‘Farmed and Dangerous’: The Food Emperor’s New Clothes

Farmed and Dangerous, body shapewear  Chipotle’s latest foray into “values branding,” once again takes on the sins of industrial agriculture. Predictably, the four-part series is raising the hackles of Big Ag who claim it is “anti-farmer.” It is also making some middle-of-the road agriculture groups squeamish. They’re afraid Chipotle’s marketing strategy pits small farms against big farms.

The antagonism between big and small plus size womens clothes farms in the U.S. is a historical condition that has little to do with Chipotle, of course. The superior market power of large economies of scale, the overwhelming preference for large-scale, capital intensive technologies in the Farm Bill, the USDA, the land grant colleges and the seed and chemical corporations (to say nothing of the favors and financial preferences of banks, investors and farm-state politicians) are all reflections of the deep agrarian divide that separates large and small-scale operations. Some groups may choose to elide these differences in the hopes smallholders can benefit from Big Ag’s policy crumbs. Or they might shy from these conflicts for strategic political reasons. That’s all fair enough. Heaven knows small farmers desperately need resources and are in no position to engage in a frontal assault on their industrial counterparts. But the reality is that the underlying structural inequities in agriculture rip a much bigger hole in the “big tent” approach to farm advocacy than does Farmed and Dangerous.

Chipotle’s series actually takes irreverent  aim at the ruthless corporate suppliers and sleazy public relations firms that don’t farm at all, but make their money off of farmers. True, the series’ premise is that big, industrialized chemical-intensive agriculture is bad for people, animals and the environment. But that critique is widespread, well-documented, and has been around a lot longer than Chipotle.

Farmed and Dangerous is outrageous. Petropellets and viral videos of exploding cows? Seduction, intimidation and PR spies? (Favorite line: “Those people died from eating, not starving — that’s progress!”) The plot unfolds like a cross between Food Inc. and Austin Powers. The problem for detractors is not that the series is over the top, but that it’s too close to the truth. They’re mad because they’ve been punked; exposed and ridiculed… people are laughing at them. The food emperor has no clothes.

Farmed and Dangerous states the obvious by making it absurd. People laugh because they’re tired of Big Ag’s deceptions. In Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes wily tailors convince the king and his court that only stupid people are unable to see the “special cloth” they use to sew his expensive new robes. Boy, did they feel like idiots when in the middle of the grand royal procession a little kid in the crowd cries out “the king is naked!” Everybody laughs at the stupidity of power.

Sound familiar? The GMO and chemical giants dress up their product in their own self-serving research and accuse anyone who questions their findings as being “anti-science”, i.e., stupid. They send their top executives back and forth through government’s revolving policy doors to ensure their products hit the market without any serious scrutiny. Politicians repeat their fictitious claims, quite clear that their re-election donations depend on publicly admiring the food emperor’s magnificent clothes. No wonder they’re hating on Farmed and Dangerous.

Whatever your feelings on the series, Chipotle’s marketing approach blows Big Ag’s ponderous infomercials out of the water. As Jon Stewart discovered, people no longer look to the news for truth or to advertising for product information, they look to comedy — satire, to be exact — to find out what is actually going on. Corporate science, industry and government are no longer trusted either. And even though people have learned it’s not wise to openly challenge global monopolies, industrial agriculture’s deafening claims of “protecting the environment,” “saving the world from hunger” and being in the “service” of family farmers, are quite simply, no longer believable.

Whether Farmed and Dangerous is a successful marketing ploy for Chipotle depends on just how unbelievable Big Ag has become. I am more intrigued by seeing who is furious, who thinks this kind of humor is “unhelpful” and who — like me — thinks it’s hilarious. As with all things political — and satire is nothing if not political — where one stands on Farmed and Dangerous depends on where one sits within today’s corporate food regime.

Blogger Praises K-Beauty While Calling Asians ‘Ching Chongs’ In ‘Funny Clothes’

With cute, hydrating cheap sexy clothes face masks and BB creams all the rage in beauty, it’s clear that Korean self-care techniques have landed in the global spotlight. But even with its growing prestige, the Korean beauty industry can’t escape the pettiness of racism.

Chanel Brusco, a Swiss beauty blogger  known online as Cocomadkilla, has faced a storm of criticism this week after insulting Asian people by calling them ching-chongs in a review for a K-beauty product from a company called Glowrious.

As you  may have noticed, you discover a lot of funny stuff in the east, Brusco wrote in a post published in early July.

Many of us don’t always understand the ‘Ching Chongs’ with the black hair and funny clothes (hihi). But what makes us all the same, is our love for sleep and beautiful skin.

The original post and review, in which Brusco praised the products, appears to have been removed from the internet, but it was captured and republished by Instagram user fabulouslytourettes on July 3. It went viral this week after Twitter account ESEAsianBeauty tweeted a screenshot of the review.

The beauty blogger has since made all of her social media accounts private, but that hasn’t stopped people from scrutinizing her words. The Asian community on Twitter was especially vocal.

One Twitter user pointed out that Brusco insulted Asians, yet praised the Korean beauty product all in one paragraph. Another pointed out that the use of ching chong is a lazy, albeit offensive, slur.

The attention on Brusco’s review reminded one person of a 2016 tweet written by Twitter user absurdistwords about oppression in America, which could also highlight the absurdity of Brusco’s insulting review. Absurdistwords amended the tweet on Wednesday to better relate to the situation.

Olympia Valance shapes up as a lingerie model

She was called “Australia’s Next Margot Robbie” by influential US fashion magazine W but soap starlet Olympia Valance is still putting in the hard yards on the road to international fame.

The 24 year old has signed on as the face and body of lingerie and shapewear brand Nancy Ganz’s cheeky new campaign – ‘Lingerie with benefits’.

Olympia poses in the company’s Sexy Shaper Bra, which pretty much spells out its body contouring abilities.

Neigbours actress Olympia Valance in the Nancy Ganz campaign. Image: Nancy Ganz.

“In the past, there has been a stigma about shapewear being for a certain aged woman or body type,” Olympia says.

“I really wanted to help shift that thinking. Nancy Ganz has incredible products to suit all women and make you feel sexy and confident, which to me, are the most important things when getting dressed. That inner self assurance is something that radiates from the inside out and I wanted to get this message out there, so more women reap the rewards!”

Olympia is comfortable undressing for the camera, having already appeared in campaigns for UK lingerie label Gossard and local label Voodoo alongside Jodi Anasta.
Olympia Valance in the Sexy Shaper Bra from Nancy Ganz. Image: Nancy Ganz
The number one shapewear brand in Australian department stores, Nancy Ganz is also distributed in Neiman Marcus in the US and House of Fraser in the UK, which should help the ambitious actress in her goal for international stardom with the next step a shift to Hollywood.

“I’m not saying the word move; I’m relocating temporarily,’ Olympia told W. “The word move is really daunting. But that’s the plan. That was always the plan. It’s a dream. It’s a big dream, but I know that.”

For women, clothes are not a uniform

Normally on a serious clothes online stores occasion you expect people to be dressed more or less alike: it might be sporting, it might be “black tie” or office clothes, national dress or the uniform dark suit favoured by the House of Commons. But at the Women of the Year lunch this autumn there was a remarkable lack of conformity. Without moving your head more than two inches you could see a black trouser suit, a sari, a bare armed summer frock, formal gowns in every conceivable colour – there were hardly two the same.

Maybe that’s an illustration of something that is often different between women’s gatherings, and men’s or mixed, which would be far more likely to have something specific in common: they’d all be lawyers, or veterans of the same school or share the same party or religion or be members of the same union. The fact that the women at that lunch were happy to sport just about as many styles as there are ways of dressing and come from so many cultures emphasised the extent to which they could be totally diverse in so many ways and still have any amount in common just by being women.

Maybe because of all the restrictions women have traditionally suffered in so many ways, the single fact that they were females, let alone successful females, was enough to unite them whatever they did and wherever they came from.


This Loki Clothing Line for Ladies is Incredible

In celebration of Loki’s clothes online stores most recent outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s a new clothing line celebrating the trickster god’s aesthetic. And it’s awesome.

The clothes, put out by Hot Topic and nerd-themed fashion designer Her Universe, take Loki’s signature look—the dark greens, sharp lines and embossed golds of his various outfits—and turns it into some fantastic ladieswear.

Or this elegant sports bra that channels Loki’s look into something subtle and sexy:

Though my favorite, by far, is this cape/blazer hybrid which serves so far as I can tell no practical purpose but looks fabulous:

Not to get too personal for a second, but one of the biggest pleasures of being a trans woman is getting to dive into and experiment with women’s fashion. I find an immense amount of joy in seeing my interests turned into clothes that are flattering and well designed. Ashley Eckstein (who also voices Ahsoka Tano, making her my idol), the creative mind behind Her Universe, does fantastic work, and if you’re a lady who’s interested in flaunting her interests in a way that never feels as gross and ostentatious as, say, a graphic tee, look no further.

You can check out the whole collection here, and find more Her Universe designs on their website.

Thabethe launches underwear and shapewear rang

Actress, TV presenter and radio personality Thando Thabethe launched her underwear and shapewear range last night at a star-studded event that brought the sexy to Johannesburg’s skyline, as guests arrived in their best “pyjama chic” outfits to celebrate with the star.

Invitees were treated to a mix of cocktails from sponsor Cîroc, while watching “real women” walk the runway in Thabooty’s shapewear and underwear. Body positivity was the theme of the night, as the women confidently showcased the new collection without a care for stretch marks, cellulite or the odd thigh-wobble. #IAmWoman is the message Thabethe hopes to bring across with her line of underwear, which includes a blend of pieces that resemble lingerie – adding a tantalising edge to underwear meant for women of all sizes – demonstrating that your measurements shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to you being able to feel desirable. A point Thabethe was quick to make, however, is that the range was not created for men to look at, but for women to enjoy for themselves in order to feel irresistible when standing in the mirror in nothing but their Thabooty’s garments.
“I wanted to create something women wouldn’t be ashamed to wear, and something that would meet my functional needs. Whether it was to even out, control or contour, I needed something that wouldn’t roll down my body or make me feel like I was wearing a blanket underneath my clothes,” states Thabethe.

The range also includes cute and sporty pieces with the word “Thabooty’s” adorning large sections of the collection’s bra and panty straps, reminiscent of luxury clothing brand, Moschino’s, branding emblazoned on its most popular skivvies. And while Thabethe’s fun and sexy creations were undoubtedly the showstoppers of the collection, the smattering of functional foundation pieces for women looking to hide bumps and gain support means she is serious about gaining a share of the underclothing market.

Offer a ‘worn and worked’ vibe with their L.A. women’s brand

stylists-turned-designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, both 40, consistently use a vintage Americana aesthetic in their contemporary women’s clothing brand, elevating and modernizing the theme to infuse their label as well as their ongoing interior decor collaboration with Pottery Barn.

Before launching the Great in 2015, Current and Elliott were with Current/Elliott, the fashion label they started in 2008. At Current/Elliott, the duo began making tomboy-inspired silhouettes to disrupt the denim market, which, at the time, was focused on jeggings, or denim-like leggings. The designers parted ways with Current/Elliott’s parent company in 2012, citing the desire to pursue other creative endeavors, including starting the Great.

Since then, the designers have been on a roll, putting their whimsical and nostalgic twist on nursery bedding, diapers, premium denim and, most recently, a line of leather boots.

“We’re trying to make best friends for your closet — like the jean that you always grab, the jacket you always grab,” Current says.

With the Great, Current and Elliott created a brand that’s not influenced by trends — or the runway. Their label is inspired by nostalgia and the well-worn nature of vintage pieces and clothing. The result? They have a contemporary collection that captures the casual nature of California and has a strong following of women who appreciate the designers’ loose and slouchy shapes, which balance tomboy sensibility with high-end designer accessories. (Selections from the Great sell for $95 for a boxy crew T-shirt to $550 for a long dress.)

“There’s something West Coast about our point of view. It comes from that deep-rooted Levi’s culture and things that feel worn and worked,” says Elliott of their design inspiration. “Also, we have similar references in life from what we read and what we studied in school like the gold rush, boxcar children and ‘Little House on the Prairie.’ There are things that influenced us from youth. Then we grew up with Gap and Levi’s and brands that had this very American aesthetic. These references still impact us today, and to us, they feel very California.”

Current and Elliott started their design careers in denim, and they have become known for their denim pieces such as the Fellow jean, a vintage-inspired style that’s relaxed through the hip and tapered at the ankle, and the Nerd jean, a cropped style with a slight “kick-flare” hem. Although L.A. is a denim capital, Current says it was initially challenging to gain entree into the city’s often-male-run production facilities.

“There a few clothes online stores women making denim when we started, but really it was a boys’ club,” Current says. “We had to be tough. We had each other but we had to be tough to be in that world. Now it feels a little bit more commonplace. There’s a lot more women, and I love it. I think that women have shifted the industry significantly. We did. We get legitimate respect when we walk into a denim manufacturing facility because this is our job, and this is what we do. And we’ve proven ourselves, and I think that was harder years ago.”

What I wore this week: clothes online stores

The meta-issue of how to wear clothes in 2017, there is one essential piece of fashion advice which I am borderline evangelical about. Sometimes I have to restrain myself from running after women in the street and wrestling them to the ground in order to drum it into their heads. It is this: that loose clothes now look smarter and more modern than tight clothes. There is still a hard-to-shake-off mindset which tells us that loose clothes are casual – pyjamas, tracksuit bottoms – and that smartening up means tight skirts and fitted jackets. That making an effort means wrangling with Spanx and fastening your belt on its tightest notch. And it’s just not the case. Clothes that sit away from the body look grander, more considered, more elegant, more all-round fabulous than skintight ones.

Many women seem to feel that wearing clothes that do not trace the outlines of their body will somehow place them at a disadvantage. And if your gameplan is simply to maximise eyeballs on you, then sausage skin dressing is undoubtedly effective. But we can do better than that with our clothes, I think. Quality rather than quantity of audience engagement. And I have a proposal for you sceptics, if wearing a fluid, sack-shaped dress to a meeting sounds more alarming than wearing nothing at all. August is the ideal time to experiment, because this is silly season, and that applies to your wardrobe too. You don’t have to power dress. This is the ideal moment to loosen up.

Ditch the tight, sleeveless office dresses, stuff the denim shorts and spaghetti strap vests back in the drawer and try a long, loose dress. These are everywhere this summer, from designer versions like the one I’m wearing here to high street takes. You can choose from folkloric, picnic-vibe dresses, disco-orientated Saturday night maxi-dresses and office-appropriate longer-length shirt dresses.

Looser clothing has clothes online stores its own rules and requirements. The level of detail is key. Too stark an outline, and you end up looking like Handmaid Offred. Too much jingle-jangle, on the other hand, and you look like a charlatan fortune teller. (Beware, specifically, the pom-pom glut that is plaguing this summer’s high streets.) There is a learning curve to figuring out how to look smart, now that tight doesn’t mean smart, and summer is the perfect opportunity to get up to speed.