Body judging and concern trolling

Today the Herald Sun has yet another Daily Mail re-write by the most over-worked journalist in the country, “staff writer”. Which is code for “I’m too ashamed to put my name on this rubbish” or “I’ve just re-written a media release or another journo’s work”. And it’s yet another story about Kate Middleton.

Kate risks becoming an ever-shrinking clothes horse:

THERE are concerns that the Duchess of Cambridge will turn into an ever-shrinking clothes horse with an increasingly fixed smile.

Who is concerned? The Daily Mail journalist spoke to someone from a model agency, someone from a lingerie company, and the editor of a fashion magazine, and no one said anything about being concerned. So the concern comes from the journalist, in order to write a story about there being concerns. And you write those stories because you want to point your finger and say “look! Look closely at her body and declare it not perfect”.

As Kate wowed the world with her stunning outfits during her tour of Canada and the US, there are fears that the increasing focus on her fashion choices will see her lose even more kilos, The Daily Mail reports.

If you’re going to pretend the “increasing focus on her fashion choices” is unhealthy, then you probably shouldn’t include a judge-a-matic on Middleton’s fashion choices:

Herald Sun - Judging Kate Middleton

The Herald Sun wants to you judge Kate Middleton's appearance

To add to the body judging, the Herald Sun includes photos of Middleton with two women who are either a different shape or a different age, and the captions invite you to look at all three and judge them:

Even US actress Reese Witherspoon looks big against Kate.
Kate made ever-skinny Nicole Kidman look well rounded at a function in LA.

So you look at Kidman and Witherspoon and judge their body parts. As though women are only as good as their body parts. (And also, if you do click on the link above and see the photos, that’s well-rounded?)

But it’s concern trolling. “Oh, we are so concerned that the focus on her body will make her lose too much weight, so here, have a good close look at her body and judge it”. Then, in a few weeks when a stalker – sorry, photographer – gets a photo of Middleton at a bad angle where she looks ribby, we’ll have the “LOOK AT HER FREAKY SKINNY BODY” and “FEARS FOR KATE’S HEALTH” and “TOO SKINNY TO HAVE BABIES” headlines. She just can’t win.

13 responses to “Body judging and concern trolling

  1. Can’t you see the tabloid headlines if she did gain weight?

    I bet they’d even bring out the “Duchess of Pork” moniker that once plagued Sarah Ferguson.

  2. I am always so incited by the body judging of Kate.
    Usually by the very same people who are air brushing the crap of an already tiny woman, who then feel it’s their duty to be concerned about her waif like stature. (Did you see the air brushing of her wedding pics? The before and after shots? I mean, WHY, why on earth does that woman need air brushing?Why does any woman need air brushing? )

  3. ……

    “Hey kids! tired of over-scrutinising yourselves in the mirror? Why not try turning your hateful gaze on others! If you’re a woman, doubtless you need to find a yardstick to which you can compare yourself, and if you come up short against a flawed measure, then you KNOW you’re not good enough. And if you’re a man- well, Hell, it’s your duty!”

    In other news we are reading the same book for fun at the moment (Elegance of Hedgehog). I’m not loving it. I find the concierge a pretentious fuck.

  4. Hi Nipply!

    Just re-found your blog after an extended reading absence.

    I totally get the f***ed-up way the media deals with women in the public eye, and the focus on the appearance and the fashion and the “style icon” bullshit drives me insane.

    Having said that, every time I see pictures of Kate, I really do actually get … well, concerned. She always looks great… but she is just tiny, particularly for her height.

    I don’t know, does that make me a bad feminist? I kind of just want to invite her over for a movie and popcorn night. We could wear our PJs.

    • Hi Girl Clumsy, and welcome back. I get what you’re saying and no, it doesn’t make you a bad feminist. I think the urge to invite her over for popcorn and PJs is about giving her a break from the constant pressure of having to look immaculate. About relaxing. I think that’s normal.

  5. ffs this sort of treatment drives me mental. How is her weight any of my business – and it’s articles like this DM one that probably don’t help AT ALL. How are women supposed to have any confidence in their bodies if the goal posts are constantly shifting. This is why I stopped buying crappy gossip rags.

    Poor Kate – I really feel for her, she can’t do wrong for doing right. In a british paper this week there was stuff about her being dressed frumpily. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if she’d been wearing say, skinny jeans + peasant top or a shorter/tighter outfit they wld have had something to say about that also.

    Give the poor girl a break – and in fact give us all a break please, tabloids and stop pressuring us to judge everyone by outside appearances. Gah! Rant over.

    Great post as ever lovely xx

    • Thanks SG. I saw an article about how Kate is a “recessionista” because she wears outfits more than once. Gasp! If you’re photographed in the same pair of jeans twice, apparently you’re “obsessed” with them. It’s so stupid.

  6. If she was not slim enough they would humiliate her viv duchess of york. I feel sorry for Mrs Windsor-Mountbatten. She clearly loves her husband but in order to be with him she has a lifetime of this sort of rubbish to endure.
    PS about to start a B Comm (Journ) through Open Uni so I’ll be much more regular in attendance for your insights into the profession.

    • Ooh, congratulations! You know, I moan about the state of journalism in this country, but I still read the newspaper, listen to the radio, and watch the news every day. It’s such an important part of our lives and of a well-functioning democracy. Gawd, I sound like a wanker sometimes.

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