The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Well, obviously

Let’s play fatshaming bingo, shall we?

  • The immediate inference that being fat is clearly bad.
  • Using a model who is “not especially fat”, because clearly you’d never want to put an actual fatty on the cover where people might see her. Because: Gross.
  • And especially not in togs. OMG.
  • Vague, possibly spurious, scientific claims.

Don’t believe me about that first one? How’s this from North & South’s FB page?

Is sugar the new fat – and will it cause the next wave of heart disease? (No, our cover model isn’t especially fat but, like many of us, you can bet she’d like to lose a few kilos. What she probably doesn’t know is how much “hidden” sugar she’s eating.) In the new North & South –Donna Chisholm reveals some surprising new discoveries on why we gain weight.

So. North & South is clearly the new Cosmo. Vague, threatening claims about weight on the cover, and references to “breaking up”. Chuck in something about a blowjob, and the transition will be complete.

I mean, do they actually know this woman would “like to lose a few kilos”? To me, she looks strong and healthy and beautiful. But, then, what would I know, being a fatty? And OF COURSE, it’s a woman. Men aren’t fat, right? It’s only women who suffer from obesity. I’ve only skimmed the article, because I value my mental health, and smarter people than me can debunk the claims therein. Also, what I care about is how this issue is presented. But as far as I could tell, this is a stock photo. So HOW DARE someone suggest she might want to lose a few kilos?

Inside the article, there’s a few more photos. A (male) researcher, and a dude who has cut sugar out of his diet. And another stock photo of an overweight woman, back to the camera, hunched over the scales she is standing on. So: Men, capable of talking about weight. Women, just used to illustrate the story.

And this. Everyone’s favourite.

The ubiquitous headless fatty. Sigh.

Want to bet, based on the pose, she’s smiling, or pouting, or something other than looking ashamed of herself? And we couldn’t have that, could we?

11 responses to “Well, obviously

  1. Deborah October 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    One thing I noticed was that all the pictures of men in the article were of men who were (a) fully clothed and (b) slim and (c) characterised as professionals or doing something interesting and (d) named in the article. The two pictures of women were of women who were (a) in underwear, and (b) either head turned away or headless and (c) just there as illustrations rather than depicting anyone who was doing any research and (d) unnamed.

  2. Tamara October 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Today’s print NZ Herald has a reference to an article about population weight issues with a picture of a woman in underwear, looking not like a skinny model. I can’t bear to open the paper now. Rage.

    • tallulahspankhead October 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Yes. I have also seen that cover. I am also refusing to open the paper, in order to protect the inanimate objects in the room.

  3. Chloe October 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Full disclosure: I haven’t read the article. But I have looked into the connection between sugar and metabolic syndrome (heart disease, diabetes etc.) and there may be some validity to the claims of a link. Please don’t completely disregard all the content just because in this article it has been delivered from a fat shaming point of view.
    This goes far beyond weight to the major health problems of our time. They have just missed the point.

    • QoT October 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Chloe, I don’t “completely disregard” the “content” of articles like this because they’re fat-shaming. I disregard them because they’re bunk.

      There’s also a “connection” between ice-cream sales and murder, you know. (Hint: in summer, it gets hot, which is why no one tries to claim ice cream is inherently connected to homicide.) I recommend Junkfood Science’s Obesity Paradox posts for actual scientific information on the subject.

      • tallulahspankhead October 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

        Thank you, lovely. I didn’t have the energy.

      • Chloe October 19, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        Perhaps I understated my position. There is strong scientific evidence that the over consumption of fructose, a major component of everyday sugar, greatly increases a persons risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
        There is no need to jump to extreme examples to ridicule my comment.

        • tallulahspankhead October 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm

          Maybe that’s true. I don’t know. But maybe the person in the best position to make informed judgements about my health is me, and my doctor. Not a 6 page spread in a magazine, which admits is talking about science that’s not fully understood, and that treats women as objects rather than actual participants in the story.

          • Chloe October 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm

            I didn’t suggest that the article was justified in making judgments on anyone and their health. Just that some of the content they are referring to may have validity and it would be a shame if that was missed just because this particular article was crap.

          • tallulahspankhead October 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm

            But all we have to go on is that this particular article, and almost every one like it, are crap.

            Because we’re being fed stuff every day that fat = bad. That fat = unhealthy and stupid and lazy. And that is always gendered. So you’ll have to forgive us if we’re a little bored of that.

        • QoT October 20, 2012 at 11:21 am

          There is strong scientific evidence that the over consumption of fructose, a major component of everyday sugar, greatly increases a persons risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

          But even if that’s true – and all you’ve stated there is a “greatly increased risk”, and I’d advise reading the end of this post on that topic – it still doesn’t mean all fat people have metabolic disorders, that all fat people need to stop consuming sugar, that thin people consuming sugar are magically immune from developing health concerns due to their sugar intake.

          I’m personally quite happy to “miss” any and all “heath advice” which isn’t actually coming directly from my own doctor (who’s already been vetted as someone who actually assesses my HEALTH and not my body size.)

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