Monday, November 29, 2010

Whatever happened to the armpit?

Growing up,
my parents were one of those coo coo banana parents that didn't let their kid do anything without them in sight.
But they did let me watch TV!!
Lots of it.
In fact,
I owe a lot of who I am today to the shows I watched growing up.
To this day,
I thank Ren and Stimpy for showing me the power of a good fart joke,
Catwoman for inspiring me to live up to my natural feminine bad ass-ness,
Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano for maturing my ideas on prepubescent love
and Eerie Indiana for convincing me that life is a bit eerie in Indiana.

TVs great.
I can get all sorts of hoopla for supporting that life sucking box,
but that's another matter all together.
Why I bring up my TV infused childhood is because along with the "Ahhh Real Monsters" and Ribbon Dancers,
came a slew of commercials that also,
help mold me as a person.

Weight loss commercials.

Even though those early morning commercials meant to target mothers,
(cause you know,
you not only have to raise a child now but you have to look good doing it)
my 9 year old self,
was fully aware of almost every weight loss pill,
ab sculpting machine and
blue cross insured liposuction-ist in my area.

Innocence still lingered however.
I was still a child.
My mind at first soared through these commercials with anticipation for my favorite episodes that would soon follow.
But one day I lost that anticipation.

A weight loss commercial showed a young woman explaining the benefits of a certain weight loss pill.
(which rhymes with sy-lopsy-butt).
They showed her "overweight" body grabbing at the rolls on her stomach
then transforming into her new "hot bod".
One of the benefits was,
she had finally lost that "terrible tummy".
She then went on to explain that she thought it was disgusting that she was able to grab her fat.
In that moment,
I remember looking down at my stomach,
grabbing at my skin and thinking "I can do that ."

It was the first realization,
or should I say manipulation,
of the idea that I was "fat".
From then on I began analysing and obsessing over everything I was being told not to like.
I began my quest for "perfection".

I created Check lists,
categorizing what needed to be "fixed".

I used those commercials, and fashion magazines as my references.

I learned how to hate love handles,
thick thighs,
even arm pit fat.
the crease between my arm and my chest bothered me so much,
it made its way onto my checklist.

Of course,
teen magazines never helped.
In all do respect to the dainty thinner pre- teen,
I just think it might have been a little more fair to represent the other 50% of America.
You know,
the adorably plump pre-teen?
Had that happened maybe I would have found my plumpness more adorable than atrocious.

Fashion spreads,
the "in" body,
Diet fad "healthy" lifestyles,
and Americas obsession with accepting what you don't like about yourself increased my obsession.

I found myself floating between what I felt I needed to look like to be happy
and accepting that what I had was already beautiful.

I can say I'm lucky though.
The fad of editing and airbrushing didn't really exist in the extreme way it exists today.
I remember seeing pores and cellulite on models like Cindy Crawford,
and Kate Moss,
I remember the armpit.
the armpit.
What ever happened to the armpit?
Mine are still there.
Apparently armpits must be airbrushed now too?
Todays commercial need for airbrushing is beyond ridiculous.
They give adults today an unattainable idea of beauty
and God only knows what they're doing to our youth.

Insecurity when you're a growing teen is inevitable.
You're always gonna find something to hate about yourself.
but true.
The trick is,
how, as adults, do you overcome those insecurities and laugh them off?

Via the National Eating Disorder Association:

"In the United states,
It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder
– seven million being women and one million being men.

In adolescents,
Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents,
95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25,
50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight,
80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight "

We have a problem America.
So what do we do?

Now I'm not miss know all ,see all but I will take this moment to voice my little opinion.

Like all issues,
I believe one must be informed.
I can not type this and say everyday is a good day.
But I make the effort to make sure it is.
I make the effort to stay informed.
I make the effort to laugh at commercials that point out the smallest detail on a persons body as "fixable",
I put away the magazines that obsess with ab exercises (I mean how many can there be),
and I allow myself to be aware of the plastic image the commercial world has put out for people.

It is not real.
None of it.
I have to remind myself of this, or I will go crazy.
I will go crazy just like the 8 million Americans who already have.

They are not real.
None of it.

Sometimes I'll even grab my stomach,
smile at what they say are my flaws and say;
"but I am".

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The boy who lived....

I was 10 years old when I was introduced to "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone",
part one in the Harry Potter series.
I was in love.
I am and always will be a sucker for witches,
and far off lands,
that really only exist behind brick walls and hidden wardrobes.
Since reading the first novel,
I have waited in line for every book following the series (Prisoner of Azkaban being my favorite) and seen every movie at the midnight showing (twice by myself).
The release of part 1 of part 7
(cause you know, they couldn't just fit it all into one damn movie)
brings me mixed emotions.
I can only agree with what fellow fanatic Harriet said to me;
"it's like the beginning of the end of my childhood".

But true.

I was all sorts of giddy and ecstatic to see part 1 with some fellow Harry Potter lovers,
and of course,
cause it's me,
I found it only appropriate to dress in theme.

Inspired by Harry potter....

Beyond excited for some Harry.

Harriet's unfinished Deathly Hallows tattoo,
that she did.
she did that.

Emotionally drained.
It happens.

Scarf from Ross.
Vans shoes.
So cute!

Inspired by Bellatrix Lestrange...

Rings, American way. Thrifted.
Bracelet, borrowed from my grandmother.

80's clip on earrings.
Patty Closet, Montrose.

90's Fariuza Balk dress. Thrifted.
Plastic pearls (shhhhh). Thrifted.

Vintage heels. Magnolia Gowns, Burbank.

Can't say goodbye just yet Harry Potter!
I'll see your four eyes in July!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Higher The Pomp...

First and foremost,
I would like to take this moment to thank Madame Pompadour,
Miss Jeanne Antoinette Poisson,
for finding it necessary to wear her hair so high and then giving us all reason to do so right along with her.

down to business.
The wifey came over a few days ago to chop off my long hair that just wasn't cuttin it anymore. No pun intended.

I kept explaining to him that I'd give anything for a
Johnny Bravo/Salt n Pepa Mohawk inspired Pompadour.

Makes sense right?

Not really.

But thank the bees that my honey bunny is fluent in the lesser known language of;
cause he knew exactly what I was talking about!

He took about 20 minutes and in those few minutes my world turned upside down.

So here is its debut.
My johnny bravo/salt n pepa Mohawk inspired Pompadour in all its glory.

The inspiration.........

Pepa inspired my curls and buzzed sides.


The Goddess herself, Janelle Monet.
I loved the volume in her pomp and kept screaming at Aldo for the same.

Rufio had a bad ass Mohawk.
Now I do too.

Johnny Bravo.
The man who started it all.

Let it be known that since cutting my hair,
I have not stopped singing "Grease Lightning".
Which means nothing, if you know me,
since I'm always obnoxiously singing tunes from "Grease",
but with my new haircut I feel like my singing has a purpose now.

Thanks to my wifey for the cut
and making me feel very pretty.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Culture Class. Day 5.

The city of Angels has a strong reputation for its night life and fast paced streets.
But behind the glitz and glam of high building lights,
lies some of the most beautiful desert land west of our country.
The high mountains and deep colored landscapes flourish in cities such as
Simi Valley,
and our gorgeous National Park, Angeles Crest.

When entering these cities and these parks you'll notice that there are many ranches in the area. Yes,
As in...
Hey Dude!
cowboy boot wearing,
rooster crowing

LA ranch culture.
Who would have thought?

When I was an itty bitty my parents would take me to ride horses in some of these cities
and I would love to stare at the cowboys and girls who would help mount me up onto those stallions.
I remember thinking I would give anything to be a bad ass cowgirl.
I would get flashes of myself dawned in plaid,
with a pistol in my left pocket,
and a strong southern twang.
Ready to demolish any bank robber/ inappropriate civilian in sight!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a political fashion blog.
Which is fine,
cause now I could just dress like one!

But first,
a history lesson!

The American cowboy began its history in the late 19Th century borrowing its style from Mexican horse wranglers known as Vaqueros.
Their job was passionate and gritty,
taking care of herding horses and doing handy work around the ranch.
The cowboy life was usually associated with the lower class,
until it became glamorized in Wild Wild West shows,
spaghetti westerns
and of course,
the Marlboro Man.
A nickname traditionally given to a cowboy or vaquero ,
who descends from California,
is Buckaroo.

Jamie and I took a horse riding trip in the hills of Griffith park to stalk and study more closely our Buckaroo counterparts.
Leading us along the way,
for only $25,
was a horse wrangler named Xavier from Jalisco, Mexico,
who had an amazing giggle and
absolutely no interest in letting us into his personal life.
A mysterious Buckaroo indeed.

There seem to be two types of distinct styles in the cowboy look and they go by how you ride.
Western style:
cowboy boots,
cowboy hat,
Dreamy Clint East Wood (swoon)/carefree attitude.

or English:
Tight fitted,
jockey like clothing,
with riding boots,
and black top hats.

Jamie opted for western while I went about dressing like my English brothers and sisters.

Though both are complete opposites,
they are none the less a part of a sub culture that helps define this city,
and has been borrowed and sold for much more by designers and fashion magazines.

these Buckaroos manage to look stylish and handy
sans the heavy budget.

a reason to be inspired by Tujunga Buckaroos!
Wanna join the ride?

Call me Lady Natalya.
Hee-Haw Jamie.
I had to.
Banana Republic hat, a gift from my sister.
Vintage belt. Stolen from my moms closet.
High waisted pants, Thrifted.
Gap blouse, thrifted.

I bought Jamie those earrings for her birthday from Owl talk!

The only photo I could sneak of Xavier.

Fascinated by this ancient soda and candy dispenser.

We asked Xavier to take a photo of us.
Sweet Buckaroo.

*fashion photos via Ralph Loren,
and Dolce and Gabbana.