I talk a lot about traditional figure flattery. In no small part because that’s what you folks tell me interests you, and because the questions you have are typically very specific and include topics not covered by style books and magazines. I find it fascinating to learn about the challenges you face in dressing your personal best, and love to explore options with you.
I’m also fascinated by the F*ck Flattering movement which was more or less sparked by a tee shirt designed by Gisela Ramirez, and have read with interest the responses to this conscious rebellion against fashion rules and dressing norms. In common use, “flattering” means something that “makes your body appear tall, thin, balanced, and hourglass-shaped.” It also implies limiting jiggle, covering cellulite, wrinkles, and scars, keeping a large bust in check, and lots of control-related mandates. Traditional ideas of figure flattery are rooted in a very narrow beauty ideal, tied to the male gaze and heteronormativity, and extremely exclusionary. Looking past the obvious sizeism, consider that some petite women will never appear tall and some thin women will never appear hourglassy. “Flattering,” in common use, tries to force a marvelously diverse population of women into a very specific idealized shape.
Originally posted 2013-07-22 06:02:00.
When I first moved to Minneapolis, I lived in a neighborhood called Uptown. Near my tiny little studio apartment was a place that was a combination video rental store and tanning salon. Same shop, two very different services. And, initially, I thought this was quite odd but the longer I lived here, the more multi-tasking businesses I discovered. Bowling alley / restaurant / black box theater. Art gallery / accountant office. These places exist and thrive here. Perhaps because Minnesotans value a bargain, and engaging multiple activities in a single place is a good value.
Originally posted 2012-06-28 06:12:28.
What? What’s that you say? You are already at peace with maxis? Or, wait. You hate this silhouette with every fiber of your being and have no intention of reconciling? Well, as always, you are the author of your own stylistic destiny. But in case you’re curious about my thoughts on diplomatic overtures to floor-sweeping skirts, read on.
I was born in 1977, so I have no preconceptions of maxis. I believe I thrifted one for myself back in middle school while I was neck-deep in my Arthurian legend phase and wore it despite its incongruity among the low-slung jeans and prep-wear of my peers. It felt good on my legs, I liked how it moved, and I didn’t much care if it was stylish or not. I saw plenty of my college cohorts in patchwork maxis and long, tiered, crushed velvet skirts in the mid-90s, too, and thought nothing of it. Wasn’t my speed at the time, but I still understood the appeal. It wasn’t until I began consuming fashion-related magazines, blogs, and other media that I became aware that this piece of clothing is incredibly polarizing. And, even now, the comment I get most when I wear my own maxis is, essentially, “That looks great on you, but I could never pull it off.”
Originally posted 2012-03-15 06:12:34.