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Manolo for the Big Girl | Archive | August, 2010
Archive - August, 2010

Real Manolosphere Heroes

Okay y’all, we need to sit down and take it to the reals.

It’s tough out there, gang. There is bad taste EVERYWHERE. People are still getting pink and white square tips and wearing oversize sunglasses, I STILL am the only person at my local grocery store who can be reliably be counted on to wear a proper-fitting boulder holder and people buy and apparently consume something called Arbor Mist, which makes my soul hurt.

But all is not lost.

For every no there is a yes, for every low there is a high, and for every Woman Too Damn Old For A Vera Bradley Wristlet And Really Should Know Better Anyway is a teenage daughter who won’t let her buy one.

Ladies and gentlemen who act like ladies,  let us doff our collective chapeaux to Clare M.

Clare M is one of our younger readers and at a fresh-faced sixteen years old, stopped her otherwise entertaining and right-thinking mother Julia (who shared the story with me yesterday) from purchasing a Vera Bradley wristlet.

WARNING: Our more delicate readers might want to avert their eyes.

Friends. I am a writer, a Southerner AND an Episcopalian so believe me when I say have seen many MANY pink elephants in my time, but I’ve never, ever (perhaps because I’ve never been forced to drink hairspray) seen pink elephants like THAT.

Now to be fair, this might not be THE wristlet Julia wanted, but it cannot possibly be far off.  Now, we will ignore for the time being that a Grown Woman wants a wristlet –which I think of as strictly the domain of the Miley crowd–  and let’s focus on the low-rent-Lilly Pulitizer tragiculousness of Vera Bradley on someone who remembers what MTV was like when there was music on it.

Our heroine Clare, spying her mother cruising the internet for Questionable Trade (and in this instance I mean a VB wristlet) throws herself into the line of fire like:

“Mommy, no. No Vera Bradley.”

Julia protests. She asks “Who will even know?!”

And Clare, bringing a tear to my eye and making me love her as if she were my own child (by which I mean my own Birkin) responds:

God will know.

I salute you Clare. Well-played. Well-played indeed.

Mandatory Big Girls at the Emmys fashion post

As usual I didn’t watch the Emmys.

I only care about the red carpet and I knew it was all going to be an endless parade of one shouldered goddess or mermaid gowns (check) the annoying girl from Glee would wear too much dress for her body (double check) and no one would do anything even remotely interesting (with the exception of Alan Cumming, check).

I only spotted two big girls from my photo service:

Kay Cee Stroh

I have no idea who this girl is, but Google tells me she’s a Disney product. Pretty enough girl, Very Bad Dress (edit: Alert Reader Maura spotted this technicolor tragedy as Igigi’s Black Magic Gown)

There is a rule, generally speaking, that you don’t put a big girl in a big dress, and while it’s not especially big in the way of say, Mindy Kaling who, at 5’2″ had No Damn Business wearing that much dress:

It is a LOUD dress. There is a lot going on with the lava lamp treatment and the random shoulder shroud. As big girls, our bodies are already loud, so this is what happens when you try to drown it out with an overly busy dress.

Ooh ooh! A TV star I know! Amber Riley plays Mercedes Jones on Glee and makes a solid choice (you thought I was going to say “hits a high note” or is “on key” didn’t you? Well I didn’t, so there) in a white goddess column dress.

Honestly I don’t just love the dress. It’s fine and pretty and although I could’ve done with a bit more boob wrangling, I’m not docking points.  SHE, however, looks about 12 shades of thrilled to be there and I love her for it.

Suck It, Kim Tran!

Kim Tran runs  a nail salon in DeKalb County, Georgia. One day recently, Michelle Fonville came into said salon for a mani pedi and a bit of eyebrow work. Everything was just fine until Michelle got the bill. She was puzzled by the extra five dollars on said bill. When she pointed it out to Tran, this is what happened:

“I said, ‘I’ve been overcharged. She may have made an error,’” said Fonville. “She broke it down, then told me she charged me $5 more because I was overweight.”

That’s right. She was charged extra for being fat for a manicure. Why? Tran says it’s because fat people break her chair. She claims that the chairs will only hold 200 pounds and cost $2,500.00 to repair and that fat customers need to pay for the damage they are doing in her salon.

“Do you think that’s fair when we take $24 [for manicure and pedicure] and we have to pay $2,500? Is that fair? No,” Tran told Philips.

No, that wouldn’t be terribly fair. On the other hand, I don’t see how $29.00 covers the cost of repairing the chair, either. I don’t see why the work cannot be done in a chair designed to hold heavier customers. I don’t see why the standard costs of doing business (wear and tear on furniture and equipment is part of the calculation used to determine the price of a service, anyway) can’t be prorated across all customers. I don’t even imagine that every average weight customer is careful with the furniture. Does Tran think extra-lightweight customers should get a $5 discount because they place less wear and tear on the chairs? What about if they flop down hard on the chair or spill food or fail to take off their spike heeled shoes and rip the cloth? Do  they get to keep on paying $24.00, or do they pay extra?

When Fonville protested the unfair extra fee, Tran did take it off her bill… and then told Fonville to take her business elsewhere if she wants her nails done.

I’m sure Tran thought that would be the end of it and she would never see or hear from Michelle Fonville again. But Fonville went to the press.

Look, according to the law of the land, there is nothing to stop Kim Tran and others like her from charging extra for dealing with a weighty customer. And there are a lot of people in this country who probably think she should just charge every fat woman who comes into her salon $2500.00 for a manicure. In the end, though, these people are flat out wrong. Charging extra for the same service is wrong. Just because airlines keep getting away with it (and guess what? They’re wrong, too!) Doesn’t make it right.

All we want is a fair shake. Extra charges for being fat are not fair.

Suck it, Kim Tran.

Oh, and Michelle Fonville? You are my new hero. How many other women would have simply left the salon, had a good cry, and went looking for another salon. You went looking for justice. Thank you.

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The This Little Piggy Went to Market Edition: The Result

Oh my dears.

Last week I hit you all with this deathless image:

and you came right back at me with nine delightfully porcine captions.

In the end, though, there can be but one winner. This week it’s amber for this funny, yet poignant, response:

All the baggers were outfitted with slop buckets to make Babe feel less of an outcast, but he knew.

He knew.

Congratulations, amber! And thanks to everyone who played.

The Big Question: Diet Cheese Edition

Guys, I accidentally bought Diet Cheese.

I mean I only HALF accidentally bought it because it was on sale and the idea of “Light Brie” intrigued me. I mean, how is it possible? For me light brie is only double creme and not triple.

Diet cheese can [redacted] right off.

I don’t have a lot of experience buying diet foods –my family, despite being well-off, bought the grossest, cheapest most processed food imaginable and as God as my witness I will never eat Imperial-brand margerine again– so I don’t have vast experience in food betrayal, but I bet a lot of folks do.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is the vilest “diet” food you ever bought?

On the slate for fall

Fall is here! Fall is here! Well, I mean fall isn’t HERE –although it was a brisk 95 yesterday instead of 107– but it will be fall someday, and that someday will be here soon…ish, and thank be to God and all the heavenly host because I am bored unto 80 proof tears of everything in my closet.

The big color story I’m feeling (GOD I feel like such a jerk for saying that! “Color story I’m feeling” geeze, this is why fashion people should be drowned at birth) is this chilly slate/petrol blue with lots of gray in it.

I just want to coat myself in it from head to toe and feel sophisticated and urbane and sliiiightly jaded in a way that sort of harkens to the cold strength of 80’s and early 90’s European fashion without being too much of a pastiche.

Here are some of my favorites:


Kate Spade Women’s Kamille Pump
.  This color is heaven in satin.

FLY London Women’s Lark Mary Jane Pump
. Kind of funky and Old World cobbler-y. Fun for running around in a pair of jeans and still having a bit of quirky style.



Seychelles Women’s Kiss At Midnight Mary Jane Pump
. I love a good solid MJ for fall and this seems fresher than those boring burgundies everywhere. GOD I’m tired of burgundy and black patent leather.



Martinez Valero Women’s Zoie Pump
. The perfect New Year’s Eve shoe, lighter but still cold.



Samanta Women’s Viv Pump
. Available up to a size 14, it’s surprisingly wearable thanks to the solid banana heel (which still looks killer) boxy toe and hidden platform.



ZiGiny Women’s Preppy Pump
. Fab fish-skin midheel with a nice broad toe box. It’s a neutral, but better.

Beauty continued

I’m really interested in what’s going on in the comments section of yesterday’s beauty post –although I haven’t had time to comment– but I did want to make a few clarifications.

When I talk about beauty, I’m not talking about the industry, although I find it really interesting you can fake being pretty, because you can and the biggest signal of that to me is  the current crop of models on the runway.

I’m almost always on the side of sympathy for the model. It’s not easy to be a good model, but back in the day models used to have to be pretty.

(Plus they looked so bitchy! Here Lisa Fonssagrives wears a cockfight on her head and STILL puts the Haughty into Haute Couture)

Not anymore, at least not for editorial work.

Now generally speaking you can be as mudfaced as freshly baked sin as long as you are very very thin and very very tall you have a decent shot at at least getting the call.  As commenter Harri P noted, you can bleach your hair and diet yourself away to nothing and by “industry standards” be considered pretty or beautiful.

I must admit, I’m guilty of some of it too. I haven’t had any aftermarket work done in the medical sense (yet! I’m still holding out for a third eyeball in the middle to balance out the other two) but I’ve got a laser hair removal appointment this afternoon and let’s not forget about my eyelash extensions.

And you know, it’s a lot easier to fake beauty if you’re wealthy. Is there a class element to it? Does that affect how you feel about the whole shebang?  What do you think?

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