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Sorry, We’re Not Buying Britney Spears as a Feminist Icon

Britney Spears

Image: WENN

There are classes on Beyoncé, Jay Z and Lady Gaga but there is one pop superstar that has been left out of the fold – at least until now. Brooklyn twentysomethings Rachel Goldberg and Suri Ratnatunga are offering a $20 workshop out of their Brooklyn home exploring Britney Spears‘ status as a feminist icon. 

Goldberg and Ratnatunga don’t appear to have any kind of academic accreditation and it seems the workshop is coming at a time when Britney is having something of a revival in pop culture. Ms. Goldberg considers herself a “Spears scholar” and Ratnatunga has been a fan of the pop singer since “Baby One More Time.” We love strong, independent women of all stripes, but their argument for Britney as a feminist role model seems a little flawed. They note the singer’s rise to fame, how her raunchy teen act was a statement of female power and control: “She’s really played off of this virginal sexual thing as something that’s carried on through her career, and as something she’s profited off of in a feminist way,” Goldberg said. Her decision to shave her head? “This is her divorcing herself from her public image,” Goldberg says. “It’s her being like, ‘Fuck what you think, I’m going to shave off all my fucking hair. And I’m not going to be a sex symbol to you guys anymore.”

Feminism seems to be a word people toss around these days to describe anything a woman does, it seems, including breathing on her own. Britney Spears is a great entertainer, but feminist icon? We’re not so sure. We’re not buying the argument that her “virginal sexual” act was as feminist as it was appealing to the troubling male fantasy of a virginal-yet-lascivious girl child who exhibits as much of an aggressive sexual appetite as she does naiveté. Sounds like a creepy mouth-breathing men’s rights activist’s dream, rather than a feminist statement.

Cosmopolitan points out that Britney Spears’ father, to this day, is in control of her money, due to a court-ordered conservatorship. Pretty sure an “Independent Woman” is supposed to be in control of her own finances. Also, Britney Spears’ infamous head-shaving incident seems as if it was more of a cry for help from the ravages of fame as opposed to a feminist statement. She was clearly unstable during that time (Brit checked into a rehab facility after the incident) and one can argue that Spears’ oversexualized image, controlled by an entire team of people, is part of the reason why she lashed out. 

But you can make an argument for anything as long as you can find evidence malleable enough to support it. We’ve got to applaud Goldberg and Ratnatunga for their entrepreneurial spirit, whether or not we agree with them. But we can agree on one thing: We love Britney Spears and whether she’s a feminist role model or not, she is a fascinating figure indeed. 

[via Daily Beast]

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Michiel Huisman and Crista Cober Look Like the Perfect Couple on Vogue Netherlands (Forum Buzz)

Following in the footsteps of George Clooney, Richard Gere, Robbie Williams and David Beckham by fronting an issue of Vogue, Michiel Huisman appears on the May issue of Vogue Netherlands, alongside model Crista Cober. The fashion world has welcomed the Dutch actor with opens arms since Baz Luhrmann cast him to star alongside Gisele Bündchen for Chanel‘s dreamy No.5 commercial. Photographed by Marc de Groot, Huisman wears a suit from Versace‘s Spring 2015 collection with Crista wrapped around his neck.

As always, the true question is, are our forum members impressed? “Who is this Michiel guy? He seems familiar. While I am happy Crista got another cover, her pose looks super awkward. It would have been better if she stood behind him or something, it looks like her leg is coming out of nowhere. Who approves of these covers, seriously?” asked KateTheGreatest immediately.

“I am quite disappointed with it [in the] sense that it doesn’t scream women’s fashion. You cannot see what she’s wearing! The makeup is hard to appreciate on such an angle. The hair is unflattering. I don’t see any body except the arm and the awkward leg. For a magazine that’s expected and is supposed to be promoting women’s fashion, they failed to meet their mission,” echoed MON.

Forum member Nomar felt the same way: “Pretty good but the cover looks like it would be more fitting for a men’s magazine.”

Many were willing to overlook the cover’s failures, however. “Love it, but then I have a major crush on Huisman. He really is being embraced by fashion!” appreciated Miss Dalloway.

“Looks good. I like it!” added DutchHomme in agreement.

Do you give the cover a thumbs up? Join the discussion here.

The Buzz Latest News

Watch Rihanna Pull off the Ultimate Prank on Jimmy Kimmel

Just call her the queen of pranks. We all know Rihanna loves a bit of mischief and this week, the singer had her eyes set on pulling one over on Jimmy Kimmel. The Bajan songstress admitted she loves seeing Kimmel’s April Fools’ Day pranks every year, so in honor of her appearance on the show, she thought she would give the late night host a taste of his own medicine.

Cameras followed Riri as she showed up at Kimmel’s house around 1 a.m. to give him the most epic wake-up call ever. With the help of Kimmel’s wife Molly McNearney, Riri went into Kimmel’s bedroom and woke him up with flashing lights, confetti and a troupe of backup dancers as they blasted her new single “Bitch Better Have My Money.” Rihanna jumped on his bed (in her shoes!) and tossed dollars on the groggy Kimmel.

Kimmel was clearly caught off guard so it’s safe to say that Rihanna pulled off one of the best celebrity pranks we’ve seen since Ashton Kutcher convinced Justin Timberlake his house was being repossessed.

Well played Riri, well played. 

[Jimmy Kimmel YouTube]

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Discover Tata Naka’s Fall 2015 Cluedo-Inspired Collection

We always play the inspiration guessing game upon seeing a brand new collection. Was it inspired by an exotic location? Was it the designer’s love for a particular era and icon? When it comes to Tata Naka Fall 2015, we’ve solved the mystery: famous board games like Cluedo and classic whodunit films like Murder by Death

Images: Tata Naka

Images: Tata Naka

The result? Embellishment comes in the form of gold-threaded appliqués in the shape of Cluedo weapons like revolvers and candlesticks on wool, silk and vintage net. It’s a very kitsch touch and a perfect example of the brand’s humorous approach to designing.

Prints are also key to the collection as patterns resemble the Asian feel of Peter Sellers’ iconic inspector Sidney Wang across a vibrant palette of rich plum, bright corals and turquoise. In contrast to portraits created by the designers behind the classic Cluedo characters.

Want to emulate Tata Naka’s colourful collection on a shoestring? Infuse your springtime wardrobe with a splash of colour with our pick of the British high street’s finest. (more…)

The Buzz Forum Buzz

January Jones Looks ‘Super Awesome’ on the Cover of U.K. Marie Claire (Forum Buzz)

You’ll often hear us ranting about how the British edition of Marie Claire consistently uses reprints. The May 2015 issue, however, delivers an original and truly glamorous cover shoot featuring January Jones. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the Mad Men actress, who can also be found inside this month’s Violet Grey testing out various beauty looks. For U.K. Marie Claire‘s latest, January dons a show-stopping Versace dress with her hair styled off her face, wearing a dramatic femme-fatale makeup look to match.

UK Marie Claire May 2015 January Jones


Our forum members praise January’s solid history of delivering compelling fashion images. “She looks fantastic! I like this cover and it looks super awesome,” raved fluxxx.

“Love it! She looks fabulous! The colors are really pretty,” Zelda Zonk echoed.

MON was quick to share his positive sentiments. “Fantastic! It’s not that commercial and it’s stunningly good! Eye catching,” he credited.

Also to approve the cover was GivenchyHomme: “January + Versace is heaven. Love this cover.”

Forum member GlamorousBoy declared the cover “surprisingly good” inside the thread.

“Oh wow, never would’ve expected such a good shot from Marie Claire. Must get it! The pink Versace dress works really well for this cover. Fewer cover lines would’ve made this perfect.” shared Benn98 continuing everyone’s outlook.

Do you approve? Be sure to voice your own opinion here.

The Buzz Latest News

Chanel to Finally Add E-commerce by Next Year

Image: Chanel

Image: Chanel

When you’re a storied French fashion house like Chanel, you don’t need to follow industry trends in order to make money. Just a whisper of the word Chanel and you can cause any vaguely fashion-conscious person’s ears to perk up. This strong brand recognition is likely the reason why Chanel has been slow to adopt marketing practices that are invaluable to most brands. The label just launched its Instagram page in October and now it will finally arrive to the e-commerce party – fashionably late, of course.

Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, has announced that the label will finally offer an e-commerce option on its website, which could possibly launch in 2016. Pavolvsky says that they may have everything set up by September of next year. “It’s not so much a shift. It’s an evolution to better serve our customers,” Pavlovsky explained to WWD. “Some of the customers are able to come into the boutique. Sometimes they don’t want to because they want to go faster and they know exactly what they want, so it should be able to better respond to the customers’ requests. So it’s more e-service than a pure e-commerce approach.”

In the meantime, we’ll be expectantly waiting for Chanel’s big e-tail reveal. Call us crazy, but something about the thought of being able to buy a classic Chanel flap bag directly from the official website gives us warm feelings.

[via WWD]

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