Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Bandages are for Burns

Hey, look! I found Grandma’s full body Spanx for sale while I was looking for pretty clothes. Actually, I’m joking. That’s a dress. Would I lie to you? One of Hervé Léger’s “iconic” bandage dresses. In the hue of rich white woman. On sale at (Net-A-Porter’s online outlet) for $598. Originally $1450. No you may not have a link to it, I refuse to support that in any way. Why would anyone pay that much to cover themselves in monochromatic horizontal stripes?
            The bandage dress was born in the 80s. It was a rough time for fashion. Very few things from this decade deserved to be resurrected. We have already visited my infatuation with jelly shoes. Fluorescent colors are debatable. I’m over them, except for workout-wear (it makes beating yourself to a pulp so much more palatable), but I understand that for people born in the 90s and later that novelty was missed. Is there anything else? High waisted pants? No. White washed jeans? No. Oversized t-shirts tied in a side knot? Definitely not. And then we have the bandage dress.
            NO ONE looks good in these dresses. The press praises this fashion choice because someone told them they were supposed to like it, no doubt. Due to copyright restrictions, I cannot provide these pictures directly. If you press HERE, you can open a photo from Us Weekly of J-Lo in a dress that looks like it was made with a pasta machine. I don’t know why anyone would think that was attractive. And HERE, Blake Lively, dearie, what were you thinking allowing anyone to put you in that? I know the website says you look good, but you don’t! You look much larger than you are. And your crotch is almost hanging out. My conclusion, bandage dresses only look good on Lolita. And if you are a parent who would actually allow their teenage daughter to leave the house in something like this, you should be arrested for child endangerment.
            If you are over 18 and your parents can’t keep you from committing this horrific error in judgment, I assure you that you will get attention. Not all attention is good attention. I guarantee you the teenage boys in your neighborhood will burn the image of you in this dress into their brains for years to come. And if the thought of that excites you, we have even bigger problems than I originally thought. I can recommend a great psychiatrist.
            This is not to say that all form-fitting dresses are a no no. Form-fitting dresses, when tailored properly, can be stunning. I am not encouraging wearing potato sacks instead of bandage dresses. I would just appreciate my dresses to be made of high quality textiles, not things you find in a hospital. And an hourglass is a beautiful shape. Tell me though, when was the last time you saw an hourglass with ripples in the bottom? Yeah, I hear you saying that’s what Spanx are for, but, honey, they can only do so much. This McQ Alexander McQueen dress would be much prettier than a bandage dress. And it’s still going to hug your curves without making you look like an exploding sausage. Too expensive? You mustn’t buy knockoff bandage dresses from French Connection, or even for $30 at Forever 21, just because they are cheaper! They are STILL UGLY! Susana Monaco makes lovely form-fitting jersey dresses for a more acceptable price tag.
            If you have gotten this far and are still insistent on squeezing yourself into a tube of expensive stretchy wound coverings you might as well just buy this one. It’s at (Find it yourself). For $2300 you can look like Native American Barbie and bury our hearts at Wounded Knee. While you’re at it, you should probably bury my eyeballs and gag reflex as well. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April Showers Bring May _? The Flowers Already Bloomed! The Rhyme Is RUINED!!!!!

It absolutely baffles me that there are still supposedly intelligent people out there who think that global warming is a conspiracy theory. I just shake my head whenever I hear comments such as: “Snow in April? Some global warming.” “It hasn’t hit 90 degrees all summer! Yeah right global warming.” If you’ve made comments like this recently, I’m sorry you’ve yet to realize how foolish you sound to the majority of the population. The famous Fürtwangler Glacier atop Kilimanjaro is getting smaller. Greenland’s ice is melting. The polar ice caps are melting. And the weather systems are shifting. The monster hurricanes are no more God trying to wipe out the non-believers in the Gulf Region than the tornados in the Midwest are Allah telling the Bible Belt to convert to Islam. The climate IS shifting. Ask a farmer.
The climate is ALWAYS shifting. Most natural things move in cycles. The seasons. The tides. The waxing and waning of the moon. Those creepy, red eyed, louder than lawn mowers, flying cockroach on steroids, 17 year Cicadas. Climate is not immune to the cyclical nature of being. The earth has gone from periods of being largely covered in ice to periods where it had no ice and back again. Even within an ice age there are cycles of warming and cooling (referred to as interglacials and glacials). We are currently in an interglacial period of the Quaternary Glaciation, which translates to a warming period during the current ice age! (Are you bored already? Come on! Weather is fun!)
What remains uncertain, is whether or not our frivolous, disposable-dinnerware loving culture is hastening the warming. I don’t know the answer to that. Although, when I think about just how much Aqua Net and hairspray was and continues to be unleashed by the Hair and Metal bands of America, I can hazard a guess. And I’m certain that if you got on the Internet you could find scientific evidence supporting either side of the argument. How a scientific query has become a political issue is what really baffles me. We all know that most politicians are lying, cheating, power/fame hungry tools too busy boinking their interns to be reading up on anything as dry as climatology. They don’t even read half the bills they pass. And they’re not the brightest bulbs in the bunch either. Al Gore definitely didn’t invent the Internet (or global warming) and G W Bush thinks that nuclear is spelled with two “u”s.
Let’s face it, even if Captain Planet were elected president it wouldn’t change the fact that people would rather use Chinette than wash dishes, are too lazy to turn off the light or TV when they leave a room, or just don’t give a shit that they’ve hucked the trash from their car onto your lawn. (Nor would it change the fact that China’s growing carbon emissions negate all of the conservation in CO2 production done by the Kyoto Protocol MANY times over.) We have become a culture of convenience, waste, and entitlement. Take my neighbor up the street, for example. At any given moment there are between 3 and 6 cars/SUVs, some of which don’t run, abandoned on his lawn. He has founded the New England chapter of Groundhog Club Med (disguised cleverly as a large freight like storage container). And for all we know he could be cooking drugs in his basement. I don’t care what your political leaning is, we could all stand to be a little more mindful of the waste we produce and the effect that EVERYTHING we do has on other people. Am I still going to use plastic cutlery? Hell yes.
Now if you really want something Mother Nature related to worry about, I give you Yellowstone Park. The whole park is sitting right on top of an active super volcano. The last time it erupted was 640,000 years ago. It’s about due to go again.  When it explodes, it could cover three quarters of the North American continent in ash. LOTS of it. Volcanic ash of this magnitude causes suffocation, roof collapse, plane engine destruction, felled power lines, contaminated water, dead livestock and other delightful things. It can also mix with rain creating mudflows that would kill thousands. The sulfur particles the volcano shoots out would form sulfuric acid when they hit the stratosphere. The sun wouldn’t be able to get through the aerosols so well resulting in a volcanic winter. Just a 12 degree temperature drop could cause 2 to 3 years of snow ALL YEAR LONG. It could cause the end of monsoons in Asia leading to mass starvation due to a loss of food production. Or so the Science Channel tells me. Wouldn’t you love to see FEMA try and clean up that mess? Mother Nature may save us from Snooki’s baby after all.

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Would you please pass the jelly?

            My very first pair of jelly shoes were Stuart Weitzman. Clear plastic maryjanes sculpted like bird’s nests with rhinestones gently kissing the toebox like dewdrops. When I first saw them the child in me could be heard whispering, “princess shoes!” and I knew they would be coming home with me. I never got to wear jelly shoes as a child. My mother said they were not good for growing feet. She saved me from all kinds of regretful fashion trends ranging from the spandex biker shorts of the 80’s to the ruffled pirate blouses of the early 90’s. I am thankful for those, but, unfortunately, the deprivation of jelly shoes has resulted in an unnatural obsession with plastic shoes and handbags.
            The practicality of plastic accessories knows few boundaries. Not only does one not have to worry about the material getting wet, plastics are easy to clean should they be thrown up on by a baby, cat, or drunk sorority girl.  And carrying such accessories out into the public eye can leave you with the comfort of knowing that no member of PETA is going to hunt you down in your sleep.
            I recently discovered these Missoni jelly flats on the Bloomingdales website. I find them to be delightfully summery and object to nothing but their steep price of $250 (Really? They’re plastic shoes.). Luckily there are slightly more reasonable options out there. One of my favorites is the BowWow (see below). A collaboration between Moschino and Kartell (an Italian furniture company specializing in aesthetically satiating plastic furniture), these sweet little ballet flats have been around for a couple of years and are available in 15 colors. They're non-toxic and recyclable. And new for this season, they’ve come out with a wedge.
            Plastic handbags have the added feature of allowing one a glimpse inside the bag, which can be good or bad depending on your level of tidiness. Some people would maintain that plastic bags are only for the beach, but I strongly disagree. Last year Furla debuted their Candy Bag. I was not sure how I felt about the texture when I finally had my hands on one in their Munich store. I ended up passing and instead became the owner of a Jil Sander Orange Acetate Market tote. This summer season saw the return of Furla’s doctor bag shaped candy satchel and they’ve incorporated another of my favorite things: glitter. I don’t know how it would be possible to frown walking around with a sparkling pink carryall. Additionally, I am certain this bag would be a great conversation starter with my favorite three-year old diva, Cora, an expert in all things pink. 

            Unless you wish to look like a three year old or a melted crayon box while sporting these smile-inducing PVC accessories, I suggest you keep the styling on the conservative side. They would be best highlighted with neutrals, but it’s not entirely necessary to rule out contrasting colors. Take advantage of the bright color trend we are experiencing! Just don’t overdo the colorblocking or wear too many colors at once, unless you are interested in trying out that vomit easy cleanup theory I mentioned earlier. Leave the rainbows to Skittles and Lucky Charms, please. So, put your serious accessories away, and welcome in the warmer weather with polyvinyl chloride pleasure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Smoke, No Mirrors

            So, I was trying to decide what to do with my afternoon and then I had this brilliant idea to wrap some oak leaves in newspaper, stick them in my mouth and then set them on fire. Why would I do that? Plenty of intelligent people do the equivalent of this every day. They just call them cigarettes instead of leaf and paper torches.
            I know it’s cool to smoke. Who wouldn’t want to broadcast to the world that their head is flame retardant? And I really do understand what a satisfying activity it is. Not much beats the taste of that first drag on a Gauloises Blondes from the red box. Oooh I just love those (delicious French cigarettes for those who aren’t tobacco connoisseurs).
            At this point, it is impossible to deny the facts about how bad smoking is for our health. Lung cancer, emphysema, aneurysms, chronic bronchitis. Don’t forget the wrinkles and yellow teeth. If you still want to believe these things can’t happen to you, then I bring out the big guns. Smoking makes you smell! REALLY BAD! Your clothes, your hands, your breath. It’s worse than that guy at the gym who didn’t take a shower that morning and then also forgot to put on deodorant before hopping on that treadmill and running five miles. And you might not even notice how bad you smell because smoking has also destroyed the membranes in your nose. So, you walk around wondering why people are making such horrible faces at you. 
           Oooh, but my favorite gross fact: Your nose and sinuses produce 1-2 quarts of mucus every day (somewhere over a liter). In a healthy person there are tiny little hairs called cilia inside your nose and throat that help move the crap out of your nose and sinuses. If you smoke, sorry, your cilia are dead. (If you do stop smoking, they may grow back.) So where does that stuff go??? Nowhere. It just sits there, collecting in your nose and sinuses. Or you cough it up. And you wonder why you have so many headaches these days….
            I thought it might be helpful if I suggested some comparable activities that you could do in place of smoking.
1.     Chewing rusty nails
2.     Hitting yourself in the face with the bristle side of a hair brush
3.     Using your laptop in the bathtub
4.     Chasing skunks
5.     Putting shards of glass in your carpet – they’ll sparkle in the sunlight!
6.     Drinking Liquid Plumber
7.     Wiping your butt with sandpaper
8.     Napping in the sun with a magnifying glass on your face
9.     Using the oven in place of a hair dryer
10. Jumping rope with a live, downed electrical wire
“Those things are idiotic,” I hear you saying. This from the person with flaming vegetation hanging from their oral cavity. To the smokers in my life, I say with love, “Please get that shit out of your mouth.” 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Look Ma, NO PANTS!!!

      A few weeks ago I was taking advantage of the excellent Massachusetts public transportation system (read with a large dose of sarcasm) and found myself walking up the stairs behind a pretty young thing. I’d guess she was somewhere in her twenties. Given that she was about four steps above me, it was impossible not to look at her ass. It was at eye level. I would have fallen down if I tried to look at the ceiling and looking at the ground is bad for your neck. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this young lady’s behind, except that it wasn’t covered! 
      Okay, sure, she was wearing leggings. The leggings, however, were not opaque enough to hide the fact that she was wearing striped Victoria’s Secret “Pink” underwear. The letters were there, right in front of my face. I understand the shift in fashion from the Mennonite like loosely fitting full coverage outfits to the “If you’ve got it flaunt it” attitude. 
      It is not only an encouragement to feel good about yourself as you are, but also a bit of a power play. (I doubt very much that a woman in a low cut shirt with a push up bra hasn’t had the thought “Hey look my boobs are bigger than yours,” at least once. It may be subconscious and not hostile in nature, but it’s definitely there.) Yet even the “flaunt it” attitude would not condone leaving the house without clothes on. Well, ladies, if you have decided to wear leggings in place of pants, you have done exactly that. 
I don’t need to show you pictures for you to know what I’m talking about. This craze set in a few years ago and for whatever reason hasn’t gone away. But, why? There are TONS of online editorials expressing that many ladies do not support this substitution! If leggings were the same as pants, they would be called pants. They’re not. Are these women just looking for attention? Most people have nightmares about leaving the house half dressed or not dressed at all. Are they suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s? There are some great medications out there now… Are they older women trying to prove they’ve still got it? Whatever IT is… they don’t!!!!! They’re old!!! Nobody’s checking out Grandma’s ass. The men her age are most definitely too busy looking at the less droopy derrieres of the younger women who also left the house without pants. 
      Offenders among us, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “I have a great backside. You’re just jealous of it.” Or perhaps, “I look hot, mind your own business.” Well, you would be incorrect. What I’m thinking is,  “I have a nice rearend too, and I have the self respect to cover it. You- you just look easy.” That’s right. EASY. You’re not just giving a preview you’re showing the whole movie for free. Then the other, more unfortunate possibility is that you couldn’t afford pants. I can just hear my late grandmother commenting on a revealing outfit, “I guess she didn’t have enough money to buy fabric to finish that.”
      I’m not saying you have to wear pants and not show off your legs. Wear a skirt. Wear a tunic that comes well bellow your butt ridge line. But for God’s sake and for mine, cover your ass! Value yourself as something other than a piece of flesh! The only cheeks I want to see are on your face, thank you. Any decent woman would alert you if she saw your boob popped out of your shirt. Well I’m here to alert you that your butt’s hanging out. And it ain’t pretty. 

In case you need help figuring out whether or not you are wearing pants, here is a handy chart from Buzzfeed: Leggings Or Pants? Chart