Sunday, March 22, 2009

Heard Enough About Michelle Obama's Arms? The New York Times Moves On to Her Hips

The world's fascination with the first lady's toned upper arms has been well-documented. Apparently it's time to move on. To her hips.

Marian Burros interviewed Michelle Obama for a New York Times piece called "Mrs. Obama Speaks Out About Her Household," which roughly translates to "Belts! Shoes! Diets! We Just Can't Stop Ourselves From Asking Mrs. Obama More Questions About Fashion and Her Body."

Burros writes:

The interview, which started out on the subject of the new White House vegetable garden, ended up ranging over a variety of household topics...

Because no interview about organic gardening is complete without a discussion of "household topics" like weight and trouble spots, of course. We have to wonder what question led to this:

The first lady said she was not naturally thin and, like most other people, had to exercise and watch what she eats.

“I have hips, and I have them covered up with these pleats,” she said, pointing to her Maria Pinto skirt.

To keep those hips from spreading, she said, she follows an exercise regimen of light weights, calisthenics, jump-rope and a cardiovascular routine that includes interval running.

Really, NYT? Really!?! "To keep those hips from spreading"? Is this paragraph going to be followed by a quiz to help us test our diet IQ? Should we keep reading for bathing suit styles that flatter every shape?

Actually, the article goes on to highlight Michelle Obama's attempts to instill healthy eating habits in her daughters. But we want to know more about how the Obamas are helping Sasha and Malia to develop healthy body image--especially when there is so much public scrutiny of their mother's body.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Handsome Boy Modeling School

Remember Chris Elliot's show Get a Life? Here we see Sparkles the male model as he's set up to be the "before" shot for a health drink. And just when he starts to really feel the vibe of the shoot, the photographer asks him to do things they never warned him about at Handsome Boy Modeling School. Watch and learn everything you need to know about the modeling industry.

Thanks to Dixie for the tip!

Related: Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Side Effects of Being an American

Sex, Lies and Photoshop

Have you seen this New York Times video op-ed about retouching? It's pretty compelling stuff, especially because the filmmaker got some working retouchers to admit that they do face an ethical dilemma in drastically "perfecting" images. Would it be less of a dilemma if the practice of retouching was openly acknowledged by the magazines and advertisers as part of the creative process?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Forever 21 Launches Plus-Size Line (and Forces Model to Wear an Embarrassing Hipster Headband)

Forever 21 has announced plans to launch a line of clothes in larger sizes, which will be in stores starting May 1st. The line is called Faith 21 (Hmmm, any connection to the bible verse printed on all their bags?) and will offer dresses and separates in size XL, 1X and 2X, and denim in up to a 34 (equivalent to size 14/16, which is hardly "plus" and more like "average").

The big question will be if F21 manages to pull off good fit with recession-friendly affordability. We're seeking some roving reporters who can give us the scoop on whether these "Faith" pieces are actually wearable. Drop us a line if you're interested. We promise we won't make you dress up like Pocahontas.