- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2001

No thinner thighs

"Mostly women's magazines show you the glossy exterior. This magazine will show you the gritty underside. It'll show you the cracks in the china, and allow everyone to realize that's where the beauty lies. We have socially relevant content that most women's magazines don't have.

"I think a lot of women's magazines are like baby food. I don't relate very well to a lot of them. I don't want thinner thighs in 30 days, how to make your husband think you're sexier. It's all about get better, make yourself better, you're not good enough. Well, this is a different take. This is, 'Accept yourself as you are because the joy is in the journey, not in the destination.' Without being overtly spiritual or philosophical about it, we do that message through humor… .

"If after 18 months the magazine cannot stand on its own, then it doesn't deserve to continue being published. If it is not successful, I would not be hesitant to pull the plug."

Rosie O'Donnell, talking about her new magazine, Rosie's, in an interview with Seth Sutel of the Associated Press

No-birth nation

"My two grown stepdaughters are in their 30s. I sit with them and their friends (eight women also in their 30s) as they discuss their options, or lack of them, with regard to childbearing. Their statistics are curious: All work, none is married, and none has a child. Although some of the women want a baby, they accept that they may either have to bear a child alone or forgo the experience altogether.

"Most of these eight women are the products of divorced families. Their male counterparts, they complain, are reluctant to tie the knot. Often reared by mothers bitter from divorce and fathers with whom contact was limited, these young adults are founding the new unnatalistic society… . "Between 1980 and 1996, there was more than a 19 percent increase in the number of women over 18 years of age who had never married… .

"If these women find a mate at all, it may be too late. Although this generation may not be technically endangered, future ones are seriously threatened… . The pattern set for hundreds of years now seems permanently altered. Childlessness is the tidal wave of the future. According to the Census Bureau, 42.2 percent of all women were childless. If this trend continues, and all indications are that it will, childless women will very soon be the norm, not the exception."

Madelyn Cain in her new book, "The Childless Revolution"

Rap pathos

"Too many of today's youth experienced a faithlessness and tenuousness even in that all-important relationship with their parents… .

"Here the suburban white kid, gawky and materially privileged, is oddly simpatico with the black American experience.

"The success of people like [rap producer Sean 'Puffy'] Combs is built on this sense of simpatico. By some estimates, 80 percent of rap music is bought by white youth. And this makes for another irony. The blooming of white alienation has brought us the first generation of black entrepreneurs with wide-open access to the American mainstream… .

"I listened carefully to Eminem's recent Grammy performance expecting, I guess, to be disgusted. Instead I was drawn into a compelling rap about a boy who becomes a figure of terrible pathos. He is a male groupie who selfishly longs for the autograph of a rap star while he has his girlfriend tied up in the trunk of his car."

Shelby Steele, writing on "Notes from the Hip-Hop Underground," Saturday in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

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