Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine

  • New York Post Calls Lindsay Lohan a 'Bimbo." We're still using that word?

    Troubled? Sure. But bimbo? What is this, junior high?The New York Post isn't exactly known for hard-hitting journalism or high ethical standards.  So it really shouldn't come as a surprise that they'd set up a "news" story about Lindsay Lohan by calling her a bimbo. This is, after all, a publication that spent the better part of a decade calling Monica Lewinsky a "Portly Pepperpot." (What does that even mean?)

    Also on Shine: How to Bimbo-Proof Your Daughter

    The latest article (written by three male staffers) was headlined "Loopy Lohan on the Lam" and also describes the troubled actress as whiny and dramatic. But it's the first sentence -- "Be on the lookout for this bimbo" -- crosses the line.

    Granted, Lohan has made a spectacular, spiraling descent from child star to tabloid fodder, but still… 'Bimbo?' What is this, junior high school...circa 1950? The term is a relic of 20th century slut-shaming, when a young women's hair color was enough to brand her as nothing more than a sex object. The term propagated the myth (or fetish) that a

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  • The Cost of Attending a Wedding is Now $539. That's Not OK.

    Would you pay $529 to be at this wedding? (Photo: Getty Images)According to an American Express survey of 1,518 people, guests will spend an average of $539 per wedding this year—and that's just to attend the event, not to be a member of the wedding party. The wallet-busting figure is up $200 from 2012, when guests reported shelling out an average of $329 on clothes, hotel rooms, and gifts.

    Also on Shine: Alone at a Wedding? The Author of 'Singles' Can Help

    The real cost is probably even higher given the estimates for some of the costs. The credit card company says that guests will budget just $57 for new clothes, $27 for a babysitter or pet sitter, and $95 for a hotel room—all of which seems astoundingly low, even for a local event. Members of the bridal party can count on spending a little bit more, thanks to slightly higher clothing costs: about $577 per wedding, according to American Express.

    Also on Shine: What Guys Hear When You Speak 'Bride'

    Wedding-industry experts say that's definitely on the cheap side. With destination weddings, bridal

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  • 14-Year-Old Girl Forced to Have Mother's Baby by Sperm Donor

    We can't even imagine. (Photo: Getty Images)In a move that makes "Mommy Dearest" Joan Crawford look positively saintly, a woman in the United Kingdom has been charged with forcing her 14-year-old daughter to go through artificial insemination so that the mom could have another child.

    British High Court judge Peter Jackson said that the mother, a divorced American woman with three adopted children, had a health condition and opted years before not to give birth herself. She tried to adopt a fourth child and was denied, so she came up with "a wicked and selfish" plan to get another baby to raise, the judge said.

    The mother, who was not identified, bought sperm from a Denmark-based company over the Internet, and ordered her oldest adopted daughter, then just 14 and a virgin, to inseminate herself with a syringe. One time, she had a man come by the house to provide a donation, the court documents reveal.

    According to court papers released on Monday, the teen, identified only as "A," was shocked by her mother's plan but felt obligated

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  • Swaddling: A Common Parenting Practice Under Fire

    Swaddling can be beneficial for babies -- as long as you do it correctly. (Photo: Getty Images)Two California caregivers were arraigned last week on child abuse charges for swaddling seven babies so tightly that the children had trouble breathing. Now parents around the country are wondering whether they could be harming their own children by trying the age-old calming technique.

    Also on Shine: Should I Stop Swaddling?

    Nazila Sharaf, 35, and Lida Sharaf, 33, are facing three counts of felony child abuse and neglect and four counts of misdemeanor child abuse and neglect. The babies they had swaddled were 7 months to 1 year old -- well beyond the age for which swaddling is recommended. They also tied the blankets with what the police described as "heavy-duty knots" rather than simply tucking and folding the cloth around the babies, making it nearly impossible for the children to move their arms and legs. And they occasionally threw blankets over the children's faces after they were were swaddled, increasing their risk of suffocation, police said.

    Social services discovered the

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  • Crazy Country Marriage of George Jones and Tammy Wynette

    George Jones and Tammy Wynette were hailed as "Mr. and Mrs. Country Music," a title that they even painted across the side of their tour bus in the early 1970s. But the marriage was the stuff classic country songs are made out of: hard drinking, loud arguments, and broken hearts. Wynette died in her sleep in 1998, at age 55. Jones passed away on Friday after being hospitalized for a fever and irregular blood pressure, according to his publicists. He was 81.

    Little Richard (left) poses with Tammy Wynette and George Jones in  1972. (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

    Their relationship had a dramatic start. Both Wynette and Jones were married to other people when they fell in love while on tour in the late 1960s. According to The New York Times, in 1968 Wynette was arguing with her husband, songwriter Don Chapel, in their dining room when Jones showed up, flipped over the dining room table, and told Wynette that he loved her. She took her three children and left with Jones that night.

    Nudie Cohen (left) with George Jones and Tammy Wynette at Nudies Rodeo Tailors in 1973. (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

    People often think that Wynette's hit song, "Stand By Your Man," was about her tumlutous relationship to George

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  • Employees Get Company Logo Tattooed On

    Some employees at Rapid Realty are getting logos inked on. (Photo: Rapid Realty via Twitter)Real estate agents at a New York-based broker are showing their company pride — and getting an extra 15 percent in commission — by having their company's logo tattooed onto their bodies.

    Also on Shine: Some Temporary Tattoos Leave Permanent Scars

    Thirty-seven men and women at Rapid Realty have gotten the green-and-black "Double R" tattoos so far, the company's CEO and founder, Anthony Lolli, told Inman News.

    Related: Celebrity Tattoos Gone Wrong

    “They wear it like a badge of honor,” said Lolli, who is also a real estate agent in their South Park Slope office. “They get a lot of respect from the other agents with the amount of commitment that they have.”

    There are other benefits as well: "Talk about marketing — they're walking billboards!" he tweeted.

    On Facebook, Rapid Realty has a photo album filled with pictures of their "brand ambassadors" getting inked. The designs range from tiny ankle tattoos and behind-the-ear ink to body art that blends in with existing sleeves and bold logos on

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  • Fourth Grader's Essay on Marriage Equality Goes Viral, Earns National Praise

    This 4th grader's essay on marriage equality gets right to the point. (Photo: raffa3l2 via Reddit)There was a time when a great school essay earned a place on mom and dad's fridge. Today, it can spark a national political conversation and land a place in internet history.

    That's what happened when an anonymous fourth-grade student opted to tackle the complicated issue of marriage equality -- and managed to boil it down to its most basic point.

    Also on Shine: Dad's Love Letter to Gay Teenage Son Goes Viral

    "Why gay people should be able to get married is you can't stop two adult's [sic] from getting married because there [sic] grown and it doesn't matter if it creeps you out just get over it," the student wrote.

    The teacher was so impressed that he posted it on Reddit on Wednesday, saying that the student shows "More sense than some adults."

    "He chose his topic," the teacher, who goes by "rafa3l2," wrote. "I am following the school's curriculum for writing. We attempt to write in a different style every week."

    After gaining more than 400 comments on Reddit, the essay caught the attention

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  • Rare Blue Diamond Fetches Record Price

    This rare blue diamond, set in a Trombino ring by Bulgari, brought in almost $9.6 million. (Photo: Bonhams)A beautiful, rare blue diamond weighing 5.30 carats fetched more than five times its estimated price at auction on Wednesday, bringing in nearly $9.6 million and setting a new price-per-carat record.

    PHOTOS: The Most Memorable Diamonds in Movies

    "We are delighted with the price it has made," Jean Ghika, director of Bonhams Fine Jewelry, which held the sale in London, said in a statement. "It was a sensational stone which charmed everyone who viewed it prior to the sale."

    Also on Shine: Actress Brittany Murphy's Clothes Go Up For Auction

    The 5.30-carat diamond -- a little smaller than the diameter of a dime -- was made into a "Trombino" ring by famed Italian jewelry designer Bulgari in 1965. It's a cushion-shaped fancy deep-blue diamond, set horizontally and framed by brilliant-cut and baguette-cut white diamonds. (In gemstone terms, "fancy" means that the color is very intense.) The winning bid came from Graff Diamonds, an international jewelry house on Bond Street in London, Bonhams

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  • Surprising Benefits of Playing Tetris

    Video games like Tetris can be used to treat lazy eye, a new study finds. (Photo: Tetris.com)Scientists at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, have confirmed what kids have been insisting for ages: Playing video games can be good for you. Specifically, playing block-building games like Tetris can do more to fix lazy eye than traditional treatments.

    Lazy eye (medical name: amblyopia) is a condition in which vision doesn't develop properly in one eye. It can cause permanent sight problems if left untreated, since the brain eventually just stops processing the blurry images coming from the under-functioning eye. According to "The Eye Digest," about three percent of people in the United States have amblyopia.

    Doctors usually treat the problem by covering the stronger eye with an eye patch, which forces the weaker eye to do more work. The treatment can take months to work. If the condition isn't very severe, some doctors use eye drops to blur vision in the patient's "good" eye in order to strengthen the "lazy" one.

    In the McGill study, nine adults with longtime lazy eye were

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  • Is a Burger Worth 7,500 Sit-Ups?

    Most people have stared down a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips and tried to figure out how much more they'd need to work out in order to work off the extra calories. Unfortunately, you can't really eat whatever you want and just work out a little more later. "No, it is not an even exchange," Franci Cohen, a personal trainer, certified nutritionist, and exercise physiologist in New York City, told Yahoo! Shine. "In fact, over-exercising will actually cause the muscles to break down instead of build up, and the metabolism slows down as a result of excess exercise as well." Still, a Texas Christian University study of 300 adults presented at the Experimental Biology 2013 conference in Boston this week found that learning how much more you'd need to exercise to burn off a burger was enough to make people pick a lower-calorie meal. Wondering what that candy bar is really worth? Here's what it would take to work off some of our favorite indulgences. -- By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior

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