Working Girl


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In my opinion Melanie Griffith is one of the most over rated actresses in the history of Hollywood. From her ditzy voice, to the scary plastic surgery she’s had done, there’s not one thing I like about her. Yet… I owe her a debt of gratitude. As regular readers know, I recently moved across country and have been looking for work for the past two months. The good news is I just got a great job that I really enjoy, in a gorgeous hotel setting. The bad news is the job requires me to stand all day and even in comfy flat shoes my dogs are not only barking, but howling by the end of a 9 hour day.  It doesn’t help that I am still carrying 30 extra ‘I quit smoking pounds’either. My co-workers tell me I will get used to it soon. I find myself wondering when the heck soon might be. I walk the 20 minutes to and from the hotel. I never in my life thought I would be one of those women made famous by Melanie Griffith in the movie Working Girl, who wears a skirt and sneakers to go to work (I mean, I own 3 pairs of Louboutins for crying out loud), but they are the only shoes in which I can make the trek home without wanting to cut my feet off after walking a measly block.

If anyone out there is looking for a great pair of walking shoes, get thee to a Payless Shoes and pick up a pair of Champion walkers (priced under $40). They have air pockets in the soles and they are like walking on two little clouds. I may just be investing in several more pairs in the not so distant future.

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The shoes that are saving my life!!

I’d love to write more, but if I don’t put my feet up soon, I’ll never make it through the day tomorrow. So I will leave with a doff of the hat to Ms. Griffith for making it socially acceptable to wear sneakers to work.

Truly Iconic Swimsuits


Back in October, I wrote a post as a rebuttal of sorts to yahoo.com and their list of “the most iconic dresses of all time”. To this day, it is still one of my more popular posts. As spring is just around the corner, and soon it will be bathing suit weather, I thought I would do a follow-up to my Truly iconic dresses post and explore what I consider to be the most iconic swimsuits of all time. To be on this list, each swimsuit must be recognizable and spark a memory to be considered iconic.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here they are.

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Ursula Andress in the first James Bond movie, Dr. No

This was a bikini so iconic that it spawned a sequel.

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Halle Berry in Die Another Day

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Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC. Need I say more?

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Betty Grable’s famous Pin Up kept more than just the morale up during WWII

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Hair, teeth and nipples made Farrah Fawcett a triple threat in the 70s

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Not to be outdone, Cheryl Tiegs gave us this other decade defining moment of the 1970s

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Fans of the Mickey Mouse club had their dreams come true when Annette sported this two piece number.

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Marilyn Monroe proved that you don’t have to put on a bikini if you want to know How to Marry a Millionaire

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Goldie Hawn before she went Overboard in this high cut, thong backed, one piece.

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Famous Pin Up, Bettie Page goes wild on the beach.

I found it to be rather eye-opening as I was collecting the images above that the majority of these women are curvy to say the least. Perhaps we should be re-thinking our definition what is sexy when it comes to the female form.

As a feminist and therefore equal opportunity exploiter, I would be remiss if I didn’t include some famous moments in male swimwear too.

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Burt Lancaster had all the girls swooning in From Here to Eternity.

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Miles O’Keefe may not have been the most famous Tarzan, but he sure did that loincloth justice.

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Speaking of loincloths, who can forget Christopher Atkins splashing around in the Blue Lagoon?

And then there’s this…

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Sacha Baron Cohen, as Borat in possibly the most iconic swimsuit of them all!

Optical Delusion


I have worn glasses every moment of my waking life ever since the eye doctor first strapped them to my head when I was 14 months old. I have what is referred to by optometrists as ‘special care eyes’, which basically means that I have blind as a bat-itis. I have multiple astigmatisms, my right eye has a tendency toward laziness, my lenses have a prism in them and I am far-sighted over all. I am grateful for my glasses. More specifically, I am grateful for the advancements made in the field of eyewear since that first pair was strapped to my head. No longer must I endure lenses made of glass that were so thick and heavy that they caused indentations on the bridge of my nose and on my cheeks. Frames have evolved from being a choice between horn rims or cat eyes to a veritable cornucopia of colours and styles with designer names like Chanel, Dior and Burberry. I still remember when the only famous name in eyewear was Sophia Loren. Ms. Loren was a trailblazer, taking the drab out of having to wear glasses.

sophialorenSophia made wearing glasses glamorous.

When I was growing up there was a saying, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”. On it’s face, this saying tells girls that you will never get a boy to be attracted to you because glasses are ugly and therefor make you ugly while wearing them. Remember the clichéd image of the plain Jane who takes down her hair and takes off her glasses and suddenly becomes gorgeous? I used to hate my glasses when I was younger, even going so far as to forego wearing them in social situations, even though I couldn’t see my own hand in front of my face, just because I wanted to be more attractive to men. When I look back at photos of myself at that age, I can now see clearly what I never could then, I was attractive with or without my glasses. If only I had the confidence to value my eyesight over my need for male attention. There’s a movie from 1953, starring Marilyn Monroe called How To Marry a Millionaire in which Marilyn’s character, Paula, who wears glasses, meanders around without them stumbling into things and even getting on the wrong plane just because she feels ugly with her glasses on. So ugly, in fact that she falls in love with the first man who tells her he likes her in her glasses. She even references the saying in a “cleaned up” 1950’s version, “Men aren’t attentive to girls who wear glasses”.

It nice to see how times have changed since then. Now celebrities are sporting their specs in public proudly. Some women like Tina Fey and Lisa Loeb have become known for their eyewear, not in spite of it.

Tina-Fey-cute-glassesTina Fey is smart, funny and sexy.

lisa-loeb-02Lisa Loeb looking sultry in her specs.

Last night I was watching an episode of the Big Bang Theory in which Penny puts on a pair of glasses and completely shatters the implication that glasses aren’t sexy (and proves that glasses might make you look smarter, but they don’t actually add IQ points).

I now wear my glasses confidently, with pride. I wear them like a fashionable accessory with different pairs for different looks or moods. I have come to the point where I not only need my glasses, but I love my glasses.

Women might not have evolved past our intrinsic insecurities surrounding our looks yet, but it’s nice to know that at least glasses aren’t as looked down upon as they once were.

Truly iconic dresses


Today the folks at Yahoo posted their list of the 25 most iconic dresses of all time Like most lists, I agreed with some of the choices and disagreed with others. Many of the dresses they featured don’t meet the criteria that I would use to define iconic. For me, an iconic dress is one that you could see on a mannequin and immediately recognize not only the dress, but know who wore it.

Some of the choices I take issue with are Catherine Deneuve in Belle De Jour (too plain), Barbra Streisand at the 1969 Oscars (it’s not a dress), Olivia Newton-John’s dress from Grease (wouldn’t recognize it outside of the movie), Jennifer Grey’s Dirty Dancing dress (wouldn’t recognize it outside of the movie), Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct dress (too plain) and Michelle Williams’ Oscar dress (even after seeing it on the list, I didn’t remember it).

I thought I would post my own list of what I think are the 20 most iconic dresses. In no particular order…

Vivien Leigh in a dress made from the curtains in Gone With the Wind

This dress was so iconic that even a spoof of it became iconic.

Carol Burnett in a dress made from the curtains (complete with curtain rod)

Judy Garland as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

Jackie Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat

Marilyn Monroe singing Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Dorothy Lamour in her sarong dress, prompting men everywhere to say her sarong was so right.

Cher in her Bob Mackie designed Half Breed dress. The perfect marriage of designer and muse.

Jean Harlow in a white, silk halter, making the slip dress famous.

Julie Andrews from the opening scene of The Sound of Music.

Rita Hayworth in Gilda.

Twiggy in a Mary Quant A-line mini dress, defining the Mod fashions of the 1960’s.

Elizabeth Hurley in her career launching Versace safety-pin dress.

Cyndi Lauper having fun in the dress that helped make her famous.

Sara Jessica Parker in this stunning Vivienne Westwood wedding gown from the first Sex and the City movie

Julia Roberts winning the Oscar in style.

Perhaps the most iconic dress of all time, Marilyn Monroe’s white, pleated halter dress from the Seven Year Itch.

Tina Turner’s gold fringed Proud Mary mini dress.

Love it or hate it, you will never forget Lady Gaga’s meat dress.

Although she wore more glamorous dresses in the film, this blue satin number from Gypsy on Natalie Wood stood out and defined the character. “Mama, I’m a pretty girl.”

Proving that even men can wear iconic dresses, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.

The colour was the only thing close to being Like a Virgin in this dress on Madonna.

And last, but most certainly not least…

Mary Tyler Moore in a green cut-out dress designed by a hooker in, perhaps, one of the funniest episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Every single one of these dresses are dresses I would instantly recognize without anyone in them. They were moment defining, which is what makes them iconic to me.

Pink Parasol. Pretentious or practical?


The cast of Fashion Police

I admit it. Watching the Fashion Police on Friday nights is a guilty pleasure. For me it’s a mindless distraction from all of the things that get me ranting on a daily basis. Last Friday, they put up a photo of the lovely and pale Anne Hathaway, walking down the street in New York, in the sun, holding a pink umbrella.

The photo that started all the fuss.

The cast then proceeded to rip apart her outfit, as is their usual modus operandi. Kelly Osbourne said that she was trying to look like Audrey Hepburn (apparently this is some kind of sin in Kelly’s eyes), George was defending the outfit, saying it was a great daytime ensemble. Then Joan jumped into the fray and said that her umbrella was pretentious. Then Ms. Joan Rivers, a woman who should know all about the importance of caring for your skin, actually said, “It’s just the sun, it can’t kill you.”

As someone who has had melanoma cancer, I beg to differ. I wish I had understood that tanning beds were dangerous when I was in my early twenties, but at that time everyone touted them as being far safer than sun exposure. My aunt died of melanoma cancer from too much actual sun exposure. The sun can kill you. Now I don’t leave the house, even in the dead of winter without sun block and sunglasses. On sunny days I have no issue with carrying an umbrella (hats just make my head sweat). It’s practical. Not only does it keep the UV rays off of my skin, but I stay cooler in my portable shade.

In the case of Anne Hathaway, as she has recently had her hair shorn, it’s a smart move. You can’t put sunscreen on your head (unless you’re bald) and when your hair is very short, scalp burn is a real possibility. I applaud Ms. Hathaway for being smart enough to take care of her skin. While pink is not necessarily my choice in an umbrella colour, it is a cute way of staying cancer free.

Confession: I like men in drag


 Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine

The other night, I watched the movie Velvet Goldmine again and it got me thinking about how much I like an androgynous man.  Velvet Goldmine hearkens back to the days of Glam Rock and features hot men like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale in make up. Ironically, Eddie Izzard is one of the few stars in the movie not wearing make up.

I began to notice men in the 1970’s, when rock stars like David Bowie, Marc Bolan and the New York Dolls were popular. It was the days of men with long hair, glitter eye shadow and tarty lipstick wearing flashy clothes and it made a big impression on me. These men with their blatant gender bending were so much sexier than the average Jock type to me. They were rebelling against the traditional male uniform. They were bravely flouting convention in an in your face way that was hard for me to resist. You see, I also have a rebellious spirit and a keen fashion sense and I related to these men, who I saw as so much more manly than the Jocks or the Suits. These men were breaking new ground, they were leaders. They were the new Alpha Male in all of their peacock feathered splendor.

 

Marc Bolan of T Rex

The New York Dolls

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

Then there was Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror pictures show licking his shiny red lips with a naughty, mischievous glint in his eye and singing “Give yourself over to absolute pleasure”. It didn’t matter that he was into both women and men, in fact that was a large part of the lure for me. He was unabashedly crashing through sexual boundaries.

 

Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Since those days there have been very few examples of in your face male androgyny. In the 1980’s, Prince filled that role. At once, both masculine, feminine and oozing sex from every pore, Prince was my fantasy in those days.

 

Prince, from the Lovesexy Album cover

In the 1990’s Marilyn Manson took androgyny to a much darker and more Gothic place with his flawlessly painted face and very masculine voice. he merged male and female into one hot package.

 

Marilyn Manson

Currently, the most famous example is the aforementioned Eddie Izzard who has been quoted as saying, “Women wear what they want and so do I”. That attitude is irresistible to me.

 

Eddie Izzard, in all his glory.

Androgyny isn’t just dressing in drag. It’s a mindset. It’s a lifestyle. It’s sexy as hell.

What makes a man sexy?


I can only speak for myself, but I am willing to bet that there are quite a few women out there who would agree with my answers here. Although it’s nice to look at a great body, the abs and pecs fade with age. What really holds my interest are qualities that go a little deeper.

Intelligence is sexy.

As a fairly smart woman, I need a man who can carry on an intelligent and interesting conversation. I have a very eclectic list of interests (from music and the arts to science and politics) and the man who captures my attention is well versed in all, or at least most of them. It’s a bonus if he’s passionate about what he does. Passion is infectious. I love listening to a man talk about his job with excitement. After all the biggest erogenous zone is between the ears.

This is the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is my ultimate example of sexy intellect.

Charisma is sexy.

Charisma is borne from confidence and there’s nothing sexier than a confident man. A knowing smile, the ability to hold center stage, to seduce the whole room with the raise of an eyebrow, yes charisma is as rare as it is sexy. Not to be confused with arrogance, true charisma/confidence comes from just being yourself, unabashedly, without shame or fear of the opinions of others.

This is Mick Jagger, not the world’s best singer but, for me, the epitome of Charisma.

Wit is sexy.

Wit is another rare commodity. A man who can make me laugh has got a shot with me no matter what he looks like. I respect humour as a means of communication and seduction. Wit cannot exist without intellect and a keen sense of perception. Only an observant man is a witty man and there’s nothing sexier than a man who pays attention to who you are.

This is the author, Tom Robbins, famous for books like Still Life With Woodpecker and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I have yet to read another male author who understands women more fully, or loves them more transparently than this man. Oh, and he can make me laugh so hard that I wet my pants with one simple sentence.

Style is sexy.

A man who dresses for himself and not in the traditional male uniform is very sexy to me. It shows a lack of conformity that I relate to as a rebellious spirit. Some may call it peacocking, but when done to please yourself and not in order to attract female attention, it’s sexy as all get out.

This is David Bowie, a true icon of style, then, now and forever.

The Renaissance Man.

Or the man who I define as the embodiment of all of these qualities simultaneously, is indeed difficult to find. But, as a woman who possesses those qualities, I will settle for nothing less. The common thread that links all of these men is that none of them are afraid to be who they are… no apologies. I’m not saying you have to be a genius like Neil deGrasse Tyson, or have the charisma of Mick Jagger, the wit of Tom Robbins or the style of David Bowie, there is only one man I can think of that is the personification of all of that, just be you and don’t try to impress me.

In case you were curious who I was referring to when I said there was only one man I could think of that personifies the intellect of Neil deGrasse Tyson, the charisma of Mick Jagger, the wit of Tom Robbins and the style of David Bowie, this is my ideal Renaissance man.