Friday, November 27, 2009

The reality of aging

Earlier this week I watched ITV’s Tonight program ‘Age before beauty’. It highlighted the tremendous pressures on women, particularly women over 40, to look youthful.

59 year old Sherrie Hewson is a successful actress (Coronation Street & Emmerdale) and is also one of the Loose Women panellists. My heart went out to her as she expressed her fears and concerns about growing older.

Sherrie confessed I “feel really bad about getting older, because I don’t want to. I want to look in the mirror and see who I use to see. My mother doesn’t have a problem with it, none one in my family has a problem with it; it’s just me. Something happened along the way and it has stopped me thinking about logically and sensibly about myself and getting older… I don’t’ know what it is”.

When told by Eunice Grayson, (an ex bond girl who has fully accepted growing older) that she had an “attractive…lovely…lived in …compassionate face” Sherrie tearfully replied “It’s a very hard thing to accept yourself, if you are not in that place”.

Aging is a reality we all must accept. Failure to do so will create a tortured soul within; one similar to the one we saw in the depths of Sherrie Hewson’s eyes.

 Full Article


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No more excuses

This week Simon Oliveira (David Beckham's agent) announced that "David has suffered with this [Asthma] since he was a young boy but it has obviously had no effect on his performance. " He continued. "He has never sought to make it public, but if it does inspire any sufferer to think they can achieve great things like many other sportsmen have done then so much the better.”

David isn’t the only sporting asthma suffer who has managed to achieve significant public and personal success. Other names include Paul Scholes, Paula Radcliff, Austin Healey and Karen Pickering.

If David and company can overcome asthma to achieve considerable success; than you and I can also overcome perceived obstacles in our own lives.

No more excuses like I’m:-
too fat
too short
the wrong colour
too old
the wrong sex
not clever enough
of the wrong social class

Instead, lets all aim high and follow our dreams.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels

In response to Kate Moss's irresponsible motto "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" we will respond with the following statement.

"Nothing is or will ever be as good as health, wellness and self acceptance feels".


Monday, November 16, 2009

Body Image & Self Esteem Workshop has been online and promoting positive body image and self esteem since 2003.

Today, we are excited to announce the launch of our Body Image & Self Esteem Workshops for schools.

The workshops will provide us with the opportunity to take our positive body image and self esteem message to the young and, at the same time, openly discuss related issues.

Topics covered during the workshop include:

- Body image and self esteem.
- The importance of body image and
- Tips for improving body image.
- Tips for improving self esteem.
- Identifying negative thoughts.
- Body Image and Weight.
- Body Image and Ethnicity.
- Body image, the media and advertising.
- One size does not fit all.
- Celebrating you.
NB. The workshop program has ended.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

30 per cent to good sex,

They say “sex sells” and it certainly created a lot of column inches this week, after 71 year old Jane Fonda spoke to the German newspaper Bilt.

I am going to have a less sensational look at the wider context of what she said; in response to a question asking how she managed to look so good:

"I owe 30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent because of sports and healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and for the remaining 10 per cent – I have to thank my plastic surgeon”

After reading her response, I decided to ask myself a similar question. “What is responsible for the way I look?” My answer:

30% to genes. - I am healthy, strong and naturally muscular.

40% to my lifestyle – I eat healthy, drink alcohol in moderation, go to the gym 3 or 4 times and week and try to be in bed (I do not always succeed) by 10:00- 10:30 pm.

30% to the fact that I am happy – I’m married to a loving, caring, hard working man who is also great father. I have healthy children, a wonderful family and some great long term friends.

I find it hard (and sad) to believe that any mature woman would truly believe that sex alone could constitute almost a third who she is. I strongly suspect that the media veteran knew exactly what effect her words would have.  Sex sells.


Friday, November 06, 2009

The baby of overweight parents

The news this week that a newborn baby girl was removed from her family by Dundee City Council, because (alleged some initial reports) her family were overweight, was a cause for much concern.

Digging a little deeper, it appears that there is a lot more to the story than the initial media uproar about 'fat families' inferred. In reality, the council had a 10 year relationship with the family and have stated that the decision to remove the baby was not solely based on the parents weight. The baby has now been returned to her family.

We all know that being overweight is a health hazard. I have overheard and even taken part in numerous debates about whether overweight people should be made to financially contribute towards i) any NHS care that result from being overweight and ii) a second seat on an aeroplane. The recent debate about whether a baby should be taken away from overweight parents is in another league altogether. If true (no evidence to support this), it would have carried huge implication for many who are overweight and society at large.

 Photo: Michey Kirilloff


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

White Beauty Myth

Not very long ago my husband and I were having a 'haven't things changed' conversation. On this occasion we were discussing the British diet.   "Do you remember when the staple evening meal was bangers and mash", I asked.  'Yes' he replied reminiscing , " and takeaways consisted of fish and chips, with or without mushy peas".  "Ah how times have changed" we chorused.

After watching 'Bleach, Nip, Tuck: The White Beauty Myth' last week, I was left with the depressing realisation that while our society  is embracing the variety of foods that the different cultures bring to the British melting pot; it is at the same time, trying to turn everyone into one homogenised physical form.  The idealised form is essentially the Westernised depiction of beauty; namely white, tall, slim, full breasted (but not too full), with moderate amounts of body hair on males etc.  The phenomena of trying to look like another race (white), often via cosmetic surgery,  is known as deracialization .

The problem with this ideology is that we are not all the same.    As human beings, our genetic makeup ensures that we come in an array of different colours, heights, body shapes, weights and even hairiness. Some physical features are associated with a one ethnic group, while other features are associated with another group.

Asian men are often shorter than white men, yet the film depicted a Malaysian man contemplating radical leg lengthening surgery in the hope of gaining 4-6 inches in height. Why? He said that people 'made fun' of him and made him 'feel insecure'.

A full figured black women with large breasts wanted to be 'like Victoria Beckham'. She underwent a breast reduction, despite fearing death and leaving her children without a mother. She is now preparing for a breast lift and is also planning a tummy tuck.

They were followed by a AA cup Chinese lady who wanted to 'look like white women' and feel 'less of an outsider' by having bigger breasts.

Finally we saw a middle eastern man endure laser surgery to remove his 'unnecessary hair'.

The plastic surgeon explained his understanding of the rationale behind deracialization. "We live in a global society and it is normal that we are influenced by different civilisation and cultural variables...... We are essentially thinking loudly about a common race, one that is better than any existing race and cosmetic surgery is contributing to this goal".

I think it is a tragedy that across the globe people are rejecting the very essence of who they are, both racially and culturally, in order to obtain the unobtainable.  And even if it was possible for us all to be Western in appearance; what a tragedy for humanity that would be.

I fully intend to watch part 2 and expect to be left with an equally bitter taste in my mouth.


Comforting sweets

The recession has increased our desire for comfort. This is not very surprising as the continuing credit crunch and rise in unemployment offers little comfort or tangible 'green shoots'.

Consuming comfort foods; such as traditional cuts of meat and sweets has emerged as one way of satisfying the desire. Waitrose has recently highlighted the increase in the purchase of old fashioned sweets, rather then the latest offerings. Their best sellers are:

1. Aniseed balls
2. Shrimps
3. Sherbet pips
4. Lemon bonbons
5. Sweet peanuts
6. Chocolate mice
7. Strawberry bonbons
8. Liquorice torpedoes
9. Toffee bonbons
10. Foam bananas

The Waitrose experience is also shared by Marks and Spencer (fizzy cola bottles, rhubarb & custard and wine gums). Eager not to miss out, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols are in the process of reviving their lines of old fashioned sweets.

Is this phenomenon evidence of  today's nostalgic adults attempting to return to a time when they didn't have to worry about unemployment or falling house prices?