87% of girls aged 11-21 believe that they are judged more on their looks than their ability. It's an unbelievable figure - but you can see why girls think this way. The belief that they don't look good enough and that they are judged most on how good they look is preventing girls from putting their hands up and saying 'I can do anything I want to do'
My son found a lump in my breast when he was just three years old. He kept coming to me and putting his head on my right breast and stroking it. I kept thinking, 'What are you doing?' I had a look at my breast, thinking maybe it was something pre-menstrual. I was fit and healthy with no history of breast cancer. I was floored when I was given a breast cancer diagnosis.
Apparently, we see 1500 advertisements a day featuring people whose body shape in no way represents our own. This make us feel inferior. On a daily basis, we think we're failing to look as we should. And this does not make us feel good. It's not a trivial issue. If we feel bad about how we look, we make bad choices about our health; we are more likely to be depressed.
There is no such thing as an objective reality, when it comes to beauty. Beauty standards are set by money-hungry, old, white men behind big desks and these men make a lot of money off of your insecurities. The more you hate yourself, more you spend and the richer they get. You are beautiful. You are.
Growing up as a consumer of pop culture and women's magazines, there was only one body type to have: skinny. As a result we have a generation of perfectly proportioned women too embarrassed to get into their bikinis, flitting between fad diets and having internal battles when faced with their reflection in the mirror.
While we all come in different sizes and every body is unique, experts have identified four basic body shapes that all women fall into. Body shapes are largely determined by bone structure, genetics and age and, while lifestyle factors make a huge difference to the dimensions of your body, it can be difficult to change your basic shape.
Today, we're looking at a society of females prepared to go to extreme lengths to comply with the so-called ideal - an ideal which is realistically unobtainable for most. Alba's tight-lacing routine was a response not-only to the pressure desire to achieve an hourglass figure, but also to trim down to her pre-baby weight in record speed.