Celebrity Body Shaming Is Bad For Everyone

oscarsThere seems to be an acceptance out there of celebrity body bashing. I mentioned the other day how hurtful I think this is, not just to the celebrities themselves, but also to those we engage in this sort of talk with. Why? Because if you are willing to talk like that about someone famous, someone you have never met, then your peers are left wondering what judgments you might make of them. Just as the schoolyard bully puts others down to build him or herself up, that is what we are attempting to do when we pick apart celebrities, but instead, it brings everyone down.

One of the conversations that I overheard the day after the Oscars, was about Renee Zellweger. Apparently (I did not watch the show, but saw a clip later) she had a hard time presenting an award. The conversation began with “What was wrong with Renee!?”, but quickly escalated into full-on bashing of her physical appearance, even going so far as to suggest that she is “too slitty-eyed” and should “get an eye lift”. Instead of discussing her behavior, which is something she has control over, this group of people took the easy road and picked her apart physically. First of all, Renee is a gorgeous woman. She is also very talented. Whatever trouble she was having that night, whether it be induced by stress, alcohol, etc. is not really anyone’s concern, but if you want to comment on her less than stellar presentation that night, so be it. But to make it about her looks is low. I got to wondering, if she were of a different ethnicity, would these folks have dared comment on her eyes being squinty? Would they say that to a friend?

I also overheard much discussion about the dress that Melissa McCarthy wore. Comments about her weight were rampant, and many people resorted to calling her names. I heard her compared to a blanket and a tent. One person even said it hurt them to look at her. Ouch! One thing I want to point out, is that Melissa McCarthy is not a size zero, and therefore many designers won’t even make her a dress. Her choices are far more limited than someone as svelte as Anne Hathaway, for example. However, she chose a dress she liked, and I think she rocked it! Much of the criticism also focused on her hair, which was blown out to be big. I heard several people say she looked like she styled it by putting her head out of the car’s moon roof and letting the wind blow it back. Again, would you say that to your friend? I also just have to say, I wish I could make my hair that big!

These two women represent just two examples of celebrities I heard mean-spirited things said about after the Oscars. Honestly, I think some of those who engaged in this kind of talk, were convinced that because these people are famous, that makes it OK. Well, it is not OK.

Who are we to say what another person should or should not wear? Yes, clothing can convey some things about a person, but that idea is also a deceiving one. Sometimes someone is wearing something, and it has little to do with them as a person. A short hemline or a plunging neckline doesn’t mean someone is “easy”. Piles of jewelry do not indicate that someone is rich. Sometimes what we wear is more about how we feel wearing it. Clothes should make you feel good, confident, comfortable– whatever that may be for each individual person. I, for example, wear jeans and a hoodie some days. Others I wear a skirt, tights, and blouse with pumps. I change my clothes to fit the day and my mood. My clothing choices have nothing to do with anyone else, and neither should a celebrity’s. They are not getting dressed for you.

I urge everyone, stop partaking in a culture of judgement. Think before you speak of the impact your words might have. Are you contributing something positive, or are you making it seem OK for us to say hurtful things about one another. If you wouldn’t say it to someone you know, don’t say it about someone you don’t. Because, believe it or not, it does have an impact on who you say it to, and those who might overhear. And if you do overhear it, speak up and say “Hey, judging someone’s appearance is wrong, no matter who they are.”

Note: Also check out this great article, by Sally McGraw, who blogs over at Already Pretty: “Why Fashion-Related Judgment Is Damaging and Unnecessary

Red Carpet Favorites

I have a lot to say right now about the post-Oscars shaming that is going on. My facebook feed and news feed are overrun with judgmental, hurtful things about the celebrities, their bodies, and their choice of outfit. They may be public figures, but that does not make this kind of language acceptable. This is precisely the kind of talk that perpetuates stereotypes about women being catty, and makes us all feel bad about ourselves too. Because, if celebrities can never be good enough, how can we “average” folk ever be?

I am just too fired up right now, but I promise that a calmer, more organized set of thoughts on this is coming here soon. That is one of the main reasons I started this blog…in addition to sharing outfits and talking about style, to also tackle issues of body image.

For now, to calm myself down, I choose to celebrate some of my favorite red carpet looks from the night. I confess, I didn’t actually watch the show-we don’t have cable and that channel won’t come in on our antenna. But, as a person with an interest in fashion, and a love of looking at pretty gowns that goes back into childhood, I did peruse the news the following day to see the ensembles.

Here are my faves:
Adele Gown Adele PerformanceAdele. One of my top style icons. She is gorgeous and confident. On this night she sparkled: her gown, her performance dress, and even her shoes. I always envy her flowing tresses and awesome makeup. I could go on and on, but she’s just so friggin’-fraggin’ fabulous!

Jennifer AnnistonJennifer Anniston seems to have a knack for choosing gowns that are simple, yet elegant. She makes dressing up look effortless. She is wearing a floor-length gown with a train, and yet it doesn’t look fussy. Her hair is down and tousled, her jewelry is not competing with her dress, and she seems to be radiating with calm confidence.

Naomi Watts
This gown that Naomi Watts chose is just cool. It is simple elegance, and yet, that cut-out shoulder at the top is so much fun.

Kelly OsborneI just love the way Kelly Osbourne’s gown wraps all around at the the neck and shoulders. And the sparkly bodice melting down into the flowy bottom is just gorgeous. But I think my favorite thing here is her rockin’ purple hair.

Miley CyrusSpeaking of hair, I  think Miley Cyrus’ spiked pixie cut is totally awesome! The platinum blonde tips go well with her platinum-colored gown’s simple silhouette, and I love the plunging open back.

Georgina ChaplanFinally, I just want to say that if I could go back in time, and money were no object, this is what I would like to have worn to my wedding. Georgina Chapman’s gown reminds me of something from and Alphonse Mucha painting. It is ethereal and she looks stunning.



Today I want to address one of the many reasons that I started this side project of a style blog. As I have mentioned before I have always loved clothes and fashion, and at one point was even considering fashion design school. Had I ever dared to send in my applications to RISD and AI NY and been accepted, who knows what different path my life would have taken?

Despite not making it into a career, I have still always loved style and self-expression through hair and clothing. However, there are also many aspects of the fashion world that I abhor. The biggest one being the unhealthy focus on only being thin, instead of having a healthy, relaxed body attitude. I also detest the way fashion magazines always made me feel poor. $100 t-shirts and $6,000 gowns are just unrealistic for almost all people. While I realize that the fashion world seeks to inspire, and that I can replicate looks without copying them exactly, it still makes me a little bit sick to think that a few people out there actually buy such high-priced garments while others struggle to put food on their tables.

Years ago, I cancelled all of my fashion magazine subscriptions. I just could no longer bring myself to gaze at glossy images of women who represent only one body type, and who wear over-priced clothing. It was making me feel bad about myself, and I could not let that continue. So, instead, I now peruse style blogs on the internet, written by everyday people. I love style blogs of all kinds, and they have inspired me for new ways to wear my own wardrobe and put things together.

My favorite style blogs are the ones that are least like the magazines. Women who are on a budget like I am, and who discuss body image in a positive way, no matter their shape or size. People who seem more down-to-earth and have something to say about how clothes fit into their lives and represent their personalities. Bloggers whose photos don’t look like a professional shoot, photoshopped and straight from a publication. A big part of the reason that I decided to start this project is to join in with these everyday voices, and to have an outlet to express my opinion on these matters.

I think the media of the fashion world is perpetuating some negative things about what women should look like and who they should be. I hope to present myself as a real woman, who wrestles with insecurities and who wears what is realistic for my own unique life. Perhaps you will be able to relate to me in some small way. I may not be dressed chic, or high fashion, and I may not have the flashiest fashion blog out there, but that is not the point. Instead, I wish to portray the daily life aspect of style, that your clothes can bring you comfort and show your personality, without having to fit into an unrealistically constructed ideal.

It’s In My Veins



(Outfit Notes: Necklace-gift/Tank-TJ Maxx/Bracelet-gift/Jeans-Old Navy/Sandals-Target)

As I was re-sizing the photos for this post, I came to the one with the closeup of my hand, which I wanted to include to show the nail polish and bracelet, as well as the detail of the ruffling at the bottom of the tank. I saw how veiny my hand is, and considered not using the picture, and then I told myself to get over it because everyone has veins in their hands. It in no way means I have “an ugly hand”.

I got to thinking about the controversy a while back when Madonna was photographed for Dolce and Gabbana, and her hands were edited, with the veins removed. Apparently, veins are considered ugly by the fashion industry, which is totally ridiculous when you consider that they keep us alive. I caught myself falling into this trap. Can you blame my mind for going that direction, when all I see in the media are images of hands that have been photoshopped perfectly smooth?

Some women have more visible veins than others, and that is totally ok.

Why I Love Maxis

(Outfit Notes: Top-TJ Maxx/Necklace-JC Penney/Skirt-Thrifted/Sandals-Target)

I hate shaving. Absolutely hate it. Not only is it a pain, and time-consuming, but I also have very sensitive skin that reacts badly to moisture and makes me itch. Shaving aggravates that like you wouldn’t believe. (My doctor and I have discussed the possibility that I might have a strange condition called Aquagenic Pruritis, which is sort of like an allergy to water.)

Most of the year, I do not shave. Maybe once a month I will feel like it, but that is about it. When summer comes, I do shave more frequently, but it is not without an itchy consequence. A long time ago, I decided to stop caring what people thought of me. I do not owe smooth, hairless legs to anybody. When I do shave, I am doing it for myself when the rare mood strikes me. Already this year I have gone to the beach with stubbly legs, and worn above-the-knee skirts and shorts without shaving.

I did a little research recently, into the phenomenon of why women shave and men usually don’t. I came across some information that in World War II, pin-up girl Betty Grable’s legs got her a lot of attention, even being insured by Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Advertisers and marketers, who love to make us women feel bad about ourselves and sell us things, latched onto the idea and a shaving campaign was born. Now, there is a lot of money to be made by guilting us into purchasing fancy razors, shaving lotions, depilatory creams, waxing products, and spa services.

The article I found also notes: “Greek women today (and Mediterranean women generally) don’t shave their hair. The practice has been confined largely to English-speaking women of North America and Great Britain, although one hears it’s slowly spreading elsewhere.”

Now, despite the fact that I don’t shave very often, and that I don’t care very much what other people think, I do admit that sometimes, I like to cover my legs up a bit more. This is why I love a good maxi skirt. I own two of them, and grab them when I want to wear a skirt, but feel a little extra hairy.

The one I am wearing here I found while thrifting for only a couple of dollars. It is actually a tad too big, but if I tuck an undershirt into it or belt it, that helps keep it up. I found a tutorial online for fixing a too-small waistband, and I am going to try it out sometime. I am not usually wild about wearing pink, but this sweater from TJ Maxx caught my eye one day (and was super cheap too), and I love the way the pink and minty turquoise of the skirt play off each other. As an added bonus, this outfit was extremely comfortable.

So…What are your thoughts on shaving? I would love to hear all opinions!