‘Sarah Vine: I’m proof diet pills can work’, screams the Daily Mail this morning. Well, good for you, love, but you’re still a nasty, vindictive writer and, worse still, you are married to Michael Gove. One of these things would be bad enough, but two?

Here’s the Daily Mail again, read overwhelmingly by middle aged women, doing its bit for body image. You must be slim, you must be on a permanent diet, you must not be overweight. On a day when figures revealing appalling levels of self-harm among young girls, much of which is down to body image, it’s very ironic, to say the least.

Full disclosure from me: I am in the process of beginning to shed some of the weight I put on during and following my living nightmare working for the British Red Cross. I didn’t look after myself for a long period of time and following mental health treatment I am beginning to look after myself a bit better. That’s my story. What’s yours?

Well, your story is none of my business. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight and anyway some people don’t want to lose weight. In my humble opinion, I am not a huge fan of thin. I don’t try to body shame people who get thin, as opposed to slim; I just don’t like the look on women or men. I won’t go into any more detail, because I’d be no better than Sarah Vine.

Look at the women in newspapers and magazines. They are all totally beautiful and flawless, except that they actually aren’t. Even among the allegedly most beautiful women in the world, many of these pictures are touched up. It is not perfection to me.

Personally, I am a great admirer of the female form, which is quite handy when the only purpose of me being on earth was to assist with procreation, and I happen to like the natural look, which is to say the lines of age, the affects of like including childbirth. In short, ladies, I love you just the way you are.

It would probably do me good, you good, to shed a stone or two but do not allow the Mail, or anyone else, to shame you into looking a certain way. We are none of us getting any younger. Gravity cannot be avoided. And the simple truth, as it always was, is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just be who you are.