Thursday, October 22, 2009

Modern Beauty

Thank goodness for fashion designers. If it weren't for them, we women would not be able to decide for ourselves what constitutes an acceptable level of beauty.

Take, for example, American designer and horse fancier Ralph Lauren.

Mr. Lauren has influenced a generation of fashion for Americans whose jaws don't move when they speak. To this end, he has crafted a unique brand based on:

  • Embroidered polo players
  • Eye-wateringly masculine scents
  • Shirts you could get at Wal-Mart for $10 that he sells for $450. Only the Wal-Mart ones come in colors you can wear, as opposed to soft, feminine pastels. Sven, despite my urging, adamantly refuses to wear anything in a shade of tangerine, lime, salmon, or aubergine. Mr. Lauren, if you want my Sven's business, stick to "man colors:" charcoal, navy, maroon, and dead-whale grey. The occasional royal blue or forest green may make an occasional cameo, but let's not get crazy, okay?
Anyway, as a "man of the people," Mr. Lauren has taken upon himself the task of defining beauty for the American woman. And here it is:

"Wait, Deb," you may be saying, "do my eyes deceive me, or is her head larger than her pelvis?"

Your eyes don't lie. This photo was used in a Ralph Lauren print campaign and caused quite a stir. Not, surprisingly, because she looks so fit, but because she looks so fake.

After attempting to stop anyone from critiquing the photo through legal means, RL pulled it and apologized for his Photoshop fakery.

But who can blame him? When a model lets herself go, you have to employ the Photoshop, or else risk having a model who looks like this:

Yes, that is the model, Fillipa Hamilton, in her unretouched state. Bovine, isn't she? Come on, at 5'8" and 120 pounds, Ms. Hamilton is the whale of the modeling world. Probably why RL fired her.

Yes, after the controversy over the Photoshop catastrophe, Mr. Lauren decided that Ms. Hamilton was not Ralph Lauren material. Come on, people, she has a waist! Mr. Lauren's got his priorities straight. Lesson learned.


I guess it wasn't Ms. Hamilton's fault. Because here is the unretouched version of the above photo:

Is it just me, or is this model already gaunt enough to qualify for beauty? Why mess with that?

Mr. Lauren, obviously, is the only visionary bold enough to accept the next incarnation of American fashion: beauty will now not only be unattainable, it will be physically impossible.

In Mr. Lauren's future, to be beautiful you must have a pelvis smaller than an average-sized grapefruit, a head larger than a Thanksgiving turkey, and fingers that have at least four knuckles each. His fashion shows will take place on a virtual runway and feature animated holographic models displaying the fashion none of us could ever wear.

Alas, RL's bold vision seems self-defeating. But that's the boldness! I admire someone who is willing to degrade and insult his consumers, all for the sake of his own idealized vision.

Now, to do something about that awful cologne...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inside My Head: Glee

Mr. Scheuster: Okay, kids, listen up. Today we have a special guest artist. I had a crush on her our senior year of high school, but she never gave me the time of day.

Puck: Bitter much?

Finn: Come on, you guys, we have to work together to make Glee a part of our lives and my girlfriend Quinn is pregnant!

Rachel: Oh, Finn...I love you.

Mr. Scheuster: Quiet, guys. This is serious. Our guest artist this week is here to teach you what Glee is really about. Please welcome Deb.

Deb: Whaddup.

Kurt: What can she teach us? She's a natural brunette.

Deb: Shut your pie-hole, you.

Kurt: Yes, Ma'am.

Sue: I think I love you.

Deb: (to Sue) You too, Windbreaker. (to the kids) Glee isn't about lip-syncing to awesomely crafted arrangements of utterly inappropriate material. Glee is about finding your inner Broadway star.

Quinn: Broadway? Please, so lame.

Deb: No, what's lame is using the word "lame" when no one has ever seen you wear anything other than a cheerleading outfit. (to Mr. Scheuster:) Your wife isn't really pregnant. There, I've said it. Go marry the counselor, please, so we can get on with rehearsal.

Mr. Scheuster: Okie dokie. (exits)

Deb: Now let's get down to it. This is real Glee club, everyone: hats and canes, get in formation for "One" from A Chorus Line.

Kurt: Yes!

Deb: Another word out of you, and we're doing Cats next.

Kurt: (silent but adoring)


Monday, October 19, 2009

In My Head: Top Chef

Padma: Chefs, today's Elimination Challenge was to create a sophisticated entree that could also be served as an amuse-bouche. You were told to bring your entree to an undisclosed location that we frankly discussed as though it was a secret bomb shelter type bunker, but was actually some lame pseudo celebrity hosted dinner party. You know your judges. You had our least favorite dishes. Deb, let's start with you.

Deb: Okie-dokie.

Tom: Deb, can you describe the dish?

Deb: I started with a really delicate white tuna that I marinated in spring water, then added green peas and mushrooms, a mushroom sauce, and hearty pasta.

Tom: It was tuna fish casserole.

Deb: Yep.

Padma: Are you aware, Deb, that I found an eggshell in my portion?

Deb: Then you win the prize!

Padma: (Looks severely beautiful and unamused)

Tom: Deb, I get that you do comfort food, but this is the eighth time you've been on the bottom. Frankly, I thought we should have sent you home last week for the Chef Boy-ar-Dee ravioli dish.

Deb: I know, right?

Gail: Since you've been here, you've made a ham sandwich, macaroni and cheese, and a Stouffer's lasagne that was still frozen in the middle. I'm starting to doubt that you're Top Chef Material.

Tom: Though you really shined in the Cheez-Whiz challenge, I'm afraid your time has come.

(Dramatic pause while music plays.)

Padma: Deb, please pack your knives and go.

Deb: Knives?