way to get the look without feeling like you’re revealing too much.

petite-marykate-ashley-olsen-flats
You Can Never Wear Flats: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (5’2” and 5’3”, respectively) prove you don’t have to teeter on your highest stilettos to look and feel dressed up. At this year’s CFDA Awards, the duo opted for flats over heels with their all-black ensembles. Follow their lead and expose just enough of your ankle so you don’t look like you’re drowning in your clothes.

petite-nicole-richie-maxi-dress
Maxi Lengths Will Overwhelm Your Frame: The secret to pulling off a maxidress if you have a petite frame lies in the waistline. Nicole Richie appears taller than her 5’1” frame actually measures, due to the nipped-in waistline, plus a hemline that hits right at the floor.

petite-vanessa-hudgens-midi-skirt
Midi Skirts Are Never Flattering: Since moving to NYC, 5’1” Vanessa Hudgens’ style has been spot-on. Most recently, she championed the midlength pencil skirt, proving to petite girls everywhere that this trend can also work for them. Go for a high-waisted silhouette and pair with a crop top to give the illusion of a longer legs.

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Ankle-Strap Heels Will Make Your Legs Look Stumpy: Old fashion rules maintain that short girls should avoid ankle straps, for fear of looking too squat. But check out how Miroslava Duma, at 4’11” pulls them off. The strap on her sandal is on the thinner side, allowing her to reveal just the right amount of skin in a midlength dress.

More styling tips and tricks:
The Short Girl’s Guide to Wearing a Midi Skirt
13 Ways to Wear Long Shorts and Still Be Stylish
12 Summer Fashion Rules Made to Be Broken



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The Impact of Marriage Equality We’re Not Discussing, But Should

A quick scan of the cable news channels or the Twittersphere shows clearly that the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has drawn sharp feelings from both sides of the issue. Most of these reactions were easily predictable. People across all media are exhibiting their feelings loudly, as the issue touches on so many potent areas of life: the political, the ethical, the moral, the religious.

But as I sift through my own feelings, I find I have a different reaction than those that seem to be most loudly expressed. I am a therapist, and I see this issue through the lens of emotion. And homosexuality and gay marriage are highly emotional issues. And we therapists possess the privilege of a unique perspective on the emotional elements of most any issue. And the emotional elements are crucial in understanding the issue overall.

For I have sat across from the young man fighting against his truth, his gay-ness, with every fiber of his being. Because it will disappoint his parents. Because he won’t be accepted or loved, but rejected. Because he has been taught that who he knows himself to be is wrong. So he fights. He fights against his very nature. The resulting anxiety and depression run so very deep.

I have sat across from the teenage girl who recognizes who she is, but loathes the fact of it, and loathes herself as a result. Because it makes her life so hard, so odd, so weird. It estranges from people she once considered safe. Thoughts of suicide hover in the shadows all around her. And yet in every conceivable way, she is better-than-fine: bright, driven, beautiful, athletic, funny. And gay.

And I have sat across from the man who has lived a lie his entire life, hiding beneath the trappings of ‘normalcy’: wife, children, house, couple of dogs. Family man. But he is tortured nonetheless. For he is gay as well, and he and those around him, he projects, would find this to be unacceptable. And now an entire family is drawn into the dark.

Unfortunately, I could share countless other stories, all sharing this theme: to be gay, to be attracted to someone, to love them organically, is not just unacceptable, but shameful.

Shameful.

With just a moment’s reflection, we all know that the forced constriction of anything authentic and genuine in ourselves will prove to be incalculably damaging. We should live in a place where one’s truth carries not a hint of shame, but joy. Only joy.

And everyone, every single one of us, deserves that feeling.

So this ruling suggests another wave in a sea change. For many people, many of my own clients in fact, can now comfort themselves with the fact that what they sense and know about themselves, this undeniable core essence of their being, is now lawful and allowable and acceptable by society’s standards. And sure, that’s good.

But it goes beyond just that, right? Because for the majority of us, our loves and attractions are actually celebrated, from crushes to dates to proms to weddings. And we don’t really need to give it a thought. There is a wild emotional divide between private shame and public celebration, and it is critical.

I like to think that a generation from now, if our sons or daughters are drawn to someone, male or female, and fall in love with that someone, that we will want to share in the joy that love will bring to their lives, and to our own.

Making ourselves unavailable to that joy ensures, and has ensured, the opposite: fear and judgment and ego, enough to keep therapists like me flush with clients for generations, treating toxic, wholly unnecessary feelings of shame and depression and relentless anxiety about something that is organic and authentic and actually quite simple.

This Supreme Court ruling is another step toward the openness we need as a society, openness that will undoubtedly have strong legs. Fewer pills will be popped to numb unnecessary pain. Fewer people will be compelled to live a lie their entire lives. Fewer people will feel a need to shield their deep reality in shame. Fewer lives will end tragically. This is no small deal.

So I celebrate today, for the emotional well-being of every gay person, man or woman,
who has suffered their love in lieu of celebration. I celebrate the deep breath they can finally draw, and the joyful, well-appointed weddings on the horizon.

Of course, upon sober reflection, we all know that legislation does not flip a switch on feelings, attitudes and emotions. These biases lag well behind.

So if you are the parent, brother, sister, teacher or friend of a gay man or woman and you find yourself bitter today, let me encourage you to turn a page. Allow yourself to open your heart and mind to them, for them and for yourself. Because the train has left the station, and you can continue to be a part of the pain and anxiety and costly emotional heartache, or serve as part of the joy.

Because love truly IS love. Simple as that.

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Why Should We Support Same Sex Marriage?

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11 Things You Should Never Say To A Bridesmaid

1. “You can totally wear that dress again!” But after seeing 14 other women wear it at the same time, I’d actually rather burn it.

2. “You don’t want to upstage the bride.” Will deviating from the gold jewelry, nude pump, and pink manicure dress code really detract from the bright white bundle of tulle standing on the alter? Will it?!

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What Comedian Joel McHale Thinks You Should Get Your Dad For Father’s Day

Ties are the lamest Father’s Day gift ever. They say: “I have no idea who you are, but I’ve seen you wear a tie.” Cologne, on the other hand, is highly personal and thoughtful—if you choose carefully. We asked comedian Joel McHale, star of Community and The Soup and father of two, what he thinks these new colognes say about the dads who wear them.
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Japan Trend Shop, an online Japanese retailer, is a one-stop shop for every amusing, confusing, and WTF-worthy product you never knew (or needed to know) existed. And that includes some pretty weird and wonderful beauty gadgets. Here, seven of the weirdest, most wonderful ones we could find.
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MillionaireMatch.com - the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!
MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

You should see my Daddy Funny Toddler T-Shirt by CafePress

You should see my Daddy Funny Toddler T-Shirt by CafePress


A Cute Shirt for dads little baby, infant or toddler. Great for baby gifts, new dads or Fathers Day. See our other unique baby clothing at www.GabbyTees.com Funny Toddler T-Shirt Tee, TShirt, Shirt Our 100% cotton toddler tee will look great on your little ones.5.5 oz. 100% cotton. Standard fit.
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Distracted When You Meditate? Here’s Why You Should Do a Happy Dance

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Lately, in my morning meditation sessions, I’ve been doing a mental happy dance every time I notice myself absorbed in and distracted by thought.

Huh? Isn’t the goal to focus on my breath and not let my mind run and wander?

No, in fact the goal is mindfulness, and guess what: when I notice that I’m thinking again, that is mindfulness in action.

That moment of noticing is not an opportunity to beat myself up for my monkey mind; that is the golden moment, because every time I notice myself thinking, I now have the opportunity to simply let that thought go, and return to my breath.

I wish someone had explained this to me decades ago.

Here’s the really beautiful thing, though: this skill of noticing that I’ve become absorbed in thought is not just useful on my meditation cushion. Noticing what I’m doing, and mindfully redirecting myself, is exactly the same skill I need in the rest of my day:

  • To pull myself back to the task I really want to be doing, when I succumb to distractions (Facebook, anyone?)
  • To point myself toward the carrots when I find my hand reaching for an unhealthy snack.
  • To consciously stop eating when I feel sated (even when the food is so yummy, I want to gobble down more!)

In the examples above, the critical first step is noticing. Unless and until I notice that I’ve gotten sucked down a Facebook rabbit hole, or that I’m self-medicating with food, or simply that I’m full, my impulsive lizard brain will be in the driver’s seat.

The ability to notice, and then redirect (the second step) — otherwise known as willpower or self-control — is like a muscle. One of the best ways humans have found to strengthen that muscle is mindfulness meditation. Every time I notice my mind absorbed in thought, and gently bring my attention back to my breath, I am flexing and strengthening that willpower muscle.

In fact, studies have shown that daily meditation actually grows your prefrontal cortex in as little as 8 weeks! Meditation literally makes your prefrontal cortex bigger and better connected.

And it does this while shrinking the amygdala, the “lizard brain” that’s responsible for (among other things) urging you to only follow your impulses, rather than your long-term goals.

In addition, as this article in Scientific American says, meditation changes the “functional connectivity” between these two regions. “The connection between the amygdala and the rest of the brain gets weaker, while the connections between areas associated with attention and concentration get stronger.”

Wow! That’s some endorsement for meditation!

Unfortunately, for too many years, I thought my inability to “clear my mind” meant that I sucked at meditation and it wasn’t for me. Now, thankfully, I understand that the goal isn’t an empty mind, but mindfulness.

So instead of beating myself up for my monkey mind, when I notice my mind wandering — yet again — in a meditation session, I give a silent cheer for my prefrontal cortex.

I now know that the “worse” my meditation session is, in terms of my mind getting distracted by thought, as long as I notice myself thinking, and gently guide myself back to breath, the better practice I’m getting.

No wonder I look forward to my morning meditation now, after avoiding it for years! Who wants to meditate when they know they’ll emerge psychically black and blue from beating themselves up over and over?

On the other hand, when you know you’re going to spend ten or twenty minutes happydancing, meditation starts to become irresistible.

Do you meditate? If not, I encourage you to try it, with the self-direction to mentally celebrate each time you notice yourself absorbed in thinking, and gently, lovingly let go of your thought and guide your attention back to your breath. 

It’s not an easy practice, but it’s not supposed to be, and that’s the point: you’ve got to work the muscle to strengthen it.

Have fun and namaste!

This article was first posted at http://melissadinwiddie.com.

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Why You Should Ignore the Pressure For ‘Happily Ever After’

I was about 7 years old when one of my neighborhood friends and I began discussing the frightful notion of growing up and never getting married. Looking back, it seems odd to me, for we were far from even approaching puberty at the time. I suppose our hours of viewing Disney movies must have done a fantastic job of creating an expectation that if we did not someday find our princes, our lives would be forever incomplete.

Upon reaching my 21st birthday, all of the little old ladies at my grandma’s church gradually began asking me when I was going to “settle down and get married.” Some ladies would say with a wink, “Well, somebody is missing out, honey.” Others would stare at me with a puzzled expression as I told them I wanted to do more with my life than just become somebody’s wife. I began to realize the expectation to be married often creates an urgency which then distracts people from what the true deciding factors in regards to choosing a mate should be. I have to wonder, why is there this expectation and judgment? What for, and, most importantly, who for?

Beware, For The Whisper Shall Become A Raging Roar…

Your soul is always going to whisper your truth back to you. You can only fool yourself for so long. If you get married because of some societal expectation to do so, because it is what all of your girlfriends are doing or because you believe another human being is going to complete you, your truth will eventually emerge, perhaps angrily, under however many layers of convincing it took for you to follow through with it. Your soul wants what is best for you and if you try to silence its voice, eventually the whisper will become a raging roar.

Prior to meeting my husband, I had a series of committed relationships, beginning just after high school. One of my boyfriends tried to convince me to elope with him in the midst of our relationship crumbling. I suppose he believed that marriage would wipe all of our issues away forever, however despite my wisdom to permanently leave the relationship at the appropriate time, I knew better than to marry him. I could not rest in such a decision. Each time it presented itself, my truth emerged, rather frantically. There was always a big, fat, emphatic banner marked “NO!”, flying high inside of my mind. Had I ignored it, I would have betrayed myself.

Later this year, I will be celebrating three years of being married. When I look in my husband’s eyes, I know he is the best friend I have ever had. However, the reality is that even the coziest marriage is not warm cookies and milk every hour of every day.

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Marriage is not a steamy love scene every night. It’s not always a chapter plucked from a romance novel, feeding each other berries and making out for hours on end until your lips are chapped and swollen. It’s not always the wind in your hair and hot breath on the nape of your neck. Sometimes it is those things, but not every day. Gaining a husband does not guarantee having your worries washed away forever. I promise you. If you believe that, you need a long, ice cold shower of a reality check.

Having a husband will not complete you. It will not quiet the truth inside. It will not wipe the tears of your heart’s cry. It will not silence any storm inside of you. It will not complete your life’s mission. It will not paint the sky blue forever. I’m sorry that I’m not sorry to tell that it just won’t.

Can you handle some truth? Fasten your seat belt.

You’re not just marrying his charm, his wit and his blue eyes that sparkle in the sunlight. You’re not just marrying the smirk that makes your stomach flip every time you see it. You’re not just marrying his manly architecture, earth-shattering as it may be. You’re also marrying his spending habits, idiosyncrasies, knee-jerk reactions, insecurities and worst of days. You’re also marrying his family. And, you know what? He is marrying all of yours, too. Bless him, right?

Even the most compatible of circumstances will consist of trying times, so it would not be wise to commit to something you will be unable to live with for years to come. For example, if you are a passionate animal rights activist, it would not be wise to marry an unapologetic carnivore, regardless of how magical of chemistry the two of you share. If you hate the smell of patchouli, you are going to be in a great deal of trouble if you marry someone who loves bathing in its oil.

A husband is not a savior. He cannot be your zen. He is not a white knight waiting for the perfect moment to ride in. Some nights I have tears in my eyes because it feels as though there have never been two people more in love than my husband and I. Some nights the fireworks light up the sky effortlessly, however some nights I must consciously participate in creating them. Loving, honoring and cherishing in good times and bad is not always the easiest task. My life is undeniably more joyful, richer and sweeter since marrying my husband, however it is not perfection. There is not a person on the planet with a perfect life.

You Are Better Off Alone Than Married To The Wrong Person

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So, before you get married, take off your rose-tinted glasses, wipe the fairy dust from your eyes and take an honest look at him in the light of reality. Do not allow yourself to die to your truth. Forget what society says is the norm. Forget how many of your friends are getting married. Forget settling. For a moment, forget the notion of feeling like a princess in that extraordinary dress you saw on Pinterest, or the possibility of doves flying above your head. You are better off alone than being married to the wrong person.

Marry him because when his heart connects with your heart, it feels like a call from home. Marry him because you have confidence in his character. Marry him because he inspires you to be a higher version of yourself. Marry him because he is the only person you foresee wanting to eat puréed potatoes with when you’re 90.

I’m just being honest.

The original and extended version of this article can be read on The Daily Doll.

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50 Country Albums Every Rock Fan Should Own – 50 Country Albums Every Rock Fan Should Own | Rolling Stone

For decades, rockers have looked to country music when they grew tired of brash flash or deafening volume — or they simply heard a George Jones record that blew their heads back with its sheer devastation.

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Sarah Jessica Parker on the Wedding Dress She Should Have Worn—and Her Brand-New Shoes for Brides

Even the most stylish bride can make a fashion misstep: Take Sarah Jessica Parker, who wore a black wedding gown when she swapped vows Matthew Broderick in 1997—see it here—and, in hindsight, wishes she hadn’t….




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The 8 Things You Should NEVER Do as a Wedding Guest

Brides aren’t always known for their stellar behavior—click here to read about the craziest brides EVER—but that doesn’t mean you get to act like a savage when you’re attending someone else’s wedding. Since it’s prime…




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How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift?

“How much should I spend?”
“How much are you spending?”
“How much money should I give?”

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With wedding season upon us, you’re very likely asking these questions. After all, “How much should I spend on a wedding gift?” seems to be the most often asked gift-giving question. Here’s a recent email from an “AskCheryl” reader on this subject.


Hi Cheryl,
I was recently having a discussion with a friend about what the average or acceptable amount would be for a monetary wedding gift. She hasn’t been to a wedding in a while and wants to be sure she is giving a reasonable gift. What do you think the gift amount should be?
Thanks, Mary Ann

Mary Ann’s friend is like many of us. We just don’t know how much we are expected to spend on a wedding gift. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer and no set amount you “should” spend (or amount you should give if gifting cash). The amount you spend is dependent upon your budget and relationship with the wedding couple (or their parents). While it’s common practice to spend more for a close relative or if you are very close to the couple, again, it’s dependent upon your budget. No one should “break the bank” and spend more than they can afford. Additionally, the amount considered “acceptable” varies by culture and region of the country.

Interestingly, there’s a myth that continues to circulate among some guests. They’re under the impression that they should base the cost of the gift on how much they think the couple is spending on food and entertainment. This modern myth is simply not true. Again, the amount you spend is strictly a matter of your budget, how close you are to the bride and groom, and what you think is an appropriate gift.

“It’s a bad idea to use the price-per-plate as a measure for how much you should spend on the wedding gift,” says Jessica Silvester, a deputy editor and wedding expert with New York magazine. “You wouldn’t give your best friend a less expensive gift just because she was having a more casual affair.”

To help you, I’ve put together some averages and guidelines for wedding gifts and bridal shower gifts.

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What guests spend can also vary significantly by location or region. You can use the above as a guideline, but customs in your family or area may be higher or lower. I can share that the average amount spent on a wedding gift in 2014 through RegistryFinder.com was $ 120.

If you choose to buy from the couple’s wedding registry, we recommend purchasing early, so you have the best selection of gifts and price ranges. RegistryFinder.com makes it easy to find all of the couple’s registries in one convenient location just by entering the name of the bride or groom.

Tell us what you think! Please comment below and let us know how much you normally spend on a wedding gift, or what you feel is appropriate.

If you have questions or comments about gift giving or wedding etiquette, email me at AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Emails in this column are received from actual blog readers. Emails may be edited for spelling and grammar, or to remove sensitive information, however, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is the founder and President of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

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The One Thing You Should Do More of Before It’s Too Late

Just hug.

My Grandma died one year ago today. I don’t believe anyone really truly dies, because I believe we are a spirit encapsulated in a physical body. And because of that, I don’t get sad thinking that I can’t talk to my grandma any more. I am not sad because I think she’s gone forever. I know she is here in some way. But what DOES make me sad is that I can’t hug her anymore.

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We are physical beings. We have the extraordinary ability to feel things, to touch things, to embrace, to see, to hear, to explore, to imagine, and to love. Our bodies and our senses are the tools that allow us to connect with the people and environments around us.

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My dreams of my grandma have always been just of hugging her. Not much else happens. I just find myself laying in bed forcing myself to stay asleep so that the hug will last longer. I just want to lie next to her in her hospice bed without saying anything. I just want to BE there. I wish all of our hugs were longer. I wish I was more present during them. I wish they weren’t quick hellos and good byes. I wish I cuddled next to her on the couch more often.

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Aren’t those the best moments? When you’re able to just BE with someone you love? Your mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, best friend, or significant other? Don’t you just love those moments where not much is happening, and not much is being said? It’s like this little glimpse of time where time doesn’t actually seem to exist.

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Happiness doesn’t occur sometime in the future or the past. It doesn’t occur in a memory. It occurs in those little instances where we get to truly feel alive and connected. And it usually includes another human being who we love deeply.

I don’t think of myself as someone who regrets very much in life. To me, everything is a learning experience. But I think this might be the one regret that I do have. However, I know that the best thing that I can do now, is hug more, for longer, and with more people.

So hug more. I’m going to tell my family and my sisters that we need to do it more, and you should too. Don’t wait. Hug randomly and when they least expect it. Hug for longer periods of time. Squeeze harder and hold on. Make it weird. Secretly they like it. I promise.

I bet conflicts will naturally dissipate, tension will subside, and relationships will get better. And with something so so simple.

Hug like you mean it, and like you know that the day will come when you can’t hug them anymore.

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News