Throughout my life, you have always been there... loving and supporting me, working hard, never giving up on me (even at times when I have felt like giving up on you), being so resilient, adaptable, courageous and strong. I have never stopped to think how brilliant and amazing you are, let alone thank you for it. I guess I took you for granted.
Body obsession is contemporary Western culture's default state. When it comes to matters of the flesh it increasingly feels
Two days before my daughter's first birthday, my to-do list read like this. 1) Cake. 2) Presents. 3) Dig out sagging pre-pregnancy swimming costume and go for a dip in the local pool, the whole thing filmed in close-up with a strategically positioned bright light highlighting every normally-hidden flaw.
Today, we're looking at a society of females prepared to go to extreme lengths to comply with the so-called ideal - an ideal which is realistically unobtainable for most. Alba's tight-lacing routine was a response not-only to the pressure desire to achieve an hourglass figure, but also to trim down to her pre-baby weight in record speed.
I'm ashamed to admit that when the trend first started, I too brushed it off as an over-indulgent social media phase that would probably just die out. Thankfully it hasn't - and the selfie is fast becoming one of the most incredible celebrations of women the internet has ever seen.
The reality star has never been shy when it comes to talking about her slight figure - she has written several books including
This is indeed a powerful lesson as we reflect how many people willingly head towards pain and suffering to avoid boredom. They will eat too much, get drunk, take drugs, behave violently or abusively, in fact indulge any impulse-no matter how self-destructive-to avoid or alleviate the emptiness of boredom.
My best friend once wisely said to me that it is a celebrity's job to look good and if they get caught looking awful then it's the equivalent to one of us normal folk having a bad day in the office. Now, her point that it's their job to look good is an important one...
It's the same story from increasingly more people I encounter from day to day in my job as a trainer and health consultant. These people we all know whose weight problem is everyone's fault but their own.
As a woman who has conducted a very scientific research project into the inner psyche of sexually active blokes (i.e. has shagged around a bit) I say, with the sort of confidence normally reserved for Adele when she's telling Karl Lagerfeld to do one, that no man has ever seen me in a thong and then changed his mind about putting his willy inside of me. Never.