Recently in Features Category

What is it about Palin?

Lisa Belkin is able to make her opinion clear with her feature on the public's, or more specifically, on women's obsession with Sarah Palin in the latest issue of The New York Times.  Belkin explains why women strongly dislike Palin.

Palin was selected to boost McCain's support among women, but in reality it did just the opposite. Dissimilar to what one would think, women are the least supportive of Palin's political career.  

According to Belkin, her looks are about all she has going for herself. There was a moment that women were intrigued by Palin but now, embarrassed, women across America feel that supporting her was in fact a step backward in the feminist movement.

I would consider this feature to be a trend story. Rather than writing specifically about Palin like a profile would, Belkin writes about the women who surround her and the trend of feelings they all share.

I think that Belkin does a good job with this feature. She approached this story in a different angle than other writers have, revealing how women have been affected by her decisions.

Belkin uses an excellent metaphor that associates the situation with life in high school. Today, there are the educated and ambitious women.  In high school these would be the members of the debate team. Then there are others like Palin, who are the head cheerleader, pretty and popular, but have no interest in studying and just assume they could 'breeze in' to anything.

What I did not like about this article actually has nothing to do with the writer or content. I am rather disappointed that the New York Times did not offer a blog or space to make comments about this feature. I would be interested in others opinions.

Meryl Streep More Popular Than Ever

In Vanity Fair's upcoming January issue there is an interesting feature by Leslie Bennett. The story is about Meryl Streep, a 60-year-old woman who has become the industry's "new box-office queen."


After reading the cover story preview from the website, I think the big question this feature asks is how, at the age of 60, has Streep's career unexpectedly shattered many long-standing Hollywood myths.


Bennett says, whoever said there is no life after 40 for women in Hollywood is wrong.


The evidence is indisputable in the case of Streep, who stared in the screen musical Mamma Mia! and played a demanding fashion-magazine editrix in The Devil Wears Parada.


"It's incredible--I'm 60, and I'm playing the romantic lead in romantic comedies!" Streep said, to Bennett. "Bette Davis is rolling over in her grave."


According to Bennett, producers hope for a huge success from Streep's newest movie, It's Complicated, a Christmas release.


I don't think the feature does a very good job in completely its goal of myth busting. Bennett steers away from the topic quickly and focuses on Brigitte Lacombe's 30 years' worth of portrait.


But I think Bennett concludes her profile feature well. By the end, she is able to draw a picture of who Meryl Streep really is to the reader in a rather comical way. Bennett even notes how Streep hates to have her picture taken.


You can see a slide show of Brigitte Lacombe's portraits of Streep onVanity Fair's website.


Overall, I would recommend buying the January issue of Vanity Fair in order to read the feature cover story about Meryl Streep. 

Safe Santas

The Star Tribune's health section offered an important yet entertaining feature by Bill Ward in their last Sunday paper. The story is about how mall Santas are taking matters into their own hands and doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the flu this holiday season.


The problem is 'Santas' are not worthy of early H1N1 vaccinations, therefore they are counting on other methods to keep them and children safe.


According to Ward, "Santas are counting on hand sanitizers and the kindness of strangers to keep their sick children at home." 


Kris Kingles across the United States have been communicating for months about dealing with this pandemic, Ward noted.


"I'm bringing multiple gloves and a quart jar of hand sanitizer to every event," said Santa Tom to Ward. "Whenever I handle a baby, I take the gloves off and Purell my hands."


I think this feature is an informative story because Ward is reminding people to be safe during the holiday season and telling them what they can do to say sick free. He even informs us of who is eligible for the vaccination.


I think Ward does a really good job writing this feature. The topic remains serious but by taking a new approach on it with Santa, it makes for an enjoyable read.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Features category.

International News is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.