Cattiness online

Demi Moore tweeted this pic of still slamming body at age 47Recently, the actress Demi Moore tweeted a picture of herself in a bikini. I think she looked fabulous. The tweet followed nasty, but predictable rumours that her much younger husband, Ashton Kutcher, had cheated on her with a starlet. Are the two actions connected? I have no idea. But the insults and snide remarks that followed Demi Moore’s bikini tweet were downright nasty and sadly predictable.

Joan Rivers, who I respect for her fabulous career and work ethic, remarked how Moore was too old for such antics. Rivers also tossed in an aside about how Goldie Hawn, now a stunning 60ish woman, should now come “sit in the shade” with Rivers. A few other so-called fashion commentators on the E! network’s The Fashion Police show made similar nasty comments. Considering how fabulous Demi looked, and that movie stars are not known for being shy and retiring, this is just pure cattiness directed at an attractive woman.
Several articles in major newspapers had similar disparaging comments. It struck me that over the years that as often as Demi Moore has been lauded for her age-defying body, she has also been slammed for it. She has been accused of plastic surgery that would have been impossible. The scars would have been visible even with the best work. When she worked out to reshape her body for the movies GI Jane, Striptease, and Charlie’s Angels, and she was criticized for both the time and money she spent to do it. No one complains about the time and money professional athletes spend for their training. Isn’t Demi Moore entitled to invest in her career and train for her multi-million dollar roles?
I find Demi and Goldie inspiring. I think it’s great they take such good care of themselves and look so healthy and happy. I remember them as younger women; I used to watch Goldie on the iconic comedy show Laugh-In when I was in school and I remember Demi on the soap General Hospital at the beginning of her career. I feel as though I grew up with them. Unlike some young starlets today, I don’t remember them running around town without lingerie, drugged-up, or drunk.
Yet they are targets for envy and cattiness. And it isn’t just famous women who come in for this treatment. A truly gorgeous young friend of mine has also been attacked by other women. She is movie-star beautiful, and occasionally a tiny bit heavier than she would like to be. Recently, her boyfriend’s  friend’s girlfriend attacked her publicly. She stated that my friend would never be with her the boyfriend — a person of a different race — if she were thinner. In one fell swoop she exposed herself as a hater, and insulted my friend and her partner. She said this publicly at party without embarrassment because we allow it. Somehow it has become acceptable to behave badly, especially towards other women. I find it ironic that as women gain education and power in the workplace, we still tacitly condone high school *ithchiness.
I am even more shocked when women my age do it. Recently, I was surprised to be the target of this type of behavior on facebook. A high school friend posted an old photo of several us: himself, me, and two other (male) friends. I thought it was a charming memory of all of us at a party and so did he. I was wearing a cute black dress, pearls, and smoky eye make-up. My hair was long, my head thrown back in laughter, and I was holding a glass of white wine. This picture could be me — with slight changes – at any time during my adult life.  
Rocky Horror Picture Show-- the exact character the lady comapred me to --Does anyone see a tasteful black dress and pearls?In no time at all one of his female friends likened me – and not nicely– to a character in the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Charming. In her remarks she also had assumed my friend and I had dated. On the FB page of my other old friend in the picture, his ‘lovely’ friend accused him of having “slutty taste” in high school. Again, charming.
What is up with these so-called ladies and friends? What’s with the name-calling and assumptions? Who does this? These women are supposed to be educated professionals. In the photo, I wore pearls and a cute black knee-length dress with no décolleté. I still remember it, and would wear it today. Several of my friends, all different ages, have mentioned (unsolicited) that they would too. I do have on serious smoky eye make-up, not unlike what Kim Kardashian wears for an evening out. I think it is fabulous. I still like a good smoky eye and I was at a party with friends, but if that makes you a slut or a candidate for a horror movie, heaven help us all.
I think the assumption both women made was telling. There are four people in the photo. No one is snuggly. We were and are just friends. Do some women just have to strike out at any woman they don’t know, or who they perceive as different or threat – even one from years ago? Do they think it makes it makes them look clever or more attractive?  I don’t.
I exchanged a few comments with the woman who called me a horror movie character. My remarks were quite harmless, I simply expressed surprised that my friend had such a lovely friend. I wish I hadn’t, as it may have been awkward for our mutual friend. She caught me off guard. Her comments were actually posted as I sat happily looking at FB one Saturday morning.
I know why I reacted as I did; she tarnished a pleasant memory. I enjoy that so many of my old high school friends stay in touch. I like it that they grew up to be such nice generous people. High school was neither the nadir nor pinnacle of our lives. It was what it was supposed to be, a good time with good friends. As for the catty women and their comments, I actually couldn’t care less. I think they both looked bad, catty, mean and *itchy.
Another friend, a young, generous, and stunning woman, has also been the target of catty women. Her grandmother warned her about them. She told her it’s hard to have friends when you are beautiful. I think it is sad, but it seems that some women do like to take a shot women they perceive as a threat.
And it’s not just looks that attract the claws. Attacks happen at work too. Last year a sweet, smart woman I know was bullied to tears by her mean-girl boss. I often warn friends who are writers or artists that as helpful as a good reader or editor can be, throw their work out for random comments. I think one needs to choose one’s readers carefully during the creative process. Envy, even the unconscious kind, is rife in the creative community.
Learn to surround yourself with people who inspire you and elevate your life. I am inspired by my friends. I adore their beauty and creativity. I see it even when they don’t. Isn’t that what friends are for? I will never tweet a picture of myself in a bikini, but Demi in hers looked fabulous. She inspires me to work out a little harder and longer, so thanks Demi! And it will pay off when I am photographed in another of my “scandalous “ black dresses”.  Never let anyone tell you — at any age – to sit in the shade. 
PS: Darlings, I’d share the picture that caused all the hullabaloo, but it’s not mine and I don’t want cause any trouble for the others in it.

Ten indispensable style tips from “Oscar”

 Sandra Bullock's stunning look;  Copies of Oscar dresses will be coming soon No true fashionista would willingly miss the Oscars. If you pay attention, it is great place to learn how to turn out for a special occasion. The average couple may have a smaller glad-rag budget than the Hollywood crowd, but the rules and inspirations are the same. Some of the dresses, shoes, and extras are more affordable than one would imagine. And some of the same designers the stars wear have fabulous bridge lines. 

Forget the excuse that celebrities are young and thin. The past few years Hollywood’s Oscar-going elite has included stunners of a certain age as well as ladies with generous curves.
So darlings, be inspired by your favourites, learn from the faux pas of those who failed, and get ready to shine at your next gala.
1: Evening is the time to flaunt a stunning décolleté, but keep it under control. Too much of a good thing makes people nervous and can make you look cheap. It can also just be unflattering. Hilary Swank showed up at the Vanity Fair Oscar party this year in a dress cut to her navel that revealed a boney frame. It was not attractive. It’s interesting to note that few stars this year wore deeply-cut gowns. Most chose more discreet décolletés. I noticed many chose chic and slimming strapless gowns.
Queen Latifah a fashionista for all 2. Properly-fitted strapless gowns are flattering on most women. They work on busty women as well as the less-endowed. Queen Latifah, who always looks sensational, wore what was essentially a fitted strapless bodice with one thick ornament-jeweled strap. The key to successfully wearing a strapless gown is investing in one with a good built-in corset that’s molded to your body. The gown then does not slip or slide; it hangs elegantly and securely from the corset. If your bosom is a bit less than perfect, you may need a good bra — most women do. But, the bra doesn’t hold up or enhance the gown; it enhances your bosom. You may have seen or heard of stylists using double-sided tape to secure low-cut or tricky necklines. It is a neat trick, such as the one Hillary Swank wore, but it will not hold up a strapless gown. Get your dress fitted. I have several fabulous strapless gowns. They do not budge and I can dance till dawn.
3. Leave the thigh-high skirts to the Rockettes. Mariah Carey looked so cute, but her trendy blue gown was anything but chic with its overly revealing neckline and thigh-high slit. Thigh slits with plunging décolletés belong on the stage. It screamed Vegas.
Petite women often feel overwhelmed in floor-length gowns. They make the mistake of thinking a slit or dress that hikes up in front, similar to the one Carey Mulligan wore this year, will help them look taller. It is just the opposite. Occasionally, a long-sleeved black velvet number with a discreet slit to the knee works for an older lady. But take it from a petite fashionista like me, if you want too look slim and chic (we will never look tall), stick to a simple slim column of a dress. Actually, I have full-skirted ball gowns, scaled to my frame and they are fabulous.
4. Make sure your shoes flatter you legs and your dress. Carey Mulligan is adorable. But the graduated hemline of her black Prada dress and the heavy ankle strap shoes she wore with it cut the line of her slim legs. While the height of fashion, it was far from the most flattering choice. The shoes also caused her to teeter.
Her shoes were fashionable, but so are slightly more delicate shoes that would have looked more elegant. Even though her dress was black, a jeweled shoe would have been prettier and more flattering. For those of us on less lavish budgets, jeweled shoes can be used for years, as they are timeless when well chosen and go with most dresses.
At the opposite end of the fashion spectrum, it was reported that some celebrities wore flimsy flats beneath their Oscar dresses. In my book this is only marginally better than going barefoot or wearing flip-flops. Ladies, buy some shoes! Get your self a cute pair of low-heeled dress shoes and keep them on your feet. Barefooted (or slipper-footed) ladies waddle in gowns. It is not pretty. There are many brands of good-looking comfy, low-heeled dress shoes.
Helen Miirren at 62 sexy and chic 5. Ladies of a certain age can really sizzle. Take a good look at Helen Mirren. The lady is sexy, chic, and 62 years old. I adore Meryl Streep, who is 60. With her face and body, she could go from looking as good as she did this year to looking absolutely fabulous. Demi Moore at 40 is simply stunning. She looks impeccable. She never tries too hard. Among the younger stars, Anne Hathaway always looks fabulous.
6. Start with glowing skin and polished hair. Penelope Cruz, Helen Mirren, and Demi Moore all wore their hair up in soft, polished styles. Kate Winslet and Sandra Bullock both wore their hair down. None of these stylish women looked over-styled or messy. They all hit perfect notes with classic, sexy hair and make-up.
With a bit of work anyone can look like a star. Choose a skin care line that suits your budget and skin type, and stick to it. Schedule any special beauty treatments a week or two before your event. Things like Botox should be discussed at least two or three months before an event.
Test drive you hair and make-up at least twice before an important event if you are doing it yourself, once if a professional is doing it. Do not skip this step. Do your housework or run errands and see if it all stays put.
7. The Oscars is one of the best places to see the latest trends. Notice, the prettiest looks are understated and fresh-faced. Print-out pictures of the stars whose looks you think might suit you. Professional hairstylists and make artists love pictures to help explain what you are looking for. They are visual people. They know you don’t expect to be a duplicate. Then head to your favourite cosmetic counter. Choose a posh line, such as Chanel or Laura Mercier. These are the lines the pros use. They will have trained make-up artists to help you "get the look".
Many of the Oscar dresses will be copied after the show. There will be gowns at all price points. You can have the same look as the stars. Get online and locate your treasures, if you will soon be in the spotlight.
8. Full-figured women of any age can look to Queen Latifah for fashion cues. She always looks chic. Her choices are timeless and flattering. She chooses silhouettes that flatter and elongate her body. I am not suggesting that all curvy women must dress like Queen Latifah, but she really has gotten it right. She demonstrates women do not have to be a size 2 to be chic.
9. Try on your whole outfit at least a week before you debut it. This includes an old favourite you have not worn in a year or more. Most stars on the red carpet look pristine. That’s because top stylists have fined-tune the fit of their shoes and straps. They check zippers and clasps. They make sure it all works smoothly and nothing itches or pinches. I hate pain and annoyance; I test all my clothes for the itchy-pinchies.
A week before the big party is the time to fix a loose shoe or a tricky neckline. Badly-fitting shoes can cause painful blisters, and a sliding neckline can make you fidget. I have a selection of pads to keep shoes from sliding and biting they are from I keep double-stick fashion tape from  I also have a trusty a sewing kit.
My other supplies include hair pins and L’Oreal Elnett Hair Spray which is brushable.I also have White Sands Liquid Texture Spray in Medium which get shiner the more you heat use and Redken Real Control Mineral Elixir for spritz of weightless shine. I also keep dryer sheets to foil static cling. They work on hair and clothes. A good lint brush is essential. Other friends keep breast pads or silicone “chicken cutlets” in different sizes, Spanx, and a tailor on standby. I hate Spanx. I prefer plain control-top hose or a pair of microfiober control-top panties.
10. Darlings, treat yourself like star. Pamper yourself; you can afford it. Do it yourself if you have to. Remember, even women with all the resources in the world sometimes don’t look fabulous. But with a little effort, anyone can look like a star.
Now go light up the heavens.

Doing it quick and dirty

Demi Moore in Charlie's Angels, she's fabulous! Can she keep that body doing it quick and dirty?Working out for only 20 to 30 minutes at a time is not a new concept. For years doctors and the heart association have told us we need that level of moderate aerobic exercise three times a week to maintain a healthy heart. Recently, they found that 40 minutes of walking at a moderate pace as often every week will help you reach the same fitness goals. But working out for 20 strenuous minutes — a quick and dirty regime — to get a truly hard body is a startling new concept.

The fitness chain Curves, which is not known for strenuous workouts or attracting hard bodies, has offered the “30 minute-circuit” as the centerpiece of their marketing plan for the past decade. While they seem to get results for older women and the overweight, they do not draw the ‘hard body’ crowd.  Friends who have tried Curves have given me mixed reports.
I mention Curves because — since moving to Atlanta several years ago — I am still searching for a program that works for me. Atlanta has lovely parks that many people enjoy, but I am not park person. I was used to clocking at least several city miles a day in my stilettos. I sadly miss that workout. A variety of factors make it impossible here; suffice it to say that Atlanta is not a walking city.
I have also been unable to settle into a gym. I tried one when I first moved here, but I quit after two weeks of oversized equipment, big men, and bad smells. Am I spoiled? You bet! In Toronto, I worked out at Christine’s Fitness, an all-women’s gym. It was spotless, with private dressing rooms and special equipment made for women. Large equipment is an issue when you are just five feet tall. It makes it impossible to execute movements correctly.
Darlings, with no false modesty, I arrived in Atlanta in fabulous shape. Once again I am starting from scratch in a new place with very different options than I am used to. This is a city of professional athletes with private trainers, LA Fitness, and Curves, so I am exploring.
If you follow the fitness industry you may have noticed quite a few articles recently about high-intensity cross-training. Much of this “new” kind of training is based on a study out of Canada that found that “short bursts of high-intensity sprints known to benefit muscle and improve exercise performance, can improve the function and structure of blood vessels, in particular arteries that deliver blood to our muscles and heart”. The study was led by Mark Rakobowchuk, a doctoral student in the study of human movement at McMaster University and published online in the American Journal of PhysiologyRegulatory, Integrative & Comparative Physiology.
To those us in search of the perfect workout, it means that trainers have started to develop programs that consist of bursts of high intensity exercise – with and without weights – to replace longer workouts. Most use a combination of squats, lunges, sprints and basic toning exercises done at a very fast pace. Those who have tried it say it is grueling and initially even painful, but effective. This system replaces 60- or 90-minute workouts with 20- or 30-minute stints in the gym.
Canada is not alone in the research of high-intensity workouts. A Scottish study focused on rehabbing the unfit and ill indicates that this type of exercise can improve your metabolism. According to the researchers in Scotland, the body’s ability to process sugars can get a big boost from regular high-intensity, three-minute workouts, which could reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
"What we have found is that doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks, " stated researcher James Timmons at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, in a news release. The study had 16 sedentary male volunteers use exercise bikes to perform quick sprints at their highest possible intensity, according a report by United Press International. Timmons added that doing any kind of high-intensity workout a few days a week should achieve the same protective metabolic improvements. The study appeared in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders and is helpful knowledge for anyone looking to stay fit.
The “Tabata Protocol” is also creating buzz on the fitness scene, as time-pressed new moms, executives, and fitness fiends rediscover the workout system developed by and named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya. The head coach of the Japanese speed-skating team developed the “interval” routine, shich consists of six to seven 20-second full-speed sprints interspersed with rest periods of 10 seconds.
Researchers in Japan tested the system rigorously and found it improved performance. Since then, all kinds of “Tabata Protocols” or workouts have shown up on the web. Some seem sensible, and many do not. Most are similar to the cross-training regimes now being promoted for these new fast workouts.
Quick and dirty workouts appeal to hard bodies who are willing to put up with a little pain for the gain; they want to cut their time in the gym and still get results.
Undertaking any intense type of fitness training would be foolhardy and dangerous — if you are not in peak shape. Check first with your doctor and/or consulting an established trainer. All trainers are not equal. It is better to buy a few sessions from an experienced pro than to get a cheap deal from some beginner who may get you hurt. Trust me darlings, cheap trainers are not to be trusted. Beware of mass market gyms.
I am serious about regaining my pre-Atlanta fitness level. I may have to design a new home program, as my preferred type of “ladies-only” gym does not seem to exist here. But, I am definitely going to add some quick and dirty workouts into my new fitness plan.