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Alice Pinkard talks body image and male grooming, and explains why she’s backing Superdrug’s plans to introduce a controversial new weighing scale…

The majority of girls today are obsessed with how they look. Body image is a massive focus and you can never get away from the images deemed as ‘perfection’ on the front of magazines.
However, what most people forget is that, just like us, those celebrities all have flaws of their own. The pictures have all been manipulated using technology to create this image we then see as perfect.
I have always been conscious of my weight. When I was only 10 years old I had the eating disorder anorexia. Thankfully, I am now in a more happy and healthy place – although those fears never die. When eating badly I always think to myself, ‘watch the calories.’
There is an enormous pressure on young girls to look a certain way, and now more and more people are looking towards cosmetic surgery as a way of getting the body they want. I can’t criticize as I have also thought of cosmetic surgery, however we should embrace what we have and be proud of the skin we’re in.

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Recently, Superdrug have launched a set of scales which, instead of having the usual weight measures on, use different celebrities to measure yourself against. This has been criticised a lot in the media but I think it’s a brilliant idea! Some of the celebrities on it include Rihanna and Beyoncé. Both of these women are very influential and, unlike the skinny supermodels, people tend to aspire to them; they both have beautiful bodies. I think this idea will alleviate a lot of people’s weight worries because they can compare themselves to their idols rather than worrying about what they actually weigh. The scale starts from Cheryl Cole at 8 stone and goes up to Melissa McCarthy at an estimated 18 stone.
The scales were introduced after research showed that 40% of people would rather avoid the scales than see their weight. Cheryl Cole herself took to twitter to voice her disagreement with the new scales. 

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It’s not just women these days that are feeling the strain, there is now more focus than ever on men to ‘buff up’. It seems it’s routine for men to go the gym. There is even a perfect body image for men;  lean, muscular and groomed. Before, men would walk around with their tops off no matter their size or shape. However, nowadays, just like women, there is more pressure for men to look a certain way.

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Men’s grooming routines are now much like women’s. Most of them wouldn’t think twice and cleansing and moisturising, with many going as far as waxing their eyebrows and genitals! The demand for men to look this way probably stems from reality shows. Shows like Geordie Shore and TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) encourage men to take part in certain grooming rituals. For example, in an early Geordie Shore episode, the boys find it weird that Greg doesn’t use a sun bed. This new culture of the ‘groomed’ look has now shifted the pressure from women to men, although the pressure is still there for women.
Most of us will always have weight woes, and the media does dictate a lot of the views around the subject of body image. However, with the introduction of plus size models to catwalks and plus size mannequins to shops, hopefully the media can now go some way towards helping the future generations count their self worth by more than pounds and ounces.