Did you see the photograph of the presenters of Loose Women in their underwear?
This is what real people look like.
Everybody looks like this.
We all feel comfortable in our clothes and can dress up to make ourselves look more attractive and often quite stunning, but underneath it all we all have dents and wrinkles and moles and folds.
I love being a plastic surgeon and I can produce some amazing results that can transform people’s lives.
But probably the biggest challenge in my job is managing expectations.
I see people who bend forward and don’t like the fold of flesh created in their abdomen.
This is natural and indeed necessary.
If that fold wasn’t there when you bent forward, you wouldn’t be able to stand up straight!
I get patients sending me photographs taken at odd angles and in certain positions to demonstrate a bulge or a dent. Yet when I see the patient in person, there is nothing to be seen and they have to bend over or get the angle just right for it to be visible.
It is all about expectation.
I think that a lot of people don’t realise what a normal body looks like out of clothes because the only pictures they see are of models with extremely toned bodies and even then, they are usually airbrushed.
I read recently about a photograph of Kim Kardashian that had been released that had not been airbrushed and caused her to lose 100,000 followers on Instagram.
Kim Kardashian is in the public eye and obviously takes care of her figure but even she was picked up on some minor dents on her buttocks which are quite normal.
I know that the public perception of a plastic surgeon is someone who operates on vain people who do not need surgery and creates monstrosities that look much worse than the preoperative state (bride of Wildenstein springs to mind).
But if this is what you think, you would be very disappointed if you came to my clinic.
I operate on normal men and women who feel uncomfortable and out of proportion with their figure.
I do not put enormous breast implants in all day long and I will tell you all of the risks and complications associated with your procedure.
If you are put off by this, then it is probably better that you do not have surgery.
As I said, one of my biggest struggles is to convey what is achievable with surgery and as a rule, the media doesn’t help.
It is not normal for skin to be smooth as silk with no blemishes or lines.
It is not normal for breasts to bulge out of your bra or for your nipples to be perfectly level.
It is not normal for thighs to be perfectly curved and free from cellulite or visible veins.
The Loose Women have show us that underneath it all, we are all different shapes and sizes and yet we can still be beautiful.
If the media could portray this image of the body form – the real image, it would make my life much easier.
Contrary to popular opinion, I do not want to propagate the image of the perfect body.
It is not realistic and I do not think it is healthy.
I think that it is fine for people to be more aware of their bodies and we should encourage body awareness.
But we have to realise that we are all different and unique and we all have curves and dimples in different places.
I see my job as restoring the form, particularly following the effects of weight loss or pregnancy, or reconstructing the body contours if there have always been disproportion or imbalance in the breast or body.
Believe it or not, I would not be out of a job if everyone suddenly stopped looking at pictures of beautiful models on Instagram and they realised they were happy with how they looked.
In fact, I would be delighted.
I think we put far too much attention on trying to achieve a shape that is often not even real in the first place.
Don’t forget, I have a 12 year old daughter and I am worried about what she is exposed to.
I don’t want her growing up looking at photos of airbrushed Barbie doll lookalikes thinking this is natural beauty.
Natural beauty is what we have all been given and that is what the Loose Women have shown us.
Celebrate your curves and give yourself a break with that bulge when you bend forward.
Be proud and let’s encourage our children to aspire to be happy and healthy regardless of how they look in their underwear.