Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Best Dressed at the Oscars

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tyra Banks and Her Never-Ending Quest to Literally Be the "Bigger Person"

Not only is "America's Next Top Model" coming back for a 12th season on March 4 (not that I am plugging this show), but apparently Banks — ever the spider weaving a web of misfortune — has been busily planning the next season.

But, wait! There's more.

According to The New York Post, Banks will be prohibiting anyone above the height of 5'7" from competing in season 13.

I cannot help but wonder if height should really be the main concern here? Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died as a result of anorexia in 2006 at the age of 21, and she was 5'8". That same year, 22-year-old Luisel Ramos died of anorexia at 22, and her 18-year-old sister, Eliana Ramos, died of "malnutrition" just months later in 2007, and they were both 5'9".

In each of the above examples, height does not really matter, does it? However, the fact that their BMIs were equal to the number of days in a fortnight — that's 14, ye commoner — or thereabouts, when it should be at least 18.5, is the real issue.

Call me crazy, but I don't think Banks is acting as noble as she would like to think. Focusing on something that young women cannot control — height — rather than something that they can control — weight, preferably a healthy one — is pointless.

Then again, what is the point of "America's Next Top Model"? Based on the past 11 winners, the show has not exactly lived up to its title.

AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Devil Wears Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Oh, to be young and named "Elisabeth Hasselbeck."

The "View" co-host who most resembles a photo negative has just showcased her moderately priced eponymous fashion line at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week which means that fashion industry now has no standards whatsoever.

Honestly, why should we even care about this woman? Hasselbeck graduated from Boston College in 1999 with a BFA with emphasis in "large paintings and industrial design" according to, so how she even got a start in the fashion industry to begin with is beyond me. Back when she was known as Elisabeth Filarski on the second season of Survivor in 2001, she was supposedly a shoe designer. She lost "Survivor," but for no apparent reason served as the host of "The Look for Less" on the Style Network. Then, in 2003 she aced a spot as co-host on "The View," much to my personal chagrin, as the literal and figurative elephant in the room notorious for spouting her conservative opinions on even the most mundane of subjects.

It is not like she studied fashion design at noted fashion schools a la Parsons, FIT or even — dare I say it — Los Angeles's questionable FIDM for that matter. Likewise, she did not study broadcast journalism at a notable university. She should not be designing clothes and gallivanting with the celebrity elite, nor should she be a talking head on "The View." She should not be a subject of discourse, period.

We can talk about something else now.

AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Monday, February 9, 2009

Reverend Says the "Wright" Stuff at Loyola

"I always get in trouble when I quote people," said Rev. Jeremiah Wright as he began his lecture, "Law, Justice, & Society," at Loyola University Chicago. This poignant ice-breaker helped me melt the perception I had gained of Wright thanks to the often unforgiving media.

Wright, who underwent plenty of scrutiny thanks to the fiery 2008 election, was asked what he thought the role of social justice would play in the Obama administration. "Barack Obama is Barack Hussein Obama. He is not Jesus of Nazareth," the Rev. said to a chuckling audience. Amen.

As the former pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, Wright made a career of getting to know the sandal-wearing Christian savior. As a pastor of 36 years, Wright has devoted plenty of time to answering questions such as "What is the church doing for the society in which we live? What is the church doing for social justice? What are the needs of the community in which we sit?" My questions generally border on the mundane (one cookie, or two cookies?) and usually begin with, "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret...".

Channeling his inner Studs Terkel, the Rev. spent a majority of the evening weaving an eloquent stream-of-conscious on the state of blacks in America. He asked audience members to imagine baking a cake in order to better understand the relationship between legality and race. My inner-fat kid perked up.

"You mix the ingredients - butter, milk, flour, vanilla extract [and] powder - and then you realize you don't have sugar. You cannot sprinkle sugar on top and call it a cake. The constitution of the cake does not change.

"You cannot change the Constitution by adding the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments," Wright added, serving up a healthy dose of relevancy.

When he later discovered a general lack in awareness of news events, Wright urged audience members to focus on relevant issues.

"This is what we should be talking about, but we're too busy talking about Oprah's latest book, or 'American Idol' [and] the Super Bowl," the Rev. said to the knowing audience, to which I say, "Praise be to God."

Photo by Meg Mathis

Sunday, February 8, 2009

BFFs for One Night Only

If there is one thing that can be learned from watching the 51st Grammy Awards, perhaps it is that friendships can blossom in the blink of an eye.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson opened the evening and, in an unnecessary addendum, referred to crooner Justin Timberlake as "my friend." Later, teen queens Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift performed a stomach-churning duet only after Cyrus singled out Swift as "my best friend."

I don't think so.

Something tells me that this was just a cruel, cruel joke at the expense of the Jo Bros and the rest of the world.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Friday, February 6, 2009

Down Under

So, how about that guy from Australia who tried to smuggle pigeons in his pants?

Move over, "Maria Full of Grace." I am anxious to see whether Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of New Zealand's 'Flight of the Conchords' incorporate this into an upcoming episode to pigeonhole (that was too easy) Australia.

In all seriousness, such animal cruelty warrants punishment. And yet, I cannot help but wonder, pigeons? Really?

AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Call Me 'Cleopatra' 'Cause I'm Queen of Denial

All these commercials I am seeing for “Confessions of a Shopaholic” have really hit home.

There was a feature in yesterday’s RedEye that basically diagnosed shopaholics. While the article was riveting, I didn’t need to read something to discover that I have a problem. The proof was in the pudding when, on Sunday, I spent several hours sucking on a venti Mocha at Starbucks and then made the fatal error of going to the 900 Shops. One Medium Brown Bag later and I was on the phone with my mother trying to make sense of it all.

“Mom,” I said, breathless from the high one gets from a 50%-off-the-already-reduced-price sale at Bloomingdale's, “the sale was so good, I had no excuse not to buy up.”

Much to my own chagrin, my Protestant guilt apparently didn’t last too long. A mere five minutes later, my mom asked me what all the loud noise was. “Where are you?”

“H&M," I said absentmindedly. "It's been a while."

Hi. I’m Meg, and I’m a shopaholic just doing her part to help out the economy.

AP Photo/Darla Khazei