Blog Posts by Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff

  • Moms Stalk Teen Sons in Buzzy New Old Spice Ad


    Which new ad is so creepy-awesome it'll either have you running to therapy or posting it to your Facebook wall with "LOL"? That'd be Old Spice's latest runaway hit, "Smellcome to Manhood," which debuted on Sunday during the NFL playoffs and has since reached more than 660,000 views on YouTube.

    The campaign, for the brand's line of Re-Fresh Body Sprays, features bizarre, freaked-out moms stalking their romantically inclined teenage sons in a series of commercial spots. All the while they lament, through a catchy anthem, "Old Spice sprayed a man of my son, now he's kissing all the women and his chores aren't done. He was just my little sweetie, tiny fingers hands and feet, now he's touching, kissing, feeling all the women because Old Spice ..."

    It's quickly going viral, with Twitter abuzz about the odd new sales pitch. Fans there have called it "wonderfully bizarre," "horrifying," "terrifyingly wonderful," "brilliant" and "hilarious."

    Old Spice has historically had a knack for appealing

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  • Tiger Mom's New Book Stirs Up Culture Wars

    Amy Chua. Photo: NBC NewsWire via Getty ImagesRemember "Tiger Mom," the Yale professor who brought us the most buzzy and controversial child-rearing philosophy since helicoptering and attachment parenting? Well, now the ire-raising author of "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," Amy Chua, who argued that strict, Chinese-style moms are best, is back — and likely to raise even more hackles this time around. Her latest book, "The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America," deems eight cultural groups here superior to others. And, though the book is not due out until February, Twitter criticisms are already flying, with many calling Chua "racist" and a self-promoter.

    More on Shine: Why Helicopter Moms Might Get the Last Laugh

    But the reality, notes the book, co-written by Chua's husband and fellow Yale professor Jed Rubenfeld, is that "uncomfortable as it may be to talk about," some "religious, ethnic, and national-origin groups are starkly more successful than others." Those

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  • Coke Under Fire for Dropping Gay Wedding Scene From Irish Ad


    A feel-good European ad campaign for Coca-Cola has left many feeling bad in Ireland, where the spot's image of a joyous same-sex wedding has been swapped with a straight one.

    More on Shine: Dunkin' Donuts Under Fire for 'Racist' Ad in Thailand, Issues Apology

    "Reasons to Believe," a minute-long ad airing in the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom (above), shows a string of negative moments—a guy tripping in front of a crowd, a heated argument—being offset by uplifting ones, such as a mom icing a cake, a group of young folks dancing, a newborn getting a kiss on the cheek, and two men celebrating their nuptials. But Ireland's version (below) has cut the male newlyweds out, instead showing a man and woman walking down the aisle.


    "Not cool Coca-Cola Ireland!" tweeted Dublin Pride 2013. Other Twitter users wrote, "Bad form," "Coca-Cola degrades love with excuse for cutting gay wedding segment from new Ireland ad," "Don't bow to bigotry, Coca-Cola!" and "It sickens me that Coca

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  • 10-Year-Old Girl Petitions for American Girl Doll With a Disability

    Melissa Shang, right, with YingYing. Photo: YingYing ShangWhen American Girl announced this week that its 2014 Girl of the Year doll was a blond ballet dancer named Isabelle, at least one avid fan was crestfallen: 10-year-old Melissa Shang of Pennsylvania. And so Melissa, who has muscular dystrophy, did something about it: She launched a Change.org petition asking Mattel (which owns American Girl) to create a doll with a disability. The online petition has picked up 15,000 signatures in less than a week.

    More on Shine: Plus-Size Barbie Image Sparks Heated Debate

    "I want other girls to understand what it's like to be me," she tells Yahoo Shine, explaining the impetus behind her effort — a joint one between herself and her supportive sister, 17-year-old YingYing. While American Girl does sell wheelchairs, crutches, and hearing aids for its dolls, Melissa was hoping for a doll with a story.

    "She was really disappointed," YingYing tells Yahoo Shine about when Melissa saw leaked photos of Isabelle on an Instagram American Girl doll fan community.

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  • Plus-Size Barbie Image Sparks Heated Debate

    Image via FacebookBarbie is once again at the center of a lively conversation on body image, this one fueled by a simple Facebook post that imagines a plus-size version of the notoriously skinny doll. "Should toy companies start making plus sized Barbie dolls? 'Like'= Yes, absolutely! Comment=No, bad idea," asks Plus Size Modeling, an online guide. It's received more than 40,000 likes and over 2,600 shares since December 18.

    More on Shine: Barbie vs. Real Women: Artist Shows Shocking Differences

    The image of the plus-size version — apparently borrowed from the site Worth 1000, where it won a 2011 design contest to enlarge celebrity icons through photo magic — features a thicker waist and thighs, plus a triple chin, which has raised the ire of many commenters. "Get rid of the chins! Not all fat folk have multiple chins!" wrote one woman. She prompted a wave of chin critics, including one who added, "Ya the triple chin is too much. Most overweight people (me included) only have a double chin no matter

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  • 89-Year-Old Grandmother Treated to Surprise Holiday Home Renovation

    Granddaughter Stacy Salazar at the renovation. Photo: Courtesy KBPIChristmas came early for Colorado octogenarian Vivian Gallegos, who was treated to a home makeover beyond her wildest dreams thanks to the efforts of her granddaughter and a local radio DJ.

    More on Shine: 8 Amazing Celebrity Home Makeovers for the Holidays

    It started, as many good deeds do, with a Facebook post, this one by KBPI morning host Willie B. "What's something you've always wanted to do but couldn't because $$$ kept you from doing it???" he asked his fans in November. Out of more than 800-plus answers, it was Stacy Salazar's that captivated him the most: "Replace the carpets for my 90-year-old Grammy and fixing all the little things around her house. Just a small thank you for not giving us kids up to foster care when our parents died," she wrote.

    "It was a very unselfish answer to a question designed to be selfish," Willie B, whose real name is Steve Meade, tells Yahoo Shine. He adds that, when he messaged her for more details, he found out the rest of the poignant story.

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  • School Omits 'Christ' from 'Silent Night,' Upsetting Parents

    Christ has officially been removed from Christmas. At least that was the case at one middle school on Long Island, New York, where its holiday-concert chorus sang a version of "Silent Night" that had all references to "the savior" and "holy infant" removed by school administrators. But the effort to avoid alienating people seems to have backfired.

    More on Yahoo Shine: 'Dear Santa': Adorable Christmas Requests From Kids, 1900s-Now

    "It's offensive," one father of a student at the Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School in Kings Park told CBS New York. "If you're going to remove words to not offend other religions, what about the religion that that song belongs to, which is Christianity?"

    The fifth-grade students sang the edited classic — which mixed and matched verses in a way that left out the most religious references — at the concert, on Dec. 12. But that upset some parents, who felt the song was sacred and should have instead been left intact or instead been performed as an instrumental

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  • Even the Pope Is Cool With Public Breastfeeding

    The pope is all for babies eating. Photo: Getty Images/Franco OrigliaAnyone who looks at public breastfeeding as a sexual shame-fest should have a word with Pope Francis. The forward-thinking pontiff, in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa this week, gave the controversial practice his holy stamp of approval.

    More on Shine: Court Apologizes After Tossing Out Breastfeeding Mom

    In a discussion with reporter Andrea Tornielli about hunger, the pope shares a story about how he'd recently seen a mother standing behind the public barriers at the Vatican, holding a baby who had begun to cry.

    "I said to her: madam, I think the child's hungry. 'Yes, it's probably time…' she replied. 'Please give it something to eat!' I said. She was shy and didn't want to breastfeed in public, while the Pope was passing," he says in the La Stampa interview, released over the weekend. "I wish to say the same to humanity: Give people something to eat! That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone."

    More on Yahoo: Pope Francis

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  • Why PETA (Yes, PETA) Donated 100 Furs to Detroit's Homeless

    The fur-coat giveaway in Detroit. Photo courtesy PETA.PETA's "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign is a nationally renowned, celeb-studded effort against creature cruelty. But this week, the organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, gave away fur coats to 100 lucky recipients in chilly Detroit. And that, they say, is no contradiction.

    More on Shine: New Vegan Beyonce Busted for Wearing Fur Jacket

    "There's nothing we can do to bring back the lives of the animals that were skinned alive or beaten for frivolous fashion statements, but we can try to make some good in what is a horrible situation," PETA spokesperson Katie Arth tells Yahoo Shine about its program, which collects the coats from reformed fur wearers and then doles them out to the needy. While the organization may be most known for headline-grabbing stunts that have included using celebs to bare it all, requesting that Ben & Jerry's make ice cream with human instead of cow's milk, and issuing a poster with Pamela Anderson diagrammed like a side of beef,

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  • The Do's and Don'ts of Giving Cash for the Holidays

    Photo: Getty ImagesGreenbacks. Benjamins. Clams. Dough. Call it what you want, but everyone knows there's no better holiday gift than cold, hard cash, right? Well, sort of. But just because you're throwing money around doesn't mean etiquette should get tossed out the window, warn experts.

    More on Shine: How to Save a Whopping $4,645 Next Year

    "People in certain situations are going to really appreciate cash," Diane Gottsman, etiquette trainer and founder of the Protocol School of Texas, tells Yahoo Shine. College grads, high school students, and newlyweds top the list of cash lovers, though there are many more. (Um, hello!) "What makes it warm is the way you present it — you're not going to hand over a wad of ones, for example."

    More on Yahoo: 7 Reasons Everyone Should Stop Hating on Gift Cards

    So what are the guidelines to giving money? Stick to the following, and you should be fine:

    • Streamline. Present as few bills as possible, Gottsman suggests.
    • Personalize it. Enclose the cash in a nice note card and
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