Hello young women,
We need to talk.
Firstly let me tell you who on earth I am and what gives me the right to start dishing out advice.
I am in a rather unique position of having grown up on television in a time when people really didn't go on television. A time when people didn't really have Sky TV and access to thousands of channels, with unlimited choice, in the way we do now.
A time with limited knowledge of the Internet, plastic surgery was still a past time of the rich and famous and most importantly there was no social media.
Because of my exposure at a young age, I grew up extremely self aware and insecure, but after a lot of work on my mindset I am now a confident and self assured adult.
However, I worry that the way things have changed since, means we have a generation of young women that feel terrible about how they look and who they are and are, living out their lives on social media, just waiting to be pulled apart by the baying mop of faceless trolls, online.
The social media boom has meant we get to gawp into other peoples lives (or at least what they allow us to think their lives are) and compare ourselves to them 24/7.
We are being taught to value ourselves by how many likes we get on a post, to filter and photoshop out every perceived imperfection and even have plastic surgery to make ourselves fit the acceptable mould.
Don't get me wrong girls, there has always been a beauty preference of the time, whether that was the curvy Marilyn Monroe generation, or the glamour models of the 90s, there will always be the 'in' look, but right now we have so much access to seeing what everyone else looks like, that we just cannot see how we can possibly be as beautiful.
And it's making us very unhappy.
So for a moment can I put on my 'mum hat', my 'I'm older and wiser' tee and say this is f***ing ridiculous!
People aren't in sepia! They have wrinkles and cracks, lumpy bits on their thighs, they have stretch marks and blackheads. We don't always have our nails manicured and most cannot ever conceive of having a thigh gap.
This notion that we all have to look this particularly version of beauty is nonsense and dull. If I where to accidentally pick up a gossip magazine (which I won't, because after five minutes of reading I would feel horrendous about myself) I would see what looks like the same girl on every page.
Blown up lips, fake boobs, tan, teeth, nails, extensions. The same, damn, face!! What is interesting about that?
I'm not against plastic surgery, or the beauty industry, everything in moderation, if it's a thought out, sensible decision for that person, go ahead.
What I object to is everyone feeling they HAVE to fit into that mould, or they have no value, people overlooking their inner self to put implants in their backside.
I meet beautiful and talented young women who feel lost and ugly, because they don't have a million followers on Snapchat and can't quite contour their stomachs enough to feel valuable.
It's depressing beyond words.
Let me lay this bare.
You are enough already.
If you enjoy make up, fabulous, have fun, but make sure you are OK without it too.
Social media isn't bad, just remember it's all a tiny snapshot of what is really happening in their world.
You know 'beautiful girl', she's alone every night taking selfies of herself and checking her phone every five minutes to see if she has likes.
That 'party girl', she spends her night having to contend with 'pervy older bloke, who buys her drinks, touches her up and takes her to Dubai, where she takes 'those' pics on his yacht.
'model girl' hasn't eaten in weeks and feels like crap. She wishes her life looked a tiny bit like she makes it look online
'sexy girl' who takes those just woken up snaps, with her tousled her glistening on her Pinterest worthy bedding, with the hashtags #nofilter #nomakeup.
Well she woke up and hour before the snap, put make up on, lit her bedroom room well, got back into bed and took about 100 photos before posting that one.
That is not a life, that is pretend and it's soulless.
The most important bit of advice I can give you, is to start working on your mindset, your inner self and stop endlessly comparing yourself to others.
Fake confidence only leaves us feeling empty and real confidence and self esteem only ever comes from within.
Let go of being anything but unashamedly you.