Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Unflattering mug shot

Times have certainly changed and not always for the better. There was a time, not so long ago, when having your mug shot in the media highlighting your misdemeanours was a matter of shame and embarrassment. Your strongest desire would be for your name and picture to be removed from public awareness and sight.

Now, for some individuals, having an unflattering mug shot is a source of greater disgrace and humiliation than being outed for committing a crime.

When 18 year old Amy Sharp escaped from Australia’s Surry Hills Corrective Services last Friday, the police statement announcing the escape was accompanied by two images of her. The statement and pictures, which showed a sad, makeup free Amy with her hair up in an untidy bun, was posted on Sydney’s 7 News Facebook page.

Almost instantly, Amy commented on the post from her personal profile with a more flattering image of herself and a simple request.

“can you use this photo, please and thank you ?

“Yours Truly, Amy Sharp xx”

Amy was later arrested and charged.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

A matter of perception

What you see when you look in the mirror is not necessarily what is really there, or what others will see. It's a matter of perception.

In the image the diet coke represents somebody who is thin, however when they look in the mirror they see themselves as fat.


Monday, August 22, 2016

TV presenters told to lose weight

The focus on female body size and pressure to be a certain size, if you are on TV or other mass media medium, is not just a Western issue. Recently Egypt's state broadcaster via the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) suspended eight of its female TV presenters and told them to lose weight.

The ERTU has given the women one month to lose weight and attain an "appropriate appearance", before they are allowed back on air. Interestingly, ERTU’s director, Safaa Hegazy (female) is a former state TV anchor.

Unsurprisingly the broadcasters decision was met with significant outrage and gave rise to countless public and private discussions that centered on the body size of women in the public eye. The Women's Centre for Guidance and Legal Awareness condemned the move, saying it "violates the constitution" and is a form of violence against women. It also called on the ERTU to backtrack. Despite the criticism, ERTU sources stated that the decision would not be reversed; lessening the negative impact by adding that the presenter’s pay and benefits would not be affected.

Khadija Khattab, one of the suspended presenters, said that viewers should decide for themselves if she is really "fat” and deserves to be prohibited from work on body size grounds. Another presenter admitted that the situation had upset their families and stated that the issues should have been addressed internally.

It is noteworthy that all the affected presenters were women and the station has not expressed any concerns about the quality of their work.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Boys body image problems

Body image is as much of a problem for UK secondary school boys as for girls a survey finds.

Click on image to view enlargement


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Olympic athlete body shamed and defended on Twitter

22 year old Alexa Moreno has achieved what few Mexican’s have; she secured a place on the Mexican Rio Olympic team in a category that rarely sees Mexican participation. This week Alexa competed in the vault, beam, uneven bars and floor exercise events in the artistic gymnastics qualifications. She finished in the 31st place.

While some people congratulated the athlete on her Olympic debut, others took the opportunity to criticize her physical appearance (muscular build). Negative comments included:

Penabot de Metal @vooltrekers
[Posted a picture of a cartoon pig with the comment], Los Simpson lo hicieron de nuevo, predijeron el sobrepeso de Alexa Moreno.
Translation - “The Simpsons it did again, they predicted Alexa Moreno’s weight.”

El Patriota ‪@DonZambucas
[Posted a picture of a cartoon pig with the comment], La gimnasta mexicana Alexa Moreno en su segundo salto. Ya fue eliminada la muy pig.
Translation -   “The Mexican gymnast, Alexa Moreno, in her second jump. The pig was already eliminated.”

[Posted a picture of  Pepper Pig with the comment], Imagenes exclusivas de Alexa Moreno al terminar su rutina de gimnasia.
Translation - “Exclusive images of Alexa Moreno at the end of her gymnastic routine.”

Happily several individuals jumped to Alexa’s defence, moved the focus to the her significant achievement and at the same time restored my faith in humanity (human kindness).

Dottie Minerva @DerpySeaCaballo
The people who are hating on ‪#AlexaMoreno probably can't even touch their toes

Julio Cruz
‪#AlexaMoreno‪, thank you for giving many young Mexican girls hope. You rock...

nano lee @naomiylee
why are y'all even body-shaming Alexa Moreno? it's not gonna make her less of a gymnast or an Olympics competitor.

Yogini Lourdes R ‪@InnerPowerYoga1
Proud of Mexican gymnast ‪#AlexaMoreno who on top of being an olympian, has to endure degrading comments. You inspire

May ‪@Mayyghen
‪#AlexaMoreno‪ is amazing. And freaking looks amazing. That is all.‬

Maria Arellano ‪@maryfher_
Histórico y rara vez una Mexicana en ‪#GimnasiaArtistica Alexa Moreno ˇEres Grande! ‪#MEX en ‪#JuegosOlimpicos ‪#Rio2016

Translation: “A Mexican in the #ArtisticGymnastics is rare and historic. Alexa Moreno, you’re great!”



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Jennifer Aniston goes on record

Jennifer Aniston is fed up of the way she is treated by the media and has placed her thoughts on record.


“If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues. The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance... a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early.

The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. We use celebrity “news” to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation. Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical “imperfection”?


From years of experience, I’ve learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon. What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are. We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up, and maybe some day the tabloids will be forced to see the world through a different, more humanized lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullshit.


Monday, August 08, 2016

Don’t stare at me because I’m different

In ITV’s Jeremy Kyle’s programme ‘Don’t stare at me because I’m different,’ Jeremy talked with Adam Pearson about Adam’s facial deformity. Adam discussed his attitudes to his disability and the public’s response to his appearance.



Jeremy: “I am interested how this amazing attitude [is sustained]; there must be moments when you think, ‘oh God I can't bare the way people react or I feel alone’. Have you ever felt like, I don't want to face the world?”

Adam: “I think everyone has good days and bad days, irrespective of how they look or what they go through; particularly in our appearance beauty obsessed culture. Everyone can get like that; you need to kind of snap out of it. The people that matter don't mind and the people that mind don't matter”.

Jeremy: “As you get older, you are now 28, what's the worst things that happen now? Have you been able to live as normal a life as possible or not?”

Adam: “I really dislike the term normal; I don't think anyone wants to be normal. No one stands up on career day and says, ‘I just want to be average’, so yes forget that”.

Jeremy: “If you had one message to finish, what would it be my friend?”

Adam: “That facial disfigurement isn't mutually exclusive. Anyone at any point could fly head first through a car windscreen, be attacked in the street, acquire a facial sarcoma or something and then in less than a second your life could change like that [clicks his fingers]. Then if you were in that situation how would you want to be treated and then take that logic (attitudes and actions) and apply it to yourself”.

Jeremy: “Unbelievable! A real real pleasure to meet you and just inspirational and I mean that and I know that people watching this will feel exactly the same way. [Turning to the studio audience] Adam ladies and gentlemen; give him a round of applause”.


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Now I just feel normal

In a world where bad news dominates the headlines, here is something positive that has a happy ending.

20 year old Ellie Jones from Rhyl was born with a congenital condition that stopped her jawbones from growing properly. The disorder, which was not diagnosed until she was 14 years old, caused facial deformity and severely misaligned teeth.

Over a six year period Ellie bravely endured painful operations, a processes that ultimately changed her appearance and boosted her self confidence. Speaking* about the first operation Emma said:

“It was really painful, but had to be done to sort the problem. I was on a liquid diet for about a month, which was really hard, and I couldn’t talk properly. I had to use a notepad to communicate. After a while I was able to mumble a few words, and had a lisp for a while due to how swollen my mouth was.”

A year later she underwent corrective surgery on her chin, which was also misshapen:

“I’d always felt like my chin was too small, so the second procedure, which was optional, made another big difference.
I mostly just felt relieved. I finally felt like I could be myself. Now I just feel normal.

View enlarged images: one two

*Daily Post