Women’s News: Marc Erwin Babej’s ‘Mask Of Perfection’ Series Explores A Scary Side Of Beauty Culture

Women’s News: Marc Erwin Babej’s ‘Mask Of Perfection’ Series Explores A Scary Side Of Beauty Culture

Women’s News: 5 Things to Never Say (and 4 Things You Should Say) to a Friend Trying to Conceive

Women’s News: 5 Things to Never Say (and 4 Things You Should Say) to a Friend Trying to Conceive

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Body Image!!!


By Kimberly Seabrooks

Body Image: How It Affects Women

The media is constantly showing the “perfect” body image. The truth is this is not something that really is perfect; it’s perfect for fashion designers and manufacturers but not the people of the real world. However, women—young and old—become so focused on the idea that they need to be thin to be perfect and it leads to many problems.


Teenage Girls Turn to Eating Disorders

One of the biggest issues is how so many girls and women turn to eating disorders to help them become the media’s idea of the perfect woman. They stop eating, throw up their food or do extra amounts of exercise to burn off the calories. They focus on the look instead of deciding whether they are actually healthy.


In many cases it leads to issues such as bulimia and anorexia. It’s really important for parents to talk to their daughters and discuss the public and media views of the perfect body. It’s important to focus on health and the fact that people prefer to see women with curves.


The Teeth, the Hair and Everything Else!

It isn’t just how thin or fat a woman is either! It’s everything part of her. Her teeth need to be perfectly white and straight, leading to whitening kits, bleaching and adult braces even if they’re not recommended. The hair of the perfect woman has to be a certain colour, length and thickness. The perfect woman will wear makeup and high heels and dress in a certain way.


There isn’t the chance for a woman to be herself. Those who choose to show off their own personalities are seen as outcasts, weird or freaks. These labels lead to the low self-esteems and the bullying in schools, colleges and the workplace.


What Body Image Means to Me

Personally, body image is all about being comfortable in your own skin. Nobody is perfect and if everyone was the same, the world would be a very boring place. The trick is to feeling good about yourself, while being healthy at the same time. If that means losing some weight, lose as much as you feel you need to so you look great; not so you look like the stick-thin models in the magazines!


Men still love women with curves. They want something to hold onto and someone who looks healthy. Focus on that and discuss your concerns with people close to you.


Women’s News: 5 Things to Never Say (and 4 Things You Should Say) to a Friend Trying to Conceive


Dr. Yvonne Bohn

Dr. Allison Hill

Dr. Alane Park

OB/GYNs and authors of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth

Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy and girl start a family. For many people, this is how they expect their lives will be — or at least some version of this scenario — but for a lot of couples, this just isn’t reality.

Infertility is an incredibly common problem and according to the CDC, more than 7.3 million women have sought treatment for the condition, which is defined as the inability to get pregnant after six to 12 months of trying to conceive (TTC). This number averages to 1 in 8 women who are battling infertility every day, making the issue one that affects a significant portion of the population, as well as one that touches the lives of family members, friends and others close to those affected.

Couples battling infertility mourn the loss of the child they’ve not had the chance to know. They may never know if their baby will have mommy’s smile or daddy’s ears. Every month, the hope that they might meet their baby creeps into their hearts. That this time will be different. No matter how many times they’ve heard it or how much they’ve prepared, every time they hear the bad news their feelings of loss are renewed.

It’s during these times of grief that TTC couples are most vulnerable and need emotional support from their friends and families. But many of my patients still find infertility hard to talk about, both for those who are TTC and those who would like to offer their support. In many cases, friends and family of those struggling with infertility try to be supportive, but say things that are unknowingly insensitive.

Here are what we find to be the four most common insensitive things said to TTC couples that should be avoided:

1. “Everything happens for a reason.”

Suggesting someone’s infertility is part of “the grand plan” or that “everything happens for a reason” will only reinforce negative feelings they may already have, making them feel even worse.

2. “You know a friend of mine was trying, then poof!”

Try not to tell stories of someone else who was TTC who then suddenly got pregnant. When a TTC person or couple hears these anecdotes, the sting of “what’s wrong with me?” hurts even more.

3. “Have you tried…?”

More than likely, if someone is struggling with infertility, they’ve considered a long list of options. Assuming what they have or have not considered will make you seem more disconnected than you think.

4. “It’s not that big of a deal. Kids are a hassle anyway.”

Don’t minimize your friend’s crisis. Joking about how you wish you had an infertility problem because you’re always pregnant or suggesting they’ll change their mind if they babysat your own children can be insulting.

5. “When is the next baby coming?”

For couples who are secretly trying to conceive, this can be a painful question. Secondary infertility, which is defined as the inability to conceive a child or to carry a pregnancy to term following the birth of one or more biological children, can be difficult. Those struggling with this issue may be desperately trying to grow their family and feel uncomfortable going in details about why they haven’t had more children.

Being there for a TTC friend is all about communication. Here are four great things you can say to show your support:

1. “I care.”

Telling someone how you feel is the most direct way to show them you care. When TTC couples find out they are not able to conceive, they grieve similarly to those who have lost a loved one. Offer them the same support you’d give a friend who is in mourning.

2. “Can you tell me about…?”

Ask questions about the process. Become knowledgeable about the options they’ve considered without any assumptions. This will show your friend that you’re just as invested in this as they are.

3. “I support your decision no matter what.”

For TTC couples, uncertainty is an unfortunate part of the process. They often question their own judgment and having a strong support system will keep them from feeling overwhelmed.

4. “You’re more brave than you realize.”

Acknowledge how brave they are for facing this challenge head on. TTC couples have a lot of things to be afraid of, so remind them you’re in their corner every step of the way.

If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, there are a number of non-profit organizations dedicated to providing additional support and resources. One such organization, The American Fertility Association, provides hopeful parents with services and educational materials free of charge to help grow their families.

It can take years for a couple or family to find the best solution to their TTC crisis and your loved ones will need all the emotional encouragement and support they can get. Knowing what to say during this time might turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.

If there comes a time when you just can’t find the words, give them a hug. This small gesture can have the biggest impact.

Dr. Bohn, Dr. Hill and Dr. Park are chief medical consultants for Insight Pharmaceuticals, parent company of e.p.t. The advice and opinions expressed in this article are their own.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-mommy-docs/5-things-to-never-say-to-a-friend-trying-to-conceive_b_3443976.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

A Message From The Creator


Women’s News: Marc Erwin Babej’s ‘Mask Of Perfection’ Series Explores A Scary Side Of Beauty Culture

Patient: M.A., age 24

The Huffington Post  |  By 

To some plastic surgeons, a naturally stunning woman looks more like a work-in-progress. What does this somewhat terrifying reality say about the state of beauty in our culture?

That’s what photographer Marc Erwin Babej wanted to explore in his new series,“Mask Of Perfection.” Babej worked with his close friend, plastic surgeon Maria LoTempio, to illustrate the difference between a woman’s natural beauty and the “correctable flaws” a plastic surgeon has been trained to see. (Scroll down to see the images.)

“The idea came to my head very spontaneously,” Babej told the Huffington Post in an interview. “I had been taking portraits and I was on the phone with Maria, and the idea just came to me. I suddenly had this vision in my head — what would Maria mark up on her? What would Maria find about her, from her perspective as a plastic surgeon?”

After some debate, the pair decided to focus solely on women’s faces for this first set of photographs, but are considering a second part to the series which would focus on the rest of the female body.

“We were going back and forth on it,” Babej told HuffPost. “[Maria] actually wanted some body images. And I — at least initially — didn’t want to go there. Because to me, portraiture and what would in effect be nude photography are quite different. If it’s any other part of the body, other than the face, you don’t really get a sense of the person’s personality … You get more deeply into women’s image issues if you start doing breasts and butts and stomachs and other body parts.”

The pair recruited 12 models, all in their twenties, who would be considered traditionally beautiful — the last people you would expect to “need” plastic surgery. Dr. LoTiempo was then asked what it would take to “upgrade” these women according to the standards of her profession.

According to Babej’s artist statement: “All patients were initially evaluated via a set of five clinical images (frontal, 3/4 and full profiles on both side) and then examined in person. Finally, they were marked with pre-operative markings –- the Mask of Perfection.”

Alongside each photograph is a caption with the model’s age and a list of the recommended procedures that would make her “perfect” by today’s beauty standards.

Though to us, these photographs signal just how insane our standards of physical perfection have become, Babej declined to pass judgment one way or the other. He hopes his art will speak for itself.

“I have a personal opinion on the subject matter, but I never talk about it, because it’s really not the point,” Babej said. “My goal with these images is… they work like aRorschach test. The images confront you, as the viewer, with something that exists — but that you haven’t thought about in that way yet. And I want the images, above all, to motivate people to think about the issue, and to form their own individual opinion.”

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/23/marc-erwin-babej-mask-of-perfection_n_3641246.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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