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Julie Goodwin fights back

Just as the furor over the Deborah Hutton cover on the Australian Woman’s Weekly dies down another magazine cover has come under attack. Over the weekend Sunday Telegraph Insider social columnist Ros Reines spoke about the latest cover of New Idea – the issue (pictured to left) that boasts on its cover amongst others Julie Goodwin in her swimmers.

Reines claimed it was irresponsible for Goodwin to “pretend it is fine to be overweight” and said Julie owes it to her children to lose weight.

Julie doesn’t have a newspaper column but she does have a blog and she used it to reply to Ros Reines, publicly. She wrote in part:

Someone who has absolutely no medical data on me (besides a picture of me in my swimmers – oh hang on, that’s not medical data).  Not my blood pressure, my fitness, physical strength, activity levels, stress levels, alcohol or drug consumption, genetic predispositions or socio-economic  circumstances – all of which contain health predictors*.  Even my weight is an unknown piece of medical data.  But then, there’s no point letting the facts stand in the way of a good sledging.

It is well and truly time that we stopped approaching health with a cookie-cutter mentality – as in, thinner = healthier, larger = unhealthier.  Of course obesity is unhealthy.   So is anorexia.  So is heroin addiction – but hey, you can really get thin that way.  Using size as the only indicator to someone’s health is facile.  It’s also dangerous as young girls opt for radical diet and drug options to be thin and fit the media’s portrayal of health and beauty.

Being thin and unfit has been found to more dangerous to health than being overweight but fit.**  We are simply not all made to be the same height, have the same eyes or teeth or hair, the same amount of muscle, the same intelligence, and on and on.  It is shallow to suggest that we are all the same in body type and only people who overeat and are lazy might be bigger than a magazine model.

Why did I get in my cozzies for New Idea (2nd Jan)?  I did it for all the little teapots out there – short and stout.  And for anyone else who feels judged critically by other people.  We should all be able to be comfortable in our own skin despite what uninformed media commentators write.  I celebrate the differences between people.  I try very hard not to judge people by the way they look – because nobody knows anyone else’s full story.

As far as what I owe to myself and my children, I owe them food that is cooked from scratch, using as many fresh ingredients and as few additives as possible.  I owe them mealtimes around the family table.  I owe them the very best of myself, which includes (but is not limited to) keeping myself healthy via plenty of exercise, fresh air, fresh food and laughter.  I owe them a broad world view and an education that includes how to be a compassionate human being.  I owe them a safe home and a community surrounding them that loves them.  And I owe it to them to be self-confident and self-loving so that they can feel the same no matter whether or not they end up looking like Brad Pitt.

I am grateful to my body for the three children it has given me, for its strength and ability to work long hard hours, and for its robust good health.  Yes, robust good health.  According to the hard medical data.  Sure, one day I may drop dead of a heart attack or contract cancer.  Or be the victim of some terrible random accident or evil event.  Or go peacefully at a ripe old age surrounded by people who love me.  We all will, one way or another.  But until then I will live my life as fully and joyfully as each day allows, with the body God gave me in all its magnificent imperfection.

You can read the full post here

What did you think of the magazine cover? Ever had your health judged on your weight?