Alright. I can’t believe I did this but…
I’ve been reading/watching a lot lately about women in the public eye who are implicitly arguing that they’re “brave” for being a few kilos heavier than the average fashion model. Like, not being thin automatically makes them flawed, and therefore “brave” for daring to live their lives in the public eye. What frustrates me about these women, is not that they’re way thinner than me (and thus sort of implying that if they think they’re some kind of fat yet successful miracle, then I must be a sea monster with no hope), but that despite their success, they still see weight as a major contributing factor to their value.
How sad. How sad, that after becoming admired trailblazers for women, they still feel the need to talk about their size, as if mentioning it is their responsibility to cancel out some kind of elephant in the room.
It shouldn’t even be an issue. When you are spectacularly intelligent and talented, your appearance and weight should not even be an issue. I know as a woman, it’s not easy to say that. As a woman, even if your appearance isn’t an issue to you, it is to everyone else. I get that. But, fuck everyone else. We need women in the entertainment industry willing to put their intelligence and talent ahead of their looks. It may not be easy, but if we want values to change, it’s necessary.
And how do we change those values? By being un-fucking-apologetic. By refusing to explain. If you find that you’re successful and a woman and not “conventionally” attractive, don’t give it a second freaking thought.
Your body is your history. It’s your battleground. It’s what makes you who you are, and you wouldn’t be as intelligent or as successful or as funny as you are without it.
I survived a childhood filled with abandonment and trauma. Then I survived mental health struggles and eating disorders. I had weight loss surgery and continue to question that decision. And in the end of all of that, this is me. This is my body. I have stretch marks. I have flabby skin. I have a belly. I have saggy boobs and I’m covered in freckles that made me cry when I was younger.
But I’m also a best-selling author. A famous writer. An admired and funny woman. I’m touring a live one-woman show this year. I’m attending writing festivals with my heroes. I’m writing and starring in my own TV show.
I don’t look the way I’m “supposed” to look, according to a select group of people. But I just don’t give a fuck. Because I’ve achieved more than I’ve ever dreamed of in spite of people assuming I wasn’t pretty or thin enough. I don’t even think about being pretty or thin enough — I just think about writing the best, funniest shit I can write. My body has nothing to do with that.
Watch the Mamamia team reveal what their pubic hair really looks like here (post continues after the video):
So, here it is. The body that was meant to hold me back. The body that I’m supposed to apologise for. The body that is meant to keep me off your screens and out of your minds. But my intelligence and my talent is more important than my appearance. And those qualities are what will force me onto your screens and into your minds. So there.
Sharing a picture like this should end my entertainment industry career. Fuck that. I can write for and play multi-faceted, complex and brilliant women because I am one. And I am one because of the life I’ve lived and the body that I’ve lived it in.
I am not flawed. I am brilliant. I am a survivor. And I make no apologies.
(And yes — I used a very flattering filter on my face in this photo. I’m posing nude, give me a freaking break.)
PS: Everyone keeps saying this post won’t last long because FB will take it down because of my nipple. Here’s hoping they see more value in this besides my naked breasts… Please, FB people, know that this isn’t a sexual photo for men, it’s an empowering photo for women (at least, I hope it is) and taking it down would be an upset for many women who love their bodies in spite of society telling them not to.