What else we're reading

Oprah takes an HIV test. Plus, fashion insiders to propose guidelines to combat unhealthy industry practices.

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published January 9, 2007 12:00AM (EST)

New York Times: In response to mounting criticism over anorexia chic, fashion insiders have come up with industry health guidelines that will be delivered next week to designers. The Times reports that "the recommendations are likely to include scheduling fashion-show fittings with younger models during daylight hours, rather than late at night, to help them get more sleep; urging designers to identify models with eating disorders; and introducing more nutritious backstage catering, where a diet of Champagne and cigarettes is the norm." There remains a question of just how much the guidelines will change industry practices -- if at all. Chief Executive of DNA Model Management David Bonnouvrier said, "It's nothing that we don't do already."

Also from the Times: Following the resignation of the hotly controversial Larry Summers as president of Harvard, some say that the appropriate person to fill his shoes would be a woman. In the university's 371 year history it has never been helmed by a woman.

Virgin.net: Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond, concedes that, yes, 007 "is a sexist pig."

Slate: Seth Stevenson reviews a commercial for Sony Bravia TV (promoted as "the first television for men and women") which shows a man and woman marveling at the product in a storefront. The commercial ultimately asks, "Would you rather be a rebellious, nonconformist maverick coach...or a shoe lover who gets asked to be a shoe model...?" Seemingly, the idea is that men would choose the former, while women would pick the latter. We couldn't agree more with Slate's "C-" rating of the commercial. As Stevenson writes, "[D]on't get me started on the dinosaur gender-role assumptions...I'm guessing the original basis for the ad's never adequately explained tag line...was the notion that men care more about technical specs, while women care more about what the TV looks like on the wall. But even after searching through all the nooks and crannies on Sony's Web site, I've found only minimal evidence to support this hypothesis. The deeper I go with this campaign, the less it makes sense. And the less I care."

Associated Press: Writer Jocelyn Noveck takes a look at the often undervalued body-image concerns of boys and men. But, Deborah L. Tolman from the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality points out that those pressures facing women are much different: "For boys and men, engaging with these media images is more of a choice. There's just not the same requirement for a man in our society to look a particular way. As a man, you can look terrible and still be very well respected."

Also from the AP: Kudos to Oprah, who took an HIV test Saturday to persuade the students of her new South African school for girls to be tested. What's more, "the talk show host promised the 152 pupils free AIDS testing, counseling and -- if necessary -- treatment," the AP reports.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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