22 October 2013
Category: Celebrities, Custom Lifestyle, Custom Shirts
When searching the internet we sometimes come across celebrities who have chosen to create custom shirts on Customized Girl. Today, we came across Melissa Rycroft’s custom peek-a-boo maternity shirt as she broke the news about her family expecting a new addition next spring!
We instantly recognized the peek-a-boo artwork and fonts from our site. Melissa was not the only one sporting a custom tee from us as you can see from the picture below. She also customized a men’s ringer tee and a girl’s tank top. She did a great job using our design center to create totally unique t-shirts and tank tops.
Here is the official announcement from Melissa Rycroft’s Facebook page:
“Sooo…It’s official, the Strickland Family is growing by one next Spring! Ava is so excited to be promoted to Big Sister!! We are so excited for our new little addition!!”
3 May 2012
Bella Thorne, star of Disney Channel’s Shake It Up! recently posted a photo of she and her boyfriend, Tristan Klier, sporting matching Aye He’s Mine / Aye She’s Mine hoodies. Don’t they look super cute? You can customize your own Aye He’s Mine sweatshirts like Bella Thorne’s at CustomizedGirl.com! Change the color, font and item to your liking in our design center and you’re all set!
11 November 2009
Celebrities have pictures taken of them every day. Usually it’s because they are in a glamorous outfit that most of society can’t come close to affording. Well this time, these celebrities probably should have taken an extra look in the mirror before they stepped on the stage. I give to you the Top 10 Most Outrageous Celebrity Outfits!
- Bjork goes Swan: At the 2001 Oscars, you may remember when Bjork donned a faux swan as her red-carpet ensemble and called it an outfit. How could you forget, right? In one night, Bjork went from an obscure singer from Iceland to a household name! Whether or not it was intentional, the “dress” became buzz-worthy, and everyone was talking about this outrageous ensemble!
- The Purple Prince: Oh Prince. Prince has always been known for his flashy, purple get-ups, and this one is no different! One could actually assume that his signature song “Purple Rain” was actually about his favorite color. Here the pop icon is pictured at a Fendi party during Paris Fashion Week, Oct. 6th 2009.
- Fashion Sense is M.I.A: At the 2009 Grammys, singer M.I.A caused quite a stir when she wore this polka-dot bodysuit. It wasn’t the polka-dots that caused the buzz, but the fact that she was nine months pregnant when she wore it, and the dots certainly emphasized her sizable bump. Instead of wearing something that outrageous she should have settle went for a custom maternity shirt.
- Domo Arigato Kyle Minogue: Singer Kylie Minogue kicked off her American Tour in California in September of 2009 wearing this futuristic fashion. Ms. Minogue never fails to entertain, and for this tour she seems to have been inspired by some Lady Gaga style costumes as she performed on stage.
- Britney Goes Circus Freak: Brittney Spears has definitely worn her fair share of outrageous outfits, and for her circus tour, she pulled out all the stops! In this particular outfit, it appears that Brit has created a twist off the “Illustrated Man” concept to go along with the traditional circus theme.
- Sushi Anyone? Katy Perry has become well-known for her unique costume choices and sense of style. As Perry performed at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan, she wore a leotard embroidered with rows of sushi, with a Japanese kimono. The fans at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo were amused by her choice of garb, and the show went off without a hitch. Nicely done Katy!
- Gaga Scissorhands: Lady Gaga is known for her one-of-a-kind dress style. This year at the MTV Video Music Awards, between her red-carpet attire, and her performance costumes she came up with at least three memorable outfits to say the least. One of which, was this black lace Jean Paul Gaultier dress with Dragon print silk underlay from Gaultier’s fall/winter ready to wear collection, accentuated by a feather neck brace.
- Beyoncé: Beyoncé is by nature a show stopper. For her 2009 European tour, Beyonce wore this curve-enhancing gold corsage, which also emphasized her love for the extreme. The gold corsage was complete with an extravagant bow on the singer’s rear.
- Perez Hilton What!? Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton is known for his colorful personality, and that is also reflected by his choice of wardrobe! At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he wore this multi-colored jacket, yellow-orange hair color, and yellow hands. Outrageous to a “T”.
- Madonna Goes Crazy: Like Brittney Spears, Madonna has is renowned for her outfit choices. Here she is wearing what appears to be a Luis Vuitton outfit, accentuated by a large bow in her hair. Memorable, outrageous, and Madonna, all in one!
2 November 2009
Did you know that there are over two million women veterans? Throughout the history of our country, we have been involved in numerous wars and conflicts, and women have served in some way in every conflict. This was not always legal in the early days, but women still found ways to do what they could to protect our country. As time moved forward, women in the military became more and more acceptable, and by World War II, over 500, 000 women served in uniform and with each war since, more and more women have served. Here we have listed the top 20 most important female veterans of all time, but these are by no means the only female veterans who made a difference. Female veterans are everywhere; because with each conflict….women were there!
- Deborah Samson: During America’s first war, The Revolutionary War, Deborah Samson of Plymouth Massachusetts, disguised herself as a young man and presented herself to the American army as a willing volunteer to fight our opponents. She enlisted in the year 1778 under the name “Robert Shirtliffe” and served for three years undetected, until she came down with a brain fever, which made her sexuality evident to the physician, who did not disclose her secret. It wasn’t until she was sent on a special mission to carry a letter to General Washington, who spared her the embarrassment of a public discharge, and did so privately with a sum of money to bear her home. Deborah Samson served her country, in uniform, during the Revolutionary War in a time where women’s deeds and accomplishments went unrecognized, all for the love of her country. Her service is a testament that when the “New World” began to change, women were there.
- “Mad Anne” Bailey: “Mad Anne” was born Anne Hennis, in Liverpool, England in 1742. At the age of 19 she moved to Virginia and married a settler named Richard Trotter. At the death of her husband in 1774, Anne left her son William with a neighbor and joined the militia. Anne donned buckskins while carrying rifles and scouting equipment, hunting, courier work, and story-telling. Anne is famous for her legendary 100 mile ride to Fort Savannah from Fort Lee for desperately needed ammunition, which ultimately saved Fort Lee.
- Sarah Emma Edmonds: Sarah Emma Edmonds was born in Nova Scotia in 1841, and later moved to the United States early in her young adult life to escape the abuse of her father. While living in Detroit Michigan in 1861, she decided to join the United States Army and fight for “her country” in the Civil War. While in the army, she disguised her sex and went by the alias Frank Thompson, and became a male nurse in the Second Volunteers of the United States Army. Edmonds was unique because not only was she able to remain in the army for several years, but was also successful as a Union spy-all while impersonating a man.
- Jennie Hodgers: Jennie Hodgers was born on December 25th, 1844 in Clogherhead, Ireland. In her early life she came to America as a stowaway, and settled in Illinois until 1862 when she joined the Union Army during the Civil War under the alias Albert D. J. Cashier. Jennie survived the war with no undue suspicion to her gender, and in 1865 her Infantry was discharged, and she went on living her life as a man, allowing her to vote in a time when voting was unheard of for a woman. Her fellow soldiers later recalled her as being a skilled rifleman. Jennie’s life was dedicated to the protection of her country, and upon her death was buried with full military honors, and in 1977 a large monument in Saunemin Illinois bears her name.
- Cathay Williams: Cathay Williams was born in 1844, in Independence Missouri. She was the first African American female to enlist, serving in the United States Army under the pseudonym William Cathay. Williams was one of the Buffalo Soldiers for three years, passing herself off as a man to all but her cousin and a friend, both of whom were fellow soldiers in her regiment. Williams lived through smallpox, and several other illnesses and hospital visits without her true identity being discovered. Only until she had grown weary of her military service was her true gender revealed to the post surgeon and she was discharged on October 18th, 1868. Not only was Cathay Williams one of the first women to enlist in the army/service, but she was the first documented African American woman, which makes her all the more unique and brave.
- Pauline Cushman: Pauline Cushman was born in 1833 in New Orleans, Louisiana as Harriet Wood. She later moved to New York to become an actress, and used her skills to pass herself off as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. While in disguise, she managed to conceal battle plans and drawings in her shoes, but was caught and brought before Confederate General Braxton Bragg, tried by the military court, and sentenced to death. Three days before her execution, the Union troops invaded in time to save her. Had the sentence been carried out, she would have been the only female spy executed on either side during the Civil War.
- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker: Mary Walker was born in 1832 in New York, as the youngest of five daughters and one younger brother. At the beginning of the American Civil War, she volunteered for the Union Army as a civilian nurse, as the Army had no female surgeons. After years of non-paid service, she was finally awarded a commission as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon”, becoming the first-ever female U.S Army surgeon. During her career she frequently crossed battle lines to treat the injured civilians, and on April 10, 1864 she was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy. She was released that August in exchange for another prisoner, and went on to serve in several other battles, supervise orphanages, become a writer and lecturer, supporting health care, temperance, women’s rights, and dress reform for women.
- Ginnie and Lottie Moon: Ginnie and Lottie Moon were daughters of a physician in Virginia, and later moved to Oxford Ohio. Unlike the other women on our list thus far, the Moon sisters were spies for the Confederate Army, and they also got away with it. Whether it was “delivering a letter” under disguise, or crossing enemy lines to gather information on the Union troops, these sister’s fervor for their beloved Confederacy led them into danger and adventure, proving once more that in times of conflict, women were there!
- Emmeline Piggot: Emmeline Piggot was another spy for the Confederacy during the Civil War, who was from North Carolina. During the war, Emmeline followed the men of the 26th to New Bern, hoping that she would be able to help the Southern troops in some way. Piggot eventually began finding ways to spy on the Yankees and carry supplies and messages across enemy borders. Throughout the duration of her escapades, she was put on trial several times but was never actually convicted of her crimes. Emmeline later became a well-known member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and was later honored for her bravery by her chapter in Morehead City.
- Helen Fairchild: Helen Fairchild was born in 1884, and was a nurse who served in World War One, and became famous for her letters to her friends and family depicting the real horrors and violence of the war. Fairchild often volunteered for front-line duty, which put her in harm’s way on a regular basis, including an incident that exposed her to a heavy shelling including the use of mustard gas. By 1917 she was vomiting after every meal due to stomach ulcers. After surgery in 1918, Fairchild lapsed into a coma and died due to the chloroform used in the anesthesia during her operation, and worsened by her exposure to mustard gas. Helen Fairchild was not a soldier, but her selflessness and willingness to sacrifice herself for others makes her a WWI hero.
- Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant: Sergeant was born in 1881 and became a journalist in 1918. Sergeant went to the Western Front as a war correspondent for the New Republic, and in October of that year, she was seriously wounded by a grenade. Over the next six months, she recuperated in various hospitals in France and later published an account of her experiences in her book, Shadow Shapes: The Journal of a Wounded Woman. Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant was one of those rare breeds of women who was not afraid to risk her life to uncover the truth, and nearly lost her life in her efforts.
- Mildred Aldrich: Mildred Aldrich was born in Providence Rhode Island in 1853. During WWI, she wrote A Hilltop on the Marne, On the Edge of the War Zone, and The Peak of the Lord. The French government believed that Aldrich’s work helped persuade the United States government to declare war on Germany, and in 1922 was awarded the Legion of Honour.
- Mary Borden: Mary Borden was born into a wealthy Chicago family in 1886, and later attended Vassar College. At the time that the war broke out, she was living in England, and selflessly used her own money to equip and staff a field hospital close to the Front, which she herself worked at until the end of the war. Not only did she sacrifice all of her time and money into the war, but she also wrote several books on her experiences which included striking sketches and short stories. Many men were saved because of one woman’s drive to take action and go where she was needed. Mary Borden was one woman whose actions saved many, and that is why she is a veteran to remember.
- Irene Kinne Englund: Irene Englund was born in El Paso Texas, and then raised in California. She was a woman aviator who piloted military aircraft during World War II as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Throughout her service, she served for 18 months transporting air inspectors and medical patients, ferrying military aircraft, and towing aerial gunnery targets to free men for combat overseas. Because she was such a skilled pilot, she was one of the handful of women to be awarded veteran status by the military in a time when such a thing was unheard of.
- Nancy Harkness Love: Nancy Harkness Love was born February 14th, 1914 in Houghton, Michigan. At an early age she gained an intense interest in aviation, and earned her pilot’s license at the age of sixteen. Like Irene Kinne Englund, Love was a member of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), in which she became an Executive for all ferrying operations. Under her command, female pilots flew almost every type military aircraft then in the Army Air Force’s arsenal, and their record of achievement proved remarkable.
- Jacqueline Cochran: Jacqueline Cochran, born in near Mobile, Alabama in 1906, was one of the most gifted racing pilot of her generation. She was also an important member of the Women’s Auxilliary Army Corps and Women Airforce Services Piolets. “Jackie” worked with Amelia Earhart to open pilot racing for women, which allowed her to set a new national speed record. Jacqueline Cochran was just one of the many women in WWII who opened the doors for women today to experience the equality that we enjoy today.
- Gayle Smith: Gayle Smith, aka, “The Nurse with Round Eyes”, was a young woman during the Vietnam War who wanted to go to Vietnam to, “help the people who didn’t belong there,” as she put it. Smith is known for her writings that depict the horrors she witnessed during the Vietnam War, and her efforts to bring home the men who she believed belonged in their home to begin with. She and many other women put themselves in the danger zone because they believed in.
- Elaine H. Niggemann: During the Vietnam War, Elaine Niggemann was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. Through her service in the evacuation hospital, she worked to heal those who were injured or ill while in Vietnam. Most of her work was concentrated in the intensive care unit of the evacuation hospitals, and because of her diligent care, many men were saved.
- Sharon Anne Lane: Sharon Lane was a United States Army nurse who perished during the Vietnam War of shrapnel wounds. Born in Zanesville Ohio, her tragically short life inspired her family to create The Sharon Anne Lane Foundation. This organization aims to build a medical clinic at the site of the Lane’s service in Vietnam. She is described as being kind, compassionate, and respectful to all of her patients, whether they were American, Vietnamese, Viet Cong, or Prisoners of War.
- Eileen Collins: Eileen Collins grew up reading about famous WWII pilots such as Amelia Earhart and other Women Airforce Service Pilots who inspired her to earn a pilot’s license after graduating college. During Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada) in 1983, Collins flew the evacuated medical students and their families out of Grenada, but was “not considered as having been in combat”. In 1998, Collins became the first Woman Space Shuttle Commander. Her achievements throughout her life are an inspiration to many young women who are also reaching for the stars.
That rounds out our list of the 20 Most Influential Female Veterans Of All Time. These women have accomplished so much and it is because of women like them that the boundaries between men and women grow smaller with each passing day. While you don’t always hear the great stories of the heroins of WWII and of the other wars be assured that they play as big a role in the outcomes on the battlefield as any other soldier. CustomizedGirl.com salutes these great women and wishes everyone a happy Veterans Day.
16 October 2009
Halloween is a time for everyone to bring out the little kid inside and hop into the costume of their choice. You can pick a scary costume, one to make people laugh, one to show a little skin, or you can think completely outside the box and create a custom Halloween costume. Whatever your style, I hope that these celebrities will help spark your imagination when it comes to your costume this year. Without further adieu, I give to you, the Top 10 Most Interesting Celebrity Halloween Costumes.
- Heidi Klum as Kali – This one is my personal favorite because one, it’s Heidi Klum, and two look at that costume! This one had to be a favorite of the of the paparazzi. More from Heidi later.
- Kim Kardashian as Wonder Woman – Here we see Kim Kardashian doing one helluva Wonder Woman impression. Someone call DC Comics, I think they’ve found their next start?
- Terri Hatcher As the Queen of Hearts – The Queen of Hearts is a great costume, I think I might’ve rather seen Terri Hatcher as Alice instead, but nonetheless she pulls this costume off gracefully. I almost can hear her screaming “OFF WITH HER HEAD!”
- Katie Couric as Donald Trump – Wow. This one is certainly surprising. I think what is most surprising about this is the fact that Katie Couric does Donald Trump better than even Donald himself. Great choice on this one Katie.
- Mariah and Nick Cannon as Milk and Cookies – Nothing really goes better than Milk and Cookies, and at the time, nothing went better than these two together either. Unfortunately, Cannon and Carey are planning to divorce. Nice costume choice however.
- Seal and Heidi Klum as The Garden of Eden – I told you there would be more from Heidi, and again she is rocking a very creative costume. Check out Seal really trying to sell it! Plus I think these two definitely get the most fun celebrity couple award, don’t you?
- Jason Biggs as Dorothy – Okay this one is just hilarious. I mean seriously, look at Jason in this picture, I’m thinking he could’ve been a stunt double to Judy Garland in the original, had he been alive! Thank you for brightening my day Jason!
- Kelly Ripa as Sarah Palin – Okay, when I first saw this one, I wasn’t even sure it wasn’t a picture of Sarah Palin herself. If Tina Fey ever needs a break from being Sarah Palin’s body double, I think Kelly Ripa should give it a try. Great Costume Kelly.
- Christian Sirano as Cruella Deville – Cruella Deville is one of my most favorite fictional characters from my youth. I think that Christian could’ve easily been the star of the 101 Dalmations movie don’t you?
- Paris Hilton as a Sexy Cop – No Celebrity list is really complete in my point of view unless Paris Hilton is on it somewhere. Paris as a sexy cop isn’t necessarily all that interesting, BUT, I really hope that isn’t a real loaded weapon she is carrying on her side!
And that rounds out our list. Most of these really brought a smile to my face, I hope that you enjoyed them as thoroughly as I did. If you have some other cool celebrity costumes you’d like to share with us please share them with us on Facebook.
1 December 2008
Category: Celebrities, Features
So you want to be the next Perez Hilton, but have no idea where to start? Fear not. Thankfully, becoming a celebrity blogger isn’t really any different from becoming a regular blogger – all you need is the passion for your subject and the perseverance to post every day. There are plenty of free resources online to help you reach your goals quickly, so take in some of this advice and start breaking some celebrity news.
The first thing you’ll need to do is research how to actually set up a blog, as well as how to market yourself once it’s up and running. Check out these handy articles for a little direction.
- eHow: eHow gives you a step-by-step resource outlining the basic strides you’ll need to take to get your blog off the ground. Beyond the obvious point that you’ll need to first create and name the blog, the article offers hints on how to attract readers.
- Wisdump: Before you go thinking that you can steal whatever photos you want from Google Images, read this article from Wisdump, which will help you learn how to access the snazziest shots in a legal manner, as well as give you great tips for establishing your celebrity blog.
- Acosmin: Acosmin writes an in-depth, two-part article about creating and starting your own celebrity blog. One of its main points is that, in this business, you can’t skimp on design.
- Lonely Marketer: The Lonely Marketer gives helpful tips for anyone looking to become a first-time blogger. While not specific to celebrity bloggers, it’s still very helpful.
- Courtney Tuttle: Courtney Tuttle writes an engaging essay on starting your own for-profit blog, but perhaps the best reason to visit this site is the more than 50 instructional videos she has posted on the topic – a gem of a resource.
- Wikihow: Another strong primer, complete with a video tutorial on how to set up your blog.
- Michael Hyatt: Michael Hyatt sets forth some basic knowledge about starting a blog, but one new piece of information covered is how to use an offline blog client to post entries even while you are away from your desk.
- Blog Success Journal: The Blog Success Journal wants you to start a blog and make money. Learn how to generate profit through posting.
- CarloCab : Carl Ocab gives you an easy checklist to follow for setting up a successful blog and reaping the rewards.
- Top Business Review: Don’t learn as you go – get it all up top from the get-go. This thorough article gives 75 steps to follow for a fool-proof blog that will generate readership.
Choosing Your Style
Are you going to be the kind of blogger who rewards Paris Hilton’s shady fashion picks with praise and drool or the kind that’s going to slam her witlessness no matter what she’s wearing? In order to decide on the tone of your celebrity blog, you’ll have to research the competition. Only in knowing what’s out there will you know how to set yourself apart from the pack. Here’s a sample of several well-read and successful celebrity blogs.
- Perez Hilton: If you are tying to get into the field of celebrity blogging, then you most certainly have heard of Perez Hilton. The self-styled pink blogger, Hilton’s tone ranges from snarky to adoring – bottom line is: if you want to be like Hilton, you can’t be afraid to pull out some punches now and then or to make friends with the stars you rag on most.
- TMZ: These ruthless celebrity bloggers even have their own shock-journalism TV show detailing their guerilla methods of catching the stars on camera.
- People: While maybe not technically considered a blog, People’s website is packed full of celebrity news updated to the minute. And it’s about as straightforward and balanced as a celebrity site can be – no rib pokes here.
- Dlisted: Dlisted is a lively and fun celebrity blog that has been voted in the top 10 snarkiest celebrity blogs on the web. Perhaps that explains their motto: “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
- Celeb Crust: These bloggers choose to post almost solely about celeb mess-ups, embarrassing quotes, and overall blunders. If you’re going for a no-mercy style, check them out for inspiration.
- Babyrazzi: If, like many people in today’s society, you are obsessed with celebrity pregnancies and offspring, you might consider specializing your blog toward the subject. When Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can fetch $14 million for photos of their newborns, you know the world has gone astray. Babyrazzi is a blog focusing solely on celebs and their babies and a great site after which to model your own baby blog.
- The Celebrity Blog: Don’t expect to find anything too juicy here, but do expect to find lots of celebrity photos and news about celeb appearances around town.
- The Superficial: A sarcastic and lively read, The Superficial both bemoans the power of celebrity in today’s culture while simultaneously coveting it, somewhat reluctantly, at every turn. If you love celeb gossip, but don’t want people to think you really love celeb gossip, The Superficial’s style may be for you.
- Couture Candy: Do you just pay attention to celebs because you want to see what they’re wearing? Couture Candy is a thorough blog with a fashion-loving author.
- Celebrity Plastic Surgery: Everyone in Hollywood has had some work done, and this blogger wants to expose it all!
Today you’re nobody in the blogging world unless you’re hooked in with the online social networking communities. Setting up profiles on all these high-traffic sites will help you build an audience in no time.
- Facebook: A no-brainer here, if you want to be in touch with what’s going on in the world you’ve got to get a Facebook page. Befriend other celebrity bloggers and join all the celeb news groups you can find.
- Twitter: The life of a blogger is ruled by your need to post, post, post. You’ve got to be on all the time, so creating a Twitter account to follow your competition, allies, and those you are covering will help you stay on top of the latest news second by second.
- MySpace: While MySpace is almost a bit outdated, the sad truth is that so many celebrities still use it as a soapbox for their daily feelings and moods. So get a MySpace page and start asking for adds.
- Linkedin: LinkedIn may seem too stodgy for a hip celebrity blogger like yourself, but unfortunately you must approach your passion like a profession. And making a diverse list of professional contacts will help you expand the reach of your blog more quickly.
- Plurk: Plurk is a fun, new social networking site that recommends “interesting” people for users to check out, and offers users the chance to blog straight on their Plurk page. Called a “social journal for your life”, Plurk will let you easily market your blog to many members.
- My Blog Log: My Blog Log lets you have a dialogue with the people who are following you and checking out your page.
- Ning: A fast-growing social networking site, Ning actually lets you create your own social networking platform based around your area of interest, which your readers can join. Ning is a terrific and highly interactive way for you to connect with your readers.
- Bebo: Bebo boasts a lot of members and plenty of new media applications that users can add to their page – a fun way for you to connect with your readers and build an audience.
- Stickam : If you have a webcam and you know how to use it, Stickam is the place for you. It’s a social-networking community that allows users to connect with one another via live streaming video.
- Xanga: Xanga connects bloggers with other bloggers, so get yours hooked into this incredible resource ASAP.
Being a Reporter
While some may argue that celebrity bloggers aren’t “real” journalists, you know that to be good at what you do you will need to know how to dig up dirt and write a compelling article. Here are some general journalism resources that will help you up your game.
- How to Do Things: A step-by-step article on how to become a journalist, which focuses on how to get the right education and get your foot in the door.
- New York Times: This article is a great demonstration of how millions of people are using their cell phones to get ahead in the journalism and blogging world.
- The Guardian : The Guardian ran this story about the rise of citizen journalism. Take advantage of the trend and get your name out there by not only blogging, but submitting your news to citizen journalism websites.
- Online Journalism Blog: This content-heavy blog will give you any and all information you could possibly ever need to know about being a journalist in the online community. This site is a serious resource you’ll want to bookmark for knowledge and inspiration.
- Editorialiste : A blog that’s specifically dedicated to online journalism and blogging likens being a blogger to working in an online sweatshop. Get ready for some serious elbow grease.
- MediaBistro: It costs about $50 a year, but a membership to MediaBistro will pay itself off in a day. You will want to read up on all the city blogs, as well as check out the “How to Pitch” section to see how you can best attract the attention of some major editors.
- Project for Excellence in Journalism : The PEJ may be a bit serious for those of you simply wanting to write about celebrity infants and shoes, but for those wanting to take their craft a bit further, and perhaps mix in some real-world content, the PEJ is a great resource that can help you perfect your craft.
- Newsvine: This article is titled “How to Be a Professional Journalist with No Prior Experience.” If this is you in a nutshell, start reading.
- MSNBC : MSNBC has an entire section of its website dedicated to citizen journalists, so try submitting your content to generate a wider audience.
- Online Journalism Review : The OJR says you can be a better journalist by “unlearning” traditional journalism rules and moving your business online.
General Tips and Resources
- Tips for New Bloggers : This blog claims to be the dummies guide for all things blog-related. Read up for step by step instructions on making your blog the best.
- RSS Specifications : To truly be successful, you will need to give your readers the opportunity to download your content straight to their RSS feed, so they can truly keep up with your genius posts. Figure out how you can make your blog compatible with this technology with this handy resource.
- Seth Godin : Marketing guru Seth Godin has written a brilliant and helpful guide on his own blog about how you can attract people to your blog and build a strong audience.
- SEO : Matt Cutts is going to help you get discovered by readers without even trying. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the trick for getting innocent web surfers to stumble upon your blog. Make sure that you’re the first person to pop up on a Google search with this article.
- Generating Conversation: Since celebrity news is in and of itself rather sensational stuff, generating conversation will probably not be an issue for you. But nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to read this article about how to make your blog as compelling as it can be.
- Blendworx: This is a simple list of 51 tips all bloggers should follow in order to be successful.
- Journalism Tips for Bloggers: Don’t just futz around with your bad grammar and badly structured blog posts. Be taken as seriously as a New York Times reporter by following these simple journalistic rules.
- time Management: Blogging can be a stressful job with constant deadlines and the pressure to stay on top of the competition. These tools for time management will help remove some of the tension from your day-to-day.
- Health Tips : Afraid your foray into blogging is going to turn you into a chubby computer-addict with bad skin? It could easily happen to anyone spending that much time behind their laptop. Here are a few health tips to keep you in tip-top shape.
- Productivity : An article outlining tips to keep you uber-productive and on top of your game.
11 August 2008
Category: Celebrities, Features
The formula for a successful sitcom usually includes one key component – the nerd. Whether the nerd is your typical geek with oversized glasses and high-waisted pants or the prim and proper male opera lover, sometimes a good TV show just needs someone to be the brunt of every joke or a character whose naïveté, gullibility or paranoia stands in sharp contrast to the wit and charm of the show’s leading men and women. Here’s a list of 15 lovable nerds who made our favorite TV shows all the better.
- Steve Urkel : The quintessential nerd with an annoying nasally voice, Steve Urkel captured the hearts and laughter of the American public with his dimwitted charm and high-water pants. Urkel, who was a magnet character on the sitcom “Family Matters”, was played by actor Jaleel White. On the show, Urkel was desperately in love with the character of Laura Winslow, and pestered her and her family day and night in his attempts to win her over. Urkel even had an alter ego named Stephan Urkel, who ended up being the lucky one to date Laura. Today, Jaleel White works mostly as the voice behind the “Sonic the Hedgehog” cartoon character and he has also had small guest roles in a few movies and prime time TV shows.
- Carlton Banks: Everyone knows about the exaggerated dance Carlton Banks, the nerdy, preppy cousin on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” made popular. Arms swinging side to side, face aglow, Carlton, played by actor Alfonso Ribeiro, made audiences, laugh and cry with his innocent portrayal of a proper guy who just wanted to be liked and who was the subject of his cousin’s constant ridicule. But the thing he will be most remembered for, aside from his stellar collection of argyle sweater vests, is The Carlton dance, which lives on today in You Tube clips. Recently, Ribeiro appeared as a contestant on the show “Celebrity Duets” and he also performs on the Disney Magic cruise ship.
- Screech : Actor Dustin Diamond is known today for being the most cantankerous contestant on “Celebrity Fit Club.” But in the 1990s, no one, probably not even his closest friends, could look at Diamond without thinking, “Screech.” Samuel “Screech” Powers was the uber-dorky high school student with a forever-cracking voice on “Saved By the Bell,” who like most nerd characters had it bad for Lisa, the beautiful, fashion-forward student who wouldn’t give him the time of day. Despite his nerdiness, though, Screech managed to run with the cool crowd, or at least tag along with them in exchange for doing their homework. Today Diamond performs stand up comedy and has been a recurring contestant on “Celebrity Fit Club”.
- Alex P. Keaton : Alex P. Keaton was the stiff, Republican teenager played by Michael J. Fox on the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.” While Keaton was never the stereotypical “geek” obsessing over computers or chess, he was certainly a nerd in the sense that as a teen he worshipped Ronald Reagan and religiously read “The Wall Street Journal” each morning. Keaton’s character stood in sharp contrast to the other members of the “Family Ties” family – the ex-hippie parents, wild child sister, and smart-ass youngest sister. Keaton excelled at school and attended college on a full scholarship, where he finally started dating. After “Family Ties” was cancelled, Fox moved on to do movies and also starred on the sitcom “Spin City.” Today, Fox continues to act, despite the fact that he has been living with Parkinson’s disease for several years.
- Napoleon Dynamite : “Tina! Come get some ham!” This is just one line made quotable by Napoleon Dynamite, the nerd who starred in the breakout 2004 movie “Napoleon Dynamite.” Played by actor Jon Heder, Dynamite is a clueless geek living in rural Idaho with his equally clueless brother Kip, his adventurous grandmother, and their llama Tina. The movie is a chronicle of Dynamite’s unorthodox and awkward relationships with his family members and friends. Heder’s spot-on performance of an awkward teenager makes Napoleon Dynamite an instant classic, and while it wasn’t a TV show, Napoleon certainly deserves a spot on this list. Heder has gone on to star in other movies, like “School for Scoundrels” and “Blades of Glory.” Though none of his other movies have had the same success as “Napoleon Dynamite,” he has proven to be a marketable performer.
- Skippy: If Alex P. Keaton was a nerd in a more political sense, Skippy stepped in to fill the stereotypical geek shoes on “Family Ties.” Erwin “Skippy” Handelman was the next door neighbor who, like many nerd characters, had an undying crush on Mallory Keaton, the wild-child daughter of the Keaton family played by Justine Bateman. Of course, Mallory did not share the same affections. Though Skippy was never a fully-developed character, he was a frequent guest at the Keaton house, always creating socially awkward situations with his ill-at-ease demeanor. He would sputter and stutter and withstand rejection from Mallory time and again. Played by actor Marc Price, he has had few other big roles since “Family Ties” went off the air. He did host the Disney game show “Teen Win, Lose, or Draw” from 1989 to 1992 and was also a short-lived contestant on “Last Comic Standing.”
- Potsie Webber : Potsie Webber was the “aw-shucks”, eager-to-please best friend of Richie Cunningham on the old sitcom “Happy Days.” Played by Anson Williams, Potsie was a gullible and innocent tag along who was comically terrible at basketball. Good-natured, but square, Potsie was generally accepted by the other characters, but not taken as seriously. After “Happy Days,” Anson went on to become a TV director and has called the shots on many shows, like “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Star Trek Voyager,” and “Charmed,” just to name a few.
- Niles Crane: Uppity and snobbish, Niles Crane was the nerdy brother of Frasier Crane on the sitcom “Frasier.” Nerdy because he was intelligent and cultured, Niles Crane was known for his love of classical music, fine wines, and theater. Niles was played by David Hyde Pierce, who nailed the character’s squeamish nature. Though a successful psychoanalyst in Seattle, Niles had a hefty list of his own issues, including a phobia of sitting on public chairs and benches. For fun, when he’s not at the opera, Niles could have probably been found on the squash courts or fencing. Pierce won several Emmy’s for his portrayal of Niles, and when “Frasier” went off the air in 2005, Pierce turned to supporting roles in films like “Hellboy” and also to Broadway. He’s appeared in both “Spamalot” and “Curtains,” for the latter of which he won a Tony Award.
- Kenneth : Kenneth the Page is an innocent boy from rural Georgia who takes his role as an NBC page quite seriously. Raised by his pig-farming parents, Kenneth’s story is that he left the backwoods life for Kentucky Mountain Bible College, after which he headed north to New York City. Gullible and optimistic, Kenneth sports a deep southern accent and smiley disposition. He loves his entry-level job and approaches it with all the earnestness and sincerity of a CEO. In some episodes Kenneth wears a T-shirt that says “I LOVE Television” and his character has even knitted his grandmother a swimsuit with the NBC peacock on it. Kenneth is played by Jack McBrayer, who is himself from Georgia. McBrayer rose to fame much like “30 Rock’s” creator Tina Fey – through improv and Chicago’s Second City theater.
- Buster : For many fans, the canceling of “Arrested Development” after only three seasons was not only a mystery, but a crime. The show had some of the best developed characters to ever appear on TV, including the sniveling Buster Bluth, the youngest child of the Bluth family who was incapable of living more than 20 feet away from his mother. With his thick, black glasses and litany of sweater vests, Buster is a spoiled and lovable idiot, who is easily tricked by his family and quite unable to do anything for himself. But he was certainly a quotable character. When told there was going to be buckets and buckets of a corn-syrup “blood” mixture at a Halloween party, Buster replied, “We have unlimited juice? This party’s going to be off the hook!” Buster is played by Tony Hale, an actor who has also appeared in movies like “Stranger than Fiction” and “Because I Said So.” He is currently doing voice work for an upcoming children’s movie.
- Dwight Schrute: Played by actor Rainn Wilson, Dwight is the grumpy, resident nerd on the American version of “The Office”. Lacking fashion sense or a sense of humor, Dwight is a pessimistic man who has a deep love for both authority and Jack Bauer on the show “24”. In his spare time, Dwight is a volunteer sheriff, paintball enthusiast, and beet farmer. He is the frequent butt of jokes from his co-workers, and he is notorious for getting along with very few of them. Wilson is an accomplished actor who played an assistant mortician on “Six Feet Under” before landing the role of Dwight. He has also appeared in guest roles on several TV programs. In 2008, Wilson will star in the comedy film “The Rocker.”
- George Michael Bluth : Like his uncle Buster, George Michael Bluth is a bit shy and wary of the world. But unlike Buster, George Michael is a smart kid who perhaps is one of the only members of the Bluth family with any knowledge of how strange they are. Michael Cera, the actor who portrayed George Michael, nailed the character’s awkward and clumsy personality. George Michael is a star student who can frequently be found doing homework at his desk under the bunk bed he shares with his cousin, Maeby, who he is in love with despite the fact that they’re related. He is dedicated to helping his father save the family business and fix the family’s financial problems. To that end he works frequently as manager of the family Frozen Banana Stand on the beach. Though not a lady’s man, George Michael does eventually start dating a girl named Ann in the second season who is homely and strict. Cera, who made a big name for himself on “Arrested Development”, has gone on to star in hit movies like “Superbad” and “Juno.”
- Jerri Blank : Jerri Blank is an unsightly, 46-year-old loser with ruined teeth, an ugly smile, and terrible fashion sense, who after years of being a drug addict, prostitute and thief decides to return to high school to finish her diploma. But despite her hard life, Blank is a somewhat witless and naïve freshman, who is trying her darndest to fit in. Created by comedienne Amy Sedaris and her peers Steven Colbert, Paul Dinello, and Mitch Rouse, “Strangers with Candy” was intended as a play on the cheesy afterschool specials of the 1980s. Amy Sedaris has an impressive list of comedy work under her belt and is also the sister of famed writer David Sedaris, who she frequently collaborates with on his audio books.
- Ugly Betty: Ugly Betty, whose character’s real name is Betty Suarez, is a sweet girl with braces and a bad wardrobe who somehow landed a job as a personal assistant at one of the country’s top fashion magazines, “Mode.” Betty is looked down upon by her co-workers for her clear lack of fashion sense and dowdiness, though Betty is determined not to let this spoil her good-nature. She is dedicated to taking care of her family at the expense of her personal life, though in Season 2 she does develop a romantic involvement with a deli owner. Played by American Ferrera, who has been in movies like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” Ferrera won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as Betty in 2007.
- Millhouse: Millhouse is the nearsighted best friend of Bart Simpson on “The Simpsons”, whose full name is Mussolini Millhouse Van Houten. He is one of the most quotable characters on the cartoon show and he is frequently abused and manipulated by Bart, who likes to take advantage of his friend’s willing and kind nature. Millhouse is often beaten up and tortured by school bullies and he has even been run over by a train and electrically shocked. He has a huge crush on Bart’s sister Lisa, who is also something of a nerd, and is famed for being the only person in the fictional town of Springfield with eyebrows.
30 July 2008
Category: Celebrities, Features
It just took one skimpy bathing suit and a few seductive poses on a sandy beach to catapult these women into Hollywood immortality. Who knew achieving fame could be so easy and bring joy to so many adolescent boys and young men? Check out this list of some of the hottest celebrity swimsuit photos in history.
- Farrah Fawcett: This legendary photo of Fawcett in a red, one-piece bathing suit was taken in 1974 and is credited with kicking her career into overdrive. Posing with a southwestern-print blanket as a backdrop, the photo in poster form sold 8 million copies across the globe. Two years later, Fawcett became one of the original and most popular “Charlie’s Angels” on the then-new Aaron Spelling-produced show.
- Bo Derek: The scene from the movie “10” where Bo Derek jogs down the beach sporting cornrows and a flesh-toned one piece became an instant classic and has even been imitated and parodied in several other films. Derek netted a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, but the real reward came from the fact that she was instantly labeled the sex symbol du jour upon its release. While “10” would represent the film highlight of her career, Derek capitalized on her physique and modeling experience, going on to appear in “Playboy” several times.
- Pamela Anderson: A list of sexy swimsuited celebrities would absolutely not be complete without the famous “Baywatch” photo of Pamela Anderson in her regulatory lifeguard uniform – a high-cut, red one-piece – bounding down a California beach, Rescue Can in hand. Even though this photo is tame compared to some of the other material available on Anderson, it’s still the most renowned.
- Demi Moore: While in her 40s, Demi Moore staged a miraculous body comeback when she was asked to appear in the “Charlie’s Angels” movie in 2003 as a nemesis of the three Angels. She shocked and wowed the crowd by looking fitter than anyone else in the film with not a jiggle to spot as she did her obligatory run down the beach in a black string bikini. Photos of Moore’s new bod from the taping of this scene instantly appeared in every celebrity news publication known to man.
- Marilyn Monroe: This photo of Monroe decked out in a hot-white one-piece represents one of Norma Jean’s most famous photo shoots. While several of the shots taken at the shoot can be found in poster form, this one of her looking somewhat coy could be considered the best of the bunch. Want to see it really large? Check out one of the many Internet poster dealers who sell life-sized cut outs of The Blonde Bombshell.
- Christie Brinkley: In this “Sports Illustrated” photo, Brinkley is modeling a type of swimsuit called a maillot tanga, which is essentially a G-string with a small triangle of fabric at the top. Both the suit and the fact that Brinkley was wearing it in a mainstream magazine were considered something of a breakthrough for its time. However, while this particular suit and pose has more character, it wasn’t the first time Brinkley had modeled the style. She appeared in a tanga bikini on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” in 1975 when she was only 20.
- Paulina Porizkova: Czech model Pauline Porizkova is best known for two things: marrying “The Cars” lead singer Rick Ocasek and making every man’s mermaid-come-to-life fantasy come true in this shot where she casually models a suit made up of two tiny seashells and a loin cloth. Porizkova is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful, though not the most financially successful, supermodels of all time.
- Elle Macpherson: Elle Macpherson has been in “Sports Illustrated” so many times that asking someone to name her sexiest photo could easily start a lengthy and heated debate. But the argument for this photo is clear – the Thailand Fling was a popular issue due to Macpherson’s most intense come-hither look. Though Macpherson has graced other covers of the magazine, but this one routinely gets top marks from subscribers.
- Kathy Ireland: But while Macpherson’s “SI” covers always sell well, no one can top the 1989 issue featuring a playful Kathy Ireland bouncing in the surf wearing a white bikini. This issue is the best selling issue of “Sports Illustrated” on record. While Ireland is now a multi-billion dollar business woman as CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a motivational speaker, and one of the top 5 celebrity entrepreneurs to be named by “Inc. Magazine”, those envious of her success might be comforted to know she was once known for nothing more than her ability to look good at the pool. Or, actually, maybe that’s not so comforting after all.
- Heidi Klum: In 1998 this German-born bombshell made many a man happy to get the mail one fine day in February. The photo of Klum wearing a modest-but-sexy suit on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” was instantly praised for its suggestiveness and beauty. Klum, who now hosts the hit show “Project Runway” and is married to singer Seal, is yet another seasoned “Sports Illustrated” veteran to achieve legendary status.
- Brigitte Bardot: This risqué bombshell from France set herself apart from Hollywood actresses in the 1960s and 1970s with her seductive and forward nature. A style icon, women everywhere admired her big blond hair and large oval sunglasses. But men liked her for far different reasons. This photo, which appeared on the cover of the “Paris Revue” in 1964, was considered to be extremely tawdry for its time, especially in the States. Bardot starred in more than 50 movies during her career and was often cast in roles that highlighted her sexuality.
- Rita Hayworth: This “Life Magazine” cover of Hayworth giggling on a beach in a modest, white two-piece debuted in 1941 and quickly became one of the most popular WWII pinups to be seen on an Army barrack wall (along with the famous “Life” cover of her in a white negligee taken the same year). Hayworth’s nickname was “The Love Goddess” and her cute and easygoing beauty makes it easy to understand why this photo consistently ranks high when considering the best swimsuit pictures in history.
- Cheryl Ladd: Cheryl Ladd, one of the original Charlie’s Angels, had a successful acting career in the 1970s and was thought to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood – an assumption that is clearly backed up by this photo of a glistening Ladd in a striped bikini. Ladd has also appeared in both Playboy and Maxim.
- Raquel Welch: Whether or not what Raquel Welch is wearing in this photo is an actual swimsuit seems to be besides the point, considering the picture’s rampant popularity. The legendary shot was taken in 1966 to promote Welch’s movie “One Million Years, B.C.”, a fantasy film in which Welch plays a cavewoman named Loana. It became a bestselling poster in no time and was part of the reason why“Playboy” dubbed Welch the “Most Desired Woman” of the 1970s.
- Betty Grable: Compared to today’s standards, this photo’s timidity probably wouldn’t warrant even a glance from most modern men. But Grable was a legend in her time and rightfully so. This photo of the actress in a modest one piece and a pair of heels became iconic and was considered the most popular pinup of the World War II era. It was even included in the “Life Magazine” list of the “100 Photos that Changed the World.” Despite stiff competition from contemporaries like Hayworth, Grable’s pinup was the number one choice for GIs across the nation, probably due to her knockout legs, which her studio insured for $1 million each.
- Ursula Andress: One of the most – if not the most – popular Bond girls of all time, Ursula Andress came booming onto the scene with her role in “Dr. No” in 1962. The movie opens with this iconic shot of Andress emerging from the ocean in a fitted white bikini and is often referred to as one of the sexiest movie moments of all time. She went on to star in movies with both Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
- Phoebe Cates: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is a cult classic from the early 1980s partially due to the every-teenage-boy’s-fantasy scene where Cates removes her bikini top for Judge Reinhold while standing underneath a waterfall. The scene launched her sex-symbol status and helped her movie career – Cates starred in 7 successful subsequent movies that decade before her career slowed in the 1990s.
- Beyonce: In 2007, Beyonce made history by becoming the first musician to ever appear on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”. To top it off, she was sporting a bikini of her own design, which is part of her House of Dereon label. The issue was wildly popular and featured a more curvaceous model than is usually chosen for the cover.
- Niki Taylor: No stranger to “Sports Illustrated,” Taylor has many hot photos for the magazine under her belt. This one, shot in the Galagapos Islands in 1998, was featured in the “Ultimate Swimsuit” edition and is noted by many for its uber-sex appeal. Taylor now co-hosts “Make Me a Supermodel” with male model Tyson Beckford on the Bravo Channel.
- Cameron Diaz: If this photo of Cameron Diaz isn’t legendary now, it will be soon. Shot for the cover of the May 2008 Hollywood UK “GQ” edition, Diaz shows off a buff body and an extensive set of legs. Not bad for an actress who, at 35, could be considered out of her prime.
Although these shots may forever be known as some of the most famous swimsuits in history, nothing is more memorable than a one of a kind swimsuit. Visit CustomizedGirl.com and customize your suit today!
23 July 2008
Category: Celebrities, Features
In Hollywood, Scientologists and Kabbalists alike worship the same God – the almighty lord of fashion. In a town where Versace and Armani retain deity status, it’s pretty much a career deal-breaker to not follow the style laws set forth by the more innovative stars that set the bar of fashion very high. Here are 25 celebrities known for their ability to make and break trends.
- Madonna: Definitely the oldest celebrity on this list, Madonna is still setting trends even in her 50s. Madge has been gracing the pages of fashion magazines since she first hit the scene in a pair of fingerless, lace gloves back in the 1980s. The Material Girl made layering, hair bows, and leggings cool over 25 years ago, and she had teenage girls from L.A. to Scranton mocking her style. In the 1990s, she got a little chicer, and, in some respects, much more risqué, before adopting a gothy, hippy look for her Rays of Light era. Madonna’s proving that she’s still got what it takes – for her Confessions tour in 2006, she sported a coveted purple leotard from Dolce and Gabanna that turned the heads of every major fashion editor.
- Sarah Jessica Parker: Sarah Jessica Parker was basically hand-delivered her role as one of the most fashionable celebrities on the planet when she nabbed the role of Carrie on “Sex and the City”. While her on-screen character sported ever-more-enviable outfits week after week, Parker seemed to almost be competing with her fictional self in real life. The New Yorker was constantly photographed walking around her trendy downtown neighborhood in even trendier outfits. During the filming of the “Sex and the City” movie last year, Parker’s on-screen costumes made the tabloids and the pages of Vogue. From Christian Dior to the man she made uber-famous, Manolo Blahnik, Parker is trendsetter that will go down in history. She now, predictably, even has her own line of affordable clothes called Bitten.
- Katie Holmes: Katie Holmes is perhaps both the most surprising and relevant celebrity to make this list. Less than a decade ago, she mostly graced the “who cares what she’s wearing” pages, as she was usually spotted out and about wearing a ponytail, a bulky Abercrombie sweater and a pair of corduroys. But today Holmes, the wife of megastar Tom Cruise, can more commonly be seen in Armani, Lagerfeld, and Chanel. Her swan-like transformation must have surely involved the hand of a high-paid stylist, but the pricey price tag on that service was well worth it. Holmes may not have look-a-like, copy cats following her around, but her sleek and classy style is definitely worth copying and certainly worth noticing.
- Victoria Beckham: Famous for being one-fifth of the UK pop group The Spice Girls, Beckham’s fame survived the group’s disbanding when she married soccer hottie David Beckham. With her music career in the dumps, Posh Spice had some free time on her hands. So she turned to fashion and hasn’t looked back since. Beckham is well-known to always be wearing the latest and greatest items from the highest-end designers and she has even started a few trends of her own – remember her angular, bob haircut? She sent stylists across the country back to training so they could recreate the look on every plain Jane who started demanding it. In addition to inspiring trends, Posh Spice has also done some designing of her own – a denim line for Rock & Republic called “VB Rocks” and in 2006 a line of jeans and sunglasses called dvb. She has also landed quite a few spokeswoman contracts, and has even worked as a stylist on many photo shoots.
- Nicole Richie: When Richie began dropping weight like crazy following the first season of “The Simple Life”, it seemed like every pound lost was chronicled in the press. But with her new waif figure came a more concentrated approach to her style, and while the tabloids criticized her figure with one hand, they praised her fashion know-how with the other. Richie is known as one of the best-dressed stars in Hollywood today, and there’s even a blog that chronicles her outfits every day! Whether she’s cleaned up in a sleek Missoni dress or dressed down in a flowy shirt and ripped jeans, Richie always looks spot-on cute.
- Gwyneth Paltrow: Paltrow is a girl that designers love to dress – especially her good friend Stella McCartney, who recently made her a stand out one-piece jumpsuit that got the actress lots of ink while she was out promoting her new film Iron Man. Paltrow has even been tapped to be the face of Estee Lauder, a high honor for a non-model. But ever since she first became famous, Paltrow’s tasteful, simple style has been praised and lauded in the press. A reporter at Style.com even congratulated her for being the “classiest label slut,” always wearing the right designer at the right time – Calvin Klein in 1995; Gucci in 1996. Today, Gwyneth gets photographed more for being out with her kids, but, typically, the photo captions will also reference her well-chosen outfit.
- Mary Kate Olsen: This tiny actress made a name for herself in the fashion world by taking all the latest trends and wearing them at the same time. Mumu, floor-length scarf, floppy hat, gigantic sunglasses – why not? But though Olsen took loads of hits from the press for her bag-lady style, she also seemed to be sparking something in trendsville. Not long after she began tromping around in her combat boots and layered shirts, lots of starlets starting adopting a more frumpy approach, wearing tunic shirts, scarves, hats, and leggings out shopping or to the park. While Olsen gets to keep the prize for the most overzealous frumpy dresser, she did succeed in inspiring others to layer like crazy. Oh, and accessorize! Don’t forget her rule of thumb: always, always carry a Venti Starbucks in your hand.
- Paris Hilton: Hilton’s style is not really that exciting. Yes, she’s always sort of well-dressed, in the sense that her outfits are cute and cost an arm and a leg, but really there’s never anything super notable about her attire. That was until she got a little dog named Tinkerbell. One thing Hilton can certainly get credit for is reinvigorating the “pets as fashion accessories” movement. While it’s true that many starlets from old Hollywood used to do this very thing, it seemed to have completely got out of style in the past few decades. But Hilton resurrected it, even inspiring Britney Spears to run out and get her very own arm-Chihuahua. Lately though, Hilton seems to have swapped out her canine friend for herself, as many recent paparazzos have snapped the socialite sporting T-shirts with her own face and name on them. Narcissism at its finest.
- Gwen Stefani: No matter how bold or how crazy, one can’t help but love Gwen Stefani’s rockin’ sense of style. When she started out as the front woman for No Doubt, boys and girls alike drooled over Stefani’s cool, tomboyish look that was always made more feminine by the fact that her abs were exposed and she wore colorful hair accessories and make-up. Pairing plaid work pants and a chain wallet with a bikini top, Stefani looked both sexy and approachable, inspiring a cadre of young teenage girls who didn’t fit the Britney Spears mold to follow Stefani’s lead. Now, Stefani’s style has definitely evolved into something a little more classy, but still funky, creative, and one of a kind. In 2004, she launched her own fashion line L.A.M.B.
- Rachel Bilson: Bilson is best known as Summer from the former hit series “The O.C.,” but while her acting career hasn’t given her anything more notable to put on her resume, her personal style has won her tons of fans. The tiny actress is always put together in the latest styles, making trend setting look totally effortless. One blogger, who writes a weekly tribute to Bilson’s outfits, wrote this recently, “Seriously. Her outfits are just always great and this is just how she dresses when she is running errands.” In fact, there are several blogs dedicated solely to the task of monitoring what Bilson is wearing. It’s safe to say that one of her biggest charms is the fact that Bilson makes fashion seem doable to the rest of the world. Her not-over-the-top style makes average, non-Hollywood girls think, “That’s something I could pull together, too.”
- Kat Von D: It’s hard to tell how quickly Kat Von D’s covered-in-tattoos look is catching on with the general public, but this ink artist has definitely opened a whole new door in the fashion world for women who aren’t interested in having too much natural skin showing. Von D, star of the new reality show L.A. Ink, owns her own tattoo parlor in L.A. and sports tattoos all over her body. She’s also a fan of tight jeans and cleavage-revealing vests. She’s made rocker girl look both real and cool and has given tattoos a place in women’s fashion.
- Jennifer Lopez: J. Lo has not only brought big booties back from the dead of the curve-loving 1950s, but she has also managed to make hip-hop street style (as well as Miami-inspired floral prints and cut-out dresses) classy and glamorous. Remember her floppy hat and lace-up pants from the “Jenny from the Block” era? Who could have thought that an outfit normally reserved for a prostitute from 1975 could look so stylish? But then she turns it around and starts making plunging necklines the thing to do. Who could possibly forget the outfit she wore to the Grammy Awards in 2000, with its neckline nose-diving well below the naval and its see-through skirt? That dress is surely one for the history books.
- Amy Winehouse: While we hate to call a crack addict and alcoholic a trend setter, we have to admit that Winehouse’s look is certainly a signature one. Who else could sport a beehive, dramatic, thick eyeliner, tattoos, and miniskirts and look great? Well, great if you don’t count the crazy-eyes and cut marks. Winehouse’s musical and personal style are definitely one of a kind and they’ll stay that way. Anyone who even tried to copy her would quickly fall to wanna-be status.
- Missy Elliott: Big, ornate hoop earrings, head-to-toe matching outfits, messenger caps, and flamboyant sneakers – that’s the style of hip hop artist Missy Elliott in a nutshell. She’s the woman who made the old school track suit both stylish and feminine. Wo said only guys can wear tricked out Nikes? Elliott is also a trendsetter in her music videos. Remember the trash-bag-looking thing she wore in her “Supa Dupa Fly” video? While Elliott’s copycats most certainly come from a different sort of sub-culture than those emulating Rachel Bilson, she can be given partial credit for at least one mainstream trend – the sideways pageboy cap. Heck, even Paris Hilton kicks those these days!
- Chloe Sevigny: On her TV show “Big Love,” Chloe Sevigny plays a polygamist Mormon and her costumes consist of floor-length denim skirts and turtleneck prairie shirts. But in real life, Sevigny is a fashionista of the highest caliber. She’s the girl hipsters fawn over with her heroin-chic figure and her adventurous way of dressing. She’s been known, on separate occasions, to rock only a sweater with ankle boots or a tiny leotard dress that looks like it was meant for the Ice Capades. Sevigny usually sticks close to the hipster designers of NYC, like Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen, but overall she has a pretty wide palette and is definitely worthy of style icon status.
- Jay-Z: Jumping genders for a minute, let’s talk about Jay-Z. The so-called “best rapper on Earth” is also known to be quite the style setter in hip-hop fashion. Jay-Z himself always looks classy and in charge, whether he’s wearing a suit or a basketball jersey. And he’s taken his love for fashion a little further than simply being a model for other people’s clothes. He co-founded the label Roca Wear, which sells over $400 million each year in merchandise. Jay-Z also designed a line of Reeboks that made him a cool $100 million. The man clearly knows clothes and business.
- Joel and Benji Madden: These brothers, who head up the band Good Charlotte, have had their own signature styles ever since they came on the scene in 1996. With Benji’s trademark fedora cap, which he is rarely seen without, and Joel’s mini-mohawk, both brothers are always decorated from head to toe in tattoos, diamond earrings, sunglasses, and loud, vintage T-shirts. So recently, they decided to parlay their personal styles into a little extra moolah. They launched their own clothing line DCMA in 2006, which used to be called MADE clothing. Originally just a T-shirt line, DCMA now makes hats, belts, baby clothes, hoodies, and soon will release a line of sneakers. Because the brothers just opened their first retail outlet in L.A., the line has been garnering lots of attention from both the press and other celebrities who are helping the Maddens promote the line by wearing the products all over Hollywood.
- Travis Barker: Before the Madden brothers, however, there was Travis Barker, former drummer for Blink 182, who almost single-handedly brought the Mohawk back into style. In addition to setting a new hair trend, the tattooed and pierced drummer also has his own line of skateboard apparel called Famous Stars and Straps. Barker started the line in 1999 when he began making T-shirts for his friends and band mates. Those designs generated interest from outside parties and so he expanded his hobby into a business that now makes shirts, sneakers, and skateboard gear.
- Kimora Lee Simmons: The ex-model and ex-wife of Russell Simmons latched onto the coattails of her ex-husband and rode them high. During their marriage, Russell Simmons launched the ubiquitous hip hop clothing line Phat Farm. Kimora Lee launched a side line off of that venture for women called Baby Phat, which specializes in booty-licious clothing for the hip hop girl looking to add a little sex appeal and bling to her wardrobe. Think huge, gaudy handbags, loud sneakers, six-inch heels, and blinging belts and earrings. It’s doubtful that you would catch the Chloe Sevignys of the world decked out in Baby Phat gear, but Kimora Lee has managed to become a style icon in her own right amongst many women with a little junk in their trunks.
- Fergie: The female component of the Black Eyed Peas recently launched a successful solo music career, but she has been getting kudos from magazine editors and fans alike for more than her musical chops. Fergie’s fashion-forward style leans more toward short shorts, sleek pantsuits, high heels, and any outfit that shows off her chiseled abs. She makes hip hop style feminine and demure by pairing baggy bottoms with tight, cropped tops. And she’s not afraid to show off her physique, often wearing short, short, tight dresses. Fergie makes her style her own by combining elements from many different genres.
- Lauren Conrad: While it’s easy to argue that Laruen Conrad, of “The Hills” and “Laguna Beach” fame, doesn’t really deserve any street cred for her pseudo-famous status, she is getting more and more press for her efforts as a fashion designer rather than her non-efforts at being a reality TV star. Her brand, Lauren Conrad Design, is pretty staid and not at all exciting, but then again it’s the sort of stuff you see just about everybody wearing these days. Did she copy the masses or did the masses copy her? Hard to tell, but we think that among the high school contingent of gossipy girls who hang on every word Lauren Conrad mutters on “The Hills,” she probably holds some sway. At this point, though, it’s doubtful Vogue will come calling anytime soon.
- Mischa Barton: This other former star of “The O.C.” may not be quite as iconic as her buddy Rachel Bilson, but Mischa Barton is definitely a favorite of the photogs for always rocking high fashion on the streets of L.A. Tapped to be the face of Bebe, Barton’s tall figure has gotten her more modeling contracts than petite Bilson can ever hope to see, but Barton’s personal style is much less skimpy Bebe and much more 1960s hippy. She digs leather, high-waisted pants, suede moccasin boots, and head scarves. Her free love fashion has definitely earned her some fans – there’s a few websites dedicated to tracking her daily styles, as well.
- Agyness Deyn: This British model may not be known to too many folks in the regular world, but when it comes to fashion she makes big waves of which bloggers, reporters and designers alike are taking notice. Her pixie haircut and popularity with European designers has earned her the nickname “the new Kate Mosss.” And when she’s not posing for the cover of Vogue or singing with her band, she’s being photographed walking down the street in shredded jeans or loud layers of scarves, T-shirts, and hats.
- Cameron Diaz: Spunky, sporty Cameron Diaz has a pretty moderate, yet tasteful, style day-to-day, but the actress really makes a big fashion splash when she’s out attending events. Consistently named on all the media’s “best dressed” lists, Diaz recently made headlines when she paired a fuchsia floor-length Dior gown with turquoise Fred Leighton jewels. In 2007, she was named best dressed at the Oscars when she wore a white, off-the-shoulder Valentino gown and $2.9 million worth of Cartier jewelry.
- Natalie Portman: Natalie Portman is not often spotted at Fashion Week events, but she is seen as a style icon in her own right. This socially-conscious star is known for her red carpet pizzazz, wearing timeless, classic designs with a dramatic flare. Ruffles, lace, stripes and anything by Lanvin are her friends, as are non-leather accessories. In fact, Portman recently launched her own line of vegan footwear called Te Casan.
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15 July 2008
Category: Celebrities, Features
When you see celebrities all dolled up in their million dollar jewels, pulling up to the most exclusive restaurants in the latest Bentley, it’s hard to imagine that any of them could have ever known what it was like to be poor. But in fact there are many stars who come from humble beginnings and dysfunctional families. Here are 10 who have overcome great obstacles to get to where they are today.
- Jim Carrey: Jim Carrey is widely known as one of the funniest, most outrageous comedic actors to grace a Hollywood movie. But before he rose to his multi-millionaire status, Carrey lived a difficult life in Canada with his three siblings and out of work parents. His father, an accountant, lost his job to a younger man when Carrey was just a kid. To generate income, Carrey’s father accepted a job offer at a tire factory that wanted to hire the entire family. In exchange, the Carrey’s were allowed to live in a small building next to the factory. In the 10th grade, with pressures to work and big dreams, Carrey dropped out of school and started doing stand up routines at a local comedy club in addition to working at the factory. But eventually, succumbing to the pressures of the situation, the family left the factory and ended up homeless. They moved into a van and Jim began performing at a comedy club called Yuk Yuks. Though initially not accepted there, he worked his way into the crowd’s graces by the age of 16. In the early 1980s, Carrey moved to L.A. and began performing at the legendary club The Comedy Store. One night comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans came to see a show and ended up casting Carrey in his sketch comedy show “In Living Color.” The rest, as they say, is history. With more than 35 films under his belt, Carrey is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, earning more than $25 million per film. He is currently dating Jenny McCarthy.
- Hilary Swank: Born in Nebraska, Swank moved to Bellingham, Washington when she was six and was raised, for the most part, in a small trailer by a lake. Outcast from her peers and poor, Swank has often said that the only time she felt accepted was when she was reading a book or acting in a play. When she was 13, her parents divorced. Though Swank was a gifted athlete, she also adored acting. So, she and her mother packed their bags and headed for Hollywood when Swank was 16, living out of a car while Swank auditioned for roles. She dropped out of high school and quickly landed a role in “The Next Karate Kid.” Soon after she met actor Chad Lowe, whom she moved in with while still a teenager. Though the couple was together for more than a decade, Swank’s career skyrocketed, while Lowe’s stagnated. She won an Oscar, he booked a made for TV movie. In 2006, amid rumors of Lowe’s drug problem, the couple divorced. Swank continues to star in movies, most recently the romantic comedy “P.S. I Love You.”
- Oprah Winfrey: Now the richest and most powerful woman in television, Winfrey’s life started off on anything but the right foot. Born in rural, poverty-stricken Mississippi to two teenage parents, Winfrey grew up mostly with her dirt-poor grandmother on her languishing farm. Her parents split town early on, and when she got a little older Winfrey decided to move up to Wisconsin to be with her mother. But once she got there, she was repeatedly molested by male relatives. Traumatized, Winfrey turned to drugs, alcohol and sex and gave birth to a premature baby when she was just 14. It died soon after birth. Looking for more stability, Winfrey decided to move in with her father in Nashville, where she got her start as a reporter with a local TV station. In just a few years, she was promoted to co-anchor and, soon after, the host of a local talk show. In 1984, she landed a national talk show spot in Chicago, competing in the ratings with Phil Donahue. Though she has struggled publicly with her weight, Oprah has reigned supreme in her career, and her talk show is now the most watched talk show on television. In most recent years, Winfrey has used her post to speak about the importance of philanthropy in the world.
- Charlize Theron: Theron was born to a French father and German mother on a small farm outside of Johannesburg in South Africa. Her businesswoman mother often left her in the care of a nanny. Theron showed a penchant for acting and dance as a child, but at the age of 12 her parents sent her away to boarding school – away from the dramas of their home. Theron’s father was a longtime alcoholic who abused and cheated on her mother. Though Theron’s mother put up with the behavior for many years, the situation came to a head one night, when, while Theron was upstairs, her mother shot her father dead as he was trying to attack her. It was ruled self-defense. In an attempt to get Theron’s mind off of what had happened, her mother forced her to enter a modeling contest. She won and was sent to Europe to model in many countries. But wanting to be more than a pretty face, Theron moved to New York to study ballet. After a knee injury killed her dreams of being a dancer, she moved to LA to pursue acting. Within months, she landed her first acting role in the horror movie “Children of the Corn III.” Things got better from there and Theron won an Academy Award in 2003 for her portrayal of serial-killing prostitute Aileen Wuornos in “Monster.”
- Anna Nicole Smith: Born Vicki Lynn Hogan in Houston, Texas, Anna Nicole was raised by her mother and her aunt for most of her childhood. Her father took off when Anna was only two years old. Her mother, a law enforcement officer in Houston, entered into a string of bad marriages in the 1980s and when she was a teenager Anna Nicole went to live with another aunt in small town Mexia, Texas. There she got a job at a fast food fried chicken restaurant, where she met a boy named Daniel Wayne Smith. She dropped out of high school and they married when she was just 17 and he 16. Soon after the couple had a baby, but they split up when their son was only 1. Anna returned to Houston, working odd jobs at Wal-Mart and Red Lobster before she became a stripper in 1991. That same year, she auditioned to be a Playboy model and landed the cover. From there, Anna Nicole’s career took off and she became a model for Guess jeans and married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, who was 89 at the time of their marriage. Now known as a sexy model and gold-digging wife, Anna Nicole began landing movie roles in the 1990s and her looks catapulted her to full-blown stardom. She became even more famous after she agreed to star in her own reality show on E!, in which she often came across as a clueless woman unsure of what to do with herself and her riches. In 2007, Anna Nicole died after an apparent prescription drug overdose. Right before her death, she had given birth to a baby girl, who now lives with her father Larry Birkhead.
- 50 Cent: Born to a cocaine-dealing, 15-year-old mother, rapper 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had it bad from birth. His mother, a native of Queens, continued to sling cocaine until she was murdered when Jackson was 8. She died after someone drugged her drink and then gassed her apartment with her in it. Fatherless, Jackson then moved in with his grandmother and his eight aunts and uncles. He said this was the moment he turned to the streets. At 11, he started selling crack on the streets. By the age of 12, he was carrying drugs and a gun with him to school. In 10th grade, he was caught and decided to come clean with his grandmother, telling her straight up he was a dope dealer. He began getting arrested in the mid 1990s for drugs and served six months in prison where he earned his GED. In 2000, Jackson was rapping locally in New York and getting attention from many lyrical big wigs, though he still didn’t have a record deal. One day, he was sitting in a friend’s car outside his grandmother’s house when another car pulled up and a gunman shot Jackson nine times at close range, putting him in the hospital for 13 days. The alleged shooter was said to be Mike Tyson’s bodyguard, who was himself killed a couple of weeks later. After his recovery, Jackson put out an independently produced tape, which caught the attention of Eminem. Eminem signed Jackson as 50 Cent and in 2003 Jackson became a star. Since then he’s put out 4 multi-platinum albums.
- Demi Moore: Born in New Mexico to an 18-year-old alcoholic and bipolar mother, Moore’s father took off before she was even born and her parents were only married for two months. She was named Demetria Gene Guynes and given the last name of her former stepfather. Her stepfather struggled to hold down a job due to his own addictions and because of this the family moved more than 40 times. Both her mother and stepfather were serious alcoholics who also physically abused each other. In 1980, Moore’s stepfather committed suicide. During her childhood, however, the family suffered in poverty and Moore had both a vision and a kidney problem that she could barely afford to treat. As a teen, Moore moved to L.A. and then dropped out of high school to pursue acting. She worked as a model and an actress in some B movies before landing a role on General Hospital. She then started getting movies and in 1987 married Bruce Willis. The couple had three children and then divorced in 2000. Moore then went on to marry Ashton Kutcher, who is 15 years younger than her. She is now estranged from her mother.
- Naomi Watts: Watts’ father was a roadie for the band Pink Floyd and her mother was a wanderlust hippie, who Watts has described as having “passive-aggressive” tendencies. Her parent split when she was four and she and her brother moved with their mother to Wales to live on her grandparents’ farm. But Watts moved frequently, as her mother followed boyfriends around the U.K. Watts has said that her mother often threatened her own parents, saying she would send Watts and her brother to foster care if they didn’t financially support them. When Watts was a teenager, the whole family moved to Sydney, Australia, where Watts attended high school with fellow actress Nicole Kidman. She started her career on Australian television, acting in soap operas, but had much difficulty landing the film roles she coveted. After many years of scoring only B roles in Hollywood, Watts finally was cast in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” in 2001, several years after first moving to L.A. She has gone on to star in many acclaimed films, such as “21 Grams”, “The Ring” and “King Kong.” She is dating actor Live Schreiber. They have one son and another child on the way.
- Christina Aguilera: Aguilera was born in New York to a father who served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army and a mother who was a Spanish teacher. Aside from moving around a lot in early childhood, Aguilera has discussed how she, her mother, and her sister were subject to much physical abuse at the hands of her father. Though police would often come to their home to break up domestic disputes, Aguilera says that because many other of her father’s peers in the military abused their families, little was done to punish him. When she was 7, her parents divorced and her mother moved the family to Pittsburgh, where Aguilera’s grandparents lived. There she began singing in local talent shows, making a name for herself in Pittsburgh. Because of this fame, other children resented Aguilera and taunted and shunned her at school. But despite having few friends, Aguilera broke into show business quickly, singing the National Anthem at Pittsburgh Steelers games, getting on Star Search, and eventually getting cast on the Mickey Mouse Club. In 1998, she was chosen to sing the theme song for the Disney movie “Mulan.” Two years later, she released her self-titled debut album, which catapulted on the charts. Aguilera is now a multi-million dollar recording artist, who is also married and just gave birth to her first child.
- Jewel: Jewel was born in Utah to a folksinging Mormon father and an artist mother. She was raised mostly by her father in Homer, Alaska, where she lived in a small house without plumbing and sang songs with her father at local bars to make money. Though she had a bohemian and poor upbringing, it was not without its charms. After high school, Jewel lived in her van while she traveled the country, broke, and performed on the street or in small coffeehouses. In 1993, Flea, from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, saw Jewel perform at a café and was mesmerized by her voice. She took him back to her van and played songs for him. But it was an agent in San Diego that actually helped Jewel attain success after hearing her perform at a coffee shop. In 1995, at the age of 19, she released her acclaimed album “Pieces of You.” Her music career skyrocketed after that and she has released several albums, some of which were more successful than others. She has now taken a departure from her folk roots to make country music. She is dating professional bull rider Ty Murray. They live in Texas.