Tag Archives: body image

Bliss Fail. Dove Win.

Some days you see something that makes your blood boil. Then there are those days that something crosses your path that makes you think there are really smart people out there who get it.

This week I had both. I’ll start with the blood boiler. Waiting on line to pay at Sephora, I spotted this outrageous product line from Bliss. Fat Girl Sixpack?!! Are you kidding me?!

It made me sad because I happen to like this brand. I have been to their spas and bought some of their products. When they started, they were a brand that was focused on making women feel good, and good about themselves. They have lost their way.


At first I thought it was some sort of joke, like an SNL skit. I want to know what product team thought this up and in what universe all the sign-offs required to launch a product allowed this to happen. It is 2013, kiddies. Are we still doing this crap? Ummm… I guess that would be a yes. On their site they state:

to sculpt a six-pack, you need to exercise and eat healthy —but to help you in your quest for a covetable core, we developed this tummy-toning gel.

SERIOUSLY?! Shame on you, Bliss. Perhaps you should read these statistics on eating disorders. Maybe if you thought about the up to 24 million people in the US suffering from eating disorders, you might reconsider this thinking.

This makes me sad. On a monumental level. Are we still doing this crap?!! (sorry, I know I said that already) But I have spent 24 years raising a fabulous daughter. One of the few of her generation who has a really great relationship with food (when did that term start) and a healthy body image. She eats well, works out and I trust she would be as disgusted by this as I am. I simply do not understand why a solid, popular women’s brand would market such a thing. And sadly, it is on the best-seller page of their site. I cannot imagine why a woman would purchase this. I thought we were done with this nonsense.

Which leads me to my favorite brand campaign and renewed faith in smart marketing. Dove. They have been continuously committed to women’s self esteem. They are working towards lifting women up. Their latest campaign is real, moving and the sort of thing that women in 2013 should expect. It focuses on the difference between the way we see ourselves, and the way others see us. I cannot count the times I have told beautiful friends who are beating themselves up about aging that I wished they could see themselves as others do. This campaign illustrates that sentiment perfectly. This is a brand I can respect. And, btw, one I have used for most of my life.

Watch this, feel good and don’t let Bliss bring you down. It seems the over 21 million people who viewed this video just might agree.

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Filed under advertising

Time to Cry Tuesday – Brides with Feeding Tubes

This is usually a place where I write about poignant, touching moments in life. Today I am reserving my right to talk about something that disturbs and saddens me quite deeply.

I will put this on my list of Top 10 Most Disturbing Stories of the Year. Ok, I don’t have a list like that but I am going to start one. I will also include vaginal cosmetic surgery. You see where I am going.

Briefly, here is the story. Brides-to-be are turning to feeding tube diets, or the K-E diet, for rapid weight loss of 10-20 lbs. in 10 days in order to fit into their wedding gowns. Here’s a novel idea ladies: alter a wedding dress to fit you instead of altering you to fit a dress!

This diet involves inserting a nasogastric tube to ‘feed’ the woman  for 10 days; cutting the daily intake to 800 calories. It is described as a hunger-free form of dieting. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this INSANE?

What blows my mind is a 41-year-old woman, Jessica Shnaider, had no problem being featured in this NYT story and then again on most major TV morning news shows. Here are some quotes from this person:

“I don’t have all of the time on the planet just to focus an hour and a half a day to exercise so I came to the doctor, I saw the diet, and I said, ‘You know what? Why not?”

Yeh, I can see why walking around with a friggin’ tube in your nose and not eating for 10 days would be less of a hassle than exercising and healthy dieting!

And then there was this beauty of a soundbite:

“People think I’m sick, I’m dying,” said Ms. Schnaider, a watch wholesaler in Miami. She refrained from going into her daughters’ school. “The children, they would be scared,” she said.

The adults that she knew were not scared by this behavior? Let me think of one adult that should have been running to catch the next train out of crazy town – THE KNUCKLEHEAD WHO WAS ABOUT TO MARRY HER. And did you catch the fact that she has a daughter?! Is there any hope for this young girl?

What is so disturbing about this diet is the doctors who are willing do facilitate it. Is the $1,500 that much of an incentive in the days where health insurance has shaved down the profitability of a medical practice? Here is a quote from a doc who might think they are tempering this with some solid advice:

“I don’t want to tell a bride she shouldn’t look good for the wedding,” Dr. Aronne said. “But we tell them, ‘You can get to the same place if you started earlier, instead of waiting until the last minute and doing something drastic.’ ”

How responsible, doc. How about something we rarely hear these days… the word NO and a referral to a good therapist to work out these debilitating body image issues and help these women to start their marriages on a healthy note instead of sending them right down the road of serious problems.

I have both a son and a daughter. This story disturbs me on so many levels. I don’t know which would worry me more, my daughter wanting to do this or my son marrying someone who did. Imagine these women raising kids.

Let me remove my outrage for a moment and get down to why this has me so inflamed. I have watched too many woman fall down this hole. Not just young women, but those who are at an age where you would hope they would finally get over their value being tied to how thin they are. I can sadly say that I count more women of all ages in the category of poor relationships with food than not. The scary thing about this therapy is it could be argued that it is ‘healthier’ than most eating disorder related behaviors because at least there is an attempt at nutrition, it is doctor-supervised and it is only short term. How sad is that?

Some sobering statistics from The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. (please see this link for sources). I have picked only a few, but the ones that struck me as the most appalling.

  • Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness amongst adolescents
  • Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression
  • Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the US
  • Over one half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives
  • In a survey of 185 female students on a college campus, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight, and of the 83% that dieted for weight loss, 44% were of normal weight
  •  42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner and 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat

This last one saddened me the most. It is starting at such an early age. The little girl that dreams of her wedding day and then sticks a tube down her nose to lose weight could most likely have been carrying this baggage since she was 7 years old.

How do we stop this madness?

Here is a start. Anya Strzemien of Stylist wrote this fabulous post. Women and men alike, please make this required reading for you, your friends, your daughters and most importantly anyone you worry about regarding risky body image and eating issues. In short, Ms. Strzemien implemented a tip jar to fine anyone in the office who says something negative about their appearance. The fine is $1 for every negative comment someone makes, with proceeds going to Girls Inc, an organization that promotes self-esteem and leadership skills for young girls. She took it one step further and flipped the focus to a positive one by using the comments section of her post to ask readers to say something good about themselves. In return, the Huffington Post Media Group will donate $1 for every comment up to $5,000.

Let that be the kind of behavior we ask our daughters to imitate and leave the feeding tubes to the minority!


Filed under absurdities

I just think monsters are so interesting

This is one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons of all times.

And if you ever sleep over my house (no this is not an open invite) you might hear me quote the title of this post when I emerge from brushing my teeth first thing in the morning. I have extremely thick hair, and for some reason after a night’s sleep it has a tendency to take on the shape of the monster’s head.

Ok, not really sure why I shared that one, but hey, I know Jeanne is going to love this post because it was her favorite Bugs Bunny too (AND she has seen my hair like that but was too polite to mention it).

UPDATE: Could not resist kiddies. Since there are so many of you that seem to love this one (even quoting lines, Celia, very impressive). Enjoy Everyone!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, body image, humor, humor

Bags under my eyes and the spousal look of terror

I woke up this morning, looked in the mirror and noticed some not so attractive bags under my eyes.

That’s right.





I stared in that mirror and the first thought that came to my mind was, “Ok, Ms. age gracefully, never consider plastic surgery, stop trying to chase your youth, I would NEVER… how do you like them bags?”

Not to brag, but I have – by no doing of my own – been fortunate to inherit the beautiful skin that both of my grandmothers sported well into their 80s. That coupled with an extra XX lbs on my ass, has left my 50-year-old punim relatively line and bag free(ish). But last night I was having some sinus and ear issues (no doubt from all the flying I witnessed at the movie, Up in the Air) and when I woke up it all settled in those not so endearing bags under said eyes. Luckily they started to disappear as the day wore on.

I was on the couch with my daughter and asked her to take a look at me and see if she noticed them. Then Gary came in the room. He was leaning over the coffee table innocently placing clementines in a bowl when I asked him. “Hon, do you notice bags and dark circles under my eyes?”




Poor thing. He stood there half bent over the table, frozen in time. I could hear the inner workings of his mind, “How in hell am I supposed to answer this friggin’ question?” This, my friends, falls into the proverbial ‘does my ass look fat in this…’ question. The way in which the husband answers this question will change the entire architecture of his day, if not his whole weekend. And he is fully aware of that fact. Luckily for him I had mercy on that poor terrified look on his face and started to laugh.

I am happy to report that the bags have ‘resolved’ but left in their wake is a new found terror that I am not as void of vanity as I once believed. And Gary, he is just happy he did not have to answer that question.

(oh, and of course that picture at the top of the post is not ME!)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under body image, family, gary, humor, men and women, plastic surgery, women

Hairy Backs and Tattoos

With the rain finally gone I have been fortunate enough to have spent a good amount of time on the beaches in the past couple of weeks. As always there are plenty of hairy backs out there. The mangroomer should be doing a booming biz. 

If you will remember, I am both fascinated and aggravated by back hair. Some of these guys look like they are wearing sweaters. It must be awfully hot under there. Look at this guy, I think he is down by the ocean just to cool off. The spinal hair is particularly fascinating on this guy. Look at that dense patch down the middle. It almost looks like hairy vertebrae.


I have also noticed that there are way more tattoos this year. It seems everyone is sporting ink. And a lot of it is major. Saw some guy in Fire Island with full photorealistic portraits of his kids on his arm. I wonder if they will age as his skin sags.


This guy here had a wonderful combination of tats and the most bizarre body hair pattern I have ever seen. What is with that tuft of hair at the base of his spine crawling down his up way to high bathing suit. Eww! 

Again, we women are out there spending all kinds of money waxing, lasering, shaving, eppilating, dipilatoring our lives away and these guys just let the hair out of the bag and don’t think twice.

Who are the schmucks here?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under absurdities, body image, carry a camera, humor, men and women, photography

Turkey Neck?*


Another ridiculous ad from the same local paper that brought us Doodyman! But this one is more about crap than he was.

Anyone else find this ad offensive? Jeez, give me a break. Seriously, with all the money you guys are making here on the Gold Coast could you not pay for a better logo than the one you have? And while I am giving a critique, there is nothing worse than a medical practice with the suffix ‘tique’. Is this a doctor’s office or the makeup counter at Bloomies? They even have a ‘cosmetic coordinator’. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I must admit I was lured in by the question mark and asterisk in the headline. Draws you right into the definition and treatment for the ol’ turkey neck. So here are some of my thoughts (what, you were not expecting a list from me?)

1. sagging neck shows your age? Yeh, well if you already altered your face I guess so. When you fix the neck then what do you do about the hands?

2. Smartlipo?! TM no less, jeez!

3. Body-jet water assisted lipo? Why does this sound like a power enema to me?

4. SAVE THE TURKEY FOR THANKSGIVING. ENJOY THE FINEST TRIMMINGS TODAY! How the hell did the ad agency sell that line? 

Seriously, I find this so sad. Insulting and body-image-paranoia-focused advertising is such a low blow. What is the follow up headline going to be? Here are few thoughts:

Hey fat ass. Or maybe, Yo Hadassah Arms (that would be a combo street/yenta focused ad). Or why not go straight for the aging juggler: Who cares if you feel good, you look like crap.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against doing whatever rings your bell to make you feel better about yourself. But it feels like whores doctors who play this game are simply parasitic.

Enough for tonight. Hmmm, is it me or you guys craving a hot open turkey sandwich right about now?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, body image, health, humor, marketing, women

Would your man wear a mirdle?


I almost missed this one last week and then remembered something on twitter that mentioned the ‘mirdle’. Having a little time to myself on this fine Sunday I thought I would Google it and have a look see.

I have brought you a few other male foundation garments in the past. There were mantyhose, spanx-like pantyhose for men. And of course the ever popular mansierre.

This ‘mirdle’, or as the manufacturer, Equmen calls it, the ‘Core Precision Undershirt’ is quite the garment. Let’s see what they have to say about this baby:

Gently pulls the shoulders back while compressing the core. Targeted ventilation maximises breathability. Moisture-wicking action keeps you dry. Improves posture, supports core muscles, optimizes form, controls body temperature and visibly streamlines.

Hey, what doesn’t it do? Translation: makes fat guys buff. Check out the diagram:

singlet-catalogSeriously, this has way too many arrows. And honeslty, look at the picture above. Are we to believe that these guys get their shape from this undergarment. Why don’t they have a before and after pick of the fat schlub who is desperate enough  most inclined to purchase this item. Which, by the way is $99! Even the pricey bras don’t cost that much!

Here is something to think about. Are we, as a society, now leaning in a direction of manorexia? Is the obsession with thin now leaking over to what was once the more clueless sex. Think about it. All those years that the big fat guys would walk down the beach with their guts hanging out, are those days over?

Nah. I think, perhaps the mirdle just won’t make it. At least not at that price point.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under products, Uncategorized

Does this gum make my ass look big?

A friend once bought me this gum and I could not stop laughing. (thanks Cath). You can buy this gum here if you are so inclined, but that is not what this post is about.

As women we are always torturing ourselves about weight. For those who don’t know me, I try to balance my love of food, distaste for exercise (sorry Gary, but this is not news to you) and my desire to look good in a pair of jeans. Other stuff too, but jeans are what I wear the most. Weight is not a huge problem for me nor do I focus on it more than the next vain, aging woman. It is not necessarily a losing battle but lets just say I am still trying to drop the baby weight and my youngest is 16.

I have managed to successfully raise a daughter who has a pretty healthy attitude towards eating and body image. I attribute this less to what I have done but rather the luck of the draw and I thank my lucky stars every day for it. We try to stress healthy eating but the bombardment of media images, celebrity (anti)role models and peer pressure are some pretty serious bullets young girls have to dodge. 

All that preachy-shut-the-hell-up-and-let-us-watch-the-friggin-video-already stuff aside:

Watch this, and think about it. I, for one am thrilled that this was created by a sorority on a college campus. Of course I am late the party for the initiative that took place last week, but the sentiment is timeless.

Bloggers, if you want to post the original YouTube link you can get it here.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms where I discuss rabid soccer moms. And at 50-Something Moms Blog… Poor is the New Rich.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under body image, family, humor, parenting, teenagers, trends, women

Honey, am I as fat as this guy?

Honestly, how many of you ask this when you are sitting on the beach with your significant other? You are not all that confident with how it is all hanging and you need a barometer for what your body looks like out there. Yeh, right, we are too old for this behavior and way to secure. 

Or not.

So, someone is walking down the beach and you pull the headphones out of your mate’s ears and ask them if the guy/girl walking down the beach is fatter then you. We do this all the time. When will we grow out of body image obsessions? Oh right, when we are dead!

Back to the story. There I am, innocently reading my book on a beautiful Rhode Island beach on the most glorious day and I look up to see this rather large man looking out at the ocean. Now don’t think of this as mean, I for one can stand to lose a few myself. But I could not help but pull out my camera to capture his silhouette against the backdrop of the sea and sky. It was so perfect. The shapes, the color, the water, the foam of the waves…

and then who comes up right next to him and poses? Gary, of course. (no disrespect to this man, but he did kind of set himself up in front of my camera).

I love the scale in this image – and the matching color scheme of the bathing suits. Looks kind of like a fashion layout, doesn’t it?

Oh Gary, no worries, you are one svelte man for sure!

How could you not love a man that not only tolerates the fact that you are photographing everything in sight, but embraces your snap happy behavior and poses for you? It seems that he has begun to embrace the spirit of blogging.

Either that or it is just another survival technique for living with his resident lunatic.

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Filed under fashion, humor, travel, vacation, weight