30 May 2007

(Waist) Size Matters

Happy Hump Day (eve), everyone! Personally, I celebrated Wednesday by finding a great little vintage cotton shift at Wasteland that I plan to take in a little and wear over skinny pants with girly shoes. Sort of like, oh, a twentysomething Madeline with pants. I followed this great victory up with some remarkable plain-yogurt flavor gelato and blood-orange sorbet at Milk, which I've been eyeing every day on my way home from work. Another time I'll try the fab-looking salads and soups, but after a long walk in the sun, I had to go with the coldest options.
Anyway, the point of today's rant is not to extol the virtues of upper Mid-Wilshire, but to get all serious and discuss the skinny-war-disease so rampant in high fashion. When I first started working at the shop, I was shocked at how constantly everyone discusses food: how hugry they are, how much they've eaten so far, how gross they feel if it was too much (i.e. I'm So Fat), how starving they are if it wasn't enough (i.e. a veiled I'm So Skinny), what they ate last night, what they want to eat now but shouldn't, what they should eat in general, what other people eat, and whether we're all getting fat (or thin, depending on who's complaining) as a result of working there. One girl got a rousing chorus of disbelieving laughter when she revealed that she "doesn't eat salad." Now I've gotten used to it, and it's not as bad when people aren't too stressed, but I still have to remind myself constantly that eating is a normal human activity and food is rather important to one's functioning. That the occasional scoop of gelato is good for the soul, and implies not weakness, but simply great taste in desserts.

Now, I thought my coworkers went overboard with all the food chat. That was until this week, when a new chick was added to the staff. What's really sad to me is that she is more senior than any of us, yet is the most nervous and intent upon impressing us via 5th-grade-style indirect implications about her thinness. I shudder to think what inappropriate response she'd have if she knew what I'd happily consumed at Milk. It's funny, but not, and leads me to make these Highly Obvious Suggestions for People Working With Other People, Especially In A Fashion Environment Where Image is Generally Important to People:
1. Upon hearing in passing that a colleague wears a size 25 jean (a very, very small size), do not respond with "Really? I'm a 24! I wouldn't have guessed you were bigger than me!" Especially do not do this if the truth of your statement is dubious, thanks to the skintight leggings you've chosen for your first day on the job. It's not just bitchy, it's ridiculously immature (calling to mind the girl who, in 8th grade, said to me "You're really 104 pounds? I thought you were thin....").
2. Do not, while eating your Whole Foods salad for lunch, loudly and frantically announce that normally you would never dream of eating that tiny glob of pasta salad you've got, but that you just had to eat a few calories after that 4-mile walk you took. It's not only weird, but sad. We won't think you're a fatty for eating carbs; we'll just think you have issues for defending it.
3. Do not, do not, do NOT point to your coworker's Trader Joe's salad and cry, "Omigod, have you seen how many calories those things have? Seriously, look on the back--there's like 100 grams of fat in that." Especially do not do this if you're totally wrong and the entire salad, upon inspection, has a measly 350 calories. What on EARTH is the purpose of this comment? Are you seriously telling the slim and gorgeous woman eating the salad that she better watch her dressing intake? If you're trying to feel better by making other people feel fat, you kinda fucked this one up. Oy vey, child. Look, you've got me calling you "child" and I'm ten years your junior. Though, hey--maybe it'll make you feel thinner.

It's just interesting to see how much further the skinny-war craziness can go than what I'd experienced. When my size-25 colleague heard the above comment, she replied, "I need to go back to New York; we don't talk about sizes there." Is that true? Is it L.A. where this kind of thing rears its ugly head most publicly? I don't know--I did read The Devil Wears Prada, and god knows the narrator beat us over the head with the fact that all her colleagues were calorie-phobic and eager to say so. So is THAT true? Or does it just depend on which sector of the retail industry you're in, no matter the city? Do all y'all who don't work in fashion hear this malarky all day long around your water coolers, too?

> r r <

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Anonymous Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

30 May, 2007 22:49  
Blogger foodette said...

I'm in LA and in the tv business - it's not nearly as bad as what you say, but I do hear a lot of "i'm so fat/i ate this all weekend/etc". However, it doesn't come from stick skinny people, but it does come from completely normal, avg weight people, and that is annoying. However, there is never any comments to make other people feel badly. I'm sorry you endure that - it sounds hateful - but I believe it's a part of the fashion industry world-wide.

31 May, 2007 17:18  

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