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What the '90s and '00s Taught Us About Beauty - and How to Unlearn It: Episode 101

When I recall the beauty standards of my formative years, I think of two Kates, one Fiona, and my beloved (but sometimes side-eyed) Friends. Kate Moss, the queen of heroin chic; headlines decrying "overweight" Kate Winslet; Fiona Apple, unshowered, underfed, and undressed on a dirty carpet in her "Criminal" video; and Friends' lazy punchlines about Monica in a fat suit. Not to mention Bridget Jones' topping out at 140lbs in her panicked diet diary entries or Renee Zellwegger's "brave" weight gain to portray her. Nor the worrisomely slim women of Ally McBeal. Or Regina George's puffer coat masquerading as an upsetting weight gain plot point in Mean Girls. Today Kristen Watson and I tackle pop culture and marketing; body image, positivity and diversity; whether we've left '90s beauty standards behind us; and the upside of social media's portrayal of everyday women and the many kinds of beauty they hold. Get ready for a ride that touches on: 1. Britney's nude-and-crystal body stocking, J Lo's green Versace dress, and why 2000s fashion made a woman's body the ultimate accessory. 2. What is normal versus what's normalized. (Do you hear Oprah saying that in her "silent or silencedddd" voice?) 3. The puzzle of compliments - how to use our words to build up the people we find beautiful. 4. The pressure of being perceived. We know when we're being sized up, measured, and found lacking/worthwhile. What do we do about it? 5. Supergoop's Handscreen SPF and what kind of dunce falls for it. 6. Why middle school boys called me Tic-Tac Girl, and how I feel about it today. 7. Whether the "COVID 15" jokes can go away now. 8. The "we don't care what you look like or what you're wearing - just come!" disclaimer every post-pandemic invite needs. 9. Why lacking visible ribs and tan lines was once considered a status symbol - but also why archaic beauty standards are still everywhere. 10. Our moms could just toss the VS catalogs if they didn't want us to see them. What does that look like in a modern world? JUICY BONUS: Kristen's teen heartthrob boyfriend who shared a set with Jessica Biel while they dated, and whose face makes me cringe now. Though we touch on the Victoria's Secret/VS Collective rebrand here, the remaining hour (yes, we have thoughts) is live on Patreon. It'll take me a minute to come down from visiting the high of visiting the touring Friends set today; I'm basically Penny Lane-level groupie for that traveling orange Central Perk couch. So many future chats may have been born in this hour: A Notebook/Mean Girls breakdown. The history and frustrating glory of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit cover. (Yay, someone who looks less emaciated is on the cover, but is this our ultimate goal?) What Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera could have accomplished if the media hadn't positioned them as enemy rivals. The list goes on - and I can't wait to hear your thoughts! Find us on Instagram, Patreon, or at the podcast's website to continue the discussion!


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