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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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"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

Jennifer Hudson May Be Thin, But…

DAHLINGS –

I have avoided the topic of Jennifer Hudson as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Although I believe that we shall have Kirstie Alley 2.0 on our hands in a few years. (After all, didn’t sports commentator Mike Golic shed pounds on Nutrisystem, gain it all back and is now shilling for another weight loss gambit? Twas ever thus.)

However, this photo of Ms. Hudson at LAX simply cried out for commentary:

Not only because of the madly unflattering combination of leggings and tight purple lace shirt, not only because of the camel toe, but also the fact that Ms. Hudson can be clearly seen wearing SPANX underneath all of that. Good God, woman, why bother losing all of the weight if you still feel obligated to wear constricting undergarments?

Your faithful correspondent is not recommending constricting undergarments, although she has been known to wear waist cinchers when in vintage dresses. But truly, what is the point of being held up as an example of slenderness if you still have to wear Spanx? Or feel that you have to wear Spanx? Isn’t the point of the exercise to not wear Spanx?

Just an idle, slightly outraged thought, dahlings. Feel free to have your say in the comments section.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Marissa Jaret Winokur Fired For Being Too Fat For Plus-Sized Show

DAHLINGS –

Recently we in the plus-sized community have getting all warm and fuzzy about fashion magazines including plus-sized models. Including, believe it or not, Karl Lagerfeld photographing burlesque star Dirty Martini.

Now comes the news that Oxygen is replacing the host of their successful show Dance Your Ass Off, Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, with a skinny host.


Marissa Jaret Winokur
Photograph courtesy of ABC

The show features male and female contestants perfecting their dance moves as they also try to lose weight. The goal is not to become thin per se, but to become graceful in their bodies. And to bring them out from under the cloud of shame many large people feel about themselves and to enjoy performing before an audience.

As Winokur herself did on Dancing With The Stars.


Photographycourtesy of ABC

Yes, one of the few shows about overweight people that didn’t pander to the audience has decided that former Spice Girl Melanie Brown is “a better fit” and “more relatable” to the show’s audience.

What? Have we again descended into that parallel universe that is the media? Of course we have. When she was about to host the program, Winokur said in an interview with TV Guide:
“[Those other shows] are more like boot camps. This isn’t like boot camp. This is people finding their sexuality and embracing life in a different way. They’re finding their femininity or masculinity,” said Winokur. “They dance to the scale — that’s how it’s different than Biggest Loser. It’s not a walk of shame to the scale.”

With Melanie Brown as the host, the fundamental balance of the show changes. Instead of a woman who is large and comfortable with her size, they will have a host who represents everything they are supposed to be in traditional show business. Rather than who they are.

How will the contestants feel, being publicly weighed by this woman, whose very presence is a slap in the face to plus-sized people everywhere?


Melanie Brown
Photograph courtesy of The Sun


In fact, the above photograph was used for promotion in 2008 for Melanie Brown’s fitness video, Totally Fit, which also came with a 23-day “slim plan”.

Dance Your Ass Off was a ratings success for Oxygen last season. Let’s only hope it goes to the basement, along with Brown’s last reality show, The Singing Office.

Remember that? No, of course you don’t.

Shame on Oxygen, shame on the production company, and particularly, shame on Lisa Ann Walter, one of the executive producers, who frequently mentioned her own struggles with weight on the air.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Must Plus-Size Clothes Be Shapeless? NO!

DAHLINGS –

It distresses me greatly when I see what is offered to my sisters in bounteousness. Recently I glanced through some catalogs a reader sent me.

It was a revelation: most of what is out there is ugly. Many plus-sized women already know that, but your faithful correspondent had rarely been face to face with the dressing challenges that affect these women.

1) Where are all of the models THIN? With a few notable exceptions (Just My Size, which has some of the ugliest clothing I have ever encountered), the models are stringbeans, which only makes the garments look worse. Once I sent a protest to what used to be Lane Bryant–it has now renamed itself Woman Within–only to be sent the response that the customers demanded thin models! I think not. A glance at the dozens of plus-size fashion blogs puts paid to that idiotic idea.

2) Death to dusters, overblouses, and enormous shapeless dresses! Even if one is a size 8X, a woman deserves clothing that makes her feel beautiful. Even manufacturers I respect, such as Silhouettes, make baggy dresses that scream, “I Hate My Body!”

(Why do the models in this sort of catalog always look so INSANELY happy? Are they on drugs?)

So, here are a few items that actually celebrate the body. This particular selection is from Silhouettes, although you can also find some very sexy body-hugging pieces at http://www.jessicalondon.com/.

First, this faux wrap dress. Whatever your size, it will flatter your curves and the v-neckline draws attention to the face and neck in the best way.

Second, another wrap dress, this one with a pretty full skirt for those who would prefer not to wear something clingy. The print is subtle, unlike the shrieking color combinations on cheaper clothing.

Third, a stretch sheath dress. While I do wish it had sleeves, the mere fact that Silhouettes is willing to do a stretch sheath dress is praise enough!

Fourth, to go with it, a fitted blazer with a feminine ruffled collar. One hopes the single button close does NOT mean the jacket is in the fly-away style. It appears to be fitted–what a concept!

Fifth, a piece that caught my eye immediately and was the inspiration for this entry: a colorblocked sweatercoat. Note the figure-enhancing cut. Again, unlike baggy crew-neck sweaters that plague so many catalogs.

Sixth, just because I love them and they come in size 11WW, these embellished flats.

I tried photographing Bucky with them some months ago, but it, er, didn’t come out as I had hoped.

You can find these all of these goodies at http://www.silhouettes.com/.

Please bear in mind that I ONLY write about thing I like, never “advertorials” My integrity as a fashion goddess is at stake, you know.

I would prefer that you shop with moi, but if not, I highly recommend these alternatives!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Lincoln University’s Racist Fat Discriminatory Policy

DAHLINGS

Fat discrimination never ends, does it? Why is it news when a fat person dies, when millions more are dying of lung cancer? It is because “Man Dies Of Lung Cancer In Recliner” doesn’t make for a snappy headline?

Your faithful correspondent was outraged to read today in the Huffington Post that Lincoln University has instituted a policy that not only do students have to take a mandatory physical fitness class to be considered eligible for graduation—but also must have a Body Mass Index of under 30! Otherwise they will not graduate.

I have to admit that I have never cared enough to find out what exactly BMI is or why it matters so much. (“The Biggest Loser” uses it, but anyone who appears on that farce is already a loser.)

Not only is this policy discriminatory toward those whose body mass is greater than the approved amount; all of the two dozen students who will not graduate are African-American.

The name Lincoln University has become a joke. What would Abraham Lincoln make of this idiotic, inequitable policy that affects so many young people who have studied and worked for their diplomas? Is the university letting anorexics graduate, or do they have to have a BMI above 3? Somehow I think the deluded officials responsible for this monstrosity don’t care which students have bulimia (after all, they tend to be more photogenic, even if they faint a lot).

Here is a link to the Huffington Post article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/24/too-fat-to-graduate-linco_n_370037.html

In turn it links to a suitably judgemental article by an African-American woman criticizing the students for being overweight. So comforting to know that this sort of discrimination is embraced by the African-American community. Don’t they have problems enough??

Shame on you, Lincoln University! Shame on the press outlets that publicize this sort of article with shots of bulging waists.

Mon Dieu, I have to go and have my maid dab my temples with eaude-cologne. And than I shall dine on a large breakfast of bacon, eggs and buttermilk biscuits to show my solidarity (and because it is delicious).