I spent all my teenage life with a chest as flat as a pancake. Which didn’t bother me too much until, like my peers, we developed an interest in boys. My girlfriends would merely raid their dad’s sock drawer and swagger off to the local disco sporting a pair of Dolly Partons. But I didn’t have the gung-ho to do that. Which meant they quickly partnered up for a dance while I stood on the outskirts watching. Alone.
These days that is no longer the case. By that I don’t mean I lurk on the edge of dance floors. I mean that I no longer have a flat chest. And very recently I have been reminded how bits of our body can either make us either see the funny side, or actually be very upset. For example, the exterior of our house is currently being painted. I am faintly amused by the decorator ringing the doorbell and addressing my chest. I doubt he knows what my face looks like. But if you ask him what sweater I’m wearing, he’ll give you an A1 witness description. However, for others the attention is hard to cope with. And they can perceive themselves as fat.
The misconceptions people have about their bodies is quite staggering. I don’t watch television and haven’t for years. I’m not au fait with Boot Camps for Big Girls, or Britain’s Next Anorexic Model or I’m An Attention Seeker Do Not Evict Me, but these programmes are watched by millions. And a high percentage of the viewing audience are very impressionable.
Take my daughter. When we recently attended The National TV Awards and I was oohing and aahing about various celebrities, who did my daughter rush off to talk to? Some 30 year old woman with the body of a child, fake breasts, fake hair, fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake tan, a nose job and a cosmetically over-filled lip to the point where – in profile – there wasn’t so much a trout pout as a morphing into Donald Duck. ‘Oh my God,’ breathed my daughter, ‘she’s so beautiful.’ Are you kidding? Seriously?
Tell today’s young adults that you think a young and voluptuous Sophia Loren is fab and they will squeal with horror and declare if their backside were that big they’d be auditioning for the next Lipo Or Live With It programme. And THAT is what hacks me off. That TV, films, magazines, you name it, are full of ideals and influences that are bang out of order.
So, bottom line is: BRING BACK THE BOTTOM!