OK, let me begin with both the latest media news and a couple of copyright violations. I am one of the “Women We Love” in this month’s Chatelaine! (My dear friend KB, writing from Toronto: “Jesus H – you’re in the Women We Love issue with goddamn ALICE MUNRO! And your photo is bigger than hers!!!” Heh.) And because I don’t live in a country where I can buy Chatelaine and neither do most of you, I’m totally posting a scan of the spread, sent by KB:
[W]e are not going down, because Chicago’s Kate Harding is on our side. Kate, 34, shares Susie Orbach’s vision for her generation; she is a fat-acceptance crusader who uses the voice and vehicles of today to rip apart the fictitious links between weight, health and human nature, to expose why diets don’t work and set us on the path to peace with our bodies. Combining sharp wit and compelling arguments in blog posts and tweets — as well as in her book, Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere — she reminds us that fat is still a feminist issue. For now. The more we learn from Kate, the more we will free our time and money from trying to change our bodies and turn to rediscovering ourselves.
There’s more, but since the whole thing is only two paragraphs, that’s copyright violation #2. In return for Chatelaine’s unwitting generosity, I offer this: DEAR EVERYONE IN CANADA, PLEASE GO BUY A REAL COPY RIGHT NOW. BETTER YET, SUBSCRIBE! LOVE, KATE
OK, so about that photo. I look pretty, right? (If you disagree, drop dead.) In the spirit of the “Impossibly Beautiful” series at Shakesville, I want to talk about how I got that pretty. In this case, it wasn’t Photoshop (though there might very well have been some — since it’s not screamingly fucked-up, that’s not the point this time), but it was still artificial as hell.
I arrived at Becky’s studio with my hair and make-up already done for a big-deal magazine shoot — or so I thought. Already on my face and hair at that point: Moisturizer, primer, foundation, powder, blush, mascara, eyeliner, lipliner, lipstick, lipgloss, eyebrow powder, eyeshadow, leave-in conditioner, Kiehl’s Silk Groom Serum, hairspray — much more of all of it than I would normally use. Oh, and I’d hot-rolled my hair, because I’m retro like that.
Then Becky introduces me to Antonette. Who is there to put another layer of pretty much everything on my face (right over top of the first round), re-curl my hair, and put another bottle or so of hairspray on it. This is very similar to what happened before I was on CNN, with one exception: Antonette uses airbrush make-up. Which involves instructions like “OK, just don’t inhale for a minute while I do this.” Also, she put that shit all the way down my chest.
So. At this point, I have already had a far more serious hair and make-up job than I did for my friggin’ wedding photos, and that’s only the beginning. Because Antonette (who is such a doll, and if you are a Chicagoan in the market for the sort of make-up job that involves holding your breath, you should call her) comes with us to Earwax, where we took that photo (on their back patio, which has a fabulous circus-themed mural, hence fat lady behind me). And not only does she touch up the hair and make-up every 10 seconds, but she keeps rearranging my belt and skirt — and cami and slip and chub-rub-preventative bike shorts; Antonette and I got to know each other reeeeal well — to make sure everything’s smooth and perfectly positioned. Every time I take a fucking breath, she fixes the two hairs I blew out of place, the fabric that’s bunched up — imperceptibly to all naked eyes except hers — and the belt that’s now a millimeter lower than where she wants it.
And on top of all that, Becky and her assistant are running around maniacally, finding the best angles and best light, adding light where it’s insufficient, asking me to move an inch (literally) this way, then an inch back, helping me up onto the bench I’m standing on, then down so they can move the whole bench an inch that way, then back up, back down, move the bench, move the Kate, change the light, WAIT! NOW YOUR HAIR’S STUPID AGAIN!
And all that was before we moved on to the second location, just in case the 8 bazillion photos she took at Earwax weren’t to the photo editor’s taste.
It was actually a really fun afternoon — they were great, it was a novel adventure, Becky bought me a smoothie (which is, in fact, the price of my affection) — but holy crap, even if I had been born with genes that made me 6 feet tall and thin, I would not last one day as a model. Total time invested in getting this one photo: 4.5 hours.
Anyway. So far, I have gotten numerous responses to that photo, including but not limited to:
- hubba hubba
- Awesome picture Kate!!!!!!!
And even I am willing to say that yes, the FOUR OF US, not to mention the art department at Chatelaine, made a very nice picture of me. But now it’s time for the reality check. When I’m on my own? It comes out more like this:
It takes a village to make a magazine-quality photo, y’all. Don’t ever forget it.
(Oh, and for the curious who haven’t already learned this from the 90 other times I wore the same outfit in media appearances and posted about it: Dress and belt are from Igigi.)