The Fear of Death

One of the most useful things about our minds is that they can in some moods allow us to step outside of ourselves – and consider our death from a wholly…

I Am Not My Body

A characteristic emotion on seeing a favourite novel turned into a film is puzzlement. We may not hate the actor playing a particular role, we might even find them rather beautiful,…

The Problems of Being Very Beautiful

Some of the pain of feeling unattractive stems from the stories we tell ourselves about those we deem beautiful. They, the blessed ones, surely do not suffer. They, the gods and…

6 Reasons Not to Worry What the Neighbours Think

We have reduced it down to a trite error – ’worrying about what the neighbours think’ – as if this were a trap that only a mediocrity could ever fall into.…

Am I Fat? An Answer from History

We tend to feel that concepts like ‘beauty’ and ‘ugliness’ are things that can be objectively defined, are eternally valid and are founded on unarguable criteria. Someone is either beautiful or…

The Problem of Shame

One of the great problems in the world is also one of the most invisible, because – by its nature – it asks to be hidden and saps our ability to…