Turns Out The First Nose Job Was Performed In India 600 Years Before The Birth Of Christ

Presenter Angela Scanlon fills us in on things she learnt about our attitude towards body confidence from filming her new show Full Frontal

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by Angela Scanlon |
Published on

I’ve just made a four-part documentary called Angela Scanlon: Full Frontal for Irish TV. Among other things, it explores our awkward and self-conscious relationship with our naked bodies, our social obsession with fitness, and the recent upsurge in demand for, er, designer vaginas.

My motivation for making the show was initially completely selfish: I would get paid to investigate stuff that that gets me fired up – the sort of issues I talk about over pints with my mates. But what happened over the course of eight months of filming caught me completely by surprise – it made me question myself, my beliefs, my judgments, and my insecurities. And by the end of it, I realised it had changed my life.

READ MORE: Why Are 18 MillionOf Us Still So Ashamed Of Our Bodies We Won’t Go Near A Gym?

Doing the show also made me see that human beings are brilliant – so utterly brilliant. Being completely unashamedly honest about the way you look, and feel, can be insightful, vulnerable and sometimes it will even make you laugh until a little wee comes out.

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Overall the show was the most fun I’ve had all year – possibly ever, so I thought I’d share a little of what I learnt:

1. We’ve Always Loved Our Slap

Hitler tried to ban cosmetics in Nazi Germany but had to back down in the face of female revolt. Now, the average woman spends an hour putting on make-up everyday – contouring her face so she looks like someone else – which adds up to a year-and-a-half worth of time over your life.

2. Your Experiences With Nudity Growing Up Stay With You

One guy talked of his parents teaching him that there was ‘a time and place for nudity, and that the time was never and the place was nowhere’. I’m proud to say that I think this generation is rebelling and trying to ensure they install a sense of pride, not shame, in their own children as far as their bodies are concerned.

READ MORE: Meet The Woman Who Posted A Picture Of Her Labia Online To Normalise Our Attitudes Towards Anatomy

3. On That, Naturists Rule

They are not ‘crusty Germans’ as one person I interviewed suggested. I would actually go so far as to say they are enlightened! I visited the World Naturist Congress – in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim – and had tea and biscuits (slightly awkward!), while I spoke to nudey men and women about their motivations and experiences.

I was jealous of their absolute lack of self-consciousness. No matter what size or shape – and they were totally varied – they were content being themselves. No sucking in the gut, no lengthening of the leg posing, they were just happy in their own skin. The shocking thing was how unusual that seemed to be to me. It challenged me to push myself to make peace with my own body.

4. The Idea Of Reconstructing Your Vagina Is Frightening

And yet labiaplasty is one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures in the US and is now available here. Reshaping your bits to tie in with norms represented within the porn industry, so they look like Barbie’s below feels very wrong to me.

And the message that girls should look exactly the same – down to what’s hidden in her knickers – makes me feel sick.

READ MORE: Today’s FFS News: Now We’re Supposed To Freak Out About Our Vaginal Width As Well As Our Thigh Gap

5. In Fact If Barbie Was A Real Woman She Would Have To Carry Her Spleen In Her Handbag As It Wouldn’t Fit

She’d also have to walk on all fours and, due to her low percentage of body fat, would be incapable of having a period.


6. I Found Out I Need Liposuction!

At least that’s what one leading cosmetic surgeon told me when I went to investigate the lengths I would need to go to for the dream ‘heart-shaped’ arse. I’m a size 8.

7. The First Nose Job Was Performed In India 600 Years Before The Birth Of Christ

Simply WTF?!

READ MORE: The Girl Guides Are Now Awarding Body Confidence Badges

**8. Strong Is Much Better Than Skinny. And More Fun

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It has to be. For too long the ideal for women was super-thin, so we must focus on strength over starvation. Young women are finally educating themselves on how to eat properly and care for their bodies (who the hell could have imagined that chai seed and cacao nibs would be part of our daily lives!?), but that’s a much more empowering position than shrinking yourself to fit in with a completely unrealistic and damaging ideal.

9. People Are At Their Best Being Hones****t

Human beings don’t need to be scripted or pushed to say things we want them to say. With everyone I interviewed, it was clear what they said naturally was the best it could ever be.

10. Choosing To Be Non-Judgmental Is… A Choice

For the show I had a ‘fakeover’ aka I was made to look plastic, and I was struck by how utterly uncomfortable it was for me. It made me question my own judgements, and it’s definitely made me more aware of the assumptions we make about people, sometimes based purely on how they look.

Life is so much better when you allow yourself – and others – to be whoever they want to be.

If you missed the show, you can catch up with it here.

Like this? Then you might be interested in:

Significant Life Lessons We’ve Learnt From Lena Dunham’s Book Not That Kind Of Girl

An Open Letter To The Women Who Think They Don’t Need Feminism

Meet The Chinese Graduates Going Under The Knife For The Perfect Interview Face

Follow Angela On Twitter: @AngelaScanlon

Photographs: Conor Clinch

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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