Bad news. That “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” video, where a group of women describe themselves to a forensic artist, and realize how skewed their self-images are and cry, was not quite as accurate as we’d like to believe. The message was moving, yes. And for a moment, it was reassuring to believe that “you are more beautiful than you think,” but according to research, the opposite is true.
A series of studies done at University of Chicago and University of Virginia suggest that , if anything, we overestimate ourselves. Not just in terms of our appearance — but in every way. Researchers took pictures of participants and created enhanced versions of those pictures so that some were more attractive and others were less so. When asked to select the real picture of themselves, participants tended to pick the most attractive one. When asked to select the real picture of a person other than themselves, participants were able to do that with no problem. Keep reading »
Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries said he only wants his clothes worn by “the cool and popular kids,” not the “not-so-cool kids,” which is why sizes only go up to women’s size 10. Men’s sizes, by the way, go up to XL and XXL because it’s only women who can be too fat for Abercrombie’s clothes. Fuck that noise! Here’s Jes from the blog The Militant Baker posing with a traditionally “hot” male model in a variety of Abercrombie & Fitch poses. In an open letter on her web site she writes,
“I didn’t take these pictures to show that the male model found me attractive, or that the photographer found me photogenic, or to prove that you’re an ostentatious dick. Rather, I was inspired by the opportunity to show that I am secure in my skin and to flaunt this by using the controversial platform that you created. I challenge the separation of attractive and fat, and I assert that they are compatible regardless of what you believe. Not only do I know that I’m sexy, but I also have the confidence to pose nude in ways you don’t dare. You are more than welcome to prove me wrong by posing shirtless with a hot fat chick.”
Who says fat girls aren’t the cool kids? [The Militant Baker via BuzzFeed]
The June issue of Allure has the usual headlines about what beauty products to buy and how to get good hair and better skin. Also thrown into the sexy, sun-kissed mix is this tidbit of information about their cover girl: “Zoe Saldana: 115 Pounds Of Grit And Heartache.” Hey, she’s slight but this gal’s got might!
Do the editors of a beauty magazine think of a celebrity’s weight as just some random fun fact to share with their readers? No, of course they don’t. It’s aspirational. Even if the number itself is completely out of the realm of healthy possibility for most women, it reinforces a longing — that dream of ultimate thinness. It’s defining. An entire interview with Saldana and how do they describe the stand out qualities they learned about her for their cover? In pounds. But what is most insidious about that headline is that it immediately forces comparison. For many women, that comparison is likely to stoke insecurity. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still a giant waste of time and energy: Do you weigh less or more? But wait, are you big-boned or small-boned? You might weigh this much, but actually you wear this size in pants or that size in tops. You felt best about yourself when you were this weight. You’re proud of your weight and fuck anyone who says you shouldn’t be! Keep reading »
It seems like one Harvard professor or another in exceedingly blue, alarmingly stiff jeans is always coming out with a pop psych book about happiness and how misunderstood it is.
Apparently, people make a lot of the same mistakes about happiness over and over. We keep thinking that we have to work really hard to get to it, and do certain tricky things to capture it, sort of like that scene in “Avatar,” where they have to bond with the giant flying dinosaur things, and they’re just as likely to get killed, because you have to really earn that bond—not just any Na’vi can fly! But man, when you stick your hair tentacle into your bird dinosaur’s tendril thing and make that platonic, yet soulmate-y connection—there is NOTHING else like that shit. So worth it.
My point is, we expect happiness to be hard. But it isn’t really. And instead of fighting and waiting for it, we should probably just work on recognizing where it’s already sneaking around in the shadows of our current lives, like a little smiley cat burglar. It’s there, seriously, I promise.
I think it’s like that with beauty and self-acceptance, too. Keep reading »
Everyone has a dream. Snoop Lion wanted to be a pimp when he grew up. And 23-year-old Tammy Jung wants to hit 420 lbs. so she can be a high-roller fat fetish model.
Jung has been eating 5,000 calories a day in the hopes she’ll pack on the roughly 40 extra pounds she needs. How much is 5,000 calories? Well, a woman of her size should be eating about 1,800 to maintain an average weight; Olympic athletes burn roughly 5,000 calories in a five-hour long workout. And like Olympic athletes, she’s consuming amounts of food it gives other people a stomach ache just to think about — like, say, funneling milk shakes down her throat. She can eat whole boxes of donuts, buckets of fried chicken, or “a few burgers” in one sitting. Her boyfriend Johan is called a “feeder,” meaning that he gets off on feeding Jung so she grows in size. And so do the people online — fat enthusiasts — who watch her gorging herself online and make requests for what she should eat in videos. Doing this, she earns roughly $1,500 a month. The larger she is, apparently, the more she can earn. Keep reading »
Dear Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries,
I used to see your brand walk up and down the halls of my high school way back in the day. Before I really even knew who you were, there you were — in the form of jeans, shirts and other fashion statements of the late ’90s. At the time, I thought I hated you for the simple reason that the popular kids seemed to have a monopoly on you, and in my mind, popular was synonymous with evil. But, I’m older and wiser now, and know it’s not the popular kids that I loathe.
It’s your “you’re not good enough” mentality. Keep reading »
When Disney’s “Brave” came out last year, I was thrilled. So excited, in fact, that I went to see the movie at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, complete with a pre-movie live show!
I am a not-so-closeted Disney fan. Though I’d never take my love this far, I did grow up a mere 25 minutes from Disneyland, had an annual pass all through college, and, at 25, toted around a (somewhat embarrassing) Disneyland laptop sleeve given to me by my best friend.
So how could this ginger of Scotch-Irish descent not be stoked to watch the animated story of a stubborn, Scottish, redheaded princess? I couldn’t resist! I hadn’t lacked for a ginger Disney Princess to pretend to be while growing up, but Merida felt so much more authentic than Ariel. She had wild frizzy hair (no dinglehopper could comb that mass), and fierce independence — she’ll fight for her own destiny, thank you very much.
Keep reading »
A little over a month ago, I stopped using shampoo. And, speaking as someone who has clearly never been in serious bodily danger, it felt like I was being very brave. Just a couple days, I told myself reassuringly. And then, when you look like a horrifying ball of dripping grease, you can do the rational thing and return to the sweet comfort of purifying chemicals and delectable fragrances. Because that is totally how I think of shampoo, when pondering its many virtues alone in the shower.
Honestly, I’m not sure what motivated me to attempt this reckless experiment. An article about the mountaineers who have scaled Everest’s ferocious flanks? That documentary on Netflix about the dude who illegally, triumphantly walked the high wire between the former World Trade Center buildings? Maybe just a quiet, deep-rooted sense of “now or never.”
But seriously, it was weird, considering my history with my hair. Which I am going to tell you. And as I tell you, please know that I am intensely aware of the fact that my last piece for this column was a critique of the phrase “first world problems.” This whole piece might fit into that phrase very neatly. But I am writing it anyway, because you have to hear the truth. Because I have to tell it. Keep reading »
In case you had somehow forgotten just how bizarre and unrealistic the Barbie ideal actually is, this new infographic makes the whole crazy thing very, very clear. Check out all of the statistics at the source. [The Fashion Spot via Rehabs.com]
“My drive from work is too short for me to decide what to listen to on Spotify #firstworldproblems” was a recent tweet from the Twitter account First World Problems. The tweet reached over 50,000 people, and it was only one in a long list of mildly amusing little complaints about an easy, well-fed, upper-middle class life.
The idea of first world problems has recently become a meme, with inspired tweeters hashtagging the phrase on the back of every observation that doesn’t seem world-changing or ring out like a strangled scream from the depths of oppression. It’s kind of a fun trend. Maybe it serves to remind us all of what we already have. It offers a little dose of perspective. And when it first appeared, I was totally on board. But then I started seeing the hashtag cropping up a lot more when women were talking about all those things that get labeled “women’s issues.” Keep reading »