Glamour Shows New Moms How Their Bodies Stack up Against Supermodel!

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Honestly Glamour, did you really print “Reality Check: What Will your Body Look Like After a Baby” in the July issue? Come on! What the hell do you think it will look like?

Glamour was annoying enough to show us Gisele, three months post baby, compared to Kristin, a reader who was simultaneously 102 days post birth as well. Gisele wears a teeny bikini and is posed from the rear complete with splendid ass shot, while Kristin, who I pray knew exactly what her photo was being used for, poses full on in her more modest bikini holding her baby and sporting a slight tummy bulge.

The incredibly clueless piece waxes on about how Gisele Bundchen, super model extraordinaire, can wear her string bikini three months after giving birth, but not to worry new moms because the average woman looks more like  reader Kristin Ford, 32, with a slight tummy bulge.

Then we go on to explore just how Hollywood moms do it. Though Kristin, a social media consultant from Pennsylvania, nor Bundchen, a supermodel, could really be classified as  a Hollywood mom.

Nevertheless, celebs use the best trainer money can buy, and there is the threat of losing out on work since famous mommies are under a scary amount of pressure of not living up to Hollywood standards by getting their body back post-baby says one trainer interviewed.

Of course then we hear how Jessica Alba did light weights two weeks postpartum to get back in shape, and Julia Roberts had the trainer at the door five weeks out from twins.

The entire piece of bird-cage liner (page 86) then tells moms to cut themselves some slack and don’t feel bad about your bod after spitting out another person from your womb; just eat healthy and focus on gentle exercise.

Yes, Glamour, you sink to a new low with this article purporting to care so deeply about new mom’s body image while simultaneously showing them how they stack up against a supermodel. How kind and sensitive.

Do You Have the L-Factor?

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sophiaIn the June Cosmo, a little story on What Makes us Likable on page 50 conjures up what gives women the L-factor  (Likeability).

The author points to a friend who loves to hate on Anne Hathaway as that too perfect, too pretty, too successful actress that we just can’t seem to get behind the way we do say, Jennifer Lawrence or Jennifer Aniston.

What gives? Apparently, it’s this L –factor. It’s the same as that talented, pretty, annoyingly smart girl from high school whom everyone just couldn’t stand. Were we just jealous or was she simply unlikable?

Seems for women to be likable they need these four horsemen: friendliness, relevance, empathy and realness.

When any one of these attributes is missing (women come off fake, they don’t connect with us on a real level, we question their empathy or their motives to befriend us) and buh-bye likeability whether they’re someone we know in person or watch on-screen. Worse, it can quickly morph into dislikability in which women often become catty, backbiting bitches to the object of their dislike.

But can you blame us? Well, Hathaway certainly doesn’t deserve to be disliked because she won an Oscar or dropped to 98 pounds for a role, right? And yet, there’s no denying that the self-deprecating Lawrence or the solid girl’s girl Aniston reek of  likeability compared to say, Gwyneth Paltrow (is it because she’s unfriendly, irrelevant,  aloof or phony—or is it all those hours in the gym?)

Or take Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg who implied women need to just lean in to their career and they’d become more successful. Perhaps that came off as not relevant or empathetic enough for most women. There goes her L-factor.

Regardless, clearly this allusive L-factor runs through the veins of some women while it seeps out the souls of others. Perhaps we’re not even conscious of the qualities we need to possess to become likable in the first place, and God forbid if we simply don’t possess them. Is likeability learned? Can women improve their L-factor? We already know it cannot be faked.

Perhaps it’s too much to ask of us to simply accept those without star L-factor qualities. Sure, we don’t have to like everybody but we also needn’t trash them if they’re missing the attributes of personality that draw others to them. Like mama always said, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. Ms. Hathaway will appreciate it.

Why Do we Like Some Women More than Others?cheryl

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Women Don’t Need Naked Women in Women’s Magazines!

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People Katie Holmes

In this month’s Allure magazine with a seemingly naked and wet Katie Holmes on the cover, there were a few letters to the editor complaining about the use of naked models in last month’s hair article on curly hair. Readers wanted to know why we need naked models for an article on hair, and of course one reader found it offensive.

Segue to the April issue and a feature on nails on page 125, and guess what? Yes, another naked model to show us the latest and greatest in nail polish, painting technique, nail art and glitter topcoats.

This go round a young naked woman is on the first page of the feature wearing nothing but her hands over her breasts—with impeccably polished nails in a lovely shade of indigo.

Now, I’m not offended or insulted or outraged, I just simply want to tell Allure that women don’t need women to appear naked in our magazines! That’s right, apparently it’s a huge secret to the powers that be to learn that women aren’t really enticed to read the articles because the model is naked!

Can you imagine being in the staff meeting on this? “So, we have a great naked model for the nail piece this issue because we feel it’s so provocative and edgy that women will be drawn in and read the nail article if there is a naked woman to behold.”

Um, we aren’t men, Allure.  And in fact, if you wanted to put someone naked on your feature articles to draw in straight women readers you might have better luck using a naked man, no? Or are you looking to increase lesbian readership for a change?

In case they were thinking this tactic actually sells magazines, that this “provocativeness” pushes the edges of the boundaries and makes women sit up and take notice of how, let’s just say edgy they are, I wanted to weigh in and tell them not so much. See, women just don’t need women to be naked to read the articles! There, I said it.

Allure goes so far as to work the nakedness into the text: “If you wear nothing else, at least cover your nails with one of this season’s sexy shades, cool textured polishes, or dazzling glitter topcoats,” reads the scintillating copy across the young woman’s naked abdomen.

Stay tuned: Next issue a naked woman will appear as the model for a skin care article because sure, we women probably wouldn’t read about taking care of our skin unless you entice us with some skin. Okay then.

Fat and Happy or Sad and Skinny? Do you Have to Choose?

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In the March issue of Marie Claire, a feature story on page 236 asks the sad question “Skinny & Crazy or Fat & Happy?” Yes, it talks about how the most common antidepressants and mood stabilizing drugs come along with a pudgy side effect: weight gain. Which is more important: your weight or your mental health?

It’s a huge question that no one’s really talking about. But most of us may have some experience with friends and loved ones who’ve done a stint or two on one of these weight gaining drugs in order to get the quality of their life back where they wanted it.

With one in four women taking a mood disorder drug at some point in their lives, mental health stigma may be lessening, but what about weight stigma? Experts estimate 25 percent of people gain weight on these drugs though there is no hard data.

Psychiatrists quoted in the story say they see patients who complain about weight gain on a weekly basis. Some women find it unacceptable and want to switch meds in an effort to find something that works without the associated bloating. Others are so glad they have found a solution to their serious mood problems that weight never enters into it.

Experts speculate women may just be eating more once they’re not depressed, but most would argue against that simplicity stating that even though they watch their weight and work out regularly, the weight still piles when taking some of these drugs.

At least Marie Claire asked the question: Do you care more about your mental status or your physical appearance? In other words, if you had to take a drug that has a weight gaining side effect would you, and is happiness and mental well-being more important than skinniness?

While some may think it just an experiment in vanity, the article participants noted they’d gained from 20 to more than 70 pounds, certainly not chump change for their self-esteem or their physical health.

What do you think ladies, fat and happy or miserable, depressed and skinny? I’m left wondering why we’d ever have to make such a choice.

March Glamour Looks Like a Teen Magazine!

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dakotaLast Spring Glamour got a redesign with a new demographic in mind. (Behold the coveted 18-49 year old age group).

That’s a huge stop-gap. Let’s just say what pleases 18-year olds is often not likely to please 49-year olds, right? Worse, Glamour’s median age according to their media kit is 37. [http://www.condenast.com/brands/glamour/media-kit/web ]

If I had to guess I’d say the more important end of that demographic has suddenly become the 18-25 year old. That is who they are hitting hard. The March issue is a glaring example of skewing young.

The cover clearly looks like it could be the cover of Seventeen or Teen Vogue. A very underaged looking Dakota Fanning appears to resemble a 16-year old who’s been playing at mom’s vanity amidst the makeup and curling iron. (For the record Fanning is approaching 19.)

Sporting a red Mickey Mouse midriff and a sparkly mini, Fanning is the epitome of youth or more classically, teenybopper-hood.

In Shirley Temple curls, played up doe eyes and glossed red lips, the airbrushed perfection of what’s probably a pretty perfect face anyhow is meant to look even younger. I’d venture even Dakota doesn’t look this youthful in real life!

Even the cover lines, once crammed edge to edge are cleared now less those bright-eyed young readers strain their vision scanning so many good reads. Maybe a third of the typical cover lines now grace the front of the book in shades of pink and coral to compliment Fanning’s look.

But what about the 26-49 year olds Glamour wants to retain as they gain these younger readers? If I could be so bold I might tell them to smarten up and not pull off another such cover. I can’t imagine most women over 30 even thinking Glamour would contain something they’d want to read when they spy this cover.

Inside March’s 308 page volume is the typical fare, albeit the fashions and the models look about Dakota’s age. Yet along with Fanning’s profile, there’s a piece on the Jenner sisters (yes, Kris Kardashian and Bruce Jenner’s daughters) stepping out from behind their bigger half sibs at the height of their respective teens. Then there’s the article “That Thing all Guys Want in Bed these Days” (yes, ladies’ that thing), and don’t forget “Is it Ok for a Grown Woman to Love a Boy Band?”

Not seeing much for the over 30 crowd? Me either.

This issue anyway, looks more like a cross between Cosmo and Seventeen and certainly contains nothing much for a woman in her 30s or 40s.

Be careful Glamour. If you want to be a Cosmo or a Seventeen, fine. But let’s call your demographic what it is here: Teenaged.

Is it Fake, or Do you Really Look That Good?

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claire-danes-covers-elle-february-2013-04For all our feminist views it seems the question of whether women’s beauty is faked or au natural is still very much a topic of debate. On this past Sunday’s episode of the HBO series Girls, Hannah and her BFF Marnie debate the “pretty person job.” Marnie has nabbed a job as a hostess at a swank restaurant/club where she’ll bank because being pretty is a benefit, while Hannah notes that she would never cash in on the “pretty person job” since in essence, that’s selling out.

In February’s Elle magazine, the story “Pretty Little Liars” tackles a similar topic. Society pushes women to play up their attraction and rewards them for being pretty (whether you have a pretty person job or not) but at the same time we value the natural look.

Seems women who won’t enhance their beauty may not get as favorable an outcome in work–or in life– yet when we enhance too much we’re vain and narcissistic, says a psychologist in the piece.

So which is it? Play up your beauty or go with the natural look? In the name of journalism, the author tries three beauty enhancers to see how they affect her life: hair extensions, false eyelashes and contouring make up.

Ironically, she is mortified to let anyone know she actually has hair extensions, fake lashes or makeup that makes her cheekbones pop; less they call her a phony and protest that she misrepresents.

The author experiences a mixed bag of results from her three beauty trials. The hair extensions seem to garner her extra male and female attention but she spends much of her time obsessing if others can tell she’s wearing extensions.

The contouring makeup makes a good impression with a man at a rooftop bar until he erroneously guesses her age as four years older. Oops.

And the falsies turn out to be a lot more trouble than they’re worth. Until you get the hang of expert application, you end up in a sweaty Brooklyn bar bathroom at one a.m. with falsies clinging by a few drops of glue and perched precariously midway from your lash line (no dear, no one tells you!)

But no matter where you fall on the pretty vs. natural spectrum, it’s really an individual choice. Wear extensions, get highlights, go gray, skip makeup, get a spray tan, be proud of your “ugly person job”…we’re all women doing the best we can with what we have and how we feel about it. Right Marnie? Now that’s feminism.hannahandmarnie

Lady Mags: Quit Asking Actresses if they Want Kids–or Want to Be Married, Thanks!

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Lady Mags: Quit Asking Actresses if they Want Kids–or Want to Be Married, Thanks!

zooeyIn the February Glamour, cover girl  Zooey Deschanel gives the proverbial middle finger to the typical women’s magazine interview questions that drive some of us bonkers.

Kudos to the young Deschanel for being buttoned up when it comes to sharing certain personal things, and Kudos to Glamour for printing the questions Deschanel clearly balked at. Perhaps we’ll see less of them in the future?

On being asked about boyfriends:

ZD:  I don’t like to talk about that stuff. All of sudden it belongs to other people, and people think they have a right to make judgments about your personal life.

On being asked about wanting children:

DZ: That is so personal, and it’s my pet peeve when people press you on it. And it’s always women who get asked! Is anybody saying that to George Clooney?

No Zooey, they certainly are not.

And finally about weight and the ever anorexic ideal in Hollywood:

DZ: There are a lot of actresses who are unhealthy-skinny—much, much too skinny. You can’t Pilates to that.

Deschanel admired actresses growing up—Debra Winger, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep—beautiful and slim, but never too thin.

DZ: You do not need to look or be anorexic to be successful in Hollywood.

Thanks Zooey!