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strange birds...

thanks to me-fi for making me aware of the annual parade of questionable jingoism that marks the "national costume" portion of the miss universe pageant. since i don't follow beauty pageants as a rule [or even as a general guideline], i wasn't familiar with this tradition, but i can tell you right now that i think that every single one of these needs to be available for mass consumption at h & m within the next two weeks, because this is obviously the future of fashion. seriously, this is how nations have chosen to be embodied in fabric adorning their most physically perfect specimens. this is how they want the world [or at least the part of it that still watches beauty pageants] to think of them.

and i, for one, feel like i have learned much, both from reviewing this year's entrants and from going back to find out how it compared to 2010.

for one thing, i believe that every bird in the western hemisphere south of the rio grande is now dead. or at least bald, because there is no way that removing that many feathers from the ecosystem can be offset. behold the wonders of the caribbean nations, central and south america, my friends:



i also had no idea that "mad max :: beyond thunderdome" was actually set in a traditional tanzanian village.

then again, i didn't know that "bitch i will cut you" was a mating call in venezuela. or ireland.

apparently, in spain, traditional garb involves wearing the old dust ruffles from your parents' matrimonial bed.

while in the czech republic, it is perfectly acceptable to rework oversize handbags into new dresses.

recycling has deep roots in lebanon.


s & m has deep roots in albania.

croatia is a nation of candy-stripers and slutty cheerleaders, which is probably why their tourism industry has really taken off.

all fabric in australia is limited to teensy-tiny squares which need to be sewn together...

borat was actually downplaying the weirdness of kazakhstan...

 it's hard to out-glitz the usa...


but it can be done...

and i felt it necessary to reveal the shocking news that lady gaga is apparently stealing from the wardrobes of nigerian women.

[although i suspect that nigeria is trying to recover from the humiliation of showing up tastefully and appropriately dressed for the affair in 2010. likewise, india and norway aren't even represented in 2011 because they just seemed to be mocking the proceedings by being understated last year.]

a propos to that last note, count on sri lanka being given the boot in 2012...

your good taste will not go unpunished

i'd also like to congratulate my own country for managing to come up with the one costume that actually seems to have offended people. 

way to go, white chick

i hope that you've enjoyed this "one world" educational experience just as much as i have and that you've learned a little more about how your foremothers dressed in daily life in the old country. feel free to investigate this annual phenomenon more closely:

2010 [part 1 & part 2]


as long as you're here, why not read more?

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rêve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [winter edition]

it seems oddly canadian to have two posts in a row about winter/ cold/ snow, but they're obviously unrelated. after all, for most people winter is a season, but in colour analysis terms, winter is part of what you are, an effect of the different wavelengths that comprise the physical part of the thing known as "you". this might be getting a little heady for a post about lipstick. moving on...

if you've perused the other entries in this series without finding something that really spoke to you [figuratively- lipsticks shouldn't actually speak to you- get help], you may belong in one of the winter seasons. winter, like summer, is cool in tone; like spring, it is saturated; like autumn, it is dark. that combination of elements creates a colour palette [or three] that reads as very "strong" to most. and on people who aren't part of the winter group, such a palette would look severe. the point of finding a palette that reads "correctly" on you…