Different body types are a plus

Susie O’Brien has an opinion piece in today’s Herald Sun – picked up by News.com.au as their main image – about how we shouldn’t be praising plus-sized models because they’re just fat. It includes this particularly nasty comment: Most of the women on catwalks are freaks of nature. Nice.

The gist of her argument seems to be that we shouldn’t have fat people in the media because it empowers other fat people to accept their weight, rather than lose it. That doesn’t sound like a health argument, it just sounds fattist.

Yes, larger teens deserve to be able to wear fashionable clothes, like everyone else. But the discourse of self-empowerment surrounding the move is stopping us asking why so many young people are size 16 or more in the first place.

Um, Susie? There has been plenty of media coverage about this. As a fellow journo I find it hard to believe that you missed it. In fact, in June you wrote about how Shrek was a bad fat role model for kids, in May you wrote about Australians and lap-band surgery, and in 2007 you wrote about kids and obesity and overweight people in the media. And that’s just what a very quick Google turned up. How do you like them apples?

Oh, but wait, there’s more. She finishes with a cracker:

Alarmingly, a new Australian study of more than 30,000 people shows obese and morbidly obese men are less depressed and less suicidal than those of a normal weight.

That’s alarming? Perhaps it’s only alarming to someone who seems to want fat people to kill themselves so she doesn’t have to look at them.

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