Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

January 26, 2010

There’s No Crying in Baseball!

From Why I Hate Fashion by Tanya Gold

“But I got so fat that even fashion wouldn’t pretend it could fix me. You can get so fat they don’t actually want you in their clothes. It is bad marketing; if very fat people wear their clothes, thinner ­people won’t buy them. There was no point rattling through the rails any more, seeking a satin redemption – nothing would fit my unfashionable bulk. I was ­consigned to M&S smock-land, across the River Styx. And it is lovely here; no heels, no stupid dresses-of-the-moment, certainly no thongs. Fashion has died for me, with an angry little hiss. Ah, peace.”

Okay, it’s time for Miss Plumcake to give an Important Life Lesson to all you budding writers out there, so take heed because I’m only going to say this once:




Seriously, just don’t. The one exception is if you’re funny. Really funny. Funny to the point of inspiring incontinence, and not just in old people on cold days, because you know how they like to dribble. Then SOMETIMES you can get away with it, but even then, it’s better to err on the side of NOT sounding like you own fourteen cats and have an impressive collection of cobwebs in your lady garden. See,  professional media is not myspace, you’re not a 14 year old girl and no one gives a patent leather damn about your speshul speshul poignant pain.

Oh, uh, too harsh?

Let me explain.

I don’t care that this lady has decided fashion is eeeevil. I really don’t. I don’t care that she blames the accidental death of a sixteen year-old on her high heels –heels I’m sure Anna Wintour personally FORCED onto her feet because surely a young woman can’t make her own informed decisions– instead of just marking it up to a sad accident. I don’t care that she calls the models who appear in fashmags “anorexic children” because apparently it’s okay to judge people’s bodies when SHE’S doing the judging. I don’t care about any of that.

What I care about is crying in baseball.

You know how there is no crying in baseball? Well, I come from the newspaper biz and let me tell you, there’s no crying in journalism, either, and there’s ESPECIALLY no airing of your own depression/anxiety/unresolved abandonment issues from that one time in 1987 your dad missed your ballet recital.

Do you know how you deal with that when you’re a REAL journalist? Alcoholism and failed relationships, that’s how. None of this namby pamby moaning on the internet under the guise of journalism. No, it’s cirrhosis and child support and eyebags so big they’re being knocked-off in Chinatown, THE WAY THE LORD INTENDED IT.

I don’t even have the energy to talk about the problems with the bulk of her emo screed article, like how just because SHE doesn’t like something doesn’t make it evil (as opposed to when I don’t like something, because, to quote Lady Beauchamp: “I’m right because I’m always right and anyone who says I’m wrong is mad and wicked.”) and that for propagating the stereotype that big women are happier wearing tent dresses and shunning fashion she deserves to be taken behind the woodshed and beaten soundly by a pair of size 42 Christian Louboutin peep-toe glitter pumps (which you may then send to me) until she realizes that being frumpy is not the same as being superior, and caring about fashion is not the same as being owned by it.
ooooh sparkly
Fashion isn’t going to make you beautiful any more than eschewing it is going to make you interesting, ducklings. Remember that, and will someone please fix me a cocktail? Mama’s feeling a little piqued.


  1. I. LOVE. YOU.

    Please don’t ever stop blogging.

    Comment by BrooklynShoeBabe — January 26, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  2. Fabulous Plummy. Key that journalism, while it is not, is never, “objective” this does not mean that we should be “subjected” to whinging instead.

    (And btw, I finally tried your Ruby Manhattan recipe last night, and it is certainly a contender for my favorite cocktail anywhere ever.)

    Comment by Cedar — January 26, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

  3. “Fashion isn’t going to make you beautiful any more than eschewing it is going to make you interesting” Mmmm — words to live by and I think I’ll nip off and cross-stitch them onto a pillow, thank you!

    Comment by pamici — January 26, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

  4. Wow. I just read Ms. Pathetic’s article. All I have to say is: look at that picture of her looking pathetic at the top and the picture of a smiling Carrie from Sex and the City. The message to take from that isn’t that fashion makes you happy–it’s that you should just BE HAPPY in life and not some dour, uninteresting emo. Sheeesh.

    Preach it, Plummy!

    Comment by teteatete — January 26, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  5. So she’s exchanged definining herself by what she wears for defining herself by what she doesn’t wear? Unfortunately, I think the scorecard still reads Fashion 1, Her 0. I’m stuck between “poor lady” and “sack up.” Leaning towards the “sack up.”

    Comment by Sara Darling — January 26, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  6. standing o. and i will remember that lady beauchamp quote.

    how did i know before clicking that that was gonna be from the guardian?

    the british are a lunatic people.

    Comment by marjorie — January 26, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  7. Marjorie, Lady Beauchamp was reputedly the inspiration for Lady Marchmain of Brideshead Revisited fame.

    Comment by Plumcake — January 26, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

  8. Anybody who is fool enough to seek redemption in satin just loses me right then and there. Satin is a harsh lady. She’s a beguiling smiling lady but there is a reason that all bridesmaid’s dresses run ugly, and that reason is satin, and that is because satin cares for no one. It rhymes (kinda) with Satan for a reason. Just saying.

    Then there are the beguiling satin shoes that dupe you into spending $400 on them because they are sooooo beautiful and then stretch out of shape and become soiled after two wears. Not that I’ve ever had this happen in case my spouse my spouse is reading this and might be tempted to say he told me so.

    Oh? Was there another point? Sorry, too stuck on satin to think straight.

    I am wearing orange chiffon and Ormand Jayne woman and an eyeshadow called “stars and rockets” so if there is something going on the world I should care about, I can’t right now because I am too busy being fabulous.

    Comment by Lisa — January 26, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  9. Lisa! I’m wearing OJ Woman too. The orange chiffon is all you though.

    Comment by Plumcake — January 26, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  10. Also, there’s this:

    “I met a 16-year-old model once, in the offices of her agency. I was supposed to ­interview her, but my newspaper thought her comments were too depressing, so didn’t publish them. ”

    I have been in journalism for a very long time, and I think I can say with considerable confidence that this never happened.

    Comment by Mifty — January 26, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  11. Mifty: Right? I’ve been in the dead tree biz long enough to know “if it bleeds it leads”.

    Comment by Plumcake — January 26, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  12. Cedar, I’m so glad you’ve jumped on the Ruby Manhattan train. I could drink them until I saw cows coming home (no cows actual required).

    Comment by Plumcake — January 26, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

  13. Plummy, suh-NAP.


    eschew? ESCHEW?

    Comment by theDiva — January 26, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  14. Brava! Excellent post!

    Comment by wildflower — January 26, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

  15. Seriously, girlfriend has got to get her shiz together. I love fashion because I want to feel my best. I will give her a point though for saying the truth about high brand designers – they don’t make it in my size because I’m bad advertising. Truth is truth.

    Comment by Melissa — January 26, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  16. What a loathsome piece Ms. Gold has written. Journalism my ass. On the bright side, it is so true: there is no crying in baseball, and how delightful to be reminded of it again by a clip from one of my very favorite movies of all time.

    Comment by Mrs. Hendricks — January 26, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

  17. I disagree that “fat people wearing your clothing is bad advertising.” I think anybody who looks great can sell clothing.

    And, little miss Plumcake, I will have you know that orange chiffon is under-rated. This is me in my orange chiffon scarf (

    Comment by Lisa — January 26, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  18. She needs to put on her big girl panties and deal. If I can survive selling beautiful clothing I can’t actually wear all day to women who think they are fat at 150 lbs then she can get herself to a dressmaker to turn the shapeless into the shapely.

    Lisa, keep in mind that most fashion designers think the plus size market tops out at $300 dresses in black broadcloth. Never mind that there are large ladies that want to shop at Nieman’s, Saks, and Bloomies. Actually Saks has the best plus size section of the three, but their stuff just isn’t as varied as the straight sizes.

    Comment by Sara A. — January 26, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

  19. I still disagree with that comment she made about “thin people won’t buy it if they see a fat person is wearing it” comment. I just think she’s wrong, flat wrong about that. I know there are real limits as to the clothing that’s out there–god knows I know that–but just like I think it’s a myth that “men won’t look at fat women” I think it’s a myth that thin girls would reject wearing the same thing as a fat girl if what the fat girl was wearing was, in fact, pretty.

    Comment by Lisa — January 26, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

  20. Lisa, as a thin girl, I agree with you. Why in the world would I care if a fat girl had the same outfit that I had? I’ve seen several articles of clothing posted on this blog that have made me think, “I wonder if that comes in a size two?”

    Comment by Cat — January 27, 2010 @ 12:22 am

  21. Somehow I knew that was published in the Guardian before I even clicked on the link.

    Plummy you are one stellar reader to have made it through that article past the point where the writer speculatively blamed the death of a 16 year girl falling between train carriages on wearing high heels. I gave up at that point. What a rubbish piece, no amount of fashion will ever compensate for that.

    Comment by Bobbi — January 27, 2010 @ 2:09 am

  22. “being frumpy is not the same as being superior, and caring about fashion is not the same as being owned by it” Can I print this on a t-shirt and send it to 90% of the student body at my hipster liberal arts alma mater? The crap I got for being the only girl in my major who actually admitted to enjoying fashion and makeup…I mean, CLEARLY I couldn’t possibly have any room left in my poor head for theories and facts because it’s so full of SHOES and LIPSTICK up there.

    And extra bonus points to you for Telling People Things They Need to Know About Journalism.

    Comment by Evie — January 27, 2010 @ 3:20 am

  23. Wait…so…she’s in the UK? With Evans, Monsoon, and Dorothy Perkins? Excuse me while I tune up my tiny violin.

    Comment by ChloeMireille — January 27, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  24. Why, oh why, must “fashion” always be illustrated by an impossibly tall stiletto shoe? Is it not possible to be fashionable in a lower heel? Seriously, I cannot wear heels any more, but every fashionista – and fatshionista – seems to think that one cannot be fashionable unless one is wearing 4″+ heels. WTF, y’all?

    Comment by Jezebella — January 27, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  25. “Alcoholism and failed relationships”
    Hahahahah! Yes ma’am, just as the good Lord intended!
    I love it when you get sassy!

    Comment by Kiki von Tiki — January 27, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  26. Not to appear to be a copy cat… but how I love you!!! This was what so many bloggers need to hear. Seriously… blaming fashion on your sucky life… BOOOO!!! Anyway… next time I find someone whining like a big ass baby… be sure I will point them in the direction of this post.

    Comment by Yoli — January 27, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

  27. Plumcake, meet me at Vivo’s and I’ll buy the first two rounds of margaritas (you are in Austin aren’t you)?

    Thank you for the sanity

    Comment by Thea — January 27, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  28. Jezebella, for the purpose this shoe is asked to serve –namely beating that woman and then adorning my feet– I think a 5″ heel is perfectly reasonable. Your beating requirements may vary.

    Comment by Plumcake — January 27, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  29. You made my day, Plummie. Never stop. :-)

    Comment by Leah — January 27, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  30. This article is needling me because the writer seems really depressed and in need of counseling. She hates fashion because it couldn’t fix non-fashion realted problems. She hated shopping because she didn’t like what she bought when she got home. She felt pressured to buy heels (WTF?). She “Got fat” and felt the pressure was off to be fashionable. (Self-image issues). She thinks non-big girls are so judgemental annd limited that they wouldn’t buy something a big girl wears. (Not true!)

    Her references to the girl who dies in the subway and the interview with the model seem inaccurate and distorted. The writer seems to have an unwarranted persecution complex. Did she write this to show she needs compassionate help? And yes, she picked the wrong forum in which to express this need.

    Comment by Debs — January 27, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  31. God. Damn. Skippy.
    This is why we all come here.
    You, Missy, you ROCK.

    Comment by Holls — January 27, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  32. Debs, I agree, and it makes me so sad. It’s no secret a lot of writers struggle with depression and although I’ve been fortunate to escape that particular curse, I’ve been around it enough to know it when I see it. Yet it makes me so angry when it seeps into someone’s journalism as a bug, not a feature. It’s just embarrassing and self-indulgent (in a bad way).

    I feel about depression in writing the way I feel about most things in life and that is –to steal a phrase from Saint RuPaul of Charles– “if you can’t hide it, decorate it!”

    Comment by Plumcake — January 27, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  33. applause and a virtual pitcher of dry martinis for you, Miss Plum.

    Comment by klee — January 27, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  34. Hmm. Well, I’m going to disagree, a bit. Because I kind of hate fashion too. Style, I like. In my universe style is individual where fashion is following, style is rocking out with your c*ck out where fashion is timid, style embraces all sizes and ages and colors and creeds where fashion – decidedly – does not.

    I took the article quite differently, as tongue in cheek. I know nothing of the writer but I don’t feel worried for her. She just went on a little rant. Probably that rant belonged on a blog somewhere and not a newspaper but, eh. It made some decent points, as well as some not decent ones. Fashion has some incredibly misogynist tendencies and it does nobody any good to pretend this isn’t the case. It drives a lot of people away and better start thinking about how and why this happens, not simply turning up its nose and in its turn saying “well I don’t NEED YOU EITHER.”

    Comment by Abby — January 27, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  35. Miss Plumcake, you are my hero.

    Comment by Christine — January 27, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  36. Lisa, my point was that designers – only designers – feel that way about fat girls in their designs. It’s either that or they have a very profound belief that if one is fat she must also be quite poor and cannot afford their designs. (They are mistaken in that belief as well.)

    And the RuPaul quote? Brilliant.

    Comment by Melissa — January 27, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  37. I have half a bottle of Maker’s Mark with your name all over it.

    Comment by Miriam — January 27, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

  38. She only thinks she doesn’t care about fashion. She does, desperately, which is why she’s depressed. Or at least she cares about what the fashion industry thinks of her, which is not much. Because the industry *really doesn’t* want fat women in their clothes, nor do they want poor people in their clothes (see the recent revelations that H&M stores in NYC are slashing their unsold clothes before throwing them out so that they can’t be worn again; god forbid they should *donate* them to a charity that might put their label on the backs of icky poor people — and speaking of which, donations to a City agency that collects unsold merch to give to the poor are way, way down). Fashion, as an industry, is about protecting a brand. And for the most part, that brand depends on being seen only on the right people.

    Style, however, is different from fashion. If a thin woman sees a fat woman with style, she may very well copy some aspect of that style. Someone can truly not care about fashion — a good way to identify these people is that they *don’t* wail about fashion — and yet have great style. Or not-so-great style, but there’s that *not caring* thing again which means they don’t whine in major publications about how they really, truly don’t care about fashion. Really!

    Our pathetic correspondent has confused fashion with style, and now that she’s too fat for the industry, she’s decided she’s worthless and it’s time to wear a potato sack. Because she hasn’t developed a style; she’s just taken the industry’s predigested pap all along, and now that she can’t fit into what they offer, she’s decided that’s that.

    Comment by zuzu — January 28, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  39. “See the recent revelations that H&M stores in NYC are slashing their unsold clothes before throwing them out so that they can’t be worn again; god forbid they should *donate* them to a charity that might put their label on the backs of icky poor people.”

    This seems unfair. H&M has ONE store (in Herald Square) known to have been cutting up clothes, not “H&M stores in New York.” The company said as soon as it was informed that that was not standard practice and immediately ordered the store to knock it off. H&M donates clothes to charity all the time, and will now get the store that was cutting up clothes to do that too.

    I’ve seen nothing to justify characterizing the actions of even this single store as a desire to avoid putting clothing on “icky poor people.”

    Comment by Mifty — January 28, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  40. Also Mifty, not for nothin’ but H&M is FOR poor people already. I don’t know about their respective ickiness though.

    Comment by Plumcake — January 28, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  41. I sit at your fashionably adorned and perfectly pedicured feet m’lady. You are the best at what you do and I admire you greatly. I should like very much the opportunity to buy you drinks and hang on your every word.

    Comment by Corinna — January 28, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  42. Mifty, commenters on the Times story and on other stories about the issue (many of whom witnessed or participated in similar actions as retail employees, at H&M or elsewhere) disagree that this was limited to the one store, because it’s a common industry practice. However, the (stated) goal of discouraging phony returns can be done by simply marking the items rather than slashing them so they’re no good to be worn.

    And of COURSE H&M is going to deny that this is their *policy*, especially after an uproar — they do have a corporate image to protect. But policy isn’t the same thing as practice. Also, as far as I can tell, H&M hasn’t specifically said that this only happened at one store rather than chain-wide, even as they say the practice will stop at the Herald Square store.

    But back to my point about protecting the brand: One reason for the huge dropoff in donations to the NYC Clothing Bank is that the cops are shredding or incinerating tons of counterfeit clothing seized from Canal St. and elsewhere. They used to donate this stuff to the clothing bank after it had served its evidentiary purpose, and the clothing bank would remove or deface the trademark while leaving the clothing wearable. But there’s a new crackdown on counterfeiting in the city, and because the trademark holder has to approve of the donation, the conclusion to be drawn is that the clothing companies don’t want to see their logo on people picking through dumpsters.

    Comment by zuzu — January 29, 2010 @ 12:34 am

  43. Plumcake, I owe you a drink if you ever get to the DC area.

    Any valid point made by Tanya Gold was negated by her overall whining tone. We have all complained about the current state of plus-size fashion when commenting in this blog. Ms. Gold’s rant was out of place in The Guardian.

    I also have issues with the styles promoted (often using too-thin models). I hate the limited range of plus-size clothing. I work with what’s available to have some style (and a little fashion) for myself. I use standard size chain stores for accessories. Plus-size stores, department stores and Walmart are fine for new clothes.I got two leather jackets from the men’s section of a local thrift shop. Boutiques are great for special items like my orange and gold chiffon(?) scarf. We are all capable of working with the resources available. I don’t need whiners telling me otherwise.

    Worst of all was Ms. Gold’s mention of the dead 16-year-old. Tragic, yes, but she made the girl seem incapable of her own decisions. That doesn’t serve that girl’s memory and probably added to her family’s pain.

    Let’s not let one whiner negate any one of us.

    I think I need that drink now.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — January 29, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  44. It’s Tanya Gold. Ignore her. Her articles have, for the past six months. been a weird whinge about the most everyday things, and written in such a piss-poor way that she gets the most vociferous comments on the web version of her columns. I believe there are quite a large number of people hoping she’ll be sacked soon, and she should be – she’s boring, lazy and is obviously scraping the barrel to get enough words to fill her quota.

    Comment by Ponytail — January 31, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

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