It's barely spring and already I've started getting emails about summer - or should I say 'bikini season'. Here's fair warning: anyone who pings me a message with those two words in the subject line should expect an instant redirect to the trash folder. I hate the term - am completely sick of it - and here's why.
The question should have been... Does Barbie need to gain some more realistic measurements? Instead what we have is shock and shame tactics, that use a caricature image to represent a plus size woman that is already marginalised and ridiculed by the media and once again opens the industry up to mockery. Essentially what we're left with is one extreme to another.
I don't much care for summer. It makes me hot (as summer is prone to do), bothered, sweaty, and limits my fashion options to ghastly shorts and T-shirts that tend to be figure-hugging nowadays whether I want them to be or not. Meanwhile, on holidays or even in the parks of London, I am confronted at every turn by figures of youthful nubility, all tight and toned and blemish-free, and given constant opportunity to envy them for their beauty.
Parents can despair when they hear their seven-year old daughter complaining about feeling fat, or see their teenager struggle with insecurity about her looks. Young girls in particular are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images of beauty - images they can never live up to. The images of beauty we see in the media are all pretty much the same - it's as if there's only one way of being beautiful. I'd like to see a much broader mix of people in magazines and on TV, to help young people of every size, body shape and skin tone feel that there is a place for them.
Casual sex should be with somebody you actually like. My new rule of thumb is to only shag men I don't mind sleeping over, and am okay with kissing goodbye when they leave. Anyone else isn't worth my time- and if I'm not prepared to make at least that much effort, I'm probably not worth theirs, either.