Archivio tag | beauty obsession

Head girl, 17, died weighing just six stone after trying to hide four-year battle with anorexia from her parents

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A former head girl died aged 17 after  struggling with anorexia for four years.

Charlotte Seddon, who was described as ‘intelligent, self-assured and popular’, tried to hide the effects of the  illness from her parents.

She only revealed her true  feelings in  her journals, which were discovered after her death, an inquest heard.

Charlotte wrote how she felt trapped in a  cycle of losing weight, exercise, calorie counting, bouts of depression and  purging herself.

The teenager would refuse to have dinner with  her family, claiming she had already eaten, but then would go without  food.

Despite her illness, Charlotte, who had a  twin sister, Abby, won many awards at school, including student of the year  after achieving the best GCSE results of her peers at Shuttleworth College in  Padiham, Lancashire.

In her final year at school she was also head  girl, and was nominated for the Young Burnley Achiever Award for her voluntary  work.

When she died last November, Charlotte  weighed only six stone and had a seriously weakened heart, the inquest heard.

She had been discharged from  an inpatient  clinic only a few  days before.

Her family, who live in Padiham, have urged  other parents to keep an eye  out for signs of the condition in their own  children, such as avoiding  eating and disappearing after meals.

Charlotte’s mother, Corinne, 48, said: ‘They  are very good at hiding it. At the  start you just go along with it because you  don’t want to upset them.’

Her father Stephen, also 48, said his  daughter was highly intelligent and  wanted to go to university and become an  art therapist.

Mr Seddon added: ‘It’s a tragic  loss  for us, it was very sudden and such a shock. We have learned about her condition  from what she left for us to read.’

Her brother Daniel, 23, told the hearing: ‘The condition she had  meant that she believed  herself to be in control  and she would give out those messages to her  family.’

The coroner’s court in Burnley heard  Charlotte developed self-esteem and eating behaviour  problems at 12, and was  treated as an outpatient at a specialist unit.  Last June she became so poorly  that she agreed to be admitted as an  inpatient at The Priory in Altrincham,  Cheshire. She was discharged in  November, but a few days afterwards was found  dead at her home.

Post-mortem tests revealed Charlotte’s heart  weighed only 190g (7oz), and the  muscles round it had been weakened by a lack  of nutrients. A normal  heart weighs around 320g (11oz).

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner  Richard Taylor said: ‘Charlotte’s family  have painted a picture of an  intelligent, self-assured young lady who  was overcome by a terrible  illness.’



Japanese Beauty Secrets

Tratto da Oprah Magazine

How do you define beauty? Is it a small waist and large breasts? A perfect smile and straight hair? If you flip through the pages of an American fashion magazine, you may think beauty is narrowly defined…but that’s not the case.

Mara, a digital correspondent for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, says Japanese women believe their skin is the key to true beauty. Miki Okae, one of Japan’s most famous beauty experts, says the ideal is fair, smooth skin. “Everyone demands that,” she says.

While some Americans get collagen and Botox injections to erase wrinkles, Japanese women believe in a different approach—they consume collagen-infused foods. Miki says eating collagen-rich beef tendons is a regular part of her beauty routine. “I sneak out of the office when the supermarket opens to buy this,” she says.

Many restaurants even feature collagen, which is derived from animals like cows and chickens, on their menus. “Collagen-infused food is everywhere in Japan,” Mara says.

Every day for the past five years, Miyuki, a 30-year-old woman living in Tokyo, says she’s been drinking a combination of collagen and water to look more youthful. Some days, she mixes the animal product with tea. “It makes my skin beautiful, I guess.”

After speaking with women like Miyuki, Mara consults a dermatologist, who says there’s no evidence that what you drink or eat will improve sagging skin or erase wrinkles…but that’s not deterring millions of Japanese women. “People really swear by it. It makes them feel better,” Mara says. “It makes them feel healthier and more beautiful.”

One century-old Japanese beauty treatment also relies on an unusual ingredient…nightingale droppings. The bird droppings are made into a powder—known as Uguisu no Fun—mixed with soap and used as a face wash. Mara meets Kamiko and Miki, a mother-daughter pair who swear by this product. At ages 43 and 70, they say bird poop facials are their secret to looking young.

In Mauritania, plump is sexy

Tratto da Oprah Magazine

In the United States and many countries around the world, thin is the standard when it comes to beauty. But in a West African country halfway around the world, bigger is definitely better. Mauritania is a desert oasis that sits on the northwest coast of Africa. Here, a woman’s beauty is revered—but thin isn’t in. In Mauritania, plump is sexy!

While it might sound nice to throw dieting out the window, it’s not all pleasant. For generations, young girls were subjected to the practice of gavage—or force feeding—in order to fatten them up and make them more desirable. In Mauritania, many say the more you weigh, the better chances of you have of finding a husband.

Although force feeding is now frowned upon by the government, old habits die hard in remote areas of the country. Some young girls spend hours each day in the stifling heat, forced to stuff themselves with couscous and high-fat camel’s milk. Vomiting only leads to another helping of food.

Even in Mauritania’s more progressive cities, some women are willing to do anything for a fuller figure, including buying black-market drugs meant for animals.

Nowadays – the government is trying the undo the culture – by pushing a “slim-down” campaign. However, old stereotypes are hard to change in an environment that it is not swamped with mass media.

Beauty or Beast?

Tratto da AsiaNews




It used to be frowned upon, but changing perceptions of beauty and rising incomes have led to the surge of demand for cosmetic surgery in Asia, especially in Thailand.

Over the past 10 years, cosmetic surgergy has created a huge demand among Thai consumers, who contribute most of the 20 billion baht (US$638 million) in income that surgery clinics enjoy each year.

Ten years ago, both surgeons and customers sneaked into backrooms in hospitals and beauty clinics for the operations. Now, clinics have  mushroomed in all parts of the country as consumers welcome the idea of how a tiny appearance change can lead to greater beauty.

A recent survey shows that market value of the cosmetic surgery business has increased from 15 billion baht in 2010 to 20 billion baht in 2011. And this year, the value of this industry is expected to increase by another 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting estimates that cosmetic surgery will be the most popular business among investors this year as more and more teenagers want to undergo the surgery.

Records from the Public Health Ministry’s Health Service Support Department showed that the number of cosmetic surgery clinics registered

with the department has increased from 317 clinics in 2004 to 350 this year.

“The world has changed,” Dr Supot Sumritvanitcha, a director of Yanhee International Hospital, told The Nation.

“Every girl wants to be a superstar like Patchrapa Aum Chaichua who is being shown everywhere,”he added.


In the past, people would feel significantly bad and embarrassed if their friends or relatives had known they’d been to cosmetic surgery clinics. Thai society, at that time, had strong feelings against plastic or cosmetic surgery and stigmatised those people who’d had surgery as being unhappy with their genetic heritage.

“Sometimes, people would lie to their friends or relatives about travelling abroad for vacation for two weeks – but in fact, they went to Hong Kong or Japan to undergo cosmetic surgery. When they came home [they were] more beautiful,” Supot said.

But now, appearance and personality have become more and more important for people to find opportunities and their dream job.

Some parents have taken their kids to undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of 15 to pave the way for their success or to enter the entertainment industry.

Nose and eyelid surgery is the most popular among teenagers. Supot said 500 teenagers aged over 18 had visited hospital every month to undergo nose surgery and about 450 patients had undergone eyelid surgery.


Not only the number of domestic patients had increased during the past few years, the number of foreign patients had increased as well.

According to the hospital’s records, the number of foreign patients had increased from 25,611 cases in 2008 to 34,440 cases in 2010.

They are from many parts of the world such as US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

“For Western customers, many underwent nose and breast reduction surgery, and mid-facial lift,” Supot said.

Yanhee Polyclinic was opened in 1984 in a 2-block 4-storey building near the Rama 6 Bridge in Bangkok to provide medical services including weight control, general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, intensive care, and dialysis.

Following the rise inpatients, Yanhee had opened a 10-storey, 40- bed capacity hospital building on ten rai which became the Yanhee International Hospital in 1997.

Now the hospital has opened 36 treatment centres to provide general medicine and a wide range of cosmetic and plastic surgery services such as breast augmentation, facelift, tummy-tuck, liposuction, botox injection, dental whitening, facial treatment, and hair transplant.

The hospital recently opened a vaginal repair centre to restore the anatomic arrangement of structures surrounding the vaginal wall. This centre had attracted a lot of attention from customers aged between 18 and 60. At least five patients aged over 40 undergo vaginal repair surgery per day.

Supot expects the hospital will earn Bt3 million a month as revenue from this centre.

“We want to be an aesthetic institute which provides a one-stop shop for beauty,” he said.


To prepare for the Asean Economic Community in 2015, Yanhee has invested over 1 billion bath to build two new buildings and purchase new mediacal devices.

The hospital has planned to crease its full-time surgeons from 130 to 150 and increase the part-time surgeons from 120 to 125.

It will increase the number of professional nurses from 500 to 700 and import nurses from the Philippines to work as assistants as they can communicate well in English with foreign patients.

Apart from Yanhee International Hospital, the Wuttisak Clinic group also plans to join in the competition by increasing its skincare clinics in local and foreign markets.

The company now has 109 skincare clinics across the country with more planned. The company will also expand into Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.

At least 20 skincare clinics are marked for Vietnam next year, with four clinics located in Cambodia and four more to be set up in Laos, he added.

” We know everyone wants to be more beautiful so we’ll change the public perception of beauty. We’ll help people think [it’s] doctors who make them more beautiful and not a cosmetic product,” Wuttisak Clinic’s chief executive officer Nakorn Kornherun said.

Because of the rising demand in skincare treatment, the company has employed 200 general physicians to provide for customers nationwide and send others to work in neighbouring countries.

The company has invested in building its brand in the region to win over their local markets. It has spent Bt600,000 to Bt700,000 a month to rent the most famous building in Vietnam located near the Louis Vuitton shop, and about Bt80 million to renovate the building.

” We want to be the number-one player of this business in this region. It would waste our time, if we could not be the number one,” he added.