Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Vanity or insecurity?

How does a young (26 year old) attractive and wealthy man like Spencer Matthews (Made in Chelsea ) become addicted to steroid based medication, resulting in him having to leave the I'm a celebrity get me out of here jungle after just three days.

Spencer has said that he first took the medication in order to increase muscle mass and tone up for a charity boxing match; ironically the match never took place. He has also stated that vanity (body image related) was a much bigger drive that led to his decision to take steroids. The product in question is classified as a class C drug without a prescription. Incorrect use of anabolic steroids can lead to kidney, heart, infertility and mental/emotional issues. Despite its adverse affects of a 17,000 people in the UK are using steroids.

When Spencer was asked to enter the jungle; he knew that his body would be on display and the centre of public scrutiny both in the mainstream and on social media platforms. It is understandable why vanity might have played a role in his decision to continue using steroids. Another possible explanation, other than vanity, is insecurity. A level of insecurity that resulted in him feeling pressurised to match up to a physical ideal (muscular).

In recent years psychologists have pointed to the increase in muscular images of men, particularly on magazine covers, the sexualisation of celebrities and the increase in the power of females at home, the workplace and society in general have (they argue) resulted in the erosion of male identity and their subsequent efforts to carve out a new one.

Following his exit from I’m a Celebrity, Spencer entered rehab in the hope of overcoming his addiction. We wish him a speedy recovery.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Beating Anorexia.

In this video Megan Jane talks about a particular turning point; a light bulb moment when she decided that she was going to beat anorexia.



Friday, November 13, 2015

How young is too young to have cosmetic surgery?

Anyone over the age of 18 can legally opt to have cosmetic surgery/procedures. There is growing concern that teenagers and young women are choosing surgery/procedures at a younger and younger age:

[] ‘The rise of the selfie surgery: How young is too young to have cosmetic work?'.
We all want to look good on Instagram, but could it be driving increasing numbers of 20 something to get fillers, Botox and cosmetic surgery.

[Newsbeat] ‘Plastic surgeons are worried young want procedures.’

Michael Cadier president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) stated that the organisation is seeing a rise in the number of younger patients. He expressed concern that these patients are ‘immature and vulnerable’ and may have self esteem issues.

The increasing trend for young people to undergo cosmetic surgery/procedures is somewhat alarming. The big question is why a growing number of young people, females in particular, what to change the way they look?

Continue Reading


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Media pressure goes far beyond body image

In this post we will look at the effects of the media on the behaviour of the government celebrities and TV presenters. On numerous occasions in the past, we have discussed how the media impacts body image. However, recent activities centred on No. 10 has highlighted the fact that media pressures is pervasive in society and its effects are felt and responded to by organisations as well is individuals.

Downing Street has been at the centre of a social media storm and much derision for digitally altering David Cameron’s Facebook photograph. A Remembrance Day poppy was added to an existing image that was uploaded in July.

Social media sites had a field day once the image was outted. The incident was quickly dubbed poppygate; as individuates set about creating numerous entertaining pictures of the prime minister with one or multiple photoshopped poppies of varying sizes. Someone even added a poppy to the chest of a topless beach holiday photo of the prime minister. Kevin Maguire tweeted: ‘POPPYGATE: No 10 sticking a poppy on an old Cameron photo is 1 cheap 2 disrespectful 3 weird.’ An online survey by The Mirror, asking if photoshopping the image was offensive, received a resounding 81% ‘Yes’ response and Selena Miller was criticised for appearing on the Graham Norton chat show without a poppy.

As soon as No. 10 learned about the negative response to the controversial image they immediately replaced it with a genuine one depicting David Cameron wearing a poppy and issued a statement describing the incident as a ‘technical oversight’.

There is undoubtedly a significant amount of pressure to conform to media induced and promoted behaviours/ideals (e.g. appearance); in this instance it’s to wear a poppy at this time of year. The pressure is apparently so intense that even Downing Street’s social media team felt the need alter the Prime Minister’s picture to ensure that he was seen to be wearing one.

One thing is clear; media pressure goes far beyond body image and it is felt and responded to by far more than those erroneously perceived as low confidence individuals. When pressed even government departments at the highest levels bend; that individuals also bend is unsurprising.


Friday, November 06, 2015

Challenging the ‘unhealthy’ ideals

This week we learned about an Instagram related story that is essentially the antithesis of the usual social media commentary.

Having acquired over 500,000 followers (becoming a social media celebrity) and receiving financial rewards from her online activities, 18 year old Australian Essena O'Neill, has decided to speak out. Her comments centre on the negative feelings and experiences that were an integral part of her routine selfie posts on Instagram; images in which she attempted to present a perfect picture of herself and her lifestyle. However, it slowly dawned on Essena that her online activities left her feeling empty.

“I've spent hours watching perfect girls online, wishing I was them”, she said.” When I became 'one of them', I still wasn't happy, content or at peace with myself,. Essena also realised that her time on Instagram had additional negative consequences; she had become addicted to social media likes which "served no real purpose other than self-promotion".

Recognizing that Instagram was “perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgement [and that she] was consumed by it”, Essena decided to delete 2,000 photos and add honest captions to those that remained.

Image captions include:

- "Manipulation, mundanity and insecurity",
- "Calorie restriction and excessively exercising”
- "Stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs. I just want younger girls to know this isn't candid life, or cool or inspirational. It's contrived perfection made to get attention."
- "Anyone addicted to social media fame like I once was, is not in a conscious state”.

Essena has now pledge to actively challenge the "unhealthy" ideals associated with social media and to expose the realities behind the images that she posts.


Monday, November 02, 2015

Kate Winslet - body image and nudity

Kate Winslet recently sat around an open fire and discussed her body image related issues with Bear Grylls (NBC’s "Running Wild With Bear Grylls).

Kate said:

"I was chubby, always had big feet, the wrong shoes, bad hair. When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life. I only heard negatives. That’s very damaging because then you’re programmed as a young woman to immediately scrutinize yourself and how you look."
Determined that her children will not have similar negative body related experiences; Kate has made it her goal to provide and reinforce positive messages to her offspring.

Explaining her positive body image methodology, Kate said:

"I stand in front of the mirror and say to Mia (her 14 year old daughter), 'We are so lucky we have a shape. We're so lucky we're curvy. We're so lucky that we've got good bums.' And she'll say, 'Mummy, I know, thank God.' It's paying off."

Kate also commented on her body, in regards to performing nude scenes (12 previous films) during an interview with the Wall Street Journal, in which she discussed her role in the new film ‘Steve Jobs’.

“I don’t think I can get away with it [nude] now,” she said. “I’ve never had a body double that would feel like lying. So I am probably done. I get really big when I am pregnant. There are things that will never go back, but in terms of physically feeling back and healthy, I do.

“We all focus on our bodies in our late teens and our early 20s, in a way that is just not cool or healthy. In your 30s, you become aware of staying fit. Now I view my physical self as an instrument that I have to keep going because I’m a mother, and I have to be as healthy as I can for those three people who need me, more than I need for myself to be in a f* nude scene.”

Kate has clearly come to terms with her body and her focus on her health and supporting her children should reap multiple rewards for them all.