Monthly Archives: August 2011

[Never Say Diet] Why I’m Still Really Proud About Jennifer Hudson’s Oscar

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith Jennifer Hudson

Too bad she doesn’t seem to feel the same way.

Unrelated: Lovelies, per my plan to take it easy this summer (which sort of worked out! Until it got totally consumed by work… whoops) I’m taking a little hiatus so I can go drag the most out of the end of my favorite season.

So you’ll have a substitute in the Never Say Diet driver’s seat and a wee bit o’ radio silence here in Beauty Schooled land for the next two weeks. If you miss me I suggest you watch this excellent Clueless wardrobe montage. Not because I look anything like Alicia Silverstone. But we do have nearly the same amount of shoes.

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[Never Say Diet] On Yoga and Women

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith YogawomanAnother day, another post about how much I love yoga. I realize this is becoming a bit of a theme. But seriously, yoga is the best. Except when it makes you crazy because of all that Lululemon yoga body bullsh*t. Or even worse, the new yoga body backlash, as spread by Gwyneth Paltrow who claims yoga made her “almost boxy.” Really, Goop? Do we think that is helpful?

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[Never Say Diet] A Weekend Without Mirrors

IVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith Weekend Without Mirrors

As y’all know, I don’t have the greatest track record for sticking with those ubiquitous 30-day blog challenges — I tend to get distracted and fall off the wagon or just start making up my own rules. This might be connected to why I am such a believer in the whole Never Say Diet ethos. Basically, any time you deny me anything, I get cranky and want it more, more, more because you are not the boss of me! Even when “you” is really “me,” because I’m the one who decided to follow some abstract set of rules in the first place.

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[Never Say Diet] Tanning is Another Health/Beauty Conundrum

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith Tanning

Or so I realized when I went to write today’s Never Say Diet post about new research on tanning addiction and instead started having the same conversation I’ve been having all week about beauty standards that get conflated with “health,” except that they’re actually not always that healthy for us.

In other words, see also thin is not a synonym for healthy and me asking y’all how you define health (there are some really interesting responses btw — keep ‘em coming!). It’s making me realize that maybe what I should be asking is: How do you define beauty?

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[Never Say Diet] Stop Trying to Make Cleavage Wrinkles a Thing

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith Cleavage Wrinkles

Well, maybe not you personally. But definitely the New York Times and the makers of all these wacky boob pillow products that I can’t even wrap my mind around, let alone my cleavage.

I am beginning to think somebody needs to be in charge of an Official List of Fake Body Parts Created To Make You Crazy. Someone official. And archival. Like the Library of Congress. Or Tim Gunn. (He’s still a professor, right?) Because this sh*t needs to be cataloged for the ages, so seven generations from now, they can look back and say, “Oh that’s when our ancestors forged the first boob pillow. Can you believe they used to be made out of polyester?”

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[Never Say Diet] Yes, You Can Be Fat and Healthy

Today’s Never Say Diet post is about a really exciting new study which finds that about 20 percent of obese people are perfectly healthy — as in, no clogged arteries, no OMIGODDeathFat (as Ragen likes to call it). Which is a big enough percentage in my book to end the debate and officially say no, you cannot diagnose someone’s health based on their size, Body Mass Index, or number on a scale.

Well you can. But you have a 1 in 5 chance of being wrong.

Which means we need to continue the discussion that we have on here all the time about how we can separate weight from our understanding of health so that when we talk about wanting to be healthy, we mean sustaining healthy lifestyle habits (eating well, exercising more, getting enough sleep, managing stress). And when we talk about wanting to lose weight, we’re talking about aesthetics and changing our bodies to meet a beauty standard.

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[Never Say Diet] How Diets Eat Your Brain Cells

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith diets eat brain cells

Another day, another Getty Stock Image of Hungry Girl Stares Down Food. It’s as stirring as their “Woman Laughing Alone With Salad” series, but with just a touch more ennui.

Regardless, today’s Never Say Diet post is about how your brain cells start “self-cannibalizing” to send you hunger signals when you diet a lot and don’t eat enough. But where I see a good reason not to diet, the War On Obese People sees…a new AK-47.

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[Never Say Diet] Why Loving Your Body Won’t Kill You

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith Loving Your Body Won't Kill You

No matter what Glamour magazine tells you.

And full disclosure: I heart Glamour (and ladymags in general) and I write for them, so this isn’t an “ohh those damn women’s magazines…” kind of rant.

But I think Jess Weiner took a swing and a miss in “Loving My Body Almost Killed Me,” which everyone is talking about, including the Today Show. Check it out, then read my take over on Never Say Diet, and let’s chat about it. Because it kind of brings us back to that question Lauren asked a few weeks ago:

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[Never Say Diet] When Losing Weight is Your Job

iVillage Never Say Diet Virginia Sole-Smith Celebrity Weight Loss Spokespeople

I’m feeling sorry for celebrity weight loss spokespeople today over on Never Say Diet. And marveling at the ability of commercial diet plans to take full credit when their dieters succeed… and yet cede full responsibility when they fail. Those are some nimble dance steps.

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The Wedding Report

Kate & Jason Falchook Photobooth

As I mentioned back here, I was MIA for two weeks because I had two uber-important weddings to attend for some of my closest friends. And let’s just say it: Nothing messes with your body issues like getting married. Y’all have read how I dealt with that pressure (banning bathroom scales, freaking out about my teeth, going rogue on bridal makeup) but one thing we haven’t talked about a whole bunch on here is the very specific and extra weird pressure that comes from choosing your wedding dress. I mean, it can be epic.

So here is my friend Kate, to tell you about how she faced down this pressure and dealt with it in a pretty unique way.

Oh, and just for clarification, when it’s italics, it’s VA talking and when it’s not italics, it’s Kate talking. Got that? Here we go.

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