On Raising Kids in the Celebrity Culture Where Being Fat Is the Ultimate Sin
As rock star Courtney Love turns 50 this week (an age many thought Kurt Cobain’s widow would never reach), what has she learned over her three decades in the public eye? Turns out the thing to fear is in fact: cheese! In an interview with Newscom.au, Love stated:
“I am 50 this week, that’s just reality and it’s fine. As long as you look alright, you can still perform. If you get really fat or lose all your hair, you can’t just put on a baseball hat like guys can. I got a little chunky because I love cheese but I have been on a diet.”
It’s a shocking statement that the press and public alike will forgive all sins – even those drug-related — but a few curves and your career is over. If you carry a few more pounds than the average Hollywood starlet, are you in the firing line? It would appear so. Feltz described how Harris allegedly put his hand up her skirt while she interviewed him during the “On the Bed” section of the show and how Harris’ wife Alwen had been in the room at the time. Since then she claims she has been targeted by “misogyny and hatred.” Speaking to the BBC London 94.9 radio station, she said: “The kind of reaction I have had, I found so upsetting. I was upset by the outpouring of misogyny and hatred [on social media] and you know ‘who would want to assault Vanessa Feltz’.” She described the abusive tweets, including one that said: ”Vanessa Feltz has accused Rolf Harris of touching her up. I think he thought that he was sedating a hippo on Animal Hospital to be fair.”
Feltz is famous for her struggles with her weight. Just this weekend I heard one child lash out to his sibling squabbling over a toy with, “You’re fat!” It was thrown out as the ultimate of all insults. My three-year-old daughter recently asked if her gorgeous round belly was “fat.” My three-year-old! How am I going to raise a girl in this climate — one where she will be championed for her looks and figure over her brains and talents? Then my eight-year-old son described how one child at school wasn’t a great runner and didn’t make the team because she was “fat.” He even puffed out his cheeks to demonstrate. Where did he learn this? I’ve never described anyone as fat or thin in front of my kids, never teased them or my husband about weight or made any suggestion that we should diet or lose weight. We eat rather healthy, but allow everything in moderation, as to not create a desperate need for anything denied. We encourage our kids to be active and involved in sports, but we never, ever talk about anyone being “fat.” I am careful not to criticize my own figure in front of them, even when my son asks: “Why is your belly wobbly, mummy?” (I explained it was the result of having two beautiful babies and neglected to mention my cake addiction!)
How do we challenge the notion that fat is bad, the worst of the worst? But reach for the cheese and gain some extra weight?