Squawk Radio

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Jill Barnett talks: Heads Like White Elephants & ‘Size’ Matters

(Forgive the title, Hemingway is one of my favorite writers.) Okay, so I went to some earlier blogs to give me an idea on SR blogging, since Christina sent me a list of rules and I’ve lived much of my life being a good girl and obeying rules. Until I was in publishing for a while and learned that following rules doesn’t get you anywhere. Too, when I reached a certain age, I decided I needed to bend some more rules.

So Squawk Radio seems the perfect forum to be less tactful than normal. After all, I get to have a chicken body, something far from normal, right? Here goes… Jill Barnett, ex-good girl, is being non-PC.

Did you see the photo below on Eloisa’s NYC blog? The first thing that struck me was the size of Fabio’s head. Now let me clarify that I’ve met the gorgeous and lithe Eloisa and can confirm she is Charlize-Theron-tall, gracious, and her head is a perfect size, very normal. Now scroll down and look at Fabio. His head is huge. (I can still remember childbirth…his poor mother!)

Lord knows he can’t change the size of his head, and I have nothing against the man. (I use that spray butter every summer on corn on the cob.) He’s probably responsible for much of my royalties on JUST A KISS AWAY, where he posed for the original cover with black hair and an eye patch.

In fact, I would guess he has signed more copies of that book than I have. I can still remember the Johanna Lindsay cover years ago that made me doubletake. A medieval knight in tights. Long hair. Great muscular thighs, and incredible facial bone structure.

He photographs spectacularly, and that got me thinking again. Years ago I saw an interview when Merv Griffin said he hired Vanna White for Wheel of Fortune because she had a big head and he knew the camera would love her. In that one sentence was the truth I had missed all these years: why I cannot take a decent photo. My ancestors gave me ‘the small head gene.’

I grew up in LA and often saw stars in person. They are so much tinier than they look…except for their heads. For stars to get big screen roles, they must be unrealistically thin. So nowadays they are even smaller with Hollywood and NY’s obsession for a size zero body. Just when and who invented a size zero? Isn’t zero nothing?

A while back I went on strike against the Neiman Marcus catalog (stopped spending a fortune there) for two reasons: one because they put terribly expensive clothes on twelve year old models. If the clothes fit a twelve year old, the clothes will not fit me. I have boobs, hips, and my grandmother’s German butcheress arms, but those arms are a whole different topic and IMO proof God is a man.

Reason number two for my strike was because suddenly out of the blue a size XL_the biggest size they offer in designer clothes_is now a size 10-12. I am a size 14. Women’s sizes do not fit me (too short and too roomy) and regular sizes don’t recognize that I exist. I am caught in a hinterland.

I had people laughing the other night because I told a story about going into the Gap in to get another pair of my favorite jeans: low rise flares, size 14. Only a few months since I’d bought the jeans I was wearing. That day I tried on three pairs of the new season’s same style jeans in the same size. They were all too tight. Those stinkers had changed the sizing again.

The poor salesperson, a young man, stupidly asked if I wanted a size 16. I walked out and handed him all three pairs and said, “No way. These jeans I’m wearing are a size 14. If your new size 14 doesn’t fit now, you’re not getting a dime of my money.”

So let’s talk about frustrating heredity, (my curly hair, which actually makes my head look bigger) Fabio’s poor mother, Hollywood & those NY designers, frustration with sizing, and what you would like to go on strike against.
Christina Dodd, 10:40 AM