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Vanity - are men more vain than women?
Men 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Men - because they need to compete 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Women 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Women - because they need to look good 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
It's about the same 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
It's got nothing to with gender, it's a personality trait 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Don't care 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Never thought about it 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 5
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Middle-aged men and their sad self-regard
by Matthew Bell
Sunday, 10 February 2013

Orange permatanned chest? Too-perfect teeth? Hair transplants? Yuk! Matthew Bell prays he'll never fall victim to these 10 fashion crimes.

Everything you need to know about Chris Huhne was summed up in four letters (and two figures): H11HNE. It was the clue that gave him away all along. He may as well have raced down the M11 yelling: "GET OUT OF MY WAY, I AM VERY RICH AND IMPORTANT AND RULES ARE FOR LITTLE PEOPLE!!" One would expect more from an ex-environment minister with a first-class degree, but then, they don't teach good taste at Oxford. So let's spell it out: having your name plastered on a 4-litre BMW says one thing about you – but it uses a different set of four letters.

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Statement facial hair: Simon le Bon sporting a handlebar moustache. Rex Features

Statement facial hair

Simon Le Bon enjoyed a brief, Antonia de Sanchez-style revival last week, but not because he holds a candle for David Mellor. He got into the papers by sporting a handlebar moustache at a party. Apparently he grew it for charity in November, and his wife liked it so much he kept it. Well, that's his story: some suspected a whiff of look-at-me theatrics. Simon, there are better ways to prove you have a personality than moving hair round your face.

Simon Cowell neckline

Tony, love, put it away. We know you're mates with Silvio, and have made loadsamahney yourself, but we're not in Sardinia now – this is London in February. Ever since he stopped being PM, Blair's preferred way to wear a shirt has been to undo as many buttons as possible. It's a way of revealing his tan, his toned pecs, a gold chain (qv) and chest hair, and saying "I'm a laid-back metro-millionaire, yah boo to Myrobella." Point made, now cover up.

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Budgie-smuggling: You've been to the gym – well done. Do you want a medal? AP

Budgie-smugglers

David Beckham has a good body, we all know that. But does he really need to hammer the point home by parading it for an H&M advert, "directed" by Guy Ritchie? He's already sprawled all over buses for Giorgio Armani, the traditional outlet for footballers keen to show us their pecs (see Cristiano Ronaldo). It's faintly desperate, when you're approaching 40, to start modelling for any old pant-house as an excuse to flash your abs. You've been to the gym – well done. Do you want a medal? (That goes for you, too, Tom Daley).

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Orange skin: Gordon Ramsay, you are fooling nobody. Getty Images

Orange skin

Black, white, olive or brown. Any skin colour is fine, except Haribo orange. We live on a wet, windswept island off the edge of northern Europe. It is not the Caribbean. So, Gordon Ramsay, you are fooling nobody by spray-painting yourself like an egg-glazed pasty. By all means, go to Sandy Lane and get a tan. But if you want it year-round, it would be better for everyone if you stayed there.

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Perfect teeth: Martin Amis spent £20,000 getting his teeth fixed. AP

Perfect teeth

There's something creepy about men with Colgate smiles. Nobody wants to see a row of sawn-off stubs, but the opposite can be almost as bad. There is a third way: just brush your teeth twice a day, as matron taught, and everything will be fine. Martin Amis spent £20,000 getting his fixed, and we all know in what moderate esteem he holds himself.

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Signet bling: Pinky rings are just naff. AP Photo/HBO

Signet bling

Even if you are the heir to Wiltshire, there's no need to wear your coat of arms on your pinky. Signet rings were once useful for sealing letters, now they just scream Fulham and insecurity. Pinky rings are just naff. If you are a full-time rapper, and only then, it's OK to wear some bling, but there has to be a nod to irony. Gold necklaces are just sleazy (see Tony Blair), and anything that's out of sight – Evan Davis, Prince Albert – should stay that way.

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Advancing hairline: Shane Warne sports one. Getty Images

Advancing hairline

We'd all love to have a thatch of Pantene's finest across our foreheads for ever. But some of us must learn to accept, aged 15, that our hair is only going in one direction, fast. You can get away with a messy comb-over for so long, provided it's not too Donald Trump. But there comes a time when you have to embrace the slap. Weaving back in what nature cast off is, frankly, weird. And at £30,000 a head, expensive, and puts you in the company of Gordon Ramsay and Shane Warne. I'd rather go bald.

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Facelifts: Nicky Haslam swears by his. Getty Images

Facelift

A good idea; trouble is, they're like chocolate peanuts – one is never enough. You can't just staple the wattle back and hey presto. Gravity keeps pulling and bits come unstuck. Nicky Haslam swears by his, but, for most, it's better to do a Samuel Beckett and let the crags tell a story.

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Dyed hair: The black dye dribbling down Dirk Bogarde’s collar is tragic. Warner Bros

Dyed hair

If in doubt, watch the last few minutes of Death in Venice. The black dye dribbling down Dirk Bogarde's collar is tragic, for so many reasons. Better to go grey.

Source: The Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Metrosexuals David Beckham, Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay have gone too far
By Judith Woods
24 May 2013

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She-man: Simon Cowell led the way. Now, even Gordon Ramsay has fallen for Botox Photo: PA

They’re petulant as princesses, demanding as despots and know their way around the Clarins counter considerably better than they do any B&Q.

Needy and vain, their egos are on a permanent slow puncture and must be reinflated with flattery and obeisance. Welcome to modern men – the metrosexual monsters we have created. According to a new survey, a horrifying one in five women claims their partner is so high-maintenance that he spends longer in the bathroom than they do, throws a strop if his text goes unanswered for more than two minutes and refuses to wear unbranded clothes.

When Diane Abbott MP recently bemoaned the “crisis in masculinity”, I don’t think she meant Him Indoors throwing a hissy fit because the missus borrowed his blemish concealer. She actually had misogynistic brutes in her sights, but believe me, Diane, at the other end of the spectrum, things aren’t much better. Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen? I know which one I’d choose… The battle of the sexes is being fought on all fronts, and all I can say is: ladies, I hope we win. Because given this generation of Regency fops who are too prissy to go camping, or even to the corner shop without the judicious application of Garnier Fructis hair gel, I fear for the future of our species. It’s a fact (a fact, I tell you) that metrosexuals tend to be considerably more metro than sexual.

“Women are getting quite confused about men who appear to be taking their role in relationships,” says men’s personal stylist Daniel Johnson, who takes clients shopping at a cost of £1,000 a day. “Five years ago, when I started out in the business, most men didn’t know much about style, they just wanted to look smart. But these days they are getting pickier and pickier. Shopping for shoes with them is a nightmare.”

With great prescience, London-based Johnson has just written a book entitled What Girls Want Men to Wear. His research threw up some interesting findings. “There’s a real trend among men to wax their entire bodies, which their women don’t like, as they feel that it is if not actually feminine, then certainly not very masculine. But the reason guys are doing it is because removing hair gives greater muscle definition, so they look leaner and stronger at the gym.”

Alarmingly, it seems the truism that women dress to impress other women has been taken on by men, who are increasingly determined to demonstrate their alpha status with £10,000 Tom Ford suits, as worn by Daniel Craig playing Bond. That’s all very well in the boardroom, but what about the bedroom? Sad to say, any man who cares more about his monthly pedicure than your finely turned ankles is probably going to be a bit of a – how can I put it delicately? – narcissist between the sheets. Couples shouldn’t be in competition for eye-lift cream. No good will come of hunter gatherers who have been reduced to insisting on clean worktops and bottled water.

Such a preoccupation with appearances is against nature. (Well, strictly speaking it’s not, as it is the male of most species who goes to great pains to impress the female with displays of his flouncy lyre bird plumage, his bulging frog’s vocal sac or indeed his blue monkey buttocks.) But men – and specifically but not exclusively British men – need to put their proverbial monkey buttocks back into their trousers and stop checking their reflections in the kettle. Why? Because their sissification has gone too far.

There’s a crucial difference between the manly grooming of George Clooney – crisp white shirt, stubble rash on every woman he touches – and the unmanly titivation of Shane Warne, whose transformation from Crocodile Dundee to Domesticated Dandy in the hands of Liz Hurley must surely be in contravention of some sort of human right. David Beckham is metrosexuality personified, but when the likes of Gordon Ramsay, a chap with a face craggier than the Grand Canyon, admits to Botox à la Simon Cowell, it’s a wonder he’s still got the testosterone to poach an egg.

There’s something very disturbing about going out with a chap who is prettier than you are. I’ve done it, sisters, and predictably, it did not end well. My firm-pectoralled Bad Buddhist (a sobriquet I coined in the aftermath) was toned and tanned, which was marvellous. He practised Pilates. Fine by me. He moisturised. Hey, I could live with that. He meditated and exfoliated. Hmm, not sure where this was going. His mother plucked his monobrow for him. Ah, we’d arrived at Weirdsville. As a couple, we drew admiring glances, but before very long I realised that being the dowdy peahen peeping out from behind my shimmering show-stopper mate really wasn’t me. I’d love to say I dumped him, but in truth, he moved house – in fact he moved city – while I was still dozing in his rumpled sheets.

Yes, at 6am one morning my pulchritudinous, preening peacock tenderly kissed me on the forehead, asked me to “post the keys back through the door” when I left and took flight, carefully omitting to leave a forwarding address. I’m not sure if he was in search of someone plainer or more beautiful than me, but either way, I hope his feathers fell out.

I know I’m not alone in thinking that it’s time the blokes of Britain manned up. Take my husband – no actually, please don’t, because he’s the ultimate low-maintenance spouse. Imagine a fellow who has been pleasingly returned to his factory settings: he washes, he shaves, he dresses. Job done. Analogue and proud of it. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s Scottish, or whether his gusty Yorkshire boarding school should get the credit, but he really is under the enduring impression that women are exotic, quixotic creatures whose skincare regimes are unfathomable, secret processes and definitely not Man’s Business.

He likes a natty shirt, but doesn’t know his Asos from his J Crew, wouldn’t dream of paying £17 for a pair of Paul Smith socks and couldn’t identify cellulite in a police line-up, bless him. And that suits me fine. He’s the guy with the Black & Decker, I’m the girl with the eyelash curler and that’s just as it should be. Frankly, I couldn’t care about lipstick on his collar. But the day he comes home with a shea butter lip balm in his pocket is the day I move out.

Source: Telegraph UK.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 4:33 pm 
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:yeahright:

Oh, quit your whining.

It's women who de-masculated men by constantly and incessantly complaining about everything they are and like, what they do, how they look, always and always correcting and fiddling, criticising and nanny-ing. It's called POWER TRIP and women are worse at it than men when given half the chance. They won't stop until his balls are firmly encased in concrete somewhere safe. Of course, once they've achieved this the whining and complaining starts in the other direction, like this woman is doing, about them not being man enough now.

And who says women have the exclusive right to 3 hour bathroom sessions?

:x

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:34 am 
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Male engagement rings: for love or money?
by Rupert Myers
Tuesday, 7 May 2013

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'It would be much cheaper and easier to do away with engagement rings altogether.' Photograph: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Over the bank holiday weekend, I spotted a selection of male engagement rings in a shop in Cambridge and I had a John McEnroe moment.

You cannot be serious! Surely this was not a thing, I tried to reassure myself. But then I discovered that the successful rat-pack tribute artist Michael Bublé once wore a male engagement ring, and I was forced to consider whether this was merely a natural result of the evolution of metrosexuality, or a canny attempt by the diamond industry to double its earnings.

It is increasingly common for marrying couples to swap wedding bands. The male wedding ring, though still not seen on the hands of either our prime minister or the Duke of Cambridge, is an established modern accessory. The thinking goes that where once the installation of the wedding ring upon the bridal finger was a proprietary act, now the swapping of rings symbolises equality. The expansion of premarital branding seems like a step in the wrong direction, emancipation not by abandoning a practice but by enlarging it. For some, the remedy for social rituals once designed to reinforce gender inequality is to make them more elaborate, but there can be no problem for which getting men to wear more jewellery is a serious solution.

The man-gagement ring may be a symptom of the same vanity-driven trend that demands that men consider moisturising and has been responsible for such failed fashion ideas as the male skirt, but male adornment is already a booming industry. You can now buy rings, and bracelets made in association with car companies like McLaren, sculpted from materials like carbon fibre and Kevlar.

Many modern men may like to pretend that their jewellery would be useful to a member of the A-Team, with a 2011 report showing that 27% of US grooms chose tungsten for their wedding bands. The same study claimed that one in 20 engaged American men are already sporting an engagement ring. Nothing says hardcore like a ring made from a recycled shotgun shell adorned with Swarovski crystals or one constructed from concrete. Perhaps the desire for men to wear more jewellery is a symptom of conspicuous consumption in a precarious economic climate. If, to deflect charges of narcissism, the consumer wants something they can tell their friends is also a material used by Lockheed Martin, then they are kidding nobody.

There are those who say that there is some notion of fidelity contained within wearing a ring, but a thin band of gold (or iridium, titanium, etc) is hardly likely to interfere too much with anyone's moral compass. For Bublé, the choice to wear an engagement ring was apparently influenced by the family traditions of his Argentinean partner. In Brazil and Argentina it is common for couples to wear plain engagement rings on their right hands which are swapped over to the left on their wedding day.

It must be the case that if a groom expects a bride to wear a wedding ring, then the bride must be able to ask the same in return, but the proliferation of male engagement rings seems hardly to have come about through the demands of feminist commentators demanding equality, particularly when it would be much cheaper and easier to do away with engagement rings altogether. In the 1930s, Fortune magazine called weddings a "depression-proof" business, and it was in the immediate aftermath of the 1929 financial crash that the market for the modern female engagement ring was born.

Of course men should purchase and wear whatever makes them feel happy, and couples should celebrate their love however they feel most important to them, but we should remain suspicious of anyone claiming to be selling us an expensive shiny solution to a problem that we didn't really know existed. That's how fortunes are made, but not necessarily progress.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Are men becoming too metrosexual to be sexy?
By Caroline Kent
28 November 2013

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Metro man: David Beckham Photo: Alamy

The metrosexual male is almost 20 years old, but has he become too narcissistic for his own good, and a turn-off for the opposite sex?

It's nearly the end of Movember. But for many men, their furry face furniture is a year-round must-have accessory. While previously the preserve of truckers, woodsmen, and the homeless, beards and moustaches are now firmly part of the manly make-up that metrosexuals use to make themselves adorable, and to adore themselves.

Men's newly-discovered obsession with looking good has been joyously liberating for some, but difficult to negotiate for others. Way back in 1994, when women pondered whether we could shave our armpits and still call ourselves feminists, the writer Mark Simpson was studying the modern man in the mirror. He coined the term "metrosexual" and has studied the development of his "Frankenstein's monster with flawless skin" ever since, right up to the Jersey Shore incarnation of eyebrow-plucking carb-dodgers. Simpson argues that metrosexuality is now not only the norm, but an integral component of modern masculinity.

The "selfie" generation is no stranger to the notion of narcissism as a survival strategy, yet Simpson's metro man rallies against the traditionalists; including another Telegraph writer who described metrosexuality to me as “gratuitously fey. What the hell is wrong with a decent suit and a smart haircut?” Quite. I can't help but wonder if my metrosexual date's position of choice will be based on the angle at which he can check himself out in the wardrobe mirror. Vanity for vanity’s sake isn't as sexy as it looks.

Poor men. Women have been telling them for years to smarten themselves up, and when they finally do we accuse them of preening. No doubt many men are tired of women like me who lust over buffed boys, but complain if they take longer than five minutes to get dressed for dinner. “I think most men have noticed this, er, discrepancy,” Simpson reasons. “What women say they think about metrosexuality and how they respond to it can be two very different things. But metrosexuality is not ‘for’ women. It’s for men. "It is the male desire to be desired," he adds, "it's about how men feel about the way they look. Because – as women have been told by advertisers for some time – they’re worth it."

Indeed, women are constantly reminded that our eyelashes are never quite long enough, our legs aren't smooth enough, our hair is not sleek enough. It's hardly surprising that advertising that there's a male market to be milked too. Men are suckers for this stuff too.

However, Simpson believes the metro movement is driven by men themselves, not marketing. And he believes it has heralded a shift towards a new sense of male autonomy and empowerment, “Men are not only more sensual creatures nowadays," he says, "but also more independent. For some women, perhaps with more traditional ideas about sex roles, the fact that grown men are able to clean and feed themselves without a surrogate mum is very alarming indeed.”

Hmm. While I dare Simpson to show me a woman who "WLTM" a sauce-pot either incapable of or unwilling to wash his own pants, I do agree that the metrosexual movement is unsettling for some of us females. But what's more worrying, to me, is the inevitable tipping point at which men become so fabulous that they outshine me. I am less capable of switching on a washing machine that most five year old males, and can often be seen sporting a monobrow and several hundred blackheads. Where will the evolution of metrosexuality leave women like me?

Simpson assures me that this new metro phase is nothing for women to be worried about, rather “It represents a global revolution in masculinity which has profound significance. It’s about men becoming everything. To themselves.” So womankind can sigh with relief that it's just about self-actualisatian and empowerment? And that our men aren't, in fact, preening themselves in preparation to dump us and seek out someone more in tune with their "improved" image?

“No, that's exactly what he's doing,” a female friend insists, “he's doing it for one simple reason. Toxic bachelors have learnt to adopt metrosexual traits in order to seem the likeable, befriendable type - but they actually just want a shag.”

I'm momentarily shocked and appalled - but then again, what’s so wrong with "just a shag"?

Source: Telegraph UK.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:59 pm 
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The difference between naked boys and naked girls
by Holly Baxter
Wednesday, 5 February 2014

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‘Women get toilet and changing cubicles, gowns at the doctors' surgery ... Men get told: man up, pants down.' Photograph: Roberto Melchiorre/zefa/Corbis

An article in the US magazine the Atlantic this week described one man's childhood horror of boys' open changing rooms and naked school swimming lessons.

It felt like an injustice, he said, compared with the privacy that the girls were afforded – and this sense of injustice was only compounded in later life by public medical examinations in the army and extensive training on preserving a patient's modesty in medical school, which mysteriously left out the needs of men. The message was clear throughout his life, says the author: women get toilet and changing cubicles, gowns at the doctors' surgery and separate examination rooms. Men get told: man up, pants down.

It is a serious issue, and one that shouldn't be swept under the carpet with the vague protest that women have to "put up with more". The dreaded charade of undressing in front of your peers of the same sex is something most of us will have encountered at some point, whether in school or that one time you pledged to do "a year of rigorous exercise" and then went to the gym for a single 20-minute workout. It's true that women do enjoy facilities catering for modesty a lot more often than their male counterparts. But it would be doing us all a disservice to forget to ask why.

One of the reasons for the difference is that age-old expectation of feminine modesty. Women's bodies are covered so much more because they are generally considered a lot more sexual than men's bodies. Most incidences of female nudity in mainstream film will be sexual, while most instances of male nudity are comedic. Think the perpetually naked Hodor in Game of Thrones, or the schoolgirls in Love Actually giggling at pictures of naked men while Andrew Lincoln's character protests feebly, "Actually, they're not funny – they're art." It's heavily implied that the joke is on him.

We have seen something of a move toward comedic female nudity in the last few years, which is progress even if women's bodies only become comedic when they deviate from the young, slim, nubile ideal (think the perpetually horny Megan in Bridesmaids telling the air marshall that he should be able to "feel the heat from my undercarriage".) This isn't a million miles away from the treatment of men, who have in the past been presented as naked figures of fun because of their own imperfect bodies.

Until very recently, however, Hollywood was pretending that women who weren't a certain sexy stereotype didn't exist at all, lest it ruin the delicate constitutions of the audience forever. Variety in female nudity remains a ridiculously revolutionary concept: you only have to glance at the international news coverage concerning American Apparel's new 62-year-old underwear model, Jacky O'Shaughnessy, or the rage accompanying Lena Dunham's regular baring of "imperfect" breasts to realise just how unusual it really is – even dangerous.

And yet there is something even more dangerous than a 62-year-old woman proclaiming that "sexy has no expiry date" on a billboard: the humble boner. We all know they're there, we are reminded of its existence daily by the spreadeagled "barely legal" models on the covers of certain magazines and such quality literature as the Buzzfeed "definitive ranking of boners from worst to best". And yet, film and TV classification systems have always assiduously protected the erect penis, routinely categorising it as "obscene" while vaginas often, er, slip through the net. What is it that makes us balk most of all at a willy that's being used quite naturally for sex rather than an elaborate comedy routine? When 50% of the population have them, what's the big deal?

Among all this politicised discussion about what happens when people forgo their clothes, we often forget that the right to bare your body should go hand-in-hand with the right to cover it up. It's clear that if we ever hope to have a sensible discussion about naked bodies, the playing field needs to be levelled for both sexes. Men need changing room partitions and a more sensitive approach to medical examinations. Women's bodies need to be less policed by that tiresome Madonna/whore dichotomy that demands the hyper-sexualisation of curvy twentysomethings and extreme modesty from everybody else.

Meanwhile, if we could see some boners and stop calling vaginas frou-frous, then we'll probably make some progress. I have more than one friend who genuinely confided during puberty that they'd become afraid to look down in the shower. For me, this represents the biggest social oppression: being told that your body is monstrous, rather than the most useful tool you'll ever own. Man or woman, that's the kind of thinking we need to do away with, as soon as humanly possible.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:37 am 
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Inside Cristiano Ronaldo's museum: 'I have room for more trophies'
by Alice Jones
Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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Kick starter: Cristiano Ronaldo and his waxwork. AFP/Getty

What to do when your trophy cabinet gets too full?

If you are Cristiano Ronaldo, you build your own museum. As storage solutions go, it sounds extreme but Ronaldo, the world’s most expensive and highly paid footballer and arguably the world’s finest and vainest too, operates in extremes. Museu CR7, dedicated to the life and times of the Portuguese forward, 29, opened in his native Funchal, on the island of Madeira in December. It contains every trophy Ronaldo has ever won, from the tiny tarnished gold cup he received as top scorer for his local team Andorinha, aged eight, to the 2013 Fifa Ballon d’Or, awarded to him as the best player on the planet last month.

In the gleaming white cabinets in between there are 140 or so other gongs, cups and golden boots, medals, signed balls and shirts. There are countless photographs of the player on and off the pitch over the past 20 years, an interactive video wall where visitors can jostle for the ball against a virtual Ronaldo and, in pride of place on a podium, a waxwork in Real Madrid kit. In other words, Museu CR7 has everything Ronaldo fans could want, and some things they never knew they wanted as well.

It is the brainchild of Ronaldo’s older brother, Hugo, who still lives in Funchal where he runs a construction business and is now director of Museu CR7 (the 7 refers to the footballer’s shirt number at Manchester United and Real Madrid). A few years ago he went to stay with Ronaldo in Madrid and, finding trophies scattered all over his brother’s villa, suggested that he should gather them up and put them on show for his fans. Ronaldo had bought a five-storey building just up the hill from the Funchal harbour four years earlier and had been wondering whether to make it into a disco or restaurant. In the end, he and Hugo settled on a museum instead.

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The museum

The grand opening took place just before Christmas. Ronaldo flew in from Madrid where he lives with his model girlfriend, Irina Shayk, and his mother, Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro. His three-year-old son, Cristiano Junior, unveiled a plaque. A big screen in the gift shop plays footage of the footballer’s visit on a loop. “I have room for more trophies. I don’t really want to mention specific ones”, Ronaldo said. “All I want is to win more awards and if the Ballon d’Or comes, there is extra room here.” The Ballon d’Or did come, and this month will take its place next to his other one, from 2008, somewhere behind the waxwork. In its first month, Museu CR7 had over 10,000 visitors, each paying €5 a ticket.

Ronaldo is Funchal’s most famous son. Christopher Columbus settled on the island for a time and Winston Churchill loved to paint the sea from the hills above the Madeiran capital, but it is Ronaldo, born and bred in the suburb of Santo Antonio, whose face pops up most frequently in the town’s shop windows. Now with a new tourist attraction to promote, he has become even more ubiquitous. A giant CR7 banner is the first thing that the cruise ships see as they pull into the harbour. Another, featuring Ronaldo kissing the Ballon d’Or, hangs halfway up the hill. A smaller version of his face features on the tuk-tuks that whizz tourists up and down the waterfront.

Museu CR7 itself is rather unassuming, tucked away on the corner of a side street, Rua Princesa Dona Amelia. But for the black-tinted windows, it could be just another real-estate office or timeshare-selling business. Step inside, though, and double doors emblazoned with the giant, smiling, tanned face of Cristiano Ronaldo slide open to reveal a footballer’s paradise of shiny black mosaic floor, sparkling spotlights and glass cabinet upon glass cabinet of crystal balls, granite players and golden bowls.

Floor-to-ceiling portraits chart the evolution of Ronaldo, from his schoolboy days playing for local team Andorinha, in a strip made by his late father, through to his teenage years training at Sporting Lisbon, where he was teased by his team-mates for his small island accent. “And this”, says the museum’s manager Nuno Mendes, “is a picture of the night that changed Ronaldo’s life.” It shows a gangly Ronaldo in Sporting kit on the night in 2003 that his team beat Manchester United 3-0. “Alex Ferguson saw him play and signed him the next day”, says Mendes.

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The Golden Boot trophy

From then on, the trophies are endless – Manchester United Player of the Year, PFA Player of the year, a pair of golden boots awarded for being the top European scorer 2007/2008 and 2010/2011, a whole shelf of Portuguese Golden Globes, a cabinet of Portuguese caps and, in an alarmed glass case, the Ballon d’Or. One wall is entirely taken up with 26 footballs – each one marking a match where he scored at least a hat-trick.

Some trophies are more obscure: a tiny silver Oscar figure turns out to be an award for “The World’s Best Football Player 2007. Fans from Czech Republic”, another is a Player of the Year as voted for by “Manchester United Supporters Club – Cyprus”; a framed certificate from Now Sports simply says “PERFECTION. MR CRISTIANO RONALDO. 2010.” For the gossip-inclined there are plenty of photographs – Ronaldo as a child, Ronaldo posing with his brother and his first FA Cup, Ronaldo grinning with his mother on his private jet.

The clientele on a Friday morning is diverse: a few local men talk animatedly next to a replica of the Champions’ League trophy, a group of squealing schoolchildren mob the waxwork and, over by the video wall, a couple of pensioners from Harrogate pose for an interactive portrait with Ronaldo, which will be posted on the museum’s Facebook page later that day. “It’s absolutely amazing isn’t it?” says Mary. “I can’t get over it”, agrees her husband Derek.

The staff wear branded Museu CR7 cardigans and polo shirts, a spin-off from Ronaldo’s CR7 clothing range, which are on sale in the small gift shop at €29 for an adult T-shirt and €19 for the children’s version. There are also branded magnets, mugs, keyrings and ashtrays. The truly dedicated fan can also visit the CR7 boutique next to Funchal’s mall, The Forum. Run by Ronaldo’s older sister Elma, it is a shrine to WAG style, with CR7 diamante crucifixes and belts, slinky tunics and Ronaldo’s own-brand boxer shorts on sale. A giant black-and-white portrait of Ronaldo hangs on the back wall.

“Right now, Ronaldo is the main ambassador for Portugal’s image abroad”, explains Mendes. “There is no other brand in the country that is as important or valuable. The President of Portugal gave him a medal last month and said, ‘Ronaldo is Portugal to the rest of the world.” Is Mendes a fan? “Yes of course. Who isn’t?”

Apart from Pele, Ronaldo is the only footballer to have a whole museum dedicated to himself; at 29, he is certainly the youngest. One suspects he will not be the last. It may be a colossal vanity project, it may be a favour to his fans, it may be a message to rivals who are out to steal his crown. “He doesn’t have any trophies at home”, says Mendes. “All of his trophies and all of his future trophies will come to the museum. We have room for more.”

The final cabinet before visitors leave through the Ronaldo doors is filled with a selection of the fan mail the footballer receives by the sackload. There are romantic charcoal portraits, rosaries, caricatures and, last not but not least, a child’s glitter painting which says simply, “Ronaldo. Best player in the world. Not Lionel Messi.”

Source: Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:55 am 
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Quiz: Are you a spornosexual?
By Theo Merz
11 June 2014

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The spornosexual's primary concern is his body Photo: Alamy

Yesterday, the writer who first coined the term ‘metrosexual’, Mark Simpson, explained the rise of the ‘spornosexual’ - a social media- and selfie-obsessed male who takes cues on his appearance from sport and porn.

While metrosexuals fretted over their wardrobes and their complexions, the spornosexual’s primary concern is his body. Still not sure where you fit in all this? Take Telegraph Men’s spornosexual quiz to find out…

1. You’re logging into Facebook to…
A) ...post a picture of you having dinner with friends. You look amazing in it but that’s by-the-by.
B) ...keep up to date with news from friends and family. Your cousin’s just had a baby - maybe a picture will be up?
C) …check how many ‘likes’ your gym selfie has got. Your guns are looking huge in this one, but so far only 149 people have left positive comments. Is it your hair that’s the problem?

2. You’re switching on the TV to watch…
A) ...the football. Footballers always seem to be one step ahead of the latest grooming trends.
B) …the football. You’d never miss one of your team’s games.
C) ...Geordie Shore. When you’re not looking at you, you want to be looking at people like you.

3. If you were a comic book character you would be...
A) Batman. You may or may not be in a gay relationship with your sidekick but that’s not really the point. You also have a basement stuffed with sweet gadgets.
B) Superman. Save the day, get the girl.
C) The Incredible Hulk. Because bigger is always better.

4. It’s a big night out. What’s your poison?
A) Red wine. There was a period when it would have been cocaine too, but the ethical implications worried you - not to mention what it did to your skin.
B) Real ale.
C) Double vodka Red Bull. You’re always getting offered MDMA in clubs but you’re not sure how it will react with the steroids you’re taking.

5. Time for party small talk with another man. Your first question is…
A) This is Prada, right? I’ve been trying to track one down in cobalt blue for ages.
B) Did you catch the game last night?
C) Bro, do you lift?

6. Time to approach a woman at a party. Your opener is...
A) A woman in an A-line dress should never be standing by herself.
B) Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got "fine" written all over you.
C) My mate’s up for a threesome. You in?

7. It’s the morning after the night before. What do you eat?
A) Ottolenghi’s Middle Eastern take on Full English - a simple twist on a classic.
B) Full English, what else?
C) Full English with 18 eggs, 20 rashers of bacon and no bread. This machine runs on protein.

8. How would you describe your relationship with porn?
A) You watch it a couple of times a week but understand it doesn’t have much bearing on reality.
B) Strained now that Nuts has folded.
C) You’ve uploaded a couple of videos of you and the girlfriend to amateur sites but should really try professional soon.

9. Let’s talk t-shirts. V-neck or crew neck?
A) If your face is long, you'll try to offset this with a plain crew neck - and vice-versa if your face is round.
B) You don’t talk t-shirts.
C) V-neck - the deeper the better.

10. Which of these best describes your approach to life?
A) Always look out for number one.
B) Hope for the best, expect the worst.
C) Sun’s out - guns out.

Image
TOWIE's Dan Osborne (right) shows off his spornosexual physique (Rex Features)

Mostly As - You are a metrosexual. While your appearance and interest in grooming products may have attracted comment in the early noughties, you’ve now been surpassed by the spornosexual. Try upping your weights at the gym or, if that fails, taking steroids.

Mostly Bs - You are a 20th century male. You don’t read men’s lifestyle magazines so you probably have no idea how outdated you really are but, if this quiz has raised any concerns, try borrowing some moisturiser from a metrosexual friend/colleague before attempting to go full sporno.

Mostly Cs - You are a spornosexual. Congratulations - you are an outstanding specimen of masculinity, though opinions may differ in what sense you are outstanding.

Source: Telegraph UK.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Why going topless on French beaches is no longer de rigueur. Photo: Shutterstock

Why topless French women are covering up
by James Pearn
29 July 2014

Topless sunbathers were once synonymous with French beaches, but with the trend apparently no longer de rigeur, The Local looks at why French women no longer feel the need, or feel comfortable taking their tops off on the beaches.

The beaches of France, especially those around the chic resorts of the French Riviera, have undergone a change in recent years and continue to do so, new reports claim.

This week France’s Elle magazine suggested that sunbathing topless is no longer the done thing on 'les Plages' of St Tropez, Nice and the rest of the Riviera. The magazine is certainly not the first to suggest French women are covering up more and more, with the decline of "Le Topless" apparently having been spotted back in 2009, but with the French summer in full swing the fashion magazine, in its article 'La Fin de Topless sur la Plage' (The end of toplessness on the beach) has reignited the debate over bare chests.

Elle points to three reasons why the old “monokini” (bikini bottoms without the top) is disappearing out of sight as tan lines make a comeback.

Firstly, the health concerns surrounding skin cancer, secondly, due to impact of the growing perception that topless woman are easy and thirdly because of the famous topless “sextremists” from groups like Femen whose semi-naked stunts across Europe have given the impression that baring chests is now only for activists, not sunbathers. An opinion poll released last year revealed that only 18 percent of French women said they would consider sunbathing topless and just 12 percent do it regularly. That same poll revealed 50 percent of women believed the trend to be no longer fashionable.

Elle describes the change in culture as a “worrying sign of a regression in the place of women”. In France going topless has been linked, some say erroneously, with women’s liberation since the 1960s when actress and sex icon Brigitte Bardot famously began revealing almost all on French beaches. In the 1970s the government refused to ban the act and the liberal attitude towards the ditching of bikini tops appeared to become a source of French national pride.

However going topless is not welcome on all French beaches. Anyone caught wearing just the “monokini” at Paris's annual summer beach festival Paris Plages, faces being hit with a fine as well as an order to cover up. As this poster below shows, authorities in Paris are less flexible when it comes to women taking off their tops.

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("In the parks and gardens don't forget the top and the bottom")

French researcher and sociologist Christophe Colera, author of the book Nudity: Practices and Meanings told The Local that an "unjustified" fear of cancer, and concerns about the shape of the breasts has played a role. "But there's also the phenomenon of a return towards modesty." Colera also backed up the idea that toplessness has been affected by the fact that breasts have become over sexualized. “This erotic dimension [of women’s breasts] is not going away and as a consequence [going topless] has been affected by all the taboos around sexuality, even if we still try to present breasts as strictly functional for feeding,” Colera writes on the Atlantico.fr website.

“Toplessness comes in cyclical fashions. In the 1960s it was associated with the rise of mass feminism and in the 1990s it was linked to aesthetic concerns, but was then affected by public health concerns around breasts. Today going topless is more about asserting femininity, often in a provocative way, by doing it in unexpected places.”

However French writer and essayist Christian Gambaz, believes there are two other reasons why French women are more keen to keep their bikini tops on even if it means sacrificing a perfect bronzing. “One reason is that topless women on the beach are often harassed by young men these days. After it happens they are less likely to go semi naked,” he tells The Local. This happens more in certain built-up areas like Nice and Cannes. Certain youngsters don’t know how to behave around female nudity. And there’s also the fact that the prudish American view of nudity has taken hold in France. If a woman goes topless in Florida, someone would call the police. It seems these US values are coming to our shores,” he said.

Gambaz deos not believe the fashion is necessarily dying out. He points to the fact that many French women will happily go topless on beaches in Spain or Croatia this summer and claims the number of topless women on French plages will just depend on where you are in France. “On the beaches of the Atlantic coast around Les Landes is where you will see people going topless because there’s not the same crowds as on the Riviera,” he says. Gambaz believes Europe needs to protect its easygoing culture around nudity but if a recent study by travel site Expedia is anything to go by, then it is alive and well, at least in some countries more than others.

The survey revealed that nearly one in three Germans and Austrians (28 percent) has sunbathed nude on the beach, compared with 12 percent of Britons, 18 percent of Norwegians, and 17 percent of Spanish. Is the trend of going topless really dying out in France? If you are going to beaches in France this summer let us know whether it still feels like the 1960s.

Source: The Local France.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:15 pm 
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Back Hair Surpasses Pubic Hair As Most Political Hair
By Kat Stoeffe
11 August 2014

image
Photo: 13/Jonathan Kitchen/Corbis

As long as women have been removing pubic hair, we’ve been debating the practice in almost equal measure.

The articles could populate an entire bush blog devoted to questions like: Do Brazilian waxes perpetuate sexism? Even if you leave some hair in front? And, regardless, what are the least painful and longest-lasting methods for perpetuating sexism?

Somehow, while we were mons-pubis-gazing, we missed the war that was being waged on men’s body hair. Recent essays by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern and Andrew Sullivan suggest back fur is the new bush: common among adults, yet rarely seen in the wild. Men gay and straight have been silently, stoically waxing and using Nair — sometimes, most poignantly, enlisting a roommate to shave — in order to meet the standard of dorsal hairlessness established by Hollywood at some point between Roger Moore’s James Bond and Daniel Craig’s. Stern describes these travails as well as the rigid standards that demand them: according to GQ, back hair is the only body hair that is “never sexy.” Men have absorbed this edict so successfully that I personally had no idea what was going on. You guys were shaving your backs this whole time?

Now, however, the tide may be turning. Vulture’s Jesse David Fox recently praised Seth Rogen for bucking the back-waxing trend, and Stern urged fellow gay men to embrace back hair because the “gay rights movement is centered around an ideology of self-love and self-acceptance.” Sullivan jumped on board for more prurient reasons. Though without back hair himself, he has been into hairy guys since his first, hand-drawn porn of men “covered in fur.” He writes:

    Maybe it’s because body hair is such a powerful visual indicator of testosterone and maleness; maybe I’m just a perv. Or maybe because when a man allows his body to be what it is, and doesn’t try to micromanage every inch of it, he’s inherently sexier than the manscaped, plucked and trussed twink version.

In the body-hair wars, defenses based on personal sexual preference carry little political weight. The implication here is that men should groom themselves based on the imagined tastes of some potential sexual partner. (And that anyone who isn’t particularly interested in sex with Andrew Sullivan might as well keep on feeling bad about his body hair.) In fact, after a couple years in the pubic-hair trenches, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is impossible to defend one’s body-hair choices without insulting someone else’s. Whether you’re saying a woman should go bare or keep a full bush, you’re telling women what to do. And what about the naturally smooth? If body hair is a “powerful visual indicator of maleness,” as Sullivan writes, does that make Asian men “trussed twink[s]”?

But even if you can’t organize everyone’s personal grooming choices and aesthetic preferences into a coherent party line, testimonies like Sullivan's are still valuable. They indicate that, whatever you decide to do or not do with your body hair, someone will be into it. Even if you are a woman who is hairier than the most self-conscious manscaper. Consider Jon-Jon Goulian’s Vice essay “In Defense of Hairy Women,” an ode to his ex-girlfriend’s untended eyebrows, mustache, happy trail, pits, pubes, and legs — “not to mention forearm hair and rectal hair and hairs running around the circumference of her areolas and a little bit of delicious fuzz where her butt crack meets her lower back.” Goulian doesn’t like female body hair because it is masculine or edgy or because it betrays feminist self-assurance. He writes:

    With hair, of course, comes sweat, and with sweat comes pungency, and pungent hair is suggestive of what? The vagina. A woman with a hairy body has essentially four vaginas — two armpits, the asshole, and the vagina itself.

In other words, not even eschewing the most basic grooming conventions of Hollywood and porn will stop someone from seeing you as an assemblage of sex parts. Thus assured of their basic desirability, men should cease their heartrendingly furtive grooming and join women in the land of open and overshare-prone hair debate. I’m desperate to know whether the artificially hairless among you can feel the difference between sugaring and waxing.

Source: NY Mag.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:59 pm 
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Florida pageant mom fed daughter tapeworms to make her lose weight
By Matt Bradwell
August 21, 2014

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Tapeworm head (CC/Kat Masback)

LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- A pageant mom in Florida is the subject of an upcoming episode of Untold Stories of the E.R. after forcing her daughter to ingest tapeworms in order to slim down for competition.

Upon checking into the emergency room with severe stomach pains, nurse Maricar Cabral-Osorio thought the teen was pregnant. But an ultrasound showed no fetus -- although there was an inexplicable growth in her intestines. Recounted and reenacted for Discovery Fit & Health's anything-but-subtle medical scare docudrama, the unfortunate teenage contestant's condition became clear upon a fateful trip to the bathroom. "It was a toilet bowl full of tapeworms," Cabral-Osorio recalled. "It was so gross and she had pooped all these tapeworms. There were a couple that were very long and wiggling around trying to get out of the toilet bowl."

Having passed the parasites, the teen was then assumed to be fine. But one question remained -- how did she get the tapeworms in the first place?

After an apparent fight between the mother and daughter, it became clear the mother bought a pill of tapeworm eggs in Mexico and forced her daughter to take it to lose weight for an upcoming pagent. "We were wondering how did she get those tapeworms, and then you saw the mom turn white," Cabral-Osorio said. "The mom was apologizing to the girl. It's like 'I'm so sorry. You know, I did it just to make you a little skinnier. You needed some help before we went on to the pageant."

It is unclear when the incident occurred or if criminal charges were brought against the mother.

Source: UPI.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:38 pm 
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Archaeologists uncover 3,000-year-old ancient Egyptian woman with more than 70 hair extensions
by Callum Paton
Friday, 19 September 2014

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The woman had “a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head” Jolanda Bos, Lonneke Beukenholdt

Archaeologists excavating an ancient Egyptian city of Amarna have discovered a woman with more than 70 elaborate and lengthy hair extensions.

Researchers don’t know who she was or what she did but the former resident of the 3,300-year-old city is one of hundreds of people now being examined as experts uncover the lost history of the daily lives of Amarna's inhabitants.

Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist working on the project, told Live Science that the woman had not been mummified but buried simply, wrapped in a mat. She wore “a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head,” Ms Bos was quoted as saying. Ms Bos, who led research into Amarna’s hairstyles, and published her findings in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, explained: “The hair was most likely styled after death, before a person was buried. It is also likely, however, that these hairstyles were used in everyday life as well."

A selection of 100 recently excavated skulls, of which 28 still had hair, showed that a variety of hairstyles were worn in Egypt between around 1353-1335 B.C. The heads showed that braids and coils around the ears were popular but often kept short. Fat was a frequently used styling product and Henna was used to hide any stray grey hairs.

This woman, among other ancient Egyptians, may have dyed her hair “for the same reason as why people dye their hair today, in order not to show the gray color,” Ms Bos said.

Source: Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Really?

I would have thought it was because there were too many croc balls in her hippo souffle.

:happy0192:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Now men join fake tan craze: A quarter of British males use body bronzing products sported by TOWIE stars like Joey Essex
30 November 2014

A quarter of young men have used tanning products over the past year, according to research.

The bronzed look sported by stars of shows such as The Only Way Is Essex is increasingly being imitated by men, the study by market analysts Mintel suggests. Fake-tan usage is only slightly higher among women aged 16 to 24, with 29 per cent admitting they use the products, compared with 27 per cent of men in the same age group.

Image Image
The bronzed look sported by stars including Gavin Henson (left) and Joey Essex (right) is increasingly being imitated by British men

And while as many as a fifth of men aged 16 to 24 said they would use it again, just nine per cent of this group said they would not repeat the look.

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Males are the most likely to use salon spray tans and oral tanning supplements, with eight per cent admitting they tried the tablets

The market is worth £60 million a year in Britain.

Roshida Kahnom, Senior Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, said: 'As stars from shows such as The Only Way is Essex popularise self-tans, and even in some cases launch their own ranges, self-tanning remains fashionable for young people. High usage of self-tanning products amongst young men suggests that they may be aspiring to recreate looks inspired by celebrities such as Mark Wright. With summer becoming a distant memory, and as the nation gears up for a wet winter, our research suggests that young men are looking to extend the summer look with a year round tan.'

Around 21 per cent of men aged 16 to 24 have used a sunbed or tanning salon. On average 16 per cent of Brits have used self tan in the past twelve months, followed by gradual tanner at 15 per cent. One in ten have used pre-tan accelerator, while the same number have used tanning oil or lotion without SPF. 'With self-tanning products traditionally associated with unnatural results, older people may be less willing to try it. Additionally, self-tanning products can be tricky to apply, which may make it difficult for older people who tend to have looser and less hydrated skin. Product innovations in self-tanning for older people, designed for looser skin, could make it more appealing to older people.' said Ms Kahnom.

Source: Daily Mail UK.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:34 pm 
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One cosmetic surgery every two minutes for Brazil men: report
November 1, 2015 11:43 AM

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The most popular operation for Brazilian males is breast reduction with 80 percent of surgeries performed on adolescents, followed by liposuction and eyelid procedures, according to SBCP (AFP Photo/Michael Buckner)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Once taboo, cosmetic surgery for Brazilian men is advancing at a rapid pace, with one male going under the knife every two minutes, experts said in an article Sunday.

Plastic surgery quadrupled among men from 72,000 to 276,000 operations annually from 2009 to 2014, a study by the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery said. That's an average of 31.5 operations per hour, according to an article on the study in the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo.

The main reason for the change is cultural, with a lowering of bias against men undergoing these procedures, S.P Luiz Henrique Ishida, director of SBCP, told Estado. "Additionally, in Brazil, cosmetic surgery is seen as a popular process and the country is a world leader in this field," he added.

Last year, 712,902 cosmetic procedures were performed across the country, with participation by men climbing from 12 percent of the total in 2009 to 22.5 percent in 2014. The most popular operation for males is breast reduction with 80 percent of surgeries performed on adolescents, followed by liposuction and eyelid procedures, according to SBCP. Most patients are between the age of 20 and 50, but a larger portion of seniors still in the workforce may be contributing to the rise.

"A tired look is seen as a negative thing in the labor market," said the director of SBCP, which comprises some 5,800 surgeons. "There are patients who are 70 who have operations because they have an active social life or to appear more compatible with their partner" who is younger, he said.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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