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Anne Helen Petersen - book author

Anne Helen Petersen has an actual Ph.D. in celebrity gossip and writes longform pieces for BuzzFeed.

Anne Helen Petersen is the author of books: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema, The Burnout Generation, Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having: Travel Stories from The Hairpin

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Author Books

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01
From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an "acceptable" woman.

You know the type: the woman who won't shut up, who's too brazen, too opinionated--too much. It's not that she's an outcast (she might even be your friend or your wife, or your mother) so much as she's a social variable. Sometimes, she's the life of the party; others, she's the center of gossip. She's the unruly woman, and she's one of the most provocative, powerful forms of womanhood today.

There have been unruly women for as long as there have been boundaries of what constitutes acceptable "feminine" behavior, but there's evidence that she's on the rise--more visible and less easily dismissed--than ever before. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of "unruliness" to explore the ascension of eleven contemporary powerhouses: Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Caitlyn Jenner, Jennifer Weiner, and Lena Dunham.

Petersen explores why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures, each of whom has been conceived as "too" something: too queer, too strong, too honest, too old, too pregnant, too shrill, too much. With its brisk, incisive analysis, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud will be a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today.
02
Hollywood gossip meets history in this compulsively readable collection from Buzzfeed reporter Anne Helen Peterson.

Believe it or not, America’s fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Cardi B, Kanye’s tweets, and the #metoo allegations that have gripped Hollywood. And the stars of yesteryear? They weren’t always the saints that we make them out to be. BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Petersen, author of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, is here to set the record straight. Pulling little-known gems from the archives of film history, Petersen reveals eyebrow-raising information, including:

*The smear campaign against the original It Girl, Clara Bow, started by her best friend
*The heartbreaking story of Montgomery Clift’s rapid rise to fame, the car accident that destroyed his face, and the “long suicide” that followed
*Fatty Arbuckle’s descent from Hollywood royalty, fueled by allegations of a boozy orgy turned violent assault
*Why Mae West was arrested and jailed for “indecency charges”
*And much more

Part biography, part cultural history, these stories cover the stuff that films are made of: love, sex, drugs, illegitimate children, illicit affairs, and botched cover-ups. But it’s not all just tawdry gossip in the pages of this book. The stories are all contextualized within the boundaries of film, cultural, political, and gender history, making for a read that will inform as it entertains. Based on Petersen’s beloved column on the Hairpin, but featuring 100% new content, Scandals of Classic Hollywood is sensationalism made smart.
04
An incendiary examination of burnout in millennials — the cultural shifts that got us here, the pressures that sustain it, and the need for drastic change