The 3 Most Unoriginal 70s Fancy Dress Ideas

The three most unoriginal ideas for 70s fancy dress parties are without a doubt the following:

Starsky and Hutch
Some random 70s disco dancing glittery fool

These three 70s costume ideas have been tried and tested and enjoyed by so many fancy dress party-goers now that when someone turns up to enjoy an evening of look-a-likes with friends and family, the hearts of everyone sink if someone has chosen to come along as Abba, Starsky and Hutch or some random 70s disco dancing glittery fool.

The problem with these 70s costumes is that they have been worn by so many that it looks as though no effort has been made on the part of the fancy dress attendee. If you want to look like someone who has not made the fancy dress effort at a 70s throw-back party, then coming dressed as Abba, Starsky and Hutch or the random 70s disco dancing glittery fool, is a sure fire way of cleanly fitting that nail on its head.

Abba, even if you decide to come dressed as only one of the four on your own, really has to be an example of the most unoriginal 70s fancy dress costume idea that exists. There has been such huge hype surrounding the 70s European four, thanks to Broadway and West End musicals and Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep in the Hollywood film version, that anyone seen dressed as Abba today is really scraping at the bottom of the barrel.

The second most unoriginal 70s costume idea is probably that random figure who just happens to be wearing a medallion, a cat-suit with ugly flairs and a huge afro wig. The person who turns up to a fancy dress party in an outfit like this one is really lacking in creativity. This costume idea is not even a real person from the 70s. It's a 70s themed costume that only manages to pay remembrance to a very particular section of 70s society and night-life looks. Avoid this costume idea at all costs if you are looking to impress.

Finally, coming dressed to a 70s as either Starsky or Hutch is just an example of someone who has been sadly sucked into the revival of the popular 70s TV Drama thanks to the Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson remake that came out of Hollywood a few years ago .

The film was actually quite good, but the Starsky and Hutch look was never a flattering one, nor a particularly cool look either. Stay well clear of this fancy dress idea if you want to show up to the 70s party of the century in style.

Instead of falling back on the basic and boring Abba, Starsky and Hutch and random, disco dancing nobody, why not get a little more creative with the 70s costume ideas?

Try the following ideas that are less common and a lot funkier:

Alice Cooper – you could have great fun with the make up for this fancy dress
Bruce Springsteen – a real hunkster in his day if you are looking to strike gold with the ladies at the party
Jimi Hendrix – hair, hair and more hair
Jane Fonda – one of the best ways of looking sexy at a 70s costume party
Cher – in the 70s had some awesome outfits that you could have a lot of fun with
Jackie Kennedy – get political with the US 'first lady

The above ideas are not exhaustive, but they are by far much more interesting and creative than the normal fair of flairs, long hair and glitter. The 70s has so much more to offer and there are plenty of 70s costume stores and agencies out there that would be able to confirm that too.

Get searching!

Whitewater Rafting – How to Keep Your Rafting Trip Safe

For some people, the idea of going on a white water rafting trip can conjure up images of Meryl Streep in “The River Wild,” or Burt Reynolds in “Deliverance.” Concerns about a raft flipping over, or the fear of falling out of the raft, can frighten some would-be vacationers, keeping them on dry land while millions of others are flocking to this increasingly popular adventure trip every year. What are the real risks in whitewater rafting? And the real safety statistics? You might just be surprised.

Consider, for example, the Lehigh River in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania … one of the most popular whitewater vacation destinations in America. Guided whitewater rafting trips were introduced there in 1975, by an outfit named Whitewater Challengers. Today, four professional whitewater outfitters offer daily rafting trips on more than 25 miles of whitewater rapids in the Lehigh Gorge State Park. Over the past three and a half decades, professional whitewater rafting outfitters have hosted over 3 million rafting visitors on more than 25 million miles of guided whitewater rafting trips (the equivalent of going to the moon and back, 52 times!), racking up an impeccable safety record in the process.

In spite the lingering angst have about signing up for what some people still call an “extreme” sport, the truth is, a guided whitewater rafting trip down the Lehigh River is statistically safer than getting into your car and driving there. There are several reasons that whitewater rafting outfitters can compile such remarkable safety records, including:

1. These are guided whitewater rafting trips. Professional whitewater rafting guides are with you all day. They know the river; they know the hazards; they know the best route through the whitewater; they know how to help you avoid mistakes; and they know what to do if it looks like things might start to go wrong. For example, at Whitewater Challengers, guides receive training in swift water rescue, Red Cross first aid (standard and advanced) and CPR. In addition, they accumulate thousands of hours on the river, becoming familiar with every section of whitewater at each of dozens of different water levels. This is important because two trips down the exact same section of river at different water levels can result in dramatically different levels of excitement.

2. You’re in a whitewater raft, not a canoe. If you try this sport in a whitewater canoe or whitewater kayak, and it’s a whole different ball game. Professional whitewater rafts are designed with two things in mind: not tipping over; and not puncturing. A properly constructed commercial-grade whitewater raft will bounce off most boulders, and keep a steady course in remarkably turbulent water. In most places, you can float through the whitewater rapids forwards, backwards or even sideways, and it’s all just part of the fun. If you do that in a canoe, a kayak, or a flimsy swimming pool raft, the results can be disappointing, to say the least.

3. You’re wearing a whitewater PFD (personal flotation device). It’s surprising how many people who take the do-it-yourself approach to whitewater rafting either fail to use the right kind of raft, or fail to wear a PFD. On commercially guided whitewater rafting trips, wearing a PFD isn’t an option; it’s a requirement. And if you so much as unbuckle the straps, the first rafting guide who notices it will be gently reminding you that putting yourself at risk that way just “isn’t acceptable.”

4. Teaching and training are part of the package. A guided whitewater rafting trip begins with what’s called a “Safety Talk.” Your rafting guide goes over all the basics: how to properly sit in the raft; how to hold your paddle; how to splash your friends safely; how to help steer the raft; how to float through whitewater if you happen to fall into the drink; and most importantly, how to avoid falling in. There’s also information about rescue techniques that are used in the event you do find yourself in the river. Most safety talks are also sprinkled with time-tested river humor, and a dose of interesting information about the history, the geology, the flora and fauna of the river and its surroundings.

5. And finally, there’s always medical training and supplies at the ready. In the unlikely event something does go wrong, whitewater rafting guides are trained in first aid, CPR and swiftwater rescue, they have with them first aid supplies if needed, and they are supported by a network of land-based Lehigh Gorge State Park officials who can help effect a rapid evacuation if needed.

With upwards of a hundred thousand people a year going whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River alone, and millions more on hundreds of professionally outfitted whitewater rivers around the world, it might be time to stop thinking of this as an “extreme” sport, especially since a large percentage of those rafters are school groups, boy and girl scout troops, church youth groups, and families with young children. The statistics tell the story. With the right gear, the right instruction, and the right supervision, your time spent on a whitewater rafting trip can be the safest part of your day.

The Narcissistic Leader's Shame

Meryl Streep's interpretation of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada reminded people of their experiences with their worst boss. Her ruthless, self-absorbed behavior depicted how difficult encounters can be with a narcissistic leader. "Prada" became the nickname for a cold, grandiose, and exploitative boss needing to be reminded of her unique, special place. While we are often fascinated by such leaders, what motivates a narcissistic leader?

Narcissism has a storied history. Freud first penned the term based on Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth condemned to fall in love with his reflection in a pool of water. Psychologists expanded the mythic Narcissus and observed behavioral patterns illustrated by Miranda: grandiose and entitled; demanding admiring and control; lacking empathy; and acting superior. Miranda was not distracted by her behavior; only the inability of others to meet her mandates. She made unrealistic, perfectionist demands of her staff and was "disappointed" when they did not satisfy her. Her daring demeanor appeared to be founded on great strength. To the contrary, it rests on a fragile foundation of inferiority often formed from fears of failure and exposure. This can lead to overpopulation in order to prove her worth and value.

What might have caused Miranda to overcompensate and cover her fears of inferiority and exposure? In a word, shame. Shame is about an invasive, personal flaw. So what is Miranda's personal flaw? Narcissistic shame is often an age-old battle fosted to cover feeling of being a fraud, unlovable, or pitiful. Miranda emotionally denied to let people know her. Fears of being discovered were just below the surface; the slightest criticism or disenchantment could trigger her humidifying ire. With minimum words or an icy stare she summarily stripped others of their self-respect. Shame's unique feature is that it is so intolerable that many have developed the ability to not acknowledge it. Miranda, for example, insulated herself by being cold, cruel, conniving, and let down by everyone around her. Her wall of protection, however, demanded a high price, a lonely life. Her coveted trophies of power, beauty, and money replaced intimate relationships with her children, husband, and collections.

If Miranda Priestly sold her life to a fantasy, why was she so successful? The fear of shame is a compelling motivator. The drive to manage this dreaded feeling challenges leaders to achieve exceptional results. For example, she had a keen eye for fashion trends and a dominating vision for Runway magazine. She went to great length to use her vision and prestige to shape the industry. Her power attracted others to her "many out of fear" and in the fashion industry "only her opinion counted." Her ruthless pursuit of results equipped her to deal with all threats "real and imagined" and win.

Michael Maccoby's classic article The Narcissistic Leaders in the Harvard Business Review (January-February, 2000) discusses the pros and cons of this leadership style. He observed such negative characteristics as: sensitivity to criticism, poor listening skills, lack of empathy, distaste for mentoring, and an intense desire to compete. Psychologists would argue that shame underlies each one.

Narcissistic leaders like Miranda are significantly thinned-skin; over time they renounced the trustworthiness of others. Self-knowledge proved too painful and / or humiliating. Constructive feedback may have been experienced as a loss of control or a painful exposure. To prevent criticism, Miranda's piercing, critical demeanor made it clear that feedback was to be avoided. There was no such experience of being mildly exposed. Failure to treat her specialâ "give her what she wanted when she wanted itâ €" ruled in belittling the offender, behavior consistent with narcissistic shame.

Poor listening is a direct result of being sensitive to criticism. Listening requires attention and recognizing the other. When the fear of shame underlies listening, Miranda was poised to be on guard and either ignore and dismiss or strike. She, like many other leaders, developed an uncanny ability to blithely disregard what was said, as if it had not been heard. Other times she was challenged or hurt and responded with hostility; a preemptive tactic to eradicate the implicit threat and regain control.

Empathy is a critical component in all relationships, but not for the narcissist. A caring need to be involved with others is often replaced with suspicion and cynicism. For the narcissist, pursuing warm, compassionate relationships are not of interests. Miranda's need for love was replaced by demanding adoration and deference. She seemed to have lost the desire to reach out to others; if she made the other person the problem, she could continue to feel okay about herself.

Organizations succeed by being competitive, but the narcissistic leader thrives on it. Competition is more than a good business strategy; it is a solution for dealing with unending threats. The competitive intensity, however, is a paradox. On the one hand, Miranda's competitive need to win masked the hallmarks of shame: fears of being weak, losing control, or perceived as incompetent. At the same time, the spoils of her conquests held the hope of vindication and relief from her shameful predicament: "There is no one who can do what I do!" she exclaimed. More is at stake than simply winning; Miranda's legacy itself was bet on her gambit.

Narcissistic shame drives many to be unequaled in their professional abilities: gifted visionaries, determined leaders, and ruthless decision makers. Yet the leader's prominence is built on a fragile foundation of inferiority and the incapability of trusting others. These behaviors are symptoms of shame. Psychologists who work with such leaders typically find feelings of being fundamentally bad and not worthy of membership in the human community behind these behaviors. Miranda would be the last to know or admit her shame: "Everybody wants this! [Privilege]" she exclaimed. "Everybody wants to be like us."