Feminism. When I was in the 7th grade the word made me want to apply to all women colleges (yes I was thinking about college at age 11). When I got to Smith College and graduated to a job in investment banking, the word made me recoil. The connotation inferred I was a sideline extremist complaining about things that went against the very nature of "God given gender roles." This was in 1998. In 2016, "feminism" means an entirely different thing. I'm vocal but in my own way, which I talk about in this piece for Tuesnight.com. Writing it was both reflective and cathartic and made me homesick for my mom. On the eve of electing the first woman president of the United States, she is someone I would love to be with to watch it all unfold. - Hitha Herzog
Brandon Nicholson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, tries hard to keep his dark secret from his girlfriend. "It's getting to be a problem, and I'm afraid she is catching on," he says. "Every time I take a shower, I have to use her body wash that smells like chocolate. It's like I'm addicted or something."
A 6-foot-9-inch, bald-headed wall of muscle isn't the first person you would picture lathering up with a soap that smells like hot cocoa, or hiding the fact that he enjoys it from his girlfriend, who happens to work at Bath and Body Works. But Nicholson isn't alone. Seven out of 10 men use some product meant for the opposite sex as part of their grooming ritual, according to men's Web site groominglounge.com.
If you already had a wee hunch the world was going to hell in a hand-basket, your suspicions would have found ample confirmation in the dark, depressing duds trotted out by designers at the Spring 2008 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York, just concluded. If clothes can be pessimistic, these were.
"Part of the way [my] collection is constructed has to do with the post-apocalyptic world," says Yeohlee Teng, designer and creative director of the Yeohlee line. "[My] collection is about my vision of [the] future, [what clothes will look like] when the world is destroyed and we are without machines to make the clothes."
Richie Rich, designer of contemporary women's wear line Heatherette, knows how to grab the attention of a fickle fashion crowd. "One year, we had a 'Babes in Toyland' theme, so we created a dress made entirely of stuffed animals," he says of a recent collection. "That was definitely one of my favorites."
Rich isn't the only designer to send attention-grabbing pieces down the runway. During the men's Spring 2008 collections in Milan last summer, John Galliano swathed his models' bodies in bullet-proof vests. For his subsequent couture show in Paris, dresses were so intricately embellished they each weighed at least 40 pounds. Creations seen this week in New York include a wooden bathing suit and a 50-carat canary diamond necklace.
Barton explains, "She is going to have the most fabulously dressed baby, I am sure, because she is so stylish herself."
The Rolling Stones and AC/DC logo T-shirts were impulse buys for Barton. "They were so unique," she said. "I just loved them!"
Richie, 26, is due when January, with her first child with boyfriend Joel Madden – and Barton had to shop not knowing the baby's gender.
"She actually doesn't know what she is having," says Barton. "She wants it to be a surprise."
Jesse Bradford, keeping the party going after the New York City premiere of his film Flags of Our Fathers. The actor invited several hundred people to The Plumm club, which he co-owns with nightlife guru Noel Ashman. Only problem, Bradford forgot that the club isn't open on Monday nights. Not wanting to disappoint the waiting crowd, Ashman opened the doors with his keys, and he and Bradford played bartender until 4 a.m.
At Monday night's Manhattan launch of the book, the 35-year-old hip-hop impresario and rapper, with a very svelte Jackson at his side, told PEOPLE: "I'm excited. I get to add the title 'author' to my titles, I guess. ... I can't wait to get to a bookstore and see it tomorrow."
Besides Jackson – who said of her boyfriend's book, "I think it's awesome" – also at the hotspot Marquee to help celebrate the newly published author: rapper Nas and wife Kelis, Boyz II Men and Joey Fatone, who told PEOPLE, "I haven't read the book, but I am excited to read it."
Before accepting the honor along with the band, Sambora, wearing a black suit and looking rested and happy, told Foxnews.com's Roger Friedman, "I'm sober, I'm good."
Of his time at the Cirque Lodge in Utah (where Lindsay Lohan is also receiving treatment), he said, "I'm going back just to do finish this weekend. I figured, why not get to the bottom of this and really understand it?"
But Beyoncé (who marks her 25th on Sept. 4, the same day her B'Day album is released internationally) also made time to cuddle with her man. She draped her arms over Jay-Z's shoulders and at one point he leaned over and gave her a sweet kiss.
With the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night, stars including Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Minnillo and Justin Timberlake have been in New York City all week to host parties, hit the clubs and collect swag from celebrity suites. Though the awards will be at Radio City Music Hall (check out the nominees here), PEOPLE hit all the hot pre-VMA events – which are sometimes as memorable as the show itself:
During the day on Tuesday at Marquee, celebs swarmed the Polaroid Lounge, cruising for the perfect freebee:Vanessa Minnillo sipped champagne while booking through the suite in a mere 15 minutes. Why? She was late for work. Still, she collected gear including a camera and a Sidekick, which may come in handy for keeping in touch with Nick Lachey when he's on the road.