Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lady Gaga's self esteem


"I just feel like a loser still", stated a tearful Lady Gaga during an interview about her Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Gardens.

"It's crazy because we're at The Garden, but I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school.... I have to pick myself up and tell myself' 'I am a super star', every morning to get through the day".

Is this the real lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, or is it  just another public persona?

If the pain is real, then we are once again being made aware of the fact that outward ultra confidence can mask low self esteem.  


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barbie's proportions

Hamilton College NY student Galia Slayen created the "life-size" Barbie (39" bust, 18" waist, 33" hips and wears a size 00 skirt ) for an eating disorders awareness event at her college.  View Picture

“I’m not blaming Barbie [for her own eating disorder] ", she told NBC's Today Show.  "She’s [Barbie] is one small factor, an environmental factor... I’m blond and blue-eyed and I figured that was what I was supposed to look like. She was my idol. It impacted the way I looked at myself.”

“As a pop-cultural icon" Galia continued. "Barbie is often used as art to express one’s own personal opinions and views".

In response a Mattel spokesperson said in a emailed statement, “Girls see female body images everywhere today and it’s critical that parents and caregivers provide perspective on what they are seeing. It’s important to remember that Barbie is a doll who stands 11.5 inches tall and weighs 7.25 ounces ... she was never modelled on the proportions of a real person.”


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

X Factor repeats mistake

After Susan Boyle, I thought the X Factor would have learned not to judge auditioning individuals on appearance. Apparently not.

This week 19 year old IT engineer Michael Collins made his TV debut. As soon as he appeared on the Birmingham stage, dressed in tracksuit bottoms and a casual hoodie,  it became very apparent that the judges David Hasselhoff,  Amanda Holden, and Michael McIntyre had very low expectations.

After introducing himself, Michael turned to plug his guitar into the speaker.  As they waited,  Amanda turned to Michael McIntyre and commented “He looks like he’s going on a long haul flight. ”  In response Michael McIntyre laughed and added,  ”on Easy Jet."

Following Michael's moving rendition of  Fast Car (Tracy Chapman), all the judges were forced to acknowledge that they had been proved wrong.

“It’s like the Susan Boyle thing", Amanda admitted. "You completely judge people as you see them and it’s always a surprise.”

"We learn from history that we do not learn from history"  - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Earthquakes & makeup

With all the tragic earthquake news in recent weeks, I thought I'd bring you a different type of quake story.

On Thursday, Dolly Parton confessed on ITV's This Morning,  that she always slept in makeup whenever she was in LA or New York.

Why? Because both areas are vulnerable to earthquakes. She simply wants to make sure that she is prepared for such an eventuality, both night and day.

I sincerely hope that Ms Parton was joking and that she would run to safety,  with or without makeup, when and wherever the need arose.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter chocolate-fest

On average children will indulge in £24 of chocolate this Easter. For the under 12's, this is the combination of getting one from parents and another seven from family and friends.

In total the chocolate will contain about 270 teaspoons of sugar, weighing 1,344 grams. Most hollow eggs contain about 700 calories, but this can rise to 1200 - 1500 calories, when additional chocolate bars or sweets are added.

The study was carried out by Kennedy’s Confection magazine. Angus Kennedy, the magazines editor said: “It’s worrying that children are being given so much high-calorie food".

"While it’s good for the industry, we as a nation must ensure we are not actively contributing to rising obesity levels. For many families, Easter has become nothing more than a chocolate-fest".

Our children also receive a lot of eggs at Easter.  Being fully aware of the health issues above, I strictly control the rate of egg consumption, so that they last several weeks.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Duchess of York

This week the Telegraph reported that Sarah Ferguson 51, is "finally happy with my weight".

"At the moment I’m a size 12, probably,” the Duchess told Australian magazine New Idea, continuing. “I’m a lady so I don’t need to state how much I weigh. I know I was at my heaviest when I was pregnant with Beatrice but I have no idea what size I was.”

Sarah also confessed to having a “diabolical relationship” with her body and that she had never liked the way she looked.

“If you’ve been called fat and ugly and lots of names when you’re growing up, as I was, you believe it the whole of your life. Of course, some people don’t realise what they are doing ..... they saw it as fun, thought it was only teasing".

“But it meant", she concluded, "that I never thought I was pretty. On my wedding day I was a good weight and I looked really beautiful, but I didn’t see that.”

Having learned to accept and love herself Sarah can now happily state "I love my hands and wrists and ankles and hair and eyes. I've got a really good waist and a great pair of bosoms. Plus the pins aren't bad."


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Affluence and body image

A study to examine the impact of our consumer culture on a women's body image has been published in the British Journal of Social Psychology . It looks closely at how the desire for affluence influences societies values and the associated tendency to link physical appearance and material possessions to success and fame.

"Not all women are affected in the same way by looking at idealised media models, and it has therefore been important for research to identify factors that make some women more vulnerable than others to feeling negative about their body when exposed to such media images," said lead author Eleni-Marina Ashikali.

"We found that women focus more strongly on their appearance when materialistic values are highlighted momentarily to them through priming. At the same time, their awareness of how their bodies fall short of the idealised image is heightened during this priming process, particularly for women who are already materialistic. This means that the influence of materialism is a further factor that makes women more vulnerable to negative body image," said Ashikali.

The suggestion is that media literacy educational initiatives and  policy changes by the advertising industry should take individual as well as culturally induced values and aspirations into account.

"Women would benefit from gaining greater awareness of current marketing strategies, as well as becoming more critical of the images and messages conveyed by materialistic media, said Ashikali.

"Our work highlights the need for less emphasis on materialistic messages in the marketing of goods and products, as well as on the promised unrealistic benefits of owning a particular good," she concluded.


Monday, April 04, 2011

Body image based on the opinions of others

A resent survey, published in the US Journal of Counselling Psychology, has confirmed what most women intuitively know.  It found that the opinions of others, is most powerful influence on a women's perception of her body.  The survey consisted of women aged 18 to 65.  The women were separated into three groups, i) emerging adult women age 18-25, ii) early adult women age 26 to 39, and iii) middle adult women age 40 to 65. A total of 801 women took part in the survey.

The good news is that women who are able to focus on physical and emotional health and wellness, instead of how they are viewed by others, are more likely to appreciate their own bodies. The more a woman values her body, the greater the likelihood that she will eat intuitively, responding to actual hunger, rather than consuming /refraining from food for other reasons. Read Article