Monthly Archives: March 2012

Does the Vogue Mom Give Away Our Childhood Obesity Fears — Or Our Beauty Obsessions?


Dara-Lynn Weiss and Vogue by Virginia Sole-Smith on Slate's XXfactor

I admit, when this whole Vogue Mom story broke, I had to take some serious deep breaths. (In case you’ve been under a rock all week: Socialite Dara-Lynn Weiss wrote an essay in the April Vogue — the “shape” issue, ha! — about her obsessive efforts to get her seven-year-old to lose 16 pounds.) And when Ms. Weiss then announced that her fun anecdotes about screaming in Starbucks and forbiding her daughter to eat cupcakes (before sneaking two herself) resulted in a book deal… I had to take a lot of deep breaths. Because that is a thing. That is happening. Yeah.


Filed under Beauty Overheard, Beauty Standards, Fashion, Health, Press

Tagged as , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Human Bodies: Living Fabulous, Not One Size Fits All

Yes, chickens, today I am showing you a video of Shaquille O’Neal’s appearance on The Daily Show from Monday night. You don’t have to watch the whole thing. It’s funny because John Stewart interviewing weird celebrities is always better than John Stewart asking very thoughtful questions of smart celebrities (see: anyone remotely affiliated with any government or Bono). And because Shaq describes himself as “living fabulous” and is getting a PhD. Well, alrighty then!


Filed under Beauty Standards, Glossed Over

Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Israel Bans Underweight Models — So Who’s Hiring Them? [Slate / XXfactor]

Slate XXfactor Israel Bans Underweight Models by Virginia Sole-Smith

I’m back on Slate’s XXfactor blog, with a piece about what these bans on underweight models might do to the models themselves. Of course the hope is: Allow them to keep working, now at a healthy weight. But that assumes the fashion industry will all fall neatly in line and start championing the health of their young workforce — which is pretty much the opposite of what’s happened so far anytime anyone has attempted industry reform thus far. (See Marc Jacobs refusing to check for underage models last month for the case in point.)


Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Standards, Fashion, Glossed Over, Government Watch, Modeling, Press

Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Girl Model: The Prettiest (Exploited, Underage) Workforce [Slate's XX Factor]]

Slate XXfactor Girl Model Virginia Sole-SmithI already showed you the trailer, but today I’m on Slate’s XXfactor blog, talking more in-depth about Girl Model, the haunting and thought-provoking documentary premiering around the country this month. (List of screenings here.)

I’m interested to see that so far, the comment thread on that post zeroes in, yet again, on the age-old question: “Why are models so gosh-darn skinny?” There are a lot of theories about fashion being created by gay men and gay men liking a lithe, boy-like silhouette… Meh.


Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Fashion, Happenings, Modeling

Tagged as , , , , , ,


Brazilian Blowout Settles — So Why Are Stylists Still Getting Sick?


Today I’m over on The Nation Institute‘s Investigative Fund Blog, with a piece about the latest Brazilian Blowout court settlement.

You guys, I am seriously SO OVER this story. By which I mean: I am so over the fact that there is still a story to tell here.

First of all, we’ve known — anecdotally, at least — that keratin hair straightening treatments contain toxic chemicals ever since Siobhan and Alexandra were inspired to write No More Dirty Looks because of their $400 hair disaster.


Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Government Watch, Hair, Health, Ingredients, Press, Products

Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,


And Now for Something Completely Different (Put Some Reclaimed Wood in Your Kitchen, Yo)

5 Ways to Use Reclaimed Wood In the Kitchen, Cultivate, Virginia Sole-Smith

Today I’m over on the homepage of Cultivate (that’s Williams-Sonoma’s website dedicated to all things kitchen), with a piece about how to use reclaimed wood in your kitchen.

Lots of pretty pictures for your Pinterest-ing needs. With not a trace of fitspiration or thinspiration to mess with your head. Though I’m pretty sure kitchenspiration is also a thing now. And well, guilty as charged.

Filed under Press

Tagged as , , , , ,


Why Fit is the New Thin (And What We Can Do About It)

Trigger warning: In order to write today’s post, I have to use and link to images that are potentially triggering for folks with ED/in recovery/generally struggling with negative body image thought patterns right now. I’m going to be making it crystal clear why I do not endorse these images or want you to apply any of them to yourself — but please tread carefully and skip today’s post if you think this might be sensitive material for you. xo



Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Standards, Glossed Over, Health

Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,


Dear Teenage Girls: You’re Asking the Wrong Question (But It’s Not Your Fault)

 Time Magazine tells me there is a new and disturbing trend du jour: Teen girls posting YouTube videos in order to let the Interwebs decide the 2012 version of that age-old burning question: Hot or not?

A quick survey of YouTube does indeed pull up dozens of videos like this, including the one above where a girl in an awesome koala hat explains that she’s going to show us lots of pictures of herself because “I just wanted to make a random video seeing if I was, like, ugly or not because a lot of people call me ugly and I think I’m ugly and fat, but all of my friends that are girls, they’re just, like, Oh you’re so beautiful … and I’m, like, Shut up because I’m not beautiful.”


Filed under Beauty Standards, For Extra Credit, Happenings

Tagged as , , , , , , , ,


The Play’s the Thing: Disabilities and the Arts [Parents Magazine]

The adorable munchkins you see pictured above are members of the Wolf Performing Arts Center, an incredibly special theater group for children of all abilities based in the Philadelphia suburbs. Wolf PAC has been a huge part of my own family’s life and a gift to the whole Philadelphia community for the past seven years. So I’m quite delighted to tell you that my profile of Wolf PAC and its unique approach to inclusion for children with special needs is out now in the April 2012 issue of Parents.

You can read the story, called The Play’s The Thing: Disabilities and the Arts, on their website here. And watch a video of the kids doing their musical theater thing! (So cute. The current interweb sloth obsession has nothing on them — don’t tell Kristen Bell.) And of course, remember to show your love at the newsstand too.


Filed under Happenings, Press

Tagged as , , , ,


Girl Model

Girl Model Trailer from Ashley Sabin on Vimeo.

As there always is during and immediately following New York Fashion Week, there’s been a lot of talk about how tough it is to be a model lately. But this year, I’m so pleased to see that the conversation seems to be pushing beyond the “OMG, eat more sandwiches!” horse that is dead and beaten. See: Leah Chernoff’s great Fashionista piece about the Model Alliance and also: Sociologist/former model Ashley Mears’ analysis of why modeling is a bad job.


Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Happenings, Modeling

Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

    Pre-order now!