Wednesday, April 30, 2014

J. K. Rowling - Women in the public eye

British novelist Joanne Rowling(48), also know as J. K. Rowling, is best known for penning the infamous Harry Potter series.

The world famous Potter publications has sold more than 400 million copies, is the recipient of several awards and currently holds the records for the i) best selling book series and ii) highest grossing film series in history.

This week we learnt that during the early years of her fame, Ms Rowling felt pressured by repeated media criticisms about her appearance; criticism she found difficult to read.

“I would be a liar if I said I don’t care”, she said. “Yes, I care. I found it very difficult.”

Remarking on her response to the negative comments e.g. that she looked ‘unkempt’ and had ‘messy’ hair, she said:

“You can choose, you can go one of two ways.”

“You can be the person I probably admire more and say ‘Well, I don’t care’ and I’ll continue not to bother to brush my hair.

“Or you can be a weak-willed person like me and think ‘Oh, I’d better get my act together. And maybe my mother was right and I do need to put my hair back and tidy myself up a bit.’

“So I did tidy myself up a bit. But I do often resent the amount of time that it takes to pull yourself together to go on TV, I really do.”

Ms Rowling went on to discuss how appearance, in the all inclusive sense, affects individuals in the public eye; women in particular:

“It must be so nice to be a man and just think which of my three suits will I wear today, and nobody would say a thing,” she says.

“With us it’s our weight, our clothes, how we’re aging, our hair …. If all you (men) have got to worry about is your hairline, I’m afraid … ”

“If I sound bitter”, she added “then that accurately reflects how I feel about the subject.”

The comments above, relating to the media’s focus on female appearance, are the latest concerns Ms Rowling has raised. In 2006 she documented her qualms about her two daughters , to the effect that they were growing up in a “skinny-obsessed world.”

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Women’s Body Image Workshop Announcement

My Body Beautiful has been asked, by the well known prestigious High Street retailer Selfridges, to deliver 2 Body Image Workshops in June. The workshops will form part of their Beauty Project.

We are very excited and pleased, about the booking, as it will give us the opportunity to extend our brand and knowledge to a wider audience.

NB. The workshop program has ended.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The people who look different are the ones...

Last week Meryl Streep, sat down for an interview with professor Barbara Klinger; the dialogue followed her acceptance of an honorary doctoral degree from Indiana University.
Meryl and the professor discussed many things not least of which is her illustrious Hollywood career.

When discussing the importance of appearance versus other attributes, for those (particularly younger individuals) who would like to participate and hopefully succeed in the entertainment industry, Meryl gave the following advice:

“For young women, I would say, don’t worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things. For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength. Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way, and actually the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now, I don’t.”


Friday, April 11, 2014

Being over fifty in Hollywood

The film ‘The Love Punch’, will be in cinemas from April 18th. It stars the quartet Emma Thompson(54), Pierce Brosnan(60), Timothy Spall(57) and Celia Imrie(61).

Emma and Celia were on ITV’s Lorraine this morning. The pair were discussing the film and being over fifty in Hollywood.

“There is Emma and Pierce”, explains Celia summarising the plot, “the handsome, glamorous and beautiful couple. Then there is Tim and I ….. the not so handsome couple”.

When discussing the less flattering, but funny events in the film, Emma pinpointed the wet suits, because they squashed their faces (picture above).

"The fact", said Emma, "that we are all supposed to disappear after the age of 50 is tragic, because we are all so much more interesting after that age. So much more interesting.”

"Why", asked presenter Kate Garraway.

“You've lived for a while", answered Emma. "You have still got your energy and you've got experience and, it might not be wisdom, but you're certainly capable of passing on a thing or two".

"Yes", agreed Celia, "and you don't take yourself so seriously any more. You don't care what people think."

"Exactly", added Emma. "So you’re fun, wiser with a lot to say. It is a fantastic age."

"The thing is", said Celia, "if I went to Hollywood right now, I would be a total freak, because I would be the only person with wrinkles”.

"Your right”, said Emma,” it’s so true. I mean you go out there and their faces stop moving”.

“They just all look completely surprised", commented Celia pulling a wide eyed expressionless face. "They don't laugh.”

“They all look like they've had a lot of work done”, responded Emma with a blank expression and speaking, as if she was a ventriloquist, through lips that barely moved.

“You're very good”, said Celia, commenting on Emma’s Hollywood face.

"It's awful ", stated Emma, reflecting on Hollywood’s ageist culture.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Body Image - A teenager's personal story



Monday, April 07, 2014


There is a new body image related app for sale. Created by Susan Green and Robin J Phillips, the app ‘SkinneePix’s description reads, ‘makes your photos look good and helps you feel good. It’s not complicated. No one needs to know. It’s our little secret.’

In a Skype interview with WSJ live:

Sue said, “once you have taken a picture, it will give you the option of either 0 lbs, 5 lbs, 10 lbs or 15lbs. So you have an option if you want to take anything off, or if you want to keep it at 0, because you feel comfortable with how you look….
“It’s not this overwhelming change. We wanted something that was very realistic. When I first saw it I thought well that’s attainable, that’s something I can work with. Part of this is about me getting healthier and when I saw it I thought, ‘wow, that looks really good’. “

Robin then added, “the changes are subtle; it is very realistic. I can take a picture of myself, hit just 5lbs or 10lbs and it will tighten my face, make me look a little bit lighter, a little bit less body fat. It’s motivation to just keep moving, keep walking and stop eating cookies.

“As you can see”, Sue injected, “I am heavier than Robin. For me, when I saw it, it was the beginning of my get healthy plan. I call it, ‘getting healthy with my selfie’,” she laughed.

“For 99 cents”, said Robin, “you can download Skineepix and give yourself a unique peak of how you are going to look, if you just keep motivated”.

“My way”, commented Sue, “is that I take a picture and when I hit that goal I get to take another picture. It’s how I follow my progress, this is about me.”

SkineePix app, the creators argue, is a motivational tool. For me it similar to putting a picture of yourself, when you were thinner, on the fridge door or keeping clothes, that you can no longer get into, in your wardrobe.

All efforts will fail, if the desire to lose weight and become healthier is not coupled with determination and commitment; both of which are essential, if someone is going to make lifestyle (diet, health and fitness) changes.

The pressure to look good is already weighing heavily (no pun intended) on the shoulders of many individuals in society. A self adjusting selfie (‘little secret’), that constantly reminds you of a thinner ideal, but false version of yourself, could easily demotivate rather than motivate.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Couldn't have survived today without...

During last weeks New York premiere of Noah, Actress Emma Watson dispelled the red carpet myth that celebrities, unlike normal people, are capable of effortless natural beauty.
Commenting on her appearance at the event Emma tweeted the following:
1. "Couldn't have survived today without...". She attached a photograph of the contents of her makeup bag. It detailed items that she used in order to become "red carpet ready."

Image 1

2.” No I did not wake up like this…” The image shows her standing in front of a full length mirror.

Image 2

3. “Decisions decisions…,” with an image of  a table laden with  an array of make-up.

Image 3

Emma also spoke to The Guardian of her concerns about the fashion industry’s "dangerously unhealthy” pressure on women to look perfect.

"As a younger woman, that pressure got me down, but I've made my peace with it. With airbrushing and digital manipulation, fashion can project an unobtainable image that's dangerously unhealthy. I'm excited about the aging process. I'm more interested in women who aren't perfect. They're more compelling," she said.

How refreshing to hear such truth! 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

It's just as hard to be Ken as it is to be Barbie

It is not a secret that body image issues are increasing in our appearance based culture. A less well known fact is that body image issues also impinges on males.

Daily, via a multitude of avenues, e.g. family members, peers, advertising, celebrity news and the media in general; we are bombarded with images and information showcasing the ‘ideal’ body.

The elephant in the room, that most people pay too little attention to, is that the ‘ideal’ is unrealistic and for 99% of the population impossible to attain, maintain and remain healthy.

We are constantly presented with the perfect face, skin, body and a plethora of creams, diets, procedures and surgeries; all with the false promise that they can help as attain perfection.

Sadly, real bodies, real healthy bodies are often overlooked or even cast aside as undesirable … ugly even.

The message is that we need to swap ‘natural’ for it’s better, improved and, dare I say it, unnatural nemesis ‘perfection’.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Nemesis as: ‘The inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall’. The search for unattainable beauty and body perfection can only result in failure. Sadly it is an unbeknownst ill-fated journey that many females and increasingly males set out on. 

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