the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Posts Tagged ‘fashion

Lady Gaga and Harry Reid’s Twitter Lovefest on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

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Lady Gaga hearts Harry Reid.

And he hearts her back. Well, at least he — or his campaign staff — tweets her back.

Lady Gaga, a force in the LGBT community, walked down the red carpet Sunday at MTV’s Video Music Awards with four members of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network as escorts. Her mission: To spotlight efforts to repeal the 17-year-old “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military.

It certainly worked. Mission accomplished.

She continued her grassroots efforts after the show with an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Wearing a dress made of meat, she told viewers to call Senate Majority Leader Reid’s office and urge him to schedule a vote on DADT.

She even linked the “meat dress” to a politics: “It is a devastation to me that I know my fans who are gay . . . feel like they have government oppression on them. That’s actually why I wore the meat tonight.”

Lady Gaga added: “It’s certainly no disrespect to anyone that’s vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. It has many interpretations, but for me this evening, it’s: If we don’t stand up for what we believe in, we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re gonna have as much rights as the meat on our bones.”

To make sure fans received her marching orders, Lady Gaga also posted a missive on Facebook and Twitter, telling her millions of followers, who she dubs Little Monsters, to call Reid.

Lady Gaga tweeted, “Gay Veterans were my VMA dates. Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote.”

Nearly 50,000 Gaga Facebook fans clicked the “Like” button about her comment.

On Monday afternoon, Reid said he intended to bring the Defense Authorization Bill, includes a repeal of DADT, to the Senate floor next week. His staff told the Associated Press that the vote had already been planned for next week — before Lady Gaga’s appearance on DeGeneres’ show.

Reid replied to Lady Gaga via his campaign Twitter account on Tuesday: “@ladygaga There is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so.”

Another Tuesday tweet said repealing DADT “is the right thing to do. Come back to Vegas soon!”

Late Tuesday, Lady Gaga answered: “God Bless and Thank you @HarryReid, from all of us, like u, who believe in equality and the dream of this country. We were #BORNTHISWAY.”

Lady Gaga, who is known to her fans as Mama Monster, announced Sunday that the name of her next album is “Born This Way,” a shout-out to her gay activism.

The Reid campaign continued its virtual relationship with the singer Wednesday morning when it posted a link to a YouTube video from a Nevada KVVU newscast that discussed Lady Gaga’s efforts on the issue. 

Gaga fans also posted thank-yous and support tweets to Reid Wednesday morning. One wrote, “if gaga believes in you then u got us on ur side.”

A Gaga Facebook follower replied on Facebook, “I’m GAY AND LIVE in Harry Reid’s distirct! I will vote for HARRY REID because he is the ONLY choice. I LOVE YOU LADY GAGA!!!!!”


Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Vampire Love Bites and Lady Gaga Eyes: Teen Trends Terrify Parents

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I used to think a teenager’s hickey was a mark of young passion: the kind that went with bruised lips from too much kissing in the front seat of their parents’ borrowed car. Urban Dictionary defines them as, “A usually dark-colored skin mark left on any part of the body after having it sucked for a long period of time.”

Thanks to the undying “Twilight” phenomena, teenagers (and, I imagine, some of the adults who have claimed their stake in Team Edward or Team Jacob,) are now indulging in biting — like wanna-be vampires. In the things-that-make-you-go-huh? category, teens are biting each other, and yes, exchanging blood, and not just on the neck. Arms, chests and even tender faces have bite marks.

“Why?” you may ask.

Vampires have invaded the United States’ culture, from the “Twilight” franchise to shows like “True Blood,” sucking in millions of viewers. Vampire fiends even have their teeth filed to look like fangs. The biting fetish only reiterates how twisted pop culture has become in daily life. It shows someone cares, teens say. (How about just passing a note, scribbled with “I like you, I care about you, BFF”?)

Teenagers told the Web site, Radical Parenting, that they bite each other for numerous reasons, including they like the “excitement” of pain. Cutting – a parental concern of years past – didn’t, well, cut it for them anymore.

They also said biting is hard core but not permanent, like piercings or tattoos, which most states prohibit for anyone under 18.

Parents naturally are concerned about biting. Where skin is broken, bacteria enters. CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton told the New York Daily News, “Any time there’s a break in the skin, especially when you’re talking about the human mouth, it’s loaded with bacteria . . . You can set up for potentially some serious skin infections.”

(With a slim possibility of AIDS? A couple of teenagers told me, disturbingly, that no one worries about that anymore.)

Biting is considered a new status symbol that displays ownership. Historically, teenagers gave each other more discreet symbols of their love. They exchanged class rings or, once upon a time, wore boyfriends’ letter sweaters to signify commitment.

Not anymore. “OK — biting trend I have done, will do, and do,” says Chloe, 14, who lives in Little Rock. For Chloe, at least the love bites are “not based on vampirism — especially because I detest ‘Twilight.’ It just feels good and it’s a way of leaving a mark on someone you care a lot about, or getting a mark left.”

And oh, how far we have come with influences. In the 1980s, a friend dressed like Madonna every day for months, wearing lace gloves, crinoline skirts and rubber O-ring bracelets to school. In junior high, I had my Siouxsie Sioux phase of heavy black eyeliner, teased hair (green at one time) and fishnets. The big pain factor there? Those fishnets rub bad blisters with high heels.

It seemed so radical then, but so innocent now.

Today’s muse is fashionista music goddess Lady Gaga. Teenagers everywhere aspire to meet her, and be her – to the point of risking eye infections.

They ape the wide-eyed doe look Lady Gaga sports in her space-age surrealist video, “Bad Romance.” Ironically, in the song, Lady Gaga, whose eyes in the video are computer enhanced, sings, “I want your disease.” Indeed. That just may be what teens get if they wear the super-sized contact lenses that transform the wearer into a Blythe Doll.

The contacts, called “circle lenses,” have become a YouTube hit. Makeup artist Michelle Phan stars in a video, which has generated nearly 10 million hits, detailing how to create the “googly eyed” look.

To copy Lady Gaga, you need fake eyelashes, black liquid eyeliner, white eyeliner, purple and white shimmery eye shadow, along with drops of Rhoto V to both prep the eye for the contacts and to get the red out. The eye should look as ivory as an anime character. Then insert the contacts, which come in cute, sparkly containers including one featuring Hello Kitty and range from $20 to $30. Voila!

Time consuming? Yes — but so was creating new wave and goth eyes back in the day. The contacts however, which are inserted over the cornea, are not FDA-approved. Though they are easily obtained online, it is actually illegal to sell the Asian-manufactured lenses in the United States.

The one teen fad that never goes out of style, regardless of the decade, is danger. (“Rebel Without a Cause,” the first movie to accurately address teen angst, was filled with fast cars and guns.) Kids argue that biting and contact lenses are no more risky than two adult indulgences — cosmetic surgery and tattoos. Biting and contact lenses likely won’t kill anyone, but they may cost parents money for antibiotics and a doctor’s visit.

No doubt, helicopter parents are twirling over these two latest teen crazes. But kids crave edginess. They seek out danger like adults search for the latest savings at Home Depot.

Written by suziparker1313

March 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Glenn Beck on Michelle Obama’s Attire: Calling All Boobs

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Nothing says “immaturity” like guys giggling about breasts.

Glenn Beck did just that on his radio show last week when he discussed Michelle Obama’s breasts in her shimmery, sapphire-colored gown at the state dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala.

Beck said first that the economy is in flames, and that Julius Caesar (aka Barack Obama) is in the White House. He followed that by saying Michelle was “dolled up” in her Peter Soronen creation, and asked listeners if they saw her picture on the Drudge Report with its headline, “Sex in the City.”

“She looks positively like she’s trying to be some Greek statue,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the first lady with her, excuse the expression, but with her breasts all smushed up. What is that? Did you even see that picture? I mean that, that’s . . . what is that?”

Beck then called the look “bizarre,” and his sidekick laughed. And sniggered. And giggled.

Tee-hee-hee. Boobs. What is this? Seventh-grade talk radio? Click play below for audio of the segment:

Before the conservative firebrand condemns Michelle Obama again for inappropriate dress, he should study a few former first ladies and their revealing bodices.

Let’s start with one of the most beloved first ladies in history — Dolley Madison — who enjoyed displaying her zingers. She was married, by the way, to James, one of the Founding Fathers that Beck often quotes.

As Kate Roberts Edenborg wrote in “Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press,” Dolley revealed “more cleavage than many thought proper for the wife of a leading government official.” Even the White House’s website calls Dolley “buxom.” Tsk, tsk, White House historians. Glenn Beck will be calling you out next.

It’s a good thing Beck lives in the “Sex and the City” age and not back in the corset-happy antebellum South. He might have fainted if he saw smushed-up southern belles like Scarlett O’Hara every day. Here’s a word of advice, Glenn: Stay away from burlesque shows, too. Burlesque dancers like stiff undergarments that push up everything.

Beck would have cried outrage over Frances Cleveland, wife of Grover. First, she was 21 when she married her 49-year-old husband while he served in the White House. Second, one portrait shows the revealing décolletage of Frances’ soft, flowing beige dress. But she was married to a Democrat. Maybe that was to be expected.

But there’s Republican Mamie Eisenhower. Her pink inaugural dress featured a plunging neckline that showed more skin than Michelle’s blue dress that got Beck all in a tizzy.

Beck must have forgotten about Nancy Reagan’s inaugural dress in 1981. Nancy wore a white one-shoulder sheath lace dress over silk satin designed by James Galanos. A close examination of the picture reveals, wait, could that be just a tiny hint of cleavage?

No, no, no. Nancy, a former Hollywood starlet, certainly wasn’t going for sexy at age 60. After all, she added white evening gloves to her ensemble to cover part of her arms. The other first ladies probably didn’t give one iota of thought to looking radiant either. It’s only confident, beautiful, 40-something Michelle Obama with the to-die-for biceps who has ever thought about looking sexy, whether in stunning strapless gold or Greek goddess blue.

It’s just a little odd — wait, just plain weird — that one of the right’s leading voices is giggling about boobs and dresses. What does Beck do on the weekends? Invite his friends over for slumber parties and sneak peeks at Victoria Secret catalogues? Is this possibly a case of arrested development? My diagnosis: yes.

Media Matters for America
called Beck’s remarks a “sexist attack.” It wasn’t. It was just stupid. The biggest boob in all of this? Glenn Beck.

Written by suziparker1313

March 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Blanche Lincoln’s Lack of Lipstick: It Could Bite Her in the South

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I like lipstick.

Maybe it’s my southern upbringing. The South is still very much a region where image is a daily, conscious effort. And lipstick with its bright, playful shades plays a role.
But sometimes, I forget about the lipstick.
Once when I worked at the local paper, my boss, a very southern-belle features editor, was obsessed with image. I worked furiously on a story, trying to meet deadline. Suddenly, she clapped her hands at me. I looked up – her desk was across from mine – and she was staring at me.
“You need lipstick,” she said.
“Lipstick?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Was she serious?
“Do you want lipstick or do you want me to meet deadline?” I asked.
“I really want you to put on some lipstick.”
It was time for me to leave that job.
For women in the political limelight such as Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan or Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln — who faces Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter and businessman DC Morrison in a primary this Tuesday — image, however unfair, is an issue.
In Little Rock, rumors circulate in chic boutiques that fashionistas have offered Lincoln makeover after makeover, but she has balked. Her reasons for refusal are unclear.
Is it because she doesn’t want to be perceived as the decked-out doctor’s wife? (Her husband is an ob-gyn.) Is it a tactical political move to appear down-home in a mostly rural state? Or is it simply that Lincoln is true to herself and comfortable in her own skin?
Maybe she likes her minimum make-up and hair exactly the way they are. How refreshing. But don’t think her looks and dull pant suits aren’t the catty talk of small-town beauty shops and Junior League meetings. They are.
Lincoln’s freshly scrubbed face is certainly a rarity in southern politics.
A candidate running for a local seat recently confessed to me that the first political advice she received was “do something about my short hair.” She found a new consultant.
But the advice didn’t stop. One veteran female politician told her that a certain number of accessories were required from head to toe. It’s hard enough in politics to keep up with issues and policy, much less belts and bracelets.
Still, she says that she is very aware of her image in ways a male politician never has to consider. They simply put on a suit, or khakis and a polo, and start knocking on doors. She now wears jeans and a campaign T-shirt when canvassing, but always with make-up.
The South, even for its occasional progressiveness, is still a region where appearances matter.
In her best-selling book, “What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should),” Ronda Rich writes, “We women of the South have what other women sometimes think is an obsession with our looks. It isn’t necessarily our looks that concern us – it’s our appearance.”
As she wrote so truthfully, “We don’t wear curlers or yard clothes to the grocery store. We do wear lipstick and mascara.”
Dr. David Eigen, author of “Women – The Goddesses of Wisdom,” says that southern
voters, more so in the deep South than a state like Florida, expect “their female politicians to look refined” – a perception that has continued for decades.
“The South, as an image, bases itself on the belief that it’s still a male-dominated society where the female should conform to what men think the woman should like,” Eigen says.
Sure, we’ve come a long way down here in the land of moonlight and magnolias. But the southern-belle mantra of “look your best when you feel your worst” still rings true. It’s hard to secede from a mentality that has been so ingrained into the psyche, regardless of how feminist we southern women think we are.
A recent pro-Lincoln mailer from the Coalition for Arkansas Jobs featured a smiling Lincoln with, gasp, lipstick. My initial – and yes, I admit it shallow thought: Is that shade Toast of New York?

Written by suziparker1313

March 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm