Saturday, May 29, 2010

Giving in to pressure

Yesterday, I was talking to Janet (not her real name), whose  son is friends with my son. After a while our conversation turned to our daughters and makeup.  Janet told me that she had given her 8 year old daughter permission to wear makeup. She confessed that she didn’t initially like the idea, but had eventually agreed, because her daughter’s best friends (also 8) was allowed to wear it.  

To add to the confusion, the other mother in question had only agreed to her daughter wearing makeup,  because someone else close to her daughter was allowed to wear  it. Janet told me that she’d "given in to pressure" and still wasn’t completely sure that she had done the right thing.

"How long", I wondered, "is the chain of reluctant capitulating mothers"?  It seems that child pester power is alive and well.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fat hysteria

According to research published in the Daily Mail,  having a “pot belly” in middle age raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia later in life. Significantly, this very early research did not go on to examine whether any participants actually developed Alzheimer's or dementia.  Clearly, at this stage of the research, no conclusions can be reasonably drawn.

We know that it is prudent for everyone to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle; to reduce the known risks associated with being overweight, such as diabetes and heart disease.

That said, this does appear to be yet another hysteria generating attempt (unsubstantiated) to make body fat the villain of all that is good and desirable.  Against this background,  is it surprising that the fear of being fat is on the arise, along with the associated body image, self esteem and eating issues.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Kylie Minogues feet

This morning, during a radio interview, Kylie Minogue responded "my feet", in response to a question asking about her favourite body part.  I found the comment surprising. While Kylie is famous for several physical attributes; her feet are not among them.

"I've been wearing high heels for more years than I can remember", she admitted, marvelling that her feet had survived intact. 

The importance of feet are, more often than not, overlooked.  It's about time they were appreciated.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poor body image

A thought provoking body image video.



Monday, May 17, 2010

Looks good on telly

On the 15th April, Manchester hosted the first election debate between the main party leaders, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The debate was a political first;  it was also an aesthetic first giving birth to the requirement that one must "look good on telly" in order to win the popular vote.    "It all comes down to what you look like", said Sky News.

With the country in a financial mess,  against a background of raising unemployment;  surely being photogenic should not have featured on the job description for the post charged with rectifying the situation.

Sadly, I think the celebrity-like  attractive, young, charismatic even, dare I say it,  airbrushed  party leaders are here to stay. 


Thursday, May 13, 2010

School reunion stress

Yesterday, the Wright Stuff discussed school reunions and asked if they were only for ‘shallow people’. The pre-reunion perception was that everyone would be talking about themselves and showing hundreds of pictures of their family.

The discussion was based on a survey which found :-

1. 93% of women go to see how everyone else turned out, compared to 43% of men.
2. 90% pretend to be happier than they really are.
3. 80% feel gratified after attending.

Anne Diamond said that she had been invited to several reunions, but was too scared to attend. Why? She would keep wondering, 'am I too fat, am I too thin or am I wearing the right clothes". "The stress", she stated, "would be too much.....I couldn't take it"!

Reminiscing on his reunion, one presenter said that 'hot' girls who had rejected him had appeared at his reunion looking as if they had one 'too many kebabs'. In response, Anne informed us that she'd attended an all girls school, so didn't have to face the situation where boys she had found attractive were now 'old and cruddy'.  With a "pot belly", her co-presenter injected.

When did reunions become focussed on the physical? Where did the sense of joy and celebration go?

Picture © Oli-Oviyan's


Monday, May 10, 2010

Too much too young

In 1979, the song "Too Much Too Young", by the Specials reached number one. The title is a very apt message for all those retailers who are choosing to market and sell overly sexualised products to children. is calling on retailers, the media and parents/guardians in particular, to let children be children.

Read Article

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Skinny male mannequins

Next month, British mannequin manufacturer Rootstein will debut will their latest “Homme Nouveau,” mannequin. It is decidedly feminized and, with a 35-inch chest and a 27-inch waist, very thin. Picture.

Dimensions of previous Rootstein’s Male Mannequins:-
THE CLASSIC: 1967, 42” chest, 33” waist
THE MUSCLEMAN: 1983, 41” chest, 31” waist
THE SWIMMER: 1994, 38” chest, 28” waist
THE ANDROGYNE (a.k.a. “Homme Nouveau”) 2010, 35” chest, 27” waist.

The new mannequin is a skinny clothing fashioner designer and advertisers dream . "All the mannequins out there are these beefcakes", complained Dov Charney, chief executive of youth clothing brand American Apparel told New York magazine, "We can't even fit our largest size on them".

While some people will sympathise with the advertisers, realises that the average British male has a 38in waist waist (NHS) and we are also concerned about the recent rise in the rate of male anorexia.

Last September, Professor Hubert Lacey, head of the eating disorder unit at St George's hospital London, reported a rise the the number of male patients that he was seeing; a rise that outpaced the rise in female anorexia cases. In a ward of 20, there were three male inpatients on average during the summer months, whilst in previous years there were often no males at all.

"Men nowadays are subject to the same insecurities around their body and self-image as women are", said Beat (eating disorder charity). Unrealistic images in the fashion world – such as these mannequins and in the media still abound and the pressures they bring can lead to low self-esteem in often young and vulnerable people."


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Embarrassing Bodies

Last week we learned  that 33 year old TV doctor Dr Christian Jessen,  who presents Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny, had undergone a  hair transplant.

'I’m delighted that I’ve had it done", he told Closer magazine. "I don’t worry about getting older and the effect on my looks, but I’ve always hated my hairline".

Dr Jessen added  'It’s nothing to be ashamed about. These days lots of men are doing things to improve their appearance.' He added: 'I’ve done this for myself and I’m really pleased with the results."

Its apparent that the Dr of Embarrassing Bodies, had his own body issues to deal with.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, one or more of the TV channels will broadcast a series of  programmes focussed on being happy with and making the most of what you have have.