August 25th, 2009
07:04 PM ET

Glamour model: Step in the right direction?

What is a model? Is it a pretty face? A ‘good’ body? If it is someone with a ‘good’ body, what is that? A girl who is skin and bones? I know that isn’t me, and it definitely isn’t the majority of America where the average size is a 14.

It is hard growing up as a girl in this country and being bombarded with those images. It takes a toll on young women- I know it did on me.  Some companies are taking steps to help- Glamour magazine put this picture of Lizzi Miller in their latest issue to illustrate what a real woman looks like.  Lizzi is a “plus size” model- although at a size 12/14 she is hardly plus size, in fact, in America, she is average.  So I don't get it, is average the new plus?
[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Lizzi Miller"]

I applaud Glamour for putting Lizzi in their magazine and showing us real women but clearly we still have a ways to go.  On the cover of the same issue that Lizzi proudly shows off her soft belly, the magazine teases an article inside about “3 Flat Belly Secrets.” Now isn’t that sending a bit of a mixed message?

I remember vividly being about 8 years old and posing in front of my mirror in my bedroom like a model- Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ was big back then (don’t judge me). At the time I thought I was pretty; my parents told me I was and I was too young to be affected by things in magazines and on TV.

I also remember that blissful ignorance disappearing at an early age as I entered what is now commonly referred to as my ‘tween’ years as I was barraged with images on television, in magazines, in ads at my favorite clothing stores and on my favorite pop singers.  I wanted to get a perm because I wanted curly hair like Stephanie Tanner on Full House; then a few years later I had to have a straightener because I needed my hair to be as straight as Britney Spears. I was the first of my group of girlfriends to go through my growth spurt and as I struggled to fit into the teeny tiny clothes that they still squeezed into from stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, I would sit at home and look at the catalogue and wish I were as skinny as the bony models. I was 14. I look back now at the pictures of myself and think, ‘if only I could go back and talk to that girl and tell her…’

What do you think? Should more magazines show realistic images of women like Lizzi Miller?

For much more on this fired up model debate tune in to Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT on HLN- don’t miss it!

August 25th, 2009
07:01 PM ET

Chris Brown sentencing - by the numbers

60.  52.  6.  And zero.

Those were the details of Chris Brown's sentencing Tuesday - and the smallest number may be the most important.

Under the terms of his plea deal for assaulting Rihanna back in February, the 20-year-old R&B star will be on felony probation for 60 months.  He'll have to complete a 52-week domestic violence counseling program, and perform six months of "community labor" - L.A. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg was clear that she wanted Brown to work.  And Judge Schnegg continued the protective order preventing Brown from contacting or approaching Rihanna in any way.

The judge seemed to take special care to ensure Brown understood that last point, reading the language of the order out loud, and then addressing Brown directly.  She noted that while she didn't rule by hearsay, she wasn't "immune to the chatter" that Brown and Rihanna had been seen together since the order was first imposed.  She spelled it out: violating the protective order would be a violation of Brown's probation.  That means no contact of any kind, staying at least 10 yards away at "industry events" such as award shows, and at least 100 yards away the rest of the time.

I've only met Brown once, nearly two years ago, at the press junket for the movie "This Christmas."  My impression of him was of a talented kid: enthusiastic about music and basketball, a little more polite than your average teenager, and enjoying his celebrity status.  I don't know how much he's changed in the last two years, or how much he'll change in the next five, over the course of his probation.  But I hope he finds a way to become the role model that so many people seem to want or expect him to be - to convince both his fans and those who rightfully blasted him for his criminal behavior that he's a changed man, that he learned the worst possible way what a real man does and doesn't do.  Being a cautionary tale isn't comfortable, but it may be the best thing that could come out of all this.

August 25th, 2009
02:59 PM ET

Gene Simmons steals the show at "Extract" premiere

So I’d heard a lot about how funny the upcoming flick "Extract" is and how great the stars Mila Kunis and Jason Bateman are in it. Bateman, perhaps best known for doing the box office hit "Juno",  knows how to choose the right comedy vehicle. Kunis, who had memorable scenes in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, also has the romantic comedy formula down pat. So the pairing of these two on the big screen naturally created great chemistry in "Extract."

Gene Simmons

Ben Affleck, JK Simmons and Kristin Wiig have supporting roles in the film. "Extract" is about a man who runs a flavor extract company and wants to sell it, but his plans are derailed. Bateman’s character is the head of the plant and Kunis is a newly hired temp worker.

So you’d think they would headline the Los Angeles premiere of the flick Monday night but quite the contrary! It was co-star and KISS band member Gene Simmons who stole the show. Simmons plays a contemptible attorney in "Extract" and used the premiere to discuss how he REALLY feels about lawyers.

"We hate all of you lawyers you do know that. Especially you LA ones. You make all our lives miserable," screamed Simmons. I nervously laughed hoping he was playing another character on the red carpet, but after a few uncomfortable minutes of his continued verbal assaults against attorneys, I realized it was not in jest. I then asked Simmons if he had a personal lawyer and he responded, "I hate him too!"

You can always count on Simmons to mix things up!

August 25th, 2009
08:50 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's going on in the world of entertainment this morning:

  • Brad Pitt's manager is denying a German publication's report that Pitt referred to "Valkyrie" as "a ridiculous movie," according to People. "Valkyrie," which starred Tom Cruise and was released last year, took place during World War II, just like Pitt's latest release "Inglourious Basterds."
  • Another video from a UK talent reality show is making the rounds, and this time it's an audition which Simon Cowell called "the best first audition I have ever heard." Teacher Danyl Johnson, 27, seemed to wow the crowd on "The X Factor," another show judged by Cowell, with his rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." The Detroit Free Press has more details.
  • Plans are in the works for a sequel to last summer's "Hancock" starring Will Smith, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara have been hired to write the follow-up.
  • Variety reports that August box office returns are putting Hollywood on track for a record-breaking summer. So far, summer revenue is at $3.99 billion. The record set in 2007 was $4.16 billion.
  • On DVD today: "Adventureland" with Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Ryan Reynolds, "Duplicity" starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, "Fighting" with Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard, and "The Informers" with Billy Bob Thornton and Kim Basinger. Plus there's a slew of TV seasons out today: "House: Season Five," "Californication: The Second Season," "Lie to Me: Season One," "NCIS: The Sixth Season," "Thirtysomething: The Complete First Seasons," "Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season," "Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season," "One Tree Hill: The Complete Sixth Season," "Samantha Who?: The Complete Second and Final Season," "Wiseguy: The Complete First Season," "Dungeons & Dragons: The Animated Series" and "Life: Season Two."
August 25th, 2009
08:48 AM ET

Alec Baldwin for Senate?

The "30 Rock" actor might be ready to throw his hat into the political arena, while "The Hangover's" Zach Galifianakis is a "Schmuck" and KISS goes on tour. CNN's Jennifer Wolfe has more on these tidbits in today's buzz:

Filed under: movies • Music
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Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.