Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Thursday, December 30, 2020

don't forget toAmongst the pearls of wisdom dropped in this list of “What Men Think (words to live by)” is this revelation:

You can never fix us. If we’re douches, we’re staying that way. You are not going to be the one. Save yourself some heartache. Not going to happen. And the bigger the douche, the better we are at manipulating people because we need to manipulate people cos we’re a douche.

Actually, not much of a revelation, if you’re at all acquainted with douchebaggery. But someone should clue in all those hot chicks with douchebags.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/30/2010 09:21pm
Category: Society, Women
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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Recent Boston-based films like The Fighter and The Town — and even The Social Network — have featured female characters cut from the same unflattering cloth:

Why must the celluloid version of Massachusetts’ blue-collar babes be so harsh?

Not every woman in Lowell gets into a punching match on their front porch. Or drops the F-bomb from her second-story window within earshot of unsuspecting neighbors. They’re not all Parliament-sucking hos with bleachy, frizzed-out hair and baby-daddies doing six months at MCI Shirley.

But it seems each time I fork over $9.50 for a ticket at AMC Loews Boston Common, I’m being sold another sleazy, stupid Boston Area Broad.

Disparaging portrayals of the Bay State are more of a New York tradition, versus Hollywood. But the movies in question are Oscar-level material, so perhaps there’s a typical Los Angeles-style mixed-message dissing going on here: General acclaim, accompanied by a backhanded swipe to the local womanhood.

The other part of this trend I’ve noticed: These Southie characters are desirable vehicles for glam-girl actresses to change type. In the aforementioned movies, Amy Adams and Blake Lively each donned pretty-but-tough personas, letting the hairspray and curse-words fly in an attempt to “show range” in their acting abilities. It’s a convenient shorthand for expanding career options, but doesn’t particularly come off as convincing.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/19/2010 07:37pm
Category: Movies, Society, Women
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Friday, December 17, 2021

The recession has been hard on fashionistas, so Rent The Runway offers the ladies short-term $50 rentals for haute couture:

Dresses are organized on the site by style, designer, or occasions like “winter wedding,” “girls-night-out” or “this-is-getting-serious-date dresses.”…

The site, which has 600,000 members, launched near the peak of the recession, but according to co-founder Jenny Fleiss, that timing helped it get off the ground. “People were really thinking about cost per wear,” she said.

Now Rent The Runway is enjoying its busiest season to date. “Everyone has holiday parties and New Year’s Eve coming up — when are you going to wear a gold sparkly one-shoulder dress again?” Fleiss asked.

Leased clothing used to be strictly a guy thing, with the rented tuxedo as Exhibit A. If both you and your date are going to attend that formal bash in rentals, you might as well scope out other couples at the event for potential outfit sublets. “See how well we match together? You guys would totally rock this combo too!”

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/17/2010 08:22am
Category: Business, Fashion, Women
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Friday, December 03, 2021

If, as per celebrity tweet-advisers Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, mayonnaise on a vagina makes it shiny… Then what does mayo on a penis make it?

Answer: Fattening.

There’s tongue-in-cheek advice for you. Or something-in-cheek, anyway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/03/2021 01:26pm
Category: Comedy, Social Media Online, Women
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Saturday, November 27, 2021

This is hardly a scientific sample, but I’ve noticed a peculiar trend today in my Twitter stream: Multiple references to jeggings. Yes, all in tweets from women.

Since “jeggings” isn’t showing up in the trending topics list, I’ve gotta believe this phenomenon is strictly localized to my Twitter experience. Obviously, I follow some like-minded fashionistas.

I wonder if there’s a distinct connection between this musing and the just-completed Thanksgiving festivities. Is the level of snugness in these go-to denim leggings an indicator of holiday overeating? Maybe it’s something to look out for in a month’s time, when Christmas indulgences will prompt a similar skinny-pants body-fat index. For ladies only, of course.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/27/2010 08:06pm
Category: Fashion, Social Media Online, Women
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Thursday, November 04, 2021

Not sure this is apropos of anything, but it’s worth noting, on the eve of the release of Valerie Plame biopic Fair Game:

Plame and her quasi-counterpart Anna Chapman offer a contrasting U.S.-Russia take on beautiful-woman spies. It’s like the Cold War all over again.

Except that Plame is decidedly more of an espionage heavyweight than Chapman. At least as far as the public can discern into the murky territory of international shadow-works. In any case, we end up with foreign affairs eye candy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/04/2021 11:26pm
Category: Celebrity, Movies, Political, Women
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Monday, November 01, 2021

Today’s little girl isn’t quite as attached to her dollies as her forebears were. The solution for toy manufacturers? Make their plastic pals bigger:

Girls are ditching dolls at younger ages than ever — often by their seventh birthday party, manufacturers say. Companies such as Disney and MGA Entertainment are coming out with dolls at heights of 18 to 21 inches this holiday season and designing them to look like pre-teens, not babies or adults. These dolls are meant to be played with as companions, to give modern girls a few more years of fantasy play.

It seems like a stereotypical American response — add quantity instead of qualitative improvements. Does making the pretend playmates (somewhat) truer to life really make them more appealing to kids?

I shudder to think where the toymakers got this idea. Because I suspect it sprung from observing the ultimate in life-like doll play (obviously not amongst little girls).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/01/2021 11:58pm
Category: Business, Society, Women
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Saturday, October 30, 2021

spin cyclers
All the social outrage over the “Glee Gone Wild” photoshoot in GQ is predictable — just as predictable as the oft-repeated girl-to-woman image makeover employed by maturing performers:

All began their careers with a preponderance of fans in the bubblegum set and traced the same celebrity arc, by which Disney tiara is exchanged for Victoria’s Secret teddy and the sweet princess becomes a sweaty temptress. If she’s lucky, she then proceeds quickly to some amalgam of the two, her diversifying mission accomplished. If not, she’s Lindsay Lohan…

It’s all about image adjustment, about taking a pendulum positioned too far in one direction and yanking it in the other, so that it eventually winds up somewhere in between. The process has a physics all its own: G plus NC-17 equals PG-13.

When you’re dealing with public perceptions, shock techniques work better than steady progression. Fact is, most of the audience doesn’t want that little boy or girl in the popular sitcom or rock band to grow up — they want them to remain an iconic representation forever. Basically, a sharp break with the past is necessary, and nothing does the job better than sexualization.

And yes, that formula goes back a lot farther than “Glee”. It even goes back farther than Britney, Christina, or any of the latter-day Disney child stars. One-time one-dimensional kid phenom Jodie Foster turned the trick (so to speak) by playing a teenaged hooker in Taxi Driver. You can even point to Liz Taylor‘s career following the same (albeit tamer, owing to the times) trajectory.

And it’s all calculated. So keep that in mind the next time the apologies and claims of being led astray (the latter being another veiled form of sexual presentation for young women) spill forth, after the next strategic “scandal”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/30/2010 05:25pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, Women
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Friday, October 15, 2021

Last night, me and my (by default) wingwoman:

She: She’s dressed like a whore.
Me: Looks more like a slut.
She: What’s the difference?
Me: She doesn’t look enterprising enough to be a whore.

Distinctions in everything, as always. Not surprisingly, I wound up going home alone. My focus may need adjustment…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/15/2010 09:45am
Category: Comedy, Women
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Friday, October 01, 2021

mulleting it overBusiness in the front, party in the back is now being applied to high-end women’s frockery:

There are fewer offensive hairstyles in this world than the mullet. It’s tasteless, creepy, and worst of all, it’s dishonest. Clean and respectable at first glance with a dirty, tangled mess hidden behind it? I shudder to think. Translate it to fashion, however, and the mullet sings quite a different tune. With haute couture houses like Versace, Chanel and Prada taking a stab at it, the result is fashion’s latest question mark.

Basically, these are red-carpet gowns with high hemlines in the front (for showing off legs and shoes), and a trailing train behind for a something of a formalized look. Thus, the hang-back follicle look of ’80s holdouts and white trashers everywhere.

The thing is: Shouldn’t this be reversed for dresses? From what I know, wearing a skirt usually means that the party happens, um, in the back — meaning a higher hem would serve better there. It might not wow them at film premieres, but function over form should prevail.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/01/2021 08:30am
Category: Fashion, Society, Women
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Saturday, September 25, 2021

b before cLet the pop-cultural record show that Shakira‘s last big hit single was “Loba” (or “She Wolf” in English).

Her new song release is “Loca”, or “Crazy” in translation.

“Loba”, then “Loca”. Was that similarity planned? Then naturally, the alphabetical progression calls for her next release to be entitled “Loda”. Not that that’s a real word in Spanish or English, but a pattern is a pattern. And really, since it’s Shakira, I’ll listen to just about anything she puts out, since it’ll sound good regardless of meaning.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/25/2010 11:44am
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, Women
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Thursday, September 23, 2021

While Katy Perry applied the requisite Kidz Bop re-lyricism to her song “Hot N Cold” for a duet with Elmo on “Sesame Street”, she neglected to clean up the rest of her act:

After the clip hit YouTube Monday, Gawker ran a story that called attention to the video and Katy’s look. Parents checking out the video began leaving critical comments like, “Couldn’t she wear something that was more. oh idk. APPROPRIATE” and “I DO NOT want my five year old lookin at [that]!” But, as TMZ notes, Perry wasn’t actually half-naked — her outfit featured a flesh-colored mesh top that went all the way up to her neck, like a figure-skating costume.

Sesame Workshop, the company that produces the show, responded to the controversy this morning by announcing that producers have decided to pull the song from the broadcast version of the program. The clip will remain online at KatyPerry.com, however, so the singer’s more mature fans can watch it.

And here’s that “mature” performance, boobies and all:

As usual, a lot of huffing-puffing outrage from parents who are projecting their own hang-ups onto their children. Although I admit that Perry should have thought twice before donning anything flesh-colored for a children’s television appearance. Or did she think she would be performing with the infamous rogue Elmo from Times Square?

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/23/2010 11:25pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, TV, Women
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Saturday, July 24, 2021

all manner of fruit
I’m not above triggering an online meme based around images of some anonymous hot chick. And so:

The above two ads have been making the rounds on websites I routinely visit. Nothing particularly special about them — one’s pushing the acai berry fad, while the other claims to hook you up with Apple gadgets for low-low prices. Nothing shady there, I’m sure.

But obviously, the common thread is that tanned blonde woman, posing as some kind of investigative reporter in both instances. She must have a fairly free-formed beat if she’s covering “breaking news” on both superfoods and iPads. Reportage versatility is highly valued…

Obviously, she serves as an eye-catching prop in both ads. It probably works too, to the tune of an extra percentage-point or two in clickthrus. I’m just wondering who she is, and what possible connection there is. Is she actually behind both ventures, as a sort of scammer-girl of all trades? Or simply a stock-photo model, whose image was procured by separate ripoff operations? From such are online mysteries born…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/24/2010 08:26pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, Women
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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Online dating gains some offline hard-copy tactics in Cheek’d, a service that kicks off connections via hand-delivered notes:

Users receive calling cards to dole out to alluring strangers they encounter in their everyday lives, be it in a club or in a subway on their morning commute. Recipients of the cards can use the identification code printed on them to log onto Cheekd.com and send a message to their admirer. A pack of 50 cards and a month’s subscription to Cheek’d, where users can receive messages and post information about themselves, is $25. There is no fee for those who receive cards to communicate with an admirer through the site.

Each Cheek’d card has a sassy phrase like “I am totally cooler than your date,” or, for those with no regard for subtlety: “I’m hitting on you.” [Site founder Lori] Cheek is dreaming up specialized card sets, too. One for New York City singles will have lines like “I live below 14th Street” and “I hope my five-story walkup won’t be a problem.”

This definitely restores something to the Web-dating dynamic. While the stigma of online dating has largely faded, there’s still something antiseptic and chore-like in scanning through Match.com profiles. At least this way, you get out from in front of the screen and encounter real flesh-and-blood prospects; the awkwardness of face-to-face communication is alleviated by the hand-held written word.

I’m looking forward to some cute brunette slipping me one of these cards while I’m zoning out on the subway, or some other anonymously-crowded venue. Although I’ll point out that the ladies are late to the game with this technique, as guys have been using their business cards as pickup tools for years.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/22/2010 10:40pm
Category: New Yorkin', Society, Women
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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

I had thought that the model in that York Peppermint Pattie commercial looked familiar: It’s Alexi from IMBOYCRAZY.COM!

And this is that commercial, spliced together with Requiem for a Dream:

I think the extreme closeup on the pupil in both video-works was the inspirational hook. How else to draw a line between mint-flavoring and heroin? And the chop-quick cut scenes complete the parallels. Well done.

Not that Alexi endorses the smack habit. But she does encourage you to tan it, in the event that you can’t tone it. Yeah.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/20/2010 11:37pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Movies, Women
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Saturday, July 10, 2021

It’s not just my imagination that I’m noticing more and more women on the streets of Manhattan back-packing rolled-up yoga mats like they were de rigueur urban accessories. Hard times call for a yogi regimen:

Since the recession went from painful to disastrous in September 2008, yoga studios throughout the country have reported increased traffic. Irene Narissi, a New York City yoga instructor, says her business has jumped 10% to 15% over the past seven months. The feedback from new clients: they are either unemployed and want to maintain their mental health or insecure about their current job status and want to maintain their mental health. “The meditative aspects of yoga,” Narissi says, “satisfy the need to chill out.”

Again, strictly from my perspective, it’s looking like the converts around here are exclusively women; I’ve yet to see a man toting around a $100 personal yoga mat. And, this being New York, a serious stretching session is probably going to come with a walk up and down a flight of stairs.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/10/2021 07:33pm
Category: New Yorkin', Other Sports, Society, Women
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If you couldn’t already tell that DateBritishGuys.com was a cut-rate dating operation just from the sight of the site, finding a stack of cheap-looking, URL-emblazoned business cards next to a grocery store register ought to confirm the shoe-string budget.

Although they’re on the right track, by advertising near food. They just need to make the association more explicit — namely, take a stack of those calling-cards and place them in the citrus section.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/10/2021 05:38pm
Category: Food, Society, Women
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Saturday, July 03, 2021

Because that extra-big-iris, doe-eyed anime look is just so dead-sexy, illegal “circle lenses” contacts are making the round amongst fashion-forward ladies:

Now that circle lenses have gone mainstream in Japan, Singapore and South Korea, they are turning up in American high schools and on college campuses. “In the past year, there’s been a sharp increase in interest here in the U.S.,” said Joyce Kim, a founder of Soompi.com, an Asian pop fan site with a forum devoted to circle lenses. “Once early adopters have adequately posted about it, discussed it and reviewed them, it’s now available to everyone.”

Ms. Kim, who lives in San Francisco and is 31, said that some friends her age wear circle lenses almost every day. “It’s like wearing mascara or eyeliner,” she said.

This doesn’t seem all that different from the now-standard colored contact lenses, that went through a fad-fade a couple of decades ago. The accessorizing reminds me of similarly-odd cosmetic trends: Years ago, I knew a group of girls who kept a couple of high-end wigs as part of their wardrobe, because certain outfits they owned didn’t look “right” with their natural hair.

The Japanimation, and even manga, inspiration behind this big-eyed look is telling. It’s too bad the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip just bit the dust; some creative revitalization-marketing there could have inspired a counter pupil-less eyeball look…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/03/2021 08:26pm
Category: Fashion, Pop Culture, Women
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Friday, July 02, 2021

It’s one thing to encounter the occasional Lexus, Mercedes, or Denali — as the names of little girls, instead of car models. But apparently, it’s downright distressing to encounter an entire summer camp class full of such namings.

Know that the real distress is yet to come, if the theory of name-determining vocational destiny holds true. That doesn’t mean that all these little girls will grow up to be luxury automobiles, of course — that would be silly. But another, more questionable life-path suggests itself:

Good stripper names: Mercedes, Sable, Lexus, Sierra, Lotus

Bad stripper names: Explorer, Thing, Outback, Gremlin, Duster, Demon, Titan, Hummer, Willys, Packard, Woodie, Cutlass, Rolls, Escort, Ram, Probe

That’s right, yuppie parents — know that granting your daughters a vehicular-inspired name strengthens the chances of them someday gyrating around a pole. They wouldn’t even have to come up with a stagename!

Furthermore, all this may or may not be related to the “anal” rule-of-thumb naming test in car marketing.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/02/2021 08:43pm
Category: Society, Women, Wordsmithing
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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

While the eleven alleged Russian spies just nabbed by the FBI didn’t seem to dig up much sensitive information, one of them is finding another brand of blown-cover success:

Anna Chapman cut a wide swath in New York even before her arrest on charges of spying for Mother Russia, judging by the sultry shots and videos suddenly popping up everywhere, starting with her own Facebook page.

Now, thanks to her penchant for seductive poses, she’s an international star. You’d hardly know her real pose, according to U.S. officials, was deadly serious: seducing government officials and businessmen into providing state secrets.

Seems like a roundabout way to generate some online buzz. If Chapman had wanted to make it big on the Web, she could just as easily have exposed herself on Chatroulette

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/29/2010 11:52pm
Category: Politics, True Crime, Women
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Sunday, June 27, 2021

monsters of pop
Back in the ’80s, we always knew that the rivalry between bubblegum-pop queens Debbie Gibson and Tiffany would inevitably culminate thusly:

[Syfy Network] promises an epic battle between the former teen pop idols, who will star in “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.”

Gibson will play a fanatical animal-rights activist who frees illegally imported exotic snakes from pet stores, sending them into the Everglades, where they grow to mega sizes. Tiffany will play an overzealous park ranger who uses dangerous methods to save endangered alligators.

In the script, the pair brawl at a party, then take matters outside into the swamp.

Interesting demographic-targeting on the part of Syfy, crossing music nostalgia with B-grade schlock. Because we all know that there’s only one way it’ll ever satisfy the geek audience:

Ooh, I think I can write this scene!

TIFFANY: “I think we’re alone now.”
DEBBIE: “Only in my dreams.”
[They make out.]

Look for that alternate outtake on the unrated DVD, sure to hit store shelves several months days minutes after the television premiere.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/27/2010 06:41pm
Category: Pop Culture, TV, Women
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