I was actually really excited to read this. Learning how to “fail” (or how to view failure as productive) is important. It was disappointing to realize that the author did not intend to apply argument to the pressures placed on women’s bodies.
Feeling like a failure because of what your body looks like is just as harmful, stressful, and negative as failing in other aspects of your life, maybe even more so because as you move on from other failures, you will never move on from your body. Fatphobic humour isn’t a funny way to make your point.
This article does serve, though, as an excellent example of how to “fall flat on your face.”
… All of them worry that they need to lose 10 pounds.
It’s terribly frustrating for me to witness this endless second-guessing. The problem is, I do it, too. Despite having written five books, I worry that I have not written the right kinds of books, or that perhaps I have dedicated too much of my life to writing, and have therefore neglected other aspects of my being. (Like, I could really stand to lose 10 pounds.)
Fancy expensive designer shops are out for me as I’m a size 18, sometimes 20, and I therefore do not count as a woman to them…
… Then I went onto Twitter and it was like a pin to my excitable red balloon. Literally thousands of messages from people criticising my appearance. I was fat and ugly as per usual. My dress (the one that caused ooohs in a department store fitting room?) was destroyed by the masses. I looked like a nana, my dress was disgusting, was it made out of curtains, why was I wearing black shoes with it. I cried. I cried in the car.
And that wasn’t the end. The next day, I was in newspapers pilloried for what I was wearing. I was discussed and pulled apart on Lorraine.
I’m sorry. I thought I had been invited to such an illustrious event because I am good at my job. Putting clothes on is such a small part of my day. They may as well have been criticising me for brushing my teeth differently to them.
Yes, there were lovely messages from my fans between the hate but the hate was dominant and made me upset at first and then furious. Why does it matter so much what I was wearing? Why did no one ask my husband where he got his suit from? I felt wonderful in that dress. And surely that’s all that counts. I made a decision the following day that should I ever be invited to attend the Baftas again, I will wear the same dress. To make the point that it doesn’t matter what I wear; that’s not what I’m being judged on.
You can read Sarah Millican’s full essay here.
Sure, it’s a relevant hook for a fashion magazine. But it’s also bullshit. This woman was the first American journalist kicked out of Nazi Germany, thanks to unflattering coverage of Hitler. That isn’t mentioned until the second page. When Thompson’s many accomplishments are outlined, they’re sprinkled with lines like this: ‘Despite all her professional accomplishments, Thompson failed in one arena: She still could not find the perfect dress.
Read more here.