Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baby Smell

There are some smells wherein even the slightest whiff can invoke memories and bring back emotions, both good and bad. One such aroma, the scent of which is packed full of treasured memories and never fails to fill me with pride and joy, is that which hovers around babies. For want of a better expression, let’s call it ‘baby smell’.

In my mind, there are very few smells that can match up to the smell of a young baby, especially after they have been bathed.

If fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has their way, the well-known and adorable ‘baby smell’ will be obliterated and replaced with perfume (£28 for a 50ml bottle).

The perfume’s designer Stefano Gabbana stated: “That familiar smell associated with babies will only be accentuated by this fragrance.” It will also he promises, “pamper every little boy and girl”.

D&G’s new baby perfume, inspired by the “softness of baby skin” and the “freshness of baby breath” will have a citrus, honey and melon scent.

Other baby perfume manufactures include: Bulgari’s Petits et Mamans, Burberry’s Baby Touch and Johnson’s baby cologne.

An off the shelf perfume that causes babies to emanate an artificial, manufactured (not pure, innocent or natural) aroma, will not ‘accentuate’ what is already lovely in its unspoiled state.

Skilled marketers have convinced us that any discernable residue of our body’s natural scent will result in us becoming social pariahs … outcasts; with only the smell of our own awful body odour for company.

This being the case, it is not surprising that the beauty industry has already got everyone, whose age is written using double digits, convinced that natural body scents are obnoxious. Consequently, we must all wash and cover ourselves with all manner of fragranced products; soap, bath oils, deodorant, body lotions & sprays, perfume, aftershave, foot sprays and ......


Friday, January 25, 2013

Food to share

We are all used to seeing ‘to share’ on large packets of crisp, chocolates and snacks. I’ve even spotted ‘ideal for sharing’ on a box of Weight Watchers cakes.

Now the ‘share’ message can be seen above some supermarket aisles.

Supermarkets and food manufacturers seem to be taking the health message that they are giving customers, particularly about portion control, more seriously.

Could this be in response to recent ‘super size for profit’ and 'the food industry is making us fat’ criticisms?

One person (cynic?) I discussed the sign with said, “they are only doing it to cover themselves”. Others were willing to give them the benefit of doubt.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weight related to background

Anna Soubry , the Conservative minister for public health and MP for Broxtowe Nottinghamshire, waded into the childhood obesity debate yesterday.
Speaking at a conference representing UK manufacturers; she petitioned the audience to reduce the quantity of fat, sugar and salt in their products, or face legislation forcing them to do so.

In a related interview with the Daily Telegraph, Ms Soubry stated: "When I go to my constituency, in fact when I walk around, you can almost now tell somebody's background by their weight. Obviously, not everybody who is overweight comes from deprived backgrounds but that's where the propensity lies.”

Ms Soubry deemed the situation "heartbreaking", because the families, who were most at risk of obesity, originated from the poorest backgrounds.
“A third of our children leave primary school overweight or obese”, she said. “When I was at school, you could tell the demography of children by how thin they were.”

However, in a “deeply ironic” about turn, poorer children are now likely to be overweight due to “an abundance of bad food.”

In a bid to address the situation, the minister asked parents to play a more active role at meal times, by reinstating healthy family meals in preference to informal and unhealthy ,"breakfast buns" and "TV dinners".

The Department of Health’s figures supports Ms Soubry ‘s observations. It’s figures evidences the fact the poorest children are almost twice as likely to be obese than the wealthiest. 24.3 per cent of the most deprived 11-year-olds in England were obese, compared with 13.7 per cent of children from the most affluent homes.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Negative weight loss story

I found yesterday’s article by Samantha Escobar an interesting read.

The article was written in response to a Daily Mail piece, documenting Clare Cunliffe-Saunders 5 stone weight loss success story.

Ms Escobar titled her commentary:

'Daily Fail: Daily Mail Calls Woman ‘Thin-derella,’ Recounts Negative Weight Loss Story As inspirational'.


'You know what can be inspirational? Healthy living journeys. People recounting their desire to change their lives and bodies in order to lead healthier lives — that can be very encouraging. But you know what’s less lovely? When the whole story is just negative and saddening, yet still portrayed as being somehow positive and enlightening'.

'It’s not the story that I don’t like; it’s the way it is told that I take issue with.

'First of all, the title: Too fat for a fairy tale! Actress becomes real life Thin-derella after shedding five stone to fit back in to her princess costumes. I get it: “fat” and “fairy tale” are alliterated and “Thin-derella” is a pun, but neither are clever nor kind'.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dear Bathroom Scales ...

Dear Bathroom Scales; a 'Dear John' letter:

This is a first for me. I’ve never penned a letter to an inanimate object before. Anyway, the time has come, I can’t leave it any longer…….

Bathroom scales; how and when did things get so bad? Long gone are the days when I was the overweight besotted teen that you bewitched.

You courted me with promises that tomorrow I might weigh less. We became closer still when I learnt that I could weigh myself not once or twice, but countless times in a day. There was a time when I couldn’t get enough of the number displayed on your screen and became obsessed with your red needle pointer.

I never thought that I was the kind that could abandon, my long affection for biscuits, cakes, sweets and sugary fizzy drinks, but I willingly forsook them all… for you and you alone. When you gave me the reading I desired, it made me feel happy … elated … alive.

Don’t blame yourself. It’s not you … it’s me.

It’s confession time. I have been attending a gym and working out 3 times a week. Not only that, but I’ve also started a healthy eating regime. I eat 5 fruits or vegetables a day and drink plenty of water.

My new lifestyle even allows me to eat everything in moderation and socialise in pubs, cafés and restaurants. I have decided that health is much more important to me than you and the number on your rectangular display.

I am enjoying my new found freedom. Days without you leave me feeling stress free…. in control … liberated!

We have been through a lot together… you and I. Like all relationships there have been good and bad times.

Remember when I lost a stone in 3 weeks on the cabbage soup diet? Do you remember how my joy soon turned to tears, when you informed me that I had regained the weight in a shorter time period than it had taken me to lose it?

If you were honest, I’m sure you would agree that this is a far healthier, happier way for me to live. Talking of being honest; it is the way I have chosen to live going forward.

Bathroom scales, I hope that you now understand why I no longer want a daily relationship with you.

I hope that we can still meet as friends from time to time.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inside and Out

I really like the song, ‘Inside and Out’, which is currently being broadcast on TV, as the soundtrack for Magnet’s Winter Sale Ad.

‘Inside and Out’ was written by 14 year old Lucinda Nicholls from Perth, Australia. Magnet discovered the song after viewing a YouTube video of Lucinda singing it.

The song also won Lucinda the title of: ‘Song of the Year 2012’ (West Australian Music Industry Association).

Explaining why she penned the song Lucinda said:
“ ‘Inside and Out’ , was inspired by a good friend of mine with low self esteem and was oblivious to her beauty which really puzzled me. I thought she deserved to know how gorgeous she really was”.

While there is no obvious kitchen related connection to ‘Inside and Out’; the underlying self esteem message; the reason for the songs creation is crystal clear.

‘Inside and Out’ emits an exceptional positive self esteem/body image message that is music to the ears in more ways than one.

‘Inside and Out’, Lyrics include:
So the next time you look in the mirror,
Hope you see these things a little clearer,
No don't touch your hair, don't change your clothes,
Just wear a smile and let your beauty show.

You are beautiful inside and out,
You're beautiful there is no doubt,
There's no use in hiding,
Your potential is shining,
Yes you're beautiful, your hair, your eyes,
You're beautiful, that infectious smile,
I don't think you know,
Just how far you can go,
You're beautiful!


 ‘Inside and Out’ is available on iTunes.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Tips to improve body image and weight issues

“I was 10 years old and I thought I was fat. I had this obsession with the celebrity Beyoncé. Whenever I saw Beyoncé I thought … yes. I always used to think that she had the perfect body.

“So from the age of 10, going into my teens, I had an eating disorder. I couldn't eat any food, because I thought I would put on weight.

“This was all because of the media. Everything that I saw, I thought it was real. I thought that ladies body is amazing. I was still young; I was still developing and I was a little chubby at the time. I became so obsessed with my weight that I wasn't able to eat solid food.

“There was a year in my life when all my food was liquidised.

“It was very stressful for my family. They couldn't cope with my eating disorder. It also caused me serious problems”.

Happily, we can report that the woman behind this story eventually recovered from her eating disorder and now has a healthy i) attitude to her weight and ii) eating regime.

If you are aware that you are becoming overly conscious or concerned about your weight, here are 8 tips to help you tackle the issue, in the hope that early action will stop it from developing into a full-blown eating or body dissatisfaction disorder.

Continue Reading


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Cosmetic surgery sales practises

An interim cosmetic surgery study, commissioned by the Department of Health, has proposed the banning of certain sales related practices.

Vivien Parry, a science journalist, was involved in the consultations. She said that the key problem is a lack of balanced information coupled with aggressive advertising.

"I have been really shocked by what I've seen", she said*. "Extraordinary things; for instance 17 year olds being plagued by texts saying in less than a year's time you'll be old enough to have cosmetic surgery.

"I just think that's awful. What it does to the psyche of young girls is one thing. But it sets up a cosmetic procedure, which has both short-term and long-term risks, as if it were something entirely trivial."

The report found that patients and industry group’s want tighter restrictions on advertising including a ban on:

- Two-for-one deals
- Time-limited deals
- Surgery as competition prizes

They would also like to introduce:

A two stage written consent process; so those contemplating surgery have adequate time to reflect.

Improved quality of information e.g. a patient should be shown photographs showing expected bruising and scarring.

British Association of Aesthetics Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) Jajiv Grover commented on the issue.*

"I think when you undergo any medical procedure you should undertake a risk benefit analysis. Unfortunately, when you glamorise cosmetic surgery you focus on the benefits and gloss over the risks.

“One thing that we have learnt from the PIP crisis, Is that many people undergoing surgery did so without realising what the true implications were”.

A cooling off period, during which potential patients can really think about their decision before making it permanent is a good idea.

Any sales/marketing practises that pressurises individuals to undergo surgery and/or encourages them to make snap decisions should be prohibited. It is in the interest of both patients and if you think about it, the cosmetic surgery industry itself; if it wants to be viewed as ethical.

The full report will be published in March.

* Sky News


Monday, January 07, 2013

Magazines and their message

As usual, January women’s magazines are focussed on the normal New Year themes, of diet and weight loss, getting fit, improving health levels e.g. reducing alcohol consumption etc.

January issues were on the shop shelves in December, weeks before the first chimes of Big Ben punctuated the air; heralding the start of 2013.

Anticipating New Year magazine articles (particularly those related to diet and weight), MP Jo Swinson penned a letter to magazines editors asking them to "shed the fad diets and fitness myths" . Adding, "as editors you owe more to your readers than the reckless promotion of unhealthy solutions to losing weight".

Happily, our review of this month’s magazine issues shows that Ms Swinson, who has laudably championed positive body image following her appointment as Equalities minister, need not have worried.

Very few magazines are advocating the fad diets or fitness myths of yesteryear.

Today’s magazine editors seem to be much more attuned to printing healthier diet related advice:

Marie Claire - It's front cover stated: "Eat drink and still fit in your jeans. Smart health tips for the holiday season” . Inside it advices readers to use a food diary.
Women and Home - “Happy hour diet”. It details ‘Clever swops to cut the calories”.
Psychologies - Asked readers to "Face up to your food issues."
Good Housekeeping - Advocated going for a walk before meals and using herbs rather then butter on vegetables.
Woman - Featured the “All new Weight Watchers Plan”
Bella- Despite the title that read, “Festive Fab Fighter: Lose 7lbs in 7 days," advised readers to follow a relatively moderate diet, in which they could consume up to 1200 calories.

Let’s hope that in 2013, we will see an equally responsible approach to body size. That magazine’s will start advocating healthier body sizes via the celebrities and models that grace their pages.

In our experience magazine images i.e. super thin models are a real issue, more so than fad/unhealthy diets. That’s certainly the case for the numerous teenagers that we have spoken to.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Focus for 2013

I’ll start this post by wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

As the festive Christmas and New Year season comes to a close, we are once again in a reflective environment where we are inundated with the obligatory ‘end of year summaries’, ‘best-of / worst-of ’ lists, predictions and ‘New Year resolutions’.

In a similar vein to resolutions, this post will detail the 4 main things that we will be focusing on in 2013.

1. 10 year anniversary
Later this year, My Body Beautiful will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We fully intend to continue our on and offline endeavours to educate individuals about body image; in the hope of improving overall body image, emotional wellbeing and levels of self acceptance.

2. Client focus
Our Clients are extremely important to us. We will endeavour to pre-empt their needs and deliver to their high expectations.

Research, day to day experience (aided by points 3 & 4) will be collectively utilised to underpin the development and delivery of our unique client workshops e.g. our secondary school’s body image workshops.

3. The ‘big picture’.
This year, as in previous years, we will focus on the ‘big picture;’ much more than body image. We will bring you interviews, articles, blogs and news stories on a wide range of subjects that impact our bodies and the way we relate to them.

4. Specifics
Alongside point 3, we will also focus on specific issues that come to our attention. E.g. an issue raised by a colleague/member of the public, research data or government initiatives.

What will you be focussing on in 2013? Whatever it is, we wish you success.