When I was sixteen, I went with two friends to see Merchant-Ivory’s The Remains of the Day. It was a poor choice for three teenagers shit-faced on Sour Patch Kids: much of the subtle period drama was lost on us. We sat in stunned silence until the end, when one of my friends turned to me in the dark and blurted, “WHAT WAS THAT?”
That’s how I felt reading the May edition of Lucky. Admittedly, this most crass of magazines is nothing like the nuanced film. But my reaction to this issue was the same as my friend’s to the movie.
Everything about this issue just seemed off. I mean, exclamations like “best doorknob accessory ever!” (page 132) technically make sense, even if decorating doorknobs, let alone determining what sort of overpriced trinket could be crowned the best doorknob ornament ever, never occurred to me. Am I supposed to care about this stuff?
And sure, there’s at least one office on the planet where the denim blazer and yellow micro-shorts pictured in “Four Girls, One Lace Top,” deemed “perfect for work” by accessories designer Meghan Asha, are actually appropriate. That workplace is probably Lucky HQ, but it still counts, right?
But my most profound confusion came from the cover. Check out the lower right-hand corner: this image, from the Lucky Facebook page, says “Dress for Curves: Ginnifer Goodwin shares her styling know-how.” My newsstand copy says:
How to Dress for Curves by Ginnifer Goodwin
OH COME ON. Even allowing that “curvy” is a completely meaningless word, how on earth is Ginnifer Goodwin an expert on this?
Let’s go to the text! From “Southern Comfort,” page 58:
Goodwin’s comfort with her curves [this is where I paused to inspect the three photos of Goodwin on page 66 all Sherlock Holmes-like, seeking evidence of said curves] is largely due to her stylist, Penny Lovell, who introduced the star to tailoring. “I’m three different sizes,” says Goodwin, gesturing to her tiny waist, narrow shoulders and what she calls her “womanly” hips. “I buy things that are big and tailor them down.”
Where do I even begin?
First: Goodwin came to terms with her body “due to her stylist”? How fortunate for her! How unfortunate for the rest of us!
Secondly: being three different sizes doesn’t necessarily mean you’re curvy. It means you’re not a dressmaker’s mannequin. This is not an affliction limited to one particular body type, as anyone who’s tried on a Go International dress at Target well knows.
Next: Your hips are “womanly” because you’re a woman. They’re supposed to be that way.
Finally: Buying clothes to fit the largest part of your body and tailoring them down? This is neither revelatory advice (especially not to anyone who’s seen a single episode of What Not to Wear), nor is it exactly dressing to flatter your body. Also, it’s an utterly unhelpful tip if you’re a discount shopper. If I have to spend an additional $40 to tailor a pair of Gap pants, then I probably can’t afford them.
Now that her clothes fit better, Goodwin is braver about fashion… “Things look better when I embrace my body.”
Aw, what a lovely sentiment! Not so lovely? After recommending a Memphis specialty chocolate store, Goodwin says this:
“If I lived here, I’d be an elephant!”
Yeah, I’m having a little trouble reconciling all the curve-loving euphoria in the previous paragraphs with dehumanizing garbage like this. Eating chocolate—even eating chocolate every day—might make you heavier. It will not make you an elephant. People who weigh more than Ginnifer Goodwin are not the world’s largest land mammals.
The Goodwin article comes to an all-too-merciful end shortly thereafter, but I could go on for hours about this issue. There are the reader quotes that sound exactly like everything else in the magazine. There’s the “smoky-wood-floor” scent Jean Godfrey June describes. There’s the fact that a gainfully employed copyeditor considers “retro-ifies” a valid word, because it appears on page 112. And there’s my growing suspicion that only people with tons of money and zero taste could enjoy this magazine.
By the time I reached the final page, I was cranky, exhausted by the lengthy strings of hyphenated descriptors, and just plain numb. Lucky, please explain yourself: WHAT WAS THAT?