beauty

'Kate Fischer' absolutely deserves to be paid for letting us gawk at her.

Walking around in your own body should not be an act of bravery.

But when you are a 40-something woman who used to be a 20-something admired for her text-book beauty, it is.

Suddenly, it’s daring to get older, daring to get bigger and daring not to hide yourself away in shame.

The woman formerly known as Kate Fischer – formerly known as James Packer’s ‘jilted’ fiance, formerly known as that very gorgeous actress in Sirens – recently dared to walk to her letter box wrapped in a sheet.

It was her mail box, outside her own house, on her own street in a Melbourne neighbourhood regularly described as “leafy”.

There, she was “papped” and the images were splashed across the tabloids with the kind of delight one could generously describe as schadenfreude. The words spoke of transformation, but the subtext was smug – ‘Remember the beautiful lady with the rich boyfriend? SHE GOT FAT!’

It’s true. The former Kate Fischer, now legally called Tziporah Malkah, is not a tiny person any more.

She is big. She has flesh. There is more of her than there was back in the 1990s, when she was, if she was anything like the rest of us, surviving on a “party diet” of bubbles and cigarettes. Shocking, I know.

Clearly, she’s meant to be ashamed of herself for this digression.

tziporah malkah james packer
Kate appeared alongside Portia de Rossi and Elle MacPherson in Australian film Sirens. Image via Getty.

But after the papping, Tziporah was not ashamed. She was angry. She railed against the tabloid "rags" who were paying for the pictures. She blasted her so-called "friends" who, she was convinced, were passing off her private social media images to photo-editors for cash.

She has spent 20 years trying to get away from the tabloid-regular "party girl" she was at 22. Now, she's a deeply religious psyche nurse who works with the elderly. It's fair to say that Tziporah has changed.

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But what hasn't changed is our fascination with women's bodies. And there was no way that, having discovered a former It Girl was living down the road, looking like - shock, horror - a big person, the celebrity media was not going to let this lie.

This week, Tziporah decided to flip the script, answered their calls and threw on a black basque and fishnets, posing for the front cover of New Idea.

She was also shot draped in a sheet and in the interview with journalist Jacqui Lang, she spoke about people's dual obsessions with her ex and her weight. She threw out a few playful quotes on both.

'Here,' she's saying in those pictures, 'You're so fascinated by my fatness? Look at it. GET OVER IT.'

Did we get over it? Like hell. We gasped. We pored over the pictures. And then we piled on.

Yesterday, Tziporah was on her Facebook page, defending her choice to do the shoot. She's been called a "sell-out" for letting New Idea use her 'old' name on their cover. She's been called a hypocrite for getting into bed (literally) with the people she called 'rags' for money. She's been criticised for promoting "fatness" as healthy and, god forbid, desirable.

All of which is hard to swallow. Because, let's be honest, when Tziporah "hid" herself away, living a private life in LA and Melbourne, she was harassed and exposed and used to make money for other people. And now, when she's decided to stop and pose, she's somehow pathetic.

Remember, it's us who are doing the looking. It's us who are obsessed by women's bodies, who attach so much meaning and judgement to every curve and bone. It's us who just want to gawk at any woman who will indulge us with a camera, or a phone.

What Tziporah has done is not "pathetic". It's ballsy.

There's nothing pathetic about seeing many, many people around you profiting from your body, your actual physical self, and deciding that you should be getting a cut of that.

There's nothing pathetic about posing for a camera when there are already 10 of them outside your house, snapping you going to the gym, the shops, to work.

There's nothing pathetic about reclaiming the power that's been stolen from you by a long lens.

And really, there's nothing pathetic about deciding being older and larger than you were at 22 isn't something to be ashamed of?

Tziporah Malka is not a desperate sell-out. What she is is a grown woman taking back her power.

Are you impressed by Tziporah's photoshoot?

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