To the fat girls

"Why is it that the makers of the fashions do not give the fat girls a show? The matter is, however, by no means a joke to "the fat girls." Want to guess the date of that complaint by the "fat girls"? Give up? 1882. Yes, in 1882 the unknown columnist of "The Art of … Continue reading To the fat girls



At this point, one week after the Women's March, it feels each of us who have in their heart patriotic sensibilities feel beaten down. American civic life demands that citizens stand up for civil rights, the Constitution, the ideals of the founding fathers....I'm feeling war-like, under siege. This extraordinary nation is seeing itself attacked from the … Continue reading Turmoil

Game, Blouses (part 3)

That's Hedy Lamarr (Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) just hopping over the fence to visit. Lamarr started in Hollywood films in 1937 and also started inventing all kinds of stuff. A born tinkerer, inventor, and mathematics whiz, during WWII Hedy and her husband developed a frequency-hopping system that "hopped" frequencies across radio waves in order to … Continue reading Game, Blouses (part 3)

Game, Blouses (part 2)

Photo from private (that would be my own) collection Game, Blouses is a three-part series. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Our two gals are wearing shirtwaists -- what we today would call blouses. Usually made of fine, thin cotton weave, and often incorporating lace inset or trim, these blouses were made by women of … Continue reading Game, Blouses (part 2)

That’s some attitude you got there

This photograph, a cabinet card from the 1870s, is in my private collection. This girl has cool attitude long before the term is coined. In her own time period, depending on her behavior, a little girl whose actions matched this posture might be known as a tomboy -- a girl too much like a boy. … Continue reading That’s some attitude you got there

Game, Blouses (part 1)

Game, Blouses is a three-part series. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Charlie Murphy recounted his amazing basketball game with Prince on David Chappelle's show in 2004. Prince challenges the Murphy "gang" to a late-night basketball game. Prince doesn't change out of his ruffly, figure-skater styled shirt and tiny jacket. Murphy cackles with laughter when … Continue reading Game, Blouses (part 1)

Truth Telling

In 1864 Sojourner Truth began selling cartes-de-visite to raise funds to support black soldiers serving for the Union Army and later, for suffragism. Nell Irvin Painter's marvelous, astounding history of Truth, Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol (W.W. Norton and Company, 1997), Painter has an extended analysis of Truth's choices of self-presentation in these publicity photographs. … Continue reading Truth Telling

Violet Newstead

Violet Newstead, played by Lily Tomlin in the 1980 film 9 to 5, is a boss. But she isn't The Boss -- instead, Newstead is an underling, the woman behind a puny man, Franklin Hart Jr., played by Dabney Coleman. Violet has been held back by the sexism, misogyny, and injustice of her employer, and … Continue reading Violet Newstead

Shiny Armor

  "Did your granny say listen to your heart Be who you are on the inside I need three words to tear her argument apart Your granny lied! I'd rather be...Shiny." Tomotoa's harsh, snide, admirably nasty truth telling interrupts the good-feelings mood of the marvelous film Moana. He, a giant crab adorned with all kinds of glam … Continue reading Shiny Armor