Tag Archives: fashion

On body image, sports, and fashion

WARNING:  This is likely to be a rambling and disjointed post.  Lots of stuff jumbling around in my head and I feel the need to get it out, but it might not be as cohesive as I’d like. [oh, and this has been in draft form for over a week… oops!]

I’ve been thinking a lot about body image lately.  Much of my thinking was sparked by this post from Jane which links to another post where a “bigger” girl was bullied online for wearing leggings.   As I’ve already established, I refuse to wear leggings.  But that’s not the point.   The point is that for the first time in, well, ever… I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin.

There are a variety of reasons for this (I’m at a comfortable weight, my boyfriend loves my curves, I’m secure enough to not want to be stick thin), but I think the biggest contributing factor is my participation in sports.  Through running and roller derby, I’ve learned to appreciate my body more as a tool and less as an object.  Not exactly a ground-breaking revelation, but still significant to me personally.

As much as sports have helped me feel comfortable with myself, it’s interesting to me how many *other* people assume that my running (and–to a lesser extent–derby) is about weight loss.   As if there is no reason–other than “looking good” — to maintain an active lifestyle.

People are always shocked when I tell them that I’m not running to lose weight.  Yes, I could stand to lose a couple of pounds… and it would certainly help my finishing times, but that’s really not why I run.   I run for the accomplishment, for the feeling of pushing myself towards a goal.  If it helps me look better in my jeans, great… but that’s not really the point.   I lost a whopping 2 lbs during my half-marathon training.  When I told someone this, they said: ‘well, it’s better than nothing.”

It’s also interesting to me how many people commented on how I *looked* after my half-marathon and not how I did.    I’m not one to turn down a compliment, and I really did look better than I performed, but I worry about people’s perceptions of me.   I finished that race feeling strong and confident and athletic… and I get “you look great.”   There’s deeper meaning  to unpack here, but I’m not sure I know where to start.

While thinking about all of this, I posted a question on facebook.  I asked my fb friends to name the compliment (physical or otherwise) they get most often.  Some of them happily played along while others made jokes.  One girl even said: “my legs and my hair– why do I feel weird saying that?”  We feel weird saying that because, as women (most of my respondents to my informal poll were women), we’re taught to be shameful of our bodies and to not “brag” about ourselves.  Note that I didn’t ask what people liked most about themselves… just what other people tell them about themselves.

Which brings me to the “fashion” part of this post.  The ladies over at academicchic are hosting Dress Your Best Week, which encourages people to dress to highlight a favorite body part.    They contend that we often dress to “hide” parts of our bodies that we find less-than-desirable, but we need to do more to flaunt those that we like.   To participate, I had to name 5 body parts I would like to highlight.    I apparently can’t follow directions, so I chose:  breasts, shoulders, and skin.

This week has completely gotten away from me, but look for a Foto Friday post highlighting at least one of my best features.

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Carich Likes/Dislikes

LIKES . . .

DISLIKES . . .

Modern Family, Better Off Ted, The Big Bang Theory American Idol, Jersey Shore, Grey’s Anatomy*
Being home to make dinner every night Working out at 5 a.m., cleaning up from dinner
My Real Friends Facebook-only “friends”
Working out at the gym—yes, even the treadmill! Being sore from working out 4 days in a row
Sleeping Work
Sporcle, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Scramble Facebook “games,” Xbox 360 shoot-em-up games
Blog lurking Blog writing
My incredibly unfashionable snow boots, striped purple cardigan, oversized hoodies, and wooly red socks Just about every other item of clothing in my closet
Warmer weather, no snow Rain (and corresponding headaches)

*to be fair, I’ve only watched 1-2 episodes of each of these shows… but enough to know I don’t get what the fuss is about!

Foto Friday: I really love my… white sunglasses

In looking for something to post this week, I realized that I’m a HUGE fan of my white sunglasses.   As you may remember from this post, “I really love my…” is a feature in some dumb magazine that I like to replicate from time to time.

Without further adieu, the life and times of my fave white sunglasses:

July 2009, Cubs/Cards game, Chicago

July 2009, Cubs/Cards game, Chicago

June 2009, Cubs/Reds game, Cinci

June 2009, Cubs/Reds game, Cinci

July 2006, Jamaica... after waaayyy too many rum runners!

July 2006, Jamaica... after waaayyy too many rum runners!

Yep, they’re *that* old.   They now have paint specs all over them.  Might be time for a new pair.

Foto Friday: I really love my . . . GAP coat

In one of the “Hollywood” magazines I read, they have a feature called “I really love my…”  where they show pictures of celebrities who (gasp!) allow themselves to be photographed wearing the same clothes/shoes/accessories on different occasions.

I’m clearly not a celebrity (nor do I have a celebrity-sized wardrobe), but here’s how I imagine such a feature would read:

I Really Love My . . .  Kelly Green GAP Coat

At Guidos--LAST year

Carich @ Guido's, Champaign--January 2008

 

Tumble Inn, Champaign-- January 2008Tumble Inn, Champaign– January 2008

 

At Rocks in Champaign, January 2009

Rock's, Champaign-- January 2009

Me, Jo, Ron in front of the skating rink at Millenium Park

Millenium Park, Chicago-- February 2009

I really do love that coat.  I saw it in a store window in NYC last November and asked for it for Christmas. (Granted, the store was a GAP, which takes away from the NYC cache a bit, but made for a MUCH easier Christmas gift.)   When I opened the box Christmas morning I think I squealed a little.

I’m sure I’ll look back at these pictures in 10 or 15 years and cringe at my poor fashion choices, but I LOVE IT damn it.   Happy Friday!

Emmy Recap

Congratulations!  Mad Men won for Best Drama and Best Writing.  Yet another reason to start watching.  Like, now!  

Fashion

I actually took notes on the fashions, but there wasn’t really much to say.  Everyone pretty much played it safe.  The only looks I hated were Jennifer Love Hewett, Eva Longoria, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, but even they weren’t really *that* bad.  (I can’t even find a pic of JLD)

   

Whatever happened to the days when celebrities dressed up as swans or wore dresses made out of gold cards?  

My favorite moments:

Tina Fey’s multiple wins. . . and her exchange with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet:

Tina: Thanks for not asking me about Sarah Palin
Ryan: Oh, I was told not to
Tina:  Really?  Well, thanks…
Ryan:  So… have you talked to her?
Tina:  No (visibly uncomfortable)
Ryan: Would you? Like, would you have a drink with her?
Tina:  Well, maybe if she’s free in November. Maybe then I’d have a drink with her.
Ryan: (oblivious to the “free in November” reference) HA HA.  Great talking to you.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ryan Seacrest is a total douche.  The interview was uncomfortable hilarity at it’s best. I can’t find this on YouTube yet, but I’ll put it up when/if I do.

Josh Grobin’s Tribute to TV theme songs

 

It was great in a schmaltzy cruise-ship kind of way!

Anything with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert

They both won, which was good. And they were gracious and funny towards one another.  My fave lines:

Stephen:  And I really want to thank Jon Stewart.  But he won’t let me.  Seriously, man, change your mind!

Jon: I’m looking forward to the next administration, whoever it is. I’ve got nothing else. I’m really looking forward to the next administration, whoever it is.

Old.. I mean REALLY OLD stars

As cheesy as it was, it was kinda nice to see some of the old-school TV stars there.

I was especially impressed with the honorary Emmy they gave to Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers.  He voluntarily left himself off the list of writers back in the 60s because his material was too controversial.  His writing staff (including Steve Martin) won that year, so they decided to award him a “commemorative” Emmy this year.

It was also fun to see Betty White.  And Don Rickles w/Kathy Griffin.  And the Laugh-in thing.  Kinda cheesy, but also kinda fun.  Way better than the “bits” the hosts did. What was up with Jeff Probst and that Dragnet costume? Lame-O!

Other than that, it was your run-of-the-mill boring Award show. I don’t even watch half of the shows that are nominated.  Lost was completely shut out and I really, really, really wish that Jon Hamm would’ve won in the Best Actor category. 

In Other TV News…

I also watched Entourage and America’s Next Top Model during the Emmys.  Entourage was better than it’s been in a *long* time.  The scene with Ari and the cops had me laughing out loud and I actually cheered when Ari bitch-slapped Davies.

I was kinda bummed that Jeremy Piven won again at the Emmy’s, but the Ari-centered episodes really are the best.

ANTM was just okay:  Makeover challenge, make-up challenge and swimsuit photo shoot. We’ve seen it all before.  It was sorta interesting to watch Isis, the tranny model, try to “work” her bikini though.

Watch Mad Men.  Do it!

Website Wednesday: Zappos.com

Let the gimmicks continue… In addition to Foto Friday I’ve decided to start a regular feature called Website Wednesday.   Website Wednesdays are intended to introduce you to my favorite websites/time-suck activities.

My original intent was to feature only non-commercial sites and sites you may not have heard of.  But for my inaugural post I can’t help raving about zappos.com.

Zappos is an online shoe retailer.  Yeah, they sell other stuff, but they’re famous for their shoes (zapatos is Spanish for shoes, after all).  I love this site for a number of reasons:

1) Huge selection/easy searching

I was recently looking for a pair of size 7 silver heels for an upcoming wedding.   Instead of searching through thousands and thousands of shoes, I just put in my search criteria and voila… the perfect shoes:

Cute, no?

Cute, no?

You can also search  type of shoes (casual, dressy, sandals, boots), width, and price.

2) FREE, fast shipping– both ways!

One of the biggest gripes about online shopping is having to pay for shipping, and having to return things if you don’t like them.  Zappos gets around this by offering free shipping–both ways!  And the return process is a breeze.

Even more impressive is that they always “upgrade” your shipping.  I ordered shoes on Sunday and they were there on Tuesday.  

3) It’s a cool company, too

Everything you read about Zappos makes it sound like a really great place to work.  Their CEO has a Twitter feed, they pay new employees to quit if they’re not a good fit, they have a “culture manual,”  and they’re located in Vegas!   I really admire companies that seem to have their stuff together–both for their customers and their employess.

Plus, did I mention the cute shoes?

Randomness, for sure

I know I need to write or else my blog stats go WAY down (and by WAY down I mean from super low to non-existant), and I don’t feel like actually WRITING anything interesting, so here’s a random sampling of my thoughts for the day.

1) Walked after work. Didn’t really get much of a workout, but I was walking with a friend, so it was fun. Then I ate dinner. Since I didn’t REALLY work out, I was hungry. Usually working out kills my appetite and I can skip dinner. Not tonight. Will have to work out extra hard.

2) I’ve been driving a lot lately and I’ve noticed a couple of things: a) Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits gets played a LOT. I like the song, but I SERIOUSLY heard it 3 or 4 times in a 2 hour timespan on Sunday.

You know what else gets played a LOT? Nirvana. It’s ALWAYS on the radio. And the classic rock stations. Kurt Cobain died 14 years ago and his songs are still in rotation on the rock and “alternative” stations. Unbelievable. Unlike Sultans of Swing I think this is warranted. And a testament to the staying power of Kurt’s music

3) In other 90’s-related news (kinda)– I’ve noticed a resurgence of guys wearing serapes. You know, those woven quasi-Mexican/Guatemalan blanket things. Kinda like half blanket/half poncho? Stoner guys used to wear them in high school and they seem to have made a comeback. And by comeback I mean I saw 2 people wearing them. Today.

And it was kinda nice out. Hmmm… I can’t find a good picture, but I’ll keep looking.