Monday, February 25, 2013

Adele, Octavia, and plus-size fashion

I am a big believer that the phrase "for her size" or any of its equivalents should not be used when paying someone a compliment. Phrases like "that dress flattered her figure" should also be booted from the fashion vocabulary.

Every woman, no matter her shape or size, has features she wants to show off - and those she'd like to hide as much as possible. The right dress can do that for any woman. Regardless of size, one bad fashion decision can make even the most beautiful woman look regrettable.

When you're talking about red carpet fashion - and particularly the Oscar red carpet - fashion isn't just about the dress. It's about how the whole look is pulled together. That means hair, makeup, jewelry, accessories, the dress, the shoes, the smile, the posture - the whole picture.

When a thin actress wears a particularly bad dress, we don't say it's not flattering to her figure. We don't say she couldn't pull it off because of her hips, or whatever. We say - holy $&%#, what was she thinking?!

I think curvy women should be treated the same. Beautiful is beautiful - and awful is awful. Size and shape don't need to be mentioned. It's implied - if the look was awful, then obviously the dress did nothing for the woman.

Take Adele. She's beautiful, immeasurably talented, well-spoken, funny, gracious - all the things that make you root for a celebrity.

When I say she's beautiful, I don't mean "for her size" or when she wears a "flattering outfit." I mean she's a freaking beautiful woman - one who has made some regretable fashion choices.

Her dress from the Grammy Awards - actually, her whole look - is awful. Not because of her size. Not because of her age. It's ugly because it's ugly. She's worthy of better. Period. It's not about her size - it's about no one can make this dress look OK, especially on a red carpet.

What it looks like is someone thought her hips needed to be hidden, and her legs elongated to draw attention away from her size. So someone thought Adele's size was something that needed to be hidden, and they thought covering her in a field of flowers was the way to go. I can't explain why the hair is all the way up...but it also goes to show that whoever styled the look doesn't appreciate true beauty.

I'm hoping whoever this person is was fired.

After last night's Oscar broadcast, it seems like someone was fired - or at least schooled a little.

Adele wore this look on the red carpet...

...and this look when she performed her now Oscar-winning song "Skyfall."

Found them both here

Her performance look? Hot - at any size.

Black is a traditional red carpet look. I think that's fine (and Adele does it all the time) because there's never anything wrong with being classic. I like that she added some sparkle to the red carpet look, but I still don't understand hiding the hips and arms. Her body is beautiful, and her skin is gorgeous - show it off!

A "curvy" acress who seems to have it all figured out (pun intended)? Octavia Spencer. She isn't afraid of color, sparkle, or fit.

2012 Oscars

2013 Oscars

I have read that Ms. Spencer always works with the same designer. She has said Tadashi Shoji doesn't just hand curvy celebrities a "designer tent" and send them on their way, but rather works with women to come up with her look, regardless of size.

I wonder if there's any way Shoji could have helped some of the acresses of a smaller size last night?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Fill-In Fun

This blog has my back when I can't come up with a fun Friday post...

1. Paisley is not my thing.

2. Court is Crafty made me a hat - with bling!

3. Where is the weekend already?!

4. That was the end?!

5. Sometimes, less is really just less.

6. Give me horseradish mustard over Grey Poupon any day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner, tomorrow my plans include New York in Bloom, and Sunday, I want to eat and watch the Daytona 500 and then the Oscar Red Carpet (uninterrupted!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Girls want to be brides

As soon as they can walk, little girls start playing dress up. One of their favorite dress up games? Wedding.

They start thinking about the dress they want, their favorite flowers. what sort of ring they'll wear - oh, and yeah, if there'll be a guy there or not - long before they ever go on a date or have their first kiss. When we're young, we understand that the dress and the shoes and the jewelry are much more important than the guy. It's not until we get a little older that boys arrive on the scene and screw up our priorities.

So it's not really news that women plan their wedding before they even have a proposal.

Haven't women been doing this for...well...ever? Wasn't there an episode of Friends where Monica dragged out a binder full of wedding ideas she started pulling together when she didn't even have a prom date?

Now, thanks to the magic of the internet and social media, women are pinning their way to the perfect wedding...and none of those pins have anything to do with the groom. 

Some think this makes women desperate. That they're so excited to have the wedding of their dreams, they'll marry the first guy who asks, just for the chance to put their plans in action.

I disagree.

Some women like to plan. They know exactly what they want, and they want to be sure they can put it in place when the time is right. Planning a wonderful wedding takes a while. There are million (give or take) possible ideas - no reason not to make a note-to-self for future reference.

As far as the groom's importance.... Let's face it. A husband might be important to the success of a marriage - but these women aren't planning a marriage. They're planning a wedding.

At the wedding, a groom is really just one more accessory.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chris P. Bacon

At the gym, I try to use an arc trainer that puts me right in between the TV with CNN and the TV with ESPN. This is how I ensure I do at least 30 minutes. 

Yesterday, there was a story about the cutest baby pig who was born without the use of his hind legs. A vet built him a wheelchair out of K'NEX. 

I want to adopt him.

Meet Chris P. Bacon...

Found it here

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Shemar Moore Day!

Shemar Moore.

Borrowed from his Facebook page

If ever you needed proof that God not only exists, but He loves us and wants us to be happy...there you have it.

His new website - - launched today. Is this the best Valentine's Day ever or what?!?

Here's a Youtube video of him telling all his "baby girls" he'll be their Valentine. I'm including myself on this list.

Follow him on Twitter, too - because there's really no way to get too much of such a good thing.

Oh - and Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I give up

Today is the first date of Lent. That's a Catholic thing; I think it's also observed in other Christian denominations, but I'm not sure which.

I consider myself a Christian, but I haven't heard Lent mentioned at my church. When I was Catholic, I always forgot to give something up. If asked by one of the nuns, or my Grandmother, I scrambled and always came up with an answer like ice cream.

But a life without ice cream is like darkness and chaos, and I'm sure no God to whom I pray would ever want me to live that way.

So, this year, I've decided to give up the following:

  • Procrastination
  • Too much TV
  • Avoiding the gym
  • Too much junk food
  • Paying attention to unkind words of others
  • Rejection (in other words, I'm giving up caring when others reject me)
  • Being too hard on myself
  • Being too hard on others

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone gave up judgment, lying, feeling bad and (nonconstructive) criticism for forty whole days?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Name the problem

I struggle with low self-esteem. I've actually struggle with it less as an adult than I did as a kid, but it still creeps in to my life here and there.

Around Christmas, our Pastor did a series at church called It's a Wonderful Life. His messages are usually quite powerful, and give me a lot of comfort. Two services in this series were about recognizing the bad spirits in your life, identifying them - and getting rid of them.

We've all heard "the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one." It's not enough just to say there is a problem, though - you have to give it a name. That's how you take away its power and figure out how to deal with it.

[Sort of like Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series - not saying the evil wizard's name bred fear, which gave him tremendous power. Saying his name out loud was how good wizards fought him.]

When something has control over your life, you are going to make mistakes and miss opportunities. If you believe in God, and His plan for your life, you believe this is because you're giving control to someone or something other than God. Even if you don't believe in a higher power or plan of any sort, you still have to admit that if you're letting someone else steer the ship, then you're not living up to your potential or plan. Just because you're not in charge.

So what do you do? Name the problem. Whether you do it on your own, or through prayer, or counseling, or talking to your friends until they don't want to hear it anymore - identify the issue, give it a name, and figure out how to give it the boot.

Why did you make that bad choice, or let that thing happen, or say yes (or no) when you should have done the opposite? You know you knew better - so what was the problem? Once you can answer that question, you are on your way towards setting things right.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's been a while

I haven't been around in a while. Truth be told I was going through some stuff...and work was busy...and then I found West Wing on netflix and the whole thing fell apart.

(For Christmas, X bought me a blu-ray player that streams netflix, among other things. Genius.)

Also, I've been hoping I'd be able to move this little corner of the internet over to the Times Union's corner, so though I was working on some posts, I kinda wanted to save them in case that came to fruition. It hasn't (yet, anyway). I'm sure when/if it does, I'll have something to say.

I was going to do the NaBloPoMo February prompts to get myself back in the groove - but the theme is love and sex, which I don't talk about too much (here, anyway). Maybe I'll do March over here - but in the meantime...

found it here

...back to why I've been gone.

December and (much of) January were not easy. Did you ever have someone in your life who dragged you down? But you really like this person, so you were determined to keep him in your life because darn it, you can make anything work? Who you don't want to walk out on because he needs you, and you don't want to be the bad friend who wasn't there to help?

That was my December and January.

It took a lot of soul-searching and crying and guilt (stupid Catholic upbringing) but I finally figured out that it was OK for me to look out for myself. I remembered that it is perfectly acceptable to protect my own happiness and my own self-esteem (and frankly, my own safety), and doing so does not make me a bad person or friend. I reminded myself that it's better to be alone for the right reasons, then with someone for the wrong reasons.

So I drew a line in the sand a couple of weeks ago and said no more. No more tears, no more heartbreak, no more putting my life on hold waiting for something that was never going to happen.

I realized what I really want is better - and better is what I really deserve.