As Matt Damon explained in The Guardian, “Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, sells a shitload of magazines in the midwest. Magazines that — Ben explained this to me — you and I have never heard of, but that appeal to the mom in the midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom.”
Lisa Bedford's "Survival Mom" blog, which aims to help women, and especially mothers, be ready for a myriad of possible disasters, is "part of the new accessible, female-oriented, and, crucially, logical face of prepping. Even that word — prepping — makes it sound like an extension of performing responsible motherhood: like scheduling your kid’s dentist appointments ahead of time or making sure to take get your Christmas card ready in October. ... [and] Bedford’s advice feels more and more common sense." Anne Helen Petersen, "What to Expect When You're Expecting the Collapse of Society" (SLBuzzfeed). [more inside]
"Enya emerges from the shadows wearing a full-length black taffeta dress and a velvet shrug. She’s 54, but she has the skin of someone much younger — or someone who spends most of her time in an Irish castle. She looks like a mix of Deanna Troi and my mom, which is to say, she is the most beautiful woman in the world. She appears, nods as the room applauds her, and disappears without a word. “Now, for a light mingle,” the exec announces." -- Anne Helen Petersen on Enya, her avoidance of celebrity, her history, her massively successful career, and her castles.
Dayna Evans writes about Taylor Swift for Gawker: [T]he part of Taylor’s persona that doesn’t get talked about enough [is that] she is a ruthless, publicly capitalist pop star. To think of her as womanhood incarnate is to trick oneself into forgetting about “Bad Blood” and “Better Than Revenge.” Swift isn’t here to help women—she’s here to make bank… Her plan—to be as famous and as rich as she can possibly be—is working, and by using other women as tools of her self-promotion, she is distilling feminism for her own benefit. [more inside]
"The allegations of hypocrisy became the through line of her legacy. Even today — in Frank Langella’s recent memoir, on the celebrity gossip site Oh No They Didn’t, or my own piece on [Clark] Gable, published four years ago, [Loretta] Young is understood as a woman who didn’t live by her own set of publicly propagated values: a sinning saint. "Yet as Linda explained, “With Judy [her child with Gable], she was trapped. She had this lie and no way to frame it. She took full responsibility for hiding it all her life. To be stuck — so caught, in such a public way. What could she have done with that?”" - Anne Helen Petersen [previouslys] revisits Loretta Young's greatest scandal [TW for rape]
'She (and it is always a she) cherishes uninspired brands — a mix of Target products, Ugg boots over leggings, and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes (the ultimate signifier of basicness) — and lives a banal existence, obsessed with Instagramming photos of things that themselves betray their basicness (other basic friends, pumpkin patches, falling leaves), tagging them #blessed and #thankful, and then reposting them to the basic breeding grounds of Facebook and Pinterest.' Anne Helen Petersen on why 'basic' is just another word for class anxiety. [Single link Buzzfeed] [more inside]
"Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift" by Anne Helen Petersen for Vanity Fair. (Warning: graphic description of car accident in the link.) [more inside]
There's no simple or singular means of explaining why publications thrive or die. Entertainment Weekly rose and declined with larger waves affecting the entertainment and publishing industries at large, but its story is more than just that of print media at the turn of the century. That might be the environment, but the larger narrative is that of widespread deregulation in terms of media ownership and the resultant flurry of mergers, acquisitions, and conglomerate masterplanning.The history of the business of EW.
Media Studies professor Anne Helen Petersen writes about the dominant role of Netflix in her students’ film and television consumption, and its effect on the lasting influence of works that are — or are not — available there:
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else…[more inside]
Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Ecstasy of Hedy Lamarr - Science! Fascists! Orgasms! Libel! Escapes From Literal Castles! (SoCH previously and Anne Helen Petersen previously)
Doctor Of Celebrity Gossip and frequent chronicler of the Scandals Of Classic Hollywood (previously) Anne Helen Petersen (more previously) muses on growing up with Star Trek: The Next Generation. [more inside]
Scandals of Classic Hollywood* is a fantastic series of articles exploring the careers and private lives of old Hollywood's most legendary performers, written by self-styled "doctor of celebrity gossip" Anne Helen Petersen. [more inside]