Tag Archives: dieting

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

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An Open Letter to the Editor of the Sunday Times’ Style Magazine: to encourage one’s child daughter to become a sexual, fasting object, or not?

18 Jan

Dear Ms Long,

Whilst waiting for my tea to brew in the kitchen at work yesterday, I came across an abandoned issue of the Sunday Times Style magazine (dated 13 January 2013). I often turn to publications such as your own in order to learn how to be a proper woman. As such, conflicting messages about how women should behave are very distressing to me. It is with a recent highly confusing experience in mind, in which one article contradicted the messages given by the rest of the magazine, that I write to you.

Let us first analyse the article that jars with the rest of your publication’s content, Freedom to Choose. This piece intelligently highlights the damage the mainstream media causes to young girls. It argues that the media teaches young girls that they are sexual objects, causes insecurity amongst girls by making “how they look, and their “hotness”… an obsession”, and that they are “products” whose worth is determined by how others evaluate theirs looks.

The piece describes how very young girls are constantly: “hammered by the media by the need to be sexy” and taught, above all else, that “(their) looks are the most important things about (them).”

The article helpfully highlights for the reader how to avoid the sexualisation of their young daughters, and how to help girls to have their own space and security to become women at their own pace. To jog your mind, here are three top strategies and tips that your article recommends:

1) “Because (the sexualisation) starts very young … we can choose which magazines and other media to buy”;

2) “Girls’ magazines generally do more harm than good”; and

3) “shared meals at fixed times, where everyone is at the table” can help.

My confusion lies in the juxtaposition of these sensible messages with the general philosophy offered by your publication. Pray, why does the rest of your magazine blatantly contradict all three of these messages?

For the benefit of my blog readers who may not have a copy of your magazine to hand (I will post this letter on my blog), let me now give a brief overview of the contents of your publication:

  • Cover: Photo of a skinny woman who is posing as if she is expecting to be penetrated from behind, penetrated orally and penetrated in her visible cleavage, and who, implicitly, is presently on “the fasting diet”
  • Inner cover: advert for make-up that gives a “face lift” effect
  • p.1: contents
  • p.2: advert for low-fat ready meal
  • p.3: editor’s update featuring JLO’s dressing habits
  • p.4: perfume advert with skinny model posing as if she is about to perform fellatio
  • p.5: photos of expensive clothes and jewellery to buy (prices range from £70 to £775)
  • p.6: advert for low-fat ready meal
  • p.7: photos of kids clothes, furniture and cooking utensils to buy
  • pp. 8-9: car advert
  • pp. 10-14: article and photos entitled, West End Girl: She’s Bisexual, Boho and Brilliant
  • p. 15-18: article about a model and her naked photo shoot, featuring photo in which the female model appears to be being raped (note distressed facial expression) by the male model
  • p. 19: competition featuring ticket to catwalk show as prize
  • p. 20: tips on what you should wear
  • pp. 21-25: photos of skinny models who appear to be about to perform fellatio
  • pp. 26-27: 4 tips on how to make your face look better
  • pp.28-36: your cover story: the fasting diet and why it is brilliant
  • p. 37: advert for a car whose seats mimic the curves of an attractive woman
  • p. 38: dilemmas page
  • pp.39 -43: article on what furniture one should buy
  • pp. 44-45: article on restaurants that sell low fat food
  • p. 46: advertisement for the Sunday Times
  • p. 47: star signs
  • p. 48: problem page
  • Inside cover: competition to win a makeover
  • Back cover: advert for anti-ageing cream

Your eight-page-long cover story, entitled The Fasting Diet deserves special attention, I believe. It advocates the new intermittent fasting diet, in which participants should starve themselves for two 24-hour periods per week. The piece disperses text with photos of the skinny, scantily clad cover model in various sexually suggestive poses.  Without boring you further with the content of an article of which you are already, no doubt, familiar, let me enlighten my blog readers with a few choice quotes from the piece:

  • “Fasting teaches you what it means to be hungry”
  • on “feed days”, “be very careful about measuring exactly what you eat. Don’t guess.”
  • “you must learn not to be afraid of hunger”
  • “what you need to do is set up a system of immediate rewards. For example, if I get through the next two fast days, I can buy a new lipstick… obviously do not use food as a reward. (Buy) a pack of gold stars and put a …reward chart up on the wall”
  • “I know nutritionists bang on about the importance of breakfast… but why wake up Annie Appetite before you need to?”
  • “If you’re feeling faint, 70 calories of low-fat yoghurt takes the edge off”
  • “There is something addictive about waking up feeling hungry”
  • “Last Sunday… I had a slice of chocolate and walnut cake. But it was fine, because I knew I was fasting the next day”
  • “(when fasting), people tend… to raise their intake of tea and coffee, though obviously if you add milk, you’ll have to keep a close eye on that.”

I think my blog readers will get the idea.

Let me summarise the problem for you. If I pay attention to the three tips from the Freedom to Choose article, I would NEVER, EVER GO ANYWHERE NEAR STYLE MAGAZINE, given its use of highly sexualised images of women, tips on how to look better and younger, and strategies on how to cope with daily life when you are starving yourself for aesthetic reasons (as, you imply, all proper women should).

I therefore ask, Ms Long, was the anomaly of an article on how to empower young girls by promoting healthy eating habits and encouraging them to realise that their looks are not their only source of self-worth published in your magazine by mistake? Am I right to judge the rest of your magazine as a pile of worthless, sexist hypocrisy that makes women feel insecure and inadequate, and which I should probably shove up my objectified, fasting, and perpetually-ready-for-sex bottom?

Please advise.

In anticipation,

Joanna Allan

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).

Crispello, “a little treat for you”

3 Oct

Here is the text of an email that I have today sent to Mr Toby Smart, Brand Manager of Cadbury at Kraft Foods, in praise of the new Crispello woman-only chocolate bar:

Dear Mr Smart,

I was very excited to read in Yahoo News today of your new, slim-line, woman-only chocolate bar elegantly named Crispello, which, I hear, “will be the perfect little treat for women” since “it contains only 165 calories” (a most attractive format for women according to your spokesman).  Apparently, it will “also appeal to women because it is in three separate portions so they can consume a little at a time rather than in one go” and will include re-sealable packaging for the same reason. I was also interested to read your very own views in The Grocer’s article, in which you claim that other chocolate bars can be “quite intimidating to women” since it is harder to break them into smaller pieces. Crispello, you say, will give women “control”.  I do love empowering chocolate. Who needs feminism when you’ve got Cadbury’s?

As you are no doubt aware, a large proportion of British women suffer from body insecurities and low self-image. How entrepreneurial of Cadbury to use this lamentable fact to your advantage. You re-affirm our body insecurities and encourage more and more women to convert to a calorie-counting way of life with your low-calorie bar and its £7m publicity campaign. Like other stars of the slimming and beauty industries, you make your own market by providing a “solution” to a problem that you yourselves create (low body self-esteem).

Of course, as an ultra-feminine woman, I approve. Women should worry about their weight. Indeed, it is naughty for women to eat chocolate, yet from time to time we do so and afterwards, we invariably become wracked with guilt (I’m glad, therefore, that I can feel less guilty after gorging on the Crispello). If you want my opinion, you should contact the Church and see about making high calorie chocolate an official sin for women. You see, rather like our fore-mother Eve, modern women tend to become overwhelmed with temptation for wretched foodstuffs and we are therefore liable to causing the downfall of humanity if we are not watched over carefully.

It’s so considerate of you to deliver Crispello in a re-sealable pack so that women can enjoy it in small portions over an extended period of time. Previously, when faced with large, chunky chocolate bars such as just-for-men Yorkie, I’ve become upset because the portion size was just too much for my slight, feminine frame to manage in one go. Incidentally, not just Yorkie bars but big, hard, manly things in general have always scared me and I certainly wouldn’t want to chomp on one.

That is all.

Yours sincerely,

Joanna

P.S.  Finally, a question for you. I have assumed the name choice for your product was designed to evoke the sophisticated elegance of a slim Latin woman. With Latin gender pronouns in mind, why Crispello and not Crispella?

P.P.S. Can I use Crispello as a tampon?