magazines

Kristen Stewart’s plastic surgery remarks aren’t body positive. Here’s why.

In case you somehow missed it online or on social media, plastic surgery was once again a buzzy topic this weekend, this time thanks to Kristen Stewart. In her cover interview for the June issue of Harper’s Bazaar U.K., the 25-year-old actress said that not only would she never consider getting plastic surgery, she had some strong opinions about women who do:

“I am so freaked out by the idea of doing anything. And maybe that’s completely arrogant but I don’t want to change anything about myself. I think the women who do are losing their minds. It’s vandalism.”

Predictably, the internet exploded, with lots of people proud of her for standing up against the pressure on women to alter their looks to be “better” or prettier. I think it’s great that Stewart is confident in her own skin and doesn’t feel the need to bow to Hollywood pressure to conform to a certain body standard. However, I think we need to pause for a moment before we retweet her remarks, because her comments are not as body positive as they appear to be.

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Monthly covers: August 2014

I thought it might be fun to start doing a monthly run-down of the magazines I’m reading for the month and what’s inside. I read quite a few, but these are the more popular fashion and beauty-related titles that showed up in my mailbox this month.

Monthly covers Aug14 1

Allure. On the cover: Rachel McAdams. Highlights: Finding out that lots of fall’s hottest clothes are already in my closet. Not so hot: Yet another article on the “new” nude makeup. (Is there really anything “new” about it?)

Elle. On the cover: Kristin Wiig. Highlights: Guys, Kristen is wearing my uniform, aka my Olivia Dunham outfit. Not so hot: More of the same ol’ “miracle products” and “sexy hair without a blow-dryer” articles that have been done to death. Yawn.

Glamour. On the cover: Katie Holmes. Highlights: An awesome ’60s-mod fashion shoot with Anna Kendrick. Not so hot: Most of this issue was a bit of a yawn, which is weird, since I normally love Glamour. Oh well.

InStyle. On the cover: Zooey Deschanel. Highlights: Zooey talking about feminism. Not so hot: So much fur. Why does fall fashion have to include so much fur?

Monthly covers Aug14 2

Lucky. On the cover: Solange Knowles. Highlights: A piece on fall’s pants silhouettes, plus some neat jeans to shop for autumn. Not so hot: This was another issue that just felt really snoozy to me.

Marie Claire. On the cover: Zoe Saldana. Highlights: Zoe’s interview. She’s so feisty. Not so hot: Everyone’s going bonkers about denim right now, and so many of the pieces featured are just out of my budget range or not at all suited to my body.

Natural Health. On the cover: Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Highlights: I didn’t know Jenna was a vegan! Some interesting articles on mediation, yoga and natural stress relief. Not so hot: Product recommendations that are only partially natural or are tested on animals.

Women’s Health. On the cover: Shailene Woodley. Highlights: Shai’s interview; I feel like we’d be great friends in real life. Plus, a really interesting article delving into the possible root cause and recommended cure for most types of chronic pain (like migraines). I struggle with migraines so any chance at a natural cure is always interesting to me. Not so hot: Swimsuit magic? Please. It’ll take more than a magic swimsuit to get me beach-ready. I like fitness magazines because they inspire me to be healthier, but I also feel like some of the articles can really trigger self-loathing–if people who are already so hyper-fit are looking for visually slimming swimsuits, what hope is there for the rest of us?

 

Why Jezebel’s Lena Dunham photo bounty is going too far

 

If you haven’t heard by now, Girls writer and actress Lena Dunham is gracing the February cover of Vogue magazine. Landing the feature spread in the fashion Bible is usually enough to light up the Internet anyway, but Dunham’s photoshoot got an extra boost of publicity this week after feminist snark site Jezebel raised a hullabaloo over her retouched photos. The ruckus culminated in the site offering a $10,000 bounty for unretouched photos from the shoot, which were subsequently delivered and failed to impress almost everyone who saw them. (You can see an example over here on Yahoo! Shine.)

So what on earth is the big deal? (More after the break.)


I mean, this is the same website that railed for days about Jennifer Lawrence’s Flare magazine slim-down, and put out a bounty for unretouched pictures from Lupita Nyong’o’s Vanity Fair shoot, and…wait, what? You mean to tell me they didn’t? But…why not? Aren’t all Photoshopped shoots created equal?

Apparently not.

There are a lot of reasons I have a problem with Jezebel’s actions. For starters, it reeks of Mean Girl faux-feminism. The assumption seems to be that Lena is clearly so fat and squishy and non-pretty that she must require loads of Photoshop to be worthy of a magazine like Vogue. Whereas, with a thin and traditionally pretty celeb like Jennifer, well–yes, it’s a big deal that she was airbrushed, because she’s pretty. She doesn’t need it. But it’s not like there are juicy, horrifyingly unairbrushed photos to be dug up, right? But surely in this case there’s some dirt to be had, and we want to see it, dammit.

Which brings me to the second thing that makes me so queasy: Jezebel is essentially saying that Lena’s body is not her own. Never mind that Lena seems to be pretty happy with her photo shoot, apparently Tweeting about it on Thursday. Never mind that it’s a truth universally acknowledged that magazines airbrush their pictures and that, as Lena herself has pointed out, Vogue‘s photo department makes a habit of retouching photos for a fantastical interpretation of the world. No one has been misled into thinking their photos are unretouched.

In Jezebel’s world, how Lena feels about her body is of secondary concern to how everyone else feels about her body. Jezebel is trying to pretend that they’re shaming Vogue on her behalf, but let’s be real here. Lena didn’t call for the release of the photos; a bunch of voyeuristic editors decided that they had the right to see them, no matter what anyone else though of the matter. Because, you know, feminism.

It would be nice to see a round of huzzahs for a female comic, and a curvy one at that, landing the cover of what is probably the most prestigious fashion magazine in the world. Being a woman in Hollywood is hard. Being a female comic is harder. Being curvy? Now you’ve got a triple threat. But instead of showing a little female support for a woman who has taken the entertainment world by storm–not for being a reality TV star, or for dating someone famous, or for posing for Maxim–but for being talented and raw and real–Jezebel decided it was time to throw her to the wolves. Because that’s what they did: under the guise of making Vogue look bad, they invited everyone to return to the debate over Lena’s fat, fat, fat body, and everything that’s apparently wrong with it (hint: fat).

It also bugs me that Jezebel is so transfixed by Lena’s body, and not by many of the other bodies that have been altered before hers. The site has been guilty before of holding up the faux-feminist myth of “the real woman” and “the real female body”, and I feel like they’re doing it again. They’re so eager to prove that a “real” woman with a “real” shape is being altered, but what about a thinner woman (J-Law)? What about a woman of color (Lupita)? They’re not getting nearly the same press, and that’s wrong. (And yes, I realized that both of those women were mentioned on the site, but they didn’t receive nearly the same level of vitriol that Lena has.) All bodies–short, tall, fat, thin, dark, light–are real bodies. All women are real women. Sites like Jezebel need to stop selectively flying the body-positive flag only when it suits them.

And you know what, I understand that some of Dunham’s fans will be unhappy with her photos. She preaches body positivity and appears in a magazine that’s known for being anything but; I can see where someone would cry foul. But let’s be honest with ourselves: how many of us edit, crop and alter our own photos before we post them to social media? Apply filters on Instagram? Ask for a light bit of retouching for the wedding photo package that cost more than our first car? Be fair. If you were appearing in a magazine read by millions of people, wouldn’t you want your photos to be the very best they could possibly be? Maybe ask for those god-awful undereye circles to be whisked away, for your terrible posture to be digitally corrected? I think Lena probably feels the same as any other young woman enjoying her moment on the world stage–equal parts thrilled to bits and scared to death–and if someone gives her a light perk in her photos, she probably doesn’t mind.

There’s one more thing that bothers me, and that’s the nasty fact that a website actually shelled out $10,000 for what basically amounts to a publicity stunt. Jezebel is notorious for their click-bait-y headlines and this just seems like another attempt to drive traffic to the site. Sure, they’re shrouding the whole thing in self-righteous rhetoric about the evils of airbrushing and body positivity, but their angle seems to have nothing to do with being body-positive; it just seems like a chance to boost pageviews. And I can’t help but wonder: how many body-positive or feminist charities could have benefited from that $10,000?

Get the Look: Sofia Vergara on the November cover of Lucky magazine

One last celebrity look post for the month! Sofia Vergara showed off a sexy-meets-classic look on the November cover of Lucky magazine, and the good news is, her style is ridiculously simple to copy. In fact, you probably already have most of the elements in your closet now!

Here’s what you need: a red pencil skirt, a black camisole or bustier, a pink cardi, and killer black stiletto pumps. Oh, and a mega-watt smile, though I can’t recommend a place of purchase for that!
The finishing touch for Sofia’s smart ensemble? Her loose, touchable waves. A tight bun would give off a sexy secretary vibe, and not in a good way. The more casual hairdo–and the lack of jewelry–make this less of a costume and more of a doable date night look.

1. Scuba pencil skirt, $19.99, Charlotte Russe

2. Cropped cardigan, $13.80, Forever 21
3. Brash Kosmic platform pumps, $24.99, Payless
4. Cropped lace bustier, $6, Forever 21

Get the Look: Halle Berry on the November cover of InStyle

Can you believe that Halle Berry is 46?! Neither can I! She’s looking better than ever on the November cover of InStyle magazine, in a red-hot Calvin Klein dress.

halle Berry InStyle

Want to copy Halle’s sexy style? It’s pretty easy: all you need is a bold red tank dress and an oversized gold cuff bracelet. I would finish with strappy gold sandals for a simple yet hot look.

1. Calvin Klein dress, $49.99, 6pm.com
2. Layered cuff, $6.80, Forever 21
3. Fioni Night Intyce strappy sandal, $24.99, Payless

Get the Look: Taylor Swift on the November cover of Glamour

I decided to start posting my “Get the look” magazine cover rundown according to the month on the magazine, not the month in which I receive it. It seems odd to be posting September covers in August, and October covers in September, and so on and so forth. Also, I often don’t get to sit down and read the magazines as soon as they land in my mailbox, and I feel a little weird offering you guys fashion suggestions when I haven’t even opened the darn magazine!

We’ll start with Taylor Swift on the November cover of Glamour magazine. I was kind of surprised, though not displeased, to see Taylor rocking her natural curls again after so months courting the straightening iron. (Though I did see she returned to straight hair for the cover of another ladies’ mag recently.)


 

It would seem that the color red is really big right now, because I’ve seen several magazines with cover stars sporting the shade. Obviously, it’s also a personal color for Taylor, who just dropped a new album titled Red. I really love that Taylor went with short nails and a lined red lip here; I think it’s more classy and chic than long nails and a super-glossy pout. She finished it off with just the right amount of volumizing black mascara.

The combo of a sparkly sequin top and a red skirt is very holiday. I could see her wearing red pumps with this, just to carry on with the color! The single gold bracelet is a nice way to pick up on the top without going overboard in the bling department.

1. Mossimo tank with gold sequins, $24.99, Target
2. Merona Red Skinny Belt, $12.99, Target
3. Brash Kosmic Platform Pumps, $34.99, Payless
4. Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Cinnamon, $1, drugstores
5. Wet n Wild Mega Last Nail Color in I Red A Good Book, $3, drugstores
6. Full Tilt Hi Low Skirt, $17.97, Tilly’s
7. Rhinestoned Bracelet, $4.80, Forever 21

Get the Look: Gwyneth Paltrow on the October cover of InStyle

Woo-hoo! My first issue of InStyle magazine just arrived in the mail this week, and look who’s on the cover: Gwyneth Paltrow, actress, singer, mom-of-two and wife to Chris Martin (aka singer for one of my favorite bands ever).

Gwyn’s rocking on-trend purple in a daring design–a jumpsuit–paired with some chunky bracelets. Here’s how you can get her look for less:

1. Lacquered Square Bracelet, $7.80, Forever 21
2. Bold Colorblocked Triangle Bracelet, $12.80, Forever 21
3. Etched Pyramid Bracelet, $9.80, Forever 21
4. Pyramid Pattern Bracelet, $6.80, Forever 21
5. Break It Down Backless Purple Jumpsuit, $47, Lulu’s

Get the Look: Emma Watson on the October cover of Glamour magazine

Whoa! Hermione is all grown up–just check out Emma Watson’s sultry style on the October cover of Glamour magazine.

Here’s a better shot of her cover outfit from inside the magazine:

Artsy, moody, and sexy. Wow. Emma’s style is irresistible–although for the street, I’d recommend replacing the exposed bra with a sweet top of some sort! I love that she’s got the sort-of-innocent white dress paired with edgy black Mary Janes and that metallic black eyeliner (get a similar look with Physician’s Formula Eyebrightener Brightening Liquid Eyeliner in Metallic Black; $6.50, drugstores). You can use texturizer on short hair to recreate her style or if you have longer hair, why not try a messy topknot?

Here are some pieces to get you started on recreating Emma’s look:

1. Picot Trim Lace Dress, $29.80, Forever 21
2. Satin Trim Lace Dress, $27.80, Forever 21
3. Qupid Jillian Black Velvet Peep Toe Heelless platforms, $33, Lulu’s
4. Blair Boutique Faux Fur Coat, $100
5. Merona Open Cardigan Sweater, $24.99, Target
6. Faceted Geo Nugget Necklace, $9.80, Forever 21