Blame Barbie?

I was a happy, chubby little girl in a bright yellow polka dot dress.

I'd chosen the dress myself, just like I chose the rest of my wardrobe-- I insisted upon it. And my mom, always in favour of supporting my creative endeavours, allowed me to, even when I ended up in a rather unfortunate (in retrospect) all-pink ensemble, complete with magenta hair scrunchies on my arms (I called them "arm-loads" and explained that they'd be a great new trend).

Of course, my love of clothes translated to a love of Barbies. I had a few, which I played with frequently-- in my room, outdoors, in the bath-- but my cousin and closest confidante, Danielle, had a far superior collection.

Three shelves in her bedroom were dedicated to the dolls. Her mother took great care in lining them up neatly and organizing their clothes and accessories in drawers under Danielle's bed. Those drawers of Barbie clothes were, to me, like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, a treasure trove thousands of times better than the Little Mermaid's, and definitely more exciting than my own drawers of toys (even though my parents treated me very well!).

We spent hours in that room, dressing the dolls, combing their hair, making up storylines for them.

It took me years to notice our beloved dolls didn't look like us.

I was probably about eight when I realized my body was different.

Danielle and I were in ballet class. We had to line up in order of size, with both height and weight taken in to consideration. Madame was frustrated with me, because, thought I was one of the shortest in the class, I weighed the most. She never said it explicitly, but it was made very clear that ballerinas were not supposed to be fat. Therefore, despite my perfect plies and stunning arabesques, I was not supposed to be a ballerina.

I remember crying in Danielle's bed one night, having a sleepover after dance class. "I don't look like the other girls. I don't look like you. I don't look like our dolls. Am I fat?" She snuggled close to me and said, "I don't care, Becca, I love you".

I forgot about my size (and what society seemed to think of it) after that, and didn't think of it again until junior high. Switching to drama, not dance classes, definitely helped. But we still played with dolls.

"This one should be you, because it has long brown hair like you, Becca," Danielle said, handing me a Barbie.

"Okay," I agreed. I sorted through the dolls, mainly blonde and white, an Indian one (she was a Pocahontas Barbie, of course), a couple with black hair and dark skin, and I noticed... "None of them have hair like yours".

Danielle's hair was an unruly chocolate brown mass of curls that added at least a couple inches to her already generous height. Kids bullied her for it, but I always thought she was beautiful.

Apparently Mattel didn't think so: There weren't any tall, curly-haired Barbies. There also weren't any short, pale Barbies with round tummies like mine.

I've read numerous articles recently, about the bald Barbie that's possibly in the works. Fellow journalists are speculating that maybe a body-positive Barbie isn't far behind. "Will there be a fat Barbie next? One with acne? One that's short? How about a lesbian Barbie?" they ponder.

Even if these dolls are released, how soon will that happen? Barbie debuted in 1959 [source], but a black Barbie wasn't introduced until 1980 and the first Indian (Native) doll wasn't introduced until 1993 [source]!

At this rate, it will be decades until we see a fat Barbie-- and by the time that comes, kids will have other influences (like pro-ana websites, Strong4Life, the American government's "war on obesity", the tiny selection of sizes in most clothing stores, shadeism within cultures) to destroy their self-esteem, so it won't make much impact, anyway.

Mattel's exclusively skinny, usually white dolls are ill-advised, but not entirely to blame. Society is. Instead of projecting our own insecurities and sizist ideas on to a doll, let's take responsibility, step up and do something about the damaging impact society has on children's body image.

Image: Tess Munster as a gorgeous plus size Barbie doll! Source.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (& Wonderful Out of Print Tees!)

You know that saying, 'wear your heart on your sleeve'? Out of Print abides by a similar rule: wear your favourite book on your shirt!

Out of Print is a company that makes stylish tees and accessories printed with classic or out of print book covers. But the brilliance doesn't stop there. In their own words: "[As well as] spreading the joy of reading through our tees and accessories, we acknowledge that many parts of the world don’t have access to books at all. We are working to change that. For each product sold, one book is donated to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa".

So not only do you get to look good in a cool graphic tee; you get to feel good because you're supporting a great cause, too.

I've been a fan of Out of Print for a while, because I'm passionate about literacy and fashion, which are the two things Out of Print stands for. When they offered to send me a shirt in exchange for an article about their company, I jumped at the chance! I'm now the proud owner of a gorgeous, incredibly soft Wonderful Wizard of Oz tee, and the excited writer of a blog post about what's probably my new favourite company.

Wearing this shirt makes me awfully nostalgic about the first time I read the Oz books... So much so that I think I'm going to reread them! I also can't stop touching the fabric-- it's delightfully soft. And the cut of the shirt is very flattering. It's all-around awesome. I think you need one!

Want to celebrate the world’s great stories through fashion? Visit Out of Print.
Image Source:

I never endorse companies/products which I'm not absolutely thrilled by. This post meets FTC guidelines.


Colour blocking is not only trendy, but a gorgeous, classic and exciting way to inject some colour into your spring wardrobe. Whether your style is under-stated chic, bright and bold, or somewhere in-between, here are some tips to help you rock colour blocked clothes and accessories.

For a dress that's fab and affordable (and comes in straight and plus sizes!), look no further than Forever 21. This one is casual and sweet, perfect for a walk in the park or a game of tennis. This ombre dress would suit a curvy, confident girl out at the cinema or having dinner with friends. My favourite is this one. It's subtly colour blocked, and the perfect shade of red for a siren out on the town.
Not ready to dive in to full-body colour, but still looking to make your outfit pop? Try a colour blocked top or pants paired with white or black.

If you prefer to wear neutral clothing and flaunt colour blocked accessories, try a chunky beaded necklace in stand-out shades, yellow and orange earrings that look like candy corn (!!) or a colourful purse or pair of shoes.

What is your favourite way to colour block?

Image Sources:
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Full Disclosure: I am NOT in any way connected to any of these brands. I aim to offer inspiration for readers' wardrobes, not to endorse these products. Buttons!

Want to promote your favourite blogazine & glam-ify your blog at the same time? Grab one of these snazzy buttons, upload it onto your site (hyperlink it to, if you wish) and voila! Ready to go!

Note: Feel free to resize them, share them wherever you want & give 'em to your friends, but please do not alter the buttons in any way. I worked hard to make these! Thanks.


2012 Florida International Film Festival

160+ films.
10 days.
100s of special guests (including actors, filmmakers, Floridians, Floridians-at-heart, and film buffs).

This year is the Florida Film Festival's 21st year, and it's record-breaking! I'll be there... will you?

Image via Florida Film Festival's official website.

5 Reasons to be Body Positive

Being beautiful, desirable and successful has nothing to do with your size. Here are 5 more reasons to start focusing less on weight and more on being Body Positive.

1 It's good for your health. Dieting is bad for you. 95-98% of diets fail. Most people gain back all the weight they lost (sometimes more than that!) within 5 years. [Source] Diets also take a huge toll on your self-esteem. Dieting is not worth it.

2 The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don't shame others' bodies. Instead, focus on the beauty you see in them-- and yourself. Make the world a more positive place.

3 No more guilt about what you eat. Have you ever thought "I need to lose weight, so I'll skip dessert"? Forget that. If you love your body, you'll stop thinking like that and start paying attention to your body's wants and needs. You'll be emotionally and physically healthier that way. Plus, you'll actually enjoy your food.

4 The (fashion) world is your oyster. You know those magazine articles about "dressing for your shape"? Forget them. Fuck flattering. Wear what you like. Wear what makes you feel fabulous.

5 You can tell absolutely nothing about a person from their size (well, other than their size, and who cares about that?!). Ragen Chastain puts it best: "Weight is not a barometer by which to judge someone’s health, intelligence, employment worthiness, or anything else". Source. Don't waste your energy searching for secrets held by their size-- you won't find any.

Image: Gorgeous Body Positive Burlesque Dancer, Miss Dirty Martini [Source].

Things I Love Thursday: Excited for Summer

Here in southern Ontario it feels like we have gone from (a mild) winter straight to summer. I'm already starting to look forward to the hot days and cool nights summer brings. For today's TiLT, let's celebrate the season with a list of things we're excited about.

♥ Sundresses ♥ Fresh-brewed iced tea in glasses ♥ Long walks in the woods ♥ Trips to the beach ♥ Drinks with friends at patio bars ♥ Going to bed in filmy nightgowns (& leaving the window open!) ♥ 50's-style bikinis ♥ Sunbathing ♥ Pool noodles in neon colours ♥ Sliced cucumbers with sea salt

What are you looking forward to, gorgeous?

Image source?

Snapshots: Niagara Falls (1 Day, On Foot!)

With a few hours to spare, a cell phone camera and a $3 inter-city bus ticket, I spent this past Wednesday in Niagara Falls, ON.

I explored the city on foot, discovering tourist attractions, a quaint residential area and the historic downtown district.

How could I go to Niagara Falls without visiting the falls?

Being a proud, Patriotic Canadian, I made a point of visiting this statue erected in memory of Canadians who lost their lives in World Wars I and II.

Just across the street is Clifton Hill, home to all of Niagara Falls' most famous tourist traps. I sipped an iced coffee and people-watched.

Having had enough of the crowds, I wandered to the slightly quieter Falls Avenue and paid a visit to the Hershey Store.

After lunch, I did some shopping, then headed downtown. It was surprisingly quiet-- nothing like downtown Toronto-- but gorgeous.

A stunning mural painted on the side of a Queen Street building.

Archways like this welcome passersby on nearly every downtown street.

The Seneca Theatre on Queen Street has been around since 1940! This season, a production of Rent is playing. I had to pose for a snapshot below the marquee!

The old buildings near the bus station are incredible. While waiting for my bus, I admired the architecture.

After a long, tiring, fabulous day in Niagara Falls, I headed home... Until next time!

Come join me on tumblr!

An Open Letter To "Guy Who Looks Like Pete From Mad Men"

Dear gentleman on the subway who was admiring my chest,

You look like Pete Campbell from Mad Men. I find that quite attractive. It might have had something to do with your suit, which you looked quite dapper in.

I'm flattered that you find me attractive, but really, couldn't you at least ask my name, or better yet, genuinely compliment my intellect before undressing me with your eyes? This is the 21st century, afterall.

Thanks ever so much,

Modern Peggy Olsen

How To Get Out of Bed When You Just Don't Want To

Some days, you just don't want to get out of bed. Here are some ideas to help you get up & out the door:

-Put your alarm across the room. You'll only be able to stay in bed for as long as you can stand that incessant beep beep beep.

-Promise yourself a reward. A little something special might be just what you need. A latte on the way to work? Flaunting your favourite dress?

-Out of bed but not awake? A cold shower will do it! Very effective at waking you up, plus it's good for your hair and skin.

If your tiredness stems from chronic fatigue or a mood disorder like depression, it will be more difficult to deal with. I know this from years' experience battling depression-induced hypersomnia. Here are some tips for coping with it:

-Make sure it's not medical. Get tested for anemia and sleep disorders, just in case. Both are very common co-morbid disorders, and they may be the culprit behind your exhaustion.

-Motivate yourself. Find something every day to look forward to, even if it's little. This is especially difficult (but especially rewarding) if you suffer from depression. I had a hard time with it at first, but the more you practice, the easier it gets.

-Mantras. I will get out of bed. Today is going to be a fabulous day. On the count of five I'll get up and get moving.

-In your head, run through the events of the morning. Tiny steps are least intimidating. I'm going to get up. Brush my teeth. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Get in the car...

Good morning, gorgeous! Have a great start to your day!

Image source: unknown.

60 Seconds in Social Media

This is amazing! Doesn't it make you feel more connected to the rest of the world? (View full-size at the source).

Image via.

An Open Letter To: 15-Year-Old Me

Becca, aged 14.

Have you ever thought about what you'd say to a teenaged you? I tried writing a letter to myself (as part of the "An Open Letter To..." series), and found it a fascinating, healing experience. You might want to do the same. Here's mine:

Dear 15 -year-old Becca,

I'm you, 5 years from now. Don't question it. Let's just jump right in, 'kay?

Everything sucks right now, I know, but I promise it will get better.

I know pimples are annoying. You'll hate your skin for years. Best start mousturizing now.

The feelings you have for boys and girls are frustrating. Guys are confusing, and you're not comfortable with liking girls yet, because you don't have any queer friends or family members (that you know of). I'm glad you know there's nothing wrong with bisexuality. I'm glad you know you're a whole person with or without a relationship (and I'm sorry I forgot that when I was 19. I remember, now). Own your sexuality as early as you can. Embrace it, baby. That's the healthiest thing to do.

It's okay that you're not interested in sex, most of the time, even though some of your friends are. It's also okay if you want to look at porn or touch yourself. I know you won't (because I know you well). And that's okay, too.

Your parents' divorce is not your fault. Soon you'll understand that relationships sometimes don't last, and that's okay. What we learn from them and that we survive the fall is what counts.

You're going to be diagnosed with an eating disorder soon, Becca, around the time you turn 16. Don't be ashamed. That doesn't help anything. Lots of people have trouble with over-eating or under-eating. You just happen to have trouble with both. It isn't your fault. The sooner you recognize that and accept treatment, the better.

On a related note, you better get to work on accepting your body. It's a long, hard road. You think you're fat now (and think fat is a bad word), but you'll learn the hard way that you're not, and it isn't. Over the next 5 years you'll gain almost a hundred pounds, you'll battle EDNOS and body dysmorphia, people will belittle you for your size... and you'll begin to love your body for what it is and what it looks like. You're going to grow a few more inches. You're going to get wider hips, a rounder tummy, bigger breasts. Stretch marks and scars will litter your skin. But don't worry. You are beautiful. Remind yourself of that, every day.

You were just diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, too. I know that doesn't make things any easier. On the contrary, everything's going to be more difficult, thanks to your uncontrollable moods, unstable sense of self and intense insecurity.
But you know what? You're stronger than your illness. So what if it's going to stick around all your life? Start fighting it now, because you are going to beat it.

I believe in you.

Love, 20-year-old Becca

The Hunger Games, Candy Buttons & Sushi Salad

It's Friday! Happy Link Love day, darlings.

Doesn't sushi salad sound delicious?

I just finished reading The Hunger Games last night (!!!) but I'm already looking forward to the movie. Have you seen the trailer yet? Also, China Glaze's Hunger Games nail polish line looks fab. Related: Some really, really bad pick-up lines.

These candy buttons are nifty! Deciding between eating them and sewing them to a cardigan would be quite difficult, I'm sure.

I'm Not Suffering From Obesity is a great account of how fatphobic culture hurts the fabulously fat.

Come hang out with me on tumblr!

Have a great weekend!

Small Improvements on TTC Buses

Torontonians love to hate the TTC, and it's often easy to see why. But this list of improvements calls for a small celebration.

As of 25 March, these service changes will be in effect.

Like someone on LiveJournal said, though, this could be further improved with free candy.

Image Source.

Body Shaming Hurts Skinny Girls Too

Angelina Jolie looking gorgeous at the Oscars. Look at all the fucks she gives about the haters who say she needs a sandwich! Image Source.

I'm curvy. But that doesn't mean I won't stick up for my slenderer sisters. On the contrary: I know what it's like to have my body viewed with disgust, to be belittled and bullied over my appearance, so I'll do everything I can to save other women the pain.

On the rare occasion that I'm complimented for my size, it usually goes like this:

Person: Wow, you're pretty/have nice hips/big boobs/whatever.

Me: Thank you.

Person: It's true, real women have curves.

I'm left wondering: What the fuck? My friends who are skinny aren't real? Does that mean they're figments of my imagination? They can't find jeans that fit their tiny hips, so they don't exist?

It's meant as a compliment, but sizist catchphrases like "real women have curves" or "she should eat a sandwich" are just as hurtful to thin girls as "but you have such a pretty face, it's a shame you're so fat" or "she should stop eating" are to fat girls.

The only way we'll beat body-shaming, once and for all, is if we all stop bashing each other's size and start realizing that all bodies are good bodies, regardless of how large or small.

Related Links:
I Stopped Reading Health Mags and You Should Too | Full-Fat Frappuccinos | Stop Telling Angelina Jolie To Eat a Cheeseburger
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