Few things induce more eye-rolling
than cliché jewelry commercials with impossibly flawless couples, dialogue on
par with that of pornos and overly sentimental background music. When it comes
to these contrived advertisements, it doesn’t get worse than Kay Jewelers. My
boyfriend and I were watching Hulu Plus the other day when the same unsettling
(and outdated) Kay ads repeatedly popped up during breaks.
The first featured a stiff J. Crew catalog-worthy man presenting his fiancée’s daughter with an identical necklace to one he had given his fianceé. “I’m so happy to be marrying your mom. You know that, right?” The stepdad-to-be presents the young girl with the gift. “It’s just like yours, mom!” Everyone is smiling and hugging and kissing. The cloying situation is exacerbated by the fact that the necklace is part of the (rather unattractive) ‘Open Hearts’ collection by Jane Seymour (aka Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), which has a sappy message — “Keep your heart open and love will always find its way in.” Not to mention, this isn’t such a good gift idea for someone who has had or might one day need open heart surgery…
Among some of the more uncouth
YouTube comments are mentions of how this is from the “I’m doin yer ma”
collection and how the man could mistakenly appear to have questionable
intentions with the adolescent girl. All true. And what’s up with the
misleading suggestion that a kid would ever need or even want an expensive
piece of jewelry as a gift? My boyfriend’s ten-year-old cousin has LEGO Friends
and video games on her Christmas list, not a $200 necklace that she’ll lose in a
And then there was the infamous Cabin in the Woods meets American Psycho ad, in which a Patrick Bateman-esque man surprises his lover with a necklace from the ‘Love’s Embrace’ collection after stating, "I'm right here... and I always will be.” (Cue sinister laughter.) This occurs amid lightning, thunder and overall ominous vibes. The woman loves it. Maybe it’s because he’s surrounding her with the “strength of his love” by presenting her with a “diamond that captures the comfort found in each others’ arms.”
Ugh. So why exactly were these uncomfortable Kay commercials ruining my otherwise great Hulu Plus
experience? The answer may lie in the fact that it is currently “engagement season,” a prime time for these advertisements. Thank you, Jezebel for bringing
this to my attention.
And, more importantly, for the bringing this picture to my attention
I had no idea the holiday season — that glorious stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day — was also known as “engagement season,” as disturbingly dubbed by women’s magazines. For example, Glamour Magazine has a 2012 online article titled, “Happy First Day of Engagement Season! Who's Expecting a Proposal in the Next Few Months?” on November 22 of that year. WeddingChannel.com has a similar article: “9 Ways to Know It’s Engagement Season.”
Approximately 39 percent of all marriage proposals take place between the holiday months. Sure, I’ve witnessed more than one friend on my Facebook newsfeed get engaged during this time frame (because, you know, it’s pretty inevitable when you’re in your twenties and use social media), but was unaware that this is some sort of national trend.
But now that it’s been brought to my attention, I can see why this trend exists. The holiday season is a family-centric time. People are able to take days off work and enjoy plenty of blithe celebrating with loved ones. If you’re the kind of person who wants to get married, now might be the time to make your move. Jewelry commercials cater to this big time.
And just to make myself clear, I have absolutely nothing against people getting engaged around this time or any other time. In fact, someone very close to me recently got engaged and I was lucky enough to be chosen as her maid of honor. I am genuinely happy for anyone who is genuinely happy. I don’t even have anything against jewelry stores in general, unless they are full of blood diamonds or other unethical practices.
I do, however, have a problem with commercials that portray males as saps who win their girlfriends’, wives’ and apparently stepdaughters’ affections through gold and silver diamond-studded necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings shaped like open hearts and warm embraces — ads that depict women as shallow creatures who are at their happiest when presented with sparkly stones. I dislike the season’s “endless subliminal hum of advertisements for engagement rings,” as noted by Jezebel. But ultimately, that is the nature of consumerism, and it’s effective.
The holidays, engagement season aside, are chock-full of commercial spending and advertising. Even lesser-known Hallmark Holidays such as Boss’ Day and Sweetest Day rake in cash, so it makes perfect sense that people break the bank around Christmas. The Gallup Economy’s Oct. 21 article, “Americans' Holiday Spending Not Shut Down by Shutdown,” states that "underscoring the importance Americans place on holiday gift giving, 30% — identical to last year — plan to spend at least $1,000, and half plan to spend at least $500. Only 3% intend to spend less than $100."
So if not for the purpose of engagements, jewelry commercials portray that the time is ripe for men to splurge on their significant others with the perfect piece of jewelry for the holidays. But I would never want my boyfriend to feel pressured to pop the question or buy me such superfluous adornments, especially in an attempt to prove his love (as that would be entirely unnecessary). Some of us just want Hulu Plus to get rid of their commercials for Christmas, so instead of being enticed by jewelry, we can get back to The Colbert Report.
This weekend is all mothers, so grab your mom, grandma, baby-mama or other motherly-type and take her out for a good time! The next few days are packed with stuff to do, with moms or otherwise.
The 44th annual Appalachian Festival is already in
full gear at Coney Island, with tons of live music, handmade artisan crafts,
storytelling, food and an authentic pioneer village — for those who like to
kick it super old-school. The fest runs until 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $1-$8. Get a full lineup of
activities and performances here.
Cincinnati Rollergirls games are pretty much a guaranteed good time. Fun, fierce, badass chicks battle on the rink; $1 happy hour beers; hilarious roller derby nicknames; meet-and-greet with the girls after the game — need we go on? Roll out to the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday as the CRG face Toronto Roller Derby and The Dire Skates of Richmond, Ind., in a double-header. Saturday is Scout and Kids Night, so bring the chillun for a family-friendly event. Get tickets here and read our interview with Rollergirl Sydney “Big Ugly” Greathouse.
Whether you’re looking to welcome a furry friend to your family or you want to treat your pup to a day on the town, head downtown to the Duke Energy Convention Center for Petopolis Saturday-Sunday. This pet expo features animal adoption opportunities, pet fashion shows (hopefully straight out of Anchorman), trick competitions, demos, informational seminars, activities for the kids and tons of vendors. Plus, moms will get complimentary pet photos for Mother’s Day. Go here for more information.
Oktoberfest is months away, but local German enthusiasts can get their fill of beer, sausage and Gemütlichkeit at the Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society’s Schwabenfest Friday-Saturday. Have your fill of homemade sausages, German brews, pretzels and cream puffs, compete in the stein-holding competition and, if you’re coming from Petopolis, dogs are welcome in the biergarten.
Maybe you prefer more American-style fare. In that case, swing by Sawyer Point from 2-10 p.m. Saturday for the Cincinnati Wing Fest. This free food festival features chicken wings and side dishes ($2+) from Knocback Nat’s, Rooster’s, Montgomery Inn, Buffalo Wings and Rings and several other area restaurants.
Saturdays is a great opportunity to buy some artwork, jewelry, baked goods,
clothing or home goods for mom (or yourself — no judgment). Stop by local businesses
along Hamilton, Chase and Spring Grove avenues from 6-10 p.m. Saturday for
sales, extended hours, drinks and food specials. Check out a full list of
participating shops, restaurants and bars here.
Television can be scary year-round (ex. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Rachel Zoe Project, Breaking Bad), but terror gets turned up a notch this time of year. With Halloween around the corner, here are some horror-ific shows to check out.
The Reds take on the Cubs at 7 p.m. tonight in
the first of three games against the Chicago crew. Bronson Arroyo looks to
continue his strong performance against the last-placed Cubs. Find
last-minute tickets here.
Antonelli College hosts a free seminar tonight featuring tips on getting the most out of social media. Learn secrets from the pros as a panel discusses simple ideas and insider tricks on benefiting from Facebook, Twitter and other social media services. The discussion runs 6-7:30 p.m. at the West Chester campus.
The Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra teams up with the College of Mount St. Joseph tonight for a special concert, Simple Gifts. Students will perform a variety of work, including "Porgi Amor," "O Mio Babbino Caro," "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Variations on a Shaker Melody." The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Mount St. Joe.
The infamous Second City comedy troupe returns to Cincinnati this week with more locally-inspired sketches. Catch a preview show of Less Pride...More Pork tonight at Playhouse in the Park and be sure to bring your sense of humor — remember, they're laughing with us. Also at the playhouse tonight, one of our Critic's Picks, Thunder Knocking on the Door.
And since it is May Day, stop by the Northside bar of the same name for trivia night. Round one begins at 9 p.m.; the second starts at 11 p.m.
Another TED event takes place locally today, this time on Xavier's campus. TEDxXavierUniversity brings leaders in innovation from across the city and country to speak on the theme "Touching the hearts and minds of others through innovation, service, and leadership." Speakers include emcee Michelle Beckham-Corbin (President and Chief Digital Marketing Strategist of C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC), Todd Henry (founder and CEO of Accidental Creative), Rashmi Assudani PhD. (Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at XU's Williams College of Business) and other CEOs, directors of non-profits and cutting edge entrepreneurs. The free event runs 1-5 p.m. today at the Cintas Center Schiff Banquet Hall. Guests should have already reserved their spot in advance.
Comedian John Heffron makes a tour stop at Funny Bone on the Levee starting tonight. Heffron was the winner of Last Comic Standing's second season and has performed on tons of late night shows and Comedy Central specials and at comedy festivals. A relatively "clean" comic, Heffron avoids politics and controversy in his acts, focusing on the naturally funny aspects of everyday life. Tonight's performance begins at 8 p.m. Find details here.
One good thing about Halloween falling on a Thursday is that we get two weekends of celebrity costumes to dissect.
Heidi Klum always pulls out the stops for Halloween, hosting a major bash every year. And her costumes are always over-the-top. This year is no different, though Heidi wasn’t dressed in a crazy cyborg suit or a scary Kali goddess getup — Ms. Project Runway was unrecognizable as an old ass lady!
There’s a 15 percent chance this is actually just Heidi Klum after a week with no Botox, green juice or airbrush artists.
There are essentially three categories in which Halloween costumes fall: “sexy” costumes, offensive costumes and pop culture costumes. As Julianne Hough proved with her Orange Is the New Black-face ensemble, it’s typical for costume categories to overlap. Here are my fave star costumes of the year, which happen to all be celebs dressed as other celebs. #meta
Miley as Lil' Kim
Honey Boo Boo family as the Kardashian Klan
Ellen as Nicki Minaj
Jenny McCarthy as Miley’s mouf
So apparently "funeral selfies" are a goddam thing – Bust, The Atlantic, Jezebel and others are all talking about the trend this week. Some people argue that kids of the digital age don’t know how to express their feelings except by documenting every passing moment — no matter how somber — on social media. This is just the modern way of grieving! Which actually make sense because, come to think of it, when I went to a funeral as a young teen, all the kids would snap self-portraits in church with disposable cameras, run to Walgreen’s afterward and then scan them to our LiveJournal pages — hashtags just weren’t invented yet! Oh wait, none of that actually happened because that’s fucking strange behavior no matter your generation.
Guy Fieri né FERRY is all over the news this week. The intolerable TV “chef” got into a recorded altercation with his drunk hairdresser who had just gotten sloshed on a plane (taking them to Flavortown, I presume).
Fighting is never the answer, children, but who wouldn’t want to beat down the person responsible for basing a real hairstyle...
...off of a hat primarily given as a gag gift: