daphnep: (yarn (he)art)
( Feb. 12th, 2012 07:33 pm)

I keep seeing that video of Ellen DeGeneres making the rounds, responding to her detractors opposed to her deal with JCPenny.
(Here, if you've missed it.)

And every time I see it, it makes me happy. Mostly because to me, Ellen, and her sustained popularity, in particular, is one tangible sign that it really does, sometimes, "get better." I remember very clearly what a huge outcry there was when she first came out on her television show as a lesbian. I was in high school, in a small conservative town, and even though we all knew she was gay, it was an enormous thing when they made it a plot line and actually said it in so many words, on television. I remember kids talking about it in the lunchroom. And now, I can't begin to count the number of "out" celebrities and gay plot lines in t.v. shows, and every day it seems there's a new one, and I can note on my own personal timeline how much the universe has shifted, because I remember personally that time when it was radical that Ellen was gay. And she's still gay, and it's no longer radical, and the world has improved just that measurable amount, and I love Ellen, for being a measuring stick for that important change.

I love her for other reasons, too: She's funny, whether she's hosting an awards show, on her talk show, or being interviewed in magazines and on other shows. Or that video with Kristin Bell.

She makes me laugh. She makes me laugh in a belly-deep, chortling way that defies the conventional comic wisdom, that says that women can't be funny.

Also, I love that even though she's not conventionally cover-model-gorgeous, she's still won the cultural recognition of a "beautiful woman"--many particular honors that are normally reserved for a different, less interesting kind of face, like a makeup sponsorship deals (CoverGirl) and the covers of fashion magazines.

W magazine

And mostly, I just love that this supposedly "not funny" "not pretty" kick-ass gay woman is all over the place, still being hilarious and gorgeous and smart and in every way bad-ass.
daphnep: (big butt)
( Sep. 14th, 2011 11:10 pm)
Because the internet is my friend this evening, I present to you the earliest "Plus Sized" advertising in women's fashion, courtesy of Lane Bryant, the company that first brought us clothing to fit in larger sizes.

If you are not slender...

not slender

...or if you're downright stout...


Read more )
Every couple of years I read a story in a magazine or on a fashion website. The story goes like this:

So-and-so was a fashion model, and her career was going great, and then she started to put on weight, and her agency said "Oh, NO, So-and-so! You have to lose weight, or we can't send you on shoots anymore!" And So-and-so either a) tries to lose the weight and cannot, or b) is possessed of a rebellious streak and decides she doesn't want to lose the weight, and so she finds another Kinder, Gentler Modeling Agency where they are happy with her body just the way it is, and they name her a "Plus Sized Model" and send her on shoots for clothing for Big, Beautiful Women, and then she lives happily ever after, the end.

The only problem is that I swear I have read that same story about every two years all of my adult life, and every single time So-and-so is given a new name, and every single time, the author of the article writes it as if this is radical, new turf that has never been traveled before.

Last winter I read the book Hungry, the memoir of Crystal Renn, the latest So-and-so, and the whole time I was reading it, I was wracking my brain going "Where was the first time I read this? Who was the model the first time around?"

The first time, you see, is the one that makes the impression. The first time, I was younger, and I went "Oh, Plus Sized Models, you say?" and paid attention. And now, ever after, I read it and go "yeah, right: radical as ever, every single time it happens, over and over again." It happened most often during the Mode Magazine years, with Emme/Kate Dillon and all those other model defectors.

It bothered me that I couldn't find the original version, although I know she, too, surely isn't the "original", she was just her year's So-and-so, and the story's been retold ever since "Plus Sized" modeling began.

But at last, I have found my original:


From People Magazine archives, 1992.

Her name is Laina Pecora. Google shows me only modeling comp cards from 1982 and 1983. After that, she drifted back into obscurity--I can't even find a photo shoot of her, modeling fashion. Just this--this one article, filed in the endless databank of my brain, the one that set the standard for the plus-sized princess story.

Now, I want two more things: 1) pictures of Laina Pecora actually being a plus-sized model, and 2) So-and-so plus-sized hero stories from before Laina Pecora, going all the way back, to when it was called the "Chubby" division, etc.
daphnep: (fashion style)
( Mar. 27th, 2011 01:11 pm)

Christian LaCroix, 1994 (model: Shalom Harlow)

Christian LaCroix, 1994
(model: Shalom Harlow)
daphnep: (sewing)
( Sep. 21st, 2010 04:13 pm)
Okay, besides a memory chip to insert in my brain to enhance my knowledge base (and learn languages instantly) do you know what else I would like to see invented?

A way to attach a parcel of information to an image file that sticks with that file through uploading and downloading. Like a informational watermark, and I KNOW that there's already a way to do this, because in some programs, images from my digital camera are marked with the type of camera and a time/date stamp on it.

I'd like to have captions of images glued to those images, like what we call in the museum world the "tombstone": Artist, title, date, medium...and a way to edit it to add things like "originally posted at www.whatever.com, found via so-and-so at wherever blogger service, etc." I think that tumblr.com is doing something like this, and probably other sites, but it's not standardized. I try to save image files with some identifying title, but things always get lost in the renaming, and then when I want to post them or refer to them elsewhere, I can't remember where I got them, who the artist is, or why I saved it in the first place.

Then, if I try to upload it to sites like LJ and Ravelry, whatever helpful title I did manage to save it under gets deleted and it gets renamed as something decidedly UNhelpful, like aks900000000000475691212545akdaczcyz.jpg

Like this one. It's a perfectly nice picture of Marilyn Monroe, reading. I think I got it off a home decor site, looking for turquoise rooms. But I also look through vintage movie sites, and might have gotten it there, or looking for pictures of women reading...I'm not really sure. At any rate, I'd like to both know where it's from and credit who took it (and who put it on the internet.) But I saved it with some generic title like "Marilyn Reading". That helps nobody.

Pretty, though. It's a pity. My computers are full of stuff like this, unfiled, unsorted, uncredited.
It just seems like...something that should be posted on livejournal.

Edwige Fenech
Edwige Fenech

John Lennon
John Lennon

Lots more )

Norma Shearer

Louise Brooks

Jane Russell

daphnep: (Marilyn's Chihuahua)
( Jun. 1st, 2008 08:24 pm)
Happy birthday, Ms. Norma Jean:
title or description

I love this picture, she just looks *kissable*. Beautiful and fun and real, all at once, not the shellacked hard shell of glamour she became. Here, I think it's easy to see why she was a sex symbol.

It's funny, because the very thing she became famous for took away the warm, awkward individuality that made her so desirable in the first place.
daphnep: (tea)
( Jan. 31st, 2008 09:40 am)
To the beautiful woman in the coffeeshop this morning:

I noticed you right away. Just last night, I was blabbing once again about how I think laugh lines are the most attractive feature in either a man or a woman, because one obtains them not from genetics, but from living a good life. Laugh lines are the mark of a person who knows how to live well. You had great laugh lines. You also had shiny gray hair in a chic, stylish cut, and neat clothing, and were wearing lipstick.

I thought to myself, waiting in line for my coffee (large, room for cream), that you were exactly the type of older woman I'd see and admire on the Sartorialist's blog, those fabulous older women who are so stylish and wonderful. And here you were, right in my coffeeshop, looking gorgeous!

Imagine my surprise to overhear you telling your friends, animatedly, "There's this wonderful website called 'the sartorialist'..."

Don't you just love life's loopy synchronicities? I don't have to go online to find inspiring examples of women aging gracefully. Your beauty brightens my day.

Thank you,

daphnep: (reading)
( Dec. 18th, 2007 11:26 am)
I found a bunch of pretty girls that I haven't stuck up, here yet. Here you go...think of it as Christmas come early.

Cut for pictures: very, very tame, nothing more than knickers )
For anyone who likes pinup art, or just needs a chuckle today, this is a must-see:

Art Frahm: a study of the effects of celery on loose elastic.

(Scroll down, the "next" tab will take you all the way through).
daphnep: (Default)
( Sep. 5th, 2007 09:46 am)
Blah. Today is officially Blah.
To make it less Blah, I will stick a photo on it. Here's one that keeps me looking in fourteen different ways:

title or description
daphnep: (red)
( Apr. 27th, 2007 02:43 pm)
Since spring is here (or, depending on where you are, right around the corner) and women in bathing suits make everyone smile:

by Tony Frissell



daphnep: (Default)


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