Looking from the outside in - people, place and practice

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A transsexual Michelle Obama

Candy magazine celebrates 'transversal style'. For its fifth issue, publisher Luis Venegas decided to feature a transexual model, Connie Fleming, as Michelle Obama. They called her 'The Candydate'. He explains the rationale behind the cover here:
'I especially love the cover story, which for the first time isn't a super-popular star, but a fabulous, beautiful black transwoman channeling a politician who looks pretty much like Michelle Obama. I remember back in early 2007 when the Democratic Party’s nominees were narrowed down between two 'controversial' stereotypes never before seen for presidency: a black man, Barack Obama; and a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton. At that time, I thought, 'when will the time come when these archaic walls break down and the White House will be occupied by, for example, a black, transsexual woman?'

I love this cover and the idea of 'anything is possible' behind it.

They have also features James Franco on the cover in the past.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Was this Serena Williams impersonation super racist?

Recently, Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki strutted onto the court mid-way through a game with towels stuffed in her clothes to represent a Serena-like chest and bum. The audience laughed as she pranced around with the padding. She even let out a moan every time she struck the ball - one of Serena's signatures. This wasn't even her first time doing this impersonation. Last year, she skipped onto court to a Rihanna song; also padded as to represent Miss Williams's body shape.

Her behaviour was strange and no one really knew why she acted this way, yet the blogosphere and Twitter lit up with responses. One blogger wrote: 'This isn’t “harmless fun” as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.'

Another wrote:

'It may have been done in “jest,” but I love how people can can turn a black woman’s body and sexuality into a caricature. However, we should not have the autonomy to celebrate any successes of our own.'

And another...

'Given the history and current-day context of racialized standards of beauty, and the hypersexualization of people of color, when a white woman makes fun of a black women’s body, especially in a way that hypersexualizes her and draws on the stereotype of black women’s big butts, it’s racist.' via

Personally, I think this is very disrespectful and without a doubt incredibly racist. I know that she probably meant this in a light-hearted manor; but to me this is the same as putting on black-face make-up. She doesn't focus on Serena's assets as a 'woman', but as a 'black woman'.

Let us know what you think!

Watch the video of her performance below:


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Barbie's diet advice: 'Don't eat!'

We are of course familiar with fad diets like the cabbage soup diet and protein-heavy diets like Atkins, but during the 1960s Barbie's answer to losing weight, and keeping it off for good, was quite a special one. That is: "Don't eat!"

According to the "Slumber Party Barbie," produced in the mid-1960s one must simply starve oneself. The slumber party outfit, complete with a scale - permanently set to 110 pounds - and diet book makes for the strangest Barbie concept pack, probably ever produced?

How do you think this effected the minds of little girls? My guess? Not for the better.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Walking in a woman's shoes

“You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

I love this amazing initiative by Toronto's Walk A Mile in Her Shoes parade which was held in September of this year. It is a parade against violence towards women and girls. Watch the above video for more info and a bit of a laugh.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cameron Diaz likes being objectified

Cam recently received a lot of criticism for saying the following: “I think every woman does want to be objectified. There’s a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think it’s healthy,” she said, adding that she finds revealing photo shoots to be "empowering."

She said that she's comfortable being objectifying and objectifying herself, as long as she's in control of the situation in which she's being objectified.

"I'm a woman, I know how to handle myself. I know what I feel comfortable doing and I know my sexuality."

But what about those women who cannot be in control of this objectification? If we say 'yes' we as women are okay with being objectified then we need to ask: Who are these 'women'? Are these women able to control their objectification or not; are they able to choose?

Many women like Cameron Diaz can easily choose to take her clothes off for a magazine, she is in control of how much she shows and how much she covers up. But what about women who are forced into stripping and prostitution? Their objectification is not one of choice, but of exploitation.

I think it is very difficult to make the statement that Cameron made. We cannot say 'every woman' likes to be objectified, all women are different. Some women are able to negotiate the terms of objectification and others are not.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Straight men respond to: "Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends"

So, I recently posted the video "Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends", a fun and quirky video aimed at producing more tolerance for marriage equality in the U.S. Here is the follow-up or reply from the straight community.

  At least - as I was dreading - it didn't make them out as homophobic. Rather just as douchebags.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The world's 'only' female male model

We've recently heard a lot about male models like Andrej Pejic modelling for women's wear fashion lines; now meet Casey Legler - the only female model to work exclusively as a male model.

"As far as I know, there are no other women exclusively modeling as male models," Legler tells Time magazine in their above video piece on her.

She is an artist who also models. She is an an androgynous being who says she doesn't only look great in more manly attire, but that she can also rock a dress and some heels.

I love what she says here: "What I wish is that we all get to be exactly who we are."

That is the ultimate goal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Marie Antoinette complex

What is the Marie Antoinette complex? It relates to that whole ‘let them eat cake’ attitude that Marie Antoinette apparently displayed towards her starving countrymen. It’s not so much about whether she actually said this; but more about the actual idea of it. The attitude.

Latest research shows that the rich and famous are in fact more prone to care less and to be more greedy. Here are a couple of people we believe might just have that 'let them eat cake' attitude:
Last year, a massive fan of hers handed her a bunch of flowers at an event. Madonna was later overheard on microphone muttering to a friend that she absolutely hates hydrangeas - the flowers he had given her. She added: "He obviously doesn't know that." Um, are you that self-centred?
Kim Kardashian
After having the most lavish wedding ever seen on reality TV (or in Hollywood for that matter), Kim K filed for divorce a mere 72 days into her marriage with Kris Humphies. Lots of people criticized her for wasting a boat load of money. Money that could have changed millions of people's lives.
Nonhle Thema
The ex-Dark and Lovely ambassador had a famous Twitter meltdown last year. As she started losing sponsorships her bragging seemed to escalate. She went on and on about how much money she has, how famous she is and that poor people hate her because they are jealous of her. She's famous for telling people to 'sit down', a.k.a to bugger off.
Gina Rinehart
The world's richest woman whose family money comes via iron-ore mining is known for her ridiculous 'advice'. She recently advised the world's "jealous" poor to stop whining and drinking and  "thinks Australia's struggling mining industry should look to Africa for inspiration. There, miners "are willing to work for less than $2 per day," reports Newser online. As Nonhle Thema would say: "Sit down".
  Karl Lagerfeld "Adele is fat." "Pippa Middleton is ugly." "No one wants to see curvy women." Just a few of this fashion designer's gems.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Youtube beauty guru posts video accusing father of rape

Brie Lybrand is a semi-famous Youtube make-up tutor. She recently shared a video in which she accuses her father, Steven Bressler, of raping her throughout her life as a child. This video is of course much different from her usual ones where she is her happy-go-lucky self.

The video has since gone viral. Now, many people are saying that because of Brie's history as an actress, they believe the video to be a mere acting stunt. I don't think this is a stunt. I am truly happy for her that she could take such a public stand against her rapist. This is something not many women get to do.
Watch the video and tell us what you think.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Real-life Ken Doll

From real-life Barbies to getting larger-than-life (we are talking size L) breasts, beauty is most definitely changing rapidly. We've met the beauty game-changers like the real-life Barbie, Valeria Lukyanova (below), who has gone through multiple surgeries to make her look identical to the world's most loved doll, The Barbie.

Now, a man in search of the ultimate Ken doll figure has come to our attention. He has had over 90 surgeries to make him look more and more like Ken himself. Some might call him a silicone masterpiece or a cosmetic surgery addict, but  Justin Jedlica says that he is far from done.

In the above video we get a look into his day-to-day life, and the idea of an alternative sense of beauty which is starting to emerge.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

That Kiss

This photo recently turned the world's attention to same-sex marriage in France. Rallies like these have been quite a trend lately as current President François Hollande wants to legalize same-sex marriage. At the moment France has civil unions for same-sex couples, but no legal marriage rights.
VICE reported that: "Throughout the protest, there was tension in the air and the occasional flare-up. At one point it became very heated when two women hopped the fence and began to make-out intensely. They were swiftly separated before the cops could break up the encounter."
I love the courage of these women; and I LOVE the faces of the women behind them. These two women had quite an effect.
Image via Jezebel.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Have you ever heard of the term? No? Well here's a bit of an explanation: describes Slut-shaming as: "Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings. Furthermore, it’s “about the implication that if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel guilty and inferior” (Alon Levy, Slut Shaming). It is damaging not only to the girls and women targeted, but to women in general an society as a whole. It should be noted that slut-shaming can occur even if the term “slut” itself is not used."

Apparently, slut-shaming is a massive deal in The States at the moment. It is so severe that it recently drove a 15-year-old teenager, Felicia Garcia, to jump in front of a moving subway - all because she was so intensely bullied. Two days before her death she even tweeted:  "I can't, I'm done, I give up."

She allegedly slept with four football players at a party. When she arrived back at school on the Monday, most of the other students heard about the orgy. Felicia was harassed in the hallways and in class by both guys and girls who called her a 'slut' and a 'whore'.

It was so severe that she could barely stand it. Did the guys who she slept with get bullied? No, they were praised.

I think that women are often a massive cause of something such as slut-shaming. Women often call women out other women, mostly in the form of gossip, but often to their face. Women discipline each other in this way, keeping each other in line with that which they believe to be right. For many 'sleeping around'is of course something which a woman shouldn't do.

For some reason it is 'better' for men to sleep around than women. So ridiculous.

Why the double-standards? Seriously I am so sick of this. Men might sometimes be called "man-whores", which I think they rather view as a kind of 'badge of honour' rather than an insult. I think we as women often look to men to stop their sexist ways.

Yet, I feel that when the majority of women start to encourage and support, rather than criticize each other for their choices and ways of dressing, then we'll start to see some real change.

Shall we start with us?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Living on One Dollar

Understanding extreme poverty

A recent documentary called "Living on One", follows four college students as they travel to rural Guatemala and live on only one dollar a day. What an amazing initiative. Check out the above trailer for more info.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The plastic surgery capital is...

...South Korea believe it or not. That is per capita they currently have the highest number of plastic/cosmetic surgeries. It seems that in South Korea, no facial feature is safe from the surgical knife. Why? Basically because more and more women are in want of 'the Western look'. Going for cosmetic surgery is apparently almost like visiting the dentist for most South Korean women.

Fashionista spoke to a South Korean surgeon who said: “having a more appealing face means there’s more chance to change that person’s destiny."

So, all of our destinies should be based on Western ideas of beauty?

Below is an excellent look at East meets West and how South Korean women are changing their bodies to conform to the beauty standards set by the West:

Will the West always be viewed as the best?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meet controversial teen model, Ondria Hardin

The young model's name first received some buzz when she walked the runway for Marc Jacobs when she was a mere 14-years-old. Ondria Hardin (above) was also recently featured in Vogue China, even though she is under the age of 16. According to Vogue’s Health initiative, where they vowed to use models who are over the age of 16, the magazine crossed the line.

She's now 15 and most designers are saying that she looks much older than her years. One of these designers is Karl Lagerfeld, who doesn't seem to mind the young model as he said: “She doesn’t look 15. She looks 18 or 19.” He will be using her in Chanel’s spring 2013 campaign that will be shot in New York City.

If you want the 18-year-old look, then why not get 18-year-old models? Strange.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Are only super-skinny models allowed to do high-fashion?

Earlier this year, supermodel Kate Upton was dismissed as a girl with 'the kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy,' by Victoria's Secret. She's also been called 'fat' by various pro-ano and thinspo blogs recently, which left me in a state of shock and disbelief.
The fashion world has often questioned whether she's high-fashion enough, playing her off as a 'Sports Illustrated' sex bunny. However, after landing the cover of ex-Vogue France editor Carine Roitfeld's first published issue of CR magazine, no one could call her 'high-fashion irrelevant' anymore.
Was she perhaps never taken seriously as a high-fashion model, because she's not super-skinny?
Kate has often said that she has no desire to be part of the super-skinny high fashion world. 'I don’t want to starve myself,' she says. 'I still want to hang out with my family and be a normal girl. You have to be confident, and that doesn’t mean starving yourself.'
She now plans to use her celebrity to be an ambassador for a healthy approach to body image. 'I think it’s important to look at magazines and think a healthy lifestyle is attainable,' she explains. 'Now that the fashion industry likes the idea of me, I’m happy if I can have an influence.'
I also like the idea of her. Who says you have to be super-skinny to do high-fashion, right? Okay, well most of the world. But this is starting to change, especially if we look at models like her and Robyn Lawley. One model at a time people.
 Images via Vogue.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fashionistas unite for Obama

I LOVE this. Fashionistas like Sarah Sophie Flicker, Tavi Gevinson, Maximilla Lukacs, Tennessee Thomas, Leith Clark,Alexa Chung, Karen Elson, and Erika Spring teamed up to do a public service announcement to encourage women to vote for Obama. They lip-sync to Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Are we bum obsessed?

In light of our November issue, where we feature a story on 'Would you recognize your own bum?' (page 88), I though it would be interesting to chat about our derrières.
Every year Brazil holds an event called the "Miss Bum Bum" pageant. This contest of course judges the best bum of the year. "[Brazilians] definitely have a thing with butts," said Brazilian Graciela Murano,writer and editor for Oddee, noting that "bumbum" is the word most commonly used in Brazil to refer to someone's rear end. This is quite a strict competition and those who win are usually pretty honoured.
Millions of people voting that you have the best bum in the country? That sounds damn good, doesn't it?
Most of the world seems to be completely and utterly obsessed with bums, for example by always commenting on Kim K's every bumilicious outfit (above).
But the question is: Are we more obsessed with our bottoms that with other parts of our bodies? I don't really think so, especially since lately we seem to be hyper-sensitive about basically any mere bodily flaw.
Which part of your body are you most critical of? Why do you think this is?
Pics via HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Alexa Chung talks about her body and the media

Alexa Chung recently said that she feels the media and the public should re-evaluate the way in which they view women and their bodies. The fashionista has often received criticism for encouraging thinspo and por-ano blogs, especially after tweeting the below pic of her and her mom, with the media and the public commenting on her super skinny frame. Is this fair?

She told Vogue UK:

"I think it's about time people stopped judging women on their appearance and more on their intellect, like you can appreciate my style without having to appreciate my weight," she said. "It's not actually mutually inclusive. I just get frustrated because, just because I exist in this shape, doesn't mean that I'm like advocating it and saying: 'I look great.' How do you know I'm not looking in the mirror and going: 'I wish I could gain ten pounds?' Which is actually quite often the case. But if you say that you sound like you're bragging that you're naturally thin, and you're not allowed to do that because even though it's not the ideal weight, it kind of is as well."

That is one of the reasons why we want you all to sign our 'Body Bill of Rights'. We should never say that only curvy women are 'real women'. All women are 'real women'.

She also pointed out a massive disparity between skinny and larger women, saying: "how people that are bigger can be on the front covers of magazines saying: 'I'm really happy with my shape.' But if I was to do that, I'd be completely criticised and ridiculed. But why can't I be happy with how I look?"

Is it true? Are people ganging up on thin women?

I definitely think that this is often the case. It should be about health first and foremost. If a 'skinny' or 'overweight' person is unhealthily so, say because they are being pressured into it for their job, then I have a problem with it. Yet, if one is naturally super skinny or overweight, perhaps because of genetics, that is a completely different story.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The return of fur

Currently the $15-16 billion fur industry is up by 70%. That is since 2000. It's hard to believe that an industry that was once so heavily criticized is now thriving.

What happened? I remember the '80s and especially the '90s when people actually fought against designers and celebs who wore fur.

Remember those PETA ads? 'We'd rather go naked, than wear fur'. Models like Naomi Campbell posed naked, vowing that she won't ever wear fur again. Oh, and then she did an ad campaign for Dennis Basso, a furrier.

Where are the shocking visuals of animal cruelty, the fake blood being thrown on celebrities' mink coats and the protesters?

But what can we say when the most powerful woman in fashion, Vogue US editor Anna Wintour, absolutely adores and endorses fur wearing?

An industry spokesperson attributed the rise primarily to two factors. Firstly, designers who have incorporated small amounts of fur into a wider array of garments, making fur an option in warmer climates, and "a younger generation whose passion is not animal rights."

It seems like fur is here to stay, for the foreseeable future at least. Young people can convince designers that fur is so last season...

Would you ever wear fur?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IKEA photoshops women out of Saudi catalogue

Say what now? Yup, it's true. IKEA is being heavily criticized for removing women from their catalogue which is published in Saudi Arabia. IKEA is a furniture and lifestyle store, which is synonymous with Stockholm, one of the most gender equal cities in the world. So how could this happen?
The retailer apparently said that they regret their decision: "We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values."
I'd say.
I think that when a multi-billion Swedish krona company such as IKEA feels the need to compromise their values for a country that does not share their views on gender equality, that they should NOT even be opening stores in that country. That is if they want their customers to believe in what they stand for.
What is your take?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reverse airbrushing is not cool either

All we want is an accurate representation of women as they are, right? The above image of model Karlie Kloss recently got a lot of attention when it was revealed that the picture was retouched. That is to make her look less skinny. The picture was published in Numéro magazine.

The photographer of the pictures, Greg Kadel is not pleased that one of the images he took, were altered to hide the model's ribs.

"It was Greg's desire to represent Karlie as she naturally is . . . slender, athletic, and beautiful," a statement from Kadel's studio reads. "That is why he released the images as he intended them to be seen by the public. He is shocked and dismayed that unbeknownst to him, Numéro took it upon themselves to airbrush over his original images. Greg stands by his original artwork and cannot stress enough that he not only was unaware of the magazine’s retouching but also finds the airbrushing of Karlie unacceptable and unnecessary," said

Reverse airbrushing is not okay, it's more about the lie than anything else. All magazines retouch images, but doing it to such an extent that the model's body is completely transformed, be that to make it look skinnier or bigger, is not right.
Karlie was also recently criticized for her Vogue Italia shoot. Which ended up on several pro-ano and thinspo sites.

I know, I know she does look very skinny. But so what? This is probably just her normal physique. You know those people many of us hate, because they have such fast metabolisms? She's probably one of them.
The only time I have a problem with too skinny or too overweight models is when they are purposely starving or overeating themselves for the sake of fashion. It's an issue of health. It only matters whether or not that model is being pressured to be super skinny or not. Whether she is starving herself to look mega thin. If this is not the case, and Karlie Kloss is just being herself. Then all is cool.
What do you think?
    Pics from here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Are these D&G earrings racist?

Dolce & Gabbana recently got a lot of flack for their Spring/Summer 2013 collection when they featured these ‘moorish’ earrings, burlap-sack dresses and fruit cornucopias. Many people criticized them for being racist. They recently sent out an ‘explanation’ on their site,, saying: “You might have seen them in some villa or restaurant or hotel in Sicily, dominating the table: colourful head-shaped ceramic vases filled with beautiful flowers. The head is inspired by Moorish features. Moorish is a term used to define many peoples throughout history. Medieval and early modern Europeans applied the name to the Berbers, Arabs, Muslim Iberians and West Africans, although it has to be said that the term ‘Moorish’ has no real ethnological value. In Sicily’s case it defines the conquerors of Sicily.” “Behind the Moor’s head vases there is a legend that is as interesting as its real history: they say that around 1100 AD, when Sicily was ruled by the Moors, a beautiful girl was living in seclusion and spent her days cultivating flowers on her balcony. One day a young Moor passing by saw her, decided he had to have her and entered the house so to declare his love. The young girl, surprised by such a gesture, reciprocated him, but just when she got to know him he had to return to where he came from, to his wife and children, she waited for the night to come and as he fell asleep she cut off his head and used it as a vase for her flowers and put it on her balcony displaying it to everyone. This way his love was forever hers. Since then, flowers grew lush in the vase and the neighbours, envious, built vases shaped like a Moor’s head.” Of course this has a very significant place and part of history, yet I’m worried about the context in which the blackamoor was reincarnated. Should we be seeing this as a celebration of Sicily’s history or are they showing black women in a dated, stereotypical and offensive way? I think that most people won’t be offended by this at first glance, maybe thinking it’s pretty and colourful. Yet, once you start to think a little bit further, you’ll realize that when you take something such as this chapter from the colonial era and make it part of mainstream fashion, then you basically trivialize the impact this time had on the people who lived through one of the darkest times in Western history. What is your take?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Are transsexual models just being used?

German designer, Philipp Plein, certainly knows how to draw attention by using controversial models, such as Lindsay Lohan. His latest pick? Transsexual model, Lea T. She is one of the most famous transsexual models in the business and was cast to open and close his show at Milan Fashion Week. A massive honour for a model. I really appreciate this choice. Why not use transsexual models. It’s all about the look, no? And Lea T certainly has the look. I only object to this idea if and when these models are being used for shock value. This is often the case. Trans models, like Andrej Pejic for HEMA or Stav Strashko for Toyota, are often used to give an ad campaign or runway show that something extra. But should that something extra be based on these models’ transsexual status? Aren’t they then just being used?

Lady Gaga hits back at the weight critics

After she came under a lot of scrutiny for her fuller-figure, she decided to fight the weight bullies by posting these pictures on the blog. She admitted to having eating disorders in the past and that she’s still struggling with her eating habits.
I think this is awesomely brave and kudos to her for standing up to people who have no business criticizing her weight.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Too young to love?

24-year-old Chinese pop sensation, Zhang Muyi recently made shockwaves when he openly declared his love for Akama Miki, a 12-year-old Canadian-based model. They have apparently been dating for a while. “Wait until I’m old enough to marry you, and then I’m going to say ‘I do,’” Miki wrote on Muyi’s Weibo page, where she has 500,000 followers, just after her 12th birthday. “I simply can’t wait for these next four birthdays of yours to pass, I’m counting down each one,” he wrote back. What do you think about this? Can a 12-year-old really know what love is? And should a 24-year-old not know better than to play around with a 12-year-old girl who has, well in this case, Muyi-fever?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Twitter Meme defends Kate Middleton

After the topless pics of Kate Middleton were published, her fans took to Twitter and defended her with these memes. I love it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Designer vagina anyone?

Do you want a designer vagina? Why so? And how far will you go to get one?

Grooming: Pubic Hair Removal 
This is of course the more mainstream form of vaginal modification. This is probably because it deals with the waxing or shaving of pubic hair from the vaginal area, either to sexually entice or for aesthetic or  hygienic purposes. It’s thus not very invasive.

Decorating: Vajazzling
This is a bit more niche, since it involves the process of decorating your vagina by means of sequins and studs. This is not for everyone and it is basically just for aesthetic purposes.

Cutting: Labiaplasty
The most invasive vaginal tool of modification is of course the actual trimming of one’s labia. Vaginal labiaplasty is a growing trend. What is it exactly? The shortening of the labia, via plastic surgery.

Why do more and more women want a designer vagina?
Throughout history women have tried to improve or change their bodies in various ways, whilst experiencing great pain in order to fit into a particular society’s femininity norms, for example Chinese foot binding. Across various cultures and contexts, women spend a lot of money on ‘beautifying practices’, for example hair appointments, gym membership, expensive beauty products and now vaginal modification. According to feminist Davis (1991:25), the body is not inherently feminine; it is trained to become feminine, through various beauty regimes, cosmetic surgery, waxing, etc.
Gender theorist Kathryn Pauly Morgan (1991) argues that the ‘need’ for enhancing your body is a fabrication. Women are pressured to believe that they have ‘problem areas’, which they need to fix – like their pubic hair or their long labia – in order to be socially accepted.
Women feel that they are actively choosing to alter their bodies by means of  labiaplasty or Brazilian waxing. She argues that an ideal is created of what a woman ‘should look’ like when their bodies are moulded, manipulated and cut to appear ‘normal’.
As a result, the real and the fake real become conflated and the ‘fake real’ may even become desired, for example when men prefer fake breasts to ‘real’ ones. The new ‘real’, the cosmetically enhanced body, becomes an unattainable ideal for women who do not use such technologies. These women are consequently viewed as unreal or abnormal, whereas cosmetically enhanced lips, breasts and vaginas signify ‘real beauty’.

So do you want a ‘real’ or a ‘fake real’ vagina?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Is 'Lesbian Chic' now a trend?

I never really thought of one’s sexual orientation as being  trend-worthy- and I don’t think it should be. However, begs to differ. In a recent article on their site, they revealed this season’s hottest new trend, that is ‘Lesbian chic’.
Yes, because all lesbians dress alike, just like all straight people dress alike, right? Um not.
They are then basically stating that lesbians were recently ‘invented’, THAT’s why they’re now trending. In their article, they explore the growing ‘trend’ of ‘Lesbian chic’, brought on by ‘high-vis lady love’, seen about town. In other worlds more high-profile lesbian couples in the media.
Here’s a snippet from their article:
I think it’s ridiculous to call ‘Lesbian chic’ a trend. There are no such thing as ‘a lesbian way of dressing’. Of course, we have stereotypes, but these are JUST easy ways for us to generalize. There are no ‘straight chic’, or ‘homosexual way of dressing’. People are people, thus they are different and all have their own unique ways of being and dressing. Sure certain sub-groups might, at times, dress similarly; but you simply cannot generalize for an entire sexual orientation.
What do you think?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Should there be a wardrobe age limit?

I saw this above picture on The Huffington Post yesterday. The Duchess of Alba, 86-year-old Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and her husband, 61-year-old Alfonso Diez, have been enjoying the sun in Formentera, Spain. She apparently donned her floral bikini every day. How amazing?

I think she looks incredibly fabulous. To go out and don a bikini at the age of 86 is no small feat. And it is something that is not done often enough. The thing about age-appropriate really irks me; it is a very difficult subject to deal with. But I think it all boils down to what we regard as beautiful and how we’ve been trained to judge.
On the one hand we’ll find women like Donatella Versace, 57, who often struts her stuff on the beach in a bikini, showing off her super-tanned body. Most people would consider this to be a bit too much (and I’m not talking about her tan). I can already hear people saying: Shouldn’t she be covering up at her age?
On the other hand, we have beauties like Kim Cattrall, 56, who poses here with teen-star Miley Cyrus in Sex and The City. When her character, Samantha, bought this dress in the store, the sales lady commented: 'Isn’t this a bit too young?' Samantha nearly bit her head off for that, of course.
So, both of these women are scrutinised for wearing outfits which are considered to be ‘too young’. Yet, I really think Kim Cattrell looks fabulous. So on which basis do we scrutinize? Is it just based on their age?
Michelle Obama, 48, with her daughter – notice the below-the-knee skirt for her, and above-the-knee skirt for her daughter. Most people would classify Michelle Obama as dressing appropriately for her age.
Rihanna, 24, in a crop top and short skirt. If Michelle Obama wore this, would you take her seriously? Probably not.

I think that society as a whole has become very, very ageist, especially when it comes to women of course. I think the main thing is that we are judging in the first place. Are we not allowed to wear skinnie jeans and midriff tops at age 50? Even if, say, we look better at 50 than we did when we were 20?
Basing everything on age I think is ridiculous. It’s more about how the person wears the outfit, and how it makes them feel. We’ve been indoctrinated to think: short, tight, and revealing = inappropriate for those over 40-years of age. I say, not so.

I think we must seriously disconnect age from clothing; it’s all about how you strut your stuff, with class.

Repost from

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homeless chic: How insane?

In this month's issue we discuss the idea of Poverty Porn (page 38), i.e. the new trend where beautiful fashion stories are shot in poor locales. Models don pricey designer outfits, in areas where some people can't even afford a loaf of bread.

For example, earlier this year L'Officiel Paris featured Chanel Iman in a fashion story (above), wearing couture shot against a shabby-chic township background.

Is this creative juxtapositioning or just plain bad taste?

Homeless Chic

At another end of the spectrum, we have 'homeless chic', something you might of heard of. The above video explains how Homeless Chic started.  It is basically fashion inspired by homeless people and the clothes they wear. The poster children for Homeless Chic have always been Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen. Yet, I think they have more of a grunge look.

Now is this in bad taste? I definitely think so. Of course designers or celebs are going to be inspired and influenced by different things in the world around them. But seeing a male model walking down the runway in Vivienne Westwood designs (which obviously doesn't come cheap), carrying a fold-up mattress, looking like he needs a good scrub, is not chic at all. I find it very disrespectful.

Homeless people are usually not homeless by choice, they wear what they can find (usually from charities or from the trash). These are facts. It's not the same as being inspired by punks, monks or bikers. This is an exploitation of homeless people.

Homeless Street Style

There are now even sites which exhibit homeless street style.  That is “images of people living on the street that exhibit a unique sense of personal style.”

But maybe this is actually a good thing. At least this blogger takes pictures of actual homeless people in their environment, wearing what they can find.

The photographer merely captures their personal sense of style; whereas designers like Vivienne Westwood makes homeless chic outfits, which cost thousands and are meant for an elite group of fashionistas.

What do you think?