Mauritanian women and pharmaceutical gavage

The West African country of Mauritania is known for its so-called fat farms. Women, especially young girls, are taken into the Sahara Desert and are given (or sometimes force-fed) camel’s milk to fatten them up, in a practice known as ‘gavage’. Being a well-rounded or even morbidly obese woman is a sign of opulence and beauty. Mothers often start fattening up their daughters at a very young age to ensure they are big enough by the time they are ready for marriage – often around 14.

This practice has now taken an even darker turn. Modern-day Mauritanian women-on-the-go find it to be too time-consuming. The wonderful answer? Appetite-inducing pills. VICE has made an interesting documentary exploring the risks women are willing to take in order to be considered beautiful and desirable by men.

This pharmaceutical gavage often leads to infertility and unequal distribution of fat as it enlarges certain parts of the body, leaving arms and legs skinny. Scary? Yes.

This is very much an act of patriarchy as women continue to measure their sense of desirability and value against what a man finds appealing – disguised as tradition. 

Model releases video of her gender-identity struggle

Australian model Ruby Rose recently wrote and produced a video entitled ‘Break Free’, which has since gone viral.

The video’s description reads: ‘A short film about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo.’

For the most part, people are responding positively to her video (the video has over 125,000 shares and 95,000 likes on Facebook, with over 250,000 views on YouTube), while others say that it doesn’t represent everyone’s journey. Well, obviously not. This video is about her journey – the operative word being ‘her’.

Watch it here and let us know what you think:

The Equinox African Signature Ritual

The Equinox Spa, set inside Cape Town’s premium Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, is one of those memorably luxe spots. From the friendly welcome to the tasteful décor, it’s a world away from your everyday existence.

Highly skilled therapists draw from both international and cultural African traditions, combining the two to give clients a superb pampering experience. Our recommended must-try this month is the Equinox African Signature Ritual, a 75- minute journey that takes you from a deep back massage – using internationally renowned products such as Theravine™ – with tiny dumbbells to massage the neck and shoulder area to a luxurious Appetiser Facial, ending with a hand and foot treatment.

For more details, go here.


Prince George is walking already AND other news

Image via Rex Features

Prince George is walking already

Official royal photos were released this weekend showing the tiny royal taking a few steps ahead of his first birthday. Such a cutie! Wearing striped overalls and blue polo shirt, the little prince was snapped taking determined steps across the pebble-strewn ground.

We are sure mothers around the world will be dashing to the shops to buy their younglings the same outfit. We simply can’t wait to see the first birthday snaps.

Rosie Huntington-Whitely turns denim designer

The model has teamed up with Paige Denim as both its new face and its designer. Teasing a #projectintheworks on Instagram, showing her holding a pair of Paige jeans, she looks set to try her hand at denim after her very successful Marks & Spencer lingerie line.

‘With her effortless, chic off-duty style I can’t think of a more perfect ambassador for our brand,’ said Paige founder Paige Adams-Geller. ‘She will be the face and inspiration of the spring campaign when the collection launches in January 2015. We share so many of the same interests and passions. I can’t wait to see what our future holds. Working together will be an exciting adventure and a dream come true.’

Daria Werbowy returns for Céline

Already the face of various Autumn/Winter collections for 2014 – Mango, Equipment and AG Jeans – Daria Werbowy has returned as the face of French fashion house Céline for the fifth season in a row.

Shot by Juergen Teller, Werbowy wears Phoebe Philo designs like no one else.

Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine tie the knot

The Victoria’s Secret angel and Maroon 5 frontman got hitched this weekend in a private ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico in front of some 300 guests. This was a star-studded affair – Stevie Nicks was there and actor Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) officiated. The bride was clad in a custom-made Marchesa gown.

Talking weddings… 9-year-old Saneie Masilela made headlines in 2013 as the world’s youngest groom when he married 61-year-old Helen Shabangu in a traditional ceremony in Mpumalanga. Saneie originally claimed that his dead ancestors had instructed him to tie the knot. The ‘couple’ have now renewed their vows in a second ceremony. Other villagers have called the wedding ‘sickening’, but Saneie’s mother, Patience, doesn’t have a problem with it, saying: ‘I know it’s what the ancestors wanted. If we hadn’t done what my son had asked, then something bad would have happened in the family.’ For more watch the below video:

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reuniting on screen

For the first time since their 2009 smash hit, Mr and Mrs Smith, Brangelina plans to reunite on screen in a new film penned by Jolie. The film will be a character-driven drama called By the Sea, and will be made by Universal Pictures. ‘I am very happy to continue my relationship with [Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley] and the entire Universal team as I finish Unbroken and begin work on By The Sea,’ Jolie said in a statement. ‘They have created a very special place for storytellers, and I look forward to the continued passion and support they have provided to me as a filmmaker.’

Simply. Cannot. Wait.

If fashion ads treated men and women equally


Writers Holly Eagleson and Lauren Wade from TakePart decided to remake fashion ads, replacing female models with male ones. The results were rather shocking, showing the blatant objectification of women in fashion ads.

The above ad for Sisley, shot by controversial photographer Terry Richardson, shows a emaciated female model, handcuffed and being sexually abused. How is that selling  the clothes?


American Apparel is another company that’s always in the spotlight for the wrong reasons – known for using teenage-looking models posing in sexually suggestive ways.

Tom Ford makes great fragrances, yet his ads are often extremely offensive to women.

Why use such graphic, sexual imagery to sell fragrances and clothing? Are all creative directors narrow-minded misogynists?

Hong Kong: the details

My good friend David recently visited Hong Kong for the first time. He snapped away as I knew he would, capturing the most exquisite details of everyday life in this magnificent, hauntingly beautiful and vibrant city. He calls this series, Hong Kong: Of Gods and Monsters…





















23All photos by David du Toit

The new Alexander McQueen ad campaign is oh-so-Game-Of-Thrones AND Karl Lagerfeld gets his own doll

298 killed by missile as Malaysia Airlines plane flies over Ukraine

Believed to be a Russian-made missile downed a Malaysia Airlines plane yesterday as it flew over a separatist-controlled corner of eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has since prompted this as an ‘act of terror’.

The exact origins of the missile, which caused the deadliest downing of a civilian passenger plane in decades, could not yet be explained. The plane was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. For more on this story, watch the below video:

Mandela Day

Today would have been Madiba’s 96th birthday. To celebrate Mandela’s iconic legacy of giving, South Africans and people around the world will be doing good deeds for 67 minutes every 18th of July. The Marie Claire is heading to Noah House in Woodstock today, so be sure to check out our Twitter and Instagram account for updates.

Beyoncé leads the MTV nominations pack

MTV just released its nominations list for the 2014 Video Music Awards and, obviously, Beyoncé came out on top. Leading with a whopping eight nominations, the singer is followed by Eminem and Iggy Azalea with seven a piece.

For the full list of nominees, go here.

Karl Lagerfeld gets his own doll

Barbie Karl is here! Mattel Inc. has decided to produce the world’s tiniest fingerless gloves as they will now produce a limited edition Karl Lagerfeld doll.

Part of the Barbie Collector series, the doll will be dressed in the designer’s iconic style: a tailored black jacket, a white shirt with a high collar and skinny black jeans. The look will be completed with some key accessories of course: a wide necktie, dark sunglasses and black ankle boots.

We want one!


The new Alexander McQueen ad campaign is oh-so-Game-Of-Thrones

Alexander McQueen’s Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign ads were shot by the brilliant Steven Klein and featured ‘It’ model of the moment Edie Campbell. The moody ads show Campbell lounging in elaborate McQueen frocks. Very dramatic, and almost eerie, the images remind us of the murky world of Game of Thrones.  Like it?

Study finds ‘sexy’ social media pictures make women less attractive!

Elizabeth Daniels, a psychologist at Oregon State University, now estimates that posting sexy ‘selfies’ or pictures of yourself on social media actually makes you less desirable/attractive/likeable to your peers – specifically female ones.

The study, published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture, asked 58 girls aged 13 to 18 and 60 young adult women aged 17 to 25 to answer questions related to a young woman’s Facebook page.

The groups were split in two and half got a profile with a very sexy picture; the other half got the same profile of the same woman, but with a more conservative profile pic.

Participants across the board gave the more conservative/less sexy pic higher marks in physical attractiveness, social attractiveness and competence.

Something we already knew? A form of slut-shaming?

The Field Office

Sip on Deluxe coffee as you start your day, all in the comfort of a quirky yet chic concept shop. The Field Office is fast becoming one of Cape Town’s best alternative work spaces. Now set in three locations – Barrack Street, Woodstock Exchange and on the Corner of Salisbury and Fairview Road in Woodstock – it’s perfect for those seeking an office of a different kind. We recently visited it, and fell in love with its sophisticated, yet relaxed and comfy atmosphere.

The shop stocks delicious sandwiches from Daniella’s Kitchen, while Aureos Confectionery provides their infamous red velvet cupcakes and double chocolate and hazelnut brownies. Also try their daily soups and salads – all freshly made and delicious.

For more details, go here


Photographer : Jana Heyns