THE HUFFINGTON POST MAGAZINE
MARCH 2, 2014
Gay Marriage in a Mormon World
By Lila Shapiro
BYE, BYE BARBIE | CHELSEA HANDLER | THE SEXIEST PRESIDENT
03.02.14 #90 CONTENTS
Enter POINTERS: Ukraine Divided... Gay Day in the South JASON LINKINS: Looking Forward in Angst DATA: The Late-Night TV Galaxy Q&A: Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein MOVING IMAGE
Voices CHELSEA HANDLER: No One Puts Baby in Parentheses
GAY IN UTAH “I don’t fit in anywhere.” BY LILA SHAPIRO
ADAM LEVIN: Why There Will Be Another Major Data Breach (and Another, and Another) QUOTED
FROM TOP: WENDY GEORGE; PIERRE VERDY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Exit FOOD: How Princess Di Revolutionized the Royal Kitchen THE THIRD METRIC: The 9 Essential Habits of Mentally Strong People MUSIC: Dog Ears TFU
THE (UN)POPULAR GIRL Can Barbie keep up with a changing America? BY JILLIAN BERMAN
FROM THE EDITOR: Between Two Worlds ON THE COVER: Photograph for
Huffington by Wendy George
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Between Two Worlds I
N THIS WEEK’S issue, Lila Shapiro travels to Salt Lake City, Utah, to talk to recently married gay couples in the state. Lila meets Sally, 48, a former Mormon who married Brenda, her longtime partner and the mother of her children, after Judge Robert Shelby of the U.S. District Court for Utah struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Dec. 20 of last year. The window of opportunity to marry closed shortly thereafter, however. As Lila writes, “On Jan. 6, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state’s request to stop marrying same-sex couples for the immediate future, as the case makes its way through the appeals courts.” As a newly married woman, Sally found herself stuck between two cultures — her long-held Mor-
mon values and the unfamiliar gay rights movement. “I don’t fit in anywhere,” Sally tells Lila the morning after a mass wedding reception for gay couples in the state. “I’m not angry at the church, but I don’t fit in there, and I didn’t fit in last night.” Despite her discomfort, for the first time in her life, Sally was compelled to stand up for gay rights in the weeks after the initial ruling and her marriage. “My heart is heavy, and I am tired,” she wrote in a blog post for Marriage Equal-
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
ity USA. As she said to Lila, “I need the world to see that our family, these kids, we’re no goddamned different from anyone else.” In our Voices section, late-night talk show host Chelsea Handler takes issue with how she was referenced in a New York Times piece on Jimmy Fallon taking over the Tonight Show. “What bothered me was that when I was listed in a paragraph with the late-night hosts, I was the only name put in parentheses,” Handler writes. “(The only female host in late-night is Chelsea Handler, 38, on E!).” She goes on to give the dictionary’s first few definitions for a parenthetical — “incidental, subordinate in significance, minor or casual” — and explains that the paragraph she was mentioned in was regarding the competition Fallon faces for younger viewers. “I share the distinction of having the youngest average viewership with Colbert, The Daily Show and Conan. So from a purely statistical standpoint how, in this paragraph, could I only be mentioned as an aside? Was it because I’m a woman?” Handler asks.
Elsewhere in the issue, Rebecca Adams sits down with Princess Diana’s personal chef, Darren McGrady, who remembers her as someone who ignored the conventions typical of a royal kitchen.
I need the world to see that our family, these kids, we’re no goddamned different from anyone else.” “If she was on her own for lunch, she’d actually come and eat in the kitchen on the countertop,” McGrady tells Rebecca. “I’d make a tray for her and I’d just be tidying up the kitchen and things as we were chatting.” Don’t miss McGrady’s recipe for bread and butter pudding, one of Diana’s favorites! And finally, we continue our focus on The Third Metric with a breakdown of the nine essential habits of mentally strong people.
P PHOTO/EMILIO MORENATTI
Ukraine scrambled to put together an interim government this week after President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev by helicopter in the wake of political unrest. Ukraine is divided between a pro-Western region in the east and a pro-Russian region in the west, and the interim president on Tuesday said the country faced a serious threat of separatism. On Thursday, masked gunmen barricaded government buildings in the pro-Moscow Crimea region, raising the Russian flag. The international community expressed support for the new government in Kiev this week, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying U.S. officials are “deeply engaged in trying to help this extraordinary transition that is taking place in Ukraine.” But Yanukovich, whose whereabouts are unknown, released a statement Thursday saying he was still the lawful president. He’s supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
FROM TOP: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES; P PHOTO/ROSS D. FRANKLIN; WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES
VIOLENCE IN VENEZUELA
Demonstrations continued in Venezuela this week, as anti-government protesters took to the streets across the nation. The demonstrators are calling for the removal of President Nicolás Maduro over runaway inflation, soaring crime rates and a tanking economy. Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said 13 people have been killed and nearly 150 wounded since clashes began more than two weeks ago.
GAY DAY IN THE SOUTH
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a bill Thursday that would have allowed businesses in the state to refuse service to LGBT people based on the owner’s religious beliefs. The governor was facing pressure on corporate and political fronts to veto the legislation, with many arguing it essentially would legalize discrimination in the state. Major companies such as Apple, Yahoo, Delta and Yelp voiced opposition to the bill. In another victory for gay rights this week, a federal judge struck down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriages, declaring it to be “stateimposed inequality.” Unfortunately, the judge issued a stay on his ruling pending an appeal.
The FDA on Thursday released a proposal to significantly change nutrition labels on food — including making portion sizes more realistic, calorie counts much more prominent, and including a line for added sugars. The revamp would be the first major change to food labels in more than 20 years. The FDA said the changes were needed to help address the problem of obesity in the United States. The new label is being championed by the White House, especially first lady Michelle Obama. The proposal is open for public comment for 90 days.
HELLO, DRUG LORD
Mexican and American authorities on Saturday captured wanted drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera — known as “El Chapo,” meaning “shorty” — in a Mexican beach town, 13 years after he escaped from prison. Guzmán is the leader of Sinaloa Cartel, a multibillion-dollar empire that spans from North America to Europe and even as far as Australia. It is considered one of the most powerful drug cartels in the world. While authorities applauded his capture, many said Sinaloa would still be able to operate in his absence.
FROM TOP: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES; BILL PUGLIANO/GETTY IMAGES
THAT’S VIRAL YOU PROBABLY REALLY NEED THIS GRAMMAR LESSON
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) announced on Monday that he would be retiring from the House of Representatives at the end of his term. Dingell, 87, is the longest-serving member of Congress ever. He was first elected 59 years ago to succeed his father. He helped vote on some of the nation’s most iconic legislation, including the Civil Rights Act, the Clean Air Act and the Affordable Care Act. Dingell said partisan gridlock in Congress was part of the reason he decided to retire. Sources told several news outlets this week that his wife, Debbie Dingell, would announce her candidacy on Friday to replace him in the House.
A selection of the week’s most talked-about stories. HEADLINES TO VIEW FULL STORIES
THE FALL OF J.C. PENNEY
THE WORST THINGS ABOUT HAWAII (NO REALLY)
HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA
THE 5 TYPES OF FRIENDS EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE
DOUGLAS GRAHAM/ CQ ROLL CALL
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
ANYONE WHO FACT CHECKS THIS OBAMACARE ATTACK AD HATES CANCER PATIENTS, APPARENTLY IG NEWS from the war on fact checking, folks. About a week ago, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) launched an at-
tack ad against Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who has declared himself a candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Carl Levin (D-Mich.). In that ad, Peters is assailed by Julie Boonstra, whose insurance plan was canceled because of Obamacare.
AFP ran an attack ad against Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) for voting for Obamacare.
Enter Boonstra, a cancer patient, says in the ad that as a result of her plan’s cancellation, her “out-ofpocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable.” She continues, like so: I believed the president. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to. It’s heartbreaking for me. Congressman Peters, your decision to vote for Obamacare jeopardized my health. Scoop, if true. Enter The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler (and HuffPost’s Ashley Woods), who did the fact-checking spadework and discovered that the ad’s claims didn’t add up. Peters, as you might expect, cried foul and complained to the television stations airing the ad. Further documentation was provided by AFP, but, as it turns out, that documentation “doesn’t actually back up the ad’s key claim.” And that’s all in a day’s work on the fact-checking beat, with the good news for AFP being that the information conveyed by the factcheckers will inevitably fail to be as widely broadcast as the original ad itself. But the Washington Examiner, for some reason, believes
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
that fact-checking the ad was out of bounds: “Their first priority should be fact-checking politicians, not private citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.” By the Examiner’s reckoning, it took way too long for factcheckers to lambaste President Barack Obama for his “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” As the Examiner editorial notes, “The
My advice to Americans for Prosperity is that if they want to create an attack ad around an Obamacare victim, they should go out and find one whose claims actually authentically fit the bill.” Washington Post’s ‘Fact Checker’ blog, for example, didn’t award four Pinocchios to Obama’s claim until Oct. 30[, 2013] — more than three years after the law was signed, and only after people were getting cancellation letters.” That’s a fair point — though it should be added that the veracity of Obama’s claim was impugned well before 2013. Here, for example, is a September 2010 article
AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY/YOUTUBE
by The Hill’s Julian Pecquet, reporting that by the Department of Health and Human Services’ own estimates, many plans were going to lose their “grandfathered” status between 2010 and 2013. But what’s the solution here? Wait three months to fact-check a political ad, for the sake of consistency? The Examiner notes that fact-checkers went to work on the “if you like your plan” claim “after people were getting cancellation letters.” That’s a clue as to
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
What’s the solution here? Wait three months to fact-check a political ad, for the sake of consistency?” how this fact-checking industry is going to work — a precipitating event is going to drive their activity. In the case of the president’s claims, it was cancellation letters, which laid bare the reality behind the White House’s glib spin job. In the case of Boonstra’s claims, it was when she showed up in an attack ad. And I’m afraid to say, the First Amendment doesn’t protect
Julia Boonstra, the cancer patient featured in the AFP ad.
Enter people from having their speech scrutinized — whether it comes in a campaign ad or not. Not that the Examiner is antiscrutiny! “No one is arguing in favor of misleading political ads,” they write. “But what’s important here are the facts no one disputes: Boonstra’s health insurance was canceled due to federal regulations, she was forced to restructure her care while suffering from a deadly disease and Peters did vote for Obamacare.” It reminds one of an ad that ran in the 2012 campaign cycle, from Obama-supporting super PAC Priorities USA Action. Here are some facts that no one disputes: Joe Soptic worked at a steel plant, Bain Capital invested in the company that ran this plant, the plant was closed, Soptic lost his job, his wife died of cancer. But the claim that Mitt Romney was somehow culpable in Soptic’s wife’s death was a grotesque lie. Glenn Kessler said of this ad, “On just every level, this ad stretches the bounds of common sense and decency.” That is 100 percent correct. And at the time, the Washington Examiner could not agree more, never mind Soptic’s First Amendment rights.
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
My advice to Americans for Prosperity is that if they want to create an attack ad around an Obamacare victim, they should go out and find one whose claims actually authentically fit the bill. Look for people whose premiums have increased or the ones who actually had to break the continuity of their care by shopping around for a new doctor. Then they’ll get themselves a “true” rating from
The First Amendment doesn’t protect people from having their speech scrutinized — whether it comes in a campaign ad or not.” the fact-checkers to celebrate. By the way, if you’re interested in what the American Cancer Society thinks about Obamacare, well, they are for it. And if you find the implications of the new law “confusing” or “overwhelming,” they have “a staff of trained experts available to answer questions, free of charge,” through a 24-hour hotline. They promise to keep it politics-free, which, for cancer patients, is probably a pretty good prescription.
FROM TOP: AP PHOTO/IFC, AUGUSTA QUIRK; DIANE BONDAREFF/INVISION FOR IFC/AP IMAGES
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein on the Sexiest President Carrie: Obama, to me, is the sexiest. Fred: I would agree with that.
Above: Armisen and Brownstein in Portlandia. Season 4 of the IFC series premiered on Feb. 27. Below: The duo celebrates the premiere of Portlandia season 3 in December 2012.
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No One Puts Baby in Parentheses FOR THE PAST six-and-a-half years I’ve had a job hosting Chelsea Lately on the E! network. I am always asked what it’s like to be the only female in a so-called
“boys club.” Until now, I have dismissed the assumption that my experience in late-night TV is somehow different or exceptional because of my gender. To me, it’s never been about being a woman in a man’s world; it’s been about delivering a consistently funny
Chelsea Handler in a promotional image for her late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately.
Voices and entertaining show each night. However, last week I was referenced in a New York Times piece (“Bullish on Boyish” by Bill Carter) about Jimmy Fallon and his taking over of The Tonight Show. Specifically, the piece was about Jimmy and the expectations that have been placed upon him as he takes the reins of a legendary franchise. Understanding all of that, I obviously didn’t expect or want to be a focal point of the piece, and I really just appreciated the photo of me at the top of the article placed alongside my late night contemporaries that featured my new haircut — the feedback has been overwhelming. What bothered me was that when I was listed in a paragraph with the late-night hosts, I was the only name put in parentheses. Mr. Carter wrote, “(The only female host in late-night is Chelsea Handler, 38, on E!).” I wanted to confirm what a parenthetical suggests, so I looked up the definition. The first few definitions that came up were: incidental, subordinate in significance, minor or casual. The particular paragraph I was mentioned in was about the competition Jimmy faces for younger viewers. Depending upon whose
research you look at, I share the distinction of having the youngest average viewership with Colbert, The Daily Show and Conan. So from a purely statistical standpoint how, in this paragraph, could I only be mentioned as an aside? Was it because I’m a woman? I don’t expect everyone to like me or my show, or even watch
When I was listed in a paragraph with the late-night hosts, I was the only name put in parentheses. Mr. Carter wrote, “(The only female host in late-night is Chelsea Handler, 38, on E!).” my show — most nights I’m my harshest critic both professionally and personally. And while much of the press has kindly acknowledged my contribution to the late-night landscape I feel over the years, several media outlets have marginalized my presence in the late-night game. I imagined my sustained on-air presence would eventually triumph over any possible gender biases. Plus, I don’t have the energy or desire to
Voices pick a fight with every journalist. I think anyone who has ever heard me speak knows how I’d rather spend my leisure time. I’m speaking up with the awareness that some will roll their eyes or dismiss my point. Yet it would be a disservice to all of the hard working women in entertainment, including Joan Rivers, who was the first woman to have her own late-night show. Not to mention how this minimizes the efforts of the 100+ staff members who work hard on my show every day. And just as I don’t want to be inconsequential in any late-night discourse, I also don’t want to be singled-out and lauded merely because I am successful “for a woman.” I only want to be acknowledged for having worked hard to build an equally significant audience and fan base to those of my peers. I believe the success of any woman should never be qualified by her gender. This isn’t about Bill Carter. This is about being noted as a parenthetical, reaffirming what I feel has been an underlying, yet consistent inconsistency with how I am handled as the only woman in a traditionally male field. My only goal when I started this show six-
I... don’t want to be singled-out and lauded merely because I am successful ‘for a woman.’ I only want to be acknowledged for having worked hard to build an equally significant audience and fan base to those of my peers.” and-a-half years ago was to offer viewers another voice to end their day with (even if my show is on E!). That’s the appropriate use of a parenthetical. Chelsea Handler is the star of her own late-night talk show on E!, Chelsea Lately.
Handler sports her new haircut in December 2013.
JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES
Why There Will Be Another Major Data Breach (and Another, and Another)
HE STORM OF CONSUMER-focused data breaches started off as intermittent downpours — Choicepoint, TJ Maxx, SONY, LinkedIn, Twitter, Adobe Systems — and is now a torrent: Target, Neiman Marcus, Kickstarter, White Lodging, the Sands Casino, and now everyone who’s attended or worked at the University of Maryland since 1998. In each case, hackers weren’t after the company’s intellectual property or trade secrets: they were after your information, because it’s the key to your money. ¶ In fact, though it’s been widely reported that the Target breach cost
A customer signs a credit card slip at a Target store on Dec. 19, 2013, in Miami, Fla.
Voices $240 million so far, that amount doesn’t take into account the fraudulent charges individuals had to fight and is itself split among the many financial institutions whose customers were affected by the breach. Meanwhile, Target said in January that it expected to lose only 2-6 percent of sales over last year, and only in the first quarter. That is why these breaches are just going to keep happening: in the absence of laws or regulations forcing all companies to protect your data (and your money) better, companies simply aren’t going to lose enough money in a data breach to “justify” the costs of better security. Meanwhile, all of us will end up paying more to offset the costs of these breaches, in terms of higher account fees, lower service levels and the like. But better laws requiring companies to protect the customer data they use, collect and store do not appear to be coming your way any time soon. Deep in the midst of this current and ongoing cyberinsecurity epidemic, the White House issued its long-awaited “guidelines” for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure last week. In the document, its authors wrote:
Similar to financial and reputational risk, cyber security risk affects a company’s bottom line. It can drive up costs and impact revenue. It can harm an organization’s ability to innovate and to gain and maintain customers. Why might a document laying out guidelines and best practices have to remind its readers and target audience that there are se-
In the absence of laws or regulations forcing all companies to protect your data (and your money) better, companies simply aren’t going to lose enough money in a data breach to ‘justify’ the costs of better security.” rious costs to bad cybersecurity practices? Because the guidelines have no force of law and no incentives to encourage companies to comply — and the administration says it has no plans to track if or how anyone even bothers to comply with the framework, anyway. It’s not like these companies don’t know what best data security
JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES
Voices practices are — reports indicate that at least one Target employee raised alarms before Black Friday last year — and it’s not like there aren’t a plethora of other companies who would help them if they don’t have the internal resources. But updating systems, doing regular information security checks and focusing on employee training can be time-consuming and expensive. But when the costs of any one data breach are shared by so many companies and individuals, the cost of rigorous data security to any one company might well be more than what it stands to lose in a given breach. We see this with the slow roll-out of more secure chip-andpin cards, which are broadly used elsewhere in the world but won’t be widely available in the U.S. until after 2015: it’s an (increasingly) expensive system to implement, and no one entity pays enough because of the fraud the old system encourages to bother going first. Cybersecurity is fast becoming a classic market failure: the costs of protection thus far outweigh the potential costs of a breach. But unlike most other classic examples of market failures — education and environmental protection, to name two — the government seem-
Cybersecurity is fast becoming a classic market failure: the costs of protection thus far outweigh the potential costs of a breach.” ingly has no appetite to step in and resolve the market problem with laws, regulations or even tax incentives. Instead, they’re stuck reminding companies how costly a breach could eventually be. So the next time you hear about a data breach, and you wonder why this keeps happening, just remember that it all comes down to money: yours (that the criminals want), and the cold hard cash that some corporations and institutions haven’t spent to keep your information secure. Adam Levin is a consumer advocate.
A Neiman Marcus store in Coral Gables, Fla.
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“They want nothing to do with us.”— Michelle Obama
on Sasha and Malia pulling away from herself and the president, to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show
“She’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.”
— Alec Baldwin
on Rachel Maddow, in a long-winded essay on his recent trials and tribulations in New York magazine
“It’s very hard to step in — putting myself aside — into any shoes that have been there forever.”
— Larry King
on Piers Morgan replacing him, after it was announced that the Piers Morgan Live on CNN will be canceled
“Here’s an original idea: Offer a freakin’ index.”
— HuffPost commenter MichaelMcKLA
on “How To Get The Most Out Of Your Netflix Subscription”
“Man, these guys are really pushing hard for a French Revolution redux.”
— HuffPost commenter Captain_Pants
“I might be weird but I prefer my baristas fully clothed, especially when handling food products.”
on “Tom Perkins: People With More Money Should Get More Votes”
— HuffPost commenter OldLibrarian
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES; ISAAC KOVAL/GETTY IMAGES; AP PHOTO/PAUL SAKUMA; AP PHOTO/MTI, LASZLO BELICZAY
on “Hot Cup Of Joe’s Shirtless Male Baristas Heat Up Washington”
“This is the most naive president in history.” — Sen. John McCain
on President Obama, in a radio interview with Phoenix radio station KFYI
“This is the equivalent of saying ‘People who stay together longer have a better chance of staying together.’”
— HuffPost commenter GravyHat on “Facebook Can Predict With Scary Accuracy If Your Relationship Will Last”
03.02.14 #90 FEATURES BIG LOVE
LOSING HER EDGE
GAY MARRIAGE IN A MORMON WORLD
By LILA SHAPIRO // Photograph by WENDY GEORGE
n a cold Saturday in December, hundreds of couples swirled around a 6-foot-high cake at a mass wedding reception at a Salt Lake City concert hall, celebrating the recent court ruling that had unexpectedly allowed them to marry their partners. A pair of gray-haired women in tuxedo vests held each other close, laughing at a private joke. A smooth-faced man pressed his cheek against his partner’s three-day scruff. A Beyoncé cover of the classic Etta James song summed up the mood: “At last.”
Sally Farrar didn’t join in. She and her partner of 27 years, and wife of 19 days, Brenda, stood off to the side, like wallflowers at the junior prom. “I’m so uncomfortable right now,” Sally said, a frown on her face and a bottle of water in her hand. “I’m freaking out.” Mormons have never been big partiers. The religion bans the one substance that most American adults consider essential to a good time, and even though Sally
ended her formal relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nearly 30 years ago, around the time she began a romantic relationship with Brenda, she still won’t touch a drop, even at parties. In many ways, she remains loyal to the conservative Mormon values that shaped her childhood and still dominate the culture and politics of the city where she lives. She votes for Republicans. She works as a title attorney and gives a chunk of her income to charities, though not to the
AP PHOTO/RICK BOWMER
church. She and Brenda have raised a pair of straight, cleancut, all-American kids — a highschool baseball star, Ben, 18, and a biochemistry major, Maddie, 21. And until this January night, neither Sally nor most of her friends in Salt Lake City’s small community of Mormon and formerly Mormon gays and lesbians had ever been to a gay pride event, or a gay party of any kind. Now, at 48, she found herself at a precarious juncture, staring ahead at the unknown territory of the gay-rights movement while trying to stay close to the familiar guideposts of her Mormon past. “I’m so uncomfortable,” Sally repeated to her friends, eyeing a portly man with strings of tiny white Christmas lights encircling the pair of pointy cones protrud-
ing from the chest of his gown. “Oh come on,” said Deb Wells, a 50-year-old former Mormon and lesbian who works as a massage therapist. “Big fucking deal.” “You don’t feel uncomfortable at all?” Sally asked, pressing the point. “Hell no!” Deb said, shaking her hips to the rhythms of Michael Bublé. The drag queen’s electric boobs sparkled back into view. “See there?” said Sally. “Right there? That’s weird.” Outsiders often say the same about Mormons, but members of the LDS church don’t see themselves that way. One of the central symbols of their faith is a beehive — an image of harmony, or conformity, depending on your point of view. They dress modestly, in pleated khakis or knee-length skirts, but not to the conspicuous degree of the Amish or the Hasidim. Since they renounced
The Utah State Capitol on Jan. 27, 2014.
COURTESY OF SALLY FARRAR
BIG LOVE polygamy more than a century ago, they’ve been intent on weaving themselves into the fabric of mainstream American culture. With that culture growing more accepting of gays in recent years, the Mormon church has softened its rhetoric against homosexuality. Yet the church leadership in Salt Lake City remains firmly opposed to same-sex marriage, limiting access to its 141 sacrosanct temples worldwide to straight couples who have been married by the church and lesbian and gay individuals who choose a life of celibacy. So Sally was as surprised as anyone when Judge Robert Shelby of the U.S. District Court for Utah, a registered Republican, struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Dec. 20, thrusting Utah to the volatile forefront of the gay-rights movement. With Mormons making up more than 60 percent of its population, Utah is the second-most religious state in the nation after the Baptist stronghold of Mississippi, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. Sally and Brenda seized the moment, exchanging vows at the county clerk’s office in Salt Lake after standing outside in the earlymorning cold for hours with dozens
of other couples. If they’d waited a few more weeks, they would have missed their chance. On Jan. 6, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state’s request to stop marrying same-sex couples for the immediate future, as the case makes its way through the appeals courts. By the time the mass wedding reception took place nearly a week later, the window for same-sex marriages had closed. Couples at the party were not only toasting their recent commitments but also raising funds for a looming court battle to keep their marriage rights. Sally grew up hearing about the feats of her spiritual forebears, the Mormon families that wandered west in the early 19th
Sally Farrar with her family in San Francisco, right after Christmas in 2013.
BIG LOVE Century looking for religious freedom in the face of persecution. Until Shelby’s decision, however, she’d never imagined she’d make her own public stand for freedom and acceptance. It was a role that would take some getting used to. “AFTER LAST NIGHT, I don’t fit in anywhere,” Sally said the morning after the January party. “I’m not angry at the church, but I don’t fit in there, and I didn’t fit in last night.” She sat in a faded armchair in her living room, one leg stretched out on an ottoman, the other curled beneath her. Brenda, a lapsed Catholic from a Mexican-American family, sat on the couch, drinking coffee. The two made a contrasting pair. Where Brenda is tall and striking and has a bit of sarcastic edge, Sally has a round, soft face and a warm demeanor. Speaking in the honeyed tones of her native Georgia, Sally recounted her reaction to the sight of a lesbian party guest wearing a man’s button-down shirt and a boyish haircut. “I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s a woman?” “I’m not going to hate on lesbians,” Brenda replied. “I don’t care what they look like.”
“I know that it’s wrong of me to judge people,” Sally consented. Brenda had to smile at this. “I feel pretty comfortable with people being different,” she said. “You kind of have a hard time with that.” It’s a difficulty many Mormons seem to face. As Lawrence Wright
She found herself at a precarious juncture, staring ahead at the unknown territory of the gay-rights movement while trying to stay close to the familiar guideposts of her Mormon past. wrote in a 2002 New Yorker article exploring the religion’s troubled legacy, “The paradox of Mormonism is that a faith with such an embattled history has fostered a community whose members are ostensibly so conventional.” The recent developments on marriage have thrown this paradox into sharp relief. In the words of Patrick Q. Mason, the head of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University, in California, the church’s stance against same-sex marriage reflects “a widespread historical amnesia
about Mormons’ own alternative marriage practices.” The history of the Church of Latter-day Saints is a story of marginalization and persecution, one driven in large part by its founder’s unorthodox views on marriage. In the 1820s, Joseph Smith, the son of a farmer living in western New York, said he had unearthed and translated a book of solid gold pages that had been buried in a nearby hillside for 1,400 years. The published work, the Book of Mormon, intrigued some people and provoked anger and skepticism in others. “There was an appealing simplicity to the book’s central message, which framed existence as an unambiguous struggle be-
tween good and evil,” wrote Jon Krakauer in Under the Banner of Heaven, a book that intertwines Smith’s story with an account of a 1984 double-murder committed in the name of God by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers. Smith was a charismatic leader and a brilliant storyteller. He was also widely considered a charlatan, and as he and his followers searched for a place to establish a communal Mormon utopia, outsiders threatened them with mob violence and sometimes attacked. The strife grew more intense after Smith said God had revealed to him that practicing polygamy would help men get into heaven, and that those who rejected plural marriage risked damnation. In 1844, an angry mob in Carthage, Ill., broke into a jail where Smith
Chris Serrano, left, and Clifton Webb kiss after being married, as people wait in line to get licenses outside of the marriage division of the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office on Dec. 20, 2013.
BIG LOVE was awaiting trial on treason charges and shot him several times. He fell out the window and died shortly after hitting the ground. Smith was succeeded in the church by Brigham Young, a carpenter and blacksmith with a beard shaped like the spade of a shovel. Young led his followers over the Rocky Mountains, where he founded the state of Utah and built two neighboring mansions to accommodate his enormous family. He is said to have married some 55 women, earning the epithet “most married man in America.” In 1878, a year after Young’s death, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to these unconventional unions, rejecting the argument that “religious duty” justified the violation of federal laws prohibiting the practice of polygamy. By then, the U.S. Army had invaded Utah in part to end Young’s theocratic rule, and the people had elected a non-Mormon governor. In 1890, Congress voted to disincorporate the LDS church and seize its assets. That same year, the church’s president announced he had received a revelation from God disavowing plural marriages. It’s unknown exactly how many Mormons from fundamentalist
sects continue to practice polygamy — estimates range from 10,000 to 50,000 in the United States. But the vast majority of America’s more than 6 million Mormons have never had anything to do with it. In giving up polygamy, Mormons made a “deliberate and distinct decision to join the nation,” said Mason, the Mormon historian. And while members of the LDS church had their own political party in
Mormonism has been largely defined by a sense of pragmatism, an ambition to survive and expand above all else. the 19th century, “today, they are comfortably situated in the GOP,” he said. It was a Mormon former governor of Massachusetts, after all, who won the backing of the Republican establishment to run for president in 2012. Since that pivotal moment in the late 19th century, Mormonism has been largely defined by a sense of pragmatism, an ambition to survive and expand above all else. Some say this desire for broad acceptance influenced the church’s decision, at the height of the culture wars in
AP PHOTO/STEVE C. WILSON
the mid-1990s, to join with other conservative groups in publicly condemning same-sex marriage. “THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan,” the church declared in a 1995 document, “The Family: A Proclamation To The World.” “We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” The church’s single largest contribution to the fight against same-sex marriage came in 2008, when members shelled out a combined $20 million and doz-
ens boarded buses bound for California in an effort to generate support for Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Observers on both sides of the issue say this Mormon campaign was largely responsible for tipping the scales and securing Prop 8’s victory at the polls. But if the church entered that fight looking to make friends among mainstream Americans, it made a critical mistake in failing to anticipate how much their attitudes on same-sex marriage would shift over the next few years. The first signs of a backlash against the church’s stance appeared almost immediately, when thousands of protesters shut down Temple Square in Salt Lake City in early November 2008. A
Davida Wegner, center left, and Molly Ryan Butterworth, center right, hold an enlarged copy of their recent marriage license during a rally at the Utah State Capitol in support of gay marriage on Jan. 10, 2014.
BIG LOVE few months later, the actor Tom Hanks, then serving as an executive producer of Big Love, an HBO drama about a family of fundamentalist Mormons in Utah that practices polygamy, blasted the church’s support for Prop 8 as “un-American” at a premiere party for the show. (Hanks later apologized without backing down from his basic premise: “No one should use ‘un- American’ lightly or in haste. I did,” he said.) In August 2010, CNN released a poll showing for the first time that a narrow majority of Americans supported same-sex marriage. President Barack Obama announced his “evolution” on the issue two years later. And then came June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court both overturned Prop 8 on technical grounds and ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional. In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia predicted that the court’s DOMA decision would lead to judges striking down same-sex marriage bans in states throughout the country. Judge Shelby, in his December ruling on Utah’s
ban, said he agreed with Scalia’s interpretation that such a move was “inevitable.” The official Mormon response was tepid. “The Church has been consistent in its support of traditional marriage while teaching that all people should be treated
“I need the world to see that our family, these kids, we’re no goddamned different from anyone else.” with respect,” it said in a statement after Shelby’s decision. Mason thinks LDS leadership may have realized that their strong stand against same-sex marriage back in 2008 hurt the church’s image, and interfered with a primary mission of attracting new members to spread the gospel. “The culture is changing,” he said, “and the church sees itself as part of the culture.” THROUGH ALL THESE changes and revelations, one thing has remained steady in the Mormon faith: the belief that the family unit is sacred and eternal. All Judeo-Christian religions espouse the importance of family, but
COURTSEY OF SALLY FARRAR
BIG LOVE Mormonism takes the idea of family togetherness to another level. The main role of the Mormon temple is to perform ceremonies that bind families together for eternity, ensuring that they’ll enter the celestial kingdom as one. To some families, this may sound like a nightmare. Sally’s family made it sound like a Club Med vacation. “My mom’s joke was, ‘I’m going to find the best beach house I can in Heaven, and get all the land I can around it so you all can come and live with me,’” Sally recalled. Unfortunately, Sally’s same-sex relationship means that she and Brenda won’t be spreading out a beach blanket on her family’s celestial plot — gay couples aren’t allowed into Mormon Heaven. In a departure from the church’s previous condemnation of homosexuality as evil, LDS leadership did put out a pamphlet in 2007 claiming that gay people could go to Heaven so long as they remained celibate — for which they would be rewarded in the afterlife with a heterosexual relationship. Sally and Brenda had already been enjoying the benefits of a non-celibate relationship for more than two decades. Sally wasn’t born a Mormon.
She grew up in Georgia, and her parents joined a Mormon church when she was 3 years old, repudiating their Presbyterian and Methodist backgrounds and setting themselves apart from the Southern Baptists and evangelicals who lived on their street. Sally’s classmates in grade school would ask whether she had horns or multiple moms. So she already knew what it felt like to be an outsider when at age 17 her mother, fed up with Sally’s habit of kissing other girls, handed her a trash bag filled with clothes and told her to leave. The annals of gay history are filled with stories of teens in similar situations striking out for San Francisco or Greenwich Vil-
Sally and Brenda’s children, Madison, 21, and Ben, 18, in New York’s Times Square in 2012.
BIG LOVE lage. Sally made her way to Salt Lake City, to the heart of Mormondom, determined to start therapy and find a husband. Instead, on the night of her 21st birthday she found herself in a gay bar, staring at a “breathtaking” brunette in a blue checkered shirt — the same woman she would marry in ski clothes on a freezing Utah morning nearly 30 years later. “We started talking and just fell in love,” Sally recalled. When her parents found out about Brenda, they were devastated. Her dad ordered her to choose between Brenda and the family; her oldest sister told her she was going to hell. Over time, an uneasy truce was forged. Sally and Brenda joined in annual family trips to Disney World and the beach. After Sally’s siblings made their way to Utah in recent years, they began to meet each week for Sunday dinners. But the two women never held hands or kissed in front of the family. Sixteen years ago, Sally’s mother got sick with cancer, and the couple decided to move back to Georgia. They tried to rejoin the family’s church, so that Maddie and Ben could experience the same close-knit community
Sally had known as a child. But the bishop told Sally that she and Brenda would never be able to become full members of the community, enter the temple, or teach a Sunday school class. “And that’s what we wanted to always avoid,” Sally said. “We didn’t want our children to be in a place of worship where they didn’t feel equal
When her parents found out about Brenda, they were devastated. Her dad ordered her to choose between Brenda and the family; her oldest sister told her she was going to hell. to or less than.” A few years after Sally’s mother died in 2007, the Farrars moved back to Utah, where they settled in a heavily Mormon community in the hills overlooking Salt Lake City, a few blocks from her sisters and brother. Sally and Brenda got married the night before Christmas Eve. The next night, a chilly mood crept into their home, spreading through the convivial gathering of Sally’s siblings, their spouses and their many children. On the television, a newscaster had in-
AP PHOTO/KIM RAFF
terrupted the evening’s planned coverage to announce that Judge Shelby had denied the state’s request to put a halt to same-sex marriages while it filed an appeal of his earlier ruling. The evening had already been tense. At dinner, no one had congratulated the newlyweds, and no one had mentioned the court case that had drawn reporters from the national media to their state. Only now, with the newscaster forcing the issue into the living room, did Sally’s sister Susan speak her mind. “She snapped,” Sally recounted a few days later. “She said, ‘That is just wrong.
The people should decide what happens in their state.’ And I turned to her and I just exploded.” Sally had never seen herself as a fighter for gay rights, but something changed in her in the weeks after the initial ruling and her wedding, she said. “My heart is heavy, and I am tired,” she wrote in a blog post for Marriage Equality USA, a gay-rights advocacy group. “I can no longer remain silent on this issue.” Especially provoking to Sally was Utah’s decision to defend the marriage ban by arguing that heterosexual couples are better at raising children than gay parents. “I need the world to see that our family, these kids, we’re no goddamned different from any-
Elise Larsen, left, and Samantha Christensen, right, display their marriage license after being one of the first samesex couples to receive one at the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office on Dec. 20, 2013.
BIG LOVE one else,” she said. She’d long ago stopped obeying the Mormon prohibition against blasphemy. SALLY’S FRIENDS include a handful of lesbians with Mormon backgrounds, and nearly all of them share her desire to be seen as normal. “I get up early, I eat my breakfast, I love my spouse,” said one woman in her 50s at a brunch at Sally’s house the morning of the big wedding reception, ticking the items off on her fingers. Another woman said she still felt deeply tied to Mormon culture, even though the church had excommunicated her for being gay some 20 years ago. “You can take the girl out of the church, but you can’t take the church out of the girl,” she said. Sally and others hope the church will come to see same-sex commitments as no less deserving of praise and pride than heterosexual marriages. And they can already point to signs that Mormon institutions are inching in that direction. Over the past several years, the church has backed state and local anti-discrimination measures protecting gay people. Early last year, it acknowledged on a church website that gay people
“do not choose to have such attractions” — a step away from its previous position that gay people could change their sexuality through prayer and therapy. Perhaps the most striking sign arrived last month, when the church announced it would not be filing a friend of the court brief in the unfolding legal battle over
“You can take the girl out of the church, but you can’t take the church out of the girl.” same-sex marriage in Utah, as it did last winter in a pair of briefs supporting Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. What the church has yet to signal, however, is any intention of discarding its basic theological view that same-sex marriage is wrong. Just because the church sits out the fight in Utah doesn’t mean that it will open the doors of its temples to gay couples. For that to happen, under LDS doctrine, the president of the church would have to receive a revelation from God, not unlike the one that led to the renunciation of polygamy more than a century ago. Opposing sides of Utah’s mar-
BIG LOVE riage fight have already begun to file their own briefs to the appeals court. The state’s team is lead by Gene Schaerr, a Mormon lawyer. In an email to colleagues that was later leaked to the legal blog Above The Law, Schaerr explained that he took the position in order to “fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty.” Depending on what the appeals court decides, the Supreme Court could end up hearing the case by the end of this year. Activists for marriage equality and religious liberty alike believe the coming months will provide a critical “moment of opportunity” for promulgating their views, as Paul Mero, president of the conservative Salt Lake City-based advocacy group The Sutherland Institute, put it. Sitting in his office by Temple Square, Mormonism’s gray, granite answer to the Vatican, he said the institute planned to run TV ads and to sponsor lectures and debates. “Win or lose in court,” he said, “you still have to capture the hearts and minds of the people.” A painting by the Mormon artist Minerva Bernetta Kohlhepp Teichert hung on the wall, depicting a traditional pioneer family
— man, woman, child — steering their iconic handcart down into the valley. From his seat beneath the painting, Mero favorably compared the plural marriages that were common in those days to the same-sex relationships he hears of today. “The women were not married to each other,” he pointed out. Polygamous marriages were “natu-
“Win or lose in court, you still have to capture the hearts and minds of the people.” ral,” he insisted, “and that doesn’t exist with a same-sex relationship. In terms of public policy, for me, you have a loving committed friendship. That’s what you have. You don’t have a marriage.” Three weeks after her Christmas Eve explosion, Sally decided to give the ritual of the family dinner another go. This time, there weren’t any cold words or tears. There was chicken parm. After the plates were cleared, the family sprawled around the living room, the kids watching the Golden Globes and texting furiously. Sally sat on an easy chair by the TV, listening quietly as her sisters and their husbands took turns
AP PHOTO/RICK BOWMER
airing their complicated feelings about same-sex marriage. Although they spoke of Brenda as their sister-in-law, they weren’t ready to reject Mormon doctrine. “We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is central to God’s plan, because obviously it brings children and we believe that’s central,” said Susan, 45. Still, she added vaguely, “There are so many things out here that get confused and messed up, and I know that His plan and purpose is just and fair. He judges people’s hearts, and we don’t know each other’s hearts.” Earlier that day, Sally had recalled a trip to Temple Square
when she was 16, after her parents first discovered her kissing the homecoming queen. The visit went better than expected. A church psychiatrist took Sally into his office and showed her two filing cabinets on either side of his desk. One contained the records of gay Mormons who had gone on to marry opposite-sex partners; the other was an archive of those whom he considered lost causes. “’Your heavenly father loves both drawers just the same,’” she remembered the psychiatrist telling her. “’The brethren are not quite with me on this, but there will be a day when that will change.’” Lila Shapiro is a staff reporter at The Huffington Post.
A supporter of gay marriage waves a flag during a rally at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 28, 2014.
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IS AMERICA’S MOST FAMOUS BLONDE FADING INTO HISTORY? By JILLIAN BERMAN
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
here’s little in America that looks virtually the same as it did 55 years ago, but Barbie is an exception. ¶ Over the years, Barbie maker Mattel has peppered the iconic doll with cosmetic fixes — giving her a mod hairstyle like Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s, sending her to work in a skirt suit in the 1980s and turning her into an Olympic gymnast in the 1990s — to keep up with Americans’ changing preferences. Still, in popular imagination, Barbie is Barbie: The blond teenager with unrealistic proportions and delicate feet made just-so for stepping out in high heels. Despite nearly constant outcry over her image, Barbie has sold. Parents have bought more than 1 billion Barbies over the years, and she’s widely considered the most successful doll ever. But now, Barbie’s controversial look may be in danger of killing her. Barbie sales dropped 13 percent worldwide last quarter from a year before — and that’s after a string of bad quarters in late 2012 and early 2013. The “disproportionately sized blond girl” is losing her appeal, said
FROM LEFT: GAMMA-KEYSTONE VIA GETTY IMAGES; AP PHOTO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
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Matthew Hudak, an analyst at consumer analytics firm Euromonitor International. Instead of Barbie, parents are opting for dolls and toys less representative of the so-called “princess culture” that teaches little girls they should strive to be white, thin, beautiful, and with a man. “Parents aren’t really going after Barbie for their daughters — they’re looking towards these other brands — because Barbie has this running
stigma that it creates a negative self-image for a girl,” he said. “It’s something that’s been in the background for some time, and now it’s really starting to develop more.” But if Barbie goes down, she’ll fall as the icon Mattel created her to be, not as a doll catering to the whims of her critics. The company launched a campaign earlier this month featuring photos of Barbie and the hashtag “unapologetic,” encouraging girls to follow Barbie’s example and not apologize for how they look. The campaign also includes a
Left: The Barbie Doll in Nightgown in 1963. Right: The coverwrap of Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary annual swimsuit issue.
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JEFF CHRISTENSEN/GETTY IMAGES
partnership with Sports Illustrated and its famous swimsuit issue, where Barbie has a feature in the magazine. “Because Barbie is an icon, she often times gets dragged into the cultural conversation,” said Michelle Chidoni, a Mattel spokeswoman. “Barbie is often asked to apologize for what she looks like, but she is who she is.” NO STRANGER TO SCANDAL When Barbie first launched in 1959, she was controversial for different reasons. Unlike most other dolls on the market, she didn’t look like a kid. She was 17, buxom and a fashion model. “Many people found her scandalous, and worried that she would make girls think about sex,” said Elizabeth Chin, a professor of media and design practice at the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. Chin is working on a book about the doll as a cultural symbol, and how that plays out in how kids interact with her. Barbie’s creator, Ruth Handler, reportedly first came up with the idea for the doll after watching her daughter revel in changing the outfits on her paper dolls. Her company, Mattel, launched the
The first iteration of Barbie supposedly resembled a German sex doll named Lilli. first Barbie in 1959, after Handler pushed the idea on her male colleagues for years. It’s no wonder they were prudish. The first iteration of Barbie supposedly resembled a German sex doll named Lilli, who Handler spotted on a trip to Europe. Lilli’s “main function in life was to try and chisel money out of men with her looks,” according to Yona McDonough, the author of The Barbie Chronicles. (Mattel doesn’t include Lilli in its official Barbie origin story, though McDonough and other historians have cited
Ruth Handler, a co-founder of Mattel Toys Inc. and creator of the Barbie Doll, holds a Barbie that was created for the 40th anniversary party for the doll in New York City in February 1999.
PIERRE VERDY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Parents are opting for dolls and toys less representative of the so-called â€œprincess cultureâ€? that teaches little girls they should strive to be white, thin, beautiful, and with a man.
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her as an inspiration for Barbie.) McDonough said Barbie had more of an independent-woman bent than other dolls at the time. “There was definitely a subversive element in this doll because even though she conformed to a lot of the stereotypes of the day, the outfits kind of created identities for her,” McDonough said. “Ken is an
entire world, where they’re now skipping the parents.” And as America changed, Barbie changed too, Chin said. When the second-wave feminist movement began to take shape in the 1960s, Barbie became a career woman — even launching into space in 1965. After Americans became more concerned with multicultur-
Barbie’s head designer said there are no plans to change the doll’s look, saying she “was never designed to be realistic” and there’s an “issue of heritage.” accessory, She’s a bride but she is never a wife. The whole mythology did not include her being married.” Barbie’s gumption and independence were part of what made her attractive to girls, Chidoni, the Mattel spokeswoman, noted, and she flew off the shelves within a few months of her launch. Barbie also transformed the toy and marketing world along with her, according to Chin. “The first Barbie TV commercial is actually the first time that TV advertising is really aimed directly at the child,” Chin said. “It’s a changing moment of consumerism in America and the
alism, Mattel launched AfricanAmerican and Hispanic Barbies in 1980. Finally, after mounting pressure, Barbie’s proportions become slightly more realistic in the 1990s. “The history, certainly in the United States, of how families and mothers and girls have related to Barbie pretty much follows the other social things that are happening,” Chin said. Can Barbie keep up this time? ‘HERITAGE’ More moms and young women today are looking up to real live female icons — people like Janet Yellen, who was named chair of the Federal Reserve earlier this year, Hillary Clinton, who could be the next U.S. president, and
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Tina Fey, whose humor and wit have won her acclaim. While many Barbies, including an Angela Merkel doll and a president doll, are modeled after powerful women, most associate the doll more with aspiring to own a Malibu dream house than becoming president. To some, giving a young girl a doll like that seems more out of touch than ever. Karissa Taylor is one of those moms concerned about the message that Barbie could send to her girls. The 40-year-old Seattle attorney and mother of two said she knew from the day she had her first daughter that Barbies weren’t welcome in her home. Taylor does what she can in the battle to draw some of her daughters’ attention away from Barbies. She brings her 5-year-old along with her to the gym and to watch women’s sports, but images of “princess culture” have still managed to seep into her home, Taylor said. One recent afternoon, her 5-year-old came home from school complaining that she didn’t want to wear a pair of pants because they made her look fat, and she wanted to look pretty like a princess, Taylor said. “It’s just everywhere,” she said. “I caved in on the Disney princess stuff and kind of wish I hadn’t. At least Disney has some kind of
A 3-D model of what Barbie would look like if she had the proportions of an average 19-year-old girl.
An attempt to imagine how a human with Barbie’s same measurements would function in real life found she’d have to walk on all-fours, couldn’t lift anything with her wrists, and would only have room for half a liver.
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strong female figures, but Barbie I just don’t get the same vibe.” In the past few years, more complaints have also surfaced about the doll’s proportions. An attempt to imagine how a human with Barbie’s same measurements would function in real life found she’d have to walk on all-fours, couldn’t lift anything with her
he expects things to get worse for the blond bombshell — not better. As more American kids come from multicultural backgrounds, and interest in electronic games and toys continues to climb, Barbie likely will just become less attractive, he said. “It’s hard to think that the money is going to come back be-
Since allowing Barbie into her home, creating Barbie stories with her daughter has given them an opportunity to talk about who her daughter wants to grow up to be. wrists, and would only have room for half a liver. But in an interview with Fast Company earlier this month, Barbie’s head designer said there are no plans to change the doll’s look, saying she “was never designed to be realistic” and there’s an “issue of heritage.” Chidoni, the Mattel spokeswoman, said the recent sales downtick isn’t evidence that consumers might be changing their minds about the doll. “As a 55-year-old brand we see ups and downs, but Barbie is an icon and she is a brand that girls continue to love,” she said. But Hudak, the toy analyst, said
cause future generations of kids will have more and more trouble relating to Barbie,” he said. NOT SO BAD? But not all little girls are ready to throw away their plastic teen dolls just yet. Tracy Stewart, a 46-year-old mom of two, said she always assumed she’d never buy a Barbie for her kids. “I kind of came up with a blanket response which was Barbie equals bad,” she said. Once her daughter started asking for the doll when she was about 6 and a half, Stewart said she decided that too much was being laid at the Barbie’s petite feet. “I would watch my son playing Star Wars and making gun
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sounds, and never think that he was going to grow up and rob banks and use guns,” she said. Since allowing Barbie into her home, creating Barbie stories with her daughter has given them an opportunity to talk about who her daughter wants to grow up to be, Stewart said. “When I was young, my Barbies were essentially running a brothel, and I didn’t grow up to be a prostitute,” Stewart said. “Barbie takes a lot of heat and is sometimes more of a distraction from things that are actually really hurting girls. Now, I’m grateful for any toy that allows me to sit with my kids and hear what’s going on in their heads. Today, Fruit Ninja is much more of an obstacle in my parenting than Barbie.” Chidoni also drew the focus to a child’s experience with the doll. “If you watch your daughter experience Barbie through her eyes, it’s very different from the cultural conversation that people have about Barbie,” she said. The way that Stewart’s daughter plays with the doll is pretty typical of most girls, according to Chin, who has interviewed dozens of kids about their Barbie-playing habits for her research.
“Just because the company markets Barbie with a particularly kind of story, it’s pretty clear that kids don’t necessarily follow those scripts,” she said, adding that kids do everything from chopping off Barbies’ heads to making bowling games to creating Barbie porn videos. “They’re pretty complicated — those darn kids — and they’re pretty smart,” Chin said. “I’m less worried about Barbie than I am the culture that produces Barbie. At the same time, she is kind of this lightning rod representative of these things.” Jillian Berman is an associate business editor at The Huffington Post.
A child looks at a doll in front of the Barbie flagship store in Shanghai, China, in 2011. The store suddenly closed on March 7, 2011, after just two years.
JAYNE FINCHER/PRINCESS DIANA ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES
How Princess Di Revolutionized the Royal Kitchen BY REBECCA ADAMS
The Princess of Wales in 1991.
Exit HEY WERE the happiest times at Kensington,” Darren McGrady remembered about the four years he worked as Princess Diana’s personal chef at the palace. McGrady had worked for Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace for 11 years before the Princess of Wales asked him to join her, Prince William and Prince Harry at Kensington, where they lived after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996. But he took the opportunity to leave the Downton Abbey-esque formality and enter Diana’s world, one that eschewed all of the stuffy traditions in lieu of a warmer, more personable approach to living — and eating — royally. Gone were the grand banquet tables — Diana preferred a round table that sat 10 people so that she could connect with everyone she ate with. “If she was on her own for lunch, she’d actually come and eat in the kitchen on the countertop,” McGrady said. “I’d make a tray for her and I’d just be tidying up the kitchen and things as we were chatting.” Was this type of behavior from a royal unheard of? “Oh, absolutely,” he said. “The rest of the royals would never do that.” To provide
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some perspective, when the Queen entered the kitchen at Buckingham Palace, all kitchen staff had to stop what they were doing, move pans to the side of the stove, step three paces back and bow. McGrady remembered how Diana, on the other hand, would burst into the kitchen at Kensington and say, “Darren, I need a coffee — oh, you’re busy. I’ll make it. Do you want one?” But while the late princess was no stranger to the kitchen, cooking was not Diana’s forte. “She was just the worst, a terrible person in the kitchen,” McGrady said laughing. He would cook for Diana five days a week, then leave special plates of food for the weekend in the refrigerator
Darren McGrady’s signed photo of Princess Diana.
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with sticky notes marking the exact number of minutes she should leave the dishes in the microwave (yes, Her Royal Highness nuked her food). “It was just that basic cooking with the princess,” he said. Even though Diana couldn’t cook, she had an appreciation for good food. She loved McGrady’s bread and butter pudding, a British dessert with raisins across the top that’s a cross between the bread pudding we eat in America and crème brûlée. She would often sneak into the kitchen while McGrady prepared the dish, unconsciously picking off the raisins for a snack while they were chatting. Diana may have had the family’s signature sweet tooth, but she was also focused on eating healthy.
After overcoming her bulimia, she started working out and shifting to a fat-free diet, telling McGrady, “I want you to take care of all of the fat. I’ll take care of the carbs at the gym.” Stuffed bell peppers and stuffed eggplant were common dishes McGrady would prepare for her, but Diana also asked him to make fat-free versions of British comfort food staples. Instead of eating the same roasted chicken and potatoes that her sons ate (“the kind that you bite into and oil just runs down your chin”), the princess would have McGrady poach chicken and dry bake potatoes so that William and Harry wouldn’t have to follow the same dietary restrictions as their “mum.” When it came to her house guests, Diana didn’t want anyone to miss out on the decadent staples of McGrady’s cooking just because
A Christmas buffet in the dining room at Sandringham House, owned by the royal family, in Norfolk, England.
Exit she was watching her fat intake. In fact, while eating lunch with Oprah Winfrey, another famous dieter, Diana managed to pull a fast one on the television host as the two dined on McGrady’s tomato mousse. After a few mouthfuls, Oprah put down her spoon and said, “Diana, how do you stay so slim eating rich food like this?” The princess replied, “I just eat small portions and work out.” That wasn’t quite true, though — Diana had McGrady serve her a fat-free version of his tomato mousse, while Oprah was eating the full-fat dish chock full of mayonnaise, sour cream and heavy cream. “Diana never did tell her the truth,” McGrady said. WHEN IT COMES to kitchen habits or otherwise, it’s hard to avoid comparisons between Diana’s down-to-earth nature and that of another royal wife: Kate Middleton. “We’ve got another stunning princess,” McGrady said about the Duchess of Cambridge. “She’s beautiful. She’s the clotheshorse that Princess Diana was, that Fergie never was.” The one key difference? Kate reportedly has a keen interest in cooking and is a whiz in the kitchen (she even makes her own jam). This is a big shift
for the Windsors, even when compared to Diana’s forward-thinking dining sensibilities. “Tradition had it that whenever one of the royals got married, they would take one of the Queen’s chefs, one of mummy’s chefs who knew how they liked their food,” he explained. “Then you have William and Kate who are saying, ‘No we want to cook; we want to shop for our own food.’ Kate’s a commoner.
Diana’s world... eschewed all of the stuffy traditions in lieu of a warmer, more personable approach to living — and eating — royally.” She loves to cook and she wants to do that. I think the princess would’ve been thrilled with Kate.” While we can only speculate how Diana would feel about Kate, it’s clear that the royal couple is doing exactly what the late princess would have continued to do: buck tradition in the kitchen. Make sure to check out Darren McGrady’s book, Eating Royally, for more anecdotes and recipes from his time at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.
DARREN’S BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING INGREDIENTS: ■ 12
slices of white bread (8 into triangles, 4 into cubes) oz softened unsalted butter ■ 9 egg yolks ■ 5 oz caster sugar ■ 1 vanilla pod ■ 5 fl oz milk ■ 15 fl oz double cream ■ 3 oz raisins ■ 3 oz flaked almonds (toasted) ■ 4 tablespoons of Amaretto or Cointreau ■ 1 oz extra caster sugar (for the top of the pudding) ■ 1 teaspoon of icing sugar ■ raspberry coulis ■ summer berries ■ vanilla ice cream ■ salted caramel sauce ■4
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1. Soak the raisins the night be-
fore in the Amaretto and cover with cling film. Leave at room temperature. 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 3. Grease a 3-pint dish with butter. 4. Remove the crusts and butter the bread. 5. Whisk the egg yolks and the 6-oz caster sugar in a bowl together. 6. Split the vanilla pod and put in a pan with the milk and cream, then bring to a simmer and pour onto the egg yolks, stirring all the time. 7. Remove the vanilla pod, scraping the seeds into the custard and discard the pod. 8. Cut a quarter of the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the bottom of the dish. Then top with the raisins adding the juic-
es, too. Finish with the remaining bread cut into triangles and arranged on top of the fruit. 9. P our the warm egg mixture over the bread making sure all of the bread is coated. 10. Leave to soak into the bread for 20 minutes. 11. Place in the oven in a roasting tray 3/4 full of hot water. Cook for about 30 minutes. It will only set like custard because you’re using egg yolks and no whites. 12. R emove from the oven and roasting tray and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Then put under the grill until the sugar starts to caramelize. 13. Sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar.
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HUFFINGTON 03.02.14 Thomas Alva Edison in his laboratory at Orange, NJ.
The 9 Essential Habits of Mentally Strong People BY CAROLYN GREGOIRE
N 1914, THOMAS Edison’s lab burned down, and years’ worth of his work was destroyed. This could easily be described as the worst thing to happen to Edison, but the inventor instead chose to see it as an energizing opportunity that forced him to rebuild and re-examine much of his work. Edison reportedly said at the time: “Thank goodness all our
Exit mistakes were burned up. Now we can start again fresh.” “In a world that we don’t control, tolerance is obviously an asset,” Ryan Holiday, author of the forthcoming The Obstacle Is the Way, told The Huffington Post. “But the ability to find energy and power from what we don’t control is an immense competitive advantage.” He’s talking about mental strength, a difficult-to-define psychological concept that encompasses emotional intelligence, grit, resilience, selfcontrol, mental toughness and mindfulness. It’s something that Edison had in spades, and it’s the reason that some people are able to overcome any obstacle, while others crumble at life’s daily challenges and frustrations. The ability to cope with difficult emotions and situations is a significant predictor of our success and happiness. The most capable individuals in this way are able to turn any obstacle into a source of growth and opportunity. And while much has been made of what mentally strong people avoid doing — things like dwelling on the past, resenting the success of others and feeling sorry for themselves — what do they actually do? What
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tactics do they use to overcome adversity time and time again? “Things that we think are obstacles are actually opportunities to do something,” says Holiday. “[To] be rewarded in some way that we never would have expected, provided that we address and don’t shirk from that obstacle.”
The ability to find energy and power from what we don’t control is an immense competitive advantage.” Here are 9 essential habits and practices of mentally strong people that can help you get through any challenge or hardship. THEY SEE THINGS OBJECTIVELY. The way we perceive a situation has a tremendous power to either help or harm us. So often, we react emotionally and project negative judgments onto a situation, when the first key to overcoming a challenge is to see things objectively. Holiday studied countless examples through history of individuals who overcame obstacles that would seem completely insurmountable to most of us, from be-
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ing falsely accused of triple murder to intense discrimination based on race or sex. He found that mental toughness came down to three things: Perception, action and will. “What’s required [for mental strength] is some sort of philosophical framework that allows you to look past your emotions or what your first impressions of a situation might be,” Holiday said. “So the elements of that are, 1) Your perception. Can you see things clearly and evenly? 2) Can you think about creative or out of the box kinds of solutions or actions? And finally, what is the kind of determination or will you can apply that action to the situation with?” THEY’RE PERSISTENT IN THE PURSUIT OF THEIR GOALS. In psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth’s studies of students in a number of different educational environments, Duckworth found that grit more than any other single quality (IQ, emotional intelligence, good looks, physical health) accounts for students’ success. She also studied teachers and workers in various professional environments to determine what accounted for their success. “Grit is passion or perseverance
for very long-term goals,” Duckworth said in a TED talk. “Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out — not just for a day, not just for a month, but for years — to make that future a reality.” THEY LET GO OF ENTITLEMENT. We all deserve happiness, but we don’t deserve a life free from obstacles or setbacks. An attitude of entitlement — thinking that we deserve to get what we want most or all of the time — can make it much more difficult to deal with challenges when they come around and take you by surprise. This is a particular-
Exit ly common roadblock for Generation Y, according to Gen Y expert Paul Harvey, assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire, who observed that many Millennials have “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback.” Mentally strong people recognize that their entire life plans, and life itself, could be derailed at any moment — and they don’t waste their effort feeling wronged by destiny when things don’t quite go their way. THEY KEEP AN EVEN KEEL. Mental strength is not so much about always being happy as it is about “keeping an even keel at any and all times,” says Holiday. Emotional stability and the ability to keep a cool head is an enormous asset when it comes to dealing with challenging situations. Fortunately, emotional stability tends to increase with age — and it should come as no surprise that we become happier as a result. THEY DON’T ASPIRE TO BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME. Excessive preoccupation with happiness can actually lead to an unhealthy attitude towards nega-
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tive emotions and experiences. Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid negative emotions — rather, accepting both positive and negative emotions and letting different feelings coexist is a key
An attitude of entitlement — thinking that we deserve to get what we want most or all of the time — can make it much more difficult to deal with challenges when they come around and take you by surprise.” component of resiliency. “We so value optimism and happiness and all these positive traits, which are themselves abstractions, that we get caught by surprise and can’t deal with their opposite,” says Holiday. “If we were more middle of the road, things would be better and we’d be able to take advantage of the things that happen to us because there’s more objectivity.” THEY’RE REALISTIC OPTIMISTS. Mentally tough people make a habit of getting up after they fall. Instead of getting upset, feel-
GETTY IMAGES/JOHNER RF
ing hopeless and giving up in the face of obstacles, they take the opportunity to put on their thinking caps and come up with a creative solution to the problem at hand. Mentally strong people tend to be realistic optimists — they have the hopefulness of optimists and the clarity of pessimists — which gives them both the motivation and the critical thinking required to come up with creative solutions. “Every time [realistic optimists] face an issue or a challenge or a problem, they won’t
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Things that we think are obstacles are actually opportunities to do something.” say ‘I have no choice and this is the only thing I can do,’” researcher Sophia Chou told LiveScience. “They will be creative, they will have a plan A, plan B and plan C.” THEY LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. Being present — rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future — allows you to see things as they really are. Whether or not they have a for-
Exit mal meditation or mindfulness practice, mentally strong people tend to have a mindful, attentive way of engaging with the world. “You could call it being in the zone, you can call it whatever you want, but the idea is that if you’re focused exclusively on one thing in front of you, you’re not bringing baggage to that situation and you’re considering only the variables that matter,” says Holiday. BUT THEY KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO LET GO. Just as important as perseverance is the ability to recognize that you can control only your own actions — not the results of those actions. Accepting this fact allows us to resign to the things that are beyond our power. There’s an idea in Stoicism, Holiday explains, called the “art of acquiescence,” which is yielding to the things that you can’t change and making the best of them, rather than allowing them to upset or frustrate you. The mentally strong person lives by the Serenity Prayer — they change what they can control, accept what they can’t control, and know the difference between the two.
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THEY LOVE THEIR LIVES. Amor fati is a Latin term that translates to “love of fate,” a concept derived from the ancient Greek and Roman Stoic philosophers that later reemerged in the work of Nietzsche. And it’s perhaps the single most important key to mental strength.
Mentally strong people tend to be realistic optimists — they have the hopefulness of optimists and the clarity of pessimists.” “The idea is that you don’t just have to tolerate the things you can’t control — they could be the greatest things that ever happen to you,” says Holiday. “You can find the joy in not just accepting, but in embracing the things that happen to you.” Shortly before her death, Seattle-based author Jane Lotter left that advice with her family in a powerful self-written obituary. As Lotter put it, “May you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.”
In which we spotlight music from a diversity of genres and decades, lending an insider’s ear to what deserves to be heard. BY THE EVERLASTING PHIL RAMONE AND DANIELLE EVIN
HOCKEY Hockey is the Portland, Oregon-based dance-rock outfit captained by singer Ben Grubin and bassist Jeremy Reynolds (a.k.a. Jerm). Founded in 2007 in college just outside of L.A., the band did some finger-bleeding before relocating to the Pacific Northwest, where they recruited drummer Anthony Stassi and guitarist Brian White, then selfproduced their full-length debut for Capitol Records. Hockey issued their follow-up album,Wyeth IS, in 2013. Turn it up with “Curse This City,” from Hockey’s 2009 release Mind Chaos. BUY: iTunes GENRE: Dance Rock ARTIST: Hockey SONG: Curse This City ALBUM: Mind Chaos
THE KEITE YOUNG HARMONIZING FOUR American Gospel quartet The Harmonizing Four was founded in Richmond, Virginia, at the close of the Roaring ’20s by Thomas “Goat” Johnson and Levi Handly. In 1943, they cut their full-length debut and went on to record a heap of sides and grace tracks by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Over their eight-decade tenure, the cast would include Joseph “Gospel Joe” Williams, Lonnie Smith, Tommy Ellison, James Walker, Thomas Johnson, Jimmy Jones, Vance Joyner, and Calvin Meekins. Revisit The Harmonizing Four with “Close to Thee,” from their inspired 1959 Gospel Music Anthology (Remastered) — sounds like a panorama into someone else’s memory. TAP HERE TO BUY: iTunes GENRE: Gospel ARTIST: The Harmonizing Four SONG: Close to Thee ALBUM: Gospel Music Anthology (Remastered)
Fort Worth-based soul-stirrer Keite Young was born in the late ’70s into a professional musical family (Kirk Franklin & The Family and Wayman Tisdale). Before the age of 10, he started writing songs, and by his late teens, singing became a front foot for Young. Credits include a shining lead-vocal spot in the Kirk Franklin & The Family’s track “Let My People Go” for The Prince of Egypt soundtrack (1998) and “Thinkuboutmi” for the Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins soundtrack (2008). Download “My Change,” from Young’s 2007 debut The Rise and Fall of Keite Young. TAP HERE TO BUY: iTunes GENRE: Soul ARTIST: Keite Young SONG: My Change ALBUM: The Rise and Fall of Keite Young
PAUL DESMOND Jazz composer/arranger and alto-sax master Paul Desmond (a.k.a. Paul Emil Breitenfeld) was born in San Francisco in 1924 into a musical family. His father, an organist, played in movie theaters during the silent-film invasion. An interruption of childhood came when Paul’s mother suffered a breakdown, pressing his relocation to New York City. Shortly thereafter, he picked up the violin, the clarinet, and then the saxophone. Swept up in the WWII draft, Desmond fortuitously was never called to the frontlines. Career breakthrough came in the late ’40s with The Dave Brubeck Octet. Collaborations include Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall, Ed Bickert, and Chet Baker. Desmond penned the millionselling jazz classic “Take Five,” and generously directed his royalties to the American Red Cross. Sadly, the master of cool fell to lung cancer in 1977. Remember him with the 1962 title “Desmond Blue,” from the posthumous collection Late Lament. BUY: iTunes GENRE: Jazz ARTIST: Paul Desmond SONG: Desmond Blue ALBUM: Late Lament
RETURN TO FOREVER TERRY REID FEAT. CHICK COREA NYC jazz outfit Return to Forever was founded in the early ’70s. Captained by keyboardist Chick Corea, the ensemble’s rotating cast has comprised music magnetars Stanley Clarke (bass), Lenny White (drums), Frank Gambale (guitar), Jean-Luc Ponty (violinist), Al Di Meola (guitar), Joe Farrell (sax, flute), Mingo Lewis (percussion), Bill Connors (guitar), Flora Purim (vocalist), Airto Moreira (percussion), Steve Gadd (drums) and Earl Klugh (guitar). Despite a premature breakup in 1977, the Grammy-winning soundsmiths reassembled many times over. Highlights include a 2011 tour with Dweezil Zappa and dozen-plus full-lengths to date. Rediscover “Interplay,” from Return to Forever’s mid-’70s fusion classic No Mystery. BUY: iTunes GENRE: Jazz ARTIST: Return to Forever Featuring Chick Corea SONG: Interplay ALBUM: No Mystery
Brit-rock guitarist/vocalist/composer Terry Reid was born in Huntingdon, England, in 1949. He dropped out of school as a tweenager and took music head on. By his mid-teens, Terry made his early pro footsteps as a member of Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers. Soon after, he inked with producer/manager Mickey Most, who captained his debut in 1968. Next up, Jimmy Page asked Reid to join Led Zeppelin, but he was under contract to Most and suggested singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham. By the early ’70s, Reid hit the West Coast, and has since fingerprinted his greatness on decades of recordings. Shared stages include Cream, The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and Fleetwood Mac. Collaborations comprise rock royal luminaries George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Joe Meek, Graham Nash, The Hollies, Don Henley, Mick Taylor, Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Trevor Horn and Shine, among others, with Cheap Trick, Jack White and Marianne Faithfull covering his titles. Credits include films The Devil’s Rejects, Wonderland, Glastonbury Fayre, The Greatest Game Ever Played and The Summit. Among his trove of releases, revisit his 1969 gem “July,” from Superlungs. BUY: iTunes GENRE: Rock ARTIST: Terry Reid SONG: July ALBUM: Superlungs
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