It could be argued that we are all more obsessed with our appearance than we would like to admit. But is this really an indication of vanity? A vain person is meant to be conceited and have excessive pride in their appearance. There is nothing wrong with being concerned about ones appearance, as this is quite normal and understandable. In fact, studies have shown that attractive people have distinct advantages over less attractive people in our society. For example:
Concern with appearance is not just a modern western thing. Every period of history has had its own standards of what is and what is not beautiful, and every contemporary society has its own distinctive concept of the ideal physical attributes. In the 19th Century being beautiful meant wearing a corset. This practice caused the wearer breathing and digestive problems. Now we try to diet and exercise ourselves into the fashionable shape, sometimes with even more serious consequences.
But although we resemble our ancestors and other cultures in our concern about appearance, there is a difference in degree of concern. Advances in technology and in particular the rise of the mass media has caused normal concerns about how we look to become obsessions.
You would think that a beauty queen wouldn't feel the need to check the mirror every five minutes. The fact is that even very attractive people may not be looking in the mirror out of vanity, but out of insecurity. We forget that there are disadvantages to being attractive: attractive people are under much greater pressure to maintain their appearance. Also, studies show that attractive people don't benefit from the 'bias for beauty' in terms of self esteem. They often don't trust praise of their work or talents, believing positive evaluations to be influenced by their appearance.
What people see and how they react to their reflection in a mirror will vary according to: species, sex, age, ethnic group, sexual orientation, mood, eating disorders, what they've been watching on TV, what magazines they read, whether they're married or single, what kind of childhood they had, whether they take part in sports, what phase of the menstrual cycle they're in, whether they are pregnant, where they've been shopping – and even what they had for lunch.
If you were a dog or a cat or a horse you wouldn't realise that the image in a mirror was a reflection of yourself. Most animals in this situation think that they are face to face with another member of their species.
The exception is the great apes. The chimps, gorillas and orang-utans are capable of recognising themselves in the mirror, and of course we can too.
What's interesting is what the other apes do when presented with a mirror: they use mirrors to groom themselves, pick food out of their teeth and make faces at themselves for entertainment. In short, exactly the same things that we do when looking into a mirror.
All research to date on body image shows that women are much more critical of their appearance than men, therefore they are much less likely to admire what they see in the mirror. Up to 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection in the mirror, and more than half may see a distorted image.
Men looking in the mirror are more likely to be either pleased with what they see or indifferent. Research shows that men generally have a much more positive body image than women. If anything, they may tend to over estimate their attractiveness. Some men looking in the mirror may literally not see the flaws in their appearance.
Because generally women are judged on their appearance more than men, and standards of female beauty are considerably higher and more inflexible. Women are continually bombarded with images of the ideal face and figure. Constant exposure to idealised images of female beauty on TV, magazines and poster ads makes exceptional good looks seem normal and anything short of perfection seem abnormal and ugly. It has been estimated that young women now see more images of outstandingly beautiful women in one day than their mothers saw throughout their entire adolescence.
Also, most women are trying to achieve the impossible: standards of female beauty have in fact become progressively more unrealistic during the 20th century. In 1917, the physically perfect woman was about 5ft 4in tall and weighed nearly 10 stone. Even 25 years ago, top models and beauty queens weighed only 8% less than the average woman, now they weigh 23% less. The current media ideal for women is achievable by less than 5% of the female population and that's just in terms of weight and size. If you want the ideal shape and face, it's probably more like 1%. Scary eh?
Children: Female dissatisfaction with appearance, otherwise known as poor body image, begins at a very early age. Human infants begin to recognise themselves in mirrors at about two years old. Female humans begin to dislike what they see only a few years later. The latest surveys show very young girls are going on diets because they think they are fat and unattractive. In one American survey, 81% of ten year old girls had already dieted at least once. A recent Swedish study found that 25% of 7 year old girls had dieted to lose weight, they were already suffering from body image distortion, estimating themselves to be larger than they really were. Similar studies in Japan have found that 41% of elementary school girls as young as 6, thought they were too fat. Even normal weight and underweight girls want to lose weight.
Boys were found to be significantly less critical of their appearance: in one study, normal weight girls expressed considerably more worries about their looks than obese boys.
Adolescents: Boys do go through a short phase of relative dissatisfaction with their appearance in early adolescence, but the physical changes associated with puberty soon bring them closer to the masculine ideal. Basically they get taller, broader in the shoulders and more muscular.
For girls, however, puberty only makes things worse. The normal physical changes like increase in weight and body fat, particularly on the hips and thighs, take them further from the cultural ideal of unnatural slimness. A Harvard University study showed that up to two thirds of underweight 12 year old girls considered themselves to be too fat. By 13, at least 50% of girls are significantly unhappy about their appearance. By 14, focused, specific dissatisfactions have intensified, particularly concerning hips and thighs. By 17, only 3 out of 10 girls have not been on a diet and up to 8 out of 10 will be unhappy with what they see in the mirror.
Adults: Among women over 18 looking at themselves in the mirror, research indicates that at least 80% are unhappy with what they see. Many will not even be seeing an accurate reflection in the mirror. Most of us have heard that anorexics see themselves in a mirror as larger than they really are, but some recent research indicates that this kind of distorted body image is by no means confined to those suffering from eating disorders. In some studies up to 80% of women over estimated their size. Increasing numbers of normal, attractive women, with no weight problems or clinical psychological disorders, look at themselves in the mirror and see ugliness and fat.
Research confirms what most of us already know: that the main focus of dissatisfaction for most women looking in the mirror is the size and shape of their bodies, particularly their hips, waists and thighs.
In the most recent research, there is some evidence of an increase in body dissatisfaction among males. As well as some early adolescent boys, men undergoing the so called male menopause or mid life crisis. So men between the ages of about 45 and 55 are most likely to be dissatisfied with their appearance when looking in a mirror.
When men are dissatisfied, the main focuses of concern are height, stomachs, chests and hair loss. We may see them surreptitiously drawing in their stomachs and walking taller as they pass a mirror.
There appear to be some exceptions to these rules. Black and Asian women generally have a more positive body image than Caucasian women, although this depends on the degree to which they have accepted the beauty standards of the dominant culture.
A study of Mexican immigrants in America found that those who had immigrated after the age of 17 were less affected by the prevailing super thin ideal than those who were 16 or younger when they came to America. In a Washington University study, Black women with high self esteem and a strong sense of racial identity actually rated themselves more attractive than pictures of supposedly beautiful white fashion models. In another study about 40% of moderately and severely overweight Black women rated their figures to be attractive or very attractive. Other research indicates that this may be because African-American women are more flexible in their concepts of beauty than their white counterparts, who express rigid ideals and greater dissatisfaction with their own body shape.
In a study of British and Ugandan students evaluation of body shapes, the Ugandans rated an obese female figure much more attractive than the British. Another British study showed that Asian-British women were more content with their body size than white British women, despite the fact that the Asians ideal body size was as slim as that of the white women, suggesting that the Asian-British women were less concerned about matching the ideal than the white women.
Gay men are more likely than straight men to be unhappy with their reflection in the mirror. But lesbians are likely to be more satisfied with their mirror image than straight women.
Recent studies show that homosexual men experience greater body dissatisfaction than heterosexual men, while homosexual women have a more positive body image than heterosexual women. This seems to be mainly due to the higher emphasis on appearance in gay male culture, although it is possible that stability of relationships may also be a factor.
Peoples reactions to their reflection in the mirror may depend on recent exposure to idealised images of physical attractiveness. Experiments have shown that people become significantly more dissatisfied with their own appearance after being shown TV ads featuring exceptionally slim and beautiful people. Control groups shown non appearance related ads do not change their rating of their own attractiveness.
Although many TV programmes feature attractive people, ads tend to use the most idealised images, so people who've been watching a lot of ITV and C4 are likely to feel less positive about their image in the mirror. Programmes such as Baywatch are also likely to induce a sense of dissatisfaction when looking in the mirror.
The same applies to reading fashion magazines. Recent experiments have shown that exposure to magazine photographs of super-thin models produces depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity, body dissatisfaction and increased endorsement of the thin-ideal stereotype. Magazines like Vogue and Elle are banned in many eating-disorder clinics, because of their known negative effect on patients body image.
Experiments have shown that when people are feeling low or in a bad mood, they experience greater body dissatisfaction. Most studies have been on women, who also suffer body image distortion, estimating their size larger, when feeling low.
Teasing factor: If you were teased about flaws in your appearance, particularly your size or weight as a child or teenager, your body image may have become permanently disturbed.
Generally, people in stable, long term relationships have a more positive body image than singles. This applies to all ages, although a study of adolescent dating behaviour showed that teenagers who date in groups have a significantly better body image than those go out alone with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Several studies have indicated that pregnant women have a more positive body image than non pregnant women. Although their ideal body shape remains in line with the ultra thin cultural ideal, their concerns about failing to match this ideal are reduced during pregnancy.
Anorexics and bulimics suffer from greater body dissatisfaction and greater body image disturbance than other women: these women are even more likely to be unhappy with their reflection in the mirror, and even more likely to see a distorted image.
Surveys show that women who have just been trying on clothes in communal changing rooms of high street stores will be experiencing a higher level of body dissatisfaction and self criticism, and are more likely to have a negative reaction to their reflection in the mirror.
This condition is also known as Dysmorphophobia and Imagined Ugliness Disorder. People suffering from this extreme level of body image disturbance, body dissatisfaction, self consciousness and preoccupation with appearance, will experience the most negative reactions to the mirror.
Most of us are aware of our societies emphasis on the importance of appearance, and we know what the socially sanctioned standards of beauty are. But not all of us accept or internalise these standards: strong minded individuals who reject current standards are more likely to have a positive body image when looking at themselves in a mirror.
Article based on source material from: Social Issues Research Centre
Put simply, a glass splashback is very smooth and hygienic, making them a far superior alternative to traditional tiles. Even though the majority of tiles are glazed to a glass like finish, the grout lines are a major pain to keep clean and will discolour badly in a relatively short period of time.
Take a look at the picture on the right and imagine what it would be like to let that dog into your house, this is every dog owners nightmare!
The summer is now over and we are into the early autumn months, so we have many months of potentially wet and muddy pets coming in and out of our houses. Even during the summer months dogs will frequently roll around on the dry ground, picking up dust in their coat. When it rains, this dust turns back to mud ready to be shaken all over your walls and furniture.
We all know what it's like to come home after a hard days graft, only to be faced with a wall full of filthy tiles that need cleaning. It's a tough job at the best of times, but when the grime has found its way into the grout, it can rapidly become a nightmare.
So you've watched loads of cooking programmes and have looked through endless brochures, but how are you going to achieve that extra special, unique finishing touch to your decor? The answer is clear!
Are you looking for something just that little bit different for your new kitchen? To have something that will really put the top hat on your kitchen design will need to be a bit more than some fancy ceramic tiles!
Glass splashbacks have a number of advantages over the alternatives when it comes to covering and protecting the walls of your kitchen or bathroom. Installing glass splashbacks in the home is a reasonably new development, but already they are fast proving to be the preferred choice by many people. The glass splashback is a very attractive alternative to wooden cladding or ceramic tiles and the people who are discovering it are ralising how glass can become such a beautiful medium for covering a wall.
Should you be thinking seriously about having a new kitchen fitted, you will need to consider what wall coverings are going to compliment the units. So many people will try to copy what the kitchen showroom had done with the display kitchen, only to wish they had excercised a little more imagination when the job was finished.
We all need a splash of colour to brighten up our lives and what better way to achieve this than having a beautiful coloured glass splashback fitted professionally by Splashbacks of Distinction.
A clear glass splashback can look pretty amazing but a coloured one just seems to have a certain je ne sais quoi about it. There are so many different colours to choose from and we can supply swatches to help our clients make up their mind before they commit to a definite choice.
Glass splashbacks are by far the best way to really modernise and brighten up your kitchen or bathroom. Years ago you had the bewildering array of tiles of different sizes, shapes, colours and textures. The one thing that all tiles have in common is that they all need to be grouted onto the wall. This grout can look untidy unless you have the tiles fitted by a professional and they are a magnet for harmful bacteria.
Every so often we all need to think about a spot of decorating around the house. It may be that all that's required is a lick of paint, a sheet or two of new wallpaper or a new floor covering. On the other hand it may be the long overdue task of replacing a kitchen, bathroom or totally revamping your living space. But where do you start?
We have all heard people say that you could eat your dinner off the floor as it is so clean, but did you realise that the kitchen can be one of the dirtiest rooms in the house. Quite frightening considering all the family meals are prepared there.
We would all like a new fitted kitchen! It's that time of year when we start to take stock and notice all those little jobs that need doing around the home. The kitchen is the one room in any home that is used on a regular basis and the one that probably takes the most punishment. Heat, grease and grime build up without even the cleanest of cooks noticing. The worktops, walls and ceilings start to lose there clean look and become dull and dirty. It's not until you thoroughly clean an area that you really notice just how grimy your kitchen has become. Now could be the perfect time to consider doing something about it.
One of the things that many homeowners dream about is having a new fitted kitchen installed. The kitchen has frequently been described as the heart of any house and so many seem to spend an awful lot of time in them. Some may like to potter about testing out new dishes to tempt their friends and families taste buds, whereas others see the kitchen as a sanctuary to get away from the kids.
If you have you have been trying to decide whether to make the change from a shower curtain to a shower door or shower enclosure made from toughened glass, Splashbacks of Distinction are here to help.
If you have ever had to fix new tiles, repair, replace or even clean the grouting in the existing tiles in a shower enclosure, you will know just what a pain it can be! Having a sparkling new toughened glass shower enclosure is certainly a great investment to make, but why not go all out and have the walls of the enclosure covered in glass too?
Have you ever looked through home design magazines or watched some television makeover shows and envied the beautiful results they achieve? There is one room in a house that is often overlooked for a makeover and it happens to be the smallest room in the house, the bathroom!
Glass is a wonderful medium to use in the home and can look particularly stunning in the bathroom as well as the kitchen. Like Splashbacks of Distinctions coloured kitchen splashbacks, we can also provide you with the same superior quality toughened safety glass for bathrooms and showers. Glass shower splashbacks are so easy to clean using glass cleaner, they will not have the mould issues you get with tiles that have been grouted. Glass splashbacks are not limited to the shower either, depending on your budget they can be used to create stunning glass feature walls.
Juliet balconies were named after the famous balcony scene from Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet. The shallow balcony is designed to provide a decorative safety barrier in front of French windows.
Glass balustrades are a very popular architectural glazing design feature on so many projects around the home. Glass balustrades create a clear, clean and modern yet strong safety barrier to keep you and yours safe from harm, whilst improving and updating your home.
Stairs are an obvious structural centrepiece of any home, so the way they look is vital. An untidy, tired and old fashioned staircase will make an instant negative first impression on visitors, and can even lower the value of your home should it be on the market.
Balustrades have been used in buildings for many years. Internal and external balustrades support staircases, balconies, and provide much needed safety and security. We have developed a wide range of glass balustrades to enhance your property. As a result, our glass balustrades have become extremely popular with our clients, maybe because they have so many benefits.
There is an exciting new look available for your staircase! Toughened glass balustrades look absolutely fabulous and lift a home into a new dimension.
Locating a mirror in the correct place in a room allows you to maximise and make the most of the natural light. Placing the mirror close to a window will catch the angle of light and bounce it throughout the room.
When it comes to choosing the right mirror to fit in with your home or office decor, Splashbacks of distinction are confident that we could manufacture and fit the mirror to suit your own individual requirements.
We all take them for granted! We brush our teeth, comb our hair, shave and check out how we look in them every day, but we rarely think about the impact a mirror actually has on our lives.
We all have shelves! Some are to display the odd ornament or curiosity, whereas others have a more specific use for must have or regularly used appliances around the home. Whatever they are for, shelves are a commonplace part of any home or office space. Shelves help us to organise our belongings by providing spaces for functional or decorative use and they prevent work surfaces from becoming cluttered with everyday stuff.
We all have certain items that we want to put on display. It may be an assortment of nic nacs that we have collected over the years, our favourite books or an heirloom that was passed down from a previous generation. Whatever the display item is, the chances are that we will be displaying them on a shelf of some kind. The question is, what type of shelf do we choose to compliment not just the display item, but the rest of the interior of our home?
Shelves are an integral part of virtually every home and office up and down the country. They are a very functional way of making use of walls for storage when one may not want, or be able to use the floor.
Here at Splashbacks of Distinction we make the most out of glass by crafting it into so much more. We have all manner of shelves, kitchen and bathroom splashbacks, shower enclosures and screens and we even have glass balustrades to take the place of those traditional wooden spindles should the mood take you. But what else can glass really be used for?
People have always had an intense interest in glass. Glass for the table, glass for the windows and even glass for some ornaments, but glass for a wider range of uses around the home or office, surely not!
The marked increase in interest of glass around the home seems to have started back in 1949, when the 'The Glass House' or 'Johnson house' was built in Connecticut, USA. It was designed by Philip Johnson as his own weekend residence and was made predominantly of toughened glass. It has been said that in a house of glass, the views of the landscape are its wallpaper.
We all want our homes to have a unique appearance, because nobody wants their living space to be exactly the same as their friends and neighbours. Sadly this is easier said than done! Think about it, the majority of your friends and neighbours will buy their furniture from the local furniture store and the wallpaper, lamps and flooring are likely to be sourced from the same local DIY shop that you use. This is not to say they will choose exactly the same decor as you, but the chances of it happening are pretty good. So if you want something really different, think glass!
Glass has held a fascination for so many people over the centuries. No other material allows such a wide variety of products to be made that actually appear to change depending on the intensity of the light that shines upon it.
Glass really is an eyecatching medium, and at the same time it is a very functional material to be used as a splashback in the kitchen, bathroom or to highlight a display somewhere else in the home or office. Glass is naturally a very hygenic material as it is not porous so no bacteria can be left on its surface once properly cleaned. But why stop in the kitchen though, the bathroom is another part of the home that can easily be enhanced, come to think of it, anywhere you want colour, design and an easy clean surface can benefit from a toughened glass splashback.
Toughened glass, as its name would suggest, is glass material that has been made much tougher than ordinary glass. Toughened glass are much stronger varieties and are used in various constructions, these can be residential or commercial constructions. The actual strength of toughened glass is up to five times more than that of annealed glass, (see below for an explanation of the annealing process). Toughened glass is not only used for kitchen and bathroom splashbacks, it is also used to manufacture lots of glassware and these products are comparatively safer and offer far more durability.
Some people mistakenly believe that toughened glass is unbreakable, it may be very tough, but it can still be broken. Remember though, if products made of toughened glass are handled in the correct way, there is no reason why they shouldn't last for a lifetime.
If you wanted to eat your dinner from a clean surface, you might want to eat it in your bathroom. This may sound like a ridiculous thing to say when you consider what the smallest room in the house is used for, but read on!
Not all that long ago, people seemed to be going out of their way to get away from wood in and around their home, but instead of going the whole hog, they seemed to opt for wood effect materials, from worktops to flooring. Even shelves and furniture was either veneered or printed to make it look like wood.
Do you want the modern touch that glass brings. Splashbacks of Distinction can advise you what glass additions to your home will not only be functional, look amazing, but what could actually compliment and even enhance your existing traditional furniture.
Glass splashbacks are the product that Splashbacks of Distinction know all about. We have transformed so many homes with our glass splashbacks and seem to get most of our new customers from referrals. All too often we see that people have bought one of the 'off the shelf' glass splashbacks and have never been happy with the quality or fit, that's where we come in.
Having a glass splashback fitted is a fantastic way of brightening up your kitchen, bathroom or living area. They are hygienically clean and come in a wonderfully varied range of textures and colour finishes. To add to the versatility of this product, Splashbacks of Distinction are now able to offer a fantastic new service to our customers, the incorporation of high resolution images into any glass splashback!
We generally take glass for granted. We look out through it every day and unless there is a greasy fingerprint that sticks out like a sore thumb, we don't even seem to notice it. Glass is transparent and can be rather boring when it comes to your run of the mill windows.
The Ral colour system, is a series of systems used to match certain colours in paint. The system is designed to help when you need to choose paint colours, it's effectively a swatch system.
If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 01920 830 084, email us at email@example.com or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
Splashbacks of Distinction is the trading name of RDC Glass Ltd