Thursday, February 26, 2015

First male amputee to appear on the catwalk

Personal trainer and model Jack Eyers has become the first male amputee to appear on the catwalk. Designer Antonio Urzi chose 25 year old Jack who is from Somerset, to appear at this week’s New York Fashion Week.

At the age of 16 Jack made the decision to have his right leg amputated, because of a rare birth condition (proximal femoral focal deficiency) which prevented it from growing properly.

Earlier, on learning of his selection, Jack said: “I could hardly believe it. It still doesn’t feel real, but I can’t wait to get out there and get stuck in. It’s such a massive step for me and the modelling industry…. I have no idea what to expect, so it’s pretty overwhelming. I just want to show that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back”.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Stuck On Benefits

Currently, if you are unable to work due to problems related to alcohol, drugs or obesity, you are able to claim employment support of £108.15 per week.

This week the government pushed the following question into the public arena: should people with problems like those outlined have their benefits stopped or reduced if they fail to tackle/seek help to solve their problem.

David Cameron, cynics might view his controversial words to be an integral part of his election campaign in the hope it will give him added support, said that he and the government will be actively 'incentivising' benefit claimants who are also addicts. Many have argued that rather than ‘incentivising’, such action would be akin to coercing/ attacking the 100,000 people who fall into this category.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cindy Crawford - '100% non-retouched'

A leaked "100% non-retouched” photograph of 49 year old mother of two super model Cindy Crawford has reignited a debate. The debate is centred on body image and tries to answer the very topical question; what do ’real women’ look like?

The photo taken during a 2013 Marie Claire photo shoot was never meant for public consumption. However, it recently went viral and has made a huge impact on social media.

CBS News showed the image to 3 shoppers and asks for their comments.

“[It shows] she is human, it's real much more natural than an air brushed photo”, said Martha.

“I think it's refreshing”, stated Lisa. “I love seeing that my body is normal and it is nothing to be ashamed of”.

Maxine said, “We are the same you know ..... and she is very beautiful”.

The channel and asked fitness expert Melissa for her opinion:

“I think it finally reveals the dark curtain behind air brushing. I think it makes us feel a little better, because we don't have to strive for this unattainable perfection….Now that we see that she [Cindy Crawford] has a wrinkly body and perhaps some cellulite; it's like okay”.

Marie Claire, in response to the social media storm, published the following statement on their website:

'It is real, it is honest and it is gorgeous. No matter whether photo came from it is enlightenment. We've always known that Crawford was beautiful; seeing her like this only makes us love her more.”

Cindy Crawford’s response focused on how she hoped the image would affect her 13-year-old daughter. She said:

“I try to be a good role model for Kaia in terms of just accepting myself, not saying does this make me look fat”.

Julie Court (My Body Beautiful’s founder) said:

“I don't expect to start seeing an abundance of real untouched images in the media. Simply put, ‘real images’ are considered to be too real too honest and far from perfect.

“This truth means that real images are unlikely to appeal to fashion houses and advertising in general, because they sell aspirations (hopes and dreams) as an integral part of the product.”


Friday, February 13, 2015

Couples, body confidence and the 'comfort zone’

It’s Valentines Day tomorrow, which makes this an opportune time to tell you about a recent couples related study*.

The study, which looked at 2,000 couples, has identified 30 ‘key signs’ that signal whether or not a couple’s relationship has entered ‘the comfort zone.’
It is clearly evident, when analysing the 30 ‘key signs’ denoting that a couple are comfortable with each other, that body confidence is a significant theme that is the foundation of many items on the list.

30 Signs that a relationship is functioning in the ‘comfort zone’:

1. Not wearing make-up
2. Not locking the bathroom door
3. Wearing pyjamas/lounge wear
4. Breaking wind in front of them
5. Not shaving your legs/face
6. Wearing your less attractive/non-matching underwear
7. Doing his/her laundry
8. Going to the toilet with the door open
9. Confiding in them over health concerns
10. Letting them look after you when you’re ill
11. You don’t mind crying in front of them
12. Taking calls/visits from their family
13. ‘Letting yourself go’ without worrying about it
14. Laughing when they take the mickey out of you
15. Letting them have house keys
16. Happy to have a conversation while naked
17. Knowing their views on marriage and kids
18. Telling them when they need a mint/deodorant
19. Shaving in front of them
20. Asking them to squeeze a spot/pluck a hair
21. Not fretting at the prospect of being in swimwear in front of them
22. Showering together
23. Going clothes shopping together
24. Making their lunch to take to work
25. Answering their phone
26. Leaving clothes at each other’s houses
27. Telling them your hang-ups
28. Finishing each other’s sentences
29. Calling them by a pet name
30. Talking about/knowing about ex-partners

* Poll commissioned by Measure (non-invasive home test that can detect bowel cancer).


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Things men are tired of hearing ...

This video list a few of the things that men say they are tired of hearing about their bodies. Such as:

To be a man you got to have:
... a huge d***
... six pack abs ...
... be tall
I'm tired of hearing people:
... analyse
... criticise
... appraise
... hate on my body
I'm tired of hearing:
... Be a man
... you're too skinny to be a man
    "Come on man why don't you eat a sandwich something"
... Real men have facial hair
... Do you lift bro?
In response to the negative often judgemental  body related comments; the men featured in the video fight back with:
- This is what I have been dealt with this is what I have.
- I think people forget that we are all built differently
- My body is not muscular
- My body is not flawless
- My body is not here for your pity
- This is just the way that my physique is. I can't do anything to change that.
- If we all looked the same I think that would be really boring.
- My body is
... a gift
... is cool
... is the s*
... is skinny, but I love it
- It may not be perfect but that's okay.
- My body is mine


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

How weight affects work

The health benefits of being within the normal weight range are often touted, but there are other less evident benefits such as financial.

There is an increasing amount of data that points to the fact the weight and the perceptions surrounding it, can negatively impact employment opportunities. E.g. Obese individuals are less likely to find employment. The issue was recently covered in the Channel 4 programme. Weighing Up The Enemy.

32 year old Claire Jones, who is obese, spoke about how her weight had adversely affected the outcome of an interview. She explained how she, a fully trained receptionist, was interviewed for a receptionist role. A few days later while standing in reception, she overheard two members of staff saying that she would have been perfect for the job, but they weren’t going to give it to her, because of her size and that they did not think it would be good for the company. This she confessed made her “feel anxious about the whole interview process.”

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