Unretouched: Jezebel on the Airbrushing of Faith Hill
I know that airbrushing happens. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to keep that in mind when I’m standing in the checkout line, staring at the covers of the women’s magazines and thinking, “Isn’t she, like, at least as old as me? Why doesn’t she have any crows’ feet? She doesn’t have back-flab pudging out over the top of her strapless dress, either. And look at those arms! They’re the arms of an undernourished adolescent. Jesus, I am such a fat, fucking hag.” That’s why Jezebel’s analysis of the July cover of Redbook is so awesomely valuable. I realize that this has already been all over the Internets—and even the TV—but I really consider it a public service to make sure every media-consuming woman in America sees it. So, here’s the original post, here’s a helpfully annotated version of the un-retouched photo, and here’s the Today Show segment with the adorably naïve title, “Are Magazine Covers for Real?”
Your Good Deed for the Day: Save the Supreme Court
So, here I was, just sitting here waiting for Rehnquist to resign and for O’Connor to become the next Chief Justice, when the lady up and quits herself. Given that her boss is, indeed, expected to drop any day now, that means that young Master Bush will be placing two—yes, two—new judges on the Supreme Court.
I would like to take a moment to point out that, when I was trying to dissuade friends from voting for Nader—remember him?—I predicted that this would almost certainly come to pass.
Even though justices are appointed, not elected, we can all play a role in determining the new shape of the Supreme Court. Luckily, with the Interweb, taking an active role in your government is easier than ever! Get informed: With just one click over to Planned Parenthood’s Court Watch page, you can get the lowdown on potential nominees and learn how to make your voice heard. If you’re particularly worried about what W’s appointees might do to reproductive choice, you can join the Save Roe team right now.
Your Good Deed for the Day
The March issue of InStyle is on the stands. Queen Latifah—her usual resplendent self in an ivory Zac Posen dress and lavish-but-understated bling—is on the cover. You should buy it.
I’m not suggesting that you buy it because I think InStyle is a great magazine. Indeed, I almost never buy it myself—or even flip through it while I’m in line at the grocery store (that’s what Star is for). While I adore celebrity gossip, fawning puffery makes me feel a bit unwell. And the fashion is totally half-assed. It’s like Glamour and Real Simple and People mashed together, and I say, “Ick.” No, I am suggesting that you buy this issue because there is a black woman on the cover, and newsstand sales of mainstream women’s magazines generally tank when there is a black woman on the cover.
Personally, I am more likely to buy a magazine with Queen Latifah on the cover than one featuring, say, the newly-emaciated and heinously over-Botoxed Nicole Kidman, as my sense of full-figured-and-naturally-gorgeous solidarity transcends my attachment to racial identity (believe you me, if I could reasonably and conscionably claim to be anything other than perfectly white, I would). Nevertheless, it’s a fact: whenever a fashion or lifestyle mag puts an African-American woman—no matter how famous or how beautiful—their bottom line takes a serious hit. The deleterious effect is similar with other women of color. Thus, women with skin other than lily-white or aerosol-tanned become cover models only through a sort of affirmative-fashion program.
The only way to change this unfortunate state of affairs, the only way to create a newsstand that reflects our diversity, is through economic action. So, grab a copy of InStyle: read the article on Queen Latifah, ignore the piece on ways to update a classic string of pearls (the only way to credibly wear a string of pearls is as a string of pearls), and try to pretend that you didn’t just see Jennifer Love “Why Am I Still Famous?” Hewitt.
Your Good Deed for the Day
Writer, reader, and Baltimore resident Old Hag has posted a plea for donations to support The Book Thing, an organization that collects unwanted books and redistributes them to needy readers. This seems like a worthy activity to me, so I just gave them a little bit of green myself. If you would like to do the same, you may donate online via Network for Good. If you’d like more information about The Book Thing, visit their earnestly lo-fi website.