Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Don’t We Americans Join the European Fashion Industry & Celebrate the Voluptuous Beauty of Models such as American Tara Lynn~

Why Don’t We Americans Join the European Fashion Industry  & Celebrate the Voluptuous Beauty of Models such as American Tara Lynn~

 While I would hesitate to label Tara Lynn a plus-size woman, the fashion industry has relegated any woman larger than an American size 4 Plus –Size.  Tara Lynn, 5'9" tall and a U.S. size 14-16, has graced the covers of several European magazines including Italian Vanity Fair, French Elle, Elle Spain and Vogue Italia. She is smolderingly gorgeous and sexy is a way that only a women with feminine curves can be. When is skinny woman tries to look smoldering with a sexy pout, she more often then not resembles a clone of Victoria Beckham -who always looks bored and slightly constipated.

I applaud the European fashion magazines that have made a concerted effort to change the perceptions of what constitutes beauty after some scandalous episodes when malnourished anorexic models collapsed or died trying to maintain their skeletal bodies.

This is not a new controversy. As early as 1976 when Susan Dey of Partridge Family fame revealed to Seventeen Magazine that she’d developed anorexia and bulimia while trying to maintain her lithe frame for modeling. I remember having a feeling of awakening wash over me when I read her story. At that time I too was anorexic and bulimic – first triggered by my desire to qualify for my high school swing choir. At that time the director made it clear that no fleshy girls need apply. Staying thin became an obsession. And with the explosion of media outlets in the 37 years that have passed since then, young women are constantly bombarded with the message that skinny is the ideal.

But throughout history until the second half of the 20th Century a curvaceous female form  has represented sensuality, sex, affluence, femininity, fecundity, and lushness.  Perhaps the pendulum is starting to swing back towards celebrating the beauty of real women.  It would be a fine beginning for one of the US Fashion magazines to feature Ms. Lynn. What do you think?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Reminder That Ignoring Self Care Has Consequences

A Reminder That Ignoring Self Care Has Consequences

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned through my years in Al-Anon, practicing yoga, and through other spiritual connections is that self-care is not selfish. Self-care is honoring the body, mind and spirit we’ve been gifted.  It takes dedication, commitment, and work to do what is healthful. I’ve been lazy of late and am suffering the ramifications of my neglect. My immune system has been compromised and I’ve been sick this week. I hate it.

Normally, my self-care of eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables, practicing yoga 2-3 times per week, getting plenty of rest, communing with nature, an quiet meditation provides me with the wherewithal to fight off bacteria and viruses like Superman deflects speeding bullets.  But no-I made deliberate choices to skip breakfast, forget lunch until late afternoon, eat unbalanced dinners, work late instead of shutting down my laptop and driving the few short miles to yoga, allowed myself to worry about things over which I have no control, let my pedicure go untended for 2 months, and neglected to take the time to reflect on nature, celebrate the joy of just being, breathe in the perfume of the autumn air, and express gratitude for my abundant blessings.

Fortunately, with a recalibration of my attitude, I can wander back onto the right path.  I’ve already started by brewing some jasmine tea to rehydrate. And Todd hung my new “See Rock City” bird feeder outside the family room window this afternoon so that I can quietly watch and wait for the birds to come back and fill occasional moments with a sense of peace and serenity.  And Monday – back to yoga.  No excuses.  I owe it to myself to be the best that I can be at being. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wishing For An Awesome 150th Cedar Creek Event in 2014~

Wishing For An Awesome 150th Cedar Creek Event in 2014~

On October 19, 1864, Confederate Lt. General Jubal Early and Union Major General Philip Sheridan met in a decisive battle, the final major battle of the Shenandoah Valley.  General Early’s defeat hastened the end of the war. The 149th Anniversary of this significant battle has past into history. Next year, the 150th deserves attention.

It is believed that Sheridan’s victory at Cedar Creek help to ensure the reelection of Lincoln in the 1864 elections. The reenactments that commemorate Cedar Creek take place on the actual battlefield thanks to the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, which has succeeded in acquiring 308 acres of battlefield land since 1988. The battlefield land acquired is adjacent to the beautiful, historic Belle Grove Plantation.  The house situated at Belle Grove was erected in 1797 and is an amazing example of country houses of the period. Belle Grove was an integral part of the battlefield.

Over the last several years the Cedar Creek reenactment has evolved into what many in the reenacting community have deemed an event peopled with re-enactors who have little interest in authentic representations of soldiers and civilians of the period. Those committed to authenticity have stopped attending. But this, in my humble opinion, is wrong.

Those of us who are committed to historic preservation & authenticity have a responsibility to participate and educate those who are less dedicated or less advanced in an impression.  And it is even more critical when there is a non-profit organization with the focus on historic preservation to assist with that mission. That may mean that living historians make the decision to put the need for battlefield preservation ahead of an abhorrence of a mainstream environment.  But if the ultimate goal is to preserve our heritage, we must all pull together. And what better opportunity than the upcoming 150th commemoration? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Friendly Reminder~ Leggings Are Not Pants!

A Friendly Reminder~ Leggings Are Not Pants!

Stacy & Clinton are retiring their wit and wisdom; as such, it is up to those who love fashion and have a sense of decorum (no matter how limited it may be) to remind those fashion-challenged persons of a few simple rules.

Since autumn is upon us, it is now time for that friendly reminder to the women of the world. Please repeat after me: “Leggings are not pants!” Again! Let me hear a chant! Leggings are not pants!

I know. Leggings are “comfortable”.  I LOVE leggings – particularly the wonderful Zella leggings one can find at Nordstrom. I wear them under tunics, skirts, short dresses, and to yoga. Zella leggings are durable, comfortable, and versatile. And, there is no reason one cannot run an errand or have a quick drink after a workout while still wearing one’s workout clothes. In fact, if all women were as gorgeously fit and tasteful as my yoga instructor, Jill, this would not be an issue.

But, alas, not all leggings (or legs) are equal. It is unfair to the general public to subject the world at large to what many individuals exhibit in their personal striving for comfort.  Unless you are heading to or from a work out, your pelvic area should not be exposed by relatively thin, sometimes see through, underwear or worse revealing, tights-quality, leggings. I work in insurance claims and have seen victims of catastrophic accidents that are far less disturbing than an unfit woman sporting pastel colored tights / leggings with visible bright red or polka dot or leopard print undies with a tank top ( or…a thong!)

Again, I love my leggings. And it matters not if you wear them with nary an accessory but pearls while you are at home. But, please be considerate of others.

Note to Anita: I have not indulged in wine yet!



Words of Wisdom!