Monday, 22 April 2013

Another (Samantha) Brick in the wall

Samantha-You have been a very silly girl
Last week saw the writer Samantha Brick setting the world of social media alight yet again with a "Controversial" article. 
This time daftly stating  "Any woman who wants to stay beautiful needs to diet every day of her life.
I didn't wade in at the time, I find this new "femail" trend led by the likes of Liz Jones of shock bylines and content aimed at creating outrage on Mumsnet a bit tedious. It makes my inner feminist curl up in embarrassment and much as I refuse to reward my six year old's bad behaviour with attention I prefer not to add any more fuel to the flames. 
So I put my fingers in my ears and continued with my life. 
It bugged the hell out of me though. My dismissive stance just wasn't cutting it. The more I thought about what Samantha had written the more I was 
a) Angry as hell 
b) Sad for her and any woman who feels as she does.

I'm not going to link to the Daily Hate (just google if you need to read it in full) but here are a few choice quotes from said article

Samantha-think before you write

"I am 42 years old and have been on a permanent diet for the past 30 years. The logic is simple and irrefutable: any self-respecting woman wants to be thin, and to be thin you need to spend your life on a diet"

"For three decades, self-denial has been my best friend. And one of my biggest incentives is that I know men prefer slim women"

"There is nothing in life that signifies failure better than fat"

Like many of you I watched Samantha on celebrity Big Brother and defending her views on the drawbacks of being a beautiful woman on various daytime telly sofas. 
In real life she always comes across as intelligent, softer, less militant than her columns and Ive always suspected she is actively encouraged to "hate up" her output to ensure debate and articles (such as this one) continue to follow in her wake. 
Ms Brick has gone from obscurity to notoriety in a relatively short space of time and I would suggest that with access to a wide audience should come a sense of responsibly.

I'm sure when Samantha was tapping away at her keyboard in France chuckling to herself at all the twitchforks which would be headed her way she didn't for one moment consider that all over the world women are literally starving themselves to death in the grip of terrifying eating disorders. 

Trawling thinspiration sites and latching onto articles like hers as they take yet another laxative, brittle thin, organs going into failure, hair falling out in clumps.
Boasting that you managed to lose a considerable amount of weight living off a diet of Polo's and how you suspected the collage tutor who voiced concern was simply jealous as she was a size 16 doesn't make you sound like a steely movie star or supermodel (she cites Joan Collins and Kate Moss as her inspirations, seemingly missing the point that both these women make an absolute fortune from their appearance and are both incredibly beautiful and would remain so whatever size they were) you sound like someone battling an eating disorder.
Why am I so certain of this? because I recognise this woolly headed, brained starved of nutrients claptrap only too well. 
Like so many before me I suffered with eating disorders from around the age of 12 when a boy at school told me my bum was so big you could balance a teacup on it (thanks cockhead)  right through my twenties. 
I wasted years and years of my life self hating, fucked up, hungry and boring, yes boring because the thing Samantha and everybody else who spends their life on a diet doesnt realise is just how frigging dull you are. 
I can feel myself going into full on rant mode so instead will address a few points Ms Bricks includes in her article, a counter argument if you like.

"any self-respecting woman wants to be thin, and to be thin you need to spend your life on a diet"
I have self respect in spades and lots of bright lipstick

I have self respect, inner confidence and enough chutzpah to sink a battleship. In this respect I'm not unique. I have lots of other non thin friends who also have very healthy levels of self respect.I also have lots of slim friends who would prefer you didn't set yourself up as an ambassador for the slender. They would hate for anyone to think they share your views and to be honest quite dangerous diet tips.
My fatness brings all the boys to the yard

"Men Prefer thin Women"
Samantha you really are talking out of your handbag here. Just go and take a look down any shopping centre, bar, street and you will see thousands upon thousands of fat women with men who think they are the best thing since sliced bread. 
Women's bodies change throughout the years, some of us have children, we all go through the menopause, we might suffer illnesses. Our body shapes and fat mass indexes can go up and down like a brides nightie. Men know this and the vast majority couldn't give two fucks. Sure physical attraction is important but you are really doing guys a huge disservice here. I genuinely think its women who set impossibly high standards for themselves not men. 
Ive been a variety of shapes and sizes. Ive always attracted hot men, my husband is drop dead gorgeous. 
Samantha If you are with a man who makes you feel less attractive because you have put on a few pounds please pack your bags, go and stay with a good mate, get your head straight and move on.
Do I look like a failure to you nah didnt think so

"There is nothing in life that signifies failure better than fat"
Yes actually there is Samantha. Nothing in life signifies failure more than the need to make people feel shit about themselves. Calling the slender chick " a bag of bones" the plus size hottie "jabba" it should be as unacceptable as being derogatory to someone based on the colour of their skin. I remember you justifying your Daily mail columns on Big Brother by saying you were a writer who needed to earn a living. Sister I hear you, but its important to think about what you write and how it impacts on others. We are all ultimately judged by our deeds. Don't let yours be that you made Women feel crap about themselves. 

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