Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Adding insults to weight

Lacking motivation to diet?  Would nagging and insults help? With the slogan  "we nag, you lose", weightnags.com had a very different kind of encouragement. Instead of education and support, they aim to shame the overweight with insulting e-mails and text messages.
Once a week individuals who have opted to take part in the program are sent "real tough love" messages like  "lay off the buffet" and "face it fatty, you need someone to bug you every 15 minutes, don't you?". Surprisingly over  1,000 people have joined the service .
Talmadge Boyd (site founder) believes that a mixture of abuse and insults "inspire" users to shift the unwanted weight:  "All people really need is to be nagged”, he insisted. "The service really seems to strike a chord with people in the UK – for some reason you guys seem to love insults and respond to abuse better than others." After attracting 200 members in its first two hours online, the site boasts hundreds more happy abused customers.
It’s a novel, if somewhat tasteless, way of trying to help others to lose weight. I think mybodybeautiful.co.uk will stick to offering conventional health focused education and emotional support. 









Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obese caught unaware

A YouGov poll for Slimming World, has found that just over a quarter of 2,00 plus people questioned had measurements which would place them squarely in the obese camp. However, only 7% (equating to 10 million) of those asked classified themselves as so.

Over half of those deemed morbidly obese believed they ate a healthy diet, while more than a third of the overweight said they had never tried to shed the pounds.

As those around us get fatter, it seems that our perceptions of our own size changes relative to theirs. This newly identified phenomenon has been dubbed 'the fat gap' .

Jonathan Pinkney, a consultant in endocrinology and diabetes from the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO said "In my view there is a very clear tendency for individuals with obesity to feel that they do not stand out from the crowd,"

While large may be becoming the norm, the fat is often seen as a legitimate target for abuse. Children, in particular, are unfavourably affected by this.  "All the discussion around overweight children is so negative that it is not surprising parents find it difficult to acknowledge there is a problem. It's a defence mechanism," says Dr Susan Jebb of the Human Nutrition Research Laboratory of the Medical Research Council. “We need to get to a point where we can talk about this in a measured way”.

“Everybody knows obesity is a problem for the nation”, she continued, “but they don't accept it's a problem for them - as this latest survey shows. We need to give people the confidence to recognise that it is problem, and that it's one they can do something about."

With the current cultural focus on physical perfection and the numerous government health and education initiatives,  it difficult to believe that obese individuals have been caught unaware.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Size 12 & 14 models

This week, the media in all forms, has been filled with news and reviews of London Fashion week .  One story that caught my eye was concerning designer Mark Fast use of "plus size" models in his line-up.  According to Amanda May (Fast's creative designer), they had "wanted women to know they didn't have to be size zero to wear a Mark Fast dress - curvier women can look even better in them."

The next logical question is, what plus sizes had been included in the line-up. The answer is somewhat disappointing.......   Size 12 and 14.    Far from being "plus",  sizes 12 and 14 corresponds closely to the average UK woman.   

While Fast should be applauded for making such a bold statement, his action is just the first step towards enabling women to see themselves truly represented on the catwalk.   Additional controversy was piled on the issue with the news that his decision had resulted in the loss of a stylist due to  "creative differences". Amanda commented,  we are "so happy we stuck to our guns over the casting".

One benefit of casting larger models, was that they sharply contrasted with the 'normal'  size 6 to 8 models that usually dominates the catwalk. The contrast clearly highlighting  just how unnaturally underweight they really are.

The arguments surrounding the size of models has been rumbling on since the 2006 death,  from eating disorders, of two South American models.  A year later the British Fashion Council launched the Model Health Inquiry following concerns over size zero models; to-date there are no agreed industry guidelines.  More recently (June this year) British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman wrote to top designers in June asking for larger-sized sample clothes for the mag's fashion shoots. She said "Many of the sample sizes don't comfortably fit even the established star models." Only last week the head of the Institute of Psychiatry's eating disorder team, Ulrike Schmidt, raised concerns over the use of very thin models.

Related article Outlawing Extreme Thinness

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mutton dressed as lamb

On yesterday's Loose Women, the panel were responding to the question "what is your fashion style"? In response Carol McGiffin replied with words to the effect that she was "mutton dressed as lamb". Carol then added that she "didn't care". I'm sure many will envy her ability to wear what she wants, unconcerned by what others say or think. It's the kind of liberation what usually comes with maturity.

Stylist Trinny Woodall recently expressed similar feelings of being happy in the skin that she is in. '" I'm happy with my shape. It's (about) getting to a stage of acceptance and understanding how to dress".

The Loose Women conversation reminded me of the fears of a close friend, concerning her hair. It was very long, mahogany brown, shiny and in excellent condition. As she reached and advanced beyond 30; she increasingly dreaded the thought of getting admiring comments from behind, followed by dismay when she turned around to reveal her real age.

Is there an age range to fashion, at both the upper and lower ends? We have all seen older women wearing much younger fashion (culturally determined) and the antithesis, a women who dress far older than what is considered normal for their age. In a similar vain, I've heard and read countless discussions about females, of all ages, wearing short and/or tight clothes that didn't suit their size and shape.

Clearly age should not be the only deciding factor when determining whether or not you chose to wear a particular outfit. Other factors that should all be taken into account include:

- your size & shape
- the occasion (appropriateness)
- your personal preference
- your level of self confidence
- how affected by the opinion of others (if you choose to be different)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Makeup during the recession

L'Oreal, now in its 100th year, recently commissioned a report to determine the effects of the recession on the makeup routine of 4000 women. The women were sourced from the United States and Europe.

The survey concluded that despite the economic downturn, women resolutely continued to purchase their favourite products.

In detail the researchers found that wearing makeup made :-
- 50% of the women feel more empowered and in control.
- 82% feel more self confident.
- 86% experienced increased levels of self image.
- 90% did not change their overall usage.  
Interestingly 40% of the women switching a more' natural' look.

It appears that makeup is recession proof ... at least for the moment.


Friday, September 11, 2009

4 yr old McDonald's Cheeseburger

After watching this McDonald's 4 Year Old Cheeseburger video, I was left asking myself the following questions:

1. What ingredients are McDonalds putting into their products?

2. What does McDonald's foods do to our bodies?

3. Are McDonald's products 'real food'?


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cherie Blair's body image

Cherie Blair is,  the wife of ex Prime Minister Tony Blair,  a mother of four,  a human rights lawyer, a QC, and part-time judge.  Evidently,  she is a women of many parts and an extremely successful one.

With all the above accomplishments one would expect that such an experienced and mature women would be comfortable in her own skin. However, from recent comments, it clear that the the opposite is true.  

‘I am very happy to not have been in Downing Street when Carla Bruni came on an official visit', she said. ‘At least they couldn’t compare our bottoms – I could never have competed with a former model.’



Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Black language

In a recent report, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission have been advised to use 'miserable day' instead of 'black day'.

In a similar vain the Learning and Skills Council wants ‘Terms such as black sheep of the family, black looks and black mark have no direct link to skin colour but potentially serve to reinforce a negative view of all things black. Equally, certain terms imply a negative image of black by reinforcing the positive aspects of white. For example, in the context of being above suspicion, the phrase whiter than white is often used. Purer than pure or cleaner than clean are alternatives which do not infer that anything other than white should be regarded with suspicion.’

Political correctness gone mad or a step in the right direction; as they attempt to re-educate a public whose mindset relies (unconsciously in the vast majority of cases) on language an imagery to determine how they think and feel about themselves and others?


Teaching happiness

Our September article highlights an interesting education focused debate. The discussion is on whether or not ‘happiness’ should be taught in our educational institutions. We found the Yes/No opposing views fascinating because self/body acceptance and happiness are strongly promoted by our site.

Full Article


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Wobbly bits

In this months edition of the US Glamour magazine, they  published an un-airbrushed photo of plus-size model Lizzie Miller. The photo caused a sensation across the world. According to the Daily Mail it was the wobbly bits that shook the world"  giving rise to “joyous support”.


Whether the photo shook the world or not, it is infinitely one of most inspiring “real women” photos that we have seen in many years.


In response to the image, hundreds flooded the magazine's website with approving comments like: "I love this picture. I was starting to despair of ever seeing real women in magazines and it made me reassess how I look at myself. I have a similar tummy, which I hate - but look at her, she's beautiful."

Despite the overwhelmingly positive response, Ms Miller has admitted that seeing her small roll of flesh in the magazine made her cringe.

"I'm just like every girl or person with insecurities," the 20-year-old said. "You zone in on the (worst) part. Let's just say you're your own worst critic."


In spite of Lizzie’s reservations, we at mybodybeautiful.co.uk applaud her.



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