08/04/2011 06:24 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

What Price For 'Perfection'? It's Time Women Were More Forgiving Of Themselves

What I wouldn't give for longer legs and bigger boobs!

I know I have lamented my shape on more than one occasion – but actually, there's quite a lot I wouldn't give. I mean, it'd probably be nice if I was even approaching average height, and so could buy clothes without taking them up, and if my top half looked like it belonged to my bottom half. But even for all that, I am definitely not among the one in three women who would apparently happily shorten their life in exchange for a 'perfect body'.

It sounds unbelievable but in a recent study carried out by the Succeed Foundation, a new charity which aims to help people recover from eating disorders, almost a third of respondents said they would trade at least one year of their life; 10 would trade between six and 10 years; and 1 of those polled wanted to lose weight, yet 7920johansson/" target="_self">Scarlett Johansson makes so many feel like a failure; that being a bit pear-shaped feels akin to being a loser. So ingrained in our psyche is the idea that we should look a certain way, almost 40 per cent of normal women would go under the knife if money was no object.

I had always put the cosmetic surgery habit among some celebrities down to those women having more money than sense (especially the ones who overcook themselves), but that is a huge proportion of real women – women not starring in films, being photographed and picked apart daily – who would have surgery to attain 'perfection'.

The saddest thing of all is that they wouldn't be perfect – would they?! They'd have big round boobs that didn't wobble when they walked, Jagger-like hips incapable of bearing the weight of those silly implants, lips that resemble Angelina Jolie's but actually don't really match the rest of their face. For the great majority of us, even with a nip and tuck here and there, looking like a film star is simply not attainable, so it's terrifying that so many would give it a bash anyway.

Don't get me wrong – I am not a hippy type who thinks it's only what's inside that counts, I'm not that naïve. Just the fact that about 99% of all movie stars are 'beautiful' proves that being good looking (featuring, of course, the Hollywood-standard dazzlingly white and straight replacement teeth) is the first proviso to attaining fame and fortune.

What we look like does affect how people perceive us, so I'm all for making the best of what you've got to feel confident. But none of that Hollywood stuff is real – and I'm amazed at how many women seem not to have a grasp on that. When real women make hypothetical deals with the devil to sacrifice valuable elements of life, if not life itself, it's pretty obvious our obsession with what's on the outside has gone way, way too far.