Beach body ready yet?

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Something that is vexing a lot of people at the moment in the UK is a series of posters on the London Underground enquiring if you/we are feeling as if we’re ‘beach body ready’.

Immediately, some women took offence. Quite rightly so, in my view.

We’re all beach body ready. All the time. We need to learn to be content within our own skins and not pandering to what is often an unrealistic, unobtainable ‘ideal’ as portrayed by the beauty business.

A campaign is underway to have the posters removed on the basis that they are “targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.”

Up to a point, they’re correct. I don’t think that the model shown is ‘unrealistic’ (although it might be interesting to learn just how much photoshopped she is), but I take the point that it’s only a campaign to shift a product, which may or may not work, and at the end of April, even if it does work, isn’t going to produce a figure like the model portrayed in time for July/August.

The key to a ‘beach body’ is staying off junk food, tucking into fruit and veg, and doing a lot more exercise than most of us already do. Of course, the work environment, sedentary jobs stuck at computer terminals with unsociable hours that mean the gym is potentially closed by the time we clock off, doesn’t help.

I can’t really judge objectively, as the world of slimming products is wholly alien to me, so in a sense I don’t even know what they do and how they do it, in terms of aiding weight loss, so I’m not going to get into slagging off a product of which I’ve no particular knowledge.

I will, however, suggest that it’s further evidence of a beauty industry, or health industry, becoming more in-your-face in the way that they promote their wares, some of which (and this isn’t aimed at the company involved here which, as I’ve said, I’ve no knowledge) is snake oil.

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The ad campaign, ridiculed and parodied by many on social media.

Other posts on this blog suggest that Second Life clothes designers often buy into this same ‘beauty myth’; it has become something of a regular bugbear of ours at SLN in recent weeks, and while we’re not encouraging a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, and would countenance the need for exercise and healthy eating, we do feel that it’s incumbent on SL’s designers not to perpetuate the myths perpetuated by the RL fashion industry by downsizing mesh clothes to underline the fact that, for all sorts of reasons, people are of different sizes and SL needs to recognise this.

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Ella

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