Posts tagged with "body image" - Faerye Net 2007-08-02T13:05:26+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Threadless's 'Girly' t-shirts -- the tragic flaw 2007-08-02T13:05:26+00:00 2008-06-03T12:39:14+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m the first to admit that I <code>&lt;3</code> <a href="" target="links">Threadless</a>. A quick estimate would indicate I have at least ten T-shirts from them, and I always want more. However, I recently bought a new one, and have discovered a problem. </p><p>I always knew that there were problems with buying the &#8216;girly&#8217; version of a Threadless tee. For one, they&#8217;re made by sickening progressive-poseur brand <a href="" target="links">American Apparel</a>. (link is to an article touching on AA&#8217;s union-busting, exploitative advertising, sexually harassing work-environment, et cetera&#8212;<span class="caps">PDF</span>) For another thing, because AA is so devoted to their skinny nymphette images, the largest size of &#8216;girly&#8217; tee Threadless can offer is extra-large, and that extra-large is smaller than a Gap large. I&#8217;m seriously considering ripping the sleeves off some of these suckers so I can expand the arm hole. Anyway, all that was known. But such is my <code>&lt;3</code> of Threadless that, when the populace has consumed all the medium &#8216;Guy&#8217; shirts on offer, I occasionally pop for the XL &#8216;Girly&#8217;.</p><p> <p>Well, I may have to recalculate. I bought this shirt recently:<br /> <a href="" title="A Dark Night - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever"><img src="" width="350" height="200" border="0" alt="A Dark Night - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever"/></a><br /> Perhaps the picture is a bit small, but take a look. Click through if you like. Now, imagine the helpful model picture isn&#8217;t there. How long would it take you to understand the conceit of the design? </p><p></p> <p>And how long would you be comfortable staring at that design to figure it out when it&#8217;s stretched over my non-nymphette frame on a protesting background of nymphette-friendly American Apparel cotton? </p><p></p> <p>Exactly. No one gets the shirt because they don&#8217;t want to stare at my bosom that long. This constitutes a huge flaw in the Threadless girly tee system.</p></p> Sex and the Skinny 2005-10-03T14:43:23+00:00 2010-02-01T15:49:43+00:00 <p>I think everyone who doesn&#8217;t live in a painstakingly created 24-hour reality channel has probably noticed that women in Hollywood are skinny. Sammichless Star Syndrome, I like to call it. Those who are stars get skinnier; those who are rising become skinny. I doubt I even need to name examples.</p> <p>There are many, many explanations for this. Probably the best is simply that fashion designers prefer to design clothing for skinny, skinny bodies. The fabric drapes better, and the body is a better stage for the clothes to do their own thing upon. That affects both models (and therefore the standards of beauty) and Hollywood stars, since they want to wear haute couture on the red carpet. You can&#8217;t get most couture in sizes above a 6, according to at least one disgruntled Victoria&#8217;s Secret model.</p> <p>This obsession with thinness, everyone knows, is bad. It&#8217;s not healthy for most bodies to be that skinny, the unrealistic ideal contributes to the rampant bad self-esteem suffered by American teenagers, and its attendant demons anorexia and bulemia. But what&#8217;s interesting is that the skinny ideal doesn&#8217;t seem to have affected men that much. </p><p>Sure, many guys think individual stars (such as Cameron Diaz) are hot, but psychological studies show again and again that as a group, men find a curvy figure more attractive than a very thin one. Given that the majority of women are heterosexual (or, an even bigger majority, hetero or bi), you&#8217;d think that the male response would have a bigger influence on standards of beauty than that. So here we have one of three things: the best counterevidence for the claim that women only care about their appearance to catch men; evidence that gay male fashion designers* are plotting the downfall of female sexiness**; or a mystery.</p> <p>So I came up with another theory. America has a very strange attitude towards sex. We all know it. Any nudity is sexual; sexual content in movies is controlled more than gore; so forth and so on. High fashion, both for the red carpet and the screen, tends to be low-cut, tight-fitted; it exposes the body. It suddenly occurred to me the other day that perhaps skinniness is the celebrity ideal partially <em>because</em> a more buxom figure is more primally attractive. We clothe celebrities in skin-tight pleather, expose huge swaths of their flesh; maybe in our weird Puritan-subconscious way, we don&#8217;t want them to be viscerally sexually attractive. We want to be able to see them as idols without being embarrassed by the prurience of desire. We want them to have gorgeous faces and alien, otherworldly bodies. We want them to be cyphers for beauty rather than objects of lust.</p> <p>Or I could be crazy. It&#8217;s been known to happen.</p> <p>*Not all fashion designers are gay men. However, I have been known to read <em>Vogue</em>, and I have been shocked to discover that a <span class="caps">LOT</span> of them are.</p> <p>**This is a joke.</p>