Archive for the ‘Beauty & Fashion’ Category

Don’t Let Fashion Go to Your Head

One of my friends found this image on a random blog and sent it to me for a laugh. Had to share this with the rest of you. (If my friend ever finds the blog again, I’ll post the link here.)

While I love the fashion industry and fierce females, sometimes stuff like this comes out and confuses me.

Looks like someone’s hairy lower half fucking that person’s head.

Funny Fashion

Advertisements

Gregory Gorgeous on The Avenue Show

Gregory Gorgeous. You may have heard of him – he’s pretty big on YouTube. Every so often, I check out his channel because I find him to be very charming and funny. Sometimes he’s also ditsy and ridiculous. He’s one of those rare guys who actually looks amazing with makeup and women’s clothing. His fashion sense and personality is something truly fierce, and I commend his confidence to stay true to himself.

Some people have problems with blurring the line between genders. Many of us grew up in households where our parents taught us that this is how girls should behave and look like, and this is how boys should behave and look like. So when we see a man walking down the street wearing a dress and heels, it can cause confusion or even outrage.

But why is this? If a person isn’t doing any harm and is merely wearing clothes typically associated with another gender, why is that such a big deal? The clothes on our backs and the handbags we carry are just a form of self-expression. Let me tell you something – even those who don’t cross-dress are guilty for committing many fashion faux-pas! So if a guy wants to wear women’s clothing and can actually pull it off with flair, why should he be penalized?

Gregory Gorgeous is starring in a show called The Avenue. It’s based in Toronto, and is a reality-based show that’s reminiscent of The Hills. While I don’t think this will receive any awards, I do give it the thumbs up for being open-minded. There aren’t many Canadian shows out there that star a gay man who wears makeup and women’s fashion and that isn’t a deliberate comedy.

Okay, so the acting is pretty amateur. And yes, you can hear clothing rubbing onto the microphone so it’s totally a low-budget production. But the premise is fun and easy-going. Not every show needs to be a cheesy musical headache like Glee, a gory murder mystery like Dexter, or a beaten-to-death show like American Idol. Sometimes you just want something light and fluffy so you forget that the world is the place of hard knocks.

What do you think about Gregory Gorgeous on The Avenue? Will you be watching it? Do you support men who embrace femininity?

Kickin’ Ass & Takin’ Names

In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet says, “What’s in a name? / That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet”. But is it really true? I disagree. What you name something or someone definitely matters. Just ask Apple. No, not the fruit or the computer company. Apple’s the daughter of the boring, harmless-as-flies celeb couple Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. Yawn.

Grenade. Seriously? Yeah. We were friends at summer camp, and we made quite the hilarious pair. She was this macho, big-boned girl who was nice enough but who also didn’t tolerate any crap. Everyone just knew not to mess with her. And there I was, this small, bony, happy-go-lucky girl who was always making gimp bracelets and friendship bracelets. We actually had nothing in common except total respect for each other. But an angel, I was not. I’d often make cracks about how her mom probably picked Grenade’s name because of the crude way she was delivered.

Sticks & Stones May Break My Bones, But Names Will Never Hurt Me

Names also play an important role in the cosmetics industry. Lots of women (including myself) are suckers when it comes to buying products with punny names. Allow this nail-polish addict to provide examples: OPI: Eiffel for This Color and China Glaze: Kaleidoscope Him Out. Gotta give props to the creative teams who come up with the names.

Normally mascaras have standard, boring names like Blackest Black and some cheaper brands even just use numbers to differentiate between colours. Then you get companies who try to blow the lid off the compost bin. Yes, it’s all in fun (and I did get a laugh when I heard about most), but if you look deeper than the surface level, you’ve gotta wonder if these names are a bad influence or not.

When does being sassy begin to colour outside the lines and paint its way into anti-feminist territory? I’m definitely not a prude, but sometimes I ask myself if some shocking colour names are really necessary. Aren’t there other (and better) ways to get attention from consumers?

Sex sells:

We Don’t See Eye to Eye on Being Cheek to Cheek

I own China Glaze Tickle My Triangle. And I was thinking about buying Cheeky Monkey Brazen Hussy, but the more I think about, the more I feel like I shouldn’t be supporting a company that sexualizes women. It goes against my feminist ideals that I’m trying to uphold (even though I am, of course, still human and hypocritical at times).

Cheeky Monkey is a cosmetics brand that I didn’t know much about until last week, so I did some research. According to their website, the Cheeky Monkey philosophy is all about empowering women:

“Cheeky Monkey is not conventional.

Neither are the women who wear it.

We believe all women should feel free to express their personal edginess. You work hard, make responsible choices and embrace life to the fullest. Engage the cheeky side of things – you get the joke. You know that to be good, you have to be a little naughty. Cheeky Monkey cosmetics are environmentally safe and 3 Free healthy. They are edgy and fun, but above all, high quality. Just like the women who wear them.”

Sounds great, right? It makes women sound like the world is their oyster and that they have the freedom to change it. I don’t have any issue with that. My problem is that they’re saying one thing, but then doing another. We’re all hypocrites, and I’m certainly not one to stand on a pedestal to proclaim how morally superior I am, but c’mon…with a mission statement like that, how can they possibly justify nail-polish names like Cheap Whore and Back Alley Sally? Yes, they make us giggle, but what the hell is empowering about being a slut and being used for your body?

Cosmetic politics.

What do you think?

Heidi Montag & Plastic Surgery: Low Self-Esteem Cuts like a Knife

People love to hate Heidi Montag (or Heidi Pratt since she is married to the most hated reality TV villain, Spencer Pratt). She’s been the butt of many cruel jokes revolving the staged ‘candid’ shots of the couple hamming it up for the paparazzi and her failed attempt at a music career. When she went under the knife, it only added fuel to the fire.

The Hills star has transformed before our very eyes. In season one, she looked sweet, bubbly, happy, and natural. Then a few seasons later, she opted for a nose job and breast implants. Then in November, she went through 10 plastic-surgery procedures in a single day and came out looking like this. (Watch the Access Hollywood interview to hear Heidi Montag speak out about her experience.)

I actually thought Heidi looked gorgeous before her surgery – she had this sparkle in her eyes that I can’t quite describe. When she smiled, her whole face smiled.

I’m also not against plastic surgery. I’ve fantasized about having breast implants someday, but threw that dream out the window because I always come back to the same conclusion: I don’t want to rely on surgery to make me happy. I want to become stronger from within and learn to accept myself as is. That is what a real feminist does – deal with hard problems instead of resorting to quick fixes. And I never want to define my happiness solely on the size of my boobs. That would just make me depressed.

Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery got me thinking about how closely a woman’s self esteem is tied to her looks. There’s a suffocating amount of pressure on us to look a certain way – fake.

Even though we know that the photos of those models have been airbrushed and even if we know that there’s nothing real about that woman, we still think, “Wow, she’s beautiful” and then pulled out the mental yardstick as we compare our physical ‘failings’ with her positive attributes. It is this process by which we gradually loathe ourselves and make it our goal to look like someone entirely different.

You could say that we learn to disrespect ourselves.

But it was something Heidi Montag said in the January 25, 2010 issue of People magazine that pissed me off and made me pity her. When asked if it worries her that people will fixate on her large breasts, she replied:

“I hope so. They better! That’s kind of the point. Sex appeal is really important and it’s not saying that you’re only sexy if you have big boobs. That’s not true at all, and honestly the way I got Spencer, I had no surgery. It was my inner beauty that he loved.”

So she wants people now to notice her because of her boobs. Lovely. So many women have fought so that we could come as far as we did since getting the right to vote. But now ignorant statements like this throw the stick in the bicycle’s spokes.

And she claims that Spencer Pratt loved her inner beauty, and that’s what he fell in love with. Well, what about Heidi? Does she also not love herself for her inner beauty? Apparently not since she was quoted as telling someone during an interview that she’d rather die than to be flat-chested. Nice.

Things like this bother me because it’s proof that women still have such problems linking their self worth with how others perceive them. Instead of being happy, you’re happy because someone else is happy.

I May Wear a Size Double Zero, But I’m Not the Invisible Woman

GlockomaGlockoma“Real women have curves.” Do elbows and knees count? Jokes aside, that’s a loaded, unchallenged statement, and it needs to be analyzed to expose its anti-feminist messages. At first glance, it seems harmless, but I’m going to tell you why I think it needs to be revised, and why this statement is a big “Glock You!” to women everywhere.

My opinion may not be commonly held, but sometimes it’s important to stand up for something you feel strongly about regardless if you have support or not.

The problem I have with the widely-accepted statement is that it makes a myriad of sweeping assumptions and commits the same crime it condemns. (Don’t worry. I’m going to unpack these thoughts and wrap them in red bows.)

We live in a weight-conscious world with sensationalist (not sensational) shows like The Biggest Loser and More to Love. Many women are unfortunately disappointed with the way they look and feel that they need to go on diets.

Sadly, these yo-yo, rollercoaster diets are nothing more than money-making schemes that prey upon the vulnerable and leave them feeling worse off.

Glockoma“Real women have curves” is supposed to empower women to love their bodies in all their overweight glory even if they don’t resemble the rail-thin supermodels on the catwalk.

Most women in North America aren’t a size 2 like your typical model. I did some online research (and while there is some debate over the exact number), the most-commonly reported average is size 12.

While I’m all for bolstering the fragile ego, we are forgetting something here: some women are naturally thin, some are a size zero, some are scrawny, some are flat-chested, some have boyish hips, and yes, some are also suffering from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

GlockomaBut are they not all (real) women, too?

To shut out this important demographic is a slap in the face that rests on the assumption that women are to be defined merely by the shape of their bodies. And in this case, a ‘real woman’ must have boobage, hips, and a bootylicious behind.

People are often quick to make the following assumptions, too. Thin women:

  • are generally healthier compared to those who are overweight
  • hit the gym regularly
  • count calories, watch what they eat, or have ‘issues with food’

GlockomaTime to glock an assumption right now. Thin people aren’t necessarily healthier than bigger individuals. It’s more about proportion and lipid distribution. I’ve read about super-skinny people having loads of fat around their vital organs. And there are definitely a lot of larger people who don’t stuff their face and who do have very active lifestyles. You can’t necessarily extrapolate an individual’s health by the number on the bathroom scale alone unless you only consider extreme cases like the 50-lb. woman or the 1-ton man.

Having been slender my entire life, I have first-hand experience of people asking me how I stay slim. It’s pretty amusing when they find out that I don’t actually exercise as much as they think, and that I eat whatever I want whenever I want. To their dismay, they realize that my body type is due to my high metabolism and genetics.

And when people find out that I’m a vegetarian, fuck, they just have a field day with that! “Eat a hamburger to fatten yourself up”, “Plants have feelings, too”, or “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you like the taste of meat?” Then they attribute my thinness to vegetarianism and have a Eureka Moment that makes them feel smart for a few nanoseconds.

Not so fast, slugger.

I’ve been a vegetarian now for over two years, but I’ve been thin my whole life. Don’t believe me? I have my school pictures to prove it. (And just to get this out in the open, I loved eating meat…until I watched this documentary called Earthlings. Also, it’s funny, but I eat more now as a vegetarian than I ever did when I enjoyed meat. One more ball I’d like to hit out of the park is that vegetarians don’t actually just eat vegetables – we’d starve. But I suppose that’s another rant about misconceptions for another entry.)

GlockomaOnce a co-worker saw me going for my second slice of cake at the company potluck and said something like, “Where does all the food go to with those hollow legs?”

He wasn’t meaning to be rude, and it was actually his way of showing that he was impressed with how I could pack so much food into this tiny body without growing sideways, but still…it stung pretty badly. Nobody likes being called a toothpick just like he wouldn’t appreciate it if I likened him to Shamu or commented on his thunder thighs.

GlockomaWhy the double standard?

But I really hate it when people comment on my weight because it makes me feel very uncomfortable. I’m very self-conscious by nature. When I was a child, relatives (who I was never close with) would seem to make it a point to tell me at every single family gathering in front of everyone that I was skinny. They didn’t say it like it was a good thing – more like telling me that I was a bag of bones and Skeletor had company.

Commenting on someone’s weight is plain rude – unless you’re a doctor…well, then you’re allowed to do a lot of atypical things (like shoving a gloved finger up someone’s anus!). I’ve actually made it a point to never bring up someone’s weight unless a) they specifically ask me about it or b) it becomes a severe medical concern.

I sometimes wondered if my relatives ever thought about what they were saying and what kind of effect it would have on me later on in life. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so self-conscious about my weight if they learned to zip it on occasion.

Calling a thin person skinny can be equivalent to calling an overweight person fat. Nobody likes to be singled out for their weight – I certainly didn’t.

Alas, I digress. Going back to the “real women have curves” mantra: while it looks so nice and glossy on the surface by telling curvy gals to love what they look like, at the same time it’s ostracizing skinny and underweight women who may struggle with similar social and media pressures. Yet if we flip the coin and change the mantra to “real women are a size zero”, imagine the outcries that would follow – we’d be stoned to death by their scowls alone!

GlockomaWriting a book on this topic would be all too easy – think volume 1 through 20! So I’m going to conclude here. We need to modify “real women have curves” to “real women have brains” because after everything we’ve done to fight for our rights, I believe that we should be judged (and commended!) on our intellect, wit, and skills rather than how easily we can zip up a tight Versace dress.

Canada’s Next Top Model: Silence Is Golden, But Speaking Up Is Platinum

GlockomaCanada’s Next Top Model taught me that fashion usually is the one who flew over the cuckoo’s nest. It’s art, so interpretations run more rampant than sex scandals in Tinsel Town. And when it comes to the outlandish visions, trying to rationalize the irrational is like asking a mule to procreate.

But sometimes fashion isn’t just all fun and games – someone gets hurt. Most often, it’s the models who are taught that faking it ’til you make it is the mark of a true professional. (Here’s a novel concept: how about being genuine in a plastic world?)

Oh yeah, the life of a model is so glamourous. Their bodies are scrutinized by agencies under perfection’s microscope, they have to shove their feet into shoes that are much too small, and all the while they must smile and pretend like they’re having the time of their lives. Beauty is pain? Beauty is ugly.

With all that being said, I still really enjoy keeping up-to-date on shenanigans in the fashion world. What can I say? I’m drawn to eccentricity and the abstract because I’m wary of anything that’s simple or clear-cut.

Canada’s Next Top Model is one of the CTV shows I tune into weekly because a) it supports homegrown ‘talent’, b) I dig Jay Manuel (he always looks airbrushed), and c) I enjoy watching the creative candor at photoshoots.

Hear No Evil. See No Evil. Speak No Evil.

GlockomaGlockomaWell, Tuesday’s show hit a feminist nerve. As usual, each model got her hair styled and her make-up done, but what was different this time around was the finishing touch – a piece of duct tape over her mouth!

Really? After all these years, the fashion industry is still spreading the pathetic and hopeless message that women should be seen and not heard? Well, glock that! I am woman. Hear me roar!

Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation

GlockomaAnd while I think Jeanne Beker is usually smart-as-a-whip, right on the money, and should be related to The Joker with a mouth like hers, she fell off the mark and into a pail of pig’s blood when she verbally defended the keep-quiet concept at the judging panel.

Deep down inside, I’m sure she knows that taping someone’s mouth shut is never empowering or about the challenge of “smiling with your eyes” – it’s about telling females everywhere that what they say accounts for very little, so they should just pretend like everything’s okay, look pretty, and pose for the camera. Way to cheapen women’s thoughts like souvenir shops in tourist attractions.

Getting Nailed: Bottling up Gender Stereotypes

FeminismGlockoma is just a newborn feminist blog. But with some TLC, I’ll help it grow strong enough to confront a circus of mature topics that’ll get your mind revolving like the Giant Ferris Wheel at the amusement park. I’ll burst your bubble and maybe I’ll even piss someone off.

Come fly with me on our way up, and let’s call out the scum of the Earth as we dip it low. Opinions run full circle without getting winded – I hope you can keep up.

Since the frequency of updates on my feminist blog have been lackluster, I’ve spent some time brainstorming what subjects I’d like to address in near-future posts. After a barrage of lighting bolts and some thunderstorms, I came up with a few.

Whetting Your Appetite for Upcoming Main Courses

  • Singled Out – Unfair negative views of single women compared to the positive image of your typical bachelor
  • Hairy Situations – Why does society expect women to be virtually hair-free when the majority of men flaunt their forests?
  • Pooping Plastic – Understanding the rise of plastic surgery & its lacerations on women’s long-term self-image
  • Sex Sells Sellouts – The unfortunate reliance on womanly wiles & the Casting Couch to climb the corporate ladder
  • Being Nice Is a Sign of Lacking Personality – Is this statement true? Does the modern woman really need to be mean & nasty?
  • A Wrinkle in Time – Investigating anti-aging products & the unreal search for the Fountain of Youth

GlockomaNow that I have your attention, let’s get on with the show. Curtains, up! Spotlight, on! Glocks in hand!

GlockomaThe first thing I want you to sink your teeth into is the Big Bad Beauty Industry. It huffs and it puffs…and it shamelessly perpetuates gender stereotypes with conniving marketing tactics!

This isn’t anything ground-breaking, but if we become more conscious of it when we view their commercials and print ads, maybe we won’t be so willing to take it quietly.

But it’s too vague and overwhelming to tackle the entire beauty industry – I need to pick apart one facet. How about nail polish? Can you get down with that?

My stash is now at over 150 bottles, and I’m always reading the latest blogs to find out what the next hot shit is. Needless to say, I’m pretty passionate about nail colour!

Would You Rather Raise a Fist or a ‘Pink’y in the Air?

Glockoma

Browse through your local beauty store or look online. Check out the spectrum of polishes available to you. You’ll have an overwhelming number of sheer nudes, traditional pretty pinks, a heaping pile of reds or burgundies, some flirty purples, and a few beautiful blues.

Now look for yellows, greens, and dark grays. Much harder, no? The message we’re getting here is that girls and women are “supposed to” like Mommy-dearest pinks, barely-there soft colours, and/or red sex-kitten hues.

Just like TV sitcoms try to jam gender roles down our throats, the nail-polish companies seem to want to push the sales of a clear set of hues they deem ‘feminine’. Reds and pinks are their favourites. While I have nothing against those colours, I do find it a major yawn fest to see the exact same boring pink/red released in so many new seasonal collections. We’ve seen it before! At least give it a twist like a matte finish or holo glitter!

What’s interesting to note is that ever since Sephora by OPI introduced the unique mushroomy stunner last fall that was Metro Chic, female consumers simply went ballistic! The average woman actually embraced this atypical colour. Even to this day, it keeps selling out, and you’ll find pathetic peddlers trying to milk the cash cow on eBay by auctioning off bottles for profit.

Since then, nailphiles everywhere have rushed out to get China Glaze’s green-glittery Emerald Sparkle, Essie’s surprising blue-creme Mesmerize, and OPI’s taupe You Don’t Know Jacques. Even shy violets took the plunge and reveled in those crazy summer neons like Essie’s Funky Limelight! (And c’mon, we’re all seriously lusting after the rare and discontinued dark-green Zulu by NARS.)

Oh, how it’s a sign of the times! I hope we continue to see an explosion of these non-traditional  colours season after season. Whatever the impetus was for the beauty industry doing a handstand and producing them is worth investigating.

Could it be that more women are getting tired of being force-fed gender stereotypes even when it comes to the makeup they choose to wear? Maybe modern women are flipping off the cosmetic companies and demanding originality.

Ahhh…It’s a good day for feminism!

%d bloggers like this: