Tag Archives: body image

Fight Father Time with the Cat Litter Facial

1 Feb

As posters from the recent Hollywood blockbuster “The Counsellor” remind us, scars, wrinkles and other signs of ageing are unacceptable in women and yet add character to men. Signs of aging make a man more distinguished, rugged if you like. His stray greys make him a silver fox. He seems more worldly and mysterious. Like a mature whiskey aged in a highland oak barrel, the older man is all the more delectable. On the other hand, a woman must avoid ageing as it will always make her less attractive. No one wants to date a haggard old spinster. Less still do they want to hear a mad old bat attempt to speak with authority. As women age, they become non-people. Their worth has an expiry date.  Older women become disposable, whilst older men are generally seen to have acquired wisdom, authority and experience through their years.

Of course, these sexist and ageist stereotypes are the foundation that holds up the $88 billion anti-ageing industry. Since women’s physical appearance is attached to their social, cultural and economic worth in a way that isn’t true for men, the former are encouraged to spend a sizeable portion of their budgets on looking younger not just by body-dismorphia-enducing advertising campaigns, but also by cultural bodies and the economy. That is why only 18% of TV presenters aged over 50 are women and why older women are the segment of the population hardest hit by the cuts.

Case in point. Anyone remember Arlene Phillips?

Case in point. Anyone remember Arlene Phillips?

So natural woman, if you want to remain a person with worth, you must disguise your humanity from the world and ensure you stay eternally youthful. But we are in crisis and anti-ageing treatments are so expensive. I can’t afford to launch war on Old Father Time and fight the natural changes of my hateful face. In Lenin’s words, what is to be done? Internet beauty bloggers (and the Daily Mail) have an answer: the Cat Litter facial! You, like I did, can try it at home…

Step 1) Learn to recognise that your ageing face is repugnant and needs immediate correction. Women’s mags or the telly can provide inspiration  (Heat magazine’s “Face Watch” column is particularly effective).

Step 2) Buy some cat litter from your local supermarket. Or, if you don’t want to fork out, just scoop up the remnants of your cat’s litter tray, making sure you scrape out any bits of poo before moving on to step 3.

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Step 3) Grind down the pellets of litter in a pestle and mortar until they form a smooth texture. Mix with Evian-branded water. You’ll be impressed by the professional finish that this gives.

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Step 4) Cook your mask slowly in a bain marie. The bain marie ensures a gentle and uniform heat throughout the mask. Microwaving the mask risks too much heat: you don’t want scold your skin with hot shit.

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Step 5) Apply to the face and leave for 15 minutes. Make sure you don’t lie down near your cat. You might find, like I did, that the mask gives off a Gruyere cheese scent as it dries. Wash off cat litter.

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Step 6)  Admire your younger looking face. Voila! Check me out! Post cat-litter facial and my face is as smooth as a newly tarmacked road! Unfortunately, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s time to save up for a trip to the needle farm.

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P.S. Not everyone recommends the cat litter facial. Cosmopolitan magazine, for example, insists that it is not advisable and is probably dangerous. Cosmo bases this view on the advice of their expert, a representative of the American chain beauty salon Sine Qua Non, which happens to be one of the magazine’s numerous sponsors. The beauty rep advises the reader to stick to her salon’s own, much superior brand of “Hungarian-sourced” bentonite clay, which is definitely very different from the bentonite clay used in cat litter. What’s more, her salon will put this clay on your face and rub it in using a soothing motion for just $118! You could also try the bird poo facial for $215.

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Be the mum you’ve always wanted to be: lose weight.

26 Oct

Dear Morpeth Slimming World Consultant,

I am writing to thank you for the leaflet you kindly posted through my door this morning along with all the takeaway spam and Lidl adverts. It reminded me of a key quality that all mothers should strive to possess if they truly want the best for their children: the desire to be thinner.

Occasionally I think about having children in the future, if I am able to. I wonder if I would make a good mother. Will I be patient, selfless, caring enough? Can I be strict, or will I spoil my offspring horribly? Will I suffer from post-natal depression? What if something happens to my children due to my own lack of shrewdness? Will they be born healthy? What if looking after my baby doesn’t come naturally to me? As you will have noted, “will I be slim enough?” had, up until now, yet to feature in my list of future motherhood anxieties. Should I have children in the future, I will add “need to lose weight” to the catalogue of guilt that will no doubt be plaguing me.

Of course, it would be wrong of me to fail to acknowledge that your leaflet is not the sole mother-shaming instrument out there. Women’s magazines and several newspapers are full of weight-loss and fitness tips from celebrity mothers who have succeeded in their “quests” to lose baby bumps, which implies that all new mothers should be striving for this goal. But the honesty of your leaflet made it stand out from the crowd: slimming is simply a must-have quality for any woman who wants to be an amazing mum. The message is clear.

Forgive me, however, for there is something which I do not understand. What is it, exactly, that makes slimming mums better than ones that aren’t on a diet or weight-loss exercise regime? Can they play better? Do they care and love more? Are they better at discipline? Are they better equipped to pass body-guilt on to their own children, thereby reproducing a market necessary for the survival of the capitalist weight-loss industry? Do share.

Yours faithfully,

Natural Woman

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If you slim down, you could be the mum you’ve always wanted to be

The pathologisation of women’s bodies: make your vagina “nice and tidy”

6 Mar

As thousands of British women are increasingly realising, most vaginas are disgusting in their natural state. If you want to be a proper woman, you had better tidy yours up and make it look as much like Barbie’s as possible: smooth, hairless, flat, and preferably plastic. You see, variations in the appearance of women’s intimate anatomy are not, as you may have previously thought, natural. Rather, they are downright pathological.

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As top Labioplaster (that is, plastic surgeon specializing in improving the aesthetics of vaginas by chopping off the labia) Dr Stern explains on his labiaplast site, women with “large and asymmetrical labia” can experience “severe embarrassment” should they ever be able to find a sexual partner. As a few of Dr Stern’s fellow labioplasters have stated (quoted on Jezebel), if you want to avoid your man retching in horror when you remove your knickers, best to make your vagina “nice and tidy” and give it that “petite, athletic” look by having your labia minor (the inner lips) removed entirely. This process is aptly named The Barbie.  Perhaps, when you’ve had your labia chopped off, you could give them to your favourite Ken as a take home gift.

Dr Stern, the Labioplaster, is also a Vaginoplaster. That is, he helps women who have experienced childbirth to make their vaginas “tight” again. Vaginoplasty involves Dr Stern removing the entire vagina mucosa, the soft lining of your vagina, thereby “increasing friction” for your partner, who may otherwise find sex “less satisfying than it once was” before you pushed out all his babies.  You should also try Vaginal Bleaching to make your bits “lighter and whiter”, because white and prepubescent is always best.

Be warned, surgery for your vagina is very expensive and might set you back a good few thousand sterling. Therefore, if you are poor, I suggest you take out a loan. If this is not possible, it is best to switch off the lights if you get with a man and definitely don’t expect him to perform oral sex. That is, of course, unless you have a vagina mint handy, to “flavor your secretions” and make your otherwise horrid juices stomachable for your man.

A proper woman should also do her utmost to avoid the general public having to endure the unsightly curves of her intimate area. Woe betide you if you should ever go out with Camel Toe. If you are unsure what Camel Toe is, check out one of the many British women’s magazines (such as Heat), which helpfully police the phenomenon by ridiculing women in the public eye who suffer from the affliction.

Are you worried that one day you might fall victim to Camel Toe? You should be. According to the makers of SmoothGroove, the shoe horn-like piece of plastic that combats the affliction, “a staggering 55% of women, irrespective of age, size or weight” experience Camel Toe at some point in their lives.” Camel Toe can cause critical levels of “embarrassment.” But SmoothGrove can make women’s lives “just that little bit easier.” As the makers say, the Camel Toe “remedy” allows “all women to get on with their lives without having to worry about how they look.” Well thank God for that. Thank God some one has been worrying about how to empower me as a woman, because all this time I had been preoccupying myself with other matters.

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I am grateful to SmoothGroove and the Labioplasters for helping me see the light. Before, I had worried about issues such as sexual violence, losing my job and the illness of loved ones. In more naïve stages of my life, I had felt embarrassed by events such as not realizing I have a snot on my nose, spitting food on people when I attempt (as I regularly do) to eat and talk at the same time, having the train’s digital bathroom door (that I have yet again failed to lock) opened by another passenger whilst I sit helplessly on the toilet seat out of reach of the “close” button, or watching unforeseen sex scenes on the television with relatives. All along, I could have put all my worrying and cringing energies into the aesthetics of my vagina. If only I’d fretted earlier, I could have had the ugly mess sorted by now.

Just so you know, Camel Toe is not yet a medical pathology. Say the makers of Smooth Grove of the Camel Toe terminology, “we’ve searched high and low for a medical term … but there isn’t one.” Watch this space.

What women should eat: advice from some French food fascists

5 Nov

By Jo and Rosie

When it comes to behaving like a socially acceptable woman, eating should be one of your number one considerations. Historical and geographical context is important, and proper women must always adjust the figures that God gave them in order to match the most fashionable body shape of the day. Lets take a few cases in point. If you were a Natural Woman born in Mali or Western Sahara, you may have eaten sugar-coated balls of camel fat in order to put on weight and come closer to the local (large) idea of feminine beauty.  If you were born in Victorian England, the chubby, Botticelli-esque cherub figure was de rigour amongst women of the day. Here in Great British Britain of the noughties, the pre-pubescent look is firmly in vogue and is something that we should all be working towards (unless, of course, you are a man, in which case I recommend that you eat lots of meat, preferably beef – British of course – washed down with protein shakes).

Thin is the new curvy. 11 is the new sweet 16. Skinny is the new hourglass. If you want to be the feminine ideal, and as the advert I received through my letterbox the other day suggests (see below), you probably need to slim down (but be prepared to beef your figure out again next season, should the body shape fashion change).

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Thank you Energie gym. I was erring on the side of believing that my bottom was nicely curvy. But no, you were right, it is fat and preventative action must be taken before it gets even larger.

If you can’t afford the surgeon’s knife to correct your overly voluptuous imperfections, then I suggest that you avoid eating, as this is not a feminine activity. There are exceptions, of course. Licking foodstuffs is fine, and can be considered attractive, even provocative (Lolita licking a lollipop is a case in point). Eating salad leaves can also be acceptable as long as you hold your fork in a delicate, feminine fashion.

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Look how pretty and feminine she is. Eating salad makes her so happy. You should also feel, or at least look, happy when eating lettuce.

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Licking lollipops is always feminine yet, as this photograph illustrates, licking other foodstuffs is also good practice.

Clearly, no feminine woman should ever be seen near McDonalds, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, doner kebap vans or any other such places of vice and debauchery. If in doubt as to whether or not your dietary habits are suitably ladylike, consult a middle-aged man from the continent with scientific credentials (real or invented), who will be able to tell you what you should eat.  Take the following gentlemen, who have helped millions of women to find their thinspiration through instigating food fascism with their own strict dogmas on what we should and shouldn’t eat and when:

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Your faithful Andalusian woman’s magazine “Woman Today” helps to solve yet another woeful dilemma by helping you decide which middle-age frenchman’s diet is best.

Inspired by these middle-aged Greats, these leaders in food regimes, these rulers of women’s body shapes, two feminine natural women, Ravishing Rosie and Jelicious Joanna, have this week been following the rules of some top food fascists and trying out the coolest diets.

Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet, named after its inventor France’s top nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan, involves eating excessive spoonfuls of oat bran. Hitherto reserved for horses and mattresses, the fun of oats is championed by Dr Dukan who believes that oat bran embodies “pleasure, flavour (and) enjoyment.” Rather, we found that a diet of oats embodied dryness, insipidity and boredom, which does not necessarily mean that it won’t help you to loose weight.

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TV dinner

Cohen Diet

We considered trialling the Bon Appetit diet with Dr Jean Michel Cohen, since the promise that it allowed you to eat “complex glutens in small quantities” sounded enticing (although I don’t know what it means). However, watching Dr Cohen’s introductory video, (http://www.bon-appetit-diet.com/program-details.asp) his description of the diet experience (“I would also happily like to inform you that the experience will be pleasurable”) sounded somewhat sinister, whilst his explanation of the accompanying exercise regime – “moving a bit more than usual” – sounded underwhelming. We concluded that this was not the diet for us.

5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet is the latest eating-regime fad for the “on-trend” eater.  Apparently, it makes you live longer, look younger and even avoid Alzheimer’s.  All you have to do is fast for two days per week. As Rosie and I have only allowed ourselves a week to test out the entirety of diets profiled on this blog, we will try the 5:2 diet just for a day, gorging for five hours then fasting for two.

This was by far the most pleasurable of the diets, yet we did not manage to loose any weight. Nevertheless, we will be pleased with the long-term outcome of no Alzheimer’s and living longer, and, unless the light is playing tricks on us, we believe we already look a little younger.

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Rosie completing the “5” stage of the 5:2 diet

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Joanna preparing for the “5” stage of the 5:2 diet (please note that her choice of meal is erroneous and manly, which is certainly not remedied by her choice of ultra-feminine clothing and headgear). All will be washed down with that bottle of Iron-Bru, surely the finest invention of our Scottish neighbours.

Rosie still in the passionate throws of stage 5

Cabbage Soup Diet

As the name suggests, this diet involves eating nothing but cabbage soup. We found the pond-algae green colour far from feminine, and the flatulence that followed was not attractive. We would recommend this diet only if you live alone and do not regularly come into contact with other human beings.

Catfood Diet

Because catfood is my passion (useful video illustrating how to move in a feminine way): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkFv1KZzyMo.

Lets discuss this video. Eva Longoria is a beautiful and feminine woman, but not as beautiful and feminine as a cat. She has realised that she must be more feline if she is to be truly feminine, and thus she takes the lead from her cat, shadowing its movements, mimicking its facial expressions, drinking its milk. Her cat moves in a smooth, sensual, nay, sexual way. It is aloof, yet looks you in the eye with a desirous expression, as if saying “come on boy”. In a nutshell, this advert reminds us that cats are the ultimate femmes fatales, and we should try to be like them in every way.  It is this lesson exactly that has inspired Rosie and myself to invent the Sheba diet. To gain the lithe waist of a cat, you could try eating like one. We tried eating cat food for a day, which resulted in cramps and diarrhoea. In turn, these cat-food-induced stomach issues led to a weight loss of 2 lbs. 2 lbs in one day! Not a bad result. However, if you plan to try the cat food diet at home, please bear in mind the words Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association, who, with cat food in mind, advises, “it’s OK to satisfy the occasional craving, but you shouldn’t make it a staple of your regular diet” (http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-02/can-people-safely-eat-cat-food-0).