Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Increasing desire for surgery

This week a More magazine poll found that over 70% of young women desire cosmetic surgery and almost 50% are planning to have it.

In cases where self esteem or other insecurities were problematic;   61% believe the affected individuals have “a right” to selective surgery and 35% think it should be provided free on the NHS.

More's editor Chantelle Horton said: “This is worrying.” 

I concur.


Monday, August 29, 2011

With apologies to L.S. Lowry

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This weekend I saw a cartoon in the Telegraph that proved this statement true.

Imagine a Lowry painting, not dissimilar to the one above of Huddersfield in 1965.  In the place of thin people, the cartoon titled 'Obesity Britain' depicted obese individuals, many queuing,  in order to enter one the surrounding burger, chips, kebab, donut or pizza outlets.  Hand written in the corner were the words 'Blower' (cartoonist) followed by 'with apologies to L.S. Lowry'.

Although the cartoon was undoubtedly amusing;  it was also poignant and left me with the uncomfortable feeling that many people are facing serious health issues that they need to address.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Teaching body image via PSHE

The Government recently announced a review of PSHE. The review will report to the Secretary of State for Education, and look at the quality and content of PSHE lessons.

We hope the review will recommend the use of PSHE lessons to deliver crucial body image literacy to young children and teens.

The Department for Education is happy to recieve responses from teachers, parents, pupils and other interested parties. Email  by 30th November 2011.


Monday, August 15, 2011

An interview with Karen Lumley MP

Last Monday, Karen Lumley, our local MP, very kindly agreed to give my Body Beautiful an interview detailing her views on body image, the influence of the media and various associated topics.

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed the encounter.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Boots ‘Ta Dah'

Boots has just launched a new campaign called ‘Ta Dah’, under its No 7 brand. The campaign utilises non-airbrushed, age-appropriate models who have not undergone cosmetic surgery.

Mother, the company behind the adverts, has commented that No.7 is ‘breaking the mould’ by not retouching or digitally manipulating images.

Boots is a major player in the High Street. It’s more truthful reflection of a diverse range of women will hopefully lead to other influential beauty and fashion brands following in their footsteps.

Boots - Ta Dah


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

T-Shirt slogan banned

A t-shirt featuring a child model with the slogan “Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels”; the infamous statement by supermodel Kate Moss, has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). 

The ASA determined that Zazzle's website, on which the t-shirt appeared, were irresponsibly marketing a negative body image to children that could result in "physical, mental or moral” harm.

Zazzle, who had not pre-screened the t-shirt (created in it's open marketplace), have now restricted the design so that it does not appear on children's clothing.


Friday, August 05, 2011

A black Spider-Man

This week Marvel's "Ultimate's Universe" comics announced that the new spider-man, who will take over the role following Peter Parkers death, will be a mixed race (half black half Latino) teen called Miles Morales.

At this point, I should clarify the fact that Peter Parker is still alive, well and spinning webs in the normal Marvel comic series.

Like Peter Parker, Miles is on a journey of self discovery. Marvel describe him as " nerdy, good at math and lives with his parents in Brooklyn".  Miles will be one of a tiny select group of super hero's who are tasked with the daily duty of ridding the world of a rogues gallery of super villains.

Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso said, "What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity. We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.

Now  black, mixed race and many other boys from ethnic minorities can join their Caucasian counterparts and delight in the activities of a super hero who looks a lot like them.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Looking good = thin or thinner

I bumped into a l friend last week. “I haven’t seen you for a while”, she commented.

“I’ve been on holiday”, I replied. “I came back a couple of days ago”.

“That explains it”, she said.

“Explains what”, I queried.

“Why you look so relaxed and tanned. You’ve also lost weight, that dress really suits you”. We talked for a few minutes and then parted company. Later that evening I recounted some of the discussion to my husband, including the bit about me having lost weight.

“Lost weight”, he repeated perplexed. “I don’t mean to disappoint you”, he said, “but you have actually gained weight”.

“Oh”, I said, before quickly continuing, “I’m not that bothered. I’ll lose it when I return to my normal routine.”

Thinking about it later, it made perfect sense that I’d gained weight rather than lost weight on holiday. Each day, I’d consumed a full breakfast, a 2 course lunch, afternoon tea (cake/scones) followed by a 2 or 3 course evening meal. Normally, I’d have 2 slices of toast for breakfast, a sandwich/soup/porridge for lunch and a single course evening meal plus the odd small snack. 

I did venture into the hotel gym on 5 occasions during my holiday (first time in years). However, even this was below my normal 6-8 fortnightly visits to my local gym. Taking everything into account, it made perfect sense that I’d gained weight, rather than lost it.

Interestingly, my friend (I’m sure she was being genuine) looked at me, thought I looked good and mentally invoked the unofficial, but very real and predominantly female formula that goes something like this.

Looking good = thin or thinner + (other less important factors).


Monday, August 01, 2011

Children's growing desire to be thin


Today's news that another 1,900 children and teens, between the ages of 10 and 15, have been treated (NHS) for eating disorders is concerning. Particularly,  as the statistics only show those who were ill enough to be admitted to hospital,  meaning that there are likely to be many more untreated/undiagnosed cases.  As a parent, the issues associated with eating disorders are taken very seriously.

My children are eleven and nine years old. In our household we have always focussed on eating in a healthy balanced way.  While nothing is forbidden, I endeavour to  encourage low consumption of junk food and high consumption of healthy alternatives.

Despite this laid back approach to food, my daughter has recently become fixated with her weight,  The catalyst, as strange as this may sound, was natural weight loss. We have recently returned from our family holiday, during which she swam in the hotel pool and played in the sea every day for two weeks.

On returning home,  she realised that she was thinner; she was particularly happy with her slimmer legs.  She is now determined to keep the weight off and lose more if possible. Snacks and supper are now out, in  comes more physical exercise such as bouncing on the trampoline, riding around our local park and asking me to 'power walk' with her. 

Once again I've had to sit both children down and have a healthy eating and healthy living (exercise in moderation) discussion. The pressure to be thin shows no sign of waning; if anything the it has increased.   All we as parents, relatives, friends and teachers can do is teach children to view a healthy body as the most important physical goal, while at the same time educating them about peer and media pressure.