soap box

curves not welcome

I was casually perusing blog-land tonight when I came across a photo of this little gal.  She is a model for the current J.Crew season.

erez-1 I passed her by without much thought, but a few blogs later she was still in my head.  I decided to look again, but I couldn’t remember whose blog it was so I went straight to the source.  As I searched for her, I realized that I was getting angry and that’s why she was still in my head.

I was annoyed at her lack of curves and youth, but not jealous mind you.  Soon my annoyance turned to anger.  But my vitriol was redirected to the appropriate source: J. Crew for the moment.  Just who the hell do they think they are trying to sell me, a 31 year old woman (with curves), a lifestyle that this young girl can’t possibly know anything about.  It was as absurd to me as a 10 year old wearing high heels and lipstick.  Basically the message you’re sending me is that if (one) I buy this outfit I can be a 14-year-old-prepubescent-girl-with-the-bank-account-of-beyonce.  And (two) if I don’t look like her then I am not worthy of praise and adoration.  A bit extreme maybe, but not far from the mark I’m afraid.

erezYes, I know this is not a new idea.  There are whole blogs devoted to the topic, but it really irked me tonight.  The usual lure of clean lines, soothing colors, and safe photos were lost on me.   I looked beyond the shine.

On the casting choice of this young girl, I understand that the reason we hold these models in such high esteem is that, yes, very few people are blessed with the combination of such beautiful bone structure, height, and protruding hip bones.  However, this look is attainable…for a 14 or year old.  I would even cut retailers a little slack if they would God-forbid cast a model that is over 25 (and NOT Gisele, Cindy, or the like). Why not actually cast someone in your target audience (maybe I’m the idiot and they are targeting 15 year olds… with $300 t-shirts I’m sure they are.)

I’m not advocating having the every jane-frumpy-person on the cover of a magazine.  Oh believe me, I don’t want to look at ugly!  But I wouldn’t mind looking at someone slightly authentic… ok fine.  I’ll say it, someone over 20 with boobs!  I’m not wanting to get on the bandwagon of the whole “plus size” model that has recently been in the news.  (But good for her if she is healthy)  I just want to see a woman that is around a size 8 with curves (someone that is not a glamazon and 10 feet tall).  So maybe I’m a little biased because I’m a size 8 and I have boobs, big ones that combined with my short torso continually make me look “thick in the middle”.  But people pa-leaze… how long are we going to tolerate this?  I like being in my 30s.  I have no desire to be an adolescent again…nor look like one.  A few less wrinkles, an easier time toning my muscles, sure; but I like my boobs.  I just don’t want to be made to feel bad for having them.

ok.  rant over.  it’s just another fabulous reason to boycott the box-stores.

Mac: The New Man?

Do you remember those days when Mac not only set themselves apart by offering a higher caliber product, but also on quirky customer service? They were young, hip, and here to help you stick-it-to-the-man. It’s too bad that it seems that they have given way to the bottom dollar and turned into ‘the man’. My issue is not with the products they offer; it’s hard to disagree that Mac offers not only a more user-friendly product but also puts it in a visually stimulating package.

But what I don’t understand is that the once charismatic personality attached with Mac has become nothing more than the homogeneous voice of a bland and unhelpful phone tree. Why in God’s name is it so difficult to get an actual, live person to talk to you? And then when someone does finally answer, he/she wants to try to filter your issue, assign a case number and then politely say, “It’ll be just a few minutes.” As your hope builds that you might actually get to talk to someone who will be able to answer your seemingly basic question, you begin to pace. Your pacing turns to doubt as you check your phone and see that the 15 minutes they suggested you would be on hold has past. At this point you don’t know why you keep listening to the ‘hold-music’ designed to keep you interested and patient, but you can’t imagine the thought of having to start over again. Finally after 41 minutes and 04 seconds the phone goes dead, but not from your end, from theirs. Oh…the rage…the rage rises to the top.

I remember the day 3 1/2 years ago my husband and I decided to become a Mac family. As we talked to Joey, our helpful and enthusiastic Mac associate, she assured us the our Powerbook G4 would be more than we would need for at least the next 5 years. Maybe I was just starry-eyed from all the white and clean lines in the store, but slap sucker across my forehead because boy was she wrong. Little did I know that corporate Mac was lying dormant for only a short while longer.

It started with the iSight camera. Yes, we probably should have gotten one when they were available but we were new to all this…as were our friends and family. And here is the perfect example of how Mac no longer had the customer in mind, but rather the bottom line. The iSight camera was pulled off all shelves December 16, 2006, the day they unveiled the new computers with a built in camera. What?! I guess it makes perfect business sense, but really? And thus began a series of products that would wow and inspire when introduced, but are shortly replaced and seemingly obsolete. How many iPods and generations of iPods are out there that you can no longer get cases or plugs, etc. from the source, much less even produced? And of course it goes without saying that the ultimate slap in the face was with the iPhone. Another example is one of my personal issues. The new OS X requires you to have purchased OS 10.4 to run the new OS 10.5. However, I made the conscious decision to wait until 10.5 came out so as to save money, but what was I thinking? Of course I’m going to have to pay for an upgrade just to use the upgrade I really want (and already paid for). I feel like my parents did when I brought home a grade less than what they thought was my best. I’m not angry, just really disappointed. I wanted the whole package.

I guess Mr. Jobs is fortunate that the competition is so far behind or else I might have to reconsider my loyalties. But alas, I am sucked into the bright, shiny world of Apple. Hopefully my ‘Genius’ meeting tomorrow will lift my spirits and change my outlook.