Thursday, 14 June 2007

'In' for the summer

Well they can't say they didn't walk right into this one.

The Rules of Summer 2007
we love the new breed of fash-referencing one-liners which make us look pretty and make others smile.

As you know, we always take our fashion tips straight from OWM. So it gives us great pleasure to present the official Observer Woman Make Me Spit fash-referencing, witty one-liner slogan T-shirt, guaranteed to make you look pretty and make others smile.

They come in two designs... there's the rather rude sounding Pink Lady Ring Fit shirt:

or if pink lady rings don't do it for you for whatever reason, the slightly more demure Unisex Version:

Both are available from the nice people at Vibe2k, on this page here. We are not taking a cut, so you'll pay the same price as we just did. Although if you're the kind of OWM reader who can't enjoy wearing a T-shirt unless it costs £150, do feel free to send us a cheque for the other £138.50 and you can walk the streets of Primrose Hill with your nose held high.

The OWMMS branded jelly sandals and parasols will be here shortly.

If you buy one, do please send us a photo of yourself wearing it. Or hell, send us a picture of yourself not wearing it. This is the internet after all.


UPDATE: After a flash of inspiration from PearlProtein in the comments box, can we also ask you for suggestions for suitable slogans for future T-shirts? To get you started, PP suggested:


There have to be plenty other possibilities.

Monday, 11 June 2007

From the outdoors, frolicking in the sun, feeling well disposed to our fellow man

The Rules of Summer 2007

Out: Blogging

It is the summer. You should not be indoors, posting vicious little blog-pensees all over the internet. You should be outdoors, frolicking in the sunshine, and feeling well-disposed towards your fellow man (you know, like us).

Aaaw diddums. Do you not want to play out anymore? But we were having such fun! Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee

In: Slogan t-shirts

Call us lazy, but sometimes it seems to take too much effort to say what you think. Luckily, fashion is kind enough to do it for us. We're not talking vile 'Sex me up' slogans here. Instead we love the new breed of fash-referencing one-liners which make us look pretty and make others smile.

Oh you have just given us a fantastic idea. Watch this space.

Out: Diet Coke

Partly because truly we don't see the appeal of the latest Diet Coke man (he's got an odd teeth-gum arrangement, it freaks us out); partly because San Pellegrino Limonata is much, much more fancy.

The drink you loved last month you love no more, because the man has wonky teeth? Don't blame him - he drinks Diet Coke!

We hate you. We hate you we hate you we hate you.


We know it's common but we like it.

3. Getting drunk in parks in the sun

Good God we agree on something.

4. Sneaking into pub loos

Oh for fuck's sake, squat behind the bushes like the rest of us. Have you been in the toilets at the Bay Horse?

"I wish I Could have been a rock star"

One could be embarrassed by looking at Tom Ford's package if he didn't draw so much attention to it himself. In the 10 years he helmed Gucci, and the four he designed for Yves Saint Laurent, Ford taught American women to become sexual dominants, supplying them the costume of stovepipe trousers and Halston-meets-Elsa Peretti white jersey dresses, as well as leather spankers and sterling-silver handcuffs. Women were personally bewitched by him, the straightest gay man alive; in the way that gay men dream of getting hot, straight guys to play on the other team, women are enticed by Ford because his heavy-duty flirting encourages the fantasy that he could fall for you. 'I feel,' he says breathily, 'that I am keyed into the female consciousness.'

Key into our consciousness, Tom. Focus on it. Got it? Good.

"FUCK OFF you misogynistic, shallow Avon salesman."

We know you have to peddle your eau de toilette to gullible souls but please, have a bit of pride.

We liked the Skoda advert

Beauty Queen

Q: I've recently become a self-employed landscape gardener. At 33, I have good skin and want to ensure that I do not age prematurely because of increased exposure to the elements on a daily basis. Can you recommend a good moisturiser/tinted moisturiser that contains an SPF? I have fair skin, burn easily - and my disposable income is now drastically reduced for the time being!

A: When it comes to make-up, I wouldn't use waterproof mascara all the time - it's too tough on the lashes for every day, all year. What about having your lashes permed and tinted for daytime and then you could use mascara in the evening?

OK, at this point, we have to tell you, we are close to giving up.

We need another drink.

dollymixedup spits from the heart

We're not going to make a habit of this, but dolly has something to say. The usual bile will resume shortly.

"I am a flat-chested size 16 with more cellulite than dover cliffs.

I have sailor tattoos on my right arm, breasts and pussy.

My left arm and right leg, torso and head are covered in scars.

I am a self-harmer in many different ways.

I cut, burn and beat myself, take overdoses.

I have more diagnoses than a Bernard Matthews turkey has sneezes.

I am a woman. I am a woman with many qualities, many talents many skills. And I'm a bit mad. I know I am.

If I were to cut off my breasts, inject toxins into my face, try to revert to puberty, look 30 years younger than my age and spend obscene amounts of money in chasing those rainbows; if I were to deny my gender, despise my gender, then I would be admitted.

And it wouldn't be nice.

I can't stand the way these women want to encourage other women to deface their bodies: the bodies of women. Observer Women.

I might be mad, but I do love being a woman. I am proud to be a woman. I love every fucking scar, every fucking wobble, every fucking crease on my body. Including the ones under my arms.

Self-harm is self-harm is self-harm, however you do it. It is about loathing, and that is not something to be bragging about. It is not pretty, it's not glamorous, it's not fashionable. It doesn't belong alongside handbags and shoes as a lifestyle choice. Whether operations and injections, diets and poisons or 69p razor blades from Netto - it is all self-harm.

When I'm ill, I damage myself. I engage in risky behaviour. I drink, self-medicate and hate myself.

But I don't glamourise it through a national Sunday newspaper. I refuse to be ashamed of who I am - but I do know that self-harm is no solution.

Observer Woman Magazine has the influence to make us as women feel better about ourselves. It could celebrate women as we are. It could love women for infinite reasons. Instead, it tells us that what we are, how we look, what a woman actually IS... is shocking.

Observer Woman is Self-loathing Woman.

Observer Woman - you are much more fucking mad than I am."

Some quotes from OWM:

Liz Jones

"I found big breasts revolting as well as terrifying: pendulous, covered in blue veins. I was scared of everything in those days - talking to boys, swimming lessons where others might glimpse my body or I might drown - and so I thought, it will be far easier to opt out. I starved myself, and so of course I didn't grow breasts; my adolescence consisted of precisely one period


I was in my early twenties, working on a glossy magazine in London, and the starvation thing had got a bit out of hand. At a particularly arduous ballet class one Saturday morning (I did four hours of classes on Saturday, seven hours during the week), I caught sight of my emaciated frame in its pink tights in the mirror and knew I needed help, which I got (eating-disorder clinics, steroids, peanut-butter sandwiches), but no one told me that one of the side effects was that I would grow breasts. Oh God how I hated them. They meant I couldn't run properly each evening, they meant men looked at me, they meant clothes (Azzedine Alaïa bodies, Katharine Hamnett stretchy dresses) looked obscene. I started to hide my breasts (bear in mind that up to, and way beyond this point, no man had ever touched them or seen them);


But then one day, on the bus, I had a revelation. I was reading the very first issue of British Elle magazine (the gloriously flat-chested Yasmin not-yet-Le Bon was on the cover), in which there was a feature that seemed to answer my prayers. It was about the fact that women in Paris were getting breast reductions to achieve that boyish, gamine, high-fashion look, and I thought, of course! Why didn't I think of this? And so, at the age of 29, I had my breasts removed


I can't feel anything in my breasts, and I will never be able to breast-feed (a bit of a moot point, given my two-decade-long sabbatical from men due to my breast phobia), and the scars mean I have never felt liberated by my flatchestedness; I have never been able to sunbathe topless, for example, or wear Versace gowns slashed to the waist, but how often do those situations arise? When I was finally, fleetingly married, my poor husband never got to see or touch my breasts;


Now that I am on my own again I can go back to not being a woman any more. I am alone, I no longer have to play netball or hockey. I no longer have to be seen naked. It's fine, really."

Kathryn Flett:

"I've lost two stones in 12 weeks on a diet not endorsed by any doctor, dietician, scary TV food guru or indeed anybody with half a brain. It amounts to a combination of stress, not eating very much and smoking like a volcano. Happily, Observer Woman readers are far too clever to follow such a patently idiotic prescription for rapid weight loss.

Whatever! This week I am prancing around reacquainting myself with my cheekbones and jaw line while wearing ballet pumps with skinny jeans"

Rosie Boycott,
(Founder, Spare Rib.)

"Two years ago, I was offered the chance to try out non-surgical face treatments for a newspaper article. Even though I hate the pressure that women are under to look good, there's no point in denying how much I try.


I submitted my face to a course of microdermabrasion (a high-powered exfoliation), IPL (intense pulsed light), Restylane injections and Botox. The IPL hurt as it zapped laser-strength light into the skin on my cheeks and round my nose, burning away thread veins that cause uneven, blotchy colour. The Restylane was injected into the grooves on either side of my nose and into the wrinkle between my eyes."

From 'The Next Big Thing'
"We watched our models, Kate Smith and Elizabeth Satherlund, get transformed, made-up, and styled. We watched them pose. We studied early Polaroids. But still, we were shocked by the finished product. The photographs seemed illicit, transgressive. They seemed overtly sexual. Fetishistic, almost. They certainly seemed contrary to today's rules on glossy-magazine aesthetics. So much bosom! So much bottom! Such luscious rolls of back fat! Such extravagant thighs! Aren't there laws against this?


Elizabeth and Kate are in fact both a size 16 - the dress size of the average British woman. They're (young, beautiful, statuesque versions of) us. They're the majority of women that pass us on the street every day. They're the most realistic representation of beauty in town. So of course, their image shouldn't be shocking at all. These photographs shouldn't be a statement, shouldn't be remarkable in any way. But they are."

Body of evidence

We wanted to post something today, really we did. But after obsessing at great length about dolly's toenails and Ally's nostril hair, we were pretty much exhausted. And then, we saw the most bizarre creature we have ever seen. The shock practically killed us.

So much bosom! So much bottom! Such luscious rolls of back fat! Such extravagant thighs! So many exclamation marks!

Suffice to say we might have a thought or two to share tomorrow.

In the meantime, do let the bile begin.