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Poor Fern Britton

Posted Jun 18 2008 6:09pm

For those who don’t know,Fern Brittonis a bit of a big deal in the UK. From what I gather she hosts a show similar to our US show Good Morning America or Today. Apparently, Ms. Britton had always boasted she was proud of her curvy, size 16 body (FYI a size 16 in the UK is a about a size 12 in the US). She’s been quoted as saying that life is too short to spend it dieting, even. However, at some point, she changed her mind and her viewers began to notice that she’d begun losing weight. She originally claimed she’d done so by changing her diet and cycling a lot… but then it came out that she had lap band surgery.

This poor woman. Initially, shewas criticized by somefor being “fat” and proud of her curves (btw, she has a husband who apparently is besotted with her and finds her gorgeous no matter what). Then, I’m sure, as she lost weight, people who applauded her message of body acceptance criticized her. Meanwhile, the diet junkies and cruel Brit press all but sainted her for losing some weight via dieting… and then she gets bashed when it comes how how she actually lost weight, though her co-workers swear she does cycle and eat healthy (she’d not have a ton of choice after surgery). Apparently, she eventook some time offbecause it caused such an uproar.

From what I’ve read on various message boards, the woman never tried to be a diet guru and even her statement admitted the surgery said that it was avery personal choice, one she’d not use her influence as a media figure to promote for others. In fact, as the below YouTube video shows, she has a rather good sense of humor about the whole thing.

Still, I can’t help but feel a bit badly for the poor woman. She made a very personal choice and it became a big news story that she was losing weight, and ultimately her personal choice was about to be made public and she chose to address the issue head on. As you can see in the video, the woman has hardly wasted away. She looks quite healthy, actually… and seems to have a fairly balanced view of the whole thing. I hope she actually does eat cake, because of course, I am fully supportive of cake eating!

We live in such a twisted world. It’s like Star Jones and her weight loss. Now, granted, Star Jones is an obnoxious big mouth, and she’d turned herself into something of a caricature with her antics and bad behavior… but still. Why do we all obsess over everyone’s weight?Colin Farrelleven faced this recently because he dropped a lot of weight to play a role that required it, and of course, since he’s a man,the talk is of drugsand not anorexia (even though men DO become anorexic and develop eating disorders). Though almost every report states that the word was he’d lost weight for his movie role, and despite the actor himself saying he lost weight under medical supervision, the speculation and judgment continues.

Of course, there is an undeniable concern that when you have actors losing or gaining weight for movie roles, it sends the wrong message. Remember how some insipid fashion magazine (was it Vanity Fair or Harpers?) refused to have Renee Zellweger on the cover while she was still “fat” after shooting Bridget Jones? While trying to find the magazine, I instead stumbled uponthis NY Times editorial- an apology from the editor of said magazine for pulling the photo. It’s sad, when you read it, and wonder… did the woman pull it, in part, because she was trying to prove she belonged in the world of fashion when she herself was probably right around what Bridget Jones might weigh???

People can oversimplify the movement of bloggers in the Fatosphere or those of us involved in a more broad sense of body acceptance. They can say that we can’t possibly be happy fat…

To them I answer, how many of us are happy thin? How many women (and to a lesser extent, men) are truly happy with their bodies as they are today?

I’d rather be fat and happy, then desperately struggling in vain to be someone I’m not… to be someone that I still wouldn’t be happy being.

I’m all in favor of being healthy. I just don’t think you have to be a size 4 to achieve that, and furthermore, considering the drastic measures so many take to get there, I doubt most of the size 4s of this world ARE truly healthy.

I’ll say it again. Thin doesn’t equal healthy. Thin doesn’t equal happy. Thin doesn’t equal beauty.

Come on, people… wake up and realize that we’d all be a hell of a lot happier if we let go of these unrealistic expectations and ideals of beauty and health.



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