Archive for the ‘WEB’ Category

Schock and Ah
July 22, 2010

I’ve been a very bad blog boy and haven’t posted for here for months – I have been thinking about redoing the whole thing. But while I pondered, the place has been burnin’ up, at least in relative terms. You see, I peeked in last week at my blog stats and  was astounded to see that 1,391 of you looked me up on July 8 – specifically at my previous post about  internet hottie Aaron Schock, the freshman Republican congressman from Illinois, posing for GQ last fall. The representative had first gained notoriety on the web a few months earlier, not for his position on the issues but rather for his reclining position on a chaise – showing off  his, well, awesome abs and chiseled chest in a pair of swim trunks.

Obviously the reason for this Schock-wave (and dear readers, I thank you!) was his appearance at the White House summer picnic in early July, where he proved he could make just as many internet ripples with his shirt on – the shirt in question being raspberry gingham, accessorized with well-fitting white jeans and a bright aqua belt. Immediately the New York Times rang him up to see how he liked being a gay icon, because according to them, male staffers in D.C. were drooling all over town.  He denied being gay but basically said he’d take the attention any way he could get it. He kinda lapped it up, saying “I’m on people’s minds.”

Taking a page from his book, so will I. I’ll take those page views. I’ll run the swimsuit picture again! Furthermore, I will defend his right to wear anything he wants, or as little as he wants, without being immediately thought of as G-A-Y. I mean preppy old-boys around America are noted for wearing clashing colors in summertime communities, right? (Even if, as someone said on Gawker, “short of a People Magazine cover, it doesn’t get more out and proud than that outfit.” ) And so what if he was raised in Peoria, not Providence. Or Provincetown. Yeah, the white jeans are a little tight for Washington. I know. And pressed. And the belt….


December 2, 2009

Lady GaGa is on the January cover of Elle and I’m only half-surprised. She’s toned down her trademark bizarre appearance in her latest TV appearances on Jay Leno and the AMAs and starting to work the sexpot vibe, albeit the 2009 version of sexpot – big blonde bouncy curls, no pants just panties, tattered Balmain-style leather.

I saw the GaGa shots on Jezebel, which continues to fascinate me. They do have a lot of fashion content amid the post-feminist postings, like the thoughtful stories – yesterday’s about Lacroix – from Jenna, formerly Tatiana, the Anonymous Model (long story but basically she quit the runway and dropped her decoy byline). Also frequent red-carpet roundups. And, of course, their famed preoccupation with the airbrushing sins, inflated egos and mundane content (their view, not necessarily mine) of the “ladymags”, the fashion MSM – Bazaar, Elle, and especially Vogue.

So wading into the comments section of their post about the GaGa both bemused me with its youthful (at least I hope it was youthful) enthusiasms and frightened me a little about the future of women as fashion consumers. First there is dismissal of GaGa’s sexy turn, “…she looks like every other sexy-faced-fake-eyelashed-skinny-corset-wearing pop star out there.” Some back and forth follows – is she bi, what does it mean, does it matter?

Then, like the shark approaching in Jaws, comes the comment about the cover image itself: “I hate to be the one to point out an airbrush FAIL…but doesn’t her right arm look freakishly small at the armpit/ shoulder joint area?” Twelve posts follow about whether it really is the dastardly retouching or just foreshortening because of the photographer’s angle. Nothing’s really settled, but moving on, one commenter exclaims, “I hate ladymags, but I am buying the fuck out of this!

The convo then skips through a few posters comparing notes because their dads like GaGa, her makeup, her poses, and then a discussion of what to wear to a GaGa concert: “The lack of pants is key. We are all wearing redonkulous dresses from Forever 21 with crazy colored leggings.

Lastly comes the question of her artistic cred, including the touchingly honest, “You win, Lady Gaga. My head hurts whenever you do anything, but I’m okay with that.” Then the possibly naive, “Yes, she puts a lot of it out there for the world to see, but it’s obviously done by her because that is a part of who she is, not because she thinks it will sell records.”

And then, finally, a larger cultural context, “She also does a great job of referencing the fetish community and probably challenging vanilla and middle america more than they quite realize. Rock on Gaga…” What could I possibly I add? Rock on, indeed.

September 8, 2009


Are you a Jezzie?  For the uninitiated, that would be a reader of Jezebel, part of the Gawker family of fine blogging products. “Celebrity, sex, fashion for women” it promises, and all without any kind of supposed airbrushing – visual or mental.  Jezebel wants to keep it real, you see, so no rosy idealized vision here.  Skinny size-zero models, unyielding bad-mommy Anna Wintour and dictatorial (male) designers top its fashion enemies list,  and a casual reader might be forgiven for thinking, “Who are these crazies who think fashion is just a grand conspiracy to keep women down?”

Any post that touches on body image automatically sets off at least 100 comments and this weekend’s “Do Women Want To See Themselves In Fashion Magazines” opened another floodgate. If you’ve been living in a media-deprived cave you may not have heard, but recently model Lizzie Miller was photographed in Glamour and became a “we-need-to-see-more-of-this!!!” rallying cry all out of proportion to her slight tummy roll. One dissent came in a Times of London article in which author India Knight suggested that putting “real” size 12 models in magazines might make women actually feel worse about themselves because they would be comparing themselves with all-too-real women of their own stature rather than an obviously fantasy “stick-figure” model.

Jezebel’s Hortense (love her moniker!) counters with, “perhaps women wouldn’t find fashion to be as difficult or overwhelming or, as in Knight’s case, joyless…if we could actually see ourselves in the pictures, as well.”

But then the comments roll in, and eventually we hear from a Ms. hippichx sez PEACE:

“if for no other freaking reason, i think women of all sizes should be portrayed so we can see how clothing hangs on different types of women. i may be skinny, but i have an hourglass shape. i’ve always wanted to wear those drop waist dresses, but they look ridiculous on me…. something i was unaware of until i tried one on. while the body of the woman may not be attainable (no matter what the size) they are modeling a product, and that product should be. why the hell would a size sixteen woman want to purchase something they have never seen on somebody with a similar body? and even then, there are all different kinds of size sixteen bodies….it took me decades to get used to the fact that i am, in fact, curvy. that this is something i should embrace and emphasize with my clothing, rather than hopping on the latest bandwagon and looking ridiculous in whatever is in style. stick thin curveless robots are clothes hangers. if i wanted to see how something looked on a hanger, i would go to the mall.”

Sing it sister!!!  Still, it’s almost too easy to take potshots at overwrought tirades like this – I’d bet money she’s in her ’20s, so I doubt it took her “decades” to realize she was curvy; she wants to see everything modeled by every size in magazines yet can barely be bothered to try anything on herself; and most importantly “if for no other freaking reason” – she thinks it’s her unarguable right. And maybe it is.

That’s what fascinates me most about Jezebel and its devoted sisterhood of the traveling rants. Like it or not, hippichx sez PEACE is the future of fashion. Wrong, actually. For her generation, she is the now.