Problem Areas, Goldilocks, and Bundt Cake

For some unfortunate reason I came into contact with several articles today about how to hide “problem areas” with clothing.  Just like the idea of having to wear clothes that are “flattering,” this entire phenomenon can bite me.  In case you’re not familiar (how lucky are you?) – “problem areas” that one can and, based on the article’s language ostensibly should, fix with clothing include big boobs and small boobs, big hips and no hips, too curvy and not curvy enough, pear shaped, apple shaped, square shaped blah blah blah.  WTF y’all?

This whole thing strikes me as a horrific re-writing of the classic Goldilocks story.  The first boobs were too small, the second boobs were too big. I used clothing to make them look the same, now they’re all juuuust right.  Soon we’ll all be Stepford people and it will be totes awesome, amirite?!?!

Worse is the fact that every single one of these articles starts with some version of the phrase “every body has problem areas.”  Shouldn’t this give us pause? EVERY body has problem areas?  Or, maybe it’s more that everybody is a potential customer of industries that take our self-esteem, cheapen it, and sell it back at a massive profit – beauty industry, diet industry, women’s magazines…I’m looking at you.

Then there are the super helpful pieces just for fatties that are called something like “From Fat to Flattering” but should be called: “How to Look More Invisible”.  Wear dark clothing that absorbs light so that your body is as hidden as possible, wear things that are not exciting so that if you accidentally reflect light you’ll still hopefully be ignored. Failing that, wear big necklaces to draw attention to your boobs  (which we assume are big because all fatties have a rack ‘o doom right?) since they are the only slightly redeeming part of your fat body (though if they are too big see the articles above), wear things that skim your body so that we can’t see how you’re actually shaped, but not too bulky because heavens forfend  you look bigger than you are. Wear big jewelry or fancy shoes to draw attention away from your body.  Carry around a flare gun that you can fire to distract anyone who is looking at your body despite all of your best efforts. Someone’s looking at your body and you left your flare gun in your other purse?  No problem –  yell “HEY LOOK, BUNDT CAKE!” point to the left and then run like hell to the right in the hopes that you’ll be gone before they turn around. (10 points for any reader who gets the movie reference)

As always, you are the boss of your underpants, your regular pants, and the rest of your clothes – you can wear anything that you want for any reason you want. I’m not trying to tell anybody how to live. What I’m saying is that I refuse to buy into this.  My body doesn’t have problem areas, it doesn’t have flaws.  My body does a perfect job of being my body – it’s not supposed to look like someone or something else and I’m not about to choose what I wear or how I wear it with the goal of looking like I have some other body, or trying to make my body look different or, worst of all, invisible.  They say that all bodies have problem areas, I say that none of us have to buy into that.  I believe that each body is an original work of art – one of a kind – and I think that comparing them at all, let alone holding them to a single standard of how they are “supposed to look”, whether we’re intended to achieve that through changing our size or changing our clothing or something else,  is ludicrous to me.

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Published in: on March 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm  Comments (68)  

68 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The primary “less than my ideal” area of my body is my muscle strength, and I’m working on that in the gym.

    (Also the publicly perceived gender vs. actual gender identity issue, but that’s not actually my body’s fault.)

  2. I used to read articles like that once upon a very sad time ago. Of course as a petite lady, I was always getting stuff about ‘wear really tiny jewelry so you don’t look like it’s swallowing you whole’ and ‘never, ever wear different colors on different parts of your body’ because otherwise I’d look GASP! CONSTERNATION! Even Shorter!

    Of course I quickly discovered that if I wear tiny jewelry I actually disappear from view and I don’t mind looking short since I’m, y’know, short. And nothing makes me feel duller or less interesting than wearing all one color like the visual embodiment of Plain Song.

    Funny thing, there I was breaking all the rules, wearing jewelry bigger than I was and breaking up my colors and sometimes even wearing horizontal stripes like a very bad short person, and one time I guy I’d actually been casually dating for a couple months looked at me in surprise one evening and said: “Twistie! I just realized; you’re short!”

    I find that when I wear clothes that make me happy, they tend to make more people notice me in a positive way. So yes, I wear outlandish hats and swirly skirts and color combinations that would make many a fashion maven break out in hives… and you know what? I get a lot of smiles, and even the occasional person stopping me to tell me I’m fabulous. That’s a direct quote, BTW.

    Also a gentleman I met recently told me I reminded him of Wavy Gravy. I had to laugh out loud when he scrambled to tell me he thought that was a good thing. I could tell. And even if he hadn’t thought it was a compliment, I would have chosen to take it as one. I like Wavy Gravy.

    • Twistie, you are simply awesome!

      I started making Chainmaille jewelry as compensation for no longer being active (darned messed up ankle and back–I don’t sit still well) @8 years ago and sell my wares primarily through shows. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard women tell me they can’t wear the larger pieces because they (the women) are too small or delicate to wear such items. I tell them all that one of the boldest pieces I’ve ever made is worn by one of the smallest women I’ve ever met (she’s under 5 foot and might be 90 lbs soaking wet). Bold is an attitude, not a body size!

      Ok, fine, so the heftier the piece, the heftier the price tag (Sterling and Gold Fill aren’t cheap) but I’ll tell ya, I think they’re way more fun than the delicate stuff!

      I wear one of my largest pieces as my “daily driver.” And while I’ve been complimented on my pieces, I’ve never been likened to Wavy Gravy. But I may just have to pick some up on my way home. Yum!

    • As long as he doesn’t tell me I remind him of Chubby Hubby we’re OK. I’m a girl. I don’t want to be anyone’s hubby. ;)

      • I’d just like to clarify that the Wavy Gravy in question was not the ice cream (though it’s ridiculously delicious and I’d like some right now, please) but the actual human Wavy Gravy, denizen of the Hog Farm, Chief of Please at Woodstock, social activist, clown, and – as he once described himself – part-time frozen dessert.

        But now I do want delicious ice cream filled with hazelnuts and fudge ribbons. Then again I’ve been wanting to try making ginger ice cream… and now Ragen has me in a cake mood, too. And me without any eggs in the house! Drat!

        • I knew whatcha meant; I was just riffing on it. :D

          • I fear I’m being just a tidge literal this morning. Blame it on my cat. I know I do. He’s a handy receptacle for blame, you know.

            • Aren’t they always? :)

            • Ha. My dog has just read this, and she is finally like, “See? There is SOMEONE ELSE you can blame!” ;)

            • Definitely. And it’s much more satisfying to blame the cat than the dog, because they will either ignore you completely, or give you a kitty glare and stalk off, while the dog will give you puppy eyes and go “What? What did I do? You still love me, right?”

    • Oooh, Twistie! How you often say what I meant to, just better.

      At 5’1″ I often have this experience where folks one day after I’ve known them for 6 days, 6 months or years say….
      “wow. I never noticed you’re short!”

      I never have been able to find a dependable one-liner in response. It doesn’t upset me, so I don’t want to go ballistic with ..
      ” I never noticed you had red hair” or
      “I never noticed you were black” etc.

      People tell me I’m very confident. Regardless of whether I am fat or thin, I’ve always taken up a lot of space.
      I truly don’t care what people think in general, which is probably why this happens. Oh, and that I am a natural born freak.

      I’m glad to hear others have had this strange experience!

      • I think some of those one-liners are fine. I wouldn’t use “black” because race is more of a central identity thing than height is, and because there’s a strain of racism that goes “Oh, I don’t notice color.” But “I never noticed you had red hair,” or “Wait a minute, you wear glasses?” seem like perfectly harmless responses to me.

        I’m occasionally oblivious, so I can see missing that someone is short, but I hope I wouldn’t randomly blurt out, “Wow, you’re short!”

      • You could always just deadpan, “Betcha didn’t know I was black, either,” (or white if you are black) and leave ‘em wondering. :D

  3. Thank you – I laughed out loud at “flare gun.”

    My friend R. has an inoperable tumor in his right lung – now THAT’S a problem area. I think I’m going to take my healthy jiggly belly out for a big slice of bundt cake.

    • Sorry about your friend. Sending good thoughts.

  4. Way to say it Ragen! I was listening this morning to a radio talk show out of NYC and of course, everyone is talking about the fricking “sugary soda” ban. The most times obnoxious host suggested that we should go back to “Shame” to help people realize what’s WRONG with them. I so wanted to call him (as it was I was yelling at the radio – big help that is!) how shame has never helped anyone. All I could think of was shaming him for having that outdated, snobbiesh, WRONG view and having a publlic forum to make himself be heard! Grrrr. Yes, lets go back to shaming everyone for being non-athletic, or being tall, or being short, or being disabled, or being gay or being anything that’s not what the “NORM” is…ummm has it worked that well in the past you bigot?! I’ve been fat since I was 6 years old and gee – all the ridicule and shame helped me SO Much! NOT…

    Sorry – I know I need to take a breath. It just makes me angry! So, I’m going loud and proud and I’m dressing my body in what I like and what’s comfortable and makes me freakin happy! If you don’t like it…don’t look! :)

    • Ditto for me, Alison! I have had the same exact experience, as far as being fat since the age of six. All the ridicule, shaming, etc., etc. didn’t do a damn thing to help my body size. In fact, I believe it caused it to be large, but that’s another topic altogether.

      That soda mess in NYC is REALLY pissing me off. I was so glad to hear a judge stopped it. But, of course, Bloomberg is not going to let it drop. He’s going to try to appeal it and then he will start adding more and more things – exercise requirement, etc., etc. If NYC re-elects that man, they’re nuts!

      • Does it help to know that it doesn’t have a chance in hell on appeal? There was no mistake of law to appeal. Even if OMGDEATHFAT had any credibility, sodazillas wouldn’t be the sole cause,or even the primary cause. People having different bodies is the cause, and I doubt Bloomberg will be able to legally drum people out of the city for having “problem” genetics.

      • well he’s already done his terms so there’s no way he can come back into the seat but he’s definitely got a God complex! Now he’s trying to limit people from using earphones…he just won’t quit…

  5. I’m inspired to go home and bake a bundt cake. Yum!

  6. I don’t buy into the “problem spot” mindset.

    I do, however, like my clothes to be flattering. I don’t define flattering as pretending I’m something I’m not, though, but, rather, making the best of my body, as it is. Looking good.

    Clothes that are flattering fit well (which can be hard for us.) We’re not smooshed into them, or hiding under them – they look comfortable, we can move in them. If you want to show off your boobs, do, if you don’t, don’t. Same for your arms, your waist, your hips, your rear. What do *you* think looks great? (You don’t have to buy into the problem area mindset to think you have a particularly fabulous area. LOL I *like* my long muscular legs.)

    Colors that are flattering go well with your skin tones. As it happens, I do wear a lot of black… it looks good on my skin. So does bright red, so I wear a lot of that, too. I know people who look horrible in black, but wonderful in the beige that makes me fade away. Color is not about size – it’s about skin.

    Possibly the best dressed woman I know is fat. Her clothes fit impeccably, the colors she wears make her skin glow, she has a clear sense of personal style. She always looks wonderful. And she isn’t trying to hide anything.

    No one has to put that effort into their clothing. (She clearly enjoys it.) There is no obligation. There’s nothing wrong with it, either.

    • Your definition of “flattering” is much like mine. Do I feel comfortable in it? Does it make me smile when I look in the mirror? Do I really feel like ME, in the best way possible, when I wear it? Then it’s flattering!

    • I pretty much feel the same way. I don’t have “problem” areas, but I do have areas (like my mammoth boobs) that are hard to dress. I’d welcome an article that shows me where to get blouses that don’t gap over G-cups, not one that shows me how to look thin.

    • This comment – Color is not about size – it’s about skin. – is spot on. I let my skin tone determine the colors I wear. Fortunately it allows me to wear many, many bright colors, which makes me so very happy. I love my vivid colors.

      • Actually, color is about whatever you like, not what anyone dictates – not even your skin. That’s still subjective and not factual.

        • I agree with you that it’s subjective; however, there are simply some shades that don’t work with my skin tone. If they don’t look good with my skin tone, I don’t wear them. In other words, I don’t let what fashion experts say about color sway or determine what I buy; I buy what I like, what I think looks good on me. That’s how I let skin tone determine what shades I wear.

          • OK, I can agree with you there. :)

            • For all those alleged experts who say stick to dark colors, I thumb my nose. Like I commented elsewhere, I may wear darker colors for my pants and skirts, but that’s to hide dirt not because it makes me look smaller. I just snorted at the thought of my black skirt making me look smaller or thinner today. Yeah, not going to happen. I’m not sure when it happened or what prompted it, but I decided I was going to wear what I wanted to wear and ignore the advice of the alleged experts.

        • I agree with you to the extent that what one likes or dislikes about color is subjective. However, there is a certain amount of objectivity to analyzing color interactions because it all goes back to what wavelengths of color the eye can see, and how these affect the eye.

          There is science to color theory, and how certain colors mix together (or not), or complement each other (or not) all based upon how the human eye perceives them. That is, how light in particular wavelengths works when hitting nerves within the human eye. There is an entire industry dedicated to defining colors with a view to making them replicatable in any particular medium. My skin could be defined (most likely) by Pantone, although I can’t see what purpose that would serve. So there is an objective component to color that is absent from other discussions of “flattering” simply because color wavelength and composition (which primary and secondary colors are present in the sample) CAN be measured objectively. How my eye perceives it (what nerves get activated in my eye) is also scientifically observable. Whether I like the color or not is subjective and changeable (blue used to be my favorite color, and now I tend to favor greens and purples – next year it could be yellow).

          What a color “looks” like also depends upon ambient light (sunlight, fluorescent, incandescent…) and other such factors which tend to obscure or enhance aspects of colors. Color is actually MORE complicated than fit of clothing (IMHO) because of how color can be perceived by the eye. A given color could be ugly as snot in fluorescent light, and gorgeous in sunlight. If someone I trust looks at me and asks me to step into sunlight, or different lights, to see how my sweater color looks on me I will take their opinion seriously.

          Whatever color a person wears is their own business, it is no one else’s business and whoever doesn’t like it can just shut up unless they are asked their opinion. The person gets to wear what he or she likes. There will be certain colors that will bring forward (enhance above others) or detract from (cause to recede to the background) the colors inherent in the person’s skin tone. That is a fact. The rest is pure value judgment (as you pointed out).

          –Andy Jo–

    • Yep, this is absolutely spot-on. There really are two kinds of “flattering,” and unfortunately a lot of mainstream fashion advice is of the “fake being as close to the beauty standard as possible” type.

      I tend to wear a lot of black too. I’m not sure if it specifically looks good on me, but it goes with *everything,* so I’m always buying black clothes. And purple. I can never have enough purple. I’ve been told I look good in jewel tones, but I don’t really have an understanding of what colors work with what skintones, other than that pastels, particularly yellow, make me look dead. (I’m super-light-complected, with dark brown hair. The only people I know paler than me are redheads.)

  7. I really, really loved this article! You are so right, when you say that any fashion article (or any other) that states, every body has problem areas… just stop right there. We are not problems to be solved- we are people- we should not let the fashion industry or any other industry diminish us, shame us or tell us that we are less than, or should be less than. Thank you again for another great article!

    • “We are not problems to be solved, we are people.” The breadth of wisdom in this statement is just beautiful.

  8. As to the fashion industry ‘problem areas’.. i think this has more to do with industry… not people. When you mass produce things you can’t make them apply to all bodies… so there you go… When individuals find clothing that fits well, they feel good in, and is affordable… there’s no problem anymore.
    I’m reminded of a friend who planned a wedding and she had three wonderful bridesmaids.. each was very different in body shape and size. Rather than order dresses off the rack and hope they were suitable, she designed dressed for each of them to fit week, flatter them and be something they could use for other formal events. The only thing the dresses had in common was color. IT was amazing.

    • well, not week… sorry for the typo

    • *glances at evil unflattering bridesmaids dress* Oh, how I wish my bestie had the wisdom your friend has. She’s getting married at the end of the month, and when she chose the dresses, she forgot that one of her bridesmaids is not a size 6. I’m having a dress-burning party after the wedding.

    • Your friend is awesome. When I got married, my bridesmaids ranged from 4’11.5″ to 5’10 and Irish redhead to Mediterranean complexion. So my answer to bridesmaid dresses was “Buy something you like. Our colors are blue and purple.” When I was a bridesmaid, my friend did something fairly similar, and had us pick whatever dress we wanted from David’s Bridal in a given shade, so that we’d all match, but still have something we liked.

      • I have three bridesmaid stories – two horror stories and one good one. The horror stories include a bride who said she would have us make dresses from one pattern that would look flattering on the multiple sizes of her bridesmaids in fabrics that could be machine washable and without the HUGE butt bow. She changed her mind to satin and including the HUGE butt bows. The other horror story was the bride who selected baby pink and black as her colors, then put me in baby pink, which looks hideous on me. I would have preferred the black. The only plus was that I got to select the pattern of the dress.
        The good story is the friend who said she knew I had a lovely dress in a beautiful sea green that would work perfectly with her sister’s teal dress, so rather than have either one of us buy new dresses, she told us to wear the ones we had that looked good on us. Guess which experience I liked best? :)

  9. I wear clothing that I enjoy wearing. Usually tops with bright colors and darker bottoms. (Not because I hope that makes me looks smaller but because they don’t show dirt as much.) I love my bright, vivid colors, and find it humorous that I am the fattest person in my office and wear the brightest colors. Most of the others wear more conservative colors. My co-workers have the discussions about what colors are supposed to be most flattering and hide their body flaws.

    I believe that the clothing I wear flatters my body because I enjoy wearing them. I like the styles I wear. I enjoy being the bohemian of the office.

    • That is so true! I don’t think anything looks worse on a person than an article of clothing that they’re clearly uncomfortable wearing.I’ve been there and I am so self-conscious if I am uncomfortable.

      • To both you well adjusted ladies, I so agree with you. I am finally retired, so I usually wear very casual clothing and I, too, love color and use it liberally! WE ARE WOMEN, HEAR US ROAR!!!

      • Comfort is a must for me, and I love my empire waists and draped items. Not because they “flatter” me and/or should make me look smaller, but because I like that style and I like the way it looks on me. It’s comfortable and passes muster at work, so it’s a win-win for me. I feel more confident wearing my bright colors than I would somber colors. If the fashionistas and fashion experts of the world have an issue with that, they can go eat bundt cake. ;)

  10. mmmm….bundt cake.

    I was an awkward teenager who was bigger than most girls but not big enough to be considered fat, I also had huge boobs. so, I hid my body. a couple of years ago I got tired of hiding and decided to just wear what I liked, regardless of my size. I bought a pair of jeans I thought I would never be able to wear and what do you know…they looked good on me. then I went and broke ALL the rules and bought tank tops and wore them without covering up my jiggly arms. i wear what I like, for me that is a lot of black and grey (I was a goth kid…hard habit to break lol) but then I’ll wear things like my pink plaid hoodie (my best friend and I have matching hoodies, we’re fat and awesome in our pink plaid during the winter).

    so many women buy into the nonsense that we can’t wear what we like until we’re thin and that’s just nonsense. wear what makes you feel good and don’t worry about what anyone else has to say. we all deserve to feel good about ourselves.

    • Just a thought inkspot87. If you have good insurance, you might qualify for breast reduction surgery due to the pain in your back and shoulders. My daughter who is not a heavy, nor a skinny woman, was able to have this done. There is a formula the insurance companies use to determine if you qualify. At first they turned her down, but her doc went to bat for her and got them to look at her breasts as they were – they immediately agreed that she did indeed, qualify for the surgery. She went from a double D or E to a comfortable B and has been so glad. Also, I love how you are choosing to dress as you wish! I happen to love corduroy pants with a bit of stretch in them (from Land’s End) and wear them year round. I have NOT gotten the courage up to display my ‘grandma arms’ as my sister and I long ago dubbed them. We also swore never to get them. Well, she died at age 46 so she didn’t, but I certainly did and I’m very proud of you for not worrying what others think. I have seen many women in public wearing them along with their ‘grandma arms’ and, truly, it doesn’t look bad! Maybe when I turn 70!! In the meantime, congratulations to you!

      • I’ve actually been looking into breast reduction surgery, the few doctors I have talked to have all told me I’d have to lose weight first before they’d even consider the surgery. I think what I’m going to end up doing is after I have this baby, after I finish breastfeeding I’m going to go in, the last time I lost a lot of weight breastfeeding so if that happens again I’ll be the weight they say I’m supposed to be, I can get the surgery and then let my body go back to it’s normal size lol.

  11. *sticks a flower pot in the middle of Ragen’s bundt cake* ;)

    • There’s a hole in that cake.

      • Oh! Is a KEK!

        • Opa!!!!

          • *toasts with ouzo*

            • I love that movie. I need to go watch it right now. :)

  12. OT… but not completely… if you’ve got 20 minutes, a stoneware bundt pan and a microwave you can have a buuundddtt kek. Take fav cake mix and prepare as directed. generously grease the pan. Pour in the cake. Microwave for 13 minutes. Remove, turn out onto plate..mmm warm bundt. Or, if you want, drop scoops of canned frosting into the batter before microwaving and it will self-glaze. Now I’m going to HAVE to make one.. I use gf cake mix

  13. That quote is from The Replacements (Orlando Jones tries to distract a defensive tackle).

    *looks for her points*

  14. “Failing that, wear big necklaces to draw attention to your boobs (which we assume are big because all fatties have a rack ‘o doom right?)”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this, Ragen! As a fat girl with small breasts (which I love, despite the fact that society has been telling me since puberty that they’re not big enough), I often feel invisible even among fellow fatties. It’s difficult to constantly see comments like “big breasts are god’s consolation prize to fat girls” and not look down at my chest and wonder how I don’t even “fit in” as a fat girl, despite being fat and a girl. And finding bras? Next to impossible! Every time I get fitted I’m told I have a radically different size (I’ve been anywhere from a 34A to a 44C at the SAME weight and height, according to the salespeople) and actually finding my size (approx. 40-42B) is like looking for a needle in a haystack because apparently if I have a wide back, I MUST have big breasts too. Sigh. Anyhow, thank you again, it means a lot to be seen.

    • If you are in the UK you might want to try Fashion World for bras, their back sizes goes from 28-58 and their cups go from A-L, they don’t do all cup sizes in all back sizes but they have the best range not only of sizes but prices that I’ve seen, you’ll pay a bit for postage but you can spread the cost of payments over time if you are on a budget.

  15. The Replacements, of course! “Pain heals, Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.”

    And I tend to ignore the “problem areas” that magazines and books tell me I have. I prefer to focus on the “amazing areas” I know I have.

  16. Agreed about the “problem areas”… Totally… However, I must be the only fatty I know who doesn’t really hate the word “flattering”. I’m aware of how it is used, but how I have always heard it and used it as a descriptor of something that brings out your best features, or complements something about you that is beautiful.

    For example, if you have gorgeous, curly hair, then certain styles might be more flattering than others. They might show off the texture or color of the hair better, or work better with the natural curl, or with the straightness. My hair is fine and straight. Short cuts look better on me (IMHO) because of the nature and texture of my hair. I choose to wear my hair short.

    A given color may work for your skin tone (whether it is a clothing color or a hair color or a jewelry color) in a flattering way — bringing out the skin’s beauty — or not — clashing badly. The color and the skin will both be enhanced if they “flatter” together (not the way the verb should be used but I’ll use it creatively). It has nothing to do with black or white or brown, but everything to do with whether your skin has more reds or yellows or browns or blues, and what that means in terms of the colors that will look most harmonious. By harmonious, I mean that they bring forward the beauty in YOU, in your skin. Same goes for makeup which could complement your eye color — or make your beautiful eyes almost invisible. This is the case of “Hi there! I’m Beautiful Bright Blue and this set of eyes I’m wearing belong to Andy”. I’ve had days like that… Bad makeup day.

    Flattering is definitely used negatively in fashion mags, but I see it as a serviceable word that is meant to describe something that is generally good. Yes — hiding fat is thought to be generally good, but truly flattering clothes won’t necessarily hide one’s body under a ton of fabric. A tent is a tent and humans look good INSIDE tents — not wearing them. Flattering clothing will bring out lovely legs, or beautiful arms, or whatever is best about you.

    And in accordance with the Underpants Rule — only you get to take the final decision.

    –Andy Jo–

    • Situation: You think your hair looks most flattering in a short cut. What if someone else thinks it looks better longer? How do you feel if they say, “Oh, that’s really not flattering on you. You should grow your hair out.” You might be able to handle that critique, but not everyone can. It’s still someone’s subjective opinion of you based on their personal choices.

      • I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Can you help me understand your reply? Is what I said controversial in any way?

        My mother hates my short hair — has for years. She hated it when my sister (not fat) cut her hair to above the shoulders and later on shaved it (Horrors!!! It had been long, blond and waist-length). She just hates short hair and I know that. When she gets on her hobby horse I tune her out. She has actually said “I hate your hair that short”. I learned how to tune her out years ago.

        Personally, I have objective reasons why I prefer short hair and I believe it looks better on me. I can explain why, with my type of hair and the geometry of my face I feel it looks better. If I care what someone thinks, I’ll tell them. If I don’t care, I won’t. I’ll just say “that’s nice. I prefer it this way” and move on.

        Others will always have subjective opinions about what looks good on one person versus another. There are people whose opinions I trust who can give me a rational reason for expressing a preference, and I might actually take them seriously. The others can go take a long walk off a short pier.

        As I mentioned above, the Underpants Rule applies. I’m not saying that what is OK for me is OK for everyone. Only you get to decide what is right for you, and only I get to decide what is right for me.

        • First off, Bravo! VERY nice use of “help me understand.” Well played! :D

          I did feel like you were stating things objectively that I find to be subjective and that’s what prompted the question. I really wasn’t meaning to be snarky. I really wondered if you’d be OK with someone telling you your choice didn’t flatter you. Clearly you are accomplished at standing your ground. I was just thinking about the folks who aren’t able to do that. I did not intend to suggest that your choices were not OK for you. I apologize if that’s how it came across.

          I like your strength in knowing what works for you. I find that admirable. It’s a trait that is growing in me every day.

  17. I had to chuckle when I read this, not out of humor for what most women must deal with this in darned near any magazine they read.My chuckles were because of two comments made by two of my beloved granddaughters when they were around 3’ish. The first one, who was still being breastfed and who had seen numerous women nursing their babies saw me in my bra and panties sitting on a bed. She gave me a quizzical look and said ‘gwandma, do you have thwee breasts?. My other granddaughter who had not been exposed to either breastfeeding moms and babies nor to much body exposure at all, came running into the bathroom just as I climbing out of the shower. She nearly slid to a stop and stared at me and then said, gwandma, do you have TWO tummies? . . . pause . . . where’s yo bellybutton? I still treasure both those comments and since I’m finally at a stage where HOW my body looks just isn’t as important as how my love for my family and friends show and what I can do for people I care about! Just my view on the whole body image thing. If you want the truth, listen to a three year old girl!! NO BARRIERS YET! I have decided I enjoy eating and am already limited by having both Celiac Disease and Collagenous Colitis. The first requires me to eat no wheat, rye or barley. That was easy to adjust to because there is so much Gluten Free foods and recipes available now. The second one requires me to eliminate most fiber from my diet. THAT has been very hard, because after spending years learning what foods are healthy for me (not necessarily low calorie though) I am now back to eating the ’50’s diet. If it’s white I can eat it. If it has any fiber I cannot. Very hard, but I’m learning as I’m going.
    ]

    • I decided recently that I wouldn’t care anymore how I looked since dieting/anorexia never helped, but made me feel worse than my grandma does.

      I’ve got problems with fibre too, basically any vegetable, which causes constipation in me. I saw the wiki about the Colitis that you have, and maybe that’s what my mom has. I usually bake my own bread from spelt, or buy white bread, but the white causes break-outs like any other wheat product.

      I like the great selection of GF foods now, like cookies, pizza crusts, etc. Lactose free is also something that is advancing, as they have all the %’s of milk, cheese in some places, and now some yogurt. Dairy free is boring!

      I’m certainly not as old as you, but I appreciate your comment.

  18. Yeah like that show what not to wear? If you’re bottom heavy wear darker pants to detract away from your large lower half so everything can be balanced. Or if you’re top heavy (like me) wear darker top to detract from your large bust and mid section. Also when they choose outfits and say the phrase “Omg see you look about 10 pounds thinner” I’m like dude? How boring would the world be if everyone had perfectly balanced bodies or type of body? Nature gave human beings the different types of bodies we have, that’s why the human race is physically unique because nobody is the same. If I see the day we actually emphasize different bodies through clothing, media, television and fashion I’ll jump for joy.

    Telling someone to wear certain color jewelry and clothing to bring out their natural eye color or skin shade is different from telling someone to find certain clothes to hide their bodies.

  19. Now I really want to buy a flare gun. LOL!

  20. To quote a Billy Crystal character, “when you feel good you look good.” So dress in what makes you feel good & then go out & feel/look MARVELOUS!!!

    Thanks for the reminder that I don’t need to dress like a black hole! Another day, another great post!

  21. Even though it is Pie Day, I wanted to post this cake recipe for the person who wanted cake but had no eggs:

    1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 c. granulated sugar
    1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
    1/2 tsp salt
    1Tbs white vinegar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/3 c vegetable oil
    1 c. water

    Preheat oven to 350 F Grease and flour 8×8 pan
    Combine dry ingredients and sift into pan, shake pan until mix is level.
    Poke 3 holes into mixture.
    Pour vinegar into one hole, vanilla into another, and oil into the last. Pour water over all.
    Mix thoroughly, be sure to get the corners.
    Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
    Cool 5 minutes before turning out, or serve from pan.

  22. I’ve got my period plus hot flashes. One of those great things you ladies who haven’t been there yet get to look forward to in your late forties. So I’ll say to hell with everything else and just eat the damn bundt cake.

  23. Great blog. I have been hearing for years about what I am “supposed” to wear, “supposed” to be eating and doing. Gah!!! I’ll wear what I want, darn it. And I’m going to eat that cake.


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