The week began with that purveyor of women's fashion Ralph Lauren. Poor Ralph got himself and his company caught up in a major fail episode. It seems that Polo Boy got his mallet in a knot over some criticism leveled at his marketing campaign by BoingBoing. Ralph and company apparently digitally enhanced model Filippa Hamilton almost out of existence. The poor woman resembles a broomstick with a head! To add insult to injury, after the exposure of their experiment in emaciation and a half-assed apology, Lauren seems to have quietly parted ways with their signature beauty because she was thought to be too heavy. Lauren and company contend that it was the result of a contract dispute and had nothing whatsoever to do with her size four figure. It might be easier to take Ralph at his word if this photo hadn't cropped up a few days later from an Australian Lauren campaign. Honestly, Ralph! Who do you think you're kidding and who do you think might take the greatest offense to these horrific pictures? How about the very customers that you depend on for your livelihood-WOMEN! Maybe if you stopped trying to make us all into some perverse ideal of what your warped mind believes a woman should look like, we might be more willing to drop a few bucks on your over-priced and over-valued image of the country club.
In keeping with the "women aren't really beautiful unless they look like an eating disorder poster" theme, comes this little gem from Karl Lagerfeld at the House of Chanel. Reacting to the news of German fashion magazine Brigitte's decision to forgo runway models in their publication and instead focus on "ordinary and realistic women" in their photo shoots, the openly gay, 71 year old Lagerfeld spewed the following invective.
The decision by Germany's most popular women's magazine was "absurd" and driven by overweight women who did not like to be reminded of their weight issues.
"These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly," Lagerfeld said in an interview with Focus magazine. The creative director of the fashion house Chanel added that the world of fashion was all to do "with dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women".
This coming from a man who has had his own well-documented battles with the bulge. It is starting to become obvious to me that these designers (many of whom are gay men) who claim to know what the ideal of a beautiful woman is and continually pontificate to the masses so as to push this ridiculous fantasy, are actually showing the world what their personal fantasy is--that is flat-chested and curve-less teenage boys. Nothing wrong with that if you are selling to teenage boys, but we beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes and have curves and cellulite. It is time that the designers started catering to us and not some image that even they have to create via photoshop. Major hot air alert!
Speaking of hot air. Here is the latest from Rush Limbore. The self-proclaimed leader of all things "right" once again showed his true colours this week when the big boys at the NFL refused to let him play in their exclusive game of pick-up. It seems that Rush had wanted to fulfill a childhood fantasy and become a part owner of my beloved St. Louis Rams. As if an 0-5 start, no offense, very little defense, a rookie head coach and a quarterback who can't stay healthy aren't problems enough for the moribund franchise, they actually entertained the notion of selling to the mouth that roared! When word leaked out of Limbore's possible bid, players, the player's association, the Reverends Al and Jesse and even the commissioner expressed some misgivings about some of Major GasBag's previously documented comments on race, race relations and black football players in particular. "Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it." Here's another gem. "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies." And of course, there is the infamous Donavon McNabb epsiode on ESPN. "I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve."
Now to be fair, the owners and the commissioner never let Rush's foray toward the elite circle get very far. Dave Checketts, the owner of the St. Louis Blues and the lead man in Rush's team bounced him before the bid even made it past the drawing board stage. He was too polarizing and certainly not the image that this hopeful ownership group wanted to project to the citizens of St. Louis or to the NFL. Rush blew like a volcano. Blaming a left-winged conspiracy and socialism on a scale not seen since LBJ introduce Medicare, Limbore huffed and puffed with self-importance as to the menace in his midst and how his situation was in his words "about the future of the United States of America and what kind of country we're going to have." Give me a break. We are talking about a group of people who have supported more conservative and right-wing causes then most of America. Jack McCallum at CNNSI said it better than I ever could.
In point of fact, however, l'affaire Limbaugh -- which was inarguably a public relations disaster for the group that first invited him, and then disowned him -- exemplifies two quintessential realities of America, ones that I have to assume Limbaugh himself embraces. Namely:
• When you become a business liability, your once-chummy fellow businessmen will turn on you.
• Actions have consequences.
No, Limbaugh was a red flag, trouble from the start, which Checketts (who in the past has been a sharp guy) and his group should've realized. Why? Not because Limbaugh is a political conservative, a designation that no doubt describes the great majority of NFL owners (and probably owners in all the major sports). But because when, given the chance, he devolves into a race-baiting provocateur.
Well said, Mr. McCallum and may this be the end of Rush in a Ram's jersey.
It was with some amusement that I watched CNN's coverage of Rush this week. They actually broke into a story about health care to announce Rush's dismissal from the Ram's bid. BREAKING NEWS?? Hardly. So I couldn't have been all that stunned to watch the cables all trip over themselves with the non-story of the balloon boy who wasn't. For over 3 hours, the newsnets followed the flying saucer over the Colorado skies, only to discover that the boy was hiding from and fearing daddy's wrath in the attic. While I can understand hoping for the safe recovery of the young lad, can we all admit that news networks have lost their focus and have taken their collective eyes off of the proverbial ball? Has October become that slow a news cycle that this is what now passes for a story? 3 hours, people! 3 frigging hours! Olympia Snowe only received 15 minutes and she actually did something newsworthy. When John and Kate are the lead story and balloon boys who aren't dominate the day, I believe it is a sign that the apocalypse is upon us. The press has truly stopped doing their job. When Ted Turner is wondering what happened to the network he founded, we should all take heed.
This shit is what passed for news this week. May we all see it for what it truly is--Hot air rising into oblivion.