So you want to be famous. For many young women, thoughts of singing, dancing, acting and entrepreneuring their way to the top are common routes, but for others among you, although these careers have all flashed through your mind, it seems that you might be tempted to settle for just, well, flashing. I guess this might link in with your body and what you think of it. You may think that it's not perfect; but somehow, if everyone is phwoaring over it, then it must be alright. Or you might think that it's just about flawless, so everyone should take a look.
But it's not everyone looking, it's mostly men, and regardless of how dog-eared the third page is on the papers you appear in, those men don't really care about you, or like you, or come anywhere near respecting you. They don't often think of you as a real person, you're just a bra size on a page.
I know you'll have heard in the news about women stripping/posing/glamour modelling their way through university and how this makes them "empowered women". I also believe that in your private moments, unfilled with noise and devoid of delusions, you know this is wrong. There are women who say that although they are removing their clothes and come-hithering the camera that this is their choice and that they have the last laugh. And, for some, they are certainly laughing - at least on the outside - all the way to the bank.
They stress the difference between selling photos of their bodies and selling their bodies - and there is indeed a difference. There are millions of women around the world who are forced to sell their bodies - or more accurately, that someone else sells their bodies - and you can bet your g-stringed backside that they know the difference. The fact that you would choose to show your intimates (and then some) to the nation is incomprehensible to them when you have other options. Taking your clothes off, whether for the camera or for punters at a strip club isn't something anyone should have to do to make a living.
Of course there are women who have successfully shed the shackles of their racier pasts and when asked they always say that they wouldn't change it. Fame and fortune is seductive; don't be fooled, those baby blues or the Bambi brown eyes aren't trying to ensnare you, oh centre-fold worshippers; it's the cold hard cash that magazine purchases bring. So yes, everyone is being played to a certain extent. But the forfeit paid for the money in the bank and the column inches is dear.
Many people want to be famous; if hairbrushes could talk, they might reveal unrealised dreams of Grammy winning performances. Or maybe Mum's best Lladro figures would let slip of your Oscar acceptance speech. And that's fine - it's more than fine, it's healthy. If you want to be famous - be famous, or at least try your damndest. But be famous for something, and by something I mean not just getting your kit off.
Most of us are lucky enough that we aren't forced to do anything in order to make money or escape persecution. Our minds are free to dream, our bodies are free to do and act and be, and our souls are ours to keep. Don't sell yours.