Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Luxe Models on the Controversial Thigh Gap Trend

The thigh gap has, over the years, become an internet phenomenon. Hundreds, thousands of dedicated thigh gap supporters have saturated sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest with photographs, blogs and memes of thigh gaps. For anyone who doesn’t have a clue what we mean by “thigh gap”: it’s a hollow cavity at the top of the inner thighs when you stand with your feet together. Largely it indicates a drastically underweight frame and there’s many a website offering girls “tips” on how to starve themselves to achieve these cavernous spaces betwixt their legs. At Luxe Models we’re all about maintaining fit, healthy bodies and think it’s about time this dangerous trend comes to an end.

For young girls, the internet is a pressure-filled hive swimming with pictures of “how they should look”. Plus-sized model Robyn Lawley of Australia has spoken out this week about her fears for teens that may end up starving themselves to achieve legs so thin they don’t touch at the top. She is hugely disturbed by websites that promote the thigh gap as “thinspiration” to encourage visitors to reduce their calorie intake in order to slim down to this unrealistic size.

24-year-old Robyn is a size 12 and has worked for Vogue and Elle France amongst others, and is the first plus-sized model to be shot in a Ralph Lauren campaign. She says this is a very worrying image for teens to be exposed to and was alarmed when an image of her posing in lingerie was used on a pro-thigh gap Facebook page. The photograph, in which Robyn leans forward slightly, creating a natural parting at the top of her legs, garnered 900 comments and many of them were far from positive.

In an article written for the Daily Beast, Robyn says that she was described as “too hefty” to be featured on the site, and notes that the word “pig” was bandied about far too often in reference to her gorgeous figure. She also says that far from aiming to achieve a thigh gap, she’s been working hard to make her thighs bigger and stronger so that she can enjoy longer workouts.

She feels that true acceptance comes from within rather than comments on a Facebook feed or a ridiculous website where eating disorders are openly encouraged. Women and especially young girls have enough pressure laid on them without having to feel like they’re not beautiful because they don’t have a large wedge of air where the flesh of their legs should be.

And Robyn has seen it from both sides. She began her career as a standard-sized model but felt it wasn’t worth the effort of trying to maintain a size 8. From the looks of her Tumblr page, Robyn is a passionate foodie who certainly wouldn’t dream of starving her body of vital nutrients. We reckon she’s absolutely gorgeous and a real inspiration for any aspiring models. But that’s not to say that naturally slim women ought to feel bad about their shapes either!


If you’re hoping to enter the world of modelling, it’s very important to understand the value of loving yourself through and through and being very confident about your body image. At Luxe Models we can offer advice and tell you which area of modelling you’re best suited to. Check out our website for more details!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Katy Perry tops the iTunes album chart

Here at Luxe Models we're pleased to see Katy Perry hitting the headlines for all the right reasons right now. After the chart success of her single ‘Roar’ earlier this month, she’s at it again with new album Prism, which has stormed to the top of the iTunes chart this week. Despite a slightly weak vocal during her performance on X Factor, Katy put on a fantastic show for viewers, dressed in a sexy tiger corset with charming cat ears perched on top of her dark flowing locks.  

The singer seems to be going from strength to strength following her divorce from comedian Russell Brand in 2011, which she recently described as “fun and exciting”. The couple were married for 14 months, and Katy revealed that some of the songs on Prism relate direct to the breakdown of that relationship. ‘By the Grace of God’ is a beautiful ballad that comes at the end of the album and deals with the feelings the songstress went through as she came to terms with the loss of the marriage. Katy said that each of the songs relates to something from her personal history, but that she doesn’t want to explain too much so the listener can relate to them in their own ways and attach their own experiences to them.

She also stated that she went through therapy after her split from Brand, and from it has learnt to stand up for herself. This is a much more mature album than her previous offerings. You only need to listen to the lyrics of ‘Roar’ to realise that they’re more emotionally developed. Here at Luxe Models we wonder if this personal development could also have something to do with her gorgeous beau, John Mayer, about whom the track ‘Unconditionally’ is said to have been written.

The pair has been dating on and off since last year, and after a brief period of separation this year, have been very happy together since July. Some reports are even suggesting engagement in the near future! Katy has said that John is something of a “broken bird” and she’s very attracted to men of this type. He’s a troubled soul, but we think they’re great together and hope that if they do get engaged, it will be much better second time round for Katy. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Are Super Foods really that Super?

At Luxe Models, we’re always striving to maintain a healthy balance of good diet, low stress and high enjoyment of our favourite things (fashion, photography and blogging, obviously), so anything that helps us to do this is, in our eyes, perfectly awesome. Lately we’ve been looking into the trend for “super foods” that’s been growing over the last few years. Victoria Beckham swears by seaweed for a speedy metabolism and Matthew McConaughey enjoys a sprinkling of acai berries over his breakfast granola. And recently pomegranate has been highlighted once again for its health benefits. But do these foods really have special properties to keep us healthy? We decided to take a look at a few in detail, so let’s find out!

Cocoa
While most people trying to stay on the straight and narrow path of healthy eating might aim to avoid chocolate, some studies have revealed that it’s actually great for lowering stress levels! During the study, people ate 40g of dark, high-cocoa chocolate for two weeks and a slight reduction in stress hormones was noticed. Also the Kuna Indians of Panama drank cocoa as their main beverage, and overall had noticeably lower blood pressure. Bear in mind though, we’re talking about the benefits of cocoa, rather than chocolate itself, so stuffing yourself with a bar of high-sugar milk chocolate and calling it a diet probably isn’t the best plan!

Broccoli
A study carried out by World Cancer Research found that eating more low-starch vegetables like broccoli can help the reduce the risk of some cancers, such as mouth, throat and stomach cancer. While many have claimed that broccoli reduces high blood pressure and the effects of diabetes, the studies were inconclusive. Don’t let that put you off though! Broccoli is still packed with the nutrients and vitamins that are essential for maintaining a healthy diet. It’s also a very flexible food that can be used in a variety of ways; anything from stir fry to curry!

Pomegranate

New research suggests that pomegranate might be able to undo some of the effect of a junk food diet! Great news if you’ve been known to indulge in one too many cheese burgers when you’re off the diet. A new supplement, Pomanex, is currently being tested to reveal its benefits. Experts say it helps to keep blood vessels healthy and elastic, which is vital if you want to avoid heart attacks and strokes – let’s be honest though, who doesn’t?? It is also thought to improve blood flow, lower stress and slow the progress of prostate cancer in men.

Lemons and Limes
There are a number of benefits to embracing lemons and limes, not least of all for their sanitising and deodorising properties around the house! They contain something called flavonoids, which are great at helping to reduce inflammation. They’re also great for digestion and rubbing a small amount of lemon or lime juice onto your skin can do wonders for it! It’ll keep you looking young and healthy.


Our research included a look at what dieticians have to say about the super food trends and there was general agreement that more studies need to be carried out to really learn about the benefits of so-called super foods. BUT! We reckon it can’t be that bad to indulge in most of these foods since they’re largely healthy anyway! Just be sure to keep a good balance of food groups and, if you’re trying to lose weight couple your healthy eating plan with a good amount of exercise. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Luxe Models: The Key to Combining

With the new season coming up, you might be thinking about trying a new style. But before you rush out to the shops to completely update your wardrobe, why not consider combining some of the pieces you already own to create something completely new? Luxe Models have come up with a brief guide to combining your clothes to create something fabulous.


Firstly, and possibly the most simple area of combining when it comes to fashion is colour combining. Adding a splash of colour to what might seem like a drab winter wardrobe can give it an incredible lift. Sometimes it can go right, but sometimes it can go really wrong and leave you looking like a patchy mess. You should get acquainted with the colour wheel and then try dressing in complimentary colours to begin with. These are the colours that lie directly across from one another on the wheel. Because of their high contrast, they work really well together. Alternatively, you could try an analogous mix. This would be a combination of any three colours that sit directly next to one another on the wheel. These mixes work in harmony, though you should choose one dominant colour with the other two acting as supports. You may also like to try pairing neutral bases with a splash of colour, perhaps a snappy scarf or a bright bag and shoes.


In terms of your overall look, you might like to try combining two different styles, because as everyone knows, there’s no fun to be had in compartmentalising!


Aim to acquire many different pieces from a number of different styles. Some ideas include punk/grunge; leather (see here for more detail on this!); animal prints; military; preppy; girly and rock.


To get a good-girl-gone-bad look, try pairing a girly dress with some rock-chic accessories. A soft pink prom dress will look great with studded wrist cuffs and tough-girl stilettos will give your look a killer edge. Or twin a poloshirt with some loose-fit boyfriend jeans and a pair of rope flip-flops to give you a cool preppy-bohemian look. There are however some things that should never be seen together. For example, do use animal print and camo in the same outfit, unless you want a fashion disaster. If you want to pair the military look with something different, try punk or denim, or simply add a bright red leather bag as an eye-catching accessory.


You might like to try mixing price ranges too. An expensive watch or bag can really make an outfit that was otherwise that bit cheaper. Similarly, a mix of fancy and casual can make for a great look - try pairing stilettos with jeans and a loose t-shirt, or wearing less dressy shoes with a fancy frock.

Be unexpected and choose styles that aren’t typically associated. You need to get out of your comfort-zone and be a bit daring. Pick one style as the main base, then just add touches of another style in the form of accessories.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Sinead vs. Miley

The internet has been aflame over the last couple of days with the feud that has broken out between Sinead O’Connor and Miley Cyrus. The 46 year old songstress sent an open letter to the young singer expressing her concerns over Miley’s recent spate of outrageous behaviour, including her performance at the VMAs and her nudity in the video for Wrecking Ball. Luxe Models decided to weigh in on the debate.

The original letter sent by O’Connor yesterday (3/10/2013) described the Nothing Compares 2 U singer’s upset over Miley’s apparent “prostitution” through her music career. She said that the 20 year old singer shouldn’t wish to be liked for her sexual appeal and that her success should be based on her talent alone.

Sinead O’Connor told Cyrus that being naked and doing crass publicity stunts are no way to build a solid reputation, and stated that the music business doesn’t really care about the people making the music, only that they make money for the managers and corporations they are signed to. She also suggested that artists, particularly female artists, who play solely on their sexuality and build a career around their looks, will end up being forgotten about as they grow older. She said it seems like Miley Cyrus is “sending a message that it’s cool to be prostituted”, but that women in music and in general should be valued for so much more than that.

Cyrus responded with an unashamedly pornographic photoshoot with Terry Richardson, the same man who directed the infamous Wrecking Ball video. In it she adopts overtly sexual poses and simulates sex with a beer can. She also took to Twitter to slam O’Connor for her letter, comparing the singer to Amanda Bynes who is currently undergoing treatment for mental illness. Miley outrageously drew attention to Sinead’s own mental health issues by retweeting the posts O’Connor made during her public breakdown two years ago.


While we’re all for supporting forward thinking women who want to promote a strong image (as Amanda Palmer details in her letter to Sinead O’Connor) we don’t think it’s cool to pick on another person’s weaknesses and think maybe an apology should be offered. But as it stands right now, it seems like Miley won't be doing anything that doesn’t involve sticking her tongue out and being as naked as possible. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Strictly Romance

As the 11th series of Strictly Come Dancing kicked off at the weekend, here at Luxe Models, we decided to get up close and personal with some of the steamy romances that have blossomed from the show. And there have been a lot more than you might expect!

Recently Strictly’s moody judge Craig Revel Horwood revealed that he’s not surprised by the number of relationships that have begun as a result of the popular reality show. He said that working so closely together, in very intimate dance encounters inevitably leads to very strong connections between couples. They’re performing some very intricate, sexy moves together, and Craig reckons if they’re both single, why not!

One of the most famous couplings of recent years is that of Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvinstev who were partnered in 2010. Their routines proved hugely popular with viewers and judges alike as they stormed towards a win. They celebrated their success with a passionate kiss, having kept their relationship quiet throughout the series. They’re still together, living in North London. Artem is this year partnered with Corrie star Natalie Gumede with whom he scored a very respectable 31 points for their first dance.

A slightly less successful coupling was that of Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna, who danced together in 2009 and reached third place. The stayed together for a little over a year, but decided to end their relationship towards the end of 2010. Another recent split to hit the headlines came in the form of Joe Calzaghe and his former dance partner Kristina Rihanoff, were partnered in the same year. Apparently the former boxer had some jealousy issues when it came to Kristina’s new dance partners, though they have both stated that their relationship ended because of busy work schedules and a difference of opinion about having children together. The pair are still friends though, with Joe sending Kristina a message of good luck before the new series of Strictly kicked off.  

There have also been a few unfounded romantic rumours spawned by the show. Ricky Whittle, who came second in 2009, was reportedly rather peeved by the way the show had been edited to suggest that he was in a relationship with his partner Natalie Lowe. There was also some controversy surrounding Brendan Cole and Natasha Kaplinsky, who were the first couple to win the show. At the time, Brendan was engaged to his professional dance partner Camilla Dallerup, though reports came out that Cole and Kaplinsky had had an affair during their time together on the show. However, Natasha maintains that she was never romantically involved with Brendan.

This year, hunky dancer Pasha Kovalev, who joined the show in 2011, reckons there will be plenty of romance this season, though whether he himself is on the lookout remains to be seen. He is dancing with Countdown hottie Rachel Riley. Rumour also has it that professional dancer Ola Jordan insisted that her husband James Jordan, who is also a dancer by trade, be partnered with Vanessa Feltz this year so it was less likely that he would flirt during rehearsals!


According to Revel Horwood, he doesn’t mind a bit of romance between partners as he claims it can really help the chemistry on show throughout their routines. Anything to put a smile on his face, eh? Current favourite to win, Abbey Clancey certainly showed off a blistering chemistry with AljaĆŸ Skorjanec at the weekend, but we're sure it'll be restricted to the dance floor since she's been married to footballer Peter Crouch since 2009.

Whatever happens, we're really looking forward to following this series of Strictly Come Dancing