Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'll Have the Irony, Please, With a Side of Cynicism.

In this week's email from Divine Caroline were some of the latest stories posted on the site, and I thoroughly enjoyed Brie Cadman's article on date-rape drugs. The Feng-Shui office piece was pretty boring, because, well, it really only applies to people who have big offices and a budget to decorate them. (Don't get me wrong, I love my office, but there's no way to feng-shui a room that was partitioned out of pre-WWII building design.)

Click, click, click, and I find a section entitled "Uniquely You." Intriguing. I scanned a piece called Taking My Figure Into My Own Hands. I thought it was cute in a quirky sort of way (most of the writing I encounter seems to be fairly amateur), and thought the ending was pretty good.

I won’t name the catalog, but let’s just say that every cover seemed to have wafer-thin sixteen-year-olds in stylish bikinis, looking like they were about to return to their beach houses in the Hamptons with their other yuppie-yet-fashionably-messy-friends.

I’d purchased from the catalog and store before, but I never looked like that in their clothes. And then it hit me—I’m supporting them! I’m supporting this company making the rest of us women feel bad about our pouches, thighs, and uneven complexions.


I decided to funnel my anger, and call the catalog company directly and give them a piece of my mind. I was proud of myself as I called the order number.


Instead of going off to release my own pent-up-anger, I simply said that I wanted to cancel my catalog.

OK, she said, very nicely, and took down my information. No trying to talk me into keeping it, or tempting me with special offers. The whole thing was feeling very anti-climatic.

Then she asked, “May I ask why you are canceling your catalog?”

My chance had arrived!

“Yes,” I replied. “Because I don’t look like your models.”

She laughed and said, “I understand completely.”
I liked the sentiment shared between the author and the call center operator. I even added a comment about how I don't look like the models either. And then I glanced back up at the story illustration:

Is there some reason that Divine Caroline couldn't find a more appropriate picture to illustrate this story about normal sized women? The silly thing is that I didn't notice it right away. Maybe I'm just too used to seeing the "typical" woman depicted as having a waist the same size as her bicep. Look at her! She's wearing a teensy weensy skirt and heels that look positively painful. It's so ironic; instead of supporting the author's point about being satisfied with her body, it just underscores the perfect ideal that most women will never achieve, not even with an Extreme Makeover. Can anyone else spot an example of hypocrisy on a website aimed at women?

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