Monday, December 13, 2010

weight watchers

I’m sure it’s not just me, in fact I’m almost certain that 90% of females do this once they’re old enough to think about things like weight and fashion – when I’m walking down the street I’m constantly comparing myself to the women around me.

If someone’s walking in front of me, I’ll do a quick evaluation: is she skinnier than me? Is she about the same size? And if so, does she look good in her clothes? Do I do it better? Should she be wearing that? Would I wear that? And so on.

I don’t think guys realise just how much women compare themselves to each other and how much time they spend thinking about what they look like. It certainly goes well beyond the mirror in the morning. Looking at a girl about the same size can be as critical to your image as what you see in reflections.

But how accurate are our perceptions? The other day a girl walked past and my partner commented on her fat legs and how she shouldn’t be wearing that skirt. I was like “which girl?”, because although I agreed that maybe the skirt was a bit short, I didn’t think her legs were any bigger than mine. But when I said that, I received a “you gotta be kidding me” look and a bit of a scoff. Apparently she was noticeably bigger than me, but as far as I could see, we were one and the same.

Perception is a huge thing for women – on the streets and on screen. I recently read a very interesting quote from the lovely Mila Kunis about her weight loss for the movie Black Swan. Mila reportedly lost 9kgs, taking her already slender 160cm 50kg frame down to 41kgs. For a start, let’s just say that’s ridiculous. That’s like a child’s weight on a woman’s frame. Interestingly, Mila made this comment:

“In real life, it looked disgusting. But in photographs and on film, it looked amazing."

“I could see why this industry is so fucked up, because... I would literally look at myself in the mirror and I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ I had no shape, no boobs, no ass ... all you saw was the bone. I was like, ‘This looks gross’.”

It’s nice to hear someone actually admit that. Remember when Angelina Jolie lost “all that weight” (cos at around 45kgs and 170cm tall there was SOOO much to lose) for the movie Changeling. Pictures of her on set leaked, showing her looking emaciated, weak and let’s face it, foul. But on screen she looked, while skinny, Hollywood normal. Surely she knew that she looked disgusting? And what did Brad Pitt think about it? I can’t speak for all men, but most that I know say they would prefer a proportionately curvy girl to a bag of bones.

OK, so not all weight loss is a misconception, a lot of people do it on purpose and some people do actually have some kgs to lose. But you can’t help think it was the relentless comparisons that women make to others that turned Kelly Osbourne into a bobble head after her move to Hollywood.

I think it’s hugely important to remember that you have to stay within the limits of your own body. I’d be happy to lose 3–5kg, and I certainly could do that without turning into skeletor. But it took me a long time to be happy with the way I look around my size 6 to 8 friends. I’m never going to look like that and trying to would be silly. I also don’t think my frame would support it. (I’d also have to put up with constant “where have my boobs gone?!” from my partner.)

So although I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking at other girls and sizing them up, you’ll also never see me turn down food just so I look slightly better on film. That’s what turning on an angle is for.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jack of All Trades

Yes I know I write about music a lot, but it's awesome, maybe even more awesome than clothes. Except you can't wear music. Anyway, please do enjoy some clips throughout today's rant for your listening/viewing pleasure :)

A lot of the fashiony things Haze and I ramble about are inspired by actors and actresses, the wealthy wenches of the world. But lately I have been discovering a number of surprisingly good musical ventures fronted by these very same people. I guess we don't expect hollywood heart-throbs to possess any kind of talent other than looking good and being able to read lines. Having the ability to play instruments and sing well too? Now that just seems greedy.

You all know I'm a fan of Gossip Girl. I know the characters on it are entirely ridiculous for their age, but there are lots of shiny, pretty things! When I found out Little J Jenny Humphrey, AKA Taylor Momsen fronted a band, I cringed. Probably some bubblegum pop group that will make me want to hurl. Upon hearing The Pretty Reckless' first single "Make me Wanna Die" however, I was pleasantly surprised. Think a young Courtenay Love, who doesn't suck. That Taylor can sing, can growl, in a sexy rock'n'roll way that makes me totally envious.
Oh, it's probably been jacked up to sound amazing, I thought. She will sound terrible unplugged. Boy I was wrong. That growl sounds just as seductive in an acoustic setting. Aaaand she plays guitar! Damn that talented 17 year-old bitch!

When I watched the Notebook, I was expecting to be drowning in tears and doing that embarrassing "I-i-i c-c-can-can't t-a-a-t-a-l-l-k-kk' sobbing thing. YAWN. Sorry folks, the only thing that kept me watching was my darling Ryan Gosling. Yes he's a handsome man, and in my opinion a damn good actor. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he is in fact one half of a little band known as Dead Man's Bones. I had the same pre-conception about hearing Ryan sing as I did with Taylor.

Holy bejesus. 

Out comes this deep, crooning, baritone voice, reminiscent of a young Elvis Presley. And the music style is this random mash of ghosts and circuses and haunted carnival rides. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but Gosling just scored about a bazillion brownie points in my books.

The Jack of All Trades syndrome goes both ways. I know Hazel and others will scoff at me for this, but I totally rate Justin Timberlake as a decent actor. Sure he makes wussy ass music, but you can't deny that he has a good voice (and some sweet dance moves). Not only does Timberlake do a good cartoon character (Artie in Shrek 3, Boo Boo in Yogi Bear), but he was also watchable in Black Snake Moan. And Alpha Dog? Hands down, I thought his performance was pretty damn awesome. Check him out as a young Elton John too:

We all know the crossovers aren't always success stories though. That idiot Lindsay Lohan should have shot herself before attempting to launch her music career. And J Ho oops I mean J Lo? Well. She's not even worth mentioning because she has about as much talent as a toe.

So, I hope today's rant has opened your eyes a little to how much talent some people possess. And if you know of any other hollywood-ites who make some wicked tunes, let us know, me and Haze are always keen to discover new sounds!

Monday, December 6, 2010

awkward moments

I’m so very looking forward to my holidays. This is mostly due to the fact that I will no longer have to repeatedly smile and say hello to people I do not ever converse with in any other manner. I am especially looking forward to people not talking to me in the toilet. What is it about being in a confined space with someone that makes it seem appropriate to make small talk? It’s awkward enough that people you barely know can hear you pee, why do they feel it’s necessary to chat to me.

I generally try to enter the bathroom when I know no one else is in there, and if someone is sneakily in the stall when I do get in there, I wait quietly, sometimes using the guise of blowing my nose or pulling the toilet roll until they depart and I can do my business unaccompanied. But then there are those who insist on asking me how I am or commenting on what it’s like outside.

My interest in such banal niceties is about as lukewarm as the inevitable pee that follows.

Imagine going home and having this happen! I would hate to think that someone would stand outside the bathroom while I go about my business and talk to me. I would tell them to piss off fairly promptly – so why would anyone else find this to be appropriate behaviour. There’s plenty of time to come and chat to me if you actually care to. Eight hours of it. I welcome any distraction from actual work!

Ok, so it’s polite to say hello to people when you pass them in the hall. I get it. I take part in such formalities because that’s what you have to do if you want to be friendly and polite. Participation in office etiquette is an obligation more than an option – especially if you want to get anywhere with the higher ups.

Just don’t oblige me in the bathroom.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Summer heats up

As summer heats up and the office is a cesspool of anticipation, humidity and irritability, what constitutes acceptable work wear?

 We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas and the summer holidays and most of us are getting edgy to gain a bit of colour before blinding the family with our pasty bods. But how far can you take your summer wardrobe to work?

We’ve discussed before (although a long time ago (The long and the short of it) – Debris has been running for over a year now!) the issue of shorts at work. Obviously this is not short shorts – but what is an acceptable length for a “work short” before you get into the stumpifying knee-length shorts or pseudo pants? It has been much argued between a few colleagues and only once have I managed to do it – with mixed results. (Do you remember? Work it) Just this week we observed a newbie wearing mid-length shorts but with footless opaque stockings underneath. After a bit of conference we agreed that it was acceptable but we would have gone for full tights. As an aside, can you get a tan through stockings? I would like to find out.

A few of the dresses I picked up to brighten my winter wardrobe have suddenly been rendered useless as work dresses – they were an acceptable length when paired with stockings, but the ol’ “bend over infront of the mirror” test has had them thrown back on the hanger on successive mornings. Tights were the “pants-ness” that made the length ok for work – they are now too short. I might get the “you look summery” innuendo once again.

So that’s the legs. What about arms? I tend not to wear sleeveless tops anyway because I am aware my upper arms aren’t as slender as they used to be. This is what happens when you spend 12 years holding your arms in ballet positions for hours at a time and then one day you stop and live the slothful and drink-fuelled life of a university student. The hardest job they had was holding up my head in lectures and raising glass to mouth every now and then!

Some “what to wear” sites suggest that no sleeves is acceptable at work – but only if it’s the grown-up sleeveless blouse type – that means no racer backs or spaghetti straps ladies!

I never thought I’d say this in reference to fashion, because guys have it SO so easy, but I do actually feel for the guys in the office at this time of year. What awful (and slightly sexist) law states that a man cannot get his legs out at work? Women are free to wear skirts or pants and keep themselves as warm or cool as they please – even get in a bit of tan time at lunch – but guys are chained to the pants leg.

I once raised this with a male member of staff and he (of “middle age”) said he remembered a time when it was ok for men to wear “work shorts” to the office. When did that go out? When women became more prevalent in the professions and some insecure CEO decided that men had to “wear the pants” at least in the literal sense? That certainly backfired!

So while women might have to ponder acceptability, at least they’re not sweltering in dress pants. Suck on that repression!