Tag Archives: Marie Claire

Pleasure in a Pill? [Marie Claire, December 2014]

As a journalist, you always try to go into a story unbiased — but the truth is, we all of us have biases, almost all of the time. It’s unavoidable. You’ve got some kind of back story that brings you to the subject and that informs how you choose your sources, the questions you ask them, and how you write the piece. Of course, if you’re good at your job, you play devil’s advocate with yourself the whole time, ask both sides of the debate equally tough questions and stay open to having your mind changed. But that doesn’t happen terribly often. (See: All of the evening news.)

This might be the first feature I’ve ever written where I honestly did not have my mind made up. I mean, as a woman, a feminist, and a married person, obviously, I have pertinent back story (and no, we’re not getting into it here). But even after spending months reporting this, interviewing tons of different researchers and regular women, I have not found a good answer to the question I explore in this new investigation, out now in the December issue of Marie Claire: Do we need a female equivalent of Viagra? 

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Heavy & Healthy [Marie Claire, August 2014]

Getting back to my roots here, with a new feature for the August issue of Marie Claire that asks: Can you be heavy and healthy?

Longtime blog readers know that my gut response on this would be yes — but it turns out there is a decent amount of science to support that idea. Of course this is a pretty controversial claim, so let’s go over some ground rules right now:

  • No, I am not saying that every overweight person is healthy (or vice versa).
  • No, I am not saying that every thin person is unhealthy (or vice versa).
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Rethink the Pink Drink [Marie Claire, October 2013]

Greetings, earthlings! I’m back to work after baby leave and it does feel a little like returning from outer space. If in outer space you are never allowed to sleep and spend most of your days feeling overjoyed and terrified and wildly in love all at the same time. (I didn’t see it — because I have a newborn and have to wait for movies to come to Netflix — but that was roughly the experience of Sandra Bullock in Gravity, no?)

Anyway. I’m happy to be here and especially happy to tell you about several cool projects that hit newsstands while I was away. First up: “Rethink the Pink Drink” (PDF or online), which ran in the October issue of Marie Claire.

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[Never Say Diet] Nutritionists Know Best? Not Always

I dropped this into Friday’s Price Check, but your smart comments got me thinking that it really needs its own standalone post. So, voila! It’s what happens when good women’s mag service stories go bad. (And spout crappy nutrition advice like “live on sunlight.”)

Important fine print: I’m a big Marie Claire fan/women’s magazine junkie in general. (Plus, they’ve published my work.) And so often, they get it so right. Just not this time. Or that other time last fall.

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Pretty Price Check (05.06.11)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of how much we paid for beauty this week.


  • 32 percent of teenage girls have used a tanning bed in the past year, and 81 percent report tanning outside, despite hearing all the time that the sun will make you old and wrinkly before your time (and oh yeah, skin cancer). Hear that? It’s the sound of a thousand dermatologists banging their heads against a wall as they realize their existence is futile. (Via MedicineNet.)
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Beauty Schooled is on Marie Claire!

"The Price of Beauty," by Virginia Sole-Smith Marie Claire

Because I know you never get tired of reading about me performing bikini waxes. But this piece, which just got published on MarieClaire.com, is actually about the art of the upsell.

Which I’ve touched on before — like over here — but never in quite this much useful detail. It even includes a handy sidebar on how to get the spa service you really want. And people, it is big news for a women’s magazine to do a story like this, even online. So click, check it out, and pretty please, leave some comments, tweet it and Facebook Like It, if you do?

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Pretty Price Check: It’s Protest Friday! (10.29.10)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday roundup of how much we paid for beauty this week.

Photo of Teens Turning Green Abercrombie & Fitch Protest Poster

Attention New Yorkers! You still have time to hoof it over to the Abercrombie & Fitch store on 5th Avenue and 57th Street, where Teens Turning Green will be hosting another fragrance protest at 4 PM. (Check out my Lemondrop coverage of their first San Fran protest, and New York Mag’s report on today’s festivities.) Bring your gas masks! Good times for all!

And after you finish fighting toxic fragrances, why don’t you mosey on over to the Hearst Building at 57th and 8th Ave for the Big Fat Kiss-In protesting Marie Claire writer Maura Kelly’s woefully misguided blog post about how fat people shouldn’t kiss (or walk or do much else) in public. (Via Jezebel)

I’m ALL about some fat PDA, but it is also worth noting that MC is starting up an interesting series of counterpoint posts in response to Kelly’s piece. Jezebel’s Sadie also has a fabulous round-up of all the other great writing that has been pouring forth on this topic this week. Bottom line: We’re all talking about the epic problem that is size prejudice — and I’m excited to see what good can come out of this.

Plus you have a busy afternoon of protesting ahead of you, so quick, grasshoppers! On with the Price Check… Read more…

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[Glossed Over] Britney Spears is Hot. (With and Without Her Cellulite.)

Britney Spears' Candies Ad not retouched photos

Britney Spears' Candies Ad not retouched photos 2

I really want to be excited about this Britney Spears/Candies/”Look Ma, no retouching!” business.

I mean, I really, really do. This blogger is psyched. Female Impersonator is pretty happy. And I get that it is super important to educate everyone (especially the young girls who make up the bulk of Britney’s fan base — wait, she still has a fan base, right?) on how photo retouching works so that we can stop assuming that the poreless perfection we see in magazines and on television bears any resemblance to reality.

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  • COMING SOON

    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

    Pre-order now!