NEWSMAKERS

'WHAT SHE'S DEMONSTRATING ISN'T BRAVERY MONICA GRENFELL THINKS PLUS-SIZE BEAUTY COl BUT A SHOCKING LACK OF SELF-CONTROL’-COLUMNIST ESTANT CHLOE MARSHALL MAKES A POOR ROLE MODEL

April 21 2008
NEWSMAKERS

'WHAT SHE'S DEMONSTRATING ISN'T BRAVERY MONICA GRENFELL THINKS PLUS-SIZE BEAUTY COl BUT A SHOCKING LACK OF SELF-CONTROL’-COLUMNIST ESTANT CHLOE MARSHALL MAKES A POOR ROLE MODEL

April 21 2008

'WHAT SHE'S DEMONSTRATING ISN'T BRAVERY MONICA GRENFELL THINKS PLUS-SIZE BEAUTY COl BUT A SHOCKING LACK OF SELF-CONTROL’-COLUMNIST ESTANT CHLOE MARSHALL MAKES A POOR ROLE MODEL

NEWSMAKERS

MARIAH CAREY WHAT HER MAJESTY WANTS, SHE GETS

The king of rock ’n’ roll has been dethroned by a pint-sized diva from Long Island who sleeps with 20 humidifiers around her bed at night to preserve her vocal cords. Mariah Carey surpassed Elvis Presley on the all-time list of artists with the most No. l singles to top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list, with the release of her new song, Touch My Body. The song became the 18th hit from her repertoire to reach No. 1, which moves her into second place overall behind the Beatles’ 20 chart-topping singles. And apparently success has made her even crazier. When she recently signed on to appear in a low-budget movie, Tennessee, Carey learned she’d have to fly to the shoot economy class because the company lacked money for first class. Carey agreed, then booked out the entire economy class cabin. “I guess I am a diva in many ways,” says Carey. “I can be difficult and a little bit rigid about what I want.” We would agree, your majesty.

LES STROUD LOST IN THE BUSH? THINK OF SURVIVORMAN

Sometimes it pays to be a couch potato. Last week Les Stroud, a.k.a. Survivorman, the host of a wilderness survival TV show of the same name, was credited with saving the life of a marooned Manitoba snowmobiler. Chris Traverse, 24, emerged after five days in the bush in sub-zero temperatures. He had used Stroud’s tips—eat snow to keep hydrated, and make night shelters out of spruce branches—while slowly making his way through waist-deep snow toward a TV tower he’d spotted on the Lake St. Martin First Nation reserve, about three hours north of Winnipeg. It’s not the first time that the Huntsville, Ont.-based Stroud has been credited with helping people via his survival show. A Utah couple made snowshoes out of material from their truck seats after they got stuck. Stroud’s own brushes with wilderness hazards include being chased in Ecuador by a jaguar that threw him off course as well as eating a scorpion kebab for sustenance. Through it all, the camera kept rolling, capturing Stroud’s ingenuity and cool demeanour—

two essentials for survival.

JOHN PAULSON MAKING MONEY OFF SUBPRIME MORTGAGES

It was widely acknowledged before it happened that the U.S. housing bubble would have to burst. Mortgages given out like candy to people who couldn’t afford them, the so-called subprime market, was bound to give out. But no investors moved as cunningly as John Paulson, who heads the New York City hedge fund Paulson & Co. (Ironically, the firm has attracted high-powered talent in the person of former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, whom some critics blame for encouraging the subprime mess.) Paulson was so sure the market was crumbling his firm started two funds that bet on a collapse. This week, the financial trade journal Trader Monthly named Paulson’s firm its top trader of 2007, having earned US$11 billion by shortselling bundled debt obligations. Paulson is estimated to be taking home a personal paycheque of $3 billion. He is a former investment banker at Bear Stearns, the bank that recently submitted to a life-saving purchase from J.P. Morgan Chase after it bet the wrong way. Perhaps if Morgan hadn’t come along, Paulson could have bought his ex-employer, with petty cash.

JUAN HERMOSILLO

A MASTER SPINNER COMES TO CANADA

It was while working in an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles that Juan Hermosillo, 28, first encountered the acrobatic art of spinning pizza dough. Working in the kitchen to save money for vet school, he was mesmerized by the pizza chef’s spinning skills. Hermosillo became a top-ranked spinner in the competitive sport— and he’s now competing under the Canadian flag. Originally a member of the U.S. pizza team, he was denied the right to reenter the U.S. after representing them in a European 2006 world championships, even though he’d lived in the U.S. since age 11 and coowned a California eatery (Hermosillo’s family had immigrated illegally from Mexico). He moved to Toronto after securing sponsorship from an Ontario pizza chain and has become a Canadian competitor in world spinning contests. Hermosillo, who trains up to eight hours a day and who studies dance to improve flexibility, won two golds at a 2007 championship in Naples and will be looking to add more golds at the 2008 Pizza World Championship later this month in Italy.

CHLOE MARSHALL THE ‘AMBASSADOR OF CURVES’

She’s a big girl: five foot ten and weighing 176 lb. So when Chloe Marshall, a 17-year-old studentbeautician, reached the finals in the Miss England contest last week, many viewers celebrated the bravery of a girl with realistic proportions in a national beauty contest. A European-size 14, Marshall said she wants to be “ambassador of curves.” But a backlash immediately followed, with a former pageant judge, Monica Grenfell, writing in the Daily Mail: “Who does she think she’s kidding? What she’s demonstrating isn’t bravery but a shocking lack of self-control.” Marshall fired back that Grenfell’s remarks are the kind that drive girls to anorexia.

Marshall says she diets and exercises but remains curvaceous. Still, critics on both sides of the Atlantic say the number of obese girls in the world is testament to the fact that girls eat too much, not too little. “It makes me mad when people like Chloe are allowed to glamorize obesity,”

Grenfell wrote. Now is that any way to talk to a woman who would be queen?

V.S. NAIPAUL

THE TRUTH, NO MATTER HOW UGLY

He is the grand old man of English letters, a Booker Prize winner (for Ina Free State) as well as a 2001 Nobel laureate, but now a new biography on V.S. Naipaul, the Trinidadian-born literary superstar, is especially frank about the costs his career had on others. Patrick French’s The World Is What It Is describes Naipaul as a household bully, an egomaniac and an epic sadist. For more than 20 years Naipaul carried on an affair with an Anglo-Argentine, Margaret Murray, who enjoyed being his slave and victim, while he was aroused by mistreating and dominating her. Naipaul was psychologically abusive of his beautiful lover, telling her that she was so stupid he never even bothered to open her letters. At the same time Naipaul expected his tormented wife, Pat, to console and cosset him when he parted from his lover. Then, weeks after Pat’s death in 1996, Naipaul ditched Murray and married a reporter named Nadira Khannum Alvi, whom he’d met the previous year. Naipaul, 75, co-operated with French on the biography, leading reviewers to note that being portrayed as a monster is consistent with Naipaul’s belief that writing must tell the truth, no matter how ugly.

DR. HEATHER ROSS AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH

When you think of mountain climbers you think of healthy, robust individuals, and Dr. Heather Ross, who heads the Transplant Unit at Toronto Hospital, would not convince you otherwise. In 2004 she came within 200 vertical metres of the summit of the Vinson Massif, Antarctica’s highest peak, climbing with Dale Shippam, 55, a firefighter who once had a heart transplant. Now Ross has her sights set on Mera Peak in Nepal, taking along Shippam as well as David White, who has a transplanted kidney. Ross hopes to demonstrate that not only can post-transplant patients live active lives, but they can become superbly fit. There is also groundbreaking research to be done. Working with Dr. Michel White of the Montreal Heart Institute, Ross and the team will investigate transplant recipients’ biochemical response to high altitude and what role hypoxia (low blood-oxygen levels) plays. For transplant recipients, there ain’t no mountain high enough.

MARYAM SANATI COMING TO THE AID OF A GRAND OLD LADY

As Chatelaine's fourth editor in four years, Maryam Sanati knows that the magazine industry’s chattering classes are gossiping about turmoil at the venerable women’s magazine. Her two predecessors both departed amid rumours of poor morale. But the 38-yearold Sanati dismisses the innuendo. “That may have been the past, but it’s not anything that’s part of the day-to-day at all,” she says. “Our workplace is 100 per cent stable, efficient and collegial.” Easygoing and well-liked, Sanati has been with Chatelaine since early fall 2006, when she was named deputy editor. She had previously worked at the Globe and Mail and Toronto Life, and has assumed the helm at the women’s magazine in time to preside over both its swank 80th anniversary celebration in Toronto, as well as a dramatic redesign of the magazine for its May issue. Sanati is expecting her first child injune. With a new job and a new family she’ll be keeping two homes in order.