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Posts from — December 2007

“If the pants don’t stop at your station, it’s not your train”

So says Stacey London, in What Not To Wear, “Triple Thread.” The show features triplet sisters in need of style makeovers. As Stacey and Clinton watch the footage of these sisters discouraged and broken-down by the fit of clothes, Stacey declares:

“When will women learn to quit blaming their bodies and realize that the problem is in how the clothes are made? Clothes are like trains—if they don’t stop at your station, they’re not your train.”

Amen, Stacey ! Gloria Steinem put it yet another way;

“If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?”

Our bodies aren’t the problem. Clothing manufacturers should be altering clothes to fit women’s bodies rather than women altering their bodies to fit clothes. However, the fashion industry doesn’t seem to care at all about fit and size as it relates to real women. There no such thing as a standard size, sizes vary within the same clothing line, and there is little allowance for shape and proportion differences.

This sad fact of modern fashion is the reason why the women featured on What Not To Wear, regardless of size, often find themselves frustrated in the quest to spend $5000 on a new wardrobe. Big or small, finding clothes that compliment their bodies takes may hours trying on clothes at many stores.

I cease to be amazed by the short-sightedness and downright arrogance of an industry that ignores the basic needs of its customers, leaving women feeling dissatisfied and demoralized by the shopping experience.

As fashion consumers, first, we must learn to disconnect from the power of the size tag and to value fit over size. Second, we must continue to voice our complaints over the failure of the fashion industry to serve the vast majority of us.

To see this episode of What Not To Wear, “Triple Thread”, click here and select “Full Episodes.”

 

December 18, 2007   No Comments

Carnie Wilson:’Forget the number, focus on health’

Carnie Wilson appeared on the December 11, 2007 edition of The Today Show to promote her new Christmas album. But as usual, she spoke very openly about her up-down-experiences with weight and health since her very public gastric bypass surgery.

Since the birth of her daughter in 2005, Carnie has struggled to return to her post-surgery weight, even participating in Celebrity Fit Club Season 4. She gave two interviews on the show, on with Al Roker, and a follow-up chat with Hoda Kotbe and Natalie Morales. I feel that her personal philosophy is compelling:

“Women are already feeling the pressure with the scale, with the size of the pants,” she said. “I feel like, let’s forget the number. Let’s just get into a health zone that’s comfortable and good for you and not worry about the exact number. That’s what makes us crazy.”

‘Forget the number and focus on health’ is a key tenant of the Curvy Life mission. Carnie Wilson’s journey has led her to the same conclusion.

To view a video clip or to read a summary of Carnie’s interview, see The Today Show website.

To see both interviews, watch the video below:

December 11, 2007   1 Comment

Jennifer Love Hewitt forced to defend her curves

Jennifer Love Hewitt is making news today by declaring “Size 2 is not fat” in response to photos (described as “unflattering”) making the rounds of the tabloids and the Internet. Paparrazzi photographed Hewitt in a bikini on her Hawaiian vacation, and sites such as TMZ.com are featuring a shot of her from behind.

Hewitt posted a scathing response on her blog, saying in part:

“I’ve sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women’s bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I’m not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.

A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn’t make you beautiful.

What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles. I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family. And like all women out there should, I love my body.

To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini — put it on and stay strong.”

It’s a sad day when someone feels compelled to assert that “Size 2 is not fat.”

Personally, I do not care what Jennifer Love Hewitt looks like from behind, and I am not a particular fan of tabloids (Internet or otherwise) but knowing that she is tiny, I decided to take a look at the “unflattering” photo. This is probably not the best picture she’s ever taken, but to me, this picture looks like a photo of a girl in a bikini. I guess my question is: What is she supposed to look like from behind? Her butt in a bikini looks like a butt in a bikini.

Then why the uproar? Why the attack on this young woman? The problem for Love-Hewitt comes from the fact that this is an unretouched photo, distorted by being taken at a distance with a telephoto lens. No one is going to look great under those circumstances. (If you’ve seen the notorious Tyra Banks beach photos, you know the style). Thanks to efforts such as the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” (see: the Dove film “Evolution”) we as media consumers are learning how much manipulation goes into creating the images that we see in ads and on the screen. I’m sure if Love-Hewitt’s photo had been run through standard magazine procedures, it would look stunning (whatever that’s supposed to look like).

However, even though we may mentally grasp the notion that media images are manipulated, this does not change the fact that our eyes become accustomed to these “created” images, so when we see a “normal” photograph, it seems lacking or even shocking. And when we compare our reflection in the mirror to the images that appear in print media, it is easy to feel deficient and lacking.

So, with digital cameras and programs such as “Photoshop,” average people now commonly retouch their own photos. And in the next logical step, Hewlett Packard advertises a list of cameras with “slimming features,” complete with before-and-after examples:

“They say cameras add ten pounds, but HP digital cameras can help reverse that effect. The slimming feature, available on select HP digital camera models, is a subtle effect that can instantly trim off pounds from the subjects in your photos.”

Other cameras have features to minimize facial lines or add a tan. CNET.com, in the article “Digital cameras focus on revised reality” describes this trend as follows:

“With new tools, average people can create their own ‘pictures that lie’ at the moment of capture, without any trace of the real image that was seen with the naked eye.”

“Pictures that lie” are the norm in print media–they may become the norm in every photo album in America; however, we need to remember that those types of photos may have ‘no trace of real images,’ and thus resist the urge to compare our “real” faces and “real” bodies (and our “real” photos, for that matter) to un-reality. We must train our eyes to recognize the difference.

 

December 3, 2007   1 Comment