Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blue eyed Barbie

Tuesday's episode of 'Piers Morgan on ... '   featured Shanghai. Shanghai is a known as the "Gateway to the world". It now has the largest container port in the world, a population in excess of 18 million people and is the most important economic centre in China. China has aspirations to be the next world super power.  The phrase  'No. 1'  was said repeatedly.

This being the case, I was surprised and more than a little disturbed to learn that the most popular Barbie doll, totalling 85% of sales, is the western blue eyed blonde version.  Equally disturbing was the revelation that one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures is to change the shape and widen their distinctive eyes. Why? So that they would be more Western in appearance. Piers questioned several teenagers who were spending £700 (around three months' wages) on eye surgery. One young women him that she wanted to 'look more beautiful, like Victoria Beckham', and believed she would 'get a better job if my eyes look more round'.

Why would the Chinese want to emulate the physical appearance of white Westerners; a power that they believe is in decline?  For a possible answer read our blog White Beauty Myth

On the opposite end of the Barbie spectrum;  Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez yesterday called for Barbie to be replaced by an indigenous doll. Dolls "like Barbie have nothing to do with our culture", he said. 



Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter madness

On Saturday night my husband and I went to a friends birthday party. It was held at a restaurant in the city centre. 

We both opted to dress for the weather.  I wore in a warm suit, donned and a pair sensible shoes and grabbed my faithful winter coat before leaving the house.  The short walk from the car park to our meeting place was particularly unpleasant.  My coat offered very little protection against the biting winds that made minus two feel a good deal colder.

As we walked past the taxi rank, I noticed two young women both in their early twenties. Neither had a coat and they were both wearing a flimsy short dress. They were clearly freezing; visibly shivering as they huddled together. As a taxi pulled up I noticed that one in particular seemed to be having a great deal of trouble walking. I looked down and was shocked to discover that she was wearing 4 inch red stilettos.  As she gingery inched her way towards the taxi's back door, she placed her hands on the side of the vehicle to acquire enough additional stability to enable her to eventually take her seat.

I know that times have changed since my clubbing days, but even so.  Is dressing to impress really worth risking pneumonia and broken limbs?  The whole episode left me speechless and for the first time I was able to put a meaning to the term 'winter madness'.  


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Most desirable celebrity body

Recently, Kate Winslet topped a YouGov poll of 2,000 women to gain the title of 'most desirable celebrity body'. Kate secured 16% of the votes, while Kelly Brook another healthily shaped female came second with 15%.

Rebecca Wheatley, the ex Casualty actress who won Slimming World's woman of the year after losing more than 12 stone, is convinced that there is a change in the public perception, with women in particular, concerning what is and what is not attractive. "It is fantastic to see that finally women seem to be aspiring towards a healthy body shape that is realistic and achievable," she said.  "... After all, healthy women come in all sizes". Rebecca continued "It is definitely a step forward that rather than persuading women to set their sights on being super thin, which can lead to misery when they fail to achieve their target, more celebrities are encouraging inner confidence and a positive body image and showing women how they can be happy with their shape."

The survey results are detailed below:

Kate Winslet 16%
Kelly Brook 15%
Halle Berry 12%
Cheryl Cole 10%
Beyoncé 6%
Megan Fox 5%
Lily Allen 4%
Keeley Hazell 2%
Kate Moss 1%
Jordan 1%
Victoria Beckham 1%

The result of this poll is encouraging. Hopefully, it represents a positive change where women are beginning to view healthy looking bodies like Kate Winslet's and Kelly Brook's as desirable, rather than the super thin bodies of Kate Moss or Victoria Beckham.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Feeling good in 2010

The new year is here. We believe that the message conveyed in our first blog post is very important; setting the tone for how we mean to move forward during 2010.

This being the case, we couldn't think of a better first message than how to feel good about yourself in 2010. We hope it will help build your self esteem and self confidence.

Don't wait for your confidence to reach a mythical level of elevation before taking the first step towards obtaining your dreams. Don't let a desired opportunity pass you by. View perceived obstacles as challenges. Remember you will get some things right and others wrong. Whatever the outcome, the exercise will be a valuable learning experience, it will also increase your confidence and move you closer to achieving your goals.

There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed, unchallenged, a failure, successful, happy, disappointed  or a multitude of other emotions. Accept how you feel and if negative, acknowledge the truth about your emotions and work on coping strategies to help you to keep moving forward towards your desired outcome. 

Self Awareness
Try not to take everything personally. e.g. If a third party does not give you the response you were hoping for, take an objective view. Perhaps there are contributing factors that you are not aware of or take time to recognize that everything is not always going to go your way.

There will be times when things go wrong despite your best endeavours and intensions.  Rather then beating yourself up, choose to adopt a more forgiving and proactive approach. Review the situation to determine if the problem can be corrected and how. If it can't be fixed, apologise (if appropriate),  forgive yourself and move on.

Self talk
Replace the negative voices going around and around in your head with positive self talk. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat positive truths about yourself. If it helps write them on note pads and place them on regularly frequented locations around your house.  Do this even if you have concluded that there is an element of truth in the negative self talk or negative words voiced by others. View identified problem areas as aspects of yourself that you can work on improving; refrain from attaching an all encompassing negative label to yourself.

Judging Others
Remember that you are not able to get into the head, emotions and heart of others in order to determine the reason behind their words and actions. Therefore, it is prudent to remember that there are countless reasons behind why people act the way the do.  Do not determine a reason by imposing your own negative beliefs and fears on their actions. Instead look for and adopt a positive explanation.

We hope the above will help you accept and feel good about yourself in 2010 and beyond.