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I know somebody who knows somebody who’s a somebody

Here’s an interview with (allow me to name-drop here) Brad Goreski, my girlfriend MaryAnne’s nephew. Brad recently became one of the hosts of TV’s Fashion Police bringing his Canadian sensibility (he grew up in Port Perry) and strong stylist credentials to the show. He recently did an interview with the Los Angeles Times. Here’s the link: http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-brad-goreski-interview-20150208-story.html#page=1

And, to read my original blog posting about Brad: http://boomerbroadcast.net/2015/01/11/i-know-somebody-who-knows-somebody-whos-a-somebody/

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And the winner is . . .

The glamorous dresses remind me of playing with my Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor paper dolls when I was little. They were always wearing glamorous paper evening gowns when they were fighting over Eddie Fisher.
The glamorous dresses remind me of playing with my Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor paper dolls when I was little. They were always wearing glamorous paper evening gowns when they were fighting over Eddie Fisher.

Am I the only person on the planet who hates watching award shows?  Now that we have the Golden Globes and a couple of other awards shows under our belt, it won’t be long until the big one, the Academy Awards will be upon us. It’s not that I’m opposed to the awards themselves and I love the glamour and beautiful dresses associated with the event, I just find the shows themselves to be painful to watch so I prefer to simply check the newspaper the next morning to get the results. Much easier and less stressful.

No matter what your profession or role in life, a little recognition goes a long way. About thirty-five years ago, my boss happened to notice I was working late every night (we weren’t paid for overtime) trying to keep up with the workload so he gave me a raise of twenty dollars a week and I’ve never forgotten that gesture of recognition. Authors are rewarded once in a while with a book prize or a well-deserving world figure such as Malala Yousafzai will receive the Nobel Peace Prize but otherwise, the majority of us function in our jobs with little fanfare or recognition—unless you’re an actor, director or other person working in the motion picture or television business.

The superficiality of the entertainment business is not news and we’re all participants in furthering this by going to the movies, buying celebrity magazines and watching television. I love going to the movies and part of the fun is hunkering down with my bucket of warm, over-priced popcorn and barrel of diet pop resting in its convenient armrest cup holder. For an outlay of about twenty-five dollars I get to watch people pretend to be someone else in the context of telling a story. Who doesn’t love a good story. It’s art and we need art.

Would it kill the recipients to prepare their words ahead of time?
Would it kill the recipients to prepare their words ahead of time?

What annoys the crap out of me and makes it impossible for me to enjoy the award shows is the incredible inability of the presenters and recipients to conduct themselves in a professional manner on the stage. Instead, the presenters stand up there unable to string three coherent words together without squinting at the teleprompter, often flubbing their lines and generally delivering an abominable performance. And the award recipients act like they were pulled in off the street, had no time to prepare an appropriate response and shuffle around grasping for words before the music cuts in. You would think that a person who has the ability to memorize pages of dialogue for a movie script would be able to compose and deliver an articulate and sincere thank you speech.

And speaking of music, the production numbers are usually excruciating to watch. They try too hard. They’re overproduced. They strive for an emotional response that will never materialize. And they’re usually a giant waste of time. Much as I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, even they seemed strained delivering their material at the beginning of the Golden Globes. The jokes are usually limp and delivered cautiously so naturally they often fall flat. After a few minutes, I switched channels.

The pre-show fashion parade on the red carpet is always interesting but all the behind-the-scenes work by hundreds of stylists, designers, hairdressers and makeup artists has eliminated any semblance of spontaneous glamour and fashion taste being exhibited by the stars on their own merits. While I don’t expect Jennifer Lawrence to whip up her gown herself the night before, I would like to see more Diane Keaton-types who have the confidence and presence to show up in something they chose themselves from their own closet. Remember the year Sharon Stone looked stunning in a crisp white Gap shirt and evening skirt?

These people did not cure cancer, feed a village or rescue the young school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria. And for pretending to be someone else for ninety minutes on-screen, they’re heralded with an event that is broadcast to billions of people around the world that results in international fame, obscenely high salary levels and a statuette to remind yourself and everyone else that you’re good at pretending.

. . . and  the award goes to Lynda Davis for BoomerBroadcast
. . . and the award goes to Lynda Davis for BoomerBroadcast.

I realize I’m in the minority in hating award shows and I can guarantee that when I receive my Oscar for being the Best Girlfriend of a Woman Who is the Aunt of a Major Stylist-to-the Stars (Brad Goreski), I will not pull a cocktail napkin out of my evening bag and read a hastily prepared, poorly delivered speech; it will be concise, eloquent and memorized. I will look you in the eye, smile and deliver my words in a clear, well-modulated voice. In this world of recognizing achievement in the superficial entertainment business it’s the very least I can do. Thank you. Thank you very much.

For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess or birthday gift as well as just a fun read. Click on this link: http://www.lulu.com  or http://www.amazon.com

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I know somebody who knows somebody who’s a somebody

Celeb stylist Brad Goreski still takes time to visit his grandmother in Port Perry, Ontario where he grew up.
Celeb stylist Brad Goreski still takes time to visit his grandmother in Port Perry, Ontario where he grew up.

There’s an old song from 1927, “I’ve danced with a man who’s danced with a girl who’s danced with The Prince of Wales”? I can make a similar claim, although several degrees removed from The Prince of Wales. My friend MaryAnne’s nephew is Brad Goreski, a stylist-to-the-stars and TV personality who is joining The Fashion Police beginning January 11th. Brad grew up in Port Perry, Ontario and still has that small-town charm and Canadian sensibility, except when it comes to his fashion sense where he’s over-the-top.

Leaving Port Perry for Toronto then Los Angeles and New York to seek his unconventional fortune when he finished high school, Brad soon became recognized as someone with genuine talent and flair. After getting a degree in Art History, studying fashion and working for a while with Vogue magazine and Rachael Zoe, Brad branched off on his own and soon landed such high-profile clients as Demi Moore, Jessica Alba and Christina Ricci. He’s also the official stylist for Kate Spade New York.

brad2Brad shares his life with long-time partner Gary Janetti, one of the brilliant writers for Will & Grace, and their dog, Penelope. In 2012 he published his autobiography, “Born To Be Brad: My Life and Style So Far” and had his own reality show “It’s a Brad Brad World” on Bravo TV. In his book Brad describes his father taking his little lace-gloved hand in his when he was eight years old and going out on Halloween as Madonna.

Now, with his new job on Fashion Police and all his high-profile clients I guess that means that now he’ll never have time to come to my place, edit my closet and set me straight on my own personal fashion do’s and don’ts. I’ll never know for sure if these shoes make my ass look fat. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled as can be that I know somebody whose nephew is a somebody, even though I’m not.

For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess or birthday gift as well as just a fun read. Click on this link: http://www.lulu.com  or http://www.amazon.com

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Joy to the World . . . I got carded

old lady1Sadly, most Boomers are past the age we need to show I.D. when buying liquor. But at the other end of the scale, we now qualify for seniors’ benefits in many establishments such as movie theatres and retail stores. The age requirement can vary anywhere from fifty to sixty-five depending on where you live and where the purchase is being made. When I first started dating my husband he would request seniors’ tickets at the movies. Too vain and nervous to be questioned about my age at the time (I was in my fifties), I would discreetly stand back while my white-haired partner did the dirty work.

Then one day when I attended a movie alone, I found myself having an internal debate about whether to chance buying a seniors’ ticket when I was only sixty-three, but being the honest person I am and fearing being asked to produce I.D., I deferred and paid full adult price. Then, when I handed my ticket to the attendant inside, I noticed to my horror that the stupid child in the ticket booth had pegged me as a hag and without asking had sold me a seniors’ ticket. I was awhile recovering from that humiliation.

Age is a beautiful thing.
Age is a beautiful thing.

Then, today as I was paying for some Christmas cards at a store I asked if this was seniors’ day. The clerk looked at me questioningly and hesitated. Jokingly I asked if she wanted to see my drivers’ license, and she did!  I was thrilled and noticed my fellow crones behind me in line smiling at my obvious joy as I produced the document. Is being recognized as a senior a good thing or a bad thing? We tend to want it both ways, don’t we. We don’t want to be perceived as old crones but we enjoy the benefits of seniors’ pricing. Getting carded reminded me that I’m not only vain, I’m cheap and old too. And if you don’t believe me I’d be happy to show you my I.D.

For more excellent advice on how I’m trying to make the world a better place through business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link:   http://www.amazon.com

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I’ll Drink to That celebrates a life well-lived

BettySome people take longer than others to grow up. By that, I mean to become capable of taking care of themselves as an adult without relying on parents or others for emotional or financial security. In her recently released autobiography, “I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist” Betty Halbreicht was such a person. Born as the only child of an affluent Chicago couple, Halbreicht had it all — looks, money and connections. She grew up in a home with domestic help and a generous allotment of fashionable clothes, pampered resort vacations and privileges not available to most people. On vacation with her parents she is accosted by the handsome son of the owner of the hotel where they were staying. The Halbreichts were a wealthy New York family with many lucrative business interests and her marriage to twenty-seven-year-old Sonny Halbreicht while she was only nineteen marked the beginning of a new phase of her self-centred, pampered lifestyle.

After quickly producing the requisite daughter and son, the marriage began to unravel. Excessive drinking and infidelities on the part of both Betty and her husband resulted in them separating by the time her children were ready for college. In her early forties Betty was forced to grow up and fend for herself. That meant getting her first job, opening her first bank account, paying bills and living life on her own. Fortunately her earlier connections came in handy when she was hired by a series of carriage trade fashion retailers to help coordinate and sell their merchandise. All those years of being a clothes horse paid off when she was appointed as the first personal shopper for Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Halbreicht was now catering to the ladies who used to be her friends. Her unique style and impeccable taste served her well as she advised New York socialites, movie stars, stylists and powerful business women including Joan Rivers, Estee Lauder, Candice Bergman and Betty Ford. Her tiny office became a haven of therapy for those whose wants were often compensation for their empty lives and unfulfilled emotional needs.

Betty Halbreicht in a recent photo with Lena Dunham.
Betty Halbreicht in a recent photo with Lena Dunham.

Betty Halbreicht’s book is a reflection on a life lived. When I first began reading it I became impatient and perhaps if I were completely honest a bit envious of the descriptions of her entitled lifestyle. The further into the book I got, the more I liked her and by the time I finished I felt we were BFFs. At eight-six she still goes to work at Bergdorf Goodman every day and like many of us she laments today’s lack of manners, appreciation for quality and the virtues of hard work. Her job was and is not easy as she caters to the whims and demands of clients with little time, less empathy and unbreakable ties to their cell phones. Like any business woman, particularly one with many years of experience behind her, she has learned life’s valuable lessons by living them. I’m glad she shared.

P.S. Here’s a clip of Jeanne Beker interviewing author Betty Halbreicht.

 

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Victoria’s Secret yields to customer demands – sort of. . .

victoriaThanks so much for your support of the change.org petition (here’s the link to my earlier blog http://boomerbroadcast.net/2014/10/31/here-we-go-again-ladies) criticizing Victoria’s Secret for their recent ad campaign glorifying skinny female bone bags with fake surgically enhanced breasts as being the perfect body. While we didn’t achieve one hundred percent success in getting them to pull the ads, they still acknowledged that they heard their customers and modified the wording somewhat.

Nov 16, 2014 — Victoria’s Secret changed the wording of their advertisements for their bra range Body from ‘The Perfect ‘Body” to ‘A Body For Every Body’. They changed the wording online, and in stores they took down posters bearing the original wording.

Victoria’s Secret listened to the public and made a positive change, although we received no apology or statement. This is still an incredible achievement! We are overjoyed. Thank you so much to every single person that signed this petition, shared it and helped the spread the message of our campaign! Let’s hope advertisers get the message that body-shaming is never ok!

In this world of eating disorders, crazy diets and dangerous surgical procedures aimed at acquiring the so-called perfect skinny body, it’s irresponsible to encourage women to harm themselves in pursuit of an unrealistic goal. See ladies—we can make a difference when we all gang up on them. Onward and upward.

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