When Mean Girls Go Spotting: Glamour's Big Book of Do's and Don'ts

Ever been out somewhere (or, with someone) and saw something (she or he was wearing) that made you stop (dead in your tracks) and wonder, "Holy crap, what was I...ahem...I mean...were you thinking when you put that outfit together!?!"

Well, I'd duck and cover (if you were me) or, at least take a picture!

Because, now you can browse, rate, share and comment on what anyone is wearing, anywhere and at anytime with Don't Spotting:

Starting now, whenever you see someone looking truly awful—or truly chic—take a photo and show the world! Use your digital camera or camera phone and upload, or just browse, rate and comment on other people's photos. Remember, we're talking fashion commentary, not personal attacks. So play fair, and have fun!

[source: Glamour.com]

Tipping the "don't" side of the fashion scale, my first reaction was...okay, it's not like I haven't covered fugly...or, put a call out to the fashion police, before.

In fact, my job here often times requires me to visit fashion blogs and websites - like glamour.com - for inspiration and I find commentary sites like Go Fug Yourself and Manolo's many blogs quite entertaining.

Are "Don't Spotters" any different?

But, then I came to the part where they offer prizes:

Be a Glamour Do! Upload a photo of a Do or Don't and you'll automatically get a chance to win a trip to NYC for a fabulous $2,000 shopping spree with a Glamour editor. Bonus: You'll also be entered to win today's prize: a copy of Glamour's Big Book of Dos & Don'ts!

And then found bloggers like hatsumichan in a rant as Glamour goes mean girl:

Thank you for encouraging, by offering a shopping spree, mean-spirited cattiness on your mainstream website. So, now when I tell students, don't post those humiliating pictures of the gammas in your pack on Photobucket or on your MySpace, they'll respond with, Oh, you're so right, I should make sure I can profit from their gullibility when they thought I was their friend. Does this mean I have to share the prize, or can I just e-mail everybody in my address book when the picture goes up?

To be fair - The Runway Scoop says, at first glance, that Don't Spotting is pure fashion entertainment and perhaps there's even a lesson to be learned spotting some of the worst fashion don'ts, like these:

Oh. My. I just looked at the gallery of Worst Don’ts and I’m appalled. Simply appalled that people actually walk out of the house looking like that! You know, I’m all for expressing yourself and being original, but there are some things that you just don’t do...Grab a bucket cause you just might vomit!

Though, Glamour's editor is quick to point out that the Do's and Don'ts page of their magazine (which is now available as a book) didn't mean to sound...so mean:

The "Dos and Don'ts" page isn't just about looking at horrible outfits and good ones, she said — it's also about giving great fashion and style tips. "We're trying to be very positive," Schwartz told co-anchor Rene Syler. "We've all been 'don'ts' in our lives, and the moral of the story is, it doesn't matter whether you're a size 2, or a size 28: You can be a Glamour 'do.' Even very wealthy people can dress very tacky, and we show you that," too.

[Blogtip to Julie]

All mean girls aside (especially, you...yes...YOU...from my fourth grade class who insisted the drawing of my "greasy-haired" and "pot-marked" younger self was, "Just a picture...gosh!") Rachel Sklar of The Huffington Post makes a good argument for empowering an army of citizen journalists:

...the unfortunate reality is that Glamour has enabled precisely that with this site. Terms of Use notwithstanding, the fact remains that the setup has the potential for abuse. ETP can sympathize; we don't want anyone seeing our muffintop. But if you must, Glamour, then the least you can do is offer the same protection you offer in your book and magazine: The black bar, and a little respect for anonymity and privacy. Our muffintops deserve no less.

Promise, you won't spot me...if I promise...I won't spot you...I mean...ah, hell!...it can get real fugly, out there, in the blogosphere - do we really need another reason to cover up our muffintops!?!

In other words, duck and cover - the next person pointing a camera in your face (or anywhere below the black bar) could be a Don't Spotter - or, risk being on the cover of the next fugly edition...being sold at a news stand or grocery store near you...to be sure!


Contributing Editor Elizabeth Thompson also writes for the eZine, "The Imperfect Parent."