When I first saw Demi Lovato's Vanity Fair cover this weekend, I applauded her. As a woman who has battled body confidence issues for most of her life and has spoken extensively about her eating disorder, Lovato has finally made peace with her appearance, celebrating with a naked, un-retouched photoshoot.
Big bums are nothing new and neither is the adoration for them. I've had one for as long as I can remember and am a descendent of a long line of big-bummed women. (You think my bum is big? You wait 'til you see my mum...)
By way of social experiment, I posted Smart's story to Facebook and Twitter to find out what exactly what people thought of her story. Responses were almost always vile or ignorant so I've rounded up some of the most common criticisms, with my own simple explanations as to why they are bullshit.
It was hard to beat Kay Burley's response ('I'm sure your mother is incredibly proud of you, Dylan. I know I would be') but this is a poem about the prank and how it felt symptomatic of a much wider issue.
It's not what you know, but who you know, as the saying goes. While I lean towards a healthy combination of the two - determination and a healthy love of hard work being crucial for growing both your personal and business 'brands' - there's no doubt that getting yourself out there is important.
The fans that jumped on Beyoncé's leaked images missed the point. Those images are going to reach out and reassure far more many women in a positive way than photos of her looking perfect every will.
Feminism was supposed to be about enabling women (and men) to choose how they want to live their lives. Now, though, it has been twisted and distorted into a ridiculous expectation that every woman must be all she can be, to realise (or even exceed) her potential in every area.
Some of us feel compelled to decide the fate of Celebrity Big Brother and vote for the winner of X-Factor yet the political parties in the UK seem to be missing the mark when activating female voters. Why are these "missing millions", who many believe will provide the swing vote in the May election, not being inspired?
By learning about the challenges that girls face, they can seek change. As a Guide Leader, I'm always amazed at how passionate and determined my group can be when there is a cause they feel strongly about, such as child marriage and lack of access to education.
I get that it's 'Zuck's house and what Daddy says under his roof goes. Don't like it, go rent a room at Twitter. But since then it seems rules on belfies, topless blokes and creepy graphic posts of wounds have all been given the green light and my feed is fecking full of them. And it's bloody grim.
Women with many sexual partners are "slut" shamed, but so are virgins. Women who live alone are "slut" shamed, but so are married, full-time mothers. Girls who wear clothing that clings to their bodies are "slut" shamed, but so are girls who dress conservatively.
In the next five years I will go from being a teenager to being an adult - in the eyes of politics. I will also be a first time voter in the 2020 General Election and as I step into the polling booth for the first time I sincerely want to see more female candidates on my ballot paper than ever before.
Of course I felt a little nervous submitting my application, but when I read the words "only the fittest, strongest, bravest and toughest need apply" on the website, I felt inspired and thought, go for it!! I read the terms and conditions and all the information on the website more than once. No-where did it stipulate that women aren't eligible to apply.
One of the problems with drawing diverse characters in cartoons and comics is that making main characters generic is one way to get readers to identify with them. We read characters into even the simplest shapes.
I quit my office job in 2008, utterly frazzled and having just born the brunt of being managed by a terrible boss. I was exhausted, disillusioned with journalism, and just wanted an environment where I wasn't being bellowed at daily. Freelancing seemed the perfect option.
There are already so many pressures placed upon women to look a certain way and be a certain way as moms, that a photo and message like this can trigger negative thoughts and behaviors in non-model moms.