Friday, May 27, 2016

Big and beautiful

A baby girl that doctors claim is the worlds “heaviest newborn baby girl ever” weighing 15 pounds, has been born (by C-section) in India.

The newborn’s mother is a healthy (not diabetic) 19 year old woman, who is five-foot-nine tall and weighs 200 lbs. The obstetrician who delivered the record breaking baby said: “She came as a big surprise for all of us. The surgery took place for nearly half an hour and it was free of any risk. She is really big and beautiful”.

The average baby weighs seven-pounds, five-ounces at birth. In November 2015 a baby boy weighing 14.77 lbs was also born in India. The record for the heaviest weight (for a healthy baby) is held by a boy who weighed 22-pounds, eight-ounces at his birth in Italy in 1955.

 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The UK’s first plus-size male model

The UK’s first plus-size male model, 6'1 Ben Whit, has been signed by London’s Bridge Models. Bridge Models has to date signed two more plus size male models.

"Ben (who is a gardener and personal trainer) is a great example of a tall, broad man that is into health and fitness and struggles to find clothes that fit," the company told BBC Newsbeat:

"The fact he's a personal trainer is a bonus”, the company continued. “We feel strongly about promoting healthy body image with our models. [We have listened to the public] time and time again about the desire to see different shapes and sizes represented.

"This feels like a progressive step towards representing a wider range of body shapes and sizes in this industry, both female and male.

"There is still a long way to go to take things from specialist areas and token bookings to the 'norm' for the industry and society."

Commenting on his ‘plus size’ label Ben said:

"I think that people jump straight to one conclusion when it comes to the phrase plus-size. But it means many things and for women in modelling it's about being curvier and for men, representing those that are broader….I'm really glad that companies are now catering for the larger man."

Reaching out to plus size models both male and female is a growing trend which is expected to increase within modelling agencies and the fashion industry at large.

 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Most beautiful dog

An Australian positive body attitudes campaign, The Moderation Movement, recently posted a message to help educate young children about body diversity, self acceptance and acceptance of others.

The photo titled, ‘We never judge a Labrador for not looking like a Greyhound’ depicted nine dogs of various breeds, sizes, shapes and colours. Along side the image was the message:

“One way you can explain size diversity and acceptance to young children is to point out how different dogs are. Some are long and lean, some have a lot of muscle, others are round and soft, some tiny, some large, and we never expect them to be anything other than how they were born. We don't judge a Labrador for not looking like a Greyhound. It would be completely ludicrous to choose one type of dog as the "most beautiful" and then tease, shame, bully and entice all other dogs to achieve the same look. Ridiculous, right? Even this post might seem ridiculous...”

The enlightening post was shared over 1400 times, received over 1300 likes.

 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

If you don’t like your imperfections

Click on image to view enlargement

Match.com has found itself in hot water over an ad which implies that having freckles or different coloured eyes are imperfections, by their use of the tagline; “If you don’t like your imperfections, someone else will.”

After much criticism of the ad, which as labelled “offensive” and accused of actively “bullying” individuals with red hair; the company’s spokesperson (speaking to the Huffington Post) said:

“We have taken note of the response about our advert concerning freckles. Following this feedback, we are in discussions with our relevant partners about removing these posters as soon as possible.

“We believe freckles are beautiful. The intention of our ‘Love Your Imperfections’ campaign is to focus on the quirks and idiosyncrasies that people wrongly perceive to be imperfections – this can include freckles, a feature that is sometimes seen as an imperfection by people who have them.

“We’re sorry if this ad has been interpreted in a different way and we apologise for any offence caused, this was not our intention.

“Our overall campaign is all about celebrating perceived physical and behavioural imperfections, from having freckles to being chubby, messy or clumsy.
“The adverts are designed to encourage everyone to be proud of their individuality, as the features that make us unique are often the ones that make us most attractive.”

Personally speaking, I think the ad is a high profile PR debacle. If you want to attract (pun intended) new customers, the very last thing you should do is make them feel that they are not ‘perfect’ enough to join; or worse that they will be judged as ‘imperfect’ by existing members.

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Watchers

Ever wondered what total strangers think of your appearance?  Overweight Haley Morris-Cafiero has travelled the world and captured hard evidence of how people respond to her physical presence. She has photographs herself in various locations being leered at, laughed at or ignored by the general public.

After posting some of her images online last year, Hayley was met with a mixture of disgust and praise for her work.  The images and online comments have been collected together in her book, The Watchers. Hayley hopes her photography can provide others with confidence in their own skin.

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How skin tone affects western beauty ideals

Today we will present a passionate US post that highlights skin tone and its association with feminine beauty.

Excerpts:

Why has Lil’ Kim seemingly lightened her skin? Because of the absurd, but very present, social advantage for black people that comes with having lighter skin.
There was a time when Lil’ Kim represented a brand of unapologetic self-love for black women…I’m not sure what she’s now championing. In a series of pictures she posted on Instagram, she is virtually unrecognizable.

While we have debated whether other celebrities like Beyoncé and Rihanna have actually lightened their skin or if the magazines that featured their images had photoshopped their complexions, with Kim, there surely can be little question.

It looks as though she has lightened her once black-girl-brown complexion to one that’s not so brown at all. Her hair is longer, straighter, blonder. Her once round nose is now thin. Even her eyes sit differently on her face. She’s changed, in ways that words can’t even begin to capture. And it hurts….

We live in the same world she does. And all over that world, people of colour use a variety of chemicals to lighten the complexion of their skin. In fact, wherever there are people of color—Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States—there is skin bleaching. In places where the majority of the population has browner or darker skin, wearing relatively lighter skin provides social advantage; and for women particularly, the social advantage that comes with having lighter skin is being seen, and thus treated, as more beautiful and attractive….

Hers [Lil’ Kim] is an image that reminds us of the pervasive and insidious power of whiteness. We, as black women and girls, are assaulted by it every day. We’re told our skin is too dark, our hair is too kinky, our bodies are too big. We’re given options to change all of those things about ourselves—from skin lighteners, to chemical hair relaxers….

Read full article

 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bo Gilbert the 100 year old model

Bo Gilbert, who is 100 years old, has made history by becoming the oldest model to feature in Vogue. She was chosen by Harvey Nichols for a special campaign to celebrate the magazine's 100th anniversary. Bo’s picture appears in Vogue’s commemorative June issue, which went on sale last Thursday.

Appearance conscious Bo, who never goes out without make-up said, “I love wearing nice things it's always appealed to me and still does”. Commenting on the atypical photo of an elderly model in Vogue; Bo said, “I do things that I think a lot of people wouldn't do at my age”. When viewing the finished photo she exclaimed: “Ah it's astonishing!” Chuckling she added, “Its pretty isn't it”.

 

Friday, May 06, 2016

My perfect body

The BBc’s Welshteens documentary My Perfect Body eloquently detailed an attention grabbing commentary on body image issues. The programme focussed on the experiences of teenagers one of whom was 18-year-old Jordan, whose body image issues grew over time until it morphed into body dysmorphic disorder...

Jordan was a victim of bullying at school and grew up feeling that he did not fit in: “It wasn't like punching, bullying or anything like that; it was just picking and picking all the time”.

“School was really hard for Jordan, really hard,” said his mother. “He felt the bullying was because of how he looked. It progressed over time and he got very down about it. He never went out through the door; he was always staying in and playing on his computer. Even then they'd get at him through the Xbox and have a go at him or wouldn't let him play on their team; there was no escape from them really”.

When he turned 18 Jordan found escape in going to the gym and obtained enormous satisfaction when noting the effects that exercise had on his body: “If I don't go to the gym” he said, “I don't feel right and I've got to do every body part; I can't miss one body part. I use to feel quite small, but when you go to the gym it makes you feel a lot better. I'm not scared of anyone or anything like that; you just overcome all your fears.

Read Article

 

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

When you really take a look at yourself

They say you cannot change something until you can no longer live with the current situation. Vanessa (30 years old) weighed 235 lb when she decided that enough was enough and that it was time to take control of her weight and live the life she wanted to live.

"My weight definitely holds me back”, said Vanessa*. “I feel like a second-class citizen. I feel like, no matter how great I am, no matter how respectful I am, no matter how kind I am; I will always be judged because of the way I look. e.g. ‘She is lazy’ and ‘she doesn't care’. I feel like I'm beautiful on the inside and I want my outside to match.

"I just hate having this stomach. When everyone is wearing gorgeous dresses I have to put on some kind of cardigan to hide these (indicating her to upper arms). When you really take a look at yourself and you don't know that person and you feel sorry for that person it just makes me angry.

“I have these moments where I just feel empty, like I have nothing and I turn to food for comfort. I won't answer my phone, I won't get up from the couch all day and I order food and I eat. I exit my consciousness and it happens when I'm unconscious. By the time I am done eating and started getting rid of the evidence and kind of realise, I just did that. I don't want to feel disgust towards myself I just want to feel love.

“I am a professional singer; when I perform I am a completely different person. In my mind my visual is [I am a] ‘bad ass’ on stage. My weight has held me back from opportunities where you have to be a specific weight and fit into specific outfits. I come off the stage feeling so high and I will have a moment where my fans and friends have taken pictures and they are posting them and there're tagging me and I see them and I think it's not her (stage persona). And then all of a sudden no matter how great my performance was I just go from the highest of highs to just crashing”.

Vanessa’s determination to lose weight and get her life on track resulted in the loss of 80lbs in 12 weeks. Her success (after countless failed attempts) was achieved by a diet and exercise regime and the help of a personal trainer. Commenting on her success and how it has impacted her emotionally and physically Vanessa said:

"I saved my life, but I also realise what it takes; I actually worked on not just the weight. This time around I worked on actually being healthy. It's a different way of doing this and I feel like it will continue for the rest of my life”.

 

* Fat Chance  - TLC