The (Sexist) Problem With Tina Fey And Reese Witherspoon’s Oscars Dresses

Two women wear purple, internet breaks. Every guy wears exact same thing, no one cares.

Does “Cinderella” Give Stepmums A Bad Name?

“Why is the stepmummy so mean, mummy?”

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This is the tricky question my Cinderella-obsessed three-year-old toddler often asks me of late, right during wind-down time before bed, when we’re reading her favourite fairytale.

And so I often then find myself explaining that of course not all stepmums are wicked and cruel as per the fabled Lady Tremaine character, also known as the Wicked Stepmother and as Cinderella’s stepmother, in both the book and the recent, new Cinderella movie, played with great relish (and an awesome wardrobe) by the exquisite Cate Blanchett (pictured).

In fact, blended families are increasingly common these days and many stepmums are amazing mothers in trying circumstances; unfairly compared to their step-children’s biological mother and forever battling the evil stepmother myth as perpetuated by Hollywood films such as Cinderella and Snow White. I have several close friends who are awesome stepmums, who’ve worked hard to become so.

There’s certainly not much written about evil stepfathers, is there? Motherhood taboos are at play here; that mothering should come naturally and easily to a stepmother, when in reality it’s often a lot of hard work and takes a lot of time to build family relationships. Besides which, parenthood certainly ain’t no picnic, let alone with recalcitrant stepkids who question your authority.

Parenting, raising children, behaviour, consistency, sleeping habits, toddlers, tantrums, discipline, successful parenting, successful life skills

In my mid 20s, I fell deeply in love with an older man and very nearly married him. He had two gorgeous kids aged six and eight. Given they lived interstate with their mother, it didn’t seem like a huge, scary burden at the start – until they came to stay with us every school holidays for weeks at a time.

Being so young myself, I remember feeling completely ill-prepared for motherhood, especially with a cheeky, little six-year-old girl who loudly compared me to her mother at every opportunity. I’ll never forget her once telling me on the beach, while she lay next to me on the sand, us both sporting bikinis: “You’re much skinnier than my mummy… But your boobs aren’t as big.” Oh, the vast and infinite horror and hilarity!

Unlike the much-softer eight-year-old boy, who accepted me straight away, the six-year-old girl took a lot of hard work to win over and build a relationship of genuine trust, affection and love. And, truth be told, when the kids’  father and I split over completely unrelated reasons, I had grown so attached to them, I mourned the loss of them more than the actual relationship.

Today, many years later, with two daughters of my own, I can see a lot more clearly how hard it must have been for those kids to have their parents split and re-partner when they were at such tender, young ages. And I still remember the bitter, hard-fought battle I waged at times to gain acceptance and respect – both within and outside our family – as their stepmother.

parenting, relationships, raising kids

So, given blended families are on the rise, how can women prepare for step-motherhood? Relationship experts’ key pointers include:

  • Treat the stepkids with love and respect from the get-go and demand the same from them.
  • Don’t compare yourself to your stepkids’ biological mother.
  • Be compassionate; try not to take stepkids’ initial negativity and resistance personally.
    Relationships take time to build.
  • Show deference to the children’s biological mother; don’t try to replace her.
  • Be yourself; act as a friend to the kids first.
  • Accept your husband/partner will always have a close tie with his children from a prior marriage.
  • And, while you may loathe it, his ex is in your life to stay, too. Try your best to be courteous and kind to the stepchildren’s mother. You don’t have to like her, but she’s still their mother and it’s helpful if you can work together for the children’s sake.

What do you think? Are you a stepmum battling for acceptance and respect?

Female Celebrities Who Shaved Their Heads

Toni Collette recently debuted a hot new hairstyle – the buzz cut! The Aussie actress shaved her locks for her role as a cancer patient, alongside Drew Barrymore and Dominic Cooper in Miss You Already. Toni isn’t the first actress to go to such lengths (or shorts?) in the name of her craft. Perhaps you remember when these other celebs shaved their heads for film roles. Fun fact: 4 out of the 5 ladies have won Academy Awards. Just saying…

RELATED: Hottest Celebrity Hairstyles

Natalie Portman

esquire natalie p

With bone structure like that, who needs hair? Ms Portman shaved it all off for her role in V for Vendetta, and it remains one of her most iconic looks.

Demi Moore

Bruce Willis And Demi Moore At L A Screening

Demi famously went bald for her Razzie winning performance (for Worst Actress) in G.I. Jane, begging the question – was it worth it?

Charlize Theron


Charlize got rid of her blonde locks for the upcoming blockbuster remake, Mad Max: Fury Road. Just picture her as a fierce post-apocalyptic survivor…

Cate Blanchett


Cate took a drastic approach to protect her identity – well, that of her character – in the 2002 film Heaven.


Anne Hathaway

digital spy.co uk

Anne shaved her head on-camera while singing I Dreamed A Dream in her Oscar-winning role as Fantine in Les Miserables.

Images via Daily Mail, Esquire, TVguide.com, InStyle, themakeupgallery.com, digitalspy.co.uk

Get the Look: Cate Blanchett’s Oscars Hair

Aussie golden girl Cate Blanchett has stepped it up with her truly gorgeous Oscars hair. The Best Actress winner for Blue Jasmine, Cate looked stunning with her curled glam-style hair and ornate gown.  Celebrity hairstylist Dario Cotroneo shows us how to recreate Cate’s celebrity hairstyle at home.

1. Part your hair into a side parting to the crown, then section from your crown to behind both ears to give three even sections. The starting at the back, spray hair with Straight and Shine Spray by SACHAJUAN and roll hair around MYCURL vertically directing the hair away from your face.  Secure the first strap around the mid-lengths and once the ends are secure then continue rolling the MYCURL to just below the level of your cheekbone before securing the second strap. 

2. Repeat with the same technique on either side of the face directing hair away from the face and securing the 2nd strap below the cheekbone area. Repeat on the right side.

3. Clamp your straightening iron over each MYCURL for 10 seconds then allow hair to cool for 15 minutes. While hair is cooling, use a tail comb to lift the crown area up and spray with Dark Volume Powder by SACHAJUAN, to create more volume while setting.

4. After hair has cooled down, remove all MYCURLs and massage the roots slightly to open up the curl a little. Spray Medium Hairspray by SACHAJUAN onto a makeup brush and glide over the top layer and twist the brush towards the ends to keep them looking polished. Secure with Super Strong Hairspray by SACHAJUAN and sweep to the side.

Visit Dario Cotroneo at dario.com.au.

Get the Look: Cate Blanchett’s Elegant Updo

Didn’t Cate Blanchett look amazing at the BAFTAs? Here’s how celebrity hairstylist Nicola Clarke created her gorgeous, elegant updo.

1. “I prepped Cate’s hair with John Frieda Luxurious Volume Fine to Full blow out spray. I blow dryed with a small round brush and pinned each section, allowing it to cool off.

2. “I gently spritzed with John Frieda Luxurious Volume hair spray and tousled with my fingers to create texture before loosely braiding.

3. I then pulled the braid back and secured with pins at the nape of the neck. I finished with a generous spray of Luxurious Volume All Day Hold Hairspray to hold the look for the night.”

What do you think of Cate Blanchett’s elegant updo hairstyle?

Cate Blanchett’s Happy Marriage Secrets

Cate Blanchett has been married to Andrew Upton for 16 years, and reckons she knows the secrets to a happy marriage.

The 44-year-old Oscar winner says trust is a huge part of their marriage, so much so that they have the same email address.

“We work together and it’s a way of synchronising our lives.  I can see what he’s up to – it’s not that I don’t trust him,” she told The Daily Mail.

Despite playing a neurotic scorned woman who suffers a breakdown in Blue Jasmine, in real-life, Blanchett couldn’t be further from her character, admitting that being a hands-on mum to their three sons – Dashiell, 12, Roman, nine, and Ignatius, five – is important to her.

Family life in Sydney is “a well-oiled machine,” she says.

“I’ve got a whole system going. I know what has to be done by the end of the evening, and what has to be done by the end of the morning.

“Three lunch boxes, three school bags, three sets of school uniform. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I have to write everything down.”

Despite her hectic filming schedule, she makes sure she’s never away from her children for more than a few days.

“When we did Blue Jasmine in San Francisco, they came with me. I’m about to do a Cinderella film for Disney, and that’s over the holidays, so they’ll come too.”

Would you share an email address with your husband? Tell us in the comments!

This Week’s Best Red Carpet Dresses

Plenty of amazing red carpet dresses this week in the lead-up to New York Fashion Week and the Oscars – and Cate Blanchett continues to dominate the best celebrity fashion with not one but two incredible looks.


Gwyneth Paltrow sparkled in a glam 70’s-inspired purple gown at the Goldene Kamera Awards in Berlin.


Keri Russell was the epitome of casual-chic at the Writers Guild Awards pairing an Isabel Marant tee with a peekaboo black bra, Givenchy skirt and Giuseppe Zannoti shoes.


Cate Blanchett was luminous in Maison Martin Margiela at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where she picked up yet another award for her role in Blue Jasmine, taking home the 2014 Outstanding Performer of the Year Award.


…and yet again at the NYC premiere of her latest film Monuments Men in Proenza Schouler. Love that side bun.


The fashion set were out at the amfAR Benefit Gala in NYC ahead of Fashion Week, with supermodel Karolina Kurkova  a showstopper in this elegant black cutout dress with thigh-high split.

Who is wearing your favourite red carpet dresses this week?

Get the Look: Cate Blanchett’s SAG Awards Hair

Isn’t Cate Blanchett’s casual bun at the SAG Awards just gorgeous? It’s one of our favourite hair up styles that works for day to night. Here’s how celebrity hairstylist Robert Vetica created the look in just a few easy steps.

1. First prep wet hair with Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Boost Lift Foaming Air Mousse, applying throughout the hair for touchable volume and hold.

2. Create a side part and then blow-dry hair with a small boar bristle round brush. Start by blow-drying hair in the front and create soft bangs. Once you have created the desired shape, clip the bangs in place while they cool. Then blow-dry the rest of the hair.

3. Once hair is dry, spray Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Heat Protect & Shine Spray to protect hair from heat before curling it. Using a 1-inch curling iron, take the hair and curl approximately 8 sections. “You don’t need to separate each section perfectly,” says Robert “but instead you can take random sections since you’re curling hair to create texture and bend.” Once the hair has cooled, brush out the curls to soften the look.

4. Spray Vidal Sassoon Pro Series ColorFinity Dry Shampoo in Intense Blondes all throughout the hair. “Some people just apply hairspray to their roots, but I applied the Dry Shampoo all throughout the hair, similar to how you use hairspray, to create additional texture and volume.” After the dry shampoo, back comb hair a bit at the roots with a teasing comb.

5. Pull hair back into a loose low ponytail, using your fingers to create the desired shape. Twist the rest of the ponytail into a deconstructed bun and pin the look in place.

6. To finish, spray hair with Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Flexible Hold Hairspray to lock your look in place. Then spray hairspray onto your fingertips and nails, and using your fingers, apply the hairspray to the perimeter of the hair to tame flyaways and shape any loose pieces.

What do you think of Cate Blanchett’s SAG Awards undo hairstyle?

The Best SAG Awards Red Carpet Dresses

So much celebrity fashion inspiration at the SAG Awards 2014. Sure, American Hustle may have won big, but the best red carpet dresses were the real winners of the night.


Lupita Nyong’o continues her fashion winning streak in electric blue Gucci.


Jennifer Lawrence didn’t just blow us away in this glimmering Dior column dress, but she also coined the term “armpit vaginas”.


Isla Fisher is the epitome of old Hollywood style in her stunning Oscar de la Renta and bombshell hair.


Love that Kerry Washington wore a Prada skirt and crop top showing off her pregnant belly.


Claire Danes went for dark and sexy in this mesh and holographic sequin Vionnet dress.


Mindy Kaling is so elegant in this sexy navy David Meister gown. Love the gold accessories.


Most of us could not get away with pairing a pale pink silk gown (here, by Givenchy) against pale skin. Except we’re not Cate Blanchett, and she can get away with pretty much anything.


Oprah looks stunning in a off-the-shoulder Badgley Mischka dress with broach detail (and wasn’t she fantastic in The Butler?).

Who is wearing your favourite SAG Awards red carpet dresses?

Photos: Just Jared

Best Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Red Carpet Dresses

Another day, another awards show, but who cares when there are so many gorgeous red carpet dresses? We break down our favourite celebrity style at today’s 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.


Love Lupita Nyong’o versatile style so much. From prints to this elegantly minimal Calvin Klein Collection gown and clutch, Lupita is our favourite celebrity fashion star right now.



Cate Blanchett is beautiful is darkest green Lanvin cinched together with a wide black belt.


The belt is a little unnecessary, but Sandra Bullock looks gorgeous in the wine red ruffled Lanvin dress.


It’s nice to see Camila Alves out of her usual red carpet black. She’s simply stunning in a drapey red Paule Ka dress with strappy Oscar Tiye heels.


Jessica Chastain glows in a Nina Ricci dress is such an unusual yet beautiful shade of mint green.


What a pretty shade of hot pink on Amy Adams’ Roland Mouret dress, with contrasting black detailing.

Who’s wearing your favourite red carpet dresses at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards?

Photos: Just Jared