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by Hannah McCartney 03.28.2013
Posted In: The Worst, Culture, Fashion, Life at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Are the Swedes Leading the Mannequin Revolution?

You know when you’re at the store and they’ve run out of your size in a shirt you really, really wanted? And you look at the one hanging on the mannequin hoping and praying it’s a medium so you can derobe her and leave with that peplum top?

We all know that’s a lost cause, because she’s always, without fail, wearing a damn extra small, because anything larger would engulf the porcelain, size 2 life-size Barbie, which would make the clothes terrible and nobody would want to buy them.

One department store in Sweden — surprisingly, the stereotypical exporters of blonde, Scandinavian ice queens — has finally launched a "f&*# you" campaign against the mannequin industry standard, which apparently values female mannequins that are often designed to be six inches taller and six inches smaller than the average woman, according to the Chicago Tribune. Basically, clothes made only for this Ukrainian woman, who went through an insane amount of plastic surgery to become the first "real-life Barbie" (click on her photo to read more)





The store only has two of the normal mannequins right now, who are sporting some classy lingerie. Photos of the mannequins have gone viral, and to absolutely nobody's surprise, women across the world have become pretty smitten with the concept of seeing models in clothes that don't look radically different from themselves.

It's actually pretty genius, from a marketing standpoint: Aside from making a super-powerful social statement, it seems likely their sales will probably skyrocket — how many times, after all, have you seen something looking fabulous on a mannequin and tried it on yourself, only to look in the mirror with horror and disgust?

Let's compare. On the left, two Victoria's Secret mannequins. On the right, the lady from the Swedish department store

 


The photo of the healthy-looking models was apparently taken in 2010, but it didn't go viral until recently, when Women's Rights News posted on March 12 the image to its Facebook account with the caption, "
Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these." The post has earned nearly 20,000 shares and more than 64,000 likes.  

In the past, you'd probably usually find non-Barbie-fied mannequins strictly at "plus-sized" ladies' stores, which, to me, sort of gives off the impression that there are two types of women in this world who need clothes: white runway lingerie models and white overweight women. Of course, this is not the case, and it's probably time retailers stop deluding themselves and listening to what shoppers want. It's much easier — and less painful — to make smart shopping decisions, which makes for happier shoppers.

And it goes without saying that advertising — particularly in the clothing and beauty industries — plays a huge role in how young girls and women (and men) develop self-image. According to the National Eating Disorders Foundation, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders sometime during their lives, and 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) have expressed concern about their weight or becoming "too fat."

 
 
by Danny Cross 03.01.2013
Posted In: Life, LGBT, TV/Celebrity, Culture, technology, Shopping at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (23)
 
 
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Did I Just See a Gay Kindle Commercial?

Last night around 9:30 I was just minding my own business, watching some harmless comedy shows on demand when a commercial came on that piqued my interest via a typically dumb interaction between a dude talking to a babe in a bikini. I was waiting for some type of cliché to end the interaction between the two — something like a beer-commercial crotch shot or the woman doing something weird like licking an ice cube — when the story took a most-surprising turn: the dude in the scene was gay. 

The woman sits down on a beach chair next to the guy, who is squinting into his iPad-looking device like a dork. She starts reading her Kindle like the sun is no big deal and he says: "That's a Kindle, right?"

Woman: "Yeah, it's the new Kindle Paperwhite."

Man: "I love to read at the beach, but..."

Woman: "This is perfect at the beach. And, with the built in light, I can read anywhere anytime."

Man: "Done."

Woman: "With your book?"

Man: Nope. "I just bought a Kindle Paperwhite." *Leans toward her.* "We should celebrate."

Woman: "My husband's bringing me a drink right now."

Man: "So is mine."

Husbands waive from the bar.

I watched it again this morning (the email I sent myself on the subject after having several beers and talking about sports all evening only says: “Gay kindle commercial. What does that commercial mean?”), and it’s actually pretty genius. Gay-rights groups have pointed out that this type of media is following steps taken by shows like Ellen and Modern Family, which depict gay couples as pretty much ordinary anymore. 

Check it out here: 

Naturally, some people on the Internet think it’s way icky. 

And organizations like One Million Moms (a weird, conservative Christian group that should be named something more like “One Million Mean Moms.” Ha.) took exception to it. OMMMs wrote this: “We have Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite commercial that promotes gay marriage. Instead of Amazon remaining neutral in the culture war while showcasing how their product has no glare even at the beach, they chose to promote sin.”

People flagged the ad as inappropriate enough times on YouTube that it was briefly taken down for review, but it was posted back on the site later. 

 
 
by Andy Brownfield 09.28.2012
Posted In: Life at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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We're Better Than Cleveland!

Cincinnati ranked 21st in list of 50 best cities

We’re 21.

That’s right, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Cincinnati is the 21st best city in the United States.

The news wire cites Cincinnati’s picturesque downtown,  Great American Ball Park, the Cincinnati Pops orchestra and the presence of corporate giant Procter & Gamble as reasons why the city was included in its list of “America’s 50 Best Cities.”

It also doesn’t hurt that have 105 bars, 600 restaurants, 18 museums, 35 libraries and two professional sports teams.

The rankings were based on leisure attributes (such as bars, restaurants and parks), educational attributes, economic factors, crime and air quality. Bloomberg Businessweek said the greatest weighting was placed on leisure amenities, (because having tons of bars to go to is way more important than a good public school system).

San Francisco topped the list of best cities, followed by hipster haven Seattle, Washington D.C. and Boston. 

Cleveland barely made it onto the rankings at 46 and Columbus beat us out by one, ranking No. 20.

The Queen City (we at CityBeat are refusing to adopt the moniker “The City That Sings”) beat out such major metropolises as Los Angeles, St. Louis, Reno, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Chicago and Houston.

 
 
by Andy Brownfield 08.06.2012
Posted In: Life, TV/Celebrity at 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Bill Cunningham: Where's Our [Expletive] Photo?!?

Seriously, Bill, we're feeling left out

Front page news at The Enquirer('s website):

“Bill Cunningham and his TV show producers want you to like him… on Facebook."

Media reporter John Kiesewetter today encouraged his readers to check out the new Facebook page of Bill Cunningham's TV show. Kiesewetter posted an awesome autographed photo that was sent to him.

Here's what the giddy Kiesewetter wrote: "The Bill Cunningham Show wants you to get his Facebook page updates on the show, as it ramps up social media efforts for its national launch Sept. 17 on the CW Network (Channel 12.2). They wanted me to like him so much that his producers sent me this autographed photo.”

Upon receiving a staff email titled "WHY IS THIS A BLOG" "HOW COOL IS THIS?", CityBeat editors and reporters hurried to our mailboxes to see who might have scored the promo of all promos.

We were disappointed. And because we didn't get the photo we will not be “like”ing your page, Bill, and then hiding it from our timeline so our friends don’t find out.

Maybe we'll go like the FB page of one of the people who sent these items we recently received and tossed into a large pile of shit we don't want:

The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs (four-disk set seems like overkill)

Armywives episode 619

Syfy’s Boogeyman (a Syfy original movie)

Fatal Honeymoon (premieres Saturday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m.)

Budz House starting the guy from the Miller High Life commercials

Jodi Picoult collection (Salem Falls, Plain Truth and The Pact)

Lifetime’s Surviving High School

Kathy Griffin double feature called “Pants off and Tired Hooker”

Barack Obama: From his childhood to the presidency

Four IFC Blu-rays: ATM (“No warning. No control. No escape.”); Brake (“The only way out is to give in”); Kill List; and 4:44 Last Day on Earth. 

A FaceOff makeup kit

Twenty-three episodes of the 1937-74 series The Rookies

Bob Dylan book called Forget About Today

Two copies of The History of Us, a novel

 


 
 
by Hannah McCartney 08.02.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Fun, Life, Culture at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Hop 'Til You Drop

Today is IPA Day!

Today is a damn good holiday. 


It’s IPA Day. Or, in the world of Twitterati and Instagrammers, #IPADay.


IPA Day started last year as a grassroots social media movement meant to rally beer nerds worldwide in a grand, joyful and bottle-filled celebration of a craft beer rich with history, hops and happiness.  

According to the event’s website, “IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer.”

Last year, enough drinkers got excited about the concept to get the hashtag trending on Twitter with around 10,000 tweets, and now some bars and restaurants are even holding events to celebrate. If you can't find an official event around you, you can at least be a good Samaritan by visiting your favorite watering hole and convincing someone to swap out their normal watered-down brew for something far more satisfying.


The origin of the traditional India Pale Ale is a contentious subject: Popular legend has it that the brew gained popularity in the late 1700s and early 1800s when some genius British guy decided that extra hops needed to be added to the beer Brit soldiers and sailors took on their long voyages to India.

Other beer nerds say the idea of adding hops to beer dates back as far as the 1760s, when there was a general consensus that it was “absolutely necessary” to add hops to beer intended to be consumed in hot climates.

And while Americans may have totally fucked up the taco and every Asian chicken dish (I swear General Tso's chicken is just a bunch of McNuggets doused in bastardized barbeque sauce), we kind of hit it head (pun) on with our Americanization of the IPA, which has enveloped into a beautiful beer subculture rich with variations like double and triple IPAs and crazy flavor profiles, adding fruit and herb undertones and dark, smoky accents.

While some certain brands and styles of beer like mainstream pilsners and lagers might be more ubiquitous in the American drinking landscape, the IPA represents, truly, a craft beer art form that continues to be innovated and explored.

If you're not sure where to start, check out alehead.com's list of some of the best IPAs available today before you head to the store. Bell's Two Hearted Ale will forever have my heart, but I think we might have to see other people today.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 05.24.2012
Posted In: bikes, Fun, Life at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Coy Bike Polo Court Opens Today

Urban-friendly team sport swaps out horses for bikes

Klutzes beware — today marks the opening of the Coy Bike Polo Court in Clifton. If you've never heard of bike polo, it's when people ride around on bikes using mallets to push a ball across a court into a goal.

Scared yet? Don't be. It just takes some practice. Bike polo is one of the world's up-and-coming sports, already highly popular in India and across Europe. According to the League of Bike Polo, U.S. bike polo was born in Seattle in the '90s, when a group of bike messengers were playing with a ball and some homemade mallets.

“This bike polo court is one the few official bike polo courts in the country,” says Steve Pacella, Cincinnati Recreation Commission superintendent, according to a press release. Several other cities across the U.S., including San Francisco, are scheduled to open official bike polo courts later this year.

Aside from the rise in U.S. cycling culture, its popularity is attributed, in part, to its flexibility — courts can be parking lots, roofs or grassy areas, meaning it's easy for urban-dwellers to find spots to pay.

The new bike polo court is located at the end of Joselin Avenue off Clifton Avenue, near the University of Cincinnati, and will be opened and dedicated today at 3 p.m. Councilman Chris Seelbach will be present to celebrate the court's opening, and the ceremony will also feature a bike polo demonstration for those unfamiliar with the game.

Watch a game of bike polo and learn the rules:


The opening of the bike court comes during Bike Month, a country-wide celebration of all things bike. Click here for a comprehensive list of Cincinnati bike happenings.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.15.2012
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, better known as the Trailer Park Boys, come to Madison Theater tonight. The Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series makes a fun transition to stage with the “Community Service Variety Show.” If last year’s live show was any indication, expect more skits, audience participation and white trash goodness than you can throw a rum and Coke at (and you know Julian will have plenty of those). The show is sold out, so try your luck with the fine scalpers of Covington!

This American Life went live last Thursday, broadcasting the show in theaters across the U.S. and Australia. The show featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual components. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, an NPR-inspired short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. If this sounds amazing (which it was) and you missed out, you're in luck! The broadcast will screen again tonight in several area theaters.

Pro Tip: Download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 (more than a 3D movie, but way less crappy).

Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati tonight from 5-10 p.m. Learn about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati, and what you can do to help raise awareness and bring it to an end. from 5-10 p.m. Enjoy live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and treats, for a great cause. Admission is $5 at the door.

Know Theater welcomes two local comedy groups onstage tonight. Underbelly Comedy and Off the Rocks Improv team up for a "Little Big Night" of laughs. There will be stand-up, improv, sketch comedy and more from some of the city's truly talented performers. Five bucks gets you a seat and a beer! What more could you possibly want? Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Check our our To Do page for more productions, exhibits and events every day and follow our music blog for nightly live shows.

 
 
by Danny Cross 04.30.2012
Posted In: Music, Fun, Life, Performances at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
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The Coolest Thing Toby Keith Ever Did

Writing about Willie Nelson makes the 'Angry American' seem like less of a dick

Today is the 79th birthday of Country music legend/High Times coverdude Willie Nelson. Most people are already familiar with Willie’s coolness — pioneer of late-’60s Outlaw Country, member of Country music all-star group The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson and singer of such classic songs as “On the Road Again,” "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." He’s also been an activist for causes such as family farming and marijuana legalization and currently lives in self-sustaining community in Hawaii that only uses solar power.

Here are some words by CityBeat Music Editor Mike Breen about Willie’s life and legendary status, which he says transcends music. (“Nelson isn't a Country music icon — he's an American music icon.”)

So it’s kind of weird sometimes to think about Willie Nelson being tight with people like Toby Keith — a decidedly uncool guy who writes songs about the U.S. military putting a boot in anyone’s ass who messes with America and opens cheesy Country music-themed restaurants around the country.

But for every terrorist that Keith convinced via threat of violence not to attack America, there are many people who have enjoyed a song that Keith co-wrote about participating in Willie Nelson’s favorite pastime: smoking the weedus.

It turns out that Toby Keith can be self-depreciating and kind of likable (if you can somehow keep the image of this goatee out of your mind while you listen to the song). So here it is, in honor of Willie’s 79th, “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again” by Toby Ke