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Archive for October, 2010

Have you seen the two music videos, featuring pre-pubescent black children, tearing up the Net this week?  The first, Sesame Street’s “I Love My Hair,” is a confidence-boosting diddy sung by a black puppet girl who adores all the cool things her kinky hair can do.

The second, “Whip My Hair,” shows actor Will Smith’s nine-year-old daughter Willow as a sexy, vamped up badass whipping her super stylish hair back n’ forth whilst singing about keepin’ the party jumpin’.

I wonder which video little girls will pay more attention to.  The cute lesson in self-esteem or the glittery display of grownup sassiness filmed with ADD-inducing cutaways and designer outfits.  Will they be more dazzled by the gorgeous offspring of mega-famous movie stars or a chunk of foam with some guy’s hand shoved up its butt?

I also wonder why Willow Smith is so dead set on whipping her hair back and forth.  There must be more riveting ways to keep a party jumpin’.  Perhaps a piñata or a hearty game of kickball.  And what kind of party is a nine-year-old jumpin’ at anyway?  Isn’t there a clown?  Rides on miniature horses?  Surely, there’s no need for any whipping.

See, I’m a bit nervous we’re all a bunch of weirdoes turning our kids into sex kittens and badasses.  And man oh man, does Willow Smith do a grand job of posing as a stylish, no-nonsense adult female, a kind of pint-sized Rihanna.  If only my mother taught me how to scowl and wear makeup like a rock star, I wouldn’t have spent my adolescence climbing trees and coloring in coloring books.  Man, was I robbed.

I mean, they are marketing Willow’s video to kids, right?  They couldn’t possibly expect an adult to get off on music performed by someone her age.  Nine-year-olds don’t make me want to get my groove on at some jumpin’ party.  Nine-year-olds make me want to read bedtime stories and serve Hawaiian Punch.  I want to pinch their cheeks, not grind them on the dance floor.

Still, the tune is darn catchy.  In fact, I’d pay a million dollars to anyone who could stop “Whip My Hair” from embedding itself into their brain after the first listen.  Go ahead, I dare you.  Maybe it’ll get rid of the Lady Gaga song you’ve had in your head since last Christmas.

Just the other day, I was sitting on the subway staring at a woman whose long, flaxen mane cascaded in waves to her hips.  Her boyfriend adoringly ran his fingers through it as if fondling ribbons of the finest silk.  The sight reminded me of being a little girl wearing a turtleneck on my head, fantasizing I was a pretty white lady and the shirt was my long, luxurious blonde hair.  I imagined Sesame Street having released “I Love My Hair” in time for kid me to see it.  Maybe I wouldn’t be sitting on a subway train decades later envying my straight-haired co-passengers.

But what if a brash little girl my age with hair like mine, like Willow Smith, had become a star with a song about “keeping [her] head up?”  And what if in the song, her black hair was a symbol of pride and rebellion?  A raised fist, so to speak.

Part of me thinks a kid acting like a feisty grownup at a mere nine years old is creepy, especially compared to Sesame Street’s wholesomeness.  But there’s another part of me thinking it’s friggin’ awesome.  Guess I’d have little girls whipping their hair back and forth rather than covering it with turtlenecks.

So, as the kids say nowadays, “Willow…you go, girl.”

 

Kid Me in Turtleneck


Check out a hilarious “I Love My Hair” & “Whip My Hair” Mashup: Sesame Street vs. Willow Smith.

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Monica was this hot mama sex goddess I used to work with serving cocktails in college.  Slinky as a feline, she was nearly six feet tall with curves galore.  She had flawless skin, a magnificent, traffic-stopping face and a personality as colorful as the Bobbi Brown eye shadow she used to drop the cherry on the sundae of her magnetic appeal.  Monica was ravishing enough to date famous athletes, businessmen pulling down six figures and local actors on their way to becoming Hollywood B-listers.  If anyone would’ve ended up sipping daiquiris by the pool of some handsome millionaire’s mansion, it was Monica.

Recently, Monica popped up as a friend of a friend on Facebook, so I clicked on her page.  She was gorgeous as ever and though I wasn’t shocked to discover she hadn’t become some Tinseltown trophy wife, I was surprised to see photos of the man she married.  The guy was goofy looking, a squat little pudgeball.  And no Mr. Moneybags was he, as Monica’s other half apparently lived a quiet though comfortable life as the owner of a small electronics company.  But there was one huge difference about the look in her husband’s eye as he cast his gaze upon my old friend, as opposed to the more extraordinary men I’d once seen her with – this guy completely worshipped her.

Monica is one of a slew of foxy female friends who used to date bad boys, sexy studs and all around pricks until they finally settled down with a man who actually liked them.  Maybe these guys don’t look like movie stars or take their women on masochistic joy rides filled with broken promises and non-commitment.  But they do treat their gals with some semblance of respect.  Seems some good guys get the girl in the end.

This week, the University of Nottingham in the UK proved it by releasing a study on the qualities women value in potential mates.  The research suggests ladies used to dig grit and brawn because men needed to feed and defend the brood.  Nowadays, characteristics like “selflessness and empathy” are valued because women want men who will take an active and caring role in raising children.  I wouldn’t be surprised if our desire to have relationships rooted in mutual understanding and kindness had something to do with what lures us, as well.

The best news is these nice guys aren’t faking it.  The qualities are now part of their genetic makeup.  Score.

I’m starting to get it.  Man, it’s taken me a while, but finally something meaningful has clicked.  I’ve spent years pining for the “magic” of edgier dudes, the fantastic dramas their childish self-absorption wreaks in relationships, the post-rejection desperation I confused for love.

Then along came a man who was able to tear his gaze away from his own reflection long enough to notice me.  A man who cared about and even wanted to meet my needs.  A man who was just plain nice to me.  The sense of wellbeing I felt sharing his life, after years of being an afterthought to other dudes, was like touching solid ground after a ten-hour flight through a hailstorm.  And lucky me, he also happened to be one of the sexiest men I’d met in ages.

When a guy’s the center of his own universe, any lady friend may have trouble finding a cozy place in which to fit alongside him.  As I get older, I notice lots of the sexy flake dudes I’ve known are either hopelessly single or in tragically dysfunctional romances rife with infidelity and confidence-killing cruelty.  Nice guys, at least those with some depth, don’t offer relationships devoid of theatrics and challenges.  They just consider it part and parcel to relating and don’t rush out into the world feeding their own egos with bullshit.

And for that, they totally deserve to get the girl.

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The marketers behind The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men* sent me an advanced copy of the book in hopes I would write a review.  After taking a gander, I can tell you this: if you’re into guides that refer to breasts as pom poms and coin phrases like “mantastic,” this is the book for you.

Part travel guide, part dating manual, Single Girl’s is stuffed with giddy anecdotes about the author, a pretty Vanderbilt grad, and her friends as they tour European bars, clubs, ski mountains and beaches in search of studs to love forever and/or scoop for the night.  Cultural tidbits are offered on men from each country – Portuguese dudes are hairy, Brits are shy – and techniques are revealed, including the “Man Meeting Dance Formula” which begins by placing yourself near your target, staring until he’s forced to look back at you then dazzling him with one of your sexiest moves.

Obviously, this book isn’t for the New Yorker reader hoping to land a poet sipping cognac outside the Louvre.  It’s for those young chick gaggles we see every weekend wobbling through bars on six-inch heels, sipping pomegranate cocktails and recounting episodes of The Bachelorette. Those gals would dig this book, so I highly recommend it to them.  But first, a little criticism.

Firstly, meeting European men is far from difficult.  These guys see gals like the author and her chicas arrive in Europe and proceed to become sloppy drunk giggle fiends who screw everything with an accent.  Thus, European men think American women are easy and so, are drawn to them like hound dogs on a rutting poodle.

Secondly, though I’m sure the author is lovely, she doesn’t come off well in the book.  Stories like “When I Had a Song Dedicated to Me” and tales of bowling over Euro dudes with her killer looks make her sound like your snotty friend who hogs the mirror and thinks you’re lucky to be in her company.  She even advises readers to avoid getting a “bubble butt” by doing Pilates.  Meanie.  Plus, she once ordered ketchup to go with lobster, which disqualifies her from being a legitimate source on just about anything.

There are some silly tips like “flip your hair” and “chew slowly” (because European men appreciate women who savor their meals).  But my personal eye-rolling favorite was the suggestion to “catch up on current events” because European men are proud of their cultures.  Gee, who would expect these ladies to know what’s happening in the world anyway?  They’re only college graduates.

Still, there are good tips that apply to dating anywhere in the world.  Though cheesily phrased, the suggestion to “be fast to allure, slow to succumb” may be the best advice to give a young woman today.  Hearts are regularly popping across the country as high schoolers, sorority sisters and twentysomething gals are dumped by dudes who don’t want anything serious after these gals so graciously put out.  “Hookup culture” has confused too many girls into thinking easy access to booty is the quickest way to a man’s heart.  It’s good advice to keep things on simmer for a bit.

The author also tells us a “carefree attitude” is most attractive to dudes across the pond.  When you’re away from your own country with its rules and social mores, when you believe any decision made has no consequence in your real life and when rejection from a guy means nothing since you won’t see him ever again, a peculiar sense of confidence permeates your being.  And yes, men dig confidence and lightheartedness over the desperation and self-conscious wackiness most women bring to their dating lives.  Ladies, try this tip at home.

However, the best tip in the book is also the easiest to execute: stand near the food at parties.  All the better if you splash a few drops of beer behind your ears.

As a thirtysomething divorcée who’s already lived in Europe and been married to a European, I don’t have much use anymore for Single Girl’s tips.  But a gal gallivanting across Europe post-college with some pals would have quite the adventure testing out the book’s tips and visiting its boy-crammed destinations.  Just remember to flip your hair.

And skip the ketchup.

 

*The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men by Katherine Chloé Cahoon

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Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House to run for mayor of Chicago would be like Clooney leaving Hollywood to do community theater in Kentucky.  Such an act falls under the category of “Things that Should Never Happen in America.”

I haven’t been a huge follower of Rahm’s career and I realize he’s been far from perfect in his role as Obama’s chief of staff.  But I’m not talking politics here.  What I regret is the loss of such major studliness on the nation’s cultural landscape.

First off, Rahm ain’t hard on the ol’ peepers with his healthy tan, full head of salt-n-pepper hair and bad boy missing middle finger.  In DC, a town filled with gangly, pig-nosed, shellac-haired politicians, the Rahminator is positively smokin’.

But Rahm’s looks aren’t the only thing making him such a hottie.  Here’s a guy who has the grace to be invited to join the Joffrey Ballet in his youth, and the cojones to send a rotten fish to some chump who did ‘im wrong while working for Clinton.  He unapologetically called progressives who disagreed with Obama’s health care bill “retarded” and after the 2006 midterm elections danced on a table shouting that the Republicans “can go fuck themselves.”

My God, how I heart Rahm Emanuel, the temperamental, knuckle-cracking hothead who shouts at yuppie passersby to get out of his way during Sunday bike rides.  The curse word spewing barracuda who makes everyone quake in his boots, including former British PM Tony Blair whom Rahmbo once told, “don’t fuck this up,” before a press conference.

And why do I love such a meanie?  Because I’m tired of nice guys.  Neutralized, overly diplomatic, edgeless bores who roam through our workplaces, neighborhoods and bars, trying their damndest not to appear politically incorrect or too aggressively masculine.  I do appreciate their courtesy.  But man, does it make life unsexy.

Rahm flips the bird to manners and decorum.  And darn it, I like a man who sticks up for what he believes in and wants, who has no qualms about letting people know when he’s pissed off or bored, who’s brash in conversation and creative in settling scores (a dead fish?  Classic.)

Certainly, the Democrats need someone who’s unafraid to open a can of whoopass every once in a while, especially as the Republicans are kicking rear and taking names.  And who would you rather date?  The guy who says, “I found Eat Pray Love to be a heartwarming depiction of the romantic challenges that visit modern life,” or the hunk who says, “fuck Julia Roberts.”

I like Chicago and the people I’ve met who live there, so I hope they get to have Rahm as their leader.  If they do, I’ll live vicariously through them, imagining being in the room when my little Rahmen Noodle calls his opponents douche bags and hangs up on political contributors who don’t give him the money he thinks he deserves.

Actually, if I was in the room, I’d probably just giggle awkwardly.  But on the inside, I’d be thinking, “hubba hubba.”

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