Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do You Avoid "Celebrity Culture"?

When I first started The Daily Dress, one of the concerns I heard from a few readers was that they didn't want pictures of celebrities filling their RSS feeds. Others felt that they tried hard to avoid "celebrity and supermodel culture." And red carpet pictures—no matter how pretty the dresses—were all a part of that.

I certainly understand that sentiment. There have been times in my life when I've had to abstain from certain kinds of media for my own sanity. For example, the reading of any "women's fitness" magazines is now strictly prohibited in my household. I used to subscribe to them all: Shape, Self, Women's Health, and so on. But the thing is, they weren't making me any healthier; they were actually contributing to a bit of a predilection I have toward extreme dieting and binge exercising. Jeff gave me a bit of an intervention, in fact. He started to notice that every cover line was akin to "LOSE TEN POUNDS FAST!" and became skeptical about my reading material. I had to agree that perhaps the message wasn't the one I needed to be hearing. So Jeff took it upon himself to throw each of those magazines right into the recycling bin before I could even peek at them. He'd joke that he didn't even want our lady cat, Pip, to see them lest she get a bad body image.

I think taking that particular "media diet" (pun intended) was actually one of the best things I've done for my health. I don't obsess about my weight anymore or take on any crazy crash diets or exercise programs. And to me, that's kind of a big thing. Of course, I'd be naive to think I can avoid weight loss advertising completely. But I can assert some control over what I consume, and I think that intention is what preserves my well-being.

So, if someone felt that celebrity culture was something she needed to avoid all together for her mental health, I would certainly relate. Personally, I feel like I'm in a place where I can take what I want from that world (aka dresses) and leave the rest. Sewing, for me, is so tied into the fashion industry, which brings with it supermodels, celebrities, tabloids, and all sorts of stuff that's probably best consumed in moderation. And while it's hard to avoid all that stuff if you're interested in clothes, I suppose it's possible to limit your interaction. In respect to that view, I've tried to vary The Daily Dress to a certain extent, taking inspiration from places other than magazines and red carpets. It's definitely a work in progress, though.

And I think it's also worth noting that celebrity culture can be associated with positive things too. Pop culture is something that's brought infinite hours of joy into my life. (Hello Glee, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Mad Men, etc etc etc.) It's just a matter of making sure the media consumed is stimulating rather than soul-sucking.

So, anyway. Back to the question. Do you feel that "celebrity culture" is something you'd rather avoid when possible?

93 comments:

  1. Thank you. This is really inspiring

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  2. I'm pretty neutral about it. I don't actively seek out celebrities--I don't read People magazine or its ilk--but when you do point out these gorgeous dresses I love it! A fab dress is a fab dress, no matter who's wearing it, celebrity, mannequin or woman-on-the-street. It's not like you're providing a gossip column; we're focusing on a woman's clothes, not her latest divorce or bout with drugs. I say keep it up. Loving the dresses and love your blog!

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  3. I've had the same experience, only it wasn't so much body image as it was aging. Around 10 years ago, I stopped passing. As in, I was starting to show signs of becoming a woman of a certain age. Suddenly I was seemingly surrounded with images of women pumped with botox, sculpted by liposuction and whose faces had been fine-tuned by surgeons.

    I caught on eventually that these images were misleading me towards a sense that aging naturally is wrong. The two mags I read were In Style and Lucky. I discontinued those subscriptions. And I feel much better.

    As far as pop culture icons and the red carpet? I take that on a case-by-case basis. If the dress is interesting enough, it's OK.

    Back to body image - in the last few years I have ratcheted up my exercise to a whole new level and it just floods me with feelings of well-being. Guess it's those endorphins. I wish I had felt endorphins more when I was younger. Back then I don't remember feeling anything but resistance to regular exercise :D

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  5. Francesca WerenkoMay 11, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    It's not fashion or celebrity culture that I dislike so much as the images of skeletal women that are used so much.

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  6. As I don't know who half of these celebrities are, I'm pretty neutral about it. For me, they are really just pretty women in pretty dresses. I love People Stylewatch but, again, I have no idea who many of the women are or why they are famous. For me, it's really all about the clothes so keep those pretty dresses coming regardless of who is wearing them.

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  7. I don't mind looking at the dresses, but let's be honest - where and when would I ever wear a dress like that? I'm much for wearing practical clothes.

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  8. As a regular in GoFugYourself... I heart them. Where else could I wholeheartedly giggle at a total loss of any personal style. Let´s face it, very fev celebs fathom personal style, nor do they have impeccable style...
    So it´s a fun moment of brainbleach, every single time.

    As body image goes... I really couldn´t care if peeps are skeletal or eat themselves square. It´s up to everybody. Their bodies are not mine. My body is mighty damn fine for my liking and as long as I stay realtively healthy, Not obsessing over that one.

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  9. I do tend to avoid "celebrity culture", mostly because I feel my reality become skewed when paying too much attention.

    For example, a women's size 6 is "fat" in Hollywood (ask Khloe Kardasian's mom), but normal in the real world. And I would rather attend events like the Cambridge Science Festival (making science fun for kids) than to reserve hours watching the Emmy's or Oscars or other awards show, and taking in all the commercials.

    I don't fault others for watching though, because that is how to do get my doses of popular gossip, but I do censor my own activities.

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  10. It doesn't bother me. I'm not in it for the celebrities, I'm in it for the clothes. It just so happens that celebrities are some of the few that have the means to wear them. Like anything else, I pick and choose from what I see, taking inspiration and techniques and applying them to my own aesthetic.

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  11. I'm in the neutral camp myself. Celebrity culture is there. It's unavoidable if you're standing in line at the grocery or drug store. I don't indulge in it too much. I can ignore Star and Us and People. I dropped my subscription to Vogue Magazine because I was tired of seeing the latest actress flogging her movie on the cover, but I still subscribe to InStyle. Go figure, eh? But even there, I've gotten to the point where I can check out the dresses and styles without looking at the face attached. I also don't read too many magazines at home since I get insta-fashion on the web.

    I do read blogs like Tom & Lorenzo and the Fug Girls, which skew heavily toward (and skewer) celebrity culture. But those are the only ones I do read that are oriented around it.

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  12. I avoid it. I don't care who's dating who and I don't believe that simply because they're in a movie that they suddenly have become full of wisdom that I want to follow. However, I like looking at pictures of them dressed up and am loving your "daily dress" feature.

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  13. Having spent time outside of the US, I'm more aware now of how obsessed the American media is with celebrity news. And the continued celebration of bony stick models is scary, because image is now being worshipped over health. But do I have any problem looking at celebrities in gorgeous clothes? No. I appreciate most the people who look like they're happy and healthy, and comfortable in their own skins...and I just plain enjoy seeing the lovely things they get to wear. Lucky them, and lucky those of us who can See, then Sew.

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  14. yes I prefer not to think about them.

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  15. I tend to avoid "celebrity culture" not because I find it harmful to my own habits or outlook but more because half the "celebrities" who have become famous (or infamous) for ridiculous reasons.

    While I love to see a fantastic dress, I really just don't care about most of the "real people" that get photographed wearing them to silly red carpet events. The whole thing just reminds me of the opening scenes of Singin' in the Rain with the fans literally ripping the clothes off Gene Kelly's back as he's trying to leave.

    I usually focus on the dress and kind of ignore the celebrity who's wearing it. And to be honest, I've preferred the posts of proper magazine photo shoots to the posts using posed red carpet photos. They end up showing off the dresses in a very similar way as runway shows which becomes boring, repetitive and usually doesn't show the dress off properly.

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  16. I am another who is not interested. These women do not represent reality and I cannot afford (even to sew) nor do I have the body or personality for most of what I see on celebrities. I love pretty clothes and love to sew but I am done with the culture that promotes values that I consider trivial. I guess there are not many other venues that allows us to look at new ideas and fabrics, etc. without it. It does, however, irritate me. I continue to enjoy your posts as you seem to be able to balance such things with your healthy approach.

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  17. I don't care a whit for celebrity culture. I don't follow it nor am I bothered by it, thought I can certainly understand how some might be. While I have no idea what red carpet events are taking place, I also have no aversion whatsoever to looking at and discussing the dresses the famous may wear. It's highly unlikely that I'll ever have a reason to wear one of these dresses, but I find the discussion among sewers of line, fabric, details and technique to be wonderfully valuable as I plan my own projects. So from my little corner of the world, I hope you keep those dresses coming, wherever you may find them!

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  18. To be really honest (and thank you for the opportunity) I am concerned that you are going to burn-out and then we would miss out on what I love about your work best (and that is your creativity). Tom and Lorenzo do enough celebrity costume for my needs. And I would really hate for the red carpet to divert you from your main passions (and that includes Jeff and puss :)

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  19. The 'celerity culture' is pretty hard to avoid, but what I can do is put things in perspective. These are real people who have real problems in spite of or because of living in a fishbowl. That being said, your dress feature is about a dress, not the wearer of said dress. I love the dresses! Thank you for your articles and your wonderful blog.

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  20. Pop/celebrity culture is part of the world in which we live. It's pretty much unavoidable UNLESS you live beneath a rock! I like to be current and aware of what's going on around me. And I also like to see what's going on. Life is also fun and there is nothing wrong with a little bit of frivolity in my life to balance out so much serious crap.

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  21. I avoid celebrity culture simply because I don't find it interesting. I'm fine with The Daily Dress because it's about something I do find interesting -- clothing -- without being about what I don't find interesting -- who is sleeping with whom, or whatever else the gossip sites make their living reporting. (Frankly, I've never heard of most of the people who make it onto the Daily Dress, but unless you start featuring either opera singers or scientists, that's likely to remain true. And I am perfectly happy with that.)

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  22. I'm with Susan in that Tom and Lorenzo hit all my celebrity fashion needs (complete with witty commentary).

    Now, if you pulled celebrity dresses and discussed patterns and fabrics and simplifications to make it for yourself - well, that would be awesome. Also, a lot more work. But awesome.

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  23. What a great post and topic for discussion, Gertie! I had a similar intervention by my husband years ago in regards to all the high-fashion magazines I was buying/subscribing to. Gotta love the loved ones who keep an eye out for you! ;)

    As far as celebrity culture... I think it's a bit of a toss up. On one hand I really hate the whole culture of "celebrity worship" in this country; it bothers me that people are more focused on their latest reality show personalities than what is going on in the world at large. But on the flip side from a fashion perspective, seeing couture gowns on the red carpet is fun--even though it's not reflective of my realtiy/lifestyle in any way (and usually not even my body type!). But seeing the dresses off the runway is a treat! Especially when it's been altered slightly to suit someone who is not 6' tall and used to moving gracefully in over-the-top designs. I personally have loved seeing some of the celebrity-worn pieces you've picked out; they're all unique and not at all the "normal" red carpet fair and relfective of your own aesthetics.

    I think ultimately where celebrity culture and body image intersect, it's up to each woman to determine what she should devote her time and mental space to. For me, I still widely avoid it because the push to be super-thin (and not always naturally so; we've all heard about celebrities loosing large amounts of weight) pushes buttons for me that I don't need to have pushed. It's the same reasons I still don't buy Vogue.

    In a nutshell, celebrity culture (to me at least) is like the candy of life. Too much of it and you'll get sick! But a little bit here and there in moderation (such as your fashion posts) is alright. ;)

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  24. I am another in the neutral camp. I have never looked to models or celebs or magazines for body image advice, so that part of it has never concerned me. I don't pay much attention to celebrity culture, but don't go out of my way to actively avoid it. So when I see your Daily Dress, I sometimes don't even know who the person inside the dress IS, but that doesn't bother me.

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  25. I have to admit that I have no idea who some of the people you post pictures of are. I don't look to celebrities or fashion to tell me how to dress. I look at the patterns available and whether I like the shape of the garment (using the line drawings rather than the pictures as I tend to hate the fabric choices on patterns!) and then go from there wearing what I want to wear. There are times (like the last year or so) where I really am not a fan of what's in 'fashion' so my pattern buying has slowed down considerably and I use the patterns I already have which do fit what I am into.

    Obviously you can't avoid everything fashionable, when there are tons of skinny jeans available in the shops and t-shirt lengths change all the time, but I tend to buy only what I really like (and need) or things like plain t-shirts that are too dull to make and when 'fashion' has those t-shirts the length I prefer to wear them I stock up!

    I think if there is anything that influences my clothing choices it would be bands (always has been, The Cure in teenage years saw me as a goth, bands in my late teens and early 20's led to my dredlocks phase), and as I tend to listen to male bands for some reason it's more the 'style' rather than certain garments that I try to work into my wardrobe.

    The main reason I avoid celebrities and all that gossip though is because it fills my head with things I don't need to be worrying about. I want to look at my own life and pay attention to it and the world around me, not wonder who's dating who or wearing what or living wear amongst people I don't and will never know... It's the same reason I'm very selective about what I watch on tv, I like to keep my head clear of clutter I just don't need.

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  26. I don't follow celebrity culture...but I do pay attention to pretty dresses. I have no issues with the Daily Dress feature as it does not draw me in to the celebrity world, I just start brainstorming sewing projects.

    I can see how it would be triggering for some people though and I do appreciate that you wander afield from the red carpet when looking for dresses sometimes.

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  27. It is so nice to know I am not the only one who feels bad when reading fitness magazines! I once had a complimentary subscription to "Shape," and I tried to call and cancel it, but they wouldn't let me, because it was complimentary! It was terrible!

    I love the red carpet and celebrity photos for the same reason you do - the dresses. For me, it's not hard to separate fashion from the culture of celebrity!

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  28. So many have expressed my sentiments so well! Yes, I like to look at pretty people, and at pretty dresses. Yes, I have little idea who most of these "celebrities" are, or why they are famous. Yes, I deplore the cultural adoration of starvelings as beautiful. Yes, I am fascinated by the mechanics of sewing garments. Yes, I am comfortable in my own middle-aged, middle-sized body. Yes, I agree that this was a great question for discussion. Guess I'm just a toady today.

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  29. First of all, thanks for another thought provoking post. Second, thanks to your Jeff for his insight and grounding sensibilities. I thoroughly enjoy your daily dress post as is. A little celeb stuff is fine with me but like just about every thing in life moderation is the key. Because we sew, our perspectives about fashion, style, and celebrity are probably somewhat different from the general public. I like seeing the fancy stuff now and then because it is so far from my life it is like a little vacation in my head. Your work is a variation on that. Seeing how you interpret style is another way to inspire me.

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  30. The irony is, as unrealistic as the images of most celebrities are, they are actually more realistic then, say, models on the runway who show off these gowns. And I also love Go Fug Yourself, I think it's healthy to take all of the celebrity fashion culture with a grain of salt, and appreciate the beauty and the fugly as it comes.

    I personally think what is really unhealthy is an obession with celebrity gossip, the false familiarity forged by US Weekly and Star etc that makes us feel like we "know" these people, we read about their diets, their first dates, their baby showers, it's a little bizarre, honestly. These people aren't our friends, and they certainly aren't reading all about MY love life so perhaps it's not the best thing to spend a ton of time devoted to their's.

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  31. I love your 'Daily Dresses' and celebs in gorgeous clothes because rather than mocking them - which I have grown so very tired of - you show them getting it right for a change. I rarely buy magazines these days but admit to getting the Katy Perry Vanity Fair issue simply because I wanted to have a good look at the pictures - I haven't even read the accompanying article and probably won't. Let's face it, I'm only really interested in the dresses...

    I stopped reading Tom & Lorenzo a few months back because I couldn't stand the bitching and bigotry of some of their commenters. It only made me depressed and I'd rather hold out until their Mad Men posts resume...

    I guess I'm the same with blogs as you are with mags - if they're not making me feel good, better to cut them out. Yours however ticks all the right buttons and just keeps on getting better!

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  32. Great post!

    I don't know that I avoid celebrity culture per se, but I don't like it clogging up my RSS feed either. I'm much more interested in the creativity of "everyday people" vs. someone who just lets designers dress them. In other words, I guess I just don't care very much. :)

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  33. I like looking at the fashion and pictures. I am pretty adjusted regarding what is acceptable body image.

    If anything getting into sewing and especially vintage sewing has made body issues worse as my body is the opposite to the vintage norm and I get fustrated at not achieving the look very well...

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  34. My favorite fashion magazines are definitely Lucky and InStyle because I'd prefer to see actresses in clothes, or clothes shot flat more than I like to see models in them most of the time. I think seeing real people in great dresses is super empowering and inspiring, and love Patty the snug bug's and Sally McGraw's style blogs for that reason.

    I just think that clothes belong on people, and sometime seeing something styled even on a perfect person is preferable to me. I think the creativity and bravery of others fuels my own more than it feeds my insecurities. My current quest is to keep taking pictures of myself until they turn out as good as I want them to, not assume I'm less fetching in my outfits or body.

    Anyhow, seeing celebs like Christina Hendricks or January Jones making fashion choices that suit them less favorably than the costume staff at Mad Men is comforting, because the lesson there is that what people are drawn to wear is not always what is most flattering no matter how good looking you are. Sometimes your style inclinations will conflict with your best fashion choices, and to fully express yourself you need to accommodate those choices.

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  35. I don't mind looking at pictures of pretty women in pretty clothes, even if they happen to be famous, what I don't like is listening to the gossip surrounding aforementioned pretty women. I also don't care for cattiness - which you, dear Gertie, are never guilty of, but is why I no longer look at celebrity slideshows on the web, they seem unable to just show the pretty.

    As far as body image goes, I am more interested in seeing how different body shapes work in different clothes, so I eagerly watch what Bette Midler and Paula Abdul wear... and even Dolly Parton (whose tailors should teach a master class IMO).

    The celebs don't annoy me in that regard. If I want to have bad body image I go to a mall in a richer area of my own SoCal digs.

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  36. Yes, I would rather avoid celebrity culture where possible. I hate the excesses in a world which is crying out for resources, I hate the fawning, and I hate the fact that a proportion of them aren't even there for a good reason.

    That's why I enjoy sewing blogs so much! You still get the fashion and style perspectives but with a healthy dose of reality!

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  37. Honestly, I really like what you do here. Because the dresses are fabulous, and I love looking at the dresses, but I cannot bear to visit 'celebrity' or tabloid sites to do so. So I really appreciate you doing the 'dirty work' for me so I get to look at dresses without being sucked into what lindsay lohan ate for lunch yesterday.

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  38. I guess I do. I don't feel like I put any real effort into avoiding it, but I do know that I'm totally out of the loop and don't understand it.

    I actually do look at red carpet photo series, but the Best Dressed and Worst Dressed selections always look about the same to me. Sometimes there's a real stunner or a monumental flop that are obvious, but 75% of them seem arbitrary, with most of the Worst looking no more ridiculous to me than most of the Best. If I'm lucky, I might have heard of the designer, but I don't really give a flip about designers, either, except in a historical context. And I can't possibly keep up with all the mass-produced blonde starlets: Who is this chick, and why is she famous? No clue. Don't care.

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  39. I'm neutral. It doesn't affect me one way or the other. Sometimes I'll glance at People while waiting in the checkout for curiosity. I don't actually buy it because I don't feel I have to be up to date. I enjoy looking at the fashions. Half the time I'm appalled at their choices and think that they could have chosen something more flattering. But there is the occasional inspiring piece.

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  40. I avoid celebrity gossip and anything that uses material obtained by violating someones personal space or privacy. I feel passionate about not supporting something that causes another person pain, or worse; the lesson learned from the death of Princess Diana has been too quickly forgotten in our celebrity obsessed culture! But I do enjoy reading well written articles and interviews given by celebrities I admire. And I never tire of red carpet photos and fashion layouts of beautiful clothing, especially if it is vintage or vintage inspired.
    As for all of the opinions about what your blog should or shouldn't include, I feel that is up to you, and you alone! I think that if you avoid posting about something because a few readers aren't interested, or if you write just for your readers and not for yourself,you will lose your passion. It would be such a loss to the sewing community if that was to happen!

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  41. I try to avoid the celebrity culture--not easily done when living in the heart of Los Angeles!

    But, truthfully, there seems to be a disconnect between the dress of the day and original vision of your blog. I'd much rather see images of beautiful vintage dresses that can inspire me with their sewing/design techniques rather than some celebrity who is famous for being famous.

    (I, too, stopped reading Tom & Lorenzo because of the snarkiness)

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  42. Not an answer to your question, but have to say your husband is a gem.

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  43. I like seeing pretty dresses but could care less about the celebrities. The main problem with the gorgeous formal dresses is I might wear one once a year at the most.
    I would love more inspiration for daily dresses - work, errands, nice informal dinners...
    There's a lot of inspiration out there for ballgowns but not nearly as much for gorgeously elegant but usable clothes!

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  44. I think it's important to stay objective about sources. I don't mind gathering inspiration from celebrity fashion, but it's always with a grain of salt.

    The trap I fall into is the race--that constant pressure to keep up with what's current, staying ahead of the pack. For me, it's best to get inspiration from OLD styles, to know the cuts and lines from the decades before and then incorporate that into what's turning up on the fashion circuit right now. (Like the lines of the 80s styles are repeats of lines from the 30s, so I look to celebrity photos from the 30s instead, if that makes sense.)

    I love your blog. Thanks so much for the inspiration and realistic view of fashion!

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  45. The problem with celebrity clothes is that it all smacks of the stylist's choice--you're just looking at someone playing dress-up: NOT VERY INTERESTING!! There are precious few celebs who truly have their own independent style. We're only seeing cool things now because of the Mad Men effect, celebs and their stylists have been told that this is what to wear now. Alas, this phase will pass.

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  46. I LOVE pop culture and society, not just fashion, but I worship noone. I like seeing the dresses, makeup, hair styles and most of the time it's a guide of how NOT to be and sometimes you get inspired as well. It's interesting to analyze why is this person so popular and why do they find him/her so attractive, etc.

    I am content with my body - I know my strengths my weaknesses and I've accepted them and work with them, not fight them. I am not perfect but my self-esteem is healthy and it takes way more than a magazine article to knock me down.

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  47. I don't really pay much attention to celebrities except those that I look up to---not many these days!
    I think you should continue your posts cuz it's all about the dresses and I like your style sense. You pick lovely dresses and your discussion is always interesting. Just because I see a few current people on your website doesn't mean that I have to dive into all they hype and bs, which I'm sure not many of us readers do!

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  48. I'm with Gigi, Bess and the others: "Who? but wow whatta dress!"

    Alternative: I would LOVE to see dresses that you like, selected from the entire sphere of fashion, regardless of date. With so many amazing looks out there we wouldn't need to see images from the celeb pool very often.

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  49. I love, love, LOVE watching the fancy red carpet dresses - especially the classic, beautiful gowns! As for the ladies... they're not so important (sorry, celebrities).

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  50. The wake up call for me was when we started seeing so many paparazzi photos of celebrities' children. I want no part of celebrity culture, which is no culture at all, just something created by the paps.

    If a celebrity is knowingly photographed at a public event, such as a red carpet, I'm happy to see what they are wearing. Let's face it. This is often our first glimpse of many fashion trends. If you're into fashion, you want to see that. I call that fashion culture, though, rather than celebrity culture, so I'm good with it. In fact, I love it.

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  51. I avoid tabloids yes, and celebrity culture to the extent that I don't really care about these stranger's personal lives. But i recently have shifted the focus of one of my blogs to post of inspiration, and very often that includes runway photos, and models, but the important thing is the clothing that they are wearing, which is what inspires me.

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  52. Celibrities are just the dullest species on the planet. It bothers me that there is so much attention to people who aren't really intersting.

    And I couldn't care less what is worn on the red carpet. I can't relate to those frocks I will never wear.
    To be honest, I like your blog, but I skipped all the celeb dresses because of that.

    Maybe it is more challenging, but more interesting to find nifty, creative and original outfits form past and present one can wear to work or events that "normal" people attend.
    That's why I prefer looking at blogs that feature sewing, streetstyle or vintage fashion of "ordinairy" people.

    And it's the reason I do enjoy you and your pretty dresses on your blog instead of Hello Magazine.

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  53. I live in LA and for me celebs are just people doing their job like the rest of us. Their talents are no more important or special than anyone else in town. I see them at the grocery store, at the airport, at the farmers market and they are no different than the others in line with me. I don't understand putting them on a pedestal, nor do I understand making them villains. They are just part of daily life like everything else. As for body image, I see lots of skinny girls on the street, so avoiding that is impossible. I just choose to be healthy and let them do their thing. I've subscribed to Vogue for nearly 30 years and it hasn't made me anorexic, but it has made me a lover of clothing :)

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  54. It doesn't bother me one way or the other. I am just looking at the dresses and the style. I actually find myself more in awe ot the styles of fashion bloggers. I have at times had to take a fast from reading fashion blogs because I don't understand how they are able to spend so much money at anthropologie and the like. I love anthropologie and have bought some things from there, but not to the level that many fashion bloggers do. It leaves me feeling poor somethimes, even though I know I am abundantly blessed. When I start to feel that way, I have to take a step back.
    I love your blog. I find it very inspiring.

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  55. What I love about your sewing blog and other people's sewing blogs is seeing REAL women look amazing in clothes they made themselves! That's what is inspiring to me! (not celebrities in dresses)

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  56. I dont' get too bothered by celebrities, and I'm sometimes curious about their lives (I still to Jezebel as my own source of gossip). Most celebrities are just quite boring. With some exceptions (such as a Vanessa Redgrave), most don't have much to offer other than their beautiful looks, which ultimately isn't that extraordinary. I have been subscribing to your blog for over a year and loving it (occasionally even sewing myself- you're a real inspiration!), but for the most part, I skip over the red carpet dress posts.

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  57. Have you considered having a separate RSS feed for the daily dress and roundup posts? The number one reason I unsubscribe from blogs is TOO MANY POSTS, and I have to say, yours is getting dangerously close to that arena.

    I'd much rather have a few quality posts each week than something new every day just for the sake of it, and as a sewer, I started reading your blog in the first place for sewing information and inspiration, not celebrity photos. Normally I'd just keep my mouth shut and vote with Google Reader, but since you asked for feedback, I'd prefer if you kept those posts in a separate feed so that those who want to read them can, and those who JUST want to read the sewing posts can, too.

    My 2p, anyway.

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  58. I generally avoid "celebrity culture", because I really don't care about their personal lives.. But I love clothes, and the celebrities often have beautiful clothes! I love to look at red carpet pictures as the dresses are "eye candy", but I don't care what the actual awards or whatever. I most certainly watch TV and a few movies if I like them, I just don't look for information about the actors' personal lives. It's not like you're going to avoid pictures of Grace Kelly, just because she was a celebrity! She was a fashion icon, too.

    I did cancel subscriptions to fashion mags, b/c I'm a Christian homeschooling SAHM and they were really condescending toward my mundane lifestyle. I love my mundane life and still appreciate fashion, why can't they acknowledge that?? Can't a broke SAHM look stylish, too?? So now i read fashion blogs and subscribe to home and garden mags (cheesy me) but I love it and it's what matters.

    I think you do a great job of showing beautiful clothes on a variety of bodies. I happen to be a petite, waif thin person, I have a healthy and robust diet, and I love the diversity in body shapes and sizes. It's nice to see stuff that flatters all shapes and sizes!!!

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  59. I put myself in the neutral camp – don’t know much about celebrities and don’t much care what they do, but I have no objection at all to seeing them dress up for us. I love looking at beautiful clothes.

    I agree with others who have mentioned age image as a subset of body image issues. I do occasionally feel bad about the fact that I’m aging like a regular female human being, because the faces (and bodies) in the media do not. Fortunately another thing that comes with age is a small measure of wisdom to realize that it is not me but the poor celebrities who are abnormal, and they often suffer for it.

    I haven’t ever subscribed to celebrity-centered print media, or even fashion magazines, because of very limited finances. So in one way I’m lucky because I’ve inadvertently protected myself from an overdose of those images of “perfect” beauty. And I don’t bother myself with blogs or websites that don’t provide any substance – it’s like eating empty calories.

    I love the mixed view on your blog because it provides an occasional peep into the celebrity culture, but is well-balanced by your focus on the artistry of the dresses, the fascinating history of fashion, real how-to and advice, and great conversations like this one.

    In regard to your own body-image issues that you've mentioned, I just want to say that I feel so happy to know that someone else has the same pattern size, and makes similar adjustments, and has fit challenges just like I do. I think I can speak for a lot of readers when I say that you are a real inspiration with your real-woman measurements. Thank you for that.

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  60. I don't seek out celebrity culture, but I do enjoy seeing some of the clothing they wear on the red carpet. Where else am I going to see all the gorgeous dresses?

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  61. I agree with DrJulieAnn that the red carpet looks seem off-topic compared to the other things you usually talk about. Although I appreciate those looks as art, I am most interested in things that I can actually wear in my everyday life.

    I don't have any interest in celebrities nor in our overexposed celebrity culture, so I do try to avoid it as much as possible. I don't want to be complicit in invading someone's privacy, which I think most of the celebrity mags and blogs do whether they think they do or not. Body image comes into it too - I don't think it's healthy to aspire to that extreme.

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  62. I definitely agree with you that limiting yourself to the cultural media that feels good to consume is a liberating experience. At the moment I don't have cable, read newspapers or magazines, or listen to the radio, and it is rather nice to know that most trends are completely passing me by. What television I watch comes from online (sans commercials). I'm spared most of the generally depressing news, although co-workers or family generally keep me up to date on anything actually important ("Isn't that earthquake terrible?" "earthquake? where?", etc.). I don't always recognise the celebrities on the daily dress, but I always appreciate being exposed to new dressmaking ideas. I look forward to the daily dress, and only partially because it means we get two Gertie posts a day :)

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  63. Gertie, I think it's great that you bring up the meta-topic of celebrities, especially as your blog and readership evolve with the Daily Dress--and ask your readers for their opinion. It's gutsy!

    That's so cool that your husband did that for you; we went through a very similar thing when we first got married and I thank him for it.

    I follow both fashion and sewing blogs and tend to avoid things that go into celebrity fashion, mainly because conversation devolves into "I adore her, I can't stand her, I adore her in this, I can't stand her in this" sort of thing. Like anyone else, I get sucked into reading it all, and like those magazines you needed to (ahem) diet from, doing so starts messing with my image of people. I know gossip is contagious, but even when it's light I hate where my own mind goes and how presumptive I get, especially toward people that are famous only for "being famous"--I don't know them, and no one is a flat surface. That said, I'm under no delusions about how fashion and celebrity go together but I am very deliberate about what I read now.

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  64. I stopped reading fashion magazines in my early 20s for my own sanity. I'd never ever be able to look like those models. Ever. So why look at them and feel inferior and that's what happened. The weight loss articles never help and I'm not ever going to be a 6 foot tall black woman with arms as long as my legs unfortunately

    I do look at celeb red carpet fashion. I copy the photo post into powerpoint and then immediately crop so the actresses head and legs are gone and it's just the dress

    I had eating disorders and severe body issues so I'm still a little crazy when it comes to image stuff

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  65. You always bring up such great discussion!

    I am not perturbed by celebrity culture, but I don't seek it out. If a magazine is screaming "How to Lose Ten Pounds!" I just pass it by because that information is useless in my eyes. I also believe that body image issues are not *caused* by the media per se, but triggered by it in people who are sensitive to those messages. In that way I dislike what it can do to people. I'm all for alternative depictions of beauty, but I just love the clothes that end up on the red carpet so I'll look at them on anyone. To me, a straight woman, the female form is so beautiful in its diversity that I have never bought the idea that skinny=better because it just doesn't ring true when I see beauty in so many different forms. I feel like when people are trying to take power away from celebrities they'll say "well she doesn't naturally look like that anyway"... but maybe she does. So what? The key is accepting yourself.

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  66. Wow, every woman should have a Jeff to do an intervention when the beauty culture we live in overwhelms them!

    In general, I probably fall into the neutral or "living under a rock" camp - I don't subscribe to any fashion or celebrity magazines, and I don't care or even have no clue who is sleeping with/feuding with/having babies with whom. But bring on the dresses. I love the dresses. And jewelry.

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  67. I'm pretty ignorant of celebrity culture because I don't have a television. But even when I did, I was never interested in what actors and other celebs were doing. So your daily dress feature is okay as far as I'm concerned because it really is about the dresses rather than the people wearing them.

    (Of course, I enjoy your posts about technique more.)

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  68. Yes, I tend to avoid the celebrities and everything to do with them. Of course, the dresses (most of them) are fantastic, and I like looking at them, but since I'd never be going somewhere that would warrant wearing one of them, I don't get too excited about all of the hoopla.

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  69. I unrepentantly love my online celeb' goss. Unpopular opinion here, it seems. I'd call it a guilty pleasure, but I'm trying to take the guilt out of my pleasures ;)

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  70. I always tell people I "like to keep my relationship with celebrities professional". They are there to entertain me and sell me things, I am in the business arrangement to be entertained and to, at least consider things for purchase. So, anything beyond that is something I actively decide to not care about.

    With fashion the line is drawn like this: The celebrities are selling designs by wearing them to events, so I am fine with looking at red carpet pictures and deciding what I, a consumer, do and do not like about a design, as displayed as part of an overall look, on a celebrity. I do not, however, participate in discussions about the celebrity's personal taste level or question "what was she thinking" as that's none of my business.

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  71. I used to but now, like you, the sewing and the knitwear I make can be influenced in such a positive way that I am more neutral. I look at the beautiful parts and avoid the rest. Like 'a little sewing' I have started feeling like a woman of a certain age and was faced with all of the same images, helped along by the surgeons knife. I choose to ignore them now.
    This blog has helped me to see the beauty in the sewing and shapes don't matter. Also I have a daughter who is looking like she will have the height and figure of a super model. I cannot rule out looking at those images and saying they are negative when that is what she is going to look like. My view is I now accept it all and find what I think is beautiful and inspiring in it all.

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  72. Yes, as a general rule, with three daughters I try to keep it out. But that is not to say we can't say "oooh, doesn't she look beautiful" or "wow, what was she thinking" from time to time. I like the way you put it...avoid the soul sucking aspects, have fun with what is left. And remember what is "real".

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  73. Normally I try to avoid "celebrity culture" at all costs, only looking at People magazine when I go for a haircut. It really drives me crazy, because I really don't care who is marrying whom and all that jazz. However, the more you have been showing us the dresses from the red carpet that have inspired you, the more I realize how much inspiration I have been missing! I have a really hard time with the fabric/pattern matching, and the red carpet dresses have been such a fun way to see different ideas and styles. The Daily Dress is a nice little taste of "celebrity culture" without being overwhelming :)

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  74. The interesting thing about "celebrity" wardrobe, at least to me, is the skill and art that some of these dresses represent. When would I get the chance to see some of these brilliant pieces otherwise?

    I don't personally get hung up on celeb culture- honestly it's hard to take it seriously!

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog!

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  75. I feel that I'm on the same page as you with celebrity culture - being interested in sewing and fashion means yours always going to be exposing yourself to that world, the good and the bad. I just try to keep a level head and enjoy looking at the parts I love ie. the clothes. I understand entirely that they will sit differently on my body, but I like knowung that I can recreate that look to flatter a more natural "softer" physique - in a way being a seamstress can have a very impowering impact on ones self esteem. All celebrities aside I am utterly enjoying your daily dress posts, I read them on the bus on the way to work, keep it up, lest your throw my morning routine out of whack ;) Thanks!

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  76. Two thirds of the time, I have no idea who I am looking at or why they are famous.

    So, yeah. I guess I avoid it.

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  77. Fabulous is fabulous, I don't care who's wearing it. I appreciate that the Daily Dress is about the style and the garment, not the person wearing it. In that sense, I am not bothered in the least by celebs being featured. You're staying true to the concept, so I am happy to explore the garments of the famous and not-so-famous through these posts, Gertie.

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  78. I tend not to read this new feature. I'm steeped in celebrity culture as it is and the dresses usually aren't that interesting to me.

    Although I certainly haven't gotten beyond caring about what I look like, I stopped reading women's magazines ages ago because I felt overwhelmed by their monthly dictates. I like to read them at the salon (I get my hair cut very rarely) or occasionally at the bookstore. I don't buy them.

    At least designing for oneself and constructing garments is a less passive form of self-expression than reading ladies' mags. And it actually requires aesthetic judgment, skill, patience and hard work.

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  79. I started reading your blog because I wanted to learn how to make vintage clothing, not how to look like a celebrity. I like the pics of you, and your clothes, the new celebrity thing you're doing is unimaginative and uninteresting, sorry.

    I also do think that the celebrity thing does contribute to low self esteem and body image issues in women, which is another great reason to do something different!

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  80. I don't pay attention to celebrities but I do enjoy looking at beautiful dresses. I am mainly interested in fashion because I love to sew. I do read fashion magazines occasionally just to keep up to date, not that I necessarily wear the latest trends, I tend to lean towards a classic style. My days include riding my horses, walking my dog and snuggling with my kitties, so I will probably not be needing too many red carpet gowns! I do like the new posts but I really enjoy seeing you in your vintage inspired dresses! Your blog sparked my interest in vintage and I'm a vintage pattern junkie now.

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  81. I do manage to avoid celebrity culture for the most part, but it's not as if it's something I pride myself on. We don't have cable, I hate the clutter of magazines, and it's just not something I'd think to seek out in what little time I get online.

    Honestly, I think I'm more grossed out by some of the comments about what you should or shouldn't post on YOUR blog. You started a blog, it evolved, you're posting other semi-related stuff that many of us enjoy. THE HORROR! I couldn't care less about the celebrities, but show me the pretty dresses! I don't read magazines or visit gossipy sites, so I'm not likely to see them otherwise. For instance, that red lace dress that you posted then made a dress inspired by? So good! I fell in super love and am currently making a similar dress for myself.

    The dresses you post aren't something that's going to be worn by the average person, but that's hardly the point. I spend the majority of my day in an aging hipster mom-iform of band t-shirts and yoga pants. How boring would it be if you posted stuff like that?

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  82. Also, please high-five your husband from me!

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  83. Yes and no. I'm not a big fan of celebrity 'culture' but if I find something inspiring I can separate myself from the culture and appreciate the beauty.

    What your husband did sounds like something mine would do, and made me smile. I had to let go of most magazines because they made me want to buy everything. I enjoy more educational magazines now such as: 'Threads' or cooking magazines or 'Runner's World' because I run.

    I think if you get too caught up in banning celebrity stuff it can be somewhat limiting. And I agree that the fashion world is tied into all those things so it's hard to avoid entirely. I think it's just your mental state when you view it. If it does upset you and affect your image or whatever the case may be, by all means avoid it. Just be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water.

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  84. I love pop culture, but I really hate the gossip about who's dating who, and how sad it is that Jennifer Aniston isn't remarried yet and all that jazz, so I don't really buy magazines. That said, I do love the dresses so I have been really enjoying the daily dress posts. I think you're doing a really good job of keeping it varied and interesting (and that's true of your blog in general) so I say if you enjoy it, stick with it.

    Also, your husband is a dude. I love it :)

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  85. I tend to avoid celebrity culture. I feel that by consuming it, I'm feeding a paparazzi economy that thrives on a dehumanizing breech of privacy that I would be horrified to encounter in my own life. Who I date, where I go, how much I weigh, and how I look are my business and my business alone (and luckily for me, of interest to no one else). I hope that by disengaging from the consumption of judgy rag-mags, I am engaging in a small gesture of respect for someone else's right make those things their private concern, as well as taking my few, infinitesimal cents out of an invasive photographer's pocket. That said, I do find personal style to be fascinating and enjoy The Daily Dresses and the variety of sources from which they come.

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  86. I have no idea what's going on in the celebrity world, but I occasionally look at fashion magazines for ideas. Only occasionally though, b/c I like having my own style & my own thoughts & I think too much of that can influence you. I don't subscribe to anything, but if I'm getting my hair done, I'll check out what's at the beauty shop.

    BTW, thank you again for that list of fashion district shops. I'm going to go to some before BEA. Also, I need to do some serious shopping for novelty buttons. Do you have a recommendation for a good button shop?

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  87. My main dose of celebrity culture is when I'm waiting in line at the grocery store.

    It passes the time.

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  88. After the royal wedding here in the UK, I'm a bit 'celebritied' out - but I do love to look at beautiful pieces. What is encouraging is that many of the writers of sewing blogs seem to have great body self-confidence - and rightly so. To create a fabulous garment for yourself requires complete self knowledge of your form and shape, and from the very smiley pictures posted on their blogs, they are happy in their own skin. There is no point in having a vast stash waiting on the day one achieves size 0!!!

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  89. I used to be the same with all those womens fitness mags, until I had my children.....there is nothing quite like kids to make you realize you have so many better things to do with your time than obsess about your behind!

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  90. I try as much as possible to avoid celebrity culture. It really is a distraction from real news and information. When I do see a picture of someone in a gorgeous dress, I put it in an inspiration scrapbook. But first I cut off their heads. Most of the time the person in the dress is too skinny to make the dress look spectacular anyway. Curves do make a dress.

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  91. I'm a few days late in posting- but I am relieved to read so many comments about others who are not celebrity-worshipers. I do my share of celebrity gossip, (they really are a dramatic sort) but I take them for what they are- just more people. I get annoyed when they voice their political opinions and views. I think all their awards shows are ridiculous. (where's my award for doing my job where I don't get paid in the millions?) and most of their clothes I deem unwearable (for me) in public. Thanks for post!

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  92. I'm catching up late, but...it is so refreshing to read the remarks of others who, like myself, couldn't care less about celebs or at least don't worship them the way many seem to (or our culture seems to tell us to). To be frank, I hear about celebrities and don't even know who the majority of them are anymore! There are very, very few shows or movies my husband and I think seem to be worth our time, and most of the programs we do love are from England. Go figure.

    Jeff's wisdom about the fashion rags—er, mags—is wonderful to read about. When I was young, I worked in the cosmetics industry, and such images and magazines were a career hazard. Convinced that being stick-thin with watermelon-sized inflatables on my chest was not only desirable but possible, I compared myself to impossible images and suddenly awoke to find myself a horribly emaciated 68-pound 21 year-old woman whose parents were (as I shortly found out) about to put her into an institution because they feared what she was doing to herself. (And let me tell you how oh-so-sexy my normally Kate Winslet-esque figure looked in that emaciated state. Yeah, right.)

    I am very, very fortunate to be alive right now, though the havoc I wreaked on my body for so long has left me with permanent major health issues (so please, please, if you are reading this...DO NOT do this to yourself! Please, please, please!).

    Of my own volition upon realizing what I'd done to myself, I immediately cancelled every fashion or "health" subscription, found another job, and eschewed nearly all media and movies (except old ones...weird, isn't it? But they don't cause these problems for me). It was a wise first step, one I adhere to years later, even though as photographer, I'm very well aware of what one can do with an editing program.

    Again, part of it is just that most things don't seem to be worth my time, but I am still extraordinarily sensitive to those impossible pictures of human perfection. It would be all too easy to slide back into that, so I stay away because of that, too. To me, celeb culture is silly (famous for what talents? Compared to Billie Holiday, to Olivia de Havilland, heck, to Mamie Eisenhower?) these days and based more upon looks than it is talent.

    Okay, ramble over! I don't mind the Daily Dresses, Gertie, but agree with those who suggest you pull them from all the years and a variety of spectrums. (Spectra?)

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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