Friday, 30 January 2009

Too Bad for Gok Wan "Too Fat,Too Young"

“Too Fat Too Young” was aired on Tuesday, January 27 at 9pm on Channel 4. It was about Britain’s ultimate style guru Gok Wan’s not so secret past.
Gok Wan was an obese teen, and retraced his steps of his unhappy youth, growing up in Leicester being “Chinese and gay.” He quotes looking back at pictures of himself “f**k me, I was massive!” As if it was a bad thing, yet isn’t he about empowering people to feel good in their own skin no matter what their size?

Watching the programme I felt truly bad for the style guru, watching him re trace his steps from sadness to glamorous. However I find the concept some what hypocritical. He says in the documentary that he does what he does as he felt bad about himself as a child, being an over weight teen, and therefore wants to make others feel better about themselves. All intents and purposes aside, he didn’t feel happy being “fat”, so what makes him think that by making women up who consider themselves to be “fat or ugly” that they too will be truly and deeply happy, and not happier in themselves. Surely he would be more accomplished if he was a “fat” style guru, who felt he looked good naked, without feeling the pressure of the media in our modern superficial society, promoting that people can be “bigger and better”. However, it just goes to show that Gok, is happier being thinner than his former larger self, but is constantly fighting the battle with food and mental strength not to go back to where he formerly was.

But as long as he’s promoting positive change to his audience, then no harm done.

Nancy Dell'Olio on Loose Women

On Friday 30th January, on ITV’s Loose Women Show Nancy was asked by presenter Andrea McLean “ you could tone it down and wear more demure suits.” Nancy replied in true self confident style “why?” and I couldn’t agree more.
Why is it that despite Nancy being successful and all of the above should she conform to being more “demure” in order to please every one else, is she not demure? She is a success and self made business women in her own right.

Why is it that the press focus on her looks and her intellect, business smarts, charity work come second best?
I think its because she proves that you truly can have it “all” at no matter how old you are. Also that you don’t need a man to define you or to make you happy, as happiness comes from yourself and doing what makes you happy.
Nancy Dell'Olio, in my opinion,is a strong, smart, independent woman who happens to be absolutely beautiful carrying charisma class and a timeless sophistication, but is best know in the press for being the former girl friend of England's former football teams manager, Sven Goran Erikkson. She is always recognised for her "flamboyant" dress sence rather than her smarts.

She is the oldest of four, a former property lawyer, business woman and chairty worker,including "truce international" (see a charity set up by Nancy and her former England Manager Parnter, Sven Goran Eriksson, aimed to promo te peace " To build a national strategy for youth around the day and empower young people to address the problems of anti-social behaviour and the culture of violence through the love of the beautiful game" (Truce Website)
Nancy also has a new night wear range, called "ND Nightwear"

In an interview in The Telegraph in December 2008, Nancy was asked about why she creaqted her new lingerie range, and answered. "I thought there was a gap in the market, for an exclusive, sophisticated yet sexy nightwear with 1940s glamour. I really believe in the range, and in order to be successful you have to be convinced there's a reason to create a brand" She also plans to broaden her range of her brand by saying "I eventually plan to expand to perfume and a men's range. " Here shows that despite many of her successes she clearly is a driven woman and believes in her self endorse more products to her brand.

Yet despite all of this, her first and formost recognition in the press is her being posed as "flamboyant."
She is a true inspiration to us all showing not to care what the press or those on Loose Women have to say, as she's doing what she loves and is not afriad to show it. You go girl! And in her opinion from her auto-biography "the best is yet to come."
To see the interview with Nancy Dell'Ollio visit ITV's Website

Friday, 23 January 2009

Dove- Campaign or Cost for "Real Beauty"?

Dove, the women's cosmetic brand have been campaigning for "real beauty" for some time now.

They have various images, of "real" women with curves, spots, freckles, hips, breast, big bums, small bums and every other little paranoia us women face or should I say put upon ourselves.
Their advertising campaigns which feature "real women" and their insecurities aims to target those young and older who struggle with beauty complexes.

Some may argue that this is a very clever strategy, in order for us the consumer whom many of us are very much "real" women will buy the Dove product in order to feel that by purchasing the product we feel better about ourselves.
However, I find this highly patronising, as in the current consumer market we live in today, the operative word is "consumer", according to the Oxford dictionary is "• noun a person who buys a product or service for personal use." Displays clearly how its strategies that the media market uses for us to purchase their products rather than actual belief, that by using Doves fake tan, we will feel better and achieve a step towards feeling "real" and "beautiful" about ourselves, as opposed to using Fake Bakes fake tan.

Hang on, there seems to be a loop hole, if Doves campaign is for "real beauty", why on earth are they encouraging gradual tanners? Surely its about being comfortable in ones own skin that's the important message, not buying into the idea Dove sells about real beauty. Surly if it's about real beauty they shouldn't be selling products at all and should just be campaigning for not using products. OK that's a bit extreme, but not manufacturing anti aging creams, and gradual tanners, but just regular soaps? That's the question on my mind.

They have various quiz's young girls form the ages of 11-14 can take about self esteem on the Dove website, but aren't young women fighting the media images and ideals day in day out anyways. Don't get me wrong this is not a criticism of what Dove are doing as its truly brilliant that they encourage young women to feel good about themselves, but what my question is why does it have to physically cost us to feel good, or gain great self esteem? Why can't beauty come within, and without a price tag? My answer is because money has to be made from brands, and although what Dove is doing works, it shouldn't have to cost.

Herve Leger

Seeing the bright neon pink bandage dress, displayed on its own table in the middle of Flannels designer store in Cardiff, I had to try it on; just to see how it felt to try on a £1,300 dress.

You can see how cleverly done the bandage dress is made, each woven piece of fabric of the dress bound layer after layer from the bottom to the top of the dress. It’s very heavy despite how short the dress is due to the amount of bandage wrapped around you. Once the dress is on it feels as if the dress has personally been made for you. It hugs your hips and is bound perfectly around your buttocks, making your whole body look beautiful. If I had £1,300 it would not be a question as to weather the dress would still be on the shelf. However for now it will only be a dream away, but at least it will be a beautiful one.

Many women are forking out for the original Herve Leger Body con bandage dress despite the recent credit crunch. It is interesting to ask, are women doing this because of what the dress promises, or for whom they see wearing the dresses in the magazines?

Girls Aloud, Rachel Bilson, Mariah Carey, to name but a few. We are not talking celebrities, but stars that wear and influence us to wear the ultimate figure hugging revived body con bandage dress. The body con bandage dress is not one for the faint hearted, putting women’s curves in the right places, without having to diet or hit the gym. The cost of the body con bandage dress is £1,300. Would you pay this to feel like a celebrity? Like most dresses women see on magazines, you can usually get a replica from or for a 5th of the original price. But this dress is not made from your average 100% cotton or silk like many Gucci dresses, or ones on for that matter.

Herve Leger, a French designer is the original creator of the bandage dress. It all began when he was walking through a factory and saw some old bands of fabric that were considered garbage. He started to ‘wrap’ the pieces around each other and created a figure hugging dress. The design “mummifies” the body to give the perfect look.

Cindy Crawford was one of the first celebrities to wear the bandage dress. It was a huge hit during the 1980s and 90s.

It has now been revived and designed by Christopher Kane, including a serious of neon colours. Max Azria bought the name in 1999 and began to expand the range in 2006. The dress debuted in the Herve Leger collection by Max Azria in autumn 2008.

What is so special about the dress is the way it is made. It promises to give you the perfect figure without dieting, the gym or magic knickers. It literally is the miracle version of the Wonder bra. The dress is made of 90% rayon, 9% nylon and 1% spandex. What is different to these materials in comparison to the materials other dresses are made of are that rayon is breathable, comfortable and soft to the skin, ensuring you can feel at ease in the dress despite it looking figure hugging. A little nylon, which is a synthetic fabric that is strong and lightweight, and finally 1% spandex which can be stretched repeatedly, and will return almost exactly back to the original size and shape, it is also soft and smooth to give you the comfort as well as the figure you want.

Regardless of the credit crunch the dress is bought by many women around the country alike. Gemma Peterson, 28, Assistant Store Manager or designer shop Flannels in Cardiff comments that “despite the small supply in stock the bandage dress is very sought after. Celebrities have contributed to the influence of purchase of the dress.

The dress comes in a variety of colours, such as neon pink, to multi tonal dark greens to plain black.” Prices vary from £600-£1300. Gemma comments “what’s so special about the dress is the construction; it is made up of woven fabric bandaged around colour. The dress in unique as it comes in bold colours and is simply designed.”

One of the criteria of the dress Gemma adds is that it is for the fashion savvy and the confident individual.

What is great about the Herve Leger body con bandage dress are that the sizes do not come in your standard, 8, 10, 12. They come in extra small, small, medium and large. This is great for those who are size conscious when it comes to shopping, as it does not bound women into a number category, but of a size which is considerably generous thanks to the spandex material.

Hannah, 21, of Goldsmiths Collage, “The dress has made a huge comeback as it can make any woman feel amazing without surgery. Unlike most dresses women need to wear the magic knickers for dress to compliment their figure, where as with the dress you feel like you are wearing a pair of magic knickers in a different array of colours.” She thinks that the dress is even more popular amongst many young women as in many magazines the dress is worn by lots of celebrities of all ages and tastes. Hence making women want to indulge and buy the famous body con bandage dress as well as feel like a star with a star studded body in the famous Herve Leger body con bandage dress.

For those who can’t folk out on a Herve Leger bandage dress, but have a 5th of the £1,300 price tag, it is available to buy a close replica in lots of neon colours on costing a digestible £60. With the help of spandex magic knickers, there will be no need to go to the gym or faddy diets before a night out, so you can spend your extra money exercising your wallet and moves on the dance floor rather than your credit card.

If you want to feel like a celebrity for the evening, without having to diet and have a spare £1,300, then it would be highly recommended to wear the Herve Leger bandage dress, as you truly will look a million dollars.

Welcome to the Blog

Hello and a warm welcome to Cas' Corner.
I'm currently in my thrid year of uni studying media and sociology, and having studied some great feminist theories on contemporary cultural society, I wanted to make a note of my findings. Especially when it comes to the media and young women and the pressures in consumer culture As well as noting about fashion, and any other issues that cause an interest.Oxymoron one may ask? Variety is the spice of life, I say!

I'm 22 and an aspiring journalist/presenter and anything else that comes my way.
Your views an opinions will be gratfully recieved.

Happy reading

Cas x