That new Dove sketch artist campaign…

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A screenshot from the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” video.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you can see it here.

Quite a few of my friends shared this campaign on their Facebook pages. I didn’t watch it immediately, but I read enough about it get the basic idea: a police sketch artist draws a woman as she describes herself, and then as a stranger describes her, and that lo and behold, the strangers give the more flattering description.  Read the rest of this entry

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A new kind of scale

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I went to a clothing swap on Thursday, and among the skirts and pants and accessories, someone dontated a scale. I’m not sure which of the ladies brought the scale, or why she no longer needed/wanted it (got a new one, decided to judge herself on how her clothes fit, etc.). 

I do know that the girl who decided to take it home bravely got on the scale in front of the end-of-party crowd. She was the tiniest among us, so it may not have been that brave, but the hostess still made a comment about setting it 10 pounds lower. I made a comment, inspired by the Special K commercials, on the need for a scale that just talks instead of giving a number. Maybe if someone got on and had gained a few pounds, it would say “Lookin’ curvy!” 

*As I’m writing this, I’m realizing what we really need is a combination of the friendly scale, and another creation I’ve been thinking about for a few years, a mirror that speaks to people in the voice of Carmindy from “What Not to Wear.” If it had a way to scan your body, it could say things like “Your arms look great!” or “Have you been doing lunges? Your butt looks higher!” Or if you gained a couple pounds, it could say “You should wear that dress with the great neckline!” And then, of course, because it was Carmindy narrating, she’d also tell you how beautiful you are every day. Who doesn’t need that?

Human Barbies

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Well, now, this is just crazy:

Valeria Lukyanova, the Ukrainian woman who supposedly turned herself into a Barbie doll. Photo from "Good Morning America."

In the “Good Morning America” report, Mikaela Conley tries to find out how much plastic surgery (or Photoshop) would go into turning a woman into a Barbie doll. Read the rest of this entry

Christina Aguilera, looking as gorgeous as her voice

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I’m a sucker for a good makeover. I missed “The Voice” last night, but heard through the Book of Faces that Xtina, who went to high school in a city not far from my hometown, looked the best she’s looked in quite some time. I wholeheartedly agree. Whoever was responsible for this deserves a big, big raise. Here, a before and after: 

Nothing more to add, just almost brought a tear to my eye.

Photo courtesy of People StyleWatch.

Can’t we all just get along?

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Samantha Brick, Kelly LeBrock - don't hate anyone because she's beautiful.

I happened upon an article on British writer Samantha Brick while looking for one on Photoshopping.

Brick wrote an essay lamenting the trials and tribulations of being a beautiful woman. Apparently, men randomly gift her with items (bottles of Champagne, train tickets) after being overwhelmed by her beauty. That sounds terrible.

All joking aside, she said she’s also been kept from promotions when working for jealous female bosses; she’s never been asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding (although I’m not sure I see a negative here; I was in my best friend’s wedding, and as much as I love her usual style, the dress I wore as a bridesmade, I was not in love with).  Read the rest of this entry

Men in shapewear… oh dear

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Photo courtesy of zippycart.com

A big deal was made when Sara Blakely, 41, the creator of Spanx, was named the youngest, female self-made billionaire ever on the Forbes list. Blakely built her empire based on a pair of footless tights she perfected in her Decatur, Ga., apartment.

The company has grown through great word of mouth — recent Oscar winner Octavia Spencer claimed to be wearing three pairs of the shapers at the Golden Globes ceremony this year.

But women have a long history of suffering for beauty – squeezing into girdles, push-up bras and high heels. We’ll torture ourselves if we think it’ll make a dress look better.

Men, however, are known for being proud of their beer bellies, for walking around without shirts, sometimes going “commando.” Yet Spanx for Men debuted in February 2010, following a British line, Equmen, which introduced control undershirts in 2009. Inspired, coincidentally, by Blakely’s creation. The line claims to do for men’s chests what Spanx do for women’s thighs.

According to a May 2010 New York Times article, once control pieces were available for men, they flew off the shelves of stores like Nordstrom and Niemen Marcus.

Which is a nice idea, but who’s buying them? Not the guys who buy their underwear at Kohl’s or Sears – neither of which carry shape wear for men. Sales associates in the men’s departments of said stores at the Rego Park said not only do their stores not carry men’s shapers, men don’t ask for them, either. Read the rest of this entry

How to work a swimsuit if you haven’t been working out

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Zack Galifianakis working his curves in the November 2010 Vanity Fair. Photo borrowed from the blog "Beauty and the Beach."

It’s spring break time for college students (and their teachers) across the country, and most designers and stores have rolled out their resort collections to graciously help the packing process.

Which means swimsuit season, that lovely time of year when we start packing away our (smoothing) tights, stop wearing layers and actually show our figures, is upon us. It unfortunately follows a time of year that usually involves sitting under blankets and eating comfort food. The idea of walking around practically naked can be daunting.

But even if you “forgot” to start working out before jetting off on a tropical vacation, there’s no reason to be self-conscious the whole time you’re at the beach – you probably won’t have any fun, but you will probably get weird tan lines.

In the spirit of having the best time possible, some tips to help you take off the sarong and flaunt what you’ve got: Read the rest of this entry