My Inner Geek on Why Walmart’s ‘Fat Girl Costumes’ Were (Probably) Google’s Fault

My Inner Geek on Why Walmart’s ‘Fat Girl Costumes’ Were (Probably) Google’s Fault

“I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.” ~Rodney Dangerfield

You’ve probably heard about the whole “Walmart fat girl costumes” debacle by now, right?

If not, let me give you the skinny (pun totally intended). Basically, for a short time on Monday, there was a section in the Halloween department on Walmart.com that was labeled “fat girl costumes.” It looked a lot like this.

o-FAT-GIRL-COSTUMES-570

 

Of course, everyone and their brother totally wigged out, calling for the head of the one who dared to type such a thing into Walmart’s categories section.

“It’s not clear where the original description was penned by the budding Shakespeares behind Walmart’s website copy or someone else,” wrote Jezabel’s Anna Merlan. “Walmart’s costume section, in other words, is truly the hottest of messes. Let’s start taking bets on how long it’ll be until the Fat Girl section disappears and we’re subjected to a totally sincere apology from a retail giant who really really cares (about taking your money, in return for a shitty costume).”

“Halloween, brought to you by Walmart — the best time of year to make fun of any woman over a size 6,” quipped HuffPo’s Nina Badahur. “If you want some actually clever costume ideas, check out our list here.

While I definitely can’t tell you the name of a person who allowed that label to go public, I can tell you one thing: it is most likely  NOT because someone hates all women, fat women–or any women. I’d like to think that it has nothing to do with any kind of ISM–sexism, fatism, you know–isms– but rather, I’d like to believe that the cause is much more simple: plain old SEO–search engine optimization. 

How SEO Could Make Walmart Call You a “Fat Girl”

See, as an internet professional (aka geek), I know a thing or two about how search engines work. And when companies try to code in automatically generated search terms, they use algorithms that often pull from Google searches (and other search engines). And though it was obviously a mistake that it became an official category, isn’t it possible that the term “fat girl costumes” were searched so often when people ultimately ended up purchasing a plus-sized costume that it became a recognizable term for the search engines? 

And, I don’t know, it’s possible that Walmart’s site is so sophisticated that it could use the top-searched matched term as a label for its categories. Or is it? 

In any case, I’d like to believe that the Walmart web folks don’t hate our plus-sized sisters–rather, maybe they’re just SEO experts and/or crazy hackers who got carried away with their awesome technnology. 

To be fair, WalMart later released a statement that  reiterated that “this never should have been on our site. It is unacceptable, and we apologize. We are working to remove it as soon as possible and ensure this never happens again.”

What do you think? Should we be taking this whole “fat girl costumes” deal very seriously? 

Quick-hit ways to update your fall/winter wardrobe for 2014 on the cheap

Quick-hit ways to update your fall/winter wardrobe for 2014 on the cheap

It’s that time of year again. You know, time to start getting your fall and winter wardrobe together. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe and save a few bucks, here’s the skinny on fall and winter fashion 2014 and how to update your wardrobe on the cheap. Y’all know I love a good bargain. And you know there are some rules I just can’t follow. 

So let’s get to this. Here are some quick-hit ways you can update your wardrobe this season without killing your budget (or looking outrageously ridiculous). 

Hot item of the season: Plaid scarf! According to my research, plaid scarves are it this season. I picked two up in different colors at a local shop for $6 each. You can spend more, of course, but why? 

Sad news Pack away the flares. Outside of a few adventurous designers, the runways weren’t giving many nods to jeans that are typically flattering to most female bodies. That means no flares or bootcut jeans. Look for something in a skinny jean, boyfriend jeans, straight leg or tapered. In other words, varying styles of the cigarette pants

Good news: Leggings are in, and they are more comfortable than ever. Wear them with Spanx or pick up some that have shapewear built in. I won’t tell. 

Warm and cozy: Sweaters are back–think full-on argyle and its cousins. For me, there will be no bulky sweaters because they make me look like a small house. Therefore I’ll be donning something a little more figure appropriate (with a nod to the style, of course). 

Menswear is here, get used to it: Blazers, collared button-down shirts, menswear-style shoes. Long and loose is where it’s at, according to most designers, but as a short and curvaceous woman, I’ll be breaking that rule too. Instead of big and boxy, I’ll be wearing tailored-style menswear. It makes me look better–and you gotta do what works best for you, regardless of what “they” say!

Other interesting trends of note:

  • Pointy-toed flats with details–I picked up a $10 pair of flats that have a design made of rhinestones on them and they are fabulous. Spent only $10 because they’ll be out within a month or two, I’m sure. 
  • Long gloves or super short gloves
  • Decorated/bedazzled gloves
  • Fur-trimmed coats are back

What other fashion trends are you into this season? 

Divorcing a narcissist? Drop the tears, think straight, expert says

Divorcing a narcissist? Drop the tears, think straight, expert says

A new book offers a bit of unique advice for those who are in doomed marriages with narcissists and considering divorce.

While narcissists tend to cause serious emotional damage, confusion and general unhappiness in the lives of their victims,one divorce coach and founder of The Inspired Divorce says that getting through a divorce with a narcissist is all about logic–not emotion. 

That’s because, according to her research, narcissists who don’t get their way are quick to jump into a victim/martyr role in order to gain sympathy from those around them. They need to find a new source of narcissistic supply.

“After interviewing experts on this subject, one thing is clear: If you are divorcing a narcissist, you need to be prepared that your spouse will put on the greatest show of their lives — divorce is the ultimate opportunity to showcase their role as the victim/martyr,” writes the author. “At last, they get to prove to the world why you are a horrible, unworthy person and/or parent. The worst thing you can do, states divorce attorney Robert Farzad*, is to react emotionally to any of it.”

Learn more about the book and read the full article at the link below. 

See The Original Story click here

Free Mini eCourse: Bee Better

Free Mini eCourse: Bee Better

These days, it’s so easy to get caught up in our electronic, connected world that it’s all too common to see people just disconnecting from the actual humans around them. Moreso, they disconnect from themselves. In an effort to help make the world a little better place (and to help those who need a little boost in this area), I’m offering this free mini e-courses.

Download it here: Bee Better – Practicing Mindfulness 101(Using Mindfulness to Enhance Your Life)

Why IDGAF About Beyonce’s Thigh Gap (And You Shouldn’t Either)

Why IDGAF About Beyonce’s Thigh Gap (And You Shouldn’t Either)

Beyonce-No-Thigh-Gap-No-ProblemOkay, before you get all “you’re so late on this post, why did you even bother?”, give me a second to explain.

Yes, I’m writing about the whole “Beyonce‘s thigh gap” issue. Yes, it’s like  totally old news. But you know how sometimes, when you  hear something and it pisses you off, but you can’t tell anyone around you because they’d either be bored or otherwise not understand what you mean (or maybe, they’re just not the right audience for your message)? And you know how you write it down (or type it down in a passionate fury on Evernote on your phone in the middle of the night, or whatever)?

And then, you know, sometimes you get busy, and you forget about it. But then later, you find it, and there it is, begging you to publish it because clearly, someone needs to read it today?

Wait, is that just me? Oh…but anyway.

Read: More Reasons to Love Your Big Butt

I ranted to my ever-loving Evernote app about how much people don’t recognize how their criticisms of women like Bey are so very significant in the lives of and so damaging to the spirits of  young women (and not-so-young women, let’s be honest).

If you’re not feeling like reading a well-meaning, passionately overzealous rant today, you’ve totally got my permission to jump off here. Check  out one of these articles instead, maybe. No worries, I promise.

Alright, for the rest of you. Here’s what goes on inside my head when I’m feeling all self-righteous about haterism. Ha. 🙂

Dear mean girls and boys, 

Don’t you know when you try to make other people feel ugly, you’re just adding more ugly to your own energy space? Wanna feel really sexy? Try EMPOWERING each other for once.

Please stop talking a out Beyoncé ‘s damn thighs.

First of all, the woman is known for her delicious curves, among her many other assets. And I don’t believe she is under any pressure to have a thigh gap.

Secondly, while I appreciate Beyoncé and her efforts toward being the beautiful role model she is, you’re kind of screwing it up for all of us.

That’s because with your negative (jealous? just asking) ways, you are actively undoing the good the powerhouse has done (and continues to do) for women and girls by starting this stupid rumor.

See, while Mrs. Carter wants women to accept their bodies and clearly embraces the idea of strong, empowered women, y’all are over there trying to make us all believe that SHE believes that she needs a thigh gap.  STOP THAT, please.

Seriously. Unless you’re blind and deaf, you cannot deny that the woman is gorgeous, regardless of whether or not her thighs touch. She knows it. Jay-Z knows it. We all know it. And you do too.

I guarantee you that she’s not sitting around worrying about this silly issue, and I wish you wouldn’t either.

If you won’t hear my plea on behalf of the adult women in your life, then think of the babies, the little girls…the young teens.

Think of all of the struggles they have today already with body acceptance issues, eating disorders…crippling self-esteem deficiencies.

What, that doesn’t get you right in the ticker? Then try something else.

Think about yourself, maybe, and your own issues. Maybe you could, this very moment, be blocking some kind of awesome success because you’re too worried about who’s photoshopping which body parts (and oh, just in case anyone was wondering, yes I do use awesome filters on my Facebook profile pics, and I’m totally okay with it!). 

Don’t you want to try and change the things that aren’t working in your life? Why not just give this whole positive energy deal a shot. It certainly can’t hurt a thing; by the very nature of its existence it is toward what is good in the world, right?

What do you think? Is it sensible to put these negative connotations on one of the “good ones,” or on anyone at all? Doesn’t doing so take away from the potential benefit that Beyoncé or any other celebrity in the spotlight  could offer those girls when it comes to self-acceptance and empowerment?

Let it go. Please.

You wanna make a stir in the world? Want to change the face of the tabloid news? Try catching people doing good things. You know. Unsuspecting do-gooders. And then how about giving them a split of the commission you earn?

Pay it forward. Try making the world a better place. You won’t regret it. Remember: everything you focus on, whatever energy you send out into the world comes back to you. So try putting some good out there. You will be amazed at what could happen.

As my friend Steve used to say, peace, love and doves, y’all.

Angie

 

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