Brimming With Confidence and Underwear That's Fit for a Queen

Singer-actress Queen Latifah gestures during remarks in front of the U.S. Capitol building about the first National Women's Confidence Day
Queen Latifah was on Capitol Hill getting the word out about confidence and the right lingerie. (Evan Vucci -- AP)

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, June 8, 2006

Could you feel it, ladies? That primal surge of divine earth-mother energy flooding your souls yesterday? It was "National Women's Confidence Day."

Or so it was proclaimed on Capitol Hill by Rep. Carolyn Maloney and the woman she called "one of America's best known and certainly most confident role models" -- Queen Latifah . The day before, the Oscar nom had cameoed in Prince George's County Court on behalf of a hip-hop impresario convicted of slugging a DJ; yesterday, on the Cannon building terrace, she touted another form of support.

"Growing up, I was fortunate to have strong women around me. . . . Many women today don't have that," said the Queen, in a gray pantsuit, shoulder-length flip and serene smile. "Our goal is to create a nation of confident women. . . . Our rights as women are being changed daily. . . . It's important that we raise our young girls to be confident. We need to say, 'Girl -- get out there. You can do it.' " Seems this all had to do with "self-esteem" efforts that the YWCA (whose CEO, Peggy Sanchez Mills, was also on hand) is launching with the support of Curvation -- makers of plus-size lingerie.

We scrambled for one-on-one time with Latifah, but Maloney, a New York Democrat, kept edging in with her own questions, typed on a sheet of paper. (What advice does the Queen have for young girls? What would she do on the floor of the House?) Finally we got a word in: What's underwear got to do with this? "That's really what this is all about," Latifah said. "You'd be surprised how simply wearing the right bra can affect confidence. It may seem trivial in affecting a woman's confidence" -- that c-word, again! -- "but it works." Does she wear Curvation? "Yeah. Oh yeah!"

We asked Maloney how women should celebrate NWC Day. "They should look at what they've accomplished and look at the strength and beauty inside." Will do: next year!

Baby Shiloh's $4 Million Mug Goes Public

People magazine paid a reported $4 million for this exclusive first peek of 13-day- old baby Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, which hits the newsstands tomorrow. Does she have Angelina's lips? Brad's eyes? An itsy-bitsy tattoo? Wait -- is that a halo? Nah.

Ann Coulter's Jab at 9/11 Widows

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter launched her new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," this week with her trademark in-your-face approach. The eyebrow-raiser this time was her assault on four politically active 9/11 widows:

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis," wrote Coulter. "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , the New York Democrat, said it was "unimaginable that anyone in the public eye could launch a vicious, mean-spirited attack on people whom I've known over the last 4 1/2 years to be concerned deeply about the safety and security of our country."

Coulter responded by resurrecting various allegations of sexual wrongdoing that Clinton's husband, Bill, has faced. The uproar is picking up steam, but the question (aside from whether this will sell books) is whether Coulter's attack crossed the line with conservatives.

"Stop Ann Coulter before she bombs again," said Bill O'Reilly last night on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor." He went on to say, "Most Americans reject that kind of vitriol because it is mean and counterproductive. . . . So if Ann Coulter is trying to persuade people to her view, the personal attacks are foolish."

But she has at least one in her corner: Sean Hannity broadcast his radio show yesterday from Huntington, N.Y., where Coulter was signing books. "We're having the time of our lives," Hannity told the audience, added that while he feels sorry for the widows, "I think America is better off for the free exchange of ideas."

UPDATE

Washington-based Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge and her son Peter are in separate ICU rooms at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center after a successful surgery Tuesday in which she donated part of her liver to the 5-month-old. Officials with the cable channel report that both have a long recovery -- Herridge will be in the hospital for at least a month; Peter, who suffers from a bile-duct disorder, for at least eight weeks -- but that they're doing well.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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