Archive for July 1st, 2010

Being the unfashionable fool that I am, I gave up buying glossy ‘lady mags’ a few years ago after determining that I’d wasted enough money and brain cells on them. However, recently a friend of mine gave me a bag of old glossies and, well, it would have been rude not to read them before chucking them in the recycling bin.

While idly flicking through the 8 March issue of Grazia I saw a number of ‘tips’ that had me spluttering into my glass of vino. It turns out that all this time I had been ignoring lady mags, I had been missing out on some priceless advice for us women who worry about being fat and old all the time.

Luckily for Anti-Room readers, I’ve included some of these tips for your information.  You’ll wonder how you ever survived without these gems, such as this one included in an article on the highlights of London Fashion Week:

How simple – feeling fat and worthless? Just unpick the stitches in your favourite dress and then hold it together with bulldog clips. Why hadn’t I thought of that before? Such an easy way of distracting people from my hideous figure.

So, if you get sad every time you see an unused bulldog clip sitting forlornly on your desk, now you know what to do. Unpick your shirt, pop on a bulldog clip and voila! Instant, fat-covering glamour. If anyone in the office asks why you have a clip stuck to you, or sniggers as you walk past, assuming you’re the victim of the company prankster, be assured that you are in fact being extremely fashion-forward.

“All the gals were doing it at LFW, darling!” should be your reply, “Kate, Lara and even Cheryl!” Then flounce off smiling – just be careful the clips don’t ping off mid-flounce, showing rather more of your body than you had intended. Oh, the perils of high fashion.

I used to think that nail length is only indicative of whether you are a nail-biter or not, so imagine how stunned I was to discover this tip:

Silly me, thinking that nails were, well, nails, and have nothing to do with body shape. Hell no! I can’t believe that for the past 27 years I could have been disguising my shape by growing my nails to a certain length.  Consider me a changed woman, Grazia. No one will guess I’m a size 12 once I’ve redone these glamorous talons!

Finally, if you’re sick of your crow’s feet but fear the frozen expression that Botox tends to afflict on its users, then worry no more. The trick, according to Grazia, is using white eyeliner. Lots of white eyeliner.

Will you look like a rabbit trapped in the proverbial headlights? You may well indeed, but everyone will be so distracted by your white eyes that they won’t be looking at your crow’s feet. And as we know thanks to Grazia, anything is worth doing if it means looking thinner and younger.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to stick bulldog clips to my arse – I’ve heard it will make it look instantly thinner! Thanks for the inspiration, Grazia.

What are your favourite tips from women’s magazines?

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Earlier this year, just after my 39th birthday, I interviewed a cardiologist. I asked her when people should start having more frequent medical checks to head off any looming problems that could short-change them in later life. “Around 40,” was the reply. My own heart stopped and looked up at my brain. “I’m around 40,” it whispered before realising vital tissues were running short on oxygen and that it needed to hop back to its job.

Then as luck (or maybe fate) would have it, I was asked to write a series of articles about women’s heart health. A particular emphasis was on how non-smoking females tend to enjoy a little extra protection in the cardiovascular department up to menopause, but after that all bets are off and we catch up rapidly with the menfolk. Although if you light up then some of those bets are off anyway – the majority of women who have their first ‘cardiac event’ (as the medics so endearingly term it) before their 50s will be smokers.

But I digress. It all drove home to me that I am getting older and it’s about time to start looking after my body a little more rather than assuming it will look after me. Cue an arched eyebrow at that blanket of butter on the (white) toasted bagel. Enter a regime of daily circuit/treadmill training. Hello credit-card scorching by meditation MP3 downloads (now the trick is to find time in between child-rearing, working and circuit training to devote to them).

Despite weeks turning into months of clean living and artery cosseting I have yet to lose a gram on the scales. But last week I met someone who hadn’t seen me for several years. “You’re looking fit,” he chirped. I claim my victories where I can.

Claire O’Connell

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