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I am on a bit of a hobby-horse here, I will admit, but there follows, partly for your edificaction but, as with most things on this blog, mainly for my own amusement, a list of the things we do to our bodies in order to match some unattainable and arbitrary ideal. So. Here we go. We…..

Lose weight. Do sit-ups. Lift weights. Go on a diet. Go on another diet. Go on a lot of diets until our metabolism is completely b*ggered and we can no longer tell whether our bodies really need food or not, or how much we need to eat. Eat weird chemical filled stuff because it’s supposedly lower in calories and ‘healthier’. Follow faddy diets that are far from balanced and healthy, simply to reach a smaller clothes size.

Dye our skin (St Tropez tan, anyone?) Bleach our skin. Bleach our hair. Dye our hair. Curl our hair. Straighten our hair. Heat our hair to make it curl. Heat our hair to make it straight. Chemically alter our hair. Glue other people’s hair into our hair. Shave our hair. Rip our hair out by the roots. Laser our hair to make it stop growing. Transplant our hair onto other parts of our bodies to make it grow there.

Cut off bits of our bodies. Have bits of our bodies sucked out. Have bits of our faces cut off. Inject chemicals into our faces. Put foreign objects and foreign substances into our faces and bodies to change their shape. Burn our skin with chemicals. Put stuff on our faces to make them look ‘better’. Use other stuff to take that stuff off. Put on yet more stuff to counteract the effect on our skin of the previous stuff.

Wear clothes that change our shape. Wear clothes that are uncomfortable. Wear clothes that make it impossible for us to move naturally. Wear clothes that make us ill (bad backs and bunions from high heels, cystitis and infertility from too-tight pants).  And on, and on, and on. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I’m sure you can think of other examples.

More tomorrow.