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the eating disorder incubator

a friend of mine in the design field invited me to an event the other night, a benefit for the toronto fashion incubator. aside from the fact that these sorts of things appeal to that part of me which has managed to stuff two closets so full of clothing that there is imminent danger of an explosion, this particular event offered as many free samples of wine as you could stuff in your face. hmmm... clothing and free alcohol... i'm in.

now, i'm not normally intimate with "fashion" circles, although i'm aware of their existence, so this was pretty much the first time i got to observe the machinations of this world up close. and guess what? it's exactly what you'd expect. while not petite, i'm not what you'd call a heavyweight. in that room, i was something straight out of moby dick- the great white whale. everyone, men and women, looked remarkably like ambulatory clothes-hangers. most of them, including those well taller than me, were likely under a hundred pounds, their elbows and knees the widest parts of their arms and legs, respectively.

this is hardly shocking stuff, of course. it's already been months since spain decided to ban underweight models from its runways and it seems like the debate resurfaces on a regular basis. but it does seem all the more bizarre when you see these people en masse, walking with baleful eyes around a room filled with appetizers.

thing is, this grand idea of "beauty" that is passed down seems to have become utterly divorced from what is considered "attractive". it's not universal, but most people i know find at least a bit of flesh (without going to extremes...) desirable. in point of fact, the most attractive person i saw during the evening was a dita look-alike in an emerald green corset and hobble skirt, curvy lines everywhere. most of the people there seemed so exquisitely starved that, while perfectly groomed, you felt like to touch them would be to harm them somehow. i guess that that sort of remote poise might be beauty, but it isn't sexy. sexy, after all, is based entirely on the desire and the ability to touch. it couldn't be any other way.

so, i knocked back the wine samples (the viognier was the only really nice one), made a point of eating only when really hungry-looking people were about and called it an evening. some things you just aren't going to figure out, so you might as well enjoy yourself.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…