Jennie Yabroff

Stories by Jennie Yabroff

  • Enough Already: [Blank]-gate

    After the news broke that Cindy McCain may have swiped a pasta recipe, pundits instantly dubbed it "Farfallegate," as if Bittergate and Spitzergate weren't enough. Please, can we stop hanging the suffix on every hint of impropriety, no matter how trivial? (The trivialization began early: after Watergate, the French labeled a scandal over Bordeaux "Winegate." Since then we've survived—just to name a few—Irangate, Travelgate, Skategate, Filegate, Monicagate and two Troopergates.) The device is beyond hackneyed. But worse, it's an exercise in hysterical hyperbole. Remember, the original case refers to a break-in that caused the downfall of a U.S. president. Farfallegate? It's barely a kerfuffle.
  • Bent Over Backward

    In her new memoir "Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams," former U.S. national champion Jennifer Sey describes "a punishing contact sport much like football" with an injury rate among kids to match. Coaches say the sport is getting safer, but Sey counters that young girls are now attempting riskier stunts to please their coaches and win competitions. She spoke with NEWSWEEK's Jennie Yabroff. ...
  • Why I Had My Breasts Removed

    The author of a new memoir talks about her decision to have her breasts removed to lower her cancer risk, and her desire to be a mother.
  • In Defense of Cheering

    They jump. They shout. A few become president. It's time for cheerleaders to get some respect.
  • The Cult of the Volt

    Inventor Nikola Tesla didn't get much glory when he was alive, but to hipsters now, he's a real turn-on.
  • Lo Mein Street, U.S.A.

    Americans love Chinese food. The problem is, most of what we're eating doesn't really come from China.
  • Magazines: On-Campus Sexperts

    Erotic magazines run by students at elite colleges have prospered. So why are they having less sex?
  • How to Train a Husband

    Want an obedient spouse? A new book says you should coach them like animals.
  • Up ‘Close’ and Personal

    We see a lot of portraits in the new documentary "Chuck Close." Most are the celebrated artist's meticulous, highly detailed paintings of himself and his friends. But the film's most revealing portrait involves neither paint nor canvas. It comes when director Marion Cajori interviews the artist Brice Marden, Close's friend since the 1960s. In a movie filled with art-world talking heads (Kiki Smith, Robert Rauschenberg), Marden's segment stands out for its psychological intensity. He begins fondly, reminiscing about losing many of his early works to Close in pool games. Then the monologue grows darker. Close's portraits are "eerie" and "irritating," Marden says, shifting in his chair, leaving viewers to wonder if it's the paintings or the painter that irritates him. "Chuck's a very strange guy," he allows, then trails off. Marden talks about the "immense struggle" evident in Close's process—and the more he develops this notion, the more he struggles with his own words, contradicting...
  • Rise Of the Real People

    The thin and beautiful have had their turn. The hippest models today look more like the rest of us.
  • Birth, The American Way

    One third of babies in this country are delivered by C-sections. A graphic new documentary asks why.
  • The Secret Lives Of Teens

    We meet Austin on page 77 of "Class Pictures," a new book of large-scale color portraits by Chicago-based photographer Dawoud Bey, culled from 15 years that Bey spent visiting high schools across the country. Austin has a blond buzz cut, beefy arms and a flat, tight-lipped expression as he leans forward on his desk. "What up?" Austin writes in his accompanying essay. "My favorite class in school is Science. I like to go out Friday nights and chill." On the next page we meet Carolyn, who rests her head on one hand, letting her dark hair drape onto her desk. Like Austin, she accepts the camera's gaze head on, but there is a wistful look in her eyes. Her father died of Lou Gehrig's disease during her sophomore year, Carolyn explains in her essay. "Your memories are engulfed with all that sadness," she writes. "And you try to get beyond that, but it's so hard."Chilling out on a Friday night, dealing with a parent's death: looking at Bey's photographs reminded me of the vast spectrum of...
  • Style: Judging Clinton and Obama

    Clinton and Obama each won one and lost one. What their post-Iowa and New Hampshire rhetoric says about their style and substance.
  • How to Act as If You’re in ‘Control’

    In "Control," a British biopic about the 1980s post-punk band Joy Division, Sam Riley, as lead singer Ian Curtis, approaches the microphone with an air of reluctance. With his tidy haircut and shirt buttoned to the top, he looks more like an introvert than a rock star. When he begins to sing, his voice is monotone. Gradually, though, he surrenders to the song, letting his body be overtaken by a frenzied, arm-pumping dance, like a crazed cadet marching himself into the ground. His shirt grows dark with sweat; his eyes turn glassy and wide. Most films about musicians portray music as the one pure joy in their lives. But Riley's performance suggests that the truth is more complex. He has a heavy-browed, gangly-armed grace that reads as both boyish and weary, and his subtle expression of Curtis's rage makes other films' guitar-smashing, bottle-throwing displays seem sloppy and false. Watching Riley, I found myself wishing I'd seen the real Joy Division play live, and his performance...
  • Holy Hot Flash, Batman!

    Make room in the boys' club, Caped Crusader. After 66 years, a woman takes over 'Wonder Woman.'
  • A Special Delivery

    With all the films about unplanned pregnancy this year, 'Juno' is the only one to discuss abortion.
  • Girls Just Want A … Best Seller

    The dangerous book for boys," Conn and Hal Iggulden's take on classic British boys' periodicals, has been a fixture on the best-seller list for more than five months. So it's no surprise that the red clothbound repository of activities and advice is now joined by "The Daring Book for Girls." The book, by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, mirrors the boys' volume, except for its light blue cover and glitter-adorned title. (The Igguldens don't receive any profits, though they share a publisher and gave their permission.) While "Girls" entered the best-seller list at No. 4, three places above "Boys," it raises the question: in such enlightened times, do we need two separate guides?The book's authors say that modern girls' and boys' interests can, and should, overlap, but there's a history of girls' activities—jump-rope chants, flower pressing—that they want to preserve. "It's so easy to dismiss girlish things and dismiss girls at the same time," says Buchanan. "It isn't fair if...
  • Giving It Everything They’ve Got

    During the U.S. Men's Olympic marathon trials Nov. 3, runner Ryan Shay, who had been diagnosed as a child with an enlarged heart, died of cardiac arrest. The next day, new mother Paula Radcliffe, who had trained throughout her pregnancy, won the New York City Marathon. The exact cause of Shay's death is still unknown, and Radcliffe's daughter is fine, but both are cases of athletes pushing themselves to daring extremes. (Teammates say Shay would run on a treadmill until he collapsed.) In "The Agony of Victory," Steve Friedman writes about this tendency and what he calls the "dark nights of the soul of elite athletes." He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Jennie Yabroff. ...
  • Teaching Literature to Soldiers

    Soldiers in training might not immediately appreciate the value of literature. But professor Elizabeth Samet has found that in time many come to realize the power of words.
  • Is Now the Right Time for ERA?

    As the architects of the 1970s women's movement age, they wonder if anyone will march in their place.
  • How To Sell The Joke

    In a happy accident of geography, two shows in midtown Manhattan present work by three of the most iconic street photographers of the past century. Many photos are familiar, but considered as a group, the pictures appear fresh--and remarkably funny. The comedy is inherent in Elliott Erwitt's photographs at the Edwynn Houk Gallery (through Feb. 23); around the corner at Laurence Miller Gallery, the humor becomes apparent mainly in the juxtaposition of the works by Diane Arbus and Helen Levitt (through March 10).Levitt, who photographed New York street scenes in the 1930s and ' 40s, predated Arbus by a generation, yet anticipated many of Arbus's obsessions: children, couples, family life and solitude. The exhibit pairs 20 black-and-white Arbus images with similar-ly themed shots by Levitt. While Arbus is known for chronicling humanity at its most undefended, Levitt's gaze is tender, leavening the impact of Arbus's work. One of Arbus's best-known pictures, a 1970 shot of a dwarf...
  • Mothers To Blame

    Hysteria around moms suspected of murder can warp judgment and logic.
  • A Year Of Selling Books

    A rash of memoirs by people spending 12 months following rules shows self-deprivation is strangely hip.
  • Girls Gone Mild? A New Modesty Movement

    Consider the following style tips for girls: skirts and dresses should fall no more than four fingers above the knee. No tank tops without a sweater or jacket over them. Choose a bra that has a little padding to help disguise when you are cold. These fashion hints may sound like the prim mandates of a 1950s "health" film. But they are from the Web site of Pure Fashion, a modeling and etiquette program for teen girls whose goal is "to show the public it is possible to be cute, stylish and modest." Pure Fashion has put on 13 shows in 2007 featuring 600 models. National director Brenda Sharman estimates there will be 25 shows in 2008. It is not the only newfangled outlet for old-school ideas about how girls should dress: ModestApparelUSA.com, ModestByDesign.com and DressModestly.com all advocate a return to styles that leave almost everything to the imagination. They cater to what writer Wendy Shalit claims is a growing movement of "girls gone mild"—teens and young women who are...