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Okay campers | Manolo for the Big Girl

Okay campers

I’m turning this little red wagon around.

So let’s get a few things straight:

1) The entire reason I posted two drastically different shades of “nude” was to illustrate the concept of nude means nude to your leg, specifically. I didn’t spell it out because well, I didn’t think it NEEDED spelling out.  When I was going through the shoes for that I chose two shoes: one that, on my screen, would be nude-ish on Sessilee Lopez (she’s my absolute favorite model of the moment because she actually HAS A FACE yes I’m looking at you, anonymous Eastern Bloc automatons) and Aretha Franklin (because she is my everything and you will pry my first press vinyl copy of Aretha in Paris out of my cold dead hands)

Her Serene Magesty

Sessilee Lopez

and I chose the second pair because they matched lighter skin tones (inasmuch as you can ever find an actual match). I need a bit more blue in mine than some folks, another friend needs more pink. Finding the right nude shoe for your leg is an art, not a science and it’s certainly not a political statement.

2)  We have a wonderfully active comments field and I love that, and I try to be pretty hands off when it comes to skirmishes and whatnot –if you recall I spent the first two years out of the comments entirely–  but many blogs have turned off their comments fields entirely rather than deal with the infighting and name calling.  I would hate for that to happen, but I am just one woman and I cannot deal with writing the blog, editing it, going through all the bazillions of spam message AND babysitting the Hundred Years Flamewar.

Besides, this is my family crest:

Plumcake's familial crest

This is not:

NOT Plumcake's familial crest

It’s probably not yours, either.

3) Who has two thumbs and editorial control over this blog?This girl. And Manolo. And Twistie on the weekends. I love that so many readers feel they have ownership in this blog,  but you do not have permission to tell other readers of this blog to shut up, stop being a jerk, or tell them to leave. People are welcome at this blog until Manolo, Twistie or I decide they’re not.  Early adopters have the exact same amount of editorial control over this blog as newbies: zero.

4) Even though our readership has gone up considerably, I know the past few months have been been rough for some folks who really liked Francesca and I get that.  That being said, if Manolo for the Big Girl is not what you want it to be by now; it’s probably not going to be, and because this is a blog and not a forum, all the complaining in the world isn’t going to change it.  There are a hundred million blogs on the internet: if this one doesn’t make you happy anymore, skip it.  Or better yet, start your own. The more intelligently-written blogs for big girls out there the better. Once you do, send me a link and I’ll more than likely be glad to put it on the links bar.

5) Finally, I suspect there might be some bigotry at play here, but not the sort of I’m being accused of.

I’m a white (technically I’m Alabaster C1 although for three glorious weeks this spring I had a bit of a tan and was upgraded to Porcelain W1) girl who comes from financial privilege. I’m also from the South, and it seems to me many good, decent people who wouldn’t dream of making ugly assumptions based on place of origin or socio-economic status in most cases seem awfully ready to make them about the people in my situation. Of course a comparatively rich white Southern girl is going to be racist or elitist or a million other things. Does it offend me? God no, it’s more tiresome than anything else.  But it is what it is: a negative assumption based on inherited characteristics out of my control. There’s a word for that.

30 Responses to “Okay campers”

  1. Astra June 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    You go, girlfriend!

  2. cedar June 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Damn straight. I was thankful wasn’t a blog editor yesterday so I could quit reading and go do something more fun when the great nude shoe wars of 2010 got out of hand. I figure Plummy will have to do some turning the blog around from time to time, and that’s partially what she’s paid for, but let’s keep it to every 6 months or so, okay ladies?

  3. Abby June 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    (Hands over imaginary but very large Barney’s gift card. Hangs head over big mouth tendencies.)

    Sorry Plumcake.

  4. Thea June 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Plumcake,
    As a fellow Southern white girl who gets oh so sick of the nasty little assumptions people make about us – may I present you with the Julia Sugarbaker Award for setting the tone like the lady you were raised to be

  5. that redhead June 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Luv ya, baby girl!

  6. SusanC June 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Amen!

    Perhaps the blogroll can include a link to a set of sites for people who need a forum to bemoan the social injustice of everyfrikkinthang. Then they can go and attempt to out-PC each other far, far away from here.

    But, like Cedar, I suspect this will be an ongoing cycle…

  7. Suseo June 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Heavy, heavy sigh.

    And nude shoe wars sounded like such fun.

    I’m sorry you had to deal with hoo-hah, Plumcake–that sort of crap is so fun-sucking.

    Suseo

  8. LL June 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    @Suseo – Nude Shoe Wars and Cupcake Wars tie for the most misleading title award.

  9. Debs June 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Part of the recurring fight always seems to be about promoting expensive stuff—but it’s more of an inspiration. Maybe I can’t afford flesh-toned Laboutins, but I can find a cool pair of beige heels at a thrift store. No Prada waders, but I might want a red sweater & deeper red belt (from H&M or Lane Bryant sales).

    When I was young & poor, I had really good style with work clothes for $10 at the Anne Taylor sale racks. My dad’s old clothes were freqently employed. (That worked in the eighties). I wish we could separate out the style vs. money fight. They don’t have to be related. Note the many people dresed really badly in expensive clothes.

  10. Lisa June 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    I am of course on team Plumcake and I think you are the bomb with sprinkles on top, and certainly one of the most gifted fashion writers around.

    Since I argue professionally, so not much in the way of insults bothers me. I regularly appear on FoxNews as a commenter (aka punching bag). You want aggressive? Try Paul Krugman or Bill O’Reilly on a tear; preternaturally verbal guys with genius IQs fully capable of making you look really dumb on _national television_. For every “Thank you for telling it like it is” email I get, I get at least three “You’re a disgrace to Democrats/Republicans/the Human Race/Fat Women Wearing Pearls” emails. Death threats? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. People call and scream at my meek little Iranian assistant about me, like she’s supposed to do something. My father calls and asks “You sounded drunk. Were you drunk?” Sigh. When you are in the public realm and have an audience, people make all sorts of assumptions about you, sometimes reactions to you or your ideas are fair, and sometimes they’re not, and sometimes the way people challenge you or you ideas is nice and sometimes it isn’t nice. It’s usually not personal even if it sounds personal. As long as you have ideas, people are going to react. Part of the game; crying, baseball, yada. You know the score.

  11. Plumcake June 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    @Lisa, totally. It’s the flipside of having fans, among other things. You’re in the public arena, you become a public target and I get paid just the same either way, so –as the kids say– whatevs. It’s only when it becomes A Thing and starts messing with the blog in general that I have to get all Orson Welles up in this biznitch, which I hate. It makes me think of Ethel Barrymore’s quote “I think For an actress to have success, she must have the face of a Venus, the brains of a Minerva, the grace of Terpsichore, the figure of Juno, and the hide of a rhinoceros.”

  12. Monica June 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    I keep typing words and deleting them because I can’t find the right ones. I know I have had A Big Opinion on this blog in the past, but Ms. Plumcake, I admire your fierceness greatly, and I think you are part of What Makes The Internet Correct. I respect this is your fabulous world. I’m beyond glad you share it with us. I hope the hoo-hah bus takes another offramp next time.

    PS – I’m Latina, and when I saw the nude pumps, all I thought was “Hm, cute bows but I like darker-colored shoes” and moved on. Golly gee, I missed out on a whole opportunity. ;D

  13. Jana June 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    @SusanC: Glad to know you don’t think those of us interested in social justice don’t belong here. Heaven forbid people make a bid for tolerance (pejoratively known as being “PC”).

    On the other hand, Plumcake thank you for addressing the misunderstanding in your usual fabulous way. To be honest, on my monitor, those shoes did both look far closer to a Caucasian skin tone so I did very much appreciate the clarification. I think it is possible some people may have responded strongly due to the prevalence of fashion features this year on “nude” that include only light beige tones rather than any assumption that you personally are racist. I say that as a way of possibly explaining, not saying anything at all about your post.

    …now if only I could find some nude shoes to suit my wobbly ankles (sadly not so tall and without such superfantastic narrow heels)…

  14. EmmyS June 15, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    So, not to ignore all the spot-on socio-economic commentary here, but I have a question about the actual shoes…

    I love the Kate Spade heels (can’t afford right now, but am watching eBay.) However, I’m fish-belly white. Is it OK to wear “nude” shoes that aren’t actually the color of your own nude skin?

  15. anon June 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Thank you, Plumcake. Things started feeling more like law school and less like a fashion blog for a minute.

  16. Plumcake June 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    @EmmyS, of course! You’ll never get an exact match to your skin (well, almost never, I certainly haven’t). The key is to find a neutral that’s your leg color-ish.

  17. SusanC June 16, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    Jana, I don’t think that *people* who are interested in social justice don’t belong here, even if I had a say. It would just be nice not to have to wade through diatribes unrelated to fashion and style on what is a fashion blog (seasoned with a bit of humor, escapism, and other fun stuff). At the many online forums that exist for discussing social justice, stories about finding the perfect pair of 2″ heels would be misplaced. I’d like to think there’s a complementary corollary and hope that people have the judgment to navigate betwixt sites as the mood strikes and post the comments most appropriate to each.
    Back to the more pertinent topic: Anyone been burned by the “it looks like color X” in the picture, but upon arrival the merchandise is a slightly-but-annoyingly-DIFFERENT hue? Generally this is not a problem when buying, say, black shoes, but for beige and other delicate shades it can be. Not only is this a light/dark issue, but then there’s the pink/blue/whatever undertones. What’s a remote shopper to do? Aside from flying to NYC or Paris to look at the merchandise in person, of course….

  18. Jess June 16, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    @ SusanC Re: Fun with colors on the computer!
    When it comes to shoes, I deal with this issue by ordering from Zappos. If I need the shoes for an event I give myself plenty of time to send them back and try again! For clothes the best return/exchange policy I have found is at Nordstrom. I know that not everything can be found at Nordies but they do a wonderful job with returns! It doesn’t fix the problem with the computer itself but I’m not sure anything can.

  19. Plumcake June 16, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    @SusanC: Color reproduction can be a pain in the neck, can’t it? Some sites are notoriously bad for it (AHEM YOOX) but yeah, the only way to do it is order them, try it on, and return them if they’re not right. That’s why sites with free shipping are pretty much the only way to go when you’re not sure or need a very specific color.

  20. Catherine June 16, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    @Jana, I’m an organizer of all things–so I’m all about the Social Justice. I think it trivializes the Big Fights when we get all worked up in settings that do not require getting all worked up. And I’m a rather broke single-mom.. so I’m not running out and buying lots of featured stuff. But–I read the blog regularly because I enjoy the inspiration and the wit. And I enjoy having the best shoes on the picket line!

  21. SusanC June 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I’m hoping somebody will eventually cater to online shoppers with a system like pantone based labelling. But in the meantime, I shall follow the sage advice of Jess and Plumcake; advance planning and use of vendors with decent return policies make for good insurance in the color lottery.

    At least we’ve evolved from mail order catalogs that would present a list of color choices with descriptors as “sorbet” and “punch” and leave you to figure out just what is supposed to match to which picture.

  22. Eilish June 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Wow. I go Manolo-less for a week and I just miss all the drama! (What? Road trip. Must be done occasionally to keep the sanity of the Eilish.) For what it’s worth, it wouldn’t have occured to me to make a fuss over either shoe even though neither of them matched my particular skin tone. There are so many fabulous choices out there, especially with online shopping, that I’m just thankful that most everyone can find something superfantastic these days.

    What? That wasn’t profound enough? Don’t look at me, I just suggest the hotness around here. ;)

  23. daisyj June 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    And here I was avoiding the comments section of that post because I thought it was going to be all defensiveness from dental hygienists and people who wear Juicy Couture. Shows me.

    (And, BTW, as far as flame wars go, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen a comment section spin out of control on Cute Overload. Yeepers.)

  24. dcsurfergirl June 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Wow! I didn’t see the whole nude shoe war! I posted my little piece and kept going. I just read the rest of the nude shoe post and my head hurts.

    I always thought ” “nude” was a fashion or art term referring to a family of colors meant to simulate skintones. PEACE, everyone. I don’t want to start another war.

    Look at the wide variety of “nude” lingerie in this article. One company seems to understand the lovely of colors that make us fabulous. (They would be more fab if they expanded their size range, but it’s like that sometimes.)
    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/brilliant-company-realizes-a-quot-nude-quot-bra-isnt-the-same-color-for-everyone-1463943/

    Hugs to you, Plumcake. Have a good day, ladies.

  25. bushpiglet June 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    I have just realised how close I was heading to a smacked bottom. Sorry to all exposed to my spittle flecked rant.

  26. G-dog June 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    1 still love the shoes;
    2 @bushpiglet – I admire the work you are doing;
    3 I try to remember I am privileged, especially in a more global world view, and also remember that I am NOT entitled.

  27. Jelly June 17, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    *stares owlishly through her thick hopefully-soon-unnecessary glasses* Man, I miss a lot when I’m not watching the comments.
    For example, I never knew that ‘nude’ should actually mean ‘as close to your skin’. I thought it was an honest-to-goodness shade, like in paint. Shows you how much of a girl I am.

  28. gemdiva June 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    OMG! Aretha in Paris is my absolute favorite!!!

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    I go on vacation for two little weeks, and what happens?

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