Fashion’s new ‘It’ girls are all older than 65

Fashion designers are switching things up as the focus now seems to fall on maturity and style, rather than youth and freshness, when choosing a new campaign face. But is it all a little fake?

The new faces of fashion are undoubtedly fresh. Yet, they are very different than those models we’ve become accustomed to seeing in our fashion and beauty ads over the years. You know, those young ones that are barely a day over 16, look nothing like you and only come in wrinkle and fat free packages? Yes those ones.

The new ‘fresh-faced’ models are over the age of 65. They are wrinkled and have obtained massive personal successes outside the fashion and beauty industry. They are the new ‘It’ girls of fashion, and everyone’s talking about them.

Image source: Céline

A while ago, 80-year-old America author and journalist, Joan Didion was revealed to be the latest face of fashion brand, Céline. Clad in black, the stylish older woman is seen seated on a floral couch (much like the one your grandmother owns), wearing larger than life black shades and a gold pendant. It’s undeniably cool.

An Internet frenzy ensued shortly after the ad was released. This proved to me that the trend of using older women in fashion and beauty campaign ads might prove to be anything but fleeting.

Image: Saint Laurent

A 71-year-old Joni Mitchell surprised everyone when she was seen in an ad series for Saint Laurent late last year; and actresses Helen Mirren (69) and Jessica Lange (65) made headlines when they were chosen to star in L’Oreal Paris and Marc Jacobs ads, respectively.

Image: Dolce & Gabbana

Italian fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana, who is known for their sultry, sexy Mediterranean ad campaigns featuring young, supple models have also come to the party. Their most recent advertising campaign celebrates a trio of elderly ladies showcasing spring’s latest accessory styles in black, red and gold.


Image: Instagram

The very latest fashion designers to use older models to sell their (incredibly overpriced and exclusive) designer goods, is New York-based jeweller, Alexis Bittar. His Instagram-launched ad campaign (is there any other way these days?) features one of my all-time favourite fashionistas: a 93-year-old Iris Apfel, alongside wunderkind child blogger and now Rookie online mag editor, the 19 years of age, Tavi Gevinson.

Now to the question of why?

Advertisements are there to sell you something, be it an image, an idea or a lifestyle. What are they selling; as I am sure not many hip, youngsters want to buy into being older – and they are the ones shopping.

Is it the ‘legend factor’? Have we finally come to a point where substance is more important than form? Or is it merely a gimmick used by designers to get the media and the public’s attention? As much as I’d wish for the former, my bets are on the latter.

In an article by Tim Teeman for The Daily Beast, he discusses Hadley Freeman’s article in The Guardian where she calls Joan Didion for Céline into question. “It’s depressing to see your idols used to sell expensive clothes,” she says.

Teeman agrees with Freeman as he argues that these are respected women. Mitchell and Didion are known as those one of a kind women, who above all, represent a unique voice, style and have fought against conformity their whole lives. They challenged the status quo.

He argues that they have (like most of us) been sucked in by the fashion industry. Ultimately, to him, they have sold their souls in a bid to sell more books and albums. True? Perhaps. But a girl’s got to eat!

I think these women are used by the fashion industry to present something new to us. This something new has, however, been borrowed, blued and repurposed to fit in with the fashion industry’s needs. Their need to sell.

They ‘celebrate’ these legendary women. But it’s not genuine. It’s a gimmick that attracts attention to them, because it’s different. It has the ‘aww’ factor, as ‘this has never been done before’.

The ads are beautiful, moving and yes, something new.

But selling the idea of youth will never get old.

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Get a facelift without going under the knife

Let’s face it, many of us actually enjoy the experience that come with ageing; yet we still prefer to look like our young self. Unfortunately, not all of us want to (or can afford to) go the cosmetic surgery route.

Lucky for us, there are loads of wonderful, newly launched anti-ageing products and treatments available that will reactivate your youth. Here are a few of these fantastic products, which rejuvenates the skin, while activating that youth factor we all crave:

Getting that flawless complexion: Chanel CC (Colour Correcting) cream contains a complex of Prunus persica peach extract, an anti-ageing ingredient specific to CHANEL. It can be used as an everyday foundation, but does so much more than give you great coverage! It stimulates and improves the skin’s regenerating functions. It also corrects signs of ageing and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles. Perfect for those who have issues with discolouration.

Tightening the skin: The lunchtime lift at Pulse Dermatology and Laser is the perfect skin tightening treatment for women on the go. Designed to treat a sagging jawline and fine lines and wrinkles, the treatment incorporates the use of Near Infra Red In Motion Laser, a draining massage and the Mesoestetics Anti Ageing Flash Treatment.

Instead of one painful burst of light from a laser, pulses are used to build up heat in the skin. Heating the dermis it causes collagen contraction and puts your fibroblast cells under attack, waking them up which in turn produces more collagen. With no down time involved, a recommended series of treatments is advised – a course of 6 treatments @ R4250.

Brightening the eyes: Genifique Eye Light-Pearl Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate is key for eye luminosity – perhaps the most visible sign of youth. Lancôme’s 1st eye-illuminating serum, engineered with a unique rotating and massaging applicator to reach even the most inaccessible eye areas is like no product I’ve ever tried before. After 4 weeks of use, results show 78% of women thought that the eye contour was visibly improved.

Glowing skin: BABOR ReVersive anti-ageing cream is a delightfully light 24-hour cream with a comprehensive anti-aging, smoothing effect that creates a youthful glow, making it an ideal day cream. Ideal for dry skin, it can also be used as night cream to pamper the skin. I apply it every night after washing my face with Babor’s HY-OL

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    • All Images: Supplied

Copy Brigitte Bardot’s iconic smoky eye

Chanel recently sent models sporting a Bardot-inspired make-up look down the runway at Paris Fashion Week. We love it and we are making it a thing.

Parisian beauty, Brigitte Bardot is famous for two things, her beauty and her effortless style. She made the smoky eye iconic, as it’s unique alluring quality is still used on today’s runway models and celebrities – with a bit of a twist here and there.

This year, Karl Lagerfeld opted for a Bardot-inspired beauty look at his most recent Autumn/Winter show in Paris. Models sported the Bardot hairdo – black ribbon and all – to complement the sexy dark eye.

Now, we want you to master this stunning eye for your next event.

The thing about this particular smoky eye is that it is, above all, soft as silk. It’s not a hard graphic eye, as it is softened using lots of eyeshadow and the correct techniques.

The look, so elegant and sleek is a classic, one that you can easily wear to any evening event.

The Blonde Salad blogger, Chiara Ferragni recently tried this eye, and boy, do we love it on her…

Shooting with Chanel today 😍 #IloveCoco #Chanel #TheBlondeSaladGoesToParis

A photo posted by Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) on Mar 10, 2015 at 4:54am PDT

A photo posted by Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) on Mar 10, 2015 at 4:54am PDT

Okay, so it’s officially a thing. And both you and I are trying it pronto!

Now, to get it right.

Watch this quick tutorial below, which will give you all the skills you need to create the Bardot showstopping eye.


View on YouTube

Products to use:

Eye shadow: Chanel applied the CREATION “Entrelacs”- LES AUTOMNALES 2015 Fall Collection shadow, available in South Africa this August.

A great option, or try the REVLON CUSTOMEYES™ Shadow and Liner palette.

Eyeliner: Use a brown eye pencil or a liquid eyeliner in black like the fantastic Superliner Blackbuster by L’Oreal. This product will really have your eyes popping!

Will you be trying this look? Let us know!

All images: Supplied

 

 

No woman should have to eat tissues to curb hunger pangs

The French government is putting a stop to the glorification of being “Paris thin” in the hope of eliminating unhealthy looking models from the media (and our minds) forever.

Paris is known for its fabulous haute couture, delicious croissants and the quintessential, enviably slim Parisian woman in her capsule wardrobe and stylish ‘do. Not to mention the super-skinny fashion models that strut down the ramp at Paris Fashion Week.

Yet, the face (or should I say body?) of fashion might just be changing for the better – and soon.

According to France24.com, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine recently stressed the harmful use of super-skinny models on the catwalk and in fashion campaigns. She argues that accepting homogenised fashion bodies as an aesthetic ideal should become something of the past.

Amendments to a health bill will be discussed in French parliament, proposing a ban on the employment of super-skinny models and so-called “pro-ana” websites and forums that glamorise eating disorders and the super-skinny form.

If this bill passes, models would be required to undergo regular health checkups to ensure they’re not underweight. Those who employ models that are under a certain Body Mass Index (BMI) will be subject to a fine. According to Eatingdisorderhope.com, 1.0% to 4.2% of women will suffer from anorexia in their lifetime.

In 2007, French model, Isabelle Caro was photographed by Oliviero Toscani for an anti-anorexia billboard that made world headlines. She posed naked, showing her broken down and emaciated body to warn others against destructive eating disorders. Even though this certainly created a lot of controversy in the fashion world, not much changed in terms of actual model regulations.

Image source: Facebook

Ever since Kate Moss popularised heroin chic in the mid-nineties, designers and editors have clung to the idea of the super (almost scarily) thin, instead of the healthy and athletic.

In 2006, British writer Imogen Edwards-Jones wrote Fashion Babylon, which told of models’ excessive laxative use to maintain their size 0 figures. To add to this, ex Vogue Australia editor, Kirstie Clements published a tell-all tale in 2013, The Vogue Factor, about the cut-throat industry that is fashion. She shared stories of model behaviours and how the super-skinny stayed that way. She listed eating tissues to stay full (much like thecotton-ball diet, made famous last year), models struggling to keep themselves upright at shoots, because they were so weak; and models starving themselves to drop two dress sizes in order to get work.

Italy and Spain were some of the first countries to adopt rather progressive health initiatives as they’ve already banned catwalk models who fall below what they deem an unhealthy BMI; and Israel passed an anti-skinny-model law in 2011.

Last year, one small town in Argentina was hailed for becoming one of the first-ever places to put an actual full-on ban on beauty pageants, reported The Independent. Seeing them as sexist and harmful to women’s self-image, the Chivilcoy council, in the Buenos Aires region, said that beauty pageants only looked at outer beauty, which often brought on unhealthy relationships with food.

Many hoped a massive change would come in 2012, when 19 Vogue magazine editors from around the world, including those from France, Britain and China, publically vowed not to use under-aged models or girls who appear to suffer from an eating disorder. Unfortunately, this was more of a “hype over health stunt”, reports The Huffington Post.

These 19 Vogue editors who run the world’s so-called “Fashion Bible”, failed to address the way in which photos are digitally enhanced, which ultimately promotes impossible standard of beauty. Israel was one of the first countries to apply strict regulations when it comes to publicity photos and how they can be photoshopped – any changes to the model’s silhouette must be clearly noted on the photo.

Many say that fashion directors, editors, photographers and designers still prefer and even admire extremely thin models. And last year, British Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman confirmed this to The Telegraph when she said that her readers don’t want to see themselves in the magazine, they want to escape, to dream and see images that they can aspire to. She did, however, say that she wished designers would cut bigger sample sizes and use bigger women in their campaigns and on runway. This, however, rarely (read: never) happens.

Punting images of beauty that are unhealthy and unattainable is institutional violence against women. In a world, so very obsessed with outer beauty, the regulation of the institutions which govern this world need to be policed harshly in order to secure the safety of its followers.

Serving up unrealistic (and often unhealthy) ideals of beauty reinforces the idea that women must be valued and rewarded exclusively on physical appearance alone. Our whole world then becomes that of a beauty pageant. Judged, stared at, told to perform: dance monkey, dance!

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

– Women24

The 24 hour boob job

Now you can test drive bigger breasts before you buy them with these handy new InstaBreasts.

Lately, we want everything, and we want it, like, right now! Instant gratification is the order of the day, and more and more women are suddenly willing to plunk down a whopping R25 000 to have bigger breasts, even if it lasts for just over 24 hours.

Breast augmentation is still the most popular form of plastic surgery around. And the demand for it is growing every year. Yet, for many women, going under the knife and coughing up the dough is not so simple. Women ask themselves many questions, like “Will it be worth it?”, “Will I like it?” and the dreaded “Will it suit me?”

And that’s where New York plastic surgeon, Dr. Norman Rowe, the inventor of the 24 hour boob job, InstaBreast and his work-in-progress project, ‘vacation breasts’ comes in. He promises cleavage in just a 20-minute procedure. Sounds too good to be true? Apparently the effect only lasts for 24 hours, but for many it’s a Godsend as it’s a great way to see how bigger breasts will suit you.

On his website, Dr. Rowe notes that he sees breast augmentation as a very personal and difficult decision for women – something not to be rushed into by any means. A lot people have regretted getting their breasts enlarged. It’s either too big, uneven or maybe too heavy.

This is why he decided to give women the opportunity to do a test drive, so to speak.

Developed by Dr. Rowe, InstaBreast is a state of the art, non-invasive procedure that offers patients a look-see (or feel) of their desired potential bigger breast size, without actually having surgery.

“The InstaBreast procedure adds a little more volume and fullness to the breasts without having to have surgery for implants. This is done by injecting a simple saline solution into the breasts, which then gets absorbed by the body and adds more volume to the breasts. The enhancement lasts approximately 24hrs before the breasts return to their natural size.”

I asked the opinion of Cape Town based plastic surgeon, Dr Paul J Skoll, FRCS, FCS(SA)Plast, who said: “I think it is unduly invasive for a 24 hour result. I would not do it.”

According to Harpers Bazaar, a lot of cosmetic surgeons have suggested, that this procedure is just a fad. Yet, I’m not so sure. I know of a lot of women who would be thrilled at the prospect of having cleavage for the night – say for a special event or function.

Women are already flocking to their local surgeons (many of these women not even in their 30s yet) to fix every fresh new wrinkle with the help of fillers, Botox and volumisers.

Then what’s to stop women – who have the means – to ‘fix’ small breasts with a touch of saline solution? That is, if you feel it’s a problem worth fixing. Compared to most parts of our daily and monthly beauty regimes, a 24 hour boob job seems rather painless.

Dr Rowe is also currently working on giving women ‘vacation breasts’. This will have a much longer effect than the InstaBreast, lasting between 2-3 weeks.

Would you try something like this? Let us know in the comment section below.

– Women24

The Vagenda: A ZERO Tolerance Guide to the Media

This book calls out the need to, not just ask for, but demand a media that is representative of who women really are.

The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media by Holly Baxter & Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett (published by Square Peg)
The Vagenda started out as a blog in 2012 created by twentysomethings Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett. After years of magazine consumption they were fed up with how it punted the importance of women’s daily regimes of grooming, ways to sexually pleasure your man and the exhibitionism of celebrity culture.

The book has received mixed reviews; with Victoria Sadler of The Huffington Post hailing the book a failure for forth wave feminism, producing very little new info in this field; while The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon called the writers out as ‘anti-women’. Yet, Gordon praised its laugh-out-loud wit and candid criticism and subversive attitude towards today’s online and print media’s repetitive message of conformity.

The authors hone in, in detail, on the world they call ‘Magazineland’.

From guides encouraging and teaching women to be good housewives – dating back as far as the 1700s – to how magazines like COSMO and Glamour coach young women into playing the part of the ‘young, sexually free, working gal’ who  is really just a cog in the patriarchy machine we call life.

Sex tips are called out as ‘rubbish’ as mags suggest kinky tips every ‘modern woman’ should know. The Vagenda dispels the notion that women are anything remotely like this in real life.

Their discussion of body politics in the media shows us the constant focus on our bodily ‘flaws’ and ‘imperfections’. Ads encouraging girls to lose a few kilos as ‘men prefer slimmer girls’ have, over the years, harshly spelt out to women that their value lies, ultimately,  in their weight and appearance rather than their smarts or skills.

Later in the book they discuss how the average magazine feature is now a measly 300 words – apparently because women can’t read more than that in one sitting (?!) Career articles with tips on ‘how to land that interview’ are now much more about grooming than personality or actual experience.

They take on the fashion industry’s aversion to eating anything with more calories than a grape, cite a designer ejecting a model for being “too fat for Chanel” from a show; and describe a brief flirt with the fashion industry as: “After only a matter of hours in the industry your self-confidence has plummeted as low as your blood sugar (although at least you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that a diabetic coma provides a handy excuse for you to be fed via drip without anyone asking too many questions).”

I was not happy with their debasing, generalised, ‘Devil Wears Prada’ view of the fashion industry cultivated in this book.  It allows very little room for exceptions as their approach is patronising, sarcastic and very much demeaning to anyone associated with this world.

Many have critiqued the authors for calling out an interest in fashion and beauty as downright ‘unfeminist’.  A practice very ‘unfeminist’ in itself as feminism is all about choice.

The Vagenda’s almost superior attitude gives me the idea that they really do think women are dumb creatures who only care about their next mani/pedi. Instead of coming up with a creative new idea for a magazine, which would be more representative of women and who they really are, this book gives us more of an overview of female subjugation in the world of media.

Example after example of why it basically sucks to be a woman is mentioned – leaving you extremely angry and a bit sad for humankind. Yet, it’s a very entertaining read that will definitely see you reconsidering your next magazine purchase.

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Keen on reading this book? Buy your copy now.

I have never been very child-friendly

But I have a few years I guess. Or do I? Society has tagged us with a “best before date”. Yes, that horrid stamp that reads: “use before the age of 32 for best results or to avoid spoiling”. The last days of being effortlessly fertile.

Growing up, I was never really surrounded by younger kids. Being the youngest on both my mother and father’s side of the family, I also didn’t have to babysit annoying tyrant cousins, running around all over the place, begging me to play vroteier with them.

Now at the tender age of 31, I am recently married and very happy as a newlywed. However, for some reason I have recently begun to think about children. Like a lot. But to clarify: more in an I-don’t-think-I’ll-ever-be-ready-to-have-kids-way than an I-can’t-wait-to-have-kids-way.

I have a few years I guess. Or do I? That is the big question. Society has tagged us with a “best before date”. Yes, that horrid stamp that reads: “use before the age of 32 for best results or to avoid spoiling”. The last days of being effortlessly fertile. Oh gosh…

And yet, my mom had me at the age of 36; which I always pictured as a great age to start a family.

But as most parents would tell you, no matter what, you’re never ready. Not even when you are settled, have money and sufficient outsider help in the form of a nanny or a mother-in-law who lives nearby.

Many have explained it as a deer caught in headlights, only 24/7.

Surprisingly, I only have two close friends who have taken the leap and started popping out babies. Last night, the one I frequented Stellenbosch bars with (indulging in Robertson boksiewyn) as students, came for dinner and a sleepover, along with her 18-month-old daughter and her Dutch partner.

(It must be said at this point that we have a one bedroom flat).

All I can say is: the curiosity of a small child is unmatched and boy, does it take dedication.  And I didn’t even have to do much.

I observed my quick-witted friend, whom I never, ever imagined to be the first in our circle of friends to be with child – mainly because of her high-maintenance tendencies – to be a fantastic mother. What I think makes her such a great mother is not just her newly developed multi-tasking skills and the pair of eyes she’s grown in the back of her head, but the fact that she hasn’t changed one bit.

Sure, she is a mom now, who can’t go out partying all night; yet her perspective, unique mannerisms, ability to joke around and enjoy a glass (or three) of wine with me on our stoep is still quintessentially, her.

She made the analogy that taking care of a child is much like brushing your teeth or eating every day: routine. She and her partner have created room in their life for the little one; and have not allowed her to take over and change them as people.

My friend has not become a droë drol (buzz kill) – something I often think one’s single friends fear when they first hear a friend announce: “I am pregnant!”

I’ve observed so many people who have allowed their child to rule the roost in their home. So people start going out less because “Shaun doesn’t like this or that”, they become over protective and start to lose contact with friends – ultimately isolating them from their former lives.

I don’t know when I’ll have kids, or if I’ll ever be ready. What I do know is that I don’t want to become a droë drol, nor do I want to completely change who I am for my future child.

I like my life and know that perhaps I’m worried about never being ready to have kids because I am too set in my ways. A bit selfish even if I have to say so myself.

Do I really have space for a baby when I can’t even seem to manage my schedule as is? I’m really hoping I’ll figure it out one day.

-Women24

The disturbingly high price of fast fashion

Would you still buy an item of clothing after meeting the Cambodian factory worker who made it with blood, sweat and tears?

Despite the tragic 2013 collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh, where 1129 workers died, the world’s fast fashion production seems to be growing at an even more rapid pace. Despite a few famous fashion retailers signing pledges of safe working conditions and conduct shortly after this much-publicised catastrophe, I am still left wondering: did conditions really change/improve in the last 2 years?

According to Laura Heller, global fashion brands are churning out fast fashion at a supply and demand tempo throughout the world. In an effort to meet consumer pressure, the UK, US and European retail chains are now opening in each and every country imaginable including China, Thailand and India. Most mainstream fast fashion brands have also recently started launching in South Africa.

Being in style has never been easier. Eerder dood as uit die mode is a popular Afrikaans saying my mom likes to use (translated that one would rather be dead than be unfashionable). And I think it undoubtedly applies here. Today, the idea is constantly punted that one should always (be it at the office or even the gym) be ‘on trend’. I’m sorry, but even as a fashion editor; I will NEVER spend a lot of money on workout clothing. That’s why old t-shirts exist dammit: to jog and to sleep in!

Yes. It’s nice to be fashionable, but one needs to be careful to invest in fleeting trends that are, well, here today, gone tomorrow. The consumer has a right and, in fact, a duty to demand clothing that is made ethically. And this actually means we have to start buying less and better. The industry thrives on what the consumer wants, and we need to start favouring quality over quantity.

We have become too used to getting our way. We are all a bunch of spoilt brats. I want the latest fashion now and for as cheap as possible -stat! We buy five of the same cut of tank top, sandals or earrings, just because it’s 5 for R200. Yet, at what price is fast, dirt cheap fashion really manufactured?

There are now more jobs in fashion than ever before, and many are not properly regulated. And I sometimes find it rather conflicting. On my recent honeymoon in Thailand I bought a pair of knock-off Ray-Ban sunglasses for 300 Baht (about R100). Ideally I would love the real McCoy, but that would cost me R1700.

An 8-year-old girl helping her mom sell fakes at a stand helped me. For a moment, I hesitate when making my purchase; and almost immediately the mother chirps-up, offering me an even lower price.

This is their livelihood? Surely I am then helping them by giving them my R100?

Then I thought, am I part of the problem? In the greater scheme of things, how much did that pair of sunnies really cost in terms of human blood, sweat and tears? From sweatshop to street, the R1700 pair of real McCoy Ray-Bans will most likely (not always) have a much higher ethical value than that of the 300 Baht pair.

However, I understand the society we are living in today, where bang for buck is really what most people care about. Not all of us have tons to spend on our appearance. We want to look good, feel good and getting cheap fashion is often the easiest option.

But what really sickened me is the way fast fashion outlets produce heaps and heaps of trend-specific clothing – some stores re-stock every fortnight – dubbing it ‘hot off the runway fashion’.  Their PR executives boast about this as if ‘it is a good thing’, a special service they are offering their clients.

What happens to these trendy, of-the-moment pieces of clothing, jewellery and accessories that formed part of that previous fortnight’s stock?  Are they given to homeless shelters? Sorry, but I haven’t seen any Zara-clad homeless in, like, forever.

There are more sales than ever before. Why? In a vicious cycle, the output rate now actually surpasses the level of consumption. Too much fashion, too much! Everywhere.

In a recent social experiment by Norway’s largest newspaper, Afterposten, a reality TV show called Sweatshop: dead cheap fashion, tracks three doe-eyed young fashion enthusiasts as they enter the world and lives of those working in sweatshops in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh – one of the world’s largest garment manufacturers.

The three, undoubtedly privileged young people, experience the daily lives of women and men who produce our fashionable clothes. They get up at the crack of dawn, work 7 days a week from morning to night to stitch together the ‘on trend’ clothing the world so desperately craves. This, they do for a humble $150 per month. Without rest, without reward.

So much so that according to Ecouterre, Cambodian garment workers are literally working themselves to death. Suffering from severe malnutrition because of bad pay, exhaustion from working around the clock and horrendous factory conditions were reported as the main conditions of fainting spells, often resulting in death.

Living in a cube, the Norwegians experience the confined living spaces workers are forced to live in due to their lack of income. Interestingly, the Norwegians comment on the Cambodian workers’ friendly and happy demeanour. “They all seem so happy”, the one says. Perhaps because they don’t know any better?, they wonder. These workers haven’t experienced anything else in their lives. They don’t know that the average Norwegian’s bathroom is roomier than the square they call home.

Thing is, a lot of us know better.

Follow Marisa Crous on Twitter.

Marize Malan, designer of Morphe has started her own project this month, #thinktwice, that aims to shift our focus to local designers and the importance of buying local.

– Women24

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.