The airbrushing of fashion models has been a contentious issue for several years, and a U.K. department store has sparked renewed interest in the topic. British department store Debenhams made a splash this week when they posted a picture of a model before and after airbrushing. The photo depicts a beautiful model in lingerie, and points out all of the flaws that will need to be corrected in Photoshop. From skimming down arm and leg size to enhancing cleavage, 16 changes were deemed necessary before publishing the photo. Merely adhering to the editing standards of the industry, Debenhams has committed to changing this practice.
“We’re showing our commitment to encouraging positive body image by using un-airbrushed lingerie photography,” read a statement on the official Debenhams Facebook page. Debenhams is one of many fashion brands to recently amend their practices in an attempt to set a better example for girls with body image issues. Last summer, Vogue and Seventeen Magazine announced it would no longer feature “too thin” models, with Vogue going even further by banning the hiring of underage models. Fashion houses in Spain and Italy now have a standard BMI of which models cannot fall under; Israel passed legislation prohibiting models to fall below a BMI limit of 18.5.
On Sunday, June 16th, Fifty one women will compete for the big sparkly crown and the title of Miss USA at the 62nd Annual Miss USA Competition. Giuliana Rancic, E! News anchor and co-host of the pageant, says she’s ready to roll with the “anything-can-happen” moments and she’s excited for the world to meet all the fabulously fit contestants.
Joining veteran Giuliana (who is hosting for the third year in a row) will be first-timer, Nick Jonas. In addition to emcee duties he’ll also be performing with his band, the Jonas Brothers. Before they take off for final auditions and prep work for the live show in Las Vegas this weekend, Giuliana and Nick took some time this afternoon to talk about the women, the pageant and answer a few questions from the press. We wanted to know if the hosts felt the contest conveyed a positive body image. The answer was a resounding, “absolutely.”
When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revealed he underwent Lap-Band surgery last month, it instantly fueled speculation that it was at least in part about his 2016 presidential aspirations. True or not, there are valid reasons to consider that weight loss as a powerful tool in helping him to the highest office in the land.
All you have to do is look at the people who hold the highest positions in private companies. According to a 2009 study, just five percent of CEOs in the U.S. were obese (with a BMI over 30).
If you drop down to the overweight classification (a BMI between 25 and 29), there is a dramatic difference, but only for male CEOs. The 2009 study estimated between 45 and 61 percent of top male CEOs are overweight. Only five percent of overweight CEOs are women.
What would account for such a major gender gap? Women already fight an unfair uphill battle for wage equality, so one can probably safely assume a significant double standard in how men and women with weight issues are perceived.
“It appears that the glass ceiling effect on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women,” said study co-author Mark Roehling, Michigan State University associate professor of human resource management. (more…)
Everyone experiences a bad mood every now and then. However mild or severe your gloomy attitude may be, the practice of yoga can lift your spirits so you can say goodbye to your bad mood for good.
The following are a few examples of how yoga can help turn your frown upside down.
Elevated GABA levels
Researchers have found that practicing yoga can raise the brain’s level of gamma-amino-butyric acid, which is the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. When GABA levels are low, we can experience anxiety, depression, and a decreased zest for life. When GABA levels are high, we feel elated, happy, and interested in living life to the fullest. (more…)
“You look great! But I should not be wearing sleeveless shirts. Look at my arms jiggle!”
Sound familiar? If so, you are one of the many women who engage in fat talk. Simultaneously, a method of fishing for compliments and tearing yourself down, fat talk is something that simply needs to stop.
In a recent study, 93 percent of college-aged women admitted to engaging in fat talk. It’s something that has become part of how women speak with each other.
“Even if you don’t feel that way about your body, women talk that way as if that’s how they should be talking,” said Jan Hoffman on the Today Show. She also wrote about the topic in a recent article for the New York Times. Fat talk has invaded our conversations and our culture. (more…)
Don’t look now but people are making something out of nothing, again. We condemn celebrities for being too heavy, for being too thin, and it seems now those who are just at what is a healthy, normal weight for themselves. When will it stop?
Zoe Saldana‘s donning the cover of Allure magazine this month and while people should be talking about her talent showcased in the upcoming Star Trek sequel, or even her activism with organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project, we all have to stop and waste blog space, morning show air time, and breath discussing the importance or relevance of telling the world this woman weighs 115 pounds. Quite frankly, who cares?
The five-foot-seven-inch actress told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that she has just always had a thin frame. And so that is the way the world, and nature, works. Some people are born with very thin frames, some people are born with large frames, and some people are born with your regular ‘ole run-of-the-mill frame. But, alas, it’s not all that simple. We were told “An image like this can activate a schema for a person to think they’re fat compared to this person,” by Jennifer Thomas, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and assistant director of the Eating Disorders Clinic and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
According to Thomas, most adult women aren’t going to be as thin as Saldana. In fact, she reminded that most adult women couldn’t reach a body shape like that without severely limiting her intake.
Saldana defended Allure’s decision to publish her weight on the cover, suggesting that they were trying to draw a comparison between such a small person having such a strong personality and drive. “115 pounds of grit…” reads the line that is apparently fodder for controversy. The way I see it, if she doesn’t mind the world knowing how much she weighs, why should the rest of us? Actresses aren’t shy to speak up when their images have been Photoshopped to a fault, and if Saldana has all the grit Allure suggests she has, I imagine she would have taken a stand about this.
Rachael Leone wrote at Yahoo! that the publication of her weight was “unnecessary,” saying that just when it seems we’re making progress in the portrayal of women in magazines we take a step back again. Cheryl Phillips at Examiner asked if a similar headline would have appeared had Saldana been heavier. Thomas pondered over the value, too, suggesting that publishing the weight didn’t give us any additional data. “We can look at her and see that she’s tall and thin.”
If you want to talk medically, Saldana’s BMI is an 18.0, which, according to the CDC, puts her in the underweight category; something Thomas confirmed. Her medical care, nor that of any other individual, isn’t really any of our business (heard of HIPPA?), but if we wanted to make a case of this for the sake of Zoe’s health, we could raise that argument. But frankly, there doesn’t seem to be anything unhealthy about the way she lives.
The actress is a regular at Pilates and works with a personal trainer. As well, she partakes in active vacations like snow skiing. She appears to have a balanced approach to her diet, which is eating what she likes but staying active enough to counteract the pasta she admits to over-indulging in sometimes. She abides by the mantra that we only live once.
So, as I said, who cares if Zoe Saldana is 115 pounds? I weigh 140 pounds. There, it is. I don’t expect anyone is going to stop the presses for that information. I take care of myself, I’m comfortable in my own skin, and I’ve worn the same size jeans since college, something that didn’t change before/during/after my pregnancy. I think Allure would find I’m as gritty and strong as Zoe is and I don’t know that the fact that I do it in a slightly weightier package than the star makes a difference.
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries makes no buts about his company’s target demographic: really, ridiculously, good looking people. Jeffries has been at the helm of A&F for 18 years, and has sexualized the brand to near soft core pornography status. If you’ve ever been in one of the chain’s stores—more akin to a club with its pungent fragrance and techno racket—you’ve probably noticed the lack of women’s size XL and XXL clothing. A&F also refuses to carry a women’s pant larger than size 10. They only carry men’s XL and XXL to market to beefy weightlifters and athletes.
These shallow tactics aren’t employed by accident. The company’s marketing strategy is solely geared towards their idea of “good looking” people. Jeffries told Salon in 2006, “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good looking people in our stores. Because good looking people attract other good looking people…We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
Along with not selling clothing that doesn’t fit Jeffries’ “good looking” criteria, A&F does not hire people they find too large or ugly. The hiring process is bizarre, with the manager scouting the store for attractive people and imploring them to apply. Of course anybody can apply, but the process takes place at a kiosk in the store, so the manager can give you the once over and file your app accordingly. (more…)
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s 29-point blowout over the Houston Rockets in the NBA Playoffs last week, a CBS Houston relationship columnist named Claire Crawford felt inclined to give sports blogging a shot.
Crawford’s first foray into this new medium was epic. She’s become a search bar staple, but not because of her prodigious basketball analysis. Here’s what she took away from the game: “The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1,”—obvious, but so far so good—”but some say they weren’t the only bad-looking people on the court.” The rest of the prose is a bit elementary, so I’ll sum it up for you. She more or less called Thunder cheerleader Kelsey Williams “too chunky” for her position. Queue the social media firestorm.
The passive aggressive jab at the beautiful and fit Williams has Claire Crawford—pen name of real life blogger Anna-Megan Raley—in some hot water. Disdain for Crawford/Raley has been universal, and support for Williams has poured in from all over the web. The reasoning behind Crawford’s criticism is all speculation, but one could assume she might have been trying to boost her own self-esteem. It’s also insane; Kelsey Williams is an athlete, and a gorgeous one at that. Maybe Crawford just wanted to get her 15 retweets of fame, or maybe it’s a reflection of our society’s sea change in perception of beauty. (more…)
What a difference a choice, a moment, a day, a year and five years makes! This week was my 5-year anniversary since I stood on the scale at the season 5 finale of The Biggest Loser as the confetti fell and I became the first female winner.
When I look back at my journey, the moment that made the biggest difference in my life was when I said “fine.” For so long I waited for something “big” to happen, to know my life was going to change dramatically. I didn’t realize waiting left me missing all the moments that could have gotten me to the life I wanted.
I finally said “fine” in a conversation with my mom on August 11, 2007. She was so excited that the Biggest Loser casting was going to be in my hometown, despite only finding out the night before. Back then I was a fully booked hairstylist and couldn’t afford to take the time off of work. However my mom said, “I couldn’t afford NOT to go.” My life changed forever as I replied: “Fine, go find out where I need to stand in line.” Just like that. FINE. I was so many emotions: nervous, shaky, excited, scared, and even on the verge of tears. But I surrendered with just one word. (more…)
Jillian Michaels teased the announcement of her spring tour last week via Twitter, but made the “Maximize Your Life” tour official today. It’s the first time Jillian is mobilizing her message, and the tour promises to make this an inspiring, motivating, life-changing experience.
It all starts April 4 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, continuing on through a total of 35 cities in Canada and the U.S., with the tour coming to an end in Toronto on May 21. There are a total of nine tour dates in Canada, with U.S. tour stops hitting every corner of the country.
“It’s time to ask why not you?” poses Jillian.
She’ll help you answer that question in an empowering two-hour show, and leave you more prepared and focused to live what she calls your authentic truth. It’s not just about the sweat, or inclines, or what you’re eating, Jillian will show a live audience what she does best on Biggest Loser – break through. She has an uncanny ability to help people get out of their own way, dig deep and look inside to find the answers. (more…)
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