Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Reading: November 7, 2014

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1) Last week, we talked about a video that documented street harassment in New York City.  Jezebel has a follow-up that points out some of the videos failings, like editing out the white male harassers and the women of color who were also harassed.

2) Now that I own a car, I don’t need to be as concerned with finding shoes I can walk long distances in.  So I hit the Nordstrom sale and picked up these gorgeous navy Joe’s heels for $71.  They also come in brown or black.

3) According to The Cut, the Kardashians are reviving the corset.  After reading the article, I wonder why anyone would give up the ability to breathe freely for a waist that looks smaller.

4) Feeling nostalgic about your film camera? The Fujifilm printer allows you to print Polaroid-like photos from your iPhone.  Want the real Polaroid Impossible Project Instaprinter? It’s a bit cheaper and available on Amazon.

5) I have a confession to make: I watch way too much TV. Luckily, Real Simple has a list of 13 productive things to do while watching television.

6) A few readers asked for my thoughts on The Limited’s Scandal-inspired clothing line.  While it’s underwhelming, mostly due to the hype, there are several lovely pieces that I wouldn’t mind owning.

I adore this belted coat with an extra-wide lapel.  If you’re looking for blazers, this collarless, peplum blazer and this belted, tweed jacket.  These wide leg trousers have a slightly slimming tab front.  And this gorgeous ivory, cuff-shoulder sweater is definitely worth a look.

7) Pap smears are one of the least fun things on the planet, but they could save your life.  Elle.com covers why the CDC is telling women to stop making excuses and go in for a cervical cancer screening.

8) All kinds of gift-set goodness is making its way to Sephora for the holidays.  I love this Chubby Colour Lip Set from Clinique.  The Sephora Superstars set always makes a great gift.  And if you’ve ever wanted to give SKII’s products a try, this set offers three of their best at a discount.

9) A master counterfeiter made nearly $200 million worth of flawless counterfeit bills and got away with it.  GQ can always be counted on for a good caper.

10) This Fern Living blanket with a geometric black-and-white pattern is so gorgeous that I have to remind myself that I’m done decorating.

11) A marketing firm had an idea for an experiment: Photograph a teenage boy who had a Bieber/One Direction look about, post the photo on social media, watch results.  And the frenzy that is #AlexfromTarget was born.  Now, an unsuspecting kid belongs to the Interwebs.

12) Come to my house on any lazy Sunday and I’ll be wearing my favorite $15 Everlane tee.  I recently picked up their Boyfriend sweatshirt, and it is so cozy.  I’ve also been eyeing this short, casual trench.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    27 comments

  1. Christine says:

    RE: #12, the original source of the Alex from Target photo is TBD. It’s not confirmed to be a marketing firm’s experiment, yet.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
  2. KC says:

    I am one of the 8 million who has not had a Pap smear in the past 5 years. I’m not a medical professional, but all the hype about Pap smears drives me nuts. The CDC cites 4,000 women dying from cervical cancer every year. There are about 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer each year as well. Cancer is always very serious and I don’t in any way desire to marginalize anyone who has to deal with any type of cancer. But when you consider there are over 160 million women in the United States, and that most other forms of cancer are more common and are not recommended for specific invasive testing every year/3-years/5-years (stomach cancer, colon cancer, liver & bile duct cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer, among others), I can’t figure out why everyone is so obsessed with Pap smears. https://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-036845.pdf

    Pap smears false negative rates of 25-40% and false positive rates of 1-10%, there are actually more false positive test results than there are actual cancer cases.

    For me, I’m willing to take the small risk that I have undetected cancer than go through the hassle of an invasive and largely inaccurate test every year/3-years for a very rare disease.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
    • Allison says:

      I understand that cervical cancer is not very common, is not one of the most threatening types of cancer, and the tests aren’t always accurate. But being so flippant with the access to care that we have as American women, and with the fact that medical advancements have come far along enough that we can detect cancer is not something I can even begin to agree with. Just saying, ” I don’t in any way desire to marginalize anyone who has to deal with any type of cancer” doesn’t mean that you aren’t. By not seeing the ‘big deal’ of getting screened for a type of cancer because it’s unlikely and not 100% accurate is a slap in the face to cancer sufferers. You have access to this healthcare, and you aren’t going to get screened because it’s unlikely and it’s uncomfortable? I just can’t relate in the slightest. Of course it’s your body though, I do respect your right to chose what you do and don’t do with it.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
      • Anna says:

        This is also a very simple test. Unless it causes you an an inordinate amount of pain, why not? Considering it gets done as part of a regular check-up, it’s even less inconvenient than a mammogram. And because it’s preventative care, it should be free.

        November 7, 2014/Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      Cervical cancer is “very rare” in the US because of the availability of Pap smears and ability to treat pre-cancerous lesions quickly. As far as cancer screenings go, it’s relatively non-invasive. As someone who had a cervical cancer scare and was really grateful my yearly test found it, I felt the need to point this out.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
    • Jan says:

      KC, I held the hand of my best friend and watched her take her last breath when she died of cervical cancer. It’s nothing to take lightly. I bet you’d be willing to “take the small risk” if you witnessed it. . . Why not have a simple test? A false positive isn’t the end of the world, but cervical cancer can be. Grow up and take responsibility for your health, and yes you’re marginalizing a very serious issue. It’s not as rare as you think.

      November 8, 2014/Reply
  3. S says:

    Re: #3 – Seriously not trying to be snarky here, but Belle – perhaps for the same reason(s?) you used to wear two pair of Spanx at the same time?

    Society and the media put an enormous amount of pressure on women to look a certain way and women go to extreme lengths to be sure they look “that” way.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I wore two pairs of Spanx so I could button my clothes not to look thinner. Now I wear Spanx to cover panty line. Also, Spanx don’t seriously restrict my ability to breathe or move. A corset is a bridge too far.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
      • S says:

        Right – you’ve blogged about how you didn’t want to give in and buy the next larger size. So, by wearing two pair of Spanx you slimmed your figure enough to fit into the clothes you owned. Whatever the motivation is, it still comes down to being/looking thinner. And you have also mentioned in prior posts that it was uncomfortable to wear two pair of Spanx. A corset, two pair of Spanx – some may say that they’re both a bridge too far.

        Your question about “Why would someone do this?” is a little disingenuous.

        November 7, 2014/Reply
        • Belle says:

          Did you read the article? The only thing the author talks about is how her waist “looked” thinner. How people commented on how tiny it looked. I was just avoiding having to buy new clothes that I couldn’t afford, I didn’t care if I looked thinner. I don’t see it as being the same thing, because again, I also wasn’t inhibiting my ability breathe or move.

          November 7, 2014/Reply
          • S says:

            Yes Belle, I read the article.

            And no Belle, you were not ONLY just avoiding buying clothes you couldn’t afford. Unless this was a lie: https://www.caphillstyle.com/capitol/2010/01/08/a-frank-conversation-about-clothing-size-and-body-image-html.html “But instead of buying a bigger size, I wedged myself into two pairs of Spanx every day to make those trousers button.

            I did this for almost two years. And every day by six o’clock, I was miserable, counting the moments until I would be free of my spandex cocoon.”

            Whether you were inhibiting your ability to move or not, you were still “miserable”.

            And yes, I did go and look that up (I’ve been reading since ’08) because frankly it’s a little ridiculous for you to act high and mighty about someone wearing a corset (and no, I don’t wear one) when you have worn TWO pairs of Spanx AT THE SAME TIME for reasons much more than simply not being able to afford new ones. It’s just the principle of it. Don’t insult those of us that have been reading for years by acting like you have never wanted to appear thinner and have never taken steps to do so – WHATEVER the motivation.

            November 7, 2014/Reply
    • L says:

      S –
      If you’re not trying to be snarky, then why make the comment and then go to great lengths (below) to call Belle out and put her down? I did not see anything about her wondering why anyone would use a corset that damages your internal organs as being “all high and mighty,” or “disingenuous.” I do believe the preface “I’m not trying to be snarky” was disingenuous because as your later comments revealed, you were being sharply critical and cutting.

      Further, I hope that 6 years from now I won’t have someone throwing everything I say today in my face as inconsistent with what I may be thinking or saying then. Belle is a blogger, sharing her thoughts and vulnerabilities with you and the internet, but I’m sure people like you might make her and other bloggers think twice lest you decide to police them. Belle’s post from 2008 was inspiring and honest and I hope your needless vitriol does not give her pause about posting something similar in the future.

      You have a choice to read this blog or not. I think Belle graciously accepts criticism and feedback, but your comment was neither helpful nor constructive. If you feel the need to be nasty, stop reading the blog.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
      • S says:

        L, I wasn’t being nasty. In my first comment I was simply trying to point out to Belle that perhaps someone might wear a corset for the same reasons she used to wear two pair of Spanx – body image issues. I was truly not trying to be snarky. I was trying to help her see why someone would wear a corset. Perhaps I could have worded it better. Emotions doesn’t always translate well in words on the internet.

        Belle chose to lie (twice) about why she wore two pairs of Spanx, after my initial comment. I called her out on it.

        I’m not saying you can’t change your mind about something. If Belle chooses to wear two pair of Spanx starting tomorrow because she can’t afford new clothes, that’s fine. But in her 2010 post it was abundantly clear that she wore 2 pairs of Spanx because of body image issues. And there’s no shame in that. I remembered that post because it was very powerful. There’s a huge difference between changing your mind about something, and lying about something you said before. For example, Belle recently posted about how she favored some new device over the Clarisonic. That’s cool. Turning around in a few years and saying she never liked the Clarisonic? That would not be cool.

        Also L, if you have a blog for years and have loyal long term readers – they’re going to notice inconsistencies, and they’re going to know when they’re lied to.

        November 7, 2014/Reply
        • E says:

          What I liked about Belle’s original post was the frank discussion of how easy it is to be hung up on a particular clothing tag size, rather than the fit of the garment. There’s no disconnect there with Belle’s comments above about wanting to fit into too-small clothes. It doesn’t have to be about looking thinner, or even being thinner, if your mentality is “I’m a size 2 because that’s what size these pants are.” And again, the article isn’t about corsets as foundation garments; it’s about corsets as body modification tools.

          This doesn’t make Belle a liar, nor unsympathetic to body image issues. I like Belle’s writing, particularly on body image, because it tends to be insightful and nuanced; I take issue with your comments because they’re neither.

          And since it seems to matter, I’m also a long-time reader.

          November 8, 2014/Reply
    • GoGoGo says:

      I was in a fabric store once that was a hub for hobbyists who make corsets. It had a mini-museum to the corset throughout history on the wall. The display ended with a final card made a huge impression on me, and it essentially said this:

      _Throughout history, women have gone through great lengths in order to appear, particularly on special occasions and fancy events, to have a torso that is slightly smaller at one point in the middle than it is in the hip and bust areas. This is fairly arbitrary physical aesthetic effect to prioritize, yet one that has persisted in popularity for many generations in western culture.

      In the past few decades, however, expectations have changed for women. The expectation is no longer that women should wear a confining garment to create this particular aesthetic effect. *The expectation is now that women should shape their lives, the food they enjoy, and the kinds of recreation they pursue with their limited free time in order to achieve this specific aesthetic affect in their actual physical forms.* The premium put on the hourglass figure hasn’t changed. What is relatively new is that women are actually expected to train their physical waists to do something “naturally” that it is not naturally inclined to do, through limiting their intake at meals and through devoting many hours a week to exercise activities that they likely wouldn’t otherwise pursue. It is now expected that this difference in waist and hip size should be significant enough that it can be perceived in modern, extremely form-fitting clothing, without the help of bustles and bulky skirts and aprons and layers and, yes, corsets. This is a radical expectation, historically speaking._

      I’m paraphrasing. Wish I could find that actual text. Point being, Spanx and corsets are on a sliding scale of weird, but so is the spinning class that the author writes about, for example, and so are lots of other things that are discussed on this blog and taken for granted as standard behavior. It’s all pretty radical and weird if you think about it enough. Just worth keeping in mind.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
    • E says:

      This is like saying that anyone who has counted calories has no right to pass judgment on the cabbage soup diet. Spanx can be uncomfortable, but they’re essentially spandex. Corsets are made of much stiffer fabric and reinforced with boning.

      But moreover – the article is specifically about wearing corsets for “waist training,” not just to temporarily look thinner. My understanding (not having tried it nor intending to) is that waist training amounts to rearranging one’s internal organs to make that “thinner” waist semi-permanent, hence the 4-6 hour per day recommendation and the advice to sleep/workout in a corset. It’s not so you look thin while you sleep, it’s so your organs get used to residing elsewhere in your body.

      TL;DR: one amounts to body modification and the other does not.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
  4. Addie says:

    I don’t understand the new recommendation that pap smears are only necessary every 3 or 5 years. Sure the risk of cervical cancer may be small but a lot can change in 3 or more years. And you’re still supposed to get a physical exam every year so why not just do a quick Pap smear while you’re already undressed and on the table.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I don’t either. I go every year. Long, ugly history of cancer in my family.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
    • RG says:

      Well, it’s probably based on the fact that, according the NIH’s Cancer Institute, it can take 10-20 years for an HPV infection to develop into cancer. So, screening every 3-5 years would detect an infection, at which point you would know to get tested more often in order to monitor the progression.

      https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/Pap-HPV-testing

      And I would think, only having to test 50 million tests a year (assuming 150 million women in the US in the appropriate age range, with a third every year) would put a lower strain on resources than 150 million tests per year. The resources saved by not doing 100 million tests per year can then be funneled into some else useful.

      November 8, 2014/Reply
  5. Gabby says:

    There’s a great little tarte lipsurgence gift set at Sephora that I bought myself that I’d definitely recommend to anyone that’s wanted to try out the line. They’re my favorite lip products because they’re so hard to mess up (and generally pretty subtle).

    November 7, 2014/Reply
  6. Kate says:

    Ah ha, so that Hollaback video wasn’t telling the whole story. I’m glad someone called them out on it in a public way—but, uhm, do they really need to make another video shaming a completely different segment of the male population? I think we get the point. That money would be so much better off going to a domestic violence charity or women’s shelter or just about anything else.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
  7. MP says:

    I’ve never heard of Everlane, but the prices look great. Any sizing tips? Tops run small, etc?

    November 7, 2014/Reply
    • YouSaucyMinx says:

      I’ve found they’re very true to size, and made in the US!

      November 7, 2014/Reply
  8. YouSaucyMinx says:

    It scares me that the Kardashians are still news. I was CONVINCED years ago they would fade away like Paris, but they just keep coming. It amazes me.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Oh, I know. I keep hoping they’ll go the way of Paris Hilton, but no such luck.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
  9. CO says:

    Just picked up two pieces today from The Limited’s Scandal collection: the gray peplum jacket and white and black print skirt. The quality of both pieces in terms of material (including lining) and cut are better than the typical Limited line.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
  10. Sonja says:

    Thank you soooooooooooo much for posting the Jezebel video, as a woman of color I really appreciate this and can identify with most things that are said in the video

    November 8, 2014/Reply