Fat Girls Have Their Cake and Eat It
A look at the conflicting messages in glossy magazines which tell you to feel happy but lose weight.
Sometime last year Charlotte Church announced with pride ‘If you think I’m fat, you need to get a life!’ Sitting proud on the cover of a magazine, the same statement was regurgitated and re announced across a myriad of red tops, broadsheets and other women’s magazines. Heaven forbid that La Church is a stomach wobbling size 12. Imagine that! How dare she be ‘normal’?
Oh, well, I may be wrong here, but Charlotte, despite her protestations that she has a normal figure, and although that is most certainly true, as far as statistics go, and any look in any UK shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon will tell you the same thing, that a size 12 is not normal per se. You see, I was always under the impression that a size 16 was the UK’s average Joanne.
My problem is this: Paris, Nicole Richie, Posh, Girl’s Aloud etc all parade about striving to be a size 2 or something – you’d think I was being ridiculous, surely no one can exist with a waistline that looks like a six year olds – or at least a size 4 (Like Jordan was a little while ago) and a teeny weeny size 0, a size I didn’t know existed beyond puberty let alone well into adult hood.
But the size 0 troops have slowly infiltrated their way into our society in the most underhand manner. First it was ‘SHOCK & HORROR’ that such a size was being forcefully promoted as the ‘in’ thing of the moment, especially, more unequivocally so in la la land, otherwise known as body obsessed LA. We’ve always known that Victoria Beckham looks to most, a very food deprived individual, that sour face and gaunt silhouette sauntering from swanky do to glitzy premier, barely so much as sniffing a canapé. No wonder she’s miserable! As we later learned throughout the rise and rise of the nought, Posh now has a waist identical to her young son Brooklyn. Brooklyn is seven.you do the maths.
Girls Aloud are another group of beautiful women once curvaceous and now analogous to a packet of lollipops – big heads stick bodies and even, even being tiny size’s 6, 8 and 10 complain that they feel fat, hate their thighs, their tummies, in short, their bodies. Which is insane because they are gorgeous girls with the whole world at their feet, yet still succumbing to the pressures us ordinary girls face – I think that perhaps, many celebrities are becoming brain washed. I’m serious! Cheryl Cole announced last week that Lily Allen was akin to a ‘Chick with a Dick’ and Lily took it as any one would – she had a little pity party on Myspace, posting blogs detailing that the comments cut so deeply she was researching cosmetic surgery. Doesn’t that just prove how distorted Cheryl’s idea on what constitutes an overweight body? And how Lily’s own perception must be changing into bordering on the unhealthy if a comment such as that leads to many tears, feelings of self loathing and the consideration of undergoing the knife.
If Lily Allen’s perfectly healthy frame is considered to be obese in Cheryl’s eyes, what does that say about the rest of us who aren’t built to be anything other than what we are? And Lily wasn’t the first girl to come under the body brigade. Our Charlotte received some of Chezza’s vitriol with reference to Charlotte’s Walkers Crisps ad – ‘Is that the one where she’s stuffing her face? Very apt.’
How does it make girls like Charlotte feel? Again, a fairly healthy size 12 (although some days I swear she looks more like a 14, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with that either!) What really confuses me is that I must be grotesquely overweight. I am a curvaceous size 16, big bubbies, large bottom and some worrying wine handles.
Because I read magazines like they’re going out of fashion, I see pictures of stick thin size 0 girls and I think, sh*t, I don’t want to be like that! So a nice size 12 or a 14 would be perfect, there’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion, but it appears that the trend for being a size 0 is continuing to spread, not just on the telly with various investigative journalists and ex pop stars attempting to show us mere mortals the damage such an extreme diet can do to our vital organs.
Unfortunately for many girls, we watched and we picked up diet tips, extreme ones. Next thing you know, we’ll be having programmes teaching us how to stick our fingers down our throats. But even with the small but prevalent backlash continuum, Louise Rednapp chirrups about how loathsome not eating is and how wrong it is to aspire to skeletal proportions, Posh’s camp drone on about how her eating habits may hinder her fertility, Beth Ditto, Kate Winslet, Gemma Atkinson – all championing the plight of pie and chips and pushing forward that having your cake and eating it is not as shameful as admitting you like being tied up with your own underwear and covered in candle wax, despite this, nothing has really changed.
Thin is in and the thinner you are, the better you are. The media still continuously throw contradictions our way, you’re fat at a size 12, obese at a sixteen, there’s concern when so and so is a tiny size 4. Size 8 is too thin, yet someone else looks fabulous at a size 6. What happened to size ten being the holy grail of the jean size and where exactly does it end?
Charlotte Church is a healthy size, but Michelle McManus, bless her, is not. Rick Waller is a fat arse, yes, but Fern Britton is plump and healthy. Why such scrutiny? Heat magazine, I admit, I love, but my best friend’s boyfriend made a funny and not too far off the mark statement which made up a part of the following conversation.
Charlotte: ‘I have this week’s Heat magazine…’
Danielle: ‘Oh! It’s really good this week, have you seen Jodie’s fake bubbies?’
Glynn: ‘Ah. Heat. Same magazine every week, they just change the date.’
He has a point, every week especially this year so far, it’s been celebrities in their bikinis looking good/looking fat/bubbies out/bums out/best bodies/worst bodies .it’s all about weight.
All I have to say is thank god I’m not a famous columnist / author just yet because I haven’t had time to save up for Pete the personal trainer down the gym to shout at my large bottom until it jiggles back to a size that won’t be sniggered at.
My boyfriends have always loved my body, so I really shouldn’t be fussed, but I just want to feel normal. And unfortunately now, normal seems to be a single sized number…doesn’t it?