Home » , , , » stars, sex and nudity buzz : 12/23/2012

stars, sex and nudity buzz : 12/23/2012

The director Allison Burnett pretty much confirms 22-years old Britt Robertson will be nude in Undiscovered Gyrl (2013).
According to him, he cast Britt who loved the script but her rep claimed she was unavailable. Allison auditioned a different actress but she dropped out days into the shooting, clashing with him over the nudity requirement (in Allison own words: 'R-rated', 'racy', 'it's sexual', 'it's raw and real', 'profane'). The writer-director was at loss until Britt contacted him with a positive news. Allison found or in this case rediscovered his Katie and we will see Britt in the buff. Win-win for everyone. By the way Justin Long plays her much older 'boyfriend' and it's a very sexually raw character. Listen to the whole interview, guys.

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(it seems the embedded player is playing the wrong interview. Click here for the proper version)

Allison is a very transparent character - a rarity in Hollywood. He talks a bit more about the movie. Here is the link

Allison also talks about his late father of law Zalman King and his masterpiece Red Shoes Diaries. He claims Lucy Liu appeared on RSD when she was just 22 and there were other young stars in some unaired(?) episodes. Allison mentioned RSD because the female interviewer was Anna Karin whom he directed in Red Meat (1997) and also was in first episode of RSD. He also talks about Undiscovered Gyrl (the casting process).

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The official Facebook. It appears Kimberly Williams-Paisley is playing Britt's mom. Now that's a surprise. She usually steer clear of racy material. I know there is a sex scene involving Katie's mom and her BF in the book but it was more implied than anything else.

Synopsis:
Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt is taking a year off before college to find her passion. Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend, Rory, and work at the bookstore. She plans to seduce Dan, a thirty-two-year-old film professor.
Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. But soon, Katie’s fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

Based on Allison Burnett's novel, Undiscovered Gyrl is sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humor, A story of identity, voyeurism, and deceit.
Here is my take. If Allison adapts the book faithfully and keep most of it intact, it will be rated hard-R. Britt will be nude for lengthy period. I suggested before in previous post about possible body double for some scenes including of sexual nature and I stand by it. But Britt should be topless for non-sexual segments with her BF and much older neighbor (Justin Long).

A reviewer short summary of the novel:
Katie is a bright and funny wild child who smokes and drinks and takes drugs. Her unnervingly insightful posts are peppered with "LOL!" and "Grrrr" and "HA!" We learn about her somewhat clueless mother and her disengaged and alcoholic father, who was kicked out of the house when Katie was just 7. And we hear about the men in her life, lots of men, with whom she has lots of sex. Though she has a boyfriend her own age, she also has a sexual relationship with Dan, a neighbor in his 30s. Almost any man she meets, it seems, wants to have sex with Katie, and she appears to rarely refuse.
Undiscovered Gyrl is very graphic and I even learned a few sex-things from reading it.  I never knew what a “box job” was before this book.  But it’s not porn, per se, and it all goes into the story for a purpose.  It is shocking… at least for me, an over-30-parent.  
This book is not for the faint of heart as there are some pretty steamy stories, such as the details of her relationship with a much older man. Which is only one of the more tintallating stories that she blogs about.
Although I am no prude, I found that, at times, this novel and the blog entries (under the guise of being the thoughts and life experiences of a young girl who is discovering herself) was trying to be a little scandalous on purpose. I think this is why I am not a fan of "blog entries" when they are part of a novel - because obviously these entries are not real and are not someone's life experiences - so its a little harder to accept them (for me anyway). I would find it easier to believe had they been really lived as opposed to simply imagined and penned.
The cast and production team:


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Behind the Scenes: House of Lies Season 2 



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Dating advice from actress Maggie Grace



Maggie Grace would like to talk about the C word. 

"I feel like we hear too much that girls love confidence," says the single, 29-year-old actress, who's now starring in the Broadway revival of Picnic. (She's also in two new movies—the latest Twilight flick and Taken 2, as Liam Neeson's daughter.) 

"And there's this misinformation out there," she continues, "that if a girl's really cute, then she's used to being hit on, and that you won't stand out unless you do something unexpected and treat her differently. You hear those things a lot. And it just ain't so."
Confident men may feel the need to dominate, from that first meeting through every little disagreement. 

But, Grace says, "true power isn't domination. It's decisiveness and security with who you are as a man—that's what's really sexy as hell." 

So ease off on the showboating when meeting women. And the next time an argument brews with your significant other, ask yourself Grace's simple preemptive question—"Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?"—and avoid the fight altogether.  

Now, that's taking control of a relationship. (For more great relationship advice, sign up for our free Girl Next Door newsletter.)

Maggie fills in the blanks:
I'm always glad when a man . . .
is comfortable with affection. Physical touch. I think the population's probably 50/50, but I'm definitely on the affectionate side. Good old oxytocin and vasotocin--they make life better.


A man's touch . . .
is steadying and keeps me present.


Real men never . . .
stray from what's really important to them in an effort to impress others. I live in Los Angeles, so I would say the culture's a little different. It's a lot more about impressing and appearance than in some other places.


I wish I could teach every guy how to . . .
wrap his arms around a woman in a way that she knows she could absolutely faint and he'd catch her. That clasp around the lower back is the sexiest thing in the world. (And while you're at it, look up how to give her a sexy back rub.)


To make me feel special . . .
let what's important in my life become important to you, too.


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Jessica Burciaga video: Arch and Point

MsJessicaburciagaMsJessicaburciaga


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Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Guide To Acting Drunk

Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Guide To Acting Drunk film still
From lightly sozzled to absolutely trousered, the Smashed star talks us through the fine art of getting half-cut on camera.

She's best known for her scream queens roles in sci-fi/horrors Final Destination 3The Thing and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead's latest film, Smashed, required a more staid performance from the 28-year-old rising star. Specifically, she had to get used to pretending to be out-of-her-mind drunk. A lot. Here, Winstead offers LWLies her top tips for acting blotto on the big screen.

Know Your Limits

"Every actor has a different set of skills for acting drunk. I had never done it before so I had to find something that worked for me. I found this book called 'The Power Of The Actor', it has this chapter all about playing drunk and all the different techniques you can use."
"The main thing I did was this almost hypnosis thing where you close your eyes and you take yourself through every single minute detail of what it feels like to get drunk, starting with the taste on your tongue through the burning down your throat to the warm dizzy feeling when the alcohol starts to take effect. If you take it far enough it can have a really powerful effect, to the point where when you open your eyes they're glazed over and you feel really out of it."

Mix It Up

"In the more extreme scenes I would do things like spinning non-stop, really fast while staring at the floor. I'd keep spinning until by the time they called 'action' I'd have to hold onto something just to stop myself from falling over. When you're drunk you're often acting in a silly, childlike way, so spinning around helped me to get into that mindset."

Stay On The Wagon

"I thought about going method as an option, but ultimately filming is unpredictable; you don't know when you're going to be filming a scene; you don't know how long it's going to take so if you're relying on a substance that could evaporate at any moment you may find yourself thinking 'Oh shit, I'm not drunk anymore, what am I going to do now?' Or the opposite can happen where you get so drunk that you can't take direction or you can't remember your lines. There's a lot of ways that could go wrong. People definitely do it though, I have plenty of actor friends that have done it and ended up regretting it."

Be Yourself

"I deliberately didn't look at any other drunk performances because I knew that if I got any sort of performance in my head that it would just effect it in a way that I didn't want. I didn't want to be consciously aware of what it looked like or what it sounded like. Try to find it in the most authentic way possible. There's a lot of what I'm like when I'm drunk in the performance.
"I'm very silly and childlike when I'm drunk, just very dance-y and constantly moving. The karaoke scene is a good example of what I'm like when I'm drunk – kinda goofy and carefree."


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Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): J. Kenner Blog Tour

Who Needs a Billionaire?

In a lot of erotica, including Release Me, our sexy, swoon-worthy hero has money.  Often lots of money.  And not “lots” as in his retirement account is sweetly on track, but “lots” as in he could fund the retirement of every citizen of a country the size of, oh, Austria.

The other day, someone posed the question to me of why? Why is the billionaire hero popular?

It wasn’t a question I answered at the time, but it stuck with me, and I think the answer is both simple and complex.  

The simple answer is the most basic:  the fantasy.  

To me, the basic allure of erotic romance is the emotional, physical and sensual connection between the hero and the heroine.  The relationship may be tumultuous, but that only makes the fantasy sweeter when the problems are resolved.  And that rocky path doesn’t change the fact that as a reader, we want to slide into a sensual fantasy.  

Call me shallow, but there’s more of a fantasy surrounding a billionaire sweeping me off my feet than the guy working overtime so that he can make the mortgage and cover his property taxes.  After all, what woman doesn’t want the fantasy of a guy who can afford to whisk her away for a spur-of-the-moment romantic weekend?  I don’t know about y’all (that’s my Texas girl showing) but in my family, sexy weekend trysts are not a line-item in the budget.  Too bad for me …

So that hits the element from the reading side of the equation.  The reader (and for my purposes, I’m considering the author a “reader” simply by virtue of experiencing the story) wants to get lost in the fantasy, and a billionaire hero is definitely fantasy material.



But there’s also the question of control.  While it certainly doesn’t have to, a lot of erotic romance either touches upon or falls well within the framework of BDSM.  And that world comes with an element of control. 


Assuming our hero earned his billions, it’s a pretty fair bet that he’s a guy who’s not only used to being in control, but expects it. And it’s a reasonable jump to move those expectations from the boardroom to the bedroom.  From the moment that character appears, the reader knows about him, even if only on a subconscious level.  

So that’s reason number two:  the money fits the character.

In Release Me, I had a third reason, and it centers around Nikki.  She needs money. She’s working, she’s saving, and she has a very specific goal in mind.  I don’t want to get into spoiler-land, but if Damien weren’t fabulously wealthy, he could never have made the proposition to Nikki that is so central to the story and the relationship that develops between these two. He had to be rich for this story in order for Nikki to be this heroine.

So there you go: the answer to the 64 billion dollar question.  At the end of the day, for me, a character’s net worth depends on so many factors.  In this case, Damien’s stinking rich.  He just is

J.Kenner is the pen name of USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner (who also writes as J.K. Beck).  Release Me, an erotic romance, will be available in the U.S. and the U.K. on January 1, and in over a dozen other countries later in 2013.


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Happy Holidays, Gorgeous! You Fly Free

By: John Carney , Cindy Perman (14 Dec 2012)
If you're gorgeous, you fly free, baby!
Ah, the holidays. A time for spending time with family. A time for dreaming of spending it with wealthier, sexier, more interesting people.

Of course, you would never admit to that. Neither would we. Frankly, we're appalled you would even think such things of our family. But surely we can all agree that some people fantasize about such things, right?!

Enter Brandon Wade, an aspiring physicist who turned his MIT education and bad luck with the ladies into an Internet matchmaking empire. His specialty? Matching up the wealthy (i.e., Sugar Daddies) with the attractive (i.e., hot women). (Sure, there are Sugar Mommas but if we're being honest, and going purely by the numbers, Sugar Daddies outnumber Sugar Mommas like 15 to 1.)
Brandon Wade, just a man with a dream of connecting the wealthy and the sexy. Pictured here with his new bride, Tanya.
His sites include: SeekingArrangements.com, SeekingMillionaire.com (singles only), WhatsYourPrice.com (where the rich bid on dates) and his newest venture, Miss Travel which keeps the Sugar Daddy theme but adds in the element of travel and adventure. (Kind of like that time the Griswolds went on a European Vacation.)

Wade's taken a lot of heat for his chosen profession – CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin once called him an "MIT-educated pimp" and Business Insider called his company a "sex-for-cash empire." Sure, the Sugar Daddies pay to be members (on MissTravel.com, it's $50 a month to communicate with up to 10 people or $95 a month for unlimited communications) and hotties get in free but Wade swears he's no pimp and every site has a prominent disclaimer that "Escorts Are Not Allowed" – but hey, if a date ends in sex, who are we to judge? (High five, maybe, but judging -- no.)

"Guys are always looking for sex. In a recent NY Post poll, 62 percent of men said hooking up was the No. 1 motivation for joining dating sites. Guys will always be guys! I didn't invent that – humanity did!" Wade quipped. "But there's a gentlemanly way versus a very crude way to go about it" and, he said, their aim is to keep it classy.

His word choices are bold -- "Sugar Daddy," "Sugar Baby," "Date beautiful people" and the tagline for the travel site, "Attractive people fly free," but he says they're just being honest.

"At the end of the day, dating is just a very superficial process," he said. (That's true – how many of us have ever looked across the room and said, "Wow, I'll bet she's got a GREAT personality!")

But that doesn't mean love is dead.

"I think as a society, as a human race, we believe in true love," he said.

Here's our two cents on true love – and the idea of the beautiful flying free this holiday season.

First thought that popped into your head when you heard about this new travel web site pairing Sugar Daddies with hot travel companions.
John said: I worried that all my frequent flyer miles would go to waste now that I can fly free.
Cindy said: I knew it – beautiful people DO get more free stuff than the rest of us!

What do you think about that tagline -- "Attractive people fly free." Do you dig the honesty or need them to pretend for a little longer that people will love you for your mind?
John said: It would be better if it were just "attractive people fly." Because then it would be about superheroes. Hot superheroes.
Cindy said: I dig the honesty. Though, I still like to be told I look skinny in these pants -- even when I don't!

Do you think it's unfair that beautiful people get free stuff?
John said: What's worse is that wealthy people get free stuff. The more you can afford to pay for something, the more likely someone is to just give it to you as a gift. Swag.
Cindy said: Yes, but life is unfair. Those beautiful people will grow old and wrinkly just like the rest of us – but be less-adjusted to receiving less attention than the rest of us! So, it all evens out.

Do you think people can find true love on sites like this?
John said: Yes. I've met her. But Tru Luv isn't her real name. It's her "stage name."
Cindy said: Sure. Why not? Though, I think they're more likely to find a Paris magnet for their fridge.

Brandon Wade – "MIT-educated pimp" (as Hostin so eloquently described him), Internet genius or lonely nerd who got lucky?
John said: Those things are the same.
Cindy said: Internet genius AND lonely nerd who got lucky. Have you seen his wife?!

Your favorite "testimonial" by a member.
John said: "However, I did wish at times she weren't so crazy about texting her friends on her cell phone while I was with her," said BikeBoy85. Heartbreaking.
Cindy said: "Best and most touching experience ever:-)" – Miss Flower, Oct. 2, 2012

Let's get down to business: Will this travel web site help the economy? Specifically, do you think it can help end the European debt crisis?
John said: I have a joke about stimulating demand here but it's too dirty for our website.
Cindy said: Definitely! Airline tickets, dinner, flowers and other, um, dating accessories – that all pumps money into the economy! And adding the element of travel with MissTravel.com – this may turn out to be Europe's secret fiscal weapon!

It's been a rough year for a lot of people. Do you think this travel web site will help put some magic in the holidays for some?
John said: It's perfect for holiday travel. If you have always craved spending Christmas time with a stranger's family rather than your own, you should definitely sign up. Fly a hot girl home for the holidays and let her father beat you to a pulp.
Cindy said: The holidays tend to be a slow time for dating sites but I think fantasizing about traveling to Rome or Bali with a wealthy or gorgeous new friend will help make the holiday-dinner conversation about Aunt Mavis's hip replacement much more palatable!

Describe a dream date a lucky couple could have using this web site.
John said: Fly to Scotland. Fish and drink scotch. Do I have to bring a date?
Cindy said: Traveling around the world, sampling bacon from other countries – and finding the right bourbon to go with it.

Gotta ask –would you ever use this web site?
John said: The minute a scotch heiress looking to import a fly fishermen signs up, I'm in.
Cindy said: Um, if I was confident I could find that perfect bacon-bourbon travel companion, then yes.

Wade said he's going to come up with a new Sugar Daddy-type web site every year. What should his next one be?
John said: Dudes Who Will Fill Your Gas Tank At Self-Service Station.
Cindy said: Mill

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The new wave of Arab supermodels

Arab supermodels are making a name for themselves in the fashion industry, and are changing the way Arab women are perceived by the rest of the world.
Hind Sahli
Hind Sahli joined her first modelling agency in 2008
Hind Sahli is from Morocco, has been modelling for a couple of years and has worked with names such as Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and Vera Wang.

She puts her success down to a couple of things. "In fashion, they like to have new. Anything new is good." 

But the diversity and culture of the Arab world is also appealing to those in the fashion industry.

"Designers and photographers - they like that we're not all the same and also we have such a big culture, it's so different from others - we can get inspired from so many things."

Coming from a conservative culture, the reaction to her modelling as a career choice has been mixed. 

"Mostly, I have had positive reactions. Most people think it's good to have a Moroccan model. I have also had some young girls sending messages by Facebook asking me how I did it and how I started. I have had just a few bad reactions from people, but I don't mind - I'm happy what I'm doing."

But it is not just Hind Sahli making a name for herself - other models have also broken through, such as Hanaa ben Abdesslem from Tunisia, who has landed the holy grail of modelling - a contract with a cosmetic company, Lancome.

Shaista Gohir, a director of Muslim Women's Network UK and campaigner for women's rights believes that in the West, there is a generic stereotype of Arab Muslim women and that these models will help to change that.

"It's definitely revolutionary and a bold career choice, particularly because in that part of the world they are quite traditional.

Hanaa ben Abdesslem
Model Hanaa ben Abdesslem grew up in Tunisia, where modelling was not considered to be a profession
"You always need that first person to actually break the boundary, break the stereotypes that will inspire other girls," she says.

"I think the stereotypes do come from the media that show Muslim women as veiled and voiceless - and you only have to look at the 100 most powerful Arab women list that comes out every year, just to see quite a different image of women from that part of the world." 

Many of the models are from a Muslim background, says Hind Sahli, who describes herself as a practising Muslim. She says her distant family members may have a problem with it, but her parents have encouraged her.

"My mum - she chooses to wear the Hijab, it's her choice. My father, my mum and everyone are practising the Muslim religion, praying and everything."

There is a burgeoning youth market in the Arab world - one that designers and brands want to tap into.

One way of doing that is using Arab models because consumers want to buy a product marketed by someone who looks similar to them.

Lauretta Roberts is a director at Fashion forecasters WGSN and believes the use of Arab models marks a groundbreaking moment for the fashion industry.

''The models are being portrayed in a more mainstream and everyday manner. It doesn't necessarily look as revolutionary as perhaps it is, because there's no big deal being made of the culture that they come from.

"They're portrayed in exactly the same way as any model from Eastern Europe or America might be and I think that's incredibly positive. There were a number of models who broke the mould in the 1970s - for instance somebody like Iman - but they were almost portrayed in a slightly exotic way.''

According to Ms Roberts, another reason for the rise of the Arab model is down to money, because the growth markets are in the Middle East and Asia.

''Designers and brands have to go where the money is - and at the moment quite a lot of the money is in the Arab states. You only have to look at the couture market, which is right at the very high end of fashion. That market used to appeal to rich Americans.

"Nowadays, if you look at those shows, it's all about appealing to the Arab consumer because those are the ones who can afford it right now.''

At the same time as the rise of the Arab model, there has been the Arab Spring and things are beginning to change slowly for Arab women in the Middle East. Hind Sahli feels proud to part of the change in her own small way.

''The fact that I left, I'm working and I'm doing well, will give other young girls the courage to do it.''

Zubeida Malik's report was originally broadcast on the Today programme.


The New Faces of Islam

They're proud Muslims, they're top models, and they're remaking the fashion world's ideal of beauty.

When 20-year-old Hind Sahli, a brown-skinned young woman with dark shoulder-length hair, was growing up in Casablanca, she used to watch television shows like America’s Next Top Model and daydream about being on a fashion runway. Sahli was appropriately tall and thin, but in Morocco, the beauty ideal is a voluptuous figure. She was mercilessly teased for her spare frame and would soothe her hurt feelings by sashaying around her living room.

Sahli, who is both Arab and Muslim, was also growing up in a culture where modeling bumps up against significant cultural taboos. As a matter of religion and tradition, female modesty is expected—not the kind of provocative and exhibitionist behavior the mainstream fashion industry rewards.

As Sahli strutted around the room, her mother—a deeply religious homemaker who wears the hijab—was amused by these preoccupations. Sahli’s father, a policeman, was not. Still, neither of them had much to say. It was just make-believe, after all.

About that same time, in the tourist town of Nabeul, Tunisia, a young woman with the gamine features of Audrey Hepburn was having similarly fanciful thoughts. Hanaa Ben Abdesslem had always drawn lingering glances because of her soaring height and impossibly thin frame. The stares made her self-conscious and shy. But when she flipped through fashion magazines, she’d gaze at those “tall, thin, beautiful women, and I thought perhaps someday I could feel at ease.”

Five years ago, the Arab world was mostly disconnected from the global modeling network. In the absence of established agencies and international magazines, modeling wasn’t even a defined profession. Foreign travel was difficult both logistically and culturally. Then there were all manner of preconceived notions from around the globe about what it meant to be an Arab woman.

To accomplish their goals, Sahli and Ben Abdesslem would have to step outside the boundaries of tradition, leave the security of their families, and breach the confines of once unyielding cultures and prejudices—not just in the Arab world but beyond it.

And that’s precisely what they have done. In the last year, especially, both Sahli and Ben Abdesslem have made significant headway—between them, they have walked in shows for labels such as Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vera Wang, and Phillip Lim. They have posed for Italian Vogue and French Vogue and shot advertisements for Top Shop and Lancôme.

Though they have crossed paths only a handful of times, the two women are now inexorably linked through timing, culture, the assumptions others make about them, and their desire to represent 21st-century Arab women to the world.

The fashion industry tends to treat cultural differences as entertaining biography; ethnicity as little more than aesthetics. But the recent experiences of Sahli and Ben Abdesslem show them to be charting a new course on the global runway. For them, fashion is not about gossipy chatter and luxurious indulgences, or even primarily about commerce and entertainment. It is about empowerment, opportunity, and modernity. It is a chance for these young women to be seen, to be heard, and, quite simply, to be.

“It’s given me independence,” Ben Abdesslem says of her career. “It’s given me confidence in myself as a woman.”
Paradoxically, women from the Arab world have long been among the most voracious consumers of fashion. Indeed, the economics of the French haute couture industry relies on Middle Eastern customers. But their consumption is mostly private. The industry adores places such as Marrakech as backdrops for an exotic fashion shoot. Yet while the runways have welcomed models from South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the rest, Arab women have until now been largely absent.

The changes that made Sahli’s and Ben Abdesslem’s ascents possible began some two years ago, when the catwalks were notably homogenous. Blonde, pale, clonelike models from Eastern Europe dominated. Diversity became a cause célèbre, pushed by activist and former model Bethann Hardison and by Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“We have a responsibility in the fashion community to reflect global beauty, to reflect the new economies and reflect their financial strengths,” says Kyle Hagler, senior manager at IMG Models, who works with Ben Abdesslem. With prodding, agencies broadened their search for fresh faces. They turned to North Africa. “I think we all became socially aware,” Hagler says, adding, “We have a responsibility to make sure that it goes on.”
The world, of course, also changed. The Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia, saw protests, revolts, and civil war sweep through North Africa and into the Middle East. The region convulsed with citizen demands for democracy, openness, and opportunity.

Indeed, as Ben Abdesslem prepared to leave for her first Fashion Week in New York, the streets of Tunis were in the throes of weeks-long turmoil. It was Jan. 14—a Friday—when she arrived at the Tunis-Carthage International Airport for an early-morning flight. By the time she landed in New York, the Tunis airport had been shut down, and the country’s president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, had fled to Saudi Arabia. Everything had changed.

“I was happy and excited for my country,” she says, “but I was not there.”

Ben Abdesslem returned home a few weeks later to a postrevolution Tunis. When I visited her in mid-August, during the final days of Ramadan, signs of the tumult were scattered across the landscape. Amid the luxury resorts draped in pink bougainvillea and the mosaic-covered arches of the old town, a mansion that once belonged to Ben Ali’s extended family was deserted and marred by the angry graffiti of protesters. Beyond the bustle of shoppers who slipped into the Medina and down the narrow streets of the souks, a government finance building was surrounded by glinting razor wire, patrolled by military officers, and flanked by a grim tank.

The residents went about their business. The yellow taxis treated red lights as optional. Women lined up at bakeries to buy the sweet cakes that punctuate the evening meal at the end of each daylong fast. Tour buses continued to disgorge camera-wielding Europeans, but tourism, Tunisia’s economic engine, has fallen off 70 percent since the revolution.

Though Ben Abdesslem’s work has now broadened her points of reference to include New York, Paris, and Milan, she still calls Tunisia home. She had driven into the capital from Nabeul, about an hour away, with her older brother Walid, who teaches drama and seems to be her co-conspirator in dreaming big. The 21-year-old model stood out. She has, of course, the physique of a reed. Her dark, wavy hair is clipped into a pixie. That day she wore cobalt-blue satin trousers and a tight black strapless top stamped with gold flowers. She could have stepped directly off a Dries Van Noten runway.

Her career began with a modeling competition in Lebanon, a kind of America’s Next Top Model for the Arab world. (The Tyra Banks juggernaut actually taped a cycle in Morocco—but with American contestants.) Ben Abdesslem didn’t win, so she returned to Nabeul planning to study civil engineering and go into the family construction business. But soon she was introduced to a Saudi Arabian fashion scout who brought her to IMG.
“It was difficult to make my family understand” her desire to model, Ben Abdesslem says with the help of a French translator. “Travel is difficult. It’s always the guys who can do what they want. But the girls stay with their moms and take care of the home. But thanks to my brother,” she says. “He explained.”

Walid Ben Abdesslem, a slender young man with chiseled features and an easy gait, points out that if the family had been from the south, “it would have been more of a problem. Families there are more traditional, the culture more closed. But because of the tourists [in Nabeul], it’s more open.”

Ben Abdesslem points to one sole role model—Farida Khelfa, the French-born daughter of Algerian immigrants, who rose to fashion fame in the 1980s. But no other Arab models followed, Ben Abdesslem notes. “I want to be the role model, so other women can see that it’s possible.”

She has already become a cultural ambassador of sorts. In New York, the other models want to know what life is like in Tunisia. Some don’t know that the small country of about 10 million is nestled between Algeria to the west and Libya to the east. (This summer, Ben Abdesslem traveled south to the Libyan border, where she did volunteer work with refugees from the civil war there.)

They assume she’s extremely conservative. “In New York, a lot of people are thinking I’m wearing the burqa, the veil, everything.” She recounts how she carefully negotiates modesty and opportunity. She will not pose nude, for example. But she models swimsuits and the other revealing frippery of the runway. It is, she said, just business.

Most of all, Ben Abdesslem is keen on shattering stereotypes—about models and about Arab women. “I want to give a good example of the Arab woman,” she says. “I think they want me to speak for them as well.”

Hind Sahli has also taken on the role of tutor and diplomat—not by choice but by default. And with a smile and a shrug she exudes both patience and exasperation.

“Everyone in America thinks Muslims are dangerous. But that’s not the truth. [Terrorists] are crazy; that’s not religion at all,” Sahli says. “I’m a Muslim girl. I’m tolerant. My country is not a bad thing at all.”

Sahli, who has just returned from Tangiers to New York, has suggested Balthazar, in SoHo, for a conversation over breakfast—or, more precisely, a double espresso, the universal meal of models. Wearing a slim-fitting black dress sparkling with black paillettes and a pair of dark-rimmed, cat-eye glasses, she fearlessly and cheerfully barrels through English—which she is just learning—occasionally leaving unconjugated verbs in her wake. A translator helps when a word doesn’t come quickly, but mostly, Sahli is proudly self-reliant.

She got it into her head to model when she was a teenager. At 16, she showed up at a local fashion magazine, armed with business cards she’d printed up herself. She was directed to Elite—the only international agency in Casablanca. Agents thought she had potential, if she lost a bit of weight. They were willing to send her to Paris, but she couldn’t get a visa. She had to wait two years before she could reapply.

Sahli’s mother was frightened by the prospect of her daughter going abroad; her father was grudgingly open-minded. Her older sister, who works with a local group that encourages women to be more modern, was her advocate.

If Sahli had a role model, it was Brazil’s Adriana Lima, a Victoria’s Secret “Angel” with a complexion close to that of Sahli. “You didn’t see a lot of girls in the shows to make me feel it could happen,” she recalls.

Finally, at 18, Sahli went to Paris, where “all the girls were blonde and blue-eyed.” But Sahli did not cower. She auditioned for designers, listened to her agents. She’d gotten to Paris, after all, so anything was possible. “It’s not something intimidating to me,” she says of her part in redefining images of female beauty. “Here’s all these blonde girls—maybe they should change that. Women are not only blonde girls.”

Sahli scored a coup when Steven Meisel photographed her for the May 2010 Italian Vogue. Marc Jacobs booked her for the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. Now, she adds proudly, her photo has a place of honor back home—in her old secondary school.


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Yes, I slept with a lot of women but they had a choice - it wasn't rape, says fashion photographer David Bailey (who's still sex mad at 74!)

  • Legendary lothario dated model Jean Shrimpton and married actress Catherine Deneuve before fourth wife Catherine Dyer finally tamed him
By Laura Cox
'I'm mad about her': The photographer with his fourth wife Catherine
'I'm mad about her': The photographer with his fourth wife Catherine
His reputation as a lothario during  his heyday earned him the nickname Big Bad Bailey.
Several decades on, with four marriages under his belt and about to turn 75, David Bailey is as controversial as ever.

The fashion photographer reveals he still enjoys making love to his 51-year-old wife Catherine, is friends with his ex-girlfriends and ex-wives – and remains unapologetic about his penchant for one night stands. 

It was a habit which saw him clash with feminist critics in the 1970s.But in a new TV interview he says of his conquests: ‘Like it’s my fault they slept with me? They had a choice, it wasn’t rape or anything.’

The East Londoner, who will be 75 on January 2, is inextricabily linked with the Swinging Sixties. The Beatles, Mick Jagger and the Kray brothers all posed for him.
He established himself at Vogue where he took pictures of Jean Shrimpton, now 70, who was his girlfriend at one stage, and also developed his love of women.
In the past he has said: ‘You used to be a bad boy if you slept with a lot of women. And I did. People can’t bear that. I can’t see what’s wrong with that really.’

In his interview with Sky Arts programme Living The Life to be screened on January 8, he says: ‘It was a bit of fun really. I got used, they got used.’
But he adds: ‘I had a terrible time in the 70s with all those silly feminists.’

In a previous interview Bailey told how he was brought up by his mother and aunt after his father walked out when he was young, and said: ‘I was surrounded by strong women so it had never even occurred to me that women were anything other than equal to men.

‘Then all those bloody feminists started attacking me, the silly uptight cows, having a go because I slept with more than one woman.’

His girlfriends included Miss Shrimpton, who lasted three years, and his former muse and model Penelope Tree, who survived eight years.
Happy marriage: Model Catherine Dyer appears to have finally tamed Bailey - the couple have three children
Happy marriage: Model Catherine Dyer appears to have finally tamed Bailey - the couple have three children
Swinging Sixties: David Bailey with Jean Shrimpton in 1963 - the photographer established himself at Vogue taking photos of the model
Swinging Sixties: David Bailey with Jean Shrimpton in 1963 - the photographer established himself at Vogue taking photos of the model
His marriage to first wife Rosemary Bramble lasted three years, and his second, to actress Catherine Deneuve, now 69, lasted two. Third wife Marie Helvin, 60, was with him for ten. 
But it is model Catherine Dyer, his fourth wife, who appears to have tamed him. They married in 1986 and she is the only one to present him with children – they have three: Fenton, Sascha and Paloma.

And Bailey appears to be as enamoured with her as the day he first set eyes on her. He said: ‘I love making love, I love sex… I am mad about my wife. I think she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever met and we’ve been together for 30 years and if I could choose this moment who I’d sleep with tonight it would be her. If I can persuade her.’

However, Bailey confesses he is still close to most of his former lovers, especially 62-year-old Miss Tree. ‘I love Penelope. I’m mad about her, I think she’s wonderful but we couldn’t live together.
‘All my ex-girlfriends or wives are all kind of great friends and I’ve never understood somebody who can live with somebody for five or six years and then not like them.’


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Kelly Brook's Calendar behind the scenes

Kelly BrookKelly Brook




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Liz Hernandez | Photoshoot

We’re currently crushing on Liz Hernandez (host of E! News) hardbody, and just recently, she had a photo shoot with TheManuc on top of various rooftops and inside a studio. In the clip above, you can see how it all went down and melt like we did for two minutes.


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