30 Dec

Cookie Party 2011

My husband thinks I’m too competitive. Which I am. It stems from the high standards for success and overachievement of my childhood, but let’s not get into that. Anyway, if I’m the competitive one I don’t understand why he always insists that our parties become contests or competitions. Wine tasting competition, chili cook-off, dessert bake-off, beer tasting competition, we’ve had them all.

“Can’t we just have a party that doesn’t involve competing?” I’ll ask every time we discuss our next party

“What do you have against competitions?” Matt will reply. And so it always goes.

Sometimes I win out. One time I convinced him to have a potluck. A normal one where people bring food and we all eat it and enjoy it rather than critiquing it for its flaws. That’s when my friend Kyle brought the Epic Mealtime Lasagna to “change the game” and I started to think that competitions are expected at the Menzies’.

I see where Matt’s coming from though. People get more invested in something when they think they could be a victor which makes the party that much more exciting. Instead of bringing a tray of leftover cookies to the party they spend a hundred bucks on fast food and 40 of Jack Daniels to make a lasagna that will blow people’s minds (seriously. that’s what was in the epic mealtime lasagna).

Of course given my own competitive nature, when we have these parties I toss the ‘gracious hostess’ act in favour of my natural ‘cut-throat contender’ persona because I want to win as much as the next guy. More, probably.

On the 23rd Matt and I hosted a Christmas Cookie party at our place for our friends. The rules were simple, everyone brings a cookie, guests vote on their top 5 favourites (with #1 favourite getting 5 points and #5 favourite getting 1 point) and the winner is determined by total number of points.

For our cookie competition I spent a lot of time trying to determine what kind of cookie would be worthy of the win. I make a lot of good cookies but it’s tough to determine what is going to appeal to everyone in a large group of people. I decided on 3 factors- Rich, Chocolatey, and Complicated– and wound up making Peppermint Patty Cookies– a chocolate sable, topped with peppermint fondant and dipped in semi-sweet chocolate- a recipe that was entirely my own creation.


Yummy. Irresistible.

Sounds pretty damn awesome, doesn’t it? Sounds like it would win, right?

Well the head gamemaker, my husband, decided on a last minute rule (once all the votes came in and my peppermint patty came out on top, mind you) that the host of the party couldn’t win.

Say what?!? Why did I even bother entering this goddamn thing then? I was unimpressed.

Can’t you just say that I won, but give the prize to second place? I asked Matt as he tallied up the vote count. I don’t care about prizes, all I care about is recognition.

Why are you so competitive? Can’t you just win humbly without announcing it to everyone?

Umm. . . actually, no.

It took everything I had not to be that asshole and shout out “Lies! Lies!!!!” while Matt read the name of the “winner” and didn’t even give me a fake second or third place.

The number 2 cookie was phenomenal and fully deserved to win that LCBO gift card (seriously Zack, please send me the recipe.) It was a peanut butter sandwich cookie half dipped in chocolate that was soft and sweet and peanut buttery and chocolatey and that everyone was a big fan of.


Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie. Delicious. But, ya know, not quite as delicious as mine.

But between you, me, and the Internets the secret is out that I make the best cookies (even if I only won by 3 points).

And now I can sleep better at night.

28 Dec

Do you think there’s enough food?

I’m back after my Internet hiatus for Christmas. I’ve hardly turned on my computer for 5 straight days over the holidays and, not gonna lie, I quite liked it.

In its usual way, the holiday brought lots of family dinners and a bounty of food that naturally led to my overconsumption. My sister and I hosted Christmas Eve at our dad’s place which, in our family, means drinks and appetizers. My family’s philosophy on food can be summed up in 2 words: volume and variety.

Growing up with celebrations where a 40lb turkey was the standard size and everyone went home with a week’s worth of leftovers, I have it ingrained in my mind that if you don’t serve enough food for twice as many guests as you actually have in attendance then you’ve failed. My biggest stressor when hosting an event is whether or not there is going to be enough food. My rational brain knows that the massive menu is more than enough, but I always have doubts.

Inevitably, no matter how many dishes are prepared, I always second guess myself. On Friday as we were prepping some of the 18+ appetizers that were on the menu my sister asked

“Do you think we have enough? You don’t. I can tell.”

I wanted to reassure her, but all I could think was that our family might be going hungry this Christmas Eve.

A week of baking, and two days of prepping and cooking later and I was driving to my dad’s for the big Christmas eve party and practically falling asleep at the weel from being on my feet for 2 days straight. All I wanted was a nap. And maybe a foot massage.

But I love cooking, and I love hosting, and I love serving too much food. It’s worth the sore feet and the stress once my loud and boisterous family arrive with their boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and brothers and babies and everyone gathers around the food to eat and drink and catch up with each other.

Obviously with all the dishes that we made, my family wasn’t going hungry this Christmas. We ate until we were full and then ate a bit more and there were still plenty of leftovers at the end of the night. It always happens this way, and yet I will always doubt that there is enough food on the table.

Sahtan!


Just some of the Christmas Eve spread:


My aunt and uncle brought a platter with enough caviar to feed a Russian army.

Homemade California Rolls

Jumbo Shrimp

Homemade Lox on Homemade German Pumpernickel

Apple, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Turnovers (top) Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Asiago Frico with prosciutto, spring greens, and balsamic.


Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tarts

Sesame Chicken on Rice Cakes

Homemade Baguette, Pumpernickel, Oat Crackers, and Wheat Thins

We also had seafood salad, cider fondue, oysters, swedish meatballs, guacamole and chips, zucchini and feta tarts with olives and mint, jalapeno poppers, grape tomatoes with bocconcini and basil, fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce, spiced nuts, and mistletoe sangria to drink.

So yeah, there was enough food.

21 Dec

Oatmeal Butter Crackers

This week I’m baking like a mad woman for Christmas. I’m on bread and cracker baking duty so I’ve got a lot of work to do this week to get everything ready.

A week and a half ago I started making a Bavarian style rye bread. It’s a really dense, dark rye bread (a lot like volkornbrot) that is sliced thinly and that I’m planning on serving with homemade lox. This bread is a process. First I had to make a gelatinous mash, then I had to grow some fresh yeast, then I had to make the starters for the final bread and cook up some wheat berries to add into it, and finally 9 days later the dough made it to the oven. Now that it’s baked I have to age it for a day or so before cutting into it, so I’m not even sure what it tastes like. All I have to say is, with all the work it damn well better be good!

Sometimes I think that German bread isn’t really worth the effort. I mean, I love the density and the intensity of flavour but it doesn’t seem to win over the crowd as much as a Ciabatta or baguette or foccaccia. It’s a bit underrated.

So for the purposes of pleasing the masses I also baked up 6 demi-baguettes on Monday night and I plan on making a fluffy rye bread and possibly a garlic and herb pull-apart bread.

I’ve also baked two types of crackers this week: wheat thins, and buttery oat crackers. I like to make crackers that have a rich grain flavour and a slight sweetness so they work with savoury cheeses and dips as well as sweet  jams. Both of these type of crackers fit that profile, but the oatmeal ones I just couldn’t stop eating (but then I had to because I realized that they have to make it to Saturday night)

True to my style, I burned a good number of the wheat thins but most of them turned out alright. They were the first batch I made so I learned my lesson for the oatmeal batch. I really do love these crackers. Did I mention that I couldn’t stop eating them? The oat flavour, the butter, the slight sweetness. They’re pretty damn awesome if you asked me and really really easy to make.

Oatmeal Butter Crackers

makes about 100 1″ crackers

Ingredients

9 oz. whole wheat flour
9 oz. rolled oats
2 t. baking soda
1 t. sea salt
3 T. granulated sugar
6 oz. cold, salted butter (3/4 c.), cut ino cubes
enough milk to bring it all together (~1 c.)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment stir together the dry ingredients at low speed.

Add the butter cubes and increase the speed of the mixer until you get pea sized clumps, like you’re making a pie dough.

Add in as much milk as necessary to get the dough to come together into a ball without crumbling. If you add too much milk and the dough is sticky, just sprinkle a little more flour on it, no big deal.

On a floured surface, roll out your dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut it into squares or rectangles using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter.

Transfer the crackers to a foil lined baking sheet (or multiple, I needed 3). They can be very close, but try not to let them touch.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. They will not crisp up in the oven, but once you remove them and allow them to cool on a rack they will be nice and crisp.

19 Dec

And so begins the taper

Saturday night I made the idiotic decision of having a very spicy stirfry at Chanoso’s for dinner at 10pm. I got an 8 on their 1-10 scale of spiciness which was perfect for my heat tooth but not so good for my intestines.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I weren’t planning to run 20 miles on Sunday morning. So I guess there will be no spicy food the night before the big marathon. Lesson #1 learned.

To spare myself from being miles away from home and having to squat in the woods, I decided to run my longest run of marathon training on the treadmill at the gym (in close proximity to a bathroom). I wasn’t too happy about it, because the weather on Sunday was pretty mild and would have made for a nice run, but luckily there was a decent movie on TV (Kingdom of Heaven) to occupy my boredom.

The run actually went really well. It took me 3:06 (not including bathroom breaks) which is a 9:18/mile pace.

I wasn’t as tired as I had expected to be. Unfortunately I forgot to vaseline my chaffing spots so by mile 9 my ribs and back were raw from all the rubbing against my sports bra and by mile 13 my ass was starting to chafe too. Ass chaffing might be the worst thing in the world. Lube up before you run! Lesson #2 learned.

I took a quick break at mile 13 to refill my water and eat a few dates as a snack. Once I stopped running I noticed that my right knee was hurting just a bit. I’ve never felt knee pain before so I was a bit worried about whether to keep running but I decided to give it a go. It was only 7 more miles. My knee felt uncomfortable but not painful while I ran so I just let myself run through it and after a while I didn’t notice anything. Today it feels a bit ‘off’ but I don’t think it’s anything serious.

So now that my big 20 mile run is out of the way it’s time to taper for the marathon which is only 3 weeks away! Eeeek!

The next big things to do before the marathon are 1) massage. Scheduled for Thursday.  2) put together a packing list of all the things I’m going to need so I don’t forget anything important (like vaseline or moisture wicking underwear).


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

This is week  5 of my Holiday Health Challenge with less than a week to go before Christmas. I was lazy this week and didn’t do a great job sticking to my plan.

1) Keep a food journal – B-

I got lazy and missed a few days of journalling and I wasn’t really considering what I was eating. I would look at my journal and say ‘I ate a lot of nuts today’, but then eat just as many the next day. It was pure laziness and lack of planning.

2) Eliminate processed sugar – C

Not a good week for this at all. I really want to do better this week bit in the week before Christmas I’m wondering how?

3) Floss my teeth every day – B

I think I only flossed 4 days this week.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – C

I missed 4 days.

5) Run 150 miles – A+ – (177/150 miles)

I ran all 39 miles I had scheduled for this week and so I smashed my goal of running 150 miles before Christmas by 27 miles. This might have been my best week of running ever with an amazing 5 mile run, a 3 mile run in 23 minutes where I beat my own PR!!!, and of course my big 20 miler.

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – A+

I smashed this goal last week and this week I got up to 8 reps at 155lbs. I tried for 160lbs and got 4 reps! Yowza. I’m rockin’ it.

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – C

I think she only got 2 long-ish walks this week. Bad puppy mom.

8 ) Take all my vitamins – A+

Done and Done.

15 Dec

Christmas Tunes

I got a hair cut, finally. I only delayed it about 6 months or so.

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Before: Wow, did I really leave the house with my hair that frizzy? Sadly, it looks like this on a daily basis.

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After: Trimmed an inch, shortened the layers, and thinned out. It will probably go back to looking like the ‘before’ in a couple of days.

I was looking for some new Christmas music to add to my collection and heard lots of good things about A Very She & Him Christmas, so I downloaded it.

While I like their rendition of “The Christmas Waltz“, I find listening to the whole album at length to be rather boring, and the last thing I want is to be bored by my Christmas tunes. It brought back memories of being forced to watch the Lawrence Welk Show on Sunday nights with my Nonna. Plus, there isn’t a single religious song on the album, which is a major Christmas album fail, in my opinion.

So that got me thinking about my favourite (and least favourite) tunes from the holiday season. There are SO many, so it’s tough to pick but I narrowed down my preferences as best as possible.

Best Christmas Tunes

Classic Secular:

Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon

Truthfully I am partial to Sarah McLachlan’s or Celine Dion’s versions though. Yoko just ruins the original for me.

Coming in a close second is Last Christmas – Wham! (and no one else’s version even comes close to the original). There isn’t a time when I don’t hear this song and turn it up to jam.

Modern Secular:

Yule Shoot Your Eye Out – Fall Out Boy

Yeah, it’s depressing and emo, but I love it. And I listen to this song all year long. Don’t judge.

Classic Religious:

This is SO hard. I think that all the religious songs are a million times better than the secular stuff which I generally find cheesy. I think it’s a toss up between:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and
Oh! Holy Night

Modern Religious:

Breathe of Heaven – Amy Grant

This song is a beautiful perspective of Christmas from the Virgin Mary. We used to sing it every year in high school and it still tops my Christmas playlist.

Worst Christmas Tunes

Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid

I get that this was a fundraiser for the 1980s Ethiopian famine and that’s all well and good. And I get that the lyrics were trying to put into perspective our first world “needs” at Christmas time compared actual needs of the rest of the world, but has anyone ever really listened to the lyrics? Like, really listened to them? They’re a bit of a stretch for even my liberal brain to wrap itself around.

It’s a world of dreaded fear
Where the only water flowing is a bitter sting of tears
And the christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

The clanging chimes of doom? Really? It’s Africa, people, not the coming of the grim reaper.

In case you don’t agere with me, even the songwriter Bob Geldorf thinks it’s the worst song in history.

Christmas Time is Here – A Charlie Brown Christmas

This song actually makes me want to shoot my eye out. Or at the very least, cover my ears, curl into a ball, and cry “please, make it stop!”

Anything from Manheim Steamroller

How do people listen to this shit?

Blue Christmas – Elvis

Any version of this song is depressing. The most depressing part being that I can’t stop myself from singing along. Elvis’ version is by far the worst.

14 Dec

Kifle with Hazelnut Liqueur

How about some more Christmas Cookies, hmm?

kifle

It’s week 12 of the 12 weeks of Christmas cookies and I decided to go with a cookie that I found in my mom’s old recipe folder dated from December 2004.

I remember her coming home one day and talking about these delicious cookies called kifle that one of the other teachers brought in to school one day. (I can’t for the life of me remember whose recipe they were how typical of me to remember more about cookies than people.) I think they are an Eastern European Christmas cookie but I don’t quite know for sure. I do know that my mom raved about how fantastic they were and told us that she was going to make them as soon as she got the recipe from her friend.

kifle

I don’t know why I have such a vivid memory of her baking these cookies. Maybe because she hardly baked. Maybe because she talked up these cookies so much that I was more than excited to taste them. Maybe it was the way that she indulged in them and savoured them like each bite was worth a million dollars.

I might go out on a limb and say that these were her favourite cookies. But I can’t be sure. I never got the chance to ask her.

kifle

 

Kifle with Hazelnut Liqueur

The original recipe called for brandy or rye in the filling but I used Frangelico instead to play up the nuttiness of the cookie. Feel free to use brandy or rye if you so desire.

makes about 30

Dough

2 c flour
1/2 lb. butter
1 egg yolk
3/4 c full fat sour cream
icing sugar for finishing

Combine the flour and butter together in a mixer until fluffy. Add the egg yolk and sour cream and mix by hand until it comes together into a soft dough.

Divide dough into 3 parts, sprinkle each part with a bit of flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Meanwhile, prepare the nut filling.

Nut Filling

1/2 c ground walnuts
1 egg white
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 shot of hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico (or brandy or rye)

Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Assembly

On a well floured surface, roll out one third of the dough to about 4” wide and whatever length will give you a 1/8” thickness. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into isosceles triangles with a base of about 2”-2.5”. Re-roll any excess dough and repeat.

Just like this cool drawing:

cutting kifle

Spread about 1 teaspoon of the nut filling onto each triangle and roll like a croissant.

Place on greased cookie sheet about an inch apart and bake 20?30 minutes or until a very light golden colour.

Roll in or dust generously with icing sugar.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 11: Pumpkin Raisin Muffin Bars
Week 10: Momofuku Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
Week 9: Flaky Butter Tarts
Week 8: Lime Curd Sablés
Week 7: Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies
Week 6: Macaroons
Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

13 Dec

Glory Days

So apparently that little fall down the stairs wasn’t a big deal at all because my run today was amazing!

I set out for a 5 mile run this evening which included four speed intervals of 2 minutes each that I spaced randomly throughout the run.

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Well, I must have been haulin’ ass because i finished the 5 miles in 40:43 seconds, that’s an 8:08 pace!

Ahh, that kind of speed takes me back to my running glory days of ‘07/’08.

DSCF7869
This smile is much more genuine than this one from Sunday’s 18 miler.

This kind of pace makes me want to focus on running shorter distances again. Once the marathon is done, that is.

I just wanted to gloat a bit for you guys… now I’m off to bake more cookies.

12 Dec

Red Thai Curry with Shrimp

Last night, right after writing my blog post, I fell down the stairs, right onto my left knee 🙁
The combination of not being able to walk properly after running 18 miles and being distracted by yelling at Bagigis for trying to eat off my plate made me miss a step (or two) and tumble right onto my knee. It’s still hurting today, but hopefully it feels better and doesn’t impact my running.

On Saturday night, Matt and I had a cozy night in making dinner and watching Top Chef Texas and the movie Just Go with It.

I loved the movie. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good Adam Sandler flick and I was impressed by this one. The comedy was subtle yet hilarious and, though the movie got cliche and cheesy at the end, was worth the watch. Plus the cast was awesome: aside from Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, I was surprised to see Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews were in the movie too.

I’m so out of the loop when it comes to movies. Not only have I not seen a lot of movies, I’ve also never even heard of them. I had to imdb this one before we watched it. I get bored just sitting still for 2 hours trying to watch one, so I hardly ever do. So it’s very possible that this movie is pretty old and you’ve all seen it a dozen times already.

For dinner we decided to cook instead of going out to eat. I remembered a quick recipe for green Thai curry that I saw in Everyday Food magazine so I thought we would give it a try.

The grocery store, unfortunately didn’t stock green curry paste and I wasn’t sure how to make my own from scratch, so we settled on red curry paste instead.

Have you cooked with curry paste before?

My thoughts on Curry Paste:

I really liked using the curry paste. All the flavours are already there and concentrated into a little portion so you just have to chop up some veggies and you’re set. It saves time and makes it a little easier than cooking Indian food where you have to grind your own spices and create your own aromatics.
But it’s not cheap. A little bottle of red curry paste cost me $4.49 and I could probably manage to make this recipe only twice with that bottle, and even that may be a stretch. Perhaps I could find it cheaper at an Asian grocer; I’ll have to source out some prices.

This recipe turned out so good that I would make this dish instead of going out to a restuarant for Thai food. Seriously. Also it took no time flat for this dish to come together, which was a good thing since I was starving before we even started cooking.

red thai curry with shrimp

Red Thai Curry with Shrimp

serves 2

Ingredients

2 T oil
3 T red curry paste
4 baby bok choy, quartered
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 orange bell pepper, sliced into strips
1-1/2 c shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 t fish sauce
1 c. coconut milk
1 t cornstarch
1/2 lb cooked shrimp

Directions

Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the red curry paste and stir, heating until fragrant.

Add the vegetables and sautee until softened. About 5-8 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a soft boil. Stir in the cornstarch (it will thicken the sauce). Add the shrimp and continue to boil until the shrimp is just heated through.

Serve with basmati or jasmine rice.

11 Dec

18 mile training run

18 mile run
Fakest smile ever.

How I really felt after the run.


18 mile run

A little bit like this.

18 mile run
And a little bit like this.

Today I ran 18 miles in my training run for the upcoming marathon. This is the first Sunday in a few weeks when the weather has been nice enough to run outside. It was sunny and cold—my kind of running weather.

My technique was to run a 9 mile loop, then back to my house for a bathroom/water/cookie break before running a different 9 mile loop.

The first 9 went really well. I had a lot of energy and had a good tempo going. I finished the first 9 miles in 1:23 with no walking breaks.

The second 9 was a little rougher going and took me 10 minutes longer. I definitely slowed my pace and walked whenever I felt tired. I didn’t pick a very good route for this one because it was boring, windy, and extra cold. In my last 3 miles, though I did run by Santa Claus in front of a Christmas tree shop who gave me a high five and told me to “keep on truckin’!” It definitely kept me motivated. I can’t wait to see what Disney characters will do!

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I am not exactly looking forward to running 20 miles next week knowing what my legs felt like after my run today. But at least that will be my last long run before I start to taper. I don’t understand how some runners complain about the taper. I’m excited for it!


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

This is week  4 of my Holiday Health Challenge and I think I did much better than last week.

1) Keep a food journal – B

I only missed 2 days of journalling.

2) Eliminate processed sugar – B

3 days without desserts again this week. Woot!
Matt and I made some caramel corn last night to eat while watching Just Got With It (which was really funny by the way) which ruined me for the weekend.

3) Floss my teeth every day – A-

I only missed a couple of days.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – C

I missed a bunch of days this week, unfortunately. Again I’ve been waking up later and later every morning :/

5) Run 150 miles – A – (138/150 miles)

I ran 30 of the 32 miles I had scheduled this week.

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – A+

This week I squatted 155lbs for 6 reps, in each of 4 sets. I had an amazing workout on Friday night. So good that some guy came up to me and said, “I see you here all the time. You work out hard! Do you play sports?”

I did 4 sets of each of these exercises:

Squats: 155lbs x 6reps
Deadlifts: 155lbs x 5reps
Dumbbell Rows: 60lbs x 5reps
Bench Press: 125lbs x 4reps
Turkish Get-Ups: 10lbs x 8reps (<—my new favourite exercise)

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – C

I did a pretty bad job at this, but she did get a day at the doggie spa with extra special scented shampoo 🙂

bagigis

8 ) Take all my vitamins – B

I only missed a few days this week.

08 Dec

H&M Takes Photoshop to the Extreme

I hardly read women’s magazines anymore. I don’t like looking at their images of women. No matter how fully I comprehend that the women in the pictures are photoshopped (sometimes horrifically) to ensure that they have no pores, no bellies, no wrinkles, and no cellulite—to ensure they are flawless—seeing them always makes me conscious of my own large pores and of my pudgy middle. Of all of my flaws, really. Flaws that I might not have otherwise considered to be imperfections had the ad not pointed out to me.

Curiously, after reading magazines I end up wanting to go out and buy some magical pore reducing serum.

I don’t like looking at these types of ads because they work. They’re made to make me feel insecure about myself just to sell me a product to correct some flaw that they invented. I usually don’t end up buying the products, but I do buy into the idea that my appearance is somehow not good enough.

But I don’t even know what to make of this news that H&M is using completely computer generated images of women’s bodies as its lingerie “models”.

They’re not real women. And I don’t mean that in the “Real Women Have Curves” sort of way. No. These bodies are literally not real. They’re generated by a computer to be the ideal figure of a woman and then the head’s of real gorgeous women are pasted on top.

h&m
(source)

This is happening, folks.

I’d like to say that knowing this would make it easier to push our self-consciousness aside when looking at advertisements of women, but as with photoshopped images, I believe that we’ll still be looking at these computer-generated women and saying “I wish I looked like that.”

Has it gotten so bad that advertisers can’t even find models with both the looks and the body to hock their wares? This does not bode well for the female psyche when even models, who are understood to have some of the most desirable figures in our culture, aren’t good enough.

I won’t buy lingerie from H&M and not just because I find it hard to find anything I like in that store, or because the company has succumbed to the lowest of the low in the world of women’s body image, but primarily because knowing that their lingerie only fits a computer-generated body I can’t image that it is tailored well enough to fit a real woman’s body, like my own.