Archive for January 28, 2011
The Oscar nominations came out this morning, and I am thrilled because my favorite movie of the year—Winter’s Bone—was nominated for best picture. If you haven’t seen this film yet and can stand a movie that is pretty gritty and dark, rent it ASAP. It will kick your ass. (On top of that it’s also a movie by and about real women.)
Hanks retorted: “You know, like many of you we recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian.”
“Neither of which he is now,” added Allen.
The Mossimo Smocked Empire dress from Target—cut up to your pantyline and down to your cleavage. Seriously,
who wears this stuff???
Last summer I wrote about the fact that I was surprised to find out that one of my really thin friends hates to wear sleeveless shirts and dresses as much as I do. Sure, we have totally different reasons—she doesn’t like to go without a padded bra, and I don’t like to bare my upper arms—but the end result is still the same: a huge percentage of women’s clothing is unavailable to both of us.
It bothered me when I realized this, but I also figured it was a bit of an anomaly. But then I was shopping with another friend over the holidays—this friend is older than me, and like my other friend, she is very thin too. But unlike my original friend, she has a little bit of a bust. So when were out shopping, I didn’t hesitate to recommend a gorgeous white sleeveless blouse to go with a new red necklace she had just bought. To my surprise, she balked. “I don’t do sleeveless,” she said without a moment’s hesitation.
“Why not?” I asked. “You’re so thin.”
“You haven’t seen what I’ve got under here,” she said, pointing to the part of her arm that was obscured by her short-sleeve shirt. “I’m old! This doesn’t look good when you get old.”
“You’re being ridiculous,” I said, but she wasn’t budging.
I’m not going to lie—it really bugged me when I found out another one of my friends refuses to wear sleeveless clothing. It bugged me because everywhere I go I see sleeveless clothes marketed to women—sleeveless shirts, sleeveless dresses, sleeveless pajamas, etc. Next thing you know they’ll have paper gowns at the gynecologist’s office with spaghetti straps.
I know this to be true because I’m always trying to avoid sleeveless, but it’s almost impossible to do because it’s EVERYWHERE.
And when my friend said she doesn’t “do” sleeveless either, I started to wonder who the hell does. I can name two friends of mine who I know regularly wear sleeveless shirts, but that’s it. Just two.
And then I started thinking about hemlines.
Because if sleeveless dresses make me feel a bit sickly, short hemlines make me downright ill. But everywhere I shop, all I see are racks and racks of dresses and skirts that stop two or three inches above my knee. I know it’s in style for young girls to wear dresses like this, but what about the rest of us? What are we supposed to wear? I promise you that if most women don’t like going sleeveless, they certainly don’t enjoy wearing a skirt that skims the bottom of their Jockey underwear.
What’s interesting is that I just found two gorgeous dresses that come to the knee in the most recent issue of Lucky magazine, but when I looked at the price I was horrified—they were both over a thousand dollars a piece. So the only people who can wear knee-length dresses are rich woman? Does it really cost that much more to add a few more inches of fabric???
Of course, it doesn’t, but for some reason, clothing designers and clothing stores seem to only make clothes that have too-short skirts and too little sleeves. I wonder why that is.
Or maybe it’s more complicated than that. I was complaining about hemlines being too short with a female student last month when she said that has the exact opposite problem—they’re all too long for her and fall between her knee and her ankle, like a prairie dress. I looked at her and realized for the first time how tiny she was.
“How tall are you?” I asked.
“Almost five foot,” she said sheepishly.
No wonder dresses are too long on her.
And that’s when it hit me—the reason so many women hate the way clothes fit is because they’re not MADE to fit us. Think about it .. . men’s pants are sized two ways—waist and length—but women’s pants and skirts (and dresses) only have one size: S, M, L, or XL (or they’re numbered from 2 to 24), but they do not have one measurement for height and another for girth like men’s clothing. So the assumption is that if we’re short, we’re also tiny? And if we’re tall, we’re also big around? That must make it pretty hard for my skinny six-foot-tall friend to find anything to wear. Not to mention my short curvy mother. The truth is that it makes it hard for all of us.
That might be why so many people recommend that women have their clothes tailored after they buy them. I have friends who take every single pair of pants to the tailor to have that part that gapes in the back cut out.
Every. Single. Pair.
That’s gotta add up. And I really don’t think we should be expected to do that.
Unfortunately, the only answer is for all of us to stop buying any clothes until manufacturers start making clothing that is truly designed to fit women of all sizes. But I know that you all like to go shopping too much for that. So instead now that we know this is a problem, we’ll just have to start talking about why it’s a problem that the clothes they make don’t fit us.
If we raise enough of a stink, maybe they’ll actually listen.
Wow, 2011 is already beating us up, isn’t it?*
I feel like I’ve been on the ropes for a while now, waiting for a break so I can catch my breath, but instead of finding that break, I got a sucker punch to the gut last weekend. We all did.
Just think—a week ago, a snowstorm seemed like a struggle. Now the snow feels like a prayer.
It’s clear it’s not currently appropriate to talk about something as seemingly superficial as dieting or body size—doing so would seem too lighthearted during such a grave time. So instead I’d just like to leave you all with one of the most important songs of our time.
*Posted just after the assassination attempt of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon, which left six people dead, including a nine-year-old girl.
The end of the first week of the new year is here. As you know, I didn’t make any resolutions myself, but those of you who did may already be feeling a bit down about how difficult they are to achieve. My God, I didn’t make any, and I still find myself experiencing that new-year slump. It’s almost impossible not to re-evaluate at this point on the calendar—it’s almost as if we’re hard-wired to do it.
I’ve talked before about how we all fall back into our childhood roles when we visit family, and this Christmas was no exception for me.
As usual, Dave and I were lucky enough to be able to travel to Florida to see my parents.
Florida . . . the sun, the beach, the 70-degree days, and . . . my father, the one person who is single-handedly able to erase all the progress I’ve made with my self-esteem.
Truth be told, Dad was mostly on his best behavior this year. I think he’s starting to worry about getting old, so he’s being nicer to everyone. After all, they don’t let grouchy people into heaven.
And I did my best to stay out of his judgmental eye—not letting him see me at my early morning pajama-clad worst if I could avoid it. (Yes, I know it’s sad that I dress for my father, but we’re all messed up, right? My messed-up-ness stems from Daddy issues, and, come on, whose doesn’t?)
I even went so far as to make sure I ate most of my meals when he wasn’t looking because I know that his favorite thing to do is to commentate other people’s food choices. . .
“Is that raw?” (This comment is usually said with a shudder.)
“I don’t like to eat at that place. They give you way too much food.” (Translation: I don’t eat as much as you do.)
“I like a dry tuna.” (Meaning, “I’m too good for mayonnaise.”)
“Geez, that’s a whale of a burrito!” (No explanation necessary.)
“I don’t eat much red meat myself. You almost have to force me to eat red meat.” (This from the man who had steak and hamburger last night for dinner.)
“Are you really going to eat that?” (Gee, thanks Dad.)
These comments are the reason why I decided to fill my plate before my parents came over for dinner one night last week. We had bought roast beef and ham for a friend’s visit, but so much of it had gone uneaten that we’d invited my parents over for dinner the same night to help us finish it.
But as I was putting out a buffet of pasta salad, deli meat, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, it occurred to me that if my dad had the chance, he’d make a comment about every single morsel I put on my plate. So I decided to be pro-active and put my meal together before he arrived.
Unfortunately, Dad showed up just as I put two slices of bread on my plate.
Unlike a normal person, Dad did not pick up his own plate and start selecting the items for his own dinner. No, that would be too obvious. Instead, he followed me through the buffet, making a comment about each of my selections. It was when I was at the end of the line, spreading the tiniest layer of mayo on my sandwich—I knew he was watching—that he went in for the kill.
“That sure is a lot of mayonnaise,” he said with a small chuckle.
I honestly couldn’t believe it. I had purposefully used the smallest amount possible, but from his point of view, it was still too much.
“Well, you know me,” I said. “I love me some hip-widening fat-filled mayonnaise. Always have, always will. Want some?” I added, holding the greasy knife up to his throat like a weapon.
Okay, so this was not actually my response, but I can dream, can’t I?