When Lady Journalists Attack

Published September 8, 2009 by Fat Heffalump

Well, have I got something for you tonight! This article was published in the Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia) today with the dramatic title of “Plus-size Models Doing Big Girls No Favour”.

In it, the author, Susie O’Brien suggests that the increase in plus-size models in the fashion market are not a good idea because it gives the impression that it’s ok to be fat. She also criticises television shows like Drop Dead Diva and the fact that retailers are starting to provide fashionable clothing for plus-sized women. To quote her directly:’

But there are also many larger people who are just plain fat, and who would be better off being encouraged to lose weight rather than always be told it’s ok to be overweight.

Now firstly, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never experienced being “always told it’s ok to be overweight”. ALWAYS told that Ms O’Brien? I am wondering where you got that idea. Perhaps it was the people on the street who yell encouragingly at fat women “Go for it sister!! Rock that hot fat body you sexy thing!” Or the constant news pieces about how AWESOME it is that there is an obesity crisis going on in our country. Maybe it’s those doctors that tell us that our wonderful fat bodies protect us from disease and illness?
Oh hang on… that’s in the reverse universe! Silly me. *eyeroll* Ms O’Brien dear, back to this universe hmmm?
She then goes on to say:

But it’s time to get real – fat people may be happier but they’re also digging their graves with a fork, and we’re all paying for it.

Firstly, last time I looked I was a tax payer, in fact a taxpayer that has one of the highest quotas in relation to my income, because as a single, woman without children who works full time, and has private health cover, I’m not collecting anywhere from the Government for the tax I pay. So am I not entitled to a piece of my tax dollar coming back to me? Fat people pay tax too y’know Ms O’Brien.
And secondly, here we go again, the old fat people shame trick. All of us fatty pigs that are going to die and make the rest of “normal society” pay their hard earned dollars for us to be happy and fat.
Now, they didn’t publish my comment that I left on this article, probably because it makes sense, but what I asked is this – If shaming and pressuring people into thinness actually worked to make the “obesity crisis” go away, wouldn’t we have seen evidence of this by now? After all, Westerners have been heavy into the diet thing for some decades now. I know that my Grandmother has been dieting and felt shame about her weight all my life, and as you know I’m past 35. I daresay she was doing so before I was born. It was really the 50’s and 60’s that saw the diet/body obsession culture kick off, and then it kind of went nuclear in the 80’s. So if all these decades of shame and body obsession and thin = beauty actually worked, wouldn’t the levels of obesity in our culture be decreasing, not increasing? Wouldn’t the average be smaller than in the past, than larger?
Perhaps, just perhaps, by empowering people with confidence, strong self esteem, and a sense of achievement and a place in society, they’re more likely to be productive, healthy members of that society? They’re more likely to have the confidence to take on a productive role in society, to be active and willing participants in life rather than shutting themselves away in shame and embarrassment.
I certainly think so.
But what I think sums up Ms O’Brien perfectly is this sentence.

Losing weight is hard work. It takes sacrifice and effort. As a mother of three in my late 30’s with a new gym membership, I know this first-hand.

I think I understand. Perhaps Ms O’Brien doesn’t like her own body. If she doesn’t like her own body, how dare anyone that she considers fatter than her like theirs? Everyone should put in all that sacrifice and effort that she is. Let alone all that money she spent on her fancy gym membership. Perhaps if Ms O’Brien stopped worrying about how everyone else is living their lives, and focused on letting go of her own body issues, she might realise that it’s none of her business.

13 comments on “When Lady Journalists Attack

  • right on! i cant believe the kind of crap that some journalists go on with. that article was nothing more than an anti-fat rant written by some self loathing whipped by society woman and published by the idiots at the courier mail. bravo courier mail. just adding some more fuel to the fire that is the horrible standards that exist in society. WELL DONE.

  • I think that's what I find most offensive about the article, the way she cloaks her discriminatory attitude in a false concern for "society". She's not concerned about the health of modern society, she's concerned that people who are fatter than her might actually feel good about themselves when she clearly doesn't.

  • Wow, the mere existence of plus size models wouldn't send a message that it's ok to be fat anyway, since most plus size models don't top a size 14. The best you could get from that would be that it's ok to be moderately not skinny, provided you're still white, traditionally beautiful, with an hourglass figure. I'll be over here at size 30 waiting for the fashion industry to notice I even exist.

    (I hope this doesn't double post.)

  • I hate to sound a little bit oldschool in all of this but why is gender made so central in all of this?
    this random factiod
    "Alarmingly, a new Australian study of more than 30,000 people shows obese and morbidly obese men are less depressed and less suicidal than those of a normal weight."
    Seemed completely out of place in an article designed as thinly veiled attempt to bash fat WOMEN.
    Perhaps if gender got taken out of the equation (As it sometimes is in these anti-fat tropes) then the body issue/self esteem damage that these things cause might be reduced.

    If body image wasnt pushed as a woman's prime commodity (and say ability or intelligence was regardless of sex) then people could focus on health without all the fashion crap.

  • My comment didn't get published either. I pointed out that fat isn't a behaviour, don't cloak your fat hate in faux concern for our 'health', the usual. Nope, inappropriate for publishing.

    However, some guy asking "why do you have to bow down to fat people all the time" gets on there.


    Frances @ Corpulent

  • Thank you all for your comments.

    Ms Heathen, you are totally right. And even when they do find these beautiful Size 14's, they're still not good enough so they airbrush the shit out of the photos.

    Twilight – I agree. You never hear this argument about the men in media. It's just simply not mentioned. And it's sad that women perpetuate it.

    Frances – they're not publishing any comments that are valid, articulate or rational – that would be proving that fat people aren't stupid and lazy. There is a reason I stopped reading The Courier Mail about two years ago.

  • Good lord. Stick a cork in her for crying out loud. That's the largest load of bull I've read in a long time. (I mean the journalist) Though while looking around on the internet I have found similar articles and the like. It disgusts me that such things are actually published.

  • The saddest thing is that people read that crap and believe it.

    Sigh… This is why we gotta keep blogging and writing people.

  • Honestly. Does she really call herself a journalist? She is so out of touch. Susie, educate yourself, please. Otherwise we'll be the ones paying for it. And I'd rather pay for a fat woman's medical than have you spread your ignorant garbage everywhere.

  • Hey, Sleepy!

    My comment actually MADE IT!

    "Oh… so it's ok to blast people who aren't what YOU want to see. Nice going, Ms Author. I can remember a time when women weren't allowed to act, own property or businesses or vote… now it's not what sex you are but how you look that will determine if you're "allowed" to feel good about yourself. I am not allowed to see models that are more like me because *you* don't want to see them. Guess what? I'm tried of seeing models that have surgical augmentations to get what God DIDN'T give them. Boobs, cheeks, lips, liposuction, etc., etc.,

    No one is MAKING you look at those models. No one makes me look at models that are so thin a stiff breeze could break them in two. Thank you for telling 30% of the population that they're just not worth allowing on the catwalk or tv screen because YOU don't want to see them.

    Posted by: BlackWidow Nor 1:27pm September 08, 2009"

    There ya go.

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