Progressive politics, ideas & culture



This Magazine Staff

Beth Ditto.jpg
Whenever I hear media commentators bemoaning the scourge of childhood obesity, I always wince a little bit. Even though I understand how important it is for kids to get active (and for parents to help them eat nutritious, unprocessed food), the reality is that there are many factors that affect a person’s weight and girth. In many cases, poverty and food insecurity are an issue. In other cases, it’s a simple matter of genes. There are many of us who work hard to stay fit and healthy, but will never ever fit into a size 8 — which is the biggest size in Kate Moss’ new clothing line for Top Shop in the UK.
Still, I am so happy to see so many foxy and fierce women bucking the body-hating trend. Beth Ditto, the uber-cool lead singer of the indie band The Gossip recently posed in all her naked, curvy glory for NME Magazine. Feminist icon Germaine Greer praised Ditto for her courage, saying, “Her intention is to force acceptance of her body type, 5ft tall and 15 stone, and by this strategy to challenge the conventional imagery of women.”

Lilly Allen, the British pop star who achieved fame after posting her songs and writing on MySpace, has spoken out repeatedly about her desire to maintain her sanity in the face of celebrity body-obsession. She sings, “I want to eat spaghetti bolognese and not worry about it for days and days.”
But like many of us, Lilly had a “bad body day” a few weeks ago, and posted an entry on her MySpace page claiming that industry pressure had led her to emotional collapse, and that she’d spent a day researching gastric bypass surgery. Her fans responded in droves with words of encouragement.
When I’m having a “fat day,” I take my inspiration from the amazing Leslie Hall, fearless gold pants-wearing hip hop artist and keeper of the biggest Gem Sweater collection ever.
Or I watch this:

— Cross posted to Dykes Against Harper

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