It was Caitlin Moran who proposed we have a five year amnesty on talking about women’s bodies.
Surely we have exhausted the conversation, she argued. Perhaps we could give each other just a short, well-deserved break.
But alas, no one could hear her over the relentless chatter; She is too thin and she is too fat and she has had botox and she has aged terribly.
Women’s bodies, you see, are public property. They do not belong to the person that occupies the body – but rather to just about everyone else.
Casey Donovan’s body does not belong to Casey Donovan.
It is the property of the Daily Mail, and her Instagram followers, and the cover of countless magazines.
When the 29-year-old recently shared her weight loss on Instagram, she received more ‘likes’ than on any other photo she has ever published. Woman’s Day put Donovan on the cover of this months issue, with the headline, “Casey’s proudest achievement!”
LISTEN: The argument for body neutrality. Post continues below.
Never mind that the singer is the youngest contestant to have won Australian Idol, or that she has written a book, or that she won I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, or that her album For You went platinum… twice, or that her music has topped the Australian charts or that she performed in the Australian musical We Will Rock You and has sustained a remarkable career over 13 years.
Instead, Donovan’s choice to make her body smaller is what we classify as her most outstanding triumph. And that tells us everything we need to know about being a woman in 2017.
Ruby Rose’s body does not belong to Ruby Rose.
It belongs to some LA-based dietitian Lisa De Fazio who told NW magazine, “Her family and management team need to encourage her to gain some weight before it’s too late,” and then speculated about her weight.
It belongs to the people writing, ““You look ill love,” on Twitter, and the commenters insisting she put on weight because she “looked better before”.
Headlines have been written about her "worryingly thin" frame, and "health concerns" from fans.
There have been virtually no stories about why she was touring Australia in the first place, which was to promote Pitch Perfect 3, an enormous movie franchise which features exclusively female protagonists.
The only time commentary diverted from the subject of her weight, was when it turned to her "acne". Rose addressed the comments on her Instagram story, prefacing it with, "Yeah it sucks... for me, I don't see how it's bothering so many others?"
Unfortunately, the answer is simple.
Because her body is public property - and the value of a woman is indexed on the measurements of her waist line and the clearness of her cheeks.
Maybe it's time to revisit Caitlin Moran's modest proposal, because surely there are more important - not to mention more interesting - things to talk about.
You can listen to the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here.