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Fatten-U-Up

DAHLINGS –

This advertisement from 1891 has me positively wistful. If only this sort of fashion repeated itself!

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What If Women In Great Art Had Today’s Bodies?

DAHLINGS –

I came across a fascinating article in the Guardian that asked the question: what if the females in great art were changed to fit today’s ultra-skinny form? Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano did just that, changing the bodies from the Old Masters’ portraits to today’s norm.

The results are shocking! The redone paintings make it clear how unrealistic our media is and how distorted our view of women’s bodies has become. Giordano’s website is here.


Botticelli’s Venus Before


Botticelli’s Venus After

I urge you to look at Giordano’s pictures (there are many others) and think about what societal norms have done to our perceptions of ourselves.

Ciao,

Elisa & Fletcher

Taking A Partial Hiatus…

DAHLINGS –

After giving the matter much thought, your faithful correspondent shall be taking a partial hiatus from her blog-thing. There shall still be recapping television shows, perhaps reviewing some films, and as always, writing about plus-size issues.

Please do not worry that this means anything significant. Merely that if I can’t be as fabulous as necessary, I need to slow down.

I am not able to attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this year, so there will be no coverage. It is strongly suggested that you read one of the fine blogs listed on the right.

Ciao,

Elisa & Fletcher

A Valentine’s Day Special From Leading Lady Bras

DAHLINGS –

Far be it from me to withhold the gift of uplift to my fellow larger lovelies! Today I received the following press release:

This Valentine’s Day We’re Sharing the LOVE from the Intimates, Out

LEADING LADY wants women everywhere to slip into “sexy” with a new bra and a perfect fit to enhance their curves!

New fans can Like us on Facebook for an introductory 10% discount code. All of our fans can Tweet “I LOVE @LeadingLadyBras” TODAY and on VALENTINE’S DAY and receive a 10% discount code. The codes can be used at our e-boutique during the entire month of February. So go on — Spread the word, Share the Love!

Promotion codes are good for one per person. Cannot be combined with any other coupon offers. Discount applied at check out. Expires 02/29/12

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Disclaimer: your faithful correspondent has “road-tested” two Leading Lady bras, size 42DD. This bra was lovely and gave excellent support and (most important) projection:


Scalloped Lace Underwire Bra

The other bra was, simply, the largest bra I have ever worn. Not in bra size, but in size. The neckline almost reached my collarbone. It fit well, but let us say, that it is not exactly this writer’s preferred look. A woman who feels she needs maximum support would undoubtedly find this more to her taste.

Molded Seamless Wirefree Bra

I urge you to go to their website and browse their extensive selection of full-figure and nursing bras. You shall be pleasantly surprised.

Ciao,
Elisa

Pascal Dangin Wants You To Hate Yourself

DAHLINGS –

It is no secret that yours truly has inveighed against the saturation of mediated images in film, television, magazines. In other words, everywhere. I first became fascinated (then much later outraged) by the widespread use of computers on images of–well, everything–after watching a computer animator assemble a bucolic background with mountains, trees, grass, and an old-fashioned train and tracks running through it. He moved the elements around, making sure the finished product was a faultless representation of a small town train station in the mountains.

That is old news. We know that every form of visual media use green screens, blue screens, CGI, etc. As your faithful correspondent has also spoken to a CGI expert whose job it was to fill out Sarah Jessica Parker’s bony hands frame by frame in Sex and the City 2. Consumers are used to it, so what is the problem? But do they really know what it is that they have become used to?

Now your own camera can “fix” your pictures so your personal visual reality is more satisfying. Even if it does not match what you see in the mirror.

The cosmetic surgery industry is booming. More than at any time, people, men and women, hate their faces and bodies.

An article that addressed that several years ago was “Pixel Perfect” by Lauren Collins in the New Yorker. A profile of Pascal Dangin, a master retoucher who changes the world that you perceive far more than you are aware.


Pascal Dangin, founder of The Box. One assumes he has been suitably retouched.

Pascal Dangin is the premier retoucher of fashion photographs. Art
directors and admen call him when they want someone who looks less than great to
look great, someone who looks great to look amazing, or someone who looks
amazing already to look, as is the mode, superhuman.

…retouchers tend to practice semi-clandestinely. “It is known that everybody does it, but they protest,” Dangin said recently. I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual “real women” in their undergarments. It turned out that it was a Dangin job. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”

[During a session]…he proceeded to a shot of the actress reclining on a divan in a
diaphanous couture gown. “She looks too small, because she’s teeny,” he said. On
a drop-down menu, he selected a warping tool, a device that augments the volume
of clusters of pixels. The dress puffed up, pleasingly, as if it had been
fluffed by some helpful lady-in-waiting inside the screen.
Next, Dangin moved the mouse so that the pointer hovered near the actress’s neck. “I softened the collarbones, but then she started to get too retouched, so I put back some stuff,” he explained. He pressed a button and her neck got a little bonier. He
clicked more drop-down menus—master opacity stamp, clone stamp. … He zoomed in so that her eyeball was the size of a fifty-cent piece. “I love all of this
little wrinkle”—laugh lines, staying put—“and the texture of skin. As you
retouch skin, you can very quickly shift the tonal value. If you put a highlight
where shadow used to be, you’re morphing the way the orbital socket is
structured. It leads to a very generic look.” Ultimately, he had minimized the
actress’s temples, which bulged a little, tightened the skin around her chin,
and excised a fleshy bump from her forehead. She had an endearingly crooked
bottom row of teeth, which Dangin knew better than to fix.

In another shot, the actress stood in the middle of a busy city street, in
front of a limestone building. Dangin blew up the segment of the screen that
showed her feet, which were traversed with ropy blue veins. Click. Gone.

“There’s a little slumpiness, and the knees look really big,” he said,
stroking a touch pad with a gray plastic stylus to contour the actress’s legs.

Source: Pixel Perfect

I urge my beloved readers to read article in its entirety. There is far more than can be conveyed in one entry. Next time you find yourself in despair because you don’t look like Anne Hathaway, bear in mind that Anne Hathaway doesn’t look like that either.

Ciao,

Elisa

"Fat" Necklaces On Sale At Fancy Lady Industries

DAHLINGS –

I believe in encouraging talent when I see it. Natalie Perkins, who writes the blog http://www.definatalie.com/, is a blogger and designer. She has designed a line of necklaces using the word “Fat”.


Photo courtesy definatalie.com

Now, many women might feel uncomfortable wearing this necklace, but for those who are fat and proud, this just might be the perfect accessory for you. It comes in an array of colors. Look on her website to shop Fancy Lady Industries. Her personal story is inspiring, and I have no doubt we shall be seeing more of Ms. Perkins in the future.

Disclaimer: I only write about things I like. I am not paid for my posts.

Ciao,
Elisa

Sorry, I Don’t Want An "Amazing Transformation!"

DAHLINGS –

Since the discovery that there were vast sums to be derived from making others feel inadequate, never has such high intelligence has been devoted to low self-esteem.

And never has technology had such effective tools to work with. Between CGI and Photoshop, women (and everybody else) have almost no access to unmediated images.

For example: when has Oprah EVER looked like one of her own magazine covers? It sickens moi when Oprah has those “empowering” title lines on her covers. “Be The Best You?” Then how about showing us the REAL You, Oprah? The woman who is overweight, with heavy arms. This is not meant as a criticism of Ms. Winfrey’s physique. It is a criticism of Ms. Winfrey’s holding herself out as an example. An example that is a LIE.

Ms. Winfrey believes that her bazillions of followers will not buy her magazines if Oprah Winfrey actually looks like Oprah Winfrey.

The mind boggles. In fact, it makes my head hurt if I think about this too much.

Larger lovelies are further marginalized not only by Oprah having herself halved in size, but also the eradication of any and all normal flaws in media images. We are so ceaselessly bombarded by smooth, creamy perfection at every turn that oneself cannot measure up. Even the perfect people are not perfect enough. In television and movies, no wrinkles, bulges, unsightly moles, body hair, bra lines, panty lines, a dress wrinkled in the waist and skirt from sitting down—thanks to CGI, “all gone!” as a friend of mine says to her shiba inu when lunch is done.

To reach out to larger lovelies and spread the word, http://www.aboutcurves.com/ is having a charity drive for NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). They have asked plus-size bloggers to write, and I am proud to do so. Even if, as always, I’m slightly late. Click the link for more information:

http://www.aboutcurves.com/charity

Before I write anything else, there is one item I must get off my ample chest: if I meet the people behind the Victoria’s Secret ad campaigns and catalogs, there would be blood on the streets. Even the gaunt Dachau victims that lurch down the runways during Fashion Week are more realistic than those pencils with false breasts. Victoria’s Secret has it all…One can feel bad about being skinny, flat-chested, large-chested, heavy, tall, short…any woman that does not look like these bizarre hybrids. And the quality of their merchandise is far lower than their prices would indicate.

The name “Victoria’s Secret” brings to mind the image of a young Victorian female, all plush curves and dimpled elbows. Beautiful lingerie enhancing the splendor of an actual human body. Sensual fabrics on sexual females. The hint of a double chin above a soft neck. Long hair spilled across a satin pillowcase.

Thousands of ads toting exercise machines, DVDs, pills, programs, all guaranteed to make you lose weight and keep it off. Sometimes I wonder:

a) Why have I never met anyone personally who underwent such a transformation?

b) If all of those hordes of “afters” are thin, how can there be any fat people left, logistically speaking?

You might think this is a “been there, done that” tirade. We have been there. We have done that. But never as completely. Never as unremittingly. Women are trained from the cradle to think of themselves as physically inadequate in some way. Heavy women even more so. Now, overweight isn’t only overweight, it is a crime against humanity. At least according to TMZ and their ilk.

Where are the role models for larger lovelies? Every time a heavy beauty has a career breakthrough…she sheds poundage. And since said beauty has always given publicity about “loving myself the way I am”, the frantic backtracking becomes comic to watch. “Yes, I did love myself at that weight, but life can be enjoyed at any size!” THEN WHY DID YOU LOSE SIXTY POUNDS, BITCH? (Yes, I’m looking at you, Jessica Hudson. I know there are others. But I’m looking at you.)

We are betrayed at every turn. America Ferrera started “Ugly Betty” as a larger lovely, but grew progressively thinner as the show’s run went on. Singer Jordin Sparks is ´delighted´ to have lost weight. Media websites love to run slideshows of “Amazing Transformations!”

That’s another peeve. You don’t lose weight. You have “An Amazing Transformation!” “Complete Body Makeover!” Good God, it makes me long for the days when the goal of losing weight was well…losing weight. Buy a smaller bra. Wear pleats. Can we ever go back? If we’re going to make abortion illegal again, while we’re at it, can’t we go back to excess poundage not being a mortal sin?

Pardon the pun: Fat chance. My apologies if this rambles a bit, but I have low blood sugar. I am going to go eat a chocolate cupcake. In public.

Ciao,

Elisa