Archive for October, 2015

elviraEvery year when Halloween rolls around, people ask each other “What should I wear?’ “who should I be?” But no matter which trends are popular (I’m predicting Donald Trump, Justin Bieber’s penis and Rachel Dolezal this year) there are a few old standards that are always a hit: Sexy Cat, Ugly Witch, Superhero and the always alluring, Elvira.

This week’s History of Sex delves into that cult classic character, Elvira – Mistress of the Dark.  The voluptuous horror hostess – a scantily clad witch who combines her overt sex appeal with a great sense of humour and a dark side – was created in the 1980s by Cassandra Peterson from a Valley Girl character that she improvised onstage as a member of the famed LA comedy troupe, the Groundlings.  Roger Ebert explains her character as a cross between Mae West and Vampirella, but Elvira describes herself more as a combo of “Ann Margaret and E.T.”.

Cassandra-Peterson-in-The-Working-GirlsPeterson’s on stage persona did not blossom out of her improv career.  Born in Kansas, her family moved to Colorado and as a teen she moonlighted as a go-go dancer at a men’s gay bar.  Just a few days after graduating high school in 1969, the precocious teen drove to Las Vegas to be a showgirl, even dating ’68 comeback special Elvis when she was only 17!  She famously lost her virginity to crooner Tom Jones, who was so rough with her that she needed stitches that night and then ignored her when she approached him the next day.

Peterson also dabbled in a film career early on, playing a showgirl in the 1971 Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever”, and as a topless dancer in 1974’s “Working Girls”.  Neither role was that challenging, so she broke out of her comfort zone and moved to Italy in the early 70s to become a rock star.  In Italy, she met famed director Frederico Fellini and scored a small part in his 1972 film “Roma”.  Upon her return to the US, she toured with her comedy/musical act, the “Mammas Boys”; modelled in various men’s magazines, and finally joined the Groundlings in 1979.

elvira movieAfter landing the Elvira TV gig, Peterson’s fame soared.  She said, “I figured out that Elvira was me when I was a teenager. She’s a spastic girl. I just say what I feel, and people seem to enjoy it.”  And enjoy it, they did.  Late-night audiences in America and Canada alike loved her self-referential, sarcastic wit, and low-cut dresses… the overt sexual innuendos didn’t hurt either.  The cheeky show spent seven years in syndication and reached its peak of fame in 1988 when she co-wrote and starred in the film “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark” alongside some of her Groundlings improv buddies.

But there is a comeback brewing in the cauldron.  These days, the 64-year-old actress isn’t afraid to slip right back into that Angelina Jolie-esque costume.  Just last October, Hulu commissioned the series “13 Nights of Elvira”, and she hosted Funny Or Die’s “Halloween Anthology” series of spooky comedy sketches.

And, as she had once said, “I developed faster than a Polaroid”, but unlike Polaroid, she’s here to stay.

I snatched this video from my sister. She posted it on Facebook because her choral group is looking for a bassist. Somehow it resonated with me at the time and inspired this blog.

What I love most about this song and video, besides the music, are the lyrics about body image. Listen.

“Yah, it’s pretty clear I ‘aint no size two, but I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do…”

“All about that junk in all the right places…”

“My Mama she say don’t worry about your size…”

“Cuz I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble…”

“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top…”

You may say the song sexualizes women but I think it celebrates them. It’s jazzy poetry embracing the female body. I love how the lyrics say it like it is and it makes me realize how sad that so many women suffer from body image just because that is what’s shoved down our throats. Every magazine photo, every television ad, every movie or TV show or model we see is skinny and tall and made to be the image of perfection.

But I believe in health and sexiness and having ‘more bootie to hold at night’. Look at women through history – The classic Rubenesque woman as depicted by the painter Peter Paul Rubens in the early 1600’s. Beauty in Renaissance Italy meant a rounded body, including full hips and large breasts. From the 1930’s to 1950’s movie stars like Marilyn Monroe flaunted curvier bodies.

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Like fashion, it’s been a roller coaster of body styles for women. But for many years it seems the accepted body type is way beyond slim. This puts a lot of pressure on the ‘average woman’ to slim down, which affects most of us. What makes matters worse, when women reach a certain age they begin to put on extra weight regardless of diet and exercise. Often their mates lose interest and look for younger, tauter bodies, because they can, leaving women single and alone in middle age.

I’ve always felt this to be unfair, perhaps because I know of so many in this all too common situation. Unfair because I’ve never understood why it is socially acceptable for men to choose younger women without a blink of an eye, yet older women get scorned (or called names such as ‘cougar’) if they fall in love with a younger man. Such double standard.

So embrace your curves and voluptuousness WOMEN. If you’re lucky, it’s there for your man to hold on to, but really, it’s there for you to hold on to — and love.

ML xo

 

 

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Hello dear reader, happy Monday!

How is this beautiful fall treating you so far?  I am enjoying the beautiful weather and colors all around!  I love the sunny days and chillier evenings when I can wrap my feet under my blanket and cuddle with my dog Pippa while watching a good movie and sipping a glass of wine.  How about you?

I started this week today with our daily ritual; an invigorating walk with Pippa.  I am drinking Japanese green tea Gyokuro and getting myself started on a new chapter of my new book.  I love how the story is evolving so far!

On my speakers today is a young artist Aurora from Norway.  Aged 19, she has been writing songs for almost half her life, crafting dark pop music of rare depth.  Her debut EP ‘Running with the Wolves’, released this May is receiving widespread approval from online music blogs and national press, and I can tell why.  With each song, she rides the musical contours with fluid, strong emotion, and I just love listening to her while writing.

Wishing you all a fabulous Monday!
XO,
Madison

Has anyone outside of the Great White North ever given a damn about a Canadian election?  Well, the world certainly did this week as Canada’s stodgy Conservative Party was finally ousted by the youthful enthusiasm of the Liberal party, led by the dimpled grin of Justin Trudeau.  The newly appointed Prime Minister Trudeau is famous – not only for his wavy brown locks and Disney prince mug – but also because he is the eldest child of former Prime Minister Pierre and his first wife Margaret.  The Trudeau’s political dynasty has been compared to the glamour and scandal of their closest peers, the immortal Kennedys.

 

maggie-and-pierreTrudeau Sr lived a life that defined liberal; he fought for equality of the sexes, legalization of contraception and abortion, stronger restrictions on guns and the liberalization of divorce laws.  In 1967 when decriminalizing homosexuality, he famously stated: “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”  A concept that politicians of today seem to have completely forgotten.

While traveling through Tahiti in the mid 60’s, Pierre – the 48-year old Justice Minister of Canada – met the gorgeous West Coast flower-child Margaret, who was 30 years younger.  She didn’t know who he was and he didn’t care, and he soon became the Prime Minister and when she was 22 her married Margaret in a lavish but private ceremony in North Vancouver.

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As Pierre was a self-proclaimed Catholic, she converted and the couple quickly produced three sons.  Much to the country’s disappointment, the family had separated before the decade was up.  Margaret said she had felt trapped with a “glass panel” around her while living the high-profile wife of a Prime Minister’s wife, and she took to drugs and partying as an escape.  Her most notorious affairs were with politician Ted Kennedy and Rolling Stones rockers Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood.  Her ex-husband’s famous trysts included Barbra Streisand (pre-Margaret), Margot Kidder and fellow sexy Canadian, Kim Cattrall.

 

By 1979, Pierre was left with full custody of their three sons, the first single Dad Prime Minister in Canadian history.

 

And now it all comes full circle.  The infamous couple’s eldest son is moving back into his family’s former home at 24 Sussex Drive, where he and his wife Sophie will raise their three children in the spotlight (with hopefully a lot less drama).  On their first date, Justin summoned his father’s signature charm, and told his future wife that they would be together for the rest of their lives.  He may not have dated the caliber of celebrities that his Trudeau+car+weddingparents did, but he definitely inherited the charisma and magnetic sex appeal that brought them together in the first place.  About his parents relationship, the Prime Minister once said: “They loved each other incredibly, passionately, completely.  But…” 

 

The rest of their story is history while Justin’s is just beginning.  Good luck you hunky head of state.

True Romance

Posted on: October 20th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

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My very good friend recently went to a wedding in Paris. It sounds decadent but she happens to live in England so it was really a hop on the rail – the romantic Paris Eurostar – and she was in gay Paris within hours.

Before departure, digging through some memorabilia, she stumbled upon the business card of a top French celebrity photographer whom she had met ten years earlier at a gig. My friend is a jazz music promoter/manager. Although she had only briefly met this man that one time, she remembers being mildly intrigued by his air of sophistication. However, she was married at the time and he was in a relationship. But, she emailed him and he remembered her (of course he did) and they made arrangements to meet at the Jazz Festival.IMG_0985

The wedding took place on a barge on the river Seine and was simple and elegant. (Sounds terribly dreamy to me). The following morning she moved hotels to attend Jazz a la Villette, see fabulous performers and reconnect with her old acquaintance, the photographer. The connection between them was immediate. Their conversation was easy and the two of them moved seamlessly through the day into evening. The only thing was, she had heard him mention he had a girlfriend. Sh@#$%*#t.

After the concert they wandered through the streets of Villette until they found a quaint Parisienne restaurant. He asked the maitre’d for a quiet table in the back, candlelit and very romantic. My friend was a little confused about that but how could she refuse? He ordered her duck confit (since it is one of Paris’ signature dishes), and of course red wine was served. After the meal their laughter and conversation turned more personal:

Him: Are you seeing anyone?

Her: No, I’ve been divorced for a little over a year. (pause) And how long have you and your girlfriend been together?

Him: Girlfriend! I don’t have a girlfriend. I’m single.

After that, all bets were off. They leaned in toward one another. Their hands and fingers playfully entwined as they talked more intimately, their eyes melting into one long gaze. In her words, it was magic.

He walked her to her hotel and kissed her, two soft kisses that were more sensual than erotic. No tongue, just a light touch of warm lips – twice. She got to her room and was shaking. She texted him. My lips are burning, she said teasingly. She didn’t hear back from him that night.

The following day he replied and asked if she’d like to go for breakfast, but she had a train to catch. She suggested he meet her at the train station to kiss her goodbye. (atta girl!)

It was just like you’d read in romance novel (cue Madison Lake). He rode his scooter to the station and ran up and down the train looking for her inside. She ran through the train, peering out windows, desperate to see him. Finally he spotted her. He ran up the steps and they met in the aisle where they embraced and kissed like two young lovers saying farewell.

How romantic is that? And guess what? He’s going to England in a week to visit her. To be continued…

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