Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Friday, March 25, 2005

If I hear the phrase 'feeding tube' one more time ...

I've avoided this topic in the past few weeks because the air is so thick with rhetoric I've been choking. There's clearly nothing new to say on living wills (except get one now), persistent vegetative states, the spontaneous passing of willfully unconstitutional legislation at the national and state levels, and the visibly painful decline of the Pope. Much of the nation and the world isn't listening anyway, transfixed by the shiny spotlight on one family's personal tragedy while issues that really involve the public as a whole fall by the wayside.
But it seems to this girl, that, while it's important to fight to live when there's a reasonable chance of recovery, when you're young, for the sake of your family and those who love you, that the most loving and wisest thing we can do is to let go with grace and dignity and acceptance. And while I know that these three qualities are seldom found in modern life, I'm going to keep looking for them, if only because no one else seems to be.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Kinsey Response

Admitting you're wrong in print?! Not testosteronic at all. MK just moved up in my Boys II Men roster (don't think you'll ever hear me reference that group again). Almost the entire column is below:
When the New York Times anointed Maureen Dowd as a columnist nine years ago, I gave her some terrible advice. I said, "You've got to write boy stuff. The future of NATO, campaign spending reform. Throw weights. Otherwise, they won't take you seriously." (...) Dowd wisely ignored me and proceeded to reinvent the political column as a comedy of manners and a running commentary on the psychopathologies of power. It is the first real innovation in this tired literary form since Walter Lippmann. (...) Dowd is different, and she is the most influential columnist of our time. (...) Did it have to be a girl? Or could a boy have built an op-ed career out of feelings and motives and all that ick? (...) In the op-ed controversy, talk of innate differences between men and women is not merely permissible, it is the very justification offered by some women (and deeply resented by others) for demanding more women's bylines. Dowd declares a girlish reluctance to be mean, which she says she overcame, but she urges her sisters to play the boys' game with the boys. The linguist Deborah Tannen (...) says women shouldn't have to adapt to the peacocky political culture created by men; the culture should learn from and adapt to women. Meanwhile Dahlia Lithwick, writing in Slate, observes that this discussion has been all-girls so far, and she demands that the boys jump right in. This is a terrifying invitation. Even the most testosteronic male commentator might be excused for deciding that developments in Uzbekistan really require his insights this week. (...) there cannot be many places where "diversity" is less a euphemism for reverse discrimination and more a common-sense business requirement than on a newspaper op-ed page. Diversity of voices, experiences and sensibilities is not about fairness to writers. It is about serving up a good meal for readers. Sure, it's possible that a man might have come up with the Maureen Dowd formula (...) but (...) diversity in the traditional categories of ethnicity and gender is a sensible, efficient shortcut. Everyone involved should be trying harder, including me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Vicente Fox - no puns allowed

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Possibly the best looking man ever elected to National office? I'm struggling to thing of anyone else this good looking running an entire country. Some have offered up Jack Kennedy. Che, but he was a rebel, not a Head of State. I wonder if it's easier to hear the usual political bull from an unusually attractive countenance.

Remember Prozac Nation?

Slate reviews the long awaited release - fav quote du jour in special colour below:

For all the drama around its long-delayed release, Prozac Nation is not all that terrible a movie. It's certainly no worse than Sylvia, another recent film about a depressed writer-lady, in which Gwyneth Paltrow played a doomed (yet curiously radiant! And WASP-ily indomitable!) Sylvia Plath. Unlike Paltrow's, Ricci's performance has nothing self-congratulatory or softening about it. Her Lizzie Wurtzel isn't a "difficult woman" (to crib from Bitch's euphemistic subtitle) – she's a total f***ing bitch. Maybe even a c**t, or a t**t. Oblivious to the mere concept of other people's existence, she lies, whines, pouts, and rages, all the while hoovering down drugs and male attention with equal voraciousness. Seconds after hurling herself sobbing into the arms of her immature but loving mother (the eternally compelling Jessica Lange), she's pulling away to shriek, "I'm not your goddamn monkey!" at earsplitting volume. After casually seducing the boyfriend of her inexplicably patient college roommate, Ruby (Michelle Williams), La Lizzie offers an excuse for the ages: "It was, um, an accidental blowjob?"

Not the one you thought I'd like, was it?

Not everything is about turning 40, ladies

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us I'm not there yet, but PHLEEZE. Roxanne Roberts at The Post has decided that The Gap hates "older women" because they didn't renew Sarah Jessica Parker's contract, and are replacing her with 17 year old Joss Stone. Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us This is the story idea of either a 30 year old man who's intimidated by successful women or a woman insecure in her own age and attributes. Who are we kidding? They signed the woman formerly known as Carrie Image Hosted by ImageShack.us to the first multi-season contract ever, and now that it's over, they're moving on. I always found it a little difficult to believe that SJP would be caught dead in Gap wear. And I think that while many women may Gap for basics and affordable maternity wear, aren't really getting their sequined scarves and shearling bags there. That's where, surprise, the 12-22 year old set shops. And SJP isn't going to appeal to that age group with all of their disposable income, nor does she need the money. Welcome to the world of business and advertising, are you new?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Strange Love

The NYT featured two pieces on modern love that caught my attention this weekend, each surreal in their own way, and I'm starting with the good news. The first was in Weddings & Celebrations, the story of a couple who recognized love when they saw it, fortunate souls, and embraced it with alacrity and courage despite the obstacles that might have scared others away. FabGirl salutes you.

The other is almost exactly the opposite and more in the /too much information-slash-write what you know but maybe don't submit it to the paper of record/ vein of journalism. A woman, engaged and pregnant, with her fiancé on the opposite coast, enters into a local relationship with many of the same attributes of a "normal" relationship - dinners out, home repairs, communication breakdowns and make-ups. Not entirely surprisingly, Local quickly falls into the hitherto unknown (to me) category of "More than a Fill-In Boyfriend," as our author realizes that she "would have said we were falling in love, but it wasn't an appropriate time for me to be falling in love" (italics are mine). Confessional anyone?

There are fascinating, human doings afoot here. There's an apparent absence of intentionality on the part of our author or the FIB (natch), as in, oops, look at this relationship that has thrust itself upon us. I'm not saying that love is predictable/controllable/observant of circumstances, but there are giant shared blinders being worn here (where are the Stones when you need them - you can't always get what you want, anyone?). The lack of restraint/fairness/honesty between the two main players, never mind toward the far-off fiancé (who apparently still doesn't know what's going on, unless he read the Times yesterday), is audacious and doesn't bode particularly well for the local "relationship." If our author had really wanted to be with the fiancé, wouldn't she have been with him in the first place, and not across the country, pregnancy or no? Her explanation is that they're putting her career first, which then makes it a little hard to explain all the angst. If her career comes first, they've already made that choice, haven't they?

If the shoe were on the other foot, and her fiancé had a Fill-In Girlfriend (tee hee, FIG), well, never mind the bad, bad words we have for those women, ladies, or for the men either. She says it herself, "If my fiancé were hanging out in his city with a cute single woman, I would have killed him." Is the FIB just a glutton for punishment? I'm not sure how this is a) fun for him or b) anything other than an exercise in killing time. Our author makes no bones about her eventual return to the fiancé (although that relationship isn't exactly a fairytale either), and if he's making grand gestures, she doesn't tell. Perhaps they both just enjoy the drama of it all. Ultimately, it doesn't seem that either relationship is really worth having, and that just makes me sad, especially for her baby girl.

But that's not a great note on which to part, so let's remind ourselves not to settle for anything less than the real thing. Shoes that don't fit now won't fit later, sweetheart, and if they do, they'll be so ugly from the stretching you won't want them anyway.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Is she that good?

Maureen Dowd thinks men are simple, which makes it hard to explain why women spend so much time deconstructing them (He's just not that into you, anyone?). Her column discusses the/ less genetically interesting nature/ of men. There are way too many obvious jokes here, but I'm starting to wonder whether she's really got an axe to grind. Although apparently the (male) scientist in charge agrees with her:
"Alas," said one of the authors of the study, the Duke University genome expert Huntington Willard, "genetically speaking, if you've met one man, you've met them all. We are, I hate to say it, predictable. You can't say that about women. Men and women are farther apart than we ever knew. It's not Mars or Venus. It's Mars or Venus, Pluto, Jupiter and who knows what other planets."
Women are not only more different from men than we knew. Women are more different from each other than we knew - creatures of "infinite variety," as Shakespeare wrote.
"We poor men only have 45 chromosomes to do our work with because our 46th is the pathetic Y that has only a few genes which operate below the waist and above the knees," Dr. Willard observed. "In contrast, we now know that women have the full 46 chromosomes that they're getting work from and the 46th is a second X that is working at levels greater than we knew."
Ouch. Of course, Dowd points out:
This means men's generalizations about women are correct, too. Women are inscrutable, changeable, crafty, idiosyncratic, a different species.
It's a twisted, stereotype-reinforcing scientific argument that helps eliminate the distinction that, gender notwithstanding, we're all individuals. I'm not sure we need this kind of help in the battle between the sexes, especially from Dowd, and I have a hard time imagining that she couldn't come up with anything else to write about this week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Here's Dahlia

And I thought I was the only one paying attention. Dahlia Lithwick jumps into the fray over the absence of female columnists in Slate - I'm not hurt she didn't link to Fab Girl. But it's all OK, she says, women are self selecting out of the fray (all italics are mine):
Many bloggers point to the gender disparity among the nation's top political bloggers to illustrate the point that even where there are no barriers to entry—no consciously or unconsciously prejudiced gatekeepers barring the doors—women may simply choose to stay away from certain types of media. And just as women may not be producing opinion journalism at the same rates as men, they may not be consuming it all that much either. In short, there may be an interesting market problem at work here: I know an awful lot of smart, accomplished women who avoid both the op-ed pages and the Crossfire-style "screaming shows" because that is simply not the type of discourse they seek out or value.
I can also swear to the fact that as an editor, the number of pitches I receive from men outnumbers the pitches I see from women by several orders of magnitude. I can add, again purely anecdotally, that women largely send in pitches for reported pieces, and are far less inclined to frame a piece as an "argument"—which may prove Tannen's point that argument is not necessarily a comfortable or natural mode of communication for women (a phenomenon I observed in law school as well). This is, in short, an insanely interesting thought problem to which we are applying very little interesting thought.
Only a woman could suggest that women don't like to argue and not get called on it. This is starting to sound a little Lawrence Summers/"Math is hard" Barbie to me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Viva la Hench Wench

Have decided, with some help from a mensch, that 'tis better to be the evil but fabulous babe who gets killed off/comes to her senses, than to be a kitten up a tree somewhere. They're just FAR more interesting women. Mirage from the Incredibles (don't get me started on the lack of an action figure) is my role model du jour, but there have been others, and the Hench is strictly optional.

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The formidable and fabulous Glenn Close as Alex Forrest (who even remembers that Anne Archer was in that movie?) and the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil. Famke Janssen as Bond Girl Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp (remember those thighs?) and Ava Moore (Nip/Tuck). Joely Richardson's reinvented the concept of ice princess, and her character is flawed, but Ava's the juicy role. The fragile and steely Nicole Kidman as Suzanne Stone Maretto and Tracy Kennsinger (Malice). Julianne Moore as Laura Cheveley (An Ideal Husband). Hell, Faith versus Buffy - Faith is WAY more fun.

Come on in, the water's lovely. Who am I missing?

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Wedge Too Far

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I'm as fond of the wedge sandal trend as you are, but please, please don't become a casualty of the uberwedge. The last thing we need are more broken bones, ladies. I'm truly sympathetic to the vertically challenged, I am, but better to stand on a box than fall off these.


So Margaret Thatcher, not one of my favs, but I found this quote at the home of the Jaded one (also currently residing in the Emerald City. I wonder how many words there are for green?) and had to reproduce it, as it's fitting my current M.O.
"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." - Lady Thatcher.

Thanks Jade.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Color as a weapon

And I'm not talking about pink/green/black is the new black here, nor about the visual assault of head to toe Pucci. Thomas Vinciguerra says:
Lately, it seems, you can't have a decent political upheaval unless you color it in. The pro-democracy movement that recently swept Ukraine was famously known as the Orange Revolution, after its emblematic hue. When Iraqi voters dipped their fingers in purple ink last month to signify that they had cast their ballots, President Bush declared a Purple Revolution. In Iran, the revolution is pink. Fed up with their theocratic government's strict laws, many Iranian women are silently rebelling by shucking the Islamic sartorial strictures. Instead, they are flaunting their femininity with hot pink coats, sweaters, head scarves and bags.
Karen Beckwith, a political science professor at Wooster College of Ohio and an authority on comparative political movements, thinks that color is a uniquely effective weapon. "How does the state respond to it?" she asked. "It's very hard to defeat. You can't go around making people take off their clothes. Also, the state can't tell who's organizing it. And it shows incredible solidarity. You know that you're not alone. You don't even need to carry a sign. The person himself or herself is the protest."

See, fashion and politics are sleeping together.

Damn she's good II: Dish it out ladies

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMaureen Dowd continues to impress. The column is about her position as a lone female in a sea of male columnists, but extrapolate with me ladies:
When I need to work up my nerve to write a tough column, I try to think of myself as Emma Peel in a black leather catsuit, giving a kung fu kick to any diabolical mastermind who merits it. I try not to visualize myself as one of the witches in "Macbeth," sitting off to the side over a double, double toil and trouble, bubbling cauldron, muttering about what is fair or foul in the hurly burly of the royal court.
Guys don't appreciate being lectured by a woman. It taps into myths of carping Harpies and hounding Furies, and distaste for nagging by wives and mothers. The word "harridan" derives from the French word "haridelle" - a worn-out horse or nag.
Men take professional criticism more personally when it comes from a woman. (...) While a man writing a column taking on the powerful may be seen as authoritative, a woman doing the same thing may be seen as castrating. If a man writes a scathing piece about men in power, it's seen as his job; a woman can be cast as an emasculating man-hater. (...) Alan Dundes (on castration jokes, said). "Women are supposed to take it, not dish it out. If a woman embarrasses a man, he feels inadequate, effeminate. He wants her to go back to the kitchen."

If the kitchen's where you want to be, then be there, but if you don't, speak up.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Oooo! (she squealed) spring shoes!

Thanks to shoewawa for bringing these darling Coach wedges to our attention:
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Don't know about your neck of the woods, but it's been 65 here for weeks, and Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my pedicure.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Don't ask, just click

here and don't miss Ghetto Barbie and the Presidential Dubs.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mall is my co-pilot?

It's amazing when you really get a glimpse into the minds of others. Take (please) Aurelio F. Barreto 3rd, who:
made millions selling his company, which made Dogloos (igloo-shaped doghouses), and at 38 he never had to work again. Yet he was depressed, despondent, even suicidal. Then, he says, he found Jesus; he shared the news about Christ with anyone who would listen. Eventually, however, he found another way to spread the word, which he says will be far more effective: retail. (...) He even maintains that 625 conversions have taken place at his stores -- people who essentially went shopping and found God. ''Our mission is to share the grace, the truth and the love of Jesus,'' Barreto says. ''And what better place to do it than a mall?''

The Rapture must be close.

Lucky? I'm holding out for the real deal ...

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Wonkette finds herself (did she trip?) featured in Lucky Magazine this month in a week's worth of typical Lucky-style wardrobe. She should have consulted with FabGirl, who'd have told her to hold out for Vogue or W or at least a second tier mag or something overseas. Would also have advised on poses to maximize assets, and against what appear to be white or /nude/ stockings (the Horror, etc.!) And brilliant Gawker for the doll analogy - do all those outfits come with the doll, or are they sold separately?

Five second delay

OK, I'm getting to this a little late, but life's feeling full.
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He Stoops to Conquer, analysis of The Daily Show and (delicious) Jon Stewart's role in the media, etc., courtesy of the Boston Phoenix and brought to my attention by Slate. And Dan Kennedy's right, the second half of the show's generally a snoozer.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Damn she's good

Maureen Dowd has an excellent column on how powerful women in this country need to be shamed and tamed before we can accept them. To wit:
Arabs put their women in veils. We put ours in the stocks.

Every culture has its own way of tamping down female power, be it sexual, political or financial. Americans like to see women who wear the pants be beaten up and humiliated. Afterward, in a gratifying redemption ritual, people like to see the battered women be rewarded.

That's how Hilary Swank won two Oscars. That's how Hillary Clinton won a Senate seat and a presidential front-runner spot. And that's how Martha Stewart won her own reality TV show and became a half-billion dollars richer while she was in prison.