Tag Archives: wealth

Why Women Are Spending Big Bucks on Athleisure

27 Aug

Every day, women spend hundreds of dollars on clothes they plan to wear only while sweating –- sports bras, yoga pants, skin-tight “breathable” tanks. But why? Business Insider reports that it’s all about the way retailers like Lululemon market their apparel – to appeal to women’s insecurities.

Companies like Lululemon capitalize on these instincts, providing workout gear that women can feel “stylish” in, even when they’re doing sun salutations.

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It’s not men they’re trying to impress with their high-end workout garb, it’s other women.

But female competition and insecurity can’t be the whole story here. Because single women are on the path to out-earn their male counterparts,  they’ve steadily become a more formidable consumer force. Women in their 20s and 30s aren’t just spending money on workout gear because they feel a need to impress their peers — they’re spending the money because they can.

Lululemon isn’t the first company to actively target young, single, self-sufficient women. Citibank and Hond notoriously pointed to the demographic’s financial successes and increasing independence. In the ad for Citibank, a young woman says: “My boyfriend and I were going on vacation. We talked about getting a diamond, but with all the ThankYou Points I’ve been earning, I flew us to the rock I really had in mind.” The rock she “really had in mind” happens to be a giant rock formation near Moab, Utah.

New commercials sell women the cars and financial products they can now afford by presenting those big ticket items as tools for celebrating their independence rather than attracting a husband.

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Advertisers are learning that the way to women’s wallets is acknowledging their strengths rather than exploiting their weaknesses, and by focusing on this demographic brands are appealing in part to their awareness of their own power — earning power.

 

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Slam Poetry! Katie Makkai defines the word, “pretty”

12 Nov

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, “What will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich?” Which is almost pretty depending on where you shop. And the pretty question infects from conception, passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill fluorescent floodlight of worry.

“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty?” But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dryad: teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting. My poor mother.

“How could this happen? You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist. You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that! You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were 6. Otherwise your nose would have been just fine!

“Don’t worry. We’ll get it fixed!” She would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way and that, as if it were a cabbage she might buy.

But this is not about her. Not her fault. She, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable facade. By 16, I was pickled with ointments, medications, peroxides. Teeth corralled into steel prongs. Laying in a hospital bed, face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.

Belly gorged on 2 pints of my blood I had swallowed under anesthesia, and every convulsive twist of my gut like my body screaming at me from the inside out, “What did you let them do to you!”

All the while this never-ending chorus droning on and on, like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood. “Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? Like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her? Pretty? Pretty.”

And now, I have not seen my own face for 10 years. I have not seen my own face in 10 years, but this is not about me.

This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl 30 stores in 6 malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those 2 pretty syllables.

About men wallowing on bar stools, drearily practicing attraction and everyone who will drift home tonight, crest-fallen because not enough strangers found you suitably fuckable.

This, this is about my own some-day daughter. When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer, “No! The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.

“You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing. But you, will never be merely ‘pretty’.”

The 7 Most Controversial Female Celebrities

30 Oct

The Hollywood lifestyle of glamour and glitz, though coveted by many, also has a dark and hazy downside. Staying relevant and “on trend” usually coincides with the necessity of both positive and negative publicity stunts. But, many celebrities have repeatedly made headlines for all the wrong reasons. The following women are proof that wealth does not always mean felicity, and that scandal is just another part of the job.

7. Paris Hilton

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The socialite and heiress who could be credited with starting the ‘celebrity sex-tape’ trend, Hilton’s hard-partying lifestyle and rumored short-lived relationships with Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar de la Hoya, led her to earn a position as a fixture in entertainment news.

Critics have stated that Hilton epitomizes the title of “famous for being famous.” She is an example of the modern phenomenon of the “celebutante”: the celebrity who rises to fame not because of their talent or work but because of their inherited wealth and controversial lifestyle.

Hilton made headlines just this past weekend she attended the Playboy Mansion’s Halloween party wearing a replica of Miley’s famous MTV VMA bear costume.

6.  Rihanna

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Rihanna is a good girl gone bad, at least that’s what she has noted on several occasions since her 2007 titled album, released when she was only 19. From ”Birthday Cake” to ”S&M,” nearly every year Rihanna has released a single naughtier than what came before. She seemingly delights in pushing both boundaries and buttons, and tweaking parental units with a string of hits that were as gleefully raunchy as they were, well, unsubtle.

5.  Miley Cyrus miley-cyrus-hot-1252408940

The 20-year-old pop star has been deemed “Certified” by VEVO for having five of her music videos reach over 100 million views, including her most recent hits, “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball.” While Cyrus shuns the critics, she celebrates with her fans, whom she calls Smilers.

So despite the unyielding backlash the singer has received for her controversial MTV VMA performance and the nudity in her “Wrecking Ball” video, she keeps moving forward with her millions of fans backing her.

“For me, nudity has never been something that I’ve ever tripped about,” she admitted. “I don’t really see it the way everyone else sees it. I’d rather be naked in front of people than cry in front of people because I don’t like showing weakness and that shows a lot of vulnerabilities.” I suppose this helps us understand how Cyrus was easily able to turn the other cheek when nude photos leaked over the internet a few years ago.

Despite her many naysayers, it’s hard to deny she’s on to something big, as it seems her fan base continues growing every day.

4.  Lady Gaga

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The 27 year-old performer has a rabid following that she calls her “little monsters” and she is a favorite of the gay and lesbian set. Lady Gaga has always emulated musical icon Cher to a degree, in that she wears costumes that often completely ignore good taste in favor of spectacle.

“Mother Monster” was very busy over the weekend playing “controversial catch up” with Miley Cyrus. After giving a live performance on the English television show The X Factor in a flesh colored nude bra and panties, she later went on to give a surprise nude performance in the popular G-A-Y London nightclub.

3. Britney Spears

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It’s Britney bitch! Spears became an international pop culture icon immediately after launching her recording career. Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Spears is one of the most controversial and successful female vocalists of the 21st century.” However rising to stardom at a young age undoubtedly affected Spears. She has checked into rehab facilities several times, shaved her head completely bald, and has been the spectacle for many parenting mistakes.

2. Kim Kardashian

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When the sex tapes of Kim Kardashian, Tyrese Gibson, and Ray-J were released, Kim was thrust into the media. She took the opportunity to rise to the spotlight. In August 2011, Kardashian married basketball player Kris Humphries in a widely-publicized ceremony. However, following 72 days of marriage, she garnered significant criticism after filing for divorce that October. In June 2013, their divorce was finalized with an undisclosed settlement. Kardashian then began a relationship with rapper Kanye West in April 2012, gave birth to their daughter North West in June 2013, and later became engaged this month.

1. Lindsay Lohan

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It’s hard keeping up with all of the highs and lows in troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan’s tumultuous life. In and out of jail and rehab facilities, scorned for habitual drug use, careless driving scandals, and photo leaks, Lohan is both a victim of the all-consuming celebrity culture and a perpetrator of bad decisions, the lack of self-control and an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

This past Saturday night/early Sunday morning, both Lohan and Miley Cyrus partied together at a Manhattan club. Talk about trouble…

Being known for one’s talent and accomplishments is admirable, but being famous for controversies and issues tarnishes a person’s reputation forever.