-A prominent fashion blogger declares, wistfully, "Thoughts I ALWAYS think when I look through runway: '(fashion) Life must be SO DOPE when you're flat-chested.'" Another fashion writer greets the royal wedding as an end to "porno chic," which seems to amount to it being socially acceptable for women to have large breasts and not feel terrible about it. A vindication insofar as I'm always going on about how frustrating it is that a woman who wishes to look chic/understated/fashionable/whatever can't have much on top.
-Not to relaunch a debate, but this (via) is what I was trying to get at here, but far better-explained.
In the spirit of Anglophilia and romance... The "Blind Date" feature in the Guardian is spectacular. At least if you're the sort of person who finds the glimpse-into-real-lives genre, in its myriad forms (letters to Dan or Prudie, alumni magazines, wedding pages, 19th C French-Jewish newspapers, Facebook-following the not necessarily fascinating lives of acquaintances, not tuning out when someone starts a cell conversation on the bus... and, sometimes, although it's insufficiently real-person, reality TV.) The gist of it seems to be that the newspaper sets up (willing!) readers at random (or is it a dating site?), and pays for them to have a meal and then answer a series of questions about how it went.
-As with the alumni mag entries Flavia highlights, the parts of these questionnaires about which topics were discussed on the date really do, in the aggregate, paint a portrait of a subset of London society that I wouldn't know how to classify, but that does seem to get at a certain sort of person. This, despite a great deal of professional, racial, and age diversity. I guess The Guardian Reader? There's a bit of a high-cultural-capital, low-economic-capital (or presenting one's self as such) thing going on - "What did you talk about? Books, PhDs, travel, having brilliant sisters, and how posh the restaurant was."
-Who/what are they rating out of 10? How smoothly the date went? How good-looking the person was? And wouldn't it be an odd start to an otherwise fine relationship if one had gone with 8, the other 9?
-The most baffling aspect of this - and is it a British thing? a Guardian-reader thing? something specific to the fact that they're reporting back to a major newspaper? - is that almost invariably, the blind-daters do not feel a "spark," yet when asked if they'd see each other again, say some variant of, "Yes, as friends." ("Sure, as people," says one. "For a laugh, sure," another.) Why, unless they're new in town and don't know anyone, would they go out of their way, in a big city, to see people they'd had so-so blind dates with? Or is it some kind of "manners" thing, where it would be rude to say "no, never," as though it implied that they'd cross to the other side of the street if they ran into the person? A romantic equivalent of female acquaintances insisting they'll get lunch soon, when neither is interested in rounding it up to friendship? Or is it, in some cases, that the person did feel a spark, but is too embarrassed to admit it in case the other didn't, and so is playing it cool while leaving open the possibility of a second date?
-Many of the "awkward" moments stem from what seem to be logistical failures the newspaper could and probably should deal with. If the paper is paying, there should not be mysteries around who picks up the bill, nor should restaurant staff be chasing the couple out for not paying. Unless, of course, the point is to see how the daters will react to this sort of challenge...
Sunday, May 01, 2011