Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Hollywood Face

Jesus Christ. I propose we start taxing cosmetic surgery procedures 50% more and put the money into self-esteem raising programs for young girls

Edited to add: Heidi "I am sick of looking at this bitch" Montag.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crotch of Doom

Because fashion has to yo-yo from one extreme to the next in a desperate, wild grab to stay "current", there's been some pretty fucked-up crotches in fashion lately. This is because 1. Everyone is trying to get far, far away from the tight, low-waisted Britney jeans from 2002. 2. High waisted pants are hard to fit, especially high waisted, pleated pants, and there are numerous areas where things could go wrong.

Here's a good example, from Face Hunter. We've got a top with lots of layers artsily stuck to it, a huge, tailored bag for some reason, pink ballet flats (?) and, of course, the pants. Now, I want to appreciate that fashion is taking this semi-knowing leap into CLEARLY UNFLATTERING territory, where everything is supposed to look droopy and avant-garde, but I feel like that's giving these people too much credit. And the purposely fug look becomes even less interesting every time another hipster embraces it.

You may remember a post I did once about the big ugly designer shoes that hit the stage semi-recently. This lady is clearly embracing those, but she's also ready for the billowy crotch look, which is fresher, newer. She also has this look that says "I paid $8000 for this outfit."

The next look maybe you should scroll down for....

Wait for it......


Yeah. Again, this is one of those looks that borders on one of those things where you're like, "Who am I to criticize this?" It's not like everyone is walking around like this. He has a Lawrence of Arabia/80's/20% hobo chic thing going on, and even though it's sooooo expensive and fashiony and he looks like he just jetted off to St. Barthes for six weeks on a yacht, it's kind of well put together? Right?

But that crotch! We've seen it before! In the "carrot top" style jeans that were on Hel Looks a lot! On some shorts at H&M!(See my new tag "crotch issues" for more.) And even, to an extent, at the images above. So if this were just an isolated incident, yeah, I might be able to let it pass. But when everyone's doing it, it's not special anymore. (Does anyone else get a flashback to the part in The Breakfast Club where John Bender asks Molly Ringwald if she's ever seen someone with elephantiasis of the nuts?) He may be taking it to the hoop, but it's still just another trend. Also, let's consider doing everyday, casual activities in these pants. Imagine taking them off, or putting them on, in front of a "lover." I bet you can only even be seen around a quarter mile-fashion week radius on these or somebody would kill you. These pants could have their own TV show. They're too much for one man.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Buying the Pain Away

As we all know, you cannot open up any magazine geared towards women without being bombarded by advertisements. After all, the purpose of these magazines is to encourage you to buy, and/or bully you into buying because you're too fat/smelly/hairy, etc., so that advertising and actual editorial content become one and the same. We all know that! But one thing I am getting really sick of is the (oftentimes) celebrity-endorsed charity buy. You know what I'm talking about- Paris Hilton scribbles some happy faces on a t-shirt, and then it is sold for $75 and like 2% of it, if that, actually goes to charity.

Also similar is the really expensive necklace/hat/doodad that is supposed to benefit charity. We all know it's breast cancer awareness month when a zillion pink things start appearing on the shelves of stores nationwide. What better way to help cure a disease that effects women than with shopping, which is what women just, like, do anyway? Lucky Magazine always has a section devoted entirely to "charity buys" - even though I can't help but imagine the ecological cost of producing that $191 pillow probably makes the 30% supposedly donated to offset the "world water crisis" less significant.

Here we have the new $50, Miley Cyrus designed t-shirt created for the brand "Spread the Love" (Mischa Barton's design is also a real gem.) whose website proclaims that "2 LOVE is a lifestyle brand whose celebrity-designed products endorse a message of love while benefiting charities that elevate lives. The company inspires young women to love themselves, and in turn spread the love to others. Our unique marketing initiative – designed to empower women and promote philanthropy – has struck a chord among Hollywood’s A-listers, who have signed on in droves to join the 2 LOVE mission. "

Yeah, their unique marketing concept, because that's all these things are. Never is it specified how much money is actually going to charity (And, as we all learned from The Simpsons, zero percent is a portion too!) or that the company is non-profit. I can't believe they have the nerve to act as though they are improving women's self esteem through some fugly, expensive, sweatshop-made tees with the words "love" printed on them.

Historically, women have had an interesting connection with philanthropy (okay, I wrote a paper with this thesis once...I could go on) because it's always been a way they could effect political, economic, and social change while still retaining stereotypical feminine traits- you're not being an activist, you're just gently helping out! Spreading the love! Adding the shopping middleman to the mix makes it an even more passive way to supposedly change the world. With all this hullabaloo about greeness, no one wants to point out that there's nothing green about buying newly produced things, even if those things are Kate Hudson's new organic shampoo line (ooh, she's posing on the savannah! How "I am African!")

And for the celebs and the companies, the whole deal is obviously a PR thing. The stars look good because they took time out of their busy schedules to have their assistants glue some shit to a toy duck, while the companies get millions of people clamoring for their products, which they are still making mad bank on. And the people who buy the stuff get to tell themselves they're doing good.

If you really want to help people, write a fucking check to a real charity organization, or, you know, actually get involved in something that doesn't happen at the mall.

PS: Vom!

PPS: Don't worry, not all my posts are going to relate to politics from now on. I've got some anti-leggings stuff in the works!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Photos of Inspiration

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Save Bitch Magazine

Hi Again,
Yay! Photos are working again!

Anyway, I would like to ask everyone a small, monetary-based favor. My very favorite magazine, Bitch, which has been around for over ten years, is out of money, and basically needs to raise $40K by October 15th. As I mused in my last entry, non-technology based media isn't faring so well these days, and they are feeling the strain, and may have to fold completely if people don't come up with some cash and/or new subscriptions.

Perhaps you are wondering something like, "Hey, I don't give money to starving orphans so why should I give it to some magazine?" I will tell you why: because independent media is really important, in part because it is still accessible in a way that online media still is not. Over the past couple of years, dozens of small magazines have folded, and that means that while once the new stands of places like Borders might have actually featured something besides the weight-loss tips of High School Musical stars, they may soon be filled with nothing but. (BTW, Bitch is not above intelligently discussing High School Musical or anything.)

If you have never read Bitch I would highly recommend getting a subscription (a great way to donate!!!!) It's a funny, intelligent, and incredibly well-written journal focused on "feminist responses to pop culture." Meaning the articles may range from everything to whether Prince is feminist, to interviews with female comedians/writers/etc, to discussing how advertisements target women in negative ways, to trans activism, to why everyone should love Strangers With Candy. I actually went to the website because I wanted to propose an article about why most fashion blogs suck. Yes, they publish stuff like that. We shall never get to see an article like that (or, you know, my unique voice) in Teen Vogue.

Here is a link to a short video about raising money and how to donate. They are a non-profit, so technically it's tax-deductible (though does anyone really know what that means?) I would also really recommend subscribing instead- of you like this blog, you will probably like Bitch as well.

PS: I don't work for Bitch or anything. In fact, they rejected my last article (based on TV's Rock of Love) because they said they had already published something on that show but I kind of don't think that's true. But I still love them.

PPS: Is this grunge redux out of control or what?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mary's Musings


I was going to write a post, but for some reason I cannot upload photos from the computer I am working on, so I thought I'd just ramble a little bit. (It was actually going to be one of my lazy-on-my-part but inspiring photo posts, so assume one of those is upcoming, assuming blogger works, which it never seems to.)

-Let's discuss the "Bluetooth." The more I see people with these devices, the more I feel like gritting my teeth. I feel ashamed enough to be be yakking on my phone in public places, but I would die before actually attaching one to my head. Have you ever been in that eerie situation in which it appears someone is talking to themself because they are staring straight ahead and having a conversation and you assume they are uniquely crazy but then you realize no, they are just enjoying a hands-free phone call? It's so awkward and strange, and blurs the line between personal and private, and communicating and not communicating. Oh, and it makes you look like a MASSIVE TOOL.

-Technology in general. Is anyone else getting the feeling that bookstores, books, coin money, possibly paper money, video stores, letter writing, and non digital-anything is beginning to stagger towards its demise? How strange is it that I, at 24, feel like technology is moving creepily fast. I hate feeling nostalgic for the early days of computers and the internet (Hey, remember when everyone had their own crappy Geocities page? Chat rooms? What about DOS, guys?????) but it is pretty staggering that this field is advancing so fast that stuff that happened ten years ago has become completely obsolete, while the ways we get our information have changed irrevocably. Plus, technology is unattractive even though it allows things as beautiful as this blog. Speaking of which, I hate Blogger- should I be switching to something else?

-What about Sarah Palin's daughter being pregnant? How frustrating is it that this should be opening up a dialogue about the failures of abstinence-based sex education but it's totally not? This article Simone sent me details the "zombie feminism" represented by Palin and her ilk. Also, why are potential presidents even allowed to choose their "veeps" this late? It just encourages the kind of retarded damage control choices (ie, Obama trying to appear more like an old white guy and McCain trying to appear less like one) that inevitably get made prior to the election.

-Hey, how come NO GOOD MOVIES COME OUT EVER? Seriously, is there ever anything you want to see? Dan and I were discussing this recently- particularly, why do so many movie star Nicholas Cage? Can people bear to look at his face or something?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Adorable Vintage Shoe Post: Lemon-Lime/Citris Edition

1. and 2. Orange Leather 40's slingbacks. These were my size but I didn't buy them because I can't justify purchasing any more lovely shoes I probably will not wear.
3. Children's sandals from the 40's.
4. Amazing green and yellow 40's sandals. I have never seen shoes like these before.
5. Mod, early mid 60's vinyl heels. I love the colors and bow.

Hel Looks: Leggings as Pants

On Hel Looks, there's been a terrible leggings-as-pants outbreak, as well as a bit too much of that "doth protest too much" attitude. Let's take a closer look!
I guess Bjørt, 21, saw MK's outfit in the post below and decided to get on that. She's also added one of those mom bags I dislike, proclaiming her "favourite outfit is high-waisted pants or shorts with a loose top." Bjørt is boring, man. I would have never taken her picture.

Ida is only 19, and she is "wearing similarly coloured leggings and stockings on top of each other and second hand men's jacket." More accurately, she is tucking her shirt into her leggings. She is wearing spandex stretch lace leggings and tucking a t-shirt into them. If that is not a fashion crime, I do not know what is. Apparently she loves " like over-the-top things like crazy patterns, lace, shoulder pads and too long or too big clothes." Um, do you mean 80's clothes/What happens to be popular right now? Quirky!

Nora, who is only 23, says "My brother forced me to wear this shirt tonight...I think wearing leggings is out, except the ones with superugly patterns!" I am so sick of hipsters being like, "Oh, I chose this because it is so ugly!" You didn't choose it because it was ugly, you chose it because it was trendy. When everyone's clothes are "ugly" in the same unique way, then they are just popular. As we know, there is no true ugliness in hipster clothing anymore. And unless she was held at gunpoint, there is no real excuse for that jewel toned shoulder-padded blouse. Also, I don't support ever wearing this look, but if you are, at least add some Grace Jones hair or green false eyelashes. That wispy mullet and makeup-less face looks like Kristy McNichol's head pasted on Cher's body. Or something. It's disturbing.

Mariana, 27, says, "I don't wear labels, only second hand. This is one of my 20 euro outfits. I don't like to look like everyone else. I really like the 80's. Although I work as a stylist, I hate fashion." No, you don't. You don't wear an outfit this aggressively ugly and also hate fashion. You just can't put on any liquid/crushed velvet sequined batwing top and any pair of silver leggings with those trendy Wayfarer-esque cheap plastic sunglasses they give away for free, and pretend you just have a "whatever" attitude about the whole thing, even if you did mistakenly (I guess, if it even matters) pair it with old brown cowboy boots.