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body diversity

Irish model, foodie blogger and fitness expert Roz Purcell has posted a message that, we think, everyone needs to read today. 

Purcell has been a long-standing agent of body positivity, having suffered with the pressure to have the perfect body presumably for her entire modelling career.

With Love Island on our screens for the next eight weeks judging physiques and placing emphasis on the Greek God image of bronzed and toned bodies, it's important to remember that they are only displaying a miniscule picture of reality.

The vast majority of the country does not fit into their notion of an 'ideal' body type, and their lack of body diversity and racial diversity is fairly shocking.

Roz expressed her own views in an Instagram post, and we love her for it:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@rozannapurcell) on

She captioned the lengthy post:

"Few things. Love Island is hitting our screens tonight; let's remember its a selective representation of the female body and I would say the pressure they must feel to live up to the ”perfect body” before entering the reality TV SHOW world is horrible.

"The fact they HAVE to wear bikinis all day until they are allowed put clothes on for the evening. The stress," she added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@rozannapurcell) on

She continued, opening up about her moment of clarity on the beach;

"Went to go for a swim today and obviously with the weather it was jammers  I think about the fear I used to have (sometimes still get) about stripping off into a swimsuit/ bikini, walking past people feeling just shit and insecure about my stretch marks, cellulite jiggly bits. Walking backwards into the sea."

"It was the fear of what people thought more so than what I thought about them." Fear holds a huge amount of us back from enjoying our holidays, and it's not fair.

Image: iNEws

"What to remember when I feel like this…. No one cares or notices and if they do, if they care about my bits (that are not part of this perfect image portrayed by society) then they're dicks.

"You deserve to run about in a swimsuit, jump in the sea, dip in the pool, not be bleeding boiling on holidays. Don't let anyone tell you different (even your own head )." Roz concluded.

She's dead right. While we can all enjoy reality television if we want, we have to recognise that it's about as far away from reality as possible.

Body confidence takes time and energy, but figure out what empowers you. If Love Island makes you feel self-conscious or down, it's time to switch off.

Feature image: Instagram/@rozannapurcell

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We can all acknowledge that Love Island can have a damaging effect on our mental health.

For one, we arguably lose a few brain cells any time we binge a series of it, but also the lack of diversity in the show is stark.

From racial issues to ridiculously high beauty standards and zero plus-size contestants, it can all be a bit draining.

A new poll conducted by professional marketplace Bidvine has now revealed that four-in-five people feel insecure when they watch the ITV2 hit reality show.

Let's face it, the show depicts scantily-clad stunners in bikinis and swimwear all day looking gorgeous, and rarely ever shows them eating.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

Presumably, there was pressure from producers and the show's bosses on the Islanders to maintain a certain weight and look when they entered the villa, which implies that finding love is purely for super skinny, athletic, bronzed beauties.

From an audience perspective, the show is as far from reality as it can get. 

The Bidvine poll also showed that one in eight respondents claimed they had looked up plastic surgery costs whilst watching Love Island.

73 percent said that they felt insecure about their body and 55 percent said the same about their face.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

53 percent of the programme's fans also said that they had looked up personal training costs, and 47 percent had searched for nutritionist services.

"Seeing chiselled bodies on Love Island and the summer months approaching, it is amazing to see how many people are seeking out fitness professionals,’ said Russ Morgan, Co-Founder of Bidvine.

Morgan warned that pursuing a healthy lifestyle needs to be done for the correct reasons, and not for body image issues.

Russ also elaborated on the value of seeing your own unqiue beauty;

"Don’t let a television show dictate how people “should” look and don’t work towards that unrealistic standard. Instead, pursue a healthy lifestyle and be confident in knowing that everyone is beautiful."

Since the show began on June 3, there has been a shocking 38 percent increase in personal training bookings through the professional marketplace and a 22 percent increase in nutritionist bookings.

The show's bosses caused outraged when quizzed on their lack of body diversity, after which they claimed the reason is because they "want people to be attracted to each other."

People of any look, race, gender or weight are attractive, there is no one standard of the perfect beauty ideal and the show is causing toxicity.

Make sure to take care of your mental health and be aware of how damaging insecure emotions can be as you focus on fitness. F*ck the 'summer bod' trope.

Feature image; Love Island/ITV

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By now, all of society have adjusted to constantly seeing mannequins looking the exact same, with very slim form and usually white.

However, sportswear brand Nike have debuted their plus-size para-sport mannequins in their London flagship store, and has been applauded for this inclusive step.

Their first plus-size clothing range debuted in 2017, offering customers sizes up to 3X. The Oxford Street shop has unveiled its new women's floor exclusively for female athletes.

Nike’s GM/VP for Women in EMEA, Sarah Hannah, said:

“With the incredible momentum in women’s sport right now, the re-designed space is just another demonstration of Nike’s commitment to inspiring and serving the female athlete.

“This is more than a shopping experience, it’s a destination to celebrate sport just in time for an incredible summer of football, netball, athletics and more," Hannah added,

The brand's choice to use a variety of body sizes in its mannequin range has been met with phenomenal praise. The new women's section also has bra fittings and leggings adjustments, so sport can be for everyone and every body type.

With the internet increasingly editing and filtering images of themselves and their bodies, seeing authenticity in clothing modelling is incredibly important.

Any honest depictions of the female body in fashion is a rarity, so we are hugely impressed with Nike's new women's floor.

Celebrating diversity in sport allows anyone to take part in activities of exercise, for their health as well as for social reasons. Giving plus-sized people this space is beyond amazing.

The average mannequin measures, according to The Guardian, are 6ft in height, with a 34in bust, 24in waist, and 34in hips. Not very realistic, is it?

This makes Nike the first brand to use realistic mannequins, and last year Missguided displayed mannequins of varying ethnicities and possessing stretchmarks and vitiligo.

Let's keep up the momentum of demanding real-life bodies in the media, in beauty and in fashion. No airbrush, no editing, and no bullsh*t.

Feature image: Twitter/@designtaxi

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ITV bosses are about to get some SERIOUS hate mail after the latest comments on body diversity. Brace yourselves for this one, people, it's an absolute corker.

Richard Cowles, creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment, are claiming that the reason Love Island is lacking body diversity is because they want the contestants "to be attracted to one another". 

The reality show has been garnering huge criticism in previous years over failing to cast contestants with a range of body types.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

The 2019 islanders for season five were unveiled last Monday, and fans of the show quickly took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

The contestants are typically toned, slim and bronzed with gleaming white teeth; zero change from the last four seasons. Former stars of the show also expressed concerns at the lack of physical representation.

Cowles suggested the reason Love Island usually shows only one physique is because other body types might be deemed LESS attractive by other contestants, which is something only a massive d*ckhead would say.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

“I think we try to be as representative and diverse as possible,” Cowles sais​​​​​​d “It has to come back first and foremost- it's an entertainment show and it's about people wanting to watch people we've got on screen and then reacting and falling in love with one another.

“Yes we want to be as representative as possible but we also we want them to be attracted to one another.” *Sharpens knife*

The  Love Island boss continued to dig a bigger hole by saying the show isn’t encouraging people to aspire to a certain body image, it just chooses participants based on who they think the public want to watch for eight weeks.

So basically, only this one narrow body type can appear on television, because the public refuse to watch any other varieties of physiques. Wow. 

“We're saying here's a group of people that we want to watch for eight weeks, and we want to watch them fall in love,” Cowles added. “That's not at the front of our mind, but we do want to be as diverse as possible.”

Former islanders Alexandra Cane and Malin Andersson both spoke out about their disappointment over the 2019 line-up.  

Cane tweeted: “Where the curvy girls at?” while Love Island 2016 star Andersson, wrote: “And I thought they would have some diversity. Meh.”

A spokesperson from ITV2 later said:

“When casting for Love Island, we always strive to reflect the age, experiences and diversity of our audience and this year is no exception with a cross section of different personalities and backgrounds in the villa." Maybe strive a tad harder, eh?

The reality show has also received complaints about the lack of care for the mental health of contestants, following the suicides of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.

While the series came under scrutiny for reasons of mental health and compassion on social media, it seems the public are still commenting on the bodies of those involved in the new season 

The show has since introduced aftercare processes in a string of changes.

Some fans are even calling for the show to be removed from the air entirely, especially after The Jeremy Kyle Show drama.

One thing is for sure, they need to do better. Full stop.

blackish do it GIF by ABC Network

Feature image: Instagram/@loveisland

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Love Island has yet to return for its fifth season, but drama has already begun brewing online over body sizes and weight diversity.

Jameela Jamil has expressed her distaste about the lack of plus-size people on the hit ITV2 show, and tweeted an image of one of the contestants who she presumed was the producers choice for a larger type of body.

Unfortunately, her tweet has slightly backfired after Katy McDermott pointed out that, by posting an image and singling out one woman and assuming she is the 'token plus-size contestant', she is now the one labelling women's bodies:

The Good Place actress and activist wrote: "The producers of Love Island think this slim woman counts as their new token “plus size” contestant? Are they drunk?"

The woman, Anna Vakili, is slightly curvier than the other contestants, but is still by no means a 'plus-size' model.

Former Love Island star Kady McDermott called out Jameela for using a 2019 hopeful's body image to try and prove a point:

The 23-year-old slammed the British actress's supposed double standards after she labelled Anna's body 'slim' and assumed she was the body diversity choice this year.

She rebutted: "Who even said she was the plus size contestant? Maybe we shouldn’t be labelling women as anything and just letting them be who they are. Skinny/slim/curvy/obese who cares."

Other Twitter users agreed with Kady, saying how disappointed they were when Anna was singled out for her body compared to other contestants when it's perfectly healthy.

Kady continued to argue against Jameela's call-out, writing: "Couldn’t agree more. She is FAR from a “plus size” but even if she was she shouldn’t be pointed out likes she’s different. People are people."

Former contestants Alexandra Cane and Malin Andersson called on the show's bosses last week to cast a more diverse range of Islanders.

Fans have been quick to compare 28-year-old pharmacist Anna to queen of curses, Kim Kardashian. Love Island producers have not confirmed that Anna was added to the line-up to represent a different body type.

Many were disappointed by the absence of Jada Sezer, who was rumoured to join the show. Sezer is a mental health campaigner and plus-size model, and would have brought something new to the villa.

Feature image: Instagram/@jameelajamilofficial/@kadymcdermott

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Barbie has just gotten WAY more inclusive, after creating dolls who are more representative of the real women and young children who play with her.

The company Mattel are making strides since they first opened in 1959 with bleach blonde Barbie with high-heels and ridiculous body proportions.

The brand are making new additions to the range which feature Barbies who use wheelchairs and with prosthetic legs. 

Barbie has been given high-achiever careers as a vet, computer engineer and doctor, as well as featuring dolls who are diverse, more curvacious and black.

Two new dolls with disabilities will be added to it's Fashionista line on February 11, with the company articulating that it hopes the collection will broaden definitions of beauty.

“As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” the company said in a statement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@dollsonwheels) on

Mattel’s vice president of Barbie Design, Kim Culmone, explained the latest additions were a response to phenomenal consumer demand.

"We’re going to be introducing a doll in a wheelchair and a doll representing physical disabilities. She has a prosthetic limb," Culmone told Teen Vogue

"There will be additional body sizes — a Barbie with a smaller bust and less-defined waist. A wheelchair or doll in a wheelchair was one of the most requested items through our consumer … hotline. It's important to us to listen to our consumers."

Customers are still requesting Barbies with more impairments or disabilities, such as Down's Syndrome or blindness (hence the service dog).

Culmone also stated that the company worked with a team at UCLA and with 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who has a prosthetic arm, to make the brand new dolls as realistic as possible. 

Reeves suggested that the prosthetic limb should be removable, giving the company one of their “first big ahas”, according to Culmone. "That’s not necessarily something we would have realised how important it would be to someone living with this experience."

Feature image: Teen Vogue

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Love Island fans and psychological experts alike have been speaking out against the lack of body diversity presented on the show. 

Fans were originally irritated by the small range of body types features in the first batch of contestants, but were even more incensed after 12 new contestants were introduced – none of which challenged the Love Island body norm. 

Little Mix's Leigh-Anne Pinnock took to the band's Twitter feed to express her disappointment with the show's lack of commitment to body differentiation.

The singer went so far as to say she wouldn't be watching the show any longer. 

With Little Mix's Twitter page boasting almost 12 million followers, we're sure of their fans are soon to follow Leigh-Anne's example. 

Little Mix have always strongly promoted a body positive message – rallying around band member Jesy Nelson after she was cruelly shamed for her curvier figure. 

All bodies are good bodies, so maybe Love Island will take note. 

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Love Island returned to our screens last night, and while Twitter was awash with jokes about pens, medical careers and veneers, another corner of the Love Island hashtag was talking body diversity. 

A few viewers pointed out that for yet another season, ITV had failed to cast any islanders with realistic or diverse body shapes. 

Dubbed 'unattainable Instagram models' the cast consists of petite female contestants and ripped, six-pack laden male entrants.

Geordie Shore star Holly Hagan, who has admitted to her own use of plastic surgery, was one of the first to call out the lack of diversity.  

'I wonder if there will ever be anyone remotely curvy in Love Island' she wrote on Twitter. 

The discussion exploded, with many viewers agreeing with Holly about the lack of representation for various figures, ethnicities and abilities. 

However, not everyone agreed with Love Island bringing on 'average' contestants. 

 'Seeing people on here slate love island for not getting curvy or imperfect people on there n I totally disagree, there's plenty of similar shows out there for normal people but this one is for sexy people and that's its thing,' one man tweeted.

'Everybody is ok slagging the girls in the love island villa, saying they’re ‘too skinny’ and ‘need to eat a burger’ and we ‘need some curves in there’ but if there was one slightly curvy girl and someone made one comment everyone would go mad lol works both ways man,' said another. 

 

 

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Most people are well aware that store mannequins are not meant to be an accurate or realistic portrayal of the human form, but teens and young girls may not be able to see this fact as clearly. 

One mum has taken issue with the size of the mannequins at high street favourite Topshop, after her daughter brought the mannequins' physiques to her attention. 

"My Biggest Girl went into town with her friend after school yesterday. They went around the shops to try to find a birthday present for another friend of theirs," she wrote, in a now viral Facebook post. 

"She thrust her phone under my nose and showed me this picture and said, 'Look at that, Mum! I mean just LOOK at it. Me and M couldn't believe it as we walked past!'"

"I mean, it's not surprising that so many of my friends think they are fat or just don't like their bodies. Are girls not meant to be happy whatever size they are?"

Others have also taken to social media voicing their concern over the mannequins, which have been described as looking like "famine victims" in some comments. 

Topshop came under fire two years ago for the same reason, and pledged to stop using this particular style of clothes horse. 

At the time, the store responded in a statement about their use of the slender mannequins, reports The Guardian

"This particular style is used in small number of our stores and is based on a standard UK size 10."

“The overall height (187cm) is taller than the average girl and the form is stylised to have more impact in store."

“As the mannequins are solid fibreglass, their form needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed easily; this is therefore not meant to be a representation of the average female body.”

 

 

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In a society of extremes, women at every end of the curve spectrum are constantly being scrutinised for their size.

But while many of us opt to suffer such criticism in silence, one Miss Italy contestant has decided to defend her curvaceous frame from the abuse hurled at it by antagonistic trolls.

After receiving a collection of bodyshaming comments both online and in person, 22-year-old Paola Torrente hit back at her haters by publically declaring that she will not be turned against her curves by the negativity of others.

 

Comunque andare #me #miss #missitalia #misscurvy #curvy #popular

A photo posted by Paola Torrente (@paola_torrentereal) on

Speaking to the Mail Online, the size 14 brunette – who was told she has “too much flesh” to compete in a beauty pageant by Croatian model Nina Moric – explained how she believes the best way to deflect people’s negativity is by focusing on the happiness which exists in her own life.

She said: “I want to tell young women to accept themselves and to understand that feeling good and being happy is the most powerful thing to fight people’s words and thoughts.”

Since taking second place in this year’s pageant, the engineering student has received great praise from young girls who see her body confidence as an inspiration, a situation which Paola says makes her feel “surprised and proud”.

 

Milano senza la Madonnina non sarebbe Milano, ma pure senza Nina .

A photo posted by (@nina__moric) on

“They made me feel good too. And maybe in that sense I am a role model, but firstly I'm just a very normal 22-year-old girl.”

During the interview, Paola – who is from Angri, an area south of Naples – also pointed out the conflicted nature of a beauty industry which is still widely seen as pushing traditional depictions of perfection on an audience which is becoming increasingly more open to body diversity.

She said: “I embrace my curves at 360 degrees, and I'm never ashamed of them. There are many women that chose surgery to become more curvy.”

 

Stanca ma super felice  #me #Rai #rai1 #popular #popularpic #parliamonesabato #paolaperego #rai1 #like4like #kiss

A photo posted by Paola Torrente (@paola_torrentereal) on

However the 5ft 9 model – who works out regularly to maintain her figure – also acknowledged that the pageant scene is changing for the better.

“The stereotype of the tall, skinny girl started in the 1990s and girls became skinnier every year,” noted Paola.

“Now a lot of girls that don't fit the beauty ideal of tall and skinny compete. That's a really good thing, it means mentality is changing.”

 

 

 

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