Fashion News: Baby bikini onesie is one step too far for parents

The bikini had its 66th birthday this week — and it’s still stirring up trouble. First, the trouble:

Parents in Southaven, Miss., are complaining about a baby onesie on sale at a local department store that’s printed to look like a woman’s figure wearing a bikini. “It gives people the wrong idea too quickly,” one father said. To think only a couple of years ago, all we had to worry about was tweens’ clothing being overly sexualized, not babies.

Now the birthday: The bikini was introduced to the world by designer Louis Réard in Paris on July 5,  1946, changing the look of women’s swimwear forever. An engineer who also helped run his mother’s clothing boutique, he marketed the garment as being “smaller than the world’s smallest bathing suit.” The only woman who would model his prototype was Micheline Bernardini,  a 19-year-old nude dancer at the Casino de Paris. How times have changed. Fashionista looks back through the years at famous bikinis (like Princess Leia’s slave ensemble and Marilyn Monroe’s suit  in “Something’s Got to Give.”)

The fall couture shows in Paris wrapped up with models wearing beaded face masks at Maison Martin Margiela, textured gowns at Valentino and fantasy one-of-a-kind clothes at Jean Paul Gaultier.
Bette Midler and her daughter Sophie were front and center among viewers of the Gaultier show.
Hedi Slimane’s first two collections as creative director for Yves Saint Laurent were shown only to customers, no media allowed, but word is leaking out that the resort collection he showed in Paris this week hearkened back to the label’s founder with cigarette pants, tuxedo shirts, skinny suits and little silk dresses.

In its August issue, Seventeen magazine plans to run an editor’s letter pledging to use only “real girls and models who are healthy” (i.e., not underweight) and not to digitally alter photos to change a model’s face or body shape. To prove they are sticking to what they are calling the “body peace treaty,”  the staff will post behind-the-scenes images from photo shoots on its Tumblr blog.

Christian Louboutin on Wednesday unveiled the slipper he’s created in honor of  Disney’s planned “Cinderella” Diamond Edition release on Blu-ray this fall. The mini-platform heels are made of white lace and Swarovski crystals — glass would have been kind of dangerous — with Louboutin’s signature red sole. These shoes won’t be available for purchase. Instead, 20 pairs are to be given away. Details about the giveaway are to be announced in August.


Posted by admin | Appreciation | Tags: | Saturday 23 June 2012 1:01 am

Emma Stone’s Fashion Appreciation.

Emma Stone admits her rise to fame has helped her develop an “appreciation” for fashion she did not have before.Emma Stone has developed an “appreciation” for fashion.The ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ actress – who is currently dating British hunk Andrew Garfield – admits she has not always been so clued up on style, but has begun to understand how important it is in her line of work.

She said: “It’s something that I’ve been more exposed to in the past year, so I finally have a deeper understanding and appreciation for it.”One designer Emma does like is Alber Elbaz from Lanvin, as he has previously confessed he just wants the women who wear his creations to look their best.She said: “He’s fantastic. And he wants to hide. Did you read that thing where he says he wants to blend into the background? He doesn’t want to be the icon at all, he wants to make things for women so that they can shine.”Despite her fame rising in recent years thanks to roles in movies such as ‘Easy A’ and ‘The Help’, Emma claims she never wants to get to a stage where she can’t walk around without being followed.She added to Vogue magazine: “I worry about my fame making New York unliveable. That would be … to not walk around would be awful.”

Balancing chaos

Posted by admin | Balancing chaos | Tags: | Thursday 21 June 2012 1:00 am

Balancing chaos.

In the play “God of Carnage,” opening on July 13—a Friday, how strangely appropriate—at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza in Makati, a reference to Francis Bacon’s often grotesque and macabre works of art is made.

I don’t think this is coincidental, considering the absolute chaos this Yasmina Reza comedy (translated by Christopher Hampton) descends into, and the deft balancing act that everyone involved—actors and production staff alike, particularly the stage crew—need to pull off night after night.

It was first performed in France (Reza is French) in 2006, then headed into the West End in 2008, and on Broadway in 2009. It has won critical acclaim, awards (including the Olivier and the Tony for best play), and the hearts of many audience members fortunate enough to have seen it.

I caught it in New York with its final cast (Jeff Daniels, Dylan Baker, Janet McTeer and Lucy Liu), and it was worth the price of admission to see these four actors lay waste to that initially pristine and well-ordered set.

We’ve been rehearsing for the last two weeks, and each new day has brought us only closer to complete disintegration. And that is a good thing.

The plot seems simple enough: Two sets of married couples meet in one couple’s living room in what seems to be a civil discussion about their sons’ playground altercation.

However, what starts out as an admirable effort to patch things up devolves into horrendous shouting matches, three-against-one match-ups, and one-on-one combat. All in less than 90 minutes.


Posted by admin | Professional | Tags: | Wednesday 20 June 2012 12:58 am

A friend of mine, upon my telling him that I was starting work on “God of Carnage,” said that it would only work well if the actors in it are friends; it would be difficult if you hated the people you are working with. Fortunately, Bobby Garcia assembled a cast of actors that all like and respect each other very much.
I had worked with everyone else before, with the exception of Art Acuña, to whom I was only briefly professionally exposed while hiding in my brother’s studio during a recording session of “The Kitchen Musical.”
Working with Adrian Pang on “They’re Playing Our Song” was just so lovely, so I anticipated this time to be more of the same.
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo is not only a professional teammate, but also a good friend (and a ninang to my daughter Nicole).
Bobby and I have worked and played together for over 10 years, starting with “Proof.” He’s only grown in leaps and bounds as a director and a friend. This is our seventh play together.

No easy rehearsal
Rehearsing a play like “God of Carnage” wasn’t exactly easy to plot out. The moment the lights go on, the action begins and never stops. There are no blackouts, no costume changes. Everything happens in real time.
So, there weren’t “scenes” in the traditional sense of the word. We had to go by page number or acting beat, with Bobby having plotted out our rehearsal sequence beforehand. But then it would also depend on how fast or slow we were progressing.
The first 12 to 15 pages were probably the most difficult to learn and set up properly. Menchu, herself an acclaimed director, said that “exposition is always the most difficult.” She wasn’t kidding. It was hard to learn, to get the words in my head; it was arduous to plot where conversations were heading, in the way that unplanned and awkward small talk can’t always be predicted.

Calibrated fights

Posted by admin | Calibrated fights | Tags: | Tuesday 5 June 2012 12:57 am

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Calibrated fights

However, once the first fight was staged, the other battles were a piece of cake, each one calibrated just right to nicely proceed into the next. Setting up each fight was a challenge though, because at the end of each rehearsal, we didn’t always know how much further we still had left to go.
We had to run the show almost every day from the beginning, to wherever we had left off from the day before, in order to figure this out. (On a side note: Art Acuña, recent Urian Award winner for best supporting actor for “Niño,” was the only one of us to be completely off book from day one. Given the number of monologues and cell phone calls he has on the script, that is incredibly impressive.)
The play features not just verbal lashings, but physical ones, too. This is, after all, a modern-day farce. This means that our poor, valiant stage crew has had to assemble some interesting pieces of property for our production, as well as reassemble broken things, and clean up many messes.
Our thanks to our stage crew, Ace and Luis, for gamely doing it all. Your work is not yet done. And thanks also to Bernice Aspillaga-Cañete for stage-managing everything without losing composure, and to Liza Camus, our production manager, for being the force of nature you are, from arranging travel to getting us fitted for Twinkle Zamora’s costumes, and for just taking care of us.
As I write this, we’ve had only our first of many more run-throughs—each one will be informative and stamina-building.
We all hope you enjoy the ride. Let the games begin.


Posted by admin | Richie | Tags: | Sunday 3 June 2012 12:55 am

Nicole Richie, who stands at 152cm, says she has trouble finding clothes that fit – and instead has a penchant for heels and bags (and high hairdos).
Think fashion model and most imagine underweight, unrealistic versions of the female form.
There’s nothing new about the argument that fashion’s stereotypes pander to a body image that is neither common nor healthy, underlining, again and again, the bizarre notion that there is one body shape to which you, me, we should aspire.
But in the drive to rebalance the industry – plus-sized models, anti-airbrushing, commitments to only employ models with certain BMIs – there is a body-shape group that still finds itself somewhat ostracised by fashion at large.
Enter the more diminutive in stature amongst us.
The socialite and designer told British Elle that she avoids online shopping because she has such problems finding clothes that fit her tiny frame.
“I’m five feet one inches, so it’s not as easy as just seeing something on a mannequin or a model and thinking, ‘That’s going to be cute on me’. I have to try things on and see how they fit on my body,” she told the August edition.
“That’s why I’m not a big online shopper. I like to touch the clothes, feel the fabric and try them on.”
And, in a problem that is confined to celebrity circles, she says she will not buy from the catwalk because clothes made for gazelle-like models simply do not work for her.
Back on planet earth, it is arguably harder to find clothes that fit a smaller woman than those that fit plus-sizes.


Posted by admin | Internet | Tags: | Saturday 2 June 2012 12:54 am

Gone are the days, of course, of custom-made clothes and home-made clothes, and, despite some notable exceptions when it comes to smaller cuts on the High Street, it is nigh-on impossible to find elegant, fashionable rags for girls who are less than a size 4 in ‘everyday’ shops.
Fashion-forward Topshop – whose sizes naturally tend to run on the small side – has a devoted petite section (available in Melbourne and coming soon to Sydney), as does David Jones. Marcs has clothes in size 4 – pants starting at 22 – while Veronika Maine, like its mother brand, Cue, runs to size 6, as does Jigsaw.
The internet may have opened up a world of shopping possibilities, but there’s certainly no 100 per cent strike rate when it comes to the seemingly lottery-like gamble of post-purchase size success.
No wonder stories of petite women heading to junior departments in stores, rubbing shoulders with ten-year-olds as they browse racks of sundresses and attempt to find formal pants, are not uncommon.
Then there are those women who will only shop in Chinatown, having given up on mainstream outlets, instead preferring the smaller cuts and on-trend direction of imported clothes designed for Asian frames.
Away from body size, there is also the debatable question of true size. A size ten is not simply a size ten – in the same way that a petite line may suit some forms but not others.
Back in 2009, a Choice shopping spree saw a journalist attempting to find a ‘straight black skirt’ that fit. It turned out that her size oscillated between a 10, a 14, a 3 and a medium, depending on which shop she was in – an escapade that saw her self-esteem fluctuate as wildly as the garment cuts themselves.


Posted by admin | Manager | Tags: | Friday 1 June 2012 12:53 am

Abi Slaughter, 32, from Wooloowin, QLD, agrees. “I find that sizes change in every store, there’s no consistency. Bond’s XS is far too big for me, I have a mix of S, XS and XXS from Country Road and I tend to have to shop in department stores where there is more choice.”
The 150cm microbrewery manager says she rarely buys new clothes. “Shopping tends to take ages, it’s quite depressing.
“Once I’ve found something that fits well, I’ll buy it again online – and I do lots of my own fixing and mending.”
It’s telling that Nicole Richie’s wardrobe staples are, she says, tote bags and shoes: accessories that are not nearly as aligned to body shape as garments are.
And, when it comes to heels, it’s game on for Lionel Richie’s daughter: “I wear heels a lot because I like how they look, not necessarily for height. The tallest I’m ever going to get is five feet six inches; it’s not like I’m going to tower over anybody.”
Well, there is one option, Nicole… Scarily, height-change surgery is not as rare as it once was – and limb lengthening centres are giving men and women boosts of up to 8cm. Painful and expensive, the Middle-Ages-like procedure comes with horribly over-simplified sales pitches: “Increase your height. Change your life.” Eight months immobile in bed will indeed change your life.
So, for all the awkward shopping missions, the wardrobe malfunctions and the does-my-bum-look-big-in-this days, we prefer the idea of finding a fabulous dress in Topshop Petite – and matching it with a gorgeous bag that, refreshingly, comes with no size label attached.


Posted by admin | FB | Tags: | Sunday 20 May 2012 12:50 am

Secret lovers caught in FB photo

Pretty Starlet keeps denying that she and Hunky Actor are a couple.
PS, however, had been spotted waltzing in and out of HA’s condo unit building by kibitzers.
In another instance, PS visited the set of HA’s latest project.
An over-enthusiastic production staffer innocently posted on Facebook a photo of HA and PS together.
The unintentional outing will surely make PS and HA’s respective handlers go ballistic.

Air rage
Acclaimed Actress is purportedly a nightmare to travel with, according to a flight attendant.
During one flight, AA was allegedly quite rude to FA. Moreover, AA was a chatterbox as well. Needless to say, AA’s seatmate felt “hostaged” throughout the trip.
Another Veteran Actress is just as obnoxious. VA supposedly expects to be upgraded every time she flies abroad.
VA brazenly throws her weight around, bullying the poor crew.

Million-peso execs
While everyone in the company is cost-cutting, Top Exec 1 and Top Exec 2 are living in high style.
TE1 reportedly earns millions a month, while TE2 lavishes various hunks with expensive gifts.
Seems the TEs are trying to upstage Marie Antoinette.
While they roll around in dough, they have the chutzpah to ask their underlings to sacrifice and not claim overtime pay.


Posted by admin | Chocoholic | Tags: | Tuesday 15 May 2012 12:48 am

Separate cars
Celebrity cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo insists that she and consultant/yoga instructor Al Galang are not sweethearts. “He’s not my ka-loveteam,” she pleaded to the media.
She explained that he was just behind her company’s latest project: The Belofied Application on iPad.
After the project’s launch, the rumored couple left the venue together. At the parking lot, however, they went their separate ways.
A witness reported that while she proceeded to her own car, the guy hailed a taxi cab.
Make of that what you will.

Comedian/TV host Michael V, who has been endorsing Mister Donut since 2007, just finished shooting a commercial for the food brand’s new product line called the Chocoholic Collection.

DJ Ferry Corsten at Republiq
DJ Ferry Corsten will spin classic tunes and new mixes tomorrow night at Republiq Club in Resorts World Manila. Corsten has just released his latest album, “WKND,” which includes 14 brand new tracks.


Posted by admin | Top | Tags: | Thursday 10 May 2012 12:46 am

Top of the Talk Shows

For those who missed last weekend’s TV gabfests (and why we are moved, if we are moved):
Wally Bayola on fame: “Minsan ’di pa kami makapaniwala. Parang feeling namin binobola kami kapag may nagsasabing, ‘Uy, pwede daw bang magpa-picture!’” (Enjoy it while it lasts, show biz fame is fleeting. )
Sam Pinto on winning FHM sexiest woman for the second straight year: “Sobrang surprised ako. This is crazy!…Ngayon maghahanda ako sa rampa. ’Di na ako kakain!” (Girl, your curves got you that. ’Di magan-da ang sobrang payat.)
Sid Lucero, asked if he easily falls in love with his leading ladies: “To a certain extent, oo. Pero not all the way!” (Malay mo, they may feel the same way about you. )
Jackie Rice, asked if she’s already living in with her non-show biz boyfriend: Hindi, kasama ko po ’yung dad ko sa bahay …”(Oo nga. Ang hirap kaya mag-live-in habang si Daddy nasa bahay pa.)
Kim Chiu on “The Healing” costar Vilma Santos: “Mino-motivate niya ako. Sinasabi niya, ‘Huwag mong isiping ako si Ate Vi’…Sabi niya huwag mong sasayangin ’yung eksena, ibigay mo na dahil minsan lang mangyayari ’to.” (Haaaaay, we love you, Ate Vi!)
Carmina Villaroel, asked when was the last time she felt “kilig”: “Parang palagi naman akong kinikilig, eh! Kahit matagal na kami ni Zoren [Legaspi], kinikilig pa rin ako sa kanya. Walang joke talaga ’yun!” (Kami rin, kinikilig sa inyo!)
Dawn Zulueta, asked about her team-up with Richard Gomez in “Walang Hanggan”: “Hanggang ngayon, kahit na sa edad kong ’to, nasu-surprise pa rin ako! ’Di ko alam na marami pa ring sumusubaybay sa love team namin.” (Oh, for sure!)
Andi Eigenmann on how daughter Ellie changed her life: “Mas meron na ’kong direction, at motivated to keep going. Kasi everything I do now in my life is all connected to, or about, Ellie.”

Salma Hayek

Posted by admin | Salma Hayek | Tags: | Saturday 5 May 2012 12:43 am

Salma Hayek on life with her fashion mogul husband.

“Not always private jets,” Salma Hayek clarified in a recent interview when a reporter praised her for staying grounded despite a lifestyle that must involve flying around in private planes. “I flew commercial from Boston yesterday.”

The actress is married to fashion mogul, Francois-Henri Pinault, a billionaire who is the CEO of PPR, whose brands include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta. The Paris-based Salma was in LA to help promote “Savages,” her movie with director Oliver Stone that also stars Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta and Benicio del Toro.

When a journalist asked how she keeps herself grounded in the City of Light, Salma replied, “I let my maid do everything that she can, but I don’t have her all the time. In Paris, they leave at 5 in the afternoon. I have to cook dinner and do everything else. But, it’s nice, because it’s very family-oriented. By that time, there’s not a lot of people. I always have a lot of people, so it’s nice that at that point, there’s not a lot of them.”


Addressing the journalist’s reference to her as being part of about four percent of the world (Pinault’s father is one of the richest on this planet), Salma pointed out, “I feel very privileged in many different ways—but, the things that I’m most excited about are—not that I’m living like the four percent—but that I’m living like the one percent of the world—I have a happy marriage. I am healthy. I am aging gracefully. Yes, I’m getting older, but at least it’s not so bad. My daughter (Valentina, 4) is fantastic. I feel lucky about the things that really matter. Maybe that keeps me grounded.”

Salma claimed that she still loves to do grocery-shopping. “Are you kidding me?,” she said. “I love Farmers Markets and Whole Foods. You buy delicious, fattening things but somehow, you feel like you’re doing this in a healthy way. I enjoy it.”

But, according to the woman who can turn to a number of top Parisian fashion houses that her husband’s company owns for her clothes, she isn’t a shopaholic. “I am not so much into shopping (for clothes),” she stressed. “Isn’t that weird? It seems ironic. All of my friends, because they are fashionistas, go, ‘You ended up with that guy?’ I don’t love shopping, but I organize many different homes. With all the people around, everybody’s schedule, my own schedule—I am an organizer! I’m not much of a shopper. But, I like cooking.”


Posted by admin | Elegant | Tags: | Saturday 5 May 2012 12:41 am

Elegant but colorful
The Mexico native claimed that, when it comes to her homes, she is “not a collector. I do have a sense of style. I like homes to be comfortable, happy, elegant but colorful. But, in reality, the one who is better than me is my husband. He has a better sense of style than I do. So, it’s fun. We do it together. We don’t have decorators. We don’t fight about it, which is good, because I hear many times that remodelling could be the cause of divorce.”
Salma emphasized that she’s more enthused about her family. “I try to stay a lot with my child,” she shared. “I’m a good Mexican mother. I take my child to school. I do activities with her.
“At night, I work after dinner with my family. Everybody goes to sleep while I work, because I have my beauty and production companies here (in the US), so I work really late at night.”
Salma has no need for a Paris Metro pass. “I am very lucky,” she said. “I have a car with a driver. It’s very bad that you cannot find taxis on the street, but they have a good service. You call, and the taxi comes up. I don’t need the Metro so much.”
Salma laughed over the irony that, while she and close friend, Penelope Cruz, live in Europe, they usually see each other in LA. “It’s so strange! We are both so busy. It’s hard to see each other with the kids and the work. We’re still very close.”
On their almost parallel lives, Salma commented, “We hoped, yeah, but we didn’t know exactly how it was going to be and with whom. But yes, we had similar dreams and paths. It’s been interesting. She was on (Jay) Leno yesterday, and I’m on Leno today. It’s incredible! I’m going to see her tomorrow, then we both leave on the same day.”

In “Savages,” Salma plays Elena, a badass Mexican drug lord. “I love the character,” she said. “I had a lot of say in what she looked like. Oliver was really cool even though he asked me a lot of questions about why that choice, why this choice. I created a character based on the powerful, strong women I’ve met in my life. These women were very imposing—you can never forget them. I knew she had to be that strong to operate in that world. Women like that create a very specific identity.”
Salma added, “If you notice in the film, I don’t change my hair or necklace. She’s very specific. Oliver asked, ‘Why don’t you change?’ I said, ‘No, because in order to create an iconic character, there are certain characteristics, especially in the short time that she has to be very memorable.’ A lot of women create their own character like that. You see them in Fashion Week on the first row. Everybody has her own trademark that you remember them by —like Evita Peron. So, I created the character based on that. I worked with the production design and all the departments to create this character.”


Posted by admin | Underground | Tags: | Wednesday 2 May 2012 12:36 am

Fetish fashion takes over the Berlin underground.

Riders of the Berlin subway have been taking trips this week that go far beyond the hip German capital’s already outlandish standards, as models in latex wear, fetish gear and “spirit hoods” staged a fashion show on a train.
Girls wearing all-leather sado-masochist bodysuits tottered through the train car, followed by male models wearing nothing but ornamental metallic sculptures around their groin. Models in neon tulle dangled from the subway poles.
Around 600 people showed up for “Underground Catwalk”, a ticketed show during Berlin Fashion Week that took place entirely on a train running underneath the city.
“Because of the special location, models pretty much walk across people’s laps. There’s loud music blasting, it’s pretty wild and colourful,” event director Alexander van Hessen told Reuters.
Micaela Schaefer, a German reality TV star known for her self-professed ‘fabric allergy’ and near-nude appearances, made tabloid headlines by performing in the show as a burlesque Marilyn Monroe in a costume made entirely of artificial blonde hair.
But “Underground Catwalk” is also a forum for young Berlin designers to show more classic couture fare without paying the price for a fashion tent show, said van Hessen.
Berlin’s fashion week, which ends this the weekend, is no showcase for haute couture on the scale of Paris or Milan.
Though a strong host of young local designers have significantly raised Berlin’s fashion profile in recent years, the culture of the fashion week remains alternative and less focused on exclusive designer goods.
“We are the alternative to Berlin Fashion Week,” said von Hessen. “You wouldn’t drink champagne here, but beer or whisky.”

Since people

Posted by admin | Since people | Tags: | Sunday 15 April 2012 12:34 am

The Paris couture shows sometimes come off like a wild rampage of creativity slowed only by the odd paralytic wait as seamstresses backstage close that final seam. And then everyone returns to their black hired cars and the beetling traffic on the Rue de Rivoli until the next flash of brilliance. It has been ages since people killed off the hours between shows with a lazy, gracious lunch, a couture tradition. I smiled when a fellow journalist commended the variety of international takeout his co-workers had tasted. Personally, I like the salads at Eric Kayser, a bakery chain that opened a branch near my hotel a couple of years ago.

I did manage to go to the Ritz bar this time. It was still the same old Ritz, with the piano player and the stranded-looking tourists clasping their cocktails in a booth as a bit of air came in from the patio. I stayed for one drink.

Since couture is a cradle for extravagant clothes made individually for rich women, it’s not widely looked upon as a source of trends. A pencil skirt made of four layers of couture net (in four different gauges and colors) overwhelms any thought a copycat might have of duplicating the classic shape. It’s enough that couture refreshes your picture of fashion, and maybe, inspires you.

One pronounced change this season was the number of designers showing pants. Raf Simons kicked things off with Dior’s black cigarette pants worn with jackets or embroidered minidresses (the idea was to suggest a ball gown chopped down to look more youthful and wearable). Chanel had loads of wide-leg trousers, worn with skimmy blouses. The king of pants, Giorgio Armani, offered loosefitting velvet styles. Valentino’s opening numbers included a streamlined navy jumpsuit with slightly rounded shoulders. Jean Paul Gaultier had his share of pants, too.

Veils were ubiquitous; I lost count. But did you notice how many designers added some kind of dulled metallic belt to a coat or suit?

Patterns tended to be bold: the smack of flowers at Giambattista Valli, the patchwork at Chanel, the electric swirls at Versace, the mosaic leather embroidery at Givenchy.

But perhaps a more inspiring idea was the use of modern grids. Mr. Simons, responsible for the layered net pencil skirt, created grids in embroidery; new gray tweeds had a slight mesh pattern. Karl Lagerfeld’s many small checks and stripes were gridlocked, too.


Posted by admin | Talk | Tags: | Thursday 5 April 2012 12:32 am

Four Ways To Break Through Your Fear And Self-Doubt.

Just recently I read a post on a small business start-up blog by an entrepreneur who was selected to deliver a TED talk. Despite knowing what an amazing opportunity this was, she experienced intense fear leading up to the event and even considered some crazy excuses to get out of her commitment.

She’s certainly not alone.

As a coach and mentor who works with thousands of entrepreneurs, I often witness how people stop themselves by allowing fear and self-doubt to keep themselves ‘playing small’ in their business and their lives. The thing is, they’re often not even aware of it. Here’s what I mean… People SAY they want something very badly, that they want a change, and theoretically, that they’d do anything to get it.

But when the rubber meets the road, it’s a totally different story. For many, when it’s time to take action, they’re just not willing to take the steps or do the work that creates the result.  It’s that inner self-doubt that consistently has them questioning every single move they make in growing their business and their income.

Here are my four steps to break though that fear and self-doubt:


Posted by admin | Approach | Tags: | Tuesday 3 April 2012 12:31 am

1. Take a No-Excuses Approach
Although, some may call them “reasons”, people stop themselves all the time by using excuses. The opportunity they want so badly finally shows up, and they make excuses so as not to go forward. The biggest excuses I hear are “I don’t have enough money,” “I don’t have enough time, “I’m too busy”, “I don’t want to travel,” and the list goes on.
They use these excuses as their trap door, their escape route.
Let me ask you this—when pressed in a life or death situation, would you find the time or money? If someone you loved was trapped in a building, would you stop trying to rescue them if the front door was locked? No, of course not. You’d try the back door, then the windows, and every other possible way, right?
To achieve success, you’ve got to be willing to take the same approach with your business. Successful people are those who take a No-Excuses Approach and are willing to do what others won’t.
So, how badly do you want it? You either have excuses or you have results. Which do you choose?


Posted by admin | Comfort | Tags: | Monday 2 April 2012 12:28 am

2. Feel the Fear—But Do It Anyway
The ego creates fear to keep you small. For example, fear of rejection, fear of overwhelm, fear of humiliation, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing it all, fear of the unknown, and on and on it goes. The list is huge.
All entrepreneurs I know experience fear. What separates those who are successful and those who allow fear to hold them back is the willingness to act in spite of the fear. The best way to get over fear is to walk directly into it. It takes courage but you know what? Walking into fear is never as bad as you think it’s going to be. Instead, you’ll find it liberating.
3. Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Most people avoid discomfort like the plague.  If you want to get to the next level of your business, you’ve got to be comfortable being uncomfortable—just for a short time. Yes, it’s a little scary at first but let’s face it, it’s not going to kill you.
The question is—are you willing? Are you willing to trade short-term discomfort for long-term success? If so, are you willing to go where you have to go? Are you willing to talk to who you have to talk to? Are you willing to move for what you want? Are you willing to do what you haven’t done? Are you willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone?
Yes? Then I’ve got great news–that is when the money and opportunities show up.

Take Decisive Action

Posted by admin | Take Decisive Action | Tags: | Sunday 1 April 2012 12:27 am

4. Take Decisive Action

You can’t just wish for something. You’ve got to take action. Action is an issue of personal responsibility. It’s where you acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life and you accept that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made. Time and time again our inner self-doubt makes us question everything and keeps us from taking action when the solution shows up. This all boils down to one thing and one thing only. In plain English it’s called self-sabotage.

Widening your perspective around success starts with a decision. Once you make a decision to succeed, it’s time to commit to doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

It comes down to taking bold and decisive action toward what you say you want in your business or your life. It’s about saying YES to what’s possible for you. Saying YES to the opportunities that are divinely given to you—and then taking action. Your business, your life, your income will never be the same. I promise you that.

Back to entrepreneur, Rebekah who I mentioned in my introduction—her fear of failure and her desire to conquer that self doubt actually wound up being a driving force for success in her business. And it can for you, too.


Posted by admin | Royals,Uncategorized | Tags: | Wednesday 28 March 2012 12:23 am

Royals, Fashion Icons, Tennis Greats And Actors Show Up At Wimbledon.

While Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and other tennis champions are the main.

Attraction at Wimbledon, sometimes your eyes are pulled away from the grass courts and into the stands and boxes where you might just find Pippa Middleton, or even better, her sister Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William. This was the case at this year’s Wimbledon when the young royal couple took their seats at the Royal Box to watch the Federer-Mikhail Youhzny quarterfinals match last July 4. The Duchess sported the Alexander McQueen nautical-inspired knitted dress she wore during her and her husband’s visit to Canada. The week before, her royal parents-in-law Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, watched Federer outpower and outplay the Italian Fabio Fognini.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour made a stop at the All England Club before the Paris haute couture collections to catch a Federer match. A regular fixture in the Swiss champion’s box, Wintour wore a fall 2012 coat dress with a geometric print from Prada. Style icon and musician Grace Jones was also spotted on the grounds wearing a printed hooded jacket with one of her signature hats. Model turned actress Brooklyn Decker was there to support her husband Andy Roddick, who lost to David Ferrer in the third round.
Other celebrities who so far have lent their boldfaced mugs to this year’s Wimbledon included Dustin Hoffman, tennis legends Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi and Stefi Graf, billionaire Richard Branson and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. With two days to go until the tournament ends, check out which celebrities have already caught a tennis game or two at this year’s Wimbledon in the slideshow.


Posted by admin | Stars | Tags: | Thursday 22 March 2012 12:23 am

Oops, they did it again. They cut the shirt too short and outed our jiggle, signaling an end to America’s prolonged cupcake binge.
In 1999, it took a schoolgirl and her harem of backup dancers to put the crop top in closets of tween girls across the country. A 17-year-old Britney Spears exposed her taut tummy and inspired an influx of ab-centric trends. Extra-low-rise jeans. Belly bling. Salamander henna tattoos curling around studded navels.
Over a decade later, abdomens are again on display, except by now, teen queens have aged into wiser 20-somethings.And pop stars such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry and Rihanna are resurrecting a milder version of midriff exposure, no crunches required. Even actresses Rooney Mara and Gwyneth Paltrow are flashing four inches of flesh directly above the navel.
“This midriff is different than the one of a decade ago,” said Lourdes Font, a historian and professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “The previous trend was borderline disgusting, so extreme that pants barely covered the lower body. Now, fashion is anchoring the waistline at the natural waist, and it’s shifting our eyes above the navel. It’s much more elegant.”
And modest.
In the early 2000s, the bare midriff became the polarizing bellwether of Middle American morals, banned from classrooms across the country. But stomachs weren’t always such controversial sights.
In 1932, the first hint of the midriff appeared on an evening gown created by French designer Madeleine Vionnet, now part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Font thought the gown would have inspired controversy or at least coverage in fashion publications such as American Vogue, but it was largely ignored at the time.
“It may have been considered beyond the pale or too experimental, but by the ’40s, there were many examples of evening dresses with cutouts,” Font said.

American actresses

Posted by admin | American actresses | Tags: | Tuesday 20 March 2012 12:16 am

American actresses then flaunted their bellies in film. In the 1930s, Betty Grable wore midriff-exposing evening gowns in studio photo shoots. Lauren Bacall, too, showed a few inches of tummy flesh in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not.
Abdomen-baring sportswear became the norm, too. Vogue first reported on “brassiere bathing suits” in 1932, spotted on the beaches of the Italian Riviera. By the mid-’40s, women tied up their blouses at pools across the country, exposing modern two-piece swimsuits and making way for the bikini.
Alluring and practical, the midriff wouldn’t become a symbol of sexual freedom until the late 1960s. On television, however, navels were taboo. Barbara Eden, who played the magical servant in I Dream of Jeannie, wore the pants of her magenta costume above her belly button to ward off censors on network television.
Singers adopted the trend in the ’70s. Cher and Chaka Khan bared their midriffs with bell-bottoms onstage. In the ’80s, Madonna exposed hers (and much more) while wearing her infamous cone bra, further sexualizing the look. After fashion adopted low-rise jeans in the ’90s, popularized by a waifish Kate Moss in Calvin Klein ads, the midriff, oddly enough, promoted the boyish, stick-straight silhouette still popular in fashion today.
But raising the waistline means a resurrection of the hourglass figure. Font hopes that this incarnation of belly madness will lead to a meatier, healthier shape for women and the fashion industry.
“You can’t emphasize the natural waist of a woman without curves,” Font said. “This extreme skinniness in fashion was always unsustainable. I hope these new proportions lead to curvier hips, actual breasts, an ideal body that exists in nature.”
Take heart, America. The cupcakes can stay.

New Exhibition

Posted by admin | New Exhibition | Tags: | Tuesday 6 March 2012 10:27 pm

Iconic James Bond Fashion On Display In New Exhibition

Daniel Craig’s swimming shorts make it into exhibit…

Forget the guns, girls and Martinis our recurring memory from the last fifty years of Bond has got to be Daniel Craig’s tight blue trunks. And now 007 fans have the chance to get up close and personal to Daniel’s smalls and other iconic fashion pieces from the movie series.
A new exhibition opening at the Barbican Centre in London today showcases the film franchise’s “huge impact” on fashion. ‘Designing 007′ has been curated by Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming and fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave.
Bronwyn explained the inspiration behind the exhibit to Vogue:
“The impact of Bond on fashion is huge,”
“Designers are always ready to create costumes for Bond films because of their global appeal. What Bond and his female sidekicks wear is endlessly copied.”
Aside from Daniel’s ‘Casino Royale’ shorts, other famous pieces have made the exhibit including Halle Berry’s orange bikini from ‘Die Another Day’ and Ursula Andress’ iconic bikini from ‘Dr. No’.
Bond’s famous suits are also represented as well as designer dresses worn by Bond girls and designed by fashion royalty like Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy.
Bronwyn has her own personal favourite:
“The Conduit Cut suit by Anthony Sinclair – which Sean Connery wore debuting as Bond in ‘Dr. No’, and with slight modifications through his tenure as Bond is, to me, the men’s equivalent of a Chanel suit. Fifty years after the film’s release it remains an Anthony Sinclair best-seller and is endlessly copied,”
“We are working with David Mason, who is now the proprietor of Anthony Sinclair, and he has kindly had a Connery-style Conduit Cut suit made for us to display – as well as a tuxedo in the style which Connery wore in ‘Dr. No’.”

Review website

Posted by admin | Review website | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 1:38 pm

Daily Review website to begin charging fee

The Daily Review will begin charging a subscription fee to view most content on its website,

Using a fee structure known as the “metered model,” the first 10 stories viewed over a 30-day period will be free. After that, readers will be asked to subscribe to view more stories.

Subscribers to the print edition of The Daily Review may purchase unlimited access to the site, including stories, photos, videos, reader comments, databases and other content for $2.99 a month, or $19.99 annually. Those without print subscriptions may purchase unlimited access for $6.99 a month.

The Review’s current online Pay Volunteers will receive a free 6-month online subscription.

Charging for online access is an industry trend to gain revenue to support the expense of reporting the news.

“After years of giving it away on the Web, we’re going to begin charging a nominal price for our trusted news, which costs us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to produce,” said Grig Zela, publisher of The Daily & Sunday Review. “For pennies a day, Web readers will be able to access the most complete news reporting available in our surrounding counties, including investigative, lifestyle, sports and photo features they have come to expect on a daily basis.”

Web readers can still get the gist of the news with free access to our home page, obituaries, classified ads and blogs, as well as any 10 articles a month they choose to read.

Review Editor Kelley Andras, added that, “The Review is keeping pace with changes happening everywhere in the newspaper industry. We’re committed to bringing our readers choices and innovation with our online news coverage. On our website, look for more breaking news, exclusive features and online-only photo galleries. As in our print edition, our goal is to bring our readers the best local coverage in this area.”

Online break-ups

Posted by admin | Online break-ups | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 1:35 pm

Online break-ups

So many relationships begin online. Now they’re also ending – messily, publicly – on the net, aided by a raft of sites that facilitate dishing the dirt post-break-up

Once my best friend and I were dumped at the same time. It was a Friday. That night my shoe broke on the dancefloor and she was sick in a leather glove on the cab journey home. On the Saturday we lay in the dark at my parents’ house and watched Gosford Park. It was an ugly weekend, and looking back, it future-spoiled Downton Abbey for us, too, so: double bad. But I was dumped, and it took ages, and at times it felt like my throat had been replaced with sodden bungee cords and my heart with a hard-boiled egg, but I dealt with it. And I’m glad I was dumped before social networking crystallised, shell-like, over our lives, because however painful it was, the experience seems now quite pure.

Break-ups today are torturous, a series of online tasks that drip through the broken gutter of your grief. Instead of lying still and doing nothing, as was the case in my Gosford Park day, contemporary break-ups require action. You have to unfriend your ex, unfollow them, remove them from your circles, your Magic Numbers, your Gchat list. Acknowledging the fact that so many relationships begin online, and the digital admin that goes into ending them, there are sites that exist purely for the afterwards – post-dating sites, if you will. My current favourites are WotWentWrong, which allows dumpees to hassle their dumpers for answers via a third party (the dumper provides their reasons for not calling them back, and the site sends the dumpee advice on how to do better next time), and NeverLikedItAnyway, a sort of eBay for the stuff that remains after a relationship dies, a ranty marketplace of engagement rings and I Wuv You teddies. Both sites exist in that agonising no man’s land of feeling where the constant hum of heartbreak, like feedback from a faulty amp, adds significance to every mention of their name; both feed the need to talk about it.

The first site acts as a neutral Paddy McGuinness in Take Me Out mode, asking potential suitors why they’ve turned their lights off. It’s formalised stalking. It’s a kick in the balls of 2004’s He’s Just Not That Into You. But why must every encounter be assessed? Who’s to say this guy you once shared the second cheapest bottle of wine with (largely, if you’re being honest, just because you liked his veiny arms) has any great insight into your failings? It reminds me of the problem with those makeover shows where a woman is paraded in front of judgemental strangers – that exhausting and endless validation of the male gaze – but this time it’s digital. The second site offers a different kind of relief for dumpees. There’s something to be said for break-up brutality, for telling the story of your split to the whole of the internet – this site feeds that need. I like that your screamy rant become a sales pitch. Beccey0609 writes: “I tried on this dress and fell in love!” discussing her “Never Been Worn Wedding Dress, break-up price $400″. “Unfortunately my relationship ended due to the fact that he was a cheater.” Cuddles, Beccey0609.

There used to be ways of disappearing. You could let the phone ring out. You could stop drinking in a certain pub. No more. We are all permanently on call. Our cars are always in the driveway. And the degrees of separation have got littler – we are now forever a single click away from an ex. But instead of trying to return to a pre-digital age, to delete them from your timeline, could it in fact be helpful to do as these new sites do, and weld your heart back together online? There are new rules, of course. Be wary of scrolling too far back on their profile page, through their drunken whoops, through the silent evenings, back to where they still fancied you. Beware of constructing your own narrative of an ex’s new life from the twigs they offer on Facebook. Acknowledge that the face they present to the world seems unrecognisable because this is the face everyone else sees, not the one you remember from across an Ikea pillow. This is how we split up now. It’s a broadband break-up. This is the new upset reality. But we’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.


Posted by admin | China | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 1:12 pm

In China, railing against the rail system

The online train ticketing introduced to shorten long lines was hurt by quirky Internet service.

Twenty hours on a train. Standing room only. No access to a bathroom.

The Chinese have no shortage of indignities to complain about when it comes to traveling home on the nation’s overburdened rail network come spring-festival season.

But it is the country’s new online train-ticketing system that has sparked the indignation of the traveling masses in the run-up to the Year of the Dragon.

Introduced several months ago in an effort to reduce long ticket queues, the website instead buckled under the annual Lunar New Year crush as an estimated 250 million Chinese scramble to get home last month before the national holiday started.

Chief among complaints was that the site’s booking service suffered from long bouts of unresponsiveness. Web users described trying to log on hundreds of times, to no avail. Others reported successfully logging on only to find the tickets they wanted sold out minutes after they were made available.

“I had to refresh the screen many times to get tickets. The website was really bad,” said Annie Lu, 21, a college student standing outside Beijing Railway Station, where thousands of travelers had gathered under the din of a public-address system blaring the revolutionary song “The East Is Red.”

Lu, traveling with a friend to the coastal city of Qinhuangdao in neighboring Hebei province, had scored a ticket online for a “hard seat” – the cheapest possible perch at about $30, notorious for its unforgiving uprightness and inexplicably dense padding.

“A lot of my classmates said they tried the website but failed to get tickets,” she said.

It was a bruising Year of the Rabbit for the Ministry of Railways, one of China’s least popular bureaucracies. The agency’s chief was fired in last February amid allegations of corruption. In July, 40 people were killed after an accident on the nation’s showcase high-speed rail line.

Though the ministry is investing heavily to expand its rail network, it apparently didn’t do enough to bolster its Internet service.

Its website, (a reference to the ministry’s phone hotline in the pre-Internet age), reportedly received a billion visits a day the first week of January, crippling its server.

The number of visits to the site Jan. 9 alone was equal to 0.04 percent of Internet page views globally that day, according to Alexa, an online statistics site. That was when train tickets were made available for Jan. 21, the last day before Lunar New Year’s Eve, when Chinese families share a banquet and set off fireworks.

Critics say the new system has made it even tougher for China’s poorest and least-educated workers to snag coveted train tickets. Buying a seat online requires an e-banking account and access to a computer or smartphone – still rarities among the migrants who toil as construction laborers, custodians, and maids in urban areas.

One migrant worker garnered national media attention for writing an open letter to railway officials venting anger at how difficult it was for him and his coworkers to get home. In the missive, Huang Qinghong, 37, a driver at a hardware factory, likened buying a train ticket to winning the lottery.

“Even if there are tickets left, we still have to have something called ‘online banking’ to make a payment,” he wrote. “We are factory workers, not white-collar workers. How . . . do we know how to open that?”

The Wenzhou Metropolis News, the first newspaper to publish his letter, eventually bought Huang an airline ticket to get home to Chongqing in western China.

At the Beijing Railway Station, Yang Shengshu wasn’t as lucky. The carpenter, 51, faced at least a 13-hour journey to the western Chinese city of Yinchuan on a $25 “standing room” ticket, the only seat available by the time he bought his ticket at the counter. “I’m just not familiar with how to book tickets online,” Yang said.

Rail officials defended the system, saying it reduced by a third the number of people who had to wait in line. Nearly 90 million train tickets were sold between Dec. 28 and Jan. 13, a period considered the busiest for bookings.

Ten million were sold online, 11 million were sold over the telephone, and the remainder were sold in person at ticket booths. An estimated 235 million train tickets are expected to be sold during the spring-festival period, up 6.1 percent from last year.

“We have to acknowledge that despite all of our efforts, it remains an acute problem in buying a train ticket,” said Hu Yadong, vice minister of railways.

However, a new rule that requires ticket buyers to register with their national identification card is credited with squeezing out scalpers.

Free Online Dating

Posted by admin | Free Online Dating | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 1:06 pm

On the other hand, an online dating site lives or dies based on the attempts it makes to make its users feel safe and secure, and Mills believes that many sites make the mistake of trying to offer an online dating service for free. If you can make it affordable, he says, it’s to everyone’s benefit, because it boosts the quality of the service offered and helps to keep out unsavory types. ( Dating costs $20 a month.)

And to that point, has made it their mission to monitor activity on the site, and the team keeps a close eye on suspicious activity, flagging users for abnormal behavior, and booting them if necessary. In fact, recently flagged a user for setting up what looked to be a fake profile, and when they contacted the owner, they found that the profile was created by none other than (It’s always a good sign when your nominal competitors are setting up profiles on your site to “check it out.”)

While Nerve Dating costs $20 a month, users can respond to messages they receive for free, unlike many other sites. The idea here is to encourage people to interact with each other, to socialize, and reach out, but initial messages are kept to a Twitter-length 141 characters, with the idea being that this takes the pressure off and is a little more casual.

Nerve also has a “Last Night” feature, which Mills says is a bit like a checkin, in that users are encouraged to write what they did the night before. And, on that note, an additional perk is that Mills says that he’s enlisted some of the writers at The Onion to pen questions about culture and what users were up to last night.

The site will also soon be introducing something which is now internally called “The Like Machine,” which will enable the site to create virtual affinity groups, and help daters meet other people who are interested in similar music, books, and so on. The topics and categories that you follow will show up on your profile, and the site will also be hosting a database of categories people can search through to find users with similar interest graphs. The site also has a “Notice Him/Her” function, which is akin to “poking” someone on Facebook, a nonverbal expression of interest.

Building a profile on dating sites can be excruciating, and this is designed to make that process easier, as few people enjoy creating their own personal statements for dating websites. The process is awkward to say the least. When I asked Mills if the team had plans to establish Facebook connect or allow users to pull in their other social profiles, he said that, interestingly, dating sites that implement Facebook Connect have seen a 50 percent drop in signups. This seems to be evidence that, while people want their dating lives to be social, it’s all about discovering new people, they don’t want to be followed by their social graphs, people want to be anonymous. Though Mills is open to potentially integrating with Spotify, or GoodReads — sites that would enable people to share personal information without porting their entire social profiles. is also hoping to leverage the community its created around its lifestyle and culture publication, hosting live events for people to mingle and hang out, to facilitate yet another opportunity for users to move their online identities into the real world.

Innovating in online dating is tricky, and seems to be off to a great start by giving people a more casual platform through which to interact and meet new people. It’s a tough nut to crack, but check them out at home here, and let us know what you think. (Oh, and mobile apps are in the works.)

Readers interested in testing out the site can get two free weeks on by registering here.

Dating sites

Posted by admin | Dating sites | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 1:03 pm

Nerve Dating Re-Launches To Put The Humanity (And Humor) Back In Online Dating

Last year, Nick Paumgarten wrote an interesting article for The New Yorker that detailed the rise of online dating and the effects it’s had on web culture. What struck me most were some of the eye-opening statistics he shared about the size and popularity of the industry, beginning with the fact that fee-based dating sites have become, collectively, a billion-dollar industry — that “one in six new marriages is the result of meetings on Internet dating site.” What’s more, online dating is now the third most common way for people to meet.

It’s clear that much of the early blush (read: stigma) around using online platforms to meet new people and pursue relationships has worn off. But anyone who’s spent any time on dating websites knows that plenty of friction still exists, whether it be in the awkwardness of online-to-offline interaction, the inherent dangers of meeting an eStranger, or the problem of having to rely on algorithms and science to find your perfect “match.” As much as dating sites strive to find a scientific method (or a more efficient way) by which to introduce us to the loves of our lives, many of them still feel impersonal and gimmicky, and, as Paumgarten points out in his article, it’s for this reason that online dating remains an isolating pursuit.

Sean Mills, the CEO of Nerve Dating, agrees that online dating today still feels like a search for the best deals on airline tickets. It seems as if, in playing online games, we go to buy more missiles, and in doing so suddenly find out that we’re the proud member of an online dating community.

Dating sites will do anything to attract new customers, promising true love, infinite happiness, and walls filled with fewer cat pictures. And thus, people are itching for a better way to meet their match, and they’re no longer content with an industry where the prevailing methodology for introducing us to other humans is based on these gimmicks, or on pseudoscience, robot matchmakers, and the deployment of virtual fruit, as Mills said in his introductory letter to the Nerve community.

In 1997, Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field launched a website and eMag dedicated to sex, relationships, and culture called Nerve. After spending eight years as president of everyone’s favorite satirical news source, The Onion, Sean Mills took over as the chief exec at Nerve, looking to bring the same brand loyalty and affinity people had for The Onion to Nerve’s community of sex-addicted readers. Early on, Nerve was defined by some amazing editorial content, boosted by contributions from writers like Jonathan Lethem, Chuck Palahniuk, and Joyce Carol Oates (to name a few), and it evolved into one of the few early success stories of New York’s Silicon Alley.

Created as an online sex magazine that both men and women could enjoy — a less raunchy, more highbrow Penthouse, with broad appeal — Nerve has since become a site dedicated more broadly to love and culture. Having witnessed the success of The Onion’s dating site firsthand, which capitalizes on a more relaxed and humorous approach to online dating, Mills officially re-launched Nerve Dating in New York in December as an extension of the existing site.

Because Nerve already had a loyal readership and fanbase (about 2 million monthly uniques), there was a readymade audience for Nerve Dating, making it easier, Mills says, to reach critical mass. When creating a new dating website (or really any other consumer-facing web business), scale is one of the biggest challenges, and online dating really doesn’t work unless there is a crowd of people on the site ready for love. Nerve Dating already has over 10,000 users, and Mills says that the team is already hearing success stories.

Today, the team is launching Nerve Dating in San Francisco, with plans to continue rolling out across the U.S. The main thrust of Nerve’s bi-costal dating service is to create a platform that “celebrates individual voices,” without the taxonomy inherent to dating websites that tends to lump people into categories so that matching technology can do the heavy lifting.

As Mills tells us, the challenge facing the users of online dating sites is not so much in figuring out whether you like someone (people are already pretty good at doing that on their own), but simply in starting the conversation. Walking across the room to introduce yourself to someone you don’t already know? Gulp. That can be challenging, and it’s something that sites like Commonred identify with, as they attempt to meld the meetup and “new people” discovery space, inhabited by startups like Sonar, Meetup, and LetsLunch, with professional networking sites/apps like Branchout and Hashable.

Just as Shaker launched to bring a fun, interesting way to socialize on Facebook, Nerve is trying to make dating more like an enjoyable cocktail party, something that’s more natural and casual than an awkward blind date.

Thus, on Nerve, users can actively share their thoughts and opinions about restaurants, bars, movies, music, and books, and are instantly introduced to other people who enjoy the same things. Mills equates it to seeing someone at a bar who’s wearing a t-shirt with your favorite band on it — this makes it much easier to approach them and strike up a conversation.

Online Free Dating

Posted by admin | Online Free Dating | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 1:00 pm

Illinois Laws Would Regulate Online Dating

Bills have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly that would require online dating services to increase safety transparency by clearly specifying to members whether they do background checks on their clients.

State Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, introduced a bill into the Senate, stating, “the [dating] service shall disclose whether it has a policy allowing a member who has been identified as having a criminal conviction to have access to its service to communicate with any Illinois member.”

State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, introduced this similar bill to the House last week. Both bills would require online dating services to make some changes to how they interact with their customers, under the threat of consumer fraud charges at a cost of $100,000.

The Tribune writes:

Dating services that say they do background checks would need to search government databases such as criminal court records and sex offender registries. Sites also would have to say what they do when they find someone with a record, including whether they allow such a person to be in the company’s dating pool.

Rep. Jim Sacia, a former FBI agent, told the Tribune he’d oppose the latest version unless online dating services committed to having high-quality background checks. “My greatest fear would be the false sense of security,” said Rep. Sacia, R-Pecatonica.

Dating sites would also be required to post online dating safety tips. We were able to find those tips already posted on Both check their membership for sex offenders. A website called even turns away married people, in addition to checking both state and county crime databases.

online dating scammers

Posted by admin | online dating scammers | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:57 pm

Beware of online dating scammers looking to swindle you out of cash

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and some consumers are banking on online dating as a way to hatch a serious relationship. Unfortunately, some fraud artists are also banking on online dating as a way to scam people out of their money.

Relationship scams, also known as sweetheart swindles, often follow this pattern:

You meet someone on a dating site and things get serious. You send messages, talk on the phone, trade pictures and maybe even make marriage plans. Soon you find out the person you met, who claimed to be an American professional, is going to Nigeria or another country for work. Once he or she is there, that person needs your help, asking you to wire money.

The first transfer may be small, but it’s followed by requests for more. You’re told your money is needed to cover costs for a sudden illness, surgery for a son or daughter, or for a plane ticket back to the United States. The promise is always to pay you back. You even might get documents or calls from lawyers as “proof.”

But as genuine as the relationship and requests for money might seem, they’re part of an elaborate scam. The money that was wired – and the person you thought you knew and loved – will be gone.

“These relationship scams are often a long, drawn-out process where the con artist nurtures a relationship, then convinces the victim to send money,” Commerce and Insurance’s Consumer Affairs Director Gary Cordell said. “These scammers have been known to steal the real names and photos of U.S. service personnel to set up a fake profile, and prey on the sympathy and patriotism of victims. They also have also been known to use religious singles sites, using religion as a ploy to gain trust before asking for money. Any time someone you’ve never met in person asks for money, it’s usually a warning sign that something isn’t right.”

“Always use caution and common sense when dealing with someone you haven’t met in person,” Cordell said. “Never wire money to someone you meet online, no matter how compelling their story or how strong their appeal to your emotions might be.”

Signs that you may be dealing with a scammer:

The pictures posted on the person’s profile mostly seem to be professional quality model images, instead of candid pictures from a person’s everyday life. If a picture looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The online companion professes love way too early in your interaction with him or her.
You are asked to send money for gifts, a sick relative or a plane ticket to the U.S.
The person claims to be a U.S. citizen working in another country, claims to be well off or a person of important status.
The person makes excuses about not being able to speak by phone.
The person’s writing includes frequent spelling or grammar mistakes.

Proceed with caution with online dating. Even if you use only dating sites whose reputations are well-established, still keep your wits about you.

Dating Services

Posted by admin | Dating Services | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:55 pm

Dating Services Reviews Finds The Best Online Dating Sites For Single Dates Now

With so many online dating choices out there, it was hard for a single person to choose which online dating site to use. Dating Service Reviews now makes the choice a lot easier by offering reviews of the best online dating sites.

Their website offers a chart with details on the top five online dating sites. The chart includes an overview of the online dating sites’ best features, editor reviews, number of members, customer feedback and current promotions. Dating Service Reviews also offers their own online dating site scores.

The website offers free trial offers for some of the top dating website.

Right now the top ranking site is It scores high because the subscription fee is lower than many sites, it has excellent search options, it has a diverse selection of members, it offers mobile access and it comes with a six month guarantee.

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Online Dating

Posted by admin | Online Dating | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:51 pm

State urged to lower risks of online dating

If Shannon Showalter turned to the Internet to find love today, she’d like to know whether the men posting profiles had undergone background checks.

“It has become such a popular thing, and there are a lot of weirdos out there,” said Showalter, a 32-year-old from northwest suburban Lakewood who met the man she married on

It’s that lingering need for some measure of assurance that lawmakers in Illinois and across the nation are seeking to address.

Legislation that’s surfaced in Springfield would require online dating services operating in Illinois to post prominently and repeatedly on their websites whether they do background checks on clients.

If approved, the Illinois measure would go beyond disclosure laws already in place in a handful of states like Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry signed a similar bill last year before launching his Republican presidential bid.

The issue of safety in online dating is more than academic, a point buttressed by cases pending in Cook County.

In one, a North Side public relations executive who used a dating site to meet women for drinks was accused in September of sexually assaulting two of his dates, one in a Lincoln Park parking garage.

In a 2010 case, a California transplant who took up residence on Lake Shore Drive stands accused of bilking $225,000 from a Wilmette widow he met online and allegedly wooed with false promises of high-yield investments. Before he was accused of stealing her money, he was accused of taking millions of dollars from celebrities and professional athletes.

Not everyone, of course, will have a track record of bad behavior that would pop up in a background check. The North Side man accused of being a rapist, for example, had no prior record, according to authorities, but the other man had a record of securities charges that might have been detected.

Despite meeting several successful women, former online dater Al Martinez of northwest suburban Inverness said he supports the legislation because he’s heard too many bad stories. “It’s just too easy to go south,” said Martinez, 54.

Jonathan and Karrah Cambry are unsure of the need for government intervention. The Chicago couple Googled each other before turning their dating site flirtation into a face-to-face situation. They dated for more than a year and got married in October.

She is wary of how invasive the legislation might be, suggesting a crime committed during someone’s youth could unfairly keep them off the site.

The Illinois measure would force dating sites to disclose to customers whether they run criminal background checks before users can start contacting potential dates.

Dating services that say they do background checks would need to search government databases such as criminal court records and sex offender registries. Sites also would have to say what they do when they find someone with a record, including whether they allow such a person to be in the company’s dating pool.

In addition, the sites would need to post a variety of safety tips, ranging from warnings that background checks are not foolproof to suggestions not to put a home address on the website. Many sites already post such advice.

Companies that fail to follow the requirements — or that say they do background checks when they don’t — would violate state laws against consumer fraud and deceptive business practices. Each violation would carry a potential fine of up to $50,000.

Six years ago, a similar push to provide a modicum of regulation to online dating sites passed the Illinois House and then stalled.

Now Sen. Ira Silverstein is taking a crack at passing the measure in the Senate. Silverstein acknowledged the bill isn’t foolproof, but argued the legislation has merit because it would set up a new level of consumer protection with dating sites.

“They’re offering a service,” said Silverstein, D-Chicago. “There should be some due diligence.”

In the House, Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, introduced a similar bill this week.

Rep. Jim Sacia, a former FBI agent, said he would oppose the latest version unless online dating services committed to having high-quality background checks performed by law enforcement authorities like the state police or FBI.

“My greatest fear would be the false sense of security,” said Sacia, R-Pecatonica.

At least two nationally known services, and eHarmony, screen subscribers against public sex offender registries. Doing so has helped eHarmony keep many known offenders off its site, the company said in a statement., another major dating service, says it runs even more thorough background checks on applicants, searching state and county databases for felony and sex offense convictions. The site turns away about 2 percent of potential customers because they are convicted felons, sex offenders or married, company president Ruben Buell said.


Posted by admin | Glamour | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:49 pm

Glamour 1000 Men Survey Reveals Money, Sex, Relationship Thoughts

The headline-grabbing finding of Glamour magazine’s annual “1000 Men” survey released online Monday was that 31 percent of men admitted to masturbating at work. The other findings, while not as, well, gross, provide some noteworthy insights into the male brain circa 2012.

“Once you get past the sort of OMG sexual statistics, it’s actually [surprising] how relatively enlightened guys are,” Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive told The Huffington Post. This survey “is different from the first ones the magazine did in the ’90s. Here you have a generation of guys pretty unfazed if hit on by a gay friend or acquaintance. The vast majority are totally fine voting for a woman for president, not that into the whole breast implant thing, and have also taken on some sort of traditionally female grooming ritual, which I think we can agree is a good thing for the world.”

In other words, Leive said, “The American guy is not hopeless,” but the survey “did make me stock up on Purell for the office.”

For more on what men absolutely don’t want women to joke about, which male fashion trends they would try, their favorite sex position and more, check out the full survey.

Thirty-six percent of men surveyed said their biggest fear was poverty, compared with 23 percent who said their greatest fear was death. Almost as many men (31 percent) cited money as the thing they think about most each day as answered sex (38 percent), and 46 percent said that when they’re hesitant to commit to a relationship, it’s because they want to be making more money before they settle down.

Cindi Leive, Glamour editor-in-chief, said she thinks this preoccupation “is definitely the recession talking. These are guys for whom poverty is not some abstract hypothetical thing.”

It’s not terribly surprising, then, that 84 percent said they wouldn’t be bothered if their wives or girlfriends made $100,000 more than they did.

“These days how crazy would you have to be to be offended by a woman out-earning you?” Leive asked.

U.S. Dating Services

Posted by admin | U.S. Dating Services | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:47 pm

Market Research: U.S. Dating Services Market Reached $2.1 Billion

This U.S. dating services market is a now a $2.1 billion business, with online dating services soaring in popularity since 2001 and representing 53% of the market’s value. The Web has revolutionized this business and has brought affordable and convenient matchmaking to the masses. But, dating website revenues are expected to grow only 7.5% this year as the U.S. market becomes saturated with 1,500+ sites and free dating sites and competition from popular social networking sites attracts cost-conscious singles. Europe is the next untapped market. Matchmakers are posting moderate growth, but off-line chains and radio datelines and print personals continue to slide. Speed dating continues to do well, along with certain niche markets.

The study examines: market size/forecasts and segments from 1994 to 2015 Forecast. Separate in-depth chapters cover: Dating Websites, Dating Service Chains with physical offices, Independent Matchmakers and Dating Coaches, Radio Datelines, Print Personals, Phone Chat Lines, and Singles Publications.

The study examines how dating services operate-typical revenues/fees/profits, negative image problems and sometimes unethical sales practices. Moreover, the report includes detailed profiles of the top matchmakers/dating coaches in the U.S., singles demographics, factors affecting demand, latest Census data/national & state operating ratios. Competitor profiles for: eLove (Together/The Right One), Great Expectations,, eHarmony, Meetic, It’s Just Lunch, Yahoo Personals, Plenty of Fish, Singlesnet, PerfectMatch,, Friendfinder Networks, Teligence, Qwest Personals, Lavalife, The Matchmaking Institute, Spark Networks and more.


Posted by admin | Facebook | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:44 pm

Facebook IPO: An Open Letter To Mark Zuckerberg

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Congratulations are definitely in order. That S-1 filing for Facebook’s IPO was filled with impressive numbers: $3.7 billion in revenue last year, $1 billion in earnings, and $3.9 billion in the bank account.

There was one number that really caught my eye though:


Zero is the number of women listed on Facebook’s Board of Directors.

What I want to know is why?

Many studies show that companies with high percentages of women on the Board perform far better than companies without women on the Board. In fact, the Fortune 500 companies with the highest percentage of female directors have a 62 percent higher return on invested capital than companies with the lowest percentages of female directors, according to one article outlining the business case for women on Boards.

Surely you know the value of women in leadership positions, since Sheryl Sandberg has helped elevate Facebook to unprecedented success. Have you asked her what she thinks about women being shut out of the Boardroom at Facebook? I’d also like to remind you that women make up 58 percent of your users.

In your letter submitted with the IPO filing, you said your goal is “to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future.” I challenge you to walk the walk and amplify the voices of women and other minorities by fighting to elect them to Facebook’s Board of Directors. We can’t transform society and leave women behind.

Dating Advice

Posted by admin | Dating Advice | Tags: | Sunday 5 February 2012 12:40 pm

Dating Advice: Don’t Be the Disappearing Date

Have you heard of the disappearing date? The one that’s great for some dinners and after hours fun, and then — poof! — he’s gone? My happy hours lately have been consumed with this same tale.

I don’t know what happened, my friends tell me, one after the other, making my heart ache beside them, as hurt drips down their watery eyes. Why did he stop calling? What went wrong?

I’ll tell you what went wrong: The guy’s a jerk.

But more seriously, he’s a bad communicator. And it’s easier to avoid the awkward conversation than to face it, simpler to forget about it than discuss why it’s over.

Frankly, I’ve seen a lot of my girlfriends play the same game. I once spent an hour on the phone with a friend trying to convince her to at least text the guy that you’re not interested when she was ready to write some poor man off completely without any writing (or talking) at all.

What’s going on in the dating world that it’s become acceptable to just disappear? Why is it, in a time when it’s easier than ever to get in touch with someone — and do so with comfortable distance — that people are opting out entirely?

It seems that in our age of informality — one where we’ve transformed dating from ceremonious affairs with boys from school to relaxed hangouts with people we hardly know, we’ve lost all measure of common courtesy. The rigid lines drawn by old fashioned dating customs have been re-drawn, leaving closure somewhere sulking on the sidewalk.

I asked that same friend of mine why she was so willing to pretend that the dates never happened — and that the guy never existed. She said quite simply that she didn’t think she owed him anything. “You don’t understand,” she told me. “You’ve always been in relationships with people that you care about. Dating is different.”

So my friend had a point, but missed the main one. True, my dating experience is a bit atypical — I’ve been in an almost unbroken chain of serious relationships since I was 17 — but whether you know the guy well or only met him once, the bottom line is that we’re all just human beings with feelings, and we don’t want those feelings hurt. And if our feelings will be hurt anyway, wouldn’t we prefer to be let down directly rather than be abandoned to the no-man’s-land of bewildering, unspoken rejection?

No one wants to desperately rewind and replay, in slow motion, each word and touch — grasping for the moment that set this budding (or already blooming) relationship off course. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned “another” dinner? Perhaps he hated our kiss? Reels of tape whirl by, each framed by question marks.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating brutal honesty here. Surely there are varying degrees of appropriate communication. Parting ways after an unremarkable dinner date warrants a plain expression of disinterest in any future and no more. But a date — or many — that involve emotional or physical intimacy require conversations of a different character.

I have trouble wrapping my head around the insensitivity necessary to shirk away from this polite goodbye. I can’t imagine being too shy, lazy, or inconsiderate to leave someone hanging, creating an empty unknowable hole to be forever filled with confusion. Though I’m admittedly on the more the merrier end of the communication spectrum — ask my husband, he’ll tell you it’s my favorite pastime — I just can’t seem to grasp even the possibility of vanishing.

So, whether you get into the why of the break up or not is your call (and certainly one to be exercised with caution and care), but my point is this: closure is important. At the very least, send a text, call or email to rescue your certain someone from the murky waters in which he would otherwise be left deserted. Communication is King — and Queen. So treat it accordingly.