Category Archives: beauty everywhere

Sanctuary

And just as we launch ourselves into “the holiday season,” which is almost entirely equated with shopping, here’s a beautiful story about a Dutch church (shared by a friend, how did I miss this?) and its 800-hour service, as a means of protecting a Armenian family from deportation.

Apparently under Dutch law, police officers are not permitted to enter a church while a religious service is taking place, CNN explains. So for more than a month, hundreds of pastors and volunteers have conducted a continuous service, all in support of the family, whose asylum claim was rejected.

Not for nothing, the church is called Bethel Church.

The meaning of Christmas, indeed.

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The meaning of Christmas

 

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What women want

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It’s not that complicated. But brands don’t get that women want to see themselves reflected—their bodies, their ages, their ethnicities, their preferences—in branded messaging. Recently, a Victoria Secret executive dismissed the thought of casting plus size and transgender models in Victoria’s Secret shows.

“Why don’t you do 50?” L Brands CEO Ed Razek retorted, referring to garment sizing. “Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”

It’s Ed Razek’s fantasy, and indeed fatal flaw, that women want to watch an “entertainment special” featuring pantily-clad women at all. Per the NY Times, the company’s stock is down 41 percent this year and in response to questions asked in recent consumer study, 60 percent said they think the brand feels “forced” or “fake.”

I’m recalling a 2013 flameout when an executive at Lulu Lemon told the press that plus sizing was not part of its “formula.” Posted on its Facebook page: “Our product and design strategy is built around creating products for our target guest in our size range of 2-12. While we know that doesn’t work for everyone and recognize fitness and health come in all shapes and sizes, we’ve built our business, brand and relationship with our guests on this formula.”

Meanwhile, ThirdLove, started by women offers 74 sizes and “nude” tones across the spectrum of human skin colors. That’s what women want.

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I’m Rich

My Grandma Howard used to say — chortle, really — ‘I’m rich,’ when referring to her six grandchildren. Funny, because she was a mostly unsentimental person about family and everything else (and also because she was rich, money wise).
I’m reading a book* about a man who has suffered a violent assault and is recovering at home, full of pain and rage, his memory addled. All he wants is to return to what was once so unremarkable he was entirely unseeing of it: his ordinary life. He wants to be just a man putting on his jacket before leaving for work in the morning, stopping to rinse out a coffee cup and check his pocket for keys. Unremarkable except when it’s all gone and you no longer have a job to go to or the ability to make coffee or the dexterity to use keys or the mobility required to walk down a sidewalk on your own. I read in this both a caution and an invitation. Notice all these things, they are not yours forever (the bad news). Don’t dismiss your ordinary blessings because you’re too busy wanting other things. Also (and the good news): while you have them you are rich indeed.
*The Witch Elm by Tana French

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How to be 60: Find Your Peeps

I seek women of my age or stage who look cool and proud and smart and stylish and modern. I imagine they recognize one or more of these qualities in me and we acknowledge each other as we pass, silently. ‘I see you, lady!’

This requires that the woman not be arrogant or self-involved or have some similar blinding factor. (Note: arrogance and self-involvement are limiting!”) Why? Because otherwise they won’t see me. 

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Crepuscule

This word means twilight, which is always my focus around the summer solstice. The twilight is the prolonged part of the day, it seems to me, not the morning or afternoon—it’s as if the extra daylight is tacked on from 5 pm on. This is such a lovely time: the blue sky deepens, lavenders and finally dims but so, so slowly. Last night I celebrated the actual solstice with an epic walk home, starting at the World Trade Center and walking through the Hudson River Park all the way to 97th Street. Two and a half hours, maybe five miles (nope just looked it up, 6.7 miles), with so many people doing so many things around me: jogging, doing yoga in bikinis, men boxing (a fight club?), couples smooching, kids acting crazy in a fountain, aggressive bike riding , all of it while the sun sank on the other side of the river.

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I am remembering now a summer solstice long ago, back when I was a teenaged babysitter for a family whose name I am forgetting: the Smalls? They were wild cards, as employers, sometimes not coming home at all and always forgetting to have snacks or even dinner on hand. I remember sleeping on the couch, waking at dawn, still babysitting, and feeling equal parts thrilled and forlorn. Anyway, it was the summer solstice and Mr. Small, if that was his name, told me that every day after this one would be shorter. Obvious, maybe, but that made me feel forlorn as well.

Regardless, I have a category of blog posts called Holidays We Hate, but the solstice is not one of them.

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Snow day

Oh the quiet and peace and ease of a snow day at home. At 7:45, when I would normally be on a train into the city or on a subway or at the gym near my office, I’m in my jammies with pillows propping me up and a velvet comforter keeping me warm as the year’s first big storm howls outside. Hygge, indeed.

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A room with a view

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For everywoman who refuses to be invisible…

 

alyson-walsh-3-2014_04_25_pure_aw_13_shot_13_139-copy-2There’s Alyson Walsh’s blog “That’s Not My Age.” I mean look at her! She’s beautiful and cool and British. And she recently posted this photo of Lauren Hutton. I’m following her (anywhere).

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Lauren Hutton for Bottega Veneta

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Makeup Free Movement, as reported by blogger Atypical60

Catherine gets real about “no makeup,” better called “some makeup” and also “lots of makeup.”

Source: Makeup Free Movement? Nope. I’m of the Make Me Up Movement!!!

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the circus comes to town

Another image from my walk to work: bright circus placards on a grey November morning.

File this under “beauty everywhere” but also “things that I am supposed to like but do not like all that much.” Circuses: tacky, tawdry and surely in violation of many OSHA regulations. Dour thinking, I know, but that’s what I do think when I think of circuses. IMG_0208

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Beauty Everywhere

I remind myself of this as I walk to work — 50 minutes from West 97th Street to my office in Rockefeller Center. Reminding myself not to get super-irritated by the always-blinking-hurry-up-or-you’ll-miss-it walk lights, the monotony of the so-familiar route, the thoughts of what I need to do once I get in the office. Beauty everywhere is a call to look up at the trees, so yellow right now, and to admire the architecture around Lincoln Center Plaza, and to appreciative the stalwartness of the doormen lining the avenues (good morning, they say). Today, I was rewarded with this pistachio-hued convertible piled high with Jo Malone wrapped gifts. Thank you, Jo.

All I want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas

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