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

August 23, 2010

Thoughts on Beauty

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 2:18 pm

It’s hard to talk honestly about beauty.

From the multi-billion dollar beauty industry that promises you will be more beautiful than you are now (which is not nearly beautiful enough) if only you would buy this cream, to the rejection of all physical beauty as “shallow” and that only inner beauty counts *COUGHuglypeopleCOUGH*

It’s tough to find a middle ground.

I’m told traditionally good-looking people get treated better than their plain or homely counterparts and I am inclined to believe it.

Why?

Well I guess beauty makes people happy –it makes me happy, and also broke, and also also possibly pregnant (JOKING I’M JOKING)– and you want to do things for the things that make you happy. I think the sexual aspect is overplayed. I get treated better by gay men when I’m all dolled up and they certainly don’t want to sleep with me. Bastards.

So what do we do?

It kind of sucks because there’s some part of me, the part of me that still thinks the world should be fair and what’s on the inside should be the only thing that counts, thinks I am being OPPRESSED by the MAN and plain people should get the same treatment as the pretty girls.

And yet? Screw it. Life isn’t fair.

I can do my best to treat all people with a baseline of courtesy and human decency because there’s never a reason to treat someone less than that, but frankly, I like getting treated well because I’m pretty.  I work damn hard at being beautiful because I know beauty is currency and I hate being broke.

Interestingly, I have found my size doesn’t come into play as much as you might think it would, since I feel like I’m constantly treated to a barrage of “I’m invisible because I’m fat and no one treats me well and booty hooty hoo.” I might be living in special magical Plumcake World, but with a few exceptions –mostly shopgirls– I’ve NEVER noticed being treated as less-than because I weighed more-than.

So maybe you’re not invisible because you’re fat.

It’s so easy to blame the fat.

I think Francesca once wrote something about how maybe you’re not single because you’re fat.

I’m fat as butter and there are men on two continents  currently attempting to frogmarch me down the aisle (granted it’s one man on each continent and they’re both crazy as a bag of ferrets, but hey) and I think we ALL know it’s not because of my lovely and charming personality. I’ve got the lovely and charming personality of a Perrier-Jouët meat puppet, and I know it.

BUT I work the currency.

Pretty girls (and boys) have been getting the breaks for thousands and thousands of years. It’s not going to change, because human nature doesn’t change.

So, why shouldn’t we have to play by the rules? We are never going to be so noble and benighted as to not care about external beauty. Why should we think we deserve a free pass?

August 22, 2010

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

Filed under: Twistie's Sunday Caption Madness — Twistie @ 5:29 am

Howdy, caption lovers! It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness!

You all know how this works. I post a picture that would give everything it has if only it could get a great caption in return. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next saturday I will declare a winner and we all go smugly to our beds knowing the world is now safe from terrorism, or some such thing. Maybe not.

Anyway.

This week’s image comes to you courtesy of the I’ve got to stop shopping after the midnight showing of Rocky Horror file and it looks a bit like this:

Rady… set… snark!

August 21, 2010

Waiting for the Electrician, Or Someone Like Him

Filed under: Random Annoyances — Twistie @ 11:28 am

Yes, I’m a longtime fan of Firesign Theater. How could I not love a group that poses the musical question How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?

Anyway.

This has been a somewhat flappy week at Casa Twistie what with discovering we lived in a more than average potential firetrap. Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, we live in the house that Mr. Twistie grew up in. His family moved here in nineteensiftymumble. The house is actually one of the three oldest on the street. They were built to identical plans as rental properties in 1889. Over the years, there have been a lot of upgrades, improvements (you know, like indoor plumbing and stuff like that). Only one house retains its original footprint intact, and all three are now painted entirely differently.

The problem arises because the last person to own this house before Mr. Twistie’s family was a dry wall contractor who thought that made him competent to do any sort of contracting out there, including electrical.

He wasn’t.

As it happens, my kitchen is actually in his additions to the house. A few days ago, I hit one of the switches in the room and lo and behold, I got a HUGE scary spark out of said switch.

This not being how switches are supposed to work, I turned the switch off again and called Mr. Twistie to inform him that that I was calling the electrician. Oh, and to bring dinner home with him because I was NOT cooking in that room until this was sorted out.

Friends, it turns out that my kitchen has been an electrical deathtrap for at least the past forty years and change! Much of the wiring is substandard for more like eighty years ago, and some really, really basic safety precautions were cavalierly ignored back when Mr. Drywall-Contractor decided to wire his own kitchen up.

Who needs a box behind a switch? It’s so much easier and cheaper to simply leave the wires hanging against bare wood! Oh, and let’s thread the wires through the cabinets hanging limply down so that future families will store their pots and pans with the long handles right up against them! After all, Mr. Twistie’s family had lived here for decades. Why would I get down on my knees to see whether there were inadequately insulated wires liberally festooning the back wall of that cupboard I would have to virtually kowtow to see all the way in?

We spent three days getting to know our electrician and his crew much better than we ever expected to do. We will probably spend the next couple of days pulling of switchplates in the parts of the house created by the old owner to see if there is more fiery death lurking in our very sockets.

The good news? I can now use my kitchen again. In fact, being able to cook without sending the house up in flames may be an early birthday present to me… but probably not.

After all, I just got a flyer from the Le Creuset outlet….

August 19, 2010

Plumcake’s Picks: Sales and More Sales!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 2:39 pm

Salutations my little lampreys of love!

Going back to school? Know someone who is going back to school? Just need a little bit of retail therapy to help you deal with the knowledge that your morning commute is about to get fifty times worse? Well never fear, because I am HERE for your NEEDS.

At Saks we’ve got this fab silk satin blouse from Tahari which just happens to be 70% off. I like this in a big way and do we even need to talk about how useful this will be for dressy-ish dinners in the fall and winter where you want to wear separates but still look polished?

I love that although it ties at the bottom, it’s not really blouson. Plus silk satin. If you’ve only ever worn poly satin, this will rock your world. Plus it reminds me of something a louche Evelyn Waugh character would wear the morning after she did something glamorously reprehensible.

Over at Kiyonna there are some lovely dresses as always, including a few old favorites on final sale:

I particularly like the Julianna cowl neck dress (on sale for $68) because it photographs so beautifully. Whenever I style a big girl for a photo shoot, especially if she’s racky, I encourage her to wear something in an intense solid with a gently draped neck. The cowl neck frames the face beautifully and allows for a respectable amount of cleavage if you so wish, without it becoming a festival of oversharing.

Anna Scholz sunray patterned dress is actually little lowercase A’s for Anna, so I guess it’s technically a logo. Which means yes, I am in LOVE with a dress that is covered in logo. BUT you must click and zoom to get a detail of the print.  It is gorgeous and whimsical.  Silk, made in the UK, it’s a perfectly sweet sundress, but make it work for fall with a cocoa-colored knit sweater underneath.

Also on big fat sale is the Lita Combo dress from Amanda Uprichard that’s a throwback to Marc Jacobs’ influential work in the early 90’s (which is a gentle way of saying: If you wore it then, you’re too old for it now.) This would be a nice low-key party or date dress for the young woman who is not overly bustular, as it is a VERY low cut dress and could go trashy on the big bazoomed beauties among us.

Finally, two quickies that I love. These
silly little garter/fishnet onesies from Torrid are AMAZING
. I wear my undies OVER them (because I’m the only one going to see it) and not only are they way more comfortable and easy to fit than the traditional fishnets if you don’t have a perfectly proportioned thigh, you can go to them bathroom without having to shimmy them off!

I’ve worn these on six hour flights and have been comfortable.

Speaking of traveling, this Printed Shift Dress is a great one for traveling. No wrinkles, hides the occasional drip (not that we would) and adorable. On sale at Jessica London where you can take $30 off a purchase of $100 or more using code JLE5506

August 17, 2010

Plumcake’s Challenge (and a teensy Come to Jesus)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 2:59 pm

Friends, I have some hard news.

I am not Audrey Hepburn.

What’s worse? Neither are you.

First I need to say I think Audrey Hepburn was a wonderful person, a talented actress and an admirable humanitarian. I’m not going to harsh on her so don’t ask me.

But seriously guys.  I think it’s time we let this one go.

If you are a big girl, there is nothing on this planet or any other that is going to make you look like Audrey Hepburn.

No over-sized sunglasses or ankle-length pants or black dress with a diamond bib. Nothing. I’m sorry.  You can tell yourself something is Very Audrey (or Very Jackie O, if you want to take another Hubert Givenchy-ite) but it’s just not. It might be very Givenchy, but we are never going to be able to ape Audrey’s style because it is gamine, fragile and birdlike.

Are you gamine, fragile and birdlike? Me either.

I get it, I do.

She was a classy broad, the opposite of vulgar.

Plus-sized women are often seen as vulgar because fleshiness often translates into vulgarity, and if I streeeetch I can even see how some women –particularly big women– find the characters she played, the  impossibly charming but plucky naifs who still got rescued by some Big Strong Man, incredibly appealing.

Let’s face it, when you’re a substantially built gal, particularly if you’re tall, the Big Strong Man fantasy –complete with picking up and twirling around– just isn’t gonna happen.

Anyway.

I think we do ourselves a disservice when we pick unrealistic style icons and try to interpret them literally. Unless you truly do look like a particular glamor girl, and want to play that up,  you might be better served by dissecting what attracts you about that particular celebrity and then interpreting it into something that works for you as you are now (and not the elfin darling you are in your head).

Today’s challenge is to think of a style icon and come up with one way you interpret it into a style that works for you as you are.  Report back, or if you need a little help seeing how something might be translated, put it in the comments!

August 16, 2010

Random Musings on Crystal Renn, Photoshop, Etc

Filed under: Models — Miss Plumcake @ 3:41 pm

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me –since I am apparently the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Fatlandia– about this whole Crystal Renn photoshop thing in Glamour magazine.

Basically, she posed for Glamour, whose photoshoppers are notoriously shrink happy and she was shocked she got the photosuction treatment.

You know, frankly I’m just glad she’s wearing panties.

It seems like every other shot I’ve seen of her lately has been sans knickers, and whatever, it’s editorial so okay and hell, I’d let Carine Roitfeld personally style my panty garden if it meant I got an editorial spread in Paris Vogue but there is an extremely limited list of people whose trouser topiary I want to see and Ms Renn isn’t on that list, even as an extra.

Plus it’s part of my Fat Models Without Clothes problem.

You can’t just hire a plus-size model and use her like a straight-sized model (although Ms Renn IS a straight size. She wears an 10/12) you’ve got the strip them down and make a REALLY BIG DEAL about it.  “LOOK! LOOK! There’s body fat! Do you see that?! Do you see how cool and progressive we are?! LOOK THERE IS A TEENSY ROLL OF FLESH! We are EMPOWERING YOU, now keep reading so you can hate your body the way we want.

Yawn.

Wake me up when there’s a size 12/14 model featured fully clothed, without fanfare or press releases or *gag* the world “real woman” involved, in an editorial spread.

Anyway, I’m kind of surprised that Ms Renn, who seems like a canny girl, was shocked at her retouched image. I mean Glamour has the worst photoshoppers this side of a flyover-state toddler beauty pageant (confidential to M. Carey –you owe me one.)

Remember what they did to America Ferrera?

Exactly.

But it’s not even about that. She is a great model, I mean a GREAT model. I don’t mean she’s that especially gorgeous –although she’s a good looking gal– but she models like a dream and works her body like who…Verushka maybe? Incredible.

BUT

I don’t know, she’s being shot from above, and she’s working her body in “thin” ways, plus she’s lost some weight recently.  And yeah, she was definitely trimmed a bit, but I don’t think it was a photo hack job as much as some folks do.

I also don’t think Renn owes it to the fat community to be a certain size. She’s a size 10 now. So? Good for her if that’s her natural comfortable weight. She’d be a great model at a 10 and a great model at a 16.  If her body is happy at one place, shouldn’t she be allowed to let it sit there?

Yeah I’d like there to be a true plus size model or two (or twelve) out there getting big editorials, but that’s not where we are right now. Oh well.

Also ALSO, I suspect that in many cases, Renn gets shopped the other way, making her bigger than she really is. I know when I modeled,  straight size girls –about a 10– would pad their middles so they’d look bigger.  This was before Photoshop made it the work of an instant, but I still know girls pad today.

Finally, I found Nicholas Routzen‘s –the photographer who also “shaped” Renn’s photos after the shoot– blog pretty interesting (and not just because he pretty much agreed with me).

Read it for  yourself.

August 15, 2010

No Fat People in the Past? Not So Much

Filed under: Art,Historical Fats — Twistie @ 1:18 pm

People talk a lot about how there weren’t any fat people once upon a time. That’s why our bodies are wrong and bad and must be changed. Just go on Jennie Craig! Try Weight Watchers! After all, that’s not even a diet. It’s a Lifestyle Change. There weren’t fat people back in the wifty-wafty past that I just made up!

The thing is, that’s it’s not exactly accurate. There have always been thin people, moderate-sized people, fat people, and supersized people. We have always been around.

Want some proof? Take a look right here:

via See these four lovely ladies circa 1905? Notice the one in the rear on the left? Not precisely Kate Moss, is she? And yet, she exists.

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