What even constitutes a ‘bikini-body’ these days?

fatkini2What the hashtag #fatkini is doing for women everywhere.

Women are constantly told to ‘work’ on their bikini bodies, almost as if their lives depended on it. Flip through any celeb magazine or browse any women’s lifestyle website and you’ll find articles and galleries providing ‘tips’ and easy ‘tricks’ on getting beach-ready – especially come summer. And don’t forget the magnitude of image galleries available on Hollywood’s top celeb bikini-bodies. In fact, there are entire magazines whose existence is built solely on the spying, spotting, blaming and praising of celebs in swimsuits.

But what does ‘beach-ready’ or ‘the perfect bikini body’ actually even mean? We all know that in the mainstream media it refers to the one body we have been taught to value above all others: the slim, ripped, young celebrity or model figure. This is obviously extremely marginalising as it automatically dubs other bodies as ‘problematic’ or ‘fixable’.

ed-up with society telling them to cover up (and with the rise of beautifully made plus-size beachwear for women), curvy women around the world are now taking to the beach snapping and sharing pictures of themselves on social media using the hashtag #Fatkini. Let’s face it, watching skinny women frolic on the beach in multi-coloured and patterned bikinis (not available to you) as you lie (fully clothed) on your towel, sweating your ass off, is just no fun.

The hashtag has created conversation around the topic of redefining the term ‘beach-body’ or ‘bikini-body’, looking at its harsh policy of exclusion. It has since ushered in camaraderie between women encouraging each other to stop feeling self-conscious, barred or judged for wearing a bikini in public.

It’s not ideal that this hashtag was needed in the first place, but at least it’s exposing the masses to an alternative looking beach-body, one which is just as beach-worthy as its skinny counterpart.

What are your thoughts on this mini body revolution? Let us know in the comments below.

A bulimia-themed fashion campaign?

Seriously, what were they thinking? An Italian jewellery brand called Schield recently released its gasp-worthy Fall 2014 campaign photos. Called ‘Disorder Sisters’, the fashion spread shows two models encouraging each other to purge as they shove their fingers down each other’s throats. Dark and disturbing, indeed, this campaign was bound to cause upset. Following mass complaints, the company released a statement saying:

‘It’s a disturbing story that tells a dark report between two sisters (sic). We wanted to create in this pictures the whole spirit of this mystical and dark collection (sic).’

Glamorising eating disorders such as bulimia is ultimately an act of pro-ana and thinspiration – promoting a super-skinny, bulimic or underweight way of being.

This is just never okay – it has a deeply negative impact on impressionable young women, especially teenagers and little girls who’re already having to face growing up in a vain and superficial world.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Photo: Diego Diaz Marin/Schield

 

India ‘gang rape’ photo shoot sparks massive outrage

photoshotMumbai fashion photographer, Raj Shetye, echoes brutal rape and murder of New Delhi student.

In 2012, the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in New Delhi, rocked a nation and the world, shining a much-needed global spotlight on the treatment of women in India. Recently, Mumbai fashion photographer Raj Shetye released a series of controversial photos on his online portfolio called ‘The Wrong Turn’ (which has since been taken down), showing a young woman, dressed in high-fashion couture, being harassed on a public bus.

In one of the shocking images a man hovers over the woman as she lies on the floor, while another shows her struggling against two men who are gripping her arms tightly. A final picture shows two men pinning her down. Quite reminiscent of the controversial ad by Dolce & Gabbana, that shows a woman pinned down by a muscle-head model, while a few others guys await their turn.

Nirmala Samant, chairwoman of the National Commission for Women, has written to Mumbai’s chief of police calling for an immediate investigation: “Any person with common sense will understand this is nothing but glorifying of violence,” she told Agence France-Presse.
“I’m of the strong opinion that there should be some legal action because this is not artistic freedom, certainly not,” she added.

The photographer gave the following (rather pathetic) explanation of his fashion series to Buzzfeed: “This is in no way meant to glamorize the act, which was very bad. It’s just a way of throwing light on it…and the aim is to create art that will gather some reaction in society. The message I would like to give is that it doesn’t matter who the girl is. It doesn’t depend on which class she belonged in — it can happen to anyone.”

Um, no it glamorises rape.

The parallels between the fashion shoot and the student’s murder drew lots of anger on Twitter yesterday, leaving people shocked and, quite frankly, in disbelief. One simply cannot argue that this fashion shoot had nothing to do with the horrific incident in 2012. Placing aspirational bodies in the form of beautiful/polished models, wearing high-fashion clothing, in situations which so closely mimic a real or imaginary event where people were or are being harmed or abused is just plain offensive. And the fashion industry needs to stop playing dumb every time they step over the line.

Does Olivia Wilde’s breastfeeding picture make you uncomfortable?

The hyper-sexualisation of breasts, and especially the female nipple has left many uncomfortable around breastfeeding mothers.

ARTICLE Via Women24.com
Recently, a photo was released of new mom Olivia Wilde breastfeeding her son Otis (in head-to-toe Prada couture, nogal) during a Glamour magazine cover shoot. The picture quickly went viral – with some deeming her public display of naked breast inappropriate, while others (like me) saw it as a beautiful act of motherhood.
Models like Miranda Kerr, Jaime King and Gisele Bündchen have also caught heat, in the last year, for posting pictures on social media of themselves breastfeeding. On the one hand they got flak for doing something with their breasts that wasn’t solely for viewing pleasure, and on the other hand a lot of new mothers complained of the pressure they feel to look perfectly groomed while taking care of their youngsters. Others purely said that they were ‘over-sharing’.


Image source: Instagram

In my opinion we need to consider the fact that these women are supermodels, seen by many the world over as genetically-gifted super humans. Of course they are going to look better when breastfeeding than most, yet that doesn’t mean they’re not great mothers. But is it perhaps more about the fact that modelling and motherhood doesn’t quite go together in people’s minds?

Wilde told Glamour: “Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother being a part of that. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing.”

Yes it is. That is in fact the primary purpose of the breast, is it not? Then why is this picture of Wilde or those shared by supermodels making so many men and women uncomfortable?

Is it because the breast has become so hyper-sexualised in modern society, that breastfeeding is no longer seen as something that is inextricably linked to it?

Surely that needs to change. Otherwise we are advocating that feeding your baby should be a slightly shameful act to be performed by less attractive women in dark rooms.

THE EASTERN FOOD BAZAAR, CAPE TOWN

Cape Town is of course jam-packed with amazing things to do, places to see and restaurant & bars to visit. One place you simply shouldn’t miss when visiting the Mother City is the Eastern Food Bazaar. One entrance is situated on Darling Street and the other on Longmarket Street. This is a 100% Halaal establishment, which has its fair amount of daily customers. This is truly where the locals eat.

In this ‘food alley’ you’ll find delicious Eastern meals, from Turkish and Chinese to Indian food. And the best part? It is fantastic value for money. You get massive, tasty meals, which taste authentically eastern, for between R25 to R45.

The main thing people come for are the curries. Which are all incredibly flavourful. From creamy Butter Chicken to delicious Lamb Rojan Josh, you definitely won’t go home hungry. The dish that I eat regularly is the above, the creamy Butter Chicken. That is R35 for a curry, a huge pile of rice, slaw and lentils. They definitely don’t skimp on anything in this place.

Another delicious local dish, for those with an above average appetite, is the Bunny Chow. That is a quarter loaf op bread filled with curry. This is a messy one, but getting your hands dirty is the only way.

A great compliment to your meal, the soft and fluffy naan breads. Drizzled with ghee – clarified butter that originated in South Asia  – this is a must with curry. For only a meek R6, you have no excuse not to order one.

Open 7 days a week, this is a food lovers mecca one simply must visit when in Cape Town.

For more info contact:

phone : +27 21 461 2458
email : info@easternfoodbazaar.co.za

To see their fantastic menu, go here.

Photos by Marisa Crous

10 of the World’s Best Street Foods

When visiting any new city, it’s probably most important to dig into the local cuisine. Where better to learn from a place than from the people on the street? Street food is where it’s at right now. Here’s a round-up of ten great street foods to try in ten fantastic foodie cities:

1. Amsterdam: Frites with mayo

No Dutch meal is complete without a dash of mayo. One double-fried treat you you can enjoy while strolling down along the canals is frites. Especially those sold at Rembrandt square. They are to die for!

2. Istanbul: Kumpir

Pay a visit to the neighbourhood of Karaköy, where you’ll find streets laden with food stalls selling these huge baked potatoes, topped with an array of dips, olives and more.

3. Paris: Nutella Crêpes

A visit to the city of love is not complete without a taste of their delicious choc-nut crêpes. Pop over to Montparnasse, where you can find them from vendors for relatively cheap.

4. Tel Aviv: Falafel

We all know this one, but where better to try it than in Tel Aviv? Find this yummy, savoury pita stuffed with veggy falafel balls (made from chickpeas) around any street corner, for next to nothing, in this bustling city.

5. Marrakesh: Tagine

Visit the busy night market of Jemaa El Fna for some fantastic veggy tagine. This will set you back just over R20 – depending on your bartering skills of course.

6. Mexico City: Re-fried Bean Burritos

We all know this one, but nowhere in the world will you find a better re-fried bean burrito than downtown Mexico city. They go for around R20.

7. Hong Kong: Shumai dumplings

If you’re in the mood for a greasy and cheap meal, you can find these pork-filled dumplings at almost any of Hong Kong’s best known night markets.

8. Kuala Lumpur: Kway Teow noodles

This fried ricecake-strip dish is a seafood lover’s favourite. Noodles are fried with prawns, soy sauce and cockles.

9. Mumbai: Chaat snacks

The streets of Mumbai offer and amazing variety of chaat snacks. The best snack to try is definitely the papri-chaat. This dish is usually served with sweet and sour tamarind chutney and chilled yogurt. The real taste of India.

10. Frankfurt: Currywurst

Find some delicious German sausage covered in curry sauce anywhere in the Innenstadt. TryPommes Freude for a super cheap (and scrumptious) wurst.

Photos by Marisa Crous

WHY YOUR NEXT TRIP SHOULD INCLUDE BORACAY ISLAND

About Boracay

Never heard of the island of Boracay? Well, this is a place you definitely want to visit. Boracay is a small island of the Philippines, located approximately 315 km south of Manila. It is a destination frequented by many young South Africans teaching English in both South Korea and Taiwan. Try to visit during the Amihan season (varies year to year but usually between September and May), as the climate during this time is characterized as having moderate temperatures and almost no rainfall.

Where to stay

If you are looking for budget accommodating that’s still very nice, go for Frendz Resort. It is walking distance from the beaches and shops like liquor stores, the outside mall, pharmacies, etc.  Here you can also be sure to meet lots of cool world travellers. They also give you a free beer on arrival, which is pretty damn cool.

What to do

Try to take a boat ride on the native sailboat, called a Paraw. There are hundreds of companies who trawl the beaches of Boracay, trying to convince you take a trip with them. Feel free to negotiate with them, as they will often agree. Boat rides take about and hour or so and are best at sunset.

Also try the motorized tricycles, which is the best way to get around on the island.

Make sure you visit Crystal Cove Cave (above). There are many companies who try to sell you a day trip here. Don’t fall for it, since this doesn’t actually take an entire day. You can easily just go there on your own for a few hours.

At night

For those seeking nightlife, Paraw (named after the sailboat) represents the ultimate in island partying. Right on the beach you’ll find nice seats where you can experience the vibe from under the stars. The club is inside, so this is where you really want to be. They serve the most delicious cocktails – try the Mojitos.

Food

On White Beach you’ll find many many options for food and drink. Buffets are very big on the island, and seafood aplenty. You can also visit the local fish market, they have amazing fresh fish – some restaurants will even offer to cook it up for you.

To have a fully rounded Boracay beach holiday, you’ll need at least seven days.

Photos by Jacques Labuscagne