Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

  • The movie virgin: why boys do it better

    Bedroom politics in the new movie, Bedroom politics in the new movie, This month, two movies about teen virginity will hit the theaters. One follows someone who wants to lose it, another follows someone ridiculed for losing it. Guess which one is about a girl.

    First sexual experiences are big deal, in life and in film, but for the female population it's shrouded in shame. The new movie "Easy A", out September 17, is no exception. The comedy, packaged as a retelling of The Scarlett Letter, tracks the rise and fall of Olive, a virginal teen caught in a lie about giving it up. When her best gay friend asks her to fake their lovemaking to save him from being out-ed, she finds herself with a reputation for being promiscuous. It tears friendships apart, tarnishes her image, and makes her a lot of money. All and all, losing your virginity looks a lot like prostitution if you're a female character in a movie. And prostitution is sad.

    Unless you're a guy virgin. Then it's just the inspiration for your buddy adventure.

    In "The Virginity Hit",

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  • Unintentional experts: Parenting advice from an office assistant

    Recently, we asked a stay-at-home mom to apply her knowledge of managing two young boys to the workplace. Her rules for raising her sons made for great advice when dealing with difficult bosses. Today, we're reversing the tactic. Lilit Marcus, author of the new book, Save the Assistants: a guide to surviving and thriving in the workplace, offers advice to assistants on tackling all types of fearless leaders. Her expertise stems from years working as an administrative assistant, and feeling over-extended and under-appreciated. Much like moms. Of course they have the upside of working for a child they love. For Marcus, the pay-off was a meager salary. So there's a big difference. But her advice on training various high-maintenance bosses translates pretty smoothly to parenting. Tell us if you agree, moms.

    Dealing with an over-sharer. Some bosses just love to talk and talk. At first it's a novelty but soon it becomes difficult to get anything done as you nod along to another story about

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  • 6 chemically explosive on-screen/off-screen couples

    George Clooney and a handgun had more chemistry with movie-goers than Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. "The American" owned the box office this holiday weekend, while "Going the Distance" floundered with viewers. But not with critics. Despite the lame trailer (see above for hiiiiilarious caught in the act sex scenes, funny sidekicks with quips) movie reviewers across the board were surprised at how much chemistry the real life couple has on screen. Turns out a mediocre script can be salvaged by good, old-fashioned attraction.

    Reviewers from Entertainment Weekly, MTV, and the Washington Post prattle on about Long and Barrymore: "One cute couple". "Just the right sort of chemistry." And "it's clear they have chemistry."

    In other words, their water-gun sprays of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin are so strong they dose people in a movie theater just watching them. On the flipside, bad on-screen chemistry has the reverse effect. It dehydrates movie-goer loins. See "Gigli". "The

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  • 5 sexiest Monopoly versions ever

    Sticky Fingers and Hot Lips are replacing the wheelbarrow. The limited edition game based on the Rolling Stones' musical career is the latest incarnation of the Monopoly. Considering there's already versions for horse-lovers, Kiss fans and Lord of the Rings larpers, it's no surprise. Monopoly lovers aren't just fans, they're fetishists. And they're not afraid to take the multiple pieces of cardboard, metal and strips of colorful paper to the bedroom.

    Chocolate Monopoly

    When Irving wants to turn Cathy into a puddle of desire (No, I don't regret going there) he breaks out the $600 solid chocolate version of the game released in 1978 at Neiman Marcus. If there are any remaining versions, they're likely inedible. But an M&M's themed version still exists. Side note: the people who purchased it also purchased Season 1&2 of Moonlighting, Leslie Sloane's 3 Mile Weight Loss Walk, and the widescreen edition DVD of Shall We Dance, starring Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. Thanks Amazon.

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  • 7 school cafeteria upgrades across the country

    Ketchup isn't a vegetable. We all know that. But it's taken years, an obesity epidemic and some really bad press, to get a tight-fisted education system to agree.

    In 2003, French Culinary chef 'Bobo' revolutionized cafeteria food with a made-from-scratch-menu of healthy farm, fresh food at a private school in New York. Keeping within budget, and creating a culinary education student program, he proved it could be done. In private schools.

    Now, 7 years later, public schools across the country are also employing culinary thinkers, farm-to-table solutions, and lower-fat options. Major campaigns by Michelle Obama, and Jaimie Oliver, whose Food Revolution series revealed the seemingly impossible obstacles of revamping cafeterias, put the healthy school lunch movement on the map. But now, local schools and organization have taken the revolution and run with it. As hallways and lunch lines fill up this month, some cafeterias are preparing for change.

    Wheatland, California
    : Wheatland

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  • Trophy Guys: Women take over Hollywood one male model at a time

    Know what would be even better than this gold tropy, thinks Kate Winslet, a life-sized, flesh-toned version. (Getty Images)Know what would be even better than this gold tropy, thinks Kate Winslet, a life-sized, flesh-toned version. (Getty Images)
    They're setting box office records, commanding millions for a cameo and tackling the kind of action hero roles once considered a man's job. But there was always one thing Hollywood actors had over their female counterparts: arm candy.

    In a world where human beings are brands and aesthetics directly impact on net worth, the trophy date is the marker of true success. George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio have made it their mission to accessorize their red carpet looks with women who are better looking and less famous. Their model minions add value to their lifestyle brand without monopolizing the attention. And nobody ever wonders whether Bar Rafaeli will break Leo's heart. The human accessory is a sign your career is rock solid and no high-profile heartbreak will tarnish it. In short, the trophy date is the gold standard in the weird famous-people rabbit-hole. And Hollywood's leading ladies are getting in on the action. Jo Piazza at is calling the trend "Dating Down." I'm

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  • The Preppy Handbook: Then and now

    Penny Loafers at Urban Outfitters? Horseback riding on reality TV? Popped collars in pop music? Preppy '80s style has been on the rise for some time, but its comeback was made official this week when the latest Preppy Handbook, True Prep, hit bookstores. Thirty years ago, writer Lisa Birnbach co-wro

  • 3 rude money questions that pay to ask

    Breaking the code of propriety can translate to big bucks. (Think Stock Images)Breaking the code of propriety can translate to big bucks. (Think Stock Images)Questions about spending and salary are best kept to oneself. So say arbiters of etiquette at the Emily Post Institute. "Deflect the question with humor," advise the experts at Post's "When asked, 'How much do you make?' respond with, 'My boss thinks he's paying plenty.'"

    That may have been proper last century, but in 2010 it pays to break the rules. Fessing up about your salary, your rent or the cost of your designer purse can shed light on financial expectations, insider deals, and cautionary rip-offs. It also grants you access to return the question and reap the benefits.

    Sometimes, unspoken rules of privacy are there to protect us. But they can also be instituted to protect those bosses, retailers and landlords looking to profit off our ignorance.

    But if you're going to unlock this costly information, you'll need to break the safe like a pro. Proceed with caution, scope out the trustworthy, and weigh the risks of a quid pro quo against the rewards. "A rule of

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  • The C word: Is it time to retire "curves"?

    Christina Hendricks, with her husband at the Emmys, is the frequent recipient of Christina Hendricks, with her husband at the Emmys, is the frequent recipient of The Kardashians are launching a line for QVC next week for shapely women. Jessica Simpson's also debuting a full-figured collection. And Christina Hendricks, the buxom "Mad Men" beauty, was the star of Sunday's Emmy red carpet despite her struggle finding dress to fit her frame. I'll say it, but just once: Curves are in. The word, however, is out.

    Like the D word (originally referring to a female odor cleanser), the C word has been misused, over-exposed and abused. It used to be reserved for man-eating bombshells with bursting bust-lines like Brigitte Bardot and Jayne Mansfield. In the early part of this century is was co-opted by female-oriented messages of empowerment. There was the morale boosting indie flick, "Real Women Have Curves" in 2002, and the infinite first-person magazine stories labeled "Why I love my curves." By 2005, straight-shooting Vogue had even jumped on the bandwagon with a description of a Karl Lagerfeld coat designed to "hug those celebrity curves."

    It was a

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  • 6 exercise machines for multi-taskers


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