Wednesday, December 05, 2007

nigella and the weight fascists

in this article, the times talks to nigella lawson (and also a little to vanessa feltz) about the perils of being comfortable with a more rubenesque body. shane watson says:

"“It isn’t great being described as overweight,” Nigella tells me over the phone, matter of factly. “Maybe I have put on weight, or maybe it’s a bad camera angle. But in real life, this is normal size. “Everyone is so critical,” she continues. “All must be sacrificed to the great god of skinny. You must say no to everything. Life has to be pretty fabulous, surely, if you can afford to turn down occasions of pleasure?”"

what a load of poo says the ravaj eloquently! nigella - overweight? what a load of rubbish! enough, however, of this philosophising. the quote in the article that stood out for me was:

"“I associate thinness with dying. My mother had real eating issues. When she had cancer, she said, ‘This is the first time I have eaten without worrying,’ and that is chilling. Something clicked, and I vowed never to say, ‘I am not allowed that.’ ”"

i remember reading a book by nigella's late husband, john diamond, describing his experiences with the cancer that eventually killed him. at one point, he described a moment of joy when he was thin enough to fit into his wife's jeans. i thought to myself, gosh, at least if i am dying, the upside is that i will be able to eat as much of my mother's cranberry cheesecake as i would like. and then there is the movie 'chocolat', where judi dench's character, a diabetic, decides to go out with one last feast - a chocolate dinner where every dish contains some of the dread sweet. again i thought, that makes total sense! i also thought once more of my mother's cranberry cheesecake - it really is that good.

nu - the writer's main thrust turns out to be that women are creating this problem for themselves:

"There is a lot of confusion about this weight fascism. We blame fashion. We blame models. We blame ageism and advertising and celebrity. But who stands to gain from ostracising women because they are too curvaceous or too thin? Other women, that’s who: women who mistrust their own sex and who lack confidence in themselves."

that is a whole other debate. for now, i am just working on finding a safe boundary between the killer threat that sugar is to me as a diabetic, and the struggle to love my body for exactly what it is right now. after all, despite my best efforts to the contrary, my body has kept me alive. it has kept faith with me rather than giving up. surely that is an excellent reason to love it? surely that is an excellent reason for so many of us :-)

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