Thursday, September 15, 2005

Back off the big girls

THERE IS little in the world that makes me happier than curling up under the duvet on a windy winter morning with a hot cup of tea, some warm buttered toast and Phil and Fern for company. (Phil and Fern being on the TV of course- and not actually in the bed with me).

Watching This Morning is a wee bit of chicken soup for the soul- it doesn't challenge you in any way- it just washes over you making you feel instantly that wee bit brighter.
When it comes to Fern and Phil erupting into fits of giggles, I can't help but laugh along too and I get the distinct impression that sharing a bottle of wine and a chocolate cake with La Britton would be the best of craic.
I see Fern Britton as a kind of "every woman". She has been there, done that, bought the T-shirt and made the documentary about it. But while she enjoys her success as a presenter on TV, you just get the impression she doesn't see her work as anything other than a laugh a minute.
So it annoys me when people choose to attack her simply because of her weight. It would seem there are people out there, even in these so-called enlightened times who just have to act the playground bully and do their best to find faults in people and highlight them for the world to see.
Last week one of the weekly glossies printed pictures of Fern in her bikini enjoying a family holiday. Now, fair enough Fern is never going to give J-Lo a run for her money in the figure stakes- but she was grinning in the photos- clearly not giving a rat's bum about what people thought of her.
Of course, she was berated for being a big lump of a thing and had to fight back with responses along the lines of "big is beautiful" and she would rather be "big and jolly than skinny and miserable".
You would have thought that would have been enough to call off the hounds, but no. Someone had to persist. While reading the Daily Mail (not my usual read I hasten to add) I came across an article by Amanda Platell.
Ms. Platell asserted that Fern Britton simply had to be lying to say she was happy at her current size. She followed that comment up with a suggestion that the bubbly presenter was actually a selfish oul bint (or words to that effect) for "choosing" to be obese and risking her life.
And there, you see, is where my blood started to boil. Because, as far as I'm aware, none of us "chooses" to be overweight or obese. I didn't wake up this morning and walk out of my house to say (ala that wee man from 'The Fast Show') "Today I'll will mostly be a big lump of a girl"- and I'm pretty sure Fern Britton didn't either.
Now I will concede, when the mid afternoon lull hit today I did in fact choose a chocolate brownie over a piece of fruit and I have on occasion been known to choose to eat a bag of chips rather than a bowl of pasta- but nowhere along the line have I made a conscious decision to eat myself into oblivion.

Matter of choice
If it was a simple matter of choice, I would be a size 14. My hair would be naturally highlighted. My shape would be more hourglass than pear shaped and I would feel confident to strip off in communal changing rooms.
|'m pretty sure that give the choice, Fern Britton would like to do the same- but it's not that easy. Like me I'm sure she has always been on the heavier side of things. Funnily enough just feeling that little bit bigger than your friends and colleagues can have enough of an impact to make you convince yourself you in fact a big fat lump of a thing so that you don't really realise that extra weight is creeping on here and there.
And then, being women, we have the added joys of pregnancy and the weight gain that goes with that to contend with- and trust me from bitter experience I can tell you that juggling motherhood, a full time job and attempts to get to the gym can be hard going.
I'm sure that Fern, along with myself, know our weight isn't exactly our healthy ideal. But we don't need people like Amanda Platell telling us we are a drain on the NHS because of it, or that we are putting our needs before those of our family- because quite frankly it's not true.
It has taken me 12 months to lose a paltry 19lbs. But that said, as I swim or walk five times a week I'm quite sure my fitness levels would put some skinny minnies to shame. I've bravely overcome my dread of wearing a swimming suit to take the wee man swimming, or do my own 40 length sprint five times a week. I am a frequent figure on the so-called "Fat Arse Boulevard" (The river walk to Sainsbury's) and we have just had to retire one buggy due to overuse by me and walking partner Joseph.
To look at me though, as you would looking at Fern Britton, you would just see a "grand big girl". You may, like Amanda Platell, want to make me think I should be ashamed of who I am and what I look like. But you don't actually know me. So to all those skinnies who like to judge us bigger girls, please remember you don't know about our own struggles, our victories or whether or not we are happy. So unless you have walked a mile in our oversized jeans you should really keep your opinions to yourself.


Lainey said...

Here Here, Lola! I applaude your comments and could not agree more. Keep up the great posts- loving your work.

pample. x

Blues said...

You go Girl. Fern's got more personality in her little finger than Cat Deeley and her ilk put together. I think your blog just became one of my new favourites.

Anonymous said...

Keep it going Lola, your blog has me in stitches sometimes ;)

Liz said...

Fantastic article hon, one of your best yet.

And 19lb in 12 months is NOT to be sniffed at girl, it's bluddy brilliant!

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