Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gossip magazines

This week a six month study of 550 teenagers by Cardiff University has concluded that gossip magazines are encouraging eating disorders in teens. The gossip magazines like Heat, OK, Reveal & Now, achieve this by their constant negative comments about celebrities weight and appearance. Worryingly, the study found that teens who regularly read gossip magazines were more likely to participate in extreme dieting and suffer from eating disorders. 

“We are used to seeing images of extremely thin women in magazines”, Cardiff University psychologist James White, told The Times. “With the message that being thin is positive. "But", he continued, "with gossip magazines you have the reverse. You have the ridiculing of being overweight, with the message that being overweight is bad or negative. That seems to be a more powerful message for teenagers”.

I often reflect on the world that my children, particularly my daughter is growing up in and count myself lucky. Women, even those with a public profile,  were allowed even expected to be a healthy weight and their bodies were not put under a microscope as they are today.  Modern gossip magazines are mostly  dedicated to publishing countless pages detailing every pound of weight  a celebrity gains or loses.

Why do women continue to voluntarily consume media dedicated to the public praise or humiliation of female celebrities week after week. Someone who ‘looks great’ one week is ‘shockingly underweight the next’; or 'beautiful’ one week to having ‘unsightly wrinkles the next.

We are also concerned about teenagers, whose vulnerability often makes them susceptible to the underlying message that appearance is everything.

It’s about time the women, who write gossip for consumption by other women and teens, started to take their responsibility far more seriously.

 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Un-airbrushed campaign

Celebrities and models often look great in photographs, because they've been airbrushed.

If you're feeling anxious about how you will look in your bikini this summer, Debenhams new un-airbrushed campaign may help.

Read Article

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The brain and body image

A new study arguing that the brain regularly distorts body image has recently been published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researches believe that their findings could be a possible explain for the growth of eating disorders like anorexia.

Distorted perception, states the article, which is associated with some body image issues, occurs as a consequence of the way the brain stores and reports information about different parts of the body. 

"These findings may well be relevant to psychiatric conditions involving body image such as anorexia nervosa, as there may be a general bias towards perceiving the body to be wider than it is," said lead researcher Matthew Longo.

"They [anorexic patients] are able to judge other people's bodies quite accurately and would describe someone else the same size as themselves correctly, but still not be able to do that about their own weight and shape," Longo concluded.

 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Disturbing story of the week award

The most disturbing story of the week award goes to Sarah Burge.

Mrs Burge is a 50 year old mother who: -

        - has injected her teen daughter with Botox

        - is teaching her seven-year-old to pole dance, claiming that it's no different to playing on a climbing frame.

Mrs Burge claims to have had £500,000 of cosmetic surgery and has stated that she supports Poppy's (seven)  wish to have surgery when she is older.   "Poppy wants a boob job when she is old enough" she said, "and what my daughters want, they get. She also wears high heels and make-up, it makes her feel pretty."

We agree with the parenting experts and child abuse campaigners who have warned that she is sexualising Poppy far too young. 

Full story

 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eating disorders

Eating disorders are not a diet gone wrong or a fad or fashion. They are a way of coping with difficult thoughts, emotions or experiences.
Fact Sheet

 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Weight jokes at the Glamour awards

This years Glamour Women of the Year awards took place in London yesterday, attended by Cheryl Cole, Billie Piper, Pixie Lott, Christine Bleakley, Alexandra Burke, Michael McIntyre, Fearne Cotton and Dizzee Rascal and Avatar star Zoe Saldana among others.

Sadly today's media buzz is not about what the celebrities were wearing or after party shenanigans; instead its focuses on an onstage row between Patrick Stewart and James Corden.

As a Patrick Stewart fan, it was disappointing to hear him say in response to what he perceived was Jaime's less than attentive behaviour, "from where I was I could see your belly and that was from right at the back of the room".

James retorted, "Sorry, I'm waiting for the punch line. You could see my belly... I can see you dying right now.''  Undaunted, Patrick referenced a quip James had made earlier about fancying Nick Jonas. He said: "If you fancy one of the Jonas Brothers, cover your belly." 

Whatever Patrick may have felt about James's behaviour and attitude, making fat/overweight jokes was insulting, inappropriate and unacceptable in modern society. The audience, clearly unimpressed with Patrick's unbecoming performance, responded by jeering him.

After receiving her award from Patrick, Zoe Saldana jumped to James's defence, saying to a round of applause, 'For whatever it's worth, I like your belly.'

After Sir Patrick had left the stage, James told the audience, 'I feel bad for people who haven't seen my belly', before he lifted he shirt and rubbed his stomach.

 

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The truth about the male celebrity body

In Friday's GMTV interview, Ashton Kutcher confessed that he wished he hadn't shown his wife, Demi Moore his latest film Killers.  Why? "Now", moaned Kutcher, she expects it (his body which was bulked up for the movie), to look like it did in the film and it doesn't".

"You can't maintain that", he continued. "it's not possible. Really I disappoint her every evening .... When I walk in she just like (he pulled a disappointed face) oh! She's like,  I know what that's capable of and your not living up to your potential".

At last, an A list celebrity telling the truth about the male star/model body.

 

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Compliments

New research by St Tropez and The Prince's Trust charity has revealed that body image still remains a major concern for young people, with nearly three-quarters of 16-30 year olds admitting they don't feel confident, and 60% laying the blame for this squarely on being unhappy with their bodies.

Company Magazine’s recent Pay It Forward body-confidence campaign launch, detailed the above findings and urged everyone to fill in a compliment slip, before giving them to their family and friends. Each slip would detail three things the sender liked about the way the receiver looked. The admirable aim being, “to give bad body days the elbow”.

Being told what is good about your appearance will inevitably give you a boost, however I believe the compliments would be more effective and longer lasting if they also detailed none appearance based positive attributes.

The message, particularly to the young, that their self worth is NOT purely based on outward appearance needs to be shouted from the roof tops.