Vintage Ad: Wanted, 1000 Skinny People To Gain Solid Pounds of Flesh

7 Jan

This is a vintage advertisement from 1953: Wanted: 1000 Skinny People To Gain Solid Pounds of Flesh on Chest, Arms, Legs and Body – or Money Back! The ad promises a money back guarantee provided if consumer has not gained weight in 10 days after beginning usage of the product Poundex. According to the ad, Poundex was vanilla flavored and contained B12, B1 and malt.

Copyright: Medicine and Madison Avenue On-Line Project - Ad #MM0731, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

The thing I found funny was that the 1953’s ad singles out the guy’s butt only, but the girl should have well rounded cheeks, arms, boobs, butt, hips, thighs and calves. No pressure, ladies, no pressure. 

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MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Marci

6 Jan

I watched the first episode of MTV’s “I Used to be Fat”, (which was about Gabriella, recap here), so I tuned in for the second episode. This time around it was about Marci, 18, who wants to lose weight. But that’s where the similarities to Gabriella’s episode ended.

MTV I Used to be Fat, Marci

Image credit: MTV

Marci’s episode was very different from Gabriella’s. In a nutshell: Gabriella was a happy teenager and wanted to lose weight to please her pushy mother, imho. Gabriella seemed to have everything—friends, a social life, a homecoming queen tiara. I thought she looked happy and confident just the way she was.

Marci has no friends, no social life, nothing. She doesn’t look happy or confident. Marci rocks the gothic look, with dark eye makeup and black clothes. She sits in her room all day, watches TV and eats. This isn’t a great lifestyle, no matter what dress size or age. Marci was taken out of 6th grade because she was bullied for her weight. Since then she was homeschooled and sheltered.

What are her goals in life? Her first goal is first to win friends. (Well, there’s one. Heather, a pretty blonde, who has a crush on Marci’s trainer.)  Marci’s second goal is to go shopping for cute clothes. Well, cute clothes come in many sizes, but you can’t always find them in the boutique around the corner, granted. Not her fault, though.

And Marci’s third goal is to lose weight. Marci weighs 250 lbs  and has 89 days to lose 90 lbs—that is her goal. Her personal trainer is ex-military and offers her a very straightforward, boot camp style workout, lots of tough love. I did like that he inquired about Marci’s goals besides weight loss, and he seemed to listen. I liked that he hugged her, sweat or no sweat. Of course, he also used the phrase “you are so fat!” to shame her into working out harder–that’s where he lost all brownie points again.

But they did a variety of exercises, including boxing, and Marci seemed to enjoy it, which I thought was great. A way to vent your frustration.

Marci’s mother seems like a very gentle, loving mother who never denies her daughter anything, including driving her daily to fast food joints. Marci’s mom is a pushover—or so Marci’s trainer says. The family never eats together, but Marci eats her fast food alone in her room. Marci’s parents are divorced since she was four years old and ever since she was given everything her heart desires. Food became her source of comfort and love.

Marci learns how to chop onions and peppers. She never prepared her own meal before. Why her mother never involved Marci in the kitchen before I have no idea. But I thought that part was great about the show, mom and daughter together in the kitchen, cooking. They tried out something new together, which is so much more important than losing weight.

Then there’s more exercise, more sweat, and after losing 50 lbs, Marci and her mother go shopping in celebration, but the cute clothes still won’t fit. If I were Marci, I’d blame the clothes, not myself. But it was set up like a personal challenge so I fully expected that she visits the shop again after more weight loss.

And after 89 days and losing 90 lbs , Marci has achieved her goal. So she goes shopping again and lo and behold, the ‘skinny’ dress fits.

I thought what Marci needed most were friends, lots of them. She seemed like a girl starving for friendship. She wasn’t self-confident or happy at the start of the episode. In the end, it was quite fun to see her turn the tables and boss her trainer around on the lawn. We see her leaving for a Halloween party, dressed up like a dark angel with black wings. She feels gorgeous and amazing and confident.

I felt Marci gained something positive from the show, even though I don’t agree with the method it was achieved. She learnt how to cook, she had fun working out, she seemed to have a new sparkle in her eye. Marci did it for herself, not for anyone else—well, if you don’t count anyone who ever bullied her for being a “fat girl”. I thought the overall message was that you have to lose weight to have a happy social life, to find friends. Which isn’t true. But you don’t gain self-esteem by sitting in your room all day, every day, so how could Marci possibly have developed a healthy self-confidence?

I wish someone could have taken Marci by the hand and introduced her to new people, social activities, volunteering, anything really, to get her in contact with people outside her immediate family. It wasn’t about losing weight for her, she seemed lonely above anything else.

(Related post: I Used to be Fat, Dominick)

Fat “Hello Kitty” Girl vs The Millionaire Matchmaker

5 Jan

Well, that wasn’t pretty, or romantic, what happened in last night’s episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker. Robin Kassner, a plus-sized, rich publicist, is looking for love and sees herself next to a Matthew McConaughey type. Patti Stanger introduced her as a Jessica Simpson kind of girl, only fat.

(I guess this posts falls again under the “crap I watch so you don’t have to” tag.)

I’ve watched the show before and it came to no surprise that Patti Stanger was neither very gentle, nice nor diplomatic with the plus-sized Robin. Patti calls her a plumby dumpty, but, actually, Patti is verbally abusive to all her clients, so why stop with the fat chick, right? I’m cool with that.

But Patti also thinks that Robin doesn’t deserves a hotty hunk along the lines of Matthew McConaughey. Because Robin is fat. Well, I’m not cool with that statement.

But that’s just theoretically speaking. Because while I was fully prepared to like Robin–and she is adorable with her love for the color pink and ‘Hello Kitty’ stuff–she is also pretty annoying. So, being fat doesn’t guarantee that I like you, honey 🙂

Anyho, Robin picks a plumber as her date and they both have what I’d call a disaster of a first date. Even though I didn’t get the impression that Robin was enjoying herself with the guy–they went bike riding–she still offered to buy him a motorcycle and a car. And then she became a tad t0o touchy feely with him. If the roles had been reversed, the outcry would have been louder.

In the end, Patti refused to continue to work with Robin, calling her superficial… There’s a part of an interview with Robin, via Huffington Post:

They filmed me for three weeks and then they spliced and diced it to create a compelling story. It’s a reality show on Bravo so their job in the editing room is to create maximum drama.

I haven’t seen the show yet but from the previews I would say I was portrayed in a way that communicated an exciting story. The previews make me look superficial but in real life I just a simple Connecticut girl making it in a big-city world.

I’m fully prepared to take Robin’s word for it. It’s a reality show after all–heavily scripted. In any case, who’s to say what you “deserve” or don’t “deserve” in life because you’re a plus-sized chick? Surely not a show like The Millionaire Matchmaker.

Fat Pig, Broadway Debut with Julia Stiles, Dane Cook, Josh Hamilton

4 Jan

Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig is going to be a Broadway production in 2011. Julia Stiles, Dane Cook and Josh Hamilton are already on board.

 

Fat Pig, the book. Soon on Broadway.

 

 

If you’ve never seen the play, there’s also a book with the same title:

Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus sized-and then some. Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow (although shockingly funny) friends, finally he comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks.

If you’re unfamiliar with the play, Fat Pig tells us the story of story of Tom (Hamilton), an eligible bachelor who falls for the beautiful, bright and plus-sized Helen. Tom is overjoyed with his new relationship but his shallow co-workers are less enthusiastic. Tom shrugs off their objections but eventually the cruel jabs of his acerbic friend Carter (Cook) and Jeannie (Stiles), a former flame, force him to question his own values and the importance of conventional good looks. Source: Playbill.com

The role of Helen isn’t cast yet. Fat Pig will officially debut in the Belasco Theatre in midtown-Manhattan on April 26 this year.

What I like about the play is that Helen has come to terms with society’s view of her. She’s a self-confident librarian, single but content. Helen is fat without shame or apology. Tom struggles to accept his love for Helen because she falls outside of the mainstream ideal of beauty. The pressure he gets from his friends to find a “normal looking” girl is too much for him. And he suffers for Helen because of the abuse she receives for being fat.

In the play, there’s no happy end for the couple. Even though they love each other, they part ways. Tom turns out a coward, choosing public opinion over the girl he loves. And it’s Helen who stays strong, she’s the one you root for, she’s the one who ultimately leaves Tom. Helen is portrayed as a confident women, comfortable in her own skin. I think Neil LaBute’s play brilliantly analyzes society’s devotion to today’s ideals of beauty and questions our own ability to stand up to it.

Anyone read the book, seen a previous play?

The Bachelor Recap—Brad Womack Encore, season premiere. Is he here for the Right Reasons?

3 Jan

Brad Womack is back! The most controversial Bachelor ever! It’s been three years since Brad kicked two hopeful girls to the curb. But after three years he’s a changed man. He’s crawling in the dust. The poor dear, he suffered panic attacks. Especially after reading in the interwebz what a jerk he was. He went into therapy, he blamed his father for all his commitment issues—always a popular choice. Brad deprived the female population three years of his oiled, bare chest. But, hey, he’s a villain, don’t you dare think he’s hot.

If you haven’t noticed, my recap of The Bachelor is unapologetic sexist and very judgmental. Also, this post isn’t about fat chicks, so I go with the tag #this-isn’t-about-fat-chicks-sorry.

But now, now he’s ready. All his brothers are married, with kids, and that’s what Brad wants too. Honestly, I fear he’s looking for a babymaker.

Anyho, the girls are introduced. Gosh, sorry, at that point in the season, I can’t remember all the names. But there’s a nanny, a dentist, a manscaper, a girl who takes care of dead people aka funeral director. Brad, I’m sure there will be a girl who will guard and protect your heart and take care of you after you say your final goodbyes.

Then DeAnna and Jenny (spelling?) turn up and give Brad a hard time. Well, you can’t say he doesn’t deserve it. Again, Brad confirms how serious he is, how much therapy he went through. At this point I start to feel sorry for the poor dear. It must be hard, to be a hot millionaire with commitment issues. And, how many times can you apologize before you start grating on my nerves?

Brad’s worst fear is rejection—so our sensitive host Chris tells him to not screw up this time. No pressure.

The Bachelor Brad Womack

Image: ABC

The women arrive—apparently they don’t know that the new bachelor is evil Brad—and the first girl slaps him in the face because he deserves it. There’s a girl with vampire fangs…hmm, I suspect she’s only there so the viewers will feel sorry for Brad and forget that he was a jerk. And there’s a chick who can do a high kick–does that hint at sexual prowess?

After 30 very pretty women in a variety of colorful dresses—and a nutcase or two–greeted Brad, he feels undeserving. Well, hold on to that thought, pal—a little humility goes a long way. Did I mention not a plus-sized girl in sight?

Brad’s changed, or so he tells us over and over again. “Soul Searching” is the key expression. The single ladies are skeptical but no one wants to leave when Brad offers them an easy out. They are still holding out for a Brad-takes-his-shirt-off moment. One girl asks him if he could handle her big butt. OMG, is Brad there for the right reasons? Did I mention that I love this show?

He gives the first impression rose to the chick (a nanny) who told him that she’ll be his friend. Sigh. If Brad had some balls he’d have given that first rose to the girl who slapped him. But, clearly, guys love girls who aren’t tough on them.

Brad picks 20 out of the 30 hopefuls. How the heck does he remember all the names? And why pick vampire-chick? And high-kick girl?

I’m going to dub this season “Brad, Is-He-Here-For-The-Right-Reasons? Season.”

ABC shows quite a few spoilers for what’s still to come in this season. Next Monday can’t come fast enough. How about you? Did you buy Brad’s change of heart? Is Brad Womack deserving of a second chance? Do you even care, lol?

The Bachelor, ABC. Will you watch?

3 Jan

I’ve watched past seasons of the Bachelor. Why? Because it’s plain ol’ entertainment. It’s cheesy and awkward. It’s rarely romantic but oh the drama. I probably agree with everything negative you can come up with regarding the show. I’ll still watch it–it’s like a traffic accident, you can’t look away. I’ve also watched the season where Brad Womack famously dissed the two girls in the finale, not proposing marriage to either of them. Now Brad is back, still looking hot.

The Bachelor

Image: ABC

It should be noted that The Bachelor has nothing to do with the general theme of my blog. Unless, maybe, Brad Womack will be able to pick from a batch of plus-sized girls? I don’t think so. But I’ll watch it just in case I’m mistaken. Maybe women of every age, hair color and dress size are represented. Maybe Brad falls for a curvy, red-haired, plus-sized girl, who knows. So I have to watch, there. (I might write a Bachelor recap of the first episode, but not sure yet.) Edited to add: Yes, I did a Bachelor Recap here.

And about the age–I just had a sneak peek at the single girls at the ABC site. Most of them are in their early, mid-twenties. Brad Womack is 38 years old. Ahaha, the old double standard. Good luck to all the single ladies, I wish you strong nerves, you’ll need them.

Look at the time, show’s about to start and popcorn isn’t ready yet… Will you watch how the Bachelor breaks hearts again or do you hate the show?

Plus-sized Movies? 3 Movies I Wish that were made with Fat Chicks

3 Jan

Trying to find a Hollywood movie where a fat girl goes on adventures, saves the world and kisses a couple of guys along the way, is like trying to find the necklace you lost at the beach three days ago. I tried both with the same results.

111 Hollywood Sign

Well, there’s the famous Bridget Jones. But, come on, Renee Zellweger? Why take a tiny American actress, publicize her weight gain, and let her fake an accent? Why not take a British plus-sized actress in the first place? And if a movie features a girl bigger than a size 10, she’s never comfortable with it, like Bridget. Why does weight always need to play a such a big role?

I asked a friend of mine if she had any movie suggestions that would fit my idealistic criteria, and after some brainstorming, we came up with—nothing.

What I came up with was how cool it could have been if some of my favorite movies would have featured a plus-size chick. Let me share my list with you. It’s widely speculative, but these are my top three movies I wish that they would have been cast with a fat chick:

My first pick: The Fifth Element
Leeloo is sent to save Earth and she represents the fifth element—love. She’s naïve, feminine and a warrior. And she gets the guy in the end. I’d love to see a sci-fi flick with action, romance, spaceships and a larger-than-life plus-sized actress.

My second pick: The Pirates of the Caribbean
The scene where Elizabeth falls into the ocean and is rescued by Captain Sparrow would have made more sense if Elizabeth Swann had been a fat chick. Elizabeth wore a corset to achieve a smaller waist. She then fainted and fell into the ocean. (Sorry, but Keira Knightley’s waist is already so small, I had a hard time believing that she had problems wearing that corset.) What follows is pirates and adventure and swordfights. I’m pretty sure you could find an athletic actress that isn’t necessarily rail-thin but a bigger girl who could do an equally fantastic job.

My third pick: Pretty Woman
Just imagine the movie tag line: A rich businessman needs an escort and hires a beautiful, plus-sized hooker and they fall in love. Come on, doesn’t that sound like a blockbuster movie? No? Well, I’d go and watch that movie on a Saturday night.

Hollywood, are you listening? I think that there’s an audience for funny, upbeat and even action movies featuring women who are bigger than a size 10. The press would talk about it! People would want to see such a novelty! I understand if you don’t care for my idealism or fat acceptance, but there’s money to be made! Gosh, I’m really going for the hard sell.

Anyho, just to be clear, I like the above movies just fine as they are, and I’m not hating on Hollywood’s sample-size actresses. I’m just having a bit of fun playing what if.

So, what if you could recast a movie? Which one? Would you place a plus-sized actress in the leading role? Or do you know any movies that feature plus-sized women in a positive, upbeat way?

Book Review: Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner

2 Jan

You could say “Good in Bed” by Jennifer Weiner is America’s answer to Bridget Jones. But it’s actually better, imho, funnier and more heartfelt.

A couple of days ago I reviewed Fat Girl (which is a memoir and as far from a lighthearted read as you can get.) I read a lot, and not only books with plus-size heroines, but I thought I’ll continue reviewing books that feature “fat” characters.

Candace, Cannie for short, is that sort of  main character where I found myself wishing I could meet her over a cup of coffee to chat about work, guys and life in general. She’s likable in a flawed sort of way. Masking her insecurities, she’s often too smart and sarcastic for her own good.  She struggles with her weight, there’s some childhood trauma, but she never loses her wit or her strength. She has a successful career, her family is supportive and even though she recently broke it off with her boyfriend, she’s okay. The twist comes when her ex publishes an article in a national magazine called “Loving a Larger Woman” about what it is like to love a plus-sized woman. Not any woman, but Cannie.

Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner

Cannie’s adventures will strike a chord with all young women struggling to find their place in the world, especially those larger than a size eight. Good in Bed follows the classic format of chasing the wrong man when the right one is there all along.

The title is misleading, by the way. There’s nothing raunchy about this novel but the title refers to the column her ex-boyfriend writes. Good in Bed is fast paced with plenty of snappy and hilarious dialogue. I wasn’t impressed that most “skinny” characters in the book are portrayed less than admirable, and Candace’s mother is a lesbian–but a very cliched one.

If you approach Good in Bed as “fat” chick lit, with a good dash of romance, you’ll probably have a fun time reading . Just don’t expect too much realism, depth, or what I’d call a “realistic” ending. But hey, it’s fiction, and I like my happy ends.

Jezebel Wraps up the Biggest Weight Stories of 2010

2 Jan

Jezebel recaps last year’s fattest stories, including how Whole Food discriminates against their plus-sized employees, how Kevin Smith got kicked off Southwest for being “Too Fat To Fly”, a piece about Gabourey Sidibe, how Maura Kelly was offended and disgusted by fat people ‘getting it on’ on TV, and a so called fat ballerina, among other stories. Great recap, funny as hell and definitely lots of food for thought.

You can read the entire thing here. For me, Maura Kelly’s cruel opinion piece in Marie Claire took the cake when it comes down to robbing plus-sized women of self-esteem. And Gabourey Sidibe is still a source of inspiration. Maybe, just maybe, 2011 is going to be the year where the media embraces that whatever weight you are, you can be happy and healthy and that you have the right to feel loved and accepted.

This blogger can dream, right?

Why, you ask, do Female Chinese students eat Roundworm Eggs?

1 Jan

So glad you asked. Or not.

Female Chinese students resort to eating roundworm eggs to ensure they look thin for job interviews. They hatch in the stomach, allowing those who take them to shed pounds without exercising or dieting in the Xiamen, China. Via Mail Online.

Far be it from me to pass judgment, *cough, retch* But really? I mean, really? I’m so not posting an image for this article.

It’s a crazy, crazy world out there, that’s all I’m saying.

Edited to add: My blog is free of diet tips: this is NOT a diet tip. Also, isn’t it interesting/sad that not only gals in western countries struggle with achieving an ‘ideal’ (read skinny) body, but gals in Asia as well? Why are we doing that to ourselves? *sigh*

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