Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Adele on body image

The wait for Adele to release a new a single/album is over. For her fans it feels like a very long time since the release of 21 which won six Grammys and went platinum 16 times; followed by her Bond theme Skyfall, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

The overwhelming consensus is that “Hello” the first song released from Adele’s new album ‘25’ was worth waiting for. It’s the perfect comeback single; one that remains true to her brand, a song that touches the soul.

Adele is well and truly back in the forefront of public consciousness, this being the case, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to revisit her body image related quotes from the past:

1. My life is full of drama and I won’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like. I don’t like going to the gym.

2. I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.

3. But that’s [revealing her body] not what my music is about. I don’t make music for eyes, I make music for ears.

4. Be brave and fearless to know that even if you make a wrong decision, it was for a good reasson.

5. I’d like a sound that sticks around that other people are inspired by and that people know is me.

6. I like having my hair and face done, but I’m not going to lose weight because someone tells me to. I make music to be a musician not to be on the cover of Playboy.

7. It’s [weight]never been an issue for me – I don’t want to go on a diet, I don’t want to eat a Caesar salad with no dressing, why would I do that? I ain’t got time for this, just be happy and don’t be stupid. If I’ve got a boyfriend and he loves my body then I’m not worried.

8. The focus on my appearance has really surprised me. I’ve always been a size 14 to 16, I don’t care about clothes…

9. “I’d lose weight if I was an actress and had to play a role where you’re supposed to be 40 lbs lighter, but weight has nothing to do with my career. Even when I was signing a contract, most of the industry knew if anyone ever dared say lose weight to me, they wouldn’t be working with me.”

10 “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”


Friday, October 23, 2015

Male views on positive body image

The Huffington Post recently asked 19 of their male audience to define what positive body image meant to them. 12 responses are detailed below.

1. "It's recognizing that your body is not just the outward appearance and that obesity and diabetes have substantial negative impacts on your body."

2. "Accepting your body isn't the goal. The goal is to be healthy. I accept my healthy lifestyle, not my healthy body."

3. "I accept my body by not altering it. No botox, no fake implants, no B.S."
If you love your body, you will take care of it. That is truly positive.

4. "Actually being positive, and taking care of your body in a way that is scientifically proven to beneficial, like vigorous 20 minute exercise daily, a balanced, healthy diet, going to the doctor when you need to, taking care of your mental health and encouraging others to do so, especially those who are [doing] none of those things. If you love your body, you will take care of it. That is truly positive."

5. "I work my ass off for my body. I push my limits and I sacrifice. For all that it does for me, I love my body. And I'm thankful for it."

6. "It means I get to love myself, even when I feel no one else does. It means I can look in the mirror and go, 'I am hot, I totally would have sex with me.' For me, it also means I get to love the person I am now and the one I want to become."

7. "It means letting myself enjoy a day at the beach without being preoccupied with my belly. It means realizing my body has a purpose and functions. It's not just for a person's gaze or approval."

8. "It's not attacking perceived prejudices of the opposite sex or interest because one has low self-esteem."
It means realizing my body has a purpose and functions.

9. "Take me as I am, or don't. I'm too old to care anymore."

10. "Work on the 'inside' and work your way out. Workouts rarely change the heart."

11. "I don't have to look at myself. I just look at how my wife looks at me."

12. "This was the body I was given, simple as that. My health has always been the primary concern, regardless of my looks."

Click here to read the remaining responses.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Kintsugi – Valuing imperfection

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Legend has it that kintsugi originated from Japanese craftsmen’s desire to create an aesthetically pleasing repair to damaged ceramics, in place of the traditional method which used metal staples. Surprisingly the kintsugi repaired ceramics soon took on a beauty of their own, being viewed as desirable ‘art’; so much so that collectors would deliberately smash valuable pottery, in order for it to be repaired and acquire distinctive gold seams.

No two kintsugi repaired items are the same. Each object is unique, viewed as a whole (cracks and repairs are seen as events in the life of an object) and highly valued.

Next time you look into the mirror or at a photo of yourself and you see perceived ‘imperfections’ whatever the origins: genetic,the result of an accident, weight gain, childbirth, aging etc …. stop for a second and remember kintsugi.


Image Source: Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method.jpg - Wikimedia Org


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

'I feel empowered as an 'out' Ginger man'


Imagine looking different from almost everybody else and then imagine being teased, insulted and bullied for it. How does that make you feel?

When I was a boy, I was called Ginger, Gingher and even Duracell; in reference to a battery’s rusty top. There is not an awful lot you can do about having red hair as a child, its part of our inevitable genetic make up. And therefore being attacked for it feels a little bit like being rejected for who we are.

At university I dyed mine [hair] peroxide and then for years as a TV presenter I even shaved my head. It’s only recently that I have had the confidence to reveal my red roots and now I feel empowered as an 'out' Ginger man.

There does seem to have been a shift in attitudes towards the ginger gene. There has even been speculation that Damian Lewis could one day become the first ginger Bond and that really would be fantastic news for us redheaded men, because we probably had it a little bit tougher than ginger women.

But whether or not you find us redheads attractive, the nastiness has absolutely got to stop. Because bullying and that's after all is what we talking about here, is not cool, it's not clever's just cowardly.


Monday, October 12, 2015

A little twisted

“Why do you think so many women today can't just look in the mirror and say ‘I'm beautiful’”?

“Do you ever see a magazine with somebody with a torn T-shirt, no bra, their hair undone, no makeup and they're saying, 'hi all'? I mean everything is put together; it's all manufactured, airbrushed … "

"And so the average woman thinks that - who she is, as she is, just isn't good enough.

“I could have come out here today without any makeup and no lipstick. Everybody would have been horrified, but I would have been really okay about it. You know, the makeup, the clothing …. everything; it's supposed to enhance what you have, not make what you do have into something else. We have got it a little twisted”.


*Iyanla Vanzant is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality.


Wednesday, October 07, 2015


In October's article we will recount a conversation that Emma (who we met last month)
had with Greg Hodge, founder of the website

Beautifulpeople is a dating site in which existing members decide if new applicants are attractive enough to join i.e. pass it’s strict attractiveness criteria.
“We've democratised beauty” said Greg*. “Essentially how it works, is that [you post] a picture and a profile, which is then voted on by existing members of the opposite sex, based on whether or not they find you attractive”.

There are four voting options that the 30,000 plus members can choose from. 1) Red -absolutely not, 2) amber - no, 3) green - yes okay or 4) dark green - yes definitely beautiful. Only those who have acquired a majority of positive votes are allowed to join.

“We don't consider obese or very overweight people to be attractive”, Greg continues. “It's not what is considered beautiful in our society and of course that is mirrored on the site as well. The vast majority of people who are overweight are not going to get in, because that is not what societies perception of beauty is”.

Continue Reading


Friday, October 02, 2015

Beauty products/procedures men dislike

Women spend *£12,000 a year on beauty products. However new research** suggests that UK men prefer a more natural look.

Listed below are the products/procedures men said they disliked the most:

1. Heavy make-up (31%)
2. Botox (17%)
3. Fake tan (13%)
4. Blown up lips (11%)
5. False eyelashes (8%)
6. Hair extensions (6%)
7. Huge fake boobs (5%)
8. Scouse brows (4%)
9. Tattoos (3%)
10. Bright red lipstick (2%)

* A Vaseline poll of 1,000 women
** Flint + Flint poll of 1,000 men