Loose Ends

October 1, 2006

Clive Owen 

  • Clive Owen admits that he has had plastic surgery, but cleverly leaves it up to us to guess which areas of his body and how much he has had done.  [Contact Music]
  • Kathy Griffin tries to reinvent the whole concept of being a fag hag.  [BWE]
  • Gwyneth Paltrow tries to increase her miniscule coolness quotient and Beyonce tries to make us forget that she is little more than a dressed up country bumpkin.  [A Socialite’s Life]
  • Speaking of Beyonce, she and mother, Tina Knowles must rehearse their lines for hours before they leave the house, because answering basic questions about your fashion line is so complicated.  [Concrete Loop]
  • Maybe I’m just jaded, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Starbucks had actually hired a guy to say that he’s determined to buy a drink from every Starbucks store on the planet.  [BoingBoing]
  • No one seems to believe that Sienna Miller is talented at anything more complex than opening her legs.  [Pen15 Club]
  • Pink encourages more gay people to come out of the closet, so that things will be easier for her when she finally decides to come out.  [Female First]

Fun with Craigslist: Tyra Banks Edition

September 10, 2006

Craigslist

 [Via Oh No They Didn’t]

ARE YOU A ‘PART TIME’ LESBIAN?
Are you or someone you know a part-time lesbian?
Do you hook up with girls only when you are partying?
Do you want to have your first lesbian experience?
Did you experiment with girls for a while but now you’re back to strictly dating guys?
Does your boyfriend/husband love or hate the fact that you hook up with girls sometimes?
Are you a lesbian who hates the idea of a ‘part time’ lesbian?
IF you or any of your friends want to weigh in on this topic the Tyra Banks talk show is looking for some strong opinionated/outgoing females…please send you name, age, brief story, recent photo, and your contact info

Translation:

Are you a female who’s on the “down low” (meaning, are you a woman who presents herself as a heterosexual, but who occasionally dabbles with other women in bed)?

Do you know a “down low” chick, and want to “out” her on national TV?

Are you a straight woman who typically finds herself necking with other women when you get drunk (e.g., Michelle Rodriguez)?

Do you secretly want to have sex with other women, but are afraid to?

Did you have your obligatory “lesbian semester” in college, but are now back to a “guys only” shagging policy?

Does your male partner love/hate the fact that you have sex with other women from time to time?  Does he only like it when you are willing to have sex with another woman in his presence?  Does he limit your “lesbian experimentation” experiences to femme/feminine women?

Are you a real lesbian who is tired of dealing with “down low” chicks?

If you or any of your friends want to weigh in on this topic, The Tyra Banks Talk Show is looking for some opinionated, boisterous, and outspoken women to discuss the topic on the show.  If you are interested, please send your name, age, brief bio (with at least one titillating/salacious anecdotal story to share with the audience), recent photo (so that our producers can accurately determine if you are feminine/fabulous enough to be seen on television; you might get the chance to strut down Tyra’s runway if you possess a decent amount of fabulosity), and your contact info (because recycling is a good thing, if you have the right look, you might get a chance to try out for the next season of America’s Next Top Model). 

We are hoping to narrow the focus of this particular installment of the show down to lesbians/part-time lesbians/”down low” females only; so if you are an openly bisexual woman, a transgendered female, a butch lesbian, or a man, you need not respond to this ad.  We are trying to keep the show on the classy side (yes, we know Tyra’s no Oprah, but she’s not Jenny Jones, either); for our casting purposes, former Jerry Springer Show guests will be avoided.

Compensation: To Be Determined (You might be presented with a gift bag of free cosmetics and hair care products that were left over from America’s Next Top Model, if this episode of the Tyra Banks Show actually airs).


Random Ruminations

September 10, 2006

 Milla Jovovich 

  • Milla Jovovich uses her acting gigs to bankroll her fashion ventures.  [LA Times
  • A few random, little known facts about celebrities.  [ONTD]
  • Mike Tyson is still providing the public with a freakshow, only this time, he’s getting paid for it.  [ONTD]
  • Some people will do anything for publicity… while others are probably praying right now to win back their anonymity.  [London Times, Metafilter (NSFW)]
  • Scarlett Johansson wants to act in a horror film, because she’s got a lot of practice with feeling scared whenever she sees Josh Hartnett in a darkened room.  [Contact Music]
  • Sex blogs are the new black.  [UK Observer]
  • After Ellen chronicles the disappearance of the tomboy on TV.  [After Ellen]

News and Nonsense

September 7, 2006

Michael K. Williams 

  • Interview with Michael K. Williams.  [After Elton
  • First L.A.M.B., then the infant line, and now dolls– Gwen Stefani is determined to gain a monopoly on spreading poor fashion taste.  [PopWatch]
  • Let the Suri Cruise birth conspiracy theories begin.  [A Socialite’s Life , Gawker]
  • AFI’s Top 25 musicals of all time.  [Movie Blog]
  • It seems that Jessica Simpson should have recorded “Promiscuous”, not Nelly Furtado.  [Celebitchy]
  • Ellen Degeneres to host next year’s Oscars.  [Defamer]
  • Rupert Everett is apparently upset that Madonna’s plastic surgery turned out better than his.  [PopWatch]
  • Since we’re midway through the decade, and he’s hasn’t written a successful screenplay in since the last decade, it’s time for Joe Eszterhas to release another tell-all book.  [StarBlogs]

The Power of the Gay Rumor

August 7, 2006

TomKat 

After the proliferation of sex tapes, nasty divorces/break ups, and drug habits, you might think there was nothing left to make any celebrity worry about damaging the popularity that keeps his or her career going.  Since the public has been saturated with so many details of the private lives of famous people, it takes a lot more to shock us than it did years ago. 

Paris Hilton has made a career from her sextape scandal.  Charlie Sheen’s exploits with prostitutes only ellicit a few jokes here and there.  Courtney Love’s drug habit hasn’t seemed to damage her career any; at least, she hasn’t lost many fans because of her drug problems. 

The only thing left to strike fear and denial in most celebrities is the gay rumor.  PopMatters and the New York Times both discuss this phenomenon, noting how even though the idea of homosexuality has become more accepted in society, it seems that acceptance is conditional upon who the person is. 

From PopMatters:

Why so many rumors? It’s only natural to want those we admire to be like us, and it is fairly easy to figure out if a celebrity has the same political leanings, moral code, or even fashion sense that we do, but sexuality…that’s another matter. Plenty are the celebs who have worn the mantle of heterosexuality in public while carrying on same-sex relationships in private, which has led the curious public to question the legitimacy of many declarations of “straightness”. And the louder and harder someone proclaims his or her “straightness”, the more we tend to question the honesty of such proclamations. A good case in point would be Kevin Spacey, who has done everything but take out ads proclaiming his heterosexuality, to no avail. The rumors just keep flying.

While some celebrities choose to just ignore the rumors, others take drastic steps in their attempts at “damage control”.  Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King’s press junket denial of their alleged “lesbian” relationship is a good example of this. 

From NYT:

To issue “the denial” in 2006, do the following:

Step 1: State emphatically what it is you are not.

Step 2: Scoff at the rumor with good humor.

Step 3: Note, for the record, your true feelings about the rumor: not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Or, skip steps 1 through 3 and opt for evasion with the nondenial denial: “I don’t want to talk about my private life.”

Oddly enough, the more emphatic the denial, the more the public tends to believe the rumor.  Star Jones and Al Reynolds are reportedly considering suing some publication because of the persistent rumors of Al’s homosexuality. 

PopMatters surmises that the power that the rumor may have over a particular celebrity is directly related to the type of work that they do.  For example, a professional athlete who is suspected of being gay would have a more negative reaction from the public than a character actor.

It’s understandable how this fear of rejection, whether from colleagues or the general public, would lead a gay celebrity to stay in the closet, or a straight celeb to be steadfast in their denial of rumors, no matter how many rumors may be floating around. Still, the nature of what a celebrity does plays a big role in how accepting fans will be. The more a sport crosses traditional gender lines, the more willing we are to accept homosexuals in that sport (consider male figure skaters and female basketball players). Likewise, certain genres of music seem more accepting than others; pop, folk, and even heavy metal seem more willing to accept gay musicians (for instance, Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright, and Rob Halford of Judas Priest) than hip-hop and country (k. d. lang only felt comfortable about coming out after country fans abandoned her for being a vegetarian, and Kayne West has openly criticized the rampant homophobia in hip-hop).

The same consideration also applies to actors. Those who play primarily testosterone driven roles, such as Vin Diesel and Viggo Mortenson, could see their fan base shrink by allowing such rumors to persist, as their fans tend to be straight males who like to think their actions heroes are going home to screw some random babe after a day on the set. A fan may have no problems with gay people in general, but still may not want to think that the macho savior of the world fits into, you know, that category.

By contrast, some actors can be out and proud or nonchalant about the persistence of gay rumors because the roles they play don’t define their public persona. Gay actors Alan Cummings and B. D. Wong have played both gay and straight characters convincingly; however, neither is the type who would be considered for straight romantic leads or action-hero parts. Likewise, Portia de Rossi’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres had no impact on her performance on Arrested Development. Straight actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who has also played gay and straight, says that he is flattered by rumors that he is bisexual; since Gyllenhaal’s more macho roles, such as in Jarhead, are in films aimed at more artistic and open-minded audiences than Van Diesel’s “shoot-first-ask-questions-never” films, he need not worry about alienating fans to the same degree as Diesel.

All of this goes to show how much public persona actually does mean to a celebrity’s career and success.  It also shows that attitudes toward homosexuality have not changed as much as we might think.  If a gay rumor still has the power to kill a career, then we have not really progressed as much as surface appearances may suggest.

“If You Must Know, I’m Straight”  [NYT]

“Queer, Isn’t It?: Out Business/Our Business”  [PopMatters]


News and Nonsense

July 18, 2006

 America's Most Famous Lesbian Couple

  • Oprah and Gayle King may not be in a lesbian relationship, but they sure do sound like they are…  And if they aren’t lesbians, well, they’re just really bizarrely symbiotic.  [Oprah.com] 
  • Janet Jackson insults by Mariah Carey by comparing her to her sister, LaToya.  [Contact Music
  • Has Barbara Walters’ brain cracked in an attempt to catch up to her face? [BWE]
  • Dr. Phil + Harvey Walden IV = Mr. T’s new talk show.  [Celebitchy]
  • Hip Hop fashion is taking off in the UK, but since most people actually walk and ride public transport there, instead of stepping in and out of cars like Americans do, the British favor smaller sizes.  [Hip Hop Ruckus]
  • Carson Daly looks like he’s on the Nicole Richie Diet.  [D Listed]
  • A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in a paparazzi blog, its only worth about 50.  [Jossip]
  • Now that Star Jones has been fired and erased from the archives at ABC, is Al Reynolds filing for divorce?  [Queerty]

Musical Musings

July 18, 2006

Corinne Bailey Rae 

  • Anyone who thinks Corinne Bailey Rae sounds remotely like Billie Holiday seriously needs a hearing aid.  [AP]
  • Timbaland refuses to appear in a biopic on Missy Elliott because he enough good sense to leave the acting to the actors.  [Concrete Loop]
  • Beyonce stans fans are really demanding.  Who knew they could actually be less than thrilled by anything that Beyonce does?  [Juicy-News]
  • Nelly Furtado jumps on the sapphosexual bandwagon.  [Contact Music]
  • Parents complain about kids not having enough role models, yet someone thought it was a good idea to have K-Fed perform at the Teen Choice Awards.  [WLC]
  • Ever wonder what happened to Chi-Ali?  Well, he’s apparently managing fledgling rap groups from his prison cell.  [Contact Music]
  • The lead singer of Savage Garden finally comes out as gay, as if the group’s song lyrics didn’t already tell us this.  [Queerty]
  • Essay on modern black rock artists.  [PopMatters]
  • Now we know why Nelly Furtado’s album sounds like it does; she and Timbaland were prone to falling asleep in the studio. Their exhaustion must be the explanation behind why they missed so many things in the editing process, like recycled melodies, tired beats, and bad singing. [Contact Music]