By now, many of you may have read Vogue’s annual “Shape” issue and had some reaction to the story of Bea, a seven-year-old girl whose mother was intent on curing her “obesity,” which was, in reality, 16 extra pounds of baby fat.
“One day Bea came home from school in tears, confessing that a boy at school had called her fat. The incident crushed me, but it was a wake-up call. Being overweight is not a private struggle. Everyone can see it,” said Bea’s mother, Dara-Lynn Weiss.
Weiss immediately put Bea on a Weight Watchers-type diet designed for children. Reading this, I felt a familiar pang in my gut. I was also an overweight child who came home from school and complaining about being teased. It was fifth grade, and I was the new kid in school. I didn’t know I was overweight until one of the popular boys spit on my new pair of Vans and called me “fat ass.” The girls were even worse. They attacked me in the bathroom with a barrage of spitballs. I spent most of the school year alone, writing in my journal. There’s one heartbreaking entry I’ll never forget: Dear Diary, Please let me be popular. Please let me not be fat anymore.
Although I’ve moved on and healed from these experiences, which happened more than 20 years ago, it still hurts to write about them. They’re a reminder of how cruel people can be, perhaps without even meaning to. What’s more painful for me, though, is remembering how my mother reacted to these incidents. Keep reading »
“I have been every single size in women’s fashion. I really don’t think anyone can say that. I’ve been a double-zero, children’s clothes, at 95 pounds, and I’ve been all the way up to a size 16 and everything in between. So to come to this place of being a 6, 8, sometimes a 10 depending on what designer I’m wearing. And that’s an interesting place to be in fashion, where extremes are the norm.”
– Crystal Renn talks to “Entertainment Tonight” about her weight. It seems like nobody can believe that a woman who works in fashion — and struggled with anorexia in the past — could be completely comfortable in her body and be okay with being somewhere in the middle. Pretty crazy, right? It’s like the media wants her to be as fixated on how much she weighs as they are. Gross. [ET Online]
Jennifer Hudson duets on “I Believe In You & Me” with her larger self — the self that competed on “American Idol,” the self that starred in “Dreamgirls” — in a Weight Watchers commercial that I have to admit is kinda touching. (And that’s not usually something I would say about a Weight Watchers commercial.) The “new” Jennifer is much more polished; yes, she is slimmer but her movements less theatrical, her outfit is more chic and her hair is straightened. In short, she’s conforming to a more mainstream version of beauty — some might even say a white standard of beauty. I’m happy if she’s happy (and, perhaps, healthier, although we know people are created in all shapes and sizes and can be healthier at a larger body weight). I just thought the “old” Jennifer — who made it in Hollywood on her considerable talent despite being larger than the average starlet — was cute, too. [Essence] Keep reading »
The other day, I found myself engaging in conversation with a stranger at the grocery store about weight.
“God,” the woman said, pausing near me in the aisle as I considered a package of cookies. “I wish.”
I laughed. “Yeah, I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it.”
“Go for it,” she said, grinning. “You can always hit the gym after.”
She went on her way. I put the cookies back. I thought about it. I picked them up again and put them in my basket. What the hell? I never go to the gym. I’m terrible at treadmills and I’m lazy. Or maybe I’m terrible at treadmills because I’m lazy. It’s a chicken/egg kinda thing. Keep reading »
Believe it or not, the push to be hyper-thin hasn’t always been present. In the ’50s and ’60s, women were sold the idea that a curvy, bodacious bod was best, and companies like Wate-On advertised that they could turn a skinny girl into a voluptuous vixen through their weight-gaining products. Whether Wate-On worked, it’s refreshing to see a different kind of body type being coveted — one that doesn’t promote a protruding hip or clavicle. Check out these great vintage “anti-skinny” ads. [Daily Mail UK]
While Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima goes to disturbing lengths to stay slim, model and alleged Kanye West canoodler Chanel Iman went to similarly disturbing lengths to put on weight to appear in the televised lingerie fashion show. Apparently, Iman gained 15 pounds in order to walk in the show, adding curves to her otherwise stick straight body. She did so on a diet of protein shakes and by incorporating weight lifting into her workout routine. And, she says, the day before the event, “I have a big potluck at my house. All my friends bring over food and we barbecue and party it up!” Well, that’s great and all, but it’s definitely scary that Iman put on 15 pounds and still looks waif thin as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Remember that the next time you look at a model on the runway and think she has the “perfect” body. [Modelinia]
Earlier this week, we enjoyed a delightful “open letter” from Iris Alonzo, creative director of American Apparel, to Nancy Upton, the Dallas woman who won the company’s plus-size model contest by spoofing the nature of the contest. Iris Alonzo was not amused that the lovely Nancy Upton bested the competition with her hilarious pics in which she posed laying in a bathtub of ranch dressing and indulgently squeezing chocolate syrup in her mouth. Iris Alonzo was also not amused about the piece Nancy Upton wrote for The Daily Beast entitled “My Big Fat Photo Spoof,” which explained her actions: because American Apparel was “co-opting the mantra of plus-size empowerment and glazing it with its unmistakable brand of female objectification.” Why, the company was so hopping mad it told Nancy Upton they would be giving the prize to someone else. “While you were clearly the popular choice,” she wrote, “we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.” Harsh.
We posted Iris Alonzo’s open letter (sent to us via email) on Wednesday and urged readers to write. I have no idea of knowing how many of you did write her, but one Frisky reader got in touch to say she heard back from American Apparel’s creative director. We’ve got their email exchange after the jump! Keep reading »
Last week, we became enamored with Nancy Upton, a Dallas woman in the #1 spot for American Apparel‘s plus-size model contest. The company asked bootylicious girls ages 18+ to send in photos of themselves, which they posted on their website so customers could vote on who deserved a modeling contract. Instead of a traditional modeling pic, the zaftig Nancy Upton submitted “fat girl” pics of herself bathing in ranch dressing, squirting chocolate syrup down the gullet, and posed with an apple in her mouth like a pig on a spit.
In short, it was amazing. No one could have been more thrilled than us when Nancy Upton won.
But it seems like not everyone was so happy about Nancy’s victory — namely, American Apparel corporate headquarters. We get a lot of douchey emails here at The Frisky, but this one takes the cake. After the jump, read American Apparel creative director Iris Alonzo’s nasty email (sent to us last night) about Nancy Upton, the kickass lady who won the company’s plus-size model contest fair and square. That is, until the company decided to award the prize to other contestants… Keep reading »
Rarely is there a reality show whose “stars” don’t make me stabby. (Or who look like they’re going to stab me, in the case of “Mob Wives.”) But the chicks on TLC’s “Big Sexy” actually seem like people who would be my friends in real life: funky, funny, and down-to-earth. The show, which debuts Tuesday night at 10 p.m., follows five full-figured females trying to make it in New York City’s fashion biz. This ain’t the gilded-lily “The City,” y’all: in this preview, we see the ladies being asked to pay $30 to enter a club while skinny-minnies behind them in line are let in for free. (After cussing out the bouncers, they stalk off.) I hope the entire show isn’t just incidents like this where they are discriminated against for being plus-sized because that would be depressing. Still I’m willing to give it a chance to counteract all the brain damage sustained by every minute spent watching Olivia Palermo onscreen. [AOL TV, TLC] Keep reading »