By Kat Giantis
No Gut, No Glory: No, Jessica Simpson isn't in the middle of a great idea after reading "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg." But she is giving her all onstage at SeaWorld, a Shamu-adjacent performance that earned her a rebuke from PETA. In this instance, however, we say tough noogies to the animals, because the only ones who should be protesting the starlet's appearance are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Apparel. Listen, Jess, those infamous, egregiously unflattering mom jeans may have landed you the cover of Vanity Fair, but do you really think that gyrating in Daisy Duke's denim underpants, the Little Dutch Boy's wooden shoes and Mrs. Juan Valdes' favorite serape while sticking out your stomach like Homer Simpson (no relation) after a doughnut bender will spark another career-boosting weight debate? Forget it. We're onto your game. You're not fooling anyone by dressing in the worst possible clothes for your body, which, by the by, is enviably toned and fit. Yeah, we noticed, despite your best efforts to hide it. So, please, just stop. Get some decent pants (preferably ones that extend a few inches past your tuchis), and, while you're at it, find a new dance instructor and book a gig that doesn't involve scaring innocent marine life.
The Thigh Cost of Living: Like you've never been there. It's long past laundry day and the only clean item of clothing you have is a pair of denim cutoffs you overzealously took scissors to at summer camp. A decade ago. Oh, and you're out of razors. Before you judge Rihanna too harshly, just remember: Let she who is without stubble sin cast the first Schick. At least the beleaguered popster tries to improvise a stylish solution to her sartorial pickle by sheathing her exemplary gams in cutout leather thigh-highs, unaware that no problem has ever or will ever be solved by the addition of cutout leather thigh-highs. Too bad the designer leg wear, which can be yours for the low, low price of $920 (no, we didn't forget a decimal point after the nine), only creates more complications, because now the rest of her ensemble has to be just as funkily unconventional or she'll look silly (all right, all right — sillier). That leads Rihanna straight into the fashion danger zone, where she not only makes a risky nod to the '80s in a Member's Only poncho and a floppy Flock of Seagulls 'do, but she also accessorizes with a necklace that's perilously attached to both earlobes (one wrong move and it's stitches galore) and slips on open-toed booties to walk around the big Petri dish that is New York.
Holmes Is Where the Heart (Medication) Is: We strongly suspect that recent rumblings claiming Katie Holmes is "cracking" under the pressure of being Mrs. Tom Cruise are so much hooey, but the rumors did raise a few questions, especially after we saw this photo. Among the head-scratchers: Has the strain of vainly trying to live up to the role of "Katie Holmes, Fashion Icon" finally sent her around the bend? And does that bend end in Boca Raton, because her transformation into our Great Aunt Gladys is nearly complete. The comfy sweatpants, the Easy Spirit-esque flats and the broken-in button-down shirt that can take her from canasta to shuffleboard loudly imply that dinner will be served promptly at 4:30 p.m., while her mammoth purse could hold enough Werther's Originals, ribbon candy and dried apricots to feed Suri for a solid week. Other clues that Katie desperately needs some quality time with people her own age are her someone-find-me-my-cataract-sunglasses squint, her hunched, seemingly calcium-deprived posture, and her beanie, which we assume she knitted during reruns of "Murder, She Wrote."
The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Self-Promotion: Life must be pretty darn frustrating for Audrina Patridge right now, what with Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag sucking up all the "Hills" publicity into a vortex of Velveeta-smeared and faux pledges to stick together until they — or their careers — kick the bucket. In case you've forgotten (along with everyone else), Audrina has inked a deal for her very own reality show, because she has layers — non-humdrum, non-tiresome layers — that the public has yet to see. This will be her chance to blossom, sort of like a deep-fried onion appetizer. Doesn't she deserve some attention, too? If only she could think of a way to compete with the paparazzi-speed-dialing media beast that is Speidi. Leaked topless photos are hot right now, but she's already done that. Besides, it's probably best to keep things classy to counter the unseemly Pratt offensive. And what do classy women do? Why, wear bras, of course! Audrina proves to the world that she knows from sophistication by flashing a bra so ladylike that it not only lifts and separates but also guards against any untoward fraternization between her own impressive hills.
Smirking Class Hero: Tired of Superman's "truth, justice and the American way" Boy Scout shtick? Think Batman should just get over his my-parents-were-killed-in-front-of-me childhood trauma? Ready to web Spider-Man's cakehole closed when he spouts his "with great power comes great responsibility" motto? Then do we have a superhero for you. Meet Attention Girl, who's faster than a fleeing paparazzo, more powerful than a 15-minute fame cycle, and can leap tall drinks of water in a single bound. As you probably guessed, her power source is costume-based, with her sparkly tiara drawing in eyeballs, which quickly make their way down to her sequined, swelling bodice, almost-a-misdemeanor miniskirt and butt-kicking boots. And when the spotlight isn't shining brightly enough on Attention Girl, watch out, because that's when her wonder twin powers activate, taking the form of a potent push-up bra and the shape of boobs (what, you were expecting something else?). By day, she's Paris Hilton, club-hopping socialite and "busiest person on the planet." But wherever there's a flashbulb explosion, Attention Girl appears, ready to pout and pose and beat the bad guys into submission (and by "bad guys," we mean the people who are not paying enough attention to her).
KC: Hi there, Lady GaGa. So, you heading off to the factory with Rosie the Riveter after we're done here?
LG: That's hilarious. Did you hear that one when you were at Talbots picking out that seismic reading masquerading as a top?
KC: At least I'm not sporting a bra from the same Sears catalog that Simon Cowell ogled as a naughty little boy. Oh, and I like to wear mine under my clothes. You should try it sometime.
LG: You're so vanilla. You have no idea how liberating it is to let your inner kook run wild.
KC: Maybe so, but if my inner kook is running around with the same hairdo Suzanne Somers has been styling for the better part of 30 years, I'm telling it to vamoose.
Bow No She Didn't: Beyoncé: Singer, actress and a silent sufferer of the little-understood gastrointestinal disorder Irritable Bow Syndrome. Symptoms include the sudden appearance of monstrous knotted loops, often causing hair to stand on end; discomfort when sitting, standing or attempting to do the "Single Ladies" dance; and a burning sensation on the face, resulting in redness that rapidly spreads across the cheeks and causing an inability to make eye contact with snickering onlookers. Treatments are varied but can range from a shot of penicillin and a year's supply of Vogues to a more complicated surgical intervention (or, in medical terms, a laparoscopic bow-ectomy).
Stale Mate: Not too long ago, Avril Lavigne reportedly had a very public tiff with husband Deryck Whibley during a night out at a Hollywood hot spot. Sure, all marriages experience bumps now and then, but that's all the more reason to keep things fresh and surprising. The same goes for fashion — it has to evolve. And if Avril and Deryck's relationship in any way resembles their pseudo punk-lite wardrobes, with its glut of hoodies and goofy footwear, then they appear to be stuck in a Grand Canyon-sized rut. After five years of togetherness, they're still dressing as if a Hot Topic store tossed its trendy cookies all over them. It's time to switch things up, try something new (might we suggest country Goth?). Their closet — and their romance — will thank them.
All the President's Men . . . Are Delighted: Let's just state for the record that we're not prudes. Far from it. In fact, we quite enjoy the occasional celebrity flash at an inopportune moment. These slip-ups are human and humanizing, like a red-carpet version of "America's Funniest Home Videos," only instead of a football connecting with a sensitive area, it's a camera. That said, there are instances when private parts should remain under wraps, and being in proximity to the president is one of them. It's unclear whether "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi knew her perfectly lovely burgundy gown would go perfectly sheer as soon as photographers started snapping away at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, but she certainly didn't take any precautions to prevent the traffic-stopping exposure of her naturally spectacular nipular region. And it's not as if the dark-haired knockout, familiar as she is with well-prepared breasts (of the poultry variety), was without the skills to improvise a pair of pasties, maybe using some lightly breaded cutlets or an artfully carved radish garnish. Then again, maybe Padma was trying to make a subtle political, ahem, point with her diaphanous number, one involving the importance of being upright citizens who never resort to a tit-for-tat policy when it comes to international diplomacy.
Hiss of Death: Ever wonder how the mighty python goes from a majestic creature of the wild to a kicky (and icky) fashion accoutrement? We figure it happens like this: One day, the snake is minding its own business, slithering around somewhere in, say, Southeast Asia, when it starts to feel a mite peckish. As it begins to search for something tasty and rodentlike to constrict and consume whole, it suddenly senses danger. Then everything goes dark. Later, it wakes up amid bright lights and cries of "Ciara, those harem-Hammer-time pants are fabulous! And that scarf? To die for," which confuses the python, because it can't think of anything less fabulous than playing second fashion fiddle to someone wearing pleated drapes. On the other hand (if it had hands), the snake completely understands the "to die for" part and quietly begins the constriction and consuming process.
Twin Eeks: Taraji P. Henson was the picture of elegance at the Oscars, shining on the red carpet in a gorgeous white couture gown that hit her in all the right places. What a difference a few months can make. The "Benjamin Button" beauty now seems to be aiming for a look that's more fun and youthful. But there's youthful, and then there's looking like you've shoved twin models of the movie's backwards-aging baby under the gaping maw of your striped gray minidress. On the plus side, Henson does come close to finding the fun courtesy of the non-cleavage-flaunting part of her frock, which nicely clings to her curves, and her matching metallic shoes, which she probably won't be able to appreciate until after her décolletage is de-squished.