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A Recap Of Style Lounge Weekend – 2019

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Style Lounge Weekend has officially become one of the events to look out for on our fashion calendar each year. From all things fashion, beauty, style, music and art, Style Lounge Weekend 2019 was a remarkable one.

Over the last few years, Debonair Afrik has set out to create the Style Lounge Platform as a means to grow and promote fashion brands and business with a global standard. The weekend event aims to shine the spotlight on emerging and established brands and trends in the fashion industry through a series of events during the weekend.

This year, the event went for a straight 4 days which is evidently a manifestation of how established and important this event has become on our event calendar. This year’s Style Lounge included the launch of the fashion school, fashion pop ups, masterclass and talks, exhibitions, fashion parties and private shows and presentations with “Nurturing Fashion Sustainability in Africa with a focus on ethical fashion”

It started off first with the fashion school which is committed to training and mentoring the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs. Emerging and some established designers had the opportunity to learn and interact from some of the industry experts who took turns to share their experiences and give hands on training on how to navigate this saturated industry while standing out.

Ngozi Dickson, a business and career coach with extensive background in Entrepreneurship and skills development was one Speakers at the School. Others included Media Personality and Digital Content Creator Chris Kata, Fashion Designer Jermaine Bleu and Bri Wiredua Creative Director of Briwiredua.

The Style Lounge 2019 officially launched this year with a fashion party at La Villa Boutique Hotel. The African Wear Party had guests showing up in the African Royalty themed look amidst great music and dance and off course some good food and drinks.

On Saturday, there was a fashion pop up at Impact Hub followed by NOTE Cosmetics Beauty Masterclass. It was also followed by a Private Fashion Presentation by HAZZA at the Shop Accra. Then back to Impact hub for the Ethical Exhibition. This evening of art and music arts of works done and curated by Debonair Afrik and some other artists.

Sunday was the finale which was packed with loads of exciting activities at Accra City Hotel. It first started with the Photography Masterclass dubbed “The Art of Fashion Photography” hosted by Duke Quarshie of Duke Photography. This was followed by the Street Styles and then the Collection Presentation Showcase.

The Fashion Show started with the Interns Showcase after which the carefully curated designers took turns to showcase their creativity on the runway. Designers included Mxdonna, Bushai Weave, Alleluia, Tiag Couture, Olooh, Afriken by Nana. The other designers included Groomsmen, Steve French, February by Serwaa, Atto Tetteh, Ekua Addo, Sena Bryte with finale by Diva Delicious.

It was indeed an awesomely packed weekend for many of us who love fashion and style in the capital. It was also a great time to network with other industry players while picking some few lessons in style and fashion. Hopefully next year, we will be attending with our A-style game on.

Health & Fitness

How To Love Your Body At Every Size.

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After years of battling with negative body image, writer, comedian and self-proclaimed fat activist Sofie Hagen, 30, is no longer ashamed of taking up space. Here’s how, in Sofie’s words, to love your body at every size and alter your perception of what it means to be fat…

How to love your body?

You can just change your mind.

If you continue to believe that fat is inherently a bad thing, you will spend the rest of your life fearing it. Each meal can become a threat. A life full of limitations, restrictions and negativity. All in order to become or stay thin. Most people live like this – because we have been taught that thin means happy. Look at those beautiful and thin women in the diet ads, laughing at salads. Who would not want to be so happy that they find themselves erupting into laughter over lettuce?

So here is the trick. You can actually be just as happy as legume lady without having to limit your intake to stuff that is green and tasteless. You do not have to be thin to be happy.

You do not have to be thin to be happy.

You do not have to be thin to feel good about yourself.

You do not have to be thin to be loved and wanted.

You do not have to be thin to think you are sexy and beautiful.

You do not have to be thin to do yoga or to go swimming,

to wear a bathing suit or a crop top, you do not have to be thin to follow your dreams.

You do not have to be thin.

Challenging ‘the truth’

The gist of it: The very first step is learning, accepting and believing that being fat is not a bad thing. It seems like such a simple thing to state but it is absolutely crucial. Society has successfully placed a voice within all of us that constantly tells us that fat is worth fearing. I can go into a random cafe and say to a group of people, "I feel fat," and they will say, "Don’t say that, you’re not fat," regardless of the fact that I am actually fat and that the word fat is technically just a descriptive word and not something I can feel. I cannot feel brunette. It is widely accepted that ‘fat’ equals ‘bad’.

And it is wrong. You need to believe that it is wrong. If we take it one step at a time.

Female bare feet with weight scale in the bathroom
© Getty Female bare feet with weight scale in the bathroom

The notion that fat is not beautiful: There are two sides to beauty. There is beauty in the socially acceptable sense. The beauty ideal. What has been deemed beautiful. It is this idea of beauty that is terribly damaging because it leads to people who do not fit into this category being discriminated against and oppressed. This definition of ‘beauty’ is very carefully constructed and forced upon us from a very early age. In this understanding, fat is not beautiful because fat is not acceptable. This idea of beauty is objective.

The other side is the individual’s perception of beauty. The subjective interpretation. Naturally, a lot of us are prone to preferring society’s idea of beauty because we are so easily manipulated. But to a certain point. From then on, what happens inside of our brains is the very definition of subjective. There are loads of people who find fat people beautiful. I believed that beauty was one particular thing for most of my life. Until I rewired my brain. And what I saw in the mirror seemed to change, even though it remained the same. I suddenly found and saw the beauty in the body that I had hated. When you think of it, it is ridiculous to assume that we all find the same thing hot. It’s important to attempt to dismantle the beauty ideals that we are all forced to survive under, but it’s also important to dismantle those beliefs within yourself.

The notion that fat means lazy, greedy, unintelligent, evil, non-sexual, etc.: You can continue this list yourself – all the personality traits that you subconsciously combine with fatness. The fact that none of these are true should be so obvious that I feel bad even spending precious time saying it. You know it is not true. I know it is not true. Even the most fat-loathing person in the world would do a double-take if you asked him to bet all his life savings on this being true. Despite this, we often swing these words around alongside ‘fat’, like it is a fact.

“Oh, he is so fat and lazy,” and it just sounds true. If I said, “You thin lazy mess,” it would seem weird. We should have reached a point by now where we know that how a person looks does not mean they are a certain type of person with specific traits.

Perhaps it is easier to look at it like this: being fat describes that your body is rounder and softer than people who are less round and less soft. That is it. Fat describes a body shape or the amount of fat you have on your body. It is a neutral thing. If you must add any emotional connotations or moral connotations to it, add positive ones. Most importantly: get rid of all the negative ones.

Owning the word ‘fat’ was the most important step of my pilgrimage towards self-love. ‘Fat’ was a weapon that had been used against me my entire life. Taking the word, using it about myself, stripping it of its negative connotations was like grabbing the gun out of someone’s hands and pointing it right back at them.

And essentially, it was fairly easy.

Pregnant woman with raised arms in nature smiling
© Getty Pregnant woman with raised arms in nature smiling

‘Fat’ is not a negative word. I repeat: ‘fat’ is not a negative word. ‘Fat’ has been made to mean something negative through society’s fatphobia. ‘Fat’ has been made to mean greedy, lazy, selfish, unintelligent, annoying, evil, unattractive, in the way and excessive. But actually going back to basics, to the actual origin and meaning of the word: it is not a negative thing. It is a descriptive word describing the size of your body.

The upset or hurt that you have been taught to connect with the word ‘fat’ has nothing to do with the actual word or – and this is very important – with any facts. Being fat is not intrinsically a negative thing, in the same way as being a redhead or tall or wearing a purple T-shirt says nothing about what your core values are or how objectively good-looking you are.

I understand that the word ‘fat’ can hurt. For many of us, it has been thrown at us from moving vehicles, from family members who were meant to love us, from people on the internet whose sole intention is to hurt us. If, every time I left the house, someone tossed a cinnamon bun in my face with fury, I might actively start to dislike cinnamon buns after a while as well. But if I somehow managed to figure out a way of catching the cinnamon buns so I could eat them later, all the tossing of them would stop hurting. Quite the contrary: it would mean that I would get to eat a lot of cinnamon buns.

So, if you can start accepting and using the word ‘fat’ as a neutral – and eventually a positive – thing, it will stop hurting. As with most things, it will take quite a lot of time. The more you use it, the more you say it, the better the cinnamon will melt on your tongue.

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Health & Fitness

Reasons You Get sick On Your Holiday.

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Holidays are fabulous things. They give us something to look forward to, allow us time to relax by the pool, stretch out on the beach or go exploring, and they leave us with lifelong memories. But there is one thing that isn't so glorious about going away, and that is that we can often get sick.

Is it just Sod's Law that as soon as we pack off somewhere sunny we get a humongous cold, or is there something else at play? Advertisement

We wanted to get to the bottom of this cruel twist of fate and find out if there's anything we can do to stop ourselves getting a terrible bout of sniffles when we're trying to live our #bestlife and so we called in the experts.

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Dr Luke Powles is the Associate Clinical Director for Bupa Health Clinics and knows his stuff when it comes to why we get ill and how to prevent it.

"As a doctor I regularly hear from patients who’ve found themselves unwell while on holiday. While the causes can vary, it’s often brought on by exposure to unfamiliar environments or from being near other travellers who are also sick.

In the run up to a holiday, it’s also easy to find yourself getting busy or stressed – which can wear down your immune system, making you more vulnerable to sickness while you’re away."

That all makes sense, so what can we do?

How to stop yourself getting sick on holiday

It's impossible to fully protect yourself from getting ill on holiday but there are lots of little things you can do in that run-up to your trip that will give you the best chance of keeping the sniffles away.

Wherever you can, it’s worth building up your immune system in the weeks before your holiday. Simple steps can make a big difference – for example, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and are washing your hands regularly to avoid picking up any bugs.

© Getty

Likewise try and maintain a healthy diet and include foods rich in antioxidants, like leafy green vegetables, berries and citrus fruits. Vitamin D is also a great boost for your immune system so, if you’re not getting enough sunlight, it might be worth considering adding a supplement to your diet.

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Health & Fitness

Can ‘Music Medicine’ Really Help Calm Nerves?

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Music may offer an alternative to drugs for calming down patients, researchers say. The drug midazolam is sometimes prescribed as a sedative for NHS patients undergoing a range of procedures. But a clinical trial in the US found that music may be just as good at calming nerves. Their study involved patients having a type of regional anaesthetic (peripheral nerve block).

Writing online in the journal Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, a team from the University of Pennsylvania said pre-operative anxiety is common and can raise levels of stress hormones in the body, which in turn can affect recovery after surgery. Sedatives used to treat anxiety can have side-effects that affect breathing and blood flow and need continuous monitoring, they said.

For their study, 157 adults were split into two groups, with the first receiving 1mg to 2mg of midazolam, injected three minutes before the use of a peripheral nerve block. The second group listened to Marconi Union’s Weightless series of music via noise cancelling headphones. Levels of anxiety were then scored using a recognised scale. 

© Getty

The result showed that patients in the music group had similar levels of anxiety to those on the drugs – suggesting music was just as effective at calming nerves. However, patients in the drug group were more satisfied with their overall experience than those in the music group. The researchers suggested this may be because patients were not allowed to choose the music they listened to.

Doctors and patients also thought it was easier to communicate without the music. The team concluded: “Music medicine may be offered as an alternative to midazolam administration prior to peripheral regional anaesthesia.

“However, further studies are warranted to evaluate whether or not the type of music, as well as how it is delivered, offers advantages over midazolam that outweigh the increase in communication barriers.”

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Health & Fitness

LIFESTYLE: Why Falling In Love Is The World’s Best Natural High.

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If you search online for “falling in love”, the first result returned is: “What are the symptoms of falling in love?” Symptoms. Because what is falling in love if not our brains and bodies riddled with all-encompassing, uncontrollable sensations? Can love be diagnosed? Yes, pretty much, according to Freud. And there is a genuine condition known as broken-heart syndrome, if things head west.

Falling in love and being in love are different things. It’s falling in love that really screws you up. It is falling in love that leads one to play songs on repeat – platitudinous, cloying numbers, that would never otherwise be countenanced. Advertisement

It is basically awful and yet also the best thing that can be experienced; the world’s most natural high, no matter what free climbers tell you. There is a joyful optimism to falling in love, like ruining a crossword two clues in and still ploughing on, feeling that somehow it will come good.

Falling in love is the bus pulling into the stop just as you arrive. It’s accidentally putting a red sock in a whites wash and nothing coming out pink. It’s a gloriously sunny day in November. It is being offered a free upgrade on a 10-hour flight.

It is looking into your beloved’s face as if their features were a scientific breakthrough. It is seeing a copse of trees in a cluster of freckles. It is looking at a sweeping staircase and envisioning the wave of your lover’s hair. Everything is art. Everything is tangible.

It’s odd, really, that the heart is the organ so associated with love. Of course it beats faster in the presence of the object of our affection – or even when they are in our thoughts. But that’s thanks to hormones rushing the brain: adrenaline makes the heart hammer; oxytocin encourages bonding (“the love hormone”); dopamine (the pleasure hormone); the surge of sex hormones that are… how shall we say? Distracting. Very distracting. But perhaps you feel love most powerfully in the gut. It also makes one giddy, perhaps not entirely sane. “Romantic love is an obsession, it possesses you,” as Dr Helen Fisher has said, an anthropologist who wrote the book on love (it’s called Why We Love).

Newton’s third law is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When it comes to falling in love, this can go one of two ways. One results in hours and hours discovering things about each other and finding each insight endlessly fascinating. The other, of course, is a lot of solo Netflix and junk food and terrifying near-misses liking old Instagram pics. They say falling in love is like walking on air.. But it isn’t, really. It’s flying.

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