“Plus” what, exactly?

ImageThe woman to the far right is Jennie Runk, pictured here in a Glamour spread circa 2009. The intarwebs have been a-buzz because she’s H&M’s new “plus size” swimwear model.

Let’s take another look. Here she is in H&M’s new swimwear shots:

ImageYes, apparently this size 12 woman is “plus-sized.” Excuse me? She looks HEALTHY. AND NORMAL. And pardon me, but I believe one finds size 12 in the “misses” (that is, the NOT plus-sized) section. Since when is this plus-sized? Certainly it’s not the size 0 we normally see, but should we really be calling this “plus”? Plus what? A normal amount of body fat and muscle?

As two women who are not size zeroes, we object. We object first because calling this woman anything other than normal is a gross misstatement. To imply that this woman is somehow heavier than she should be is nonsense. She looks beautiful as-is. I don’t just say this because when I look at most retailers’ models, I want to feed them giant Katz deli sandwiches by the fistful, but because this is the same kind of nonsensical distortion we get with the size zero model. Girls who are Ms. Runk’s size and one higher (14) are shopping in the section that advertises with size zeroes. Women who are size 16 and over are shopping for the clothes Ms. Runk is modeling. Isn’t it time we have just a bit of truth in advertising? If you’re going to sell “plus size” clothing, you need to use a plus size model. A model, that is, who wears size 16 or higher.

Additionally, there needs to be some parity across sizing. I give you the following anecdote: In December, I went looking for a New Year’s Eve dress. I headed to the predictable spots: Forever 21, H&M, etc. H&M was my first stop. My dress size, 95% of the time, is a 6 or 8. I do have a bit of trouble finding dresses that fit because I’ve got a lot of booty and not a lot of booby. But, I digress. I went looking for a black sequin number I saw on the website, and found they only had a size 4 left. I thought to myself, I might as well try this on. It’s realistically only one–maybe two–sizes below me. Maybe it will fit.

And what do you think happened?

Not only did this “dress” not fit over my ass, it hardly fit over my boobs! My tiny boobs! Most women who are my size or a bit smaller have bigger boobs than me! And, on top of that, the notion that this thing was a dress was a joke. Even if I had gotten it to begin fitting over my hips, it wouldn’t have made it much farther because there just wasn’t any more fabric! The damn thing was shirt for a 10 year old being passed off as a dress.

My call, therefore, is for parity in sizing as well as in advertising. I should be looking at models smack dab in the middle of the spectrum of “misses” (that’s a size six, by the way) and smack dab in the middle of “women’s.” And I should be able to reasonably enter a store and try on one or two sizes of clothing and find items that are at least close to fitting. I shouldn’t have to shop at store A as an 8 and then go over to store B and have to buy a 13/14. If we could actually get some real sense of what size we were and stick to it, and saw real humans modeling the clothes we’re buying, we’d significantly reduce the amount of body-hating that goes on.

Horrible Realization: I’m Too Old for Cheap Beer

When I was in college, I could drink like a fish.  I put huge douchey dudes to shame with my incredible ability to chug, handle, and hold my cheap liquor and beer.  I preferred nicer beer, even in those days, but I wasn’t about to turn down a few dozen free cans of Natty Light or PBR.  You just don’t do that in college.  You drink what you are given… You know, if it’s not from a very shady source.  Hell, even if it is shady, you might consider it if it’s totally free.  I mean, you’re supposed to be poor in college.  Why not enjoy cheap-ass bear?

College students love beer.

Everyone loves beer.

However, not everyone can drink cheap beer like 20-year-olds.

Once graduation occurs, and you move on graduate school or perhaps a real-life, grown-up job with benefits and a salary and everything, your lifestyle inherently changes.  It just does.  Life is very different after college.  Now, instead of just wanting to get drunk and maybe get a date or two out of some dude/lady, you are actually talking about relationships and even….  MARRIAGE.  Well, maybe just long-term or like… living together or something.  You’re still figuring that part out.  Anyways…

Life after graduation is quite an adjustment.  It takes some g.d. time, y’all.  And that’s okay.

There are many lessons a post-graduate must learn, and one of the first I learned…  Nah, actually the most obvious one I learned, was that I cannot drink the way and the crap I once could.  I’m a grown-up now, and Natty Lite ain’t gonna cut it.

When you start to get old, your body can’t handle the vinegar/acid/gasoline contained in cheap beer.  At least, the body can’t handle it at the same level.  When a body is young and virile, it can fight off the poisons of cheap beer – the pee in Busch Light or the dirt in Natural Ice.  When a body gets older, it starts to give up on dying and it wants to live.  Cheap beer wants to kill you and your body.  Old bodies know better.  They demand good beer.

Older bodies also don’t want you to make them suffer with yucky beer.  I learned this the hard way.

I have now learned, once and for all, that I am now too old to drink a whole bunch of crappy beer.  My body hates it.  My body wants to be a temple instead of a garbage can.  I must obey.

Until very recently, I was entirely immune to hangovers.  I had only once had a hangover, and it was after a week of no-sleep and then heavy, celebratory drinking.  You can read about a lot that night in the post, “When Kate and Patty (Almost) Got in a Bar Fight.”  With that one exception, I have been a total boss.  This has annoyed many people.  Understandably so…  Hangovers suck.  Now that I’m a little older, I’m starting to catch them.

After a night of drinking… we’ll say “some” beers, I have started to feel a little less-than-great the next morning.  Therefore, I must accept that I’m now too old for drinking cheap beer like a college-kid.

Damn.

2012 Olympic Drinking Games

Making the Olympics even more fun. You’re welcome.

Drink once if any of the following happens:

  • Interviewer asks athlete “How does it feel to win X medal?”
  • Athlete sets world record
  • Athlete sets Olympic record
  • The USA wins an event
  • The host country, Great Britain, wins an event
  • NBC has a fluff feature
  • Fan cam shows an athlete’s parents/family
  • Fan cam shows a celebrity
  • NBC shows an ad for tomorrow’s Today Show
  • An athlete in a post-event interview says they feel “blessed”
  • An athlete in a post-event interview says they are “speechless” or any variation thereof
  • Announcers call event “unbelievable”
  • Announcers call event “incredible”
  • Announcers call event “amazing”
  • Athlete cries during medal ceremony
  • Announcers suck Michael Phelps’ proverbial dick

 

 

Finish your drink if:

  • An athlete gets injured mid-event and must drop out

 

Finish two consecutive drinks if:

  • NBC screws up and spoils a result not yet shown on TV

NBC, you’re sucking up the Olympics like your primetime schedule.

There are lots of things I like about NBC. Brian Williams is awesome. Richard Engel is super badass. They hired Howard freaking Stern as a judge on America’s Got Talent. Bob Costas pretty much got Jerry Sandusky to confess on the air. Those are pretty awesome things.

HOWEVER. They are sucking up their coverage of the Olympics.

  • Why did I never get to see ANY footage of American men or anyone else on the rings for the men’s gymnastics events?

    Apparently, this wasn’t worth showing.

  • Why did they completely cut Gabby Douglas’s and Aly Raisman’s routines on the balance beam (purportedly Raisman’s best event after the floor routine) in primetime coverage? Yet they showed the two Russians and the Chinese woman in their rotation…
  • Every single interview goes essentially thusly: How is it winning [insert level medal here]? How does that make you feel? To which everyone responds in some variation of “It’s overwhelming; I can’t put it into words.” And if I hear the Today show hosts ask one more kid if they slept with their medal under their pillow last night, I will strangle all of them, even though I kind of love Savannah Guthrie.
  • Only showing major events in primetime kind of sucks because it’s too easy to spoil it for yourself… *frowns at Twitter.*
  • NBC can’t even keep their own spoilers under control: see Missy Franklin’s first gold medal:
  • Moments before airing Missy Franklin’s tape-delayed Olympic victory in the 100-meter backstroke, NBC ran a promo for Tuesday’s edition of “Today” that said this:

They’re waiting for NBC to show the missing balance beam routines, too.

“When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.”
The network had yet to show Franklin’s win when it ran the “Today” teaser that included this photograph of the teen sensation standing on the medal stand with the gold draped around her neck.

  • Local coverage of the Olympics is nonsense. It’s like a giant masturbation fest for local news sportscasters who are all running amuck in London. I feel awful for Londoners; I felt particularly awful when our local sportscaster thought it’d be hilarious to ask everyone in the vicinity of Big Ben what time it was in an effort to get them to look at the giant clock. That’s worth a fork in my eye.
  • NBC decided it made more sense to cut a tribute to the victims of London’s 2005 terrorist bombings. They showed a clip of Ryan Seacrest’s interview with ass kissing of Michael Phelps instead.
  • Ryan Seacrest. Enough said.

    NBC: sucking up the Olympics since 1964.

Your Bra Size Is NOT My Concern

Sometimes, I am a loud-mouth.  Still, I have self-control, and an awareness of myself whilst in public places.  A young lady I encountered today was lacking in the whole control area, but she was clearly an expert in loud-mouthery.  Man, oh, man…  She could talk.  LOUD.  She struck me as the kind of person who updates her facebook status at least twice a day; likely about half of those statuses are vague and emotional so that people will ask what’s wrong.  Basically, I’m saying she was really darn annoying.

We were all trapped trying on clothes in the Salvation Army, when some loud-mouthed teen decided to declare her cup-size to us all.  I was not amused.  Here are a few things she exclaimed:

  • “I’M ONLY 5’1″ AND MY BOOBS ARE D-CUPS!  D-CUPS, I TELL YOU [and everyone else].”
  • “OH MY GOD, STACY.  YOU HAVE TO COME SEE HOW HILARIOUS I LOOK.  MY TITS ARE SPILLING OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE.  IT’S RIDICULOUS.”
  • “DEFINITELY WHEN I’M DONE LOSING WEIGHT, I’LL BE ABLE TO FIT IN THIS… OF COURSE, THAT’S ONLY IF MY D-CUPS SHRINK! HAHA!  THEY’RE SO BIG!”
  • “UGH! I HATE MY D-CUPS!”
  • “MY BOOBS ARE SO HUGE.  IT’S SO AWFUL HAVING BOOBS THIS BIG.”
  • “BIG BOOBS ARE THE WORST.”
  • “NO ONE MAKES CLOTHES FOR BOOBS THIS BIG!”

I have a lot of issues with this.  First of all, don’t scream about your boobies in the middle of a store.  It’s one thing to say to your companion, “This won’t fit over my boobs,” or, “Haha! Look at this.”  It’s very different to share your cup-size like a news announcement.   I promise, no one cares as much as you do.  You can share the moment with your friend, but you don’t need to share it with everyone else.  There are kids around, and old folks, and folks who just have normal levels of privacy…  They don’t care.

Also, they do make clothes for big boobs.  As a lady with boobs EVEN BIGGER than yours, I can assure you that I wear clothing that I do not make.  Therefore, some clothing has to fit over boobs of that stature.  Yes, it is harder to find button-ups, bathing suits, dresses, and tanktops, but you learn to deal.  Big boobs happen.  Big shirts happen too.  You just have to accept that you can’t fit into anything and everything… You know, like everyone else.

Another thing, most people don’t want to hear complaints about big boobs.  Big boobs get a lot of press and a lot of love.  Maybe don’t whine in front of all the A-Cups and B-Cups of the world.  They’re hatred of you and your D-Cups could penetrate your skull and crush you at any moment.  Stop complaining.  You’ll be fine.

Maybe I’m just a cranky old lady, but I just don’t want to hear about a stranger’s boobs from across the store.

Do you think Christina Hendricks screams, “HOW WILL I FIT MY CRAZY-HUGE TITTAYS IN THIS OUTFIT?!” every time she tries to buy a tanktop?  No.  She does not.  Christina Aguilera doesn’t either.  Some ladies have big boobies.  Every single person who sees a lady with big boobies will, with a doubt, notice that she has them.  Big boobs are kind of hard to miss.  Therefore, they don’t need to be announced in the Salvation Army dressing rooms.


10 Reasons I Like Winter Dating Better

  1. I’m almost never sweaty without choosing to be sweaty in the winter. When I work out, I sweat.  That much is fine with me.  In the summer, I sweat without warning.  In the winter, I don’t sweat unless I choose to sweat.  This means that the person I’m dating doesn’t have to see me sweating without reason.
  2. I get to wear layers, which means I get to hide things.  Goodbye big sweaters!  Hello sundresses!  Oh god!  So much skin!  So much brutal honesty about my body!  I want to hide under knits!
  3. My skin is rosy and prettier when it’s cold. When it’s hot, I’m sunburned and oily.  No thanks.  I’d rather be crisp.
  4. Snowball fights are amazing.
  5. Cuddling is far more appealing when it’s not 80 Fahrenheit.  Who wants to share back sweat?  How about in-between-boobies sweat?  Let’s stick to each other!
  6. There are no bikinis.  Screw you, bikini season!
  7. There are no sunburns in the winter-time.  There are so many sunburns in the summer-time.  It’s hard to be sexy with a sunburn…
  8. Getting drunk is not as gross in the winter.  In the summer, you’re dewy and sweaty; beer becomes an enemy.  Winter drinking gives you an alcohol-blanket that will be your friend all night.
  9. All the skinny chicks look like penguins in the summer, but me, I look hearty and amazing.  In the summer, I look frizzy and swollen compared to the many stick-figures walking about dressed in napkins.  No hate, they look great.
  10. No mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes are not sexy.

This is me - all summer long.

Stop Comparing Me to Fruit

I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.

In this case, the fruit doesn't even fit. And that does NOT look like a banana, damnit.

I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or  with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!

This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.

Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.

I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.

Christina Aguilera Is NOT Fat.

A lot of people have been freaking out for a while about how “fat” Christina Aguilera has become.  Really?  She’s maybe, at most, a size eight.  Isn’t the average woman a size 14 in this country?  Average Americans are generally pretty frickin’ fat; especially when compared to famous people.  Famous people are held to a truly ridiculous standard of beauty, and their bodies are scrutinized constantly.  This girl appeared on the scene as a teeny tiny teeny bopper.  Now, she’s in her thirties, and she’s a mom.  Maybe we should back off a little.

Christina Aguilera is not fat, y’all.  She’s not even close.  She just grew up, had a baby, gained some normal weight.  How dare a celebrity parade her smaller-than-average, yet not entirely waifish body around like it’s not the worst thing to ever happen?  How dare she wear leggings, jeggings, skirts, dresses, and various other Hollywood-approved items of clothing?  Okay, so she’s a little fuller.  She still has a fairly flat stomach, and she’s a curvy lady.  She has always had impressive ta-tas.  She has always dressed scantily.  She has always flaunted her curves.  Meaning that she does have curves.  Why is that so bad?  Plus, remember when she released the album, “Stripped,” and released songs like, “Dirrrty?”  DO YOU REMEMBER “DIRRTY?”

Anything is better than the weird fake tanned, stippery, midriff-obsessed, dredded, smeared, slutty, dirrrty Christina Aguilera of 2001.  Even if you think she looks “fat,” which is (I reiterate) absurd.  She looks fine.  She looks closer to normal than most celebrities, but that might be a good thing.  Don’t people like that about Kelly Clarkson?  Why can’t we like that about Christina Aguilera too?  Oh no!  Healthy, slightly normal women in Hollywood!  But what if they sound fat on the radio?  We just couldn’t have that.

Turns out, Christina doesn’t give a single eff about people being real a-holes about her weight.  She said, “I’ve been in this for a long time. I came out on the scene when I was 17 years old. ‘You can never be too much of anything. You can never be too prefect, too thin, too curvy, too voluptuous,’ this, that. I’ve been on all sides of the spectrum…  I’m very confident in my body. I think my video works over the years have spoken to that… I’ve been no stranger to being very comfortable in my own skin.”  She also said that her man likes her curves.  (Read more.)

Thus, I think we should leave it be.  If she wants to be a normal person and eat french fries sometimes, why can’t she just freaking do that?

UGH.

This Week in Unacceptable: Jennifer Hudson’s New Weight Watcher’s Commercial

This is real.

This is far too absurd to be taken seriously, yet Weight Watchers seems to want me to do so.  I refuse.

First, it is always a problem to sing a duet with yourself.  I don’t care how awesome it seems in your head, unless you’re Nick Pitera, and/or you’re singing with a sense of humor, it’s a bad choice.  A respectable, Oscar-winning actress and singer should not be doing this to move some diet system…  even if the system is respected.  Sure, Weight Watchers is good at what they do, but Jennifer Hudson should have higher standards.  The other commercials weren’t that bad.  They were still weight-loss commercials, but they were mostly fine.  Ultimately, remember to duet with others first.

Second, we didn’t need the side by side image of her pre-weight-loss and pre-stylist.  We already get that she looks great.  She wrote a book.  She made videos.  She’s already done it.  It’s weird.  Also, this just makes me sad about the pink outfit… Just look at the pink outfit.

Third, THIS SONG IS SO, SO, SO, SO, SO OVER THE TOP!  Losing weight is not a miracle.  You lost weight because you dieted and exercised.  It was not a miracle.  I’m glad that you believe in you (and me), but settle the hell down.

The Horror of Shopping for Boots

Every lady loves a nice pair of knee-high boots.  They are sexy, practical, and all-around awesome.  Women love shoes largely because (as I heard once on TLC’s “What Not To Wear”) you’re never too fat for shoes.

Well, unless you (like me) have giant calves.

My calves are so big, I can’t wear most boots.  This means, my weirdly, inexplicably, doubly-muscly calves are too fat for certain shoes.  That’s not a great feeling.  In fact, going to a store and trying on boots is embarrassing, frustrating, and occasionally painful.  I have zippered my skin and jeans.  I have gotten my leg stuck in a pair of boots so bad I had to have help to pull them off.  Today, a little girl actually laughed me and giant calves.  This is why I am ranting to the shoe and boot industry today – Some women have big calves, and we want to wear boots too.  Dammit.

The picture below describes my life, and it also comes from a blog I found while searching for images of big calves vs. boots.  Check out her blog – CLICK HERE!

I don’t know why my calves are so big, but I do know that I’m not alone.  Lots of ladies have meaty calves; where’s the love, shoe industry?  Where’s the love?

I just want to be able to go to the mall, walk into a store, and find at least one pair of boots that will actually fit over my weirdly muscular calves.  I don’t know why they’re so big, they just are.  Maybe I walk in a strange manner that requires more calf-action than the normal woman?  Maybe I knead the mattress with my feet when I sleep?  Maybe it’s genetic?  I don’t know.  I know that I want boots.  I’ll pay for them.  I just want someone to sell them.  I don’t think I should have to go to 15 stores to find even one pair that fits me.  Some women are fat, and have fat legs.  Some women aren’t fat, but have big legs.  Some women have crazy cankles.  Some women might just want a little more breathing room.

Me, I’m not a fat person; I’m just a person with giant calves who would like to purchase some boots.

Sell me some boots.