Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Preventing Sexual Assault Begins by Educating Men

 I’ve heard some appalling statistics about sexual assault out there:

  • 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in college.
  • 44% of victims are under the age of 18 and 80% under 30
  • 54% of sexual assaults are never reported to police
  • 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail

To Prevent Sexual Assault, Educate Men

Countless resources reach out to women about sexual assault: steps to prevent getting sexually assaulted, how do defend yourself if being sexually assaulted, where to go for help if you have been sexually assaulted, there are even apps for your phone to call for help. These are great and all, but they ignore the real issue. The problem with sexual assault isn’t the women, it’s the men who are doing the assaulting. I’m speaking very generally here for there are indeed women who sexually assault, and men who are victims of assault; but 99% of cases are from men against women.

Most women who are sexually assaulted think it is their fault for some reason, and society completely cuts men out of the equation when dealing on the subject of sexual abuse. In a way, it’s almost like society waves the issue as if men will be men and there’s nothing we can do to change their inherent nature to sexually assault women. Society treats it like taking preventative measures against a natural disaster. But it’s not natural.

All men were once boys. Innocent children with wide eyes. They weren’t born with an inherent desire to rape and assault women, so where did the idea come from? Multiple factors in society nurture and shape our boys into men. A paper by Alan D. Berkowitz points out how men struggle with their own masculinity and identity and the tendency to devalue and objectify women is a direct result of them trying to fit into their psychological idea of virility.

Berkowitz argues that the way to truly approach rape prevention is by addressing men, not just women. He also believes reaching out to men will not be as hard as it might seem, for men suffer extreme gender role conflicts to fit into their perceived masculine ideal. Encouraging men to open up about their discomfort of fitting into this ideal could potentially be the key to major preventative measures. However, he stresses that men who have a history of sexual assault need more intense medical and judicial measures.

Gang Rape Amongst Groups of Young Men

The Steubenville Rape Case hit the media last August and opened up the nation’s eyes to a subject that’s normally swept under the rug. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. A high school football team gang raped a team member’s ex-girlfriend while she lay unconscious, and shared pictures and photos bragging about the event on social media sites. There are a lot of other factors that made the event even more horrific and significant, but what terrifies me the most is that this team was self-proclaimed as the “Rape Crew” having had a history of doing this sort of this in the past.

It terrifies me that it was a sports team full of testosterone-filled boys trying to prove their masculinity to the others by defiling a young girl.

  • 55% of gang rape occurs by fraternities
  • 40% by sports teams
  • 5% by other groups

You can’t deny that there is a correlation here. Fraternities and sports teams are groups where boys fraternize as a way to develop friendships as well as learn how to grow up as men together. Generally, society frowns upon men getting in touch with their feelings and opening up with their emotions. This is considered feminine and, in society’s eyes, a negative. Instead, they are forced to prove their manliness by keeping emotions inside and prove they are big, strong, and dominant in comparison to the rest. Sports teams and fraternities are particular outlets where boys can get in touch with their primitive cave men roots; and if they have any qualms about what they do in their groups, they smother them in fear of appearing weak. It’s honestly a confusing situation for men. Women are more fortunate to live in a society that approves of them sharing emotions and inner thoughts.

What Now?

As a society, we need to teach our men that they can be masculine without objectifying women, and give them freedom to express their emotions without feeling weak or scrutinized for it. Not only will this ultimately reduce the amount of sexual assaults, but create healthier and more mentally stable men.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Theory on Why Men are Attracted to Breasts

Marilyn Monroe's Famous Playboy Cover Photo
Have you ever wondered why straight men are attracted to women's breasts? This Live Science article looks delves into some fascinating theories that actually prove it's more about the women's pleasure than the man's.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why Game of Thrones Appeals to Women

When reading Game of Thrones, one might initially think that with all the swords, blood, and sex that it’s a fantasy series for men. Some have even described it as being a “male trashy romance novel”.

Why is it then, that more than half of George R.R. Martin’s fans are women?

This Telegraph just published an article discussing the phenomenon after interviewing the author himself. Martin admits he’s a feminist, believing that both men and women should be treated equally, and in his stories he does treat them equally as complex and 3 dimensional human beings.

Maergery Tyrell
How is Martin able to delve into the mind of a youthful girl?

Martin: “Yes, you're right I've never been an eight year old girl, but I've also never been an exiled princess, or a dwarf or bastard. What I have been is human. I just write human characters.'”

Why do women love Martin’s characters?

Martin: “Some women hate the female characters. But importantly they hate them as people, because of things that they've done, not because the character is underdeveloped. Male or female, I believe in painting in shades of grey. All of the characters should be flawed; they should all have good and bad, because that's what I see. Yes, it’s fantasy, but the characters still need to be real.”

Asha/Yara Greyjoy
That being said, what does it mean? Emily Nussbaum from the New Yorker wrote that the books are “insight into what it means to be excluded from power: to be a woman, or a bastard, or a ‘half man” With those words, I think she nailed the heart of the matter on the head.

Launching off from Nussbaum, I believe people should not be so quick to critique the novel from an exclusively feminist perspective. Instead, they should recognize all the characters excluded from power and how they struggle to gain it. The modern reader can identify with the characters because they are so real, and almost everyone can find a character they personally identify with in one form or another. We are all struggling to gain power on some level, whether it is in our careers, family lives, love lives, or even with ourselves. 

Food for Thought Regarding Some of the Women in GOT

Daenerys Targaryen 

Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon
She starts as one of the weakest characters and grows to become one of the most powerful.
o   In the beginning, she’s sexually and verbally abused by her brother, Viserys, who essentially sells her to the Dothrakis for an army. Whereas any other novel might treat her like a damsel in distress; GOT shows Dany assimilate into the Dothraki society, fall in love with her husband, grow favor amongst the people, and assert her influence and beliefs to get what she wants. She is nurturing and kind though rules with a firm hand and isn’t afraid of bloodshed
o   Most fiction novels depict characters as very 1 dimensional. They will show women as nurturing and kind never wanting to indulge in bloodshed and appear weak because of it. In GOT, even though Dany would prefer diplomacy and nurturing over violence, she knows that has has to get her hands dirty to gain the power necessary to rule justly. She appeals to the audience because her genuine kindness doesn’t compromise her fortitude.

o   She knows that her family has a rich history of both honor and madness. She fears the madness, yet doesn’t let the infamy hold her back.
o   Usually when a woman is depicted as sexually active with multiple partners, they are immediately written off as evil or a whorish. However, Daenerys is not villainized by her sexual desires. This is partially accomplished by showing her faithfulness. Although she desires and indulges in sexual pleasures with her servants while single, she’s faithful to her husband Khal Drogo and even her lover Daario Naharis. She also doesn’t use her sexuality to lead people on. Though Jorah Mormont loves her, she never leads him on nor uses her body intentionally to get himto do her bidding. This character aspect appeals to the modern women who wishes to indulge in sexual pleasures while not being perceived as “whorish”. 

Cersei Lannister
Cersei Lannister
o   Like Dany, she is sexually active, but what makes her seem whorish is that she doesn’t remain faithful to those she loves, and that she uses her body to influence people. It doesn’t help that she cheated on her loveless husband for her brother. Even so, I could get past the infidelity and the incest disgust if she remained faithful to Jaime. But she doesn’t. She does a lot of other people to gain their favor and learn secrets while her brother Jaime remains completely faithful to her. The difference lies in loyalty and faith. The books and show constantly point out that her only good point is her love for her children
o   Although I don’t think her love for her children is her only good point, it is one to be noted. To be honestly, there’s not a whole lot to say. She does whatever necessary to give her children the greatest possible future. Whatever necessary.

o   To many fans, her greatest redeeming quality is that she feels left out of this world. She feels she’s fit to be King or ruler, but her womanhood prevents her to gain any real power. She even admits that she should have been born a man. Instead, she does what she can from the sidelines to grant her children success and keep her Queenhood. She constantly mentions how she was more suited to be a man wielding a sword than a woman.

o   Readers hate her for her cruelty, but sympathize her, because she wants power and sexual freedom, but feels trapped by her position as woman and queen to do so. However, readers know there are a slew of other female characters in the story able to achieve everything Cersei wants without being a total bitch. Characters like Dany, Arya, Asha, and Brienne. Cersei just doesn’t know how to do it right! Perhaps what makes Cersei so vulnerable is the fact that she loves her children-- same as Catelyn.

Catelyn Stark
Catelyn Stark
o   Just like Cersei, perhaps what makes her so vulnerable is the fact that she loves her children. In a way it blinds her from any other ambition. Many fans dislike her because she tries to influence Robb’s decisions and repeatedly makes “poor” decisions based upon her desire to keep all her children safe. 

Sansa Stark
Sansa Stark
o   Another character who many readers despise. She constantly makes poor decisions based upon her childish illusions that men and knights treat everyone with honor and dignity. Although it’s frustrating to read, it’s understandable considering her age and beliefs. A small group of fans like Sansa because she learns and grows more wise throughout her peril, though at a slower rate than other characters. She learns to influence Joffery with little things by playing off his ego and joy of the suffering of others. She also learns the power of home and family. I have a feeling she’ll surprise us in the upcoming books. 

Arya Stark
Arya Stark
o   Fans love her because despite her youth, she has a strong sense of self right from the get go. She knows she’s uninterested in being a “lady” and would rather play with swords and learn to fight than sew and sing songs. Her family enables her to develop these skills despite societal rules. When her father died and she had to go into hiding to avoid being caught and used as a pawn, she gains the freedom to learn traditionally “boyish” skills and put them into practice. She develops into a full-fledged killer.

o   She also has a strong sense of home and love for her family right from the get go as well. Whereas Sansa often shrugged this off, Arya always had it. After she went into hiding, she constantly struggles between forgetting her past to move forward, and hold on to her “Starkhood”. She never is really able to let it go regardless of her efforts.

Brienne of Tarth
Brienne of Tarth
o   She's just like Arya in that she isn't particularly pretty and prefers swordplay, Brienne is tall and ugly-- but a great swordswoman. Perhaps her ugliness turned her away from normal feminine activities because she knew that she could never be great at being a womanly woman.         

o   It’s ironic how Brienne is the perfect knight though most don’t realize or appreciate it due to her womanhood. She shows true focus and loyalty to those she is in employ to like Renly, Catelyn, and Jaime. She loves Renly in the way that the old chivalry dictates a knight love his queen. She is as good at swordplay as the Kingslayer himself, and it must have taken a lot to get to that point.

Here's a nifty article about a writer who compares the way people treat Brienne in the novels to how people treat ugliness and beauty in modern society.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Need To Stop Attracting Taken Men

So I've been running into this problem a lot: I keep attracting taken men. It's so frustrating! Not just men who are in relationships, but men who are engaged or married as well. They tell me they are in an open relationship with their significant other and it's okay. Sometimes his lady love will even want to be a part of it.

Do I have some big sign above my head that says, "Laura J: Open for threesomes and casual sex with taken men"? Because I'm not. Not in the slightest. Sure, I'm open about my sexuality when asked, and I blog about the female body; but that doesn't mean I'm all about being a toy to suppress the sexual wanderings of taken men.

I'm a classy woman with a passionate heart... not a shallow sex toy. That's what I feel like when they ask me this- that they want me to be their toy. If a couple were to have a threesome with me, it would be to add more spice to their relationship... but what would it do for me? At the end of the day, they hold each other's hearts and I would be discarded like a used condom. Maybe some people are okay with this arrangement, but I'm not. It's very selfish of a couple to ask this of me. I'm a classy woman, and just because I'm comfortable with my sexuality and listening to others talk about theirs doesn't mean I'm a play thing.

I recently asked my other girlfriends if they have run into this problem before, and they had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently, It's just me.

And it's heartbreaking to keep witnessing taken men go after me. Sometimes these taken men are amazing, and I could see myself being with them if they were single. Other times they are pigs. Either way, these constant advances wear at the heart strings.

Honestly, if it was just one instance, I wouldn't care. Whatever. But I have been asked to do "things" with at least 3 different taken guys since new years and that's just recently. There have been dozens more before then.

It's also heartbreaking hearing so many men in "healthy" "loving" relationships wanting everything from flirting to sex from other women. I understand that in today's society, open relationships and polyamorous marriages are more common, and I'm not disgusted by the idea; but it's not the type I want to partake in personally. I'm a very trusting person in relationships, but hearing so many men wanting more than their one woman makes me distrust them and feel self conscious about myself when I would otherwise very confident.

I'm direct. I don't lead men on. When I'm interested, I tell them so; and when I'm not, I tell them so. Maybe this directness is only appealing to men in relationships? I'm not sure.

Please advise.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Victorian Fashion Rundown and Timeline

Whether you are working on a new steampunk ensemble, writing a steamy 19th century romance novel, or simply curious about Victorian fashion just because; I hope this blog post can help you understand the evolution of the female form and the birth of modern fashion better.

I put together this information to create my 1970’s natural form dresses last year, and my research just sat on my computer doing less than nothing. I know it was difficult for me to find adequate information online about the fashion of this time period, despite how popular it is in the costuming world. Therefore, I had to go to the library and research this stuff the old fashioned way proving that, YES, libraries are still highly necessary!

Perhaps you stumbled upon this page in your quest, and will find that it is just what you were looking for. 



1940's Evening Dresses
The ideal body shape during this decade included an upside down triangle shaped-bodice forming from the shoulders down to the point of the waistline, and a bell-shaped skirt exaggerated with layers upon layers of petticoats. Low sloping shoulders were ideal, and evening gowns were often off the shoulder to create this look. Waist lines were low and often brought to a point to make the triangle effect. Day dress sleeves reached all the way to the wrist and the fullness of the sleeve was brought lower to the elbow region.


1850's Evening Dresses
The look for the bodices remains relatively the same as the previous decade however, crinoline became the main way to create the highly desired bell-shape. Although many people depicted crinoline to be like cages for women and are representative of the lack of women’s rights during this time, this is a misconception. In reality, crinoline was a god-save. Can you imagine wearing four or more layers of cotton skirts on a hot summer day? It’s terrible! You get all hot, sweaty, sticky, heavy, and you just want to die. Crinoline allowed more air to circulate and the lightness made it a lot easier to walk around.


1860's Evening Dresses
In this decade, the ideal body shape was to have a flat front of the skirt with elaborate intricacies flowing down the back of the skirt. Who is responsible for this? Fredrick Worth.

In 1964, Fredrick Worth designed the bustle and train as a way to do away with crinoline. He saw his bustle and train to be his greatest achievement and boasted that he “dethroned the crinoline.” The bustle originally was a pad filled with horse hair in the 60’s, but altered its design in later decades.

Like most new women’s fashions, men mocked the new fashion and made fun of how the train swept the streets for miles and people would step on them all the time.

Bodices were formfitting and buttoned up the back.


1870's Day Dresses
During the 1870’s the bustle began to disappear for a while to give way to the “natural form” look. The ideal female form was form fitting until just below the hips where the skirt stays flat in the front but fans out in the back to create a folded peacock tail look.

By 1876, the bustle had completely disappeared out of fashion. Instead, the skirt was tightly tied back by 3 or 4 ribbons on the inside to make it completely flat in the front other than decorative trimmings, then the back fabrics were layered and folded in complicated ways as it tumbled in a waterfall-like way to the train on the ground. The train was intended to convey the impression that the wearer kept a carriage, because you can’t sit in a carriage easily while wearing a bustle. However, even women who were not of the carriage class trailed their appendages on the street.

Evening and dinner dresses often had elbow sleeves
Ball dresses often had tiny sleeves and a neckline low in the front but fairly high behind.

1877-1878 Ball dresses were often trimmed with trails of flowers. Although sometimes they were artificial, it was more fashionable to trim them with real flowers and put artificial ones in their hair-- the opposite of what would seem practical. During this decade it became fashionable to wear a velvet ribbon neckband with evening gowns.

In regards to fabrics, The Queen reported that “There is no such thing as a dress made from a single material.” Advising people to “Take two materials, one of which shall represent the principal and the other the accessory, and out of these compose a costume, trimming the principal with the accessory and the accessory with the principal.”

In the late 1870’s, undergarments were greatly reduced due to the form of the female silhouette and they were now often colored or white with colored ribbons on them. This was seen as fashionable but also very risqué.

Tight lacing was the most severe during this period because big skirts make the wait look small, but with the more vertical look, women had to strive harder to achieve such extreme waists. In the late 1870’s older married women had looser gowns for 5 o’clock tea so they could relax. Tight lacing became a hot issue of debate in regards to women’s health.

Alison Gernsheim points out that although the rules of etiquette books require women to wear gloves at all times, in most of the photographs during this decade, gloves are rarely depicted.


1880's Evening Dresses
Between 1882 and 1885, the bustle saw its revival, and the vertical look started to turn overly-exaggerated and curvy. The new bustle was called a tournure and sat lower than the original bustle and jutted out horizontally.

The 1880s were similar to the 70’s in that the idea of having the dresses plain above but fancy below still held true, but the difference laid in the fact that the 70’s had soft curvy lines and the 80’s had stiffer ones. In the late 1880’s, women’s styles were harder and more aggressive- there were even styles modeled after military uniforms. Trains were not worn in the daytime but were a separate attachment for evening dresses but were shorter. One source said that in the 1880’s, silver and gold anklets were often worn to show a distinction of elegance.

After 1882, most of the high-necked bodices were not as long as they were in the 70’s and they differed in the fact that they buttoned down the front instead of being laced up in the back. This was significant because women could button up the bodice by themselves wear as before they needed a servant to help them.

Sleeves were long, plain, and tight, and most of the emphasis was on the skirt. The skirt usually had pleats for folds around the thighs, or a “double fishwife” skirt that was caught up like an apron. The underskirt was often kilted.

Wool became very popular in the 1880’s and it was seen as a healthy fabric to wear.


1890's Day Dress
Bodices were tightly tailored with long sleeves with giant puffs at the shoulder. Crinoline and bustles disappeared forever, and skirts created an A line silhouette like a bell. Corseting stayed relatively the same, however. Suit dresses became popular for forward thinking women as well. 

Informal day wear became popular which consisted of a high-necked blouse tailored much like a man’s shirt. This was tucked into a simple skirt. Sports clothes became fashionable and featured shorter skirts revealing the ankles. Cycling dresses came into style which replaced skirts with bloomers.

Uncorsetted tea gowns were popular to wear at the home and were even reported to be worn outside the home towards the end of the decade.


New Artificial Dyes

Prior to 1856, all dies were made from natural products. For instance- purple was made from murex shellfish and red was made from cochineal beetles. It required 17,000 beetles to make a single ounce (one gram) of dye. Therefore it was very expensive. Also, overtime the colors would fade.

In 1856, William Perkin discovered artificial dye by accident. He was a 18 year old English chemistry student who was attempting to make artificial quinine, a drug to treat malaria by using aniline, a substance derived from old coal tar; however, the experiment failed and left him with a dark oily sludge. He was about to throw it away until curiosity prompted him to make a solution of it-- it became a rich purple. He then applied it to some silk and discovered that not only did it act as a dye, but it didn’t fade as much over time. Being that Mauvine (the dye he made) was made from coal tar which was an abundant waste product from gas manufacturing, it was incredibly cheap to produce.

In 1857, Perkin opened a dyework on the Grand Union Canal in London and produced Mauvine. The color became very fashionable in France after Empress Eugenie discovered that it matched her eyes. In 1958, Queen Victoria wore the color to her daughter’s wedding and then everybody had to wear it! Punch Magazine called it “The Mauve Measels”

He continued to experiment with making other colors and apparently the color of the canal changed from week to week with each dye they were testing. Meanwhile, other chemists in other countries began to open dye works and produce other fashionable colors. It almost became a race to see who could come up with the brightest colors from coal tar.

One fashionable dye was a vivid emerald green made from arsenite of copper. However, after a young women wearing one of these dresses in the early sixties came down with an illness from arsenic poisoning from the dye in the dress, it fell out of fashion in Paris until a different type of emerald dye was made. A physician testified that no less than 60 grams of 60 grams of arsenic came off from a single dress- enough to kill 30 people if administered in doses.

It has been remarked that English women often didn’t have a good sense for color combinations- they wanted the bright colors but didn’t understand how to color coordinate!

The House of Worth
My Favorite Worth Dress
Early Victorian dressmakers were mostly women who visited the wealthy at their homes, took measurements and order from the customer. The customer picked out the fabrics and styles from magazines and the dressmakers made them. Dressmaking was seen as a craft, not an art. Charles Fredrick Worth was an Englishman who moved to Paris who became “The Father of Haute Couture” meaning the father of exclusive fashion.

In 1857, he opened The House of Worth (Maison Worth) at 7 Rue de la Paix, Paris.

Worth was inspired by the dresses in old paintings in museums and unlike dressmakers before him, he saw himself as an artist rather than a craftsman and expected customers to come to him. In order to make his business appear more exclusive, he required every customer to visit with a letter of introduction from a previous customer. French Writer Taine wrote what happened when a lady visited Worth without a letter of introduction:

“Madame” he said, “by whom are you presented?” “I don’t understand.” “I’m afraid you must be presented in order to be dressed by me.” While some people found him to be rude, and scoffed at the way he acted, others didn’t care how rude he was so long as he dressed them. According to Peter Crisp, It was an advantage to Worth that he was a foreigner because he stood outside the French class system and could behave in ways that would ordinarily seem offensive.

The showrooms in the House of Worth featured mannequins with mirrors strategically placed next to them so that customers could see their own inferior dress next to Worth’s beautiful designs- guilting the customers into buying more clothing. He also had a thickly curtained room lit by gaslight so that customers could see how their gown looked in a ballroom setting.

He pioneered clothing methods still used today. He made patterns out of muslin or toile to drape over the client’s body, then customize it to their shape. He also was the first to make seasonal clothing rather than “one-off” garments.

In 1964, Fredrick Worth designed the bustle and train as a way to do away with crinoline. He saw his bustle and train to be his greatest achievement and boasted that he “dethroned the crinoline.”

The bustle originally was a pad filled with horse hair in the 1860s, it then fell out of fashion in the 1870s when natural form was more popular, then the bustle reappeared in the 1880’s as a “tournure”-- an exaggerated bustle form made of hoops and it stuck out like a shelf.

Tournure and Undergarments


Now that the sewing machine was invented and there could be a mass production of clothing- shopping became a leisure activity rather than a chore for the very first time. This was the birth of the consumer culture.

The first department stores that were opened were A.T. Stewart’s in New York, Bainbridges in Newcastle, and Bon Marche in Paris. Consumers could by a complete outfit with all the accessories at one location. Unlike previous stores that kept items locked behind glass cases, clothes were displayed openly. Also, because department stores could carry more stock, they bought items in bulk and could get better deals from their suppliers and charge cheaper prices. Customers also could return goods and get refunds.

Window Shopping became more popular. The glass pressing machine was invented in 1827 and allowed for large panes of glass to be made to display in store windows to tempt passers by with a new way of advertising.

Secondhand Clothes

When clothing became unfashionable for the rich to where they would give them to their maids and servants. Because the clothes were too fine for them to wear themselves, they sold them to secondhand shops where the clothes were usually disassembled and turned into other pieces of clothing. Stealing clothing from clothes lines was a common thing so that the poor could get some money. In Oliver Twist, Fagin was a “Fence”, a receiver of stolen goods who taught Oliver and the other boys to pickpocket men’s handkerchiefs to be sold to the second hand shops and mills.


Jet was a black stone made from fossilized monkey puzzle tress and used often for mourning jewelry.

Velvet ribbon- In the 1870’s it became popular to tie a velvet ribbon around a woman’s neck and have the ribbon tails hang down the back a little. This eventually evolved into the choker necklace.


Wearing false hair (chignons) was super popular and even the normal. False hair pieces were made from the hair of prisoners, or from poor and middleclass women who sold it, and even rumored to have come from the ailing or corpses at hospitals.


Many writers and sources how Victorian women achieved a 18 or 17 inch waist. What Alison Gersheim and other scholars believe is that this refers to the smallest circumference a corset can be achieved completely laced tight but not around a person. Really, the corsets were left open several inches larger than that, but it was a symbol of elegance and pride to be able to purchase smaller corsets.


Crisp, Peter. A History of Fashion and Costume. Vol. 6.

Alison Gernsheim - Dover Publications - 1981
IMAGES: Google Images and Truly Victorian

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Does It Feel Like To Be A Hot Girl Who Gets Old?

I'd like to share a link from Slate.com about nifty vantage points from beautiful women who have aged. The article starts off featuring a model from the 80's and how she dealt with aging, and then it is commented on by a woman in her 70's sharing her perspective. Though both viewpoints are worth the read, I thought that the second woman added dynamite humor and a perspective I had never thought of before: the invisibility of the elderly. Check it out and let me know what you think!

What Does It Feel Like To Be A Hot Girl Who Gets Old?

Not that everything has to be about Hollywood, but I like using celebrities as examples because a wide audience will know what I'm talking about. Here are some of my favorite female celebrities who are still landing powerful roles even when they are "passed their prime".

Judi Dench, age 79: Most recently starred in Skyfall as the famous Bond character "M"
Helen Mirren, age 68: Most recently starred in Hitchcock, Red, and The Queen
Maggie Smith, age 79: Currently starring in Downton Abbey and recently famous for her role in Harry Potter
Bette Midler, age 68: Most recently in the movie Parental Guidance and is still active with her music
Cher, age 67: Most recently in Burlesque, and still is active through her music and tv show appearances

Also, you may like a blog I wrote a while ago where I showed pictures of famous celebrities such Audrey Hepburn and Jane Seymour in both their 20's and 50's called The Golden Age.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Golden Globe Fashion: Best Dressed, Worst Dressed

Even celebrities who have stylists helping them figure out their looks can have a difficult time figuring out what shapes and colors work best with their body type and skin tones when picking out Golden Globe dresses.

Here is an in depth look at not only who got it to work and who didn't, but why it worked and why it didn't. After going through all the looks, I announce the Fan Pic Winner voted by my readers!

Light Pink

Light pink is a bit risky of a choice. Part of its allure is that it blends into someone's skin tone and makes the dress a part of the body, but if done incorrectly can make the wearer seem washed out. Light pink suggests girliness, innocence, and femininity; and usually it usually downplays sexuality.

Jessica Alba made it work because she chose a pinky salmon that was close to her famously beautiful skin tone, but just off enough as to not wash her out. The shape highlighted her lovely upper body curves and the bottom train floated behind her in a way that gave her height and classic Hollywood glamor.

Kaley Cuoco did not make it work, unfortunately. Honestly, what made the look fail was not so much the dress as it was her makeup. The dark makeup juxtaposed the lightness of the dress in a very unflattering way that made her look washed out and sickly rather than young and healthy. Also, the slightly off the shoulder straps did not work for her shoulders because they made them look weak and slumpy rather than strong and broad.

Megan Fox looked sexy as always. I think she chose the light pink to down play her "I want to fuck you" face, but it didn't work. She still wants to fuck me.... and everyone in the world who stare into her icy blues.

Simple White

Simple white dresses give an air of classy elegance by subtly paying homage to classic Greek and Roman statues. White suggests purity, simplicity, and godliness. Plus, white stands out remarkably well against a red carpet. You can see why it would be such a popular choice for the Golden Globes.

Anne Hathaway used the dress remarkably well to show off her body. Thin from losing weight for her role as Fantine in Les Mis, she lacks the curves that she may have otherwise had. Still, when you look at her, the dress gives her shape by hugging her hips and showing them off. Her bust remains relatively simple so more focus goes to her face and hips. Also, her dark hair contrasts the bright white extremely well.

Amanda Seyfried wears a dress with subtle designs that actually mutes her body shape... but in a way that works! The high-necked dress bows out of the limelight to make her face and her beautiful cascading blonde hair the center of attention.

Lea Michele demonstrates the technique of showing off one part of the body while hiding the other. The sexy slit shows off her leg, but the high neck covers her bust. In this way she gives off a classy air while showing off "goddess legs". Especially with her olive skin, she looks like a Grecian goddess.

Complicated White

Because white is such a simple color, you can also do more complicated things with it. It's very versatile and can work with almost any body shape and skin tone. The ladies at the Golden Globes all knew what they were doing when going with this technique.

Jennifer Lopez wore a stunning gown that suggests that her body is only covered in glittering lace that hug her body like delicate frost on a window pane. I think she looks absolutely stunning. With an hourglass figure like hers, you might as well show it off! Although many conservative people are appalled by the dress, I see only elegance when I see her in it. Others find it boring because it is too reminiscent of her famous dress she wore to the Academy Awards last year. But hey, she knows what works on her.
Julianne Hough did the juxtaposition technique and it worked. Her top half has an edgy rock and roll look with a rocker up-do while wearing a tight top with gold metal beeds. The bottom half becomes softer with princess tool that flows from her hips in a manner reminiscent of a great white bird of some sort.

Isla Fisher wore a beaded white dress with such complicated bead work that it needed to be simple without much shape. She looked lovely in it, but had it been a plan white dress, it would have done nothing for her shape.

Red Dress

You can't go wrong with a red dress on the red carpet. Red is the color of love and fire, and both love and fire take on many forms and shapes. Red dresses work for several different looks... no matter if you want to go sporty, cute, or romantic.

Jennifer Lawrence dons a dress that was simple, almost a little tomboyish in simplicity, bit it worked on her body perfectly. The thin black belt make it work by giving focus and brings the attention to her thin waist. Perhaps she could have done something a little bit more with her hair, makeup, or neck to give a little bit more to her top half which looks a bit bare.

Zooey Deschanel wears a cute red dress that pops against her pale skin. The simple strand of pearls suggests a a playful vintage 1950's look. There something about the way that the sweetheart top hangs on her breasts that gives her a doll look.... like the dress was just thrown on a lovely porcelain doll. Despite this, it doesn't look like the dress is hanging loose on her.

Claire Danes wears a romantic red dress with a niftly shape above her waste that makes her look even curvier than she actually is. It's elegant and edgy, it tightens and loosens in all the right places; and she looks great in it!

Black With Geometric Shapes
This look is aimed to look like modern art on a female body. It's a bit of a cool contrast having geometric shapes on such a curvy figure. It manipulates the female form into something a bit foreign. Black is simple, slimming, and offers contrast against pale skinned women.

Katherine McPhee is a babe in her black gown! The top half does wonders to highlight broad feminine shoulders, and the bottom slit reveals her slender legs.

Julianne Moore chose a perfect look. This dress gives her a 1930's silhouette with strong shoulders and a tiny waist. The white lines are strategically placed to move the eye around the dress and make her look slimmer. Gorgeous.

Kirsten Wiig and her dress did nothing. If anything, the shape of the cut outs made her boobs look saggy. If the cut out was shaped differently, it may have had a different effect.

Black and Gold Power Dresses

If you want to look sophisticated, feminine, and powerful, wear a black and gold power dress. The simplicity of the black coupled with intricate gold accents makes the wearer look regal and confident like a queen.

Helen Mirren is my absolute favorite in this gown. The gold lines make her bust look bigger and her waist smaller. Again, it's all about the lines and how you use them, and this dress accentuates her body through suggestion rather than show. Classy and interesting. Way to go, Helen!

Kate Hudson looks so sophisticated in this dress. The black hugs her figure to slim her, and the gold at the neck and belt have a sun burst look that looks like something royalty would wear. The closure of gold at the neck is reminiscent of cape clasps on someone of old royal prestige. Her whole body is covered, save for the low dipped neckline which is flattering against her flat-ish chest.

Nicole Kidman knows how to work it in this gown. The straight angled lines on her waist makes her slim waist appear even slimmer, and the way the fabric hugs her hips and bust makes her very straight figure seem curvaceous.

High Neck/ High waist Dresses

This look can make you or break you as demonstrated by the celebrities below. This look works best on very thin, long-necked women with squared shoulders. When it works, it can look extremely regal... when it doesn't...

Kristen Bell looks terrible in this baby blue gown. Although she has the body to pull off the dress, the dress just doesn't work. Because it doesn't hug her nick tightly, the dress makes her look like she has no neck. It hugs her shoulders so well that it makes them look too rounded rather than squared. She looks stiff and robotic, which is strange being that the bottom portion of the dress is so flowy. The grecian flowiness doesn't work with this type of dress. It's all about the lines, and this dress's lines didn't move the eye around her figure in a flattering matter. A reader pointed out that she is pregnant. This wasn't the dress for her.

Michelle Dockery looks stunning in this gown. The reason this one works is because it hugs her slender neck and the shoulders are exaggerated to give them more form. The sleaves and bottom of the top are angled downwards into a flattering feminine "V" shape. This moves the eye around the dress. Also, this dress hugs her form and shows off her natural curves which also add to moving the eye around her figure in a pleasing way. Gold and white is an unusual combination, but it works and gives a nod to both the Victorian era, and bizarrely enough, Siamese dancers. Mysterious and classic, this dress is one of my favorites.

Good Idea, Horribly Implemented

Lucy Liu ... where do I begin? The shape of the dress is really great on her; I love the nod to 18th century court dresses. However, the color and the pattern ruins the whole thing. The patterns are placed all over the place, but not in a random way: in a way that looks like it was sewn together by an amateur! Also, the light blue looks terrible against her skin and the flowers are simply ugly.

Taylor Swift looks great in her plum dress, except for one thing: it's terribly wrinkly! Take care of your clothes, Taylor!

Doesn't Fit Right!

Sally Field wants to show off her neck job? Fine, but this dress doesn't fit right on her at all in the bust. It was made for a woman with a plump, squeezable breasts. Flat chested people are hot too, but they should wear a dress that fits their bust other wise they'll just look ridiculous!

Alyssa Milano picked a bright sunset dress that could have looked lovely, but she needed to hem the bottom or wear higher heels. I wonder how many times she tripped throughout the night?

Lena Dunham had no idea what she was doing. The dress looks so heavy and stiff and it looks 5 sizes too big for her. The shape of the bust and the hips insinuate the dress was made for someone with large exaggeratted curves who is much taller than Lena. Lena is so elf-like she should have used that to her advantage and gone with something lighter with layers, see-through fabric, or delicate lace.

Trying Too Hard

 Helena Bonham Carter, you are an amazing actress with the most eerily beautiful eyes ever, but you don't have to be stuck in 1990's goth-land forever... even if you are married to Tim Burton. If Hot Topic has moved away from Goth, so should you. Instead of looking edgy and artistic, Helena looks unoriginal, outdated, and cheap.

Eva Longoria seems like she is trying way too hard to be a sex symbol. The low neck AND the high slit coupled with all that black lace make it seem like she is desperate for a good lay. You can be sexy without being slutty, and this isn't how to do it.

But let's end on a high note shall we? The runners up for Fan Pic are: Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway!

And now for the announcement of the #1 Fan Pic! I have to say, I'm really happy about this one; it was one of my favorites as well. The drum roll please! *imagine dramatic drum roll"


Michelle Dockery!

For more info and opinions on the 2013 Golden Globe fashions, click on this link. Or this one. Or This one.

I'd love to hear your opinions as well!