Stereotype is a funny thing, not least of all when it comes to spas, but it is also something that has the capacity to be extremely dangerous. While the vast majority of people associate spas with time out and something enjoyable, the range of details of what one might do on a day or break seems to remain remarkably narrow. The association between spa and relaxation is engrained, but often the details remain elusive.
We need to open the debate up further and to talk more openly. We already understand how low body confidence can affect 15 year old girls. But what happens when those 15 year old girls reach 25, 35, and 45? How does their low body confidence translate into social confidence? How does it affect their performance in the workplace? How does it affect their families? The government is already doing a lot to support women, but we also need to ensure that we can nurture and support the aspirations of women and girls.
If so many people genuinely feel worried about the hairless state of affairs we've found ourselves in, why not do something about it? Imagine the time and money you could save, imagine the other things you could do instead of heading to the salon, and imagine how much better you might end up feeling about yourself.
Switch on your television, flick through a magazine or browse the internet and you'll be assaulted by headlines tempting you to behold the spectacle of "the 63 stone man!", the "anorexic who weighs the same as your average five year old!", or "the model whose desperate bid for success ended in botched cosmetic surgery!".
We at the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation believe that the London 2012 Olympics will be the best ever for women. These are some of the reasons why...
Essentials first published a Real Women special issue in 2010, marking the first time it had not used models or celebrities on its cover. The positive feedback prompted editor Jules Barton-Breck to make the decision to continue to use real women on its covers throughout 2011 and into 2012, reinforcing its tagline of "No models, no celebs - just you!"
Picture the scene. I've just taught a co-ed year seven class, at an endearingly lovely state school, in the posh end of Hertfordshire. The teachers have whipped the students (and themselves) into a state of frenzy, convinced they have a 'celeb' in their midst (largely based on my regular appearances on Radio 5 and the fact that I know Gok Wan, I am later to discover).