Friday, March 30, 2012

'No one is ever 100 per cent'

This week, in an interview with ITV1’s Daybreak, 24 year old Rihanna stated that she had learnt to "accept" her body.

"You get comfortable with the fact that that's your body and it is what it is", she said. "That, I had to learn. After doing that on set, I started doing that in the mirror. It was like, 'OK, whatever; I feel fat today, but what can you really do about it?' You just accept your body. You may not love it all the way but you just have to be comfortable with it."

Despite a noticeably slimmer figure that is envied by a myriad of admirers, Rihanna commented that she also compares herself unfavourably to others.

"You just want something else, that someone else has, but that doesn't mean what you have isn't beautiful," she said.
"People always want what you have and you always want what they have. No one is ever 100 per cent".


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Living to 100

35% of the babies born this year will live to celebrate their 100th birthday in 2112 (Office for National Statistics).

This year, 14,500 people are expected to reach their centenary. By 2035 the figure is expected to have increased to 110,000.

I find the idea of living to my 100th birthday rather exciting, but only if I am healthy, self sufficient and have a good quality of life.

After much discussion and reading numerous online comments on this subject; it’s clear that many people fear an old age in which they are in poor mental or physical health (increasing), lonely or abused. There is a clear preference for quality over quantity.


Monday, March 26, 2012

More than a body

On Saturday, during the first instalment of the new series of Britain's Got Talent (BGT), Simon Cowell went from saying (about the same overweight, poorly dressed teenager)


    "just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse".

followed by this: 

    "Jonathon, you are unbelievable. Seriously, you have an outstandingly good voice..... You are a future star".

in less than 3 minutes.

To be fair to Simon; he wasn't the only one who initially expected very little from 17 year old Jonathan Antoine and his friend 16 year old Charlotte Jaconelli. As the duo entered the stage, some members of the BGT audience jeered derisively, others rolled their eyes, a few slumped back in their chairs, suddenly uninterested. The most shocking moment occurred when the camera zoomed in on section of audience, who had raised themselves out of their seats and were visibly laughing as they stared down at the stage.

Well I think we can all agree that Jonathon had the last laugh. Not only did he achieve a standing ovation from the audience and judges; he also achieved another goal that he revealed to the Mail On Sunday.

"I was hoping that because I don’t look like a typical person who’d be in the limelight, it would help. I’d like to show that a person is more than a body."



Friday, March 23, 2012

Stop eating hormone

This week’s Horizon programme, ‘The Truth About Fat’ (BBC2), must have made many overweight people look meaningfully, at anyone who held them accountable for their weight and state, with much gusto, ‘I told you so’!

Overweight people can now, with some scientific evidence, point their finger at:

    1. their hormones, which are not doing an effective job of controlling their feelings of hunger and fullness
    2. their mother’s diet during pregnancy
    3. genetics

Whether an individual is overweight because of factors they can't control, or because they make unwise food choices and adopt an unhealthy lifestyle; the fact remains that an overweight individual (otherwise healthy adult), is the only person who can decide to change the situation in which they find themselves.

'It's not fair', I'm sure many overweight people are shouting, in envious frustration as they compare themselves to 'naturally thin' people; whose bodies are better equipped at turning on the 'I'm full, so stop eating' hormone.

Hopefully, this and related research will lead to real and sustainable solutions to weight gain.

Until then, we should all try to maintain a healthy weight and life style. Some people will have to use a lot more willpower than others. Whatever the level of willpower required; I think the goal, good health, is worth the effort.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jamie Oliver

Last week while on a visit to Australia, 'healthy school dinners ', Jamie Oliver was asked about his weight gain.

"I don't know," he responded. "I am very healthy. I think the last time I had a filling in my teeth, which was quite recently, I was in good nick." He then added. "Are you from a tabloid? Thank you for noticing, you bitch."

Most people are sensitive about weight gain; Jamie is no different. The fact that he is known for his healthy food and anti obesity campaigns (UK, US and Australia) must have made the journalist’s observation harder to handle.

Jamie Oliver duly apologized for his bad-mannered retort stating. "I went out last night and had a few drinks after a very long day. My brain did not quite understand that question."

The controversy reminded me of a debate I had a few months ago with a group of 10 or so women. We were discussing the case of a female fitness instructor, who lost her job because she had gained a considerable amount of weight. Her employees argued that she did not look fit and would not have any credibility with customers.

Commenting on Jamie’s outburst, Curtis Stone who co-hosts 'The Talk' seemed to agree with the Gym that sacked the overweight instructor.

"You’ve got to practise what you preach”, he said. “We’ve all had different relationships with food; some great, some not so great. But when you’ve got a place in the TV world of responsibility, you’ve got to follow through.”


Monday, March 19, 2012

Hoarding ill-fitting clothes

A wardrobe study by TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK (women) found:-

- 80% hoard ill-fitting clothes, especially jeans.
- 25% keep expensive clothes that no longer fit (they can’t face giving them away).
- 12.5 % knowingly buy clothes that are too small, in the hope that they will lose enough weight to fit into them.
- 10 % keep old clothes for nostalgic reasons, because they represent happy periods in their life.
- 8% keep four different sizes of certain items of clothing (of these 66% are holding on to them in the hope that they will be able to fit into them again).

TK Maxx is now calling for women to pass on their unused outfits to the charity Give Up Clothes for Good.

I have clothes going back 15 plus years. Some fit, some don't. A few are in fashion (again!); others are stuck in 1990's and early 2000's.

In response to TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK’s suggestion, I have decided that our local charity shop will benefit from the good stuff. The rest will either be thrown out or kept for sentimental reasons.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Love your bum

Do you love your bum?

In this TED Talk video Caroline Pover answers the question and discusses other body image issues confronting girls and women.


I like my bum.  I like the way it wobbles...

You know the pencil test when you put a pencil under your boob to see how perky it is? You can do the same thing to see how perky your bum is, but who wants a perky bum?  I think perky bums are boring. I'm proud to say under my buttocks, I can get a mobile phone.

Now turn around and repeat after me, 'what a beautiful bottom I have'.  Now say it again. 'What a beautiful bottom I have'. Now grab that bottom and say ' I love my bum.'

When you love your body, I don't mean accepting your body, because that means letting something in that you don't quite agree with. I mean when you truly love your body, you no longer waste time and energy on negative feelings about yourself and the whole world opens up. You're free to be everything you're meant to be and free to do everything you were meant to do.

If women of all ages, shapes and sizes could love their bodies and make a real and genuine commitment to helping girls and young women love their bodies (and especially love their bums). Imagine the confidence, creativity and productivity they would have throughout their lives.

Imagine how much happier and healthier women would be... That, I hope you will agree, is an idea worth spreading.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Dark girls

This 10-minute trailer titled “Dark Girls,” depicts black women (with darker skin) reliving painful experiences that they have endured, simply because they are dark skinned.  Having dark skin made them feel very unattractive, even ugly, compared to black women with lighter skin.



Thursday, March 08, 2012

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. It is a day to acknowledge, reflect and celebrate the achievements of women around the globe. Achievements, that have been won in spite of the many challenges they face.

The first International Women's Day was held in 1900. There is no denying that activists (early and current), have dramatically improved the quality of life of an immeasurable number of women.

Fortunately, campaigners are not complacent and are forging ahead; in a bid to achieve greater success. In many regions of the world, women are still subject to violence and oppression, have no vote, limited access to education, are under represented in government and denied human rights.

As a woman, I am very happy that my daughter will face less issues and obstacles, due to the fact that she is female, than I did. I am sure women rights campaigners have been an essential part of the transformation that has taken place in our society.

I look forward to the day when all girls and women, wherever in the world they reside, will be able to live a safe, happy and fulfilled life.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Inspirational Samantha Cameron

Yesterday the Daily Mail published a story with the headline ‘SamCam goes glam!‘

The story was based on the fact that Samantha Cameron had been seen jogging in makeup. It is the antithesis of last week's report that pictured a makeup free Mrs Cameron, with comments that she had 'worked up a sweat' and looked 'a bit bedraggled'. In truth, she looked no better or worse than you or I would look after an energetic run.

Hopefully, Samantha Cameron will not allow herself to be intimidated (intense media scrutiny ) into changing her jogging routine, appearance (makeup/outfit) or effort expended (sweat); so that she can escape negative comments in the press.

I thought she looked fit and healthy (with or without makeup); even inspirational, particular to women in the 40+ age group.


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