Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh Corona

I don't want you, I want your beach.

This is the first time I've watched ads in months.

Food Ad

I just witnessed an advert for Jell-o low-calorie pudding. the set up--"How does Jell-o fit all that rich chololatey taste into just 60 calories?" a beat, in which they showed the pudding squishing out of an extruder. My mind searched for answers that didn't end in, "they make it out of plastic." The excited female voice finally answered her own question with "Who Cares?! It'll add flavor to any diet!"


Don't ask, don't look under the hood, don't read the ingredient list, just eat it. And get addicted to it. and in a thousand years they'll find your preserved remains, still rubbery and clogged to the brim with artificial cholesterols.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

so, we're done, right?

Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson--that's the three for this go-round, right? No sneaking in a fourth--our tvs will explode.

Monday, June 15, 2009

recent quotations

"Whenever I see tired-looking people in scrubs coming home at weird hours, I get this urge to go over and shake their hand and say 'thank you for keeping crazy hours to save people's lives.'"

"Well, isn't that Karma?--you'll either get stepped on or rained on."

"Everyone's a little bit Puerto Rican--if you're from there, your parents or grandparents, your friends--even if you're not connected to it at all."
-NY official on news

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Bona-Fide question--I would like to know, of my readers, who finds ladies' thighs that don't touch when her knees are pressed together attractive. As in, ankles and knees touching, but one and a half to two inches of breezeway between the legs when they meet her groin. I am genuinely curious here.

Because I don't. I think it looks wrong, at the Id level. The animal in my brain is frightened and repelled by ultra-thin frames. This is not my aesthetic speaking--I appreciate all shapes of people for their artistic value--but the hungry, violent, sex-craving, and linguistically impaired chunk of my functionality makes my heart race and my feet want to run away when I see stick-legs. While the impulses these people elicit in me rarely reach the analytic area of my mind, or even form themselves into words, when I see these breathing Jack Skellingtons folded into chairs I find myself very hungry, very anxious, and very aware of my exits. My self-preservation instinct, which will never understand the intricacies of society, is scared that I'll become trapped in here and made to starve with these people.

Yes, I spent my past two weeks working in fashion. (Buh? You? Fashion?) I was dressing models and tending wardrobe for a high-end New York design firm for a sales event of some persuasion. It was actually pretty fun, and half of it was work I do anyway in my closet, just on a larger scale. Each garment, of which there were about 400, had a place in a very specific order, which was listed in a book. All I had to do on the showroom floor, aside from serve occasional coffees and clear up tables, was make sure that each garment was put into, and put back into, its exact spot in the rack--which lined all of the walls of the large space--between buyer appointments. Backstage, as rackfuls of clothes were brought in for the models to, well, model, I loosened, unbuttoned, and untied garments, put them on the models, tucked, tightened, zipped, and buttoned dresses, buckled shoes, sent the girls out, collected the garments when they returned and, after putting the girls in the next look, re-hung, re-buttoned, tied, fastened, straightened, and snapped all closures and hung them on the buyers' racks in the showroom. We were forbidden from allowing garments to touch the floor--the cheapest of which would have taken me a month to save up for, the most expensive would have wiped out my savings and put me into serious debt--and probably would have been flatly executed if we'd soiled or damaged anything. As it was, the sample clothes started falling apart by day 5--hastily sewn collars parted, unfinished seams began to unravel, snaps fell off, zippers snagged, and the floor was literally littered with sequins and beads. One particularly ugly zipper snag, which everyone agreed was not preventable, had to be taken up to the designer's desk so she personally could snip it out. and by "taken" I mean "walked"--the model was trapped in the dress. It was kinda funny.

Most of the buyers were lovely people, though some were jerks--the kind of people who want to see this dress in all five colors it comes in, as quickly as possible, only to say, "no, I hate all of them." Occasionally a model would ask, "Didn't I just have this on?" and the seller would reply, "oh yes, you showed these dresses a few minutes ago, but the buyer wasn't paying attention so if you'd please walk them again? thanks." through tightly clenched teeth. But, even in haute fashion--or perhaps especially so--the customer is always right. And the sellers were always smiling. As much as it may have hurt.

I liked the people at this fashion firm--they seemed genuine, for the most part, and if the pants size in the building was an eighth of the city's average so what? Skinny people need jobs too.

I spent most of my time, however, sitting and doing crossword puzzles in the dressing room with the girls. Most buyers would block two hours for their visit but the modeling component only took a third of that time, so we would chat about current events and our own lives. One of the girls had just bought a condo with her husband. The other is working on her PhD. They both party on the weekends and come in with blinding hangovers when they overdo it. They read the paper, they file taxes, they love their families, and if it weren't for the fact that they were both 5'10," flawless of complexion, comfortable naked, and frighteningly rail-thin they'd be just like you and me. They are aware of the anger their careers incite. They're aware of the pain that their glorification generates. They suffer for their bodies, and they suffer when they fail anyway, just like us.

"I'm downright obese for a model." said the emaciated girl as she stepped out of a pair of trousers she deemed ill-fitting. "These were made on the other girl, who is shaped right. I'm a fatty. I mean, I know I'm still terrifyingly underweight for a real person, but in this field...pass me that skirt. I can wear that."

"You are a bit of a big one," the other twig replied as she took the aforementioned trousers and pulled them on. "I mean, I'm really proud of this company for hiring you. Not every designer feels comfortable hiring a plus-sized girl like you, but I think this company is responding to current social pressure to stop making chubby little girls feel bad about themselves by contrast. And they started with you! What an honor."

"I know, I'm doing my part. But it's true. He thinks my hips are too wide."

"Yeah, he thinks my boobs are too big."

(she has hips? She has boobs? Where?)

The girls ribbed on each other like this all the time. The one may have weighed about three pounds more than the other, and while this was not noticeable to the naked eye, for some garments it meant the difference between a dress squeezing on and not. Because yes, even though these girls were underweight to the point of infertility, even though they couldn't maintain their own body temperature, even though their cheeks were hollowed out with melon-ballers, they were too big for the clothes. And it wasn't the clothes' fault.

Even runway models are expected to modify their bodies to fit the clothes. It's not just "real" women who are made to feel imperfect by a French seam. It's not just "real" women who are made to believe that their woman-shaped butts are too big because they cupcake over the waistline of their trousers. Even the people for whom the garments are made are told they fail to fulfill the designer's vision.

Because the garments are not made for these models. Nope, not even these women who work hard and starve daily, these delicate, shivering towers--they don't do the dresses justice. Because who they would really look best on is twenty year old drag queens.

I am tired of being told how to look by gay men. I have boobs. I have an ass. I have thighs and a belly and my hips are a force to be reckoned with. I'm shaped like a girl and I should like that. I do like that. Gay male fashion designers need to be designing for the little cross dressers they love. Their ideal woman is not a woman. And if they weren't in a position of global influence that would be absolutely fine. But it's not just that women around the world are frustrated with themselves for not being tall and thin. We feel frustrated with ourselves because we're not teenage boys.


I may have the acne of one, but I'd never pass for a gangly gay youth. I have curves that designers flatly ignore. The reason the size 12 version of that dress will still look horrible on me is because you've just made it a foot larger all around--I go out and in and then out again in what some people would assert is a rather pleasing manner. But That dress in my size will be two feet too long, too big in the waist, too small in the bust and hips, and wouldn't even begin to accommodate for my arms. And if I got it altered--well, actually it would still look stupid, because if it is reshaped for a person with a shape, it's no longer the same dress. No matter what, the top designs will not look good on me, because they're not intended for me. They're not intended for women.

I know my proportions are not media-beautiful, and my weight is downright alarming, but even when I kept my hair cropped to a uniform 1" all around I was rarely mistaken for a man. But even when models have full Farrah Fawcett heads of hair a part of me wonders if any boys have been slipped in--I'm sure it's the next logical step for most designers. When your best model fails to conform to the ideal, it's time to change the model, not the ideal.

"This next look coming out on 15-year-old Hans is our playful take on the classic bikini. Note how the beading moves the eye away from the bustline, encouraging a slimming effect and smoothing out any roundness. Available in lime, tangerine, and cerulean, sizes 00 through 2. $11,300."

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gas Attack

So I moved a little ways across town last week, and, while I've spent most of my time since then working as a wardrobe assistant, when I've been home I've been befriending my new roommate's cat, Slider.

Slider is somewhat ambiguous in age and origin--my roommate has had her for about six years, but believes she was at least seven when she came into his care. Her slightly saggy old lady cat belly has always had very short, thin fur--an appearance which gives the uninformed observer the impression that she's recently had surgery.

She's snuggly and affectionate, if a bit needy when it comes to attention. She seems to want to be picked up whenever a human comes home for a bit of head scratching, finger licking, and a touch of that weird "cram my head up under your chin" behavior. She's talkative and communicates easily, with the "meow then point my head at what needs attention" system, and the "pat pat pat...pat pat pat....pat pat pat...head butt--wake up stupid human, kitty is hungry!" morning routine. She prefers to have company when she eats and will come get you for a trip to the full food dish.

She farts constantly.

Sheez, I have never before been so regularly privy to the scent of yesterday morning's lightly fried eggs. She gets right up in my face to do it, too. It's not my fault her owner feeds her corn-based chow, but she sure wants to punish me for it. Bleurgh.