Yes, the Swastika Rings at Sears.com are Real

10.13.14

I shared a photo on instagram this morning and the first reaction friends are having is, “Is that real?”

The answer is, sadly, yes.

Sears swastika armband

How about an armband? Maybe for when you dress like Prince Harry?

Sears swastika flag

Every properly decorated home needs a flag, no?

Sears swastika ring

Punk rock indeed.

As of this writing (noon pacific time) if you go to Sears.com and search for swastika 272 items will be available in the marketplace. According to Sears on twitter the marketplace is where 3rd party vendors sell their wares. Also according to Sears on twitter the item has been flagged for review. That sounds almost as harsh as second grade detention. The issue isn’t this ring. Or this armband that you can also buy on Sears.com The issue isn’t even the Swastika flag that’s for sale on Sears.com (am I making my point yet?). The issue is that Sears.com through either ineptitude (the best possible scenario) or indifference has become the defacto marketplace for swastikas online. Note that each of these items is available from a different seller in their online marketplace. We know that there is a team at Sears that has failed at their job in a monumental manner. I can’t even bring myself to look at all the books around Swastikas that are being offered for sale. I can only imagine what some of them might be. Here’s the problem. Sears has not come out to say that they find these products to be abhorrent. It’s okay to be bad at your job. I get it, I’ve made some terrible mistakes. What’s not okay is to be bad at being human. Also interesting is the fact that Sears.com holds reviews in moderation queue for 72 hours. One would assume that the same could be done for their products. Someone is asleep at the wheel or maybe they purposefully are driving the train off the cliff. Who knows.

I like Sears. I want to be able to shop there but right now, that’s not something I could feel good about doing.

 

tl;dr Sears never said, “These offend us too.” That’s the fuck up.

The Unlikely Feminists

07.6.13

Thanks to William for this wonderful guest post. You can follow him on twitter at @willibaldoea

Kardashians are Feminists

Say what you will about the Kardashian sisters, but they’re smart ladies. They’ve managed to spin an entire empire out of nothing (well, maybe a sex tape, but…).

Their ability to get people talking should be noted, because people certainly do talk – whether they like them or not. There’s no denying that they have had an effect on the collective consciousness at some level.

Take Kim’s marriage to Kris Humphries, for example. She filed for divorce after 72 days and the world erupted into a furor. Boycott, boycott, boycott!

Not too long after, Sinead O’Connor filed for divorce after just 17 days. That’s right. You heard it here first, because apparently no one cared to comment – TWO YEARS AGO. But then again, I suppose a divorce pales in comparison to O’Connor’s other antics. Let’s not forget that Nothing Compares 2 ripping up a photo of the Pope on live TV.

Back on topic.

The silence that followed O’Connor’s divorce should serve as an indication that it’s not attention that matters, but the magnitude of that attention. Remember when Britney annulled her marriage after 52 hours? Again, whatever.

People raged on for days, weeks, months about the Kardashian divorce. She was making a mockery of marriage, they said. We should cancel all of their shows, others cried. And amid it all, what did the Kardashians do? Kim went into hiding, releasing a public statement asking for privacy. Ironic, much?

Kris Jenner made the interview rounds to hawk her memoir and the upcoming premier of Kourtney and Kim Take New York. The world asked for answers, and all Kris could say was: the world would know more and get all the answers to their questions once the new season premiered.

Fury, anticipation, but most of all – ratings. The world watched. And around this time, Keeping Up with the Kardashians went from a half-hour show to a full-hour.

More ratings.

So what does this have to do with feminism? Probably nothing, but maybe a little something. You see, I have a friend who abhors Oprah Winfrey. Wait, I have more than one friend who does, but whatever. The point is, this friend – a very vocal and self-described feminist – hates the fact that Oprah, admittedly one of – if not the – most powerful women in America (the world?), spent her time doing shows about poop, bra fittings, and other seemingly trivial matters.

Of course, Oprah also did shows about serious issues. She made it her mission to use her show as a platform for the safety of children. She even got America to read! That’s no small feat. But she still talked about poop, which is kind of like what the Kardashians do. They just sit around and spew. Poop, poop, poop.

But the Kardashian girls may be up to a little more, whether they know it or not.

On a recent visit to Sears, I got to see firsthand what these ladies are doing for women. You see, my sister has always been petite, but after her second child, things just didn’t bounce back the same. She’s still tiny at 4’ 10”, but her hips are much wider than you would expect for someone her size. This small fact has had an enormous impact on her fashion choices, since she now has to dress for comfort.

Having two children under the age of 6 also means that there’s no money to pay for fancy, personally-fitted jeans, or even to tailor every pair of pants in one’s closet. So there are now only a few pairs, with their forgiving fabric, that get regular circulation.

I found this sad, since my sister had always enjoyed dressing cute and being adorable. I mean, come on, she’s 4’ 10”! It doesn’t get cuter than that unless you’re a grumpy or hipster cat on the internet!

My sister and I went through every rack at Sears in search of new, cute clothes. We tried every possible cut. Nothing seemed to fit, and sometimes even didn’t make it past her knees. Clothes for women that are 4’ 10” assume you’re also 12. The only option was to buy larger jeans, but these were made for women well over 5’, so these would require major tailoring. Again, not an option with two kids.

What began as a joke ended up saving the whole shopping trip. We had seen the Kardashian Kollection and grabbed a few pairs and headed to the fitting room. We prepared for the worst, but hopefully most Instragram-worthy moment. And then, nothing. No sucking in. No yanking at the zipper. Just, nothing. They slipped right on. The only minor problem was that there were about 8 inches flapping around. They were too long.

It didn’t matter, we said. We’d get them tailored. Sure, it would cost money, but nothing had fit my sister quite like this for a few years now. We headed back to the rack and picked up a few more. After a while, we noticed that they all fit differently but were essentially the same style. We looked closer: KHLOE, KOURTNEY, KIM.

Each pair had been designed for each sister’s body. The KHLOE was hippy and tall. The KOURTNEY was narrow and petite. The KIM was hippy and short.

In her single days, my sister was a KOURNTEY. This was the style you’d normally find in the juniors section. Now, her hips corresponded to KHLOE, but the length was all wrong. But in true fairy tale fashion, the third one was just right: KIM was generous at the hips and met the height requirement. Not only that, but they were comfortable.

I don’t think I had seen my sister beam that much since she gave birth to her son. You might think I’m exaggerating, but this was the face of an adorable young woman who was too busy, too cash-strapped, and too stressed to take care of herself while she went about being the best mom one could ever imagine. For her to be able to find a pair of jeans that slipped on without a hitch, and more than anything framed her body – which had changed significantly – meant the world.

There’s a difference between putting on something that fits and putting on something that feels great. And there’s certainly a difference between dressing up to reduce discomfort and dressing up to accentuate and celebrate your body. The Kardashian sisters seem to know that difference.

So maybe these girls will lead the revolution. It might not seem like much, but for women like my sister, it means being able to celebrate her feminity, her curves, and her youth.

Sure, Kardashian Kollection jeans run well over 60 bucks a pair, but they are occasionally on sale (we found them at about $25/pair). And in the end, being able to buy a pair of jeans that fit you at the first go might be worth it. More than anything, it means that women with uncommon body types, or simply more curvaceous in their features, can buy jeans without having to go out of their way to adjust them after the fact.

With all of the attention the Kardashian sisters get, I’m fairly certain their fashion line will have some sort of impact. Maybe not a huge one, but an impact nonetheless. And that’s significant when we take into consideration the critiques lodged against the Kardashians for their excess, vanity, and just plain pointlessness.

These ladies, famous for being famous, are leading the charge in redefining standards of beauty. And if you don’t believe me, take any woman with curves shopping. See what having not just your size, but your shape readily available does for a woman’s self-esteem.

Sexy is no longer just for those whose bodies can fit into the ready-made sizes you’re likely to find at most places. They’re for every woman, at every height, at every size. And they’re at a major department store, not a fancy shop where your jeans are fitted while your bank account is sucked dry.

I think that’s pretty amazing.

So yes, friends, the revolution will most certainly be televised.

OHMIGAWD, I’ve turned into Kris Jenner!

This Time I’m Not the Asshole (other times I absolutely was)

01.25.13

If you look at my twitter ID today (and probably for the next week or two) you’ll see this.

jessica gottlieb sears

 

If you read Francisco Dao’s latest diatribe you’ll be tempted to identify me as one of the assholes he’s calling out. One of those useless social media people who just attack brands. Well, that’s not quite the case here and I want to clear it up and address some other things too.

In October of 2011 I bought a vacuum.

kenmore vacuum receipt

 

I love a clean house and if you have pets or stairs a canister vacuum is the way to go. I bought the Kenmore because my friend Ciaran recommended it. Unfortunately the first Kenmore lasted just shy of four months and there were some issues with the warranty. I was days out of the replacement period and having worked with Sears before (though I’m guessing never again) I contacted the folks I knew and asked if I could please get a replacement vacuum. They were very nice about it and the email even said:

Regarding your vacuum, we have several options here – or perhaps a combination of them. First off, I will forward your email to our support team, because you should have that vacuum replaced either way, as it has failed you.

That said, we have a new vacuum on market this month, and I would be happy to send you one if you’d be willing to review it. Just let me know. This will be a much better vacuum than the one we could get you otherwise.

I declined because I really just wanted customer service and I didn’t feel like working for an upgrade. I also felt conflicted about sending folks to buy from a brand that didn’t work out well for me. Incidentally my washer and dryer are still magnificent so I’m happy I sent people to buy those.

So I got a replacement vacuum in March of 2012 and I was happy with it until two weeks ago when it fell apart. I did what every consumer does. I called my local store to arrange for warranty work. They kept me on the phone for half an hour explaining to me that it was over a year old (October 2011?) and they couldn’t help me. A supervisor was put on the phone and told me that I needed to speak to the internet team. The internet team kept me on the phone for half an hour and explained to me that my vacuum was out of warranty as it was over a year old.

I’m not seriously annoyed.

Last friday I had this exchange.

 

And then this one

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.24.27 AM

Which was weird and insulting. A phone call can’t be made at 4 in the afternoon? I’d have to wait until Tuesday? Okay…

A week later I’m still getting the same thing from Sears and please keep in mind that I’ve spent $500 on a vacuum. I’ve used no discounts. I’ve asked for absolutely nothing special. I’ve declined their offers for free stuff because I don’t want to be beholden. All I want is a warranty honored.

After a twitter twantrum today I was actually able to get a phone call from Sears and they directed me to the repair office in Burbank. Which is awesome and will only take a little over an hour of my day.

 

I get to drop off my broken vacuum and wait for them to fix it. This would have been a fine resolution last week but since it’s a week later it’s an insulting one and I’ve decided that for as long as it takes to get my vacuum back I’ll leave it as my bio picture. Since there was zero urgency for Sears to respond to me I feel zero urgency to go back to my smiling picture.

And I guess I feel defensive about this because of Francisco’s bizarre rant. He uses Pando Daily to show the world he is a professional. Some excerpts from his Super Dee Duper Smart Post:

it’s time we called a spade a spade and declare the entire world of social media, and so called influencers, as little more than a giant douchebag scam

And if you think it does, you’re a colossal piece of shit. [that’s actually the whole sentence]

Why the fuck would she bring a full sized dog to a car dealership and assume it’s okay? Not everybody loves dogs. Apparently, she has service animal papers that she forgot to bring so she started accusing the dealership of not welcoming the disabled. I’ve known this person for several years and she is neither blind, deaf, nor has any visible disabilities that would require a dog. So why is it the dealership’s fault that she forgot her papers? [oh hi world! I’m Francisco Dao and I’ve been to Medical School]

You are an arrogant, entitled scumbag.

In that wake of that incredible piece of journalism I felt like I had to explain just why it is that I’m using twitter to get my $500 vacuum working… again.

Kenmore Elite Review and Sweepstakes

03.11.10

I didn’t know I could like laundry until I tried a Kenmore Elite. Obviously I still hate the parts of laundry that we all hate, the folding, and the putting it away. But I want to show you what happens when you turn on Kenmore Elite Dryer.

Every time I turn the dryer off and on, I smile. It makes me think of the Jetsons, and that I’m living in some sort of super shiny space age house. I’m not, I’m living in Los Angeles, but please let me have a fantasy while I’m doing laundry.

Here’s the bottom line. The folks at Kenmore were incredibly generous and they’re letting me test out an Elite Washer and Dryer set for a few weeks. When they first approached me I was excited for a number of reasons. I was also a bit unenthusiastic, because I have a washer and dryer. They wanted me to review their washer and dryer when there was absolutely nothing wrong with the washer and dryer that I already owned.

Or so I thought.

Everyone knows that I love things clean. My kids know, my husband knows, my readers know, the other moms at little league know that I love clean clothing, and I’m not afraid to pull out the big guns to get it there. Well, I don’t really need the big guns anymore.

When I did the first few loads of laundry I noticed that my clothes were different. My whites were whiter, so I stopped using the laundry boosters. My whites were still whiter. What I never expected to have happen is that my towels got a new life. My bath towels are not new, they were coarse and old, with the new washer and dryer I’m noticing that my bath towels are fluffy and absorbent again. I don’t know if I can attribute this to the washer or to the dryer. I know that a full load of jeans is dry within 25 minutes. That is amazing. My old washer and dryer would have taken an hour after I’d hung the clothes out in the sun for a preliminary drying.

I used to unplug my washer and dryer after my chores were done. The older models use electricity even when they are shut off. The Kenmore Elite Washer and Dryer does not. I love that. I love it from an economical point of view, and also because it’s how appliances should be.

Someone was asking me about mildew and black mold. Right on the front of the washer is a sensor that lights up when it’s time to clean your washer. All front loading washers need to be cleaned now and again. Also, I’m told that because front loading washers have to have a very tight seal, you don’t want to be leaving wet clothes in them for extended periods of time (like days folks, not hours).

If you love the web, you’ll love this set. I know, weird right? Wrong. Take a look at all these buttons! Buttons and lights and chimes. Really? What more could you want?

Kenmore Elite Clothing Washer

It’s very intuitive and it’s smart. After you put your clothes in, there are a few little fake spins (did I mention it wiggles in different directions?) and I guess it must weigh things, because after that the little laundry cup gives you one, two or three bars. Accordingly, you add a small, medium or larger amount of laundry detergent to your machine. I suspect, though I’m not sure, that this feature is one of the reasons my clothes seem cleaner. Less residue if you’re using the right amount of detergent?

I know that my friends at Sears don’t want to hear this, but the Kenmore Elite Washer and dryer is Home Economics for geeks. The washer moves in a million different directions, or seven… I can’t recall which. There is no vampire electrical use, it weighs your clothes and it greets you, and I smile like Pavlov’s dog because it reminds of the startup sound of a 14k modem.

Mostly though, my clothes are cleaner and my gas bill has dropped significantly. I’m happy, and you can be too.

This set is not inexpensive, but the way I see it, you extend the life of your clothes and drop your power bills. The set is near $2,500 and I think it’s worth every cent.

Tomorrow I’ll upload a video about all the features of the Kenmore Elite washer and dryer, but in the interim I want you to know that you can win them. Go to KenmoreEliteSweeps.com and enter to win your own set. I promise you, you’re going to love it. This isn’t just another washer and dryer.

*This post is part of a relationship I have with Kenmore. The relationship will never influence the content.

Sears Winter Clearance: On Your Marks, Get Set, SAVE 80%

03.28.09

Last week I was headed out to another Tech Party here in town, and I wanted needed a dress. I wanted a little pick-me-up, some color even.

If you follow me on Whrrl, you already know that I left Sears with a fabulous June Cleaver-esque cocktail dress (with a small dash of sexy built in). What you don’t know is that I also got Jane a three pair of skinny jeans and a hoodie, without breaking the bank.
jessica-gottlieb-sears-dressPhoto by Wm Marc (as usual)

From now through April 18th Sears is offering up to 80% off on all winter apparel. For all you Moms like me who are having a mini (or maxi) meltdown due to the economy let me give you the best tip ever.

I bought Jane some jeans at Sears last week for under $10 a pair, but in Los Angeles we’re pretty much done wearing jeans (whatever, my kids live in shorts). I took the brand new pants, ran one straight seam across them over the knee and cut them off into really cute shorts. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find Jane shorts that aren’t too short, and I don’t want to take expensive pants and start ripping them up, so this sale was the perfect solution. Hoodies were $6 and if your little guy grows as quickly as mine does, you’d be running to Sears’ sale now.

While you’re there why not pick up a timeless cocktail dress that is somehow part of the winter sale (methinks you can wear much of this stuff year ’round). At only $11.99 I’d still have money left to actually buy dinner.

Click Hereceladon-dress

celadon-dress-hem

Can I tell you something? Long before I accepted this post, I was at an LA nightclub with everyone complimenting my dress. It was $39 at Sears, but I felt like a million bucks.

*This is an Izea sponsored post