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Monday, November 14, 2005

Celebrity Volunteers

When it comes to targeting selfish, materialistic people, celebrities are typically the perfect target. They make unbelievable amounts of money and sometimes still ask for more, which leaves us as the general population snickering. They wear nothing but designer clothing and jewelry that costs more than most of us will ever see. They are completely out of touch with reality and don’t even recognize the hardships going on in the world around them…or do they?

Angelina Jolie sparked my interest in finding out more about celebrities who volunteer a great deal of their time to help the less fortunate. In one of my first posts, I told you about celebs who were helping in Katrina relief. But who are the real volunteers…the ones that do it regularly and do it more for the victims than for their own recognition and publicity (because you are kidding yourself if you think all the celebs who participated in telethons, etc. for Katrina were not also out for selfish purposes)? There are a handful that I found and what they do for the community with their mind-blowing amounts of money is quite impressive…and I’m not talking about sending a check to the Red Cross once a year (although that is also notable).

We have all heard of Angelina Jolie’s travels around the world greatly helping the sick, poor and very unfortunate…even to the extent that she has adopted both of her children out of these conditions and made them her own (and rumors are circulating that a third adoption is under way). Although I am not very fond of her as a person, she has done so much good in other parts of the world and has used her money in such a meaningful way, which we don’t see many people doing these days.

Kurt Warner, two-time NFL MVP volunteers much of his time visiting children in this country with terminal illnesses. One of the foundations he volunteers with is “Basket of Hope,” an organization that benefits children with cancer. Here is what he thinks about his experience with them: "Delivering a Basket of Hope to children has been an awesome experience. We look forward to our visits to the hospital and can feel Jesus' presence in the room with us as we visit and pray with these courageous people."

Country singers Toby Keith and Tim McGraw also devote a good amount of their time to help the less fortunate.They both (separately) hold multiple benefit concerts every year from which the proceeds go to charities of their choice. They also travel around the country visiting terminally ill people in hospitals, particularly children.

I believe that what someone does with their time and money shows so much about thier character, and these celebrities have definitely made great use of both and should be recognized for that! If you are interested in volunteering but don't know what opportunities are out there, this site is great for finding something related to your personal interests.

With Thanksgiving being just a week away (where did this semester go??), I would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and good luck preparing to finish the semester!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hollywood Needs to Start Eating

The “thin” look has almost always been extremely common in Hollywood, but recently, stars have gotten frighteningly skinny. Thin is one thing, but bone-showing skinny is scary looking and very unnerving, but definitely should not be a common trend. As I talked about in my last post, trends pass from celebrities to youth very quickly, and this trend of being bone skinny is certainly not one to pass down to the children and young adults in our country – people are already obsessed enough with weight.

Stars like Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie recently lost a lot of weight in very little time. I would think that after Mary-Kate Olsen came out about her eating disorder last year, the amount of stars showing similar characteristics of one with a disorder would decline heavily. Instead, we are seeing more and more stars that are clearly not being healthy about their body weight. Many say that Jessica Simpson has a great body now and looks better than ever; but regardless of this, she lost the weight very quickly and limited her diet to an extreme in order to do it, neither of which is good for one’s body. Lindsay Lohan claimed for so long that she was not doing anything detrimental to her health to lose weight; but recently admitted that she ‘had’ a serious problem and is beginning to speak out to young girls regarding eating disorders and the negative effects they have on one’s mind and body. Everywhere you look, there are stars wasting away and looking so unhealthy, and it is truly something to worry about, not only for their health but for the negative effects they can have on the young America.

Many associate eating disorders with young stars, however the ‘thin is in’ trend is rapidly growing among older women in Hollywood as well. Right away I think of the women on Desperate Housewives, all of whom are noticeably skinny. Many say they all look great, but doesn’t anybody realize that this is NOT what 40-something women should look like? I don’t completely blame this on the women either. I believe the show producers play a big part in the way these women look – that they set a standard for them and are expected to maintain a certain look no matter what their means are for doing so. This happens more than most think and many women, who, in my opinion look great and healthy, lose roles in movies and TV shows because they are not thin enough. Those who think this doesn’t happen regularly are kidding themselves, and I think much more should be done to stop this kind of discrimination because it is ultimately going to destroy the body images of millions of young girls.

To see actual measurements of some of the "hottest" celebs, visit this site and for bios of some stars who have admittingly had an eating disorder, click here. Hopefully girls will realize that being extremely skinny is not healthy or attractive, but in my opinion it will take the help of Hollywood changing their status quo to help them do so.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Fashion Trends: Who Sets Them?

We all know what the hot fashion trends are because they become so prevalent, especially among our age group, that they are impossible to ignore. But where and who do they come from? When do they start and why do some catch and some don’t? I’m going to devote this post to fashion trends we see among our peer group every day that have been inspired and sometimes even created by celebrities.

Probably one of the most familiar fashion trends in the past year and a half have been UGG boots. Despite their high price, I don’t know many girls who don’t own a pair – they are everywhere, especially on our UD campus. But did you know that UGGs had been around for years before their popularity emerged once celebs such as Britney Spears started prancing around in them? I feel like they really took off around the time when Spears, while on the red carpet, excitedly claimed “I got me some UGGs!” and went on to explain how cozy and cute they are. Spears has always been a fashion icon. Even though so many say she has become so trashy, girls keep following her trends…including her most recent one; t-shirts with sayings or phrases printed on them.

Another popular trend that emerged this summer was the “Bohemian” style, also known as the BOBO style (short for Bohemian Bourgeois). The first name that comes to my mind when I think of this style is Mary Kate Olsen. Pictured to the left, she sports her token look, which runs between a vintage look and a messy, just rolled out of bed look. Also sporting this style constantly are Mischa Barton, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. I am personally not a fan of the BOBO style, but some can pull it off nicely.

Next we have the oversized sunglasses. The Olsens were also a trendsetter for these, but it is hard to tell where the trend really started because all of a sudden every star had them on, and soon after so did every girl in America (or so it seemed). Everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Eva Longoria to Paris Hilton sport these oversized specs, still today. It is one of the few trends that does not seem to be going away, oddly enough. This is another look that I think only some can really pull off.

Not so much a fashion trend, but worth mentioning is the drastic multi-toned hair trend set by Christina Aguilera, pictured on the right. She first sported this hairstyle in her “Dirty” music video. The colors she used drastically varied until she all of a sudden started sporting the Marilyn Monroe look. Although she no longer sports the long, multi-toned hair-do, more girls in America do than ever before.

Although most fashion trends are set (and followed) by women and girls, there is the occasional trend set/followed by men too. One that has stood out to me is the “trucker hat” trend, that seems to have been started by Ashton Kutcher. Multiple times on his MTV show Punk’d he wore trucker hats (hats that are foam in the front and mesh in the back) with humorous words on them. Soon after he began wearing these, I started to notice more guys wearing similar ones.

There are so many more trends that spread from Hollywood to the young population in America. If you can think of any more big ones I have not touched on, feel free to tell me about them in your comments!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Halloween Bash with the Stars


In the spirit of Halloween, I'm going to dedicate this entry to celebrities' Halloween parties and costumes. I'll even include some ideas of how to dress up like well-known celebs for those of you who don't have a costume yet. As you know, celebrities are known to throw the biggest, most elaborate parties for almost any occasion...So just try to imagine a celeb party for the most elaborate, gone-all-out occasion of the year. There are several celeb-swamped exclusive parties that are held every year habitually, including the Playboy mansion's bash, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, and the DASK Procutions Masquerade and Costume Ball (catch a sneak peak!). Possibly the most well known and exclusive Halloween party in the world is the one held by Hugh Heffner and the Playboy bunnies at their mansion. In order to attend the party, you MUST be personally invited by Hef himself. They strictly adhere to the guest list due to the popularity of counterfeit tickets to the bash. Among the lucky invitees are Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Kevin Spacey, Kelsey Grammer, Heidi Fleiss, Jim Belushi, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Kilborn, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, and lots of others. This halloween party is like no other, with its main features being three separate spooked cemeteries, a haunted house filled with live and undead horrors, a museum of horror memorabilia, a terrifying redwood forest adventure, and some 70 actors in ghoulish costume. The mansion itself activates its two giant fire-breathing rooftop gargoyles and a monster attempts to scale the mansion's stone walls throughout the evening. Inside the party, the guests feast on sumptuous buffets and are supplied with special drinks by body-painted servers. I'm sure it is quite the sight to see. Here are some pictures from one of their Halloween parties a couple years ago.

So what are celebs dressing as for Halloween when the rest of the world is dressing to look like them? Pictured at the top of this post is model Molly Sims dressed as a fairy at Heidi Klum's bash in NYC. To view other celebrities including Diddy all decked out in their costumes, click here. Also, for those of you who are looking for an original, creative costume this year, check this site out for some pretty good ideas on how do dress up like the popular celebs of this year. I am always looking for different costumes because we see so many of the same things every year - angels/devils, cats, bunnies, and male profession workers turned female for as girls' costumes, and pimps, professionals, and "girls" as guys' costumes. I feel like a common celeb costume this year will definately be Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson) from the movie "Dukes of Hazzard," so if you're looking for an original, creative costume portraying a movie star, I would go with something different than this one.

Let me know what your celeb costume ideas are and what you are dressing as if it is celebrity related! Last year I was Paris Hilton and my room mate was Nicole Ricci and we dressed like the girls did in thier reality show "The Simple Life." We had a lot of fun with it and it was an original inexpensive costume to put together. Let me know your ideas! Have a great Halloween and week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It appears as though another fad of the new millennium has emerged: plastic surgery. It has been performed for years previous to the turn of the millennium but it really only seemed to take off in popularity in the past eight years or so. The entire nation is enthralled by cosmetic surgery – according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 8.3 million Americans had procedures in 2003, up 20 percent from the previous year and nearly 300 percent from six years earlier. Why has it taken off? My best guess is, you guessed it, celebrity influence. It was quite startling to me to find out who has gone under the knife. There are the obvious ones - Pamela Anderson, Michael Jackson, Goldie Hawn - but there are also a bunch of stars you wouldn't really expect it from. I'm sure you will be startled also to find out who they are…

Sharon Stone – facelift
Michelle Pfeifer – breasts, facelift, brow lift, nose job, lips
Madonna – facelift, nose job
Heidi Klum – Breast Implants
Prince Charles – ears pinned back, hair transplant
Halle Berry –nose job – had it tweaked several times
Kate Hudson – nose job
Freddy Prinze Jr. – nose job
Jessica Simpson – breast lift

…just to name a few. For more, you can view good plastic surgeries here or this one for horrible plastic surgeries (view links in the right margins). You will be absolutely stunned when you discover some of your favorite celebs on these sites that you would have never thought had work done.


Although so many stars are having work done, other stars have nothing positive to say about going under the knife. Here are some quotes from stars regarding plastic surgery:

For Kirstie Alley, 53, "it’s sick. We should start concentrating on our lives, (not) our noses and breasts."

"It’s out of control," says Shannen Doherty, 33

"Botox freaks me out," Cameron Diaz, 32, said to Harper’s Bazaar. "You see pictures of people with it, and it looks like their faces are dead in that one place."

“Does (plastic surgery) hurt? It must hurt terribly,” Julia Roberts, 36, said to Good Housekeeping. “But if it makes you happy, if it makes you feel good, you should do whatever that is, whether it’s plastic surgery or getting up and running four miles."


I personally feel the same way Kirstie Alley does on this topic. How about you? What is your opinion of plastic surgery in general? Does it change your opinion of a star when you find out he/she has gotten work done to their body/face?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Crib Robbers or Madly in Love?


It's official! Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are not only engaged but expecting thier first child together early this spring. I haven't really paid much attention to them throughout the whole ordeal of getting together and planning to tie the knot, because quite frankly I thought it was a publicity stunt. They barely knew each other before getting engaged on top of the Eiffel Tower (how perfect) and constantly put out this image that they were too happy for words and couldn't get enough of each other. In my opinion, if a couple truly is madly in love, they don't need to go prancing around making out in public and jumping around like idiots to prove how in love they are; couples that are genuinely in love just give off a subtle aura to those around them that shows how truly happy they are (Demi and Ashton are a good example). Tom and Katie are just a little much for me - the constant physical contact actually makes me kind of sick. But anyway, I think the most awkward thing about thier new love is the age difference. I am not opposed to age differences by any means because sometimes it can be appropriate for couples who stay classy about it, but I don't feel that Tom and Katie are one of those couples. They are both huge role models (especially Katie) for the younger generations in our society, and dating a man 17 years older for a couple months and then getting engaged to him and soon after (possibly even before) getting pregnant by him, is just sending the wrong message. Some have questioned what her motives are in devoting the rest of her life to an older man, which is usually the case when a young woman marries an older man. I will touch on this a little later - for now I want to share with you a few more celebrity couples with big age gaps.

Married celebrities Michael Douglass (56) and Catherine Zeta Jones (31) have received mass criticism because of thier 25 year age difference. I can accept the age difference in their case. Although it is a huge gap, they carry themselves very well and stay extremely classy despite all the negative things people say about them. The only factors I worry about in this relationship are the children. The couple has two children, ages 5 and 2. When these kids are graduating high school, thier dad is going to be 69 and 72; let alone when they are older and have kids of thier own - who's to say he's even going to live that long? It's really sad when you think about it that way. Regardless of all of this, a man in his 60's, no matter who he is, has the energy level that a young dad has, which will strongly deter him from having a close bond with his children as they grow and continue being more and more active.

An even huger age gap is that between Billy Joel and Kate Lee - he is 55, she is 23 - a 32 year age difference. This, I think, is pushing it. First of all, hes MORE than twice her age, second of all, she is pretty much OUR age and dating someone older than most of our parents, and worst of all, his daugher Alexa Ray is almost 19 years old! Personally, I would be mortified if I were him. But it seems as though they are fine with everything and moving on with their lives just like any couple would. Rod Stewart sings "Forever Young," and that's what he seems to look for in companions. The 60-year-old and his estranged wife, Rachel Hunter, 35, have yet to finalize a divorce. Meanwhile, his new fiancee, Penny Lancaster, 34, is pregnant. Pretty gross if you ask me. While I'm showing my wits and songs as puns, I might as well mention Paul McCartney. He sang, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" Well, he's getting there! The singer turned 63 in July, and he and second wife, Heather Mills, 37, have a daughter, who turns 2 in October. Again, I am sad for this little girl. There is a good chance she not even get to be escorted down the aisle at her own wedding by her father, and forget about her children ever really getting to know thier grandpa.


When a younger woman marries an older man, many question whether it is for money, security, or alternate reasons other than love. But what about when a younger man marries an older woman? This is actually more common in celebrity marriages than you would think. Mary Tyler Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Roseanne, and Demi Moore have all chosen younger men as their love interests. It is commonly speculated that younger men end up with older women because they are finally looking for a mother figure that they either never had or found inadequate growing up. I'm not so sure this has anything at all to do with it, it sounds too much like the Oedipus complex to me, which really creeps me out. The main couple of this sort that has been in the news, as you know, is Ashton and Demi. The couple, who is 15 years apart in age, recenly wed in a private ceremony. I absolutly love both of them and totally support them in getting married. They are so adorable together and they seem so in love and so happy. In this situation, I don't worry about her children because the kids are old enough to understand what is going on and they love Ashton to death. However, Demi and Ashton have both said in interviews that they want kids. For Demi, who is 42, the biological clock is ticking very slow, if it hasn't stopped ticking all together. It has actually been proven dangerous and impairing for women over 35 to have children. I think the couple should take this into account when deciding whether to actually have biological children. The 58-year-old Susan Sarandon married Tim Robbins, who is 12 years younger than her and they have two sons. There has not been a huge amount of publicity about this couple although they are somewhat far apart, probably because they are both older in general - she is 58 and he is 46. When couples get to those ages it doesn't seem to matter as much for some reason, I guess that's just the way our society works. 49-year-old Geena Davis and her fourth husband, Dr. Reeza Jarrahy, a 34-year-old neurosurgeon, married in a 2001 wedding, and so far so good. Maybe a younger man really was what she needed to truly settle down. One last couple I want to talk about is another one of my favorite couples - Cameron Diaz (33) and Justin Timberlake (24). Again, this is not a huge age gap and I see nothing wrong with it but some have said that she is much more mature than the boy band/R&B/Pop singer and that it will never last. I disagree.

I look forward to hearing what you think about this topic and these couples! Have a super week!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Former Child Stars: Where are They Now?

As you probably know, plenty of children make it to the big screen...and as quickly as they came, they disappear. I'm sure you also know that some have stuck around and continued to entertain us, whether on screen or off. So where have these child celebs gone? I'll talk about some of the better known ones since there have been so many, but I'll put a link at the bottom of this post in case I miss any of your faves!



We all know the notorious story of Drew Barrymore, who scored her major breakout role in E.T., started getting drunk when she was 9, got hooked on cocaine when she was 12, posed for playboy at 20, and later that same year danced topless on Letterman, AND managed to marry and divorce twice by the age of 26. Surprisingly, she made an allegedly sober comeback as producer and actress in Charlies Angels: Full Throttle in 2003. She is now known as a mega-star producer. Any opinions on her? Another sweetheart that stuck through her Hollywood career from childhood into adulthood (minus addictions) is Sarah Jessica Parker, who began her career in 'Square Pegs,' 'Footloose' and 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.' She went on to perform for several years on broadway and starred in couple more movies including 'Til There Was You,' before making it HUGE as Carrie on Sex and the City. She is by far one of my favorite actresses and people. Matthew Dillon also survived childhood in Hollywood, starting in 'Little Darlings' and 'My Bodyguard,' and moving on into adulthood as director of 'City of Ghosts,' and still acting in various films. If you can think of any other child stars that are still big in Hollywood, let me know about them!


As far as child stars that didn't quite make it to adulthood in Hollywood, I'm sure you heard the rumor at some point that Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell) died in a car accident/drug overdose/earthquake. But, I'm happy to report he is happily living and is currently a Wrestling chest teacher (if anyone knows what this is, help me out... For a fun little blast from the past, find out which SBTB character you are! Another TV star, Jaimee Foxworth, who played Judy on Family Matters, moved up in the world - she became a porn star. Family Matters --> Porn Star...thats just WRONG. Well, supposedly she is now 'retired' and out of showbiz completely. And then we have our dear Macaulay Culkin, the most profitable child star since Shirley Temple, who of course debuted his career in the Home Alone movies. After retiring at 16, marrying at 17, testifying for Michael Jackson at 24, he was recently sentenced to a suspended jail term and $1000 fine for misdemeaner drug charges. <--Another one that's going places with his life-->Todd Bridges, "Willis" from Diff'rent Strokes, sadly grew up to be a criminal. He has been arrested seven times on charges ranging from cocaine possession to murder, however has not served jail time to date. He is now a motivational speaker and has one child. Tracey Gold, who played Carol on 'Growing Pains,' went on to be heavily anorexic, which became common knowledge at the time. Then, in January of this year, she pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges filed against her after rolling her SUV over last September with her husband and three children in the car. At this point, I might as well update you on a couple of child stars that have done great things in their adulthood so you don't think every child actor is doomed to hell. Kirk Cameron, who was Tracey Gold's co-star in Growing Pains as Mike, has become a minister, cofounder of 'Living Waters Ministry,' and founder of Camp Firefly, a camp for terminally ill children. He is happily married with six children. Andrea Barber, aka Kimmy Gibbler of 'Full House,' went on to lead a normal life, got married and stayed married and plans to attend graduate school in the near future. Sadly, I couldn't really find any super-popular child stars that went on to do positive things with thier lives. Maybe I'll think twice before trying to get my kids into showbiz...

(If there is anyone in here that you wanted to know about but I didn't mention, click here!)

I hope you like my blog so far!! Let me know of any suggestions you have for how I can make it better! I don't get offended easily so let me have it! Have a great week everyone (and good luck on midterms)!

ENJOY BRAD PAISLEY'S "CELEBRITY!!!"