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October 15, 2009 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Barbie has cankles? So says designer Christian Louboutin. (via)
posted by mrgrimm (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
hi it's me i'm christian louboutin

i make these shoes basically waht i do is i make the same shoe a trillion times with the same heel and the same shape and i just throw a bunch of junk on it or maybe i make them magenta and black or something and also they cost two million dollars each

sometimes i cut out a hole in the front but the important thing is that the heels are all five inches and my factory has one last that we use for everything and a few buckets of glitter and vinyl and shit
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:14 AM on October 15, 2009 [39 favorites]


"Well hey honey, don't feel bad. Barbie has cankles too."
posted by ZaneJ. at 8:16 AM on October 15, 2009


I always though Barbie set an unhealthy example for girls. It's not okay to be a fatso like Barbie. That's why she can't land Ken - fat ankles. Plus her cooking is terrible.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:18 AM on October 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


Know why Ken and Barbie don't have kids? It's not the ankles. He comes in a different box.

Sorry...
posted by ZaneJ. at 8:22 AM on October 15, 2009 [17 favorites]


I've always thought Ken was more attracted to G.I. Joe. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:26 AM on October 15, 2009


Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoes.
Careful, please, they're Christian Lous.
Those red soles, they'll never date,
They'll still be hot in spring '08.* pdf
posted by rtha at 8:27 AM on October 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know what would be a really funny and ironic way to protest this guy's objectification of an object that has caused generations of women to feel self-loathing about the natural female form? Drag him into the street and beat him to death with hammers.
posted by Damn That Television at 8:27 AM on October 15, 2009 [46 favorites]


How to know if you are a radical anti-feminist: You complain that Barbie's body isn't perfect enough.
posted by DU at 8:31 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


malibu stacy, no
posted by mylaudanumhabit at 8:32 AM on October 15, 2009


I used to feel pretty bad for Barbie, not just the physical pressure to conform but that whole lifestyle she has to support. I'm hoping Skipper takes a good, close look at her sister's life and says "Fuck that noise," then she ritually trashes her makeup mirror, gets a lip ring, and finally moves into a studio apartment above a Thai restaurant. Twenty years on, Barbie has a nervous breakdown, but she can't even make her face cry right because of all of the Botox. Skipper's there for her, though, helps her put her life back together after the divorce, helps her get a job at the farmers' market that is competing with Whole Foods. Barbie takes up crafts and gets some side money on Etsy making stuff, rather than buying it and displaying it around her McMansion. Secretly, G.I. Joe is buying it because he wants a unique tea cozy so he can calm down after a hard mission.

I gotta stop playing with dolls.
posted by adipocere at 8:35 AM on October 15, 2009 [36 favorites]


You know what would be a really funny and ironic way to protest this guy's objectification of an object that has caused generations of women to feel self-loathing about the natural female form?

Something has just occurred to me.
I don't think it's any huge secret or unfair stereotype to suggest that the male portion of the fashion industry is overwhelmingly peopled by gay men. Yes, I'm sure it isn't 100% and No I am not suggesting that there is anything at all wrong with it.

But, assuming for a moment that that is true, how odd is it that most of the body fascism that leads women to this self-loathing is generated largely by gay men?

Maybe it wasn't the patriarchy after all.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:43 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


Dr. Michelle Copeland, a Board certified plastic surgeon, whose specialty is cankles.

Ass man? Leg man? Breast man? Not me. I'm a cankle man!
posted by kozad at 8:44 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


how odd is it that most of the body fascism that leads women to this self-loathing is generated largely by gay men?

Nice theory, but it doesn't account for Hollywood casting.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:51 AM on October 15, 2009


This makes me feel a lot better about my thick ankles. Thanks.
posted by lexicakes at 8:53 AM on October 15, 2009


Oh, Barbie Schmarbie... my feminist-bent flies out the window whenever I see these shoes. WANT. Do not care who designed them, do not care how much they cost, do not mind the pain for a few hours, do not care that some people thing it sets a bad example to wear them, etc. They're just soooooooooo pretty!

I can't tell you why, but I suspect it's the same intense desire a child feels when it walks into FAO Schweetz.
posted by heyho at 8:53 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Christian Louboutin has a god-awful web site? So says noted internet commentator boo_radley.
posted by boo_radley at 8:54 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think, perhaps, the perfect woman to a designer is one that resembles a hanger (or a shoe tree) the closest.
posted by pinky at 8:56 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


No one followed the links, did they? Barbie's "cankles" are because her calves are too small, i.e. she needs to be more realistically shaped. And Louboutin makes a wide range of quite lovely (though yes, ridiculously overpriced) shoes and boots.
posted by Go Banana at 8:56 AM on October 15, 2009


I'll fight you for those shoes, heyho!
posted by Go Banana at 8:57 AM on October 15, 2009


Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by notsnot at 9:04 AM on October 15, 2009


Senor Cardgage: " how odd is it that most of the body fascism that leads women to this self-loathing is generated largely by gay men?"

I can't find it at the moment, but as I recall, in The Collected Stories of Colette, there's a story in which the narrator concludes that a fashion designer's work is expressing his hatred of women.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:05 AM on October 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow, I totally always thought this about Barbie. Sure, the rest of her dimensions are exaggerated, but they all kinda make sense in a caricature sort of way until you get to those jacked-up ankles. It's like they just gave up when they got to the bottom. Reminds me of the old comic-book-artists-who-can't-draw-feet running gag.
posted by scrowdid at 9:12 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fuck Christian Louboutin, girl, put your comfy kix on and lets go eat.
posted by The Straightener at 9:14 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


But, assuming for a moment that that is true, how odd is it that most of the body fascism that leads women to this self-loathing is generated largely by gay men?

This was part of my reaction to some nasty comments by Karl Lagerfeld a while ago when he tore into a rather attractive model for not being anorexic and thus "sexy". Karl, you're a wealth-addled middle-aged gay man: how the fuck do you know what makes a woman sexually attractive?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:15 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


Rumors swirled that Louboutin, who is designing three special collection Barbies, due out early next year, is reshaping Barbie's gams to slim down their appearance.

"She really doesn't have a full curve to the calf and it goes straight down to the ankle," said Dr. Michelle Copeland, a Board certified plastic surgeon, whose specialty is cankles.


Sounds like the complaint is that Barbie's calves are too slim, more than her ankles are too fat. It's a pretty fair call.
posted by Jilder at 9:15 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


D'oh. Gotta refresh. Go Banana has it.
posted by Jilder at 9:16 AM on October 15, 2009


Plus her cooking is terrible.

If you had plastic hands, you'd be wary of stovetops and ovens, too. I personally do not blame her for ordering out.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:16 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here's a prototype for an upgraded Barbie. Still has cankles though.
posted by brain_drain at 9:22 AM on October 15, 2009


So does she.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:24 AM on October 15, 2009


Senor Cardgage: Something has just occurred to me.
I don't think it's any huge secret or unfair stereotype to suggest that the male portion of the fashion industry is overwhelmingly peopled by gay men. Yes, I'm sure it isn't 100% and No I am not suggesting that there is anything at all wrong with it.

But, assuming for a moment that that is true, how odd is it that most of the body fascism that leads women to this self-loathing is generated largely by gay men?


"You know one of the reasons fashions have made women look so terrible is because the goddamned designers hate women. Designers taking it out on the women. Now they're trying to get some more sexy things coming on again."

R. M. N.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:25 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice theory, but it doesn't account for Hollywood casting.

No gay men or women in casting agencies? Well, they all had me fooled...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:29 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Outstanding excerpt there paisley henosis! I read it all in the Futurama version of his voice.
posted by artaxerxes at 9:35 AM on October 15, 2009


I think people are missing the important issue here.

Sub-headline of the CBS News article:
French Shoe Designer Christian Louboutin, Whose Known for his Five-Inch Stilettos...

You're kidding, right, CBS? "Whose Known"? No. Who is known. Who's known.
posted by gurple at 9:36 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


Nice theory, but it doesn't account for Hollywood casting.

While Hollywood casting is unrealistic, the body image it promotes is pretty far removed from the one promoted by fashion. As a general rule, Hollywood is going after the male sex drive and the fashion industry isn't. (And of course Barbie herself could never, ever do runway).
posted by Bookhouse at 9:41 AM on October 15, 2009


Maybe it wasn't the patriarchy after all.

I would like to point out this comment in another thread, because I think it's a makes some important points about the notion of patriarchy. The most directly relevant piece is this definition: Patriarchy is a description for that set of social systems that are dominated by the attitudes, desires and perceptions of men. Not straight men, but men. So I'm inclined to think that patriarchal power does have relevance here. (Even though I think kyriarchy is the more applicable analytical concept.)
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:42 AM on October 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow.
Thanks for that EvaDestruction.
That was really fascinating.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:47 AM on October 15, 2009


I used to chew the feet off of my Barbies. The cankles were the least of their shoe-related woes.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:50 AM on October 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


I always preferred the Skipper doll who went through, uh, "development" as you twisted her arm around.
posted by GuyZero at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2009


But, assuming for a moment that that is true, how odd is it that most of the body fascism that leads women to this self-loathing is generated largely by gay men?

Maybe it wasn't the patriarchy after all.


I'm not sure what's more offensive: The conflation of homosexuality with misogyny or the implication that gay men aren't men at all.

Gay men run the fashion industry just like The Jews run the media. There is no cabal.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:56 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


Until this moment, I did not know what "cankles" where. So thanks metafilter, for making me a little dumber.
posted by atrazine at 10:04 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel like no discussion of barbie is complete without mentioning this really excellent and exceptionally weird short story.
So now we're good. I'm gonna go have a nap.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what's more offensive: The conflation of homosexuality with misogyny or the implication that gay men aren't men at all.


I think you are being a little bit unfair. First, he never said gay men hate women, he merely suggested that disproportionately large number of gay men in the fashion industry promulgate an extreme feminine physique that is far more demanding of perfection and conformity and rigid in its application than what heterosexual men would prefer and what they choose to promote when they are constructing images of the female ideal.

Second, he never said gay men aren't men. He said "the patriarchy". Not "a patriarchy". "The patriarichy" refers to the well-understood notion of a historically powerful good old white boy network that that excludes women, minorities, gays, and heterosexual men not of the right class or pedigree.

But if you really want to be outraged by something, there's no need to contort or misconstrue someone's words. I'd be happy to oblige:
The rising popularity of female sexual aids, particularly dildos and especially the strap-on variety, among both the homosexual and heterosexual women of all ages, is clear evidence that the Freudian concept of "penis envy" not only accurate describes an inherent aspect of the female condition (supported by evidence) but also serves as an useful tool in discussing the relationships and power dynamics between men and women in all contexts in the post-feminist world.
There. Hate on that.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:48 AM on October 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


This was part of my reaction to some nasty comments by Karl Lagerfeld a while ago when he tore into a rather attractive model for not being anorexic and thus "sexy". Karl, you're a wealth-addled middle-aged gay man: how the fuck do you know what makes a woman sexually attractive?

Middle-aged? Life expectancy in Germany is 76.26 years. He'll be dead by Christmas.
posted by Sova at 10:54 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, there's a new word that's being used to make women feel ugly, huh? I'm not sure if I'm glad I've been able to avoid the word cankles thus far, or sad that mefi was the place I heard it first.
posted by threeturtles at 11:05 AM on October 15, 2009


What a sad thread. Sad people making up shit about the fashion industry so they can feel better about themselves.

When I was getting fat in the mid-90's, I didn't lash out at the fit people. I started running. But that's just me.
posted by Zambrano at 11:25 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another wonderful Barbie story (may be triggering for survivors): "Rape Me Barbie" by Jenniey Tallman.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:31 AM on October 15, 2009


When I was getting fat in the mid-90's, I didn't lash out at the fit people. I started running. But that's just me.


So true. You'd think that she would at least have a treadmill around or something.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:33 AM on October 15, 2009


What a sad thread. Sad people making up shit about the fashion industry so they can feel better about themselves.

When I was getting fat in the mid-90's, I didn't lash out at the fit people. I started running. But that's just me.
posted by Zambrano at 11:25 AM on October 15


no one cares
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:34 AM on October 15, 2009 [14 favorites]


Ahhh so that's the designer making stripper shoes.
posted by stormpooper at 11:46 AM on October 15, 2009


A guy who designs shoes largely unwearable by mortal women complaining that a plastic doll has the wrong proportions to wear his shoes. The scale of "who gives a fuck" just hit its apex.
posted by ga$money at 11:57 AM on October 15, 2009


Pastabagel, where is that from? I can't find it. Did you just make that up just now?
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:58 AM on October 15, 2009


So, there's a new word that's being used to make women feel ugly, huh? I'm not sure if I'm glad I've been able to avoid the word cankles thus far, or sad that mefi was the place I heard it first.

You haven't seen the TV show Weeds. I suppose Doug tries to make it gender-equal by calling out the "mankles."

It's not new. The term cankles (calves go straight into ankles) has been around for decades.

It is, however, a word to make women feel ugly. You are right there. I was surprised that a major media outlet would use it.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:02 PM on October 15, 2009


A guy who designs shoes largely unwearable by mortal women complaining that a plastic doll has the wrong proportions to wear his shoes. The scale of "who gives a fuck" just hit its apex.

Or its nadir, depending on how the scale is built. I always get them confused. Regardless: who gives a fuck.
posted by ga$money at 12:02 PM on October 15, 2009


(supported by evidence)

cite?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:02 PM on October 15, 2009


What a sad thread. Sad people making up shit about the fashion industry so they can feel better about themselves.

When I was getting fat in the mid-90's, I didn't lash out at the fit people. I started running. But that's just me.


Yeah, look at us all frantically sweating over here to fit into some retarded snorkel and trenchcoat outfit from Guy LeDouche's fall collection.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:14 PM on October 15, 2009


Christian Lou kind of looks like a giant cankle.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:24 PM on October 15, 2009


I used to chew the feet off of my Barbies.

OMG, me too! There was something so...satisfying about it.

Dammit, I think I'm jonseing for Barbie feet now.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:25 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Zambrano, you are an inspiration to us all.

* single tear *
posted by everichon at 12:27 PM on October 15, 2009


From paisley henosis's link:

EHRLICHMAN: Hot pants.

NIXON: Jesus Christ.


Pls pls pls tell me I can get this as a ringtone.
posted by kittyprecious at 12:54 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zambrano: No amount of running will turn a woman into a Barbie doll. Trust me on this one.
posted by Jilder at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, I was all set to make some sort of scathing comment about standards of beauty, but then I deleted it. Then I started writing about how I used to really want a pair of Christian Louboutins like four years ago and how I'm so glad I got over that, then I deleted it. Then I started to make a comment about how they already make kinda anorexic-looking Barbies, and I deleted that too. Then I stepped away for a couple hours.

Then I came back. So now I think I've got it down to three things: Barbie's anatomy is ridiculous. The recent obsession with ankle-to-calf proportions is ridiculous. Spending $600 on shoes that you can't really walk anywhere in and have to save for special occasions is ridiculous.

Put all three of them together and it's so dumbsticks ridiculous that Louboutin might as well have been auto-tuning the cankles quip while DJing at the Low-Carb Monkey Prom. It's so ridiculous that the part of my brain where the snark comes from has short-circuited and I've deteriorated into BACON VAGINAS KANYE LOL.

You know, sometimes I like to think that maybe once Perez Hilton was an eager, serious journalist ready to make a difference in the world, but then he came across too many stories like this and just snapped, threw his arms up in the air, and said, "fuck it, I'm just going to MS Paint semen stains on celebrity snapshots."
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:27 PM on October 15, 2009 [14 favorites]


You know, if you look at barbie's feet, you'll see that she doesn't have any ankles at all.

However, it's not because her ankles are fat, it's because her calves are too skinny.

It would have been great if Louboutin had changed the doll to look more human, rather than just making her legs even skinnier. All he would have to do would make slightly beefier calves, and some bony points where the ankle should be.

A guy who designs shoes largely unwearable by mortal women...

If they were unwearable, he'd be out of business by now. I think his Web site sucks, but some of the shoes are pretty cool.

Spending $600 on shoes that you can't really walk anywhere in and have to save for special occasions is ridiculous.

Why? Do you feel the same way about Ferraris? Personally, I would never spend $100, let alone $600 for a pair of shoes, but that doesn't make it wrong. Everyone has different desires and priorities. And that's OK, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:29 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


though I love "low-carb monkey prom" - thanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:30 PM on October 15, 2009


BACON VAGINAS KANYE LOL

Thank you, Metroid Baby. I will now use this to describe what happens when anger is overridden by sheer ludicrousness.
posted by ErWenn at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2009


This was part of my reaction to some nasty comments by Karl Lagerfeld a while ago when he tore into a rather attractive model for not being anorexic and thus "sexy". Karl, you're a wealth-addled middle-aged gay man: how the fuck do you know what makes a woman sexually attractive?

Some years ago there was some commercial in which a female voiceover wondered what it would be like if designers actually had to wear their own clothes, and they had a sequence of actors made up to look like various famous designers taking a stroll on the runway in ridiculous women's clothes. Karl Lagerfield was one of the ones referenced. It was absolutely hysterical. I wish I could find that commercial.
posted by orange swan at 7:57 PM on October 15, 2009


Oops, I meant to strike through the "middle aged" and replace it with "old", not strike through the "gay".
posted by orange swan at 8:05 PM on October 15, 2009


Barbie got it easy. I mean, Ken's got a microscopic cock.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:39 AM on October 16, 2009


I think what some people are missing with respect to the "no he thinks she should have bigger calves" angle is that he's taking a look at a doll with impossible physical attributes, so much so that the word "Barbie" has come to mean "an impossibly attractive blonde white woman" and saying "nope, still not good enough."

When even motherfucking Barbie is not perfect enough for your keen eye, you have failed as a human being. She has cankles? Great, fine, at least there's one thing she might have in common with a flesh-and-blood person. Leave her alone.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2009


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