People on the internet have been telling me I’m fat for at least a decade — since whenever the first full-body photograph of me appeared on a blog author page. I still remember one of the first times it happened. I was probably 22 years old, wearing a pink pencil skirt and cute black top, retro-style, in the photo.
“Just like I thought, she’s pear-shaped,” snarked one commenter, who apparently previously inferred from the quality of my writing that my body was not up to his high expectations, only to have it all confirmed by a photo.
I stood in front of the mirror in that same outfit, staring at my body from every angle, trying to figure out just how pear-shaped I was. Was it my thighs causing the problem? Had to be, right? I measured them. I calculated my BMI. I took more digital photos and compared them to the existing photo. I went through the size tags on all my clothes, trying to find the biggest one so I could prove to myself that I either was or wasn’t fat. Definitively.
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Kelly Wearstler is a design goddess. Her interiors include hip hotels from around the world and homes of the rich and famous. In recent years, Wearstler has expanded into designing home goods, accessories, jewelry and clothes. I’d deck out my entire lifestyle a la Kelly if only I could afford a $175 scarf.
Bon Appetit did a recent Q&A with Wearstler — one of those fluffy reading, back page sorts of Q&As — and any fan of Kelly Wearstler would read with interest …
… and then get slightly concerned that she survives mostly off flavored water and juice. Keep reading »
I shook my head recently when I read about New York Observer film critic Rex Reed’s personal insult toward actress Melissa McCarthy. In a review of her latest offering, “Identity Thief,” he called her “tractor-sized” and as big as a “hippo.” Isn’t it interesting, I thought, that a man, who himself is part of a marginalized and often supressed segment of society [Reed is widely believed to be gay.] wields his pejoratives so freely when directed toward another similarly ill-regarded community, the “un-thin” or “un-commercial.” The part of our population that still hides in a closet of self-hatred. The part of our population, fearful that they won’t be accepted or seen for anything other than their physical appearance. You don’t have to be overweight to be part of our collective; you just have to have a self-loathing of some physical feature you feel you possess. Surely, this is something that everyone can relate to at some point in their lives and certainly, unless he was blessed to have grown up amongst royalty, Rex Reed himself must have had to deal with.
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Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, right? Romance and pink things and flowers, too. It’s supposed to be about couples, but I want to selfishly celebrate by acknowledging a woman who made me love myself a little bit more. So often, I think we’re trying to make ourselves appealing and acceptable to other people. We’re worried about how we look to them, how we come across, if we’re pretty and likable. But once, when I was a kid, I saw a woman who made me think there might be another way to do things, and I’ve never forgotten her.
This is my love letter to a buzz cut beauty queen. Keep reading »
I didn’t physically prepare for my first orgy. My husband and I talked about boundaries and asked the friends who invited us about party etiquette. But I didn’t put much thought into what I looked like because I wasn’t planning to do a whole lot. I wanted to meet people, maybe kiss and fondle a few, and generally take in the experience as an observer in order to judge whether a second orgy was in my future. So I planned for comfort rather than beauty. I wore attractive but conservative clothing. My bra was snazzy, but my underwear was generic. And I didn’t even consider trimming my pubic hair.
I’ve never shaved my pubic hair. When I was a teenager, I read “The Vagina Monologues,” which features the harrowing account of a woman whose ex-husband shaved her bush without her enthusiastic consent. I decided right then that I never wanted to shave down there. The occasional hygienic trim, sure, but I’d never shave or wax or remove it in full. Pubic hair serves a purpose, and I like having it. (Plus, don’t let my kinkiness fool you – I hate pain. I don’t even tweeze my eyebrows because it hurts. So the thought of a bikini wax makes my toes curl, and not in an orgasmic way.) Keep reading »
And you thought you had problems fitting into the jeans at J.Crew? That’s nothing compared to the trials and tribulations of Mikel Ruffinelli of Los Angeles, the woman with the world’s largest hips: she’s the ultimate pear-shape with a three-foot circumference waist and an eight-foot circumference hips. Ruffinelli credits her huge hips to genetics but also giving birth to four children. (She swears she’s never had implants._
But despite the trials of her size — sometimes she has to walk through doors sideways — she’s very positive about her curves. And her husband is crazy about her! Get these people a reality show. [Telegraph UK]
Dara-Lynn Weiss, the woman who became infamous for writing in Vogue about putting her daughter on a diet, wants it both ways: she repeats over and over in her new memoir The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet, how much she loves every inch of her daughter, including her pesky belly, but then painstakingly details the lengths she went to in order to shrink it. That dichotomy surely wasn’t lost on her daughter, and there’s no telling how that will affect her in later years. Weiss’s attitude is that she had to take extreme measures to combat the extreme problem of childhood obesity, but it’s the very extremity that concerned me. I felt anxious reading it as Weiss panicked and seemed completely consumed by this project when her four foot four, 93-pound daughter was pronounced obese by her pediatrician. Keep reading »
She was really beautiful. She was the coolest girl ever. She always knew what to say, and she said it casually, like she barely had to think first. I wanted to be just like her. I was 13, she was 15, and she was perfect to me.
My parents were very supportive. They thought I was smart and pretty and capable. And that is so important, like the concrete they pour into the husk of the foundation of a house when it’s just planks and sticks in the dirt. But the shape of the building, the furniture inside—I think that comes from other girls. That’s how you learn how to be a girl, after all, from the other ones around you. Keep reading »
“I understand the desire to make a child feel beautiful at any weight. I truly advocate for size acceptance. The culture of body image upsets me and has tortured me personally. I do think we should be able to be different sizes but I draw the line at when it starts affecting her health.”
– Dara-Lynn Weiss, who was ostracized after she published an article in Vogue all about putting her seven-year-old daughter Bea on a diet. Weiss has a new book out, titled The Heavy, which expands upon that article. Here, she attempts to explain why she put her child on a diet. Elsewhere in the NYMag.com interview, Weiss notes that she was afraid of giving her daughter a complex because of her own discomfort with food. But she also painstakingly explains that the Vogue photos were misleading, because they don’t show Bea’s midsection, and how fat she really is. UGH.
If nothing else, this interview — which focuses heavily on Weiss’s own body issues — sheds light on the vicious cycle of body image problems that mothers pass down to children. Will you give The Heavy a read? [NYMag.com]
I was looking seriously cute. My hair was behaving commendably, my face did not have anything obviously wrong with it, my belt was making my waist look seductive, and my new boots gave me a taller, lither look than I’m accustom to. Even my little boobs were cheerful and holding form in my bra, rather than sliding disobediently down, as is their evil habit.
“You look great!” said my husband, picking up on the whole thing. He snapped a photo on his phone. And another, and then a third.
“Hmm,” he said, “I can’t really get a good angle. Wait.” One more. “Okay,” he said, sounding satisfied. He showed me.
It was a little shocking, how wrong I’d been. My hair was stringy and frazzled at the same time. My face had aged 10 years. My waist was bulging around the belt, and my little stunted legs looked almost hilariously comical in their silly, trying-too-hard boots. Even in the “good” shot, I appeared to be lumbering off to terrorize a small village, possibly to capture a maiden or two and haul them off to my cave for supper. I’m not even going to get started on my boobs. Keep reading »