Likely you’ve seen this by now, but the latest video which is part of Dove’s campaign focusing on “real beauty” is pretty powerful stuff. Apparently, the company’s research showed that only 4 percent of women consider themselves beautiful. That’s outrageous and sad – and I’m not being an overly generous pollyanna.
The problem is that women get caught in a vicious cycle. If we don’t believe we’re beautiful, we carry ourselves through the world with less confidence and that actually does impact the very things that make women beautiful: good posture, easy laughter, calm strength, breezy openness and contagious joy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are WAY harder on ourselves than others are – and it doesn’t work in our favor.
Leave it to the French to come up with the term “jolie-laide” – which translates as beautiful-ugly, meaning a woman who is pretty, but not conventionally so. The people who invented soignée, effortless chic have figured out that beauty takes many forms, and perfection is far from paramount. Jolie laide.
Watch Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches here.
Clockwise and completely bad ass and beautiful from the top: Rossy De Palma, Barbara Streisand, Frida Kahlo, Patti Smith, Lena Dunham
Previously on SB: Legs Astride Arms Akimbo
Adidas: All In for My Girls
Kudos to Adidas for launching this brilliant global girl-power campaign called all in for #mygirls. Adidas aims to give sporty girls all over the world a forum to cheer each other on and share their love of sports (and, of course, buy their shoes). Regardless, this is an example of how corporate profit can (and should) dovetail with social change.
A company who celebrates the pounding hearts, flicking ponytails, sweat, smiles, injuries, sacrifices and triumphs of girl athletes who “eat boyz for breakfast” is a company whose message I buy. And shoes too.
Enjoy and share it with a Spectacular Girl.
Previously on SB: SB Loves Healthy Bodies
SB Tunes: GIRLS by Santigold
Y’all know I’ve got a lot of love for both Santigold and Lena Dunham’s cringe-y, brilliant Girls. So, of course I’m a fan of this song and video off of the Girls’ soundtrack for this season.
It’s refreshing to see females portrayed as fun, diverse and real – dancing, goofing and playing as opposed to posing, preening and pouting. Silly and joyous versus sexy and sad. We need to see more of this in our media culture, so girls can be girls – no matter what age.
And Santigold’s red fur hat? Want it.
SB Loves: Decembeaver
A cheeky wink and middle finger to Movember.
The chicest accessory of all. Do it.
SB Tunes: The Boss
As you know, we la la love men here at SB headquarters. Anything that reminds our sweet brothers to get themselves checked out and helps our guys stay healthy and strong, is a cause dear to our hearts.
So, in honor of Movember, I’ve decided to throw a little love at the boys for this month’s SB tunes.
To start us out, a manly man. A real man. A man more than a little likely to convince me to hop in and cruise down Thunder Road.
You Don’t Own Me
By Lena Dunham, fearless princess of cringe comedy and life truth.
Hookers Sponsor Bankrupt Greek Soccer Team
If this isn’t a Hollywood movie waiting to happen, I don’t know what is. Two Greek brothels called Villa Erotica and Soula’s House of History are sponsoring the Voukefalas club team and in return, the soccer players wear the bordellos’ logos on their pink practice jerseys.
This is awesome. Madame Soula doesn’t need the advertising, she’s just doing it to save the team. “If we don’t help our athletes and scientists, where will we be?” she asks.
Can’t you just see it? The town’s beloved Voukefalas team has lost its funding and is on the brink of collapse. The citizens are in despair and the team crestfallen. Cut to the last home game, with many slow-mo close ups of handsome swarthy soccer players, looking morose and unshaven, but giving it their all. Pan to a bevy of fancy ladies cheering from the stands, clutching their hands to their heaving bosoms and wiping tears from their eyes.
Enter the saucy Soula – the madame with a heart of gold, a head for business and a yen for football. She puts aside her decades-old rivalry with the other big madame in town for the greater good and hatches a plan . . .
The rest, as they say, is history.
Happy National Voter Registration Day
Here’s the delightfully foulmouthed Sara Silverman putting in her two cents on voter registration. I love her, but I’d like to see her stop dressing like a ten year old boy. There comes a time when even the biggest tomboys need to step it up. Not that that’s relevant.
SB Mildy Tormented by: Tri-colored Zara Pump
I think this shoe is gorgeous. It’s bold and yet I can think of a million ways to wear it. The heel is high but not too high. It looks eminently wearable but I doubt I’ll indulge.
There’s the niggling issue of “fast fashion” being bad for labor, our environment and our closets. As much as I endorse mixing high and low and refusing to be a slave to high fashion labels, I am suspicious of trendy clothes that cost too little.
There is no free lunch, right? Clothes should not be disposable. Right?
If we know we need to pay more for sustainably raised beef and locally grown apples (and we DO), then why shouldn’t it be the same for clothes? Isn’t it better to invest in fewer clothes of better quality?
One would think. But then there’s that tiny issue of variety, of fun, of choice, of whim and whimsy. Must we be so earnest and serious about everything all the time? Oy.
And so these pretty shoes are a red, gold and black embodiment of that conundrum. Thoughts? Drop me a line.
They’re probably super uncomfortable anyway.
SB Loves A Peace Treaty
Ethnic or ethnic-inspired garb can be hard to pull off. Maybe I’ve been scarred by the itchy, smelly Guatemalan poncho I bought at that Dead show years ago, but whenever I wear something too beaded or colorfully threaded, I feel like a batty, bespectacled, flat-footed Latin studies professor out for a wild night on the town which begins with a Zulu dance performance at the student center and concludes with a medium vanilla frozen yogurt . . . at the student center. You know what I mean.
Until now. A Peace Treaty is a beautifully imagined project started by Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim, and Dana Arbib, a Lybian Jew in 2008. In their words, “A Peace Treaty is an evolving collection aimed at creating ethically-produced, artisan level accessories and apparel for the luxury fashion marketplace . . . A Peace Treaty creates employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife, effectively supporting their technique and craft while elevating their products to the level of high design for an exclusive and international fashion audience.”
So if preserving ancient metal working and textile techniques in danger of becoming extinct, and providing above fair trade wages, and lifting up women living in difficult situations weren’t enough, they are also bringing us gorgeous, reasonably priced pieces. Their scarves are bold and chic, as is their jewelry. I picked up these beauties recently and I’m smitten. I love a pointy dangler. AND they have a cool blog. Can you spell girl crush? G. I. R . . .
Kudos to you, Farah and Dana. Spectacular work, ladies.
R.I.P. Sally Ride
First woman in space and hero to little girls everywhere, Sally Ride died yesterday at age 61. Spectacular because of her brains, her bravery, her passion for teaching and her sense of adventure and wonder, this is the kind of woman that we should be celebrating as a society.
Dudes! She willingly let herself get shot into outer space. OUTER SPACE! It makes my heart pound just thinking about it.
In addition to being an astronaut and a physics professor at UC-San Diego, she founded Sally Ride Science, a company dedicated to motivating girls to pursue learning and careers in math, science and technology.
Read up on her staggering accomplishments and for a taste of what that Challenger flight in 1983 meant to her, in her own words, check this out.
Photo credit: National Archives
Public Service Campaign re: Side Boob
Summer is heating up and it’s high time we discuss side boob. There is A LOT of misinformation and confusion regarding side boob and before we delve into the intricacies of whether, how and why we need to discuss the what.
What you see above is NOT side boob. That is cleavage. Side boob only refers to the area on the (out)side of the boob. Not the inside. The internet is wrong. Do not listen to it. Listen to me.
Neither is side boob what you see below. That is simply posing topless, turning sideways and halfway covering/smushing the breast. I do not want to google side boob and see this. And also, when did Jennifer Anniston get those cans?
Class, I think we’ve made some real progress today and I’m exhausted. I’m going to put my feet up and rest my eyes. Tomorrow we press on.
SB Loves: Kissing Footballers
I suppose now I understand why guys enjoy watching girls kiss as they do. This anti-homophobia in soccer campaign by German gay advocacy group, Maneo, hits all the right notes for me. Mmm. I can’t help but wonder if there might not be room for one small SB to slither her way in there.
What? It could happen.
SB Loves: Healthy Bodies
Vogue editor and Spectacular Bitch, Anna Wintour, used her June letter from the editor to celebrate the fact that 18 other International Vogue editors have co-signed a letter that furthers the goals established by the CFDA in its 2007 Health Initiative, which were meant to turn the industry’s tide toward more healthy and realistic portrayals of beauty.
I think it’s a lovely sentiment, but query whether they’re making much progress as Wintour writes: “At Vogue we’ve just finished a commemorative book that will come out later this year to celebrate our 120th anniversary, and I was startled to see how many of the wonderful models we’ve worked with over the years—the super era included—would be considered far too big by today’s standards.”
The irony of rising obesity and rising incidence of eating disorders is a symptom of just how sick our cultural relationship to food has become. How can we be so obsessed and still be so fat? Or how can women look so great, but feel so shitty? Or how can young girls be trying to shrink when their bodies are supposed to grow?
It’s good that the fashion folks have acknowledged this issue, but we can hardly rely on an industry based on outward appearances to be the cure.
To my mind, being a Spectacular Bitch comes from the inside and simply manifests on the outside. It is about mojo. Swagger. Confidence. But that comes from feeling happy and whole. If I were the queen, I would decree a diet of books and sports for growing Spectacular Girls, because it’s about what we think and do, not about how we look.
Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue 2009
SB Loves Bob Marley
I do. His music feels as good as a cold beer, sun on bare shoulders and dancing in the sand. Slow and easy, now.
This documentary, by Kevin MacDonald, to be released later this month looks dynamite. And who doesn’t want to look at that face for an hour and a half.
Stir it up, little darling,
stir it up.
Message for the MPD of the District of Columbia
Eeek! George Clooney was arrested outside of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington for protesting Sudan’s blockage of food and aid to its starving citizenry.
Here’s a message for the D.C. Police from the SB:
1. Watch the face!
2. What’s with those cheap plastic cable ties? Would it have killed you to use a proper pair of handcuffs on George?
Photo credit: Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
Dessa Lays it Down
Ever wonder what female rappers think about all the” bitches and hos” languishing on the hoods of cars and behind the VIP ropes of a hip hop song?
Minneapolis-based essayist, rapper, and member and CEO of Doomtree, Dessa, writes a smart, incisive op. ed. piece that not only challenges the role of misogyny in rap music, but the presumption that you can’t be a real fan, without, at least, a tacit acceptance of the “rough talk.”
Poetic and fierce, as is her way, she lays it down: If your conscience wouldn’t let you say it, don’t buy it. Leave your wallet in your pocket and keep your money off a mic you wouldn’t put your mouth to.
photo credit: Kai Benson
Helping Motown’s Homeless
Here’s a little something from The New York Times to warm your cockles.
Fashion and design students in Detroit are using their talents and energy to create products that will help the swelling homeless population by both keeping them warm and giving them jobs.
Veronica Scott, a student from the College of Creative Studies, designed a brilliant parka that turns into a sleeping bag. She now has a factory in an abandoned warehouse in Detroit and industrial sewing machines thanks to Deaborn-based, work-clothing manufacturer Carhartt, Inc.
Others are making shoes out of old tires and survival bags that can be turned into waterproof boots. I’m so impressed.
And they say fashion-types are craven . . .
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