• As reported earlier, it looks like the proposed Paid Maternity Leave scheme will be shelved. Poor Julia Gillard was given the job of announcing the news. "Paid maternity leave is something we believe is important but we will look at the final Productivity Commission report and we will weigh it in the budget process," Gillard told ABC TV. "Obviously we want to be in the business of looking at paid maternity leave - that's why we have the Productivity Commission report on it - but we will deal with the final priority setting in the budget."
Blah, blah, blah... rhetoric schmetoric – women make up 52% of the Australian population! In the US, women are reportedly sending tubes of lipstick to US NBC boss Ben Silver in protest to Lipstick Jungle’s possible cancellation. Perhaps we can send Kevin Rudd and co. purses packed with pooey nappies, breast pumps and child care bills?
• Move over, Condoleezza: Hillary Clinton is set to fill your killer Secretary of State shoes. Given her handling of her husband’s, ahem, affairs, could there be a better person for the ultimate diplomatic position? Not to sell short her foreign policy credentials, of course. At times like these – and with baby-faced Obama in the top job – the country needs the metaphorical security, stability and versatility of a pantsuit – and we know Clinton can deliver on that front.
• Paris Hilton says she’s still in love with Benji Madden: “He’s an incredible person and we’ll always be very close… I’m still in love with him.” Hilton cites busy schedules and travel as the reason behind the split. Don’t they all?!
• Gossip Girl’s lowly status on the US TV ratings totem poll (150) is attributable in part to computer downloads and TiVo, says TV columnist Andrew Mercado. In Australia, the show is Foxtel’s highest rated US drama ever.
• Vogue Australia’s Kirstie Clements writes in The Sunday Telegraph: “Somehow, fashion has reached a place where grown women are dressing like little girls and little girls are dressing like the Pussy Cat Dolls, neither of which is pretty or appropriate.”
• Speaking of appropriate, New Zealand model Zippora Seven, who posed in various states of undress (including topless in a bubble bath) for a RUSSH magazine shoot aged 16, has been signed to appear in campaigns for See By Chloe and H&M (apparently, any publicity is good publicity). At just 167.5m, Seven has been compared to Kate Moss and has posed for French, Italian and Australian Vogue. (The Sun-Herald)
• This made me chuckle. From The Fitz Files: “Let me ask – is this Sydney’s cleverest-everest ad? I am told that in the mid-1990s, driving along Parramatta Road… was a gym advertising for new members with the following sign outside: ARE YOU FAT AND UGLY? WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE JUST UGLY…?” (The Sun-Herald)
• Definitely not fat or ugly, hunky Hugh Jackman is on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Italian edition.
• IMG’s Swim Fashion Week will be held at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast from February 25-28, taking its lead from Miami Swim Week. Between the GC’s Metre Maids and Indie Girls, the city is fast becoming the nation’s babes, boobs and bikinis capital. Oh, it already was?
• From bikinis to body-hugging underwear: Spanx creator Sara Blakely tells Sun-Herald fashion editor Glynis Traill-Nash: “I can’t go to a cocktail party without people lifting up their skirts or showing me their bra.” Her company turned over $400 million in sales last year, spank you very much.
• From WWD: MAC Cosmetics has teamed up with Sanrio Global Consumer Products to create a Hello Kitty color cosmetics collection. The line will arrive on MAC’s website Feb. 10, in North American stores on Feb. 12 and into overseas stores in March. “MAC has been mining pop culture since the brand was founded,” said John Demsey, group president of Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “This is a sexy and innocent fashion line, and a true MAC moment. In these times, everyone can use a little fun — and a little Kitty.”
• Not so innocent is Marc Jacobs, who's been fined $US1 million for bribing an official for the past eight years in order to secure Manhattan’s 69th Regiment Armory Drill Hall for his fashionably late Fashion Week shows.
• David Salter writes in the November 21 edition of The Week: “There is, right now, a curious mood of disengagement in Australia. A sense of vague foreboding about nothing in particular…The danger is that nations tend to become politically unstable when extended periods of economic stress coincide with a pervasive mood of sour introspection. Italy turned to fascism; Germany to the Nazis…”. And Australia turns to Baz Lurhmann…
• But Sun-Herald film critic Rob Lowing doesn’t fancy Australia: “Australia is a big, gloopy mess of a movie: an overlong, overstuffed production and a prime example of egos gone wild… Watching this is like being hit over the head by a giant glitter-coated marshmallow wielded by a director whose concept of epic romance is like a drag queen’s interpretation of what a woman is.” Ouch.
The Word for the Week: "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
Girl With a Satchel