I looked at the Page 3 girls and hoped I'd look like Linda Lusardi when I was older. I blushed when various family members and friends would comment on my body - no part of it was left unscrutinised by the people that surrounded me, male and female. I'd say that started around the age of eight.
Most of us can probably pinpoint the moment we stepped out of the blissfully unaware bubble to the self deprecating one. When nothing we do is quite good enough; when we struggle to celebrate our successes, constantly craving more.
The first clinical reports of cosmetic labiaplasty procedures appeared in 1984, but by the late 1990s the "designer vagina'' had entered public discourse, largely as a result of media coverage in glossy women's magazines.
I get the argument from both sides: the fit moms want to show what they've accomplished and inspire other moms that they can look the same way, and some women feel that by doing that, the women are saying out-of-shape moms are just making excuses.
I often hear people talking about the fact that wearing make-up means you have no self-confidence. I have to say, I disagree with that. It can of course be said that some use cosmetics to cover themselves up to a degree. I know, because I used to do it.
I began my career over twenty-five years ago and I can safely say that the cosmetic industry has evolved to the point of being almost unrecognisable. Every aspect of the profession has changed in some way, from the equipment and products we use to the patients and conditions we treat.
I know that most of my female friends and family members hate their bodies to varying degrees in a way that the blokes I know just don't. Not to the same bottomless extent, anyway. And it makes me indescribably sad. How else could we be spending that time?!
People are not only viewing retouched images in the media, but these days, most cameras in smartphones have built-in filters and effects to enhance photographs. 2014 was the year of the selfie and this has certainly been true for my practice, as I have seen a rise in patients wanting cosmetic procedures and using the selfie to demonstrate what they don't like about their features.
Women I consider to be incredible in their personal and professional lives have admitted to me that they're following some kind of mega-control diet like I was, like not eating in the daytime, or restricting their daily calorie intake to near-starvation levels. Why?
Last year, in the midst of a relapse, I'd just been discharged from NHS services, told that I didn't meet the criteria for outpatient support, despite the fact I desperately needed it. The timing was particularly poor as a number of external events were also affecting my stress levels.
The obsession society has with scrutinising young women in the public eye for their ability to be role models is nothing new, and is perpetuated even by women who consider themselves feminists. Wanting women to be empowered and free is surely at direct odds with wanting them to conform to a host of standards that make them 'appropriate' for the consumption of others...
What is real is differences. Wonderful, inspiring differences. As happy as I am to see more plus models making it big, it annoys me that we are now beginning to lean over to the opposite standpoint. It is not ok to fat shame. Just as it is not ok to skinny shame. In fact, let's just cut out the shaming altogether, shall we?
From a confidence perspective, as a fellow ''curvy girl'', whenever I see a woman with, shall we say, a round bottom, who isn't afraid to show it off, I feel a rush of empowerment. I feel the need to raise my fist in sheer womanly power with a defiant grin upon my face whilst roaring ''go on yersel!'' However, these emotions are starting to deplete.
Parisiennes aren't famed for their warm personalities and are, for the most part, considered by the rest of the world to be arrogant and unfriendly. I like to take this with a pinch of salt and whilst I wouldn't say it is totally unfounded I do think that there is little point in getting irritated by it. It is after all, the 'charm' of the city, is it not?
Cellulite: that nasty bastard that destroys confidence and leaves you feeling unattractive. It isn't selective in who can get it. Anyone can suffer from cellulite. Male or Female. Young or Old. Big or small. Even your genes can have an impact. For me, the appearance of my cellulite actually got worse as I lost weight, off-putting huh?
She tells me she has no self-esteem or body image issues at all, but if that's the case, why does she feel she needs cosmetic surgery? Did my worries and fears about my breasts rub off on her as a child? She was no stranger to my obsessions, and I really worried that my low self-esteem and negative body image had tainted her view of her own body image, and clouded what's really important.