Arts, Media & Culture: Glamour, Muppets, Mindy Kaling & Oprah Magazine

Arts, Media & Culture Update: Glamour, Muppets, Mindy Kaling & Oprah Magazine
Gloria Steinem, Glamour Lifetime Achievement Award winner showcasing The Australian
Glamour magazine has hosted its Women of the Year awards, recognising achievers in politics, design, art, science and the performing arts. The event, as always, attracted many high-profile women, including trailblazing feminist and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gloria Steinem. Other Award winners included Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona politician shot in the head earlier this year, Egypt's "Facebook girl" Esraa Abdel Fattah and Arianna Huffington, who said, "There is not a successful woman who has not failed along the way. Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s a stepping stone to success." Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive quoted Madeline Albright when she said, "There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women."

It's the time of year when Oprah gets to play Kris Kringle. Actress Emmy Rossum is lending her support to O The Oprah Magazine by appearing in an eight-page holiday fashion feature, which shows you how to work glittery pants, bow ties and head-to-toe white (keep mum's trifle away from that ensemble!). Without Oprah's show to support her magazine's 'Favourite Things' issue this year (cue audience hysterics about receiving EVERYTHING on her list), we don't know how popular it will be, but the team has still gone to the effort to select "Gifts for you and the people you love". I wonder if Santa is budgeting this Christmas? Thank heavens love is for free.

Entertainment Weekly recently dubbed Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike & Molly, SNL) the 'New Queen of Comedy'. Meanwhile, Helen Lewis Hasteley writes, 'Why aren't funny women on TV?' for the New Statesman

Actress/comedian/shopper Mindy Kaling is the darling of the books scene right now thanks to the debut of her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?Entertainment Weekly's Aly Semigran includes it in a roundup of 'books that make you lose it in public'. You can read the chapters 'Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities' and 'Don't Peak in High School' online. 

To complete the funny lady trifecta, Tina Fey is taking to the airwaves with a radio special for girls. Returning to her Mean Girls roots (did you know she wrote the script?) The Huffington Post reports that Fey will narrate two hour-long specials for NPR's The Hidden World of Girls, a program produced by Peabody Award winners, The Kitchen Sisters. "According to the producers' website, The Hidden World of Girls aims to report "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." Awesome. 

"Youse All Should Be Able to Speak Good!" was the catchcry of the ABC's Style Forum, which showcased a "word nerd" panel, including legendary crossword guy David Astle and linguist Kate Burridge, who debate the pros and cons of mass media and its influence on modern English." Crucially, the eloquent panel asks, "Is the influence of mass media on our language making us myopic, superficial and obsessed with gossip? Or have we always been this way?" In the words of a true Queenslander, "Sounds good, hey." 

Frank Oz (the original voice of Miss Piggy) isn't the only one who's less than thrilled with The Muppets. The new movie, starring Amy Adams and Jason Segel, has been ill-received at the Savannah Film Festival where the cinephiles are cruel. Oh, Kermie! But film student Caroline Nead put the high-brow haters in their place: “If the Muppets can’t brighten your day, you need to go see more Muppet movies.” The Muppets aren't alone in attracting cinematic derision: a movie poster for Larry Crowne, starring Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, has been given the thumbs down in Spain for their lack of motorcycle helmets. Like the Euro, advertising doesn't always translate across country borders.  

Probably the most handy and helpful thing I've read for teens on body image of late is Consume magazine, which is published by the Eating Disorders Association and edited by Desi Achilleos. It is full of down-to-earth material that takes a broad brush-stroke approach to modern life for teens covering everything from self-esteem and self-care to nutritional information, spirituality, politics, social responsibility, bullying and 'Pornography in the digital age'. 

Speaking of which... Agony Aunt E.Jean from American ELLE magazine has a few things to say about porn. See also the comment thread about porn creep in advertising and marketing at mUmBRELLA.

Visiting Bondi? Live in close proximity? Melbourne Gastronome recommends the ultra-laidback Jed's Food Store for a bit of tasty nosh. "I can recommend the Zapatista Eggs (Chiapas style scrambled eggs and corn tortilla, served with pickled cactus and white corn, coriander, avocado, crumbled cheese and green salsa for $16.50). For a bit of extra kick, season to taste with any of the FOUR El Yucateco hot salsas on offer." 

The Sartorialist Scott Schuman may lost the plot temporarily, posting a picture of a tiny tot with a pacifier in her mouth for ogling (we really need to refine the parameters for publishing children's images, I think – it's a warped webby world out there). The funny thing? Fashionista notes negative comments that went up about the fact that little ones should lose the dummy by the time they're three. So, judgement for mums, but no mention of the objectification of a girl who can't be more than four years old (i.e. challenging this new cultural standard). Tiny Tots in High Heels? This obsession with youth is just getting worse 

Street style has become entrenched spectator sport – footy for the more fashionably inclined (and a religion unto itself). An international photographic exhibition of street fashion called 'Meet The Locals' is taking place at The Camera Club, Bondi Beach, from Thursday December 1, which could prove interesting. Amongst the images will be 80-year-old Joyce clutching her Chanel bag by Ari Seth Cohen of, New York. 

On that note, savvy Aussie blogger Camilla Peffer has shared some thoughts on the negative effects of personal style blog iconography and Tumblr thinspiration. Disturbing. And diminishing. What would Gloria Steinman say? We get liberation and then enslave ourselves to something else! Insane. 

A new documentary film pays tribute to New York Times style snapper Bill Cunningham, the original sartorialist. He's an odd kind of bloke has made a career out of chasing aesthetically intriguing people around New York, from charity event to runway show, and writing commentary too. And yet, he sleeps in a less than salubrious setting, pedals around town on an old bike, owns minimal clothing and accepts no payment for his work. "His life is one of monastic solitude and simplicity," one reviewer said. This reminds me of a unique man named Arthur Stace who went all about Sydney scribbling the word 'Eternity'. 

"I see it. I like it. I make it," is Erica Domesek's mantra. The P.S. I Made This' creator is leading the DIY charge in New York, turning pencil cases into clutches (sponsored by Sharpie) and canvas bags into Herm├Ęs-like totes. A trend prime for recession-weary fashion lovers, Domesek and her ilk have given a boost to craft suppliers. She's profiled by The Wall Street Journal and Teen Vogue's November issue features a story called 'Craft Work' which tracks Domesek's time in a Guanacaste elementary school.

"Doing well by doing good is one of my mantras, especially when it focuses on children and art," she says. "We take things for granted. The larger-than-life reactions from these kids remind me to be grateful and appreciate life every day – which they clearly do." She helped the kids make personal messenger bags.

An edit of this post appeared this morning at JUSTB. 

Girl With a Satchel


Anonymous said...

Erica, please, please, please, please do more of these posts. I used to click on your blog everyday, and now I probably frequent it once a week. This sort of news edit is exactly why I used to love it - please bring this back! And where are your mag reviews?

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

Hi Anon... to cut a long story short, the lack of newsy updates has been due to:

- sheer amount of time they take to compile (one link leads to another and before you know it, it's 1am and I have missed out on cuddles with my husband!).
- offline time trying to earn a wee income;
- my preference for writing things over curating them;
- my preference for good health and happinessover website hits;
- a profound and paralysing ideological mind battle that has now begun to settle (phew, free, whee!). I am getting back to meeeee. My church pastor put it best this past Sunday: "Jesus has lordship over things that are earthly, and things that are heavenly… don’t go separating life out – this is secular and this is sacred – because Jesus didn’t stop living life."

Thanks for noticing and for patiently hanging in there. Mag reviews may also make a comeback, but they too take a lot of time and getting the balance right for me - a critical eye on the culture, which is so very bad in lots of ways, but loving people and their ability to do good/amazing/great things just the same – is paramount.

Erica :)

frangipani princess said...

I really want to read "Is everyone hanging out without me? (And other concerns)" It looks absolutely brilliant!


Angela said...

I'm hanging out for Mindy Kaling's book!

A x

Scarlett Harris @ The Early Bird Catches the Worm said...

Great links, Erica! I can't wait to read them.