Everyone has that part of their body that makes them sad. Just standing at a mirror, exhaling really slowly, lamenting the size of their forehead, wondering whether to get a fringe, leaving the house wearing a hat. 'Who will ever love a forehead so large?' you think, a single tear rolling down your oddly proportioned cheek.
Self-loathing is rife in the UK. A new survey states that three out of four of women aren't happy with the way they look. And it's not just women – 34 percent of UK 10- to 15-year-old girls are unhappy with their appearance, men feel more pressure than ever to look buff and a record number of Britons got plastic surgery last year.
Fuck that. Can't we learn to love ourselves, or at least not be repulsed by our own physical appearance?
We hit the streets to ask people what their favourite body parts are, and to talk about how we should all be feeling ourselves a bit more (I mean figuratively, but sure also literally, why not?).
VICE: What's your sexiest body part?
Mine's quite weird, it's my wrists. I just like them because they're small. And I guess no one really notices them. People notice your legs or your bum but they don't notice your wrists.
That's cool. Wrists are hot, like how ankles used to be super sexy in Edwardian times, right?
How about your favourite part, Tyler-Louise?
My legs. Like the whole length of them. I think it's because I like being tall.
Do you think it's important to have a favourite body part for your self esteem, as well as parts of yourself that you maybe like less?
T-L: It's easy, like people seem to focus more on stuff that they don't like. But if you like a part of your body I guess it makes you feel a lot more confident. I think a lot of people also think that it is arrogant if you compliment yourself. You're allowed to like yourself.
What's your sexiest body part?
I can't photograph that. Got any externals?
My jawline, I guess. My girlfriend says she likes it a lot.
Do you think people just tend to like the parts of themselves that other people like?
Yeah, absolutely. I think most level-headed people tend to find themselves quite unattractive. I only see the bad stuff really.
That sucks. I'm sorry.
Ash, 34 and Georgina, 34
What is your favourite body part?
G: My legs. I've never had a problem with my legs.
So do you think having a favourite is less a case of what you think is the best, and more a case of what gives you the least trouble?
G: No, I think you just look in the mirror every day but sometimes your reaction to yourself is different. Whether you're having a good day, skinny day, bad hair day. It all depends on the day. But I've never had an issue with my legs even on a bad day.
A: I would say my eyes. I do look at myself every day and think, 'I could look so much better'. But generally because I have so much to do I don't give it much more thought.
G: I think when you're older you care less about your appearance and feel more comfortable in your skin. It's a learning process when you grow older, move out of your 20s, you care less about what people think.
I'm excited for that to happen! So your relationship to your body is related to your age?
A: I think the younger generation tries a lot to look perfect, and because of that, they aren't living their lives. And that's scary, because they are living their lives to please others. And eventually they'll grow up and feel empty, because that generation is quite superficial. We didn't have Snapchat or Facebook growing up. We were told to have self confidence and believe in ourselves. There was no need for approval from others to make you feel good about yourself.
Do you think self-love is lacking? I think a lot of us really hate a specific part of our body, but it is quite telling that we don't speak much about the parts of ourselves we like.
G: Oh, I don't hate any part of my body.
A: You have to appreciate what you have. There are people who don't have limbs or who have diseases. You should be grateful if you have a healthy body.
Albert, 28 and Carla, 28
What's your fave body part?
A: My right hand. Or my left hand. I'm going to say left. I'm right-handed, which means I use it all the time, but I don't think of it as an aesthetically pleasing body part. And my left hand has my wedding ring on it.
Aw that's such a romantic answer!
A: No, it's just great for tapping things. It's like a percussion instrument. Like if I'm getting on the train and I've just made the doors it goes like "ding" when I grab the pole.
Oh, so less romantic, more annoying. And what's yours, Carla?
C: Armpits. Because they smell so good. Oh, and I once gifted someone my right leg.
Did they take it?
C: Yeah. It belongs to them now. I'm not sure what the rules are, but I feel bound to that promise.
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