Category Archives: Celebrity

Robin Williams open thread

[Content note: Suicide and mental illness]

Yesterday, after a long battle with depression, Robin Williams took his own life. He left behind a family that loved him dearly and a legion of fans who loved having someone to make them laugh and cry and think, even as he himself was so frequently in a dark place. He made kids’ movies with jokes that only adults would get, he made movies for adults that made you forget he was the genie from Aladdin, he made a few zany comedies that possibly made you stupider just by watching them but were so entertaining that who cares, and he made people feel better. He gave joy. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Health, Movies | Tagged | 20 Comments

Joan Rivers lobs transphobic slurs at Michelle Obama, but, like, totally as a compliment

[Trigger warning for transphobia]

Unfunny comedian and walking Halloween decoration [update: See in comments where I regret writing that part] Joan Rivers took a completely random opportunity this week to throw transphobic slurs at Michelle Obama. Asked by a reporter, for some reason, whether we’ll ever see a gay president, she replied, “We already have it with Obama, so let’s calm down.” This was, she elaborated without prompting, because “You know Michelle is a [transphobic slur redacted]. A transgender. We all know.” Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, GLBTQ, Trans | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

Oscars Open Thread

I have just one comment: LUPITA! And her speech. Now talk about whatever other Oscars-related stuff you want. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Popular Culture | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bill Cosby, Serial Rapist?

In 2006, Bill Cosby was accused of raping several women in assaults that go back to the 70s. Tom Scocca at Gawker has the story. Weirdly, I have absolutely no recollection of these accusations being published in People magazine and discussed on the Today show. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | 46 Comments

Which Woody Allen movie is your favorite?

Dylan Farrow, the daughter of Woody Allen, speaks out about charges that he sexually assaulted her when she was a kid. [TW for, as you might suspect, sexual assault]. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Popular Culture, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | 128 Comments

Jezebel vs. Lena Dunham and Vogue, condensed

Heard that there was something going on with Jezebel and Vogue magazine and Lena Dunham, and you were quasi-curious but not really curious, or you were semi-demi-curious but not inclined to give Jezebel the clicks? For your reading pleasure: the condensed version. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Celebrity, Fashion, Media & Media Literacy | 24 Comments

I’m glad Lena Dunham gets naked on Girls

Season 3 of HBO’s Girls premiered Sunday night, Lena Dunham is on the cover of next month’s Vogue, and after a reporter from The Wrap asked her why she gets naked so often everyone is talking about how often Lena Dunham gets naked. So I am too! Over at the Guardian, I say that Girls is an imperfect show, but Dunham’s nudity is powerful: Not just because she looks more like the average American woman than most women on television, but because her nakedness isn’t primarily ornamental, purposed for titillation and aspiration. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Celebrity, Entertainment, Gender, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , , | 74 Comments

The Heat: A Feminist Triumph or Business as Usual?

So far, the blogosphere has been busy extolling the big box office blockbuster The Heat, a film starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy that netted $40 million its opening weekend. Hailed as both a comic vehicle for its two superstars and a trailblazing movie that “breaks the mold” of the male “buddy-cop-action-comedy” genre, The Heat has garnered great reviews from critics appreciative of its girl power message (e.g., Laura Shamas’ July 1 review in The Huffington Post). No doubt, the film succeeds as a comedy, trading in running gags and clever parody sustained by the talents of Bullock and McCarthy. But is The Heat truly a feminist triumph? If so, what kind and at whose expense? Looking beyond the laughter, how does the film depict women’s ability to succeed in a male dominated profession? And does using this genre really “break the mold?”
Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Feminism, Gender, Movies, Popular Culture | Tagged | 27 Comments

Is ABC so desperate for ratings that they need to bring an anti-vaxxer to the View?

I’m sure Jenny McCarthy is a perfectly nice person and I have perhaps laughed at one of her poop jokes once or twice, but she’s the biggest anti-vaccine celebrity out there, spreading all kinds of misinformation. And as far as I can tell, beyond her anti-vax activism, she’s never had even had a passing interest in current events or politics. So why put her on a show where her job is to intelligently discuss current events? Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Gender, Health, Medicine, Politics, Popular Culture | 86 Comments

Kate Middleton and Moms Who Aren’t Princesses

With much of England and half the U.S. on Kate Middleton Baby-Watch this week, I’m writing about motherhood in the Guardian. It’s great (and normal) that we’re all excited about a new (and royal!) baby. Babies are really cute, and all of them should enter the world into the arms of folks who are excited to welcome them. But our celebrity pregnancy obsession, coupled with our unrealistic and condescending view of motherhood (it’s THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WOOOOORLD!) make real political change difficult, and keep parents (mostly mothers) unsupported. A bit:
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Posted in Celebrity, Class, Feminism, Gender, Marriage, Parenthood, Politics, Popular Culture, Poverty, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Leave Amanda Bynes alone; look at yourself instead

I’m writing about Amanda Bynes’ very public breakdown at the Guardian, and what the media coverage says about American views on beautiful women: Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Celebrity, Crime, Entertainment, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Angelina Jolie and her mastectomy. (It was going to come up eventually.)

In February, Angelina Jolie had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. This week, she wrote an op-ed about it for the New York Times. And here’s all I’m going to say about it. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Celebrity, Media & Media Literacy, Medicine | 118 Comments