A Sampling of My Favorite Huffington Post Pieces:

Going Rogue, Going Rouge, Going Red”

Chalk it up to pre-traumatic-Thanksgiving-stress-syndrome, we’ve been lying awake for nights obsessing about the big O’s big state dinner, and our imagination has been working overtime. After all, what better distraction from imminent family holiday dysfunction than fretting about someone else’s party and worrying about someone else’s attire?

Four Hundred Invited: Tent Needed

This size mob and we’re not in? Aren’t we supposed to be living in a new more democratic era? While being left off the list is not a first, this year it really got under our skin; you know how it is, with this little recession thing-y going on we’re in desperate need of a mega-dose of festive splendor. We’ve calmed ourselves down by putting just the right spin on it (hey, it’s D.C.): now we don’t have to spend our tightly budgeted cash on a new ball gown. And we won’t waste precious time scouring consignment stores for cast-off’s from the last state dinner.

It’s a good thing to party.

Yes, the economy sucks. But everyone needs to find something to celebrate. Sackcloth and ashes should be reserved for death. Get pleasure where you can is our motto. Besides, do we want to look like a Banana Republic, unable to fete another emerging super power in great style? Hell, no. It’s bad for business.

Who’s paying for the shindig?

The Big Man on Campus just got back from reassuring the Chinese that we’ll make good on all that money we’ve borrowed. Timing is everything, so we’ve had so much fun thinking that China is helping finance this little shindig on the lawn honoring of all countries — India.

Beware the Marie Antoinette Syndrome

It’s tricky to have really big parties, serve yummy layer cake, and dress like a queen when unemployment is 10.2%. Michelle O is a wise woman and has the good fashion sense to mix J. Crew (a democratic mass favorite) with up-and-comers like Jason Wu and Sophie Theallet. As big supporters of rising fresh talent, we applaud her style and forward thinking. The big question we’ve been pondering during the wee hours: what color should Michelle’s dress be? (See below)

Going Rogue, Going Rouge, Seeing Red

It’s like some bad ditty we can’t get out of our head. Everywhere we go: print, online, television, bookstores — Going Rogue, Going Rogue, Going Rogue. It practically forced us to buy an antidote — the book Going Rouge. And, since we’re so associative it made us think about women in red (plus the new Neiman Marcus catalog just arrived in the mail — it’s full of drop-dead gorgeous red dresses). Truth be told, we can think of no more perfect color for the dress Michelle should wear tonight than — red. Leadership is about symbolism. What better way to reflect our Nation’s balance sheet?

What would Sarah wear?

This leaves us with one closing thought. We couldn’t help but wonder if Sarah Palin were invited to the state dinner for the Indian PM… would she show up in a buckskin dress packing a quiver of arrows?

 

“Boobquake”

Let’s be real. Sex sells. Craig’s List, Eliot Spitzer, Victoria’s Secret, and now Lane Bryant.

Craig’s List is making big bucks off prostitution. Eliot Spitzer is a sexy subject for a movie and two new tell-all books because he bought what Craig’s List is selling. Vicky’s secret? Objectifying women, promoting unhealthy body images and selling sex to ‘Tweens. Now, Lane Bryant has jumped into bed with their Cacique brand of lingerie.

When we read that ABC and Fox rejected a Lane Bryant ad featuring a model in her underwear as being inappropriate for their 8:00 PM time slot we were surprised. Could their business be that robust? An outcry has ensued. Lane Bryant accusing the networks of discrimination against plus sized models and the networks accusing Lane Bryant of a publicity stunt.

The “Culture Warriors” on The O’Reilly Factor speculated the networks could be in a twit because “with plus size models you’re going to get more cleavage.” (Hello, there are plenty of very thin women with lots of cleavage.) But, if true, then the networks (and probably the country) need to be run by adults and not fourteen year old boys freaking out about seeing too much boob at 8:00 PM on television.

We’re wondering, though, if it’s possible that a gorgeous model with luscious angles is ‘sexier’ than a clothes hanger wearing clothes? Maybe Lane Bryant, the plus sized clothing company, did a better job selling the promise of seduction than their once sister company Victoria’s Secret (both were owned by the Limited) .

We’re usually first in line calling out the fashion industry on the destructive nature of portraying underweight and airbrushed models. Our articles “The Velveteen Revolution” and “Love Your Body” call on the garment business and the entertainment industry to portray all body types as gorgeous and sexy.

So, whether they were censored or not, we say bravo to Lane Bryant. They created a warm, musky, suggestive ad with a woman who looked like a woman and not a little girl –or little boy, for that matter.

One last thought: Ladies watch the Lane Bryant ad and let us know if you feel like it’s talking to you rather than some schmuck with a six pack in his hand (we won’t speculate about the activities of the other hand) watching women parading around jet planes, cars and each other.

 

 “The Velveteen Revolution”

A message to the fashion industry: If you want hangers to show your clothes off, then put a bunch of hangers on a cleaning-store style conveyor belt and send that down the runway. It will be way cheaper than ‘hanging’ your garments on wire-thin women.

The fashion industry’s state of affairs has grown increasingly disturbing. Even the Creative Director of Sao Paulo Fashion Week, Paulo Borges, said this week, “This situation cannot be ignored. We would like to propose a joint effort towards minimizing this issue and preventing the effects of this trend on models, on our industry and on society itself.”

Echoing Mr. Borges plea, today we call out to the fashion, media, and entertainment world for A Velveteen Revolution. Unlike war and peace, this is simple. The message: Just stop.

Stop peddling your wares using underweight models. This is perpetuating an unrealistic and unhealthy body ideal for girls. It is time to halt this practice.

1. Designers and manufacturers: Stop designing for and featuring clothing on emaciated models. Stop advertising campaigns featuring them. Stop airbrushing photos.

2. Retailers: Stop buying and selling the clothing that is being marketed in this way.

3. Modeling Agencies: Stop recruiting and sending out underweight models.

4. Magazine editors: Stop accepting sample clothing for layouts in too small sizing. Stop the excessive self-congratulation when you feature a normal size woman in a spread.

5. Entertainment industry: Stop featuring models and actresses who resemble skeletons.

In our Huffington Post article Bring Back the Belly, we wrote, “Girls growing up today have enough pressure without these unrealistic and unhealthy images of scarecrows.” We lamented the fact that magazines are not seamlessly integrating regular-sized models into their fashion spreads; that when regular-sized women are occasionally included in their pages, it’s generally in a piece about body image.

Meanwhile, already tiny models are being airbrushed to seem even thinner (to the point of absurdity). We are not advocating unhealthy overweight role models; we’re advocating the inclusion of pleasing, healthy bodies in all shapes and all sizes. In our book, Bitches on a Budget, we say “Wake up, look around–in this mulit-culti world we live in there’s no longer a single icon of beauty. A woman with a hip modern aesthetic doesn’t settle for just loving her inner bitch; she knows the outer one is fine too, whatever her shape!”

It’s time for the fashion industry to wake up. Look at how gorgeous, curvy Michelle Obama has become a beacon for style. We are advocating variety. We are advocating an end to deception.

This latest outrage in Sao Paolo, where underweight models have supposedly been banned, is a reminder of how hard it is to make change whether in government or industry. It takes courage and will to foment a revolution. Small steps have been made–but isn’t it time for the entire industry to take a stand?

Join us at Bitches on a Budget in calling for The Velveteen Revolution.

 

 

“Bald, Bewhiskered or Vajazzled–Who Cares?”

We have decided as a policy to stop naming names of useless starlets who paint obscenities on their fingernails, hypocritical politicians and commentators who trade in misinformation, professional athletes with time-wasting television specials, and fashion designers who behave in provocative ways to get their kissers face forward in the news. So, we’ll just show this picture to illustrate our outrage, once again, at the fashion industry and fashion world in general for continuing to use shockingly underweight models.

2010-07-10-slide_8405_112026_large.jpg

Bald, bewhiskered, vajazzled–who cares? But parading models with such obviously unhealthy eating behavior is and should be outside the pale for any reputable fashion house. The baldhead, silly beard and naked torso would have been edgy enough to get front-page attention, why add to it an emaciated frame?

We whole-heartedly believe in the right of free expression, pushing the envelope, and the need for good, light-hearted fun. But the garment industry has an obligation to both impressionable young girls looking for role models, and young women who work on the catwalk to portray a broad range of healthy body types.

We’ve called for the fashion world to police itself in our article, The Velveteen Revolution, but now it’s time for us, the consumer, to vote.

Stop buying the garments of design houses using air-brushed and emaciated models; stop buying publications that photograph and accept advertising with unhealthy images; stop shopping at stores that perpetuate this problem.

Trust us, we’re not calling for a fat nation. We’re calling for a fit new nation.

 

Read Stories Originally Written for the Huffington Post Here: