Photo: Duncan Campbell, UK (flickr)

This week, blogs shared our Oscar complaints, gave us winter skincare tips, and stood up for Ellen De Generes and J.C. Penney.

  • No matter how well you’ve protected your skin this winter, it’s not unlikely that, as for us, February finds you in the state described by Cindy Pearlman at Style Goes Strong: ”You’re a blah baby if you look in the mirror and see a face that’s a bit grayish pale and your skin feels as dry as leftover French bread. Your hair is like that straw hat you wear for gardening and your cuticles are raw.”  Luckily for us, Pearlman also comes to the rescue: “I asked the beauty experts for a few pick me ups that will take you straight into spring,” starting with the all-important “Get Rid of Winter Dark Circles and Bags.” Click over, follow her advice; to tide you over while you wait for it to work, check out Ruth Katz’ s The Skinny on Top Winter Lotions at  NYCityWoman.
  • Essential news for caregivers from Amy Lieberman at Women’s eNews: “The Department of Labor is in a public comment period until the end of February,” she writes, “on a new rule extending wage protections to two groups of predominantly female workers; casual babysitters and companions for the elderly and infirm. [Previously,] these workers fell under a “companionship” exclusion when the Fair Labor Standards Act was extended in 1974 to other domestic workers, including housekeepers, cooks and chauffeurs.” Click over for more, whether you’re the employer in this case or a  family caregiver being compensated, at least in part, by Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Like the JC Penney ads with Ellen De Generes during the Oscars? We did, and were glad, along with Joanne Bamberger at Babble’s SpinCycle, that the retail chain didn’t fold in the face of online pressure. And it’s personal, she writes; “While I am Christian and am in what some might call a ‘traditional’ marriage, our family is far from what OneMillionMoms.com would consider OK to them.  My husband and I are of two different faiths who are each on their second marriage with children who ‘look like us’ and who ‘don’t look like us.’  We’re a family with stepchildren,  a child by adoption from another country, and family members who fled Germany in World War II who remember that intolerance isn’t always what you think it will look like.  When some group starts talking about wanting to keep things ‘traditional’  it’s not a stretch to wonder when a family like ours will show up on their hit list.” Bamberger, like our own Carla Baranauckas, protested Penney’s marketing last year of a sexist T-shirt, but adds that  now, “I give them a lot of credit for making a decision on who they thought represented their brand and sticking to it, without falling victim to someone else’s faux culture war.”
  • Sometimes one of those National X Awareness Weeks sneaks up on you, and that’s what Eating Disorders Awareness Month almost did—if not for Rachel at Our Bodies Our Blog, who tells us  that this year’s theme is Everybody Knows Somebody.  “We live in a culture saturated with unrealistic body-image messages,” reads the announcement from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).  ”Almost all of us know somebody struggling with an eating disorder.”  If you think it might be you, or even if you don’t, you might want to revisit our Dr. Melanie Katzman’s piece about such struggles in midlife.
  • Turns out we were far from the only ones struck by the sexism of Sunday’s Oscars. Melissa at Women&Hollywood was frank:  ”The show sucked. Let’s face it. The Oscars are another part of the film industry that takes us ladies for granted.” Slant Magazine even critiqued the academy’s choice of Best Picture: “The Artist‘s gender problem is best articulated in a blog post comparing the plot of The Artist with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The uncanniness of the similarities makes the comparison all too relevant. Whereas Anchorman satirizes ‘the good old days’ of casual and rampant sexism, The Artist not only reinforces them, but worships them. ” And we couldn’t have said it better than Hendrik Hertzberg at the New Yorker: “The skit comparing the Oscar show’s writers to the obsolete scouts in “Moneyball” was funny, but very much to the dismal point: the show’s actual writers chose to have Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, the women who are supposedly leading a revolution in female comedy, stand up there and make dick jokes.” If all the wine in the world didn’t get that out of your mouth, we recommend these clips from Rudolph’s recent SNL-hosting gig, to see the mastery of Wiig, Rudolph and, in the second, the beloved Amy Poehler.