health MATTERS – the aesthetic costs of Extreme Thinness.

CAN’T WE SHOW WOMEN THE WAY THEY REALLY ARE?

Many of us still don’t realize quite how much our ads and magazine spreads are being manipulated. This was taken from a very recent article in the Huffington Post.

A former editor at Cosmopolitan, Leah Hardy, recently wrote an exposé about the practice of Photoshopping models to hide the health and aesthetic costs of extreme thinness. Below is an example featuring Cameron Diaz:cameron

 The story about Diaz, in The Telegraph, includes the following description of the image’s manipulation:

  • Face: Cheeks appear filled out
  • Bust: Levelled
  • Thighs: Wider in the picture on the right
  • Hip: The bony definition has been smoothed away
  • Stomach: A fuller, more natural look
  • Arms: A bit more bulk in the arms and shoulders

Another example was posted at The Daily What. Notice that Karlie Kloss‘s (model in photograph) prominent rib cage has been photo-shopped out of the photograph on the right, which ran in the October 2012 issue of Numéro.
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 Hardy, the editor at Cosmo, explains that she frequently re-touched models who were “frighteningly thin.”  Others have reported similar practices. Jane Druker, the editor of Healthy magazine — which is sold in health food stores — admitted retouching a cover girl who pitched up at a shoot looking “really thin and unwell.” The editor of the top-selling health and fitness magazine in the U.S., Self, has admitted: “We retouch to make the models look bigger and healthier.”

And the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, has quietly confessed to being appalled by some of the models on shoots for her own magazine, saying: “I have found myself saying to the photographers, ‘Can you not make them look too thin?‘”

Robin Derrick, creative director of Vogue, has admitted: “I spent the first ten years of my career making girls look thinner — and the last ten making them look larger.” Hardy described her position as a “dilemma” between offering healthy images and reproducing the mythology that extreme thinness is healthy:

At the time, when we poured over the raw images, creating the appearance of smooth flesh over protruding ribs, softening the look of collarbones that stuck out like coat hangers, adding curves to flat bottoms and cleavage to pigeon chests, we felt we were doing the right thing… We knew our readers would be repelled by these grotesquely skinny women, and we also felt they were bad role models and it would be irresponsible to show them as they really were.

But now, I wonder. Because for all our retouching, it was still clear to the reader that these women were very, very thin. But, hey, they still looked great!  They had 22-inch waists (those were never made bigger), but they also had breasts and great skin. They had teeny tiny ankles and thin thighs, but they still had luscious hair and full cheeks.

Thanks to retouching, our readers… never saw the horrible, hungry downside of skinny. That these underweight girls didn’t look glamorous in the flesh. Their skeletal bodies, dull, thinning hair, spots and dark circles under their eyes were magicked away by technology, leaving only the allure of coltish limbs and Bambi eyes.

Insightfully, Hardy describes this as a “vision of perfection that simply didn’t exist” and concludes, “no wonder women yearn to be super-thin when they never see how ugly super-thin can be.

It’s bad to police people’s bodies, no matter whether they’re thin or fat. This is an important point (made well here) and while I agree that some of the language is harsh, that’s not what’s going on here. The vast majority of the models who need reverse Photoshopping aren’t women who just happen to have that body type. They are part of a social institution that demands extreme thinness and they’re working hard on their bodies to be able to deliver it. This isn’t, then, about shaming naturally thin women, it’s about (1) calling out an industry that requires women to be unhealthy and then hides the harmful consequences and (2) acknowledging that even people who are a part of that industry don’t necessarily have the power to change it.

A version of this post originally appeared on Sociological Images and Business InsiderLisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the principle writer for Sociological Images.  She is on Twitter and Facebook.

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On the RUNway…Trending NOW!

Last week we covered wardrobe staples that are worth splurging on – things that will always be on trend.  Then we have new Trends for this FALL.  Well, not really new (as in nothing ever is) but things you’ll be seeing more and more of this Fall.  This was taken from the Huffington Post.

1. Capes

A model walks the runway at the Valentino Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on March 5, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)
A model walks the runway at the Valentino Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week . (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

It’s difficult not to, but don’t fear capes – how can you, they’ve sustained themselves through the Victorian era, the 1940s, 1960s, and now, 2010s? They’re also versatile: as proven by Valentino’s winter white offering (which is beaded and calf-length) and Jill Stuart’s RTW classic black piece (which she paired with trousers and oxfords), a cape can carry you through the season and various events. Merely treat it as you would a coat, and remember that if your grandmother could do it when she was young, so can you — just like *Lily Allen (see lyrics below) and Kate Hudson did in 2010.

A model walks the runway at the Tommy Hilfiger Women's Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. (Photo by Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
A model walks the runway at the Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. (Photo by Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week).

2. Academically-Inspired

Back-to-school is synonymous with fall (obviously), but this time around, we grown-ups aren’t being left out. Case in point: collections by the likes of Tory Burch, who saw crisp button-ups layered underneath cardigans and worn with tweed pants. Meanwhile, the king of collegiate, Tommy Hilfiger, showcased a collection chalk-full of argyle suits, knit sweaters, and even a book print dress (though for the record, it’s tragically next-to-impossible to find online).

3. Over-The-Thigh Boots

Beyonce performs on stage during 'The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour' at the Barclays Center in New York. Beyonce wears a blue dress and boots by Pucci and hosiery by Capezio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment).
Beyonce performs on stage during ‘The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour’ at the Barclays Center in New York. Beyonce wears a blue dress and boots by Pucci and hosiery by Capezio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment).

It’s been more than a few years since thigh-high boots re-introduced themselves, and this season is just another testament to their staying power. (Which makes sense – winter is cold, you guys, it’s okay to cover up.) On the celeb front, Heidi Klum recently donned a suede style in the spirit of Emilio Pucci’s collection, while Miley Cyrus has made headlines in hers. Though breathe easy, flat aficionados: you can wear a smaller heel or even a flat style if you’d rather not risk tumbling to your death like some of us would.

A model walks during the Temperley London’s RTW collection.
A model walks during the Temperley London’s RTW collection.

4. ‘60s Mod

The best kind of fashion lives forever, and adding to 2013’s eclectic nature is the season’s mod influence, which infuses capes, thigh-high boots (good news, us: it all ties in!) with bright colours (like Lisa Perry’s loud dresses) and Twiggy-inspired mini-dresses (as found in Temperley London’s RTW collection). But in addition to flipping through old fashion magazines and scrolling through Tumblr, you can also look to someone like Alexa Chung who’s been embracing the vintage vibe for many moons now.

5. Pleated Skirts

A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week.. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)
A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week.. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

The vintage throwback continues with pleated skirts which borrow from the ‘70s and early ‘80s with their high waists and pleats. Calvin Klein infused this look with the season’s leather trend (which we’ll get to imminently), while Celine did the same. However, earlier this year, Diana Argon showcased Marc Jacobs S/S take on the trend, opting for a floral pattern and ‘50s style which there’s still plenty of room left for as we ease into autumn.

A model walks the runway at the BCBGMAXAZRIA Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 7, 2013 in New York, United States. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)
A model walks the runway at the BCBG MAXAZRIA Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

6. Hats

Finally, fashion and function merge in the season we need them to the most. Tommy Hilfiger featured beanies in droves in his F/W collection, while BCBG Max Azria did the same, thus finally offering a reprieve from hatless-ness in freezing temperatures. (Yes, we’re concerned about the cold. We’re adults – this is how it works.) Meanwhile, styles like fedoras, bowler hats, and this also found places within the Fall 2013 landscape, thus making “hats” and all that the word embodies a go-to autumn trend.

7. Menswear Fabrics

Model Erin Wasson walks the runway during Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)
Model Erin Wasson walks the runway during Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)

When we say academic, you say tweed (“academic!” – “tweed!” – “academic” – “tweed!”), so with an influx of collegiate-inspired styles, we probably all expected to see menswear fabrics and patterns in droves, as is the true autumn way. Chanel dressed up the fabric in their Haute Couture collection through skirts and suits, while Alice + Olivia ran with argyle and plaid. Not that any of this is new: in 2010, Claudia Schiffer kept on-point with an argyle V-neck, making us wish we’d kept our vests from high school.

8. Emerald Green

Actress Sofia Vergara attends 2013 CFDA FASHION AWARDS underwritten by Swarovski at Lincoln Center on June 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Swarovski).
Actress Sofia Vergara attends 2013 CFDA FASHION AWARDS underwritten by Swarovski at Lincoln Center on June 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Swarovski).

Declared the “it” colour of 2013 back in January, emerald green clearly stuck around for its F/W hurrah, appearing in collections by Phillip Lim, Pantone, and Carolina Herrera. This, of course, is after Emily Blunt wore it in 2012, and Sofia Vergara rocked the colour in June – thus ensuring that incorporating an emerald top, accessory, or a dress still gets a green light (eh?) this fall.

9. Oversized Coats

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A model walks the runway at the Michael Kors Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

Where the rest of autumn sees fitted pieces, outwear remains at large. Following in the footsteps of capes are oversized jackets, which pay homage to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. (Think of Kevin McAllister’s mom in the original “Home Alone.”) Designers like Michael Kors used the look to capitalize on the menswear trend, while Mulberry kept their pink jacket relatively fitted – much like Kate Bosworth’s boyfriend jacket from a couple seasons back which she paired with leather pants.

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A model walks the runway during the Mulberry Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2013-2014 show as part of the London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013/14.  (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images).

10. Leather (Not Just Accessories)

We all have leather gloves, leather footwear, and a leather coat (which you can pick up for next-to-nothing at thrift stores if a new model is too pricey), but what about leather … everything else? In the spirit of Ross Geller, designers have clung to the fabric in droves, with everyone from Chanel (see: the aforementioned leather skirt) to Vionnet (loose-fitting leather pants) to Mulberry capitalizing on the leather look. You can do the same: even a leather-embellished t-shirt makes a good wardrobe staple, and again, a thrifted leather car coat from the 1970s will keep you on-budget and autumn-ready.

Also trending NOW:

THE FEAR” from Lily Allen‘s It’s Not Me, It’s You” Album

I want to be rich and I want lots of money

I don’t care about clever, I don’t care about funny

I want loads of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds

I heard people die while they’re trying to find them

And I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless

Cause everyone knows that’s how you get famous.

I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror

I’m on the right track, yeah I’m on to a winner.

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore

And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore

And when do you think it will all become clear?

Cause I’m being taken over by The Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers

It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other

But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic

And that’s what makes my life so fucking fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption

And it’s not my fault, it’s how I’m programmed to function

Forget about guns and forget ammunition

Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission

Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner

Now everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner

Link to her YouTube: http://vimeo.com/5782708 

 

 

B Well – Sleeping Your Way to the Top

Well THAT got your attention –  I’m talking literally speaking of course!

How getting enough sleep in general can be beneficial to getting ahead.  This article by Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief at The Huffington Post Media Group was too interesting to shorten.  Read on:

Every business hungers for a tool that might give it an advantage against its competition. Senior executives spend millions on consultants, R&D, and capital investment while workers are constantly trying to enhance their skills in order to boost their standing within the company.

But for all the talk about the “efficiency of the marketplace,” it’s surprising that so few companies and rising stars take advantage of one performance enhancement tool that’s been scientifically proven to have multiple benefits — and which also happens to be absolutely free. I’m talking about sleep.

So many of us fail to make use of such a simple and valuable tool; in fact, we deliberately do just the opposite and make a fetish of not getting enough sleep, in the mistaken — and costly — belief that success results from the amount of time we put in, instead of the kind of time we put in. I once had dinner with a man who bragged to me that he’d only gotten four hours of sleep the previous night. It was not easy to resist the temptation to tell him that he might have been a lot more interesting if he’d gotten five.

Indeed, there’s practically no element of workplace success that’s not improved by sleep and, accordingly, diminished by lack of sleep. Creativity, ingenuity, confidence, leadership, decision making — all of these can be enhanced simply by sleeping more.
”Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher-level cognitive functions,” say Dr. Stuart Quan and Dr. Russell Sanna, from Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine. “The combination of these factors is what we generally refer to as mental performance.” They also point out that lack of sleep was a “significant factor” in the Exxon Valdez wreck, the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle, and the nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research likewise concluded that “insufficient sleep can adversely affect a variety of cognitive abilities, ranging from simple alertness to higher-order executive functions.” It’s hard to be a higher-order executive without such functions, nor with lowered “global emotional intelligence,” “reduced self-regard, assertiveness, sense of independence, and self-actualization,” “reduced empathy toward others and quality of interpersonal relationships,” “reduced impulse control and difficulty with delay of gratification,” and “reduced positive thinking and action orientation.” Though one thing you do get with sleep deprivation is “greater reliance on formal superstitions and magical thinking processes.” Not really a great asset in the workplace – unless you work at Hogwarts.

And, yet, 41 million Americans, almost a third of all adult workers, clock six or fewer hours of sleep per night. Even if we’re not getting the seven or eight hours a night we should be, researchers have found that even short naps can give us many of the same benefits. According to David Randall, author of “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep,” even a short nap, “primes our brains to function at a higher level, letting us come up with better ideas, find solutions to puzzles more quickly, identify patterns faster and recall information more accurately.”

But of course, getting more sleep is easier said than done — believe me, I know! This is especially true in a culture that’s wired and connected 24/7. And more and more science is proving the truth that screens and sleep are natural enemies. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently published a study that showed that the light from computer screens obstructs the body’s production of melatonin, which helps govern our internal body clock and regulates our sleep cycle. Technology allows to be so connected with the outside world that we lose connection to our inside world.

So what are the solutions? Experts have many ideas but what works for you? How much sleep do you get and/or need? And what are your secrets for making sure you turn off? Here’s wishing you a good night!                                                                             

You’ll like listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most         up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – LIVE every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health