Thursday, April 30, 2009

We Heart Kate Harding

If you haven't read this interview with Kate Harding, we highly recommend you check it out. And if you're not a regular reader of Shapely Prose, what are you waiting for?

"The Queen of Fat Bloggers Takes No Prisoners" [Chicago Tribune]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bea Arthur: A "classic" who always had it going on

My love for Bea Arthur has been well-documented. I've spent many a late night watching Golden Girls reruns and entire weekend afternoons immersed in Maude marathons. Bea was the personification of a classy dame. She played wise-cracking, take-no-B.S. characters who still seem downright progressive when you look at what's on TV these days. She knew how to deliver a punchline with a raised eyebrow and she was never afraid to go into the realm of the ridiculous for some laughs. Whoa, did she get a lot of laughs in her amazing career.

Salon's Rebecca Traister calls her "one of television's finest and funniest feminists." I agree wholeheartedly. Rest in peace, Bea. You will certainly be missed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blogs and Body Image: What are we teaching our kids?

Are you a member of BlogHer? We've been invited (along with some other amazing body image bloggers) to be part of a Room of Your Own panel at the upcoming conference. The topic is Blogs & Body Image: What are we teaching our kids? We would appreciate your vote so we can make this happen!

Panel speakers:

Read the full description of the panel and cast your vote here. You have to be logged into your BlogHer account to vote.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tori Spelling Says New Moms Outside of Hollywood Don't Think About Losing Weight. We Say: Yeah, Right.

There are a lot of "she's anorexic!" accusations being thrown in Tori Spelling's direction these days. We're not going to speculate about what we don't know. We'll stick to commenting on what Tori says.

"I knew as soon as I left the house a week, even two weeks after giving birth, [to daughter Stella] people are going to take pictures and scrutinize," Spelling told People magazine. "Whereas mothers everywhere don't even think about losing the weight for a year. It was hard to find that balance of what's acceptable."

Unfortunately, her assumption about new mothers everywhere is false--at least according to the 400 women we talked to for our upcoming book, Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? (HCI Books, Fall 2009). While they might not be under the same intense spotlight as celebrities, women outside of Hollywood are feeling the pressure to lose their baby weight and get back to their "pre-baby bodies" (a tabloid-invented term that has probably created even more stress and disappointment than the "anti-aging" fantasy).

Spelling admits she compared her body to Jessica Alba's: "When I had Stella, I remember looking at Jessica Alba [after she gave birth] and thinking, 'Wait a minute, it flew right off her.' Then I read that she works out six days a week and I'm like, 'Oh God, no, I can't do that.' " The truth is, Jessica Alba didn't want to do that either.

Celebrities compare themselves to each other and feel insecure. And in the real world, new mothers compare themselves to celebrities and feel insecure. It's a lose-lose for women. But the celebrity media machine--and the diet, fitness, and beauty industries in its orbit--are making out like bandits.

"Tori Spelling Reveals Struggles With Body Issues in Hollywood" [People]

Related: "Jessica Alba: Losing the Baby Weight Was 'Horrible'"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear World, It's Me, A Girl

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Girls Inc. launched its "Dear World" campaign with the goal of encouraging girls to speak their minds and share their own experiences. Watch this ad to see the campaign in action. The spot is a finalist in the 2009 DoGooder TV Best Nonprofit Video Awards. If you want to help make it a winner, you can vote here in the short-form category.

You can watch all the finalist videos at DoGooder TV, including spots from Step Up Women's Network, Campus Progress, and others. The deadline to vote is April 25th.

cross-posted here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

AmazonFail: Outraged Consumers Get Creative With Their "Customer Images"

Oh, boy. This one has me hooked. If you haven't been following the spectacular AmazonFail debacle, you can read Jezebel's thorough overview of the situation to catch up. Basically, Amazon has just admitted to stripping the sales rankings from more than 57,000 book titles, rendering them invisible in many searches. A good number of those titles happen to have gay/lesbian themes, though the company's official statement released Monday evening assures consumers that books in many other categories were also de-ranked--including "health, mind and body, reproductive and sexual medicine, and erotica." Gee, thanks. That makes me feel much better.

While Amazon first claimed that this was a "glitch" and now a "catologing error," I think their language remains vague enough to leave room for the possibility that there were major loopholes in their tagging system that were neglected and possibly exploited. The result? A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now (as of writing this post) the first result returned when you search "homosexuality."

In a taste-of-your-own-medicine uprising, outraged Amazon users have come up with all kinds of awesomely creative tags for the new #1 gay and lesbian title, as well as some fun customer images! We got a few screen grabs:

While Twitter users were creating a coordinated firestorm, complete with calls to tag the hell out and Google bomb a new definition of Amazon Rank, Amazon was busy working on a lame statement they would (eventually) release to the Associated Press. I am sure they are still trying to get a handle on what happened, but their PR response was laughably behind the times--especially for an internet company. About as laughable as a load of dingo's kidneys.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Win It! Autographed Copy of RED: Teenage Girls Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today

It irks me to no end when adults speculate about "what's going on with girls today" without ever bothering to ask girls what they think. That's why I'm such a big fan of Red: Teenage Girls Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today. The book title says a lot about the writers in this collection. These girls are not pastel pink and cutesy--they are real, honest, and bold.

I'm giving away a copy, autographed by two of the writers published in Red. Enter here. The winner will be announced April 20th.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The winner of the most ridiculous Facebook ad EVER is...

What's on my mind? Glad you asked, Facebook. I'm confused enough by your new layout. Now I have to get my head around this madness? What is going on here, exactly? Apparently Jessica Simpson is attempting to "silence the critics" by standing proud with her oversized porn Twinkie. Talk about taking the cake.

Thumbs up on the oh-so-subtle use of Photoshop, though. Much more inspired than those muffin top ads.