Month: June 2011

The ‘Otherness’ of Reviews

Photo taken from

It happens to me very often. I read reviews of movies, books and plays written by other people. People who are very experienced in the opinion-spouting game. And then I try out the movie, book or play for myself, and find that I have a completely different experience. It’s alarmingly systematic. If they love it I usually end up hating it. If they hate it…well you get the picture. By now I have learned to just go with my gut feeling about anything, and if I’m wrong, well it’s just too bad. Because this is the thing about opinions related to entertainment: they depend on so many intangible and invisible factors that, barring really awful products or really splendid ones, anything that sits anywhere else along the spectrum of taste is up for argument.

My latest run-in is with a review of a line of jeans. For the longest time, along with so many other sisters on the planet, I’ve been searching for THE pair. You know the one I mean. The one that makes your legs look endless, your hips look somewhat smaller than the back of a bus, and your waist look like your man could get his arm around it without having to be Mr Fantastic. Being an Indian woman in predominantly Chinese Singapore makes finding the perfect pair of jeans almost impossible. I used to buy my jeans at Giordano’s until they started phasing out their straight-fit chinos in favour of slim-fit, skinny-fit and stick-fit versions. STICK-FIT! Pfft. They haven’t started turning their jeans into tubular bandages yet, but I am not going wait around until they do. On principle, I have decided to boycott this haven for anorexics.

But what to do now? Where to look for my dream jeans? I did what any self-respecting holder of a Masters degree in Research would do. I Googled it! And I found a review by a local fashion magazine of Levi’s Curve ID range of jeans for ladies. The reviewer had not had a good experience with the jeans, and provided a very helpful photograph of how badly the jeans fit on her. There was also a hilariously honest description of the fit of the jeans that reminded me of every lousy pair of jeans I have ever owned. But something made me think that I should try this pair for myself. What if the reviewer was wrong? To be fair, she only said it was wrong for HER. Perhaps it would be right for me.

So I took my stubborn self off to the Levi’s Ladies Store at 313@Somerset. It took me 45 minutes to make up my mind. The jeans were perfect, once I had found the right curve (I didn’t bother with the Slight Curve or the Demi Curve – went straight for the Bold Curve), the right size (turns out I’m a 29), and the right fit (straight, of course). How could the magazine have given this Rolls Royce of jeans a thumbs-down? Simple, really. When you are reviewing jeans for people with curves, you send people to try them on who HAVE curves. Real curves. Not half-assed (pun intended) bumps that pass for curves.

See what I mean? Reviews have no meaning for me. Still, I guess it’s all good. While the jeans fit so well that if I put on any weight I am going to need a crowbar to get in and out of them, I have found my denim nirvana for now, and as a good friend just told me, success is lovely, whatever shape it comes in.