fashion: bad at doing it, good at loving it – part six

Birchbox Travel

Birchbox Travel (Photo credit: donireewalker)

Lately I have been thinking to myself that I should switch from being a book blogger to a fashion and beauty blogger, just to get some cooler different swag.

(I mostly kid. Please do not stop sending me book swag. I love the books. Forever. I might not have room for them in my apartment anymore, but they can share my bed.)

I would probably not be the best beauty or fashion blogger because, unlike when it comes to literature, I don’t have any specialized or advanced knowledge of this stuff. I recently started consistently wearing mascara. Sometimes I put on my primer and powder, too. For years, I was just an obsessive moisturizer and lip glosser. So this growing up, beauty-wise, is a big deal, friends. Anyway. I am trying to learn more about it (please read other of my blog entries to learn my general philosophy on fashion and beauty culture, the patriarchy, etc), because it’s high time I owned less clothing and beauty stuff but liked it more, looked better in it, and felt more confident in it. So I read magazines and blogs and sign up for things like Birchbox in order to get to that point where I have a general idea of what I’m doing.

Bookish people still have physical embodiments of their bookishness that needs to look presentable, and also, some of us, at least, happen to like the fun that comes with looking presentable, as blogs like Librarian Wardrobe will attest. This is why I have an entire Pinterest page dedicated to bookish, smartgirl, quirky clothing that I would love to have in my wardrobe in lieu of the things I have left over from college and 25 pounds ago. Continue reading


Since I’m still plugging away at Fifty Fifty Me (if all 12 months of the year were like my last three, I might actually be in danger of not fulfilling the reading requirement – that’s not a problem because I have already read a gazillion things this year, but regardless, I still feel like a failure), I watched a documentary on Netflix the other day. It’s called Busting Out, and it’s about boobs, which is one of my favorite topics EVAR. I have tons of thoughts on the topic, based in gender and sex roles, in my self esteem issues as a teenager (it is damaging to weigh about 100 pounds as a teen and hear a dummy Victoria’s Secret employee say that if their bras don’t work for you – since, you know, they’re required to size you incorrectly – you should go to Lane Bryant), and in my general sociological interest of the world. So I was so excited to watch something that purported to be about all these things.

While you can tell very easily that it’s incredibly low budget, the movie’s not horrible. It’s also short – barely an hour – so if you want to view it and consider using it in a classroom or Girl Scout troop or something, it’s probably a great candidate. It’s one of those personal journey documentaries that also deals with some history and interviews, which was a little disappointing, because I was expecting a bit more focus on history/sociology/anthropology/etc. There was a little of everything, under the general umbrella of exploring why Americans think boobs are so fascinating and yet so gross and yet in other parts of the world, they’re not sexualized at all. Continue reading

fashion: bad at doing it, good at loving it – part four

I love Project Runway. As far as reality shows go, I appreciate it because it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It acknowledges it’s rigged and doesn’t pretend otherwise by inviting fan votes. It has judges who are part of the industry it supports (and who are respected in their fields) as judges and mentors, not people who are famous and boring and say empty things (see: Nicole Scherzinger on The Sing-Off). And it’s interesting because the contestants on the show are regular ol’ people who just happen to be talented at something that works for TV (unlike a writing show, which I would love to be on and have challenges and stuff, but nobody but other writers and sadomasochists would want to watch), and so you really get to see them being interesting, and then dumb, and then ugly on the inside, just like real people. Shows like Real Housewives don’t do it for me, because those are ugly people who live unreal lives, so their ugliness is just gross and also just surreal. But contestants on Project Runway get to exhibit all of their human awkwardness. And to me, at least, it actually seems real–meaning that I can generally understand the points all the judges make, and sometimes I am utterly confused about their decisions until I consider that this is a competition for high fashion and couture, and often I am attracted to the clothes that I look like I would want to wear them to work or school, and that’s not usually the point of the show.

My favorite part of this show is probably any time that Michael Kors says something in Yiddish and Heidi Klum gets cutely confused because she thinks he’s speaking German. Continue reading