Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Something old ... someone new ...


Yesterday, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (This Morning), briefly mentioned that they were looking for individuals who were thinking of undergoing cosmetic surgery prior to their wedding.

I remember my wedding day vividly, even thought it took place almost 12 years ago. Like all brides I wanted to look my very best, especially when taking into account the fact that all eyes and a video camera would be focused on the groom and I.

While its natural to want to be seen in the best light, pre-wedding cosmetic surgery seems a little extreme. Despite the fact that cosmetic surgery is, by its very definition surgery, with all the associated implications; there is a growing trend for brides (and grooms) to turn to cosmetic surgery.  A recent study of 1000 engaged individuals (roughly 50:50 female/male split) found that more than half the brides and 39 percent of grooms were considering cosmetic surgery or an aesthetic treatment.

One question that must be asked is why would brides-to-be desire such a radical change in their appearance? Is it a long held desire or an impulsive decision aimed at perfecting their appearance on the day? If the latter, then healthy eating, exercise, makeup, supporting undergarments, jewellery and even the dress itself can boost confidence and help them to achieve the look they desire.

For those brides who have wanted plastic surgery for years, timing is everything. Serious consideration should be given to recovery times, side effects and how surgery will affect their wedding and honeymoon e.g. dress size.

The most popular procedures were:

1. Botox - 68 percent
2. Teeth Whitening - 62 percent
3. Liposuction - 55 percent
4. Breast Augmentation - 47 percent
5. Face plumpers - 43 percent

1. Veneers - 78 percent
2. Botox - 62 percent
3. Hair Plugs - 41 percent
4. Liposuction - 33 percent
5. Chest Reduction - 25 percent 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teaching self esteem in schools

Yesterday Beat, the eating disorders charity, said that children as young as eight should be taught about self esteem to reduce the risk of them developing eating disorders. Beat argued that children need to learn how to deal with images of the "perfect body" in the media. They continued "Success is not about how we look but what we do." has held the belief that children should be thought how to deal with body image and self esteem issues for several years. We were so convinced of the need, that we developed a body image and self esteem workshop for schools.
We are pleased other organisations feel the same way and have publically voiced their concerns.

 NB.The workshop program has ended.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A black princess

This week, I took a group of 8 year old girls to see 'the princess and the frog' as part of a half term day out.  I sat and watched the film getting the greatest enjoyment from their absorbed captivated faces.

After the film, I asked them what they thought of it. The girls enthusiastically told me that they loved it and thought the princess was beautiful.  To my surprise, not one of them mentioned that the princess was not white, with blue eyes and long flowing blond hair. 

How times have chagned. Today, UK children of all nationalities can go to the cinemas, see a film staring a black princess and not feel the need to question the possibility. 

The princess and the frog is an enjoyable family film. It is also a huge boost to the body image and self esteem of black and other ethnic children.

Full Article


Monday, February 15, 2010

How old are you?

The anti ageing industry driven by the seemingly obsessive desire to preserve youth is pojected to reach £70 billion (world wide) this year. The need to stay young is an unstoppable phenomena that is now sweeping the young, not so young, middle age and older along in its wake.

Aging is a natural and inevitable part of life.  It cannot be stopped although lifestyle choices can help you to appear younger than you really are.

So... how old are you. The answer is not as straight forward as you might think.   Few people realise that their body cells are constantly regenerating themselves, thus whatever your age, parts of your body are much younger. 

Bones: 10 years old (whole skeleton).

Brain: As old as you are.

Blood (red cells): 4 months.

Eyes: As old as you are.

Heart: Renewed every 20 years.

Liver:  The 5 moths old. 

Lungs: 2-3 weeks.

Hair:   3-6 years (to replace a whole head of hair).

Intestines: Lining 2-3 days. Rest 3-5 days.

Nails: 6-10 months.

Skin: Surface replaced every 2-4 weeks.

Taste Buds: 10 days old.

According to recent research, the average age of your body, your muscles etc (whole organs) is 15 years and a half years old. The discovery that most of our cells are younger than we are means that at a point in the future, it may be possible to significantly delay ageing by protecting or repairing our DNA.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Magazine tricks

Last nights episode of of Jo Frost's Extreme Parental Guidance was an an excellent program.  I would advise any parent with a child who has body image issues, particularly if their child is female,  to watch it on Channel 4 on demand.

Our introduction to the Philip family consisted of 12 year old Bronwyn statement "I'm really stupid and ugly...too thin and skinny ... I feel really horrible".  Her mother, who was visibly upset told Jo that "Bronwyn is obsessed with her looks at the moment.  It started with a birthmark when she was about 7 years old".  It then progressed to her believing that she had an hairy back, arms and legs. Bronwyn began shaving her legs when she was 10 and had such low self esteem and confidence that she refused to leave the house without full makeup. 

When commenting on the glossy magazines that her daughter turned to for inspiration her mother commented that everybody always looks "absolutely immaculate" continuing "it's not real, but she doesn't seem to understand that". After a conversation with Bronwyn in her bedroom Jo concluded that she was "such a gentle fragile young girl". 

In an effort to help Bronmwn Jo decided to confront the idolised magazine images head on. Using herself as the guinea pig and with the help of a professional makeup artist, fashion photographer and digital retoucher, Jo allowed both herself and the resulting photograph to be transformed into the "accepted standard for a fashion or beauty advert".







The resulting photograph had:

1. Reduced her dress size by 3 sizes.

2. Reduced the size of her arms

3. Slimed down her face, chin and neck line.

4. Removed the bags under her eyes.

It was certainly an eye opener for the 12 year old you stated that the resulting image was "not real ..... almost like [it was] a different person".

Fours week later,  I was happy to see a much happier, more confident and makeup free Bronwyn. She now recognised the magazine "tricks"  and no loner felt pressure to be anything other than herself.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Male Body image issues


This video discusses the increasing body image issues affecting men and attempts to compare them with the immense pressures on women.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Never Without Makeup

For our second interview article, we have interviewed a body image conscious women about her use of makeup. She is very concerned about her physical appearance and will not leave the house without makeup....

Interview extract:

"When I look in the mirror, I see more than others see.    Without makeup I feel like I have not clothes on. My sister says that I have a problem. I can’t do without it. At times when I’m upset or if I’ve had a row with my husband,   I have to put it on again.  I feel very insecure without it". 

Full Article