Category Archives: Fashion

Girl Model: Scouted

Girl Model

Regular readers, forgive me: I know I’ve already told you about why you need to see the documentary Girl Model (like when I said that here and also here). But New York-area readers, attention: The film is currently playing at the IFC Center through next Thursday, so you should totally go. It’s provocative, heart-breaking and beautifully made, and if you don’t believe me, go read this lovely post by Kate on Eat The Damn Cake.

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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.”

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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Body Image Warrior Week: Sally McGraw of Already Pretty

Body Image Warrior Week via AlreadyPretty

And now we have Sally McGraw, the genius behind this entire Body Image Warrior Week party. I adore Sally’s blog because she takes very practical concepts — like knowing your tailoring measurements — and figures out how to make them empowering. Also, she does this great Insomniac Sale Picks series where she finds great deals on impossible-to-find wardrobe items. Rad. 

Anyway, I am just tickled that Sally asked me to participate in Body Image Warrior Week and similarly pumped to now bring you Sally! 

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Body Image Warrior Week: Elissa Stern of Dress With Courage

Body Image Warrior Week via AlreadyPretty

When you read how Elissa Stern of Dress With Courage feels about her stomach, you’ll know why I am maybe over-relating to her work right now. I also enjoy that she describes herself as a “Fashion blogger, freelance writer, vintage enthusiast, thrifter and cheapskate.” Yes. All such good things to be. 

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Body Image Warrior Week: DeeDee Robinson of Decoding Dress

Body Image Warrior Week via AlreadyPretty

I’ll admit it: In the past, I’ve been a little snooty about fashion blogs. See also: My Pinterest angst. See also: I’m a giant hypocrite on both fronts (because I love fashion blogs and Pinterest). And: I was just plain wrong. DeeDee Robinson, who writes Decoding Dress, would be one of the bloggers who set me straight on that. She posts outfits and she writes about why we wear what we wear. And she is so smart.

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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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[Beauty Overheard] Oscar de la Renta Wants You to Take It Off

Photo of Barbara Bach in Red Floral Dress by Oscar De La Renta

Or so he told the crowd at the French Institute Alliance Francaise in New York earlier this week (via Fashionista): Read more…

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