Chace Crawford Reveals What It Was Really Like on Gossip Girl Set After Blake Lively and Penn Badgley’s Split

Blake Lively, Penn BadgleySpotted behind the scenes of Gossip Girl: no drama at all.
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The Real Housewives of New York City Ladies Reveal What They Really Think About Luann’s Singing

The Real Housewives of New York City ReunionThe ladies of The Real Housewives of New York City are never afraid to speak their minds, but when asked to say what they really think about Luann de Lesseps’ singing now that she’s a…

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What’s Really Going on in These Game of Thrones Season 8 Photos? Lena Headey Says…

Game of ThronesHBO released a bevy of new Game of Thrones photos from the upcoming eighth and final season featuring the cast…well, not really doing much. They’re standing, looking at something or somebody…

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Prince William Just Revealed What Kate ‘Really’ Thinks About Him Being at a Motorcycle Race Today

Looking for adventure!

Motorcycle enthusiast Prince William flew to the Isle of Man for one of the world’s top races on Wednesday.

William, 35, who still rides a high-powered Ducati (which he recently used to get him to a soccer match with pals!), went to watch the famous festival on the small island between Britain and Ireland. And while the prince couldn’t wait to take in the event, his wife Kate Middleton didn’t share the same excitement.

William confessed Kate may have been a little skeptical of the intentions of his visit. When Laurence Skelly, the Isle of Man government’s minister for enterprise, asked him about her views. William told him, “When I said I was going to the Isle of Man for an official visit she said, ‘Really?’ ”

In the past, Kate has admitted to feeling “terrified” when her husband goes out on his motorcycle. And during a 2015 visit to Scotland, she said: “I’m going to keep George off of it!”

The annual Tourist Trophy (or TT race) is a major fixture in the motorcycling circuit. It began in 1907 and is one of the oldest motorsport events in the world.

As well as seeing a number of races, the prince met officials and support staff, and volunteers involved in the event.

William caught some of the final stages of the TT Supersport Race 2 before heading to a reception in the Government House Tent, where he met race staff and volunteers, civic dignitaries and representatives of local businesses.

He also spent time with the Joey Dunlop Foundation charity, which provides specialist accommodation for visitors to the Isle of Man with a disability.

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RELATED VIDEO: Prince William Is Making Royal History with His First Official Visit to Israel

In addition to his love of motorcycling, William would have flown near the race’s location while patrolling the Irish Sea on missions with the RAF Search and Rescue crews based at Anglesey. He once picked up a stricken sailor from the sea near the island.

The prince recently had the chance to test drive a bike during a visit to the headquarters of Triumph Motorcycles. There, he slipped a reflective jacket on over his blazer and sweater for a quick ride on the Triumph Tiger 1200. He also got to pose on a vintage model.


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Bethenny Frankel and Fredik Eklund’s Real Estate Marriage Gets Rocky: “Is This Really Something I Want?”

Bethenny Frankel, Fredrik Eklund, Bethenny & FredrikFriends and business, the perfect equation for prosperity…or disaster. Looks like Bethenny Frankel and Fredrik Eklund are about to learn that the hard way. In E! News’ exclusive preview of…

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John Goodman Didn’t Really Care How Roseanne Resurrected Dan Conner for ABC’s Revival

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Yes, Somebody Really Asked Susie Essman to Do a Curb Your Enthusiasm Tirade at Her Mother-in-Law’s Wake

Curb Your EnthusiasmSusie Essman is known for the expletive-laden Curb Your Enthusiasm tirades she dolls out weekly as Susie Green. So known in fact people often approach her and ask her to cure them out in some very…

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Are the Valérian Comics Really a Big Influence on Star Wars?

If you’re a Luc Besson fan, you’ve likely seen at least one of the flashy trailers for his latest movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Like many big-budget movies these days, Valerian is based on a comic. If the Valérian and Laureline comics don’t ring a bell, that’s okay: you’re not alone in not knowing about the French source material.

The thing is that while the trailers for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets may look like a colourful Star Wars prequel rip-off, the reality is that the Valérian and Laureline comics were birthed a decade before the original Star Wars movie hit the big screen in 1977.

There’s been a lot of discussion about just how much of an influence Valérian was on Star Wars. It’s a controversial topic because though Star Wars creator George Lucas acknowledged many influences for his juggernaut sci-fi creation – including Flash Gordon, Toshirô Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, mythological heroes, old series and even comics – Valérian has never been mentioned. No one else who’s worked on the Star Wars movies seems to have listed the preceding adventures of Valérian as an influence, either.

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This Is How Hard It Really Is to Get Ahold of a Ford GT

Apparently not just anyone is allowed to drive this car.

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22 Dads Explain What Paternity Leave is Really Like in America

How fathers are cobbling together days, weeks, and, in some cases, months to be with their newborns.

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Tim Cook ‘Reveals’ Who Is Really Behind Donald Trump’s Late Night Tweets

Tim Cook used part of his address to graduating students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday to poke fun at President Donald Trump.

The Apple CEO began by saying he’d never figured out how students at the university in Cambridge pulled off their spectacular course-end pranks ― such as the placing of a propeller atop the campus’ Great Dome.

“Or how you’ve obviously taken over the president’s Twitter account,” Cook added. “I can tell college students are behind it because most of the tweets happen at 3 a.m.”

Cook went on to deliver some serious advice to the class of 2017, and the effect that the online world may have on their lives.

“The internet has enabled so much and empowered so many. But it can also be a place where the basic rules of decency are suspended and pettiness and negativity thrive,” Cook said.

He encouraged students not to let “the noise knock you off course” or to “get caught up on the trivial aspects of life.”

“Don’t listen to the trolls, and for God’s sake don’t become one,” Cook added. “Measure your impact on humanity not in likes, but in the lives you touch. Not in popularity, but in the people you serve.”

Watch Cook’s full speech in the clip below:

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What People Really Think About Their Moms’ Wedding Gowns

Some wedding dresses stand the test of time, and others ― well, not so much.

In a recent video, Brides editors describe their moms’ wedding gowns and tell the stories behind the special garments. One dress was stained when the bride fainted at the altar, another was impressively hand-tailored by the bride herself and several boasted some of those signature 80s poofy sleeves. 

Watch the video above to see what these daughters and sons had to say about their moms’ big day fashion choices. 

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Stephen Colbert Explains Why Trump’s Firing Of Comey Isn’t Really Like ‘The Godfather’

President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey has been likened to a classic scene from “The Godfather.”

Following Comey’s dismissal on Tuesday, one senior intelligence official told NBC News that the “thuggish” and “humiliating” way in which his termination was carried out was like a “horse head in the bed.”

It was “designed to send a message,” the official added.

But on Friday’s “Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert explained why the comparison wasn’t actually that accurate ― and it’s all to do with one of Godfather Don Corleone’s favorite personality traits: respect.

Find out the reason in the clip above.

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Do Vitamin Supplements Really Work For Colds?

The Question: Will supplements really prevent a cold or shorten one from lingering? 

The Answer: Dietary supplements aimed at cold prevention, like Zicam or Emergen-C, sound miraculous in theory. But do they actually help to eliminate that nasty bug? The answer from experts is a resounding “no.” 

Zicam promises to be a “cold shortening” homeopathic remedy. It is available in a variety of forms, all of which use zinc at the major active ingredient. Emergen-C is a popular dietary supplement made from vitamin C which claims to provide extra support to the immune system. Another variation of the dissolvable powder includes melatonin for sleep and relaxation.  

“Nothing cures the cold,” Kathleen Duggan, an adjunct professor at the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco, told HuffPost. “They’re trying to promote the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C…and there is not much in the literature that supports vitamin C preventing a cold.” 

Research suggests that a vitamin overload will do very little to prevent a cold or help you out once you’re in the throes of one. But not only that, taking too much can have consequential health effects.

How natural supplements could backfire

Just one serving of Emergen-C provides 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, which is well above the recommended daily dose. Adult men should get 90 milligrams a day, and adult women should get 75 milligrams per day, according to the National Institutes of Health. 

Most people meet these requirements through their diet because it is easy to do so ― for example, just a half cup of red peppers is enough to get your daily values. And statistically, most American men and women meet the recommended daily intake, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 

The mineral is responsible for helping the body’s immune system, but the upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams per day. While vitamin C is a low-toxicity mineral, it is important to note that consuming above the 2,000 milligram limit could possibly lead to diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps, according to the National Institute of Health. 

Zinc, on the other hand, is actually dangerous if you overdo it. Your body requires only a minimal amount of the supplement to reap its healthy benefits, which includes helping the immune system fight of viruses and bacteria. Men need just 11 milligrams a day, women just 8 milligrams, according to the Institute of Medicine. Most people get enough zinc through their diet. 

“I would definitely not recommend people taking individual supplementation of zinc,” Duggan said. “There’s just not enough research to support that [zinc supplements prevent illness]. There just isn’t ― and there’s a lot in the literature to support [the toxicity].” 

The upper limit for zinc for adults is 40 milligrams per day. Beyond that, people can experience nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea and headaches. And, ironically, too much zinc over a long course of time can actually decrease immunity, according to the National Institute of Health. 

Furthermore, some zinc nasal sprays and gels have been linked to losing the ability to smell.

Skip the nonsense and eat your nutrients instead

“I am extremely in support ― especially in terms of diet and nutrients ― of doing things the most natural way possible,” Colin Robinson, a clinical instructor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, told HuffPost. That means instead of taking supplements, you should aim to get zinc and vitamin C from a healthy, well-rounded diet of fruits and vegetables, he explained.

Oysters are high in zinc. Red meat, crab, lobsters and fortified breakfast cereals will also do the trick. Beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy products provide a bit of zinc, too, according to the National Institute of Health. 

Research shows to eat more sweet red peppers, orange juice, grapefruit juice and kiwi for vitamin C. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and strawberries are good sources as well. 

Eating this way will help you hit the recommended levels of each nutrient, as well as contribute to your health overall. 

Additionally, here’s surefire way you can effectively and safely lower your risk of getting a nasty bug ― and it’s free: Scrub those hands. Research shows it’s one of the most foolproof ways to halt germs from getting into your system

“You know the best way to prevent a cold? Wash your hands three to four times a day. And get plenty of sleep,” Duggan stressed.

It’s age-old advice from someone with nothing to sell. Sounds right to us. 

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Style – The Huffington Post
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Does Meditation Really Help With Depression And Anxiety?

The Question: I experience depression and anxiety. Will meditation really help me? 

The Answer: Depression and anxiety can make everyday life very challenging. And research suggests that healthy lifestyle habits like meditation may help with some of its symptoms. 

Case in point: A small study published earlier this year in the journal Psychiatry Research. Researchers randomized 70 adult participants with generalized anxiety disorder into two groups. One group received mindfulness-based stress reduction as a technique to cope. The other group, acting as the control, did not receive any sort of meditation training.

The scientists found that participants who learned the mindfulness techniques showed much lower levels of a specific biomarker for stress in the body. This could suggest meditation can not only help how someone feels over time, but also may leave an impression on a cellular level. 

This potentially corroborates a large body of meditation research that suggests the practice is a wunderkind for mental health issues. But it’s important to note that previous research outcomes also had its flaws. Some early studies lacked a control group. Other research potentially fell victim to “expectancy bias,” which is when participants expected meditation to work and thus reported feeling better after the experiment. 

The recent Psychiatry Research study took all of this into account, which is why it seems promising. To solve for bias, the researchers said the study was simply about stress reduction without mentioning a meditation component. Mindfulness was introduced later on, and only to some of the participants. This is so researchers could separate out meditation as an active component, according to Elizabeth Hoge, the study’s lead author and associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. 

So, recent research shows it works. But how do you do it?

It all comes down to your thoughts, according to Hoge. Start by sitting in a quiet room and try to focus on your breath. Thoughts will inevitably pop up but the key is to not push them away or give up.

For example, if you are meditating and start to ruminate on a major work mistake or an unfounded fear, notice what’s happening but don’t get frustrated. The thoughts won’t disappear but you will learn to create distance from them, Hoge said.

“Mindfulness meditation is based on the idea of paying attention one’s own inner experience, whether that’s thoughts or sensations or emotions,” she told HuffPost. “Anything that passes through the mind is the internal stimuli that you’re paying attention to.”

Ideally, with enough practice, you’ll learn to create space between negative thoughts and your reactions. 

“See them as distinct objects from yourself,” Hoge said. “As in, ‘My thoughts are not myself.’ That allows a layer of separation so that the person has a little bit more freedom in how to respond to the thoughts or how to cope with them.” 

There is a slight catch

The practice does have some really great mental health perks. But if you truly suffer from anxiety and depression, meditation is likely something you should consider as part of a larger form of treatment like therapy, according to Chloe Carmichael, a clinical psychologist based in New York City.

Carmichael, who specializes in treating anxiety and depression, was a yoga instructor before she became a mental health professional. She uses a blend of mindfulness meditation and psychology tools to treat her clients.

“When you just sit there and follow your breath, that is a mindfulness meditation. It’s one of the early steps of learning how to follow our thoughts,” Carmichael said. “Once you have mindful awareness of what your thoughts are, you’re able to observe them without reacting to them.”

Depression has a tendency to make people think they’re worthless and then they tend to ruminate on that negative idea. People who have anxiety are prone to excessive worrying. Meditation can be a tool to help observe those thoughts, but medical support can provide the methods that help replace those thoughts altogether, according to Carmichael. 

“That’s one of the cornerstones of cognitive behavioral therapy: To analyze someone’s automatic thoughts,” she said. “So they work together really well ― psychology and mindfulness meditation.” 

Ultimately, implementing mindfulness into anxiety or depression treatment can have a very positive impact, according to Sharon Salzburg, a meditation teacher and author of Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28 Day Program

“You try different things to relieve suffering,” she said. “You can celebrate whatever method, or combo of methods, [that] help.” 

Just a little something to meditate on.

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10 Mother’s Day Cards For A Mother-In-Law You Really, Truly Like

Not every mother-in-law is a monster-in-law.

In fact, there are some kick-ass MILs out there who deserve major love this Mother’s Day. Below, 10 cheeky cards to remind her just how awesome she really is. 

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Am I Really 40?

Trudging through the graveyard with the Ghost of Hipster Future.

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When Chrissy Teigen Isn’t At The Met Gala, She Just Wants To Watch ‘Really Bad Television’

Of all the celebrities in Hollywood, Chrissy Teigen ranks pretty high on the list of those you’d want to share a drink with.

Unfortunately, it was only 11 a.m. when HuffPost sat down with the 31-year-old model, cookbook author and social media darling as she promoted her new partnership with Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka. 

Teigen was her usual candid self, telling HuffPost she’s a vodka soda kind of girl, because “when I’m drinking, I want to drink” and “honestly, I’m not good at the shaking.” 

She’s a “big fan of anything pretty unpretentious,” which is definitely the vibe of the series of commercials she shot for Smirnoff

Teigen is relatable, and that’s the reason so many people adore her. On evenings she’s not wearing a Marchesa gown to the Met Gala, she and husband John Legend know how to do nights in right. 

“I love watching ‘Black Mirror.’ We sit down, we kind of love to binge-watch TV shows,” she said. “I just finished watching ‘13 Reasons Why.’ I love to be able to cook and see the television from the kitchen and, you know, have a good drink in my hand and just enjoy the night together by way of really bad television.”

Tweets like the one above, which garnered close to 40,000 likes, make Teigen even more accessible, as her inner monologue is consistently being broadcast to fans.

A perfect example of this: After a drink-filled night at the Grammys, Teigen tweeted out a clip of herself making ramen and posted a video on Snapchat of Legend helping her remove her jewelry. 

Not surprisingly, those drunken posts were a big hit with her followers. But Teigen told HuffPost she’s careful not to make it a habit. 

“I don’t say anything that’s going to get me into trouble, unless it’s something that I very much believe in,” she said. “But no, no drunken tweeting. Snapchat can be really fun because people see that they are a part of your life.”

She continued, “But even then you still need to keep in mind that you need to be a good example for everybody and you never want to say anything that’s going to hurt anybody. Just always know that these things are forever.”

Never change, Chrissy. 

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Do You Really Need to Wash Your Hairbrush?

Here’s when a cleaning can help—and when you just need a new one.

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Why This Year’s Met Gala Is a Really Big Deal

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Do First Born Children Really Have Better Careers Than Their Siblings?

Here’s the bad news.

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David Archuleta Releases New Single ‘Up All Night’: It ‘Came From a Really Rough Month,’ He Says

David Archuleta has new music out!

The American Idol alum, 26, premiered his latest song, “Up All Night,” on Tuesday, one month ahead of the release of his new EP, Orion.

“‘Up All Night’ came from when I was having a really rough month trying to see how I could make a statement and prove myself and was getting nowhere,” Archuleta shares with PEOPLE.

The singer retreated into nature for some songwriting inspiration.

“A family living in rural Tennessee invited me over to go fishing at their pond. None of the kids even had smartphones at the time. They took me in and when I got home I realized I felt whole again,” Archuleta reveals. “I was so confused with what happened that I couldn’t sleep. I had to get out what I was feeling so I went to the keyboard and recorded the verse and chorus with some lyrics that night.”

Archuleta’s retrospective lyrics represent the mix of self-reflection and pop melodies that fans can look forward to hearing on his new EP.

FROM COINAGE: Mind-Blowing American Idol Success Stories From Kelly Clarkson to Carrie Underwood

Orion is the first in a series of EP’s that I have been working on since returning from a two year mission in Chile,” he tells PEOPLE. “I’ve co-written all of the songs, and they they tell the journey of where I have been and where I am heading.”

“Up All Night” follows-up the EP’s lead single, “Numb,” which premiered last November. Earlier this month, Archuleta debuted the artwork for Orion on social media, also sharing that the album would be available on May 19.


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Prince Harry Really Knows How To Rock A Casual Look

Like a fine wine, it appears Prince Harry just keeps getting better (and better dressed) with age. 

Harry attended a mental health conference in London Thursday dressed sharply in a gray jacket, white button-front shirt and blue pants. It’s not necessarily a bold or fresh new look, but he definitely wears it well.  

Just look at the fit on this thing. 

Harry met with former armed services members and one particularly adorable assistance dog, who made us realize for the first time ever that Harry is basically a human golden retriever: handsome, eager and slightly red-headed.

We’re not implying that girlfriend Meghan Markle dressed him for the occasion, but she does star on a show called “Suits.” Just saying. 

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What Does It Really Mean To Win Best Picture?

Sunday’s Oscars loom in the shadow of Donald Trump’s fledgling presidency. As with every awards show this year, we can expect a night of equal-rights diatribes mounted in resistance to the regressive legislation and callow disregard for tradition that has defined the Trump administration’s debut.

But before arriving at the annual ritual, we will have already seen one of the most politically driven Best Picture debates unfurl in the media. This time, it’s personal.

Perhaps more than ever, the Best Picture contest seems to double as a referendum on our culture’s conscience. It’s bigger than the Oscars, just as Beyoncé losing Album of the Year to Adele was bigger than the Grammys. If movies are statements about the world around us, then one purpose of the Academy Awards is to adjudicate the year’s best cinematic manifestos. That’s complicated when titles from Obama’s America are being feted in Trump’s America. 

It’s especially complicated when considering the Oscars’ thorny political backdrop. Throughout its 89-year history, the event has, after all, become a shrine to Hollywood’s liberal values ― even when the movies themselves aren’t explicitly political. 

In 2014, “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen ended his Best Picture acceptance speech by dedicating the award “to all the people who have endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.” He then turned to the cast and crew surrounding him onstage and leapt into the air enthusiastically. 

In 2016, “Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar addressed his Best Picture acceptance speech to Pope Francis, saying he hopes the recognition will inspire “a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.” He then turned and gave Michael Keaton a bear hug. 

In both cases, it would have been surprising not to hear rallying cries related to the human-rights transgressions depicted in these films. 

Sandwiched between the “12 Years a Slave” and “Spotlight” victories was “Birdman.” The closest that movie came to tackling social ills was something along the lines of “middle age = hard.” Yet director Alejandro González Iñárritu, a Mexico native, politicized his acceptance speech anyway, ending with a sweet pro-immigration sentiment. 

This all took place during Barack Obama’s tenure. In terms of Hollywood’s nerve center, it was a time of relative political ease.

But amid radical unrest, what does it mean to score popular culture’s most luminous prize?

If there’s one thing we know about the Oscars, it’s this: Even by subjective standards, the year’s best movie often doesn’t nab Best Picture. “The Greatest Show on Earth” beat “Singin’ in the Rain” because “Singin’ in the Rain” wasn’t even nominated. “How Green Was My Valley” topped “Citizen Kane,” frequently cited as the greatest film ever made. “Out of Africa” outpaced “The Color Purple.” “Dances with Wolves” stole the trophy from “Goodfellas.” Perhaps most infamously, voters preferred “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain,” a groundbreaking masterpiece if we’ve ever seen one. Some would add “Birdman” to the list of failures, too ― it did compete against “Boyhood” and “Selma.”

Understanding that the minutiae of a Best Picture race has little to do with pure quality, any Oscar pundit will tell you this year’s front-runner is “La La Land,” a bubbly musical romance about an aspiring Los Angeles actress and a stubborn jazz purist. “Moonlight,” one of 2016’s most acclaimed releases, could unseat “La La Land” in an underdog triumph, partly because it’s a phenomenal movie and partly because of the important story it tells, about a black latchkey kid grappling with his sexuality in the Miami projects. But watch out for “Hidden Figures,” the charming box-office smash about three black women who were pivotal at NASA in the 1960s. “Hidden Figures” became a veritable threat to the “La La”-”Moonlight” two-hander when it won the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ top prize, a coveted Best Picture pacesetter.

(Apologies to the other six nominees: “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea.” Thanks for playing.)

During awards season, that bastion of expensive politicking, offscreen narratives supersede art. This year’s narrative goes like this: “La La Land” is the escapist swoon needed to distract from Trump’s horror show, “Moonlight” is a socially vital tale not seen often enough, and “Hidden Figures” is a healthy blend of escapism and import.

Put another way, some journalists and Twitter objectors accuse “La La Land” of being a mansplain-y letdown with subpar dancers and a misguided homage to old-school musicals. They argue it’s simply not the movie Trump’s America needs, at least not when competing against stories about the very sorts of people our government would rather marginalize. The objectors’ objectors call them killjoys who fail to appreciate Damien Chazelle’s colorful flourishes and bittersweet enchantment. These arguments have occurred in countless think pieces since the moment “La La Land” opened. The New York Times’ arts writers, for instance, chimed in one by one on the musical’s merits, and lack thereof, last week.

Such political undercurrents offer a narrow, though not necessarily unfair, rubric for an awards show long granted an inflated premium within our pop-culture landscape. But if politics haunt the Oscars, shouldn’t the recipients reflect the moment’s political mood? 

Maybe. History shows that honoring exemplary art has always been a mere slice of the Oscar pie.

When a coterie of Hollywood bigwigs created the Academy Awards, first held in 1929, they intended to harmonize the ballooning industry, which was facing labor disputes and struggling in the transition from silents to talkies. Within two years, subtle lobbying had started, with studios purchasing ads in trade magazines touting their candidates. In 1953, television broadcasts began, further romanticizing the event. As the years progressed, offscreen solicitations swelled. In 1979, the major studios reportedly spent a collective $ 1.8 million on Oscar campaigns. Two decades later, Miramax dropped an estimated $ 5 million on its successful “Shakespeare in Love” crusade alone. By that point, one has to wonder how much a movie’s quality even matters.

Mudslinging, strategic film-festival debuts, baby-kissing industry events and an endless parade of media appearances have become part and parcel of the months-long Oscar season, ultimately defining the derby in tandem with an onslaught of predictive precursor prizes and lingering mythology about who is “overdue” for a win. (See: Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Revenant” sweep.) The nearly 7,000-member Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a persuadable, navel-gazing hive mind that, despite recent diversity initiatives, remains dominated by older white men ― the very group that decided “Crash” better reflects its values than “Brokeback Mountain.” 

It can’t be over-emphasized: No matter how many A-listers wax poetic about the power of great art on Oscar night, the Oscars are never really about great art, not exclusively at least.

Which is why a Trump-era victory for “Moonlight” or “Hidden Figures” would be more significant than any other socially relevant winner from the past, including Obama-era champs “Spotlight” and “12 Years a Slave.” Following two consecutive years without any acting nominees of color, we’re blessed with one of the most diverse Oscar rosters in history. Why, some ask, would voters select “La La Land,” in which a white dude mouths off about the death of jazz, an art form historically associated with African-Americans? 

Because it’s about Hollywood, of course. A Best Picture selection exemplifies the way the Academy wants to portray itself. In picking “La La Land,” the electorate advances the notion that movies are the dream ballets to which we all aspire. In opting for “Moonlight,” the Academy can confirm that art is inherently political, and that “Moonlight” is the film America needs to see now. “Hidden Figures,” again, combines the two value systems.

In every sense, there’s room for both styles of movies. Cinema does provide an escapism that has become woven into the fabric of our culture, and that’s perfectly fine. It also tackles hot-button issues in ways that shape how we see the world around us. There’s a reason Vietnam War epics “The Deer Hunter” and “Apocalypse Now” ― both Oscar winners ― were such important works in the 1970s, for example. 

As mass media has mushroomed throughout the Oscars’ history, so has our treatment of the Academy as a cultural figurehead. It means something ― it means a lot, in fact ― that so few filmmakers of color have been nominated, or that the Oscars have spotty credentials when it comes to stories about queer subjects. If these awards are America’s gold standard, people of all backgrounds deserve an invitation. 

But no matter the political jeremiads that flank Oscar night, the compulsion to gauge nominees based on the White House’s affairs has never been this frank. Just look at the past decade. Analyses of 2010’s campaigns indicated “The Hurt Locker” bested sci-fi behemoth “Avatar” because it staged a fierce dark-horse coup, not because it tackled the then-ongoing Iraq War. 2011’s titleholder, “The King’s Speech,” a typical Hollywood period piece, is one of the more divisive Best Picture upsets, largely because the moral ambiguity and topical timeliness of “The Social Network” made for a more progressive filmmaking style. Many chalk up the next two choices ― “The Artist” (over, say, “The Tree of Life”) and “Argo” (over “Lincoln”) ― as evidence of Hollywood’s love affair with itself. 

These competing codes ― potent campaigns, forward-thinking filmmaking, masturbatory interests ― create a hodgepodge of Best Picture history that hasn’t prepared us to agree that Trump’s election should determine the winner. It is only within the Oscars’ limited scope that “La La Land” and “Moonlight” ― movies with little in common ― are pitted against each other. And that’s where it helps to realize the Oscars create more phony narratives about popular culture than perhaps any other institution. Suddenly, you’re either a “Moonlight” fan or a “La La Land” fan, creating a false choice between supporting inclusivity or encouraging the same old Hollywood frolics.

But if there’s one consistent message the Academy sends, it’s that a Best Picture winner reflects the product Hollywood is proud to have made. Knowing the economic boon such a victory can bring to a movie, the Academy seems to say, “Go see this so we can make more like it.”

For many playing along at home, that theory leads to an easy answer: We’ve seen movies like “La La Land” before, and we’ll see them again. Instead, we must fight for movies like “Hidden Figures” and, especially, “Moonlight,” which would be the second-lowest-grossing winner in history after “The Hurt Locker.”

It’s encouraging to know the Academy has proven increasingly capable of crowning films that aren’t the box-office bonanzas so cherished in a mercurial industry. Look no further than the little-seen “Birdman” conquering the lucrative “American Sniper,” or the fact that “Spotlight” was every bit as worthy as “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Despite rapacious business models, money isn’t the only form of profit. To coronate low performers is to risk seeming out of touch with common moviegoers, but the Oscars were never designed to be populist anyway.

That timeworn tug-of-war is on display again this year. The box-office success of “La La Land” and “Hidden Figures” make them far more popular, and arguably more relevant as a result. Yet despite initially positive reviews, “La La Land” does not mean to its fans what “Moonlight” means to its admirers, especially considering the latter’s smaller marketing budget. Few will leave “La La Land” thinking, “Finally, my story is being told.” And anyway, “La La” and “Hidden Figures” did not muster the volume of critical enthusiasm that “Moonlight” enjoyed. 

What, then, makes one deserving of Best Picture over another? The weight of Hollywood’s future.

For a final example, let’s turn to the most glaring anecdote: In 1995, the edgy oddity “Pulp Fiction” lost to “Forrest Gump,” a box-office medalist drenched in conventional bathos. It’s an indisputable travesty, as “Pulp Fiction” is superior by every rubric except revenue. Critics knew it then, and just about everyone knows it now. Moreover, there would be ample “Forrest Gumps,” aka fables about heterosexual white men overcoming adversity in fantastical ways. Less reliable was the assumption that mainstream moviegoers in the mid-’90s would turn the next “Pulp Fiction” into a notable hit, thereby encouraging studios to invest in more like it ― and that’s a big part of why the Academy made a mistake. (Case in point: Quentin Tarantino’s next film, “Jackie Brown,” grossed one-third of what “Pulp Fiction” made domestically.) It’s not that there isn’t room for movies like “Forrest Gump.” But they do not boast the same flash-in-the-pan singularity of “Pulp Fiction,” just like “La La Land” does not carry the same dynamic originality of “Moonlight.”

At some point, the Academy has to decide for itself what the future of moviegoing must look like. What should people want to see? What should filmmakers aspire to? Dream ballets or mirrors held up to a knotty world? In other words, will voters pick more of the same or blaze a fresh frontier? With so much of the Obama administration’s progress in flux, our democracy awaits the answer. 

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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The Struggle To Figure Out How A Song In A Kids’ Book Really Goes

Sometimes when you read a book to a child, you reach a part that’s meant to be sung. But what do you do when you don’t know the intended tune and don’t see any sheet music on the page?

According to the funny moms of the BreakWomb, you just make it up.

In their latest comedy video, the ladies debate the merits of their various musical interpretations of children’s book songs.

Let’s just say there’s quite a bit of variety in melody, tempo and tone. Clearly, they need a little guidance from Sandra Boynton herself … or this helpful CD.

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Is the Wedding Off? Total Divas Star Lana Admits She’s ”Really Disappointed” in Rusev Minutes Before Walking Down the Aisle

Total Divas, Lana, RusevLana and Rusev’s wedding day is here…but is Lana ready to call it off?
On tonight’s mid-season finale of Total Divas, Lana admits that she’s “really disappointed” in…

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Bad Lip Reading Reveals What Was Really Said At Donald Trump’s Inauguration

Bad Lip Reading has got the scoop on what really went down at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

By hilariously dubbing over key parts of Friday’s ceremony, the YouTube channel gives a unique (parody) insight into what was actually being said while the eyes of the world were on Washington D.C.

It turns out Trump was all nervously set to barf before walking out onto the stage, while Vice President Mike Pence really wasn’t thrilled about the proceedings at all.

Check out the full clip above.

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These Honest ‘Parenting Support’ Cards Say What Parents Really Need To Hear

There are greeting cards that congratulate new parents and parents-to-be on their growing families. So it makes sense that there should also be cards that acknowledge breast pumping, sleep deprivation and the other trials of raising children.

This week, greeting card designer Emily McDowell launched a new line of “Parenting Support” cards. The line features cards with messages like “You’re not a monster. Parenting is really hard” and “Hang in there, you’re doing great.”

”Parenting is really hard, and yet it’s frowned upon to publicly admit anything about it that could be perceived as negative, because of the fear that we’ll be judged as not loving our children enough, or pegged as a ‘bad mom,’” McDowell told The Huffington Post

“There’s a well-worn set of cultural expectations about how parents are supposed to feel about the experience of parenting, and women in particular get hammered with it, both from other people and within ourselves,” she added. “When reality doesn’t live up to those expectations, we end up with tremendous guilt and shame, and secretly concluding that ‘there must be something wrong with me’ ― which of course isn’t true.”

McDowell is a stepparent to an 11-year-old boy and also has two very young godsons. She told HuffPost her godsons’ mother has been her best friend for 25 years and served as “unofficial consultant” for her “Parenting Support” cards. 

The designer said she wants her cards to have an impact on people in the throes of parenting.  

“I hope parents who receive these cards (or even see them!) can feel a sense of relief and reassurance that they’re not failing, they’re not alone, and it’s totally normal and OK to both love your kid and have complicated feelings about being a mom or dad,” McDowell explained.

”Someone commented on my Instagram last week that she’d bought herself a whole set of our Empathy Cards (for serious illness and loss), not to send out, but to keep and look at when she wanted to feel understood,” she added. “I hope these can serve a similar purpose for parents.”

McDowell has three “Parenting Support” cards available on her website and is currently in the process of creating more. The next batch will focus on the way your relationship with your partner changes after having kids, issues of identity struggles and finding humor in parenting situations, from caring for infants to raising teenagers.

Said McDowell, “This is a hugely broad topic, and I’m really looking forward to finding different ways to look at it.”

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Style – The Huffington Post
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This Lady Gaga Parody Gives A ‘Million Reasons’ Why 2016 Really Sucked

The Cubs won the World Series. Harriet Tubman will take Andrew Jackson’s place on the $ 20 bill … Ken Bone? 

For sketch group Half Day Today, there are millions of reasons to walk away from 2016, and very few that would make us stay.

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Here’s a Really Good Reason to Go Au Naturale Down There

We did not see this one coming.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Did Sexual Violence Really Add Value to Westworld?

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Khloé Kardashian Says Kim and Kylie ‘Don’t Really Work Out,’ While Kourtney Is Her Go-To Fitness Buddy

Khloé Kardashian works hard for her toned physique, but not all of her sisters are as disciplined about hitting the gym.

“Some of my sisters are more motivating than others,” Khloé, 32, writes on her website.

Her go-to workout buddy is big sister Kourtney Kardashian.

“If you follow me on Snapchat, then you probably already know that Kourtney is my main b— when it comes to exercise partners,” she says. “She’ll try everything and do her best without complaining.”

Kendall Jenner is also “a really good fitness partner because she’s super athletic,” says Khloé.

“She has her dad ’s body so it doesn’t take a lot for her to get in shape. She doesn’t do a ton of cardio but she does weights. Kenny’s also really quiet when she works out, which is funny.”

WATCH: How Khloé Kardashian Dropped 35 Lbs.

While Kim Kardashian West has successfully dropped her baby weight, Khloé says she actually isn’t big on working out.

“Kim has the best body but she doesn’t work out a lot, so it’s just like a half-ass weird thing when we’re exercising together,” she says. “We’ll literally both be on treadmills and I’m sprinting and she’s texting next to me. Also she doesn’t sweat, she just glistens!”

According to Khloé, Kylie Jenner also “doesn’t really work out.”

“She did come with Kourt and me one time, when Don was training us,” she says. “Don does four quarters in each session and Kylie only stayed for one quarter.”


PEOPLE.com

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Jourdan Dunn on Her Two Met Gala 2016 Balmain Looks: ‘I Felt Really Good About Myself’

If you thought Jourdan Dunn killed it with her two Met Gala looks—both by Balmain—you’re not the only one. The British model herself agrees with you. “Last night I felt really good about myself,” she told PeopleStyle when we caught up with her on the set of a campaign shoot today. She paired the look with Stuart Weitzman heels and Eva Fehren jewelry.

Jourdan Dunn Met Gala 2016David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock; Kevin Mazur/Getty


Dunn fell right in line with the night’s overall trend: Bold silver gowns with a robot-like inspiration, a perfect fit for the Met Gala’s theme of ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.’ Kim Kardashian, Kylie Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Cindy Crawford, Alessandra Ambrosio and Doutzen Kroes joined Dunn in wearing Balmain and, together, they walked the carpet as the #BalmainArmy, a hashtag the fashion house created in the past (and has stuck as a way to describe fans of the brand).

Instagram Photo

For Dunn’s look, she worked directly with Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing. “Olivier sent two sketches—one was a short one and one was a long one,” she explained. “I was drawn to the long one, I thought it was amazing. When I had my fitting for it, it all came together.” As soon as her glam squad got a whiff of the direction, they suggested she pair the look with gray, silvery hair. “I thought it was a cool idea,” she said.

Instagram Photo

But despite the fact that she looked calm and collected in all of the photos, she admitted it’s actually a very nerve-wracking experience. “There are people everywhere, like waiting for you to walk out of your hotel and then all the paparazzi,” she said. “ It’s huge. So I was in the car, and I was nervous. But once I got on the red carpet, I just had to own it and feel myself.”

Instagram Photo

RELATED PHOTOS: Every Gorgeous Gown at the 2016 Met Gala

It’s a long way that she’s come from her first gala appearance in 2009 (below, with Karlie Kloss). “I remember when I first attended seven years ago, I felt so out of place and like I shouldn’t really be there,” she said. “Now I feel I do deserve to be here, I’ve worked hard. I like being in that mind frame.”

Jourdan Dunn First Met Gala LookErik C. Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock


After the gala concluded, Dunn slipped into a black sequined mini Balmain to head downtown to the Gilded Lily after-party. “The second look is all about being able to move and dance and just feel good,” she said. “With a Balmain dress, sometimes that’s a bit impossible because they’re so structured. But in my fitting, Olivier wanted to make sure I was able to move. It’s all about something fun and be able to move and get down in and look good in.”

But she didn’t change in the car. “Some people do that but I went back to my hotel, chilled, refreshed my makeup and changed really quick and headed out,” she said. (And no, the Army did not travel together.)

RELATED PHOTOS: The Biggest Trends at the 2016 Met Gala

So, how can regular people get into the #BalmainArmy? There’s no boot camp, unfortunately, she said. “I don’t know how I became a member,” she added, “but I’m happy to be in the army.”

Which Jourdan Dunn look did you like better: Met Gala or after-party? Tell us in the comments below!

—Sharon Clott Kanter


Style News – StyleWatch – People.com

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3 Women Share What It’s Really Like to Have a Threesome

“Everything was exciting.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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3 Women Share What It’s Really Like to Have a Threesome

“Everything was exciting.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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3 Women Share What It’s Really Like to Have a Threesome

“Everything was exciting.”

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What Sex After Childbirth Is Really Like, According to 30 Women

Pro tip: Take your time and use lots of lube.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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What It’s Really Like to Be a Cosmetic Chemist

Before your favorite beauty product gives you smooth skin or shiny hair, it’s dreamed up and then whipped up by a cosmetic chemist, like Ni’Kita Wilson. We asked her what it’s like having the coolest job in the world:
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What It’s Really Like to Use a Strap-On Dildo During Sex

“It’s tiring as hell… I don’t know how men who are on top do it.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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18 Moms Describe What Giving Birth Really Feels Like

It’s basically the after-effects of Taco Bell.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Satanist Really Appreciates The New Starbucks Holiday Cups

This fall, Starbucks has altered their holiday cup design to reflect a more inclusive attitude toward their customers’ religious beliefs, trading the traditional snowflakes and elves for a simpler red.

Though the change was met with criticism by many Christians, devoted Satan-worshipper Arnold Gregory welcomes the move. 

“It’s good to feel included,” said Gregory, donning a ritual mask of his own design.

The 32-year-old says he’s noticed the service at his local Starbucks has also gotten much quicker in recent weeks.

“Not sure what it is,” he said, breathing heavily through the mask’s mouth hole and speaking as a serpent might, ”but they’re great about getting me in and out as quickly as possible.” 

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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18 Really Simple Ways To Make Today Better

On days when things seem a little dark, a change of perspective, a mantra or a loving reminder is sometimes all it takes to see a little light. Chocolate cake is helpful, too.

The hashtag #MakeLifeBetterIn3Words has been trending on Twitter lately, highlighting the fact that simple actions, thoughts and reframing can be all it takes to pull yourself out of a rut. We scoured a bunch of tweets and selected 18 inspirational three-word phrases that help those figurative rainclouds dissipate. Check out the words that make life better below, then share your own on Twitter or in the comments section. 

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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92 Gorgeous Photos That Show What It Really Means To Be Trans

 

Last summer, HuffPost Gay Voices asked transgender people to share photos of themselves on Twitter using the hashtag #WhatTransLooksLike in an effort to show just how diverse — and beautiful! — the trans community is.

We were absolutely gobsmacked by the response we received. In fact, people were so excited about #WhatTransLooksLike that we received countless requests for us to do another call out.

So, that’s exactly what we did. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. In the 12 months since our first #WhatTransLooksLike story, the “transgender tipping point” has tipped even further. 

From Caitlyn Jenner’s gorgeous Vanity Fair cover and emotional ESPY Awards speech to Jazz Jenning’s reality TV show debut to news that transgender soldiers may soon be able to openly serve in the military, we’ve continued to see stunning wins for the trans community in the last year.

Of course, there’s much work left to do. Trans people still face inordinately high levels of prejudice and are regularly targeted for violence. And while representations in the media of what it means to be trans are becoming more varied and nuanced, for the most part, the images, stories and experiences of trans people still do not receive the attention they deserve.

So, for all of those reasons — and because we simply wanted to showcase another collection of beautiful photos — we bring you #WhatTransLooksLike2.

 

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Here’s How People Really Feel About Their Marriage Proposals

 

Read this before planning a flash mob or jumbotron marriage proposal.

 New research out of the The University of Texas at Austin suggests that most people want a private proposal. And while they usually get what they want in that regard, people’s dream proposal is significantly more romantic than their actual proposal in many cases.

 Ph.D. candidates Liz Keneski and Taylor Anne Morgan surveyed nearly 400 newly-engaged and newly-married individuals to understand how they feel about their proposals, engagements and weddings

“What we know from previous research is that relationship transitions, or big changes during relationships, affect how partners view the relationship, how they treat one another, how their friends and family members might view the relationship, and how happy they are in the relationship,” Keneski said. “So we knew that studying engagements and wedding planning…would give us a more complete picture of how relationships grow and change over time.” 

Check out some of their results below, and click over to The Science Of Relationships for more.

 

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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