Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How Many More?!?!

I don’t know if anyone remembers when this happened or even knew about it. These two sisters, both models, Luisel and Eliana Ramos died within six months of each other. Both deaths were as a result of malnutrition.

Luisel,22, suffered a fatal heart attack during a catwalk show in August 2006, having reportedly eaten nothing but lettuce leaves for three months. Eliana,18, was found dead in her bedroom in February 2007, also had a heart attack and her death was linked to her having an eating disorder, anorexia.

Another model from Brazil, Ana Carolina Reston, 21, died as a result of anorexia and lived on apples and tomatoes prior to her death. Ana weighed 84 lbs (6 stone). She died on the eve of a Giorgio Armani photo shoot.

The agency that represented the Ramos sisters said that ‘clearly the death of the sisters had to be genetic and not their diet.’ They found it absurd that people could possibly think that the girls had eating disorders.

The models' deaths sparked an international debate about the ethics of using models who have "size zero" measurements — a 31.5in bust, a 23in waist and 34in hips. The average waist size of a British eight-year-old is 22in.

Madrid's fashion week (2007) did ban some models from the catwalk for being "excessively skinny". The British Fashion Council, the organiser of London Fashion Week, refused to ban size zero models but wrote to designers asking them only to use “healthy-looking girls.”

There is clearly the need for further decisive action and these deaths showed the grave seriousness of the issue. It was yet another WAKE UP call to the fashion industry. But how many wake-up calls does it need to have before it recognizes the seriousness of the situation it faces? How many more models, girls and women have to die before something is done with regards to the social responsibility of the fashion industry where girls, women and men are pressured to literally waste away to be the ‘perfect size’?

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Size Zero Cult?

Who would have thought that zero would have such a powerful impact on the world today, especially women. What is the allure, almost cult like obsession to become a size zero? I only just found out that there is a double zero?!?!

Zero is the ideal status symbol, fueled by a world in which skinny celebrities and models fit right in, where coffee, cigarettes and drugs replace food and you can order a plate of “skinny” sushi – sans rice.

Size Zero is a women’s clothing size in the US system equivalent to a UK size 4, with a waist measurement of a tiny 23 inches, the average girth of an 8 year old girl! If you have thighs that come in more than 34 inches and you have a bust greater than 32 inches you are fat according to their standards.

I have watched America’s Next Top Model and seen girls who are already stick thin be reduced to tears when being lambasted for having the audacity to have a whopping 36-inch hip measurement and told to go on a diet and get into shape. These girls are willing to do anything to squeeze into a pair of jeans with the magic number ‘0’ on the label, no matter the side effects. Experts say that being this thin can lead to loss of periods, hair falling out, dry skin and even thinning bones. Anything to walk the catwalk!

This size zero obsession is not only prevalent in the US but it is a worldwide epidemic. Stores are stocking more size zero clothing because zero is seen as the ideal and only acceptable size today. And if that’s not enough some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them women, some have become so thin that they can squish into the new double zero category, including Desperate Housewives’ minx Eva Longoria.

As the media industry idolizes ever tinier starlets, health experts warn that the super-skeletal trend is an eating disorder time bomb. The numerous ‘diets’, diet pills and miracle products that promise to make you into a stick thin model are empty promises. Not only don’t they work but it more often times than not leads to some sort of eating disorder.

More than 60 per cent of teenage girls use some sort of unhealthy method of weight control. These numbers are frightening and they tell us that we need to help our girls. We need to make them feel better about themselves, not to buy into the lie that the media is feeding to them. We need to teach them to eat healthy and avoid unhealthy weight control behavior. Ultimately, people with eating disorders look to skinny role-models for inspiration, and they have never had so many images to motivate them.

So what do we do? We start by making a stand against the lies bombarding us. We stop buying and looking at magazines and shows that promote the size zero mentality, the ‘you have to do anything to be a zero.’ We teach them beauty starts on the inside and shines through to the outside. Beauty does not have a predetermined size, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. From the petite to the plus size, we are all beautiful and don’t have to fit into a mould that tells us what size every part of our anatomy should be. We teach them to eat healthy and exercise. we teach them that they can and do look good no matter their size. And most importantly we teach them to love themselves and be… women.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Miss World Contestant Told To Fatten Up!

Miss World pageant organizers have asked Miss England, Georgia Horsley, to fatten up. Pageant organizers want "their girls to be more voluptuous and womanly and curvy, you know, rather than the stick-thin, size-0 models that you see around."

Bravo to them!!! Maybe I will watch the pageant, hmm... Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Truth About Size Zero-MUST SEE!

Last week I watched a documentary called 'The Truth About Size Zero', it is a confronting Expos'e of what a woman goes through in order to reach the perfect size 0.

What shocked me is this young woman was told that in order to 'make it' in the U.S.A she would have to go down two dress sizes. Louise Redknapp is a perfect size 8, but that is unacceptable to certain media elements.

What Louise goes through will shock you and if it doesnt it should. This young woman begins her 'diet nightmare' as an experiment and as she slowly loses weight one can see the affect it is having on all aspects of her life, including her own health.

Through it her family life suffers in that hunger makes Louise not only irritable, she becomes ill. Her own health comes under the microscope through her local Doctor who monitors her progress. He warns her to stop, but Louise is determined.

As her quest progresses her inability to concentrate becomes evident as does her speech which slows down. Her thoughts are totally consumed with food, to the point of obsession.

Finally, she is able to fit into a size 0, but she looks gaunt, she has aquired what I call the 'concentration camp look'. There is no beauty in looking like skeleton, None!

This is a lengthy YouTube programe but I encourage all mothers of young girls to have patience and watch it.

It is now becoming the responsibility of mothers to warn their daughters that the photo's they see of 'perfect models' are air brushed. There is NO such thing as a perfect body, even models have cellulite and little bumps, but the media wont show that.

In order to stop the media war against women it is incumbent upon mothers to teach their young girls that the media lies. Every photograph of the perfect model figure is a LIE.

Once again please have patience and click each link and see for yourselves Louise Redknapp's descent into diet hell. Just click the LINKS below.

The Truth About Size ZERO PART ONE

The Truth About Size ZERO PART FOUR

The Truth About Size ZERO PART FIVE

Remember in Part One she is already considered too large. It is confronting. It is challenging. It is Must See Viewing.

Do let me know what you all think of this effort to be a size ZERO?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Plus Size Fashion

Here is another plus size fashion show for the woman with curves. You don't have to be a size 4 or 6 to look both elegant and sexy. These pics prove it. Would YOU wear these clothes?

Can anyone say that these plus size ladies look awful? Do YOU think that?

Being a plus sized woman doesn't exclude you from looking your best. These plus size models look great, so can YOU. What do YOU think?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Deception, Manipulation and Women

It’s heartbreaking to see young women convinced there’s something repulsive about their own bodies

In our society, adult female bodies are treated like mistakes that continually need correcting. It’s too small, it’s too hairy, it’s the wrong shape, it’s the wrong colour. We’re seen to be badly designed somehow, needing extra stuff to make them okay. Being unhappy about your body is often presented as one of the essential personality traits of women, IF we believe what society tells us!!! We just instinctively hate our bodies, and, we are brought up to believe that’s normal.

Take Bridget Jones and her ilk. Women who are obsessed with how they look, the size of their butt, and convinced they are the wrong shape are an absolute staple of women’s fiction, and Bridget is hailed as representing ‘everywoman’. Of course Bridget is humorous, and exaggerates the obsessiveness to comic effect; but the fact is there is so much truth to it.

It’s almost seen as an essential part of the female experience. If I was to say, if asked, that I’m completely happy with my body and wouldn’t want to change it, I’d be viewed as arrogant. Who does she think she is? What’s the question female celebrities are usually asked in interviews? ‘If you could change any part of your body, what would it be?’ If you think there’s something wrong with your body, change it. If your lips aren’t the right shape, fake it. If your hair is the wrong colour, dye it. If your skin isn’t matte enough or glossy enough or good enough, change it. If your eyelashes are too thin, change it. If your body isn’t good enough, get something done.

Girls who’ve been brought up on the idea that our bodies can be altered at a whim by make-up and everything else, think of cosmetic surgery as the next logical step. I’m not saying that if you wear lipstick you will eventually have a boob job. Of course not!

I’m aware I may sound really radical here, on the one hand I refute the concept that there is an unchangeable standard of beauty and it’s only natural and right that women should try to attain it. But on the other, I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with having a fashionable hair cut, being interested in trendy clothes, or being bright and colourful. And I can’t deny the fact that makeovers are just - well - fun! Nevertheless, I think that women are seen, far more than men, as changeable creatures.

Nothing demonstrates more clearly that women are seen as changeable creatures than the makeover. The traditional before and after shots; the gasps when the ‘new’ woman is brought out ‘you look amamzing!’, the fact of how completely different they look surely says something about how femininity is a construction. Ever noticed that men who have makeovers don’t look as different as the women tend to do? Does this mean that women are essentially, inherently, blank canvases to be filled in and altered by fashion stylists, make-up artists - or plastic surgeons? I’d like to think not!

There are many, many examples of the makeover factor, and of women being encouraged to change themselves to fit in with what other people think they should be. The coolest character gets made over and is instantly more acceptable and attractive.

At the end of the film The Breakfast Club, the coolest female character who dresses in black, sulks and peers out from under her duffle coat through thick black eyeliner, gets made over and is instantly more attractive and acceptable to the other characters. She’s forced into white, preppy clothes - and gets to wear make-up, which instantly makes her look far better, of course, and allows her to get the guy. In Grease, Sandy only gets to be popular when she rejects her uncool look and fakes it as a raunchy leather-clad wild-child. How many times have we seen that tired plot line?

Many times, in stories like Cinderella and My Fair Lady, updated for modern times by Miss Congeniality, in which Sandra Bullock plays an ‘unladylike’ FBI agent who gets to work undercover as a beauty queen. The trailers showed a male colleague shouting at her ‘Don’t worry - no-one thinks of ya that way.’ Presumably, when she emerges swaying in a tight pink dress, hair gleaming, they darn well do.

So, breast surgery is just a type of makeover for girls who want to ‘look normal’. Nevertheless, some women have claimed that getting a boob job is a feminist act. All the women who get breast enlargements will claim they are doing for themselves, not for anyone else, they’re doing it to empower themselves. Of course they are doing it for themselves. Who else would they be doing it for? But the fact is, they’re doing it so they’ll be happy with their own body, in a breast obsessed society. I find it hard to believe that if they lived in a remote society and had never heard of cosmetic surgery, they’d somehow have an inherent, deep-seated unhappiness with the size of their breasts and want to make them bigger!

What do I think is behind the plastic surgery, weight loss, and fashion industries? I think it is the underlying expectation that women hate their bodies, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. An expectation created to manipulate and use women for their greedy monetary gains and nothing else! Is it really any wonder!?!? The idea that women are changeable, able to make ourselves over in a few hours, or by a team of make-up artists and hair-stylists, or indeed, by a few days spent having plastic surgery, add that to a culture obsessed with a part of the female body - the breast at the moment, there you have it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What This Blog IS About

This blog is about helping women to be true to themselves. To like themselves as they are, where they are. But that does not mean they have to stay as they are. It's about liking yourself.

We all have lumps and bumps, but guess what? That is normal. What is abnormal is to loathe your body because of the natural curvy shape which is womanly.

Our blog is about making healthy choices. If you want to lose weight then change your lifestyle do NOT diet, they do NOT work.

In order to change your lifestyle you have to decide what suits you best. It is essential that you eat more healthily, while not depriving yourself of the foods you love. Simply eat less of them.

It also means choosing an exercise regime that works for you. It is no good deciding to 'work out' if you hate excercise, you wont stick to it. Remember you have to do this for the rest of your life.

The biggest mistake made is when women go on diets, do the excercise and once they have achieved their 'ideal weight' they then then stop the diet and stop the excercise. This is a recipe for disaster. You will simply regain all the weight you have lost if not more.

That is why making a lifestyle change is crucial, dont go for the quick 'fix it' ideaology.

Begin by liking who you are. If you despise your body then you will continue to despise your body even after you have lost the weight. You will always perceive yourself as 'fat', even though your figure is perfectly normal.

Our message is simple. Like who you are. Embrace life, Live it, Love it. BE YOU, beautiful, vibrant and unique.

In the above picture. Do YOU think these women are too ugly and too fat to be happy?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jennifer Hudson-Victory Over Prejudice

When Jennifer Hudson was voted out of 'American Idol' there were screams of racial prejudice, I take a different view.

I dont think colour has anything to do with it, my own personal opinion is that Miss Hudson was voted out because of her weight.

Jennifer Hudson has talent, but she broke an unwritten rule, women who have curves must be apologetic. Miss Hudson was not apologetic if anything this was a woman with attitude, the right attitude.

The one thing that a fuller figured woman is supposed to do is to 'cower' to others. Jennifer Hudson didn't cower before the likes of Simon Cowell who made his disdain obvious. This Diva with attitude instead took him on and proved that Simon Cowell and others were wrong about her.

Unfortunately or fortunately this young woman was not judged on her talent alone but on her looks, her weight to be precise but Jennifer had the talent and the courage to step out and believe in herself.

If she had been a size 4, 6, 8 etc she may have missed out on the role in 'Dreamgirls' instead this woman walked away with the Oscar for best supporting actress.

Jennifer Hudson is a woman to be admired in that she didnt hang her head in shame but instead defied her critics by remaining true to herself.

What is YOUR opinion of Jennifer Hudson?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Against Size 0's-YouTube-Be YOU!

Just be YOU. Feminine, curvy, confident, fantastic and fabulous. That is YOU.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Skinny Issues

Why do we think that only plus size women have body issues? Naturually thin women also have body image problems but because they are not carrying extra pounds around different parts of their anatomy we take little note of their own body loathing.

Nicole Kidman while growing up hated her body. Because she was so thin, tall and gangly many boys made fun of her flat chest and her boyish figure. Nicole longed for a more voluptuous body she especially hated the fact that her bust size was almost non existant.

When we look at Nicole it is hard for plus size women to imagine that she would have a problem and yet Nicole did.

Another woman who had body image problems was the lovely Jackie Kennedy. Yet we look at her and see a beautiful woman of extraordinary grace. But the truth is Jackie disliked many parts of her body, she felt her shoulders were too wide and hated the fact that she was also flat chested. It also hurt her deeply that her husband the late President Kennedy seemed to find well endowed women attractive. The late Jackie Kennedy was a woman full of insecurities about her body image she also longed for a more voluptuous figure.

Once again in Princess Diana we see another woman who hated her figure. Diana didnt like the fact that she seemed to have no waist. For a woman of 5 ft 10" her body was actually in proportion but to Diana's eyes, she didnt have that cinched in waist that she longed for. Over the years the late Princess learned how to dress to hide what she felt was the worst part about her figure.

Why do we assume that because a woman is thin, she has no image problems?

Let us hope oneday that all women, plus size and petite sized women can get past the media madness and accept themselves as they are, beautiful, vibrant, giving and talented.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Weight And Discrimination

Seasons come and go, but unfortunately certain things are harder to change. Fashions evolve and trends race on, but an underlying aesthetic of body image, beauty and size continues to prevail. We have grown so accustomed to associating a woman's beauty with the slenderness of her waistline and the length of her thin legs that we hardly even realize... We have fallen victim to a terrible form of discrimination: SIZISM.

For at least the past four decades a culmination of factors and events have whetted our visual taste buds towards a decisively thin beauty aesthetic. Society has drilled into our heads for decades we need to be thin, thin, thin! Do you remember seeing many itty bitty pioneer women? And the nudes in the paintings and sculptures years ago? No way!

Through the 70's, silhouettes began loosing their curvy lusciousness and were literally stripped down to a bare minimum of skin and bones. The 'objects of desire' being portrayed in the images ceased to be the clothes or accessories but became the models themselves. Since then, it is needless to describe the media's role in infiltrating, shaping and molding our visual aesthetic. Our poor little eyes are now constantly being bombarded with image upon image of stick-thin, airbrushed glossy super-models. Our eyes are constantly being fed the same generic image of beauty and glamour over and over again and we have normalized it and accepted it as natural.

Technological developments have certainly aided this trend, images of supermodels are airbrushed to perfection, as well as aiding supermodels themselves to botox away any signs of ageing. Liposuction, plastic surgery, elaborate dieting, severe eating disorders and body dysmorphia have all been the nasty by-products of society's unquenched desire to conform to a certain SIZIST image of the beautiful.

It is quite obvious that the fashion industry and the media that surrounds it have participated hugely in cultivating our existing aesthetic stereotypes. But perhaps we must stop and question whether we as consumers are not at least partly to blame.

Have we been so blinded by the glitz and glamour surrounding the essence of super-model chic, that we have forgotten the importance of embracing beauty diversity? Have we ourselves become stubbornly addicted to accepting a limited and sizist aesthetic? Are we so insecure with our own looks and appearances that we seek guidance and approval from images on catwalks and pages of magazines? And above all, is it not perhaps time to challenge the aesthetic which prevails, in the sake of health and well-being?

Next time you look in the mirror, embrace what you see. Be glad for every aspect of your feminine physique. You are beautiful and worthy just the way you are.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Women BodyBuilders - Your Thoughts ??

Women bodybuilders, not feminine in my opinion. Personally I dont think any woman should aspire to look like this. A woman to me is supposed to be soft to the touch not rock hard like that. My thoughts. What are yours ???