Monthly Archives: April 2012

More Kitchen Porn.

Cultivate Open Shelves vs. Cabinets by Virginia Sole-Smith

I’ve got a story up on asking one of life’s more confounding questions: Should you have open shelving or closed cabinets in your kitchen? 

I know. It’s a head-scratcher. But we roped in Sherry Petersik of the absurdly addictive Young House Love to push her open shelving agenda give her take and I think you’ll walk away with a much clearer head. (Hint: It’s all good! You can have both!)


Filed under For Extra Credit, Press

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Toxic Nail Polish: More Beauty Industry Lies

Slate xxFactor Toxic Nail Polish by Virginia Sole-Smith

You guys may have seen this news last week: California toxicologists tested a bunch of those supposedly “toxin-free” nail polishes… and found out that they’re actually toxin-full, as I’m reporting on Slate’s xxFactor blog today.

Hmm, what does this remind us of? If you said Brazilian Blowout (or lead in lipstick or carcinogens in baby shampoo or…) give yourself a high five.


Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Customer Cult, Government Watch, Health, Ingredients, Products

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50 Ways to Save Water [Whole Living]

April_2012 Whole Living 50 Ways to Save Water by Virginia Sole-Smith

Guys, be sure to check out Whole Living‘s Blue Issue (April 2012) — it’s on newsstands now and it features my cover story, 50 Ways to Save Water (that’s the PDF, if you hate those, it’s also on their website here).

Now, excuse me while I nerd out for a minute, because I learned a ton reporting this piece. Like the fact that it takes 2,900 gallons of water to produce a single pair of blue jeans, and that it takes way more water (1,857 gallons) to produce a pound of beef than a pound of chicken (409 gallons); yes, yes, vegetarians, a plant-based diet wins again. Though interestingly, soy milk is just about tied with cow’s milk: 49 gallons of water to make one glass vs. 53 gallons of water per glass. So that’s good because soy milk is kinda icky.


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Concerns From a Fitness Professional

Last month, in Why Fit is the New Thin, I explored how the “fitspiration” phenomenon can be uncomfortably reminiscent of the “thinspiration” phenomenon. They aren’t entirely identical; thinspiration is pretty much always about collecting pictures that glorify an unhealthy and unattainable standard of beauty (skinny). Fitspiration can be about motivating and empowering yourself to try rock climbing, do a handstand, run a marathon or reach some other kick-ass physical fitness goal. But it can also be about glorifying an unhealthy and unattainable standard of beauty… and because it all gets dressed up as “fitness,” the unhealthy parts can be a lot harder to pick out. I offered some guidelines that help me separate the “this makes me want to run outside and be sweaty and awesome!” stuff from the “this makes me feel like dog poo if  I can only go to the gym for 35 minutes instead of 45 minutes today.”


Filed under Beauty Standards, Fashion, Glossed Over, Health, Modeling

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

    Pre-order now!