health

'Kyle isn't fat-shaming Jackie O. She's doing it to herself.'

My husband was approximately 30 kilos overweight when he told me I needed to “lose a couple more kilos”. Some say it is the continuation of the weight double-standard whereby portly men still think it’s okay to comment on the weight of women. But in this instance my husband wasn’t to blame.

I asked for it. I had been whinging and complaining about the fact I couldn’t fit into any of my favourite clothes and he, in his very directly male way said, “Just do something about it then!” So I did. I started dieting and exercising until I could fit into all of my beautiful clothes again.

Not that my weight issues were over. I gain and lose the same few kilos every year or two. It’s pretty common and not a big deal. But I know that if I complain about it to my husband – while eating another handful of my beloved chocolate bullets – he’s going to say something.

Even though he is overweight himself.

That time Oprah asked Kyle & Jackie O what made them happy. Article continues after this video.

This week radio host Kyle Sandilands has been criticised for “fat-shaming” his co-host Jackie O on The Kyle & Jackie O Show. The Daily Mail took issue with his constant commentary about Jackie O’s weight by pointing out that he was pretty big himself and that Jackie O’s current weight of 66 kilos was within the “normal range”.

But Jackie O doesn’t want to weigh 66 kilos. She wants to weigh 60 kilos. She wants to go back to her pre-pregnancy weight when she felt the most comfortable and she is allowed to do that. She is allowed to make decisions about how to change her body.

When it comes to Kyle and his constant taunting of Jackie and her failed weight loss attempts, to accuse him of fat-shaming her is complete bullshit. It’s actually really offensive to suggest that just because Kyle is “fat” he isn’t allowed to comment on other people’s weight. Talk about fat-shaming.

Listen: On the latest episode of Nitty Gritty Committee, Meshel Laurie opens up about body image and eating disorders. Post continues below. 

The difference between Kyle and Jackie O’s weight is that Kyle is happy the way he is. He doesn’t want to lose weight. But Jackie does.

Jackie O joined the so-called “Fat Club” at work whereby she and fellow staff members would compete to lose the most amount of weight. Each subjects themselves to a public weigh in which is then charted for all to see.

She has chosen to do it publicly on her radio show, which means her co-host gets to comment on it, her father who called in and she put to air can comment on it, listeners can comment on it and everyone else who comes across stories about it get to comment on it.

Part of their schtick has always been to tease and taunt each other mercilessly so it’s to be expected that Kyle is going to do everything he can to make her weight loss journey as humiliating as possible. A bit rich considering he weighs 130-plus kilos, right? Except it’s probably rating really well on their show.

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When a competition caller mentioned she was training to be a personal trainer it was on, again.

KYLE: “Got any tips for Jackie there?”

JACKIE O: “Oh, don’t start Kyle. I’ll have a go at you again?”

KYLE: “I noticed they had a go at me in The Daily Mail there saying…how dare I talk about how you’re trying to cheat people out of the weight loss…I think they missed the point.”

JACKIE O: “Ah, no, they’re saying that you’re always having a go on air about my weight, that’s what they said.”

KYLE: “Yeah, but what’s wrong with that? Why can’t I do that?”

JACKIE O: “They were trying to, I think, imply that may you also need help? Did you notice they used the fattest photos of you they could find?”

KYLE: “There’s that one photo that could be about a year-and-a-half old. It’s the fattest, grossest most bloated…update your photos Daily Mail.”

JACKIE O: “I would hate it if that was a photo of me.”

And here’s my comment.

Jackie O is a beautiful, healthy, talented, successful 41-year-old woman just as she is. She has an incredible life and a beautiful family. Her life looks pretty close to perfect. But she wants to lose a few kilos and that’s her right.

'Jackie O doesn't need to lose weight. She is a beautiful, healthy, 41-year-old woman. But the truth is she desperately wants to lose weight and she has chosen to attempt it publicly on her radio show.' Image: Jackie O with husband Lee and daughter Kitty. Instagram, jackieo_official
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Also Kyle and Jackie O are successful and savvy radio announcers who have been working together for decades. Every single conversation they have on air is pre-planned. They know that talking about weight and attempting to lose weight publicly rates really well in radio.

That's why they are doing it.

She could have easily chosen to keep her attempt to lose weight private and Kyle would have respected that.

As it turns out, Jackie O is using her radio show to try and help inspire her to lose weight. She wants to be accountable for her weight loss as a way to motivate herself.

Plus it RATES REALLY WELL.

Jackie O shared an old promo shot of herself at her goal weight, albeit when she was much younger. Image: Instagram, Kyle & Jackie O

Back in my radio days my co-host Phil Brandel and I did our own on-air weight loss challenge. We were weighed, poked and prodded on air and whomever lost the most weight won a prize. I can't remember what Phil's prize was going to be but I wanted a pair of pink UGG boots.

I won, by 700 grams, only due to the fact that I had not eaten breakfast that morning nor drank a drop of water.

Still a win is a win. And it rated really well.

So instead of fat-shaming Kyle for fat-shaming Jackie O - look how fat he is? How dare he comment on the weight of a healthy woman - take a moment to remember what it is you are listening to.

If you or someone you know is suffering from body image issues please contact the Butterfly Foundation on 1300 33 4673.

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