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Airbrushed photos and the myths they perpetuate

At the risk of starting myself off on another rant, I was sent a link to this photo-shopped photo of Kim Kardashian and the subsequent blog post around it and it got me thinking; why do we still accept this?  Why do women still buy magazines, look at photos like this and why on earth do women take such digitised images as their ideal role model? Any why oh why does the beauty/fashion industry still think this is acceptable, no matter what the celebrity actually thinks?

If you look at the two pictures of Kim and also the two oBritney Spears the differences between the before and after are so clear to see and to be honest the before pictures of both look more “normal” and realistic yet the image that makes it Candie'sto publication is the retouched, airbrushed one. And that is the one that women look at as their role model, that is the one that women (and men) use to judge other women by  but the image isn’t real, it doesn’t reflect what a real woman really looks like.

Is it no wonder that women of all ages have skewed ideas of what other women look like?  Is it no wonder that we all obsess over our weight, our ages, our wrinkles when we are surrounded by so-called-perfect images of celebrities bearing none of the faults that we all perceive in ourselves.

Our children are growing up with an image of the perfect woman and aspiring to look like her; they have some impossible view of what constitutes beauty, a skewed idea of how thin we should all be and a belief that beauty only exists between 20-30. And the appalling thing is that, in general, its other women in the fashion and beauty industry who perpetuate that myth.

Why are there no really good role models out there who get publicity for their talent not for how much cleavage they show? Why is the idea of an image of a strong, fit woman not mainstream instead the suggested role models are often some minor “celebrity” with no discernible talent whose photos are then manipulated to make her appear taller, thinner, curvier.  The Barbie-like image of a tiny waist, huge boobs and long hair persists years after we all thought we knew better!

There are some amazingly beautiful, fit, strong women out there and to be really honest most of them have never been anywhere near a magazine cover let alone a professional photo shoot – we should all embrace the beautiful woman (or man) that we are and understand that the images we see are not real and should not represent any kind of aspiration for us and more importantly, for our daughters or our sons.

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New Year, New Start

stock vector : New Year 2013 start button
So, it’s a new year and a new start for me and millions of other people but why or why does the media continue to churn out the same old predictable nonsense?!

Every year during January you hear the same old tired eating advice of cutting calories and eating low fat despite how many times that has been discredited in recent years and every year you see the same so-called ‘celebrities’ try to flog their DVDs which do little to help inspire people to get fit for more than 5 minutes.

When are we going to see the health and fitness industry wake up and actually do something to help people rather than just take the money every January for the thousands of people who start back at a gym and never get past February?

The more I look into it the more my long term aim has to be to open my own gym or training space – somewhere that offers great stock photo : empty fitness gymtraining but backed up with emotional support, healthy eating advice and really good sensible advice on clothes and make up.  The majority of my clients are women, generally over 40, which fortunately is my own demographic and there is a real thread running through every women I meet;

  • Gyms tend to be designed by men for men
  • Gym staff tend to be young men who have no empathy with women over 40 who are juggling children, work, parents etc etc
  • If not young men they are full of young women with no life skills who again cannot empathise with their clients
  • Women often need more of an emotional connection to make real progress
  • Women need realistic, practical suggestions for food and diets that fit into their busy live that take into account what REALLY happens!
  • Women are often a bit lost after 40 and start to lose track of who they really are – someone who can understand that and help guide them is really appreciated
  • So often we stick with the same make up or hairstyle that we have had for years, it ages us and slowly saps the confidence.  Having someone to show you how easily make up, hair or fashion can be updated and quickly it changes how you feel and how other people see you is invaluable.

stock photo : The words What Makes You Special on a badge, asking the question of what characteristics set you apart as an individual as different, unique, distinguished or better than the restFor many women it’s not about major life changes or even losing loads of weight; often its just about feeling lost, feeling that their confidence has been dented a little by life and wanting to be best they can be, no matter what their age.

So instead of focussing on health and fitness the way it’s been traditionally done, for me its time to make a real change.  Changing the way I approach the fitness industry, changing how I approach clients and offering my clients something more than the thousands of other fitness trainers’.  That is, I guess the central foundation of my blog and my business.

stock vector : Beauty girl

There are so many ways to get fit, stay fit, be healthy but more importantly be happy…… and its time we embraced them and offered our clients an easier way. So, stick with me and I will do my best to try and be all the things I want to be!