May 20th

theresa albert - my friend in food


Weapons of Mass Reduction


It would be lovely if we were all happy with the way we look but, let’s face it, even some of the people celebrated for their beauty have what they would consider “flaws” which they work hard to cover up.   Open the pages of any celebrity magazine and you will find that the red carpet poses of the women are oddly similar:  a “bevelled” or 3/4 turn of the body, one leg forward with a clutch bag strategically held over the mid-section.   This pose is no accident; it is one that makes women look their thinnest and the clutch hides any tummy bump that a tight size 2 (!) dress might reveal.

I’m not immune to vanity but there are days when I find myself heading out to the grocery store in sweatpants and a t-shirt, no makeup and greasy hair.  Those are the days I am most likely to either bump into an old boyfriend, meet a famous person I admire or be interviewed by a news crew.  It’s true.  Greasy hair seems to be a magnet for those things.

When I really need to dress to impress, I put a good deal more effort in.  Out comes the trowel for slapping on the foundation, the blush for creating cheekbones where none exist and the eyeliner to play up what I think is my best feature (and if I’m going to have a favourite, I’m pleased that the eyes are always front and centre).

Next, it’s time to suck it all in.  Yes, when one is still a “work in progress” (and honestly, when is one not?), sometimes the body needs a little shaping.   In my arsenal are “Spanx”, which, if you’ve never seen them are a bit like a stretchy sausage casing for one’s torso; a boned bustier with a gazillion hooks and eyes up the back which squeezes me like a pet boa constrictor and the ubiquitous control-top panty hose. Were I to use these simultaneously, the suction power would be enough to create a black hole in our universe.

My favourite tool for looking my best is misdirection.  Like the illusionists from whom I’ve borrowed this term, the idea is to get people to focus on a desired area thereby averting their gaze from what you wish to hide.  In my case, it is my hope that an open neckline and interesting jewelry will take the attention away from the ample landmass I own below the belt line.

Almost all of us have learned to camouflage some aspect of our bodies and play up parts we want to show off…. anyone care to share their tricks?



Ilana Waldston is the mother of two teenage girls who keeps sane by singing. A graduate of the prestigious International Cabaret Conference at Yale, she’s been delighting Toronto audiences with her comedic patter and well-honed ability to sell a song. She’s a self-professed foodie, loves to bake, travel and dine (often all at once) who sometimes sings of food in songs such as “My Diet Starts Tomorrow”, “Dieter’s Prayer” and “Foodblooz”. In addition to her solo work, she’s also a part of Toronto’s only female jazz quartet, The Satin Dolls...


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