Rating the Disney Princesses: From Skinniest to Fattest

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Come on, give me a break! Could you imagine? Oh, wait. It kinda happened. Read Harley Pasternak’s stupid blog, and then come on back real quick-like.

I wrote about it today on The Huffington Post. Read it here. And then let’s you and me make a plan to have Ashley Tisdale’s jaw un-wired shut, okay?

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How to Not Incite Rage When You Tweet

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Did you watch the Oscars? I sure did, complete with a magnifique French Les Mis-themed dinner: French Onion Soup, crepes… and piping hot controversy casserole.

If you watched the show like I did, you were snuggled up with your Twitter account, scrolling along to the beat of as folks from all walks of life weighed in on everything– the dresses (Too much nip! What was she thinking?!), the host (He sucks! So lame!), the awards (What a rip he wasn’t nominated!) and… the innocent nine-year-olds (I’m not going to post what The Onion said here. Look it up yourself). Noticing a theme?

The Onion’s gross grossness slapped us all in the face with the cataclysmic levels of snarkiness, flat-out rudeness and riot-inducing cruelty that’s fully permeated our public opinions on pop culture. On each other. On sweet, sparkly dress-wearing little girls. How do we pump the breaks on all of this– and pump ‘em good?

  1. Chill On The One-Upping. It seems that he– or she (we don’t know if Offending Tweeter was a woman, after all. Stop assuming things, ya big sexist.)– who shouts loudest is re-tweeted the mostest. It’s like everyone’s just sitting there eating movie snacks and trying to think of the meanest, most shocking thing to say– just for the sake of getting attention. Not classy, not funny. That’s just being a Grade-A jerk.
  2. Nice Can Be Funny.  Host Seth MacFarlane’s getting a lot of criticism for his mean-spirited humor. But remember when Tina went googalooga over ‘Bill Rodham Clinton,” and Amy sat doe-eyed next to Clooney? Their biggest laughs came from admiring people, not making fun of them. Classy.
  3. What Would Your Mom Think? I’ll fully admit I’ve written things I’m not 100% proud of (but not ashamed of, either). Here’s the test I suggest, no matter how old you are: would you be embarrassed if your mom or dad read it? If it would shame the very people who think everything you do is all kinds of call-your-grandma fantastic, then maybe do a quick re-write.

The Onion has since apologized, and let’s hope they learned something. Maybe we can all learn something, too.  I’ll start. Hey, did you hear where Quvenzhané Wallis got her super-cute puppy purse? New Yorkie!

The Groupon I’ve Waited Her Entire Life For

There is a hole in my soul in the shape of a professional family portrait.

When Posey hit the three-month mark, the six-month mark, her first birthday… I let each milestone pass without commemorating it with a classic “playing around in leaves” or “swinging child by the hands” or “fun day in the park” or “matching turtlenecks” photo shoot. But I wanted to. If we are friends on Facebook– and you have a child– there is a 100% chance that I have stared longingly at your family album, googled the photographer and spent hours browsing their portfolio. But I haven’t pulled the trigger. I haven’t found that special someone who I feel confident will get that magic shot where one or all of is not making this face:

And then, I stumbled across this deal on Groupon today. Whaaaaaaat? An in-studio session with a world-renowned portrait artist who’s shot Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and this Mellencamp album cover, for crying out loud?

YES, PLEASE. THIS IS THE MAN FOR THE JOB. Pretty sure he’ll be able to get one where Beef’s eyes aren’t closed. This is like buying a Groupon for Richard Lewis to craft you your own tailor-made joke about your own personal insecurities. Which, Groupon, would be a pretty kick-ass offer.

So what should we wear for the big shoot? Bolo ties, or no bolo ties?

Why I Begrudgingly Call Anne Hathaway My Hero

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I’d like to tackle a truly polarizing topic: Anne Hathaway.

It’s very rare to come across a fairly cultured, in-the-know kind of person who actually likes her, and I include myself in that group.  If you’ve paid attention to her, her interviews, or her speeches over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed the following:

  1. She’s pretentious.
  2. She takes herself very seriously.
  3. She probably uses words like “brave” to describe acting.
"I was in the movie, too... you guys?"

“I was in the movie, too… you guys?”

In 2006, she was on Oprah, along with her Brokeback Mountain co-stars, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal.  During that interview, something struck me:  The other three were obviously very close-knit (and by “obviously,” I mean two of them had a baby together and the other one was named godfather).  Anne was the outsider– she wasn’t dark or deep or layered enough to fit in with their clique.  She probably watched Ugly Betty alone in her trailer with a pile of Jelly Bellies, while Heath, Michelle and Jake smoked and drank and talked about Jack Kerouac while playing Russian Roulette with a rusty knife for the duration of the shoot.  During that hour of daytime television, they weren’t mean to her, they didn’t ignore, her, but her whole being screamed, “Hey, what about me, guys?”

I can’t tell you how much that feeling resonates with me.  My grade school self, my high school self, my college self, my career self.

So what about her, guys?  A few years later, she’s on top of her career.  She’s alive.  She’s happily married.  She is a Golden Globe winner.  She will most likely be an Oscar winner in a few short weeks– all for a part that let her theatre geek nerd light shine, unapologetically (in a film that Beef would like to point out only got a 63 on metacritic).

She cut off her Princess Diaries hair.  She literally starved herself on lettuce leaves to look like she was dying.  She worked really, really hard, the way she wanted to– and it’s paying off for her.  She’s super happy and super proud of herself.  And she super should be.

And yet, if you Google “Anne Hathaway Annoying,” your computer will crash with a bajillion hits.  She’s still nobody’s darling.  I mean, “Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forever more use as a weapon against self-doubt”???  COME ON!  Nerd alert!   In fact, it is the very fact that I find Anne rather abrasive and self-important that I respect her so much.  F those Brokeback Mountain cool kids.  She did it on her terms and did what made her happy and didn’t care what anybody else said or did.

And that, my friends, is kinda brave.

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Up All Night

So, I’m kind of up all night over Up All Night.  If you don’t know what it is, it’s a TV show.  But not just any TV show– it’s a sitcom that started out with this premise: What happens when a former cool-girl daytime talk show producer has a baby and tries to juggle her work and family?  

I really wanted to know the answer to that question.  For personal reasons.  So did a lot of my co-workers.  In fact, when they released an over four-minute trailer for the show in anticipation of its premiere, we watched all four minutes and forty-two seconds.   That’s like an eternity in online video commitment.  We chuckled as our heroes, Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, grappled with their baby’s super human strength.  We howled over their “who slept less last night” fight.  We emailed it to each other.  We said, “This is gonna be so awesome.”

Then the show started.  It was okay.  It continued.  It was less okay.  And also, what about the TV show you people work at?  When does the fact that you work at a talk show and not a paper supply company, a late night sketch show or a diner factor in?  It didn’t– and then they got renewed for Season Two– by the skin of Maya Rudolph’s pretty teeth.

In Season Two, there was no more talk show.  So now, not only is this now just kind of a regular show about people, but it has effectively USED UP THE PREMISE for, oh, I don’t know– anyone else who might want to develop a show about working at a talk show.  It was sad.  Feelings were hurt.  I binge-ate uncooked spaghetti noodles.

For those of us who care, just adding Jack from Will & Grace playing “Older Jack” from Will & Grace and also a random brother aren’t the only changes.  The show’s switching to a multi-cam format, which means it’s now going to be “Taped In Front of a Live Studio Audience.”  Just like Two and a Half Men!  And Whitney!  Oy.

And then, there’s this news.  Series creator (and former SNL writer, so she’s kinda Liz Lemony) Emily Spivey is “departing.” And here I am, blogging about this show I don’t watch much any more and a woman I don’t know.  At midnight.  And this is why:  I feel like Up All Night is that friend you know deep down is so, so super-awesome, but she can’t get her act together and just keeps going down the same dead-end path and dating the same loser guys.  No, Sweet Friend, getting bangs or switching to a multi-cam format are NOT the answer– and now that Emily Spivey’s leaving, well, that’s pretty much like your own mom just gave up on you.  Whatever you do, Up All Night, don’t have another baby– that fixes nothing.

I only say this because I care.  And also, Happy 2013!

Marissa Mayer, I Ain’t Mad Atcha

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is getting a lot of flack this week– mostly from the very network of moms that are supposed to be supportive.  You know, that great big nurturing web of womanhood where we all help each other out.  First, they came at her all, “I can’t WAIT to say ‘I told you so'” when she announced she would only take a two-week maternity leave.  And guess what?  After her son was born, that’s exactly what she did.  Now she’s back, and she’s getting more crap than ever.  Why?  Because the very moms who are pissed they can’t say “I told you so” are now practically outside her office with pitchforks and torches because of these words, spoken at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women dinner:

The baby’s been way easier than everyone made it out to be. I think I’ve been really lucky that way, but I had a very easy, healthy pregnancy.  He’s been easy. So those have been the two really terrific surprises — the kid has been easier, and the job has been fun!

How dare she?!  Who does she think she is!?  She’s demeaning our mom work!  She’s  minimizing the spinning plates act every working mom is one second away from dropping! She is ruining everything, for everyone, forever!

Marissa, what can I say? Haters gonna hate.

When Posey was born, she spent three weeks in the NICU.  This, admittedly, was not easy and would have used up 1/4 of my maternity leave, had I stayed at my job.  My heart broke for the moms I watched rush in and rip their shirts off like Clark Kent around 5 p.m. every day, when I had the luxury of all the time in the world.  They wanted to save their leave for when their babies came home, and that made sense. Now THAT I can’t imagine. Going back to work like four days after birthing.  I walked to J. Crew with my now-sister-in-law to help her try on a wedding dress four days after Po was born, and I seriously wanted a medal.  An engraved, platinum, on-a-red-white-and-blue-ribbon medal.    I wanted to scream from the top of the 900 North Michigan building, “I HAD A BABY FOUR DAYS AGO! AND NOW I’M SHOPPING! I’M AMAZING!” But I didn’t.

Maybe that’s how you feel in your office.  I hope you do.  Know what?  I had an easy baby, too.  She slept a lot.  So I took her out.  Everywhere, basically.  She napped in her car seat in the corner of the pilates studio.  We went out to lunch.  To the doctor.  Target.  And then Target again.  Yes, I know I wasn’t running Yahoo!  But before I was a mom– in fact, for my entire life– people told me that having a baby was the hardest, worst, most exhausting, most head-beating-against-the-wall thing ever.  To the point that I wondered why people did it.  And it turned out IT WASN’T THAT BAD.  But only in the way that The Artist couldn’t be as good as everyone told me.  In the way that Liz & Dick didn’t make we want to gouge my eyeballs out of my face.  Most things aren’t as good or as bad as people tell you.  So Marissa, if you were talking to the same people I was, then no– having a baby IS easier than people told you.

Then again, let’s think of what “easy” means to you.  You are running a Fortune 500 company.  Face it, most people– moms or not– can’t do that.  You are also 37 years old.  So you are most likely a lot more driven than most people.  Your version of “easy” is not the same as most peoples’.  It’s a semantics thing.  I couldn’t do what you did, so I didn’t.  To each their own.

So back off, Judgy Moms.  You’re being hypocritical.  Stop casting Mayer as the Chris Brown opposite your Jenny Johnson in your parenting play.  She’s entitled to say it’s easy if, in fact, it is for her.

But let’s all check in with her again when Macallister hits six months– ’cause once those little buggers start staying awake longer, all bets are off.

Pregnant Claire Danes is a Winner

A mellow yellow and pregnant Claire Danes won an Emmy tonight for Homeland.  Her golden moment reminded me of Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Oscar win– because both actors received their trophies while expecting.  I imagine it must feel odd to win one of those (an Emmy or an Oscar, not a baby), but even more so when there is a stranger swimming around under your maternity Spanx.

But maybe I know a little bit how it feels. I mentally bookmarked a few major highlights while I was pregnant for the “Remember to Tell Her About this Day Someday” collection.  I think every woman does this to some extent.

Cool Stuff that Happened While I Was Pregnant:

  • A trip to Hawaii: Posey kicked like crazy during a magic show we attended. In fact, it was the only week of my entire pregnancy that she moved around consistently.
  • Price William and Kate Middleton’s Wedding: I woke up at 3 a.m. to watch it… with her. It was one of the first things we did “together.”
  • The Final Week of Oprah:  Not only was it a moment in American cultural history for everyone who watched, but I (and therefore Posey) were a part of it, behind the scenes. There’s even a brief glimpse of us in the final show as she bid adieu to the staff.  Will Claire and Natalie watch their moments on the future-version of YouTube one day with their kids? Cause I’m sure going to.

Alone, these events were pretty magical. But the fact that I got to share them with someone who would one day hopefully proudly share the tales at school one day… it’s an award-winning feeling.  What “While I Was Pregnant” story can’t you wait to tell your kid about?

Maui, 2011.

 

First pictures of Bill & Giuliana’s Baby Boy!

Presenting Edward Duke Rancic!

Life  & Style has the exclusive with the proud new parents. Having gone through IVF at the same time they did (and even consulting with their Chicago doctor, Dr. Brian Kaplan at FCI), I was so thrilled to hear their wish was granted via a surrogate. Congrats to the whole family! Hope to have a Edward ‘n Posey playdate soon at their Chicago eatery, RPM Italian! Do they have highchairs?

 

Beyoncé & I Are Basically the Same Person

Here’s a secret. I love changing diapers. And poopy ones best of all. This weekend, Posey learned how to stand on her own. See exhibit A:

She’s developing fast and furiously, but she still needs me to change her– at least for now. And guess what? My bestie, Bey, feels the same way, as she’ll reveal to Anderson Cooper on today’s  season premiere of the newly re-named Anderson Live, which I reckon must have been pre-taped, so that’s confusing. Blue’s mom Beyoncé says:

“Actually, [Jay-Z] is very good. We both [change diapers]. I love changing diapers, I love it. I love every moment of it, it’s so beautiful. I love it all,”

So we’re kind of the same! Except for the whole yachting thing.