Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh no, O!

Being back in Canada for me means clothes shopping - since I don't exactly conform to the Korean ideal shape (or the North American one, but here I'm not quite so far off, I guess). Which also means lots of lovely afternoons drinking coffee and reading magazines in Indigo for free. I should start being a little more discriminating, perhaps, because I read O Magazine and I wasn't impressed.

July's issue is all about losing your inhibitions. All the women are writing about accepting and appreciating your body: "If you feel self-conscious without clothes, let a smile be your sarong" writes Amy Bloom. So why is Oprah letting Adam Glassman convey the exact opposite in his column?

Adam starts out by answering the question Is it worse to dress too boringly or too young?" His fabulous answer, that encourages love of differing body types and losing inhibitions?
It's off-putting to see a short, body-flaunting dress on a woman with an older face, even if she has a good shape...This season everything on the runway was very short, even landing at midthigh. Ignore this. A long, gauzy skirt is sexier.
First off, women should wear whatever they want. If we shouldn't call Buffy a slut for wearing revealing clothing (and we shouldn't), then we shouldn't tell older women that their bodies have to be hidden either.

Later in the article he tells us that his first law of summer is "nobody should go sleveless unless her arms are in good shape." Fantastic! So, if you don't look like a movie star, feel free to overheat this summer, while keeping those unsightly arms out of the public gaze. He tells us that elbows are "another body part I don't like to see flaunted unless it's smooth and well cared for." And since I browsed the website for links, I've additionally learned that my nude toenails are quite the affront to fashion.

So in the same episode that celebrates Sarah Jessica Parker's new line of clothing, which includes advertisements that use older models and comes in sizes 2-22, we have good, old Adam suggesting that these women be careful! After all, if Adam and other young, heterosexual males aren't going to be impressed with your body, maybe you should just keep it under wraps. Preferably long, gauzy wraps. Sarah Jessica Parker says that: "There are no laws about how to dress. Show your confidence and take some chances." Adam would presumably prefer to agree to disagree on that one.

O Magazine has those little pull out cards with quotes. Being one of those types who has several books full of quotes I have liked over the years written down, I'm usually a fan. This month she instructs us to:
"Place these inhibition-dissolving cards in your lingerie drawer, on a mirror, or by your bedside, as reminders to tune in, turn out, and set yourself wildly, transformingly free."
But the same magazines states that Speedos on a man should be illegal and when talking about nude beaches questions "why is it that the bodies we don't want to see naked are always the ones parading around?" Mixed messages, much?

What were you thinking Oprah?

I couldn't find all the quotes online. Adam Says was on page 92 of the July issue of O and the comment about nude beaches was on page 43.

2 Comments:

Blogger antijen said...

That kind of mixed message is endemic with women's magazines, and is the main reason that I've stopped buying them (though I will read them for free if stuck waiting in line or at a doctor's office). The fact that O tries to be "empowering" makes the reactionary messages more offensive than a similar message in, say, Cosmopolitan. With friends like these...

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Trudi said...

Oprah should suggest women love themselves... As We Are (nice plug, eh?)


http://www.aswearemagazine.com

4:46 AM  

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