10 tips for proving you’re a grown-up (for Miley Cyrus and other young adult pop stars)

Last night Miley Cyrus attempted to show us that she’s all growed up with a sexed-up performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards. We’ve seen this story before: young pop star tries to shed her Disney image by giving an R-rated performance on national television. And while I can see that this tactic is tempting for someone trying to prove they’re no longer a child, I’m here to humbly offer some tips for proving you’re a grown-ass woman that don’t involve showing said ass. Now, you might be wondering what gives me the authority to speak to being a grown-up. And really, I only have one qualification: I am one. A grown-up.  One of the people whose approval you’re trying to seek. At least I think it’s adults you are trying to convince of your new-found maturity.  I think (hope) this isn’t for the benefit of the youth. But let me break it down for you: adults AND teens are unimpressed. Photo Aug 25, 10 12 04 PM Perhaps there is a demographic of people who watched you last night and thought, “My goodness. She really seems like a grown-up worthy of respect.” But I do not know what that demographic is. Look, I get how sexing it up seems like a good choice for publicly declaring your adulthood, but really . . . it’s low hanging fruit. Yes, sex is a part of adult life. And it’s awesome. Lots of us grown-ups are excited about sexy-times, too! But the thing is . . . it’s not the card you flash to gain admittance into adulthood. And also? It’s just so predictable. I feel like my intelligence as an adult is insulted every time a young pop starlet decides to assert her “womanhood” with this stuff. You don’t look like a grown-up. You look like an adolescent who is trying to look like a grown-up. Which actually makes you look less mature . . . FYI. So, for the benefit of humanity, I’ve compiled a list of alternative ways to show that you’re no longer a little girl. These can hopefully be put to use by the next generation of pop stars (I’m looking at you Bella Thorne), as well as by adolescent girls from all walks of life who want to show the grown-ups that they are part of the club. Work on your talent. You know what will earn you immediate respect? Talent. Put away all the smoke and mirrors (and skin-tight hot pants) and JUST BE GOOD AT YOUR CRAFT. Go to college. This is where many of us became adults, and it will earn you cred with a lot of us, too. Plus, you might learn something that will come in handy so you don’t have to do reunion tours in your 60’s to pay the bills. Do something interesting.  You have fame going for you, so use it to do something cool. Learn an instrument. Start a fashion line. Star in a gritty independent film. So many options of interesting things to do beyond twerking. Make a fashion statement. There’s nothing wrong with making a name through your clothing choices. But a skin-colored plastic bikini? You’re not even trying. Wear something cool and unexpected. Sexy, even.  But get creative. If the outfit screams, “HERE ARE MY BOOBS AND VAGINA”, keep on lookin’. Be funny. It takes brains to have a sense of humor. Witty is sexy. Sticking your tongue out of your mouth until it reaches your chin is funny, too . . . but we’re laughing at you, not with you. The 15 Weirdest And Craziest Moments From Miley Cyrus' VMA Performance
[photo source] Be vulnerable. Let people see who you really are – not a sexed-up pop starlet but a real person. That’s brave . . . and when people see a human side to you, they want to support you. Don’t be a caricature of a pop star. Be a real woman. Say smart things. Smart is sexy. Smart is the card you flash to be an adult. Here is an example of a female star saying smart things and looking like a grown-up: Get political. Many adults are interested in politics. It’s a decidedly grown-up endeavor, and it’s controversial, too . . . but in a way that lets you wear more clothes. Start a blog or a podcast, or write a book. Get involved in creating your own narrative. Learn how to tell your own story so that the men in charge aren’t telling it for you. Make a difference in the world. Find a cause you are passionate about and use your influence to champion for it. That will earn you grown-up respect. Any other tips for a budding starlet who is not a girl, not yet a woman? 

Let’s talk about the Oscars

Despite having seen all of two movies up for an Academy Award this year, I still tuned in to the Oscars last night . . . mostly to see what people were wearing.  Honestly, I wasn’t blown away by the dresses this year. SO MANY black, white, and beige dresses.  I thought Hallie Berry and Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman all looked great, but I feel like we’ve seen those dresses before. I also thought Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams looked ready to walk down the aisle. Too much. Here are the best dresses in my book:

Kerry Washington Oscars 2013

In a night of neutrals, I loved this pop of coral on Kerry Washington. Jamie Foxx  Oscars 2013 This girl. I don’t know who she is, but this is my favorite look of the night. I love love love the color and the cut is great, too. It looks comfortable and flow-y (is that a word?) but elegant.  I like her hair as well. Jamie Foxx looks great, too. Until he turns around and HEAD TATOO.  Olivia Munn Oscars 2013 I also loved this red dress on Olivia Munn. Former Daily Show correspondent FTW! puppy purse oscars 2013 This gal wins for rocking a puppy-dog purse to the Oscars and being generally adorable. Samantha Barks I know I just said there was too much black, but of all the black dresses, this number on Samantha Barks was my favorite. Simple, classy, sexy. And now, for worst dressed . . . unsurprisingly: Helena Bonham Carter. Worst Dressed. Oscars 2013 Helena Bonham Carter.  I feel like she shows up at every awards show in some variation of bag-lady wardrobe and hair. Someone please get her a stylist. And a flat iron. Alright, moving away from judging the clothes and onto random general judgments:
Hugh and wife Deborra-Lee Jackman Oscars 2013 These two. I would like to be besties with them. They seem to be genuinely in love. She is a beautiful gal without looking like she’s starving herself or pumped up with botox. They are foster-care and adoption advocates and Broadway geeks. Hugh and Deborra-Lee . . . call me! Kristen Chenowith. Oscars 2013 In “People I Should Love But Don’t” . . . there’s Kristen Chenowith.  I loooove her voice (which even my daughters can recognize from how much I listen to her) but does she seem just a tad bit crazy behind the eyes?  She made me uncomfortable all night. Like the friend in drama class who’s just a lil’ too loud and theatrical all the time .  Also: I just learned she is dating Jake from The Bachelor. Yes, the one who proposed to Vienna. Yes, the one who went on Bachelor Pad.  Also, she appears to be suffering from an extreme form of tanorexia. I hope she gets some help. Kristen Stewart and her messy hair. Oscars 2013 Kristen Stewart . . . she reminds me of myself in high school when I went through my brief but dramatic non-conformist phase, during which I pretended to be tough and hard and uncaring about anyone’s approval so that people would like me more. “Hey! Look at me! I don’t give a crap. EVERYONE LOOK AT ME NOT CARING!”  And yes, I understand that she hurt her foot. But unless her arm is broken, there is no excuse for not brushing her hair. Ethan Hawke with Mark McGrath blonde hair and eyeliner Speaking of trying too hard, did you hear Ethan Hawke sour-graping all week about how dumb the Oscars are? He also appears to be channeling Johnny Rotten with his hair.  Hey Ethan, Mark McGrath called. He wants his eyeliner back.
The cast of Les Miserable singing at the Oscars 2013 I’ve hesitated to share my feelings about the Les Mis movie, because they are deep, but suffice it to say no one looked forward to that movie more than I did and no one walked away more annoyed. Let it be known that I despise when casting directors overlook legit singers in favor of known actors. I thought that Eponine and Marius were the only singers fit for their role. There I said it.  Russell Crow and Amanda Siegfried . . . ooh boy. And the big number during the Oscars – there was a moment when the harmonies were about to go off the rails. And not in a good way. Also, can we talk about Eddie/Marius’s hair for a moment? This is what it looked like at the Oscar’s: Eddie RedBlayne Marius Oscars 2013 And this is what it looked like in Les Mis: Eddie Redmayne Les Miserables Fighting in a revolution? He had boy-band hair. Singing with friends in a bar? He had boy-band hair. Being pulled through a sewer? He had boy-band hair. Please explain to me how every actress was uglified for this movie and this guy got away with looking like that one guy from New Direction in EVERY SINGLE SCENE. I’m only willing to overlook this because he had pipes. Speaking of pipes: Adele singing at the Oscars 2013 Go ‘head, girl. Barbra Streisand singing at the Oscars 2013 One of my favorite moments was Babs talking all casual-like, and then suddenly singing mid-sentence. “Bla bla bla . . . but I’ll always have the . . . MEMORIES . . .”  So subtle. Also, what was going on with her witch hands? The nails, the rings . . . like she’s about to tell me my future from a crystal ball. ALSO HOMEGIRL IS 71 YEARS OLD. I’ll have whatever magic potion she’s having. Jennifer Lawrence falls on stars at Oscars 2013 Jennifer Lawrence’s fall is probably the most memorable moment of the night.  And Hugh Jackman leaping to the rescue because of course he did. Let me tell you. KStew could take a lesson from JLaw about how to be awkward in public without being insufferable. Because clearly JLaw suffers from some social awkwardness, but somehow the way she handles it actually makes me like her more. Michelle Obama at Oscars 2013 And the big winner of the night, of course, was Michelle Obama. Best hair, best dress, and of course best film of the year: Alright, that’s it for my Oscars recap! Oh, and I guess some movies got some awards and stuff. Details. Did you watch the Oscars? Who was best-dressed in your book? Did you actually see any of the nominated movies? What were your favorites?

The stages of acceptance for men who watch The Bachelor

  The stages of acceptance for men who watch The Bachelor
Stage 1: Outrage

REALLY HONEY?!? You’re watching that right now?

Stage 2: Righteous Indignation

I am going in another room. This is @#&!

Stage 3: Curiosity

But wait. Why is that girl in a wedding dress?

Stage 4: Mocking

These people are so dumb! I’m only watching them to make fun of them.

Stage 5: Acceptance

(Sits down with bowl of ice cream)

Stage 6: Emotional Investment


we need to talk about the downton abbey season 3 premiere!

Alright, folks. As I’ve admitted before, I’m a bit of a Downton Abbey dork. Luckily, I have other people in my life who share my passion. My friend Sarah and I decided we needed to make a video after each episode to process our Big Feelings about this show. So, without further adieu, I present:
dishing about downton Look how serious we are!! I was cracking up trying to get a screenshot of us looking “normal” during this video. One of us is cringing or emoting during the entire video. Here’s our reaction to the first episode. But if you haven’t watched yet, be warned: spoilers ahead!   What did you think of the season 3 premiere? Are you team Isabel, team Martha or team Violet? Do you think Matthew should have taken the money? Do you think Thomas is beyond redemption? Do you find Branson’s political convictions endearing or annoying? Do you think Matthew & Mary or Sybil & Branson have more chemistry? If you haven’t gotten on the Downton Train, you can watch Downton Abbey season 1and season 2 on Amazon.com.  You can watch Season 3 on PBS (search for Masterpiece Theatre if you are trying to record it).   And if you just can’t wait to watch this season as a weekly show, you can gorge on the whole thing by following the instructions in this post. P.S. Sarah was right! Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, and Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her mom, are set to release a jazz album this year.

let’s talk about the downton abbey season 3 trailer!

I was a little late to the Downton Abbey craze – but last spring Mark and I finally caved and watched the first season on Amazon.com, and we were immediately hooked. We ended up blowing through season 1 and season 2 within a matter of weeks.  I think it is one of my favorite tv series (Arrested Development and Six Feet Under holding the top spots in my heart). The other day Nish posted a link to the season 3 trailer on facebook and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. Is anyone else watching this over and over again, trying to figure out what’s to come? Who is kissing who? What becomes of Jean Valjean Mr. Bates? Do Edith and Sir Anthony Strallen get married? Are we supposed to be feeling sorry for Thomas now, and what guy is he walking in on and WHY DOES MATTHEW LOOK SAD? Let’s discuss. Ack. CANNOT WAIT.