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Girls Just Cannot Have Fun

1 Aug

SINGAPORE : Gosh, it must really suck to be a girl. You people just can’t do anything, can you?

Last weekend, Transformers star Shia LaBeouf got into an early morning car crash, after reportedly doing whiskey shots at a bar and, as Us magazine quoted a source, “dancing around and acting really crazy”.

At about 3am, his pickup truck collided with another vehicle, flipping the actor’s truck. He was arrested because, according to a statement from the police, it was immediately apparent to officers at the scene that LaBeouf was intoxicated. He was then released for misdemeanour DUI (driving under the influence).

The 22-year-old is now recovering from hand surgery and is expected to miss a whole month of work on the “Transformers” sequel. And the only shocking thing about this? The fact that no one batted an eye.

When Paris Hilton was arrested on her DUI charge, there was plenty of public outrage. When Lindsay Lohan was arrested (twice) on DUI charges, bloggers called for her to be shipped off to rehab. She even almost missed out on shooting her latest film “Labor Pains” because insurance companies refused to cover the party-prone starlet. And she didn’t even hit anyone.

Even relative (this is Hollywood we’re talking about) good-girl Mischa Barton was shamed into admitting to Nylon magazine that her DUI arrest was “a low point”, and that she was “disappointed because it associated me with a group of girls that I would rather not be associated with.”

Yup, a group of girls.

LaBeouf, in the meantime, can be seen on the cover of the upcoming September issue of Details openly talking about how he’s a big fan of booze: “I don’t know how to have one drink,” he reportedly told the magazine. “I don’t know how to do it like a gentleman.” He then added that he and his dad would smoke and drink together.

It seems the general sentiment is one of, “Oh, well. Boys will be boys.” It’s a blatant double-standard that makes a boy like me happy to own a pair.

Colin Farrell hit Hollywood as anotorious, boozing womaniser, rarely seen on a red carpet without a cigarette and a plastic cup of beer in hand. “Oh, he’s just Irish,” people would say, swooning just a tad. “You know these Europeans.”

Right. Eva Green is European and she can hardly get away with wearing too much eye-liner.

Even old Hollywood legends aren’t exempted from the sexist curb on female fun. Peter O’Toole, a hell-raiser in his day with fellow boozers Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Oliver Reed, has “amusing anecdotes of debauchery”.

“Booze is the most outrageous of drugs, which is why I chose it,” he famously said.

Elizabeth Taylor, however, is just “plagued by problems with alcohol”.

The double-standard doesn’t just apply to Hollywood. Christopher Lee served some time in jail for his DUI hit-and-run, and the incident has blown over with considerably little drama. Can you imagine if it had been Fann Wong instead? This is not a case of popularity being a factor. Benedict Goh and Terence Cao – now that’s running the gamut from C-list to A-list – were also caught drink-driving, and while there was a certain amount of scandal involved, it was nothing compared to the apocalypse the four tabloid horsemen would bring if it had been Felicia Chin or Zoe Tay.

Neither is that double-standard restricted to just misadventures in inebriation. Good golly, no – it applies to just about everything.

Let’s talk celebrity sex tapes. Pamela Anderson made Tommy Lee a legend, Paris Hilton made Rick Salomon an instant celebrity and Kim Kardashian gave Ray J a boost from “Brandy’s little brother” to “hip-hop star”. The girls, however, were called a variety of very unkind names.

George Clooney matured into a “silver fox” regularly voted one of the sexiest men around. The “Sex and the City” girls are the new Golden Girls.

David Bowie’s a genius. Bjork is crazy. Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones are legends. Madonna’s a grandma. RuPaul’s an entertainer. Cher is a drag queen.

What’s that, ladies? It’s not fair? You bet it isn’t. Gosh, it sucks to be you. –

Channel News Asia

The Iconic Wayfarer

1 Jun

The Original Ray Ban Wayfarer in black.

The Original Ray Ban Wayfarer in black.

The Ray Ban Wayfarer has stood the test of time and is now an essential summer accessory, says CHEONG PHIN

Reproduced in various sizes and colours.
Reproduced in various sizes and colours.

The white choice of the celebrities.
The white choice of the celebrities.

FASHION always seems to renew itself on what has come before and the current revival of many things from the exciting 1980s is no exception. It was a time when bright colours, chunky plastic jewellery, leggings, skinny jeans and rock music ruled the world. The younger fashion followers today were only born then and never got to experience the explosive fashion of the ’80s.

It’s therefore easy to see why it is like a breath of fresh air to them and when it’s mixed up with today’s contemporary clothing, we all end up finding that everything old (or ’80s) is new again. One must-have plastic accessory from that era that stood the test of time and is fast becoming a must-have accessory again today is the iconic Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.

Reproduced and re-imagined in various colours and sizes in almost every fashion corner in London this season, the square framed plastic sunglasses is the essential unisex summer fashion accessory.

The fad started a few years ago when fashion forward celebrities like Chloe Sevigny and Mary-Kate Olsen started wearing vintage Wayfarer frames. The Ray Ban designers soon noticed the increasing popularity of these vintage pieces and the prices they were commanding on eBay.

Responding to this new fashion craze in the market, Ray Ban reintroduced the original Wayfarer design in 2007 with a marketing strategy that included the use of new media like MySpace to connect with a new breed of consumers.

A host of the young Hollywood celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Kirsten Dunst, and British “bad” girl Amy Winehouse have already been spotted wearing these “cool” sunglasses.

The Ray Ban Wayfarer is an iconic design of sunglasses available with polarised lens and spring hinges that has been manufactured by Ray Ban since 1952. It’s reported to be the best-selling style of sunglasses in history and has been labelled as “one of the most enduring fashion icons of the 21st century”.

Designed by Raymond Stegeman, an inventor who procured dozens of patents for Bausch and Lomb (Ray Ban’s parent company), the radically new shape of the Wayfarer was “a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins”. According to design critic Stephen Bayley, “the distinctive trapezoidal frame spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness, but one tempered by the sturdy arms which, according to the advertising, gave the frames a ‘masculine look’.”

These Wayfarer which took advantage of the new plastics technology at that time was revolutionary and targeted at men initially. However, it became increasingly popular among Hollywood starlets and was evidently a pop culture icon worn by many celebrities for the last 50 years on and off the screen.

In the 1960s, Audrey Hepburn famously paired her Wayfarers with her Givenchy black dress and pearls in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a look that was absolutely “cool”. The oversized shades then were an example of the early Wayfarer silhouette.

A series of design modifications ensued and two decades later, Tom Cruise reinforced the “cool” factor of these dark shades in Risky Business while influential Material Girl Madonna inspired a huge fashion follow up when she wore them in Desperately Seeking Susan. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd even made it looked “cool” in their bad ways in the cult movie The Blues Brothers.

To a certain extent, musicians like Bob Dylan and Blondie also gained their iconic “cool” style from donning these shades. The incredible impersonation of the Dylan character by Cate Blanchett in her recent movie I’m Not There was based on that 1980s iconic look. When celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise started wearing them off-screen, these plastic square frames quickly became the decade’s sunglasses of choice. Apparently, Ray Ban expanded from two models of the Wayfarer in 1981 to more than 40 models in 1989 and the Wayfarer went on to become one of the biggest cultural icons of the ’80s.

If you’ve never owned a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses, it’s never too late to buy one now and enjoy the “cool” Wayfarer experience. The current collection of Ray Ban Wayfarers is available in Original Wayfarer, New Wayfarer and the Wayfarer Folding style. In addition to the classic black and tortoise, they also come in an array of colours such as red, white and blue. You can buy them at almost any optical store that sells Ray Ban products or simply buy online on the Internet from shopping websites like and

The revival of the Wayfarer in mid 2000 and the expiration of Stegeman’s 1953 design patent also produced numerous designs inspired by the original Ray Ban Wayfarer. These include Oliver Peoples’ “Hollis”, REM Eyewear’s “Converse” and various styles by fashion houses such as Juicy Couture, Hugo Boss, Chanel and Marc Jacobs.


New Straits Times