We are experiencing a ‘heatwave’ here in Blighty, which means that the temperature might get up to about 22 degrees Celsuis (don’t laugh, though the tabloids are bound to quote the temperature in Fahrenheit to make it appear ‘hot’). Whilst this is very pleasant when accompanied by strong sunshine, it is not unknown for May Day Bank Holiday week. It is in this weather that a lot of people will, if they can, head for the nearest beach.
Last year the health supplement company Protein World decided to promote its products with a ‘beach body’ theme, to the ire of many misanthropic feminists who wanted to censor its adverts. The woman whose ‘beach body’ adorned the ads was Renee Somerfield, an Australian fashion and fitness model, with a well-toned athletic physique, the result of genetics, a good fitness regime and a vegan diet. So the ads were misleading in so far as the only Protein World products which she does consume are those which are suitable for a vegan diet. However, the adverts were not offensive by any stretch of the imagination. As with most censorship campaigns, this one backfired, giving Protein World far more publicity and custom than its owners could have hoped for. The would-be censors refused to respect Renee Somerfield’s right to choose her profession.
If you are a pasty-faced fair-skinned Brit then of course you are not going to look like a well-bronzed Aussie beach bum, unless you get a spray tan with that stuff that is used to treat fence panels. But do I have a ‘beach body’? Having been vegan for more than a quarter of a century, I am neither overweight nor underweight; I have a ‘normal’ body mass index, a good bit lower than most lard-arsed British men, though that isn’t really saying much. I’m not as slim as I was 15 years ago, when I could run 5 miles in sub-32 mins, but then I am now way the wrong side of 40. Some factor 30 plus staying out of the midday sun and I would head for the nearest beach if there were one anywhere near to where I live. Superdrug own-brand sun-block, which is vegan, fulfils the first criterion anyway. Have a good summer.