Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Body Shop giveaway winner is...

The winner of a gift bag and sold-out summer bronzing products from The Body Shop is...

Brittney of A Day In The Life Too!

Brittney said...
heck yes i did all of those things. so jealous of all you dallas bloggers! that looks divine. annnd...please pretty please pick meeeeeee! (i'm slipping random.org a twenty right now...)

Congrats Brittney!

Outfit Post: The tyranny of the "bikini body"

Memorial Day weekend, 1981: I am seven years old. My parents are hosting a barbecue and have invited my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and neighborhood friends. The air smells like roasting barbecue briquettes, daylilies, freshly cut grass and hot dogs.The rhythmic spurt-spurt-spurt of the sprinkler permeates the air. I am wearing an enticing two-piece yellow terry cloth bikini which ties around my neck, and my cousins and I shriek as we run through the needle-sharp spray of the sprinkler. My waist-long hair drips water down my back. I feel happy, unencumbered and free.

Flash forward to Memorial Day weekend, present day: I am 36 years old. My husband and three children chatter excitedly about going to the neighborhood pool. I have zero desire to go to the pool, because going to the pool means wearing my swimsuit in public. I stand in front of my dresser and try to calm myself down. I try on two-piece after two-piece, self-esteem plummeting in the process. Swimsuits lie tangled on the floor. My thighs seem to expand with each selection. My body takes up too much space. I am flabby and fat and all-together unacceptable. I feel like a failure.

Every summer, I go through the exact same ritual. I become obsessively focused on the notion of the perfect bikini body, an entity I am certain every woman possesses except for myself. The NY Times recently ran an article exploring the notion of the bikini body, examining the effect it has on fear-inspired marketing campaigns and as a symbol of physical perfection.

There's no way of figuring out when the phrase "bikini body" was first uttered or when its tyranny took hold. It's common knowledge that the two-piece as we know it was invented in 1946 by engineer Louis RĂ©ard who christened it after Bikini Atoll. The style became popular in the 50's and by the 80's was standard beachwear. As our culture increasingly enshrines physical perfection, the bikini has come to inspire dread and awe. It wasn’t always so. In the 1960s, when bellybutton-baring suits first became popular in America, “it was a youthful phenomenon definitely,” said Sarah Kennedy, the author of “The Swimsuit: A History of Twentieth-Century Fashions.” Then the high-fashion set and movie stars began to put on bikinis, and by the ’70s, she said, the bikini was “worn by all ages.”

And a few extra pounds didn’t disqualify anyone, considering the fitness revolution was still roughly a decade away. (The NY Times mentions that in the book there’s a 1940s photograph of a fresh-faced still-brunet Marilyn Monroe looking smashing in a two-piece, a roll of pale flesh at her midsection.)

Writes The Guardian's Laurie Penny:

When it finally became popular in the 1960s, the bikini was a symbol of physical liberation, of beautiful women reacting to the stern sexual prudery of previous decades by exposing as much skin to the sun as they pleased. Today, as with many iterations of the sexual emancipation rhetoric of the 1960s, wearing a bikini is no longer associated with pleasure and daring, but with anxiety, dieting rituals and joyless physical performance...The bikini body has become cultural shorthand for a moral standard of female perfection whereby any physical flaw should be regarded as a source of shame, an obstacle to collective fantasies of glamour and happiness.
When did  the bikini become the standard of all beauty? I'm going to theorize that the first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, published in 1964, had a lot to do with it. With that publication, swimsuits became explicitly linked with the standards of female desirability. Also, the Swimsuit Issue is published in the winter and had little to do with the reality of actual women being at the beach, let alone swimming, and a lot to do with unattainable goals.

"Bikini body" is the going code for "acceptable." It is always in bikinis that the tabloids feature the "best" and "worst" bodies. Type "bikini body" into Google and you get the following suggested searches:

bikini body workout
bikini body diet
bikini body tips
bikini body fast
quick bikini body

The bikini body has nothing to do with overall health, or fitness, or lifestyle. No, it's about shedding "winter weight" fast, before some arbitrary deadline known as "Bikini Season," at which point we're forced to confront a two-piece suit with, naturally, the requisite "bikini wax," and no trace of cold-weather pastyness. Jezebel argues that the "bikini body" craze goes so much deeper than fatism or fatphobia. It is part of our society's relentless insistence that a woman's body is not her own. It is an object to be criticized.  Our society seems to think that a woman wears a bikini not for herself, but for the public to decide her worthiness.

Will the world end tomorrow if I can't cram my butt into a bikini? I was going to ask Stephen Hawking, but, after some careful mathematical calculations, I was able to come up with the answer on my own: No. Does this mean that I still don't have days where I hate my thighs and stomach so much I want to carve them off of my body with a fillet knife? No. But I understand that those days will happen and that they really don't matter because there truly is NOTHING wrong with my body. I've put it through a lot in the past 36 years and it's stuck around and carried me through everything.

So my motto is this: Just be healthy. Eat things that are nutritionally good for you and exercise, but don't forget about delicious, delicious baked goods and gelato from Pacuigo. Don't deprive yourself of things to satisfy the warped and nonsensical views of people that see you as another bottomless pocket and empty head. 

Do what you want, eat what you want, wear what you want, and be who you want.

Now I ask you: How you deal with the pressure of the "bikini body?" Does wearing a swimsuit in public make you break out in a sweat? Do you avoid going to the beach, pool or lake because of this fear? Does wearing a swimsuit cause you to dread summer activities? And do you have a favorite swimsuit that makes you feel great about yourself?

Thrifted Gap chambray shirt: thrifted vintage dress; Old Navy belt; White Mountain sandals; TIKKR watch; Charming Charlie bracelet; Forever 21 necklace

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fashion in Blue Touch

Memorial Day giveaway!

Happy Memorial day, everyone! I hope you're enjoying your day with friends and family and barbecue. Because if there's one thing that Memorial Day makes me think of, it's barbecues. But then again, most holidays have some sort of correlation with food in my head. I'll have to give that some thought. Later, when I'm done eating my burger and potato salad.

Today is the second to last day to enter my giveaway for a gift bag and new sold-out summer bronzing products from The Body Shop! Don't forget to take a moment and enter here. The drawing will be tomorrow night.

Orange tendance !

Inspired From PINK


My Inspired Fashion - Part II