Looking for a guilty pleasure read? ’50 Shades of Grey’ is the latest hot pick for you

The Fifty Shades trilogy (“Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Fifty Shades Freed” and “Fifty Shades Darker”), aka ‘Twilight’ fan fiction, is written by E. L. James, a female British author and former TV executive. According to People, the books is about a virginal 21-year-old college student Anastasia Steele and a charming, 27-year-old millionaire Christian Grey. The catch is that Christian is a sexual deviant who only engages in dominant-submissive relationships with women. Despite her inexperience, Ana agrees to enter the unconventional relationship and falls for him in the process.

Judging from the setup of the novel, you may also guess that it involves a lot of BDSM erotica. It is surprising to many people that it has become a big hit among American women, so popular that it has been dubbed “mommy porn” or “S&M for Dummies.” Frank Santo, who reviewed the book for the Daily News, tries to explain why women don’t find Ana’s submission offensive and off-putting:

 Just as the majority of men who watch pornography do not actually think of their significant others as lascivious, orange-skinned, clearly-faking-it sexual acrobats, I seriously doubt that most women would prefer their men like Christian Grey: domineering, stalking, devoid of any humor or personality whatsoever. They are all kind of silly, these fantasies of ours, and were they to come true, we’d just want something else. Pornography is fundamentally absurd, but will endure regardless.

He also admitted:

For me, being a straight, white male of rather vanilla sexual inclinations, the experience of reading E. L. James’ “50 Shades of Grey” on the subway was enough to make me feel like a complete psychopath.

Published by a small independent press in Australia and an “obscure” author (New York Times), Fifty Shades of Grey enjoys most of its success in digital release. According to the NY Times, e-book downloads propelled “Fifty Shades of Grey” to No. 1 on the New York Times e-book fiction best-seller list (March 3, 2012) and No. 3 position on Amazon’s best-seller list. This is a great illustration of how tremendously the erotica genre has benefited from e-readers, devices that give people freedom to read discreetly.

Because the novel has become such a hit, the logical next step is to make it into a movie. Universal Studios and Focus Features have reportedly won the bid (EW), and E. L. James must be smiling wide at her big fat $5 million check. The concern is that, considering how hard-core the porn is, it would be difficult to make the book into an R-rated movie. Fifty Shades has also been compared to the Millennium trilogy in this aspect.

I don’t know if I will have time to try read Fifty Shades, but I’m naturally intrigued by it. Will you ever read this? Do you think this novel is worth all the buzz around it?

Why ‘In Time’ is worth your while

My boyfriend and I finally got to see the movie this past Friday, a week after the release. I didn’t expect much from this action flick prior to going. In fact, I told myself I would at least get to see Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried on screen if all else fails. But “In Time” exceeds my expectations. Here’s why:

– The concept that time is the currency really makes you think of life in different terms. Everything you do to live (spending money on food, lending, sleeping, and just being) brings you closer to death. People from the ghetto do everything faster than the upper class for fear of running out of time.

– In a world where no one ages past 25, everyone looks young and hot (albeit sometimes tired due to working too hard or being too ancient like Twilight’s vampires). The great cast includes antagonist Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Red Eye) and Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men). It was a pleasant surprise to see hot Olivia Wilde (House, Tron: Legacy) and the angelic Matt Bomer (White Collar) even in brief supporting roles.

– The movie is politically relevant to the Occupy Wall Street movement. The idea of being the 99% and fighting your survival is always uneasy. Although the conspiracy is more spelled out and extreme in fiction, it may not be too far off from reality.

– There are really impactful moments at the beginning, mostly the deaths of three people surrounding the protagonist. Also, there’re romantic sparks between Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried even though there is no explicit sexuality. It’s rated PG 13 for violence, some sexuality and partial nudity, and strong language.

Check out New York Times summary and full review from Huffington Post.

Inspired by Sabi in You Make Me Feel (Cobra Starship)

I haven’t done this for a while, since Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. But Sabi’s outfit in this fun, flirty video just speaks to me so much that I can’t help but admire it. I also end up creating this set to help everyone pull off the look.

Sabi in You Make Me Feel

Unsurprisingly enough, you start off the look by throwing on very basic pieces: a fitted white tee and light denim shorts. What makes this ensemble so fun is the techniques of layering and accessorizing.

Lace plays a big role in making the outfit sexy. You can layer lace shorts underneath the jeans or replace them with lace tights. Adding lacey fingerless gloves amps up the toughness and sex appeal.

It’s intuitive to throw on a chunky gold chain necklace and a pair of hoop earrings. Black booties are fierce, sturdy enough for dancing and thus, perfect footwear for this outfit.

Sabi - You make me feel
Inspired by Sabi in You Make Me Feel.

Oversized blazer, $88
Forever21 denim shorts, $19
Rachel gold earrings, $10
Forever21 beading necklace, $6.80
ASOS chain glove, $10
Fitted white tee, $29
Volatile Mai Tai, $40

Last but not least, the exquisite cropped blazer with silk lining gives the ensemble class and personality.

Introducing: Honor Society

The Grove is super romantic at night

What: Yesterday, I decided to go to The Grove for a window shopping spree. Little did I know, I ended up at the Citi-sponsored Summer Concert Series. I personally think they could’ve promoted it a little better. But I enjoyed the pleasant surprise.

Blake Lewis

When: The concerts are taking place at 7:30 pm every Wednesday for the rest of July.

Who: Continue reading

MTV Movie Awards 2011 recap and fashion

Twilight cast

If you aren’t a “Twilight” fan, it was probably sickening to watch the favoritism toward the franchise paraded at the show last night. Twilight won nearly half the categories (FIVE out of 12), including obvious wrongs like Best Movie (over Inception, Black Swan, The Social Network & Harry Potter) and Best Female (Natalie Portman?!).

However, that’s not the most embarrassing part. Robert Pattinson could not be more awkward on stage, Continue reading

Tom Ford Made Time 100 List

Designer and director Tom Ford

Time Magazine announced its 2011 list of 100 most influential people in the world, and Tom Ford is listed as a fashion and film Director. A quick look at his biography reveals how he qualifies for this position.

Tom Ford was born on August 27, 1961 as Thomas Carlyle Ford (currently 49). Originally from Austin, Texas, Tom attended New York University only to drop out and earn an architecture degree from Parsons the New School for Design.

The big break came in 1994 when Tom was promoted to be the creative director of Gucci. Continue reading

Gwen Stefani tops the cover of Elle’s “Women in music” issue

Gwen Stefani wears Givenchy on the cover of Elle

Elle magazine loves Gwen Stefani. The singer/designer, having graced the magazine’s UK edition in April, moved on to the US May cover.

The 41-year-old mother of two looks amazing in a body-con symmetrical print Givenchy dress and a punky, pulled back poof. The inside photo shoot reveals Gwen Stefani in some of her own L.A.M.B creations. The pieces that stand out include a leather jacket and a black crepe cape dress.

Candice Rainey, author of the cover story, noted that Gwen’s eclectic style takes references “from mall-obsessed Japanese Harajuku girls to the safety-pinned punks and Continue reading

Britney Spears Still Comes Out on Top

On April 6, Britney Spears debuted her video for “Till the World Ends,” the second single from her seventh studio album “Femme Fatale.” As the title suggests, it is set in an apocalyptic world where Britney leads an underground party. Through the use of a similarly lit background and sweaty, gyrating dancers, the video makes multiple references to her 2001 smash hit “I’m a slave for you.”

Even though it’s entertaining to see Britney dressed up in fishnet-and-leather ensembles, blasting the tune of a dance hit, there are still a few letdowns.

Britney amid sweaty dancers, taking the same concept from "I

The electro-pop, over-simplistic and repetitive sounds of “Till the World Ends” are subpar compared to “I’m a slave for you.” It sounds rather similar the recent single “Blow” by Kesha, who also co-wrote “Till the World Ends.” The low-impact dancing is masked by a shaky effect of the camera.

While there are new female pop sensations on the scene aggressively threatening to overthrow her throne (namely Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Rihanna), is Britney lagging behind? Continue reading