Tag: Body Image

Feminism and Facebook Facepalms

“The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: “It’s a girl.”
― Shirley Chisholm

Facebook, your standards on acceptable depictions of the female body (as discovered when researching image regulations for a client’s social media posts) trouble me. I think we can all agree that bathroom selfies need to go, but out of the three (of four total) images depicting women, the bottom left image is the one showing the most inappropriate amounts of skin? Really?


Giveaway Time!

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
– Sophia Loren

Guess what, ladies?  We’re not all Size 2’s.  In fact, we come in all sizes and shapes, and we want to look good in all of them, is that so much to ask?  I’m petite but, as I’ve stated before, I’m hardly your standard issue short girl.  Proportions can be the bane of the prettiest of pretty girls.  Plus size, petite, tall, ankle-length…what we’re really saying is that we just want clothes that look good and fit us properly!

Which is why places like Fashion to Figure are as awesome as they are!

Fashion to Figure specializes in Plus Size women’s clothing and as luck would have it, they are sponsoring our giveaway.

Now, I can hear my fellow short girls and other variously assorted sized friends go, “Wait a second!  How does this benefit me?  I’m not sure this one’s for me…”  Hold your horses, ducklings.  I, even I 4’11” C. Small Dog, have purchased clothing bigger than my usual sizes, and this giveaway is made for all ladies who want to look good.  Heck, my professional and fashion idol Joan Holloway is considered plus sized in the industry because of those fabulous hips of hers and no one looks at her with any thing but admiration/envy!

The item up for winning is…

This pair of delightfully distressed jeans!  Wonderfully on point fashionably speaking, and versatile for fall.  I love them as they are styled here, rolled up for a boyfriend cut look, but tuck them into boots with a sweatshirt to for a casual chic feel, or pair with cute flats, a pretty tank, and a fabulous cardi to keep warm and lovely.

Now!  How to win! There are three chances:

  1. Just click on their banner above and check out their site, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which item of their fine selection is your favorite
  2. Share this giveaway either on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog, then leave me a comment linking to your link
  3. You get a third entry by leaving me a comment telling me your favorite thing about yourself: gorgeous eyes, lovable freckles, fabulous hips,  you name it.  Can’t appreciate beauty in others until you see it in yourself!

Make sure you leave contact info so I can get in touch with you.  Good luck!  Winner announced Friday!

No Sense of Proportion

“I don’t see how an article of clothing can be indecent.  A person, yes.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

Alright, ladies, am I completely alone in this or are there other proportion victims out there?

I’m barely five feet tall, with an exactly one inch space between my ribs and my hips.  Those same ribs are rather wide but my shoulders are rather narrow, and my hips are rather rounded.  My legs are short (duh) and taper downward, long and lanky we are not!

I need normal size pants to fit around what Casanova calls “birthin’ hips” (he’s from Georgia, we’ll excuse it), but those pants usually hang past my feet by a good six inches.  I routinely by Ankle Length trousers from the Gap and Banana Republic, but that’s a misnomer for a short girl if ever there was one.  I still have to wear three inch heels to keep them from dragging.  Also, because of my high hips, low cut jeans or pants of any kind are unflattering in the extreme…so why do almost all trousers winkingly advertise “our lowest cut ever!”

Really, Victoria Secret models don't look good in bad pants, how much less we mere mortals?

Medium size shirts fit around my ribs, but I’d need the 80’s-est of 80’s shoulder pads to fill those gaping shoulders, and they always manage to make me look pregnant.  However, size small shirts fit shoulders and stomach perfectly while straining to cover, not my breasts, but my lower rib cage (which, unlike my legs, tapers not at all).

So, apart from having to work extra hard on exercising my abs to create the illusion of a waist, shopping for clothes on a good day is rough.  And let’s face it, most of what’s in the petite sections are not made for 24 year old, fashion conscious career girls!

Also, I admit, I’ve put on 10 pounds since I got married.  Hence my fab exercise bike, Harley.  It’s working.  Slowly.

Yesterday I finally replaced my torn trousers, it took nearly 2 hours.  I also tried on my bridesmaids dress for Marie’s upcoming nuptials and wilted a bit in front of the mirror.  It’s an adorable dress, I absolutely love it, but the cut of it does nothing for my figure.  Sort of like this:

Pretty dress, pretty woman (pun!), not so happy together

However, I am happy to report that, even though it took a while, I found trousers that are three-inch heel friendly, hit at the waist, and make my bum look good.  I also scored two new work shirts that don’t strain across my breasts/ribs (is there anything more tacky than a too tight shirt?  Yikes, everyone gets a view!)  And with that, my Fall/Winter work wardrobe is complete.  Which means that, if I’m lucky, I won’t have to buy new trousers – and take the requisite shopping aspirin – for another year.

The Downside

“Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful, I just know what to do with them.”
– Marlene Dietrich

Last week in an effort to hurry Spring along by dressing the part (which worked swimmingly, by the way!) I broke out this pretty thing I scored on Ebay:












Darling, no? 

The problem?  As J. and I were walking to the car for lunch, I happened to glance down and see this:

Pictured: artist's rendering of my legs.


“Why did you let me outside looking like this?!” I demanded.
“You’re a quarter Slovak, I have no idea why you have albino legs,” he retorted.

Self. Denial.

“You should give up hamburgers for Lent.”
“Why on earth would I do that?”
“Well, I’m giving up something bad for me, so you should too.  Be supportive.”
“I’m giving up smoking.”
“You don’t bloody smoke!”
“See?  I’ve improved myself already.”
– C. and J.

I’m at a loss.  New Year, the time for such bursts of ardent revamping passed without so much as a guilty twinge.  The number on the scale creeping upwards gave me pause, but not enough.  The subtle tightening of my trousers was acknowledged, but then dismissed (though oddly enough my shirts displayed no such variance).  No no, friends.  What gets C. back into the gym, swearing off junk food and dedicating herself anew to salads?  

Alright, I'll work out. I'LL WORK OUT!


Of course I’m not going down by myself so J. has been bugged, hounded, and generally harassed until he agreed to give up Mountain Dew (though not all sodas, he would like it noted).  He’s also being dragged to the gym with me to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I got on an elliptical machine today for the first time in six months and clocked nearly three miles before doing a half hour of weights, so I forsee the traditional Lenten feelings approaching tomorrow: sorrow, remorse, and reliance on prayer to get one through. 

I’m already craving sugar.  Keep me strong, friends!

Mirror, Mirror…

This dialog went on regularly until once when the queen was having a bad hair day and was desperately in need of support, she asked the usual question and the mirror answered,
“Alas, if worth be based on beauty, Snow White has surpassed you, cutie.”
Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, James Finn Garner

Like unto the wicked step-mother of yore, I too have a magic mirror.  But as opposed to telling me the truth, or even just what I want to hear, this mirror actively lies to me.  And it’s great! 

I have a love/hate relationship with mirrors, but it’s a relatively recent thing because I was never a mirror gazer growing up.  I heroically resisted lots of “girlifying” attempts on the part of well meaning friends and family, and had only the usual amount of angst about my looks.  Gradually I first succumbed, then became addicted to mascara, developed a late blooming but fierce love of fashion, and realized that I was a pretty decent looking girl…

Hm...maybe the lie is actually internal after all...
Hm...maybe the lie is actually internal after all...

Until!  Kiri took me home with her for the Thanksgiving break our junior year of university!  This act of kindness towards my semi-orphaned-in-a-strange-land state hid a crippling dagger which would be thrust deep by her cousin.
“I like your mirror face,” she said one day as we put on on various coats, hats, and lip gloss, preparing to head out into the cold.
“What do you mean?” I asked, pausing mid-act in swinging a scarf I’d bought in Paris around my neck.  I sensed the approaching danger.
“We all do it.  When you look in a mirror your face automatically shifts a bit.  Because the mirror’s a two dimensional surface, it reflects your three dimensional face back a little skewed, so you don’t actually look the same in the mirror as you do in real life.  We make mirror faces because we’re trying to show off our best features, it’s all psychological–”

Stupid mirrors...
Stupid mirrors...

I tuned out at that point because I was deep in the horrors.  I’d just come to terms with what I saw in the mirror!  My previous adolescent nonchalance had taken an abrupt nosedive when I came to university and saw the assorted Quirky Chic Girls, Effortlessly Stylish Girls, Not Exactly Stylish But Rich Enough To Fake It Girls, and other types you invariably bump into in a crowd of forty thousand people (I learned quick, but the lingering air of shame scuppered my aplomb).   In a matter of moments, my recently rebuilt sense of confidence had crumbled.  Parisian scarf, English hat, and new leather gloves notwithstanding, I spent the day torturing myself over my buck teeth, asymmetrical face, Hapsburg Lip, and sallow skin.

None of which I actually had, of course, but since my faith in mirrors was shattered, could I actually trust what any of them showed me?!

Years later I’ve made peace with the Mirror People (my own reflection in particular), but I’d be lying if I said my current mirror didn’t help the process a bit.  By some magic trick of the light, a flaw in the glass itself, or some other miracle, anyone who looks in that shiny surface has slightly longer and thinner legs, fuller hair, and a waist that just maybe an inch or two smaller.  Not huge changes, just enough to make you feel like a fox when you walk out the door.

Until you catch sight of yourself in a those sadistic fun-house jokes they stock GAP changing rooms with.  Hiss….

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

 “I really don’t think I need buns of steel, I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.”
-Ellen DeGeneres

I'm not sure that chucking someone who benchpresses literally more than you weigh is a good idea...
I'm not sure that chucking someone who benchpresses literally more than you weigh is a good idea...

Venice has a personal trainer, Miyagi, who has spent the last couple of months kicking her butt up and down a treadmill on her quest to lose some weight.  However, after next to no results after the torture (and I’m not using the term facetiously, the girl can hardly walk after Miyagi puts her through her paces!), Venice called me after work one day a while back.
“It’s not working, C.”
“Well, have you tried talking to him about it?”
“We’ve tried everything!  Both of us are frustrated, we’re not progressing at all and I just feel stuck.  I think maybe it’s the birth control that’s making this so hard.”
This conversation sounded eerily familiar.
“Hold on a second,” I said, “are you…breaking up with him?”
She paused for a moment.  “Yeah! I’m dumping him!”
“Er…can you dump a trainer?”
“Watch me!”

However, the other day Miyagi apparently had one last plan to salvage their floundering relationship.  He’s completely reworked her nutrition plan and workout and she’s decided that she will try one more time (for the children).  The menu actually seems pretty good and I’ve decided to join in with her for a while since I know I don’t get enough protein or eat as well as I could. 

Of course, my work is trying to scupper my good intentions right off the bat.  It’s Officer Lampost’s birthday and the tradition is to order out for someones birthday.  And Sgt. Andes just filled all our candy jars to the brim.  Very nice, but it doesn’t exactly inspire one to be sacrificing in the way of sugar!  And breakups are hard, if Venice takes it badly we may both leap headfirst into the vat of Mars Bars togther!

Dress, Distress, Duress

“I had my second dress fitting.”
“How’s it looking?”
“Fine.  The only problem is me in it.”
-C. and Venice

Small Dog has body issues.
Small Dog has body issues.

I work our regularly, my weight hovers between a very healthy 115 and 120, I have low blood pressure, and I’ve achieved that rare state in a woman: I think my body looks pretty good.  Or at least I did.  On saturday I went in for another wedding dress fitting and my confidence crumbled at my feet.  I don’t care if you’re freaking Gisele Bundchen, put on a form hugging dress in a really light color, turn on glaring, unforgiving fluorescent lights, and stand in front of nearly 360 degree mirrors and even you would suddenly feel whale-ish. 

In other depressing wedding news, our invitations have come and while they look lovely, my mother wants them hand addressed.  ?!?!?!  I may have to get all my girlfriends together one night, promise them food in exchange for services, and beg them for their help because not only is my handwriting atrocious, the idea of addressing even just my share of our 400 invitations makes me want to cry!  I’m fully aware that the reception is my parents’ party, they are paying for it, they are throwing it, they are hosting it, but I have this small whiny child inside me who wails, “Do I have to?”