Society and media put a lot of pressure on people to look a certain way, not just to weigh a certain amount, fit into a certain size and wear all the latest trends, the pressure is so deep rooted it affects all aspects of our lives, including how we treat our skin.
Magazines use photoshop and alter images to maintain a quintessential goal for men and women to adhere to, but those who are represented in the media have a luxury that is out of reach to the rest of us.
I was 15 when I was scouted to "model" for an American fashion brand (I'll give you a hint, it's the one with the topless models that reeks of overpriced aftershave). A size six and weighing in at just over 50kgs, I also had early-stage bulimia.
The media is saturated with ripped, hunky men. And this is a bloody shame, because in reality, the life where us mere mortals exist, there are many male body types. All of which are individual and beautiful. And I think that's something we all sometimes forget.
As the owner of a womenswear brand one of the most important decisions I have to make is the choice of model for our marketing campaigns. Aside from the ethics of our brand, as a woman, I am forever conscious of not wanting to present unrealistic body images.
So accustomed are we to talking about ourselves with a razor-sharp tongue that we forget to spare a kind word every now and again. When we speak negatively about ourselves we are only perpetuating an already toxic culture and advocating the negative sense of self that so many of us have come to learn.
For all you mums out there who are sick of being bombarded with pics of flawless and toned celebrity mums just a few weeks after giving birth. And for all you mums sick of all the post baby workout videos hosted by instructors who look too small to do push ups let alone push a baby out of their body, then this is for you!
I have always been 'blessed' with a leading lady rack and I love them dearly as we all should with whatever we've been served, but let me tell you, they also come with issues that only women with bigger boobs understand.
What can we do as individuals to help improve the self-esteem of those around us? If you see someone or know of someone who is suffering with low self-esteem, here are some things that you can do to help them realise their worth.
We've got to change the beliefs in our heads because they are hurting all of us - men, women and children. Women are not weak. Having feelings is not weak. Being tough is not strong. Using a nail file is perfectly manly, if that is the expression of the man that you are.
Since I was 16 I have, on a daily basis, felt overwhelmed by the media and tabloids' sensational body shaming, so much so that such humiliating headlines are sadly accepted as the norm! Until now - it seems - judging by the furious responses from the public on social media.
Someone that I grew up with recently unearthed a photo of me at 11 years old as she was packing to move, and when she shared it with me, my heart stopped. It stopped because I remembered. I remember how it felt to be the fat friend.
In the society I live in I'm told I look best with a shaped, rounded and lifted upper chest. So I do it sometimes, despite some evidence that it may not be best for my physical health, and my own growing suspicion that it may not be good for my mental health.
Body image isn't just about weight, it's being too short, too tall, too thin. Wearing glasses or having big feet. Anything that doesn't conform to the norm. We need to remind our children that different is good, and that there are more important things to consider at the tender age of five, than how fat you look in a puffer jacket.
I refuse to be bullied ever again, I refuse to be put down or told that I'm not good enough. I refuse to be told that I'm unloveable, because I know, no matter what, that I will always without question, love myself.
Young people face many of the same pressures growing up that I did but with the growth of social media the pressures have become more intense - communication can be 24/7 and there is often nowhere to hide... Playing sport as a child helped me enormously. I met lots of different people, both teammates and competitors and faced new challenges. The camaraderie and support that you get from sport massively helped build my confidence and my ability to overcome setbacks and defeats both on and off the track.