I SAT down to write about body image for today, the eve of International Women’s Day.

I wanted to explore what impact messages of “body positivity” – and indeed positivity more generally – might be having on young women who don’t actually feel very positive about their lives much of the time.

But I made the mistake of having a quick browse of Twitter first, and now I can’t get one woman’s thoughts about love out of my head.

The thread began with a caveat that it would probably be deleted, but at the time of writing it remains.

Perhaps the tweeter – Vanessa Kisuule, an accomplished writer and performer – only prefaced it with that warning in order to hook in readers.

If so, bravo, because it worked. But I do believe she thought twice about baring her soul in this way.

She says she feared that “confirming this as my experience, out loud, would perpetuate it and further repel men from me”. I hope the thread is still there now so that you can read it in full.

“I am hugely deflated and uninspired by what love has been, or failed to be, up to now,” she writes, referring to a “private gulf of shame” about the fact that romantic relationships have thus far eluded her.

She adds that she has resisted acknowledging the “weight of sadness” she felt about this, given how rich her life is in other regards. “Too basic! Too pathetic!” she scolds. “But breaking news: I am made of the same soft, jelly-ish needs as anyone. Hate that for me tbh, but there you go.”

Of course, these shouldn’t feel like radical confessions. It’s hardly news that human beings experience these desires and disappointments, and that our sense of personal worth cannot always be disconnected from either those “jelly-ish needs” or societal expectations (Kisuule writes that her long-term singleness can feel “socially mortifying”).

The writer’s honest, raw reflections clearly resonated with many readers. Among the many comments praising them was one calling her “fierce” – not, of course, in the sense of ferocious, but rather meaning strong and bold.

Fierceness is very much part of the language of modern commercial feminism, along with bossing it, slaying, and generally being a bad bitch (reclaiming the slur to convey an empowered woman who knows what she wants and goes out and gets it).

But what Kisuule is doing here is writing about knowing what she wants – a fulfilling romantic relationship – and not being able to get it. Does the word “brave” feel too patronising a way to describe her writing? Does “vulnerable” imply weakness where we must only celebrate strength? Also, is it really such a crime to be “basic”?

Evidence of the creeping commercialisation of International Women’s Day can be found at a supermarket aisle-end near you, with cards, mugs and tote bags bearing fashionable buzzwords and slogans and a diverse range of female bodies in suitably empowered poses.

Illustrators make a point of including masculine and feminine outfits and haircuts, plus a sprinkling of leg and armpit hair. All bodies are beautiful, they declare; all women are fierce.

But many women have no desire to be fierce, or for that matter to “make history” by being badly behaved. Some would much prefer to have a quiet life, a decent partner and maybe a couple of children.

Not every woman wants to be a “girl boss” – some would much rather clock out at 5pm on a Friday and switch off their work emails until Monday morning. There’s certainly nothing unfeminist about that.

And crucially, not all women believe their bodies to be beautiful or will ever come around to that way of thinking. Yes, representation is important, but let’s not pretend that the diversity we see on “girl power” merchandise means the average young woman today is confident to step out with a make-up-free face, visibly hairy legs or uncovered rolls of fat. We have a long way to go.

Superstar Lizzo visits Glasgow tomorrow as part of a world tour, and will doubtless serve us up a glorious celebration of women in all their diversity.

She’s previously expressed justified cynicism about corporate attempts to sell a message of self-love, noting that they “spent decades telling people they weren’t good enough and selling them an ideal of beauty. All of a sudden you’re selling them self-love? People don’t know how to love themselves, because they were trying to look like the motherfucker you were selling them!”

Lizzo is blazing a trail, and being the change she wants to see on stage, but there’s room for both her rallying cry that we are all beautiful (inside and out) and the alternative concept of “body neutrality”, which seeks to disconnect self-worth from any notion of “beauty” and encourage people to simply accept their bodies as they are, including any “flaws”.

A mainstream culture dominated by mantras about self-loving girl bosses leaves little space for girls who feel disempowered, sad about their love lives (or lack thereof), and dissatisfied with their bodies.

Where that feeling turns to disgust, a false, fleeting sense of empowerment is offered by self-harm. The more girls turn against their own bodies in this way, the clearer it will be that they are being failed.