Showing posts from June, 2016

A Vintage Perspective on "Body Positivity" and Body Acceptance

Shown are Google image results for body positivity.
Why does the current "body positivity" movement appear to be mostly focused on younger women, often posing closely together, in their undergarments? Do you have to be under 35 to feel good about your body? Is it possible to be modest yet love your body, or do you have to strip down and showcase yourself online and off to prove that you feel good about what your body looks like? 
Those are some questions that I think are fair to ask if you simply figure the ubiquitous imagery of scantily clad young women as representative about what "body positivity" means. It all started with Dove's campaign for "real women" which I detailed in my book. The difference between then and now that it's no longer acceptable, thankfully, to use the inherently offensive term "real woman" which heavily implies that there is such a thing as a fake woman based upon the her body shape and weight.
It wasn't unt…

Full circle vinyl / Perfect vinyl album storage cubes / Inspirational weight-loss update from a long-term blog reader

Last week I wrote about my vinyl adventures and how I arrived at a yard sale early but too late to get some of the albums I've been coveting, specifically the soundtrack to Woodstock and Crosby, Stills & Nash. This past Saturday I found a few non-vinyl treasures while out picking, some of which I posted to my Instagram. Once I had hit all of the yard sales on my list I headed home around 10:00 a.m. (I leave my house before 6:30 a.m.) but saw signs and stopped at an unadvertised yard sale, just like I had last week where I scored the psychedelic record box filled with magic. When I say "unadvertised" I mean that it wasn't listed online or in the paper. I asked the lady having the sale if she had any albums.
"I didn't bring any out."
"But they're in your basement?"
"Yes, I have lots of records in there. What are you looking for?"
"Classic rock..."
"Oh I've got tons of that. I can ask my neighbor to watch my …

Vinyl Drama

In 2013 I did a post about my Zeitgeist Music Machines. Since then I've done a little streamlining in my living room and purchased a new combination turntable, cassette player and radio that now sits atop my 8 track player. The sound is average, there's no bass or tone control but it wasn't very expensive and is a placeholder until I can find the perfect vintage stereo system at a yard sale.
This past weekend I had quite the vinyl adventure. I realllly want every original Beatles album along with classic rock which I mentioned in my earlier post but so does everyone else which makes for very competitive searching. But I wasn't prepared for what happened this past Saturday morning. (Two weeks ago I arrived at a yard sale too late and by that I mean I was 30 minutes early and she had already "practically given away" all of her Beatles albums.) I pulled up to the garage sale 20 minutes before start time and saw a man pawing through the album bin. I sized him up…

I can finally shelf the search!

The above photo is of the shelves in my home in the 1960s. I love everything about this (well, except the booze but the bottles do look elegant)! The albums, the radio, the wood grain speakers but most of all, two things: The statuesque black woman playing a small string instrument, and the incense burner where my mother burned a lot of sandalwood incense cones while playing the vinyl shown, especially The Beatles
I had a tumultuous childhood which resulted in my having to live with and manage some very negative triggers throughout my life. Over the years I've learned to offset and/or overpower them with positive associations. For whatever reason the memories of those two objects always helped me relax. The power of positive association is very strong, just like the power of negative triggers can affect some of us in a deeply destructive way. My goal is to always surround myself with as much positivity as possible and practical.
A few weeks ago at the flea market I saw the exa…

What a 1960s shift dress can teach us about the growing movement with "vanity sizing."

I've written about vanity sizing in my book and also in my blog:
000 and Vanity Sizing
Zero Tolerance for Vanity Sizing

To streamline this post I'm going to repost two earlier vanity sizing graphics I created before I share the newest one with you:

The above two show the vast jump in sizing metrics between the 1950s and today. Now you can fill in some of that gap with sizing from the 1960s and 70s, but even better, I've pictured two sizing charts from the same manufacturer (which isn't always available) unlike the previous comparisons.

The Butterick shift dress patterns on the left are from the 1960s and the bridal dress patterns on the right are from the 1970s. No date is printed on either so I'm making an educated guess based upon the clothing and hair styles.

Shown are the backsides of each, the 1960s on the left, the 70s on the right.
Look at the differences in such a short period of time! Also notice they did away with a size 18 and introduced a size 8.

My take…

"What A Way To Lose 110 LBS!" By Mama Cass Elliot, 1969

"I've invented a fabulous new diet. It costs only $2,000 for each pound you lose. It also weakens your natural resistance to disease. I can't guarantee it, but the Mama Cass Diet can give you acute tonsillitis, hemorrhaging vocal cords, mononucleosis and a dangerous case of hepatitis. At least that's what it did for me. I lost my health--and more than a quarter of a million dollars in earnings as a singer."

Mama Cass was both sassy and painfully candid in her talks about her unhealthy approach to weight loss in this 1969 article from March issue of The Ladies Home Journal. She could have chosen to keep her health problems a guarded secret, but obviously she chose authenticity. She admitted that she didn't consult a doctor about her drastic approach to weight loss because she knew starving herself "was wrong" and she "was in a hurry to weigh 110 pounds." 
I always have many eyeball rolls to give to the mid-century magazine reducing d…