We are often judged by our appearances and labelled ‘fat’, ‘skinny’, or ‘short’. This certainly causes us to lose confidence with ourselves and our body images, which isn’t the real person behind each one of us. In our body positivity campaign, we interview a few men and women to show that we are often more than just a label.
As you can tell, many a times, some of the labels can be hurtful and down right ridiculous. Take the time to get to know the real person behind your label.
Congratulations to 43 year-old Ice Sherry Lee who recently competed in the international Mrs Top of the World pageant in Riga, Latvia! The Singaporean mother of two was one of the few Asians in the competition and she bagged the title of Second Runner Up, beating 16 other contestants who were mostly in their early 30s. The cheerful Singaporean beauty also won the award for Mrs Photogenic.
According to Ice, she shared that the competition was “pretty intense” as some of the contestants had an entourage following them everywhere to ensure that they looked good all the time. Nonetheless, this beauty with the short cropped hairdo stood out from the rest with her ability to look outstanding plus confident through careful choices of colour and clothes that match her skin and body shape. It is hard to believe that Ice had never worn a stitch of make up until she joined SIA as a flight attendant at the age of 24 years-old!
The results of the pageant were determined through four factors: paid public online voting (including social media), beauty, poise and confidence. It’s no wonder that this former model scored high in all segments, as seen through her sizeable following. Ice is currently the founder of Aphrodite Image Consultancy as well as the owner of Shine Models, and she shared what her beauty secrets are: drinking sufficient water, getting at least 8 hours of sleep daily, a regular detox regime as well as a rigorous daily skincare routine.
The dedicated mother of a boy and a girl still takes the time to ensure that her children eat properly by cooking almost every meal for them.
When asked what this win in an international pageant means to her, Ice commented, “I want to show that even when middle age hits, it is possible for any woman to still be beautiful when one masters the art of dressing for success and takes good care of herself while putting her strengths to work.”
We’re certainly proud of Ice for clinching this international title for Singapore and we definitely want to look as good as she does when we hit our 40s!
Dove has done it again with their latest body positive campaign! They have managed to come up with this brilliant marketing campaign that not only shows how we all come in many shapes and sizes, but we are all the same too. Helmed by Ogilvy London, Dove came up with bottles of their body wash in different shapes and sizes even though they all have the same content.
The bottles are meant to represent the fact that even though women come in all shapes and sizes, they’re all unique and should be treated equally, just like the bottles all have different ways but accomplish the same purpose.
As you can see from the jazzy number, Dove aims to make sure that people understand that beauty comes in all forms and should be celebrated as such. These limited edition bottles are quite refreshing to see on the shelves and really drives home the message to consumers in a tangible manner.
Nevertheless, while the commercial appears to be doing well, a lot of people on Twitter have instead taken to criticising and making fun of the bottles, with some people noting that they aren’t representative of all body types and others just mocking it for no reason.
It’s the Internet so this isn’t surprising, but it does make you think about whether people are receptive towards attempts at increasing body positivity. It’s certainly a more brazen attempt since we are just speaking about bottles, but you can also make a case about how the things that surround us also influence the way we see the world.
Either way, you still can’t knock Dove for trying to spread the message, but it’s not surprising considering they had already done this with Image_Hack last month. Still, regardless of people’s reactions, the attempt should still be appreciated because for a beauty company, Dove is really going above and beyond by celebrating all kinds of beauty instead of sticking to stereotypes. After all, the world is diverse and that’s what makes us all unique individuals who should be celebrated daily.
The Wellness Insider is proud to be a community partner of DreamGirl SG – Singapore’s first and only competition for petite women (1.65m and below). Organised by O2 Incorporated, the competition is unlike beauty pageants or any other female-oriented competitions as they believe in finding beautiful, intelligent and passionate ladies out there who do not fit the conventional height requirements for pageants or modelling.
Through the DreamGirl SG, the organisers want to provide a platform to let these ladies showcase their talents. More importantly, they aim to empower these women to stand up for themselves and build self confidence through participation of activities they would not otherwise have considered joining.
This year’s competition will see 17 contestants in the first round and they will be competition for a chance at winning S$5,000 in cash and over S$4,000 worth of prizes!
As mentioned above, the competition isn’t based on looks and poise but also about effort and attitude. The 17 contestants will learn gruelling yet exciting activities such as Brazilian Ju Jitsu, catch wrestling, flowboarding, paintball and even Burlesque Dancing! Through their performance in each of these activities, points will be awarded based on effort invested, attitude and quality of final performance in each challenge.
Sukki Singapora, Singapore’s first Burlesque Dancer will be teaching the ladies all about it during their activity in July
Based on the point ranking of each contestant, elimination will begin in July until there are only 10 left in August. The finals (on 26th August) will see contestants face off each other in a sparring contest, execute a fight choreographed dance segment conceptualised by MediaCorp Artiste Vincent Ng’s martial arts school, and perform a unique talent segment of their own.
All contestants will also have a chance to become Brand Ambassadors for some of the sponsors! Moreover, the exposure from the competition may also open doors that you never knew existed.
Requirements for the competition:
1.65m and below
Physically fit with no prior issues with asthma or heart related problems
Be able to devote all weekends in June, July and August to the competition
Able to speak English fluently and express emotions as well as thoughts in a candid, forthright manner
In a world where images of highly objectified and sexualised women are prevalent, many women have raised their objections but few major corporations have challenged the status quo. Nonetheless, there are few who are willing to do so and have already done so – namely Dove together with Danish marketing agency, Mindshare.
The idea for the campaign came up after Dove’s Global Beauty and Confidence Report showed that women didn’t feel confident or adequately represented in the images or ads they saw. As such, they came up with a solution, or a ‘hack’ and this case, it’s an “Image_Hack”. The campaign was bold and challenged the stereotypical images associated with the term “Beautiful Women”.
Mindshare and Dove decided to take matters into their hands and devised a plan to “hack” one of the most visited stock image sites – Shutterstock. To do this, they first went around taking multiple photos of women in different activities, showcasing how truly beautiful they are no matter how they looked or what they were doing.
The next step after that was getting their images to overtake the stock site’s influx of “beautiful” women pick. They uploaded their images and tagged them in a way that they’d be what people see when searching for tags such as “beautiful women” and “smart women”.
They didn’t stop there though. To make sure that the public were able to see these images, they allowed companies to use whatever images they wanted to use for their campaigns (and there are some cute ones too) royalty-free. They also set up a series of ads in Denmark (the country Mindshare is in) in front of famous company buildings to give more exposure.
The ads became a big hit in Denmark, with over 1,762 images downloaded and in use by influential companies. It’s clear that the campaign was a great success and this really paves the way for how females are portrayed in advertisements.
One such image used in an ice-cream ad
None of this is new for Dove, however. Most people may know the company for its beauty products, but this isn’t the first time it’s tried its hand at encouraging and empowering women in a series of body positive marketing campaigns worldwide.
For example, Dove made an ad called “You’re More Beautiful than You Think” years ago, where people of all shapes and sizes were sketched by a former police sketch artist based on what their personal self image. Those same individuals were then made to talk to each other and were drawn again, this time by the person they had spoken to. The result was that their personal images were often a lot less beautiful than those perceived by others, going to show that we are often our worst critic.
It’s great that Dove is paving the way for more body positive ad campaigns and we applaud them for their efforts. We hope that in time, more companies will follow suit and soon we can all realise that there’s more than one definition of ‘beautiful’.
It’s always good to have a laugh, especially when it’s about something that either bothers us a lot or makes no sense when taken out of context. That’s what comedians like Luisa Omielan aim to do – point out the contradiction in how people tend to see themselves and what they think it’s expected of them to be; and her topic of the moment is the infamous thigh gap phenomenon.
Luisa is a comedian who talks about the experiences women go through due to their bodies not being up to what others expect, from having a noticeable gut to not being able to look young and beautiful forever. These are all things that women have to deal with in their daily lives always, and it’s what makes her A-list material.
In a recent Stand-Up routine in Australia, Luisa brought up the interesting thigh gap subject. Her joke centred on the fact that a lot of women are always stressing over trying to achieve a perfect thigh gap, whether it’d be exercising till they drop or eating only the bare minimum to be skinny enough to reach that “ideal”.
Of course, some people naturally have thigh gaps due to their body structure but this phenomenon became really controversial because a lot of women seen on social media with thigh gaps are very skinny. Thus, it drove people to want to be skinnier so that their thighs don’t touch each other when they stand up straight, allowing a clear space in the middle.
We’ve talked about the mystery that is the thigh gap once before, as well as how social media influences us and puts unrealistic expectations for what we should do or look like.
Nevertheless, even if people are told that what they’re trying to pursue is hard to obtain that won’t mean their opinions will change. As we stated before, sometimes you need a more whimsical and comical approach to get people to look at themselves and question what’s around them.
Luisa added this to her routine and combines it with jokes that are meant to make fun of our insecurities and in doing so, the satire makes us feel better about ourselves as it points out how ridiculous it really us. In her routines, she both mocks the typical situations that someone might end up in due to their weight or appearance and then turns it around by talking about how we should be proud of them regardless of what others say and not be so self-deprecating.
Thigh gap or no thigh gap, one shouldn’t be working towards some ideal body shape or size because each of us are built differently. What is more important is loving yourself and taking the right steps to a healthy life through proper exercise and diet. Be confident!
We’ve been talking about the fashion industry a lot lately, haven’t we? Last time we talked about how models like Iskra Lawrence are regularly retouched to suit whatever image the industry once and this time is no different. Hunter McGrady is another plus sized model who has had quite the exciting career. She’s managed to become Sports Illustrated “curviest” girl by appearing in its Swimsuit Issue recently (and she rocks it too), which has caused her to come into the limelight. Like many other models, she has her stories to tell.
Hunter herself comes from a family of models, her mother, sister and aunt were models, and her father was an actor. That’s quite a lineage to follow, which is why it wasn’t surprising when she ventured into modelling herself.
Things didn’t start up to well for her, however. When she first started modelling, she was turned down for being too big, even though she was a size two (a size two!), this left her dejected, and it wasn’t till she found out about plus sized models that she went back into modelling, now at a size six.
Yeah, you read that right, she’s a size six, but they consider her a plus sized model, even though 67% of women in America are between size 16 and 18, while the average size in the UK is a size 12. This just goes to show how the world of fashion marginalises the majority of women when it comes to representation on the cover and runway. However, we cannot really blame them because this is a result of what consumers (that’s you and I) have influenced the fashion industry to do because most brands aren’t able to sell their products if they used average sized women. Oh, the irony of marketing.
Of course, this isn’t that new of development. Everyone knows how clothing sizes can vary and sometimes be completely misbalanced, especially with how each company wants to sell it. But what is more important is that regardless of what size you are, you should still feel good about being in your skin.
In a recent interview with PopSugar, Hunter went on to talk about some of the assumptions that people make about plus-sized models. The public tends to think that if you’re a plus-sized model, it means that you don’t have to eat healthily or that you don’t need to exercise. People say this even though plus-sized models have to work just as hard as regular sized models and also have to deal with the added prejudice of people judging them due to their weight.
Hunter also pointed out how she’d love it if people would drop the labels for models, that even if there’s a reason for why they are marked by their body type that it would be better if models of all shapes and sizes would just be called that – models.
She also pointed out that the fashion industry is moving more towards this ideal as well, with more plus sized models popping up along with fashion lines made for them and people like them, allowing girls who’ve led similar lives also to see themselves reflected in them.
Either way, we’re glad for Hunter’s success, it is good to see that more models of various sizes gaining recognition around the world and making a change. Hopefully, this will help create an even bigger and who knows, maybe one day there wouldn’t different labels for models and they’re simply called that.
Our founder, Melissa Fann, was interviewed by Genecia Alluora of Soul Rich Woman as part of their “Women of Influence” series. As such, the topic was about how Melissa is a woman of influence – what that means in today’s terms and how does one become influential.
As mentioned by Melissa during the interview, we will be giving 1 free ticket to our upcoming Kombucha Workshop on the 20th May. To take part in the contest, all you’ve got to do is ‘Like’ our Facebook page and then drop us a direct message that you’ve watched the video and that you’d like to take part! We will pick one winner whose name will be announced on the 15th.