Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Is being called full figured offensive?

Recently Christina Hendricks, better known as the Joan from Mad Men, refused to answer Australian Sun-Herald journalist Kate Waterhouse's question about her being an icon for full figure women. You can see the video and read more about it here.
She was heard saying off camera, "calling me full figured is just rude!"
Is it? Well I guess that's open to interpretation.
She's a beautiful women, her curves could make a grown man cry. She is by no means fat, overweight or even a little bit chubby. She is the picture of health. She is, however, bigger than the average Hollywood temptress. Although she isn't even what I would consider big.
Is she even full figured?
I think if she was one of the girls, compared to everyday Australians one wouldn't consider her as full figured, but in comparison to other the size 0's that frequent our television screens I guess she is societies idea of full figured.

Initially let me say, in the past she has spoken about her curves and been thankful that she is allowed to "be herself", when she had previously been told to lose weight for roles. You can read an article on that here.

So why now is she getting offended?

Well she's a fantastic actress. So being known for her curves before her skill would be frustrating I'm sure.

So I could see her being annoyed, but offended I personally don't get it.

I'd love it if she were loud and proud about her curves. She really would be a great icon for the 'full figure' women. Too often are over-weight women proud of their 'curves' which is great but they are not always advocates of a healthy lifestyle. Just because you're not a size zero doesn't mean you should be unhealthy.

I'm generalising obviously many larger women advocate a healthy lifestyle in favour of being bigger instead of starving yourself. Many size 0's, I'm sure, are unhealthy.
It's also mental health and self esteem, bigger women need to be confident and proud to not be a size 0. But they (we) can also be healthy!

I remember hearing a quote from Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip, that went along the lines of, "every time I lose a kg a eat a bucket of chicken!"
I love how confident she is in herself. I hate that every time her name is mentioned in the media a comment about her weight is soon to follow. I love her music and I love her attitude, but this is by no means healthy. It's great that she can be an idol for larger girls and show them not to be defined by their weight or societies ideals of body image. But a bucket of chicken, really Beth? That can't be good for the ol' ticker. 

Again with Adele. She is inspirational, she denotes comments about her weight and tells people to focus on her music. FANTASTIC. I mean she is a singer, not a nutritionalist. But this photo does make me question if she is the best role model for young girls:

She has some really good points. In fact from the line "I don't want to be on the cover of Playboy..." onwards I think this is a really inspirational quote. But the line, "I love food and hate exercise", coupled with the picture of her smoking makes me consider if she really is a good role model? I mean just because you're overweight it doesn't mean you're unhealthy, but the same goes for being underweight. Some people are naturally bigger, some naturally smaller and some (of both weight categories) are unhealthy. 

Overall, I think she is a wonderful role model and one of this generations most talented musicians. Isn't that the point her music not her weight? Also the "..." within the quotes means things have been cut out and this photo wasn't necessarily taken at the time of the quote. So it's a bit of editing that influences the way this quote makes me feel and to be honest with you, I love her anyway.

Back to Christina Hendricks. I understand her annoyance. No one wants to be defined by their body. I also recognise that it is not her responsibility to be an advocate for the curvy lady.
Yet I feel she could do a lot for the average size Australian women (12-14), and women around the world. Even though I'm certain she'd be smaller than a size 12. I'd love it if instead of introverting into herself at the queries of her curves she stood up and said, "I am not fat, I AM NORMAL! I am healthy, and I am a babe."
Because you are Christina, you really are.

I don't think being seen as full figure is something to be offended about. Defined as fat; yes- especially when Christina Hendricks in concerned, but full figured to me is not an offensive statement. I think she should be proud. Proud of her fantastic career, proud if her talent, proud of her beauty and proud of those curves.

What do you think?


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