Thursday, 27 March 2014 20:12

Current | Made Woman Responds: #BanBossy

Current // March 27, 2014

Recently, Sheryl Sandberg (author of "Lean In") started a movement called #BanBossy urging people to stop using the term "Bossy" to describe women and young girls. She got others to sign on for it, including Beyonce. Some consider the word negative and say it discourages young girls from being assertive leaders. Others say that the word has been appropriated and is actually a good thing for women. Some don’t care if you call them bossy. We polled some of the Made Women on our team to get their take and here’s what they had to say:

“My boss has a sign in her office that says, "I'm not bossy, I just have better ideas." As someone who hopes to one day be in upper management in publishing, I think it's important to have good ideas and be responsible for them. After all, one of my boss's ideas was to hire me. Being bossy is not the problem, it's the other side of the coin that is. Surely there are better words we can think of to ban rather than ‘bossy.’” -- Beth, Staff Writer & Editor

“I think it's horrible that "bossy" is somewhat synonymous with "bitchy". I think we need to retool the word "bossy" from having a negative connotation and have it reflect it's basic meaning of "like a boss". There's absolutely nothing wrong with being dominant and assertive in any environment because of one's natural leadership skills.” -- Jasmin, Staff Writer

“Anyone who knows me knows that I might as well be Queen of the Beehive. I am usually 100 percent on board with whatever Beyonce puts her name on. However, this #BanBossy campaign might be the exception. I don't think that we need to ban bossy, I think we need to change the way we perceive it. Being a boss means getting the job done, and standing your ground. We need more women to do this, and accept that being bossy doesn't have to mean being a bitch. It can just mean that you are taking control and passionate about what you believe in.” -- Jillian, Intern

"Although the  "Ban Bossy" campaign has great intentions to motivate and urge young girls into leadership positions without being labeled, banning the word “bossy” has little to do with it. Not mentioning the idea that we are getting into murky areas of censorship and freedom of speech that I find troublesome, there are much much more harmful words to women and young girls that I find more problematic (i.e. bitch, slut) than bossy. I get that the campaign hopes that by focusing on the semantics of one label, we can erase the underlying problems, but by just focusing on banning one word, we are missing the bigger problem.  I would much rather support an organization like Girls Who Code (focused on supporting women learning computer programming, a primarily male dominated industry) than try to ban a word.” -- Erin, Staff Writer

“I didn't realize that this was still such a large issue! I have surrounded myself with women who aren't afraid to be "bossy" if it means getting their foot in the door. I don't see it hindering women my age (in college) as much as it does young girls, but if this Ban Bossy campaign is giving young women a tool to fight poor self esteem, than I am all for it, because that is a common issue for women of all ages.”  -- Ava, Intern

“I get it, I get it. They want to limit the negative implications of the word. But can you really ban this word from our vocabulary? Maybe it would be a better idea to educate young kids and tell them it is OK for women to be strong leaders without trying to stifle them. Plus, didn’t Kelis already re-appropriate this word??” -- Serena, Editor-in-Chief




What do you think? Respond in the comments and let us know!


Published in Current

MW of the Month // March 10, 2014

We all know what it feels like to pull all-nighters; to put in countless hours on a project and only receive a pat on the back. Yes, you may be working towards an end goal or a dream job, but sometimes the climb to the top can feel a little thankless. Those we read about in the news or see on TV who have reached the pinnacle of their careers inspire us to keep going. But rarely do those of us still on our way up get any recognition, before we get the corner office. *Cue Drake’s Started from the Bottom.* That’s why we love to highlight Made Women on the rise -- those who have just earned a promotion or secured a new job. They may not be calling all the shots just yet, but we can learn a thing or two from their journey thus far. Our Made Woman of the Month for March is LA’s own Amber Wilson! Amber recently made a career move that turned out to be her best move; landing her dream job at Live Nation Entertainment– the world’s largest live entertainment and e-commerce company. After working for years in the non-profit sector, Amber’s new gig put her closer to her goal of working for a global company, doing corporate communications. Congrats, Amber!

It was a special treat to interview this Made Woman because she is a dear friend of mine. A fellow USC Trojan, Amber and I met freshman year of college. I always loved that Amber knew who she was, what she wanted, and how to get it. Unlike some other Gen Y-ers, she didn’t suffer from feeling overwhelmed by her options or unsure of her next steps. A communication major, she enjoyed writing, music, travel and connecting with others; and hoped to take the things she loved and turn them into a successful career. Her self-assurance made her one to watch on campus. A true leader, she made time between internships and classes for volunteer groups like Blacks In Action -- where she spearheaded the creation of an annual scholarship for incoming freshmen who had given back to their communities.

During school she interned at Atlantic and Hidden Beach Records and wrote for publications like Saturday Night Magazine. She also took time to travel and studied abroad her senior year -- living in Bilbao, Spain for four months and then in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Amber was able to soak up some sunshine and some culture during her time abroad but it wasn’t all about fun. She credits this experience for sparking her desire to work for a company with a global reach. “There are defining moments in our lives that shape who we become, and studying abroad in Spain and Argentina was that moment for me. I learned so much about myself and became exposed to many other different types of lifestyles and culture. To this day I still have friends around the world from when we studied together. It made me a global citizen and showed me how connected we all can be, if we want to be.”

While Amber did know what she wanted, getting from point A (being recent college grad with no experience) to point B (having the career of your dreams) is not always a linear journey. After graduation she worked for the Century City Chamber of Commerce as a membership coordinator where she used her skill set to boost membership and manage communications. She worked there for four and a half years moving up to membership director along the way. Working for a non-profit meant budgets were tight. Amber was forced to get creative when thinking of ways to build membership and host networking events that members would appreciate. She crafted unique experiences for attendees, inviting out masseuses for one event and partnering with the Microsoft store for another – creating a live, interactive gaming experience. At a time when Twitter was just emerging, Amber also oversaw the launch of the Chamber’s social media platforms, and added value to local businesses by sharing news on their events and promotions. Her ideas added a fresh spin to the Chamber’s media and promotions without breaking the bank and the experience taught her how to be resourceful and think on her feet. Though she valued her time with the Chamber -- along with the connections and knowledge she gained along the way -- Amber found herself wanting more. Her world perspective made her daydream about working for a company that made a global impact.

Instead of just dreaming about it, Amber decided to do something to gain more experience and connections around Los Angeles. She started her blog, Wilson’s "Where to" Guide, a source for reviews and write-ups on local businesses and events for young urbanites who love travel and good food. Amber honed her writing skills and built a powerful network while blogging about the city she loved. “LA is just so rich and diverse. It’s a place where you can do so much. Just when you feel like you have a handle on LA, you learn something new...you can never get bored. And if you do -- ‘Hey, check out my blog,’” she says laughingly. People began to connect with her posts and started inviting her to attend their events. She interviewed people like Calvin Richardson, Brian McKnight, DJ Lady Sha -- the first female DJ to spin on live radio in South Africa -- and other trailblazers who were making an impact in their communities. All the while she was perfecting her skills as a writer and editor. “For three years I wrote a blog post every single week, regardless of what was going on with my full-time job, or my social life,” Amber says. Traveling and writing for her blog gave her an outlet for her creative energy.

Amber realized she had learned all she could working in the non-profit sector and wanted to move on -- but the tough job market stunted her progress. “There was a point when I wanted to make a change; I was applying for job after job, I was interviewing and getting to the final stages but nothing was happening.”  Amber didn’t give up on her dream and become complacent. Instead, she got creative and focused on how she could stand out as an applicant. Finally, the stars aligned and preparation met opportunity. Amber was offered the position with Live Nation Entertainment as a corporate communications coordinator working alongside the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications. The company manages tours for heavy hitters like Beyonce, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Linkin Park. They also are the parent company for venues across America like the House of Blues and the ticketing site Ticketmaster.

Amber says that she is always excited to go to work now and see what is happening firsthand in the music industry. Amber drafts press releases for upcoming tours, corporate or charitable partnerships, handles media inquiries, writes and distributes a daily newsletter to 45 countries. She manages social media and stays on top of industry news. She said she was nervous about distributing content to media partners at that level when she started but has since gotten the hang of things: “If you are really a writer you can write about anything.” Her position in the C-Suite alongside all the executives allows her to learn from other leaders and see what it takes to run a Fortune 500 company. Her success with her blog breeds more success at her current position. She knows the value of her connections and understands PR better now that she has a media perspective.  “You always have a vision of how you think something is going to play out professionally… it doesn’t always happen that way. But the key is to be prepared when opportunities do come, so that if it’s the right opportunity you can jump on it,” she says.  

Now that Amber is a bit closer to her dreams she says that it was her perseverance that made the difference. Even though her course wasn’t quick and easy, she has now established herself in the professional world and created a network that she can count on throughout her career. Even though the going gets tough she knows that it is through hard work that dreams are realized, “We are not owed the right to follow and pursue our dreams; it is a blessing and an honor.”

Published in MW University
Saturday, 22 February 2014 00:30

Travel | Chic Travel on a Budget

Lifestyle // February 23, 2014

So, you want to plan a trip with friends and family but no one in your entourage is ‘rolling’ yet? If you add up the cost of flights, resort fees, food, activities, and rental cars, trips can get pretty costly.  Oh, and then there are all these destination weddings you are getting invited to this year… I mean come on. The invitation is flattering but, when you get down to it, you have to figure out where you’re going to get $1,000 of disposable income.  If you wait until you’ve stacked up cash, you may never get to spend a fun, relaxing weekend with loved ones. Life is made up of a series of wonderful moments - here are tips to plan a memorable getaway without breaking the aqua bank.

1. Pick a vacation destination central to the majority of your party. Consider where your friends and family are coming from. If you’re lucky, they’re all in the same general area, so picking somewhere convenient to travel to together will be easy. But if you’re like me, they’ll all be spread out. In this case, try selecting a location convenient for the most folks, or for those whose budgets are less flexible. It’s the nice thing to do…

2. Pack light! With the exorbitant fees for checked baggage these days, you can save yourself upwards of $100 by only taking a carry-on. If you are going away for just a weekend you should be able to pull this off… Just say no to that third pair of stilettos!  

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3. Keep an eye on flash deals! One of the keys to cheap and chic travel will be to remain flexible. You never know when deals will become available. I have found fantastic opportunities via resources like Gilt City, Jetsetter, Groupon, Travelzoo and Vacationist. The one caveat is, you have to be ready to pull the trigger. So, if you want to welcome adventure, flash deals could be the right move!

4. Take advantage of the off-season. Some of my best vacations have been during the off-season. Prices are way more reasonable and there are crazy deals. No snow on the slopes? Try Lake Tahoe. A little warmer than usual, check out Miami. This past Fourth of July, some friends and I visited Palm Springs. Sure, it was 107 degrees at its peak, but we spent the majority of the time in the pool or inside our wonderfully air-conditioned house, which brings me to suggestion #5…

5. Find home and vacation rentals. I wanted to get a big group of friends and family together for the 4th of July. We were all on a budget, so it was important that this be a quick, cheap, and easy getaway. Given that we had eight people, I searched for home rentals via: www.homeaway.com, www.vrbo.com, www.airbnb.com. Eight people contributing to the rental widened our net. Suddenly, we were able to afford a three bedroom three bathroom house, with a pool and gourmet kitchen (see picture above). I was really nervous about renting through a website. I worried that someone might run away with my money, or that the home wouldn’t be as advertised.* Fortunately, it turned out better than expected! Having a kitchen allowed us to cook for ourselves and save money on dining out. In preparation, I planned out our meals for the two-day stay and got just the right amount of supplies from Costco and Whole Foods. Once there, we happily chilled at the house, swimming, cooking, drinking, talking, and playing games. Our two-day Palm Springs vacay worked out to under $140 per person!

*TIP: Read reviews and customer advice before purchasing. Obviously, the more positive reviews the better, but don’t just look at the number of stars, be sure to read the text. Other vacationers will help you determine if the house will fit your vacation needs.


If you’re jonesing for time away with friends, try something a little non-traditional. Even if it doesn’t turn out like one of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s fabulous vacations, at least it will be an adventure.

Published in Travel

Love + Dating // February 10, 2014

Yes, Valentine’s Day is all about the romance, but there are some practical gifts that every lady secretly desires on this day of love. Just say no to the giant stuffed teddy bears. Give your honey one of these items and watch her eyes light up with joy -- since she won’t have to sneak back to the mall to return your gift for what she really wants. Ouch.


Brook, 27, Single

You know what every girl (or guy) needs? A get out of jail free card. If your partner has any unpaid parking tickets, surprise them with a clean slate. Who needs chocolate when you can be citation free?

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Jessica Dumont, 29, Married

My husband and I aren't big on the Valentine's Day gift exchange. Instead, we splurge every year to go to dinner at a nice restaurant we wouldn't normally go to. We always pick a place we've both wanted to try for months, get all dressed up and indulge ourselves in good food and cocktails. It's much more fun for us than trying to pick out a gift!




Christina Chen, 21, Single

This is the perfect gift because it’s TIMELESS. Any girl would love a rose gold Marc by Marc Jacobs watch to match her everyday outfits. Not only is it lovely under the sun, it looks beautiful at night as well! On top of that, it would go with her outfit for that Valentine’s Day date tonight! It also comes in classic gold and silver.

Available online or at Nordstrom, $225.00



Jasmin Martin, 24, Long Distance Relationship

The Love Is Art kit is a DIY paint kit that supports you getting down with the get down all in the name of art. For $60, the intimate paint kit encourages lovers to paint their bodies with paint or to just throw the paint on the canvas and uh, well...er..."make a masterpiece". What's left after your wild time, is a custom piece of abstract art created by you and your partner that is a physical representation of the love you shared. When it comes to making your one-of-a-kind artwork, the messier the process the better, but when you're tired of being a bedroom Picasso, rest assured that the clean up won't be a mess. The kit comes with a painter's tarp, disposable slippers, non toxic body paint and a body scrubber to get the paint out of those unspeakable places.

I love this idea as a VDay gift because my beau and I are always looking for new and interesting things to do, since our time together is always limited. Making this piece of art is a unique way to not only spend time together, but to create something that we can look back on and remember how much fun we had making it.





Ava Puckett, 22, Long Distance Relationship

Well, I know what all of us girls really want for Valentines Day: a seat at this ultra chic and exclusive Beyoncé themed V day dinner at Brucie in NYC. Unfortunately, I live almost 3,000 miles away and it’s already sold out. Darn! But, if I were to think up some more great Valentines Day gift ideas I would pick the book Love Poems by Pablo Neruda ($11.95 at Anthropologie).




Jillian, 20, Single

While everyone loves a great gift, it’s the experiences that matter most. This Valentine’s Day, why not go on a road trip to a place where you both have never visited? This way you don’t have to hyperventilate while he/she opens their gift, and you’ll have stories to tell when you get back.




Beth, 29, In a relationship

Shoes are like jewelry for the feet. I've been eying these Ginny Gem Point shoes for a while. They are $95 on the Miss Selfridge site.




Mia Xuan, 21, Single

Look at that packaging!! YSL’s line of Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks are known for being long-lasting and moisturizing even after hours of wear. This shade called ‘Nude In Private’ is a breathtaking, natural shade and works well in any situation. It applies flawlessly and has a gorgeous finish.

Available online or at Sephora, $45.00




Patricia Orr, 29, In a relationship

My boyfriend hogs the TV for months during football season. I don’t mind, but I think for V-day it’d be nice to get control of the remote all day long. If I want to watch The Notebook for the millionth time he can just pass me chocolates. All’s fair in love.


Have any more great gift ideas for Valentine’s Day? Come on, let’s help out everyone doing some last minute shopping for their significant others! Leave a comment below!

Published in Love + Dating
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 18:55

Movie Review | The Great Gatsby

Movie Review // May 15, 2013

To say I have been waiting for this movie to come out is an understatement. When I heard it was delayed from December to May the stakes became even higher.  I was one of the first to buy tickets to see The Great Gatsby in 3D when it finally premiered, and it was a lot like attending one of Jay Gatsby’s famous parties: loud, glittering and in your face.

Director Baz Luhrmann’s earlier work, such as Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet, is known for being over the top.  The Great Gatsby is no different.  Luhrmann paints for us the image of a whirlwind era where great men are striking against a sky lit up by fireworks, and women are coated in crystal dresses and Tiffany & Co. jewelry. But beneath all the pomp and the Jay-Z soundtrack, there is a haunting story. It is one many of us know from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, but probably haven’t heard in a while. Luhrmann’s films all seem to be about tragic romances that are doomed from the start, and Gatsby is no exception. Despite this being a familiar tale, Luhrmann is able to reintroduce this story to us and even catch us off guard a time or two.

Luhrmann got a lot of things right with this film, which he and his wife spent two years researching. His casting choices are spot-on.  It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, or Carey Mulligan as “golden girl,” Daisy.  Both light up the screen. Everything about them is rich, from their clothing (which I am sure costume designer Catherine Martin will be getting an Oscar for) to their passion for each other in this forbidden love story. Tobey Maguire is the perfect Nick Carraway, and he successfully carries the narration throughout the film, a task that many other Fitzgerald adaptations struggled with.

The authenticity of the era is greatly appreciated. Everything from the Art Deco design and architecture to the clothing, cars, and social mannerisms have been reconstructed to a tee.  It’s obvious that Luhrmann is meticulous and that several scholars were consulted for the film. But I delight in the fact that he mixes in slight anachronisms to make the film relevant to modern day audiences. Luhrmann weaves Jay-Z, Lana Del Rey, Jack White and Beyonce into the background music, reminding you that this tale is not the Jazz Age’s alone, but a timeless one; one that could even take place today.

As someone who has studied literature, Fitzgerald, and this period, I feel that Luhrmann’s Gatsby accurately sums up the 1920’s: a big party that is ruined by a great crash. Leaving the theater was like leaving Gatsby’s house after a long weekend. While Luhrmann dazzles us with effects he is also telling us a deep story, a sad story, one that if told differently would perhaps eat at our core. It is my hope that audiences are able to recognize the depth of Carraway’s words and the portrayal of this period among the champagne soaked parties. I recommend seeing the movie in 3-D (how Luhrmann intended it), buying the soundtrack, and re-reading the book. The memories of Gatsby linger long after it ends, and any story that stays with you is a story worth examining.

Published in Current
Monday, 14 January 2013 09:12

Made Music | The Return of Greatness

New Music // January 14, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013 started off like any other day.  I woke up feeling a little under the weather, hit up 3 different stores looking for flavored coconut water in an attempt to hydrate, failed miserably at finding any at all (really, LA?), then arrived at work unable to find parking.  This, my friends, is clearly the life.

As I rode the elevator up to my office, I asked myself if I should just throw in the towel and write Thursday off as a loss, because things were obviously not going to go my way.  But then.  THEN!  I logged into Facebook, and saw a status update from Beyonce.  I felt my mind slowly unhinge as I read the following simple, beautiful words: “The first original Destiny's Child music in eight years!  Pre-order it at http://smarturl.it/dc_lovesongs_amzn“ I excitedly logged into Gchat to voice my excitement to anyone online that would listen, one of my friends retorted, “As if Justin Timberlake’s announcement about his new album wasn’t enough.”  Wait, what?  JUSTIN.  TIMBERLAKE.  NEW.  MUSIC. ???  Clearly the universe is trying to give us all a collective heart attack.  It’s almost too much to handle.  Did Justin and the DC ladies get together and say let’s freak out the entire world today?  OK everyone, why is this such a big deal?  If you need any sort of reminder on how momentous this is, let’s recap:

Destiny’s Child:

From No, No, No to Bills, Bills, Bills, Destiny’s Child (Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Robertson) proved they were awesome at repeating themselves and also dominating the airwaves.  From the very beginning, Beyonce always stood out as the star, and after four albums and a string of hits, it didn’t really hit anyone as a major shock when the group disbanded in early 2001 to embark on solo projects.  Michelle Williams achieved success in the gospel circuit, while Kelly Rowland had some hits domestically (most recently, “Motivation”) and achieved even greater success internationally.  I don’t really need to say anything about Beyonce.  We all know everything she’s been doing because her career skyrocketed and she became one of the biggest superstars in the entire universe, with incredible success in music, movies and everything else you could possibly succeed in.  Fans of the group have longed for a reunion ever since they split up officially in 2004, but it didn’t seem in the cards up until very recently.  There was a period when it seemed like the girls weren’t really close anymore, and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine some resentments between them.  I mean, would you want to stand in Beyonce’s shadow?  Yikes.  However, the girls have been increasingly publicly friendly and supportive of each other the past few years.

With Beyonce planning her big return to the music scene following some time off to birth the next ruler of the world, aka Blue Ivy, with hubby, Jay-Z, and a hugely anticipated Super Bowl halftime performance in the works for February, this seems like the perfect time for a Destiny’s Child reunion.  Their new single, Nuclear, leaked on Friday and that track plus a slew of their hits will be released into an album called Love Songs on January 29th.  The single definitely has a 90’s vibe about it, and it’s a smooth sounding mid-tempo track that should make for a sexy, fun performance during the Super Bowl.  So get your popcorn ready, the “writings on the wall” (sorry.) are telling me this sh*t is going to change your life.  Or at least entertain you for a few minutes.  





Justin Timberlake:

Much like Beyonce always stood out in Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake was arguably the spotlight hog in N’Sync.  N’Sync had a crazily successful run, selling 50+ million albums together over the course of their career together.  But in 2002 the band said Bye, Bye, Bye to each other (are we sensing a pattern here?) and Justin wasted no time getting to work on his solo material.  Can you remember when his first solo single, “Like I Love You” hit the radio?  I sure do.  I was one of those girls who was so anti-boy band. Then I heard the track and grudgingly admitted to myself that I straight up loved it.  His first album solo, Justified, was a huge success.

There was no denying that JT knew what he was doing, and his follow-up album, Future/Sex Love Sounds cemented him as a solo star sex god from the heavens.  After touring to support the album, Justin, now at the absolute top of his solo career, did the only logical thing he could do at that point.  He said, “f*&k this, I need to act now.”  He announced his hiatus from music in 2004.  Since then, he’s been in several movies and occasionally pops up in other people’s songs, but he has shown no interest in putting out his own material.  In fact, the man always seemed rather annoyed when people would ask him about it.  His claim that he just wasn’t ready or inspired enough was repeated so much that his fanbase couldn’t help but write off his return to music as a pipe dream.  Which is why the short video he put on YouTube Thursday culminating with him standing at a mic saying, “I’m Ready,” then flashing to a countdown leading up to Sunday, 1/13 at 9PM PST was such a huge surprise.  Maybe his marriage to Jessica Biel was the inspiration he needed to get back in the booth.    



I logged onto Twitter at 9 on the dot last night and saw Justin share the link to his new song right on time.  The song? Suit & Tie featuring none other than Jay-Z.  The song doesn’t break any new ground for Justin; it’s the vintage JT/Timbaland combo we all know and love.  Not mad at all at the premise -- what woman doesn’t like to get dressed up and go out with  a guy in a fresh tux?  Jay-Z blessing the track is the icing on the cake.  Justin sent out an open letter to his fans with the song, saying he started creating what’s shaping up to be his next album, The 20/20 Experience, back in June, and he promises a “big 2013.”  That’s all he’s sharing for now.  I, for one, can’t wait to hear what else he’s got for us. 

Published in Current
Monday, 10 September 2012 09:55

Entertainment | Hollywood's Top Paid Women

January 3, 2011

Hollywood is a notorious boy’s town. Men both in front and behind the scenes consistently out-earn women. But don’t cry for Tinseltown’s highest-earning women entertainers. According to Forbes, they collectively earned more than $700 million during the last fiscal year. Still, these women didn’t earn their millions overnight. Whether it was by pure determination, or skill, these Made Women eventually climbed their way to the top of their fields.

10. Danielle Steel - $35 million



You might not know Danielle Steel’s face but you certainly know her work. The popular author has published novels that practically live on the New York Times best sellers list and has had her work adapted for over 20 television shows. Before she wrote bestsellers like Wanderlust or The Long Road Home, she worked as a public relations agent and copywriter.

9. Beyonce Knowles - $35 million



Unlike some of the other women on this list, Bey’s career before entertainment doesn’t include cleaning tables or selling merchandise because that would have been, well, illegal. Getting her start at age eight, Queen B has been a force to be reckoned with for over 15 years now. And since she’s been killing it on the stage with a baby in her belly, there’s no sign motherhood will slow her down.

8. Katy Perry - $44 million


Life for Katy hasn’t always been as bright as her unconventional outfits. Using the name her mama gave her, Katy Hudson released a gospel album in 2001 that flopped. She was then dropped by two major labels until she kissed a girl and Capital Records liked it. Now Katy is set to break a major record held by none other than the King of Pop himself.

7. Judge Judy - $45 million



Who says being mean can’t earn you green? The feisty judge known for her no-nonsense legal approach has been at the top of her game ever since she opened her courtroom to cameras. Before her syndicated show averaged over 10 million viewers a day, Judge Judy worked as a prosecutor in family court where she fought against child abuse and domestic violence.

6. Ellen DeGeneres - $45 million


Before she was a talk show host, the head of her own record label, founder of a pet-food company, actress, and Cover Girl, Ellen worked in retail and waited tables at TGI Fridays. Using her childhood and career experiences as material, Ellen did stand up at coffee houses and small clubs until Showtime eventually named her the funniest person in America in the early ‘80s.

5. Taylor Swift - $45 million


When Kanye stormed the stage at the VMA’s and declared that Beyonce should’ve topped Taylor, he certainly wasn’t basing that on Taylor Swift’s pocketbook. Like Bey’, Taylor has been in the spotlight since she was a young girl and received her first record deal at just 14 years old.  But it wasn’t just for singing. Sony hired her as a songwriter, skills she likely honed after winning a national poetry contest when she was in the fourth grade. 

4. Gisele Bundchen - $45 million


Gisele isn’t your average pretty face. She’s a Goodwill Ambassador, actress, and mom who hit the runway weeks after giving birth. Discovered in a mall as a teenager, Gisele has since been dubbed “the most beautiful girl in the world” and broke a record when Victoria’s Secret gave her $25 million to wear their bras and panties.

3. Bethenny Frankel - $55 million


Frankel has managed to make a fortune through several reality-TV stints, most notably, “The Real Housewives of New York,” but she earned big bucks long before she learned how to milk America’s reality-TV obsession. After graduating from culinary school, she started her own bakery and in 2009 launched Skinnygirl Cocktails, a company that creates and markets low calorie cocktails to women. Frankel reportedly sold her cocktail company for $120 million.

2. Lady Gaga - $90 million


She’s mostly known for her outrageous costumes and over-the-top performances, but before she was an international pop star Stefani Germanotta worked as a waitress in New York City. In 2005 she started a band called Stefani Germanotta. Three years later, she only responded to “Lady Gaga,” released her first single “Just Dance,” and within a year was nominated for a Grammy and became a household name.


1. Oprah Winfrey - $290 million


O isn’t just the highest-earning woman in entertainment; she’s the highest earner period. Out-earning the closest male by $160 million, Oprah is a force that can only be taken down by her fiercest competitor: herself. If her OWN Network continues to lag in ratings, some predict Oprah might not make the top of the list next year (which seems unlikely).  Since she started her career as the first black woman anchor at a Nashville news station in the early 1970s, she’s been overcoming odds with remarkable success.  


If history repeats itself and these women continue to inspire us, make us laugh, or do the ugly cry, 2012 is bound to be just as profitable for these heavy hitters.  They’ve proven the journey to get to the top – full of its ups and down – is far more important than where we take off on our quests to be Made.  

Published in Entertainment

April 23, 2012 

The awesome/creepy resurrection performance of the Tupac hologram left those at Coachella in awe and those on the internet buzzing about who they should hologram next. We, of course, had to add our two cents so we created a list of our own. Check it out:


Michael Jackson 

Obviously a great pick.  Nope, this is never going to be as awesome as the real man moonwalking his feet off back in his heyday, but it would still be pretty freakin awesome.  You know you wanted to see the full This Is It Tour!!


Aaliyah 

She was like some kind of angel on earth already when she was alive, so seeing her as a hologram would probably be more of a heart-string yank than anything else... but having her on a stage with Timbaland, Missy & Ginuwine would be the stuff dreams are made of.



Eazy-E

A rap legend who was huge before auto tuned rap and hashtag lyrics. NWA reunion?? Come on son! Matter of fact, can we just resurrect all of hip hop with a hologram?

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Selena 

A shining star who's life was cut too short. If her hologram could go on tour it would sell out shows everywhere. But I'm guessing J.Lo would vote no on this one. 



Whitney Houston 

#TooSoon? It doesn't matter--her talent was unparalleled and to see her on stage again performing Bodyguard-era jams in all their glory would be amazing.  


Beyonce

Who says we can only hologram celebs that are no longer with us? I say they hologram Beyonce next. That way, the hologram can go on tour while Bey pops out a brother for baby Blu to make the nuclear family complete.  I wonder what they'll call him….Black [Album] Hemlock? Okay, maybe it’s a stretch, but tell me you wouldn’t pay to witness that. If only holograms could learn to whip their hair….

In case you missed the Tupac hologram performance at Coachella here it is:      


 Who do you think they should hologram next? Tell us in the comments below.


Published in Entertainment
Monday, 09 April 2012 06:47

Entertainment | The Brand of (Queen) Bey

April 9, 2012

After a 15+ year career, Beyonce has left only one question about her abilities as an entertainer and artist: Is there anything she can’t do? She puts everything she has into all that she does, from her music to her performances to her clothing line to her fragrances to her picture perfect family.  With the recent birth of her baby, Beyonce can add another accomplishment to her resume: being a mom.  Seriously, Webster's should just stick a picture of Beyonce's face next to the word BOSS in the dictionary.  

Despite constantly being in the public eye, Beyonce is just as notorious for her privacy as she is for her career.  She kept her relationship with Jay-Z totally under wraps for years, and even managed to pull off a wedding without so much as a leaked picture of a tablecloth from the ceremony.  But since Beyonce got pregnant, we're seeing a little more of her private life.  She made a very public announcement of her impending bundle of joy by revealing her bump on stage at the MTV Awards, and while she never revealed a due date or confirmed her baby’s sex, she did reveal her name soon after birth and even shared some pics of the little Blue shortly after returning home.  And now Beyonce is giving us even more of a glimpse into her world with the launch of her Tumblr account.  She chose to reveal pictures from her personal collection, including some with her equally Boss husband, her sister, and her nephew.  She even included a couple videos, with a highlight being the one where she stood barefoot and pregnant in front of a tree and said it was a blue ivy.  


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Clearly, everything that Beyonce does is carefully strategized and has a specific purpose for her brand; and with this Tumblr, it's clear she is trying to give her ravenous fans a little more of a taste of Beyonce, the human being – not Bey the part-human-part-R&B-demigod we see on the stage all the time. And obviously, we can’t get enough. Her MTV Awards reveal garnered her Twitter’s top tweets-per-second record and we can only imagine what kind of crazy traffic her new Tumblr is getting. The site says she will continue to share pictures via the blog.  And really, since she is so famously private, it feels a lot like getting a look behind the Great and Powerful Oz's curtain or something.  I gotta hand it to Bey (...again...), she made this choice to share some things with the public, and she's doing it on her damn terms and as she damn well pleases. Shocker – Beyonce wins again.  

It’s being said that her four year anniversary with Jay (which was April 4) spurred her to do this.  Whatever the reason, I think it's a great move.  She's so larger than life – it's easy to forget she is an actual person, not some perfect singing, dancing cyborg. Getting a little peek into the world she lives in off the stage is pretty cool.  It will be interesting to see if this means another evolution of the brand of Beyonce. Motherhood softening you up, Bey?  Keep it coming – we love it!


Published in Entertainment
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 08:29

Entertainment | Hollywood's Top Paid Women

January 3, 2011

Hollywood is a notorious boy’s town. Men both in front and behind the scenes consistently out-earn women. But don’t cry for Tinseltown’s highest-earning women entertainers. According to Forbes, they collectively earned more than $700 million during the last fiscal year. Still, these women didn’t earn their millions overnight. Whether it was by pure determination, or skill, these Made Women eventually climbed their way to the top of their fields.

10. Danielle Steel - $35 million



You might not know Danielle Steel’s face but you certainly know her work. The popular author has published novels that practically live on the New York Times best sellers list and has had her work adapted for over 20 television shows. Before she wrote bestsellers like Wanderlust or The Long Road Home, she worked as a public relations agent and copywriter.

9. Beyonce Knowles - $35 million



Unlike some of the other women on this list, Bey’s career before entertainment doesn’t include cleaning tables or selling merchandise because that would have been, well, illegal. Getting her start at age eight, Queen B has been a force to be reckoned with for over 15 years now. And since she’s been killing it on the stage with a baby in her belly, there’s no sign motherhood will slow her down.

8. Katy Perry - $44 million


Life for Katy hasn’t always been as bright as her unconventional outfits. Using the name her mama gave her, Katy Hudson released a gospel album in 2001 that flopped. She was then dropped by two major labels until she kissed a girl and Capital Records liked it. Now Katy is set to break a major record held by none other than the King of Pop himself.

7. Judge Judy - $45 million



Who says being mean can’t earn you green? The feisty judge known for her no-nonsense legal approach has been at the top of her game ever since she opened her courtroom to cameras. Before her syndicated show averaged over 10 million viewers a day, Judge Judy worked as a prosecutor in family court where she fought against child abuse and domestic violence.

6. Ellen DeGeneres - $45 million


Before she was a talk show host, the head of her own record label, founder of a pet-food company, actress, and Cover Girl, Ellen worked in retail and waited tables at TGI Fridays. Using her childhood and career experiences as material, Ellen did stand up at coffee houses and small clubs until Showtime eventually named her the funniest person in America in the early ‘80s.

5. Taylor Swift - $45 million


When Kanye stormed the stage at the VMA’s and declared that Beyonce should’ve topped Taylor, he certainly wasn’t basing that on Taylor Swift’s pocketbook. Like Bey’, Taylor has been in the spotlight since she was a young girl and received her first record deal at just 14 years old.  But it wasn’t just for singing. Sony hired her as a songwriter, skills she likely honed after winning a national poetry contest when she was in the fourth grade. 

4. Gisele Bundchen - $45 million


Gisele isn’t your average pretty face. She’s a Goodwill Ambassador, actress, and mom who hit the runway weeks after giving birth. Discovered in a mall as a teenager, Gisele has since been dubbed “the most beautiful girl in the world” and broke a record when Victoria’s Secret gave her $25 million to wear their bras and panties.

3. Bethenny Frankel - $55 million


Frankel has managed to make a fortune through several reality-TV stints, most notably, “The Real Housewives of New York,” but she earned big bucks long before she learned how to milk America’s reality-TV obsession. After graduating from culinary school, she started her own bakery and in 2009 launched Skinnygirl Cocktails, a company that creates and markets low calorie cocktails to women. Frankel reportedly sold her cocktail company for $120 million.

2. Lady Gaga - $90 million


She’s mostly known for her outrageous costumes and over-the-top performances, but before she was an international pop star Stefani Germanotta worked as a waitress in New York City. In 2005 she started a band called Stefani Germanotta. Three years later, she only responded to “Lady Gaga,” released her first single “Just Dance,” and within a year was nominated for a Grammy and became a household name.


1. Oprah Winfrey - $290 million


O isn’t just the highest-earning woman in entertainment; she’s the highest earner period. Out-earning the closest male by $160 million, Oprah is a force that can only be taken down by her fiercest competitor: herself. If her OWN Network continues to lag in ratings, some predict Oprah might not make the top of the list next year (which seems unlikely).  Since she started her career as the first black woman anchor at a Nashville news station in the early 1970s, she’s been overcoming odds with remarkable success.  


If history repeats itself and these women continue to inspire us, make us laugh, or do the ugly cry, 2012 is bound to be just as profitable for these heavy hitters.  They’ve proven the journey to get to the top – full of its ups and down – is far more important than where we take off on our quests to be Made.  

Published in Entertainment
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