This is not Christina Aguilera.

This is an albino genie in a bottle. This might be what a girl wants to look like, but not what any real human being needs to look like. This is not beautiful, no matter what you say.

And if this image was meant to distort what Xtina looks like, the article itself was meant to make you remember what an awful year she’s had: She tripped at the Grammy’s, flubbed the national anthem, etc., etc.

Sure, she’s kind of a hot mess lately (and a coworker of mine who interviewed her once says she was a brat and likely hungover) but can’t we show her a little love, W? As in not stretching her petite frame out to supermodel heights or painting her powder white? The girl has mad talent after all, and a pretty face – if we could actually see it.

–By Tara Cavanaugh

10 Things I Hate About ‘90s Fashion Part I

I like making lists and I’m feeling flippant today, so I decided to create a Master List of things that I find incredibly unattractive.  I don’t know if I chose to focus on the ‘90s because I myself was a preteen fashion pariah in those days and have nightmarish memories of what not to do, or because I find the ‘90s full of eighties leftovers, drab utilitarian apparel, and kitschy wannabe flower power…among other even worse assaults on fashion.

10. Pasty foundation: was it a rebellion against the beach babe look of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s or an enduring love affair with the gothic spawned by 1994’s Interview with the Vampire?  Well, no matter the flimsy justification, wearing foundation and powder that makes your face look two shades paler than the rest of your body doesn’t enhance your face in a good way.

9. Overalls: Once upon a time, over two hundred years ago, “slops” were worn “over all” the rest of men’s clothing to protect them while laboring—i.e. painters and railway workers.   I think it’s great it became popular for women to don what was traditionally men’s apparel, but that’s about all the merit I’ll allow them.  They’re cute on kids five and under, but on women they erase waistlines and transform curves into ill-defined bulges.

I think this was someone's senior picture. And I have this strange sorry feeling.

8. THE SANDALS: My step-dad had a word for these: clodhoppers.  We know them better as Doc Marten sandals and their knockoff offspring.  They make anyone look flat-footed and the off brands (in my experience) could give you massive blisters.  To my chagrin, I’m pretty sure I wore these with overalls back in middle school.

7. Helmet head: Now it’s time to pick on the boys.  Super-gelled, spiky, slicked-back, frosted tips, or bleached hair was a staple for some guys in the ‘90s.  Nowadays only small subsets of men like the guys from Jersey Shore dress their hair with a pound of gel, but back in the ‘90s it was commonplace to see that eyesore everywhere due to offenders such as ‘N sync and Eminem who helped make it mainstream

Boys got moves. Hair does not.

6. Scrunchies  I cringe a little inside when I see one of those oversized, gaudy scraps of cloth.  You can still see these museum pieces in a grocery store, seemingly untouched by the masses, and then—behold!  You’ll spot one or two women in said grocery store, mostly middle-aged, sporting one.  Tragically, they may lose their endangered status due to companies like American Apparel who are marketing them as delightful throwbacks.

–By Jenna Cooper

Fashion vs. Style

Hutton in a J.Crew campaign from '09. She's a classic kind of darling, isn't she?

“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year. Style is what you pick out of that fashion… it’s what you make of it once you’ve learned what to accept and ignore based on what looks good on you.”

Can I get an AMEN!

The gorgeous, gap-toothed model/style icon Lauren Hutton, quoted from J.Crew’s latest ad campaign, is exactly right: The women we admire most for their sense of style aren’t the most trendy. They’re the ones who know what colors, cuts and patterns look best on them, and they aren’t afraid to ignore the trends.

In other words, every time Vogue or Glamour cry, GO OUT RIGHT NOW AND BUY THIS FUGLY THING OR YOU’LL BE A LOSER!!!!!!!!, the truly stylish among us go: meh.

So how’s about we  just take a look at the difference between fashion and style. This should be fun. You excited? I’m excited. Let’s go!

 

STYLE: Rocking colors that are complimentary to your skin tone

Rosario at last year's VMAs

FASHION: Similar color scheme for a gal of a completely different complexion = washed-out disaster.

We'll be gracious and not comment on the drop-crotch pants disaster.

STYLE: Flattering your figure with carefully chosen, even tailored, shapes

FASHION: Ugh.

How quickly one girl goes wrong... so very, very wrong

STYLE: Daring to do something fantastic, fun, flattering and totally different with your look

FASHION: Going so different from your look that your colors become Crayola-worthy. Candy-apple red, anyone?

–By Tara Cavanaugh

Anatomy of a Sorostitute: EDNA educates

Velcome to today’s lesson. It is time to go back to zee school. Ve vill begin our back to ze school education vith understanding ze sorostitute.

Ze sorostitute is ze most brand worshipping of all of you leetle retail slaves. She occurs most commonly on ze college campus. She has ze most expensive outfits, and ze least taste.

I must varn you, some of today’s lesson may be graphic. It iz a NIGHTMARE. You may need to leave ze room. I understand. Ze offenses are gruesome. Clashing brands! Ze pricetags! Ze motto: ‘My daddy has money and I vill happily VASTE it.’

Let ze nightmare begin, shall ve? Observe ze elements:

PINK sweatpants

Ze sorostitute does not believe in formal pants. Jeans say “I got dressed.” Jeans say “I care.” No such sings for ze sorostitute! Zere are more important sings in life zhan “caring.” Ze sorostitute is “comfy” and “fun.” Sveatpants are “comfy.” Ze PINK logo on ze booty is “fun.”

Leggings

Again: zhe does not believe in ze “pants.” I hope you’re taking notes, CLASS, hint hint.

North Face jacket

Costing upvards of $100, ze North Face jacket is also “comfy.” It is also “fugly.” Zis shapless abomination of fleece looks like a ze jacket your mom vears to ze football game.

Wife Beater

Ze tank top is perhaps ze least costly part. It suggests sleepvear. But it is very important! It clings to ze body, making ze sorostitute think “sexy.” Ze jacket and sveatpants are comfy, but NOT “sexy.” Ze sorostitute must feel “sexy.”

Updo

Ze hair is ze most treeeecky to vork here. Ze hair must be up in a “messy” ponytail bun. But it must NOT be too dirty. Zhat is “GROSS.” Many vash ze hair, zhen put it in a “messy” bun high on top of ze head, and very carefully pull out strands and pin them back up to look like ze hair vas “thrown together.”

BAG!

Ze sorostitute is NOTHING vithout ze bag! Ze bag is ze most costly. Ze bag MUST be a Coach. It MUST be BIG. Ze sorostitute that does not have ze big, Coach bag is a VANNABE. Some must settle for small Coach bags. Some settle for cheap bags vith a Coach ribbon. Zey are POSERS.

Ze ONLY acceptable substitute is ze Greek girl bag.

Ze accessories

BEEG diamonds in ze ears. Zey can be fake, no one can tell. A Tiffany & Co. chain necklace. A Tiffany & Co. chain bracelet. Extra points for ze trucker hat and aviator sunglasses.

UGG boots

Zey are “comfy” and “varm” and are vorn in ALL seasons.

Skin

I’ll make it easy to remember. Think Lindsay Lohan.  Ze skin is orange and ze eyeliner is BLACK.

Now I hope you paid GOOD attention! Next class, there vill be a QUIZ. If you fail, your punishment vill be to dress like a sorostitute for ze next class.

CLASS DISMISSED!

-EDNA MODE

FUGLY ALERT! Cargo leggings

The leggings-are-not-pants argument goes lots of ways. They don’t offer any structure. They leave nothing to the imagination. They’re cold. They couldn’t be any less flattering, since they leave all of your jiggly bits free to ripple in the wind. And they don’t even have a place to stick your chapstick.

But I underestimated the fugly power of leggings. Turns out, they CAN be even less flattering whilst offering a place to put your keys. Enter: cargo leggings.

Because cargo pants were so long ago (hello, middle school), we seem to have forgotten how incredibly unflattering wide-leg khakis with large pockets can be. Because leggings are so prevalent now, we’re no longer surprised at how unflattering they can be. So designers decided to put the two together, in a brilliant marketing plan to both make leggings seem “new” again and to provide fodder for them to laugh at us endlessly while we jiggle not just our booties, but the change in our pockets.

I promise you, unless you’re a size zero, leggings do absolutely nothing to flatter your body. Leggings are really only relatively cute on girls whose thighs don’t touch (hate you, btw). But cargo leggings? Please. They’ll make even the leanest of women look like they put their knee pads on the wrong way before going rollerblading.

–By Tara Cavanaugh