Friday, 27 February 2009


Photo by Hedi Slimane

What does this image make you think? Lindsay Lohan, the once curvy girl we adored in the movie 'Mean Girls', has swapped her womanly figure for a waif like one. Do you envy her newly thin figure and her tiny waist? Is that something you strive for or does it disgust you?

Women have always been subject to image, constantly striving for what we see as the ideal look of the time. Today we have a divided society, those that hope and dream for the 'perfect' thin figure that mirrors the models on the catwalk and the celebrities in our magazines. Then the opposing team, those happy in their own skin. Campaigning for real beauty.

For any impressionable teenager, which side of the fence do you choose? Gok Wang is telling you to 'Work it girlfriend' and the gossips rags are bombarding you with images of celebrities with 'Shocking weight loss!'. I'm one of many, that are sitting on the fence, teetering either side. For years now I've been campaigning for real beauty and writing articles and blogs about how woman should love themselves whatever they look like, and we shouldn't be striving for this aspiration of thin. At the end of a hard day, it should be our talent that is recognised, not our weight. However, in the society we're living in, is there any escape?
Like most girls in the western world, I'm consumed by image. I worry about what I look like, what I wear, what I weigh. Yet at the same time, I wish with all my heart that girls had self confidence. That we didn't wish we were thinner or taller, and just accepted what we were born with. I'm not going to lie, this is something I have to achieve with the rest of them. I just wonder if this will ever end in modern society.
For all of time, people have had to live up to the accepted status quo. Yet in the here and now, we seem to have gone back generations. It's almost as if we've reverted back to fifties housewives, looking impossibly beautiful for MEN. And at the same time, we're in competition with each other. There is no solidarity or sisterhood, we want to outshine each other and look the best at all times.
I think it's going to be a long battle, but we can win the war. We have got to start loving ourselves. Curvy or waif. Tall or petite. Women are beautiful.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Put some clothes on!

I have just watched 'The Saturdays' new video for 'Just can't get enough'. While this is for charity and is a relatively catchy cover, I couldn't help but feel appalled at the scantily clad girls. Why is it, that girl groups feel the need to strip off in their videos to sell records? It deeply saddens me that, in what are supposed to be modern times, women are still sex objects.

Shouldn't we be listening to their music, rather than looking at their bodies? Not only does this completely undermine women everywhere, but it does no good for their self esteem. This music is mainly purchased by young teenage girls, what are we teaching them by bombarding them with images of 'perfect' women with 'perfect' bodies?

Girl groups today are Barbie dolls, straight off the manufacturing line. Not a hair out of place, no fat on their body and fawned over by men everywhere. Women want to be them, and men want to be with them. What do these videos teach young girls or any vulnerable young woman? That we should be flashing our bodies to stand any chance of a date? That the girl next door, with the curvy figure and high street clothes who gets bad hair days, should change herself into a sex object, to stand any chance of being noticed?

Do we really live in a society, in which, it is acceptable for girl groups to sell their bodies in order to sell records? Surely by now, the pop industry should know better. The music industry has recently been overrun with female solo singers that are everyday women. Lily Allen, Adele, Kate Nash and Florence and the machine to name a few. These women are talented, but don't compromise their dignity to sell their music.

The Spice Girls took over the nineties with their message of 'Girl Power', they were normal women, from normal backgrounds who weren't afraid to be themselves. Whatever happened to this mantra? Are we destined to be subjected to more and more racy music videos from girl groups, where looks are more important than talent?

If so, its a sad future for women in pop. Its a sad future for women everywhere. Will we ever be 'perfect' enough?