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September 24, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio

Twitter (MissAmerica)

America, where is your hospitality?

Miss New York Nina Davuluri has, for the most part, been accused of being Muslim, a terrorist, and looking like she works at 7-11. This comes as a result of her winning the Miss America competition, consequently making her the first Indian-American to achieve such an honor.

The claims against her are malicious, baffling, far devoid of any knowledge about what it truly means to be an “American.” And while America has, for years, seen different people of different ethnicities come and make U.S. soil their home, the ignorance still seeps within our skin.

What does it mean to be truly American? The modern image that seems to stick out in our heads would be that of Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas. She broke past the norms of elegance and grace, having served her country and donning tattoos. In addition, if it weren’t for a projectile clause in the Miss America rulebook, she would’ve performed archery on stage.

But instead, we got Davuluri.

Twitter (MissAmerica)

Twitter (MissAmerica)

“It’s a difficult situation, and that was something I experienced even as Miss New York,” she told National Public Radio about her experiences of looking through the negative tweets. “That being said, for every one negative tweet or comment that I have seen or received, I have received dozens of positive words of encouragement, support, and love.”

With eyebrows raised, one can only hope that America can learn to be more tolerant of its citizens. It feels almost surreal that the media has to scold its own readers on why it’s not OK to judge others by the color of their skin. Racism has donned its ugly head at the tail end of this pageant, but to brush it off, treat it like any other case, and ignore it would be irresponsible.

What America needs to understand is that it’s wrong to base your opinions based on looks, and while I feel spiteful for having to say this, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: not all Indians are Muslims. Not all Muslims are terrorists. To clump the community of one religion with a whole ethnicity just comes to show how stupid Americans can be. And you wonder why the French hate us?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to come up with a remedy for prejudices. We can only hope that the next generation will become more open-minded when a non-White delegate is selected to represent America.

September 24, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (NOH8Campaign)

Twitter (NOH8Campaign)


Most recently, Cassidy Lynn Campbell was crowned as the nation’s first transgender homecoming queen, which opened more discussion than what she bargained for when she was up for candidacy.

According to Campbell, there was backlash when it was announced that she would be in the top 10 contenders. The negative commentary would continue even after she won.

In a YouTube video, she sobbed: “I am just as a human being as they are,” she said. “The fact that these other people can say the things they say, and act the way they act, and think the way they think is just inhumane.”

Originally known as Lance Campbell, the 16-year-old said that he had always felt like a girl.

“It’s not a choice,” she said. “This is something I’ve wanted for so long.”

(via YouTube)

(via YouTube)

It’s odd that high school students, the new generation millennials, find the transgender community as alien or weird. This is supposed to be an era of open-minds. With the Internet, if anything seems weird or foreign, you can google it, but despite all the advances in technology and plethora of available sources, ignorance, yet again, will come to play.

According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, there were nearly 700,000 transgender Americans as of 2011. They make up a small fraction of the bigger LGBT community which is made up of approximately 9 million Americans. When it comes to transgenders, many are accused of being “mentally disturbed” or just “unhappy with their gender”, and there is never an accurate portrayal of the transgender community in mainstream media or politics. The only time a light seems to shine on them is through some legislation like the newly installed California law, which will allow transgender students to use any bathroom they want. Other than that, the transgender community is shown in the most negative light.

Plainly put, a transgender person simply does not feel as though they were the gender that was assigned to them at birth. Now that America is slowly coming to terms with the LGBT community, we need to begin acting with the same normalcy towards the transgender community.

As for all you bigots? Pick up a book.

September 14, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (bravoandy)

Instagram (bravoandy)


Rumor has it that Andy Cohen and his alleged boyfriend Sean Avery are to hear wedding bells in the near future. While the juicy bits have yet to be verified, the very idea of Cohen getting engaged leaves a sort of bittersweet jealousy in my heart.


September 08, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (50Shades)

Twitter (50Shades)


When news that Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam would play the BDSM power couple of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, book fans took their whips and chains out and started lashing.

Johnson was cast to play the character of Anastasia, the young budding journalist who is intrigued by the character of Christian Grey. Grey will be played by Hunnam who is rich, mysterious, and really kinky. According to the book-to-movie’s fans, Johnson and Hunnam aren’t as hot as their choice actors, the most favored being Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer. In fact, they are so not as hot that there’s even an online petition that’s demanding that both Johnson and Hunnam are replaced by Bledel and Bomer. Bledel and Bomer even signed it!

Last time I checked, the petition has garnered the support of 28,761 Greysessed fans with a possibility of hitting more as time rolls by and as the movie starts to release more production news. However the creative team of E.L James (the author) and producers Dana Brunetti and Michael de Luca, say their casting decision is final.

Twitter (Lillian_S)Charlie Hunnam (left) will play Christian Grey while Dakota Johnson (right) will play Anastasia Steele.

Twitter (Lillian_S)
Charlie Hunnam (left) will play Christian Grey while Dakota Johnson (right) will play Anastasia Steele.

“There is a lot that goes into casting that isn’t just looks. Talent, availability, the actors desire to play the role, chemistry with one another, etc,” Brunetti explained on Twitter on Monday. “So if your favorite wasn’t cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective.”

Fans aren’t exactly listening just yet.

This type of backlash isn’t unfamiliar territory for social media. Remember when Ben Affleck, despite his good track record of movies including the Oscar award-winning movie Argo, was cast as Batman? That didn’t necessarily go down well with the cape crusader’s diehard fans; but nonetheless this is the same example that’s happening with Fifty Shades.

This is another episode of, “We’re the fans, we know best.” The arguments are far devoid of actual logic, opting to jab more at the leading actors’ appearance rather than attacking the history of their work. It’s a shallow argument, no doubt, and the tweets and comments from haters are eye-roll inducing.

Fans of the book should stick to what they know… and that’s knowing what’s in the book.  Hunnam has been nominated multiple times in the Best Actor category for his role in Sons of Anarchy while Johnson has been signed to do four movies that will be released in 2014, including 50 Shades of Grey. They are both sought-over actors with no history of pop culture breaking characters (i.e. Miley Cyrus being Hannah Montana, Daniel Radcliffe being Harry Potter). It’s a clean slate for the producers and actors of the movie who can bring something fresh and new to the role.

If you really want to get technical about it, I personally think Johnson looks better in a gimp suit than Bledel.

September 08, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (justinbieber)

Instagram (justinbieber)


As much as it pains me to admit it, Justin Bieber’s gotten hot over the years. Almost too hot. Whether we like it or not, it’s safe to say we’ve all pretty much been afflicted with Bieber Fever. Following suit, I’m ready and willing to join the tweenaged girls in their lovefest, as long as he drops that ‘stache.

While my animalistic instincts can’t ignore his rippled abs and luscious (and extremely touch-tempting) hair, I cannot deal with Bieber’s peach fuzz.


September 01, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (HorrorNightsOrlando)

Twitter (HorrorNightsOrlando)


As the summer season begins to dwindle down to its final days, and the ripened leaves begin to roll with the gentle gusts of wind, the eerie fogs begin to manifest as the silent whispers begin to murmur from the mist. Autumn is upon us and with that comes Halloween! more…

August 10, 2013  | by: Neil Protacio
Twitter (amandabynes)

Twitter (amandabynes)


Hollywood is hard on a gal, that’s for sure.

From Award Show fashion catastrophes, to that hot mess saunter out of a bar in West Hollywood, women are typically front and center when it comes to Hollywood gossip. Most recently, in a “I-totally-saw-that-coming” ruling on Friday, Amanda Bynes’ mother Lynn Organ was granted temporary conservatorship over her daughter while Amanda Bynes spends another 30 days in the hospital after she doused her and her dog in gasoline and proceeded to light herself on fire.

We’ve reported on one of Bynes’ crazy antics before, but what a sad sight this has truly turned out to be: Amanda Bynes may actually be schizophrenic.

It’s a tale that started with the wrong introduction. News and blogs across the nation painted Bynes to be a good girl gone bad, taking to Twitter to rant down on anyone she didn’t find attractive. Paparazzi wouldn’t let up and began following the star everywhere she went. Soon enough, the fame turned the poor girl into a living, breathing monster that nobody would have ever thought to have an illness. Her celebrity status brought unwanted attention.

Unfortunately, what the media is so good at doing is making female stars think to themselves, “how exactly will I dodge the tabloids today?” There’s so many pressures female celebrities face, from their weight, what they do… even down to just how they may appear to others.

As Pamela Stephenson put it for the Dailymail: “The reality, I now believe, is that fame is a trauma. Rather than encroaching life, it can ‘split’ the personality, change every relationship and exacerbate any problem.”

It’s a twist of fate. What was once thought of to be a shower of cash, diamond, and jobs, has suddenly turned out to be a shower of loneliness, alcohol and medication.

Recovering addict, Lindsay Lohan, the poster child for child stars gone balls to the wall crazy, could easily start an art gallery with all the paparazzi shots she’s accumulated over the years.  She offered this insight on the David Letterman show about the media onslaught brought upon her: “I’m a target, I’ve always been. I’ve put myself in this in the past in situations where, you know, I take full responsibility for it, and it wasn’t funny. And I was being immature and I was going through a phase, and I had a lot of family things going on.”


Creative Commons (thecelebritycafe.com)

Creative Commons (thecelebritycafe.com)



Paparazzi flocked to Lindsay Lohan the same way they flocked to Mary Kate Olsen years before when she was photographed numerous times looking like she had escaped from a coffin after years of decomposing. Skin and bones was what tabloid readers saw. In a generation that criticizes even the slightest of meat on a girl’s body, Olsen eventually landed herself in rehab because of anorexia.

Stephenson had once talked to Mel C, Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls, who was also the center of image critiques. She was once billed as “the ugly one in the back.’ She struggled with isolation and rumors about her weight, eating, and sexuality.

The fame game makes pressure never-ending, especially when you’re expected to be, well, perfect. Such is the tale for jazz singer Amy Winehouse who, at the height of her celebrity, was documented by newspapers at her very worst. She wasn’t always like this, in fact, her stylish ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil openly admitted to introducing her to heroin. This became a domino effect for the troubled singer. Stumbling out of bars, smoking what seems to be a joint, even a video of her smoking crack – all of these stories followed her to her dreadful fate and were ultimately linked to her death. She toiled in notoriety which overshadowed her Grammy Award-winning sultry voice.

Creative Commons (enterhits.blogspot.com)

Creative Commons (enterhits.blogspot.com)



“The tabloids that distributed images of Winehouse in her worst, wasted, abused and pencil-thin, throughout her career eventually served as a prophecy for her tragic end,” said Hurriyet Daily News. “While male musicians’ and singers’ escapades with alcohol and drugs are treated with somewhat more tolerance and attributed to part of a package that is rock’n’roll, the media, more often than not, did not go easy on Winehouse, like many other female celebrities during her time and before her.”

Inversely, when Charlie Sheen’s odd behavior came to light in the midst of domestic abuse, alcohol, and drug scandals, “Tigerblood” and “Winning!” became a household phrase that, if anything, boosted his career. Those terms became associated with power and popularity while any female caught slipping up under the public eye is seen as Lindsay Lohan II. It’s pretty much a one-sided battle, especially in Bynes’ case when all the media did was lash out on her. Only when Bynes was caught in a 5150 psychiatric hold, did the news industry simmer down and take her serious.

But in no way is Bynes’ story ever going to stop the media from what they’re doing to other celebrities. I’m guessing the biggest appeal behind pop culture news is to see how far stardom can knock a girl out from the cuckoo’s nest. In any case, starlets just have it harder. Perhaps the key to becoming a successful celebrity nowadays is to just keep your mouth shut and stay inside the house.

August 08, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (taylorswift)

Instagram (taylorswift)


It’s a no-brainer, Taylor Swift is one of the most celebrated artists by tweens across the globe. Her ex-boyfriend bashing tunes have been the soundtrack to many of our lives and there’s a certain feeling of closure that washes over us after listening to her albums.

While many may think it’s genius to turn heartbreak into hard cash, you cannot help but consider the damage Swift’s songs will do to her love life. Telling by her long list of famous ex-boyfriends–who undoubtedly scorn her–she’ll most likely become a lonely cat woman if she keeps it up.

August 02, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (kristenstewart)

Instagram (kristenstewart)


It’s a given by now that you either love Kristen Stewart, or you don’t. Either way, she won’t take any more crap from the media; more specifically, the picky paparazzi who apparently don’t even deserve to share the same air with her. more…

July 30, 2013  | by: Paris Close
Instagram (summer)

Instagram (summer)


Summer may be near its end–with the dreadful reality of schoolwork and term papers upon us–but that doesn’t mean the festivities have to end. In fact, I have some awesome tunes fit for every mood…particularly for saving the summer.

While there is still time, grab a comfy pillow, plug in those earbuds and relax on that hammock and enjoy the gentle breeze with this clever mix.