The real you

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As women we can become over critical of the way we look, dress think and act. We never seem to embrace the characteristics we like about ourselves but ridicule ourselves “my noise is too big” or “my chin isn’t thin enough” all statements that were all guilty of making. How you view yourself becomes a distorted reality whereas, how others perceive you becomes a more accurate representation of how you look, dress, think and act.

The advert for Dove follows a forensic artist, one of those people who draw crime suspects based on witnesses’ descriptions. In this case, he draws facial portraits of several women based solely on what they tell him. He can’t see them. Then he draws pictures of the same women based on what people who have only interacted with them for a short while describe. In almost every case, there’s a massive difference between the two images of each woman.

Dove launched a new campaign where in which it aims to highlight the difference of how women see themselves on a day-to-day basis compared with how others see them. The difference was immense, and it showed me that were more beautiful than we think we are. Sometimes the people who are responsible for our self-loathing is us, as women we can be our own worst enemy. In a study 2003, young women were asked to pick out their body image from a range of figures. On average, they picked figures that were 11lb (5kg) heavier than their actual weight.
We spend more times fretting about features we dislike and want to change than on the features that we do like, which would inevitably result in us feeling more positive and confident about our bodies.
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My message is why does it take a stranger to point out to you that you have nice hair or your eyes are nice why can’t this be already be known. What do you see in the mirror? We should all do something that actively helps body confidence but leaves us feeling positive about the way look and feel. For example Jodie March who was a victim of constant bullying had suffered constant verbal abuse for years “I’m ugly, I’ve got no friends, and it’s always going to be like this.” However, after finding what makes her happy in life, it has created an inner confidence for her. I’m not saying its this easy but through activities like singing or dancing can really build-up confidence and can act as signifiers of improving self-esteem.

When was the last time you complemented a female on the way they looked or how they dressed or the accessories they used to match their outfit, appearance isn’t always important but it is to so many. In the advert a woman is quoted saying “I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children. It impacts everything. It couldn’t be more central to your happiness.” Imagine how good it would feel for someone to say to you “your hair looks nice” or “that’s a nice jacket you’re wearing where did you get from”? As women we tend to be scornful of other women who look good we often think “she obviously thinks she’s all that”.. or “she’s looking to impress the guys” when really in most cases we dress nicely in order to feel good about ourselves. The reality is being body confident isn’t about a competition on who can dress the nicest or who looks better but being comfortable in your own skin and that’s hard if people bully you or make feel uncomfortable for the way you look.

So i urge guys and girls to empathetic if you see someone perhaps a girl or guy that looks nice let them know don’t be afraid to complement someone, its small things like that leave someone feeling good about themselves. After all that’s whats it’s all about feeling good in ones own skin!

Dove’s real beauty sketches

The cost of Beauty (continued).

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In the media we often dont embrace natural beauty. We live in a society where looks are seen to be everything. When was the last time you saw size 14-16 model feature on the cover of Vogue? Pop stars like Adele who is seen as a representative for curvaceous Women was on the cover of vogue, she was edited to look like a thinner version of herself. Real women should be represented yet when we are, were edited, criticized and ridiculed. How is this fair?

Fantz Fanson is a key figure in image as he seeks to explain the inadequacy black people face and experience in a white world. It’s evident to have a high status and be black is seen as deviant, the idea is; you are not Black, you are quite extremely brown. This theory can be applied to girls who feel as if they dont conform to the ideals of beauty such as having the perfect body. They too experience inadequacy in a world where it’s all about being skinny, how are they meant to fit in? This is where plastic surgery comes in alongside with the media by advertising boob jobs the industry encourages almost brainwashes people into thinking that they need such an operation done.

On television and in the magazines we buy there are tips on how to lose weights or “10 easy steps to drop a dress size surely we should be promoting being healthy! You go to the shops and the mannequins are thin. How fair is it to have mannequins that only represent a minority of women?
Or perhaps to only have mannequins that are all white despite being in a multicultural society?

Although for some plastic surgery means a carrer in modelling it means having the confindence “to be out there”, but even after all the operations one can get. Does it really leave you content? The answer is no, there’s no way you could ever by happy if it comes at a price.

Acceptance

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Within the beauty world, there are models with disabilities that are unrepresented, because of their disabity therefore are ignored by the fashion world but also mainstream society. Or one could say it’s due to the scepticism of whether a disabled model could make it in fashion or not.

In the Uk despite it’s increasing diversity acceptance for who you are, what you look like, how you dress like is still a struggle. There is a vast amount of people in the UK living with a disability, but are often stigmatised for their condition. Due to the growing number of those born with a physical disability surely its only fair that they too should be recognised.

It’s often thought that being disabled you can’t be worth marriage material, or seen as attractive, which is wrong and ignorant to belive, but in the media all that is portrayed is one kind of woman. We need to see a variation of different types of women. After all were not all the same what makes us different is what unities us but makes us unique. “A disabled model, by definition, will be more memorable in a photo than an able-bodied girl, thus making her attractive to a commercial person trying to sell clothes in an advert, or in editorial,” says O’Riordan.

It’s our collective responsibility as a society. If we want to see the fashion industry broaden its parameters when it comes to beauty, we must put our money where our mouth is.

Could a disabled model ever make it on the catwalk? Let me know what you think.

“Fair and Lovely”

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Fair and Lovely?? In my blog today ill be going back to my initial topic of skin bleaching and showing a different point of view.
The new line of beaching products that have now taken Asia by storm! In a particular advert was a Woman who went for a job interview. However, she did not get it due to her being too “dark”, although once she eventually started to bleach she went back to have an interview and got the job. The fact that this was used in an advert only highlights another reason why people bleach and that’s because people feel as if they have no choice. People in society don’t accept difference, we all must conform whether it’s through dressing the same, or acting like everyone else. Its exactly the same when it comes to the idea of beauty.

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“Fair and Lovely” insinuates this ideology in the belief that beauty is only in one colour: White. It’s this idea that certain races are superior than others that promotes racial discrimination in the beauty world and society. In a society where the “fairer” you are is more valued than brains, qualifications and experience. People want to be entitled to the same treatment as everyone else. Not all people feel secure; some therefore turn to bleach.

In an interview Alixca Dixson talked about her experiences with racism in the commercial world. “Sadly, I’ve learnt that prejudice still exists in parts of the entertainment industry; I did an interview with a magazine once and the journalist quite openly said they wouldn’t put a black person on the front cover because the magazine wouldn’t sell.” It’s these thoughts or ideas that i can’t help but wonder where it is they come from. Due to magazine editors or journalists not being bold enough to represent something different this kind of ignorance just continues. She continued: “It made me angry because it shouldn’t be about the colour of the person’s skin”. For more information go to the Metro

Its shame that as a society we are forced by informal and formal rules and regulations to conform. Institutions such as the media and Education don’t do enough to promote the love of self, it’s only through self hated and distaste that people find the capacity to bleach oneself. To become “fairer” means doors will open for you, you’ll be “accepted”! When I think about advertisements they’re not the only ideological tool being used here but even through movies or films the colour white is associated with what is pure, goodness.
For example Snow white, Sleeping beauty, red riding hood, Cinderella these fictional characters have always been white. Anything that has been Black has been seen as bad, negative almost monster like. It’s through this type of culture that hegemony has been exercised. From an early age we’re taught that these types of people represent goodness and the other group doesn’t. The first ever black princess was launched yet it caused controversy on the character marrying a white prince. article-1162718-03F37C2E000005DC-317_468x377

Although this represents mixed marriages between people of different races, i could not help but think why they wouldn’t use a black prince. In the media black boys are perceived negatively and associated with gun crime, drugs, and gang violence. One can only wonder does the stereotype have a part to play, by using a black prince you would be portraying him in a positive light.
Some could argue this is ideological, some may not.

However, some fans decided to voice their opinions One disappointed fan wrote (sic): ‘I think its sad that he is white because its saying that black love isn’t good enough and that black men could never be princes.’
Another complained (sic): ‘I am very disappointed and I wished Disney had made the prince black,(and the ironic thing is the prince in the movie is white but the evil voodoo villain is voiced by a black actor and is black).’ For more information go on: The Daily Mail
In the job market we should be judged on the content of our character, and not on the colour of our skin!

Is it right to be judged on your “appearance” in an interview?

The Ugly Side Of Beauty.

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By buying happiness through purchasing a ‘new set of boobs’ or bum implants we buy into this idea that we need to look a certain way in order to get far in society. We as a society buy into the ideological nature of the media in which ideas of the dominant change our perceptions and values. Macuse a famous sociologist believed that the media dazzles the masses with false needs and that is exactly the case. Who say you need to double D cup size to be perfect?
Who says your too dark to beautiful?

Over time we have become self-obsessed and shallow we get distracted by whats on the surface having the latest Botox treatment doesn’t make you special or different. It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin. What the media doesn’t show you is the consequences of the beauty industry. for example by portraying young, slim white females we now have young people with eating disorders in the belief that they are ‘too fat’ therefore need to be slim down. The sad thing about this is that women everywhere buy into how the media should portray us, by choosing to bleech, by choosing to starve ourselves we assimulate to accept this notion that beauty only looks a certain way. We dont realise that we can resist this idelogy with the media, for example by changing what is seen as beautiful.
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The way in which women look at each other and the way men percive women is evidence enough that we are adopting unhealthy attitude to our bodies and beauty ” she would look so much preetier if she lost weight” or “had a boob job” in the media magazines and newspapers all portray the same image of a young, attractive – slim white.

If your young and have a double D than your perfect and beautiful, if your old noone wants to look at you, your not worthy of representaiton. which is shallow and stupid this only makes young and old women insecure because if they want to be seen as attractive then that usually means young. however, this results in “mutten dressed like lamb” “she looks old” these women are subject to secruiting because we all are desperate to be seen as ‘looking good’.

Its bad enough that we will never change the way men look at us especially because their encouraged to look at women in this way. Without enthusiastically doing it ourselves.

If the advertising, production and consuption of sexual images really supoosed to do no harm. Then why do we have young people with eating disorders, or young people who have been victims of sexual harrasment. By having young people on the cover of Vogue they automatically become sexualised. Children need protecting from this sort of exploitation. By constanly portraying young girls as sexual objects you put them in a vulnerble postion in relation to offenders like child predators.

The cost of Beauty.

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There’s something ugly in the business of selling beauty. In the cosmetic industry consultations are provided free – a way of persuading the customers into clinics so that they purchase treatments or have operations. The cosmetic industry is based on the belief that we should all feel confident and happy about the way we look. When really the cosmetic industry thrives on the insecurities that men and women have. Therefore are constantly bombarded with rhetoric slogans that they’ll be “happier”, more “confident”, if they make themselves look perfect! The best way you can do this is under the knife.

In the Media girls are predominantly portrayed with big breasts and tiny waists. The media portray this to be “normal” for girls that don’t conform to this, is it right that they immediately think “boob job”? Plastic Surgery is big business in the UK – and despite the side effects and permanent damage it could do to you, it’s a growing one!

The question we need to ask ourselves is: Is it worth it? What if my treatment doesn’t work out the way I wanted it? It’s your responsibility. Which was exactly the case with the PIP implants Scandal. Most the Women who had the implants, although were clearly victims were made to pay for the replacement of the implants and deal with the emotional and psychological trauma of this horrible ordeal.

“The French regulator has confirmed this week that more women may be affected by the criminal activity of the French breast implant manufacturer PIP,” Lansley said in a statement”. “These women are the victims of a fraudulent company and I know this situation is causing a huge amount of anxiety. “I want to reassure those affected by the news today that they will be provided with all the help they need from the NHS. We are still working to get private clinics to live up to their responsibilities and look after their patients”. Was this fair? Would you expect a victim of theft to pay for the stolen goods?
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The biggest downfall of the industry is that when assessing the potential customers or patients. Their never given aftercare counselling or perhaps screened properly. In most cases patients or customers who are asking for the operation or treatment. Often feel surgery is their last hope or last chance. It’s in this belief that the cosmetic industry are thriving than ever before. With Celebrities like Katie Price and Heidi Montag who have become key figures in advocating this notion of “if something isn’t perfect fix it” which is the slogan that young girls are going by. Plastic surgery is now seen as a solution, in the UK, rather than exercising or changing to a healthier diet. Most people partically young people do these procedures without even being fully aware of the risks involved.
The popular presudures by women were:
• Breast augmentation – up 6.2% from last year slightly less than last year’s 10% rise
• Blepharoplasty (eyelids) were up 4.8% to become the second biggest procedure for women
• Face/Neck Lifts were third place for the second year running, with 4,700 procedures

Beauty over the last decade has become commoditized it’s now seen as something in which people can buy. hedoo

We are now bombarded with advertisements that advocate plastic surgery, one declares “Breast enlargement: feel great!” a model beams while ironically holding a sign proclaiming: “I’ve just had my breasts done, but the biggest change you’ll see is on my face.” These advertisements advocate that by changing yourself surgically you’ll be happy. There are young girls that see these celebrities as perfect role models people that they should look like. In order to be seen as attractive you must be perfect! Beauty is within yet it’s made to look like something you buy.

Real Women Should Be Celebrated!

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We have so much to be proud of in terms of London Fashion Week. However, in all of the catwalks that took place all that seemed to feature was a models of a particular size which was size 6. Although they are representative of a portion of women in the Uk, they don’t represent the majority of women. According to a recent survey done by the London College of Fashion, the average British woman is size 14-16, yet we are disporpotionalty unrepresented. Is this fair?
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London Fashion has however, launched a separate plus size cat-walk show its aim is to enhance, promote and educate women. However, despite best efforts being made to change the way we look at beauty it’s not good enough. All this does is convey a distorted image of beauty it draws a line between women that are “normal” and those who are “different” from the rest. When really were all the same, we need to see models that represent Women of all body shapes and sizes.

Jo swindon who is the minster for Women’s equality opened up London’s fashion show with a speech in which she addressed the issue of providing a plus size catwalk show. ” I think it says everything that is wrong with the industry that you have a plus-size event for women who are size 12 and over. It shows the fashion industry is not yet appreciating the diversity of beauty in this country,” Swinson said. For more information go to:http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/2013/feb/15/london-plus-size-fashion-weekend
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Gok Wan known as a fashion consultant as well as the presenter for How to look good naked and Fashion Fix he has advocated for education lessons in body confidence to start in schools. Whereby we can get a chance to educate young people about real beauty, and teach them how to love themselves regardless of what size they are. As a country we are bombarded with hundreds of images each day of what is perfection, and if we don’t conform to societies views on perfection in terms of what size a woman should be.

We end up targeted for being “not good enough”; as a country we have children that self-harm, starve themselves and get bullied for the way in which they look. Having a plus size fashion show to highlight that there is nothing wrong with plus size figured women isn’t the solution to these problems. What the public and especially young people need to see is integration of different models size, shape and ethnicity on the catwalk.

Although the fashion industry isn’t alone in promoting ultra slim models the magazines and newspapers do it as well, there is such a huge emphasis and fascination on celebs “loosing baby weight” or given huge sums of money to lose weight by companies like weight watchers. It’s almost like we have to be a particular size to be recognised which is wrong, despite this one of the main causes in eating disorders is being overly concerned with being slim, particularly if combined with pressure to be slim from society or for a job (for example ballet dancers, models or athletes).
Being criticised for their eating habits, body shape or weight
Or having anxiety disorder/ low self-esteem. For more information go to: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Eating-disorders/Pages/Introduction.aspx

As a society we need to change the way we look at beauty and think about the damaging consequences it is having on the youth today, its high time we embrace our bodies for what they are whether that’s an apple shape/ pear size 14 or size 18.
We should be celebrated and be the signifiers of change!

Gok’s Body Confindence video.