The Jezebel Guide To Five Great Controversies

Greetings! I'm Eva, the newest CN Jezebelle! I'm replacing Maureen as the "arbiter of 'controversy'" on the site. But then I started reading Maureen's postings and I didn't understand what all the "controversy" was about. She was just like any college student who likes Obama and taxing rich people! Maybe Maureen is just an example of how anything can be "controversial" if you want it to be. And in fact that is a good trick: if you don't have an opinion about something or someone but you just say "Well, it's very controversial," people will think you are smart...and maybe even British. But British people say, "con-TRAH-versy." Not everyone can get away with saying it the British way. British accents are like matte red lipstick in that way. Speaking of: Can you pull red lipstick off? It isn't easy. Lauren Conrad does it but she has a stylist, although I hear she is in training to do it herself. Doing it yourself is an achievement, like a juice fast or a triathlon. Of course, when you achieve anything you are bound to be considered "controversial," like Lauren. Here are four other Controversies You Should Consider Entering right now.

Dieting. The magazines would have you believe that "not dieting" is the new dieting, and it is true: not dieting is what everyone else will be announcing they are doing this season, even as they aggressively watch their portions so that their diets actually do resemble, on the basis of caloric intake, an actual "diet." My advice: keep your caloric intake limited to the point that you do not gain weight, but never say a word to anyone about how you are "not dieting." Everyone will assume you are not dieting, and wonder how you keep from gaining weight.

Jeans: Wearing them sometimes. Jeans have always, will always, forever and ever, generate some form of controversy. Some people wear them too much, and while that is okay if you live in Los Angeles, you just should not wear them to every social event anywhere else all the time, nor should you eschew them entirely. I know: they are comfortable. Except when they are not comfortable, which is when they look best, because they are too tight and you have paired them with a pair of, say, the latest peep-toe ankle boots, which is a good guide as to whether or not you should be wearing them to occasions on which you might be seen by people with larger incomes than your own. Speaking of which, that is a shortcut: how much did the jeans cost? If the answer is more than half your mortgage payment, you can wear them pretty much anywhere, so long as you are also thin, which goes without saying, right? Also, if you are in the vicinity of relative wealth and/or power and/or beauty, never wear classic "straight leg" jeans that might be confused for jeans you purchased last season, unless you want to risk be confused with the type of person who is easygoing enough to wear last season's jeans in the vicinity of wealth/power/beauty, which is probably too controversial a strategy for most, so if you choose to pursue it make sure you buy this season's straight-leg jean

Peonies. Some people think peonies are too voluptuous. Nonsense, I say! They are very pretty. But be forewarned: they die. Speaking of!

Your Natural Hair Color. I'm not suggesting you don't get your hair color treated to magnify its natural hue. But don't exaggerate... too much! The key is plausible deniability. Everyone gets her hair colored. But consider: how many lowlights would you need to make everyone believe that you are actually not everyone, in this one regard? Can you risk it? If you can, you may generate a whole controversy as to whether it is actually true that you don't highlight your hair (anymore.) Pulling this off will require an uber-exclusive stylist in whose salon you will not run into anyone you know. And what if you do? Act calm. "Ha ha ha, you really believed that?"