Women, their Careers and Children

Having - or not having - children is such an important topic for women today, and one that is very rarely honestly discussed. Trying to prove we are equal, women don't want to admit we aren't - because we have children. Even after 9 months, which for some women are a very difficult experience, our children stay a part of us and define who we are and how we function. Much (much!) more so then they do to men. 

This is a crucial topic, especially in the USA where it's being completely ignored. I still can't believe women in the USA aren't marching the streets demanding regulated maternity leave and subsidised child care.  

Here is the newest interview by Marina Abramovic, one of the most influential artists of our time, in which she is talking about how she chose not to have children for the sake of her career:

Marina Abramovic for Tagespiegel, translated from German to English by Artnet

It would be great to hear more honest stories about women's choices!

A Late Nod to 1 May

The presidential elections in Austria are happening right now and it came down to a right wing candidate and a green/left candidate. I was just asked to write why I’m supporting the green/left guy and I wrote a little statement which I’d like to share here as well:

In the age of globalization, which brings along the insecurities, inequality, destruction of the environment and of natural resources, overpopulation, migration and loss of human values, the left – which for me means humans before capital, and with each other, not against each other – is the only way to survive. I choose left for my son and the planet he’s going to inherit.  And if I could choose a mother, that’s whom I would choose. Because I believe our planet (and our civilization) destroyed by male values can only be rescued by switching to female modus operandi: nourishing, repairing, preserving, reconciling and being in tune with nature.

We don't have much time left.

The 3rd Wave of Coffee

My story for the April issue of Gloria Glam dipped me in the fascinating world of coffee. I’m a tea drinker so there was a lot to learn. In spite of its roots being in Seattle (“Vivace”) and Chicago (“Intelligetsia”) Los Angeles managed to establish itself as the capital of the third wave of coffee: the first being just cheap and easily accessible coffee, the second being Starbucks and the discovery of more enjoyable coffee – which quickly turned into a massive chain (21,000 locations worldwide!). The third wave is about discovering best coffee beans and techniques from all over the world and turning them into a very personal experience.

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International Women's Day (a day too late)

Since it was International Women’s Day yesterday, here a Hollywood story about equality. Few weeks ago, new six episodes of X-Files premiered and caused a big stir. Not so much because of the fans and their genuine interest in seeing what agents Scully and Mulder have been up to in all this time, but more because of one of Hollywood’s two new favorite topics: women & Hollywood and race & Hollywood. Equal pay is all the rage for past years, becoming a huge issue after Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech last year, with Jennifer Lawrence quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

The fact that women should be paid the same amount for the same job as men is undisputable. 

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Yoga Pants, the New Perfume

When I lived in Europe and read celebrity magazines (I’ve always been a sucker for celebrity magazines), I often wondered why famous people go out in public in their workout clothes. And get caught on camera. In Europe you don’t go outside of your home or gym in your workout clothes. Now that I’ve spent so much time in LA I finally have an answer: it’s not the people, it’s the city! I wrote a very fun article for the February issue of Gloria Glam about LA’s obsession with yoga pants. I was very honored to speak about this topic with Catherine Adair, acclaimed costume designer whose work on “Desperate Housewives” brought her an Emmy. Cate’s first reaction was: “Cars!” 

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Feeling Philosophical

Every time I hike on my favourite canyon, I see people running up the steep hill in hot Californian sun. And every time one of them passes by, I wonder how fit they must be to run up this hill, and feel a bit bad about myself being lazy. And in 95% of times, the moment I turn the corner, I find that same person walking and panting and drinking water. I just realized on my hike yesterday what an important philosophical lesson it is: Never ever envy people. Because you never know what their situation will be just around the next corner.

The Big City of Small Plates

Because Croats like their food – and lots of it – I wrote a story about L.A.’s trendy restaurants serving their food on small plates for the December issue of “Delicije.” Like all the stories (and that’s why I love doing this!) the story about small plates revealed some very interesting facts.

Because it is hard to motivate a person to eat two hamburgers instead of one, some 20 years ago, fast food chains invented “supersize” – a much bigger portion for a bit more money (but resulting in a lot more profit). This led to a portion size war: in last 20 years, the size of an average American portion has increased two to three (!) times. Combined with the sinking quality of ingredients, this had terrible effects on people’s health: it’s expected that by 2020 ¾ of Americans will be obese.

Partially to contrast this trend and partially to introduce a novelty, since the beginning of the millennium, fine restaurants started offering all their food on “small plates”. These are sized between an appetizer and a main dish, you order them all at once and are meant for sharing.

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Hollywood Stars With Brushes and Rubber Gloves

I’m having so much fun with my new (and absolutely fantastic) position as the Los Angeles (and Hollywood) correspondent for a big group of magazines which includes (among others) a high end fashion magazine (Gloria Glam), a gourmet magazine (Delicije), a celebrity magazine (Gloria) and another fashion magazine (Gloria In). A story I wrote for the  December issue of Gloria Glam took me inside of the world I would have otherwise never entered: the world of Hollywood’s celebrity hair colorists. When I started researching, I was stunned with the fact that there are people in this city who  pay $400 for hair color. But what I learned is that the star colorists won’t even start work for that amount. Largely depending on the services, their work goes for around $800 or more. Some of those colorists are such big stars that I had to go through their agents and PR people  if  to get an interview.

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El Niño and Nobel Peace Prize

Hello after a long time – and a baby which is already 14 months old and just the best thing in the universe! Here’s a funny anecdote for my comeback. Last night, my husband attended one of the dinners organized by a Hollywood writer “which are for men only because we like to have an intelligent conversation.” As a good Hollywood wife, I will not comment on his statement.

But here’s the fun part. My husband was sitting next to an environmental scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the very same guy who in the 1970’s invented the term “El Nino” They talked about the El Nino that’s about to hit California (in January through March), about global warming, droughts and other environmental catastrophes. After hours of conversation, my husband desperately asked him where we should move. “To whenever makes you wife happiest,” the scientist replied.

I really believe this amazing gentleman for the Nobel Prize. If not for science, definitely for peace!

Why I Didn't Hate Maleficent

Something unusual happened to me yesterday. My friends and I left the cinema and everyone was bitter and angry and agitated – except for me. Highly opinionated, intellectually snobbish and very emotional, the furious one is usually me. There were countless moments I’d leave the cinema wanting to punch the director and the producer and the whole crew just to get rid of the anger that collected while I watched their offensive trash. This time, I left quite satisfied, I dare even say: mesmerized. “The story didn’t make sense, the first act was completely different, CGI was so cheesy, I wanted to see the story of Maleficent and not Sleeping Beauty retold, what’s with the lesbian connotation, there were so many cheap tricks (including freezing characters to make them shut up)!” My friends were furious.

I stayed quiet, listened to their complaints and wondered why I didn’t hate it. It took me some time to figure it out. But then I got it:

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Happy May 1 to all you workers!

It's International Workers' Day and people all around the world are out in the streets reminding of what workers fought for almost 130 years ago (and  in many countries is still lacking): fair treatment of the workers, fair wages, 8h work days, holidays.

It is surely no coincidence that yesterday, OECD issued a new study warning about growing inequality and a desperate need for tax reforms. It already sounds boring but: While rich are getting richer, their taxes are drastically sinking.

Here the link to OECD's study:


And an image from Barcelona today:

The Tyranny of Experts

I just got invited to the discussion of William Easterly's new book "The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and Forgotten Rights of the Poor" but unfortunately it's in New York, where I'm not. The book sounds extremely interesting so I wanted to share the information:

Global poverty has largely been viewed as a technical problem that merely requires the right expert solutions.Yet all too often, experts recommend solutions that fix immediate problems while ignoring the political oppression that created them in the first place, accidentally colluding with autocrats who violate the rights of the poor.  The Tyranny of Experts traces the history of the fight against global poverty, showing how development has long suppressed the vital debate on the individual rights of people in developing countries, the crucial debate on whether unchecked power for dictators is the problem and not the solution.

Why George Clooney’s Love Life Matters

I’m so in love with Philosophers’ Mail idea of giving gossip deeper meaning that I’m going to steal the idea and serve you some gossip. Apparently – and this has been a rumor for months – George Clooney is dating…. Ready?.... A successful intelligent woman with a serious profession! Few months ago, they’ve been papped (for all those normal people not living in L.A.: a picture taken by paparazzi) in a car, leaving a restaurant in London. And few days ago, she accompanied him to “The Monuments Men” screening at the White House. (That’s what I call a date!)

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Unapologetic Barbie

So, Barbie just appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary annual swimsuit issue (wearing the swimsuit she wore when she first appeared in shops in 55 years ago). And this cover caused a huge stir. Apparently it’s giving girls a wrong body image. This might be right but I don’t understand why a picture of a doll is worse than a picture of what is supposed to be a live, breathing woman but is so photo-shopped that no live breathing woman, even the one who posed for the picture, could ever look like that. Because her name adorned the title of my first book and because I (believe it or not) used to be nicknamed Barbie, she was always present in my work. This is why in my last interview for Croatian Cosmopolitan, I was asked a very interesting (and tricky) question: What have I learned from Barbie? I was always very quick to criticize Barbie (for her unnatural body image and dumb activities) but never spent one thought wondering if there ever was anything positive to having grown up with Barbie. This really wasn’t an easy question.

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Cheers to "The Philosophers' Mail"

Alain de Botton, one of the world’s most famous living philosophers and author of numerous bestsellers just started a new website called "The Philosophers' Mail". Irritated by the gap between what’s popular and what’s important, he decided to marry the readability and fun of "Daily Mail" (and even its format) with deep perspective, even philosophy. The ultimate goal of this exotic mix is to get people to care about important things. Currently without advertisement, the site has three full time employees (which is amazing, considering that some of most famous sites expect people to write for free). Check it out, it’s fun! You will find articles such as why paparazzi pictures of Natalie Portman playing in the park with her son help motivate people to do mundane things, why Rosie Huntington’s beauty isn’t normal and why low unemployment numbers can mean misemployment. I applaud de Botton (again) and wish his site lots of success!

Link to The Philosophers' Mail