In WTF news, Urban Outfitters had for sale a Kent State sweatshirt with mock blood stains on it. For just $129, you can pay a tasteless tribute to the 1970 massacre in which the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed Kent State U students. You may also know about it from the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song, "Ohio."
The sweatshirt apparently sold out in record time (read: UO got cold feet after the shit flew). Lucky for us, screenshots live on. Then, predictably, the shirt made its way onto eBay with a starting bid of $550, and the caption: "Perfect for Halloween or whatever your deal is."
The only upshot was that the seller promised to give half the money to a charity, called The Southern Poverty Law Center, working to fight police brutality. The listing is no longer there. It's not clear whether the item was sold or simply removed.
In any case, it's not the first time UO has strayed into the territory of extreme bad taste in an attempt to be cutting-edge or subversive. A 'Ghettopoly' board game parodying ghetto crime saw protesters gather outside its Philadelphia store. And the uber trendy retailer got flak for T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Eat Less" and "Depression." (Admittedly, the depression Tee came from a retailer by the same name.)
Teenagers love to wear shocking and funny T-shirts, but where to draw the line? Isn't it possible to push the fashion envelope without being offensive or derogatory?
You tell me: do the likes of Urban Outfitters and American Apparel take their designs too far?
Do you ever vet what your teens wear?
Hey you with the Lindt bar in your hand! It doesn't matter if you have raging PMS, you've had words with your significant other, or that you've just had the day from hell. It's official—comfort foods don't have the power to comfort you.
No matter how staunchly we may feel otherwise, cookies and ice cream and chocolate don't provide any more emotional rescue than eating celery or even *gasp* nothing.
Turns out that if we just sit long enough and wait it out, the black cloud will pass—whether or not we stuff our pie-holes with thousands of empty calories. Don't take it from me. A University of Minnesota study found that we tend to give treats more credit than they deserve when it comes to lifting our bitchy moods.
After splitting participants into three groups, researchers concluded that those who got to pig out on their fave comfort food (it goes without saying that chocolate ruled) felt better over time, regardless of whether they'd scoffed Haagen-Dazs, a "neutral" granola bar, or nothing whatsoever.
What about the euphoric endorphin dance that comes from sugar and caffeine? Surely that must count for something.
Nope. It didn't matter how much of the fetish food was consumed. The end result was the same, even though a whopping 81 per cent of participants firmly believed that eating said food would make them feel better.
"We found no justification for people to choose comfort foods when they are distressed," reported the researchers. "Removing an excuse for eating a high-calorie or high-fat food may help people develop and maintain healthier eating habits, and may lead them to focus on other, food-free methods of improving their mood."
I know it's depressing to be told you really don't need that soft gooey goodness inside you. But just consider how that shitty feeling gets compounded after you've indulged too much.
And couldn't the same be said for my vanilla latte or even my cherished glass of Riesling, I wonder. Please say it isn't so.
Spill it: What's your go-to comfort food? Would you be prepared to give it up?
Did you watch the crowning of Miss America the other night? Forgive me if I missed the proceedings; I was too busy filing the dead skin off my feet to watch. But I hear there were lots of giggle-worthy moments, from wacky, misspelled pop-ups about "Jane Austin" and cheetah attacks to ventriloquism involving a doll one writer likened to the late Joan Rivers.
No fewer than 53 female contestants vied for the chance to don a princess tiara. They wore fancy evening dresses and answered big important questions in a tradition that somehow still exists in the year 2014.
Why do pageants still exist? Because young, attractive women still aspire to be crowned like princesses and are prepared to work their asses off for the privilege.
Miss America does her bit for charity, and I admire the philanthropy aspect of the pageant. What I take issue with is the part where she parades in different outfits and is judged on her appearance. But maybe I'm just not girly enough to find that entertaining.
And what about Mr. America—where does he figure? If we aren't about to scrap pageants, then we should at least level the playing field, no?
You tell me: Are beauty pageants empowering, or is it high time Miss America was given the ax?
The former Miss America may have made history, but all she got was backlash.