Could you survive on $150 a week? Because that’s effectively what we’re asking our unemployed to do every single week.
A few weeks ago I spent a week living on the dole for a feature story. I had just $150 to spend on groceries, public transport, electricity bills, mobile phone, medications, photocopying of my resume and an outfit to wear to job interviews.
I had no car, no internet, no computer, no food from my pantry, no private health insurance, and no Foxtel. I had always thought the dole payment was rather generous. After all, how do all those surfies survive on it? But the current level of Newstart allowance is so grossly inadequate I was shocked.
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As the debate around the best way to tackle negative body image continues to simmer in Australia, it’s worth noting that a major new cross-party parliamentary report in Britain has recommended that all primary and secondary school kids take part in compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons.
Is that what we need in Australia to tackle the scourge of negative body image among children and adolescents?
There’s no question that all young Australians would benefit from engaging in some level of education and formal discussion around body image. But how do we make it meaningful? What role for parents?
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Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit, a regular column on spin and skulduggery, pseudoscience and shenanigans. This week we’re looking at Mattel’s decision to make a bald Barbie.
Bald Barbie – or bald-friend-of-Barbie – will be distributed in hospitals to kids with cancer, or other conditions which make them lose their hair. Mattel said it “demonstrates Mattel’s commitment to encourage play as a respite for children in the hospital and bring joy to children in need”. Aw.
Mattel are responding to a Facebook page calling for a bald doll to help all children suffering hairloss, and only the cynical would suggest it was also responding to the February announcement that Barbie’s main competitors – Bratz and Moxie Girlz dolls – would be getting hairless friends.
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As always, it’s tempting to blame everything on Ms Antithesis-of-“Germane” Greer.
Bloody Germaine. Doesn’t she realise there are enough misogynists taking pot shots at Julia Gillard without women’s libbers joining the mob?
Stubborn Germaine. When will she accept that Australia’s “stupid” media isn’t “making” her sound crazy by quoting her out of context; it’s simply quoting her?
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Ladies, please keep your distance today. For one day in the year, I beg you. Allow me to repose unpestered and alone in my magnificence. Today, I need my space.
Today, my perfect face with its high cheekbones and steely jaw is unusually furrowed, and all because of a wonderful column by UK writer Samantha Brick. Not until I read her raw, groundbreaking words did I realise I share her problem.
Samantha and I are siblings in exquisiteness. We are soul brother and sister in sheer physical splendour. Like Ms Brick, I am a victim of my own vivacity and it’s time my plight was highlighted.
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Perfectionism is a badge that many achievers wear with pride. But when does healthy striving for high standards become a health problem? All too often, my research has found.
In 20 years working with those affected by eating disorders, I have noticed a worrying tendency among sufferers to aim for impossible standards, and to be overcome with a sense of worthlessness when these crippling expectations are not met.
Colleagues and I discerned similar patterns among patients struggling with depression, anxiety and other common but debilitating disorders.
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Love is all around. It’s in the air, on the air and online. Unfortunately it’s mostly self love. Studies show narcissism is on the rise. Far from being mythological, some say it is now an ‘epidemic’, with people falling so hard for themselves they can no longer relate to others.
US congressman Anthony Weiner’s self love overflowed onto Twitter, leading to punderous headlines, turgid analysis, and a drooping career trajectory. Silly Weiner obviously looked in the mirror one day and thought: “Wow. That is just so good I can’t keep it to myself.”
Narcissism covers a spectrum of self love; from a healthy self esteem through to unhealthy self infatuation, which can lead to abusive, controlling behaviour, a lack of empathy towards others. It’s this far end, where self love overrides all else, that is getting out of control.
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This is a post about finding someone in your life who is critical of you.
I’m part of the over-esteem generation. Our grandparents were more likely to be cold, distant and reluctant to praise or coddle.
When our parents raised us, they over-compensated for their lack of praise by building us up with doting affection and constant positive reinforcement.
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