Yesterday, my gorgeous Mum came to visit me in London town, and I had the most wonderful day. We did some lovely touristy things – visiting Buckingham Palace, strolling down Carnaby Street, and wandering through St. James’s Park. It was awesome. I was happy.
And then this happened, and my mood was ruined within seconds.
There I was, strolling home with a smile on my face – and the next thing I know, a cheap mag has given me whiplash by glaring at me from a newsstand and making me do a particularly painful double take.
Now, I know these kinds of magazines are tripe. I know that. They’re the trashy, vile, nasty end result of a horrible shame-culture that goes out of its way to make us feel like crap on a daily basis. But more than anything, these kinds of headlines make me mad as hell.
I can’t go into extensive detail over what the article says, because I didn’t buy it. I’m not giving them my £2.10 or however much it is, because I’m not investing any of my hard-earned dollar in perpetuating this crap. However, I think it’s probably safer for everyone that I don’t read it, because otherwise… Well, let’s just say you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
More angry, rather.
Anywho, this is crap. Do you know why this is crap? Two reasons.
Firstly: we need to get over our thing about the scales. I’ve said this enough times. I’m not going into that side of it today.
But secondly: if we were inclined to care about the scales – and let’s face it, enough of us are, no matter how many times I throw my toys out of the pram – how could we possibly ever know what these magazines say is true?
Here’s a clue. I’m pretty sure it’s not.
Here’s the scenario. You’re a celebrity. A journalist – for some reason – manages to ask you what you weigh. You think about it, and then you shave off a couple of pounds because you don’t want to be the fat one, and boom. Done. I’m not going to lie to you guys. If I were one of these celebrities, under constant pressure to fit in to the ideal and constantly judged by their thinness, I would definitely do that.
But that’s never going to be the situation, is it?
Instead – if we were to assume these “journalists” weren’t just plucking numbers out of the air (which I’m pretty sure they are), let’s consider scenario no. 2: namely, the journalist asks the celebrity’s PR people. Or rather, they ask one of the seventeen levels of PR people between Kate Moss and a journalist for Now magazine.
PR person No. 1 has a guess. PR person No. 2 shaves a couple of pounds off. PR person No. 3 shaves a couple of pounds off that. By the time this game of Chinese whispers gets to the journalist, the aforementioned celebrity has managed to magically lose fifteen pounds (before the journalist adjusts it a little more, and their editor takes a couple of pounds off for good measure.)
And then it’s printed, and then a healthy, normal, 140lb girl reads it and starts to think she needs to lose twenty pounds to fit in, so promptly heads to the bathroom to force herself to throw up. Because, you know, 10 stone makes you comparable to Miss Piggy.
Good work, Now magazine. You’ve just ruined another young girl’s confidence, and you never know – she might end up with an eating disorder for the rest of her life. She could even end up as messed up as the endlessly attention seeking Samantha Brick, who proudly declared (among other atrocities I can’t even bring myself to quote):
Bitter experience taught me that the world pays no attention to dumpy girls.
Little wonder that in my mid-teens I decided to lose my puppy fat, transforming myself as I lived, for the best part of a year, on Marmite on toast (no butter).
The first summer I felt thin coincided with a family holiday abroad. While this provided an opportunity to show off my svelte new figure, I had to watch my calorie intake even more carefully.
I fainted with hunger on one occasion – a minor hitch, eclipsed by the fact that I was being asked out on lots of dates.
At college I invented the Polo diet. Eating a pack of mints for breakfast and another for lunch, I could make each one last hours.
This sort of shit (and you’ll have to forgive the swearing that litters this post, but I just can’t help it in times like this) is unacceptable. It’s misleading, it’s irresponsible, and it’s wrong.
Unfortunately, I can’t stop it alone. I can’t do anything, really, other than keep getting angry about it. I’m gon’ keep on doing that, though, so don’t worry about that.
However, I think we all need to get a little bit more angry about it. Actually, screw a “little bit.” We all need to start getting damned furious – because even if you’ve got the resources to deal with this onslaught of continuous, soul-destroying drivel, other people haven’t. So many people fall for this crap. I’ve had people argue back to me, when I tell them not to worry about their weight, that Kate Middleton weighs seven stone, ergo they are fat.
And these are smart people. This really worries me. They are so much better than that – but because they’re not thinking about what they’re consuming, not in terms of food but in terms of media discourse, they’re ending up all screwed up on the inside.
I hate this. Hate it.
I say to you now: stop thinking so much about what you’re putting in your mouth, and start thinking more about what you’re letting into your head. You don’t have to put up with this crap, because the second you become aware that it’s crap, the spell is broken. Then, you get to be outside of it, like me.
And you know what? It’s awesome out here, away from the constant steady bullshit smog sent out by the Daily Mail, Now Magazine and all the rest of these shame-mongers.
So join me. I promise you’ll be happier.