Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Visual Onslaught

As a mother of of two young children, this video gave me a lost to think about.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Anti aging creams and potions

This week we received yet more evidence (if any more was needed) that it's not just female celebrates who are doing all they can do keep age at bay. Jude Law, it has been reported, has just spent over 1,960 on anti-ageing (predominantly) cosmetic products.

I have calculated that Mr Law has sent about 1,952 more than I have ..... Despite this, taking into account recent studies on the true effects of expensive cosmetic creams and potions, I doubt there will be much 'wrinkle free' difference (cosmetics induced) between the pair of us.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grey Hair

According to the Mail, the audience at Calvin Klein's latest show, "gasped" when that fabulous Nineties supermodel Kristen McMenamy, (43) traversed the catwalk wearing a shiny silver dress compete with a "super-sleek head of silvery grey hair".
Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa said he chose older models because he wanted them 'to represent the women who actually buy my clothes'. At last!

I do not agree with Liz Jones conclusion that, "grey hair speaks volumes: it means you have more important things to worry about than looking unnaturally young"; Kristen's hair was dyed, a clear fashion statement. Despite this, I hope the increasing numbers of grey models/celebrities (often dyed) will result in naturally grey hair becoming more acceptable.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Vanity Sizing

Most women are aware of their approximate dress size. I say approximate, because in the last few years it has become more and more common for a persons dress size to be be determined by i) their true size ii) the store from which it is purchased and iii) the stores customer base. The phenomenon is known as vanity sizing, a scheme in which stores make clothing bigger so you feel smaller (by having to purchase a smaller size). e.g. A size 10 at Topshop will be different from one at Marks & Spencer, who target a more mature customer.

According to an article in the The Sunday Times, vanity sizing is on the increase. An M&S spokeswoman told the paper: "We are not sweetening the sizes or softening the blow for anyone but in 2007 we introduced a size 6 and a size 30 to our range and we tweaked the sizes on our website so they are based on an average body. We were trying to more accurately reflect what customers' body shapes would be showing them. We did not change the size of the garments."

John Lewis said it followed sizing guidelines from Sizemic but “emerging fashion trends and seasonal influences dictate sizing adjustments”. Gap said the way its sizes work “depend on the fit and style”.

Vanity sizing facts:-
A Marks & Spencer size 16 has risen from 38in at the bust, 31.5in at the waist and 41in at the hips in 2003 to 39.5-33-43 today
An M&S size ten has increased from 33.5-27-36.5 to 34-27-37
A John Lewis size 12 was 35.5-28-38 in 2008 but is now 36-30-38.5
Gap has expanded its size 14 from 37-29-39 two years ago to 37.5-29.5-40
The waist of a pair of men's French Connection slim-fit jeans was found to be six inches bigger than the advertised 30in
The waist of a size 12 skirt can vary from 28in at Next to 29in at Topshop, while a size eight bust is 31.5in at John Lewis but 38in in Gap

I hope the fashion industry will use common sense and introduce a standard way of sizing clothing (fixed measurements). It would make shopping so much quicker (less time in the changing room) and easier.   

Standard sizes would also have the added benefit of alerting the purchaser to the fact that their weight/size was increasing. Speaking from experience, weight is something that often creeps on you unnoticed.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Padded bras on children

Today Primark joined the ranks of high profile retailers like BHS, Tesco and Asda, who have come under criticism for selling overly sexualised clothing to young pre pubescent girls. The controversial product is a £4 bikini sets complete with padded bra.

A spokesman said: "Primark has taken note of the concern this morning regarding the sale of certain bikini tops for girls, a product line that sells in relatively small quantities ... The company has stopped the sale of this product line with immediate effect. Primark will donate all the profits made from this product line to a children's charity, and apologises to customers for any offence caused."

Penny Nicholls (a director at The Children's Society) was pleased with the Primark decision. "We know", said Nicholls, "from our research that commercial pressures towards premature sexualisation and unprincipled advertising are damaging children's wellbeing .... The evidence shows that adults feel children are more materialistic than in past generations, while children themselves feel under pressure to keep up with the latest trends."

I know that girls like to dress up in their mothers clothes, shoes and makeup; it's all part of growing up. However, in this scenario, the girls are in the safety of their own homes and are in no doubt that they are children and that their mothers are adults. The introduction of a padded bra i) blurs the distinction between adult/child and ii) puts too much emphasis on the breasts; going as far as creating the illusion of breasts where non exists.

I wouldn't dream of buying a padded bra for my 8 year old daughter. I'm pleased Primark have removed the bikini's, but the fact that someone in Primark thought that padded bras on children were acceptable/desirable is somewhat disturbing.


Monday, April 12, 2010

'A measure of my own value'

Demi Moore (47) recently told Elle magazine that, “I had an extreme obsession with my body. I made it a measure of my own value. I tried to dominate it, which I did, and I changed it multiple times over. But it never lasted and ultimately it didn’t bring me anything but temporary happiness. ”

It’s sad that Demi (like so many others) has placed such emphasis on her body and based so much of her self worth on its appearance.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

The truth about Beach Bodies

I spent last week on a sunny beach in the Canary Islands. On a daily basis, I was surrounded by hundreds of semi naked (and occasionally completely naked) bodies of all nationalities, ages, shapes and sizes.

Read this months article: the truth about 'Beach Bodies'