среда, 16 марта 2011 г.

Little tribute to Grazia

(Or maybe not so little: a big fat article I wrote about interesting debates Grazia UK brings us every week. They just cannot ever leave me speechless!)


Every week on a Tuesday morning I wake up with a very special sort of feeling. Tuesday makes me ‘collect’ myself from the bed with a much greater enthusiasm than any other day of the week. Unless, off course, that is the morning when Monsieur Louboutin himself suddenly gives me a casual buzz just to let me know that ‘votre CV, mademoiselle, is exceptionally formidable pour la notre marque – oh please work avec us!’ (which will surely happen one day). (Oh, how indeed distracting it is to think of shoes when you have to think about work!) But nevermind. Please do not think, dear reader, that my life is so drab and horrid in its greyness of days that I have no joy waking up in the morning. I do. But still, Tuesdays are very different. Because I jump out from the flat on a Tuesday morning, with unbrushed hair and old leggings (terrible, don’t tell Karl) before anything, before even grabbing a tall skinny something at Starbucks. I feel an overwhelming wave of joy when I finally reach my destination, 50 meters later – at the news agent. I grab it by its bright glossy cover and even a natively miserable and neversmiling Victoria B’s visage on it does not effect my mood. I briefly leaf its meaty contents through to inhale the intoxicating inky odour. Perfume to my senses. Sometimes I think that after I have started a romance with it, I have become a toxic maniac!

I then rush off to a nearby café to dip in it, I first study the cover – it is you, good-old Grazia. My love and loyalty to you is controversial: as much as I cannot live without you, unfortunately I realize that you will never publish any of my letters that I have been writing in a bold excitement evoked by your numerous contradictive articles. Rushing to express my opinion about the latest burning debate, I would feel how itchy my fingers are for a keyboard. However, as much as I want to be heard in the cruel fashion horizon, I know that fortune will never be on my side, sweet dear Grazia. And it is in no way your fault. All because of my hot Russian temperament-spiced, angry and all-or-nothing opinions. Fur: to wear or not to wear? Skinny: to be or not to be? And we both know, my beloved glossy, that au naturel, fresh-faced and righteous English ladies who read you alongside with me will be, well, rather furious, I would say, if you publish one of my chinchilla coat-loving, salad and coffe-promoting letters. But there is a ray of light in a horizon of ‘be-comfortable-in-your-own-body’ and ‘I only wear vintage fur, I’m against animal killing’ tweets I read every week with a hopeless sob. Polly Vernon! It is you, who makes my (almost) every Tuesday! I am tempted to call myself ‘minnie-you’, except your clever and witty remarks and controversial, but soberly-explained opinions – skills (or talents?) that I still have a long road to come to. Oh, how much I understand you! Undeniably, you found your place in Grazia: a glossy magazine which like no other one encourages readers to get involved. I would say about 40% of Grazia’s content is based on it’s readers’ opinions, and that is what I love it for. It does not dictate women that they MUSTN’T wear skin-tight leggings that are 2 sizes smaller because they have big bums, but cleverly employs style advisors who suggest what is better for them to wear so that their derrieres look way more flattering in it. Grazia does not tell those ladies to stop munching on cakes after 11 p.m. either – instead it publishes recepies of filling meals for those who don’t look after their figures and nutrition in a way they should (ladies who seem to increasingly dominate this country, unfortunately). For Grazia, looking good is not about starving yourself, or just eating less, but about healthy lifestyle.

But at the end of the day, it is everyone’s personal choice – what and how much to eat, which I (and I’m sure Grazia too) respects. As much as it is what to think. But far not all the readers consider that, as I discovered lately from reading the feedback spread in the latest issue, which was literally bursting with criticism on Miss Vernon’s article about her maintaining a slender appearance. It seems like hoards of angry British women stood up together against the journalist with foaming mouths. Although there were some letters of support and understanding of Polly Vernon’s opinion about weight. She did not suggest that everyone should live on coffee and spicy food. Nor did she encourage you, dear ladies, to keep on loosing weight until you are too small for size zero jeans. After having read the whole feedback my head was just too full of someone else’s anger and the only thought that appeared in there was: ‘oh god, just get over it’. Like chocolate muffins and will never give up on them? Fine, nobody’s stopping you! You are a size 16 and feeling sexy and proud of it? Well, great, what can I say? The only issue concerning me here is that if women claiming they are so happy about their appearances get so fired up about this debate, then maybe they are not really as satisfied about it as they convince they are. Otherwise, why on earth some women get so negatively excited about it?

I genuinely think that looking after your figure and what you eat is not just about glamour, but about the attitude – not just yours, but also the one you want to receive from the world. If somebody wants to be thin and has enough willpower to do so (I am not talking extremes here), there’s no point being angry at the world fashion industry, 95% of which is aimed at slender women, simply because clothes looks better on them esthetically. Maybe it is a call for some to look over their lifestyles and perhaps make some changes to it in order to be happier. And by the way. Yes, I love fur, I wear mink. Faux, or ‘fantasy’ fur, as designers like to call it, looks rather sad and cheap on me and in most of the cases (although congratulations if  your name is Naomi Campbell and you can pull it off). But the mink I wear was not my pet friend, and it makes me look and feel better. Plus, trust me – when you’re in Russia with -30 degrees and wearing a synthetic parka, you’d scream for one. For those who think that there’s less guilt in wearing vintage fur – I’ll have to disappoint you, girls: those animals were killed too. I ask for an extra chair for my handbag in restaurants, I try to get blowdries two-three times a week and think it is essential – all not because I want or try to look posh, but because like any woman (hopefully) I don’t want my bag to get dirty, and feel that glossy swishy hair whatever the occasion is, makes me feel better throughout the week. Treating yourself well and not underrating yourself is what Grazia promotes, and what some women unfortunately understand in a wrong way, taking this statement to a whole new level.

Pheeew… Now it looks like I am taking all that too seriously! But those heated debates that make me think are what I love the most about Grazia, really. Anyway, I have to flutter away now, as it’s getting close to my blowdry appointment and I still haven’t ordered my skinny cappuccino.


Yours ever, Mireille High Heels

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