The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Dayum Girl!

It might surprise you to know that I have about one hundred partial posts drafted.  Sometimes I get distracted, sometimes I’m looking for the perfect quote or I’m trying to find a photo to add and sometimes I just feel that my writing isn’t up to snuff and I pause to find my voice.  I’ve been sorting through my draft folder and I’ve found some interesting posts that I will be working on in coming weeks.  For now there’s this:

pull off clothes

– the Goddess

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Tess Holliday, My New Pin Up Girl

Today Tess Holliday (Tess Munster), a 5’5″ woman who wears a size 22, was signed to a major modelling firm.  She started the #EffYourBeautyStandard movement and now she is the largest woman signed to a firm. It would be nice if that distinction didn’t have to be made and we could all just acknowledge that this woman is drop dead gorgeous, but this is still impressive.

Take a look at my new Pin Up Girl:

tess 1

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tess 2

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tess 3

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tess 4

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tess 5

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– the Goddess

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Room For Us All

Today this popped up in my Facebook feed. Apparently J. Crew is now offering a size 000.  No that’s not a typo, I am not self bleeping, that’s actually the size, triple 0.  Essentially it’s an extra, extra, extra small, but since that sounds kind of silly they have opted for a bunch of zeros.  There are those who are voicing concern that offering such a small size will encourage girls and women to  develop eating disorders in order to fit into this new miniature size.  J. Crew has countered that argument by saying they are responding to customer demand.  They cite that petite Asian women may well have a 23 inch waist which equates to the new itty bitty triple zero size.  There are also complaints that offering this new size will be a blow to the already fragile egos of those who are more “average” sized in the size 12ish range and those who are in the plus size range which is essentially size 16ish.

I bet that you can guess which side of the argument I am going to fall on here.

I bet that you are going to guess wrong.

A little known fact is that this Goddess has an MBA. I don’t get to use it much because I’m a little too non-profit for the corporate sector and a little too business for the non-profit sector, but I do know a thing or two about business and a I know a thing or two about people and I think that the arguments here are frankly ridiculous.

J. Crew is a business.  J. Crew has no interest in creating a race of super skinny, Shetland pony sized people.  Rather they have an interest in hawking their wares to the highest bidder.  If there are people coming into their stores asking for smaller sizes then they are going to tap into that market.  It’s not social commentary, it’s not fat shaming,  it’s ECONOMICS.  It’s quite possible that as they say they are trying to attract petite Asian shoppers, and it also possible that they are trying to fit more teens and children into their clothes and quite frankly if they see an opportunity then they have every right to try to capture market share.

I also don’t buy into the notion that if this size is available then girls are going to be more likely to widdle themselves down so that they can fit into it.  There are already super small sizes, there are also naturally super small people who are healthy and who wish to wear clothes that fit them properly.  When I was in high school there was a girl in the year ahead of me who was tiny both in height and in proportion.  It was not unusual to see her walking through the halls sporting the latest Smurf or Care Bear creations because she couldn’t find clothes in her size.  I don’t know if she would have worn a triple zero, but the point is that there are those who do and just as I have every right to be able to dress my size 5X body in fashionable clothes that fit me well so too do those among us who are at the other end of the size spectrum. It reminds me a bit of that saying “Real men like curves, only dogs like bones.”  Sure it’s a bit of fun in a world bombarded with images of rail thin women, but the truth is real men like real women and real women come in all shapes and sizes.

The article in the Star goes on to talk about vanity sizing which for those who don’t know is when clothing manufacturers let out your seams without telling you.  I’ve fallen prey to this myself as I have been wearing the same size for the last 15 years and my weight has fluctuated quite a bit in that time.  I’m not sure that triple zero is an issue of vanity sizing since it does equate it to a 23 inch waist and the implication is that this has not previously been available.  On the issue of vanity sizing I have one suggestion for us all.  Wear clothing that fits and flatters.  I don’t care if my clothes are size quadruple zero or size 1000.  The label is not important.  Whether or not I can button my pants and look good is all that matters.  Perhaps we can avoid this by changing up sizing all together.  Numbers and letters are arbitrary so let’s go with colours and animals.  I’ll take a sweater in purple hamster and I think a skirt in raspberry antelope will do quite nicely.

– the Goddess

 

 

 

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Go On, I DARE You!

I guess I’ve been under a rock since last spring, but today I stumbled upon DARE Magazine.

DARE describes itself as Canada’s first plus size fashion magazine and was founded last year.  I just flipped through the first issue released last spring and I was impressed.  I’m not exactly fashion forward, but I’ve also never really been given a chance to be.  All too often I’ve bought clothes because they fit as opposed to being too choosy about the style.  That’s not to say that I will wear just any old thing, but maybe by reading DARE and scoping out some of their contributors I might just locate my inner fashionista.

DARE 1 DARE 2 DARE 3

– the Goddess

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Melissa McCarthy Fashionista

After every awards show my friend Fiona asks me which dresses I like.  I don’t have TV and I’m not that big on award shows, but she mentioned Melissa McCarthy’s dress so I took a look.

In a word GORGEOUS!

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press Room

(Source)

I know that she has her own clothing line or at least designs clothes, but sometimes I find her choices a little frumpy. This dress however is just beautiful and a real testament that big girls can “work it” too.

– the Goddess

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Dress Warm My Friends!

Last week Toronto was under an extreme cold weather alert and while temperatures were more mild on Saturday, Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning ahead of the snow that I am currently watching fall.  I went out this morning and had plans for this afternoon, but decided better of it and I’m glad I did.  In an ideal world my office will be closed tomorrow, but there is no guarantee that operations will be put on hold for the weather and so I must prepare.

Typically I wear a light winter coat.  One because I am on and off of buses which can be warm and cramped, but two because it is the only winter coat I own that I can zip up properly without worrying that I will split the zipper.  I have a full length parka type coat which I just discovered I can zip up, but I am afraid that it strains too much around my bum and so it hangs in my closet.  I have a light coat which I used to wear as a winter coat, again for fit and certainly not warmth because it has a thin lining and nothing to insulate me against the cold.  On Friday it was so cold that my light coat was not enough and I threw my on my old coat over it.  Thankfully both are black and it hopefully wasn’t too too obvious that I was dressed in a manner typically reserved for those forced to wear all of their belongings at once.  Sadly even with both coats, leather gloves and my trusty beaver toque, which I must point out looks like a beaver, isn’t made of beaver, I was still cold walking to the office.

Regardless I am still one of the lucky ones because I have coats to wear in this weather.  All too often I see plus size people improperly dressed for the weather, either with a sweater or a wrap in place of a coat or with their coats worn open not because they are overheated, but because they cannot button them up.  It is difficult to find well fitting plus size clothes, especially at the larger end of the size chart, but I do encourage you to keep watch and if you can, then spend the money on a decent coat.  I’ve been really lucky finding items off season when the prices are much reduced, but there are times that I have spent full price because it’s unlikely that my size will be available at the end of the season.  (I do the same thing with bathing suits, but given that I can hardly hear myself think for the noise of the salters going by I’ll leave that for another time.)

A friend of mine wore Crocs most of last winter.  Not only do the holes and the open back make them inappropriate for the snow, but plastic freezes making them incredibly slippery and dangerous.  I suspect she wore them because they were slip on and for many of us bending over to lace up a pair of boots can be difficult if not impossible.  I am lucky that in my house there are stairs near the front door so I can put a foot up to tie my laces, but I do wear slip on boots when I am going to someone else’s home for fear that I wont have the same option.  Some may choose to wear their boots untied or with the laces knotted, but this can also be unsafe and lead to twisted ankles or falls.  If lacing up boots is difficult then I would suggest a sturdy pair of pull on winter boots, but personally I favour laced boots because of the added ankle stability.  I bought a nice pair last year, but I didn’t wear them because the laces were too short.  Most manufacturers don’t take into consideration that our legs and ankles are bigger and so the laces can often be too short to tie properly.  I did wear the boots once last winter, but after hooking the laces I could barely tie a bow and the boots were so tight that I could barely move my ankles.  In fact I slipped and fell while wearing them and they were so tight that I had great difficulty getting up again and I was embarrassed and a little panicked that I struggled the way I did.  This year I was able to find super long laces at the dollar store of all places and the boots have been great in this weather.

It is also important to find boots specifically made for cold weather.  For years I wore Doc Martens year round, but I also used to fall down a lot.  I didn’t realize for a long time that the soles of my boots were actually freezing in the cold weather and so I was essentially skating all the time I was wearing them outside. Crocs, or running shoes or any shoes or boots not intended for the cold and blow may have the same problems.  Again, watch for sales and, if you can, spend the money on a good pair of boots.  I have polished and treated  my boots and I expect that they will do me for many winters to come.

I’m going to bed with dreams of a snow day tomorrow, but if I must brave the weather then I know that I have sufficient gear.  For those affected by the snow please be careful, stay warm and be safe.  For those of you in warmer climates be assured that I am extremely jealous right now.

– the Goddess

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Because We Love Melissa McCarthy And Spanx

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More Halloween Costumes For Fat Girls

Recently I’ve noticed more visitor traffic and when I drilled down a little further it seems that there are a lot of people looking for costume ideas for fat girls.  In fact if you search for Halloween Costumes For Fat Girls the fourth choice on Google is my blog of the same title from this time last year.

I have some simple rules for Halloween costumes for myself.  I need to be comfortable, I try to keep tripping hazards to a minimum, I hate to carry props like brooms and I refuse to be self deprecating.  If anything I want to sex it up and be a really sexy and buxom witch, instead of say the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

I did see an interesting costume which was Mr., or I suppose you could be Mrs., Potato Head.  Dependent on how involved you wish to make the costume you could tack the different body parts on and not ruin your beige or potato coloured shirt or you could commit a shirt to the cause and attach Velcro circles or pieces in order to attach and move about the various body parts.  The one definite plus in my book is that if you are the least bit crafty you could make a number of attachable pieces and change your costume each year or each party, or even during a party.  You could also have some fun by creating your own pieces like blood shot eyeballs and fangs for a true Halloween version of Mr. Potato Head.

I’m still digging the turtle idea with a painted tin foil roasting pan on your back and I was in the dollar store on the weekend and they had plenty of cheapie add ons that could help with some simple costumes like antennae for a lady bug, bunny ears, a sparkly halo, and even different kinds of wings which were for kids, but could be easily fitted to an adult with a little ribbon or elastic cord.  Also a little trick I learned recently is to cut tulle in lengths and then take a ribbon or piece of cord and knot the lengths of tulle around the ribbon or cord.  Dependent on how long or how full you wish to make it you can make a long over shirt for a witch costume or a tutu or an interesting ruffle.  Simple, no sew and pretty quick to do.  Also remember that less is more.  You don’t have to wear an entire formal costume when a cape and some make up can give the illusion of a vampire, a princess or a super hero.  I saw a clown costume that used colourful kitchen scrubbers strung on cord to create the illusion of a ruffle and a witch’s hat makes any black dress into a witch costume.

I don’t think I’m dressing up this year as I have signed up for a Burlesque class on the 26th which is the Saturday closest to Halloween, but I have been keeping my eyes open for something cute or fun or sexy that I could use when fancy dress is next required.  I may just tuck some antennae away and a few bits and pieces for a Lady Bug costume or once I learn to skate I’m thinking Roller Derby Girl!

– the Goddess

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Diminishing Rewards At Penningtons

Today I got my Style Insiders card from Penningtons.

Pennington card

This replaced the old card that earned you a $25 reward “cheque” for I believe every $500 you spent in the Pennington stores.

If I am remembering those numbers correctly then the reward that you got was 5% of the money you spent at the store, before taxes of course.

Now Penningtons has a new reward program and according to the letter I got, for every dollar spent, again before taxes, you get 20 points.  The rewards break down like this:

At 5,000 points you get a $15 reward coupon

At 10,000 points you get a $20 reward coupon

And at 15,000 points you get a $25 reward coupon.

Now for a little math.  If you get 20 points per dollar then in order to earn 5,000 points you must spend $250.  If you receive a reward of $15 for every $250 you spend then that equates to a return of 6%. This is better than the old reward card and you can realize the reward sooner since you can cash in after spending $250 instead of $500.

If you save up 10,000 points you get a $20 reward which is a 4% return on your spending, and had you traded in at 5,000 points twice you would have saved $30 overall instead of $20.

The same holds true at the next level since for 15,000 points you could get 3 x $15 which would be $45 total as opposed to the $25 they are offering which is a return of only 3.3%,

The letter I got does say that there is “always more going on, especially when you get up to those higher levels”, but it doesn’t indicate what that means, nor is it apparent that there is any further financial incentive.

So assuming I have all of the information it appears that there is no incentive to earn more than 5000 points at a time, and in fact the longer you wait and the more points you earn, the less you can save.  It is nice to see that the new rewards are slightly better than the old system, but I can’t help feeling that they are actively trying to bamboozle us.  It’s almost as if they are counting on the stereotype that girls can’t do math.

Good things Goddesses can.

– the Goddess

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No Elephants, No Whales And Definitely No Doughnuts!

I have to admit I’m not familiar with Rebel Wilson’s work, but apparently she’s fat and funny and is now designing clothes.

I’m not sure if her new clothing line, if indeed two T shirt designs can be considered a line, is supposed to be funny or ironic or if she really thinks that a girl like me wants to walk around with doughnuts and cupcakes on my boobs.  (http://fatmandi.bigcartel.com/).  Not to mention that the sizing goes from 12 to 18 which is on the low end of the plus size range.  There are measurements given for width and length which may actually mean the shirts are bigger than the sizes would indicate, but I’m still not wearing them.

Image of Donut T-shirtImage of Cupcake T-shirt

I have no issue with Rebel Wilson, as I said I really don’t know who this person is except that she is famous and was apparently in the movie Bridesmaids, my issue is with the designers and manufacturers of plus size clothing in general.

I am comfortable enough with myself and my size that I have no problem being out in the world and living my life, however I am not about to paint a target on myself or draw undue attention to my size by wearing an elephant, or a whale or a manatee or any sort of food products on my clothing and yet all too often when I peruse the fat girl clothing stores I find such things on the shirts, dresses and jammies.  I’ll save my rant on plus sized “lingerie” which all too often in fat girl stores consists of flannel and knit night shirts or mens style pyjamas covered in bunnies, penguins and cats for another day and focus my attention on the plethora of bad choices one finds in plus size clothing. No doubt there are plus sized women out there who have no issue with wearing an elephant or a manatee t shirt, and I know my father was disappointed that I never wore the manatee earrings he got me in Florida or the pewter whale pin he bought me when I visited him in Halifax, but I just can’t do it. It is hard enough to find clothing that fits and flatters, to then embellish that clothing with animals which are often used as derogatory comparisons for example fat as a whale or big as an elephant is just unkind.

In the past plus sized clothing was targeted at middle age and elderly women and those of us who were fat teens suffered silently trying to figure out how to make blouses with elastic trim and polyester slacks look cool.  Let me save you the suspense – a teenager in that outfit better be wicked smart or wicked funny to be able to avoid being publicly ridiculed. Stores like Penningtons and more so Addition Elle are targeting younger shoppers, but Addition Elle only goes up to a 4x and their fashions tend to be a little too casual for a 9-5 corporate hipster like myself (ok ok the 9-5 part is true).  Penningtons fashions on the other hand are still a little bit mature overall, but there are some choices that are younger and their sizing goes up to 5x and even 6x in some styles.  The problem is that in order to find pieces that are in my size and cut for my shape and in colours and prints that are flattering, I have to spend an inordinate amount of time digging through racks of animal prints and animal motifs, especially elephants and giraffes for some reason.  Not to mention that every season has it’s fair share of tops and dresses which are covered in beads or sequins or both or for that special treat one can usually find at least one piece that has been “Bedazzled”.  I was tickled to find Catherine’s in the U. S. and I was able to find a number of tops and skirts that fit me and look good on me, but I still ended up buying three shirts that have some beading or bedazzling.  I refuse to wear sequins mostly because they seem scratchy and I have a possibly unfounded fear that they are all on one thread and that if one sequin comes loose then the rest will suddenly follow suit, but sometimes in order to find things that fit I must accept a certain amount of glitter and metal glued on my clothing. I’ve mentioned before that I have a lot of my clothing made.  Primarily this is because clothing that fits well is more attractive at any size, but there is the added bonus that nothing I have made has ever had animals, or sequins or any sort of metal or jewelled embellishment on it.

I’m not sure where the issue actually lies as it could be that the retailers are requesting this stuff, or the corporate buyers are looking for it, or the manufacturers and designers actually think that what they are offering is attractive, but I do know that there needs to be more fashions that are hip and current and made to fit fat girls in a flattering way and that covering them in “fat” animals is not the way to go.

– the Goddess

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