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Big Question Follow Up: Does She Have A Point? | Manolo for the Big Girl

Big Question Follow Up: Does She Have A Point?

Hi y’all! Happy Monday! Don’t you hate people who say “Happy Monday”? I do, but I’m all hopped up on painkillers and peanut brittle (peanut brittle is self-explanatory; painkillers because my quads are killing me. Combination of going to three services on Sunday –that’s a lot of kneeling– and dancing on the platforms at Oilcan Harry’s until 2 in the morning. Man, talk about a problem only an Episcopalian would have. “Did I hurt myself with all that prayer, or was it dancing at a gay disco in five-inch heels?”) so I don’t care.

ANYHOODLE

Got a few comments from Concerned Reader Sarah regarding my controversial Novelty Socks Big Question. Now we at the Big Girl blog aren’t afraid of a little dissension among the ranks, and in the almost unfathomably unlikely event of me actually being wrong, I’d be glad to admit it.  So I thought I’d give Sarah a chance to vent her considerable spleen, and see if perhaps I’m in the minority here.

“Why do we have to explain ourselves to you?”

You don’t have to. Maybe we should ask the author why she feels it’s necessary to judge a woman by her outside appearance. Shallow much?

I live in a small community and work in the medical field. Please explain to me where “chic” dressing fits in. My big outing to the local Wal-Mart? Give me a break.

It’s been my experience that people compensate on the outside for what they don’t have on the inside.

Being a full-time mother and/or being strapped for cash is a VALID excuse for not dressing up to “expectation.” Fashion is a frivolous thing, a playtime for people with money and extra time on their hands – not for real people who work for a living and are striving to raise families.

“why don’t you want to be and look fabulous?”

Because I don’t want to. End of story. I don’t really care what you think.

Was I way off base? Is this how most of you feel? Let me have it, big girls!

59 Responses to “Big Question Follow Up: Does She Have A Point?”

  1. TropicalChrome February 3, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    What bothered me most about the original thread/question is what bothers me a great deal about this one: the utter arrogance of the statement “well, if *I* can do it, you can too!”. The posters do not know the limitations of others’ lives, and to assume that one can generalize from one’s own circumstances to those of everyone else is presumption of the worst kind.

    I come to this blog to get ideas, to see what’s out there, to check the discount codes, and to laugh a little. I do not come here to be judged and convicted without a trial because I do not follow every last piece of advice given. As a previous commenter mentioned earlier, if you’re going to dismiss every reason as an “excuse”, why bother to ask the question at all? Just say “You’re all weak…now drop and give me 20” and move on.

  2. harveypenguin February 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

    Hmmm, reading the comments, I’m now more on Concerned Reader Sarah’s side. I feel like a lot of these comments are really nasty and judgmental–how dare she not dress fashionably? It’s so easy! There is no excuse to not look just like me!

    Maybe Concerned Reader Sarah doesn’t want to dress fashionably. Maybe she likes her sweats and cartoon shirts. There’s no use in psychanalyzing why, and unless you know her and have a degree in psychology, it is insulting to do so.

    Looking a certain way is not a moral imperative. If you want to, fine. But I find the pseudo-outraged tone that many of these posts are taking about people not dressing the way you want to to be incredibly sexist and classist. And that makes me sad.

  3. Jennie February 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    Did I miss something? Is this not the blog titled “Manolo for the Bog Girl”? If you don’t want to get great tips on looking and feeling chic, check out. It just doesn’t make sense to me that she would react in the way she did. Why read if you don’t embrace the blog’s message?

    And for the record, I am juicy, on a budget, and still manage to look fab when I have to hit up the WalMarts. All it takes is a hairbrush, a little mascara, and clothes that fit properly and showcase my good points.

  4. Evie February 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    I think those who have deconstructed “chic” a bit are on the right track here. I took Plumcake’s original post, which in my opinion was more confusing than offensive, to be asking why readers might have a love/hate (embrace/fear?) relationship with the particular look that we consider “chic,” which for Plumcake is the penultimate style. In other words, if in your deepest heart of hearts you really aspire to be Audrey Hepburn or Marlene Dietrich or whoever embodies that style for you, why are you running around in the antithesis of that style? By my logic, the question is more about holding oneself back than demanding we all adhere to one uniform definition of style. Maybe I’m just interpreting Plumcake too liberally, but that’s my personal take on it.

    So, to extend that, if your dream is to be the most fashionable Renn girl, SAHM, nurse, impoverished student, etc. on the block, then why are you resisting that? Is it because you think that if you really were that fashionable, put together, or whatever, that you wouldn’t be as accessible?

    It’s a valid question, particularly when you throw in value judgments that can be made when dressing down is a sign of status or authenticity, as other commenters have mentioned. I’m an academic, and I’ve definitely heard professors criticized for looking too fashionable because fashion is supposed to be “below” intellectuals (which is of course bullcrap). Likewise, if you’re a busy working mother, will your fellow busy working mothers think you’re uppity or shallow or intimidating if they perceive you as worrying more about your earrings than your kids?

  5. Katherine February 5, 2009 at 4:36 am #

    I think fashion is technically frivolous. However, much like art is has the power to uplift you. I think women all have some critical self-esteem issues, and fashion is an incredibly powerful way to turn around someone’s severe-self image issues.

    Just watch a few episodes of say, BBC’s What Not to Wear, and you can very easily see a huge batch of women who go from wanting NOT to be fashionable, to blend, for whatever reason, and turn out to finding themselves beautiful, and even better, valuable again.

    The desire not to join life and value yourself is a choice. I don’t mean to pass judgment, but not dressing yourself with at least the respect of a personal style that makes you feel good is like not keeping your house tidy enough for guests. Its your choice, and I’ll respect it, but don’t expect me to visit much.

  6. Cree February 7, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    I had joined this blog on a recommendation from a fellow blogger that you all were funny here. I was interested. However, when I read the post mentioned here I stopped reading this blog. I was just going to leave it at that, and speak my discontent by not being a reader. Fashion isn’t really my thing anyway, but I like to support women, especially fat women, doing their thang. However, I’ve found that the post keeps coming up in my mind when I’m thinking about things, so I’m back to respond. It is an emotional response, because my logical side isn’t able to function concerning this topic.

    I just want to say I think you should be ashamed of yourselves. How dare you, and your readers, pass judgment on someone based solely on what they do or do not choose to wear? If you’re tired of women claiming time restraints to looking good, then perhaps they are tired of the pandemonium related to it. If a woman wants to dress up and look good for themselves, then I say they should rock on, but to do it just to get everyone else’s approval is bullshit. As women, we are constantly taught to fit into the rules of society. Be a lady and don’t curse, have sex for pleasure, be alone with a man, have an opinion, speak unless spoke to, blah, blah, blah. We’re told to take up as little space as possible, to have our hair done a certain way, to wear make-up even when we exercise, and most importantly to not stand out from the crowd. This sort of conformity has lead to countless females having eating disorders, and low self-esteem. Women are trapped in abusive relationship because they are told no one would want them the way they are, and they find it difficult to near impossible to adhere to the rules of our society for women.

    As a fat woman, we have to walk out the door every day and be ready for a fight. We have to fight our doctors and family members, and our closest friends, to prove there is nothing wrong with us. We are not abnormal or hideous or broken. We do not have to camouflage ourselves with make-up and fancy clothes in order to quell the rioters at our door. Our desire to not play by society rule’s of dress is not unethical or immoral, nor does it mean we do not have pride in ourselves, our bodies or our life. And I think it is horrific that instead of bonding together and creating a united front, accepting each other for our differences and embracing the fact that not all of us has to fancy fashion or go to the salon or wear cute shoes to be beautiful, smart, wonderful women, that there are so many on this site looking down their noses at other women.

    Whether or not a woman “looks good” when leaving her house has no bearings on her character.

  7. Lilly Munster March 2, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    At one time in my life I went from working in management to working in a bagel store (both baking product and serving customers), yet somehow I managed to show up daily wearing a clean, unwrinkled tee shirt and slacks and clean white “trainers”. My long hair was styled in a french braid and a sweat band to keep from looking grimey. ( I even wore lip gloss and Corn Silk). Compared to the rest of the emloyees , who used the hard work as an excuse to be slobs, I stuck out like a sore thumb and you know what?- I didn’t care.

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