Win a $50 alight.com gift card!

Wow, you guys! What a busy month it’s been so far. Thanks to everyone who participated in my giveaway sponsored by Jen’s Fashion Plus! And because you guys are so awesome, I’ve got another super fantastic giveaway for you today, sponsored by the folks at alight.com.

The prize? Win a one-time-use $50 gift card! What I love about this giveaway is that not only are alight.com’s products totally affordable (most are $50 or under!), but you can peruse the site and find something you really, really love. They’ve got literally hundreds of fantastic dresses and more, a wide array of brands, and a good selection of sizes.

Josh, a site representative, sent me the gorgeous Blue Plate dress you see above. Since it’s getting cold here already, I’m going to have to wait until the spring to get the most use out of it (I love the designs, but it’s going to be hard to dress this one for snow!). Alight.com has TONS of Blue Plate boho-chic clothing! It’s only one of the many possibilities for you to spend your $50.

Okay, I’ll stop talking now. You want to know how to enter.

To enter, all you need to do is comment on this post. You have until midnight (EST) on Friday, 2 October, to enter, and a winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday, 5 October. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

You want extra entries? No prob!

You may earn up to FIVE extra entries by doing one or more of the following:

  1. Re-Tweet: By tweeting this, I am entering to win a $50 gift card from @alightcom and @daniellepdx! Enter here: http://wp.me/phyW5-9Z
  2. Follow us on Twitter: Follow alight.com (@alightcom) and myself (@daniellepdx), and then comment back here letting me know you’ve added yourself.
  3. Become a fan of alight.com: Add yourself to alight.com’s Facebook fan page, and then comment back here.
  4. Add yourself to alight.com’s mailing list: While I don’t normally encourage people to do something like this, you will totally receive a discount code for your first order when you sign up, then comment back here.
  5. Feature the giveaway in a blog post: If you own your own blog, mention and link to this giveaway for an extra entry!

Good luck to everyone, and thank you for entering!

Advertisements

Jen’s Fashion Plus winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my most recent giveaway, sponsored by Jen’s Fashion Plus. While you’re all winners in my book, there’s unfortunately only one winner for this contest.

The random numbers have spoken.

Congratulations, Asrah! You will be hearing from me momentarily. You’ve got 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Thanks for playing, and stay tuned! I’ve got another superfantabulous giveaway coming up soon!!

Win apparel from Jen’s Fashion Plus!

Over the last several months, I’ve started to learn the joys (and credit-card horrors!) of eBay. Hands-down one of my favorite places to go and peruse is Jen’s Fashion Plus.

I’ve acquired several pieces from the store, including several dresses (a fab black-and-white buffalo check halter dress, a gauzy summer dress, and a short button-breasted pocket dress), lots and lots of the ultra-comfy cardigans in many colors and lengths, and even a great satiny belted top.

The clothing is high quality and very, very affordable, and the shop specializes in sizes 1x through 5x.

Have you shopped there yet? Well, if not, today’s your lucky day!

The adorable and ultra-sweet Jen, owner of the eBay boutique, is sponsoring today’s giveaway! One lucky Elle in Wonderland reader will win one clothing item of her choosing from Jen’s Fashion Plus.

Now, you may be wondering right about now how you can enter. Well, let me tell you:

How to enter

  1. Go to Jen’s Fashion Plus, and check out what she’s got to offer.
  2. Come back to this post, and leave a comment telling me: what item(s) you liked, where you would wear it, and how you would accessorize.
  3. Don’t forget to leave a valid email address in the comment form!

So you want extra entries? That’s great! Here’s how you can have up to three extra entries:

  1. Tweet about the giveaway! Simple Re-Tweet this phrase: I entered to win awesome apparel from Jen’s Fashion Plus @daniellepdx at Elle in Wonderland! Enter here! http://wp.me/phyW5-9o
  2. Spread the word. Write about the giveaway on your own blog, including a linkback to this post, for another extra entry.
  3. Become a MySpace fan. Simply add Jen’s Fashion Plus to your MySpace friends, and comment back here.

Giveaway mumbo-jumbo

Some other important things to keep in mind:

  • Entries for this giveaway will end on Friday, September 11, at midnight, EST. Enter before then! One winner will then be chosen by random, and will be announced the following Monday. I will personally email the winner, and s/he has 48 hours to respond before I move on to the runner-up.
  • Anyone may enter. Jen has so graciously extended this giveaway to international commenters!
  • Because of the nature of eBay, the item that you originally chose may not be available in your desired size or color. In this case, we will work with Jen to give you an item of clothing you love just as much.

One more thing!

Although I wish we could give you all clothing, we cannot. Jen has graciously decided to offer Elle in Wonderland readers free shipping on all orders through her eBay store through the end of the giveaway, 11 September. Her clothing is already very modestly priced, so get to it! To redeem, all you need to do is email Jen through eBay and mention this giveaway.

Good luck to you all!

xoxo

More to Love: The trainwreck I can’t stop watching

I’ve pretty much always been repulsed by dating shows. All of them. But when I was browsing through Hulu, one caught my eye, and I had to watch: More to Love.

This show was supposed to be different because it involved all fat women, and a fat guy. I use the word “fat” as a descriptive, not to be offensive at all. Luke, the man in question, brags about how fat he is (more than 300 pounds!) and how he loves the curvy, voluptuous women.

After the first few minutes of the show, I had a bad feeling.

Once again, we fall back on the typical fattie stereotypes: The vast majority of these ladies are the downtrodden girl with low self-esteem. Desperate. Whiny. Crying. Thinking that this is their ONE AND ONLY chance at love. Marianne Kirby writes about it on The Daily Beast:

More to Love is a confounding welter of self-confidence and self-loathing. I like these women, the interesting ones, and while Luke is a bit too much of a frat boy for my tastes, I applaud his lack of shame—he likes big women and he’s unapologetic about it. That shouldn’t deserve the acclaim it gets him, and it shouldn’t deserve the points it scores him with these women, who seem convinced this is their only chance to find love.

Ultimately, I think that’s what made me the most upset about More to Love—the show’s depressing portrait of these young women, already afraid they will die alone and unloved, unworthy of companionship. I’m not mad at them, though I want to send each and every one of them a copy of my book, a useful guide to getting over self-loathing. I am mad at every man and every woman who has taught them this kind of fear. I am mad at every jerk who wants these women to loathe themselves.

What bothers me even more is that despite the fact that this is a show about fatties, as a fatty myself, I do not feel represented in this show at all, visually, I suppose.

Yes, all of these ladies are “full-figured” but to an extent. A few of the contestants were quite thin, actually, and the majority of those featured are not only on the lower end of plus-sized, but also what I’d call “conventionally pretty.” Long, blonde locks. Makeup and heels.

The few contestants who defied these stereotypes were quickly booted, reinforcing the ever-present hegemony in today’s society. What’s more is that in every, single episode I’ve watched, the dates have revolved around eating.

PEOPLE: FAT PEOPLE DO MORE THAN JUST EAT.

PEOPLE: FAT PEOPLE DATE. They have relationships, they have sex, they do everything a thin person does. Why is this so hard to digest (no pun intended)?

This show makes me angry in so many ways, I can’t even say. Luke is a tool, these women are teary and unlikeable (there’s not one show so far that’s gone by without someone literally losing it because they are sooooo in love with Luke, and they think that this is their ONLY chance at love) and the antithesis of how I’d want to be represented.

I suppose I should say, better this than nothing, and I suppose that’s right. The show doesn’t focus on losing weight or dieting, like most other fat-centric shows do, which I appreciate, but it still reinforces the same stereotypes that shows like “Dance Your Ass Off” or “The Biggest Loser” do.

I was really hoping that this show would defy the odds. It just doesn’t. But I keep watching, because it’s like a trainwreck I can’t help but rubberneck.

The activewear dilemma

Pardon the silly socks, but I was feeling strong in my new duds, after doing some 30-Day Shred!
Pardon the silly socks, but I was feeling strong in my new duds, after doing some 30-Day Shred!

I’ve mentioned this before, so don’t be surprised, but sometimes it’s difficult to find properly fitting clothing when you have extra pounds. Last time, I addressed colorful tights. Today? Activewear.

I feel, sometimes, that society is sending mixed messages–that it’s definitely not okay (gasp!) to be fat, but if you do happen to fit into that category, it’s like pulling hair to try to find proper exercise attire. It’s like this crazy catch 22. For years, I’ve had to take walks and bike rides either in normal clothing–jeans, capris, etc.–or ill-fitting and unattractive sweats (that were often highwatered) and baggy tees. And you know, I learned to deal with that because, sometimes, when you’re exercising, it’s impossible to be pretty.

What I couldn’t deal with, though, was how uncomfortable it was to wear a regular push-up bra, and not be able to find a sports bra.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided that I was sick of it. I finally gave in and decided to invest in real exercise clothing. And thought to myself that maybe this would encourage me to actually do full-on workouts (because, let’s face it, clothing does change attitudes and the way that one views herself).

I’d looked for activewear before, but really to no avail. The very few products that were at my normal stores seemed to be hideous velour in bright colors, and the Old Navy yoga pants were just too revealing and form-fitting. And because I have so few options at this point, it’s not like I can shop many ultra-clearances at the Nike store or Gart Sports (again, that crazy catch 22).

So I gave in, and started looking online. I was pleased to find some options available. At the same time, I was very disappointed to find that my options would cost an arm and a leg. Danskin in plus? Awesome! A pair of yoga pants from the site? Around $80…no thanks! This basically seemed to be the trend.

Then, in the most unlikely of places, I found the correct sizes in several styles (also in straight sizing) and cute colors on jcpenney.com. For a store I literally can’t take, I sure took home a deal–two shirts, mesh capris, and a SPORTS BRA (you heard it, ladies!) for less than $50. You have no idea how thrilled I was.

Clearly this story has a happy ending.

But really, I don’t understand our culture sometimes. For a society that clearly looks down upon obesity and fat, why isn’t it easier and cheaper to find the proper exercise attire? I can vouch for the fact that now I have clothes I’m jazzed about, it’s much easier to persuade me to get off the couch and do something. I’m not quite as worried about running into people on my brisk walks. I’m not worried if my sweats are too short or too tight. And I’m not worried about any coin-slot cameos when I’m riding my bike.

Thank God.

I love colors, too!

Before I get going here, I want to extend a heartfelt apology to all the straight guys who frequent my blog. You may want to sheild thine eyes to the following. KTHX!

We Love Colors carries 45 different colors for tights in all sizes!
We Love Colors carries 45 different colors for tights in all sizes!

Okay people. I am not a skinny-minnie. Which, you know, is fine. But it drastically reduces your options for really GREAT clothing. I shop at maybe two different stores, with the possibility of a few more if I’m feeling really adventurous. I love dresses and skirts, but can never find enough of really awesome ones, and the only tights I get to choose from are like black and dark brown, and sometimes fishnets.

And the past year or so, colored tights have totally made a comeback. And I wanted some!

It's not a one-sized-fits-all world!
It's not a one-sized-fits-all world!

Enter this kickass website I found a few weeks ago, We Love Colors. They not only sell bunches of clothing and dancewear for men, women, and kids, but they also carry tights and footless tights in 45 amazing colors in many sizes! Read: I squeed when I found out that I could get some.

And talk about self-esteem! Their plus-sized section is devoted to making you know and feel how beautiful you are.

Their products are very moderately priced, and I opted for lycra-blend tights for $15 a pair, rather than the $9 ones, in hopes that they’ll last longer. So now I can partake in whatever legging trends I’d like, thanks to We Love Colors. I can’t wait to receive mine! Yippee-skippy!