body image

Fear – The Emotion of Choice for the Cosmetics Industry

A long conversation yesterday reminded me of why this blog exists and it is this, a thought for Friday:

The most powerful emotion used by the Cosmetics Industry is FEAR. Fear of growing older, fear of ingredients, fear for your health, fear of big business corruption, fear of not being enough.

But if you turn and face your fears, un-peel
them layer by layer by layer, get to know your triggers, understand where it first laid root you can begin on a journey towards freedom.

‘There is nothing to fear but fear its self’…..

That is what Realize Beauty is all about.

Don’t be fooled, this is not the same as saying ‘there are no problems’, ‘everything is good’,  ‘don’t question, don’t seek’, ‘trust us’.

This is the very opposite of that.   Yes there are problems, hurdles, challenges and yes we could make products safer, better, less environmentally impactful and more equitable.  Yes we could invest more in building rather than crushing self-esteem, yes we could admit more freely that you are enough, that you don’t need us but also that to want us (as an industry) is also fine.  It is what it is – fun, a game, self-expression, dressing-up.

Fear is paralyzing.  It is the very opposite of what we need right now and it is the exact same force that is keeping many of us from standing up and saying ‘But I don’t feel like that, I don’t understand what you are saying and I want more information and clarity’.  Fear is keeping us quiet, turning us into sheep and locking us further into isolation.

Trust.

Diets For Girls

News that a new diet book is about to be published is not something that we would take notice of but the pearl of wisdom that is ‘Maggie Goes On A Diet’ has kicked up quite a fuss.  After two weeks of reading about how wrong this book is/ will-be I thought I’d share a few thoughts of my own.

The Maggie book looks sickening from the outset as you see a drawing of a larger girl looking longingly into the mirror at her soon-to-be slimmer-and-more-popular self.  I haven’t read the book but from the snippets that have been doing the pre-publicity rounds it looks like Maggie is transformed from ugly duckling to beautiful swan all thanks to losing a few pounds. Groundbreaking news for a not yet obsessively self conscious tweenager.

Experts from all ends of the child-development and self-esteem sector have commented about how in-appropriate and damaging this book may turn out to be and as I am neither of the above I thought that the best thing I could do was talk about me, my kids and I.

From time to time my girls have both made mention of their bodies in a negative way – their legs are too fat, their bum sticks out, they are too tall, too short or just too bleugh to be a fairy/ Jockey/ Professional Football Player or Character out of Harry Potter. You name it, they have from time to time said it.  But before we all gasp in horror (my kids are currently 7 and 10, both are sporty and body-wise are what can only be described as medically fit and well) I do believe that it is  somewhat normal to become aware of ones body […]

Confidence, Love and Acceptance.

Describe Beauty………………………………………………………..

For me, the appreciation, protection, sanctity and celebration of beauty is what life is all about. It is our reason for being, our power source and our prize.  It is not limited to what we see, hear, smell or taste and it is not something that can easily  be realized alone.  Beauty shines brightest when we share, give and spread love to our families, friends, communities, societies, nations and global village.  It respects and values differences in expression and understanding.  It responds positively  and it feels good.

Early last year I started turning some of my more philosophical ideas shared on Realize Beauty into a book.  Now that book is two days away from being a reality and the launch is booked for 21st September in Sydney, Australia.   If you would like to read more about the book, purchase a copy or attend the event I invite you to take a look at the books dedicated blog.

Thank you for your support and I hope that you continue to enjoy reading Realize Beauty as much as I enjoy writing it.

Yummy Mummies – the high price of perfection.

Apparently Manly is THE place to go for a bit of yummy mummy action!  Yes siree, these lovely ladies are obviously not phased by having to juggle a baby in one hand while applying mascara with the other. Oh, and they think nothing of dragging their cute asses out of their designer PJ’s and whizzing into Bondi Junction to pick up something cute and fashionable for their morning stroll with their peers.  Well good for them is all that I can say except that it’s not something that everyone can or should aspire to.  It’s time to see this ‘tag’ for what it really is – OBJECTIFICATION.

Now without wanting to come over all ‘burn your bra’  I have to say that rushing to squeeze into your Sass and Bide jeans and Jimmy Choo’s ASAP  AB (after baby) does seem rather ridiculous.  Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t wait to fit into the clothes in my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and felt a tad euphoric when those jeans were do-upable before I went for my 6 week check-up (I was lucky, insanely sporty and not a rake Before Pregnancy). However, most of my excitement was due to the fact that I had grown OUT of love with my maternity elastic wastes, bland colours and dinner stained tops (you try eating soup with a 7 lb baby bump between you and the bowl)?  For me it was less about looks and more about freedom.

These days we are sooooo force-fed pictures of celebrity mummies in their size 6’s weeks AB and looking totally fab that it seems perfectly slobbish to roll up to your first new parents meeting in tracky dacks and a scrunchy!   Whatever happened to the times when new mums could show off their Magnum […]

I’m sick of being sold new boobies

The ad even says ‘we appreciate that every body is different’ and I say BULL. They say ‘we respect your reasons for coming to see Dr Slice and Dice’ and I think KERCHING.  Yes I have been driving around a lot lately and I have grown as sick and tired of all the ads for breast augmentation as I am over being told that my cha-cha needs de fluffing and my husbands pencil needs more lead.  I think that I can make my own mind up about that thanks.

The problem with being ‘gently reminded’ about cosmetic surgery,  sexual function or  very personal appearance is that it makes normal people feel sick.  We start thinking about things in a different light,  believing that if it’s being talked about so often it must be NORMAL.  In short we become desensitized and re-programmed to believe that all of this is normal when it’s NOT.  

Now before people start calling in and saying that it’s a free world and I shouldn’t be insinuating that it is ‘abnormal’ to do/ want/ aspire to any of the above.  I’m not jumping to that conclusion. 

 What I am saying is the following:

We are self-conscious enough as it is without shoving this ‘barbie-esque’ perfection in our faces – just check out this about UK teenagers.

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes and it’s true, they do change over time – see my ‘ode to boobs’ article here.  Re-programming us all into thinking that chopping and stuffing them is in any way shape or form a ‘treat’, something ‘just for us’  or a useful way to ‘find ourselves’ after years of nurturing is quite perverted. I don’t buy it.

The same goes for our cha cha’s which […]

Love it or leave it.

It’s funny how things get you thinking, I mean I was driving up the hill just an hour or so ago following this guy with an “Australia, love it or leave it” sticker on the window.  To be honest my first thought was ‘who do you think you are, telling me what to do with my LIFE’  (yes I clearly need therapy if I see every car sticker as a personal attack) but then the wheels of the brain started turning…..

When related to a country the sign acts as a ‘in your face’ back us or else campaign asking that you question nothing and happily accept that THIS place is GREAT, it’s all you’ll ever need and so stop your whingeing.  Fair play on one level, nobody likes to hear people harping on about how rubbish this or that is, how the government sucks and how the health system is crazy old-fashioned.  However, on another level it is kind of difficult and a tad unrealistic unless you live in la la land which (quite frankly) some of us do!

My next long and dawdling thought was about how that statement could relate to our bodies. I mean, I don’t see many of us walking around LOVING what we’ve got so I guess we’d better leave it then. But where do you put your unwanted body parts?????  What happens when you don’t like 1/2, 3/4 or even ALL of you???? Surely you are not asking us to leave all that?  What a waste.

So, if I don’t like my nose I can get it fixed provided I have the time, money, health and motivation to put myself through whatever it will take to re-invent it.  If I don’t […]

The boobs have it.

I do believe that life can be measured in boob moments. I mean we come into the world looking for boobies and spend our first years finding comfort in them. They provide us with warmth, food, comfort, a sense of belonging and LOVE.  OK so now you are going to say “but not everyone is breast-fed” and that is true, this is not a ‘breast is best’ campaign, it is more of a ‘breast is belonging’ thing as you will see as we go on. So bare with me and let’s see where this little boob-fest takes us.

My kids (girls) are both a little obsessed with boobies. They call them their ‘Katie Perries’ after being impressed with the pair that she flouted in the ‘California Girls’  video. They love to look and laugh at mine (yes I know, a little mean of them but hey, I’ll get my turn) and are often musing over what theirs will look like. Now I think it is interesting to note that I am not a boob girl. I have NEVER really paid much interest in mine, didn’t want ANYTHING that was likely to interfere with my sports and ‘lifestyle’ (hahahahaha) and have no interest in flouting them. Now it’s not that I am prudish or shy about them, I just find them a bit annoying but more about that later…..

Ok, so in my experience I can safely say that boob moments have been significant in the life of my two little children and they are not even out of primary school yet.  So what happens next?

PUBERTY.

Oh My God is all I can say about that. It is happening sooner and in a more ‘in your face’ way than […]

Let’s get real over body image

Now we all want to celebrate real beauty you know, the type of beauty that twinkles, shines and exudes personality and light. The kind of beauty that can come in all shapes and sizes, knows no age and is never in or out of fashion.  So why then do we insist on calling some of our more aesthetically pleasing people “freaks of nature?”   Our models are NOT freaks  they just conform to what the mainstream market views as at the top of their game visually. They are a walking example of aesthetic perfection and that’s not a crime.  It is a mixture of luck, good health, hard work, the right attitude and a dose of ‘can-do’ attitude.

It takes balls to put yourself through the kind of scrutiny that these models endure and while I don’t think we need to lay in bed sobbing over their sad plight, we should show them some professional respect.

I agree with most social commentators that we  need to up the ante with regard to the wording that is used alongside our models to push products. We don’t need to feel jealous of the model in order to appreciate ‘the look’ or product that is being promoted.  We shouldn’t feel good about seeing models used as worthless objects, as furniture, dolls or dummies.  In short we shouldn’t fall for the  fear and we shouldn’t buy into the envy.

Instead why can’t we appreciate and celebrate the aesthetic beauty that confronts us from the pages of the magazines? 

After all physical attractiveness  is but one fleeting aspect of real beauty so I honestly can’t see what all of the fuss is about.

Let’s stop being childish about this and focus on promoting the things that really matter – physical health (models should be a healthy weight for […]

Cash or Chick – Radio Gaga and body image.

Ok, I have to admit to enjoying a bit of Kyle and Jacki O  in the morning (for all of you non-Sydney based Australians these are our top popular radio DJ’s) even if some of the things that they come up with leave me feeling a little bemused. They are my dirty little secret I suppose, a little tabloid titillation in a day otherwise surrounded by wall-to-wall business decisions, strategies and chemicals (cosmetic chemicals that is).  However, this little competition got me reaching for my vomit bag.  OMG what were they thinking!

The show is running a competition where guys get to come in and play for either money or a chick to date. The ‘chick’ sits behind a curtain and can say a little ‘hello’ or something to tempt the guy into picking her (God knows what the guy gets to do with her on the date  after she’s won)  while the guy sits and decides which direction to place his bet – he has no idea how much money is in the box.  Simple comp played by people who know what they are getting into for the listening pleasure of people like me, in their cars and offices all over Sydney.  Nice!

Only it isn’t very nice.

Take the day when Dave came in to try his luck.  He opted for the chick over the cash only to find that he’d turned down $2000 and ended up with a lady who didn’t hit his pfwoar buttons.  She (no name for her on the site) was a larger lady and was dressed like a Bratz doll – something that us listeners didn’t get to see unless we logged onto the website afterwards.  What we did hear was a long stunned silence, a few crude […]

Body Image and The Manic Street Preachers

Oh how I loved this band back in the day, I remember my mum driving me and a car full of friends to the Leicester Uni back in 1991, that was when Richey was still on the scene…..

Anyway, the reason for the post is to share this video with you. I think that it says a lot about the sexualisation and exploitation of women – something that went over my head the first time around but is rampantly obvious now. In fact when you think about exploitation is the ‘thing’ these days – if you can’t pimp it, it ain’t worth having.  Such a shame…..

Anyway, at risk of sounding like a granny, I will stop now and let you make up your own mind about beauty, fashion, women and sexuality.

Happy days!