The ugly side of hot beauty tips

PUBLISHED: 13:03 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

Some of this season’s bikini body offerings

Some of this season’s bikini body offerings

AS I sit here writing this, it s been a bit of a grey day so summer seems a very remote concept. However, it is allegedly nearly here. You can see the evidence all around you – men with tattoos taking their tops off at the merest hint of sunshine and peop

AS I sit here writing this, it's been a bit of a grey day so summer seems a very remote concept.

However, it is allegedly nearly here.

You can see the evidence all around you - men with tattoos taking their tops off at the merest hint of sunshine and people sitting outside at the pub trying their best not to get hypothermia.

A less obvious, but still no less common sign of the impending summer, is women's magazines doing their best to 'help' us through the coming season.

My general policy with ladies' publications is to flick through them in the shop, realise Jade Goody is likely to feature somewhere inside and then walk away, shuddering.

In my flicking-through in the last few weeks, I've seen endless bikini diets, 'celebrity' diets (that is z-listers telling us how they 'shed the pounds' in return for a bit of free publicity) and many features on The Best Bikini For Your Body Shape.

I've not seen any yet, but previous experience tells me there will also be a lot of articles on self-tanning and bronzing.

In short, over the last couple of months, the message they will have been sending out to their readers is if you're not size 10 and golden brown, get doing something about.

They have completely ignored the fact that being brown (at least if it's natural and has been obtained by harmful sun rays) is bad for you and women come in all shapes and are fabulous whatever dress size they wear.

I accept that should summer ever actually arrive, we will have to wear fewer clothes than we currently do but why is there so much pressure to get your body out, and most importantly, look like a supermodel while doing it?

The vast majority of ladies will wear a bikini for two weeks this year, if we're lucky.

I'm sure none of us wants to feel we look horrid in it but equally, the constant barrage of advice is excessive and will never serve to make us feel anything other than totally inadequate.

One of the lyrics from Everybody's Free To Wear Suncreen, that much over-played spoken song which came out a few years ago, was 'Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly'.

I couldn't agree more, especially in the spring and summer.

The fact is, as long as we're fit and healthy, exercise regularly and at least try to notch up our five fruit and veg a day, we're fine and any magazines we read should strive to make us feel that.

There are far greater issues in the world than how to look good in a bikini.

Women are being done a disservice by having their brains filled with such trivia and their time wasted by confidence-destroying nonsense.

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