Why bullying someone about their weight is fuelling anorexia……

When one celebrity slings an insult at another, like most of us, I typically glaze over and page turn in extreme whatever-mode, but the kerfuffle caused by the crumbling Karl Lagerfeld calling golden child Adele fat, managed to capture my oh-so transient attention, when Five Live Radio informed me that  there was actually going to be a debate ~ imagine! Someone arguing the case that Mr Lagerfeld was right to draw our attention to the fact that we cannot see Adele’s bones through her skin, that must-have celeb quality ~ how could I resist?

Have you seen the two spreads on Adele in Vogue? [US March 2012 and UK Oct 2011] interviewed in the UK by the redoubtable Christa de Souza with whom funnily enough, I  share a connection via our sons. How undeniably beautiful is Adele lounging across Vogue’s pages?

Perhaps it was the sight of Adele gracing not one, but two Vogue front covers, coupled with her offensively clean sweep at the Grammy’s that has got up Karl Lagerfeld’s ample nose, a goodly number of Vogue pages on both sides of the Atlantic,  devoted to a grossly over-talented, non-thin British woman? That’s a bit radical for Mr Lagerfeld and sadly, I can see how it has rocked his world, peopled as it is, exclusively  with starving, over-height, pubescent models. A real woman amongst such nubiles is clearly wrong – wrong – wrong. Vogue what were you thinking? You have not done this in the UK since 1997, [correct me if I am wrong] when you featured the then proper-sized Sophie Dahl.

Personally, I have bought several copies of each Vogue and plastered them all over my inspiration wall. Bless you Adele for declaring your pride in representing the Average British Woman ~ long may you continue to do so.

And shame on you Mr Lagerfeld for attempting to weight-bully Adele, in the real world as opposed to the suspended reality of fashion, she is loved for being a real person, with a real sized body, with which we can identify, appreciate and admire. We love her more for being a normal sized person expressing real emotions, this is a concept Mr Lagerfeld, that I suspect you simply do not understand.

But seriously…………..

Five Live’s invite was just too good to miss, so I agreed to contribute to the debate, but not before they patiently explained to me that when it comes to body fat there is apparently a whole movement out there who believe that it is a good thing  to accost and verbally attack anyone they perceive as fat, ‘for their own good’
Well that explains a lot. I was scratching my head over the phenomenal rise of the weight-bully, silly me, I didn’t realise there was a fat-phobic movement out there that believes name calling is not only acceptable, but beneficial to the victim.

Perhaps I should warn you if you are a member of this weight-bullying  movement, that the only good that I can see that might come of it, is that your victim may well decide to slap you round your busy body head ~ for your own good of course, just to bring you to your senses and assist you in hesitating before you accost yet another random fat person.

Proclaiming that anyone is too fat or too thin is weight-bullying. Public figures indulging in weight-bullying [please note Mr Lagerfeld] are giving endorsement to the more generic weight-bullying which has become acceptable behaviour in our everyday life. Weight bullying in the workplace in the playground, in the home and in the media is truly pandemic.

My concern is that there are 1.1 million people in the UK who have an eating disorder [1] The official figures say that 5% of girls aged 3yrs to 16yrs in the UK have been diagnosed as anorexic. The undiagnosed, wrestling with the condition alone, may number three times that figure.  20% of those diagnosed will die, only 60% recover, there are no figures for relapse and the remaining 20% continue to suffer into adulthood. [2]

I wonder if anyone from the public humiliation movement can explain to me please why we now have 3 year old girls being treated for anorexia? How do you possibly get a three year old child obsessively starving themselves because they are terrified of being fat? Tell me how?

You think calling someone fat is helpful? just for their own good? or can be dismissed as just a throw away quip, a misinterpreted celeb comment, or worse a joke? Talk to the parents of those anorexic children, as they helplessly watch their child in a life or death struggle with fat-phobia, you may well change your mind.

1. http://www.disordered-eating.co.uk
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/medical_notes/187517.stm