Archive for the ‘food for thought’ Category

reclaiming your body.

as part of the ongoing mission to Get Fit, i take a dance class once a week called “flirty and fit.” every thursday, i go into a studio with a small group of women, face a mirrored wall, and watch myself try to replicate my instructor’s sensuous, burluesque moves. she tells us to “make it sexy” and i cringe, embarrassed by my clumsy attemps, convinced of my own blatant unsexiness. if only, i think, if only i didn’t have to look at myself. if only we didn’t have to face these mirrors.

and then today, i thought… well, why? why am i rejecting my body? why do i deny myself the right to be sexy? who am i to reject my ability to be fabulous, to feel good, to think of myself, “damn, i’m looking fine today”?

are our bodies perfect? hell no. does that mean we should deny ourselves the right to celebrate them anyway? HELL NO.

so today, i’m reclaiming my body. i’m reclaiming my sexy, my fabulous, and my foxy, all the way from head to toe. and tonight i’m going to shake that booty, work that core, and smile at myself in the mirror for being so damn fine. i suggest you do the same.

* image courtesy of special on flickr.


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finally, a statement from fox regarding the jessica simpson-dallas cowboys clusterf*ck of an ad that i blogged yesterday:

“Burger King Corp. did not have any editorial input in the creation of the animation that ran last Sunday, and no one from Burger King Corp. approved it before it aired. Upon reflection, our poor attempt at humor was insensitive and we deeply apologize to anyone who might have been offended.”

Burger King adds: “Burger King Corp. has a long-standing relationship with FOX Sports, as well as an extensive media partnership with the network. The specific content for this sketch involving Jessica Simpson was not developed or aired by BKC or any of its agencies.”

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not to state the obvious or anything, but sports and inequality have been a point of contention for a long-ass time. there’s the title ix thing, there’s the issue of salaries and payouts, there’s… well, i could keep ranting, but that’s okay. point is, we’re supposed to be at this point where as a society we start rolling back these dated misconceptions of women in sports; we’re supposed to be making progress. and then, shit happened. namely:

one. burger king, the nfl, and jessica simpson.

this is a clip that played on fox nfl sunday on october 11th, featuring animated versions of dallas cowboys players.

if you couldn’t bear to waste time watching it (i can’t blame you for that one), it features jason whitten, marion barber, tony romo and wade phillips, and a lot of fat jokes about jessica simpson.

reasons this is so tasteless i almost feel dirty just watching it:

  • dear universe, for the last time, JESSICA SIMPSON IS NOT FAT. also, it’s not like i even like her that much, but seriously, girlfriend has had some bad luck lately, and heaping on the fat jokes on top of that is sort of like kicking someone in the shins when they just broke their ankle.
  • i know the connection between this ad and OHN, a self-professed personal style blog, seems tenuous. let me explain. ads like this reinforce an ‘us versus them’ mentality, portraying men being men having man time in their manly man cave, making jokes at a woman’s expense. the way i feel about sports is a lot like how i feel about fashion: it should be fun, and it should NOT be exclusive. being active and athletic is a great way to get fit and feel good about yourself and your body, which affects your style and the way you dress; anything that makes you feel like that world is not something you can or should be a part of… well, it can go suck it.
  • really, like we need yet ANOTHER media outlet to reinforce negative body image for women (“if jessica simpson is fat, i must be a HEIFER.”)

two. sports merchandising sucks.

i’m a huge soccer fan, and when i go to the local pub to watch the game, i want to be able to show my support for my team with gear — a jersey, a t-shirt, whatever. but since i am also, y’know, a WOMAN, and since this pub is downtown and i tend to want to walk around and do other things after, i also want my gear to fit me, and not seem like i am drowning in borrowed jerseys.

now, i support a UK team, and merchandise in the US is slim pickings, unless i am willing to pay insane amounts on international shipping. apparently this means my choices are as follows:

translation: i only watch soccer for the hot players, not because i could possibly love the game.

translation: i only watch soccer because my boyfriend loves it.

translation: the only shirt i could possibly wear that could feature my team MUST be pink and sparkly. otherwise how can i possibly prove my femininity?

look, i am all for pink and sparkly, and i’m sure plenty of people think the first two shirts are funny, and maybe they are and i’m just not getting it. but where’s the balance? where are the team jerseys cut for women — don’t tell me they don’t exist because i’ve seen them? where are the t-shirts that feature cool designs with serious quotes from the top players — like they market to the men? why do these people insist on dressing their female fans like soccer barbie?

– – – – – – – – –

this is a long post that’s probably making less and less sense by the sentence, but for every step the sports world takes to move forward — think positive nike ads and the like that play to a woman’s strength — little things like this set it about a squillion times back. tell me i’m not the only one angered by all of this.

*images courtesy of whoareyadesigns.com and manutdshopusa.com.

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oh, men.

let me explain something to you. BF is not what you would call a style-oriented guy. he lives in graphic tees for casual weekend wear, polos for work, the occasional nice shirt (preferrably ironed) for datewear. he always looks good, but in a classic guy way; he knows very little about women’s fashion — just your average guy. so when i say that we had a conversation about style, that is what we would call a Big Deal.

okay. just so you know.

anyway, yesterday, apropos of exactly nothing, i asked the BF to describe my style in 5 words (attempts to draw out longer, more verbose replies, as i found out yesterday, were probably going to be futile). these were his responses:

  1. trendy
  2. funky
  3. feminine
  4. young
  5. unique

interesting, no? have you done this before? i recommend it! it’s sort of an eye-opener “seeing” your style from someone else’s point of view, especially someone you love, who is not bogged down in this strange world of fashion and style and blogs and advice sites and whatnot. and what’s funny is i don’t think he’s far off at all; in fact, he’s probably articulated my style better than i could have!

that conversation lead me to wonder how many of the sartorial decisions i make are directly or indirectly influenced by the things he says or how he reacts. the BF does not hazard opinions on styles (although he can pick something up and say it’s “so me”), but everytime i pick out an outfit, or browse through items online or in a store, there’s a teensy voice in the back of my head going oooo, i bet he’d like that. i’d say i dress 90% for me, 10% for him.

what about you? have you ever talked to your significant other about style? how much does his perception affect your decisions?


* image courtesy of gettyimages.com.

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honestly, so was i. but i looked through my closet last night and this morning, and i honestly couldn’t think of anything that i would not wear. you’ve seen the trends i thought were cute but didn’t have the courage to put into rotation — now that i have, i can’t think of anything more.

doesn’t that sound like a terrible cop-out? i promise it’s true!

even though this experiment was only 3 days long, i think i learned a lot about myself and my fashion philosphy in those 3 days.

  • if i buy into a trend, it’s because i can already see it working on me in my head. all i have to do is push through whatever hang-ups i have to give it a shot. in other words, i have good instincts about what works for me; i just have to actually start trusting them.
  • if i like an item or trend, there is always a way to make it work. i should not give up on things and insist they’re “just not me” if i’m particularly fond of a certain style. everything is adaptable (how’s that for a mantra? i should get it on a tshirt).

this week i’ve put an orphan into rotation, i’ve jumped headfirst into a trend, and i’ve tried a combination i never thought i’d be able to pull off. in previous challenges i’ve gone monochrome, tried to convey character and mood, put together outfits for less than $20.

now i put it to you, blogosphere. i’ve spent quite a bit of time challenging myself to see what i’ve learned throughout this whole process — now i’d like you to challenge me. what would you like to see me try? what do you think you’d do to take me out of whatever stylistic box you see me in? i promise to try and respond to any and all challenges, if at all possible. so either drop them in the comments, or send me an email, and i’ll see what i can do.

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as much as i love the internets, i have to say, some of its inhabitants can be brutal. i just saw a lengthy post (with equally lengthy comments) bashing the amount of teenage girls in the world of fashion blogs with unlimited amounts of money to spend on sunlimited amounts of expensive designer clothes and shoes.

apparently this is a Bad Thing.

a couple of days before, i read a very long and somewhat confusing rant on why daily style blogs even exist, and how pointless it is for women to be taking pictures of themselves and detailing the endless minuteae of their outfits when there are more important things to worry about — i am assuming this writer meant Serious World Issues.

apparently being concerned about your appearance at all is also a Bad Thing.

you know what my reactions were upon reading these blogs? i wanted to take a big fat chill pill and shove it down the writers’ throats. dude, the internet is a vast and endless resource; there’s room for everyone at this blogapalooza, so pull up a chair! hell, pull up two! just as they have the right to blog what they want, you have the right to read what you want — so don’t read what you don’t like. it seems simple enough.

now, me, personally, i don’t read the blogs of the young, rich and fabulous. i can’t identify with them, but that’s not to say there aren’t people who can. they’re popular for a reason, after all. as for daily style blogs, i follow my fair share, because i like the personalities as much as i like the style. i read those blogs because the people behind them sound like people i would like to hang out with, go to the mall, watch a movie, shoot the shit over a cup of hot chocolate. it’s that simple.

as for my own little place in the blogosphere, i exist here because i love to write. and what better outlet for that than to write about one of my many loves, fashion? i’ve got nobody else to share this passion with, so why not open up my little world and get some advice and share some stories and shoot the shit with you guys, who are so awesome in so many different ways? fashion is only one aspect of who i am; i’m also a terrible word nerd (scrabble and crossword puzzles are the shit, and i get super excited browsing in secondhand bookstores), i’m a huge fan of 80s hair bands (def leppard, aerosmith, ac/dc, etc), i cook, i bake, i’m a walking repository of useless friends trivia, i love rollercoasters and other adrenaline-inducing activities.

this blog is fun, but it doesn’t define me. and by the same token, those you’re dissing have other dimensions to them too. they could be great ice skaters or fantastic ukelele players; they could love twilight and ts eliot, or they could be really rad at charades. a blog is just one representation of who you are. the internet is wonderful in so many ways — can’t we all just get along?

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holla! the wonderful demoiselles were kind enough to give me some space to vent on body image — a topic close to my heart — so if you are so inclined, please do check it out here to read some of my blathering on battling familial pressure and cultural influence in the war against negative body image.

and thank you to the demoiselles, aka elle and jennifer nicole, for the opportunity!

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