The Biggest Celebrity Break-Ups of 2016

When I was a kid, my Nonno used to read the obituaries and birth announcements to see the “Who’s a comin’ and who’s a goin.”

For the second episode of Boys Don’t Like Funny Girls, we’re looking at the biggest celebrity break-ups, deaths, weddings and babies of 2016.

 

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Podcast Ep 1: Christmas Extravaganza

It’s almost Christmas!

On the first episode of Boys Don’t Like Funny Girls: The Podcast, we’re talking all things Christmas related: Music, movies and presents.

From Hanson’s Snowed In, to Love Actually, The Family Stone to Italian Fishmas, it’s all here.

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Eating Disorders & The Holidays: Advice From a Former Anorexic

This post previously appeared on my blog Honestly, Libby in November of 2015. In preparation of the holidays, I decided to re-post in hopes that someone might find it valuable. 

This week, I’ve seen a number of articles circulating the internet with tips to help navigate/survive the holidays when you have an eating disorder. This particular topic struck a chord with me, having struggled with both anorexia and bulimia since I was 9 years old.

Living with an eating disorder was, and still is emotionally exhausting. Although I’m older and living mostly in recovery, I remember being in constant fear of gaining weight, and trying to suppress hunger on a minute to minute basis.
Although everyday with an eating disorder was difficult, it became increasingly hard to manage my fear and anxiety during the holidays. I followed a strict diet, and at the height of my illness, the idea of being around food or even watching other people eating was terrifying for me. I would often decline invitations to family dinners or parties with friends to avoid straying from my routine and leaving the safety of my house.
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At Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, my appearance and eating habits were often a topic of discussion. In an Italian family, it was an insult not to eat the food prepared for you. I would sit with my family, and try to deflect their pleas for me to eat something. At one point during my eating disorder, if I did give in to their coaxing, I would begin to binge. I’d eat plate after plate of food, and then excuse myself and go to the bathroom to purge. I’d come back to the table, help myself to dessert, and continue the cycle for the rest of the night. There would be times a family member would try to stop me from going to the bathroom and sternly ask me, “Not to ruin the holiday.”
With the holiday season approaching, I thought I would compile a list of suggestions based on my own experiences* to help those with eating disorders and their families navigate the holiday season.
If You Have an Eating Disorder …
Schedule extra appointments  
If you have an eating disorder, you know first hand the anxiety of having to attend holiday parties and family dinners. If you’re already working with a team of doctors towards recovery, be sure to book extra appointments with your physician, therapist or psychologist close to the holidays. This is something I STILL do. Having that time scheduled to discuss your fears and anxieties is a welcomed release, and these trained professionals will develop coping skills and small goals to help you get through the busy holiday season.
If you haven’t yet spoken to your family doctor about getting help for your eating disorder, I encourage you to make that brave step! You can do it!
Find an Ally To Your Health 
When I was in high school, during a particularly rough period of bulimia, a teacher was perceptive enough to inquire about my health. I told her that after school was my worst time to binge, because there was an hour where I was home alone to do whatever I wanted before my Mom got home from work.  My teacher sat with me everyday for an hour until 4 pm when it was safe for me to go home to a house with people in it.
 Whether it be a family member or a close friend, confide in someone about your fears for the holiday season. Letting someone you trust know how you feel before heading into a party, or sitting down to a family meal can makes a world of difference. Ask that person to be your lifeline or ally for the day/night.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, having that one person there who is aware of what’s going on can be a life saver. They can run interference for the tough situations or difficult conversations and can provide support to help you work through your feelings.
Follow Your Meal Plan, Don’t Skip Meals 
Recovery is scary. I remember bursting into tears the first time I was given a meal plan in treatment. However, just because I was on the path to healthy eating,  I knew that I wouldn’t all of a sudden be able to overload on turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cookies and eggnog.
During the holidays, meal times are spread out, sometimes people eat early in the day, sometimes dinner is pushed back to later in the evening. If you are following a meal plan STAY on course.
It can be difficult to attend family dinners and parties when you have an eating disorder.  If you’re unsure whether or not there will be food you can eat, bring your own healthy options. If you feel comfortable enough, ask your family ahead of time what will be on the menu.
Think BIG PICTURE.  Don’t skip meals. Stick to your plan and trust your program.
Say something! 
There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself when people pressure you to eat. If a family member or someone is hounding you to take a second helping of food, or help clear dessert so that there are no leftovers, it’s OK to politely say, “No thank you.”
If that person doesn’t take your first no for an answer, you don’t have to fly off the handle (although you may want to ). A simple, but firm, “I’m doing the best I can, please be understanding” will often suffice.
Take 5 
When things get too heated with family, you sense a trigger,  or you’re feeling particularly anxious, take five minutes to get some fresh air. Removing yourself from the situation is an easy way to regroup and let your feelings settle. Go for a walk or listen to some calming music – anything that can help distract you and give you time to process your feelings.
Remember, just like the holidays, these feelings come and go.

For Family and Friends  …

The onus isn’t just on the person suffering from an eating disorder to survive the holidays. There are ways family members and friends can help make the season easier for their loved one that’s struggling.
Plan Ahead
If you’re hosting a family dinner, but know one of your guests is struggling with an eating disorder, consider including a healthy option in your menu.
Depending on your level of comfort with the person, you can even phone ahead under the ruse of needing ideas for what to serve. A simple, “I’m taking requests for Christmas dinner, is there anything you’d like in particular?” Can help ease the anxiety of your loved one on the day of the event.
Don’t Comment On Appearance 
It may come from a good place, but comments like, “Eat something, you’re so skinny!” Can really affect someone with an eating disorder. Depending on your loved one’s frame of mind, you can be unknowingly rewarding them for their illness, and encouraging them to continue their unhealthy habits. I used to take comments like these as a personal victory, and proof that I was succeeding in my illness.
Likewise, saying things like , “You’re looking so much healthier” can be translated to someone suffering/recovering from an eating disorder to mean, “You’ve gained weight. You look fat.” Be sensitive to your loved one’s illness and refrain from commenting on physical appearance altogether.
If another guest is bringing the topic of conversation into a sensitive area, or singling out your friend or loved one, the kindest thing you can do is change the subject. When you have an eating disorder, the last thing you want is to be under a microscope, or feeling different from everyone else.
Timing is Everything 
 Christmas dinner is not the time for an intervention for someone’s eating disorder. If you have concerns for the health of someone you know, wait until dinner is over, the dishes are cleaned and the Boxing Day sales are over to privately inquire with your loved one on their health.
Be prepared: You may be met with hostility, but at least you gave them the courtesy of not embarrassing them on Jesus’ birthday in front of their entire family.
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Be Patient – Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day
It’s important to be understanding of your loved one’s illness. The road to recovery is long, winding, and will often include some relapses.
Give someone with an eating disorder the freedom to make their own decisions. If you notice a loved one eating more than usual, and are suspecting they’re about to binge, do not intervene.  Instead of saying to someone with bulimia, “Are you sure you want to eat that? Don’t you think you’ve had enough? ” Gently check in to see if they need anything, and invite them to come to you if they need something throughout the night.
Be patient with your loved one, and try to be empathetic to their struggles. Eating disorders are so much more than vanity, and although it’s frustrating to see your loved one unhealthy, the best thing you can do is be sensitive to their feelings, offer support, and show love.
*I’d like to stress that I’m not a doctor or certified in any way to treat people with eating disorders, I’m merely basing my advice off of my own personal experiences with anorexia and bulimia. I encourage everyone suffering with an eating disorder to talk to their doctor about treatment and begin the road to recovery as soon as possible.
To learn more about eating disorders and recovery, visit the National Eating Disorders Association.

Who will be the next Bachelor Canada?

Casting has begun for the third season of the Bachelor Canada, but at this time, the lucky guy who gets to wrangle 25 pinot grigio fueled women has yet to be determined!

Are you looking to sign up?  Head over to the W Network to apply.

Be prepared to give your best pageant answers to find love, your weight and height and what you’re looking for in your ideal partner. Just in case you were wondering, “hot and doesn’t live in Winnipeg” is a valid answer.

We jest, Winnipeg. We slightly jest.

Our fingers are crossed that Mike Ogilvie, the paramedic/firefighter from the Peg is next Bachelor Canada (see our open letter to Bachelor Producers here). Unlike his predecessors, Mike would be the first Bachelor Canada to have an actual job.

I love you Brad and whoever the second guy was, but Mike looks like he has his RRSP’s in order. Once we hit 65 we can live out my travel fantasies of touring Civil War sites in a Winnebago and get that pension money to fund our trip! Dreams can come true, guys.

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From Mike’s Instagram 
Mike’s good looking, seems funny (I technically don’t hear anything he says I just stare), loves dogs, small children and exercise, can reach things on high shelves, looks like he can remodel a kitchen on his own, and has his side passion projects so that it’s not all work, no play, blah blah blah PTSD.

Sure, you would have to spend your Friday nights at a bar watching his band, but that’s why alcohol was invented.

Who else could potentially be Bachelor Canada?

Kyle Andrew – The cat loving model and entrepreneur from my hometown of Hamilton made a big impression with the ladies.Sure, it’s unknown whether at 6″7 he’s dealing with a pituitary gland tumor that makes him Tony Robbins levels of giant, but all that means is he’s got a larger than average…capacity to love.

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From Kyle’s Instagram 
Brad Smith 2.0 – Ah, a girl can dream. We’re unsure what Brad’s current relationship status is, but why not give finding love on TV another go? Brad’s funny, humble, and hates working out. Ladies, that’s basically the date-able trifecta right there. It’s a long shot but hey, Trump’s going to be President so anything can happen.

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Photo Source 
A Newb – Maybe the Bachelor Canada producers are going to cast fresh meat for the third season. It would be a gamble, given that there’s already a built in fan base for the previous Bachelorette Canada contestants, but it could just pay off if they find someone with a sensitive side and charisma to boot.

Who do you want to see as Bachelor?

 

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2016: Feeling insecure yet?

 

Despite having record low ratings in 2015, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is back. This year, Victoria’s Secret traveled to Paris for it’s annual televised fashion show airing December 5th.  Like a car accident or fitspo on Instagram, I can’t look away.

Victoria’s Secret is not high fashion, but it does boast the biggest names in the modelling world wearing next to nothing , blowing kisses with barrel curls to an audience of oglers filling up their brains with a year’s worth of spank bank material.

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Bella Hadid walks the 2016 VS Fashion Show 

The only thing that intrigues me about this year’s fashion show is that Lady Gaga will be performing. Intrigues/disappoints me, but nonetheless all Gaga is good Gaga. Other than the appearance of Mother Monster, I am one hundo percent against this annual televised event.

It’s awkward to watch. Really, really, awkward and can be damaging to it’s viewers.

I don’t believe it’s empowering for women to wear thongs barely covering their biscuits wearing angel wings strut down an incredibly long runway. I believe, wholeheartedly, that Victoria’s Secret WANTS us to believe their show is about women feeling confident with their bodies, with each other, giving bedroom eyes in the name of selling under garments.

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Backstage VS Fashion Show 

However, what little clothing the women wear on the runway isn’t for sale. Maybe a hoodie here, a g-string there, but the overall aesthetic isn’t practical for the real world, or the boudoir. I’m sorry, but VS is expensive enough that if my boyfriend even TRIED pawing at my bra or gitch I would be slapping him and asking for reimbursement.

Since maybe 10% of what’s being worn is actually for sale, the other 90% is selling an idea and image of women. I believe a majority of women watch the broadcast with sheer curiosity to these perfect bodies paying attention to the models, their beauty, and then digesting what they’ve seen in an attempt to understand their own place in this spectrum of desirability.

VS Angels are not for women, but men. They capture the attention of men to perhaps inspire sales of their merchandise, but in my opinion, they exist to promote an unrealistic, unattainable, and unhealthy image of women to the masses. This public, televised display of the female body, maintains a power dynamic that favors men.

“To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men’s sexual–and hence social–confidence while undermining that of women.”
Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

I know there will be people who can take the VS Fashion Show at face value, turn off the TV and continue with their lives, but I don’t think we should discount the large percentage of viewers, most likely under the age of 18, who are not able to separate themselves from what is being shown.

Young women in particular, compare themselves and their bodies with what is shown as the celebrated and coveted idea. This can be incredibly damaging to their psyche, their health, and give birth to or enhance negative and complicated feelings she may already possess.

I feel it can be equally damaging to dismiss the Victoria’s Secret image as unrealistic (which it is for many of us) because it further creates a separation between what is “real” and what is “desired.” Making the VS Angel the “other”, and keeping the broadcast on air, further promotes the struggle for women to live up to that ideal, to exist outside of their peers. Again, not all women or young women will follow this thinking, but a significant amount of viewers and consumers of this image will hold on to it’s implied message as they struggle with their own body image.

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Just here for Gaga 

Now for the men.

Yes, VS Fashion show is equally damaging to men. I think it further celebrates the female body as a form of entertainment for men and hinders the ability for men to celebrate and accept women as their equals. I think a lot of feminist literature considers the ways in which men’s relationships to women are being negatively impacted due to the promoted sexualized, beauty focused image that is disseminated by media.

“Is the beauty myth good to men? It hurts them by teaching them how to avoid loving women. It prevents men from actually seeing women. It does not, contrary to its own professed ideology, stimulate and gratify sexual longing. In suggesting a vision in place of a woman, it has a numbing effect, reducing all senses but the visual, and impairing even that.”
Naomi Wolf

Should the answer to this power imbalance be to have an all male VS Fashion show? Should Jockey or Joe Boxer get in on the ground floor of this idea?

All this would do, would further promote physical appearance of both sexes as a means of selling a product. Would it work? Maybe for some, but the negative toll it would be sure to take on men and women alike would cause a new set of problems for the dynamics between genders.

I can only hope that more people continue to educate themselves, dissect what is being sold to them, and turn off their televisions to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Maybe, if ratings continue to dip, the broadcast will be cancelled and VS can go back to selling underwear, and only underwear.