Rene Campbell wants to change perceptions of what women should look like

Counterpointed by a number of striking tattoos, hers is a body defined by muscle. She is a mother of two who embodies power and strength.



a person wearing a costume: "My bodybuilding journey made me realize that I needed to do things for myself," says Rene Campbell.


© Max Ellis
“My bodybuilding journey made me realize that I needed to do things for myself,” says Rene Campbell.

Rene Campbell has dedicated most of her life to sculpting her once diminutive frame into one that, she says, goes “completely against what society thinks a woman should look like.”

The bodybuilder’s dedication has brought plenty of awards but building her dream body — gaining over 85 pounds, going from a UK size 8 to 14 — has had its challenges, too, both physically and mentally.

“I was very insecure about my body image, very insecure about myself as a person,” Campbell, 44, tells CNN Sport from her home in Cornwall, UK, as she reflects on her motivation to transform herself.

“I was constantly feeling under pressure through the media that women needed to look a certain way.”

‘A woman with muscle’

“For quite some time I struggled with eating disorders because I was constantly trying to keep my weight really low, to appear skinny, like these women are on magazine covers,” she says.

Then, she attended a women’s bodybuilding show and became intrigued by the way these seemingly confident women held themselves.

Though Campbell ​says she loves the way she now looks, ​she says she is sometimes treated with cruelty, like when she has been asked to leave women’s toilets.

“A lot of the time you are up against a lot of negativity. People set in an old mindset,” Campbell adds.

“I was up against — and still am — a lot of criticism from people who don’t understand why women would want to be muscular. But it just gave me a sense of confidence and mental strength.

“I’m stuck in a situation where I have to prove that I’m a woman in order to use these toilets? It’s quite offensive. I do try and explain to them quite nicely. I may look this way but, at the end of the day, I am a woman. I have every right to use these toilets.”



"There's a very close relationship between passion, dedication and obsession," says Campbell.


© Max Ellis
“There’s a very close relationship between passion, dedication and obsession,” says Campbell.

Studying female bodybuilders

For over a decade, sociologist Dr. Tanya Bunsell has been researching female bodybuilders.

“When I would tell people that I was studying female bodybuilders, the first reaction was, ‘That’s just not attractive,'” Dr. Bunsell, a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at Canterbury Christ Church University, tells CNN Sport.



a person with pink hair: Campbell takes enormous pride in the way she has reshaped her body.


© Max Ellis
Campbell takes enormous pride in the way she has reshaped her body.

“There’s definitely a glass ceiling on muscularity, and that crossover boundary where the body becomes transgressive and interrogates people’s notions of male and female.

“The troublesome and disturbing body of the hyper-muscular woman is deemed so outrageously deviant by society that it provokes harsh comments.”

“Even though there is a huge market encouraging women to build abs

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Bodybuilding: Rene Campbell wants to change perceptions of what women should look like

Rene Campbell has dedicated most of her life to sculpting her once diminutive frame into one that, she says, goes “completely against what society thinks a woman should look like.”

The bodybuilder’s dedication has brought plenty of awards but building her dream body — gaining over 85 pounds, going from a UK size 8 to 14 — has had its challenges, too, both physically and mentally.

“I was very insecure about my body image, very insecure about myself as a person,” Campbell, 44, tells CNN Sport from her home in Cornwall, UK, as she reflects on her motivation to transform herself.

“I was constantly feeling under pressure through the media that women needed to look a certain way.”

‘A woman with muscle’

“For quite some time I struggled with eating disorders because I was constantly trying to keep my weight really low, to appear skinny, like these women are on magazine covers,” she says.

Then, she attended a women’s bodybuilding show and became intrigued by the way these seemingly confident women held themselves.

Though Campbell ​says she loves the way she now looks, ​she says she is sometimes treated with cruelty, like when she has been asked to leave women’s toilets.

“A lot of the time you are up against a lot of negativity. People set in an old mindset,” Campbell adds.

“I was up against — and still am — a lot of criticism from people who don’t understand why women would want to be muscular. But it just gave me a sense of confidence and mental strength.

“I’m stuck in a situation where I have to prove that I’m a woman in order to use these toilets? It’s quite offensive. I do try and explain to them quite nicely. I may look this way but, at the end of the day, I am a woman. I have every right to use these toilets.”

"There's a very close relationship between passion, dedication and obsession," says Campbell.

Studying female bodybuilders

For over a decade, sociologist Dr. Tanya Bunsell has been researching female bodybuilders.

“When I would tell people that I was studying female bodybuilders, the first reaction was, ‘That’s just not attractive,'” Dr. Bunsell, a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at Canterbury Christ Church University, tells CNN Sport.

“There’s definitely a glass ceiling on muscularity, and that crossover boundary where the body becomes transgressive and interrogates people’s notions of male and female.

“The troublesome and disturbing body of the hyper-muscular woman is deemed so outrageously deviant by society that it provokes harsh comments.”

“Even though there is a huge market encouraging women to build abs and tighten their figures, the ideal still stands for smaller waists, curvy hips and lean legs, the so-called hourglass figure,” adds Dr. Bunsell.

Campbell takes enormous pride in the way she has reshaped her body.

‘The body becomes an amazing machine’

When she started her bodybuilding career, ​Campbell says eating copious amounts of food was, at first, a shock to the body and mind.

“My body temperature went up,” she says, ​saying that putting on weight initially scared her.

“I was feeling hot all the time because you’re

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Italian Women Hope Post-virus Recovery Will Bring Change

Whether through new nurseries or bridging the gender pay gap, many Italian women hope a post-pandemic recovery plan will tackle entrenched inequality in the labour market, especially in the poorer south.

Italy was the first European country hit by coronavirus and is one of the main beneficiaries of a 750-billion-euro EU fund intended to help the bloc get back on its feet.

“The recovery plan is a historic opportunity,” said Daniela Poggio, a founding member of the movements #DateciVoce (Give us a voice) and #GiustoMezzo (Right half).

“We should use part of the funds to close the gap between men and women, and to design a fairer country,” she told AFP.

Poggio is global communications director of pharmaceuticals group Angelini Pharma, and before that worked for Sanofi in Italy.

She says she feels “lucky” because she can rely on her parents to look after her children while she focuses on a career, while still being around for her family.

But for many Italian women, working is a challenge due to the scarcity of nursery places, often possible only if they can ask grandparents to pick-up small children, who often finish school at lunchtime.

“The last time we spoke about social infrastructure (such as nurseries and elderly care) in this country was in the beginning of the 2000s,” commented Linda Laura Sabbadini, central director of Italy’s national statistics institute, Istat.

Italy “has never invested in this area, never. Our country has a ridiculous level of social spending compared to Germany”, she said, highlighting particularly the problem of early childhood education services.

Only 25.7 percent of Italian children under the age of three attend some form of creche or nursery school, compared to a European average of 35.1 percent, and 50 percent in France and Spain.

Southern Italy is particularly badly served, with creches available for only 2.2 percent of children under two in Calabria, the poorest region.

While the reasons for this are complex, the result is clear — just 48.1 percent of Italian women were in work in the second quarter of 2020.

This falls short of the EU average of 61.7 percent — and well behind Iceland (76.4 percent), Sweden (73.2 percent), Germany (73.1 percent) or France (61.7 percent), according to Eurostat.

A lack of childcare has held back Italy's economy as many women can't work and the issue is one that could be tackled as the country designs programmes to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic A lack of childcare has held back Italy’s economy as many women can’t work and the issue is one that could be tackled as the country designs programmes to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic Photo: AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO

At the same time, Italy is down in 125th place out of 153 in terms of parity of wages, according to the World Economic Forum.

Poggio says it does not start out like that, “but the split grows over the course of their careers, as they are punished for motherhood, and also because women do not ask for pay increases in the same way as men.”

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government said in September that it would make gender parity one of its “priorities” in the recovery

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A Virtual Store Experience That Will Change Shopping Forever

RALPH LAUREN REINVENTS THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A DIGITAL-FIRST APPROACH

This holiday season, Ralph Lauren is focused on pivoting their approach. Given the nature of the world people are living in now, Ralph Lauren is re-thinking the global its holiday strategy by creating a holistic, digital-first approach— to bring the season to life in a unique, heartfelt and innovative way. The brand has launched a first-to-market Snapchat logo scan feature for apparel to create a series of unique virtual programs across all touch points to engage consumers in new ways during the Holiday Season and beyond.

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More to the point, for the first time ever, the Ralph Lauren store experience will be offered to a global audience through a unique hybrid of a brick-and-mortar and online shopping experience– the RL Virtual Store Experience.

This new way to shop allows consumers to virtually step into the elegant world of Ralph Lauren’s most iconic retail spaces around the world – in New York, Beverly Hills, Moscow, Paris and Hong Kong – and actually shop the store from the comfort of home.

In addition to the new virtual store experience, the brand is launching a virtual gaming experience and creating innovative, customizable merchandising-on-demand product.

In the uncertainty of the world today, what I find fascinating is that it is a digitally focused holiday campaign that features a family anchored in the belief that “family is who you love”, and is a celebration of optimism and togetherness and the notion that in the midst of questionable times, Ralph Lauren is reaching out for what matters most today.

Ralph Lauren aims to bring the magic of the holidays to life through a global marketing campaign that celebrates family, togetherness and unity. A series of immersive digital-first experiences. In short, the brand has cleverly reimagined holiday shopping by creating new ways to experience the brand.

The Interactive Polo Pony Scan with Snapchat

Ralph Lauren is launching a first-to-market program in partnership with Snapchat. Henceforth, this program will enable users to scan the iconic Polo Pony logo from embroidery and fabric to unlock a series of augmented reality experiences. The cool thing about it is that users will be able to scan any Polo Pony logo wherever it appears and in any medium – printed materials, shopping bags, digital executions, advertisements – and from apparel for the first time ever. Timed at the dawn of the shopping season, this innovative technology and accompanying holiday-inspired AR experience offers users the opportunity to discover Ralph Lauren all the way through point of purchase.

The RL Virtual Experience

The Ralph Lauren store experience will be offered to a global audience, through a hybrid brick-and-mortar and digital shopping experience– The RL Virtual Experience.

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The good news for consumers is that it allows shoppers to virtually step into the world of Ralph Lauren’s most iconic retail spaces in New York, Beverly Hills, Paris and Hong Kong. The virtual

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Big change to online shopping for FNB clients

FNB has made a significant change to how its clients make online purchases ahead of Black Friday and the festive shopping season.

Previously, the bank sent a one-time PIN via SMS or email to customers to confirm transactions made on online stores.

Now, however, it has adopted the Online Secure, or 3D Secure, system in an attempt to cut down on cybercrime.

“As cybercrime continues to be one of the barriers that hinder the growth and potential of ecommerce activities in South Africa, FNB is rolling out its Online Secure authentication service to all merchants and individual customers to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions,” the bank.

“In line with industry requirements, FNB has upgraded all merchants and cardholders to Online Secure authentication to ensure enhanced user experience, security and flexibility.”

Online Secure means that all FNB customers will be required to authenticate themselves when making online purchases. This can be done via a push notification sent through the FNB mobile banking app.

“If the customer does not have the FNB App or does not respond to the FNB App push message to approve their online purchase, they will receive the OTP via SMS, App messaging and by logging onto Online Banking messaging,” FNB said.

“Receiving OTP via email is being discontinued in line with the bank’s strategy to discontinue communication via this format for safety measures.”

It is therefore recommended to download and set up the FNB banking app for the smoothest experience possible when shopping over Black Friday.

App-based authentication

The bank said that in the case that FNB is satisfied the purchase is secure, customers will not be required to authenticate themselves iva Online Secure.

This will result in faster authentication during periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, FNB said.

FNB now allows customers to update their Online Secure contact details via the FNB App, and it will subsequently discontinue the updating of Online Secure via its online banking and call centre channels.

“We encourage customers to opt for convenient and safer ways to shop during Black Friday in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines,” said FNB Card CEO Chris Labuschagne.

“More importantly, many local retailers have begun offering Black Friday specials much earlier than usual to improve the shopping experience for consumers.”

“We also encourage customers to use trusted platforms when shopping online and remind everyone to always keep information such as PINs and passwords safe and to only authenticate transactions they have initiated,” he said.

These security changes will also allow customers to complete transactions when shopping online through payment methods such as digital wallets, QR codes, and mobile payments.

For example, FNB customers can use the app’s Scan to Pay feature on websites where this is supported to easily make payments for products.

Payment requests are also supported, where the cardholder will receive a push notification on their phone from the FNB app and select the account they would like to pay from.

Online Secure will protect cardholders against unauthorised use

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Holiday Gift Ideas: 6 discounted drones that change the game for photographers

If you’re a photographer, you’re used to keeping up with the latest gear. But there’s one tool that you need to add to your arsenal if you’re obsessed with getting those cinematic shots: A smooth-flying drone.

Sure, drones are fun to zip around. But they’re also invaluable tech when it comes to capturing sweeping, panoramic vistas. Some do it better than others, and we’ve rounded up six models that also do it for less – just in time for the holidays.

Whether it’s 360-degree flips or smooth flybys, this drone is up to the challenge. The Spectre is easy enough for beginners to learn on but is fully capable of taking pro-level HD video in a variety of conditions. You can even strap on VR goggles (not included) and put yourself in the virtual pilot seat.

MSRP: $149

Sale Price: $59.99

Get breathtaking footage with the 720p HD camera and see it in real-time thanks to the Force1’s WiFi FPV capability. You can control it directly from your smartphone and enjoy smooth flying and an easy one-key takeoff.

MSRP: $149

Sale Price: $89.99

Force1 U49WF Wi-Fi FPV Drone with HD Video Camera – $89.99

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Need to go covert? This drone isn’t much bigger than your smartphone, but it’s capable of rolls and stable flight even in iffy wind conditions. All this, and it can stream HD video straight to your device through wi-fi.

MSRP: $149

Sale Price: $60.99

Portable Foldable Ultimate 4K Drone – $60.99

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This high-tech flyer has it all: A 1080p HD camera, 5G Wi-Fi transmission, and a GPS function that can bring it home in case of emergencies. And piloting it is both fun and easy, with a “tap fly” mode that sends it along a path that you draw on your map.

MSRP: $159

Sale Price: $140

SNAPTAIN® SP500 GPS FPV Beginner Drone – $140

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This multifaceted drone lets you do it all right from your phone. Facial recognition lets you launch it from your hand with a gesture, then send it out to take masterful footage with a few simple taps. You can even edit your video right there in the companion app.

 Sale Price: $449.99

DJI Spark Portable Mini Drone Alpine White – $449.99

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This durable gadget boasts a 6-axis gyroscope and 4K camera, perfect for smooth tracking shots. Images transfer in real-time to your phone or another device, and a single tap is all it takes to return it home.

MSRP: $75

Sale Price: $59.95

E88 Four-Axis High-Definition Aerial Photography Drone – $59.95

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Prices are subject to change.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

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5 Black Friday Shopping Tips | Smart Change: Personal Finance

Black Friday, this year on November 29, offers some of the lowest prices of the year on many consumer goods including TVs, other electronics and toys. Savvy shoppers save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on this single day.

Shopping on Black Friday is extremely hectic and overwhelming due to so many amazing deals. Stores open extremely early and most only offer their best deals on a first-come, first-serve basis. Finding and keeping track of all of these deals is not easy. To help you, we have put together these tips for saving at both online and in-store sales on Black Friday.

  1. Make a List of Items You Want to Buy – Your objective for Black Friday should be to buy only the items on your list at the lowest price possible. Please note, we did not say you should buy the items with the biggest discounts at each store because you should not. Why not? Retailers will try very hard to get you to buy things that are not on your list. This does not benefit you. Instead, you will end up spending more of your hard-earned money than you planned which benefits the retailers. Do your best to stick to your list.
  2. Scope Out the Best Deals Ahead of Time – Make sure you search for and compare the best deals beforehand to make the most of your Black Friday. Remember, you are only looking for the items on your list. Look through the ads in your local paper to find some of the best deals for brick-and-mortar stores. You can view the same ads on the retailers’ websites if you no longer subscribe to the newspaper.

    If you plan to shop online, check out your favorite websites ahead of time to see if they are promoting their best Black Friday deals yet. You might be able to find out about special deals if you sign up for a retailer’s email newsletter ahead of the big day. Some websites, such as blackfriday.com and slickdeals.net, compile huge lists of Black Friday sales for both online and brick-and-mortar shopping.

  3. Make a Plan of Attack – Once you have identified the best deals on the items you want to buy, update your list with the best store in which to buy each item, the discounted price and the normal price. Scan your list and look for the items with the biggest total dollar savings. Prioritize these items by making them the first stop on your Black Friday shopping trip. If there are other great deals on items that you want to buy at the same store, pick them up while you are there.

    You may need to enlist the help of friends or family if there are multiple big dollar savings at different stores at the same time. If this is the case, make sure to entice them to help with a small bribe. Just make sure the bribe is smaller than the amount you will save.

  4. Shop Online with Your
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Man accused of shooting pastor, bride at New Hampshire wedding to change attorneys

The man accused of shooting a pastor and bride during a wedding at a New Hampshire church and later attacking his lawyer has received permission to switch attorneys.

In a written order Tuesday, Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Charles S. Temple “reluctantly” granted Dale Holloway’s request for newly appointed contract counsel.

“However…it is imperative for Mr. Holloway to develop a trusting relationship with his new counsel and rely on their
knowledge, training, education and experience in the pursuit of his defense,” Temple wrote in his order. “Defense counsel are not in any way obligated under the applicable case law or the existing rules of professional conduct to blindly follow the directives of their client…Mr. Holloway simply needs to be open to taking the advice and direction of counsel after meaningful exchanges with them as this case moves forward.”

Holloway, 38, was indicted in January on two counts each of attempted murder and first-degree assault, and one count each of second-degree assault and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun – a .380-caliber pistol – in connection with the Oct. 12, 2019, shootings at a Pelham, N.H. church.

He pleaded not guilty and was later charged with first-degree assault after he was accused of hitting his public defender in the head in a jail interview room in Manchester, causing him to suffer a hemorrhage.

Holloway denied he assaulted Michael Davidow and said he got an officer’s attention after noticing the lawyer had a nosebleed.

Attorneys Donna Brown and Brian Lee were then assigned to represent him. But in May, Holloway asked to represent himself, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” with them.

After a hearing last week, however, Temple wrote that it was “quite evident that Mr. Holloway desires appointment of new contract counsel. He does not want to represent himself.”

In April, a judge denied his request to be released to house arrest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Fashion Makes Change Will Give You the Option to “Round Up” Your Purchase and Empower the Women Who Make Your Clothes

What will it take for the fashion industry to become truly sustainable? I don’t have a single answer to that question, mostly because there isn’t just one answer. Organic fibers won’t save us, nor will high-tech bio-based ones, or circular systems, or on-demand production. Progress isn’t entirely on the consumer’s shoulders, nor can we pin all the responsibility on designers and policymakers. “All of this finger-pointing isn’t getting us anywhere,” insists Cara Smyth, a former executive at Jil Sander and Burberry. “We have less than 7,500 days left until irreversible climate change. What we need is a collaborative, holistic approach—one where all of those ideas are relevant. If we aren’t worried about renewable energy and regenerative agriculture and the people in the supply chain, we’re going to keep moving at this pace.”

And it’s a slow, arduous pace. But Smyth is laying a blueprint for what a holistic approach could look like with Fashion Makes Change, a “transformational ecosystem” of brands, non-profits, and consumers working together to drive progress. The unifying mission is to educate and empower women in fashion’s supply chain, particularly in Asia, the Global South, and Africa, where the bulk of garment production is done. Beyond the social implications, educating women is also the sixth-greatest mitigator of climate change, according to the Drawdown Report. “We all know women build resilient communities,” Smyth says. “When they’re educated, they’re providers for their families, for their communities, and they make different, compassionate decisions. When they move up in their careers and have financial independence, it creates this flywheel of positive change,” she continues. “I think everyone wants to be a part of that change.”

Until now, the only way a consumer might feel like a part of it was by “voting with their wallet” and shopping with brands that claim to have ethical, transparent supply chains. Smyth is offering a new way you can make an impact: Starting in March, fashion brands around the world will add a new option to “round up” your purchase at check-out, with the change donated to women-focused NGOs in the [email protected] Collaborative, which amplifies women’s voices in the global supply chain and advocates for gender equality. The goal is to make it easier than ever for consumers to join the movement in a tangible, effective way—and gain a better understanding of who makes their clothes in the process.

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Shopping for a Diamond Is About to Change

De Beers, which owns diamond mines in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada, has not disclosed its production forecasts beyond 2022, but Mr. Lussier said he was not worried about future supplies. “Technology is enabling us to access reserves we wouldn’t have been able to before,” he said.

“The key, of course, is demand,” he said. “It’s easy in the Covid world to get depressed. But if you look in the medium term, there are significant opportunities for demand to grow, particularly in China. There are even opportunities in mature markets like America, where self purchase is not fully tapped.”

“With the right marketing programs in place and brands working hand in hand,” Mr. Lussier added, “we’ll grow markets and where supply is relatively static, we’ll see increases in price. That’s a good thing for everyone in this industry. Then you’re willing to invest in new resources and exploration that keeps sustaining the supply of naturals out in the distance.”

The Natural Diamond Council, an industry organization that promotes mined diamond jewelry to both consumers and the trade, is investing millions of dollars to bring some of those marketing programs to life.

In September, the council, formerly known as the Diamond Producers Association, unveiled an advertising campaign with the tagline “For moments like no other.” Centered on a TV commercial and social media video featuring the Cuban actress Ana de Armas — who, coincidentally, stars as Marilyn Monroe in the forthcoming film “Blonde” — the campaign “is about the celebration of diamond jewelry in many relationships, whether it be with her friends, her mother or a romantic relationship,” said David Kellie, the council’s chief executive.

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