This Christmas has been a hectic one for sure. I noticed this because, for the first time in a long time, my inner critic was silent. I was literally too busy, too overwhelmed with emotions and too tired to hear her.
You know to whom I am referring. That bi**h who never stops commenting on your appearance. Who never shuts up about your life choices or relationship problems. They might embody the voice of a twisted society, an unsupportive family member or a toxic partner.
Whoever they are, their voice is loud and lingers at the forefront of our thoughts most of the time.
Owing to its usual omnipresence, I was surprised that this year’s festivities had silenced the voice for the first time. I was relieved and relaxed for a few blissful days… Until she was woken again by a Facebook post. And shook awake by an ad on the TV and poked into aggravation by a stray comment.
Two dreaded words brought her back to life stronger than ever: weight loss.
To say that we are bombarded with diet culture this time of year is an understatement. The worst part is that we buy into it every year.
Every single January you hear and read about other women's plans to lose weight for the new year. Every year we devote time and energy into caring about this thing that, according to society, defines us as people. As females. As partners
No matter how little you cared about your appearance, the world will force you to think about it the moment a new year arrived. Are my thighs too big? Could I lose some weight? Is my tummy rounder than hers?
Last year, like many women, I spent yet another January on the weight loss train- it was a sickly ride full of relapses and self-hate. The “healthier” I was on the outside, the less healthy I became on the inside. Sound familiar?
So, this January, before you get sucked in by the motivational ads and the motivational outfit you buy in the sale ask yourself one question: Do I exist to lose weight? The answer is always no. If your past attempts to lose weight have been toxic in nature, wave at that train as it passes by this New Year.
Pregnant reality star Marnie Simpson has opened up about her "major anxiety" surrounding cellulite,
The 27-year-old ex-Geordie Shore star has documented her "daunting" pregnancy journey with her 3.5 million social media followers, and got candid about the tough changes which her body has faced.
Admitting she felt "uncomfortable" about her stretch marks, the mum-to-be poses frequently in front of mirrors to show off her burgeoning baby bump.
Marnie said that the changes to her gorgeous physique have been "challenging" to experience.
In a long Instagram post, she wrote: "Can't believe I'm almost there, pregnancy has been a experience. Watching my body change has been challenging to say the least.
"Not going to lie, I've started to develop some stretch marks and water retention leaving me with a hell more cellulite than usual which is daunting, but I know it's going to be so worth it regardless when I see my baby boy."
The reality star was honest about her "major anxiety" over giving birth and facing motherhood for the first time, but she wants to keep "social media real" for her fans.
"No pregnancy is perfect, I've felt insecure, tired, hormonal, and overall c**p but social media only sees the ups, never the downs! Which is frustrating but I wanna keep it real for all the other mammas out there!
"I'm also suffering with major anxiety daily about the birth and the aftermath, especially with all my previous bladder trouble I'm just so scared of the unknown," she continued.
"I'm so grateful for all the messages I get daily it literally keeps me going and calms me down to know there is so many of us all feeling the same. We got this girlies."
A new study by eating disorder charity Beat suggests that dating app users are "more likely to have unhealthy attitudes to weight".
Those who use dating apps might be at a higher risk of controlling their weight through laxative use, fasting and vomiting, according to the research.
The American study is based on a survey of 1,700 adults. Beat stated that dating app users at risk of these habits needed to be offered support in order to reduce the risk of bad weight management habits developing.
Apps like OkCupid, Grindr, Tinder and Bumble have grown massively in popularity over the last couple of years, with men and women hoping to find romantic and sexual partners through swiping.
Physical appearance is one of the main attributes which dating app users evaluate when searching for a potential partner, with emphasis placed firmly on a person's image.
The study was published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, with researchers comparing the behaviour of those who used dating apps versus those who didn't.
Dating app users apparently have higher odds of engaging in six core unhealthy habits to control weight; vomiting, using laxatives, diet pills, using muscle-building supplements and anabolic steroids.
183 women and 209 men out of the 1,726 people surveyed claimed they used dating apps. Roughly half of men and women admitted to fasting in order to control their weight.
One-in-three men in that group and one-in-five women said they would vomit to control their calorie count. 40 percent of men and one-in-four women claimed to use laxatives…yikes.
The research also showed that men who used dating apps were more likely to use steroids and supplements to build up muscle, which isn't surprising considering the six-packs constantly displayed on reality shows like Love Island.
The lead author of the study from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Dr Alvin Tran, said they found higher rates of unhealthy behaviours among ethnic minorities, interestingly.
"While we do not know if the people in our study were already engaging in these weight control behaviours before using dating apps, we worry that the use of these image and appearance-focused services could exacerbate those behaviours."
"With the tremendous growth in dating app usage in the US, and an increasing number of studies linking their use to body image concerns and unhealthy weight control behaviours, there is a need to further understand how dating apps influence health behaviours and outcomes."
Tom Quinn, director external affairs at Beat, said they welcome studies which can help to identify triggers of eating disorders.
"Not everyone who uses unhealthy weight control behaviours will have an eating disorder, nor will they get one, but such behaviours can contribute to the development of the illnesses for people who are already vulnerable and can prevent recovery for those who are ill."
He added; "It is important to note that this research does not prove a causal link between dating apps and unhealthy weight control behaviours.
"Nevertheless, it is important that dating app users who may be at risk of eating disorders are directed to sources of support."
Anyone who fat-shames Love Island-ers should be locked in a room with Lizzo twerking to Juice on repeat until they have learned their lesson…
Each and every one of us has experienced body-shaming at some point in our lives. Any of us who have been fat will have come across a myriad of imaginative insults that tell us it is wrong to take up more than our fair share of space.
However, if contestants of a show made for GORGEOUS people are getting shamed for taking up some extra space, there is no hope for the rest of us.
Unusually, the person at whom most the shaming was directed was a man. Curtis Pritchard is an elite ballroom dancer who spends 90 percent of his life training. He entered the villa with physical evidence of this. He left it- 8 weeks later- with physical evidence of BEING ON HOLIDAY. Let’s be clear. No one, not even people pleasing Curtis, owes us an explanation or excuse for putting on weight.
Actually, the fact that he chose to let loose and enjoy himself on his holibops comes close to redeeming the questionable qualities he has as a person. He's normal. He's a human and his abs are not his sole reason for existing.
One thing I actually love is that @CurtisPritchard is a professional dancer, hes not got this mental, ripped, washboard abs body, and he looks absolutely AMAZING . Wish the dance industry would accept more people with curvy bodies, as I was constantly told to lose weight…
The 23-year-old has had to discuss his weight to the public as a result of the absurd media attention given to his calorie count, despite the emphasis on mental health issues as a result of reality television. It's often the exact same culprits who critique the islanders on their appearance that end up lamenting the suicide of a contestant or expressing empathy for a former star who has run into problems with depression or anxiety as a result of fame. The hypocrisy is honestly astounding.
The star shared his thoughts on the trolls in an interviewwhen he came out of the villa; "'I’m not going to lie – I probably gained a couple of pounds.I won’t deny that at all, but I enjoyed it, that’s the thing. It’s the first time I’ve just been myself. All the other lads were in incredible shape, I like to go up and down. When I’m dancing I’m up, when I’m enjoying myself I like to eat food." The buoying of somebody's weight is by no means uncommon, and it's brave of him to open up about his body when there was no need to do so. Frankly, the interviewer who brought up the public trolling about his 'gut' was being irresponsible by doing so.
Sad that in #LoveIsland'news' today, people are talking about islanders having gained weight. So? Their hair has probably grown and their skin tone changed too. Why does weight always require comment? It's not cool to #bodyshame ANYBODY. Leave @CurtisPritchard alone FFS
The ITV show released a statement about cruelty online. Speaking to the Mirror Online, a spokesperson said: "It is incredibly irresponsible that any Islander would be body-shamed in this way and we would always discourage anyone from making appearance-based comments that could be hurtful to the islanders and their families. It is astonishing that there have been calls for body diversity yet an islander who has allegedly put on weight is now being trolled because of it." They're not wrong. The polarising nature of the show has led to a mixture of both criticism and abuse online, and it's not under enough control. Vitally, an increase in aftercare and fame training has occurred this year in order to protect the finalists from the onslaught of attention and career opportunities that are coming their way.
Like Maura, we think Curtis’s tum is fab. Body positivity often comes from a female perspective, simply because women's bodies tend to be scrutinised more. However, that does not mean that lads won't benefit mentally from seeing a tummy (yes that's how low the expectation is) on national television. It is refreshing to see guys fluctuate in weight. We all know it happens because that’s life, but we rarely see this kind of thing on a show as influential as Love Island.
It’s also important to remember that many boys as young as 12 watched the show religiously as it ran over 8 weeks. Boys who are normally bombarded with images of ripped bods in a world where many are resorting to using substances to achieve this very specific look. Curtis and the other men in Love Island may unwittingly be doing society a favour by showing us the reality of having a normal human body that changes constantly.
Curtis received some extra trolling for his ‘camp’ mannerisms. His sexual orientation was questioned repeatedly by online bullies. These may or may not be linked, but it sure shows that the way a person chooses to carry themselves physically garners far more attention than their personality traits. For us, his silly advice and general two-faced-ness was an issue. His tum and flamboyant ways were nothing but refreshing in a world where you are criticised for simply being yourself.
The caption reads; "Six months ago this girl was someone I just wanted to forget. I wanted to erase her from my mind and everyone else’s memory. I didn’t see her as Jesy I saw her as “the fat one from Little Mix”.
"Up until now I hated her not because she’d ever done anything bad but because I was made to hate her by endless amounts of trolling. Since filming my documentary for @bbcone and @bbcthree I’ve learned so much more than I ever expected to," the singer continued.
"Thanks to all the inspirational people I’ve met on this emotional journey, I now love the girl in this photo. I’ve made this documentary for 2011 Jesy and for anyone who might be feeling like she did. I refused to speak about how I was feeling for so long."
The Little Mix star, who is loved up with her reality tv star boyfriend Chris Hughes, encouraged her followers to open up about their body image struggles and get mental health assistance if needed;
"I was embarrassed and scared to. But I was so wrong to feel that way. Please if you are feeling how I did, SPEAK ABOUT IT. Talk to your family, speak to your friends, there’s always help out there," she added.
"If you’d have told that girl one day you won’t feel sad anymore, I’d never have believed you….and here I am. Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t see Jesy the fat one, I see Jesy the happy one."
Amy emphasised that she left the show for the sake of her mental health, and decided to retain her "sanity" over remaining in the villa. Good choice, gal.
She said: "I was in a very horrible place over the last week, to be told that the gloves were off with Maura and I had to ‘brace myself’, like a storm. I knew I had to leave when I did."
She admitted that she'd be "kidding herself" if she thought she could cope with watching Curtis and Maura cracking on. The beauty was "grieving" the loss of Curtis and it was too hard to stay in the villa.
One of the UK's most senior doctors, Professor Stephen Powis, has written in The Telegraphthat weight loss advertisements which are celebrity-endorsed should be banned.
Professor Powis is currently the NHS' medical director, and has criticised well-known celebrities such as the Kardashians for promoting weight-loss products and aids such as teas, shakes and pills on social media, and has even called for Instagram to oppose them.
The doctor referenced the troubling statistic that more than one in 10 young people are affected by mental health issues in the UK, and are heavily influenced by body insecurity and famous faces encouraging them to lose weight.
He emphasised that mental health issues are one of the "most pressing issues facing out country".
SHEmazing recently wrote about the level of profit which people like the Kardashians can gain from the insecurity of their fans.
Poor messaging can lead to dangerous consequences, and numerous organisations such as the National Eating Disorder Association have branded the Kardashian family’s representation of weight loss products as ‘triggering’ for those who struggle with eating disorders.
Professor Powis made sure to emphasise that impressionable young people look to these people for lifestyle guidance; "At what is already a sensitive and important time in their development, this group is especially vulnerable to pressures which trigger or exacerbate mental ill health," he writes.
A shocking HALF of young girls say that they feel under pressure to lose weight, the doctor says that social media's ascension has escalated this pressure and both celebrities and the platforms themselves must take responsibility for their posts.
"Our young people are bombarded with ideas, images and advertising which set such a high bar for what they should feel and look like," he writes. "And yet there is little accountability for the impact this has.
"Where celebrities and the platforms which promote them exploit this vulnerability by pushing products like laxative teas, diet pills and other get-thin-quick solutions, they are taking the health of our young people in their hands and should act with far greater responsibility."
Activist and actress Jameela Jamil tweeted her support for Professor Powis:
This is so important. Come on Twitter. Make some noise. Let’s get these nonsense teas and shakes that only help you lose weight from your wallet; whilst simultaneously costing you your health. Let’s bring this stupid “Dietox” industry to its knees. https://t.co/SxD9X3XV8J
Kim Kardashian West has an especially long history of promoting weight loss products on social media, as well as her sisters, Kylie and Kourtney. Kim faced backlash in May for promoting appetite suppressant lollipops on her Instagram.
One of the world's most powerful women was literally telling other women and young girls NOT TO EAT. The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil founded the i Weigh body positivity social media movement and Kardashian West "a terrible and toxic influence on young girls".
Jamil has consistently called out celebrities including Cardi B and Iggy Azalea for promoting 'detox' teas, claiming they're just selling digestion problems instead.
She also called Kardashian 'an agent of the patriarchy', for her incessant need to 'recycle self-hatred.'
Jamil herself experienced an eating disorder as a teenager, and skipped meals for years at a time. She spent money on "miracle cures and laxatives and tips from celebrities" which later left her with "digestion and metabolism problems for life".
The Competition and Markets Authority has announced a clampdown on celebrities who don't label their posts as promotional advertisements, but solid rules aren't in place.
NHS England's national mental health director Claire Murdoch expressed concern over the influence which these celebrities have young people at an "impressionable" stage in their lives.
"Both the celebrities themselves and these social media companies themselves should be more responsible," she told BBC Breakfast.
We're so glad the NSH are finally using their influential platform to steer people in the right direction. Time will tell what type of future diet fads will hold, but they're looking highly unpopular right now.
She captioned the post: "When you see the zankou chicken on the left turn right, and then you’ll be in Marina Del RAH. Happy 21st. Love you always, I couldn’t ask for a better day."
Comments have since been disabled on the series of snaps, after horrible social media users targeted her with hate. One said; "You’re losing your thick", referencing her famously curvy body.
"Healthier? She got work done to her face. She looked 'healthier' before,” one person wrote.
“Nothing wrong with being honest and telling her we liked her better before 'the change' she was so beautiful before she started chopping up her body and if me saying so helps one girl out there to feel beautiful who's thinking of surgery then its worth it,” another person added.
The judgemental, harsh words prompted a response from Ariel herself.
“I appreciate you wanting to help girls love themselves the way they are, but you are also kind of cutting me down,” she wrote.
“I also didn’t get plastic surgery. That is also not being supportive of women if you’re just assuming something about the way they look," she added. She's had to fight back the haters multiple times before:
my friend sent me the funniest article that’s apparently in OK about my “super strict diet” and how I only go out to eat if it’s healthy food and I don’t allow sugar in the house…….HAHAHA I eat every carb possible and I make soft chocolate chip cookies every week…
She tweeted a few months ago: "My friend sent me the funniest article that's apparently in OK Magazine about my 'super strict diet' and how I only go out to eat if it's healthy food and I don't allow sugar in the house…I eat every carbohydrate possible…"
"I make chocolate chip cookies every week," she added. YES GURL.
Winter has long been the subject of criticism online, especially since her breast reduction surgery at the age of 17 and her choice of fashion.
Earlier in January, somebody even suggested that she binges on drugs to lose weight; "Not half as bad as all the coke.meth she uses. She literally dropped 30 ponds." After correcting her spelling of pounds (thank God), Winter fired back.
“Yup… I dropped 30 bodies of water so fast…” she said. ”And yes!! My psychiatrist switched me from my previous antidepressant that didn’t work and made me gain weight, to coke/meth!!
Her body shouldn't be attacked by random online users hiding behind a keyboard. Keep doing what you're doing Ariel, you're slaying the game and snatching wigs left, right and centre.
Grammy-nominated singer Bebe Rexha has just SHAKEN our rage cages by revealed designers are turning down the opportunity to dress her for the Grammy Awards.
Why? Well, because she's a (stunning) size eight.
The 29-year-old is nominated in the Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance categories at the upcoming awards show, and claims she's having trouble finding the perfect gown because of designers and their weight expectations.
The star uploaded an Instagram video detailing her frustration, saying;
"So I finally get nominated at the Grammys and it’s like the coolest thing ever,"
"And a lot of times artists will go and talk to designers and they’ll make them custom dresses to walk the red carpet, right? Like you go to any big designer. So I had my team hit out a lot of designers and a lot of them do not want to dress me because I’m too big," she added.
The vlogger has now released a shocking video of a diet pill company using footage of her as part of their horrendously shameful advertising campaign.
After returning from a sportswear photoshoot with iconic make-up guru James Charles, the model discovered a video selling diet pills which utilised images of her as their 'before' template, and she's understandably fuming.
CarbonFire 213Complex makes it ridiculously difficult to find reviews of it online, but the video proclaims the product to be a certified miracle for anyone who wants to lose weight.
Diet pills have entered the media for an assortment of reasons over the last few years, with activists and public figures such as Jameela Jamil slamming weight-loss products which do more harm than good.
The Kardashians are renowned for selling appetite suppressants and weight-loss consumer goods, much to the dismay of many body positivity figures and health experts alike.
There are an array of dangers associated with items such as these, which are essentially glorified laxatives.
The advertising campaigns in the media are arguably as harmful, telling women their weight creates everyday problems such as finding a husband, having failing health and being embarrassed to look in the mirror.
No. Fuck off. No. You terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to. pic.twitter.com/zDPN1T8sBM
Loey Lane shows the video advert to her following, and it's one of the worst examples of body-shaming we've seen yet. It opens with a beautiful, pale-skinned blonde woman gazing at silk wedding gowns, after her friend asks her to be her maid-of-honour for a wedding.
"How I Fit Into My Wedding Dress" is the video's apparent title, despite the fact that it's NOT HER WEDDING. The problems aren't hard to spot throughout the disgraceful imagery.
The blonde woman looks into the camera lens, and the words; "Believe me, I wasn't always this way. This was me before losing all that weight," flash across the screen.
Lo-and-behold, the woman is now Loey Lane, allegedly the same person as the blonde woman.
Alright then, at this stage we've lost count of the issues within the video, and it's only about ten seconds in.
As if the ad itself isn't traumatising enough to watch, actual graphics for OTHER diet pill companies and body-shaming articles pop up on the side of the screen. An assault is what that is.
"I'm going to share my secret so that it can be easy for you!" the advert claims. Thank God for that.
"A few months ago, one of my best friends from high school texted me. She was getting married and she wanted me to be her bridesmaid. I was SO excited, but there was just one thing… I was SO overweight," the video continues. Wow.
"I couldn't go to the wedding like this, I was so pretty in high school and I would be so embarrassed looking like this. I wanted to go to the wedding and look like I did when I was 18. You know- slim, pretty, looking great in some heels." *Sharpens pitchfork*
"I cut out all junk food. I worked out every single day. After four months, I was still embarrassed to look in the mirror…my personal trainer friend said if I wanted to lose weight fast, I had to supercharge my metabolism."
Classic *insert scientific words here to fumble the consumer's brain* tactics.
"At this point I was desperate…time was running out." This isn't dismantling a bomb, you won't die if you attend your best friend's wedding at ANY weight.
"How could I show my face at the wedding looking like this?" Looking like.. a human woman? *Gasp* "I was even considering not showing up." Priorities aren't in order there, love.
"CarbonFire Complex claimed to boost metabolism using only the healthiest ingredients, they looked very professional." Yes, and Donald Trump looks very diplomatic.
"After only a few days, I dropped a dress size. Ten days later, I lost two dress sizes. I felt lighter on my feet." Because your digestive system has just wasted away, perhaps?
"After another week, I was down three sizes. By the time the wedding came around, I lost seven dress sizes. I was getting a LOT more attention from guys, I almost felt bad for the bride, because I was getting so many compliments."
Male attention should be the motivational factor for every woman, after all.
I hate how the fitness industry tricks people into believing there is a magic pill to give people the results they desire. Fit tea and diet pills are dangerous and the people selling them are only interested in your money. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK AND GOOD NUTRITION.
This all comes at the reasonable price of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, by the way. You can buy happiness, male sexual attention and confidence all at this lovely sale.
The blonde woman in the video revealed herself as Amanda John, and she also did not consent to be used for the branding.
So they effectively stole imagery from two women without their permission and used it to scam vulnerable, hard-working people online with low self-esteem because of ads exactly like this, shaming their weight. As if a weighing scales can tell you your worth.
We hope Loey Lane and Amanda John take legal action against CarbonFire Complex, Lord knows they deserve it.
A reminder, there is no such thing as a magic pill. Your worth encompasses your hopes, fears, intelligence, beliefs, morals, family values, friends, career and everything in between, not just your appearance alone.
You can't lose weight and discover joy at the end of the scales.
Take a look at Loey Lane's original video below for some fresh morning rage;