It All Looks the Same!


I’m not sure if this is because I know absolutely nothing about the world of teenage fashion designing or because I don’t have to know the ins and outs of teenage fashion to know what I’m seeing, but all popular (mainstream) clothing stores are selling the exact same clothes. The variation comes in the fabric patterns, although at this point saying that is being way too generous. It’s one thing for teenage clothing stores to sell products that are currently trendy or are rumored to blow up, but do they all have to look the same?

The background story is that I went shopping at my local mall yesterday. I bought three v-neck t-shirts from JC Penney, from the misses section. I’m 25 almost 26 and I no longer feel the need to dress “cool”, although to be fair, I still want young misses items instead of “grandma gear”. The only thing I bought from a teenage clothing store was a black belt from Rue 21. It’s a guy’s belt and I bought it to keep my pants from falling down. While I think it’s pretty nifty, I bought it for functionality over appearance. My mom will be so proud of me for trying to act more like an adult.

I looked through various teenage clothing stores while I was there because you never know what you’ll find and I like to keep an open mind. Charlotte Russe had some lovely lacy crop tops in white and dusty pink. I would’ve tried one on if they had a large, but their sizes tend to be mediums and under. This is probably more that the other “big” girls buy the larger sizes before I get there than that Charlotte Russe discriminates against us big girls. In any case, I didn’t find anything there for me. Forever 21 was a mish-mash of clothes but I’d only chosen to browse there because I thought they would have some unique belt options. Turns out,they prefer carrying those thin fashion belts than nice substantial belts. Pass! I didn’t spend much time in Vanity, but I noted that they had a lot of pastel colors to celebrate the warm spring weather. When I finally went to Rue 21, I was so over clothing shopping and just wanted a belt. One of these days I’ll have to return to see what they have. It’s like the kind of store that Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and Vanity would be if they merged together and had better organization. The employees were kind of spacy, but maybe that changes from day to day depending on normal changes in daily retail duties and their mental state. The store itself seems fun. Even so, it doesn’t bring anything new to the world of teenage clothing. I could’ve sworn I saw the same clothes they were selling in at least two of the three stores I mentioned earlier.



Knowing When Your Monthly Terror is Coming *Graphic*
Credit to a currently unknown creator.

Credit to a currently unknown creator.

In spite of one of my only talents of knowing when my monthly terror will come, I had no idea I would get my monthly terror last Sunday.  To be fair, it came two weeks after my last monthly terror, which was the first four days of February.  Nobody gets their monthly terror every three weeks.  Even so, there I was in a movie theater bathroom padding up after seeing a then-light line of blood on my toilet paper.  Even so, there I was four hours later lying on my bed feeling like my guts were spilling from me.  Even so, there I was overflowing during my evening sleep.  Usually I am well-prepared, but clearly there was a breakdown of communication between my body and I.

For a normal monthly terror, there are different ways to track its arrival.  My mthods include:

  • Keeping a calendar of my monthly terror’s comings and goings.  All I do is circle the days I’m bleeding (bloody mucusing?) so that I can see how long I’m “clean” and use it as a guide for the next month.
  • Gauging my momthly terror’s arrival through subtle body changes.  The best one for me is to pay attention to increased moisture.  I have no idea what the technical term is or where it’s coming from, but a week or two before the monthly terror, I notice the presence of more clear moisture. There’s also bloating and pimple outbreaks.  Less helpful but still valuable is paying attention to nausea levels.  I tend to feel more like hurling two or three days before the monthly terror.
  • Based on calendar tracking and bodily signs, I make sure to wear a pad well before any bleeding.  If nothing happens then oh well, it was stil a precaution.  If your innards break free then you’ve saved yourself some embarrassment.

Some women like using tracking applications.  I did a quick search on Google Playstore to see what I could find under “period tracker”.  Wow!  I had no idea that there were so many options! Some just track the period itself while others track ovulation and tell their users when the best time to try for offspring is. Many of the apps are very pink, which is great if that’s what you’re into. Personally, I would like to see more color choices. Ultimately the most important factor when choosing an application for period tracking is that its features are reasonably accurate, which means trial and error.

Unfortunately there is not currently a fool-proof way to know when the monthly terror is coming, but by knowing your body’s signs and/or tracking it, you are less likely to have a horrifyingly unexpected monthly terror.

Getting Overstimulated From Shopping

Am I the only woman that has a love-hate relationship with shopping?  To be more specific, who else gets a thrill from looking at all the new goodies and thinking “How amazing would that look on me?” or “Well, I know it’s frivolous but I haven’t treated myself for a while…” but eventually becomes overstimulated by being in a large store or shopping center running from one department to the next?  Call it a symptom of anxiety, call it failing at femininity, but more often than not I will feel dizzy and nauseated to the point that I have to leave the store/the mall or else.

I thought I was a freak for coming undone over an activity that many women (and some men!) enjoy to the point of actively seeking out unique stores and/or shopping centers.  Admittedly I still think there’s something wrong with me because in spite of my physical sickness attached to shopping overstimulation, I do love to shop.  While the liking shopping in spite of the negative sensations deal is probably one of life’s great mysteries, we can all sleep easy at night knowing that when I Googled “Overstimulation from shopping” there were so many results.

It’s interesting (read: darkly humorous) just how much I related to the personal blog post “Why Take LSD When I Can Go to the Mall?” by Mental Health Talk owner and editor Trish Hurtubise.  She describes what her overstimulation to shopping is like in blunt but vivid sentences like “Then, if I was really over-stimulated, I would experience gruesome visions of my body on the floor of the store.”  The rest of her post is ever scarier.  Near the end, she writes:

“So that brings me to today: I am terrified that the over-stimulation is slowly killing me and I am terrified of dying.  Though I cannot control how much stimuli my senses process, when I experience overload regularly I am not merely logging it mentally as data to be better informed, I am assessing it to determine if it will harm me or not.  I am in survival mode, as is my nervous system.”

Sensory over-stimulation or sensory overload is a real condition in which people can’t process everything around them when it’s coming at them all at once.  For an unusually regular occurence, there’s not many credible articles written about it.  You’re more likely to find information on sensory overstimulation/sensory overload on forums dedicated to the condition or on anxiety-specific forums. These are excellent resources for the person who suffers from sensory overstimulation, but it makes a legitimate condition seem questionable when the “good” websites such as WebMD and Mayo Clinic don’t have information on it.  However, in 2008 Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D. psychologist, wrote an article for the website Health Central that describes sensory overstimulation from shopping from the perspective of her clients as such:

“Other factors about the store (and common to many department stores) included the fact that it was brightly lit with fluorescent lighting and that it was often crowded. The combination of the layout, the lighting, and the crowdedness was over-stimulating for a number of my clients.”

Certainly I feel better for my own reasons realizing that I’m experiencing sensory overstimulation from shopping, but more importantly, I want to spread the word about it.  If your friend or family member enjoyed going to the mall or store in the beginning but is suddenly stressed out and/or complaining about feeling sick, please don’t write it off because it is a real condition.

Some Information About Pre-Teen and Teen Girl Clothing
Screenshot of a Facebook reply.

A screenshot of a Facebook reply.

This man says “From a guy’s perspective, if she’s doing it [wearing revealing clothing or making non-revealing clothing more revealing] blantantly, and clothes are getting shorter, tighter, smaller, you can tell at some point that she wants you to see something.”  His assumption is that young women always choose revealing clothing to say “Screw modesty!” and are dressing for sexual attention from their male peers.

I combatted his narrow view of who young women are with this:

A screenshot of a Facebook reply.

A screenshot of a Facebook reply.

Let me hit you with some information about clothing for pre-teens and teenage girls.  Yes, many of the trends are skimpy or tight-fitting clothes.  One trend last summer for girls as young as 10 was the belly-baring crop top.  Crop tops are adorable for warm weather, especially for tropical locations. Unfortunately they are not safe for school unless the belly-baring part is covered with a button-up shirt and they are easy targets for people to accuse their wearers of being promiscuous.  Even clothing that is less “showy” than the popular crop top has been coming under fire.  It’s “too low” or “too tight” or “too distracting” because it’s “too sexy”.  Even t-shirts have been raising eyebrows.  The thing is, it’s not always young women choosing too *insert characteristic* for their clothes.

I was reading an article on Time‘s website called “The Bizarre History of Women’s Clothing Sizes” about how clothing for women is labeled a specific size.  It’s a bite-sized snippet rather than a drawn-out expository narrative, which is perfect for getting an overview of what in the world is going on with clothing for women (here used to refer to all ages).  “Vanity sizing” is the hot new/ old trend for clothing.  What is vanity sizing, you ask?  Excellent question!  According to this article, The Department of Commerce (a government organization) used to have a measurement for sizing commercially-sold clothing, which set the standards for what the sizes should be.  From the 1950s on up, clothing manufacturers got lax on following those standards until in 1983 the Department of Commerce did away completely with their standards.  The killed-off standards were replaced by individual stores deciding which clothing sizes got to be labeled a certain way.  So, “vanity sizing” as it is known started around the 1950s as women’s average body sizes increased and standards of beauty changed (Examples: “Thin women are the most beautiful” or “We love curvy women!”).  As a result of vanity sizing, today women of all ages are faced with the problem of first knowing what size(s) to buy and second figuring out how to work around clothing that may not fit them but accentuates their assets.  While this article doesn’t specifically address pre-teens and teenagers wearing skimpy clothing, it explains that everyone is at the mercy of clothing manufacturers due to a lack of official sizing standards.

In addition to the above researched article, I have my own personal experience to share about pre-teen and teenage clothing.  When I was between 10 to the present day (although less now because I buy my own clothing and don’t have to justify why it’s appropriate) my mom hated clothing shopping with me.   I hated all of the clothes she thought was adorable (Come on mom, do I look like I would wear flowers?) and she thought I wore the wrong colors or the wrong styles.  To make a long story short, pushy moms and moody teenagers are not a good combination.  One thing that she insisted on that makes sense to me now is that whatever I wore had to cover certain body parts.  Have you heard of the “No Three Bs” rule some parents have?  The Three Bs are Boobs, Belly, Butt and they are meant to allow teenagers the freedom to express themselves without revealing sexualized body parts.  My mom didn’t call it “No Three Bs” but she essentially followed it.  The other thing she did was make sure that I bought clothing that wasn’t so tight I would pop out of it, which was probably as much a way to save the clothing as long as possible in addition to making it less tight-fitting.  I worked around the rules as much as possible because, well, moody teen, but honestly they weren’t the worst they could be.

I want to return to the Facebook post I opened this piece with.  This Facebook poster thinks that all young women dress in skimpy clothing because “she wants you to see something.”  Never mind that when I rebelled about the home dress code, I did it for myself rather than the hypothetical men.  When I was caught violating a dress rule, my mom shamed me for it.  She might ask why I had my bra strap showing or why my v-neck t-shirts were barely covering my bra cups (which was because v-neck t-shirts back in the day were lower cut than they are now).  She might even say “Boys are going to look at you and you’re not going to like it.”  It genuinely sucked, and this is me the adult talking instead of me the moody teenager.  Do you know what she didn’t do?  She didn’t make ridiculous generalizations about “All teenage girls ever are dressing trashy to attract a mate.”  If nothing else, she was aware that some teen clothing was sized “wrong” or designed for younger teenagers than me.  She may have targeted her disgust at me, but she didn’t make wild statements about the clothing’s target audience overall (although the clothing manufacturers would not have wanted to hear what she said about them).

Moms Are Strange Entities

I was sitting at a four-person table at Panera this morning from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and somewhere along the line the crowd changed from business owners and various employees as well as college students to mothers of young children. These are the women that gather with their children and a friend or two and their children so that they can talk about “big girl stuff” while sometimes observing their offspring.  My mom used to be one of these women 20 years ago; it’s not a new phenomenon.  Maybe it’s because I lack an interest in young children and motherhood, but I don’t understand it.

Let me be more specific:  I don’t understand how a woman is so interested in her children that she wants to have lunch dates with other women but only if her children are present.  I don’t know where this idea came from, but I thought one of the perks of parenthood was lunch dates sans children so that the woman could maintain her sanity.  Being constantly surrounded by your children seems contradictory to lunch dates and other excursions.

Furthermore, are children so interesting to their mothers and her friends that they must make frequent appearences in the conversations?  I was at a restaurant with my mom one evening (because even at 18+ I seem to be present wherever she is, proving my main point) and there were two mothers without their children.  Not that I was eavesdropping intentionally, but they were at a table beside us and sound carried easily.  Everything they discussed was about their children.  When we left the restaurant I said to my mom, “If I ever start talking about my offspring 24/7, please shoot me and put humanity out of its misery.”

The closest thing I’ve been to having children and being maternal is being a mother to my cats (one in particular).  I don’t bring them out and about for obvious reasons and I don’t talk about them all the time.  What is it with being a mom that makes you so narrow-minded?

 

 

 

Winter Beauty Products 2016

In 2015 I wrote a blog post about beauty products that are essential even for the non-girly girl and in the end every product was more health-conscious than beauty-conscious.   As it turns out, I can’t justify beauty product use unless they have a functional purpose.  In 2016 I am no less insistent that beauty products must be useful for more than looking good or whatever they’re advertised for, and I have realized that it’s my responsibility to re-write blog posts when the beauty products I promoted don’t deliver on what I said they would.  I may or may not have made an effort to read announcement articles about certain beauty products that don’t have the health qualities they advertise *cough EOS cough* and some of the new information sounds credible.  I’ll go in depth on that as well as the updated recommendations.

We’ll start by discussing winter lip care products because some of you are lucky ducks in avoiding all winter skin problems except for cracked, chapped lips and that can ruin anyone’s day.  While my dream is that one day a lip company will produce healing lip stuff that smells sweet and tastes delicious (not that we’re supposed to lick it off our lips like it’s some sort of gel candy) It’s all about protective or healing features.  I can’t recommend Vaseline “Lip Therapy” gel enough.  They come in miniature packs that are so easy to slide in your bag and they’re gentle when you squeeze the gel on your lips.  I haven’t used these for my lips as often as I’ve used them for my nose after I get my obligatory seasonal allergies/cold and have a sensitive, easily-cracked, and I can vouch for them having some sort of healing power thanks to the petroleum jelly.  Because Vaseline “Lip Therapy” gel can be used for more than lips, I have to recommend it first and foremost.  Vaseline products in general are super important for winter use; the next product I would suggest is a new form of “Lip Therapy” that comes in a very tiny container and heals lips while coating them with a light pink jelly.  If you want a little beauty with your protective lip care, this is going to be your new best friend.  Just look for the mini container saying “Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips”  I prefer squeeze tubes over containers since I don’t like touching petroleum jelly, but either product works just fine.

Here’s the unfortunate thing I’ve learned:  EOS lip balm may not work as well as advertised.  According to the online magazine Consumerist in an article titled “Makers of EOS Lip Balm Facing Class-Action Lawsuit Claiming Products Gives Customers Rashes, Blisters” written by Mary Beth Quirk, the cute lip balms that claim it will smooth dry lips has been doing the opposite, “…turning customers’ mouths and lips into a dry, blistering, cracking, hellish landscape.”  Other consumers are less sue-happy but have complaints that their lips feel more dry after using EOS.  Now, if you know me, you know I am 100% in love with EOS.  That said, it hasn’t been as much of a healing and restoring product as the Vaseline options.  I will keep using it, but I will retract my statement that it is a good product for winter lip care.

Now we can move on to discussing winter skin care products.  I wish I could say that there were so many options for quality products, but I refuse to lie.  The delightful Bath and Body lotions I use are for smelling good but are not appropriate for protecting or healing dry skin (although any lotion with nutrients like shea butter or jojoba is better than nothing).  I once again turn to a Vaseline product.  I’m not sure how long this has been in existence, but it’s brand new to me.  I am speaking of Vaseline Intensive Care “Cocoa Radiant” hand lotion.  Unlike the regular Vaseline lotion that smells like, well, petroleum, this variation smells like chocolate thanks to the cocoa butter and less petroleum (“micro-droplets” as the container says).  If you want the oomph of regular Vaseline but don’t want the strange scent, this is your product.  Other products that you can use are Gold Bond and Neutrogena, although they have their own weird scents.  This remains true from the previous post.

To make a long story short, I’ve discovered some new-to-me products for winter skin care that I had to recommend to all of you. Are there any additional products you would recommend?  Also feel free to share your EOS horror stories with me.

How I Survived Post-Christmas Shopping 2015

Let me say up front that I am the stereotypical girly girl when it comes to shopping.  I get a physical rush from finding something awesome that I have to have.  I can get a similar rush from going online and adding stuff to my Amazon shopping cart, even if at the last second I decide not to buy any of it. Shopping is fun.  Usually.

There are two times during the year that I loathe shopping, and for this blog we’ll focus on post-Christmas shopping.  The other time, FYI, is Black Friday after Thanksgiving.  I hate post-Christmas shopping. I’m not usually not an aggressive shopper unless the item is worth fighting over, such as all the times I’ve bought tablets or laptops. I haven’t actually resorted to violence, but I am prepared to shove people out of the way if I need to. Clothing does not consist of items I would start whamming someone over. On post-Christmas shopping, however, watch it! It’s ridiculous and it overstimulates me to the point I sweat like a toilet in summertime and I get dizzy if I don’t find time to breathe. I never feel this way from my anxiety, if that helps put it into perspective. Even though I hate the way I feel during post-Christmas shopping, every year I insist my folks take me to the mall and I put myself through it again and again.

Post-Christmas shopping 2015 was an improvement over post-Christmas shopping years past, thanks to a break in the shopping for a movie. Being in a cool theater with an ice cold Coke does wonders for sweaty messes such as myself, and of course it gives me the chance to catch my breath. If you can afford it, I highly recommend splitting your shopping up with a movie as well.

A helpful hint if you’re going to return Christmas presents: Before returning them, check for items you could either do an even exchange or buy after getting your money back. This reduces the mad rush through crowds of people by at least one trip and helps the cashier know how to handle your returns. Another thing about returns: Make sure that you and your family/friends save the receipts for all of the gifts. You may still be given store credit in the form of a gift card, but having the receipt gives you a better chance at getting the full price or higher sale price back. If you don’t have the receipt, you would get the item at the lowest sale price it’s ever been.

Finally, we know that junk food is a once in a while deal, but it helped me considerably to get a container of baked pretzel sticks and cream cheese dipping sauce with sweet lemonade between doing my returns. I think if I didn’t get something to munch on, I would’ve passed out from being overstimulated. Listen to your body and keep it nourished, even if the food isn’t particularly healthy.

This is how I survived post-Christmas shopping 2015 with my sanity intact. It seems to have worked this time around, but maybe I’ll skip post-Christmas shopping 2016.

Herbal Essence Commercial Fail

Two things you should know:  First, I am a huge fan of the Herbal Essence Wild Naturals collection, especially “Turkish Fig”.  I can’t recommend this collection enough.  Second,  I am not your eternally outraged social justice warrior.  For me to call something out as racist, sexist, ageist, ableist, and all the other weird, possibly invented -ists, it has to be blatant.  When I tell you that I am bothered by the recent Herbal Essence Wild Naturals advertisement, it means there is legitimately a problem.

For those of you who haven’t watched the provided video clip, it’s this storyline where a woman is bathing in a beautiful jungle waterfall pool and washing her hair with an Herbal Essence Wild Naturals product while she is guarded by a group of indigenous people.  Yes, that happened.  Yes, it’s problematic.  I know absolutely nothing about terms like “cultural appropriation” that social justice warriors use to describe commercials such as this, but I know when something has unfortunate implications.  I was bothered by this one because it seemed to demonstrate racial (ethnic?) superiority.  I couldn’t tell you the race of the woman or the race of the indigenous group, but I can tell you that in some countries there is a push for “whiteness” and “European beauty standards” that erases the indigenous population and causes problems for people who are close but not quite there in meeting those standards.  This commercial is uncomfortably close to supporting those standards.  Never mind that shampoo is one of the least likely ways to change a person’s appearance and/or status.  Trust me, from 2000-2009 I’ve tried all the shampoos on the market to make my hair meet the then-current beauty standards and it did not work.  Even so, the imagery in this commercial shows a stark contrast between the woman and the people guarding her.

I’m also concerned about the use of a waterfall pool for bathing and shampooing.  There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the commercial reading “Don’t shampoo in the jungle”.  Great, so don’t show a woman shampooing in the jungle.  Even if this is a bit of commercial magic where she’s actually bathing in a Jacuzzi or something and then the image of her doing that is digitally inserted into the jungle scene, what a stupid and environmentally-unfriendly scene to show people!

I love Herbal Essence products and the fact that they can have some success (although not dramatic as the commercials show, but I bet you knew that already).  It is irresponsible for a company that makes genuinely good products to showcase those products in ways that promote harsh and unrealistic beauty standards, racial/ethnic superiority, and unsafe environmental practices.  Herbal Essence, you can do better!

One Day I’ll be a Sea Serpent

Huffington Post Women has been on a very weird body positivity kick lately (by which I mean the past two months and maybe even longer).  I say it’s weird because the news aggregate’s version of body positivity means articles that feature and sing the praises of morbidly obese women as being beautiful.  I believe women can be beautiful at any weight, but beauty doesn’t equal health.  If the articles had a more realistic approach, such as stating that you should love or at least accept yourself at any weight because that’s the body you have and at the same time setting goals to reach health (whatever that means), that would be okay.  I’m not sold on the idea that beauty at any size trumps being healthy.

I think about Huffington Post Women‘s body positivity articles because a) they’re so present and b) because I struggle with my own weight, health, and body image.  It is hypocritical that I see problems in what is being presented by Huffington Post but my own views aren’t particularly ideal or healthy either.  I don’t believe I suffer from body dysmorphia (an obsessive focus on the body that can lead to eating disorders/disordered eating) but right now it’s the second thing I always think about.  I have a sense of humor about it, such as how I describe body types that I will share with you briefly, but that it’s a constant thought is problematic.  Also, I have a scary tendency to think “If I just lost X pounds…” where subtracting X from whatever I weigh would equal 100 pounds.  At 100 pounds I would weigh about the same as when I was a pre-teen at the beginning of puberty.

I at least try to have some fun with my weight when I describe it to my folks.  I’m sure you’ve heard the term “whale” used as a slur for obese people.  I like it more than “fatty fat fat fat” and worse terminology so I decided to create a list of sea creatures for different weights.  “Whale” means obese, although I’m reconsidering that one.  Whales are large creatures, but they’re also graceful and they use their blubber for fuel storage.  I might change it to “walrus”, although the same can be said of them storing fuel in their flab.  For seemingly overweight but not majorly, I use “dolphin”.  Yes they’re substantial, but they don’t have super obvious flab storage.  For thin I have to use “sea monster” or “sea serpant”.  I know it’s more of a fantastic creature than any of the others, but I’m using it so there!  I haven’t thought about a sea animal to go with skinny, so any suggestions?  Anyway, it’s one way that I make fun of myself without being entirely self-loathing.  It also gives me a better image of what I want to work for.  Believe it or not, looking at images of people who are my ideal weight and body shape does nothing for me.  Therefore, it’s sea creatures or nothing.

Admittedly, there are much better ways to come to terms with my body the way it is now than using self-deprecatig humor.  I don’t want to go in the direction Huffington Post Women is advocating, but at least they have the right idea of being more accepting of yourself.  It’s true that life is much easier when you don’t hate yourself.  In that case, I hope to reach a happy medium.  For example, I could appreciate that my body usually cooperates with me and gets me wherever I need to go while hoping one day I’ll be a “sea serpent”.

Confessions of a Target Girl

I am a Target girl. I should not love shopping since I don’t normally like the most stereotypical feminine activities, but I love shopping and I love shopping at Target most of all. We need to get this disclaimer out of the way because I am going to defend Target left and right and it might seem out-of-character. Now then, let’s get to the point (maybe).

There was this weird article in the Huffington Post called “10 Ways Target is Robbing Me”. It’s presumably humor, where the author is making fun of herself for losing her self-control when she walks into a Target. I say presumably because if you read the comments, the reactions are mixed. Some people, such as myself, think the humor is lost given the title of the article and how the author seems overwhelmingly negative about Target rather than her own lack of self-control. We have been informed that we don’t recognize self-deprecating humor when it’s so obvious and we have no sense of fun and, well, humor. I say that if you have to explain the humor, it’s not humor. In fact, this is a wreck of an article when 50% of the commenters don’t immediately see the humor and/or are highly critical of the author. It is, however, a good jumping off point for me to defend Target.

Whoever is in charge of marketing and store decoration is a genius! Walking into Target and immediately seeing a brightly colored sign advertising the seasonal theme is the adult equivalent of walking through a ticket booth and seeing the amusement park as a child. How many other department stores can you say the same thing about? I guess when I was litte in the early to mid 90s the only store closest to that was Walmart, back when they gave out mini bags of popcorn. That has nothing to do with the store decoration. Target is clearly the winner. Target is not only the winner of the major department stores, however. I would hate shopping for necessities a lot less if all department and grocery stores were as welcoming as Target.

Our Huffington Post guest writer friend says that the placement of items at the front registers is a money-sucker. Absolutely!  EOS chapsticks and M&Ms get me every second shopping trip.  Usually it’s the M&Ms; I love my EOS products, but they last for months and who needs more than one for the purse, one for the backpack, and three for the house?  In addition, some EOS flavors are delicious while others are turn-offs like nothing else.  Once you have your favorite scents, you don’t really need more.  Candy is different because, well, cravings.  Even so, there is such a thing as saying “No, not today!”  I hate doing it, but if I need my money for food or technology, I will ultimately walk away feeling like I made the right choice.

I have a much harder time saying no to Target’s socks.  Remember when you were a little kid and socks were boring and a sign that your folks hated you?  It’s not like that with Target socks, at least not for me.  All those awesome designs and under $5?  Give me!  Even the mature socks for adult women can be kind of snazzy.  Last winter I bought a pair of glittery black socks from the adult sock section and they are stunning.  If I had an unlimited supply of money then I would go on a sock shopping spree.

This final thought is a little unusual, but it’s about Target so it’s completely necessary.  I actually enjoy going to Target for their health and beauty supplies.  You probably already know I love my scented soaps and body washes, but did you know that I may or may not check out the make-up and nail beauty aisles?  I also may or may not have bought gray nail polish because it’s Target so why not?  The only other store I look at beauty junk in is Rite Aid and that’s just because they have really weird stuff that no other store carries, not that I would know from experience.  *Shifty eyes*  Target make-up and other girly stuff is in these really bright aisles with eye-catching advertisements on the end caps and, well, it’s hard to ignore.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t usually end up buying anything.  Make-up is only for when I’m sick and need to make my zombie face a little more human.  Nuetrogena makes some really great healer concealer face powder for that, by the way.  Usually I’m adorable without gunk caked on my face.  Even so, Target marketing draws me in.

The only thing I loathe about Target is that they buy into gender stereotypes for children’s clothes and toys.  I’m not saying that they don’t have the most awesome clothes for kids-like, if I had spawn they would get all sorts of gear from Target-but the aisles shouldn’t be so divided into “for boys” and “for girls”.  The same goes for toys.  Come on Target, be more progressive!  You’re the only store that could, so what’s stopping you?  Literally that’s the only thing. Not bad, not bad at all.

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