On the Red Carpet: Oscars 2016

You guys, it kills me that I am too far away and too time-zoned out to watch the Oscars live.  Some of my fave memories of this time of year contain scrambling to get through all the screeners from Nick’s work, powering through some short films and documentaries online, and then heading over to my friend Andy’s house to fill out our predictions ballot and watch it all play out in real time.

That said, due to the amazing Snapchat skills of a few good friends (cough…Lilly!), I was able to get some of the red carpet highlights as they happened – and it got me really excited to sit down and write this post.

So excited, in fact, that I totally blanked on doing it until being kicked in the butt by a loyal reader this morning (thanks, Terri).  Without further ado, let’s get to the nitty gritty:

rachel

Rachael McAdams, you sexy beast.  Are you aware of your perfection?  Do you know that I have a deep-down longing for women who choose dark jewel tones over black?  Can you teach me how to wear a long tassel without looking like a stripper?  And can you kiss your stylist on the lips for pairing the look with those simple metallic strappies?  I love you.  And I love your August Getty creation, despite not knowing who that designer actually is.

jlaw

And while I’m on a love high, let’s talk about the always-impeccable J.Law (here in Dior).  Girlfriend, you took the peroxide plunge without looking trashy and paired that masterpiece of a lob with peekaboo lace and a beautiful V-cut bodice.  WERK, girl.  Just werk.

char

Charlize.  CHAR.  LIZE.  Like, can you not?  Can you not defeat the sands of time that weather the rest of our faces into wrinkled, filthy messes and look better than you ever have before?  The plunge.  The Dior.  The color.  The diamonds.  Just go on with your bad self.  Ain’t no one gonna touch you.

cate

The internet told me that Cate Blanchett was getting some negative feedback for her g*ddamn amazing Armani Prive dress, and I honestly can’t imagine what the haters are seeing in her utter divinity.  The cut is so flatting, styled so well, and complements both her body and her general way of being so amazingly that I want Mr. Armani to cease production of any further couture should Cate not be the one to wear it.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

margot

I am usually a huge fan of people dressing like gold statues to go to the Oscars (see Stacy Keibler on the Oscar Red Carpet 2012, still one of my all-time faves), and Margot Robbie‘s choice of Tom Ford this year is no exception.  Sure, it’s not the most interesting dress out there, but the cut is impeccable, the color is eye-catching, and she paired it with a dramatic minaudière like a BAWS.  Well done you.

roons

Rooney Mara, I am so sick and tired of you being 1990s heroin-chic that I’m tempted to delete this entire paragraph.  But I won’t, because yet again you nailed it in Givenchy, and yet again I am forced to eat my words about how I hate that “emo chick” look with the slicked-back black hair and emaciated poor posture.  But know I’m not happy about it.

olivia

I go back and forth on the issue of boobs.  I tend to like them on the smaller side if you’re gonna hang ’em out to dry, and on the bigger side if you’re trying to rock a form-fitting but more modest style.  Olivia Wilde’s Valentino look kind of teeters between the two, but the pleats save it from looking totally whorish, and the choker anchors it down to the cool zone rather than sending it off to slutville, so I applaud her careful choice.

maria

My final shout-out for the night goes to the always-lovely Maria Menounos who did the right thing and went with my all-time favorite designer, Christian Siriano, to make her an all-time memorable look.  The cut, the beading, the wavy hair, the shimmer and shine, it was all on point, and all came together beautifully to make her look like a living goddess.  Much applause.

And now for the not-so-much looks of the evening…

Amy Poehler, I can’t with all this – those wizard sleeves, the red hair, the weird appliques – like girl, I can’t.  Kate Winslet, is it because you’re so beautiful (or because your boy Leo FINALLY got his statue) that you’ve decided to stop trying and just wear Hefty garbage bags to the show now?  Pregnant Emily Blunt, I was gonna  call you out big time for wearing both spaghetti straps AND a dress that is nearly your exact skin color, but because you’re preggo and typically knocking it out of the park, I’m gonna let you off with a warning.  Kerry Washington, you are basically the naturally prettiest person on Earth and you show up to the OSCARS looking ratchet?  But why?

And we are not even starting on Heidi Klum.  Not.  Starting.  Because I have to think she had a severe head injury just before the show, causing her to temporarily believe that she was Honey Boo Boo all grownsed up and headed off to prom night with her hillbilly boyfriend.  Because that is the one and only excuse for showing up looking like this.

What were your picks and pans, friends?  Any that you LOVED that I missed?

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On the Red Carpet: Golden Globes 2016

Oh, readers, it’s that most glorious time of year that makes even the post-Christmas blues seem liveable – it’s awards season!

Typically the hubs and I are much more aware of what’s going on in Hollywood (living in L.A., it’s basically the closest we have to a neighborhood culture), but since moving to Singapore, our connection to what’s “hip” and “current” in the entertainment industry has become increasingly tenuous.

That said, we are at least up to date with most of the blockbuster films out there (hey, we saw Hunger Games on opening weekend, that HAS to count for something?) and likewise, I am determined to keep this blog up to date with my oh-so-crucial red carpet fashion reviews.

So let’s go ahead and get started.  Some overarching trends included shades of gold/nude (see Kate Hudson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who did it best, IMO), Rooney Mara, Brie Larson) and old-Hollywood glamour makeup looks (a la Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Amber Heard, Emmy Rossum and Sophia Bush), along with some taking the bold-yellow risk (again J.Lo, as well as America Ferrera and Lola Kirke).

As for individual winners of the night, here are my humble assessments:

Julianne Moore, you are always a wonder to behold and your GG look was no exception:

Julianne-Moore

OMG J-Law, you are flawless.  FLAW.  LESS.  I can’t even look at this photo for an extended period of time for it makes me question whether I am even fit to share the living era with such a perfect and inspiring creature:

Jennifer-Lawrence

Always surprising (and almost always spot-on) Cate Blanchett turned up in something creative, beautiful, and haute couture, all at the same time – proving for the zillionth time that she absolutely kills the ingenues when it comes to fashion, without even showing an ounce of skin save for her delicate and lovely English wrists:

Cate-Blanchett

As for Kirsten Dunst, whose face I absolutely detest and whose acting is hit-or-miss at best – your boobs looked amazing, black on blondes is always a win, your makeup was on point, and I will give you your deserved props (just this once):

Kirsten-Dunst

Let’s also all agree on the fact that Laverne Cox in a white dress looks better than 90% of brides on their wedding day, and even that is probably a lowballing (pun intended) it:

Laverne-Cox

Natalie Dormer, I miss your half-shaved head (a la Hunger Games, randomly the second HG reference in this post today), but I’m gonna tell you what – the neckline on your dress had me mesmerized, the fact that you found a non-whorish shade of red to wear blows my mind, and the half-messy styling that would make lesser females look like junk only serves to make you look like an amazing goddess of style:

Natalie-Dormer

And finally, last but surely not least – let us all hail the Queen (Latifah), for she is beautiful, she is strong, and she is the only actress (ok, the only other actress, because I will totally shout out to Lupita Nyong’O for her 2014 Oscars look in the same hue) that can pull off baby blue and crystal embellishments without looking like prom gone wrong:

Queen-Latifah

You got the picks – now it’s time for you to witness the wrath of my pans.

Kate Winslet, I love you girl but that dress sent me straight back to my junior-year homecoming dance in 1998 (and even that is being generous – maybe 1995?).  Miss Katy Perry, I am unsure why you chose to show up in the muslin mock-up of what could have maybe been an elegant and classic dress, but kick your stylist to the curb after that one.

The still-adorable Rachel MacAdams decided to revive the perennial trend of wearing couch upholstery to a red carpet event (see Lucy Liu at the 2013 Globes), while my wife Amy Schumer, of whom I refuse to speak ill, did NOT kill it as I would have hoped.

The taste of the Globes has me rabid for what lies ahead (Oscars and Grammys especially) – so stay tuned for more red carpet reports as the season moves forward…

What were your favorite looks?  Do you take issue with any of my picks or pans?

Reflections on The Biggest Loser “Tell-All”

I know, I know – I should be using today to issue a full review of the SAG awards red carpet.  And believe me, that post is coming!  But for now, something that’s been on my mind since it was posted (and re-posted, and re-posted…) on my wall a couple weeks ago.

As some of you know, I love the TV reality competition show The Biggest Loser.  Caveat: I’m not saying the show is perfect, or realistic, or a model I use for my own training career, or anything of that sort.

I am just saying I am a fan, I watch the program, and I have watched every episode since Season 2 (cut me a break, I didn’t have a proper TV when Season 1 aired).

Lately, there’s been all this hubbub about the “extreme” methods used to lose weight on the show and the “fat shaming” aspect of the entire franchise.  Former contestants are claiming “abuse” and noting that they’re all “fat again anyway.”

So what do I think of it all?  Well, some of it’s bullshit, and some of it isn’t.  

Here’s what’s bullshit:

  • the “only things eaten” are foods sponsored by the show.  Not true.  What IS true is that they have to demonstrate ways to cook with the sponsors’ food, which is why you see so many Jennie-O turkey tacos on the show.  But the kitchens on the ranch are stocked with healthy, whole, real foods – not just sponsored products – and contestants learn to cook for themselves (there are no chefs/cooks at the ranch).
  • the trainers get pleasure from watching clients suffer.  This is offensive.  Personal trainers are health professionals that use a variety of tactics to help clients push through their self-imposed boundaries – tactics that vary by trainer, but are never intended to humiliate, hurt, or shame clients.  Reminding a client that she is susceptible to severe health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome is not “shaming” – it’s being upfront and realistic, which many of these folks aren’t getting from their enablers back home.
  • the contestants are “forced” to work out too much.  I work out about two hours a day (granted, because of my job) and I am not even overweight.  The contestants work out 4-6 hours per day, primarily walking or low-impact cardio like swimming, and learn to build a schedule that is consistent and well-balanced and includes weight training, high-intensity intervals, and stretching.  Sure, 4-6 hours daily is not sustainable in the long run – but as a kickstart tactic to lose weight over a period of five months, it is completely reasonable and manageable.
  • the contestants don’t address the underlying issues surrounding their weight.  All the contestants attend therapy sessions in addition to their workout sessions to help them get a grip on both their personal problems and the stress and fatigue of being on a show like BL.  I’m not saying they leave the ranch with their problems solved (and the “competition” part of the show means each contestant’s journey ends somewhat abruptly anyway), but it’s not like they’re being brought there, yelled at, and left for dead.

On the other hand, here’s what I think is questionable and/or not so great about the show:

  • you rarely see the contestants cook or eat.  I think it’s important to watch these people prepare and consume their own food, so those watching at home can get a sense of what truly clean eating (NO processed food, NO carbs outside of fruit and veggies, NO alcohol, LOTS of protein on the plate) actually looks like – and what portions look like, both in the beginning and toward the end when their weight starts to stabilize and their muscle mass is significantly higher.
  • many of the contestants DO gain the weight back.  Why?  The same reason any of us would – there’s not $250,000 riding on your success anymore.  There are a lot of habits I could form (or break) in the short-term if someone was going to pay me for them – but true success comes from a lifetime of moderation, which many of the people on the show aren’t prepared for when the dollar signs aren’t backing them.  Again, are they bad people for it?  Nope.  Is the show bad to offer them money?  Nope.  But a paradigm shift and a lifestyle change is harder than it seems, and lots of people (on Biggest Loser and in real life) aren’t up for the challenge.
  • the level of exercise necessary to achieve fast results is not realistic.  Read this clearly: I am not saying that the methods to lose weight on the show are bad, I am saying they’re not sustainable.  No one has time to work out 4-6 hours per day, sure.  But that’s why this is a TV competition show and not a documentary series.  The thrill is in the results; the challenge is in maintaining them on a smaller scale with 1-2 hours of exercise per day and a consistently clean, well-portioned diet.

To the writers at Jezebel (should you be checking out small-time bloggers like myself) or the producers at The Biggest Loser (should you be looking for new trainer talent), I am not saying either one of you is entirely correct nor entirely blameless.  Weight loss is a sensitive, multifaceted issue, and one that tends to polarize even otherwise calm people.

But what I will not stand behind is criticism of the overarching concept of The Biggest Loser, which is that if you work out (intensely, consistently, and with a professional) and eat right (clean, low-sugar-and-sodium, with a focus on lean protein and vegetables), you will lose weight.  That’s the message that more people need to hear, and it’s the only one that will get Americans to reverse the pattern of sedentary behavior and processed junk food diets that have gotten us to the obesity epidemic we have today.

*drops the mic*

Do you watch The Biggest Loser or weight loss competition shows?  Why or why not?

Weekend Roundup

So I’ve just had to reason with myself about the amount of finite time there is in a day – and sometimes, I just need sleep in that last half hour of the day (sorry, loyal readers).

That said, I want to make sure I’m staying current with what’s going on around the internet world, too, so I put together this quickie little roundup to holler at the awesome and useful things you guys might want to read until I’m back up and running at full capacity.

You can now shop Spring 2015 trends according to your astrological sign (spoiler: mine’s a jumpsuit, and I love it!).

I go through about a jar of (natural unsalted) peanut butter per week.  I think I’m going to need to up that to two jars.

Do you exercise on an empty stomach?  If your diet is, shall we say, inconsistent, it may be the way to go.

Running and walking at night can be terrifying, but for some of us, it’s a must-do.  This stuff can help you stay safer as you run into the wild dark beyond.

If you don’t love Victoria Beckham, then I can’t love you.  It’s pretty straightforward.

I’m not gonna lie and say I take a cold shower, but I WILL tell you that my hair is about 80% shinier when I cold-rinse it at the end of said shower.  So that’s something.

These now-ancient celebrity MySpace pages are AWESOME in their horror.  So bad.

My “lady” issues could fill a short textbook, but for now, know that I am very interested in FAM and how to track the natural cycles of the female body – and would love to know if any of you readers out there are doing the same!

What’s on your mind this week?  What are you watching/reading/laughing at online?