In yesterday's edition of The Times, I came across an article ('Give married couples a tax break? Don't get me started') interviewing Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone. A quick swoop of the eyes suggested that the article looked like yet another feminist argument. I persevered, however, and found myself nodding in agreement to several points that she made, including the one about tax breaks. I almost began to surprise myself, as anything feminist-related usually puts me to sleep. As soon as I started to doubt myself, though, I quickly disagreed with something she said that gave me the final push towards writing a blog post that I've been pondering over for too long.
Lynne mentioned the recent media backlash (I just think it happened to be a slow news day) of Karl Lagerfeld calling Adele a "little too fat". Lynne said: "it was a disgraceful remark that shows how far we have we still have to go on the issue. Adele is gorgeous in every way." I don't condone what Karl said, but I disagree with the reaction that followed.
It's fair to say that the media will never have their viewpoint straightened out - they accuse many models and celebrities of being too skinny, whilst simultaneously having them monopolise magazines and advertising. Similarly, overweight people are applauded for 'being comfortable in their own skin', when we all know that being overweight is a target for the paparazzi and their zoom lenses. Also, the good old media constantly publish stories about what we should be eating and doing in order to be as healthy as possible.
Despite Karl's comment obviously not coming from a health perspective, there was a lot of reportage over the backlash of his insult, predominantly made by fellow overweight people, I can only assume. Female celebrities are constantly targeted as being too skinny. Yet, there is no great vocal surge of skinny people defending this.
The issue of women and weight, as with this Adele versus Lagerfeld saga, has rocketed way out of proportion because others want to defend her, and themselves, for sitting on the unhealthy side of the BMI chart.
The truth is that, whilst I love Adele's voice, and agree wholeheartedly that she is beautiful, she is hovering on the side of overweight. Thanks to the media and film industry, being of a weight any larger than that of small child is considered 'curvy'. However distorted this is, those who refer to Adele as curvy are just putting a generous spin on chubby. Putting it plainly and simply, being that weight isn't healthy and shouldn't be defended and condoned, especially by female MPs trying to do what's right for women.
In the interview, Lynne mentioned the infamous 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels', once uttered in-between cigarettes and coffee by Kate Moss. She said that this was an irresponsible thing to say, but being overweight is just as unhealthy. Listening to anything a supermodel has to say could bring out a predisposed eating disorder, of course. But thinking it's okay to be overweight, and aspire to those who are, is how we got ourselves into the obesity crisis we're in.