Yes, photoshopped ‘beauty’ should be banned

I have known media owner and personality Mia Freedman for 25 years and count her as one of my dearest friends. As we now live in different states, we don’t get to eyeball each other as much as we used to and so, when I received a newsletter she sends out to her enormous fan base recently complete with a recent selfie, I was taken aback at how, well, weird she looked. Now, I’ve seen this woman in all states good and bad but not like this. My first thought was she was sick. Then I wondered if she’d had work on her face but aware it is against her feminist beliefs, knew that couldn’t be the reason.

Mia Freedman, co-founder and creative director of Mamamia, as she actually looks (without the photo filters).Credit:Cybele Malinowski

It was only after I started reading her angry letter that I understood why she looked like an anaemic cadaver – her new phone had made her that way. Only she didn’t want it to. She didn’t process her selfie through a filter or photoshop it up the wazoo in an app like so many do. No, her new phone automatically adjusted her selfie with a “beauty” setting that was supposed to enhance her image to fit a more agreeable norm.

Mia explained her phone had three filters – Smoother Skin, Thinner Face and Warmth – which could be scaled from 0-12. “Much to my horror, the DEFAULT settings for Smoother Skin and Thinner face were both at 6/12,” she wrote. “So, my phone was automatically making me look 50 per cent more smooth, thin and white than I actually am.”

So, what in reality this phone and its manufacturers are telling us is we are not OK the way we are and that we actually should want to look thinner, paler and smoother and, as such, are making the choice to alter our images for us. A public service of sorts! And, as Mia pointed out, “Since women are overwhelmingly the takers of selfies, this serves to undermine us every time we look in the mirror which, so far, doesn't come with an in-built filter.”

Actress and presenter Jameela Jamil.

Now, I have been most vocal in the past about my belief that Instagram is the devil and how it has made me feel like crap each time I’ve scrolled through its carefully curated images. But part of my animosity towards the social medium is not just the fact that people are portraying their lives as perfect when no one’s is, they are portraying their appearances as something they are not, too – filtered replicas that are more illustration than reflection. And this is not just sad, it is truly sick.

My rage in this regard is shared by British actress Jameela Jamil, who I had enjoyed watching in the comedy The Good Place on Netflix. Yes, Jameela is attractive – show me a young woman on TV today who isn’t – but because she is of Indian and Pakistani descent, it’s not in the traditional glossy magazine/advertising blonde Mattel-worthy way. But this beauty also has something to say, and that is that even she has been victim to the belief she is not beautiful enough. And she is angry that this is the case.

Starting her career as a UK morning TV presenter, Jameela admitted in early interviews that she suffered an eating disorder as a teenager because she was inundated with magazine images that made her feel fat and unworthy. After overcoming her body issues, she found herself being body shamed again after gaining almost 30 kilos after taking steroids to help her asthma. Realising that there weren’t clothes to fit her at that size, instead of resorting dangerous diets and self-flagellation, she launched a clothing line that would with sizes that would, ranging from a 10 to 32.

She then created @i_weigh on Instagram, “a movement for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look beyond the flesh on our bones” which now has some 250,000 untouched-up followers. More recently, she took on celebrities Cardi B, Iggy Azalea and Khloe Kardashian for advertising “detox teas” supposed to aid weight loss, writing in response: “GOD I hope all these celebrities all shit their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do.” (These teas are known for their aggressive laxative properties.)

Then, this week, Jameela wrote a piece for the BBC which had me believing this young woman is one of the most refreshing voices in feminism today. Calling for airbrushed photos to be banned and describing them as a “crime against humanity”, Jameela asked how digitally altered images that actually lie to the consumer and sell a fantasy that perfection is indeed possible, are “ethical or even legal?”.

“Filters and digital editing have almost certainly contributed to the fact so many of the women I know have turned to needles, knives and extreme diets to try to match their online avatar,” she writes. “When photo editors try to lighten my skin and change my ethnicity, it's bad for the girls who are looking at the picture. But it's also bad for my mental health. It's a message from the editor to me that I am not good enough as I am.”

Citing UK studies that echo Australian research showing a majority of teenage girls today don’t think they are pretty enough (one study showed 93 per cent think they're judged on their appearance more than their ability), Jameela urges women to spurn their social media filters and delete photo editing apps.

“We need to see spots. We need to see wrinkles. We need to see cellulite and stretch marks. If not, we will become almost allergic to the sight of them, even though we all have these things on our own bodies,” she writes.

“Don't give your money to any institution that sells you the lie of 'perfection'. They are trying to break you, so you will hate yourself and go out and buy something you don't need, in order to fix something that was never broken in the first place.”

But it seems Jameela's detractors feel that, because she is beautiful, she can’t speak on behalf of those who aren’t. Which in my mind is yet another filter being placed on a woman’s acceptability according to her appearance. And it takes only a glance at Mia’s thin, pale, line-free face to know we already have way too many of those.

Wendy Squires is a regular columnist.

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Why ultrasound imaging may be the future of neurological treatments

After decades of medical dramas filling our TV screens, the figure of a technician wielding an ultrasound wand is so prolific, it’s easily called to mind. Even if you’ve never needed an internal abdominal exam, the steps are familiar: The clear, cool gel on the belly; the pressing of a sturdy, plastic device against the patient’s torso; the grainy images that appear on a nearby screen…

Expanding on this traditional use for ultrasound technology, Professor Vince Clark at The University of New Mexico’s Psychology Clinical Neuroscience Center asked the question, “What would happen if we pointed an ultrasound wand not at the abdomen, but at the head?”

Working with his student and lead author, Ben Gibson, Research Assistant Professor Jay Sanguinetti and other colleagues and students, Clark’s recent publication in Frontiers in Neurology, “Increased Excitability Induced in the Primary Motor Cortex by Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation,” explores transcranial ultrasound stimulation (tUS), “an emerging technique that uses ultrasonic waves to noninvasively modulate brain activity.”

This new research takes the ultrasound system that is commonly used for imaging and applies it to boosting brain function.

“A measure of brain excitability changes when the ultrasound device is directed at the brain,” Clark says. “Two minutes of ultrasonic imaging to the head produces about eight minutes of enhanced brain activity, and then it returns to normal after this.”

Unlike other forms of treating the brain, ultrasound technology is both precise and readily available. With widespread access to ultrasound wands, patients everywhere – from large hospitals to private practice to rural community medicine – could benefit from these advances.

This experiment is a part of an Army Research Laboratory (ARL) sponsored project to develop new methods to enhance attention and perception. ARL scientists also collaborated on the study.

“This is potentially a new way to research brain function, and ultimately to enhance human cognition, and may one day also be useful to treat the most common types of brain and mental illness,” Clark says.

Those top five issues include depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. In Clark’s estimation, using ultrasound technology to treat the brain could be well underway in as little as ten years, with the ultimate goal of creating better forms of healthcare and treatment than we have now. Fewer side effects, more effective treatment for illnesses, and less reliance on some of the more dangerous treatments used now.

Using ultrasound technology to treat the brain could also reduce provider and patient dependence on pharmaceuticals and risky surgeries. According to Clark, prescription drugs can minimize a patient’s symptoms, but they aren’t really treatments for the underlying problems.

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Half of all cancer deaths could be easily prevented – Video

If all the people keep to four simple tips that could be prevented, according to a large study, 40 to 70 percent of all cancer cases. Yet so insightful at the least.

A healthy lifestyle can prevent cancer. These four things include:

1. You maintain a healthy weight, with a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5.

2. You keep moving and exercise regularly.

3. You drink only a little alcohol.

4. You don’t smoke.

Would keep all people these tips, cases may, according to a large study, 40 to 70 percent of all cancer and about half of the deaths can be prevented by cancer.

For their study, the researchers compared health data from nearly 140,000 Americans who are already living a relatively health conscious. The findings of the researchers to Mingyang Song, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Edward Giovannucci, a Professor at Harvard Medical School were published in the journal “Jama Oncology”.

The frightening result: The male subjects in the high-risk group that did not keep to the tips, had a 33 percent higher risk of developing cancer. In addition, your risk of dying of cancer was 44 percent higher than in the comparison group.

Among women, the difference was not quite so serious: The high-risk group had to suffer a 25 percent higher risk to die of a 48 percent higher, to a Tumor.

The researchers report: projected to the average American society of difference is far more dramatic. Best offer on BestCheck.de

From our network of CHIP: how to protect your children from Cyber-bullying: The Privalino App from the cave of the lion

“About the malignancy of tumors, ideally, can only be judged by a pathologist”

According to various estimates, the percentage of discrepancies between clinical and morphological diagnosis in Oncology is up to 30-40%. Official statistics are not gathered. The most serious errors are those when find cancer where there is none, or, conversely, missing a malignant tumor. Such cases are less, but the consequences are the same incorrectly chosen tactics of treatment, and the sad result.Thus, the farther the patient is from Central hospitals, the fewer the chances of adequate diagnosis.

Who are they cancer patients without morphological verification of diagnosis and stage of the disease, and what to do with them, tried to find out in the Chelyabinsk regional clinical center of Oncology and nuclear medicine. About the first results of a study presented at the recent Moscow International forum of Oncology and radiology, told Mednovosti head. orgettable and cancer register Irina Aksenova.

Should we be afraid of cancer from the mobile phone, if you are a male rat?

In connection with the completion of a major study on mobile phone cancer risk news headlines exploded with reports on the subject. Given that the study provoked a barrage of information, was not conducted on humans and used the specific type of radiation, the proposed deal that really shows this scientific work and what we can expect from their phones.

The national toxicology program (National Toxicology Program NTP) presented the final reports on the studies of the effect of radio frequency (RFID) used in mobile phones 2G and 3G, in rats and mice.

Scientists have subjected their experimental radiation exposure within two years, nine hours a day. The results of more than a decade of research has shown that strong RF exposure associated with the development of tumors. Have been provided:

  • Compelling evidence linking RFID and tumors (malignant sannam) in hearts of male rats;
  • Some evidence of connection with tumors (malignant gliomas) in the brain of male rats;
  • Some evidence of benign and malignant tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats;
  • Ambiguous (unclear) evidence linking observed in the study of tumors in female rats and mice of both sexes.

The exposure used in the studies cannot be directly compared with the impact that people experience when using a mobile phone. In our studies, rats and mice received radio-frequency radiation throughout the body. On the contrary, people are mostly exposed to certain tissues near the place where they hold the phone. In addition, exposure levels and duration in our study was higher than people, explained John Bucher (John Bucher), doctor of philosophy, senior researcher of the NTP.

Health magazine columnist , Forbes argues that it makes no sense to panic if you are not male rats. In addition to the above reservations, it should be noted that the study used the radiation, which was used only for early models of mobile phones which now practically are not applied. Also noteworthy is the fact that strong evidence that RFID causes cancer in female rats and mice that were not received.

However, to reduce exposure to RF radiation, people should take precautions:

  • Keep the cell phone away from the head and body;
  • Do not place the phone near me while sleeping;
  • Use, whenever possible, speakerphone or headset;
  • Avoid using mobile phone when the signal is weak. In this case, because of the constant attempts to connect, RFID enhanced;
  • Do not use your mobile phone to download large files or streaming video. This also leads to increased RFID;
  • Before buying, carefully study the label and information about models by phones. Different devices may have different levels of RFID;
  • Do not wear the headset when not in call;
  • Put the phone in airplane mode or even turn off, if possible;
  • Skeptical about protective screens and other devices that are positioned as reducing RFID;
  • Try as little as possible to use the phone. Shorten the length of your calls, communicate face to face.

Valeria SEMA